Thursday 16 August 1660

This morning my Lord (all things being ready) carried me by coach to Mr. Crew’s, (in the way talking how good he did hope my place would be to me, and in general speaking that it was not the salary of any place that did make a man rich, but the opportunity of getting money while he is in the place) where he took leave, and went into the coach, and so for Hinchinbroke. My Lady Jemimah and Mr. Thomas Crew in the coach with him.

Hence to Whitehall about noon, where I met with Mr. Madge, who took me along with him and Captain Cooke (the famous singer) and other masters of music to dinner at an ordinary about Charing Cross where we dined, all paying their club. Hence to the Privy Seal, where there has been but little work these two days. In the evening home.

12 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Looks like the work at the Privy Seal is already tapering off ...

Sandwich's advice is obviously sound.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"not the salary of any place that did make a man rich"
a longish footnote from L&M: “For almost all government servants, from ministers of state to doorkeepers, the incidental profits of office - fees, gratuities and douceurs [OED: A conciliatory present or gift; a gratuity or "tip"; a bribe] - amounted to much more than the official salary. Hence the high price of offices: a secretaryship of state sold for 10,000L; … a commissionership of the navy for 2,000L…. Pepys’s own prospective purchaser at 1,000L … (After Pepys’s tenure it was worth much more.) The system, though open to abuse, served a useful purpose by bringing salaries (fixed before the 16th-century inflation) to a reasonable level at a minimal cost to the government, and it was common to all European states. Nor did it necessarily lead to corruption.”

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Lady Jem/Lady Jemimah
L&M have it as Lady Jem. I presume that Wheatley spelled out what was probably written as 'Jem' in longhand. I think we're pretty safe with the URL pointing to the daughter as it does.

L&M also have "above Charing-cross" instead of "about Charing-cross".

Barbara  •  Link

I believe until at least the 1950s the doormen at the biggest London hotels (Grosvenor House, Dorchester etc) used to "buy" their position, relying on tips and, no doubt, some valuable inside information to give them an income.

David A.Smith  •  Link

"getting money while he is in the place"
Following up on Paul's note above: Sam has found his opportunity to ask Montagu about Mr. Man's offer, and Montagu has advised him to decline ... on purely economic grounds. I predict we will hear no more of such offer.

JWBlackburn  •  Link

L&M footnote:"Nor did it necessarily lead to corruptiuon". To me, this is disingenuous. Of course it did. One of the grevances directed at Geo.III in the Declaration of Independence was: "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and to eat out their substance."

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "Nor did it necessarily lead to corruption"

JW, see the language they used -- they're not saying that corruption didn't happen; they're saying that it was not the simple cause-and-effect relationship that we think of today when we think of bribes and corruption. Keep in mind that there was Parlimentary oversight and investigations (some fair, some not, but with such "gifts" or bribes often looked upon as crimes), as Sam will find out several times after the diary ends.

vincent  •  Link

"...(in the way talking how good he did hope my place would be to me, and in general speaking that it was not the salary of any place that did make a man rich, but the opportunity of getting money while he is in the place ..."
Good practical advice one and all and a warning for the rest. Nuthink has changed? or has it? Oh! of course pure Altruism, naturally to run for publick Hoffice( 'ouse of privy? ) and spend so much of one's own money for a mere pittance. (new meaning for noble)

David A. Smith  •  Link

"Nor did it necessarily lead ..."
Following up on JW Blackburn's post, I think L&M are ingenuous, not dis-. Temptation doesn't NECESSARILY lead to sin, but it creates the possibility, and the heady secondary market in such offices indicates that not only is it a possibility, it's a *feature* of the office. The uncorrupted (by our standards) will be rare.
But, in citing evidence by tagging poor old George III from the Declaration, that's a low blow -- he came more than 115 years later than Our Sam, and much had changed, including the newfound taxability of colonies (and I say this as a Bostonian!).

Esme  •  Link

Bribery is an unfortunate reality in many countries."Free" health care is not really free if you have to give a gift to the gateman to get in, one to the clerk who manages the appointments and one to the pharmacist for dispensing the drugs.

Bribery always transfers money to those with power, much of it from those without power or anything much else.

Of course, many places eveolve a pretty standard scale for the "gifts" (or two scales -- another one for Westerners). This may help to disguise the damage -- you can view it as a tax paying for the functionary, as maybe L&M are. But real tax levels are set by other mechanisms than what the victims are willing to pay (hmm, maybe not).

vincent  •  Link

"Bribary" versus "incentives" Money is the honey(stickey stuff) of politics and big business; always follow the money trail. It is not wot yer earn it's wot yer keep.(loop 'oles)

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

This day in Commons

Anniversary of the Restoration.…

The Bill for the perpetual Anniversary Thanksgiving on the Twenty-ninth Day of May, being ingrossed in Parchment, was read the Third time....And the said Bill...being put to the Question, passed.

Log in to post an annotation.

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