Wednesday 30 October 1661

All the morning at the office. At noon played on my Theorbo, and much pleased therewith; it is now altered with a new neck. In the afternoon Captain Lambert called me out by appointment, and we walked together to Deptford, and there in his ship, the Norwich, I got him to shew me every hole and corner of the ship, much to my information, and the purpose of my going. So home again, and at Sir W. Batten’s heard how he had been already at Sir R. Slingsby’s, as we were all invited, and I intended this night to go, and there he finds all things out of order, and no such thing done to-night, but pretending that the corps stinks, they will bury it to-night privately, and so will unbespeak all their guests, and there shall be no funerall, which I am sorry for, that there should be nothing done for the honour of Sir Robert, but I fear he hath left his family in great distraction. Here I staid till late at cards with my Lady and Mrs. Martha, and so home. I sent for a bottle or two of wine thither.

At my coming home I am sorry to find my wife displeased with her maid Doll, whose fault is that she cannot keep her peace, but will always be talking in an angry manner, though it be without any reason and to no purpose, which I am sorry for and do see the inconvenience that do attend the increase of a man’s fortune by being forced to keep more servants, which brings trouble.

Sir Henry Vane, Lambert, and others, are lately sent suddenly away from the Tower, prisoners to Scilly; but I do not think there is any plot as is said, but only a pretence; as there was once pretended often against the Cavaliers.

21 Annotations

Bob T   Link to this

and we walked together to Deptford.

This is a very long walk. Why did they waste so much time when they could have hired horses on the south side? Would they have been headed to what I knew as Deptford Creek?

dirk   Link to this

"Sir Henry Vane, Lambert, and others, are lately sent suddenly away from the Tower, prisoners to Scilly; but I do not think there is any plot as is said"

A plot? Does anyone have any more background info on this?

dirk   Link to this

Doll

First reference to Doll was on sunday 8 September, when in the afternoon, after church service, "coming home again found our new maid Doll asleep, that she could not hear to let us in, so that we were fain to send the boy in at a window to open the door to us".

We don't seem to know much about Doll, when she was hired, whether she was young and pretty, nor anything else really. There's no background info on her yet.

dirk   Link to this

"Sir R. Slingsby's … pretending that the corps stinks, they will bury it to-night privately”

Something strange is going on here. Seems his own family wants him out of the way as quickly as possible, without proper burial. Why? Could there be a connection with the “plot” above?

David A. Smith   Link to this

"shew me every hole and corner of the ship, much to my information"
Here is that restless insatiable curiosity come to the fore: fiddling with his theorbo at lunch, then into the bowels of the boat.
Sam is from the Yogi Berra School of Management: "You can observe a lot just by watching."
A useful trait, seen many times already. Inferential spolier alert!

David A. Smith   Link to this

"by being forced to keep more servants, which brings trouble"
More challenges of a hot updraft trajectory -- you have to swell the household to cope with the bigger house, and the managerial span of control broadens.
Sam, my boy, soon you're going to need a capable assistant ....

Bradford   Link to this

Sam sees "the inconvenience that do attend the increase of a man's fortune by being forced to keep more servants, which brings trouble”—-that it’s as much work to make others do things the way you want them as to do them yourself, but you are now So Busy making the money to hire the servants that you can’t do the things yourself, but must hire the servants to do that which you are Too Busy to . . . never mind. If one does not have a managerial personality, perhaps a humbler life might be in order?

“and so will unbespeak all their guests”: a wonderful phrase which could still be put to use today, especially if the guest list winds up with an inadvisable mixture of folks.
(Viz., imagine the arguments about The Election going on at Halloween parties across America even as I type. Historical Color.)

vicente   Link to this

an old saw: one servant much work done[please the mrs] Two servants, half a job done . Three servants much mischief.

vicente   Link to this

"...We don't seem to know much about Doll, when she was hired, whether she was young and pretty…” if she not be cute then Mrs. may be pleased but the Master would not be pleased unless she be good for cleaning out the house under stairs. If she be shapely of legg then she be upstairs maid and then Mrs., may not be pleased, which seems to be the case, she got away with being deaf [indicating that she doth have a nice wink].The other wenches, it doth seem, be a bit put out, [“…she cannot keep her peace…”]or is it just old fashion lipp. Or is it a case of “Marm, the Master likes his back being scratched in the lower lumbar region it must be scratch real good “.The master would would never take an ugley wenches side, so she aint without assets. I can see Sam saying “dear, she be young and we must be patient” [Sam putting eye balls back in]or Lizzy ” It is very hard to get good help, look how many we had to look over, remember the one whose mother said she would only stay 6 months, they be so independant these days.”
Sam still is keeping some secrets , when he reads this over later, his memory will over flow.

vicente   Link to this

"...and we walked together to Deptford..." lots of questions would be asked and answered in this pleasant stroll, so much will be accomplished this way rather than being a stuffy conference room on the 'Bosses' turf. All the best Decisions are made in business world on neutral turf and in pleasant surroundings.['tis why Coffee houses were a success]
"..."shew me every hole and corner of the ship, much to my information"..."
Every Genius and truly succeessful Executive asks and listens, then he can execute the best action. Tis one of the main reasons Airplanes shuttle the leaders over billions of miles to get an eyeball. This only way one can find out who Knows wot and WHO can do the carry out the commission.
Ears came months before mouth.

JWB   Link to this

"...pretending..."
Well, Slingsby did die Sat. the 26th. Sam writes that he admired the man as uncorrupted. Perhaps he thought him uncorruptable.

Pauline   Link to this

Perhaps he thought him uncorruptable.
JWB, you are naughty.
Sam also says "I fear he hath left his family in great distraction." So perhaps the quick and unexpected death of a man as well-respected and loved by his family as by Sam has left things in a dither and certain basic expediencies have taken over.

Mary   Link to this

"said she would stay only six months"

Maids (according to L&M Companion) were normally employed on a monthly basis. This is why it seemed so impertinent for the previous applicant to demand a six-month contract.

Lawrence   Link to this

The prisoners were shipped on the 25th-Vane to the Scillies, Lambert to Guernsey, Corbet and Waller to Jersey:
The scare was caused by the Worcestershire or Yarranton Plot. L&M

David A. Smith   Link to this

"all things out of order, and no such thing done to-night"
Responding to Dirk, I agree with Pauline on the Occam's Razor explanation. Sir Robert was a healthy, successful, capable man; his sudden death has left his family in grief and confusion, unable to arrange a proper reception and viewing. So they invent an exculpatory white lie ("the corpse stinks") that lets them politely but briskly turn away the callers.

David A. Smith   Link to this

"I do not think there is any plot as is said, but only a pretence"
Via Google (my distillation, read the whole thing):
Andrew Yarranton, born Worcestershire 1616. Parliamentary Army in the war; 1648 frustrated a Royalist plan to seize Doyley House in Hereford, rewarded with £500.
By 1652 back as an ironmonger. Busily worked on improving navigation, surveying rivers at his own cost.
“Whether through envy or enmity Yarranton's activity excited the suspicion of the authorities. His journeys from place to place seemed to them to point to some Presbyterian plot on foot.”
On 13 Nov 1660, arrested by Lord Windsor, Lord-Lieutenant of the county, ‘for refusing to obey my authority.’ Must have lain in prison until escaping in May, 1662.
Recaptured within a month, but shortly after is “at liberty, publicly occupied in carrying out his plans for improving the navigation of the western rivers.
“A few years later he published in London a 4to. tract entitled "A Full Discovery of the First Presbyterian Sham Plot," which most probably contained a vindication of his conduct.”
http://www.lostlabours.co.uk/agenoria/research/...

David A. Smith   Link to this

"as there was once pretended often against the Cavaliers"
Reading Yarranton's life story, I am struck at how similar in many ways it is to Sam's, but for accident of age and place -- the same enterprise, the same commitment, the same political odyssey, the same interest in waterways.

vicente   Link to this

"Maids (according to L&M Companion) were normally employed on a monthly basis". According to Liza Picard P176 the contract was for 1 yr as the Mistress had to provide the "[french maid?]" outfit. Many absconded with silver and outfit. Servants had no security, could be dumped at the whim of the Mistress. Nice reading pages 175-179. There is a nice ad for missing wench and her trophies.

Nix   Link to this

"and so will unbespeak all their guests"

Here is the OED entry on "unbespeak":

v. trans. To countermand; to cancel an order or request for.

1661 PEPYS Diary 30 Oct., Pretending that the corps stinks, they will bury it to-night privately, and so will unbespeak all their guests. 1693 Let. in Academy 9 Aug. (1890) 109/3 You will force me elce to..unbespeake ye continuance of a Kindenesse I cannot repay. 1740 GARRICK Lying Valet 1, I can immediately run back and unbespeak what I have order'd. 1743 MRS. DELANY in Life & Corr. (1861) II. 207 He says he has not strength to perform the journey. The lodgings are unbespoke, the coach forbid.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: David, Pauline and Occam's Razor

"Sir Robert was a healthy, successful, capable man; his sudden death has left his family in grief and confusion, unable to arrange a proper reception and viewing."

OR ... is it possible that "but I fear he hath left his family in great distraction" means that he left a great many debts and other problems unknown to his family? Which puts them at their wits' ends, and renders them unable to pay for a proper funeral?

Your Satanic attorney,
Todd

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I do not think there is any plot as is said, but only a pretence" -- the details from the DNB, Vol. 63, p. 285

At the Restoration Yarranton was thrown into prison by the lord lieutenant of Worcestershire ‘for refusing his lordship's authority.’ He was free in November 1661, when he was compromised by the discovery of some letters relating to an intended presbyterian rising. On 16 Nov. a message was sent from London ordering his arrest, and in May 1662 ‘the escape of Andrew Yarranton, a person dangerous to the government, from the custody of the provost marshal,’ was reported from Worcester [cf. art. Pakington, Sir John, (1620–1680)]. After ‘meetings with several disaffected persons,’ he went up to London, where a warrant was issued for his re-apprehension. He is subsequently described as being ‘as violent a villain against the king as any in those parts.’

In a full account of the affair published by Yarranton in 1681, he declares that the compromising letters were forged; that after he had been imprisoned some five months an account of the fraud was made known to his wife, and by her communicated to himself; that he then publicly denounced the imposture and was released, went up to London ‘to acquaint the king with the great wrong he had received,’ was arrested, but immediately released; returned to Worcester, and within six months was a third time arrested on a new charge of ‘having spoken treasonable words against the king.’ ‘The witnesses were one Dainty (a mountebank, formerly an apothecary of Derby), who afterwards acknowledged that he had 5l. for his pains; the other witness lived in Wales, and went by two names. This was done at the assizes of Worcester; the bill being found by the grand jury, Mr. Yarranton put himself upon his trial, and tho' he did not except against any one of his jury, yet upon a full hearing of his case they presently acquitted him’ (Yarranton, Full Discovery of the First Presbyterian Sham Plot, 1681). https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Yarranton,_Andre...

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