Wednesday 24 January 1665/66

By agreement my Lord Bruncker called me up, and though it was a very foule, windy, and rainy morning, yet down to the waterside we went, but no boat could go, the storme continued so. So my Lord to stay till fairer weather carried me into the Tower to Mr. Hore’s and there we staid talking an houre, but at last we found no boats yet could go, so we to the office, where we met upon an occasion extraordinary of examining abuses of our clerkes in taking money for examining of tickets, but nothing done in it. Thence my Lord and I, the weather being a little fairer, by water to Deptford to Sir G. Carteret’s house, where W. Howe met us, and there we opened the chests, and saw the poor sorry rubys which have caused all this ado to the undoing of W. Howe; though I am not much sorry for it, because of his pride and ill nature. About 200 of these very small stones, and a cod of muske (which it is strange I was not able to smell) is all we could find; so locked them up again, and my Lord and I, the wind being again very furious, so as we durst not go by water, walked to London quite round the bridge, no boat being able to stirre; and, Lord! what a dirty walk we had, and so strong the wind, that in the fields we many times could not carry our bodies against it, but were driven backwards. We went through Horsydowne, where I never was since a little boy, that I went to enquire after my father, whom we did give over for lost coming from Holland. It was dangerous to walk the streets, the bricks and tiles falling from the houses that the whole streets were covered with them; and whole chimneys, nay, whole houses in two or three places, blowed down. But, above all, the pales on London-bridge on both sides were blown away, so that we were fain to stoop very low for fear of blowing off of the bridge. We could see no boats in the Thames afloat, but what were broke loose, and carried through the bridge, it being ebbing water. And the greatest sight of all was, among other parcels of ships driven here and there in clusters together, one was quite overset and lay with her masts all along in the water, and keel above water. So walked home, my Lord away to his house and I to dinner, Mr. Creed being come to towne and to dine with me, though now it was three o’clock. After dinner he and I to our accounts and very troublesome he is and with tricks which I found plainly and was vexed at; while we were together comes Sir G. Downing with Colonell Norwood, Rumball, and Warrupp to visit me. I made them drink good wine and discoursed above alone a good while with Sir G. Downing, who is very troublesome, and then with Colonell Norwood, who hath a great mind to have me concerned with him in everything; which I like, but am shy of adventuring too much, but will thinke of it. They gone, Creed and I to finish the settling his accounts. Thence to the office, where the Houblans and we discoursed upon a rubb which we have for one of the ships I hoped to have got to go out to Tangier for them. They being gone, I to my office-business late, and then home to supper and even sacke for lacke of a little wine, which I was forced to drink against my oathe, but without pleasure.

26 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir G. Downing with Colonell Norwood, Rumball, and Warrupp"

L&M note all had subscribed loans under the Additional Aid Act, of which Downing was the main author.

cgs  •  Link

OH! howe he bragged about goose egg size stones instead they be goose bumps.
"...opened the chests, and saw the poor sorry rubys which have caused all this ado to the undoing of W. Howe; though I am not much sorry for it, because of his pride and ill nature. About 200 of these very small stones,..."

cgs  •  Link

This storm may be the one that gave young I. Newt. 'is clue that force begets force, up in Lincoln shire.

A.Hamilton  •  Link

OED gives two meanings for "rubb," one being a seal(the object nor the animal) and the other a measure of raw silk weighing 25 pounds. Neither seems to make much sense here, although a seal may be right, presumably a form of official permission. What says L&M?

A.Hamilton  •  Link

Weather report
1.Jan. 24, 1665/6: Lord! what a dirty walk we had, and so strong the wind
2. 03:17 GMT, Sunday, 25 January 2009:Hurricane-force winds hitting northern Spain have brought down the roof of a sports hall near Barcelona, killing four children, local officials say.

cgs  •  Link

rubb in mi 'umble opinion be the action on applying thy seal to the document, not unlike mi Pops did when he did do official business and would exclaim 'There is the Rubb' and put his signet to the wax that waned on the official parchment.

Terry Foreman  •  Link


L&M say "check, stop, obstacle"

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"I went to enquire after my father, whom we did give over for lost coming from Holland."

The rather off-hand nature of this comment startles me. If Sam thought his father had just died in a shipwreck, one would expect a stronger expression of emotion. I wonder if "lost" here is to be taken less direly, perhaps meaning delayed or rerouted.

Ruben  •  Link

"I had the Management of the Paper, and I made bold to give our Rulers some Rubs in it." (Benjamin Franklin). Cited by Jill Lepore in "Back Issues", Tne New Yorker, January 26, 2009.
I know there is a b missing, but I could not but point at this other Rub...

Mary  •  Link

"went to inquire after my father..."

Sam is surely referring to the time when he was a little boy, not any recent journey to and from Holland on his father's part.

John Pepys is known to have made a journey to Holland in 1656 and this looks as if he may have made an earlier one, too.

Stephen Walkley  •  Link

Pale - presumably is the fence or rail on each side of the bridge. But thought the bridge had shops on it - were there walkways on either side?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... abuses of our clerkes in taking money ..."

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... we discoursed upon a rubb ..."

"To be or not to be, that is the question;
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to — 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. ..."

JWB  •  Link

"...(which it is strange I was not able to smell)"

"The aroma of the tincture becomes more intense during storage and gives a pleasant odor only after it is considerably diluted. "

JWB  •  Link


From context, Sam & Houblans possibly examining an engraving of the ship.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Poor sorry rubys"

Australian Susan  •  Link

Why was he "forced" to drink some sacke?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

There but for the grace of God, Sam...

To see the poor sorry prize goods which have caused all this ado to the undoing of S. Pepys...


"No wine?"

"Sorry, dear...We haven't had the casks refilled since we ran like hell for the plague. How's about beer?"

"Please. Do I look like a member of the beer-swilling class?"

"Ale? A little smarter package?"

"My dear Mrs. Pepys. Obviously you have not yet come to understand my and therefore, your, social position."

"Da-de-da. Well? Water?"

Both look at each other and grin...

"Come now, Bess. I'm not yet in that much trouble I should want to commit suicide."

"Well, no one is going out in this weather for milk. How's about sack?"

"Sack? As in fat Sir John? Falstaff swilling his bag over his rumbling tun of tummy?"

"Sam'l, it's that or beer/ale."

"Hal, sweet king's son..."

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Thank you, Mary. Somehow I missed that reading, but you are surely correct.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

It sounds as if some wayward hurricane or tropical storm hit London for the winds and rain to be that fierce. It's a serious storm indeed that has winds so strong as to be unable to walk into the wind.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M footnote this storm yesterday

Dr. D.J. Schove writes: This gale was termed a hurricane by a contemporary meteorologist, John Goad: Astro-meteorologica (1686) . p. 186. Cf. Philos. Trans. i (for 1665-6) no. 14, p. 247, which gives January 24 as the date.

A Relation Of a sad effect of Thunder and Lightning

This Relation was written by that worthy Gentleman, Thomas Neale Esquire, (the then High Sheriff of the County of Hampshire, when this disaster hapned) to a Friend of his in London, as follows;

On the 24 of January [ sic ] 1665/66, one Mr. Brooks of Hampshire, going from Winchester towards his house near Andover in very bad Weather, was himself slain by Lightning, and the Horse, he rode on, under him. [There follow grisly details.]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Colonell Norwood...hath a great mind to have me concerned with him in everything"

Henry Norwood (appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Tangier on 21 February) was proposing to enter into some trading ventures. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"by water to Deptford to Sir G. Carteret’s house"

An official residence of the Treasurer of the Navy. (L&M note)

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