Sunday 31 July 1664

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church, where I have not been these many weeks. So home, and thither, inviting him yesterday, comes Mr. Hill, at which I was a little troubled, but made up all very well, carrying him with me to Sir J. Minnes, where I was invited and all our families to a venison pasty. Here good cheer and good discourse. After dinner Mr. Hill and I to my house, and there to musique all the afternoon. He being gone, in the evening I to my accounts, and to my great joy and with great thanks to Almighty God, I do find myself most clearly worth 1014l., the first time that ever I was worth 1000l. before, which is the height of all that ever I have for a long time pretended to. But by the blessing of God upon my care I hope to lay up something more in a little time, if this business of the victualling of Tangier goes on as I hope it will.

So with praise to God for this state of fortune that I am brought to as to wealth, and my condition being as I have at large set it down two days ago in this book, I home to supper and to bed, desiring God to give me the grace to make good use of what I have and continue my care and diligence to gain more.

31 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

"with great thanks to Almighty God"

For Sam's wealth, and England as the Rev Ralph says...

July. 31. Wonderful wet day and season, rye, especially wheat growing commonly in the fields as it stands, thus god contends with England. in Holland the plague rages, famine and sword in Spain, Poland; but the sword sadly in Hungary and those parts but profane man minds nothing, lord make us to turn at your reproofs oh pity and spare for thy name sake.…

(Did someone say God was an Englishman?)

Patricia  •  Link

" So home, and thither, inviting him yesterday, comes Mr. Hill, at which I was a little troubled, but made up all very well,"
If Sam invited him, why is he troubled at his arrival? Or did he get the invitation to dinner at Minnes' after he invited Hill to his place, and doesn't want to give up the better meal?

Terry F  •  Link

"Up, and to church, where I have not been these many weeks."

Actually SP has not been to St Olave's very often at all since last December. In all:

8 May 1664 "After wife and I to church"

17 April 1664 "Up, and I put on my best cloth black suit and my velvet cloake, and with my wife in her best laced suit to church, where we have not been these nine or ten weeks. The truth is, my jealousy hath hindered it, for fear she should see Pembleton."

14 February 1663/64 "Up and to church alone, where a lazy sermon of Mr. Mills, upon a text to introduce catechizing in his parish, which I perceive he intends to begin."

7 February 1663/64 "Up and to church, and thence home, my wife being ill [with those] kept her bed all day "

27 December 1663 "Up and to church alone...."

Terry F  •  Link

"The truth is, my jealousy hath hindered it, for fear she should see Pembleton."

An annotation 70 years hence:

"You cannot pluck roses without fear of thorns,
Nor enjoy a fair wife without danger of horns."
Poor Richard, 1734, by R. SAUNDERS [Ben Franklin].…

ellen  •  Link

Is Elizabeth away? I've missed a few entries.

cape henry  •  Link

Having hit the magic number - L1000 - it turns out to be magic only for a moment or two and instills the desire for more (God willing, of course).

Martin  •  Link

Venison seems to be plentiful. Today pasty at the Minneses, yesterday a side of it sent by Sam to Kate Joyce. There have been many prior mentions of it. Where does it all come from? Is there an open market for estate-hunted venison? Or do you have to know somebody to get some? Is some of it actually beef or mutton?

Dan Jenkins  •  Link

Ellen-- Elizabeth has gone to Brampton recently.

djc  •  Link

So home, and thither, inviting him yesterday, comes Mr. Hill, at which I was a little troubled, but made up all very well,"

Was he expecting Mr Hill yesterday?

Ruben  •  Link

See Pedro's annotation a year ago.
Venison: "Anything taken in hunting or by the chase".

Robert Gertz  •  Link

A pity "Ode to Joy" wasn't available for Sam to rejoice to as the numbers turned over the 1000 mark. I wonder though if he still has a large chunk of that 700Ls out with Sandwich-if I remember right he got a part back but still had about 500 out.

Martin  •  Link

Ruben et al:
I did read that annotation, though I'm not sure whether "now" means Now, or 1664.
In any event, if venison in Sam's day means "anything taken in hunting" does this mean venison could be hare, rabbit, duck, pigeon? When Sam sends a "side of venison", or has a "haunch of venison", that's not deer meat?

Bradford  •  Link

Perhaps the "trouble" was mainly a question of how to feed him; but usually such calculations come before an invitation is extended. At least there is music to leaven the money-making.

Eric Walla  •  Link

Doesn't the attainment of £1000 net worth effectively fulfill the terms of Sam's vows? Is he not now free to attend the theatre as often as he wants?

Not only that, but with £14 extra, I think a celebration is in order! What will it be? A trip to his favorite booksellers near St Pauls, or a more in-depth study (let's call it "investigative journalism") in Fleet Street?

cape henry  •  Link

EW's sharp memory brings up a very good point. I believe the attainment of the L1000 goal does indeed release him from at least some of the terms of the vows. However, I don't imagine Pepys will abandon his frugal nature any time soon, to wit:"...I hope to lay up something more in a little time." But EW may be on to something in suggesting a little spree might be called for.

Eric Walla  •  Link

Actually I was also wondering about a broader issue: will we find that Sam's truly profligate behavior begins in earnest now? Will the satisfaction of a sacred vow allow him to liberalize his actions in the future, leading to the removal of mental restraints that had so far kept him in relative moral check?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Sam, look what I got in Brampton!" a delighted Bess waves at box after box lugged in by Hewer, Turner, and other clerks.

"My Lady Sandwich said I had to have them to properly fulfill my duties as your wife." solemn look at blinking Sam...As the pile by the door grows steadily.

"Oh, and would you pay the man, please? Er, I mean, the men..." she indicates waiting tradesmen.


With polite nods the tradesmen bow and leave...

"So, what was the big news Will Hewer said you were bursting to tell me?"

"Oh...It will keep. About another two months..." he sighs.


Xjy  •  Link

Sam is moving more freely on his own on a higher level of "pleasure" now. Not just running around to the common entertainments. Freed up by Betty's marriage he can enjoy her flesh rather than the wood of her chair - like the royals and his patron. Less church and fewer vows (no one else does, after all) - he has established good working habits and the right attitude to get non-contaminating kickbacks. Hobnobbing with the royals and high fliers of parliament and business he can be as short with fools and pests as he likes. He's managed the Brampton arrangements well enough. His wife is pretty and relatively supportive and obedient. So now he's even daring to sniff around the real fleshpots of the Great Wen! The theatre of the flesh rather than of the mind... Progressing well as a puritan pilgrim in a world of restoration rakes. Oh, and he's rapidly made a pretty pile rubbing shoulders daily with the royals.

Yes, time to remove the baby-wheels from his bike, and he's not even halfway through the diary!

Terry F  •  Link

Eric, mean you that Pepys will begin "'investigative journalism') in Fleet Alley? I wot he will, he will, but not because he couldn't afford it financially until now: he's not been able to afford it morally -- it's dirty --, and so Betty's safer all around (and that's a lot).

JWB  •  Link

Quotes of interest from Birrell's essay:

1) "Harts and bucks were mainly caught in the summer months preceding the autumn rut, when they were 'in grease', that is carrying most venison and fat in prep- aration for the rut and the winter.

2)"68 Hinds and does were mostly taken from late November to early or mid-February,

3)Apropos Sam's largess: "...or simply to serve as gifts, whose importance should not be underestimated in a society where largess and patronage were crucial attributes of lordship."

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Pepys 'venison' means deer meat.

By the late middle ages hunting codes and manuals divided game into many categories - the simple one being 'noble creatures' such as the stag and the boar and 'scavengers.' Cartmill, 'A view to a Death' (1983) chapter 4, pp. 52-75 The White Stag ,discusses the elaboration of hunting codes whereby dear came to be the ideal object of the hunt and notes (p. 67) the change in the various European vernacular languages words that previously had meant animal or wild animal came to mean 'deer' in particular. He suggests that the change in English vernacular usage for venison, from game gotten by hunting to specifically deer occurred well prior to the publication of the English version of Jacques du Fouilloux's 'La Vénerie' (1560 and numerous later editions; English free translation by Gascoyne, 'Noble Art of Venerie ',1575, 1613 and later editions - normally found bound as the second part of Turberville's 'Book of Faulconre of Hauking' and incorrectly so attributed to him by Cartemell) which have a fantastic elaborate vocabulary for all form of the hunt and include a lexicon for each species of game, including each breed of deer. "For example a male fallow deer, during its first six years of life was known successively as fawn, pricket, sorel, sore, buck of the first head and buck, while the corresponding terms for a red deer were calf, brocket, spade, staggart, stag and hart; and some authorities held that the word hart should be reserved only for a stag slain by a prince." @ p. 65. Such usage was satirized in the first scene of Ben Johnson's "Every man in his own Humour" (1598) where a rustic social climber says "Why you know an a man not haves skill in the hawking and hunting languages now-a days, I'll give not a rush for him. They are more studied then the Greek or the Latin."

Later, Edward Topsell, 'History of Four Footed Beasts and serpents, ...' (1658) is clear that venison is deer and deer alone - and Pepys was clear when he thought the venison pasty was not: "with Dr. Thomas Pepys and my brother Tom to a venison pasty (which proved a pasty of salted pork);..."…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"But by the blessing of God upon my care I hope to lay up something more in a little time, if this business of the victualling of Tangier goes on as I hope it will."

Sam? A modicum of concern for the poor lads having to eat the cheap swill you'll be foisting on them for a fat kickback might nice.

Note on Atlanta Public Radio-4 employees of Home Depot indicted on charges of taking kickbacks amounting to several million dollars from flooring and other companies to ensure the use of their products in HD stores.

And poor Sam, having to settle for selling His Majesty's forces out for a mere 300ls...(Yeah, yeah, it could be first-rate swill...But would you eat it?).

Terry F  •  Link

Despite the cheap swill, the sailors' spirits are high:


Sometimes when we are sailing our victuals they grow scarse,
Our wives at home bewailing and pittying of our case,
In thinking of the dangers poore seamen undergo.
For our King, still we sing, when the stormy winds do blow.

Yet we are still couragious with any foe to fight :
If Turk or Jew ingage us we put them to the flight,
And make them give us homage before we let them go:
For our King, then we sing, when the stormy winds do blow.

We are the prop of trading, what kind so ere it be:
The originall of lading youre ships with treasury.
None goes beyond a sea-man in riches, gold, and store :
For he brings, wealth to kings, when the stormy winds do blow.

We have some sneezing pouder, the Dutch-man fain would have,
'Twill make him speak the louder, if Kings he will not have.
And cause him to remember the phisick taking so :
When shall we, merry be, when the stormy winds do blow.

Great King wee'l make you famous, youre glory shall out-shine
Romulus and Remus, Godolph or Constantine.
Wee'l bring you gold and treasure by sailing to and fro :
And will fight, day and night, to preserve you from your foe.…

Second Reading

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Yessiree, Sam. You're wealthy because of your own hard work and because God favors you, and everyone who is not wealthy or unable to afford the necessities of life is either out of God's favor or lazy, or both. A simple and convenient philosophy, still with us 500+ years on.

Matt Newton  •  Link

Any ideas on how Sam calculated his wealth?
Was he counting physical money or adding in the value of plate and goods?

James Morgan  •  Link

I would guess, from the very careful evaluation Pepy's gives of gifts in kind, that they are included in his accounts, along with the money Sandwich owes him. I wonder if any of his accounts survive?

Matt Newton  •  Link

Thanks James. That would be my own thinking.
Not just the coins in his chest but also owed money and certain gifts.
Yes, I would like to know if his accounts exist. Even if only for a short period.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

JWB cited this:

Title: Deer and Deer Farming in Medieval England
Series: British Agricultural History Society
Author: Jean Birrell
Pages: 15
Analyses the "farming" of deer in the deer parks established and managed for those of high rank, such as the Prince Bishops of Durham, who had a Hunting Forest in Weardale and who are referenced in this article.…
Download HERE…

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . where I was invited . . to a venison pasty.. . ’

‘venison, n. < Anglo-Norman . .
1. a. The flesh of an animal killed in the chase or by hunting and used as food; formerly applied to the flesh of the deer, boar, hare, rabbit, or other game animal, now almost entirely restricted to the flesh of various species of deer.
. . 1598 J. Manwood Lawes Forest (1615) v. 49 Amongst the common sort of people, nothing is accompted Venison, but the flesh of Red and Fallow Deere.
1617 F. Moryson Itinerary iii. 149 Hares are thought to nourish melancoly, yet they are eaten as Venison, both rosted and boyled . . ‘


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