Monday 24 September 1660

(Office day). From thence to dinner by coach with my wife to my Cozen Scott’s, and the company not being come, I went over the way to the Barber’s. So thither again to dinner, where was my uncle Fenner and my aunt, my father and mother, and others. Among the rest my Cozen Rich. Pepys, their elder brother, whom I had not seen these fourteen years, ever since he came from New England. It was strange for us to go a gossiping to her, she having newly buried her child that she was brought to bed of.

I rose from table and went to the Temple church, where I had appointed Sir W. Batten to meet him; and there at Sir Heneage Finch Sollicitor General’s chambers, before him and Sir W. Wilde, Recorder of London (whom we sent for from his chamber) we were sworn justices of peace for Middlesex, Essex, Kent, and Southampton; with which honour I did find myself mightily pleased, though I am wholly ignorant in the duty of a justice of peace. From thence with Sir William to Whitehall by water (old Mr. Smith with us) intending to speak with Secretary Nicholas about the augmentation of our salaries, but being forth we went to the Three Tuns tavern, where we drank awhile, and then came in Col. Slingsby and another gentleman and sat with us. From thence to my Lord’s to enquire whether they have had any thing from my Lord or no.

Knocking at the door, there passed me Mons. L’Impertinent [Mr. Butler] for whom I took a coach and went with him to a dancing meeting in Broad Street, at the house that was formerly the glass-house, Luke Channel, Master of the School, where I saw good dancing, but it growing late, and the room very full of people and so very hot, I went home.

23 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Miller  •  Link

"in Broad Street, at the house that was formerly the glass-house"
This link has good information about the Glass houses and mentions the one on Broad street.…

Glyn  •  Link

From thence to dinner by coach

This seems a bit of an abrupt start to today's entry. (a) Is this part of the previous day's entry? (b) Or does he mean that there was nothing worth recording about his day at the office? (c) Or is something missing?

I believe he writes "Office Day" at the top of some of his entries so probably (b) is correct.

Robin  •  Link

"It was strange for us to go a gossiping to her..."

Who is "she"? Cousin Scott's wife? Cousin Richard's wife? I'm confused... can anyone shed some light here?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

24. office day. From thence to dinner by Coach
I think the L&M punctuation makes more sense of the opening. The words "office day" are in italics indicating larger text in the manuscript.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

It was strange for us to go a-gossiping to her, she having newly buried her child that she was brought to bed of.
"Her" refers to Judith Scott, Benjamin Scott's wife and Richard Pepys younger sister. Per L&M: "her infant son had been buried on the 13th."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Justices of Peace for Middlesex, Essex, Kent, and Southampton
per L&M: "It was customary to make the Principal Officers of the Navy justices for the counties in which the royal dockyards were situated. .... The officers lacked similar powers in the city itself until an act of 1664."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

about the augmentacion of our Salarys
L&M: "The new and increased rates of pay fixed at the appointment of the new officers in July were not enrolled in the Exchequer until February 1663. A Council order of 22 September now gave authority for the payment of the higher rates although the process of enrolment was not yet complete."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

to speak with Secretary Nicholas about the augmentacion of our Salarys. But he being forth,
L&M insert "he".

Paul Brewster  •  Link

to a dancing-meeting in Broadstreete, at the house that was formerly the Glasse house (Luke Channel Maister of the Schoole) where I saw good dancing
I think L&M's punctuation makes the sense clearer. According to their general notes on punctuation, "certain" parentheses are derived from the manuscript.

PHE  •  Link

Sam's charm
The most charming thing about Sam's diaries is the humour - whether intended or not:
"with which honour I did find myself mightily pleased, though I am wholly ignorant in the duty of a justice of peace"

Nix  •  Link

Solicitor General --

From Black's Law Dictionary (rev. 4th ed. 1968):

"In Enlgish law. One of the principal law officers of the crown, associated in his duties with the attorney general, holding office by patent during the pleasure of the sovereign, and having the right of preaudience [i.e., the right to speak before the other lawyers] in the courts. 3 Bl.Comm. 27. In American law, an officer of the department of justice, next in rank and authority to the attorney general, whose principal assistant he is. His chief function is to represent the United States in all cases in the supreme court and the court of claims in which the government is interested or to which it is a party, and to discharge the duties of the attorney general in the absence or disability of that officer or when there is a vacancy in the office."

Hic Retearivs  •  Link

It might be added that this ancient office is still not just one of administration and political direction. Even here in the colonies (Canada) the Solicitor General will occasionally risk his dignity, descend from his ivory tower and appear in court to conduct the Crown’s case in person. That is rare but the legal machinery still exists and is employed.

Glyn  •  Link

This particular Broad Street isn't the one in the City of London that he has been to before, but another one across the river in Vauxhall. Later to avoid confusion it was renamed Black Prince Road:…

According to the excellent article that Paul Miller (above) has linked to, glassmaking was banned in the City of London itself because it was highly polluting, so like other noxious industries it was sited south of the river, in this case in Vauxhall.

So presumably Pepys must have caught another ferry across the Thames.

vincent  •  Link

re: glass making. J.Evelyn did mention said glass problem at the society meeting 6th march 61 next. It looked like a "Hersheys kiss" top pushed sideways with a long tail.( a distorted oval shape).

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Paul Miller's link about the glass houses in Vauxhall updated:

Glasshouse Walk (formerly Glasshouse Street), just off the Albert Embankment, is now the only reminder that the glass making industry was once an internationally important industry in Vauxhall.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The early modern period in England (c. 1500-1800) brought on a revival in local glass production. Medieval glass had been limited to the small-scale production of forest glass for window glass and vessels, predominantly in the Weald. The organisation of production evolved from the small-scale family-run glass houses typical of forest glass-making to large monopolies granted by the Crown. The influx of immigrants from Europe brought changes in furnace technology and raw materials, creating a better quality glass. Monastic decrees later banned the use of wood fuel which was then replaced by the less expensive alternative of coal. The development of lead glass in the late 17th century propelled England to the forefront of the glass industry and paved the way for advancements in the Industrial Revolution.…

dave davis  •  Link

Being an autodidact with serious study habits (that include the 17th-18th centuries) I ask you to bend your thoughts from cheerful complacency and acceptance. Please consider that men in Pepys time were skilled hypocrites and sexists, that their coarseness is even rather distasteful.

Better to read poetry, history, and In my opinion, it's better to read a Rochester or a Donne, to find other interests. Try to find realism. For example, move on to Sean O'Casey. Listen to Mozart.

Dick Wilson  •  Link

Sorry, but the starter motor on my autodidact seems to be on the fritz.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

(Office day).

I suspect this was Pepys' way of indicating that the Commissioners sat that morning to discuss what was afoot. He had to be there.
If the Navy Board did not sit, and he had finished what work there was, or had delegated it to the trusty clerks who worked for him -- he was free to do other things.

MartinVT  •  Link

"though I am wholly ignorant in the duty of a justice of peace" ... and after all these years, we have not touched on that question, either.

But here's a start: Per Wikipedia, during Sam's time: "Being an unpaid office, undertaken voluntarily and sometimes more for the sake of renown or to confirm the justice's standing within the community, the justice was typically a member of the gentry. The justices of the peace conducted arraignments in all criminal cases, and tried misdemeanours and infractions of local ordinances and bylaws. Towns and boroughs with enough burdensome judicial business that could not find volunteers for the unpaid role of justice of the peace had to petition the Crown for authority to hire a paid stipendiary magistrate."

Since there's no money in it, it's doubtful Sam will exert himself very much as a JP.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Bear in mind, MartinVY, that the Navy is a vast landowner, with Britain's first military-industrial complex located thereon, and was Britain's largest employer at the time.
This gave the Commissioners legal powers -- which were exactly I don't know what, but Pepys will find it useful in the future (specifically when he's tracking down John Scott during the Popish Plot). Also, I believe it gave them some immunity from prosecution for doing their jobs.

In another place I found this:
"When a ratepayer thought he was paying too much, he went to the local Justice of the Peace.
When two parishes clashed over their boundaries, which particular cottage was the responsibility of which parish, or over the relief of a specific migrant pauper, they went to the local JPs.
When one parish felt it was too poor to look after its own needy, and wanted support from neighboring parishes, the issue was thrashed out in front of local JPs."

FROM How to Survive Being Poor -- Paupers and Petitioners in 17th Century England
By Jonathan Healey…

The Google librarian says:
"As early as the 1600's, Justices of the Peace were commissioned to handle minor civil and criminal cases. Along with a host of other duties, the administering of local government in the 17th and 18th Centuries on behalf of the English Crown was a primary duty of the Justices of the Peace."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... we were sworn justices of peace for Middlesex, Essex, Kent, and Southampton ..."

Why Middlesex?
The office is in the City of London.
Essex includes Harwich which became an important Naval base during the first Anglo-Dutch war -- Kent is full of important ports like Dover and the Cinque Ports -- Southampton was/is one of the largest naval port in England.

Maybe Whitehall and Westminster were in Middlesex at the time?

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