Friday 20 July 1660

We sat at the office this morning, Sir W. Batten and Mr. Pett being upon a survey to Chatham. This morning I sent my wife to my father’s and he is to give me 5l. worth of pewter. After we rose at the office, I went to my father’s, where my Uncle Fenner and all his crew and Captain Holland and his wife and my wife were at dinner at a venison pasty of the venison that I did give my mother the other day.

I did this time show so much coldness to W. Joyce that I believe all the table took notice of it.

After that to Westminster about my Lord’s business and so home, my Lord having not been well these two or three days, and I hear that Mr. Barnwell at Hinchinbroke is fallen sick again. Home and to bed.

26 Annotations

First Reading

Laura Brown  •  Link

Venison pasty

Half a buck is a lot of venison (although half a British buck wouldn't be quite as much as half an American buck). They're trying to eat up the leftovers. I'm guessing they chopped up the cooked meat from the day before, perhaps with some vegetables, and baked it in a pastry case. (A Cornish pasty today is similar to this, but is small enough to be eaten by hand.)

vincent  •  Link

"...where my Uncle Fenner and all his crew..."
My father used this turn of phrase concerning a family gathering. Sometimes reading these passages I have the thinking that some phrases and words have been translated rather than an exact duplication. I.E. using the letters as written.

chip  •  Link

Pepys says two days ago that he carried the thing through the streets so it could not have weighed too much. I wonder what the 5l of pewter is about. Something to do with the wardrobe affair?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"where my Uncle Fenner and all his crew"
The L&M wording in this sentence is identical up to the word “day” where they substitute “night.” I’ve got to believe that Wheatley was doing his own chronology corrections.

ellen  •  Link

Why is Sam cold toward W. Joyce? He isn't usually openly rude.

vincent  •  Link

The Joyces ; I am sorry to say they were not quite up to standard; They Probably slurped, dropped ahn aitch ere and there: definitely not the on the A list. Must not be seen with them at the Casablanca:(casa de la Blanco)

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Coldness toward the Joyce(s)

Though I won't argue with Vincent's overall interpretation of the Joyces' nature, I think the real source of coldness may be found in… -- here's the operative phrases: "[My wife] she writes word how the Joyces grow very rich and very proud, but it is no matter, and that there was a talk that I should be knighted by the King, which they (the Joyces) laugh at; but I think myself happier in my wife and estate than they are in theirs."

Now, with Sam securely in his new position and house, it's payback time.

Brian McMullen  •  Link

Having made several entries about his reluctance to visit his father SP is now doing business with him and visiting him. Did I miss something?

Nigel Pond  •  Link

Ah the pasty!

Do we know if this is similar to the Cornish pasty -- ie a meal of meat and veg in a pastry case? Traditionally prepared for Cornish tin miners by their wives. The tin mines were very deep so returning to the surface for lunch was impractical. The pasty, if kept wrapped, would remain warm until it was lunch time. For those travelling to the UK or looking for pasties in on-line stores, the items that you usually see (in pubs outside Cornwall for example) bear little resemblance to the traditional. Pretty much the only place you can get a proper Cornish pasty is, well, Cornwall:…

Judy Bailey  •  Link

Cornish pasties are alive and well in Michigan, particularly in the Upper Peninsula where Cornish miners immigrated to work in the copper mines in the late 1800s. We make them exactly like the recipe in the previous annotation. In fact, my cousin's church makes dozens of them as a fund raiser every week, and I had one for dinner last night. Never expected to see them in Pepys' diary! Can you buy the real thing in the UK in places other than Cornwall?

Nigel Pond  •  Link


Note to Judy: glad to hear it. Next time I am in MI, I'll have to look for them. Yes you can find them elsewhere, but you have to look for them. The ones that most of the big manufacturers (like Ginsters) produce, are only a pale imitation of the original. My brother used to live close to the tip of Cornwall and one of the great things about visting, despite the long drive down there, was the nearby pasty shop. He now lives just outside Exeter, but you can still find a decent pasty if you know where to go!!

Arbor  •  Link

Pasties... Oh yes Judy... as a Cornishman (by family) and a Devonian (by birth) I have my favourites. In the Covered Market in Oxford you can get a pretty good pasty... pretty much anywhere they stick to the proper receipe... beef (skirt), onion, potato and a bit of turnip. My Mum makes pretty wonderful ones, but then, she's had 70+ years of practice. Incidentally, some of the worse attempts I have had have been... yes, in Cornwall. St. Pirian forever...

David A. Smith  •  Link

The sun never sets on the Cornish pasty ...
They are very common in Jamaica, of all places, where they are also extremely spicy.

Mary  •  Link

... the Pepys' pasty
may not have looked exactly like the familiar Cornish pasty. The salient feature of a pasty (pace OED) seems to be that the thing is cooked without a pie-dish, but consists of meat (usually venison in earlier times)seasoned and enclosed in a pastry cust.

Glyn  •  Link

Feuding with the Joyces

If you go to the biography of William Joyce, and then go to the trackback at the very, very, very bottom of the page you'll find easy links to the entries for the 26th and 29th of January which are also derogatory to his cousins. There's obviously something about them that just grates on him.

Like Brian McMullen I am also puzzled about Sam's reluctance to help his father. If he asked his "godfather" Montagu for a job for his father what would be so wrong about that?: I hardly see why he would be so diffident in doing this small thing - the worst thing that could happen would be that Montagu would refuse, but surely he wouldn't hold it against him for trying to help his father.

No-one has yet written a biography of Pepys father: but I think he's supposed to be in his fifties and be some sort of a tailor(?) In which case he would be ideally suited for a job in the Wardrobe (and more suited than Sam yet is to his own new job). He also lives in the Bridewell which is only a few minutes walk away.

So why won't Sam help out - is he ashamed of his Dad in some way?

vincent  •  Link

Just human nature at work: Shame,status, loyalty: It happens so many times , young turk goes up to the bright lights, gets a rise(raise) in status/money and when he/she goes/comes 'ome , They have been exposed to the greater world and can never can fully identify with the old, I've seen it with husbands and wives. He has grown in statue and she has failed to grow(visa versa too). It is such a shame that this happens, but each 'uman is a world until itself.
In SP's case you might see more of this self preservation over family/ tribe/ religion/ king, strange phenomenom loyalty

Barry Schoenborn  •  Link

Cornish pasties are still made, sold, and even judged at the county fair in Grass Valley (Nevada County), California. Cornish miners came here in the 1850's to work in the hard rock gold mines. Grass Valley's sister city is Bodmin, Cornwall.

ellen  •  Link

The best pasties I ever had were from a pasty shop on the Strand in London, south side of the street.

Barbara  •  Link

Perhaps Pepys doesn't want to ask for a favour from Montagu so soon after he has himself received one. It could be, however, that Sam realises that his father might not be up to the job and does not want to recommend him for a position where failure might reflect on himself.

Phil  •  Link

OK, enough of the 21st century pasty news. I'm not sure any more will further understanding of the diary!

Marylin Kraker  •  Link

"where my Uncle Fenner and all his crew" — or perhaps one of those phrases that persists through the centuries. Years ago US public television did “The Story of English” in 9 hours and I was astonished at the origin of some “modern” phrases.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

An alternative reading from an earlier edition of the Diary:

I sent my wife to my father's, and he is to buy 5l. worth of pictures.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

‘crew, n.1 Etym: < Old French creue increase . .
. . 4. A number of persons classed together (by the speaker) from actual connection or common characteristics; often with derogatory qualification or connotation; lot, set, gang, mob, herd.
. . a1616 Shakespeare Henry VI, Pt. 2 (1623) ii. ii. 72 Winke at the Duke of Suffolkes insolence, At Beaufords Pride, at Somersets Ambition, At Buckingham, and all the Crew of them.
. . a1777 S. Foote Trip to Calais (1778) ii. 54 Lady Kitty..You want some tale to run tattling with, to the rest of the crew. Hetty. Crew? I don't understand what your ladyship means by the crew; tho' we are servants, we may be as good Christians as other people, I hope . . ‘ [OED]

John Aitken  •  Link

I think it is most likely an astute observer of human behaviour such as Sam wishes to stay on the right side of fortune by not overstepping the mark and asking for too much. I'm often accused of not extracting enough from a situation, but I prefer to be indebted to rather in dept. I have no reason to doubt Sam's mental ledger has him close to or even a little better than break even with Montague and won't push any further until he has performed sufficiently to be entitled to it.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir W. Batten and Mr. Pett being upon a survey to Chatham."

L&M note Batten (Surveyor) was making an inspection of ships and stores. Peter Pett (Commissioner at Chatham) accompanied him.

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

"We sat at the office this morning"
"After we rose at the office..."

Sam will use these terms frequently going forward. I believe what this signifies is that they sat in meetings, and then "rose" when they were concluded. Occasionally the business of the meeting may be mentioned, and sometimes he says "met" instead of "sat." It does not mean that they each sat at their desks individually doing their work.

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