Monday 23 December 1661

Early up and by coach (before daylight) to the Wardrobe, and took up Mr. Moore, and he and I to Chelsy to my Lord Privy Seal, and there sealed some things, he being to go out of town for all Christmas to-morrow. So back again to Westminster, and from thence by water to the Treasury Office, where I found Sir W. Pen paying off the Sophia and Griffen, and there I staid with him till noon, and having sent for some collar of beef and a mince pie, we eat and drank, and so I left him there and to my brother’s by appointment to meet Prior, but he came not, so I went and saw Mrs. Turner who continues weak, and by and by word was brought me that Prior’s man was come to Tom’s, and so I went and told out 128l. which I am to receive of him, but Prior not coming I went away and left the money by his desire with my brother all night, and they to come to me to-morrow morning. So I took coach, and lighting at my bookseller’s in Paul’s Churchyard, I met with Mr. Crumlum and the second master of Paul’s School, and thence I took them to the Starr, and there we sat and talked, and I had great pleasure in their company, and very glad I was of meeting him so accidentally, I having omitted too long to go to see him. Here in discourse of books I did offer to give the school what books he would choose of 5l. So we parted, and I home, and to Mr. Selden, and then to bed.

19 Annotations

First Reading

vicenzo  •  Link

ah! ha! that great feeling, over showing the one that ye were 'frit' and now that ye be a man of the up and coming mob. No good going back and be asked "have ye lived up to ye potential me ladd" and not having that extra cash for endowing " x " to the old masters.

dirk  •  Link

"and so I went and told out 128£ which I am to receive of him”

Can somebody clarify why Sam would be counting out £128 (a gigantic sum of money by the way!) - if he was to receive it??? Or am I missing something here?

judyb  •  Link

Sam hasn't given us his customary accounting of his total worth lately. Perhaps he will do this at the new year.

I agree that this sum is probably an amount Sam is receiving for title to the house referred to previously.

Do I remember correctly that Sam also gets some outside fees for his Privy Seal duties? Since he has done some work with that he probably has a little extra cash on hand.

What, no gifts for Elizabeth? When did gift giving at Christmas become common?

Mary  •  Link

The telling out of £128.

This sum appears to refer to the house/houses that Prior wished to purchase from the Brampton estate. I suspect that, by ‘told out’, Pepys means that he gave a detailed accounting of the transaction and the sums owed; some sort of paper that could be agreed by both parties to the transaction.

Peter  •  Link

If I kept a diary, my entry for yesterday would have begun "Early up and by car (before daylight) to Hammersmith..." Plus ca change.

Saul Pfeffer  •  Link

The telling out of the 128L
I think he means actually counting out of money or what does the following mean : "but Prior not coming I went away and left the money by his desire with my brother all night, and they to come to me to" The all night bit seems to indicate his anxiety about leaving such a large amount with his bro.

vicenzo  •  Link

reading and rereading: I doth think the money is deposited with the brother. The amount that is required for purchase. Sam counts it and it is all there i.e. 'told' now Sam has to supply the correct papers to finalise the deal. Remember these be notes; not a comlete story [A-Z] of the situation, just enough to remember whats what.

language hat  •  Link

"When did gift giving at Christmas become common?"

Not until much later. At this time it was essentially a bacchanalian period in which the usual rules were reversed (which is why it was banned in New England for some time); a more or less contemporary account says:

"[T]he Feast of Christ's Nativity is spent in Reveling, Dicing, Carding, Masking, and in all Licentious Liberty ... by Mad Mirth, by long Eating, by hard Drinking, by lewd Gaming, by rude Reveling ..."

gerry  •  Link

As Peter said above, Plus ca change...

Bradford  •  Link

Saul is correct about "telling," "telling out," or "telling over": it means to count out or reckon up (Large Glossary, L&M Companion). I do believe the expression of "telling out" money---a deliberate and careful counting-out---occurs in Dickens, and probably later. God bless us, every one!

dirk  •  Link

Rev. Josselin's diary (22 & 23 Dec.)

Dec: 22. God good to us in outward mercies, my wife if breeding fears miscarrying(,) the lord look after her. Sam: Burton whose wife a great professor but now both quakers, only he not through paced as she. died, taken on Monday past with an apoplexy, the lord awaken that senseless generation to see his hand and pity and help us all for thy name sake.

23. at night my wife miscarried, of a false conception, a mercy to be free of it, and I trust god will preserve my dear ones life. the conception was real, god raise her up again.


[Re the Reverend's wife's fears cfr. the entry for 8 December 1661.]

dirk  •  Link

Christmas gifts

In some cases Christmas gifts were expected though...

"I stayed in our house in Portugal Row, and at Christmas I received the New Year's gifts belonging to his places, which is the custom, of two tuns of wine at the Custom-house, for Master of Requests, and fifteen ounces of gilt plate at the Jewel-house, as Secretary of the Latin Tongue.

At the latter end of Christmas my husband returned from Lisbon, and was very well received by the King"

Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe, wife of Sir Richard Fanshawe, Ambassador from Charles II to the courts of Portufal & Madrid.…

dirk  •  Link

Lady Fanshawe's memoirs

The passage quoted above refers to this Xmas 1661.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Re: telling out money ...

Hence our contemporary term, "bank teller", surviving through the centuries.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" paying off the Sophia and Griffen" -- each of which, note L&M, was owed over a year's pay.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Crumlum and the second master of Paul’s School", i.e., note L&M, Samuel Cromleholme, High Master, and Nathaniel Bull, Surmaster, of St Paul's; the former was a considerable collector of books.

Mary K  •  Link

"he being to go out of town for all Christmas"

This presumably means for the whole 12 days from Christmas Day itself to 6th January.

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