Friday 22 September 1665

Up betimes and to the office, meaning to have entered my last 5 or 6 days’ Journall, but was called away by my Lord Bruncker and Sir J. Minnes, and to Blackwall, there to look after the storehouses in order to the laying of goods out of the East India ships when they shall be unloaden. That being done, we into Johnson’s house, and were much made of, eating and drinking. But here it is observable what he tells us, that in digging his late Docke, he did 12 foot under ground find perfect trees over-covered with earth. Nut trees, with the branches and the very nuts upon them; some of whose nuts he showed us. Their shells black with age, and their kernell, upon opening, decayed, but their shell perfectly hard as ever. And a yew tree he showed us (upon which, he says, the very ivy was taken up whole about it), which upon cutting with an addes [adze], we found to be rather harder than the living tree usually is. They say, very much, but I do not know how hard a yew tree naturally is.1 The armes, they say, were taken up at first whole, about the body, which is very strange. Thence away by water, and I walked with my Lord Bruncker home, and there at dinner comes a letter from my Lord Sandwich to tell me that he would this day be at Woolwich, and desired me to meet him. Which fearing might have lain in Sir J. Minnes’ pocket a while, he sending it me, did give my Lord Bruncker, his mistress, and I occasion to talk of him as the most unfit man for business in the world. Though at last afterwards I found that he was not in this faulty, but hereby I have got a clear evidence of my Lord Bruncker’s opinion of him. My Lord Bruncker presently ordered his coach to be ready and we to Woolwich, and my Lord Sandwich not being come, we took a boat and about a mile off met him in his Catch, and boarded him, and come up with him; and, after making a little halt at my house, which I ordered, to have my wife see him, we all together by coach to Mr. Boreman’s, where Sir J. Minnes did receive him very handsomely, and there he is to lie; and Sir J. Minnes did give him on the sudden, a very handsome supper and brave discourse, my Lord Bruncker, and Captain Cocke, and Captain Herbert being there, with myself. Here my Lord did witness great respect to me, and very kind expressions, and by other occasions, from one thing to another did take notice how I was overjoyed at first to see the King’s letter to his Lordship, and told them how I did kiss it, and that, whatever he was, I did always love the King. This my Lord Bruncker did take such notice [of] as that he could not forbear kissing me before my Lord, professing his finding occasion every day more and more to love me, and Captain Cocke has since of himself taken notice of that speech of my Lord then concerning me, and may be of good use to me. Among other discourse concerning long life, Sir J. Minnes saying that his great-grandfather was alive in Edward the Vth’s time; my Lord Sandwich did tell us how few there have been of his family since King Harry the VIIIth; that is to say, the then Chiefe Justice, and his son the Lord Montagu, who was father to Sir Sidney, who was his father. And yet, what is more wonderfull, he did assure us from the mouth of my Lord Montagu himself, that in King James’s time ([when he] had a mind to get the King to cut off the entayle of some land which was given in Harry the VIIIth’s time to the family, with the remainder in the Crowne); he did answer the King in showing how unlikely it was that ever it could revert to the Crown, but that it would be a present convenience to him; and did show that at that time there were 4,000 persons derived from the very body of the Chiefe Justice. It seems the number of daughters in the family having been very great, and they too had most of them many children, and grandchildren, and great- grandchildren. This he tells as a most known and certain truth. After supper, my Lord Bruncker took his leave, and I also did mine, taking Captain Herbert home to my lodging to lie with me, who did mighty seriously inquire after who was that in the black dress with my wife yesterday, and would not believe that it was my wife’s mayde, Mercer, but it was she.

  1. The same discovery was made in 1789, in digging the Brunswick Dock, also at Blackwall, and elsewhere in the neighbourhood.
  2. These are the words in the MS., and not “his son and the Lord Montagu,” as in some former editions. Pepys seems to have written Lord Montagu by mistake for Sir Edward Montagu.

16 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Though at last afterwards I found that he was not in this faulty, but hereby I have got a clear evidence of my Lord Bruncker’s opinion of him."

Oh, poor Sir John...Who actually seems to be handling things quite well in the past few, including today's skillful entertaining of the hero of the hour.

***

"...after making a little halt at my house, which I ordered, to have my wife see him..."

Thoughtful, Sam. That combined with the fact you're likely about to make her a good deal wealthier if things break well...

***

"Here my Lord did witness great respect to me, and very kind expressions, and by other occasions, from one thing to another did take notice how I was overjoyed at first to see the King’s letter to his Lordship, and told them how I did kiss it, and that, whatever he was, I did always love the King. This my Lord Bruncker did take such notice [of] as that he could not forbear kissing me before my Lord, professing his finding occasion every day more and more to love me..."

While it's always nice to be politically certified...What have the boys been drinking? If I remember correctly Tomalin seemed to think Sandwich was having a little fun with his cousin Sam at this point.

***

Mercer seems to be one of those quietly impressive people who makes the local world work...Not a ravishing beauty given Sam's lack of diligent pursuit, despite his past tribute to her attributes...But she's generally handled Sam and Bess well over a long period and always seems to be catching some one's eye or their friendly respect. Talented and clever but not forward, pretty but not a threat to Bess' insecurity, no doubt very patient, she's one of the quiet people of the Diary's world I'd really like to meet.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"and that, whatever he was, I did always love the King."

Innnteresting. Sandwich does indeed seem to be playing with our boy a bit, and our boy, in his enthusiasm and ambition, seems to be missing it.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Spoiler...Fly, my lords, fly...There is no tarrying here for the unprotected.

Strangely ironic, isn't it...That Sandwich's final political service to Pepys before his downfall was to certify his loyalty to Charles before some of the office boys. In a few days, it might well be the last recommendation Sam would want to receive...

FJA   Link to this

Interesting that Sam does not have time today to catch up the last 5 or 6 days in his Journal, and yet when he finally does so he writes what seem to be some of the longest entries of what has been a particularly prolific period. Gone are the days of up betimes, stayed long at the office and so, weary, to bed. He is busily running all over the place and engaged in so many interesting events and conversations and yet somehow does find the time to write about them in some detail. Of course, these are heady times for him and he naturally wants to report to posterity just how successful he has become and how highly these important men think of him.

andy   Link to this

who was that in the black dress with ...

perpetual male question.

C.J.Darby   Link to this

The finding of waterlogged trees so far underground in this area intrests me . They are obviously of pre-historic age sand could cast light on the early ecology of the Thames basin. Is anyone aware of any recent finds of this type in the developement of the docklands or Canary Wharf areas

Mary   Link to this

preserved trees.

If others have recently come to light, I should have thought that the Museum of London might hold information.

Mary   Link to this

P.S.
Or the Docklands Museum, of course.

JWB   Link to this

"Here my Lord did witness great respect to me,..."

Cf. Jane Austen's Mr. Collins in "P&P".

Pedro   Link to this

“trees so far underground”

The Fossil Forest near Lulworth Cove comes to mind…

http://www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/Fossil-Forest.htm

Some examples at the Isle of Portland..

Isle of Portland, Dorset, Upper Jurassic The famous rocky peninusula with Upper Jurassic oolitic limestone, the Portland Stone, used for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire in 1666. The fascinating "island" has numerous cliff sections, quarries, some caves, giant ammonites, fossil trees and a Pleistocene raised beach. The quarries and cliffs expose the Portland Stone with the basal Purbeck Formation above. That has fossil trees replaced by silica and still rooted in a carbonaceous soil with pebbles, the Great Dirt Bed. Stromatolites cover the trees. Fossil insects are common in the Purbeck Formation…The Purbeck sequence includes palaeosols (soils) with silicified coniferous trees, and stromatolites and ostracod beds.

http://www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/Field-Guides-Introd...

Jesse   Link to this

“trees so far underground”

Another interesting link is below. "Large trees rooted 120' ... below the surface ... for approximately 800 years." The article is somewhat academic but toward the end it has pictures showing how well preserved the tree trunks are, including the ability to produce sap.

http://www.ee.unr.edu/downloads/nwra2005No3.pdf

CGS   Link to this

Trees popping up, quite a common [blue moon years] occurrence in the Fen district lands, farmers hate it, because they have ploughed the same area for years then suddenly
the plough gets stuck on one stone tree ruing one expesive piece of expensive equipment, they come out of the ground like a splinter that has been in ones body for a long time.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I did always love the King.”

Always? (not him whose execution he approved, but his son) so says the repentant Puritan.

Maurie Beck   Link to this

In the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., many trees have been buried because of marine inundations following a tsunami generated from a great quake along the Cascadia megathrust subduction zone, the last being in 1700, which generated a Pacific tsunami that struck Japan.

Along these same lines, when trees get covered with sediment, they sometime rot out over time instead of becoming fossilized. These rotted out trees form "Devil's Postholes", sometimes covered in sand along beaches, which occasionally have been known to swallow up unsuspecting sunbathers or clammers.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Spoiler...

Well, to be fair Sam will be true to the Stuart boys even at some risk to himself.

"I'll be loving You...Always... With a love that's true...Always."

Charles from balcony...Yes?

"Oh...Pepys, it's you again? Very...Nice."

"Charlie, who is that awful little person singing out there?"

"Oh, only young Pepys, again, Barbara. Look, here, Pepys...Not wishing to dampen the old enthusiasm but Jamie is really the type more inclined to appreciate this sort of thing...At six am, I mean."

Would he could be so true to Bess.

C.J.Darby   Link to this

Regarding the buried trees, it does not seem that they were fossilised, but were preserved in an anorobic condition and would therfore be much more interesting if found in modern times.

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