Tuesday 12 September 1665

Up, and walked to the office, where we sat late, and thence to dinner home with Sir J. Minnes, and so to the office, where writing letters, and home in the evening, where my wife shews me a letter from her brother speaking of their father’s being ill, like to die, which, God forgive me! did not trouble me so much as it should, though I was indeed sorry for it. I did presently resolve to send him something in a letter from my wife, viz. 20s. So to bed.

19 Annotations

First Reading

Margaret  •  Link

Only twenty shillings, to a father-in-law so sick that he might die? Our Sam does seem to be a bit tight with his money.

CGS  •  Link

20 shillings be 240 loaves of 1lb bread.or 2 1/2 weeks of jack tars wage or in 1950 numbers it be a jr. secretary's weekly wage or a girl would bless thee for that kind of take home money.
My rich uncles would be very generous in giving us a bob let alone 20 of them, as todays youngsters would call one a cheap skate to give them less than 500 pounds, as one gold coin now be worth 500 hundred pounds then it be worth 20 shillings.
all numbers approximate as inflation is having fun with the numbers.
Sam only five years previous, kept a wife and mayd on 20 shillings a week, and he not be starving , of course there be no venison pie.

Money be all relative, Million to some be peanuts and to others it be a lifetime earnings,
then a Million would make Charles two very happy.
As Washington now says billion here or there it is only change.

Linda F  •  Link

It still seems a paltry sum for Sam to send to his in-laws in such an extremity, if only out of decent regard for his wife. He has gleefully tallied his worth and could easily have sent more. What medical help or nutrition remained in London in plague time would have cost very dear. After thanking God (or, more accurately, asking God to make him properly grateful) for the wealth he continues to amass, Sam seems to know that he does not care as he ought to. But not even compunction loosens his purse strings. Disappointing.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"I did presently resolve to send him something in a letter from my wife, viz. 20s."

i.e. approximately double yesterday's winnings at billiards.

"After dinner to billiards, where I won an angel, ..."

Pedro  •  Link

Entry for yesterday the 11th...“After dinner to billiards, where I won an angel,”

Angel Half a sovereign in gold; so called because, at one time, it bore the figure of the archangel Michael slaying the dragon. When the Rev. Mr. Patten, vicar of Whitstable, was dying, the Archbishop of Canterbury sent him #10. The wit said, "Tell his Grace that now I am sure he is a man of God, for I have seen his angels."

Brewer's Phrase and fable.

(Annotations for the 11th appear to go to the 12th!)

language hat  •  Link

I have to agree with Margaret and Linda. Twenty bob would be a very generous gift to a servant or acquaintance; as support for your wife's father in his desperate need, it's paltry, and doesn't reflect well on Sam. Of course, it's not clear he would have done much more for his own father. He's a fascinating guy, but tight as a tick.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Twenty What?!!!"

"Eh....Pounds, dear. Of course I meant, pounds."

CGS  •  Link

no! no! he meant farthings: 240 little pieces

robertof cottam  •  Link

there were 240 pence to the pound 12 pence to the shilling and 20 s to the pound (the farthing being a quarter of a penny)

robertof cottam  •  Link

why 20 s and not one pound because the guinea was the currency and that was 21 shillings

Sean Adams  •  Link

"I did presently resolve to send him something in a letter from my wife"
Does anybody know what happened between Sam and his in-laws? - he never visits them, they never visit the Pepys'. The various entries seems to demonstrate some real ill feelng. Does it go back to their reaction to the marriage or does it go back to the pre-diary period when Elizabeth left him for some months? The problem not apply to Balty whom Sam seems rather to like.

CGS  •  Link

Thanks Robert of Cottam, [just testing]

Shilling be the major currency for the little people,

Nix  •  Link

Samuel's calculation:

- If Pere St. Michel has plague, he will go quickly and won't need more than 20 shillings. The rest of his household will probably go as well, but any survivors will inevitably turn to Son Pepys for support.

- If the old man survives, I can always send more -- but if they all perish I'll never get that money back.

dirk  •  Link

From the Carte Papers, Bodleian Library

Instructions by Edward, Earl of Sandwich to Vice-Admiral Sir John Harman

Written from: On board H.M.S. The Prince, in Southwold Bay
Date: 12 September 1665

He is to sail with the Squadron specified to Hosely Bay, is to obtain provisions at Harwich and is to make certain dispositions of prize-vessels and of prisoners. ...

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

LORD SANDWICH TO THE DUKE OF ALBEMARLE. (Aboard the Prince.) Solebay, Sept. 12, 1665.

Capture of the East India Fleet.

The life, journals and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, &c. Volume I, pp 102f.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Does anybody know what happened between Sam and his in-laws? - he never visits them, they never visit the Pepys'. "

Pepys's in-laws, who claimed to be minor French nobility, are not: they are so penurious his wife doesn't want to disclose their address; when she visits she's dropped off in the very bad neighborhood and walks to where they live. They seem to depend in part on her sharing what she's given to run her household. Balthazar "Balty," her unemployed brother, from time to time asks Pepys for money or a job. This post by jeannine shows Pepys helpful as he can be: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

RSGII  •  Link

And is repaid handsomly when, after the diary period, Balty goes to France to collect evidence that helps spring Sam from his false imprisonment in the Tower.

Tonyel  •  Link

I agree with Nix. Also, Sam's attitude to his poor relations is not too different to many modern day Republicans - it must somehow be their own fault that God has made them that way.

Christopher  •  Link

The links for "Diary of Ralph Josselin" died in 2019. The Wayback machine fills in the missing pages...
Sept. 23. God good in our public preservation. a poor woman Wades wife drowned herself this night. thought there died at Colchester this week 184. from Sept. 12. to 19. the moon at full on the 14. though the weather cold, and winds stirring yet there was an increase again and especially within the walls where there died. 1493. of the plague 1189. this bill was 8297. of the plague 7165. and yet Coln preserved.

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