Saturday 15 March 1661/62

With Sir G. Carteret and both the Sir Williams at Whitehall to wait on the Duke in his chamber, which we did about getting money for the Navy and other things. So back again to the office all the morning. Thence to the Exchange to hire a ship for the Maderas, but could get none. Then home to dinner, and Sir G. Carteret and I all the afternoon by ourselves upon business in the office till late at night. So to write letters and home to bed. Troubled at my maid’s being ill.

11 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

How frustrating. Sam said yesterday that he was going to talk to the Duke about this "engine", but now either he doesn't or does not think what was discussed worth recording.
Do we think Sam is "troubled" by the maid's illness because he is simply compassionate or because work is not being done or because he fears infection either for himself or Elizabeth?

A. Hamilton  •  Link

or because he fears infection

What was Sam's(and his era's)understanding of infectious diseases and their transmittal?

vicenzo  •  Link

Sam like most of us [there always be exceptions, like, you the reader]. Would always have been afeared of the unknown,, sniffles and the blues. We expect every body to be 'ale and 'arty and do the days work. Many people in those days when they took to their palliasses, they have about 50/50 chance of being tossed out with the straw.[life expectancy be 35 annos] Eliza Picard [Ch6] points out Sam wore a necklace of a hares foot, and people would rush to the king for the laying of hands if they be not perfect. Herbal remedies abounded to cure "wot ails ye" [See Culpeper and his 'Erbs]
So wot puts this Lass in the Sick Bay, we can only guess at. Just 'ope it ain't Boy problems.
There be not, I suspect much sympathy if the the menial duties not be done.
Sam always talks about the Sirs, but fails to mention Hayter and
Hewer his Clerks, then there are Batton's Clerks, Norman J, and Wilson T
Clerk's to Controller, Howet,T and Morley Monox
Berkeley clerk Turner,T :Davis,J
then there is the messenger Smith R. at 50L per annum
[all gleaned from… ]
there by Sam is more concered with up side than lesser, not like 3 years past when he was one of the Clerks , reminds of of wot I be told when I 'ad a chance of being one the crop stick wallers, " 'ave to forget those struggling nere do wells". 'Tis part of being an authority figure.

JohnT  •  Link

Fascinating to think of the Royal Exchange as a place one dropped into on spec to hire a ship for a lengthy voyage. This is the predecessor of the Stock Exchange and I had fondly imagined it was all about purely paper financial transactions such as insurance etc. Apparently this building was founded by Thomas Gresham in 1564 and has not long to go.…

Glyn  •  Link

As JohnT says, that's a surprising thing to hire at the Royal Exchange. As there were merchants there, perhaps they were trying to hire spare cargo-space in a ship that was already due to sail to Madeira (to buy wines?) but couldn't find one; although it does sound as if it was a whole ship that they were seeking. I wonder why no naval ship could be assigned to do this. Or would out-sourcing it to the private sector have been cheaper?

Reading entries like this gives me a sense of all the hustle and bustle that was going on around him, as people risked fortunes sending ships on dangerous voyages to bring back luxuries to the city.

Pedro  •  Link

"to hire a ship for the Maderas"

Part of the Catherine's dowry is that England are granted trading priviledges with Madeira, and was the start of British wine merchants settling on the Island.

For a short history of Madeira wine see...…

vicenzo  •  Link

Standard practice for the navy to hire merchant ships [28 merchant ships] . Fore instance in 1650. The best place to get a ship, I would guess, would be, where the Merchants be relaxing.…
Remember it be good to collect the bodies for hanging the sails, from back of the pubs.[called Impressing]

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"Troubled at my maid’s being ill"

I think the reason he's troubled is that people died rather often in his time and place from diseases that seemed inconsequential. Until they weren't.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Re Australian Susan's frustration at the lack of info on the meeting with James: Kuffel is never mentioned again in the diary, so one can assume that there was no further official interest in his proposals.

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