Saturday 20 August 1664

Up and to the office a while, but this day the Parliament meeting only to be adjourned to November (which was done, accordingly), we did not meet, and so I forth to bespeak a case to be made to keep my stone in, which will cost me 25s. Thence I walked to Cheapside, there to see the effect of a fire there this morning, since four o’clock; which I find in the house of Mr. Bois, that married Dr. Fuller’s niece, who are both out of towne, leaving only a mayde and man in towne. It begun in their house, and hath burned much and many houses backward, though none forward; and that in the great uniform pile of buildings in the middle of Cheapside. I am very sorry for them, for the Doctor’s sake. Thence to the ‘Change, and so home to dinner. And thence to Sir W. Batten’s, whither Sir Richard Ford came, the Sheriffe, who hath been at this fire all the while; and he tells me, upon my question, that he and the Mayor were there, as it is their dutys to be, not only to keep the peace, but they have power of commanding the pulling down of any house or houses, to defend the whole City. By and by comes in the Common Cryer of the City to speak with him; and when he was gone, says he, “You may see by this man the constitution of the Magistracy of this City; that this fellow’s place, I dare give him (if he will be true to me) 1000l. for his profits every year, and expect to get 500l. more to myself thereby. When,” says he, “I in myself am forced to spend many times as much.” By and by came Mr. Coventry, and so we met at the office, to hire ships for Guinny, and that done broke up. I to Sir W. Batten’s, there to discourse with Mrs. Falconer, who hath been with Sir W. Pen this evening, after Mr. Coventry had promised her half what W. Bodham had given him for his place, but Sir W. Pen, though he knows that, and that Mr. Bodham hath said that his place hath cost him 100l. and would 100l. more, yet is he so high against the poor woman that he will not hear to give her a farthing, but it seems do listen after a lease where he expects Mr. Falconer hath put in his daughter’s life, and he is afraid that that is not done, and did tell Mrs. Falconer that he would see it and know what is done therein in spite of her, when, poor wretch, she neither do nor can hinder him the knowing it. Mr. Coventry knows of this business of the lease, and I believe do think of it as well as I. But the poor woman is gone home without any hope, but only Mr. Coventry’s own nobleness. So I to my office and wrote many letters, and so to supper and to bed.

19 Annotations

JWB  •  Link

Pauline (annotation Sir R. Ford link) notes that Ford instrumental in publication:

Englands Treasure by Forraign Trade. or The Ballance of our
Forraign Trade is The Rule of our Treasure

Written by Thomas Mun of Lond. Merchant

cape henry  •  Link

"...but they have power of commanding the pulling down of any house or houses, to defend the whole City." An awesome power, indeed.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

" I forth to bespeak a case to be made to keep my stone in..."

"Say that again? The gentleman wants what?"

"A case for his stone...Of the bladder, he says. Must be a huge one by his talk of it, sir."

"Hmmn. Does he look...?"

"Wealthy enough, sir. Not too crazy. Gave the name Peeps, sir. Samuel Peeps."

"Samuel Pepys? His Majesty's Clerk of the Acts?

"Aye, sir. Peeps, sir."

"Bring Mr. Pepys and his stone in, boy."


Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Look, Bess! Isn't it beautiful?!"


"Look how it shines in the new case. Oh...Lets put it right up here on the parlor table so people visiting can see it in the sunshine as they come in."

"Sam'l? Could we talk, dear?"

"Hmmn? Oh, girls! Bring dinner!!"

"Dinner? With that? Here?"

"Why, of course, love. See how it sparkles in the noon sun."

"Sir? Din...Oh, my...Burrggh..."

"Jane? What...? What the devil's wrong with her, you think? Ta, she got a little gravy on the stone. Well, let me just wipe that off with the napkin here. You know, Bess, it smells just like the seashore at Deptford. Bess?"

"I think I'll pass on dinner today, Sam'l. Burrggh..."

Hmmn? Ah, well. "Just you and me, my lovely." Pats stone in case fondly.


Ruben  •  Link

"Look how it shines in the new case"
"See how it sparkles in the noon sun."
It shined and sparkled only as a poetical license...
This stone was an aggregation that probably did not have to much reflective qualities after it dried up from its...natural liquid environment.

Pedro  •  Link

"and so I forth to bespeak a case to be made to keep my stone in,
which will cost me 25s.

What extravagance, his mother threw hers into the fire.

And it only cost him an extra 20 bob to have his brother buried inside the church.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Good haul today. So what's this then?"

"Snatched it from some gent's coach. Nice box, eh?"

"Fine but what's inside?"

"Haven't time to look yet. Lessee, 'Prop of Samuel Pepys, Esq.'"

"Well, have us a look inside."

"Careful, don't want to break...Hmmn..."

"What's that thing?"

"Looks like it might be...A pearl, maybe."

"That thing?" Sniffs... "That's no pearl."

"Smells of the sea though." Hmmn. "Funny taste."

"What you go and lick it, for if you think it's valuable?"

"You said it t'weren't a pearl. It sure ain't no diamond."

"Look, there's something...Hmmn... 'Stone cut from Mr. Samuel Pepys, Esq.'"

"Stone? Cut from the fellow?"

"That's what it says."

"Didn't taste like any stone I've come across."

"Bladder stone, you dolt!"

"So? Is it worth anything?"

"Eh, the apothecaries might give something for it. I think they grind em up for medicines or something. But this 'Samuel Pepys' might give a little better."

"You want to sell it back to him?"

"If we can locate him. Must be of great sentimental value to have it in this fancy box and all. Moll? You write well. Take a letter. 'To Mr. Samuel Pepys, Esq. Dear Sir, I am sorry to inform you...'"

Australian Susan  •  Link

When my father had his gallstones out(and they'd nearly killed him - his gall bladder had burst and he developed peritonitis), the hospital gave them to him in a nice little glass container. Maybe they just wanted to prove they had actually removed something. He thanked them very politely, and threw them away when he was home.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

" ... the power of commanding the pulling down of any house or houses, to save the whole City."

(Slight spoiler) In 1666 we'll meet a Lord Mayor too frightened of civil liability to exercise that power, with well-known results.

language hat  •  Link

"You may see by this man the constitution of the Magistracy of this City; that this fellow's place, I dare give him (if he will be true to me) 1000l. for his profits every year, and expect to get 500l. more to myself thereby. When I in myself am forced to spend many times as much."

Can anyone elucidate this?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sounds like Ford (I believe it's Sir Richard speaking not Lord Mayor Bateman) is complaining that every magistrate including the Common Cryer passing through in the scene has his hand out and even through some of the cash (profit) is returned to him through various kickbacks, he's spending far more of his own money than he earns. In other words... "Young man, politics is a thankless, unprofitable job." or perhaps Lincoln put it best- "There's too many pigs for the tits."

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

It be question. To all the neighbours;
"How dothe thee want thy house? How much to reduce thy neighbour's shack to scrap or do thee need thine to be ashes."

So sayethe the Towne Crier to all that be watching the local constable looking for a place to get water from the elme pipe or the nearest Conduit.

Glyn  •  Link

LH: I think the Sheriff is finding it galling that he will have to appoint someone to a subsidiary position that is nevertheless more profitable than his own. Whoever becomes the city Magistrate will get 1,500 a year in kickbacks, whereas the Sheriff doesn't have the same opportunities in his own higher but more scrutinised position.

I think it was true (perhaps still is?) that the Mayor of London is unpaid during his one-year term of office, and was expected to pay out a lot of money in funding ceremonial dinners and other events. Perhaps the same was true for the Sheriff's position.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Common Cryer of the City

He appear to have fee income from his right to act as the sole auctioneer of goods within the City jurisdictions. Discussing the City Charter of James I, "Sept 15th. 12 James I (?1615)" and the new office of 'outroper' with an official set scale of fees:-

"The term 'outroper' or 'outrouper' like that of bankrupt seems to be derived from the breaking up of stock though as applied to the public selling of effects by crying them out, the etymology of the word is somewhat more intricate and involved. The word, and probably the office too, is more ancient than this charter, which professes to create it; for the officer 'called the common cryer is perhaps as ancient as the City. The classical reader need hardly be reminded of the importance of the crye. in the earlier ages of democratic states, as testified in the character of Homer's Stentor, and of Tolmides in Xenophon's Anabasis. It may be presumed that a similar duty was performed by the cryer of London. It was his task to summon the councils, and regulate their deliberations. It continues so to the present day; and whoever attends the civic assemblies will still find his voice the most audible, if not the most attended to. His duty, as outroper, was that of an auctioneer broker, the performance of which in open places detracted in no small degree from his ancient and also his modern dignity. This has, however, long ago ceased to be noticed in the list of his duties, as the change of the times has produced improvements in public sales, and indeed the legality of this exclusive grant by charter of such an office may be reasonably doubted."

George Norton 'Commentaries on the History, Constitution, and Chartered Franchises of the City of London' (1829) p. 521

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"to keep my stone in"
I wonder if Sam's stones have ever been chemically analized? I understand that there are some around.

Bradford  •  Link

Have we had the Falconers quandary, with Coventry's intervention, explained? Patience in parsing required.

Terry F  •  Link

For Dirk: from the Carte Calendar

John Creed to Sandwich
Written from: [London]

Date: 20 August 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 204-205
Document type: Holograph

Repeats the substance of MS. Carte 75, fol. 201, [re the seizure of the ship Bishop of Galloway] and supplies further particulars, as to the proceedings in the matter of the confiscated ship. Adds that a report has come of a great victory achieved over the Imperialists by the Turks, immediately after a defeat of the latter; the victors having become disorganized. Mentions, further, that Sir Thomas Crewe is bound for the Downs.

jeannine  •  Link

"Journal of the Earl of Sandwich" edited by R.C. Anderson

20th. Saturday. By 4 oclock in the morning we were within 3 leagues of Beachy, it bearing N. by W. About 8 oclock the Paradox and ketch came to me with packets from Holland. About 5 in the afternoon the Vice Admiral Allen with his convoy for the Straits met me and he came on board me. This evening I sent Pymm off express with a packet to London in the Henrietta yacht to put him ashore.
And now we are off the head of Beachy some 2 leagues. Very fair weather and almost calm all day.

pepf  •  Link

"Common Cryer of the City"
“The term ‘outroper’ or ‘outrouper’ like that of bankrupt seems to be derived from the breaking up of stock though as applied to the public selling of effects by crying them out, the *etymology of the word is somewhat more intricate* and involved."

(rumpere, rumpo, rūpī, ruptum > (banca) rotta > bankrupt > ? > outroper) doesn't convince.

The intricacy is enormous, indeed, if the erudite classical reader chooses to commence with Stentor. Mr. Norton might have found a more straightforward way minding Q. Horatii Flacci "nec gemino bellum troianum orditur ab ovo". Simple West Gmc. cognates should do nicely.

Grimm Deutsches Wörterbuch:
RUF, m. clamor
MHG ruof; OHG ruof/hruof; Goth. hrops; AGS hrôp;
lost in modern English except dial. *roup = auction*
RUFEN, verb. clamare, vocare
OHG ruofan/hruofan/hrôfan; AGS hrôpan, pret. hreóp,
lost except in dial. *to roup = to auction sth.*
AUSRUFEN, exclamare, proclamare; nnl. uitroepen
AUSRUFER, m. praeco, proclamator:
gute waare bedarf keinen ausrufer
(identical office of town crier since at least M.A.)

John Holtrop's English and Dutch dictionary:
Uitroeper (s. m.) A crier, common crier, proclaimer

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