Sunday 26 August 1666

(Lord’s day). Up betimes, and to the finishing the setting things in order in my new closett out of my old, which I did thoroughly by the time sermon was done at church, to my exceeding joy, only I was a little disturbed with newes my Lord Bruncker brought me, that we are to attend the King at White Hall this afternoon, and that it is about a complaint from the Generalls against us. Sir W. Pen dined by invitation with me, his Lady and daughter being gone into the country. We very merry. After dinner we parted, and I to my office, whither I sent for Mr. Lewes and instructed myself fully in the business of the Victualling, to enable me to answer in the matter; and then Sir W. Pen and I by coach to White Hall, and there staid till the King and Cabinet were met in the Green Chamber, and then we were called in; and there the King begun with me, to hear how the victualls of the fleete stood. I did in a long discourse tell him and the rest (the Duke of Yorke, Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, both the Secretarys, Sir G. Carteret, and Sir W. Coventry,) how it stood, wherein they seemed satisfied, but press mightily for more supplies; and the letter of the Generalls, which was read, did lay their not going or too soon returning from the Dutch coast, this next bout, to the want of victuals. They then proceeded to the enquiry after the fireships; and did all very superficially, and without any severity at all. But, however, I was in pain, after we come out, to know how I had done; and hear well enough. But, however, it shall be a caution to me to prepare myself against a day of inquisition. Being come out, I met with Mr. Moore, and he and I an houre together in the Gallery, telling me how far they are gone in getting my Lord [Sandwich’s] pardon, so as the Chancellor is prepared in it; and Sir H. Bennet do promote it, and the warrant for the King’s signing is drawn. The business between my Lord Hinchingbroke and Mrs. Mallett is quite broke off; he attending her at Tunbridge, and she declaring her affections to be settled; and he not being fully pleased with the vanity and liberty of her carriage. He told me how my Lord has drawn a bill of exchange from Spayne of 1200l., and would have me supply him with 500l. of it, but I avoyded it, being not willing to embarke myself in money there, where I see things going to ruine. Thence to discourse of the times; and he tells me he believes both my Lord Arlington and Sir W. Coventry, as well as my Lord Sandwich and Sir G. Carteret, have reason to fear, and are afeard of this Parliament now coming on. He tells me that Bristoll’s faction is getting ground apace against my Lord Chancellor. He told me that my old Lord Coventry was a cunning, crafty man, and did make as many bad decrees in Chancery as any man; and that in one case, that occasioned many years’ dispute, at last when the King come in, it was hoped by the party grieved, to get my Lord Chancellor to reverse a decree of his. Sir W. Coventry took the opportunity of the business between the Duke of Yorke and the Duchesse, and said to my Lord Chancellor, that he had rather be drawn up Holborne to be hanged, than live to see his father pissed upon (in these very terms) and any decree of his reversed. And so the Chancellor did not think fit to do it, but it still stands, to the undoing of one Norton, a printer, about his right to the printing of the Bible, and Grammar, &c. Thence Sir W. Pen and I to Islington and there drank at the Katherine Wheele, and so down the nearest way home, where there was no kind of pleasure at all. Being come home, hear that Sir J. Minnes has had a very bad fit all this day, and a hickup do take him, which is a very bad sign, which troubles me truly. So home to supper a little and then to bed.

20 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

August 26 Contagion still continuing, we had the Church Office at home &c:

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/1914/ed...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Sir W. Pen and I by coach to White Hall, and there staid till the King and Cabinet were met in the Green Chamber, and then we were called in; and there the King begun with me, to hear how the victualls of the fleete stood"

"the Green Chamber" in which Pepys is interrogated had a portentous history: it played a role in the current King's coming to power:

"On 19th January, 1648­9, the [late] King [Charles I] , who had been brought to St. James's, was removed thence to Whitehall "and lodged in his usual BedChamber; after which a Guard of Musqueteers were placed, and Centinels at the door of his Chamber." Next day he was taken to Sir Robert Cotton's house near the west end of Westminster Hall, where (except for one night when he was brought back to St. James's) he lodged during his trial. At the rising of the Court he was carried back for a few hours to Whitehall "through the Privy-Garden … to his Bed-Chamber," and thence removed again to St. James's. (fn. 93) The execution was fixed for 30th January. In the morning of that day Charles was brought through the Park, up the stairs that led to the Tilt-yard Gallery, and so over the Holbein Gate to "a room, which is that they now call the Green-chamber." (fn. 94) After resting there for a time, he was led through the Banqueting House to the scaffold, which had been erected in front of that building, (fn. 95) and there beheaded." http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...which I did thoroughly by the time sermon was done at church, to my exceeding joy..." One is free to wonder if said joy was at completion of project or at missing dull sermon.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"... one case, that occasioned many years’ dispute, ... to the undoing of one Norton, a printer, about his right to the printing of the Bible, and Grammar, &c..."

Between 1618 and 1629 Bonham Norton pursued a series of Chancery suits against his partner Robert Barker, with whom he shared the business of 'King's Printer.' Finally defeated, Norton proceeded to accused Coventry of receiving bribes and was imprisoned as a result. At the Restoration Roger Norton, his son, filed suit challenging Coventry's decree and petitioned the King without result.

For copies of the various petitions and depositions in the the suit, see:-

http://www.english.qmul.ac.uk/kingsprinter/publ...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... it shall be a caution to me to prepare myself against a day of inquisition. ..."

A direct consequence of the above? "... Sir W. Pen and I to Islington and there drank at the Katherine Wheele, and so down the nearest way home, where there was no kind of pleasure at all. "

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"the setting things in order......to my exceeding joy"
Yes, it looks like our Sam has a touch of OCD.

arby   Link to this

Why is a hickup a "very bad sign"?

Phoenix   Link to this

"...that we are to attend the King at White Hall this afternoon, and that it is about a complaint from the Generalls against us.

Some of the complaint:

"Prince Rupert and the Duke of Albemarle to the King: The Dutch fleet of 80 sail was seen last night off Wildings, and is supposed to design a western course, to join the French fleet, in which case an month or more will be needed to bring them back again. Complaint of the want of supplies, in spite of repeated importunities. The demands are answered by accounts from Mr. Pepys, of what has been sent to the fleet, which will not satisfy the ships, unless the provisions can be found. Hope to be credited as to their wants, being upon the place. Have not a month's provision of beer, yet Sir Wm. Coventry assures the ministers that they are supplied till Oct. 3; unless this is quickened, they will have to return home too soon. The deceit in gauging the beer is 20 gallons a butt, and there is great loss by leakage, stinking beer, casks staved, supply of lesser vessels , &c. Want provisions according to their own computations, not Sir Wm. Coventry's, to last the end of October, and all the ships and fire-ships that can be sent into Devonshire, Cornwall, Dorsetshire, and Somersetshire, to press seamen to be sent to Dartmouth, whence vessels will fetch them: stores of all sorts should be laid in at Dover, Portsmouth, Dartmouth,Plymouth, or other convenient ports; that they may not spend faster than they can be supplied."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Complaint of the want of supplies, in spite of repeated importunities."

Thanks for the text, Phoenix. One wonders how the many "supernumeraries" on board there were -- above and beyond the listed crew and officers -- draining constant and unpredictable amounts of food, beer, etc..

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Many of the supernumeraries would have been on board the ships of the fleet at the tolerance of the "Generalls."

cgs   Link to this

It is common knowledge that the ship always had followers that could be found in the scuppers giving comfort.

Bradford   Link to this

A persistent hiccup would certainly complicate trying to get to sleep; and if you're already worn down, won't help. But perhaps at the time it was the signal of something worse?

cgs   Link to this

an aside
glottis problem\
[Hickop, hiccup, appears, from its date, to be a variation of the earlier hickock, HICKET q.v. Hiccough was a later spelling, app. under the erroneous impression that the second syllable was cough, which has not affected the received pronunciation, and ought to be abandoned as a mere error.]

hiccup, n.
a ...1580
1621 BURTON Anat. Mel. III. ii. VI. ii. (1651) 553 By some false accusation, as they do to such as have the hick~hop, to make them forget it.
1635 R. BRATHWAIT Arcad. Pr. 124 In the afternoone I am ever taken with a dry hecup.

1671 SALMON Syn. Med. III. xvii. 375 If the Hiccup come after taking it.

1727 BRADLEY Fam. Dict. s.v., You must in the very instant that the Hickup seizes the Party pull his Ring-Finger, and it will go off.
b. transf. A spasmodic affection of some other organ. Obs.
1634 HEYWOOD & BROME Lanc. Witches I. H's. Wks.

1874 IV. 184 O my hart has got the hickup, and all lookes greene about me.

Mary   Link to this

the sinister hiccup.

Both Hippocrates and Celsus associated hiccups with inflammation of the liver, so this might be a source of concern in the 17th century, when medical theory was still based on classical models.

On a more 'modern' level, persistent hiccups can occur in cases of cancer where severe distension of the stomach is involved.

Cactus Wren   Link to this

I recall reading somewhere (that is a shamefully bad excuse for a cite and would get me mercilessly mocked on Snopes) that often dying people will begin to hiccup shortly before death.

arby   Link to this

No mockery here, Wren. Thanks for the information everyone, hiccups and all. I really appreciate the comments, they help flesh out the diary and put it in context for me. And I need the help. Thanks. rb

Cactus Wren   Link to this

I only meant that at the Snopes fora "I recall reading somewhere" would in no way pass for an adequate cite: the Snopesters, like the afuisti before them, would be demanding "Read what? Read where? Surely you must have some more solid reference than 'I recall reading somewhere'!" :-)

(But I do think I read that hiccuping, at least in that context, may be a primitive breathing reflex that comes into play when normal breathing begins to fail.)

language hat   Link to this

Well, it's not just "at the Snopes fora," though they are of course notoriously hardheaded about these things; there is no circumstance in which “I recall reading somewhere” would pass for an adequate cite. I'm not criticizing you, I too am full of putative facts I've picked up who knows where, just pointing out that there's no reason for anyone to believe anything that's presented on such a basis.

Australian Susan   Link to this

If someone has had a stroke and is dying, the breathing becomes Cheyne Stokes breathing which is stentorian and in groups of 3 or 4, then a long pause and then it starts up again: this is a sign that the person will die shortly. See http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Chene...
Maybe this is what poor Sir John was experiencing.
Unfortunately, i know this from personal observation.

cgs   Link to this

'twas 'wot' we on the clods called a death rattle,
usually at 2 hrs before sunrise.
An aside
glottic, a.1
Of or pertaining to language or ‘tongues’; linguistic.

1660 EVELYN Mem. (1857) III. 132 Dr. Petty..had a main design to erect a Glottical College.

glottogonic, a.

Relating to the origin of language or languages.

glottis
Pertaining to, or produced in, the glottis. glottal catch or stop, a sound produced by the sudden opening or shutting of the glottis with an emission of breath or voice.

The opening at the upper part of the trachea, or windpipe, and between the vocal chords, which, by its dilatation and contraction, contributes to the modulation of the voice.
1578 BANISTER Hist. Man IV. 50 Glottis is a long rift placed in the middest of Larinx.
1615 CROOKE Body Man 636 The Larynx and the whistle or pipe thereof which we call Glottis.

1692 RAY Creation II. 105, I believe the Beaver hath the like Epiglottis exactly closing the Larynx or Glottis, and hindring all Influx of Water.

glotter, v.

intr. To chatter.
1656 W. D. tr. Comenius' Gate Lat. Unl. §252. 69 The Snake hisseth, the Eagle clangeth, the Stork glottereth, the Chough caweth.
1688 R. HOLME Armoury II. 310/2 The Stork glottereth, this is a kind of fictitious term from the sound, chattereth.

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