Tuesday 12 March 1660/61

At the office about business all the morning, so to the Exchange, and there met with Nick Osborne lately married, and with him to the Fleece, where we drank a glass of wine. So home, where I found Mrs. Hunt in great trouble about her husband’s losing of his place in the Excise. From thence to Guildhall, and there set my hand to the book before Colonel King for my sea pay, and blessed be God! they have cast me at midshipman’s pay, which do make my heart very glad. So, home, and there had Sir W. Batten and my Lady and all their company and Capt. Browne and his wife to a collation at my house till it was late, and then to bed.

27 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Collation

My dictionary gives one meaning of this as "a light meal permitted on fast days."

I wonder why John Hunt lost his job?

Yonmei  •  Link

Why was Pepys so pleased that he'd been granted midshipman's pay? A midshipman, if I remember my Hornblower correctly, was the highest form of warrant officer - likely, I presume, therefore to be paid more than other warrant officers, but not holding a commission.

Hmmm - have I answered my own question? Was it impossible for Pepys, not holding a commission, to receive a commissioned officer's pay, but he was glad because he was being paid the highest rate possible for someone not a commissioned officer?

All speculation. Does anyone know the facts?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"why John Hunt lost his job" seems like he got his job through his wife's connection with the Cromwells,so...

Josh  •  Link

Ye incipient concordance-makers: does Pepys only thank God when mentioning money?

Emilio  •  Link

"why John Hunt lost his job"

Actually, it appears he got his original job at least in part through Our Sam: "After dinner I to Whitehall, where I met with Mrs. Hunt, and was forced to wait upon Mr. Scawen at a committee to speak for her husband, which I did" (http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1… ). From Paul Brewster (and L&M) for that day: "Robert Scawen (M.P. for Cockermouth) . . . had been recently appointed one of the commissioners for regulating the Excise. John Hunt either now or shortly afterwards held a sub-commissionership under him."

New commissioners were appointed on 24 Feb., but John will be back--"John Hunt was serving as a sub-commissioner for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire in December 1661, and later [in 1666]." (L&M footnote for today)

vincent  •  Link

'Why was Pepys so pleased that he'd been granted midshipman's pay’.
He was Sandwiches Secretary [and got extra for the those ghost employees too , the money came from the Navy too], and as such got paid for that position[see june third ‘60], now for a bit of double dipping, another income.
Besides that he got paid for executing special paper work too, “TIPS”.
re: thanks for the loot. ‘twas manner from heaven, some got lots, some got iou’s. No such thing as a regular guaranteed income,[ all were on peace work income or by the job duration] by the hr/weekly/monthly paid on time. Only self employed orange girls got paid by the submission etc. and that was cash and carry [ dirty word trade {tradesmens entrance etc.}].

Pauline  •  Link

"does Pepys only thank God when mentioning money?"
Well, of the 20 mentions since June:
10 are directly about money
1 indirectly (God forbid his uncle remarry)
5 general stock taking, healthy and content
1 that the misfired pistols hits no one
1 asking for guidance
1 God forgive for reading French romances on Sunday
1 God forgive for stringing his lute on Sunday

Joe  •  Link

Mentions of God
Pauline, you missed his Feb 26th asking for forgiveness...

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Yonmei - Midshipman

No, not a Warrant Officer (NCO), but an officer, ranking above cadet and below sub-lieutenant, at least in modern usage. (The equivalent Army rank is second-lieutenant.)

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

More on Midshipman

I should have added, for our American friends, Midshipman = Ensign.

Sam is relieved that "they have cast me at midshipman's pay". In modern times, so far as pay is concerned, he would have been much better off had they paid him as a Chief Petty Officer.(Less social standing, but a lot more money!) I am not sure what, if any, ranks existed between common seaman and junior officers in Sam's time, but I know we have at least one poster who will perhaps set me straight.

Pedro.  •  Link

Only self employed orange girls got paid by the submission etc. and that was cash and carry [ dirty word trade {tradesmens entrance etc.}].
No doubt the entrance old Charlie used when he visited Nell Gwyn?

Pedro.  •  Link

"and with him to the Fleece, where we drank a glass of wine."
It seems a long time since Sam had, or gave someone, a morning draft. Is he slowing down in his old age, or is it a sign of mixing with higher company?

Yonmei  •  Link

Kevin, I wasn't asking about modern usage: I was asking about Pepys' usage. In 1794, the US Congress created the American Navy and listed the Warrant Officers as the Sailing Masters, Purser, Boatswain, Gunner, Carpenter, Sailmaker and Midshipman. This was the same as in the British Navy of that time, as you'd expect: one modelled on the other.

So I'm wondering if Pepys is so pleased because a midshipman gets paid more than other warrant officers.

diphi  •  Link

Hey Vincent! I'm puzzled. What is a self-employed orange girl?

vincent  •  Link

Orange girl was one many of the people trying to sustain a life by going down to a market in the early hours of the morn: and buying wares to to sell to households, on the streets and elsewhere a buyer could be found and the Orange girl [Especially if she had some looks which the dandies of the day would part with loose change for a refreshment] found a good market at the theatre.
see pages 234-235 for an image, Liza Picard Restoration London, pages 137,138 for text.
still a popular way for getting a 'buck' to-day by the excluded ones.

Susan  •  Link

Information from online naval information about midshipmen and gentlemen.

"A midshipman originally was, as the name suggests, one who lived amidships, this is mid-way between the officers who lived aft and the men who lived forward. While training as an officer he worked with the men somewhat like naval cadets do today. The midshipman used to serve seven years on the lower deck and was roughly equivalent to a present day petty officer in rank and position. " (British site about the RN)

An Ensign is bit a like an original Midshipman in the Royal Navy. Before military academies, naval officers were trained at sea, and a Midshipman, who had few real command responsibilities and might only be a young teenager, was the beginning of the process. "

"One important thing that all officers have in common is that they are supposed to be "gentlemen." Today this may mean no more than that they are expected to be polite, self-controlled, and observant of propriety, not to mention morally upright. However, it originally meant rather more. Two hundred years ago, not every man was a "gentleman" just by courtesy. A gentleman, by English law, was a man with no regular trade or occupation. Now we might think of such a definition as specifying a vagrant, but it actually meant someone who lived off inherited wealth, rents, or feudal office (including the Church, which also meant Mediaeval Academia). This was an era when "amateur" was good and "professional" was bad -- since the amateur did something for love (amor), while the professional did something just for money. In the British legal system, barristers (i.e. those at the "Bar"), who plead in court, were gentlemen who did not accept pay (but received honoria by courtesy), while other lawyers were solicitors, mere professionals. In the military, "officers and men" meant those who qualified as gentlemen and those who might not. "My good man" is how a gentleman might politely address someone who was not. This distinction could have serious legal consequences, since in Britain gentlemen could not be impressed off the street for military service, but others could. In protocol, untitled military officers had precedence of rank, and were above plain "gentlemen entitled to bear arms," but were below even the humblest titled nobility, even Knights and Esquires. " (American site about the American armed forces ranks)

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Yonmei- Apologies. I misinterpreted both your posting and the diary entry.

Glyn  •  Link

Emilio: "why John Hunt lost his job"
“Actually, it appears he got his original job at least in part through Our Sam: "After dinner I to Whitehall, where I met with Mrs. Hunt, and was forced to wait upon Mr. Scawen at a committee to speak for her husband..”

Could that be read the other way? i.e. The committee was investigating whether Hunt and others should keep their job, and Pepys was unsuccessful in persuading them not to fire him? I have no knowledge about this - it’s just another possible interpretation.

Emilio  •  Link

I hope not--

Mrs. Hunt's complaints above make it sound like losing the job is a more recent event. I hope he didn't lose the position 5 mos. ago, a blow so heavy that his wife is still talking about it, and that Sam is only be noting down the fact now.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Midshipman and ensign
Just to add one more ingredient to this terminological stew, in American usage a midshipman is a naval cadet, an officer in training. Upon graduation the midshipman is commissioned as an ensign, the lowest rank of naval officer, equivalent to a second lieutenant in the army.

Rich Merne  •  Link

Poor old Sam, so joyful to be 'cast' at midshipman's pay; whatever way you look at it, a socially embedded inferior rank of the navy. His private humility is rather poignant. If he had been cast at 'jolly tar's', pay he would probably have accepted it without a grumble. It points up an underlying rather shaky self-esteem connoting my query on discussion page, 09/03/04 as to his never attaining knighthood. In spite of all his obsequiousness and overt acceptance in the company of the great, they still regard him parallaxically down the lenght of their aristocratic snouts. He is proven energetic, clever and assiduous, but above all, he is 'useful' and 'cheap to run'. No wonder he looks for 60l. as a gratuity. He privately felt he was worth it, and down the telescope, I think he was and more.

upper_left_hand_corner  •  Link

Susan, good information about midshipmen with respect to higher officers and common sailors.

A note about bunk locations. Since sailing ships generally point downwind, the aft accommodations have to contend with the least amount of odor.

Glyn  •  Link

ULHC: which is why, at least in the world's northern hemisphere cities, the western side (the aft) tends to be where the rich people live (since the prevailing winds tend to come from the west).

vincent  •  Link

re: Mid-Ship-Man, Low man in command chain.But there is a time when he has a Great Job, go and board a captured ship and sail her back to Safety, from the the Sailors Grammar. Perks!!!! http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…
The whole command chain and job description for each man aboard a Ship.

Second Reading

PS  •  Link

Re: upper_left_hand_corner on 15 Mar 2004

"... sailing ships generally point downwind, the aft accommodations have to contend with the least amount of odor."

Aft, in naval terminology is, towards the stern (rear) of the ship.
Downwind; generally means the wind direction is from the rear(or aft) of the ship towards the front. Hence least odorous bunking in the aft.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"From thence to Guildhall, and there set my hand to the book before Colonel King for my sea pay"

Edward King was one of the commissioners appointed to pay off the fleet. (L&M)

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