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.

23 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.

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