Thursday 6 July 1665

Up and forth to give order to my pretty grocer’s wife’s house, who, her husband tells me, is going this day for the summer into the country. I bespoke some sugar, &c., for my father, and so home to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined at home, and then by water to White Hall to Sir G. Carteret about money for the office, a sad thought, for in a little while all must go to wracke, winter coming on apace, when a great sum must be ready to pay part of the fleete, and so far we are from it that we have not enough to stop the mouths of poor people and their hands from falling about our eares here almost in the office. God give a good end to it! Sir G. Carteret told me one considerable thing: Alderman Backewell is ordered abroad upon some private score with a great sum of money; wherein I was instrumental the other day in shipping him away. It seems some of his creditors have taken notice of it, and he was like to be broke yesterday in his absence; Sir G. Carteret telling me that the King and the kingdom must as good as fall with that man at this time; and that he was forced to get 4000l. himself to answer Backewell’s people’s occasions, or he must have broke; but committed this to me as a great secret and which I am heartily sorry to hear. Thence, after a little merry discourse of our marrying business, I parted, and by coach to several places, among others to see my Lord Brunkerd, who is not well, but was at rest when I come. I could not see him, nor had much mind, one of the great houses within two doors of him being shut up: and, Lord! the number of houses visited, which this day I observed through the town quite round in my way by Long Lane and London Wall. So home to the office, and thence to Sir W. Batten, and spent the evening at supper; and, among other discourse, the rashness of Sir John Lawson, for breeding up his daughter so high and proud, refusing a man of great interest, Sir W. Barkeley, to match her with a melancholy fellow, Colonell Norton’s son, of no interest nor good nature nor generosity at all, giving her 6000l., when the other would have taken her with two; when he himself knew that he was not worth the money himself in all the world, he did give her that portion, and is since dead, and left his wife and two daughters beggars, and the other gone away with 6000l., and no content in it, through the ill qualities of her father-in-law and husband, who, it seems, though a pretty woman, contracted for her as if he had been buying a horse; and, worst of all, is now of no use to serve the mother and two little sisters in any stead at Court, whereas the other might have done what he would for her: so here is an end of this family’s pride, which, with good care, might have been what they would, and done well. Thence, weary of this discourse, as the act of the greatest rashness that ever I heard of in all my little conversation, we parted, and I home to bed. Sir W. Pen, it seems, sailed last night from Solebay with, about sixty sail of ship, and my Lord Sandwich in “The Prince” and some others, it seems, going after them to overtake them, for I am sure my Lord Sandwich will do all possible to overtake them, and will be troubled to the heart if he do it not.

32 Annotations

Australian Susan   Link to this

As Sam goes into great detail about the failure of Lawson's plans for the advancement of his family, and chats with Cartert about the forthcoming nuptials, one wonders if he recalls his own marriage. Whilst he has never talked about this in the diary, on the outside, it seems a most rash thing to do for an unconnected young man to marry a 15 year old with no money and a possibly dubious family. He does seem to champion the marriage conceived as a partnership (the Montagu/Carteret match) and to condemn one which is devised as a purely monetary transaction: "...husband, who, it seems, though a pretty woman, contracted for her as if he had been buying a horse...". But I am sure Sam would regard as frivolous anyone who did as he did and marry without any money to back it: he comes across now as such a careful man with money - dealing constantly with budgets and accounts and now trying to raise capital in dire times. Maybe all the marriage details he has written down serve as a distraction from his work woes.
What? Yes, I know it is tax time[Aust. finacial year is July-June] and yes, i will get on with the office accounts...in a minute.....

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Sir G. Carteret telling me that the King and the kingdom must as good as fall with [Alderman Edward Blackwell] at this time; and that he was forced to get 4000l. himself to answer Backewell’s people’s occasions [deficits], or he must have [gone] broke; but committed this to me as a great secret and which I am heartily sorry to hear."

L&M note that Blackwell was in Flanders financing the King's allies. "The run on his bank was stopped by grants from the Exchequer." The crown's solvency was in turn assured by other goldsmith-bankers.

"During the second half of the 17th century, London's goldsmith-bankers formed a system of banking through mutual debt acceptance and interbanker clearing. Widespread acceptance of bank notes, orders, and bills created positive externalities for member bankers and promoted the use of bank supplied media of exchange during the Financial Revolution in England. Mutual acceptance by goldsmith-bankers arose endogenously as a dominant strategy Nash equilibrium. The bilateral clearing of these acceptances produced incentive compatible co-monitoring between goldsmith-bankers. The responsiveness of co-monitoring is supported by statistical analysis of the accounts of the Restoration era goldsmith Edward Backwell. Systemic cohesion was further reinforced by the screening of new members through apprenticeship." "Goldsmith-Banking: Mutual Acceptance and Interbanker Clearing in Restoration London", Stephen Quinn, *Explorations in Economic History*, Volume 34, Issue 4, October 1997, Pages 411-432.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Sam tends to have a double standard, perhaps even a triple standard at times for his own behavior versus others. While he may sometimes sigh at the thought of potential dowries marriage might have brought he generally seems to regard Bess as a positive gain in his life and is aware that a poor clerk at 22 could not realistically have done well in the sense he would now consider it.

And...Spoiler...

He will even at times reflect happily on his opting for true love and wax nostalgic on his and Bess' early poverty, hard as it may be to believe.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...when a great sum must be ready to pay part of the fleete, and so far we are from it that we have not enough to stop the mouths of poor people and their hands from falling about our eares here almost in the office..."

Of course you and the other officers could purchase food for those poor seamen and distribute it, Sam.

Right after Charles hands back New York to the Dutch and the Pope comes over to hold an ecumenical peace service at St. Paul's, I mean.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"Sir G. Carteret ... committed this to me as a great secret ..."

So in time of war I wrote down immediately, in open shorthand, sensitive information about the confidential foreign relations, financial condition and precariousness of my country's government ...

Nix   Link to this

"one wonders if he recalls his own marrige" --

Susan, perhaps it was easier for Samuel to make a love match since he had neither the money nor the prospects to do better (nor did Elizabeth). No family of means was going to offer their daughter to a dime-a-dozen shirttail cousin of rural gentry. But he is acutely aware of the length of the odds he is beating, and has no illusions about how the game of family financial advancement should be played by those who are in a position to get into it.

cape henry   Link to this

Pepys has very quickly adopted the attitudes and habits of the class into which he has risen. This is not at all uncommon and would seem almost to predispose him to the nostalgia RG has predicted.

CGS   Link to this

This is the age of eyeball contact and eyeball reading followed by a hearty handshake. It beats a Lawyer for contract negotiations.
The banking was done by KNOWING thy fellow banker.

Marriage be contract, three major types.
1 Love, or
2 clean shirt, 3 meals and a resting place or
3 wealth and status improvement.

see impoverish Jamey II for his version of improving the gene pool 5 years ago with maid Anne.

Affluence dothe change many attitudes.
more thee got, more thee hold on to and not share.

A liberal is liberal with others money as he has none , conservative get others money and conserves it.

"Si est pauper atque haud malus, nequam habetur; sin dives malust, cliens frugi habetur."
Plautus-

http://www.hse.k12.in.us/staff/RBUSH/quotes_by_...

CGS   Link to this

Marriage be not in the vogue in to-day's England, less than 50 % of the people available, live in sanctioned bliss.
21.7 mil out of 43.4 mil still sharing the state of partnership

Larry Bunce   Link to this

Pepys' mention of London Wall St. led me to a Google search, which led me to this interesting 1880 account of archeology in London.
http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=gE88AAAA...

Mary   Link to this

"and Lord! the number of houses visited..."

i.e. visited by the plague.

andy   Link to this

the act of the greatest rashness that ever I heard of in all my little conversation

interesting how the English aristocracy perpetuated/s itself by arranged marriages, but contemporary England is often contemptuous of those families of South Asian origin now in UK and with British nationality who often do the same thing.

(He writes, waiting to be flamed, or put to the sword).

Australian Susan   Link to this

In the 19th century, if you read the Morning Post or The Times, you would see the announcements phrased thus "A marriage has been arranged...." . Yes, marriages between title or wealth were always "arranged" in Britain for centuries, but it is not so now (well, not overtly, but like attracts like and an English Debs' Delight or Hooray Henry will not marry a girl with the wrong accent or parents, whatever else he may get up to). The English (I won't speak for Scots, Welsh or Irish) feel uneasy when they see people overtly doing this, but I would not say anyone was contemptuous.

Pedro   Link to this

“arranged marriages, but contemporary England is often contemptuous of those families of South Asian origin now in UK and with British nationality who often do the same thing.”

In England today there may be people who think that “arranged marriages” may act against the integration of communities, but I think that the contempt is directed at the “forced marriages”.

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

Terry F. Thanks for the background information on banking arrangements at the time, but....

Mutual acceptance by goldsmith-bankers arose
endogenously as a dominant strategy Nash equilibrium.

Uh?

A. Hamilton   Link to this

dominant strategy Nash equilibrium

Nash=John Forbes Nash, Princeton economist and game theorist the subject of "A beautiful mind."
dominant strategy=choice leading to best individual outcome
Nash equilibrium=when more than one player is involved, choice that leads all players to best outcomes.
endogenously=within a system
In English, (a slippery language), the goldsmiths of Sam's day found it mutually advantageous and individually profitable to accept each other's promises to pay and to pay up on presentation of a draft. They thus created the beginnings of a banking system.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

I just remembered my father's translation of Frere Jacques into American: Brother Jimmy,[repeat] Are you pounding your ear?[repeat] Toin off dat alarm clock.[repeat] Shake a leg.[repeat]. So much clearer to me than in the original.

language hat   Link to this

"the rashness of Sir John Lawson, for breeding up his daughter so high and proud, refusing a man of great interest, Sir W. Barkeley, to match her with a melancholy fellow, Colonell Norton’s son, of no interest nor good nature nor generosity at all, giving her 6000l., when the other would have taken her with two; when he himself knew that he was not worth the money himself in all the world, he did give her that portion, and is since dead, and left his wife and two daughters beggars"

That little vignette (of which a novel could be made) goes a long way towards making me understand the premodern view of marriage, and why parents were so concerned about their children making "good" ones.

jeannine   Link to this

Arranged marriages......

My mother and I have always been very close and she is a very sweet and friendly lady. When I was in my 20's she was having tea with some of her friends. One of my mother's closest friends teased her by asking, "what if Jeannine married someone you didn't like?"

My mother gave a sweet smile, put down her cup of tea and simply stated, "then I would have to kill him."

Rex Gordon   Link to this

"Contracted for her as if buying a horse ..."

Today's entry casts some light on the contemporary debate about the sanctity of "traditional" marriage, doesn't it? Sam, whose views on "good" marriages reflect those of his time (make a good deal and advance the family's interests, preferably with affection between the parties, as today's entry illustrates), married a dowerless girl for what appears to have been love. Had he been commenting on another who married as he did, he probably would have condemned such a frivolous groom.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... it seems, though a pretty woman, contracted for her as if he had been buying a horse; ..."

I know a significant number today, of both sexes, who have more interest in and take greater care of their horses and dogs than their spouses and children.

Pedro   Link to this

Sir John Lawson… and is since dead, and left his wife and two daughters beggars, and the other gone away with 6000l.

Sam repeats the gossip from Batten, so this is what Clarendon says of Lawson and quoted by Granville Penn in his Memorials to his Grandfather Sir William Penn…

It looked like some presage that he had of his own death, that, before he went to sea he came to the treasurer and the chancellor, to whom he had always borne much respect, and spoke to them in a dialect he had never before used, for he was a generous man and lived in his house decently and plentifully, and had never made any the least suit or pretence for money. Now he told them, that he was going on an expedition upon which many honest men must loose their lives; and although he had no apprehension of himself, but that God would protect him as He had often done in the same occasions, yet he thought it became him against the worst to make his condition known to them, and the rather because he knew he was esteemed generally to be rich. He desired them therefore that if he should miscarry in this enterprise, the King would give his wife two hundred pounds a year for life; if he lived he desired nothing. He hoped he should make some provision for them by his industry; nor did he desire any other grant of security for this two hundred pounds yearly, than the King’s word and promise, and that he would see it effectual.

The suit says Clarendon was so modest, and the ground of making it so just and reasonable, that they willingly informed his majesty, who graciously granted it, and spake himself to him of it, with very obliging circumstances; so that the poor man went very contentedly to his work and perished as gallantly in it, with a universal lamentation.


Terry Foreman   Link to this

EIFFEL'S DAUGHTER'S MARRIAGE.

December 19, 1889, Wednesday

Page 6, 99 words

A marriage has been arranged between Mlle. Valentine Eiffel, daughter of the constructor of the famous tower, and M. Piccioni, a Corsican gentleman, who is a clerk in the Foreign Office. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=...

C'est la, Aussie Susan?!

Pedro   Link to this

On the Wikipedia site given by Terry the “forced marriage” is mentioned as a form of arranged marriage that is rare in the modern Western world, but maybe not that rare…

Dealing with cases of Forced Marriage - Guidelines for Police

Incidence of forced marriage

Currently, some two hundred cases of forced marriage are reported to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office each year. Many others go unreported. With greater awareness this figure is likely to increase.
The majority of cases of forced marriage encountered in the UK involve South Asian families. However, despite appearances, this is not solely an "Asian" problem. A reason for this disparity is that the UK has a large Asian population. There are also cases involving families from East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. The issue of forced marriage should not be used to stigmatise any community. Some forced marriages take place in the UK with no overseas element while others involve a partner coming from overseas or a British citizen being sent abroad. The guidelines deal with these different situations.

http://www.lbp.police.uk/publications/dealing_w...

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"Sir John Lawson"
So he was a Leveller not because of idealism!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Daughter rejects [arranged] marriage , Ends Up Dead
Pakistani Man Accused of Fatally Strangling His Daughter in Apparent 'Honor Killing' [to be arraigned 7 July, 2008] http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=5322587&page=1

Terry Foreman   Link to this

In Clayton County, Georgia, USA.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ...: Alderman Backewell is ordered abroad upon some private score with a great sum of money; wherein I was instrumental the other day in shipping him away."

Though SP may not know the reasons for Blackwell's going abroad, he was headed off to Brussels to make the initial payments to the Bishop of Munster, Christopher Bernard von Galen, to secure his invasion of Holland by land and begin provide 'cement' for the English diplomatic attempt to create an Anglo-Hapsburg alliance, with Sweden and north-German states, against both French and Dutch, the Hapsburg interest being Flanders; the treaty with Munster had been signed by his representatives in London on June 3rd.

For the whole episode, the diplomatic offensive, its unraveling and subsequent unintended adverse consequences for British interests, see Kenneth Feiling 'British Foreign Policy 1660 - 1672' 1930, rpr. 1968, pp. 145, 150+

cgs   Link to this

Marriage be a human system to provide a way to get the species to go forth and multiply. A segment of the human population selects the scheme of one nest , one male, one female , sharing the duties of raising the begotten until it is secure in fending for itself, no matter how long that takes.

Like the animal kingdom there are many methods of expanding the species.
a few pointers.
One stag with herd.
Single mother method a la leopard.
En mass in a rookery.
Selection of mate, by having colored feathers for instance, the best nest maker, the best wrestler

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The Newes - July 6, 1665

Instructions for the containment and disinfection of the Plague! http://www.exmsft.com/~davidco/History/Bubonic1...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The Newes is a facsimile of original ragstock.
Copyright © 1996 - 2000, David Cornfield
Last revised: April 13, 2003

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