Wednesday 1 October 1662

Up with my mind pretty well at rest about my accounts and other business, and so to my house and there put my work to business, and then down to Deptford to do the same there, and so back and with my workmen all the afternoon, and my wife putting a chamber in order for us to lie in. At night to look over some Brampton papers against the Court which I expect every day to hear of, and that done home and with my wife to bed, the first time I have lain there these two months and more, which I am now glad to do again, and do so like the chamber as it is now ordered that all my fear is my not keeping it. But I hope the best, for it would vex me to the heart to lose it.

15 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"All right ye scum, ya verminous dogs!...Get to work! We'll be abed in this chamber tonight if some of you must be dead first!"

Yes, Mrs. Pepys...The workmen nod.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"my mind pretty well at rest about my accounts"
I am about to do the quarterly tax reckonings and payments for our company, so appreciate how Sam feels about being "at rest". I am also waiting for our employed accountant to finish our final tax for this financial year (July to June here in the Antipodes) and it strikes me that Sam never seems to use a specialised accountant either for his own accounts, nor for the Navy - they seem to do it themselves. Was accounting not a spearate trade/profession in those days? Was it all simpler, so any mathematically educated person could cope? Had the era of "creative" [sic] accounting not yet arrived? or "cooked" books? Were the tax laws easy to understand? We know that legal matters are very complex and Sam needs much professional advice about such matters, but not the accounting it seems.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Accounting then: no loop holes to worry about: Income less expense be prophet.
We have created a monstrosity of magician three walnut shells to see if the stock holders and revenuers can find who we bribed. Holding, folding companies, parachute payments for losing the money that farmers of taxes don't get.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Tax laws easy. yep ! there be here, ah? 2 boys, 2 maids, and a Mistress, legal[churched you be ?] that don't count, and you be squire and is ye an esquire, ah!, I see 3 hearths, thank ye very much.
For good ref. see Picard p.241,242 of Restr. Lon.
...Samuell Pepys, gent., 10 [bob]s the rest 2 bob [4 persons]..'' taking liberties with spelling.
Most people paid a tanner a yr [6d/yr]

David A. Smith  •  Link

"all my fear is my not keeping it"
Sam is endlessly neurotic, always identifying the next thing to worry about ... but he's also always *constructive* in his neurosis, identifying the next thing to do. Neurosis so channeled + intelligence + perception + ambition = Success

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thanks JWB - so it is all Luca Pacioli's fault! Wonder what he would have made of MYOB and Quicken. Actually the principles remained the same. Fascinating section on Josiah Wedgwood and the development of accounting - he was a man after Sam's own heart. Sam had grasped some of the concepts which Wedgwood made into a working system, but even by the end of the 18th century according to the excellent site you found, only 11 persons listed themselves as "Accomptants" in London. Sam would certainly have made good use of some of the system developed by Wedgwood and Carron and Co as described in this site. Me, I am still trying to get to grips with employees' superannuation as a liability or an expense...... (Sam never had *that* to worry about!)(Although I suppose the Chatham Chest was a form of pension).

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary today:

"To Lond: There were Vipers brought to the Society, Mr. Boyle produced 2 cleare liquors, which being mingled became a clear hard stone: There was also brought the Hippomanes or Mare-poyson: I returned home:"

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Be there any one who knows the answer to "Mr. Boyle produced 2 cleare liquors, which being mingled became a clear hard stone"

Pedro  •  Link

Mr. Boyle's experiment.

Boyle was interested in alchemy, could this be his search for the "Philosophers Stone"?

GrahamT  •  Link

Re Boyle:
Albeit that this was in the days before petroleum drived plastics, it sounds like Boyle is demonstrating a form of polymerisation.
300 years later, in the 1960's, electronic components were "potted" by placing the circuit in a mould and two clear liquids mixed and poured in. Overnight they became a transparent yellowish solid protecting the circuit.
Something similar can be seen with modern two part adhesives where two viscous liquids are mixed together, which "go off" to form a solid bond.

dirk  •  Link

Boyle's polymer?

"Natural polymers include such things as tar and shellac, tortoise shell and horns, as well as tree saps that produce amber and latex. These polymers were processed with heat and pressure into useful articles like hair ornaments and jewelry. Natural polymers began to be chemically modified during the 1800s to produce many materials. The most famous of these were vulcanized rubber, gun cotton, and celluloid. The first synthetic polymer produced was Bakelite in 1909 and was soon followed by the first semi- synthetic fiber, rayon, which was developed in 1911."

Tree saps that produce amber... Could that be the case here?


dirk  •  Link

Mare-poyson (Hippomanes)

A term with a curiously mixed meaning.

In modern homeopathy:

"A normally white, usually dark olive green, soft, glutinous, mucous substance, of a urinous odor, which floats in the allantois fluid, or is attached to the allantois membrane of the mare or cow chiefly during the last months of pregnancy. [...] soft putty-like aggregates of urinary calculus (deposits or stones) which form throughout pregnancy and are present in all placentas [...]"


In Sam's time:

A herb, mixed up with the above meaning, but entirily negative, a dangerous poison. -- In the famous Dodoens "Herbarius" of 1644 it is decribed as [my translation from 17th c. Dutch]: "it is a poisonous thing / and capable of being used maliciously / and to be used in magic potions and forbidden and ungodly arts. [...] Theocritus testifies that it is a herb that makes horses mad. [...] Virgilius and Tibullus [...] described it as a poisonous and deadly slime or foam which flows or drips from the hindquarters of a mare when she is in heat [...] and almost mad for lust and eager to be jumped."…

Second Reading

John York  •  Link

Australian Susan "Was accounting not a spearate trade/profession in those days? Was it all simpler, so any mathematically educated person could cope? Had the era of "creative" [sic] accounting not yet arrived?"
In those days the occupation was a bookkeeper. Taxation was as Cumgranissalis says levied on things which were easily determined. Income Tax, which required determination of profit was only introduced in Great Britain in 1799. It was the assessment of tax on income that gave rise to all the wonderful accounting "rules". In 1662 most bookkeping was in the form of simple ledgers showing amounts owed (for merchants and shopkeepers) and amounts paid. The introduction of jointly funded merchant ventures was beginning to increase the need for better accounting because the subscribers were not involved in the business and needed to see how there profits or losses had accrued. But these are relatively infrequent.

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