Tuesday 8 November 1664

Up and to the office, where by and by Mr. Coventry come, and after doing a little business, took his leave of us, being to go to sea with the Duke to-morrow. At noon, I and Sir J. Minnes and Lord Barkeley (who with Sir J. Duncum, and Mr. Chichly, are made Masters of the Ordnance), to the office of the Ordnance, to discourse about wadding for guns. Thence to dinner, all of us to the Lieutenant’s of the Tower; where a good dinner, but disturbed in the middle of it by the King’s coming into the Tower: and so we broke up, and to him, and went up and down the store-houses and magazines; which are, with the addition of the new great store-house, a noble sight. He gone, I to my office, where Bagwell’s wife staid for me, and together with her a good while, to meet again shortly. So all the afternoon at my office till late, and then to bed, joyed in my love and ability to follow my business. This day, Mr. Lever sent my wife a pair of silver candlesticks, very pretty ones. The first man that ever presented me, to whom I have not only done little service, but apparently did him the greatest disservice in his business of accounts, as Purser-Generall, of any man at the board.

25 Annotations

jeannine   Link to this

Voting Fever

Alas, not since Disco Fever have things been so hot as yesterday’s voting for Best Literature Blog Awards. Sam and Elizabeth offer all of your voters this Grand Finale!

http://www.jibjab.com/starring_you/receipt/2635013

Pepysian culture, an amazing website and a genius of a webmaster seems to have lost out to pop culture. My 10 year old (almost 11) summed it up and said “Mom, I looked at the other website, it was all about movies and stuff and was a big piece of crap. At least Sam’s site has some brains behind it!” So, I smiled, let slide the scolding for the use of the word ‘crap,’ and life goes on.

Now let’s all get back to 1664 where we can look forward to upcoming wars, plagues, great fires and those amazing “Sam-isms” that make reading the Diary and sharing it with friends so worth while!

jeannine   Link to this

"Mr. Coventry come, and after doing a little business, took his leave of us, being to go to sea with the Duke to-morrow."

From Coventry's background it doesn't seem like he's had any sea experience. Seems odd to me that he'd be going to sea with the DOY. Not sure exactly what function he'd be expected to perform there. Would this be the norm for these times and/or his role?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

As the Duke's personal secretary, I would think Coventry essential for the preparation and transmission of orders, handling of all communication with the various captains and commanders...Rushing in to answer any hard questions whose poor handling might make Jamie look like (ok, I won't say we all know who) an idiot.

Alas that poor Sam has to miss out...

"Ah, Pepys. Why not leave these dreary office details and come along with us?"

"Mr. Coventry? But...Someone must..."

"Yes, yes. We need a competent hand here...But your good Hewer ought to be able to manage a few weeks. Yes, come on with us, Samuel. The salt air will brace you, those rolling seas will rock you to sleep. Up and down and with luck a bit of a tumble and blow to get the spirits moving..."

"Indeed, sir. I do remember my last tumble and blow..."

"And then there's the thrill of real action looming this time, Pepys. The sand on the boards to soak up the running blood, the cannons rolled into position, the roaring cries of the men..."

"Yes, sir."

"And then the thunder of the guns. The whizzing sounds of flying shot...The screams and anguished moans of the dying...Gore and guts and blood wherever you look."

"If you can, sir."

"The sea filled with fire and smoke, guns belching death as the ships close...Heads and limbs flying past you from what were men only seconds ago. Ah, it's real life, Pepys. In a manner of speaking..."

"Sounds wonderful, Mr. Coventry. But there is that matter of the wadding...I don't feel I could leave such an important detail to anyone. For want of the nail, you know, sir..."

"Ah, yes...Well, perhaps you're right. But I promise you, Samuel, the very next battle, the glory will be yours."

"Ah yes, sir...Thank you, sir."

jeannine   Link to this

"Rushing in to answer any hard questions whose poor handling might make Jamie look like (ok, I won’t say we all know who) an idiot."

[slight spoiler] In his book on Prince Rupert, Frank Kitson explains that James, DOY, was really pushing for the chance to make a name for himself in battle. A lot of the politics, etc. we've seen going on (ie. if Sandwich would go to sea, etc.) were attempts by James to position himself to be the “rock star” of the sea. We can only imagine that someone as astute as Coventry would be aware of this.

In regards to correspondence, etc. Kitson explains that prior to going to sea that James issued extensive fighting instructions, etc., which perhaps were drawn up by Coventry although Kitson doesn’t say. The reason so many instructions are handed out prior to leaving is that any 'signals used were primitive, consisting over variation of position in the ship where various standards and ensigns were flown. There were also a small number of signal flags that could be hoisted in various places, the meaning of which varied according to where the flag was flown. The firing of a gun was also used on occasion either to call attention to flag or lantern signals or to modify the signals in a pre-arranged fashion. At anchor, where flags might not catch the wind, a sail could be displayed in a certain way to transmit a particular order. At night, lanterns hung in different parts of the rigging could be used in the same way, and pre-arranged orders could be passed by the firing of a gun. Messages could of course be sent between ships by boat, a method that had to be used if a complicate instruction had to be given or if the fleet were too far spread out for the admirals’ signals to be seen.” (Kitson, page 155)

Needless to say, it’s clear that the plans, strategies, correspondence, signaling, etc. had to be determined and understood far before getting on a ship as without any ‘modern’ way to communicate the pre-planning had to be fully set. Perhaps James had Coventry acting as his scribe ?

cape henry   Link to this

Sounds like the communication system employed by some other "(ok, I won’t say we all know who)" idiot.

Terry F   Link to this

"Lord Barkeley (who with Sir J. Duncum, and Mr. Chichly, are made Masters of the Ordnance)"

L&M note these three had been made Masters of the Ordnance on 31 October, when Sir William Compton, the holder of the office, died,

L&M do not explain why now three are needed to replace one. Perhaps this is a religious statement, a Trinitarian policy. Or perhaps the prospect of war suggested a recount of the officers as well as of the men.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

I wonder ...
When I checked the voting tally this morning, Pepys was ahead of Gaiman by a hundred or so votes. Three hours later Gaiman had added over a thousand votes. Is that possible by legitimate (or even quasi-legitimate) means for a "literary website"? I guess we'll never know, but it was a fun little diversion. Thanks to Jeannine for the music-and-dancing interludes.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

I wonder … Three hours later Gaiman had added over a thousand votes.

And the day prior the addition of approx 1,100 votes, over all the contestants, had been sufficient to overload and make the sight near inaccessible for ten hours ...

Ruben   Link to this

To Paul and Michael:
I remember in my primary school days, we played 2 volleyball games each week.
Strangely, very strangely it was always that a team won only once, making the final results even, so no child felt disappointed . There was always a bored teacher in charge of keeping the results, order, etc.
Sixty years later I still have the feeling that I was cheated by the teachers in charge.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Next time ...

Perhaps Robert Gertz could channel George Downing and John Wallis for an appropriate polmath strategy and have available Col. John Scott for advice on tactics when necessary. Of course we could just send a pair of silver flagons or 100L (gold) in a bag ...

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

I to my office, where Bagwell’s wife staid for me, and together with her a good while, to meet again shortly. So all the afternoon at my office till late, and then to bed, joyed in my love and ability to follow my business. This day, Mr. Lever sent my wife a pair of silver candlesticks

It sounds as though Sam finally had his wicked way with Mrs Bagwell and went to bed smugly ignoring his usual jealousy about other men paying attention to his own wife.

Pedro   Link to this

"Kitson explains that prior to going to sea that James issued extensive fighting instructions, etc., which perhaps were drawn up by Coventry although Kitson doesn’t say."

If we look in the Memorial to Penn by his grandson highlighted by JWB, the instructions were issued in 1665, and are very similar to those that Sir William issued in 1655.

Granville Penn also says (after the issue of the Instructions)...

"Coventry (who had a better stomach for such adventures than the clerk of the acts confesses) gallantly attended his royal master in the Charles as his secretary."

andy   Link to this

Thanks Jeannine for the dance sequences!

As for Mrs Bagwell, tut tut! I'm not sure Sam's had his wicked way with her yet, but unlike Jane the barber's assistant she's not exactly pushing him away.

Bradford   Link to this

Perhaps Mr. Lever is warming you up, Mr. Pepys, to repair previous injuries with a future favor.

So I wasn't the only one who had to try 20 times to access the voting page. Next year we need to organize a strategy whereby, after alerting us that the contest is approaching, each Reader votes as early as possible the first day so as to ease the lapse of 24 hours till the next permissible vote. If the whole Readership participated. . . .

jeannine   Link to this

"If the whole Readership participated…"

Hmm, where I just about exhausted all of the Royals in jibjab can-cans, Charlestons, etc. I think we need some reader nominees for our marketing campaign next year. We can take a collection, send them to the Pembleton School of Dance, create a couple of you tube videos and we're golden! Who could compete with that??

Any volunteers? I promise nobody will have to dance in a tutu (unless of course we need to get one last voting push)...

JWB   Link to this

Candlesticks

What, a soft-soaping Wm. Lever. Cursory seach didn't find if 19th century Wm Lever a descendant.

Pedro   Link to this

Coventry goes to sea.

Although Coventry is considered the private secretary to the Duke of York, as the Duke is the Lord High Admiral, he was also known as the Secretary to the Lord High Admiral or Secretary to the Admiralty.

A scrap pinched from JSTOR concerning his some of his duties says..

A wide and ill-defined range of duties concerned with the ancient prerogative of that office, whether to do with the appointment of officers, the movement of ships or the conduct of sea operations: the dispensing (through courts martial or otherwise) of justice in all causes arising out of happenings at sea, and the traditional admiralty juristiction and machinery in London and the maritime shires...

(Quite a job for someone to be considered anti-war?)

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Next time...

I tried networking with family, to what avail I know not. I voted faithfully every day save one when I was traveling. The last-day surge of votes for Sam was astonishing, even more so for the other site (which shall remain nameless). I guess the way to stuff the ballot is to have access to many computers, each with its own url, by means fair or foul.

Gerry   Link to this

For voting I believe there are lots of free proxie servers available. Phil probably knows.

jeannine   Link to this

"For voting I believe there are lots of free proxie servers available. Phil probably knows."

Things were so much easier in the days of Sam when any 'good' man (except perhaps John Evelyn) could be bought! I am sure if Sam were to come back from the dead he'd figure out an easy way to make the voting numbers go his way.......all in the name of the King of course!

"Ah, if it isn't Mr. William Webcounter, although it should be Sir William for a man of quality such as you, let's go for a little stroll, we've got business to speak of..."

cgs   Link to this

Samuell will understand and forgive his loyal following and the lurkers, the failure to win his seat in Vegas, the voting procedure being full of human weakness [ that be to win at any cost and coming in second be the leader of the losers], the house of Commons was full of those that got the voted in the rotten Cities. This was the era of one lord, one vote and and the man on the street had no say.
The voting should be on the average number of hits by readers that stay and download during a given week.

Linda Faucheux   Link to this

[Aside: According to discussion threads on 2007 Awards website, many votes continued to post for frontrunners for Best Science Blog hours after closing.]
Film is film, but we have the incomparable Mr. Pepys -- to whom the King's appearance now poses (if you please) a disturbance to a fine dinner with the Lieutenants of the Tower: Sam looking regretfully at the unfinished meal as he rises from table to review arms and munitions with His Majesty and company. Duty calss: how his life, and Elizabeth's, have changed.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...then to bed, joyed in my love and ability to follow my business."

Well, we can hope he meant "joyed in my love. And in my ability to follow my business." But knowing our boy...It wasn't love of poor Bess he meant.

"Oh, God...Bess."

"Yes, Sam'l...Yes."

"If only you could have seen how I dealt with the King's visit to the Tower today."

"Hmmn? Ummmn?"

"Lord...I was never so forceful, the answers firing out, Bess. Oh, dear God..."

"Right, right." Back on track. "Yes...Oh, dear..."

"...To understand one's business so well as I do now. Ohhh, Lord, the joy, the ecstasy. You can't imagine it, Bess. Pounding out those facts and figures, everything coming together in one fantastic surge of..."

"Uh, yeah. I can't imagine it. For some time now." grim stare.

"Bess?"

jeannine   Link to this

“The Navy White Book” from “Samuel Pepys and the Second Dutch War” (transcribed by Matthews and Knighton, edited by Latham)

Nov. 8. 1664. About Sir W. Batten’s carriage and cunning in the management of his son Castle’s bargain of knees. It is observable this day (Mr Coventry being gone out of the office but a quarter of an hour) that Sir W.B. did order his son Castle to come in, my Lord Barkely only and myself being there) and offered his knees (which indeed are well squared, but not in that proportion) and got (by saying himself that they were worth 4£ 10s) my Lord B. to offer 4£ 12s at the first order; which was too late for me to recall or remedy but by stopping my Lord to offer more, which I did.

Pedro   Link to this

Sir W. Batten’s carriage and cunning

Yes Sam he thinks he is the bee's knees.

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