Sunday 29 March 1663

(Lord’s day). Waked as I used to do betimes, but being Sunday and very cold I lay long, it raining and snowing very hard, which I did never think it would have done any more this year.

Up and to church, home to dinner. After dinner in comes Mr. Moore, and sat and talked with us a good while; among other things telling me, that [neither] my Lord nor he are under apprehensions of the late discourse in the House of Commons, concerning resumption of Crowne lands, which I am very glad of.

He being gone, up to my chamber, where my wife and Ashwell and I all the afternoon talking and laughing, and by and by I a while to my office, reading over some papers which I found in my man William’s chest of drawers, among others some old precedents concerning the practice of this office heretofore, which I am glad to find and shall make use of, among others an oath, which the Principal Officers were bound to swear at their entrance into their offices, which I would be glad were in use still.

So home and fell hard to make up my monthly accounts, letting my family go to bed after prayers. I staid up long, and find myself, as I think, fully worth 670l.. So with good comfort to bed, finding that though it be but little, yet I do get ground every month. I pray God it may continue so with me.

32 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

"Mr. Moore...telling me, that [neither] my Lord nor he are under apprehensions of the late discourse in the House of Commons, concerning resumption of Crowne lands, which I am very glad of."

L&M explain that in fact, come 19 May, the lands granted to Sandwich and Albemarle would be exempted from the "alienation" [sale] of such lands belonging to the Crown.

If I understand aright, lands granted by the Crown are only held in custody by any subject at the Royal pleasure, and at any time and for no reason given be "resumed" (reclaimed); e.g., land granted Sandwich by the King is still "Crown land" that Sandwich may not himself "alienate" (sell).

Prithee, what are the primary reasons the Court is in need of cash? An insufficient dowry from Charles's marriage to Catherine Braganza? Are Tangier and the other assets proving liabilities? Surely it isn't a bit profligate or extravagant? Too many plays and too much wine, perhaps?

At least the Crown hasn't yet such a war debt that would require it to levy taxes that would lead New England and the rest of the seaboard south thereof to revolt.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"fully worth 670l."
And that's after paying out 50l. plus various other expenses this month. Not bad Sam, no wonder you sleep easy.

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Josselin is also doing some calculations -- and of course the weather report...

"A very cold east wind dry, and sometimes a shower. a lovely seed time. god good in many mercies. my wife not with me, and my mind very foolish, lord pardon and help. gods providence be towards his for good, said the news sad in Ireland, the rebels regaining their estates from the English --- When I review my estate, I find my receipts rather more than my layings out and yet my building and stock have cost me more above 70li(.) I have sold my wifes land at. 57li.10s. and paid debts with the money(,) the lords name be praised, that provides bountifully for me, oh that my soul, and mine might prosper in thy sight."

Comparing Sam's payment of £50 to the selling price of the Rev's wife's land, makes clear how huge a sum of money this really was... Something like £4,500 today (using the factor 90 conversion we've been using throughout the diary).

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Is the link on "my man William..." right? I would have thought it would be Will Hewer not Will Howe who certainly isn't Sam's employee.


Sounds like this was a happy day for our beloved twosome.

So the suggestion is Sam makes little or no attempt to put his study off limits to the wife? Yet the idea of rooms of their own, personal space of a sort, is certainly present for Sam and Bess, he having made a point of including a chamber for Bess in the remodeling.

dirk  •  Link

"among others an oath, which the Principal Officers were bound to swear at their entrance into their offices, which I would be glad were in use still"

Can anybody dig up the text of this oath?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Wouldn't the statement on crown lands refer to efforts to regain (resume) those royal lands sold under Cromwell's Commonwealth? I should think Montagu and Monk would naturally expect to find themselves exempted from any such action as staunch friends of Charlie's.

Of course that could mean Charles is reneging on his pledge not to seek return of such lands made at his Restoration. If I'm right it would be nteresting to know how the matter got pushed by the Commons and who backed it, seeing as a number of the members must be holding such properties.

TerryF  •  Link

Robert, it turns out the issue is...

Crown Revenue.

Sir Charles Harbord reports from the Committee appointed to inspect several Branches of his Majesty's Revenue, That, upon Consideration of the long Estates granted of the Crown Lands, the Opinion of the Committee, That the House be moved, That, if they think fit, a Bill may be prepared, to avoid all Leases and Grants made since 29 Maii 1660, for any longer Time than for One, Two, or Three Lives, where they have been usually letten for Lives, or for One-and-thirty Years in Possession, or so many Years in Reversion, as, with the Estates in being, shall not exceed One-and-thirty Years; reserving One half or more of the improved yearly Value in Rent: Saving such Leases and Grants of the Lands of the Duchy of Cornwall, as have been made according to the Rules of the Act made in this present Parliament in that Behalf; and saving the Lands and Rents granted to the Duke of Albemarle and the Earl of Sandwich.

He further reports, That, upon Consideration of the Sub Committee, about Deane Forest, and of the present State and Condition of the said Forest, The Opinion of the Committee, That, if it be resumed into his Majesty's Hands, and managed for his best Advantage; and Fourteen thousand Acres of the Soil, inclosed, re-afforested, and settled in Severalty by Act of Parliament, for a perpetual Growth and Supply of Wood and Timber; it may raise a Revenue of Five thousand Pounds per Annum, by making of Iron there, above Charges of Management; and continue the same for ever; and preserve all the present Timber fit for his Majesty's Shipping, and the young Sapplings of Oak; which may prove a great Nursery of Timber Trees for the Service of the Royal Navy for the Time to come.

He also further reports, That, upon Consideration of the Post Office, the Opinion of the Committee, That it is worth Twenty-six thousand Pounds per Annum, being well managed.

Which Report he read in his Place; and after delivered the same in at the Clerk's Table.

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 19 May 1663', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 487-88. URL:…. Date accessed: 30 March 2006.

* * *

Ref. today's first post's Q's about the need for cash.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Which Will?
Robert, I think Will Howe is the correct reference here. Will Hewer works in Sam's household; there is no reason why he would have a chest of drawers in the Navy office, but Will Howe likely would. Sam views Will Howe as something of a protege, hence "my man."

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"though it be but little, yet I do get ground every month"
An increase in net worth of nearly 5% in a month is nothing to sneeze at, Sam. Keep it up at that rate and in 15 months you will double your wealth.

Mary  •  Link

Why does the Court need cash?"

All governments need cash and the Court (in the person of the King)is essentially the government. Economic historians please correct me if I'm wrong but, in an age before the concept of a structured, formal system of National Debt had been devised, governments took their income where and when they could, often on an ad hoc basis.

E  •  Link

Josselin's wife is still alive isn't she? "I have sold my _wifes_ land at. 57li.10s. and paid debts with the money(,) the lords name be praised, that provides bountifully for _me_"

I think most modern husbands would say "for us".

Mary  •  Link

Josselin's wife.

Yes, she was alive, "illish" and possibly "breeding" just a few days ago.

Do you suppose that he habitually spoke in the same pious tones as he wrote? If so I can well imagine that his wife might not always wish to be with him. Surely even the Lord above must sometimes feel that he is being beaten over the head with the Rev. gentleman's unremitting piety.

Glyn  •  Link

I'll disagree with Paul Chapin and vote for William Hewer rather than William Howe. I think that Hewer actually does work in the Navy Office as Pepys' assistant there, and many years from now will take his place.

William Howe appears to have no connection with the Navy Office.

But, of course, it could be another William entirely (William the Third?). Each of the Navy Commission had a staff of people working for them, drafting documents and routine administration etc., and it is very likely that one of these would have documents surviving from the previous administration.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

The Rev. Josselin
Mary, that's an interesting question. From the passages Dirk has given us from time to time, I get the impression that Josselin's diary is meant to be a spiritual aid, rather than a record of daily events in his life. I know that some people still practice a spiritual discipline writing down, every week or every day, all the blessings they have received from God.

So, in his regular discourse, he might not have started every other sentence with a mention of God. Still, given what we have seen of him, it would have probably crept in every fourth or fifth sentence, at least.

TerryF  •  Link

John Beadle may have provided the model for the Rev. Josselin's diary

John Beadle’s A Journall or Diary of a Thankfull Christian [1656]

“Synopsis: Beadle’s book is essentially a how-to manual about how to write a spiritual diary; moreover, it is the only one of its kind written in seventeenth-century England. Modern scholars often mention its influence and importance in understanding the “journaling” impulse among the Puritans of the 16th and 17th centuries...."

Links to the Amazon listings of a Critical Edition of it:…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Yeah, I still hold for Hewer. Will was hired as Pepys' assistant in the Navy Office, not as a personal servant. Howe is Sandwich's man, either equal or subordinate (I think equal more or less, though less ambitious, I suspect) to Creed.

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Ralph Josselin's diary

I put only selected entries (with some relevance in terms of facts & figures) from the Rev's diary on the Pepys blog as annotations.

There's a lot more on the diary site:…
A quick look will make clear that a large part of the Rev's diary entries are of an almost exclusively religious nature.

So, Terry's suggestion about John Beadle's example, and JonTom Kittredge's idea that the Rev. was using his diary (mainly) as a form of spiritual discipline may be close to the truth.

Jesse  •  Link

"though it be but little"

I wonder where his bar's at and whether (or how fast) it's rising? Since he's in "good comfort" 670l can't be too little.

TerryF  •  Link

Mary answers the Q "Why does the Court need cash?”

In general I agree with your reply about the need, but 'tis not the "the concept of a structured, formal system of National Debt" that's the solution, but a regular form of adequate, not onerous taxation, which the House of Commons is struggling with at this time, as today's Diary entry makes clear. For the larger history of taxation in Great Britain/UK see:…

TerryF  •  Link

"an oath, which the Principal Officers were bound to swear at their entrance into their offices"

Dirk, I've been unable to "dig up the text of this oath" which L&M say was sworn only by the Treasurer [Sir George Carteret], at this time. Methinks the Treasurer's a good man to have bound by such, at the very least, though Sam's point, made years earlier by John Hollond, is certainly well-taken.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Guess I got my Wills confused.
Should keep better track of whether Will will will it, or Will will. Oh, will.

celtcahill  •  Link

As to diary keeping:…

This from a young Chaplain who lived a time at Stortford which Sam will visit later. This one is about entirely a spiritual tracking device and written before Beadles' book, so the notion must have been a common enough idea.

Rogers knew a few of my grandfathers who are in the diary.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Josselin and marital rights

In those days (and up until the Married Women's Property Act of the mid 19th c), a husband was the sole proprieter of anything his wife had or earned. For example, all Elizabeth Gaskell's earnings from her novels went to her husband and in her private writings, she never questions this as not right. So Mrs J would have had no say in what her husband did with the money. We don't tend to see any of this in the Diary as Elizabeth is no heiress nor does she earn an income.

dirk  •  Link

"a husband was the sole proprieter of anything his wife had or earned"

Susan, in a sense you might even say that juridically the wife was the "property" of the husband...

Australian Susan  •  Link

Yes, unfortunately. What we see in Sam and Elizabeth's marriage represents a union founded in mutual love, but if Sam had felt so inclined, he could have beaten Elizabeth every Friday night and not been punished or even much condemned: the man was the head of the household at that time and could run a despotic regime if he so chose. Sam did not: if things are not to his liking in the household, he does lose his temper with Elizabeth and shout or occasionally throw things, but he does not reach for the horsewhip to chastise his wife as a default response. Some 17th c men did.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Men, given the opportunity like to rule the roost, can do so, with a heavy [heavenly be that] hand. Fortunately there be Exceptions . At this time in Branganza Land, there is a movement a foot to out-law the the use of a male back hand on the wife or other Female, put forward by one of the Catrina's Royal Brothers.

Second Reading

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Nine years later I've changed the "my man William" link from Will Howe to Will Hewer. Better late than never!

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

It's 8th April Gregorian: very late for snow in London, even in the cooler days of my youth!

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

The "National Debt" didn't exist as a formal concept then, nor indeed was there a budget.

The government's inability to manage its finance, and the cost of the Dutch Wars, led to the disastrous "The Great Stop of the Exchequer" in 1672, after the Diary had ended.…

In the longer term, the desire to avoid a repetition led to the creation of the Bank Of England in 1694.

JayW  •  Link

Even though married women were able to keep their own property after the Married Women's Property Act of 1882, their income was still added to their husband's for Income Tax purposes until 1990.

Extract from Taxation Magazine dated 9 July 2014:
Some years ago, the government of the time took a bold step when it introduced independent taxation. Until that time, married women’s income had been returned for them for tax purposes by their husbands. Her income was clearly his.

The couple’s income was aggregated and taxed on the husband, subject to a wife’s earned income relief, which he received if the wife was employed or self-employed. (My note - HE, not she!)

It was possible to elect for separate assessment allowing a woman to submit a confidential wife’s return, but the tax computation remained the same, only with horrendous adjustments to work out how to share the tax between the couple.

Then, in 1990, the government suddenly noticed that married women were relatively independent entities and introduced separate assessment where husbands and wives each returned their own income and were taxed on it accordingly. For younger readers, let me stress this is not a typo. It was in 1990, not 1890.

Log in to post an annotation.

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