Monday 26 November 1660

(Office day). To it all the morning, and dined at home where my father come and dined with me, who seems to take much pleasure to have a son that is neat in his house. I being now making my new door into the entry, which he do please himself much with.

After dinner to the office again, and there till night. And that being done the Comptroller and I to the Mitre to a glass of wine, when we fell into a discourse of poetry, and he did repeat some verses of his own making which were very good.

Home, there hear that my Lady Batten had given my wife a visit (the first that ever she made her), which pleased me exceedingly. So after supper to bed.

18 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

'tis nice SP and his father are socializing now{Mama is with stone}
and His wife meets with approval. One can feel the pride reflected.

Mary  •  Link

"and there till night"

(For overseas readers). He's not necessarily working very late; sunset in London this week is shortly before 1600h, so night arrives early. This will move steadily earlier until mid-December, when it will set at 15.52. Sunrise at present occurs at 07.40h and in mid-December will reach 07.50h before the days start lengthening again.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

"Neat in his house".... Funny, I always considered Sam to be a tidy man, invariably complaining when things are not laid out to his liking. A compulsive obsessive... bringing order out of chaos. Rather a summary of his life in the service of the Royal Navy; he certainly left it in rather a better state than he found it.

Mary  •  Link


In this instance would mean 'refined' or 'elegant'. cf Ben Jonson, 1601: 'a neate, fine street'; 'a neat and commodious mansion-house' described in the Gazetteer of Scotland, 1806.

vincent  •  Link

"neat". Still use this form for refined, marked as tasteful simplicity; glad ` it did not mean bovine

Linda Camidge  •  Link

Isn't (or wasn't there once) an Americanism - "that's really neat" - with similar meaning?

And re sunrise - it actually carries on getting later, cruelly, until early January. January mornings are darker than December mornings. Which has nought to do with Pepys, I know.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"a son that is neat in his house"

NEAT clean, trim, cleanly and tightly dressed, clever.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Bill  •  Link

Linda, actually the latest sunrise in London will be at 8:06am every day from Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 4, 2014 so January mornings aren't darker than December's. (The shortest day is, of course, Dec. 20.)

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

To expand on Bill's point, because the Earth is close to it's January perihelion, Kepler's second law means that, in the northern hemisphere, solar days are longer than the average 24 hours close to the winter solstice, so astronomical noon moves a little forward each day. At London's latitude, the earliest sunset is around 10th December, and the latest sunrise is around the 31st/1st January, with the actual shortest day in the middle.

In Pepys time this would have been about 10 days later, because Britain still used the Julian Calendar.…

Kepler's laws and Descartes' methods helped Pepys' mate Newton come up with his theory of gravity.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Errgh - got it wrong: it would have been about 10 days EARLIER according to the calendar. The "October" revolution occurred in Julian November; Julian Christmas is in Gregorian January. The Julian calendar was a remarkable achievement, but it slightly over-estimated the solar year, meaning that the calendar was slowly moving out of sync with the seasons.

So all the seasons would have started about 10 days earlier in Pepys' time, so he's closer to midwinter and the solstice than we are!

Bill  •  Link

Sasha, no problem, we always appreciate someone who explains science to us. Thanks. And back to Linda and my comment about the latest sunrise. If it occurs today around Jan.1 (Gregorian) then in Pepys' time it would have occurred on January 11 (Julian). Linda is right (the latest sunrise in 1660/61 London occurs in January) because I forgot about the Julian/Gregorian calendar mismatch.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

In a course I took recently, I cursed my tutor (mentally) for the multiple errata, and then the errata to the errata. Well, hoist by my own petard, my corrected correction is "The (Julian) October revolution occurred in Gregorian November ..."

Let E be an astronomical event, such as a solstice; let t(E) be its date in the Julian calendar, and let T(E) be its date in the Gregorian calendar. Then, in Pepys' time, t(E) = T(E) - 10, or T(E) = t(E) +10.

So, for Pepys, an event such as the winter solstice occurs around Dec 21st - 10 = December 11th. And "today" in Pepys diary, corresponds to 26th November +10 = 6th December in OUR (Gregorian) calendar.

However, for a fixed CALENDAR date such as Christmas, C in the Gregorian calendar and c in the Julian, then T(c) = T(C) + 10, or t(C) = t(c) - 10.

So, England would have celebrated Christmas 10 days later than the Catholic countries. By 1752, when Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar, the difference was 11 days: now it's 13. Russian Orthodox Christmas is currently celebrated on January 7th.

Bill  •  Link

It was my mathematical hubris, not Sasha, that caused my seemingly intractable conundrum. Astronomical events happened earlier in Pepys' calendar than in Rome's, and Rome's is the one we use today. So my original statement is also true for Rome in Pepys' time but, by his calendar, those latest sunrise dates would be Dec.16 to Dec.25, 1660. December had the darkest mornings for him too.

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

""a son that is neat in his house"

NEAT clean, trim, cleanly and tightly dressed, clever.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675."

I still use neat in that respect as in "I like my whisky (and whiskey, too) neat" so it survives. Today's bartender's tend not to understand though, in the US at least.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I'm a mathematician Bill, but I also suffer from mathematical hubris - welcome to the club! :D

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘neat, adj. A. adj. I. Senses relating to elegance, smartness, etc.
1. a. Of a thing, a place, etc.: characterized by an elegance of form or arrangement, with freedom from unnecessary additions or embellishments; of agreeable but simple appearance; finely made or proportioned; well-formed. Also as n. Now freq. coinciding with sense A. 4b. In early use the handsomeness of the thing appears to be the more prominent idea; later the notions of simple elegance or regularity of form predominate.
. . 1602 B. Jonson Poetaster iii. i. 30 Here's a most neate fine streete; is't not?
1630 M. Godwin tr. F. Godwin Ann. Eng. i. 113 Hampton Court, the neatest pile of all the King's houses.
1674 in C. R. Lounsbury Illustr. Gloss. Early Southern Archit. & Landscape (1994) 240 A neat Coffin of Black walnutt . .

. . 4. b. Put or kept in good order; trim, tidy.
. . a1616 Shakespeare Taming of Shrew (1623) iv. i. 102 Now my spruce companions, is all readie, and all things neate?
1673 J. Ray Observ. Journey Low-countries 427 At Switz..the people..keep their houses neat and cleanly, and withal very polite and in good repair . . ‘

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Since Pepys is buried in paperwork at the office today, he's oblivious to some arrests being made around town:

After the Restoration, Praise-God Barebone was looked upon with a jealous eye, and on Nov. 26, 1661, was apprehended, together with Major John Wildman and committed prisoner to the Tower, where he was confined for some time.

On the meeting of parliament early in the following year, the Lord Chancellor thought fit to alarm the house with the noise of plots and conspiracies, and enumerated the names of several persons whom he reported to be engaged in traitorous designs against the government.
Among these were Major Wildman, Major Hains, Alderman Ireton, Mr. Praise-God Barebone, &c.

How far the charge against these persons was substantiated, or whether it was only a political engine of government to get rid of suspected individuals, we will not take upon us to say. Certain it is, that Mr. Barebone had now to contend with the strong arm of the civil power, which was directed with all the acrimony of party prejudice against persons of his stamp.


This article says James Harrington was also arrested in November, but many other accounts say he was not arrested until after Christmas, so I've removed that piece of info from the above version.

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