Monday 13 August 1660

A sitting day at our office. After dinner to Whitehall; to the Privy Seal, whither my father came to me, and staid talking with me a great while, telling me that he had propounded Mr. John Pickering for Sir Thomas Honywood’s daughter, which I think he do not deserve for his own merit: I know not what he may do for his estate.

My father and Creed and I to the old Rhenish Winehouse, and talked and drank till night. Then my father home, and I to my Lord’s; where he told me that he would suddenly go into the country, and so did commend the business of his sea commission to me in his absence. After that home by coach, and took my 100l. that I had formerly left at Mr. Rawlinson’s, home with me, which is the first that ever I was master of at once. To prayers, and to bed.

15 Annotations

First Reading

language hat  •  Link

A sitting day at our office:
OED: sitting-day, a day on which a legislative or deliberative body sits.
But how does this apply to the bureaucratic side of things? Wouldn't Pepys's office be in permanent session, as it were?

Pauline  •  Link

"Wouldn't Pepys's office be in permanent session”
It hasn’t appeared so these past few days. He has had a lot of time to pursue his Privy Seal privileges. Perhaps the Clerk of Acts office (or the Navy Board) has days set aside when all must show up (a fair chance to find each other in) and they call it “sitting day” as a useful term borrowed from the legislative/deliberative lingo.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

he told me that he would suddenly go into the country, and so did commend the business of his sea commission to me in his absence
Yet another puzzling turn of phrase. L&M aren't particularly helpful with the following note:
"The Admiral's warrant for the issue of a commission to Sandwich as Vice-Admiral had been made out on 28 July."

What sends Montagu out of town in such a hurry?
SP as a Vice-Admiral?

Mary  •  Link

"SP as Vice-Admiral?"
Surely not. Sam is Sandwich's executive PA, in modern terms, and so entrusted to run the day to day business of the office whilst the latter travels outstation

We'll have to wait and see what prompted this sudden trip.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

"A Sitting Day"
I agree with Pauline, though, since the Board is a kind of deliberative body itself, the use of the term doesn't seem like a stretch to me. I assume that "sitting day" refers to when the full Board meets to transact business.

apthorp  •  Link

Is the "business of his commision" the selling of what we would now call an appointment? To keep the ship of state afloat, our boy has the opportunity to pick up the odd pound by selling an active duty assignment? (captain, first mate? staff job?)

George  •  Link

What sends Montagu out of town in such a hurry?
One suspects that this may be the start of "My Lord's" fall from grace. There is surely a lot more to come but avoid the temptation to look too far ahead.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

What of Pepys's Clerk of the Acts position's monetary value to him? Has he reported talking to Sandwich about it? Apparently all is settled?!

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In May we noted how the Commonwealth prisoners held at Windsor Castle were set free, and some -- like Lauderdale -- headed to The Hague to renew their friendships with Charles II. All authority must have left Windsor along with the prison.

On August 7 we read of a petition from the Mayor and Aldermen of Windsor to the Commons asking to be allowed to evict the poor women and children who had moved into the Castle.

Now there is a new outrage coming from Windsor:
Henry Jermyn (1605 - 1684) -- the fourth but second surviving son of Sir Thomas Jermyn (1572–1645) of Rushbrooke, Suffolk, Vice-Chamberlain to King Charles, and his wife Catherine, daughter of Sir William Killigrew of Hanworth, Middlesex (a sister of Sir Robert Killigrew).

When Charles II went to Breda in April, 1660, Henry, Lord Jermyn remained in Paris with Queen Henrietta Maria. She later persuaded Charles II to create him Earl of St. Albans in 1660.

But gossip (which the historian Hallam accepted as authentic, but is not supported by real evidence) asserted that Jermyn was secretly married to the widow of King Charles. It was further rumored ** at the time ** that he may have been the true father of at least one of her children -- possibly even Charles II.

For example, in the Domestic State Papers for 13 August, 1660, is a report by Capt. Francis Robinson about Nathaniel Angelo (a Windsor clergyman), asserting that 'all the royal children were Jermyn's bastards'.

No wonder Charles II is issuing Declarations and Proclamations dictating that people must behave better. That this report made it into the DSPs means everyone at Court heard this slight on Queen Henrietta Maria's reputation, and of his family. Very galling.

REFERENCE: Adolph, Anthony (2012). The King's Henchman. Henry Jermyn: Stuart Spymaster and Architect of the British Empire. Gibson Square.…

MartinVT  •  Link

"What of Pepys's Clerk of the Acts position's monetary value to him? Has he reported talking to Sandwich about it? Apparently all is settled?!"

Regarding the still-unresolved question of Mr. Man's 1000L offer for Sam's Navy job — It doesn't seem likely that Sam brought up the offer today, or Montagu would not have so readily entrusted Sam with considerable responsibility concerning "the business of his sea commission" while he (Montagu) went out of town for a spell.

Today is Monday; Sam last mentioned his quandary on Friday, but that passage may have been written a day or two later because Friday was his day of great pain. He has a brief meeting with Montagu on Saturday and goes to church with him on Sunday. My sense is that the question has not yet been discussed between them.

But Sam now also has 100L in his purse "which is the first that ever I was master of [so much] at once." He is starting to figure out that eventually, his current assortment of jobs will make him far richer than Mr. Man can make him.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Agreed on your logic, MartinVT. This discussion with Sandwich would not be undertaken hurriedly, or the results go unrecorded.

But the "Sam now also has 100L in his purse" is more likely to be his take from the Privy Seal Office than from the Navy Board.
(Parliament has approved money for the army and navy back pay, but someone has now to go out and borrow the cash from the City merchants, and then run it through the Exchequer to be parcelled out appropriately.)

I think Pepys had left his 100/. with Daniel Rawlinson, owner of the Mitre in Fenchurch Street, for safekeeping recently, rather than have roughly 1,000/. in today's money, on his person as he gallavanted around London at night with Will Hewer and a link boy.
Tonight, probably for safety, he takes a coach home.

And tonight he is home early enough to hold prayers for his household.
He doesn't mention doing this very often, so I wonder if it was too mundane to record, or if he was an irresponsible employer: he has 3 teenager servants in his care; he should set a good example.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Wouldn't Pepys's office be in permanent session”

L&M Companion: As of 1660, Naval Board General Powers:
The Navy Board was to make most of its decisions jointly. This meeting was referred to as "sitting".
The Navy Board was required to sit twice a week, the hours and days being varied during parliamentary session for the benefit of the members who were MP's or peers.
In 1660, when it was getting into its stride and in crises, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and after, the Navy Board met more frequently.
Two members constituted a quorum.
The clerks were present except when the Board resolved to meet "close".

According to Claire Tomalin's "Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self" pp 49-50:
“The members of the Navy Board were appointed by Charles II and were whoever he chose to listen to. In early 1660 that was Montagu, as vice-admiral, James, Duke of York and his secretary, William Coventry.”
They agreed the Navy Board should consist of 4 principal officers, as it had done under King Charles I -- treasurer, comptroller, surveyor and clerk of the acts -- and 3 commissioners, a system that had worked well under the commonwealth.

Sir George Carteret, an impeccable royalist whose service at sea had begun under King Charles, was appointed Treasurer.

The comptrollership went to 2 aged cavaliers, first Sir Robert Slingsby (who died within a year), then Sir John Mennes, whose naval career went back to the 1620s. He had fought with Prince Rupert -- probably against Adm. William Penn. Thomas Turner was one of the comptroller’s 2 clerks.

The surveyor, with responsibility for the dockyards and the design, building and repair of ships, was Sir William Batten, a professional who had served on both sides during the civil wars.

Of the commissioners, Sir William Penn was given a brief to take an interest in every aspect of the board's work, also owed his appointment to his years of experience as a naval commander.

Another commissioner, Peter Pett, the master-shipwright at Chatham, had served Cromwell; no change of government could unseat him because the Pett family had a monopoly of shipbuilding in the Thames yards.

Sir John, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton, the third commissioner, was appointed purely as a sign of royal favor; nothing was expected of him.
Sir John was also a Commissioner of Ordnance and Steward of the Duke of York's household. He remained a Navy Commissioner until the end of 1664 when he was appointed a Commissioner of the Tangier Committee.

Each officer of the Navy Board was served by 2 clerks, chosen by himself and usually owing their jobs to personal connections, just as their master did. Pepys was quick to defend his two, Thomas, Mr. Hayter and Will Hewer, against any criticism and to attack inefficiency amongst the others.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

YESTEERDAY: "My Lord dined at my Lord Chamberlain’s, ..."

TODAY: "... my Lord’s; where he told me that he would suddenly go into the country, ..."

Perhaps Lord Chamberlain Sir Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester had something for his cousin to do?

Or it may be that the yacht and Charles II's landing craft have arrived at Hinchingbrooke and he wants to see what his many children make of them???

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