Wednesday 29 February 1659/60

To my office, and drank at Will’s with Mr. Moore, who told me how my Lord is chosen General at Sea by the Council, and that it is thought that Monk will be joined with him therein.

Home and dined, after dinner my wife and I by water to London, and thence to Herring’s, the merchant in Coleman Street, about 50l. which he promises I shall have on Saturday next. So to my mother’s, and then to Mrs. Turner’s, of whom I took leave, and her company, because she was to go out of town to-morrow with Mr. Pepys into Norfolk. Here my cosen Norton gave me a brave cup of metheglin, the first I ever drank. To my mother’s and supped there.

18 Annotations

First Reading

David Quidnunc  •  Link

1660 was a leap year

In case you didn't notice Phil Gyford's note on the top of the main page, there are two entries posted today. So don't forget to take a look at the 28 February entry ("yesterday") as well.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Mr. Pepys

This is Edward Pepys, according to L&M (note in Vol. 1). He was Jane Pepys Turner's brother and a lawyer in the Middle Temple. Edward Pepys lived in Broomsthorpe, Norfolk with his wife, Elizabeth (popular first name back then). Her father, John Walpole, also lived in Broomsthorpe.

Edward Pepys (b. 1617) turned 43 sometime this year. The maiden name of his mother, Anne, was Walpole.

michael f vincent  •  Link

"thence to Herring’s, the merchant in Coleman Street, about 50l. which he promises I shall have on Saturday next."
Any clues?. What is the payment? A years salt(salary) for what?

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"cosen Norton"

Joyce Norton, a relative of the Pepyses who apparently lived with her cousin Jane Pepys Turner at Salisbury Court. Her mother, Barbara Pepys, married Richard Norton of South Creake, Norfolk. She seems to be left out of the Pepys family tree.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

RE: cosen Norton

I meant to say, she was left out of the family tree on pp 628-29 in Robert Latham's Companion volume (10) of the diary, where I got the rest of the information about her.

Martin K. Foys  •  Link

"how my Lord is chosen General at Sea"

Montague had previously been one of two Generals at Sea (and pretty successful, too) under Cromwell, appointed in 1656. He became the sole General at Sea in 1658, when the other, Admiral Blake, died. After Cromwell died, Montague lost his command, at the end of 1659, under suspicion of Royalist sympathies, and control of the navy effectively passed to John Lawson.

So Sam's boss just got his old job back.

Nix  •  Link

Herring's 50 pounds --

Just on a guess, this might be public money that was in Pepys' care, and that he loaned out at interest (for Pepys' own account). It's my understanding that doing that was one of the normal perks of office at that time -- so long as the officeholder got the money back by the time it was needed by the government.

michael f vincent  •  Link

Nix: interesting point-risky deal-thanks

Rod Dav4is  •  Link

Did Pepys really use this date in the diary? 29 Feb 1659/60 presents a problem. The year was 1659 on the old (Julian) calendar, which was NOT a leap year -- not being evenly divisible by 4.

So, was Pepys using the Gregorian calendar, on which the year was 1660 and a leap year? Why?

Note that the Julian calendar would not celebrate Leap Day until next year, on 29 February 1660/61.

Because of the move of New Year's day from March to January, February, wherein fall Leap Days, is unfortunately placed in that ambiguous two-month span that falls in different years on the two calendars. This caused Leap Day to occur a year apart on the two calendars, 29 Feb 1660 (NS) vs 29 Feb 1660 (OS). The first is 29 Feb 1659/60 and the second is 29 Feb 1660/61.

Furthermore, the two calendars are one day out of synch for the intervening year. The Leap Day 29 Feb 1660 (NS), is 1 Mar (OS).

Confusing, isn't it? And this ignores the actual day difference between the calendars caused by dropping days when changing from Julian to Gregorian calendars.

We would be much better off had they left New Year's day as 1 March! Not only would the above problems not exist, but Leap Day would be left where C

Glyn  •  Link

Don't know what you mean, Rod. If *Yesterday* was 28 February, and *Tomorrow* will be 1 March then what other name could possibly be used for this particular day - not just by him but by everyone else as well?

Satoshi  •  Link

You don't have to worry about that, Rod.
Leap Day does NOT "occur a year apart on the two calendars". 1660 was a leap year in both OS and NS.

I happen to have a photocopy of London Gazette of Sept. 13, 1688 and it says "Thursday." It should have been "Friday" if your theory were correct and 1688/89 were the leap year instead of 1687/88 (believe me, I counted the days).

In the Roman days, January was the beginning of a year. Christianity caused it to change to Lady's Day but it seems nobody botherd to change the 4-year cycle of leap year.

Satoshi  •  Link

Sorry! Read "Wednesday" for "Friday" in my above comment.
And for those who cannot understand David's guidance at the top, "top of the main page" means FAQ under "About this site"(, which I found out just now.)

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lord is chosen General at Sea by the Council, and that it is thought that Monk will be joined with him therein."

Three days hence, on Fiday 2 March parliament resolved: "That Commissions be granted, under the Great Seal, unto General George Monck, and General Edward Mountague, to be Generals, and General, jointly and severally, of the Fleet, for the next Summer's Expedition: And that the Commissioners for the Great Seal do pass Commissions to them, under the Great Seal of England, accordingly."…

Third Reading

Alter Kacker  •  Link

Metheglin — street drug or single malt?

RM  •  Link

Metheglin sounds somewhat like the alpine digestif liqueurs genepi and chartreuse.

Carol D  •  Link

Re: metheglin

According to an article in the Guardian newspaper, metheglin is mead with added flavourings:…

The article says it's an ancient drink, from pagan times, so although this is Sam's first taste of it that doesn't mean it's a fancy new import.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... Mr. Moore, who told me how my Lord is chosen General at Sea by the Council, and that it is thought that Monck will be joined with him therein."

I wonder who gave Montagu the head's up, enabling him to hurry up to town in time for the negotiations?
In the time before morse code and telephones, people had intelligence networks of friends like Pepys, who wrote letters in code and letterlocked.

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