Wednesday 15 March 1664/65

Up and by coach with Sir W. Batten to St. James’s, where among other things before the Duke, Captain Taylor was called in, and, Sir J. Robinson his accuser not appearing, was acquitted quite from his charge, and declared that he should go to Harwich, which I was very well pleased at. Thence I to Mr. Coventry’s chamber, and there privately an houre with him in discourse of the office, and did deliver to him many notes of things about which he is to get the Duke’s command, before he goes, for the putting of business among us in better order. He did largely owne his dependance as to the office upon my care, and received very great expressions of love from him, and so parted with great satisfaction to myself. So home to the ’Change, and thence home to dinner, where my wife being gone down upon a sudden warning from my Lord Sandwich’s daughters to the Hope with them to see “The Prince,” I dined alone. After dinner to the office, and anon to Gresham College, where, among other good discourse, there was tried the great poyson of Maccassa upon a dogg,1 but it had no effect all the time we sat there.

We anon broke up and I home, where late at my office, my wife not coming home. I to bed, troubled, about 12 or past.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Fears that others may be drawn into war are calendared in the Carte Collection:

[A Writer not herein named to Sir Theophilus Jones?]
Written from: [Dublin]

Date: [15 March?] 1665
[This and other like anonymous letters addressed to Jones were by him communicated to the Lord Lieutenant, the Duke of Ormond, and usually bear an indorsement in the hand of Sir George Lane.]
Sends intelligence, or rumours, received from English correspondents, of warlike preparations on the coast of France.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Captain Taylor was called in, and, Sir J. Robinson his accuser not appearing, was acquitted quite from his charge, and declared that he should go to Harwich, which I was very well pleased at."

Has anyone else been able to find out what this was alll about?

The link should go to Capt. Silas Taylor.…

Wim van der Meij points out Silas was “described by A. Wood as alias Domville; he was a native of Shropshire and educated at Oxford, and became a captain in the Parliament forces. Subsequently to the Restoration he was appointed Commissary of Ammunition at Dunkirk and in 1665 made Keeper of the King’s Stores at Harwich. He died 4th November 1678."…

Re Capt. Silas Taylor, Cumsalisgrano posted the info:
Google [ Taylor, Capt. Silas ] gives lots of leads to those that be interested in the Musical side.
Silas Taylor [Domville] (1624-1678)

English antiquarian and amateur musician. He was educated at Shrewsbury and Westminster, and entered New Inn Hall, Oxford, in 1641. He left the university without taking a degree and joined the Parliamentary Army, where he rose to the rank of captain. He composed anthems and 27 two-part English and Latin psalms and hymns. Most of his surviving anthems are incomplete, but four parts of God is our hope are in the Gostling partbooks at York and two others are in Ely organ books now at Cambridge University Library. Playford printed Taylor’s setting of Cowley’s The thirsty earth drinks up the rain in Catch that Catch Can and two suites for treble and bass viol in Court Ayres

Source: Jack Westrup/Ian Spink: Silas Taylor quoted from Grove Music Online accessed 19 December 2006…

No wonder that musical Pepys is so glad.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Robert Hooke Folio Online, thanks to Ruben:

march. 15. Expt. of [aqua fortis] & oyster shell for generating air tryd. Dr. wren explicated by this the motion of the muscles by explosion mr. Pepys gaue an account of what information he had Receiud from the master of the Iersey ship (who had been in major holmes his company in the Guinny voyage) concerning the pendulum watches. vizt. that the said master affirmd that the vulgar Recconning proued as neer as that of the watches; which (he added) had varyed from one another vnequally sometimes backward sometimes forward to 46735 minutes as also that they has been corrected by the vsuall account And as to the Island he had waterd at (he affirmd) that the said master had declared that they had not waterd at Fuego but at another 30 miles distant from the same east westward. Sr. R moray reported herevpon the substance of major. Holmes his Relation Rectifying some mistake in the number of the Leagues formerly mentiond to haue been 4 or 500 in the steering the course from the west to the NE. and affirming that it was but about 200 Leagues but the course from the coast of Guinny westwards had been 800 Leagues. He added that though they had not waterd at Fuego, yet they had made that Island at the time the maj. had predicted and were gone from thence to another more conuenient for watering. He mentiond also that mjr. holmes had Repeated his promise to him of giuing the whole history in writing. that in the Interim he had Related 2 expts more made in the same voyage 1st. hauing sayled 50 or 60 Leagues from the coast of Africa westward and being come back again to the same place he found the watches agree wth the sun Iust as they did when he parted thence. 2d that hauing quitted the equinoctiall Line to seeke the coast of Africa 7 or 8 Degrees and the wind becoming scanty and continuing soe for seuerall Days whereby they were driuen asterne some 80 Leagues eatwards wch. the pilots of the other ships perceiued not, he discouerd it by the watches which did shew that these watches were capable to Discouer the currents in the ocean as well as the Longitudes a thing that was neuer yet done & thought impossible to be done. RH affirmd ^ /in/ his opinion noe certainty could be had from these watches for the Longitude first because they neuer hung perpendicular and consequently the cheeks were fals. 2ly. all kinds of motion vpwards & downwards (though you should grant that the watches did hang in an exact perpendicular posture) would alter the vibrations of them 3 any Laterall motion would produce yet a greater laterall motion alteratio The President mentiond that these difficultys had been considerd & the matter put to expt. wch was to cleer all in the mean time it was orderd that the watches being brought ashore some expt. should be made wth them by contriuing vp & down motions & Laterall ones to see wt alterations they would cause in them. RH Declared that he did intend to put his secret concerning the Longitude into the hands of the President to Dispose of as he should think fit. RH orderd to draw vp a series of Expts. for Improuing Artilery…

Pedro  •  Link

[Pepys himself made a communication at this meeting of the information he had received from the master of the Jersey ship, who had been in company of Major Holmes in the Guinea voyage, concerning the pendulum watches (Birch's "History," vol. ii., p. 23).]

Is Pepys, again, playing a dangerous game? Remember the information gained from Sandwich about the mole that he presented to the Tangier Committee without permission. Holmes does not seem to be someone you should mess with!

Huygens had been for some years experimenting with a pendulum watch as a means for determine longitude at sea. In this work, and in some of his other projects, he was assisted by two highly gifted Scottish Royalists, Alexander Bruce and Sir Robert Moray the moving spirit of the Royal Society. The Reserve was chosen to test the watches as Rupert thought a thorough job could be done by Holmes. (His first expedition to W Africa).

Holmes duly submitted "An account of Going of the 2 watches at sea from 28th April to the 4th September 1663." The results seemed to be encouraging and the watches were also sent on his second voyage.

On the 11th November 1664 Huygens anxiously wrote to Moray for the results when the Jersey was sighted in European water. Within a month Huygens was delighted with the reports asking Moray to question Holmes more about the behaviour of the watches in rough weather.

The master of the Jersey confirmed Holmes' report that they behaved perfectly. And Holmes at dinner with Moray added that it was only the watches that enabled him to perceive that he had been carried 80 leagues to the eastward during the time the ships had been becalmed.

(Information fro Man of War by Ollard)

JWB  •  Link

A confusion of taylors

This no doubt was Captain John Taylor, the master shipwright, who built the London in 1657. Batten was the surveyor, therefore I think we can assume by his presense that Robinson's impeachment v Taylor & the hearing before the Duke concerned the seaworthyness of the London.

Ruben  •  Link

the efforts to solve the longitude problem continued another hundred years, till a watchmaker - John Harrison - built a watch good enough for the task (and reproducible!)
All the kind words about the pendulum were just that, kind words. Thousands of lives will be lost just because of the longitude problem during the passing years.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"A confusion of taylors"

both at Harwich.

JWB  •  Link

A confusion of taylors

And Batten a music critic?

(What's appropriate collective noun for taylors? A stitch....?)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

In the Background more taylors (prick-lice) -- John and Tom Pepys, et al.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

" there was tried the great poyson of Maccassa upon a dogg"
Here's a raw quote from the Hobson Jobson dictionary: The subject of this poison came especially to the notice of the Dutch in connection with its use to poison the arrows just alluded to, and some interesting particulars are given on the subject by Bontius, from whom a quotation is given below, with others. There is a notice of the poison in De Bry, in Sir T. Herbert (whencesoever he borrowed it), and in somewhat later authors about the middle of the 17th century. In March 1666 the subject came before the young Royal Society, and among a long list of subjects for inquiry in the East occur two questions pertaining to this matter. etc, etc, and et cetera.
It seems to me the East India Company wanted to know more about these poisoned darts flying about in their colonies, and turned to the early Royal Society and gave them a research grant, one dogg and some poyson. They didn't get it right the first time in their attempt to slay the dogg.
An early researcher into ovaries slew his own female dog in the cause of science, and found the connection of eggs and the ovaries. I had to read the original in German long ago in my studies, and I well remember his steely determination in the cause of science (alles auf Deutsch, "sie war geopfert").
My own Tibetan Spaniel should live a long time, as he belongs to my wife.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

So John Robinson, lieutenant of the Tower, accused Capt. Taylor of losing the London? What would Sir John have to do with this affair? Was he channeling his 60s TV namesake? ("Don, lets get some power going!" , sorry couldn't resist a 60 sci-fi flashback here) Or was he just shooting his mouth off and because of his (Robinson's) public position Taylor insisted on a hearing? Or did Sir John lose friends, etc and give vent to some anger which he later repented?

[off topic, but personally, thanks for the emails...Gay and I are fine, the blow missed us by one mile.]

Australian Susan  •  Link

" wife not coming home. I to bed, troubled, about 12 or past....."

Girls' Night Out! Poor Sam! Dining alone and then back after work to an empty house.

About the poor dog and the poison: if this was supposed to be the poison used in poisoned arrows by the indigenous peoples of various invaded places, might the freshness be the deciding factor? I know there is a South American tribe which poisoned its arrows from the Arrow Frog by wiping the arrows directly onto the frog's back to obtain the poisonous exudate - so maybe that was what was wrong with the substance used on the dog: it was stale (fortunate dog).

Terry Foreman  •  Link

A confusion of taylors unconfused

I found a note by L&M that explains why Capt. John Taylor's the man in question (in two senses). His appointment as Navy Commissioner to Harwich last Nov. 1,… was controversial: accused of being "a fanatic" by Batten and Sir J. Robinson -- something conceded even by his supporter Mr. Coventry, who, on 19 December had "to vindicate himself before the Duke and us, being all there, about the choosing of Taylor for Harwich" --… , despite Batten's having backed off, a hold had been put on sending him there until today's rather pro forma proceedings.

Pedro  •  Link

On this day the King was pleased to send instructions to Sir Heneage Finch his Solicitor-General…

“…by virtue of our warrant, under our privy signet, bearing the date 10th March, 1664, containing a grant to the said Sir William Penn and his heirs, of certain lands in the County of Cork, shall be good, valid and effectual in the law, according to the true meaning and purport thereof…”

(Memorials of Sir William Penn by his grandson Granville Penn)

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Importing & Retailing Dutch Goods Forbidden

By the King. A proclamation for prohibiting the importation or retailing of any commodities of the growth or manufacture of the states of the United Provinces."Given at our court at Whitehall the fifteenth day of March, 1664/5. in the seventeenth year of our reign."
London: printed by John Bill and Christopher Barker, printers to the Kings most excellent Majesty, 1664/5 [i.e. 1665]

1 sheet ([1] p.) ; 1⁰. Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), C3379. Steele, I, 3413

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

March 15 ... Afternoone at our Society, where was tried some of the Poysons sent from the King of Macassar out of E. India, so famous for its suddaine operation: we gave it a wounded dog, but it did not succeede.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

This meeting of the Royal Society

The poison (from the upas tree… ) was used in Malaya for making poisoned arrows. The only known antidote was human ordure taken internally: Philos. Trans., ii (for 1667), p. 417. Cf. Birch, ii. 43-4, 318. At this same meeting Pepys reported that pendulum-watches gave no better results , according to a ship's master, than 'vulgar reckoning'. He was also asked 'to bespeak a man, at Deptford, for diving': Ib. , p. 24. (L&M note)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... my wife not coming home. I to bed, troubled, about 12 or past. ...."

Bess has done this a few times now. I wonder where she goes. Are Jemima and Elizabeth consoling themselves on their men's preoccupation with war, knocking back a couple of bottles of vino and comparing sob stories?

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