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Robert Harneis has posted 43 annotations/comments since 7 November 2013.

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About Saturday 9 September 1665

Robert Harneis  •  Link

"and my Lord Ashly will rob the Devil and the Alter,"
A long time ago when I was studying history A level I used the best anti Shaftesbury quote from Charles II ever 'Come doomsday, my lord Shaftesbury, we shall see whose arse is blackest.' My history teacher an Oxbridge graduate, had, shamefully, never heard it and I was threatened with dire punishment for making it up, having no internet to prove my point and having typically forgotten where I found it. It is interesting that Shaftesbury was then still a hero of democracy and poor old Charles was treated like the court jester. I took the view that Shaftesbury was an unhung rogue and Charles a pretty smart dude for surviving to the end of his reign unlike his father and brother. It was not then a fashionable view and not one at this stage in his life that Pepys shared, although he would change his mind as he climbed up the administrative hierarchy. I hope, Phyl, that I have made this entry suitably relevant to the day's entry!

About Friday 25 August 1665

Robert Harneis  •  Link

Interesting letter dated this 25th August 1665 from Pepys to the man he much admired, Sir William Coventry, gives an idea of the atmosphere as the plague gets worse: --

"Little till now occuring to give occasion of writing to you, I forbore to tell you of my receipt of yours of the 14th, wherein nothing commanded answer more than the return of my thanks for the large share you give me of your good wishes, which (I bless God) I have yet to benefit of, though the sickness in general thickens upon us, and particularly upon our neighbourhood. You, Sir, took your turn at the sword; I must not therefore grudge mine at the pestilence"

Followed by a letter from Sandwich of the 30th August which begins: --

"under sayle wind at west.
Mr Pepys, Having not heard from you of divers days , it was very good newes to me to receive your letters, for I was in feare for you of the infection.
It was signed: --
I am,
Your affectionate friend and servant

About Saturday 29 July 1665

Robert Harneis  •  Link

I agree with JayW. I imagine the whole Pepys household was in "extraordinary fear" and someone decided to send and ask the boss what to do. Knowledge of the two mens' close friendship and life long links, that lasted until Pepys died in Will's house forty odd years later, tell us that this is nothing to do with lack of character but commonsense in a potentially desperate situation.

About Thursday 11 May 1665

Robert Harneis  •  Link

It is one of the great changes of recent years that since time immemorial people lived on top of or next to their work. Now, by and large, they live elsewhere, which is very inefficient. Has anybody written anything about this?

About Wednesday 3 May 1665

Robert Harneis  •  Link

It would seem that which ever baddies failed to knock off the Skripals should have used tobacco oil. Porton Down take note.

About Wednesday 1 March 1664/65

Robert Harneis  •  Link

@ Ruben Royal Society 'mr. Hooke produced his Bellows to be vsed vnder the water for taking air, but proposed wthall another way conceiued by him better & safer then that wth bellows
vizt wth two cylinders open at one end and hauing two pipes by which the
air is taken out of the one & putt into the other. orderd that two such cylinders
be made & when Ready a waterman hired to try the expt.'

This sounds awfully like an episode from Blackadder with Baldric as the waterman trying out the patent new diving gear.

About Thomas Povey

Robert Harneis  •  Link

S.PEPYS to JOHN PEPYS (Sam’s father) March 27th 1680, York Buildings


it is long since I have expressed my duty to you, and truly everyday has followed one another with some new occasion of care, so as that, though I have been in a great measure restored to the liberty of my person, my mind has continued still in thralldom, till now that it has pleased God, in a miraculous manner, to begin the work of my vindication by laying his hand upon James my butler, by a sickness whereof he is some days since dead, which led him to consider and repent the wrongs he had done me in accusing me in Parliament, which he has solemnly and publicly confessed upon the holy Sacrament to the justifying of me and my family to all the world in that part of my accusation which relates to religion; and I question not but God Almighty will be no less just to me in what concerns the rest of my charge, which he knows to be no less false than this. In the meantime his holy name be praised for what he has done in this particular.

What I have to add is the letting you know that I am commanded to attend the King the next week at Newmarket, and, by the grace of God, will go and wait on you one day in my going or return, which I presume will be either Tuesday or Saturday next, I designing to set forth hence on Monday and shall rather choose to call upon you in my going (which will be on Tuesday), for fear lest I should be commanded to accompany the court to London, where the King designs to be this day seven nights. In the meantime trusting in God to find you in good health, and with my most humble duty presented to yourself, and my kind love to my brother and sister, and their family,

I remain

Sir, your ever obedient son,

S. P.

About Thomas Povey

Robert Harneis  •  Link

Robert Harneis 2 days ago • Link • Flag
'God deliver me in my owne business of my bill out of his hands, and if ever I foul my fingers with him again let me suffer for it!' Just as well he continued to put up with the 'foole' Povey. Long after the diary it was Povey who saved his bacon after an attempt to frame him during the Popish plot which caused hime to spend six weeks in the Tower of London.

From Pages 91 & 93, The Letters and the Second Diary of Samuel Pepys F.R.S. J.M.Dent and sons London 1932


Ash Wednesday night, February 25, 1679-80


An occasion offers itself wherein you may exercise that kindness which you have sometimes exchanged with me; and it is this. You may, I doubt not, have heard that one James, who had sometimes been my servant, has been made use of as my accuser. He is now upon his sickbed, and, as I am told, near the point of death, and has declared himself inclined to ease his conscience of something wherein I may be nearly concerned, with a particular willingness to open himself to you, whom he says he has known and observed during his serving the Duke of Buckingham and me. You may please, therefore in charity to me as well as to the dying man, to give him a visit tomorrow morning, when I shall appoint one to conduct you to his lodging. It may be you may hesitate herein, because of the friendship which I no less know you to have with Mister Harbord than you know him to have of ill will against me, and of the effects of it under which I still remain, of being held obnoxious to others, to whom you bear great reverence. But that makes me rather to importune you to the taking this trouble upon you, because your candour is such, that, with a fair and equal indifferency, you will hear and represent what that dying man shall relate to you, who, it is likely, will reveal nothing at this hour but truth; and it is truth only, and the God thereof, to which I appeal, and which will, I hope, vindicate my reputation, and free me from the misunderstandings which I find many ingenuous and worthy persons have had of me, from their being seduced by the false testimonies which have engained and improved to my disadvantage, even to the hazard of my life and estate, and no less to the disturbing of the government, than to the raising injurious reflections upon those public trust in which I have (much to your knowledge) carried myself diligently, and (I am sure) faithfully. And in this I the rather take the liberty of opening myself thus freely and amply to you upon this occasion, because I would move you the more strongly, to take upon you this just and charitable office, so much importing others, as well as

Your most humble servant


James died March 20, 1680

Robert Harneis 2 days ago • Link • Flag
This is a the letter he sent to his father after James died letting him know how it all turned out - and indirectly how he was back in favour with the King.