Saturday 2 February 1660/61

Early to Mr. Moore, and with him to Sir Peter Ball, who proffers my uncle Robert much civility in letting him continue in the grounds which he had hired of Hetley who is now dead.

Thence home, where all things in a hurry for dinner, a strange cook being come in the room of Slater, who could not come.

There dined here my uncle Wight and my aunt, my father and mother, and my brother Tom, Dr. Fairbrother and Mr. Mills, the parson, and his wife, who is a neighbour’s daughter of my uncle Robert’s, and knows my Aunt Wight and all her and my friends there; and so we had excellent company to-day.

After dinner I was sent for to Sir G. Carteret’s, where he was, and I found the Comptroller, who are upon writing a letter to the Commissioners of Parliament in some things a rougher stile than our last, because they seem to speak high to us.

So the Comptroller and I thence to a tavern hard by, and there did agree upon drawing up some letters to be sent to all the pursers and Clerks of the Cheques to make up their accounts. Then home; where I found the parson and his wife gone. And by and by the rest of the company, very well pleased, and I too; it being the last dinner I intend to make a great while, it having now cost me almost 15l. in three dinners within this fortnight. In the evening comes Sir W. Pen, pretty merry, to sit with me and talk, which we did for an hour or two, and so good night, and I to bed.

24 Annotations

First Reading

Emilio  •  Link

in some things a rougher stile than our last

Interestingly (following on yesterday's discussion), a draft of this letter in Sam's hand survives at the Public Record Office. Who knows if it's the one actually sent, but here is how L&M summarize it: "the Board, after asserting that they have already done what is required by the act of disbandment, ask the commissioners that 'you will not impose upon us what wee cannot possibly perform or justifie by Law' ".

The Board are definitely getting techy about the commissioners claiming more rights than Parliament has given them.

Glyn  •  Link

Mr Hetley's death was recorded by Pepys on January 19. Scroll down to the bottom of the page in his biography to find the list of entries in which he appears.

Emilio  •  Link

Clerks of the Cheques

These are the primary clerical officers of the dockyards, according to an L&M footnote.

Bradford  •  Link

"all things in a hurry for dinner, a strange cook being come in the room of Slater, who could not come."

"in the room of" = in place of? Or some flaw in transcription?

vincent  •  Link

"in the room of" We still say "make room for Jones "that is coming to dinner or joining us at some function or position at the money making pit. That is filling a space or opening up a space for the new un.
room [modern dict: 1970's] OE: rum L:rur,rus, land [countryside] I do believe might lead to rustic ?
An obsolete usage; a place or station assigned or in a hierarachy: post a place or station formerly occupied by another. [amongst the 5 versions for def: of room.]
[room in latin spatium][conclave]

Mary House  •  Link

Another dinner party and again Sam give us no mention of the menu. He obviously enjoys food and so often writes exactly what he has eaten that I find this a bit strange.

vincent  •  Link

Note the collection of dinner companions he is collecting, unlike most of his bar hopping[pub crawling] friends. But has not got used to spending more for the table setting than a years [retainer]excuse for keeping a maid than for each meal.
"...And by and by the rest of the company, very well pleased, and I too; it being the last dinner I intend to make a great while, it having now cost me almost 15l. in three dinners within this fortnight. ..."

Pauline  •  Link

"...a letter to the Commissioners of Parliament in some things a rougher stile than our last, because they seem to speak high to us."
Yes, Emilio. It is and will be interesting to see how the restored monarchy shares with or struggles against Parlimentary power. I'm fuddling around trying to see to what extent this issue of paying off the navy gives us an example. There are indications that Sam and crew think they are dealing for advantage. And there were lots of in-depth conversations (in Dec and Jan) that Sam reports without going into detail. Now an indication that the tone of the official correspondence between the two branches is deteriorating a bit in this instance.

Lots I don't understand -- like where the money comes from and to what extent the monachy has separate "they" say, follow the money.

J A Gioia  •  Link

In the evening comes Sir W. Pen, pretty merry, to sit with me and talk

one of my dearest friends is a decendant of penn's and the above is entirely characteristic of him. nice to think that convivality can run in a family for 350 years.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"because they seem to speak high to us"
Though the Royalists will deny it (even long after these events), the Restoration was 'imperfect': Charles II had much less power than Charles I, especially over taxation (hence money). Parliament has decided to reduce the army and navy; very well, says the King through his ministers (and their diarist aides), then Parliament does the laying off. Both sides need each other, but there is still a large boundary space to be negotiated.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Am I right in supposing Slater the cook is only hired for special occasions, like big dinnerparties? On normal days the cooking is done by Elizabeth and the maid. How many persons are living in Sam's house at this time?

Emilio  •  Link

"letting him continue in the grounds"

I've gleaned what I can from L&M about Uncle Robert's tenure at Brampton manor, and am not quite sure I have it right. Here's what I think, and perhaps someone who better understands British real estate customs can fill in more.

Brampton manor is owned by the Queen Mother, and Ball is a trustee who manages her properties. William Hetley owned Brampton until 1653, and originally gave Robert his lease on the property. Perhaps as a courtesy to Hetley the Queen Mother had kept his tenants on for the length of his life, but with his recent death the tenants have to negotiate directly with her representative. The Companion states that Robert "owns" Brampton and several other properties, but maybe this could more correctly be called a lifetime, and inheritable, tenancy.

This question is important because Sam and his father are Robert's heirs according to the will, but Robert also has a wife and two stepsons (both lawyers) who are well positioned to dispute this arrangement. When that time comes, I think what everyone hopes to inherit will be use of the land rather than outright ownership.

The Bishop  •  Link

This royalists did not necessarily want Charles II to have as much power as his father did. Many royalists started out opposing Charles I during the Long parliament, trying to limit his power, and only switched to his side when the opposition became to radical.

Edward Hyde, who is now Chancellor England, was one of those who originally wanted to limit Charles I's power.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"How many persons are living in Sam's house at this time?”

Let’s see: There’s Sam and Elizabeth, Jane Birch, the first maid, Sam’s sister Pauline (recently hired as a maid), Jane’s brother Wayneman Birch, a.k.a. “my boy.” At one point there was another, younger boy named Will, but I don’t believe he’s still there.

And Yes, Slater appears to be hired as cook for important dinners.

Pauline  •  Link

"letting him continue in the grounds"
Perhaps he holds a tenancy to some land (“grounds”) that now belongs to the Queen Mother, but does own his house in Brampton. This house is still standing today. From Tomalin: “[Sam’s uncle] had prospered enough to acquire some land, which he leased out to small tenant farmers, and he owned a small but solidly built house, two storeys high, with six low-ceilinged rooms….He took to his brother’s boy [our Sam] strongly enough to decide to make him his heir; and the Brampton house became an important element in Sam’s life.”

tc  •  Link

...pretty merry...

Sir W. Pen sounds like an excellent fellow to choose for a pub crawl, as of course does Sam. Often it sounds like life in Sam's time was a constant pub crawl, albeit with important business being carried out at the same time.

I prefer to think that when Sam refers to a get-together or a person as being "merry", he is, as JA describes it, talking about a sense of conviviality, and is not saying they were or had been doing a bit of boozing. For example, consider this instance: is Sam saying, Here comes Sir W. Pen, three sheets to the wind, feeling no pain, half in the cups but full of good chat, and we sat around and shot the bull for a while...? Speaking conversationally, I often find people are at their grandeloquent best when they've had a drinkie or two or three...

vincent  •  Link

Tc: Horice does mentions it to:
Nulla placere diu nec vivare carmina possunt quae scribuntur aquae potoribus
(neither please for long, nor survive, can poems written by water-drinkers) an interpretation
some use vivere instead of vivare
I guess some things are not caste in stone:
P.S. My Grandpere, although a teetotaler always conducted his business at the local before [before the crash, that is '29 ] College outcastes ruined the hand shake.

tc  •  Link

...pretty merry (revisited)...

vincent: In vino veritas!

vincent  •  Link

tc " mundus, plurimum cum vos consentit" Scaribus Terra

vincent  •  Link

Erratum gravis:mundus, vobiscum consentit.

mary  •  Link

The rise in the Pepys standard of living.

Sam's dinner-parties seem to cost him about £5 a time. Contrast this expenditure with the contents of a letter that he wrote in 1657 (quoted by Tomalin) in which he states that he and Elizabeth spend four shillings a week on food. Thus each 1661 dinner-party costs them 25 times as much as their weekly food-budget of 1657.

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

As well as those mentioned by Alan Bedford, Will Hewer also lodges with Sam until 1663.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

I think Emilio's post above about property is broadly correct. The grounds were only 'hired' = '3. a. To grant the temporary use of for stipulated payment; to let out on hire; to lease.' [OED] so Robert might well have had to give them up or agree to a higher rent. The agreement would have been for a farming year, i.e. from one Michaelmas [Sept 29] to the next.

GrannieAnnie  •  Link

Mary's comment gives a baseline for their weekly food costs, but how does one calculate it accurately considering Sam is mooching meals constantly from His Lady and others? It seems like it is pay-back time for him otherwise he'll be labeled a sponge like many today who don't bother reciprocating a dinner.

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