Wednesday 21 September 1664

Up, and by coach to Mr. Povy’s, and there got him to signe the payment of Captain Tayler’s bills for the remainder of freight for the Eagle, wherein I shall be gainer about 30l., thence with him to Westminster by coach to Houseman’s [Huysman] the great picture drawer, and saw again very fine pictures, and have his promise, for Mr. Povy’s sake, to take pains in what picture I shall set him about, and I think to have my wife’s. But it is a strange thing to observe and fit for me to remember that I am at no time so unwilling to part with money as when I am concerned in the getting of it most, as I thank God of late I have got more in this month, viz. near 250l., than ever I did in half a year before in my life, I think.

Thence to White Hall with him, and so walked to the old Exchange and back to Povy’s to dinner, where great and good company; among others Sir John Skeffington, whom I knew at Magdalen College, a fellow-commoner, my fellow-pupil, but one with whom I had no great acquaintance, he being then, God knows, much above me. Here I was afresh delighted with Mr. Povy’s house and pictures of perspective, being strange things to think how they do delude one’s eye, that methinks it would make a man doubtful of swearing that ever he saw any thing.

Thence with him to St. James’s, and so to White Hall to a Tangier Committee, and hope I have light of another opportunity of getting a little money if Sir W. Warren will use me kindly for deales to Tangier, and with the hopes went joyfully home, and there received Captain Tayler’s money, received by Will to-day, out of which (as I said above) I shall get above 30l.. So with great comfort to bed, after supper.

By discourse this day I have great hopes from Mr. Coventry that the Dutch and we shall not fall out.

18 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...a fellow-commoner..." By that I assume Sam means they ate in the same dining commons at college?

Paul Dyson  •  Link

Fellow Commoner

This seems a good definition from a website connected to Cambridge University,

"Originally an affluent, usually aristocratic, student granted among other privileges that of sharing with the Fellows of a college the amenities of the high table. The term has recently been re-introduced in several colleges to designate those who have been granted membership of the Senior Combination Room but do not have the duties or the full privileges of a Fellow."

Cum grano salis  •  Link

Commoner ; such an un common meanings
to have some bond,
OED: 6. In some English colleges, as at Oxford and Winchester: One who pays for his commons, i.e. a student or undergraduate not on the foundation (called at Cambridge a pensioner).
The colleges were originally intended only for the fellows and scholars 'on the foundation', the admission of other students, as 'commoners' or boarders, being a subsequent development, which eventuated in the recognition of many ranks of students, as (at Oxford) noblemen, gentlemen-commoners, fellow-commoners, commoners, battelers, servitors: q.v. These grades are now practically obsolete; and the only existing distinction is into scholars, or students on the foundation, and commoners. The latter word thus tends to be understood as = 'common or ordinary undergraduate', i.e. one who has not gained a scholarship, exhibition, or other special distinction.

6. Law. (Also right of common, common right.) The profit which a man has in the land or waters of another; as that of pasturing cattle (common of pasture), of fishing (common of piscary), of digging turf (common of turbary), and of cutting wood for fire or repairs (common of estovers);

Cum grano salis  •  Link

OED 5. One who takes or pays for his COMMONS (sense 3), i.e. who shares in a common meal, or eats at a common table; a boarder. Obs.
1598 FLORIO, Dozzenante, a commoner or boorder with others as schollers are.
1654 WHITLOCK Zootomia 554 The Prodigalls fellow commoners, the Swine.
Up to the time of Levellers [Comrads] and those that be kicked off the commons [ without taking the common goose] the term, it was for those failed to show some mauve blud, not for those that had to work or scrounge.
The House of Commons was for those without a peerage,
OED: 2. a. More generally: One of the common people; a member of the commonalty. (Now applied to all below the rank of a peer.)

The Common man [ & Woman ] be a modern idea instituted by those rebels of and friends of Paine.
When I be earning the Kings shilling , the term of address a big gathering of worthies and the lessors, be
"My Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen [pause and then] men and women, we are gathered ...... or .
I came 'ere to praise da da dee dah...."

Australian Susan  •  Link

By calling Skeffington a "fellow-commoner"and then saying he was "much above" him, I think Sam is saying, loosely, that they were both undergraduates at the same time - but that Skeffington came from a higher social milieu. Fellow pupil means they shared the same tutor, thereby engendering greater familiarity, but the difference in class meant not shared social activities. They would. however, have eaten in college together.

Terry F  •  Link

"it is a strange thing to observe and fit for me to remember that I am at no time so unwilling to part with money as when I am concerned in the getting of it most"

Strange, and good to write down. So for SP the lust for money is its own cure?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"...a fellow-commoner, my fellow-pupil, ..."

L&M note: "Skeffington was made fellow-commoner in his third year at Magdalene in 1651, the year in which Pepys entered college - Samuel Moreland being tutor to them both: ..."

Cum grano salis  •  Link

pictures of perspective, [? tromp l'oeil : trompe l'oeil ]
history of…

Povey has shown his collection of Perspectives a few times..
i.e. a piece of perspective in his closett in the low parler
2 his new perspective in his closet
another then to-day.

Cum grano salis  •  Link

Moreland the math wiz did invent a calculating machine,
that would have saved the Navy a kings fortune [ it says it be still working, that had to be the machine I had back in the 50's tho said it be new] Sam had to wait a few years to do his 7 times tables after being Tutored.
1 x 7 ready for short trews
2 x 7 ready for long trews
3 x 7 ready for marriage
4 x 7 have 7 yr itch
5 x 7 ready to go Europe.

andy  •  Link

and so to White Hall to a Tangier Committee, and hope I have light of another opportunity of getting a little money if Sir W. Warren will use me kindly for deales to Tangier

What I find interesting about Sam's diaries, compared to those of C20th statesmen (although I admit I've only read to any depth Crossman, Nicholson, Eden and Clarke) is that our modern statesman locates his personal diary within great events and decisions, often to show how he shone against other dim lights around the table; and we are in the habit of waiting about 30 years to consult the National Archives and compare these personal accounts with the formal agenda, papers and minutes.

Most often, Sam doesn't tell us what the business of the Tangier committee actually was that day; what it had to decide, what were the facts before it, what conclusions it came to. (The same with the Monday morning meetings with the Duke, where Sam recorded official business). His pen records occasions when he gains, or might gain, some advantage, or sometimes, advantage for the King; but it's not set against the routine business of the Committee (although he does spare us the tedium).

I suppose having recorded it once in the official ledger he's not inclined to repeat his part of it in his diary. But it's interesting to see what's not there, as well as what is.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...received by Will to-day..."

"Dear Uncle Robert,

Very glad to inform you that I have received today of that Captain Taylor you Recommended as a man who could well appreciate a Kindness done to him the happy Sum of two pounds-without the least Wrong to the King or my employer, Mr Pepys. So you can see I continue to heed your Advice and Experience as well as that of Mr. Pepys in all Things.

Yr Affectionate Nephew,

William Hewer"

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thank you CGS, the Moreland calculating machine is a beautiful piece of technology - forerunner of the Difference Engine. Do we know (from notes in L&M maybe?)if Sam ever saw one of Moreland's machines? Surely, he would have loved it!

Terry F  •  Link

"Do we know (from notes in L&M maybe?)if Sam ever saw one of Moreland's machines? Surely, he would have loved it!"

Australian Susan, (SPOILER) he sees it 14 March 1669, & is not impressed:…'s+late+invention&source=web&ots=1g2TxgFhbX&sig=e9ybeE_op60qsvkXc-2bIFe-YGk

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Sam's comment about Morland's machine unfortunately stops mid-sentence in the Google link from Terry. Here is the full sentence, from the Gutenberg site:

And there, among other things, my Lord had Sir Samuel Morland's late invention for casting up of sums of L. s. d.; which is very pretty, but not very useful.

(The correct date of this entry is 14 March 1668.)

Actually, the machine Sam refers to in this comment is not the one pictured in the link CGS provided. Morland was a prolific inventor, and invented at least three different calculating machines. The one Sam mentions added up L.s.d. sums - presumably it was "not very useful" because it took longer to use it than to do the sums in your head. The one in the Science Museum, in CGS's link, performs multiplications, and appears to be much more sophisticated. And sources refer to one that calculates trigonometic functions - how, I don't know.

See… for a brief but illuminating summary of some of Morland's many accomplishments, with a portrait of the man himself and a photo of one of his very pretty calculating machines (a different one from the one in the Science Museum).

Second Reading

Marquess  •  Link

The Skeffington family actually currently hold the Viscountcies of Massereene and Ferrard, the Massereene Viscountcy was created in 1660 and the Ferrard Viscounty in 1797, the latter title is the only title in the Peerage of Ireland that can go through the female line, and has been merged with the Skeffington Viscountcy since 1843.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys learned about Huysmans when out looking for a companion for Elizabeth:…
Friday 26 August 1664

"... and went to Guardener’s Lane, and there instead of meeting with one that was handsome and could play well, as they told me, she is the ugliest beast and plays so basely as I never heard anybody, so that I should loathe her being in my house. However, she took us by and by and showed us indeed some pictures at one Hiseman’s, a picture drawer, a Dutchman, which is said to exceed Lilly, and indeed there is both of the Queenes and Mayds of Honour (particularly Mrs. Stewart’s in a buff doublet like a soldier) as good pictures, I think, as ever I saw. The Queene is drawn in one like a shepherdess, in the other like St. Katharin, most like and most admirably. I was mightily pleased with this sight indeed, ..."

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . a fellow-commoner, my fellow-pupil, . . ‘

‘ . . it was at Magdalene that [SP] was admitted a sizar on 1 October [1650} . . On 3 April [1651] he was advanced to a scholarship . . [DNB]

‘sizar, n. < size n. . . In the University of Cambridge . . an undergraduate member admitted under this designation and receiving an allowance from the college to enable him to study . . Formerly the sizar performed certain duties now discharged by college servants.
1670 J. Eachard Grounds Contempt of Clergy 16 They took..heretofore a very good method to prevent Sizars over-heating their Brains: Bed-making, Chamber-sweeping, and Water-fetching.
. . 1804 H. K. White Let. June in Remains (1807) I. 110 Somebody, perhaps, has been hinting that there are servile offices to be performed by Sizars. It is a common opinion, but perfectly erroneous... The Sizars at Cambridge only differ from the rest in name.
. . 1902 Student's Handbk. Cambridge v. 92 The emoluments of a Sizar take the form of various allowances, the annual value of which may be estimated at about £40.’


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