Saturday 28 February 1662/63

Waked with great pain in my right ear (which I find myself much subject to) having taken cold. Up and to my office, where we sat all the morning, and I dined with Sir W. Batten by chance, being in business together about a bargain of New England masts.

Then to the Temple to meet my uncle Thomas, who I found there, but my cozen Roger not being come home I took boat and to Westminster, where I found him in Parliament this afternoon. The House have this noon been with the King to give him their reasons for refusing to grant any indulgence to Presbyters or Papists; which he, with great content and seeming pleasure, took, saying, that he doubted not but he and they should agree in all things, though there may seem a difference in judgement, he having writ and declared for an indulgence: and that he did believe never prince was happier in a House of Commons, than he was in them.

Thence he and I to my Lord Sandwich, who continues troubled with his cold. Our discourse most upon the outing of Sir R. Bernard, and my Lord’s being made Recorder of Huntingdon in his stead, which he seems well contented with, saying, that it may be for his convenience to have the chief officer of the town dependent upon him, which is very true.

Thence he and I to the Temple, but my uncle being gone we parted, and I walked home, and to my office, and at nine o’clock had a good supper of an oxe’s cheek, of my wife’s dressing and baking, and so to my office again till past eleven at night, making up my month’s account, and find that I am at a stay with what I was last, that is 640l. So home and to bed.

Coming by, I put in at White Hall, and at the Privy Seal I did see the docquet by which Sir W. Pen is made the Comptroller’s assistant, as Sir J. Minnes told me last night, which I must endeavour to prevent.


34 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"... that he did believe never prince was happier in a House of Commons, than he was in them."

"Sire...How did you manage that with a straight face?"

"Practice, brother James. Practice."

Clement  •  Link

"Sir W. Pen is made the Comptroller’s assistant...which I must endeavour to prevent."
It will be intersting to see in coming days if Sam is over-estimating his own influence in Naval office politics, or if he is truly able to effect a change in this development.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Our discourse most upon the outing of Sir R. Bernard..."

Ah, how the meanings change over the centuries.

Unless of course...

"And he really...Caught with his footman?" an eagerly curious Sam.

"Hmmn-hmmn. And out of the Recordership he goes." Roger nods. "Though if you ask me,it's rather unfair considering Buckingham and Barkeley..."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

How could Sam prevent the action now that it's been posted? I doubt even an earnest appeal to Coventry that it will impede the office's efficiency could work at this stage.

Or by "prevent" is his meaning "take precautions against?"

Ox's cheek...Yum. (Errgh.)

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"I dined with Sir W. Batten by chance, being in business together about a bargain of New England masts"

Meaning, we know what a fair price is (i.e., what the Navy considers a fair price), and what the seller is selling at (less than that), and intend to pocket the difference?

Bradford  •  Link

Inevitably one has to ask how much there is to eat on an ox's cheek baked or otherwise. Now a yak would have dewlaps hanging down, but that's mostly skin and hide. Is there a butcher in the house?

Rod McCaslin  •  Link

Sorry. First time I've posted.
Here are the recipes found at a Scottish cooking website-

"TO BOIL OX CHEEK.

Wash very clean half a head; let it lie in cold water all night; break the bone in two, taking care not to break the flesh. Put it on in a pot of boiling water, and let it boil from two to three hours; take out the bone. Serve it with boiled carrots and turnips, or savoys. The liquor the head has been boiled in may be strained and made into Scots barley broth, or Scots kale.

TO STEW OX CHEEK.

Clean the head, as before directed, and parboil it; take out the bone; stew it in part of the liquor in which it was boiled, thickened with a piece of butter mixed with flour, and browned. Cut into dice, or into any fancy shape, carrots and turnips, as much, when cut, as will fill a pint basin. Mince two or three onions, add the vegetables, and season with salt, black and Jamaica pepper. Cover the pan closely, and stew it two hours. A little before serving, add a glass of port wine or ale.

DRESSED OX CHEEK.

Prepare it as directed for stewing. Cut the met into square pieces; make a sauce with a quart of good gravy, thickened with butter mixed with flour; season with salt, black and Jamaica pepper, a little cayenne, and a table-spoonful of vinegar. Put in the head, and simmer it till quite tender. A few minutes before serving, add a little catsup or white wine. Forcemeat balls may be added.

POTTED OX CHEEK.

May be made of the meat that is left from any one of these dishes. It is cut into small bits, or minced and heated up with a little of the liquor in which the cheek was boiled, seasoned with black and Jamaica pepper, salt, nutmeg, and a little lemon juice or vinegar, then put into a mould, and turned out when required for use. It is used for supper or luncheon, and is eaten with mustard and vinegar.

Many excellent and economical dishes are made of an ox cheek; and it is particularly useful in large families."

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"...where I found him in Parliament this afternoon. The House have this noon been with the King to give him their reasons for refusing to grant any indulgence to Presbyters or Papists; ..."
Read it thy self; http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com...

GrahamT  •  Link

Ox Cheek as described above, sounds very like tête de veau (calf's head) I have eaten in France. The cheek is fine, it is the eyebrows and nostrils that are off-putting.

J A Gioia  •  Link

being in business together about a bargain of New England masts

no one with any understanding of america's indigenous people can read that without a profound chill. the rape of north america, the pilaging of her landscape and destruction of her native nations, has begun.

JWB  •  Link

"...rape of north america..."
What hateful nonsense. The number of indigenous people in my state, Ohio, when white settlers enter could be seated in today's Ohio State University football stadium and they eager to trap, cut & burn to get white men's goods as white men were.

Ruben  •  Link

New England masts
In Pepys times and for 300 more years they would cut trees wherever they were, if it resulted commercially profitable.
Indigenous population was small, really small, especially after the smallpox, measles, variola and other epidemics inflicted on them by the European Gods. This population would have rebounded, if not by the invasion by settlers.
Then we got this extraordinary State, different from anything known to human experience.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

17th Century New England ...

Anyone interested in the state of indigenous Americans by the time of Sam's diary, from New England to the Incan empire, should begin with the remarkable recent book "1491" by Charles C. Mann. Having read it and other histories of the era, it seems to me that all of the three previous comments, from JAGioia, JWB and Ruben, have a certain validity.

Ruben  •  Link

and now let's go back to Pepys London.

Bob T  •  Link

New England Masts
Here in New Brunswick there are still large areas that have been planted with "Navy Pines", as they are known locally.

Dana Haviland  •  Link

Re: Indigenous exploitation, it may behoove all commentators, new and old world, to step carefully when addressing the rapine of native peoples and cultures. A bit of nose-holding may be required of both parties.

Tom C  •  Link

New England Masts
Here in Connecticut many places were once called Mast Swamp, including my hometown of Torrington. However, Torrington wasn't used as a source of masts until about 1745. I guess it would have taken them some 80-100 years to build roads to New Haven or Windsor.

The New Haven settlers were welcomed by the Quinnipiack tribe in 1638. The tribe sold their land to the settlers in exchange for military protection from the neighboring Pequot tribe.

Bradford  •  Link

Thanks to Rod for not blenching straight off when confronted with "Wash very clean half a head." Half of an ox's head, mind you. Care to swap places with Elizabeth, anyone?

TerryF  •  Link

Interesting that no one has remarked about Sam's month's-end accounting of his own net worth.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

The King has requested information of his powers from the House of Laudes today, What is it that he can command of his people and control over their positions, can he bann people to the far nether reaches or keep them in the GAOL people like John Bunyon for ever,etc., etc., when he sites an Ecclesiastical Law. He be testing his powers.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

The "outing" of Sir Robert Bernard as Recorder of Huntingdon in 1662/63 was very much about jostling for local power. In the days of few electors and no secret ballots, the Recorder was in a very good position to influence an election.

The entries for 1660 and 1661 tell of rivalry between the Montagus and Capulets, I mean Bernards for possession of the seats in Parliament, with the Bernards initially having the upper hand in the borough of Huntingdon, and the Montagus in the county of Huntingdonshire. The History Of Parliament links below give more details about the area, the rivalries, and Cromwell's continuing legacy there.

http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume...

http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume...

I must say, I got great childish pleasure in observing that a later member for Huntingdonshire rejoiced in the name of 'Silius Titus'. Monty Python was merely Art imitating Life!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silius_Titus

Louise Hudson  •  Link

JWB wrote

"...rape of north america..."
What hateful nonsense. The number of indigenous people in my state, Ohio, when white settlers enter could be seated in today's Ohio State University football stadium and they eager to trap, cut & burn to get white men's goods as white men were.

What, pray tell does it matter how many indigenous people were invaded in a particular area? Who were the invaders? Certainly not the indigenous people who, by all rights, were the rightful owners of the land known as America.

There would have been no cutting and burning to get white men's goods if they hadn't illegitimately invaded and stole "America" from the owners. Didn't the indigenous people have a right to attack the people invading their land!

Ruben wonders if we can "get back" to Pepys' London--but we haven't left it. It was Pepys himself who brought up "New England's masts," which makes the British invasion and rape of America a legitimate subject to be discussed here.

JayW  •  Link

Ox cheek. Bought some from my butcher only last month and once slow cooked it was tender and tasty. I didn't have to deal with the head of course!

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

We have gone from a phrase "the rape of north america ...": emotive, but with a certain amount of justification, to "the British ... rape of America" which is nonsense, unless 1) all the problems of North America were created by Britain, and 2) every invasion and settlement is also a "rape".

As for 1) The diseases which did so much to disrupt the Native American societies came from many European contacts, especially the early Spanish occupations. In fact, several other non-British European countries, including France, Netherlands, Sweden had colonies. Even the tiny Duchy of Courland tried to get in on the act. Currently, (in diary time) New York was New Amsterdam, and the capital of New Netherland, until that colony changed hands in 1674.

Regarding 2) Amongst others, the British had a long alliance with the Iroquois Confederation, many of whom stayed loyal to Britain during the American War of Independence. Presumably if they chose to remain loyal, at that time at least it wasn't rape. Sadly, because of these divided loyalties, the Iroquois suffered greatly during and after the war. The worst crimes against the natives, and despoliation of the land, were committed by descendants of European settlers after the British had gone, and in places which Britain had never occupied.

I'm not trying to excuse anybody's sins here, just get a bit of historical accuracy!

Bill  •  Link

@JayW, I'm flummoxed that every time SP mentions some obscure food that I've never heard of, there is someone in, I presume, Britain who ate it recently! Hard to wrap my head around that. But keep up the good work.

JayW  •  Link

Yes indeed I am in the UK!

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Upstate New York supported a native hunter gatherer population of around 6,000 people when the French first arrived. The natives fought each other nastily for the majority in that 6,000 figure. That is, Algonquin versus Iroquois. Presently the area supports 8.5 mil people. Whatever one thinks of the decimation of all facets of the ecology it is just unrealistic to think it wasn't doomed inevitably.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Just a note to say... sorry the front page was broken briefly - pesky leap years!

But also, let's try to keep things on-topic. I realise the discussion about whether America was "raped" or not began with a ten-year-old annotation, but please try not to stray too far from what's relevant to today's diary entry. Thanks!

Jonathan V  •  Link

Glad the Diary is back. I visited last night, and was rebuffed.

The very first sentence is interesting: "Waked with great pain in my right ear (which I find myself much subject to) ... " What is he suffering from? It seems to have gone away, because he doesn't mention it for the rest of the day.

David G  •  Link

I assume that docquet is the same as docket, i.e., the Penn's additional position is on the docket for consideration. If so, it's interesting how little has changed in the way that bureaucracies function.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘bargain, n.1 < Old French bargaine.
. . 2. b. Sometimes applied to what one of the parties has contracted . . to . . receive . .
1502 tr. Ordynarye of Crysten Men (de Worde) iv. xxi. sig. y.v v, The seller putteth in his bargayne that he may bye agayne his herytage . . ‘

Bill  •  Link

"being in business together about a bargain of New England masts"

BARGAIN, An Agreement or Contract relating to the buying or selling any thing. In Law, the transferring the Right or Property to, or in lands, Tenements, Manors, &c. from one Person to another, is called Bargain, and Sale, between the Bargainer and Bargainee.
BARGAINEE, The Purchaser, or Person who yields or agrees to a Bargain
BARGAINER, The Seller, or Person who offers or makes a Contract or Bargain
BARGAIN, To contract, or agree upon certain Conditions, either as Buyer or Seller.
---A new general English dictionary. T. Dyche, 1735.

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