Wednesday 10 May 1665

Up betimes, and abroad to the Cocke-Pitt, where the Duke [of Albemarle] did give Sir W. Batten and me an account of the late taking of eight ships, and of his intent to come back to the Gunfleete —[The Gunfleet Sand off the Essex coast.]— with the fleete presently; which creates us much work and haste therein, against the fleete comes. So to Mr. Povy, and after discourse with him home, and thence to the Guard in Southwarke, there to get some soldiers, by the Duke’s order, to go keep pressmen on board our ships. So to the ‘Change and did much business, and then home to dinner, and there find my poor mother come out of the country today in good health, and I am glad to see her, but my business, which I am sorry for, keeps me from paying the respect I ought to her at her first coming, she being grown very weak in her judgement, and doating again in her discourse, through age and some trouble in her family. I left her and my wife to go abroad to buy something, and then I to my office. In the evening by appointment to Sir W. Warren and Mr. Deering at a taverne hard by with intent to do some good upon their agreement in a great bargain of planks. So home to my office again, and then to supper and to bed, my mother being in bed already.


25 Annotations

Mary  •  Link

doating again in her discourse.

OED Doating: weak-minded, foolish, stupid imbecile.

I think that we can discount 'imbecile', otherwise Margaret would scarcely have been capable of travelling to London and finding her way to the Pepys's house by herself.

Pepys's description of her discourse may mean no more than that she is wittering on about concerns that he considers to be minor, irrelevant and feather-brained.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Today at Gresham College -- from the Hooke Folio Online

May. 10. 1665. The expt. of perforating the thorax of a dog and putting him into a Rcr: of the Rarifying Engine was made wth. this successe, that the dog which was but a very young whelp. vpon a few exsuctions grew sick fell down & probably would haue dyed if fresh air had not been readmitted or the Dog taken out. Reasons. (Dan Cox tht Dogs would bear 6 times as much oyle of tobacco as a cat)
Dr Pope prsented a hair ball found on the /Tyrrhene/ sea side. some stones from vesuvius, pumice stones, flos sulphuris, Fryoly mercury ore)
macasser poyson found counterfeit.)
Sr. W Pettys Double bottomd vessell. at Deal.
Some accounts of the comtee from their chair men mr Howard Dr. merrit & mr -hoskins.
Col Blont of the growth of Carps)
american obsers: of Comet.
Fryday next orderd to obserue the variation of the needle at Whitehall

http://webapps.qmul.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hooke_foli...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

This has to be just about the first time he's spoken of Margaret with a son's respect. Perhaps as much indicating his rise in the world...Unlike our scrambling young clerk of a few years back a substantial man like Clerk of the Acts Pepys must follow the proper forms lest the world, particularly colleagues and superiors, take notice.

"Brother Creed...Thou wart always a strong man in the true faith..." Margaret beams at the suddenly perspiring dinner guest...(Samuel unable to repress slight smile...Dear ole Puritan Mum.) "Wouldst thou lead us in prayer? As in the great days of Oliv..."

"God Save the King! Amen!" Creed, desperately. "Amen!" Sam echoes.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"she is wittering on about concerns that he considers to be minor, irrelevant and feather-brained."

I have a friend as bright and focused as SP but is wed to one like this. His friends wonder how did they ever...? -- are in awe at his forbearance and try to feed his need for coherent conversation. Consider John Pepys, Sr.'s situation -- retired with her to a house in the country: a pricklouse by trade he may have been, but the man had been a success in a competitive environment.

"Mrs. P, how about a trip to London-town to see the son and your friends, perhaps to the New Exchange with Bess for some Spring garb shopping...?"

jeannine  •  Link

"and then home to dinner, and there find my poor mother come out of the country today in good health, and I am glad to see her, but my business, which I am sorry for, keeps me from paying the respect I ought to her"

Happy Mother's Day Margaret!

http://www.jibjab.com/sendables/view/TdjaAiQWGb...

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thanks, Jeannine! Very appropriate day (in our timeframe) for Margaret to arrive!

Ruben  •  Link

Jeannine:
Your hammer hits always on the nail!

GrahamT  •  Link

American Mother's day has only been celebrated since 1908. (see Wikipedia for details)
The British Mothering Sunday, celebrated since the 16th century, is the fourth Sunday in Lent, so 3 weeks before Easter Sunday, and long past. So unfortunately, no synchronicity between Pepys' mother arriving and British Mother's day.

Pedro  •  Link

“and doating again in her discourse, through age and some trouble in her family.”

We have seen several references to the Mr P's family, but from the background Mrs P was “ a girl of simple birth who had been a washmaid in her youth”, and so trouble in her family would be of little concern to Pepys.

GrahamT  •  Link

Trouble in the family.
I read this to mean that there was a past history of "doating" in Mrs Pepys' family, i.e she doted in her discourse through (because of) 1) age, and 2) a family history of dotage. Trouble, as in troubled mind, can be a euphamism for mental turmoil.
I am not claiming that Mrs Pepys was in her dotage, or that my reading is the correct one, but offer it as a possibility.

language hat  •  Link

"I read this to mean that there was a past history of 'doating' in Mrs Pepys’ family"

I don't think this is a possible reading. It clearly refers to problems with her actual living family that are bothering her.

Pedro  •  Link

On this day with the Fleet...

On the 8th and 9th of May there had been a storm which the fleet rode out in 22 or 23 fathom. No great damage, a few anchors and cables lost, the Leopard's bowsprit, foremast and foretopmast came by the board.

On the 10th there was another Council of War and it was decided to sail home. Sandwich’s opinion was to ride until they had a leading gale wind homewards, and also that the Dutch, provoked by the taking of or spoiling 30 sail of the parcel of ships seen on the bank of Ireland, might hope that the storm may have scatted the Fleet and may come out in the hope of picking up straggling ships.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Leopard was a name in frequent use in the Royal Navy. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Leopard The 9th HMS Leopard was visiting Brisbane (where I now live) when streets were being laid out in South Brisbane and thus we now have a Leopard Street

CGS  •  Link

OED Doating: weak-minded, foolish, stupid imbecile.
Tis always applied to one that is no longer needed on a normal day.
Retirement is for those that can doat, or become a non entity.
It is ben [sic] said before:

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
....
And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
...
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything." — Jaques (Act II, Scene VII, lines 139-166)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_ages_of_man

People who have No obvious status are dismissed without a second glance, based on many secondary factors.
Tis why so many look for status symbols that indicate rank, that is never usually tested, have a roller [not concrete] therefore must have an intellect, wears hand-me-downs, must be useless.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"some soldiers, by the Duke’s order, to go keep pressmen on board our ships."

L&M cite evidence a platoon of men was sent by the following day.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"In the evening...to Sir W. Warren and Mr. Deering at a taverne hard by with intent to do some good upon their agreement in a great bargain of planks."

L&M: Dering sent in a tender in July and a contract was agreed in September.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Is there any reason to think Pepys mother came “out of the country” alone? Some kind soul could have accompanied her.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

It's possible, Louise. Pepys probably would mention it, especially if it were Pal. But he's omitted so much recently compared to earlier posts that anything is possible; remember when he used to tell us what he ate for dinner.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Friday next ordered to observe the variation of the needle at Whitehall. http://webapps.qmul.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hooke_foli... "

I looked at Friday, and there was nothing from the Hooke Folio, or explanation on what the needle at Whitehall was.

I clicked on the link which took me to the Physics Forum which requires registration (totally out of my depth there!), and poked around but no sign of the Hooke Folio.

Then I googled Robert Hooke Folio and was sent to
http://www.livesandletters.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hoo...
which doesn't require a sign in, and has lots of interesting documents besides Hooke's Folio.
Once you get used to forward arrowing through two years' worth of run-on diary entries, it's easy to use.

Bottom line: No entry for next Friday, and no explanation of what the Whitehall needle was.

Elisabeth  •  Link

The variation of the needle at Whitehall.

Possibly a measurement of magnetic variation, the needle being a compass needle. Magnetic variation changed a lot over the course of the 17th century. In his book "Compass", Alan Gurney writes: "Magnetic variation at London in 1580 was 11°15' East. By 1773, it had swept through 32 degrees to 21°09' West. By 1850, it had increased to 22°24' West. A hundred years later it had decreased to 9°07' West. It is still declining today."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A good theory, Elizabeth. Google reveals nothing. I wonder if they had an "official" compass installed at the Palace. Or did they just stand in the same place to make a reading? No other interpretation seems to make sense.

How interesting that we appear to be swinging back towards the 1580 reading. Any idea what this means in practical applications? I suppose it affects GPS and navigation.

Sjoerd22  •  Link

The Memoirs of the Royal Society note that in 1624 a magnetic needle had been installed by Mr. Gellibrand and Gunter together with a big concave sundial in the "privy-garden" at Whitehall. In "Earth's Magnetism in the Age of Sail" by A. R. T. Jonkers it is recorded that Gellibrand concluded from measurements between 1571-1634 that there was a significant variation in the magnetic declination (East-West) of the compass needle. (as Elisabeth mentions above).
These days maps for the British Isles have the text "var 5°24 W (2002) increasing 6' annually."
According to the same book acceptance of this finding was more common in Britain - because of the scientific standing of these Gresham College professors - than in the rest of the world. Which must have improved British navigation. (Making it maybe a little bit less off-topic).
For years there also was hope that studying the needles - maybe the magnetic inclination - might give a solution to the Longitude Problem. Now we know that the magnetic field can vary locally and also in time because of a slowly moving solid core.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thanks Sjoerd22. Navigation is definitely On Topic.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Is this the sundial Rochester vandalized? Charles II was really miffed, and if it is, now we know why.

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