Saturday 27 June 1663

Up by 4 o’clock and a little to my office. Then comes by agreement Sir W. Warren, and he and I from ship to ship to see deals of all sorts, whereby I have encreased my knowledge and with great pleasure. Then to his yard and house, where I staid two hours or more discoursing of the expense of the navy and the corruption of Sir W. Batten and his man Wood that he brings or would bring to sell all that is to be sold by the Navy.

Then home to the office, where we sat a little, and at noon home to dinner, alone, and thence, it raining hard, by water to the Temple, and so to Lincoln’s Inn, and there walked up and down to see the new garden which they are making, and will be very pretty, and so to walk under the Chappell by agreement, whither Mr. Clerke our Solicitor came to me, and he fetched Mr. Long, our Attorney in the Exchequer in the business against Field, and I directed him to come to the best and speediest composition he could, which he will do. So home on foot, calling upon my brother’s and elsewhere upon business, and so home to my office, and there wrote letters to my father and wife, and so home to bed, taking three pills overnight.

35 Annotations

First Reading

jeannine  •  Link

"and so home to bed, taking three pills overnight"
I don't know about the rest of you but this is kind of scary to me! Tomorrow should be quite a "productive" day! At least he was thoughtful and waited until most of the household had left town and/or run away. Things could get ugly.

Bradford  •  Link

And here I was going to suggest they were melatonin, St. John's wort, and saw palmetto.

"I directed him to come to the best and speediest composition he could":

"composition" = settlement, compromise agreement (Companion, Large Glossary, apparently citing this entry)

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Things could get ugly"
Indeed,when one thinks:now that is it, the whole thing starts again and usually it carries on all night long.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I wish I were Wood...

And Sam sure wishes he were Sir William Batten...

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"where I staid two hours or more discoursing of the expense of the navy and the corruption of Sir W. Batten"

I wonder if other people bring up Batten and his "corruption" to Sam, prompting these conversations, or if he rails on about him at any possible opportunity. The latter would certainly paint Sam in a worse light to me, and possibly to those around him. It could get tiresome right quick, always talking about how others aren't doing the King's service as well as he...

J, B, and ADA, glad to see I'm not the only one who had scatological thoughts as soon as I read about the pills. Ah well, tomorrow is the Lord's Day ... something tells me Sam might be doing some praying, even if he doesn't make it to church!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam could always spend the day with poor old gouty Penn...Long as they'll both be immobilized.


Wonder if Sam's favorite tycoon, Sir W. Warren, got up around 4 am to meet with him. Or was it more like 11 by the time Warren came over.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

So...Sir William Batten removes eager eye from telescope "accidently" lowered till a view of his neighbor's parlor was possible.

Little Pepys has been taken up by Will Warren, eh?...

"Batty?" Lady Batten in rather revealing nightdress...

"It's Warren, all right." Batten nods.

"Ha...Knew it."


A. Hamilton  •  Link

I wish I were Wood

Oh, Robert, you are, you are

(OED: Out of one's mind...)

TerryF  •  Link

Robert, the wish to be Wood was already taken 343 years ago.

SPOILER - The danger is that Sir W. Warren wished to and would be Wood, and Sam might be accused of being Batten.

Good link to Sir W. Warren…

TerryF  •  Link

Pinocchio was wood.

dirk  •  Link

Beware of woodpeckers...

GrahamT  •  Link

Is it just me, or do we have a lot of punning names in today's entry?
Clerke the solicitor; Long (winded) the advocate; Batten's Wood; (what else would a batten be made of?). All we need is the re-appearance of Scully the boatman.
Next we will have Warren's man Bunny, and Field's man Meadows.

GrahamT  •  Link

Beecham's (laxative) pills ("Worth a Guinea a box") weren't marketed until 1842, but their mixture of Aloes, Ginger and soap sounds like the sort of folk ingredients that might have found their way into Sam's pills.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Graham, perhaps Sam could send Hewer to deal with Wood.


Peter  •  Link

And let us not forget the Birches (Jane and Wayneman)

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"What do you think, Bess? Those folks at my honorary web blog seem to have finally lost it today."

"I tole you not to have anything to do with them." Bess frowns. "You and that stupid Diary of yours."

"Excuse me...I might point out that my stupid Diary has made your sweet self live forever. 'Sides, late June 1663...Impeccable husbandly behavior on the part of one Samuel Pepys while alone in the swingingest city on Earth in said year. And it's when I got you that silk petticoat...Which you are wearin right now." Eyes said Bess.

"Yeah, yeah." Lifts skirt with grin, frown returning...

"But those people make me nervous. What if they all start coming to see you? I don't want obsessed 21st century people on my lawn, staring through my windows. At least the Victorians have a sense of propriety." she notes.

"Price of fame, my love. And the men would really be coming to see you."

"Hmmn...This is true." Grin...


alanB  •  Link

Re Batten-wood, I'm sure Mr Gertz can give us an account of Pepys, roaming the weakened Leads above his dwelling, eavesdropping upon the smug two below. (Pride comes before a fall, Sam)

Don McCahill  •  Link

I directed him to come to the best and speediest composition he could

Sam may be discovering something about English courts and English lawyers that another author will write about in almost 200 years in a book called Bleak House.

jeannine  •  Link

Oh well, since we're already digressing today....

Life is tough for our king of the hill
Work at times is so run of the mill
The ladies have left town
Life has hit a slowdown
Can our man of action change his stagnant dullsville?

Now when “things” are at a standstill
Our hero will oft take a pill
One or two we can see
But why boldly take three?
A game of skill, for the thrill or just plain overkill?

Tomorrow’s results may be striking and shrill
Three pills were taken of his own freewill
Do we all stick around
Or like Wayneman split town?
Since Sam’s house may explode let’s meet up in Brazil!

JWB  •  Link

3 little pills

Dec 26,1672 " day tooke Dr. Godderds 3 pills which wrought 14 times towards latter end." Robert Hooke

Clement  •  Link

A different time and with different pills the 'wish to be Wood' would be...different.

RG: Heaven is a highlight.

Clement  •  Link always, as is Jeanine's fun verse.

I'm still certain that Elizabeth's absence will soon lead to excitement of a more social variety. I wonder if Sam had a wedding ring to hide.

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

Commissioner Pett curled up on Sam's couch.

(Robert-By now are poor Bess and Ashwell singing John's song from yesterday? And oh, your site crashed or exceeded bandwidth or something, I think it was my fault I was playing your music while reading SDSP and some others. Heartfelt apologies and a sincere wish it be restored quick.)

Australian Susan  •  Link

Wedding rings not worn by men then. But wonmen can *always* tell you know.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sorry. Women.
8th commandment of annotating: Thou shalt not annotate when hungover.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Now I know why I feel off. Had wine, then a Corona, then champagne. Hmmm.
Thank you, Jeannine for lovely verse!
BTW, does anyone in london know if the current garden at Lincoln's Inn is anything still like the one Sam is so interested in?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Indeed Jeannine, that was neat.

I fear they are, Jacqueline (I'm just too cheap to pay for expanded bw, it's fine now, thanks.)

Susan, my wife says the key to "telling" is the nervous glance to watch and at the door, often coupled with an insistence that he has to get to bed for work tomorrow or back to the "office" by ten or eleven to "finish work". An unusual sensitivity to what the lady might want is also a giveaway.

I ask where she gets such info...She just smiles and pats my head. Hmmn...

E  •  Link

Husband-detection trivia:
I remember a vist to New Zealand by a US Coastguard ship 30 years ago. Of course it was a real treat for the Coastguard to get so far away from home. As they left US waters, the Captain came over the tannoy telling his crew to take their wedding rings off now so the marks would be tanned over before they got to NZ.

I guess there are many women who would like a surefire way to detect whether a sailor far from home is married. But -- to finally relate this back to the Diary -- there are always some people who don't care about this nicety, and -- to relate it also to the state of the world today -- there still are women living in desparate enough circumstances that it is hard to blame them for pursuing someone as well-established as Samuel Pepys was then.

in Aqua scripto  •  Link

The rings, one for engaging in the attempt, one for be for saying 'I do', the third be for suffering and best be the scar, then thee get to be tempted, no mark and women flee, for they like to know that be taking a valued scalp not a losing one.
It is always best to rob another nest than to knock off a has bin off a dead branch except at the last breath.
Rule 1: go for the unavailable never for that be had for nought.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

current garden at Lincoln’s Inn ... [and the other Inns]

Lincoln's has been much rebuilt and extended, the current garden, and layout of the inn, would date from the mid C 19th.

In Pepys day the Inner and Middle Temple gardens terminated with a wall to the river about 20 yards north of the current line. The only Inn garden that has something still of the appearance and layout of Pepys' day is the walks of Gray's Inn, laid out by Sir Francis Bacon in the early C 17th.

Entries in:-
Buildings of England London I: The City
Buildings of England London 4: North

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Lincoln's Inn ... walk under the Chappell

The Chapel was rebuilt 1618-19 by the mason John Clarke (the traditional attribution to Inigo Jones derives from a brief reference which suggests that his advice was sought earlier in 1618 and not followed) The chapel stands on an open undercroft with Gothic four-centered arches and lierne vaults. There is no note of any restoration or alteration to the undercroft so 'tis probable that it remains as in Pepys' time.

Buildings of England London 4:North

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

This day in the House of Lords: resolution of a case from 12 June…

E. Middlesex and E. Bridgewater's Forms of Reprehension, &c.…

Next, the Lord Privy Seal reported, "That the Committee have drawn up, in several Papers, the Words that are to contain the Reprehension to be given the Earl of Middlesex and the Earl of Bridgwater, and the Submissions of those Two Lords to this House; and what Words are fitting to be said by the Earl of Midd. to the Earl of Bridgwater."

Extensive formal back and forth between them, and "The Order of this House is, That the Earl of Bridgwater and the Earl of Middlesex do ask the King's Pardon for their Offences against Him."

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘composition, n . .< Latin
. . 24. An agreement or arrangement involving surrender or sacrifice of some kind on one side or on both; a compromise.
. . 1655 T. Fuller Church-hist. Brit. iii. 6 The French speech..was fain at last to come to a composition with the English tongue.
. . 1855 Macaulay Hist. Eng. IV. 265 With the Elector of Saxony a composition was made..Instead of the four hundred thousand rixdollars which he had demanded, he consented to accept one hundred thousand and the Garter . . '

Terry: your post is an unwelcome spoiler: please resist the temptation to spoil!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

' Then to his yard and house, where I staid two hours or more discoursing of the expense of the navy and the corruption of Sir W. Batten and his man Wood that he brings or would bring to sell all that is to be sold by the Navy."

L&M: In the matter of Timber supplies, Pepys and Warren were later to be accused in the parliamentary enquiry of 1669 of the offence here attributed to Batten and William Wood: PL 2554, n.p.

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