Tuesday 25 October 1664

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and finished Sir W. Warren’s great contract for timber, with great content to me, because just in the terms I wrote last night to Sir W. Warren and against the terms proposed by Sir W. Batten. At noon home to dinner, and there found Creed and Hawley. After dinner comes in Mrs. Ingram, the first time to make a visit to my wife. After a little stay I left them and to the Committee of the Fishery, and there did make my report of the late public collections for the Fishery, much to the satisfaction of the Committee, and I think much to my reputation, for good notice was taken of it and much it was commended. So home, in my way taking care of a piece of plate for Mr. Christopher Pett, against the launching of his new great ship tomorrow at Woolwich, which I singly did move to His Royall Highness, and did obtain it for him, to the value of twenty pieces. And he, under his hand, do acknowledge to me that he did never receive so great a kindness from any man in the world as from me herein. So to my office, and then to supper, and then to my office again, where busy late, being very full now a days of business to my great content, I thank God, and so home to bed, my house being full of a design, to go to-morrow, my wife and all her servants, to see the new ship launched.

17 Annotations

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"which I singly did move to His Royall Highness, and did obtain it for him, to the value of twenty pieces"

Anybody understand what happened here? My first shot: Pepys bought an expensive piece of silver (probably a platter or something else of simple design) to present to the king (or Duke of York?) on Christopher Pett's behalf on the occasion of the launching of the Royal Katherine, for which Pett was inordinately grateful. Alternative interpretations are most welcome.

Australian Susan   Link to this

I agree with you Paul - makes sense and isn't Sam pleased with himself today?! I bet that when they all convened to sit at the office this morning, Sir WB was missing, enabling Sam to get his way with the drawing up of the contract!! And does Sam leave Creed and Hawley with the ladies after dinner? Or did he just leave the ladies alone, C and H having already departed? If i had been Elizabeth, I would have wanted to spend time just with Mrs I.

"..where busy late, being very full now a days of business to my great content..." Sam loves to be kept occupied and to have lots on hand to do and to deal with: not for him doing whatever is the 17thc equivalent of reading your bacon email and playing a few games of minesweeper before actually doing some work as so many young men do nowadays!

Kit   Link to this

So "plate" is the antecedent of "which", and is the thing Pepys "did move"?

Terry F   Link to this

"taking care of a piece of plate for Mr. Christopher Pett, against the launching of his new great ship tomorrow at Woolwich, which I singly did move to His Royall Highness, and did obtain it for him, to the value of twenty pieces."

L&M explain: this was a 66-oz. gilt flagon, given, as was the custom at this time, to the royal navy's shipwrights with which to toast the king's and admiral's healths at a ship's launching. The cost of the gift was proportional to the ship's rank.

Terry F   Link to this

"plate" was the genus of the traditional gift to the shipwrights, but during this era a flagon was the species, an appropriate one, methinks. It was doubtless on the Navy Office tab, and evidently 'twas Pepys's job to select and buy it. From Mr. Pett's response I'd say he did it well; and the past in which Pepys had chastened Pett for how he managed his yard is set aside.

Ruben   Link to this

"Pepys job to select and buy the plate"
...with Navy Office's money.
Pett satisfied, Pepys satisfied, only the Navy's coffer will be a little smaller than usual. But, who's counting?

Ruben   Link to this

The Royal Catherine:
see her proud picture at:
http://www.nmm.ac.uk/collections/displayRepro.c...
and read about her adventurous and very very long service (96 years!) in Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Royal_Katherine

This ship was very well built indeed!

Paul Dyson   Link to this

“taking care of a piece of plate for Mr. Christopher Pett, against the launching of his new great ship tomorrow at Woolwich, which I singly did move to His Royall Highness, and did obtain it for him, to the value of twenty pieces.”

Does the following add anything to the analyses above?

"taking care of" = collecting from the makers
"which" = the piece of plate
"move to His Royall Highness" = propose/suggest to the D of Y the providing of the plate.
"for him" = for Mr Pett

So (I think) Sam is pleased: 1) at having been the one who suggested to the Duke the providing of this particular piece of plate; 2)at having successfully carried out the responsibility of dealing with the manufacturer on behalf of the Navy Board; 3) at the very positive response from Pett. And it looks as if Sam will be the one to convey the item down to Woolwich in time for it to be appropriately used.

Question: Who kept the flagon afterwards?

Clement   Link to this

Gorgeous picture of the Katherine--thanks for the link, Ruben.

3/4 down this page is an example of 17th C. English church plate, a flagon with some modest incription and decoration. http://www.mla.gov.uk/website/programmes/cultur...

(The description includes an intersting tale of Commonwealth politics.)

Robert Gertz   Link to this

It seems Sam's position here was as the man able to choose if Chris Pett would get the nice little plate and a pat on the head or the hefty twenty-piecer as his little merit award. Nothing like having the family who control naval shipbuilding in England in your debt.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Thanks to Paul Dyson for unriddling a very compact entry.

Sam has been positively loquacious, not to say giddy, since the Warren contract went through

Pedro   Link to this

Thanks Ruben for the picture.

Indeed a well built ship, but in the picture is the title correct?

http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/5177/#pr...

Australian Susan   Link to this

Clement - thanks for the link (which contains so many other good things I spent a long time there!)The information about the flagon goes some way to show why there is virtually no church plate in England prior to the Restoration - either the Parliamentarians melted it down as "Papist" or the Royalists did to provide funds for Charles. Great loss.

Ruben   Link to this

The Royal Catherine
From the "Anglo-Dutch wars" site:
"Thomas Teddiman served in both the Commonwealth and Restoration navies...In 1665, he took command of the new 2nd Rate Royal Katherine. He fought in the Battle of Lowestoft, where he was Rear-Admiral of the Blue, with his flag on the Royal Katherine (70 guns). In August, he led the attack on the Dutch in Bergen, flying his flag on the Revenge. The attack went very badly, and a combination of Danish shore batteries and Dutch East Indiamen badly damaged the English ships, which were forced to withdraw. Thomas Teddiman, as Vice-Admiral of the Blue, again with his flag on the Royal Katherine, fought at the Four Days Battle... ". See: http://anglo-dutch-wars.blogspot.com/2005/01/en...

When Teddyman had his flag on the Revenge someone else was in command at the Royal Catherine.

John Sheffield was made captain of the Royal Catherine at the age of 23, after Sole Bay, so our problem has only been compounded:
1) who was in charge on the Royal Catherine when Teddyman was away?
2) why is it that the picture has this title? May be it was painted years later, when Teddyman was already dead and John Sheffield did not care to have a little more "glory"?

Pedro   Link to this

The picture of the Katherine…

Ruben, it was painted years later, 1705-1730.

Because this ship was broken up in 1698 the painting is thought to be the earliest that can be attributed to him (Vale), although it could have been done later from drawings: if not it suggests he was working earlier than can be otherwise shown. It is signed, bottom left, 'H. Vale fec'.

http://www.nmm.ac.uk/collections/explore/object...

From the same site a picture of the Earl of Mulgrave and the following info…

John Sheffield succeeded his father as third Earl of Mulgrave in 1658, and was known as Mulgrave until created marquess of Normanby and finally Duke of Buckingham and Normanby in 1703. He went to sea at the age of 18 and served in the second and third Anglo-Dutch Wars. After the Battle of Solebay Mulgrave was appointed Captain of the ‘Royal Katherine’ (see BHC3606). In 1680 he commanded a relief expedition to the English garrison at Tangier, but did not serve afterwards. He devoted himself to the court, politics and writing, holding high office under James II, William III and Anne. He was a friend of both John Dryden and Alexander Pope. He built Buckingham House (later Palace), on the western edge of St James Park, between 1703 and 1705.

He is shown wearing Greenwich armour and a brown full-bottomed wig and the riband and Lesser George of the Order of the Garter. He is holding in his left hand a wand, and on his left is the large gold key with the cipher ‘J.R.' of his office as Lord Chamberlain. The portrait is signed ‘G Kneller’, and has an inscription, probably later, ‘John Earl of Mulgrave, Lord Chamberlain 1688’.

http://www.nmm.ac.uk/collections/images/560/BHC...

Australian Susan   Link to this

"This ship broken up in 1698" but according to wkipedia, it was rebuilt and continued in service for many years afterwards.

Ruben   Link to this

Still the Catherine:
Pedro: from your annotation Thu 5 Apr 2007 (citing the Wikipedia):
"In 1702 she was rebuilt, and during the War of the Spanish Succession she was the flagship of Admiral George Rooke. In 1706 she was renamed Ramillies...
...Ramillies was wrecked at Bolt Head near Plymouth on 15 February 1760.

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