Saturday 16 March 1660/61

Early at Sir Wm. Pen’s, and there before Mr. Turner did reconcile the business of the purveyance between us two. Then to Whitehall to my Lord’s, and dined with him, and so to Whitefriars and saw “The Spanish Curate,” in which I had no great content.

So home, and was very much troubled that Will staid out late, and went to bed early, intending not to let him come in, but by and by he comes and I did let him in, and he did tell me that he was at Guildhall helping to pay off the seamen, and cast the books late. Which since I found to be true. So to sleep, being in bed when he came.

19 Annotations

First Reading

Susan  •  Link

The Spanish Curate by Fletcher and probably Massinger - famous for including a chess game in the play. Full text at…
SP saw it again in 1662 and 1669

Emilio  •  Link

Couple of small differences in L&M

"And went to bed angry [early]" - gives a better focus on Sam's state of mind at the time, although maybe he went to bed early as well to make his point. Maybe a lingering effect of his bad experience at the play?

"and cast the books [so] late." Imagine poor Will: 'We finally closed the books SO late that I couldn't get back in time, but please oh please let me back in the house.'

vincent  •  Link

Interesting ! Will has a side job?: I thought Wills work would be totally devoted to tasks designated by S.P.. Here it appears that either Sam forget that he had second him to the Guildhall or Will is making a little on the side or that the task designated by Sam took a little [a lot]longer than expected.. I mean Sam did seem to indicate that Will might be out on the leads. Again it appears the entry was to be post dated, seeing the conflicting thoughts.

vincent  •  Link

Controversy?; Inspiration , plagiarism or? "... The Indebtedness of Beaumont and Fletcher, and of other Dramatists, before and after the Restoration, to Spanish ..."
... The Spanish Curate and The Maid in the Mill; and not one of these originals is a play, nor need Fletcher ... Fletcher knew Spanish.

Susan  •  Link

There were close links between 17th century English and Spanish drama - if you see a Spanish drama of this period it is very reminiscent of same period English drama. The Royal Shakespeare Company this year is putting on a season of contemporary Spanish drama - presumably because of these connections.

Xjy  •  Link

Will in trouble for showing diligence!
And a couple of weeks ago Sam was complaining about the lad's lack of direction and purpose. Damned if you do and damned if you don't!

David A. Smith  •  Link

"Which since I found to be true"
I think Sam was angry because he had no idea where Will was, then presumed him to be lollygagging or carousing about, then after being awakened from his bed, found that he had sheepishly to swallow his anger.

Glyn  •  Link

Yes, as David has pointed out, it seems that Pepys relented and let Will back in BEFORE he knew that Will had a good reason for being late; so he would have let Will back into the house whether Will had had a good reason or not.

The Bishop  •  Link

Surely it's well known that most Elizabethan/ Jacobean plays were adaptions of existing sources (Ben Jonson's plays being a great exception). Shakespeare, with perhaps two exceptions, never came up with his own stories.

That trend will continue in the Restoration Theatre. Numerous French plays will be adapted, older plays will be rewritten.

Second Reading

john  •  Link

Our Will seems to be far more numerate than the average servant at the time. And no answer to vincent's decade-old question.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Our Will seems to be far more numerate than the average servant at the time."

Amen, John: (I have) no doubt Hewer is quite numerate. Pepys hired him and uses him from the get-go as a clerk as well as a manservant. Will Hewer is ca. 18 (his birth month is unclear). We find out in the diary that he used the same shorthand Pepys did.

It's surely relevant that he was referred to Pepys by his uncle, Robert Blackborne, the leading naval official under the Commonwealth. After an apprenticeship as a clerk working with the parliamentary Commissioners of the Navy from 1643, Blackborne was made secretary of the Admiralty and Navy Commissioners in 1652, and held the post concurrently with that of secretary to the Customs Commissioners until the Restoration.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

As pointed out, Will Hewer is 18 -- and sadly none of his bios that I've seen mention his education. But he's old enough to have gone to University and done a couple of years at the Inns of Court. Since he goes on to be Judge Advocate General of the Navy in 1677, he must have had some schooling in the law.
Or perhaps he just spent his youth in his family's counting house, talking to sea captains and asking dumb questions of the clerks.

徽柔  •  Link

How fast children mature in Pepys' days!
18 and already working on paying off the Navy.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

It's a recent development, 徽柔, that childhood lasts to 26 in the USA. As recently as WWI, cabin boys in the Royal Navy were 13.
In Pepys' day, 13-year-old brides were common -- being a mother at 15 was pretty standard.

"Leaving home and entering service was a key transition in early modern England. This paper presents evidence on the age of apprenticeship in London. Using a new sample of 22,156 apprentices bound between 1575 and 1810, we find that apprentices became younger (from 17.4 to 14.7 years) and more homogenous, [regardless] of background." ...
"In French cities, apprenticeship began at age 12 in the 16th century, and rose over the 17th century, with youths becoming journeymen in their mid-to-late teens; by the 18th century, Parisian apprentices were bound at an average age of 15.2 years."

However, we must factor in here the bloodshed and death caused by the Civil Wars and resulting famine because the men were not available to tend the land. That means many children, widows and orphans had to leave home in order to survive. And the city job applicants were increasingly female and children.

If the Hewer family had wanted to "home school" young Will, it would be easy for them to do -- and that home schooling would not necessarily have been in Latin, Greek and Hebrew -- it could have been in accounting, French, German, law, dancing, shorthand, astronomy and geography (i.e. practical skills for a future merchant).

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

If you would like to read "Leaving Home and Entering Service: The Age of Apprenticeship in Early Modern London" please copy


and post it in your search -- it works fine. I can't believe this is the first .pdf I've posted, but possibly ---? In other words, I have no idea why you can't click through.

徽柔  •  Link

Thank you San Diego Sarah and Mary Lee,both links worked for me

RLB  •  Link

The link given in the very first comment is broken, and if I substitute org for net, it still goes only to the introductory material of the collected works of Massinger and Fletcher (in which The Spanish Curate *is* mentioned, though). Here's a better (and more legible) link from the same project:…

Christopher Boondoc  •  Link

Trying to pay off the sailors. I know they loved to hit the bars immediately upon returning home and spend some or all of that money. I wonder how much pressure there was to get them paid off before they started acting riotous?

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