Thursday 19 November 1663

Up, and to the office, where (Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten being gone this morning to Portsmouth) the rest of us met, and rode at noon. So I to the ‘Change, where little business, and so home to dinner, and being at dinner Mr. Creed in and dined with us, and after dinner Mr. Gentleman, my Jane’s father, to see us and her. And after a little stay with them, I was sent for by Sir G. Carteret by agreement, and so left them, and to him and with him by coach to my Lord Treasurer, to discourse with him about Mr. Gauden’s having of money, and to offer to him whether it would not be necessary, Mr. Gauden’s credit being so low as it is, to take security of him if he demands any great sum, such as 20,000l., which now ought to be paid him upon his next year’s declaration. Which is a sad thing, that being reduced to this by us, we should be the first to doubt his credit; but so it is. However, it will be managed with great tenderness to him. My Lord Treasurer we found in his bed-chamber, being laid up of the goute. I find him a very ready man, and certainly a brave servant to the King: he spoke so quick and sensibly of the King’s charge. Nothing displeased me in him but his long nails, which he lets grow upon a pretty thick white short hand, that it troubled me to see them. Thence with Sir G. Carteret by coach, and he set me down at the New Exchange. In our way he told me there is no such thing likely yet as a Dutch war, neither they nor we being in condition for it, though it will come certainly to that in some time, our interests lying the same way, that is to say, in trade. But not yet. Thence to the Temple, and there visited my cozen Roger Pepys and his brother Dr. John, a couple, methinks, of very ordinary men, and thence to speak [with] Mr. Moore, and met him by the way, who tells me, to my great content, that he believes my letter to my Lord Sandwich hath wrought well upon him, and that he will look after himself and his business upon it, for he begins already to do so. But I dare not conclude anything till I see him, which shall be to-morrow morning, that I may be out of my pain to know how he takes it of me. He and I to the Coffee-house, and there drank and talked a little, and so I home, and after a little at my office home to supper and to bed, not knowing how to avoid hopes from Mr. Moore’s words to-night, and yet I am fearful of the worst.

22 Annotations

Lurker   Link to this

Long fingernails? Was this dude doing that for a reason, IE. a profession requiring them?

Bradford   Link to this

"Nothing displeased me in him but his long nails, which he lets grow upon a pretty thick white short hand, that it troubled me to see them."

As vivid as an image from a nightmare. Perhaps, as Lord Treasurer, they aid him in rapidly picking up coins of the realm?

Terry F   Link to this

It seems to me it's been remarked upon how observant Pepys is of people's hands - and oft he regarded them as key indicators of character.

aqua   Link to this

The man be born in '07, so he be a bit doddery and nail scissors be rough and his pearly whites, be passed their best for him chew on down.

aqua   Link to this

no pre-emptive strike ?: "...In our way he told me there is no such thing likely yet as a Dutch war, neither they nor we being in condition for it, though it will come certainly to that in some time, our interests lying the same way, that is to say, in trade. But not yet..."

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"home to supper and to bed, not knowing how to avoid hopes from Mr. Moore's words to-night, and yet I am fearful of the worst"

Good plan, Sam. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

"However, it will be managed with great tenderness to him"

Great. At least Gauden gets dinner and a movie before getting...

Wim van der Meij   Link to this

Quite a good estimate by Sam: the (second) Anglo-Dutch war broke out in 1665 only.
At the beginning of the day there must have been some sort of relief for Sam with the letter to My Lord being sent off. At the end of the day is the anxious waiting for the reaction.
In all a brave act, I think

Bryan M   Link to this

"In our way he told me there is no such thing likely yet as a Dutch war, neither they nor we being in condition for it, though it will come certainly to that in some time, our interests lying the same way, that is to say, in trade. But not yet."

This is the second time in recent months that Sam has mentioned the possibility of war. On October 2, Sam "met with Mr. Cutler, and he and I to a coffee-house, and there discoursed, and he do assure me that there is great likelyhood of a war with Holland, but I hope we shall be in good condition before it comes to break out."

It is difficult to discern Sam's attitude from these entries, but on the face of it he seems surprisingly casual for an Officer of the Admiralty. After all it is going to be a naval war. Sam "hopes" that his side will be prepared but there is no indication that perhaps it is his job to do something about it. Another example of the many things left out of the diary?

language hat   Link to this

He's not Secretary of the Admiralty yet!
At his low level, he's doing what he can: trying to rationalize purchasing and make sure the Crown gets the best goods at the best price. What should he be doing, running up and down the halls of Whitehall shouting "The Dutch are coming!"?

Glyn   Link to this

True, but I'm surprised his office isn't been put on more of a war footing, so far as I can see. Part of his job is making contracts to buy provisions, munitions, pay for ship-building, pay the sailors. He hasn't been complaining of having more work to do in the last few months.

For British viewers, tonight Prof Starkey is doing a one-hour television broadcast on the 1688 Revolution when we got William of Orange as our monarch.

Terry F   Link to this

He does record having conversations about the possibility of war, as though this were part of the buzz. I wonder whether he brings up the topic? The 2 Oct entry sounds like he might, but today...?

Pedro   Link to this

"the possibility of war"

I think at this stage the build up and push towards a war with the Dutch, seems to be coming from such merchant taders as Mr. Cutler. As any preparation would require money, would it not require the King to go to the Parliament to obtain it?

Terry F   Link to this

Pedro, you are spot on. We (and Pepys) failed to record

The Second Navigation Act- 1663
AN ACT for the Encouragement of Trade
http://www.historycentral.com/documents/SEcondN...

"In 1663, a Second Navigation Act forbade English colonists to trade with other European countries. In addition, European goods bound for America had to be unloaded at English ports and reshipped. Export duties and profits to middlemen then made prices of the goods prohibitive in the Colonies."
http://www.britannia.com/history/naremphist4.html
"The second Navigation Act of the Restoration, which was introduced into the lower house and passed the first reading on 8 May 1663, was intended to remedy the defects of the act of 1660 by making the infringement of the law more difficult. Debated from time to time, it passed the third reading in the commons on 13 June and was brought into the house of lords on the 19th, where it was at once referred to a committee of which Lord Berkeley was chairman. If it was not the parliamentary discussion on the Navigation Act, it was the general interests in trade of which that was an expression, that led the king to issue an order in council, 6 July 1663, requiring the colonial governors to enforce the act of 1660. But it was believed in England that the infringement of the act on the coast of North America was largely due to the presence of a Dutch colony midway between New England and Maryland [New Amsterdam], and the Council for Foreign Plantations gladly welcomed an English claim for New Netherlands. In 1661 the earl of Stirling had presented a petition to the king claiming the territory and complaining of the intrusion of the Dutch; but it seems not to have been considered until the discussion on trade in the summer of 1663, and a renewal of the claim led the Council for Foreign Plantations to examine the whole matter. At a meeting of which Lord Berkeley was president it was resolved to investigate the English title to New Netherlands, the intrusion and strength of the Dutch, and the means whereby they could be made to acknowledge English sovereignty or withdraw. Among the colonial state papers is a document by an unknown author, who claims New Netherlands for the English by right of discovery, and suggests that the English occupation has been prevented by the Dutch. The language of the writer is violent and his statements are a gross perversion of the truth, but he perhaps expresses the feeling in official circles towards the close of 1663. 'Trade has been wrested from the English merchants, as may be seen by the Dutch returns of last year, 1662. This miserable state of English interests in that part of the world calls aloud for remedy, that they may no longer sustain the intolerable disgrace of submitting to the intrusion of such monsters and bold usurpers.'64 However shadowy may have been the English title to New Netherlands it was believed that claims for such title could be advanced, and the Dutch-English antagonism would not permit those claims to lie dormant.
"Action was all the more likely because at the opening of the new year, 1664, war. between Holland and England was considered *possible* [my emphasis]. To the contest for trade, especially in Africa, was added a dispute at home. One article of the treaty of 1662 provided that neither state should permit enemies of the other to remain within its boundaries. The Restoration had driven many republicans to Rotterdam, where they were conspiring with others at home for the re-establishment of independency; and Clarendon considered that the banishment of those men from Holland was included in this provision."
http://www.dinsdoc.com/schoolcraft-1.htm

Australian Susan   Link to this

"troubled me to see them"
I wondered why this was so. Part of Sam's squeamishness about dirty hands and food, often mentioned or is this a sign of effeminancy? And, if so, was that held in abbrobrium at that time? Long nails would be handy for nit-picking!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...he believes my letter to my Lord Sandwich hath wrought well upon him, and that he will look after himself and his business upon it, for he begins already to do so..."

Trembling with rage, Sandwich rises from table, his late cousin Pepys' letter in hand.

My...He is up and about energetically today, Moore happily notes from his corner as milord strides furiously by...

Pepys' letter did the trick, no doubt.

"Moore?"

"Howe? Anything wrong?"

"Not at all...Though I'd suggest purchasing some mourning clothes. My lord feels there'll be a death in his family soon."

Ah... "Well, I must tell ole Pepys. He'll want some warning. He's always one to make a fuss as to clothes."

"Yes...So he was...Doubt he'll have much clothing worries on this one, though."

Bradford   Link to this

Hands are indeed highly expressive--- reading body language is no recent invention, nor is deliberate presentation of the self. Surely some New Historian is missing a trick not running Pepys through the theoretical mill?

Hygiene and he-man-ism need not be mutually exclusive. Perhaps Sam's squirms are rooted in the fact that dirt in your food tastes bad. Hard on the teeth, too.

Bryan M   Link to this

"He's not Secretary of the Admiralty yet!
At his low level, he's doing what he can"

Sam was one the principal officers of the Navy Board. The "Navy Board" entry in Background Information shows that the Clerk of the Acts was an Officer of the Admiralty (http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/482/):

From the 1893 edition
A list of the Officers of the Admiralty, May 31st, 1660. From a MS. in the Pepysian Library in Pepys's own handwriting.
His Royal Highness James, Duke of York, Lord High Admiral. Sir George Carteret, Treasurer. Sir Robert Slingsby, (soon after) Comptroller. Sir William Batten, Surveyor. Samuel Pepys, Esq., Clerk of the Acts.

Vincent's entry under "Clerk of the Acts" shows that the person holding the position was a full member of the Navy Board (http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/484/#c8567):

"It hath been objected by some that the Clarke of the Acts ought to be subordinate to the rest of the Commissioners, and not to be joyned in equall power with them, although he was so constituted from the first institution, which hath been an opinion only of some to keep him at a distance, least he might be thought too forward if he had joynt power in discovering or argueing against that which peradventure private interest would have concealed; it is certaine no man sees more of the Navye's Transactions than himselfe, and possibly may speak as much to the project if required, or else he is a blockhead, and not fitt for that imployment."

Has the esteemed L. Hat Esq. forgotten that the title of "clerk" has not always had its current menial/pejorative connotation? To put it in our context, would an administrator in the US defence department who took an active part in weekly meetings with VP Cheney be considered to have a low level position?

I was just noting that we see little evidence through the diary that the Navy Board was making preparations for the imminent war.

doctus   Link to this

Titles : change status over time:
Secretary, Clerk amongst other status positions have seen change in status, Even Baron has been downgraded to the fifth rank of Lordly ones.
Many Egos like to find new ways of granddising their status in life.

doctus   Link to this

This is the start of the American revolution of 1776 and the kingly one of 1685."...In 1663, a Second Navigation Act forbade English colonists to trade with other European countries..."

Ruben   Link to this

The Second Navigation Act- 1663
The historical context of this Act is wider than the Dutch question.
Making all English colonists trade with other countries an offence was not different than the same rule implemented by the Spanish crown at that time. The only difference being that in the Spanish case those trading "ilegally" (contraband) with the Spanish colonies were the English...

Pedro   Link to this

The Second Navigation Act- 1663

Thanks Terry, that gives us a great insight into some of the reasons for the coming war. Although the Act could be looked at in a wider context, I believe that at this present time (1663) the Dutch have become the most powerful trading nation in the world, and therefore would be mainly directed towards them.

As this war draws nearer I think we will find that it becomes more inevitable, as more people find more reasons for it. At the end of Terry's post it says...

"The Restoration had driven many republicans to Rotterdam...and Clarendon considered that the banishment of those men from Holland was included in this provision."

This seems to have been a big bone of contention to the King. On the Restoration many who feared for their lives fled the country into exile, their first and more often than not last point of call was the Low Countries. They could enjoy religious, political as well as economic freedom, and was a useful base for conspirators planning a return to England by violent means. The Dutch had a long tradition of welcoming exiles and a reluctance to give up exiles. (see Sjoerd's annotation http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/03/17/#ann... )

Large concentrations of English and Scottish merchants were found in all the major cities who could provide cover and financial assistance to rebels, and this interested the Secretary of State's office intensly.

(Summary from Intelligence and Espionage in the reign of Charles II by Marshall)


language hat   Link to this

Bryan: Quite right, "low level" was a poor choice of words.
Let me put it this way: the king was the only one who could institute a war preparation policy and make people devote themselves to it. To be making such preparations without the king's express command would look like stirring up trouble for one's own gain (as in fact such things usually are).

As a point of comparison, in 1914 everyone in Europe knew a war was coming soon (though not necessarily that year), and Russia had known since its disastrous loss to Japan in 1905 that it was pitifully unprepared in men, materiel, and communications. Yet all attempts to reform the military structure (to put academy-trained officers in charge and pension off the aristocratic deadwood) were quashed, supplies were ordered at an absurd rate (Russia entered WWI with ammunition reserves more than a billion cartridges below the already inadequate minimum recommended by its own experts, and so few shells that it soon could no longer respond to German artillery barrages), they didn't bother beginning construction on a vitally necessary railroad to Murmansk (their only reliable port in case of war) until after the war had begun (it wasn't finished until after the Revolution), and communications were so pathetic that Russia's First and Second Armies, trying to coordinate their pincer attack in East Prussia, sent messages *in clear*, handing the astonished Germans an easy victory. And this was in the twentieth century!

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