Tuesday 28 August 1660

At home looking over my papers and books and house as to the fitting of it to my mind till two in the afternoon. Some time I spent this morning beginning to teach my wife some scale in music, and found her apt beyond imagination.

To the Privy Seal, where great store of work to-day. Colonel Scroope is this day excepted out of the Act of Indemnity, which has been now long in coming out, but it is expected to-morrow. I carried home 80l. from the Privy Seal, by coach, and at night spent a little more time with my wife about her music with great content.

This day I heard my poor mother had then two days been very ill, and I fear she will not last long.

To bed, a little troubled that I fear my boy Will1 is a thief and has stole some money of mine, particularly a letter that Mr. Jenkins did leave the last week with me with half a crown in it to send to his son.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Laura Brown  •  Link

'Some scale in music'

What instrument was Mrs Pepys learning, I wonder?

Tim Bray  •  Link

I wonder what the work is at the Privy Seal of which there is much some days, little others?

melinda trapelo  •  Link

"Some scale in music"
I think she’s learning what we would now call “Music Theory;” how to read music and how to sing from printed music by applying knowledge of the intervals, &c.

chip  •  Link

L&M have skill in Musique, not scale. It is possible they are singing, but I think I remember Pepys getting his lute back recently. Perhaps he is playing the scales to limber up his rusty fingers and she starts to hum along. Adrian Scroope was one of the regicides say L&M. The Commons. on 9 June and 13 August, had allowed him the benefit of the Act, since he had surrendered; but the Lords had voted otherwise, and on this day the lower house concurred. It was the large number of debates about the application of the bill to particular cases which had delayed its passage. Pepys gets another 80L. He is well above is 3 quid daily. Yet he still worries about the half crown stolen.

Graups  •  Link

A thief in the house? I think I would worry if I were bringing in large amounts of money into my house, where I was afraid that someone was stealing froom me.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

my poor mother had these two days been very ill
L&M substitute "these" for "then". It seems to sound less forced. The shorthand would have been quite different with "these" as a sans-serif "P" and "then" as a left angle bracket (<).

S. Spoelstra  •  Link

On Colonel Scroope

"At the Restoration, the House of Commons voted to pardon him under the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion, but the House of Lords demanded that he be brought to trial. He was condemned to death when Richard Browne, a former Major-General, testified that Scroope had justified Charles I's execution to him even after Charles II's return."

( http://www.british-civil-wars.co.… )

Paul Brewster  •  Link

I wonder what the work is at the Privy Seal of which there is much some days, little others?
This quote from the diary, "so away to the Privy Seale, where, the King being out of Towne, we have had nothing to do these two days", on 23rd August 1660 may help answer the question. L&M footnote the entry as "Privy Seal warrants were made out only on the authority of 'King's bills' issued, under the sign manual, from the Signet Office." We'll hear more about this on the 27th of November when SP will write "This day I do also hear that the Queen's going to France is stopt, which do like, me well, because then the King will be in town the next month, which is my month again at the Privy Seal." The OED defines the "sign-manual" as "An autograph signature (esp. that of the sovereign) serving to authenticate a document."
So I think that at least a part of the problem is the age-old situation: if the boss is out of town ...

Peter  •  Link

I very nearly missed the significance of today's half crown by not clicking on the link to "his son" and finding out that the stolen half crown was vouchsafed to Sam to pass on to none other than Elizier Jenkins, "Ely" from yesterday's entry.

When I read yesterday's entry, I found Sam's act of kindness to Ely quite touching. Sam presents it as a reaction to Ely being about to cry when he finds there is no job for him there with Sam. However, this now suggests other things were going on. Ely turned up and Sam presumably went to look for the letter and half crown that Mr Jenkins had given him last week and obviously could not find it. I am now left wondering if this is the real reason why Sam gave him the half crown. The fact that Sam makes amends in his way shows that he will do the right thing, but somehow it is just a bit less 'saintly' than it comes across in yesterday's entry. Maybe I'm reading the situation wrongly, but I find this fascinating. As it is, poor young Ely should, in theory, have walked off with a full 5 bob, instead of which he only has half of that amount. How did Ely answer, I wonder, when his dad asked him if Mr Pepys had passed on the half crown he left with him? In any event, yesterday's and today's half crowns have to be connected because they both relate to Ely, but I wonder why Sam doesn't make the connection a bit more explicit.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"half a crown in it to send to his son"
Peter, you're definitely on to something: Sam went looking for the letter and either could not find it, or more damning, found it and that it referenced a half-crown that was, in fact, missing. (Perhaps 'my boy Will' was illiterate and didn't realize that his theft would be discovered.) So Sam makes good, feeling guilty on two levels: not only can't he offer a job, but he barely dodged failing a trust by allowing the half-crown to be filched. (In both cases it was half a crown: 2/6.) Now Sam is troubled to discover that he is mortally sure Will is a thief. I expect Will to disappear shortly and Sam to second-guess himself afterwards.

vincent  •  Link

2/6 sounds now so small but back in the fifties one could get 10 ice creams or 10 bars of Cadbury's milk chocolate bar (Walls or joe Lyons) or 3 seats at the movies and and a Ice cream or go deluxe and have a deluxe seat at the Flicks, or at the local have 3pts black and tans or a small whiskey. Oh! well sweet memories

Brian G McMullen  •  Link

I find today's half-crown comment in dispute with yesterday's comment. Could this be due to SP writing the diary out of chronological order? Could it be that yesterday's comment was in 'real time' and that today's comment was 'fill in' a few days hence? Oh, well, I'll need to wait until tomorrow for a better sense of today!

Pauline  •  Link

Was Sam cooly passing along Ely's dad's half-crown and intending to repay himself with the half-crown Ely’s dad had sent Ely? Is there a parallel between Will's putative illiteracy and therefore not knowing that the letter said something like "herein do lie one half-crown" and Sam's putative intention to get Ely to think the half-crown was from him and that Ely's father would never say "did you get the half-crown I sent you via Sam, son?"

For me the latter cancels out the former.

vincent  •  Link

"To bed, a little troubled that I fear my boy Will1 is a thief and has stole some money of mine, particularly a letter that Mr. Jenkins did leave the last week with me with half a crown in it to send to his son."

then from diary Monday 9 January 1659/60
"...For these two or three days I have been much troubled with thoughts how to get money to pay them that I have borrowed money of, by reason of my money being in my uncle’s hands...."

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the sign manual" anent Paul Brewster's post

"The royal sign manual or sign-manual is the formal name given...to the signature of the sovereign, by the affixing of which the monarch expresses his or her pleasure either by order, commission, or warrant. A sign-manual warrant may be either an executive act—for example, an appointment to an office—or an authority for affixing the Great Seal of the pertinent realm. The sign-manual is also used to give power to make and ratify treaties. "Sign manual", with or without hyphen, is an old term for a hand-written signature in general." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roya…

Bill  •  Link

"Colonel Scroope is this day excepted out of the Act of Indemnity"

Col. Adrian Scroop was accused for sitting as one of the judges in the high court of justice when the King was brought to answer as a prisoner at the bar, for signing one warrant for summoning that court together, and another for the execution of the King. He denied nothing of this; but pleaded the authority of the parliament in his justification: denying that he had been acted by any motive of malice, as the indictment had untruly suggested; and asserting, that in what he had done relating to the King, he had followed the light of his reason, and the dictates of his conscience. At this trial the principal witness was that Brown, who, having been Major-General in the service of the parliament, and mentioned already in this work to be of a mercenary spirit, was now brought to betray a private conversation; and to depose, That talking one day with Col. Adrian Scroop in the Speaker's chamber, and telling him, that the condition of the nation was sad since the murther of the King, the Colonel had answered, That men had different opinions touching that matter; and being desired by the said Brown to explain himself, he told him, he should not make him his confessor. Though this evidence be in appearance very insignificant; yet, having influenced the house of Commons, as I mentioned before, 'tis not to be admired if it took effect with a jury in an inferior court; who, taking every thing said against the person accused for substantial proof, made no scruple of bringing him in guilty of treason.
---Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow. E. Ludlow, 1751.

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

"At home looking over my papers and books and house as to the fitting of it to my mind"

AHA! Now Sam is thinking about how to outfit his house (measuring for drapes as we might say). Which confirms that he has given up the notion of selling his position for 1000L to Mr. Man, having taken to heart Montagu's counsel (on Aug. 16: https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/…) that it's not the salary that matters, it's all the other ways the position can pay off. He hasn't brought up Mr. Man's offer since then, but this is the first time he has started thinking about how to fix up the house that came with the Navy job.

Kelvin Hard  •  Link

I know it's twenty years ago but I am going to have to disagree with Vincent on the value of 2/6 in the 1950s. My recollection is that a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate (or indeed a Mars bar) in the 1950s was 6d (six old pence) and so you could have bought only five not ten. I well remember the pleasure when my pocket money increased from 2s a week to 2/6.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Agreed, Martin VT. I suspect it has also been helpful for Batten and Penn to get to know him socially, so he's more comfortable in the office. He has a lot to learn about the Navy. No doubt a few dumb questions have been asked, and that's always humiliating.

Charles Miller  •  Link

According to the Bank of England, 2/6 in 1660 equates to about £20.59 today - but in 1955 was only the equivalent of £2.69 which, assuming they’ve kept it pre-decimal might not be too far off, but I wasn’t around to judge….

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