Wednesday 22 June 1664

Up and I found Mr. Creed below, who staid with me a while, and then I to business all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change and Coffee- house, where great talke of the Dutch preparing of sixty sayle of ships. The plague grows mightily among them, both at sea and land. From the ‘Change to dinner to Trinity House with Sir W. Rider and Cutler, where a very good dinner. Here Sir G. Ascue dined also, who I perceive desires to make himself known among the seamen. Thence home, there coming to me my Lord Peterborough’s Sollicitor with a letter from him to desire present dispatch in his business of freight, and promises me 50l., which is good newes, and I hope to do his business readily for him. This much rejoiced me. All the afternoon at his business, and late at night comes the Sollicitor again, and I with him at 9 o’clock to Mr. Povy’s, and there acquainted him with the business. The money he won’t pay without warrant, but that will be got done in a few days. So home by coach and to bed.

23 Annotations

Pedro   Link to this

And on the 22nd John Evelyn wrote in his diary...

One Tomson a Jesuite shewed me such a of rarities, sent from the Jesuites of Japan & China to their order at Paris (as a present to be reserved in their Chimelium, but brought to Lond; with the East India ships for them) as in my life I had not seene: The chiefe things were very large Rhinoceros's hornes, Glorious Vests, wrought & embrodered on cloth of Gold, but with such lively colours, as for splendor & vividnesse we have nothing in Europe approches: A Girdill studdied with achats, & balast rubies of greate value & size, also knives of so keene edge as one could not touch them, nor was the mettal of our Couler but more pale & livid: Fanns like those our Ladys use, but much larger, & with long handles curiously carved, & filled with Chineze Characters: A sort of paper very broad thin, & fine like abortive parchment, & exquisitely polished, of an amber yellow, exceeding glorious & pretty to looke on, & seeming to be like that which my L: Verulame describes in his Nova Atlantis; with severall other sorts of papers some written, others Printed: Also prints of Landskips, of their Idols, Saints, Pagoods, of most ougly Serpentine, monstrous & hideous shapes to which they paie devotion: Pictures of Men, & Countries, rarely painted on a sort of gumm'd Calico transparant as glasse: also Flowers, Trees, Beasts, birds &c: excellently wrought in a kind of sleve-silk very naturall. Divers Drougs that our Drougists & physitians could make nothing of: Especialy, one which the Jesuite called Lac Tygridis, it look'd like a fungus, but was weighty like metall: yet was a Concretion or coagulation of some other matter:...

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/1914/ed...

cape henry   Link to this

"...the Dutch preparing of sixty sayle of ships." So the rumor had it that the Dutch were rigging up an armada of 60 ships - how credible would that have been?

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Downing could have had inside info, he had set up a good network of information sellers that had already help in removing some of Charles enemies, There be lots of mail between the two cities, some innocent, like how to build submarines, along with how to think.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

talke of the Dutch preparing of sixty sayle of ships.

From L&M footnote:-

"A government agent's report gave the number as 40, of which only 15 were said to be warships: R. Duke to Secretary Williamson, the Hague, 10/20 June:
PRO [now National Archives], SP 84/171 f. 14r."

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Lac Tygridis
This reference in Pedro's excerpt from Evelyn's diary intrigued me, so I tried to find out more about it. There's not much to find. The English translation is Tiger's Milk, so you have to limit Google searches to exclude the well known nutritional "candy bar."

The only clear reference I could find was from a book by Linda L. Barnes, called "Needles, Herbs, Gods, And Ghosts: China, Healing, And the West to 1848," published in 2005 by Harvard U. Press. In a paragraph (on p. 101) discussing 17C & 18C European writing about Chinese medicine, she says, "Fr. Grueber described 'Tigers Milk,' a plant gathered from ground moistened by the milk milk of a tiger 'when they are furious and inraged by the pursuit of Huntsmen' (Magalotti 1676, 78). It induced sweating." She goes on to quote the passage from Evelyn Pedro gave us.

The OED gives a gloss for 'tiger's milk' as "an acrid white juice of Excœcaria Agallocha, a small euphorbiaceous East Indian tree," but I doubt that this has any connection, since what Evelyn described did not sound like a juice.

Pedro   Link to this

"A government agent's report gave the number as 40, of which only 15 were said to be warships: R. Duke to Secretary Williamson, The Hague"

For anyone interested in the purely covert world a good book is Intelligence and Espionage in the Reign of Charles II, 1660-1685. (Marshall)

It gives an insight to the remarkable man Williamson mentioned by Michael above...

"There is little doubt that Williamson's part in the establishment of an efficient intelligence and espionage system was an important one. For some 19 years he was to have a major influence on the secretariat's involvement in the covert world."

Cumsalisgrano says "There be lots of mail between the two cities".

On this it appears that an Act of 1660 created a Restoration Post Office, and the regime used the PO to intercept, open and read mail. Cominges noted that "the English have tricks to open letters more skilfully than anywhere in the world."

See background for Sam Moreland for opening seals...

http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/779/

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"yet was a concretion or coagulation of some other matter"
Bird's Nest?

Xjy   Link to this

"concretion or coagulation"

Rubber and amber and resin are concretions or coagulations of plant juices. Ambergris a coagulation of a bilious secretion of the sperm whale. Hope someone can dig up some more about this tiger milk!

Pedro   Link to this

Cough cure 'tiger's milk' is a fungus

IPOH: the "tiger's milk" which cured Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad's chronic cough is a fungus found in Malaysian jungles, said local Chinese herbalist Liew Shou Lin, 63. He said the Malays and the orang asli called it kulat susu rimau as according to folklore, the fungus would grow at the spot where milk from a tiger had dropped on. He said the fungus grew well in cool and wet area in the fringe of the jungle or rubber estates.

Dr Mahathir had during the opening of the International Convention on Biotechnology at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, said that the chronic cough he used to suffer from stopped after a friend persuaded him to take Chinese medicine. His friend had said the medicine was "tiger's milk" but was not willing to divulge its secret. Dr Mahathir said that so far, no attempt had been made to analyse and identify the active ingredient or to test and produce the medicine commercially.

Liew said the kulat susu rimau belonged to the same family as the lingzhi (gamoderma lucidium), another popular fungus known for its various curative properties in treating ailments like insomnia, hypertension, chronic bronchitis, kidney infection, asthmatic cough and low blood cell count. "The kulat susu rimau fungus is a local herb not found in the Chinese pharmacopoeia but its effectiveness in treating asthmatic, gastritis, and indigestion especially among infants, has been known not only to the older generation among the Chinese but also the Malays and the orang asli. "The orang asli used to collect the fungus for Chinese medical halls in towns and villages," he said.

He said the effective part of the fungus was its hard, tuber-like body found in the top soil. The part is normally cut into pieces and boiled in water for drinking. It can be ground into powder form and mixer with Chinese rice wine for external application to treat lumps, boils and sores, said Liew.

http://www.nbbnet.gov.my/directories/papercut/d...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...comes the Sollicitor again, and I with him at 9 o'clock to Mr. Povy's, and there acquainted him with the business."

Presumably if Pepys gets 50Ls, Povy the Tangier treasurer gets his own sizable "handling fee".

I'd be happy too if I earned the equivalent of a good clerk's (Sam's own former) annual salary in a couple of days.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"The plague grows mightily among them, both at sea and land."

And you want to make war on these people?

"Admiral DeRuyter, the Englander fleet!" a sailor points.

"Right. Load the plague-ridden corpses and blankets into the catapults, men!"

Dan Jenkins   Link to this

Rather than pursuing the Tiger's Milk path, I followed Lac (as in Shell Lac - shellac). Shellac is a resinous exudate from a tiny insect endemic to India, Burma, and such, which creates it from the resin of the tree on which it breeds, so it would be a "coagulation" as Xjy said. In a solid form it would be "weighty like a metal."

I only found a single reference in the "Report on the Old Records of the India Office: With Supplementary Note and Appendices" by George Christopher Molesworth Birdwood, Great Britain India Office. Record Branch in a footnote on pages 40-42. The author said, "What the Lac Tigridis of Evelyn's Diary may be, I do not know, and have never seen the appellation elsewhere." He does opine it may have been derived from either the lac of India/Asia, which term reflects a far wider variety of dye sources than just the shellac of which I am familiar, or from Arabic in reference to insect-based dye sources.

Shellac did not become popular as a wood finish until the 1800s, but it had been used as a dye source in the West since at least 250 AD. So, I am surprised that no one recognized it. Presumably the form was unusual (or none of those inspecting it were dyers or wood workers).

From Vedic texts, lac is referenced as a medicine, specifically "a slurry of lac paste in water mixed with ghee and milk was commonly partaken orally by sick or wounded persons to get back health" [from the Shellac Export Promotion Council's website]. Thus it would be have been included as a drug.

When lac is gathered, it is stick lac, which includes the scrapings of bark from the trees, as well as crushed insects inadvertently gathered during the process, so it would be a concretion and might well appear fungoid. This would have been the raw material from which shellac would be derived.

On a personal note, my grandfather, a wood worker, for his health, drank a concoction he called Tiger's Milk, which contained brewer's yeast, wheat germ, fish oil, milk, and a secret ingredient. Whether this was lac, I do not know.

Pedro   Link to this

"as a present to be reserved in their Chimelium,"

But Lord what is a chimelium?

Pedro   Link to this

"my Lord Peterborough's Sollicitor with a letter from him to desire present dispatch in his business of freight, and promises me 50l., which is good newes, and I hope to do his business readily for him."

Fifty quid for Sam, and how much for the old Lords?

"of my Lord Peterborough's accounts was read over and agreed to by the Lords, without one of them understanding it!"

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/05/19/

Martin   Link to this

"sixty sayle of ships"

The rumor mill is fairly accurate here. The Dutch, after the first war, made plans for 60 new ships for completion between 1664 and 1667. The eventual production would be much larger. Seventeen ships were delivered during 1664, and by the end of 1665 28 more would be launched (See list here: http://koti.mbnet.fi/felipe/Netherland/Ships_16....) Most of these were lighter ships with shallow draught, so as to be suitable for operation in coastal waters and rivers.

Info in Dutch: http://www.bataviawerf.nl/download/ZP_basisrond...

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

errata: http://koti.mbnet.fi/felipe/Netherland/Ships_16...
closing bracket removed

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Must be someone in the planning office , see all the hulls that be laid in 64-66, Sam would have had fun paying off and setting up contracts for all that rope, tar, masts, planks, edar cheese and Rhine wine etc..

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Sounds like the Dutch Naval Office has its own Samuel Pepys.

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

But Lord what is a chimelium?

could be a piece of land, mentioned here

remarkable localities on the coast of Epiraus: Chimerium ; harbour btween rivers Acheron and Thyamis

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0266-6235(1848...

latin chimaera a fire breathing monster formed a lion, goat and serpent.
chimaeriferus: home of same

Paul Dyson   Link to this

Sixty ships. Where did the Dutch get all that wood?

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Where did the Dutch get all that wood? My guess be the Baltic nations, Sweden has pleny of matchwood, there were some forests in Holland, two large ones northwest of Arnem, according to 1606 map along with a lot of Boars for meat

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Where did the Dutch get all that wood?

"Western Europe's major source of timber was the wooded southern shore of the Baltic - the most important port being Danzig. Dutch vessels moved almost all the timber in the seventeenth century, but the English were also concerned in the trade. Both the Dutch and the English depended on Baltic timber for shipbuilding, and the wars and diplomacy with Sweden and Denmark revolved around these countries' need to guarantee freedom of timber supplies through the Baltic Sound." http://history.wisc.edu/sommerville/351/351-08.htm

The Dutch provided vital naval assistance to the Danes in 1660 when Charles X attacked Copenhagen. At this date Holland is still in alliance with Denmark.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Treasure houses of Japan

A splendid exhibition some years ago at the National Gallery in Washington showed Japanese armor of stunning design. It would be of interest to know whether the Jesuit treasure trove from Japan described by Evelyn still survives intact, especially "Glorious Vests, wrought & embrodered on cloth of Gold, but with such lively colours, as for splendor & vividnesse we have nothing in Europe approches: A Girdill studdied with achats, & balast rubies of greate value & size, also knives of so keene edge as one could not touch them, nor was the mettal of our Couler but more pale & livid:" and wood block prints.

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