Thursday 23 April 1663

St. George’s day and Coronacion, the King and Court being at Windsor, at the installing of the King of Denmark by proxy and the Duke of Monmouth.

I up betimes, and with my father, having a fire made in my wife’s new closet above, it being a wet and cold day, we sat there all the morning looking over his country accounts ever since his going into the country. I find his spending hitherto has been (without extraordinary charges) at full 100l. per annum, which troubles me, and I did let him apprehend it, so as that the poor man wept, though he did make it well appear to me that he could not have saved a farthing of it. I did tell him how things stand with us, and did shew my distrust of Pall, both for her good nature and housewifery, which he was sorry for, telling me that indeed she carries herself very well and carefully, which I am glad to hear, though I doubt it was but his doting and not being able to find her miscarriages so well nowadays as he could heretofore have done.

We resolve upon sending for Will Stankes up to town to give us a right understanding in all that we have in Brampton, and before my father goes to settle every thing so as to resolve how to find a living for my father and to pay debts and legacies, and also to understand truly how Tom’s condition is in the world, that we may know what we are like to expect of his doing ill or well.

So to dinner, and after dinner to the office, where some of us met and did a little business, and so to Sir W. Batten’s to see a little picture drawing of his by a Dutchman which is very well done.

So to my office and put a few things in order, and so home to spend the evening with my father. At cards till late, and being at supper, my boy being sent for some mustard to a neat’s tongue, the rogue staid half an hour in the streets, it seems at a bonfire, at which I was very angry, and resolve to beat him to-morrow.

29 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

"St. George's day and Coronacion, the King and Court being at Windsor, at the installing of the King of Denmark by proxy and the Duke of Monmouth."

It seems that on St. George's day the Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter gathered at Windsor Castle, where the new Knights take the oath and are "instilled"[sic] /invested by the British monarch in a ceremony in the Collegiate Chapel Royal of St. George (patron Saint of the Order) with "the insignia of the Order, which consists of the Garter, Star, Riband, Collar and Mantle."… (Today this is done in June.)
The only two invested in 1663 are these:
466 (inv 1663) Christian V, King of Denmark and Norway.
467 (inv 1663) James (Scott), Duke of Monmouth and Duke of Buccleuch. Son of Charles II and Lucy Walters....…

L&M seem to assume we (even Yanks and other non-Brits) know what the "installing" was about and do not note any of the above, but do note that, in the ceremony, Sir George Carteret acted as proxy for King Christian V, who had visited England the preceding autumn.

* * *

That said, it vexes me that Sam'l had, on 8 April, three weeks and a day ago, stated that, among the novelties on view after a lavishly-praised sermon by Dr. Pierce, at the Royal chapel in Whitehall, "Here I also saw the Duke of Monmouth, with his Order of the Garter, the first time I ever saw it."… , something he would have recognized since Edward (Montagu), 1st Earl of Sandwich had been 460 (inv 1661).

The D of M with his O.G. insignia on before he was installed? Was this a message from King Charles, who used KG appointments as rewards and domestic, political and foreign-policy tools? Or was it just Little Jimmy Crofts, royal bastard brat, playing at being a grownup? brash, as he ever was, both to his glory and to the cost of his life prematurely.

For background on the Order of the Garter see…

Australian Susan  •  Link


For celebrations connected with the Coronation anniversary and for St George's Day (patron saint of England). Wayneman (it's presumably the same "boy") does not get much in the way of entertainment it seems and couldn't resist staying to watch the fire - maybe there was food on offer as well - potatos baked in the ashes or something. Presumably there would have been many bonfires. Sam mentions this in 1660.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Monmouth and the Garter.

The Garter holders have a stall (seat) in St George's Chapel, Windsor and the installing is their formal presentation into their seat or stall. It does not necessarily coincide with the giving of the Garter insignia. This is a further instance of the rising star of the teenage Duke, who must have felt himself very secure. Hmm.

language hat  •  Link

the King of Denmark

I'm confused. Christian V didn't become king until 1670:…

Could this be his father, Frederick III, or is the "king" anticipatory?

Incidentally, from the Wikipedia article I linked above, it sounds like Christian and Charles were made for each other:

"He was a weak despot with an exaggerated opinion of his dignity and his prerogatives. Almost his first act on ascending the throne was to publicly insult his wife by introducing his sixteen-year-old mistress, Amelia Moth (1654-1719), into court. She was the daughter of his former tutor (Paul Moth), and he made her countess of Samsø on December 31, 1677."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Well, at last poor Pall has one defender at least.

100L per year...A sizable chunk of Sam's wages. I can see why he's worried though it's lousy of him to put it all on Paulina without her able to give any accounting.

However I'd love to be a fly on the wall at Brampton when old John returns...Especially he having seen all the expensive alterations Sam's done to the house, not to mention that new Easter suit.

I think I'd cut my arm off before I'd let my old dad be driven to tears over his handling of expenses...A bitter turn in this relationship however little Sam meant to provoke such a response. Perhaps now we now why he was so melancholy yesterday, dreading this close inspection of his accounts by dear ole sonny boy.

TerryF  •  Link

Some confusions clarified

"the installing...does not necessarily coincide with the giving of the Garter insignia."

A. Susan I was following this website's scenario of the ceremony.…

l.h., L&M say Sir George Carteret acted as proxy for the *Prince* of Denmark, as you surmised.

"466 (inv 1663) Christian V, King of Denmark and Norway" is what the webpage "The List of Knights of the Garter, 1348-present" says, clearly proleptically, by which I may have been seduced.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Sir. I cannot understand it. How can it be that you allowed your affairs to reach such a state?"

"Well, son...I..." ole John quavers under his man-of-the-court-world's stare.

"And to place matters in the hands of my foolish, headstrong, wicked, wicked sister. Sir? What were you thinking?"

"Son. Your sister's gone and done her best."

"Her best? Father, what has happened to you? Don't you remember those good old days when we used to drag Pall to an accounting in your old kitchen. Threatening her for hours until she pleaded for mercy? Sir, what has befallen your wits?"

"Now, Samuel. Son, the girl tries her best. You must understand she is a victim of the current social order."


"Yes, son. You see, I and your mother and Paulina have been reading this remarkable pamphet that I found left in our kitchen at Brampton."


"Yes. A great work, son. It explains how the struggle of women for their rights and equality is one with that of the laboring man for his and how none can be free until all are. And how this links to the struggle..."


"Yes...To the struggle of the people against the late king. And..."

Sam's bulging eyed stare causes ole John to halt in midsentence. It becoming clear that the subject matter of the remarkable pamphet is not quite agreeable to the lad.

Sam races to the door, slamming it.


"Father?!! Where the devil did you come upon such insanity?!!"

"I tole you. I found it in the house. Left on the kitchen floor by some passerby no doubt. If you'd just have a read, son..." John pulls out a sheet which Sam snatches.

Hmmphf...Handwritten, last summer. The work of some local radical loony, no doubt.

Hmmn...Odd that. The handwriting seems almost familar. Very well written, one must admit. Almost as well written as...

"Son? Is something..?"


in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Re: Norway/Sweden/Denmark. Political games be afoot. This century be one of power upheaval, monies, religeous struggles for the right to govern and for people to follow their own version of living and not be the victim of earthly or heavenly dictatorship. In 1660 Denmark change its constitution [why?] King be no longer an elective. Here be some meddling in trying to influence by annnouncing to Denmark they should get rid of one and install his son. [ just my version of thought]
Sweden had change their King in 1660 and the 30 year wars had left many scars. Baltic was a mess, the Iberian Penisular be a mess too and the rest of Europe be either hungry or knocking each out to see who could pray better for their earthy and heavenly salvation.
Charles UK had been around those intriguing Capitals and here be his little dig?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

" having a fire made in my wife's new closet"
Be careful Sam, otherwise you are going to burn the whole town!

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and resolve to beat him to-morrow"
Sam you shouldn't beat him at all but if you must,just do it right away.

Pauline  •  Link

" as that the poor man wept...."
I think this visit has come at a time when the legal questions and suits over the estate of John's brother Robert have been mostly settled and Sam and John are looking at what they have and how best to make a living for John and his wife, daughter, and youngest son. They were led to believe that they were inheriting (in trust, so to speak, to John; then to Sam) more than they have in fact realized. Now they are doing the accounts and trying to figure out how to make the best of what they do have. John and Margaret moved to the house in Brampton before it was discovered that there were problems with the estate and that the assets were not worth as much as Uncle had been bragging.

John's tears may be frustration for all he has been through and how nothing is turning out right. Perhaps even some regret that Sam will have to help support his household. Perhaps Sam has been too business-like and unprepared for the role-reversal here, with his star rising and his father uprooted, living with a wife who is under a cloud of some great "unquiet", missing his friends, retired from his lifelong business.

Sam is interested in honing the expenses to fit the new situation as he will be chipping in any needed funds.

It looks like they begin to have concerns and doubts about Tom's success in taking over the family business.

So I'm not so sure Sam is being hard on his dad. Doing this accounting is necessary at this point in acquiring the estate (or most of it).

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

a wife who is under a cloud of some great “unquiet"
I have read this as a likely case of senile dementia in Sam's mother. Add a daughter who is probably complaining constantly about the boredom of living in the country, fewer assets than John had expected and a dependence on his son's charity. I think I would be depressed, too.

jeannine  •  Link

As Davidson in her biography of Catherine ( p 170) reports “ On St. George’s Day... all of Court went to Windsor for a specially grand celebration of the patron saint’s festival. The Duke of Monmouth had just been betrothed [actually just married] to little Lady Anna Scott, the daughter of the Buccleughs. She was reckoned the smallest lady, and the best dancer in the whole Court. She had been made one of Catherine’s ladies of the bedchamber, and was called the Duke of Monmouth’s little mistress. She was much liked for her amiability and discretion and gentle manners. A great ball was given in St. George’s Hall, and Catherine, now proficient in dancing, opened it with the bridegroom. While he [Monmouth]was dancing, with hat in hand, the King came in, and, kissing him before the Court, told him to put his hat on. This permission, only extended to royalties of the direct line, confirmed to the world in the opinion that Charles meant to make the boy his heir. Lady Castlemaine, it would seem, had hopes that Charles’ marriage might be annulled, and was confident in her own mind that her power over him was such that, in event of his being free again, she could force him to marry herself. It is perhaps unnecessary to remark that such a marriage would never have received the consent of even a ministry of those days.”

language hat  •  Link

"a likely case of senile dementia in Sam’s mother."

We've been over this many times. Some of us see it your way, others (like myself) see no evidence of any such thing and see Sam and his father's complaints about his mother as typical male complaints about the women in their lives. I doubt there will ever be agreement about this.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

at full 100l. per annum

I seem to recall, but can't recover, a discussion that would put this expenditure into context. What was the level of servants' wages (such as Pall was at one point receiving from Sam)? Do we have any sense now of the level of Sam's income and outlay? Of Monatgue's? It seems probable that the index for total incomes is different from the roughly 100 to one index for the cost of goods cited earlier by David Gurliacci.
Saying that 100 pounds per annum equates to an income of 10,000 a year strikes me as understating 17th century purchasing power.

Pedro  •  Link

A fly on the wall at Brampton.

Margaret, Pall and Goody Gorum the alehouse keeper take in the fresh spring air, while supping their very small and fresh drinks, with a little taste of wormewood. Margaret laughs…

“I wonder how John is getting on down the Smoke? Just think, 18 months ago the lad thought we did not know about his drinking!”…

dirk  •  Link

at full 100l. per annum

Comparing cost of living, income and the like over a period of more than 300 years is always a perilous exercise. Depending on the (mathematical / statistical) approach you can get multiplication factors as wide apart as 60 and 90 -- so the degree of accuracy is probably not very high! Still it's the best we can do.

The link given by A. Hamilton
is the one we have been using so far, with a multiplier of approximately 90.

The online cost of living calculator…
gives a multiplier of around 60.

All these calculations can do, is give us some rough sense of comparative value. So handle with care -- but even this rough value comparison is better than nothing...

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Multipliers do not work: only clue, be what one can get for thy money ? see Liza PICARD Restoration London PAGES 248/249 for incomes:
Less than 1 Percent of families residing in England had an annual Income exceeding 100 Pounds sterling.
Samuels Housekeeping be 7 pound a month
How much would it cost to keep thee in maids, cook, food, heating, today.
Whole Lamb be 10 bob then [2d a lb], today? one could only afford 1 Lb and that would cost a minimum CA.wager 90 minutes Labour.
17 pounds would buy a mans suit in 1660, and in 1960 a suit could be had for 5 pounds or a Quality named one for 17 guineas, same suit today, could be had for 700 pounds or more. [Did not buy it, it be 2 weeks morgage though]
Then most people then, if they saw what the man in the street today has for his days labour,they would think they be in heaven until they adjusted then demand more.
As Adam Smith be saying, grub, bed and T shirt be all ye need, all else be extra and extra be to entice a passing wench into thy bower.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

What was the level of servant's wages?
Well, Sam told us a few weeks ago that he hired Hannah, the new cook-maid, at 4l. per annum, which he said was the most he had ever paid a servant. Father John's expenses were 25 times that amount, which sounds like quite a bit to me.

Pauline  •  Link

"...not being able to find her miscarriages so well nowadays as he could heretofore have done..."
Some indication that Pall has come into her own---or at least won her father's respect with her help with the house and with her "unquiet" mother. Maybe her star is rising too: maturity and the independence that comes with responsibility. Or maybe she shines better so far away from her brothers. She may even love living in the country. Or, it's Sam's diary and we can restrict ourselves to his view of her.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

"She may even love living in the country."
You may well be right, Pauline, though she certainly wasn't eager to be banished there. But, then, that wouldn't be the first time that the thing we dreaded turned turned out to be thing that made us.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

Four pounds a year
We have to keep in mind that servants would also get room, board and clothing. Wages were only part of the expense of keeping a servant. (Were they even a majority of the expense? Does anyone know?)

To me, this underlines the situation of servants: they made very little over their food, shelter and what was on their back. And these were the *good* jobs available to the working class.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Servants were entitled (but of course may not have got!) a set of new clothes every year.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Multipliers do not work

In Aqua Scripto gives two helpful clues.
1. Less than 1 percent of English families have income exceeding 100l per year. (Per Liza Pickard)
That's what the DC realtors call "Upper Brackets."
2. "Samuels Housekeeping be 7 pound a month." (Source?) Sam lives pretty well, and that comes to 84 pounds a year. Sam's household is six people (Sam, Elizabeth Ashwell, cook, maid and boy).Father's household is three, unless he also has servants ( probably does). Recent 21st century experience running a household of five yields an equivalent budget of about $1500-$1700 a month for food, wine, heat (but excluding electricity and hot water), clothing, laundry and cleaning, but with no wages for cook, personal servants or full-time maid. Take into account low housing cost (Sam and Father live free of rent or mortage) and no education fees or income or VAT taxes and I conclude that 100l a year is a quite comfortable budget, probably with room for economies.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"Sam's household is six people"
I fear I'm falling back into my earlier confusion. Isn't Will Hewer also a member of Sam's household?

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

yes and no: "...Isn’t Will Hewer also a member of Sam’s household?..." Sam gets his wages from the Navy and for this Samuell gets his services as an Office clerical, and above stairs help for which Hewer gets bed and board and no cuffing and Samuel gets to keep some of the loot. "Tis my understanding.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Re Will Hewer
For a different take, see the entry of 31 May 1663, final two lines.

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Prince Christian and Charles were second cousins; their great-grandparents were Frederick II of Denmark, and his wife Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, whose daughter Anne married James I & VI f England and Scotland.

His mother, Sophie-Amalie of Brunswick- Lüneburg, was part of the same family which founded the Hanoverian dynasty in Britain: Christian's first cousin on that side was the future George I.

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