Friday 15 September 1665

Up, it being a cold misting morning, and so by water to the office, where very busy upon several businesses. At noon got the messenger, Marlow, to get me a piece of bread and butter and cheese and a bottle of beer and ale, and so I went not out of the office but dined off that, and my boy Tom, but the rest of my clerks went home to dinner. Then to my business again, and by and by sent my waterman to see how Sir W. Warren do, who is sicke, and for which I have reason to be very sorry, he being the friend I have got most by of most friends in England but the King: who returns me that he is pretty well again, his disease being an ague. I by water to Deptford, thinking to have seen my valentine, but I could not, and so come back again, and to the office, where a little business, and thence with Captain Cocke, and there drank a cup of good drink, which I am fain to allow myself during this plague time, by advice of all, and not contrary to my oathe, my physician being dead, and chyrurgeon out of the way, whose advice I am obliged to take, and so by water home and eat my supper, and to bed, being in much pain to think what I shall do this winter time; for go every day to Woolwich I cannot, without endangering my life; and staying from my wife at Greenwich is not handsome.

15 Sep 2008, 10:12 p.m. - deepfatfriar

....and not contrary to my oathe, my physician being dead, and chyrurgeon out of the way, whose advice I am obliged to take.... Reasoned like a Jesuit, Sam.... What happened to the chyrurgeon??

15 Sep 2008, 11:08 p.m. - RogerTheWevver

Up, it being a cold misting morning,..... This September 1665 will turn out just a touch on the chilly side, ranking 136th coldest of 349 since 1659. Currently, September 2008 is bang on average at 14.6C in 'Central England'.

15 Sep 2008, 11:36 p.m. - Nix

What happened to the chyrurgeon?? -- I think the reference must be to Pearse, and I believe he is with the fleet.

15 Sep 2008, 11:38 p.m. - Robert Gertz

His funny valentine. His tone suggests he actually may talk to the poor lady rather than just assault and leave. I would wonder if Mrs. B. is these days trying to kill the pain by convincing herself this is a playful little romance/friendship, with our favorite merry little abusive employer dropping by on his little visits. The human mind and soul can adjust to all sorts of vile things I guess when it's a matter of life and death as William's continued employment no doubt is. I have to say while he probably delights most in the sheer brutal display of power in this affair, I suspect she can't quite be the innocent she portrayed herself to be at the start, holding his attention so long. In case, it would make no difference as his abuse of authority... God, Sam...Does it never occur to you that there but for Sandwich's kind thought of you, go you...And your poor Bess, perhaps to Uncle Wight or some other wealthy sob?

16 Sep 2008, 1:11 p.m. - Larry Bunce

HANDSOME -- This is a use for the word I hadn't seen before, so I checked it out. The word came into Middle English meaning "easy to handle" or "convenient."

16 Sep 2008, 2:18 p.m. - dirk

From the Carte Papers, Bodleian Library Joseph Ash to Sir John Wolstenholme, and others, Farmers of the Customs, Written from: Plymouth Date: 15 September 1665 Reports the arrival at Plymouth of a ship from New England which left Boston in company of another ship which was subsequently taken by a Dutch 'Caper' in the Soundings; and that since that arrival news has come of the capture of two Dutch Capers by H.M.S. Elizabeth, & another.

16 Sep 2008, 2:18 p.m. - language hat

"a bottle of beer and ale" An odd phrase. Presumably one bottle of each.

16 Sep 2008, 2:20 p.m. - language hat

"staying from my wife at Greenwich is not handsome" This is the OED's sense 5.a. of "handsome": Of conduct, etc.: Fitting, seemly, becoming; courteous, gracious, polite. [...] 1621 FLETCHER Pilgrim IV. ii, Was it fair play? did it appear to you handsome? 1673 S. C. Rules of Civility 56 Because it is not so handsom to sit full in his face, it will be esteemed good Breeding, if he place himself en profile or something side ways. 1693-4 GIBSON in Lett. Lit. Men (Camden) 219 'Twill be handsome for me first to apply myself to the Provost, for fear it should otherwise be not well taken. [...] (The sense Larry Bunce quotes was obsolete by Sam's day.)

16 Sep 2008, 4:08 p.m. - Robert Gertz

Not handsome and not wise perhaps given Will Penn Jr's and George Cocke's recent attentions to our valentine.

16 Sep 2008, 7:43 p.m. - JWB

“a bottle of beer and ale” Black & Tan?

16 Sep 2008, 9:45 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"a piece of bread and butter and cheese and a bottle of beer and ale" A bit woozy after a dinner like this? And later "a cup of good drink"!

17 Sep 2008, 7:43 a.m. - GrahamT

“a piece of bread and butter and cheese and a bottle of beer and ale” It only needed some (preferably pickled) onions, and Sam has invented the Ploughman's Lunch 300 years early!

17 Sep 2008, 6:20 p.m. - FJA

It seems to me that Tom had one and Sam the other, and our hero is merely saving himself the trouble of writing the word, "bottle", twice. There was only the one "piece" of bread and butter and cheese. I do not know, it may be that both were bottled together and they divided it into two cups or shared the same bottle. Now, which would have been Sam's preference?

17 Sep 2008, 6:57 p.m. - CGS

Ploughman's lunch was a simple meal as every village had a baker of soughts so bread was the main staple for centuries for the clod hopping set, untill the those that came down from London town discovered it along with leftovers that have become trendy, pasties of Cornish kind, on one weekend looking up long lost relatives so that they could get sumup for nougt like some gamey game.

16 Sep 2018, 3:15 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

Did I call it ... yes I did. Intoxicated on the job! Shame on you, Pepys, but at least you've acknowledged your back-sliding, and must now hold yourself accountable. We shall see ...

16 Sep 2018, 3:16 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

Noun -- caper (plural capers) 1. A vessel formerly used by the Dutch; privateer. From -- but sadly nothing more to illuminate the discussion.

16 Sep 2018, 3:56 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

Sir John Wolstenholme, 1st Bart. -- from L&M Companion -- kt 1639. Merchant, of Fenchurch St.; son of the great Jacobean merchant Sir John; appointed Customs Commissioner 1660, reappointed 1667. Sir John Wolstenholme; created Baronet, 1664. An intimate friend of Chancellor Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, and Collector Outward for the Port of London. Ob. 1679. -- Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854. Pepys met him once that we know of: "... and so to Mr. Bland’s, the merchant, by invitation, I alone of all our company of this office; where I found all the officers of the Customs, very grave fine gentlemen, and I am very glad to know them; viz. — Sir Job Harvy, Sir John Wolstenholme, Sir John Jacob, Sir Nicholas Crisp, Sir John Harrison, and Sir John Shaw: very good company. " -- which tells us the probable names of the other recipients of the memo. Wikipedia says the family were Royalists during the Civil War, and were fined so much they had to sell their properties:,_1st_Baronet Which makes this note interesting: "The premises on Seething Lane (where Pepys lived during the diary years) had been acquired by the Navy Office in 1654 and had once been the home of Sir John Wolstenholme." Taken from The Garden at the Navy Office -- By Sue Nicholson