Wednesday 27 February 1666/67

Up by candle-light, about six o’clock, it being bitter cold weather again, after all our warm weather, and by water down to Woolwich rope-yard, I being this day at a leisure, the King and Duke of York being gone down to Sheerenesse this morning to lay out the design for a fortification there to the river Medway; and so we do not attend the Duke of York as we should otherwise have done, and there to the Dock Yard to enquire of the state of things, and went into Mr. Pett’s; and there, beyond expectation, he did present me with a Japan cane, with a silver head, and his wife sent me by him a ring, with a Woolwich stone; now much in request; which I accepted, the values not being great, and knowing that I had done them courtesies, which he did own in very high terms; and then, at my asking, did give me an old draught of an ancient- built ship, given him by his father, of the Beare, in Queen Elizabeth’s time. This did much please me, it being a thing I much desired to have, to shew the difference in the build of ships now and heretofore. Being much taken with this kindness, I away to Blackwall and Deptford, to satisfy myself there about the King’s business, and then walked to Redriffe, and so home about noon; there find Mr. Hunt, newly come out of the country, who tells me the country is much impoverished by the greatness of taxes: the farmers do break every day almost, and 1000l. a- year become not worth 500l.. [A tax rate of approximately that of New York State in the year 2000. D.W.] He dined with us, and we had good discourse of the general ill state of things, and, by the way, he told me some ridiculous pieces of thrift of Sir G. Downing’s, who is his countryman, in inviting some poor people, at Christmas last, to charm the country people’s mouths; but did give them nothing but beef, porridge, pudding, and pork, and nothing said all dinner, but only his mother would say, “It’s good broth, son.” He would answer, “Yes, it is good broth.” Then, says his lady, Confirm all, and say, “Yes, very good broth.” By and by she would begin and say, “Good pork:” — “Yes,” says the mother, “good pork.” Then he cries, “Yes, very good pork.” And so they said of all things; to which nobody made any answer, they going there not out of love or esteem of them, but to eat his victuals, knowing him to be a niggardly fellow; and with this he is jeered now all over the country. This day just before dinner comes Captain Story, of Cambridge, to me to the office, about a bill for prest money, for men sent out of the country and the countries about him to the fleete the last year; but, Lord! to see the natures of men; how this man, hearing of my name, did ask me of my country, and told me of my cozen Roger, that he was not so wise a man as his father; for that he do not agree in Parliament with his fellow burgesses and knights of the shire, whereas I know very well the reason; for he is not so high a flyer as Mr. Chichley and others, but loves the King better than any of them, and to better purpose. But yet, he says that he is a very honest gentleman, and thence runs into a hundred stories of his own services to the King, and how he at this day brings in the taxes before anybody here thinks they are collected: discourse very absurd to entertain a stranger with. He being gone, and I glad of it, I home then to dinner. After dinner with my wife by coach abroad, and set Mr. Hunt down at the Temple and her at her brother’s, and I to White Hall to meet [Sir] W. Coventry, but found him not, but met Mr. Cooling, who tells me of my Lord Duke of Buckingham’s being sent for last night, by a Serjeant at Armes, to the Tower, for treasonable practices, and that the King is infinitely angry with him, and declared him no longer one of his Council. I know not the reason of it, or occasion. To Westminster Hall, and there paid what I owed for books, and so by coach, took up my wife to the Exchange, and there bought things for Mrs. Pierces little daughter, my Valentine, and so to their house, where we find Knipp, who also challengeth me for her Valentine. She looks well, sang well, and very merry we were for half an hour. Tells me Harris is well again, having been very ill, and so we home, and I to the office; then, at night, to Sir W. Pen’s, and sat with my Lady, and the young couple (Sir William out of town) talking merrily; but they make a very sorry couple, methinks, though rich. So late home and to bed.

25 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Mr. Cooling...tells me of my Lord Duke of Buckingham's being sent for last night, by a Serjeant at Armes, to the Tower, for treasonable practices, and that the King is infinitely angry with him, and declared him no longer one of his Council."

"[ John ] Heydon was undoubtedly a charlatan, and probably also "of no parts or honesty,".....

"Amongst his papers were several addressed to the Duke [of Buckingham], but one only which could be ascribed to the latter; nor can this letter have been actually treasonable, since his bitterest enemy merely describes it as " containing many unusual expressions which were capable of very ill interpretation, and could not bear a good one." But one document of importance rewarded Arlington's eager search —a horoscope of the King's nativity, cast by Heydon at the Duke's request.

"That such a proceeding came within the statute of High Treason may very likely have escaped Buckingham's memory. Nevertheless, in the old days, men had paid with their lives for such idle curiosity, and, even in 1667, were the charge in the hands of a clever Crown lawyer, it might well lead to the scaffold."

Burghclere, Winifred Anne Henrietta Christine Herbert Gardner, Baroness, *George Villiers, second duke of Buckingham, 1628-1687; a study in the history of the restoration* (1903), p. 170.
http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924027988728

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"It was a treasonous offense to cast the monarch's horoscope." as this supposedly gave knowledge of their death.
http://www.gutenberg-e.org/mcintosh/appendix-c....

Others still gape t' anticipate
The cabinet designs of Fate;
Apply to wizards to foresee
What shall and what shall never be.
-- Hudibras, part ii. canto 3.
http://www.exclassics.com/hudibras/hbii3.htm

Bradford   Link to this

"1000l. a-year become not worth 500l.. [A tax rate of approximately that of New York State in the year 2000. D.W.]"

Can some New Yorker apprise us of the justness of this estimate?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Ormond to Arlington
Written from: Dublin
Date: 27 February 1667

... The expectation is great of the success of his Majesty's offer to treat at the Hague, and some have made answers on behalf of the States and their Allies. For the writer's part he cannot see how they can oppose the offer, without declaring against a Peace. ...

... The little Rebels, known here by the name of Tories [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tóraidhe#Wood_kern... ], do grow as fast as they are cut off, and have upon the matter made the whole county of Leitrim unuseful to the King, and uninhabitable by any English. ...
_____

Arlington to Sandwich
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 27 February 1667

Enters at great length, and almost entirely in cypher, into the questions relating to the provisions and form of the Treaty with Spain, referred to briefly in the letter of 21st February.

Lord Arlington, before signing, adds in his autograph: "At the end of this cursed cypher, I do, with much joy, kiss your Excellency's hands."

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

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"[A tax rate of approximately that of New York State in the year 2000. D.W.]"

Bradford, this insert is a puzzling fraud: it is not in any version of the Gutenberg text I have found. E.g. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4184/4184-h/4184...

cum salis grano   Link to this

Thanks TF.
Wars always devalue the purchasing power

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... this insert is a puzzling fraud: ..."

"Some footnotes are credited by an initial. “D.W.” is David Widger, who produced the electronic text for Project Gutenberg. "
http://www.pepysdiary.com/about/text/

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The credit to David Widger notwithstanding, here only else is the insert found, and is accurate? http://bit.ly/bUJ9Kd

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Correction: as Bradford asks, is it accurate? and why is it found in no other Gutenberg version?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... is it accurate? and why is it found in no other Gutenberg version? .... "

The question might best be addressed to and answered by Dr. Widger; he can be reached by e-mail via his page at Project Gutenberg:
http://gutenberg.net.au/widger/home.html

Louise H   Link to this

New York state has a progressive income tax. The top rate is 8.97%.

Larry Bunce   Link to this

"for he is not so high a flyer as Mr. Chichley and others"
Here is a term I would have thought referred to airplanes, almost exactly 200 years before Wilbur Wright was born (16 April 1867.)

Mary   Link to this

Surely the first high flyer was Icarus - and it did him no good.

Wim van der Meij   Link to this

I had to smile at the description of Downing's frugal dinner with his poor guests and I would like to see it as part of a movie or television series.

Bradford   Link to this

Upon reflection, D.W.'s accusation is likely hyperbole, probably posted shortly after filing his 2000 state income tax return.

Larry   Link to this

I think the 50% tax rate attributed to NY state more accurately describes the total tax burden for New Yorkers: federal, state, local, Social Security, etc. Although not exactly 50%, it is close. It sometimes seems as if we are in equal partnership with the government. I well understand Pepys' comment about 1,000 being not worth 500.

language hat   Link to this

"...and then, at my asking, did give me an old draught of an ancient-built ship, given him by his father, of the Beare, in Queen Elizabeth’s time."

"Since you're bribing me, how about tossing in that nice old drawing of a ship? Oh, your father gave it to you? How nice! Thanks, you're too kind..."

One wonders what Pett muttered after our jovial Sam strolled out with his ill-gotten goods.

Ruben   Link to this

Beare

wikipedia's entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_White_Bear_(1563)

but more interesting, see history and ilustration at:
http://www.oldwhitebeare.com/History.html

Roger   Link to this

'Up by candle-light, about six o’clock, it being bitter cold weather again, after all our warm weather'.....

February 1667 was an average February temperature-wise, ranked 169th coldest of 351 since 1659. The current February, 2010, is colder.....it'll be an average of about 2.7C, 90th coldest in the period.
Of course, presently we have the luxury of central heating, though not of a maid to make our fire for us!

Fern   Link to this

“…and then, at my asking, did give me an old draught of an ancient-built ship, given him by his father, of the Beare, in Queen Elizabeth’s time.”

Yes indeed, language hat, this transaction sounds distasteful to those of us who are not involved in this sort of thing. But I'm sure both men know the procedure well: offer a sweetener of the lowest value you think you can get away with, thus forcing the recipient to ask for something more valuable - if he has the audacity.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...did give them nothing but beef, porridge, pudding, and pork, and nothing said all dinner, but only his mother would say, “It’s good broth, son.” He would answer, “Yes, it is good broth.” Then, says his lady, Confirm all, and say, “Yes, very good broth.” By and by she would begin and say, “Good pork:” — “Yes,” says the mother, “good pork.” Then he cries, “Yes, very good pork.”"

I wonder what he was expected to give, it doesn't sound too bad.

Hard to imagine anyone snickering at Sir George Downing...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...told me of my cozen Roger, that he was not so wise a man as his father; for that he do not agree in Parliament with his fellow burgesses and knights of the shire, whereas I know very well the reason; for he is not so high a flyer as Mr. Chichley and others, but loves the King better than any of them, and to better purpose."

I wonder that he was so willing to speak of Roger that way to Sam. Sounds like Sam either never confessed to being his cousin or the man's passing on a little warning to the King's party. But was it that Roger wasn't effusive enough toward the King or too much a King's man? Story either panicked and then bragged of his own duty to distinguish himself from the proto-Whigs or again, was warning Sam that Roger's loyalty was in question. Given that Roger has been a bit outspoken about Court abuses to Sam in previous conversations, my guess is that this is a warning to urge Roger to be a bit less outspoken.

***

"...met Mr. Cooling, who tells me of my Lord Duke of Buckingham’s being sent for last night, by a Serjeant at Armes, to the Tower, for treasonable practices, and that the King is infinitely angry with him, and declared him no longer one of his Council."

"Oh, let me think on Hastings and be gone..."

Mary   Link to this

"I wonder what he was expected to give them...?"

Turkey perhaps (it's Christmas) or a venison pasty? Goose, at the very least or some other kind of fowl. Beef and pork are both 'everyday' meats.

language hat   Link to this

Yes, today's equivalent (in the US) would be serving hamburgers.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Now if it had been a free venison pasty Sam would've donned sackcloth and ashes and snuck in...

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