Thursday 5 December 1667

At the office all the morning, do hear that Will Pen, Sir W. Pen’s son, is come from Ireland, but I have not seen him yet. At noon to the ’Change, where did little, but so home again and to dinner with my clerks with me, and very good discourse and company they give me, and so to the office all the afternoon till late, and so home to supper and to bed. This day, not for want, but for good husbandry, I sent my father, by his desire, six pair of my old shoes, which fit him, and are good; yet, methought, it was a thing against my mind to have him wear my old things.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

OK, I've got 8 pairs of shoes - how about everyone else? (black with laces, black without laces, brown, 2 pair of sneakers, 2 pair of boots, slippers). Given that people had to do more walking in the 17th century, I can see that they might have had more shoes, but 6 pairs seems a lot.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

Dec: 5. 1667. Account of [ Arthur ] Coga's transfusions by Dr. King)

Hogsden [… ] sweet earth) norwood letter from Bermudas of Iu: 18. 67. of tides whale fishing. fresh & salt springs) Heuelius pacquet. nou: 5. 1667. of succinum [ Amber ]. cold, making potashes, sal gem. [In margin]Vz. transfusion, and about telescopes. orders about Letters Registring)

mr. Boyles paper of light) The Curator was put in mind of preparing for expt. of this kind to be made as soon as it might be according to the particulars appointed the Last Day.

(mr. Potters way of measuring time by an air strainer) The curator was desired to consider of it and to giue his thoughts concerning it at the next meeting

([Thomas] Smethwike the same who Rd it from Sr. Ed: Lake chancellor of Lincoln

Transfusion the next Day and emittent animall to be weyed.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link


Since 17c left and right shoes were the same when bought, Pepys's six pair were surely in various degrees of being broken in: the older the better.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I've got 1 pair and 1 for painting.

Well, Sam, somehow I don't think John would object if you laid out for 6-8 pairs of new shoes. So go to it, son.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Closing the barn door after the horse has fled


Resolutions respecting securing Persons impeached.

The Question being propounded, that, when any Subject shall be impeached of High Treason, generally, by the House of Commons, before the Lords in Parliament; and desired to be forthwith secured; such Person impeached ought, for the Safety of the King and Kingdom, to be accordingly secured;

And the Question being put, That that Question be now put;

It was resolved in the Affirmative:…


Bill for banishing the E. of Clarendon.

Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act for banishing and disenabling the Earl of Clarendon."…

Kent Kelly  •  Link


Thanks for the tip (29 Nov) about Samuel Pepys iPod. It was a good listen although I would have preferred more music (and more period instrumentation) with less talk.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link


Although Sam uses coaches a lot, he must have spent a good deal of time walking London's filthy streets which would also often be wet and slushy. My guess is he would rotate several pairs so that they could be dried and cleaned regularly.
Digression: In Iceland we were told that the introduction of rubber boots increased the average lifespan by twenty years. Maybe an exaggeration but the importance of warm dry feet should not be underestimated.

Terry Foreman  •  Link


Given their need to be broken in, I wonder how many pair Pepys has.

nix  •  Link

Should the six pair for Pepys pere be called "hand-me-ups"?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"I sent my father, by his desire,..."

"Miserable little miserly..." John fumes to Pall and John Jr. "Is this the way he treats his own father now he's made good? Did he really believe I meant that hogwash about being pleased with anything he could send?"

andre gerard  •  Link

Samuel's entry for today has led me to post the following comment on the Guardian's WikiLeaks thread:

"Samuel Pepys on WikiLeaks. It would seem that Samuel Pepys was remarkably prescient. If you turn to his diary entry for December 8th, (1667), you can read what he has to say about " the unhappiness of having our matters examined by people that understand them not." For his full comments go to"

Additionally, many American diplomats "would be contented to let their Narratives sleep," if only they could be called back.

Also very relevant is a December 6th, Globe and Mail, Jeet Heer piece on gossip. Jeet talks about Samuel Johnson instead of Pepys,yet his comments help to explain why Pepys continues to fascinate.

cum salis grano  •  Link

Once upon a time I had two pair of boots and a pair of dessert boots for days off hand made [2 quid], then came work shoes,and Sunday best, dumping the boots, but man is never satisfied, more the merrier , now back basics, one for each day of the week.
In the past, wellies, metal capped, inexpensive slippers ,jump boots , plimsolls, alligator and other sundry fashion have seen my big toe.
Samuel would have differing styles to suit the occasion, and always having shoe fixer upper-er to boot.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

csg, I assume you wore your dessert boots after a good meal.

cum salis grano  •  Link

Paul C, Thank you, the penny fell at Last, cobbler was not a peach,but said uppers were kinda Bird Custard in color and not the usual wadi Rhum desert color.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"do hear that Will Pen, Sir W. Pen’s son, is come from Ireland, but I have not seen him yet."

Since the Spring of 1666 William Penn had been in co. Cork, where his father had an estate. For its meaning to him see…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Admiral Sir William Penn returned triumphant from the second Anglo-Dutch War that year, but London was in the grip of the plague of 1665. At home, William Penn Jr. reflected on the suffering and the deaths, and the way humans reacted to the epidemic.
He wrote that the scourge "gave me a deep sense of the vanity of this World, of the Irreligiousness of the Religions in it."[31]
31 Hans Fantel, William Penn: Apostle of Dissent, William Morrow & Co., New York, 1974, p.6, ISBN 0-688-00310-9, p.60

Further William Jr. observed how Quakers on errands of mercy were arrested and demonized by other religions, even accused of causing the plague.[32]
32 Hans Fantel, William Penn: Apostle of Dissent, William Morrow & Co., New York, 1974, p.6, ISBN 0-688-00310-9, p. 61

Early in 1666 William Penn left Lincoln’s Inn and plague-ridden London for his father's new Irish estate at Kinsale and Shanagarry Castle.

During the summer he took part in quelling a meeting at Carrickfergus, and in October, 1666 had his portrait painted in armor.…

From 1665 to 1679 William Penn became prominent in the Society of Friends and became one of their best spokesmen.

In 1667 he spent seven and a half months in prison in the Tower, and while there he wrote the first version of what would be one of his best works, "No Cross, No Crown".

i guess the Penns kept their mouths closed about all this. Or Pepys didn't believe it.…

Batch  •  Link

San Diego Sarah, thanks for the information about William Penn. He was a visionary, and America was the right place for him.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Towards the end of the 17th century, footmen began to do duties indoors, and one of their first (and surviving) indoor tasks was to clean all the boots and shoes of the family before they were required, in other words, at night. This could be a long task, as several different pairs of shoes were worn each day by each person or guest.

Shoe polish was made of 'charcoal, spermaceti oil, treacle and white wine vinegar' in the 17th century.

The Duties of Servants Reprinted from 1894 publication by Copper Beech Publishing, Ltd.
Early Modern England, A Social History - Sharpe

Harry R  •  Link

And thanks from me too, Sarah, for all of your detailed input generally. It really adds to my understanding of the life and times.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

You're welcome Batch and Harry ... I love discovering this stuff too. My thanks to Google, and all the annotators from the first time around who often tell me where to look.

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