Tuesday 24 January 1664/65

Up and by coach to Westminster Hall and the Parliament House, and there spoke with Mr. Coventry and others about business and so back to the ‘Change, where no news more than that the Dutch have, by consent of all the Provinces, voted no trade to be suffered for eighteen months, but that they apply themselves wholly to the warr.1 And they say it is very true, but very strange, for we use to believe they cannot support themselves without trade. Thence home to dinner and then to the office, where all the afternoon, and at night till very late, and then home to supper and bed, having a great cold, got on Sunday last, by sitting too long with my head bare, for Mercer to comb my hair and wash my eares.

  1. This statement of a total prohibition of all trade, and for so long a period as eighteen months, by a government so essentially commercial as that of the United Provinces, seems extraordinary. The fact was, that when in the beginning of the year 1665 the States General saw that the war with England was become inevitable, they took several vigorous measures, and determined to equip a formidable fleet, and with a view to obtain a sufficient number of men to man it, prohibited all navigation, especially in the great and small fisheries as they were then called, and in the whale fishery. This measure appears to have resembled the embargoes so commonly resorted to in this country on similar occasions, rather than a total prohibition of trade. — B.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Re the alarm of 8 January 1664/65 from Edward Rowley to Quartermaster Rock
A party of four hundred loose fellows, got together by Macguire, are said to have committed robberies on both sides of Lough-Earn. … Some forces from Belturbet are marched against them. … The writer “cannot find that their design is more than Torying”.

This day recorded in the Carte Calendar (in all fairness, rumor being what it is)

Dungannon to Ormond
Written from: Dublin

Date: 24 January 1665

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 34, fol(s). 23
Document type: Holograph

Nothing of the least truth, as it appears to the writer, lies in the information of an intended rising in arms of the Irish, lately sent to the Lord Deputy; and doubtless noised abroad sufficiently. ...

Lord Dungannon has passed through the two counties - Fermanagh and Tyrone - whence the alarm first came. ... Some few straggling Irish do indeed carry arms in bogs & woods where they may best hide themselves from sub-sheriffs and bailiffs, and such like. ... A few in their cups use threatening language against some British inhabitants. ... But, at this time, the writer can affirm that there is not the least of real danger in the province [of Ulster]. ...


James in Illinois   Link to this

Ah, the dangers of a bared head and ear washing!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"A few [Irish] in their cups use threatening language against some British inhabitants."

(Methinks I hear a Monty Python routine slightly offstage & off-topic -- )

jeannine   Link to this

God Bless per poor Mercer!

And, in this day and age, there is actually a video for everything......


Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... for we use to believe they cannot support themselves without trade. "

"...in the two-day Battle of the Gabbard in June [1653] drove the Dutch back to their home ports, starting a blockade of the Dutch coast, which led to an immediate collapse of the Dutch economy and even starvation. The Dutch were unable to feed their dense urban population without a regular supply of Baltic wheat and rye; prices of these commodities soared and the poor were soon unable to buy food."

cape henry   Link to this

Pepys correctly sees the contradiction in this 'news' making the rounds of the 'Change. I suspect the footnote gives the correct understanding.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

So Sam keeps his head well covered in the house? I suppose it is chilly being January.

Pity our Bess is now (perhaps by my Lord Pepys' instruction?) above such things as combing and ear-washing, such contact might have a beneficial effect on Sam. I wonder if some degree of his rampant stalking of anything female these days is lack of physical contact with the Missus. There haven't been many "lay long with pleasure with my wife" entries recently and it seems they do sometimes sleep apart.

Yesterday we came to the cabaret...

"Madames et Messieurs...Welcome...To our humble cabaret. I see in the audience we have a delightful number of lovely ladies and their lovely gentlemen who would rather not be identified."

"Mr. Pepys?"

"Oh, my dear Mrs. Bagwell!"

"Let me introduce our beautiful orchestra..."

"Yes, well, Mr. Pepys."

"Dear lady. You may call me...Herbert...Or perhaps Sidney. You understand, of course?"

"...Our lovely chorus...No, no Nanette and Yes, yes Yvonne..."

"Yes, sir. Mr. Pepys, please!"

"My apologies."

"First, ladies and discreet gentlemen, a tribute to our gallant seamen who carry on in the best English tradition...Oooh la, la..." Cheers.

"Sir, about Will's promotion..."

"My dear lady...This is hardly the time or place to discuss such matters."

"I see in our audience we have a most distinguished guest...And though I am pledged not to give his title, one most suited for the times...Ladies and gentlemen..." Reads from card.... "Mr." chuckle... "Herbert Peeeps."

"Pepys?" Charles looks up, staring round. "Jamie, do you see..."


Nate   Link to this

I'd like to thank the contributors for pointing me to "The Last King". I finally rented it and watched it over two evening and thoroughly enjoyed it. I assume that the costumes were more or less correct. It's a good compliment to Sam's diary, especially for one from the colonies.

On another topic, I expect that keeping fires going was pretty expensive and we know that fireplaces are inefficient heaters. I'll bet most of the house was pretty cold this time of year.

Australian Susan   Link to this

It seems Sam would have worn his wig in the house (rather like putting the tea cosy on one's head when pouring the tea to keep the head warm as I used to do as a child) - and probably what we would regard as outdoor garments - people wore more clothes about the house then. Don't forget that the combing he refers to is to remove Little Friends (as we used to call head lice) (poor Mercer!)and the ear washing would have been to remove accumulations of ear wax - yuck, yuck, yuck. Wonder if Sam kept his hands to himself whilst Mercer was two handedly occupied with the hair and the lice (and therefore vulnerable)? ["Oh, Mr Pepys! I am so sorry! I seem to have poked you in the eye with the end of the comb! So clumsy!"] (or not so vulnerable?)

Donald   Link to this

"..voted no trade to be suffered for 18 months, but that they apply themselfs wholly to the warr.."

An exaggeration. On 16/26 Jan. two decrees had been issued:
one prohibiting all imports from England, and the other stopping the Greenland trade. At about the same time letters of marque( letters of authority formerly given to private persons to fit out an armed ship and use it to attack, capture, and plunder) were issued.
All these measures were in retalation against Allin's ataack on the Dutch Smyrna fleet.

Pedro   Link to this

“voted no trade to be suffered for 18 months”

Boxer in his book The Dutch Seaborne Empire says that one of the ways the Dutch would recruit manpower in times of war was to embargo trade, and therefore the men on the merchant ships, to earn their daily bread, would have to enlist in the warships.

JWB   Link to this

Manpower, French style

"He (Colbert) ordered a registry of every seaman and sailor in France and set up a rotating system so that they spent one year out of three serving in the Sun King's navy." Herman, "To Rule the Waves"

Australian Susan   Link to this

Much more sensible than the English ad hoc practice of simply pressing merchant seaman as soon as they left ship!

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