Wednesday 21 February 1665/66

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes to White Hall by his coach, by the way talking of my brother John to get a spiritual promotion for him, which I am now to looke after, for as much as he is shortly to be Master in Arts, and writes me this weeke a Latin letter that he is to go into orders this Lent. There to the Duke’s chamber, and find our fellows discoursing there on our business, so I was sorry to come late, but no hurte was done thereby. Here the Duke, among other things, did bring out a book of great antiquity of some of the customs of the Navy, about 100 years since, which he did lend us to read and deliver him back again. Thence I to the Exchequer, and there did strike my tallys for a quarter for Tangier and carried them home with me, and thence to Trinity-house, being invited to an Elder Brother’s feast; and there met and sat by Mr. Prin, and had good discourse about the privileges of Parliament , which, he says, are few to the Commons’ House, and those not examinable by them, but only by the House of Lords. Thence with my Lord Bruncker to Gresham College, the first time after the sicknesse that I was there, and the second time any met. And here a good lecture of Mr. Hooke’s about the trade of felt-making, very pretty. And anon alone with me about the art of drawing pictures by Prince Rupert’s rule and machine, and another of Dr. Wren’s;1 but he says nothing do like squares, or, which is the best in the world, like a darke roome, —[The camera obscura.]— which pleased me mightily. Thence with Povy home to my house, and there late settling accounts with him, which was very troublesome to me, and he gone, found Mr. Hill below, who sat with me till late talking, and so away, and we to bed.

  1. Afterwards the famous Sir Christopher Wren. He was one of the mainstays of the Royal Society.

26 Annotations

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"And anon alone with me"

Hooke? Or Brouncker?

Lawrence   Link to this

Well he went there with Lord Brounker, So I read it as those two (Pepys & Brounker) discussing Prince Rupert's rule and machine, presumably Lord Brounker had taken him? "still! another fascinating day"!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"sat by Mr. Prin, and had good discourse about the privileges of Parliament , which, he says, are few to the Commons’ House, and those not examinable by them, but only by the House of Lords."

Odd that Prynne, a nonconformist (see his link), should have argued for the supremacy of the Lords; most MP's, say L&M, were [understandably] of the other view.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

21 Went to my Lo. Treasurer for an assignment of £40,000 upon the last two quarters for support of the next yeares charge.
***

Another financial transaction marking a quarter's credit (but this is not a Quarter Day).

Evelyn was evidently not at the informal gathering at Gresham College, nor did Hooke record what transpired; the Royal Society will resume in full on 14 March.

Lawrence   Link to this

Terry? when is Pepy's made a member of the Royel Society, I know it's still in it's infancy at this stage, also know he's president when Newton publishes his most famous book, which leads to some facinating letters between them, one I remember reading included the probability of chance, which I don't think Pepys understood? sorry for bad grammer and spelling?

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Terry, I read Prynne's comment as a complaint, not an endorsement of the situation. Prynne was a complaining kind of guy, after all. I'm surprised Sam spoke well of his "discourse."

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"talking of my brother John to get a spiritual promotion for him, which I am now to looke after"

Does "spiritual promotion" mean a clerical position? How is Sam in a position to look after such a thing?

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"the privileges of Parliament , which, he says, are few to the Commons’ House, and those not examinable by them, but only by the House of Lords."

OED re "examinable," def. 2:
2. Law. Subject to examination or inquiry; competent to be examined or inquired into; cognisable.
1594 West Symbol ii. Chancery §71 That it be such as is examinable in this court. 1666 Pepys Diary 21 Feb., The privileges of Parliament+are few to the Commons' house, and those not examinable by them, but only by the House of Lords. 1765 Blackstone Comm. I. xviii. 471 His determinations are final, and examinable in no other court whatsoever. 1818 Cruise Digest (ed. 2) V. 300 A fine+is properly examinable in that court only where it is entered. 1884 Sir C. S. C. Bowen in Law Rep. Q. Bench XIII. 87 His intentions are examinable to this extent.

Even though today's passage is cited, I still don't have a very clear idea of what it means for one house to "examine" the privileges of the other. I'm guessing it means that the House of Lords has the power to revoke the privileges of the Commons, but I would welcome instruction on the point.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Presentations to livings

John obviously thinks his important brother can help him and proves his learning by writing in Latin. Sam almost certainly knows people who have the gift of livings: this is the only way John will get on in the Church - through influence. Interesting that Sam doesn't comment on that: it is usually the sort of thing he does (look how important people think I am) and he certainly would not have been in a position to help his brother at the start of the Diary period. Another proof of how well he is doing.

cgs   Link to this

Seat at the swilling trough.
That old saw, not wot ye know, just hoo.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Paul, L&M describe Prynne's dissent and cite a work he had published,
*The fourth part of a brief register and survey of the several kinds and forms of parliamentary writs comprising the several varieties and forms of writs for electing knights, citizens and burgesses for Parliaments and Great Council ... : wherein the original of the commons house, and elections of knights, citizens, burgesses and barons of ports to sit in Parliament, is infallibly evidenced to be no entienter than 40 H. 3. the presidents and objections to the contrarie answered*, by William Prynne(1664), pp.846ff.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the art of drawing pictures by Prince Rupert’s rule and machine, and another of Dr. Wren’s"

Can someone clarify?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

To answer my own question, L&M note "The machines invented by Prince Rupert and Christopher Wren were mechanical tracing devices. Rupert's was demonstrated at the Royal Society in November 1663, and improved by Hooke....Wren's was already being manufactured in June 1663...." L&M, p. 51. http://snipurl.com/cejhv

Steve Allen   Link to this

For a detailed presentation of the theory that Johannes Vermeer used a camera obscura to achieve accurate perspective in his paintings, see:

http://www.vermeerscamera.co.uk/home.htm

Vermeer was living in Delft during the 1660's. He would likely have known Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the inventor of the microscope. Van Leeuwenhoek's work was recognized by the Royal Society in 1680, at which time Sam was a Fellow, soon to become President.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"The Duke, among other things, did bring out a book of great antiquity of some of the customs of the Navy, about 100 years since, which he did lend us to read and deliver him back again."

L&M suggest this is a volume which later ended up in SP's library:

'James Humphrey's Miscellaneous Collections Relating to the Admiralty and Navy of England, 1568'
now PL 1266

a copy (now in the Bodleian, Rawlinson C 846, & at one stage in SP's library) is titled:-
'Navall Collections out of a Miscellaneous Manuscript Lent me by His Royal Highness then Lord High Admirall of England. Anno Dom. 1668'

Michael Robinson   Link to this

“the privileges of Parliament , which, he says, are few to the Commons’ House, and those not examinable by them, but only by the House of Lords.”

To quote the L&M footnote which Terry F. refers to:

"Prynne's view (which Pepys states rater too baldly) rested on his contention that the House's privileges were not an inherent part of its constitution, but a grant made by the King, and that therefore disputes about them were to be settled in the King's courts. In that case they would go, on appeal, to the Lords."

In contention still are which parts of the Commons premises and what aspects of the conduct of its members are the subject of privilege:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/dec/01/...

Mary   Link to this

anon alone with me

I take this to refer to Hooke. He is the last-named person and also the one with the expanding interest in optics, surveying etc. and hence most likely to be interested in matters of visual analysis and reproduction.

Lawrence   Link to this

Pepys talking with William Prynne, I would think that Prynne would have been in his mid 60s, and our Sam in his mid 30s, I bet Sam hung on every word Mr Prynne said?, I would loved to have sat opposite and listened to these two men!

Pedro   Link to this

And here a good lecture of Mr. Hooke’s about the trade of felt-making, very pretty.

As Curator of Experiments at the RS Hooke was responsible for exploring various industrial processes including dyeing, glass-making and felt-making. The financier was Sir John Cutler.

JWB   Link to this

"And here a good lecture of Mr. Hooke’s about the trade of felt-making, very pretty."

This knowledge & Naval Intelligence reports on winter outer-wear of Austian Alpine inhabitants plus two and one half centuries of reseach and developemnt sheparded by the Naval Board, slop-shop subdivision, produced the "Convoy Coat" (aka Duffle coat)issued to British seamen in latter part of the 19th C., made famous in WWII, and worn by the public at large in the 1960's. It is conjectured that the conjunction of Hooke's two interest in microscopy and springs (in the wollen fibers) led Hooke to this seminal work in haberdashery.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The US version of the “Convoy Coat,” the Pea Coat, is a big-seller to both sexes in 2009 -- thanks to Mr. Hooke's successors.

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

cgs   Link to this

Those be interested in how a 'Lauds' flunky could not be prosecuted for jay walking etc, use the House of Lords site and find insight to privilege lordly style.
It6 has been noted that one L*** Petrie [Peters] was able to make a mockery of the local Constable.

in this case the Lord himself:
sample

Ld. Langdale, Privilege. Blanchard released:

Whereas George Blanchard, of Yorke, Attorney, stands committed to the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, for sueing the Lord Langdale, a Peer of this Realm, to an Exigent, contrary to the Privilege of Peerage, and for continuing the said Suit in Michaelmas Term last, contrary to the Privilege of Parliament:

It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, upon the humble Petition and Submission of the said George Blanchard made this Day at the Bar, where he received the Reprehension of this House for his said Offence, and at the particular Instance of the said Lord Langdale on his Behalf, That the said George Blanchard be, and is hereby, discharged from his present Restraint, paying his Fees: And this to be a sufficient Warrant on that Behalf.

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Actually nice to know Prynne felt reasonably safe in talking to Sam, suggesting our boy is regarded as a man of some independence and character, not entirely a creature of the Stuarts.
***

"...find our fellows discoursing there on our business, so I was sorry to come late, but no hurte was done thereby..."

"Ah, Pepys. We were just about to pass Minnes' and Batten's proposal that no sea captain be required to have a knowledge of navigation or mathematics. The masters can handle that dreary business and we can appoint true gentlemen to all the commands."

"And I've a brilliant idea about our victualing problems..." Minnes beams. "From now on, when we run out of provisions aboard ship, we simply threaten to cannonade any town within haling distance."

"Best of all..." York, exultant. "...We've a proposal to replace sails with foot power. See, the sailors all push these foot pedals in unison and..."

Sam, blinking, notes author of said proposal... "Alex St. Michel de Marchant?!!"

Nix   Link to this

"a book of great antiquity of some of the customs of the Navy" --

"Ye Anciente Historie of Rumme, Sottomie and ye Lash" -- by an early Churchill, perhaps?

Sean Adams   Link to this

Lawrence re. your question: "when is Pepy’s made a member of the Royel Society?"
Pepys was proposed by Povy last February and admitted a week later on 15th February 1665.

cgs   Link to this

Hooke's Work here: sample original and typed
"....Ian: 4. 1664/5 (Obs: of comet). mr. Hooke shewd the way of applying a thermometer
to the weather clock, by sealing vp spt. of wine in a glasse cane with two pretty large head
whereof one was filld full wth Spt. of wine as was also the intermediat stem. the other not........"

http://webapps.qmul.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hooke_foli...

Log in to post an annotation.

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