Saturday 7 June 1662

To the office, where all the morning, and I find Mr. Coventry is resolved to do much good, and to enquire into all the miscarriages of the office. At noon with him and Sir W. Batten to dinner at Trinity House; where, among others, Sir J. Robinson, Lieutenant of the Tower, was, who says that yesterday Sir H. Vane had a full hearing at the King’s Bench, and is found guilty; and that he did never hear any man argue more simply than he in all his life, and so others say.

My mind in great trouble whether I should go as I intended to Hampton Court to-morrow or no. At last resolved the contrary, because of the charge thereof, and I am afraid now to bring in any accounts for journeys, and so will others I suppose be, because of Mr. Coventry’s prying into them.

Thence sent for to Sir G. Carteret’s, and there talked with him a good while. I perceive, as he told me, were it not that Mr. Coventry had already feathered his nest in selling of places, he do like him very well, and hopes great good from him. But he complains so of lack of money, that my heart is very sad, under the apprehension of the fall of the office. At my office all the afternoon, and at night hear that my father is gone into the country, but whether to Richmond as he intended, and thence to meet us at Hampton Court on Monday, I know not, or to Brampton. At which I am much troubled. In the evening home and to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

"he did never hear any man argue more simply than he in all his life, and so others say."

In this instance, says the Companion's Large Glossary, "simply" means like a simple[ton], a fool, i.e., "foolishly."

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Sir H. Vane....and is found guilty"
"Tried in 1662,he chose to defend himself by vindicating Parliamentary sovereingty,and the King went back on his word"..."nevertheless he stood for two of the great liberal principles of modern English history,Parliamentary sovereignty,and religious freedom"
cf C.P.Hill, Stuart Britain.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"I am afraid now to bring in any accounts for journeys, and so will others I suppose be, because of Mr. Coventry's prying into them.”
Plenty of people today have sudden queasiness about their expense accounts when the horrid word tax audit hoves into view over the previously sunny horizon……
Despite this, Sam seems pleased with the new Commissioner - thinks he will be a diligent worker rather than someone who justs takes the money (Berkeley).

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Bad time to be an upright and dangerously modern man, Sir Harry. What with so many of your former colleagues in the Commonwealth (Sandwich, Penn, and to a much lesser extent given their happy and rapid coat changes, Batten, Downing) desperately trying not to look their old comrades on show trial for their lives in the face the last thing they need is for you to simply remain blameless, honest, and true to their old principles.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

It is all in the timing and 'wot be rit' with your John Hancock. If one gets in the Ring with the other pernicious smiling self servers. Luck better be on ones side. See Monke stayed in Scotland and listening to breeze of enough blood sheding, Sandwich was sidelined a couple of years back after couple of misdeeds, that be where be young Sam kept his lordship full appraised of the machinations of whitehall.

Vane did have allies that got his petition thu the common lot and thru the lordly ones, but Carlos would not hear of it and so the petition be in vain. [groan]
Interesting read the house journals, although too brief.
one of the entries...
"..., That this House doth agree with the Lords, as to Sir Henry Vane's standing excepted in the Act of General Pardon and Oblivion; in the same sort as is offered in the Amendments from the Lords.
Resolved, That this House doth agree with the Lords..."From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 24 August 1660', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 133-35. URL:…. Date accessed: 08 June 2005.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

The Expense sheet, now't has changed, if ye be the payer, ye need a magnifying glass before passing the padded document to A/C payoffice, if ye be payee, submit the document with as many papers supporting the reason for first class seat [IE: plane full and no more cheap seats for a week] in after the leader of Macnarmarras band be enjoying happy hour.

Mary  •  Link

Carteret's antipathy to Coventry.

L&M Companion points out that, although Sandwich and Carteret remained resolutely hostile to Coventry and relished these charges that C. had feathered his own nest, Pepys came to admire his gifts for administration and for his determination to reform the navy. Coventry had (as was normal practice at the time) accepted money for places, but he never sold officers' commissions; he favoured the appointment of experienced naval men to offices of command rather than gentleman-captains and, after 1664, commuted his own income from fees into a fixed salary of £500 per annum.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

But he [Carteret] complains so of lack of money, that my heart is very sad, under the apprehension of the fall of the office.

Any takers? Here's what I make of it. The Treasurer of the Navy says funds are low. Sam apprehends this to foretell a reduced flow of business through the Navy office (less cable, tallow, new ships). Is it wrong to think he is also fearful of loss of income, on the assumption that he earns fees with each transaction? And what about the temper of the Sir Williams when they find less opportunity for graft and, to further spoil their sport, Coventry "resolved to do much good."

Nix  •  Link

"did never hear any man argue more simply" --

Here is the description of Vane's courtroom conduct from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

At his trial in king's bench on 6 June Vane vehemently denied doing anything "morally evil": his constant motives had been "Honour, Justice, Reason and Conscience", the "principles of that Righteous Cause" which he would never repudiate (Tryal, 26, 47, 43). He had not acted independently, but by the "then regnant" authority of parliament, which no lesser court could challenge (ibid., 46). Like Lilburne before him Vane protested that his treatment contravened the "lawfull Liberties of English-men", and raised numerous legal objections, which were cursorily dismissed (ibid., 76). The guilty verdict was inevitable.

language hat  •  Link

And another description:

"His trial, by modern standards, was grossly unfair -- though not unusual for the age. It was normal for defendants to be denied counsel and inspection of the indictment, and for judges to sum up for the prosecution, and for juries to be packed. Vane defended himself with all the ability to be expected of him. But that he would be convicted there was never any doubt.

"The regular punishment for high treason involved an excruciating, drawn-out torture. Vane was lucky. He was granted 'the mercy of the axe.'"

From this good description of Vane's life and death:…

Araucaria  •  Link

Re Coventry and Carteret:

New boss comes in, gives inspiring pep talk to key employees.

When excited key employee talks to other boss, the old guard feels threatened and undermines the new one's reputation.

Coventry's words are empty until proven by his actions, but Pepys is young and uncynical enough, though demoralized by Carteret's insinuations, to be prepared to view Coventry with an open mind and give him a decent chance to demonstrate his intentions.

Araucaria  •  Link

"undermines the new one's reputation"

By damning with faint praise, that is.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Re: "for juries to be packed " Juries were never allowed to disagree with the Bench, if they did they would be found a room at the local nick until they came to their senses. The recorded first, to defy a judge and get away with the act of defiance was Wm. Pen Jr. [he of state fame].

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Juries were never allowed to disagree with the Bench

On the memorable occasion in 1735 when a colonial New York jury of freeholders disagreed with the bench and found printer John Peter Zenger not guilty of libeling the governor, the crown would have caused riots if it had tried to overturn the verdict or punish the jurors. And so the Zenger case became a part of American common law, and is the underpinning of the 1st amendment language regarding freedom of speech & press.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

There be, in last few days some interesting areas of concern, that keep lawyers and friends busy working.
Power of ??????

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Interesting little insight on Charles given his unwillingness to spare poor Vane (who did not support Charles's dad's execution) while letting those who'd cheered Dad's death of use to him and willing to sufficiently kiss boot, off. Probably to a cynical fellow like Charles, a man who under his mask of congeniality was noted for trusting no one and suspecting all (for understandable reasons), Vane was simply feigning incorruptible virtue and idealism. And of course Parliament was still in some honeymoon glow of royal worship and not yet ready to hear a man speak of their rights and privileges...If poor Sir Harry had somehow survived a few years longer under imprisonment he might have ended their hero again when the wind began changing.

I've always wondered though regarding Charles' amused toleration of Quakers...At least personally (naturally he never openly defied Parliamentary intolerance)...I mean it must have been a hideous life for him after Restoration in some ways, nearly every cheering man around you a former traitor and killer of your father and friends who yet had to be stroked and petted and kept tame...Somewhere in him, did he hope those Friends might prove to be the one honest and truly virtuous set of folks some part of him longed to encounter?

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

The friendly blokes did get under Carlos's skin, but I doth think that he like their audacity when they raised a hat after Fox showed the way. Always smile when in-sulting an Absolute Deity and used multisyllable words [longer the better] and have a Humour [the fifth sense one], also I doth believe that Charles II was amused that the Quakers did tweak the Puritans too.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Re Coventry and Carteret: "New boss comes in, gives inspiring pep talk to key employees"
Carteret is the Boss, Coventry be the Extra Commissioner: [It be like the Stockholders sending in a special envoy into Enron to route out the cash flow leaks, No Power to fire the CEO et al directly], but has the right to review the Books [both Columns], to rat to His Royal princeling, Jimmy, why there be no funds for that extra Ma'n sa'l for his barge.
" Turf" .'Tis why Sam be cooling it with those rides on the boats and Coaches, better be there to explain that chit for the lunch for the tallow man, and the man suppling those mice infested flaky biscuits from Pudding lane [ strange they were still feeding Tommy Akins the same old bickeys in the Sahara Desert in the 40's good for dunking in the old cup of char]
Sam be recompensed for all out of pocket expenses plus a daily allowance for out of Office work.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I think part of the cause of recent power/turf struggles in the office is precisely that Carteret, Penn, etc don't know yet exactly how much power York is giving Coventry, his personal secretary, to reform the Naval Office. A nervous time for everyone until the fog clears...

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

It's interesting that Charles intervened several times to order Quaker Founder George Fox to be released from prison, and also others at Fox's behest. Unlike Oliver Cromwell, Charles never met Fox personally, despite receiving letters of advice from him. Cromwell too did his best to protect Quakers when possible.

Thus it was that a small sect survived to have influence out of all proportion to its numbers, because of Quakers' key role in advancing the industrial revolution. From chocolate to railways, Quakers had a finger in the pie. For example, because the Pease family financed the Stockton-Darlington railway, the "Stephenson gauge" of 4 ft 8½ inches is used on 60% of the world's railways and on all continents except Antarctica.

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