Saturday 14 February 1662/63

Up and to my office, where we met and sate all the morning, only Mr. Coventry, which I think is the first or second time he has missed since he came to the office, was forced to be absent. So home to dinner, my wife and I upon a couple of ducks, and then by coach to the Temple, where my uncle Thomas, and his sons both, and I, did meet at my cozen Roger’s and there sign and seal to an agreement. Wherein I was displeased at nothing but my cozen Roger’s insisting upon my being obliged to settle upon them as the will do all my uncle’s estate that he has left, without power of selling any for the payment of debts, but I would not yield to it without leave of selling, my Lord Sandwich himself and my cozen Thos. Pepys being judges of the necessity thereof, which was done. One thing more that troubles me was my being forced to promise to give half of what personal estate could be found more than 372l., which I reported to them, which though I do not know it to be less than what we really have found, yet he would have been glad to have been at liberty for that, but at last I did agree to it under my own handwriting on the backside of the report I did make and did give them of the estate, and have taken a copy of it upon the backside of one that I have. All being done I took the father and his son Thos. home by coach, and did pay them 30l., the arrears of the father’s annuity, and with great seeming love parted, and I presently to bed, my head akeing mightily with the hot dispute I did hold with my cozen Roger and them in the business.

30 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

A love-fest in honor of St Valentine!

pedro   Link to this

Valentine. (Brewer's Phrase and Fable)

A corruption of galantin (a lover, a dangler), a gallant. St. Valentine was selected for the sweet-hearts' saint because of his name. Similar changes are seen in gallant and valiant.

Bradford   Link to this

And a slight elevation of blood pressure, too, with residual headache after decompression.
Concerning the enforced confession, no need to analyze Sam's feelings: the reiteration of "backside" says all.
But as for the agreement as a whole, if anyone can explain it, I'll give him or her sixpence (old style).

Bradford   Link to this

Make that "enforced concession."

JWB   Link to this

"...my head akeing mightily..."
And 9 months 'til St. Jude's Day.

Miss Ann fr Home   Link to this

This is a lesson for us all - ensure you have an up-to-date Will, drawn up by a legal practitioner who is experienced in this area of Law. Problems arise every single day, and families fight over what they think is their due. Makes the lawyers rich and the memory of the dearly departed tarnished. Some things never change.

Terry F   Link to this

I join Bradford in an appeal for someone who can clarify the legal doings of the day. He offers sixpence (old style); I the gratitude of me and many others as this "business" seems to be drawing to a whimpering end (if attended by psycho-somatic pain for our hero).

dirk   Link to this

The legal doings of the day...

This is a very complex matter. The best way to make sense of this, I think, is to have a look at Pauline's contribution to the background info on 1 December 2004.

http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/3384/#c2...

"Negotiations for an out-of-court settlement which would apply to the whole etate were resumed and agreement was reached in Feb. 1663. [etc]"

Terry F   Link to this

The legal doings of the day…

Dirk, that said, that read (again, earlier), perhaps it's just me, but I still don't understand the terms of the settlement, even with the help of L&M's notes for today.

dirk   Link to this

Legal issues

I think I follow the larger part of Pauline's explanation -- and I'll try to summarize the essentials of it:

After uncle Robert's death, leaving no children of his own, disputes arose about the real estate, which consisted of the Brampton house and its land, together with other property.

According to Robert's will, most of the land was to go Sam and his father -- who were to act as executors of the will. Difficulties arose from the fact that some of the property documents were missing (the so-called "surrenders" for copyhold land). In such a case the land should normally go to the "heir-at-law" i.e. Thomas Pepys -- and this was also what the court decided for the Gravely property in September 1661. The largest property of all though (Brampton) was later awarded to the executors (i.e. Sam), contrary to what the heir-at-law Thomas could have expected. Thomas appealed, which eventually led to today's settlement:

Thomas abandoned his claim on Brampton and other lands, and Sam no longer claimed Gravely. Sam would also be allowed to sell more lands (as executor) if required to pay outstanding debts. Thomas would receive half of any lands worth more than the agreed sum of £372. Of course all outstanding payments due (annuities and legacies), which Sam had not paid so far while waiting for the settlement, were now to be paid too.

(Pauline, please correct me if I went wrong somewhere...)

Terry F   Link to this

Legal issues clarified for me.

Thanks, Dirk.

OzStu   Link to this

..the hot dispute I did hold with my cozen Roger..
Just to reinforce Dirk's last para and explain why Sam had a headache: For some reason Cozen Roger wants Sam to settle debts without selling any land, but Sam (with supporting advice from Lord Sandwich and agreement from Thomas Pepys) rejects this request. Sounds like it got a bit fraught though, hence the headache.
I also think that he's not sure how much the total estate might be worth above 372 pounds and he's a bit worried that he may have to shell out some extra money (half of the extra value) if it turns out to be alot more. However, he wants to settle the matter and so agreed to the arrangement and annotated and sigend both copies of the agreement accordingly.

OzStu   Link to this

On 5 Feb we had "...though I do offer quite to the losing of the profit of the whole estate for 8 or 10 years together..."
I'm wondering whether this is why Cozen Roger wants the estate left intact (and not bits sold off to pay debts), since the profit will be less if the estate is smaller.

dirk   Link to this

"though I do offer quite to the losing of the profit of the whole estate for 8 or 10 years together"

I think today's setlement would void Sam's previous offer on 5 February.

dirk   Link to this

"All being done I took the father and his son Thos. home by coach, and did pay them 30 L."

There would have been a very practical reason to do this. Who would willingly have wanted to walk through the streets of 17th c London with £30 in his purse? -- Roughly equivalent to £2700 today!

Wim van der Meij   Link to this

Sam did not make it easy for us putting all the legal problems into one long sentence.

jeannine   Link to this

Dirk &OzStu, Thanks so much for the summaries. It makes more sense to me with your help.

Miss Ann--Wise words!

stolzi   Link to this

Meanwhile, the ducks.

Ducks yesterday, ducks today, and three more "couple of ducks" to come.

Hope the weather holds.

JWB   Link to this

Aging game birds:
"Game birds, such as doves, pheasant, geese and ducks, require two to three days unless they are older and larger, then four or five days hanging will do, although individual preference is the defining factor. Some early game connoisseurs preferred to allow their pheasant to hang until the body separates from the head. However, such an unpredictable time frame may well to lead to unpredictable taste."

http://www.tpwmagazine.com/archive/2005/nov/ed_3/

celtcahill   Link to this

Aging game

The explanation I've heard is that bacteria get at the meat digesting some of the tougher connective tissue making it a lot easier to chew - in this day of rough if any dentistry. There was a scene in 'Shogun' that illustrated this and nearly contemporary with Sam.

slangist   Link to this

legacy explanations were sterling
i knew if i just hung around here long enough some of you would explain the cousinage/cozenage lawsuit things better than L&M did, at least to my poor brainpan. thanks for the community service...

Nix   Link to this

Making a will is one thing --

Remember also to put it somewhere easy to find -- but hard to get into! (Like a safe deposit box.) As lawyer for a university, I've just been reviewing the files in a case from some years back in which the decedent left us much of the estate. The "heirs at law" -- the ones who would inherit in the absence of a will -- raced from the hospital back to the house, and the will disappeared. Where it is known that there was a will, but it can no longer be found, there is a legal presumption that the testator intended to destroy it. Fortunately, my predecessor was able to convince the judge that the circumstances were smelly enough to overcome the presumption, and were able to enforce the will on the basis of a photocopy.

As Samuel would attest, conflicts over inheritance can be very ugly.

Bradford   Link to this

Yes, kudos to Dirk. Let me know where I should post the sixpence. (Alice offered the same reward for an explanation of the verses about the theft of tarts, during the trial near the end of her adventures in Wonderland; but none came forward.)

One riddle remains: what is the significance of the magic number 372?

dirk   Link to this

Well, kudos to Pauline really...

Terry F   Link to this

Dirk, again I second Bradford, and render over my gratitude, as others have!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Coventry's absense...

Typical. The man is the most dedicated, hard-working official in the government but he misses one day and...

Ima Fake   Link to this

It was in Sam's time that the common law created the presumption that a will which could not be found was destroyed. However, if it is established that persons with interest in destroying a will have had an opportunity to do so, the presumption is rebutted.

What strikes me about Sam and his time is how "modern" he is. I just wish that Bush II could meet the fate of Charles I.

Mary   Link to this

The significance of £372.

(per L&M Companion) This was the probate value of Robert Pepys' personal estate (as distinct, I suppose, from those parts of his estate which involved copyhold lands rather than any freehold property).

JonTom Kittredge   Link to this

Charles I and GWB
I think discussions of current politics are generally considered beyond the bounds of discourse for this site, but I would think that implicit endorsements of violence would be right out.

Ima Fake   Link to this

On Saturday, being the 20th day of January 1648, The Lord President of the High Court of Justice with near fourscore of the Members of the said Court, having sixteen Gentlemen with Partisans, and a Sword and a Mace, with their, and other Officers of the said Court marching before them, came to the place ordered to be prepared for their sitting, at the West end of the great Hall at Westminster, where the Lord President in a Crimson Velvet Chair, fixed in the midst of the Court, placed himself, having a Desk with a Crimson Velvet Cushion before him; the rest of the Members placing themselves on each side of him upon the several Seats, or Benches, prepared and hung with Scarlet for that purpose, and the Partisans dividing themselves on each side of the Court before them.
The Court being thus sat, and silence made, the great Gate of the said Hall was let open, to the end, That all persons without exception, desirous to see, or hear, might come into it, upon which the Hall was presently filled, and silence again ordered.

This done, Colonel Thomlinson, who had the charge of the Prisoner, was commanded to bring him to the Court, who within a quarter of an hour's space brought him attended with about twenty Officers, with Partisans marching before him, there being other Gentlemen, to whose care and custody he was likewise committed, marching in his Rear. Being thus brought up within the face of the Court, The Sergeant at Arms, with his Mace, receives and conducts him straight to the Bar, having a Crimson Velvet Chair set before him. After a stern looking upon the Court, and the people in the Galleries on each side of him, he places himself, not at all moving his Hat, or otherwise showing the least respect to the Court; but presently rises up again, and turns about, looking downwards upon the Guards placed on the left side, and on the multitude of Spectators on the right side of the said great Hall. After Silence made among the people, the Act of Parliament for the Trying of Charles Stuart, King of England, was read over by the Clerk of the Court; who sat on one side of a Table covered with a rich Turkey Carpet, and placed at the feet of the said Lord President, upon which table was also laid the Sword and Mace.

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