Monday 21 January 1666/67

Up betimes, and with, Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, [Sir] R. Ford, by coach to the Swede’s Resident’s in the Piatza, to discourse with him about two of our prizes, wherein he puts in his concernment as for his countrymen. We had no satisfaction, nor did give him any, but I find him a cunning fellow. He lives in one of the great houses there, but ill- furnished; and come to us out of bed in his furred mittens and furred cap. Thence to Exeter House to the Doctors Commons, and there with our Proctors to Dr. Walker, who was not very well, but, however, did hear our matters, and after a dull seeming hearing of them read, did discourse most understandingly of them, as well as ever I heard man, telling us all our grounds of pretence to the prize would do no good, and made it appear but thus, and thus, it may be, but yet did give us but little reason to expect it would prove, which troubled us, but I was mightily taken to hear his manner of discourse. Thence with them to Westminster Hall, they setting me down at White Hall, where I missed of finding Sir G. Carteret, up to the Lords’ House, and there come mighty seasonably to hear the Solicitor about my Lord Buckingham’s pretence to the title of Lord Rosse. Mr. Atturny Montagu is also a good man, and so is old Sir P. Ball; but the Solicitor and Scroggs after him are excellent men. Here spoke with my Lord Bellasses about getting some money for Tangier, which he doubts we shall not be able to do out of the Poll Bill, it being so strictly tied for the Navy. He tells me the Lords have passed the Bill for the accounts with some little amendments. So down to the Hall, and thence with our company to Exeter House, and then did the business I have said before, we doing nothing the first time of going, it being too early. At home find Lovett, to whom I did give my Lady Castlemayne’s head to do. He is talking of going into Spayne to get money by his art, but I doubt he will do no good, he being a man of an unsettled head. Thence by water down to Deptford, the first time I have been by water a great while, and there did some little business and walked home, and there come into my company three drunken seamen, but one especially, who told me such stories, calling me Captain, as made me mighty merry, and they would leap and skip, and kiss what mayds they met all the way. I did at first give them money to drink, lest they should know who I was, and so become troublesome to me. Parted at Redriffe, and there home and to the office, where did much business, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, where [Sir] W. Pen, [Sir] R. Ford, and I to hear a proposition [Sir] R. Ford was to acquaint us with from the Swedes Embassador, in manner of saying, that for money he might be got to our side and relinquish the trouble he may give us. Sir W. Pen did make a long simple declaration of his resolution to give nothing to deceive any poor man of what was his right by law, but ended in doing whatever any body else would, and we did commission Sir R. Ford to give promise of not beyond 350l. to him and his Secretary, in case they did not oppose us in the Phoenix (the net profits of which, as [Sir] R. Ford cast up before us, the Admiral’s tenths, and ship’s thirds, and other charges all cleared, will amount to 3,000l.) and that we did gain her. [Sir] R. Ford did pray for a curse upon his family, if he was privy to anything more than he told us (which I believe he is a knave in), yet we all concluded him the most fit man for it and very honest, and so left it wholly to him to manage as he pleased. Thence to the office a little while longer, and so home, where W. Hewer’s mother was, and Mrs. Turner, our neighbour, and supped with us. His mother a well-favoured old little woman, and a good woman, I believe. After we had supped, and merry, we parted late, Mrs. Turner having staid behind to talk a little about her lodgings, which now my Lord Bruncker upon Sir W. Coventry’s surrendering do claim, but I cannot think he will come to live in them so as to need to put them out. She gone, we to bed all. This night, at supper, comes from Sir W. Coventry the Order of Councill for my Lord Bruncker to do all the Comptroller’s part relating to the Treasurer’s accounts, and Sir W. Pen, all relating to the Victualler’s, and Sir J. Minnes to do the rest. This, I hope, will do much better for the King than now, and, I think, will give neither of them ground to over-top me, as I feared they would; which pleases me mightily. This evening, Mr. Wren and Captain Cocke called upon me at the office, and there told me how the House was in better temper to-day, and hath passed the Bill for the remainder of the money, but not to be passed finally till they have done some other things which they will have passed with it; wherein they are very open, what their meaning is, which was but doubted before, for they do in all respects doubt the King’s pleasing them.

20 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"three drunken seamen, . . . I did at first give them money to drink, lest they should know who I was, and so become troublesome to me": ah, get them drunk enough, and they'll forget you?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Thence to Exeter House to the Doctors Commons, and there with our Proctors to Dr. Walker, who was not very well, but, however, did hear our matters"

"Our matters" were " two of our prizes," ergo to the Admiralty Court.

"While the English Common Law, unlike the legal systems on the European continent, developed mostly independently from Roman Law, some specialised English courts applied the Roman based civil law. This is true of the ecclesiastical courts, whose practice even after the English Reformation continued to be based on the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, but also of the admiralty courts....The proctors, who were also associated with Doctors' Commons, can be compared to common law solicitors." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctors'_Commons

"After the great fire, the Admiralty Court...relocated [at Exeter House] until the Doctors’ Commons was rebuilt."
From Jesse's annotation http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/103/#c20...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"to the Swede’s Resident’s in the Piatza, to discourse with him about two of our prizes, wherein he puts in his concernment as for his countrymen"

One of the putative prizes, the Phoenix, was from Riga, then the largest city in Sweden. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riga#Hanseatic_League

***
"[Sir] R. Ford cast up before us, the Admiral’s tenths, and ship’s thirds"

L&M note the prevailing (1666) rules for prize-goods allocated the Lord High Admiral one-tenth, the ship's officers one-tenth, the crew (the "ship") one-third.

cape henry   Link to this

Thanks for that explication, TF. It was evident that this was a high level fishing/fact finding expedition, and now we understand the logic of it, though I might have suggested the legal opinion first and the ransom demand second in the sequence.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

cape henry, I wish we knew what the Navy Board expected to get from the Swede's Resident, etc., for the King's navy. A "fishing expedition" indeed!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

L&M do say Pepys will discover and record the outcome of the dispute over the Phoenix of Riga 21 March http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/03/21/

CGS   Link to this

see seaman's grammar [Smith] how the tars get there share.
http://www.shipbrook.com/jeff/seamansgrammar/Se...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"... to the Swede’s Resident’s in the Piatza, to discourse with him about two of our prizes, ..."

Since the 'our' includes Sir Richard Ford I assume the group are the partners in privateering; the free-lance Navy Board so to speak.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/10396/#c...

Mary   Link to this

three drunken seamen .... called me Captain ... leap and skip....

I can just see this scene as a comic interlude in a yet-to-be-discovered play by Shakespeare.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...and then to Sir W. Batten’s, where [Sir] W. Pen, [Sir] R. Ford, and I to hear a proposition [Sir] R. Ford was to acquaint us with from the Swedes Embassador, in manner of saying, that for money he might be got to our side and relinquish the trouble he may give us."

Now there's the damaging little bit of info on corruption in sensitive places that could get a man a knife in the back one dark night...

"Ya, dat's the fellow sitting in the bargirl's lap scribbling notes. Our ambassador needs him dead."

"Shepley. I needs must feel something of a moral twing here." Creed sighs, eyeing a happily scribbling, barmaid-fondling Sam from his well-hidden seat.

"Indeed Mr. Creed." Shepley nods with sigh. "Tis' a pity it must come to this. One feels troubled when business matters should needs conflict with old and tried personnal relations."

Bag of gold discretely placed on table...

"And yet, all men must in the end pay their debt to God, Shepley."

"An irrefutable fact, Mr. Creed."

I love that Penn makes a show of offended morality.

cape henry   Link to this

"...free-lance Navy Board so to speak." Yes it is, MR, and it is also a kind of insider trading scheme since these men collectively have intelligence and resources not available to outsiders.

GrahamT   Link to this

"Mr. Wren and Captain Cocke called upon me... "
Birds of a feather...

language hat   Link to this

"Sir W. Pen did make a long simple declaration of his resolution to give nothing to deceive any poor man of what was his right by law, but ended in doing whatever any body else would"

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said.
"Do you admire the view?

"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...Sir W. Pen, all relating to the Victualler’s..."

I'm surprized the Surveyor General of Victualling doesn't take this badly. But he always found it a huge and daunting chore.

"Pepys?"

"Admiral Sir Will?"

"About this victualling business...Could you possibly tell me how it is that we ordered 50 tons of dessicated beef to be sent to Glasgow? To a naval garrison that I've never heard of? At a price per man for which I could dine at the finest tavern in London?"

"Hewer!"

"Clerical error, Admiral. See line 10275. The beef was meant for Tangier. Our heroic troops naturally deserving the finest money can buy..."

"I see...But the beef was unfortunately then stored in a warehouse in Glasgow which sadly burned down three months ago."

"Hayter!"

"Mr. Hewer? Yes, the report on the Glasgow warehouse fire...? Right here, sir."

"10000 pounds worth of damage?!"

"Other items stored there, Admiral...Please let me refer you respectfully to lines 20105 and 20207, book D and lines 5003, 6123, and 7504 in book E."

"But I've never even heard we had a warehouse in Glasgow!"

"A tricky business to get hold of, the victualling, Admiral Sir Will..." Sam nods.

"What the devil did we keep 20000 pounds of lead in Glasgow for? And what would that have to do with victualling?"

"Water piping, perhaps..." Hewer suggests. "Though..." downcast look.

"I'd intended to ask the staff there myself..." Sam nods, sorrowful look.

"However as you can see on page five of the fire report..."

"Subsection D, sir." Hayter suggests.

"The entire clerical staff perished in the fire?" Penn stares.

"A sad loss, Admiral Sir Will." sighs from the three.

"Some say their bravery saved Glasgow..." Hewer nods, respectfully.

"I've never heard of a major fire in Glasgow this year."

"And now you know why..." Sam nods, solemnly.

***

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Penn..." Minnes comes over as Sam and co leave field in triumph. "Couldn't help overhearing. Brave lads, eh? Shall we pass the hat round for the families, that sort of thing?"

"Oh, shut up, you old fool!" Penn stalks off.

martinb   Link to this

So. He's up early, and goes to Covent Garden where for the second day running he encounters a host still in pyjamas. From there he goes to Exeter House, then Whitehall, the House of Lords, back to Whitehall again, Exeter House once more, then home, where he probably eats and may even sit down for 5 minutes. Then he sets off for Deptford by water, and having finished work there decides to walk all the way home (!). Once home he goes into the office, where he does "much business", wanders over to Sir W. Batten's, returns to the office "a little while longer", and finally goes home for supper with lively visitors who do not leave until late.
The man's energy! How does he do it, day after day?

CGS   Link to this

"...The man’s energy! How does he do it, day after day? ..."

He is totally enthused, the adrenalin works wonders, it's his fun, 'tis 'wot' makes for a good and long life, never be employed if you can get your 1800 calories, T shirt and a place to kip by what turns you on. Seek out the positive feed back.
Compensation [money] for hating your daily search for calories is a killer, yes money is needed but it should never the final goal.

said many times here and in google.
Pecuniae imperare oportet, non servire [Syrus]

Erna D'haenen   Link to this

Or it be the venison pasties...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"'e was just a leetle feller, sitting there when the sailors came and said... 'Pepys! You bastard, where's our cash and victuals?!'...And Lord, I thought for sure they were going to kill the little man. But then he swallows this hunk of vension pasty and the next thing we all hears this music start to play and he grows these muscles on his arms and gets up and starts tossin' the boys about the room..."

CGS   Link to this

Poll Bill s/b
[
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/10745/
]
points to the wrong page, Bence

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