Saturday 17 August 1661

At the Privy Seal, where we had a seal this morning. Then met with Ned Pickering, and walked with him into St. James’s Park (where I had not been a great while), and there found great and very noble alterations. And, in our discourse, he was very forward to complain and to speak loud of the lewdness and beggary of the Court, which I am sorry to hear, and which I am afeard will bring all to ruin again. So he and I to the Wardrobe to dinner, and after dinner Captain Ferrers and I to the Opera, and saw “The Witts” again, which I like exceedingly. The Queen of Bohemia was here, brought by my Lord Craven.

So the Captain and I and another to the Devil tavern and drank, and so by coach home. Troubled in mind that I cannot bring myself to mind my business, but to be so much in love of plays.

We have been at a great loss a great while for a vessel that I sent about a month ago with, things of my Lord’s to Lynn, and cannot till now hear of them, but now we are told that they are put into Soale Bay, but to what purpose I know not.

34 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"At the Privy Seal, where we had a seal this morning."

Cannot but make one think of James Thurber's cartoon: "All right, so you heard a seal bark."
Where is The Seal usually? On vacation? "Oh, I forgot and left it at home in Wapping"? What do they use instead---a potato ink stamp?

Another "New Yorker" magazine reference comes helplessly to mind: when asked why she had not written any theatre reviews recently, Dorothy Parker replied, "I stopped in at the office but someone was using the pencil."

Any elucidators of this strange remark of Sam's?

RexLeo   Link to this

"Troubled in mind that I cannot bring myself to mind my business, but to be so much in love of plays"

We know Sam, how that goes - TV after homework is only for kids.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"beggary of the Court...which I am afeard will bring all to ruin again"
What is SP thinking? that it will lead to taxation and discontent?Well they will receive Catarina de Braganza dowry
shortly and it will bring some relief.

Mark Ynys-Mon   Link to this

> Any elucidators of this strange remark of Sam's?

The Privy Seal is the Office, the seal Sam refers to is presumably some items of interest to him and his companion getting the seal affixed to them at the office.

Mark Ynys-Mon   Link to this

"Soale Bay"

http://tinyurl.com/5o5h5

This is Sole Bay, off the Suffolk coast at Southwold (home to the excellent Sole Bay Brewery of Messrs. Adnams - http://www.adnams.com/).

See also http://www.southwoldmuseum.org/topics_solebay.htm for some highly relevant information about naval use of the bay in Pepys' time.

Australian Susan   Link to this

For history of King's Lynn, see
http://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/westnorfolk/tour...

dirk   Link to this

John Evelyn's diary today:

"Walking about the solitudes [not] far from our Lodging, I greately admired at the extravagant turnings, insinuations, & growthe of sertaine birch trees among the rocks:"

vicente   Link to this

"...At the Privy Seal, where we had a seal this morning..." one job: wheres the gratuities? no bucksheesh?[i.e. things be quiet]. no extra loot?

vicente   Link to this

"...We have been at a great loss a great while for a vessel that I sent about a month ago with, things of my Lord's to Lynn, and cannot till now hear of them, but now we are told that they are put into Soale Bay, but to what purpose I know not….”
“nutent is guaranteed” The Suffolk folk have some extra goodies for the pocket ???” North Sea[German sea] be vedddy dangerous [storms or rival shipping]. It could be also those darstardly pirates looking for easy pickings. It is a well established that the Coal ships had better travel in convoy, if they wanted to deliver the coal from Newcastle to London rather some other port.
“Oh! Mr. Porter, what shall I do”
http://www.amaranthdesign.ca/musichall/songs/po...

vicente   Link to this

Play "the witts": http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/08/15/

Bob T   Link to this

where we had a seal this morning

They were going through a legal formality that made a document official.
I used to know all this stuff, but it was on another world, far, far away. In the UK it is still a requirement to get documents sealed, or stamped. My guess is that Sam's document needed "the royal seal of endorsement". There must be a lawyer lurking around who can provide a better explanation than this.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Soale Bay
Thank you Mark for the reference to Southwold Museum site - most interesting. It seems this was known to be a place for vessels to take safe harbour, but Vincent's comments are relevant too. The whole stretch of coast from Southend to Aldeburgh was notorious for unscrupulous shipping behaviour - certainly smuggling, probably piracy!

Australian Susan   Link to this

Cannot resist.
Re Bradford's take on seals - well, it makes a change from venison pasty......

vicente   Link to this

Bob T: The Seal: He is it: Parliament is out of town, the King is at the races [ or up to his fun and games chasing a stagg or two or other two long legged game [..."And, in our discourse, he was very forward to complain and to speak loud of the lewdness and beggary [ I wonder if this be a miss spelling.. {my mind}?] of the Court, which I am sorry to hear...]]. 'tis quiet in town. This is the month all bodies goto the country side to earn a little extra,'Tis 'arvest time: So I doth think Sam's bemoaning the lack of work and the extra income for the rush job.
August is still the traditional month for playing in haystack with the wenches[ Oh! memories],and picking of the ripe plums etc., {may be it be now that the all the country folk are off to Alicante and sun bathing following a certain earl} letting the Citti folk watch the grass grow.:
Opera try out,a good time, not too many people around to thro ripe plums at the off key, hi c.

Saul Pfeffer   Link to this

where we had a seal this morning
PAULINE on Thu 24 Jul 2003, 12:53 am Gives the below link and the mystery of the the Privy Seal is explaned
From http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/

Pauline   Link to this

where we had a seal this morning

Almost sounds as if Sam is down to noting the occasional opportunity to affix a seal. Remember those heady days last summer when everyone needed this stamp of approval and the fees were rampant?

Plus Sam began this term in haste and then discovered that My Lord Privy Seal wasn't there until the next day; and yesterday the clerks were all off to a funeral. Doesn't seem to be a very busy time at the Privy Seal.

vicente   Link to this

follow up on Saul:full address: http://89.1911encyclopedia.org/P/PR/PRIVY_SEAL.htm
Dirks, ref: good: under :"...signet letters most routine business..."
http://www.scan.org.uk/researchrtools/glossary_...

Jesse   Link to this

"beggary of the Court...which I am afeard will bring all to ruin again"

Perhaps a return to a post Oliver Cromwell Commonwealth which must still be fresh in people’s minds. From http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/timelines/britain/... “When Cromwell died in 1658, he was succeeded as Lord Protector by his son, Richard. As the Commonwealth collapsed into financial chaos and disputes between the military and administration increased, parliament was dissolved and Richard Cromwell was overthrown.”

JWB   Link to this

Q of B
The portrait, linked to by Pauline, could have been painted by Whistler. Check out the size of those pearls.

James   Link to this

"lewdness and beggary of the Court...which I am afeard will bring all to ruin again”

Isn’t “beggary” a misspelling for “buggery?”

Or does SP mean that the King is spending so much money on parties which are likely to bankrupt the country?

Mary   Link to this

beggary

OED cites an obsolete adjective, meaning 'beggarly, poor; mean, contemptible'.

vicente   Link to this

e/u for that famous english expression of the hoi polloi, as in Bu**** O** ,the interpretation is for the Victorian sensibilities, sometimes one doth think of the Ladies that are present. The Court was full of 'wot' the Puritans would call evils as spelt out in the Bible. Somewhere there is a description the 'finer points' of 'enjoyments' of the Hide Park and other spots for relaxation, this period of time was a return to the wanton ways of 14th C. 'Tis why so many left the lands for greener pastures, some for wealth and some for their spirit.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"beggary"
American Heritage Dictionary:beggars considered as a group.

vicente   Link to this

Sorry for being such an atheist and pesty but this phrase does not read about being poor, mean and/or contemptible but about this "in group" that parades around the Halls of power with such contempt and flaunting John Wilmot bon mots.. "...loud of the lewdness and beggary..." being beggardly is not lewd. It is not a sin to be a beggar tho the rich may not like seeing or smelling them,for it may remind them that " for the grace......ETC." It just upsets their stomachs. Lewdness and Buggery are match'd pair, that describes the Court of Charles, and thus would upset those that have some Puritanical / Calvanist traits.

PHE   Link to this

Beggary
I believe 'beggary' was meant and refers to the wastage of money by the Court and perhaps to aspirant courtiers who scrounge off the Court. According to Tomlinson, Sam was not conversant with the meaning of the alternative spelling suggested.

David Ross McIrvine   Link to this

SOALE/SOLE BAY (NOW SOUTHWOLD BAY)

Remember also that it will be at Sole Bay that the Edward Montagu, Earl of Sandwich dies a hero's death. He attempted to get the Duke of York to move the fleet, and when his advice was unheeded, the Battle of Sole Bay (Now called "Southwold Bay") commenced the 3d Anglo-Dutch Naval War.

http://www.tosd.demon.co.uk/battle.htm

"Meanwhile, the Earl of Sandwich in ROYAL JAMES had problems of his own. The ship was
brought to a standstill when it snagged a small Dutch vessel under its bowsprit, and was promptly the target of fire-ships. The Earl showed remarkable aplomb, pacing the quarterdeck with his personal officers, until the flames drove them over the side and into the sea, where he drowned. His body was recovered several days later. The ROYAL JAMES sank following an explosion."

A painting from the Maritime Museum:

http://www.nmm.ac.uk/mag/pages/mnuExplore/ViewL...

vicente   Link to this

"..., Sam was not conversant with the meaning of the alternative spelling suggested...." then Sam lead a very sheltered life: CAUTION : this contact is only for those that are used to seemy side of life.A Debt to Pleasure by John Wilmot Earl of Rochester.
A ramble in the St James Park.
Much wine had passed, with grave discourse,........ {CAUTION}
Drunkenness relieved by lechery,
Went out into St. James' Park
To cool my head and dire my heart,
But though St. James has the' honour on't,.......
CAUTION NOT FOR SENTATIVE READING:
http://www.pornokrates.com/rochester.html

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"beggary"
You are right Vicente;excellent site;at least John Wilmot knew how to spell it.

Australian Susan   Link to this

To quote from one of these poems:
"a merry monarch, scandalous and poor"
yes, "lewdness and beggery" indeed!

dirk   Link to this

It is not a sin to be a beggar - re Vicente

Absolutely right there, Vince. The presence of beggars (but not too many obviously!) is even necessary. How else could the well to do give alms to the poor, and thus atone for their own sins and save their precious souls. A common religous point of view at the time, both in catholic and protestant (and as far as I know also Anglican) parts of the world...

Australian Susan   Link to this

Atonement
Protestant churches which were Calvinist would have not agreed with the giving of alms to "earn" a passage to heaven; they believed in the Elect - either you were saved or not and good works (including giving alms to the poor) would avail thee not one bit! Calvinists would have given alms to the poor because Jesus urged us to in the Gospels.Matthew 5:42, Luke 6: 30 etc.

dirk   Link to this

the poor, alms, &c

Interesting reading about the subject: "Giving Alms No Charity" by Daniel Defoe - "A Bill for the better Relief, Imployment and Settlement of the Poor, etc.", addressed to Parliament in 1704.

Here he talks about the country being "burthen`d with a crowd of clamouring, unimploy`d, unprovided for poor people, who make the nation uneasie, burthen the rich, clog our parishes, and make themselves worthy of laws, and peculiar management to dispose of and direct them:" The "fundamental maxims" he mentiones later on in the text sound all too familiar...

From:
http://www.underthesun.cc/Classics/Defoe/almsno...

vicente   Link to this

me lauds that stay in bed and not come to snooze must pay in to the poor fund

Absent Lords to pay to the Poor.
ORDERED, That the ancient Order of this House be renewed, for every Lord that is absent from attending this House, and maketh not his just Excuse, to pay Five Shillings to the Poor for every Day's Absence.

From: British History Online
Source: House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 14 May 1661. House of Lords Journal Volume 11, ().
URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com... bill house of lords 1661#s9
Date: 20/08/2004

Copyright 2003 University of London & History of Parliament Trust

Pedro.   Link to this

"the lewdness and beggary of the Court, which I am sorry to hear, and which I am afeard will bring all to ruin again"

Bishop Burnet (1643-1715) says..

With the restoration of the King a spirit of extravegant joy overspread the nation, which was soon attended with all manner of profaneness and immorality. The hypocritical pretences of former times gave great advantages and matter enough to the mockers of religion; and some were weak as to fall in with them, to avoid the more odiousimputation of being hypocrites. Men's hearts were elated after their return from want; and riot and excess, under the colour of drinking the king's health, were made a compensation for what they had suffered under a state of much affliction.

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