Tuesday 31 October 1665

Up, and to the office, Captain Ferrers going back betimes to my Lord. I to the office, where Sir W. Batten met me, and did tell me that Captain Cocke’s black was dead of the plague, which I had heard of before, but took no notice. By and by Captain Cocke come to the office, and Sir W. Batten and I did send to him that he would either forbear the office, or forbear going to his owne office. However, meeting yesterday the Searchers with their rods in their hands —[Coroners Office ?? D.W.]— coming from Captain Cocke’s house, I did overhear them say that the fellow did not die of the plague, but he had I know been ill a good while, and I am told that his boy Jack is also ill. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again, leaving Mr. Hill if he can to get Mrs. Coleman at night. About nine at night I come home, and there find Mrs. Pierce come and little Fran. Tooker, and Mr. Hill, and other people, a great many dancing, and anon comes Mrs. Coleman with her husband and Laneare. The dancing ended and to sing, which Mrs. Coleman do very finely, though her voice is decayed as to strength but mighty sweet though soft, and a pleasant jolly woman, and in mighty good humour was to-night. Among other things Laneare did, at the request of Mr. Hill, bring two or three the finest prints for my wife to see that ever I did see in all my life. But for singing, among other things, we got Mrs. Coleman to sing part of the Opera, though she won’t owne that ever she did get any of it without book in order to the stage; but, above all, her counterfeiting of Captain Cooke’s part, in his reproaching his man with cowardice, “Base slave,” &c., she do it most excellently. At it till past midnight, and then broke up and to bed. Hill and I together again, and being very sleepy we had little discourse as we had the other night. Thus we end the month merrily; and the more for that, after some fears that the plague would have increased again this week, I hear for certain that there is above 400 [less], the whole number being 1,388, and of them of the plague, 1,031. Want of money in the Navy puts everything out of order. Men grow mutinous; and nobody here to mind the business of the Navy but myself. At least Sir W. Batten for the few days he has been here do nothing. I in great hopes of my place of Surveyor-Generall of the Victualling, which will bring me 300l. per annum.

11 Annotations

Australian Susan   Link to this

See here
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=DsNKdbFrP7w...

for information on Searchers.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Susan's link is blocked. Here is a bit of information about them:

Searchers of the Dead: Authority, Marginality, and the Interpretation of Plague in England, 1574–1665
Richelle Munkhoff
University of Southern Mississippi, USA
From: Gender & History
Volume 11 Issue 1, Pages 1 - 29
Published Online: 16 Dec 2002
Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1999

ABSTRACT
Searchers of the dead, women pensioners hired to examine and codify diseased bodies, were significant figures in the management of early modern plague epidemics, but have remained seriously neglected by scholars. This essay reclaims the searchers by investigating archival material such as parish records, legal documents, and bills of mortality. Active members of their parishes, the searchers occupied a paradoxical relationship to authority: subjected to the dangers of plague because of their economic dependence, the searchers also commanded tremendous power to define matters of life and death by literally naming plague on the bodies of their neighbours.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

In the House of Commons today: there will be a reckoning for the Navy

Navy Accounts.

Ordered, That his Majesty be humbly desired to give Command to the Officers of his Navy, Ordnance, and Stores, to prepare an Account of their Disbursements against the next Session of Parliament: And Sir Richard Temple, and Mr. Whorwood, are to attend his Majesty with this Address. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

JWB   Link to this

"Searchers with their rods in their hands"

Could be "Searchers of the Dead" as described in Moote & Moote and they discussed cause of death; but, Long & Long define "Searchers" as custom & immigration agents and in that they carried rods and Cocke's property was being searched for ill-gotten booty,they may have been the latter. Also Pepys more likely to overhear,or send someone to overhear, customs agent.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...but took no notice. By and by Captain Cocke come to the office, and Sir W. Batten and I did send to him that he would either forbear the office, or forbear going to his owne office."

Took no notice...But, just in case, keep the hell away from us.

I'd bet Batten kept eyeing Sam all day from a distance, given his frequent sojourns with Cocke recently.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Didn't want to run this too long, the link follows for the rest...

All Hallows Eve 1700…

Now upon this midnight dreary…

Though Diary, I ponder, old and weary…

Dreaming of a younger day

A day that now’s so far away…

Oh, those golden days of yore…

Only this and nothing more…

Now comes a soft, familiar tapping…

A rapping at my library door…

“Tis Will or Mary who makes this tapping…

Rapping at my library door…

Only one of them, and nothing more…”

“Oh, Will or Mary…Come, whilst I remember…
Let me tell ye just once more…
Of my golden days of yore…
I promise ye I will not bore…”

But only rapping, strangely familiar tapping…
Faintly at my library door…
Only this but nothing more…

Presently my stone pain abated…
And so thought I this tapping rated...
A little peek outside my door…
So I stepped upon the floor…
Carefully approached the door…
“If not Will, not Mary…Who be ye, stranger?...
Rapping at my library door…?”
Here I opened wide my door…

Down the hall I stood there peering, fearing…
Clutching that which made my dreams so sure…
My Diary and nothing more…
But all was silence and unbroken…
Pitch darkness that gave no token…
“Stranger? Why have you I awoken?...
Will ye give me no more token…
No word from you to make me sure…”
From the darkness… “Read some more…”

Now a chill crept o’er me, thrilling…
A clear sign of a cold for sure…
Fantastic terrors filled me, chilling…
Terror never felt before…
From the darkness… “Read some more…”

Running back into the chamber, turning…
Slamming door, my stone pain burning…
Burning as it never has before…
I’m much too old for such a chore…
Calling on my Will or Mary…
No succor there, in bed for sure….
But all being stillness, my head was calming…
For the explanation simple, balming…
Just the wind and nothing more…

Still, that voice was so familiar…
A voice I know I’ve heard before…
In lost golden days of yore…
A voice that shook my sad heart’s core…
“But it was just the wind…” saith I… “And nothing more…”
“Let my heart be still and then I’ll explore…
This mystery of ‘Read some more’…”

Sinking back onto my chair cushion…
Staring at my library door…
Now my sheared hairs highly rising,
As through that solid library door,
Moved a hooded figure, pausing…
Pausing to regard me, more…
“I tole you, go on, read some more…”

for the rest, http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/mid...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Say, I hope Bess got to enjoy the party.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary (in lieu of Dirk's posting it)

31 I was this day 45 yeares of age, wonderfully preserved, for which I blessed his infinite goodnesse:
***

DonB   Link to this

Daniel Defoe's "A Journal of the Plague Years" mentions the searchers holding rods:

ORDERS CONCEIVED AND PUBLISHED BY THE LORD
MAYOR AND ALDERMEN OF THE CITY OF LONDON
CONCERNING THE INFECTION OF THE PLAGUE, 1665.

...

ORDERS CONCERNING INFECTED HOUSES AND PERSONS SICK OF THE PLAGUE.

...

'That precise order to be taken that the searchers, chirurgeons,
keepers, and buriers are not to pass the streets without holding a red
rod or wand of three feet in length in their hands, open and evident to
be seen, and are not to go into any other house than into their own, or
into that whereunto they are directed or sent for; but to forbear and
abstain from company, especially when they have been lately used in
any such business or attendance.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

John Evelyn -- 31 I was this day 45 yeares of age,

In 'celebration' Evelyn's ODNB 'Life,' available 'on line' free, till 11/06/08 only:

http://www.oxforddnb.com/public/lotw/

cgs   Link to this

Parliament given time off for good behavior until Feb.
see H of C.

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