Sunday 19 October 1662

(Lord’s day). Got me ready in the morning and put on my first new laceband; and so neat it is, that I am resolved my great expense shall be lacebands, and it will set off any thing else the more. So walked to my brother’s, where I met Mr. Cooke, and discoursing with him do find that he and Tom have promised a joynture of 50l. to his mistress, and say that I did give my consent that she should be joyntured in 30l. per ann. for Sturtlow, and the rest to be made up out of her portion. At which I was stark mad, and very angry the business should be carried with so much folly and against my mind and all reason. But I was willing to forbear discovering of it, and did receive Mrs. Butler, her mother, Mr. Lull and his wife, very civil people, very kindly, and without the least discontent, and Tom had a good and neat dinner for us. We had little discourse of any business, but leave it to one Mr. Smith on her part and myself on ours. So we staid till sermon was done, and I took leave, and to see Mr. Moore, who recovers well; and his doctor coming to him, one Dr. Merrit, we had some of his very good discourse of anatomy, and other things, very pleasant. By and by, I with Mr. Townsend walked in the garden, talking and advising with him about Tom’s business, and he tells me he will speak with Smith, and says I offer fair to give her 30l. joynture and no more.

Thence Tom waiting for me homewards towards my house, talking and scolding him for his folly, and telling him my mind plainly what he has to trust to if he goes this way to work, for he shall never have her upon the terms they demand of 50l..

He left me, and I to my uncle Wight, and there supped, and there was pretty Mistress Margt. Wight, whom I esteem very pretty, and love dearly to look upon her. We were very pleasant, I droning with my aunt and them, but I am sorry to hear that the news of the selling of Dunkirk1 is taken so generally ill, as I find it is among the merchants; and other things, as removal of officers at Court, good for worse; and all things else made much worse in their report among people than they are. And this night, I know not upon what ground, the gates of the City ordered to be kept shut, and double guards every where. So home, and after preparing things against to-morrow for the Duke, to bed.

Indeed I do find every body’s spirit very full of trouble; and the things of the Court and Council very ill taken; so as to be apt to appear in bad colours, if there should ever be a beginning of trouble, which God forbid!

46 Annotations

First Reading

Jeannine  •  Link

"And this night, I know not upon what ground, the gates of the City ordered to be kept shut, and double guards every where."
Does anyone know why?

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"joyntured in 30l. per annum for Sturtlow"
Can someone explain the economics of this pre nuptial agreement?

daniel  •  Link

"that I am resolved my great expense shall be lacebands"

Well, we can now see that the Restoration is in full swing.

JWB  •  Link

Gates shut
Fear a reprise of the Battle of the Dunes upon sale of Dunkirk.

Terry F  •  Link

"And this night...the gates of the City ordered to be kept shut, and double guards every where."

L&M note: "There is no trace of any order to this effect in the principal city records or in those of the Privy Council (which occasionally issued directions to this effect). There were rumours of a plot at this time...."

Leslie Katz  •  Link


Tony, I don't know if this is what you had in mind, but here's my understanding, which I set out once before when the topic arose.

What was being demanded was that, before marriage, the intended husband should make himself and his intended wife joint owners of some piece of land which could bring in forty pounds a year. The fact that the ownership would be ?joint? would mean that, on the death of one of the spouses, the other spouse would automatically become the sole owner of the land. Obviously, the demand was being made on the proposed wife?s behalf because it was expected that the proposed husband would die before her and that, in that event, she?d be able to obtain the forty pounds annually in her widowhood.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Hey, brotherly affection can only go so far...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Charles in Council...

"So how much do you suppose we could get for London?"

Pauline  •  Link

"...the rest to be made up out of her portion..."
Leslie, so I take it in this case Tom has asked that the bride contribute 20 pounds, added to his 30 pounds for a 50 pound jointure.

"...he goes this way to work, for he shall never have her upon the terms they demand of 50l..."
?? That she will not agree to use 20 pounds of her portion to up the jointure to 50 pounds???

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

So Lxvi gets his money back.
Brilliant move Deals without the support of the common group of elected and friends. Charles gets his spending money for his pleasures [wot dothe a man live for] and the merchants of the London pay the tab in lost good sales and a place to deliver the goods to the Europeans rather than suffer the expense of doing business in Amsterdam , ['tis better than paying customs duties]
Charles be following his father's foots steps making deals without the consent of the elected one as they be sidelined for a few months. I do think that the rumblings will make charles a little more careful, what with his Vatican leanings and ruling by edict.

Australian Susan  •  Link

It was Oliver Cromwell who captured Dunkirk for the nation, but Charles is content to profit from Cromwell's sucesses - there has been no question of him handing back Dunkirk to the French as a recompense for suffering of France from renegade English Navy under usurper etc. Remeber those Warner Bros cartoons when, if they wanted to show a character was obsessed with money, they showed dollar signs for his pupils in his eyes? That sort of image comes to my mind with Charles in this instance.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

I've added some titbits on Dunkirk,donqerque,et al.

chris  •  Link

Louis XVI is some way from being born..n'est-ce pas?

Mary  •  Link

"I droning with my aunt and them"

L&M reads "drolling", which makes for a livelier-sounding evening.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

Leslie, many thanks for the explanation - presumably Sam is "stark mad" because Tom has accepted the 50l. proposal without the protracted haggling that would be the norm.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

So, prenuptial agreement has a long history!...

Jeannine  •  Link

"Charles gets his spending money for his pleasures"
Oh Look, Lady Castlemaine is counting it out for him right now.... one for Charles, two for me, one for Charles, three for me, one for Charles, four for me.....

Terry and JWB-Thanks for checking out the closing of the gates!

A. Hamilton  •  Link

plus ca change

"Indeed I do find every body�s spirit very full of trouble; and the things of the Court and Council very ill taken; so as to be apt to appear in bad colours, if there should ever be a beginning of trouble, which God forbid!"

Apt description of the current state of mind in DC, where there has been plenty of trouble. The rollercoaster ups and downs of political life, where one person is in charge and the cars are full of second-guessers.

Pedro  •  Link

And unbeknown to Sam...

"During the autumn he (Sandwich) was fully employed in a secret committee that negotiated the sale of Dunkirk."

(from Ollard's Biography of Sandwich)

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Jointure, etc.

Below are links to the two inter-related 1911 Britanica artices:-……

For any one intersted in pursuing further this is the link to
Blackstone (Vol II Of Things):-…

However, they should be aware that beyond the most basic definitions,
many hundreds of years scrutiny by the finest legal minds was able to
turn English land law into an intricate and delicate web of concepts
of such complexity that an attempt to come to grips with strings and
black holes can seem like light relief.

Stolzi  •  Link

And another plus ca change
from yesterday:

"I could hardly sleep, though not in much trouble, but only multitude of thoughts."

EXACTLY what's happened to me more than once.

On the mechanism of jointure - the practice of "community property with right of survivorship" has carried this provision for the surviving spouse - more often the widow - into our own day. At least, it is very common in the USA.

I have a friend who went through a good deal of trouble recently when her husband died and several of his investments were held only in his name.

Stolzi  •  Link

"Restoration in full swing"

It was Charles himself, as I recall, who led the fashion of darker and plainer clothes for the gentry, though in his case not for reasons of sparing expense I am sure. So that Pepys' plans of economy can go less observed...and oh, those fine lace bands!

language hat  •  Link

"all things else made much worse in their report among people than they are"

Ah, Sam's become a true government man. If only those ungrateful people would shut up and realize that we know more than they do and are slaving night and day for their benefit! But he's a regular guy:

"...there was pretty Mistress Margt. Wight, whom I esteem very pretty, and love dearly to look upon her."

Mary  •  Link

The relationship between jointure and portion.

According to an L&M footnote, at this period the average ratio of jointure to portion was one to six. Later in the century it became one to ten. Sam seems to doubt that Tom's intended will bring a sufficiently large portion to the marriage to warrant a jointure of £50

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

'htis' be my left eye faster than my rite 'i' "Louis XVI is some way from being born..n?est-ce pas?" thanks,merci .

Terry F  •  Link

I read it rite, but answered otherwise to allay anxiety about the French Revolution, which occurred at the end of the 18th century after the American:

"Louis XVI (August 23, 1754 ? January 21, 1793), was King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then King of the French in 1791-1792. Suspended and arrested during the insurrection of the 10th of August, he was tried by the National Convention, found guilty of treason with the enemy, and guillotined on January 21, 1793. He is interred in the Chapelle Expiatoire in Paris."…

Terry F  •  Link

(I was answering indirectly about Louis's: the XIV took us well into the 18th century; so by implication, the XVI would be thereafter; etc.)

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"my aunt and them"
An interesting construction, still heard colloquially in parts of the U.S., as in "How's your mom and them?"

BTW, many intriguing and enlightening annotations today. I'm especially glad that Mary corrected "droning" to "drolling." Thanks to all.

Leslie Katz  •  Link

"Leslie, so I take it in this case Tom has asked that the bride contribute 20 pounds, added to his 30 pounds for a 50 pound jointure."

Pauline, what I think is happening is this:

The intended bride would be bringing property to the marriage which, all other things being equal, would become the intended husband's to do with as he wished.

The intended bride's side was now saying, in effect, that some of the property she was to bring would be used, not as the intended husband saw fit, but instead to buy sufficient additional land (held jointly by husband and wife) to ensure an income of 20 pounds per year.

That 20 pounds per year income, added to the original 30, would mean that, if the husband died before the wife, the widow would be assured of an income of 50 pounds per year in her widowhood.

(I think I should add here that the last time I had anything to do with land law was as a student in 1963 and that, even in those remote days, all this jointure business was ancient history, so I could be quite wrong about this.)

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"...We were very pleasant, I droning with my aunt and them..." Sam droning on, I thought only little sis did that?

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

P.S sorry missed Mary's correction.

Pauline  •  Link

'the average ratio of jointure to portion was one to six.'
Leslie, Mary,
So the 50 pounds jointure, taking 20 pounds from her portion, may mean that her "portion" is in the realm of 300 pounds minus the 20 = 280 pounds.

Her 'portion', what she brings to the marriage or what she is given by the groom? Or what is jointly put together for her security?
The 'jointure' what he brings to the marriage, or what they agree to hold in common?

Sounds like Sam may be worried that by uping the jointure out of her portion 'security' might strike her advisors as against her interests.

Alas, better that these two were in a fit of passion to overrule all this!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Speaking of the Louis...

Interesting, to go utterly off topic, that at the beginning of the summit of absolutism under Louis XIV we're only 120 or so years from disaster (from his pov anyway, I don't quite buy Simon Schrama's argument about the joys the Old Regime was just about to bring to French peasants when they made their silly mistake).

And to balance Sam as Louis XIV becomes a major player in the entries, there's a wonderful memoir of his regime and court by the Duke of Saint-Simon at Project Gutenberg.…

Leslie Katz  •  Link

"So the 50 pounds jointure, taking 20 pounds from her portion, may mean that her �portion� is in the realm of 300 pounds minus the 20 = 280 pounds."


I�d like to start again.

I think the fundamental idea to grasp is that the property she brings to the marriage (her portion) will become his to do with as he wishes, including dissipating it all. She wants protection against that, especially if she should outlive him. So she or her advisers insist that, on marriage, some piece(s) of property be put into their names jointly, NOT in common. If jointly owned, if one dies, the other automatically gets it or them. If owned in common, each can leave his/her interest in the property to anyone. The property to be held jointly has to bring in a certain income per year, insisted on by the bride�s side. Obviously, a property that can bring in x pounds per year will cost more than x pounds. Maybe it�ll cost 10x. I assume that the ratio of cost to annual income was a well known calculation at that time.

As I understand it, SP had some property which would bring in 30 pounds a year and, as far as he knew, that was an acceptable jointure from the bride�s side. Now it seems her side is upping the requirement. Additional property will be needed to be held jointly, so as to bring in another 20 pounds a year. That property�s going to cost more than 20 pounds. If my wild figure of 10x is right, it�ll cost 200 pounds. If the purchase of the additional property is funded by her portion, that will dramatically decrease the immediate benefit to the groom of gaining her portion.

Mary  •  Link

Thanks to Leslie

for that interpretation of the prenuptial negotiations that are going on here. It makes good sense of Sam's financial objections to such a contract.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

I am of the belief that the typical return on monies then, be between 6 to 8 percent, 10% would be considered usury, only to be offered to those that have no assets. Credit card was held to that, but has been upped now to 20% approx depending on ones way of paying it off.

Many of to-days lasses, have never kept a trunk, to put away nice linens and other necessaries for the hopefull day of saying I dothe. Bothe parties had to bring sumat to the marriage bed.

Leslie Katz  •  Link

"I am of the belief that the typical return on monies then, be between 6 to 8 percent, 10% would be considered usury"

I agree that the laws against usury at the time prevented lending money at more than a certain rate of interest, but I'm not sure that's the territory we're in here. I believe we're here talking about the return you could get by renting out land, rather than by renting out money.

When renting out land, couldn't the landlord charge whatever the traffic would bear? If you could recover your investment by getting 10 years' rental, that would just mean that it was better to be a renter of land than to be a renter of money.

In fact, the devices used to disguise the lending out of money at greater than the permitted rate (such as were much later used by that great hypocrite, Wordsworth), seem to me to reinforce the idea that the return on the rental of land must have exceeded that on the rental of money.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Valid point, the Bishop of London turned his run down palace into tenements in the past year [1661/62], after getting permission,to do so by the House of Lords. Renting lands out were to prevent loss do to fluctations in costs.
For high return on wealth was granted by having Charles give one the right of control of businesses and markets .
No one was allowed to have a competing business within 7 mile i.e. two hours walk or expensive cabby fare. [see P143 L Picard Restoration London]
Big returns were the perogatives/investments in various shipping groups with the big risks, not unlike today except it risky.
Farm land, I do not think could sustain higher rates of return.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"...30l. per ann..." was a sizable income, but Sam be shrewd, did rent/ sublet his old digs for more than he was paying [ it be in the diary after he got his nice digs at Seething Lane].

Australian Susan  •  Link

The general "rule" here [Australia] about renting property seems to be that you can expect to rent a property worth $250,000 for $250 a week. In a seller's market, this means renting is expensive. Not sure how that equates to conditions and expectations in the 17th century, but around 1800, if you had 1000 pounds in capital [investment unspecified] you could expect 100 pounds income [source: Jane Austen's novels, which all have shrewd monetary underpinnings if you look beneath the romance].

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Anyone reading that (warmly honest) line of Elizabeth Bennet's as to Darcy's sudden increase in attractiveness on seeing his estate knows exactly what you mean, Susan.

E.Hooles  •  Link

Do France still technically own Dunkirk?

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Dunkirk had been acquired from Spain in 1658m and was now sold to France for 5 m. livres by a treaty signed on 7/17 October. A deputation of London merchants went ti Whitehall at about this time to protest that the surrender would make Dunkirk 'the Harbour of all the Privateers', and the King therefore asked Louis XIV to issue an edict against the corsairs. But the privateers, based on Dunkirk and thereabouts, inflicted millions of pounds' worth of damage on English shipping during the Anglo-French wars of the following hundred years. In the period 1656-1783 English prize goods totaling almost £6 m. were sold in Dunkirk prize-courts alone. Jean Bart, greatest of the privateers, flourished c. 1667-1701.… (L&M note)

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘jointure, n. < F jointure < L junctūra . .
. . 4. spec. a. orig. The holding of property to the joint use of a husband and wife for life or in tail, as a provision for the latter, in the event of her widowhood. Hence, by extension:

b. A sole estate limited to the wife, being ‘a competent livelihood of freehold for the wife of lands and tenements, to take effect upon the death of the husband for the life of the wife at least’ (Coke upon Littleton, 36 b).
. . 1684 A. Wood Life & Times (1894) III. 95 He had married a widdow of 700 li. per annum joynter.
1767 W. Blackstone Comm. Laws Eng. II. viii. 137 A jointure..strictly speaking, signifies a joint estate, limited to both husband and wife, but in common acceptation extends also to a sole estate, limited to the wife only . . ‘

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.