Friday 17 July 1663

Up, and after doing some business at my office, Creed came to me, and I took him to my viall maker’s, and there I heard the famous Mr. Stefkins play admirably well, and yet I found it as it is always, I over expected. I took him to the tavern and found him a temperate sober man, at least he seems so to me. I commit the direction of my viall to him.

Thence to the Change, and so home, Creed and I to dinner, and after dinner Sir W. Warren came to me, and he and I in my closet about his last night’s contract, and from thence to discourse of measuring of timber, wherein I made him see that I could understand the matter well, and did both learn of and teach him something. Creed being gone through my staying talking to him so long, I went alone by water down to Redriffe, and so to sit and talk with Sir W. Pen, where I did speak very plainly concerning my thoughts of Sir G. Carteret and Sir J. Minnes. So as it may cost me some trouble if he should tell them again, but he said as much or more to me concerning them both, which I may remember if ever it should come forth, and nothing but what is true and my real opinion of them, that they neither do understand to this day Creed’s accounts, nor do deserve to be employed in their places without better care, but that the King had better give them greater salaries to stand still and do nothing.

Thence coming home I was saluted by Bagwell and his wife (the woman I have a kindness for), and they would have me into their little house, which I was willing enough to, and did salute his wife. They had got wine for me, and I perceive live prettily, and I believe the woman a virtuous modest woman.

Her husband walked through to Redriffe with me, telling me things that I asked of in the yard, and so by water home, it being likely to rain again to-night, which God forbid. To supper and to bed.

43 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

"the King had better give [Sir G. Carteret and Sir J. Mennes] greater salaries to stand still and do nothing."

Did Samuel Pepys thus define "government work"? OED anyone?

JohnT  •  Link

Sam is getting older ! Week after week there have been the superlatives ( " the first ever " , " the best ever ") . Now he recognises that he always over expects. Quite sad really.

Australian Susan  •  Link

I wonder if Sir W.W. *really* learned something from our Sam or if he was dissembling as being the polite thing to do with the man who controls the contracts? I picture him nodding and smiling and saying really, he didn't know that! My, my, that really is very clever Mr Pepys.

"they neither do understand to this day Creed's accounts" . Reminds me of Dilbert's pointy-haired boss - sailing along with power and influence but not understanding how it all works at all really.

"stand still and do nothing"
They would be better not meddling in Naval matters at all and it would be worth their having larger salaries, just to get them out of the way!
I am sure I am not the only one annotating who has longed for an incompetant manager to get promotion so they are more out of harm's way and away from the real work.

Joe  •  Link

"Bagwell and his wife (the woman I have a kindness for)"
That parenthetical phrase is very odd: why did Pepys need to add it? Was he worried he would forget later in life? Was he reminding himself of his own motives, in spite of himself? Was it for us, his future readers, in case we nodded off the last time he mentioned her (…
I can't help but think of 2 Samuel, chapter 11: Uriah & Bathsheba Bagwell.... Dryden will find the story of David very useful in a few years.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Yes, Joe - very apt! Bagwell drowns in Medway when sent on foolish expedition in unsafe boat. Sam takes advantage. Coventry confronts with parable. Sam exclaims, then Coventry points the accusatory finger "You are the man!" yes. yes. Well, not really, but it's a nice conceit.

Aqua  •  Link

" am sure I am not the only one annotating who has longed for an incompetant manager to get promotion so they are more out of harm’s way and away from the real work." how true, higher the better.
I've risen to my level of incompetence many many times.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Bagwell seems a little too generous. I doubt he could miss Sam's eye for his wife. What's his game? Badger? Sam, be wary.

TerryF  •  Link

"They would be better not meddling in Naval matters at all"

I'm not sure I agree, Aus.Susan: my earlier facetious remark aside, methinks Sir G. Carteret and Sir J. Mennes are fish out of water, and the Peter Principle clearly holds.… Of course, the "Pepys Solution" is equally facetious and a prize piece of invention (was it original?!). What the tars need is another war.

TerryF  •  Link

Ooops, Aqua, I missed your earlier reference to the Peter P'ple; sorry to be so slow on the uptake: perhaps I just demonstrated it m'self once again.

Aqua  •  Link

Not all men have equal talent when it comes to understanding the mating game.
Sam be a pioneer in the game of superior organising, he is in the process of setting standards for game of commerce. The English, up to 1946 played the game of gents and players, whereby the gents [lauded ones ] never discuss LSD in front of the ladies, merchants, and labourers and their ilke. They took the the kudos for the the bottom line.
It was a great system, separation of pomp from circumstance. A good exec. knows what, who, when where and how to delegate the real work, but then there be some poor judgement that uncovers the curtain of ignorance.
Stalin found it was ok to delete Generals but to feed his sergeants to the siberean sharks nearly unseated him, like it does the future James, and G. III.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I'll go with Sam's opinion on Minnes but I think he's seriously underestimating Carteret.

I think our ambitious young Bagwell spotted Pepys' roving eye some time ago...

Whether his missus is the virtuous modest woman Sam sees or a behind-the-scenes scheming Judy Barton (the film Vertigo) as I noted a few days ago time will tell...

Interesting to consider what our boy would do should his patron Sandwich declare serious interest in Bess.

Would he go the Poldy Bloom road of quiet acceptance for the sake of peace and finances...With a vague consideration of future hush money? ("I would never wish my Lady Jemina to suffer embarassment, my Lord.")

Defy cousin Ed in his teeth and risk all? ("Creed? Howe? What is this...Cement?" "Ah, Pepys...I regret to tell you, my Lord was most displeased by your attitude. Was he not, Howe?" "Most displeased, Mr. Creed.")

Find a middle ground, retiring with Bess quietly to the country? ("Let us away forever from this wicked Sodom of London, Bess." "Leave London? For Brampton? Forever?")

(Take my wife, please...My Lord.)

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Did I miss something?
Robert Gertz returns repeatedly to the idea that Lord Sandwich has a sexual interest in Elizabeth. Has there been anything in the diary, or any of the ancillary material, to support this notion, which seems to me extremely far-fetched?

Paul Chapin  •  Link

What Sir William Warren learned
Re Australian Susan's question and suggested answer, methinks that perhaps what Sir W.W. learned was that Pepys knew more about the timber business than Sir W expected.

Lurker  •  Link

So... why's Pepys afraid of it raining more? Is it going to make this H o O situation worse?

Mary  •  Link

all that rain.

Pepys has been complaining for days/weeks about incessant rain and a terrible spring and summer. In an age when bread was the staple food, any threat to a reasonable harvest (e.g. incessant rain) was a very serious matter; it inevitably meant raised prices for grain in the following 9 months and could even lead to famine. A similar lack of hay would render the price and availabilty of meat matters of great concern and place an even higher premium on the supply of grain at a reasonable price.

Pedro  •  Link

Lord Sandwich has a sexual interest in Elizabeth.

This seems to be one of the dilemmas of annotating with future knowledge? Perhaps the only indication of interest so far could be the summer of 62, when Elizabeth was at Brampton, and she saw much of Sandwich and Ferrer. Sam had remarked “My Lord Sandwich has lately been in the country, and very civil to my wife,”…

If you were so inclined you could draw conclusions from this, but Sam himself does not seem overly concerned at this point.

Xjy  •  Link

"I over expected"
This isn't a problem of getting older, it's a symptom of petty-bourgeois idealism. Mind stuffed with impossible absolute ideals, and body trapped in vulgar and moulding reality. Strindberg, for instance, is full of this, both in his plays and his prose. There's an appreciation of beauty but a lack of awareness of proportion. Faustian (with a couple of whopping great reservations ;-) ). Restless hunting for something just a little more perfect. Sam (like Strindberg) notes the phenomenon, but has no idea why it occurs.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

My note on Bess and Sandwich here is speculation of what Sam would do if faced with a situation where Sandwich was showing the same interest in Bess that he's increasingly showing in Mrs. Bagwell. Other notes have likewise been speculation as to how Bess or Sam would deal with a situation that was all too common at this time...So common Sam is showing signs of trying it himself on his own smaller scale.

A few entries back, Sam recorded that Sandwich suddenly noted to several people in his presence that Pepys had married a great beauty. When a nobleman of this court who's shown a tendency to follow the court's tastes goes out of his way to say something like that it's reasonable to suppose that there is some interest that way and to wonder what might be happening behind the scenes when Bess is living away from Sam and near Sandwich's estate and likely a frequent visitor owing to her friendship with Lady Jem. Sandwich no doubt feels Sam and Bess owe him all their success and a powerful fellow like him feels entitled to ask a lot at this period in history. The real point though is to wonder how our Sam would deal, given what we know of his character and attitudes.

As for the future, I leave it to itself...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The entry was 6/15/63 with the following...

"Sometimes they talked of handsome women, and Sir J. Minnes saying that there was no beauty like what he sees in the country-markets, and specially at Bury, in which I will agree with him that there is a prettiest women I ever saw. My Lord replied thus: “Sir John, what do you think of your neighbour’s wife?” looking upon me. “Do you not think that he hath a great beauty to his wife? Upon my word he hath.”..."

Enough at least to give rise to speculation I'd say.

graybo  •  Link

"...a virtuous modest woman..."

No luck there then, eh Sam?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I'm probably being unfair to Mrs. Bagwell (Thank you, God for that name...) to suggest she may be plotting behind the scenes as I did but I certainly can't believe Sam is that good at concealing his lust from Mr. Bagwell.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I'd hate to see Sam lose his enthusiasm for each new thing, person, bit of news that comes his way in his determination to present the outward appearance of a solemn and competently solid man of affairs. His being "with child" with curiosity and his sheer joy at the new in such moments is probably his most attractive characteristic. I get the sense it's something Bess shares to an extent and that pulls them together at many times.

Tom Burns  •  Link

Creed and Sam are seeming to become fast friends.

Sam has spent the whole day with him, sharing mundane pleasures, and even exchanging confidences that could hurt Sam if they became public. They hardly seem rivals at all. Will this camaraderie last?

Stolzi  •  Link

"a virtuous modest woman"

I think possibly Sam is convincing himself that he could have an affair with Mrs Bagwell without fear of contracting a disease.

Aqua  •  Link

Virtue and the connection to freedom of disease, action and consequence not always be understood. Some still thought that babies be found under the Gooseberry bush. Smoke and chest problems were not fully understood, took 300 years plus to get the populus to understand the connection,. "an affair with Mrs Bagwell without fear of contracting a disease."

jeannine  •  Link

"I think he’s seriously underestimating Carteret."
A little off topic,and a few "little general spoilers perhaps"~~ I just started reading Carteret's biography, but am not far enough along to get a full picture of him. What is clear is that he did NOT like school,or his early teacher (Pipon), but loved the sea. Balleine in "All for the King", says "George hated the school. He hated Pierre Pipon, the Regent. The syntax problems of the ancient Romans roused in him no spark of curiosity. In later life his ignorance of the classics shocked some of his colleagues. Once, when he saw hangings in the Duke of York's chamber depicting a scene in Rome, he asked Pepys what the S.P.Q.R. on the standards stood for, "ignorance", scoffed the Diarist, "not to be borne in a Privy Councillor; methinks a schoolboy would be whipped for not knowing". Yet George's schooltime was not wasted. Scores of his letters survive, which show that he could express himself in good grammatical English, remarkably good when one remembers that French was his native tongue. His spelling was better than that of many of the other courtiers, and the detailed Reports that he wrote of his two expeditions are admirably lucid and graphic. Moreover the intricate financial transactions that he had to control later, first as Treasurer of the Navy, and then as Vice-Treasurer of Ireland show that he must have been no mean arithmetician. Pierre Pipon had not wielded the birch in vain." (p. 5)
George also left school at an early age to go to sea (around age 13 or younger). Lady Fanshaw (who knew him well) says in her Memoirs that he was "bred as a sea-boy". (p. 5)

Another interesting point is that "no scandal marred his record", so the libertine court of Charles II and the loose morals of the time did not seem to be a pull to him as there are no mentions of mistresses and his love letters to his wife during their courtship have a nice sincerity to them.
Finally, in a general context, Balleine says" Carteret was no dashing hero of romance like Montrose or Rupert, though, as many of his exploits show, as a fighting man he was utterly fearless: but we see him mainly as a sober, hard-working servant of the King whose Royalism was his religion. A simple, undeviating, almost doglike devotion to the Crown was the mainspring of all of his actions. He had his faults, including one bad one [which isn't mentioned here],which we have tried not to disguise;but he remains an outstanding example of the Cavalier ideal of utter and unswerving loyalty, an ideal which his family enshrined in their motto 'Loyal devoir'". (p 2)

Aqua  •  Link

Jeannine, Thanks and RG too: nice insights.
Shakespeare would appreciate the comments as many would like to blame the Sonnets etal at the feet of Camox washed laudly one, not give credance to a grammar school drop out and the son of one that signs his moniker with an X.

language hat  •  Link

Great stuff, jeannine.
Why not add it to the Carteret background page?

TerryF  •  Link

jeannine, agreeing with language hat, I am especially struck by the cicumstantial claim - he must have had mathematical skills to have held tha posts that he held - perhaps contra SP, though the Peter Principle still applies; it's possible his math skills were of the practical sort of use in navigation/gunnery and did not carry over to bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing.

Stolzi  •  Link

Sir George Carteret

I knew the name of Sir George from early days, as we had to study our state's history back then, and he once owned a share in it.…

"On March 24, 1663, Charles II granted to the Lords Proprietors a slice of North America running from the Atlantic to the Pacific, lying between 36 degrees north latitude on the north and 31 degrees on the south."

And that's why the Carolinas are named for Charley-boy.

TerryF  •  Link

Sir George Carteret per Stolzi's site

"Sir George Carteret (1615 1680) came of old French stock on the Channel island of Jersey, which he held for King Charles I as the last Stuart stronghold to surrender to Cromwell. He was a distinguished naval officer, though rather careless in business and without much education. He died just too soon to receive the patent of nobility the king had intended for him. Carteret and Lord Berkeley were for a while Lords Proprietors of New Jersey, which he named for his home island." [and an image]…

TerryF  •  Link

More about Jersey, Charlie and Cartaret

"During the English Civil War the Channel Isle of Jersey remained loyal to the Crown and gave sanctuary to the King. It was from the Royal Square in St. Helier that Charles II of England was first proclaimed King in 1649, following the execution of his father, Charles I. The North American lands were divided by Charles II, who gave his brother, the Duke of York (later King James II) the region between New England and Maryland as a proprietary colony (as opposed to a royal colony). James then granted the land between the Hudson River and the Delaware River (the land that would become New Jersey) to two friends who had remained loyal through the English Civil War: Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley of Stratton."…

A. Hamilton  •  Link

And that’s why the Carolinas are named for Charley-boy.

Not to mention Charleston, situated at the mouths of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers (see Stolzi's list of Lords Proprietor), which flow together to form the Atlantic Ocean.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Although Sir G is described as leaving school at 13 to enter the Navy, his education would have continued as the officers on a ship had the responsibility for educating the midshipmen in their charge. This continued until at least the 1stWW. Tolkien's friend Christopher Wiseman reports running classes for his midshipmen in 1915 (in civilian life, Wisemen became a school-master). Probably this education would have had to do with pratical matters, but a thorough graps of mathematics would have been essential for navigation.

jeannine  •  Link

"And that’s why the Carolinas are named for Charley-boy”
Paul, That's right. Footnote in Balleine's book on Carteret says that "The name (then spelt Carolana) had been given to the district, when Charles I had made a vain attempt to refound Ralegh's colony. " (p. 150)
A point that must have had some inner "glee" to Carteret in this naming is this... when Charles II took refuge in Jersey for the second time (age 19) Carteret and his wife had just had a daughter. Charles II "good-humouredly volunteered to be her godfather, and presented her at the font, and chose for her the name Carolina,'which', explains Chevalier, 'is a Latin name corresponding to the French Charlotte, for Caolus is the Latin for Charles, and -lina, like -lotte in French makes it feminine'" (p 78).

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sorry *grasp* of mathematics. (typing with cat on knee trying to be ingratiating causes problems)

Harvey  •  Link

Sir George Carteret;
"... it’s possible his math skills were of the practical sort of use in navigation/gunnery and did not carry over to bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing."

The math of navigation is so much more complex (spherical trigonometry, not easy even with tables) than that of bookkeeping/auditing that I doubt Carteret would have had a problem if he had wanted to understand.


dirk  •  Link

Bookkeeping & Mathematics are related, but not the same -- and require different skills.

A mathematician would probably not make a good bookkeeper, and neither probably would a professional accountant be a good navigator...

dirk  •  Link

"The math of navigation is so much more complex (spherical trigonometry, not easy even with tables) than that of bookkeeping/auditing"

Harvey, you're right in principle of course -- but in Carteret's time (and, as you're probably aware of, even nowadays to some extent) practical navigation rarely makes use of these maths. Most navigation in the British Channel and along the coasts of Europe and the Mediterranean will have used Mercator projections or coastal marks, and not great-circle navigation.

Terry F  •  Link

No free press in the religiously "tolerant" Netherlands

Spinoza to Oldenburg, July 17/27, 1663

Distinguished Sir,

I have at length received your long wished for letter, and am at liberty to answer it. But, before I do so, I will briefly tell you, what has prevented my replying before.

....While [in Amsterdam] certain friends asked me to impart to them a treatise containing, in brief, the second part of the principles of Descartes treated geometrically....[,] to compose a similar treatise on the first part...[and] for leave to print it, which I readily granted on the condition that one of them should, under my supervision,...add a little preface warning readers that I do not acknowledge all the opinions there set forth as my own....

....It may be that on this occasion some of those, who hold the foremost positions in my country, will be found desirous of seeing the rest of my writings, which I acknowledge as my own; they will thus take care that I am enabled to publish them without any danger of infringing the laws of the land. If this be as I think, I shall doubtless publish at once; if things fall out otherwise, I would rather be silent than obtrude my opinions on men, in defiance of my country, and thus render them hostile to me....…

Spinoza's magnum opus, his *Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata* (Ethics) was published after his death in 1677.

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Hobbes version of tolerance
"No free press in the religiously "tolerant" Netherlands"
That they Establish the Presbytery.

Th'Ambitìon of the stateliest Clergie-Men,

Did not at all prevail in England then.

Hence many Scholars to the King did go,

Expel'd, Sad, Indigent, Burthensome too.

As yet my Studies undisturbed were,

And my Grand Clirnacterick past one year,

When that Book was perus'd by knowing Men,

The Gates of Janus Temple opened then;

And they accus'd me to the King,,that I

Seem'd to approve Cromwel's Impíety,'

And Countenance the worst of Wickedness:

This was believ'd, and I appear'd no less

T'han a Grand Enemy, so that I was for't

Banish'd both the King's Presence and his Court.
"The Verse Life" Thomas Hobbes
original in Latine to fool most not all latine Scholars be scholarly..…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Tuesday, June 30, 1663: "and then I by water to Deptford to see Sir W. Penn, who lies ill at Captain Rooth’s," I speculate that the route from the Redriffe landing to Capt. Rooth's in Deptford went passed Mrs. Bagwell's door ... maybe this is another reason why Pepys has been so good about going to see Sir W. Penn recently? Or perhaps Sir W. has moved his digs. Both Bagwell and Rooth live in Deptford, so why else would Sam be walking to Redriffe in the mud?

Log in to post an annotation.

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