Thursday 10 March 1663/64

Up and to the office, where all the morning doing business, and at noon to the ’Change and there very busy, and so home to dinner with my wife, to a good hog’s harslet, a piece of meat I love, but have not eat of I think these seven years, and after dinner abroad by coach set her at Mrs. Hunt’s and I to White Hall, and at the Privy Seale I enquired, and found the Bill come for the Corporation of the Royall Fishery; whereof the Duke of Yorke is made present Governor, and several other very great persons, to the number of thirty-two, made his assistants for their lives: whereof, by my Lord Sandwich’s favour, I am one; and take it not only as a matter of honour, but that, that may come to be of profit to me, and so with great content went and called my wife, and so home and to the office, where busy late, and so home to supper and to bed.

23 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link


L&M say the Council of the Royal Fishery (sic) had 36 charter members.

jeannine  •  Link

"whereof, by my Lord Sandwich's favour,"
with all of Sam's concerns about his relationship with Sandwich of late, hopefully this allows him some ease from his worries.

Terry F  •  Link

The Royal Fishery Company

Chartered like other companies (East India, &c.) to compete with the Dutch by mirroring them organizationally, The Royal Fishery Company was reorganized in 1677, dissolved in 1690 and revived in 1692. (*Industrializing English Law: Entrepreneurship and Business Organization, 1720-1844.* By Ron, Harris. Cambrdege University Press, 2000. p 184, n. 45.)

Michael Robinson  •  Link

that may come to be of profit to me

Spoiler -- "The only conspicuous failure among the new companies was the Royal Fishery Corporation which was composed of courtiers and aristocrats, after the fashion of the pre 1640 industrial monopolies, with the King as 'Protector' and the Duke of York as Governor. it proved unable to do business and collapsed in a reek of scandal."
Christopher Hill, The Century of Revolution, 1603-1714, 1985. p. 184

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"Fishes Royal"

The Receiver of Wreck administers the Royal Prerogative on Fishes Royal on behalf of the Crown in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Fishes Royal includes whales, dolphins, porpoises and sturgeon. The Royal Prerogative to Fishes Royal dates back to a statute of King Edward II (1307 - 1327).

Still apparently a relatively current issue:-…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

" a good hog's harslet, a piece of meat I love..."

Pity he wasn't born a Roman (pagan) priest...All the hog's entrails you can eat.

Hmmn. I wonder if the new job would allow him to do something for good ole Uncle Wight the fishmonger king.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Chitterlings,tripe a Caen or hearts slit?

Mary  •  Link


Modern haslet, obtainable from a butcher or delicatessen, is no longer made with ground entrails of the pig, but is a sort of meat-loaf made of ground pork, stale white bread, sage, salt and pepper. One buys it in slices. The flavour is very similar to that of cold pork sausage.

jan  •  Link

Called his wife? Did Sam have a cell phone we haven't hear about before? Was there a walkie-talkie type system between the rooms? Maybe he sent his boy ahead with the good news? It seems if that was the case he would have said so, not "called my wife."

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Beckon would be nicer, just whistled as in calling one's canine, or tabby. should give RG a whole scene, as Eliza with P***P** in hand on the third floor......

Terry F  •  Link

"Directors and Councils or the Coefficient of Inefficiency"+

Michael Robinson has pointed toward factors dooming the The Company of the Royal Fishing, perhaps not least the inefficient size of its governing board, which the Wheatley note to the Diary text of March 4 indicates is 37, counting the Governor.…

C. Northcote Parkinson' study of the various incarnations of the English cabinet since 1257 shows that one of at least 20 members has been succeeded by a smaller one. From this he infers that (1) cabinets and boards generally cease to be viably efficient if they are larger than 20; (2) a smaller size is optimal; (3) "Less certain is the optimal number of members, which must lie between three (a physical minimum) and 20. That it may be eight seems both justified and ruled out by observation: no contemporary government in Parkinson's data set had eight members, and only the unfortunate king Charles I of England had a Committee of State with that membership."…

This is the Parkinson whose study of the British Admiralty led him to conclude famously that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."…

+ C. Northcote Parkinson, *Parkinson's Law and Other Studies in Administration*, Houghton Mifflin, 1957, Chap. 4.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Bess! Come here, I want you!"

Bess racing eagerly from Mrs. Hunt's, waving hands...And an odd tube with a new, super-strong yet amazingly thin and elastic cable drooping from one end...

"I heard you as soon as the cable was taut, darling! I don't believe it! Papa's speaking machine actually worked, Sam'l!! My father is a genius! Isn't it remarkable?"

Hmmn...Well...Sam looks over at the chaos created by the two mile long thread...Carts upended, pedestrians and horses tripped and whimpering in pain, a statute or two toppled, an angry mob seeking the source of the mysterious cable that has caused such pandemonium whipping through the streets...

He having wisely severed said cable at his end on noticing the mob chasing after the reams of test cable snaking out from his coach...

"Bess...Somehow I think the thing will need a little work yet."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Meanwhile...In Holland...

"So we meet again, Mr. St. Michel..." the stolid-looking yet still maniacal Dutchman shifts pipe in mouth while eyeing the captured Balty...

Taken in the very act of lifting the complete battle plans of the Dutch Naval Command from their super-secret secure facility...

Well, only as secure and secret as 17th century technology allows...

"I fear this time, my friend. We need send your sister a strong message that her agents must interfere in Dutch affairs again. Take him, men."

Balty is brought outside to what looks rather like a testing range of some sort...

"This, Mr. St. Michel..." Van Damme, chief of Dutch Intelligence, pats a large-barrelled cannon fondly... "Is our latest long-range cannon. Its design is in fact so unique, I am assured it will deliver what our experts have chosen to call a "payload"...Catchy, eh?...To the south English coast. I'm sure your sister, Mr. Coventry, and the Duke will be eager to receive your report on it first-hand."

"So Van Damme..." Balty tries cool... "You expect me to talk?"

"Not when you're scattered across those famous white cliffs of Dover, Mr. St. Michel. Gentlemen...Give our guest a proper Dutch send-off. My best to your sister, St. Michel."

Australian Susan  •  Link

Are we missing a word here? Should it be "called for my wife" ?

Terry F  •  Link

"Should it be 'called for my wife'?"

Maybe it *should* be, Antipodal Susan, but L&M don't find it so either.

Martin  •  Link

And an odd tube with a new, super-strong yet amazingly thin and elastic cable drooping from one end
Methinks Robert Gertz has been reading Thomas Pynchon.

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

"super-strong yet amazingly thin and elastic cable"

Dad-in-law's been experimenting with Sir Richard Ford's hemp, Robert? In more ways than one, perhaps?

"Bess, come here. I want you!"

"Quick, Watson! Gertz has given us the needle!"

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

A call to the OED gave another Pepsian entree: along with alot colorful ways to make use of a call.
15. Comb 1663 PEPYS Diary 15 Jan., To examine the proof of our new way of the *call-bookes. 1803 Naval Chron. XV. 57 Are copies of the muster or call book sent to the Navy Board?
1. a. A loud vocal utterance or speech, a shout, a cry; a loud vocal address or supplication.
b. spec rollcall 1723
d. A summons or communication by telephone; a telephone conversation. (See also attrib. uses.)

1878 Design & Work IV. 306/3 enable the sound of the voice while singing to be heard all over a room, and which I use as a 'call', instead of an electric bell.
c. To rouse from sleep, summon to get up.
1611 SHAKES. Cymb. II. ii. 7 If thou canst awake by foure o' th' clock, I prythee call me.

2. The cry of an animal, esp. of a bird

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"at the Privy Seale I enquired, and found the Bill "

The royal warrant authorizing the issue of a charter. (L&M)

Piles of paperwork and clusters (banks?) of clerks.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

To "call" in England means to visit--hence calling cards. Many an unaware American in England has been surprised--or shocked--to find someone ringing his doorbell unexpectedly after someone said he'd call. If it's telephone contact he's referring to a modern day Brit would say he'll "ring" you. I assume that "calling" in Pepys' time, as it does today, meant coming to someone's home, in this case for Pepys to "collect" his wife at Mrs. Hunt's where he had "set" her earlier.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . a good hog’s harslet, . .‘

‘harslet n. < Old French . . A piece of meat to be roasted, esp. part of the entrails of a hog; pig's fry; also, the ‘pluck’ or ‘gather’ (heart, liver, etc.) of other animals, as the sheep, calf, etc.
. . 1664 S. Pepys Diary 10 Mar. (1971) V. 79 A good hog's harslet, a piece of meat I love . . ‘
Re: ‘ . . went and called my wife . .’

‘call, v. < early Scandinavian . .
. . 33. trans. To pay a short visit to (a person); to call on. Obs.
1616 Shakespeare Measure for Measure (1623) iv. iv. 14 Ile call you at your house.
. . 1728 C. Cibber Vanbrugh's Provok'd Husband iii. 54 You will call me at Lady Revel's? . . ‘


Nowadays we would say 'called for': the carriage drove to the front door and a servant summoned Mrs P without Sam going in.

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