Wednesday 3 April 1667

Up, and with Sir W. Batten to White Hall to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, and there did receive the Duke’s order for Balty’s receiving of the contingent money to be paymaster of it, and it pleases me the more for that it is but 1500l., which will be but a little sum for to try his ability and honesty in the disposing of, and so I am the willinger to trust and pass my word for him therein. By and by up to the Duke of York, where our usual business, and among other things I read two most dismal letters of the straits we are in (from Collonell Middleton and Commissioner Taylor) that ever were writ in the world, so as the Duke of York would have them to shew the King, and to every demand of money, whereof we proposed many and very pressing ones, Sir G. Carteret could make no answer but no money, which I confess made me almost ready to cry for sorrow and vexation, but that which was the most considerable was when Sir G. Carteret did say that he had no funds to raise money on; and being asked by Sir W. Coventry whether the eleven months’ tax was not a fund, and he answered, “No, that the bankers would not lend money upon it.” Then Sir W. Coventry burst out and said he did supplicate his Royal Highness, and would do the same to the King, that he would remember who they were that did persuade the King from parting with the Chimney-money to the Parliament, and taking that in lieu which they would certainly have given, and which would have raised infallibly ready money; meaning the bankers and the farmers of the Chimney-money, whereof Sir, G. Carteret, I think, is one; saying plainly, that whoever did advise the King to that, did, as much as in them lay, cut the King’s throat, and did wholly betray him; to which the Duke of York did assent; and remembered that the King did say again and again at the time, that he was assured, and did fully believe, the money would be raised presently upon a land- tax. This put as all into a stound; and Sir W. Coventry went on to declare, that he was glad he was come to have so lately concern in the Navy as he hath, for he cannot now give any good account of the Navy business; and that all his work now was to be able to provide such orders as would justify his Royal Highness in the business, when it shall be called to account; and that he do do, not concerning himself whether they are or can be performed, or no; and that when it comes to be examined, and falls on my Lord Treasurer, he cannot help it, whatever the issue of it shall be. Hereupon Sir W. Batten did pray him to keep also by him all our letters that come from the office that may justify us, which he says he do do, and, God knows, it is an ill sign when we are once to come to study how to excuse ourselves. It is a sad consideration, and therewith we broke up, all in a sad posture, the most that ever I saw in my life. One thing more Sir W. Coventry did say to the Duke of York, when I moved again, that of about 9000l. debt to Lanyon, at Plymouth, he might pay 3700l. worth of prize-goods, that he bought lately at the candle, out of this debt due to him from the King; and the Duke of York, and Sir G. Carteret, and Lord Barkeley, saying, all of them, that my Lord Ashly would not be got to yield to it, who is Treasurer of the Prizes, Sir W. Coventry did plainly desire that it might be declared whether the proceeds of the prizes were to go to the helping on of the war, or no; and, if it were, how then could this be denied? which put them all into another stound; and it is true, God forgive us! Thence to the chappell, and there, by chance, hear that Dr. Crew is to preach; and so into the organ-loft, where I met Mr. Carteret, and my Lady Jemimah, and Sir Thomas Crew’s two daughters, and Dr. Childe played; and Dr. Crew did make a very pretty, neat, sober, honest sermon; and delivered it very readily, decently, and gravely, beyond his years: so as I was exceedingly taken with it, and I believe the whole chappell, he being but young; but his manner of his delivery I do like exceedingly. His text was, “But seeke ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Thence with my Lady to Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings, and so up into the house, and there do hear that the Dutch letters are come, and say that the Dutch have ordered a passe to be sent for our Commissioners, and that it is now upon the way, coming with a trumpeter blinded, as is usual. But I perceive every body begins to doubt the success of the treaty, all their hopes being only that if it can be had on any terms, the Chancellor will have it; for he dare not come before a Parliament, nor a great many more of the courtiers, and the King himself do declare he do not desire it, nor intend it but on a strait; which God defend him from! Here I hear how the King is not so well pleased of this marriage between the Duke of Richmond and Mrs. Stewart, as is talked; and that he [the Duke] by a wile did fetch her to the Beare, at the Bridge-foot, where a coach was ready, and they are stole away into Kent, without the King’s leave; and that the King hath said he will never see her more; but people do think that it is only a trick. This day I saw Prince Rupert abroad in the Vane-room, pretty well as he used to be, and looks as well, only something appears to be under his periwigg on the crown of his head. So home by water, and there find my wife gone abroad to her tailor’s, and I dined alone with W. Hewer, and then to the office to draw up a memorial for the Duke of York this afternoon at the Council about Lanyon’s business. By and by we met by appointment at the office upon a reference to Carcasses business to us again from the Duke of York, but a very confident cunning rogue we have found him at length. He carried himself very uncivilly to Sir W. Batten this afternoon, as heretofore, and his silly Lord [Bruncker] pleaded for him, but all will not nor shall not do for ought he shall give, though I love the man as a man of great parts and ability. Thence to White Hall by water (only asking Betty Michell by the way how she did), and there come too late to do any thing at the Council. So by coach to my periwigg maker’s and tailor’s, and so home, where I find my wife with her flageolet master, which I wish she would practise, and so to the office, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, and then to Sir W. Pen’s, talking and spending time in vain a little while, and then home up to my chamber, and so to supper and to bed, vexed at two or three things, viz. that my wife’s watch proves so bad as it do; the ill state of the office; and Kingdom’s business; at the charge which my mother’s death for mourning will bring me when all paid.

22 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"two most dismal letters of the straits we are in (from Collonell Middleton and Commissioner Taylor) that ever were writ in the world"

L&M note Taylor reported from Harwich that carpenters dying of hunger threatened to march on London; a summary of Middleton's letter said "Just now is with me a poore Oar-maker crying and wringing his hands for Money, and desires to bee a labourer in the yard...he dareth not goe home to his wife any more for hee shalbee carryed to Jayle by his Timber Merchant." Having pawned his own plate for whale-oil, Middleton had "rather drinke in a horneing Cupp then that the Kings shipps should stay heere."

_____

"being asked by Sir W. Coventry whether the eleven months' tax was not a fund, and he answered, "No, that the bankers would not lend money upon it.""

L&M note the Eleven Months Tax "had been specifically designed to attract credit [ and the ] bankers did in fact lend money on it." http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"he would remember who they were that did persuade the King from parting with the Chimney-money to the Parliament...meaning the bankers and the farmers of the Chimney-money, whereof Sir, G. Carteret, I think, is one"

L&M note he was not.

Bradford   Link to this

"the Dutch have ordered a passe to be sent for our Commissioners, and that it is now upon the way, coming with a trumpeter blinded, as is usual": one hopes this means only "blindfolded"; but does it?

JWB   Link to this

Here's what a mid-century Dutch trumpeter/messenger looked like:

An Officer dictating a Letter
about 1655-8, Gerard ter Borch

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/ger...

JWB   Link to this

...but the hearth tax was still on the books, not to be repealed 'til assession of Wm. & Mary.

language hat   Link to this

"that my wife’s watch proves so bad as it do"

Can anyone decipher this?

"at the charge which my mother’s death for mourning will bring me when all paid"

No comment.

Mary   Link to this

my wife's watch ......

I take this quite literally to mean that Elizabeth has a watch (probably an ornamental fob-watch, or one that would be worn on a ribbon at the neck) that is unexpectedly bad a keeping time.

Ladies' watches have been around since at least the time of Elizabeth I's reign and court. I don't recall Pepys mentioning that he had bought one for Elizabeth, but such a purchase would not be so surprising. As an expensive item, he is justified in feeling upset that it proves so bad.

JWB   Link to this

"This noon come my wife’s watchmaker, and received 12l. of me for her watch;" Feb. 9 '66/67

cum salis grano   Link to this

Some watches are to be watched or seen as standard of pecking order, others are to be tools for telling of time.
For Samuell it was a tool, for Bess it be " we have latest and greatest"
Human nature still has the same foibles. It is nice to see that more things change the more they are the same.

Now a watch that keeps near perfect time can be had for two hours of minimum mayde's work, perfect time [tied to the atomic clock ] can be had for 2 days pay, but a watch that says " I am It" will cost at least 2 years of mayde's pay.

cum salis grano   Link to this

words still in vogue
“No, that the bankers would not lend money upon it.”

andy   Link to this

only something appears to be under his periwigg on the crown of his head.

- the Nits again. don't half lose you credbility.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"only something appears to be under his periwigg on the crown of his head."

Bandage from the trepanning, I'd guess.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...vexed at two or three things, viz. that my wife’s watch proves so bad as it do; the ill state of the office; and Kingdom’s business; at the charge which my mother’s death for mourning will bring me when all paid."

That's our boy. Oh, well...At least he considers the looming disaster for the realm on a par with a bum watch and charges for showy mourning clothes. Sam, Meg might have appreciated the gesture but I imagine visiting with a first-rate physician might have been more welcome.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"But seeke ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6: 33. echoed in Luke 12: 31 . From the King James Bible. Now perhaps more familiar as a popular hymn. See http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/maranatha_si...

More recent translations of the Bible have this as "But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well" (NRSV). Which does not have the same flow to it.

I would love to have known what Dr Crew preached that made Sam so admire it. Having had much experience of sermons, I know many people praise a sermon which reinforces their beliefs, when actually they should be thinking more about the sermons which are jolting them out of their comfort zones and which make them feel uneasy. I wonder if Dr Crew preached a version of the Prosperity Gospel, which would accord with what Sam was doing with his life!
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"...the money would be raised presently upon a land-tax."
Good thinking;there is plenty of land in the New World,just for the grabbing,so many landlords could go to America along with Moll Flanders.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"This put as all into a stound" -- fantastic. I hadn't known that "stound" was a noun. Of course, seeing it used this way, I am now astounded I didn't realize that sooner.

jeannine   Link to this

"Here I hear how the King is not so well pleased of this marriage between the Duke of Richmond and Mrs. Stewart, as is talked; and that he [the Duke] by a wile did fetch her to the Beare, at the Bridge-foot, where a coach was ready, and they are stole away into Kent, without the King’s leave; and that the King hath said he will never see her more; but people do think that it is only a trick."

Frances Stewart eloped with the Duke of Richmond and the King is devastated by this. I understand that he bans her (for now), but I don't understand the line "but people do think that it is only a trick". I'm not sure if people think that the elopement is a trick or the King's reaction to it. Both the elopement and the reaction are very real. If anything, the King's public reaction is mild compared to his private one.

jeannine   Link to this

"This day I saw Prince Rupert abroad in the Vane-room, pretty well as he used to be, and looks as well, only something appears to be under his periwigg on the crown of his head"

Terry, I agree with you, this is the results of his recent trepanning and the bandages. He's lucky to be alive after that rigourous surgery.

Mary   Link to this

Prince Rupert.

This certainly alludes to the trepanning operation.

According to one source (J. Dewhurst) Prince Rupert had previously undergone this procedure once already, in France in the late 1640s, as the result of a severe head wound suffered in battle.

In the spring of 1667 - spoiler - it was to take two similar procedures to accomplish his cure. The operations were undertaken in order to drain a stubborn subdural abcess.

Stout fellow.

AustralianTrumpet   Link to this

“the Dutch have ordered a passe to be sent for our Commissioners, and that it is now upon the way, coming with a trumpeter blinded, as is usual”
"Blinded" in this sense may indicate that the Dutch trumpeter, in his important role as envoy or messenger, would have been conveyed in some sort of carriage that would have had the windows covered, either by blinds or curtains. This was probably for his own protection from possible aggrieved members of the public. I have seen a 19th century phrase, "blinded with boards" meaning hidden by boards (like they do around building sites).

cum salis grano   Link to this

A state of stupefaction or amazement.
1567
1667 PEPYS Diary 3 Apr., This put us all into a stound.

cum salis grano   Link to this

blinded
?2. fig. Having the understanding darkened; deluded; deceived, benighted, foolish.

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