Friday 16 January 1662/63

Lay long talking in bed with my wife. Up, and Mr. Battersby, the apothecary, coming to see me, I called for the cold chine of beef and made him eat, and drink wine, and talked, there being with us Captain Brewer, the paynter, who tells me how highly the Presbyters do talk in the coffeehouses still, which I wonder at. They being gone I walked two or three hours with my brother Tom, telling him my mind how it is troubled about my father’s concernments, and how things would be with them all if it should please God that I should die, and therefore desire him to be a good husband and follow his business, which I hope he do. At noon to dinner, and after dinner my wife began to talk of a woman again, which I have a mind to have, and would be glad Pall might please us, but she is quite against having her, nor have I any great mind to it, but only for her good and to save money flung away upon a stranger. So to my office till 9 o’clock about my navy manuscripts, and there troubled in my mind more and more about my uncle’s business from a letter come this day from my father that tells me that all his tenants are sued by my uncle, which will cost me some new trouble, I went home to supper and so to bed.

26 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"all his tenants are sued by my uncle"

Some clarification here, please: surely this is not Uncle Robert, deceased, who brings suit!?

A. Hamilton  •  Link

per L&M, posted by Pauline under Robert Pepys's name in People:

"The Brampton property —much the largest (74 acres, let in 14 parcels) — was awarded a year later, in Oct. 1662, to the executors, although the surrenders were also missing in that case. Thomas Pepys, after an attempt at arbitration, appealed on the ground that this offended manorial custom, and also on the ground that the settlement had been made conditinal on the payment of annuities and legacies which had not yet been paid — his own among them. He threatened to prosecute any Brampton tenants who paid their rents to the executors. Negotiations for an out-of-court settlement which would apply to the whole etate were resumed..."

A. Hamilton  •  Link

further clarification

reference is to litigation over Uncle Robert's will between Thos. Pepys and his sons and John & Sam'l Pepys, the executors.

Terry F  •  Link

Thanks, A. Hamilton, for making clear what wasn't!

Here we see the events of today bearing out the nightmares of last night!

Clement  •  Link

"...desire him to be a good husband and follow his business..."
This older sense of "husband" is interesting (to me).
I wonder if Sam seemed as uniformly humourless and paternal to his kin then as he portrays himself in the diary.
He scarcely mentions contact with them without also relating the advice he imparted, or the trouble he would solve for them.

Terry F  •  Link

Thanks, A. Hamilton, for making clear what wasn’t from today's diary entry as it stands in Wheatley: you enable a reader who 'drops in' to make sense of the entry, which I presume to be the goal of annotation (and linking).

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"I wonder if Sam seemed as uniformly humourless and paternal to his kin"

I don't know about this, Clement ... Sam's concern (that he is "troubled about my father’s concernments, and how things would be with them all if it should please God that I should die") seemed quite endearing to me. He obviously is the family's financial star and, given how quickly people could catch something fatal (or get hit by a speeding coach, etc.), he is justly concerned that they shouldn't simply rely on him for their security. Up to this point he's mainly talked in terms of self-interest, but this passage conveyed (to me, anyway) real concern for the well-being of his father "and them all."

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

" in the coffeehouses still..." not his cup of tee, but uses an ordinary or Inn, for his discussions, better atmosphere for his crowd. Point being there be other establishments for the up and coming, not mentioned often, as the clientele be of differing persuassions..

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

" save money flung away upon a stranger..." 'tis sad to pay some one talk to, I guess this be the first attempts at paid couch work [psychology,popular] before one gets a doctorate, have to wait til the barbers get their parchment.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Ho! Apothecary! I suppose everyone does that since Shakespeare?" Sam grins at Battersby.

"Yes...Everyone." Battersby sighs.

Things I do to get the Navy contract.

Cap't Brewer the naval painter seems about middle aged or more from the link (married 1635). Were captains off sea duty often found doing such work at the time or would the painting work for the Navy have been the current version of old age relief for a retired sea captain?

I imagine even an active captain would have appreciated extra income at that time.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Capt. Brewer

was already a Liveryman (i.e., "master") painter when he married in 1635, leading me to think his title is probably honorific. He appears to have been a full-time painting contractor.

Terry F  •  Link

"the coffeehouses" "clientele be of differing persuassions" inter se:

"As with modern websites, the coffee-houses you went to depended on your interests, for each coffee-house attracted a particular clientele, usually by virtue of its location. Though coffee-houses were also popular in Paris, Venice and Amsterdam, this characteristic was particularly notable in London, where 82 coffee-houses had been set up by 1663, and more than 500 by 1700. Coffee-houses around the Royal Exchange were frequented by businessmen [many traders without offices of their own, whose deals were done in certain coffee-houses, e.g., Lloyds (1709-)]; those around St James's and Westminster by politicians; those near St Paul's Cathedral by clergymen and theologians. Indeed, so closely were some coffee-houses associated with particular topics that the Tatler, a London newspaper founded in 1709, used the names of coffee-houses as subject headings for its articles." [the prior par.:]
"With a new rationalism abroad in the spheres of both philosophy and commerce, coffee was the ideal drink. Its popularity owed much to the growing middle class of information workers—clerks, merchants and businessmen—who did mental work in offices rather than performing physical labour in the open, and found that coffee sharpened their mental faculties. Such men were not rich enough to entertain lavishly at home, but could afford to spend a few pence a day on coffee. Coffee-houses provided a forum for education, debate and self-improvement. They were nicknamed 'penny universities' in a contemporary English verse which observed:

'So great a Universitie, I think there ne'er was any;
In which you may a Scholar be, for spending of a Penny.'"

Coffee-houses | The internet in a cup
"Coffee fuelled the information exchanges of the 17th and 18th centuries"
The Economist | Dec 18th 2003…

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"spend a few pence a day on coffee" I dothe think it be more than price of couple of herbalised beers or ales.
It would be interesting to know when a pint of bitters be more than the price of mocha. Tea was highly priced to stop the humble ones being clear minded.
E.G. A cup of cheap coffee be more than a pint of standard ale even in 1950's, one could get 7 cups of char [tea] for the price of one luke warm ersatzed water.

jeannine  •  Link

Now the search for a companion’s most comical
When Sam’s trying to be too economical
Money flung away on a stranger
May bring grave fiscal danger
But the pain from Pall will be most astonomical

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

the price of Coffee from Pedro's source of good leads:Then let us to the coffee-house go,
'Tis cheaper far than wine."
brewed from
A broadside song, published in 1667, thus describes the principal subjects of coffee-house conversation:…

Pauline  •  Link

On January 4:
"At dinner my wife did propound my having of my sister Pall at my house again to be her woman, since one we must have..."
Elizabeth may be devious, poor dear. Throw out the option (Pall) that she thinks will make Sam pause and be more willing to look elsewhere. But he saw it another way--saving money and keeping the money in the family. So now Elizabeth has to outright say "no" to Pall--who she really doesn't want at all?????

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Yes Pauline: I noticed that on January 4th too, and thought it a rather dubious gambit in the marital chess game. :)

There must have been considerable discussions, and indeed marital negotiations, before Pall came to live with Sam and Bess the first time. These were only briefly discussed in the diary, but Sam's entry "I went to my father’s and staid late talking with my father about my sister Pall’s coming to live with me if she would come and be as a servant (which my wife did seem to be pretty willing to do to-day)" hints that Bess was not too keen on having Pall under her roof, and certainly not as an equal. This is hardly surprising, as she and Pall were the same age (both born 1640), and Bess did not want her position as mistress of the household to be undermined.…

So, it was resolved that she should come as a servant. Things at home were bad enough, or Pall's prospects there poor enough, for Pall to jump at the chance of escaping from Fleet Street, even under these, somewhat humilating, conditions.

"I told her plainly what my mind was, to have her come not as a sister in any respect, but as a servant, which she promised me that she would, and with many thanks did weep for joy, which did give me and my wife some content and satisfaction"…

Whatever the truth of Sam's view of Pall's (ill) nature, this was not a situation conducive to domestic harmony, and by July next year, Sam was "Troubled to hear how proud and idle Pall is grown, that I am resolved not to keep her." The question is, to hear from whom? In my opinion, it can only have been Bess, telling Sam that she didn't like Pall's attitude.…

Poor Bess, but even more, poor Pall. In any conflict with Bess, there was no doubt who would win. But it's hardly surprising now that neither Bess nor Sam really want her back!

John York  •  Link

It appears that Pall has no say in this. If Sam or his father say that she will do it, then she will have to do it.
However I don't think she enjoyed her previous stay with Sam, would she fight against coming again?

StanB  •  Link

Absolutley love this site ive been following Sam 2 years now this being my first post it's great to see people still posting after all these years from the heady days of the mid noughties when this site was new . What i do find somewhat ironic is that i now look back on the original annoters the same way we all look back on Sam, wondering where they are and what there doing its only 11 years ago but i suppose thats human nature, who knows someone somewhere may look back to this post in a hundred years or so and say i wonder what became of Stan ? Anyhow i digress keep up the great work contemporary annoters you do a sterling job

NJ Lois  •  Link

Loved the history of the Coffee Houses. Nothing like a good cup of Java to get me going in the morning!

Clark Kent  •  Link

Agua Scripto's comment about barbers brings to mind what sometimes is said to be the world's oldest recorded joke, dating back to 5th Century Athens: Homer is asked by his barber how he wants his hair cut, and replies, "In silence."

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

A cup of coffee costing 1d = £1/240 in 1663 had a ‘real’ [inflation adjusted] cost = 120 d = 50 pence sterling - cheap. Note however its ‘labour value’ [how long it took to earn the price of a coffee] = £2100/240 = £8.75 - pricey!…

StanB: I am one of the ‘original annoters’ of parts of the diary so I have had and will have again in several years’ time the singular pleasure of reading my posts and judging how well, or not, they have stood the test of time. I think we may be confident that this wonderful resource created by the esteemed Phil Gyford will delight and inform ‘Student of our sweet English tongue’ [even if Mandarin is their mother tongue] for centuries to come:

‘To A Poet A Thousand Years Hence"

I who am dead a thousand years,
And wrote this sweet archaic song,
Send you my words for messengers
The way I shall not pass along.

I care not if you bridge the seas,
Or ride secure the cruel sky,
Or build consummate palaces
Of metal or of masonry.

But have you wine and music still,
And statues and a bright-eyed love,
And foolish thoughts of good and ill,
And prayers to them who sit above?

How shall we conquer? Like a wind
That falls at eve our fancies blow,
And old Maeonides the blind
Said it three thousand years ago.

O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
Student of our sweet English tongue,
Read out my words at night, alone:
I was a poet, I was young.

Since I can never see your face,
And never shake you by the hand,
I send my soul through time and space
To greet you. You will understand.

By James Elroy Flecker (1884-1915)…

StanB  •  Link

Chris Squire UK
Yourself along with Phil and the rest of this magnificent team who set all this up i salute you all

Doug Quixote  •  Link

As regards Captain Brewer, though as noted he was a master painter this does not preclude him from being a military officer. Remember the context for Pepys' older contemporaries: the entire country had been in civil war from 1642 (21 years before this diary entry) until 1650 or thereabouts. A master painter would be as logical a choice for an officer as any other in those circumstances, and the custom was and is to call an ex-officer by his onetime rank.

jimmigee  •  Link

Terry F: "Coffee-houses | The internet in a cup"
Now one goes to Starbucks or similar and with a cuppa joe signs on to the internet.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.