Monday 12 November 1666

Lay long in bed, and then up, and Mr. Carcasse brought me near 500 tickets to sign, which I did, and by discourse find him a cunning, confident, shrewd man, but one that I do doubt hath by his discourse of the ill will he hath got with my Lord Marquess of Dorchester (with whom he lived), he hath had cunning practices in his time, and would not now spare to use the same to his profit. That done I to the office; whither by and by comes Creed to me, and he and I walked in the garden a little, talking of the present ill condition of things, which is the common subject of all men’s discourse and fears now-a-days, and particularly of my Lady Denham, whom everybody says is poisoned, and he tells me she hath said it to the Duke of York; but is upon the mending hand, though the town says she is dead this morning. He and I to the ‘Change. There I had several little errands, and going to Sir R. Viner’s, I did get such a splash and spots of dirt upon my new vest, that I was out of countenance to be seen in the street. This day I received 450 pieces of gold more of Mr. Stokes, but cost me 22 1/2d. change; but I am well contented with it, — I having now near 2800l. in gold, and will not rest till I get full 3000l., and then will venture my fortune for the saving that and the rest. Home to dinner, though Sir R. Viner would have staid us to dine with him, he being sheriffe; but, poor man, was so out of countenance that he had no wine ready to drink to us, his butler being out of the way, though we know him to be a very liberal man. And after dinner I took my wife out, intending to have gone and have seen my Lady Jemimah, at White Hall, but so great a stop there was at the New Exchange, that we could not pass in half an houre, and therefore ‘light and bought a little matter at the Exchange, and then home, and then at the office awhile, and then home to my chamber, and after my wife and all the mayds abed but Jane, whom I put confidence in — she and I, and my brother, and Tom, and W. Hewer, did bring up all the remainder of my money, and my plate-chest, out of the cellar, and placed the money in my study, with the rest, and the plate in my dressing-room; but indeed I am in great pain to think how to dispose of my money, it being wholly unsafe to keep it all in coin in one place. But now I have it all at my hand, I shall remember it better to think of disposing of it. This done, by one in the morning to bed. This afternoon going towards Westminster, Creed and I did stop, the Duke of York being just going away from seeing of it, at Paul’s, and in the Convocation House Yard did there see the body of Robert Braybrooke, Bishop of London, that died 1404: He fell down in his tomb out of the great church into St. Fayth’s this late fire, and is here seen his skeleton with the flesh on; but all tough and dry like a spongy dry leather, or touchwood all upon his bones. His head turned aside. A great man in his time, and Lord Chancellor; and his skeletons now exposed to be handled and derided by some, though admired for its duration by others. Many flocking to see it.

20 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I...find [Mr. Carkesse] a cunning, confident, shrewd man, but one that I do doubt [ = suspect ] hath by his discourse of the ill will he hath got with my Lord Marquess of Dorchester"

L&M note that James Carkesse will be dismissed next year (1667) for issuing double-tickets, but will be later reinstated.

A cunning and shrewd confidence man indeed!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Sir R. Viner would have staid us to dine with him, he being sheriffe;"

Being Knighted and being sheriff in that order were two preconditions of being a candidate for Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Viner "was chosen lord mayor in 1674. [Having] produced the jewel-studded replica of the Crown of St. Edward and the King's Orb, used for Charles II's coronation in 1661,[he] was brought much into contact with Charles II and with the court. The king attended his mayoral banquet, and the lord mayor erected an equestrian statue in his honor on a spot now covered by the Mansion House.

"Having been appointed the king's goldsmith in 1661, Sir Robert was one of those who lent large sums of money for the expenses of the state and the extravagances of the court; over £400,000 was owing to him when the national exchequer suspended payment in 1672, and he was reduced to the necessity of compounding with his creditors. He obtained from the state an annuity of £25,000. Viner died at Windsor on the 2 September 1688."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Robert_Viner,_...

Bradford   Link to this

"the body of Robert Braybrooke, . . . is here seen his skeleton with the flesh on; but all tough and dry like a spongy dry leather, or touchwood all upon his bones."

And speaking of touch, how would Pepys know the texture of the remains unless he fingered them himself? Bishop Braybrooke's Body wouldn't last long if all spectators satisfied their curiosity thus.

"touchwood" = "punk," "wood so decayed as to be dry, crumbly, and useful for tinder" (Merriam-Webster). I remember as a kid buying slow-burning punk sticks in lieu of tons of matches for lighting innumerable firecrackers with.

CGS   Link to this

touchwood
Wood or anything of woody nature, in such a state as to catch fire readily, and which can be used as tinder. a. The soft white substance into which wood is converted by the action of certain fungi, especially of Polyporus squamosus, and which has the property of burning for many hours when once ignited, and is occasionally self-luminous.
By confusion the name is sometimes applied to the powdery snuff-coloured mass into which wood is sometimes converted without the agency of fungi, by a process of slow chemical combustion (eremacausis), which is not distinguishable from the effects of dry rot, except by the absence of fungous spawn. (M. J. Berkeley in Treas. Bot. (1866).
1579
1621 BURTON Anat. Mel. III. ii. II. i. (1651) 450 As match or touchwood takes fire, so doth an idle person love. 1646 SIR T. BROWNE Pseud. Ep. II. v. 89 To make white powder... The best I know is by the powder of rotten willowes; spunck, or touchwood prepared, might perhaps make it russet.
b. A name given to various fungi, esp. two species of Polyporus (P. or Fomes fomentarius and P. or F. igniarius), also called touchwood boletus, or to the tinder called ‘amadou’ made from them. Cf. TINDER.
The former of these is found on oak, beech, birch, lime, etc., the latter (which requires a process of preparation) on ash, poplar, willow, plane, fir, etc.
1598
c. fig. Said of a thing or person that easily ‘takes fire’, or which, like tinder, ‘kindles’ something else (quot. 1601); esp. an irascible or passionate person, one easily incensed. Now rare.

[1601 DENT Pathw. Heaven 204 Sins of oppression..be the very fire-brands of Gods wrath, and as it were touch-wood, to kindle his anger.]

1617 MIDDLETON & ROWLEY Fair Quarrel II. i, The Colonel, soon enrag'd, as he's all touchwood.

c1620 FLETCHER & MASSINGER Lit. French Lawyer II. iii, Peace touchwood.

CGS   Link to this


Constable be warned.
Ld. Crewe, Privilege.

Upon the humble Petition of Arthur Jakeman, now a Prisoner in The Flecte by Order of this House, acknowledging his hearty Sorrow for his Offences against the Privileges of this House, in arresting and striking William Spurrier, a Servant of the Lord Crewe; and praying that he may be therefore released:

cape henry   Link to this

"L&M note that James Carkesse will be dismissed next year (1667) for issuing double-tickets, but will be later reinstated." Perhaps not surprisingly, TF, that very thought popped into my head when Pepys says he signed 500 tickets and then discusses the man's -uh- cunning. One of the oldest tricks in the world is to hand the signer a stack of checks, 10 of which are made payable to your daughter.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Traffic-jams aka -blocks

"intending to have gone and have seen my Lady Jemimah, at White Hall, but so great a stop there was at the New Exchange, that we could not pass in half an houre"

H o Lords today

"Order to prevent Stoppages in the Streets leading to the Parliament House.

Whereas there hath been of late much Interruption, by Carts and Drays, in King-street, in the City of Westm. so that the Lords and others are frequently hindered from coming to Parliament, to the Disservice of the King and Kingdom, and the Hinderance of the Members of Parliament: It is therefore ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Steward of the City of Westm. or his Deputy, together with the Justices of Peace of the said City, shall, by their Care and Directions to the Constables within the said Limits, take special Order, that no Cart or Dray make any Stay, more than for disburdening its Carriage; and that no empty Hackney Coach be suffered to make any Stay, between Whitehall and The Old Pallace, Westm. aforesaid, from Nine of the Clock in the Morning to One in the Afternoon, during all the Sitting of this Parliament; and that no unnecessary Carriages by Carts or Drays be permitted to go through the said Streets, between the Hours aforesaid, during the Sitting of both Houses of Parliament: And herein a special Care is to be taken by the said Justices and the Constables, as the contrary will be answered to this House." http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Mr. Gunning   Link to this

Sam keeps referring to goldsmiths more as bankers than the modern meaning of makers of gold jewelry etc. which seems strange as 'smith' certainly denotes working rather than banking.

It must have been a huge worry having so much gold in the house and the Bank of England #and banknotes#doesn't appear until 1694, unless there were any earlier versions of banks?

Revd. Griliopoulos   Link to this

Mr Gunning - I'm only a novice antiquarian, so correct me if I'm wrong but...

Because of the presence of large amounts of precious materials in their houses, goldsmiths and jewellers often had safes or lockers, which they could use to protect other people's money, for a fee - this was the start of modern banking, especially when promissary notes against stored gold rapidly turned into paper money and the goldsmith realised that he could start lending out his savers' cash... which, when over-leveraged, leads nicely to the current financial crisis. Thanks goldsmiths!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Well, to be fair to the goldsmiths, it was often a deal including his depositor...Who should have considered the possibility of loss/ruin but like our modern investor prefers not to.

"I would diversify Mr. Pepys. I do my best to choose good investments but one can never be sure in such times."

"Nonsense, don't cut me out of this glorious opportunity. My brother-in-law assures me the Turk is certain to take Vienna and gold and armaments spending will both rise accordingly."

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... did there see the body of Robert Braybrooke, Bishop of London, that died 1404 ..."

How curious the body did not burn; it must have been very dry indeed and sounds almost mummified.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... and Mr. Carcasse brought me near 500 tickets to sign, which I did, and by discourse find him a cunning, confident, shrewd man, ... , he hath had cunning practices in his time, and would not now spare to use the same to his profit. "

Pots and kettles!

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"I did get some splashes and spots of dirt in my new vest"
Yes Sam, God is punishing you for the dirt you did in church yesterday!

jeannine   Link to this

From “the Royal Whore’ by Allen Andrews (p. 174-175), regarding the body of poor Bishiop Braybrooke, which has become quite the spectacle. After the flock of onlookers had died down,

“Lady Castlemaine came to see the body for herself. It was unmarked except for two pickaxe wounds unintentionally inflicted by a labourer clearing the site after the fire. ‘Yet it later received a greater maim than these before mentioned,’ the antiquary Henry, Lord Coleraine, wrote with somewhat facetious severity, ‘by a female’s defrauding (shall I say?) or deroding of the virile instrument, as I was told by Thomas Boys, Keeper of the Chapter House, then present’.

According to Lord Coleraine’s account, Lady Castlemaine was accompanied to the ruined cathedral by a gentleman and two or three gentlewomen, but she told the keeper that she wished to be left alone with the body. He therefore retired with her attendants, noticing as he went, ‘Her Ladyship addressing herself towards the carcass with many crossings and great tokens of superstition”.

Later she rejoined her gentlewomen ‘with much satisfaction,’ gave the keeper a gratuity and left. Thomas Boys ‘returned to shut up the carcass but unexpectedly found it served like a Turkish eunuch and dismembered of as much of the privity as the lady could get into her mouth to bite (for want of a circumcising penknife to cut).”

Lord Coleraine could not deny himself the topical pleasantry. “Thought some ladies of late have got Bishopspricks for other,” he commented, “yet I have not heard of any but this that got one for herself”

Robert Gertz   Link to this

And kids say history is boring...Thanks Jeannine for an image that will...Hideously, hilariously...Linger.

Horrible thing is I can believe it of Castlemaine...

CGS   Link to this

Real 'istory ain't boring, just the massaged version.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Touching “the body of Robert Braybrooke"

"Medical science once made use of certain powers attributed to the dead body--as the quotation of Kipling reminds us:

"If it be certain as Galen says,
And sage Hippocrates holds as much
That those afflicted by doubts and dismays
Are mightily healed by a dead man's touch."

"It was generally believed that certain forms of disease, particularly ulcers and cancerous growths, might be effectively healed by being touched by a dead man's hand, as "King's Evil" was held to be cured by the hand of the King.

"This remarkable superstition is met with in many forms; in Scotland, for instance, it was thought to be necessary in order to avoid the possibility of being haunted, that those who took part in the funeral rites, must not only see the body before it was shrouded or borne to the grave, but also touch it....

"Looking through the records for a trace of such customs in [the UK], we find a very significant old Cornish belief that children should be made to kiss the dead, in order that by so doing they might receive from them the gifts of long life and physical strength. Even now amongst the lower orders of society we find that kissing the dead is looked upon as a pious necessity, an unwholesome habit which might well have a deeper meaning than the mere promptings of affection." *Funeral Customs* by Bertram S. Puckle [1926] Ch. IV http://www.sacred-texts.com/etc/fcod/fcod07.htm

But necrophagia http://www.yourdictionary.com/necrophagia
and Lady Castlemaine's peculiar form of vorariphilia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorarephilia ??!

CGS   Link to this

May be, just maybe, germs /virus may provide an immunization effect, cowpox saved the milk maids, but we will never know until we proceed with scientific controls. Everything modifies everything , the results may be unwanted, or be even dangerous but there will be the odd curing result, reality be stranger than fiction.
The thought that man can fly with his own wings, or a L. Da Vinci parachute would work would be outrageous.
Who would have thought that 'Shite' be good for blowing things up, and continents would be conquered

Tom Carr   Link to this

I remember a scene from a movie that depicts the "injury" done to Bishop Braybrook. I think it was in "The Last King".

CGS   Link to this

"...Later she rejoined her gentlewomen ‘with much satisfaction,’ gave the keeper a gratuity and left. Thomas Boys ‘returned to shut up the carcass but unexpectedly found it served like a Turkish eunuch and dismembered of as much of the privity as the lady could get into her mouth to bite (for want of a circumcising penknife to cut).”..."

Was the Lady wishing for the great power of cloning,
so she could have been to have the first perfect Man.

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