Thursday 30 August 1660

We found all well in the morning below stairs, but the boy in a sad plight of seeming sorrow; but he is the most cunning rogue that ever I met with of his age.

To White Hall, where I met with the Act of Indemnity1 (so long talked of and hoped for), with the Act of Rate for Pole-money, and for judicial proceedings.

At Westminster Hall I met with Mr. Paget the lawyer, and dined with him at Heaven. This afternoon my wife went to Mr. Pierce’s wife’s child’s christening, and was urged to be godmother, but I advised her before-hand not to do it, so she did not, but as proxy for my Lady Jemimah. This the first day that ever I saw my wife wear black patches since we were married! My Lord came to town to-day, but coming not home till very late I staid till 10 at night, and so home on foot. Mr. Sheply and Mr. Childe this night at the tavern.

  1. 12 Car. II. cap. II, an act of free and general pardon, indemnity, and oblivion.

12 Annotations

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Act of Indemnity ... with the Act of Rate for Polemony, and for Judiciall proceedings
There are 3 acts here. According to L&M: "An act for free and general pardon indempnity [sic] and oblivion;
An act for the speedy provision of money for disbanding and paying off the forces [Polemony];
An act for confirmation of judicial proceedings.
They all received royal assent on the 29th and had been published on the same day: 12 Car. II c.’s 11, 9 and 12. The act concerning judicial proceedings confirmed all judicial decisions made since 1642.”

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Act of Rate for Polemony
L&M spell it polemony. Base on the quotes in the OED the seems to be an alternate spelling of poll-money.

Here's the OED on poll-money:
"Money levied, exacted, or paid, at a fixed rate per head for every person, or (quot. a1618) for every head of cattle; capitation; poll-tax.
...
[I don't think this definition is not completely accurate. It doesn’t seem to take into account its own quotations (shown below) where the amount owed is said to vary based on the number of titles one had and not simply on the number of heads in the household.]
...
a1618 Raleigh Prerog. Parl. … By reason of the troublesome gathering of the polemony upon sheep, this act of subsidy was repealed. … 1662 Petty Taxes … Poll money is a tax upon the persons of men, either upon all simply and indifferently, or else according to some known title or mark of distinction upon each. … The poll-monies which have been levied of late, have been wonderfully confused. 1667 Pepys Diary 5 Apr., This morning come to me the Collectors for my Poll-money. I paid for my title as Esquire and place of Clerk of Acts, and my head and wife’s, and servants’ and their wages, £40 17s.”

Paul Brewster   Link to this

!
The exclamation point is a Gutenberg editorial addition. L&M and Wheatley use a simple period. As L&M point out "Punctuation is almost non-existent in the original since the marks could be confused with shorthand." L&M note this passge with the following reminder, "Pepys had met with patches in Holland on 14 May 1660."

vincent   Link to this

"...poll-money: ..." This tax I beleive was so popular that a certain nameless Prime(First) Minister Brought it back into circulation.
John Evelyn did on Oct 6 1660 "I paiede the great Tax of Pole-mony, levied for the disbanding of the Army,'til now kept up; I paid as Esquire 10 pounds & 1s: for every Servant in my house &c:( SP: 10L(esq) and 30L (CoA)leaving 17s for ?, 6 servants I do believe so what is the 11s for ? [?Liz?])

chip   Link to this

What was the motive of not having Elizabeth the godmother of the Pierce child? Is it political, deference to Jemimah, or a fear of responsibility? I guess the former. I found it curious to see this fad of the eye-patch make its way from the continent to England. Is time something we move through?

Mary   Link to this

the patches

are not eye-patches, but the black (occasionally red) patches cut from paper, cloth or even fine leather in the shape of stars, crescent moon, even a coach and six horses (quoted by Picard) that were stuck upon the face as 'beauty spots' and which remained in fashion for many years. They could, of course, have been put to practical use in covering a blemish but a significant part of their function was to emphasise the fashionable whiteness of a lady' complexion.

J A Gioia   Link to this

patches and will

a great-uncle of mine was attached to the u.s. embassy in rome during the first world war and told me that at parties there he noticed local society women had shaved off their eyebrows and replaced them with velvet patches; breathtaking decadence to a provincial lad from the states.

and let us consider the young rogue will: could sam's astonishing affluence since returning from sea, even the way he gets money in odd lots of cash from various sources, have corrupted the lad? is this why sam is showing such restraint, if not compassion, in punishing him?

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

A little later, the wearing of face patches seems to have acquired symbolic significance as well as being adornments: http://harvest.rutgers.edu/projects/spectator/t...

David A.Smith   Link to this

"he is the most cunning rogue that ever I met with"
Regarding the lightfingered Will, I speculate that Sam wants to be completely sure and will fire him only when he catches Will red-handed.

Phil   Link to this

It would be worth posting information about the patches to the Patches background page so it doesn't have to be posted next time they're mentioned.

tamara   Link to this

My guess about the reason for discouraging Elizabeth from standing godmother would be the responsibility-and-expense issue--being a godparent used to be a much more serious job than it often is now, where not only were you expected to check up on the child's spiritual progress, and probably fork over generous presents, but where you might very well be expected to step in if the child were orphaned or otherwise in trouble.

Dick Wilson   Link to this

The flurry of legislation, yesterday and today, might mean gainful employment for our boy at the Privy Seal office.

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