Thursday 8 February 1665/66

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon to the ‘Change, expecting to have received from Mr. Houbland, as he promised me, an assignment upon Viner, for my reward for my getting them the going of their two ships to Tangier, but I find myself much disappointed therein, for I spoke with him and he said nothing of it, but looked coldly, through some disturbance he meets with in our business through Colonell Norwood’s pressing them to carry more goods than will leave room for some of their own. But I shall ease them. Thence to Captain Cocke’s, where Mr. Williamson, Wren, Boldell and Madam Williams, and by and by Lord Bruncker, he having been with the King and Duke upon the water to-day, to see Greenwich house, and the yacht Castle is building of, and much good discourse. So to White Hall to see my Lord Sandwich, and then home to my business till night, and then to bed.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

8 To Lond. I had another gracious reception of his Majestie who call’d me into his bed-chamber, to lay-before, & describe to him my project of an Infirmarie, which I read to him, with greate approbation, recommending it to his R: Highnesse, & so I returned home.
***

The draft of the Chatham Infirmary project sent to Pepys, 31 January http://www.romanbritain.freeserve.co.uk/Pepysev... that he had discussed with and described to Pepys on 29 January http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/01/29/

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Not much discussion of these visits to Lord Sandwich which once would have filled most of an entry. Surely Sam is doing more than just "Hey, Cousin Ed" and off. Perhaps he's unconsciously severing the connection by avoiding extended talk of his old patron even in the Diary? Or could it be a little nervousness even with the shorthand to cover that someone finding his notes for the Diary by chance or summons might see the name "Sandwich" connected to a large passage of writing currently dated? Best to simply note a meeting than to write down a record of what was said, possibly even more offensive to Coventry and the Duke than Sandwich's usual recent comments?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... but looked coldly, through some disturbance he meets with in our business through Colonell Norwood’s pressing them to carry more goods than will leave room for some of their own. But I shall ease them."

But is not Norwood, as deputy Governor of Tangier, about the King's business? SP appears to have moved from rationalization to himself to acknowledging, in the privacy of the diary, that he is profiting from his position by adding side commercial transactions that may conflict with official purposes.

cape henry   Link to this

If I may be so bold as to borrow from yesterday's entry, MR, you have hit the nail right on the head.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...for my reward for my getting them the going of their two ships to Tangier, but I find myself much disappointed therein, for I spoke with him and he said nothing of it, but looked coldly, through some disturbance he meets with in our business through Colonell Norwood’s pressing them..."

These things must be done delicately...

The Houblons may be sophisticated men of the world and (spoiler)...

...future very close friends of Sam but as often in the world's business, if you can't deliver...They don't know you.

language hat   Link to this

Does anyone understand what is meant by "an assignment upon Viner"?

Mary   Link to this

"an assignment upon Viner"

Viner being a goldsmith-cum-banker, I took this to mean that Sam had been expecting to receive some kind of note-of-hand from Houblon that he could take to Viner's and exchange it for either specie or goods to a stated value: Viner would then extract payment from Houblon's 'account' with him.

OED 11. quotes: "an assigned measure, a definite amount" and offers examples from 16th century usage.

OED 12. glosses the word "an act of signing, a signature" which may also be relevant.

In either case, I imagine Sam hoped to take a signed authority from Houblon, authorizing Viner to effect some kind of payment.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"an assignment upon Viner”

Note for money drawn upon Viner, either drawn up by Houblon directly to SP or more probably drawn to Houblon by third party and endorsed by Houbelon; SP as 'bearer' presents same to Viner who then credits the sum to SP's account.

I would have thought the transaction would take the second form leaving no direct paper trail from Houblon to SP or internal Viner bookkeeping transfer linking Houblon's name directly with SP's account. Some years ago now Warren, following their first businesses arrangement, used Llewellin as an intermediary in a similar transaction to provide SP with cash in hand without their being a trail so we know SP is familiar with the game; at that stage SP was insufficiently prosperous to have his own account at a major London goldsmith/banker, our boy has moved up in the world.

http://eh.net/coursesyllabi/syllabi/munro/BILLE...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

“an assignment upon Viner”

So, Mary and MR, functionally, a cheque or check.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheque

Terry Foreman   Link to this

A Viner's bank cheque, as it were. (There is no such standard instrument or bank as yet, of course, but there will be soon.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheque#History http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_banking...

Mary   Link to this

MR I like your suggestion that the assignment allows for a cut-out between Houblon and Sam in case of traceability problems. It had occurred to me that Sam had hitherto been quite careful not to leave a paper-trail or other trail of direct evidence in such matters; your third-party premise would take care of that.

cgs   Link to this

assignation 4. Paper currency; a negotiable document representing and secured by revenue or property; a bill, an assignat.
a1674 CLARENDON Hist. Reb. III. XVI. 601 The custom of that Country, [Holland]..being to make their payments in Paper by Assignations.

no paper trail,just finger prints or dna.

denial is always good until tax time.

language hat   Link to this

Thanks, all; I am now wiser than I was!

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