Wednesday 2 July 1662

Up while the chimes went four, and to put down my journal, and so to my office, to read over such instructions as concern the officers of the Yard; for I am much upon seeing into the miscarriages there. By and by, by appointment, comes Commissioner Pett; and then a messenger from Mr. Coventry, who sits in his boat expecting us, and so we down to him at the Tower, and there took water all, and to Deptford (he in our passage taking notice how much difference there is between the old Captains for obedience and order, and the King’s new Captains, which I am very glad to hear him confess); and there we went into the Store-house, and viewed first the provisions there, and then his books, but Mr. Davis himself was not there, he having a kinswoman in the house dead, for which, when by and by I saw him, he do trouble himself most ridiculously, as if there was never another woman in the world; in which so much laziness, as also in the Clerkes of the Cheque and Survey (which after one another we did examine), as that I do not perceive that there is one-third of their duties performed; but I perceive, to my great content, Mr. Coventry will have things reformed.

So Mr. Coventry to London, and Pett and I to the Pay, where Sir Williams both were paying off the Royal James still, and so to dinner, and to the Pay again, where I did relieve several of my Lord Sandwich’s people, but was sorry to see them so peremptory, and at every word would, complain to my Lord, as if they shall have such a command over my Lord. In the evening I went forth and took a walk with Mr. Davis, and told him what had passed at his office to-day, and did give him my advice, and so with the rest by barge home and to bed.

25 Annotations

First Reading

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"...while the chimes went four, and to put down my journal..."not a clang or a bong, a chime none the less, be it by clock mechanical or be it, by a boy standing by his candle and egg timer who rings the bell or chimer?. Sam doth like it to be musical , i doth believe.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Old kapitans , they be sea dogs, while the new ones be mostly with the charm and ne'er a cuss word in front of the fishwives. But were be the Mains'l ?, but they do know the yard arm for when the sun be over it, it be time to break out the rum.

dirk  •  Link

"Up while the chimes went four"

Can only refer to a mechanical clock. Most wall clocks at the time had an alarm clock setting, which operated a separate chime (apart from the hourly chime). Such clocks were expensive, but nevertheless fairly common in better circles. They still had only one hand (hours only), so Sam's alarm could only be set at **approximately** 4 o'clock... Sufficient precision for 17th c needs though.

(The minute hand will become common in 10 or 20 years.)

So, now we know it's not just the birds or the roosters that wake up Sam in the morning - there's modern technology.

dirk  •  Link

Sam's clock?
Select "Picture Gallery", then click on the "Bracket Clock by William Cattell" (top left of the picgtures) to enlarge.

This clock is of slightly later date than Sam's would have been, and has two hands. It's got an alarm system, but doesn't sound the hours as it's intended for bedroom use. Probably the clock that woke Sam in the morning looked very much like it...

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"a kinswoman in the house dead....he did trouble himself most ridiculously,as if there was never another woman in the world"
Can you believe such callousness!!!a plague upon you Sam.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Sam clearly thinks that Mr. Davis/Davies is exaggerating the impact of this family event to excuse himself from his duties beyond what is really warranted. I have certainly worked with people who did exactly that, so I can sympathize with Sam's annoyance, even though we can't know now how justified it was.

Mary  •  Link

" and to put down my journal.."

It looks as if Sam is writing up yesterday's doings first thing this morning. We still use the expression 'to put something down' meaning to write it down.

Mary  •  Link

old captains vs. new captains.

This is to be an ongoing aspect of Pepys' concerns for the Navy; i.e. that experienced seamen should be preferred above political or social appointees when commands are filled.

JWB  •  Link

Sam clearly writes that he thinks Davis exagerated his plight to evade his just due, but then this could be a psychological smoke screen from behind which Sam did what he sees as his duty to a man in pain.

Grahamt  •  Link

"Up while the chimes went four"
If it was an alarm, it wouldn't need to strike four. My bet is that this is the church clock (St Olave's?) chiming so he knows it is four. He says "While the chimes..." not "When the chimes..." so probably getting up while (i.e. during the time that) it struck, not because of it.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"laziness", "not one third of their duties performed", "miscarriages" - Sam is thoroughly stirring things up for improvements. It seems his reputation (and being backed by Mr Coventry) have gone ahead of him, which is why Mr Davis hides at home with excuses, which he then exagerrates: I see him talking on and on out of nervousness. And the Sir Williams are keeping well out of the way, volunteering to do the surely rather tedious job of paying off the ship's company - let Sam get the reputation for looking into everything and demanding higher standards - they will keep out of it (but will probably be quick to involve themselves in any praise going - "Oh, yes, my Lord, I put young Pepys onto investigating that, I am pleased you are content with the greater efficiences the Navy Office has acheived."). Often on these occasions, Sam regales us with tales of what they did on the barge home - stories and singing and so forth, but not today. Awkward silences with the the Sir Williams?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Do we know if St Olaves had a chiming clock then?

Clement  •  Link

"...experienced seamen should be preferred above political or social appointees.."
An example of effective governance learned during the Interregnum from the New Model Army.

Toren  •  Link

I think one should remember, too, that death was not a stranger in those days. An ordinary person could expect to see some of his friends, relatives, and family struck down on a regular basis. I don't think Sam is being insensitive here so much as exasperated.

Glyn  •  Link

Australian Susan. There's an engraving of St Olave's just after the end of the diaries, and it didn't have any public clock, just a weathervane.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

A day of mysteries: whence the chimes? was Davis ddeliberately keeping our of Sam's way during the day (couldn't avoid him the in the evening, though)?

Araucaria  •  Link

Whence the chimes? What about the great bell at Bow?

Mary  •  Link

Whence the chimes?

Sam could have heard Bow Bells when the wind was in the right direction, but for a more reliable source of audible chimes one would have to look to a bell located rather closer to the Navy Office.

GrahamT  •  Link

If you look at the old maps:…
(1742, but most churches were rebuilt after the great fire) you can see churches on almost every block:
As well as St Olaves, there are:
All Hallows, St Dunstans, 2 x St Catherines, St Mary at hill, St Margaret Patron, St Dionisis, St Gabriel, etc. within bell ringing distance of Seething lane. Surely at least one chimed the hours.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Time: The Navy, I doth think would not rely on any Sexton for the right time, they would have their own time piece,[the latest in bells and whistles that could be purchase not necessary paid for, great glory in saying the king has me old clock] 'tis why the they went hog wild building Greenwich palace mean time.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to my office, to read over such instructions as concern the officers of the Yard; for I am much upon seeing into the miscarriages there."

The Admiral's Instructions if January 1662 defined the duties of the officers of the yards, and required the Principal Officers of the Navy to see that they were performed. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"so much laziness, as also in the Clerkes of the Cheque and Survey (which after one another we did examine),"

These were Thomas Cowley and John Uthwayt, respectively. For Pepys's note about some of the subsequent reforms:… (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir Williams both were paying off the Royal James still," which L&M note
came to £9593 covering 29 March 1661-1 July 1662.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Interesting way to write to oneself. Speaking of Mr. Davis who "when by and by I saw him" then, meeting him later has the meeting to which he just referred. Very novelistic one might say but (as a diary) to what purpose?

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘peremptory, adj. < Anglo-Norman peremptorie . .
. . 5. Intolerant of refusal or opposition; insisting on compliance or obedience; imperious, dictatorial.
. . a1616 Shakespeare Two Gentlemen of Verona (1623) i. iii. 71 To morrow be in readinesse, to goe, Excuse it not: for I am peremptory.
. . 1742 H. Fielding Joseph Andrews iii. xii, This Proposal was answered with an angry Look and a peremptory Refusal by Joseph . . ‘

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