Wednesday 27 March 1667

[Sir] W. Pen and I to White Hall, and in the coach did begin our discourse again about Balty, and he promises me to move it this very day. He and I met my Lord Bruncker at Sir G. Carteret’s by appointment, there to discourse a little business, all being likely to go to rack for lack of money still. Thence to the Duke of York’s lodgings, and did our usual business, and Sir W. Pen telling me that he had this morning spoke of Balty to Sir W. Coventry, and that the thing was done, I did take notice of it also to [Sir] W. Coventry, who told me that he had both the thing and the person in his head before to have done it, which is a double pleasure to me. Our business with the Duke being done, [Sir] W. Pen and I towards the Exchequer, and in our way met Sir G. Downing going to chapel, but we stopped, and he would go with us back to the Exchequer and showed us in his office his chests full and ground and shelves full of money, and says that there is 50,000l. at this day in his office of people’s money, who may demand it this day, and might have had it away several weeks ago upon the late Act, but do rather choose to have it continue there than to put it into the Banker’s hands, and I must confess it is more than I should have believed had I not seen it, and more than ever I could have expected would have arisen for this new Act in so short a time, and if it do so now already what would it do if the money was collected upon the Act and returned into the Exchequer so timely as it ought to be. But it comes into my mind here to observe what I have heard from Sir John Bankes, though I cannot fully conceive the reason of it, that it will be impossible to make the Exchequer ever a true bank to all intents, unless the Exchequer stood nearer the Exchange, where merchants might with ease, while they are going about their business, at all hours, and without trouble or loss of time, have their satisfaction, which they cannot have now without much trouble, and loss of half a day, and no certainty of having the offices open. By this he means a bank for common practise and use of merchants, and therein I do agree with him. Being parted from Sir W. Pen and [Sir] G. Downing, I to Westminster Hall and there met Balty, whom I had sent for, and there did break the business of my getting him the place of going again as Muster-Master with Harman this voyage to the West Indys, which indeed I do owe to Sir W. Pen. He is mighty glad of it, and earnest to fit himself for it, but I do find, poor man, that he is troubled how to dispose of his wife, and apparently it is out of fear of her, and his honour, and I believe he hath received some cause of this his jealousy and care, and I do pity him in it, and will endeavour to find out some way to do, it for him. Having put him in a way of preparing himself for the voyage, I did go to the Swan, and there sent for Jervas, my old periwig maker, and he did bring me a periwig, but it was full of nits, so as I was troubled to see it (it being his old fault), and did send him to make it clean, and in the mean time, having staid for him a good while, did go away by water to the Castle Taverne, by Exeter House, and there met Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, and several others, among the rest Sir Ellis Layton, who do apply himself to discourse with me, and I think by his discourse, out of his opinion of my interest in Sir W. Coventry, the man I find a wonderful witty, ready man for sudden answers and little tales, and sayings very extraordinary witty, but in the bottom I doubt he is not so. Yet he pretends to have studied men, and the truth is in several that I do know he did give me a very inward account of them. But above all things he did give me a full account, upon my demand, of this judge of the Admiralty, Judge Jenkins; who, he says, is a man never practised in this Court, but taken merely for his merit and ability’s sake from Trinity Hall, where he had always lived; only by accident the business of the want of a Judge being proposed to the present Archbishop of Canterbury that now is, he did think of this man and sent for him up: and here he is, against the ‘gre’ and content of the old Doctors, made judge, but is a very excellent man both for judgment and temper, yet majesty enough, and by all men’s report, not to be corrupted. After dinner to the Court, where Sir Ellis Layton did make a very silly motion in our behalf, but did neither hurt nor good. After him Walker and Wiseman; and then the judge did pronounce his sentence; for some part of the goods and ship, and the freight of the whole, to be free, and returned and paid by us; and the remaining, which was the greater part, to be ours. The loss of so much troubles us, but we have got a pretty good part, thanks be to God! So we are not displeased nor yet have cause to triumph, as we did once expect. Having seen the end of this, I being desirous to be at home to see the issue of any country letters about my mother, which I expect shall give me tidings of her death, I directly home and there to the office, where I find no letter from my father or brother, but by and by the boy tells me that his mistress sends me word that she hath opened my letter, and that she is loth to send me any more news. So I home, and there up to my wife in our chamber, and there received from my brother the newes of my mother’s dying on Monday, about five or six o’clock in the afternoon, and that the last time she spoke of her children was on Friday last, and her last words were, “God bless my poor Sam!” The reading hereof did set me a-weeping heartily, and so weeping to myself awhile, and my wife also to herself, I then spoke to my wife respecting myself, and indeed, having some thoughts how much better both for her and us it is than it might have been had she outlived my father and me or my happy present condition in the world, she being helpless, I was the sooner at ease in my mind, and then found it necessary to go abroad with my wife to look after the providing mourning to send into the country, some to-morrow, and more against Sunday, for my family, being resolved to put myself and wife, and Barker and Jane, W. Hewer and Tom, in mourning, and my two under-mayds, to give them hoods and scarfs and gloves. So to my tailor’s, and up and down, and then home and to my office a little, and then to supper and to bed, my heart sad and afflicted, though my judgment at ease.

11 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"[H]is mistress sends me word that she hath opened my letter, and that she is loth to send me any more news": perhaps the kindest way to convey the message Pepys knows he will hear from Elizabeth herself once he arrives home. "[H]er last words were, 'God bless my poor Sam!'"

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"...the man I find a wonderful witty, ready man for sudden answers and little tales, and sayings very extraordinary witty, but in the bottom I doubt he is not so. Yet he pretends to have studied men, and the truth is in several that I do know he did give me a very inward account of them. But above all things he did give me a full account, upon my demand, of this judge of the Admiralty, Judge Jenkins; who, he says, is a man never practised in this Court, but taken merely for his merit and ability’s sake from Trinity Hall"

Why does Pepys "doubt" = "suspect" Sir Ellis Layton was not as he seemed to be?

---
"Trinity Hall"

L&M note "recte Jesus College, Oxford, of which he was principal, 1661-73. He had in fact served on a committee on prize-law in 1665, and since February 1665 had been an assistant to Exxon, a judge of the Admiralty Court, on whose death he now succeeded to the bench."

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"it will be impossible to make the Exchequer ever a true bank to all intents, unless the Exchequer stood nearer the Exchange, where merchants might with ease, while they are going about their business, at all hours, and without trouble or loss of time, have their satisfaction"

A prescient observation by Sir John. When the Bank of England, established in 1694, moved to its permanent headquarters in 1734, it was right across the street from the Royal Exchange. Here's a map:

http://www.candicehern.com/images/pages/regency...

JWB   Link to this

"...against the ‘gre’ and content of the old Doctors..."

Is this Norman French legalese of an English bureaucrat, gre a gre, or slang of a Cambridge man or of one w/ Fr. in-laws or what?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Apparently a translation of the French ‘contre le gre’, and presumably an expression in common use. “Against the grain” is generally supposed to have its origin in the use of a plane against the grain of the wood." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/11/25/#fn1...

JWB   Link to this

Thanks. I remember reading that note now, but content did not stick.

cum salis grano   Link to this

"...for my family, being resolved to put myself and wife, and Barker and Jane, W. Hewer and Tom, in mourning, and my two under-mayds, ..."
Now the household be more than five, the excess become name less.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Sweet Bess to handle it so well and with such sympathy for Sam.

Michael L   Link to this

"God bless my poor Sam."

It's interesting the use of "poor" here. Presumably his mother is not necessarily pitying Sam or his condition, since both parents surely know how successful he has become. It seems to be more a term of endearment here. This may shed light on the the many times Sam refers to "my poor wife."

cum salis grano   Link to this

most versions of "poor" be that something be lacking usually money.
but the OED has this:
poor, adj. and n.1
5. attrib. That provokes sympathy, or compassion; that is to be pitied; unfortunate, wretched, hapless.
Often used (in later use freq. ironically) with little, esp. in certain fixed phrases (see Special uses 4)**
. poor little me: see LITTLE adj., n., and adv. Special uses.
c1300(
1574 J. HIGGINS 1st Pt. Mirour for Magistrates Elstride f. 26, Which when I sawe the kindnes of the childe, It burst my harte..: Poore little lambe with countinance how milde She pleaded still.
a1600 I. T. Grim the Collier III, He, poor Heart, no sooner heard my newes, But turns me up his Whites, and falls flat down.
1648 S. DANFORTH Almanack 9 Alas poor smoaky Times, that can't yet see, Where Truth doth grow, on this or on that Tree.
1691 J. WILSON Belphegor V. iii, Poor comfortless Woman; she's fall'n asleep at last. 1715
**
4. a. With in or (now arch.) of. Having a want or deficiency of some (specified or implied) possession or quality; lacking, ill-supplied.

poor, n.2
A small marine fish, Trisopterus minutus (family Gadidae), found in coastal and offshore waters of western Europe. Now only in poor-cod.
1427
plus
poor jack [john]

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"my mother’s dying on Monday, about five or six o’clock in the afternoon"

L&M note she was buried on the 27th at St. Mary's, Brampton, Hunts.

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