Thursday 9 August 1660

Left my wife at Mrs. Hunt’s and I to my Lord’s, and from thence with judge Advocate Fowler, Mr. Creed, and Mr. Sheply to the Rhenish Wine-house, and Captain Hayward of the Plymouth, who is now ordered to carry my Lord Winchelsea, Embassador to Constantinople. We were very merry, and judge Advocate did give Captain Hayward his Oath of Allegiance and Supremacy. Thence to my office of Privy Seal, and, having signed some things there, with Mr. Moore and Dean Fuller to the Leg in King Street, and, sending for my wife, we dined there very merry, and after dinner, parted. After dinner with my wife to Mrs. Blackburne to visit her. She being within I left my wife there, and I to the Privy Seal, where I despatch some business, and from thence to Mrs. Blackburne again, who did treat my wife and me with a great deal of civility, and did give us a fine collation of collar of beef, &c.

Thence I, having my head full of drink from having drunk so much Rhenish wine in the morning, and more in the afternoon at Mrs. Blackburne’s, came home and so to bed, not well, and very ill all night.

18 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

"Thence I, having my head full of drink from having drunk so much Rhenish wine in the morning, and more in the afternoon at Mrs. Blackburne’s, came home and so to bed, not well, and very ill all night."
Enough said 'tis the life. Who said history does not repeat it self?

chip  •  Link

L&M note that John Hayward was soon afterwards displaced from his command and the Plymouth prevented from setting off until early October. I don't know who said history does not repeat itself. But was it not Marx who said that it does, the first time as tragedy, the second time as folly? Pepys is learning to live the high life. Like most of us, a little sex and he is very merry.

chip  •  Link

First time as tragedy, second time as farse I remembered in bed last night. Still not sure who said it.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." - attributed to Karl Marx in the Columbia Book of Quotations. You got it more-or-less correct, Chip.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

A bit more accurately, in the opening phrases of the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte: "Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce."

That’s from the Columbia World of Quotations. On-line citation:…

Judy  •  Link

"Thence I, having my head full of drink…" I wonder what was the ‘cure’ for a hangover? Poor Sam!

language hat  •  Link

"the second as farce"
I hope Phil will forgive the continued off-topicness, but I have to share one of my favorite Alex Cockburn quotes on this subject:

"In his 1973 NLR/Penguin edition, David Fernbach claimed that it is doubtful whether Hegel ever said any such thing. On the other hand, Engels had recently written Marx a letter in which he observed, 'It really seems as if old Hegel in his grave were acting as World Spirit and directing history, ordaining most conscientiously that it should all be unrolled twice over, once as a great tragedy and once as a wretched farce.' Marx obviously thought it was a bit more dignified to cite Hegel than to say 'Fred Engels was saying to me only the other day...'"

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Lords chided for failing to pass bills bearing i.a. on paying the Army, Navy and circuit judges.…

Report of the Conference concerning the Desire of H. C. for the Bill of Indemnity, and other Public Bills, to be expedited; and about borrowing 100,000 £. of the City.

The Lord Chancellor reported the Effect of the Conference; which was, "That the House of Commons desired earnestly the keeping of a good Correspondency; and to impart unto their Lordships what is come to their Knowledge; videlicet, That the House of Commons having sent up several Bills, to charge the People of this Kingdom with Payments,...That they have this Day received a Message from the King, concerning providing of Money speedily for the Army and the Navy, who are in great Wants for Want of Money, there being Twentyfour Ships lately come into Harbour for Want of Provisions, which cannot be supplied without Monies. And, for Want of passing the Bill of Judicial Proceedings, the Judges cannot go their Circuits, whereby the Subjects suffer, in their Properties, Estates, and Lives. Therefore the House of Commons desires their Lordships would please to give all possible Expedition in the passing the aforesaid Bills."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Captain Hayward of the Plymouth, who is now ordered to carry my Lord Winchelsea, Embassador to Constantinople "

John Hayward was soon after displaced from his command
(… ) and the Plymouth prevented from setting off until early October: CSPD 1660-1, pp. 273, 309. (Per L&M note)

Third Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

What my Lord Winchelsea, Embassador to Constantinople, will find there


On 24 July 1660, a great conflagration broke out in Istanbul. An Ottoman writer conveys the horror of the event: “[t]housands of homes and households burned with fire. And in accordance with God's eternal will, God changed the distinguishing marks of night and day by making the very dark night luminous with flames bearing sparks, and darkening the light-filled day with black smoke and soot.” The fire began in a store that sold straw products outside the appropriately named Firewood Gate (Odun kapısı) west of Eminönü, and it devastated densely crowded neighborhoods consisting of wooden homes. The strong winds of Istanbul caused the fire to spread violently in all directions, despite the efforts of the deputy grand vizier (kaimmakam) and others who attempted the impossible task of holding it back with hooks, axes, and water carriers. Sultan Mehmed IV's boon companion and chronicler, Abdi Paşa, notes that the fire marched across the city like an invading army: the flames “split into divisions, and every single division, by the decree of God, spread to a different district.” .... Two-thirds of Istanbul was destroyed in the conflagration, and as many as 40,000 people lost their lives. Although fire was a frequent occurrence in 17th-century Istanbul, this was the worst the city had ever experienced. Thousands died in the plague that followed the fire as rats feasted on unburied corpses and spread disease. Because three months prior to this fire a conflagration had broken out in the heart of the district of Galata, across the Golden Horn from Eminönü, much of the city lay in ruins in the summer of 1660.…

Charles Miller  •  Link

Bit of nautical trivia re the 'Plymouth': Capt. John Hayward was only in command of her between 14th June to 24th August 1660. She was a Third Rate (or 'Middling Ship') built by John Taylor at Wapping, ordered 1652 and commissioned 1654. She was 139.5 ft long and displaced 741 tons, carried a crew of 260 with 52 guns, completed at an initial cost of £5,372.5.0d. She had quite a long life and was re-built as a Fourth Rate at Blackwall in 1703-5 - but foundered with all hands in Channel 11th August 1705.

john  •  Link

"Thence to my office of Privy Seal, [...]"

Written with a bit of well-deserved pride, methinks.

MartinVT  •  Link

Perhaps it was just a matter of convenience, but it was nice of Sam to include his wife with the distinguished company of Dean Fuller and lawyer Moore. Most of the time he has all the merriment while she's stuck at home with the help.

Also: it seems that Sam expected to be included in the visit to Mrs. Blackburn, but "she being within," he could not be admitted to her company and went off to keep himself busy at the Privy Seal. I suspect "being within" means that she was still in the enclosed space of her poster bed and its curtains. Here's a great essay on the public and private spaces of 17th-century homes, including "being within" one's bed even during the daytime:… Recall also William Shakespeare's "second best bed" and "the Great Bed of Ware."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Good article, MartinVT.
I particularly liked the author's point that there were seldom passageways in Stuart houses, so the help walked through rooms (including bedrooms) in order to get from A to B.
I wonder if they knocked first?!

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

The Venetian ambassador, Francesco Giavarina, has been watching my Lord Winchelsea for a couple of months. He describes an interesting character sailing into an uneasy situation.

On July 9 (new style, so June 29, Pepys Standard Time; all dates in new style), he wrote home: "The earl has been to see me. (...) [I]t is my duty to inform your Serenity that the earl is a young man full of idle talk, informed about many things, but not very steady, rather inclined to be light and volatile, like the climate of the country. For this reason no one thinks him suitable for the post of Constantinople, which requires mature and sober men, but his chief object being gain, he has not thought of anything beyond and his talk is all of occasions which may bring him profit".

By August 27 Giavarina will have softened his views, to "he seems very devoted to the public interests". Winchelsea, and others perhaps then also in the run for the post, have also been falling over themselves with outpourings of love for Venice, Giavarina writing on May 14 that "the earl of Winchelsea and house of Arundel (...) announce themselves as much Venetian as English".

Back in Constantinople, Giavarina says, "The [English] merchants [of the Turkey Company, the main English presence there] are amazed at a person of this rank wanting to go to Constantinople, a thing never seen before, and they are not altogether pleased, as they will have to incur greater expenses, for the earl no doubt desires the post merely for the gain, but such being his Majesty's wish they must needs conform to it." Letters still flew back and forth to London, and on August 6, he reported that on August 2 the Company had formally asked the king to keep the current ambassador in place but had been rebuffed (one wonders how things can have moved quite so fast, given the weeks the mail takes between England and Turkey); while the Venetian Senate, perhaps drawing on the various other sources surely at its disposal, still reflected that "the opposition of the Turkey Company may stop the earl of Winchelsea from going to the Porte." The current ambassador, Sir Thomas Bendysh, is no less venal - on June 8 Giavarina wrote that he "thirsts for an absolute dominion over the marts of the Levant (...) because this would mean the greatness of his house and fortune" - has been clinging to his post since 1647 and indeed he is going to cling yet a bit longer.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

But tussling with the local taipans, prying out Bendysh and stuffing his pockets may not be all that's in Winchelsea's brief. On July 17, the Senate wrote to Giavarina that its ambassador to France, Giovanni Battista Nani, "writes about a report that England is negotiating an offensive and defensive alliance with the Turk." Unfortunately we don't have that cable from Nani, but an offensive alliance, now that would be something. Asked to confirm, Giavarina mulled it over for a month and responded finding "no indication of anything of the sort". But what European prince, except in Venice and perhaps for the pope, hasn't come up with the cunning idea of an alliance with the Turk?

The Venetian diplomatic archive is at….

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.