Monday 15 March 1668/69

Up, and by water with W. Hewer to the Temple; and thence to the Rolls, where I made inquiry for several rolls, and was soon informed in the manner of it: and so spent the whole morning with W. Hewer, he taking little notes in short-hand, while I hired a clerk there to read to me about twelve or more several rolls which I did call for: and it was great pleasure to me to see the method wherein their rolls are kept; that when the Master of the Office, one Mr. Case, do call for them, who is a man that I have heretofore known by coming to my Lord of Sandwich’s, he did most readily turn to them. At noon they shut up; and W. Hewer and I did walk to the Cocke, at the end of Suffolke Streete, where I never was, a great ordinary, mightily cried up, and there bespoke a pullett; which while dressing, he and I walked into St. James’s Park, and thence back, and dined very handsome, with a good soup, and a pullet, for 4s. 6d. the whole. Thence back to the Rolls, and did a little more business: and so by water to White Hall, whither. I went to speak with Mr. Williamson, that if he hath any papers relating to the Navy I might see them, which he promises me: and so by water home, with great content for what I have this day found, having got almost as much as I desire of the history of the Navy, from 1618 to 1642, when the King and Parliament fell out. So home, and did get my wife to read, and so to supper and to bed.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the whole morning with W. Hewer, he taking little notes in short-hand"

We learned about Hewer's knowledge and use of shorthand earlier:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/11/17/#c28...

Mary   Link to this

"and it was great pleasure to me to see the method wherein their rolls are kept; that when the Master of the Office, one Mr. Case, do call for them, who is a man that I have heretofore known by coming to my Lord of Sandwich’s, he did most readily turn to them."

Sam really does love efficient practice and process. It always brings a smile to my face to see him discover evidence of good governmental organisation, particularly when it is in an area that can assist his own determination to see the navy put on a sound administrative footing.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Sam's in his nose to the grindstone mode. He seems to really enjoy these quests.

I agree with Mary that he admires good method when he finds it.

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

I have lost track of inflation over the period of the diary but 4s.6d. sounds moderately expensive for lunch for two.
Or is it that Sam, having got his coach at last, enjoys demonstrating his relative wealth to those around him?

Ian S   Link to this

"...fell out." - You have to love that understatement.

Reminds me of my father's stories about his exploits in the Second World bicker.

Australian Susan   Link to this

A Sam today would admire really well constructed databases, which allow for ease of extraction of data and a great variety of elegantly constructed reports.

4/6 does seem rather expensive, I agree. If we do the times 90 rule, it's about £20.25. How's that for a bowl of soup and, say, chicken and chips, in a pub for two? So long since I have lived in England, I really have no idea.

djc   Link to this

4/6 does seem rather expensive, I agree. If we do the times 90 rule, it’s about £20.25. How’s that for a bowl of soup and, say, chicken and chips, in a pub for two?

Don't get much for under £15 a head these days. And note that this is "a great ordinary, mightily cried up" rather than just a pub; lunch somewhere fashionable is bound to cost.

Mick D   Link to this

Just looked up the menu in my local. Prices in UK pounds, Chicken and chips 5.95, Soup 2.45, so 16.80 for two. I live in the East Midlands so allowing for higher, big city prices, probably pretty comparable to the x90 rule.

Teresa Forster   Link to this

It's unusual these days to get free range chicken in a pub. Usually it's battery reared (sadly) – and cheap. In Sam's day a young tender pullet would be more expensive than an old boiler. 

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