Tuesday 20 August 1661

At the office in the morning and all the afternoon at home to put my papers in order. This day we come to some agreement with Sir R. Ford for his house to be added to the office to enlarge our quarters.

14 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

From yesterday "This day my aunt Fenner dyed"
No mention either then or today of visiting his family to pay condolences.
No mention of Hooker's book, either (heavy going?)

vicente  •  Link

Sam be a bit worn out after all that country Aire.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"This day my aunt Fenner dyed"
She should have left him some dough.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"This day we come to some agreement with Sir R. Ford for his house to be added to the office to enlarge our quarters."

Sir Richard, hi...I'd like to catch a night's sleep at your place? "Well, Pepys...I..." Thanks...(six burly seamen grab Sir R.)...Get out.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"put my papers in order"
Wish he'd give details. Filing system? Chests? Cupboards? And are these personal papers or office ones he keeps at home? How many papers are we talking about? I know my house could overflow with paper (all sorts of bills and so on), but what sort of household papers would Pepys have? And he keeps having to put them in order. Does he keep acquiring new heaps of the stuff? Or is he just obsessive about trying to find the Perfect Filing System? Ah! Is this why they need Sir R's house? More filing space!!

E  •  Link

...to put my papers in order.
This may not be sorting out pieces of paper but sorting out what was to be written on them, in the same way that "putting the books in order" is still used for tidying up accounts and sorting loose ends ready for scrutiny.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"Putting my papers in order"
So, if Sam is "doing the books" [cooking??], why now? Is dad going to come and want information about the Uncle R affair? (which seems to be in abeyance at the moment), is it personal after finding those papers about his "difference" with his wife? Or prompted by Aunt Fenner's death? (we are all mortal - better get things in order...) Strange that I still use the phrase "closing the books" at the end of the financial year, when all I do is send a CD to my accountant....

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

putting my papers in order

A search of the diary turns up several instances of this phrase, cited in the following link.


I have the impression that Pepys fairly frequently records such tidying activities in similar but not identical language. It would indeed be interesting to know what he accumulates and just how often he tidies up.

vicente  •  Link

He does like to keep his sums rite,"At home all the morning making up my private accounts" His little black [red]book of expenses, not unlike the modern electronic thing. Those that watch their pennies [ The pounds of money {not of weight}:pound doth look after it self] do seem to have more money for the interesting things of life style. The mere fact he is scribbling in his diary means he doth like to keep track of things and not rely on his aked head. 'Tis the executive in him that shows. Keeping all those little ducklings in a row, and keeping ones plan on track, despite all the distractions in hide park.

dirk  •  Link

"put my papers in order"

This might just be a general expression, which shouldn't be taken to litterally, signifying something like "well, I had some things to do".

Then again, keeping track of which papers he had with him at home that belonged in the office, and vice versa, and possibly also the money involved - and making certain that sums add up in the end, so that nobody can blame him for any mistakes, things forgotten etc, would have meant Sam had to keep track of everything meticulously.

A. Hamilton  •  Link


Vincent has well defined this aspect of Sam's character.

Pauline  •  Link

"...be added to the office to enlarge our quarters..."
I take it to mean enlarging the Naval Offices, not specifically Sam's lodging therein. Though the way the doors get "boarded over" and rooms passed back and forth, if this acquisition happens it could mean new configurations throughout.

Second Reading

Tonyel  •  Link

" all the afternoon at home to put my papers in order."
We must remember that Sam had to keep track of two expenditures - personal and business, particularly when they overlapped so often. I assume he claimed expenses for travel, entertaining, etc and he would need detailed records to justify himself against any future complaints.
We will see later on when his notebooks are quoted instead of the diary that he even recorded tips to grooms, servants and so on. Also he was not being paid a weekly wage so the reckoning periods could be quite long.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.