Wednesday 11 April 1666

To White Hall, having first set my people to worke about setting me rails upon the leads of my wife’s closett, a thing I have long designed, but never had a fit opportunity till now. After having done with the Duke of Yorke, I to Hales’s, where there was nothing found to be done more to my picture, but the musique, which now pleases me mightily, it being painted true. Thence home, and after dinner to Gresham College, where a great deal of do and formality in choosing of the Council and Officers. I had three votes to be of the Council, who am but a stranger, nor expected any. So my Lord Bruncker being confirmed President I home, where I find to my great content my rails up upon my leads. To the office and did a little business, and then home and did a great jobb at my Tangier accounts, which I find are mighty apt to run into confusion, my head also being too full of other businesses and pleasures. This noon Bagwell’s wife come to me to the office, after her being long at Portsmouth. After supper, and past 12 at night to bed.


24 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society at Gresham College today -- from the Hooke Folio Online

Apr. 11 1666. Election day. [ No new fellows were elected. William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount Brouncker and the other officers were reelected ] accounts. &c.
Sr. R moray presented conditionally the Stones out of the heart of the Lord Belcarris. [ Royal Society:copies of papers read to the Society 1663-4 including `Scheme of the stones taken out of Lord Belcarris...' by Robert Hooke (1635-1703) library.wellcome.ac.uk/assets/wtl039782.pdf ] http://webapps.qmul.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hooke_foli...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

April
11: ... As his Majestie came from Chapell, he call’d me in the lobby, & told Me he must now have me Sworn for Justice of Peace (having long since made me of the Commission) for preventing some dissorder in our parish at this time; I replied, that it was altogether inconsistent with the other service I was ingag’d in, during this hostility with Dutch & French and humbly desir’d to be excus’d, notwithstanding he persisted: After dinner waiting on him I gave him the first notice of the Spaniards referring the umpirage of the Peace ’twixt them, & the Portugal to the French King, which came to me in a letter from France before the Secretaries of State had any newes of it: After this againe his Majestie asked me, if I had found out any able person about our Parts, that might supplie my place of Justice of Peace (the thing in the world, I had most industriouly avoided to act in hitherto, in reguard of the perpetual trouble thereoff in this numerous Parish &c) on which I nominated one, whom his Majestie commanded me to give immediate notice of to my L: Chancellor, & I should be excus’d: for which I rendred his Majestie many thankes: After dinner, I went to the D: of Albemarle about some complaints I had against the Cleark of the Passage at Dover: Thence to my L: Chancelors to do his Majesties Command: Thence to the R: Society where I was chosen by 27 Voices to be one of their Council for the ensuing yeare, but upon my earnest suite, in respect of my other affairs, I got to be excused, & so got home:
***
http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/1914/ed...

Louise  •  Link

Nothing to be done but the musique... I'm assuming this is a colloquial phrase similar to "all over bar the shouting" what a varied day: office, bit of housework , check on the portrait , spot of Tangier accounting and a tincture of Mrs Bagwell, pity no mention of venison or the stone... But you can't have everything.

Willy  •  Link

Louise -- The link Bryan M posted yesterday (and particularly the full resolution view) makes it clear that Sam was being literal about the music ("Beauty Retire . . .") not being done.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

The musique:
Hale's portrait found through this most excellent website shows a music manuscript in Pepys' hand. The tune is his hot lick "Beauty Retire", of which he was very proud. Jeannine gave me a copy, it's a very ordinary amateur tune. A jazz player would whip off a lick like that and forget it 2 seconds later as he went on to other thoughts. Pepys wrote out the tune and had someone else harmonize it, just like Jackie Gleason used to compose tunes.
Pepys once fretted over having the professional musicians coming among amateurs like him, and he threw them out. There is something to be said for amateurs just enjoying their playing, and who cares if it's good or not.

Louise  •  Link

Thank you. I'd missed his having the musique painted in. Sort of sweet, good thing he was wise enough to keep the day job. Interesting too that if we got to choose a unique defining Pepysian document, it would probably be a diary page, or a page outlining some of his naval reforms, but he valued his composition. I'm aware that the conventions of portraiture wouldn't really run to somone clutching an account book, but I'm still amused to think how self awareness and valuing can be so different from that of an outside observer, or from a different time perspective. To see oursels as eithers see us eh?

Mary  •  Link

"never had a fit opportunity till now."

Perhaps because Elizabeth didn't care to have workmen traipsing through her private closet in order to get to the leads. Let's hope that all the mess is thoroughly cleaned up before she gets back from Brampton and that nothing got broken or damaged in the meanwhile.

While the cat's away the mice will play: enter Mrs. Bagwell after quite a lengthy break.

Robin Peters  •  Link

When I first read that that he was having rails in his wife's closet, I had visions of train set but that needs a few hundred years yet. I now see that the opening of the window is to make what we now call a French Window on to an area of flat roof covered in lead and the rails are railings to make it usable for a recreation area.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Tangier accounts, which I find are mighty apt to run into confusion, my head also being too full of other businesses and pleasures."

This and letting much time elapse between balancing the books does the trick!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"This noon Bagwell’s wife come to me to the office, after her being long at Portsmouth."

Seems like Sam gave no "order" to have his mistress present herself. ("Mrs. Bagwell, what are you doing here?" "Mr. Pepys, your note said be at my office at noon today or face starvation." "Ohhhh...Right.") It appears the Bagwells (or possibly William alone) are now pushing the relationship, perhaps nervous that Mr. P is losing interest? ("Come and be naughty with me, Mr. Pepys." "Oh,no, Mrs. Bagwell. I have renounced this sin and must never again...Mrs. Bagwell, please...")

Australian Susan  •  Link

Strange that there is no mention in Sam's inimitable fractured foreign languages of what he did with or to Mrs B. Perhaps nothing did happen?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to Gresham College, where a great deal of do and formality in choosing of the Council and Officers. I had three votes to be of the Council, who am but a stranger, nor expected any. So my Lord Bruncker being confirmed President I home"

L&M: At this election-meeting (postponed from St Andrew's Day [30 November] 1665 because of the plague), 46 fellows were present. Evelyn (with 27 votes) and John Creed were among the ten new councillors, but Evelyn was excused service: The History of the Royal Society of London for Improving of Natural Knowledge from Its First Rise, in which the Most Considerable of Those Papers Communicated to the Society, which Have Hitherto Not Been Published, are Inserted as a Supplement to the Philosophical Transactions, By Thomas Birch, Volume 2, 74, 80. https://books.google.com/books?id=lWEVAAAAQAAJ&...
Pepys's silence about Creed's election [and his presence] perhaps betrays his dislike of him Pepys himself was first elected to the Council in 1672. He was to serve five terms (of one year each) as Councillor and two terms (1684-6) as President of the society

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"After dinner waiting on him I gave him the first notice of the Spaniards referring the umpirage of the Peace ’twixt them, & the Portugal to the French King, which came to me in a letter from France before the Secretaries of State had any news of it"

I read this as meaning that the Spanish have asked Louis XIV to mediate a peace between the Spanish and the Portuguese. Evelyn got the news before Secretary of State Joseph Williamson.

Glad to hear Evelyn's stroke wasn't serious yesterday, so he could travel and avoid the service wished on him by the Royal Society and Charles II. Being a Justice of the Peace was a big deal.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"This noon Bagwell’s wife come to me to the office, after her being long at Portsmouth."

I see no sign of hanky-panky ... she stopped by the office to let Pepys know she was home and available. Great timing, Elizabeth being OOT.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Last we heard of Mrs. Bagwell was 8 November, 1665:

“and by water to Deptford, and there did order my matters so, walking up and down the fields till it was dark night, that ‘je allais a la maison of my valentine, —[Bagwell’s wife]— and there ‘je faisais whatever je voudrais avec’ her, and, about eight at night, did take water, being glad I was out of the towne; for the plague, it seems, rages there more than ever, …”

Apparently she went to Portsmouth.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Glad to hear Evelyn's stroke wasn't serious yesterday"

On second thoughts, it must have been D'Oyly who had apoplexy.

David G  •  Link

There is an extended discussion of leads in the link in today’s entry but nothing about rails. Were the rails added to the leads so people standing on the roof would have something to hold onto?

Louise Hudson  •  Link

When I read about rails in his wife’s closet I was thinking of rails or poles to hang hangers on, as we have now. Couldn’t figure how leads came into it unless he meant brackets. But Robin Peters writes about French Windows, a flat roof and a recreation area. In Elizabeth’s closet?

In any case, does anyone know if they had anything like modern clothes hangers in 1666? If not, how did they hang up their clothes? Perhaps only on hooks?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... set my people to worke about setting me rails upon the leads of my wife’s closett, ..."

This is about putting railings on the leads (flat roof) outside Elizabeth's closet (office) ... now she's got a balcony.

Clothes were kept in chests/trunks or in the drawers of those beautiful inlaid cabinets you have seen. According to Wikipedia: "Some historians believe President Ronald Hanger invented a forerunner of the wooden clothes hanger. However, today's most-used hanger, the shoulder-shaped wire hanger, was inspired by a coat hook that was invented in 1869 by O. A. North of New Britain, Connecticut."

A closett was not a closet as we think about them now.

If you haven't done it yet, read Sue Nicholson's essay at https://www.pepysdiary.com/indepth/2011/09/23/a... about the evolution of the Pepys abode.

Deborah  •  Link

I believe coat hangers, as we know them, were originally called "shoulders".

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Thanks for the information, SD Sarah. What a coincidence that the inventor of the clothes hanger might have been named Hanger. Nomenclature is destiny, I guess.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... after dinner to Gresham College, where a great deal of do and formality in choosing of the Council and Officers. I had three votes to be of the Council, who am but a stranger, nor expected any."

Pepys appears not to know who the three people were who voted for him.

Terry brought this to my attention, and it may illuminate how votes were cast. If it was good enough for the Plantations, it was certainly being used in England:

https://www.wisfarmer.com/story/money/2019/04/0...

As early as the 17th century in America, members of fraternal clubs often voted at their meetings without paper ballots. Many decisions had to be almost unanimous; just one "no" vote could defeat a project. To ensure anonymity they used a blackball box.

Each person was given a random number of black and white marbles. To vote no, a black marble was dropped in the box. Yes required a white marble. The box had a board covering the voter's hand and marble so that no one could see the vote. Each marble made a noise when it was dropped, so only one marble could be used.

When the box was opened, it was easy for everyone to see the number of black marbles and if the project, motion or request for membership had passed or failed. It was also impossible to tell who had used a black marble because everyone still had a random number of black and white marbles in their hands.

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