Monday 27 February 1664/65

Up and to St. James’s, where we attended the Duke as usual. This morning I was much surprized and troubled with a letter from Mrs. Bland, that she is left behind, and much trouble it cost me this day to find out some way to carry her after the ships to Plymouth, but at last I hope I have done it. At noon to the ‘Change to inquire what wages the Dutch give in their men-of-warr at this day, and I hear for certain they give but twelve guilders at most, which is not full 24s., a thing I wonder at. At home to dinner, and then in Sir J. Minnes’s coach, my wife and I with him, and also Mercer, abroad, he and I to White Hall, and he would have his coach to wait upon my wife on her visits, it being the first time my wife hath been out of doors (but the other day to bathe her) several weeks. We to a Committee of the Council to discourse concerning pressing of men; but, Lord! how they meet; never sit down: one comes, now another goes, then comes another; one complaining that nothing is done, another swearing that he hath been there these two hours and nobody come. At last it come to this, my Lord Annesly, says he, “I think we must be forced to get the King to come to every committee; for I do not see that we do any thing at any time but when he is here.” And I believe he said the truth and very constant he is at the council table on council-days; which his predecessors, it seems, very rarely did; but thus I perceive the greatest affair in the world at this day is likely to be managed by us. But to hear how my Lord Barkeley and others of them do cry up the discipline of the late times here, and in the former Dutch warr is strange, wishing with all their hearts that the business of religion were not so severely carried on as to discourage the sober people to come among us, and wishing that the same law and severity were used against drunkennesse as there was then, saying that our evil living will call the hand of God upon us again. Thence to walk alone a good while in St. James’s Parke with Mr. Coventry, who I perceive is grown a little melancholy and displeased to see things go as they do so carelessly. Thence I by coach to Ratcliffe highway, to the plate-maker’s, and he has begun my Lord Sandwich’s plate very neatly, and so back again. Coming back I met Colonell Atkins, who in other discourse did offer to give me a piece to receive of me 20 when he proves the late news of the Dutch, their drowning our men, at Guinny, and the truth is I find the generality of the world to fear that there is something of truth in it, and I do fear it too. Thence back by coach to Sir Philip Warwicke’s; and there he did contract with me a kind of friendship and freedom of communication, wherein he assures me to make me understand the whole business of the Treasurer’s business of the Navy, that I shall know as well as Sir G. Carteret what money he hath; and will needs have me come to him sometimes, or he meet me, to discourse of things tending to the serving the King: and I am mighty proud and happy in becoming so known to such a man. And I hope shall pursue it. Thence back home to the office a little tired and out of order, and then to supper and to bed.


21 Annotations

Margaret  •  Link

"...it being the first time my wife hath been out of doors (but the other day to bathe her) several weeks"

Several weeks stuck in the house! But perhaps Sam isn't counting going to the local shops. I hope she's been out of the house more than he says, otherwise it begins to sound like living in Afghanistan.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

I gather Margaret has lived in Afghanistan.

CGS  •  Link

Women until they could wield a derringer on the most part walked ten paces behind the male and were dependent on male life support until the head of household kicked the ****** , then they had to depend on their own prowess for survival, Palmer was no dummy nor were many of the others that could exploit their assets.
Twas alway better to be old mans darling than a young mans slave.
Answer yes, Many areas of the world should tell the western female how they have progressed since the late 1800's with the help of Emmeline Pankhurst and her band of cohorts.

CGS  •  Link

The 2 bob piece was called a florin for many a year.

CGS  •  Link

Get the law straight , needed because all the opportunities for building thyself a new mansion.

House of Commons today
Prize Goods.

An ingrossed Bill, sent from the Lords, for Repealing of Part of an Act of Parliament, intituled, An Act directing the Prosecution of such as are accountable for Prize Goods, was read the First time.

Terry F  •  Link

"But to hear how my Lord Barkeley and others of them do cry up the discipline of the late times here, and in the former Dutch warr is strange, wishing with all their hearts that the business of religion were not so severely carried on as to discourage the sober people to come among us, and wishing that the same law and severity were used against drunkennesse as there was then, saying that our evil living will call the hand of God upon us again."

Alas, for the good old days, those sober Puritan days (*hic*!).....

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Col. Atkins says the intelligence about the Dutch atrocities is a slam dunk.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"but, Lord! how they meet (etc., etc.)"

A description of high-level government meetings for the ages.

GrahamT  •  Link

"...did offer to give me a piece to receive of me 20 when he proves the late news of the Dutch..."
This sounds like a bet, but at very poor odds, i.e. "If I'm right Pepys, you give me 20 pieces, but if you're right I'll give you one piece." No wonder Pepys didn't take him up on it. If Atkins was so certain of his facts, the odds would have been the other way around.
Any other explanations?

Mary  •  Link

"get the King to come to every committee"

Charles the Merry Monarch was in fact fairly conscientious where government business was concerned. L&M note that in 1665 he regularly attended the thrice-weekly full Council meetings. He also attended meetings of the committee for foreign affairs with similar regularity.

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Ralph Josselin's weather report today:
(from his diary)

"a great frost in the morning."

dirk  •  Link

"it being the first time my wife hath been out of doors (but the other day to bathe her) several weeks"

If you wanted to take a real bath, you had to go out, to one of the "Public Baths". This was centuries old custom throughout Europe. The Romans had been the first to introduce these facilities in Europe, but these "Thermae" disappeared in the Dark Ages after the collapse of the empire. There had been a revival in the 13th century, and all major cities in Europe now had their public bath houses - "hothouses" as they were sometimes called in England. A visit to the bath house often "sidetracked" - which is why public baths usually had a very poor reputation, and were seen by some as not very different from brothels.

As for Sam's quote above, I wonder where Elizabeth would have gone to take a bath. I can't find any information on public baths in London in Sam's time. I seem to remember that at some point (under Cromwell? or after Charles' restoration?) public baths had been banned. And I found this reference to a an attempt in 1662 to re-open them (thanks Vincent)
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/05/02/#c30571

But what would the situation have been early 1665?

language hat  •  Link

A classic description of what meetings are like -- one of the blessings of being a freelance editor is that I never have to go to another one! (I used to bring printouts of Pushkin I could surreptitiously read as people droned on to no purpose...)

Incidentally, if anyone is wondering, Annesly is two syllables: ANZ-lee.

cgs  •  Link

Re: dunking a body in warm water: Was it a Publick Bathing house, set up like a publick Toilet house?

cgs  •  Link

Publick bathes or were they known as Turkish or Bagnio.
There were many places called Bagnio in London but due to the fact that Assignations were taking place, no one mention them in polite company or in "proper" writings..

the bagnio or turkish bath near Coney Street (1691),

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

One of these was the Turkish bath known in London as a Bagnio. The first one was opened by Turkish Merchants in December 1679 in a court off Newgate Street ...
http://www.storyoflondon.com/modules.php?op=mod...

Brian  •  Link

"it being the first time my wife hath been out of doors (but the other day to bathe her) several weeks."
On December 30 (after the Christmas festivities) Elizabeth had said she didn't want to go anywhere until Easter. Looks like she didn't quite make her resolution .

djc  •  Link

“…did offer to give me a piece to receive of me 20 when he proves the late news of the Dutch…”

he offers Pepys odds 20:1 that the rumours are true. eg he will give Pepys one piece now, to be returned twentyfold when proof arrives,

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Was nice of Sam to help poor Mrs. Bland out...

GrahamT  •  Link

DJC:
Atkins is offering Sam odds of 1:20, and himself 20:1. Sam can only win one piece, Atkins can win 20. We call that hedging your bets: If he's right he gets 20 pieces; if he's wrong he only loses one. That says to me he is trying to make Sam put his money where his mouth is.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Undated letters ad rem Calendared in the Carte Collection

A List of Seamen for the Lord General, the Earl of Sandwich, Commander of the King's Majesties Fleet

Date: Undated [February] 1665

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 174-175
Document type: Original; certified by Thomas Wilde

-------------------------
Note (by Sir George Lane) concerning a letter of the Mayor of Bristol, respecting levy of seamen, addressed to the Duke of Ormond, & by him sent to the Council Board

Date: [February] 1665

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 145, fol(s). 110

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

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Was nice of Sam to help poor Mrs. Bland out..."

She went by one of the ships of the Levant Company now bound for Smyrna -- Capt. Hill's Hannibal: Pepys to Coventry, 2 March, Shorthand Letters, p. 31.... She gave Hill a piece of plate for his trouble and 40s. to distribute among his men. Her profuse and strangely spelt letters of thanks to Pepys (17, 21 March) are in Rawl. (Per L&M footnote)

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