Thursday 29 November 1660

In the morning seeing a great deal of foul water come into my parlour from under the partition between me and Mr. Davis, I did step thither to him and tell him of it, and he did seem very ready to have it stopt, and did also tell me how thieves did attempt to rob his house last night, which do make us all afraid.

This noon I being troubled that the workmen that I have to do my door were called to Mr. Davis’s away, I sent for them, when Mr. Davis sent to inquire a reason of, and I did give him a good one, that they were come on purpose to do some work with me that they had already begun, with which he was well pleased, and I glad, being unwilling to anger them.

In the afternoon Sir W. Batten and I met and did sell the ship Church for 440l.; and we asked 391l., and that being done, I went home, and Dr. Petty came to me about Mr. Barlow’s money, and I being a little troubled to be so importuned before I had received it, and that they would have it stopt in Mr. Fenn’s hands, I did force the Doctor to go fetch the letter of attorney that he had to receive it only to make him same labour, which he did bring, and Mr. Hater came along with him from the Treasury with my money for the first quarter (Michaelmas last) that ever I received for this employment. So I paid the Dr. 25l. and had 62l. 10s. for myself, and 7l. 10s. to myself also for Will’s salary, which I do intend yet to keep for myself.

With this my heart is much rejoiced, and do bless Almighty God that he is pleased to send so sudden and unexpected payment of my salary so soon after my great disbursements. So that now I am worth 200l. again.

In a great ease of mind and spirit I fell about the auditing of Mr. Shepley’s last accounts with my Lord by my Lord’s desire, and about that I sat till 12 o’clock at night, till I began to doze, and so to bed, with my heart praising God for his mercy to us.

27 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"also for Will's salary,which I intend yet to keep for myself........,with my heart praising God for his mercy to us." God helps those who help themselves!!!

Lawrence  •  Link

I hope he see's Will good "Regard's Money"

Mary House  •  Link

What would this "foul water" pouring into his parlour most likely be... sewage?

Jackie  •  Link

Sam's alterations to his property - extra doors, accesses onto his roof space etc., really shows how there were next to no regulations before the Great Fire made people think about things like fire regulations.

Building at this time seemed to be whatever people could get away with without annoying the neighbours too much. Why do I get the feeling that the Courts in those days had a large number of cases about people taking umbrage about extra doors into each other's homes and similar?

George  •  Link

"and do bless Almighty God that he is pleased to send so sudden and unexpected payment of my salary so soon after my great disbursements". He doesn't seem to be an overly religious man, but God gets the credit when things go well

Pauline  •  Link

"I being a little troubled ... that they would have it stopt in Mr. Fenn's hands…”

Sounds like Dr. Petty heard that the Navy’s quarterly pay was available before Sam received it, and that Sam didn’t want the debt demanded directly from the paymaster. So he stalls Petty (“I did force the Doctor to go fetch the letter of attorney that he had to receive it only to make him same [some?]labour”) and sends Hater for the pay.

Peter  •  Link

Some L&M notes in this entry:
"and I glad, being unwilling to anger them"... L&M have changed "them" to "him", (although they say the MS reads "them").
Regarding Will Hewer's salary they note that "Pepys kept the money since Will Hewer was boarding with him". No nights on the tiles (or the leads) for Will, then.

David Quidnunc  •  Link


It seems reasonable to me that Sam would say "them" meaning both Mr. and Mrs. Davis. The 29 & 31 October entries indicate that Mrs. Davis is someone you just don't want to tussle with, although we aren't told why:

"So home, where I was told how my Lady Davis is now come to our next lodgings, and has locked up the leads door from me ..."…

"... the rest of the principal officers, who are unwilling to meddle in anything that may anger my Lady Davis."…

Perhaps she has influential relations. Maybe she's able to be such a pest that it's well worth it not to set her off. Or is it that she can incite her husband? That's all speculation. But it's not speculative to say that there must be something formidable about her for the principal officers to have that reaction. And she certainly locked that leads door, potentially starting a fight.

You could argue that the principal officers are just diplomatic men, but why is it that they mention not wanting to anger *Lady* Davis and not her husband?

vincent  •  Link

Why? David 'tis wise, never tussle with the lioness when protecting her Turf.
"Them" Is also being more impersonal way of talking about outsiders. Only in this Era does one speak of strangers in a personal way [ the exceptions are the Quakers who act and believe every one is on the same level despite titles and the gold attachments]. Now every one is a friend, such a misuse of the condition just like love. It looses its true value.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Vincent - we Quakers are a very friendly bunch :-)

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"[we] did sell the ship Church "

L&M say the Church was a 5th-rate, 20-6 gun prize 1653; a hulk at Harwich 1659.

Newcomer  •  Link

Is there an English teacher aboard who can explain the grammar of the "did/do" construction ("I did step thither," "he did seem very ready . . . did also tell me how thieves did attempt to rob, which do make us all afraid")? There must be one in this erudite group.

Something like it exists in modern English for particular uses ("I really did read the whole book" or "I do love Shakespeare"). But I don't see any such special meaning for it in Pepys, where "did" seems to be just another form of the simple past or present tense, such as survives today in archaic legalese ("defendant did feloniously . . .").

Please forgive me if this topic has been raised and discussed before. I actually have vague recollection of a related discussion, but can't find it now.

Gillian Bagwell  •  Link

Yes, just an older form of past tense, I think, very commonly used then.

Tonyel  •  Link

In the afternoon Sir W. Batten and I met and did sell the ship Church for 440l.; and we asked 391l.,
This sounds like an auction where the reserve price was £391 - or am I misreading something?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Tonyl maybe even an auction by the candle in whicj the final bids can escalate exponentially -- L&M say according to a letter from the Duke of York to the Board (3 December) she fetched £510: PRO, Adm. 2/1745, f.17v.

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

"do bless Almighty God that he is pleased to send so sudden and unexpected payment of my salary so soon after my great disbursements. So that now I am worth 200l. again."

Sam appears to figure his new worth on a cash basis, which is probably smart in these uncertain times. Technically, he was worth the same 200l. yesterday, on what we call an accrual basis today, since he could count his salary as a receivable. But now he is worth 200l. in cold cash. (Side note to Sam: The Lord God Almighty doesn't actually disburse your salary.)

Neville  •  Link

Can't let the lower orders have money, it might go to their heads. Poor Will and his ilk will have to wait a couple of hundred years for the Truck Act.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I’m sure god had nothing to do with it.

Sofia  •  Link

"7l. 10s. to myself also for Will’s salary, which I do intend yet to keep for myself." Is there some meaning here I'm not catching, or is he really just writing down his plan to not pay Will his salary? Won't the responsible parties want to know where the money's gone?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sofia, yes Pepys is going to keep Will's meager salary of 7l. 10s. to help cover the cost of his board and lodging.

The Hewers are wealthy -- "poor" Will will want for nothing, and is getting an excellent business education and exposure to the most influential people at Court and in politics.
He's 19 by now, and a clothes horse as you'll find out.

Curiously neither Wiki or our annotations mention his education, but in 1677, Hewer will be appointed Judge Advocate-General for the Admiralty, so it's probable he had completed University and spent a few years at the Inns of Court in order to be eligible for that role -- standard education for a wealthy and intelligent lad. [As I said, I have no citation for this idea; it just seems probable to me.]

SPOILER: When he moves away from the Pepys in a few years, the 7l. 10s. will be his -- and will not pay for the manner in which he choses to live.

Had he been a poor lad, Pepys might well have made a different decision.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

7l. 10s. = 150s./365 days = about 5d a day.
No one is living, eating and dressing for a government job on that, even in 1660.
Hewer and the other clerks must have been 'eligible' for some gratuity situations or there would have been no workers in the Navy Board office.

Does anyone remember if Robert Blackborne paid Pepys a gratuity for taking on Will as his personal servant? I've looked through my notes and see nothing to that end, but it would have been entirely appropriate.

Alison ONeill  •  Link

@San Diego Sarah, isn't the 7l 10s for a quarter (Michaelmas)? So (150s) 1800d/90 days = 20d per day, or 1s 8d? Then again, that might be a bit steep for bed and board...

Eric the Bish  •  Link

“I’m sure God had nothing to do with it.”

Pepys would surely have found this sentiment incomprehensible, but his faith does not fall neatly into 21st century categories.

In a sense, Samuel’s religion is straightforward. He is regular and frequent in his attendance at Sunday worship, but not in a legalistic sense: he has no difficulty with taking a Sunday off when work (or leisure!) require. He takes his brain with him into church, where he is aesthetically and intellectually critical, in the technical sense of that word, of what he sees and hears. He is deeply sensitive to the teaching of scripture, and this informs his troubled conscience at the moral lapses, which – no spoilers – may occur later on: he is no plaster saint, but a morally flawed human being. Like all of us. So the divine is part of the warp and weft of life.

This all leads to a sense of humility before God, even though Pepys values his own skills highly in the world of business, and senses – I think correctly – that he is doing a good job. He recognises that he has his position through good fortune as much as skill and ability, and he situates that good fortune in the hands of God.

There is also an identification of the King as having a divinely appointed role. Thus his desire to do well by the king is linked with his desire to do the right thing by God.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Alison -- you are right! Thank you -- he even said so: "my money for the first quarter". DUH!


And thanks, Eric the Bish, for your take on Pepys and religion.
I was surprised by how many annotators reacted to Pepys gratitude to God for his good fortune this year.
I'm sure Pepys also expresses his gratitude to Sandwich whenever it seems appropriate. And he had better tell the Stuart Brothers how grateful he is frequently as well.

Sofia  •  Link

San Diego Sarah -- of course, I had forgotten the small matter of Pepys giving him room and board. And from the way he calls Will "boy," I would have thought he was a good deal younger. It's always fun to reevaluate the situation I'm reading about here!

Alison ONeill  •  Link

Sarah - easily done, and I am impressed by you keeping notes. I feel I am slacking here by simply reading!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Alison, my notes are greatly aided by the SEARCH bar top right!
I entered Blackborne, and selected ENCYCLOPEDIA, then went to the SUMMARY page, and clicked through to the Diary entries which might be about Will Hewer's employment in 1660, and nothing was said about the family contributing for his what could be described as an apprenticeship.

I read the Diary daily for months before I started keeping notes. It had become a bit over-whelming. Seven years later I now dream about doing searches and annotations. The notes do help by reminding me of a wider context than the individual entries usually give.

Just keep on enjoying the experience -- you're not slacking: You caught me not reading the text and spoke up. Thank you.

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