Wednesday 3 August 1663

Up betimes and set some joyners on work to new lay my floor in our wardrobe, which I intend to make a room for musique. Thence abroad to Westminster, among other things to Mr. Blagrave’s, and there had his consent for his kinswoman to come to be with my wife for her woman, at which I am well pleased and hope she may do well. Thence to White Hall to meet with Sir G. Carteret about hiring some ground to make our mast docke at Deptford, but being Council morning failed, but met with Mr. Coventry, and he and I discoursed of the likeliness of a Dutch warr, which I think is very likely now, for the Dutch do prepare a fleet to oppose us at Guinny, and he do think we shall, though neither of us have a mind to it, fall into it of a sudden, and yet the plague do increase among them, and is got into their fleet, and Opdam’s own ship, which makes it strange they should be so high. Thence to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner, and down by water to Woolwich to the rope yard, and there visited Mrs. Falconer, who tells me odd stories of how Sir W. Pen was rewarded by her husband with a gold watch (but seems not certain of what Sir W. Batten told me, of his daughter having a life given her in 80l. per ann.) for his helping him to his place, and yet cost him 150l. to Mr. Coventry besides. He did much advise it seems Mr. Falconer not to marry again, expressing that he would have him make his daughter his heire, or words to that purpose, and that that makes him, she thinks, so cold in giving her any satisfaction, and that W. Boddam hath publickly said, since he came down thither to be clerke of the ropeyard, that it hath this week cost him 100l., and would be glad that it would cost him but half as much more for the place, and that he was better before than now, and that if he had been to have bought it, he would not have given so much for it. Now I am sure that Mr. Coventry hath again and again said that he would take nothing, but would give all his part in it freely to him, that so the widow might have something. What the meaning of this is I know not, but that Sir W. Pen do get something by it. Thence to the Dockeyard, and there saw the new ship in great forwardness. So home and to supper, and then to the office, where late, Mr. Bland and I talking about Tangier business, and so home to bed.

14 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

How the Navy Board make good on their promise to the widow of Mr. Falconer. Here's a first try at the pronouns. Any help is welcome!

"visited Mrs. Falconer, who tells me odd stories of how Sir W. Pen was rewarded by her husband [the late clerk of the Woolwich ropeyard] with a gold watch (but seems not certain of what Sir W. Batten told me, of his [Mr. Falconer's] daughter [from a previous marriage] having a life given her in 80l. per ann.) for his [Penn's] helping him [Falconer] to his place, and yet cost him 150l. to Mr. Coventry besides. He [Penn] did much advise it seems Mr. Falconer not to marry again, expressing that he would have him make his daughter his [Penn's] heire, or words to that purpose, and that that makes him, she thinks, so cold in giving her [Falconer's second widow] any satisfaction, and that W. Boddam hath publickly said, since he came down thither to be clerke of the ropeyard, that it hath this week cost him 100l., and would be glad that it would cost him but half as much more for the place, and that he was better before than now, and that if he had been to have bought it, he would not have given so much for it."

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Parsing Pepys' pronouns
Terry, I puzzled over the same passage before reading your post. I agree with your reference assignments in all but one case: "he [Penn] would have him [Falconer] make his [Falconer's] daughter his [Falconer's, not Penn's] heire." I can't think of any reason why Admiral Sir William Penn would make the daughter of the ropeyard clerk his heir. It sounds to me rather like Penn was urging Falconer not to marry so that Falconer's daughter would have an uncontested claim to his estate. Or at any rate that's how the second Mrs. Falconer reads it.

Terry F   Link to this

Paul, that makes sense: the widow finds her inheritance already claimed.

cape henry   Link to this

Hat's off to TF & PC.

JWB   Link to this

Seems to me Pop got the watch, Peg Penn got the annuity, and for the same reason; or is there some other source I've not seen?

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

For centuries, if thee wanted a good position, you had to come up with some dough, especially for the the non royal army, each title had an [ransome] amount, all the way up to a Collonel. The Falconer job be now the perquisite of the board and he who came up with the appropiate funding, got the job, which had many benefits and sweetners.
1."...how Sir W. Pen was rewarded by her husband with a gold watch ..."
2.Batten upping the ante
3 Coventry more...
4 Boddam would like the job.

There be all that hemp, not for smoking but it does make good sacks?

Baq sheesh was rife at this time.

Many then and many still do not know the side benefits of these jobs, there is the official remuneration, that does not cover the entry fee, but those benefits, like being able to give a gold watch to keep in with the leaders. Remember Sam was ready to forgo this position, and only now knows the real benefits, those that be beyond his digs and trips to the tables at Westminister.

There still be many that will fork over some sizable cash to have these prestigious positions that pay peanuts.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"Up betimes and set some joyners on work to new lay my floor in our wardrobe, which I intend to make a room for musique." Hmm. Is he wise to do this whilst Bess is away? Has this been discussed via letter? Or is it to be a surprise for her return. Sounds like the modern equivalent of a bloke turning the spare room into a home recording studio.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

So it seems Sir Will Penn was pressuring Falconer not to marry so he could "reward" Penn for his job by making Meg Penn his heir, that Penn received a gold watch from Falconer, and now is doing what he can to prevent Mrs. F from getting anything for her support. I'm not sure if I get it but apparently Falconer either also rewarded Penn by giving Meg an 80L annuity for life or (hopefully) Penn at least did some right by not opposing Falconer's daughter getting the 80L annuity. One hopes the latter but it sure sounds like the former.

Ah, those gallant Dutch...Not even plague slackens their stout hearts. I'd suggest you avoid plundering their merchant ships for a bit yet, Sam.

Bradford   Link to this

Even the largest wardrobe-room would not be that large, and with a wooden (maybe parquet?) floor, the acoustics would be wonderful for a small consort, so long as one does not into a pro to show up one's gentleman-amateur playing. It should go down all right with Elizabeth, seeing as there aren't any "carpusshion instruments." (5000 bonus points for spotting that pop-cult ref.)

Pedro   Link to this

"and yet the plague do increase among them, and is got into their fleet, and Opdam's own ship"

Another sick note from Opdam...

On 8 November 1658 the Dutch defeated the heavier Swedish ships in the Battle of the Sound. Despite this success Van Wassenaer was much criticised. While Witte de With was killed while attacking with the Dutch van, Van Wassenaer commanding the centre in the Dutch flagship Eendragt had remained utterly passive merely beating off Swedish attacks -- apparently true to his doctrine. Indeed he had had an attack of gout and basically had left command to his flag captain Egbert Bartholomeuszoon Kortenaer, who would become the real hero of the battle. Van Wassenaer's political enemies immediately suggested that the Admiral wasn't suffering from gout but from a lack of nerve and that he had simply panicked.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_van_Wassenae...

Pedro   Link to this

"but met with Mr. Coventry, and he and I discoursed of the likeliness of a Dutch warr, which I think is very likely now, for the Dutch do prepare a fleet to oppose us at Guinny,"

And from Terry's annotation on the 1st Coventry said in his letter to Sandwich...

"I am apt to think the Dutch intended nothing in setting out their Fleet but to secure their E. India ships; and the rest only for a bravado".

Terry F   Link to this

And, Pedro, there is the continuing matter of national honor (flags are a theme): Dirk absent - from the Carte Calendar:

James, Duke of York, to Sandwich
Written from: St James's

Date: 3 August 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 199
Document type: Original subscribed & signed [with seal]

Has conferred with the King as to the course which Lord Sandwich should take in the event of the United Dutch Fleet entering the Channel, "in a bravado". If, upon summons, they refuse to strike topsails, and his Lordship should be of opinion that his own strength is fairly adequate to an encounter, he is to attack; if his opinion be otherwise, he is to report the entrances of the Enemy & to await further orders. http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Pedro   Link to this

And Terry, on the flag theme here is a song from an interesting site of Naval Ballads and Songs (Jingoistic but that's the way it is)...

THE VALIANT SEAMAN'S CONGRATULATION TO HIS SACRED MAJESTY KING CHARLES II

"And now we are a ranging upon the ocean seas, The Frenchmen they are changing and cannot be at ease, For we will make their top-sailes unto our fleet shall bow : Then shall we, merry be, when the stormy winds do blow."

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/navel-songs-b...

Nix   Link to this

"a room for musique" --

Recalling the Pembleton episode, I'm guessing it won't include a dance floor!

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