Sunday 1 May 1664

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed. Went not to church, but staid at home to examine my last night’s accounts, which I find right, and that I am 908l. creditor in the world, the same I was last month.

Dined, and after dinner down by water with my wife and Besse with great pleasure as low as Greenwich and so back, playing as it were leisurely upon the water to Deptford, where I landed and sent my wife up higher to land below Half-way house. I to the King’s yard and there spoke about several businesses with the officers, and so with Mr. Wayth consulting about canvas, to Half-way house where my wife was, and after eating there we broke and walked home before quite dark. So to supper, prayers, and to bed.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

"....I to the King's yard and there spoke about several businesses with the officers, and so with Mr. Wayth consulting about canvas,"

Oh, did that ring true to me! Yes, we'll go on an outing, yes, I'll stay away from my laptop and then lo and behold he spends ages on his mobile about work! Poor Elizabeth! "I'll just drop in at Debtford - as we're passing - won't be long! You go on up to Halfway House...." Huh!
And Sam seems more secure about staying away from Church (desn't feel the need to be seen to be going and conforming) - he was obviously itching to check the monthly accounts properly and assure himself of his wealth. Maybe he's more anxious about this because of the threat of war?

Cactus Wren  •  Link

Probably, but also he said that he was "very sleepy" by the time he finished last night's accounts -- maybe he wanted to recheck his arithmetic.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I'm impressed he accepted the lack of gain so calmly.

Of course, that's what he tell us...

"908Ls. Lousy 908Ls! Miserable, freaking 908Ls!!!?"

Ken Welsh  •  Link

"Miserable freaking 908Ls!!!?"
Isn't that the equivalent of 1mill today? Not bad for someone his age even if he isn't in control of it.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

upon the water to ... Half-way house -- overheard

I didn't mince my words, I said to her myself, Hurry up please it's time Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart. He'll want to know what you done with that money he gave you To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there. You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set, He said, I swear, I can't bear to look at you. And no more can't I, I said, and think of poor Albert, He's been in the army four years, he wants a good time, And if you don't give it him, there's others will, I said. Oh is there, she said. Something o' that, I said. Then I'll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look. Hurry up please it's time If you don't like it you can get on with it, I said. Others can pick and choose if you can't. But if Albert makes off, it won't be for lack of telling. You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique. (And her only thirty-one.) I can't help it, she said, pulling a long face, It's them pills I took, to bring it off, she said. (She's had five already, and nearly died of young George.) The chemist said it would be all right, but I've never been the same. You are a proper fool, I said. Well, if Albert won't leave you alone, there it is, I said, What you get married for if you don't want children? Hurry up please, it's time Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon, And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot-- Hurry up please it's time Hurry up please it's time Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight. Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight. Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Thanks Michael for a nice piece of prose riminiscent of Joyce.

JohnT  •  Link

I think Michael's piece is more poetic and more than a little reminiscent of Eliot's "The Wasteland" ?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Meanwhile, in Holland...

"Mine friends...The English have chosen to make war upon us. And I say these traitors to republicanism and backsliders in religion shall be dealt with!" the great DeRuyter nods firmly.

"JA!!" the usually phlegmatic citizens of the State Council are roused to patriotic fervor by the hero's appeal. Among them in guise of a clerk, a certain rather handsome, dark-haired, rather Gallic-looking young his own lights, of aristocratic bearing...

"The Englander king is a lazy fool and his brother a second-rate clerk!"

Cheers... The young man with the rest, but listening carefully...

"But...There is one man...Besides their great battle commander Sandwich, I mean...Who may be of some threat to our coming victory. The one man they have of some administrative capacity."

And who might that be...As if I didn't know...Balty sighs.

Well, at least I'm the agent in the field...The man who must lead a life of danger and to everyone (in Holland) he meets must stay a stranger...Hmmn.

Perhaps I did boast a bit too much with that girl last night...Hinting I was more than your run-of-the-mill clerk...Someone with a secret agenda...

"I speak of course...Of Mr..."

Well, Bess will be...

"...William Coventry."

Oh... Balty can't resist a slight smile...

"He must therefore be...Much as I recoil from sordid acts, the Nation's security sometimes demands it...Dealt with." DeRuyter eyes the Council group.

"Ja." "Eliminate him." "Do we have anyone in place?"


On second thought, perhaps Bess will be happier to hear this...

"Yes." DeRuyter beams at the last speaker. "In fact we do. An agent infiltrated at the British Naval Office, in their very midst."

Balty strains to hear... Tell me it's that Hewer, always giving me the same look Sam gives me when I come by...

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

"I'm impressed he accepted the lack of gain so calmly."
Well, yesterday he posted -- I mean, wrote -- "Then home and till 12 at night about my month's accounts, wherein I have just kept within compass, this having been a spending month." So I think his reaction is more one of, "not bad for April, with Easter bonnets, and such. Surely May will be better."

Don McCahill  •  Link

> Isn't that the equivalent of 1mill today?

Not quite. From

In 2006, £908 0s 0d from 1664 is worth £97,829.13 using the retail price index.

Sam is upper middle class, but not yet rich. He still cannot afford to buy a house in London, at today's prices.

cape henry  •  Link

"Went not to church..." Pepys' relationship to the church ever more perfunctory.

Martin  •  Link

With all deference to Mr. Gertz, just to supply what DeRuyter is actually up to at this time:

The Dutch had been getting pestered by Algerian pirates during 1663, after a period of detente. DeRuyter's college Cornelis Tromp, stationed off the Barbary Coast with a few ships, had not been able to keep them in check. In February 1664, the States-General ordered DeRuyter to prepare a fleet to head for the Barbary Coast. At this moment, May 2, the fleet is taking on provisions in the lee of Texel and getting ready to sail.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Measuring worth by taking modern econimics: it be Futile:
From Don McCahill
"Isn't that the equivalent of 1 mill today?...
In 2006, £908 0s 0d from 1664 is worth £97,829.13 using the retail price index."
In Gold coin it be approx 450 gold 1 oz newly minted C2's. onr in gold in London it be 330x 450 or 149,280 quid.
By purchase power, Samuell could have bought at least 2 houses in his hood on the main drag, or bought 9 two horse power carriages and started a new service for transporting Big wigs.
See Restoration London Liza Picard chapter 2.
For a few more pennies he could have himself a Baronet, and that goes for a few million into todays market. Me Laud peeps eh wot?

Robert Gertz  •  Link


And if I remember correctly, Martin, the great Admiral will be taking on more than Barbary pirates. Though that expedition may come a bit later.

Lord Pepys, eh? But one next must come up with the cash to maintain the position. It's interesting that Sam hasn't expressed much ambition for a peerage... (spoiler)

Pedro  •  Link

Meanwhile at Cape Coast...

On Sunday morning May 1st Holmes learned that the Dye of Foutou, being the Chief man in those parts amongst the blacks was very earnest to storm the castle (Cape Coast Castle). Holmes was determined to wait no longer. The Jersey and the Expedition hauled their anchors and made sail. As they did so a white flag appeared on the castle and another one waved by the shore. By midnight the terms of surrender had been agreed.

The hundred Dutchmen and thirty Africans who constituted the garrison were allowed to keep their arms and personal possessions,.. May 3rd they embarked on the Welcome, Sophia any Galliot for El Mina. Proper courtesies were observed: the Dutch Governor and factors came aboard the Jersey to pay their respects before sailing to rejoin their compatriots that evening.

(Man of War by Ollard)

Thanks Martin for the information concerning De Ruyter. The Dutch espionage system does not seem to take the current talk in England too seriously.

The above episode with Holmes shows that, although incidents like this have also occurred in the Indies and other parts, and leaving out a few notable exceptions, they are mostly solved by surrender.

Second Reading

Marquess  •  Link

Sam didn't add praise be to God, when he talked about his monetary worth. Thus one may surmise that he was dissatisfied? Perhaps the thought of being owed so much by the earl.

Bridget Carrie Davis  •  Link

"...playing as it were leisurely upon the water to Deptford."
What does that mean, to play leisurely upon the water?

Mary K  •  Link

"playing as it were leisurely..."

Perhaps treating the whole trip down the river as if it were simply an outing for pleasure UNTIL Deptford is reached and work calls for Samuel's attention. Presumably he was killing two birds with one stone - a call at the yard, preceded by a nice little outing for Elizabeth.

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