Tuesday 10 May 1664

Up and at my office looking after my workmen all the morning, and after the office was done did the same at night, and so home to supper and to bed.

17 Annotations

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

I wonder if anyone else in the office gets mad that Pepys has the place full of workmen?

cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Today be a Bill to keep the press on its toes while Samuell worries about the number of dowels that be inserted. Nicely rapped up in a debters note.
"Cotton's Bill.
Hodie 2a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act to enable Charles Cotton Esquire to make Leases of Lands, for Payment of Debts."
ORDERED, That the Consideration of this Bill is committed to the same Committee as is appointed for the Bill for regulating the Press.

From: 'House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 10 May 1664', Journal of the House of Lords: volume 11: 1660-1666, pp. 611-12. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com.... Date accessed: 11 May 2007.

Terry F   Link to this

Bill to continue the Act for regulating the Press.

Hodie 2a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act for Continuance of a former Act for regulating the Press."

ORDERED, That the Consideration of this Bill is committed to these Lords following: (7 Temporal, 14 Ecclesiastical)

From: 'House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 10 May 1664', Journal of the House of Lords: volume 11: 1660-1666, pp. 611-12. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com... Date accessed: 11 May 2007. (To use CGS' link, delete the trailing dot.)

The "former Act" was the Licensing of the Press Act 1662, which contained a 'sunset provision' after two years: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licensing_of_the_P...

For the passage of that Act on 28 Apr 1662 and its Star Chamber/Stationers Company background see
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/04/28/#c11...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Was it considered "the press" in a way similar to how we now understand it as the journalistic establishment? Or would this have been more a matter of regulating printing?

Terry F   Link to this

Good question, Robert. Transparency is the first matter -- to regulate the communications technology, get an exhaustive inventory of presses -- insist on the usual guild protection of trade secrets and "quality control" -- for which the wardens of the Stationers Company were responsible -- to get to the actors and the content. Following the link to 28 Apr 1662, the Act adopted that day notes the wanton printing of what may lead to civil disquiet, "For prevention whereof no surer meanes can be advised then by reducing and limiting the number of Printing Presses and by ordering and setling the said Art or Mystery of Printing by Act of Parliament in manner as herein after is expressed." Et cetera.

This echoes earlier laws and decrees, e.g., the Decree in Star Chamber Concerning Printers (1585) that specifies in part "that no printer of books nor any other person or persons whatsoever shall set up, keep, or maintain any press or presses ... , but only in the city of London or the suburbs thereof (except one press in the university of Cambridge and one other press in the university of Oxford and no more); and that no person shall hereafter erect, set up, or maintain in any secret or obscure corner or place any such press ... , but that the same shall be in such open place or places in his or their houses as the wardens of the said company of stationers for the time being, or such other person or persons as by the said wardens shall be thereunto appointed, may from time to time have ready access unto to search for and view the same." http://www.constitution.org/sech/sech_085.htm

In a variety of ways Early Modern nations were police states, -- we've remarked, have been confronted most often on conformity in religion -- and in England the Wardens of the Stationers Company were part of the police apparatus. No wonder the US Constitution's Bill of Rights includes in its first article: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom...of the press;...."

Terry F   Link to this

"In a variety of ways Early Modern nations were police states...."

England would perhaos have been a successful exception earlier, but for the threats of mass destruction (the Gunpowder Plot) and insurrection -- the Civil War, the Fifth Monarchists out there somewhere in the countryside....

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Thanks, Terry, for a fascinating bit on the Wardens. Something to think about in our internet age as some governments attempt (with mixed success so far) to use platforms we like to view as unfettered and uncensored such as Google and Yahoo as well as their own versions to spy on dissidents and their populations in general or control/direct thought.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Or, as Terry mentioned in the post above yours, Robert, using "threats of mass destruction" (i.e., FEAR) to further their agenda and control the population...

Terry F   Link to this

Todd, do you think Mrs. Palmer held the Unitary Executive in her hand?

cumsalisgrano   Link to this

England failed to control it's population the way France did tru religion and Sun King, I do believe that there be more independant scholarships at the lower levels, run by differing Protesting groups, ala Quakers, Catholicks et al.
The Bishop power failing in England, Thriving in France, [Religious Courts nearly out of power enforcement]

People like Descartes were repressed/twarted in France by the Jesuits, while not popular London , were read by the English literate, i.e. those that be opposed to dictatorial methods of the English Clergy.
France did not have many options for the dissatisfied to find safe havens, England not truly friendly, Spain not {French fighting Spain in Portuagal and and unfriendly Jesuits reside there too, Amsterdam and Germany were possible, but the English had outlets for the disenchanted, they had need for strong bodies to cultivate wealth for the privilege, but France still did not have that outlet, i.e. foreign lands to reap wealth.
The Uni's were not controlled in the same manner as the French, Italian, Spanish, The Greek /Latin method of instruction , the questioning of Aristollian ways was coming to the fore in CamOx, and more people were asking Why, Why, instead of accepting the Status quo, Our 'Ero be one of these . Not acceptin' old ways of doing business. Why were so many asking damned awkward questions, and not doffing the titfers to one in charge? It must have been all that Bemudan sugar in the Rhine wine and caffein, along the wider range of foods.

Most leaders hate being criticized, downright discussing [sic], and as for those sneaky rag sheets, be a nuisance called sedition, along with books on Sovereignty. Then The streets be filled with unemployed Clerics that did not like the surplus [gown that be]

This period laid the groundwork for the revolution that lead to getting control of ships and markets called monopolies by the unworthy, only the King { I make the decision not thee] like the Sun King, Charles I lost his head and Charles II was trying to get controll by having Parliament as few times as possible, his attempt to have no parliament failed.

Printed word was and is dangerous.

Pedro   Link to this

"in CamOx"

Is that the same place as Oxbridge?

Terry F   Link to this

"The pen is mightier than the sword." Edward Bulwer-Lytton, "Richelieu" Act II

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Terry, are you *still* talking about the Unitary Executive? ;-D

Australian Susan   Link to this

"unemployed Clerics"

Around 2000 lost their livings over the introduction of the 1662 Prayer Book and a return to Church of England liturgy and the acceptance of the 39 Articles. (and wearing of surplices as Our Salty Friend reminds us); so there were plenty of disaffected and literate persons (ex-parsons) around to (potentially?) foment discord if not revolution.

cumsalisgrano   Link to this

"in CamOx" always Granta before Isis, in my book,
the wise ones left the Isis for fertile Fen ground.

Pedro   Link to this

"in CamOx" always Granta before Isis,

In this Varsity Match the salty light blues claim Cantabrigia
1889 to Oxonia 1892.

Pedro   Link to this

On this day...

When the news of Holmes' great success on the Gold Coast began to arrive in England, the company (the African Company) increased its preparations to open an extensive African trade. Therefore on May 10, 1664, an attempt was made to collect the unpaid stock subscriptions, and an invitation was extended to all members to lend one hundred pounds to the company for each share of four hundred pounds which they held. Notwithstanding the bright prospects which the company had at this time, its strenuous attempt to raise the loan produced only £15,650.

The Journal of Negro History, Volume 4, 1919
by Various Authors

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