Saturday 16 November 1661

At the office all the morning. Dined at home, and so about my business in the afternoon to the Temple, where I found my Chancery bill drawn against T. Trice, which I read and like it, and so home.


17 Nov 2004, 3:09 a.m. - vicente

"...I found my Chancery bill drawn against... I read and like it,..." did he pay a fee or was done as professional curtesy ? The savings on interest was roughly 12/16L per annum. Or was it simply a case of wrights wright, no matter the cost. Just a wandering..

17 Nov 2004, 3:29 p.m. - Nix

I assume he paid a fee. As one of my partners once told me, the law is not an eleemosynary activity -- it is a profession pursued for profit. The pleading probably would have been prepared by a solicitor. Had it been a barrister, there would have been no "fee", but a customary "gift" (barristers, being deemed gentlemen, did not charge for their services). This is a practice Samuel would have understood from his work at the Privy Seal.

17 Nov 2004, 10:31 p.m. - RexLeo

"...where I found my Chancery bill drawn against T. Trice" What is Chancery Bill? Is it a stamped IOU for the 200L. settlement?

17 Nov 2004, 10:53 p.m. - Nix

"What is Chancery Bill?" It is the pleading to initiate a suit -- what is now called the "complaint". Because Samuel's case deals with questions of inheritance, it goes in the court of chancery, also known as the court of equity -- as opposed to the court of law. Black's Law Dictionary (rev. 4th ed.) defines it thus: "A formal written complaint, in the nature of a petition, addressed by a suitor to the chancellor or to a court of equity or a court having equitable jurisdiction, showing the names of the parties, stating the facts which make up the case and the complainant's allegations, averring that the acts disclosed are contrary to equity, and praying for process [i.e., an order to the defendant to appear and answer the claim] and for specific relief, or for such relief as the circumstances demand."

26 Apr 2014, 5:23 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"my Chancery bill drawn against T. Trice" L&M note Pepys's bill -- dated 23 November, with Trice's answer of 3 December (both in the UK Public Record Office before it was merged into the National Archives in 2003) -- was filed in order to stop an action at common law which Trice had begun for the recovery of the £200 in which the bond of 1630 was secured. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/07/13/#c20909 They further note the dispute dragged on till 1663 and was finally settled out of court.

17 Nov 2014, 1:36 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Chancery Court in Pepys' time mst have been like Chancery Court in Dickens' time, which Dickens wrote about in Bleak House. Apparently not much had changed in Chancery Court in the approximately 200 years between Pepys and Dickens.  "At the novel's core is long-running litigation in England's Court of Chancery, Jarndyce v Jarndyce, which has far-reaching consequences for all involved. This case revolves around a testator who apparently made several wills. The litigation, which already has taken many years and consumed between £60,000 and £70,000 in court costs, is emblematic of the failure of Chancery. Dickens's assault on the flaws of the British judicial system is based in part on his own experiences as a law clerk, and in part on his experiences as a Chancery litigant seeking to enforce copyright on his earlier books. His harsh characterisation of the slow, arcane Chancery law process gave memorable form to pre-existing widespread frustration with the system. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleak_House

29 Nov 2014, 1:07 a.m. - Chris Squire UK

OED has: ‘eleemosynary . . 2. Dependent on or supported by alms. 1654 G. Goddard Acct. Parl. in T. Burton Diary (1828) I. Introd. p. lxv, If we be a mere elemosynary Parliament we are bound to do his drudgery . . ‘