Wednesday 20 June 1660

Up by 4 in the morning to write letters to sea and a commission for him that Murford solicited for.

Called on by Captain Sparling, who did give me my Dutch money again, and so much as he had changed into English money, by which my mind was eased of a great deal of trouble. Some other sea captains. I did give them a good morning draught, and so to my Lord (who lay long in bed this day, because he came home late from supper with the King). With my Lord to the Parliament House, and, after that, with him to General Monk’s, where he dined at the Cock-pit. I home and dined with my wife, now making all things ready there again.

Thence to my Lady Pickering, who did give me the best intelligence about the Wardrobe. Afterwards to the Cockpit to my Lord with Mr. Townsend, one formerly and now again to be employed as Deputy of the Wardrobe.

Thence to the Admiralty, and despatched away Mr. Cooke to sea; whose business was a letter from my Lord about Mr. G. Montagu to be chosen as a Parliament-man in my Lord’s room at Dover; and another to the Vice-Admiral to give my Lord a constant account of all things in the fleet, merely that he may thereby keep up his power there; another letter to Captn. Cuttance to send the barge that brought the King on shore, to Hinchingbroke by Lynne.

To my own house, meeting G. Vines, and drank with him at Charing Cross, now the King’s Head Tavern.

With my wife to my father’s, where met with Swan, an old hypocrite, and with him, his friend and my father, and my cozen Scott to the Bear Tavern. To my father’s and to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

Captain Sparling, who did give me my Dutch money again, and so much as he had changed into English money, by which my mind was eased of a great deal of trouble

This refers to his diary entry of the 4th of June: "In the evening I made an order for Captain Sparling of the Assistance to go to Middleburgh, to fetch over some of the King’s goods. I took the opportunity to send all my Dutch money, 70 ducatoons and 29 gold ducats to be changed, if he can, for English money, which is the first venture that ever I made, and so I have been since a little afeard of it."

Colin Gravois  •  Link

What a day!!! What a day!!! What a whirlwind it has been today, and we have a feeling he's tickled to death to be back in the fray. Despite a very hectic schedule of official business from 4 am to late at night, Sam managed to squeeze in some personal business with his Dutch money, draughts with the captains, lunch with the wife, drinking at the King's Head Tavern and the bear Tavern, visiting with the cozens. No wonder he has no time to take care of business with the Missus.

Dormouse  •  Link

RE: Sam's relationship with Lady Pickering - there was some speculation yesterday about the need for Montagu's sister to approach him via Sam, but today's entry gives us a possible new reason - perhaps this indirect appraoch gave Sam an excuse to visit her again today and get valuable information. Perhaps he needs a respectable reason to visit a Lady whose husband is away and in disgrace or perhaps it is just a happy coincidence - if you believe in coincidences in this nest of intrigue.

Mary  •  Link

"intrigue" seems far too emotive a term to use in this context. We are simply looking at the way business, both commercial and governmental, was done in the 17th Century and for many years afterwards. Today we call it 'networking' and use it to supplement the official channels. Then there were many fewer official channels (no established civil service, for a start, no headhunters, no Appointments sections in a daily press) and word of mouth, personal contacts, insider information etc. were intrinsic to the negotiation of all branches of man's affairs.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

drank with him at Charing-Cross, now the King's-Head taverne.

I assume that this was a name change brought on by a new sense of political correctness. These kind of changes must have kept the sign painters busy. They may well have said that they hadn’t seen this kind of trade since the 1640’s.

Wheatley adds the note that “At the King’s Head there was a half-crown ordinary.”

Nix  •  Link

The King's Head --

"An attempt to enumerate the King's Head taverns of London would be an endless task." -- H. Shelley, Inns and Taverns of Old London.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

It seems to me that exchanging money wasn't nearly as simple in the 17th century as it is in the 21st century. I imagine that one had to shop around to find anyone willing to exchange certain kinds of money. I'm curious as to whether there was an established currency exchange business or not.

Grahamt  •  Link

Changing Money:
Although it wouldn't be possible to go to the Bureau de Change on the corner, I would expect there would be a steady trade in changing money. Britain was then a trading nation, so foreign currency would be commonplace as payment for goods delivered overseas.
Coinage was made from gold and silver (no real banknotes yet) so a simple exchange mechanism would be to exchange a given weight of foreign coins for the same weight of British coins (minus the exchanger's commission.) This of course assumes that the metals have equal purity. The government/King, through the Mint, guaranteed the purity of Sterling silver used for coinage (hence the familiar name of Sterling for the British currency.) Other trading countries would have a similar system.
In reality, I suspect there were fixed exchange rates based on the amount of noble metal in each country's coins.

Second Reading

Tonyel  •  Link

" to send the barge that brought the King on shore, to Hinchingbroke by Lynne."
Presumably Montagu wanted this as a souvenir to show off to his friends.

Dick Wilson  •  Link

I have been looking at Hinchingbrooke House with Google Earth. It would have been possible to dock the King's Barge on the millpond about a quarter mile from the house. Presumably, it was plushed up, painted and decked out with finery, and would have made a fun conveyance for family and friends to sail about on the millpond, millrace and river. The mill stream today looks to be choked with algae, but a large and lovely piece of the Hinchingbrooke park survives, and is open as a public park. Naturally, it is adjacent to Cromwell Park, the Cromwell Park Primary School, and Cromwell Drive. A small hotel "The Samuel Pepys Diaryrooms" is nearby. The name of The Huntington Road changes to The Brampton Road at the house.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence to my Lady Pickering, who did give me the best intelligence about the Wardrobe."

A servant of the head of the Mountagu family, Pepys shuttles among its members. Six days ago he returned to Lady Pickering from her brother, Sir Edward, "my Lord" Mountagu some silver plate.…
Pepys may see her at her request as a sort of family retainer, likelier to see him earler than she.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a letter from my Lord about Mr. G. Montagu to be chosen as a Parliament-man in my Lord’s room at Dover"

Sandwich resigned his seat at Dover after his elevation to the peerage, and George Mountagu was elected on 16 August. (L&M note)

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

"A small hotel 'The Samuel Pepys Diaryrooms' is nearby."

This pub, just named the Samuel Pepys, is apparently still around:…
It's not clear there are rooms to rent. The comments are a bit disconcerting ("...a rotten seedy drug den..." "AVOID, AVOID, AVOID" "Disorganised chaos and hostile management" "Angry and disappointed" etc., although there are some positive reviews as well). It was, or is, for sale, so you can view some photos here:…

LKvM  •  Link

"An attempt to enumerate the King's Head taverns of London would be an endless task." -- H. Shelley, Inns and Taverns of Old London.
Would these be referring to the decapitated head of Charles I?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Would these be referring to the decapitated head of Charles I?"

In this case, it appear so. But I hate to say, across the board, all refer to the beheading of King Charles. The sign might show a portrait of Henry VIII, in which case the name refers to his picture.

Carmichael  •  Link

Hooray for Captain Sparling!
(the old Holland explorer?)

RLB  •  Link

Note that the King's Head doesn't exist any more. There are still pubs by that name in London, but not on Charing Cross. Indeed, as far as I can tell there are no pubs at all on Charing Cross itself. Nor would you want one there - it is now one of the busiest intersections in central London. There *is* a pub in or next to Charing Cross Station, but that is just off CC itself, on the Strand; and several in Charing Cross road. None of these are called the King's Head.

Nevertheless, there is still a king's head in the centre of Charing Cross, and it is Charles I's; but it is firmly attached to his neck as part of the equestrian statue which was erected there in 1675 as a replacement for the Charing Cross itself, which had been torn down by Cromwell in 1647.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Charing Cross

Charing Cross (/ˈtʃærɪŋ/ CHARR-ing)[1] is a junction in Westminster, London, England, where six routes meet. Clockwise from north these are: the east side of Trafalgar Square leading to St Martin's Place and then Charing Cross Road; the Strand leading to the City; Northumberland Avenue leading to the Thames Embankment; Whitehall leading to Parliament Square; The Mall leading to Admiralty Arch and Buckingham Palace; and two short roads leading to Pall Mall. The name also commonly refers to the Queen Eleanor Memorial Cross at Charing Cross station.

A bronze equestrian statue of Charles I, erected in 1675, stands on a high plinth, situated roughly where a medieval monumental cross had previously stood for 353 years (since its construction in 1294) until destroyed in 1647 by Cromwell and his revolutionary government. The famously beheaded King, appearing ascendant, is the work of French sculptor Hubert Le Sueur.

The aforementioned eponymous monument, the "Charing Cross", was the largest and most ornate instance of a chain of medieval Eleanor crosses running from Lincoln to this location. It was a landmark for many centuries of the hamlet of Charing, Westminster, which later gave way to government property; a little of The Strand; and Trafalgar Square. The cross in its various historical forms has also lent its name to its locality, and especially Charing Cross Station. On the forecourt of this terminus station stands the ornate Queen Eleanor Memorial Cross, a taller emulation of the original, and built to mark the station's opening in 1864 – at the height and in the epicentre of the Gothic Revival – after the Palace of Westminster's rebuilding and before Westminster Cathedral's construction.

.... Since the early 19th century, Charing Cross has been the notional "centre of London" and is now the point from which distances from London are measured.…

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