Saturday 1 February 1667/68

Up, and to the office pretty betimes, and the Board not meeting as soon as I wished, I was forced to go to White Hall in expectation of a Committee for Tangier, but when I come it was put off, and so home again to the office, and sat till past two o’clock; where at the Board some high words passed between Sir W. Pen and I, begun by me, and yielded to by him, I being in the right in finding fault with him for his neglect of duty. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner out with my wife, thinking to have gone to the Duke of York’s playhouse, but was, to my great content in the saving my vow, hindered by coming a little too late; and so, it being a fine day, we out to Islington, and there to the old house and eat cheese-cakes and drank and talked, and so home in the evening, the ways being mighty bad, so as we had no pleasure in being abroad at all almost, but only the variety of it, and so to the office, where busy late, and then home to supper and to bed, my head mighty full of business now on my hands: viz., of finishing my Tangier Accounts; of auditing my last year’s Accounts; of preparing answers to the Commissioners of Accounts; of drawing up several important letters to the Duke of York and the Commissioners of the Treasury; the marrying of my sister; the building of a coach and stables against summer, and the setting many things in the Office right; and the drawing up a new form of Contract with the Victualler of the Navy, and several other things, which pains, however, will go through with, among others the taking care of Kate Joyce in that now she is in at present for saving her estate.

7 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the saving my vow"

As sworn on 13 November last: "Thence home, and there to my chamber, and do begin anew to bind myself to keep my old vows, and among the rest not to see a play till Christmas but once in every other week, and have laid aside 10l., which is to be lost to the poor, if I do. "…

Christopher Squire  •  Link

Re: the ’old house’:

‘There has been a Kings Head Pub on this site since the 1500s. It is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diaries. It is thought to be called The Kings Head because King Henry VIII would stop in for a pint on his way to see his mistress. The current building dates from 1860. The world renowned pub is known for its music and its theatre in the back which has enjoyed over 40 transfers to the West End and Broadway.

The great music line up includes rhythm and blues, rock, soul, jazz and swing and has been the starting ground for many great bands including Dire Straits and The Tiger Lilies. As well as a fine spirit selection it has a great selection of good wine and real ale along with a selection of lagers and bottled beers.

The authentic Victorian pub has roaring fires in winter and is decorated with photos of familiar faces who have graced the stage over its 40 year history with one family, founded in 1970 as the first theatre pub since Shakespearean times... ‘

To paraphrase a Latin tag: ‘the crowd in the Kings Head is always the same age.’


Robert Gertz  •  Link

That last "full of business" paragraph has the "alls right with my world", happily innocent sound that usually signals a grim foreboding of some great disaster headed our boy's way...

language hat  •  Link

"some high words passed between Sir W. Pen and I, begun by me, and yielded to by him, I being in the right in finding fault with him"

Sam would have been right at home on the internet.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Always seems hard to imagine Admiral Sir Will tolerating, let alone, yielding to Sam in an argument concerning the Navy. Either Penn yields on office matters where he perhaps feels a bit insecure and values Sam's role in keeping them all out of the Tower through diligent record-keeping or he's a remarkably indulgent senior man toward a keen young fellow. Of course Sandwich's star is rising a bit again so that may play a role, and very likely Sam is much more circumspect in his dealings with Penn than the Diary might lead one to believe, but I really feel despite Sam's constant private rants (not so constant these days anyway, actually) against him, Penn genuinely likes Sam and tries to keep the bridges up between them. He always seems to be inviting him over, loaning his coach, or suggesting some joint business venture between them.


"Lady Penn! Have you read this Diary of Pepys'?"

"Diary of who, Will? Come now we have another testimonial for Will Jr. to attend."

"Pepys, dear...Samuel Pepys, my colleague...Junior colleague in the Naval Office in the 60s."

"Oh...Him." Margaret frowns. "The little bug-eyed one with the sharp-tongued wife who used to fondle Meg's breasts in his study."


"I thought it best not to tell you at the time, William. The girl was foolish and let herself by charmed by the fellow. It never went any further, thank God."

"Fondled my daughter's...? Wait." Penn opens Diary, thumbing...

"My dear God...He was being serious. All that bizarre pig French and such made me think...Oh, I will kill him! And have you seen what the little...Said about me?"

"When? Back on Earth?"

"No, Meg...Here, in his Diary...For Posterity to see. And me no chance to defend my record." Shows page...

Hmmn...Never thought the pompous little freak had that much spirit in him, Margaret notes. Always seemed so servilely obliging and all to anyone over him.

"Oh...Don't fret yourself over it, Will. Who would ever read that fellow's Diary?"

"Every day...'Oh, a fine idea, Admiral Sir Will!', 'Oh, that's the way we should do it, Admiral Sir Will', 'Oh, thanks for pointing that out to me, Admiral Sir Will', 'What would England do without you in this office, Admiral Sir Will'. That little..."

"He doesn't say...Anything...About me, does he?" Margaret, slight edge of concern.

It was only that one time...I was drunk at his party.

"Fortunately no...Just something about you being an old Dutch woman."


Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Either Penn yields on office matters where he perhaps feels a bit insecure and values Sam’s role in keeping them all out of the Tower through diligent record-keeping or he’s a remarkably indulgent senior man toward a keen young fellow."

I vote for the first possibility: Sir Will was once in the brig and on another occasion in the Tower, and may well, on data-days, be musing on his genuine strength -- naval strategy -- and quite out to sea.

Second Reading

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