Monday 8 October 1666

Up and to my office, called up by Commissioner Middleton, newly come to town, but staid not with me; so I to my office busy all the morning. Towards noon, by water to Westminster Hall, and there by several hear that the Parliament do resolve to do something to retrench Sir G. Carteret’s great salary; but cannot hear of any thing bad they can lay to his charge. The House did this day order to be engrossed the Bill against importing Irish cattle; a thing, it seems, carried on by the Western Parliament-men, wholly against the sense of most of the rest of the House; who think if you do this, you give the Irish again cause to rebel. Thus plenty on both sides makes us mad. The Committee of the Canary Company of both factions come to me for my Cozen Roger that is of the Committee. Thence with [Sir] W. Coventry when the House rose and [Sir] W. Batten to St. James’s, and there agreed of and signed our paper of extraordinaries, and there left them, and I to Unthanke’s, where Mr. Falconbridge’s girle is, and by and by comes my wife, who likes her well, though I confess I cannot (though she be of my finding out and sings pretty well), because she will be raised from so mean a condition to so high all of a sudden; but she will be much to our profit, more than Mercer, less expense. Here we bespoke anew gowne for her, and to come to us on Friday. She being gone, my wife and I home by coach, and then I presently by water with Mr. Pierce to Westminster Hall, he in the way telling me how the Duke of York and Duke of Albemarle do not agree. The Duke of York is wholly given up to this bitch of Denham. The Duke of Albemarle and Prince Rupert do less agree. So that we are all in pieces, and nobody knows what will be done the next year. The King hath yesterday in Council declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes, which he will never alter.1 It will be a vest, I know not well how; but it is to teach the nobility thrift, and will do good. By and by comes down from the Committee [Sir] W. Coventry, and I find him troubled at several things happened this afternoon, which vexes me also; our business looking worse and worse, and our worke growing on our hands. Time spending, and no money to set anything in hand with; the end thereof must be speedy ruine. The Dutch insult and have taken off Bruant’s head, which they have not dared to do (though found guilty of the fault he did die for, of something of the Prince of Orange’s faction) till just now, which speaks more confidence in our being worse than before. Alderman Maynell, I hear, is dead. Thence returned in the darke by coach all alone, full of thoughts of the consequences of this ill complexion of affairs, and how to save myself and the little I have, which if I can do, I have cause to bless God that I am so well, and shall be well contented to retreat to Brampton, and spend the rest of my days there. So to my office, and did some business, and finished my Journall with resolutions, if God bless me, to apply myself soberly to settle all matters for myself, and expect the event of all with comfort. So home to supper and to bed.

  1. There are several references to this new fashion of dress introduced by the king, Pepys saw the Duke of York put on the vest on the 13th, and he says Charles II. himself put it on on the 15th. On November 4th Pepys dressed himself in the new vest and coat. See notes, October 15th and November 22nd.

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The House of Commons today

Importing Cattle, &c.

Mr. Seymour reports from the Committee to which the Bill against Importation of foreign Cattle and Fish was re-committed....
....
The last Amendment was twice read; and, upon the Question, agreed to.

Resolved, &c. That the Bill, with the Amendments agreed to, be ingrossed.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Jesse   Link to this

"setting a fashion for clothes"

What, ashes barely cold on the ground, war w/the Dutch and the navy desperate for funds, Parliament tweaking the Irish and ... "it will be a vest"? Maybe not such a bad idea.

Mr. Gunning   Link to this

Vests? Vests?

The sooner the country gets shot of this House of Stuart and brings in the House of Orange the better.

Why the Highlanders risked everyhing to try and bring back this shower beats me.

Merry Monarch indeed.

Cynic   Link to this

Quote: "It will be a vest, I know not well how; but it is to teach the nobility thrift, and will do good."

The sooner the country gets shot of this House of Stuart and brings in the House of Orange the better.

But surely an attempt at reducing the costs of inflationary fashion rivalry among the nobility?

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"Bill against importing Irish cattle"
Nowadays the Irish government was the principal reason of the banning of Brazilian cattle into the EU.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"The House did this day order to be engrossed the Bill against importing Irish cattle; a thing, it seems, carried on by the Western Parliament-men, wholly against the sense of most of the rest of the House; who think if you do this, you give the Irish again cause to rebel."

Bullock-befriending bard...to steal from Joyce.

***
Vests...

The 1666 equivalent of being told to resume shopping after 9/11?

(That's revolutionary talk, Mr. G.

Say, off-topic but who would be running the service that arrests us for such things? Downing's not available...And Charlie probably wouldn't trust him with such power...Clarendon or his people, perhaps?)

classicist   Link to this

Given Sam's confrontation with Rupert yesterday, and the missing millions, is it fair to remind everyone that the prince's nickname in the Parliamentary newsbooks during the Civil War was 'Prince Robber, Duke of Plunderland'?

Mary   Link to this

The 17th century gentleman's vest

We shall hear more of this garment in the days to come. Think waistcoat-predecessor rather than 'vest' in the English sense.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Mary makes a nice point. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vest

jeannine   Link to this

Dress: Stay tuned (could be a spoiler-not sure if it makes the Diary) but ladies hemlines may also take a little climb as the queen adds her ideas to the fashion statement.

Makes me wonder-knowing the lecherous court, maybe they would welcome the mini-skirts of the 1960s? It would no doubt be marketed as their contribution to cost savings measures in this time of need. I am surprised that the Dukes of Buckingham & Rochester aren't busy at work with this one!

JWB   Link to this

"...the Bill against importing Irish cattle; a thing, it seems, carried on by the Western Parliament-men,..."

Macauly: "At the same time a sudden fall of rents took place. The income of every landed proprietor was diminished by five shillings in the pound. The cry of agricultural distress rose from every shire in the kingdom; and for that distress the government was, as usual, held accountable. The gentry, compelled to retrench their expenses for a period, saw with indignation the increasing splendour and profusion of Whitehall..." http://www.strecorsoc.org/macaulay/m02b.html

Bradford   Link to this

Pepys and Charles II's "vest":

In the midst of this droll examination of The Suit comes a brief history beginning with Our Sam, providing context for this revolution in men's attire instigated by the King:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ntg4k

Available through next Friday afternoon, 14 August 2010.

Log in to post an annotation.

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