7 Annotations

First Reading

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Uncle William Wight

William Wight (d. 1672) was a half-brother of Pepys’s father, John. Wight was a fishmonger and general merchant who had become rich but lost all his children, according to Claire Tomalin ("Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self," p. 128). “Pepys was not enthusiastic about many of his blood relations. Like most people, he preferred the ones who did well in life.”

Pepys hoped to become Wight’s heir (Tomalin, p. 199-200; she cites entries for 21, 22 Feb. and 11, 15 May 1664).

Wight had a house taxed at nine hearths in the London parish of St. Andrew Undershaft. He also had a country home in St. Catherine's Hill, near Guildford, Surrey.

Wight’s age is unknown, but he was probably in his early 50s (possibly late 40s) in early 1660.

-- information originally posted in 25 January 1660 entry -- sources: Tomalin's book and L&M Companion volume

vincent  •  Link

"...To my sister Jane Perkin and her children. To my brother-in-law William Wight and his wife and son...."

from will [1657 Aug. 12. ]of Robert Pepys of Brampton, Hunts.
Robert does not mention the the sister's name [strange]
Robert left funds to offspring [ could be the wife's or ?]
yet it says[Robert]he died sine prole

136 capt Robert pepys d 1661

william lyman wight Jr  •  Link

I enjoyed reading the articles and it is fun to think that I am possible related to these very intresting people with my same first and last name. the history of family known to me only dates back to the 1920's my great grandfather Henry Alexander Wight of Germany who fled to the US after WWII and settled in West Virgina

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

SPOILER ALERT "Tuesday 12 January 1663/64
Up and to the office, ... and so home, getting things against dinner ready, and anon comes my uncle Wight and my aunt, with their cozens Mary and Robert, and by chance my uncle Thomas Pepys. We had a good dinner, the chief dish a swan roasted .... At dinner and all day very merry. After dinner to cards ... and lost half-a-crowne. They being gone, my wife did tell me how my uncle did this day accost her alone, ..."

Remember "accost" doesn't necessarily mean what you and I immediately think it means.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Condemnations of Uncle Wight's efforts to have an heir expressed by our annotators ignore the problem of how to do that in the 17th century if your wife is unable to produce a child.

The last paragraph of this article about an 18th century maid illustrates that Uncle Wight wasn't alone in trying to solve the problem in an unconventional way, since there were no 'conventional' ways to do it.
Divorce was not an alternative for anyone other than the super rich, and the applicant had to be reasonably young as well because the parliamentary process took decades:

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.