Wednesday 5 March 1661/62

In the morning to the Painter’s about my little picture. Thence to Tom’s about business, and so to the pewterer’s, to buy a poore’s-box to put my forfeits in, upon breach of my late vows. So to the Wardrobe and dined, and thence home and to my office, and there sat looking over my papers of my voyage, when we fetched over the King, and tore so many of these that were worth nothing, as filled my closet as high as my knees. I staid doing this till 10 at night, and so home and to bed.

22 Annotations

First Reading

JWB  •  Link

"... my papers of my voyage,..."
I suppose these papers among those recovered fom Blackborne, why else at the office. Sandy Berger recently succumbed to this impulse at US National Archives and was caught. This lust to edit one's paper trail stymied in sciences by requiring records be kept in bound volumes. "my papers", "my voyage", "my closet" - Sam establishing a personal claim to cover a sense of guilt at what he's doing?

Josh  •  Link

Shredding has a long and notable history.
Buying a poor-box to hold one's penitential mites: how long will it take to amass enough to buy the next venison pasty?

vicenzo  •  Link

now we are informed of his punishment for:…
" buy a poore's-box to put my forfeits in, upon breach of my late vows…”
‘tis the gesture, not the fart[h]ings that count.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"so many of these that were worth nothing"
To think of shredding is nowist, JWB, no evil intent presumed when there's a much simpler explanation: absent electronic storage, he no longer has space given that they "filled my closet as high as my knees"

vicenzo  •  Link

the art of privilege: tis day in 1662
Upon Information that Sir Thomas Longvill Baronet, and his Lady, Nicholas Bulmer, William Lloyd, Henry Longvile, Valentine Lane, Mark Lampton, John French, Matthew Smith, Mary Bugs, Mrs. Heron, John Risdon, and one Mr. Blunt an Attorney, had, by Force, entered upon, and do still keep Possession of, an House and Lands in Wolverton; and also, another House in Billing in the County of Northampton; of which Colonel Gray, a Member of this House, his Tenants or Assigns, were lately in Possession; the said Colonel Gray having an Estate therein from Sir Edward Longvile, deceased, and his Lady, in Trust to pay Debts, and raise Portions for younger Children;
Ordered, That the Serjeant at Arms attending this House do apprehend, and take into Custody, the Persons above named; to answer their Misdemeanor, and Breach of Privilege, in taking and keeping Possession of the Houses and Lands aforesaid, in which Colonel Gray hath an Estate and Interest for the Purposes before expressed.

From: British History Online
Source: House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 5 March 1662. Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8, (1802).
Date: 06/03/2005

Miss Ann  •  Link

Isn't this "little" picture taking an overly long time to complete? I'm assuming it is a miniature and thinking about the various miniatures I've seen from the past they don't seem the type of painting that had a great deal of time spent on them, usually no background, just a head and shoulders portrait.

On another point - all this ripping up of unwanted papers - can he recycle the paper?

chris  •  Link

Knee-high in papers pertaining to the Restoration! Wouldn't a modern researcher tear her hair out at the thought of so much original data going up in smoke?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Paper is an expensive item in the 17th century - handmade from a rag base. It does seem strange that Sam is totally indifferent to the wastage. We have evidence that he is usually careful about expenditure and wastage. Are we to assume that he is doing the 17th century equivalent of shredding sensitive documents?? Elizabeth could have made use of the paper for lists or even keeping her own diary........

Pauline  •  Link

"...tore so many of these that were worth nothing..."
I hope he trudges them down to the House of Office. How else can he recycle them, despite the dearness of paper in those days? Sounds like he is cleaning up his office. Maybe in receiving Blackborne's papers for the preceding years, Sam realized the possible immensity of an ongoing archive and took at look at what Blackborne thought worthy of saving and then went to his "closet" and got to work. In the beginning of his official assignments with the navy (and at sea as Sandwich's secretary), everything may have seemed important and worth saving (a little in awe of it all). Now he has to get real about what is worth keeping for the record and where it will be kept and what historically has been deemed important to keep.

Mary  •  Link

'recycling' in 17th century London.

Given the long history in London of "the poorer sort" scavenging all kinds of detritus in order to make a marginal living, I should be surprised if there were no-one who had caught on to the idea of rescuing waste paper from such places as the Navy Office and other government departments. Even if it were only a question of selling paper to the local pie-shop for the wrapping of take-away goods, there could have been a small income to be gained.

Jim Fortner  •  Link

I suspect that this paper is all to be burned or otherwise destroyed (shredded down to nothing useful before resale, at least).

I work for a government office and we have two recepticles - one labeled "SHRED" and the other "RECYCLE". We don't send anything to be recycled that has identifying information on it related to our customers. We aren't doing top secret work, but we are under a privacy law.

If Sam didn't shred this stuff up and destroy the information contained on the paper, it might find its way into unfriendly hands who would be very interested to know the patterns of government buying and quantities, etc. Some foreign agents might be able to use this information to contstruct a pretty good idea of British preparedness, or at least the pattern in the past, and perhaps determine the best ways of disrupting supplies and command.

Nix  •  Link

"Are we to assume that he is doing the 17th century equivalent of shredding sensitive documents?" --

Susan, I'm more inclined toward Pauline's belief that he was just cleaning up the office. We haven't had anything to indicate that there was anything sensitive or embarassing in the papers -- on the contrary, at this time any connection with fetching the king back from exile was something to brag about.

But I've spent enough time in offices (especially government offices) to know how quickly useless paper piles up.

vicenzo  •  Link

Sam would be aware of that, that has been written prior to present day, may have had some sedious mischief content, contained there in. The new Regime is still looking for Gibbet bait. [Nixon did not learn the lessons of previous generations of editing out of sight, words that could be used in evidence ] In those days even mugs, cracked and broken could be used, 'Tis a modern phenomena to have goods to be only used once when new, then discard into a hole in the ground.
Remember, they still be trying to round up all disagreenents of any strength or fashion. Any popish,non- conforming,non standard prayers can prevent one from having a career.
Charles although, he be a leaning to his Catholic bent, knew that he needed monies, so kept his source of income happy, he was there when Pops thought he had absolute control. So now, there was the weeding process, subduing one obnoxious group at a time,especially those that would not doff 'ats..

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "I hope he trudges them down to the House of Office."

Pauline, in the absence of a shredder, this would certainly be an effective way of discouraging prying eyes!

JWB  •  Link

"O wad some power the gifte gie us,
to see ourselves as ithers see us."

O what Pepysian power the gifte got,
to have others see ourself, as we do plot.

Nostrildamus  •  Link

I did not understand a word of what Vince just wrote.

Ruben  •  Link

Considering that paper was expensive and made mainly of rugs, I presume the used paper was shredded and recicled for inferior quality paper or other products.
I looked in the net and could not confirm this (for 1660).
There are many good sites about the history of paper.
For those interested in thechnicalities (how to get the ink out, modern recicling, etc.), see:…

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

the art of privilege v. those that would not doff 'ats.
“Upon Information that Sir Thomas Longvill Baronet….”
Those greedy Normans at it again. The Saxons knew what to call them. Long Vile indeed!

vicenzo  •  Link

Nostrildamus: clarification if possible: In two years the political climate has evolved and free thought was not a top priority, It is best to be P.C. [Political Correct]. Pen Jr. sent down for being an out spoken at seat of Issis for Quaker Thinking. Then there is the book of standard prayer thinking, none of this second guessing, and other events like banning and punishing the papers of the day, tend to make an Ambitious young man tread carefully. Therefore he took this opportunity to clear away his possible misunderstandings of his Loyalty [which he had to swear over the Bible] to Charles and [his brother James looking on]. Words be very dangerous, they can turn into a hangmans noose quickly. His word never balances a Privilege member of the Houses, especially if they be written.
Re: Paper disposal,Everything was recycled many times. In my day written paper be for the house of Privy, but back then it could be used, for example as a mache for toys or keeping Items cool in the Scullery or even for ones cheap palliasse for the below stairs maid..

Second Reading

RIMNOD  •  Link

Just wondering what the arrangements are to dine in place like The Wardrobe. Is there something always on the fire and Pepys just joins in ---or is he eating at an establishment nearby?

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Pepys' patron Lord Sandwich was Master of the Wardrobe and had lodgings therein. During his time abroad, Lady Sandwich was in residence there when not at their country seat of Hinchinbrooke. Sam calls there regularly to exchange news and dine, sometimes with 'My Lady', and sometimes with the servants. He does not always record with whom he dines.

People with the social position of the Sandwiches tended to keep 'open house' for their friends and retainers. Although less formal, I've always regarded the relationship between Sandwich and Pepys as being akin to the patron-client relationship of ancient Rome.…

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