Thursday 16 October 1662

And so I rose in good temper, finding a good chimneypiece made in my upper dining-room chamber, and the diningroom wainscoat in a good forwardness, at which I am glad, and then to the office, where by T. Hater I found all things to my mind, and so we sat at the office till noon, and then at home to dinner with my wife. Then coming Mr. Creede in order to some business with Sir J. Minnes about his accounts, this afternoon I took him to the Treasury office, where Sir John and I did stay late paying some money to the men that are saved out of the Satisfaction that was lost the other day. The King gives them half-pay, which is more than is used in such cases, for they never used to have any thing, and yet the men were most outrageously discontented, and did rail and curse us till I was troubled to hear it, and wished myself unconcerned therein. Mr. Creede seeing us engaged took leave of us. Here late, and so home, and at the office set down my journey-journall to this hour, and so shut up my book, giving God thanks for my good success therein, and so home, and to supper, and to bed.

I hear Mr. Moore is in a way of recovery. Sir H. Bennet made Secretary of State in Sir Edward Nicholas’s stead; not known whether by consent or not.

My brother Tom and Cooke are come to town I hear this morning, and he sends me word that his mistress’s mother is also come to treat with us about her daughter’s portion and her jointure, which I am willing should be out of Sturtlow lands.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Bob T  •  Link

The King gives them half-pay, which is more than is used in such cases, for they never used to have any thing.

The ship went down, and your pay was on board Buddy. Get another berth and hope that it doesn't happen again.

Australian Susan  •  Link

By the middle of the 18th century, sailors' pay was delibrately kept six months in arrears to try to prevent the sailors jumping ship, so dreadful were conditions on board and so difficult was it to get sufficient men. Somehow, I don't think Sam would have liked that: he is usually anxious to get ships paid off promptly.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

A good read be the "2 yrs before the mast".

A. Hamilton  •  Link

No mention here of being saddle sore.

Re CGS:"Two years before the mast, and twenty-four years after: a personal narrative." Dana, Richard Henry, 1815-1882.…

udge  •  Link

Not just a 17th century attitude: the White Star Line stopped paying the crew of the Titanic after the ship sank, on the grounds that they were not working.

Dave Bell  •  Link

Yes, it was a hard life on board a King's ship, but it was a hard life everywhere, by our standards. And warships had enough men on board, compared to a merchant ship, to make the sailing of the ship relatively easy.

Be careful not to read too much from later history into the RN of Sam's time. It was still the custom to lay ships up for the winter, not just to save money but also because of winter storms. Sam's Navy could not have sustained a year-round blockade of hostile ports.

So these seamen being paid off would probably not have expected to easily find new berths at this time of year.

Xjy  •  Link

"enough men on board"
Warships also had a big gang of naval cops on board to protect the officers from the crew. Obviously the crew had too much time on their hands so they were plotting seditiona and mutiny most of the time ;-)

J A Gioia  •  Link

A good read be the '2 yrs before the mast'

o.t.: but let me second this. a neglected american classic; not only an excellent account of the sailor's life ca. 1830, but a wonderful glimpse of spanish california before the gringos arrived in number. (the ship - out of boston - traded up and down the coast)

celtcahill  •  Link

I do not remember the author's name but the book " Mutiny" on which the4 movie " Damn the Defiance " was based, and also " Billy Budd " give good flavor to the seafaring of the 1700's 1800's.

I note, too, that Sam really is in very good health with all the waling he does, and riding a coach and horse are physically demanding tasks too.

Good thing especially considering his kidney trouble.

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

Witholding a portion of the pay was alive and well in the US Merchant Marine in the late 1950s. I could draw only half the pay earned on the voyage. At the end of the voyage I got the rest - in cash. This may have worked a little different for married crew.

This was not due to bad living conditions on board as the food was OK on the ships I was on but I heard horror stories from past years. It was a hold over and an incentive not to get drunk and say "Oh, well" I can always get another ship and keep on partying.


Glyn  •  Link

It's strange that he hasn't mentioned it so far, but one of his tasks at this time of year would have been paying off the ships that have been docked for the winter.

Much of the fleet won't be sailing at this time of year - less trade and the winter storms are too dangerous - so they are put into port until the spring with just a maintenance crew, and the rest are paid off. They would then be hired again in the spring.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

So "wot's" new. People are only a commodity, which doethe breathe.
N.B. the modern loss of positions in the N.O. Disaster. 'Tis why one is told to save for the rainy day, [ do not rely on ready credit from ones friendly bank] but who has savings like Our Mr. P. socks full. bee a source for discussion on the other site.

Terry F  •  Link

"I hear....Sir H. Bennet made Secretary of State in Sir Edward Nicholas?s stead; not known whether by consent or not."

L&M note "Nicholas was now close on 70, and had been Secretary for almost 20 years. He received a *douceur* of £10,000 from the King and kept his place in the Privy Council. The King had obtained his consent - 'he would not do it otherwise' (as Clarendon later wrote) 'to so old and faithful a servant'...But Nicholas was loath to go and to have appealed to Clarendon to save him...His resignation was a victory for the young royalists over the old guard led by Clarendon, Southampton and Ormond"

Australian Susan  •  Link

Another good book (which I will put details of in background reading) is "Scurvy" by R. Bown. This details the removal of the threat of scurvy from the Royal Navy, but there is much detail about the Navy in earlier times. In particular (and don't read this whilst eating) there is a very detailed description of what life was like for ordinary sailors in the early years of the 18th century on board ship. It is truly horrid. All that would have changed since Sam's day is that the ships would have been smaller, fewer people on board, they would have spent less time at sea (less risk of scurvy) and the guns would have been smaller. Otheriwse it's an accurate insight.
Amazon ref:…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Mr. Creede seeing us engaged took leave of us."

Angry, brutally tough seamen waving fists in rage...

"Well, Pepys. Sir John. I see you'll be occupied for some time..."

"Kill them all, bloody rotten leeches!" Sounds of chairs being broken against the floor...

" I'll take my leave of you." Mad dash for door.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Scurvy became only a big problem when the skippers led their Sailors on long sea cruises away from land. The Portuguese Islands of Madeira, Canary's,Verdes Isles, Sao Tome, Azores and finally the Cape of Good Hope helped to keep the problem under control by supplying?? fresh foods. When they the Kapitans failed to use these facilities, mainly because of the winds of the earth and politics exposed the poor blighters to the land of the fires looking for Drakes Passage, where there be a lack of the shelf goods..

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Charles : this be the second time that Charles understood the power of pence to keep the peons dampped down, if He had not, there would have been a real reason to call out the local Militia, which would have cost more of the near empty treasury, that he could ill afford, as so much of the postage and beer income, he be keeping for his idolizers in comforters.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a good chimneypiece made in my upper dining-room chamber"

Fireplace mantel or mantelpiece, also known as a chimneypiece, originated in medieval times as a hood that projected over a grate to catch the smoke. The term has evolved to include the decorative framework around the fireplace, and can include elaborate designs extending to the ceiling. Mantelpiece is now the general term for the jambs, mantel shelf, and external accessories of a fireplace. For many centuries, the chimneypiece was the most ornamental and most artistic feature of a room.…

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Never pay out a contract before the work is complete. Never. Until heaven reigns on earth this will always true.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir John and I did stay late paying some money to the men that are saved out of the Satisfaction that was lost the other day. The King gives them half-pay, which is more than is used in such cases, for they never used to have any thing,"

L&M: For the wreck, see… and…
The King's order (which refers to the rarity of this bounty) was transmitted to the Board by the Admiral on 14 October: PRO, Adm. 106/7, f.212r. The total paid was c. £420: Adm. 20/3, p. 330.

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