Why does the current diary entry have yesterday’s date?

It seems that Pepys often wrote his diary entries in chunks, catching up on several days at a time, working from notes. However, to maintain the sense that he’s writing at the end of each day, each entry is posted at 11pm UK time. In the USA this is usually 6pm Eastern or 3pm Pacific time (there are variations at the start and end of summer/daylight-savings times).

Why do some years appear like 1659/60 instead of just 1660?

In Pepys’ time the new year officially began on 25 March, but in practice many people tended to take 1 January as the first day of the year. Thus in the official style 1 February 1659 was 1 February 1660 to most people. Pepys wrote such dates in his diary along the lines of “1 February 1659/60”. You can read more on this subject on the Calendar topic of the Encyclopedia.

I don’t understand the money used in the diary. What do l., s. and d. mean?

These denote pounds, shillings and pence respectively. 1l. = 20s. = 240d.. For more information see the Currency units topic in the Encyclopedia.

It is impossible to accurately determine the relative value of money, but one rule of thumb would be to multiply a sum by 75 to get today's value. See the Values today topic for more detail.

What does "L&M" mean?

L&M is an abbreviation of Latham & Matthews, the editors of the most complete published version of the diaries. While the text used on this website is from the 1890s, and is occasionally inaccurate and incomplete (but free of copyright), Latham & Matthews' edition from the 1970s is complete, accurate and extremely well annotated (but under copyright). It is often referred to here to resolve confusions in the 1890s text, or provide further information. You can find links to the L&M volumes for purchase on the Further Reading page of the Encyclopedia.

I have a question that isn’t answered here. What should I do?

If your question is about the events in a particular diary entry then your best bet is to post an annotation asking the question on that entry’s page. If you have a general question, than you could try asking the discussion group or email me at phil@gyford.com.