Monday 16 January 1664/65

Up and with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen to White Hall, where we did our business with the Duke. Thence I to Westminster Hall and walked up and down. Among others Ned Pickering met me and tells me how active my Lord is at sea, and that my Lord Hinchingbroke is now at Rome, and, by all report, a very noble and hopefull gentleman.

Thence to Mr. Povy’s, and there met Creed, and dined well after his old manner of plenty and curiosity. But I sat in pain to think whether he would begin with me again after dinner with his enquiry after my bill, but he did not, but fell into other discourse, at which I was glad, but was vexed this morning meeting of Creed at some bye questions that he demanded of me about some such thing, which made me fear he meant that very matter, but I perceive he did not.

Thence to visit my Lady Sandwich and so to a Tangier Committee, where a great company of the new Commissioners, Lords, that in behalfe of my Lord Bellasses are very loud and busy and call for Povy’s accounts, but it was a most sorrowful thing to see how he answered to questions so little to the purpose, but to his owne wrong. All the while I sensible how I am concerned in my bill of 100l. and somewhat more. So great a trouble is fear, though in a case that at the worst will bear enquiry.

My Lord Barkeley was very violent against Povy. But my Lord Ashly, I observe, is a most clear man in matters of accounts, and most ingeniously did discourse and explain all matters. We broke up, leaving the thing to a Committee of which I am one. Povy, Creed, and I staid discoursing, I much troubled in mind seemingly for the business, but indeed only on my own behalf, though I have no great reason for it, but so painfull a thing is fear.

So after considering how to order business, Povy and I walked together as far as the New Exchange and so parted, and I by coach home. To the office a while, then to supper and to bed.

This afternoon Secretary Bennet read to the Duke of Yorke his letters, which say that Allen1 has met with the Dutch Smyrna fleet at Cales, —[The old form of the name Cadiz.]— and sunk one and taken three. How true or what these ships are time will show, but it is good newes and the newes of our ships being lost is doubted at dales and Malaga. God send it false!

29 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"dales and Malaga."

L&M transcribe "Cales and Malaga."

jeannine  •  Link

“Journals of the Earl of Sandwich” edited by R.C. Anderson

16th. Monday. By Cooper’s observation the Blazing Start was at ½ past 6 distant from Os Baleni 20º 50’, South Point Trianguli 14º 00’. His body appearing scarce enough to be observed. The moon was then distant from Left Shoulder of Orion 15º 00’, Bright Star in Castor’s foot 27º 40’. About 5 oclock I saw the Moon within a third of her own diameter to the eastward of Aldebaran and I judged that the very centre of the moon had passed under the star.

cape henry  •  Link

" was a most sorrowful thing to see how he answered to questions so little to the purpose, but to his owne wrong." Does it seem odd to anyone else that the competent and self assured Povey should run into this kind of problem? Is this why he did not confront Pepys in the usual manner, knowing the other shoe was about to drop? Without actual details, it's a strange little scene.

Linda F  •  Link

My readings seem wide of the mark lately, but this suggests to me that Povey tried to deflect rather than answer whatever questions were put to him, or answered them so obliquely that a commission including Pepys was directed to look into the matter.
Sam seems to protest too much in insisting that despite his intense fear he has no need of it. Surely he has seen that often truth does not prevail where an appearance of impropriety or guilt by association better serves another's purpose. And it does sound as though Sam has put himself at risk.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

One wonders if perhaps, at least at this time, Povy is really quite the befuddled, well-meaning coxcomb Sam portrays him. Possibly he has saddled Sam with a very dangerous burden in the Tangier treasurership.

One is reminded of how Elmer Fudd, frustrated wrabbit hunter, millionaire and tax evader, finally got Bugs Bunny...When it really counted.

"No, no, no...I'm no mere clerk signing papers. I am the Tangier treasurer. The man in charge. You come to me, not Penn not Povy."

"Indeed. Well then, Mr. Pepys, you'll have to come along with us. According to our review of accounts you owe the King 5 million pounds."

Povy, bright smile...
"HHHuuhhh...I may be a coxcomb...But I'm not goin' to the Tower. Eh, Bess?"

"Indeed, darling."

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"some bye questions"

OED re "bye", adjective:
2. fig. a. Away from the main purpose, occurring ‘by the way’, incidental, casual; b. of secondary importance; c. privy, clandestine, secret, underhand; cf. by- in comb. 3c, d, 4, 5: often coupled with another epithet, as by and sinister, familiar and by, etc. See by-matter, by-word, etc.
c1050, etc. [see by-word]. 1552, etc. [see by-matter]. 1562 Cooper Answ. Priv. Masse (1850) 168 You have brought out of them all but a few bye sentences. 1599 B. Jonson Ev. Man out of Hum., The Stage, Entertain this troop With some familiar and by-conference. 1632 D. Lupton London Carbon. 105 He+hopes to haue+some by preferment. 1633 Fosbrooke Warre or Confl. 9 Done either in hypocrisie or for some by and sinister respect. a1652 Brome Crt. Beggar ii. i, Have we spent all this while in by and idle talke? 1674 [Z. Cawdrey] Catholicon 16 Those whom they have gained in their concealed and by-trade as Undertakers. 1802 Paley Nat. Theol. xxvi. (1819) 455 The bye effect may be unfavourable. 1842 Miall Nonconf. II. 393 Some trivial bye consideration being unsound will vitiate our whole conclusion. 1849 Ruskin Sev. Lamps iv. §3. 96 Far too serious a work to be undertaken in a bye way. 1857 Gen. P. Thompson Audi Alt. I. ii. 5 A bye debate+arose on a motion by Lord Claud Hamilton.

Not sure which of the subsenses Sam had in mind.

andy  •  Link Westminster Hall and walked up and down

I wonder if this is how the Lobby worked: that gentlemen walked the hall and were therefore available for other gentlemen to speak to them.

I don't see it as a parade but the last time I was in the Lobby at the House of Commons it was clearly an organised meeting-place with rituals.

Capt.Petrus.S.Dorpmans  •  Link

16th. Jan.1665

"...and sunk one and taken three..."

On 19 December Allin hade made an unprovoked attack on the Dutch merchantmen off Cadiz, and had taken two and sunk two: Allin, i.191-3; CSPD 1664-5, p.122. This was the immediate cause of the war which followed.

Latham and Matthews. Vol. VI.1665.
London: G.Bell and Sons Ltd. May.1974.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Still, always nice to be a member of the investigating committee when you dread the consequences of that investigation.

cape henry  •  Link

Most aptly put, RG.

JWB  •  Link

" a rich prize from Smyrna..."

What,dried figs & raisins? Captured Dec 19th, just in time for Chistmastime figgy pudding.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

A little off-topic, but ...

Our favorite 17th century diarist was the subject of a top-dollar Jeopardy question on last night's program. The category: Checking In, Checking Out. The answer was something like this: "He checked in on February 23, 1633, but there was no diary entry for May 25, 1703."

It's nice to be acquainted with a fellow who commands the highest-valued Jeopardy answer.

Isn't today's entry marvelous? How candid Sam is about his own motives: "I, much troubled in mind, seemingly for the business, but indeed only on my own behalf ..."

jeannine  •  Link

And a little more off topic...."Our favorite 17th century diarist was the subject of a top-dollar Jeopardy question on last night’s program."

After I read Rex's entry I could not get the theme song from Jeopardy out of my head, so, thinking I'd find the actual song and post it on the site for anyone who has never heard it, I found this version, which is pathetically funny. Enjoy, I am sure that Sam would!…

And a more 'dignified version here"…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

As I understand it, the current investigation has to do with the accounts of Mr. Povey, "Receiver-General of the Rents and Revenues of James, Duke of York," as the 1893 note says; what Pepys dreads having discovered by Creed is a matter that's far away -- having to do with cash for Tangier.

cape henry  •  Link

Thanks for that fine exposition, TF. Also to be kept in mind is the fact that the commoners do not stand on equal footing with the titled. The Mr.'s are always at risk of taking the fall for the mistakes or knaveries of their "betters," and they, in turn, are always looking for ways to keep the riff raff on their toes and in line. In that spoils system, all the spoils belong to the king in one form or another. What he chooses to distribute goes mainly to the gentlemen of rank, his cronies. Pepys and his associates are competing over the crumbs. Some crumbs are riskier to sweep up than others. Povey and Pepys seem to be holding brooms behind their backs.

Pedro  •  Link

Allen1 has met with the Dutch Smyrna fleet at Cales, —[The old form of the name Cadiz.]— and sunk one and taken three.

Allin gives a detailed description of the attack on the Symrna Fleet in his Journal. One bit that caught my eye…

“We stood to another great ship, not being able to tack at present, but met another great ship, which was called the King Solomon, which we passed our broadside into, and getting our ship ahead he shot a gun and broke the iron brace of our larboard lantern, the rail, a man’s head off and hurt another in the face, through one of my chairs, a splinter took Captain Baker’s hat, being sat charging his gun, which had he stood up, he had gone.”

(The Journals of Sir Thomas Allin, edited by R. C. Anderson)

Pedro  •  Link

The annotation by Capt. Dorspamns from L&M

Taken on its own I think that this can be quite misleading, saying in effect, that Allin’s unprovoked attack was the immediate cause of the war.

Yes this attack was unprovoked, but over 100 Dutch ships had been taken at the turn of the New Year. It is likely that most of these were taken without giving any provocation to English warships. Orders have been out for some time to take the ships, Holmes being told to do so on his way home, and on the 21st November we see that Teddiman has brought 20 in……

Charles is doing his best to provoke the Dutch to declare war first, and so to appear the aggressors. The attack on the Smyrna fleet is more like the last straw that broke the camels back than an immediate cause, as eventually some merchantmen would be met with Dutch warships accompanying them that would offer resistance.

dirk  •  Link

"Allen has met with the Dutch Smyrna fleet at Cales, and sunk one and taken three."

So the comet is not all bad luck...

The Rev. Josselin's diary, Sunday 15 January:
"all persons say cometa malum omen, and now all nations promise themselves good. in particular England and the Imperial family."

jeannine  •  Link

So the comet is not all bad luck…

Dirk- Hopefully the best of luck is that you're back among the crew-we missed you!

cgs  •  Link

'ere 'ere;

Australian Susan  •  Link

Much missed, Dirk! Welcome back!

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

To which I add my huzzah! Perhaps, given Jeannine's link above, we can give you a four-palm salute?

dirk  •  Link

Thanks everybody, it's great to be back.

Pedro  •  Link

Back after a few false starts!

Hope you have not forgotten Evelyn, Ralph and the Carte Papers. Poor old Terry's fingers need a rest.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Thence I to Westminster Hall and walked up and down" ... I like the idea Pepys was making himself available for questions. I thought he was looking for Betty Lane Martin.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"So great a trouble is fear, though in a case that at the worst will bear enquiry."

So Pepys isn't the player he thought he was. There is a conscience ticking away there, upset by watching a dupe being called out. Repent of your evil ways, before it is too late. And Creed finds out and blackmails you for years.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

‘A Plan of Principal Floor, New Palace of Westminster’ (found on the web) shows that what is now the Central Lobby started as the Central Hall. ‘The Lobby’ is the space before the entrance to the chamber. Members of the ‘Parliamentary Lobby’ have access to it but but not the rest of the press pack - now very numerous and to blow up every tit-bit of gossip to feed the 24-hr news machine. There are also two Division Lobbies east and west of the chamber.

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