Monday 1 December 1662

Up and by coach with Sir John Minnes and Sir W. Batten to White Hall to the Duke’s chamber, where, as is usual, my Lord Sandwich and all of us, after his being ready, to his closett, and there discoursed of matters of the Navy, and here Mr. Coventry did do me the great kindness to take notice to the Duke of my pains in making a collection of all contracts about masts, which have been of great use to us. Thence I to my Lord Sandwich’s, to Mr. Moore, to talk a little about business; and then over the Parke (where I first in my life, it being a great frost, did see people sliding with their skeates, which is a very pretty art), to Mr. Coventry’s chamber to St. James’s, where we all met to a venison pasty, and were very merry, Major Norwood being with us, whom they did play upon for his surrendering of Dunkirk.

Here we staid till three or four o’clock; and so to the Council Chamber, where there met the Duke of York, Prince Rupert, Duke of Albemarle, my Lord Sandwich, Sir Wm. Compton, Mr. Coventry, Sir J. Minnes, Sir R. Ford, Sir W. Rider, myself, and Captain Cuttance, as Commissioners for Tangier. And after our Commission was read by Mr. Creed, who I perceive is to be our Secretary, we did fall to discourse of matters: as, first, the supplying them forthwith with victualls; then the reducing it to make way for the money, which upon their reduction is to go to the building of the Mole; and so to other matters, ordered as against next meeting.

This done we broke up, and I to the Cockpitt, with much crowding and waiting, where I saw “The Valiant Cidd” —[Translated from the “Cid” of Corneille]— acted, a play I have read with great delight, but is a most dull thing acted, which I never understood before, there being no pleasure in it, though done by Betterton and by Ianthe, And another fine wench that is come in the room of Roxalana nor did the King or queen once smile all the whole play, nor any of the company seem to take any pleasure but what was in the greatness and gallantry of the company.

Thence to my Lord’s, and Mr. Moore being in bed I staid not, but with a link walked home and got thither by 12 o’clock, knocked up my boy, and put myself to bed.

36 Annotations

Terry F  •  Link

"my pains in making a collection of all contracts about masts"

L&M note: "See [ Wednesday 12 November 1662 ] ...."

"over the Parke (where I first in my life, it being a great frost, did see people sliding with their skeates"

L&M note: "Evelyn on this day saw skaters performing before the King and Queen and the new canal in St James's Park. Iron and steel skates (together with the word itself) were introduced at this time from Holland."

John Evelyn's Diary, 1662, December 1: "Having seene the strange, and wonderfull dexterity of the sliders on the new Canall in St. James’s park, perform’d by divers Gent: & others with Scheets, after the manner of the Hollanders, with what pernicitie & swiftnesse they passe, how sudainly the<y> stop in full carriere upon the Ice, before their Majesties: I went home by Water but not without exceeding difficultie, the Thames being frozen, greate flakes of yce incompassing our boate:"

"In the 17th century, canal racing on wooden skates with iron blades was popular in the Netherlands. Also in that century, James, the younger son of the British monarch Charles I, came to the Netherlands in exile, he fell for the sport. When he went back to England, this 'new' sport was introduced to the British aristocracy."

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"The Valliant Cidd"
He-Don Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar-was actually a mercenary,fighting for whoever paid the most money.
now the movie with Sophia Loren and poor old Charlton Heston-Alzheimers you know-thats something else.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Knocked up my boy"

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"as, first, the supplying them forthwith with victualls; then the reducing it to make way for the money, which upon their reduction is to go to the building of the Mole"

Could anyone explain this to me? The "reducing it to make way for the money" has especially got me scratching my head.

re: "knocked up my boy" -- funny construction, that, but he's just saying he woke his boy up by knocking the door, so he'd let Sam in.

Quite a day for Our Boy today ... moving with lots of movers and shakers (not to mentions skaters).

Terry F  •  Link

Todd, perhaps it is to be read that the ready supplies of victuals provided the ships in Tangier were gradually replaced with the more fungible money for them to buy their own victuals; and as the number of ships was reduced, the money "is to go to the building of the Mole”

A. Hamilton  •  Link

“as, first, the supplying them forthwith with victualls..."

I too puzzled over this. I read it, slightly differently from Terry, to mean, in sequence, (1) feeding the Tangier force; (2) reducing the force to free up money for other uses; and (3) applying the savings to building the mole.

dirk  •  Link

"as, first, the supplying them forthwith with victualls"

I tend to agree with A. Hamilton's reading, but there is room for debate here.

Terry F  •  Link

A. Hamilton, the difference seems to be in (2). I took “reducing it to make way for the money” to suggest reducing "supplying them forthwith with victualls" ("it") with a money-stream.

dirk  •  Link

"where I first in my life, it being a great frost, did see people sliding with their skeates"

"The Thames froze over this winter(first time since 1648/9)."
From Roger's annotation on the entry for 29 November:

dirk  •  Link

"where we all met to a venison pasty, and were very merry"

Sam does seem to be a venison pasty addict... It's not on our "Menu of the Month" though.


1. Stew'd broth of Mutton and Marrow-bones.
2. Lambs-head and White-broth.
3. A Chine of Beef roasted.
4. Mince-Pyes.
5. A roast Turky stuck with Cloves.
6. Two Capons, one larded.

Second Course:

1. A young Lamb or Kid.
2. Two brace of Partridg.
3. Ballonia Sausages, Anchovees, Mushrooms, Caviare, and pickled Oysters, in a Dish together.
4. A Quince-Pye.
5. Half a dozen of Woodcocks.

"The Gentlewoman's Companion: or, A Guide to the Female Sex", 1675…

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"...but with a link [ light the way and use the flame to keep out chill] walked home and got thither by 12 o’clock,[The Doorman be asleep and no pull bell, did bang on door with the new Knocker, now installed for such occasions of be lock out by the mistress] knocked up my boy, and put myself to bed [no maid to delouse or warm his tootsies, where be the hot stone? to keep sheets from freezing Burr!!]. [hence knocked up the Knockker]
Most likely kept his long johns attached to his chilled frame and leggings too I would not doubt. Moderns do not Know wot it be like when there be no heating , ye froze.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"..reducing it to make way for the money.." Let them get a scrounger and get cheaper supplies from outside the walls. Cost accounting at it's best.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Prince Rupert, that fashionable trend-setter for a generation of Cavaliers...Still only in his forties at this time.

"Does he still have the curls, Sam'l?" Bess askes eagerly on hearing the famous name.


Terry F  •  Link

"a play I have read with great delight, but is a most dull thing acted, which I never understood before"
= this is the first time I have experienced how the media differ in that direction, against all odds, given the play's cast? (Sam having no doubt seen a performance better than the play reads). He must read with a lively imagination!

Linda  •  Link

It is wonderful to read of Sam seeing things for the first time in his life as with the ice skates. The world was starting to change and he was there to see it start. I'm not sure of the dates, but the sails will change at some point so the ships don't have to sit in port waiting for a favorable wind from the right direction. Interesting things from many countries will start making their way into the world. We are all so instant nowadays that there is very little wonder about anything.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

“knocked up my boy” — but he’s just saying he woke his boy up by knocking the door, so he’d let Sam in.
Knock up is a long-lasting phrase, but it's modern slang meaning is fairly recent. In industrial areas where people needed to rise early to get to their morning shift, they used to employ a "knocker-up" who roused the workers by rattling on the front upstairs window, using perhaps an old fishing rod with an umbrella rib attached, and waiting for an answering call or signal. This practice was certainly alive and well in the Lancashire cotton towns in the 1920s and probably later until cheap alarm clocks became common. The knocker-up received a fee, say a penny (old currency) per house per week. But who knocked up the knocker-up?

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Knocking up the knocker-up ...

reminds one of Irving Berlin's wartime comic number, "Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning" and his wish to "find that other pup: the guy who wakes the bugler up" and wreak early-morning vengeance on him.

pjk  •  Link

supplying them ...the Mole.

My reading is that they arrived at a sum for victualls, decided it was too big, reduced it and then proposed that the difference should go to pay for the building the mole.

"We are ageed that we should set asside that sum then.'
"Yes, but but do we need to? They could live quite well on less and we could use the difference somewhere else."
"Good idea. We'd better keep the total amount a healthy size or there won't be much in it for us."
"That's not what I meant".

Jeannine  •  Link

"But who knocked up the knocker-up?"

Paul... the mystery is solved....

There once was a knocker upper
Who slept days then rose for supper
He sat quietly all night
Then woke all with great fright
Hitting doors with a monstrous thumper… if we can just figure out the remaining great question, which did come first, the chicken or the egg, we will have solved all great mysteries and be ready for the end of the world on Sam's Tuesday (tomorrow!)

Terry F  •  Link

"the money, which upon their reduction is to go to the building of the Mole;"

It seems that the money for the mole is to come from the reduction of the forces, rather than from an excess in allocation.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

with apologies

We're talkin' money (Coventry, Sir John Minnes),
Talkin' money (The King and Captain Cuttance),
Prince Rupert, my Lord Sandwich, Captain Cook
They knew 'em all from Portsmouth to The Hoek,
Especially Willie, Sammy and The Duke.

Jackie  •  Link

Prince Rupert was a very interesting character. If his Uncle had listened to his military advice, he might not have lost his head. There is a form of glass bead which is named after him as somebody who studied them and tried to work out how they work - Prince Rupert's Drops, formed by dropping molten glass into water. They are in the form of a tear and the thick end of the tear is incredibly strong - hit it with hammers and nothing happens, but gently flex the thin end of the tear and the whole thing explodes. Rupert was one of the first to try to explain this in terms of compression. Bright lad, for all his curly hair and giant poodles.

Ruben  •  Link

Prince Rupert's Drops
were discused some 2 years ago in the annotations. There was also an ilustration of the Drops.

Pedro  •  Link

"which upon their reduction is to go to the building of the Mole"

Just a point to note; there is also a mole in Algiers mentioned in the background.

Pedro  •  Link

The cost of Tangier.

From Mr. Hat’s site in the Background (contains the odd SPOILER)…

The initial garrison of Tangier, some 3,000 men, constituted almost 30% of Charles’s standing army and consumed almost 12% of the royal income. The initial costs of £75,382 12s. 6d in 1662 were reduced to £53,797 15s 4d in 1668 but remained unacceptably high. Although the numbers of troops fluctuated and strenuous efforts were made to cut costs over the next two decades, Tangier remained a considerable and painful draw on English resources.…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"I did return later with my wife to sh[e] her the pretty people upon their sk[e]ates. After some little time observing them with the aid of my man Will I did endeavour me to obtain a pair of these sk[e]ates with a resolve to trying them. My wife and I coming for a moment to words as she attempted to dissuade me."

Sam rises triumphantly on his skeates as Bess watches apprehensively. Will somewhat experienced on the things attempting to guide him. Naturally Sam convinced it is a simple matter to...Whoa!

Heh. He skillfully manages to retain his footing, avoiding the large and flustered-looking woman in front of him. Will trying to keep up with him...

"Mr. Pepys, sir, slow down!"

Heh, nothing to it.

"Sam'l, think of your stone cut!" Bess calls, nervously.

Another skillful pass of a rather oddly frightened-looking group who race out of his way.

What's with them?

"Mr. Pepys the way is rough there!" Will tries.

Too late, naturally. Sam finds himself a bold pioneer of aviation, soaring six feet above the rutted, pitted edge of the skating field. A terrified milkmaid leading her cow looks up to see the distinguished Clerk of the Acts of the Royal Navy achieving airborne status. Her cow, anxious to reach her warm barn, barely looking up.

Unfortunately though it is as yet undiscovered, the force of gravity must eventually kick in...

laura k  •  Link

We are all so instant nowadays that there is very little wonder about anything.

I find great wonder in our instant world. Reading this Diary online, along with the offerings of other readers around the world, is an endless wonder to me.

Bill  •  Link

“And another fine wench that is come in the room of Roxalana”

Elizabeth Davenport appears to have left the stage, Pepys always afterwards speaking of the new Roxalana, whom he once [on 6 July 1666] calls Mrs. Norton. See Feb. 18, 1661-2.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Linda wrote: "We are all so instant nowadays that there is very little wonder about anything."

There is the wonder of how it all became so instant.

I never cease to be amazed at computers and the Internet. They have truly changed the world, despite the criticism we may hear. I doubt any wonder in Sam might have experienced had a such an overwhelming worldwide impact as the Internet has had. No one could have even dreamt of anything like it in the 1600s.

Weavethe hawk  •  Link

My dad was a Lancashire miner, and he used to get up at 04:30-05:00 in order to catch the early bus from Bolton to Mosley Common colliery, near Walkden Lancs. and I remember very well as a tiny boy hearing the "knocker up" come around every morning and tap on the bedroom windows. That would have been in the forties, and I assume that he carried a long stick.

Clark Kent  •  Link

Jeanine's poultry-conundrum has in fact been solved--it was the rooster.

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