Wednesday 12 December 1660

Troubled with the absence of my wife. This morning I went (after the Comptroller and I had sat an hour at the office) to Whitehall to dine with my Lady, and after dinner to the Privy Seal and sealed abundance of pardons and little else. From thence to the Exchequer and did give my mother Bowyer a visit and her daughters, the first time that I have seen them since I went last to sea. From thence up with J. Spicer to his office and took 100l., and by coach with it as far as my father’s, where I called to see them, and my father did offer me six pieces of gold, in lieu of six pounds that he borrowed of me the other day, but it went against me to take it of him and therefore did not, though I was afterwards a little troubled that I did not.

Thence home, and took out this 100l. and sealed it up with the other last night, it being the first 200l. that ever I saw together of my own in my life. For which God be praised.

So to my Lady Batten, and sat an hour or two, and talked with her daughter and people in the absence of her father and mother and my wife to pass away the time. After that home and to bed, reading myself asleep, while the wench sat mending my breeches by my bedside.

31 Annotations

First Reading

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

'my father did offer me six pieces of gold, in lieu of six pounds that he borrowed of me the other day, but it went against me to take it of him and therefore did not,'

So what would the difference be between the six pieces of gold Sam's father is offering him and six pounds?

Glyn  •  Link

Yes, that's a very good point: which is bigger: six gold pieces or six pounds? The difference would be important in understanding his actions.

This is another example of Pepys' total honesty in writing the diary entries, even if they don't show him in the best possible light.

Nix  •  Link

Could the gold pieces have been guineas (21 shillings) instead of the 20-shilling pounds?

Or perhaps Samuel had mixed feelings about his father treating him as a creditor -- hence "it went against me to take it of him", but later having second thoughts?

David Quidnunc  •  Link

In theatre news today ...

On 12 December 1660, William Davenant received exclusive rights to perform in England nine of Shakespeare's plays: The Tempest, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, King Lear and Henry VIII, as well as Davenant's own works.…

More late-breaking developments on Davenant’s page:…

vincent  •  Link

Poor wench To-night, his tights; last night was the dirty clothing, Oh! well womens work never done.

vincent  •  Link

Gold value of £2 10s 3(3/4)d per ounce so weight or coin name needs to known;

Charlezzzzz  •  Link

Today, William Davenant received exclusive rights to perform in England nine of Shakespeare's plays…

Davenant claimed to be Shakespeare’s illegitimate son. But his portrait is about as far from Shakespeare as it’s possible to be. He even seems to have had a pug nose, until syphilis carried it away.

Mary  •  Link

"mending my breeches at my bedside"

An interesting sidelight on the position of the servant in this class of household; a servant, undoubtedly, but also a familiar and part of the family in the wider sense.

In this instance, of course, saving on candles as well as being companionable.

Gar Foyer  •  Link

This marks the second day Sam has sealed up a 100 pound cash stash...I recall from the floods in Sam's home in Axe yard that he had a hiding place in a and where is he 'sealing' money to 'lie by'?

Any leads or theories...there is a strongbox in his office suite but given the source(s) of his funds, he must secret his gains away from prying eyes, thieving servants (stealing 100 pounds would be a hanging offence but he might have trouble laying charges should uncomfortable Q's be asked by authorities) and colleagues.

Also, methinks Sam would also hide his loot from his indiscrete and tempestuously tempered wife, whom he keeps on a pretty short leash when it comes to spending money.

Pauline  •  Link

"how and where is he 'sealing' money to 'lie by'?”

Maybe he is just making a packet of it and sealing it with sealing wax and putting it in his desk. I too think this has to do with the December 11 entry: “From thence Mr. Moore and I into London…and discoursed of ways how to put out a little money to the best advantage, and at present he has persuaded me to put out 250l. for 50l. per annum for eight years, and I think I shall do it. Thence home…and there did make up an even 100l., and sealed it to lie by.”

But as for “prying eyes, thieving servants…[and] uncomfortable Q's…asked by authorities and colleagues….[And hiding] his loot from his indiscrete [sic] and tempestuously tempered wife, whom he keeps on a pretty short leash when it comes to spending money….” I disagree. I don’t see Sam as devious, his servants as dishonest, or his wife as indiscreet.

vincent  •  Link

a sack of 100L of coin [ would be 30-40 oz. of gold/silver or under 3lbs avoir du pois in a small pouch] Even today one likes to keep monies neatly package, easy for counting. I am in agreement with P. just good housekeeping.

vincent  •  Link

sack of coin in gold most likey consist of the following:
Gold: pieces Unite= 20 Shillings:[1L] Angel=10 Shillings ; Double Crown =10 Shillings: Crown =5 Shillings[1/4L]
He usually changed other [ferign] coins at his favo(u)rite Banker for good old English coin of the Realm.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

It is striking that Sam is only praising God whenever his accumulation of money comes up...

Gar Foyer  •  Link

sealing it up...

I agree that the money is being set aside for a likely investment in Moore's proposed scheme and that sealing probably refers to packaging up a 100 pound lot.

But do note that to date Sam has always acted quite secretively and in private when counting his fortune; also, there was a recent robbery at the rooms next door--over which Sam and his household expressed alarm.

So I think it more than likely and wise if Sam were to secret his loot in a preferred hiding place rather than a locked desk drawer: aside from 'the wench' Sam did not trust his servants one bit--as we have seen and no doubt shall do so again.

His stinginess with Elizabeth and prefessed guilt over his behaviour lead me to conclude Sam would not leave much coinage lying about.

vincent  •  Link

how soon we forget refs:
[28th aug]"...To bed, a little troubled that I fear my boy Will is a thief and has stole some money of mine, particularly a letter that Mr. Jenkins did leave the last week with me with half a crown in it to send to his son..."
"...24th.[oct 1660] I lay and slept long to-day. Office day. I took occasion to be angry with my wife before I rose about her putting up of half a crown of mine in a paper box, which she had forgot where she had lain it. But we were friends again as we are always..."

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"my father did offer me six pieces of gold"

By the proclamation of January 27th, 1660-61, a double ducat was valued at 18s. and a golden rider at £1 2s. 6d.
---Wheatley, 1894

ciudadmarron  •  Link

"Troubled with the absence of my wife."

Where's the mrs? It seems that this sentence, at the beginning of his entry, is his most pressing thought at the time of writing. She's not present at Lady Batten's (as seemingly expected), and it appears only the wench is present at home later in the evening.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Mrs P was ‘dancing attendance’ on Lady S, who was no doubt still relishing her still quite recent elevation to the aristocracy:

‘ . . 5. to dance attendance : to wait (upon a person) with assiduous attention and ready obsequiousness; orig. to stand waiting or ‘kicking one's heels’ in an antechamber . .
a1529 J. Skelton Why come ye nat to Courte (?1545) 626 And Syr ye must daunce attendance, And take patient sufferaunce, For my Lords Grace, Hath now no time or space, To speke with you as yet.
1623 Shakespeare & J. Fletcher Henry VIII v. ii. 30 To suffer A man of Place..To dance attendance on their Lordships pleasures, And at the dore too, like a Post with Packets.
a1674 T. Traherne Christian Ethicks (1675) 380 Few have observed that the Sun, and Moon, and Stars dance attendance to it [sc. the earth], and cherish it with their Influences . . ‘ [OED]

meech  •  Link

"Troubled with the absence of my wife."

Now I'm really confused. It was my understanding that Samuel took his wife and Lady Batten to see the wreck of the Assurance. And that due to her fear Lady Batten stayed behind and kept Elizabeth with her when Samuel returned to London. Therefore I was confused when today he goes to visit Lady Batten who has obviously returned, yet Elizabeth is still missing. So I have two questions: Where is Elizabeth and when did Lady Sandwich get involved in this?

meech  •  Link

Never mind! I just re-read the passage. It was her children Pepys visited, so Lady Batten must still be in Woolwich with Elizabeth waiting for the weather to clear. Though still wondering what Lady Sandwich has to do with any of it.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my father did offer me six pieces of gold, in lieu of six pounds that he borrowed of me the other day, but it went against me to take it of him and therefore did not"

L&M: His father had presumably borrowed silver coins, which were now declining in value in comparison with gold.

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

Note "to pass away the time" in the passage about visiting the Batten household. And then the "wench" keeping him company as each is passing the time in their own way, reading and mending. Sam is genuinely lonely ("troubled with the absence of my wife"); he often passes time at home in conversation with Elizabeth, but she's off gallivanting, and there's no TV or internet to fill the gap.

Scube  •  Link

Any insight on all these pardons Sam is providing? I assume that the pardons are for subjects who may have backed Cromwell, but how does the process work, who provides the pardons, what does Sam have to do with it and how much does he make?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Scube, it's so easy to post a flurry of questions like that, and so hard to answer since Pepys hasn't told us much.

During COVID The National Archives opened their records, and we had free access to Charles II's correspondence. Now they are tucked again behind a paywall. No doubt your answer lies there:

Long-term gold subscription to BHO -- Become a long-term member of British History Online. Not only are you saving yourself time and money, you are also helping ensure that British History Online remains a self-sustaining project in the long term.
[And won't disappear like the British Civil War Project, which still has me steamed.]

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Google wasn't any help.
The Act of Oblivion Wiki website talks about the condemned, not the forgiven.…

This is the undated Act of Parliament named 'Charles II, 1660: An Act of Free and Generall Pardon Indempnity and Oblivion.', in Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80, ed. John Raithby (s.l, 1819), pp. 226-234. British History Online…
It is long, and near the end it lists:

"XXXV. The Execution of certain Persons that appeared and rendered themselves suspended.
[But in regard the said Owen Row Augustine Garland Edmond Harvey Henry Smith Henry Martin Sir Hardresse Waller Robert Tichborne George Fleetwood James Temple Thomas Wait Simon Meyne William Heveningham Isaac Penington Peter Temple Robert Lilburne Gilbert Millington Vincent Potter Thomas Wogan and John Downes have personally appeared and rendered themselves (according to the Proclamation bearing Date the sixth day of June one thousand six hundred and sixty to Summon the persons therin named who gave Judgement and assisted in the said horrid and detestable murther of our said late Soveraigne to appeare and render themselves) and doe pretend thereby to some favour upon some conceived doubtfull words in the said Proclamation; Be it Enacted by this present Parliament and [the (fn. 33) ]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Authority of the same (upon the humble desires of the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled) That if the said Owen Row Augustine Garland Edmond Harvey Henry Smith Henry Martin Sir Hardresse Waller Robert Tichborn George Fleetwood James Temple Thomas Wait Simon Main William Heveningham Isaac Penington Peter Temple Robert Lilburn, Gilbert Millington Vincent Potter Thomas Wogan and John Downes or any of them shall be legally attainted for the horrid Treason and Murther aforesaid, that then neverthelesse the Execution of the said person and persons soe attainted shall be suspended untill his Majesty by the advice and assent of the Lords and Commons in Parliament shall order the Execution by Act of Parliament to be passed for that purpose, (fn. 29) ]

XXXVII. Exception of the Lands and Goods of certain deceased Persons.
Provided That noe thing in this Act contained shall extend to discharge the Lands Tenements Goods Chattels Rights Trusts and other the Hereditaments late of the said Oliver Cromwell Henry Ireton John Bradshaw and Thomas Pride, or of Isaac Ewer deceased Sir John Danvers deceased Sir Thomas Maleverer Baronet deceased, William Purefoy deceased John Blakiston deceased, Sir William Constable Baronet deceased Richard Dean deceased Francis Alleyn deceased Peregrine Pelham deceased John Moore deceased John Aldred al[ia]s Alured deceased Humphrey Edwards deceased Sir Gregory Norton Baronet deceased John Venn deceased Thomas Andrewes Alderman deceased Anthony Staply deceased Thomas Horton deceased John Fry deceased Thomas Hamond deceased Sir John Bourchier deceased of and from such paines penaltyes and forfeitures as by one other Act of Parliament intended to be hereafter passed for that purpose shall be expressed and declared,

XXXVIII. Exception of certain Persons as to Penalties not extending to Life.
And alsoe except out of this present Act William Lord Mounson James Challoner Sir Henry Mildmay Sir James Harrington John Phelps and Robert Wallop All which persons did act and sitt in that traiterous Assembly which in the moneth of January one thousand six hundred forty ( (fn. 34) ) eight acted and proceeded against the life of our late Soveraigne King Charles the first of blessed Memory and are therefore reserved to such paines penalties and forfeitures not extending to Life as by another Act intended to be passed for that purpose shall be imposed on them.

XXXIX. The like Exception as to Sir Arthur Hasilrig.
And alsoe except Sir Arthur Hasilrig for and in respect onely of such paines penaltyes and forfeitures not extending to Life as [by (fn. 33) ] one Act intended to be hereafter passed for that purpose shall be inflicted and imposed.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


XL. Certain Persons made incapable of any Offices. Penalty on Francis Lassels of one Year's Rent.
Provided alwayes that John Hutchinson Esquire and Francis Lassels shall be and are hereby made for ever incapable to execute any Place or Office of Trust Civill or Military within this Kingdome, And that the said Francis Lassels shall pay unto our Soveraigne Lord the King one full yeares value of his Estate, Any thing herein before contained to the contrary notwithstanding;

XLI. Exception of Sir Henry Vane and John Lambert.
[Provided alwayes that this Act or any thing therin contained shall not extend to the pardoning or to give any other benefit whatsoever unto Sir Henry Vane John Lambert or either of them, but that they and either of them are and shalbe out of this present Act wholly excepted and foreprized.

XLII. Certain Persons accepting any Office.; Penalty.
Provided that if William Lenthall William Burton Oliver St John, John Ireton Alderman Collonell William Sidenham Collonell John Desbrow John Blackwel of Moreclak Christopher Packe Alderman Richard Keeble Charles Fleetwood John Pyne Richard Deane Major Richard Creed Philip Nye Clerke John Goodwin Clerke, Sir Gilbert Pickering [Colloner (fn. 35) ] Thomas Lister and Collonel Ralph Cobbet shall after the first day of September One thousand six hundred and sixty accept or exercise any Office Ecclesiastical Civil or Military or any other publique imployment within this Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede that then such person or persons as doe soe accept or execute as aforesaid shall to all intents and purposes in Law stand as if he or they had beene totally excepted by name in this Act. (fn. 29) ]

XLIII. Exception of Persons that gave Sentence upon any in the illegal High Courts of Justice Exception.
[Provided likewise That all those who since the fifth of December one thousand six hundred forty eight did give sentence of death upon any person or persons in any of the late Illegall and Tyrannicall High Courts of Justice in England or Wales, or signed the Warrant for Execution of any person there condemned (except Collonel [Richard (fn. 36) ] Ingolsby and Collonel Mathew Thomlinson) shal be and are hereby made incapable of bearing any Office Ecclesiasticall Civill or Military within the Kingdome of England or Dominion of Wales, or [as (fn. 37) ] serving as a Member in any Parliament after the first day of September one thousand six hundred and sixty, (fn. 38) ]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


XLIV. Persons intrusted by Ordinance 1649 concerning Tithes accountable.
Proviso for Ministers and others for whose Benefit the said Ordinance was made.
... [no names mentioned]

XLV. Exception of Bonds in His Majesty's Name before May 1642 for Securities of Receivers.
... [no names mentioned]

XLVI. Exception of Arrears of Excise upon Beer and Ale since 24 June 1659
... [no names mentioned]

XLVII. Exception of Monies due for Quarter since 2d July 1659.
... [no names mentioned]

XLVIII. Proviso for Purchasers bonâfide of Lands, other than of the King or Church, to enjoy their Purchases;
... [no names mentioned[

XLIX. Exception of Sacrilege, &c.
... [no names mentioned]

We also know John Milton was inexplicably dropped from the execution list. Maybe there were more like him? Did he get official pardon? I don't know.

Maybe these are the pardons Pepys is processing now? Maybe not.
How much money did he make? He says not much, but I recall someone found a citation about this about a week ago.
How do they work? Perhaps we will find out in the next year or 2 of entries.

We've all got the Venetian Ambassador's link -- maybe he says something about the pardon recipients? Look it up and please share if he does -- that's still free and out of copyright.

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