Wednesday 22 November 1665

Up, and by water to the Duke of Albemarle, and there did some little business, but most to shew myself, and mightily I am yet in his and Lord Craven’s books, and thence to the Swan and there drank and so down to the bridge, and so to the ‘Change, where spoke with many people, and about a great deale of business, which kept me late. I heard this day that Mr. Harrington is not dead of the plague, as we believed, at which I was very glad, but most of all, to hear that the plague is come very low; that is, the whole under 1,000, and the plague 600 and odd: and great hopes of a further decrease, because of this day’s being a very exceeding hard frost, and continues freezing. This day the first of the Oxford Gazettes come out, which is very pretty, full of newes, and no folly in it. Wrote by Williamson. Fear that our Hambro’ ships at last cannot go, because of the great frost, which we believe it is there, nor are our ships cleared at the Pillow [Pillau], which will keepe them there too all this winter, I fear. From the ‘Change, which is pretty full again, I to my office and there took some things, and so by water to my lodging at Greenwich and dined, and then to the office awhile and at night home to my lodgings, and took T. Willson and T. Hater with me, and there spent the evening till midnight discoursing and settling of our Victualling business, that thereby I might draw up instructions for the Surveyours and that we might be doing something to earne our money. This done I late to bed. Among other things it pleased me to have it demonstrated, that a Purser without professed cheating is a professed loser, twice as much as he gets.

11 Annotations

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"This day the first of the Oxford Gazettes come out, which is very pretty, full of newes, and no folly in it. Wrote by Williamson."

Per L&M footnote:

“Pepys is comparing the new journal with the work of L’Estrange
( http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/09/04/#c26... ) The first number, undated, appeared on 16 November in Oxford.; the reference here may be to the second (16-20 November) which was reprinted in London. … Williamson (Arlington’s secretary) ( http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/5908/ ) allowed it to be understood that he wrote it, but his share was rather that of a supplier of news, and the earlier numbers before February 1666, were written by Henry Muddiman.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Muddiman )

*Spoiler* No 24 of the Gazette was first published in London and entitled ‘The London Gazette’; the first of a series which has continued ever since. For most of the period until 1688 it was the only printed newspaper available to the public …”

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/home.aspx?geot...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Gazette

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"and great hopes of a further decrease, because of this day’s being a very exceeding hard frost, and continues freezing"

I once had a vet tell me that it takes three consecutive days and nights of below-freezing temperatures to kill flea eggs.

"Among other things it pleased me to have it demonstrated, that a Purser without professed cheating is a professed loser, twice as much as he gets."

Is this as cynical a statement as I think it is? Or is Sam saying something more subtle here?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"This day the first of the Oxford Gazettes come out ..."

The Oxford gazette. Published by authority.
[London, England] : Oxon, printed by Leonard Litchfield, and re-printed at London, for the use of some merchants and gentlemen, who desired them, [1665-1666]

Numb. 1. (Nov. 14 [1665])-numb. 23. (Monday, January 29. to Thursday, February 1. 1665 [i.e. 1666].)

Semiweekly; 23 v. ; 1/2⁰. Printed in two columns; colophon varies; all but numb. 1 of the London editions list Thomas Newcomb as printer. Published in Oxford and London, Nov. 14, 1665; in Oxford, England and London, England Nov. 20, 1665-Jan. 25, 1666; in London thereafter. This serial was printed in at least two settings from its beginnings; some later 17th cent. numbers appear in three settings. Contrary to the L&M footnote the authoritative ESTC database notes that No. 1-21 exist in Oxford reprints of the primary London edition.

Nelson and Seccombe, 471, NCBEL, II:1364 Ward, W.S. Index of serials, p. 92 Madan, III:3290.

PL 2078-90, SP retained almost a complete run, from 7 Nov 1665 - 3 Jan 1704, in uniform bindings.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"This day the first of the Oxford Gazettes come out, which is very pretty, full of newes, and no folly in it."

The London Gazette was first published as the Oxford Gazette on 7 November 1665. Charles II and the Royal Court had moved to Oxford to escape the Great Plague of London, and courtiers were unwilling to touch, let alone read, London newspapers for fear of contagion. The Gazette was "Published by Authority" by Henry Muddiman, and its first publication is noted by Samuel Pepys in his diary. The King returned to London as the plague dissipated, and the Gazette moved too, with the first issue of the London Gazette (labelled No. 24) being published on 5 February 1666. The Gazette was not a newspaper in the modern sense: it was sent by post to subscribers, not printed for sale to the general public. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Gazette

cgs   Link to this

"The Gazette was not a newspaper in the modern sense: it was sent by post to subscribers, not printed for sale to the general public."

I.E. In house memo to all the loyal followers?
The general publick failed to read anyway, but was it pasted up in the Exchanges and coffee shops?
No freedom of the press yet, highly regulated, by keeping out all unkind remarks about the betters and best ones
To voice the flip side, one had to talk 'inn' riddles.

Glyn   Link to this

“in order to improve the supply situation (and come by another salary) in November 1665 Pepys proposed himself for a new position, also confusingly entitled Surveyor General of Victualling, in effect an inspector-general of the system, with agents in the major ports. He held the position from November 1665 to February 1667, appointed good subordinates, threw himself into the work with his customary energy, and made useful improvements in the system; but he found no major dishonesty or inefficiency. and the basic problem of want of money was beyond his cure.

… Pepys’s most important and lasting contribution to the victualling system was a reform of the system of pursery. From (Pepys thought) about 1644, the pursers had been paid in proportion to the number of men borne on the ship’s books, which gave them a powerful incentive to inflate the numbers by false mustering, often in league with captains who pocketed the corresponding wages. … The result, as Pepys discovered was a system which not only encouraged pursers to fraud but virtually enforced it, for “a purser without professed cheating is a professed loser, twice as much as he gets,” … Under the pre-Civil War system, to which the Navy reverted at Pepys’ urging, the purser was automatically allowed on his accounts the full value of the victuals for a ship’s complement … but nothing more. He had an incentive to economize (eg by issuing fresh food purchased locally, or giving the men money to buy on their own account and saving the issue of expensive preserved foodstuffs) but much to lose by padding the musters [exaggerating the number of crew] which would earn him nothing but awkward questions. Captains and pursers now had motive to expose one another’s misdeeds, not to connive with one another. The system was designed to cause the purser to lose rather than gain by defrauding men of their victuals, and to put the captain on the men’s side rather than the purser’s if they had a grievance. Though by no means perfect, this system of pursery was an enormous improvement on the fundamentally corrupt and exploitative system [it replaced] and continued to work into the 19th century.” - N.A.M. Rodger, “The Command of the Ocean”.

Glyn   Link to this

"It is worth noting in passing that the revived English system of pursery was markedly superior to those of foreign navies. In the Dutch navy the captains and even admirals - or rather, in practice, their wives and daughters - were responsible for victualling their own ships, and were expected to make a substantial part of their earnings thereby. The only check on their honesty was that they also recruited their own men, and stood to suffer from a bad reputation. French captains had no such check and also victualled their own ships, ruthlessly cheating their men, until in 1667 an English-style victualling contractor was installed to prevent them.

"In the Spanish service the senior ranks were sold to the highest bidder, so captains and admirals busied themselved with private trade and paying passengers, as well as keeping their costs of victualling to a minimum."

"After the reform of pursery, we begin to hear of fresh food issued officially. Lying at the Nore in 1672, [Captain, later Rear-Admiral Sir John] Narborough noted with his customary precision:

"This day fresh meat came down for the whole fleet and a vessel laden with 3,950 cabbages and 21 and a half bushels of carrots, and 15 dozen and 9 bunches of turnips, for to be disposed of for the use of the fleet in the several ships for refreshing of the men ... I made a dividend of my carrots and cabbages and turnips to the whole fleet, a cabbage for four men and a bushel of carrots for ten men."

All extracts from "The Command of the Ocean" - N.A.M. Rodger

Glyn   Link to this

Todd: I think Pepys meant that an honest purser who recorded an accurate number of crew on his ship, rather than exaggerating it, would not only lose his profits, but he would also have to pay out his own money (because prices are increasing and the amount paid to him by the government is not enough to cover the costs).

"the purser was automatically allowed on his accounts the full value of the victuals for a ship’s complement" - And to do that, you needed to know the standard complement of crew for each class of ship, which is why (also at Pepys's urging) the English ships began to divided into "First Raters", "Second Raters" etc down to "Sixth Raters" I believe.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...by water to the Duke of Albemarle, and there did some little business, but most to shew myself, and mightily I am yet in his and Lord Craven’s books..."

"Albemarle..."

"Don't tell me...Not Pepys...Again?"

"Oh, no. George. Hasn't the man anything better to do than continually show himself here? Shouldn't he be at the office or at sea or something?"

"My dear. What can we do? York likes him and he's the only one of the lot willing to go into London these last three months...We have to have someone fool enough to go."

"We could find him a vital sea assignment somewhere...One that only he could fill. Say Barbados...Or St. Petersberg?"

"Not helping, Craven. Unless you'd like to start making trips to London on a regular basis?"

"Mr...Pepys..." call...

"Your Grace...My gracious lord...My dearest Duchess Albemarle..."

"Mr. Pipps..." grin to Craven...I just love doing that...

"Pepys, my Lady."

"Right...Well, gentlemen I leave you. Goodbye,Mr. Phipps..."

"Pepys, ma'am." Coarse, overfed heifer of a woman...

"Of course... You know I believe I had a tailor by that name once..."

"Indeed, ma'am." Common trollop in Duchess' clothing...When I get back to my journal...

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Thanks, Glyn! Very enlightening.

cgs   Link to this

Thanks Glyn , remember, Samuel experienced the mythical help when he first sailed with the Fleet to fetch the king.

Padding is still a feature of modern business.
My number one saying, where be monies, there be somebody trying to grab it legal [immoral] or illegal [the law says so]

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.