Friday 16 December 1664

Up, and by water to Deptford, thinking to have met ‘la femme de’ Bagwell, but failed, and having done some business at the yard, I back again, it being a fine fresh morning to walk. Back again, Mr. Wayth walking with me to Half-Way House talking about Mr. Castle’s fine knees lately delivered in. In which I am well informed that they are not as they should be to make them knees, and I hope shall make good use of it to the King’s service.

Thence home, and having dressed myself, to the ’Change, and thence home to dinner, and so abroad by coach with my wife, and bought a looking glasse by the Old Exchange, which costs me 5l. 5s. and 6s. for the hooks. A very fair glasse.

So toward my cozen Scott’s, but meeting my Lady Sandwich’s coach, my wife turned back to follow them, thinking they might, as they did, go to visit her, and I ’light and to Mrs. Harman, and there staid and talked in her shop with her, and much pleased I am with her. We talked about Anthony Joyce’s giving over trade and that he intends to live in lodgings, which is a very mad, foolish thing. She tells me she hears and believes it is because he, being now begun to be called on offices, resolves not to take the new oathe, he having formerly taken the Covenant or Engagement, but I think he do very simply and will endeavour for his wife’s sake to advise him therein.

Thence to my cozen Scott’s, and there met my cozen Roger Pepys, and Mrs. Turner, and The. and Joyce, and prated all the while, and so with the “corps” to church and heard a very fine sermon of the Parson of the parish, and so homeward with them in their coach, but finding it too late to go home with me, I took another coach and so home, and after a while at my office, home to supper and to bed.

33 Annotations

First Reading

cgs  •  Link

The Anglais be so difficile:
Knees, Castles knees not Bagwells knees not Castles to keep.

Poor old Samuelle, sure has got an itch.

Patricia  •  Link

My, my, Samuel's thoughts of Mrs. Bagwell are so naughty that he has to resort to French just to mention her!

Terry Foreman  •  Link


The House [of Commons] then resumed the Consideration of the Report from the Committee of the whole House concerning the Raising of the Five-and-twenty hundred thousand Pounds Supply for his Majesty; and the Votes agreed by the Committee: Which being twice read;

Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee of the whole House, that all Lands and Estates shall be taxed in the Places, Townships, Parishes, and Counties, where they have been accustomed to be taxed.

Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee, that all Lands extra-parochial, and other Lands not hitherto taxed, shall be taxed in this Act.

Resolved, &c. That this House doth agree with the Committee, that no Certificate be allowed.


A Debate being, Whether the County of Middlesex, and the City of Westminster, shall be joined with the City of London, in the Payment of the Tax;

Resolved, &c. That the further Debate of this Matter be adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Ten of the Clock.

Ordered, That the Committee to whom it is referred to consider, In what Proportion the Forty thousand Pounds shall be distributed to the Counties over-rated, be revived; and do sit this Afternoon at Three of the Clock.…

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"and prated all the while"
OED re "prate" (v.):
1. intr. To talk, to chatter: usually dyslogistic, implying speaking much or long to little purpose; formerly also to speak insolently, boastfully, or officiously; to tell tales, blab.
c1420 [implied in prater]. c1430 Lydg. Min. Poems (Percy Soc.) 155 He may weel grucche and with his tounge prate. 1550 J. Coke Eng. & Fr. Heralds §62 (1877) 77, I mervayle, syr Heralde, how you dare so untruly prate agaynst your soveraygne lord the kyng of England. 1570 Buchanan Chamæleon Wks. (1892) 53 [He] prattit proudlie, vantyng yat his pen sould be worth ten thowsand men. 1581 J. Bell Haddon's Answ. Osor. 492b, You prate hard, but you prove nought. 1605 Shakes. Macb. ii. i. 58 Thy very stones prate of my where-about. 1616 R. C. Times' Whistle iii. 992 They will prate Till they tire all men with their idle chatt. 1713 Berkeley Guardian No. 3 31 Sober wretches, who prate whole evenings over coffee. 1747 Richardson Clarissa (1811) I. viii. 54 No words! I will not be prated to. a1839 Praed Poems (1864) II. 31 And she is prating learnedly Of logic and of chemistry. 1875 Jowett Plato (ed. 2) I. 212 You prate, he said, instead of answering.

Sam seems to be using the word without its pejorative connotations here, or else is delivering a light, self-deprecating jest.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Thank God the headstrong Mr. Joyce has practical, go-along-to-get-along, cousin Sam to deflect him from sticking to his principles...

cgs  •  Link

"...prated all the while..."
'twas a common expression "he dothe prattle on so"
for he that never comes for aire.

mjp  •  Link

"Knee-Timber: A bent piece of wood formed out of a tree which has grown crooked so that the fibre of the wood shall follow the curve." Source: Frederick George Lee's Glossary... 1877
Mr. Castle's knee timbers were "not as they should be" because they were cut from the roots rather than the branches. Source: The notes to the Latham and Matthews transcription.

cgs  •  Link

For navy terms of the times
Pepys bible ? John Smith's seaman's grammar
see page 14 and others for two knees at
1691 version [you too can thyn own copy]…

cgs  •  Link

Meanwhile the other Mr Pepis [Pepys]was evaluating how to get monies from those that not be part of the selected ones;
"... And to provide for the better Collecting of Tythes from Quakers and Sectaries, so as their Estates may be subject to make Recompence: And also to provide for the better Collecting of the small Tythes...."

to-days [16-12-1664] House of Commons

Bradford  •  Link

Thanks, MJP, for the elucidation of the timber knees, though in the Deep South one cannot help but think of cypress knees (roots that stick up from swamp water for air), and comedy aficionados may find "talking about Mr. Castle’s fine knees lately delivered in. In which I am well informed that they are not as they should be to make them knees," has something of "The Goon Show" about it. For 5 pounds 5, it ought to be a Very fine glasse, and very Large too.

cgs  •  Link

Knees have been in the news before.

Knees : referred twice before and is on the background at…

ref Knees of timber…

The next was, Mr. Chr. Pett and Deane were summoned to give an account of some knees which Pett reported bad, that were to be served in by Sir W. Warren, we having contracted that none should be served but such as were to be approved of by our officers. So that if they were bad they were to be blamed for receiving them. Thence we fell to talk of Warren’s other goods, which Pett had said were generally bad, and falling to this contract again, I did say it was the most cautious and as good a contract as had been made here, and the only [one] that had been in such terms. Sir J. Minnes told me angrily that Winter’s timber, bought for 33s. per load, was as good and in the same terms.…

then the knee of a maypole.…

cape henry  •  Link

With a brief mention, Pepys demonstrates his interest in both the high and the low in his reporting on the conversation with Mrs. Harmon concerning Anthony Joyce, a marginal Diary figure. In this sketch of a few words we learn enough about this man that no doubt there are those among us who could concoct a fine short story and bring the man to life. But Pepys' own portrait here is a work of art in and of itself.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Anthony Joyce's predicament

"he, being now begun to be called on offices, resolves not to take the new oathe, he having formerly taken the Covenant or Engagement"

A chandler by trade, perhaps he was trying to evade an oath of office in a parochial or livery-company (conjecture L&M), having before taken the oath to parliament (the Covenant of 1643), or the oath to the Commonwealth (the Engagement of 1649).

I agree, cape henry, there's literary material there: AJ's resolve sounds right out of Dickens' *Pickwick Papers*.

JWB  •  Link

"... Anthony Joyce’s giving over trade ..."

Perhaps all London's trading tallow for wax.

cape henry  •  Link

Often the simplest explanation is the right one, JWB. You may have it there.

Peter Bates  •  Link

As a professional Anglican church-goer (I sing in a cathedral choir) I'm embarrassed to say that I can't think why Sam was attending church on Friday 16th. Was St Eusebius especially significant? I can't see that he went to church on December 16th last year. Have I missed something?

Brian  •  Link

The church visit today was for the funeral of cousin Benjamin Scott who had just died (as mentioned in L&M.) His wife had preceded him in death on April 26 of this year, two months after a miscarriage.

GrahamT  •  Link

Giving over:
I read this as being similar to giving up, as in giving up trade.
"Give over" is used in current East Midland English as a command to stop doing something, as in "Give over, yer hurtin' me!"

cgs  •  Link

'give over', give up be my take, he just be living off the money that be in his palliasse

pepfie  •  Link

"so with the “corps” to church"

The corpse, while alive, seems to have become persona non grata in May. Today's entry lacks any recognizable sign of compassion. Had not L&M stated Benjamin Scott's death I would have believed the corps to be the group of merry prattlers. SP has been accused of insensibility before but this is the epitome of callousness so far.
"...there met with a letter from my cozen Scott, which tells me that he is resolved to meddle no more with our business, of administering for my father,"…

Bryan M  •  Link

persona non grata / epitome of callousness

I would disagree on both counts. Cozen Scott was distantly related to Sam via his late wife. According to Sam, Scott was somewhat reluctantly acting as attorney for Pepys snr in the matter of Tom's estate. After Scott's wife died he he told Sam he would no longer be involved. We don't why and it could have just been he was too busy, or any number of other reasons. There is no evidence of him being made persona non grata.

Sam himself noted his increasing emotional distance from even his own family but Scott was a distant relative by marriage. Sam attended his funeral and didn't get too worked up about it. Hardly "the epitome of callousness". In contrast, and as discussed by annotators at the time, Sam's lack of concern for Tom's illegitimate child did strike many as callous by our standards.

Second Reading

Marquess  •  Link

Follow that coach! Yes M'am, replied the coachman. I wonder how difficult it would have been to turn a coach road in a London street in those days?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence to my cozen Scott’s,"

L&M note her husband, Benjamin Scott, citizen and pewterer, of St Sepulchre's, Holborne, had died. In his will (of the 9th) he had left Pepys 20s. for a mourning-ring.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Once again it is ambiguous if the ladies attended the funeral or not. It's been noted before that women did not go to funerals in 1664. Maybe they said goodbye to cousin Benjamin, and stayed at the house supervising the readying of cakes and tea for afterwards.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"It's been noted before that women did not go to funerals in 1664. "

Is there a reliable source for this? The L&M Companion entry on FUNERALS (pp. 152-153) mentions no such thing. (Of course, in the case of a widow and her comforters things after the funeral might well have played out as you suggest.

Companion 152:…
Companion 153:…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I refer you to annotations about Tom Pepys' funeral.…

Mary K on 11 Mar 2017 • Link • Flag

I doubt the Montagu girls went to Tom's funeral as well, not least because women in general simply did not attend funerals; it was "not done." Funeral observance was man's business. This aspect of social etiquette persisted into the 19th century.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

An unsourced post on a blog is not a reliable source in the true sense To make this clear: what is the basis for Mary K's sweeping claim?..

Take Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin It is a fine secondary source, whose authority rests on the sources it cites: those reach down to primary sources:…:

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The claim made by Mary K may indeed be correct, but she provides no evidence for that.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The L&M Companion entry on FUNERALS (pp. 152-153) mentions no such thing. (Of course, in the case of a widow and her comforters things after the funeral might well have played out as you suggest.)

Companion 152:…... AND
Companion 153:…...

are unavailable on line, except as snippets. They want me to spend $22 plus shipping to answer the question.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

If the links do not work for you. San Diego Sarah, Google may treat you in a different way: I have a Google account.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A Google account ... how do you do that?

This funeral info is fabulous; then came up a sign that I had reached my viewing limit. So much for free access to out-of-print books on line!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Turns out I am using the sort of Google account Terry advocates. I think the way to deal with this is to take a photo of the pages, and transcribe the highlights for posterity. In the meantime, read the originals as fast as you can!

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