Tuesday 17 January 1664/65

Up and walked to Mr. Povy’s by appointment, where I found him and Creed busy about fitting things for the Committee, and thence we to my Lord Ashly’s, where to see how simply, beyond all patience, Povy did again, by his many words and no understanding, confound himself and his business, to his disgrace, and rendering every body doubtfull of his being either a foole or knave, is very wonderfull. We broke up all dissatisfied, and referred the business to a meeting of Mr. Sherwin and others to settle, but here it was mighty strange methought to find myself sit herein Committee with my hat on, while Mr. Sherwin stood bare as a clerke, with his hat off to his Lord Ashly and the rest, but I thank God I think myself never a whit the better man for all that. Thence with Creed to the ‘Change and Coffee-house, and so home, where a brave dinner, by having a brace of pheasants and very merry about Povy’s folly. So anon to the office, and there sitting very late, and then after a little time at Sir W. Batten’s, where I am mighty great and could if I thought it fit continue so, I to the office again, and there very late, and so home to the sorting of some of my books, and so to bed, the weather becoming pretty warm, and I think and hope the frost will break.

34 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

For Dirk: a letter about maneuvers indexed in the Cart Calendar

James, Duke of York, to Sandwich
Written from: Whitehall

Date: 17 January 1665

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 136
Document type: Original; subscribed & signed

Upon perusal of Lord Sandwich's letters & debate in the Council of War it is thought fit that the Fleet designed to watch the Dutch should lie in the Downs. Desires Lord Sandwich to hasten the preparation of the best-conditioned ships, & order shall be given that some frigates from Harwich shall join them. Approves of his proposal that the Pembroke should accompany the Eastward Squadron. Mentions his own reception of Addresses from French merchants praying that a Convoy should be sent to La Rochelle.
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Here are the Downs: http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1257/

Capt.Petrus.S.Dorpmans   Link to this

17th. Jan.1665.

"...and referred the business to a meeting of Mr. Sherwin and others to settle..."

Richard Sherwin had been an M.P. and a senoir official of the Exchequer when Pepys had been a young clerk there. He was now secretary to Ashley.

Latham and Matthews. Vol.VI.1665
London: Bell and Sons Ltd. May 1974

Carl in Boston   Link to this

and so home to the sorting of some of my books
Yes, yes, there is nothing like the smell and the sniff of leather bound books. There is nothing so beautiful as to drool over one's books, lit by soft candlelight, arranged by size some years, arranged by subject in other years, and every one of them read from cover to cover. Chief among them is the shorter Samuel Pepys' Diary. Go to, go to. Say on, say on.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Sandwich's fleet in the Downs -- the area of the North Sea off the Cinque Ports -- would presumably deter the Dutch from further encroachments there.

Pedro   Link to this

"where to see how simply, beyond all patience, Povy did again, by his many words and no understanding, confound himself and his business, to his disgrace, and rendering every body doubtfull of his being either a foole or knave, is very wonderfull."

"For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Very nice, Pedro.

Povey's a very fine gentleman, but he's not an accountant by nature; he's in over his head. It is in the interest of Pepys and the others involved to get the accounts of the Duke of York that Povey oversees straightened out.

SPOILER: Povey will find a way to express his thanks to Pepys that will make the latter immortal.

jeannine   Link to this

"Povey’s a very fine gentleman, but he’s not an accountant by nature; he’s in over his head"

Sometimes I think we'd all benefit from a spreadsheet with "Sam-ish" characteristics across the top ~~things like 'coxcomb', 'sluttish', 'treacherous', 'liar', 'corrupt', ‘libertine', etc. and of course the rare compliment that shows that someone other than Sam is smart.

Then going down the side we could list the cast of characters and check off their characteristics. It would help to know the 'nice but dumb' vs. the 'dishonest but smart’, etc. at a glance! It would be interesting to see who the 1 or 2 people in the Diary with intelligence, competence and good moral characters really are-they seem few and far between.

Patricia   Link to this

"it was mighty strange methought to find myself sit herein Committee with my hat on, while Mr. Sherwin stood bare as a clerke, with his hat off to his Lord Ashly and the rest, but I thank God I think myself never a whit the better man for all that."

Why didn't Pepys remove his hat? He's not a Quaker. Was it just because he wasn't personally addressing the Committee? And can someone translate that last clause for me?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

">..it was mighty strange methought to find myself sit herein Committee with my hat on, while Mr. Sherwin stood bare as a clerke, with his hat off to his Lord Ashly and the rest, but I thank God I think myself never a whit the better man for all that."

Obviously Sam you think much the opposite...That poor Sherwin has revealed a clerk's cringing soul but that you, the great CoA Pepys, are above such fawning. This seems to go once again back to the incident with Penn...Sam has resolved never to let himself be seen, at least among the office boys, as a mere clerk or subordinate. Probably he's quite right to take a strong stand; the Sirs Will at least would very likely happily delight in clear evidence that he accepts his 'place' beneath them. Luckily Sandwich wasn't there to cast a perturbed eye on 'his man's' uppity behavior or the scene might well have worked out much differently.

***
Strange about Povy. His career suggests he ought to be able to carry himself fairly well in these matter, at least on the surface, speaking in committee. Surely he could find a poorer version of Creed or Pepys, say a Hayter, to help him with the math of the accounts. But, I suppose no one should ever be surprised by the levels of incompetence in government by aristocrat.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

Patricia, and the importance of The Big Hats
That hat, that hat, where did you get that hat?
http://cgi.ebay.com/REMBRANDT-Syndics-Drapers-G...

I found a copy of Rembrandt's Syndics of the Draper's Guild at the above ebay link, but you can use these search words to find a copy. There are five burghers, contemporaries of Samuel Pepys, all with their warm hats on. They are important. Behind them stands their bareheaded servant. Need I say more?
As for the last clause, Sam knows he's just one of the boys, like Mr Sherwin, but just the same it's better to sit with the Big Boys with one's hat on than to be a regular fellow without a hat.
Then came John F. Kennedy, who took off his hat while campaigning for President of the USA so he would stick out in photographs of a crowd of people all wearing hats. When he was inaugurated, he wore a top hat. Hats have never been the same since JFK, and now no one wears a hat (except me, I wear a Borsalino and stick out in any crowd. They say when you get older, you lose your senses. I have lost my sense of embarassment).

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Since we're on the subject of hats, I eagerly await commentary from Language Hat.

Linda F   Link to this

Sam's Hat: As I read this, Sam remained hatted because, for the moment, he sat "within" as a member of a Committee whose other members remained hatted. I fully agree that he sounds far too pleased about this, but it seems to follow from that temporary Committee seat, and not from his usual status.
Povy: Can Povy really have been as inept as he sounded under questioning? Has Sam indicated before this that he regarded Povy as a fool? Sam seems as stunned as anyone else that Povy sounds like one now. Wonder if it served Povy in some way to appear less on top of his books and accounts than he probably was.
An aside: Why is it that now, when all the world must be increasingly concerned about sun exposure, so many people choose to run around hatless? It makes no sense.

Linda F   Link to this

Sam also seems to enjoy the fact that his peer, Sherwin, was required to stand before the Committee of which Sam was a seated member. His glee over this "mighty strange" development fairly leaps from the page.
Sic transit gloria mundi, Sam. Or would Povy ask, Who is Gloria Mundi, and where does she go when she leaves?

Miss Ann   Link to this

Robert Gertz - the last two words of the final sentence of your entry are superfluous me thinks ...

andy   Link to this

Sam sitting on a standing committee with this hat on, Sherwin standing next to the standing commitee with his hat off...simple really...we all know where we stand (or sit).

But did he wear a hat AND a wig?

gunwale   Link to this

Terry Foreman on Thu 17 Jan 2008, 11:14pm

Sandwich’s fleet in the Downs — the area of the North Sea off the Cinque Ports — would presumably deter the Dutch from further encroachments there.

The Downs are a roadstead or area of sea in the southern North Sea near the English Channel off the east Kent coast, between the North and the South Foreland in southern England.

The Downs served in the age of sail as a permanent base for warships patrolling the North Sea and a gathering point for refitted or newly-built ships coming out of Chatham Dockyard, such as HMS Bellerophon, and formed a safe anchorage during heavy weather, protected on the east by the Goodwin Sands and on the north and west by the coast. They also lie between the Strait of Dover and the Thames Estuary, so both merchant ships awaiting an easterly wind to take them into the English Channel and those going up to London gathered there, often for quite long periods. In 1639 the Battle of the Downs took place here, when the Dutch navy destroyed a Spanish fleet having sought refuge in neutral English waters.

It has depths down to 12 fathoms (22 m). Even during southerly gales some shelter was afforded, though under this condition wrecks were not infrequent. Storms from any direction could also drive ships onto the shore or onto the sands, which - in spite of providing the sheltered water - were constantly shifting, and not always adequately marked.

In the present day, with the English Channel still the busiest shipping lane in the world, cross-channel ferries and other ships still seek shelter here.

from WIKIPEDIA

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Would have been cute to have a portrait of Sam (and Bess) in hat.

***

Well, Miss Ann, I'll still go with government by merit than by knowledge of and membership in the 'right sort of people'. Sam in fact is a sort of midway version-a man of ability not family saving one essential connection-and has been recognized as such by Coventry and his Duke. Doesn't mean all corruption is purged of course but I'd rather have Sam and Coventry and the able Cromwellian captains they'd like to be able to reappoint running my nation's Navy than say Povy and Prince Rupert and Rupert's Cavalier friends.

Odd thing being of course that some of us in the US soon as we broke loose of England and Europe attempted to ape aristocratic pretensions even as the able man began to gradually seize the floor in the Old World.

Don McCahill   Link to this

> But did he wear a hat AND a wig?

I certainly hope so. When wearing a wig one had all the hair shorn off, and wearing no wig would be unpresentable.

Nix   Link to this

"Who is Gloria Mundi, and where does she go when she leaves?" --

I think she's supposed to meet Samuel in a dark tavern behind Whitehall.

language hat   Link to this

"and now no one wears a hat (except me, I wear a Borsalino and stick out in any crowd. They say when you get older, you lose your senses. I have lost my sense of embarassment)."

"Since we’re on the subject of hats, I eagerly await commentary from Language Hat."

And here I am, to say that I haven't gone out without a hat for over 30 years, and I continue to await the return of the general custom of wearing them. They are attractive and practical. Wake up, world!

cgs   Link to this

The " HAT " was to land lubber as the flag of a ship to the Tarpaulin, it was an indication of the great pecking order. Much was made of whom should doff it and to whom.
[See Pepys on the rights of sea passage and dipping of the flag.]
Quakers who would not doff it for anyone.
The symbols of power in the amount of ribbons, epaulets, Parchments on the wall, 'tis why the printing press be turning out so much 'fakery'.

Curtsy ye all, bow down [ kow tou] to thy superior and remove thy headpiece, those that obeyed, some had a little skull cap to show a little independence.

History is full of stories about "dissing" thy superior, especially if the inferior one [ lessor ] be on his own nag and the Better one, he be hoofing it.

john   Link to this

Though we stray far from the dairy, I must add that in my graduate student days I had long hair falling below my shoulders and always sported a fedora (even in the heat of summer). Nowadays, I wear a straw hat on occasion.

Roger   Link to this

Hats...

Of course, a hat is useful for keeping ones head warm! You'll notice the info(and link) to the right of the page which shows this was a cold month in a relatively cold spell historically. The value of 1C for Jan 1665 (average Central England Temperature, which is approx the average of max temp and min temp)compares to this current Jan'08 CET of about 5.6C. Currently its another extremely mild night in London with a temperature of 14C. In his last sentence on this day Pepys says 'the weather becoming pretty warm, and I think and hope the frost will break.' This implies that 'pretty warm' may be 'above zero C'!?

cgs   Link to this

mad hatter again: more than keeping ones ear drums warm and tonsure;

Hats brimmed or inbrimbed:
In 1620 James condems women for their head gear:
He ordered the Bishop of London to instruct his clergy to preach against 'the insolency of our women and their wearing of broadbrimmed hats, pointed doublets, their hair cut short or shorn'
Christopher Hill
The Century of Revolution. Page 64
Quakers fell foul of laws forbidding unauthorized worship, though these statutes were very irregularly enforced. Actions motivated by belief in social equality — never using titles, or taking hats off in court — were seen as disrespectful. Refusal to take oaths meant that Quakers could be prosecuted under laws compelling subjects to pledge allegiance, as well as making testifying in court problematic.
....
This pattern was also found in his court appearances: when a judge challenged him to remove his hat, Fox riposted by asking where in the Bible such an injunction could be found.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Fox
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/305/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Catalogue_of...

Australian Susan   Link to this

Within in the English class system, when you left your hat on and when you took your hat off was important as it showed your status. For example: everyone (except Quakers who denied the system) took their hats off in the presence of the King. Sam would have taken his off in the presence of the Duke of York when he attended him or in committees with him. Sam is coming up in the world and is very pleased to add to the number of occasions in company when he can keep his hat on. It is one of Sam's character traits that he is acutely aware of his position in the pecking order, always seeking to improve it and almost always it is commented on in these pages. Removing hats as a sign of respect is usually now accorded (when they are worn at all) in church, when a funeral cortege passes, for the National Flag being raised or lowered, for prayers and similar events.

dirk   Link to this

Thanks Terry.

(Still trying to catch up!)

Bradford   Link to this

A. Susan's handy précis makes one think that surely, with all the "biographies" of Salt, Cod, Spices, Suits, and the like available nowadays, surely there is a comprehensive general-audience socio-historical study of the Hat?

language hat   Link to this

I'd buy it!

Australian Susan   Link to this

Different take on doffing or otherwise of hats, but there is also the immortal Joe Cocker - lyrics to "You Can Leave Your Hat on" are at http://www.lyricsdomain.com/10/joe_cocker/you_c...

And Sam would probably have enjoyed The Full Monty....

cgs   Link to this

The Poultry Daily Wail head line.
House of Commons wants a tanner for every pound of merchandise shipped to Chester .
Must fill pot holes.
Highway Laws.

Mr. Rigby reports from the Committee appointed to peruse the old Laws, and also the Acts lately made, concerning the Highways; and to see wherein they are defective; That the Committee had met, and agreed upon Two Votes; viz.

1. That this Committee can find no other Expedient reasonably to mend the Roads from London to Chester, but a Toll.

2. They humbly offer to continue the Charge of Sixpence per Pound till the next Session of Parliament.

The Question being put, To agree with the Committee in imposing a Toll for amending the High Road from London to Chester;

It was resolved in the Affirmative.

The Question being put, To agree with the Committee to continue the Charge of Six-pence per Pound till the next Session of Parliament;

It was resolved in the Affirmative.
Ordered, That it be referred to the same Committee, to look into the former Act for amending the Highways; and to see. How far the same may be made practicable, and put in Execution; and to bring in a Bill, as they see Occasion, to put the same so far forth in Execution, as may be most effectual for the repairing and maintaining the Highways.

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Ruben   Link to this

A fruitful and interesting day. Those interested in Hat fashion can find more in http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/1179... Not from Pepys times but still older than anyone reading these lines!

petasuspilleusgaleruscaput   Link to this

Ruben, thanks for the lead to the titfer. now we have one size fits all.
There be somewhere an expression When the hat flies , it leaves exposed all the sins.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Yet another nom de plume, o incorrigible one!

Australian Susan   Link to this

Another hat song - (but Sam would not have liked fun being poked at him about his headgear!)
http://www.nls.uk/broadsides/broadside.cfm/id/1...

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