Monday 5 November 1666

(A holyday). Lay long; then up, and to the office, where vexed to meet with people come from the fleete at the Nore, where so many ships are laid up and few going abroad, and yet Sir Thomas Allen hath sent up some Lieutenants with warrants to presse men for a few ships to go out this winter, while every day thousands appear here, to our great trouble and affright, before our office and the ticket office, and no Captains able to command one-man aboard. Thence by water to Westminster, and there at the Swan find Sarah is married to a shoemaker yesterday, so I could not see her, but I believe I shall hereafter at good leisure. Thence by coach to my Lady Peterborough, and there spoke with my Lady, who had sent to speak with me. She makes mighty moan of the badness of the times, and her family as to money. My Lord’s passionateness for want thereof, and his want of coming in of rents, and no wages from the Duke of York. No money to be had there for wages nor disbursements, and therefore prays my assistance about his pension. I was moved with her story, which she largely and handsomely told me, and promised I would try what I could do in a few days, and so took leave, being willing to keep her Lord fair with me, both for his respect to my Lord Sandwich and for my owne sake hereafter, when I come to pass my accounts. Thence to my Lord Crew’s, and there dined, and mightily made of, having not, to my shame, been there in 8 months before. Here my Lord and Sir Thomas Crew, Mr. John, and Dr. Crew, and two strangers. The best family in the world for goodness and sobriety. Here beyond my expectation I met my Lord Hinchingbroke, who is come to towne two days since from Hinchingbroke, and brought his sister and brother Carteret with him, who are at Sir G. Carteret’s. After dinner I and Sir Thomas Crew went aside to discourse of public matters, and do find by him that all the country gentlemen are publickly jealous of the courtiers in the Parliament, and that they do doubt every thing that they propose; and that the true reason why the country gentlemen are for a land-tax and against a general excise, is, because they are fearful that if the latter be granted they shall never get it down again; whereas the land-tax will be but for so much; and when the war ceases, there will be no ground got by the Court to keep it up. He do much cry out upon our accounts, and that all that they have had from the King hath been but estimates both from my Lord Treasurer and us, and from all people else, so that the Parliament is weary of it. He says the House would be very glad to get something against Sir G. Carteret, and will not let their inquiries die till they have got something. He do, from what he hath heard at the Committee for examining the burning of the City, conclude it as a thing certain that it was done by plots; it being proved by many witnesses that endeavours were made in several places to encrease the fire, and that both in City and country it was bragged by several Papists that upon such a day or in such a time we should find the hottest weather that ever was in England, and words of plainer sense. But my Lord Crew was discoursing at table how the judges have determined in the case whether the landlords or the tenants (who are, in their leases, all of them generally tied to maintain and uphold their houses) shall bear the losse of the fire; and they say that tenants should against all casualties of fire beginning either in their owne or in their neighbour’s; but, where it is done by an enemy, they are not to do it. And this was by an enemy, there having been one convicted and hanged upon this very score. This is an excellent salvo for the tenants, and for which I am glad, because of my father’s house. After dinner and this discourse I took coach, and at the same time find my Lord Hinchingbroke and Mr. John Crew and the Doctor going out to see the ruins of the City; so I took the Doctor into my hackney coach (and he is a very fine sober gentleman), and so through the City. But, Lord! what pretty and sober observations he made of the City and its desolation; till anon we come to my house, and there I took them upon Tower Hill to shew them what houses were pulled down there since the fire; and then to my house, where I treated them with good wine of several sorts, and they took it mighty respectfully, and a fine company of gentlemen they are; but above all I was glad to see my Lord Hinchingbroke drink no wine at all. Here I got them to appoint Wednesday come se’nnight to dine here at my house, and so we broke up and all took coach again, and I carried the Doctor to Chancery Lane, and thence I to White Hall, where I staid walking up and down till night, and then got almost into the play house, having much mind to go and see the play at Court this night; but fearing how I should get home, because of the bonefires and the lateness of the night to get a coach, I did not stay; but having this evening seen my Lady Jemimah, who is come to towne, and looks very well and fat, and heard how Mr. John Pickering is to be married this week, and to a fortune with 5000l., and seen a rich necklace of pearle and two pendants of dyamonds, which Sir G. Carteret hath presented her with since her coming to towne, I home by coach, but met not one bonefire through the whole town in going round by the wall, which is strange, and speaks the melancholy disposition of the City at present, while never more was said of, and feared of, and done against the Papists than just at this time. Home, and there find my wife and her people at cards, and I to my chamber, and there late, and so to supper and to bed.

16 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"A holyday"

'Tis the fifth of November http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes_Night

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"He do ... conclude it as a thing certain that it was done by plots"

The "paranoid style" didn't begin with American politics.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"But my Lord Crew was discoursing at table how the judges have determined in the case whether the landlords or the tenants (who are, in their leases, all of them generally tied to maintain and uphold their houses) shall bear the losse of the fire;...but, where it is done by an enemy, they are not to do it. And this was by an enemy, there having been one convicted and hanged upon this very score. This is an excellent salvo for the tenants, and for which I am glad, because of my father’s house."

Remove liability for it by regarding the Great Fire as an act of war.

And the innocent hanged for an accident in the King's bakery in Pudding Lane be damned.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

In fairness to Sam, I think he sincerely believes in the Papal Fire Plot. So far the bloodthirsty mob has not been too such, apparently, though one poor man's death is too many. Interesting that the tenants would have had to pay for the fire's damage...Would that have included the houses themselves as well as their lost possessions? Pretty awful.

Of course one must note there seems no cry for an immediate attack on France or the Vatican...Imagine if Washington or London or another great city burned today and the unholy aftermath on any poor nation wrongly blamed.

Ah, right...

CGS   Link to this

All situations must have solutions, if not fact then fiction will do, none the less, an answer, that will start with a nice speculation, solidifying into a solid answer that can be employed for an act of punishment. A degree d
[listen to any news channel]

cape henry   Link to this

"...while every day thousands appear here, to our great trouble and affright, before our office and the ticket office, and no Captains able to command one-man aboard."

This puts flesh on the reality that Pepys and the Navy Office was faced with every day. The want of money was an immediate and worrisome challenge, not just an abstract problem "out in the fleet" somewhere.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Ormond to Conway
Written from: Dublin

Date: 5 November 1666

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 49, fol(s). 365

Document type: Copy

Would have been glad had the Bill against Irish Cattle been stopt, in either House, but knows not whether he ought to wish that the King should refuse his assent to it. It is certain that while the war lasts, the ill payment of rents will last, and if the King should not make the Bill a law, it [namely, the fall of rents,] will be imputed to his refusal. Perhaps, it were better they should find that this restriction will not help them, than to leave them liberty to say that it would have done, had the King consented. ... The experiment will certainly undo many of us here. ...

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

GrahamT   Link to this

Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot.
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Treason and plot seem to be on the agenda again in 1666, but with arson replacing the gunpowder. Blamed on the same papish conspirators though.

"Wednesday come se’nnight" = "A week come (next) Wednesday"

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...and there at the Swan find Sarah is married to a shoemaker yesterday, so I could not see her, but I believe I shall hereafter at good leisure."

Never let a little thing like matrimony stand between Sam and a good time...

***
Heaven...

"Bess?! Now what is this fellow complaining about? After all I was ready to give Sarah's shoemaker a good stake in the naval footwear trade. Bagwell took much less."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Interesting holy day by the way or should I say (holyday).

***
"In parentheses?!"

"I like it. It sets your name apart."

-Mel Brooks and the divine Anne Bancroft, "To Be Or Not To Be"

djc   Link to this

"Interesting that the tenants would have had to pay for the fire’s damage…Would that have included the houses themselves as well as their lost possessions?"

That is the point. The property would have been leasehold (the land itself entailed so that it passed down through the landowner family). The building would have been on a full repairing lease, so at the end of the term (usually 99 years) the house reverts to the freeholder in good condition. So the tenant (leaseholder or possibly sub-leaseholder) would be liable for the restitution of the property after the fire. But not if the cause were enemy action. So there is a vested interest on the part of tenants to find evidence of plots.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

"One convicted and hanged ... '

This unfortunate, and almost certainly mentally ill, fellow was named Robert Hubert, a 26-year-old watchmaker's son from Rouen in Normandy. He was lame and something of a drifter. He joined the exodus of foreigners from London after the fire and was stopped in Essex and taken in for questioning. He blurted out a remarkable story, claiming to be a member of an organized gang of incendiaries led by a man named Stephen Peidloe. He said he had been landed upriver while London was ablaze and instructed to throw a fireball near the Palace of Whitehall.

Later, his story would change in many details and was full of contradictions, including an assertion that he threw the first fireball into Farriner's bakery in Pudding Lane. The Lord Chief Justice, a formidable figure with a reputation for sternness, presided over the case at the Old Bailey and told Charles II that Hubert's story made no sense and he did not believe him guilty. But Hubert insisted that he was indeed guilty. Pudding Lane had ceased to exist, but Hubert actually led his jail keeper to the site of the bakery, although they had to ask a local man where it had stood. (It was later speculated that Hubert had been one of the many who flocked to the place to see where the fire had started and had acquired his knowledge that way.)

Hubert's insistence on his guilt was enough for the jury. He was hanged at Tyburn on October 29, 1666. According to one account he recanted his confession on the gallows, but it was too late.

(Summarized from Tinniswood, By Permission of Heaven, Pimlico 2004, pp 163-68.)

FJA   Link to this

"Equivocation", a most excellent play just out this year, premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and now beginning to be performed elsewhere, deals with the Gunpowder Plot and the premise that it never really happened. According to the play, the King's top ministers needed a ruse in order to beat back Catholicism and consolidate their own power during the early years of the new reign, so they tried to get Shakespeare to write a pro-government play based on a fictional Gunpowder Plot which they had trumped up. Shakespeare, at great risk to himself and his men, delivers "MacBeth" instead, in part because King James wanted him to throw in some witches.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

"So there is a vested interest on the part of tenants to find evidence of plots."

I concur.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Se'ennight

Strange that we have lost this expression, but retained fortnight.

So Lady Jem "looks very well and fat" - Pregnant?? And a rich present (pearls *and* diamonds) from daddy in law for being so??

Thank you to djc for neat summary of the complex situation which is leasehold law in the UK. The Duke of Westminster still owns vast tracts of London, with long leasehold properties on them.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

@Susan, "fortnight" is not in common usage in American English, although most educated people would understand it when they see it written, certainly better than "se'ennight." Don't know about Canada.

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