Tuesday 27 January 1662/63

Up and to the office, where sat till two o’clock, and then home to dinner, whither by and by comes Mr. Creed, and he and I talked of our Tangier business, and do find that there is nothing in the world done with true integrity, but there is design along with it, as in my Lord Rutherford, who designs to have the profit of victualling of the garrison himself, and others to have the benefit of making the Mole, so that I am almost discouraged from coming any more to the Committee, were it not that it will possibly hereafter bring me to some acquaintance of great men. Then to the office again, where very busy till past ten at night, and so home to supper and to bed.

I have news this day from Cambridge that my brother hath had his bachelor’s cap put on; but that which troubles me is, that he hath the pain of the stone, and makes bloody water with great pain, it beginning just as mine did. I pray God help him.

38 Annotations

First Reading

Ding Kalis  •  Link

I'm not sure how Sam will benefit from "some acquaintance of great men" if they are all as busy as Rutherford, lining their pockets.Unless he's there for a lesson from the pro's, that is?

Australian Susan  •  Link

"there is nothing in the world done with true integrity, but there is design along with it,"
So true down the ages. If anyone in the northern hemisphere has been reading the small print of their news and has been hearing what the Australian Wheat Board has been up with wheat sales to Iraq, you will know why I find this entry particularly apt.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Why else be millions spent to elect a man who will earn as a salary so little.
Juvenal, Satirae, I,112-123 doth quote
"Quandoquidem inter nos santissima dividiarum maiestas, esti funesta pecunia templo nondum habitas."
Amongs you, The god most revered is Wealth, but so far it has no Temple of its own. ad 60-117.
Every day there be examples, no body worries, as they be in the line up when they get the opportunity.

wildtubes  •  Link

Wildtubes feels for Sam's brother. OOOOOWWWWWWWWWW !

Terry F  •  Link

Those who seemed to be co-conspirators in "graft" or "lagniappe", Messrs. Creed and Pepys, now appear to deplore the schemes of Lord Rutherford and others "to have the profit of victualling of the garrison...and...the benefit of making the Mole"....
Or are Sam and Creed confessing to themselves a maximk universal and (thank you, On Water Writ) ancient that applies to themselves as well?
And what, indeed, is the answer to the question posed by Ding Kalis?

Bradford  •  Link

It is almost endearing to see Sam codify for himself what nowadays one would learn, early on, in Worldly Wisdom 101. One has to get disillusioned sometime, or never move beyond this basic premise to a more nuanced view of human motivation.

"I have news this day from Cambridge that my brother hath had his bachelor’s cap put on": is this a ceremony symbolic of reaching a certain stage of education, or a metaphor for matriculation itself?
Note, b/t/way, that this is the elder brother John, not tongue-tied Tom; see link for a summary of his short, sad, not untypical life.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

do find that there is nothing in the world done with true integrity,

I think this speaks for Sam's innocence in the supposed Creed scam. Creed may be a little twisty, as Sam has observed, but I seriously doubt Sam would have set this entry down if he were indeed conspiring with Creed for graft. The fees he makes for expediting business do not appear to be comparable to the large scale theft he sees, and I think that is a point in his favor.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

some acquaintance of great men

Sam owes his advancement so far not only to his considerable abilities but also to his link to Sandwich and the approbation of Coventry. His way ahead is likely to be through a good reputation among the higher circles at court.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

I agree with A. Hamilton
in remaining unpersuaded that Pepys deliberately undertook to deceive Coventry on Creed's behalf. I understand that others disagree, but please don't treat the matter as a settled conclusion, to be presupposed in further annotations.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"...what, indeed, is the answer to the question posed by Ding Kalis?..."
Without doubt it "not being satisfied with thy self and it surrounds".
That has got us from the cave grubing for a few termites, finding a few fig leaves [to keep warm of course] and a corner of a damp dark cave for day dreaming, to now having the world.
Those that question who I be, have been offered many solutions.
simplistic answer is enjoy 2000 calories a day or less, have 3 tea shirts, and a palliase, all else be luxuries. The Bible states somewhere that we are made in His image, therefore when we see another biped with all the trappings of success, if then we are alike, then we must have the same. It has been found that winner takes all and No 2 be the leader of the losers.
There we have tried many schemes to get the playing field flat and equal with a good ref, but we always find new ways to get that edge.

JWB  •  Link

"... almost discouraged from coming...were it not...to some acquaintance of great men."

"Vice is a creature of such hideous mien... that the more you see it the better you like it." Finley Peter Dunne

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I'm afraid I'm reading Sam's show of disillusion as just that...Show. Much easier to justify your occasional lapses by noting the antics of some of the big fish.

And just imagine our dear Creed putting on his best ex-Puritan to shake his head at such dealings. I've really gotten to enjoy that sly skunk...He must have been quite a character to spend an evening with, if you kept your hand on your wallet at all times.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Robert Gertz

I'm with you in your astute reading of Sam's faults as husband. But when it comes to The Navy, I read Sam as one who seeks value for money in Naval purchases, deplores graft (again, not his apparently accepted practice of fee taking), and is active against those grafters (eg. Batten) whom he can expose. I think he is wholly serious about this. It seems to me that if he wanted to make a killing, he is in an excellent position to do so, and buy himself a knightship. It doesn't happen,
not because he couldn't do it, but because he didn't.

Terry F  •  Link

A. Hamilton

I've been with you regarding Sam's Navy commitment to value for money, but was rather blown away by the evidence that presented itself (sic!), and I displayed, "the supposed Creed scam", while regarding him as 'a very rogue' (Robert Gertz's "sly skunk"; but today's entry sounds truer to the cost- and time-accounting Sam. He does, however, have more than one thing troubling his conscience (personified by Coventry, his super-ego): -- the erroneous pay-bill for Creed; his mixed feelings about Batten; and his own estimated standing and prospects in the Navy Office.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

May I suggest a compromise?

Sam is a complicated, intelligent person full of contradictions, perfectly capable of holding two opposing concepts in his mind at once (which is the mark of a great mind, to paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald). I think our man on the $20 bill (A. Hamilton) is very close in his assessment of Sam, in saying that he deplores large-scale graft, and indeed we've seen many examples of Sam's indignation about those who do not seek value for the "King's money."

But, also as Mr. Hamilton points out, Sam is not above earning a fee or three, and so I wonder if where he draws the line on what he considers corruption is a matter of scale. If so, I think it still could be likely that he was in cahoots with Creed over the six months' pay issue -- perhaps Sam views this as small-scale stuff, akin to a modern worker padding their expense account a bit. As such, he would view it as *very* different to the level of greed involved in Lord Rutherford's "designs to have the profit of victualling of the garrison [for] himself."

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"but there is design along with it"
Not intelligent design one hopes!

The Mollusc  •  Link

I'll chime in here about Sam's perspective on earning a living from (not by) his position.

In the 1600-1850 period, every middling-to-exalted Navy/government job had 'perquisites of office'. These ranged from the bosun on board a ship being able to sell the ship's junk (used and old rope etc), and likewise the cook being able to sell the fat left over from boiling salted meat (often sold to his own ship as lubricant/water-proofing for the running rigging). Let us not forget dockyard superintendants being able to condemn anything in the yard as unfit for use (so that they can sell it privately rather than issue it to the Navy).

Sam has realised that certain Navy Board members and others have conspired with suppliers to not only waste the King's funds (forgiveable if only to a reasonable level) but also put at risk the ability of the navy to go to sea in defence of the realm. The most obvious of these schemes (so far) is to label 'third rate' materials as 'top quality' in order to pay the friendly supplier a 'first rate' price (and share in the profits).

A century or so after Mr Pepys, 'clever' builders will construct a class of large wooden warships with a significant proportion of their vital long copper nails replaced by short plugs, to give the appearance of well-nailed timbers. The absence of structural integrity would allow a ship to tear itself to pieces in a heavy sea, and the evidence to conveniently sink ...until the problem became too notorious to ignore.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

The 4 masters [preceding] make good points. Sam is the norm, and is at least asking.
This Entry today, is The essence of life. [it should be asked of midteens then of the 2nd year College students, should thy accept PAC monies etc.]. Do you go with the crowd/leader or stand by thy own beliefs. Reality or be an Idealistic and starve?
There be so many maxims to give simplistic answers how one should answer ones inner self.
A man needs a good mirror to scutinize his heart as well as his face. Plautus, Epidictus, 382-383

pedro  •  Link

“Lord Rutherford, who designs to have the profit of victualling of the garrison himself”

Maybe the expected profits would be higher in his job than in Sam’s. After all he is putting his neck on the line…

“19 officers and 400 men killed, with Teviot among them, dying at the head of his men.”


Robert Gertz  •  Link

I'm not describing Sam as a crook and I agree he's trying as much as humanly possible to stay on the upright side of things. Not to mention doing a far better and more responsible job of it than others. However I think he's well aware some of his dealings would not pass muster under Parliamentary review, and that even to his Diary he sometimes tries to paint his position in the best possible colors. In his defense, he's facing no pension or insurance for old age, no protection of any kind against poverty for his family as well as himself should he lose position or favor. I don't blame him taking a little off the top so long as it harms no one...neither the men and families under his official charge nor the public interest, but I don't think much of the hypocrisy that leads him to suggest he is not to be measured alongside men like Batten and Penn, who after all, have fought bravely for their country and the causes they believed in. They feel they've done their duty and have earned the right to a little recompense.

Well, ok...Batten managed to believe in a number of causes.

The struggle for Sam's soul continues...Sadly I'd like Coventry to win on a personal level but not as the representative of everything autocratic in government.

Terry F  •  Link

And on the side opposite Coventry, perhaps Creed is playing Sam like a viall (he does come around and hang out).

Clement  •  Link

Rutherford, Earl of Teviot et al.; Sam's 'revolution'

Pedro's link is a reminder of why Batten and Penn, experienced and successful sea captains both, felt so clearly entitled to personal enrichment through their office. After risking life and limb serving multiple and competing allegiances at sea they were settling back to sup at the trough of public servce.

Sam's vision of good administration, fashioned by his own experience and personality (as previously annotated heavily and competively), represents an apparently new and positively revolutionary way of doing business.

Breaking the chain of personal enrichment at the expense of effective management, or at least reducing the chain's girth from anchor to ornamental, set new standards that eventually meant the navy could benefit from the experience of its naval commanders without being choked by their avarice. It seems it did take a while for this to systematize, but Pepys is generally credited with major influence.

In the other debate, I still think Sam abetted Creed, and think Todd B and Robert G have nicely handled the utterly human paradox of Sam's motives.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

I only claim the tens

and there a good living in them

language hat  •  Link

I agree with Todd and Robert.
Yes, Sam is trying to introduce new and better methods. That does not make him a saint, nor mean he was above trying to help himself and his friends in ways that would not bear scrutiny by superiors.

jeannine  •  Link

So, in summary to today's discussion and for all of those members of fast growing SAM CO (Sam As My Moral Compass) movement...this scale of naval morality can easily be applied to your own life. Say your kid has a bag of candy and you'd like some. Under your former strict moral code you would politely ask for a piece and as a "good" parent may have been granted one small measly piece. Under these updated SAMCO guidelines, now you can wait til the kid is asleep and go ahead and help yourself without guilt. Depending upon your level of parental involvement you can write off anything from a small hershey kiss (uninvolved but still a parent) to the whole bag (highly invovled, just gave birth, in process of paying for college, etc.). Life is now so much simpler and what would have been once considered "thievery" among the now outdated stricter moral code of many is now considered, "just and fair compensation for a lifetime of parental giving." I know that today's discussion has amply improved the quality of my life and I thank you all for your input!

george  •  Link

It's also just possible that Sam's disallusion with the Tangier Committee may lie in an increasing awareness that so much of the perks and the profits will be claimed by those higher in the pecking order that there won't be enough left for him. The investment in the time and effort required for committee work won't be worthwhile. Other than those contacts with great men which may be useful in the future...

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Sam has forgotten [maybe?] Sandwich's advice of job be not for the wages, but it be the benefits, [see P 133 Tomlin SPUnS] then on 23 Dec 62 he gave up the privy Seal job because of? [p138]. He does not worry about collecting his allowance [7 bob]for the visits to the Yards and then taking a shanks pony enjoying the ambience, or even his trips to the matted Halls of Power, he gets paid for the trip anyway even if if he does Leg it . [Does he charge off Eliza's use of Carriage ?].
The standard procedure for the Treasurer is to take his due of thrupence for every quid that he signs off on [1.25%], on top of his 2000L a year reward of due diligence.
So Sam is questioning at what point does it become graft and beyond the call of normal, and I dothe think it be about being rewarded, not for taking their vigorish but failing to work for it. [He Dothe mention Batten and Cods 'ead in the same breath]
'Tis like a waiter geting his T[o] I[nsure] P[erfect] S[ervice] and you have fetch your own meal from the kitchen.

By the way the Standard rate of return for monies be 6 % set by an act of parliament 1660.
Law of Nature, if thy receive a gift from me, then you owe me one.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

P.S. 1.25 % of the Navy Budget of 400,000 Pounds be a nice hunk of change, 5000 L

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Right you are, Mr. Hamilton! (What was I thinking? Ah well, at least I got the first initial right.)

Jeannine, you crack me up! Have you been spying on my post-Halloween visits to my kids' candy cache? :-)

Pauline  •  Link

“graft” or “lagniappe”
L&M Companion in the section on Tangier uses the word "douceurs" for the money to be made by the governor and the committee. A sweetner?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Word to the Wise, Todd - you will have to discontinue this practice once they can count reliably and remember......

Pedro  •  Link

“douceurs”… A sweetner?

Thaks Pauline, a great word for recent discussions?

A conciliatory present, bribe or tip. (Our Portuguese Queen is very doce!)

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

'perfectly capable of holding two opposing concepts in his mind at once'
is that not the time,when one goes nuts? the neurons having a field day.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

I wonder if Sam objects to graft that involves taking money that has already been allocated for a particular purpose.

He receives "fees" for the services of his office, but that money is explicitly meant for him. It isn't meant to buy naval supplies.

The business with Batten and the Tangier committee involves someone helping themselves to money that wasn't intended for them. The Tangier money is meant to purchase supplies for Tangier. Batten is supposed to buy good naval supplies such as rope with naval money, but instead buys supplies of low quality and pockets the difference.

Sam, on the other hand, doesn't seem to dip into funds allocated for something else. As far as I know of, he just accepts gifts and money for services he performs. It's given to him by people who benefit from those services and doesn't come from the King's money.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" I have news this day from Cambridge that my brother hath had his bachelor’s cap put on;"

Bachelors degrees were normally conferred at General Admission in January. (L&M note) John was 22.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The House of Commons today drafts a response to the King's Declaration of Tolerance of 26th December last http://www.british-history.ac.uk/… beseeching the King to cling to the Act of (Anglican) Uniformity and, on the other hand tolerate other "Pretenders" (the sectaries and Presbyterians) as the Declaration of Breda had promised. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dec…

That Declaration had been defended by the King in Parliament 18 January as no support of Popery

DNB -- Charles II
"At this very time (December 1662), when Charles II had first involved himself in dangerous political intimacy with his powerful catholic neighbour, he made his earliest direct attempt to remedy the grievances of his catholic subjects. His effort to expand for their benefit his declaration of October 1660 had failed, and his promise to suspend the Act of Uniformity for three months had proved futile (Clarendon, Life, ii. 149). On 26 Dec. 1662 he issued his first Declaration of Indulgence, in which he undertook, with the concurrence of parliament, to exercise on behalf of religious dissidents the dispensing power which he conceived to be inherent on the crown. The hill founded on this declaration, opposed by Clarendon and Southampton, but supported hy Ashley, was shelved in committee by the lords, while an address from the commons insisted on the maintenance of the Act of Uniformity." https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ch…

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

When looking at individual actors, it is always important to consider the bigger picture.

For the benefit of new visitors, as I have suggeted before, Sam's protection of Creed was really protection of Sandwich, under whose command Creed served as Deputy Treasurer of the Fleet. Although, in his own post, Sam is not answerable to Sandwich, he does owe his position to Sandwich's patronage and therefore first and foremost remains Sandwich's man on the Navy Board. Part of his job was to watch Sandwich's back. That would have been understood and uncontroversial at the time, even though Sam is also trying to curry favour or solicit approval of other powerful men.

Post diary, after Coventry's fall and Sandwich's death, Sam was by now James' man. Hence Sam himself became a target for those who wished a proxy to attack the Duke of York. Sam defended himself, and thus James, with great determination and skill. He was also defended by Coventry, no longer in office, but an increasingly distinguished parliamentarian.

BTW I suspect that the post of 'Deputy Treasurer', was actually chief treasurer to the actual fleet, but, formally, a deputy to the Treasurer of the Navy, currently Sir George Carteret.

Robert Harneis  •  Link

'perfectly capable of holding two opposing concepts in his mind at once' with all due respect to Scott Fitzgerald it is the perfect description of great hypocrites and most of the political class in the West who spend their time talking about 'our values', lecturing all who still listen to them on Human Rights whilst at the same time bombing the hell out of some country that has done something they don't like.
Back on subject... almost - corruption - my old boss told me a long time ago, it's simple really "a bottle of whisky is a present, a case is a bribe." Pepys was a worldly man of his time, except that he was passionate about efficiency for the navy and he cared about people less fortunate than himself as the record shows. Perhaps his great good fortune was growing up under rule of the very efficient Oliver Cromwell.
Finally mixing with great men. In his day it was about the only way there was to get ahead however brave, clever, efficent and honest you were.

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