Thursday 19 January 1659/60

This morning I was sent for to Mr. Downing, and at his bed side he told me, that he had a kindness for me, and that he thought that he had done me one; and that was, that he had got me to be one of the Clerks of the Council; at which I was a little stumbled, and could not tell what to do, whether to thank him or no; but by and by I did; but not very heartily, for I feared that his doing of it was but only to ease himself of the salary which he gives me.

After that Mr. Sheply staying below all this time for me we went thence and met Mr. Pierce,1 so at the Harp and Ball drank our morning draft and so to Whitehall where I met with Sir Ant. Cooper and did give him some answer from my Lord and he did give us leave to keep the lodgings still. And so we did determine thereupon that Mr. Sheply might now go into the country and would do so to-morrow.

Back I went by Mr. Downing’s order and staid there till twelve o’clock in expectation of one to come to read some writings, but he came not, so I staid all alone reading the answer of the Dutch Ambassador to our State, in answer to the reasons of my Lord’s coming home, which he gave for his coming, and did labour herein to contradict my Lord’s arguments for his coming home. Thence to my office and so with Mr. Sheply and Moore, to dine upon a turkey with Mrs. Jem, and after that Mr. Moore and I went to the French Ordinary, where Mr. Downing this day feasted Sir Arth. Haselrigge, and a great many more of the Parliament, and did stay to put him in mind of me. Here he gave me a note to go and invite some other members to dinner tomorrow. So I went to White Hall, and did stay at Marsh’s, with Simons, Luellin, and all the rest of the Clerks of the Council, who I hear are all turned out, only the two Leighs, and they do all tell me that my name was mentioned the last night, but that nothing was done in it.

Hence I went and did leave some of my notes at the lodgings of the members and so home. To bed.

20 Annotations

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Bedside manners

This is our second bedside appointment (recall Crew's on Monday, the 16th). Does anyone else get the impression that these kinds of meetings are partly an indulgence of powerful people and (perhaps) also a display of their power?

It's reminiscent of the Sun King's ceremonial rising as attendants (and the court) waited on him in Versailles.

This also reminds me of the scene in Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities" (both book and movie) in which the head man conducts a business meeting using his cell phone (while he's watching a soccer match somewhere in England) and his underlings are trying to communicate through speaker phone back in the New York headquarters.

Does it strike anyone else as interesting that the superior gets to loll around in bed, unshaven, messy, reclining, as the toady (shaven, I assume, and dressed, out in the cold weather and probably pretty early in the morning) waits on him?

Susanna  •  Link

"Sir Arth. Haselrigge"

Sir Arthur Haselrig (or Heselrig) was a prominent Republican. He was one of those members of the Long Parliament whom Charles I had attempted to arrest in 1642, which was one of the preliminary acts of the Civil War. He was also a member of the Council of State.

language hat  •  Link

"the French Ordinary":
An eatery. From the OED:

14 a A public meal regularly provided at a fixed price in an eating-house or tavern; also, formerly, the company frequenting such a meal, the `table'.

1650 Fuller Pisgah iii. vi. 328 He kept a daily Ordinary (thanks being the only shot his guests were to pay). 1771 Mackenzie Man Feel. xix. (1886) 41 A board hung out of a window signifying, `An excellent Ordinary on Saturdays and Sundays'.

b An eating-house or tavern where public meals are provided at a fixed price; a dining-room in such a building.In the 17th cent. the more expensive ordinaries were frequented by men of fashion, and the dinner was usually followed by gambling; hence the term was often used as synonymous with `gambling-house'.

1590 Payne Descr. Irel. (1841) 8 A man may be as well and cleanely tabled at an English house in at the best ordinarie in England. 1631 T. Powell Tom All Trades (1876) 141 The unwholsome ayre of an Eightpenny Ordinarie. 1712 Swift Let. Eng. Tongue Wks. 1755 II. i. 189 All the odd words they have picked up in a coffee-house or a gaming ordinary. 1883 J. Hawthorne Dust III. 286 In one of the narrow streets leading towards Cheapside she noticed a small inn or ordinary.

j a gioia  •  Link

"they do all tell me that my name was mentioned the last night, but that nothing was done in it."

Is some sort of office purge going on? (Does "turned out" mean sacked?) Is that why Downing wanted to see him that morning - for a pledge of loyalty?

David Bell  •  Link

"Sir Ant. Cooper" and the lodgings.

Presumably Sir Anthony Cooper, in full, whoever that might be.

But what's this about keeping the lodgings? Is this a reference to where Pepys is living, or to wherever Lord Montagu has an office, or what?

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"Sir Ant. Cooper" was annotated by Susanna in an entry for 14 January as Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, first Earl of Shaftesbury as a founder of the Whig party and (from 1663) one of the Lords Proprietors of the Carolina colony.

martin  •  Link

In his guide "The alleys, courts, passages and yards of central London," Ivor Hoole has a good discussion of French Ordinary Court, and a brief history of the nearby Crutched Friars site, on which the Navy office was built:
-- scroll down to "French Ordinary Court EC3."

Paul Miller  •  Link

This is an absolutely essential link for Pepys readers.

This site has:
CITIES of London and Westminster,
Borough of Southwark...

By W. Stow., London, 1722.

A list of all cathedrals and churches, all the great roads from London, all market towns and notable fairs, a table of rates for hackney coachmen, Watermen, tilt boat rates and a list of Flying Coaches, Stage Coaches, Waggons, and Carriers, with the Inns, they come to, and Days of the Week they go out of London; collated the Year 1721. A great resource!

Phil  •  Link

Excellent, two great links there from Paul and Martin - thanks! I'll add them to the Further Reading page.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Kind and gentle George Downing

". . . he told me, that he had a kindness for me, and that he thought that he had done me one; and that was . . ."

Pepys makes it sound as if this was how Downing prefaced his comments on the subject of Pepys changing jobs. Contrast this friendly tone with that of Montagu to Pepys in the quotes now posted at Montagu's page:

Of course, the friendliness of a supervisor doesn't necessarily to have anything at all to do with how much trust an employee should place in him, and Pepys shows that he knows that.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link


So much happened "today" that I need some assistance with it all.

-- Did Downing fire/sack Pepys in a de-facto manner by finding him a new position as "one of the Clerks of the Council"? (It seems so, since it would enable him to "ease himself of the salary which he gives" Pepys.)

-- What do the Clerks of the Council do? Is this a lateral move, a demotion, or is Pepys getting bumped upstairs?

-- As J.A. asked, what does "all the rest of the Clerks of the Council, who I hear are all turned out, only the two Leighs, and they do all tell me that my name was mentioned the last night, but that nothing was done in it" mean? Has there been a purge, which is possibly the reason for a space opening suddenly for Sam? And, do I read the above correctly in that it looks like Sam's future employment there isn't exactly set in stone yet (meaning that Downing may have really screwed him)?

-- As David asked, what's the deal with Cooper and the lodgings? It sounds like he's the landlord or somehow responsible for Montagu's lodgings in London, and the fact that they will be able to retain these lodgings while Montagu is in the country enables Sheply to go back to the country, too ... correct?

I thank you in advance for your annotating assistance. And so, back to work.

P.S. Anyone else notice the change in font size on the site today? Things look much smaller...

Susanna  •  Link

A Government in Chaos

The "Council" is the Council of State (of which Sir Arthur Haselrig was a member and past President), which had been created by Oliver Cromwell as a replacement for the old Privy Council.

I suspect, although I do not know, that a position as clerk to the Council of State would have been a lateral move for Pepys. It might even have been a promotion. Pepys' reluctance to take the new job may have been the result of a possible difference in pay in the two posts, or from a fear of having not one but two patrons (Lord Montague and Mr. Downing), whose interests might be in conflict. Or, with the government in chaos, he may have feared that the Council of State would be dissolved, and he would be without a job. The navy, however, would still need clerks no matter whose government was in power.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Tomalin's book answers Todd B's questions

Downing hasn't dismissed Pepys. He does seem to be dropping broad hints that it would be in Pepys's best interests to leave. (As I've said, I don't think he's comfortable having Montagu's man on his staff but doesn't want to offend Montagu -- my opinion, not Tomalin's.)

Yes, the clerks were "purged" according to Tomalin, although she doesn't say why she thinks so. The reason probably isn't in the historical record.

Already in 1659 there were several jolting changes in the government as the Protector (Richard) was overthrown and more than one "Committee of Safety" set up to control the government. The Rump Parliament was also in and out of power. It was a mess. Through it all, the clerks at the Exchequer kept their jobs. The clerks of the Council, at least at this point, couldn't survive.

My opinion: Downing was hoping to shove Pepys into an opening elsewhere -- one with much less job security, although perhaps it paid better (and so it could be characterized as a favor to get Pepys the job). I suspect he was trying to play Pepys for a fool. If he can convince Pepys to go, he doesn't offend Montagu.

Tomalin says that Ashley Cooper wanted to take over Montagu's lodgings. Montagu was no longer a member of the government after he was suspected of treason and resigned from the navy and the council. Apparently the lodgings were a perk that went with the high government positions that Montagu no longer has. Whatever word Pepys passed on from Montagu to Cooper, it worked and Cooper backed off. I think neither Downing nor Cooper really want to mess with Montagu.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Excellent! Thanks, Susanna and David.

Despite my initial reluctance to encounter "spoilers" by glimpsing into Sam's future (through bios like Tomalin's or through other means), if I want to get the contextual info I need to fully understand each entry, it looks like I'll have to.

john simmons  •  Link

Re bedsides: At this time the "bed room" was often the best appointed room in a house and it was not uncommon to receive guests in it. There was also a social distinction of the person of higher standing not going out to meet his visitor, so staying in bed makes Sam come all the way to him. If a representative of the king had come calling, Mr. Downing would have been curbside giving that man "the coach", i.e. meeting him before he evan descended to the pavement, and seeing him off the same way. St. Simon in his memoires gives a very good picture of this sort of protocol.

Back to beds: On the death of Charles II, his wife, Catherine, received her calls of condolences from ambassadors on a large bed of mourning, all in black, the rest of her bed room drapped entirely in black. The French King when he would issue an edict to his parliment did so from a Lit du Justice, or heavily ornate ceremonial bed set up at the highest part of the hall. All this drawing on Medival usage.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Sir Arthur Haselrig a/k/a Haslerig, Hazelrigg and (above) Haselrigge

Winston S. Churchill has the most interesting description of this man's character that I've seen (Churchill refers to events of late 1659, when Lambert and Fleetwood have fallen out among themselves and the army loses its confidence):

"Sternest and most unbending of the Republican Members [of Parliament] was Hazelrigg, whose pale face, thin lips, and piercing eyes imparted to all the impression of Brutus-like constancy. Hazelrigg, barred from the [House of]Commons, hastened to Portsmouth, and convinced the garrison that the troops in London had done wrong to great principles [by overthrowing the Rump Parliament in October]. When Fleetwood and Lambert, themselves divided, sent a force to invest Portsmouth Hazelrigg converted the besiegers to his views. This portion of the Ironside Army presently set out for London in order to take a hand in the settlement of affairs. . . . At Christmas the Army resolved to be reconciled with Parliament. . . . They submitted themselves to the authority of Parliament."

-- "History of the English Speaking Peoples," Vol. II "The New World" (1956), Chapter 21, "The Restoration," pp 323-4

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Careful not to be burdensome to the county of York, Monk had dispersed his troops in distant quarters; so that, when he arrived at Nottingham on the 19th of January, he was obliged to remain there for two days, to collect together his forces. There he found Dr. Clarges, and Gumble had rejoined him on the previous evening. Both brought him news of the state of London. " Monk: Or, The Fall of the Republic and the Restoration of the Monarchy in ...By M. Guizot (François) p. 65

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I staid all alone reading the answer of the Dutch Ambassador to our State, in answer to the reasons of my Lord’s coming home, which he gave for his coming, and did labour herein to contradict my Lord’s arguments for his coming home. "

In August 1659 Mountagu had brought home most of the fleet from the Baltic "The Sound" , contrary (it was alleged) to an agreement made in July with the Dutch. His report and the protest made by the Dutch ambassador (Nieupoort) were both read in parliament on 16 September 1659: (Per L&M note)

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