Monday 17 February 1667/68

Up, and to the office, where all the morning till noon getting some things more ready against the afternoon for the Committee of Accounts, which did give me great trouble, to see how I am forced to dance after them in one place, and to answer Committees of Parliament in another. At noon thence toward the Committee, but meeting with Sir W. Warren in Fleet Street he and I to the Ordinary by Temple Bar and there dined together, and to talk, where he do seem to be very high now in defiance of the Board, now he says that the worst is come upon him to have his accounts brought to the Committee of Accounts, and he do reflect upon my late coldness to him, but upon the whole I do find that he is still a cunning fellow, and will find it necessary to be fair to me, and what hath passed between us of coldness to hold his tongue, which do please me very well. Thence to the Committee, where I did deliver the several things they expected from me, with great respect and show of satisfaction, and my mind thereby eased of some care. But thence I to Westminster Hall, and there spent till late at night walking to and again with many people, and there in general I hear of the great high words that were in the House on Saturday last, upon the first part of the Committee’s Report about the dividing of the fleete; wherein some would have the counsels of the King to be declared, and the reasons of them, and who did give them; where Sir W. Coventry laid open to them the consequences of doing that, that the King would never have any honest and wise men ever to be of his Council. They did here in the House talk boldly of the King’s bad counsellors, and how they must be all turned out, and many of them, and better; brought in: and the proceedings of the Long-Parliament in the beginning of the war were called to memory: and the King’s bad intelligence was mentioned, wherein they were bitter against my Lord Arlington, saying, among other things, that whatever Morrice’s was, who declared he had but 750l. a-year allowed him for intelligence, the King paid too dear for my Lord Arlington’s, in giving him 10,000l. and a barony for it. Sir W. Coventry did here come to his defence, in the business of the letter that was sent to call back Prince Rupert, after he was divided from the fleete, wherein great delay was objected; but he did show that he sent it at one in the morning, when the Duke of York did give him the instructions after supper that night, and did clear himself well of it: only it was laid as a fault, which I know not how he removes, of not sending it by an express, but by the ordinary post; but I think I have heard he did send it to my Lord Arlington’s; and that there it lay for some hours; it coming not to Sir Philip Honiwood’s hand at Portsmouth till four in the afternoon that day, being about fifteen or sixteen hours in going; and about this, I think, I have heard of a falling out between my Lord Arlington, heretofore, and W. Coventry. Some mutterings I did hear of a design of dissolving the Parliament; but I think there is no ground for it yet, though Oliver would have dissolved them for half the trouble and contempt these have put upon the King and his councils. The dividing of the fleete, however, is, I hear, voted a miscarriage, and the not building a fortification at Sheernesse: and I have reason every hour to expect that they will vote the like of our paying men off by ticket; and what the consequence of that will be I know not, but I am put thereby into great trouble of mind. I did spend a little time at the Swan, and there did kiss the maid, Sarah. At noon home, and there up to my wife, who is still ill, and supped with her, my mind being mighty full of trouble for the office and my concernments therein, and so to supper and talking with W. Hewer in her chamber about business of the office, wherein he do well understand himself and our case, and it do me advantage to talk with him and the rest of my people. I to bed below as I did last night.

6 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I hear of the great high words that were in the House on Saturday last, upon the first part of the Committee's Report about the dividing of the fleete;"

Grey's Debates - Saturday, February 15.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

House of Commons Journal - 15 February 1668

Miscarriages of the War.

The House then resumed the Debate of the Report from the Committee, to inquire into the Miscarriages of the late War.

The Question being propounded, That the not timely recalling the Order for the Division of the Fleet, after the Intelligence of the coming out of the Dutch Fleet, was a Miscarriage;
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

nix   Link to this

Legislative committees still try to second-guess the executive's advisors --

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deliberative_proce...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_privilege

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"The dividing of the fleete, however, is, I hear, voted a miscarriage, and the not building a fortification at Sheernesse:"

House of Commons Journal 15 February 1668

Miscarriages of the War.

The...Paper, relating to the Miscarriage of Sheernesse, was read; and debated:

Resolved, &c. That the not sufficient fortifying Sheernesse, in June 1667, was a Miscarriage.

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...so to supper and talking with W. Hewer in her chamber about business of the office..."

"So here..." hand wave... "...and there..." Another wave... "...dancing about the City all the damned morn long for the dratted Committee of Accounts and the Committee of Miscarriages and Lord knows how many committees in all...God, Will. Will I forever be condemned to this nightmare?"

"A little water, Sam'l?" Bess asks, looking up.

"What, Bess? Oh, just a moment...Any way Will, there I was, heading to beard the lions in their den...And who do I find in Fleet St. but Warren, scared to death of being called in. So much so he insisted on dining with me..."

"Sam'l, must you put your account books on my coverlet...And my stomach? And about that water?"

"Oh, sorry...I'll find a place for them in a moment. And Deb should be in any second now. So Hewer, what do you think but Warren tells me he's been a bit disturbed by my recent coolness...I tell you, Will, the man is out of his wits with fear and is now quite willing to treat me with..."

"Bess? Are you getting up?"

"Mrs. P?"

"I'll leave you, gentlemen. I think my groans are disturbing you."

"Oh, that's quite all right, darling. Stay. After all, I wanted to be here for you."

Lord...A woebegone Bess in robe, circles under eyes, hair a wreck, eyes Sam's innocent face...He really means it, too.

Ah, well. Beats sitting alone. "Sure." Turns back to bed.

"Good...As I was saying, Will. Warren is in a tizzy about last year's accounts and...Oh, could you hand me those books, Bess?"

Paul Chapin   Link to this

" Morrice ... declared he had but 750l. a-year allowed him for intelligence"
So I guess the 70L number that appeared in the 14 February entry was a mis-scan or an editorial error. 750L makes a little more sense than 70L, but was still a pittance to run a nation's intelligence service on, even in the C17.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"“A little water, Sam’l?” Bess asks, looking up."

Ah, Saintly Elizabeth. Did they have potable water handy at home on Seething Lane (not spring water)? or ale and beer or wine or...? (The L&M Companion's article on Drink begins: "Introduction. The alternatives to alcohol were few in the London of the '60's. Water was not always piped into houses and was regarded as dangerous if not fresh and in any case too cold and heavy to be good for the health. Pepys mistrusted it in particular for its effect on his kidney-stones [sic]."

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