Friday 5 October 1666

Up, and with my father talking awhile, then to the office, and there troubled with a message from Lord Peterborough about money; but I did give as kind answer as I could, though I hate him. Then to Sir G. Carteret to discourse about paying of part of the great ships come in, and so home again to compare the comparison of the two Dutch wars’ charges for [Sir] W. Coventry, and then by water (and saw old Mr. Michell digging like a painfull father for his son) to him, and find him at dinner. After dinner to look over my papers, and comparing them with some notes of his and brought me, the sight of some good Navy notes of his which I shall get. Then examined and liked well my notes, and away together to White Hall, in the way discoursing the inconvenience of the King’s being thus subject to an account, but it will be remedied for the time to come, he thinks, if we can get this over, and I find he will have the Comptroller’s business better done, swearing he will never be for a wit to be employed on business again. Thence I home, and back again to White Hall, and meeting Sir H. Cholmly to White Hall; there walked till night that the Committee come down, and there Sir W. Coventry tells me that the Subcommittee have made their report to the Grand Committee, and in pretty kind terms, and have agreed upon allowing us 4l. per head, which I am sure will do the business, but he had endeavoured to have got more, but this do well, and he and I are both mighty glad it is come to this, and the heat of the present business seems almost over. But I have more worke cut out for me, to prepare a list of the extraordinaries, not to be included within the 4l., against Monday. So I away from him, and met with the Vice-Chamberlain, and I told him when I had this evening in coming hither met with Captain Cocke, and he told me of a wild motion made in the House of Lords by the Duke of Buckingham for all men that had cheated the King to be declared traitors and felons, and that my Lord Sandwich was named. This put me into a great pain, so the Vice-Chamberlain, who had heard nothing of it, having been all day in the City, away with me to White Hall; and there come to me and told me that, upon Lord Ashly’s asking their direction whether, being a peere, he should bring in his accounts to the Commons, which they did give way to, the Duke of Buckingham did move that, for the time to come, what I have written above might be declared by some fuller law than heretofore. Lord Ashly answered, that it was not the fault of the present laws, but want of proof; and so said the Lord Chancellor. He answered, that a better law, he thought, might be made so the House laughing, did refer it to him to bring in a Bill to that purpose, and this was all. So I away with joyful heart home, calling on Cocke and telling him the same. So I away home to the office to clear my Journall for five days, and so home to supper and to bed, my father who had staid out late and troubled me thereat being come home well and gone to bed, which pleases me also. This day, coming home, Mr. Kirton’s kinsman, my bookseller, come in my way; and so I am told by him that Mr. Kirton is utterly undone, and made 2 or 3000l. worse than nothing, from being worth 7 or 8,000l.. That the goods laid in the Churchyarde fired through the windows those in St. Fayth’s church; and those coming to the warehouses’ doors fired them, and burned all the books and the pillars of the church, so as the roof falling down, broke quite down, which it did not do in the other places of the church, which is alike pillared (which I knew not before); but being not burned, they stand still. He do believe there is above; 50,000l. of books burned; all the great booksellers almost undone: not only these, but their warehouses at their Hall, and under Christchurch, and elsewhere being all burned. A great want thereof there will be of books, specially Latin books and foreign books; and, among others, the Polyglottes and new Bible, which he believes will be presently worth 40l. a-piece.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"He answered, that a better law, he thought, might be made so the House laughing, did refer it to him to bring in a Bill to that purpose, and this was all."

L&M note the person referenced here is the Duke of Buckingham.

A nice exchange not included in the House of Lords Journal.

Another episode in Ashley's campaigne against Sandwich and his supporters, eventually including Pepys; driving 'The Plot Against Pepys' by James Long and Ben Long, Reviewed by Jeannine Kerwin http://www.pepysdiary.com/indepth/2007/08/16/th...

Margaret   Link to this

"...and saw old Mr. Michell digging like a painfull father for his son"

Does this mean that Mr. M. is digging through the rubble of his son's house after the fire?

JWB   Link to this

Margaret:
I read to be simile- digging for his stock of books.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"troubled with a message from Lord Peterborough about money"

L&M note this concerned his pension as late Governot of Tangier.

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"have agreed upon allowing us 4l. per head"

L&M say this becomes the normal monthly allowance per man on which naval estimates were based for the rest of the century = 30s. for wages, 30s. wear and tear (materiel, ships included), and 20s. for victuals.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Painful = painstaking at this time

Larry Bunce   Link to this

Worke cut out for me...
This phrase is listed in some sources as from the mid 19th century, with ambiguous references to 1600. This usage seems pretty clear. The consensus seems to be that it originated in tailoring, so Sam may have had a head start in the modern usage.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...Captain Cocke, and he told me of a wild motion made in the House of Lords by the Duke of Buckingham for all men that had cheated the King to be declared traitors and felons..."

Uh-oh.

Brian   Link to this

"my father who had staid out late and troubled me thereat being come home well and gone to bed."

Boys just want to have fun!

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

"swearing he will never be for a wit to be employed on business again."

The Two Cultures clash. Sir John Mennes well read and with a reputation as a wit is a flop with numbers. Sir W. Coventry says verbal agility has proved to be no qualification for the job of Comptroller.

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