Wednesday 22 May 1667

Up, and by water to White Hall to Sir G. Carteret, who tells me now for certain how the Commission for the Treasury is disposed of: viz., to Duke of Albemarle, Lord Ashly, Sir W. Coventry, Sir John Duncomb, and Sir Thomas Clifford: at which, he says, all the whole Court is disturbed; it having been once concluded otherwise into the other hands formerly mentioned in yesterday’s notes, but all of a sudden the King’s choice was changed, and these are to be the men; the first of which is only for a puppet to give honour to the rest. He do presage that these men will make it their business to find faults in the management of the late Lord Treasurer, and in discouraging the bankers: but I am, whatever I in compliance do say to him, of another mind, and my heart is very glad of it, for I do expect they will do much good, and that it is the happiest thing that hath appeared to me for the good of the nation since the King come in. Thence to St. James’s, and up to the Duke of York; and there in his chamber Sir W. Coventry did of himself take notice of this business of the Treasury, wherein he is in the Commission, and desired that I would be thinking of any thing fit for him to be acquainted with for the lessening of charge and bettering of our credit, and what our expence bath been since the King’s coming home, which he believes will be one of the first things they shall enquire into: which I promised him, and from time to time, which he desires, will give him an account of what I can think of worthy his knowledge. I am mighty glad of this opportunity of professing my joy to him in what choice the King hath made, and the hopes I have that it will save the kingdom from perishing and how it do encourage me to take pains again, after my having through despair neglected it! which he told me of himself that it was so with him, that he had given himself up to more ease than ever he expected, and that his opinion of matters was so bad, that there was no publick employment in the kingdom should have been accepted by him but this which the King hath now given him; and therein he is glad, in hopes of the service he may do therein; and in my conscience he will. So into the Duke of York’s closet; and there, among other things, Sir W. Coventry did take notice of what he told me the other day, about a report of Commissioner Pett’s dealing for timber in the Navy, and selling it to us in other names; and, besides his own proof, did produce a paper I had given him this morning about it, in the case of Widow Murford and Morecocke, which was so handled, that the Duke of York grew very angry, and commanded us presently to fall into the examination of it, saying that he would not trust a man for his sake that lifts up the whites of his eyes. And it was declared that if he be found to have done so, he should be reckoned unfit to serve the Navy; and I do believe he will be turned out; and it was, methought, a worthy saying of Sir W. Coventry to the Duke of York, “Sir,” says he, “I do not make this complaint out of any disrespect to Commissioner Pett, but because I do love to do these things fairly and openly.” Thence I to Westminster Hall with Sir G. Carteret to the Chequer Chamber to hear our cause of the Lindeboome prize there before the Lords of Appeal, where was Lord Ashly, Arlington, Barkely, and Sir G. Carteret, but the latter three signified nothing, the former only either minding or understanding what was said. Here was good pleading of Sir Walter Walker’s and worth hearing, but little done in our business. Thence by coach to the Red Lyon, thinking to meet my father, but I come too soon, but my wife is gone out of town to meet him. I am in great pain, poor man, for him, lest he should come up in pain to town. So I staid not, but to the ‘Change, and there staid a little, where most of the newes is that the Swedes are likely to fall out with the Dutch, which we wish, but how true I know not. Here I met my uncle Wight, the second day he hath been abroad, having been sick these two months even to death, but having never sent to me even in the greatest of his danger. I do think my Aunt had no mind I should come, and so I never went to see him, but neither he took notice of it to me, nor I made any excuse for it to him, but past two or three How do you’s, and so parted and so home, and by and by comes my poor father, much better than I expected, being at ease by fits, according as his truss sits, and at another time in as much pain. I am mighty glad to see him come well to town. So to dinner, where Creed comes. After dinner my wife and father abroad, and Creed and I also by water, and parted at the Temple stairs, where I landed, and to the King’s house, where I did give 18d., and saw the two last acts of “The Goblins,” a play I could not make any thing of by these two acts, but here Knipp spied me out of the tiring-room, and come to the pit door, and I out to her, and kissed her, she only coming to see me, being in a country-dress, she, and others having, it seemed, had a country-dance in the play, but she no other part: so we parted, and I into the pit again till it was done. The house full, but I had no mind to be seen, but thence to my cutler’s, and two or three other places on small, errands, and so home, where my father and wife come home, and pretty well my father, who to supper and betimes to bed at his country hours. I to Sir W. Batten’s, and there got some more part of my dividend of the prize- money. So home and to set down in writing the state of the account, and then to supper, and my wife to her flageolet, wherein she did make out a tune so prettily of herself, that I was infinitely pleased beyond whatever I expected from her, and so to bed. This day coming from Westminster with W. Batten, we saw at White Hall stairs a fisher-boat, with a sturgeon that he had newly catched in the River; which I saw, but it was but a little one; but big enough to prevent my mistake of that for a colt, if ever I become Mayor of Huntingdon!1

  1. During a very high flood in the meadows between Huntingdon and Godmanchester, something was seen floating, which the Godmanchester people thought was a black pig, and the Huntingdon folk declared it was a sturgeon; when rescued from the waters, it proved to be a young donkey. This mistake led to the one party being styled “Godmanchester black pigs,” and the other “Huntingdon sturgeons,” terms not altogether forgotten at this day. Pepys’s colt must be taken to be the colt of an ass. — B.

13 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"the Duke of York grew very angry . . . saying that he would not trust a man for his sake that lifts up the whites of his eyes."

Translation, anybody? Rolling one's eyes up to Heaven in resignation at the ways of the world?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I am mighty glad of this opportunity of professing my joy to him in what choice the King hath made, and the hopes I have that it will save the kingdom from perishing and how it do encourage me to take pains again, after my having through despair neglected it! which he told me of himself that it was so with him, that he had given himself up to more ease than ever he expected, and that his opinion of matters was so bad, that there was no publick employment in the kingdom should have been accepted by him but this which the King hath now given him; and therein he is glad, in hopes of the service he may do therein..."

Sam at his best, sincere and wanting to be of some good use to the Nation. Nice that his trust of Coventry is such he'd be so honest. It seems he either didn't believe in Mrs. Turner's accusations toward Coventry yesterday or didn't think they mattered much.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Here I met my uncle Wight, the second day he hath been abroad, having been sick these two months even to death..."

Thank God Uncle has been spared. There's many I'd rather lose than that foul but hilarious old would-be Lothario.

Though I'd say, Sam, you're out of the will.

***

cum salis grano   Link to this

"...his country hours..." ? dawn to dusk?
Save on candle power.

andy   Link to this

his opinion of matters was so bad, that there was no publick employment in the kingdom should have been accepted by him but this which the King hath now given him

So it goes again in the publick employment:

"According to the leaked draft, the Queen will announce that the government's priority will be to "reduce the deficit and restore economic growth" and to "accelerate the reduction of the structural budget deficit", with five Bills led by the Treasury.
...
It is also said to include a "great repeals Bill" to get rid of Labour legislation opposed by the Tories and Lib Dems when they were in opposition." BBC news on our new masters this morning.

JWB   Link to this

Say what?

"...our expence bath been since the King’s coming home."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Heaven...

Bess, reading.

Door locked against a nervous Sam...

"Some passages are bad...And really make me sad.
Others just make me swear and curse."

Sigh...
"But when chewing on Sam's gristle,
I don't grumble (being a 17th century dutiful wife with low expectations) I give a whistle..."

Grin...
"And strangely things just turn out for the best. (Hello, boys...Will Hewer, Mr. Pembleton, Lord Sandwich, Lord Hinchingbroke, Captain Ferrers, Charles, Jamie, Uncle Wight). So..."

Chorus...
"Always look on the bright side of life..." Whistle.

"Bess, is there someone in there with you?"

"Always look on the right side of life..."

"Bess! I know there's a man..." Listens... "Men! In there with you!! Hewer, is that you?! Defend my interests, boy!!"

"Yes, Mr. P." Will calls.

Bess...

"For life is quite absurb...You can take my Samuel's word. But you can always make up later with a vow. He forgets about his sin, but at least he makes you grin."

"I say enjoy life, it's our one chance anyhow!" Sam tries...

("Just taking your advice, dear!" call.)

Chorus...

"And also look on the bright side of death." Whistle.

[Spoiler...

"As I near to draw my terminal breath..." Bess...Frown.

"And I did have that terrific bust of you made! All my annotators praise it." desperate try from door.]

Sam...Sighing.

"Bess, love is just bizarre...You don't see till the final hour. Just how much your loved one means to you. But love, all the rest was show, to keep me laughing as I go..." ("And you know how painful...")"Remember that the story ends with you."

Chorus...

"And always look on the bright side of life." Whistle.

"Always look on the right side of life." Whistle.

("How can she keep these gentlemen in there with her here, isn't this Heaven?" Sam frowns to Peter. "Exactly." Peter smiles.)

"Always look on the bright side of life." Whistle.

("I think he's had enough, gentlemen. You go home to Lady Jemina, now Edward." "Right, cousin Bess." warm smile.)

"Always look on the right side of life." Whistle.

("I don't see our reigns were all that bad. Look at the world sit in today's Times." Charles notes to morose Jamie. "Oh, buck up, Jamie...I'll put things right with Mary and Anne. You're a dutiful type but you've got to learn to be less rigid with people. Story of your life...")

"Always look on the bright side of life." Whistle.

"Always look on the right side of life." Whistle.

("I can break down doors in Heaven?" Sam asks. "Whatever turns you on." Peter nods.)

"I'll take my next lesson Thursday, Mr. Pembleton. It's still...No, Uncle." Bess frowns at Wight.

"Hardly Heaven, niece." miffed Wight pouts.

Fern   Link to this

@JWB - "expence bath"

Something to do with money-laundering?

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: "expence bath"

A scanning error, I'd say. Most likely "expense hath"...

JWB   Link to this

TB:
It was the 'accidental art' of the phrase.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...desired that I would be thinking of any thing fit for him to be acquainted with for the lessening of charge and bettering of our credit, and what our expence bath been since the King’s coming home, which he believes will be one of the first things they shall enquire into..."

It would be a very cute thing were it real rather than misscan. "Expense bath"-almost poetic as an image in its way.

Fern   Link to this

My money-laundering comment was a joke, but it's hard to convey the tone of voice in print...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Colonel Henry Norwood to Sandwich
Written from: Tangier
Date: 22 May 1667

Communicates some particulars as to the commerce of Tangier with the Moors and Spaniards, more particularly in Corn, and some difficulties which have accrued thereout. Requests Lord Sandwich to use his influence with the Duke of Medina Celi [? Medina de la Torres ?] for an amicable settlement of the latter ...

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

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