Monday 19 January 1662/63

Up and to White Hall, and while the Duke is dressing himself I went to wait on my Lord Sandwich, whom I found not very well, and Dr. Clerke with him. He is feverish, and hath sent for Mr. Pierce to let him blood, but not being in the way he puts it off till night, but he stirs not abroad to-day. Then to the Duke, and in his closett discoursed as we use to do, and then broke up. That done, I singled out Mr. Coventry into the Matted Gallery, and there I told him the complaints I meet every day about our Treasurer’s or his people’s paying no money, but at the goldsmith’s shops, where they are forced to pay fifteen or twenty sometimes per cent. for their money, which is a most horrid shame, and that which must not be suffered. Nor is it likely that the Treasurer (at least his people) will suffer Maynell the Goldsmith to go away with 10,000l. per annum, as he do now get, by making people pay after this manner for their money. We were interrupted by the Duke, who called Mr. Coventry aside for half an hour, walking with him in the gallery, and then in the garden, and then going away I ended my discourse with Mr. Coventry. But by the way Mr. Coventry was saying that there remained nothing now in our office to be amended but what would do of itself every day better and better, for as much as he that was slowest, Sir W. Batten, do now begin to look about him and to mind business. At which, God forgive me! I was a little moved with envy, but yet I am glad, and ought to be, though it do lessen a little my care to see that the King’s service is like to be better attended than it was heretofore. Thence by coach to Mr. Povy’s, being invited thither by [him] came a messenger this morning from him, where really he made a most excellent and large dinner, of their variety, even to admiration, he bidding us, in a frolique, to call for what we had a mind, and he would undertake to give it us: and we did for prawns, swan, venison, after I had thought the dinner was quite done, and he did immediately produce it, which I thought great plenty, and he seems to set off his rest in this plenty and the neatness of his house, which he after dinner showed me, from room to room, so beset with delicate pictures, and above all, a piece of perspective in his closett in the low parler; his stable, where was some most delicate horses, and the very-racks painted, and mangers, with a neat leaden painted cistern, and the walls done with Dutch tiles, like my chimnies. But still, above all things, he bid me go down into his wine-cellar, where upon several shelves there stood bottles of all sorts of wine, new and old, with labells pasted upon each bottle, and in the order and plenty as I never saw books in a bookseller’s shop; and herein, I observe, he puts his highest content, and will accordingly commend all that he hath, but still they deserve to be so. Here dined with me Dr. Whore and Mr. Scawen. Therewith him and Mr. Bland, whom we met by the way, to my Lord Chancellor’s, where the King was to meet my Lord Treasurer, &c., many great men, to settle the revenue of Tangier. I staid talking awhile there, but the King not coming I walked to my brother’s, where I met my cozen Scotts (Tom not being at home) and sent for a glass of wine for them, and having drunk we parted, and I to the Wardrobe talking with Mr. Moore about my law businesses, which I doubt will go ill for want of time for me to attend them. So home, where I found Mrs. Lodum speaking with my wife about her kinswoman which is offered my wife to come as a woman to her. So to the office and put things in order, and then home and to bed, it being my great comfort that every day I understand more and more the pleasure of following of business and the credit that a man gets by it, which I hope at last too will end in profit. This day, by Dr. Clerke, I was told the occasion of my Lord Chesterfield’s going and taking his lady (my Lord Ormond’s daughter) from Court. It seems he not only hath been long jealous of the Duke of York, but did find them two talking together, though there were others in the room, and the lady by all opinions a most good, virtuous woman. He, the next day (of which the Duke was warned by somebody that saw the passion my Lord Chesterfield was in the night before), went and told the Duke how much he did apprehend himself wronged, in his picking out his lady of the whole Court to be the subject of his dishonour; which the Duke did answer with great calmness, not seeming to understand the reason of complaint, and that was all that passed but my Lord did presently pack his lady into the country in Derbyshire, near the Peake; which is become a proverb at Court, to send a man’s wife to the Devil’s arse a’ Peake, when she vexes him. This noon I did find out Mr. Dixon at Whitehall, and discoursed with him about Mr. Wheatly’s daughter for a wife for my brother Tom, and have committed it to him to enquire the pleasure of her father and mother concerning it. I demanded 300l..

47 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

L&M say Povy's "piece of perspective" was probably this 1662 painting by
Samuel van Hoogstraten, which was handed down to Povy's nephew.
http://www.wga.hu/html/h/hoogstra/corridor.html

jeannine   Link to this

"the occasion of my Lord Chesterfield’s going and taking his lady (my Lord Ormond’s daughter) from Court".

For a rather hilarious commentary the link below leads to the chapter in Grammont's memoirs where he captures some of the finer issues of a man's jealousy of his wife and in particular this incident involving Lord Chesterfield. Of note, Grammont presented his memoirs to his brother-in-law Anthony Hamilton, who actually wrote his memoirs. Hamilton was a gifted and rather tongue in cheek writer who added a flair to Grammont's collection of Court stories. In spite of the added "flair" Grammont is highly quoted and was "there" among the court wits and gentlemen of the court (and sometimes instigating little antics of his own along the way).
I remember when I first read his memoirs I was amazed at the pathetic nature of the court and what they did to fill their idleness. In addition, many of the men he wrote of, although married to much younger women had the maturity level of someone going through a bad puberty, if even that. The first page or so will give you an idea of the Chesterfield episode. Enjoy!

http://www.pseudopodium.org/repress/grammont/ch...

Pedro   Link to this

"my Lord did presently pack his lady into the country in
Derbyshire, near the Peake; which is become a proverb at Court, to send a
man's wife to the Devil's arse a' Peake, when she vexes him."

The Peak District, a beautiful area of England's green and pleasant land. And in these days the Devil's Arse is well worth a visit, "within this entrance chamber you will see the remains of an ancient village where a whole community lived and worked making ropes for the local lead mines for more than 400 years." But obviously not for the Admiralty!

http://www.peakcavern.co.uk/

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Thomas Povey...Not much shakes perhaps as a treasurer but a man who clearly knows how to live.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Apparently Sam has squeaked by in the Creed affair, though perhaps some of his concern for the poor fellows being rooked stems from an anxiety to appear dutifully concerned in matters regarding payment.

Terry F   Link to this

Robert Gertz, I too wonder if this might settle the matter of “Mr. Creed’s accounts”, which had to do with his handling of substantial petty cash (which might have seemed a "slush fund" from the distance of London) when he was Deputy-Treasurer during Sandwich’s adventures in the Mediterranean, esp. Tangier, during the campaigns of 1661-1662. On 9 December 1662, L&M noted, the Duke had written the Navy Board on 1 November asking them to inquire into it - hence, perhaps, the centrality of Mr. Coventry. Is Sam's series of complaints indeed a strategic distraction? http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/12/09/

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

usury laws: "... I told him the complaints I meet every day about our Treasurer’s or his people’s paying no money, but at the goldsmith’s shops, where they are forced to pay fifteen or twenty sometimes per cent. for their money, which is a most horrid shame, and that which must not be suffered...."
dothe sound like a modern dead beat credit card at 1.7% per 30 days.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"...new and old, with labells pasted upon each bottle..." here it seems to be proof that there be decanted wine in bottles [old and new], now were they bestoppered by glass or by puttin' a cork in them?

dirk   Link to this

"the walls done with Dutch tiles, like my chimnies"

This would be the tiles we nowadays generally refer to as "Delft". Delft being a town in the Low Countries (Netherlands). Tiles like this were not only produced in Delft, but delft was a major centre of production for quite some time.

We think in "white and blue" when we think of Delft tiles, but before the 1620s this would not normally have been the case, and even after 1620 the "conversion" from many colours to white and blue was a gradual process. (The white and blue craze was the result of the first contacts of the Dutch with Chinese porcelain.)

For some fine pics cfr.
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wandtegels_en_de_T...
(The text is -- fittingly -- in Dutch, but all the pics except the first one are fine examples of what you might expect of "Delftware". The first pic shows earlier Spanish tiles by the way.)

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"...with a neat leaden painted cistern, and the walls done with Dutch tiles, like my chimnies..."
So Samuell's chimneys be finished off in fine Dutch Tile [Delf?]
Cistern: Was the water entered from a Rain Barrel or pipe or Hand filled. or did he have a hand pump for fresh water from the ground?

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"...my Lord Chesterfield’s going and taking his lady ..."
Stanhope be ages with thee Samuell, take note.

dirk   Link to this

bottles - "were they bestoppered by glass or by puttin’ a cork in them?"

Well, "Waterwriter", have a look at the following:

"The 17th. and 18th. Century bottles were known as "shaft and globe" or "onion" because of the shape of the body and neck and these were stoppered with a tapered cork bound with wax linen. They stood upright on the shelf."
http://www.bacchus-antiques.com/history.htm

And on the side -- the corkscrew...

Corkscrew historian Ron McLean from the "The Virtual Corkscrew Museum" had this to say:
"It is unknown when and who made the first corkscrew. The first corkscrews were derived from a gun worme, a tool with a single or double spiral end fitting used to clean musket barrels or to extract an unspent charge from the barrel. By the early 17th century corkscrews for removing corks were made by blacksmiths as using a cork to stopper a bottle was well established."
(The first known patent for England: Patent No 2061 granted to Samuel Henshall, Princes Street, Parish of Christchurch, Middlesex, on August 24, 1795.)
http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa122...

"The very early corkscrews were manufactured by the gunsmiths of the day and records have shown that they were included in the City of London's livery companies amongst the Worshipful Company of Loriners. The Loriners were not gunsmiths, however but makers of horse bits and spurs. One of the earliest illustrations of a corkscrew in use can be seen in the 1773 publication entitled "The Presentation of Human Recreation" by Tim Bobbin."
http://www.bacchus-antiques.com/history.htm

Roy Feldman   Link to this

Collecting pay at the goldsmith's?

Any idea why the sailors are having to go to a goldsmith's to get their pay? Or, more importantly, *how* they can get their pay at a goldsmith's? I suppose each sailor might have a kind of check or voucher that the goldsmith redeems, but at a commission... If so, is this the first we've heard of it in the Diary?

dirk   Link to this

goldsmiths

If I have my economic history right, goldsmiths at the time were still functioning to some extent as bankers. They held people's money in something we'd now call a "deposit account", against written receipts (sometimes payable to bearer -- the predecessor of the bank note).

It's likely that most of them would also be willing to lend money on future income. Given the Navy situation that income as such might be considered relatively safe, but **when** the arrears would be payed out was extremely uncertain. Hence probably a heavy interest rate.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

There be also Pawn shops, to pawn
"The word “Pawn “ originates from the Latin word “PATINUM” which means cloth or clothing. In the early centuries in Europe, the principle assets people had were their clothes so when they borrowed money it was by “pawning” their clothes. "
http://www.pioneerloan.com/history.html

Pauline   Link to this

'Povy’s “piece of perspective” '
Thanks, Terry, for finding this for us. Fun to try to imagine the response in 1662/63 to such thought-out perspective in art. I think they felt the depth and a "sinking into the depth" in a way we can no longer feel, giving our being so accustomed to seeing true 3-D as in this artwork and in all the visuals in our lives, whether photographs, TV, or art produced with a taken-for-granted understanding of depicting "perpective."

Australian Susan   Link to this

Thank you too Terry forthe Hoogstraten picture link. I have seen this picture at Dyrham Park and was quite moved to think Sam had looked at it too! At Dyrham it is hung so it is a trompe d'oeil painting - you seem to be looking down the corridor itself. On the opposite wall is another, but the original Povey only seems to have had the one. Wonder if that, too was hung, to be a trompe dóeil? Sam would have liked that. I used to have a postcard of this painting and now am wondering what on earth happened to it since I purchased it around 1970.......Thank you for a pleasant trip down my ancient memories.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Dutch tiles.
Lovely word picture of neat snug stables with tiled walls. Lucky horses! Thanks to dirk for real pictures!

The Goldsmiths

Would they be paying out on "tickets" issued to the sailors in lieu of real money?

andy   Link to this

our Treasurer’s or his people’s paying no money, but at the goldsmith’s shops, where they are forced to pay fifteen or twenty sometimes per cent. for their money

I read this as the Navy don't pay the wages but issue some kind of wage slip which the sailors pawn and get their cash that way, lesss 20%.The pawn shop then redeem their pay slips from HMG.

We have today shops where people who don't have bank accounts (=poor people) can have a bank cheque cashed, less a high percentage fee. Same system, and the poor still lose.

"It's the same, the whole world over,
Ain't it all, a bleedin' shame!
It's the rich, wot gets the pleasure,
It's the poor, wot gets the blame". (Music hall song)

Glyn   Link to this

He's mentioned "perspective" paintings (tromp l'oeil) at least twice before, when he saw them in the Netherlands in 1660:

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/10/03/

and

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/05/19/#ann...

language hat   Link to this

"my law businesses, which I doubt will go ill for want of time"

"Doubt" here means 'think.'

language hat   Link to this

"The word 'Pawn' originates from the Latin word PATINUM..."

Actually, it's from a Middle French word "pan" whose origin is unknown. OED:

"French pan pledge, is identical in form with pan cloth, piece, portion, pane (see PANE n.2). It has been suggested that these are the same word, and the source of the West Germanic forms (hence reflecting a very early semantic development in French). In this case Middle French pant.. would be explained as the result of the influence of forms in Germanic languages.... However, the origin of the final dental in the Germanic forms would then remain unexplained."

Rex Gordon   Link to this

The bottles - how bestoppered?

L&M's footnote: Normally wines were drunk "new", and wooden casks were used for the short maturing process they were allowed. Bottles were used simply for the serving of the wine at table or for its carriage and storage over short periods. Their stoppers were of oiled hemp or glass covered with wax. The use of cork (which made storage in horizontal bottles possible)was introduced into England in the early 18th century, for port. A.L. Simon, Bottlescrew Days, pp. 234+; The Times, 14 November 1964, p. 11; ... In 1672 some of Povey's wines were stolen.

Nix   Link to this

The problem with the goldsmiths --

If I read it correctly, the treasury is not paying people in coin but in promissory notes. The recipients take the notes to the goldsmiths to turn them into cash, but the goldsmiths will only pay 80-85% of the face value for the notes. The reasons for the discount include the time and effort necessary to get the treasury to pay out cash, the risk of default (recall that the government has not exactly been stable over the past generation), and the risk that the notes have been forged or altered.

I surmise that Samuel is talking about payments to vendors, not those to seamen. In the past, he and his colleagues have taken a chest full of coins to pay off the seamen. I seem to recall a scheme at one point to pay the sailors partly in cash and partly in notes, but don't know if that is being done. Even if it were, the seamen would probably cash their notes in grogshops, not goldsmiths', and their complaints probably wouldn't reach Samuel's ears.

jeannine   Link to this

So let's see...

I start with a tour of fine paintings via Terry and on to an exhibit of Deflt tile a la Dirk, then I'm brought to the "Devil's arse a Peake" by Pedro (which wasn't so shabby a spot if you ask me), and then onto wine bottles/corks/goldsmiths/pawn shops/language history, etc. from the group. Not a bad start to a weekend--thanks to all!

Terry F   Link to this

"not being in the way"

"my Lord Sandwich...hath sent for Mr. Pierce to let him blood, but not being in the way he puts it off till night"

The meaning is clear, but I've failed to find it in the OED. language hat?

Jackie   Link to this

Wasn't there a story dating from about now that at least "Noble Lord" deliberately got himself infected with a social disease, infecting his wife in the knowledge that it would shortly be passed on to the Duke of York.

A bit of an extreme way to get revenge.

celtcahill   Link to this

" ...not being in the way..."

Not found, or not availiable. Still in use.

This site is SO much fun !!!

wildtubes   Link to this

I may be wrong here but I believe that, at this time, "Dutch tiles" are what we would call bricks. It is a pretty picture of a stable all done up with painted tiles but I do believe it is inaccurate.

john   Link to this

"With a neat leaden painted cistern" -- hopefully on the outside or the "fine horses" would not be fine for long.

Terry F   Link to this

“my Lord Sandwich…hath sent for Mr. Pierce to let him blood, but not being in the way he puts it off till night”

Thanks, celtcahil: I had read "he" as being Sandwich, who was not prepared for it; of course, if "he" is Mr. Pierce, that's another matter....

jeannine   Link to this

Jackie, [Possible spoiler here]

That would be Southesk --according to Grammont Southesk found the Duke visiting his wife alone in his house and goes on to detail "for the traitor Southesk meditated a revenge, whereby, without using either assassination or poison, he would have obtained some satisfaction upon those who had injured him, if the connection had continued any longer.

He went to the most infamous places, to seek for the most infamous disease, which he met with; but his revenge was only half completed; for after he had gone through every remedy to get quit of his disease, his lady did but return him his present, having no more connection with the person for whom it was so industriously prepared."

And according to the footnote in Grammont (note 105) Bishop Burnet reports another spin on it: "Bishop Burnet, taking notice of the Duke of York's amours, says, "A story was set about, and generally believed, that the Earl of Southesk, that had married a daughter of the Duke of Hamilton, suspecting some familiarities between the duke and his wife, had taken a sure method to procure a disease to himself, which he communicated to his wife, and was, by that means, sent round till it came to the duchess. Lord Southesk was, for some years, not ill pleased to have this believed. It looked like a peculiar strain of revenge, with which he seemed much delighted. But I know he has, to some of his friends, denied the whole of the story very solemnly." -- Burnet's Own Times, vol. i. p. 395, Oxford, 1823. It is worthy of notice, that the passage in the text was omitted in most editions of Grammont, and retained in that of Strawberry-hill, in 1772.
http://www.pseudopodium.org/repress/grammont/no...

It's always hard to tell who is more accurate here. I also don't recall Sam ever being mentioned as reporting on this so hopefully it's not a spoiler, but I posted it as one anyways.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

'I surmise that Samuel is talking about payments to vendors, not those to seamen.'
The betters did not worry, they got their needs on Tick and sometimes, the Creditor would have to wait 'til debtor died, if he be of high rank. Then wait til Parliament allowed the sale of Lands to pays his Debts, like Samuells first Naval leader Sir Robert Slingsby.
The Vendors and Bankers could be and were ruined by this System. [Note in the past, Sandwiches predicament]
Both be issues that will haunt the Diary. Tis why Goldsmiths become/be Bankers to the Crowns of the World.
Re: paid by chit "Ticket", warning this be part of scandals of the times, no cash, and the taxing to pay for the Luxeries for the Carlos's Ladies, and not the paying of debts.
It was not 'til the 1960's that a honest non-salaried, could be paid by check, as thru out time, the chit be worth nutin'. As the paypacket [little brown envelope with lsd and never a fiver, too hard to cash] be in coin of the realm, due to the mistrust of institutions to honor their checks, then as the post war payments be getting larger, so allowing those that wanted easy pickings, opportunities to to remove monies from trains, banks and truck [lorry, armoured]deliveries, rose. New Laws were entered, so that trust be put back into the check that be crossed.
Bank accounts were only for those that have status.
Even In this day and age Government Institutions, sometimes, as the Leader has failed to sign off on the new budget, cause many of the people to borrow cash from the Pawn shops and apply for Bank Loans to bridge the payment gap.
[Class be those with paypackets then those got the payed in Salt [Salaried]]

slangist   Link to this

"Here Lies One Whose Name Was Writ In Water"

your esteemed aquaness: thanks for the etymological connection salt = salaried. soon as you say it, makes perfect sense. just been ignorant of it all my life... great little history of banking/cash/credit/notes/commodities...

Bradford   Link to this

But why settle for water, with a cellar like that? What would a 21stC toper find---99 points or plonk or everything on the spectrum between?

Australian Susan   Link to this

Bricks/Tiles

I think wildtubes may be onto something here. In the Netherlands, building with bricks was much more developed than in the UK, because of lack of good building timber. So maybe Sam's chimney piece was made of bricks. He would have seen many examples of Dutch brick building when visiting Holland a couple of years back. And fashions for using bricks would have come in with the return of exiles after the Restoration. Also, now I think about it, using painted tiles in your stable is rather fanciful.

Stoppered bottles.

So would all these bottles of Povey's bestored upright? Is this a very early occurence of a wine cellar?

Pay Packets

I remember being paid in cash in little brown pay envelopes from the 1970s and, yes, there are still institutions here in the poorer areas offering to cash cheques and also to give advances against future pay. At high rates of interest. It's expensive being poor.

Royalty and Nasty Diseases

Persistent Royal gossip had it that Edward VII infected his wife, Queen Alexandra with syphilis, which is why she ended up deaf and with peculiar skin. This could have been ear infections and using perimitive means of dermal abrasion for beauty though.

dirk   Link to this

"he bid me go down into his wine-cellar, where upon several shelves there stood bottles of all sorts of wine, new and old, with labells pasted upon each bottle"

re - Rex Gordon

Whereas casks were certainly the standard for of long term storage, bottles -- with cork stops -- were in general use in private wine cellars, like the one Sam describes here. The only difference was that the corks were tapered, to make them more easy to put in and to remove, so that it was not a good idea (yet) to store the bottles horizontally.

dirk   Link to this

tiles or bricks?

I'm still in favour of tiles. As far as I'm aware the word "tile" meant the same thing as it does nowadays -- as differentiated from "brick". And considering the show of wealth Mr Povvy is giving, tiling the stables to keep them clean is not as unlikely as it seems. Sam would probably not have paid special attention to stables lined with bricks, and wouldn't have mentioned this as specifically as he does in today's diary entry

Keep in mind that Dutch tiles were not cheap, but by no means the exclusive item they are today. And they were generally used for chimneys (as mentioned by Sam).

And also keep in mind that the term "Dutch tiles" may be used generically here -- i.e. tiles in Dutch style. Many tile makers moved to England (or Holland, or Germany) in the late 1500s / early 1600s when they could no longer freely practice their protestant faith in the southern Low Countries (after 1585). And they took their trade with them.

Actually the original tile makers of Delft (and Utrecht before that) came from Antwerp after 1585 -- where the had been forced to leave because of their protestant faith.

Pedro   Link to this

Thank you, Mr Salt/Water.

Great summary (hot as monkeys), but over time will we see Sam salting the books?

wildtubes   Link to this

Quote:
Persistent Royal gossip had it that Edward VII infected his wife, Queen Alexandra with syphilis, which is why she ended up deaf and with peculiar skin.

Alexandra was deaf because of a bout with rheumatic fever. This is well documented. Edward VII did not die from syphilis or any other venereal disease: he died from emphysema and heart disease caused by smoking and his enormous intake of food.

Edward's mistressess were not the sort of women to run around infecting their sovereign with venereal disease.

language hat   Link to this

tile vs brick:
I was surprised to discover this, but there was not originally a clear distinction; the word "brick" first appears in the 15th century, and "tilestone" (sometimes the shorter "tile") could refer to either. OED:

tilestone
A brick or tile; the material of bricks or tiles: = TILE n.1 1, 2. Obs.
[...] 1382 WYCLIF Gen. xi. 3 Cometh, & make we tile stoons, and sethe we hem with fier. [...] 1600 NASHE Summer's Last Will in Hazl. Dodsley VIII. 25 For fear of wearing out my lord's tile-stones with your hobnails. 1681 J. CHETHAM Angler's Vade-m. iv. §20 Dry them on a Fire-Shovel or Tilestone or in an Oven.

language hat   Link to this

"the Creditor would have to wait ‘til debtor died, if he be of high rank."

This is something I've never understood: why were people so willing to lend to the aristocracy, who were so notoriously bad at repaying? I understand there was the honor of it all, but weren't people worried about losing their shirts (and homes)?

wildtubes   Link to this

One word - and it is the basis of much of what Pepys is continually doing - PATRONAGE. Even if you don't get paid in cash you could reap enormous benefits from association with the aristocracy.

Conversely, offending a powerful family could also be bad for your wealth. These people had enormous power and influence - they could easily destroy you. By this date it would be unlikely (though not impossible) that you would be thrown in the tower; but you could easily be embroiled in a disastrous lawsuit that you could not possibly win.

Australian Susan   Link to this

The point I was making was not about truth, but about gossip - which arises because something *might* be true: Edward VII and Charles II both inculated gossip because they led unsavoury lives: no-one gossiped about Charles I and possible STDs, because no-one would have believed it. Similarly with Edward VII's successor, George V. Scurrilous gossip has to have some slight basis in fact to be enjoyed and passed on. And that is the same in 1663, 1903 or 2003.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Povy's posh stable

I recall a cousin descring his mother's house near Chobham as a "typical" English manor where the stables had steam heat and the house didn't.

A.Hamilton   Link to this

I told him the complaints I meet every day [re goldsmiths'shops & the Treasurer]

Several points. I recall Sam mentioning that he had a good name as one who listened to complaints, presumably arising from sailors and their families, and presumably about getting paid. So I don't rule out that he is passing on what the sailors say about their difficulty in getting money.If they get scrip and face a 15-20 percent discout to get cash that would be "a most horrid shame." This knowledge would justify the Treasurer in discounting the L 10,000 claim from a goldsmith, since the salors would have received only L8,000-8,500. But the worst of it is that this is a system that saves the Treasury 15-20 percent of the money it owes the sailors, who are cheated, and one must wonder if it is a deliberate scheme.

dirk   Link to this

Dutch tiles

I've just discovered that there exists a small stable lined with "Dutch" tiles -- whole thematic sets of them -- in a privately owned 16th c. house in my home town of Antwerp (Belgium). The house has been painstakingly restored: a work of love (and money) by the owner!

So, now I'm even more convinced that's the kind of thing Sam saw: tiles, not bricks.

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