Saturday 26 November 1664

Up and to the office, where busy all the morning. Home a while to dinner and then to the office, where very late busy till quite weary, but contented well with my dispatch of business, and so home to supper and to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

House of Commons today: Ways and Means.

Resolved, That the House be resolved into a Committee of the whole House, on Monday Morning next, at Ten of the Clock, in order to the Committee's further Proceeding in the Debate before them, of the Manner of levying the Five-and-twenty hundred thousand Pounds Supply to his Majesty.…

It is ever so: how shall we pay for it, having promised that it be paid?

Alan Bedford  •  Link

The approximate current (2006 by the calculator I used at…) value of that 2.5 mil would be £269,353,329.16, or just north of $557,000,000 current USD. War on the relatively cheap?

A. Hamilton  •  Link

War on the relatively cheap?

It would be more revealing if we knew Britain's GDP in Sam's day.

I've enjoyed in a cynical sort of way watching Sam and his fellow officers of the Navy rushing to put together war budget estimates for parliament that reflect the political judgment that the king will get what he asks for and the bureaucratic imperative not to ask for too little.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I dunno...Sam and co are doing the prudent thing from their pov in asking for everything they can get for the war. It's Parliament's job to ask hard questions and demand facts. The Naval Office would be doing a disservice to Nation and King if it pinched pennies at this time. The real question is, is the money going where it should and is proper planning for its use underway?

This of course is entirely separate from issues of corruption, payoff, and kickback.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

War Budget
Am I correct to assume that there was not any opposition?

jeannine  •  Link

Negotiating for Money, or just about anything....

Many negotiation books/classes, etc. include a basic negotiation strategy where you and your team discuss and plan for your ‘drop dead’ bottom line needs and then pad in some ‘extra requests’ that you could give away in the process of the arm wrestling. Where Sam has been working with Sir George Carteret on some of these requests, he is working with a ‘pro’ in the areas of understanding how to make money, how to negotiate a great deal, etc. Sir George was an expert here, like few others of his time, and has set forth a ‘winning’ plan of attack.

Many, many years ago, I worked for a not-well-liked (enough said) manager who insisted our group all take a series of negotiation classes as part of our job. I was fairly new in the group and had low seniority (lowest man on the totem pole), but took the class. Within our work group there was a limit to the time off that any one person could take at a time. The general rule was that people were allotted their full vacation time as earned, but could not take more than a week at a whack, unless you had seniority, played golf with the boss, etc. My friends were planning a 2 week trip traveling through Europe and I desperately wanted to go. Fresh from the class, which my manager also took along side me, I asked him for 3 weeks off to go travel with my friends. A fierce negotiation took place and he whittled me down to 2 weeks. I walked away looking depressed and muttered that I thought I could leave my friends a little early. He bragged about how strict he was at maintaining business to his standards, etc. My comrades, who actually paid attention during the class, were delighted, but, aside from a few smirks, winks and a high five or two were silent. The key of course, is that as you give away some of the ‘extras’ you keep your mouth shut (like I have until today, so I guess now I’ll have to ‘dispose’ of all of you!). Anyway, if Sam gets what he wants, then he would be best to let the actions speak loudly about his achievements and keep his lips zipped (except of course in his Diary!).

Don McCahill  •  Link

> Am I correct to assume that there was not any opposition?

If you check the House of Commons link to yesterday's article, you will find the vote for the expenditure passed by 172 to 102. It would have been larger if Pepys had mentioned the Dutch Weapons of Mass Destruction in his reports.

Terry F  •  Link

"Am I correct to assume that there was not any opposition?"

Yesterday's Diary entry said the appropriation demanded by "the King's party....was much opposed by Mr. [John] Vaughan [, MP Cardiganshire,] and others, that it should be so much," so we even have an name for a leader of the Loyal Opposition

JWB  •  Link


I remember reading recently that Holland's GDP estimates were some 70% greater than England's in 17th C. But, as one whose working life involved recording numbers, I can say that what gets mesasured is what can be easily measured and in that Holland's wealth was more concentrated in trade, denominated in countable tics, those tics get counted.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

UK GDP - C 17th. etc.

The Economic History Services has an 'historic' GDP calculator, continuous from 1830 to date. For the C 17th. the only data available is for 1688 which gives the GDP in (then) current market terms of 58 million pounds.

So the additional war appropriation to the navy of 2,500,000L over three years (833,000 p/a.) would be about 1.4% of GDP.

Lawrence H. Officer, "The Annual Real and Nominal GDP for the United Kingdom, 1086 - 2005." Economic History Services, September 2006, URL :…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

War on the relatively cheap?

Note the linked discussion: 'Five Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a UK Pound Amount, 1830 - 2004.' discussing the choice and use of particular comparison series depending on the context of the question. Alas, for our purposes, the following five measures are available only from 1830 onward: Retail Price Index, GDP Deflator, Average Earnings, Per Capita GDP, GDP.

Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to 2006…

Terry F  •  Link

Good stuff, Michael R. Purchasing Power matters in evaluating this and any other appropriation for war. A 17th century equivalent of the "Big Mac Index"? always fun to read in The Economist.…

Terry F  •  Link

It is argued that the "iPod index," which compares a country's purchasing power parity in terms of the relative cost of an 2GB Apple iPod nano (Second Generation) in US Dollars, is considered to be more accurate than the Big Mac index for several reasons. While the make-up of a Big Mac is more-or-less constant world wide, its cost is dependent on the local cost of both ingredients and labour, as well as varying local demand (For instance, demand for Big Macs in India is lower than comparable countries due to the large vegetarian population). Conversely, all iPod nanos are manufactured in the same place (China) from the same materials, and their prices are not dictated by demand. While this raises issues with regard to shipping costs, given the ratio of physical size to retail price of a single iPod nano unit, the effect of shipping-cost-per-unit is negligible.…

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

JWB:"what gets measured is what can be easily measured"

You bring to mind the quote attributed to Sir Josiah Stamp,quondam assistant director of Inland Revenue:

"The government are very keen on amassing statistics. They collect them, add them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams. But you must never forget that every one of these figures comes in the first instance from the village watchman, who just puts down what he damn pleases."

cgs  •  Link

Today, there be one gent by the name of Mr Pepis on the House of Commons committee to fix the lanes and by ways and leave the common goose alone.

Second Reading

RSGII  •  Link

Using the measuring worth calculators referred to above, the share of GNP represented by £2.5 million in 1664 would be equivalent to £85 billion today. Not exactly a cheap war in terms of the amount of national wealth consumed.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Gerald Berg  •  Link

That iPod is pretty well worthless today Terry! So things do you change Louise. Today (at least) the comparison should be bitcoin as it breached $10,000. Bets on worth ten years hence?

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Multipliers for Projects:
historic opportunity cost = real price = RPI/GDP deflator = 120
labour cost = labour value = average earnings = 2,100
economic cost = share of GDP = 29,000

Taken from… which explains which index to use for different purposes.

So the economic cost in today’s money of £2,500,000 in the money of the pre-industrial world of 1660 = £2.5 X 10exp6 x 29 X10exp3 = £73 x 10exp9, i.e. £73 billion.

which seems a lot but is similar to RSGII’s estimate above (£85 billion)

RSGII  •  Link

That site has a nice little calculator where you can plug in the beginning date,e.g. 1664, the end date, 2016 (the most recent full year), the amount you’re starting with, £2.5 million, and it will provide you a table with the current equivalent values for different purposes, such as those noted by Chris.

Log in to post an annotation.

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