Friday 24 November 1665

Up, and after doing some business at the office, I to London, and there, in my way, at my old oyster shop in Gracious Streete, bought two barrels of my fine woman of the shop, who is alive after all the plague, which now is the first observation or inquiry we make at London concerning everybody we knew before it. So to the ‘Change, where very busy with several people, and mightily glad to see the ‘Change so full, and hopes of another abatement still the next week. Off the ‘Change I went home with Sir G. Smith to dinner, sending for one of my barrels of oysters, which were good, though come from Colchester, where the plague hath been so much. Here a very brave dinner, though no invitation; and, Lord! to see how I am treated, that come from so mean a beginning, is matter of wonder to me. But it is God’s great mercy to me, and His blessing upon my taking pains, and being punctual in my dealings. After dinner Captain Cocke and I about some business, and then with my other barrel of oysters home to Greenwich, sent them by water to Mrs. Penington, while he and I landed, and visited Mr. Evelyn, where most excellent discourse with him; among other things he showed me a ledger of a Treasurer of the Navy, his great grandfather, just 100 years old; which I seemed mighty fond of, and he did present me with it, which I take as a great rarity; and he hopes to find me more, older than it. He also shewed us several letters of the old Lord of Leicester’s, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, under the very hand-writing of Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Mary, Queen of Scotts; and others, very venerable names. But, Lord! how poorly, methinks, they wrote in those days, and in what plain uncut paper. Thence, Cocke having sent for his coach, we to Mrs. Penington, and there sat and talked and eat our oysters with great pleasure, and so home to my lodging late and to bed.

16 Annotations

Eric Walla   Link to this

One simple question: just how many oysters could/would one eat in a day?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Geesh, Sam...Paper was hard to get in those days.

***
I must be the only person in my New England-born family who loathes shellfish...All I can think of with Sam's oyster party is that episode of "Mad Men" with Roger Sterling and Don Draper challenging each other over platters of oysters.

Excuse me a moment...Uh...

Say was Sam a hair afraid his oysters had gotten all plaguey?

Poor Bess in Woolwich...No oysters for her?

Miss Ann   Link to this

"He also shewed us several letters of the old Lord of Leicester’s, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, under the very hand-writing of Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Mary, Queen of Scotts; and others, very venerable names. But, Lord! how poorly, methinks, they wrote in those days, and in what plain uncut paper."
I'm envious of Sam having seen in real life letters, etc from the great Queens themselves - what an honour. I wonder if the reference to the poor writing is what they actually wrote or how they penned their correspondence. I wonder if these letters are held anywhere now? Maybe in a museum or maybe the Royal household? Someone on this site probably knows - I'll check back after lunch and see if any of our illustreous annotators has any idea.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Miss Ann, L&M say these are probably Rawlinson MSS A 200 (1562-3) or A 202 (1573-4) in the Bodleian Library at Oxford http://www.ouls.ox.ac.uk/bodley A list of the eight other volumes of Gonson's accounts Pepys owned ca. 1689 is in D 794 folio 1r.

I sometimes get my views of such rarities as the hands of English monarchs at the Huntington Library http://www.huntington.org/LibraryDiv/LibraryHom... in my home town; of course there are other rare book libraries.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"He also shewed us several letters of the old Lord of Leicester’s, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, under the very hand-writing of Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Mary, Queen of Scotts; and others, very venerable names. ..."

Per L&M footnote:

"Evelyn had inherited these from his wife's great grandfather, Sir. Richard Browne (d. 1604) who appears to have entered public service through the patronage of Robert Dudley, Ist Earl of Leicester (d. 1598). ... In 1681 Evelyn lent to Pepys these and other Elizabethan state papers in his possession, and never asked for them back: ... They are still in the Pepys Library in three large MS. volumes ('Original Papers of State', PL 2502-4), each volume inscribed on the title-page: 'The Gift of my hond. & learned Friend John Evelyn Esqre of Says-Court.' They are calendared in Historical Manuscripts Commission 'Pepys': see esp. pp. 96-7, 177, 182."

L&M note Rawlinson MSS A 200 (1562-3) or A 202 (1573-4) in connection with the Naval Ledger(s) only. The catalogue / finding aids for The Rawlinson MS have yet to be placed on the web, for a collection level description see:
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/onl...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Great that the letters were preserved, if so... Too bad Sam gives us little clue as to the content in them.

"My dearest you-know-who,

Just to let you know my wife Amy is about to meet with an unfortunate accident which at least should end her unhappy sufferings. So prepare to encounter a jolly, thriving wooer.

Yours,

'Eyes'"

(Yeah, I know it's far more likely Cecil had Amy killed or she died of metastasic bone disease from her cancer. But wouldn't it be fun if Sam had found a juicy bit and let us know.)

Now if Sam had only preserved Bess' letter or her paintings.

JWB   Link to this

For a graphological analysis of Eliz. I's handwriting goto:

Marion Rayner, MBIG (Dip.), C.G., London
British Director of the AFGS

http://www.handwriting.org/archives/98may_01.html

Gerry   Link to this

Oyster Consumption: In the days when oysters were not eaten in months without an R I and my friends would look forward to the various Oyster Festivals at the beginning of September to break the fast. My favourite was the Galway festival and eating 4 doz at a time was easy; washed down of course by copious pints of Guiness.
Miss Ann. Many years ago in an exibition at Windsor, I saw a letter to Elizabeth from Robert Devereaux her long time intimate. He died soon after he wrote it in 1588 and she had annotated it "his last letter".
I'm not the emotional sort but reading that some 400 years later gave me shivers.

Glyn   Link to this

"and being punctual in my dealings"

Could punctual mean punctilious in this context?

Glyn   Link to this

Miss Anne:

If you want to see royal letters, there are lots on display at the National Records Office at Kew (a 15-minute walk along the river Thames from Kew Gardens).

They also may have documents by Pepys himself for all I know.

There's no charge as long as you have a temporary Visitor's Pass.
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/default.htm?...

cgs   Link to this

punctual my farthings worth

5c. Meticulously attentive to detail in action or speech; exhaustively methodical or exact; precise, accurate. Obs.

lots obsolete meanings lost in time
post-classical Latin punctualis of or relating to a point in space (early 13th cent. in British sources), (of a cauterization) producing or consisting of small pricks or punctures (late 13th cent.), of, relating to, or made by, a point or dot (1517 in the passage translated in quot. 1609 at sense A. 3a) < classical Latin punctus action of pricking or stabbing (< punct-, past participial stem of pungere PUNGE v. + -tus, suffix forming verbal nouns) + -{amac}lis -AL suffix1. Compare Middle French, French ponctuel (15th cent. as punctuel), Catalan puntual (15th cent.), Spanish puntual (16th cent.), Portuguese pontual (1563), Italian puntuale (a1552).
With uses in branch A. II. compare earlier PUNCTUALLY adv.]

A. adj.

I. With reference to a physical point.

1. Surg. Of a cauterization: producing or consisting of small pricks or punctures. Of a cauterizing or other surgical instrument: having a sharp point. Cf. PUNCTAL adj. 1. Obs.
1400...1598
2. Of the nature of or resembling a point or speck; small, minute. Obs.
1605 BACON
1667 MILTON Paradise Lost VIII. 23 This Earth a spot, a graine, An Atom, with the Firmament compar'd And all her numberd Starrs, that seem to rowle Spaces incomprehensible..meerly to officiate light Round this opacous Earth, this punctual spot.

3. a. Of, relating to, or indicated by a point or dot; of or relating to punctuation. Now rare.
1609..1979
b. Geom. Of or relating to a point in space; of the nature of a point, having position but no spatial extent.
1722 ...2002
II. With reference to a non-physical point or points.
4. a. Exact in every point; precise, accurate. Obs.
1608...1852
1608 R. PARSONS Iudgm. Catholicke English-man ii. 28 So exact, & punctuall is the truth of this Ministers narration.

1620 Horæ Subsecivæ 536 If any do not find so punctual an agreement as hee expects.

1630 W. DAVENANT Cruel Brother IV. H 2 b, Be nimble then: and tell me punctuall truth.

1662 E. STILLINGFLEET Origines Sacræ II. vi. §8 Those predictions..have had their punctuall accomplishment.

II. With reference to a non-physical point or points.

4. a. Exact in every point; precise, accurate. Obs.
1608 R. PARSONS Iudgm. Catholicke English-man ii. 28 So exact, & punctuall is the truth of this Ministers narration.

1620 Horæ Subsecivæ 536 If any do not find so punctual an agreement as hee expects. 1630 W. DAVENANT Cruel Brother IV. H 2 b, Be nimble then: and tell me punctuall truth.

1662 E. STILLINGFLEET Origines Sacræ II. vi. §8 Those predictions..have had their punctuall accomplishment.
...1852

b. Occurring at a precise point in time; exactly or aptly timed; timely. rare.
1611 J. SPEED Hist. Great Brit. IX. xx. 738/2 Sir William Stanley Lord Chamberlain to King Henry (by whose punctuall reuolt from K. Richard, he had principally achieued the Crowne).
...1970

c. Of a time or date: exact, precise. Obs. Cf. sense A. ..1628...1826
H. BURTON Tryall Priuate Deuotions sig. I3v, The Author is very skilfull to tell vs the punctuall time of Christs Descent into Hell.

1639 T. FULLER Hist. Holy Warre IV. ix. 183 About this time (though we find not the punctuall date thereof) happened the death of Reinoldus Fredericks.

1657 W. MORICE Coena quasi {Kappa}{omicron}{iota}{nu}{ghgrave} II. 130 We doe not binde..ourselves to a precise and punctual instant.
....1826

d. Of or belonging to a precise location. Obs. rare.
a...1807

e. Grammar. Of action: occurring at a particular and finite point in time. Of aspect or tense: relating to an action or event that occurs at a particular point in time. Sometimes contrasted with durative.
[1904

5. a. Minutely observant of or insistent on rule, principle, or obligation; attentive to duty; strict, particular, punctilious, scrupulous. Now rare except as retained implicitly in sense A. 5d.
1609 R. PARSONS Quiet Reckoning App. 678 What shall I say of their manner of life, bare diet, simple apparell, punctuall obedience, strait pouerty, exact chastity, [etc.].

1625 BACON Apophthegmes §294 A gentleman that was punctual of his word.

1668 DRYDEN Of Dramatick Poesie 43 We are not altogether so punctual as the French, in observing the lawes of Comedy.
...1926

b. Strictly observant of or insistent on ceremony or convention; formal, ceremonious. Obs.
1618..
1631 W. SALTONSTALL Picturæ Loquentes D v, [He] gives his words such a punctuall stiffe pronunciation.
...1866

*******
5c. Meticulously attentive to detail in action or speech; exhaustively methodical or exact; precise, accurate. Obs.
***
1620 T. SHELTON tr. Cervantes Don Quixote II. l. 332 Cid Hamete, the most punctuall Searcher of the very moats of this true History.
1636 J. POCKLINGTON Sunday no Sabbath (1637) 22 S. Nyssen is more punctuall and cleere: the Lords day (saith he) begins at cockcrowing.
...1845

d. Esp. of a person: exactly observant of the time agreed or appropriate for a meeting, action, etc.; characterized by such observance. Of an action or event: taking place at the agreed or proper time. (Now the usual sense.)
Originally with to followed by an expression of time, and thus a spec. use of sense A. 5a.

1632 S. MARMION Hollands Leaguer II. i. sig. C4v, Agur. What M. Trimalchio. Yo'are punctuall to your houre. Trim. Sir, for your sake, I can dispense with my occasions.

1665 R. MORAY Let. 31 Aug. in H. Oldenburg Corr. (1965) II. 490 Mr Hugens is not very punctuall in answering letters as soon as received though sometimes hee does it.
...1997
6. Of an account, description, argument, etc.: dealing with a matter point by point; minute, detailed. Often overlapping with sense A. 4a. Obs.
In quot. 1611 applied to the person giving such a description: cf. sense A. 5c.
1611...1772

7. a. Bearing directly on the point; to the purpose, apposite, apt. Obs.
1614 BACON Charge touching Duels 16 It is so punctuall, and hath such reference and respect vnto the receyued conceipts.

1616 J. BULLOKAR Eng. Expositor, Punctuall,..short, and direct to the purpose. 1629 W. PRYNNE Chvrch of Englands Old Antithesis 59 Nothing can be more full and punctuall to our present Conclusion.

1642 D. ROGERS Naaman 347 If a man would compile a story..for the demonstration of Providence, could he frame a more punctuall one?

b. Clearly defined or expressed; explicit, definite. Obs. (arch. in later use).
1615

B. n.

1. A minute point of detail, a subtlety. Obs. rare.
1610 G. FLETCHER Christs Victorie III. xii. 50 Let the thorny schools these punctualls Of wills, all good, or bad, or neuter diss.

2. Grammar. A punctual aspect or tense...1971

Michael Robinson   Link to this

They also may have documents by Pepys himself for all I know.

They have a PDF of SP's final will 'on line'
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonl...

and you can search for other Pepys documents, including the Navy Board records, and generate summary descriptions:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/searchthearc...
see:-
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/search/searc...

A. Hamilton   Link to this

"the National Records Office at Kew (a 15-minute walk along the river Thames from Kew Gardens)"

Thanks Glyn. Next time I visit my son and family who live 5 minutes from Richmond Bridge in Twickeham I'll plan to walk over there and look around.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Oyster consumption, per C.L. Dodgson

"O Oysters come and walk with us,"
The Walrus did beseech.
" A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach :
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each. "

The eldest Oyster looked at him.
But never a word he said :
The eldest Oyster winked his eye.
And shook his heavy head
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young oysters hurried up.
All eager for the treat :
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed.
Their shoes were clean and neat
And this was odd, because, you know.
They hadn't any feet.

Four other oysters followed them.
And yet another four:
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more
All hopping through the frothy waves.
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so.
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
To talk of many things ;
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax,
Of cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat :
For some of us are out of breath.
And all of us are fat ! "
'No hurry I " said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
Is what we chiefly need :
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed.
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed. "

"But not on us" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness that would be
A dismal thing to do."
"The night is fine," the Walrus said,
"Do you admire the view?"

" It was so kind of you to come
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf
I've had to ask you twice ! "

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far.
And made them trot so quick."
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick I "

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size.
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter.
"You've had a pleasant run !
Shall we be trotting home again ? "
But answer came there none
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

cgs   Link to this

re: archive :b'ware of t'other Samuel Pepys also popular in the House of Commons:being an MP too

Tom Carr   Link to this

Robert, you are not the only native-New England born that doesn't like shellfish. My friends are still aghast that the smell of New England Clam Chowder turns my stomach.

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