Thursday 12 June 1662

This morning I tried on my riding cloth suit with close knees, the first that ever I had; and I think they will be very convenient, if not too hot to wear any other open knees after them. At the office all the morning, where we had a full Board, viz., Sir G. Carteret, Sir John Mennes, Sir W. Batten, Mr. Coventry, Sir W. Pen, Mr. Pett, and myself. Among many other businesses, I did get a vote signed by all, concerning my issuing of warrants, which they did not smell the use I intend to make of it; but it is to plead for my clerks to have their right of giving out all warrants, at which I am not a little pleased. But a great difference happened between Sir G. Carteret and Mr. Coventry, about passing the Victualler’s account, and whether Sir George is to pay the Victualler his money, or the Exchequer; Sir George claiming it to be his place to save his threepences. It ended in anger, and I believe will come to be a question before the King and Council. I did what I could to keep myself unconcerned in it, having some things of my own to do before I would appear high in anything.

Thence to dinner, by Mr. Gauden’s invitation, to the Dolphin, where a good dinner; but what is to myself a great wonder; that with ease I past the whole dinner without drinking a drop of wine.

After dinner to the office, my head full of business, and so home, and it being the longest day in the year,1 I made all my people go to bed by daylight. But after I was a-bed and asleep, a note came from my brother Tom to tell me that my cozen Anne Pepys, of Worcestershire, her husband is dead, and she married again, and her second husband in town, and intends to come and see me to-morrow.

24 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

All ye historical costumiers, come, tell us the difference between close knees and open knees.

"I did what I could to keep myself unconcerned in it, having some things of my own to do before I would appear high in anything."

I.e., pick your fights with care.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"my riding cloth suit with closed knees"
Could it be a knickerbocker? Help Dirk

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"without drinking a drop of wine"
I don't understand why he is so proud of himself.

daniel  •  Link

"without drinking a drop of wine...”

I believe he made an oath of late.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Clear head for the office[ head full of business,...[no wine]], so that he be not lost in the the arguments of business along with he be watching his farthings [... I tried on my riding cloth suit with close knees...]

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

3p. on 240p. of trade, a small vigorish.This be essence of why one likes this work.[ remember all the postage prophits be for Sams dream girl Lady C.]
Always watch the flow of coin.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

why the discussion :

see a sampling of monies paid dec 1660

For so much due unto several Persons on the Account of Victuals by them delivered unto his Majesty's Ships, as appears by an Account produced unto us under the Hand of the present Surveyor of Marine Victuals £.s.d.
From: ‘House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 29 December 1660’, Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 234-44. URL:…. Date accessed: 13 June 2005.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"a full Board"
Well, not quite, Berkeley was missing as usual. Interesting that Sam doesn't even mention his absence - apparently it is taken for granted.

BTW, thanks to Cumgranissalis for explaining the 3p bit, which I had not understood.

dirk  •  Link

"riding cloth suit with closed knees"

Sorry. Couldn't find anything specific on this, but I make it to be a combination of a coat (not the heavy thing we know as a [over]coat nowadays - that would have been called a "greatcoat" - but a lighter version) possibly knee length, and trousers not slit at the knees. Obviously slits at the knees would have made for easier knee movements, but at the slits the knee was only protected from the outside world (wind, rain etc) by the lining: this might be chilly at times...

Mary  •  Link

Closed knees/open knees.

The 'after them' implies that Sam feels that the open-kneed trousers may feel too hot once he is used to the closed-knee fashion. This could be true if the open-knee version refers to those very full, loose-fitting trousers that employed many folds of fabric and the closed-knee version approximates more to the fashion of closer-fitting, narrower breeches. Less fullness of fabric between the thighs might well feel cooler.

Mary  •  Link

Carteret's 3d. in the pound.

The value of these fees can be judged by the fact that Carteret preferred to receive this poundage rather than the £2000 per year salary that had been introduced in 1660. The argument over payment by salary or by fees and allowances was to rumble on for several years and payment by salary was only reintroduced in 1671. (per L&M).

Stolzi  •  Link

Without drinking a drop of wine

Do we think Sam is washing down his meals with water? Or (my own guess) with ale?

Nix  •  Link

Wate or ale?

Ale, surely. That London water could kill you!

Jylaen  •  Link

Closed vs. open knees
The way I read it, Sam's concern is that when he wears open knee breeches (petticoat breeches) again after getting used to the closed knee style, he may realise how much cooler it feels to have the air moving about one's upper legs.

David  •  Link

"did not smell the use I intend to make of it"

Pulled one over on 'em, did ye Sam? Later, when asked why Sam's clerks are laying warrants about town, Sam will look quizical, "well, don't you remember . . . . ?"

Araucaria  •  Link

"... it being the longest day in the year, I made all my people go to bed by daylight."

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, old chap!

Sunset that date would have occurred around 8:15 to 8:20. But the long summer twilight would have lingered an hour longer.

A messenger arriving at 9PM could have come without link or lantern. And the moon would have been past first quarter and giving some illumination as well. Very pleasant it must have been. I can imagine the servants grumbling about Sam: "He's no fun these days with his head all in business all the time!"

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Fees :"Between 1660 and 1664 the Secretary was entirely dependent on fees for his remuneration. In the latter year a salary of £500, payable by the Treasurer of the Navy, was made available by the crown in consideration of the abolition of certain of these fees.”

From: ‘Secretaries 1660-1870’, Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume IV: Admiralty Officials 1660-1870 (1975), pp. 34-7. URL:…. Date accessed: 13 June 2005.

Glyn  •  Link

Pepys neither knew that his relative's husband was dead nor that she had remarried. I find that very surprising considering how much he is interested in his extended family, and what a gossip he is.

PJK  •  Link

The Museum of Costume in Bath kindly explained the breeches to me thus:
"In Pepy's time breeches were worn to the knee and the style worn for riding were generally known as petticoat breeches or rhinegraves which were very wide and did not gather at the knee. I think this is what he is referring to... the petticoat breeches which would not have restricted the knee in any way whilst riding. I can only assume that the close breeches he refers to are slightly longer (and perhaps less fashionable). There is a reference you might like to look at in C. Willet Cunnington & P.Cunnington Handbook of English Costume in the 17th Century, Faber 1972, pp148-150,"which also carries illustrations.”

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The warrants in question authorized payment by the Navy Treasurer for supplies, and were now, by this order, to be issued on Tuesday mornings only, Thursday mornings being reserved for concluding contracts with merchants. Pepys's own memorandum of this vote does not mention the question of who signed the warrants. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence to dinner, by Mr. Gauden’s invitation, to the Dolphin, where a good dinner"

Mr. Gauden was the Navy victualer, the paying of whose accounts had been under discussion today and yesterday.

john  •  Link

Oh my, I am trying to imagine riding in petticoat breeches. I suppose that walking or cantering would be fine but posting with all that fabric would seem to lead to fabric becoming between leg and saddle. I gather not much posting was done.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘smell, v. < Early Middle English smellen . .
. . 2. a. To perceive as if by smell; esp. to detect, discern, or discover by natural shrewdness, sagacity, or instinct; to suspect, to have an inkling of, to divine . .
1668 S. Pepys Diary 30 Aug. (1976) IX. 295 Lord Brouncker, who I perceive, and the rest, doth smell that it came from me, but dare not find fault with it . . ‘

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"... it being the longest day in the year,..."

L&M: By the Old Style, i.e. the Julian calendar; the Summer Solstice was June 22 by the 'New Style' Gregorian calendar, in use on the continent.

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