Monday 30 March 1663

Up betimes and found my weather-glass sunk again just to the same position which it was last night before I had any fire made in my chamber, which had made it rise in two hours time above half a degree. So to my office where all the morning and at the Glass-house, and after dinner by coach with Sir W. Pen I carried my wife and her woman to Westminster, they to visit Mrs. Ferrers and Clerke, we to the Duke, where we did our usual business, and afterwards to the Tangier Committee, where among other things we all of us sealed and signed the Contract for building the Mole with my Lord Tiviott, Sir J. Lawson, and Mr. Cholmeley. A thing I did with a very ill will, because a thing which I did not at all understand, nor any or few of the whole board. We did also read over the propositions for the Civill government and Law Merchant of the town, as they were agreed on this morning at the Glasshouse by Sir R. Ford and Sir W. Rider, who drew them, Mr. Povy and myself as a Committee appointed to prepare them, which were in substance but not in the manner of executing them independent wholly upon the Governor consenting to. Thence to see my Lord Sandwich, who I found very merry and every day better and better. So to my wife, who waited my coming at my Lord’s lodgings, and took her up and by coach home, where no sooner come but to bed, finding myself just in the same condition I was lately by the extreme cold weather, my pores stopt and so my body all inflamed and itching. So keeping myself warm and provoking myself to a moderate sweat, and so somewhat better in the morning, [continued tomorrow P.G.]

30 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

Did Sam leave home cold this morning?

He got his comeuppance at bed-time.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"because a thing which I did not at all understand, nor any or few of the whole board"
Reminds me of the Katrina situation.

Bradford   Link to this

And one wonders not whether but how soon there will be cause for regret at signing a contract one does not comprehend. But then this Mole project, since its very beginning, has been as fraught as the projected development of the . . . fill in your favorite boondoggle.

dirk   Link to this

"weather-glass sunk again just to the same position which it was last night before I had any fire made in my chamber, which had made it rise in two hours time above half a degree"

Don't think of this in terms of degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius! At the time there was no standard temperature scale (who would have set this standard?) -- so we have absolutely no idea how much Sam's "half a degree" would be according to our modern thermometers.

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686-1736), a German physicist, was the first to come up with the standardized Fahrenheit (F) scale in 1724.

The French scientist Rene Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur (1683-1757) followed in 1731 with the Reaumur scale.

Anders Celsius (1701-1744), a Swedish astronomer, invented the centigrade (C) scale in 1742.

Lord William Kelvin (1824-1907) was the Scottish physicist who devised the Kelvin (K) scale in 1854.

William John Macquorn Rankine (1820-1872) proposed his Rankine scale in 1859.

See:
http://temp-scales.org/index.html

Leslie Katz   Link to this

Off-topic

On Friday the 13th of March, I asked about the significance of Friday the 13th and was given some information.

By chance, I found on page 15 of the Christian Science Monitor for Friday, 31 March, the following assertion:

"The Templars are the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition, since they were arrested on Friday, Oct. 13."

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"the propositions for the Civill government and Law Merchant of the town ...
were in substance but not in the manner of executing them independent wholly upon the Governor consenting to."

Does anybody have any idea what this means? It reads like word salad to me.

Miss Ann   Link to this

"... the propositions for the Civill government and Law Merchant of the town ..."

I read this to mean that there were certain propositions put forward in draft form, i.e. not in the form required to be executed by the relevant authorities, maybe just at the "brainstorming" stage, sorting out what they will put in place and sorting out whether the Governor will consent to them. Once they have been agreed on then the wordsmiths will take over and make them totally incomprehensible to all except highly paid lawyers - some things never change (but provide me with employment every day).

Bryan M   Link to this

We did also read over the propositions for the Civill government and Law Merchant of the town…

One interpretation: In the morning at the Glass-house inn, two members of the Tangiers Committee, Sir R Ford and Sir W Rider, outlined a proposal for the civil and commercial governance of Tangiers, for example the necessary laws/regulations. (Rider and Ford were successful merchants with experience in administration.) In the afternoon the committee reviewed their proposal and gave Sam and Povey the job of preparing the necessary documents. The governor of Tangiers (Lord Peterborough) could not alter or veto the laws/regulations etc but he would have discretion in how they were implemented and enforced.

Alternatively: Sam and Povey had earlier drafted the proposal under the direction of Ford and Rider, who ticked it off as satisfactory in the Glass-house in the morning. The proposal was then presented to the full committee for review in the afternoon.

Tangiers had been acquired by the British in January the previous year and the civilian population must have been growing, or perhaps the committee had just got around to thinking about them. The garrison would have been under military jurisdiction.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Amateur natural philosopher Pepys at work...

"Look, Bess. It was down to last night's mark and now it's up above half a degree! Isn't it wonderful?"

"Wonderful. Brrr... Ma chere, how's about putting some more wood on the fire and seeing it go up another half degree? Or better yet, bring it and yourself over here and lets do our own experiment."

***

Sam, the stupidity defense..."Mr. Lay you say you had no idea what was going on?" "None of us knew what we were signing." "I'm far too clueless to have known she was a CIA agent.", etc... is the wave of the future. You're on the cutting edge of chicanery, my friend.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I told you it was too cold in here this morning." Bess notes archly. "But Natural Philosophe Pepys had to do his experiment." Hmmn? "Say, Sam'l? Look! The weather-glass is way up now!"

"Ttto Hhhhell with the wwweather-glass, Bess!" Sam shivers. "Mary! More wood, I must ssswwweat!"

A. Hamilton   Link to this

"independent wholly upon the Governor consenting"

OED Indendent: First definition: "Not depending upon the authority of another."

Sam seems to be saying that in substance the propositions for civil government and Law Merchant would be binding on the governor whether he agreed or no, but that the Governor would have discretion in carrying them out -- as Bryan M. suggests.

celtcahill   Link to this

I read the use of ' independent' here to mean that the Governor can use or not any of the provisions they are presenting. Those elements being in a state of dependance - hanging from whether Rutherford will or will not use them.

He seems to be divorcing himself from responibility for their ultimate execution in this too, which is reasonable.

Stolzi   Link to this

"my wife and her woman"

How proud he must be to write that. Indeed, Mr Samuel Pepys has come up in the world.

Nix   Link to this

Could "independent" be an editorial or transcription error, when "dependent" was intended?

Mary   Link to this

independent

is the L&M reading and we usually accept their text as the most authoritative.

TerryF   Link to this

Is Sam'l stresssing the separation of the legislative and executive powers?

“independent wholly upon the Governor consenting”

E   Link to this

"...the propositions for the Civill government and Law Merchant...which were in substance but not in the manner of executing them independent wholly upon the Governor consenting to."

I read this as the committee setting the ground rules for civil and commercial law in Tangier irrespective of whether the Governor consents to them or not, although realistically he will be able to influence the policing of them.

Googling "independent upon" (with the quotes) produces 33,200 hits, but unfortunately these include an accidental combination of the words in the US Universal Commercial Code. However there is, on the Google first page, an example quoted from "The Second London Confession of Baptists in 1677" where the meaning is apparently what we would now say as "independent of", and from a hit on the third page the same meaning is clear in a quote from Thomas Jefferson in 1776.

Pedro says in the Background Info that the new Governor of Tangier, Lord Rutherford now promoted to Lord Teviot, was widely viewed with suspicion because he was a Roman Catholic appointed to lead a force containing many (Irish) Catholics. This may have added an extra interest in being clear where his powers ended. There is no reason why the Governor should have a veto over the content of the regulations for Civill government and Law Merchant, but Pepys seems to be emphasising that the Governor can direct the amount of energy put into enforcing them.

So the answer to TerryF seems to be that Pepys has spotted a fallacy in the theory of separation of powers, although Montesquieu had not yet framed that way of thinking.

TerryF   Link to this

"Pepys has spotted a fallacy in the theory of separation of powers"

E, continuing to speak anacronistically, is it a *fallacy* or a *limitation" that Pepys may have spotted in the separation of powers as presently drafted in "the propositions for the Civill government and Law Merchant"? These could always be peppered with legally binding mandates that the Governor *shall* do this and that. Is the lack of such clauses, ergo that their meaning is "independent wholly [of] the Governor consenting", what Pepys spotted?

dirk   Link to this

The Knights Templars as the origin of the Friday 13th superstition

I'm aware that this theory has been around for some time, but it seems to be popular in France mainly. I don't think it's very likely that the "bad luck" of some elitary French knights (who were not really very popular among the common people) would have inspired a very popular superstition throughout most of the western world.

Ruben   Link to this

Friday 13th superstition
In Spanish it is:
"Martes 13, no te cases ni te embarques","Tuesday 13, do not get marry and do not board a ship"

language hat   Link to this

The Knights Templars as the origin of the Friday 13th superstition

I agree: this seems exceedingly improbable. But people do love a good story.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Friday 13th

Linked with Good Friday and the number of persons at the Last Supper (13) ???

dirk   Link to this

Friday 13th

That seems to be the most plausible explanation...

http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/friday13.html

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

All the Numbers be associated to a reason why things go right or wrong. #12 be the zodiac, 12 hour time separation. So one more [#XV less II ]you be in another universe. There still lingers back of the many minds some connection to the Devil, no matter how unlikely, that there be the unexplained nine lives.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Another opinion:"... found my weather-glass sunk again just to the same position which it was last night before I had any fire made in my chamber..."
sunk- be the mercury dro[o]ping [glass falling]:Sams Science may not be up to snuff yet. This rising and falling barometer be pressure but then it not be not agreed upon that it be not Temperature until his Buddy Boyle proves that, at one of the boy's nights out. A glass tube 4 foot long with toothe filling liguid was available to all after 1644.
that old PVT thing of long ago.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Must protest at comment in the website cited by dirk - OK, I agree with what it says about Friday 13th, but it then refers to "Australia, where people are not too bright..." Excuse me!!! Sorry, off topic, but v. outraged.

Pedro   Link to this

Unlucky for some…13

For those who like a good story…

LONDON LEGEND OF THE CLOCK WHICH STRUCK THIRTEEN, AND SAVED A MAN'S LIFE.

http://www.thebookofdays.com/misc/time.htm

dirk   Link to this

Susan, my sincere apologies. (I hadn't even noticed it!)

ldodd   Link to this

I don't think Pepys meant to say dependent instead of independent because he reviewed revised his diaries numerous times. Not to mention the fact that he was well-educated and would have been aware of the difference between the two.

Patricia   Link to this

Do I remember rightly that the last time Samuel came down with this itching problem was also right after he had been at Sandwich's house? Perhaps he is allergic to something there. The sweating would wash the allergen off his body, thus helping alleviate the problem...?

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