Tuesday 26 June 1660

My Lord dined at his lodgings all alone to-day. I went to Secretary Nicholas to carry him my Lord’s resolutions about his title, which he had chosen, and that is Portsmouth.1 I met with Mr. Throgmorton, a merchant, who went with me to the old Three Tuns, at Charing Cross, who did give me five pieces of gold for to do him a small piece of service about a convoy to Bilbo, which I did.

In the afternoon, one Mr. Watts came to me, a merchant, to offer me 500l. if I would desist from the Clerk of the Acts place. I pray God direct me in what I do herein.

Went to my house, where I found my father, and carried him and my wife to Whitefriars, and myself to Puddlewharf, to the Wardrobe, to Mr. Townsend, who went with me to Backwell, the goldsmith’s, and there we chose 100l. worth of plate for my Lord to give Secretary Nicholas. Back and staid at my father’s, and so home to bed.

  1. Montagu changed his mind, and ultimately took his title from the town of Sandwich, leaving that of Portsmouth for the use of a King’s mistress.

29 Annotations

Glyn   Link to this

He is being offered a fortune to let someone else have this new job (the Clerk of the Acts). A nonentity could use it to take bribes and become rich: a very talented, hard-worker could use it to transform the British Navy. History will be significantly changed depending on whether or not he accepts the money.

But wasn't he offered a (much, much smaller) sum of money earlier in the year for some other more menial job? The amounts are getting bigger.

Incidentally, unless they are sending a convoy of ships to Hobbitland I presume Bilbo is Bilbao in Portugal. That's the homeland of Charles II's Queen, and the alliance is pretty strong.

Nix   Link to this

"a convoy to Bilbo" --

That would be Bilbao, in Spain, not the guy in Middle Earth, right?

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Today per L&M, Wheatley lost the first two sentences.
"Up and was called on by Mr. Pinckny, to whom I paid 16l for orders that he hath made for my Lord's Cloakes and coats. Then to my Lord's lodgings. My Lord dined ..."

Matt   Link to this

Is the "five pieces of gold for to do him a small piece of service" a bribe, or just something to speed things along? There seems to be a fair bit of this in Sam's life, albeit small amounts (that I remember, and ignoring the 500L mentioned here, which is clearly trying to bribe him out so someone else can have it).

Was this a normal part of business in those times? How times have changed (or so we think :-)! Makes one realise that condemning some of the 2nd/3rd world countries for "endemic corruption" is not so fair.

Matthew   Link to this

Convoy:
If I remember rightly (LanguageHat please advise) this could mean a single warship sent as a guard as well as a group of ships. Was a bribe being given for the Royal Navy to provide a private security service?

Colin Gravois   Link to this

Oh tempores, oh mores!
Matt, you're right on the "bribes" question. Slipping a fiver or a tenner (or a 500£ proposition in this case) just reminds us that business is business, and “endemic corruption” in the Third World (First World???) is nothing new, just depends on the vantage point. That Sam doesn’t seem to have scruples in accepting small favors does not at all reflect unfavorably on him, he was only living in his times.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

there we chose 100l. worth of plate for my Lord to give Secretary Nicholas.
"Giving and Getting" seems to be the order of the day ... L&M notes that this was the "usual gift made by a newly-minted earl to the Secretary of State issuing a warrant for his title."

Paul L   Link to this

To think - if Montague hadn't changed his mind on his title I'd have just eaten a tuna and mayonnaise Portsmouth.

diphi   Link to this

I love the reference to Puddlewharf, but am clueless as to what it might be. Any information from the Pepys Irregulars would be appreciated.

Nix   Link to this

Puddlewharf --

A landing place on the north bank of the Thames at the foot of St. Andrew's Hill. (Per a footnote in the on-line edition of Beaumont's "Knight of the Burning Pestle" -- through the miracle of Google.) Now where is St. Andrew's Hill? I pass the baton to one of you London experts.

gordonh   Link to this

re Puddle Wharf

from http://www.britannia.com/hiddenlondon/ireland_y...

Shakespeare went on to pay £140 for the gate house. While no physical description of it survives, a deed of Conveyance for the property states that it was:
’ ..now or late being in the tenure or occupancy of one William Ireland… abutting upon a street leading down to Puddle Wharf on the east part, right against the Kinges Majesties Wardrobe..’

Grahamt   Link to this

Puddle Wharf/dock:
Can be seen on this 1827 map just down from Blackfriars bridge (didn't exist in 1660)
http://users.bathspa.ac.uk/greenwood/map_e6u.html

Or on the 1746 map here http://www.motco.com/MapImages/81002/81002113.jpg right next to Dung Wharf (there's a name to conjure with) The King's Wardrobe can also be seen close by.

"Puddle" is probably puddle clay used for lining canals and dams, or it could be puddled steel.

Glyn   Link to this

Diphi, Nix and Gordon: These places still exist in London. Puddle Dock Lane goes past the church of St Andrews by the Wardrobe (worth a visit) and up into what is now St Andrew's Hill towards St Paul's Cathedral.

Have a look at the bottom right corner of this slightly later map:

http://www.motco.com/Map/81002/SeriesSearchPlat...

I am still surprised that Pepys has been offered more than five times his lifetime savings and hasn't immediately agreed to the deal. I don't think they would have thought of this as a bribe - more as a job-franchise(?)

Paul Brewster   Link to this

where I found my father, and carried him and my wife by water to White-fryers, and myself to puddle wharfe
L&M add the phrase "by water" that Wheatley apparently deleted. It makes a little more sense of the word "carried".

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: The value of his new position

In response to Glyn's surprise over Pepys' reluctance to jump at the offer of £500, I offer this perspective: If I’m Sam, and someone offers me that amount for a position I’d just obtained but not yet attained — and makes the offer not too long after someone else had offered a substantial sum simply to split the position with me — my estimation of the value of the position goes WAY up. Blimey, thinks I, I’m really on to something here! Two courses from there: A) I’m not letting go of it, or B) Let’s see how high the bidding goes!

Ken Fowler   Link to this

"...leaving that of Portsmouth for the use of a King's mistress.”

Louise De Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth born 1649 and died 1734. In 1743 John Wallop (1690— 1762) of Farley Wallop in Hampshire was created earl of Portsmouth.

Was the Duchess given a lifetime peerage or was there no issue?

http://80.1911encyclopedia.org/P/PO/PORTSMOUTH_...

Kay Jones   Link to this

"carried him and my wife" - In the American South, the expression to carry someone is still in use. Certainly less today than a generation ago, but it would simply mean to take someone, by car or presumably at one time, by carriage, wagon, horse, etc.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

The Duchess of Portsmouth
The chronology here puzzles me. Per Ken Fowler's reference, b. 1649, therefore 11 years old in 1660. Surely she couldn't have become the king's mistress for at least several years after that; but I thought Montagu became Earl of Sandwich in 1660?

vincent   Link to this

"Blackfriars bridge (didn’t exist in 1660)" who wanted to go Surry anyway. Just stairs will do:No euphanisms required for normal everyday problems.A puddle is a puddle, a Dung heap is a dung heap, what with 1000's of 'orses and the Market Gardens needing good clean fertiliser ('twas organic you know) to grow those luverly pease for the split green pea soup. How else were yer to keep the streets of the town free of growin' of (h)oats.Then there is the common lane next to do that common thing maybe.

vincent   Link to this

“five pieces of gold for to do him a small piece of service” a bribe.."
Today we have less obvious ways of palming of hand. There is the Goldern parachute if one drives the business into the ground, or there is the stock options that one gets for trying, in for a penny (now a pound) (10 cents maybe a dollar) but "OH" the payoff when when you get to exercise ones warrants or rights at just before the rug is pulled.
A quote that is attributed to B. Espenoza.
"Anyone who saw clearly that by commiting knavery he would enjoy a more perfect and better life, or essence, than by pursuing virtue, would be a lunitic if he did not commit it. For knavery would be a virtue with regard to so faulty a human nature.
'Letter in Spinoza's published correspondence eps23'

Paul Brewster   Link to this

about his title, which he had chosen, and that is Portsmouth
I agree that the Wheatley footnote is misleading. The chronology with the Duchess is more than a little suspicious. If it were true, this tidbit would seem to be too juicy for SP to pass up.

The L&M footnote on the same subject doesn't answer the question but may send one off in the right direction. "He changed his mind and chose Sandwich. ... In the Secretary's warrant issued this day the titles of the earldom (Portsmouth) and barony (Hinchingbrooke) are altered to 'Sandwich' and 'St Neot's' respectively. ... Montagu had no close connection with either Portsmouth or Sandwich, but both had maritime interests, and (what was also important) a political value as parliamentary constituencies returning two members each. Huntingdon (which would have been the most obvious territorial title for him to take) was already and earldom in the Hastings family."

For me, this note sheds a new light on the assignment of earldoms. Montagu may be looking for the best way to use the new title to extend his political influence. To extend the American political theme in a speculative way, one might think of Robert "Bobby" Kennedy/Hillary Clinton asking their brother/husband to be named Earl of Manhattan to put him/her on the road to New York’s Senate seat. At the time of their election, both were attacked as foreigners.

M.Stolzenbach   Link to this

I think the note just means "leaving" (without his knowledge)the title of Portsmouth for a (later) royal mistress. In other words, one might add "as it turned out."

But I love the idea of eating a Portsmouth.

language hat   Link to this

Convoy:
At this period, the word basically meant 'escort.' It could have any of the following more specific meanings (OED):

3. The act of convoying or escorting; escort for honour, guidance, or protection.
1676 DRYDEN Aurengz. V. i, Your Convoy makes the dangerous Way secure.

6. An honorable escort.
1632 LITHGOW Trav. vi. (1682) 237 With this shouting Convoy of six thousand Oriental Christians. 1681 COTTON Wond. Peake 18 Your Peake-bred Convoy of rude Men and Boys, All the way whooting.

7. An armed force accompanying or escorting any person or persons, goods, provisions, or munitions of war; a protecting escort.
1659 B. HARRIS Parival's Iron Age 259 The said Convoy consisted of about fifteen hundred horsemen.
esp. A party of ships of war escorting unarmed vessels.
1636 BLUNT Voy. Levant (1637) 27 Rhodian Galleys.. to be our Convoy against Pyracy. 1709 STEELE Tatler No. 4 7 A Dutch Man of War of Forty Guns, which was Convoy to the said Fleet.

8. One who (or that which) guides; a guide, conductor.
1628 BEAUM. & FL. Custom of Country III. v, Sir, if an angel were to be my convoy, He should not be more welcome. 1647 WARD Simp. Cobler 39 If God hide his path, Satan is at hand to turne Convoy. a1680 BUTLER Rem. (1759) II. 470 Charity is not only our Convoy to Heaven, but engaged to stay with us there for ever.

language hat   Link to this

"Was a bribe being given for the Royal Navy to provide a private security service?"
At this point there was not yet a Royal Navy as we think of it. To quote the Companion: "Its ships might, or might not, have been built for the single purpose of war; they might, or might not, belong to the Crown.... Neither the officers nor the seamen were employed on a regular and permanent basis. They wore no uniform. No central record was kept of their service..." The word "navy" originally referred simply to "the totality of English ships and English seafarers without the distinction, implicit in our eyes, between military and civilian." It was Pepys's life work to change that situation.

tamara   Link to this

Claire Tomalin
says quite definitely that the real value of these jobs was in the influence and thus obliquely generated wealth they brought in over time--not in the current salary. So giving the thing away for a few hundred pounds would have been very shortsighted.

Nix   Link to this

"Convoy" --

I assume it is Latin (by way of Norman French) in origin and means "go with"?

language hat   Link to this

"convoy":
Exactly right, Nix; it's the same word as "convey," borrowed from Old French conveier, from Medieval Latin conviare 'to escort': con- 'with' + via 'way, road.'

Linda Camidge   Link to this

57 degrees F at midsummer - chilly, what?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Was the Duchess [of Portsmouth] given a lifetime peerage or was there no issue?" -- Wikipedia's answer:

Louise Renée de Penancoët de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth (6 September 1649 – 14 November 1734) was a mistress of Charles II of England. Through her son by Charles II, Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, she is ancestress of both wives of Prince Charles: Diana, Princess of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_de_K%C3%A9r...

Log in to post an annotation.

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