Early Modern Woodworking #2: A DIY Shoutout to My Pepys (Yeah, it's Pronounced 'Peeps')

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Blog entry by naomi weiss posted 08-10-2009 07:15 AM 2620 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Moxon, Nicholas Owen, and the Gunpowder Plot Part 2 of Early Modern Woodworking series Part 3: The Debate of the Carpenter's Tools »

Samuel Pepys
Once again, thanks to Cardinal Wolsey’s Today in History and Phil Gyford’s excellent online version of Samuel Pepys’s diary, the worlds of woodworking and early modern England come together. Hold on to your buckled hats! The grumpy guy you see here is Samuel Pepys, (1633-1703) the famous diarist. He was known for writing about the Great Fire in London, and for writing about his sexpcapades (ewe) in code so his wife could never bust him. If you’re curious (and i don’t blame you—he’s got beautiful Vidal Sassoon [from the 80s!] hair) click here.
Anyway, here is Pepys’ disastrous attempt at DIY:

Wednesday 7 February 1665/66

It being fast day I staid at home all day long to set things to rights in my chamber by taking out all my books, and putting my chamber in the same condition it was before the plague. But in the morning doing of it, and knocking up a nail I did bruise my left thumb so as broke a great deal of my flesh off, that it hung by a little. It was a sight frighted my wife, but I put some balsam of Mrs. Turner’s to it, and though in great pain, yet went on with my business, and did it to my full content, setting every thing in order, in hopes now that the worst of our fears are over as to the plague for the next year. Interrupted I was by two or three occasions this day to my great vexation, having this the only day I have been able to set apart for this work since my coming to town. At night to supper, weary, and to bed, having had the plasterers and joiners also to do some jobbs.

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor

4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2998 days

#1 posted 08-10-2009 07:42 AM


-- Custom furniture

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3360 days

#2 posted 08-10-2009 01:02 PM

You just gotta wonder what, pray tell, did he do that made him so weary?

-- Working at Woodworking

View kiwi1969's profile


609 posts in 2863 days

#3 posted 08-10-2009 03:25 PM

some things never change, just today I doth walloped my thumb leading to much cursing and verbal discord.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3822 days

#4 posted 08-10-2009 05:00 PM

Did this drivel sell?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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