Tuesday 28 July 1663

Up after sleeping very well, and so to my office setting down the Journall of this last three days, and so settled to business again, I hope with greater cheerfulness and success by this refreshment.

At the office all the morning, and at noon to Wise’s about my viall that is a-doing, and so home to dinner and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon till night, and I late at it till after the office was risen. Late came my Jane and her brother Will to entreat for my taking of the boy again, but I will not hear her, though I would yet be glad to do anything for her sake to the boy, but receive him again I will not, nor give him anything. She would have me send him to sea; which if I could I would do, but there is no ship going out. The poor girl cried all the time she was with me, and would not go from me, staying about two hours with me till 10 or 11 o’clock, expecting that she might obtain something of me, but receive him I will not. So the poor girl was fain to go away crying and saying little. So from thence home, where my house of office was emptying, and I find they will do it with much more cleanness than I expected. I went up and down among them a good while, but knowing that Mr. Coventry was to call me in the morning, I went to bed and left them to look after the people. So to bed.

24 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

She would have me send him to sea; which if I could I would do, but there is no ship going out.

As poor Wayneman has no experience of the sea he would probably go as a ship’s boy…Caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea?

“The ship’s boys met their nemesis every Monday, when the boatswain or his mate whipped them for all misdemeanours committed in the previous week”

(Gentlemen and Tarpaulins…J.D.Davies)

Australian Susan  •  Link

House of Office

When we lived in rural Kent, we had a cess pit which needed pumping out regularly. My (then very small) son was awestruck the first time he witnessed this by the size of the large tanker. Our waste was taken off to a sewage treatment works. What would have happened to Sam's? Dumped in the Thames? Used as fertiliser?

Aqua  •  Link

Do this.... Do That"...So from thence home, where my house of office was emptying, and I find they will do, it with much more cleanness than I expected. I went up and down among them a good while..." Sam does nae mind paying more."? Bucket by bucket.

TerryF  •  Link

Content of the House of Office -

8 September 1662 - Rex Gordon -
More “office” work, 17th century-style
Until the advent of (almost) universal indoor plumbing, there was a class of tradesmen that came around to remove the contents of your houses of office when they filled up. The loads were carried to one of the several “Dunghill Lanes” around the city, or if the men weren’t inclined to haul it so far, dumped into the Fleet or Wallbrook in spite of the possibility of a fine. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

"The rivers of the Thames, Fleet and Walbrook were open sewers, the Thames the most foul of all. The abominable odors of the Fleet, complained the monks of the White Friars, 'have overcome the frankincense burnt at the altar' they claimed the fumes caused the deaths of several brethren. Sherborne Lane, once a lovely stream back in 1300, was to be more popularly known as Shiteburn Lane. However, these were minor when compared to the state of the Thames." http://www.plumbdoctor.co.uk/Defa…

TerryF  •  Link

O, let's go back to Epsom and lift our tails in a bush!

Patricia  •  Link

"I went up and down among them a good while" That's Sam Pepys all over: he has to supervise everything, maybe suggest a better way of doing it, even in a smelly case like this. I can picture the workmen thinking, "If you're so smart, carry the damme bucket yourself!"

alanB  •  Link

Three cheers for Sam's long weekend. The past 3 days have been amongst the best and must have taken Sam some time to record. Let's hope he goes abroad more often.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Jane's back! For a moment. Yea!

And smart enough to bring her brother with her on such an errand, else this entry might well have taken a rather unfortunate turn...

"With good words of getting her brother a place at sea I did get her to go with me to..."

But this is our Jane, she've kicked his stone wound open the minute he tried anything.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"George? The little bastard gone to bed finally?"

"Aye, thank God. One more direction on how to carry me bucket and..." George wearily trudges, large bucket carefully gripped, for the cellar door.

"Well, then...Why don't we dump a bucket in his wine vat there? Add a little flavor?"

"Aye." George smiles.

OH...Sam wakes from the nightmare with a start.

Phew...Hopefully just a...

"Ahhh!..." a high-pitched scream from our hero as he spies another 'ghost' at his bedside.

"Mr. Pepys." Jane nods grimly. "As I was sayin' I'll not be leaving til you get me poor Wayneman a place, sir."

Bryan M  •  Link

... and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon till night, and I late at it till after the office was risen.

Sam has mentioned "sitting" at the office (as opposed to "doing business" there) a number of times. It is something I've wondered about but from this entry it seems that the principal officers of the Navy Board conducted formal meetings as well as attending their semi-regular Monday meetings with the Duke.

Some other examples:
Thursday 9 July 1663: Sir W. Batten and I sat a little this afternoon at the office

Thursday 2 July 1663: to the office, where we sat all the afternoon, and so rose at the evening

Saturday 27 June 1663: Then home to the office, where we sat a little,

Tuesday 16 June 1663: and to my office, where doing business all the morning. [but later] So to the office, where we sat all the afternoon till night.

jeannine  •  Link

"Three cheers for Sam’s long weekend"
Alan, what amazed me is that he kept each day totally separate so there was never a hint that he was recording the long weekend at one time. He even managed to keep the "suspense" of the lost dog going from one day to the next without "hinting" about it in his first entry.

TerryF  •  Link

The officers of the Navy Board sit -

as I understand it - if there are two or more principal officers present, and their clerks - they "sit" at a single table to hear from claimants, review invoices, bids, 'tickets' for labor by employees at the yards and on ships, and payments for wages, stores, etc. - the object beings to record the standard daily flow of paperwork, and to set aside what needs the formal action of the Navy Board and the Duke.

Anyone please elaborate and/or correct -

Aqua  •  Link

"sit, sitting," Pepys uses the word as one would say of a broody hen, sit and hatch out your yokes.
The OED has no connection to a 'sitting' being a quorem as Terry dothe state. 'Tis my take when some of the boys turn up, Sir W's, then they can hatch [scratch] out some orders to to keep the Navy afloat.
The OED snippets.

28 f. To suppress, to silence.

sit 3 A. Illustration of forms.
1. inf. 1 sittan (syttan, sitton), 2-4 (7) sitten (3 Orm. sittenn), 4-5 sytten, 5 syttyn, cyttyn (6 erron. sitting).
1615 G. SANDYS Trav. (1637) 57 If the wind sit southward.
4. a. To occupy a seat in the capacity of a judge or with some administrative function.
to sit in judgement: see JUDGEMENT 1b.

c. To have a seat in, be a member of, a council or legislative assembly. Also const. for (a constituency).
Having mug put to paint:
1666 PEPYS Diary 17 Mar., This day I began to sit; and he will make me, I think, a very fine picture.
a1700 EVELYN Diary 28 June 1641, I..sate to one Vanderborcht for my picture in oyle
1610 HOLLAND Camden's Brit. 587 When the wind sitteth West, it is alwaies rain.
a1654 SELDEN Table-T. (Arb.) 32 A good Miller that knows how to grind which way soever the Wind sits.
28. sit on or upon. a. To sit in judgement or council, to deliberate, on (a person or matter).
b. To have a seat on (a jury, commission, etc.).

sitting, vbl. n.

1. a. The action of the vb. SIT, in various senses; the fact of being seated; an instance of this.
b. Order or place of sitting (at table, etc.).
c. The fact of being sat in or occupied. Obs. 1
d. Carriage or posture of something. rare.
2. a. The action on the part of hen-birds of sitting on and hatching eggs; incubation.
the closest meaning follows
3. a. The fact of being engaged in the exercise of judicial, legislative, or deliberative functions; an instance or occasion of this; a meeting of a legislative or other body; the period of time occupied by this.
1660 MILTON Free Commw. Wks.
1851 V. 452 If all this avail not to remove the Fear or Envy of a perpetual Sitting, it may be easily provided [etc.].
a1700 EVELYN Diary 1 Oct. 1678, The Parliament, growing now corrupt and interested with long sitting and court practices.
. Yorksh. A statute or hiring fair. Now pl.
1641 BEST Farm. Bks. (Surtees) 135 Masters that wante servants, and servants that wante masters, have the benefitte of the next sittinge to provide for themselves. Ibid. 136 When servants goe to the sittinge, they putte on theire best apparrell.
c. Among the Society of Friends, a gathering or meeting for family worship.
b. In other uses.
1621 BP. HALL Heauen upon Earth §4 [Gorges] who..can freely carue to themselues large morsels at the next sitting
. A spell of sitting to an artist, sculptor, or photographer for a portrait, etc.
1706 Art of Painting

1664 PEPYS Diary 14 July, I went, and found him busy in trials of law in his great room; and it being *Sitting-day, durst not stay. 1894 Daily News 6 March 2/1 He was not absent from the House one sitting da
sittting, ppl. a.
1. a. Of garments or articles of apparel: Fitting well or closely to the body. Obs. rare
3. That sits in, possesses the right to, or holds, a position, office, or tenancy.
sitting member, a Member of Parliament actually holding a seat in the House of Commons at the time referred to.
(a) 1706
4. That sits: a. Of animals or birds, esp. of hen-birds whilst hatching.
1611 COTGR., Couveresse, a sitting henne

dirk  •  Link

What would have happened to Sam’s? Dumped in the Thames? Used as fertiliser?

Almost certainly the latter, Susan. The guy who came to collect the waste would be making a profit by selling it as a fertilizer. Farmers out there were willing to pay for this excellent manure.

Aqua  •  Link

"What would have happened to Sam’s? Dumped in the Thames? Used as fertiliser? "
There be 4 Dirty lanes, a foul lane then fleet ditch but in the city there be 3 dung areas, choice be plentiful.:
Dung wharf next to White Fryers Dock,
Dung wharf next to Puddle dock down the hill from St Andrews Wardrobe
dunghill Lane off Thames street at Brooks Wharf

Australian Susan  •  Link

In Australia, the Dunny Man used to come and swap your full dunny pan for an empty one weekly. (If you read Clive James's autobiog, he has a wincingly funny childhood anecdote about the time he left a toy on the back path which the dunny man tripped over.....) Here in Brisbane, the US armed forces were quartered in large numbers during the latter part of WWII. They were horrified to discover no sewerage in Brisbane, so the first piped system was installed by and for the US army on Bribie Island - if you 'bush bash'through what is now overgrown National Park, you can find the piping system still there.
London had to put up with a stinking Thames until it got so bad in Victorian times, Parliament's sittings were interupted. The resulting brick built system is a triumph of Victorian civil engineering and rightly championed by the BBC in a series on The Seven Wonders of the Industrial Age.

Grahamt  •  Link

When you walk down the Victoria and Albert Embankments today, you are walking along the top of thr Victorian sewage system. It runs parallel to the Thames without polluting it.
The embankment didn't exist in the 17th century.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Sam's House of Office
Today we can say that it was full of Pepys' E. coli. [sorry]

Australian Susan  •  Link

Paul Chapin - *love* the pun! v. clever! And Todd's reply - you are both firing on all cylinders.

Second Reading

Marquess  •  Link

Poor boy he ought to be at school, but I suppose all that won't come untill 250 years later.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I can understand that Sam doesn't want to take on further responsibility for the boy, but he has a very hard heart, indeed. Surely he could have thought of something besides complete rejection of Wayneman and his sister who was trying her best to save him and threw herself on Sam's mercy.

Edith Lank  •  Link

Could have fooled me...did, in fact. I was sure those long detailed entries must have been written hot from the happening. Those must have been great notes Sam took over several days. Don't you wish we had a sample of them?

Mary K  •  Link

The Dunny Man (though called the Sanitary Man) operated in rural Cheshire in the early 1950s. This came as a great shock to this young Kentish child when visiting an aunt's home for the first time.

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