Monday 6 October 1662

Sir W. Pen and I early to St. James’s by water, where Mr. Coventry, finding the Duke in bed, and not very well, we did not stay to speak with him, but to White Hall, and there took boat and down to Woolwich we went. In our way Mr. Coventry telling us how of late upon enquiry into the miscarriages of the Duke’s family, Mr. Biggs, his steward, is found very faulty, and is turned out of his employment. Then we fell to reading of a book which I saw the other day at my Lord Sandwich’s, intended for the late King, finely bound up, a treatise concerning the benefit the Hollanders make of our fishing, but whereas I expected great matters from it, I find it a very impertinent [book], and though some things good, yet so full of tautologies, that we were weary of it.

At Woolwich we mustered the yard, and then to the Hart to dinner, and then to the Rope-yard, where I did vex Sir W. Pen I know to appear so well acquainted, I thought better than he, in the business of hemp; thence to Deptford, and there looked over several businesses, and wakened the officers there; so walked to Redriffe, and thence, landing Sir W. Pen at the Tower, I to White Hall with Mr. Coventry, and so to my Lord Sandwich’s lodgings, but my Lord was not within, being at a ball this night with the King at my Lady Castlemaine’s at next door. But here to my trouble I hear that Mr. Moore is gone very sick to the Wardrobe this afternoon, which troubles me much both for his own sake and for mine, because of my law business that he does for me and also for my Lord’s matters. So hence by water, late as it was, to the Wardrobe, and there found him in a high fever, in bed, and much cast down by his being ill. So thought it not convenient to stay, but left him and walked home, and there weary went to supper, and then the barber came to me, and after he had done, to my office to set down my journall of this day, and so home and to bed.

24 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

---A treatise "I expected great matters from" but "so full of tautologies, that we were weary of it."

What a mercy that no such books are published anymore! Perhaps the author was paid by the word.

dirk  •  Link

tautology (n.)

1: (logic) a statement that is necessarily true; "the statement `he is brave or he is not brave' is a tautology"

2: useless repetition; "to say that something is `adequate enough' is a tautology"

Source: WordNet - Princeton University

Brian G McMullen  •  Link

Even though I have been reading along (in fits and starts) for quite awhile I have not noticed previously that Sam goes 'to my office to set down my journall of this day, and so home and to bed'.

Is this usual or does he carry the journal around with him? If in a fixed position at the office it indicates a review / summary of the day done, sometimes, several days later. Would the journal be secure at the office?


Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Kandelarum: It is thought that Samuell makes notes, then when time permits doth transcribe them to his official Journal. There be another journal[expense] that he doth keep for his LSD and fathings.
See pages 74, 76 of Percival Hunt in his "Samuel Pepys in the Diary".

chris  •  Link

I wonder if Sam means by tautology what we take him to mean. Couldn't he be simply irritated by an account that differs from his own understanding?

Red Kelly  •  Link

I think it's amusing that 300 years ago the British were still worried about other European countries taking more than their fair share of fish. No wonder the quotas and regulations have been able to stamp out resentment in our own day - it's a long-standing complaint!

Australian Susan  •  Link

Not just in Europe. Here in Australia we are much concerned about the benefit the Indonesians make of our fishing - but that is mainly to do with taking illegally sized fish (too small) or taking things like giant clams which are forbidden (over-fished). I doubt that Sam had conservation concerns. Things have quietned down in European waters though - anyone remember the Cod Wars with Iceland in the '70s?

Sam has a busy day today - felt quite weary just reading it!

And some point-scoring over Sir WP!

Terry F.  •  Link

What is a "fair share of fish" was internaional law's perhaps earliest burning Q., addressed by Huig de Groot (Hugo Grotius) 1583-1645, founder of the modern natural law theory

"Grotius' conception of the nature of natural law is set forth in....1609 as Mare Liberum (The Freedom of the Seas). Mare Liberum talks about the rights of England, Spain, and Portugal to rule over the sea. If these countries could legitimately control the seas, this would prevent the Dutch from sailing, for example, into the East Indies. Grotius argued that the liberty of the sea was a key aspect in the communications amongst peoples and nations. No one country can monopolize control over the ocean because of its immensity and lack of stability and fixed limits."…

Pedro  •  Link

And John Seldon's MARE CLAUSUM...

So home, calling at Paul's Churchyard for a Mare Clausum, having it in my mind to write a little matter, what I can gather, about the business of striking sayle, and present it to the Duke, which I now think will be a good way to make myself known. So home and to bed.…


Glyn  •  Link

Is a pattern developing?

They called the muster at Woolwich today, and they also did this a month ago on 5 September:…

Perhaps this is one of the new improvements that Penn and Pepys have decided on.

Bob T  •  Link

Is a pattern developing?

Sam's trips to Deptford and Woolwich are partly governed by the tides on the river.
He can walk to Deptford if he has enough time, but Woolwich would be quite a hike.
If there is a pattern developing, the sleeping officers haven't figured it out yet.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

mustering [knapping it be]without warning: This time no-body be missing, so it appears, they maybe caught some a napping, sleeping that is, but the body be there. Samuell does not mention whether work be done, just goes on to nap test and stretching a few fibers.
Reading it again; the Officers abed at Depford, must have been quite late, as Sam had roused and jousled the Woolwhich Group then after testing the Hemp for strength, not potency then he finds that after going over to Depford there be more nap testing.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

`adequate enough? now it be `adequate be enough? meaning there be no need to do any better, as it be waste of time.
E.G. using mortise and Tenon joints in woodwork, when couple of brads will do the job.

Maurie Beck  •  Link

Things have quietned down in European waters though - anyone remember the Cod Wars with Iceland in the �70s?

The cod fishery, once considered inexhaustable, collapsed from overfishing.

Australian Susan  •  Link

What I was really recalling was not the sad aftermath (no cod) but the belligerance of the Icelanders - real gunfire exchanged over this. And when a new islet appeared after an undersea volcano erupted, the Icelanders instantly claimed it and thereby claimed an extension of territorial waters. I don't think the 17th century Dutch and English got as violent - well, over the fishing rights. They did fight real wars, but over different matters.

dirk  •  Link

They did fight real wars, but over different matters.

Indeed. In May 1652 the refusal of the Dutch admiral Tromp to strike his flag as the obligatory salute the British requested (even outside British waters), resulted in a naval battle between the Dutch and the British ships of admiral Blake! This led to the first Anglo-Dutch war. Only with the Peace of Westminster in 1654 would the Dutch eventually comply with this British request. -- To the modern mind this seems more trivial than fighting for cod - which at least is vital as food.

language hat  •  Link

It was just a pretext.
They were really fighting over who would benefit from the increasingly lucrative sea trade. (The War of Jenkins' Ear wasn't really about an ear, either.)

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

'Tis the politicos forte to say what be acceptable, never what be the real facts.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"...What a mercy that no such books are published anymore! Perhaps the author was paid by the word.." Books to-day be full of pudding, facts or substance be one line per page.

Bradford  •  Link

Lady Castlemaine Alert:
This is redundant (it's on her page too), but Lady C. is the ODNB Life of the Day for October 9:…
---a full-scale biographical essay (13 pages, if you print it off). Lives are kept on this site for a week; if you can't catch up with her today, click on the "Lives of the Week" bar above and see if she is still on-line.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Then we fell to reading of a book which I saw the other day at my Lord Sandwich’s, intended for the late King, finely bound up, a treatise concerning the benefit the Hollanders make of our fishing...."

L&M propose Pepys's comments later in this entry suggest this book was probably the short but prosy work by Tobias Gentleman ('Fisherman and Mariner'): Englands way to win wealth, and to employ ships and mariners: or, A plain description what great profit it will bring unto the commonwealth of England, by the erecting, building, and adventuring of busses to sea a-fishing. With a true relation of the inestimable wealth that is yearly taken out of His Majesty's seas by the Hollanders, by their great numbers of busses, pinks, and line-boats: and also a discourse of the seacoast towns of England; and the most fit and commodious places and harbours that we have for busses; and of the small number of our fishermen: and also the true valuation, and whole charge of building, and furnishing to sea, busses and pinks, after the Holland manner. (1614). http://socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.c…

Bill  •  Link

“and though some things good, yet so full of tautologies”

TAUTOLOGY, a saying or repeating the same thing over again.
---An Universal English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

I thought this an absolutely beautiful entry! I could feel place, time and his reckoning
through it.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘tautology, n. < post-classical Latin tautologia < Hellenistic Greek ταὐτολογία . .
1. Unnecessary repetition, usually in close proximity, of the same word, phrase, idea, argument, etc. Now typically: the saying of the same thing twice in different words (e.g. ‘they arrived one after the other in succession’), generally considered to be a fault of style.
. . 1686 J. Goad Astro-meteorologica i. xii. 56 The Taedium of Tautology is odious to every Pen and Ear . . ‘

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