Tuesday 24 May 1664

Up and to the office, where Sir J. Minnes and I sat all the morning, and after dinner thither again, and all the afternoon hard at the office till night, and so tired home to supper and to bed.

This day I heard that my uncle Fenner is dead, which makes me a little sad, to see with what speed a great many of my friends are gone, and more, I fear, for my father’s sake, are going.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"more, I fear, for my father's sake, are going."

Papa's generation is passing from the scene -- and those whom SP has know his entire life. The earliest date we have for Uncle Fenner is 1633 -- the year of Samuel's birth --, in which T. Fenner "married as his first wife Katherine Kite [d. 1661], sister of Pepys's mother." Per Paul Brewster's background annote, citing L&M.

jeannine  •  Link

From "Samuel Pepys and the Second Dutch War" edited by Robert Latham

May 24, 1664. Sir W. Batten taking money of the Victualler for the signing of his accounts. Sir J. Minnes did tell me, discoursing of the victualling business and the passing of his accounts, that Sir W. Batten did demand and hath received of Mr. Gauden, 20£ a time for the passing of his accounts. And that Mr. Gauden hath sometimes said to him that he was in his debt also, but he is resolved never to take it, though he says he thinks it may be found to have been the old practice that the Comptroller and the Surveyor should have 20£l apiece at an account, and by name, that My Lady Palmer [Lady Castlemaine] did always demand it for pin-money. And that Sir Guilfd Singsbys did receive it. And that Sir W. Batten hath often said to him that he ought to have it, and why did he not demand it; but he will not demand it, but quite contrary, gives 20£ a year out of his purse to have it done. But he desired me not to speak of it, for he will know that it comes from him.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Fascinating glimpse into Batten's corruption, Jeannine, which we've not had described in the Diary yet ... can you tell more about the source of this? Thanks.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Very interesting Jeannine...Was it from letters? Interesting that it suggests Sir John was a bit more alert to matters of self-interest if perhaps worthless as to other naval affairs. He seems well versed in the schedule of bribes, er fees...

And that bit about Castlemaine...First time we've ever heard a suggestion that she gets so involved in details of the adminstration. Pin money, eh? I wonder when she gets the chance to stick her claw in...Clearly she doesn't drop by the Naval Office or hang out at Batten's. Are the wealthier merchants expected to stop by to visit her as a matter of course before meeting with the Duke or the Naval Board? And while it's not unbelievable at all...A very common practice to placate the ruler's mistress as part of normal business that persists to this day...if so, why hasn't Sam noted it before? You would think he'd at least complain of it.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Apparently Sam had no "great expectations" of dear ole Uncle Fenner.

Terry F  •  Link

"Very interesting Jeannine...Was it from letters?"

Jeannine has a copy of A Very Useful Book and is generous in sharing:

Samuel Pepys and the Second Dutch War: Pepy's Navy White Book and Brooke House Papers (Navy Records Society Publications) (Hardcover)
by Samuel Pepys (Author), Robert Latham (Editor), Navy Records Society (January 1996)(Great Britain) http://www.amazon.com/Samuel-Pepy…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"... a great many of my friends are gone, ..."

"My wife gone this afternoon to the buriall of my she-cozen Scott, a good woman; and it is a sad consideration how the Pepys's decay,..."


Michael Robinson  •  Link

Gauden with the trophy house

Yes; but he built it not for himself but for his brother John, the purported author of the 'Eikon Basilike,...'(1649) which for generations promoted the case of and sentimental devotion to Charles 'the Martyr' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiko…). At the Restoration instead of Winchester, one of the five senior sees & one of the the wealthiest bishoprics for which he had hoped, John Gauden first got Exeter and, on complaining, Worcester; Clarendon was appalled by the adoption of Cranmer's language for the transparent & manipulative sentimental spirituality of Eikon Basilike -- and Gauden's 'playing of both sides' during the Commonwealth.

Dennis, the prosperous City merchant brother, and business associate of Pepys , began building the house for his brother John because the Bishop of Winchester did not possess a grand London residence.

[Spoiler -- Dennis was to go bankrupt because of the Royal failure to pay bills during the second Dutch War, the house was picked up cheap by Will Hewer, who had profited, and it was to there that Pepys retired, installed his various collections, and then died.]

Tis the age also of the unsentimental La Rochefoucauld's 'Reflexions ou sentences et maximes morales'


jeannine  •  Link

Jeannine, which we've not had described in the Diary yet ... can you tell more about the source of this?

Todd, Terry's link above goes to the book itself (which is also available on ABEBOOKS http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/S… )

The book is in 2 parts. The first section (where today's entry came from) is called the "Navy White Book" and it's a collection of memorandum that Sam kept between 1664-1672. As Tanner (editor says) "These were year when war conditions made the Navy Board particularly busy, and the book's rich detail and comprehensive coverage, together with Pepys's frank comments on incompetent colleagues and dishonest contractors, provide a unique insight into the workings of the administrative machine." The interesting thing is that these notes aren't exactly in chronological order so you do have to bounce around to synch up with the Diary pages.

{Spoiler}The second part of the book is devoted to Sam's Brooke House Journal where he recorded his day-to-day "part in the debates held before the Privy Council between the Brooke House Commissioners and the Navy Board on the subject of the Commission's report."

The book is from the Naval Records Society publications. From the site: "The Navy Records Society was established in order to make rare and unpublished works relating to British naval history available on a broader basis. This is a list of their publications from 1894 to 1996." There are other books available that deal with Sam, Sandwich (his Journal~which I will post from when it picks up again in a fwe months), letters, etc. Several books deal with this time period and familar characters.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Thanks, Jeannine...Along with his notes on Capt. Scott a must read one day.

Sounds like the spirit of the Diary crept into a lot of Sam's notes and memoranda at this time. Be interesting to see if they suffered from increased circumpection after the Diary ended, the CoA feeling freer to say what the Secretary could not.


Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Indeed, thanks for sharing, Jeannine. I agree with Robert that the tone and style of the note is very Diary-like (unlike much of his other correspondence, which is more formal and stilted).

Terry F  •  Link

Jeannine, Is what is called the "Navy White Book" what Pepys referred to on 8 April as "my office daybook"? Has Matthews now published what Henry Wheatley, in a note there said "are not known to exist now," sc. in 1893? See http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

jeannine  •  Link

"Has Matthews now published what Henry Wheatley, in a note there said "are not known to exist now," sc. in 1893?"
See http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

Terry, I believe that he has. The intro to the Navy White Book section actually references the day before your April 8 entry. On the 7th Sam refers to it as his "office book" while the next day (your reference above) he calls it his office daybook. The intro to the Matthews' book says that Sam kept a previous memorandum book which he had begun in 1660. This new book, "the Navy White Book" was his 'personal record of the Board's debates and transactions and of how, in fact, each member of the Board had discharged his responsibilities. It was designed to be a means of defense against criticism. It also came to be, in Pepys words, a record of 'matters to be reformed or improved.'" (p xvii)

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Was this book written in shorthand? In any case, no wonder Sam's eyes eventually (almost) failed him ... what a tremendous amount of writing he did each day, in addition to his other activities. What a powerhouse the man was!

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Pepys' Various Memoranda books

The note to the L&M text for April 08 1664 (V, p.166, n. 1) in part reads:-

"Presumably his 'Navy White Book,' PL 2581 (incorporated in the PL, according to Pepys's catalogue, between 1700 and 1703). ... The first entry is dated 6 October 1663, but may well have been made later ... Pepys first mentions the need for a personal memorandum book at 20 June 1662, and it appears that he then began to keep a book of reference which has now disappeared. ... The Navy White Book was of a different nature - a reformer's handbook of abuses, of things that went wrong ...."

and for July 23rd. 1663 (IV, p. 241, n.3)in part:-

"The office memoranda books have now disappeared. In October 1688 four were still extant but only two covered any of the diary period ...
Pepys kept two personal memoranda books which have survived. One (PRO, Adm. 106/3520) is entitled in Pepys's hand 'Collections and Memorandums occasional,' and in a clerks hand 'Memorandums and Conclusions of the Navy Board from July 1660 to 21 May 1668.' It begins with a section in Pepys's hand covering July 1660 to 24 July 1662, and thereafter is entered in a variety of hands, the last entry being dated 18 June 1668. The second is his Navy White Book ...

It is usually impossible to identify with certainty the memoranda books mentioned in the diary: not only has the office series completely disappeared, but since he probably made notes of the same mater in several books, the mere recovery of a note in one of them is inconclusive. His book of "Navy Collections' seems to have been a more systematic reference book with an index: ..."

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I wonder if he sent a condolence note to his Aunt Hester Fenner:

Sunday 19 January 1661/62 -- and thence into the Old Bayly ... to my uncle Fenner’s; ... he having lately married a midwife that is old and ugly, and that hath already brought home to him a daughter and three children, ... NAMELY AUNT HESTER FENNER.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

A daughter and three children? Does that mean daughters were not considered children, the way women were not considered fully human? (How could they be if they weren't men.)

Background Lurker  •  Link

A daughter and three children?
As Aunt Hester belongs to SP's parents' generation and is "old", it more likely means a daughter and three grandchildren of Hester's. It sounds like a widowed daughter that Uncle Fenner had to take care of.
Women definitely had a lower social status than men in those times but is there any evidence that they were "not considered fully human"?

Martin  •  Link

Interesting to see 'friend' for 'relative' here. From the OED, it looks as though this would be gone from southern English not long after Pepys's time.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I would guess that "daughter and three children" meant a (near) adult daughter and three much younger children.

Robert was being a bit naughty at comment #5. Apart from the fact that both the Pepys' had been doing their best to avoid Uncle Fenner since his remarriage, there is absolutely no reason why Sam should have "great expectations", or any expectations at all, of "dear ole Uncle Fenner". After all, Fenner was not a blood relative himself, but merely his deceased aunt's widower. The only people, other than his second wife, now widow, who might have any expectations would be Fenner's daughters (Pepys' cousins), Mary and Kate Joyce. I imagine that is for their sake alone that Sam and Elizabeth will attend Fenner's funeral.

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