Thursday 17 October 1667

Up, and being sent for by my Lady Batten, I to her, and there she found fault with my not seeing her since her being a widow, which I excused as well as I could, though it is a fault, but it is my nature not to be forward in visits. But here she told me her condition, which is good enough, being sole executrix, to the disappointment of all her husband’s children, and prayed my friendship about the accounts of the prizes, which I promised her. And here do see what creatures widows are in weeping for their husbands, and then presently leaving off; but I cannot wonder at it, the cares of the world taking place of all other passions. Thence to the office, where all the morning busy, and at noon home to dinner, where Mr. John Andrews and his wife come and dined with me, and pretty merry we were, only I out of humour the greatest part of the dinner, by reason that my people had forgot to get wine ready, I having none in my house, which I cannot say now these almost three years, I think, without having two or three sorts, by which we were fain to stay a great while, while some could be fetched. When it come I begun to be merry, and merry we were, but it was an odd, strange thing to observe of Mr. Andrews what a fancy he hath to raw meat, that he eats it with no pleasure unless the blood run about his chops, which it did now by a leg of mutton that was not above half boiled; but, it seems, at home all his meat is dressed so, and beef and all, and [he] eats it so at nights also. Here most of our discourse is of the business of the Parliament, who run on mighty furiously, having yesterday been almost all the morning complaining against some high proceedings of my Lord Chief Justice Keeling, that the gentlemen of the country did complain against him in the House, and run very high. It is the man that did fall out with my cozen Roger Pepys, once, at the Assizes there, and would have laid him by the heels; but, it seems, a very able lawyer. After dinner I to the office, where we all met with intent to proceed to the publique sale of several prize ships, but upon discourse my Lord Anglesey did discover (which troubled me that he that is a stranger almost should do more than we ourselves could) that the appraisements made by our officers were not above half of what he had been offered for one of them, and did make it good by bringing a gentleman to give us 700l. for the Wildboare, which they valued but at 276l., which made us all startle and stop the sale, and I did propose to acquaint the Duke of York with it, and accordingly we did agree on it, and I wrote a severe letter about it, and we are to attend him with it to-morrow about it. This afternoon my Lord Anglesey tells us that the House of Commons have this morning run into the inquiry in many things; as, the sale of Dunkirke, the dividing of the fleete the last year, the business of the prizes with my Lord Sandwich, and many other things; so that now they begin to fall close upon it, and God knows what will be the end of it, but a Committee they have chosen to inquire into the miscarriages of the war. Having done, and being a little tired, Sir W. Pen and I in his coach out to Mile End Green, and there drank a cup of Byde’s ale, and so talking about the proceedings of Parliament, and how little a thing the King is become to be forced to suffer it, though I declare my being satisfied that things should be enquired into, we back again home, and I to my office to my letters, and so home to supper and to bed.

24 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

Oct: 17. 1667. Dr. [ Richard ] Lower [ ] peircing the sides of a dog made and cutting 2 nerues passng to his liuer made him broken winded) The Bellows expt. being againe considerd) It was obserued by mr. Hooke that this expt seemd to shew that an animal might be kept aliue wthout any motion of the Lungs [(only by a continued supply of fresh air [In margin]Vz and that the motion of the lungs] did not contribute to the circulation of the blood, he was desired to bring in an exact Description of this expt. as it was now Improued. It was also moued that it might be considerd whether it was the emission and Discharge of fumes or the intromission of fresh air that preserued this animall aliue)

Sr. Th Devaux his paper about Soap making was deliuerd by order to mr Hooke, who hath vndertaken to giue an account of that trade.

(transfusion to be tryd on men)

For the next meeting was orderd by mr Hookes suggestion the experiment of making the blood of an animall passe from one side to another out of the vena arteriosa into the aorta without passing through the Lungs Dr. Lower & mr Hooke were desired to take care of this expt. -

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ossory to Ormond
Written from: [London]
Date: 17 October 1667

Wonder has been expressed - as the writer is told - by many members of the House [of Commons] how it is that Lord Orrery has won so much credit in Ireland, whilst that of the Duke of Ormond is impaired.

The writer would be glad to have copies of the Addresses which have been made to the Duke by the House of Commons of Ireland.

Notices recent proceedings in the English Parliament, and, more particularly, an address of thanks to the King for the removal of the late Chancellor.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Arlington to Sandwich
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 17 October 1667

Imparts the views of the Government as to an alliance offensive & defensive with Spain; as to the existing relations between Spain and France, and as to the probabilities of an accommodation between them.

Adds that the King will thank Lord Sandwich with his own hand for the Treaty sent to him by his Lordship. Other Correspondents will communicate the recent proceedings in Parliament.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...only I out of humour the greatest part of the dinner, by reason that my people had forgot to get wine ready..."

I know that's the greatest calamity I can experience at dinner.

Ok, Andrews: Vampire or werewolf? Not zombie, pray God...They're so unfashionable this year.

Paul E  •  Link

"And here do see what creatures widows are in weeping for their husbands, and then presently leaving off; but I cannot wonder at it, the cares of the world taking place of all other passions."

Sam goes from callous to kind in two seconds flat, and with unsurpassed prose.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...there drank a cup of Byde’s ale..."

Once again, friends...That's Byde's ale. Byde's ale, the one ale to have when you're trying to digest Parlimentary procedings with your true enemy.

"I tole you to mention the wineseller as well..." Bess hisses.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Lady Batten needs Pepys' help, but does not put herself in the position of a petitioner to begin with, but charges him (and quite rightly so as she and Sam know) of bad manners. Once she can take the moral high ground, she then brings up her problems and gets Sam's support. Clever lady.

More dog torture at the Royal Society I see. I find these blunt descriptions (with no thought of the concomitant suffering) of experiments on live dogs distressing for my 21st century mind. I know, however, it was normal for the times and that these men were not being sadistic, but were trying to discover how anatomical processes worked.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... my people had forgot to get wine ready, I having none in my house, which I cannot say now these almost three years, ..."

Alas, an occasion for display lost:
” … my new bottles made, with my crest upon them, …”

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... odd, strange thing to observe of Mr. Andrews what a fancy he hath to raw meat, that he eats it with no pleasure unless the blood run about his chops, ..."

Sounds as if 'rare,' or 'medium rare,' unusual in the mid C 17th.

Ruben  •  Link

"Sounds as if ‘rare,’ or ‘medium rare,’ unusual in the mid C 17th."
There is not much historic literature about how to eat your meat. But there are good reasons to have your meat completely cooked. This way you kill all kind of germs and parasites, that were common in Pepys days. Just remember there was no veterinary control, and mutton is specially apt to have unwanted guests in its body. Brucella, Triquinosis, Cysticercosis, Helminths and Flat Worms dissapeared from view in our day but they are still with us and may come back without warning, should the veterinary control lose grip. That happened in some industrialized countries in the "crazy cow" case just because vegetarian animals where fed "balanced food" containing cheap parts of other animals, instead of their normal diet. Some lost their lifes, and others made money out of this kind of unwarranted "balance".

Australian Susan  •  Link

In my copy of Mrs Beeton, she has many cautions about buying your meat - saying that the best way to get mutton was to buy it from someone you knew and trusted who had a property in the country which farmed sheep.
When my grandmother was forced to move to Ireland in 1914 (her husband's job), she continued to order all her meat from Harrod's, so mistrustful was she of Irish produce and she never ate pork in the summer wherever she lived. We have forgotten (as Ruben points out) how risky eating meat could be when it was not thoroughly cooked and of good provenance. Sam is right to be uneasy about his guest's behaviour. Interesting too that he accepts the guest's commands about the meat (which renders it unpalatable to everyone else). i think nowadays, when we are guests at a dinner party, we would not lecture the host about his cooking practices. (unless there were medical reasons). I think RG's right: he's a vampire.....

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I left it open: werewolf, vamp, unfashionable, zombie. But...

As for dog experiments, Tom Wolfe in "The Right Stuff" and others note the chimp and other animal experiments of the early space age and nuclear era and the suffering inflicted in the name of "fighting the Cold War", "beating the [communist enemy] Russians] to the Moon", etc by men and women who were not of the aberrant sadist [ie, Nazi]persuasion but felt the knowledge had to be acquire for both "advancement" and "national security". And of course the grisly horror of human experimentation in the twentieth century (again by supposed non-aberrant societies as well as brutally perverted ones} still emerging certainly outstrips anything Sam's Royal Society did in their first efforts to learn about the world.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...and how little a thing the King is become to be forced to suffer it, though I declare my being satisfied that things should be enquired into..."

Our politic Pepys...He could run for office today easily.

"So we are here with Mr. Samuel Pepys, of the Naval Office. So I understand Mr. Pepys that you support the PM's contention that in Naval affairs the government should have an absolute authority?"

"Yes, Betty...And may I say you are as lovely as always...I firmly support the PM on such matters. The government's authority over the Navy must remain absolute if the Navy is to continue to perform in an effective and efficient manner...If I may document..."

Desperate intervention by director...No, no...

"But you also favor a full and unimpeded access by the public and media into these affairs?"

"Uh..." Sam frowns at missing chance to pull up his extensive Powerpoint collection... "Well, of course...I am always for complete access. A full inquiry with complete access, subject of course to the necessary restrictions of retaining the government's full authority...And if I may show a few records of our performance during the incident in question..."

Oh, Lord...Director sighs...

"Perhaps we could discuss these matters in detail over lunch tomorrow...?" Sam whispers to reporter Betty, post-interview.

"I can't believe you always say yes..." female assistant hisses to Betty. "Hands off, Mr. Pepys." snarl to grinning Sam as he heads off stage to dressing rooms.

"Eh...He has this little-boy's charm..." Betty sighs back, watching Sam eagerly questioning the camera- and sound- persons about their equipment.

"And he's always chasing women named Betty...You know his wife's name's Elisabeth."

"PM loved it, Mr. P!" Hewer in wings enroute to dressing room gives thumbs up.


"I'm telling you boys, that Pepys is a potential Francis Urquhart." Admiral Sir Will Penn IV, Lord of the Admiralty to colleagues, fuming as Pepys' interview plays.

language hat  •  Link

"there are good reasons to have your meat completely cooked."

Of course there are, but people like their food the way they like it, and doctors be damned. Some people focus on safety and eschew anything that might threaten it; others focus on enjoyment and ignore medical warnings. Of the latter, some die early, giving pleasure to the doctors (and another warning example they can use); others live to be a hundred, giving pleasure to themselves and to those of us who enjoy taking chances.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"dog torture"

Nota bene "(transfusion to be tryd on men)"....

Jesse  •  Link

"being sole executrix"

Wonder how she pulled that off? In that day and age - second wife too.

"weeping for their husbands, and then presently leaving off"

Not just "cares of the world." Sir W. was hardly a young man and Lady Batten had already been there done that widow thing.

"above half boiled"

I wonder if that also might have been (is?) an English thing. Of course, in the US at least, many fast food and large chain establishments have policies against undercooking beef and supermarket warnings are common on raw poultry products.

cum salis grano  •  Link

Well cooked meat, 'tis why British food was never liked by their cozens in the new lands, not bludy enough.

Ruben  •  Link

“there are good reasons to have your meat completely cooked.”

It is easy to "take a risk" and ignore the problem when meat comes to market supervised by a veterinarian, etc. in a first world country.
The State is protecting you and you never have to worry. You may bite a living cow and nothing bad will happen to you, if the cow is yours. Maybe an association for compassion for the cows will protest, but that is it.
AND, if you somehow get infected there are antibiotics developed by those damned doctors.

For Pepys that was a serious gamble, in spite he could not know exactly what the problem was.
You do not read about Pepys drinking water, because a diarrhea happened in a few hours, so the reason was very evident and the solution easy (have a beer, drink wine).
But an infection or "consumption" by a parasite infection can take weeks, months or years to develop.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"some high proceedings of my Lord Chief Justice Keeling, that the gentlemen of the country did complain against him in the House"

L&M note that "the gentlemen of the country" were the rural party -- critics of the court and its high-handed ways in the conduct of what passed for "justice".

Robert Gertz  •  Link

In fairness to Lady Elizabeth Batten...She'd have no great reason or desire to do her mourning before Samuel Pepys. And we never heard via Sam any complaints from Sir William... I'll choose to believe she does her mourning where it counts.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Indeed, if Sir Will made her sole executrix over his children, it goes a long way in saying his regard and care of her.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Batten's Will - Mingo

"Sir William Batten was granted Letters Patent by King James I (sic) to operate the Harwich Lighthouse, a profitable concern because of its strategic importance to shipping in 1664.

"and to the office, where we sat late, and then I to write my letters, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, who is going out of towne to Harwich to-morrow to set up a light-house there, which he hath lately got a patent from the King to set up, that will turne much to his profit."

These extracts from his will reveal that Batten wanted his 'servante Mingoe a Negroe' ( ) to become lighthouse keeper upon his death. The servant was also left a legacy of £20 per year for life - a substantial sum of money at the time."

Photo reproduction of excerpts:

Robert Gertz  •  Link

That's neat about Mingo. Not as good as letting him go home but if he's now free, perhaps he liked England enough to honestly wish to stay.

All around, given his care for wife and servant, it seems nothing became Sir William Batten in life like his leaving of it.

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