Saturday 7 July 1660

To my Lord, one with me to buy a Clerk’s place, and I did demand 100l. To the Council Chamber, where I took an order for the advance of the salaries of the officers of the Navy, and I find mine to be raised to 350l. per annum. Thence to the Change, where I bought two fine prints of Ragotts from Rubens, and afterwards dined with my Uncle and Aunt Wight, where her sister Cox and her husband were. After that to Mr. Rawlinson’s with my uncle, and thence to the Navy Office, where I began to take an inventory of the papers, and goods, and books of the office. To my Lord’s, late writing letters. So home to bed.

17 Annotations

Paul Brewster  •  Link

with my Uncle and Aunt Wight, where her sister Con and her husband were
L&M replace "Cox" with "Con" but go on to say that neither the sister (Cox/Con) or her husband have been identified.

Dave Bell  •  Link

Sam may be inclined to doubts, whenever he is reminded that things are not yet signed and sealed, but other people do seem to think he is the man, now, and here he is in the process of taking over the job. But is it a way of making sure he has a claim against any opponent, or is he looking for work to distract him from his doubts?

chip  •  Link

I think even ever cautious Pepys is sure of his post now, and at 3.5 times what he was hoping for. Witness his quickness to spend on clothes and modern (for him) art. Rubens died just 20 years earlier in 1640 and was in London just before Pepys' birth, on King Phillip's behalf to meet with Charles I.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"I bought two fine prints of Ragotts from Rubens"
Are we certain that the Rubens mentioned here is the famous painter? The sentence suggests that he might be an art merchant. If it is the painter being referred to, I suppose it must mean that Ragot copied Rubens paintings in his prints.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"I did demand 100l"
I read this line differently from chip. It seems to me that this is not the salary Sam is asking for himself; rather, he has introduced someone to Montagu ("one with me") who is buying a Clerkship, and has charged that person 100l for the introduction.

vincent  •  Link

1) "...To my Lord, one with me to buy a Clerk’s place,"... ( he did not name names ) "...and I did demand 100l.." (the intro got him 100 quid)

2)"...To the Council Chamber, where I took an order for the advance of the salaries of the officers of the Navy, and..." (get the Monies for existing positions.)
3)"... I find mine to be raised to 350l. per annum...." (The lady luck? he finds his own job worth more than he expected as it was rated at a 100 L )
4)"...Thence to the Change"(Market?), "where I bought two fine prints of Ragotts from Rubens," ( could be the local art dealer? or the genuine article, if so then the Maudlin crowd up at Camb may have a record of the prints), (Ragott maybe a printmaker?) " and afterwards dined with my..." (Wowwe!)

Mary  •  Link

the Ragot prints
L&M (footnote) remarks that this is the first entry in the diary that records Pepys buying prints for what was to become a very fine collection. The engraver was Francois Ragot, a Frenchman, (d. 1670) "who executed a number of engravings after Rubens."

Mary  •  Link

The purchase of offices of state.
A later footnote in L&M makes it clear that for all government servants, from the highest to the lowest, the receipt of 'fees, gratuities and douceurs' from third parties was an accepted aspect of the job. Such extras could be worth much more than the official salary and proved a useful means of keeping remuneration in line with inflation without direct cost to the state coffers. It was a practice common to all European states.

Pepys' great good fortune in being appointed Clerk of the Acts is that he has gained this valuable place virtually free, gratis and for nothing instead of having to purchase it. L&M also note that the purchase price of the Pepys office was a great deal higher after Pepys' tenure of it than it was before he took it up.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Who's buying what from whom
I think the Wheatley rewording(?) of the opening material in the entry muddies the water a bit. The L&M wording (presumably closer to the original) makes it clearer.

"To my Lord. One with me to buy a clerk's place with me and I did demand 100l."

Matthew  •  Link

Fees, grauities etc.:
Also if a minister (perhaps civil servant as well?) was handling money he was free to put it in his own bank account and pocket the interest. The last person to be impeached in Britain made the mistake of continuing this practice shortly after it had been made illegal under William Pitt the Younger (early 19th century).

Glyn  •  Link

Thence to the Change, where I bought two fine prints

"The Change" = "The Exchange" = "The Great Exchange" = "The Royal Exchange" (See Background Info/Places/Other London Buildings). Pepys has been there on many occasions during this diary: for example on March 16.

The Exchange will be burnt down in six years time, be rebuilt, be destroyed by bombing in 1941, and be rebuilt

Glyn  •  Link

Back in the 1980s/1990s the IRA exploded a bomb outside the Royal Exchange in the mistaken belief that it was the official home of the Lord Mayor of the City of London. That was an understandable error: the actual home of the Mayor is Mansion House which is diagonally opposite and is a much smaller and less impressive building. Both are in the Classical Greek style which came into fashion in Pepys' lifetime.

Bill  •  Link

François Ragot a gravé quarante pieces, qu'on appelle copies d'aprés Rubens dont les belles épreuves ont du mérite. Il donnoit bien dans le goût de Rubens : il a fait aussi quelques sujets d'aprés Vandicke.
---Cabinet des singularités d'architecture, peinture, sculpture, et gravure. F. Lecomte, 1700.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Referred to by Pepys as “a sister” of his Aunt Wight. L&M note that neither the sister or her husband have been identified. -- so it is, Paul Brewster!

Sometimes in the Diary, as we will see -- a sister-in-law is refereed to as a sister. In the Companion, L&M say "There is a difficulty in identifying some of [ Uncle Wight's ] relatives mentioned in the Diary", so "Con" is not alone!

Rob  •  Link

Happy to find that Phil has started posting all over again and again looking forward to some interesting reading the coming decade...

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