Sunday 31 December 1665

(Lord’s day). All the morning in my chamber, writing fair the state of my Tangier accounts, and so dined at home. In the afternoon to the Duke of Albemarle and thence back again by water, and so to my chamber to finish the entry of my accounts and to think of the business I am next to do, which is the stating my thoughts and putting in order my collections about the business of pursers, to see where the fault of our present constitution relating to them lies and what to propose to mend it, and upon this late and with my head full of this business to bed. Thus ends this year, to my great joy, in this manner. I have raised my estate from 1300l. in this year to 4400l.. I have got myself greater interest, I think, by my diligence, and my employments encreased by that of Treasurer for Tangier, and Surveyour of the Victualls. It is true we have gone through great melancholy because of the great plague, and I put to great charges by it, by keeping my family long at Woolwich, and myself and another part of my family, my clerks, at my charge at Greenwich, and a mayde at London; but I hope the King will give us some satisfaction for that. But now the plague is abated almost to nothing, and I intending to get to London as fast as I can. My family, that is my wife and maids, having been there these two or three weeks. The Dutch war goes on very ill, by reason of lack of money; having none to hope for, all being put into disorder by a new Act that is made as an experiment to bring credit to the Exchequer, for goods and money to be advanced upon the credit of that Act. I have never lived so merrily (besides that I never got so much) as I have done this plague time, by my Lord Bruncker’s and Captain Cocke’s good company, and the acquaintance of Mrs. Knipp, Coleman and her husband, and Mr. Laneare, and great store of dancings we have had at my cost (which I was willing to indulge myself and wife) at my lodgings. The great evil of this year, and the only one indeed, is the fall of my Lord of Sandwich, whose mistake about the prizes hath undone him, I believe, as to interest at Court; though sent (for a little palliating it) Embassador into Spayne, which he is now fitting himself for. But the Duke of Albemarle goes with the Prince to sea this next year, and my Lord very meanly spoken of; and, indeed, his miscarriage about the prize goods is not to be excused, to suffer a company of rogues to go away with ten times as much as himself, and the blame of all to be deservedly laid upon him.1 My whole family hath been well all this while, and all my friends I know of, saving my aunt Bell, who is dead, and some children of my cozen Sarah’s, of the plague. But many of such as I know very well, dead; yet, to our great joy, the town fills apace, and shops begin to be open again. Pray God continue the plague’s decrease! for that keeps the Court away from the place of business, and so all goes to rack as to publick matters, they at this distance not thinking of it.

  1. According to Granville Penn (“Memorials of Sir W. Penn,” ii. 488 n.) 2000l. went to Lord Sandwich and 8000l. among eight others.

8 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"The Dutch war goes on very ill, by reason of lack of money; having none to hope for, all being put into disorder by a new Act that is made as an experiment to bring credit to the Exchequer, for goods and money to be advanced upon the credit of that Act.”

The Act for an Additional Aid of £1 1/4 m. (17 Car. II c.i passed on 31 October) would be “a new venture in English public finance” (L&M) in which bills would be paid by the Exchequer on credit, bypassing the Treasury, denying Carteret his poundage and other profits. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/10/25/#c26...

Despite] Pepys’s scepticism about financing on credit, the scheme will be a success. (L&M note 6 November 1665)

Pepys blames the Act for the war's financial disorder; a better focus is that "all goes to rack as to publick matters, they at this distance not thinking of it."

Paul Chapin   Link to this

As somebody almost sang, "God said a fire, not a plague next time."

May your days be merry and bright, free of plagues and conflagrations. Happy 1666 to all.

Bradford   Link to this

No mention of Llewellyn "dead this fortnight, of the plague" by 20 November. Memento mori!

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

As usual, I am impessed by Sam's orderly mind -- wrapping up a hectic year by cleaning up his accounts, planning for the future and giving us this fantastic summary.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year to all...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

I have raised my estate from 1300l. in this year to 4400l.. ... and great store of dancings we have had at my cost (which I was willing to indulge myself and wife)

The manuscript additions to SP's copy of 'The English Dancing Master or Plaine and Basic Rules of Country Dances' (1651) containing some unique items: including, the Victualer's Contredanse, Sir William Warren's Coranto, Gauden's Galliard, Captain Cocke's Prize Custom's Caper, The Navy Office Shuffle, Bagwell's Cuckolds all a-row ...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...and, indeed, his miscarriage about the prize goods is not to be excused, to suffer a company of rogues to go away with ten times as much as himself, and the blame of all to be deservedly laid upon him."

Sam...

Of course you mean that he was stupid to get caught, unlike two of the said rogues, a certain Cocke and a certain sly fellow by name of Pepys.

Lets see 3100Ls, 1000 due to a) bribe...er gift, from Gauden (500) and b) 500 in rogue's company with Cocke, leaving 2100, minus 350Ls salary as CoA and ? 200-400Ls as Surveyor General and perhaps 200-400Ls as Tangier treasurer, still leaving at least 1000 unaccounted for? I believe there was a 100L "gift" coming or come from Sir William Warren, leaving about 900Ls? Not to mention that he must have spent somewhere around 500-1000Ls this year between normal expenses, clothes, the endless refurbishing of Seething Lane, musicians, room and board, servants, etc, etc...Meaning another hefty sum unaccounted for, even if we assume the Surveyor G and Tangier paid more than I allowed for.

So...?

"Mr. Hewer? You are sure my niece has agreed?"

Hewer points out figure in dress in alley.

"Very well..."

"Mr. Wight, you remember the terms..."

"No talking...No lights in the room...Nothing ever to be said between us...And..." Wight pulls out sack of coin. "1000Ls up front."

The things I do to secure Bess' and my retirement...Sam in dress in alleyway sighs...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary (in stead of Dirk van de Putte)

31 December Now blessed be God, for his extraordinary mercies & preservations of me this Yeare when thousands & ten thousands perish’d & were swept away on each side of me: There dying in our Parish this yeare 406 of the Pestilence:

***

Nix   Link to this

"My family, that is my wife and maids, having been there these two or three weeks" --

And none of 'em dead yet, so I guess I can risk it myself.

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