Tuesday 18 July 1665

Up and to the office, where all the morning, and so to my house and eat a bit of victuals, and so to the ’Change, where a little business and a very thin Exchange; and so walked through London to the Temple, where I took water for Westminster to the Duke of Albemarle, to wait on him, and so to Westminster Hall, and there paid for my newes-books, and did give Mrs. Michell, who is going out of towne because of the sicknesse, and her husband, a pint of wine, and so Sir W. Warren coming to me by appointment we away by water home, by the way discoursing about the project I have of getting some money and doing the King good service too about the mast docke at Woolwich, which I fear will never be done if I do not go about it.

After dispatching letters at the office, I by water down to Deptford, where I staid a little while, and by water to my wife, whom I have not seen 6 or 5 days, and there supped with her, and mighty pleasant, and saw with content her drawings, and so to bed mighty merry. I was much troubled this day to hear at Westminster how the officers do bury the dead in the open Tuttle-fields, pretending want of room elsewhere; whereas the New Chappell churchyard was walled-in at the publick charge in the last plague time, merely for want of room and now none, but such as are able to pay dear for it, can be buried there.

29 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the New Chappell churchyard was walled-in at the publick charge in the last plague time"

L&M explain the New Chapel was in Orchard St., Westminster; the plague Pepys has in mind was in 1647, when 3597 victims died.

This Orchard Street may be the one toward the right on this 1802 map: http://www.motco.com/MAP/81004/Se…

Eric Walla  •  Link

I would love to see some of Elizabeth's drawings. This strikes me as the kind of thing Sam would treasure later on and keep preserved with his library. Maybe I missed it, but I suppose it's too much to ask that something has survived ...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my newes-books"

At least *The Public Intelligencer* published by Roger L'Estrange
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roge…'Estrange , whose account of the Battle of Lowestoft, "Victory over the Dutch," June 3rd, 1665, was quoted by Pepys 8 June 1665 http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

The entanglement of the forebears of the newspaper with partisan politics is argued in "17th century AD," *The National Interest*, Winter, 2002, by Paul A. Rahe

"WHAT WE call a newspaper was once termed a newsbook. Published serially as a weekly gazette, the newsbook picked up precisely where the pamphlet left off. The first newsbook made its debut in London on November 29, 1641 on the eve of the English Civil War.....

"The printing press was even more essential to England's Great Rebellion than it had been to the Protestant Reformation. The surviving English pamphlet literature of the period stretching from 1628 to 1660 is greater than that of the American and French revolutions put together. Thomas prospered, imitators soon flooded the market, and even the royal court found it necessary to sponsor Cavalier newsbooks to answer the Roundhead onslaught--an astounding fact when one considers the court's notorious reluctance to compromise its established authority by appealing to public opinion.....
" For the first time in history, the press was arguably more of a force even than the pulpit. The invention of moveable type offered a new species of clerk, the man of letters, an opportunity to pass judgment on the princes of Europe, and it gave him occasion in which to invite his readers to do so as well. It promised to liberate the classically trained humanist from mere service to power, indeed, to transform him into what we now call "the public intellectual." (4) In making censors of the learned and judges of ordinary readers, the public prints promised a species of emancipation to all. This did not escape the notice of contemporary witnesses. As one newsbook writer observed on the eve of the execution of the king, there was a real difference between the English people in Queen Elizabeth's day and those in his own time. The former had been rather guided by the tradition of their Fathers, than by acting principles in reason and knowledge. But to the contrary in these our dayes, the meanest sort of people are not only able to write, &c. but to argue and discourse on matters of highest concernment; and thereupon do desire, that such things which are most remarkable, may be truly committed to writing, and made publique. (5)

"As this observation suggests, it was printing, not the pulpit, that first conjured into existence and opened up the space that is now termed "the public sphere." (6) It was this space that John Milton had set out to defend in November 1644 when he published an unprecedented attack on the licensing of the press in his pamphlet Areopagitica...."

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

and so to bed mighty merry.

6 or 5 days' absence has obviously made the heart grow fonder.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I'd guess Bess' happier spirit seems from having Sam to herself for the first time in a while, rather than him busily hopping round to please the Carterets and Montagus while she is left to sit and watch their little time together evaporate. It strikes me more and more that Sam's greatest charm with women is his ability to listen and show interest in them and their doings. Bess always seems much more fond when Sam indicates he is paying attention to her.

Well, duh Gay says.

CGS  •  Link

"...which I fear will never be done if I do not go about it..."
A familiar feeling echoed by many a modern go getter.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...which I fear will never be done if I do not go about it."

L&M say the "mast docke at Woolwich" was done [post-Pepys] in 1784.

tyndale  •  Link

There were two news-books being published at this time: the 'Intelligencer' which came out on Mondays and the 'Newes' which came out on Thursdays. L'Estrange did both, so they overlapped in content, to some extent. They were mostly made up of foreign news items, extracted from news-letters sent from correspondants.

This week's newsbooks are full of advertisements for plague remedies, and the Intelligencer published yesterday includes an item tallying up the plague dead and noting that most of them are in the suburbs rather than the city itself. "Since it hath pleased God to visit this Town, City and the parts adjoyning with the sad & heavy judgement of the Plague adn Pestilence, it has been made a great part of many Peoples business by misreports and false suggestions to lay the stress in the wrong place, and so cut off all Communication and Correspondance with this City..."

dirk  •  Link

From the Carte Papers

James, Duke of York to Sandwich

Written from: Hampton Court
Date: 18 July 1665

Desires his Lordship to cause Capt. Gay, Commander of HMS Paradox, to appear before him & to be examined concerning an alleged forcible seizure of ropes on board one of a fleet of Colliers. ...

dirk  •  Link

From the Carte Papers

Sir George Carteret to Sandwich

Written from: Deptford
Date: 18 July 1665

Thanks the Earl for kind expressions towards himself & his family, in his Lordship's letter of July 12. Lady Sandwich has honoured Deptford with her presence, and is about to go to Dagenham.

It is hoped that the wedding day [of the writer's son with Lady J. Montagu] may be fixed to be upon his Lordship's birthday...

dirk  •  Link

From the Carte Papers

Lady Carteret to Sandwich

Written from: Deptford
Date: 18 July 1665

Assures the Earl of her entire participation in her husband's thanks for the favours conferred upon themselves & their family...

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Thanks to Terry for the interesting quotes from the article by Paul Rahe. I would suggest that in our own time, three and a half centuries later, we are witnessing a similar social transformation, with the rise of the blogosphere. Once again, as the 17th century observer noted, "the meanest sort of people are not only able to write, &c. but to argue and discourse on matters of highest concernment," an opportunity which had pretty well disappeared from newspapers by the early 20th century.

Ruben  •  Link

thank you Terry for the very clever article by Paul Rahe.
I remember an Argentinian buffon (Tato Bores), always making risky jokes but still surviving during the Junta years. He said (on TV) that he never changed the policies he defended and had only one line and that was the government line. He could not be blamed that government changed... is'nt it?

Pedro  •  Link

"Desires his Lordship to cause Capt. Gay, Commander of HMS Paradox, to appear before him & to be examined concerning an alleged forcible seizure of ropes on board one of a fleet of Colliers."

Dirk’s papers…

This should read Gay according to Sandwich’s Fleet List and the Parodox was 6th rate, 85 men and 14guns. No further mention of Gay in the Journal.

Pedro  •  Link

Correction to above...

Should read Guy.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

“my newes-books”

I was hoping the quote from Rae's article, which rather idealizes the Commonwealth as a forbear of the American C20th. 'free press,' would be passed over in silence. However it is at best poor history and a series of glib anachronism. The most glaring example: "As this observation suggests, it was printing, not the pulpit, that first conjured into existence and opened up the space that is now termed “the public sphere.” If Rae had ever read the Habermas work he cites in his footnote he would recall that, for Habermas, the origin of the bourgeois public sphere is located in salons of C18th Paris! ( http://plato.stanford.edu/entries… ) Milton is not the absolute libertarian portrayed, certainly he argued for an end to pre-publication licensing and restraint providing author, printer and publisher were correctly identified so that books could be destroyed and printers and authors punished after the fact of publication -- Milton's freedom is the freedom for a Puritan to print and discover God's truth, Catholics and non Puritans are specifically excluded, and what we today would think of as 'secular' thought inconceivable in the terms of Milton's argument. At the most charitable Rae is writing of the period between the abolition of the Star Chamber in 1641 and the Licensing Order of 1643, requiring pre-publication government approval of all printing, which lapsed only in 1694.

Its completely irrelevant to the period post 1662 when Le Strange became editor of both news books, both semi-official government publications. He was notorious not just for the strictness of his censorship but for his personal enthusiasm for suppressing clandestine printing and enforcing orthodoxy; maintaining an active group of informers and frequently leading the raids on unlicensed presses in person with an almost unseemly enthusiasm. The Restoration news-books had more in common with Pravda than anything we would understand as a newspaper and the Restoration press was very far from 'free.'

Michael Robinson  •  Link

RE L'Estrange

At this date he was not only a news book 'editor' but the Licensor of all printing, not just the periodical press.

Ruben  •  Link

I am not an expert Historian, Press specialist,etc.
Still I can say that it is clear that the people involve with "newes books" were pioneering free press. Not like we understand it now, but before them the press was not involved in broadcasting opinions about actuality at all! It was a prerogative of the Ruler to make proclamations. Not withstanding the Ruler's grace, you knew near nothing about what we call actuality.
Other ways to receive information were by word of mouth, a private letter or a book published years after facts.
Now (1650, etc.) you get an opinionated written page about actuality that concerns you! This is an enormous revolution. More of it if you consider that this "newes books" were not cast away or used to wrap fish in the market (they were an expensive piece of paper), but kept and read again and again.
They crossed the Ocean and in the antagonistically predisposed mind of the colonizers had the authority of the printed word.
This is Revolution!

language hat  •  Link

Michael: The fact that Milton and L’Estrange (note spelling) were not free-speech absolutists (who was, in the 17th century?) does not mean they were irrelevant to the history of free speech, and the provision of news to the common man, regardless of the philosophy of the proprietor of the newspaper, was a huge step forward for the public sphere. Not only are you unnecessarily snide and dismissive, you are exemplifying the very oversimplification you deprecate.

tyndale  •  Link

The periods of 'free-press' newspapers were 1641-50 (Parliament never succeeding in enforcing its licensing order during the 1640s), 1659-60 (Pepys describes taling to newsbook writer Muddiman in one of the earliest entries), c. 1679-83 (when the Popish Plot hysteria caused the authorities to back off somewhat), and from 1695 forward.

Newsbooks by no means represented the first time that the press was taking on 'current events.' The flood of tracts from the early Lutheran movement really deserves credit there - in addition to discussing theology, they also related the details in Luther's face-off with the pope, and the struggle throughout German lands. Because the various governments of Europe were profoundly divided against each other, you could always print dissenting ideas abroad and then smuggle them into your home country. Look at someting like the Marprelate tracts that so disturbed Elizabeth I in the late 1580s. Pretty much every major controversy of the 16th century was covered in the press, long before there were newsbooks.

Newsbooks were not all that intellectually stimulating. Even in the 1640s, Milton's tracts were far more provocative and full of ideas than any of the newsbooks. The only innovation of newsbooks was that they came out on a regular basis.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

you are exemplifying the very oversimplification you deprecate

Certainly I am being over simple -- because I don't think this blog is the place for the book long extended discussion of what was, and was not, the role of printing in England prior to and during the C17th. For a period during the war you had two completing publication centers, Royalist Oxford and 'Roundhead' London and periods of free-for-all in pamphlet publication in London for a very few years. Shortly after Charles was defeated, Cromwell put the lid back on all printing -- I would agree with Tyndale that there were enforcement difficulties to 1650, and a brief outbreak again in 1659/60. However the quotation from the news-book immediately prior to the execution of Charles II is not sociological observation but simple government propaganda reviewed prior to publication, a commonplace of the times, attempting demonstrate that the new regime is somehow 'better' than what was thought to be the most glorious period of the past. (Another distortion, in the Americas in 1775 there were 38 regularly published newspapers broadly distributed across the mainland colonies for a population estimated at about 2.5 million -- in England post 1660, 3 officially sponsored and censored London news-books for a population of about 5.6 million.) However, certainly there were changes and certainly we are the temporal descendants of that world.

What I object to and find misleading is the reading of C17th. texts, and the world of the first two hundred plus years of the hand press, in terms of the world post steam press, c 1804 - 1810, and rotary press, post 1833; Milton in the terms of John Stewart Mill. For any interested, Adrian Johns has written about the world of printing in England the second half of the C 17th.; Anthony Grafton has numerous works on the world of European scholarship and scholarly publication 1450-1800; and Robert Darnton many on the world of French printing pre and post the Revolution. What these detailed studies show is that this world was very different, that any analogies from the C19th or C 20th. are, at best, unhelpful and that broad extra temporal, technological and geographic generalizations about the role of the printing press and/or 'print culture,' and modernity (see Eisenstein 'The printing Press as An Agent of Change'(1979) pp. 3 - 159), can not be made; see Johns, 'The nature of the Book' (1998) pp 1- 265).

For me perhaps the sanest comment on these issues is that of David Hackett Fischer, discussing the role of print in the American Revolution, 'Liberty and Freedom'(2005) pp 1-15 @ p. 2/3 "Here is a central problem in American history, as liberty and freedom are central values in American culture. Scholars have attempted to study it in many ways ... They have variously told us that the meaning of American liberty is to be found in the context of Greek democracy, Roman republicanism, natural rights in the Middle Ages, the civic humanism of the Renaissance, the theology of the Reformation, the English 'commonwealth tradition in the C 17th., British 'Opposition Ideology' in the C18th., the treatises of John Locke, the science of Isaac Newton, the writings of the Scotch moral philosophers, the values of the Enlightenment, and the axioms of classical Liberalism.

All of these approaches have added to out knowledge of liberty and freedom, but none of them comes to terms with Captain Preston. [a veteran of Lexington and Concord who, among other texts, specifically denies any knowledge of Harrington, Sidney and Locke.] As he reminded us the, the text and context method refers to books he never knew, places he never visited and periods that were far from his own time. ... To think of the history of freedom as a series of intellectual controversies is to center it on controversialists, which most Americans were not."

To argue for England in the C 17th. that a relatively brief period of short run, very probably less than 1,000 copies, of competing propaganda publications issued in only two locations, was to appeal "to public opinion … making judges of ordinary readers" etc. is to suggest the world of 1850. Who and where were these 'ordinary readers'? By 1851 the average length of school attendance in England had risen to two years, and in 1861 an estimated 2.5m children out of 2.75m received some form of schooling, 'though still of very mixed quality and with the majority leaving before they were eleven.' (Gillard D (2007) Education in England: a brief history www.dg.dial.pipex.com/history/ citing Williams R (1965) The Long Revolution Harmondsworth: Penguin Books). The voting population of England was about 2.5% in the C17th. and the Reform Act of 1832 extended the franchise to about 1 in 5 of the adult male population.

To paraphrase Fisher: to think of the history of the English Revolution, or the English Reformation, as a series of intellectual controversies is to center it on controversialists, which most English people were not.

Pedro  •  Link

unnecessarily snide and dismissive….oversimplification

Seems like a good description of Roger L’Estrange, and thanks to Michael for highlighting that darker side of this man.

Here is a summary of some of the references made by Moote and Moote in their book The Great Plague…

Roger L 'Estrange made a comfortable living publishing the Intelligencer every Monday and the News on Thursdays, with upbeat columns on town and court doings.

The leading newspaper publisher in the city, L 'Estrange, created this post of denial by continuing to report the usual court and city news and gossip and asserting that the plague did not come to the Better neighbourhoods.

On June 4TH, L 'Estrange's Intelligencer decried the rumours of "multitudes dye of Plague in this Towne...I shall briefly deliver the truth of the matter..-There have died 2, 9, 3, 14 and 17 in these five last weeks (45 in all, and none of these within the walls and but 5 parishes infected of 130). This bland reassurance was plainly at odds with the increasing number of advertisements in the Intelligencer hawking all manner of plague preventatives and remedies.

Roger L 'Estranges' bi-weekly news-sheet kept up a “holier than thou” drumbeat. In July they claimed that poverty and sluttishness caused half the plague deaths in the metropolis; in August, they saw little infection in the main streets. The greatest mortality L’Estrange asserted, was in the sluttish parts of those parishes where the poor are crowded up together and in multitudes infect one another"

language hat  •  Link

Michael Robinson: Thanks for a very enlightening comment. I would be the last person to approve of making easy equations between the present (or a more recent and intelligible past like the Victorian era) and relatively distant and confusing (to us) periods like Sam's. But it seems to me that some historians go overboard in the other direction and are so busy warning us against equations that the give the impression the past is so alien there's no point trying to understand it, much less draw lessons from it, and that always gets my back up. Not that I think you fall into that category, just giving you an idea of where I'm coming from.

Australian Susan  •  Link

On a lighter note about 17th c pamphlets.

In the dim and distant past when we all read ancient documents on negative microfilm in libraries that were either freezing cold or boiling hot, I remember one of my fellow toilers coming up for air and saying: "I know why they wanted to burn Winstantley [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerr… ] Reading his pamphlets for any length of time makes you lose the will to live....." Slightly better was squinting at poorly photographed print facsimiles (which had a distinct camber towards the spine and made you seasick) in black letter type of Cotton Mathers's far from pithy ponderings. [See http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/mat…] Oh happy days.

On schooling

Even when most villages had schools towards the end of the 19th century, attendance was haphazard and therefore learning patchy. A friend of mine researching the history of their village school found a note written by the teacher to record in the register that the local Squire had come into the school one autumn morning and asked for all the lads of 10 or over to come and be beaters for his shoot and get sixpence. And they all went. And some schools in Scotland still have a Potato Holiday in the autumn - you had to close the school as the entire village used to turn out to get the "Tatties" in.

cgs  •  Link

Luverlie. The above reminds me of passing of notes between the thinkers in Samuell's time.
What be written at the very best be like looking at an Iceberg, be one ninth of what be going on, just another interesting slice of life.
none the less thanks for the insite[sic].

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the project I have of getting some money and doing the King good service too about the mast docke at Woolwich, which I fear will never be done if I do not go about it."

A creek was now being used there for masts. in 1669 a mast-house was built; a mast-dock was not constructed until 1784. (L&M note)

arby  •  Link

Some school districts in Maine still schedule breaks for the potato harvest, Sept 21 to Oct 10 in one district.

JayW  •  Link

“I remember an Argentinian buffon (Tato Bores), always making risky jokes but still surviving during the Junta years. He said (on TV) that he never changed the policies he defended and had only one line and that was the government line. He could not be blamed that government changed...”

Did anyone else think of the Vicar of Bray when reading this comment?

Tonyel  •  Link

HMS Paradox would have been a wonderful name for Petts' twin-hulled ship!

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