Monday 10 December 1660

Up exceedingly early to go to the Comptroller, but he not being up and it being a very fine, bright, moonshine morning I went and walked all alone twenty turns in Cornhill, from Gracious Street corner to the Stockes and back again, from 6 o’clock till past 7, so long that I was weary, and going to the Comptroller’s thinking to find him ready, I found him gone, at which I was troubled, and being weary went home, and from thence with my wife by water to Westminster, and put her to my father Bowyer’s (they being newly come out of the country), but I could not stay there, but left her there. I to the Hall and there met with Col. Slingsby. So hearing that the Duke of York is gone down this morning, to see the ship sunk yesterday at Woolwich, he and I returned by his coach to the office, and after that to dinner. After dinner he came to me again and sat with me at my house, and among other discourse he told me that it is expected that the Duke will marry the Lord Chancellor’s daughter at last which is likely to be the ruin of Mr. Davis and my Lord Barkley, who have carried themselves so high against the Chancellor; Sir Chas. Barkley swearing that he and others had lain with her often, which all believe to be a lie.

He and I in the evening to the Coffee House in Cornhill, the first time that ever I was there, and I found much pleasure in it, through the diversity of company and discourse.

Home and found my wife at my Lady Batten’s, and have made a bargain to go see the ship sunk at Woolwich, where both the Sir Williams are still since yesterday, and I do resolve to go along with them. From thence home and up to bed, having first been into my study, and to ease my mind did go to cast up how my cash stands, and I do find as near as I can that I am worth in money clear 240l., for which God be praised.

This afternoon there was a couple of men with me with a book in each of their hands, demanding money for pollmoney,1 and I overlooked the book and saw myself set down Samuel Pepys, gent. 10s. for himself and for his servants 2s., which I did presently pay without any dispute, but I fear I have not escaped so, and therefore I have long ago laid by 10l. for them, but I think I am not bound to discover myself.

25 Annotations

First Reading

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

He and I in the evening to the Coffee House in Cornhill, the first time that ever I was there...

The first known coffee house in London, at the Sign of Pasqua Rosee in St Michael's Alley off Cornhill, was open by 1652. However, many other coffee houses were opened after the Restoration. Do we know whether this coffee house was the Sign of the Pasqua Rosee, or was there another coffee house in Cornhill in December 1660?

john lauer  •  Link

"a very fine, bright, moonshine morning",
just as it is today, which is remarkable; had we noticed earlier that the phase in 1660 matches 2003? (Sam didn't actually say the moon is full.)

Charlezzzzz  •  Link

Sam's polltax
"I overlooked the book and saw myself set down Samuel Pepys, gent. 10s. for himself and for his servants 2s., which I did presently pay without any dispute"
Sam's job actually ranked him as "esquire" -- higher than a mere gent. But an esquire wd have owed more polltax, so for once Sam was happy to lower his standing

Jackie  •  Link

The behaviour of the Duke of York over Anne Hyde did not show him in a good light. He had married her some months previously, when it did not look likely that his exile would end.

Now those friends, who he'd persuaded to claim that they'd all slept with her are worried that they've ended their own political careers with their lies. The future James II was not the sort of man to take the blame for their behaviour.

Nix  •  Link

Is it known whether he really married her earlier?

I'm under the impression that "secret marriage" was (sometimes) code for after-the-fact scrambling to legitimize a bastard child.

Lawrence  •  Link

I think I'm right in saying full Moon for that Month and Year (Old Style)was December 16th

Glyn  •  Link

Jenny's suggestion that the Coffee House which Pepys attended was that which was at the sign of Pasqua Rosee seems to me to be extremely plausible: because it wouldn't need to be specified as the first of its kind.

Pasqua Rosee's coffee house (with his own face as the sign outside it) was south of Cornhill, and off St Michael's Lane in St Michael's Alley, near to St Michael's churchyard:…

It had previously been a wine house and now has become a wine house again (it’s called the “Jamaica Wine House” and of course you can still drink coffee; please notice the blue plaque by the door outside giving the place’s history), but I guarantee that unless you’re a lab rat you won’t find it without a map (it’s in one of those parts of the city with the medieval street plan that is like a maze):…

Glyn  •  Link

What a dork! or buffoon! (whichever). First he hammers on the door of one of his bosses at about 5:45 a.m. to find that the boss isn't yet awake. So he goes away for an hour and returns to find that the man has given up waiting for him, and has left for work by himself. By this time our man is so tired that he goes back home and (so far as we know) never does meet up with him today.

Moral Question: the Tax Authorities assess you for a certain amount but you know that they have made a mistake, and if fact you may owe them 10 times as much. Should you tell them, or should you keep quiet, like Sam?

upper_left_hand_corner  •  Link

I think Lawrence is off on the calendar.

December 10th Old style corresponds to December 20th Gregorian. The lunar month was 19-20 days into its cycle at that point, very close indeed to the 16-17 days into its cycle that it was on December 10th (Gregorian) of 2003.

NB, the winter solstice took place shortly after midnight on 11 December 1660, old style. So a waning gibbeous moon would have been riding high in the sky, antipodal to the sun's low arc.

William Crosby  •  Link

A dork! Maybe, but is this diary the most delightful, unguarded description of a surprisingly modern man: his lusts, his morals, his ethics, and his remorse? I find the judgments and criticisms of SP revealing not of SP, but of the posters. SP was who he was, warts and all; and 350 years later we talk about him as if he fails to meet our judgments of how things should be or should not be. How hilarious!

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Berkeley and the Chancellor's daughter

"When James had secretly married Anne Hyde (daughter of Clarendon, of Hyde Park fame), Charles' advice was sought. He mistakenly thought that James wished to get out of the marriage. According to the Comte de Grammont, Charles produced four 'men of honour'. Three described acts of familiarity with Anne, the fourth claiming to 'have received from her the last favours'. According to Clarendon, Charles had told the Duke 'that he was bound in conscience to preserve him from taking a woman so wholly unworthy of him, that he himself had lain with her, and that for his sake he would be content to marry her, though he well knew the familiarity the Duke had had with her'. When this approach was rejected by the Duke, and dismissed by the King, Charles loudly confessed the baselessness of his accusations, declared his confidence in the Duchess' virtue, and sought forgiveness from her."…

Jackie  •  Link

Charles was involved, however James had denied to his brother that he'd ever married Anne Hyde and that she was lying when she said that she had proof of marriage. James was hoping for a good (i.e. Royal) match with somebody.

When Charles found out that in fact James had married her, he stated that he should "drink as he hath brewed".

David Quidnunc  •  Link

RE: Berkeley and the Chancellor's daughter

I should have made clear in my annotation, above, that the "Charles" in that quote is Charles Berkeley, not Charles II, who is referred to only as "the King."

I'm not sure which Charles Jackie is referring to in her note just above -- the king, right? Or is it Berkeley?

vincent  •  Link

poll money"..This afternoon there was a couple of men with me with a book in each of their hands,.......Samuel Pepys, gent. 10s. for himself and for his servants 2s., which I did presently pay without any dispute, discover myself...."
Evelyn did say "...October 6. I paied the greate Tax of Pole-mony, levied for the disbanding of the Army, 'til now kept up; I paid as Esquire 10 pounds & 1s: for every Servant in my house &c:…” As of the date of the tax request , SP was esq {10P.}and two servants 2s. Like J Evelyn

Jackie  •  Link

Both Charles were involved. Charles II was obviously appalled that something which prevented a useful royal marriage had come up and believed his brother who denied that he had ever married Anne Hyde. As a result, he was all too willing to give credence to James' friends who were trying to make Anne Hyde out to be some sort of whore.

When the truth came out, Charles II was disgusted both with James for lying and the "friends" who'd done this, plus disgusted with James for having made such a marriage.

Interestingly, in many European Countries, James' marriage would have been considered morganatic and the surviving children ineligible for the throne, as Anne Hyde was a commoner. When William of Orange was considering marriage to Mary, her "common" mother was a factor and he double checked that in England and Scotland, this did not debar her from the throne. In British law, a marriage is either valid or it is not, there is no concept of morganatic marriages.

Charlezzzzz  •  Link

Vincent's useful note quoted Evelyn saying: "I paid as Esquire 10 pounds & 1s: for every Servant in my house” Pepys got off light since they didn’t have him down as Esquire.
But how much was that money worth? (He had just put his first 200 pounds together.) For convenience, knowing that we can’t really compare the value of money over such a long period, we might multiply Pepys’ money by 100 to get a very quick rough estimate. So he was worth 20 thousand current pounds in gold, and avoided paying nearly one thousand of them in tax. The tax was high because Cromwell’s army was still being paid off… the diary is full of the problems of paying off the navy.

Lawrence  •  Link

Left hand corner, you were right, full moon was the 6th old style, sorry everyone.

upper_left_hand_corner  •  Link

Lawrence, that's "upper_left_hand_corner", referring to my geographic locale in the US lower 48.

If you leave out the "upper", it could place me down in San Diego instead of Seattle!

Rich Merne  •  Link

What would you do Glyn!, Personally I think Sam was smart, pay up and shut up. If the 'dorks' had mistaken their demands, tough! He wisely had the money 'by' anyway in case they came back. He's so human, just like us. In respect of assessment, it would have been very hard to assess accurately then as now, because there were lots of gratuities, gifts, kick-backs, dare I say it; altogether not much different than today.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Glyn, the Comptroller (colleague on the Navy Board) whom Pepys knocked up in the early bright -- surely by arrangement -- was the Col. Slingsby, whom he did meet up with later in the morning. Pepys isn't really such a dork or buffoon after all !

Bill  •  Link

"I went and walked all alone twenty turns in Cornhill, from Gracious Street corner to the Stockes and back again"

"Near the Conduit, on Cornhill, was a strong prison, made of timber, called a cage, with a pair of stockes set upon it, and this was for night-walkers."— Maitland's Hist. of London, vol. ii., p. 903.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Bill  •  Link

"it is expected that the Duke will marry the Lord Chancellor’s daughter at last"

Sam also speculated about this possibility on October 7 (when we heard My Lord saying that marrying a woman one had made pregnant was like sh*tting in your hat and then putting it on your head!). But in fact we read there that the two were actually married on September 3. The word must not have gotten out yet three months later.

Bill  •  Link

"demanding money for pollmoney"

On September 9 Sam learned his regiment would be disbanded. On November 17 he learned "the Regiment is now disbanded, and that there is some money coming to me for it."

Today he paid the tax that made the disbanding of most of the army possible.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Tax avoidance. My advice is don't. I don't know how it works in other countries but in Canada citizens are responsible for all taxes owed. This is whether or not the tax man is in error. So, if they fail to collect or you are unaware that further taxes are owing matters not one bit. Once the error is noticed, you will owe all back taxes PLUS interest compounding. RevCan interest rates are entirely usurious. The worse beyond this is once flagged, they never forget you. Got a down in the office with nothing to do? Let's do you will be their motto.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.