Tuesday 31 May 1664

Up, and called upon Mr. Hollyard, with whom I advised and shall fall upon some course of doing something for my disease of the wind, which grows upon me every day more and more. Thence to my Lord Sandwich’s, and while he was dressing I below discoursed with Captain Cooke, and I think if I do find it fit to keep a boy at all I had as good be supplied from him with one as any body. By and by up to my Lord, and to discourse about his going to sea, and the message I had from Mr. Coventry to him. He wonders, as he well may, that this course should be taken, and he every day with the Duke, who, nevertheless, seems most friendly to him, who hath not yet spoke one word to my Lord of his desire to have him go to sea. My Lord do tell me clearly that were it not that he, as all other men that were of the Parliament side, are obnoxious to reproach, and so is forced to bear what otherwise he would not, he would never suffer every thing to be done in the Navy, and he never be consulted; and it seems, in the naming of all these commanders for this fleete, he hath never been asked one question. But we concluded it wholly inconsistent with his honour not to go with this fleete, nor with the reputation which the world hath of his interest at Court; and so he did give me commission to tell Mr. Coventry that he is most willing to receive any commands from the Duke in this fleete, were it less than it is, and that particularly in this service. With this message I parted, and by coach to the office, where I found Mr. Coventry, and told him this. Methinks, I confess, he did not seem so pleased with it as I expected, or at least could have wished, and asked me whether I had told my Lord that the Duke do not expect his going, which I told him I had. But now whether he means really that the Duke, as he told me the other day, do think the Fleete too small for him to take or that he would not have him go, I swear I cannot tell. But methinks other ways might have been used to put him by without going in this manner about it, and so I hope it is out of kindness indeed. Dined at home, and so to the office, where a great while alone in my office, nobody near, with Bagwell’s wife of Deptford, but the woman seems so modest that I durst not offer any courtship to her, though I had it in my mind when I brought her in to me. But I am resolved to do her husband a courtesy, for I think he is a man that deserves very well. So abroad with my wife by coach to St. James’s, to one Lady Poultny’s, where I found my Lord, I doubt, at some vain pleasure or other. I did give him a short account of what I had done with Mr. Coventry, and so left him, and to my wife again in the coach, and with her to the Parke, but the Queene being gone by the Parke to Kensington, we staid not but straight home and to supper (the first time I have done so this summer), and so to my office doing business, and then to my monthly accounts, where to my great comfort I find myself better than I was still the last month, and now come to 930l.. I was told to- day, that upon Sunday night last, being the King’s birth-day, the King was at my Lady Castlemayne’s lodgings (over the hither-gates at Lambert’s lodgings) dancing with fiddlers all night almost; and all the world coming by taking notice of it, which I am sorry to hear. The discourse of the town is only whether a warr with Holland or no, and we are preparing for it all we can, which is but little. Myself subject more than ordinary to pain by winde, which makes me very sad, together with the trouble which at present lies upon me in my father’s behalf, rising from the death of my brother, which are many and great. Would to God they were over!

12 Annotations

Roboto   Link to this

Does anyone have any idea about "pain of wind" or "disease of the wind"?

cape henry   Link to this

"...obnoxious to reproach..." A terrific piece of language meaning 'open to or deserving of' reproach. This gives us a glimpse of Sandwich's self image with regard to his past and his perceived relationship with the king and the duke. In this instance, I believe he is also referring to the navy hierarchy of which he is a noble part. This is also a return to a sort of intimacy with Pepys which has been more or less absent since the lamented 'letter of reproach.'

Paul Chapin   Link to this

pain of the wind
Roboto, I think what Sam means here is feeling bloated with gas and being unable to pass it.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"my monthly accounts ... now come to 930L"
Getting closer to that magic 1000L mark, when he can start going to the theater again.

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Keep those contracts a moving

andy   Link to this

where a great while alone in my office, nobody near, with Bagwell's wife of Deptford, but the woman seems so modest that I durst not offer any courtship to her, though I had it in my mind when I brought her in to me.

Sam'll, the early Clinton. In the office, Sam?

Pedro   Link to this

"Methinks, I confess, he did not seem so pleased with it as I expected, or at least could have wished, and asked me whether I had told my Lord that the Duke do not expect his going, which I told him I had...

Don't shoot the messenger Bill!

["Don't shoot the messenger" was first expressed by Bill Shakespeare in Henry IV, part 2 (1598)]

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...were it not that he, as all other men that were of the Parliament side, are obnoxious to reproach, and so is forced to bear what otherwise he would not, he would never suffer every thing to be done in the Navy, and he never be consulted; and it seems, in the naming of all these commanders for this fleete, he hath never been asked one question."

Nudged out of the loop, neutered with a title and an office which requires him to maintain an expensive show and encourages him to even greater waste, and no doubt Charles is rather slow in actually delivering compensation... Now they make the formality of offering him a small sea command, hoping apparently it will be too small.

I think we now see why my Lord has been seeking comfort in Chelsea...And I suspect Sam's earlier view of him withdrawing from the King's councils to his pleasures is a bit wrong-rather that it's slowly dawned on Sandwich that he's been had, kept there for show only, charged with no responsibility nor given any chance to direct the new Navy. He's now increasingly isolated and his best man, Pepys, is being wooed with success by Coventry.

Fortunately though the war will have its own needs (spoiler) and Montagu has made the right decision in swallowing his pride to prove himself too useful to discard. I think it's becoming clear that while a great man of action and an outstanding field officer, he's not so shrewd at the political game in Court and perhaps bored by it.

Interesting to think by how little a thread Sam's career as CoA must have hung. He never mentions a fear of being perceived as Sandwich's man at the Office and so under careful surveillance yet he must have been till his ability...And eagerness to serve apparently convinced Coventry and York that he was the sort of bright young man they needed for their new generation of expert technicians and administrators.

Pedro   Link to this

"he's not so shrewd at the political game in Court and perhaps bored by it."

The late historian Richard Ollard, biographer of both Pepys and Sandwich, would agree with this sentiment, and this is what he says of the last two days...

Coventry expressed his scepticism as to the necessity for any such conflict...many contemporaries thought that Coventry himself had been a prime mover of the aggressive policies from which he was now distancing himself...

Two days later Pepys communicated this message. He (Sandwich) had been seeing the Duke every day and been treated with every appearance of friendship, but no word had ever been said about a flag appointment nor any advice ever been asked about any of the captains so far named. He was hurt and insulted by such treatment. Nonetheless both Pepys and he agreed that it would be wholly inconsistent with his Honour not to go with the fleet.

Pepys therefore signified his acceptance and was surprised, Sandwich would not have been, that Coventry seemed displeased and irritably asked whether he had made it plain to Sandwich that the Duke did not expect him to go... the prospect of a breach between Pepys' patron and Coventry and his patron was almost to terrible to contemplate. But even against his will, realism would not be denied.

Sandwich for his part was far too perceptive not to have observed the growing influence of Coventry over his cousin and protégé and not to understand how valuable such a connection must appear to a young man with his way to make. But to understand it is not necessarily to approve. In a conflict of loyalties was Pepys to be reckoned his liege man?

Xjy   Link to this

Hm, so the ledger-louse arguments were a sly ploy to feed Sam's city and commonwealth prejudices and get him to press Sandwich to stand down (to act too proud to be fobbed off with a trifling responsibility). Sam took the bait but he's so eager to serve (King, patron, mentor) that he lets himself be swayed by practical reason, ie backs Sandwich in his position after hearing his analysis. Notable about Sam's desire to serve is his readiness (recklessness) to temporarily go against his liege lord if he thinks (his conscience tells him) it's the right thing to do, regardless of any passing discomfort. He's actually very good at absorbing a little "displeasure" from those above him. He's got that wonderfully cussed and self-righteous Lutheran streak in him. He might not have many principles, but by god he puts those he does hold above any self-interest. Er, even when his main principle is making the self-made man with the help of well-place patrons. ;-)

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

What a multi-sided entry!
It has perspectives on Coventry's views of Sam & Sandwich, Coventry's irritation with Sam when the intended snub to Sandwich didn't have the desired effect, Sam's realization of Coventry's duplicity despite his eagerness to put the best face on the double message he was asked to carry to Sandwich ("I hope it is out of kindness), Sandwich's candor about his situation (R Gertz, a very nice appreciation), Sandwich's ability to get over anger at Sam's forwardness in reprimanding him, and his refusal to let insults from the crown keep him from command at sea, Sam's own precarious balancing act between his patron of the past and his patrons of the day and, indirectly a view on the aligned ambitions of James, Coventry and Sam to build the Navy, as when R. Gertz notes Sam "was the sort of bright young man they needed." All sandwiched (sorry) with an account of his thinking of hiring a chorister as a personal servant, his shy tete-a-tete with Mrs. Bagwell (I've no doubt she gets the drift, and I suspect that R Gertz has some insight into her subsequent discussion of the visit with Mr. Bagwell) and the day's outings and gossip about the royals and war.

Terry F   Link to this

"that wonderfully cussed and self-righteous Lutheran streak in him"

If it be Puritan, Xjy, then it rather be Calvinist.

Having counted assets, proud to near 1,000, Pepys writes of having considered -- while waiting to see the Duke -- hiring a boy again, this time from Capt. Cooke.

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