Tuesday 1 December 1663

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon I home to dinner with my poor wife, with whom now-a-days I enjoy great pleasure in her company and learning of Arithmetique. After dinner I to Guild Hall to hear a tryall at King’s Bench, before Lord Chief Justice Hide, about the insurance of a ship, the same I mention in my yesterday’s journall, where everything was proved how money was so taken up upon bottomary and insurance, and the ship left by the master and seamen upon rocks, where, when the sea fell at the ebb, she must perish. The master was offered helpe, and he did give the pilotts 20 sols to drink to bid them go about their business, saying that the rocks were old, but his ship was new, and that she was repaired for 6l. and less all the damage that she received, and is now brought by one, sent for on purpose by the insurers, into the Thames, with her cargo, vessels of tallow daubed over with butter, instead of all butter, the whole not worth above 500l., ship and all, and they had took up, as appeared, above 2,400l.. He had given his men money to content them; and yet, for all this, he did bring some of them to swear that it was very stormy weather, and [they] did all they could to save her, and that she was seven feete deep water in hold, and were fain to cut her main and foremast, that the master was the last man that went out, and they were fain to force [him] out when she was ready to sink; and her rudder broke off, and she was drawn into the harbour after they were gone, as wrecke all broken, and goods lost: that she could not be carried out again without new building, and many other things so contrary as is not imaginable more. There was all the great counsel in the kingdom in the cause; but after one witnesse or two for the plaintiff, it was cried down as a most notorious cheate; and so the jury, without going out, found it for the plaintiff. But it was pleasant to see what mad sort of testimonys the seamen did give, and could not be got to speak in order: and then their terms such as the judge could not understand; and to hear how sillily the Counsel and judge would speak as to the terms necessary in the matter, would make one laugh: and above all, a Frenchman that was forced to speak in French, and took an English oathe he did not understand, and had an interpreter sworn to tell us what he said, which was the best testimony of all. So home well satisfied with this afternoon’s work, purposing to spend an afternoon or two every term so, and so to my office a while and then home to supper, arithmetique with my wife, and to bed. I heard other causes, and saw the course of pleading by being at this trial, and heard and learnt two things: one is that every man has a right of passage in, but not a title to, any highway. The next, that the judge would not suffer Mr. Crow, who hath fined for Alderman, to be called so, but only Mister, and did eight or nine times fret at it, and stop every man that called him so.

22 Annotations

JonTom Kittredge   Link to this

"The rocks were old, but his ship was new"
That made me laugh out loud, for real!

Bradford   Link to this

The ship was brought "into the Thames, with her cargo, vessels of tallow daubed over with butter, instead of all butter,"

---Darn it, here I thought it was the ship that was daubed with butter, the better to slide through the water. ("It was the best butter.")
Alas, it was rather that its cargo was a number of containers ("vessels") filled with low-cost tallow, topped off with higher-cost butter---another fraud. Did they think no one would notice the difference? It does not speak well of the quality of imported butter.
Now we know one antecedent of the court proceedings depicted in "The Goon Show."

Paul Dyson   Link to this

So home well satisfied with this afternoon's work, purposing to spend an afternoon or two every term so...

So Sam has discovered that an afternoon in court can be the best free entertainment in London.

Terry F   Link to this

"he did give the pilotts 20 sols to drink"

A bribe too cheap? What country used a sol in the 17th century? How much was it worth?

The sol was used in Argentina and is still used in Peru. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol(Currency)

Nate   Link to this

URL error
The last sentence, which I think I do not understand, has a URL for Mr. Crow: it's broken.

cumgranosalis   Link to this

roughly a bob , to say bobs yer uncle "...The master was offered helpe, and he did give the pilotts 20 sols to drink to bid them go about their business,..."
"Sol (currency)" redirects here. For the 13th-18th century French coin, see Solidus (coin).
solidus, real , genuine in Latin or solid [as gold] appropiate for all the inca gold in [Sol be the sun in Latinate lingo.
Then be the sou worth about 2 fathings.
http://www.friesian.com/coins.htm

1791 french sol copper offered for 10 dollars, on Yahoo [purchase of one lot of oysters ]
"Haven't got a Sou:"

cumgranosalis   Link to this

Our Liz be happy when taken seriously"...with whom now-a-days I enjoy great pleasure in her company and learning of Arithmetique...."
"1 piggy plus two piggies times 4 piggies leaves your big toe Sam"." no no, that be 12 piglets Liz."

Terry F   Link to this

So a sol is a Sou is 5 centimes = a nickel X 20 = US $1 - a nice drunk at that time, depending on how many split the payoff?

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"every man has a right of passage in, but not a title to, any highway"
Sounds a little like the End User License Agreement that we all have to accept when we install a new piece of software.

cumgranosalis   Link to this

Masterless men may use shanks pony, shuffle along but not sleep on it[highway]? or hinder the nited ones, if thy do sleep on it, thee be sent back to thy parish. "...one is that every man has a right of passage in, but not a title to, any highway..."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Well, Jenkins? How fares our poor girl? Is she torn to pieces on the jagged rocks of this rugged French coast?" the Master asks hopefully.

"Uh...No, sir. Matter of fact she's holdin' up quite well. Really not that rocky coast around here, sir. And the insurer's people have come to bring her in."

"Son of a...!"

"They're saying it only cost about 6Ls to get her afloat again sir. Given The insurers don't feel it was really necessary to abandon ship...And,sir?"

"Tell me they didn't get a look at the cargo?"

"'Fraid so, sir. They spotted the butter or lack thereof in the vats right off. There she goes by now, sir. Look at the old girl. Did you ever see her in better shape? Er, sorry sir."

"Shut up!"

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"And what does Mr. Pepys come running home at dinnertime these days to do with you, dear Mrs. Pepys? You haven't been having a little trouble, have you?" Lady Batten grins.

"No, Lady Batten. Sam's been coming home to tutor me in arithmetic after dinner."

"Arithmetic?" blinking stare. "Numbers and division and addition and all that?"

"Oh,yes. It's very useful, Sam'l says. Especially in adding up the household budget when it's over ten."

"My dear girl." smile. "That's what one has a Mingo for." Eyeing of Mingo, to my Lady's side in his finery, who holds out his hands, my Lady counting and stroking fingers as she does. "Eleven, twelve...Thirteen." wiggles left middle finger. "Lucky thirteen." wink at Mingo.

Pedro   Link to this

"But it was pleasant to see what mad sort of testimonys the seamen did give, and could not be got to speak in order: and then their terms such as the judge could not understand;"

Interesting, remembering the discussion the other day, that Sam today says "terms not understood" and not dialect?

From Gentlemen and Tarpaulins by Davies speaking of the difference between officers and the lower ranks...

"...and seamen, who could enjoy more continuous employment and who came from lower orders of society, with fewer concerns ashore, were truly a different race, concerned primarily with material issues and possessing a distinctive dress, speech, songs, and mannerisms which Restoration playwrights loved to caricature..."

tel   Link to this

and then their terms such as the judge could not understand

In their case, specialist terms of the trade would be more likely: "Twere hard abaft by the larboard futtocks, yer Honour"
"What?"

language hat   Link to this

"purposing to spend an afternoon or two every term so"
My father used to love to spend an afternoon so, and I could easily get into the habit myself. Courts are fascinating places.

"The sol was used in Argentina"

Different sol: that's the Spanish word for 'sun,' this is the equivalent of French sou, from Latin solidus. Relevant OED citation:

1639 S. DU VERGER tr. Camus' Admir. Events 352 He put his hand into his pocket, and thinking to draw out a Sol, which is little more than an English penny,.. gave it him.

Grahamt   Link to this

Solidus is also the s in £sd - Libra, solidus and denarius = pounds, shillings and pence.

Re 20 sols to drink: The modern French for a tip/gratuity is un pourboir (a "for drink")

Bradford   Link to this

Mr. Crow's page has been fixed. Now all he needs is loving hands to annotate him. Companion, p. 82.

Michael L   Link to this

Having attended a trial from beginning to end, I can also say that even today, the proceedings and rules sometimes seem quite contrary to common sense.

Nix   Link to this

"purposing to spend an afternoon or two every term so" --

Since Samuel's vows preclude stage plays, he'll seek his entertainment in the Theatre of Human Folly. I sympathize with Michael -- I worked on a few civil trials early in my legal career, but didn't appreciate how confusing it can be to outsiders until a decade later when I got picked for a criminal jury.

Pedro   Link to this

On this day what happened next?

The Jersey under the command of Holmes, having taken on ballast and provisions, was standing down Channel and came up with a large Dutch East Indiaman outward bound.

(Yes you guessed right!) She failed to strike, so Holmes fired a gun at her. She took no notice so he fired again and carried away the head of her mizzen topmast. She still declined at which he opened up with two guns. She struck both her topsails, but Holmes demanded boats to be put out for a boarding party. She refused. Holmes fired. She gave way. She proved to be a vessel 0f 800 tons with a compliment of 280 men. As final insult Holmes extracted payment for the shots expended.

(Man of War...Ollard)

Kevin Peter   Link to this

That Captain Holmes sure doesn't accept any crap from foreign ships. It looks like he'll rabidly attack any ship, large or small, that doesn't strike its colors.

It wouldn't surprise me if he singlehandedly attacked the entire Dutch fleet for not striking its colors.

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