Sunday 4 December 1664

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed, and then up and to my office, there to dispatch a business in order to the getting something out of the Tangier business, wherein I have an opportunity to get myself paid upon the score of freight. I hope a good sum.

At noon home to dinner, and then in the afternoon to church. So home, and by and by comes Mr. Hill and Andrews, and sung together long and with great content. Then to supper and broke up. Pretty discourse, very pleasant and ingenious, and so to my office a little, and then home (after prayers) to bed.

This day I hear the Duke of Yorke is come to towne, though expected last night, as I observed, but by what hindrance stopped I can’t tell.

27 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M transcribe: "by what hindrance stopped I can [not] tell."

I did think the contraction "can't" surely had to be a later contraction introduced by the Rev. Mynors Bright, Lord Braybrook or Henry B. Wheatley.

Pedro  •  Link

And from the Rev Ralph...

Dec: 4: God good in our afflictions, lighting his hand on us, and I trust sanctifying it to us(.) we are upward blessed be his name, the weather wonderfully inconstant and uncheerful. last week Sr Sam: Tryon . Col. Sparrow . Rich Guoyon the greatest webster in England. Mr Savil . considerable persons died by us. the lord awaken us, the plague begun in Yarmouth. the report contradicted.

(Have we heard of a Cpt Sparrow?)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"(Have we heard of a Cpt Sparrow?)"

Pedro, I don't believe we have; neither this site nor the L&M Index have.

Ding  •  Link

Terry, could Pedro be referring to a certain Captain Jack Sparrow?

Eric Walla  •  Link

Oh Pedro, that's just scare mongering ...
The plague will never truly come among us, but will continue to afflict only our enemies. We may have a few who expire in our midst, but those would be the deserving few. Just wait, come spring and summer the sunshine will return to show us happier daze ... sorry, I feel an itch coming on.

Bryan M  •  Link

“(Have we heard of a Cpt Sparrow?)”

Perhaps not but we all know who has taken Rich Guoyon's place as "the greatest webster in England".
Step up and take a bow Phil.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I have an opportunity to get myself paid upon the score of freight"

L&M note "Probably the freight of the William, and reference a note on the entry of 9 Dec.…
which will surely call for an annotation to make Pepys's scheme clear.

Linda F  •  Link

With complete agreement about England's preeminent webster today, does anyone know what "webster" meant in Sam's time, as used here? The literal sense of a weaver, even extended figuratively to a manfacturer or seller of cloth, seems out of context.

cgs  •  Link

webster according to OED was a weaver , so was our weaver, a weaver of clothe or yarn?

cape henry  •  Link

There seems no conflict with the "webster" context, LF, and I think you may have hit it with "seller of cloth." Might he not have been the largest cloth merchant in England?

Linda F  •  Link

Thank you, CGS and CH: that must be it. I read anachronistically/ modernly, thinking of "greatest" not as a reference to scale or scope of production or commerce (which makes sense), but as a quality or trait (which doesn't, unless webster had an alternate meaning as in deviser of schemes or. . . something). But looking in the Merriam-Webster dictionary for the meaning of "webster" recalled the wonderful Caught in the Web of Words about the men who compiled the OED: nice symmetry.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Pepys in The New Yorker ...

In the current edition (December 10) of The New Yorker, our favorite diarist features prominently in the essay (at page 106) entitled "Woke Up This Morning," which tries to answer the question, "Why do we read diaries?"

Pedro  •  Link

Guantanamo Bay…Supreme Court showdown on detainees.

Off topic, but the article says…However another, more ghostly, figure will also feature in the case. This is Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon…

cgs  •  Link

update a weaver of yarns was first noted in 1812;

2. a. to spin a yarn (fig., orig. Naut. slang), to tell a story (usually a long one); also, ‘to pitch a tale’. Hence yarn = a (long) story or tale: sometimes implying one of a marvellous or incredible kind; also, a mere tale. colloq.
1812 J. H. VAUX Flash Dict. s.v., Yarning or spinning a yarn, signifying to relate their various adventures, exploits, and escapes to each other.

A weaver was an important Man in the art of weaving Sail cloth, also was involve in the making of wigs.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

another, more ghostly, figure

Clarendon figures in a footnote to plaintiff's argument asking the Supreme Court to take up the case (Boumediene v. Bush) of some 37 men held for nearly 6 years without an evidentiary hearing on the basis of their detention. In the actual oral argument (I was there) the earliest cases cited to support plaintiffs were from English courts in India that applied habeas corpus doctrine in the 18th century. The question was whether there was a common law basis for applying the writ to non-citizens being held abroad. The court seems likely to hold that the Guantanamo prisoners have habeas rights, but seems divided, in the absence of a record for making that determination, on whether these rights are protected by the new military tribunals and review procedures authorized by Congress.

Michael Robison  •  Link

another, more ghostly, figure ...

And after the Chanel Islands, Scotland used to be used till following the the Act of Union it was expressly forbidden in an act of 1708 -- thereby admitting that it had previously been legal. For details, a review of the history of the of the law of torture in England see the arguments of Counsel and the judgments of Lord Ellenborough, 1806 and 1808, in the trial of Sir. Thomas Picton, who while Governor of Trinidad used torture, valid under Spanish law, to extract confessions. (30 Howells State Trials, 514 + -- a text scan apparently available through Google Books if you can get the site to run properly)

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... This day I hear the Duke of York is come to town, though expected last night, as I observed, but by what hindrance stopped I can not tell."

James, Duke of York was writing memos in Portsmouth yesterday. How can Pepys think he was delayed? It takes him two or three days to make this trip. One idea: they had a relay of fast horses and James galloped the entire way, which I don't think was possible.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"... This day I hear the Duke of York is come to town, though expected last night, as I observed, but by what hindrance stopped I can not tell."

The passive voice says to me others also had expected the Duke's asrrival earlier.

London to Portsmouth could be an easy two-day trip with an overnight at Godalming and at dinner the last day Mrs. Pepys and Mrs. Hayer at bowls at Petersfield:……

The return trip went through Guildford and took Sabbath rest there: two days……

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Maybe James dictated the memos on Thursday or Friday, and it took a day for Coventry and clerks to get everything written up, copied, checked for accuracy, and signed in absentia? Were there signature stamps or signing machines in those days?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

From London to Portsmouth 73 Miles, thus reckoned:

To Wandsworth 6, to Kingston 6, to Cobham 7, to Guildford 10, to Godalmin 4, to Lippock 12, to Petersfield 8, to Harnden 5, to Portsey Bridge 6, to Postsmouth 4 [sic] (a large, well-built Town in Hampshire, defended by 2 strong Castles, and other Works to secure the Haven; and into this well- fortified Garrison and Seaport, which is the usual Station of the Royal Navy, you must enter over 4 Draw Bridges).

I've lost where this info. came from, but it was contemporary.

brian the wolf  •  Link

Anybody else find his obsessiveness for work is matched by his contemporaries ? I'm a history student and have to write a short piece for the uni blog on him and just wondered if his attitude was normal for that time or just him trying to maximise his money making opportunities.

Jon  •  Link

"... This day I hear the Duke of York is come to town, though expected last night, as I observed, but by what hindrance stopped I can not tell."

Journal of the Earl of Sandwich edited by R.C. Anderson.
December. 4th. Sunday. "The Duke and Prince went for London."
Like SDS, I believe that this is a two day journey given winter daylight hours, horse welfare and food stops. The use of the past tense by the Earl of Sandwich does allow for the possibility that they left the day before but even so, the earliest they could make London would be Sunday evening.

John G  •  Link

A footnote to Josselin's diary says that a webster is a clothier.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

brian the wolf - I suspect that Sam's workaholic attitude is common amongst those of humbler origin on the rise/make, eg Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, Sir Edward Coke, or even Robert Hooke.

Also, second tier aristocrats like Sir William Coventry were sometimes workaholic too. Sam's respect for him was such that, at risk to his own position, he visited Coventry when he was confined to the Tower in disgrace.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Journal of the Earl of Sandwich edited by R.C. Anderson.
December. 4th. Sunday. "The Duke and Prince went for London."'

James and Rupert must have had a horse relay set up, and galloped the whole way. Boys will be boys --- any excuse for some dangerous fun.

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