Tuesday 22 October 1667

Slept but ill all the last part of the night, for fear of this day’s success in Parliament: therefore up, and all of us all the morning close, till almost two o’clock, collecting all we had to say and had done from the beginning, touching the safety of the River Medway and Chatham. And, having done this, and put it into order, we away, I not having time to eat my dinner; and so all in my Lord Bruncker’s coach, that is to say, Bruncker, W. Pen, T. Harvy, and myself, talking of the other great matter with which they charge us, that is, of discharging men by ticket, in order to our defence in case that should be asked. We come to the Parliament-door, and there, after a little waiting till the Committee was sat, we were, the House being very full, called in: Sir W. Pen went in and sat as a Member; and my Lord Bruncker would not at first go in, expecting to have a chair set for him, and his brother had bid him not go in, till he was called for; but, after a few words, I had occasion to mention him, and so he was called in, but without any more chair or respect paid him than myself: and so Bruncker, and T. Harvy, and I, were there to answer: and I had a chair brought me to lean my books upon: and so did give them such an account, in a series of the whole business that had passed the Office touching the matter, and so answered all questions given me about it, that I did not perceive but they were fully satisfied with me and the business as to our Office: and then Commissioner Pett (who was by at all my discourse, and this held till within an hour after candlelight, for I had candles brought in to read my papers by) was to answer for himself, we having lodged all matters with him for execution. But, Lord! what a tumultuous thing this Committee is, for all the reputation they have of a great council, is a strange consideration; there being as impertinent questions, and as disorderly proposed, as any man could make. But Commissioner Pett, of all men living, did make the weakest defence for himself: nothing to the purpose, nor to satisfaction, nor certain; but sometimes one thing and sometimes another, sometimes for himself and sometimes against him; and his greatest failure was, that I observed, from his [not] considering whether the question propounded was his part to answer or no, and the thing to be done was his work to do: the want of which distinction will overthrow him; for he concerns himself in giving an account of the disposal of the boats, which he had no reason at all to do, or take any blame upon him for them. He charged the not carrying up of “The Charles” upon the Tuesday, to the Duke of Albemarle; but I see the House is mighty favourable to the Duke of Albemarle, and would give little weight to it. And something of want of armes he spoke, which Sir J. Duncomb answered with great imperiousness and earnestness; but, for all that, I do see the House is resolved to be better satisfied in the business of the unreadiness of Sherenesse, and want of armes and ammunition there and every where: and all their officers were here to-day attending, but only one called in, about armes for boats, to answer Commissioner Pett. None of my brethren said anything but me there, but only two or three silly words my Lord Bruncker gave, in answer to one question about the number of men there were in the King’s Yard at the time. At last, the House dismissed us, and shortly after did adjourne the debate till Friday next: and my cozen Pepys did come out and joy me in my acquitting myself so well, and so did several others, and my fellow-officers all very brisk to see themselves so well acquitted; which makes me a little proud, but yet not secure but we may yet meet with a back-blow which we see not. So, with our hearts very light, Sir W. Pen and I in his coach home, it being now near eight o’clock, and so to the office, and did a little business by the post, and so home, hungry, and eat a good supper, and so, with my mind well at ease, to bed. My wife not very well of those.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Conway to Ormond
Written from: London
Date: 22 October 1667

The House of Commons have been ... employed in examining into the miscarriages of our Fleet in the Dutch War. This day [of the date] was once designed for the bringing in amongst them the impeachment against the late Lord Chancellor, but they thought it not yet strong enough, & so it is delayed. ... "They do so fly at all things - having all put into their hands - that men begin to see [that] they have raised a devil which is not easily laid. But it is certain the poor Chancellor is destined for death, & the King is to be the chief witness against him."
_____

Ossory to Ormond
Written from: [London]
Date: 22 October 1667

Communicates various representations which have been made to the writer upon administrative affairs in Ireland, then pending, and more particularly in relation to the stationing of troops [ especially upon the lands recently granted to English Courtiers, such as "my brother Arlington", whose servants, adds Lord Ossory, "daily represent the necessity of having a company quartered on his lands" ], and the maintenance of the present strength of the Army there.

Notices the pressure of monetary affairs, and the state of parties, at Court.

[Notes] on Miscarriages in the late War [ http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/11734/ ]
_____

Date: 22 October 1667

Document type: Breviate; by Carte from "MS. Pepys LVIII"

From Papers laid before Parliament, on the 22nd October 1667.

http://www.rsl.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects/ca...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"and so [ Lord Brouncker ] was called in, but without any more chair or respect paid him than myself:"

L&M note "Brouncker was a peer but only an Irish one."

Mary   Link to this

You have to feel sorry for Pett.

"They" are out to get him and it sounds as if he's proving his own worst enemy before this committee.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

It's probably difficult for Pett to explain the importance of his models for ship design. Plus it seems Albemarle, who did insist Chatham was safe, is not to be touched.

So Sam's organization and administrative skills are paying off big time. No doubt after being given a series of bizzare answers dealing with nothing relevant by poorly organized types with titles but no idea how their offices work, it's a major contrast to have Pepys with his books and clerks whipping out answers to every question.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Nice that he pauses after the accounting of this fretful if successful day to mention Bess is ill.

Paul E   Link to this

Would that there be a transcript of his presentation. How does one make such a compelling case, by candlelight, without powerpoint or even photocopied handouts of Navyboard stats and charts?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

@ Paul E "How does one make such a compelling case, by candlelight, without powerpoint or even photocopied handouts of Navyboard stats and charts?"

SP's education would certainly have included, as part of the 'core curriculum,' studying Cicero, 'De Inventione,' 'De Oratore, and the 'Rhetorica ad Herennium,'now of unknown authorship and practicing. For example, "At noon my brother John came to me, and I corrected as well as I could his Greek speech to say the Apposition, though I believe he himself was as well able to do it as myself. "
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/01/15/

"Apposition is a traditional ceremony at St Paul's and was originally a way of allowing the Mercers Company to assess teaching staff and the High Master, with the option of dismissing or reappointing them. ... Consequences of apposition have led to the dismissal of previous High Masters including Thomas Freeman, for lack of learning (although more probably for holding the incorrect religious views) in 1559."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Paul's_School,_...

Spoiler -- The 'Rhetoric,' with the text in both Greek and Latin, is not just the only work of Aristotle in his library but the only work explicitly on the subject.

Aristotle Technēs rētorikēs biblia [gamma] ... Aristotelis artis rhetoricae libri tres; ab Antonio Riccoboni Latine conversi. 2 pts.
Hanoviae: Typis Wechelianis, apud Claudium Marnium & heredes Iohannis Aubrii, 1606.
PL 576

He owned also a complete Cicero, in the Aldine edition of 1581-3, PL 2290-3 (the 10 vols are rebound in 4)

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... and so did give them such an account, in a series of the whole business that had passed the Office touching the matter, and so answered all questions given me about it, that I did not perceive but they were fully satisfied with me and the business as to our Office: ..."

L&M footnote, "The Navy Board (i.e. SP) disclaimed immediate responsibility. They argued that after 3 December 1666 Commissioner Pett had been responsible, by the Duke's order, for the defence of Chatham, and that Sheerness had become the responsibility of the Ordnance Office once the Navy Board had made recommendations on its fortification."

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... his [Pett's] greatest failure was, that I observed, from his [not] considering whether the question propounded was his part to answer or no, and the thing to be done was his work to do: ... for he concerns himself in giving an account of the disposal of the boats, which he had no reason at all to do, or take any blame upon him for them. ..."

L&M footnote, "Sir Edward Spragge, the officer commanding the ships in the river, had charge of the boats;"

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