Wednesday 18 September 1667

Up betimes and to Captain Cocke, in his coach which he sent for me, and he not being ready I walked in the Exchange, which is now made pretty, by having windows and doors before all their shops, to keep out the cold. By and by to him, and he being ready, he and I out in his coach to my Lord Chancellor’s; there to Mr. Wren’s chamber, who did tell us the whole of Sir W. Pen’s having the order for this ship of ours, and we went with him to St. James’s, and there I did see the copy of it, which is built upon a suggestion of his having given the King a ship of his, “The Prosperous,” wherein is such a cheat as I have the best advantage in the world over him, and will make him do reason, or lay him on his back. This I was very glad of, and having done as far as I could in it we returned, and I home, and there at the office all the morning, and at noon with my Lord Bruncker to the Treasurer’s office to look over the clerks who are there making up the books, but in such a manner as it is a shame to see. Then home to dinner, and after dinner, my mind mighty full of this business of Sir W. Pen’s, to the office, and there busy all the afternoon. This evening Sir W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen and I met at [Sir] W. Batten’s house, and there I took an opportunity to break the business, at which [Sir] W. Pen is much disturbed, and would excuse it the most he can, but do it so basely, that though he do offer to let go his pretence to her, and resign up his order for her, and come in only to ask his share of her (which do very well please me, and give me present satisfaction), yet I shall remember him for a knave while I live. But thus my mind is quieted for the present more than I thought I should be, and am glad that I shall have no need of bidding him open defiance, which I would otherwise have done, and made a perpetual war between us. So to the office, and there busy pretty late, and so home and to supper with my wife, and so to bed.

9 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...there I took an opportunity to break the business, at which [Sir] W. Pen is much disturbed, and would excuse it the most he can, but do it so basely, that though he do offer to let go his pretence to her, and resign up his order for her, and come in only to ask his share of her..."

No honor among thieves...er, privateers.

Michael L   Link to this

OK, I confess to being a little slow here. What exactly is Sam's beef with respect to that rogue Penn and the Flying Greyhound?

Mary   Link to this

Pepys, Penn, Batten and Sir Richard Ford were joint partners in various privateering enterprises. The beef here is that on specious grounds Penn has apparently secured an order (i.e. authority) to use The Flying Greyhound on such an enterprise but has had this issued in his sole name, without including the names of the other partners.

L&M state that this particular order has not been traced.

Michael L   Link to this

Maybe I am confusing it with something else, but I thought Pepys had already divested himself of his interest in the ship. So why would he care what Penn is up to if he no longer has a share in it?

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

Perhaps Sir Richard was claiming that Sam had sold his share knowing that Penn had a monopoly on the ship?
Anyway, it looks as though Sam played the political game with sufficient deftness to defeat Penn but not make him an outright enemy.

Frank G.   Link to this

"Maybe I am confusing it with something else, but I thought Pepys had already divested himself of his interest in the ship. So why would he care what Penn is up to if he no longer has a share in it?"

I believe Sam only gave up,(or sold) his interest in the prizes captured, not the ship itself.

JWB   Link to this

"...make him do reason, or lay him on his back."

Rejoinder from Grnaville Penn:

"Bold under the wing of Sandwich, and relieved from the restraint of Coventry's presence1 by his retirement from the board, Pepys at this time possessed all the elasticity of what Shakspeare calls a " swaggering upspring," who felt himself comfortably secure of protection. Certainly, SirW. Penn would not disturb the board by descending to claim, from the petulance of the clerk of the acts, the respect due to seniority, priority, and ancient service; but would abide by his maxim, of " being at peace with all men, so far as in " him lay."

"1 It is observable, that in all Pepys' recorded conversations with Sir William Coventry, he never ventured to speak to him disrespectfully of Sir W. Penn. Of Pepys' many minor impertinences to the latter, with which he so freely indulged himself in the bravery of his concealed Journal, I have taken no notice; but have left them, as if they were still under the shelter of that " confidence" with which their promulgator represents him to have destined them for perpetual secrecy"

http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA459&lpg=PA29...

Jesse   Link to this

Re:joinder from Granville Penn

This appears to correspond to an entry from 'next' February - though it's hardly a spoiler. "Bold under the wing of Sandwich"?? I'd have thought those wings had been clipped sometime ago. It's surprising that a comment of this sort didn't appear much earlier, though the footnote does mention this.

A slightly earlier comment from the above source has "Pepys' official self-importance had reduced the notion of service, in his mind, to the achievements of his board-room, in which little empire his ambition was then aiming to render him supreme." Perhaps a grain of truth in this, though "seniority, priority, and ancient service" hint that perhaps Sir W. Penn was, well, past his prime.

Thanks for the link!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Bold under the wing of Sandwich, and relieved from the restraint of Coventry’s presence1 by his retirement from the board, Pepys at this time possessed all the elasticity of what Shakspeare calls a ” swaggering upspring,” who felt himself comfortably secure of protection."

If anything I have to believe Sam is about as anxious as he's ever been...Sandwich disgraced, Medway leaving the board and its officers...Particularly the untitled one...prime scapegoats, his next mentor Coventry on the outs, even potential new patron York's position looking weak after Clarendon's fall. I can't believe he feels "comfortably secure of protection" just right now...Though experience has made him more sure of himself, the younger Pepys would have been in a full state of panic.

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