Friday 11 December 1668

Up, and with W. Hewer by water to Somerset House; and there I to my Lord Brouncker, before he went forth to the Duke of York, and there told him my confidence that I should make Middleton appear a fool, and that it was, I thought, best for me to complain of the wrong he hath done; but brought it about, that my Lord desired me I would forbear, and promised that he would prevent Middleton till I had given in my answer to the Board, which I desired: and so away to White Hall, and there did our usual attendance and no word spoke before the Duke of York by Middleton at all; at which I was glad to my heart, because by this means I have time to draw up my answer to my mind. So with W. Hewer by coach to Smithfield, but met not Mr. Pickering, he being not come, and so he [Will] and I to a cook’s shop, in Aldersgate Street; and dined well for 19 1/2 d., upon roast beef, pleasing ourselves with the infinite strength we have to prove Middleton a coxcomb; and so, having dined, we back to Smithfield, and there met Pickering, and up and down all the afternoon about horses, and did see the knaveries and tricks of jockeys. Here I met W. Joyce, who troubled me with his impertinencies a great while, and the like Mr. Knepp, who, it seems, is a kind of a jockey, and would fain have been doing something for me, but I avoided him, and the more for fear of being troubled thereby with his wife, whom I desire but dare not see, for my vow to my wife. At last went away and did nothing, only concluded upon giving 50l. for a fine pair of black horses we saw this day se’nnight; and so set Mr. Pickering down near his house, whom I am much beholden to, for his care herein, and he hath admirable skill, I perceive, in this business, and so home, and spent the evening talking and merry, my mind at good ease, and so to bed.

15 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"up and down all the afternoon about horses, and did see the knaveries and tricks of jockeys"

"The word is by origin a diminutive of "jock", the Northern English or Scots colloquial equivalent of the first name "John," which is also used generically for "boy, or fellow" (compare "Jack", "Dick"), at least since 1529. A familiar instance of the use of the word as a name is in "Jockey of Norfolk" in Shakespeare's Richard III. v. 3, 304.

"In the 16th and 17th centuries the word was applied to horse-dealers, postilions, itinerant minstrels and vagabonds, and thus frequently bore the meaning of a cunning trickster, a "sharp", whence the verb to jockey, "to outwit", or "to do" a person out of something. The current usage which means a person who rides a horse in races was first seen in 1670."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jockey#Etymology

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

"50l. for a fine pair of black horses."

Fifty pounds! We're into Aston Martin territory here.

Thanks for the links Terry. It's interesting that sennight has disappeared from use whereas fortnight (14 days) is still in common usage - in the UK at least.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Aston Martin territory at fifty pounds for a pair of horses:

And that's just for the motor! I can't recall what the carriage cost, but we are clearly into the domain of conspicuous consumption.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

So with W. Hewer by coach to Smithfield, but met not Mr. Pickering, he being not come, and so he [Will] and I to a cook’s shop, in Aldersgate Street; and dined well for 19 1/2 d., upon roast beef, pleasing ourselves with the infinite strength we have to prove Middleton a coxcomb...

The past three weeks have seen a deepening partnership between Sam and Will, ever since Will suppressed the insulting note to Deb that Elizabeth forced Sam to write,
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/11/20/
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/11/21/

Now Middleton's attack on Sam and Will brings them into ever closer alliance. Sam would defend Will even if his case was weak to protect his bureaucratic turf, but he is clearly delighted to have the Chatham clerk's letter clearing Will that Terry mentioned in his Dec. 8 annotation. It shows that Sam's estimate of Will's character is correct and allows him to triumph over Middleton.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/12/08/#ann...

Michael L   Link to this

Where will Sam be keeping his coach and pair of horses? I haven't heard anything hinting that his house is large enough. Is there a boarding stable nearby, or will he have to remodel or move?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"sennight has disappeared from use whereas fortnight (14 days) is still in common usage - in the UK at least."

Tony, in the US, sometimes "fortnight" is used for 14 days , but more often " two weeks" , "week" having displaced sennight (we forget the nights!).

Terry Foreman   Link to this

“50l. for a fine pair of black horses.”

Cp. 3 August 1665: "I did desire Sir G. Carteret to let me ride his new 40l. horse" L&M note "An expensive one" http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/08/03/ So perhaps Pepys's two aren't so much after all, though these ARE horses of a different feather.

"Where will Sam be keeping his coach and pair of horses? "
25 Nov at entry's end we learn "This evening, to my great content, I got Sir Richard Ford to give me leave to set my coach in his yard." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/11/25/

Michael L   Link to this

Terry: Thanks, that explains the coach. But a place for the horses? That would be trickier, I expect, and possibly fairly expensive.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

these ARE horses of a different feather.
Chuckle

Terry Foreman   Link to this

". But a place for the horses? That would be trickier, I expect, and possibly fairly expensive."

Michael, we may never know that, just as we will never know the name of Pepys's liveried coachman. There are nearby stables where SP has rented riding horses.

This is after the Diary years, but may be or may become relevant. http://www.georgianindex.net/transportationLond...

Michael L   Link to this

After reading about all the fuss and bother you needed to run your own coach, it just doesn't sounds worth it to me. No wonder London built their Underground so early!

languagehat   Link to this

"Tony, in the US, sometimes “fortnight” is used for 14 days"

Really? I'm pretty sure I've never heard it from someone who wasn't consciously using a Briticism (the way people were using "shag" after seeing Austin Powers), but maybe my experience has been too limited. At any rate, it's certainly not common here in the US.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

I agree with LH. We had a brief discussion of this previously, but I can't seem to find it.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Horses

£50 for a pair of horses is expensive. But these are a pair - presumably matched in height and type as well as colour - this would be highly sought after for the look of the thing - and true black is actually quite a rare colour, so would attract a premium. I wonder if by black, Sam really means just dark as he says a lady is black when she is dark-complexioned. I do hope, however, that after the horses have been out in the rain, that dye does not wash off and Sam finds his matched pair are not!

Fortnight - still in common use in Australia.

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