Tuesday 18 December 1660

All day at home, without stirring at all, looking after my workmen.

29 Annotations

First Reading

cindy b  •  Link

This must drive him crazy!
I've seen some workmen who worked for licensed and bonded contractors that I wouldn't leave alone in my home! Sam must have to watch these guys like a hawk to get the work done properly and to keep them from walking off with the silver. Not being able to work, hang out with this friends, or even read must be very annoying to him.

Glyn  •  Link

All day at home
Without stirring at all
Looking after my workmen

This is almost a "haiku". The more time he has, the less he writes. Why is that?

vincent  •  Link

He writes wot he see's; No make up or fiction for him [it could be that he has a cold or it is cacacold out side and not letting on].

chris  •  Link

"Looking after" his workmen. Shouldn't we rather see Sam as a sort of proto-snag (sensitive, new-age etc.) domestic employer? He has no time for dear diary today, as he is running about with cups of tea, mugs of ale and comforting chit-chat. Sam as SERB: sensitive, early restoration bureaucrat.

Charlezzzzz  •  Link


Morning to midnight
Pepys, stone-eyed, blinkless, stirs on
his workmen. Then slepys.

Pauline  •  Link

All day at home, without stirring at all, looking after my workmen.

I think Sam has let Phil down a bit here. P brings home the award, publicity, new readers; S drops one ho-hum line.

dirk  •  Link

Could this be the shortest diary entry so far? Sam is obviously not in the mood for writing.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Over at the Privy Seal Office today

If Pepys went to the Privy Seal office this day, perhaps he would have handled this matter for one James Barry, whose rise to baron received the Privy Seal of approval this day. It appears Barry took over for Sir Richard Pepys, a cousin of Samuel's father, as Lord Chief Justice of Ireland (unless I'm interpreting something wrong on this web page).

On 30 November 1659 Charles II appointed Sir James Barry of Dublin, Ireland, Chief Justice of the King's Bench (for Ireland?), and the King [Charles II.], "'taking into his Princely consideration the many good and acceptable services performed by his trusty and well-beloved subject, Sir James Barry, Knt., to his late royal father, and his constant and eminent loyalty to himself, thought fit to bestow upon him a lasting mark of his favour, and such as might be transmitted to posterity;' and therefore by Privy Seal, dated at Whitehall 18 December 1660, and by Patent, dated 8 February 1661, creating him "Baron Barry" of Santry, in the Co. Dublin."

Barry later presided over the 1663 treason trial of Captain Thomas Blood, who escaped to England before sentence could be imposed. Barry's statements on delivering his sentence are reproduced on the web page linked to below. Blood was the ringleader of a group, the other members of which were executed, that tried to take over Doublin Castle. "Blood (1618-1680) was an Irish adventurer who also attempted to assassinate the Duke of Ormonde in 1670 - and the following year almost succeeded in stealing the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London."

-- SOURCES: L&M Companion volume & this web page:

Pauline  •  Link

Over at the Privy Seal Office
Does anyone have an understanding of this? There was the idea that the officers of the Privy Seal worked every other month, and it appeared that Sam worked August. This month he talks of the pardons and not so much money to be made. Is he just not going in because of that? Am I wrong in assuming that this is his month on duty?

Meanwhile at the Navy Office, the sinking of The Assurance seems to have distracted the office and left Sam with little to do. Or maybe having got the figures together for Parliament leaves him free for a few days?

Montagu/Sandwich is out of town -- to his estate in Huntingdon -- and Sam seems to have plenty of time to just hang out at home.

Then there is the short absence of Elizabeth: before Sam wrote short entries for a few days upon being reunited with her.

It's almost as if Sam is in a very modern end-of-year and Christmas holiday down time.

PHE  •  Link

Or is this just a censored version of a more interesting day?
Does the full version of the diary say any more?
Ironic that such a short entry should have generated so much comment so early in the day.

helena murphy  •  Link

I think it would be more accurate to describe Captain Blood as an English adventurer in Ireland and evidently up to no good!The Barry family,in Irish known as De Barra ,came to Ireland in the twelfth century in the course of the Norman invasion.They settled in Munster and held lands in East Cork,intermarrying in time with the MacCarthys.Descendants of this family lived up to quite recently on the Smith-Barry estate, The family motto "boutez en avant"is still visible on the gate as a testiment to their Norman French origin.Though never a grand Anglo-Norman family on the scale of the Butlers and Fitzgeralds ,it seems from the career of Sir James that he was a man of outstanding royalist sympathy and loyalty throughout those turbulent times starting from the 1640's, attributes which the king now honours when so many of the nobility showed themselves to be fickle and constantly changed sides to preserve their lands and status.

Barbara  •  Link

I think Pepys stayed at home irritating his workmen, by pointing out to them the tiny bit they had missed, changing his mind, etc., and enjoying himself very much in the process. I assume the Navy Office will pick up the tab for this work (after all, they own the building). It would be interesting to know what improvements the other Officers have been making to their own quarters in Seething Lane.

Ruben  •  Link

the motto of every scientist in the modern world is: "publish or perish".
Same for 1660.
There were always interesting persons having interesting lifes. They did not bother to put them on paper.
Only a few, like SP, commited their lifes to paper, so today, voyeuristically we can enjoy ourself and learn something of other times. In my case other places too.

Mary  •  Link

PHE; this is the full entry for the day.

Nigel Pond  •  Link

I am amazed that such a short entry has generated 14, now 15, annotations!

Al Pinkham  •  Link

The Diary is only the catalyst of the group. The learning and interaction is the synergy that makes this site so enjoyable and powerful. But I do wish Sam would leave his workman to their task and go about documenting the salvage of the ship.

vincent  •  Link

From Essex: Rev Joccelyn we get the following :Monday 15 December 1660)document 70012825
15. A wintery day indeed, a rime frost, then sniuzling cold thawing, afterwards a windy rain cold, then blustering high winds
20.12.1660 (Saturday 20 December 1660)document 70012835
20: very wintery cold, wet weather. I threshed some barley, it was no bad crop for which I bless god, that gives any indifferent increase.
I think this day he was at a loss: the weather was that nice delightful [a hot toddy sort of day]dreary English cold/wet that seeps into the bones and being at home at least he has an excuse, rather than face going for his daily dose of wetting his whistle.

Bullus Hutton  •  Link

dirk, nigel: short entry indeed....!
And it just would be the day that the Guardian awards Phil the Blog of the Year, and I and tons of readers follow the link from their website to this atypically brief Dec 18 entry!
It's like extolling the literary beauty of the bible and then quoting John 11:35 as a typical verse!

David Quidnunc  •  Link

The Assurance

Al Pinkham, the last mention of the Assurance was yesterday, according to the L&M Index volume. Pepys never mentions the ship again.

Second Reading

Louise  •  Link

More likely Pepys was overlooking rather than overseeing the workmen. Oh, well, everyone needs a day off once in a while. He probably felt guilty about it and felt he had to appear busy.

Weavethe hawk  •  Link

Never was so much written by so many about so few lines!

joe fulm  •  Link

or even so much by so many about ONE line

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED offers:

‘to look after ——
1. To follow with the eye; to look in the direction of (a person departing); fig. to think regretfully of (something past). †Also, to observe the course of (a person).
2. To search for. Obs.
3. To anticipate with desire or fear; to look forward to. Obs.
4. To seek for, demand (qualities).
5. To busy oneself about, concern oneself with; to give consideration to, consider.

6. To attend to; to take care of; to ‘see to’ the safety or well-being of.
. . a1699 A. Halkett Autobiogr. (1875) 73 Goe to Edinburgh to looke affter my concerne . .

7. To keep watch upon. ? rare.
. . 1672 C. Manners in 12th Rep. Royal Comm. Hist. MSS (1890) App. v. 25 Our Navy puts out again to sea..and wee shall then looke after the Holland Indian fleete . . ‘

Sense 7 is meant here, I think.

James Wood  •  Link

I read 'without stirring at all' in the sense of staying indoors (to keep an eye on the workmen), not stirring outside the house at all. Am I alone in this?

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Here's something that happened on this day worthy of 24 annotations:

L&M: Company of Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa was finally incorporated on 18 December, 1660; it consisted of the Duke of York and 31 others. Pembroke was the chairman and Sandwich became a member.


CHAPTER II The Royal Adventurers in England

On account of the collapse of the royalist cause at the death of King Charles, Prince Rupert, with his small fleet of royal vessels, was driven about from one part of the world to another.

In 1652 Prince Rupert sought refuge in the Gambia River,1 where he listened to stories told by natives of rich gold mines in that region.
1 At one time Prince Rupert had been governor of the African Company founded in 1631. Jenkinson, Hilary, “The Records of the English African Companies." Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Third Series, VI, 195.

For a number of years the Negroes had brought gold from the inland of Africa to the Dutch on the Gold Coast. There seemed every reason to believe that the source of this gold supply was none other than that described by the natives of the Gambia River, and that it might be discovered somewhere in that region. Prince Rupert was so impressed with the possibility of finding these mines that his voyage to Guinea was still vivid in his memory when Charles II assumed the throne in 1660.

In James, Duke of York and other royal courtiers Prince Rupert found a group of willing listeners who determined to form a company for the purpose of sending an expedition to the Gambia to dig for gold.

As early as October 3, 1660, the plans were formulated. Each member was required to invest at least £250 in the undertaking.

On December 18, 1660, Charles II, who was pleased with the adventurers for having 'undertaken so hopeful an enterprise," granted them a charter 3 under the name of “The Company of the Royal Adventurers into Africa.''
3 That some expense attached to the procuring of such charters appears from an item of £133.10s.3d. which the company incurred for this charter.

By this charter The Company of the Royal Adventurers into Africa received the land and the adjacent islands on the west coast of Africa from Cape Blanco to the Cape of Good Hope, for a period of 1,000 years beginning with “the making of these our Letters Patents if the . . . grant (made to Crispe's company in 1631) be void and determined.''
If the former charter was still regarded as in force, the grant to the Royal Adventurers was to be effective upon the surrender or the expiration of the former company's privileges.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


A committee of 6 men, Philip Herbert, 5th Earl of Pembroke, 2nd Earl of Montgomery; William, Baron Craven of Hampstead Marshall; Sir George Carteret; William Coventry; Sir Ellis Leighton and Cornelius Vermuyden, was named to have charge of The Company of the Royal Adventurers into Africa's affairs. No mention was made of the office of governor or of any court of directors. Apparently, it was thought that the committee of 6 could direct all of the company's affairs.

FROM The Royal Adventurers in England
by George Frederick Zook
Publication date 1919-04-01
Topics genealogy
Publisher The Journal of Negro History


So this is what Prince Rupert has been up to since he arrived recently on holiday.

Although Sandwich reportedly puts money into this "opportunity" despite his misgivings, he must have been fairly uninvolved as Pepys never mentions the organization until it is renamed and reorganized in 1663.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"There was the idea that the officers of the Privy Seal worked every other month, and it appeared that Sam worked August. This month he talks of the pardons and not so much money to be made. Is he just not going in because of that? Am I wrong in assuming that this is his month on duty?"

No -- Pepys or his assignee had to attend the Privy Seal office once a quarter, not every other month.
My guess is that if money was involved, Pepys would be there. But Mr. Moore can handle the pardons as Sandwich is out of town and he's got little else to do. On the 15th something important was worthy of Pepys' attention, so Moore brought it to him. https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/…
"Is he just not going in because of that?" -- I think we should believe Pepys when there is no evidence to the contrary. He says he's supervising his workmen. Pepys appreciates craftsmen. He's probably learning about carpentry and the associated jargon, all the better to communicate with the men in the yards when the time comes.

The Navy Board only requires 2 Commissioners be in attendance for a sitting. Now the Sir Wills are back, the pressure on Slingsby and Pepys to hold the fort has ended. If they need him, they will send a boy over to get him.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Barry, James (1603–73), 1st Baron Barry of Santry, lawyer and judge, has an entry in the Dictionary of Irish Biography.

[Judge James] Barry took a significant part in the events surrounding the fall of the republic and restoration of monarchy in 1659–60.
He was named to chair a committee of safety set up after the Dublin coup of December 1659 directed against the military regime which had taken power in London.

Elected to the 1660 Irish convention for Co. Dublin, he was chosen chairman of that body. As such he made clear his opposition to Presbyterian efforts to endorse the Solemn League and Covenant, ensuring the defeat of that measure.

In May–June 1660 he acted as one of the convention's commissioners to the newly restored Charles II.

He was appointed Chief Justice of King's Bench on 17 November, 1660 (patent 8 February, 1661), and was made an Irish privy councilor and commissioner for the implementation of the 30 November 1660 declaration on the land settlement (19 February 1661).

He was created Baron Barry of Santry on 18 February, 1661 and took his seat in the lords on 8 May, 1661 but was not chosen speaker, ‘besides his disability of body . . . he being at best but a cold friend to the declaration’ (A collection of the state letters of . . . Orrery (1742), 17).

He continued to act upon matters relating to the land settlement and to the issue of ecclesiastical property and as an assize judge.
He was a leading figure in the prosecution of those involved in the 1663 plot of Thomas Blood (qv).

He was considered as a possible successor to Sir Maurice Eustace (qv) as lord chancellor, and again for the post when Eustace's successor, Archbishop Michael Boyle (qv), fell ill in 1666.

Ormonde proved supportive, insisting that ‘although Santry was indolent and wilful, it was of less consequence as he was generally in the right’ (Ball, i, 280), although Lord Chancellor Clarendon was ultimately less impressed by his qualities.

Chief Justice Sir James Barry died 9 February 1673 and was buried in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin. A portrait is held by the King's Inns.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3318/dib.00043…
Originally published October 2009 as part of the Dictionary of Irish Biography
Last revised October 2009

3Lamps  •  Link

Twenty years after this blog, and Phil, won The Guardian's Best Specialist British Blog award for 2003, there is still an active link to the article discussing the award:


Here is an extract of the relevant section of the above article (in case in the future the link dies): 'In the best specialist category we saw evidence of the increasing number of top quality niche weblogs. Annie Mole's London Underground Tube Diary won respect for its humour and detail. But the prize went to Phil Gyford's remarkable Pepys' Diary. The project started on January 1 this year: Gyford will put a new entry of the 17th-century London-based diarist's work on the web every day for the next 10 years. As one of our judges said: "The audience is entranced: just look at the number of 'annotations' each entry receives."'

Twenty years later, on its third reading, this online version of the diary is still finding new and excited readers (myself included). And I love that the volume of annotations - and annotators - has increased over the years. These annotations are now as much a part of history as the diary itself.

Thank you Phil for putting in the effort to make this website, and a very delayed congratulations on your well-earned award.

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