Saturday 29 December 1660

Within all the morning. Several people to speak with me; Mr. Shepley for 100l.; Mr. Kennard and Warren, the merchant, about deals for my Lord. Captain Robert Blake lately come from the Straights about some Florence Wine for my Lord, and with him I went to Sir W. Pen, who offering me a barrel of oysters I took them both home to my house (having by chance a good piece of roast beef at the fire for dinner), and there they dined with me, and sat talking all the afternoon-good company. Thence to Alderman Backwell’s and took a brave state-plate and cupp in lieu of the candlesticks that I had the other day and carried them by coach to my Lord’s and left them there. And so back to my father’s and saw my mother, and so to my uncle Fenner’s, whither my father came to me, and there we talked and drank, and so away; I home with my father, he telling me what bad wives both my cozen Joyces make to their husbands, which I much wondered at. After talking of my sister’s coming to me next week, I went home and to bed.

23 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

I'm tad confused, whose present was it to be:"me lauds" or bossman Mr. Coventry
today exchange? better /cheaper or?
picks up 'sticks , the ones he had left at Shepley's
26th 'sticks had not been finished.
Is he being careful or is a cup and plate a better deal.

Mary  •  Link

"Warren the merchant, about deals for my lord"

According to L&M footnote, this refers to wood needed for alterations to Sandwich's place at Hinchinbrooke. (Plans for alterations at Hinchinbrooke were mentioned in the entry for Dec. 9th).

William Warren (later Sir William)was a timber merchant based at Wapping and Rotherhithe; he was to have a long, working association with Pepys.

Mary  •  Link

Candlesticks vs plate.

Perhaps we have to wait awhile to discover the final plan for these items. I was going to suggest that they might be intended as a New Year gift for whoever is eventually to get them, but that won't work in the immediate future, as the year will not turn for Pepys and his contemporaries until March.

Mary  •  Link

Second thoughts on plate.

We may, of course, discover that these are to be Twelfth Night gifts; although Twelfth Night has ceased to be an important date in the modern English calendar (except insofar as one is supposed to get all the Christmas decorations down on that day), it was a day of special festivity in earlier times and still is so in a number of countries (Spain and France, for two).

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

This business of taking the decorations down on Twelfth Night still lingers in England, but seems to have disappeared from America. Here they seem to have the decorations down before New Year a lot of the time.

Ed LeZotte  •  Link

That's because more and more people (not us) start putting them up right after Thanksgiving! By the way, this is the first day I have been able to bring up this site since just before Christmas and all the geat publicity. Have you/we had a a record number of hits or was it just my funky machine?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"what bad wives both my cozens Joyces make..." I wonder what virtues were they lacking...!?

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Charles II dissolves "Convention Parliament" today.

A new Parliament is to be elected in May 1661. Not all the work of dismantling the acts of Parliament and institutions set up during the Interregunum has been done yet, so that task is left to the next Parliament.

tc  •  Link

...good company...

Who wouldn't like to spend an afternoon with Sam, Capt. Blake, and Sir W. Pen, shooting the breeze after a good meal of roast beast on a cold London afternoon...pour me another, Sam, and pass an oyster...

(and thank you thank you whatever computer gods there be, and Phil of course, that once again The Diary is coming in loud and clear...its recent inaccessibility was a terrific burden. Almost worse was later being able to access the daily entries, but not the annotations...!)

Glyn  •  Link

Captain Robert Blake lately come from the Straights

I think that tc is correct in saying that Captain Blake is a good friend of Sam's as well as being a colleague: they sailed together back in April and he's one of Montague's team.

But if the "Straights" are the Straits of Gibraltar, does this mean that Blake has just returned from Morocco and Tangier? He was appointed to lead a squadron of merchant ships down there back in April (see entries for April 15 and 30) but surely that wouldn't have taken eight months unless he was stationed there? Or do we think that he has been there and back several times since then?

In either case, I imagine he and his crews are glad to be able to spend Christmas away from the perils of the winter storms of the Atlantic.

vincent  •  Link

A guess! was that he was after those dreaded Turks {Pirates} {not the pirates of Penzance] for taking of Cornish men [and lasses] to help out with the sailing the ships of the Med. [An aside Pirates still exist today especially in the Malacca straights off Malaysia]. Trips to sea usually lasted months even a year or so. 'Tis why Coaling and refreshment Stations were set all around the Africa and other Islands from London to Java. This could have been a scouting tour to find suitable areas to set up revitualling posts and farms to grow and stock for the Jack Tars and their leaders. See the Levant Co.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

This will not help some of you much, but I (here in Holland) did not have any problems receiving Phil's (Sam's) daily entries.
As for the lengths of sea voyages: sometimes ships had to wait for weeks in a harbour for a favourable wind.
War ships were often detained too by local commanders, to patrol certain stretches of "enemy coast" (Algerean pirates indeed)

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

See the House of Lord's link (above). Parliament is dissolved after a Speech by the H.C. Speaker introduces to the King 6 Money Bills; 11 other Bills passed, 16 Private Bills, followed by the King's Speech and the Lord Chancellor's Speech.…

Edith Lank  •  Link

No problem receiving here in upstate New York.

Mary K  •  Link

"a good piece of roast beef at the fire"

It sounds as if this is being spit- or Jack-roasted in front of the fire, rather than being cooked in Elizabeth's earlier mentioned oven.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re "Warren the merchant, about deals for my lord"

‘deal, n.3 Etym: Introduced from Low German c1400 . .
1. a. A slice sawn from a log of timber (now always of fir or pine), and usually understood to be more than seven inches wide, and not more than three thick; a plank or board of pine or fir-wood. In the timber trade, in Great Britain, a deal is understood to be 9 inches wide, not more than 3 inches thick, and at least 6 feet long. If shorter, it is a deal-end; if not more than 7 inches wide, it is a batten . . The word was introduced with the importation of sawn boards from some Low German district, and, as these consisted usually of fir or pine, the word was from the first associated with these kinds of wood.
. . a1642 H. Best Farming & Memorandum Bks. (1984) 116 Robert Bonwicke of Wansworth..demaunded for everie deale a pennie for bringinge them from Hull to Parson pooles, alledginge that every deale weighed 3 stone.
. . 1820 W. Scoresby Acct. Arctic Regions I. 141 These huts, some constructed of logs, others of deals two inches in thickness.’ [OED]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"vincent on 30 Dec 2003
I'm tad confused, whose present was it to be:"me lauds" or bossman Mr. Coventry
today exchange? better /cheaper or?"

This upward "gifting" had certain customs: to "receive" is ungenerous.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Florence had an interesting tradition about wine consumed in their city. If you go there today you will see some places where the tradition is being brought back. The story:

Many wealthy Florentines had homes inside the city walls as well as vineyards in the nearby countryside. In 1559, Cosimo I de’ Medici made it legal for Florentine families, which of course included his own, to sell wine directly from their palaces, instead of through taverns and innkeepers or middlemen. By selling wine directly from their homes, families could avoid taxes.

Small wine windows were installed in many wealthy homes, and became so popular that, by the early 19th century, nearly every moneyed family had installed one in their palace.

The process of buying wine from a “buchetta del vino” was easy. Anyone could use the wooden or metal knocker to rap on a wine window during its open hours. A trusted, well-paid servant, called a cantiniere and trained in properly preserving wine, stood on the other side. The cantiniere would open the little door, take the customer’s empty flask and payment, refill the bottle from the cantina (wine cellar), and return it to the customer on the street.

The wine door is usually about one foot tall and eight inches wide — large enough for a flask of wine to pass through, but too small for a person, and they were decorated to represent the family. Maybe the customers couldn't read? -- there were no street addresses? -- whatever the reason, the renovated doors are lovely to look at.…

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

Recapping the saga of the candlesticks and plate, so far:
-- On December 24, Sam hears from Commissioner Pett that Pett presented a couple of silver plated flagons to Mr. Coventry, but Coventry "did not receive them" — turned them down. Sam, wishing also to remain in Coventry's good graces, decides to offer a similar gift (perhaps in hopes of having it turned down, as well), and bespeaks a pair of candlesticks at Alderman Blackwell's, a gold and silversmith.
-- On December 26, he calls at Blackwell's, but the candlesticks are not yet ready.
-- On the 27th, he stops by again, picks them up, and rides with Blackwell in a coach to Sandwich's place. (Blackwell was likely heading over there himself for other business.) Sam gives the sticks to Mr. Shepley, a servant of Sandwich's, perhaps so that Sandwich can get them to Coventry on Sam's behalf, or maybe so Sandwich can advise whether they are appropriate.
-- Today, he heads back to Blackwell's and exchanges the candlesticks for "a brave state-plate and cupp", and carries those to Sandwich's. Clearly something has been left out of the story, but maybe either Sandwich advised Sam to get the plate and cup instead, or word came back from Coventry that he had plenty of candlesticks.
-- Stay tuned, we should hear how the story ends.

Bill  •  Link

"and took a brave state-plate and cupp"

3. Magnificent; grand.
---Samuel Johnson, Dictionary, 1755

BRAVE. Courageous, Gallant, Excellent, Skilful
---Bailey, An Universal Etymological English Dictionary, 1721

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A busy day at the House of Commons.
Curious that Adm. Penn chose not to be there.

Tonyel  •  Link

Thank you Martin for the recap on the gifts. I imagine there was a ritual dance on receiving or declining gifts depending on how high you were on the social scale and how useful the donor might be to you.
At Sam's present level any gifts are cheerfully accepted but later (spoiler alert!) he becomes more fussy about being under any implied obligation to certain donors. Some of our present political masters could learn lessons from him.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

“The red Florence wine is most commended for a table wine of any in Italy; and doubtless it is most wholesome, and, to them who are used to it, also most gustful and pleasant. It is of a deeper colour than ordinary claret, which is caused by letting it stand longer upon the husks or vinacea before it be pressed. For it is the skin only which gives the tincture, the interior pulp of the grape being white.” -- Travels Through the Low Countries. J. Ray, 1738.

Log in to post an annotation.

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