Thursday 16 April 1663

Up betimes and to my office, met to pass Mr. Pitt’s (anon Sir J. Lawson’s Secretary and Deputy Treasurer) accounts for the voyage last to the Streights, wherein the demands are strangely irregular, and I dare not oppose it alone for making an enemy and do no good, but only bring a review upon my Lord Sandwich, but God knows it troubles my heart to see it, and to see the Comptroller, whose duty it is, to make no more matter of it. At noon home for an hour to dinner, and so to the office public and private till late at night, so home to supper and bed with my father.

25 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Political Sam:
"I dare not oppose it alone for making an enemy and do no good, but only bring a review upon my Lord Sandwich"

Meet Public Servant Sam:
"but God knows it troubles my heart to see it, and to see the Comptroller, whose duty it is, to make no more matter of it"

I hope you can come to a meeting of the minds.

Would love to know more about the "strangely irregular" demands ... what exactly constituted expense-account padding in the 1600s?

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"what constitutes paddding."? Any thing thy can get away with, and thee have no proof that thee did get to do the work correctly. Man at his best.

TerryF  •  Link

Is our fave workaholic giving his father quality time?

Yesterday's "Up betimes, and after talking with my father awhile, I to my office...." was the first mention of him since Thursday last, when he was moving from the bed of one kinsman to another's. Perhaps this was not unexpected; more time seems spent with Ashwell, Bess and the tryangle.

John Pepys's expectations are unclear to me, but a vast cultural chasm opens between us (and between him and my father, e.g.)

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Normal lunch time- Noon back to normal times unlike yester day "... At noon home for an hour to dinner, and so to the office public and private till late at night..."
???? " office public and private," [Wot be tat]in the office where the boys of the Tell be and then behind my locked doors , so i'll not to be disturbed? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's??

Pauline  •  Link

"...home to supper and bed with my father."
TerryF, John Pepys is having a long stay in London and seems to be using it to visit all the family he was close to and socializing with early in the diary. He has been living in the country for about a year and this is a chance to be back "home" in London and catch up on everything. It is reasonable that he is spending time with his son who has taken over his tailoring business and lives in the old home. I imagine it is nice for him to stay from time to time at Sam's and partake in the good cook and well-run household, Elizabeth's charms, and his son's success and busyness. But he has other people to see and things to do. I hope he is setting his own schedule and enjoying himself; things have been difficult enough with his wife for him to have threatened to never return to Brampton. He may be playing out the fantasy that he won't return and having a good vacation of it.

Mary  •  Link

"both public and private"

We have seen from earlier entries that Sam sometimes stays on in the office to write up his diary and also to take care of private correspondence, only returning to the domestic part of the building when this is done. Perhaps this is the private business that he refers to here.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"both public and private"

Or, perhaps, between the public part of his office (presumably where the clerks work and perhaps where the files are kept, etc.), and his own private office (you know, the one with the peephole that he drilled a little while ago)?

celtcahill  •  Link


You're right, of course. He had a life in London before moving to Brampton, after all, and few things sour a long relationship quite so well as suddenly spending all day with someone who has been more background than foreground the last years.

A break can be helpful....

Stolzi  •  Link

"Bed with my father"

is quite literal, according to this entry…

So it was rather nice of the old man to distribute his company around, giving Sam some nights to sleep in the double bed with Bess. John Pepys has been in London now for about two weeks.

Mrs. John Pepys, stuck out in the country with Pauline for company, is probably going slowly mad (or even madder than she has been up to now).

TerryF  •  Link

“…home to...bed with my father.”

Not even John Pepys's successful son has a guest-room, and this would have been better than a trundle-bed.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

The country side be rather muddy and quiet at this time , so much for hearing the Chaffinch trill around that olde Elm tree bowl. One does miss that hussle bussle of neighing dray pullers, and cursin' draymen droppin' a keg on their toes and spillin' those coles down the wrong celer. Then there be all that wit of all the street criers, enticin' all those farthings out of the betters for a nice juicy orange. All in all, Mr John be glad to see the latest in broad clothe.

matthew newton  •  Link

can someone help?

TerryF  •  Link


It slides under a regular bed during the day.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Trundle, nice word as I'll trundle off now but before I do, here be :. OE: trendle, a ring or circle: trendan, to roll, a castor, a bed with castors for ease of storage, [and a possibility to keep one's mistress on site and out of sight]

Pauline  •  Link

'stuck out in the country with Pauline'
Oh, let's call her Pall or Paulina, Stolzi.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Spare beds

If Sam had put his father on a bed in his chamber, I think he would have said so, but he says to bed with his father, so I think he means that - Sam obviously has the best bed in the house and sharing it with his father (whilst his wife shared with Ashwell) is polite. Sharing beds in private houses was commonplace until well into the 19th century (and the prurience of Victorians??). Jane Austen mentions it in letters, casually as something very ordinary and her neice, Fanny, talks in her diary of sharing a bed with her governess when an older teenager (and they were a wealthy family). In Sam's day, you gave up your bed for guests - you didn't have guest beds. And trundle beds were for servants.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

In an alternate universe...

"Then Mr. Pepys..." Stern glare. "You categorically refuse to pass this account of Sir John's, my master?"

"I must, sir. It cannot stand and I, as Clerk of the Acts and loyal servant of his Majesty cannot idly sit by and condone its passing." Fist bang on table. Sir John Minnes eyeing the Sirs Will...

Has the little fellow gone dotty?

"Then...Sir....You will find you have made a most redoubtable enemy in Sir John, sir." Mr. Pitt flashes a look calculated to wither many a better titled man.

"That, sir...Must be as may." Pepys returns the look with one of true, cold steel.

"I think I'll tell my cousin Bertie there'll soon be a vacancy here. On account of accidental nighttime encounter with vicious street thugs." Minnes hisses to Penn.


in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Aus. S. has the situation correctly stated. Equals will share the bedsheet and frame, and the help gets the trundlebed no reason to reread the commandments. Sharing a bed was the norm for those of the middling and lesser sort. Just normal. Just modern affluent minds be all of a quiver. Like modern affluent Married folk have their own suite, and a separate meeting place for important events.

Pauline Benson  •  Link

Heck with cold old spare beds
Right on Aus Sus. And it sounds like Sam and Dad are doing most of their heart-to-heart talking while in bed together. Meanwhile Elizabeth and Ashwell get to giggle and be young and gossipy together in Ashwell's bed.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"giggle and be young and gossipy"

This is exactly what Jane Austen describes, sharing a bed with one of the Lloyd sisters and reporting to Cassandra that they were awake till past 2am telling stories and laughing.

Houses, especially it seems here in Australia (maybe in US too?) seem to be getting larger, with fewer rooms actually used: typically here people aspire to a formal lounge room, formal dining room and then a family room and a kitchen in which everyone actually lives. Also you aspire to having a media room with built in home theatre, guest suite (with its own bathroom)a study (or used as a sewing room)a rumpus room for the kids and everyone has to have their own bedroom and at least two bathrooms. And double garage. And outdoor entertainment area. And pool.................And huge home loan. Wonder what Sam would have made of all that. Me? I just need more space for books....Sam could relate to that!

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Would love to know more about the "strangely irregular" demands ... what exactly constituted expense-account padding in the 1600s? "

Todd, I'm not sure you or any of us can know: the L&M foot note here say the Public Records Office,London (now the National Archives) have "some" of the accounts in question (from 1 April 1661-15 January) when Lawson had imposed treaties on Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"The country side be rather muddy and quiet at this time, so much for hearing the Chaffinch trill around that olde Elm tree bowl." And the bluebells are out ... spring is a magic time in England.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Time for some Browning for SDS:

‘OH, to be in England now that April ’s there
And whoever wakes in England sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now! . . ‘…

It's happening around me now . .

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

ˈtruckle-bed, n. < Anglo-Norman trocle < Latin trochlea = Greek τροχιλία sheaf of a pulley . .
A low bed running on truckles or castors, usually pushed beneath a high or ‘standing’ bed when not in use; a trundle-bed.
. . 1662 S. Pepys Diary 1 May (1970) III. 75 To bed all alone, and my Will in the truckle-bed.’

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