Saturday 1 April 1665

All the morning very busy at the office preparing a last half-year’s account for my Lord Treasurer. At noon eat a bit and stepped to Sir Ph. Warwicke, by coach to my Lord Treasurer’s, and after some private conference and examining of my papers with him I did return into the City and to Sir G. Carteret, whom I found with the Commissioners of Prizes dining at Captain Cocke’s, in Broad Streete, very merry. Among other tricks, there did come a blind fiddler to the doore, and Sir G. Carteret did go to the doore and lead the blind fiddler by the hand in. Thence with Sir G. Carteret to my Lord Treasurer, and by and by come Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, and anon we come to my Lord, and there did lay open the expence for the six months past, and an estimate of the seven months to come, to November next: the first arising to above 500,000l., and the latter will, as we judge, come to above 1,000,000l.. But to see how my Lord Treasurer did bless himself, crying he could do no more than he could, nor give more money than he had, if the occasion and expence were never so great, which is but a sad story. And then to hear how like a passionate and ignorant asse Sir G. Carteret did harangue upon the abuse of Tickets did make me mad almost and yet was fain to hold my tongue. Thence home, vexed mightily to see how simply our greatest ministers do content themselves to understand and do things, while the King’s service in the meantime lies a-bleeding. At my office late writing letters till ready to drop down asleep with my late sitting up of late, and running up and down a-days. So to bed.

20 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

This day ( as always) intrigues and a Gunpowder Plot ascribed to the Irish

Duke of York to Ormond
Written from: Royal Charles [at sea]

Date: 1 April 1665
....
Sir George Ayscue, whose attendance in the Fleet is required for the King's service, and who has, in Ireland, a cause with the Bishop of Ossory, is in respect thereof recommended to the Lord Lieutenant's protection & just favour, as the matter may call for.

***
A Writer not herein named to Sir Theophilus Jones

Date: 1 April 1665
....
Document type: Original [This and other like anonymous letters addressed to Jones were by him communicated to the Lord Lieutenant, the Duke of Ormond, and usually bear an indorsement in the hand of Sir George Lane.]

Gives particulars of the intrigues in France of one Fitzsymons an Irish refugee.

***
Ossory to Ormond
Written from: [Dublin]

Date: 1 April 1665

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 220, fol(s). 222
Document type: Holograph

Sends further informations as to political discontents. They seem, Lord Ossory thinks, to shew "how much both parties are inclined to a Rebellion, had they wherewithal to begin". Mentions the narrow escape of a part of Dublin Castle from a serious misfortune, "a beam being like to fall upon a great quantity of gunpowder". The provision of a store-house is much to be desired, as Sir Robert Byron will already have informed the Duke, by a report of this accident.

http://www.rsl.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects/ca...

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...vexed mightily to see how simply our greatest ministers do content themselves to understand and do things, while the King’s service in the meantime lies a-bleeding. ..."

and another 200 years or so before Civil Service exams are introduced!

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Civil_Service
for a summary of information. Sam would have approved!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"And then to hear how like a passionate and ignorant asse Sir G. Carteret did harangue upon the abuse of Tickets did make me mad almost and yet was fain to hold my tongue." I assume Sam means that Sir George as Navy Treasurer knows all too well that the corrupt and thieving ticket system is allowed to continue only because the Court and friends of men like Sir George profit mightly from it at the expense of ordinary seamen.

But payback of sorts is coming...
***

"vexed mightily to see how simply our greatest ministers do content themselves to understand and do things, while the King’s service in the meantime lies a-bleeding."

He is shocked...Shocked.

"Your Tangier profits and another 'gift' from Sir William Warren, Mr. Pepys."

"Ah, thank you."

Oh, I know...Peanuts to what the big boys are stealing. And to his credit Sam tries to get the job done before skimming the cream.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Why the Duke of York's letter to Ormond says that Sir George Ayscue's "attendance in the Fleet is required for the King’s service" -- see his creds:

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

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"... the expence for the six months past, and an estimate of the seven months to come, to November next: the first arising to above 500,000l., and the latter will, as we judge, come to above 1,000,000l.. But to see how my Lord Treasurer did bless himself, crying he could do no more than he could, ..."

Since 1660-63 the available funds were used to pay off the fleet, which means the first 500,000 must have gone to making the fleet ready and victualed so, in the absence of additional funds, the Navy has available provisions etc. only for a short spring / summer fighting season. (The vote on Nov 25th.1664 of 2.5 million for the Navy was payable in three years, ie approx 830,000 per year additional to the annual grant of 200,000 from customs revenue, so on the above estimate of 1 million for the next seven months, by late July the money for the year is gone.)

In effect the war is really over before it begins because the Navy has insufficient funds to operate at strength for any extended time and the Crown has little credit -- unless with sufficient prizes of Dutch merchantmen the war can be made to finance itself!

Mary   Link to this

"among other tricks there did come a blind fiddler..."

The word 'tricks' recorded on 1st April makes one think of April Fools. However, this just looks like general merry-making. Wikipedia tells that, although the French had already instigated the custom of making April Fools (poissons d'avril) in the 16th century, England did not popularise the practice until the early 18th century

andy   Link to this

And then to hear how like a passionate and ignorant asse Sir G. Carteret did harangue upon the abuse of Tickets did make me mad almost and yet was fain to hold my tongue

My sympathies Sam. I was in Planning Committee last night and had a similar experience!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

830,000Ls per annum. Seems a bit low for a nation at war considering Sam's 1000000L estimate. So the question posed I guess is: Is Charles' poor management of affairs and the corruption of his court at the heart of things or has Parliament foolishly underfunded a government at war, forcing the government to seek credit at a terrible disadvantage or face ruin?

Interesting considering our current US situation...A president and adminstration who believe war should be funded on credit not taxes. And it's not unusual in the history of governments that the cost of corruption is exaggerated, masking the real endemic problem of where the money is to be got. In other words Charles and his friends may be (heck, are) stealing from the Nation but the amounts they steal may in fact be relatively little compared with the budget shortfalls. (Not unlike the antics of a certain Clerk of the Acts). Be interesting to see if there are enough figures on Charles' administration to allow a decision but I'm willing to bet it's the underfunding (and Charles' unwillingness to actively seek solutions) not 'gifts' to Castlemaine and co that's the real problem.

Of course it's the corrosive moral effect of such widespread theft and corruption that does the real damage in any case. Couple the public perception that the Court is bleeding the national treasury white with the growing sufferings of the unpaid, uncared for, soldiers and seamen and you have a very dangerous situation. Mix in the fact that the Dutch are no real threat to England's existence and a gallant, honorable, Protestant foe and you have potential disaster.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"with my late sitting up of late"
Mate?

language hat   Link to this

"Couple the public perception that the Court is bleeding the national treasury white with the growing sufferings of the unpaid, uncared for, soldiers and seamen and you have a very dangerous situation."

This is exactly what did in the tsars; good thing for Charles the war wasn't as long and destructive as WWI.

Could someone refresh my memory about the ticket thing?

Phil   Link to this

"The English navy had been placed on a secure financial footing by an Act of 10 November 1650, which imposed a 15 percent tax on merchant shipping and provided that the money thus raised should be used to fund the naval forces protecting the convoys." from Wikipedia on the first Anglo-Dutch War.

You would think this act was still enforcible. If Parliment had a hold on this tax money you would think their treasury was growing richer. So why is there this shortage of funds? Is merchant shipping down so much from the Dutch activities that the tax revenue is negligible or has the King siphoned the money from this revenue source? Maybe the act was repealled?

Also this "ticket" business. I gather the tickets were a form of an IOU in lieu of wages to the sailors. Are we to understand from Pepys entry here, that payment of these IOU's are included in his presentation of these costs? Or is Carteret introducing this subject in addition to Pepys figures?

Pedro   Link to this

Tickets.

Maybe this from Gentlemen and Tarpaulins by Davies is of help..

“But the uncertainty of payment was the reason for widespread antipathy in the Navy…in theory, a ship’s company should have been paid at the end of an expedition or each summer campaign, but the naval administration rarely had funds to permit such prompt payment, and delays, together with the accumulation of substantial arrears of pay became commonplace. During the Second Dutch war the admin resorted to payment by tickets, effectively promissory notes from the treasurer of the navy, in an attempt to reduce the demands for ready money. The method was not new, but it was always detested by seamen: going to London to get tickets exchanged could be an expensive and time consuming process, and seamen often sold out to ticket brokers at a substantial loss to themselves. By 1667, many ships had two, three or even four years’ arrears due to them…”

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"By 1667, many ships had two, three or even four years’ arrears due to them…”

Yo ho ho; yet even so there were men whose wives pimped Pepys to get them (the husbands) "positions" on navy ships? Were these "positions" (e.g., carpenter) actually paid cash, while the common seamen were given tickets?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

“The English navy had been placed on a secure financial footing by an Act of 10 November 1650, ..."

"The Navy of the Restoration was powerful, but bankrupt. In the spring of 1660, with some ships in commission which had been unpaid for over four years, the Navy owed over 1 1/4 million pounds. The Cavalier Parliament established a commission to disband the army and pay off the Navy's accumulated debts, which by 1663 had raised almost 2 1/2 million pounds. Even so Charles II had to find at least 375,000 L to discharge debts in his first four years on the throne, out of his ordinary income of one million a year, and it is not certain that all the naval debts of the 1650's were ever paid. Though the Parliaments of Charles II certainly had a more realistic idea of the cost of preparing for war than his father's had done, and made little difficulty about maintaining the Excise on beer and ale, even in the first flush of royalist enthusiasm they never provided him with an income sufficient to maintain the fleet which he and they desired."

NAM Rodger 'Command of the Ocean' 2004/5 p. 95.
See also 'Naval Finance' pp. 640-645 where Rodger gives tables of Exchequer Issues to Navy and Ordinance, Naval Expenditure, Outstanding Debt etc, from 1649 well into the 'future.'

Pedro   Link to this

"while the common seamen were given tickets?"

The Captains and Lieutenants held commissions from the Lord High Admiral, usually for the length of time the ship was in service, and so they would probably get their share of the money first. The Carpenter was one of a selected few that held warrants and continued to serve while their ships lay in the ordinary during peacetime, and again, I suspect that they would be next to be paid.

So it could well be that the common seamen, pressed and turned round, would be the last in the queue.

djc   Link to this

re "another 200 years or so before Civil Service exams are introduced"
But the ill effects of patronage and corruption were exagerated. The Nothcote-Trevelyan reforms were motivated as much by a desire to control the spoils of office and patronage that would fall to the crown when the East India Company's charter expired. Note also that the civil service exams were deliberately based on those established at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge
so as to ensure that only the right sort of people qualified for the Adinistrative Grade. A Madarin system indeed.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Tickets

Not to be confused with a Ticket of Leave which was the certificate given to a convict in Australia once [s]he had served their term. This enabled them to move about freely and not have to engage in Government work. Of course, some convicts were transported "for the term of their natural life", so never got a T of L.

Civil Service Exams

Given that there were only two universities in England at the time of the establishment of the Civil Service Exams, those setting up such a system had no other model for competitive examination other than the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, so of course the exams were based on that system! What I think you are getting at, djc, was that with the spread of education beyond those two institutions, the Civil Service exams did *not* change for an exceedingly long time, which led to the establishment of an elite cadre.(and the Sir Humphrey Applebys of this world) At the time of the reform, however, it was regarded as dangerously radical to have a system solely based on passing exams and it was thought this opened the door to "anyone" getting in.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Yep!

"A permanent, unified and politically neutral civil service, in which appointments were made on merit, was introduced on the recommendations of the Northcote-Trevelyan report of 1854, which also recommended a clear division between staff responsible for routine (“mechanical”) work, and those engaged in policy formulation and implementation in an “administrative” class. The report was well-timed, since bureaucratic chaos in the Crimean War promptly caused a clamour for the change. A Civil Service Commission was accordingly set up in 1855 to oversee open recruitment and end patronage, and most of the other Northcote-Trevelyan recommendations implemented over some years. This system was broadly endorsed by Commissions chaired by Playfair (1874), Ridley (1886), MacDonnell (1914), Tomlin (1931) and Priestley (1955).

"The Northcote-Trevelyan model remained essentially stable for a hundred years. This was a tribute to its success in removing corruption, delivering public services (even under the stress of two world wars), and responding effectively to political change."

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

djc   Link to this

But the competetive examinations were an recent innovation and optional at the ancient universities, which were in decline and irrelevant at the begining of the C19. Benjamin Jowett promoted the civil service reforms in order to justify the existence of his university (Oxford). As for the separation into grades that has bedeviled the civil service ever since.

Better refs than Wackpedia:

Armstrong JA. The European Administrative Elite. Princeton 1973.
Edward Hughes. Civil Service Reform 1853-5 Public Administration XXXII 1954
RJ Moore. The Abolition of Patronage in the Indian Civil Service and the closure of Haileybury College. Historical Journal VII 2 (1964)
(Emmeline Cohen. The Growth of the British Civil Service, Allen & Unwin 1941. is unintentionaly revealing in its partiality.)

language hat   Link to this

"Better refs than Wackpedia"

You know you can add those to the article and improve it, right? Better to light a candle, etc.

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