Monday 9 June 1662

Early up and at the office with Mr. Hater, making my alphabet of contracts, upon the dispatch of which I am now very intent, for that I am resolved much to enquire into the price of commodities.

Dined at home, and after dinner to Greatorex’s, and with him and another stranger to the Tavern, but I drank no wine. He recommended Bond, of our end of the town, to teach me to measure timber, and some other things that I would learn, in order to my office. Thence back again to the office, and there T. Hater and I did make an end of my alphabet, which did much please me. So home to supper and to bed.

15 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

"alphabet" = "index" (Shorter Pepys, glossary)

"and some other things that I would learn, in order to my office."
This may sound as if a word or two is missing in the last phrase ("in order to perform my office"), but apparently that intention is understood; sic L&M.

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary

On 8 June (yesterday) Evelyn notes:
"I saw her Majestie at supper privately in her Bed-chamber."

Today 9 June 1662 there's a very long entry. For convenience I've cut it up in paragraphs...

"I heard the Q: Portugals Musique, consisting of Pipes, harps, & very ill voices.

(...and follows a marvellous description of Hampton Court...)
"Hampton Court is as noble & uniforme a Pile & as Capacious as any Gotique Architecture can have made it: There is incomparable furniture in it, especialy hangings design'd by Raphael & very richly with gold: also many rare Pictures, especialy the C?sarian Triumphs of Andr: Mantegna: formerly the Duke of Mantuas; & of the Tapissrys the story of Abraham, & Tobit: than which I believe the whole world shews nothing nobler of that kind: The Gallery of Hornes is very particular for the vast beames of staggs &c: Elkes, Antelops &c:

“The Queenes bed was an Embrodery of silver on Crimson Velvet, & cost 8000 pounds, being a present made by the states of Holland, when his Majestie returned, & had ben formerly given by them to our Kings sister, the Princesse of Orange, & being bought of here againe, now presented to the King: The greate looking-Glasse & Toilet of beaten & massive Gold was given by the Q: Mother &c:

“The Queene brought over with her from Portugal, such Indian Cabinets and large trunks of Laccar, as had never before ben seene here:

“The Greate hall is a most magnificent roome: The Chapell roofe incomparably fretted & gilt: I was also curious to visite the Wardrobe, & Tents, & other furniture of State:

“The Park formerly a flat, naked piece of Ground, now planted with sweete rows of lime-trees, and the Canale for water now neere perfected: also the hare park:

“In the Garden is a rich & noble fountaine, of Syrens & statues &c: cast in Copper by Fanelli, but no plenty of water: The Cradle Walk of horne-beame in the Garden, is for the perplexed twining of the Trees, very observable &c: Another Parterr there is which they call Paradise in which a pretty banqueting house, set over a Cave or Cellar; all these Gardens might be exceedingly improved, as being too narrow for such a Palace:”

Australian Susan  •  Link

"Pretty banqueting house"
From late Elixabethan times onwards, it was customary for the rich to show off their conspicuous consumtion by having a "banquet" which consisted of rich sweet things to eat eaten seprately in a banqueting house - only the most favoured would be invited to partake. Gradually the word banquet and banquetting house came to apply to any lavish meal and ostentatious eating room.
"I saw her Majestie eat privately.."
For Royalty to eat in public was one of the downsides of being royal - this was one of the reasons why Queen Victoria gave up The Roayl Pavilion at Brighton as a Roayl Palce - she hated being watched through the windows as she ate. Evelyn being admitted to the inner Royal rooms shows his staus - this is probably why he remarks on it in his diary: only the privelged got to see this.
Sam and the ordering of the contracts: reminds me of the bit in When Harry Met Sally when he remarks "You alphabetise your videos?" and she replies, puzzled, "Doesn't everyone?"

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

" enquire into the price of commodities... to teach me to measure timber, and some other things that I would learn, in order to my office..."

The beginnings of professional activities. The English were able to keep this mix of "do it for fun vs those that do it for Bread". The gentlemen vs the Players.
"My Dear Chap, please do not meantion filthy luka, mi hands be clean."
So this is where it all began. Sam , Sam you change the world. The Clubhouse will never remain the same , mind you it took 14 generations to remove most of the Lordly club, it be still be hanging on.
Coventry certainly did stir up events by asking to many Questions, why could he be not like Barkeley and snooze in the H of lords ? I guess MR C. be wanting a seat on the Ermine row too.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

What sort of indexing system would Samuel have used? There must have been vast amounts of paper, and not all in 'book' form.

Mary  •  Link

to teach me to measure timber.

The accurate measuring of timber was a complicated business and often provided opportunities for fraud. Here is another aspect of naval office work that Pepys is anxious to get a good handle on. Bond (see Background) was a teacher of appplied mathematics and did a lot of work that was relevant to naval matters.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Good Lord! Pepys and Coventry together? Two men who actually care (sometimes) about doing a good job in the office?!

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Dawn of the MBAs.

Pepys turns to mathematics and the emerging scientific community to learn more about how to manage Navy procurement.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Filing - the never-ending curse of office work.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

More than filing: it be the dirty word 'Organising': or how to answer " How much did ye pay for that moustrap cheese " and you be saying "it is all there under that pile of tarpaulins".
When did filing become a English word?

dirk  •  Link

When did filing become a English word?

From Middle English filen, to put documents on file, from Old French filer, to spin thread, to put documents on a thread, from Late Latin filare, to spin, draw out in a long line, from Latin filum, thread.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

Second Reading

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘alphabet . . 3. An index or list in alphabetical order.
. . 1666 S. Pepys Diary 25 Dec. (1972) VII. 421 Reducing the names of all my books to an Alphabet . . ‘

‘file, v.3 < file n.2 < filum L. thread
1. a. trans. . . to place (documents) on a file; to place (papers) in consecutive order for preservation and reference . .
1631 B. Jonson Staple of Newes i. ii. 76 in Wks. II They..sort, and file, And seale the newes, and issue them . .
transf. and fig.
1581 J. Bell tr. W. Haddon & J. Foxe Against Jerome Osorius 292 Let not this accusation of Osorius be filed uppe amongst the other hys false reproches and lyes . .

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