Friday 5 April 1667

Up, and troubled with Mr. Carcasse’s coming to speak with me, which made me give him occasion to fall into a heat, and he began to be ill- mannered to me, which made me angry. He gone, I to Sir W. Pen about the business of Mrs. Turner’s son to keep his ship in employment, but so false a fellow as Sir W. Pen is I never did nor hope shall ever know again. So to the office, and there did business, till dinnertime, and then home to dinner, wife and I alone, and then down to the Old Swan, and drank with Betty and her husband, but no opportunity para baiser la. So to White Hall to the Council chamber, where I find no Council held till after the holidays. So to Westminster Hall, and there bought a pair of snuffers, and saw Mrs. Howlett after her sickness come to the Hall again. So by coach to the New Exchange and Mercer’s and other places to take up bills for what I owe them, and to Mrs. Pierce, to invite her to dinner with us on Monday, but staid not with her. In the street met with Mr. Sanchy, my old acquaintance at Cambridge, reckoned a great minister here in the City; and by Sir Richard Ford particularly, which I wonder at; for methinks, in his talk, he is but a mean man. I set him down in Holborne, and I to the Old Exchange, and there to Sir Robert Viner’s, and made up my accounts there, to my great content; but I find they do not keep them so regularly as, to be able to do it easily, and truly, and readily, nor would it have been easily stated by any body on my behalf but myself, several things being to be recalled to memory, which nobody else could have done, and therefore it is fully necessary for me to even accounts with these people as often as I can. So to the ‘Change, and there met with Mr. James Houblon, but no hopes, as he sees, of peace whatever we pretend, but we shall be abused by the King of France. Then home to the office, and busy late, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, where Mr. Young was talking about the building of the City again; and he told me that those few churches that are to be new built are plainly not chosen with regard to the convenience of the City; they stand a great many in a cluster about Cornhill; but that all of them are either in the gift of the Lord Archbishop, or Bishop of London, or Lord Chancellor, or gift of the City. Thus all things, even to the building of churches, are done in this world! And then he says, which I wonder at, that I should not in all this time see, that Moorefields have houses two stories high in them, and paved streets, the City having let leases for seven years, which he do conclude will be very much to the hindering the building of the City; but it was considered that the streets cannot be passable in London till a whole street be built; and several that had got ground of the City for charity, to build sheds on, had got the trick presently to sell that for 60l., which did not cost them 20l. to put up; and so the City, being very poor in stock, thought it as good to do it themselves, and therefore let leases for seven years of the ground in Moorefields; and a good deal of this money, thus advanced, hath been employed for the enabling them to find some money for Commissioner Taylor, and Sir W. Batten, towards the charge of “The Loyall London,” or else, it is feared, it had never been paid. And Taylor having a bill to pay wherein Alderman Hooker was concerned it was his invention to find out this way of raising money, or else this had not been thought on. So home to supper and to bed. This morning come to me the Collectors for my Pollmoney; for which I paid for my title as Esquire and place of Clerk of Acts, and my head and wife’s, and servants’ and their wages, 40l. 17s; and though this be a great deal, yet it is a shame I should pay no more; that is, that I should not be assessed for my pay, as in the Victualling business and Tangier; and for my money, which, of my own accord, I had determined to charge myself with 1000l. money, till coming to the Vestry, and seeing nobody of our ablest merchants, as Sir Andrew Rickard, to do it, I thought it not decent for me to do it, nor would it be thought wisdom to do it unnecessarily, but vain glory.

15 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"I had determined to charge myself with 1000l. money, till coming to the Vestry, and seeing nobody of our ablest merchants, as Sir Andrew Rickard, to do it, I thought it not decent for me to do it, nor would it be thought wisdom to do it unnecessarily, but vain glory."

And besides being out of pocket to the tune of . . .

NJM   Link to this

When I read the extract for the 5th April, I was struck, as i often have been before, by just how much Sam managed to get through in a day and wondered if it was physically possible, given the transport and roads of the time. Having been born and brought up in London and now working here during the week I have a good knowledge of the places and distances involved so have done a "back of the envelope " quick calculation.
Business until dinnertime ( Until 12 noon say ? )
Dinner with wife. 1 Hour ( until 1pm)
walk to the Old Swan 20 min ( 1.20pm)
Drink with the Mitchell's 30 min (1.50pm)
Walk to Whitehall ( no carriage mentioned)1hr (2.50pm)
Time in Westminster Hall 30 mins ( 3.20pm)
Coach to New Exchange 30mins (3.50pm)
Mrs Pierce meeting 10mins. ( 4pm)
Call to Holborn & Old Exchange 20 mins (4.20pm)
Sir Robert Viners for Accounts 1hr. ( 5.20pm )
To the Exchange 15 min (5.35pm)
Mr. Houblon 30 mins ( 6.05pm)
Walk back to the Office 30 min ( 6.35pm)
At the office until late.
And all of this on a Friday night !!
No POETS ( Push Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday !) day
for Sam then !!

Thoughts anyone ?
Anyone else been attending the diary readings at St Olave's this year. ?

Australian Susan   Link to this

I thought today was such a typical Sam day - busy, busy, busy - snide remarks about Penn, ingenuous candid remarks about the Poll Tax valuation - hoping to snatch a kiss - retelling of news and gossip - making social arrangements - oh what a whirlygig! And here's me doing nearly all my work in front of a computer screen, with little F2F interaction. Such a contrast. And although Sam could not be accused of being a POETS person, he does take time out for plays for which we are grateful. Truly an amazing piece of work. And I think that applies to the Diary and to Sam.

Linda   Link to this

"yet it is a shame . . . that I should not be assessed for my pay . . ."

Pepys is arguing for an income tax? (In that connection, the big news on the financial channel in the U.S. today is that the income tax in the U.K. is going up to 50% for those who make more than 150,000 pounds per year.)

FJA   Link to this

Given all his walking about town, Sam does not often mention needing to repair or replace his shoes. I suppose where he takes dirt paths and roads they are more forgiving on leather than paved ones, but he is in and out of rain, and must punish his shoes in puddles and such. We hear more of periwigs and Sam's tailor than of his cobbler. Still, with all his walking, he must be in good physical shape and with a healthy heart!

Don O'Shea   Link to this

What amazes me as I read Sam's daily wanderings is his daily London foraging. Sometimes it appears that Sam shows up a somebody's house, has dinner, and wanders to his next appointment/assignment/assignation before supper at another house. He seems to be more on the receiving end of meals, although do take the time to throw a decent supper when he puts his mind and his social calculator to it.

Another amazement is the AMOUNT of food they seem to put away day after day.

Excuse me, I have to check my LoseIt app.

L. K. van Marjenhoff   Link to this

It seems London was also a moveable feast.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...yet it is a shame I should pay no more; that is, that I should not be assessed for my pay, as in the Victualling business and Tangier; and for my money, which, of my own accord, I had determined to charge myself with 1000l. money, till coming to the Vestry, and seeing nobody of our ablest merchants, as Sir Andrew Rickard, to do it, I thought it not decent for me to do it, nor would it be thought wisdom to do it unnecessarily, but vain glory."

"1000Ls in money? But Mr. Pepys? According to your last accounting you're worth..."

Arrgh....

"Bess? I was just going to bribe the man."

"My way is more effective." tugs at sword. "How's about a hand, here, honey?" Dual yank, sickening sound of sword pulling out slowly.

"Besides, a little water and our house of office in the cellar clears us of this one."

"Bess...You did pay attention at 'Macbeth'." Beam.

Larry Hill   Link to this

I was thinking something along the same lines, NJM. However I did not have the time to do the analysis you did!

We moan in the present day about having to sit down and pay our bills on line. Or a few dinosaurs still mail out cheques. Can you imagine have to trudge around town (mostly on foot) to pay all of your creditors in cash??

cum salis grano   Link to this

Use up energy, it must be replaced, thus the meals.
Personally I eat only a very small fraction of the food that I consumed when I used shanks pony. One must adjust the calorie intake to the calories needed to sustain normal body, now many require a personal trainer and dietitian to keep fit, then it was easy, no money, no honey. Thus in Samuell's time only a few were over weight with touch of gout.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Utterly off topic but while home as Gay is recovering from her heart attack I found this on You Tube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GahA_LbFABc&feat...

From the Steve Coogan "Private Life of Sam Pepys" not perhaps the best version possible of our hero's doings but still fun if you haven't seen the show.

arby   Link to this

Indeed I hadn't, Robert, thanks.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Income Tax

What Sam was paying was the equivalent of his rates - paid to the local Parish Clerk. This would have been paid fairly publicly with people wandering in and out of the church (or maybe the vestry if large enough) to pay. So Sam wants it to be seen that he has to pay a lot meaning he has a large income, but he has enough self-consciousness to know that that is a silly way to be esteemed. And would cost him more money. So he swanks about in expensive mourning and a new (nit free!) periwigg to show his wealth, never counts the cost of taking coaches or river boats (Sam often moans about the expense of items, but never seems to complain about fares - which seems to be a constant theme of complaint here [Australia] and now) and occasionally gives lavish entertainment - one such is coming up on Monday with the Pierces (socially above the Pepyses) to impress! What will he give them. Can't wait. Watch out for domestic tantrums and complaints about "my people" not doing things *just* right.

cum salis grano   Link to this

Those that pay real cash for their shanks pony or paliass rarely really complain , 'tis better to brag.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... and a good deal of this money, thus advanced, hath been employed for the enabling them to find some money for Commissioner Taylor, and Sir W. Batten, towards the charge of “The Loyall London,” or else, it is feared, it had never been paid."

But unlike the court the City does pay its bills even when in extremis.

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