Monday 9 March 1662/63

Up betimes, to my office, where all the morning. About noon Sir J. Robinson, Lord Mayor, desiring way through the garden from the Tower, called in at the office and there invited me (and Sir W. Pen, who happened to be in the way) to dinner, which we did; and there had a great Lent dinner of fish, little flesh. And thence he and I in his coach, against my will (for I am resolved to shun too great fellowship with him) to White Hall, but came too late, the Duke having been with our fellow officers before we came, for which I was sorry. Thence he and I to walk one turn in the Park, and so home by coach, and I to my office, where late, and so home to supper and bed.

There dined with us to-day Mr. Slingsby, of the Mint, who showed us all the new pieces both gold and silver (examples of them all), that are made for the King, by Blondeau’s way; and compared them with those made for Oliver. The pictures of the latter made by Symons, and of the King by one Rotyr, a German, I think, that dined with us also. He extolls those of Rotyr’s above the others; and, indeed, I think they are the better, because the sweeter of the two; but, upon my word, those of the Protector are more like in my mind, than the King’s, but both very well worth seeing. The crowns of Cromwell are now sold, it seems, for 25s. and 30s. apiece.

19 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

"There dined with us today Mr Slingsby of the Mint, who showed us all the new pieces, both gold and silver (examples of them all) that are made for the King by Blondeau’s way, and compared them with those made for Oliver – the pictures of the latter made by Symons [Thomas Simon], and of the King by one Rotyr [John Roettier, 1631–c. 1700], a German I think, that dined with us also. ..."

Silver crown of Charles II (1663)…

"[A]lthough Charles II’s first milled crowns bear the date 1662 they were actually struck in 1663 by our reckoning. The picture here shows the obverse of a 1662 crown (the rose below the bust indicates the silver came from the West Country), struck in 1663 from dies prepared in 1662. The reverse is from a very similar coin, which actually was struck in 1663. The diarist Samuel Pepys saw the new dies in late 1662, and was then shown the new coins in the spring. However, in those days the New Year was usually counted from 25 March, with the formula 1662/3 being applied to the dates 1st January to 24th March. http://www.romanbritain.freeserve… -- a site I have found was first provided 24 November last by the ever-webly-ingenious Water Writer [in Aqua Scripto] when Sam'l was shewn the "stamps" [dies] for the coins he is shown today. Cf.…

Pauline  •  Link

"...invited me (and Sir W. Pen, who happened to be in the way) to dinner..."
Incorrigibly anti-Pen these days.

I take it that the "he" in "thence he and I in his coach, against my will (for I am resolved to shun too great fellowship with him)" also refers to Pen as Sam says "our fellow officers" when they get to Whitehall. It's Monday--try to meet with the Duke day.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"The crowns of Cromwell are now sold ... for 25s. and 30s. apiece."

A visit to the Currency Units page reminded me that a crown is 5s. So Cromwell's crowns have appreciated considerably. Was this due to their numismatic (collector's) value, or because they had more silver in them, or for some other reason?

I would have thought that coin collecting as we understand it today was a relatively modern preoccupation, but Wikipedia says it is generally believed to have started in the 14th century with Petrarch, so maybe there were collectors in 17th century London bidding up the value of Cromwell's crowns.

TerryF  •  Link

"Save your Confederate money, boys, the South will rise again"

Confederate States 5 Dollar Note

Winning bid Winning bid: US $35.99 [scroll slightly down]…

Do you suppose there are those about who are banking on the return of the Commonwealth? Yesterday's entry contained the recounting of "the story how my Lord being at dinner with Sydney, one of his fellow plenipotentiarys and his mortal enemy" kept his cool.

There are still the Tower, and Tyburn and the example Sam admires of Sir Harry Vane the younger, principled republican to the bitter end...

adam w  •  Link

Oliver's coins
- by coincidence, the singer Billy Bragg (a proud socialist and republican) was featured in yesterday's Guardian showing his treasured Commonwealth crown. Didn't mention the value, but it may be a little more than 30 shillings...
I can't find a web picture of his crown, but here's a commonwealth shilling with a similar design, and no monarchical portraits:… ; and a different crown with Cromwell in his more imperial phase:…

Miss Ann fr Home  •  Link

"plenipotentiarys" - I am still wondering how Sam managed such a word in his form of shorthand. I've tried it in Pitman's (learnt some 35 years ago and still used every day) - what a word! Try as I may I haven't been able to slip it into casual conversation yet, but still trying.

pjk  •  Link

There is an interesting mention of the tussle between Simon and Roettier for the right to produce the coins on the British Museum site. The address is huge but can be found by first going to the search page:…
searching for '1663' and following the thumbnail.

language hat  •  Link

"who happened to be in the way"

I'm pretty sure this just means "who happened to be in the vicinity" -- no negative connotation.

Mary  •  Link

"who happened to be in the way".

Exactly, LH. He happened to be there at the time, happened to be around.

Mick Dunn  •  Link

“plenipotentiarys” - I am still wondering how Sam managed such a word in his form of shorthand.

I am told by someone using a different system, Teeline, that it is not difficult to write, but that she probably wouldn't remember what it meant when it came to reading it back.

Bradford  •  Link

Quite Borgesian---a writing system that enables you to encrypt a word that becomes permanently encrypted, even to the cryptographer.

Latham, describing the six leather-bound volumes of the diary in the Preface to "The Shorter Pepys," says that "The writing is in shorthand, with occasional words (mostly personal and place names) in longhand." And long unusual infrequently-occurring ones too, no doubt.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

“The crowns of Cromwell are now sold, it seems, for 25s. and 30s. apiece.”

Although modern numismatists may smile at the preference given by Mr. Slingsby to Rotier's coins, Pepys's remark that Oliver's crowns were then selling at 25s. or 30s. is very curious, for it is to this day considered doubtful whether these beautiful pieces by Simons were current coin or pattern pieces. Snelling, in his Silver Coinage, 1762, calls them "very scarce," and so they remain, as the prices which they still bring at sales seem to show, varying from 2l. 10s. to 11l, according to condition.
Mr. Joseph Gibbs, of the Inner Temple, who kindly furnished the above remarks, has one of the crowns without any flaw, for which be paid 4l. 18s.; and Mr. Curteton, the coin collector, had six sets of these monies at the time he was robbed and nearly murdered, in the winter of 1850. Pepys's evidence of the high value of the crowns in 1663, strengthens the idea that they were pattern pieces only; there is a tradition, that the die became cracked across the neck after a few impressions were struck, which having been considered ominous, the issue was stopped, but the truth of the story must still remain matter of conjecture.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Prices will vary over the years but a quick search on this date finds a silver crown coin of Oliver (e. fine condition) (1658/7) selling for £5.500.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

These were the days before photographs, so if Sam thinks that Cromwell's image is "more like", it is because, having seen both in the flesh, he is in a position to judge.

Note that Sam writes perfectly respectfully of 'Oliver', and of 'The Protector'.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I wonder how far Sam's office is from his home. He seems to pop over there at all hours of the day and night without a second thought. Anyone know?

Tripleransom  •  Link

Louise, I think his home is in the same building complex as his office. There was quite a discussion a while back, but he lives in a house provided by the Navy, as one of the perks of office.

Sue Nicholson  •  Link

Hi Louise
If you'd like to read my "in-depth articles" on this website about Pepys' house and garden, I think that would answer your question.
Interesting reference today about the Lord Mayor requesting access through the garden entrance on Tower Hill. The map in my article on Pepys' garden shows where this entrance is, at the rear of the Navy Office site . Pepys used it once when he was being pursued by bailiffs.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Thanks to Tripleransom and Sue Nicholson for the information. I knew Sam's residence was in a building owned by the Navy but didn't know Sam's office was in the same building. That would explain the easy access. I do remember mention of the garden and Sam being pursued by bailiffs. Exciting!

Log in to post an annotation.

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