Friday 29 November 1661

I lay long in bed, till Sir Williams both sent me word that we were to wait upon the Duke of York to-day; and that they would have me to meet them at Westminster Hall, at noon: so I rose and went thither; and there I understand that they are gone to Mr. Coventry’s lodgings, in the Old Palace Yard, to dinner (the first time I knew he had any); and there I met them two and Sir G. Carteret, and had a very fine dinner, and good welcome, and discourse; and so, by water, after dinner to White Hall to the Duke, who met us in his closet; and there he did discourse to us the business of Holmes, and did desire of us to know what hath been the common practice about making of forrayne ships to strike sail to us, which they did all do as much as they could; but I could say nothing to it, which I was sorry for. So indeed I was forced to study a lie, and so after we were gone from the Duke, I told Mr. Coventry that I had heard Mr. Selden often say, that he could prove that in Henry the 7th’s time, he did give commission to his captains to make the King of Denmark’s ships to strike to him in the Baltique. From thence Sir W. Pen and I to the Theatre, but it was so full that we could hardly get any room, so he went up to one of the boxes, and I into the 18d. places, and there saw “Love at first sight,” a play of Mr. Killigrew’s, and the first time that it hath been acted since before the troubles, and great expectation there was, but I found the play to be a poor thing, and so I perceive every body else do. So home, calling at Paul’s Churchyard for a “Mare Clausum,” having it in my mind to write a little matter, what I can gather, about the business of striking sayle, and present it to the Duke, which I now think will be a good way to make myself known. So home and to bed.

11 Annotations

RexLeo   Link to this

"...having it in my mind to write a little matter, what I can gather, about the business of striking sayle, and present it to the Duke, which I now think will be a good way to make myself known."

Sign of becoming a great executive.

Louis   Link to this

"Mare Clausum" = Laws of the Sea?

"I could say nothing to it, which I was sorry for. So indeed I was forced to study a lie, and so after we were gone from the Duke, I told Mr. Coventry that I had heard Mr. Selden often say," &c.

Now, is this remark about Mr. Selden the lie Pepys studied to tell, or a remark in talk that he left unrecorded?
If Selden's still alive or around, and in a position to verify or deny the remark, this seems like jumping into a well to avoid tumbling into the Thames.

Glyn   Link to this

According to the above link to his name, Mr Selden was a famous jurist who has been safely dead since 1654. He was teaching at Cambridge University while Pepys was an undergraduate there. Batten and Penn are experienced seamen who could talk about this from personal knowledge. I'm not sure if anyone else there expected Pepys to know much about this topic - he may just be being hypersensitive, or expecting more from himself than the others do, a sign of insecurity in his job.

dirk   Link to this

Mare Clausum

Mare clausum [L.] (Internat. Law):
Lit., closed sea; hence, a body of water within the separate
jurisdiction of the nation; -- opposed to {open sea}, the water open to all nations and over which no single nation has special control.

Selden's “Mare Clausum” was the British reply to the argument of Grotius's “Mare Liberum”, which denied the validy of England's claim to the high seas.
Selden argues that England's jurisdiction extends, in fact, to all waters surrounding the isles.

For the sake of clarity, we’re not discussing “territorial waters” here, but the oceans and seas beyond coastal waters.

John Selden (1584-1654).
First edition of Mare Clausum, 1635. Second edition, enlarged, with side-notes, 1636.

Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), Dutch jurist.
Mare Liberum, 1609.

dirk   Link to this

Mare Clausum vs. Mare Liberum

The historic controversy which arose out of demands on the part of different states to assert exclusive dominion over areas of the open or high sea. Thus Spain laid claim to exclusive dominion over whole oceans, Great Britain to all her environing narrow seas and so on. These claims gave rise to vigorous opposition by other powers and led to the publication of Grotius's work (1609) called "Mare liberum". In "Mare clausum" (1635) John Selden endeavoured to prove that the sea was practically as capable of appropriation as territory. Owing to the conflict of claims which grew out of the controversy, maritime states had to moderate their demands and base their pretensions to maritime dominion on the principle that it extended seawards from land.

A formula was found by Bynkershoek in his "De dominio maris" (1702) for the restriction of dominion over the sea to the actual distance to which cannon range could protect it. This became universally adopted and developed into a three-mile belt (territorial waters).

Encyclopedia Britannica (1911 edition)

vicente   Link to this

Stiking the flag and THE pecking order:King of the seas, acknowledgement of whom be the king of the ant heap. Whose law would rule, and be enforced, same old one, size of ball that will shred thy sails when I am mad.
Naturally, one would never argue with Jimmy [sorry Duke of York James], Sam like most of us would utter ' quite right, they must show due respect', just as our lads do down on the farm, tug the forlock.
Back in '42 "The Law , Parliament declared in August 1642.... enjoy their estates, are protected from any sort of violence and power, and differenced [deference?] from the meaner sort of people , with whom otherwise they would be but fellow servants'. [Century of Revolution C. Hill p 56.]
The divinity of royalty is be a rising again. Remember Navigation Act of 1660 was passed basically to enforce the English monopoly of import trade by only Englishman , Irishmen or English Colonists crewed by 75% English Matlocks. Of course If the Dutch wanted to send over some fish, would not say no but then pay double duty. [more p 180 Cen of Rev ch]

deepfatfriar   Link to this

"...before the troubles..."

A phrase to conjure with.....

Pedro.   Link to this

"before the troubles"

A phrase still used..

The period known as “The Troubles” is merely one link in a long chain of religious bitterness and conflict stretching back across centuries of Irish history

Pauline   Link to this

"to Mr. Coventry's lodgings…to dinner (the first time I knew he had any)”
Does this mean that some notables hold open dinner daily for social and business purposes. It appears that the Sandwich’s have this policy at the Wardrobe, even when Edward is out of town and when Lady Sandwich is “not dining out of her chamber”.

Mary   Link to this

Mr. Coventry's lodgings.

I had taken this to mean that Sam had not previously known that Coventry had lodgings in Old Palace Yard.

vicente   Link to this

" hold open dinner daily for social and business purposes" Even in my youth some of the Local Worthies would have open house for a bite or more. One was always made to feel welcome, besides being just being nice, it allowed the Gentry to catch up on all the local goings, comings , and other savory and unsavory dealings, much more imformative than the filtered press.

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