Wednesday 13 November 1661

By appointment, we all went this morning to wait upon the Duke of York, which we did in his chamber, as he was dressing himself in his riding suit to go this day by sea to the Downs. He is in mourning for his wife’s grandmother, which is thought a great piece of fondness.1 After we had given him our letter relating the bad condition of the Navy for want of money, he referred it to his coming back and so parted, and I to Whitehall and to see la belle Pierce, and so on foot to my Lord Crew’s, where I found him come to his new house, which is next to that he lived in last; here I was well received by my Lord and Sir Thomas, with whom I had great talk: and he tells me in good earnest that he do believe the Parliament (which comes to sit again the next week), will be troublesome to the Court and Clergy, which God forbid! But they see things carried so by my Lord Chancellor and some others, that get money themselves, that they will not endure it. From thence to the Theatre, and there saw “Father’s own Son” again, and so it raining very hard I went home by coach, with my mind very heavy for this my expensefull life, which will undo me, I fear, after all my hopes, if I do not take up, for now I am coming to lay out a great deal of money in clothes for my wife, I must forbear other expenses.

To bed, and this night began to lie in the little green chamber, where the maids lie, but we could not a great while get Nell to lie there, because I lie there and my wife, but at last, when she saw she must lie there or sit up, she, with much ado, came to bed.

  1. Fondness, foolishness. “Fondness it were for any, being free, To covet fetters, tho’ they golden be.” Spenser, Sonnet 37. — M. B.

25 Annotations

RexLeo   Link to this

"...where the maids lie, but we could not a great while get Nell to lie there"

Fox in the hen house?

Pedro.   Link to this

"He is in mourning for his wife's grandmother, which is thought a great piece of fondness.1”

Why would this be great foolishness? He has married a Catholic, which could be considered foolish, but mourning seems only reasonable, as has been discussed recently.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"my expensefull life,which will undo me.......a great deal of money in clothes for my wife"
He did it for my lady

Stolzi   Link to this

1) Why are they _all_ bunking in "the little green chamber?"

2) Could it be "fond" behavior to wear mourning for a relative as distant as a grandmother-in-law? Especially if you're royalty?

3) The Duke of York was at this point still married to a Protestant - Anne Hyde.

Diana Bonebrake   Link to this

I know that in court ladies often slept near royalty in their chambers. But what is this about?

vicente   Link to this

ye be a wise man to see disaster before ye go to Brides [nick] and repent at yer leisure for yer imbibing ways, last weeks sermon seems to have hit home. "...which will undo me..."
"...I must forbear other expenses..."
we will have to wait for C.Dickens to tell Sam that he has the right idea.
"..
Annual income twenty pounds,
annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness.
Annual income twenty pounds,
annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

David Copperfield. Chap. xii. .."

vicente   Link to this

covet fetters ?: crave to be shackled,? Grand Maam must have had some kind of bait, to entice or entrap Jimmy into her granddaughters boudoir [private sitting room of course].

vicente   Link to this

"submit in triplicate at the the next meeting please, [ can ye not see I have a most important engagement, ye do pick the most awkward time to speak of such silly dull matters ] "...After we had given him our letter relating the bad condition of the Navy for want of money, he referred it to his coming back and so parted..."

Australian Susan   Link to this

Are they all sleeping in the same room because it is very cold?

vicente   Link to this

Susan: very likely explanation, and Sam he thinking of watching his pennies too. And it be raining hard too, at this time of year in England before they begot central heating, the dampness did get into ones marrow bones [oh! yer, bin there dun that]

Pedro.   Link to this

James.. still married to a Protestant - Anne Hyde.

Thanks Stolzi for pointing this out. She did not join the Church of Rome until 1669.
Burnet(1643-1715) says that she "practised secret confession from her youth." Perhaps her grandmother was more openly Papist?

Conrad   Link to this

Sam & Elizabeth may have a broken roof tile right over their bed & the rain is causing them a problem on this one night. Sam has talked about his coal supply for the coming winter, so I think he has the cold & damp covered. Either poor Nell is shy ( use of chamber pot etc.,)or she fears Sam snores after all his imbibing, or that he will toss & turn during the night worrying about his loss of capital on some expensive lace & he will have to cut back the size of his morning draught.

Glyn   Link to this

A great foolishness.

Presumaby the duke never ever met the old lady, so put on mourning for her is a little excessive.

JWB   Link to this

Parliament
"Among those politicians who, from the Restoration to the accession of the House of Hanover, were at the head of the great parties in the state, very few can be named whose reputation is not stained by what, in our age, would be called gross perfidy and corruption" Macaulay, History of Eng., Chapt II, Proligacy of Politicians. http://www.strecorsoc.org/macaulay/m02b.html#2b1

JWB   Link to this

That's "Profligacy of the Politicians" . Sorry, always been stingy with my letters.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

While fretting over the miserable bit he's been prodded to put out for some decent clothes for Beth, Sam probably forgot to tell us that his and Bethie's bedroom is being redone-plastered, whitewashed, painted, some or all of the above, etc. No doubt that expense exceeds by far what Milady has forced him to spend on poor wretch Beth and he'd prefer not to remember that...

dirk   Link to this

"miserable bit"

re - Robert Gertz

Well, not so miserable really...
"In 2002, £6 from 1661 is worth £582.96, using the retail price index.”
From:
http://eh.net/hmit/ppowerbp/

Australian Susan   Link to this

"broken roof tile"
I think if Sam had a leaky roof we would have heard him grumbling about it at great length - no doubt with his wife or the maids being blamed for not noticing the leak or the effects it was having on bedding etc and how it was all the fault of the Navy Board for having a sub-standard roof etc etc. *and* the inconvenience of 'camping out'etc etc etc!! In fact, he seems remarkably matter-of-fact about the change of room - it seems the only noteworthy matter is that Nell causes "much ado" in consenting to the arrangements.

vicente   Link to this

Leaking lead roof?: Sam would have let us know, as Susan points out. Those were the days of bundling up for mutual warmth[not hankie panky], now considered a great inconvenience or a male excuse and certainly frowned on . For those that never suffered from the lack of heating and never enjoyed the pleasures of damp english weather or Jack frost or experienced the lack of warmth from a glowing coal fire, with that wonderful warming pan or hot brick or later days of a stone fixture filled with 'ot water that rapidly turned to luke warm, would appreciated the wonders of haveing many 'umans snuggling up and enjoying a restful night.[Its all in the mind]

David A. Smith   Link to this

"which is thought a great piece of fondness"
With all due respect to previous speculators, I think we still have not plumbed quite why Sam thinks this is foolish. Though Anne was the daughter of Charles's chief minister (Edward Hyde, a Protestant), in marrying her James was impetuous, because:
(a) it took him out of circulation as an eligible allience-building husband
(b) Anne was a commoner
(c) a link to Anne was of no conceivable value to the throne (since they already had Hyde as a minister).
I *think* -- emphasis on uncertainty -- that Sam is echoing the Whitehall tut-tuts: "Jimmy's such a fool, not only did he marry an unsuitable gel, he's always *reminding* us of it."

Jackie   Link to this

More to the point about the Duke's wife - until very recently, the Duke had tried to deny that he was even properly married to Anne Hyde at all, and worse persuaded his friends to claim that they'd all slept with her (untrue) in order to get out of this marriage so that he'd be free for a "suitable" (i.e. Royal) alliance. When Charles II found out the truth he was disgusted both by James having married her in the first place and also by his vile attempt at a cover up.
James had married Anne when the likelihood of the resoration seemed remote - his timing was as usual appalling, within a few months, his brother was King of England. James' behaviour did not reflect well upon him, so for him to be in mourning for his wife's granny is a) seriously hypocritical even by the standards of his time and b) a reminder that James rather foolishly (in the view of his times) had married a commoner. The latter point was very important in those days. Hyde himself had declared that he'd "rather that James had made her (his own daughter!) his mistress, not his wife!"

It's ironic that eventually James was the only King in our history to be ousted by his daughters (mother - Anne Hyde, as it happens).

Pedro.   Link to this

The Grandmother.

She was buried on 13 November 1661 at Westminster Abbey, and perhaps this meant that she had some kind notoriety?
(see background)

dirk   Link to this

"this night began to lie in the little green chamber"

I'm not familiar with the layout of Sam's house, but might not the simpler reason be that
a) (maybe) this room had a hearth
b) and (also maybe) it was smaller and therefore easier to heat?

November is a cold month - and more cold to come!

Patricia   Link to this

But Sam DOES have a leaky roof! See 1 September last: "Last night being very rainy [the rain] broke into my house, the gutter being stopped, and spoiled all my ceilings almost." Though whether that's what this is about, we shall see (or perhaps not.)

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"this night began to lie in the little green chamber"

Apparently a seasonal migration.

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