Monday 20 August 1660

(Office day). As Sir W. Pen and I were walking in the garden, a messenger came to me from the Duke of York to fetch me to the Lord Chancellor. So (Mrs. Turner with her daughter The. being come to my house to speak with me about a friend of hers to send to sea) I went with her in her coach as far as Worcester House, but my Lord Chancellor being gone to the House of Lords, I went thither, and (there being a law case before them this day) got in, and there staid all the morning, seeing their manner of sitting on woolpacks, &c., which I never did before.1

After the House was up, I spoke to my Lord, and had order from him to come to him at night. This morning Mr. Creed did give me the Papers that concern my Lord’s sea commission, which he left in my hands and went to sea this day to look after the gratuity money. This afternoon at the Privy Seal, where reckoning with Mr. Moore, he had got 100l. for me together, which I was glad of, guessing that the profits of this month would come to 100l.

In the evening I went all alone to drink at Mr. Harper’s, where I found Mrs. Crisp’s daughter, with whom and her friends I staid and drank, and so with W. Hewer by coach to Worcester House, where I light, sending him home with the 100l. that I received to-day. Here I staid, and saw my Lord Chancellor come into his Great Hall, where wonderful how much company there was to expect him at a Seal.

Before he would begin any business, he took my papers of the state of the debts of the Fleet, and there viewed them before all the people, and did give me his advice privately how to order things, to get as much money as we can of the Parliament.

That being done, I went home, where I found all my things come home from sea (sent by desire by Mr. Dun), of which I was glad, though many of my things are quite spoilt with mould by reason of lying so long a shipboard, and my cabin being not tight. I spent much time to dispose of them tonight, and so to bed.

  1. It is said that these woolpacks were placed in the House of Lords for the judges to sit on, so that the fact that wool was a main source of our national wealth might be kept in the popular mind. The Lord Chancellor’s seat is now called the Woolsack.

21 Annotations

chip   Link to this

Per L&M, some sealing-days, like this, were public; others private. They also note that Hyde was chairman of the Treasury Commission.
It seems Pepys is getting his 3l per day from the Privy Seal and more. I wonder where he stashes the dough.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

(there being a law case before them this day) got in
Per L&M: "The public were admitted to trials [in the House of Lords] but not to debates."

vincent   Link to this

"(Office day). " I wonder why such a crytic comment ?
"..In the evening I went all alone to ....Mrs. Crisp’s with whom and her friends I staid and drank, and so with W. Hewer by coach to Worcester House, where I light, sending him home with the 100l. that I received to-day.... "
Sent the lad home, while being entertained ,poor Wil.
"at a seal" I am guessing the actual signing and stamping of the official document?
"...where wonderful how much company there was to expect him at a Seal ..."
need all the Witnesses (any free gifts and photo ops)
"...and did give me his advice privately how to order things, to get as much money as we can of the Parliament < ..."
always ask for more; same old story.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

gratuity money
This is the affair of the month's wages again from the 14th of August and before. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/08/14/
So I assume Creed is going off to sea to pay the sailors off leaving SP ashore to handle the sea-commission. I'm still not sure where this sea-commission thing ends. Have to stay tuned I guess.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Office day
We'll see this notation more often in the future where its use will be interspersed with the single word 'Office' and the phrase 'To the Office' at the start of an entry. My initial take is that it seems a shorthand phrase for "Up early and to my Navy office'

Judy Bailey   Link to this

How did one safely "stash the dough" in those days? I assume one could hide it under a brick on the fireplace hearth, etc. but how common was thievery in London then? Were such hiding holes safe when left unguarded?

I am also impressed that he routinely sends large amounts of cash through the streets with various people. 100 pounds would have been a tremendously tempting sum to the poor, wasn't it? Yet, we have not heard about thefts or fear of thievery. What's up?

Mary   Link to this

stashing the money.
Refer back to annotations for 30th July, where discussion of this problem first started.

Roger Arbor   Link to this

What a year Sam is having. Worth around £25 at the beginning, and whilst on board ship in the Spring calculates his total worth at £100. And now he is suddenly in receipt of £100 a MONTH! And all these daughters too… and he only in his late 20s, no wonder he is tempted day after day.

To this day, the Lord Chancellor, essentially the Speaker or Chairman of the House of Lords, sits on, you guessed it, The Woolpack. And a pretty impressive sight he is, in wig and gown in his splendour. BUT Tony Blair is to put a stop to all this frippery in the near future… “same on him” says I…

Nix   Link to this

I'm wondering about the L.100 as well --

Would it have been in coin -- I don't think there was paper money at the time -- or would this have been promissory notes from the various parties with whom he was doing business? I'm inclined to think the latter, since (a) very little business was handled in coin at that time, and (b) I have a hard time picturing Samuel entrusting that much cash to his servant to lug home at night through the dark and dangerous streets of London.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Annotation link for "My Lord"

"After the House was up, I spoke to *my Lord*, and had order from him to come to him at night." I'm pretty sure this refers to the Lord Chancellor, not Montagu, as the link currently suggests.

But, we get a chance to link to Montague in the next sentence: "This morning Mr. Creed did give me the Papers that concern *my Lord's* sea commission, which he left in my hands and went to sea this day to look after the gratuity money.” That one is obviously about Montagu.

Glyn   Link to this

If you go to MONEY and then VALUES on the right of this page, you will find that 100 pounds then was worth (very approximately) £9,053 or US$13,851 now. The man is rich, rich, rich!

As was discussed before, people could keep their money in goldsmiths vaults and receive promissory notes, which acted like primitive banknotes, but I think Pepys was rather cautious about using them.

Brian McMullen   Link to this

Promissory note or 'hard' money? I think that SP sent Will home with 'hard' money. There would be little reason to send the note home separately. This is not the first time that SP has other people transporting and/or holding large sums of money for him. I must admit, given today's standards, this appears very odd.

vincent   Link to this

100L = 100 oz = 4.5 lb ! a 1/3 of a plucked goose, I do believe?

Kevin Peter   Link to this

Like Todd, I'm thinking that "my lord" in the House of Lords probably was the Lord Chancellor, not Montagu. It seems strange that he would go there in response to a summons from the Lord Chancellor, but not mention talking to him.

Furthermore, whoever he was talking to in the House of Lords asks him to stop by that night. Later on that evening, Sam stops by to see the Lord Chancellor, making it seem likely that he was indeed talking to the Lord Chancellor in the House of Lords rather than Montagu

vincent   Link to this

1 oz of gold=£2 10s 3?d (see money) 25 oz of gold or 1lb avoisdupois 9 oz. not too heavy? or too hard to hyde from the chancellor..?

Lawrence   Link to this

Vince? How many OZs to make a lb in Sams day,
was it 23, or as it is now 16?

Grahamt   Link to this

Gold is weighed in troy ounces:
There are 12 Troy ounces in a Troy pound, not 16.
A troy ounce is 31.103 gms an avoirdupois ounce is 28.35 gms. This is from Troyes in France, not Troy in Greece and was in use from before the time of William the Conqueror, so presumably in Pepys' time too.
So, to update the old children's riddle: "What weighs more a pound of feathers or a pound of gold?" The answer is the feathers (454 gms vs 373gms)

r l battle   Link to this

re above discussion if "My Lord" was Montageau or Lord Chancellor, Montageau had left London for his Huntingbroke estate Thursday August 16.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The Woolsack is now the seat of the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords (history and images)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolsack

Bill   Link to this

"hard money"

I found a Silver Crown coin of Charles II (1662) on the web at an auction. It weights 30g., about one ounce. A Crown is 5 shillings, hence 120g. to a (monetary) pound. 100l. is then 12000g. which is, of course, 12 kilograms (about 25 pounds). Seems a bit heavy to be carrying around London.

"The silver crown was one of a number of European silver coins which first appeared in the 16th century, all of which were of a similar diameter (about 38 millimetres) and weight (approximately one ounce), so were more or less interchangeable in international trade." ---Wikipedia

Bill   Link to this

About this 100l. Is this all Pepys' money? Does "My Lord" get any of it or is his pile separate? If it is separate it must be a even larger pile. £9,000 (current value) a month for each of the clerks and more for the Lord Privy Seal seems like a lot of money.

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