Wednesday 30 November 1664

Up, and with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes to the Committee of the Lords, and there did our business; but, Lord! what a sorry dispatch these great persons give to business. Thence to the ’Change, and there hear the certainty and circumstances of the Dutch having called in their fleete and paid their men half-pay, the other to be paid them upon their being ready upon beat of drum to come to serve them again, and in the meantime to have half-pay. This is said.

Thence home to dinner, and so to my office all the afternoon. In the evening my wife and Sir W. Warren with me to White Hall, sending her with the coach to see her father and mother. He and I up to Sir G. Carteret, and first I alone and then both had discourse with him about things of the Navy, and so I and he calling my wife at Unthanke’s, home again, and long together talking how to order things in a new contract for Norway goods, as well to the King’s as to his advantage.

He gone, I to my monthly accounts, and, bless God! I find I have increased my last balance, though but little; but I hope ere long to get more. In the meantime praise God for what I have, which is 1209l. So, with my heart glad to see my accounts fall so right in this time of mixing of monies and confusion, I home to bed.

15 Annotations

First Reading

Mary  •  Link

"this time of mixing monies and confusion"

Oh dear, oh dear. Dangerous waters ahead for our friend, if he's not careful.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Mary may be right, but what a gorgeous sentence that last one is.

jeannine  •  Link

Advice to Sam

In this time of confusion
It’s a foregone conclusion
Best not spend all your monies
On your too many honeys!
That rate of exchange you see
Will leave your pockets empty!

Linda F  •  Link

In December, 1660, L. 240 pounds was a princely sum; four years later, L.1209 is nice, but. . . more will be better; he hopes soon. Those grueling hours are taking their toll.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

With Bess hitting Unthankes like this and his own massive clothing upgrades I can see where 240Ls is not looking so good these days. Not to mention the constant home improvements, book purchases, and indulgence in things musical.

cgs  •  Link

wot's in your wallet?

" Stultum facit fortuna quem vult perdere."
Syrus Maxims

if fortune wants thee done in, it makes ye stupid.

[misuse of quote]

Linda F  •  Link

Yes: the increasingly high cost of Sam's keeping up with himself

Barry Reich  •  Link

Perhaps we could get the spelling of Wednesday corrected. This is literary blog.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"talking how to order things in a new contract for Norway goods"

Concluded on 3 December (for Gothenburg masts): CSPD 164-5, p. 135.
(L&M note)

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I've posted this before I think, but I'm going to indulge myself: 😈

Two quatrains by William Blake, put together by Dante Gabriel Rossetti:


Since all the riches of this world
May be gifts from the devil and earthly kings,
I should suspect that I worshipped the devil
If I thanked my God for worldly things.

The countless gold of a merry heart,
The rubies and pearls of a loving eye,
The idle man never can bring to the mart
Nor the cunning hoard up in his treasury.…

RSGII  •  Link

A cook was paid 5£ a year so he is now worth 242 cooks!

Matt Newton  •  Link

Good point. And in a way I guess he cooked the Navy books, slightly, in an ever so constructive way.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

We have discussed this several times already. I’ve redone the sums to get these multipliers:

To compare the value of a £1 Wealth in 1664 to 1971, there are four choices. In 1971 the relative: 

historic standard of living value = £11
labour earnings = £80
economic status value = per capita GDP = £130
economic power value = £1,100.

To compare the value of a £1 Wealth in 1971 to 2015, there are four choices. In 2015 the relative: 

historic standard of living value = £13
labour earnings = £20
economic status value = per capita GDP = £25
economic power value = £30
Multipliers 1664-2015:

historic standard of living = 11 x 13 = 140
labour earnings = 80 x 20 = 1600
economic status = per capita GDP = 130 x 25 = 3,300
economic power = 1,100 x 30 = 33,000

So in economic status, £1209 (30 Nov 1664) in 1664 = £4 million today - VERY roughly. This number seems about right to me but shouldn’t be taken too seriously as as it is only as good as the assumptions as to what is a valid comparison across 350 years and the methods used to estimate GDP. etc.

The cook’s £5 annual wage = £16,500 in economic status.

Taken and simplified from…

RSGII  •  Link

Of interest, glassdoor,com reports the current average salary for a cook in the UK is about £16,240, so the economic status hasn’t changed much in 340 years! Other sites give different current cook salaries, e.g. £23k, but it depends on the location and all in the same general range as Pepys cook’s current economic status.

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