Thursday 21 June 1660

To my Lord, much business. With him to the Council Chamber, where he was sworn; and the charge of his being admitted Privy Counsellor is 26l..

To the Dog Tavern at Westminster, where Murford with Captain Curle and two friends of theirs went to drink. Captain Curle, late of the Maria, gave me five pieces in gold and a silver can for my wife for the Commission I did give him this day for his ship, dated April 20, 1660 last.

Thence to the Parliament door and came to Mr. Crew’s to dinner with my Lord, and with my Lord to see the great Wardrobe, where Mr. Townsend brought us to the governor of some poor children in tawny clothes; who had been maintained there these eleven years, which put my Lord to a stand how to dispose of them, that he may have the house for his use. The children did sing finely, and my Lord did bid me give them five pieces in gold at his going away.

Thence back to White Hall, where, the King being gone abroad, my Lord and I walked a great while discoursing of the simplicity of the Protector, in his losing all that his father had left him. My Lord told me, that the last words that he parted with the Protector with (when he went to the Sound), were, that he should rejoice more to see him in his grave at his return home, than that he should give way to such things as were then in hatching, and afterwards did ruin him: and the Protector said, that whatever G. Montagu, my Lord Broghill, Jones, and the Secretary, would have him to do, he would do it, be it what it would. Thence to my wife, meeting Mr. Blagrave, who went home with me, and did give me a lesson upon the flageolet, and handselled my silver can with my wife and me.

To my father’s, where Sir Thomas Honeywood and his family were come of a sudden, and so we forced to lie all together in a little chamber, three stories high.

9 Annotations

language hat  •  Link

"handselled my silver can":
i.e., they had the first drink from it. To handsel was literally 'to present with, give, or offer, something auspicious at the commencement of the year or day, the beginning of an enterprise, etc.' but this is the OED's sense 3, 'To inaugurate the use of; to use for the first time; to be the first to test, try, prove, taste.'
(A can was any kind of drinking vessel.)

chip  •  Link

Pepys packs a day! As you see, Guy, Sam can be bought, and will be many times in the course of the diary. He justified it, according to Tomalin, by saying he was only acting in the best interest of the king by selecting the providers that greased his palms.
Again at the Parliament door, they meet Crew and are diverted. And though the children sang sweetly, they are disposed of. And a rare insight into Richard Cromwell and his relationship to Montagu. Do notice how the sliver can for his wife becomes his by the end of the entry. Obviously, it fancied him.
All this and learning to play the flageolet!

helena murphy  •  Link

Talk of the Protector may be a longing to return to the heyday of the Commonweath when Montague stood on firmer ground. In spite of recent honours many royalists see him as a traitor to his class. His regicide brother-in-law, Sir
Gilbert Pickering is an undeniable reminder of this. Even Pepys perhaps might have been accepted as a Cromwellian "courtier" due to his administrative ability and work ethic.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

The children did sing finely, and my Lord did bid me give them five pieces in gold at his going away.
"In June 1649 the government had granted [the Great Wardrobe] to the city Corporation for the Poor (established in 1647).... Sandwich had ousted them by early 1661 despite a piteous petition of behalf of the poor children." per L&M.
Nice job kids. Here's some spare change for your troubles. Now out of here.
I guess it was ever thus. Early attempt at warehousing the homeless rolled back by Restoration. After all what did you need a Great Wardrobe for if the main wearer of the stuff was at least a head shorter than he was before. But now he's baaack ...

vincent  •  Link

little chamber 3 stories high; was it a bunk bed at his pa's place
"To my father’s where Sir Thomas Honeywood and his family were come of a sudden, and so we forced to lie all together in a little chamber, three stories high."

Dick Wilson  •  Link

Pepys was accepting the "Usual Fee" for services. In that day and age, Corruption was in accepting, or demanding, too much. To ask too little was simply stupid. During the Civil War, most of the silverware in the country had been melted down, to pay the troops of one side or the other. Now, the coins were being melted, to make things like this silver can. In its own way, it is a sign of stability returning to society.

MarkS  •  Link

Did anybody notice that Captain Curle gives Pepys five pieces of gold, and then later when visiting the children, "my Lord did bid me give them five pieces in gold".

It was obviously the same five pieces of gold. Pepys must have told Mountagu that he got the money from Curle, and Mountagu asked Pepys to pay it to the person looking after the children. Presumably Mountagu will pay it back later.

It's a significantly large amount of money, perhaps to enable them to rent a house elsewhere.

Mary K  •  Link

"handselled my silver can"

In modern parlance one might substitute "christened" for "handselled in such a context.

As for that "little chamber three stories high" I presume this means not that the chamber itself was extraordinarily high-ceilinged but that it was a garret, a small room immediately beneath the roof of the house. Not choice accommodation.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.