Friday 22 May 1663

Up pretty betimes, and shall, I hope, come to myself and business again, after a small playing the truant, for I find that my interest and profit do grow daily, for which God be praised and keep me to my duty.

To my office, and anon one tells me that Rundall, the house-carpenter of Deptford, hath sent me a fine blackbird, which I went to see. He tells me he was offered 20s. for him as he came along, he do so whistle.

So to my office, and busy all the morning, among other things, learning to understand the course of the tides, and I think I do now do it.

At noon Mr. Creed comes to me, and he and I to the Exchange, where I had much discourse with several merchants, and so home with him to dinner, and then by water to Greenwich, and calling at the little alehouse at the end of the town to wrap a rag about my little left toe, being new sore with walking, we walked pleasantly to Woolwich, in our way hearing the nightingales sing. So to Woolwich yard, and after doing many things there, among others preparing myself for a dispute against Sir W. Pen in the business of Bowyer’s, wherein he is guilty of some corruption to the King’s wrong, we walked back again without drinking, which I never do because I would not make my coming troublesome to any, nor would become obliged too much to any. In our going back we were overtook by Mr. Steventon, a purser, and uncle to my clerk Will, who told me how he was abused in the passing of his accounts by Sir J. Minnes to the degree that I am ashamed to hear it, and resolve to retrieve the matter if I can though the poor man has given it over. And however am pleased enough to see that others do see his folly and dotage as well as myself, though I believe in my mind the man in general means well.

Took boat at Greenwich and to Deptford, where I did the same thing, and found Davis, the storekeeper, a knave, and shuffling in the business of Bewpers, being of the party with Young and Whistler to abuse the King, but I hope I shall be even with them. So walked to Redriffe, drinking at the Half-way house, and so walked and by water to White Hall, all our way by water coming and going reading a little book said to be writ by a person of Quality concerning English gentry to be preferred before titular honours, but the most silly nonsense, no sense nor grammar, yet in as good words that ever I saw in all my life, but from beginning to end you met not with one entire and regular sentence.

At White Hall Sir G. Carteret was out of the way, and so returned back presently, and home by water and to bed.

31 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

"learning to understand the course of the tides"

is indeed what the times (all times) call for.

Bradford  •  Link

"the most silly nonsense, no sense nor grammar, yet in as good words that ever I saw in all my life, but from beginning to end you met not with one entire and regular sentence."

A remarkable feat in and of itself. Try it. (No fair, those of you who have taught College Comp.)

TerryF  •  Link

" we walked pleasantly to Woolwich, in our way hearing the nightingales sing."

A bucolic stroll reminiscent of Wednesday's with Mr. Howe "which was very pleasant along the green [corne and peas], and most of the way sang, he and I"

Between episodes of intense and all-consuming personal turmoil, Samuel Pepys, a man of SO many parts, has an eye and ear for the world outside and beyond himself!

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

An ear for the Dawn chorus, A blackbird that be saved from joining others in a baked pie, and then listening to "Berkleys" favourite evening songstress.
Quite the traveller and two inspections, I just wander[sic] how many to day could do that trip and still be fresh.
It appears the Bridge did not deter him from shooting the pontoons, was the tide such ? that there be no walking around the obstruction, but just sail on?

Pedro  •  Link

“Berkleys” favourite evening songstress."

And Woolwich would only be 7 or 8 miles as the crow flies?

Pedro  •  Link

Sam seems to have a liking for birds.

This night comes two cages, which I bought this evening for my canary birds, which Captain Rooth this day sent me.…

andy  •  Link

he do so whistle

we have 3 nesting couples in our garden at the moment; territorial males chasing other territorial males, territorial females chasing other territorial females, and males chasing females into the foliage ... a lotta whistlin' goin' on!

language hat  •  Link

A vindication of the degree of gentry

Does anybody know anything about this book? There's almost nothing online (Google turns up Pepys and a library catalog), and I've found one quote from it on GoogleBooks:

"this was the general title throughout the world ; so that nothing more idle can be thought on, than for a particular prince to erect a new degree of blood above this title, which is universal in all nations."

Quoted at Kenelm Henry Digby's The Broad Stone of Honour (1829), p. 230:…

Clement  •  Link

A vindication of the degree of gentry...
"London : Printed, and are to be sold at Oxford and Cambridge, 1663"
There is a microfilm image of at least one original at the University of Illinois library that seems to be available through many university libraries online. I would guess that some of our annotators can get access and a little more info. OCLC NO 12379463.

Nix  •  Link

Some Detective Work:

Language Hat/Clement --

The pamphlet is available on microfilm in the University of Arizona library as well.

The quotation in the 19th century by one Kenelm Henry Digby (1800-1880) may be a tipoff to the anonymous author of the pamphlet. While "a person of quality" was a very common 17th century pseudonym --…

-- one of the writers who used it was an "author, diplomatist and naval commander" named Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665).……

Sir Kenelm would have been known to Samuel, which might have prompted him to dip into the pamphlet. Sir Kenelm was a former Navy official, a member of the Royal Society -- and would die in 1665 of kidney stones. Quite a remarkable set of coincidences!

Michael Robinson  •  Link

A vindication of the degree of gentry, 1663

The author appears to be unknown to Wing (V 503). No author or suggestions about authorship are rcorded in the British Library main electronic catalogue entry or by the publisher/distributors of "Early English books online," which appears to be the source of most of US academic electronic catalogue entries.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"...and shuffling in the business of Bewpers..." Bewpers?
Samuell gives the best clue: OED"...1664 PEPYS Diary (1879) III. 56 Among the Linnen Wholesale see what can be done with them for the supplying our want of Bewpers for flaggs. Ibid. 16 June, Supplying us with bewpers from Norwich. ..."
???beaupers, bewpers Also 6 bowpres [alt?bewpyr,beaupere the good/fine father]
limited OED ref:…

TerryF  •  Link

Nix, methinks the work and interests of Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665), 'eccentric' [wide-ranging] though they be, seem hardly aligned with the subject or Pepys's review of "A vindication of the degree of gentry, &c." or its peculiar anonymity (Digby publishad a cookbook in his own name).

Interesting piece of detective work, though.
As I wrote in the Background note, "Available in microform...widely in academic libaries across the US."

Bradford  •  Link

If only some intrepid explorer could venture into its wilderness and bring back a sample of its peerless style!

Pepys's own sentence describing the book, while quite typical of its time, has several lumps of its own, and no preceptor today would call it "regular."

dirk  •  Link

"The Vindication..."

It seems that there exists also:

"The maidens plea, or, Her defence and vindication of her self against all objections ...", written by a person of qualities, London, Printed by G. Croom for the author, 1684

The same author? Or was "a person of quality" synonymous with "anonymous", "nomen nescio", etc ?

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

See Davis and Bewpers; "...and found Davis, the storekeeper, a knave, and shuffling in the business of Bewpers, being of the party with Young and Whistler to abuse the King,..."
Thy must keep thy beaded eye on all transactions of where money and goods be traded or upgraded.
Wot! The Lord doth store, the beetles dothe recyle;
'Tis why they invented cash registers. The in store camera at one location doth say it be to keep the prices down as the Management fail to understand how goods dothe shrink, the audit and computors fail to equate.
Just like frequency does not equal to reciprical of time, one needs a fudge factor. Ladies day slipped away from polaris

adam w  •  Link

If I've got the timing right, he's walking to Woolwich just after lunch (dinner - means different things to different people, but he did several hours work afterwards, so it wasn't his evening meal.)
Lovely thought, to be able to hear nightingales in central london (Berkeley square?), but surely even in the 17th C they weren't singing in the middle of the day?

Mary  •  Link


can, indeed, be heard singing during daylight hours as well as after dusk.

Clement  •  Link

Sir Kenelm Digby--based on the fact that he isn't covered in the L&M Companion I believe we won't get to meet him in these pages, but what a fascinating contemperary character Nix has introduced and has linked to his history. Since there is a written body of work extant for this knight I suppose a good comparitive style analysis could answer Nix's intriguing guess at the author's identity. Perhaps there's a thesis in that question.

language hat  •  Link

beaupers, bewpers
[Deriv. unknown: it has been referred to Beaupreau, a town of France with manufactures of linen and woollen.]
A fabric, apparently linen; used for flags.
1592 Wills & Inv. N.C. II. 211 Lawne cufes 3s., peace of bowpres 16s. [...] 1664 PEPYS Diary III. 56 Among the Linnen Wholesale Drapers.. to see what can be done with them for the supplying our want of Bewpers for flaggs. Ibid. 16 June, Supplying us with bewpers from Norwich. 1720 Stow's Surv. II. V. xviii. 382/2 Bolters and Bewpers the dozen pieces 1d.

Nix  •  Link

"A person of quality" --

Was a very common pseudonym in the 17th century. The University of Arizona catalogue --…

--indicates 261 items, including nearly 50 whose authors have been identified. The large majority of these appear to have been Samuel's contemporaries. A major British antiquarian library surely would list many, many more.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Re Bradford's reference to an intrepid explorer who will venture into the wilderness and bring us back an example. Sounds like a job for Conan the Librarian…

A Hamilton  •  Link

Sam's a different man today. No brooding on the gigolo. Hears bird song. Like awaking from a bad dream.

Bewpers -- anachronistically, Bupers is a US Navy acronym for Bureau of Personnel

Kevin Peter  •  Link

Sam seems to be very busy today, discovering corruption whereever it is to be found. It's no wonder that he impressed people with his diligence.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I...found Davis, the storekeeper, a knave, and shuffling in the business of Bewpers, being of the party with Young and Whistler to abuse the King, but I hope I shall be even with them."

In September 1662 a contract for flags with John Young and Henry Whistler had been the subject of a dispute at the Board. Pepys had found on enquiry that Davis had never on any count rejected flags served in by Young and Whistler.
(L&M footnote)

Ivan  •  Link

L&M have this to say of "A vindication of the degree of gentry..." by a Person of Quality.
"Much of the book is unintelligible."
So one must wonder about the qualities of the person who wrote it!

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

The tides around the British coast are very complex, depending on the season, the phase of the moon, and whether the moon is near perigee or apogee. A super moon is when a new or a full moon coincides with perigee. the moon's closest approach to Earth in its elliptical cycle.

The tidal ranges are also huge, compared with most places: up to 50 feet, almost as high as in the Bay of Fundy. Here is a link to a picture, compiled from several from the Admiralty website, of a tide graph for my local Port, Tenby, for an entire lunar cycle, the central peak coinciding with a supermoon. The range here can be from as little as 6 feet, to over 30 feet.


The UK Admiralty website will show the tides for the next seven days for any registered port in the world if you click on a little yellow dot in the picture.…

The tidal range of the Thames near Seething Lane, next to the Tower of London can be up to about 22 feet.

Bill  •  Link

A vindication of the degree of gentry in opposition to titular honours, and the honour of riches, being the measure of honours / done by a person of quality. (1663) Paperback – January 2, 2011
by Person of quality (Author)

Of course, these days everything is available from Amazon:…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

In this case a link to a title at Amazon does not give you the full text, but it can be found elsewhere: Jus regum. Or, a vindication of the regall povver: against all spirituall authority exercised under any form of ecclesiasticall government. In a brief discourse occasioned by the observation of some passages in the Archbishop of Canterburies last speech. Published by authority.
Parker, Henry, 1604-1652., Hunton, Philip, 1604?-1682,
Early English Books Online [full text]…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Starting at the end of May, 1663, Louis XIV nearly died. The progress of his disease was noted daily by his physician, Monsieur Antoine Vallot, in the Journal de la santé du Roi. The story and translated bits come from…

During the night of Thursday-Friday, May 31-June 1 Louis XIV’s condition was alarming. His fever broke slightly about 3 a.m. Monsieur Vallot therefore suggested another bleeding.

Monsieur Guènault, physician to Queen Maria Theresa, was awakened, and there was a discussion about whether a bleeding was wise, given Louis’ poor condition. Monsieur Vallot insisted it had to be done, in order to bring his Majesty some relief.

And relief it brought, according to Monsieur Vallot. “On Friday morning, the King feeling his strength and vigour returning, confessed that he was much better, and that he had been more alarmed than ever, not believing that he would not pass during the night.”

Louis’ condition improved further over the course of the day.
Another blood-letting was administered at six p.m..

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