Wednesday 24 August 1664

Up by six o’clock, and to my office with Tom Hater dispatching business in haste. At nine o’clock to White Hall about Mr. Maes’s business at the Council, which stands in an ill condition still. Thence to Graye’s Inn, but missed of Mr. Cole the lawyer, and so walked home, calling among the joyners in Wood Streete to buy a table and bade in many places, but did not buy it till I come home to see the place where it is to stand, to judge how big it must be. So after ’Change home and a good dinner, and then to White Hall to a Committee of the Fishery, where my Lord Craven and Mr. Gray mightily against Mr. Creed’s being joined in the warrant for Secretary with Mr. Duke. However I did get it put off till the Duke of Yorke was there, and so broke up doing nothing. So walked home, first to the Wardrobe, and there saw one suit of clothes made for my boy and linen set out, and I think to have him the latter end of this week, and so home, Mr. Creed walking the greatest part of the way with me advising what to do in his case about his being Secretary to us in conjunction with Duke, which I did give him the best I could, and so home and to my office, where very much business, and then home to supper and to bed.

18 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Sam, you're supposed to measure the space *before* you go furniture shopping.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Wonder what Craven and Gray have against Creed? Do they dislike/distrust him, or do they simply have their own plans for the place he wants?

Australian Susan  •  Link

"...but did not buy it till I come home to see the place where it is to stand, to judge how big it must be. ..."
This brought back uncomfortable memories of recent past - making long drive to IKEA only to discover both of us thought the other had done the measuring.....Even worse, though, is getting the flatpacks out to the carpark (already regretting the purchase and cursing the inventor of Allen keys)(and it's usually raining) and then finding that they won't fit in the car 'cos you forgot to measure that too...

Sam is being very loyal to Creed - and seems in a disinterested way - though maybe he hopes more from the Creed/Duke/DofY connection rather than what is proposed. Intricate civil service joustings for place, position and influence - all hoping for lucrative rewards. Creed obviously wants to make sure of Sam - walking with him for so long. This will have been noticed.

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

Sam probably had not planned to make such a purchase, but was pleased with the craftmanship that had caught by his wandering eye and yet he was not parting with a farthing until he was sure that it would be to his acquired ascetic taste. Many to-day would have bought the object of craven desire then returned it, because it did not fit, then in Samuell's day even in my buying days, it was you, bought it, it be yours even if thee had to dump it into the Fleet.
" buy a table..." besides one would need men and a dray to lug it from the Joyners to the room up the stairs, a half a days work, no free delivery.
Carters be savvy lot.

Bradford  •  Link

Goodness, once back home, why didn't he whip out his various tools for measuring lumber &c. and get a precise reading, in keeping with his precision in all matters else? Surely carpenters did not work without the 17thC equivalent of a tape measure.

JWB  •  Link

With this morning's coffee & this week's Barron's:


Just How Risky Is Your Portfolio?

"Quantitative risk measures are not new. As early as the 17th century it became possible to measure risk in certain wagers. Sir Isaac Newton, for example, worked on probability theory to help his acquaintance Samuel Pepys have success at dice."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Know the feeling AS, as I'm still going over to our IKEA for Billy bookcases every other weekend...lugging them over to the van, struggling to get them into the condo elevator. Sam at least will no doubt have a group of able and willing joyners to carry and assemble...The days of haul-it-yerself left long and happily behind in Axe Yard.

Iuduco continues to exercise his unsavory charm...

I'm startled to see Sam handling the chore of assisting Maes with neither complaint at being required to waste time keeping Uncle Wight and his friend happy nor eager anticipation of "getting something" for his efforts. I wonder if the business is so underhanded Sam hesitates to enter the details even here.

jeannine  •  Link

"Journal of the Earl of Sandwich" edited by R.C. Anderson

24th Wednesday. Fresh gale N. Plying up between Fairlight and the Ness. About noon stopped the tide of ebb thwart off the Ness, where I went ashore at the light-house. With the flood we weighed and plyed up at 9 at night under sail Sir Thomas Crewe and Captain Isham in the smack from London came on board us. At noon also the Pearl and Drake came to us.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Creed walking the greatest part of the way with me advising what to do in his case about his being Secretary to us in conjunction with Duke, which I did give him the best I could"

Nothing came of this proposal:…
John Creed was already secretary to the Tangier committee. (L&M footnote)

Linda  •  Link

I love Sandwich's salty talk. I wonder why he stopped "thwart off the Ness" and why he then "went ashore at the light-house." Since he weighed after that and plyed up to a point where Crewe and Isham came aboard in a smack, perhaps he had picked up some intel to relay to them.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I'd give Sam a break on his furniture buying habits. More than once I have gone shopping and found an item or two I would like to buy, but said to myself, "Wait, you'd better go back and measure the space to be sure." Seeing a piece of furniture and assuming it would fit is bad practice, even in this day of easier deliveries and returns. It would wind up being one more annoying thing to have to deal with, so why take chances? (I can also relate to the comments about buying and transporting unassembled furniture in flatpacks. I wonder what Sam would have thought about that!)

Jon  •  Link

Sandwich's salty talk.
Sandwich is sailing East up the channel between Fairlight (near Hastings) and Dungeness, a low lying headland. About noon the tide turns against him (East to West) so his ship can make no further progress and is likely to be swept back to the West so they drop anchor and wait for the tide to turn.
As he is thwart Dungeness he takes the opportunity to go ashore. It's a desolate spot so it was unlikely to be a social visit other than perhaps to talk to the lighthouse keeper. After 6 o'clock the tide would start to turn in their favour so they could continue their Eastwards progress. It seems Sandwich will talk to anyone who might have further intelligence.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Despite a certain distaste, Sam promotes Creed's interests because he (Creed) is part of team Sandwich. I imagine that this is well understood. Those opposing Creed are either opposing Sandwich's influence, or regard Creed as a less than ideal candidate because of the controversy over his Portugal mission accounts. Although Sam saved Creed's bacon there, again to protect Sandwich who led the mission, I suspect that Creed's reputation was damaged nonetheless.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Creed is a relatively minor landowner in Northamptonshire, more or less a neighbour to various branches of Montagues who had extensive land-holdings in the surrounding area. Previous generations of the family will undoubtedly had connections with the Montagues too, perhaps military, via the Eastern Association in the Civil War.

People like Pepys and Creed did not get a chance to "make their mark" in national affairs without a more powerful patron. Hence the importance of Sandwich to both of them. The Fisheries Committee business suggests that Sandwich is still trying to "look after" Creed as a matter of personal loyalty. However, there are no more major foreign missions, and after Sandwich's death in 1672, Creed sinks into, no doubt comfortable, obscurity. For Pepys on the other hand, Sandwich's death did not inhibit his advancing career. By this point his performance had been impressive enough to make friends (and enemies) in high places on his own account, and indeed to be a patron of others, like Tom Hayter.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I was about to take Jon to task for saying there was a lighthouse at Dungeness in 1664, but he turns out to be correct:

Dungeness is an expanse of shingle ridges, built up over the years by longshore drift. By the end of the medieval period it had grown into a promontory reaching out into the English Channel and became a shipping hazard.

Improvements in 16th century maritime technology led to an increase in both the number and size of ships in the English Channel. Reportedly during just one winter storm more than 1,000 sailors died when many valuable cargo ships sank.

The first lighthouse, a simple wooden tower about 35 ft high, with an open coal fire on the top, was licensed to private ownership by James I and VI in August 1615.

But the sea receded and the shingle banks grew, so a second this time brick lighthouse, approximately 110 ft high, was built around 1635.

This lighthouse lasted over 100 years, but also became hard to see from Channel because of the increasing shingle banks.

Trinity House required a third Lighthouse, which was built in 1790. This one was about 116 ft tall, similar in design to the Eddystone lighthouse, was lit by 17 Argon lamps, fuelled first by oil and later by petroleum, which were magnified by silvered concave reflectors.

The struggle between the Channel, the shingle banks, and the maritime industry continues. For more information, see…

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