4 Annotations

Pauline  •  Link

Clerk of the Survey, Chatham. He was granted a moiety of the clerkship of the market in the King's Household in 1670.

L&M Companion

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys clearly was friendly with Hempson, Along the way we hear:

In April 1661:

"... where we had a good dinner, and among other strangers that come, there was Mr. Hempson and his wife, a pretty woman, and speaks Latin; ..." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/04/09/

And the next day:

"Here much mirth, but I was a little troubled to stay too long, because of going to Hempson’s, which afterwards we did, and found it in all things a most pretty house, and rarely furnished, only it had a most ill access on all sides to it, which is a greatest fault that I think can be in a house." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/04/10/

A couple of months later:

"(Lord’s day). In the morning to church, and my wife not being well, I went with Sir W. Batten home to dinner, my Lady being out of town, where there was Sir W. Pen, Captain Allen and his daughter Rebecca, and Mr. Hempson and his wife." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/06/23/

And two days later:

"At home all day, in the afternoon came Captain Allen and his daughter Rebecca and Mr. Hempson, and by and by both Sir Williams, ..." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/06/25/

No mention of the Hempsons for over a year:

"... but at the Swan, finding Mr. Hemson and Lieutenant Carteret of the Foresight come to meet me, I borrowed Mr. Hemson’s horse, and he took another, and so we rode to Rochester in the dark, ..." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/08/02/

Eleven months later, Hempson is at Chatham at the same time as Pepys and Sir John Mennes (later we find out he is Clerk of the Survey at Chatham):

"... home to the Hillhouse, and anon to supper, and after supper, Sir J. Minnes and I had great discourse with Captain Cox and Mr. Hempson about business of the yard, and particularly of pursers’ accounts with Hempson, who is a cunning knave in that point." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/07/11/

On January 27, 1664:

"Commissioner Pett with me, and all alone dined together. He told me many stories of the yard, but I do know him so well, and had his character given me this morning by Hempson, as well as my own too of him before, that I shall know how to value any thing he says either of friendship or other business." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/01/27/

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

But on February 2, 1664:

"This evening Mr. Hempson came and told me how Sir W. Batten his master will not hear of continuing him in his employment as Clerk of the Survey at Chatham, from whence of a sudden he has removed him without any new or extraordinary cause, and I believe (as he himself do in part write, and J. Norman do confess) for nothing but for that he was twice with me the other day and did not wait upon him." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/02/02/

And finally, on May 3 1664:

"I went to the ‘Change, and there meeting with Mr. Hempson, whom Sir W. Batten has lately turned out of his place, merely because of his coming to me when he came to town before he went to him, and there he told me many rogueries of Sir W. Batten, how he knows and is able to prove that Captain Cox of Chatham did give him 10l. in gold to get him to certify for him at the King’s coming in, and that Tom Newborne did make [the] poor men give him 3l. to get Sir W. Batten to cause them to be entered in the yard, and that Sir W. Batten had oftentimes said: “by God, Tom, you shall get something and I will have some on’t.” His present clerk that is come in Norman’s room has given him something for his place; that they live high and (as Sir Francis Clerk’s lady told his wife) do lack money as well as other people, and have bribes of a piece of sattin and cabinetts and other things from people that deal with him, and that hardly any body goes to see or hath anything done by Sir W. Batten but it comes with a bribe, and that this is publickly true that his wife was a whore, and that he had libells flung within his doors for a cuckold as soon as he was married; that he received 100l. in money and in other things to the value of 50l. more of Hempson, and that he intends to give him back but 50l.; that he hath abused the Chest and hath now some 1000l. by him of it."

Knowing of Pepys' interest in that Chatham Chest, Mr. Hempson must have been collecting evidence against Sir W. Batten.

However, it appears that it was not only Sir William Batten who was dissatisfied with Hempson. The following note is among the State Papers:
"Jan. 21 1664. Commissioner Peter Pett to Sam. Pepys. Has sent Capt. Taylor's bills. The price of Nath. London's timber is too great. Fears Mr. Hempson is lost to the service; is not in the King's interest to give such busy officers so great a liberty [of absence]" (Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1663-64, p. 449.) -- Wheatley ed. note May 3rd. 1664

And L&M footnote: According to Commissioner Pett, Hempson was dismissed because of his repeated absences: CSPD 1663-4, p. 449.

Sounds like Pett and Batten might be in collusion? Sadly Sam doesn't tell us anything further.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I missed this annotation supplied by Terry Foreman for January 27, 1663/64:

"Pepys made a note of Hempson's views in his Navy White Book, p. 11. According to Hempson, Pett was a miser, prone to charge all expenses to the King (even for the banquet he gave to the King at his restoration), and disliked by the gentry of the county as 'false-hearted'. (L&M footnote)"

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



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