Friday 2 September 1664

Up very betimes and walked (my boy with me) to Mr. Cole’s, and after long waiting below, he being under the barber’s hands, I spoke with him, and he did give me much hopes of getting my debt that my brother owed me, and also that things would go well with my father. But going to his attorney’s, that he directed me to, they tell me both that though I could bring my father to a confession of a judgment, yet he knowing that there are specialties out against him he is bound to plead his knowledge of them to me before he pays me, or else he must do it in his own wrong. I took a great deal of pains this morning in the thorough understanding hereof, and hope that I know the truth of our case, though it be but bad, yet better than to run spending money and all to no purpose. However, I will inquire a little more.

Walked home, doing very many errands by the way to my great content, and at the ’Change met and spoke with several persons about serving us with pieces of eight at Tangier. So home to dinner above stairs, my wife not being well of those in bed. I dined by her bedside, but I got her to rise and abroad with me by coach to Bartholomew Fayre, and our boy with us, and there shewed them and myself the dancing on the ropes, and several other the best shows; but pretty it is to see how our boy carries himself so innocently clownish as would make one laugh. Here till late and dark, then up and down, to buy combes for my wife to give her mayds, and then by coach home, and there at the office set down my day’s work, and then home to bed.

14 Annotations

First Reading

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

Sam is now in a bit of pickle [salted I trust] does he spend or not spend good "Hard earned cash" to recover monies owing and owed.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

I believe meaning number 7 from the OED must be the correct one:

7. Law. A special contract, obligation, or bond, expressed in an instrument under seal.

c1482 in Cal. Proc. Chanc. Q. Eliz. (1830) II. Pref. 63 Your besecher can have noo remedy by cours of the comen lawe, for asmoche as he hath noo specialte in writyng. 1483 Cely Papers (Camden) 134 To receyve yn thys martt all syche specyalltes of yowrs payabull yn thys martt. 1528 in Lett. Suppress. Monast. (Camden) 3 Certen munimentes, evidencez, and specialties, tochinge and apperteynynge unto our monastery. 1594 West 2nd Pt. Symbol., Chancerie §120 He neither tooke any specialtie or securitie of him,+nor provided any witnesses to be present. 1621 Galway Arch. in 10th Rep. Hist. MSS. Comm. App. V. 470 Those persons whoe have neglected to produce theire said evidences, grauntes, and specialties, to bee looked into by the Maior. 1644 Howell Twelve Treat. (1661) 238 There's no legall Instrument, no Bond, Bill, or Specialty can be writ but upon his seal'd paper. 1768 Blackstone Comm. III. 154 Where the debt arises upon a specialty, that is, upon a deed or instrument under seal. 1781 M. Madan Thelyphthora III. 309 Marriage-settlements, mortgage~deeds, and specialties of various kinds. 1856 H. Broom Comm. Common Law ii. i. 274 A specialty+is distinguished from a simple contract in writing by certain solemnities attendant on its execution--viz. by sealing and delivery. 1883 H. G. Wood Limitation of Actions 64 All instruments under seal of record, and liabilities imposed by statute, are specialties within the meaning of the Stat. 21 James I. 1606 Daniel Queen's Arcadia ii. iii, I+had secur'd her of my constant truth, Vnder so many faithfull specialties. 1640 Fuller Abel Rediv., Junius (1867) II. 187 She was bound by the specialty both of nature and grace to provide for her children. 1650 I Pisgah iii. xi. 436 But can an acquittance of humane tradition, be valid, against a debt of specialty by God's command? 1818 Cruise Digest (ed. 2) II. 176 Legatees are entitled to stand in the place of specialty creditors. 1875 K. E. Digby Real Prop. v. (1876) 249 Debts+secured by deed (called specialty debts).

Mary  •  Link

"Keep it in the family" may sometimes be useful advice, but it can also lead to some horrible tangles especially (as in the Pepys' case) financial ones and, especially again, when one of he parties involved has the misfortune to die.

Pedro  •  Link

"and there shewed them and myself the dancing on the ropes, and several other the best shows"

All the funambulism of the Fayre.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sounds to me like Sam really, really, really wanted to go and have fun at the fair, but felt it was beneath his dignity, so had to have the excuse of showing the fun to his wife and the lad. Nice of him to want to make sure Bess had some pleasant outing when she's been under the weather for monthly reasons (which are always the more debilitating when there are no compensatory children for all that feminine discomfort) - and it must have been near the end of the fair's time. He also busied himself buying gifts for Bess to give the maids - a thank you for extra attention whilst she was in bed? Or just taking advantage of all the extra traders around for the fair. Or did he not buy these at the fair. Uncertain about this. He still finds the boy's schoolboyish demenour and behaviour risible, doesn't he.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Sam says: He who is tired of Boston, is tired of life.
You are all invited to a Boston Pepys Party on Sept 15, 2007 at Ye Olde Union Oyster House, 2 PM to 4 PM, near Faneuil Hall in Boston, Mass, USA. We have The Upper Room, most agreeable and pleasant. About 6 of us are committed to showing up. My cell phone is 781-521-4272 that we may further consult. The Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in America, and has associations back to 1630. Their oysters are the best I ever eat in my life.

Pedro  •  Link

"but pretty it is to see how our boy carries himself so innocently clownish as would make one laugh."

Well its not every day that you see a horse with hoofs like rams hornes, a goose with four feet, and a cock with three.…

Or has someone told him that he had seen his master back in '61at a pitiful alehouse, with a dirty slut or two that were whores?…

Roger  •  Link

I get the impression that Samuel is feeling quite paternal towards his young 'boy', Tom.

jeannine  •  Link

"I get the impression that Samuel is feeling quite paternal towards his young 'boy', Tom."

Roger, I agree. He seems to be really enjoying him (so unlike his relationship with Wayneman!). I'd love to know how Will Hewer feels about this -not sure if he'd be a little 'jealous' (but perhaps he's too 'out of the picture' to see Sam and Tom sharing their company.)

It will be interesting to see how long the relationship lasts and where it goes as Tom grows up.

Ivo Swinnen  •  Link

Spoiler (?):

From Alan Mould's book "The English Chorister - A History" (London, 2007), page 130:

" Pepys had Tom trained as one of his Navy Office clerks. He married one of Pepys's maids, Jane Birch, and went on in 1678 to be appointed Navy Agent at Deal."

Terry F  •  Link


bonds under seal (L&M Select Glossary).

I wonder what these, specifically, might be?

Terry F  •  Link

I.e., I wonder what bonds under seal were outstanding against John Pepys, Sr.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Nothing like a good fair... Food and drink you should never have, musicians, acrobats, clowns, games of skill ("Hah! Won again, Sam'l! Lets again." "Tis quite enough, Bess.")

There's a charming song about Bartholomew Fair by Vivian Ellis and JB Fagan in their Pepys' musical "And So To Bed"...Though in that one, Sam never quite makes it to the fair.

Second Reading

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