Friday 1 May 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy. Then to Westminster Hall, and there met Sir W. Pen, who labours to have his answer to his impeachment, and sent down from the Lords’ House, read by the House of Commons; but they are so busy on other matters, that he cannot, and thereby will, as he believes, by design, be prevented from going to sea this year. Here met my cozen Thomas Pepys of Deptford, and took some turns with him; who is mightily troubled for this Act now passed against Conventicles, and in few words, and sober, do lament the condition we are in, by a negligent Prince and a mad Parliament. Thence I by coach to the Temple, and there set him down, and then to Sir G. Carteret’s to dine, but he not being at home, I back again to the New Exchange a little, and thence back again to Hercules Pillars, and there dined all alone, and then to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Surprizall;” and a disorder in the pit by its raining in, from the cupola at top, it being a very foul day, and cold, so as there are few I believe go to the Park to-day, if any. Thence to Westminster Hall, and there I understand how the Houses of Commons and Lords are like to disagree very much, about the business of the East India Company and one Skinner; to the latter of which the Lords have awarded 5000l. from the former, for some wrong done him heretofore; and the former appealing to the Commons, the Lords vote their petition a libell; and so there is like to follow very hot work. Thence by water, not being able to get a coach, nor boat but a sculler, and that with company, is being so foul a day, to the Old Swan, and so home, and there spent the evening, making Balty read to me, and so to supper and to bed.


10 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...it being so foul a day" is read by L&M.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...there spent the evening, making Balty read to me..."

I'll bet Balty loved that.

Arthur Perry  •  Link

The hyperlink for "a negligent Prince" points to Prince Rupert, but it seems like Sam might be referring to King Charles II.

language hat  •  Link

Yes, I'm guessing the king is the intended referent.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Thanks - I've changed the link now.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a disorder in the pit by its raining in, from the cupola at top"

Pepys has more than one reference to the inadequate protection against bad weather given by this glazed cupola [intended as a source of light]. (L&M)

For a sceptical discussion of Pepys's testimony, see "New Light on Elizabethan Theatre" -- W.J. Lawrence. The Living Age, Vol 290, pp. 226-227. https://books.google.com/books?id=1ac_AQAAMAAJ&...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"it being a very foul day, and cold, so as there are few I believe go to the Park to-day, if any."

On May Day all London usually took a jaunt in Hyde Park. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Houses of Commons and Lords are like to disagree very much, about the business of the East India Company and one Skinner; to the latter of which the Lords have awarded 5000l. from the former, for some wrong done him heretofore; and the former appealing to the Commons, the Lords vote their petition a libell; and so there is like to follow very hot work."

This developed into a legal dispute of the first importance and marked the last occasion on which the Lords exercised an original civil jurisdiction. Thomas Skinner, accusing the E. India Company of having seized a ship of his, had brought the case in the Lords and had been awarded damages. Long debates followed in the Commons, 2-8 May, at the end of which Skinner was put in custody. The Lords thereupon declared the proceedings illegal snd arrested four of the Company. Adjournment and prorogation of parliament prevented a settlement and in 1670 both houses agreed to expunge all record of the affair from their journals. Since then the Lords have tacitly accepted their incapacity in such cases. See Grey http://www.british-history.ac.uk/greys-debates/... ; etc. (L&M footnote)

In law this is Skinner's Case, the name usually given to the celebrated dispute between the House of Lords and the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom over the question of the original jurisdiction of the former house in civil suits. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinner's_Case

Cobbett's Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings ..., Volume 6
https://books.google.com/books?id=nw5AAAAAYAAJ&...

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