Balty enters the diary on February 8:
"At home my wife's brother brought her a pretty black dog which I liked very well, and went away again."
Claire Tomalin notes in her biography of Pepys that this going away again without asking Sam for something was unusual.
5 Dec 2005, 10:33 a.m. - Phil Gyford
Husband of Esther: http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/5735/
19 Dec 2005, 2:19 a.m. - Pauline
L&M Companion states that his letters to Sam "perfectly reflect the man" in "their comic extravagance of language and feeling."
Richard Ollard wrote:
"If Balthasar St Michel had not existed. only Dickens could have invented him."
19 Dec 2005, 3:57 a.m. - in Aqua Scripto
Known as my wife's brother or Her Brother, sums up the relationship.
2 Jun 2006, 4:44 a.m. - in Aqua Scripto
How old be this brother in LAW, older or younger, only found two refs: one 18 mths younger, the other 1 yr older, his behaviour suggests younger?
6 Jun 2006, 10:42 p.m. - jeannine
Additional background information about Balty, including his much quoted and "famous" letter to Sam can be found in the article on Elizabeth at
14 Jun 2014, 8:20 p.m. - Bill
Pepys seems to have done well for his brother-in-law in later life, although, from the entries in the Diary, he does not appear to have had a high opinion of him. St. Michel was Muster Master at Deal in 1674, Storekeeper at Tangier in 1681, and Naval Commissioner at Deptford in 1685.
9 Jul 2018, 7:27 p.m. - San Diego Sarah
Someone has finally written a novel about Balty: THE JUDGE HUNTER by Christopher Buckley, up for an Historical Novel Society award in 2018. Part of their review reads, "Peppered with historical characters—Peter Stuyvesant, John Winthrop II—and cleverly using Samuel Pepys’ famous diaries, Buckley masterfully weaves a fictional story with historical fact. Two subplots, involving Samuel Pepys getting arrested for sneaking a peek at a secret document and a young Quaker woman needing rescue from zealous Puritan authorities, help to create a rich story ripe for Buckley’s humor and pointed satire on Puritan ideals, royal peccadilloes, and political intrigue."
What more can one ask for a beach read???
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.