Thursday 12 January 1659/60

I drink my morning at Harper’s with Mr. Sheply and a seaman, and so to my office, where Captain Holland came to see me, and appointed a meeting in the afternoon. Then wrote letters to Hinchinbroke and sealed them at Will’s, and after that went home, and thence to the Half Moon, where I found the Captain and Mr. Billingsly and Newman, a barber, where we were very merry, and had the young man that plays so well on the Welsh harp. Billingsly paid for all. Thence home, and finding my letters this day not gone by the carrier I new sealed them, but my brother Tom coming we fell into discourse about my intention to feast the Joyces. I sent for a bit of meat for him from the cook’s, and forgot to send my letters this night. So I went to bed, and in discourse broke to my wife what my thoughts were concerning my design of getting money by, &c.

21 Annotations

First Reading

language hat  •  Link

Note that "meat" meant any kind of food.
I have posted a short list of confusing "false friends" at my blog (Jan. 12 entry; I've somehow munged the template so that for the moment I can't link to individual entries).

Glyn  •  Link

Is there any way to find out what day of the week these dates are? It would be useful to know if a particular date is a Sunday, for instance.

Sir Mildred Pierce  •  Link

I second that request. I would very much like to see the day of the week included in the date header. I would almost prefer that the entries matched the day of the week rather than the date, but I think it is already too far set in to motion for such a change now. Including the day of the week in the header would be a mighty helpful bit of information. It is quite hard to follow the day-to-day life of Pepys when we don't even know which day of the week it is.

On another note, I've been wanting to post something like this for a while, but It doesn't seem appropriate to post such a note in the annotations of some random entry. Could we get a forum going that is open to more generalised discussions of the diary. This will help keep the annotations more specific to the individual entries over time.

Phil  •  Link

The reason I haven't included days of the week is because Pepys didn't in his diary, apart from occasionally marking a Sunday as "Lord's Day" or "Sunday". I can see it can be confusing though, so if there are any suggestions as to the best way to remedy this, let me know.

I use to mention general diary topics, but obviously this is only of use to me! I could start a Yahoo! Group, or similar, for general discussion if people think this is a good idea. Although it would almost be a shame to remove any discussion from the site where it will be harder to find for future readers. Any thoughts?

Bottsie  •  Link

The 12-01-1659/60 would have to be a Thursday.

4 days ago it was Sunday as marked by the diary entry.

The whole subject of dates has previously been discussed. January 1st wasn't considered the start of the year until 18th centuary.

There is a link in a previous annotation to the correct date system.

Derek  •  Link

Contrary to Brian's suggestion, 12/01/1659 must be a Thursday. On 1 January and 8 January Pepys attends worship at Mr Gunning's. These days would have been Sundays - and Pepys himself marks the 8th as one.

David Gurliacci  •  Link

Day-of-the-week deja vu

We also have some annotations about days of the week under the Jan. 3 entry, along with another site to look them up.

language hat  •  Link

Here you see an excellent reason why the days of the week should be added [in brackets] with each entry; otherwise we'll be having this discussion every week or so.

Neil_353  •  Link

re: the 12/01/1659 was a Sunday according to the Georgian Calendar.
It is important to remember that the UK, Ireland, British American possessions and the other possessions did not use the Gregorian calendar until the British Calendar Act of 1751. They used the Julian calendar which was already 10 days out of step by 59/60. So Sunday the 1st of January 1659/1660 in the Julian calendar was in fact Sunday the 11th January 1660 if you were to use the current calendar.

For those interested, the differences between the Julian and Gregorian calendar came about because of differences in the way leap years are assigned, in the Julian every 4 years was leap, but under the Gregorian it was every 4 years except for centauries where the year was not divisible by 400. Pope Gregory adopted the calendar in 1582 and most catholic countries followed soon afterwards. It took until 1752 for the UK to fix it’s calendar.

There is a simple rubrics for remembering the dates if the day is.

2003 -> 1659/60
Sunday -> Thursday
Monday -> Friday
Tuesday -> Saturday
Wednesday -> Sunday
Thursday -> Monday
Friday -> Tuesday
Saturday -> Wednesday

Buddha Buck  •  Link

The calendar problem was Easter.

In the 6th century, the current formula for scheduling Easter was determined -- the Sunday after the full moon after the spring equinox. The Julian calendar assumed that the year was 365.25 days long (so every four years had an extra day to keep the calendar was drifting). The formula for Easter assumed that the equinox was on March 21st, which it was, approximately, in the 6th century. It also assumed that that didn't drift.

But there aren't 365.25 days in a year, there are (approximately) 365.2422 days between vernal equinoxes, so over 1000 years that extra 11m14s per year added up to about 8 extra days -- which meant Easter was in danger of being scheduled incorrectly.

This was demonstrated to Pope Gregory, complete with a revised estimate of the length of the year. The solution he accepted was to a) drop a few days from the calendar to bring the equinox back to March 21st, and b) modify the calendar to drop 3 days over the course of every 400 years, adjusting the average length of the year to 365.2425 days (long by 26s/year).

Pope Gregory made his change official in 1582, but by that time, Henry VIII had already separated England from the authority of the Pope, and his daughter Elizabeth was on the throne. England saw no need to change its calendar to meet Papal decrees.

By 1750, the calendars across the English channel differed by about 10 days, the "official" new years differed by several months (England traditionally changed years on March 25th), and the increasing foreign trade of the time was being hampered by the calendar differences. So Parliament changed the calendar to align it with the Gregorian one.

Nicholas Laughlin  •  Link

Captain Holland:

Philip Holland, captain of the Assurance, Mountagu's flagship during his Baltic expedition in 1659 (according to Latham-Matthews).

David Bell  •  Link

Here's a little puzzle for you (and no peeking ahead in the diary): Since, by the custom of the time, we're still in 1659, when does the next February 29th come?

Does the diary go out of sync with the current calendar next month, or didn't Pepys see a February 29th until next year -- 1660 by his reckoning and 1661 by ours.

Peter  •  Link

Add me to the vote for days of the week, I find it interesting and hope that as this goes on a weekly pattern will develop. Also, as someone else has said, it helps me to keep track if I fall behind.

Phil  •  Link

We have days of the week. No more votes needed! :)

Second Reading

Kerstin  •  Link

"and in discourse broke to my wife what my thoughts were concerning my design of getting money by, &c."

It seems that they led a fairly happy marriage and he valued her opinions.

Third Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence home, and finding my letters this day not gone by the carrier...

It isn't clear how letters from Pepys's home in Ax Yard went to the carrier; he tells of sending and receiving mail at Will's, and Harper's -- where he also ate and drank.. There were surely other places in Westminster to post mail -- e.g. the nearby Palace of Westminster, the Palace of whitehall and the Exchequer.

A post office would come after the Restoration of King Charles II:
Charles II, 1660: An Act for Erecting and Establishing a Post Office.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

There must have been a big sorting office before 1660, Terry (Happy New Year BTW) -- otherwise how would Samuel Moreland know where to set up his office devoted to reading Cavalier mail during the Civil Wars and Interegnum?

The General Post Office has more info at…

For the Post Office in general see…

Info about Sir Samuel Morland's spying activities for Thurloe and Charles II is at
Samuel Morland and his calculating machines
c.1666: the early career of a courtier–inventor
in Restoration London -- by J . R. RATCLIFF*…

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