Friday 10 May 1661

At the office all the morning, and the afternoon among my workmen with great pleasure, because being near an end of their work. This afternoon came Mr. Blackburn and Creed to see me, and I took them to the Dolphin, and there drank a great deal of Rhenish wine with them and so home, having some talk with Mr. Blackburn about his kinsman my Will, and he did give me good satisfaction in that it is his desire that his kinsman should do me all service, and that he would give him the best counsel he could to make him good. Which I begin of late to fear that he will not because of the bad company that I find that he do begin to take. This afternoon Mr. Hater received for me the 225l. due upon Mr. Creed’s bill in which I am concerned so much, which do make me very glad.

At night to Sir W. Batten and sat a while. So to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

vicente  •  Link

Sam has some worries at hand, beside the mess of improvements and his soul mate in pain. The boy is branching out in the wrong directions [Youth 'tis true is wasted on the young] and bills owed not paid up on time.[just another day?

roberto  •  Link

"bad company that I find that he do begin to take"

Do you think that this might be "gang related" or is he just hanging out with some undesirables?

Pauline  •  Link

"...bad company that I find that he do begin to take."
On Wednesday he was chiding his brother John for running off to Deptford with Will. Is that the bad company? So just which one is the "bad" influence? I think Sam is quite out of his element when it comes to guiding and admonishing "the young"--including his wife. And when I consider it as the turn about of how he was guided by Lord Sandwich, I don't know whether to think Sandwich too was awkward at it or if it is just Sam. Perhaps he had the model and just not the talent. Or maybe he lacks the lifelong expectation of influencing people to which Sandwich was more clearly born. (Or perhaps I misread Sam's skill at this; he just seems exasperated when it comes to governing--or extracting desired behavior from--the young people in his care.)

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Is it really as bad as we tend to think?
Will is young and sowing his wild oats, hanging about with the boys (and the girls) and staying out late with sometimes a few too much to drink maybe.
Grownups would like to hold the youngsters on a leash not remembering what they were and did themselves in their youth.

Pedro.  •  Link

"bad company that I find that he do begin to take."

Looking in the Diary references for Will, apart from two occasins last year on 11/Aug and 25/Sep, his staying abroard at night seems to have increased.
Lately (9/Feb, 16/Mar, 31/Mar and 19/April) has seen him out late, and on the 9/Feb Sam had asked Will’s uncle Blackburne to have a word with him.

Mary  •  Link

Is brother John 'bad company'?

On Wednesday, Sam's wrath seemed to be reserved for John. My impression is that Sam was annoyed that John should attach himself to an official party making the Deptford visit without any sort of official by-your-leave. We don't know to what extent Will was involved in this arrangement. He could have suggested it himself but, equally, he could have felt unable to gainsay a proposal coming from the boss's brother. Perhaps he disappoints Sam by allowing himself to be too easily led by others into following bad company in general.

Australian Susan  •  Link

I think Sam is either ashamed or at best exasperated with his brother. Furthermoret, to have Will going against his wishes and being seen to do this reflects badly on him, Sam, as head of a household, just as not getting the house in order as fast as he would like does too. Sam is anxious to hold onto his newly acquired status and appear the powerful controller of a little empire. Thus he gets crosser than he might otherwise do when Will goes off "on the razz" (as they say here) or when his wife does what he doesn't want (coming home when the house is a shambles) or when his workmen don't perform to his liking (slacking off when he's away).

JWB  •  Link

Rakehell streets of Restoration London- 'nuff said.

E  •  Link

Pepys deserves credit here...
He is trying to decide on proper behaviour when he is recently converted from puritanism, and has just risen a large step up the social scale. The world around him has had a huge unpheaval in the return of a whole different method of government after a period that included a destructive war, and as Vincent says, the general response is a byword for licentiousness.

In these shifting sands Pepys seems to have a clear idea of right and wrong and applies it steadfastly (given that attitudes to extra-marital dalliance and to cash payoffs were somewhat different then). Annotators occasionally make snide comments about his concern about his standing in the world, but there is little evidence that he would go along with what he thought was wrong just to keep in with the crowd.

Of course, he had his (changed) religion as a guide. From my modern viewpoint, I feel that I might have looked at the see-sawing fortunes of the Royalists and the Parliamentarians and decided that neither side appeared to have divine blessing, and have doubted that divine blessing was available at all.

Ruben  •  Link

I feel you are right. We cannot forget the future, and we know that SP will pay (in the future) a high price for having his own opinion. (but no diary in those future days)...

vicente  •  Link

The master undertook to feed, clothe and instruct the apprentice, 'with due manner of chastisement' one of the very few justifiable reasons for an apprentice to walk out was if the [Mistress] the Master's Wife took it upon herself to beat him as well. From Restoration London, Liza Picard P.173. Using Rose'almanac 1667. Guide lines are guidelines, they were in force for the next 300 years in the brain washing centers [centres ] of Britain [Now UK]
For some Apprentices it was warn out Knees that was the problem.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

I think it is one of Sam's strongest attributes that he cares enough about his duties and the order of his household to set down his small annoyances (and small pleasures) daily.

Second Reading

Tonyel  •  Link

A small further thought on Sam's worries and complaints about Will, John, Bess, etc.
He probably has no-one that he can talk to frankly about these sort of problems - except for his diary.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Pepys's struggles as a guide to youth amidreligious and cultural change

In time he will acquire moral literature that addresses the task:

December 22 1662:
Heydon's 'Advice to a daughter in opposition to the advice to a sonne ; or,
Directions for your better conduct through the various and most
important encounters of this life. by Eugenius Theodidactus'…

Apr 5 1663:
Osborne, Francis, 1593-1659. Advice to a son; or, directions for your better conduct through the various and most important encounters of this life.…

Third Reading

LKvM  •  Link

No mention of Elizabeth, poor thing.

Eric the Bish  •  Link

Could anyone expound the financial business please?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Eric the Bish -- "This afternoon Mr. Hater received for me the 225l. due upon Mr. Creed’s bill in which I am concerned so much, which do make me very glad."

I think this must refer to yesterday's entry:
"From thence to Sir G. Carteret, and there did get his promise for the payment of the remainder of the bill of Mr. Creed’s, wherein of late I have been so much concerned,"

L&M: Order for the payment of Creed's bill for £1,035. for expenses incurred as Deputy-Treasurer of the fleet, was made on 15 May: PRO, Adm. 20//1, p. 143.

If I'm right, Creed paid Pepys BEFORE he received his settlement, so I could be wrong. But maybe this is a case of the clerks dating the payout when they got around to recording the entry, and not the actual date of the payment.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... having some talk with Mr. Blackburn about his kinsman my Will, and he did give me good satisfaction in that it is his desire that his kinsman should do me all service, and that he would give him the best counsel he could to make him good. Which I begin of late to fear that he will not because of the bad company that I find that he do begin to take."

The care and education of teenage boys is always a challenge. Pepys is 28, and Will Hewer is 19, so it's hard for Sam to play the father/disciplinarian figure.
Furthermore, Hewer's family is wealthy and well connected in navy circles -- albeit the tar/Commonwealth navy -- so Pepys doesn't want to do anything which could generate negative gossip from the Hewer family.

By far the best thing he can do is engage Blackburn in whatever remedial efforts will be made to curb Will's excesses, be it too much football on Tower Hill with local apprentices, or independent friendships with the other Commissioners and their families and servants.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sandwich attended the opening of Parliament today -- I believe it's the first time since he accepted his place last year.

The speeches by the new Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Edward Turnour, Knight, and Chancellor Hyde, now the Earl of Clarendon, who usually acts as Speaker of the House of Lords, are interesting, because of their "Cavalier" narratives portraying King Charles as the martyr, the misguided followers of false leaders under Cromwell, the piety and wisdom of Charles II bring a new day and hope to England, etc. etc. They echo the belief that England was, as John Winthrop put it in 1630, "the City upon the Hill." I.E. In many cases they were turning Puritan narratives into Royalist narratives.

A sample: "You have made, Mr. Speaker, a very lively Description of the Extravagancy of that Confusion which this poor Nation groaned under, when they would throw off a Government they had lived and prospered under so many Ages, indeed from the Time of being a Nation, and which is as natural to them as their Food or their Raiment, to model a new one for themselves, which they knew no more how to do, than the naked Indians know how to dress themselves in the French Fashion; when (as you say) all Ages, Sexes, and Degrees, all Professions and Trades, would become Reformers, when the common People of England would represent the Commons of England; and abject Men, who could neither write nor read, would make Laws for the Government of the most heroic and the most learned Nation in the World; for sure none of our Neighbours will deny it to have a full Excellency and Perfection both in Arms and Letters.
And it was the grossest and most ridiculous Pageant that great Impostor ever exposed to public View, when he gave up the Nation to be disposed of by a Handful of poor mechanic Persons, who, finding they knew not what to do with it, would (he was sure) give it back to him again, as they shortly did, which makes his Title compleat to the Government he meant to exercise.
No Man undervalues the common People of England, who are in Truth the best and the honestest, aye, and the wisest common People in the World, when he says they are not fit to model the Government they are to live under, or to make the Laws they are to obey. Solomon tells us, there is a Time when one Man rules over another to his own Hurt; we have had abundant Instances of such a Time.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


"It is the Privilege, if you please the Prerogative (and it is a great one), of the common People of England, to be represented by the greatest, and learnedest, and wealthiest, and wisest Persons, that can be chose out of the Nation; and the confounding the Commons of England, which is a noble Representative, with the common People of England, was the First Ingredient into that accursed Dose, which intoxicated the Brains of Men with that Imagination of a Commonwealth; a Commonwealth, Mr. Speaker, a Government as impossible for the Spirit and Temper and Genius of the English Nation to submit to, as it is to persuade them to give their Cattle and their Corn to other Men, and to live upon Roots and Herbs themselves. I wish heartily that they who have been most delighted with that Imagination knew in Truth the great Benefit under the Government.
There is not a Commonwealth in Europe, where every Man that is worth One Thousand Pounds doth not pay more to the Government than a Man of a Thousand Pounds a Year did ever to the Crown here before these Troubles.
And I am persuaded that Monster Commonwealth cost this Nation more, in the few Years she was begot, born, and brought up, and in her Funeral (which was the best Expence of all), than the Monarchy hath done these Six Hundred Years."

Edward Turnour's encyclopedia entry…
Winthrop's "city on the hill" meaning…

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