Monday 25 June 1660

With my Lord at White Hall, all the morning. I spoke with Mr. Coventry about my business, who promised me all the assistance I could expect. Dined with young Mr. Powell, lately come from the Sound, being amused at our great changes here, and Mr. Southerne, now Clerk to Mr. Coventry, at the Leg in King-street. Thence to the Admiralty, where I met with Mr. Turner of the Navy-office, who did look after the place of Clerk of the Acts. He was very civil to me, and I to him, and shall be so.

There came a letter from my Lady Monk to my Lord about it this evening, but he refused to come to her, but meeting in White Hall, with Sir Thomas Clarges, her brother, my Lord returned answer, that he could not desist in my business; and that he believed that General Monk would take it ill if my Lord should name the officers in his army; and therefore he desired to have the naming of one officer in the fleet.

With my Lord by coach to Mr. Crew’s, and very merry by the way, discoursing of the late changes and his good fortune.

Thence home, and then with my wife to Dorset House, to deliver a list of the names of the justices of the peace for Huntingdonshire. By coach, taking Mr. Fox part of the way with me, that was with us with the King on board the Nazeby, who I found to have married Mrs. Whittle, that lived at Mr. Geer’s so long. A very civil gentleman.

At Dorset House I met with Mr. Kipps, my old friend, with whom the world is well changed, he being now sealbearer to the Lord Chancellor, at which my wife and I are well pleased, he being a very good natured man.

Home and late writing letters. Then to my Lord’s lodging, this being the first night of his coming to Whitehall to lie since his coming from sea.

24 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Go, Monty!

If I'm reading this right, Turner and perhaps others have some resentment over Pepys' appointment as Clerk of the Acts, and get Lady Monk to intervene. But Montagu refuses to stand down, instead standing up for his prerogative to appoint Pepys.

A good day for our Sam.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

lately come from the Sound
The capitalized form of Sound has appeared several times so far in the diary. I think that it most often refers to service in the Baltic.……
L&M annotate this reference with a discussion of Mountagu's service in the Baltic

"Sound: A narrow passage of water, or a strait between the mainland and an island; also, a strait connecting two seas, or connecting a sea or lake with the ocean; as, the Sound between the Baltic and the german Ocean; Long Island Sound.

The Sound of Denmark, where ships pay toll. --Camden.

{Sound dues}, tolls formerly imposed by Denmark on vessels passing through the Baltic Sound.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]

David A. Smith  •  Link

"that General Monk would take it ill"
I concur with Todd. There is a struggle for relative power going on (those of us who remember playing KINGMAKER can sympathize), and Montagu is both protecting his own interests (lining up faithful retainers) and rewarding his own, and with what seems quite pointed commentary: "You wouldn't watch me poaching on YOUR preserve, would you, hmmmmm?" Self-interest and 17th century altruism going hand in hand, as they do and will do for Our Sam.

vincent  •  Link

"Change of top hats" has been very good and quite straight forward, One does not see such gentle manly, behaviour, very often does one?. Normal routine is to enjoy ones triumphs with a little bleeding of veins and purses and few momentoes for the Picture gallery: maybe a few minor adjustments to the housing arrangements(like preparing the land for a new tenant). I guess the folks were tired of the disorganisation and shortages of silver plus all that black dark sober unsmiling dreery agonising about the "here after";

helena murphy  •  Link

Albemarle appreciates his formidable wife in letting her handle the matter of Mr Turner,but Sandwich lacks gallantry in sidelining her and directing his response to her brother whom he casually meets in Whitehall.He prefers women to conform to the traditional passive role like Lady Sandwich in Hinchingbrooke, and in spite of what Pepys says,it is unlikely that Betty Becke's brains later entangle him but rather her "wantonness" which is the bait.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Change of top hats" We have to remember that as a rule History is written by the winners; I still remember those two fellows that were hanged some time in the begining of the Diary

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

Monk vs. Montagu
Ms. Murphy could well be right that Montagu ignored Lady Monk's invitation because he refused to barter patronage with a woman. On the other hand, he could have just been avoiding being put at a disadvantage: if your answer is negative, better to avoid the interview so that you don't have to say "No" to her face and can avoid a confrontation. How much better tactically to communicate via an intermediary, met in the way oh-so-casually, so that the challenging words "My Lord Monk would take it ill if I tried the same with him" are less affronting.

It will be interesting to see in the days to come, when certain women gain large influence at court, whether Sandwich has any scruples about bargaining with them.

Glyn  •  Link

Think America in 1980 (Democrats to Republicans), 1992 (Republicans to Democrats), 2000 (Democrats to Republicans). Unlike modern Britain, the whole structure changes at this time, and lots and lots of people are gaining or losing jobs. Which at a time without a welfare state, could mean the difference between riches and absolute poverty.

Importantly, this is not just between the old guard and the new, but between different factions of the new guard.

The Monks want one of their people in the Naval Administration: Montagu is telling them that this is his area and they should butt out - he wouldn't pick people for the Army, and they shouldn't for the Navy. All very politely of course - this isn't "Kingmaker"!

Colin Gravois  •  Link

"There came a letter from my Lady Monk to my Lord about it this evening,"
The "it" here seems to refer to Pepys's future post of Clerk of the Acts, as he was just smoozing with Mr. Turner about "the place" some moments previous to the letter's arrival. Are we to infer from this that Madame Monk is now getting into the fray? Why would the supremo's lady be meddling in such trifling affairs? Or is it just Pepys's telescoping the events of the day? (Also, I would be surprised that Montagu would ignore an invitation from Lady Monk just because she's a woman. At that level I would think he would be more than intrigued by her and also be concerned to keep on the general's good side -- heads can roll quickly in these troubling times.) Paul, Helena, some counsel here?

Barbara  •  Link

I think Montagu would be against General Monk interfering, rather than being annoyed that Lady Monk represented him.

Also, I have never thought of Lady Montagu as being a passive sort of woman. She ran her considerable family, and two homes, often for long periods without her husband, and managed through everything to smile and behave impeccably. To me that shows considerable strength of character.

Nix  •  Link

I don't read this as sexual politics -- just politics. I doubt that Lady Monk is an independent power center -- more likely she is acting at her husband's behest (explicit or implicit), without getting him officially involved. I think Monk elects to give his response through a different intermediary because he wants to send a strong message back to Monk: "I'm not going to engage in polite fictions, I know this message came ultimately from you, now back off on interfering with my prerogative appointments."

Brad W  •  Link

I agree with Nix that Lady Monk probably wasn't getting into London power politics solo, without Lord Monk's oversight. It might even be that it was Lord Monk's idea, and that by dispatching the Lady with this message, he was inviting Montagu to say what he felt, instead of kowtowing to Lord Monk's personal request. That is, Montagu was free to say, "there there little lady, you just understand how these things go; run along now," which is just what he did. Where if it was Lord Monk making the request Montagu might feel obliged to accept; or, Montagu might feel he had granted Monk a favor he could call in later.

Kind of stinks for Lady Monk, but then if she was raised to expect that kind of treatment when she got too far into "Men's business," then maybe she wasn't insulted. Maybe she was even glad for a chance to at least see into power politics, and take a role, however minor.

Not to say women never got to be kingmakers; I suspect some did (I love the M'Lady character in The Three Musketeers). But they had to be able to get around that condescending dismissal we just witnessed.

Glyn  •  Link

Has everyone forgotten just three days ago?

"and told me how my Lady Monk deals with him and others for their places, asking him 500 pounds, though he was formerly the King’s coach-maker, and sworn to it." In other words, even though he previously held the post, he would still have to pay the Monks if he wanted it back.

I agree with Barbara that Lady Monk is a very active woman: and currently she is selling a lot of positions. We know that this was quite acceptable at the time.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

for a truly entertaining view of Lady Monk and her role in this affair
I highly recommend Jem (and Sam), a novel by Ferdinand Mount (Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York.)…

Brad W  •  Link

I HAD sort of missed Lady Monk's involvement from a few days ago. Still I don't think it's incompatible with what I said. What we can't see is just which of them was more the mastermind behind the scenes. You can imagine the late night conversation:

She: "You mean to tell me M'Lord that you just stepped aside and let Charles back into London, without asking so much as a farthing for these years of work? Have you any idea what it costs to run a household, feeding all those horses and every impoverished wanderer that stumbles onto the estate claiming noble blood and saying God Save the King?"

He: "The man was somewhat penurious my dear, and besides it was the right thing to do. Our posterity will receive our reward."

She: "All's well for our posterity, but I say we'll see a few coins out of this yet. I'll just go about selling courtiers and minor officials their offices back. No doubt there's a few that stashed away something for a rainy day. I'll just tell them Lord Monk decided it's raining today. HRH won't gainsay his general."

He: "Oh very well, my dear. While you're about see if dropping my name can gain us some rights over patronage in the Navy. There's a stiff necked lot. Maybe what's his name for Clerk of he Acts. He's got deep pockets. If Montagu bends we can see about prying a little deeper, if not nothing lost."

She: "You're so wise, M'Lord."

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence...with my wife to Dorset House, to deliver a list of the names of the justices of the peace for Huntingdonshire."

I'm presuming the list was of Mountagu's making.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

This day Commons considers what we might regard an odd stipulation

Printing Votes, &c.

Resolved, That no Person whatsoever do presume (at his Peril) to print any Votes or Proceedings of this House, without the special Leave and Order of the House.…

"Before 1771, the British Parliament had long been a highly secretive body. The official record of the actions of the House was publicly available, but there was no such record of debates. The publication of remarks made in the House became a breach of Parliamentary privilege, punishable by the two Houses. As more people became interested in parliamentary debates, more individuals published unofficial accounts of parliamentary debates. Editors were at worst subjected to fines. Several editors used the device of veiling parliamentary debates as debates of fictitious societies or bodies. The names under which parliamentary debates were published include Proceedings of the Lower Room of the Robin Hood Society and Debates of the Senate of Magna Lilliputia."…

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Sir Stephen Fox, founder of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. Married his second wife in 1703 at the age of 73, and fathered two sons with her, including Henry Fox, father of Charles-James. He died in 1716 at the age of 89.…

Mary K  •  Link

The Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Certainly it was Sir Stehen Fox who made possible the establishment of the Royal Hospital Chelsea by his munificent gift of the £13,000 used to acquire the site and finance construction, but it is Charles II who is the acknowledged founder of the Hospital, which celebrates its Founder's Day each year on the anniversary of Charles's birthday.

Dick Wilson  •  Link

A few entries back, it appeared that Lady Monk was receiving payments for offices dispensed by General Monk. Certainly they were working as a team, obscuring what might appear to be bribery. When Lady Monk writes to Montague about the Clerk of the Acts, General Monk is using a back-channel to talk to Montague. When Montague replies to Thomas Clarges, he is using a back-channel to talk to Monk. If some subsequent Parliament enquired, "Did you two ever discuss this appointment?" each could truthfully answer, "No."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence...with my wife to Dorset House, to deliver a list of the names of the justices of the peace for Huntingdonshire."

L&M confirm that Mountagu, as a deputy lieutenant-general of the county, was submitting to the Chancellor names of suitable persons for appointments.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"By coach, taking Mr. Fox part of the way with me, that was with us with the King on board the Nazeby, who I found to have married Mrs. Whittle, that lived at Mr. Geer’s so long."

L&M relate the backstory: Elizabeth Whittle had lived in Salisbury Court when Pepys was a boy, at Mr. Geere's (or Gery's), a relative of Mountagu. Pepys had 'a great opinion' of her in those days and made anagrams on her name:… In c. 1654 she had married Stephen Fox, later Paymaster-General of the Army.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I spoke with Mr. Coventry about my business, who promised me all the assistance I could expect."

“When the prospect of a restoration appeared in 1660, Coventry hurried to Breda, was appointed secretary to James, Duke of York (who was Lord High Admiral of England) and headed the royal procession when Charles II entered London in triumph." -- Yorke, Philip Chesney (1911), p. 341.

"... after the Restoration he became private secretary to the Duke of York, his commission as Secretary to the Lord High Admiral not being conferred until 1664;" -- footnote to a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

Maybe the belated paperwork was catch-up from the hectic days of the Restoration? I think the Diary shows Coventry's influence was "official" long before 1664.

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