Wednesday 20 March 1660/61

At the office all the morning, dined at home and Mr. Creed and Mr. Shepley with me, and after dinner we did a good deal of business in my study about my Lord’s accounts to be made up and presented to our office. That done to White Hall to Mr. Coventry, where I did some business with him, and so with Sir W. Pen (who I found with Mr. Coventry teaching of him upon the map to understand Jamaica).1 By water in the dark home, and so to my Lady Batten’s where my wife was, and there we sat and eat and drank till very late, and so home to bed.

The great talk of the town is the strange election that the City of London made yesterday for Parliament-men; viz. Fowke, Love, Jones, and , men that are so far from being episcopall that they are thought to be Anabaptists; and chosen with a great deal of zeal, in spite of the other party that thought themselves very strong, calling out in the Hall, “No Bishops! no Lord Bishops!” It do make people to fear it may come to worse, by being an example to the country to do the same. And indeed the Bishops are so high, that very few do love them.

24 Annotations

First Reading

The Bishop  •  Link

"chosen with a great deal of zeal, in spite of the other party that thought themselves very strong, calling out in the Hall, “No Bishops! no Lord Bishops!” "

In case it's not clear, it was the pro-Fowke, Love and Jones party that called out "no bisops", not "the other party".

Episcopal just means 'pro-bishop' in this context, but I don't know when that particular word became common to describe the establishment party.

Anabaptists was often applied loosely to any radical dissenters. I doubt Pepys or most of the people he knew could have explained precisely what set anabaptists apart from other dissenters.

Louis Anthony Scarsdale  •  Link

"Parliament-men; viz. Fowke, Love, Jones, and . . . , "

"The Shorter Pepys" includes in square brackets the omitted name "Thompson." More from L&M holders?

vincent  •  Link

One could be the former lord mayor in 1652 John FOWKE [explains the comment]…

There was a Jones, sir Frances lord mayer in 1620, could be a relation[a son or nephew] they like to keep the job in the family. Where possible and the third [Love, Ald. William] was an alderman naturally.

Mary  •  Link

L&M supply Alderman Sir William Thompson.

They also note that Thompson and Love were Presbyterians and the others independents. This resurgence of Puritans was alarming, coming so soon after Venner's attempted rising.

Xjy  •  Link

Bishops so high, that few do love them.

Sam in a nutshell. Trimmer extraordinary. Finger in the air to check the General Line emanating from the centre(s) of power, or anything that might affect it.

First the respectable horror at the Puritan zeal ("They were thrown out, why don't they respect developments and lie down dead?”). Then the acknowledgement that the City is important and very energetic in its recalcitrance. Oops, maybe things will swing back — “oh dear, those Bishops aren't behaving very well or responsibly, are they?” So if they get turfed out, they will have deserved it in Sam’s eyes and his conscience will be assuaged, and he will be ready to serve the new masters.
What we’re seeing here voting in the City is the social force that will build up to the Glorious Compromise of 1688 when the bourgeoisie will take over with a minimum of royalist camouflage, after the failure of the gungho old-style royalists to find and develop on any viable social power base during the Restoration.

JWB  •  Link

Fowlke,Love and Jones...
Could you choose more apt names for Anabaptists?

JWB  •  Link

"By water in the dark home,.."
Poetic phrase gave me pause. That's life in six words.

JWB  •  Link

Here's short list from Geo. Fox:" but we had reasonings with all the other sects, Presbyterians, Independents, Seekers, Baptists, Episcopal men, Socinians, Brownists, Lutherans, Calvinists, Arminians, Fifth-monarchy men, Familists, Muggletonians, and Ranters; " What a cross to bear, to give witness as a 'Muggletonian".

David A. Smith  •  Link

"It do make people to fear it may come to worse"
Sam's a politician, and a politican's principal aide. We are barely 18 months removed from a despotic theocracy established after a bloody civil war. It's his job to have his finger in the wind, and it's in his nature to worry, for the nation, his boss, and himself. But he consoles himself with the warm-milk thought "that very few do love them."

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"What a cross to bear, to give witness as a "Muggletonian".”

Excerpted from the 1911 Encyclopedia: Lodowicke Muggleton (1609-1698) “…In 1651 he began to have revelations, and to proclaim himself and his cousin John Reeve, whose journeyman he was, as the two witnesses mentioned in Rev. xi. 3…. An exposition of their doctrines was published in 1656 under the title of The Divine Looking-Glass. Among other views (besides the doctrine of the divine mission of the authors) this work taught that the distinction of the three persons in the Trinity is merely nominal, that God has a real human body, and that He left Elijah as His vicegerent in heaven when He Himself descended to die on the cross. Muggleton’s opinions gained some notable adherents, but also called forth much opposition. In 1653 he was imprisoned for blasphemy, and twice (1660 and 1670) his own followers temporarily repudiated him….”

The entire article is at:…

vincent  •  Link

JWB "By water in the dark home,.."
Poetic phrase gave me pause. That's life in six words. there is this poem
“A Walk through the Dark Blue Night”
by Mary Lambert…

vincent  •  Link

The Ranters, Seekers,Levellers,Quakers all shaken up, all try to explain who should be at first base. In the end 'tis money that talks. Then there are the Agrarians,Anabaptists, Baptists, the Anti- Clerics, Antinominians,Arians, Arminianians,Atheists,Agnostics,Astrologers,Barrowists, Behmentists, Brownists, Calvanists, Cavaliers, Royalists, Clubmen, Comenians, Diggers, Familists, Fifth-Monarchists, etc. They are now just keeping their own counsel.

Josh  •  Link

Trying to "place" Pepys under this or that rubric: perhaps he lived less by "theory" than "practice"?

Glyn  •  Link

Just like David Smith says, Sam's a politician's aide and has to be able to predict what's likely to happen.

I think the key here is that this was an *unexpected* (strange) election victory. Their equivalent of opinion pollsters didn't see it coming (which is a little odd, seeing how small the electorate was). These are not the people that Charles II and the Government would have chosen; and since the City was always strongly anti-Royalist before the Restoration is this a prediction of things to come? For instance, will the City be hostile to the King's and the Government's future policies (especially money-raising?).

Sam is the most important political aide to one of the country's leading statesmen: he has to keep on top of situations like these, and be able to give a political briefing to Montagu whenever so asked. (We saw a similar situation a few days ago when Montagu asked him what people knew of the King's marriage plans.)

Rex Gordon  •  Link

"...his finger in the wind ..."
This is not an unexpected trait of Sam's. Remember when he was made uncomfortable by an old school friend who remarked, in company just after the Restoration, that Sam had been "quite the Roundhead" at school?

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

Why the Ellipsis?
I am wondering why Wheatly omits Thompson's name from the list of City members-elect. In the past, he has used an ellipsis only to edit passages that he thought were scatalogical or obscene. Maybe he found Thompson's name illegible in the original? Any other theories?

Emilio  •  Link

In this one case, Wheatley omits the word because Sam did.

The L&M version has a blank there instead of an ellipsis. I guess Sam couldn't think of the fourth name and left a blank so he could come back and fill it in later; by the time later came he had forgotten about it. That sort of thing happens to me all the time.

Pedro.  •  Link

Sam and the Bishops.
Sam has twice listened to sermons by Bishops and states in the Diary:
"The Bishop of Chichester preached before the King, and made a great flattering sermon, which I did not like that Clergy should meddle with matters of state."
"I with my Lord to White Hall Chappell, where I heard a cold sermon of the Bishop of Salisbury's, and the ceremonies did not please me, they do so overdo them.”

Second Reading

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Jamaica -- William Coventry probably needed to know about the island because it was in need of a new governor.
Pedro explained the situation at…

From 1657–1662 Edward Doyley (1617–1675) held the position, and needed to be replaced by a Royalist.

You can read the Minutes of the Council for Foreign Plantations as they appear in 'America and West Indies: January 1661', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 5, 1661-1668, (London, 1880) pp. 1-4. British History Online…

In time Pepys will get to know most of these people. "Middleton" is probably not Commissioner Sir William -- my guess is that it was John, 1st Earl of Middleton.…

徽柔  •  Link

Agrarians,Anabaptists, Antinomians,Baptists, the Anti- Clerics,England was a mosaic of religions.
According to Hobbes in his 《Behemoth》it all thanks to the English Bible that allows every man and woman to understand the scriptures in their way.
An interesting thing about Buckingham was that he advocated toleration and liberty of conscience for all his life, making it one of his few principles.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Sam must have been busy with stuff, because the four City councillors' election was really yesterday, and it was big newes, and we had wonder'd at not reading of it here. Letters about the event fill nearly eight pages in our compilation of the State Papers; there may be an element of preservation bias - one particular file of letters having luckily made it through 1860 - but it's still a lot, as most days take a page or less.

Most of the letters, dated March 19, rejoice that such outstanding citizens were chosen to cleanse the city of that gaudy Popish filth. They applaud this choice of "Independents and Presbyterians" (from "Henry Worster" and "Nich. Roberts"), "sober and moderate men" (from "Richard Royle"), "no friends to bishops" (from "Jos. Tilly"), "four honest, sound Presbyterians" (from "Thos. Quincia"; "Alderman Foulke and three other Presbyterians" in the diagnostic of another ornithologist, "Edw. Bradshaw"). Letter No. 105 notes that Foulke is "not much noted for religion", so the affair probably shouldn't be reduced to just that.

&c, &c, &c. "The lawn sleeves [slang for 'bishops'] will not like the election" (from "J.C."), and "the Episcopal men are not pleased" (from "J.S."). Indeed, from the other side a Mr. "S.R." does lament the choice of "two frantic Presbyterians, and two fanatic Independents", but he's a lonely voice.

But 'twas the voice of that unruly Citty, it seems: "The City was very unanimous" (from Anonymous, letter No. 95). "The City members were chosen so unanimously that the contrary party did not even demand a poll (...) Never saw so general a union of Presbyterians, Independents, and Anabaptists, crying down the Episcopalians, who went away cursing and swearing, and wishing they had never come" (from Anonymous, letter No. 103). That may be understood if, as "Q" (letter No. 104) tells his pal "John Blewet", the Guildhall was indeed packed with "10,000 in their liveries", plus "2,000 in the streets who could not get in to the Tantling meeting-house".

The anonymous writer of letter No. 105 doth wonder that he "never knew so small an affair create such prattle". Indeed, Mercurius Politicus doesn't even mention it, but it's the sort of prattle that can easily degenerate in the London tinder-box. There is a hint of the mob rule in that overheated, crowded hall, as "popular men that are for them [the hated bishops] were proposed, but hissed and cried down with 'No bishops!'" (from Anonymous, letter No. 113; tho' only "some shouting", writes "Anth. Phillips"). In fact, "the Episcopal party would fain have left out Capt. Jones, but the court never left off crying 'A Jones! A Jones!' till it was otherwise resolved" (from "Edw. Gaell"). A lot of shouting, liveries or not.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

So, it's good for the Government, or not? Those who opine, think so: "The men chosen are loyal to the King" (from Anonymous, letter No. 125), "of firm principles to King, Church and State" (from "Thos. Cooper"), "love the king in sincerity" (from "William Gibbes"), &c. Only "Tho. Powell" remarks that "the Royalists are put into a wonderful maze", whatever that means. Indeed, "bishops have no power to impose, till the jurisdiction taken from them by the Long Parliament is restored", writes "J.S." And so, for a day, a whiff of the spirit of the pre-Restoration Long Parliament did blow a little through Guildhall...

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Ah, and of course Venetian ambassador Francesco Giavarina has something interesting to add. Writes he, in his weekly dispatch dated April 8 (March 28, new style, at…): "After the election in the city of London of the members for the future parliament, (...) not favourable to the king's interests, (...) to prevent the news getting out at once, the posts which leave every week for the interior were stopped by the king's order (...). The letters being searched it was found that some reported this sinister choice with remarks very favourable to the sectaries, encouraging many places to choose similar fanatics. So having made a thorough enquiry they have this week had divers of those found most criminal arrested and sent to the Tower (...)"

Now we understand why the State Papers contain these eight pages full of letters; and so Henry Worster, Nich. Roberts & al. are in the Tower, as Sam soberly writes of the "great talk of the strange election". A reminder, should we get carried away by Sam's good-end-of-the-stick view of Charles II the life-loving monarch, that an iron hand lies inside the velvet glove. It moves fast, too, when it wants to.

Future Ages will perhaps see other enlightened Governments stop the Inter-Nett to becalm the masses around elections. In this case, Giavarina notes that "The city of London objected strongly to the suspension of the posts", but couldn't do much about it.

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