Friday 25 January 1660/61

At the office all the morning. Dined at home and Mr. Hater with me, and so I did make even with him for the last quarter. After dinner he and I to look upon the instructions of my Lord Northumberland’s, but we were interrupted by Mr. Salisbury’s coming in, who came to see me and to show me my Lord’s picture in little, of his doing. And truly it is strange to what a perfection he is come in a year’s time. From thence to Paul’s Churchyard about books, and so back again home. This night comes two cages, which I bought this evening for my canary birds, which Captain Rooth this day sent me. So to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Emilio  •  Link

"the instructions of my Lord Northumberland's"

These set out the job descriptions of the officers of the Navy Board, per an L&M footnote. They date from 14 November 1640, and will be replaced next year by the Duke of York's Instructions.

vincent  •  Link

That 'darn' cat has to go, Still mice, needed 2 traps, now another temptation for the cat."..This night comes two cages, which I bought this evening for my canary birds, which Captain Rooth this day sent me...." Any one keeping tabs on the collection of pets ?
At least they are not a meal ticket. Just an audience for the musical interludes.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Does "My lord's portrait in little" mean that it was a miniature? This 'art-form' became especially popular in the 18th century. Tiny portraits painted on ivory or copper etc.

vincent  •  Link

Well observed comment by Wim van der Meij on Mon 26 Jan 2004,
Does "My lord's portrait in little" mean that it was a miniature? It does make sense, Of course the answer could be at Cambridge’s Magdalene Coll:”maudlin” amongst the archieves.

Chauncey  •  Link

"My lord’s portrait in little" - could mean he was posing in his bikini shorts

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

Yes, i think we can be pretty sure what
Mr. Salisbury has is a miniature: a
"picture in little" was the standard term for a miniature.

Is it perhaps a miniature of this
portrait by Lely, which is assumed to
have been done "around 1660"?…

Thus, Mr. Salisbury works as a "limner,"
producing miniature versions of
portraits of the great, which are
purchased by dependents or flatterers
who are (like Pepys) "high enough up the
trough" (to use an American phrase)
to afford them.

Shakespeare uses the phrase "picture in
little" in exactly this way (Hamlet II,
2, 268-272):

"It is not very strange; for mine uncle
is king of Denmark, and those that would
make mows at him while my father lived,
give twenty, forty, fifty, an hundred
ducats a-piece for his picture in
little. 'Sblood, there is something in
this more than natural, if philosophy
could find it out."

Ruben  •  Link

".COOPER, SAMUEL (1609-1672), English miniature painter. This artist was undoubtedly the greatest painter of miniatures who ever lived".Magnificent examples of his work are to be found at Windsor Castle, Belvoir Castle, Montague House, Welbeck Abbey, Ham House, the Rijks Museum at Amsterdam and in the collection of Mr J. Pierpont Morgan. His largest miniature is in the possession of the duke of Richmond and Gordon at Goodwood. (interesting : how big may a miniature be and still be a miniature?) -
. in 1668 he was instructed by Pepys to paint a portrait of Mrs Pepys, for which he charged 30.
From :…

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

Pepys will, next year (2 Jan 1662), hope
to meet Samuel (Peter Oliver Samuel)
Cooper, and will use the phrase "in
little" to describe Cooper's trade:

"I went forth, by appointment, to meet
with Mr. Grant, who promised to meet me
at the Coffee-house to bring me
acquainted with Cooper the great limner
in little. . . ."

Horace Walpole referred to Samuel
Cooper, who was one of the most
celebrated limners/miniaturists
in Europe, as a "Van Dyck in little."

Samuel Cooper, by the way, also
did a miniature portrait of Oliver
Cromwell. "A Connoisseur Examining a Cooper" is a hilarious 1792 caricature by James Gilray, of George
III examining Oliver's picture in little…

with some discussion on this page:…

Carolina  •  Link

Vincent,love your Latin, I never learned it, wished I had.
I also blame you for my lack of sleep in pointing us to all these different sites, alway something interesting to read !
But can I pick you up on something ? Cambridge has Magdalene and Oxford has Magdalen. The Oxford one is pronounced maudlin and, listening to Jeremy Paxman on University Challenge, Cambridge's is pronounced Magdalen - mag-dah-lin.

Grahamt  •  Link

Re: Magdelen
Carolina, There is a good discussion of this at…
In Pepys time it was almost certainly pronounce "maudlin" and is starting to be again.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Birds in Little: 17th Century Canaries

Excerpts from "Canaries, Hybrids and British Birds," edited by John Robson and S.H. Lewer, London 1900, "History of the Canary" (apparently a chapter) by A. Rudolf Galloway (unquoted words below are by Galloway; I changed the order of some paragraphs):

"The Epitome of the Art of Husbandry" London, 1675. By Joseph Blagrove. (P. 106.):

"The first I shall begin withal is the Bird called the Canary Bird, because the original of that Bird came from thence (I hold this to be the best Song Bird) ; but now with industry they breed them very plentifully in Germany, and in Italy also and they have bred some few here in England though as yet not anything to the purpose as they do in other Countries."

At this date in England, Canaries were green, and variegation had evidently not yet appeared, for the author, Joseph Blagrove, who is particularly well informed with regard to singing birds, says (p. 107):

"Many Country-People cannot distinguish a Canary from our common Green Birds, etc."

The above reference would seem to indicate that, in spite of a probable early importation of the Canary into England, little progress had been made in its domestication, and it also lends colour to the legend that the initial varieties (including even the London Fancy) were introduced by immigrant Huguenots.

In Ray's translation (1678) of Willughby's "Ornithology" (1676), the following quotation from a late English writer (probably modified from Blagrove) is given:

"Canary birds of late years have been brought abundantly out of Germany, and are therefore now called German birds, and these German birds in handsomeness and song excel those brought out of the Canaries. . . . They are fed with Canary seed, wherein they take great pleasure ..."…

dirk  •  Link

Canary birds

The life of a Canary was not an easy one... In those days small birds - originally finches, later also Canaries - weren't only kept for their singing. They also served as a sort of primitive alarm system against what we now know as carbon monoxyde poisoning: "foul air". This practice was still common in the 1800s, and even in the early 1900s when Canaries were used to detect mine gases...

A funny "fait divers" in the following (brief) extract:
"Narkover College's ... original mascot was a live canary bird, which acted as a biological indicator of the conditions in the first school-room (a Gothic monstrosity built in 1859). During one rote Scripture lesson, a year later, this feathered beastie keeled over and died. Though, doubtless, from opposite perspectives, both students and staff attributed the canary's demise to a broken spirit, resulting from the monotony of observing pearls being cast before swine (plus ça change?). The school’s first Headmaster … had said bird stuffed: but, the archives do not reveal whether the mascot’s name, Stuffet, was a daily cri de coeur of Narkoverians before or after its visit to the taxidermist.”

dirk  •  Link

"Coal mine canaries"

Apparently I was wrong when I said that canaries remained in use up to the *early* 1900s...

"Dec 30th 1986: Coal mine canaries made redundant"…

carolina  •  Link

Wonderful link!
Only the BBC / British could be so matter of fact - reminds me of the one: Fog in Channel, Continent cut off.

Second Reading

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Magdalene Cambridge was pronounced 'maudlin' when I was an undergraduate there 1963 - 1966 and in Father's time also: 1928 - 1931. I have never heard it pronounced 'mag-dah-lin'.

Mr Paxman's researchers have got it wrong - it would be interesting to know where they got their information from. Not from the OED:

' . . The popular form of the word is maudlin n.; the pronunciation Brit /ˈmɔːdlᵻn/ , U.S. /ˈmɔdlən/ represented by this spelling is still current for the names of Magdalen College, Oxford, and Magdalene College, Cambridge . . '

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: picture in little

'Picture . . 1.c. With of or genitive. A portrait, now esp. a photograph.
. . 1662   S. Pepys Diary 3 May (1970) III. 76   At the goldsmiths took my picture in little..home with me.'

'Little . . 10. in little: on a small scale; formerly esp. with reference to Painting= in miniature.
1604   Shakespeare Hamlet ii. ii. 367   [They] giue twenty, fortie, fifty, an hundred duckets a peece, for his Picture in little.
. . 1762   H. Walpole Vertue's Anecd. Painting II. iii. 100   Sir Kenelm Digby..compares Vandyck and Hoskins, and says the latter pleased the most, by painting in little.'

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The domestic canary, often simply known as the canary, is a domesticated form of the wild canary, a small songbird in the finch family originating from the Macaronesian Islands (The Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands).

Canaries were first bred in captivity in the 17th century. They were brought over by Spanish sailors to Europe. This bird became expensive and fashionable to breeding in courts of Spanish and English kings.…

Canary bird singing…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I think Thomas Hayer was Pepys' "trainer" as he had been clerking in this role during the Commonwealth.

His job: Chief Clerks to Clerks of the Acts 1664-1796
In 1664 an annual allowance of £30, in addition to his salary of £30, was made available to one of the Clerks to the Clerk of the Acts. The Clerk in receipt of this allowance effectively filled the position of Chief Clerk to the Clerk of the Acts, although it is not always possible to distinguish from the Treasurer's accounts to which Clerk the allowance was paid.…

Last Saturday, "Here the Treasurer did tell me that he did suspect Thos. Hater to be an informer of them in this work [PAYING OFF THE NAVY WITH IOUs], which we do take to be a diminution of us, which do trouble me, and I do intend to find out the truth."…

"So, Thomas, here's last quarter's salary. No IOUs for us! And what do you think about revising Lord Northumberland's job descriptions? I think we need to specify the security aspect."

"mumble mumble isn't that self-evident?"

"Talking about the IOUs, do you have problems with this policy, since you know the treasury's current shortcomings?"

"mumble mumble better than being captive on board."

"Exactly my thoughts, Thomas. But we've found that the men know about the accommodation before the Pay arrives, and are riled up, making the Pay more difficult -- nay, dangerous -- than it should be. Do you have any idea how the word is reaching them?"

"mumble mumble oh shit!"

"Yes, Thomas. Loose lips sink ships. This is a position of trust, and you are privy to blah blah blah."

Presumably Hater had bared his misgivings to his Quaker/non-conformist friends who had in turn relayed the information to the men on board.

Or had he? Pepys doesn't tell us the outcome. My apologies to Mr. Hater if he was innocent.

LKvM  •  Link

Twenty years later: "Well said, Chauncey."

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