Wednesday 24 February 1668/69

Lay long in bed, both being sleepy and my eyes bad, and myself having a great cold so as I was hardly able to speak, but, however, by and by up and to the office, and at noon home with my people to dinner, and then I to the office again, and there till the evening doing of much business, and at night my wife sends for me to W. Hewer’s lodging, where I find two best chambers of his so finely furnished, and all so rich and neat, that I was mightily pleased with him and them and here only my wife, and I, and the two girls, and had a mighty neat dish of custards and tarts, and good drink and talk. And so away home to bed, with infinite content at this his treat; for it was mighty pretty, and everything mighty rich.

9 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

This night Will Hewer treats his charges, the two cousin Pepys girls!
(and Elizabeth and Samuel Pepys incidentally).

Mark S  •  Link

I think that Sam's bad cold is due to the Curse of Queen Katherine of Valois.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

I'm surprised that this is the first time that Sam has visited Will Hewer's home, given their close work and personal relationships. Is this an indication of Will's improving status?

pepfie  •  Link

TE, the very first time according to SP:

...I going through Crouched Friars, seeing Mercer at her mother’s gate, stopped, and ‘light, and into her mother’s, the first time I ever was there, and find all my people, father and all, at a very fine supper at W. Hewer’s lodging, very neatly, and to my great pleasure.…

Second Reading

Ashley Smith  •  Link

I've noticed Sam's working ours are very er.. flexible. He works hard but very much seems to work to his own diary hours. Can anyone more enlightened and brighter than me, provide any more details of either Sam or the Navy board's employee working practice or just the working practices of the period in general? Thanks in advance.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The week days and the weekend, and the 8 hour work day are an invention of the last century's trades unions movement (THANK YOU, BRAVE MEN. WE ALL APPRECIATE HOW MUCH YOU SUFFERED FOR OUR BENEFIT).

Before that, Ashley, it was work until you drop, or could get away with stopping.

Pepys realized he was going to have to pace himself at the beginning of the second Anglo-Dutch War.
As much as possible, he works and has meetings (the Navy Board "sits") in the mornings, Monday-Friday, when they go though the mail and parcel out the work assignments.

In the afternoons Pepys goes to the theater, gathers intelligence from people at the Exchange or Westminster Hall, goes to Court to find out who's in and who's out, does personal business, etc. Late afternoon he goes into the office, signs letters he has dictated, and does whatever the clerks need so it gets into the mail.
He frequently works at night alone or with one of his two clerks on reports, etc.

Now the war is over, Saturday and Sunday are usually meetings- and committee-free, apart from the general requirement to attend church weekly, and take communion every month ... but they are not always work free, nor does Pepys always go to church. There can be a knock at the door with a request for his attendance at Whitehall at any time, and the Treasury and Tangier Committee enquiries are on-going and invasive. Having his thoughts and figures prepared are keeping him out of a lot of trouble, and the reports and responses have taken up many of his "weekends".

This attention to detail has paid off handsomely. But now his eyesight is forcing Pepys to reconsider his role in life. He's no longer the kid filing clerk ... he's the senior member of the Navy Board and knows "where the bodies are buried" so to speak. His clerks are very capable. Getting out of their way and protecting the Navy Board calls for a role change -- especially as all the Admirals who were also Members of Parliament who worked there have been moved aside.

By being elected to Parliament, Pepys will be working to protect the funding and the integrity of the Navy. Becoming Upper Senior Management must change your priorities. Being a man of influence at Court is as much -- if not more -- his "job" than writing reports in the office. The capable young Mr. Hewer is getting readying to take over as Clerk of the Acts, but that's a SPOILER a few years off.

I'll try to find the Diary entry where Pepys first mentions realizing he has to stop working 24/7/365 because it wasn't good for him, his marriage, his health, long term.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I keep making this mistake:

It's Thomas HATER who becomes Pepys' successor in tandem with brother John Pepys.

Hewer also has a stellar career, and ends up a very wealthy man, but not at the Navy Board. But you knew that and were too nice to correct me.

Ashley Smith  •  Link

Thank you Sarah, mare than enough detail for my poor brain !

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