Thursday 6 March 1661/62

Up early, my mind full of business, then to the office, where the two Sir Williams and I spent the morning passing the victualler’s accounts, the first I have had to do withal. Then home, where my Uncle Thomas (by promise and his son Tom) were come to give me his answer whether he would have me go to law or arbitracon with him, but he is unprovided to answer me, and desires two days more.

I left them to dine with my wife, and myself to Mr. Gauden and the two knights at dinner at the Dolphin, and thence after dinner to the office back again till night, we having been these four or five days very full of business, and I thank God I am well pleased with it, and hope I shall continue of that temper, which God grant.

So after a little being at Sir W. Batten’s with Sir G. Carteret talking, I went home, and so to my chamber, and then to bed, my mind somewhat troubled about Brampton affairs. This night my new camelott riding coat to my coloured cloth suit came home. More news to-day of our losses at Brampton by the late storm.

29 Annotations

First Reading

Mary  •  Link

"my new camelott riding coat"

Sam can presumably excuse himself this bit of expenditure on the grounds that the coat was ordered before he took his recent vow of frugality.

camlott: a robust, light cloth made from either wool or goat-hair.

acetonic  •  Link

Poor Sam. Spending the whole day with Sirs This, That & T'other, dealing with them on nearly equal terms, it's no wonder he desires a title of his own.

john lauer  •  Link

As "camlet", with many other spellings, in, if this is the same fabric.

vicenzo  •  Link

" new camelott riding coat to my coloured cloth suit came home..." a hacker?

Glyn  •  Link

Poor Elizabeth

Sam has an uncomfortable discussion with his uncle and cousin, then leaves his wife to look after them. It sounds like a very dismissive gesture to them.

dirk  •  Link


Opinions seem do differ on this - certainly a type of cloth, but what exactly...?


"Mixture of silk and cashmere." (Quicherat) "made of the hair of the angora goat" (Onions) "Mixed stuff of wool and silk" (Fairholt) "Originally manufactured of the hair of the camel." (Fairholt) ""Stubbes says. ""Their doublets be made, some of Saten, Taffatie, silk, Grogram, Chamlet, gold, silver, and what not." (Anatomy of Abuses-Stubbes) "I went to see their manufactures of silke, their pressing and watering the grograms and chambletts." (Evelyn"s Diary, 1644) "Le me see that chamblet, is it watred or unwatred?" (Erondell, French Garden, 1605)


Interestingly, in some Flemish dialects (Brabant region) the word “camelot” is still used for something (not only clothing) of inferior quality.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "I thank God I am well pleased with it, and hope I shall continue of that temper"

How many of us wish we could say the same about our jobs? Sounds like Sam is really growing into his position.

And Glyn, though I see your point, the thing that struck me (perhaps as an American, living in our Litigious Society) is how civil Sam's relationship is with his relatives, legal disagreements notwithstanding. "I've got to get to a lunch appointment, but please stay and have something to eat with my fair wife" ... wouldn't today's attorneys frown on such fraternization with the "other side"?

Glyn  •  Link

I guess so, but if he'd been able to stay and feed them BEFORE the discussion rather than afterwards, perhaps each would have been more amenable to a solution!

vicenzo  •  Link

Some where in England there be Town of Camelford mentioned in the House of Commons. Could there be a very remote possibility that this Town gave its name to this material?

Red Robbo  •  Link


"The town sits on the River Camel. The name is nothing to do with camels, but comes from the Cornish "cam pol" meaning "winding river".

A small town, formerly a rotten borough, has lots of slate hung houses, and is on the edge of Bodmin Moor."
Extract taken from a Cornwall Gazeteer -…

Mary  •  Link

camlet/camlott etc.

According to OED the origin of the term is obscure, but best guess derives it from the Arabic 'khamlat' which seems to have referred to the nap or pile on the surface of a cloth. As Dirk points out, camlet has had widely differing applications from silk or silk/cashmere blends to tough, workaday cloth.

Sam's riding-coat would surely have been a utilitarian garment; he doesn't go riding for pure pleasure and show, just when necessity demands.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Don't let it be forgot,
That once there was a spot,
For one brief, shining moment that was known as Camelot

While I am grateful for the OED survey of the history of the word, and for Dirk's examples, there is a modern association (which I suspect Vincent hints at) not likely to escape most Americans over the age of 50. Surely since Sir Thomas Malory (approx 1405-1471) the word Camelott has had Arthurian overtones to the English ear, perhaps esp. when associated with horsemanship (riding coat -- knightly garb?)

Stolzi  •  Link

When Sam says "thank God I am well pleased with it," I thought he is not so much satisfied with his job, but happy that he has actually _enjoyed_ working hard for the past few days. This fits in with his recent set of resolutions to be thrifty, not drink so much, etc. and to bolster his resolution by fining himself if he fails.

A young man in a dazzling period of opportunity tries hard to sober up and grow up and make an estate for himself.

Trouble is, we enjoy him more when he falls off the rails!

JWB  •  Link

"History of the Suit"
"Charles II, upon returning from exile after the Cromwellian interlude, determined to invent something that would be distinctly English, and that would end the tyrannic vagaries of fashion by staying in style indefinitely.

On 3rd February 1661 Samuel Pepys, a son of a tailor, stepped out for the first time in his "coate" which was a knee-length version of a loose riding garment that in its new form replaced the original tunic - padded doublet.

The introduction of the straight-cut, figure-fitted "vest" took place in 1666. It was promoted personally by the king, and soon everybody who was anybody was wearing vests, or waistcoats, as they came to be called.”…

JWB  •  Link

3rd Feb.60/61 entry:
"This day I first begun to go forth in my coat and sword, as the manner now among gentlemen is."

David A. Smith  •  Link

"he is unprovided to answer me, and desires two days more"
The situation is as opaque as Shakespearean direction, and as amenable to multiple interpretations.
Following up on Glyn and Todd, Sam and his relatives have a dispute that they have determined they cannot negotiate among themselves, so they are going either to court or to arbitration. Sam, I suspect, wants to move it to resolution, but when the other side pleads unreadiness, he allows them to defer, and (though pressed for time himself? or possibly unwilling to make small talk while thematter hangs), he exits but leaves them with his good lady wife as fair hostess.
This feels like a mixture of urban civility, mutual uncertainty, and Sam's sheer busy-ness ... but many other readings are supportable.

vicenzo  •  Link

ref only: Camlet ME cameloit M fr camloit: then there be the never spoken of Camisole; then there be camise /Ar gamis: LL Camisia; not to be found on the Cam.
Bodmin Moor be famous for its rugged cattle and sheep, making for hardy woolen cloth, ala the Shetlands, that make for great hackers[hacking riding jackets,never wear out,only the linings ]

A. Hamilton  •  Link

We all get the hump, Camelious Hump, the hump that is black and blue..

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam, Thomas and Tom.
Sam emphasises that they came "by promise" - it was a formal appointment. I read in this that he was pleased they had kept the appointment, even if they were not ready (papers not drawn up etc.) to go to law. Sam trusts them (there are no "high words" or other expressions of distrust, impatience or anger at the delay). Sam is being very civil here, I think, and offers the hospitality of his house, even when he cannot be there. This seems to me to be a mature attitude: Sam did not throw a tantrum when told of the delay. It accords with his new approach to work: getting on with it and applying himself diligently and for long hours. But he is Sam enough to record that he is glad he actually seems to enjoy it; an unlooked for bonus to his new resolutions being carried out.

Australian Susan  •  Link

In my youth (50s and 60s), a camel coat was a familiar sight: I had always assumed when small they were so called because they were the same colour as a camel (the five year old mind demands rationalisations for the vagaries of its small world), but presumably these heavy wool-based coats were etymologically linked to the fabric we are discussing here.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Hacking Jacket
Vincent is right as usual - my hacking jacket long, long outlasted my riding days, but the lining ended up shredded. It was cleverly designed to keep the rain out. This value presumably is what Sam is after, so he can arrive at Brampton not wholly sodden.

vicenzo  •  Link

RE:Camelott found this reference John Evelyn may 20th 1652 :"...The next day I went to see manner of Chambletting silk &Grograns at one Monsier La Doreees in Morefields;...." found x ref in the Middlesex ref for Dr Kuffler at…
found ref to camlet, and clothing trade from the refugees of all the agonies of Europe discontent that help to better English Cloth in coloring etc..

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Camelott There be imported Elizabethan: Camlet, 45; unwatered, 781; watered, 339. A mixed fabric of uncertain composition but often incorporating silk and probably of high quality. See also Grogram camlet

From: 'Appendix II: Descriptive list of commodities', The port and trade of early Elizabethan London: documents (1972), pp. 138-51. URL:…. Date accessed: 14 February 2006.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"passing the victualler’s accounts, the first I have had to do withal."

Pepys will have a great deal to do with victualers' accounts in future. These are Denis Gauden's, who, as L&M note, had been appointed contractor for navy victualing in 1660.

Eric Rowe  •  Link

Camelote in French are poor quality goods. Camelot - someone who sells them.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Then home, where my Uncle Thomas (by promise and his son Tom) were come to give me his answer whether he would have me go to law or arbitracon with him,"

L&M: In the dispute over the Brampton inheritance, see…

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