Sam’s New Year begins with the “bill of exchange” from Deering via Luellin which finds an ebullient Sam 50l. richer, yet still rationalizing the ethics of this and potential future ‘payments’ (1, 5, 25). His New Year happily brings the end to his vow against plays. Sam’s disappointment upon seeing the much touted “Henry VIII” (1) and “The Usurper” (2) are followed by a vow to limit the number of plays he will see per month (2). Not to be at a loss for “entertainment” Sam finds himself highly interested in the case of the stolen jewels of Mr. Tyran, an “old man, a merchant” (8). As the case unfolds, a Colonel Turner is accused, tried and hanged with an estimate of 12-14,000 people, including Sam, attending the execution (10, 16, 20, 21).
Sam’s concern about his relationship with Lord Sandwich continues. He ponders inviting “my Lord” to dinner, but as their exchanges over the month unfold Sam thinks it best to “forbear my laying out my money upon a dinner till I see him in a better posture” (9, 20). Where his relationship with Sandwich feels unsure, his relationship with Mrs. Lane becomes more intimate (9, 11, 16). Although his visits to her bring Sam sexual fulfillment they also may be the cause of his growing but unfounded jealousy towards Elizabeth. His jealous concerns over Will and Pembleton (9, 17, 18, 28) leave Sam to confess his irrational fears: “God knows I have no reason to do so, or to expect her being so true to me as I would have to her (18). By month end he does follow through on his promise to Elizabeth and finishes his will (20, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30). While Sam’s jealousy reigns against the younger men in Elizabeth’s life Sam can only think good of Uncle Wight who seems mysteriously and overly interested to know if Elizabeth is with child. Sam hopefully believes that Uncle Wight intends to leave something to them in his will (12, 15, 21). In other family matters, brother Tom’s health seems to have taken a turn for the worse, with worries that he is in a deep consumption (9, 10, 20).
In the Royal circles Sam watches the King’s tennis match noting his disgust at the false flattery given the monarch “but to see how the King’s play was extolled without any cause at all, was a loathsome sight, though sometimes, indeed, he did play very well and deserved to be commended; but such open flattery is beastly” (4). Sam is likewise unimpressed by the King’s lewd response to a Quaker girl who has brought forth a warrant (11). Mr. Pierce tells Sam the seedy gossip that Lady Castlemaine is “out” as the King now dallies openly with Frances Stuart and that the Duke of Monmouth is treated like a “Prince of the Blood”. Mr. Pierce shares the flattering opinion that the Duke of York “do give himself up to business, and is like to prove a noble Prince” to which Sam heartily agrees that “I do from my heart think he will” (20).
Talk of the growing tension between the English and the Dutch circulates (2, 9) with the Dutch proclaiming that they are the “Soveraigne of all the South Seas” (15). Business concerns include issues regarding the quality of masts (16, 17, 18, 21, 22); a letter on the behalf of Mr. Barrow (16); Mr. Maes’ customs issue (4, 10); hempe and trade (24); Creed and his pieces of eight (4, 10); a review of Lord Peterborough’s accounts (13, 18, 25, 26, 27) and a detailed report on the state of England’s Revenues by Sir Phillip Warwick, which totally captivates Sam (29). Sam benefits from his position through a gifts from Sir W. Warren (2), Mr. Falconer (11), and Mrs. Russell.
Elizabeth brings news that Balty and his wife will leave for his soldier duty in Holland (3). Uncle Wright’s “caresses” and private visits to Elizabeth leave Sam to believe that “it looks strange putting all together, but yet I am in hopes he means well” (19, 22, 26). The concerns that Sam had early in the month that he may have gotten Mrs. Lane pregnant (1) were not put at ease when the marriage that he was hoping to arrange between her and Hawley seems to fall apart (8). Sam vows that he is now “resolved wholly to avoid occasion of further ill with her” (29). His receives advice from Mr. Howe regarding his relationship with Lord Sandwich (3, 8). Howe “did of himself advise me to appear more free with my Lord and to come to him, for my own strangeness he tells me he thinks do make my Lord the worse.” (29)
Court gossip includes the Duke’s new perriwigg (15), Lady Castlemaine’s theater antics (1), the scathing condition of foreign policy, pathetic internal court politics, and a deep concern for the overall welfare of England under King Charles II (22). On a more playful note, Sam enjoys seeing “The Indian Queene” with Elizabeth (1), buying two books (22), observing sand, louse and mites under a microscope (13), watching marble being cut (24) and receiving a new mastiffe named “Towser” (17) who he thinks he will give to his father as a present (18).
March begins on an upbeat note as Lord Sandwich praises Sam to Lord Peterborough and Povy (3). Lord Sandwich’s favour also yields Sam’s a role as an assistant under the Duke of York in the newly created Corporation of the Royal Fishery (10). Sam celebrates the new month by bending his vows to see two plays, “The Unfortunate Lovers” and “Heraclius” (7, 8).
Happiness is short lived when Tom takes a turn for the worse. When Mrs. Turner’s son arrives with a note that Tom’s illness may be the pox (13), Sam is rightly upset regarding such shameful accusations. Sam visits Tom several times over the following days as his health deteriorates. Sam assists as two different doctors check Tom’s body for signs of the pox, but there are none, which offer Sam some relief (15). Meanwhile Sam starts to gather details regarding the nature of Tom’s lifestyle, including his debts, mysterious meetings with Cave and Cranburne, and his bad husbandry (13, 14). Tom passes away, and amidst funeral preparations, Sam discovers among Tom’s papers some back-stabbing letters written about him by his brother John (15). Sam’s father arrives a “poor man, very sad and sickly,” and has barely a moment to grieve before an angry Sam confronts him about the content of John’s letters (16, 18, 19, 21). As the days progress, Sam seeks advice from Mr. Moore regarding who should administer Tom’s estate (27).
Among the despair, a hilarious lightness is found when Sam decides that Mrs. Buggin’s decidedly beautiful dog should mate with his bitch and he helps him along (23, 24). The month ends at Sam’s house with a happy dinner gathering as Sam celebrates his “solemn feast” for the cutting of his stone (26).
April brings continued efforts to settle brother Tom’s estate (16) and the shocking surprise that Tom had fathered a daughter with his maid Margaret (6). Concerns over a potential Dutch war overwhelm many of Sam’s conversations (4, 13, 20, 23). While Howe and others plot for a favored spot should war begin (12), Sam’s fears for the safety of his accounts, which could be lost, should Lord Sandwich perish in battle (23, 25, 26). The month ends with a more impending concern over loss of life when Lady Sandwich, Sam’s favourite, becomes ill with either the measles or, as Sam fears, perhaps smallpox (29, 30).
Navy work includes Sam’s ongoing disgust with Sir W. Batten (3, 5, 22, 26); discussions of the possibility of a Dutch War with Coventry (12, 18, 21, 22, 29); his bribe from Captain Taylor (27); his interest in shipbuilding (7, 13, 30); and his unusual role as a go-between to elicit Lord Sandwich (at Coventry’s request) to see if he would go to sea under the Duke of York should war with the Dutch prevail (29,31).
In personal matters Sam is relieved to find Lady Sandwich on the mend (9, 12) and thrilled that work on his closet was done so well (6). On the more worrisome side, he notes the death of Uncle Fenner (24), his offer to take Pall into his house to find her a husband (17, 20), his discussions about Tom’s estate and condolences to his Cozen Scott at the loss of his wife ( 4) along with his illness (14, 15, 17, 19, 31). Uncle Wight reveals his true intentions as he expresses his desire to father a child with Elizabeth along with the bribe of “500l. money or jewels beforehand, and make[ing] the child his heir”, thus leaving a most disturbed Sam to realize that “all of his kindness is but lust of her” (11).
Tangiers is in the forefront with news of Lord Teviot’s death (1, 15); poorly run committee meetings (3, 4, 10, 13); Sam’s efforts to secure and provision the ships (16, 24) and a potential payout from Captain Taylor (3).
Concerns surround Lord Sandwich as Pepys and Lady Sandwich worry about his debts (23, 29). Sam moves to ensure the security of the Wardrobe position once promised to his father (4, 20). Sam (and possibly Lady Sandwich) meet Mrs. Becke, the rumored mistress of Lord Sandwich (14, 20).
Mr. Coventry gives Sam an interesting discourse on active and passive valour (4) while Mr. Pierce provides contrasts of another sort when he gives Sam a tour of the Queen’s bedchamber and closet and the King’s closet (24).
Sam argues with Elizabeth about a pair of earring she has bought (4). The couple reconciles and visits Lord Sandwich aboard the Hope (4) prior to Elizabeth’s departure to the country (9, 10, 11). Lord Sandwich shares details of his estate with Sam (15) and warns him of a situation where Sam has inadvertently angered the Lord Chancellor (14, 15, 16). Sam tries to resolve the conflict of the cutting of the timber from Clarendon Parke with the help of Sir George Carteret (18), but by month end, Mr. Coventry has placed Sam in a position of divided loyalty on this issue (23).
Sam records two lists including Dr. Burnett’s health advice (1) and input about how to have children (26). Sam learns of Mrs. Lane’s marriage (21), but later meets her for a pleasurable tryst (23). Sam is sworn in for the Committee for Fishing (7, 9) and works with Warren on a contract for 1,000 Gottenburg masts (21). By month end he finds himself joyfully over the 1,000l. level and has splurged on seeing two plays, including “Worse and Worse” and “The Bondman”.
Sam decides to secure a female companion for Elizabeth (1, 15, 23) and a boy for himself. By month end Tom Edwards is clothed for the job (24, 27) and Will has brought forth a strong candidate for Elizabeth (29). Sam designates a room in his home for his “musique room’ and the transformation works begins. Elizabeth’s return home (7) does not curb Sam’s appetite for a tryst with Mrs. Lane (15) who is now pregnant and finds her husband in need of a job. Troubles still brew with Tom’s illegitimate child (25).
Sam’s health remains a concern with his bothersome cold legs causing him to have a special coat made for indoors (1, 13, 14). Batten supplies Sam with Epsum water which helps him with his ongoing bowels issues (17, 21). Sam has a case made for his stone, costing him 24_s._, a large expense for such an item, but a precious reminder of surviving his dangerous operation (19, 27).
Sam rationalises his vow against plays (8). Between himself and Elizabeth they see: “Bartholomew’s Fayre” (2), “The Rivall Ladys” (4), “Flora’s Figary” (8), “Henry the Fifth” (8) and “The Court Secret” (18). Sam enjoys seeing paintings of the Queen and Frances Stewart (26). For his scientific interests he has his slide rule engraved (10, 13) and buys a microscope and a scotoscope (13).
The recent arrival of Mary Mercer, Elizabeth’s new gentlewoman, and Tom, Sam’s ‘boy,’ creates a focus on the ‘family’. They enjoy trips to Bartholomew Fayre (2, 7), plays (10), shopping for the home (16), and a lovely family time where ‘my wife and Mercer and Tom and I sat till eleven at night, singing, fiddling, and a great joy it is to see me master of so much pleasure in my house, that it is and will be still, I hope, a constant pleasure to me to be at home” (9). Sam spends 10l. on new clothes for Elizabeth, and compliments her new suit of moyre (5, 19). Elizabeth believes she is with child (22), but by month’s end it’s clear that she is not. While Sam’s jealousy is needlessly piqued by Mr. Pen’s visits to Elizabeth (5, 14) he still indulges himself with his ladies, including news that Betty Lane wants him to assist her in finding a job for her new husband (5) and his secret trysts with Jane Welsh (11, 12, 18, 19). The month ends with a disagreement between Sam and Elizabeth over her household accounts (29).
Sam admits to himself that he has been remiss in his work this month (17) although Mr. Andrew’s victualling contract brings promises of a payment to Sam of 100l. War preparations continue with Prince Rupert readying the Henrietta (5, 6) and news of beating the Dutch in Guinny (29).
Sam works on Warren’s timber contract (18, 25), Mr. Bridge’s calico contract (8, 12), the Fishery Committee (10, 25, 29) and experiments to test the quality of cordage (3). As Sam welcomes Lord Sandwich on his return (17), the Dutch tension heats up and Rupert writes of the dangers to his fleet in Portsmouth (24). Sam and his extended family enjoy seeing the launch of a new ship (25).
Sam visits his parents while in Brampton (14) and his mother begs him to make peace with his brother John (15). Elizabeth is angered at Sam for “gadding abroad to look after beauties” (2). This has becoming a more consuming past time to Sam these days with his interactions with Mrs. Lane (1), the barber’s maid Jane (3), Mrs. Bagwell (3, 20) and an unknown beauty that he follows home from church (9). Mr Crocker brings Sam a globe of glasse intended to help with Sam’s eyesight (7).
Sam sees Mr. Coventry off to sea with the Duke of York (4, 8) and is called before the King’s Cabinet Council and asked questions by the King himself (9). Sam presents a letter to Sir G. Carteret to show to the King regarding his desire to be a Commissioner of the Prize Office (22) and works with Carteret to prepare a well padded account of the cost of the war (23) with hopes that the House will supply desperately needed funding. The House approves 2,500,000l. for the Navy over three years.
Sam hears gossip that Lord Sandwich may be sent to be Governor of Tangier (3). He sees the Book of Heraldry and reads the entries of the Duke of Monmouth and Lord Sandwich (11). Susan becomes sick and Sam fears it is the measles or scarlet fever (10, 11). Tom also has pains which Dr. Holliard diagnoses as a bladder stone (22, 23). While Sam comments on Mrs. Lane’s sad state (25) his physical relationship with Mrs. Bagwell (3, 8, 15) escalates.
At the start of the month, Sam is pleased that the Duke of York and Mr. Coventry have returned safely from sea (3, 5). Other pleasant conversations abound about the great Comet (15): Sam notes that Lord Sandwich (15), the King and Queen (17) have seen it, and eventually he sees it for himself (24, 27).
In a rash act of temper, Sam is angered at Elizabeth. He hits her soundly causing a painful and severely blackened eye (19). Elizabeth, still quite bruised, remains housebound throughout the Christmas holiday period (25) and Sam makes up an excuse for her not attending an unusual dinner invitation from the Battens (23, 25, 26). In spite of Sam’s being “vexed at my heart” over what he had done to Elizabeth, it does not stop him from pursuing Mrs. Bagwell. He continues to plot to be with her, finally finding a pleasing “success” when he “invites” himself to their house and then sends her husband away ( 15, 16, 19, 20).
In regards to finances, Sam has almost fully settled with Tom Trice (23). He buys himself a looking glass for the dining room (16, 17), some books and a silver sugar box, spoons and forks (14, 30). A sermon on “duty to parents” (11) seems to have hit home as Sam buys a gift of fruit for his father for Christmas (14, 15). Sam summarizes his year end status and is pleased to find himself worth 1349l. (31).