Thursday 7 December 1665

Up and to the office, where very busy all day. Sir G. Carteret’s letter tells me my Lord Sandwich is, as I was told, declared Embassador Extraordinary to Spayne, and to go with all speed away, and that his enemies have done him as much good as he could wish. At noon late to dinner, and after dinner spent till night with Mr. Gibson and Hater discoursing and making myself more fully [know] the trade of pursers, and what fittest to be done in their business, and so to the office till midnight writing letters, and so home, and after supper with my wife about one o’clock to bed.

8 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link


[Unclothed miserable Creatures and unserviceable Old-Men]

For Samuel Pepys Esqr

One of the principall Officers
of his Majesties Navy at Greenewich

Sayes Court

7 December 1665 (2)


Forgive me that I (3) beg the favour of having these Letters convey’d to the Post by your Ordinary Messenger this Evening: And that I do not let slip this opportunity of bespeaking your assistance and advice where I am to apply myselfe, that some effectual Course be taken with divers miserable Creatures under our Chirurgeons hands (at Deale especialy) to furnish them with Clothes, that so they may at last be sent on board; since it is not health, but Covering which they have long wanted; and whilst they suffer this Calamity, spend his Majestie five times the value in quarters: There are likewise more then 50, who being Old-Men, tabid, inveteratly Ulcer’d and universaly infirme, will never be render’d serviceable to his Majestie but have layne at prodigious expenses for Cure: As many as I have been able to convey, I have removed into the London Hospitals (since the abating of the Contagion amongst them has again opned their doores) but some that are remote I cannot stir (for you have never allow’d us any boates to call as we beggd you would, and wh[ich] would have aboundantly borne (4) the charge of it) unlesse I should cart them: This (5) I the rather mention because I have been frequently not onely promis’d they should have their Ticketts, and be totaly discharg’d; but been injoynd to signifie their names to you: which both my Deputys and Chirurgions have don, with all necessary attestation: Yet still they remaine upon our hands: Sir, I depend very much upon your addresse in representing how much his Majestie suffers by these two Inconveniences, whilst I can but give notice of them according to my duty, and as they occurr to Sir,

Your most humble and

faithfull Servant


Source: PRO S.P. 29/138, f.60. Endorsed, by P, ‘7 December 65 Says Court Esqr Evelin’.

2 MS: ‘Says-Court 7th:Dr:-65’.

3 Inserted.

4 Replaces ‘cost’, deleted.

5 ‘Wh[ich] some cannot’ deleted before ‘This’.


cgs  •  Link

Samuel understands the word assume.
thus he not be a mule.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"after dinner spent till night with Mr. Gibson and Hater discoursing and making myself more fully [understand (L&M)] the trade of pursers, and what fittest to be done in their business"

L&M note that here Pepys began to keep notes to carry out a 5 December request by the Duke of York that the Navy Board study methods of simplifying pursers' accounts, proposing they be required to "make them up every tine their ships came into port." Writing Coventry on the 12th, Pepys said he had "collected a little volume of observations" about "the purser's trade."

This was the basis for his report on 1 January 1666: "Called up by five o'clock, by my order, by Mr. Tooker, who wrote, while I dictated to him, my business of the Pursers; and so, without eating or drinking, till three in the afternoon, and then, to my great content, finished it. So to dinner, Gibson and he and I, and then to copying it over, Mr. Gibson reading and I writing".…

Paul Chapin  •  Link


Evelyn refers to some of his troublesome charges as "Old-Men, tabid". OED defines tabid as "Affected with tabes; wasted by disease; consumptive; marcid." Tabes is a generic term for consumptive diseases, of which the one we know best today is tuberculosis.

Poor old guys. Now that they're useless for war or commerce, nobody wants to do anything for them, except for the super-responsible John Evelyn. His seething frustration leaps off the page.

Pedro  •  Link

Meanwhile in Oxford.

Davidson in her biography of Catherine says…

Catherine was lodged at Merton College for several months which had been fitted up for her reception…The King was giving a thousand pounds weekly for the plague suffers in London, at this time, out of that privy purse of his in which the rapacious demands of The Lady left scarce enough to clothe him.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Tabes dorsalis=neurodegenerative disease caused by syphilis.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Tabes dorsalis, also known as syphilitic myelopathy, is a slow degeneration (specifically, demyelination) of the nerves primarily in the dorsal columns (posterior columns) of the spinal cord (the portion closest to the back of the body). These nerves normally help maintain a person's sense of position (proprioception), vibration, and discriminative touch.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Does anyone know which "Lady" Pedro is referring to? I haven't splurged on Davidson's book yet.

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