Monday 28 January 1666/67

Up, and down to the Old Swan, and there drank at Michell’s and saw Betty, and so took boat and to the Temple, and thence to my tailor’s and other places about business in my way to Westminster, where I spent the morning at the Lords’ House door, to hear the conference between the two Houses about my Lord Mordaunt, of which there was great expectation, many hundreds of people coming to hear it. But, when they come, the Lords did insist upon my Lord Mordaunt’s having leave to sit upon a stool uncovered within their burr, and that he should have counsel, which the Commons would not suffer, but desired leave to report their Lordships’ resolution to the House of Commons; and so parted for this day, which troubled me, I having by this means lost the whole day. Here I hear from Mr. Hayes that Prince Rupert is very bad still, and so bad, that he do now yield to be trepanned. It seems, as Dr. Clerke also tells me, it is a clap of the pox which he got about twelve years ago, and hath eaten to his head and come through his scull, so his scull must be opened, and there is great fear of him. Much work I find there is to do in the two Houses in a little time, and much difference there is between the two Houses in many things to be reconciled; as in the Bill for examining our accounts; Lord Mordaunt’s Bill for building the City, and several others. A little before noon I went to the Swan and eat a bit of meat, thinking I should have had occasion to have stayed long at the house, but I did not, but so home by coach, calling at Broad Street and taking the goldsmith home with me, and paid him 15l. 15s. for my silver standish. He tells me gold holds up its price still, and did desire me to let him have what old 20s. pieces I have, and he would give me 3s. 2d. change for each. He gone, I to the office, where business all the afternoon, and at night comes Mr. Gawden at my desire to me, and to-morrow I shall pay him some money, and shall see what present he will make me, the hopes of which do make me to part with my money out of my chest, which I should not otherwise do, but lest this alteration in the Controller’s office should occasion my losing my concernment in the Victualling, and so he have no more need of me. He gone, I to the office again, having come thence home with him to talk, and so after a little more business I to supper. I then sent for Mercer, and began to teach her “It is decreed,” which will please me well, and so after supper and reading a little, and my wife’s cutting off my hair short, which is grown too long upon my crown of my head, I to bed. I met this day in Westminster Hall Sir W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen, and the latter since our falling out the other day do look mighty reservedly upon me, and still he shall do so for me, for I will be hanged before I seek to him, unless I see I need it.

19 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"to Westminster, where I spent the morning at the Lords’ House door, to hear the conference between the two Houses about my Lord Mordaunt, of which there was great expectation, many hundreds of people coming to hear it."

See last 26 November: "I down to Westminster, and there into the House of Parliament, where, at a great Committee, I did hear, as long as I would, the great case against my Lord Mordaunt, for some arbitrary proceedings of his against one Taylor, whom he imprisoned, and did all the violence to imaginable, only to get him to give way to his abusing his daughter." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/11/26/

John Mordaunt, 1st Viscount Mordaunt "was appointed Constable of Windsor Castle, keeper of Windsor Great Park and Lord Lieutenant of Surrey upon the Restoration, but played little role at court. In 1666, he was charged in the House of Commons with having imprisoned William Taylor, surveyor of Windsor Castle, and raped Taylor's daughter.
"He was impeached by the Commons in December, but Parliament was prorogued in February, and the King pardoned him in July. He resigned his offices at Windsor in September 1668, and went abroad to Montpellier that year."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mordaunt,_1st...

ARTICLES Op IMPEACHMENT, by the Commons assembled, in the name of themselves and of all the Commons of England, against JOHN Lord Viscount MORDAUNT, Constable of the Castle of Windsor, for several High Crimes and Misdemeanors committed by him.
*Cobbett's complete collection of state trials and proceedings for ...*, Volume 6, By William Cobbett, David Jardine p. 790 http://bit.ly/64uyIV

Terry Foreman   Link to this

L&M transcribe the second occurrence of Lord Mordaunt's name this way:

"much difference there is between the two Houses in many things to be reconciled; as, in the Bill for examining our accounts -- Lord Mordaunt’s [business] -- Bill for building the City -- and several others. "

Stephen Walkley   Link to this

"....for I will be hanged before I seek to him, unless I see I need it."

Wonderful (my italics - I hope!)

Margaret   Link to this

" ...it is a clap of the pox which he got about twelve years ago, and hath eaten to his head and come through his scull, so his scull must be opened, and there is great fear of him."

This sounds dreadful, but since Prince Rupert lived another 16 years, I suspect that the doctors were overstating the seriousness of the situation so that they'd look better when/if the patient recovered.

(I assume we all know that by "scull" he doesn't really mean oars!)

Terry Foreman   Link to this

L&M say Rupert was suffering from an old head-wound suffered in Flanders and aggravated in November 1664 by the fall of a block aboard ship. He underwent three operations for it in 1664-7. That it was a "pox" was a rumor circulated a year ago by his enemies at court. Denham in his *Directions to a painter* (1667) said it was caused by some "treach'rous Jael."

Carl in Boston   Link to this

He tells me gold holds up its price still, and did desire me to let him have what old 20s. pieces I have, and he would give me 3s. 2d. change for each.
Here is a mystery to me, that the gold content of a 20s piece must have been low (3x100/20 = 15%) and the remaining 85% must have been something of low value like copper. Anyone know about the composition of Restoration coins?

Bryan M   Link to this

"He tells me gold holds up its price still, and did desire me to let him have what old 20s. pieces I have, and he would give me 3s. 2d. change for each."

Carl, my interpretation is that old sovereigns had a higher gold content than newer coins and the goldsmith was offering Sam 3s 2d plus a new sovereign for an old sovereign. Hence "change for each".

An indication of the financial problems facing the kingdom at the time and an example of Gresham's Law.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gresham's_law

jeannine   Link to this

Prince Rupert's trepanning.

The trepanning was a horrible operation done without any anesthesia or pain medication, and the miracle is that Rupert survived. Not for the queasy mind you, but in “Prince Rupert, The Last Cavalier”, Charles Spencer explains that:

“The area around Rupert’s wound was shaved and then the skin cut in a vertical and a horizontal incision, to form the shape of a cross. His ears were stopped with cotton, both to deaden the sound of the surgeon’s drilling and to soak up excess blood. Assistants held the prince’s head still and his arms back. His wound was infected and raw, but the surgeon’s point of attack would have been close to the centre. There was no anesthetic, no antiseptic, and little understanding of the need for hygiene. The surgeon sliced through the rotten flesh, scooping it out in order to have a clear run at the exposed skull beneath.

A pin was then inserted where the drill was to go and the surgeon gently twisted it into the bone, until it was fixed at some depth. It was then unscrewed and the opening was used as the starting point for the invasion of the skull. The drilling was the job of the trepan, an instrument that looked and acted like a corkscrew –except, instead of a twisting piece of thin and tapering metal; it had a solid and cylindrical stem with a circular, serrated blade at its base. While the surgeon held the shaft firm in his left hand, he turned the blade with his right, boring the trepan’s teeth into the bone.

At this stage he may have used a Hey saw or a bone file – the former like a small tomahawk, the latter more like a package cutting knife- to tidy up the bone. Then he would have bored deeper with the trepan, using a brush to remove dry bone flakes from around the widening, deepening cavity. Splinters that were sodden with blood or pus were swabbed away with a cloth.”

In Rupert’s case, the first trepanning didn’t quite work and he had to have a second round at it. The second operation “going wider and deeper to complete the job he [the surgeon] had previously botched. ‘Prince Rupert has again been trepanned’, wrote a pamphleteer, ‘the former [operation] not having gone down deep enough; this gave him present ease, by letting out a great quantity of corrupt matter, since when he has slept better, and is amending.’ The second trepan had worked.” (p 304-305)

Katherine   Link to this

What does this mean: "...the Lords did insist upon my Lord Mordaunt’s having leave to sit upon a stool uncovered within their burr..."? Thanks

Mary   Link to this

burr.

L&M reads "within their barr" which I presume means within rather than outside the bar of the House.

'Uncovered' usually means 'having removed o's hat' in such contexts.

Looks to me as if the Lords are emphasizing the point (for the benefit of the Commons) that Mordaunt, though being called to account, is still a member of the upper House.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...my wife’s cutting off my hair short, which is grown too long upon my crown of my head..."

Interesting to see if our Samson behaves himself for the next few...

***

There's a nice re-enactment of trepanning, Roman style, in the first season of "Rome".

rob   Link to this

Robert, do not forget the trepanning 18th century style that we see in " Master and Commander" where the ships surcheon uses a silver coin to cover the opening he has made.

Luckily the patient survives and wakes up during a merry evening.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

If I remember right, there have been claims of evidence Neanderthal Man practiced a form of trepanning.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1985&dat=...

Ok, perhaps not convincing evidence...

If you follow down the page of this link from Fark.com there's a sketch of a trepanning instrument.

http://www.fark.com/cgi/comments.pl?IDLink=1241...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

There are even modern enthusiasts for 'self trepannation':

http://skepdic.com/trepanation.html
http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2008/08...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Robert, thanks for the link to these:

The trepanning tool

http://thediagram.com/2_6/home_trepanning.jpg

A 17c skull showing marks from something like it:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6630546/

About Neanderthal tools:

http://short.to/155lv

Robert, were you picking up on this?

"AN EU directive on electronic commerce "is government meddling with all the art of a Neanderthal conducting brain surgery", said James Roper, chief executive of Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG)."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2749978/Back...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I picture one of those angry, insulted cavepersons in the commercials getting steamed. And actually they must have been incredibly talented since the patients survived and the wounds apparently had healed.

***

Heaven...

"Actually, sir? What did happen to your people?" Bess asks.

"Oh, we all teleported to a much nicer planet when Earth started getting a bit too crowded to do good art."

"Teleported?" Sam stares. "How do you manage that?"

"Well, you need a larger brain to start, really. But with a little practice even an H.sapiens can do it."

Diana   Link to this

Hi, what does this mean? "he should have counsel, which the Commons would not suffer, but desired leave to report their Lordships’ resolution to the House of Commons".

What counsel should he have, and why would the Commons not suffer it?

And about "Old Swan": was it a merely a tavern or was it also used to refer to a specific area in London?

Thanks!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Hi, what does this mean? "he should have counsel, which the Commons would not suffer, but desired leave to report their Lordships’ resolution to the House of Commons". / What counsel should he have, and why would the Commons not suffer it?"

Diana, there appears to be a back-and-forth between Lords and Commons about "Precedents concerning the Demeanor of a Peer impeached by the House of Commons for Misdemeanors [incl. treason], and concerning the allowing of Counsel to Persons so impeached." For the discussion in Lords and precedents cited see http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co... and the Commons' acquiescent response http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Diana   Link to this

Thank you so much for the references. Really interesting!

Log in to post an annotation.

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