Up, Creed and I, and had Mr. Povy’s coach sent for us, and we to his house; where we did some business in order to the work of this day. Povy and I to my Lord Sandwich, who tells me that the Duke is not only a friend to the business, but to me, in terms of the greatest love and respect and value of me that can be thought, which overjoys me. Thence to St. James’s, and there was in great doubt of Brunkerd, but at last I hear that Brunkerd desists. The Duke did direct Secretary Bennet, who was there, to declare his mind to the Tangier Committee, that he approves of me for Treasurer; and with a character of me to be a man whose industry and discretion he would trust soon as any man’s in England: and did the like to my Lord Sandwich. So to White Hall to the Committee of Tangier, where there were present, my Lord of Albemarle, my Lord Peterborough, Sandwich, Barkeley, FitzHarding, Secretary Bennet, Sir Thomas Ingram, Sir John Lawson, Povy and I. Where, after other business, Povy did declare his business very handsomely; that he was sorry he had been so unhappy in his accounts, as not to give their Lordships the satisfaction he intended, and that he was sure his accounts are right, and continues to submit them to examination, and is ready to lay down in ready money the fault of his account; and that for the future, that the work might be better done and with more quiet to him, he desired, by approbation of the Duke, he might resign his place to Mr. Pepys. Whereupon, Secretary Bennet did deliver the Duke’s command, which was received with great content and allowance beyond expectation; the Secretary repeating also the Duke’s character of me. And I could discern my Lord FitzHarding was well pleased with me, and signified full satisfaction, and whispered something seriously of me to the Secretary. And there I received their constitution under all their hands presently; so that I am already confirmed their Treasurer, and put into a condition of striking of tallys;1 and all without one harsh word or word of dislike, but quite the contrary; which is a good fortune beyond all imagination. Here we rose, and Povy and Creed and I, all full of joy, thence to dinner, they setting me down at Sir J. Winter’s, by promise, and dined with him; and a worthy fine man he seems to be, and of good discourse, our business was to discourse of supplying the King with iron for anchors, if it can be judged good enough, and a fine thing it is to see myself come to the condition of being received by persons of this rank, he being, and having long been, Secretary to the Queene-Mother. Thence to Povy’s, and there sat and considered of business a little and then home, where late at it, W. Howe being with me about his business of accounts for his money laid out in the fleet, and he gone, I home to supper and to bed. Newes is this day come of Captain Allen’s being come home from the Straights, as far as Portland, with eleven of the King’s ships, and about twenty-two of merchantmen.
- The practice of striking tallies at the Exchequer was a curious survival of an ancient method of keeping accounts. The method adopted is described in Hubert Hall’s “Antiquities and Curiosities of the Exchequer,” 1891. The following account of the use of tallies, so frequently alluded to in the Diary, was supplied by Lord Braybrooke. Formerly accounts were kept, and large sums of money paid and received, by the King’s Exchequer, with little other form than the exchange or delivery of tallies, pieces of wood notched or scored, corresponding blocks being kept by the parties to the account; and from this usage one of the head officers of the Exchequer was called the tallier, or teller. These tallies were often negotiable; Adam Smith, in his “Wealth of Nations,” book ii., ch. xi., says that “in 1696 tallies had been at forty, and fifty, and sixty per cent. discount, and bank-notes at twenty per cent.” The system of tallies was discontinued in 1824; and the destruction of the old Houses of Parliament, in the night of October 16th, 1834, is thought to have been occasioned by the overheating of the flues, when the furnaces were employed to consume the tallies rendered useless by the alteration in the mode of keeping the Exchequer accounts. ↩