Friday 7 February 1667/68

Up, and to the office, to the getting of my books in order, to carry to the Commissioners of Accounts this morning. This being done, I away first to Westminster Hall, and there met my cozen, Roger Pepys, by his desire, the first time I have seen him since his coming to town, the Parliament meeting yesterday and adjourned to Monday next; and here he tells me that Mr. Jackson, my sister’s servant, is come to town, and hath this day suffered a recovery on his estate, in order to the making her a settlement. The young man is gone out of the Hall, so I could not now see him, but here I walked a good while with my cozen, and among other things do hear that there is a great triall between my Lord Gerard and Carr to-day, who is indicted for his life at the King’s Bench, for running from his colours; but all do say that my Lord Gerard, though he designs the ruining of this man, will not get any thing by it. Thence to the Commissioners of Accounts, and there presented my books, and was made to sit down, and used with much respect, otherwise than the other day, when I come to them as a criminal about the business of the prizes. I sat here with them a great while, while my books were inventoried. And here do hear from them by discourse that they are like to undo the Treasurer’s instruments of the Navy by making it a rule that they shall repay all money paid to wrong parties, which is a thing not to be supported by these poor creatures the Treasurer’s instruments, as it is also hard for seamen to be ruined by their paying money to whom they please. I know not what will be the issue of it. I find these gentlemen to sit all day, and only eat a bit of bread at noon, and a glass of wine; and are resolved to go through their business with great severity and method. Thence I, about two o’clock, to Westminster Hall, by appointment, and there met my cozen Roger again, and Mr. Jackson, who is a plain young man, handsome enough for Pall, one of no education nor discourse, but of few words, and one altogether that, I think, will please me well enough. My cozen had got me to give the odd sixth 100l. presently, which I intended to keep to the birth of the first child: and let it go — I shall be eased of the care, and so, after little talk, we parted, resolving to dine together at my house tomorrow. So there parted, my mind pretty well satisfied with this plain fellow for my sister, though I shall, I see, have no pleasure nor content in him, as if he had been a man of reading and parts, like Cumberland, and to the Swan, and there sent for a bit of meat and eat and drank, and so to White Hall to the Duke of York’s chamber, where I find him and my fellows at their usual meeting, discoursing about securing the Medway this year, which is to shut the door after the horse is stole. However, it is good. Having done here, my Lord Brouncker, and W. Pen, and I, and with us Sir Arnold Breames, to the King’s playhouse, and there saw a piece of “Love in a Maze,” a dull, silly play, I think; and after the play, home with W. Pen and his son Lowther, whom we met there, and then home and sat most of the evening with my wife and Mr. Pelling, talking, my head being full of business of one kind or other, and most such as do not please me, and so to supper and to bed.

14 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Carr..., who is indicted for his life at the King's Bench, for running from his colours"

I.e., for desertion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regimental_colour

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Mr. Jackson, my sister’s servant"

servant = suitor, lover. (L&M Select Glossary)

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...Mr. Jackson, who is a plain young man, handsome enough for Pall, one of no education nor discourse, but of few words, and one altogether that, I think, will please me well enough...."

Oh, dear. I hope that "plain" in this instance means honest, straightforward and unpretentious as i think it could mean at that time and not just, well, "homely". And Sam approves of Mr J as knowing when to keep his mouth shut in front of his University educated betters. But, oh, dear. Poor Pall. Does this show a Charlotte Lucas self-knowledge and determination to get her own household, come what may? (Although, I think Mr Jackson sounds much more appealing than that wondrous creation, Mr Collins)

Christopher Squire   Link to this

‘recovery n.
. .  2. Law.   a. The fact or process of gaining or regaining possession of or a right to property, compensation, etc., by a legal process or judgement; spec. (also common recovery) a process by which entailed estate may be transferred from one person to another, based on a legal fiction involving the collusive default of a third party (now hist.).
. . 1668    S. Pepys Diary 7 Feb. (1976) IX. 55   Mr. Jackson‥hath this day suffered a Recovery on his estate, in order to the making her a settlement.’

‘servant, n.
. . 4.†b. A professed lover; one who is devoted to the service of a lady. (Cf. mistress n. 5) Also, in bad sense, a paramour, gallant. Obs.
. . 1667    S. Pepys Diary 4 Jan. (1974) VIII. 4   Peg and her servant, Mr. Lowder.

‘plain adj. . . V. Of a person, or a person's attributes or character: ordinary, unexceptional, homely.
 13. Simple or unpretentious in behaviour, manners, or expression; homely, unaffected. Now rare.
. . 1667    S. Pepys Diary 20 Sept. (1974) VIII. 443   And endeed [she] is, as I always thought, one of the modest, prettiest, plain women that ever I saw.
. . 14. Simple in dress or habits; clothed or living plainly; not luxurious or ostentatious; frugal.
. . 15. Having no special or outstanding qualities; not exceptionally gifted or cultured; simple, ordinary, unsophisticated.
. . 16. Not high-ranking; lowly, humble, common.
. . 17. Of ordinary appearance; not beautiful or good-looking; homely; euphem. unattractive.’ [OED

Mary   Link to this

"no pleasure nor content in him, as if he had been a man of reading and parts."

Well, there goes one retirement plan. Although Sam has occasionally day-dreamed about retiring quietly to the country it's clear that this prospective brother-in-law is unlikely to add to the attractions of Brampton even if the marriage does mean that Sam will, at last, get Pall off the family's hands.

language hat   Link to this

"And here do hear from them by discourse that they are like to undo the Treasurer’s instruments of the Navy by making it a rule that they shall repay all money paid to wrong parties, which is a thing not to be supported by these poor creatures the Treasurer’s instruments, as it is also hard for seamen to be ruined by their paying money to whom they please."

Can anyone explain this in terms I might be able to understand?

djc   Link to this

“And here do hear from them by discourse that they are like to undo the Treasurer’s instruments of the Navy by making it a rule that they shall repay all money paid to wrong parties, which is a thing not to be supported by these poor creatures the Treasurer’s instruments, as it is also hard for seamen to be ruined by their paying money to whom they please.”

Difficult to be sure, but I think it is re payment by tickets. Seamen paid by ticket (in effect an IOU) could get some cash by selling (at a discount) the ticket to a third party. What I am not so sure about is whether the proposal is to make such transactions easier by paying to whoever possesses the ticket, or less prone to fraud by only paying to the original payee. (ie the difference between a cheque and a banknote)

Terry Foreman   Link to this

dic, right. L&M agree it's about who gets paid by tickets. As they understand it from an order in the State Papers of 8 Feb, Anglesey was attempting to address the problem of rightful compensation = paying those who had actually shipped when someone pretending to be them (the "wrong parties") had been given tickets for it.

JWB   Link to this

I think gov't saw 'wrong parties', not as pretenders, but as usurers-holders of discounted tickets hoping to redeem them at face value. We in U.S. faced same problem with debt assumption by the federal gov't after the revolution;&,led by Hamilton, did the right thing. The similarity v Pepys & Mrs. S's 60£ on 100£ plate & taking back the plate and the ticket holders has not gone un-noticed.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Can anyone check CSPD Add. 1660-85, pp. 253-4?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...Mr. Jackson, who is a plain young man, handsome enough for Pall, one of no education nor discourse, but of few words, and one altogether that, I think, will please me well enough..." To his and Pall's credit they arranged this one by themselves.

In any case anything sounds better than the one Sam would have arranged with Cumberland, a man it's unlikely Pall could have shared any common interests besides perhaps joint mocking of her brother.

I imagine Balty St. Michel giving pretty much the same account to Alex in '55 with the saving grace that Sam was a college grad.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...Mr. Jackson, who is a plain young man, handsome enough for Pall, one of no education nor discourse, but of few words, and one altogether that, I think, will please me well enough..." To his and Pall's credit they arranged this one by themselves.

In any case anything sounds better than the one Sam would have arranged with Cumberland, a man it's unlikely Pall could have shared any common interests besides perhaps joint mocking of her brother.

I imagine Balty St. Michel giving pretty much the same account to Alex in '55 with the saving grace that Sam was a college grad.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...Mr. Jackson, who is a plain young man, handsome enough for Pall, one of no education nor discourse, but of few words, and one altogether that, I think, will please me well enough..." To his and Pall's credit they arranged this one by themselves.

In any case anything sounds better than the one Sam would have arranged with Cumberland, a man it's unlikely Pall could have shared any common interests besides perhaps joint mocking of her brother.

I imagine Balty St. Michel giving pretty much the same account to Alex in '55 with the saving grace that Sam was a college grad.

pepfie   Link to this

instrument (OED):
1.b A person made use of by another person or being, for the accomplishment of a purpose. (In mod. use often taken as fig. from 2: cf. tool.)
5.a Law. A formal legal document whereby a right is created or confirmed, or a fact recorded; a formal writing of any kind, as an agreement, deed, charter, or record, drawn up and executed in technical form, so as to be of legal validity.

Compassion ("these poor creatures the Treasurer’s instruments") with an annulled legal instrument (5.a) sounds far off so my bet is on 1.b, i.e. clerks, aides, stooges etc.
“And here do hear from them(CofA) by discourse that they(CofA) are like(ly) to undo(ruin) the Treasurer’s instruments(clerks) of the Navy by making it a rule that they(clerks) shall repay all money paid to wrong parties(unlawful holders of tickets, absentees etc), which is a thing not to be supported(withstood) by these poor creatures the Treasurer’s instruments (clerks), as it is also hard for seamen to be ruined by their(clerks) paying money to whom they(clerks) please.”

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