Monday 12 November 1660

Lay long in bed to-day. Sir Wm. Batten went this morning to Deptford to pay off the Wolf. Mr. Comptroller and I sat a while at the office to do business, and thence I went with him to his house in Lime Street, a fine house, and where I never was before, and from thence by coach (setting down his sister at the new Exchange) to Westminster Hall, where first I met with Jack Spicer and agreed with him to help me to tell money this afternoon. Hence to De Cretz, where I saw my Lord’s picture finished, which do please me very well. So back to the Hall, where by appointment I met the Comptroller, and with him and three or four Parliament men I dined at Heaven, and after dinner called at Will’s on Jack Spicer, and took him to Mr. Fox’s, who saved me the labour of telling me the money by giving me 3000l. by consent (the other 1000l. I am to have on Thursday next), which I carried by coach to the Exchequer, and put it up in a chest in Spicer’s office. From thence walked to my father’s, where I found my wife, who had been with my father to-day, buying of a tablecloth and a dozen of napkins of diaper [?? D.W.], the first that ever I bought in my life.

My father and I took occasion to go forth, and went and drank at Mr. Standing’s, and there discoursed seriously about my sister’s coming to live with me, which I have much mind for her good to have, and yet I am much afeard of her ill-nature.

Coming home again, he and I, and my wife, my mother and Pall, went all together into the little room, and there I told her plainly what my mind was, to have her come not as a sister in any respect, but as a servant, which she promised me that she would, and with many thanks did weep for joy, which did give me and my wife some content and satisfaction.

So by coach home and to bed.

The last night I should have mentioned how my wife and I were troubled all night with the sound of drums in our ears, which in the morning we found to be Mr. Davys’s jack, but not knowing the cause of its going all night, I understand to-day that they have had a great feast to-day.

27 Annotations

First Reading

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"napkins of Diaper"

"This word has an interesting etymology. It actually refers to the cloth of the diaper (diaper = napkin or nappy in British English) and not the function of it. ...

"Diaper fabric was originally linen (15th century) but retained its name when it came to be made of cotton. ... The word is first recorded with the "baby clout" ("nappy") meaning in Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" of 1596. This usage stuck in America, but in Britain a new word took its place: nappy (short for napkin, another word which is used differently on either side of the Atlantic)."

From the "Take Our Word For It" website (third item):…

On this side of the Atlantic, diapers are put on babys' behinds and napkins on the table.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"[?? D.W.]"

Phil's "About the Text" page states:

"’D.W.’ is David Widger, who produced the electronic text for Project Gutenberg.”…

Does the “??” mean D.W. isn’t sure about what actual words Pepys used at this spot in the entry? L&M have the exact same wording.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Sir Wm. Batten went this morning to Deptford to pay off the Wolf.

The Wolf being a ship, one presumes?

vincent  •  Link

At least he set up the terms of residence very clearly."...discoursed seriously about my sister's coming to live with me, ….afeard of her ill-nature. ……I told her plainly what my mind was, to have her come not as a sister in any respect, but as a servant, which she promised me that she would, and with many thanks did weep for joy, which did give me and my wife some content and satisfaction…”
“The weep of joy”. Any guesses? for the gratitude?
In my Paduan French.Tres interessant?

chris bailey  •  Link

Sam plays bagman here with a great deal of money. Is it coins, notes, both or what?

Mary  •  Link


No banknotes were issued in England until 1694, immediately following the establishment of the Bank of England. One presumes that Pepys was handling coin of the realm; bulky, heavy and difficult to move discreetly in this quantity.

Sam treats this transfer of funds much more prosaically than the earlier instance when he was walking home with personal funds tucked tight under his arm and just the boy to light his way.

Matthew  •  Link

Napkins are also placed on the table in Britain; the word "nappy" is no longer synonymous.

J A Gioia  •  Link

not as a sister in any respect, but as a servant

only yesterday was sam complaining about the servants sitting too close in church. speculation here was that pall would be more a companion to elizabeth than a domestic, but in light of today's entry one wonders. the pepys still have their 'girl' and 'boy' living with them too.

anyone notice yesterday that after sam's rich uncle announces he'd make any child of elizabeth his heir, sam refers to his young servant as 'my little boy'? wishful thinking perhaps. however, considering the diary begins in the aftermath of one of elizabeth's miscarriages, one senses sam's poignant need of family, one that extends very literally into the public realm.

Nix  •  Link

Diaper (OED):

I. 1. The name of a textile fabric; now, and since the 15th c., applied to a linen fabric (or an inferior fabric of 'union' or cotton) woven with a small and simple pattern, formed by the different directions of the thread, with the different reflexions of light from its surface, and consisting of lines crossing diamond-wise, with the spaces variously filled up by parallel lines, a central leaf or dot, etc.
In earlier times, esp. in OFr. and med.L., the name was applied to a richer and more costly fabric, apparently of silk, woven or flowered over the surface with gold thread. See Francisque Michel, Recherches sur les Etoffes de Soie, d’Or et d’Argent (Paris 1852) I. 236-244.

a1350 Syr Degarre 802 In a diapre clothed he was. 13.. Minor Poems fr. Vernon MS. xlvi. 200 Til a Nonnerie ei came; But I knowe not e name: er was mony a derwore dame In Dyapre dere. 1466 Mann. & Househ. Exp. 364 Paid for xj. Flemyshe stykes of fyne dyapere..xxvij. vj.d. 1502 ARNOLDE Chron. (1811) 244 A borde cloth of dyaper, a towell of dyaper. 1513 Bk. Kervynge in Babees Bk. 268 Couer thy cupborde and thyn ewery with the towell of dyaper. 1513 BRADSHAW St. Werburge I. 1667 The tables were couered with clothes of Dyaper Rychely enlarged with syluer and with golde. 1552-3 Inv. Ch. Goods Staff. in Ann. Litchfield IV. 50 One vestement of red sylke, one vestement of lynen dyoper. 1591 SPENSER Muiopotmos 364 Nor anie weauer, which his worke doth boast In dieper, in damaske, or in lyne. 1623 COCKERAM, Diaper, a fine kinde of Linnin, not wouen after the common fashion, but in certaine workes. 1624 Will in Ripon Ch. Acts 364 One suite of damaske and another of diaper for his table. 1662 Vestry Bks. (Surtees) 198 For Dyaper for a Communion table cloth and napkin, 12s. 6d. 1721 Lond. Gaz. No. 6020/4 Diapers, Damasks, Huckabacks. 1840 BARHAM Ingol. Leg., Jackd. Rheims, A napkin..Of the best white diaper fringed with pink. 1888 J. WATSON Art Weaving (ed. 3) 101 [This] makes by far the best bird-eye Diaper.

2. A towel, napkin, or cloth of this material; a baby’s napkin or 'clout'.

1596 SHAKES. Tam. Shr. I. i. 57 Let one attend him vvith a siluer Bason Full of Rose-water, and bestrew’d with Flowers, Another beare the Ewer: the third a Diaper. 1837 H. MARTINEAU Soc. Amer. II. 245 Table and bed~linen, diapers, blankets. 1889 J. M. DUNCAN Lect. Dis. Women ix. (ed. 4) 54.

. . . .

III. 5. attrib. a. Of or made of diaper (see 1).
(In quot. 1497 perh. for F. diapré, diapered.)

1497 Old City Acc. Bk. in Archaeol. Jrnl. XLIII, Itm a table cloth diapre. 1538 Bury Wills (1850) 134 A dyeper towell of vij yarde longe. 1599 Nottingham Rec. IV. 250 Halfe a dosen of diaper diaper table cloathe. 1604 Vestry Bks. (Surtees) 140 A poulpit clothe of silke, one owld dipar tablecloth. 1676 Lond. Gaz. No. 1124/4 One Damask and two Diaper Table Cloaths, three dozen of Diaper Napkins. 1812 J. SMYTH Pract. Customs (1821) 130 Diaper Tabling, of the manufacture of the kingdom of the United Netherlands. 1863 M. E. BRADDON J. Marchmont I. ii. 30 Her brown-stuff frock and scanty diaper pinafore.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"Mr. Comptroller"

Using the word "Mr." in front of a job title is done in the United States for people who hold certain offices, but almost exclusively during official government meetings (except for "Mr. Chairman," used in any meeting where there's a chairman). Is this the case in other English-speaking countries?

The most well-known example here is "Mr. President," but I've also heard "Mr. Prosecutor" in court and I know "Mr. Chief Justice" is used. Also, "Mr. Speaker" in legislatures. "Mr. Chairman" is probably the most common use of this kind of "Mr." It's always seemed a very republican kind of title, and I'm surprised to see it as far back as Pepys's time.

When women are in these roles, they're usually called "Madam Prosecutor" etc.

The term also works well if you forget the person's name.

(And in my neck of the woods, businesses sometimes use the word: "Mr. Shower Door," "Mr. Souvlaki," "Mr. Plumber." Several business owners told me they thought it lent an air of authority to the business, along with some amusing comments. Then there's "Mrs. Field's Cookies" ... )

StewartMcI  •  Link

Mr. = MAster NOT MIster

David, two points...

'Using the word 'Mr.' in front of a job title is done in the United States for people who hold certain offices’

This is a survival of a usage that is now almost obsolete in British English, except for Mr. Chairman, Mr. Councillor, etc.

However, Pepys’s use of “Mr.” in this context and period stands for the word “MAster” not “MIster”. See the OED for considerable detail of the evolution and usage.

StewartMcI  •  Link


Both Colledge and Manning & Walker confirm that H.M.S. "Wolf" was a 16-gun ship captured from the Spanish in 1656 and sold in 1663. Colledge uses the spelling "Woolf" and gives her as the Spanish "Lobo" of 120 tons b.m. while M&W states she was "Nostra Senora del Socorro".

Glyn  •  Link

I'm betting he was carrying paper rather than coinage.

Banknotes weren't issued, but you could get the equivalent of bankdrafts from goldsmiths, moneylenders, etc. Goldsmiths were especially trusted because they had strong vaults to store their gold in. The Lombards had a thriving banking system as did others (the Greshams).

If you were going from London to (say) Rome you didn't need to take your money with you. Just get a promissory note from one merchant banker to redeem from his cousin. The same procedure worked within cities as well as between them.

Harvey  •  Link

Carrying that 3000L... in gold it would have been around 42 Kg, or 93 Lbs. No problem in a coach, but not something to slip casually into a pocket.


Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

telling money = counting or numbering it.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Commons considers Navy and Army Debts and then what to do about them.…

Sir Thomas Clergys reports from the Committee appointed to examine the Debts of the Navy and Army, and other publick Debts of the Kingdom, an Estimate of the Charge of the Navy and Army; being as followeth; viz.

The Estimate of the Debts of the Navy, in Charge before his Majesty's coming in.

For Discharge of the Officers and Mariners Wages, Provision of Victuals, and Stores, and to the Office of the Ordnance; and the ordinary and extraordinary Expences of the several Yards; the Account is estimated to Six hundred Seventy-eight thousand Pounds:

Whereof the Officers and Mariners Wages, to the Tenth of November, is exactly stated (over and above the Fiveand-twenty Ships now under Consideration, and besides that Number of Ships his Majesty receives into his Pay) to amount to Two hundred Forty-eight thousand Fortynine Pounds Eight Shillings.....

Bill  •  Link

DIAPER [of Diaper, F. to interweave with Flowers] Linen-Cloth wrought with Flowers and Figures.
DIAPER'D [in Heraldry] signifies a Bordure fretted all over with such Things as Bordures used to be charged, appearing between the Frets.
DIAPERING [in a Picture] Is when a Piece, after it is quite finished, is over-run with Branches or other Works
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

If the money is used to pay off the crew then they would need quite a bit of change such as silver shillings and copper pence. At the end of voyage when I was in the Merchant Marine (Merchant Navy to some of you) many, many years ago I was owed something like $101.50 and the paymaster would not provide change. Thus I had no way to get into town some distance away, as no taxi driver could change a $100 bill.

Mary K  •  Link

Sister Pall.

Why spoil the suspense? January 1661 will come soon enough and then we'll see how household arrangements work out. The development of the Pepys menage's domestic arrangements is just as interesting as that of their social and/or professional ones, so let's not get ahead or ourselves.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

I guess that the advantage for Sister Pall is that moving to the Smoke puts her in a place where she, dowry-less and so unmarriagable in her home town, may find a suitor willing and able to take her, no doubt with a modest dowry from Our now-prosperous Samuel.

Time will explain all, no doubt . .

Bryan  •  Link

Sister Pall is still living with mum and dad in London off Fleet Street at this stage. Uncle Robert, who is literally on his last leg, has promised to "raise a portion" for Pall in his will (see… ). So I don't think it's about Pall's marriage prospects.

Given Pall's "ill-nature" and the weeping for joy, my guess is that things are less than harmonious in the old Pepy's family home and everyone is looking for an exit before dastardly deed are done.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Pepys’s use of “Mr.” in this context and period stands for the word “MAster” not “MIster”. See the OED for considerable detail of the evolution and usage."

I'm not sure about that, StewartMcI. Perhaps you're correct about the young second sons of aristocrats, etc., being referred to as Master, but today's Mr. Davys and Mr. Standing were a Navy Office Clerk and an innkeeper, not gentlemen.

Mr. Cooke and Mr. Shepley -- both of whom are fairly consistently referred to as Mr. by Pepys -- were trusted servants of the Montagues, and neither of them were young aristos either.

I read Mr. being a term of respect, for their positions of authority and/or age, and Shepley and Cooke's for their seniority of service in the household.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys consistently refers to Sandwich's "man of business" as Mr. Moore. We know his first name was Henry.

L&M Companion says Mr. Moore was in Montagu's service from at least 1657. After the Restoration he took over Pepys' responsibilities in the Sandwich household. He lived mainly at the Wardrobe and seems to have had responsibilities there as well. He was reputed 'very honest' but too slow. When Sandwich was in Spain they corresponded frequently. At one time Moore had chambers at Gray's Inn, but does not appear to have been a member of that or any other Inn during Diary years. He was intelligent and well-informed and Pepys enjoyed their conversations and trusted his legal judgement.

Pepys called him Mr. Moore more than 285 times in the Diary. That was respectful.

If further examples are needed of the use of Mr. during the 1660's, look at a House of Commons vote. All the MPs are referred to as Mr. unless they have been knighted or are Lords for some reason.

Respect was a big deal in those days. Civilization is all about taming the wild beast known as a homo sapiens, and knowing your place in the hierarchy was part of it.

Pepys, as a man on the rise, frequently was uncomfortable with drawing the respect line. I'm thinking about his hat-on-or-off quandry -- his discomfort at owning a coach -- and when he got one, whether it was too fine -- his efforts to dress appropriately for church and Court -- and his discomfort with having servants, and where they all sat in church.

The 17th century was a judgmental time. It was easy to get on the wrong side of the gossip and rumor mill. As the son of a tailor and the husband of woman with a French name and background, he knew he was vulnerable. As such, he would be scrupulous about how he treated others so as not to draw unnecessary attention to himself.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The 3,000/. -- my bet it was gold coins, which would fit in a trunk, and would warrant locking up.

It could have been a Bill of Exchange, but that would not justify using Jack Spicer's chest.
Phil posted a picture of a Bill of Exchange that Pepys signed:…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Given Pall's "ill-nature" and the weeping for joy, my guess is that things are less than harmonious in the old Pepys' family home and everyone is looking for an exit before dastardly deed are done.'

One of the first mentions of Pall in the Diary is when she stole scissors from Elizabeth and Jane Birch's book, and Pepys had to retrieve them.…

Resentful young women with zero prospects can be a handful. It's kind of Sam and Elizabeth to give her a second chance. So she starts out as a maid -- if she shapes up, good things might happen. If not, if no one else in the family will take her, hit the road kid.

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