Tuesday 22 November 1664

At the office all the morning. Sir G. Carteret, upon a motion of Sir W. Batten’s, did promise, if we would write a letter to him, to shew it to the King on our behalf touching our desire of being Commissioners of the Prize office. I wrote a letter to my mind and, after eating a bit at home (Mr. Sheply dining and taking his leave of me), abroad and to Sir G. Carteret with the letter and thence to my Lord Treasurer’s; wherewith Sir Philip Warwicke long studying all we could to make the last year swell as high as we could. And it is much to see how he do study for the King, to do it to get all the money from the Parliament all he can: and I shall be serviceable to him therein, to help him to heads upon which to enlarge the report of the expense. He did observe to me how obedient this Parliament was for awhile, and the last sitting how they begun to differ, and to carp at the King’s officers; and what they will do now, he says, is to make agreement for the money, for there is no guess to be made of it. He told me he was prepared to convince the Parliament that the Subsidys are a most ridiculous tax (the four last not rising to 40,000l.), and unequall. He talks of a tax of Assessment of 70,000l. for five years; the people to be secured that it shall continue no longer than there is really a warr; and the charges thereof to be paid. He told me, that one year of the late Dutch warr cost 1,623,000l.. Thence to my Lord Chancellor’s, and there staid long with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, to speak with my lord about our Prize Office business; but, being sicke and full of visitants, we could not speak with him, and so away home. Where Sir Richard Ford did meet us with letters from Holland this day, that it is likely the Dutch fleete will not come out this year; they have not victuals to keep them out, and it is likely they will be frozen before they can get back. Captain Cocke is made Steward for sick and wounded seamen. So home to supper, where troubled to hear my poor boy Tom has a fit of the stone, or some other pain like it. I must consult Mr. Holliard for him. So at one in the morning home to bed.


8 Annotations

jeannine  •  Link

From “Further Correspondence of Samuel Pepys” edited by Tanner.

Sir John Mennes, Sir William Batten and S.P. to Sir George Carteret

22 November, 1664

Being doubtful lest by our silence we might lose the favour we humbly hope for from his Majesty in reference to our having a relation, among others, to the Prize Office now erecting, we do by the entreat your kindness in making a seasonable mention of us to his Majesty, with these considerations on our behalfs, That not only our work will by the war be necessarily advanced many degrees above what it usually is, and that without any visible increase of encouragement, but moreover as Officers of the Navy we must be frequently consulted with by them of the Prize Office, and therein also be of necessary use to his Majesty by informing them in the values and qualities of prizes taken, and advising them what thereof (as cordage, anchors, iron, canvas, pitch, tar, and others) are necessary to be preserved for his Majesty’s stores, as also what ships happening to fall into our hand may be fit for his Majesty’s service. Hence it was (as well as from the favour of the then powers) that Cranley, Norris, and Tweedy (who served the Parliament in the places we do now his Majesty) were joined to the Prize Officers. And as we are sure we serve a most gracious Master, so in all humility we do no less hope to be found by his Majesty as constant and faithful in our particular charges of Comptroller, Surveyor, and Clerk of the Acts as any of our predecessors.

We ask once more your kind meditation herein, and rest, etc.

Tanner notes that during the earlier years of the Civil War that the Navy Commissioners were Richard Cranley, John Norris, Roger Tweedy, William Batten, and Phineas Pett.

Terry F  •  Link

On behalf of Dirk Van de putte, an entry from the Carte Calendar

An Order, by James, Duke of York, Lord High Admiral, respecting the delivery of clothes to the seamen of the Royal Navy
Written from: Portsmouth

Date: 22 November 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 249
Document type: Original; signed and countersigned
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Terry F  •  Link

A rational idea recently forgotten in the Virginia colony: levy a tax to pay for a war.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Calendars of State Papers are full of references to applications for Commissionerships of the Prize Office. In December, 1664, the Navy Committee appointed themselves the Commissioners for Prize Goods, Sir Henry Bennet being appointed comptroller, and Lord Ashley treasurer.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/8052/

The politicians landed all the jobs that were appointed on 24 December: the others besides Bennett and Ashley were, with few exceptions, all M.P.s: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/12/12/ (Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"He told me he was prepared to convince the Parliament that the Subsidys are a most ridiculous tax (the four last not rising to 40,000l.), and unequall."

The sum '£40,000' is misleading. The four subsidies (granted in July 1663) had each brought in something of that order by Michaelmas 1664. In the end, after all arrears had been collected, they yielded £221,000 net -- rather less than the Free Gift of 1661 (cf. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/08/31/ )
Subsidies were levied on both real and personal property, but according to long outdated assessments, and were both unproductive and inequitable. This was the last occasion on which they were levied. See C.C. Chandaman, The English public revenue 1660-88 (1975. (Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"He talks of a tax of Assessment of 70,000l. for five years; the people to be secured that it shall continue no longer than there is really a warr; and the charges thereof to be paid."

The 'assessment', introduced in 1643 and the principal direct tax during the Interregnum, was a tax mainly on land. The total to be levied was stipulated by the act, and the taxpayer was more stringently rated than in the subsidy. In December the Commons granted an assessment of c. £2 1.2 m. levied in 16 months (16-17 Car. II c. I). When the assessment had been last levied, in December 1661, a promise had been inserted in the act that it would not be levied again. The war now forced its adoption, and assessments came to replace subsidies. (L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"He told me, that one year of the late Dutch warr cost 1,623,000l.."

The opening year (1652-3) of the First Dutch War was the most expensive. The totals given in the official records are rather lower than Warwick's estimate: £1,402,081 and £1,410,312, respectively. (Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" Captain Cocke is made Steward for sick and wounded seamen. "

I.e. Treasurer to the commission for the Sick and Wounded Mariners and Prisoners of War, which was now (28 October) appointed for the duration of the war. The commissioners, who received their instructions on 23 November, were Sir William Doyley, Sir Thomas Clifford, Col. Bullen Reymes and John Evelyn. (Per L&M footnote)

For details of John Evelyn's work as a commissioner for the Sick and Wounded Mariners and Prisoners of War generally and designing a hospital for their care in particular, see on this site the two dozen letters he and Pepys exchanged during 1665-66: http://www.pepysdiary.com/letters/

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