Thursday 5 July 1666

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning busy, then at noon dined and Mr. Sheply with me, who come to towne the other day. I lent him 630 in silver upon 30 pieces in gold. But to see how apt every body is to neglect old kindnesses! I must charge myself with the ingratitude of being unwilling to lend him so much money without some pawne, if he should have asked it, but he did not aske it, poor man, and so no harm done. After dinner, he gone, I to my office and Lumbard Streete about money, and then to my office again, very busy, and so till late, and then a song with my wife and Mercer in the garden, and so with great content to bed.

12 Annotations

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"I must charge myself with the ingratitude of being unwilling to lend him so much money without some pawne ... but he did not aske it, poor man, and so no harm done"

Perhaps, but on past track record the diary entry, and the preoccupation for several days subsequently, would then be of the angst of having made an unsecured loan and calculations of how to get it back in hand as quickly as possible. Shepley, with long acquaintance, perhaps knows SP too well.

L&M read L30 in silver upon 30 pieces in gold.

Mary   Link to this

£30 in silver upon 30 pieces in gold.

As expressed here this transaction seems to make no sense from Sheply's point of view. Am I misinterpreting? Whilst the object that is pawned is usually of much higher worth than the sum advanced, why would anyone in possession of 30 pieces of gold pledge that amount against a lesser sum in silver?

If the agreement is simply that Sheply will pay a penalty of 30 pieces of gold if he defaults on the loan of the silver, then that makes little sense from Sam's financial point of view, as it guarantees him nothing.

Phoenix   Link to this

Although the guinea was not widely in circulation it would produce 630 shillings depending on the current value of gold, so it was possible that Pepys was making change for Shepley, who, in handling his lord's household accounts, would be in need of smaller denominated coinage.

Ruben   Link to this

"I to my office and Lumbard Streete about money".
The more money Sam has in his pockets and the more responsibilities he handles, the more references you see in his diary about Lombard Street.
The increase is exponential. Good for him!

cgs   Link to this

my take "...I lent him 630 in silver upon 30 pieces in gold..."

600 quid at 5% vig would yield 30, a good deal, when the going rate be 6 to 8 % per annum , and money is very tight now.
So in my wee mind, Samuel will receive 630 smackers when he pays up.

cgs   Link to this

"...then a song with my wife and Mercer in the garden, and so with great content to bed...."
The nightingales be awooing ag'in.
Was it ? "She, who my poor heart possesses."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"After dinner, he gone, I to my office and Lumbard Streete about money..."

Life apparently being very sweet on the Lombard side of the street...

Mary   Link to this

Those 630 in silver are a spurious item according to the L&M transcription of the diary, which gives the sum as '30' followed by the lower-case letter 'L' for 'pounds' (though MR notes their transcription as 'L30'). Hence my query.

And if this is a simple case of Sam offering to break 30 golden guineas into more negotiable silver coin, why does he mention the question of trust and use the word 'pawn'?

A. Hamilton   Link to this

The nature of the transaction with Sheply depends on the values involved. The alternative readings (L&M, Wheatley) introduce a confusion, to be sure. But on the Wheatley reading, in the light of Paul Chapin's analysis of the monetary value of a guinea in tomorrow's entry, 630 silver shillings would be slightly less valuable than 30 gold guineas, so Sheply would have had an incentive to redeem the guineas.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"... lent him 630 in silver ..."

The 630 appears to be a transcription error; my printed copy of Wheatley reads "... lent him £30 in silver ..."

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Thanks, Michael.

The pledge of 30 guineas (worth something more than 630 shillings -- see Paul Chapin in tomorrow's entry) would be an even stronger incentive to repay the less valuable L30(600 shillings) in silver.

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