Tuesday 26 August 1662

Up betimes and among my works and workmen, and with great pleasure seeing them go on merrily, and a good many hands, which I perceive makes good riddance, and so to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon dined alone with Sir W. Batten, which I have not done a great while, but his lady being out of the way I was the willinger to do it, and after dinner he and I by water to Deptford, and there found Sir G. Carteret and my Lady at dinner, and so we sat down and eat another dinner of venison with them, and so we went to the payhouse, and there staid till 10 o’clock at night paying off the Martin and Kinsale, being small but troublesome ships to pay, and so in the dark by water home to the Custom House, and so got a lanthorn to light us home, there being Mr. Morrice the wine cooper with us, he having been at Deptford to view some of the King’s casks we have to sell.

So to bed.

36 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F,  •  Link

"staid till to o'clock at night paying off the Martin and Kinsale, being small but troublesome ships to pay”

L&M note: “Both were frigates, The former was paid from 24 June 1660 (c. £2143); the latter from 22 November 1660 (£883): PRO, Adm. 20/3 p. 329.

language hat  •  Link

"which I perceive makes good riddance":

Presumably the OED's definition 3:

3. a. Progress or dispatch in work. Obs.
1581 MULCASTER Positions v. (1887) 33 Writing being ones perfectly goten doth make a wonderful riddance in the rest of our learning. 1608 WILLET Hexapla Exod. Ded., The nether milstone is heauie, slow, and of small riddance. 1657 TRAPP Comm. Neh. iii. 20 A ready heart makes riddance of God's work. 1683 MOXON Mech. Exerc., Printing xi. {page}1 It would be troublesom and tedious.. for the Press-man, and would hinder his usual riddance of Work. 1725 Family Dict. II. s.v. Root-grafting, The Work may be done with great Riddance.. within doors. 1763 MILLS Pract. Husb. IV. 32 This hoeing.. may be performed with a wider hoe, for the sake of greater riddance.

Terry F,  •  Link

Thank you, language hat: good riddance to unclarity there.

(As previously remarked by someone, it takes heft to cite the OED; glad you have it and arrived just in time.)

Australian Susan  •  Link

The workmen seem to have realised Sam is serious about wanting them to get on speedily with the work, so have taken on extra hands to get it over and done with. He went to Debtford yesterday just on house business - wonder if that was to see about extra workmen? Let's hope it is all done before London gets another downpour!

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

As Sam has being riding them to death, they be a hearing, how he cleared out the stables down Woolwich [ salted wool] way, they GOT on with it and they should be the one's saying "... good riddance,..."
"...good many hands..." make light work.
Those that were missing yesterday, I w[a]nder if they be also on another government job with out the OK of a Commissioner.

JWB  •  Link

Another t-to-d transformations from German to English. It's the common German word "retten"-to save or rescue; rescue I think was the original meaning of rid.

Terry F,  •  Link

rid. To free from something objectionable or undesirable.
[Middle English rud{d}en, rid(d)en, from Old Norse rythja (past participle ruddr), from Germanic rudjan (unattested).]
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.

Xjy  •  Link

[Middle English rud{d}en, rid(d)en, from Old Norse rythja (past participle ruddr), from Germanic rudjan (unattested).]
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
Modern Swedish "rija”. Tidy up, get out of the way.
Skeat agrees with JWB that it’s from “retten”, though. The origin of retten is obscure. But Onions and the Swedish etymologist Wess?n go for Terry F’s option, and they’re more recent.
Lots of modern Swedish place-names end in a cognate “-ryd”. The word originally comes from the ruddy (red) colour of ground cleared in the forest.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

Tales From The Green Valley. BBC2 Fridays.
For UK viewers only I'm afraid, there is a fascinating series on TV following a bunch of archeologists and historians who lived and worked a small farm for a year as though in 1630. Concerning recent postings, they reckon that the average intake of a farm labourer was 4000 calories - about the same as a modern athelete.
They have also discovered that a soaked woollen topcoat takes around two weeks to dry out completely in front of an open fire, which means that rain stops work for them. I wonder if Sam's workmen had that luxury?

A.Hamilton  •  Link

a good many hands ... makes good riddance

Rather proverbial. Does anyone know if there is a compilation of common sayings from Pepys's time?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Here's one list of 17th century proverbs:

One book I've found that contains a nice collection of various prose pieces, essays, poems, sonnets, songs is "Seventeenth-Century Prose and Poetry" edited by Robert P. Tristam Coffin and Alexander M. Witherspoon. Not exactly common sayings but the songs and poems are built around them.

bardi  •  Link

As for me, I'm "willinger" to cede to all definitions of riddance.

language hat  •  Link

Skeat agrees with JWB that it's from "retten":

Skeat and JWB are both wrong. The change is from Germanic d to German t, not vice versa.

Ruben  •  Link

In Cahterine's Trail

I just came back from Portugal. May I tell you that I had (as Sam used to write) the most extraordinary vacation in all my life. Portugal is a wonderful country and the people the
most welcoming you can find in the world. They are proud of their place in the sun (a lot of sun) and most never herd of Queen Cathy. As this ignorance as became a rule in all places for all kind of things of the past, it did not surprise me. The pictures are in http://public.fotki.com/lenger/
I posted visual images of places that Cathy's eyes saw: Guimaraes, where the Braganza dynasty began. You can see the old castle and the family Palace (reconstructed 70 years ago), Braga, a city in the vicinity but bigger than Guimaraes, Coimbra and Lisbon (including Belem) where she lived as a Princess and later as Regent of Portugal. The Royal Palace disappeared
during the big earthquake and tsunami, less than 100 years after Catherine.
I posted only those pictures I considered she (the Queen) would more or less recognize. I have some more (I took more than 850 pictures), but who wants now to see them all? This digital cameras and cheap memories are too tempting...
Sorry for this long annotation.

Ruben  •  Link

In Cahterine's Trail
When you open “edit” in the Album you can read an interpretation of the picture. (and write your own)

Terry F,  •  Link

Ruben, Great contribution! Hardly a digression, it's a constant of the atmospherics at Court in the background on any day (and in the foreground, e.g., three days ago with the Royal parade on the Thames).

(Didn't find "edit," so don't know what treasures you have provided there.)

Thanks again.

Ramona Higer  •  Link

Thank you so much for the marvelous photos. It does, truly, make me want to visit Portugal.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

I'm sure there be some old codgers that remember how to farm without tractor, petrol, electricity. Horse it be and Bessie would keep ye on ones toes, that is, be there in the barn at sunup, else she kick the pail right out of ye hand, then Pa would side with Bessie and finish off the punishment. Thanks for the reminder Aussie Sue, how things have progressed, now I don't know me neighbours.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Her on the ABC in Australia there has been a reality show about people living in an 1860s house on a sheep station. It was rather disappointing, but probably worth watching if it comes to the US or the UK - it showed people's dependence on each other and the weather. But some of the participants were irritating in the extreme (maybe purposefull on the part of the producers?) If I tell you that the children in the house were called Persephone, Pierette and Portia, I think you can fill in the gaps..... Website http://www.abc.net.au/tv/outbackh…

Don McCahill  •  Link

Oz Susan

A similar show appeared in Canada (no doubt one was a copy of the other) a few years back. It sounds like ours was better. I liked that it was reality TV without the gimmicks of having contestants competing against each other, or voting each other off. It was an exercise in working together.

More information is at http://www.historytelevision.ca/t…

Australian Susan  •  Link

The UK started all this with having people live in a reproduction Iron Age village for a whole year, way back in the 70's, then there were the Channel 4 presentations: The 1900 House, The 1940s House, the Edwardian Country House and The Regency House Party. The US had a Frontier House and Australia has also had The Colony which pitted Australian, English, Irish and Aboriginal family groups more or less against each other in a Survivor type setting, with tasks (dig a well and get a pig as a reward kind of thing)and problems: Irish rebellion and so on. At times one felt any moment now Jeff from Survivor is going to stride out from behind a gum tree and order them all to Tribal Council. This series was overshadowed by the subsequent suicide of one of participants back in the UK. If people go about this in the correct spirit they are very educational series in the true sense of the word (Outback House became more like a soap)and I hope the 1620s one is like this - concentrating on problems of living and how they were solved and not personal interactions with 21st century overtones. The Canadian series mentioned in the website above left the people for a whole year, which makes more sense than 13 weeks (Outback House). Alas, no sign of it being shown here. If well done, I find these programmes fascinating. Great expectations of the 1620s show!

Australian Susan  •  Link

Further note: The Colony was set circa 1800 and although I don't seem very positive about Outback House, Dan and Simon are worth watching out for!

Mary  •  Link

The current BBC 17th century farming experience series

has the advantage that all the participants are experts in their own fields (anthropology, social history, agrarian history, architecture etc.) Thus the emphasis of the programmes is on just how life would have been conducted rather than on amateur participants vying with one another to see who can best survive and profit from the experience.

The viewer is still left with a number of questions unanswered, but with a format that allows only 30 minutes viewing to cover the events of a calendar month, this is inevitable. Presumably the producers decided that the audience would not be able to concentrate on a purely informative "costume" documentary for longer periods than that. Sad.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thanks for the information, Mary - it does sound good and I hope our ABC buys it. I'll email them! Maybe, when the BBC release a DVD version, it might be extended, particularly if they aim this at an educational market. The reference to architecture reminds me that Dirk found a wonderful site from the US with step by step pictures of people in period costume with period instruments building a 17th century wood-framed house - wonderful pictures, Website

Australian Susan  •  Link

OK, I confess, Witness is one of my favourite films.....(some of us like watching things being built)

Jeannine  •  Link

Ruben, Thanks for sharing these absolutely wonderful pictures. You have captured the essence of the time!

Pedro  •  Link

"Portugal is a wonderful country and the people the most welcoming you can find in the world. They are proud of their place in the sun "

Ruben, I can echo your sentiments! Only to add that if you learn, or attempt to learn the language, you are treated by everyone as part of their family. Their proudness is a delight to see, but leaves me a little jealous. Flags can be flown anywhere, but if we in England fly ours their is a storm of protest. Either we are facists or may offend others in our "multi-racial" society.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

We had a similar show over here in the US, called 'Frontier House', which was very interesting, although it brought a competitive element in by pitting three families against each other to see who would be best prepared to survive a Montana winter at the end of the series.

Stuart  •  Link

Have you ever wondered where the site for Tales of the Green Valley came from? The location is part of an ongoing project started in 1987 to reconstruct a working early 17th century agricultural landscape. Over 550 volunteers from 28 countries have worked on the site since then, over 100 research publications on food farming and domestic life of the period have been produced and a vast body of knowledge and experience of the farming system acquired over nearly 20 years.

Having finished the main building reconstruction work in 2002 trust members floated the idea of the series around a number of TV production companies. The film company parachuted in their “full time” “experts” selected primarily for being “Tele-visual” although some were really only on site for a couple of days filming a month. The visiting experts who pop up in various episodes are mostly trust members such as Dr Malcolm Stratford the charcoal burner and Tim Kohler, the haymaker, a field officer with English Nature.

A book on the building of the site is almost complete and expected to be published in May by Heritage Marketing and Publications.

The research publications published by Stuart Press are listed at www.Stuart-hmaltd.pwp.Blueyonder.…

PS. The period coats take 2 or 3 days not weeks to dry but there are references to sailors wearing tarred canvas which would have been much faster to dry

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"which I perceive makes good riddance"

Riddance, delivrance. [issuance]
To make a riddance, debarasser, mettre en ordre. [to get rid of, to put in order]
To make a good riddance of a thing, se tirer heureusement d'une affaire. [to handle a thing fortunately]
---A short dictionary English and French. G. Miège, 1684.

Pirate Queen  •  Link

One more person weighing in on "riddance"! Here in Ohio, after dinner my mom always said "Let's redd up the table" meaning clear off the dishes etc. She learned this expression from her mother, both living in NE Ohio. They weren't Amish (at all!) but this is an Amish i.e. "Pennsylvania Dutch" area. My brother and I are always tickled when we run into other people who grew up with "redd up" - as some Pennsylvania friends did.


Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED also has:

‘ . . 1b. In interjectional and exclamatory phrases, as . . good riddance, good riddance to bad rubbish .
. . 1627 T. Middleton No Wit (1657) ii. 58 Mr Low. They have given thee all the slip. Mrs Low. So a fair riddance!
. . 1847 Dickens Dombey & Son (1848) xliv. 438 A good riddance of bad rubbish!.. Get along with you, or I'll have you carried out!
. . 1924 M. Irwin Still she wished for Company xviii. 220 If all they say downstairs is true..it's good riddance to bad foreign rubbish.
1988 S. Rushdie Satanic Verses i. iv. 79 He was glad to have seen the back of his badly behaved colleagues; good riddance to bad rubbish, he thought.
2004 A. Robbins Pledged 31 Caitlin appreciated that her Big Sister didn't say what she was sure the rest of the sisterhood was thinking: good riddance . . ‘

showing how old the phrase ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’ is.

Michaela  •  Link

Tales from the Green Valley! I absolutely loved this series and it’s hard to believe it is now 16 years old - I think still available on YouTube though. I suppose I realized even then that it was highly unlikely that the people involved really spent a whole year living in the 17th century, but it was such a fascinating insight into rural life not long before Sam was born.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... and so got a lanthorn to light us home, there being Mr. Morrice the wine cooper with us, ..."

A lanthorn is a 16th century word for a lantern, presumably a bit more sturdy and dependable than a linkboy's flare. I also presume a man carried the lantern, and might therefore have cost more, but since Mr. Morrice was walking with Pepys and Batten and could share the cost, it was worth the expense.

Or maybe Pepys got (i.e. found) a lantern at the Customs House, and the three of them made off with it.

It was a bit of a hike in the dark: Aqua Scripto says:
"It be two furlongs from Office to the Customs House ...
Down Seething Lane, across Tower Street to Beer Lane, down the lane across the street again into the Building ...
The Customs House Quay be a stones throw from the Tower and the Tower dock and Tower Stairs"

Now, what's a furlong?

A furlong is a measure of distance in imperial units and United States customary units equal to one eighth of a mile,
equivalent to any of 660 feet,
220 yards,
40 rods,
10 chains
or approximately 201 metres.

Two of those in this case, plus a stone's throw to get you to the dock.

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