Saturday 31 August 1667

At the office all the morning; where, by Sir W. Pen, I do hear that the Seal was fetched away to the King yesterday from the Lord Chancellor by Secretary Morrice; which puts me into a great horror, to have it done after so much debate and confidence that it would not be done at last. When we arose I took a turn with Lord Bruncker in the garden, and he tells me that he hath of late discoursed about this business with Sir W. Coventry, who he finds is the great man in the doing this business of the Chancellor’s, and that he do persevere in it, though against the Duke of York’s opinion, to which he says that the Duke of York was once of the same mind, and if he hath thought fit since, for any reason, to alter his mind, he hath not found any to alter his own, and so desires to be excused, for it is for the King’s and kingdom’s good. And it seems that the Duke of York himself was the first man that did speak to the King of this, though he hath since altered his mind; and that W. Coventry did tell the Duke of York that he was not fit to serve a Prince that did not know how to retire, and live a private life; and that he was ready for that, if it be his and the King’s pleasure. After having wrote my letters at the office in the afternoon, I in the evening to White Hall to see how matters go, and there I met with Mr. Ball, of the Excise- office, and he tells me that the Seal is delivered to Sir Orlando Bridgeman; the man of the whole nation that is the best spoken of, and will please most people; and therefore I am mighty glad of it. He was then at my Lord Arlington’s, whither I went, expecting to see him come out; but staid so long, and Sir W. Coventry coming thither, whom I had not a mind should see me there idle upon a post-night, I went home without seeing him; but he is there with his Seal in his hand. So I home, took up my wife, whom I left at Unthanke’s, and so home, and after signing my letters to bed. This day, being dissatisfied with my wife’s learning so few songs of Goodgroome, I did come to a new bargain with him to teach her songs at so much, viz.; 10s. a song, which he accepts of, and will teach her.

13 Annotations

Jesse   Link to this

"not fit to serve a Prince that did not know how to retire, and live a private life"

A corollary of some classic Roman precedent (shades of Cincinnatus)? Yet still true today if applied to our elected representatives.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"This day, being dissatisfied with my wife’s learning so few songs of Goodgroome, I did come to a new bargain with him to teach her songs at so much, viz.; 10s. a song, which he accepts of, and will teach her."

Incentive...We shall see how well that works.

"...which puts me into a great horror, to have it done after so much debate and confidence that it would not be done at last." Hairs on one's neck rising, eh Sam? Especially with Sir Will Coventry so determined to sacrifice anyone to the greater good...

language hat   Link to this

“not fit to serve a Prince that did not know how to retire, and live a private life”

"A corollary of some classic Roman precedent (shades of Cincinnatus)?"

I think you may have misunderstood the seventeenth-century syntax; it is not the Prince that "did not know how to retire," but the servant. A clearer way of putting it, in today's terms, would be "Anyone who does not know how to retire and live a private life is not fit to serve a Prince."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Sir Edward Hyde. Lord Clarendon knew how to retire

What he will write not only about what he has lived that has been cited before in these annotations -- *The life of Edward earl of Clarendon, written by himself* http://bit.ly/bpOBo4 will also include the massive *History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England: Begun in the Year 1641* in three Parts, each Part in two vols. http://bit.ly/dnYK3k

His relation to book-culture endures: the Clarendon Press was named for the building named for the man who had been Chancellor of Oxford University from 1660 until his retirement.

Jesse   Link to this

re: A corollary of some classic Roman precedent

I was thinking civil servants; which Cincinnatus was in a way. I was also thinking that 'serving the Prince' in those days was essentially the same as serving the body politic; incurring the same power and wealth. Thanks,

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Coventry seems to be indicating that everyone in the administration should be prepared for the sack, however great their office, should it be required for the good of the State...And the brothers Stuart. I'd guess he's trying desperately to prevent any repeat of Charles I being forced to give up Stafford by pre-emptive strikes before Parliament starts demanding heads. No doubt the talk of Commonwealth Sam's mentioned being banded about so widely has reached his and Jamie's and Charlie's ears.

cum salis grano   Link to this

King spent a ransom, now is desperate for funds, so where be more money, sadly for Charles, Parliament has the means and maybe the will, so could try to use their leverage for a better position in getting their share of power/money.
Neither be a lender nor a borrower, makes for bad friendship!!!!.

Ghost of yester year is still walking the floors of law makers.

cum salis grano   Link to this

"Incentive…We shall see how well that works."

Robert , he would rather have an Elizbethan style pinner than that pinner in the church the other day.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

10s a song...Sounds like a song title.

"10s a song...That's what Pepys pays me.
Lord, how that man gets me down.

10s a song...To teach that impatient Bessie.
Christ, lay my burden down.

Loudly the little man's ranting...
'Goodgroome, I expect results.'

'I'm Clerk of the Acts and could send you...
on board ship bound for Tangiers and tumults.'

Worse, bored Mrs P regards me as a zero...
Lord, I'm sure not here for romance...

'Mr. Goodgroome, you know. Mr Pemberton the dance master...?

Sam paid him 20s a dance...'

roboto   Link to this

Sorry if this has been discussed previously, but what exactly is the Seal? What is it physically and what is it's purpose?

Apologies if the answer has been posted previously.

Mary   Link to this

The Seal is the Lord Chancellor's Great Seal of Office. The following link will tell you all about it and the other Great Seals.

http://yeomenoftheguard.com/great_seals_of_stat...

cum salis grano   Link to this

Seal as in seal a deal, 'twose the mark or guarantee of authorized action.
I remember the days of sealing wax , a melted blob of red wax put on paper of contract and thy ring was imbedded into the wax as a guarantee of your good faith and honest transaction, thus a deal was sealed, and the holder of such seal was the only one to invoke such guarantees of that office held.
You better have a jolly good reason to break that seal.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

To paraphase Fearless Leader in his classic American appearance during "Rocky and Bullwinkle".

"Laws (and seals) are for the honest people."

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