Saturday 16 April 1664

Up and to the office, where all the morning upon the dispute of Mr. Wood’s masts, and at noon with Mr. Coventry to the African House; and after a good and pleasant dinner, up with him, Sir W. Rider, the simple Povy, of all the most ridiculous foole that ever I knew to attend to business, and Creed and Vernatty, about my Lord Peterborough’s accounts; but the more we look into them, the more we see of them that makes dispute, which made us break off, and so I home, and there found my wife and Besse gone over the water to Half-way house, and after them, thinking to have gone to Woolwich, but it was too late, so eat a cake and home, and thence by coach to have spoke with Tom Trice about a letter I met with this afternoon from my cozen Scott, wherein he seems to deny proceeding as my father’s attorney in administering for him in my brother Tom’s estate, but I find him gone out of town, and so returned vexed home and to the office, where late writing a letter to him, and so home and to bed.

8 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"my wife and Besse gone over the water to Half-way house"

This they also did 4th April:…

It seems that Besse is at least *acting* the role of the chambermaid.
Was a decision made that we've not been told about? How's dinner?

jeannine  •  Link

From Helen Heath's "The Letters of Samuel Pepys and his Family Circle" here is the letter that Sam wrote to his Cozen Scott today regarding Cozen Scott's declining to act as the attorney for John Pepys Sr. in his Administrator role in the estate of his son, (Sam's brother) Thomas. Note-formatting will probably be a little off and the letter isn't dated until the 20th.

Aprill. 20. 1664.
Good Cozen
I wrott the last night to my father touching the businesse you wrott to mee about and am sorry to finde you soe soone discon-[tenlted at that which I am sure was proposed to you by him and accepted of by you as a friendshipp done to your selfe; for you very well know Dr. Pepys would have been glad to have administred, and that my father (who lives soe farr off) would never have done it, had not your undertakeing to act as his atturney encouraged him there- unto. Wherefore lett mee desire you to consider the prejudice which may arise to your selfe as well as him by an over hasty receding from what you have obliged your selfe to. For my part I am sure I shall bee a deepe sufferer who ever lookes after the businesse. However I will soe far concerne my selfe in the matter as to endeavour (by calling upon you shortly) to instruct you the best I can in the accounts which are left with you. In the meane time you neede not wonder that noe mony is left with you, since to my knowledge my father hath pay'd the summes following,
To my Cosen Stradwiche for biskett ...... 4. 11. 00
To Mr Sexton for wine .. .. .. . . 2. 2. 06
Church dutys .. .. .. . . .. 2. 8. 00
Coffin .. . . . . .. .. .. 1. 9. 00
Doctor .. .. . . .. .. .. 1. 0. 00
Wages to the mayd & for mony my Brother had of her .. . . . . .. . . . . 5. 5. 00
Takeing out letters of Administration and other charges .... .. .. . . .. 2. 17. 6
Rent to his Landlord .. .. .. .. 5. 13. 9

[total] 25. 06.09

besides other layings out which I know not of.

The Inventory you say comes to but 15£ odd mony, and the best part of his wearing cloths you have in your Custody, Soe that for ought appears hee hath layd out more than hee hath yet received and that only for Funerall expences, Rent and Servants wages which had beene but a greater trouble to you to have looked after. You are very well secured your owne Mony, and can bee accountable for noe more then you receive, and therefore neede not disquiet your selfe at any Creditors demands more then to give them the hearing, and satisfaction when you shall bee enabled. I will see you very shortly and hope this will cleare your present doubts. I remain your [and] J V['s] very affectionate Cozen
S Pepys

Terry F  •  Link

Interestimg letter, Jeannine, which seems to me pretty bluntly scolds Cozen Scott for dereliction of duty, and then bluntly expresses affection in closing. Wonder with whom S Pepys was as blunt in speech: it could lead some (e.g., Thomas Povey?) to high words.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

I wouldn't say Sam is accusing Scott of dereliction of duty. He understands quite well why Scott is leery of this assignment; Scott is afraid it is going to cost him money. The letter is Sam's assurance to Scott that that will not happen.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Sam's rushing. This entire entry is one long run-on sentence. Not up to his usual standards of style.

Xjy  •  Link

Well noted Paul C. Poor Sam. All morning the dispute about the masts. All afternoon the Peterborough accounts unravelling before his eyes. Bess buggered off over the water. All evening trying to find and then by letter hold a cousin to a promise. His only consolation a good dinner at the African house and a cake over the river. Three helpings of money matters, all full of conflicting interests and nasty surprises, and the wife out of reach in Bermondsey getting up to Lord knows what. And all he notes is that he is "vexed" - oh, and a gratuitous cut at Povy for being "the most ridiculous fool".

Second Reading

Mary K  •  Link

my wife and Besse gone over the water......

At various points over the years annotators have referred to Elizabeth Pepys as "Bess" - jokingly adopting a familiar diminutive of her Christian name. The fact that the maid is called Besse by Pepys could lead one to infer that if indeed Elizabeth ever acquires a diminutive name from her husband, it is probably not Bess. Whether either Samuel or Elizabeth habitually used any kind of 'pet' names for one another remains a moot point; it was most common for married couple to address one another simply as "husband" and "wife".

(By the 18th century we find couples addressing one another as "Mr. X....." or "Mrs. X...." and this fashion persisted well into the 19th century, particularly in the case of wives addressing their husbands).

Edith Lank  •  Link

Another of those days when I wish I could give Sam a cell phone to keep track of where everyone is -- save him all that fruitless walking.

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