Tuesday 3 June 1662

Up by four o’clock and to my business in my chamber, to even accounts with my Lord and myself, and very fain I would become master of 1000l., but I have not above 530l. toward it yet.

At the office all the morning, and Mr. Coventry brought his patent and took his place with us this morning. Upon our making a contract, I went, as I use to do, to draw the heads thereof, but Sir W. Pen most basely told me that the Comptroller is to do it, and so begun to employ Mr. Turner about it, at which I was much vexed, and begun to dispute; and what with the letter of the Duke’s orders, and Mr. Barlow’s letter, and the practice of our predecessors, which Sir G. Carteret knew best when he was Comptroller, it was ruled for me. What Sir J. Minnes will do when he comes I know not, but Sir W. Pen did it like a base raskall, and so I shall remember him while I live.

After office done, I went down to the Towre Wharf, where Mr. Creed and Shepley was ready with three chests of the crusados, being about 6000l., ready to bring to shore to my house, which they did, and put it in my further cellar, and Mr. Shepley took the key. I to my father and Dr. Williams and Tom Trice, by appointment, in the Old Bayly, to Short’s, the alehouse, but could come to no terms with T. Trice. Thence to the Wardrobe, where I found my Lady come from Hampton Court, where the Queen hath used her very civilly; and my Lady tells me is a most pretty woman, at which I am glad.

Yesterday (Sir R. Ford told me) the Aldermen of the City did attend her in their habits, and did present her with a gold Cupp and 1000l. in gold therein. But, he told me, that they are so poor in their Chamber, that they were fain to call two or three Aldermen to raise fines to make up this sum, among which was Sir W. Warren.

Home and to the office, where about 8 at night comes Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Batten, and so we did some business, and then home and to bed, my mind troubled about Sir W. Pen, his playing the rogue with me to-day, as also about the charge of money that is in my house, which I had forgot; but I made the maids to rise and light a candle, and set it in the dining-room, to scare away thieves, and so to sleep.

33 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"3 june 1662"
on the whole a very stressfull day and night for our Sam!

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Sir W. Pen: Base Raskall

Can anyone shed light on exactly what transpired in the office to get Sam so mad? I'm a bit lost by his description.

Sam sure is hung up on his £530, isn’t he? What is this, the third mention in a week or so? Given what’s in his basement, he could hit his goal of £1000 quite easily … if he weren’t an honest man.

jbailey  •  Link

Aha! Now we know where Pepys, and no doubt others in his situation, keep their valuables since there are no banks or bank vaults.

I would imagine that his "further cellar" has a heavy door with an equally heavy lock, but even then, one would not leave a home unattended with valuables locked inside, hence his concern and the candle making it look like someone is awake.

Pauline  •  Link

"...to draw the heads thereof..."
Let's start with this, Todd B. Is Sam doing the "letterhead" for the contract document? Doesn't seem an important enough task to get possessive about. Ideas?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Losing control of his chance to guide contracts' paths through the office means a major loss of clout and potential generous thanks from pleased vendors. Penn knows that at least as well as Sam and seems to be trying to take advantage of Coventry's arrival to cut the Clerk of the Acts out of the real action in the office,reserving it for the titled members only. It's not merely humiliation...It's potential disaster for Sam's chances of playing a major role swimming with the big boys and he's very wise to fight.

dirk  •  Link

"Sam doing the letterhead..."

Sice the "letterhead" is not pre-printed or the like, this means that Sam is beginning to write the actual contract (think of some nice important looking calligraphy - after which the contract itself would be in more standard writing).

At that point Sir Pen intervenes, tells Sam this is the responsability of the Comptroller, and passes it on to the clerk (Turner). Sam is "vexed", and quarrels with Sir Pen: according to "the Duke's orders, and Mr. Barlow's letter, and the practice of our predecessors, which Sir G. Carteret knew best when he was Comptroller, it was ruled for me”.

Sir Minnes is the new Comptroller - and Sam obviously wonders what his point of view on this matter is going to be (to Sam’s advantage or not?).


At least, that’s the way I read this…

dirk  •  Link

The £6000 in Sams cellar

It has been noted before that Sam’s business and private life are much more intertwined than in our modern world. This is one more example. This also implies that at the office they don’t have a safe place to put this huge amount of money under permanent guard. (As far as I know safes didn’t exist yet - at least not the way we know them now.)

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"to draw the heads thereof..."

Could this not mean draft the "executive summary" or "minutes" of the discussion and be of far greater office-political significance than a dispute over who perfoms a mere clerical task; just as in some circles today the phrase "heads of agreement" is used and he who drafts these often determines what the principals "actually intended," quite regardless of what was said between them.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"to draw the heads thereof"
This means, I surmise, that Sam was proposing to write out the principal terms of the contract - the 'heads' being the first clause, underwhich, the'bodies' the subordinate clauses would be drawn up. In other words, as Robert Gertz annotates, Sam was setting the whole conception of the contract out. I don't think it is is to do with calligraphy (the clerks such as Will Hewer would do that), but the building up of the first principals. No wonder he is so twitchy about being headed off from this - it undermines all his equality with the other Naval Officers and turns him into a lesser being - one not fit to set policy.
The "further cellar"
This sounds to me like a pretty secure place. Don't forget, Sam's office and his house are all in the same set of connected buildings, so it is not far from the office. Furthermore, we assume the office is untenanted at night, rendering it less secure than the houses of the officers. Maybe if they had had a clerk who bunked down there or a nightwatchman, the money might have been left in the cellar of the office. But it is a huge amount of money - about half a million pounds in todays money (if we assume the X 90 calculation). Sam's concern is very natural and very human: I leave my TV and lights on when I go out at night. Who am I fooling?!

Australian Susan  •  Link

Michael Robinson was annotating at the same time as I was - along the same lines and he puts it much better!

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Sams is not Coventry's serf but 'Han Hofficer', the serf that be Turner, Sam has to learn to follow the rules of the game, not be a good and helpful and kind. It be very IMPORTANT to establish the pecking order in real time from the Getgo, Sam is still happy to be the one to roll over and show his tum tum. And Pen be really helping Sam to keep his status and be not letting This fast talking extra Commissioner muscle in. Up till this time it be the Three of them [Willies and Sam ; the Treasurer be in his cubicle looking out on the Tems,]as the other two commissioners left the lads alone and took the cash and enjoyed their prime jobs. As Parliament be on a honey-moon, Coventry needs a place to get away from his old lady.
Batten be Surveyor, Penn be Commissioner
Coventry Extra Commissioner and has commanding ways,
with the unheard others;
two other commissioners stay away most of the time, Pett, he plays withs his toys at Depford,and Berkeley, he sits on his rump in the H of L Sam has nowt to say of these two fee Drawing Men. they leave all the discissions to the boys, But Now???
Let us not forget all the under clerks that be doing all the inscribing.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

on organising the structure of Government Organisations ; this might help:
One is seeing the growth and organisation of start of modern Government, up to this time it was lead by a king and no one had a say in the running, but the revolution changed the way business was done , the Merchants and Freeman were not prepared to let CII have the final complete word, there would be fiscal control, even if it be slow to take root.

Pauline  •  Link

"The £6000 in Sam’s cellar”
Is this dowry money? I’m not sure the Naval Offices are directly involved in receiving this money. It might be money meant for the kingdom, but Sandwich was interested in some control over it for the nonce because his personal finances are in trouble. I wonder if placing this money in Sam’s further cellar isn’t just between him and Lord Sandwich.

JWB  •  Link

The contention is between Penn & Sandwich. Sandwich has just returned with victory over Turks and praise of the new queen, while Penn sat in drydock listening to his rival's boy prattle on about holystoning his face. Hell, he's p----d more salt water than Sam's sailed over.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

"it was ruled for me"

It would be interesting to know more of this dispute-settlement process. Sam obviously had more familiarity with the legal bases of his authority and responsibilities than Penn. Perhaps Penn withdrew once chapter & verse were cited, and conceded the point, so that "it was ruled for me." But could they have appealed to a lawyer or magistrate of some sort?

Penn & Batten, old salts, appear to have resented young landlubber Pepys, but accepted him for his abilities and, quite likely, because of his patron's clout. The arrival at the Navy office of yet another old salt, Minnes, may have encouraged Penn to challenge Sam. If so, he appears to have been routed with what seems like suspicious ease. Interesting office politics.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Sir W. Pen ...a base raskall and so I shall remember him while I live.

Maybe Penn backs off when he sees Sam is fighting mad and ready to take the question up the chain of command?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Coventry is the new power in the office with a direct line to the Boss of Bosses, York. Penn clearly hoped to drive Pepys out of the loop for good by establishing him in front of Coventry as a mere "chief clerk" with no real influence over those lucrative contracts...So much for those nice gifts and the eager vendors bearing them...Instead of being one of the principal officers which the Clerk of the Acts had always been. It probably is a blow at Sandwich as well as Sam but Pepys had to counter it or face been seen as irrelevant to the real business in Coventry's eyes.

Ruben  •  Link

pecking order
Let's not forget that for Mr. Pepys, the Navy Office is a promotion.
Mr. Pepys, the tailor's son, is going up socially like a balloon.
Sir Willam's, both, on the contrary, received their post at this important but backwater place, as a consolation prize. They think of themself as experts in seafaring, but what the Office needs is good administration. They know that.
They do not mind young Pepys doing the work, if they get the credit...and the monies involved.
Still they resent being there, where apparently there is no action, only paper work. They, captains of the seven seas, and masters of the life and death of their crews, now find themselfs anchored at a office, commanding a few clerks.
Pepys got there because of Sandwich's position, that is very strong. The others have no way to stop him, and provoking him, they only make matters worse for themselfs.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Coventry is the new power in the office

Thanks Robert. I get it now, I think.

E  •  Link

Do we know that the Sir Williams would rather be at sea?

There is many a seafarer who would like a safe berth on shore. Home with the family every day, able to protect their own property themselves in the way that Pepys is doing with Tom Trice, and a steady income as opposed to the risks of the sea. Of course, trying to maximise the money you get out of the shore job is also sensible.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Re: 530 quid: how many people? doth have year and half's income socked away after 2 years of work in this prestagious position?, plus all the nicknacks, fancy paintings, and trips to the teatro so often, trips in a private limo, and have 4 servants[to remove the extra nutrition] to boot, house overhauled and upgraded, not many I doth think?
Re: Clerk, it be 'OF' not 'TO' for Sam and 'TO' and not 'FOR' for Turner:
like another word that has been degraded, Secretary TO or OF;
There be a world of differance;
Kipling wrote a nice poem of another insignificant two letter word "IF"
Coventry has been already setting up his power as an MP, by getting the Sea Lords to provide Barges for the Royals [with parliament's ok , may be one of the reasons, he got this sideline, on top of his other interests ]and has already used his parliamentary skills in the Commons.
Speech be and tone be, one of the major controllling factors to rising to the top, far more useful than substance, the power of words used judiciously be of importance.

Josh  •  Link

Re "heads": an old term for the main points to be addressed in a text or discourse---as in framing a case to argue in court, or the "heads" of a sermon.

Mary  •  Link

"two or three aldermen to raise fines"

Interesting note from L&M here. This was a frequently-used money-raising device in all municipalities. An alderman could be nominated, sworn in on one day and then immediately discharged and guaranteed freedon from all further election to office on payment of a hefty fine. (£400 in one recorded case).

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Great piece Mary, not unsimilar today, raise funds by the plate load.

Araucaria  •  Link

Dirk, re combining office and home life:

Pepys is living in Navy office accommodations, as a perquisite of his line of work. It may have happened that his cellar was the one with the big padlock on it. And probably Sandwich trusted him to keep an eye on things.

I also noted how Sam controlled access to the money, but Shepley kept the key. Simple method for each to keep the other honest. The antecedent of a safe deposit box.

But a thief would simply break into the room, so Sam still has to set up the 'autodimmer' to make it look like someone's up and about.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M note the Comptroller (whose duties were miscellaneous and enormous) had long ceased to draft contracts, and the Clerk of the Acts, in taking over this and other work, had assumed the major share of business in the office. Over time the duties of the Principal Officers of the Navy Board had changed. 25 July Pepys records Batten's umbrage at Pepys's objection to merchants having gone to Batten's house to make contracts. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1… It was a far cry from 1600 and 1617 when the duties of the Clerk of the Acts were defined (as the title suggests) as merely those of registering the decisions of the board.

Tonyel  •  Link

A nice point by the Old Salt about the difference between OF and TO.
The modern equivalents could be Chief Assistant and Assistant Chief.

Nick Hedley  •  Link

I am assuming that the £530 is in cash/gold, possibly after deducting his monthly debts. But I understand that he also hold some land in Bampton; does anyone get any sense of whether the capital value of this land is included?

Bill  •  Link

"three chests of the crusados, being about 6000l."

Back in the annotations of 22 November 1660 I showed that 1000£ in gold (in then-current British coinage) would weigh 8.86 kilograms. So, if the Crusadoes are priced accordingly, 6000l. would weigh about 53 kg. or about 117 (American) pounds. Three heavy chests.

I like the old "candle in the dining-room window" trick. Not sure it would fool the men who delivered the chests if they wanted to return later that night.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

My understanding of the Brampton situation is that Sam was uncle Robert's heir, but that his father, John Pepys, was to have possession and income therefrom during his lifetime.

Therefore Sam's reckoning of his own worth will exclude this legacy for now.


Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘head . . 30. A chief or principal point or division of a discourse, subject, etc.; each of a set or succession of such points or divisions; (more generally) a point, a category, a topic, a matter . .
. . 1632 J. Story tr. Short Surv. Sweden sig. A3, The Contents or principall heads handled in this whole Discourse.
1652 T. Gataker Antinomianism 5 We were acknowledged to agree in those two heds.
1667 N. Fairfax Let. 29 May in H. Oldenburg Corr. (1966) III. 421 The following observations come under ye head of Idiosyncrasis or ye By roads of Nature . . ‘

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Yesterday (Sir R. Ford told me) the Aldermen of the City did attend her in their habits, and did present her with a gold Cupp and 1000l. in gold therein.:

L&M: On 1 June Common Council had voted to the Queen 1000 twenty-shilling gold pieces 'in a rich purse' (not cup) 'with all humble congratulation' on her safe arrival: LRO, Journals 45, f. 215r.

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