Monday 13 February 1664/65

Up and to St. James’s, did our usual business before the Duke. Thence I to Westminster and by water (taking Mr. Stapely the rope-maker by the way), to his rope-ground and to Limehouse, there to see the manner of stoves and did excellently inform myself therein, and coming home did go on board Sir W. Petty’s “Experiment,” which is a brave roomy vessel, and I hope may do well. So went on shore to a Dutch [house] to drink some mum, and there light upon some Dutchmen, with whom we had good discourse touching stoveing and making of cables. But to see how despicably they speak of us for our using so many hands more to do anything than they do, they closing a cable with 20, that we use 60 men upon. Thence home and eat something, and then to my office, where very late, and then to supper and to bed. Captain Stokes, it seems, is at last dead at Portsmouth.

27 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Espionage about the Dutch sent to the English fleet

William Coventry to Sandwich
Written from: [St James']

Date: 13 February 1665
....
An Ostend pilot has reported that the Dutch fleet has gone in again; should his Lordship find this report to be well grounded, the Lord Admiral desires to remind him of the sending a Squadron to do what mischief they can upon the Dogger Bank.

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

"Ostend"
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/7827/

"the Dogger Bank"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogger_Bank

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"So went on shore to a Dutch [house] to drink some mum, and there light upon some Dutchmen, with whom we had good discourse touching stoveing and making of cables. But to see how despicably they speak of us for our using so many hands more to do anything than they do, they closing a cable with 20, that we use 60 men upon."

Todays entry provides the epigraph of "Comparative Levels of Labour Productivity in Dutch and British Manufacturing" by Bart van Ark, National Institute Economic Review, Vol. 131, No. 1, 71-85 (1990), which "compares the output per person-hour in 16 branches constituting the total manufacturing sector of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The comparatively poor productivity performance of British industry, as documented in previous studies ....must be [mainly] attributed to factors such as differences in the pace of introducing new technologies in some of the branches, the quality of the labour force and the utilisation of the capital stock...." http://ner.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/131...

Pepys's chat in a tavern foreshadows why the industrial revolution in Great Britain will be so Dickensian.

Pedro   Link to this

Dogger Bank.

Terry’s link to the Dogger Bank includes a link to the shipping forecast on BBC Radio 4. Many people including myself without any nautical knowledge, and living as far from the sea as you can in England, regarded this as compulsive listening even after the midnight news.

“Because of its unique and distinctive sound, the broadcasts have an appeal beyond those solely interested in nautical weather.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipping_Forecast

A. Hamilton   Link to this

from ropes to stoves, and a discourse on comparative productivity...

I'm beginning to think of Sam as a prototype consumer researcher for the Navy.

Paul Dyson   Link to this

“So went on shore to a Dutch [house] to drink some mum, and there light upon some Dutchmen, with whom we had good discourse touching stoveing and making of cables."

I thought these two countries were at war! No interning of enemy aliens, then. It all sounds very gentlemanly, an exchange of industrial information.

cape henry   Link to this

Have to say I'm with PD on this. I was quite surprised, given the circumstances, not that there might be Dutch nationals in England, but that Pepys and crew would drop in and chat over mum about the comparative superiority of Dutch manufacturing techniques and who knows what else.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Thanks to guidance from Terry and Pedro, I've just listened to the BBC Radio 4 00:48 Shipping Forecast (via the web) and can report a warning of gales in Trafalgar and mild northeasterlies over the Dogger.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Just reading the words Dogger Bank promotes Proustian flood of memories and nostalgia. Listening to the radio - which in those days was a veneered wood cabinet which gave off a unique hot smell as the valves warmed up and burnt off the dust thereon. And the reassuring tones of the shipping forecaster - home comforts of a coal fire, marmite on toast, cocoa in a mug, cat on lap. I'm under 10 and my world is utterly secure. Other things which evoke that are "Coronation Scot" (Dick Barton theme music), the theme music of the Archers or someone reading the football or rugby union results ( "Wasps 56, Sale 15") and so on. Sorry, off topic. Will grow up and stop dunking my madeleines..

Sam's mention of the labour differences made me (sorry, rather childish) think of "Anything you can do, I can do better..."

CGS   Link to this

The Dutch were short of labor and the Angles had excess, walking the streets. Cannot have idle hands not be busy.
Necessity and the shortage of bodies create the advancement, and losing market share spur on progress.

The bottom line , which be cheaper, robots or hungry workers.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Of course it's not a vicious war, at least not yet...No major blood drawn and highly unlikely any Dutchman or Englishman really believes the other will come marching into the capitol, exterminating the populace, and seeking to create Greater England or Hollandia by annexing Yorkshire or Zeeland. It's a bit of a tiff between parties vying for trade and one trying to win a few points at home by aping the old (Cromwellian) regime.

After a real battle or two...A real threat of defeat...Or should the French join either side and make things a bit hairy for the odd man out...Then we may see a little less pleasantry.

***
"Experiment"? What a neat name.

Charles, raising glass to Sir William Petty.

"Gentlemen...I give you 'Experiment'."

Cheers...

"And I would suggest..."

("Experiment")
"Before you leave these portals...
To meet less fortunate...Mortals...

There's just one final message I would give to you.

You all have learned reliance...
On the sacred teachings of Science...
So I hope through life you never will decline...
In spite of philistine defiance...
To do what all good scientists do.

Experiment...Make it your motto, day and night.
Experiment...And it will lead you to the light.

The apple on the top of the tree...
Is never too high to achieve...
So take an example from Eve...
Experiment...

Be curious...
Though interfering friends may frown...
Get furious...
At each attempt to hold you down...
If this advice you always employ...
The future can offer you infinite joy...
Experiment...
And you'll see."

(-Cole Porter)

Hmmn...My philosophy in a nutshell, Sam nods, raising glass with the rest.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

But a natural name for Petty to use, given his strong Bacon influence. Fascinating man down the line. Be interesting to know how Sam viewed him against say, Newton after he'd got to know both well. I suspect, given his contemporary prominence as well as his intellectual range, Petty would have seemed the greater man to Sam.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

From Bacon, to Sam Pepys and the Royal Society, to Einstein, to Tom Lehrer
Plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize
Let nothing evade your eyes
But always to call it, please:
Research

A professor of mine had his scientific research published by the Royal Society. He had stars in his eyes at the honor, and said the reprints (as it was done in those days) would be nicely printed. Indeed it was beautifully printed, and on huge paper. It would have to go in the bottom cupboard of Pepys' library cabinets.

I now have in my hand the Hearse-ry Rhymes of Doctor Morgus, America's secret scientist, who conducts his experiments on television from his laboratory above The Old City Icehouse in New Orleans. His great work will never be published by the Royal Society, and more's the pity.

Don McCahill   Link to this

> I thought these two countries were at war! No interning of enemy aliens, then.

As well as the war not having been heated up yet, we have to realize that war at that time was very different from what it became in the 20th century. Even at the start of World War I it was considered a day's outing by the elite to go out and have a little picnic at the edge of the battlefield and let the little people entertain you with their marching and shooting and such.

Similar spectators were present at Waterloo, I believe. It took the total warfare of the late Civil War, and then the wars of the last century to really make things evil.

dirk   Link to this

"It took the total warfare of the late Civil War, and then the wars of the last century to really make things evil."

Don, I think the basic difference may have been that in the 17th, 18th and up to the early 19th c there was a clear difference between combatants and non-combatants. Military code was clear about this, and although civilians might suffer (and often did) collateral damage, as a rule they were seen as outsiders. There were of course exceptions...

Very often, during military conflicts more or less normal trade relations were maintained.

JWB   Link to this

Pepys's Niederlandophilic tendencies:

Recall that Poppa Pepys had business dealings with the Dutch and once made a trip to Holland, recounted in opening pages of Tomalin.

JWB   Link to this

Dogger Bank

Brought back memories to me too. Once as 1st year Midshipman had to give presentation on WWI naval battle of Dogger Banks, upshot of which was a general disagreement on how to pronounce Beatty.

cgs   Link to this

Then war be war, then revolts be revolts.
Rules were made to be broken, more broken the better.
Now its conflict on all fronts of thinking.
There be no rules that cannot be broken.
The end justify the means.
Winner take all, coming in second be be the leader of the losers.
As long as there be no one to prevent excess, excess will be the name of the game.

cgs   Link to this

Would it not be luverly to take boat from Bristoll to London thru the Cotswolds, wot a thought.
No Gales, the merchandise be dry, no delays waiting for a nice wind, the ladies would not be blown overboard.

See the dream at the H of C.

CGS   Link to this

Head lines- Daily Mess:
Lords vs Hackneys
The mess in the street must be cleaned up, no more blocking the rights of betters, lordships must have better daily access to the seat of government. No more wading thru mire and narrow guttered streets and alley ways.

Highways and Streets Bill, and for regulating Hackney Coaches.

Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, "An additional Act for regulating and ordering of Buildings, and for amending of Highways and Sewers, and for making clean of the Streets and other Places, in and about the Cities of London and Westminster; and for regulating and licensing of Hackney Coaches."

And the Question being put, "Whether this Bill shall pass?"

It was Resolved in the Affirmative.

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

so what has changed , with 300 horses dragging one wagon does not get "me laud" to the Commons any quicker today than it did then, in spite of the holes in the ground to get the serfs to clean the corridors of power so they will not clutter the streets of Westminster.

Pedro   Link to this

For Jeannine…Sandwich this day…

Weighed anchor in Southwold Bay, the town bearing from us NW by W 2 leagues…So at 12 this night we were from Southwold ESE 14 leagues. Dirty weather all this day and night.

About 4 o’clock in the afternoon we met with a Hollands galliot packet boat from Brielle sailing towards Harwich. There were 5 merchants that came overland from Danzig in her, one of them, Mr. Freeman, came on board me with the skipper; told us little news save that Banckert was out with 12 or 13 sail of ships upon some great design, but kept exceedingly private amongst them; and that there are great wars again in Poland.

(Journal of Edward Montagu edited by Anderson)

Ding   Link to this

RE Pedro's comment "Terry’s link to the Dogger Bank includes a link to the shipping forecast on BBC Radio 4."
I remember having my first crystal radio set in England during the 1950's and listening to the same broadcast...it was hypnotically fascinating to a 7 year old boy...I hadn't thought of that in years, thanks Pedro.

Pedro   Link to this

"Dirty weather all this day and night."

A phrase still used, but could mean any number of descriptions!

Australian Susan   Link to this

It's been pointed out to me that I meant Paul Temple not Dick Barton. Sorry for misleading you all! The theme music for Dick Barton was the Devil's Gallop by Charles Williams. (described as being liked a deranged sewing machine).

alta aqua   Link to this

ying tong

GrahamT   Link to this

Re: Ying Tong song:
They don't write lyrics like that nowadays! The poetry of the English language.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Serendipity at work? Saw these posts last night, heard this story today:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?st...

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