Tuesday 27 September 1664

Lay long, sleeping, it raining and blowing very hard. Then up and to the office, my mouth still being scabby and a patch on it. At the office all the morning. At noon dined at home, and so after dinner (Lewellin dining with me and in my way talking about Deering) to the Fishing Committee, and had there very many fine things argued, and I hope some good will cone of it. So home, where my wife having (after all her merry discourse of being with child) her months upon her is gone to bed. I to my office very late doing business, then home to supper and to bed. To-night Mr. T. Trice and Piggot came to see me, and desire my going down to Brampton Court, where for Piggot’s sake, for whom it is necessary, I should go, I would be glad to go, and will, contrary to my purpose, endeavour it, but having now almost 1000l., if not above, in my house, I know not what to do with it, and that will trouble my mind to leave in the house, and I not at home.

16 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

"To-night Mr. T. Trice and Piggot came to see me, and desire my going down to Brampton Court, where for Piggot's sake, for whom it is necessary, I should go"

This has to do with Pepys' desire to secure as much as possible of the land he might conceivably have inherited from his Uncle Robert, whose Brampton's land-holdings titles were in various degrees of unclarity. I went for help with Uncle Robert's Will and the Trices to http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/3384/

Uncle Robert's estate owes T. Trice and Piggott owes the estate.

October 27 1662: "I am to pay [T. Trice] by giving him leave to buy about 40l. worth of Piggott's land and to strike off so much of Piggott's debt, and the other to give him bond to pay him in 12 months after without interest, only giving him a power to buy more land of Piggott and paying him that way as he did for the other, which I am well enough contented with, or at least to take the land at that price and give him the money." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/10/27/

This requires a court appearance by SP in Brampton.

Re Piggott's debt: 20 July 1661 "Then Sir Robert [Bernard] and I fell to talk about the money due to us upon surrender from Piggott, 164l., which he tells me will go with debts to the heir at law [sc. SP's Uncle Thomas]," http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/07/20/

October 11 1662: re "Piggott..., whose land lies mortgaged to my late uncle, but never taken up by him, and so I fear the heire at law [sc., SP's Uncle Thomas] will do it and that we cannot, but my design is to supplant him by pretending bonds as well as a mortgage for the same money, and so as executor have the benefit of the bonds." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/10/11/

I'm open to help getting this clear.

Cum grano salis   Link to this

Errata? "good will cone of" i dothe think it be 'come' not cone.

Bradford   Link to this

"her months upon her"---flash back (near as I can find) to
"So home to dinner above stairs, my wife not being well of those in bed." Per http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/09/02/
Given this regularity, was Elizabeth's "merry" prediction based on wish fulfillment, "woman's intuition," or some undisclosed symptom?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Poor Bess, sounds like she was hoping...

Can't resist...

"Mr. Cooper." Pepys nodding in passing.

"Brother." One-eyed Cooper tapping his own patch as he passes.

"I still say he keeps shifting that thing each time I see him." Minnes hisses to Batten.

John Aislabie   Link to this

"...almost 1000L., if not above, in my house, I know not what to do with it..." This highlights a key dilemma in an age before banks. There is still another 30 years to wait before the Bank of England is founded.
There is of course no paper money either,(Sweden tried it and failed a couple of years ago)so wealth is bulky too. With the rise of a wealth in the professional classes (such as Sam)rather than just amongst aristocrats this must have led to considerable pressure to buy valuable things such as land and buildings, to avoid being wiped out by a simple robbery. Does anyone know the facts? Was there a property boom?

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"having now almost 1000l., if not above, in my house, I know not what to do with it"

This is interesting. Remember some months ago we were discussing how Sandwich was holding some considerable share of Sam's fortune. But now Sam has most of his net worth in his house in thievable tangibles (I doubt that he would fret about the safety of a promissory note from Sandwich). Maybe he got paid back before Sandwich went off to war, or maybe he is not including that debt in his net worth.

Sam's problem is one I'm very glad we no longer have. Banks are almost as useful an invention as indoor plumbing.

Mary   Link to this

No banks.

One practical solution to Sam's dilemma would be to lodge his money, or some part of it, with a reputable goldsmith. Nowhere will he find absolute security for his gold and there would still remain the problem of fetching and carrying it to and from such premises. However, the goldsmiths tended to have safer storage than other places and were accustomed to provide this service.

John Glancy   Link to this

Couldn't he put the money in Northern Rock?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Sam doesn't seem comfortable putting his money into land. Given the problems with Brampton I suppose I can see why. The Dutch have had their Amsterdamsche Wisselbank since 1609, pity Sam couldn't deposit with them or maybe one of the great Italian bankers, though perhaps they might sneer at a paltry 1000Ls.

Seems awfully dangerous to have 1000L+ stored in your home. One slip of the tongue by a servant who's seen too much to the wrong man in an unguarded or drunken moment and goodbye. Of course the Seething Lane complex is gated and all, perhaps it's fairly safe.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Thanks, Terry, for all your troubles in unriddling the Brampton lands reference.

Sam's July 20, 1661, comment that he hopes to best his Uncle Thomas "by pretending bonds as well as a mortgage for the same money, and so as executor have the benefit of the bonds" raises a question about the ethical quality of the legal advice he was getting, doesn't it?

It also reminds us of the anxieties he was experiencing as executor, mainly around the fear that other family members would get more benefit than he from his Uncle Robert's will. Now he is richer by 1,000 pounds (in just 3 years!) in a form that could be carried off by robbers. (New source of anxiety!) It has taken that long in the country courts to untangle the Brampton scheme along the lines Pepys plotted back then (and he has probably ignored several earlier court dates, forcing the Cambridgeshire people to come all the way to London to petition him to appear), all for 40 pounds, a sum he gets in kickbacks almost weekly these days.

Settling the Piggott matter doesn't seem to be as high on his list of priorities any more.(They "desire my going down to Brampton Court, where for Piggot's sake, for whom it is necessary, I should go, I would be glad to go, and will, contrary to my purpose, endeavour it....")

I wonder how Sam received the country folk and what they made of Sam's recent refinements of dress and household furnishings?

Cum grano salis   Link to this

"Couldn't he put the money in Northern Rock?" then it be put in little purses, coin being gold, it did not corrode, placed under the rock that be in the garden.

Even when London got its banks, Banks were only for the common folk, Those that could vote for a representative and their peers, not for working folk, it was not until 1960's that cheques could be issued for wages ,and a place for them to be cashed [reason for this change be not for the ordinary folk but the companies hated losing it before they rewarded the workers, 'twas because monies failed to turn up at the business sites, as others like to play Dick Turpin] it had to be cash in little brown envelopes [it was the law,only Salaried , monthly paid got a bank account], hard currency and it was a problem to get an account with an English bank you needed good references to boot.

djc   Link to this

"was the law,only Salaried , monthly paid got a bank account"

No the opposite. the C19th Truck Acts made it illegal to pay wages in tokens for the company shop etc. Hence the tradition of paying the workforce in cash. By the 1960's robberies of wages were so common a change in the law made it possible for employers to insist that payment was made by cheque or direct transfer.

As for the development in banking in Pepys' time. Private banking had been developed by Italian merchants for several centuries (hence Lombard St in the City). The seventeenth centuries innovation, in which the Navy Office was a leader was the development of IOUs into Bills of Exchange and thence bearer bonds and ultimately Bank Notes (I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of One Pound Sterling etc. Pepys and the Navy Office was was instrumental in this: by paying its bills on a more or less regular schedule of oldest outstanding first rather than just paying whichever supplier pleaded most importunately. As a result a piece of paper with a guarantee of payment sometime in the future could be sold on (at a discount) and a market in government bonds developed.

Property probably wasn't the sure thing as a store of wealth we (too gullibly?) think of today. Houses burn down - and there was no insurance. Agriculture depends on a population to work the land. And in a country that had so recently seen revolution and civil war, it would be foolish to invest ones wealth in an asset that cannot be carried away in times of trouble. Not to mention that the concept of freehold land being something of an innovation.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... that will trouble my mind to leave in the house, and I not at home."

But if he is at home, the preferred option seems to be to ring for a maid ...

"...and there, knowing what money I have in the house and hearing a noyse, I begun to sweat worse and worse, till I melted almost to water. I rung, and could not in half an houre make either of the wenches hear me, and this made me fear the more, lest they might be gaga; and then I begun to think that there was some design in a stone being flung at the window over our stayres this evening, by which the thiefes meant to try what looking there would be after them and know our company. These thoughts and fears I had, and do hence apprehend the fears of all rich men that are
covetous and have much money by them. At last Jane rose, and then I understand it was only the dogg wants a lodging and so made a noyse. So to bed, but hardly slept,..."

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/07/11/

Australian Susan   Link to this

"concept of freehold land being something of an innovation" and this was only in England - Scotland had no such concept (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots_law#Property... ) It is only in the past few years that Scotland has passed laws doing away with the concept of feu duty - a hangover from the feudal period.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"By the 1960's robberies of wages were so common a change in the law made it possible for employers to insist that payment was made by cheque or direct transfer."

Whoa...Never knew England was such a violent place.

Pedro   Link to this

On the 27th September / 7th October (Dutch time)...

De Ruyter passed between Cape St. Vincent and Cape Cantin...at a council of the captains he told them of the secret of their destination...Engel De Ruyter wrote in his diary, "We were greatly upset and had not made up our minds for such a journey." There were no complaints, however, because everybody expected a rich booty at the expense of the English West India Company...

No flags were flown on any of the ships in order to hide the identity as much as possible.

(Life of De Ruyter by Blok)

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