Tuesday 24 March 1662/63

Lay pretty long, that is, till past six o’clock, and then up and W. Howe and I very merry together, till having eat our breakfast, he went away, and I to my office. By and by Sir J. Minnes and I to the Victualling Office by appointment to meet several persons upon stating the demands of some people of money from the King.

Here we went into their Bakehouse, and saw all the ovens at work, and good bread too, as ever I would desire to eat.

Thence Sir J. Minnes and I homewards calling at Browne’s, the mathematician in the Minnerys, with a design of buying White’s ruler to measure timber with, but could not agree on the price. So home, and to dinner, and so to my office.

Where we sat anon, and among other things had Cooper’s business tried against Captain Holmes, but I find Cooper a fuddling, troublesome fellow, though a good artist, and so am contented to have him turned out of his place, nor did I see reason to say one word against it, though I know what they did against him was with great envy and pride.

So anon broke up, and after writing letters, &c., home to supper and to bed.

23 Annotations

TerryF  •  Link

A troubling verdict in the Cooper matter

"I find Cooper a fuddling, troublesome fellow...
and so am contented to have him turned out of his place,
nor did I see reason to say one word against it,
though I know what they did against him was with great envy and pride."

How does the final clause cohere with the other three, and where DID the last one come from?
Great 'envy of what? Pride in what? Or have the meanings of 'envy' and 'pride' migrated a bit?

Sjoerd  •  Link

And is Cooper an ARTIST now ? Or are his mathematical abilities considered artistic ?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The only word against Cooper as a seaman is "fuddling"...Everything else suggests the problem is Holmes' jealousy of Cooper's skill (in mathematics and navigation, perhaps?) and that Cooper is not afraid (troublesome) to point out he knows more than his Captain. I'd guess Cooper is an excellent theoretical officer, far more able than his Captain in nautical science but not quite so good at routine ship management ("fuddling")...tending to try and think it out rather than jump to...and rather inclined to be outspoken.


Merry at six am, eh.

"My God what is that racket?" Sir William Batten stumbles out of his bed.

"Nan!...Nan?" Lady Batten calls, throwing on robe as she rises.

"Milady?" Nan at door.

"What the hell is going on outside, Nan?" Sir Will looking out the bedroom window. Hmmn, no crowd of raging, starving sailors demanding justice...Phew.

"Tis from the Pepys' Sir Will. They be playing and singing."

"Again?! They were at it till two in the morning!"

"Nan, go over there and tell that Mrs. Pepys Lady Batten commands her to show some ordinary courtesy and have quiet in her home."

"Aye, milady. But Mrs. Pepys will be givin' me a saucy answer, most likely. Beggin' milady's pardon."

"Well tell that Frenchie slut...!"

"I think they've stopped, midear." Sir Will looks over.


alanB  •  Link

"Here we went into their Bakehouse, and saw all the ovens at work, and good bread too, as ever I would desire to eat."
You can just see the Hovis advert here- Sam all smocked up with his hairnet over his periwig 'What a lovely smell'

'Twill be London burning someday, Sam!'- (slight spoiler)

gus  •  Link

I understood that Cooper performed duties as "Sailing Master" under the command of Captain Holmes. Functionally, the captain of a vessel managed the mission of the ship (personnel, operations, logistics, command and control). The sailing master was speicfically charged with executing the captain's orders concerning geting the vessel where he needed it to be. The master, bosun (boatswain), gunner, surgeon, and carpenter were the ship's warrant officers, the heads of departments. Clearly, Holmes was dissatisfied with Cooper's performance either as a navigator or as a warrant officer. Pepys' dissent wasn't ove the merits of the complaint, but rather the way the complaint was brought. He obviously dissented strongly enough for him to anticipate a challenge. Only after a relatively cordial meeting outside of his patron's apartments was the case resolved ... in favor of Holmes.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

A happy Sam, pressure off, living it up with good ole Will Howe...

But, what if tomorrow...


"Mrs. Pepys? Ah, Captain Holmes, ma'am. Sorry to trouble you and Mr. Pepys so early but I wanted..." Holmes starting to offer wrapped peace offering.

"Oh...Captain Holmes is it? The cowardly blowhard who tried to challenge my poor Sam?! Sam'l!! That miserable Holmes is here at our very door groveling for...What is it, Will Hewer?" Will desperately trying to wave Bess off as a startled Holmes starts to smolder. "Now listen, you worthless..."

"What, Bess?" Sam in nightshirt, it being quite betimes, approaches.

"Major Holmes?"

A now red-faced Holmes eyeing him coldly.

"Yes, the little maggot-ridden coward's come to try and placate, you sweetheart. You big louse, how dare you threaten my husband in his very office and then fail to challenge him. Merde, if I were a man faced with a nothing like you! Sam,kick his weasily rump out of here! Threaten a man who's had surgery for the stone...And fail to challenge him. Well, surprise 'Capt' Holmes. My Sam can still toss your miserable..."

"Bess, darling..."

"I...Failed to challenge you, Pepys?" icy tone...

Ah..Ha hah... "I think Holmes, there's been a little...Misunderstanding..."

"I'll get your sword, Sam'l! You can challenge him and scatter his guts...While I watch...All over our front yard. For love of me...Just like Raoul in my latest novel."

"Let me...Rectify my...Failure yesterday." Holmes smiles coldly.

"Yeah! C'mon, Will. Help me find Sam'l's sword!" Bess pulls a Will nearly as horrified as his master back into the house.

A bleary-eyed Will Howe in hastily-pulled clothes steps in from Ashwell's room. "Pepys?"

"Mr. Howe! Sam'l going to fight a duel!" Bess notes happily, hurrying past Howe with Will Hewer in tow.


Ah...Ha, hah... "Now, Holmes."

"Swords sounds fine, Pepys."

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

As Sjoerd I too wondered about the term 'artist' for Cooper. Would the word simply mean he was good at his job?
Also I don't remember Sam ever mentioning bread at all; now he is visiting a baker. Maybe it was a bakery especially catering for the navy (bisquit).

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"All right lads...The Navy Office boys are gone. Get the good bread packed away for sale to the city bakeries and bring out the stale slop for the seamen."

Sjoerd  •  Link

Trying to answer my own question I came across the Online Etymology Dictionary entry for Artist "also used 17c. for "one skilled in any art or craft" (including professors, surgeons, craftsmen, cooks)."
The word acquired its "artistic" meaning after 1747, it seems.

Knowing a bit about Holmes' personality it seems hardly surprising that the type of person Sam has chosen to teach him the finer points of Mathematics is not the type of warrant officer that Holmes would be happy with.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Holmes and Cooper
I think the great line from the L&M Companion, quoted in Pauline's annotation at http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/5014/, tells us what we need to know about these two:
"Holmes was not invariably an easy man and Cooper was not invariably sober"

Richard  •  Link

Although Sam may have found good bread at the dockyard, the lack of good bread on ships continued with the Navy for a long time. Eventually Henry Jones of Bristol invented and patented self raising flour in1845 making it unnecessary to retain fresh yeast to mix with the flour.
Although it was an immediate hit in all walks of life(he had a Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria within five years) and was particularly well received by sea captains he could not get the Lords of the Admiralty to take it into the Navy. Eventually after Florence Nightingale had pleaded for good bread at Scutari (and the Director of Naval Hospitals had endorsed it as well), Henry Jones made copies of all these endorsements and requests. He added to these the copious and futile multi-year correspondence with the Admiralty and sent a copy to every Member of Parliament. And that did it!
200 hundred years after Pepys, the Navy got fresh bread on board.

TerryF  •  Link

This day the King signed the Charter of Carolina, which "do give, grant and confirm unto the said Edward Earl of Clarendon, George Duke of Albemarle, William Lord Craven, Atolls Lord Berkley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carteret, Sir William Berkley, and Sir John Colleton, their heirs and assigns" the territory in which to extend the Christian religion, to enjoy its natural resources, to govern and settle it. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/states/nc01.htm

language hat  •  Link

Interesting penultimate clause of that charter, establishing religious tolerance:
"And because it may happen that some of the people and inhabitants of the said province, cannot in their private opinions, conform to the publick exercise of religion, according to the liturgy, form and ceremonies of the church of England, or take and subscribe the oaths and articles, made and established in that behalf, and for that the same, by reason of the remote distances of these places, will, we hope be no breach of the unity and uniformity established in this nation; our will and pleasure therefore is, and we do by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, give and grant unto the said [Lords Proprietor and] their heirs and assigns, full and free license, liberty and authority, by such legal ways and means as they shall think fit, to give and grant unto such person or persons, inhabiting and being within the said province, or any part thereof, who really in their judgments, and for conscience sake, cannot or shall not conform to the said liturgy and ceremonies, and take and subscribe the oaths and articles aforesaid, or any of them, such indulgencies and dispensations in that behalf, for and during such time and times, and with such limitations and restrictions as they... shall in their discretion think fit and reasonable..."

The first colonists did not arrive until 1670; they founded Charles Town at the mouth of the Ashley River, defying Spanish claims to that coast (the Spanish, all-powerful a century earlier, were now too feeble to do more than make a token raid or two). Early colonists came mainly from Barbados, and replicated the repugnant plantation system in force there, so that South Carolina became the most racist of the colonies. (The northern part of the colony, including the Albemarle Sound area that had been settled by Virginians during the 1650s, resented being under the control of the Lords Proprietor and were given their own colony, North Carolina, in 1691.)

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"And is Cooper an ARTIST now ? Or are his mathematical abilities considered artistic ?" In modern venacular it be artisian. Some Artists like to think that pencil or brush be superior to chisel and plane. paper over stone and wood when used to build thy foyer.

dirk  •  Link

Letter from Captain Charles Harbord to Sandwich

Written from: Tangier
Date: 24 March 1663

Reports that the Garrsion is now in a flourishing condition; and the supply of provisions has greatly improved. The Moors give them daily alarms, but not a man has been lost since Lord Peterborough's last arrival. Adds some particulars as to his Lordship's private estate in the town.

Bodleian Library

Bill  •  Link

“I find Cooper a fuddling, troublesome fellow”

To FUDDLE, to bib or drink till one is tipsey or drunken.
---An Universal English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

Bill  •  Link

“... though a good artist”

ARTIST, a Master of any Art, an ingenious Workman.
---An Universal English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

Bill  •  Link

"I homewards calling at Browne’s, the mathematician in the Minnerys, with a design of buying White’s ruler to measure timber with"

The earliest edition of this book by John Brown was in 1662 but the edition of 1688 gave credit to White for his "sliding-rule."

The Description and Use of the Carpenters-Rule: Together with the Use of the Line of Numbers Commonly Called Gunters-Line ... Together with the Use of the Glasiers and Mr. White's Sliding-rules, Etc. By John Brown. For W. Fisher & R. Mount, 1688.


Following is an excerpt from a recent Times Literary Supplement (March 16, 2016) of a review of the book: Samuel Pepys and His Books, Kate Loveman, OUP.

"Some of the most exciting moments in Loveman's book come from linking an entry in Pepys's diary with a book in his library, such as the humble instructional manual The Description and Use of the Carpenters-Rule (1662), which gave Pepys the technical knowledge he needed to take control of the navy's timber contracts (in terms of its impact on Pepys career, Loveman suggests it may be "the most important book he ever read") ..."

There is no entry for this book in the encyclopedia but SP mentions "my book of Timber measure" on 15 April 1663 in connection with a "new Sliding Rule."

Bill  •  Link

Actually, tomorrow, he mentions a book he bought from Browne in connection with a "Ruler." Sam the geek buys the latest technology!

Bill  •  Link

I wonder if Robert Gertz retains copyright on his little mini-dramas? Perhaps he or Phil will do a kickstarter and publish them as a stand-alone, with short intros on each to set the stage. There is a Fortune to be made...

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘artist, n. < . . Middle French . .
. . 2. A person skilled or proficient at a particular task or occupation; an expert. Obs.
. . 1623 J. Webster Dutchesse of Malfy iii. v. sig. H3 v, As some curious Artist, takes in sunder A Clocke, or Watch, when it is out of frame To bring't in better order.
1653 I. Walton Compl. Angler iv. 125, I wil give you more directions concerning fishing; for I would fain make you an Artist.
1723 D. Defoe Hist. Col. Jack (ed. 2) 224 The Mate was an excellent Sea Artist, and an experienc'd Sailor . . ‘

Log in to post an annotation.

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