Friday 8 November 1667

Called up betimes by Sir H. Cholmly, and he and I to good purpose most of the morning — I in my dressing-gown with him, on our Tangier accounts, and stated them well; and here he tells me that he believes it will go hard with my Lord Chancellor. Thence I to the office, where met on some special business; and here I hear that the Duke of York is very ill; and by and by word brought us that we shall not need to attend to-day the Duke of York, for he is not well, which is bad news. They being gone, I to my workmen, who this day come to alter my office, by beating down the wall, and making me a fayre window both there, and increasing the window of my closet, which do give me some present trouble; but will be mighty pleasant. So all the whole day among them to very late, and so home weary, to supper, and to bed, troubled for the Duke of York his being sick.


12 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I hear that the Duke of York is very ill"

L&M note the Duke had a mild case of smallpox, for which he will be bled on the 12th, but of which he will not fully recover until early December.

john  •  Link

"beating down the wall"

not "taking down the wall". I truly like that imagery.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Very nice way to work out one's frustrations. I'm currently smashing ;ayers of ice out of several -70C storage freezers in my lab during a grrr...forced reorganization with a hammer. Cathartic so long as one doesn't hit ye old freon line or in Sam's workmens' case I guess hit ye old homeowner.

Australian Susan  •  Link

So, is this Sam's office office or his home office? Or is he having the office office altered and having the men do some work in his house - the window in the closet - at the same time? Presumably they checked that this office wall was not a load-bearing wall...... Or are they knocking his closet and home office into one?

Michael L  •  Link

Susan: I think it must be his work office. At the end, Sam says he is all day among those workmen, and then goes home. He wouldn't need to say he went home if he were already home all day with them.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Yes, I believe it's his office and he seems to be expanding both the main office window and his inner office study window. It looks like Sam may have acquired quite a nice setup in the office, a large office perhaps including his clerks and files, or at least his files and papers, where he can receive important types like Gauden or Warren, and a study to retreat to. Speculation of course but interesting if he were the only one of the senior officers to have such luxury.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"I to my workmen, who this day come to alter my office, by beating down the wall, and making me a fayre window ..."

Are the days of the Peeps peephole gone for good ...
"Dined at home, and so to the office again, my wife with me, and while I was for an hour making a hole behind my seat in my closet to look into the office, ..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/07/09/

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir H. Cholmly...tells me that he believes it will go hard with my Lord Chancellor. "

Earl of Clarendon's Impeachment.in Commons this day

¶The House then resumed other Debate of the Matter upon the Heads of Accusation against the Earl of Clarendon.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/commons-jrnl/vol…

john  •  Link

Down goes the wall but is it structural? Will anything else come down? I understand that builders then would overbuild by today's codes but I would love to have a reference on 17th century practices.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I worked for a company that loved to knock down walls. They left the supportive pillars which anchored the electrical and dictated how the furniture was arranged to minimize cords on the floor (not a problem for Pepys). We used 4 ft tall bookcases on wheels to define work spaces. We all appreciated the increase in daylight and air flow.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Speculation of course but interesting if he were the only one of the senior officers to have such luxury."

A couple of months ago Penn was reported as being upset his office area wasn't as nice as Pepys'. Now Batten has died, presumably his area has opened up. It makes sense that the Clerk (tasked with keeping the records for everyone, and is therefore anchored in the office) has the biggest area. The Surveyor should be out surveying, etc.

Now the war is over, perhaps their old files have gone to the Tower, or with so much land being available because of the fire, perhaps they have built a warehouse? Since the war's over, maybe they need fewer clerks?

Obviously, I have no more idea than anyone else, but if you're not improving a building, it's deteriorating.

Harry R  •  Link

More daylight in the office might ease Sam's eyesight problems though he doesn't mention this is a benefit.

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