Thursday 9 August 1666

Up and to the office to prepare business for the Board, Reeves being gone and I having lent him upon one of the glasses. Here we sat, but to little purpose, nobody coming at us but to ask for money, not to offer us any goods. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again, being mightily pleased with a Virgin’s head that my wife is now doing of. In the evening to Lumbard-streete about money, to enable me to pay Sir G. Carteret’s 3000l., which he hath lodged in my hands, in behalf of his son and my Lady Jemimah, toward their portion, which, I thank God, I am able to do at a minute’s warning. In my [way] I inquired, and find Mrs. Rawlinson is dead of the sickness, and her mayde continues mighty ill. He himself is got out of the house. I met also with Mr. Evelyn in the streete, who tells me the sad condition at this very day at Deptford for the plague, and more at Deale (within his precinct as one of the Commissioners for sick and wounded seamen), that the towne is almost quite depopulated. Thence back home again, and after some business at my office, late, home to supper and to bed, I being sleepy by my late want of rest, notwithstanding my endeavouring to get a nap of an hour this afternoon after dinner. So home and to bed.

11 Annotations

cgs  •  Link

Smells of Popery which if tattled on to the right people could earn a vacation in Tower with his friend the warden.
"...Virgin’s head that my wife is now doing of...."
Crucifix more evidence of Roman leanings, it be a hanging offense to acknowledge the people of the Tiber, not nice drawn and quartered too if the be found guilty.
See offenses against the king at the site of old Bailey

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

'a Virgin’s head that my wife is now doing of'.
This has a nice cockney ring to it - reminds me of an old music hall song:
See her on the bridge at midnight,
the water cold she stands above.
First a cry, a splash, Good Heavens!
Oh what is she a doing of?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

3000Ls! Sam?!


"Bess...What do you mean, the men came for the chest I just put in the cellar yesterday for Sir George Carteret?"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Here we sat, but to little purpose, nobody coming at us but to ask for money, not to offer us any goods."

So. There we have it. In the past it has been asked, what are Pepys and others at the Navy Board doing when they "sit." The Navy Commissioners sit, likely behind an elevated long counter, where sailors seek pay (and are handed down "tickets," i.e. scrip), and merchants bring offers of goods which, if accepted, are given contracts (another form of promissory note).

We have seen that major victuallers and the providers of Naval equipment get pail when Pepys et al. secure funds from the Treasurer of the Navy (Sir George Carteret) in the form of tallies (another form of promissory note).

Pepys et al. at the Navy Board when they “sit” are conducting a massive wholesale business to supply the navy -- and paying sailors.

language hat  •  Link

Thanks very much, Terry, I hadn't put it together like that. You've greatly increased my understanding of Sam's job.

djc  •  Link

I agree with Terry's interpretation of 'sitting'. It is the same sense in which a court of law or Parliament sits, (and rises). There is also, I think, a position of authority implied by sitting rather than standing. Not how often business is discussed while walking in gardens or halls. Those in authority sit (ex cathedra). but it seems the normal way to conduct negotiations is whilst standing or walking.

cgs  •  Link

just additional background for those just sitting.
To sit [ or to park the posterior ] context is needed to understand the use, as the Saxon gene likes to keep to mono syllables and imply a meaning to how the rest of body be used.
39 main ways to use the word
an example:
to sit in the house of [Commons, Lords , office of prayer] in judgment in a Bishopric....]

[Common Teut.: OE. sittan (sæt, s{aeacu}ton, {asg}eseten), = OFris. sitta (WFris. sitte), MDu. sitten, zitten (Du. zitten), OS. sittian, sittean (MLG. and LG. sitten), OHG. sizzan, sizzen (G. sitzen), ON. and Icel. sitja (Norw. sitja, sitta, sita; MSw. sitia, sittia, Sw. sitta; Da. sidde):{em}Teut. type *sitjan, for which Goth. had sitan. The stem *set-, pre-Teut. *sed-, is widely represented in the cognate languages, as in Lith. sedeti, Lat. sed{emac}re, Gr. {easperacu}{zeta}{epsilon}{sigma}{theta}{alpha}{iota} (cf. {easperacu}{delta}{omicron}{fsigma} seat), etc.
In some senses there has been confusion between sit and the corresponding causal verb set, analogous to that which has existed between lie and lay, but in modern use the two verbs are clearly distinguished.
Some ME. examples of this confusion, in senses where it does not otherwise occur, are probably no more than scribal errors.]

A. Illustration of forms.

1. inf. 1 sittan (syttan, sitton), 2-4 (7) sitten (3 Orm. sittenn), 4-5 sytten, 5 syttyn, cyttyn (6 erron. sitting).

B. Signification. I. intr.
1. a. Of persons: To be or remain in that posture in which the weight of the body rests upon the posteriors; to be seated.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Reeves being gone and I having lent him upon one of the glasses."

L&M: Monconys (ii. 17) speaks of Reeves in 1663 as charging £6 for his telescopes. (He does not specify the size,)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mrs. Rawlinson is dead of the sickness, and her mayde continues mighty ill. He himself is got out of the house."

L&M: Her husband, Daniel Rawlinson. His servant, Willism Chompley, had been buried on the 6th.; his wife and her maid were buried on the day of this entry.: Harl. Soc. Reg.., iii. 237.

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