Thursday 21 February 1666/67

Up, and to the Office, where sat all the morning, and there a most furious conflict between Sir W. Pen and I, in few words, and on a sudden occasion, of no great moment, but very bitter, and stared on one another, and so broke off; and to our business, my heart as full of spite as it could hold, for which God forgive me and him! At the end of the day come witnesses on behalf of Mr. Carcasse; but, instead of clearing him, I find they were brought to recriminate Sir W. Batten, and did it by oath very highly, that made the old man mad, and, I confess, me ashamed, so that I caused all but ourselves to withdraw; being sorry to have such things declared in the open office, before 100 people. But it was done home, and I do believe true, though (Sir) W. Batten denies all, but is cruel mad, and swore one of them, he or Carcasse, should not continue in the Office, which is said like a fool. He gone, for he would not stay, and [Sir] W. Pen gone a good while before, Lord Bruncker, Sir T. Harvy, and I, staid and examined the witnesses, though amounting to little more than a reproaching of Sir W. Batten. I home, my head and mind vexed about the conflict between Sir W. Pen and I, though I have got, nor lost any ground by it. At home was Mr. Daniel and wife and sister, and dined with us, and I disturbed at dinner, Colonell Fitzgerald coming to me about tallies, which I did go and give him, and then to the office, where did much business and walked an hour or two with Lord Bruncker, who is mightily concerned in this business for Carcasse and against Sir W. Batten, and I do hope it will come to a good height, for I think it will be good for the King as well as for me, that they two do not agree, though I do, for ought I see yet, think that my Lord is for the most part in the right. He gone, I to the office again to dispatch business, and late at night comes in Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, and [Sir] J. Minnes to the office, and what was it but to examine one Jones, a young merchant, who was said to have spoke the worst against Sir W. Batten, but he do deny it wholly, yet I do believe Carcasse will go near to prove all that was sworn in the morning, and so it be true I wish it may. That done, I to end my letters, and then home to supper, and set right some accounts of Tangier, and then to bed.

19 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

Feb: 21. 1666[/67]. (16 single & 8 double turkish pictures shewd by mr Howards seruants to be putt into the library)

The curator produced a circular pendulum soe contriued that its motion shall be equall what euer weight is appended to it. He affirmed that he know the Demonstration of it, was orderd to giue it in writing at the next meeting.

The same [ Mr. Hooke ] was orderd to compare the motion of this circular pendulum wth a clock Item to bring in the Description & demonstration of the new Lamp. as also to prosecute & improue the expt. of Raysing weights by the force of gunpowder to a greater height. (Operator to Receiue Dr. Wrens direction for making /his/ new lamps & the addition to mr Hooks Lamps mentiond the precedent meeting -

(Bullialdus the new starr in C[o]llo ceti.) As to that other starr in the Girdle of Andromede which the same Bullialdus esteems to appear & Disappear by turnes as those in the neck of the whale & the swan
[ http://bit.ly/7JMfTw ], mr Hook affirmed to haue seen it this winter & seuerall times anno 1664 & 1665. he was desired carefully to obserue both these phenomena.

(mr Boyle suggest. to try watch a pendulum watch in exhausted Rr. 2 to try springy bodys by weighing in water

(Sr R Moray. salt peter [ a component of gunpowder ] out of the earth of a comon.
[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_nitrate#... ] //

http://webapps.qmul.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hooke_foli...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Arlington to Sandwich
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 21 February 1667

Has received Lord Sandwich's letter of January 22 (English style), giving an account of difficulties occurring betwixt Don Pedro Fernandez and Mr Godolphin, to whose care it was left to adjust the form of the Treaty.

Informs him that as yet his Majesty has received no definite answer to the proposition for Treaty with the Netherlands. It is known that there is a general disposition towards its acceptance, save amongst the party influenced by France.

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

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"At the end of the day come witnesses on behalf of Mr. Carcasse; but, instead of clearing him, I find they were brought to recriminate Sir W. Batten...."

This continues the case begun 16 February 1666/67:
"Up, and to the office, where all the morning. Among other things great heat we were all in on one side or other in the examining witnesses against Mr. Carcasse about his buying of ticketsand a cunning knave I do believe he is, and will appear, though I have thought otherwise heretofore."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/02/16/

Ruben   Link to this

The Pendulum and our world
I remember learning all about pendular movements, but that is all I remember nowdays!
If you want to see the gibberish about it, look at
http://physics.mercer.edu/balduz/GenPhys/examPr...
and ponder about the enormous effort and ingenuity of the Royal Society's members, that made it possible for a modern college student to understand pendulum movements as one more base for his intellectual development. And this is small change considering all the scientific advances from those days.

The sage Isaiah de Trani (c. 1200), lived in Venice. His works are still being learned by Jewish scholars. He said:
"Should Joshua the son of Nun endorse a mistaken position, I would reject it out of hand, I do not hesitate to express my opinion, regarding such matters in accordance with the modicum of intelligence alloted to me. I was never arrogant claiming "My Wisdom served me well". Instead I applied to myself the parable of the philosophers. For I heard the following from the philosophers, The wisest of the philosophers asked: "We admit that our predecessors were wiser than we. At the same time we criticize their comments, often rejecting them and claiming that the truth rests with us. How is this possible?" The wise philosopher responded: "Who sees further a dwarf or a giant? Surely a giant for his eyes are situated at a higher level than those of the dwarf. But if the dwarf is placed on the shoulders of the giant who sees further? ... So too we are dwarfs astride the shoulders of giants. We master their wisdom and move beyond it. Due to their wisdom we grow wise and are able to say all that we say, but not because we are greater than they."

Ask Newton!

Good for us!

Australian Susan   Link to this

".....to have such things declared in the open office, before 100 people...."
I was surprised that there were commonly so many people in the main office of the Navy Office on a working day. Or was it that a large crowd came in for the accusation against Batten?

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"and stared on one another"
Now go to your respective corners.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...my heart as full of spite as it could hold, for which God forgive me and him!"

Sam sensing this thing is going too far. After all, it must make for a miserable workplace.

***

"100 persons"

The crowd does help explain why Sam was able to secure an office of his own...As AoC, he's probably expected to be more tied to the office and the titled boys probably liked being out in public view when in office, looking in charge, until the hardest working among them (titled), Sir Will Penn, realized the value (and prestige) of such a secure and private place.

Interesting that the three old titles came back as a group to interview Jones. I wonder if part of Penn's upset is fear of the liability he may be under now that more of Minnes' job has fallen to him. And with Sam cleverly sliding toward Bruncker and supporting Carcasse, Penn may be feeling a bit set-up. After all, all this does take heat off our Victualling Surveyor General. I would bet Penn somehow never suspected the victualling was such a dangerous position to hold responsibility for. While in all innocence, Sam's feeling for power in the office made him reluctant to give up anything, this is working out so well to his advantage that it wouldn't be surprising if Admiral Sir Will suspects now he was led into a trap.

Ruben   Link to this

“100 people”
Is Samuel stating the number of persons present or is it an old way to say "a lot of persons"?

djc   Link to this

100 people. I think this give an insight into the nature of the office. It not a quiet study but a public court where the board sits and hears pleas, supplications, and accusations. Which probably explains why Pepys spends so many late nights at the office. It is only when everyone has gone home that he can get on with some work.

Bradford   Link to this

Ruben, I think, has the right notion. How big would the room have to be without such a press being stifling, where a good many of the folks couldn't see or hear what was going on anyhow, unless they all fell silent---how likely?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Thanks, Ruben, for the Isaiah di Trani tale -- a more memorable way of stating the trope than others had.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_on_the_sh...

cum salis grano   Link to this

an aside: trope;
In my ignorance I had to OED the word trope
and now share.
[ad. L. tropus a figure of speech, ... a turn, f. [trgpeinu]to turn; cf. F. trope (1554 in Godef. Compl.). Sometimes app. repr. Gr. {tau}{rho}{omicron}{pi}{ghacu} (cf. 3).]

1. Rhet. A figure of speech which consists in the use of a word or phrase in a sense other than that which is proper to it; also, in casual use, a figure of speech; figurative language.
1533

cape henry   Link to this

Ruben does, I think, probably have the correct sense.We don't know how many clerks there are, but "100" sounds a bit high - more like a hyperbolic.

The basis for all this strife, which TF helpfully dates back for us, is the crushing lack of money in the system.The smaller pie means fewer slices to go around, and everyone is watching everyone else.

Ruben   Link to this

I checked Isaiah's tale (in Hebrew) and found that when asked about the origin Isaiah said to his students that he learnt it from a Christian friend of his.

By the way "di" or "de" in Hebrew tranlates as "mi". The Jewish family name Mitrani is still going strong, including a friend of mine.

djc   Link to this

"We don’t know how many clerks there are, but “100” sounds a bit high"

Nothing like a hundred clerks, but that is not the point. It isa public space there are a few clerks and officers and a great press of people demanding money, favours and try to do business. Much like the floor of the stock exchange or the underwriting room at Lloyds which I knew forty years ago.

language hat   Link to this

Just for the record, for those who don't click on Terry's Wikipedia link: Isaiah de Trani was borrowing a trope that had been around for decades. In 1159, John of Salisbury wrote: "Bernard of Chartres used to say that we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size." To quote Wikipedia, "Didacus Stella took up the quote in the sixteenth century; by the seventeenth century it had become commonplace." There's a wonderful book about the quote and its history, Robert K. Merton, On The Shoulders of Giants: A Shandean Postscript (1965, reprinted 1985, 1993).

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

DJC, I think your POV makes sense. But I wonder if it was not such much a court atmosphere (as you reference in your first post) as a large public administration space with many types of business being simultaneously transacted -- in the U.S., it'd be something like a Dept. of Motor Vehicles office, perhaps, or the lobby of a large bank...? (As you reference in your second post.)

djc   Link to this

Todd, yes; first and second post were just two views of the same concept. A large public space, a lot of people trying to do business at the same time. The frequent references we have to the board 'sitting' suggests the officers do in some respects act as a court (where we should regard court in regal as well as legal context: a lot of people pressing for favours, if the magic words are uttered or the chit signed all will be put right, the ticket paid a contract granted.). The important point is that we should not imagine the 'office' to be an essentialy private space like a modern cubical farm.

cum salis grano   Link to this

DJC has it correct.
Money talks, and as there be very little of it for the modern amenities, most meetings were held in one large area, not unlike a church where only a few had pews, the lessers had to sleep on their feet,and the benches be for those had them provided them out of their own coffers or the Navy's, as in Samuell's case.
So most business was conducted on ones pegs and only the sitting men in power, they were the only ones that rested [sat] on their weary derrieres.
Hence the phrase "they sat".
note the sitters and milling in the pits, so like the theatre, one for Comedy, one for Justice, similarly for normal clerical working situations.
Privacy of cubby holes [closets , not W/C's] with intimidating Thrones to cower the the lessers, as we know them, was a new phenomena, Even Charles had to enjoy the lessers watching him using his new forks and fingers for eating the delights of the day.

Here is a painting of a court in Georges I Day

The Court of Chancery in the reign of George I

Westminster Hall, where the Court sat almost continuously from the reign of Edward III until its dissolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_of_Chancery

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