Friday 27 October 1665

Up, and after some pleasant discourse with my wife, I out, leaving her and Mrs. Ferrers there, and I to Captain Cocke’s, there to do some business, and then away with Cocke in his coach through Kent Streete, a miserable, wretched, poor place, people sitting sicke and muffled up with plasters at every 4 or 5 doors. So to the ’Change, and thence I by water to the Duke of Albemarle’s, and there much company, but I staid and dined, and he makes mighty much of me; and here he tells us the Dutch are gone, and have lost above 160 cables and anchors, through the last foule weather. Here he proposed to me from Mr. Coventry, as I had desired of Mr. Coventry, that I should be Surveyor-Generall of the Victualling business, which I accepted. But, indeed, the terms in which Mr. Coventry proposes it for me are the most obliging that ever I could expect from any man, and more; it saying me to be the fittest man in England, and that he is sure, if I will undertake, I will perform it; and that it will be also a very desirable thing that I might have this encouragement, my encouragement in the Navy alone being in no wise proportionable to my pains or deserts. This, added to the letter I had three days since from Mr. Southerne, signifying that the Duke of Yorke had in his master’s absence opened my letter, and commanded him to tell me that he did approve of my being the Surveyor-General, do make me joyful beyond myself that I cannot express it, to see that as I do take pains, so God blesses me, and hath sent me masters that do observe that I take pains.

After having done here, I back by water and to London, and there met with Captain Cocke’s coach again, and I went in it to Greenwich and thence sent my wife in it to Woolwich, and I to the office, and thence home late with Captain Taylor, and he and I settled all accounts between us, and I do find that I do get above 129l. of him for my services for him within these six months. At it till almost one in the morning, and after supper he away and I to bed, mightily satisfied in all this, and in a resolution I have taken to-night with Mr. Hater to propose the port of London for the victualling business for Thomas Willson, by which it will be better done and I at more ease, in case he should grumble.1 So to bed.

10 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

A glorious day for our boy... The Dutch driven off by bad weather, the plague abating, everyone falling over themselves to give him the new plum job he'd so wanted, an extra 129Ls in la banque Pepys, and a happy morning with Bess.

Ummn...Isn't it Sir William Coventry, Sam?

Hayter seems high up in the counsels. Nice that Sam has found good men he can place faith in...And regardless of their faith. It's to Sam's credit...And Jamie's, since the Duke does allow these men to be employed...That men like Hewer the Puritan and Hayter the Quaker are allowed to do good work for the Navy. Again ironic that Jamie, who really seems (at least at this stage) to want to reject religious litmus tests should be doomed to suffer for his own Catholicism. Of course it may be Coventry the technocrat pushing for men of merit regardless of faith...After all Jamie did (spoiler)

...get into his troubles over Catholic particularism after dismissing Coventry.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"do make me joyful beyond myself that I cannot express it, to see that as I do take pains, so God blesses me, and hath sent me masters that do observe that I take pains."

And so we see one of the reasons why Sam stuck with James (almost) 'til the bitter end.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Kent Street ...

According to Stow's Survey, this street had long been associated with sickness. In the 20th year of Edward III a law, de leproso amovendo, commanded that all leprous persons should remove themselves from the City within fifteen days. Anyone who permitted a leper to abide within his house was subject to forfeiture of the house: "whereupon certain lazar-houses, as may be supposed, were then built without the city some good distance; to wit, the Locke without Southwark in Kent Street ... ."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Rex, thank you for the tale of how a persistent slum was created.

"Kent Street...was re-named Tabard Street in 1877. (fn. b) Most of the east side of the street was cleared in 1910 under a London County Council housing scheme; large blocks of dwellings were built and a small open space, Tabard Garden, was formed to give them breathing space."…

Slums in Tabard Street in Southwark - photograph

"This is part of Tabard Street, Southwark, in 1916. A close-up view shows the end of a row of houses in poor condition. Tabard Street was the new name for Kent Street, a notorious slum, which lent its name to the phrase 'Kent Street Ejectment'. The phrase described the method employed by some landlords: if the tenants were more than two weeks in arrears with their rent, the landlord would remove the front door to encourage them to pay! Soon after this picture was taken, the houses were demolished by the London County Council, and red brick tenements put up in their place."…

Australian Susan  •  Link

"....Up, and after some pleasant discourse with my wife, I out, leaving her and Mrs. Ferrers there,...."
oh to have been a fly on the wall! What *did* they talk about! Mistress Frances Tooker perhaps?

In my edition of Stow (Vol II, p 68) it says "Then in Kent Street is a Lazar House for leprous people: called the Loke in Southwarke: the foundation whereof I find not." It seems he forgot what he had found out and reported elsewhere in the Survey!

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Australian Susan -

I tried to e-mail you directly but the Mailer-Daemon rejected it. Please reply directly to if you want.

It seems that after writing the chapter on Bridge Ward Without, where the passage you quoted appears, Stow found an account of the founding of Locke's lazar house in some source. The passage quoted in my annotation comes from the later chapter called "Of Leprous People and Lazar Houses." The volume I have is an Everyman's Library edition, published by Dent, London, 1956 (pp. 440-41).

Second Reading

David G  •  Link

Was the conversation with the Duke of Albemarle where the formal job offer was made and accepted?

Mary K  •  Link

Kent Street may have been renamed Tabard Street, but if you pursue it's line about 150 yards further southeast, you find yourself in the modern Old Kent Road (A2). The Old Kent Road then continues in this same direction until it meets New Cross Road close to the junction with Pepys Road. Nice!

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