Saturday 17 November 1666

Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and in the afternoon shut myself in my chamber, and there till twelve at night finishing my great letter to the Duke of York, which do lay the ill condition of the Navy so open to him, that it is impossible if the King and he minds any thing of their business, but it will operate upon them to set all matters right, and get money to carry on the war, before it be too late, or else lay out for a peace upon any termes. It was a great convenience to-night that what I had writ foule in short hand, I could read to W. Hewer, and he take it fair in short hand, so as I can read it to-morrow to Sir W. Coventry, and then come home, and Hewer read it to me while I take it in long-hand to present, which saves me much time. So to bed.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

November 17: I return’d to Chattham [on my Winter Circle], my Charriot overturning on the steepe of Boxley-Hill, wounded me in two places in the head, but slightly, my sonn Jack being with me, & then but newly out of long Coates, was like to have ben Worse cutt, by the Glasse, of the Charriot dores, but I thank God, we both escaped without much hurt, though not without exceeding danger.

Larry Hill  •  Link

Is this Chamber the same room that Sam has referred to before as his "closet"?

The elaborate furnishings he had spent on the "closet" makes more sense if this is actually his private office.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Pepys's chamber/closet is also occasionally described as his study.

cape henry  •  Link

"...which saves me much time." Pepys has never mentioned this particular copying system before, but it is an intriguing detail. Though he doesn't mention it, in addition to speeding up the fair copy process, it would allow him to quickly revise a couple of times as he goes through first reading it aloud, then hear it read back to him while he writes.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M note Hewer wrote in a related variety of Shelten's cipher. A small book of his mostly sermon notes in shorthand is in Harvard's Houghton Library.

cape henry, indeed, Pepys has a dictaphone of sorts.

CGS  •  Link

Charity be accepted, free steaks and shin bones for all, so sayeth the Lordly ones.

CGS  •  Link


the daily fail:

The Commons want secure northern borders against stealing and rapine, it not be nice.

Northern Borders.

"A BILL for Continuance of a former Act for Prevention of Theft and Rapine upon the Northern Borders of England, was read the First time."

King and Commons want no more cheek from Rome.
Prevention of the Insolency of Papists:
So picks the best writers of laws for a committee to delete insolence.

People must not leave Hells kitchin without paying their dues to society, escapeing is a no no.


Must find out who liveth without permission of the Crown.
If not legal they must pay double, King needs the monie
People pay up week.

Poll Bill

check or new laws for the correct wording before signing into law.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

This entry made me want to give Sam a laptop computer.

Roger  •  Link

....'and then home to supper and to bed, the weather being on a sudden set in to be very cold.' ...from yesterday...

A cold snap in what was a very average November temperature-wise, November 1666 being the 158th coldest in the last 350 years since 1659.

Ruben  •  Link

As Samuel's library was with him until his death and he lived his last years at Will Hewer's place, may be Will was the first to read Samuel's diary?
We do not know for sure, but I would like to hear from RG what happened when Will came back from SP's funeral and opened the diary. Please remember that Will used the shorthand for sacred annotations (his shorthand annotations are still around, and now we know he could also read it fluently) while Pepys used it for...well, more mundane occurrences.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

@ Terry F. 'A small book of his mostly sermon notes in shorthand is in Harvard’s Houghton Library.'

Below is the description from the Harvard catalog, must say the notes about failed marriages and money sound intriguing: anyone in Cambridge interested in taking a look and posting back?

Commonplace book : manuscript, [17--]
Description: 1 v. (47 leaves) ; 16 cm.

History notes: Hewer (1642-1715) was the secretary to Samuel Pepys beginning in 1660 and uses the same Shelton's shorthand found in the Pepys' diaries.

Summary: Text not in shorthand includes proverbs and maxims (some in Latin) many dealing with failed marriages or money, folk remedies, and two accounts of money lending.
Notes: Manuscript, presumably autograph, chiefly in Shelton's shorthand.
MS Eng 991.1. Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Traditional medicine -- Great Britain -- Formulae, receipts, prescriptions -- Early works to 1800.
Gift of Carleton R. Richmond, 1955
Bookplate of William Hewer.…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Hewer's probably peeked into the Diary at times when Sam left it or notes for it in shorthand in the office...

CGS  •  Link

It would be nice if it was "gugenheimed"
great addition to the knowledge of Sam's era,such a pity that we hoi polloi are unable to read it, as not being members of the macadamian clicke.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

CGS, I think you mean "Gutenberged."

IIRC, Harvard is one of the libraries that has agreed with Google to enter their entire contents into Google's massive digital library over time. If we all live long enough, Hewer's journal may eventually be accessible to all.

CGS  •  Link

Paul, You be correct, not hung in oil but displayed in ink.
Thanks for the info.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

@CGS " ... such a pity that we hoi polloi are unable to read it, as not being members of the macadamian clicke"

Manuscript materials held by any library are in general not made available for 'inter-library loan,' however "Houghton Library is open without fee to all adult researchers regardless of academic affiliation. ..."

For full details, times etc. see:…

Glyn  •  Link

For what it's worth, anyone living in or visiting London can see plenty of Pepys' hand-written letters and official correspondence at the Public Records Office in Kew. I've seen letters he wrote on official business although those were part of a display - I didn't ask for them specially. But if you want to, then you can. He was a government servant and they kept a lot of these records in case they would ever be needed, unlike some Elizabethan playwrights I could mention.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Mr. Hewer, sir...All go well at the service?"

"Close the door..."


"Get ink, paper...No, wait... You'll need to exactly match this paper." Offers large stack of bound papers.

"Sir?" Looks over stack...

"This must be perfectly copied over, the handwriting matched...With revisions as I specify."

"But...Mr. Hewer, sir? What is this? It's in shorthand, isn't it? Mr. Pepys' handwriting, if I judge correctly."

"Yes...Mr. Pepys'...And as written it must never be read by another living soul. You and I must completely rewrite it."

"But sir...What's in it?"

Hewer checks curtains at window...Eyes faithful, if apprehensive clerk.

"The world...Must never know."

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sadly Pepys isn't privy to a drama playing out in the House of Lords today.

Members of the extended Montagu family are trying to find a way to divorce ... the first in generations. John Manners, Lord Roos MP (who loathed London and his wife) had returned from a trip abroad to find his wife, Anne Pierrepoint Manners, Lady Roos, pregnant. The ecclesiastical courts had given him a separation earlier this year, and now there was a bill before the Lords to make her children illegitimate.

George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham was an unexpected supporter of the idea ... but then, he occasionally urged Charles II to divorce Queen Catherine. Pepys' friend, Sir William Coventry MP, was against it because he thought adultery should always be grounds for divorce. Unfortunately Coventry lost, and divorce was only by consent of Parliament for another 250 years.

See https://www.historyofparliamenton……

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Also in the Lord today, an incredible example of privileged thinking was observed. Yes please, send us 20,000 head of Irish cattle to feed the hordes of London as a charitable gift. But no, we're not importing any cattle.…

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.