Wednesday 19 December 1660

At noon I went and dined with my Lady at Whitehall, and so back again to the office, and after that home to my workmen. This night Mr. Gauden sent me a great chine of beef and half a dozen of tongues.

14 Annotations

First Reading

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

I suppose this glut of meat would be because so many cattle were slaughtered at this time of year.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

One wonders why men such as Sir Denis Gauden continued to 'whet the palms' of Pepys and others in positions of authority, when for their trouble they received virtually nothing for supplying the fleet? Why on earth did they do it? Pride or simply hoping all would be well? Gauden and many like him became paupers simply because they trusted the State would, sooner or later, pay its debts.

Mary  •  Link

Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Gauden was not appointed sole victualler to the navy until this year, 1660. He may well, therefore, have every hope this Christmas that the contract is going to be valuable to him and so feel it well worth while to be generous with his Yule-tide gifts to Navy Office officials like Pepys. He cannot know that the government is going to fail to honour its debts to him for years to come.

Lawrence  •  Link

The Government will financially ruin this Man in time, and our Sam will live with Will Hewer in Mr Gauden's old House at clapham. Which is where Sam will spend His closing Years sorting His Library out with His Nephew John Jackson. The Library is kept at Magdalene College Cambridge. Well worth the visit.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

This night Mr. Gauden sent me a great chine of beef and half a dozen of tongues.

Do we know enough of Pepys's house and 17th century housekeeping to know or guess where he would have stored such a quantity of beef and tongues, and how long they would keep, or how they would be cooked, and by whom in his household?

Mary  •  Link

Beef and tongues

The meat may not need to be kept all that long, as Christmas is coming. The tongues can be boiled, cooled and pressed and the beef will hang nicely until required.

Nigel Pond  •  Link

Beef etc

I suspect that in Pepys time people were used to their meat being a little "gamey"...

Second Reading

Louise  •  Link

It was the middle od December. Cold enough to keep meat cool enough to last a few days, or a week if it was cooked. It is 39 degrees in Essex today, December 19, 2013. The temperature was probably similar in 1660. (Josselin did say it was "very wintery cold, wet weather). Meat would keep as well and as long as it would in a refrigerator today.

Bob Waring  •  Link

Warm weather in Essex for December! Its only 7 degrees today here in Liverpool. I know first Fahrenheit and then Celcius measures of temperature weren't developed until the 18th century, but as Pepys was British and we have been employing Celsius/centigrade for a number of decades here I'd find degree C preferable to degree F (or at least clarity about the scale being used).

joe fulm  •  Link

SP seems to have gone into mini hibernation regards writing up the diary. Cold fingers maybe. And no actual mention of Christmas.

Louise  •  Link

It was 39 degrees Fahrenheit in Essex on December 19. I'm American, what do I know about Celsius? ;)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Actually, high school physics where we learned in C water freezes at 0° (very rational) gives a fair estimate,.

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