Wednesday 30 March 1664

Up very betimes to my office, and thence at 7 o’clock to Sir G. Carteret, and there with Sir J. Minnes made an end of his accounts, but staid not dinner, my Lady having made us drink our morning draft there of several wines, but I drank: nothing but some of her coffee, which was poorly made, with a little sugar in it. Thence to the ‘Change a great while, and had good discourse with Captain Cocke at the Coffee-house about a Dutch warr, and it seems the King‘s design is by getting underhand the merchants to bring in their complaints to the Parliament, to make them in honour begin a warr, which he cannot in honour declare first, for fear they should not second him with money. Thence homewards, staying a pretty while with my little she milliner at the end of Birchin Lane, talking and buying gloves of her, and then home to dinner, and in the afternoon had a meeting upon the Chest business, but I fear unless I have time to look after it nothing will be done,, and that I fear I shall not. In the evening comes Sir W. Batten, who tells us that the Committee have approved of our bill with very few amendments in words, not in matter. So to my office, where late with Sir W. Warren, and so home to supper and to bed.

10 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

"my little she milliner"

Cf. 4 February 1663/64, "So homeward, and called at my little milliner's, where I chatted with her, her husband out of the way, and a mad merry slut she is."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/02/04/

We shall have to be attentive when Pepys buys lids.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"it seems the King's design is by getting underhand the merchants to bring in their complaints to the Parliament, to make them in honour begin a warr, which he cannot in honour declare first, for fear they should not second him with money."

If Capt. Cocke and Sam can figure this out, why can't the Parlimentarians? Oh, the hubris that leads us into war ... you'd think we'd learn after, I don't know, *thousands* of years of it.

cape henry   Link to this

You have hit directly upon it TB - we are living through such a conflagration now, right down to the cooked intelligence and the corrupt political bargaining for the money to conduct it. Your first observation is on the mark, too. Just how much of a secret is this, really? "Same as it ever was." -- David Byrne

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Yes, but the King has evidence of the Hollanders' weapons of mass trade destruction. Why in the House, Clarendon offered sketches by Halys.

Actually, to be fair, based on earlier entries it does seem to be the merchants who really wanted the war and Charlie, bowing to the winds...And, with support sliding downwards, looking for an "easy win" to bolster the regime (like some other rulers we could think of) is now anxious to have them pressure Parliament for money before fighting gets too general.

***

"...staying a pretty while with my little she milliner at the end of Birchin Lane, talking and buying gloves of her..."

Sam taking it slow...Perhaps the lady is friendly but within her boundaries, firm? Or respect for Tom's memory?...Tighter bonding with Bess during these sad days?

Certainly if it were Mrs. L. he'd've had her over a chair by now. Or maybe in truth, though our boy preferred not to mention it, she'd had him...

"Mrs. Lane?! What are you...Doing...?"

Wow...

"Mr. Pepys, sir, I...Oh, no...Not again!!" agonized scream...Door slam...

"Who was that?" Betty stares...Allowing the prostrate Samuel to stagger to his feet from the chair.

"Hewer! Wait!!"

***

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"So to my office, where late with Sir W. Warren..."

Such an attentive friend, Sir Will W...To kindly share a dull evening with our laboring boy, discussing those tedious latest naval contracts and news of the coming war.

"Uh, Sir Will... What if...By the slightest chance...The war goes badly and our 'arrangements' giving you a monopoly on all contracts be blamed as detrimental to the effort? Unfairly, of course...Ummn..."

"Not to worry, Pepys. If things start to 'unravel' I've plans to move the whole company, lock, stock, barrel to Tangier."

David A. Smith   Link to this

"which he cannot in honour declare first, for fear they should not second him with money"
With respect to previous commenters, Charles II's sitiuations is entirely different from the present circumstances (whatever one may think of them). Charles wants war, the merchants want war, the Parliament wants war, and it's Charles' prerogative to instigate it ... BUT Charles' relations with Parliament are complex, he needs them to provide funding. If he does what they want without their asking for it, *then* they'll happily benefit from his war and not pay for it. So he wants them to make a request.

Pedro   Link to this

"it seems the King's design is by getting underhand the merchants to bring in their complaints to the Parliament,"

Is the King being underhand or just practical?

We know that the merchants want war, and Sam has told us that "all the Court are mad for war". He has also told us "that there are but two seamen in the Parliament house, viz., Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen, and not above twenty or thirty merchants; which is a strange thing in an island".

There must be many members of Parliament who have vested interests in trade, but there are notable dissenters including Clarendon. Many may need convincing. The money must come from Parliament, and the King will only request it when he is sure he can get it, and the mood of the country is for war.

(There are some letters of the King, to his sister, that give an insight into his attitude to war with the Dutch, but as they are dated I will try to put them on the actual day.)

Terry F   Link to this

How many merchants in Parliament?

Pedro, Pepys's figures are challenged by L&M who count in Commons 20-24 and another 7 who had been....
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/03/23/#c10...

Pedro   Link to this

The fourth Session of the second Parliament.

March 16, after an interval of near eight Months, the Parliament assembled again, and the King open'd the Session...

Resolution of the Lords and Commons against the Dutch. ; The King's Answer.

About this time, the Dutch growing out of favour at Court, it was represented in the House, that by the Advances they had lately made in Trade; our own was become in danger; which gave place to the following Resolution both of Lords and Commons, viz. 'That the Wrongs, Dishonours, and Indignities done to his Majesty by the Subjects of the United Provinces, by invading his Rights in India, Africa, and elsewhere; and the Damages, Affronts, and Injuries done by them to our Merchants, are the greatest Obstructions of our foreign Trade: and that the same be humbly and speedily presented to his Majesty; and that he be most humbly mov'd to take some speedy and effectual Course for Redress thereof, and all other of the like nature, and for prevention of the like in future: And in prosecution thereof, they will, with their Lives and Fortunes, assist his Majesty against all Oppositions whatsoever.' Upon this Occasion both Houses waited upon his Majesty at the Banquetting House on the 27th of April...

From: 'The second parliament of Charles II: Fourth session - begins 16/3/1664', The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons : volume 1: 1660-1680 (1742), pp. 72-80. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com.... Date accessed: 31 March 2007.

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

... our bill with very few amendments in words, ...

'Charles II, 1664: An Act to prevent the Disturbances of Seamen and others and to preserve the Stores belonging to His Majestyes Navy Royall.',

Recital that divers Disturbances often happen about His Majefty's Offices, Yards, and Stores:
II. May discharge Fine or Imprisonment, and for Nonpayment of Fine may imprison. Fines paid to Clerk of the Chest
III. May bind to good Behaviour.
IV. May inquire concerning embezzling of Stores and Ammunition, and search for the same; and imprison till Recognizance entered into
V. Two Officers may proceed.

Complete text available:-

Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 520-21. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com.... Date accessed: 01 April 2007.

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