Friday 6 February 1662/63

Up and to my office about business, examining people what they could swear against Field, and the whole is, that he has called us cheating rogues and cheating knaves, for which we hope to be even with him.

Thence to Lincoln’s Inn Fields; and it being too soon to go to dinner, I walked up and down, and looked upon the outside of the new theatre, now a-building in Covent Garden, which will be very fine. And so to a bookseller’s in the Strand, and there bought Hudibras again, it being certainly some ill humour to be so against that which all the world cries up to be the example of wit; for which I am resolved once again to read him, and see whether I can find it or no. So to Mr. Povy’s, and there found them at dinner, and dined there, there being, among others, Mr. Williamson, Latin Secretary, who, I perceive, is a pretty knowing man and a scholler, but, it may be, thinks himself to be too much so. Thence, after dinner, to the Temple, to my cozen Roger Pepys, where met us my uncle Thomas and his son; and, after many high demands, we at last came to a kind of agreement upon very hard terms, which are to be prepared in writing against Tuesday next. But by the way promising them to pay my cozen Mary’s legacys at the time of her marriage, they afterwards told me that she was already married, and married very well, so that I must be forced to pay it in some time.

My cozen Roger was so sensible of our coming to agreement that he could not forbear weeping, and, indeed, though it is very hard, yet I am glad to my heart that we are like to end our trouble. So we parted for to-night.

And I to my Lord Sandwich and there staid, there being a Committee to sit upon the contract for the Mole, which I dare say none of us that were there understood, but yet they agreed of things as Mr. Cholmely and Sir J. Lawson demanded, who are the undertakers, and so I left them to go on to agree, for I understood it not.

So home, and being called by a coachman who had a fare in him, he carried me beyond the Old Exchange, and there set down his fare, who would not pay him what was his due, because he carried a stranger with him, and so after wrangling he was fain to be content with 6d., and being vexed the coachman would not carry me home a great while, but set me down there for the other 6d., but with fair words he was willing to it, and so I came home and to my office, setting business in order, and so to supper and to bed, my mind being in disorder as to the greatness of this day’s business that I have done, but yet glad that my trouble therein is like to be over.

64 Annotations

First Reading

dirk  •  Link

Evelyn and the Good Life

"Dined at my Lord Mayor's, Sir John Robinson, Lieutenant of the Tower."

Bradford  •  Link

Sixpence yesterday, sixpence today---those little sixpences add up.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

the greatness of this day’s business that I have done

The momentous settlement of the Pepys family suit? Details to come, I hope.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"I left them to go on to agree, for I understood it not."
Well done, Sam! He is not going to risk being an Yea- sayer and then risk being called to account for something untoward he had been minuted as agreeing to. Still going on today with many a Govt place-server fervently wishing they had not gone along with the majority and raised their hands to something which later goes pear-shaped, leaving everyone in a mess. (yes, contemporary events in Australia are in my mind!).

Eric Walla  •  Link

If this indeed marked the end of the family dispute (which if I remember correctly is about the correct timing for the settlement), I have to say I felt a trifle disappointed. I guess I was taking a literary turn with the story and expected some legal smoking gun, the discovery of missing papers, or a sly connivance that forces uncle to say ... uh ... uncle.

Instead a measured, thoughtful meeting of minds in life and misery, wanting to put it all behind them. I must say, now that I think about it, this is much more satisfying that fiction.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

The Fare be a minimum of 1 shilling plus negotitated charge [ according to Liza Picard Pg 147, Restoration London ], cabby thought he could double his take but settled finally for a less than normal fare.
"...being called by a coachman who had a fare in him,..." [in [his coach] I hope?]
Interesting, hailing a Hackney [ this time coach hailing him], then once before he sent one of the lads for another, that had to be parked waiting near by at a good spot for trade.
Remember Samuell gets reinbursed for his travel when on call, no receipt [recipe for disaster] charges a tanner gets a bob then Susans little surprise be by the majesty of the expense system.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"bought Hudibras again"
What did he do with his previous copy? If he sold it second-hand, this means there is a second-hand market for books which must get sold somewhere. Wouldn't that be a more economical way of buying it again? Seems rather extravagant to me. Although we must remember that Sam is buying these books unbound as all new books were sold - maybe he only has them bound if he really likes them. The really rich ordered books and then had then despatched to a binder's where they would be bound in their chosen uniformity of binding with their coat of arms on the front. I have such a volume - from the library of an unknown armigerous person.

dirk  •  Link


Sam's diary 26 December 1662

"we falling into a discourse of a new book of drollery in verse called Hudebras, I would needs go find it out, and met with it at the Temple: cost me 2s. 6d. But when I came to read it, it is so silly an abuse of the Presbyter Knight going to the warrs, that I am ashamed of it; and by and by meeting at Mr. Townsend’s at dinner, I sold it to him for 18d. "…

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Bookbinding is still being taught. The custom is for those that want nice uniform look for the collectors that have a Library.

dirk  •  Link

binding with their coat of arms on the front - re Australian Susan

I wonder if Sam had something similar on the front of his books. He was never knighted, but the right to have a coat of arms could also be bought -- but not at this stage yet I suppose. Maybe his name in big gold lettering?

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Thanks Dirk, I mispelt Hudi s/b Hude: in search.
fain: eager, or reluctantly eager now fair? fain then vexed then fair.
" after wrangling he was fain to be content with 6d., and being vexed the coachman would not carry me home a great while, but set me down there for the other 6d., but with fair words he was willing to it..."

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Trade Bookbinding in C 17th England

Australian Susan has repeated he view stated almost en passent by Michael Sadlier in “The Evolution of Publisher's Binding Styles” (1930)

Stuart Bennet's recent “Trade Bookbinding in the British Isles 1660 – 1800” British Library / Oak Knoll 2004 is the first work to comprehensively review the evidence and arrives at the opposite conclusion, most works in the diary period and later were purchased bound. Bennett's work has been uniformly well reviewed by all. For example see Michal Ryan's review for the ALA.…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Armigerous Bindings

It is perfectly possible to have a book re-bound or purchase the work in sheets and the new "bespoke" binding include the owner's arms. It is also possible to have an armorial applied in gilt or blind using a block on an existing binding -- the evidence suggests the latter practice was more common in the diary period and later. Examples even survive where the arms of a second person have blocked on a leather patch placed over the arms of a prior owner.

For example, though much later than the diary period, most C 19th. prize bindings (the most commonly encountered armorials) are retail leather bindings, not bespoke productions, of various qualities and grades with the block of the school or college applied at the time of purchase.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Pepys Bindings

The standard text on the bindings in the Pepys library is:-

Howard M. Nixon comp.
Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, VI, D. S. Brewer, 1970
5 colour illustrations, 80 b/w illustrations

The work lists all bindings; gives construction details necessary for identification and describes and ilustrates all the major surviving binding styles commissioned by Pepys himself.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Spoiler Alert -- Pepys and his Book Binding

Anyone fascinated by the subject should see the diary entries for January 18th and February 5th. 1665.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Booktrade In C 17th London

There certainly was a flourishing second hand trade, see:-

McKenzie D F The London Book Trade in the Seventeenth Century, (Sanders Lectures), Cambridge: 1976

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Here now, sir. I said 'cheating rogues and swindling knaves'."


"Not at all, sir. For the record, sir."

alan. p  •  Link

"and there bought Hudibras again, it being certainly some ill humour to be so against that which all the world cries up to be the example of wit"
I know exactly how Sam feels having sat stony faced through an episode of Little Britain (non uk readers might not get this reference)
Once again Sam’s notes capture the common human feelings that transcend the centuries. By the way thanks to all you regular annotators which add greatly to my enjoyment of this site

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...there bought Hudibras again, it being certainly some ill humour to be so against that which all the world cries up to be the example of wit; for which I am resolved once again to read him, and see whether I can find it or no."

Sam's good-hearted feeling towards his fellow man. Now me I would simply remind myself that a majority of folks once supported slavery and segregation and throw that copy of "Harry Potter" back in the bin.

Povy's...The happening place of 1663.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...there being, among others, Mr. Williamson, Latin Secretary, who, I perceive, is a pretty knowing man and a scholler, but, it may be, thinks himself to be too much so."

God, to hear Bess' commentary on that line...

Benvenuto  •  Link

"it being certainly some ill humour to be so against that which all the world cries up to be the example of wit"
Sam is more persistent than I would be if I'd already given up on it once. Or maybe more anxious not to be left out of the coffee-house conversations about it...

JohnT  •  Link

I think Sam has a coat of arms. At least that was my understanding from the entry of Sunday 23 March 1661/62. "This day was brought to me my boy's fine livery, which is very handsome and I do think to keep to black and gold lace upon grey, being the colour of my arms, forever."…

jeannine  •  Link

End of Lawsuit...
If this indeed marked the end of the family dispute (which if I remember correctly is about the correct timing for the settlement), I have to say I felt a trifle disappointed"... Eric, if it is really the end it brings to my mind T.S. Elliot ( a little altered)..........

This is the way the lawsuit ends
This is the way the lawsuit ends
This is the way the lawsuit ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Martin  •  Link

So Sam, feeling good about the settlement, promises "by the way" to fund a dowry for cousin Mary. "Surprise," says Uncle Tom, "she's already married, so pay up!" Amazingly, this doesn't queer the deal just made, or even make Sam "much troubled" later on. Yet.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

"all the world" laughs at Hudibras ...

I empathize with Sam's feelings, being unable myself to find anything funny about the execrable Adam Sandler, not to mention a host of other contemporary "comedians" whose movies make millions. (I do see myself, however, buying any of Sandler's DVDs to see if "all the world" is right after all!)

Nix  •  Link

End of lawsuit --

Sorry it seems like such an anticlimax, but that really is how most lawsuits end. The parties start out with a full head of steam, anger and self-righteousness, but after about 18 months of pleadings and depositions and hearings and postponements and what lawyers jocularly call "punitive billing", half a loaf starts to look pretty appetizing. There are often loose ends that drag the settlement out a bit longer, but in most cases the stakes are either too small to justify the expense of trial, or too big to justify the uncertainty.

Terry F  •  Link

"it being certainly some ill humour to be so against that which all the world cries up to be the example of wit”

Wonder how Sam understood "humour" here -- Did he have a bad bodily fluid? I gather this medieval sense isn't fully changed yet?

jeannine  •  Link

Nix, I agree and I suppose everything depends on one's changing point of view. At first a lawsuit may be seen as "what you should pay me". That lingers for awhile, headaches and stress keep escalating and slowly becomes "hmm, how much can I pay you to make you go away". Sometimes in the end the "win" isn't the money/land/whatever that one intitially sets out for. Making a payment to Mary and finding himself "freed" from the albatross around his neck may end up being the real win for Sam.
How many of us, in the course of life, haven't had similar situations in terms of business, investments, relationships, etc. when the intitial expectations get so eaten away over time that walking away, even at a "loss" is uplifting since it is freeing. Let's just hope for Sam's sake if this is in fact the end, that he can pick up, put it all in the past and not dwell on it.

mary k mcintyre  •  Link

In Aqua is quite right -- bookbinding is still being taught, and my husband is a bookbinder here in Toronto.

Interesting thing -- a lot of his work is coming from Boomer & older types who, what with MS Word, Quark, InDesign, etc., are writing their memoirs or family histories, w/illustrations & photos, laying them out quite credibly, and then taking them to mon mari to be bound for posterity.

Pepys would have been 'with child' to see such new developments in a form so familiar to him.

Clement  •  Link

"...but, it may be, thinks himself to be too much so."

I posted the L&M notes on Williamson's page, which make Sam's assessment even more interesting.
“One of the ablest of Pepys’ colleagues in the public service.
Under-Sectretary of State 1660-74...“In some ways his carrer parallels that of Pepys. Virtually contemporaries, they both rose from small beginnings; both were formidable adminstrators who created new standards of efficiency; and both had learned tastes and served as Presidents of the Royal Society...and were instrumental in founding Mathematical Schools...Williamson kept a diary, but only of public events and only for a short period (Dec. 1667-Jan. 1669).”

Sam looks in the mirror and pronounces himself perhaps a little arrogant?

Terry F  •  Link

Books unbound are sold yet today

There have been other times and places where they were sold that way.

I have had bound some early 19th century books preserved in unsewn signatures by the original German publisher (G[eorg] Reimer), acquired via M&A (mergers and acquisitions) by a contemporary publisher (Walter de Gruyter), from whom I purchased them.

Were there any British publishers in 1663 who did like Reimer? Or did the House of Elsevier, premier booksellers and publishers in the Netherlands since its 1580 founding by Lodewijk Elzevier (1542–1617)?

KB  •  Link

"he could not forbear weeping"
It seems this is the traditional approach that it is not proper for men to cry in public?

pedro  •  Link

Mr. Williamson, Latin Secretary,

And what would the job of Latin Secretary entail?

KB  •  Link

Mr Williamson, Latin secretary
Re: what would the job of Latin- Secretary entail; John Milton held the post of Latin secretary under the regime of Oliver Cromwell. Milton's job was to write and receive letters in Latin from the continent on behalf of the government (Latin being an alternate "lingua Franca" of the time); the link to Mr Williamson in the diary indicates that he was Under-Secretary of State from 1660-74 and so presumably he would write in Latin to discharge his duties as needed.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Post in Parliament for Epistularum Scriptor that be responsible for Diplomatic epistulae Forano terrano [or sumat like that]
12 references at…

Sir Philip [Meadows]was Latin secretary to Cromwell's Council and was entrusted with several diplomatic missions during the Interregnum. During Charles II's reign he was in retirement but he returned to favour at the Revolution and held several public offices whilst he was living in Gerrard Street.

From: 'Gerrard Street Area: The Military Ground: Gerrard Street', Survey of London: volumes 33 and 34: St Anne Soho (1966), pp. 384-411. URL:…. Date accessed: 07 February 2006.

Bradford  •  Link

What were these unbound books like? If it was just a stack of loose sheets, which one had to flip to and fro to read in sequence, what an ungainly pain, somewhat akin to those proofs, which authors of yore were treated to, called "unbound galleys."
But from what Terry F. says above, they were already folded into signatures, and held together with---what? They didn't have elastic or rubber bands. How could a bookseller keep track of these slithering heaps of papers?
Or were the signatures already stitched and webbed together, merely sans headbands and covers, truly meriting the name of "paperback"?

Terry F  •  Link

The unsewn and uncut signatures were stacked in order and held together in a tight paper "sack," awaiting being bound and cut as they were read by what the French call a Coupe-Papier… or, as mine were, cut with a large knife used to cut through hundreds of sheets at a whack.

Terry F  •  Link

Bradford, I forgot to say that the unsewn and uncut signatures were first sewn before they were bound, and the binding stamped with titles I stipulated (but not with my cartouche, ah, coat of arms).

Bradford  •  Link

Boy, that's a mean-lookin' weapon to assault a book with. Merci mille fois. How many hundred times had I read of books being sold unbound without trying to rationalize just what that meant. (And on that link, don't miss the épées, piognards, et machettes!)

Bradford  •  Link

PS: I gather that the reason the signatures are still described as "uncut" is that each huge printed sheet contained four pages verso and four recto, folded in half one way and then half again the other . . . and if that's wrong I'm sure someone can set me straight.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

Coupe-papier? I hate to rain on Terry's parade, but I think those are letter openers.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Sewn & Uncut signatures etc.

Anyone seriously intersted in the topic of book anatomy etc. should consult, or even buy, a copy of:-

Philip Gaskell
A New Introduction to Bibliography
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972; corr edn 1974
paperback ed. published in 1995 by Oak Knoll Books

Ruben  •  Link

Books, books

The "coupe papier" that Terry F showed us is a knife used to open not only letters but also cheap books of past times. I remember using this kind of knife for that purpose. The reason was, as Terry already wrote, that pages were folded. If the fold fell on the outer margins of the book, you had to cut it so you could read.
The expensive book had all the pages cutted by a contraption looking like a guillotine with one side hinged, that was used to cut the margins on the 3 open sides.
A very interesting site with information for students (from Prof. Jack Linch, Rutgers U) may help those interested (see:… )
Quotation: "Quarto (sometimes abbreviated to "4to"), a term from bibliography, refers to the format of a book. A quarto is the second largest format, coming in between the folio and the octavo. A sheet is folded over twice, so each sheet consists of four leaves (or eight pages). A typical quarto is a bit larger than the average hardcover book today.
Just as the quarto falls between the folio and the octavo in size, it falls between them in dignity. The most serious materials (such as Bibles) have traditionally appeared in folios, whereas more popular works (such as novels) appeared in octavos. "

If interested in the XVII century ilustrations history, a good site is:

I think this sites have to be annotated in "background info", but I just do not know where.

Pedro  •  Link

Latin Secretary,

Thank you, I get the idea, a kind of “In Latim Scripto”, a true scholler.

In 1678 when the King was trying to raise troops Sir Joseph Williamson would say…

“I know of nothing that can hinder the King from raising what forces he pleases, if he pays for them himself.”
(Antonia Fraser…King Charles II)

GrahamT  •  Link

Some hardback books are still sold in France with the edges uncut, My beau-pere (Father-in-law) always had a coupe-papier at his elbow when reading a new book. Yes, it was also used for opening letters.

Australian Susan  •  Link

The early 18th century Book of Common Prayer which I own has inside it that it was on sale at J. Newbery's shop in St Paul's Churchyard (wonder if it was one Sam used?) and was sold unbound for 1/6d. My forebear had it bound. It is a quarto book but has no ragged edges from cutting, so the folio sheets must have been cut very neatly. I am unsure if Sam owned a BCP, but I have always imagined that if he did it would be very like the one I have.

Xjy  •  Link

Yep, bibliophiles in France *want* the pages of their posh, expensive books uncut. At least the male ones do... :-)

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Edge Trimming & Other Book History Matters

In the English tradition the process of tidying the edges is called trimming, for a description see Don Etherington' s web dictionary - the best web based source for most technical book vocabulary.…

For an example of the way a modern hand binder approaches problems and to see how at least one binder's mind works see:-…

The structure of bindings etc is an imensely complex area of study (as are most aspects of the physical book and its history) For England the best single source for the history of technique is:-

Middleton, Bernard C.
A HISTORY OF ENGLISH CRAFT BOOKBINDING TECHNIQUE. New Castle and London : Oak Knoll Press & The British Library 1996 (but 2000)

The complexity of the study of the history of the book as an artifact and the book trade has to be stressed. There are numerous individual, regional, temporal and national, if that is not an anachronism, variations which is why I have chosen to refer to standard texts in these posts rather than attempting my own inadequate summary and generalizations -- which would mislead the unwary.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Michael - many thanks for your specialised knowledge and fascinating websites! At the University where I did my Library Diploma, one can do a course on the history of the book and bindings as part of a Master's. Very important - if one cannot understand this, books will be conserved or restored incorrectly. Like vernacular architecture - I know people who drive miles and miles to buy the right sort of old nails or spend ages experimenting with lime washes to get it exactly right.

Dave  •  Link

Sam was too young to enjoy the lawsuit.

It is well said that after 50, a man's fancy turns from sex to litigation.

Nix  •  Link

"It is well said that after 50, a man’s fancy turns from sex to litigation" --

Not so. I'm relieved to say I got all my litigation out of the way in my first 5 years as a lawyer. And happy to say that isn't the case with the other.

slangist  •  Link

butler's "hudibras"
does contain one of the world's all time best insults. though he directed it sectarianly, it is multi-purpose:
[hypocrites] Compound for sins they are inclined to,
By damning those they have no mind to.
--"Hudibras" Part i. Canto i. Line 215.

Patricia  •  Link

I certainly hope this IS the end of the lawsuit, because I'm dead sick of Pepys' uncle Thomas et al. They could have settled ages ago, but they're sure their relative in that cushy government job must have oodles of money, and they want it. The rights of it don't enter into the matter.

Pedro  •  Link

Joseph Williamson, a true Latin Secretary?

(Summary and shortened from table form from Intelligence and Espionage in the Reign of Charles II, 1660-1685)

In 1675 Williamson set the following index up to cover the organisation of his work load…

Julius Caesar, I, Military, Soverainty

Augustus, II, Parliament

Tiberius, III, Domestic, Offices, London, Household, Revenue




Domitian, XII, Sweden, Denmark, Poland

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I to my Lord Sandwich and there staid, there being a Committee to sit upon the contract for the Mole, which I dare say none of us that were there understood, but yet they agreed of things as Mr. Cholmely and Sir J. Lawson demanded, who are the undertakers, and so I left them to go on to agree, for I understood it not."

Pepys later learned the contractors had given £1500 to Sandwich for his support:… (L&M note)

Bill  •  Link

“ I walked up and down, and looked upon the outside of the new theatre, now a-building in Covent Garden”

Killigrew's, opened 8th of April, 1663
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... he carried me beyond the Old Exchange, and there set down his fare, ..." The Old Exchange? The link is to the Royal Exchange, but that's not what Pepys says. Any other ideas anyone?

Bill  •  Link

@SDS, there is a "New Exchange," built in 1608, so perhaps the "Royal Exchange," was the "old" one.

John York  •  Link

A point well made, they are in very different places. I think the problem is that we do not always know which one Pepys is referring to. As I am on occasions told the answer lies in the Encyclopedia.
New Exchange - Built in 1608-9 by the Earl of Salisbury, it was located on the south side of the Strand. It featured many small shops supplying luxury goods. See:…

The Royal Exchange - opened on 23 January 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I who awarded the building its royal title and a licence to sell alcohol. It is on Threadneedle Street. Gresham's original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. See:…

So I think Bill is correct, Pepys is using old here to distinguish the Royal Exchange building (92 years old) from the New Exchange (54 years old).

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Why did Pepys use the term "Old" Exchange today?

Probably because he's been in the vicinity of the new one, at the bookshop in the Strand? I suppose it's possible that the bookshop was actually IN the new exchange: books were a luxury good after all!

Incidentally, just a reminder that the diary omits a lot: how did Sam get to Lincoln's Inn Fields? It's worth looking at an online map. Today, through the streets, it would be about two miles and half an hour's walk from Seething Lane. Or did Sam take a coach? Either way, he didn't mention it.

Before he went to Sandwich's quarters in Whitehall, all the places he visited were fairly close to each other. But with Sam partly retracing his steps before he ended up at the Temple, he may have wandered another couple of miles on top of his original journey. Then, did he walk the mile from Temple to Whitehall, or did he get a coach then too? We just don't know! Today one might travel a couple of stops on the District/Circle line.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"I'm dead sick of Pepys' uncle Thomas et al..."

Oh dear: there really is no point in being "sick of" people who've been dead for three hundred years, judging them on incomplete knowledge, or being partisan in an old dispute about which we have insufficient information.

The Pepyses (and Creeds BTW) were yeomen stock, that is descended from peasants who had done well in the aftermath of the Black Death and become landowners. They were upper middle class in the sense that they might marry into the aristocracy, as Sandwich's mother had done. However, all or the greatest proportion of the land stayed with the eldest son, if there was one. In this class, if possible daughters were married off - with some sort of a dowry if necessary, or sent into service with someone of higher status - or they were trapped at home. Life was precarious for younger sons, who had to learn a profession, acquire a trade - or marry an heiress! Great uncle Talbot (Sandwich's maternal uncle) was well off because he was the eldest son of his father's second marriage, and inherited his mother's marriage portion.

Uncle Thomas was his father's second son and had to find a trade: we don't know what it was, but he wasn't very well off: one son was a joiner, and the other is referred to as a "turner", that is, a lathe worker. In short, that branch of the family seemed to be on the way down and had clearly hoped to be lifted up in class and out of relative poverty by an inheritance from childless rich elder brother/uncle Robert. We don't know when or why Robert decided to cut them out in favour of his youngest (full) brother and children. Perhaps the two elder brothers had fought as children; perhaps he admired his youngest brother for investing in the education of his sons' perhaps it was Sandwich's influence. We can speculate, but we don't know. Nor do we know the extent to which Thomas et al knew about uncle Robert's plans. In any case, the legal disorder in which Robert left his affairs gave them the opportunity to try to salvage something. They could not afford not to fight their corner.

john  •  Link

All the commentary on book binding has made me somber. I have a 30-year old Dover catalogue that is signature sewn, as were Dover paperbacks then. Now all are glued ("perfect" bound). My most patronised publisher, Springer Verlag, no longer makes signature-sewn tomes but prints glued ones on demand.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

To better understand Sasha Clarkson’s most helpful post above refer to the family tree at…. SP had 10 siblings; on his father’s side 2 uncles, 3 aunts and 7 cousins; on his mother’s, one uncle, 3 aunts and 3 cousins.

Sir Richard Pepys, 1588-1659, was a cousin: it was no doubt his arms that SP claimed for himself.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Mint was at the Tower of London. As reported above, John Evelyn had lunch there today ...


The Guinea coin of 1663 was the first British machine-struck gold coin. The first one was produced on 6 February 1662/3 (so John Evelyn was there), and was made legal currency by a Proclamation of 27 March 1662/3.

"Guinea" was not an official name for the coin, but much of the gold used to produce the early coins came from Guinea in Africa, the Africa Company having a charter which allowed them to put their symbol (an elephant or later an elephant and castle) beneath the king's effigy on the coins, and the term "guinea" originated from this.

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