Friday 28 November 1662

A very hard frost; which is news to us after having none almost these three years. Up and to Ironmongers’ Hall by ten o’clock to the funeral of Sir Richard Stayner. Here we were, all the officers of the Navy, and my Lord Sandwich, who did discourse with us about the fishery, telling us of his Majesty’s resolution to give 200l. to every man that will set out a Busse; and advising about the effects of this encouragement, which will be a very great matter certainly. Here we had good rings, and by and by were to take coach; and I being got in with Mr. Creed into a four-horse coach, which they come and told us were only for the mourners, I went out, and so took this occasion to go home. Where I staid all day expecting Gosnell’s coming, but there came an excuse from her that she had not heard yet from her mother, but that she will come next week, which I wish she may, since I must keep one that I may have some pleasure therein.

So to my office till late writing out a copy of my uncle’s will, and so home and to bed.

38 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"his Majesty’s resolution to give 200l. to every man that will set out a Busse"

L&M note: "In September 1662 a scheme -- similar to those of 1580, 1615 and 1661 -- for building herring busses had been inaugurated by the Council of Royal Fishery, the King himself undertaking to provide ten. The council had been established in August 1661: Pepys became a member of the corporation appointed to succeed it in 1664...."

"good rings"

L&M note: "For funeral rings, see Saturday 13 April 1661… "

"writing out a copy of my uncle’s will"

L&M note: "This copy has not been traced."

Bradford  •  Link

"she will come next week, which I wish she may, since I must keep one that I may have some pleasure therein."

Any nominations for the exact referent of "one" in this rather baffling grammatical construction?

dirk  •  Link

"A very hard frost; which is news to us after having none almost these three years."

The explanation for yesterday's snow enigma...

JWB  •  Link

my guess
one=a day next week

stolzi  •  Link

“she will come next week, which I wish she may, since I must keep one that I may have some pleasure therein.”

I take this to mean: "she will come next week, and I certainly hope she, Gosnell herself, comes, [and we don't have to look for another one] since she is one [a companion/waiting woman for my wife] whose company I will enjoy myself - seeing that I'm obligated to pay for her keep."

He did say he liked her, didn't he?

Leslie Katz  •  Link

This business about funeral rings:

I remember reading often in Victorian novels about people being given gloves at a funeral. I can't now remember any reference to rings. Did rings somehow metamorphose into gloves?

Terry F  •  Link

"So to my office till late writing out a copy of my uncle’s will"

"So"? -- how often Sam'l uses this conjunction, as though it were "therefore" and the motive of the action that follows known, which it is to him, though not (always) to us.

What will he do with a[nother] copy of Uncle Robert's will?
My guess is, furnish it to whoever will replace his cozen Roger an arbitrator in the case with (against) his Uncle Thomas.

language hat  •  Link

funeral rings:
"Perhaps the most morbid use of poison rings arose during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Jewelers started making coffin shaped locket rings complete with skeletons and images of Death. Called funeral rings, they were given to mourners as a memento of the departed."
From this site:…


"It was quite normal in English families, though the custom was dying out by 1836 and being replaced by gifts of chunks of the deceased's hair or tiny photos/paintings in a locket. A mourning ring was a tangible reminder of the testator, but could also be used as currency if times became hard -easier to sell than an oil painting or suit of clothes."

Australian Susan  •  Link

Mourning jewllery used to be very popular. There is a specialised sales site for it.…
Personally I find all this gives me the creeps. A plain ring as in Sam's time, is fine, but all that developed later - no, thank you! The 17th c had a less sentimental attitude towards death than the Victorians - as well as all this jewellery, they also (once it was invented) used to take photographs of dead children in their coffins, which were supposed to inspire living children to be good. More likely to give them nightmares.

Australian Susan  •  Link


These were sometimes given at weddings - white ones - this site mentions this and also gives details of other customs, some of which date from our period or earlier.…

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

" The 17th c had a less sentimental attitude towards death" As progress was made in increasing the London population with better food, housing and clean water, Death became rarer ocassion, thereby it became more mystical. Then Every year [1600's] ye were exposed to removal of life, now as the family be smaller and a bigger percentage survived , one could afford to be more elaborate with ones guilt of not doing the right by the departed.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

I will NOT be cynical [or use a syn] and read between the lines "...which I wish she may, since I must keep one that I may have some pleasure therein..."

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and read between the lines"
between the linens,most likely.

Terry F  •  Link

Between the 17c and the Victorians "The Gentlemen's Magazine for 1809, p. 883, records that 'On Thursday the 24th August the funeral of Mr. Boulton took place at the parish church of Hansworth. A numerous and most respectable assemblage of his friends and upwards of 500 of his work people attended. To each of these and all other individuals who attended the funeral, a medallic token was presented, recording the age of the deceased and the day of his death.'"…
(The images of the token are dark [dead?] on my browser.)

dirk  •  Link

"The images of the token are dark on my browser."

Re - Terry F

They're not on mine. They appear to be bronze, with some patina.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

lest we be 'obsequious ' oh! wot 2 dothe letters mean [OBSEQUIES]

Terry F  •  Link

Though the images of the medallion are dark on my browser, its Obv. image copied, tweaked using an app. to increase "balance," brightness and contrast is nicely legible -- confirms the worthy tribute to "MATTHEW BOULTON/ DIED AUGUST 17th 1809/ AGED 81 YEARS."

Mary  •  Link

funeral rings

On 13th April 1661 Pepys attended the funeral of Capt. Robert Blake at Wapping and was given a funeral ring on that occasion too.

Mary  •  Link

"since I must keep one"

Sam and Elizabeth intially interviewed two Gosnell sisters, both of whom were seeking employment in a gentleman's household. Perhaps this 'one' refers to the one sister (the younger) that it was decided to engage. "since I must keep one [of them]."

andy  •  Link

A very hard frost; which is news to us after having none almost these three years

Sam's account of the weather at that time is an untapped resource that has implications for modern astrophysics. There is a theory called the "Maunder Minimum" that European temperatures were recorded as being very cold between 1645 and 1715 and that this period co-incided with an exceedingly low sunspot count; the implication being that solar activity has climatic effects. This question is still unresolved.

FWIW my own view on the Maunder Minimum is that it is unproven. Sam also records that the 2 previous years did NOT have a large frost; observations of temperature at the time would be hampered by a lack of an accurate temperature scale or thermometer(Fahrenheit invented them in 1714), and certainly I doubt whether there were compatible sunspot counts, if anyone was recording them at all (Galileo having just invented the telescope in 1609 and being blissfully unaware of the blindness that results from viewing the Sun through it)- there is an observing convention nowadays to record sunspot counts.

However, Sam's accounts of temperature need to data-mined so that we can have a better idea of the veracity of the Maunder Minimum.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Lovely medallions - TerryF - and *much* more appealing than the nasty hair jewllery or photos of dead babies I found!

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"So to my office"
Terry, I read this as "next" or "then". "And so we say farewell to the island of Bora Bora - jewel of the sea" - any one else remember those old documentaries?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Wonder what excuse he gave Bess for sticking round all day after the Stayner funeral.

"To home and greeted Gosnell of whom I see my wife has already conceived a most profound jealousy..." Just a prediction.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

In regard to the world ending on Tuesday (today here in USA),

I offer the following, courtesy of Benny Peiser:

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow
in Australia
--Charles Schultz, creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: hard frosts and the Maunder Minimum

I don't know, Andy, the Maunder Minimum looks like more than a theory to me. Scientists have been able to measure the amount of carbon-14 in tree rings, as well as take advantage of other data, to prove that this occured and was a result of a lack of sunspot activity on the sun.

More information here:…

and here:…

stolzi  •  Link

"and so we say farewell to Bora Bora..."

Bob & Ray did a very funny send-up of these documentaries... just the same kind of voice you remember, saying things like "where the natives are fishing for clams, lobsters, quahogs, and tartar sauce."…

Jeannine  •  Link

"Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow
in Australia"
Gee Andy, if Australian Susan doesn't check in first thing on her Tuesday does that mean we're history?

Terry F  •  Link

Royal subsidy or royal reward?

I ask of “his Majesty’s resolution to give 200l. to every man that will set out a Busse” which L&M say is a "two- or three-masted vessel chiefly for the North Sea fishery, heavily built and of about 60 tons” and about which Wim van der Meij reports that the saying was: ‘een buis is op zee een huis’ (A busse is a house at sea) --
and the answer to my Q. depends on how much it would cost to set out a Busse.

What think ye?

Terry F  •  Link

How much would it cost to set out a Busse?

(Everybody estimating and manipulating a 17c slip-stick....)

Australian Susan  •  Link

Hello? Hello? is there anyone there.....?

Pauline  •  Link

Hello? Hello? Hello? Is there anybody OUT there?

dirk  •  Link

Hello? Hello? is there anyone there…..?

Not sure. We might be figments of Sam's imagination...

GrahamT  •  Link

Re: Matthew Boulton.
Off Topic, but he was the business man behind James Watt and one of the movers and shakers behind the industrial revolution.

Pedro  •  Link

“by ten o’clock to the funeral of Sir Richard Stayner.”

On the 4th of November Sam had mentioned the death at sea of Richard Stayner at Portugal. Stayner had been with Allin at Lisbon and Allin records that he himself was taken with a shaking fit on the 10th October 1662, which the next day turned into a burning fever. He was bled twice and again on the 12th and continued ill. On the 14th he records…

“Sir Richard Stayner grew worse and worse, in so much that the King’s Doctor gave him over and all other”

On the 15th he says that Stayner departed this life. They thought of burying him there, but upon consultation of his own officers resolved to embalm him.

(Information from The Journals of Sir Thomas Allin edited by RC Anderson)

I believe the King’s Doctor above would refer to King Alfonso.

Second Reading

Paul Lazest  •  Link

Pardon my question coming from deep left field but I am wondering about Pepys and witches. In other entries he seems to absolutely not believe in them at all. Meanwhile, in the colonies, a few decades after Pepys "witches" are being burned in Salem, Mass. Were the Brits just saner regarding witches than the early Americans? If so, why? Any thoughts on this much appreciated.

Third Reading

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