Tuesday 13 September 1664

Up and, to the office, where sat busy all morning, dined at home and after dinner to Fishmonger’s Hall, where we met the first time upon the Fishery Committee, and many good things discoursed of concerning making of farthings, which was proposed as a way of raising money for this business, and then that of lotterys,1 but with great confusion; but I hope we shall fall into greater order.

So home again and to my office, where after doing business home and to a little musique, after supper, and so to bed.

26 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

For a short history of lotteries in the UK, see http://www.lottery-uk.info/histor…
As I live in a gambling obsessed society, I was not surprised to read that my (current) home State of Queensland was the first State to organise a Government lottery.

Glyn  •  Link

And by a surprising, even amazing, coincidence, Fishmongers Hall is only a short walk from where the 2007 Pepys meet-up will be held this Saturday, 15 Sept at the Samuel Pepys Bar (SP Bar). And there's also the food festival on Southwark Bridge as part of the Thames Festival, and Open House Weekend.

Details here:


Americans should also notice that Carl in Boston is hosting 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.

Glyn  •  Link

A farthing was a quarter of a penny, and throughout the 1660s there was a severe shortage of small coinage - it not being profitable for the various mints to produce them. This was so much the case that many taverns manufactured their own tokens that could be spent at their establishments. Pepys would have handled these tokens every day, but it was one of those trivial things that he never mentioned in the Diary.

Another example that has struck me is his comparative lack of interest in wild life. For instance, there would have been numerous red kites (a type of hawk) flying over London Bridge and scavenging in Smithfield and elsewhere but Pepys never mentions what to him would be an everyday occurrence (rather like us not writing about pigeons in our own diaries).

Louise H  •  Link

Following up with Glyn's posting on tokens to fill in for the shortage of farthings, by coincidence I was reading about this last night in Liza Picard's Restoration London (which, by the way, is a delight and highly recommended for Diary lovers).

Picard reports that in the 1660s, there were 3,542 "tokeners" in the City, the suburbs, and Westminster. "Shopkeepers kept boxes with compartments for each issuer. (They would need to cater only for those tokeners in the same shopping area -- not all 3,543.) When they had enough, they returned them to the issuer, who changed them for silver or notes of hand.

"In the short length of Chancery Lane, 38 shopkeepers issued tokens. In Seething Lane, where [the Pepyses] lived, we know that Ralph Bonnick at the Black Dog and Edward Radcliffe at the Pied Dog issued tokens for halfpennies, Thomas Rivers at the Grocer's Arms and William Vaston, chandler, issued tokens for a farthing; there may have been more whose tokens have not survived."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Fishmongers Hall, Fishery Commission. I'm surprised that our lovable Uncle Wight, the fishmonger from whom it seems Sam inherited certain attributes, isn't generating annoyed complaints from Sam that dear Unc won't stop with the pestering demands that Nephew do something for him with his connections.

Terry F  •  Link

"his comparative lack of interest in wild life."

Pepys may regard the familiar as in some sense not wild. In the last two years I've read articles by continental Europeans who have remarked on the wild animals that live among Americans, most esp. squirrels (there are, of course, yes, pigeons, on the coasts seagulls, and the Red-tailed Hawks nesting on Fifth Avenue in New York City, Pale Male and his families. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale…

Compared to? Well, Glyn, to you, who are more than averagely observant and reflective.

Ruben  •  Link

Is a rat wild life? I think this is the single most influencial "wild" mammal in Pepys life in the near future. I am sure he has seen dead rats, rats running from one side of the street to the other, etc.
I bet Albert Camus never had a look at Pepys diary.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Now I've got an image of Sam and Bess dancing to Talking Heads' "Wild Wild Life". "Check out Mr. Adminstrator...Oh-oh-oh."

Australian Susan  •  Link

No-one in London today is more than 10 feet from a rat. Wonder what it was like in Sam's time.

jeannine  •  Link

"No-one in London today is more than 10 feet from a rat."

Did I tell you that Australian Susan has now joined the Australian Tourist Bureau and that her quote was taken from her new brochure, "101 reasons to visit the down under instead of London"....

Reminds me of a tour I did many years ago of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West in Arizona. As my husband I are were walking along the path admiring the desert landscape the tour guide said "be sure to stay on the path as the rattlesnakes usually don't cross over it". I immediately feigned a twisted ankle and asked my husband if he wouldn't mind giving me a piggy back for the rest of the route, but to no avail......

JWB  •  Link


Well Sam did call his cousin Pegg Kite "carrion". Carrion Kite is a good Shakespearean bird.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"Is a rat wildlife?"

Yes, if not raised as a pet.

From Wikipedia's article on wild rats:

The common species are opportunistic survivors and often live with and near humans. The Black Plague is traditionally believed to have been caused by the micro-organism Yersinia pestis, carried by the rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis which preyed on R. rattus living in European cities of the day; it is notable that these rats were victims of the plague themselves.

Oh ,the poor rats!

Terry F  •  Link

Sir Anthony Desmarces was an ally of Aphrah Behn

SPOILER perhaps: "Her chief business was to establish an intimacy with William Scott, son of Thomas Scott, the regicide who had been executed 17 October, 1660. This William...was quite ready to become a spy in the English service and to report on the doings of the English exiles who were not only holding treasonable correspondence with traitors at home and plotting against the King, but even joining with the Dutch foe to injure their native land. Scott was extremely anxious for his own pardon and, in addition, eager to earn any money he could.

"Aphra then, taking with her some forty pounds in cash, all she had, set sail with Sir Anthony Desmarces either at the latter end of July or early in August, 1666,...." *A Memoir of Mrs. Behn* by Montague Summers http://etext.library.adelaide.edu…

(Sorry, had to go to The Antipodes for that link.)

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Wild animals in the city ...

I fed sunflower seeds to a particular pigeon outside our office building for three years before he disappeared one day. He had been around for about six years and had acquired the name "Walter" from others in the building. He would come flying down from his ledge when I whistled for him, and would recognize me from a great distance when I got off the elevator and come flying over for a meal. He liked pancakes too.

I also fed peanuts to a family of squirrels at our old house. Eventually, a rat discovered the peanut bin and decided to join the daily feeding. In watching the rat, I learned why they are such a successful species. While the squirrels were eating one peanut at a time, gnawing away for several minutes per nut, and then returning to the bowl for another one, the rat was busily transporting a dozen or more down a hole to its subterranean storage bin. Clever. So I moved the peanuts to a new bin mounted on the side of an oak, where the rat(s) couldn't get to it. However, this angered the squirrels not a little; the matriarch, in a huff, absented herself for several weeks.

Now, in a new house, we're taking care of a small colony of feral cats that live in the woods out back. Feed, trap, neuter, return. The cats, too, are successful wild creatures in the city. There were no mice in the house this winter.

Cum grano salis  •  Link

OED 7 noun types: 'Du' rat...OHG rattus ...med Lat rattus....
1. a. A rodent of some of the larger species of the genus Rattus, esp. R. rattus, the black rat (now almost extinct), and R. norvegicus, the common grey, brown, or Norway rat. (See also LAND-, MUSK-, WATER-RAT.)

1625 BACON Ess., Wisd. for Man's Self (Arb.) 187 It is the Wisedome of Rats, that will be sure to leaue a House, somewhat before it fall.

1660 SHIRLEY Androm. II. ii. 14, I smell a Rat sir, there's jugling in this business. 1736

kelly  •  Link

HEADS UP!History Channel Int. on U.S. cable service just had a program "Royal Navy-England's Wooden Wall" witch covers the Royal Navy from 1650 to 1705 (Blake to Nelson) that has a lot to say about our boy and what he did for the navy with some quality time in his library.

Pedro  •  Link

"his comparative lack of interest in wild life."

I don't know whether Glyn meant it in this context, but I immediately thought of it in the way that Rex has annotated, where there is an interest in animals purely for pleasure and appreciation. Taking the wildlife to be undomesticated Sam seems to have an interest as far as food goes, such as deer, teal and pheasant. However, the only example I can recall of interaction is the enjoyment of listening to the nightingale...

"and thence, only that it was somewhat foggy till the sun got to some height, walked with great pleasure to Woolwich, in my way staying several times to listen to the nightingales."


Paul Chapin  •  Link

According to a placard in the Bank of England Museum, the reason for the tokens was a dearth of official small change, which the government found too expensive to produce in the quantities required for trade.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Small coins

Australia abolished the 1cent and 2cent coins over 10 years ago. Amounts are still calculated to the cent, but if the transaction is a cash one, it is rounded up or down to the nearest 5cents. Visiting Americans think we were crazy to do this. (But the Half Penny did not last long in the post 1971 decimal coinage.) I am uncertain if led to inflation, but I remember my children being peeved they could not buy 1cent carob beans at the school tuck shop. I can still remember farthings from the 1950's. These originated from silver pennies being literally split into 4.
For those of you who are interested in tourism in Australia, here is my favourite list of FAQs. http://jimdyblog.spaces.live.com/…
Sorry, off topic. Regard this as a halfway point diversion. See you all at the hippo racing.....

jeannine  •  Link

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

13th. Tuesday. We weighed with the flood and stood in thwart of Bembridge point bearing N.E. b. E.S.W. by W. 4 miles. The Swallow went in before us to the Spit-head, from Tangier a month, my Lady Teviott in her. In the afternoon I went ashore at St Helens and observed bearings in the other end of the book. Ships in my company - London, Revenge, Gloucester, Dreadnought, Nonsuch ketch.

Pedro  •  Link

On the 13th/23rd September in the Med...

De Ruyter had returned to Malaga but found it difficult to take provisions because the crew were not allowed ashore (Due to fear of plague), and the Spaniards and Moors refused to work more than five hours a day.

Not far from Malaga De Ruyter met Lawson with 12 ships returning from Algiers. Lawson asked Commander Van der Zaen about the contents of the urgent letter that De Ruyter had received, but he did not know. He thought the fleet were going to Cadiz to be cleaned and would then continue cruising in the Straits.

Thomas Allin, Lawson's Rear Admiral, describes how when De Ruyter's smaller ship was sailing past the English flagship, he had enquired after Lawson's health, whereupon both Admirals had pledged each other from the decks with a glass of wine, and had exchanged salvoes.

(Life of Admiral De Ruyter by Blok)

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

A lottery is a form of gambling which involves the drawing of lots for a prize.

Lotteries in England, 1566–1826

Although the English probably first experimented with raffles and similar games of chance, the first recorded official lottery was chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, in the year 1566, and was drawn in 1569....Thus, the lottery money received was an interest free loan to the government during the three years that the tickets ('without any Blankes') were sold. . .... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lot…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"we met...upon the Fishery Committee...concerning...raising money "

L&M: Three methods of raising money were now proposed -- voluntary contributions; the grant of monopolies for coining farthings; and the grants of licenses authorizing public lotteries. The coinage scheme was never tried. Lotteries had been used in 1639 for the benefit of the Fishery Association of 1632. Cf. also http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1… and http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

arby  •  Link

"Oh, the poor rats!"
Many years ago I was a passenger on a German freighter sailing from the US to Australia, only nine of us, so we shared two tables at meals. The Captain headed the richer table, the first mate was at the one I was at. One person at the captain's table was a very wealthy older woman, and she listened to the captain tell the story of the ship burning not long before (it had been rebuilt in Japan). He told of the ship's dog being left behind accidentally, and it jumped from the bridge to safety. The elderly woman exclaimed, "Oh, what about the rats?" The captain hauled himself upright and sternly and loudly said "Madame, there are no rats on MY ship!" Thereafter, that woman was relegated to table #2 with the rest of us peasants.
By the way, that little dog was always the first at his station during a fire drill after that incident.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Aphra Behn was a remarkable woman in many ways: traveller, spy, playwright novelist and poet.

My favourite poem of hers is 'The Libertine'

A THOUSAND martyrs I have made,
All sacrificed to my desire,
A thousand beauties have betray'd
That languish in resistless fire:
The untamed heart to hand I brought,
And fix'd the wild and wand'ring thought.

I never vow'd nor sigh'd in vain,
But both, tho' false, were well received;
The fair are pleased to give us pain,
And what they wish is soon believed:
And tho' I talk'd of wounds and smart,
Love's pleasures only touch'd my heart.

Alone the glory and the spoil
I always laughing bore away;
The triumphs without pain or toil,
Without the hell the heaven of joy;
And while I thus at random rove
Despise the fools that whine for love.

She was criticised in her lifetime for her "masculine" style; I think she was describing herself: Aphra was an alpha female!

(I find the Lely portrait unconvincing: it looks like just another Stuart belle to me; the others seem much more in tune with what we know of her ...)

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