Friday 1 February 1660/61

(Friday). A full office all this morning, and busy about answering the Commissioners of Parliament to their letter, wherein they desire to borrow two clerks of ours, which we will not grant them.

After dinner into London and bought some books, and a belt, and had my sword new furbished. To the alehouse with Mr. Brigden and W. Symons. At night home. So after a little music to bed, leaving my people up getting things ready against to-morrow’s dinner.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Emilio  •  Link

To the alehouse with Mr. Brigden and W. Symons

Curiously, Wheatley has left off "and drank together" from the end of this sentence. Certainly this is not unexpected at an alehouse, but it's disappointing to see some of Sam's words taken out on a whim.

David Cooper  •  Link

"furbished" -- is that sharpened?

john lauer  •  Link

Furbish: To rub or scour to brightness; to clean; to burnish; as, to furbish a sword or spear. --Shak. --Webster 1913

vincent  •  Link

power play? the workings of 'whom' has the final answer. "...and busy about answering the Commissioners of Parliament to their letter wherein they desire to borrow two clerks of ours, which we will not grant them ..." would loved to have seen the letter and how they turn down their request.

Pauline  •  Link

"...the Commissioners of Parliament...desire to borrow two clerks of ours, which we will not grant them."
These Commissioners of Parliament aren't the Navy Commissioners, are they?
So the Commissioners of Parliament (on January 21, with their hats on) said they would pay off the navy; and the Navy Commissioners were glad. Now it looks like the CofP would like a little administrative help--the lend of two clerks--but "we" (CofN?) refuse.

Anyone have a good handle on all this? If the navy is under the Duke of York, why is Parliament taking this control?

Jackie  •  Link

Another dinner being prepared? He really is starting to become a hub in society isn't he? Holding dinner party after dinner party for movers and shakers.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

David Cooper - Sam his sword

On 28th. January Sam took his sword to Mr Brigden to be 'refreshed'. I had the temerity to question Sam's terminology, and also to wonder why a sword that Sam had bought from Mr Brigden ten months ago would need refreshing. I now suspect that the refreshment/refurbishing would have involved polishing the scabbard, hilt and handle, and probably resharpening.

I don't think it's a spoiler to say that in a couple of days all will be clear.

Captain Caveman  •  Link

I don't think the Commissioners of the Navy are Parliamentary commissioners, because they are appointed by the King rather than Parliament.

It's possible that Parliament was just short-handed and thought the Navy Board could spare some clerks.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

'...they desire to borrow two clerks..'

If I were were Sam I think I would have offered four clerks - those who saw him in the 1/6d. seats recently.

Emilio  •  Link


These commissioners were first seen on the 19th, and have nothing to do with the Navy Board - hence the need to ask for the clerks. They are the group created by Parliament for the express purpose of decommissioning much of the fleet and reducing the strength of the military in general, now that stable government has finally been restored. They finished paying off the army on 26 January.

The process is putting a lot of soldiers and sailors out of work, so Sam and co. are glad to have no part of the job, as we saw on the 21st. They are also under no obligation to supply more than information to the commissioners. For a few more details, see my anno on the 19th:…

David A. Smith  •  Link

"two clerks of ours, which we will not grant them"
I think Emilio's got it -- this is a politically messy business, and is logically Parliament's job (they're the ones who have decided the army/ fleet must be shrunk). Chances are, therefore, that Montagu specifically negotiated for Parliament to do its own business. Hence the "we" above is almost certainly the office, not Sam personally, and one can imagine Sam saying, not without some relief, "my hands are tied."

Lawrence  •  Link

Why has Sam put in Friday? is it because hes copying from notes and has put it in straight from his note book?

Emilio  •  Link

'Why has Sam put in Friday?'

The only definitive answer is, who knows? He notes the weekday occasionally at the beginning of the month--the first time he did this was last Sept, and looking ahead this year he does it again on June 1 and July 1, in addition to when "Lords-day" is on the 1st. Perhaps, whenever he thinks about it, he marks the weekday at the beginning of the month just to keep track of the flow of days. That might even come in handy sometimes, if he's a few days behind in writing and needs to remember which day is which.

Today's entry is short, but the detail seems quite adequate to what's going on. I don't see any reason to think he's copying straight from his notes here.

Lawrence  •  Link

Emilio Is it not possible that he keeps a note book/memorandum and then periodically enters it into his Journal

john lauer  •  Link

'Why has Sam put in Friday?'
He wouldn't have gotten more printed calendars in the mail last month than he could possibly use, from everyone with whom he has done business, I would guess. So it makes sense to keep track.

Emilio  •  Link

Sam's notes

It's certain that he did use them, because sometimes the note pages are bound right into the diary books. Last June there was a series of days (8th-17th) in which I think Sam did exactly what you suggest, he transcribed his notes directly onto the page. Those entries leave more questions than today's does, though, so here I think Sam wrote all he meant to write. I direct you back to last June for more discussion, esp. the 16th:…

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

To FURBISH [fourbir, F.] to polish or make bright.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

I think that the sword just sits around in a humid environment, the air is probably a bit acid from burning coal and wood, that the blade may be a bit rusty, the brass tarnished, and perhaps mold and nicks on the scabbard. He probably seldom removes the sword from the scabbard, doesn't have the wherewithal or supplies to clean it and doesn't want to do it himself; thus hires the refurbishing out.

My guess is that it's bad enough that he doesn't want to be seen with it in that condition as it certainly won't look ready for use and would imply that he doesn't really know how to use it well. Of course there might also be an event on the horizon that will require him wear it ceremonially.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘furbish, v. < Old French forbiss . .
1. trans. To remove rust from (a weapon, armour, etc.); to brighten by rubbing, polish, burnish . .
1382 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) Ezek. xxi. 9 The swerd is whettid and furbishid.
. . 1647 N. Ward Simple Cobler Aggawam 70 In heaven..your swords are furbushed and sharpened, by him that made their metall.
. . 1863 ‘G. Eliot’ Romola II. i. 13 Old arms newly furbished.’

John Matthew IV  •  Link

"After dinner into London and bought some books, and a belt,"

I loved this line. As one with many, many books and several belts, I could see writing that line myself with pleasure.

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