Thursday 20 November 1662

All the morning sitting at the office, at noon with Mr. Coventry to the Temple to advise about Field’s, but our lawyers not being in the way we went to St. James’s, and there at his chamber dined, and I am still in love more and more with him for his real worth. I broke to him my desire for my wife’s brother to send him to sea as a midshipman, which he is willing to agree to, and will do it when I desire it. After dinner to the Temple, to Mr. Thurland; and thence to my Lord Chief Baron, Sir Edward Hale’s, and back with Mr. Thurland to his chamber, where he told us that Field will have the better of us; and that we must study to make up the business as well as we can, which do much vex and trouble us: but I am glad the Duke is concerned in it. Thence by coach homewards, calling at a tavern in the way (being guided by the messenger in whose custody Field lies), and spoke with Mr. Smith our messenger about the business, and so home, where I found that my wife had finished very neatly my study with the former hangings of the diningroom, which will upon occasion serve for a fine withdrawing room. So a little to my office and so home, and spent the evening upon my house, and so to supper and to bed.

24 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"Mr. Thurland; and thence to my Lord Chief Baron, Sir Edward Hale’s"

L&M note: "For the case see… After his victory in obtaining damages against Pepys, Field was now arrested by order of the Duke of York on the original charge of slander..., but the office made preparations to come to terms with him out of court in his action against the whole Board: below see…

Are the British a litigious people, the law and its remedies being ever-available? Their ex-colonials in the US certainly are!

Terry F  •  Link

"withdrawing room"

(n) drawing room, withdrawing room (a formal room where visitors can be received and entertained)…

I have always wondered about a "drawing room" that never looks like an art-studio.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

to withdraw= for the ladies to do a bunk so that the better halves can speak their minds without contradiction.

dirk  •  Link

"calling at a tavern in the way (being guided by the messenger in whose custody Field lies), and spoke with Mr. Smith our messenger about the business"

Can somebody clear up this "messenger" business. I don't quite get it.

Pauline  •  Link

"(...the messenger in whose custody Field lies), and spoke with Mr. Smith our messenger about the business..."
As Field is in prison, this must mean a messenger that can gather information, meet concerned people, and represent Field short of the legal aspect. Metting with Sam and Coventry's messenger establishes a route of communication between the parties to the lawsuit. No phones, no email, and you may show up for a meeting with the movers and shakers and find they've gone off hunting--so you assemble some reliable adjuncts to do the perservering.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Messengers were a more than Dogsbodies. They be genative rather than dative[like Secretary being reduced to the low esteme position except when they have that little buzzword "OF" blah inserted after de word, they were well paid]]
messenger harbinger
'Messengers of the Receipt and Messengers to First Lord 1660—1870:
Messenger of Receipt and messengers to the First Lord
T Benbow, Benbow, R before 1660 then Kipps T 1660;Sturgeon , J 1660 then Benbow, T again 1662…
then there be J Reeve "The Messenger of the Chamber was in origin one of the corps of such Messengers which formed part of the Royal Household. From the Restoration the Messenger in question was attached to the Treasury on a permanent basis. The right of appointment rested with the Treasury "

From: 'Messenger of the Chamber 1660—1870 and City Messenger 1827—35', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1: Treasury Officials 1660-1870 (1972), pp. 90-1. URL:…. Date accessed: 21 November 2005.

more :Messengers 1660-1870 there be a Smeaton T;
At the Restoration the Treasury had nominally at its disposal the four Messengers of the Receipt and the Messenger of the Chamber. These officials appear usually to have exercised their functions by deputy and to have failed to provide an adequate service. As a result the Treasury was obliged to employ additional Messengers.

From: 'Messengers 1660—1870', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1: Treasury Officials 1660-1870 (1972), pp. 92-4. URL:…. Date accessed: 21 November 2005.
other Officers of the high
Other Officers of the High.
Serjeant at Arms 1660-1832
The Serjeant at Arms attending the Treasurer or Commissioners of the Treasury was appointed by the crown by letters patent under the great seal. (Footnote 1) The office was granted for life until 1684 and during pleasure thereafter. While it involved its holders in real duties until 1689, it appears to have become virtually a sinecure soon after this date.

From: 'Serjeant at Arms 1660—1832', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1: Treasury Officials 1660-1870 (1972), p. 96. URL:…. Date accessed: 21 November 2005.

Australian Susan  •  Link

The security guards at the Bank of England (London and regional Branches) are still called Messengers as a hangover from the time when that is what they did. The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street was founded after the Diary period in 1694. This link shows a Bank Messenger (middle person) in his official uniform.…

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"Are the British a litigious people, the law and its remedies being ever-available"? only if ye have the money to process your complaint, if ye fail, ye pay the costs of wasteing the Judge and friends time. That be my understanding so if ye be of little cash, be right And have the best of Counsel before borrowing the Kids inheritance. It Keeps the Courts under control.

Michael Robinson  •  Link


In this context, perhaps, a messenger is someone of some seniority analagous to that of a "Queen's Messenger" of the diplomatic service.

Terry F  •  Link

or the White Rabbit whose trail Alice follows...

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"and I am still in love more and more with him"
Fascinating how such ordinary terms undergo subtle changes over the centuries. In a 2005 diary this would be a bombshell!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"and I am still in love..."

And yet Tony, even today it might be completely innocent. It's our interpretations that have changed...Though even in Sam's day, some might have snickered reading it.

"Steerforth was more to be admired than ever..."

"Oh, Hick I wish I could just put my arms around you."

"I feel more love for that man than any I have encountered."

Not one a declaration of love, but via our interpretation...

Terry F  •  Link

Field, Edward

There is now some background info on him, but there is nothing on his gainful employment, if he had any.

Glyn  •  Link

Has Balty ever asked for any other jobs using Pepys' influence?

Pauline  •  Link

"...I broke to him my desire for my wife’s brother to send him to sea..."
Glyn, I'm not so sure Balty has asked for this job. Strikes me as a middle class sort of shanghai. But that's the "fun" read, perhaps Balty does want to be a midshipman.

Terry F  •  Link

Balty asked for another job using Pepys’ influence, 6 April 1660

"This morning came my brother-in-law Balty to see me, and to desire to be here with me as Reformado, which did much trouble me. But after dinner (my Lord using him very civilly, at table) I spoke to my Lord, and he presented me a letter to Captain Stokes for him that he should be there."…

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Thanks Terry: Brothers in Law [wifes little brother? ] go down in history as the odd ones out, along with the Mother in Laws.
Sam marries the girl not the family.

Pauline  •  Link

'along with the Mother in Laws'
Go easy, in Aqua S., it is the holiday season and MIL's need all the good press they can get.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Isn't Balty rather old to be a midshipman?

Jeannine  •  Link

Glyn and Terry -more discussion of Balty's desire for assistance from Sam is in the June 18, 1660 entry and interesting discussion in that day's annotations too.…
To add to the idea set forth by Yonmei on that day-- a great deal of the structure of the society where Sam lived relied on a "caste system" of sorts and the idea of being "entitled" to some position in life due to blood line (or perceived bloodline), which we may find unfounded in today's world, existed more widely at that time. It was pretty customary to dole out jobs (titles, etc.) based on anything other than merit and the upper classes and especially titled people seemed to expect it. In fairness to Balty, who could have been a totally useless individual in terms of work ethic and/or actual job skills, he may not have been out of line with the expectations of society or those that his parents may have led him to believe to expect due to thier understanding of their ancestry.

Glyn  •  Link

Jeannine, but that entry was from two years ago so he must have had some employment since then.

I recall that this summer he had married, or was supposed to have married a rich heiress, though I don't think any wedding was attended by Sam or Elizabeth. So he may or may not have a wife to support as well.

Jeannine  •  Link


My reply was in response to your question above inquiring is Balty had asked for jobs from Sam in the past. Sam only records the 2 instances that Terry and I have noted above and they were both awhile ago. Other than that nothing directly from him to Sam but Elizabeth has noted his "sad condition" to Sam on occasion.
In regards to the nuptials -they were noted on Sunday June 15, 1662 when Sam noted "And then her brother came to see her {Elizabeth}, and he being gone she told me that she believed he was married and had a wife worth 500l. to him, and did inquire how he might dispose the money to the best advantage, but I forbore to advise her till she could certainly tell me how things are with him, being loth to meddle too soon with him"…
There were never any other comments to date about Balty having a wife (or if he did truly get married at that time??). Perhaps if he did marry he was living off of the money that he supposedly got at that time??..but this would just be purely speculation. Of course, there could be a lot going on that Sam just hasn't written about.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Jeannine, that dothe explain why now he be looking, as if he be married and he mispent her monies on wilde schemes, he be desperate to have 2 years before the mast, as many a lost ladd has gone a looking for easy pickings.

Third Reading

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