Saturday 6 October 1660

Col. Slingsby and I at the office getting a catch ready for the Prince de Ligne to carry his things away to-day, who is now going home again.

About noon comes my cozen H. Alcock, for whom I brought a letter for my Lord to sign to my Lord Broghill for some preferment in Ireland, whither he is now a-going.

After him comes Mr. Creed, who brought me some books from Holland with him, well bound and good books, which I thought he did intend to give me, but I found that I must pay him.

He dined with me at my house, and from thence to Whitehall together, where I was to give my Lord an account of the stations and victualls of the fleet in order to the choosing of a fleet fit for him to take to sea, to bring over the Queen, but my Lord not coming in before 9 at night I staid no longer for him, but went back again home and so to bed.

18 Annotations

Mary  •  Link

Sam is late home again.

It would be interesting to know what Elizabeth does with all these evenings on which she is left to her own devices. Sam's hours are, in their nature, extremely irregular and evenings of quiet domesticity seem rare.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

All this morning Collonell Slingsby and I at the office getting a catch ready
L&M insert "All this morning"

Paul Brewster  •  Link

for whom I wrote a letter for my Lord to sign
L&M substitute "wrote" for "brought". Shorthand probably looks similar.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

At first I wondered if 'catch' was a mistranscription for 'coach', but since nobody's picked up on it does anybody know what else it might mean in this context?

Ann  •  Link

Catch, from OED:
A strongly-built vessel of the galiot order, usually two-masted, and of from 100 to 250 tons burden; = KETCH.

1481-90 Howard Househ. Bks. (1841) 397 Rede oker to send be watyr with the sayd hoppes, in Ferdes cache of Brekemlynsey. 1561 EDEN Art Navig. Pref., Fyshermen that go a trawlyng for fyshe in Catches or mongers. 1580 SIR R. BINGHAM in Spenser's Wks. (Grosart) I. 468 A small catch or craer of Sir William Wynters. 1624 CAPT. SMITH Virginia II. 23 The navigable..with Catches and small Barkes 30 or 40 myles farther. 1625 SIR J. GLANVILLE Voy. Cadiz (1883) 116 Catches, being short and round built, bee verie apt to turne up and downe, and usefull to goe to and fro, and to carry messages between shipp and shipp almost with anie wind. 1642 NICHOLAS Let. in Carte Coll. (1735) 89 Sir John Hotham hath lately of the King's caches. a1693 URQUHART Rabelais III. lii. 429 Catches, Capers, and other Vessels.

JWB  •  Link

The Pepys-Creed rivalry most enjoyable subplot of the diary so far. You've got to smile at this entry's episode.

seadog  •  Link


Perhaps an early spelling of ketch, that is, a two-masted vessel, with the forward mast (the mainmast) being taller than the after mast (the mizzen), and with the mizzen being stepped forward of the rudder post (as opposed to a yawl, whereon the mizzzen is stepped aft of the rudder post.)

vincent  •  Link

"catch" the ketch back 'ome with 'is things yer know, didnae ye understand Our man SP is spreckenzee Latin c=k a=o or u so one gets the ketch of the day. Oh this English, middle or vulga or common 'tis tough to make out. Oh well back to mid atlantic and the BBC. chow

Dirk Van de putte  •  Link

Catch vs. ketch

Don't forget spelling at the time was almost absolutely free. Even in Shakespeare you often find the same word spelled in two or three different ways not even a page apart! - And let's be honest: "catch" and "ketch" do sound the same in careless pronunciation, don't they?

vincent  •  Link

J. Evelyn "I paied the greate Tax of Pole-mony, levied for the disbanding of the army, 'til now kept up; I paid as an Esquire 10 pounds & 1s: for every Servant in my house &c: "

Linda Camidge  •  Link

Catch and ketch sound the same in what we would call a "very posh accent" (somewhere to the right of Prince Cahrles). Interestingly, I'm sure I've read that there are other indicators suggesting that pronunciation - at least among the educated middle classes - was very much of this order in the 18th and into the 19th centuries. The early recordings of such as Tennyson bear this out. But how did other people speak? Could people from different social classes and regions actually understand each other? Or was it like me trying to understand the dialogue from "The Wire"?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Can't resist: what's a creche? A car accident in Kensington.

Or: Prince Charles pronounces "yes" as "Ears"

GrahamT  •  Link

..and sex is what Kensington people have their coal delivered in.

MarkS  •  Link

There would have been far greater differences in dialect in Pepys' day than in ours.

Samuel Johnson, a century later, commented about pronunciation differing even among people of high rank: "I remember an instance: when I published the Plan for my Dictionary, Lord Chesterfield told me that the word 'great' should be pronounced so as to rhyme to 'state'; and Sir William Yonge sent me word that it should be pronounced so as to rhyme to 'seat', and that none but an Irishman would pronounce it 'grait'. Now here were two men of the highest rank, the one, the best speaker in the House of Lords, the other, the best speaker in the House of Commons, differing entirely."

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED explains:

‘ketch, n.1 Etym: Later form of cache, catch n.2, with e for a as in keg, kennel, kestrel, etc. . . ’

‘catch, n.2 Etym: Middle English cache . .
A strongly-built vessel of the galiot order = ketch n.1
. . a1661 J. Glanville Voy. Cadiz (1883) 116 Catches being short and round built bee verie apt to turne up and downe and usefull to goe to and fro, and to carry messages between shipp and shipp almost with anie wind . . ‘

Annie B  •  Link

Yes! I am so curious about Elizabeth's day-to-day life. How did she know when to eat without him? Seems like sometimes he brings home dinner and sometimes not. It's so hard to imagine in today's texting culture, if someone is late by more than ten minutes without a message you really start to wonder! They must have been adjusted to such a different attitude of flexibility and not knowing where people are. It': a shame we haven't discovered a diary from Elizabeth!

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