Thursday 4 May 1665

Up, and to the office, where we sat busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again all day till almost midnight, and then, weary, home to supper and to bed.

17 Annotations

First Reading

Margaret  •  Link

This sounds like one of my days, before I retired. How many of us have boring days, with nothing to put in the diary except work, eat, sleep?

Luckily our boy Sam doesn't have many of these.

Australian Susan  •  Link

I don't think Sam finds his work boring. He's become a workaholic, I think, because he finds it fascinating and also because of the necessity of getting a lot done as there is a war on. He never strikes me as a work drone. maybe some of his clerks might find the days long and tedious(as I'm sure they are putting in the hours too): "Mr Pepys has asked me to make three copies of this here document and it's 12 ******* pages long!"

CGS  •  Link

YEP! Samuell is totally involved, one of those rather rare creatures that the word work is not a bad four letter word. Most of all the items mentioned by him have fresh inspiration for him, today there appears not to be an item that requires noting.
As Tactitus mentions "in De Vita et moribus Iulii agricolae, 30"
"Omne ignotum pro magifico est"
He/she/it does not ignore the all new magnificent wonders
for the correct answer.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Must be some excitement given the war...And Sam seems the sort who makes work a good experience, even an adventure, when in good spirits. Plus he seems a supportive, even protective boss, note his defense of poor Hayter the closet Quaker.

Phil  •  Link

Sam's diary entry for this day reads as a fill in. Just something to jot down for this day in his life. It is entries like this that have me thinking it was not written on the same day it was lived but rather on a date when he was simplying catching up on diary entries missed. I think Margaret and Susan make some valid points - this entry is very much like our boring lives, we who have no membership in a scientific community (Carl in Boston excepted), no position where we interact with Kings, Queens and concubines, no key input in the success or failure of a war and no racey love life - (on further thought, our lives are not boring, they just do seem to be a full of events as Sam's) - his involvment with the war effort could very well have kept him from many entries to his diary.

Pedro  •  Link

Meanwhile some 14 leagues from Texel…

“At 6 in the morning the frigates to the northward made signs of a discovery of a fleet, according to our best sailers made all the sail they could and the whole Fleet go under sail also. The ships in sight were 10, stood all by a wind. At noon our frigates fetched 4 (they were most flyboats from Bordeaux and Lisbon, and one square sterned ship from the West Indies worth £30,000). The other 2, who were men of war of 26 guns, got away to the windward by fault of Captain Hyde in the Sapphire…the Duke gave him a severe reprimand in front of the flag officers.

The Dutch ships say that at Dogger Bank they parted from 29 more who steered for Texel more in by the shore…we take those 40 sail given us notice from Limerick a fortnight since…”

(Summary from the Journal of Montagu edited by Anderson)

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Thursday"s a hard working day, and Friday I get my pay.

Fats Domino

Pedro  •  Link

Meanwhile Allin…

He gives a detailed account of his part in today’s adventure near Texel.

One of the 3 boats, a fly boat that the Fountain had taken and put men aboard, found that the Hollanders had gone aboard the man of war. The Milford took 2, the Guinea 1.

One which put out his Holland ancient was a Zeelander come from St Christopher’s with sugar, cotton and indigo taken by the Breda.

(Summary from the Journals of Allin edited by Anderson)

jeannine  •  Link

"Up, and to the office, where we sat busy all the morning."

As I recall, wasn't it just a few days ago when Sam felt that others (I think Batten?) had noticed he wasn't doing as much work around the office. Perhaps this is his buckle down day to get caught up.

There is a letter in "Further Correspondence of Samuel Pepys" edited by Tanner dated today. It's to a non-noted person (the editor seems to feel it's to Commissioner Middleton at Portsmouth) and about the setting up of stoves and issues surrounding lack of money.

In “The Navy White Book” portion of “Samuel Pepys and the Second Dutch War” edited by Latham, there is also a note today about the “Proof of English hemp against French” which reads:

“Col. Middleton having brought some Dorsetshire hemp, which by his letter of the [blank] of the last month commended mightily, I did desire him to make a trial of it against the French hemp. Which he hath done, and by a letter this days answers me thus –

‘I have made trial of the English and French hemp,. The English wasteth [ed. note ‘ in the spinning’] 4 per cent, the French 10 per cent. In the labour of dressing, the English 5d. per cwt difference, the English less than the French. I caused two coils to be made, one of each; and to tell you the truth, all our weights here are not able to judge which is the better rope. I caused them to be laid without, that we might judge of them as they are without. One mound we shall have tar yarn, then they shall be tarred to see how we may judge of them when tarred; and being tarred, shall send them to you to London that you may give your judgment of them’.”

CGS  •  Link

Thanks for the letter Jeanine.
Hemp, French or English , a nice pinch of salt required, do we get our monies worth?

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"One which put out his Holland ancient was a Zeelander come from St. Christopher’s with sugar, cotton and indigo taken by the Breda."

What is a Holland ancient?

"a Zeelander come from St. Christopher’s with sugar, cotton and indigo" presumably means a ship from Zeeland loaded with sugar etc., returning from St. Kitts.

And I'm guessing "the Breda" is a British ship.

LKvM  •  Link

I think "ancient" is somehow synonymous with "ensign."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'I think "ancient" is somehow synonymous with "ensign."'

That makes sense:
en·sign -- NOUN
a flag or standard, especially a military or naval one indicating nationality.
synonyms: flag · standard · color (s) · jack · banner · pennant · [more]
a sign or emblem of a particular thing.
"all the ensigns of our greatness"
a commissioned officer of the lowest rank in the US Navy and Coast Guard, ranking above chief warrant officer and below lieutenant.

Perhaps the 'Holland ancient' flag was used by the Dutch to signify that they were not going to fight, and maybe this was the ship the British "found that the Hollanders had gone aboard the man of war." A very nice prize, by the sound of it.

Pepys knew how important that bunting was.

Al Doman  •  Link

Pop culture reference to the Diary:

The movie "Tully" opened in North America on Friday, May 4th. In it one of the characters, when it's time to retire, says "And so to bed" - and explains that it's an often-used phrase in this Diary!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

More on indigo:

Blue dye had long existed in England, but it was made from the flowering plant woad. Even when the more versatile indigo became available, the woad cultivators resisted importing the new blue.

Historian Dauril Alden notes in The Journal of Economic History that the woad cultivators campaigned aggressively against indigo, declaring:
'[it] was properly “food for the devil” and was also poisonous, as in fact it was (particularly to the woadmen). By the end of the 16th century, they had succeeded in persuading governments in the Germanies, France, and England to prohibit use of the so-called “devil’s dye.”'

Still, the ban on indigo did not last long, especially when dyers discovered its potential. “Different textiles required different treatment and even different dyes to achieve a given color,” writes historian Susan Fairlie of The Economic History Review.

Wool is the easiest to dye, while silk, cotton, and linen are each a bit harder and need varying amounts of dyes like woad. “The only fast, attractive dye which worked equally on all four, with minor differences in preparation, was indigo.”

In the second half of the 18th century, the Royal Navy sailed the world in service of the expansion and enforcement of the British Empire. Its officers wore uniforms in a deep blue, now known as navy blue. The rich hue was a recent development, and wouldn’t have been possible in previous centuries when the color was scarce.

In 1748, the Royal Navy adopted dark blue officer’s uniforms. The blue of seamen’s uniforms is not due to the color of the sky and sea, but relates to the British colonization of India and the expansion of the East India Trading Company after the victory over the French in the Seven Years’ War (1756–63).

The rich color comes from the indigo plant, Indigofera tinctoria, native to India, and thus available to the British after they had colonized the country. It had been in use in Europe since the late 13th century.

“Indigo was then not only plentiful and affordable [in the 18th century], but unlike other dyes was particularly color fast, outclassing other colors in withstanding extensive exposure to sun and salt water.”

So by 1665 presumably some plants had been sent to St. Kitts/St. Christopher's to start a more convenient source.

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