Saturday 31 December 1664

At the office all the morning, and after dinner there again, dispatched first my letters, and then to my accounts, not of the month but of the whole yeare also, and was at it till past twelve at night, it being bitter cold; but yet I was well satisfied with my worke, and, above all, to find myself, by the great blessing of God, worth 1349l., by which, as I have spent very largely, so I have laid up above 500l. this yeare above what I was worth this day twelvemonth. The Lord make me for ever thankful to his holy name for it!

Thence home to eat a little and so to bed. Soon as ever the clock struck one, I kissed my wife in the kitchen by the fireside, wishing her a merry new yeare, observing that I believe I was the first proper wisher of it this year, for I did it as soon as ever the clock struck one.

So ends the old yeare, I bless God, with great joy to me, not only from my having made so good a yeare of profit, as having spent 420l. and laid up 540l. and upwards.

But I bless God I never have been in so good plight as to my health in so very cold weather as this is, nor indeed in any hot weather, these ten years, as I am at this day, and have been these four or five months. But I am at a great losse to know whether it be my hare’s foote, or taking every morning of a pill of turpentine, or my having left off the wearing of a gowne.

My family is, my wife, in good health, and happy with her; her woman Mercer, a pretty, modest, quiett mayde; her chambermayde Besse, her cook mayde Jane, the little girl Susan, and my boy, which I have had about half a yeare, Tom Edwards, which I took from the King’s chappell, and a pretty and loving quiett family I have as any man in England.

My credit in the world and my office grows daily, and I am in good esteeme with everybody, I think.

My troubles of my uncle’s estate pretty well over; but it comes to be but of little profit to us, my father being much supported by my purse.

But great vexations remain upon my father and me from my brother Tom’s death and ill condition, both to our disgrace and discontent, though no great reason for either.

Publique matters are all in a hurry about a Dutch warr. Our preparations great; our provocations against them great; and, after all our presumption, we are now afeard as much of them, as we lately contemned them.

Every thing else in the State quiett, blessed be God! My Lord Sandwich at sea with the fleete at Portsmouth; sending some about to cruise for taking of ships, which we have done to a great number.

This Christmas I judged it fit to look over all my papers and books; and to tear all that I found either boyish or not to be worth keeping, or fit to be seen, if it should please God to take me away suddenly. Among others, I found these two or three notes, which I thought fit to keep.

Age of my Grandfather’s Children

Mary,March 16, 1597.
Edith,October 11, 1599.
John, (my Father,)January 14, 1601.

My father and mother marryed at Newington, in Surry, Oct, 15, 1626

Theyr Children’s ages.

Mary,July 24, 1627.mort.1
PaulinaSept. 18, 1628.mort.
Esther,March 27, 1630.mort.
John,January 16, 1631.mort.
Samuel,Feb. 23, 1632.2
Thomas,June 18, 1634.mort.
Sarah,August 25, 1635.mort.
Jacob,May 1, 1637.mort.
Robert,Nov. 18, 1638.mort.
Paulina,Oct. 18, 1640.
John,Nov. 26, 1641.mort.

December 31, 1664.

Charmes for

1. Stenching of Blood.

Sanguis mane in te,
Sicut Christus fuit in se;
Sanguis mane in tua vena
Sicut Christus in sua poena;
Sanguis mane fixus,
Sicut Christus quando fuit crucifixus,

2. A Thorne.

Jesus, that was of a Virgin born,
Was pricked both with nail and thorn;
It neither wealed nor belled, rankled nor boned
In the name of Jesus no more shall this.

Or, thus:–

Christ was of a Virgin born;
And he was pricked with a thorn;
And it did neither bell, nor swell,
And I trust in Jesus this never will.

3. A Cramp.

Cramp be thou faintless,
As our Lady was sinless,
When she bare Jesus.

4. A Burning.

There came three Angells out of the East;
The one brought fire, the other brought frost—
Out fire; in frost.

In the name of the Father and Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

46 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"I believe I was the first proper wisher of it this year, for I did it as soon as ever the clock struck one"

So the new year started for them at 1 a.m. rather than midnight? Interesting.

"Among others, I found these two or three notes, which I thought fit to keep."

Did these notes make it? I wonder...

As the fifth year of the Diary draws to a close, I'd like to send my best wishes to Phil and the rest of my Pepys, to thank you for the past and look forward to the future -- halfway through, and lots of great stuff to look forward to. Can't ask for much more than that, eh? Cheers, all!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I was the first proper wisher of it this year, for I did it as soon as ever the clock struck one."

An odd notion of the start of the new year? Was this usual? When did the current understanding that the new year/day starts at mid-might, and at one is an hour old begin?

We aren't there yet on the west side of the pond -- it's turned 2008 in Amsterdam (GMT -1); but Happy New Year every one!

Paul Dyson  •  Link

"as soon as ever the clock struck one.”

Or does he mean "on the very first stroke [of midnight]"?

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Happy new year to all Pepsyians :-)

I think Sam must mean 1am, because he says earlier that he was at work in his office till past twelve at night.

Judith Boles  •  Link

It is not quite one on the east coast of the US, but a "proper" wish for the New Year to all!

cgs  •  Link

So there be a clock that strikes the hours, not a bell man, not a geezer watching the egg timer and tipping it over. but an honest clock,would this be in the church tower, nearby.
So to those that have heard the chimes of
Big Ben physically and mentally
A prosperous New Year one and all

Miss Ann fr Home  •  Link

A very happy New Year to all my fellow Pepys Peepers - may 2008 be healthy, happy and prosperous, may all the wars and other disputes be sorted and mankind is finally kind to all mankind.

Sam's reconciliation of his life as at this date is something I have undertaken for some time now, unfortunately Sam is doing much better than I this year but hey 2008 is going to be my best year ever. I hope it is the same for you all too.

Jesse  •  Link

"to tear all that I found either boyish or not to be worth keeping"

I'm somewhat surprised that books were that disposable then. "or fit to be seen..." What's up with that? ;)

"as ever the clock struck one" is used twice but does he really mean that's when the New Year began?

Paul Chapin  •  Link

And so we end year five of our daily ventures into Sam's world, with Sam content with his lot, not yet knowing, as we, God-like, know, of the plague horrors that lie so soon ahead.

May our 2008 be free of plagues, pestilence, and, at year's end (forgive the digression), finally free of this maleficent, incompetent administration of the United States Government.

Warmest wishes for a happy and peaceful new year to all Pepysians everywhere, and thanks to you all, especially Phil, for making this site the joy that it is.

Ruben  •  Link

Samuel Pepys had a good year and he feels he was lucky... (we too!)
Did he remember the words of the Poet (in the original, of course)?
Or, when the winds were blowing his way, he like many in his day, forgot premonitions?

"Leucone, don't ask — it's dangerous to know —
what end the gods will give me or you. Don't play with Babylonian fortune-telling either. Better just deal with whatever comes your way.
Whether you'll see several more winters or whether the last one Jupiter gives you is the one even now pelting the rocks on the shore with the waves
of the Tyrrhenian sea--be smart, drink your wine. Scale back your long hopes to a short period. Even as we speak, envious time is running away from us. Seize the day, trusting little in the future."

To me this last five years past short and fast, like it was yesterday. But the next one looks unsurmountable and long.

Will Samuel Pepys survive war, pestilence and fire?
Time will tell... Let's continue the reading, day by day.

Thank you all for being part of my life, in spite I never met anyone of you. Thank you, Phil, for your effort, your kind words and perseverance.
Happy new year.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

But I am at a great losse to know whether it be my hare’s foote, or taking every morning of a pill of turpentine, or my having left off the wearing of a gowne.

Sounds familiar - my rheumatics may be kept at bay by a daily intake of glucosamine, fish oil and red wine.
Or not. Either way, I daren't give any of them up.

Happy 2008. Let's hope we are all as contented as Sam.

jeannine  •  Link

Happy New Year Fellow Pepysians & a special thanks to Phil, our grand host! A few Holiday/Happy New Years posts follow with wishes for fun and festivities to be shared among our crew as we prepare for 1665!

It's been a joy to 'know' each and every one of you ~~ the annotators, the readers & the lurkers. Many blessings to all of you and your families!

jeannine  •  Link

I am sitting looking out at the snow and waiting for today's storm to come. I can't help but to reminisce about my childhood days when all 'wars and disputes' were handled the good old fashioned way! And we must remember my friends, if Sam's world was at peace, there'd be little need for a Navy!…

And when you're though with 1664, you need to enlist in Sam's Navy for 1665! (You may need to open a second browser window to view this or print it off and then sing along!)…

jeannine  •  Link

And finally, to help you with any hang overs... I've gotten a few emails from readers looking for these since I've posted them, so here's a collection of the little video links from the 'voting' and other annotations. Some of them may not remain on their respective sites for too long. Nothing like starting off the New Year with a reminisce of the boys doing the Can Can.... Happy New Year to all!

The Voting Videos!

1. “Sam and Elizabeth doing the Charleston” posted November 4, 1664…

2. Charles II, DOY, Rupert, Sandwich & Sam doing the “Can Can” posted November 5, 1664…

3. Castlemaine Chiquita posted November 6, 1664…

4. Dutch-de Ruyter and Obdam posted November 7, 1664…

5. Disco Sam and Elizabeth posted November 8, 1664…

Holiday/Winter themes!

1. “I’ve been scrooged” or “ Speaking of the sins of man"
posted December 15, 1664 (Office Max-may not remain on site for long)…

2. Christmas Tree Lighting with Charles II, Lady Castlemaine, Lord Sandwich, Sam and Elizabeth…

3. Sam and Elizabeth as Elves (Office Max-may not remain on site long)…

3. “Snowball fight” with Sam, Elizabeth, DOY, CII and Sandwich…

Bradford  •  Link

I'll bet it was the turpentine, Sam; but none for me, thanks.

May all readers and annotators and Webmaster find that, on this date a year hence, that they have "laid up above 500l. this yeare above what [they were] worth this day twelvemonth."

JWB  •  Link

"... not to be worth keeping, or fit to be seen..."

Is this when "Love a Cheat", Sam's stab at a fiction, went up in flames or are we now half way through same?

Martin  •  Link

1 a.m.
Since he worked right through midnight, he absolutely must not have considered that the start of the new day or year. But this may be Sam's own misconception or tradition, not one generally in effect. This is the first New Year's Eve on which Sam has mentioned being home to wish Beth a happy New Year.

JWB  •  Link

"Beating the Bounds"

Last I observed this New Year's Day ritual was back in the 50's on the farm w/ my father & brother. I would like to beat the bounds in virtual space and appologize for stepping over the line with weak efforts @ humor, snide political remarks and general off topic annotations and resolve, especially in the upcoming US election year, to keep on topic.

language hat  •  Link

Happy new year to all! (I didn't even make it to midnight last night. I grow old, I grow old...)

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Me too. We had our toast at 9:00 PM, sang Auld Lang Syne, and went to bed. Happy New Year, everyone. Hooray for Samuel Pepys, our Maximum Leader.

Pedro  •  Link

In late December...

The King sent a letter to Madame "which will clearly inform you of the state of the quarrel between us and Holland, by which you will see that they are the aggressors and the breakers of peace and not me"…

Dryden captured the heroic mood of patriotic anticipation on the eve of the Dutch War, when he wrote,

Now, anchors weighed, the seamen shout so shrill
That heaven, and earth, and the wide ocean rings...

(King Charles II by Antonia Fraser )

Pedro  •  Link

31 December/10 January

A small frigate, sent by the Amsterdam Admiralty, reached Elmina after 11 weeks and brought first news from Holland. Commander Van Kampem, who had been sent to assist him with I2 ships, had been detained by bad weather.

(Summary from Life of Admiral De Ruyter by Block)

(The Fleet to be sent by De Witt never actually sailed as it was proposed to combat the fleet to be sent under Rupert. As we have seen Rupert never went farther than the Isle of Wight before being absorbed in the home fleet.)

jeannine  •  Link

“Journal of the Earl of Sandwich” edited by R.C. Anderson

31st. Saturday. I weighed anchor in Stokes Bay and sailed to St Helens Road and there came to an anchor with the fleet, about 20 sail. About ¾ past 10 at night I saw the Blazing Star in the upper part of the Whale’s Head, having of Right Ascension 30° 40’ Declination 8° 10’.

Mary  •  Link

the family.

This clearly demonstrates Sam's typical conception of what constitutes the family. Note that Will Hewer, who used to be very much part of the family, no longer counts as such because he has moved out into lodgings elsewhere in the city.

GrahamT  •  Link

A Happy New Year to Phil and all the annotators and lurkers around the world

Barry Reich  •  Link

Happy New Year to all the folks who make my daily visit to this site so enjoyable. Here's to a 1665 of thought-provoking diary entries.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Hey, everybody...Here's Barry Reich, a new name I've never seen before in annotations, standing proud, saying it loud, and in the clear. Happy New Year, Barry, and welcome to a site where nobody gets flamed. Write anything you want, as long as somewhere you say Hooray for Samuel Pepys, just to keep on target. Let's all give Barry a Pepysian Scholarly Salute, and rattle our inkwells.

Daniel.O.Jenkins  •  Link

And a Happy New Year to all my fellow Pepysians. And a great thank you to Phil, who has made it possible. This site has become so much a part of my life, that my friends ask how Sam and Bess are doing when I visit them.

Second Reading

Mary Ellen  •  Link

Well, I guess I missed it, but when did his brother, John, die?

Phil Gyford  •  Link

He's not dead yet Mary Ellen! See the first footnote to today's entry - Samuel must have updated the list with "mort" on one or more later dates.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I am at a great losse to know whether it be my hare’s foote"

A charm worn against colic:… The practice seems to have originated from the use, according to the Paracelsan doctrine of 'signatures', of the herb haresfoot, which, when made into a glyster [a medicinal suppository] with honey and salt, 'purgeth the guts of slime and filth': Alexander Read, Most excellent and approved medicines & remedies for most diseases and maladies incident to man's body, lately compiled and extracted out of the originals of the most famous and best experienced physicians both in England and other countries, by A. R. Doctor in Physick decesased. And since revised by an able practitioner in the same science, and now published for the universall good and benefi [sic] of this Common-wealth.Most excellent...medicines (1652) , p. 247… Also used for rheumatism: William G. Black, Folk Medicine, p. 154. (Per L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Age of my Grandfather’s Children

Thomas, 1595.
Mary, March 16, 1597.
Edith, October 11, 1599.
John, (my Father,) January 14, 1601."

All named here were alive in 1664. Mary Pepys had had married Robert Holcroft; Edith was the widow of John Bell. Pepys uses old-style year-dates.
(L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"My father and mother marryed at Newington, in Surry, Oct, 15, 1626"

? A slip for Newington Green, Mdx. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Theyr Children’s ages."

i.e. the Children of Pepys's parents. Of those older than Pepys, Mary had died at thirteen years of age, Pauliina at three, esther at one and John at eight. Of those younger, Tom had recently died in 1664; Sarah died at six, Jacob in infancy, Robert some time before the diary opens. Pepys added the word 'mort.' after the close of the diary at least in the case of his brother John, who died in 1677. He did not, however, add it in the case of the younger Paulina, who died in 1689. In this list Pepys again uses old-style year-dates. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link


For charms and incantations, see The discoverie of witchcraft by Scot, Reginald, 1538?-1599; ed. Nicholson, Brinsley, 1824-1892, p. 184+…
J. Hastings (ed.), Encycl. religion and ethics, iii. 324+…
William G. Black, Folk-medicine : a chapter in the history of culture…
K. Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England…

They were still sold to Irish emigrants as they left Queenstown in the 1880s: Black, p. 83. Pepys's samples are among the commonest. They could be recited as prayers or worn as amulets. (L&M note)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'"to tear all that I found either boyish or not to be worth keeping." I'm somewhat surprised that books were that disposable then. "or fit to be seen ..." What's up with that?'

re "I'm somewhat surprised that books were that disposable." Pepys lives at the dawn of the scientific age, and he must have looked at some of his old volumes with dated ideas, 'bad' spelling, bizarre vocabulary, etc. with the same shake of the head I have reading my college textbooks.

re "or fit to be seen ..." Well, they did have porn back then, and I suspect Pepys read it. Little survives, but enough to tell us that there were smut publishers. Some of it also came from France and Italy. Now they have been worrying about the plague being in Amsterdam for a year, rumors of it being in Yarmouth started in November, and although not noted by Pepys, the first recorded London death took place in St. Giles on Christmas Eve (see below), so the nagging idea that he should protect his reputation by cleaning up isn't surprising.

Weymouth in Dorset also claims to have been ground zero for the 1665 pestilence -- they have a record of a sailor being brought to shore with it. (Ships had to go through quarantine if they came from an infected port, so how that happened I don't know.)

Yarmouth -…

"The ... unremarkable recording of the death of Goodwoman Phillips in the parish of St. Giles in the Fields, outside the City walls of London, on Christmas Eve 1664, where parish searchers pronounced her to have died of the plague." (From: The Great Plague – The Story of London’s Most Deadly Year – A. Lloyd Moote & Dorothy C. Moote, John Hopkins University Press 2004.)

Searchers were elderly poor women paid a pittance to look at dead bodies and decide how they died. Many accepted bribes from the family not to say that the person had the plague, so the Bills of Mortality are known not to be accurate.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

From John Evelyn's Diary:

31st December, 1664. Set my affairs in order, gave God praise for His mercies the past year, and prepared for the reception of the Holy Sacrament, which I partook of the next day, after hearing our minister on the 4th of Galatians, verses 4, 5, of the mystery of our Blessed Savior's Incarnation.

Larry Neal  •  Link

To reiterate Barry Reich's comment from '07: "Happy New Year to all the folks who make my daily visit to this site so enjoyable. Here's to a 1665 of thought-provoking diary entries." And thanks anew to Phil Gyford to making this available a second time around.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Well said, Larry and Barry ... and a may we all uncover more gems of information in 1665.

Sue  •  Link

A happy new year to all and great thanks Phil for this site, the daily emails, and Sam's twitter which I also follow. Such delight it brings!
Timperley, England.

jude cooper  •  Link

Yes. Happy new year all. So glad this is going round for a second time- it makes my morning every day. - Hopes for a good year in 2018-we seem to be living in times at least as interesting as those of Sam, unfortunately.

Jon  •  Link

"My father and mother marryed at Newington, in Surry, Oct, 15, 1626"
? A slip for Newington Green, Mdx. (L&M note)

Newington in Surrey, now absorbed into South London, was about 1 mile from London Bridge on the South side of the Thames. It is remembered as an area now known as Newington Butts.

It was closer (than Newington Green in North London) to Fleet Street so I see no reason to doubt that Samuel's parents married there.

Tonyel  •  Link

"May our 2008 be free of plagues, pestilence, and, at year's end (forgive the digression), finally free of this maleficent, incompetent administration of the United States Government."
Plus ca change, etc.

Well, Happy new Year to all - especially Phil for allowing us another ten years of our 17thC soap opera.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

‘Here are the price indices for converting between 1660 and 2014:

. . Income or Wealth
historic standard of living = real price = RPI/GDP deflator = 120
economic status value = income value = per capita nominal GDP = 5,200
economic power value = share of GDP = 29,000

. . Taken from… which explains which index to use for different purposes . . ‘…

£1349 = C. £7 million. No wonder he’s pleased with himself!
Thank you Phil for creating this blog for us. How long will it live for - centuries, I hope:

"To A Poet A Thousand Years Hence"

I who am dead a thousand years,
And wrote this sweet archaic song,
Send you my words for messengers
The way I shall not pass along.

. . have you wine and music still,
And statues and a bright-eyed love,
And foolish thoughts of good and ill,
And prayers to them who sit above?

. . O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
Student of our sweet English tongue,
Read out my words at night, alone:
I was a poet, I was young.

Since I can never see your face,
And never shake you by the hand,
I send my soul through time and space
To greet you. You will understand.

By James Elroy Flecker (1884-1915).…

and Samuel and you in it and us your readers glimpsed as shadows.

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