Monday 13 April 1663

Up by five o’clock and to my office, where hard at work till towards noon, and home and eat a bit, and so going out met with Mr. Mount my old acquaintance, and took him in and drank a glass or two of wine to him and so parted, having not time to talk together, and I with Sir W. Batten to the Stillyard, and there eat a lobster together, and Wyse the King’s fishmonger coming in we were very merry half an hour, and so by water to Whitehall, and by and by being all met we went in to the Duke and there did our business and so away, and anon to the Tangier Committee, where we had very fine discourse from Dr. Walker and Wiseman, civilians, against our erecting a court-merchant at Tangier, and well answered in many things by my Lord Sandwich (whose speaking I never till now observed so much to be very good) and Sir R. Ford.

By and by the discourse being ended, we fell to my Lord Rutherford’s dispatch, which do not please him, he being a Scott, and one resolved to scrape every penny that he can get by any way, which the Committee will not agree to. He took offence at something and rose away, without taking leave of the board, which all took ill, though nothing said but only by the Duke of Albemarle, who said that we ought to settle things as they ought to be, and if he will not go upon these terms another man will, no doubt. Here late, quite finishing things against his going, and so rose, and I walked home, being accompanied by Creed to Temple Bar, talking of this afternoon’s passage, and so I called at the Wardrobe in my way home, and there spoke at the Horn tavern with Mr. Moore a word or two, but my business was with Mr. Townsend, who is gone this day to his country house, about sparing Charles Pepys some money of his bills due to him when he can, but missing him lost my labour.

So walked home, finding my wife abroad, at my aunt, Wight’s, who coming home by and by, I home to supper and to bed.

30 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"he being a Scott,and one resolved to scrape every penny that he can get by any way"
A Frenchman said in the 17th Century that the English sees everybody with contempt except the French wich they hate with a passion.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"which all took ill, though nothing said but only by the Duke of Albemarle, who said that we ought to settle things as they ought to be, and if he will not go upon these terms another man will, no doubt"

That Gen'l Monk, always the pragmatist.

A full day for Sam today, after yesterday's 12-hour day...

Australian Susan  •  Link

"he being a Scott..."

Did this racist myth arise with the Scots who came down from Scotland with James I & VII??

"eat a bit"

This phrase is frequently used. Sam, when alone, seems to subsist on snacks. He does not seem to have cooked dinners at home ordered every day. I have this vision of him eating bread, cheese and maybe an apple (perhaps not in April, though) whilst reading.

dirk  •  Link

-ing forms

After all that was said yesterday on Sam's use of "carrying", I can't help noticing that Sam's diary English shows a marked preference for "-ing" forms (gerunds and others). This may have been Sam's style, or a general feature of English at the time.

Some examples, where I at least would have used a different form of the verb:


Sam: "and Wyse the King’s fishmonger *coming* in we were very merry half an hour"

Alternative: "and after Wyse the King's fishmonger came in we were very merry..."


Sam: "and I walked home, *being* accompanied by Creed"

Alternative: "and I walked home, accompanied by Creed"


Sam: "So walked home, *finding* my wife abroad, at my aunt, Wight’s, who *coming* home by and by, I home to supper and to bed"

Alternative: "So walked home and found my wife abroad, at my aunt, Wight’s, who came home by and by, then I home to supper and to bed"

Bergie  •  Link

-ing forms

Dirk, many of Sam's "-ing"s occur in absolute constructions, which are much less common in English today than in his time.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

-ing forms
Many of them are participles (verbal adjectives) with a present meaning or sometimes acting as a perfect. Perhaps Sam's usage reflects his classical education and high level of competence in Greek and Latin where participles often worked hard to convey meaning for which modern languages use lengthier clauses. A regular Greek verb possessed twelve participles (Present, Future, Aorist and Perfect tenses each with an Active, Middle and Passive voice); while it's Latin equivalent made do with three, they had to earn their upkeep. Participles are more comprehensible in inflected languages such as Latin and Greek because it is easier to see from the word endings whose action they are describing. The problems of their use in English are illustrated by the debate on the "boy was carrying a constable" expression.
Gerunds and Gerundives present other problems which have terrorised Latin students for generations. For the Private Life of a Gerund see "How to be Topp" by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle, part of the Molesworth chronicles.

Benvenuto  •  Link

"He took offence at something..."
Maybe at the committeee teasing him for being a parsimonious Scotsman.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and took him in and drank a glass or two of wine"
It is one or the other.

Frank G.  •  Link

"Did this racist myth arise with the Scots who came down from Scotland with James I & VII??"

I expect that was just a typo, Susan, but James the First of England was the sixth of that name of Scotland.

language hat  •  Link

I don't think all national stereotypes can be called "racist," a word which gets thrown around with too much abandon these days.

bardi  •  Link

"ing" and "racist" aside, you can't beat our Sam for a run-on sentence!

celtcahill  •  Link

Ethnocentrism can be tricky, sure. On TV in my youth, Charlie McCarthy the ventriloquist's dummy, on meeting an Irishman said: " Oh, Irish huh ? That's funny, you don't LOOK drunk. "

My father laughed so hard he darn near choked. Sometimes the ethnicity goes WITH the subject not against. If this line is read as drollery, that is what it is. Like the Danger Mouse episode on the kidnapping of bagpipes and hte inability of Danger Mouse's clerk to much care.

I am truly afraid that too much sensitivity will make jokes impossible.

TerryF  •  Link

With the advance of technology by a nobleman, this day parliament acts as a Patent Office

Today in the House of Commons [with deference to i.A.S.]: Marq. of Worcester's Water Engine.

Mr. Hungerford reports from the Committee to which the Bill, sent from the Lords, for enabling the Lord Marquis of Worcester to take the Benefit of a Watercommanding Engine, by him invented [… ], several Amendments to the said Bill: Which he read, with the Coherence, in the Bill; and after, delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table: And the said Amendments, being twice read, were, upon the Question, severally agreed to; and were as follow; viz.

First Skin, Sixth Line, after the Word, "known," leave out to the Word "which," in the Ninth Line; instead thereof, read these Words, "and being no Pump or Force now in Use; nor working by any Suckers, Barrels, or Bellows, heretofore used for the Raising or Conveying of Water."....

Eleventh Line, after the Word "and," leave out these Words, "the said Work or Engine to break down and demolish;" and insert "upon Discovery of any such Engine, to proceed against the said Person or Persons by Action, Information, or Indictment; and, after Conviction thereof in due Course of Law, in any Assizes or Publick Sessions of the Peace, or any of the Courts at Westminster, or any other his Majesty's Courts of Record, in any City, Borough, or Town Corporate, or in any Stannary Court or Jurisdiction of Lead Mines; then such Engine or Engines to be forfeited and seized to and for the Use of the said Edward Marquis of Worcester, his Executors, Administrators, and Assigns, respectively."....

Ordered, That the Bill, with the Amendments agreed to, be read the Third time.

The Bill, with the Amendments agreed to, was read the Third time....

Resolved, &c. That it be referred to the same Committee, to prepare and bring in a Proviso To-morrow Morning, upon the Subject Matter of the present Debate, in relation to the limiting a Time for the Perfecting of the Engine; and to provide, that the same may not prejudice any other Engine which shall be invented for the future: And the Committee are hereby required, to meet at Two of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Speaker's Chamber.

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 13 April 1663', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 470-71. URL:… Date accessed: 13 April 2006.

Diagram and Epistle dedicatory of the Water-Engine by Edward Somerset, Marquess of Worcester, thanks to JWB…

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

TerryF please continue, I dothe think that one must have some additional background to the daily happenings to give depth to 'wot be rit' by our Samuell. So the asides from that august body of the represenatives of the peoples, give a sense to events that be happening.
[ JE , the vicar of the Stour, and other writings of the period can help us understand [?] Samuells well written notations.]
Privileges, Laws that be requested and passed to allow Carlo II to enjoy his privilege of Ruler [Monarch] and who must support his life style, and what happens to those fail to agree with the Privilege ones.
The Law that be , "are ye with me or agin me your choice, if agin me then pay up or get out." If there be no Americas to run to, thereby escaping the wrath of the over indulged then England would be like the rest of Europe, strapped. Inspite of the the this law of nature, Progress was made in the betterment of the less fortunate, that lacked the monies or education to use the laws for their own welfare.
My myopic view only represents my limited number of cells of grey matter.

Nix  •  Link

The Marquis of Worcester's "water engine" --

From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: "By 1655 Worcester's old partnership with Calthoff had resumed, and the marquess wrote a catalogue of his inventions (eventually published in 1663), in the self-justifying mode that was typical of him, and probably designed to attract sponsorship. A century of the names and scantlings of … inventions is an eclectic mixture of detail and the sketchiest of outlines, and even Worcester's most determined apologist, Henry Dircks, writing in 1865, was unable to provide explanatory glosses for all the inventions listed. However, it is the ‘water commanding engine’ which has excited most interest among historians of science, because its inventor claimed to have found a way to ‘drive up water by fire’ (Dircks, 475). Although the word ‘steam’ was not used as a term in science or engineering until after Worcester's death, the water commanding engine appears to have been powered by that means, and thus the marquess has been promoted, most vigorously by Dircks, as an inventor of the steam engine. Victorian commentators, writing in the great age of steam power, were more ready to dismiss Worcester's claims than their successors of a century later. In the continuing absence of any archaeological or other physical evidence, a definitive verdict seems as elusive as ever, but it seems that Calthoff's contribution was probably greater than that of his employer, that steam power was indeed deployed at Vauxhall in a prototype of the water commanding engine, but that it was ultimately unsuccessful."

Worcester's "Century of Inventions" is online at --…

Australian Susan  •  Link

Mention has been made above that the parsimony of Scots is "a joke". But Sam is NOT joking in this diary entry.He is repeating a completely untrue statement about an entire race of people with sincerity. That is racist.
Sorry about bumping up James's numbers. Yes, typo. He was of course James VIth of Scotland before being James I of England. Charles's brother became James VII of Scotland and some would have that HIS son became James VIIIth, but that's a whole other issue!
As an English person in Australia, I have had the entire gamut of Pom jokes[sic] and, believe me, you smile through gritted teeth after a while. But you have to smile or get told you "can't take a joke". Wearisome.

Mary House  •  Link

I've noticed the frequent use of -ing verbs before and have always felt that this usage lends a certain livliness and immediacy to the writing.

Miriam  •  Link

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean---neither more nor less."

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

It was an Os that taught this Pomme the meanin' of Queensberry Rules, their ain't any.

Pedro  •  Link

"we fell to my Lord Rutherford’s

He would arrive at Tangier on the 11th of May.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"we had very fine discourse from Dr. Walker and Wiseman, civilians, against our erecting a court-merchant at Tangier"

The civil (Roman) lawyers (practicing in mercantile, admiralty and international law) had an interest in keeping this jurisdiction in the hands of the Governor, to whom the Lord Admiral deputed powers of admiralty. A mayoral court merchant was established in 1668, when Tangier was incorporated as a municipality. (Per L&M footnotes)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

One of the contractors for the mole, Rutherford left for Tangier without reaching any agreement with the committee.
(Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my business was with Mr. Townsend...about sparing Charles Pepys some money of his bills due to him when he can"

According to the Wardrobe accounts, £150 was owed to Charles Pepys, joiner ('conjugator') -- Pepys's cousin.
(L&M footnote)

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"Up by five o’clock," but not betimes, today. I wonder if there's a cut-off.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Today for Pepys is 23rd April Gregorian, so sunrise would be around 4:47 local time (no daylight-saving remember). So, by 5 o'clock it would have been light for a considerable time: there's a long twilight at this latitude. "Betimes" probably meant first light before dawn, or earlier - or with the birds' dawn chorus!

JayW  •  Link

It will be interesting to see if 'betimes' is used again much before September if it means 'before daybreak'. Five in the morning sounds early enough to start the day when there is so much packed into it. What energy the man had!

NJ Lois  •  Link

What is a Pom; Australian Susan's reference to Pom jokes, as an English person in Australia, and Aqua Scripto's reference to Pommes.

NJ Lois  •  Link

Thanks, Bryan.

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