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.

25 Annotations

First Reading

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?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

well bound
L&M point out that SP has in the past shown an inclination toward judging books by their covers.
"bought for the love of the binding"…

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.

Second Reading

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!

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Claude Lamoral, 3rd Prince of Ligne, the ambassador from Spain, had been in England for about a month, and is now going home. He did come with 16 coaches and the necessary black horses -- will they all fit into one ketch?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Roger Boyle, Lord Broghill, 1st Earl of Orrery, 1621-1679 -- Before the monarchy was restored, Roger Boyle, Baron Broghill switched sides and backed Charles II. (His older brother, Richard, 2nd Earl of Cork, fought for the King, so Roger had been the right-hand man in Ireland to Cromwell, and between them they protecting the family estates.)

Now a court supporter, Roger Boyle, Lord Broghill MP was amply rewarded with the confirmation of the Irish lands which he had acquired during the Interregnum, and on 5 Sept. 1660 he was created the 1st Earl of Orrery by Charles II.
He was also appointed a lord justice in Ireland and Lord High President of Munster, and although he did not leave England until after the dissolution of the Convention Parliament, he played no further part in its proceedings.

Back in Munster, Orrery set about building his court and Manor House in the central location around the present-day Charleville, which, he said, at that time, "bore the heathenish name of Rathgoggan".
On May 29, 1661 the foundation stone was laid for the erection of Charleville Manor House.……

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

My copy of Evelyn's Diary is clearer than Vincent's:

John Evelyn's Diary – he and Mary Browne Evelyn live at Saye's Court, Deptford.…

"I paid the great tax of poll money, levied for disbanding the army, till now kept up.
"I paid as an Esquire 10/., and one shilling for every servant in my house."


How much did he pay for Mrs. Evelyn?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"How did she know when to eat without him? Seems like sometimes he brings home dinner and sometimes not."

They used boys and notes, Annie. Wayneman Birch is Elizabeth's pair of extra legs. Will Hewer has been travelling with Pepys.
It's so normal to them that Pepys rarely mentions it, just as you don't tell Dear Diary that you took your cell/mobile phone with you.
If all else fails, there are boys on the street who, for a tip, will run errands, but since they owe no allegiance to the sender, that's more risky.

But I agree, whenever someone does something spontaneous, it can create a problem somewhere else.

But people did overcook, as feeding drop-in friends for tthe main meal at dinner/lunch time was taken for granted.
You'll note how often Pepys mentions that someone sends him a pie or a roast or a box of oysters, so they shared excess with their friends.
Also we noted with surprise a couple of months ago, how long a venison pie would still be edible.
Leftovers would normally be eaten for supper.

Given Elizabeth's youth, beauty and history (she's about to turn 20), and Pepys' possessiveness, I'm also surprised how often he's out late drinking with his old friends from the Exchequor days. I think she must be getting truly miffed and bored by now, no matter how nice her house looks.

MartinVT  •  Link

We still have ketchup/catsup, which according to Wikipedia entered print in English around 1790 as catchup, followed by ketchup in 1711.

john  •  Link

"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."

And how many people nowadays purchase books based solely on appearance? But there is a conjunction there. I wonder if Creed put them on his desk and then gave him a bill?

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