Friday 24 July 1668

Up, and by water to St. James’s, having, by the way, shewn Symson Sir W. Coventry’s chimney-pieces, in order to the making me one; and there, after the Duke of York was ready, he called me to his closet; and there I did long and largely show him the weakness of our Office, and did give him advice to call us to account for our duties, which he did take mighty well, and desired me to draw up what I would have him write to the Office. I did lay open the whole failings of the Office, and how it was his duty to find them, and to find fault with them, as Admiral, especially at this time, which he agreed to, and seemed much to rely on what I said. Thence to White Hall, and there waited to attend the Council, but was not called in, and so home, and after dinner back with Sir J. Minnes by coach, and there attended, all of us, the Duke of York, and had the hearing of Mr. Pett’s business, the Master-Shipwright at Chatham, and I believe he will be put out. But here Commissioner Middleton did, among others, shew his good-nature and easiness to the Masters-Attendants, by mitigating their faults, so as, I believe, they will come in again. So home, and to supper and to bed, the Duke of York staying with us till almost night.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Fireplace mantel or mantelpiece, also known as a chimneypiece, originated in medieval times as a hood that projected over a grate to catch the smoke. The term has evolved to include the decorative framework around the fireplace, and can include elaborate designs extending to the ceiling. Mantelpiece is now the general term for the jambs, mantel shelf, and external accessories of a fireplace. For many centuries, the chimneypiece was the most ornamental and most artistic feature of a room http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireplace_mantel

Chimney-pieces -- period of Inigo Jones (1573-1652)

Circa 1620
http://www.colonialfurniture.us/images/history/...

Circa 1640
http://www.colonialfurniture.us/images/history/...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"....there I did long and largely show him the weakness of our Office, and did give him advice to call us to account for our duties, which he did take mighty well, and desired me to draw up what I would have him write to the Office. I did lay open the whole failings of the Office, and how it was his duty to find them, and to find fault with them, as Admiral, especially at this time, which he agreed to, and seemed much to rely on what I said."

The New Master displays his skill with light saber... "Coventry has trained you well, Master Pepys."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I believe, they will come in again"

SPOILER-- The recurring pattern of ouster and return will apply to Phineas Pett, who will be dismissed 28 September for what L&M call "fraudulent practices," but he will be reinstated in November and thereafter flourish, as a mouseover of his link above will show. (Notably, this pattern does not apply to Clarendon.)

Carl in Boston   Link to this

For many centuries, the chimneypiece was the most ornamental and most artistic feature of a room
I have a fireplace insert coming, to burn wood pellets (common and cheap in New England) and I have in mind to install foam plastic mantelpiece parts molded from Renaissance fireplaces over the brick. Such a mantel it could be, and meeting code as long as I observe setback. I have used foam architectural parts before, and they look like a million dollars.
So home, and to supper and to bed, the Duke of York staying with us till almost night. I can scarcely believe His Highness the Prince would hang around Pepys' house of an evening. What a world.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"I did lay open the whole failings of the Office"
A dangerous game, sure to create enemies among his fellow commissioners when they find out about it. It probably stood him in good stead when James became king, but their closeness was a disaster for Sam after 1688.

Jenny   Link to this

I doubt very much that the Duke of York would visit the Pepys' house. On reading carefully through the convoluted passage I am sure that the Duke of York was at the office until late.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The Duke of York "desired me to draw up what I would have him write to the Office."

L&M note this prompts what Pepys will call "the Duke's great letter."

Bryan M   Link to this

DoY - Sam's place or the Office?

Neither, White Hall:

"Thence to White Hall ... and after dinner back with Sir J. Minnes by coach, and there attended ... the Duke of York".

Sam & Co were at the beck and call of the DoY and had to fit in with his schedule. Remember the Stuarts believed in the divine right of kings.

jenny   Link to this

Yes, Bryan M, of course that is where they attended on the Duke of York.

The "great letter" is so interesting. Office politics and Sam's genuine desire to improve the Navy. Wonderful stuff.

Michael L   Link to this

As Sam's relationship with the Duke of York grows, it becomes easier to understand Sam's persistent loyalty to him after the events of 1688.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

Persistent loyalty of Sam to the Duke of York after 1688. Sam was a standup guy, and went down with the ship. Besides, he could retire and do something equally interesting with the rest of his days, such as catalog his books and write memoirs.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I think Sam was also rather trapped in the position of loyalist. He'd nailed his career to the mast of the Stuart flagship long ago solidly enough to leave him a marked man for the nascent Whigs and he lacked the sort of independent power base that would have allowed him to offer the Williamites anything besides his (aging) expertise and the abject betrayal of James and colleagues...Which Sam had had experience seeing did not usually pay off too well in the end for those without some independent support. Not to say he wasn't displaying courage and principle but I think he realized he had little to gain from trying to join the other side at that point. Fortunately the times were different, William was shrewd and cautious in his acts against Jacobites, and Sam did not end up wearing Henry Vane's crown of martyrdom.

Australian Susan   Link to this

For those who are interested, here is an introduction to what happened to the Church of England after 1688 - the Nonjuring Schism.

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

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