From Terry's annotation here: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/04/12/#c44194
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition uses a lot of other words for what seems to be “to inaugurate”.
NOUN: 1. Chiefly British A gift to express good wishes at the beginning of a new year or enterprise. 2. The first money or barter taken in, as by a new business or on the opening day of business, especially when considered a token of good luck. 3a. A first payment. b. A specimen or foretaste of what is to come.
TRANSITIVE VERB:.Inflected forms: hand·seled or hand·selled, hand·sel·ing or hand·sel·ling, hand·sels or hand·sels
1. To give a handsel to. 2. To launch with a ceremonial gesture or gift. 3. To do or use for the first time.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English hanselle, from Old English handselen, a handing over ( hand, hand + selen, gift)and from Old Norse handsal, legal transfer ( hand, hand + sal, a giving).