Saturday 10 March 1659/60

In the morning went to my father’s, whom I took in his cutting house,1 and there I told him my resolution to go to sea with my Lord, and consulted with him how to dispose of my wife, and we resolved of letting her be at Mr. Bowyer’s. Thence to the Treasurer of the Navy, where I received 500l. for my Lord, and having left 200l. of it with Mr. Rawlinson at his house for Sheply, I went with the rest to the Sun tavern on Fish Street Hill, where Mr. Hill, Stevens and Mr. Hater of the Navy Office had invited me, where we had good discourse and a fine breakfast of Mr. Hater. Then by coach home, where I took occasion to tell my wife of my going to sea, who was much troubled at it, and was with some dispute at last willing to continue at Mr. Bowyer’s in my absence. After this to see Mrs. Jem and paid her maid 7l., and then to Mr. Blackburne, who told me what Mr. Creed did say upon the news of my coming into his place, and that he did propose to my Lord that there should be two Secretaries, which made me go to Sir H. Wright’s where my Lord dined and spoke with him about it, but he seemed not to agree to the motion. Hither W. Howe comes to me and so to Westminster. In the way he told me, what I was to provide and so forth against my going. He went with me to my office, whither also Mr. Madge comes half foxed and played the fool upon the violin that made me weary. Then to Whitehall and so home and set many of my things in order against my going. My wife was late making of caps for me, and the wench making an end of a pair of stockings that she was knitting of. So to bed.

28 Annotations

First Reading

language hat  •  Link

"half foxed":
"foxed" is (as you might expect) 'intoxicated, drunk, stupefied' (OED).

language hat  •  Link

Mr. Hater:
The Companion lists him as "Hayter, Thomas" and says that he was already established as a clerk in the Navy Office; it also points out that Pepys usually refers to him (in distinction to the other clerks) as "Mr" and mentions that he had neat handwriting.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

BOWYER, Robert (drowns in 1664) -- "usher of the receipt" a post senior to Pepys's at the Exchequer Office. He has a home in Huntsmoore.

RAWLINSON, Daniel (1614-79) -- "landlord" (owner) of the Mitre tavern "one of the busiest and most elegant of London taverns" (Pepys was at a different Mitre tavern on 21 Jan. and 18 Feb.), a royalist, friend and relative of Pepys's Uncle Wight, and a man Pepys consults about private investments. Apparently either Mountagu also trusts Rawlinson with money (Pepys is giving Rawlinson 200 pounds of it for safekeeping), or Mountagu trusts Pepys to park the money in a safe spot (I think Mountagu has, at the least, given his approval for where Pepys will park it after a careful explanation).

BLACKBURNE -- Admiralty official. His page:…

WRIGHT, Sir Henry -- husband of Ann Crew, who is the sister of Edward "My Lord" Mountagu's wife, Jemimah. This makes him Mountagu's brother-in-law, and Mountagu seems to be pretty close to him.

MADGE/MAGE, Humphrey (d. 1679) -- He can probably play the violin quite well, even when he's three-quarters-foxed. He's a pro. Of course, Pepys has things on his mind, so this horsing around makes him "weary." We met Mr. M. (correct spelling of his name is unknown) playing at the home of Dr. "Whores" (Hoares) with fellow professional musicians John Harding and Thomas Mallard.

MR. HILL -- first name unknown. Possibly a servant to Mountagu. The index volume has a separate listing for the Mr. Hill who brought the message from Worcestershire (14-15 Feb.).

STEVENS -- Anthony Stephens, cashier to the Navy treasurer.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

The above note took me forever to complete. I can't do this every day. From now on, I will provide these "people" or "cast" notes regularly on dates ending in 1 and 5 (on the 1st, 5th, 11th, 15th, 21st, 25th, 31st of the month). I hope some others will volunteer to take up the slack.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Sources of the "People" note above:
The usual -- L&M index and companion volumes (vols. 10 & 11).

maureen  •  Link

"a pair of stockings that she was knitting of"

Fascinating! The maid had already learned a trade at which (and for another 200 years) it was then possible to make a reasonable living. Frame knitting - not much more productive in stockings-per-week - was then new. Skivvying chez Pepys must have had advantages!

With knee-length breeches stockings had, of course, a fashion significance but could be political, too, with colour indicating political allegiance. The short-lived parliament of 1653, sometimes Barebones Pariament (see above) was also called the Blue-Stocking Parliament.

Happy to discuss this off list, if there's anyone else on the planet interested!

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

We like what you do, David Q.

The "People" entries are excellent ... would that I had the L&M index, and could help (given the demands of work and parenthood, I'll be lucky to acquire and read the Tomalin bio). Hopefully, others can help supply info as needed on your "days off" ... otherwise, whatever you can find time for is okay by this reader.

steve h  •  Link

stockings questions

Don't be so modest, Maureen! Benefit us with your evident knowledge of fashions and textiles. My questions:

1) How many pairs of stockings would someone like Sam have in his wardrobe? How often were they changed, washed?
2) I assume the stockings would be wool - would they be scratchy? Would Sam's "wench" get the yarn already spun and dyed? From whom? were there grades of yarn? Or did they use cotton or linen or silk?
3) How did they keep knee-length stockings from falling down? Garters, one assumes?
4) How long would it take to make a stocking using frame-knitting? How long would they last?
5) Did all men wear stockings at this time? They must have gotten filthy walking through the London streets! Was it only for the well-off? Did women wear stockings?
6) You mentioned the blue stockings ---I think of the 18th century French "blue stockings" (bas-bleus) or female intelectuals. What color would Sam be wearing? We are so used to seeing 17th and (more usually) 18th characters on stage, in portraits(?). and in movies in white stockings.

I love the nitty-gritty. In many ways, Sam is just like us; in other ways, he (and all his contemporaries) are totally exotic, dealing with even trivial matters (like stockings) in ways that are a wonder. He can't or didn't (as all of us can do) just buy a half-dozen or a dozen pairs of uniform-quality socks at a department store or clothing shop for a trivial cost.

Nix  •  Link

"Navy Office" vs. "Admiralty" --

In response to steve h's question from yesterday, in today's terminology it looks to me like the Admiralty represented the policy-making authority asserting governmental control and the Navy Board/Navy Office represented the operational authority of the seagoing services.

Here's a link --…

David Bell  •  Link

Thanks for the info on the Navy Board.

All that I'd been able to discover was that it was one of several subordinate bodies to the Board of Admiralty, lasted until 1832, and apparently dealt with the routine administration, not what I would understand as operational control.

Zoe D'Arcy  •  Link

Could Sam's stockings have looked like this?…
The Family of Sir Richard Saltonstall, painted by David des Granges circa 1660. Note the soles of Sir Richard's shoes!

Pauline  •  Link

"...Note the soles of Sir Richard’s shoes…”
And note how tottery he looks! It took women and a couple of centuries to get such heels in stride.

maureen  •  Link

Knitted stockings - Steve H and others, I've asked Phil to set this topic up as background information. Am now writing this up. Please check back Wednesday for as many of the answers as I can manage!

john s.  •  Link

Those soles...
Red heels in France at this time were the perogative of the nobility...don't know if the same held true in England?

steve h  •  Link

Thanks, Maureen

For an expert discussion of stockings. Check it out in the background info area under fashion.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

House of Commons Journal - 10 March 1660

London Militia. Debts. London Militia. Sheriff of Hertford. Militia. Militia. Militia. London Militia.

The militia bills were amended more than once : a procedural session, but urgent.…...

I am minded of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution (December 15, 1791): "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."…...

Dick Wilson  •  Link

Thanks for the info, Maureen. Frames for knitting stockings were available at this point in history, but still, I suspect that "The Wench" (Jane Edwards) was knitting with a couple of needles. People have used one long flexible double-ended needle to make stockings but where would Jane get one of those? Knitting frames were expensive. What kind of needles she used, where she got the yarn or thread, what it was made of and whether it was dyed or not, for whom the stockings were intended -- these and other questions remain unanswered. Dye the yarn before knitting, or the stockings afterward?

Rachel R  •  Link

Knitted stockings:

The stocking frame was invented in 1589 -… - and the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters -… - was granted a charter in 1663. The frame was relatively inexpensive for a small master craftsman but hardly equipment for a wench.

Knitting needles, on the other hand, were inexpensive and widely available. They were made of metal - in the sixteenth century: "First wire mill was built – knitting pins became cheaper and more plentiful, and were carried throughout the land by peddlers." http://www.knitting-needle-notion…

Knitting on two needles was already common in the fifteenth century but this meant stockings were made flat and seamed down the back. Knitting "in the round" (and therefore seamlessly) on four or five needles was a skill which spread in the sixteenth century and knitting schools were set up across England from the late sixteenth century. (See chapter 10 of Textile Manufactures in Early Modern England by Eric Kerridge -… .) It was therefore a widespread skill for both domestic production and also a way of making money, albeit very little, for the poor.

There is a picture of a mid 17th century pair of hand-knitted wool hose (V&A Museum number T.63&A-1910) here:…

My guess is that the yarn for knitting would have been bought ready-dyed. The excellent Renaissance Dyeing has some background to dyes used in the 16th century - .

Tonyel  •  Link

"Then by coach home, where I took occasion to tell my wife of my going to sea, who was much troubled at it, and was with some dispute"
Poor Bess - husband disappearing to sea, she having to move lodgings and (as usual, one suspects) she's the last to know.

john  •  Link

Going to sea had consequences. Could Sam swim? At that time, I believe that sailors were not taught to swim. Those who fell overboard typically drowned.

Diana  •  Link

"having left 200l. of it with Mr. Rawlinson at his house for Sheply"
I'm trying to understand this sentence...
Does it mean that the final destination of the money was Shepley, servant of Lord Montagu? Isn't it a bit weird? Why didn't he give it to him directly?
Thank you so much!

Diana  •  Link

And then Sam goes to the tavern with the rest of the money... but weren't the 500 punds for Lord Montagu?

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

Technical side note to third readers: If you are using Chrome, and leave a logged-in tab open from day to day, you may have trouble posting. My experience is that I get a "page not working" message when I hit the preview button. The solution to this (for me) is to refresh the page and then post. This seems to reset the connection and avoids generating the error message.

Scube  •  Link

Question as to Creed's proposal for two secretaries. Was Pepys opposed to this? I take it that is the reason he went to Montagu, but not entirely clear.

David  •  Link

I think we are seeing the beginning of the longstanding love-hate relationship between Sam and John Creed

Ensign Tom  •  Link

Re: “Creed’s proposal for two secretaries …”

Claire Tomalin’s biography is informative on this question. Apparently, John Creed had accompanied Lord Montagu and acted as his secretary in the spring of 1659 when the General-at-Sea sailed to the Baltic on a diplomatic mission. This explains why Pepys, a year later, speaks of “the news of my coming into his [i.e., Creed’s] place” when Mr. Blackborne tells Sam of Creed’s learning that Lord Montagu now wants him as his secretary. Mr. Blackthorne also tells Sam that Creed has suggested to Lord Montagu that he be retained in his secretary’s position in addition to the new fellow Pepys. Sam doesn’t like the sound of this, so he goes directly to see Lord Montagu to clarify the situation even though it means interrupting milord at his dinner at Sir Henry Wright’s home. Lord Montagu’s response to Pepys is reassuring and Sam records that “he seemed not to agree to the motion [i.e., of having two secretaries].” Final confirmation that Sam has the secretary’s post occurs when one of Lord Montagu’s clerks, Will Howe, accompanies him to Westminster and tells Sam what he’ll need to provide himself with for his upcoming sea voyage.

Tomalin explains that Creed’s reputation as a committed Puritan and Republican was not a problem during Lord Montagu’s 1659 mission to the Baltic when the Commonwealth was still in power. But now that King Charles II seems likely to be restored, Lord Montagu realizes he will have “some ‘splainin’ to do” about his own years of loyal service to Oliver Cromwell. The last thing he needs is a well-known Puritan such as John Creed in his entourage. So Creed will have to go and be replaced with Lord Montagu’s loyal and humble kinsman, Sam Pepys, who carries no such religious or political baggage with him.

Scube  •  Link

Ensign Tom:

Thanks very much for clearing this up. Appreciate it and look forward to more of your comments.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.