Wednesday 21 March 1665/66

Up betimes, and first by coach to my Lord Generall to visitt him, and then to the Duke of Yorke, where we all met and did our usual business with him; but, Lord! how everything is yielded to presently, even by Sir W. Coventry, that is propounded by the Duke, as now to have Troutbecke, his old surgeon, and intended to go Surgeon-General of the fleete, to go Physician-General of the fleete, of which there never was any precedent in the world, and he for that to have 20l. per month. Thence with Lord Bruncker to Sir Robert Long, whom we found in his closett, and after some discourse of business he fell to discourse at large and pleasant, and among other things told us of the plenty of partridges in France, where he says the King of France and his company killed with their guns, in the plain de Versailles, 300 and odd partridges at one bout.

Thence I to the Excise Office behind the ’Change, and there find our business of our tallys in great disorder as to payment, and thereupon do take a resolution of thinking how to remedy it, as soon as I can. Thence home, and there met Sir W. Warren, and after I had eat a bit of victuals (he staying in the office) he and I to White Hall. He to look after the business of the prize ships which we are endeavouring to buy, and hope to get money by them. So I to London by coach and to Gresham College, where I staid half an houre, and so away home to my office, and there walking late alone in the darke in the garden with Sir W. Warren, who tells me that at the Committee of the Lords for the prizes to-day, there passed very high words between my Lord Ashly and Sir W. Coventry, about our business of the prize ships. And that my Lord Ashly did snuff and talk as high to him, as he used to do to any ordinary seaman. And that Sir W. Coventry did take it very quietly, but yet for all did speak his mind soberly and with reason, and went away, saying, he had done his duty therein, and so left it to them, whether they would let so many ships go for masts or not: Here he and I talked of 1,000 businesses, all profitable discourse, and late parted, and I home to supper and to bed, troubled a little at a letter from my father, telling me how [he] is like to be sued for a debt of Tom’s, by Smith, the mercer.

30 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Today at Gresham College — from the Hooke Folio Online

March 21. 1664/5 [ vere 1666/67 ]
(Charleton of verminating air and about the plague)
mr Hook brought in a small new quadrant which was to serue for accurately diuiding degrees into minutes & seconds and to performe the effects of a great one It has an arme mouing on it by the meane of a screw, that Lyes vpon the circumference but the compleat Description of it was referred to the Inuentor.
The same presentd a paper which was Read. conteining some Expts [In margin] of Grauity made in a deep well in Surrey neer Banstead downes, wherevnto was annexed the scheme of an Instrument for finding the Difference of the weight of any body placed on the surface of the earth or at a considerable Distance from it either vpwards or downwards. It was orderd this paper should be registred and that Expts of this kind should be prepared for next meeting. in order to wch.
Sr. Robert moray was desired to accomodate the Curator wth. his majtys. Loadstone being in his Custody. (Lead out of litharge) [… ]
mr. Euelyn Ashes rained in the archipellago. .) [ the archipelago ???]
45 sorts of mosse).
Dr. wilkins moued that a comtee might be appointed to take care of the well ordering preseruing & increasing the stock of the Repository. orderd that Himself mr Colwall mr. Euelyn Dr. Godderd. Dr Charlton mr Hall Capn. Cock mr. Harrington mr Grant & mr Hooke or any three or more of them doe constitute that Comtee. and begin their meetings on munday next in the afternoon in mr Hookes Lodgings, continuing the same from Day to Day at that time & in that place -
[In margin]Vz . . . . . . . . .
mr. colwall the publike thanks of the society for the generous purchase he had made for them of soe good a collection of naturall things for their Repository and that this Guift should be particularly expressed where he is Recorded a benefactor to the Society.)
mr Hooke Related that in the salturnes [… ] in Hampshire he had Obserued that a good quantity of sand towards a gallon was separated from the cleer sea water in the boyling it vp to Salt which sand was collected out of
[In margin]Vz the Corners of the Iron vessell wherein the said water was boyled. (hardning tooles for cutting porphury in Distilld water of Branca vrsina or Bears breech). [… ] case hardning done by hoofs soot & bay salt
Dr. wren & mr. Hooke being asked what they had done in the matter of chariots since the perfecting
thereof was Committed to them. Dr. wren answered he had Giuen mr Hooke the description of those
they had in France.…

Lawrence  •  Link

"troubled a little at a letter from my father, telling me how [he] is like to be sued for a debt of Tom’s, by Smith, the mercer"

L&M. In a letter to "Mr Smith" (8 April 1666: probably composed and writen by the diarist) John Pepys did not deny the fact of the debt, but simply regretted that there was no money to pay it with: Rawl. A 182,f. 33r; printed Family Letters, pp15-16. The mercer may have been Theophilus Smith, woollen draper at the sign of the White Lion, Paul's churchyard.

Pedro  •  Link

Hooke's Saltern

Maps of the period indicate that there was a working saltern, or salt manufacturing plant, in Yarmouth Haven. Following a visit to the Isle of Wight in 1665 Hooke wrote a detailed lecture on salt-making as part of a long-running RS project on the History of Trades. The surviving manuscript of the lectures includes a fine pen and ink drawing, heightened in grey wash, by Hooke, of the “manner of salt making at a Saltern in Hampshire”.

There is little doubt that Hooke’s delightful drawing depicts the saltern he new best, could visit with ease and draw at his leisure, that was only a short walk from his mother’s Freshwater home.

The lecture was one of a sequence of vacation lectures, the endowed Cutlerian lectures, in which Hooke undertook…

The Curious Life of Robert Hooke by Lisa Jardine

Pedro  •  Link

Hooke’s Quadrant

“The most spectacular of Hooke’s complex scientific instruments, his equatorial quadrant, is described in detail, with glorious illustration, in his Animadversions (the book in which he publicly attacked Hevelius’ rejection of instrumental aids for astronomy).

The equatorial quadrant combines a number of original technological elements in a single audacious design. The mount (with a complex gimbal bearing at itsbase, allowing the quadrant to swivel smoothly) is itself impressive, but Hooke was noy content with that; this is the first such mount which also has a clockwork drive. The quadrant allows the observer to follow the motion of a heavenly body by pushing his instrument around the axis: but Hooke goes further and has a machine to do the pushing. The clockwork drive allows the machine to follow the celestial sphere without the intervention of the observer…the clock that drives the quadrant is not a simple pendulum clock…but a clock with a conical pendulum regulator, enabling the quadrant to move witout any noise and in a continued and even motion without jerks…”

The Curious Life of Robert Hooke by Lisa Jardine

tonyt  •  Link

'The salturnes in Hampshire' It seems to me more likely that Hooke was referring generally to the salt works around Lymington, Hampshire (on the opposite side of the Solent from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight) where saltmaking was the main occupation and went on at a much larger scale than at Yarmouth from the Middle Ages until the mid 19th century. Also, particularly with his local connections, I doubt whether Hooke would have considered Yarmouth to be part of 'Hampshire' rather than 'Isle of Wight'.

JWB  •  Link


Name envy. Do you suppose a lowly blackburn could aspire to be a troutbecke?

language hat  •  Link

"after I had eat a bit of victuals"

Herewith my annual reminder that the old past tense "eat" is pronounced "et."

Mary  •  Link

as indeed is the pronuciation of today's past tense 'ate' -- at least, it is in this part of England, though one does occasionally hear 'eight'.

Terry Foreman  •  Link


L&M note that the post created for Troutbeck, surgeon to the king, turned out to be personal physician to Rupert and Albemarle. This would leave Pepys's friend James Pearce in his position as Surgeon-General of the fleet. "Physicians [masters of treatment with drugs or medications ] were not normally employed in the navy except during epidemics." [ No routine physique for sailors! ]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Hints of a break between York and Coventry? If so, perhaps a fateful moment for the Stuart dynasty...

Maurie Beck  •  Link

among other things told us of the plenty of partridges in France, where he says the King of France and his company killed with their guns, in the plain de Versailles, 300 and odd partridges at one bout.

Sounds like one of those staged hunts where gamekeepers stick the birds upside down in bushes. Once the shooters are ready, the disoriented birds are flushed, where they may or may not acquire lift off, then bobble in the air until someone with a blunderbuss massacres anything within 30 feet, including perhaps unfortunate members of the hunting party. I wonder if the king shot anyone in the face?

JWB  •  Link

"I wonder if the king shot anyone in the face?"

Like this:

"Napoleon: Blind-sided
“The curious incident of the shooting party… Napoleon, who was a better hand with a field-gun than with a fowling-piece, accidentally shot Marshal Massena in the eye. With characteristic readiness, the emperor put the blame of the accident on Marshal Berthier, who, with characteristic readiness, accepted the blame, while Massena, who lost his eye, with characteristic tact accepted the transference of blame”
A G Macdonnell, Napoleon and His Marshals, 1934"

Pedro  •  Link

“I doubt whether Hooke would have considered Yarmouth to be part of ‘Hampshire’ rather than ‘Isle of Wight’.”

I believe Lisa Jardine, being a lady with exceptional knowledge of this period, would have researched that the Isle of Wight was considered to come under the “County” of Hampshire, and that Hooke was using the location in this sense.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

22d March [ vere 21], 1666. The Royal Society re-assembled, after the dispersion from the contagion.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Thanks to JWB for the link to DARE, the Dictionary of American Regional English. As a friend and admirer of its late founding editor, I have to note that his name was Fred(eric)(Gomes) Cassidy. His able successor, Joan Hall, is still working on completing this massive reference. Those interested in learning more about it should see…

JWB  •  Link

Paul Chapin:

Yes, an important correction. Thank you. Further on subject, Ohio has 3 regional influences 1)Conn. Reserve up aroung Cleveland 2)Pa. Quaker, German & Scots-Irish in the middle and 3)Va. Revolutionary war vet. land in the south. Around Cincinnati you'll sometimes hear "Et yet?" or " a mess of beans (greens)."- not as regular speech, but in folksy, humorous manner.

Harvey  •  Link

“after I had eat a bit of victuals”

Here in NZ it would be pronounced 'eight', 'et' is only used by refugees from the northern hemisphere.

Australian Susan  •  Link

This refugee from the Northern Hemisphere has always said 'ate' as 'eight'. But then, when I came here I kept being told people couldn't understand me "because of my accent." Accent? What accent? I speak English, it's everyone else who has an accent.........
Seriously, do we have any idea what Our Sam would have sounded like? I recall someone reading Shakespeare's Sonnets on the radio in what was held to be WS's authentic voice - very country Warwickshire, but surely WS would have acquired some London twangs to his voice? So, would Sam have sounded like Sam Weller? Or Prince Charles (who pronounces 'yes' as 'ears') ?

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Troutbeck and Pearse

L&M also note physicians were normally paid much more than surgeons.

I guess that's the Barber heritage at work.…

I'd like to have a well-paid sawbones. wooden-shoe?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir W. Warren...and I to White Hall. He to look after the business of the prize ships which we are endeavouring to buy, and hope to get money by for masts."

L&M: The Prize Commissioners on the 23rd agreed to the Navy Board's request for the sale of fireships to Warren, who would use them for the transport of masts from Gothenburg.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Navy physicians

Their first appointment to a fleet dates from 1691. (L&M note)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Dear Terry -- 10 years after your post, have you any idea how Hooke knew what year it was? Looking at the array of dates, this meeting could have happened in any of 4 years:

"from the Hooke Folio Online
March 21. 1664/5 [vere 1666/67]"

And what does 'vere' mean?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Starting in 1661 Louis XIV started creating magnificent gardens at Versailles that astonished all of Europe with their scale. Trees were cut down in swathes, long canals created, water features engineered and the landscape was molded to reflect the King's mastery of nature.

The overriding control of the monarch over his environment was recorded in more than 30 paintings commissioned by Louis XIV to show off his new gardens, such as A Stag Hunt at Versailles, attributed to Jean-Baptiste Martin (circa 1700). Many of them use the panoramic format and high viewpoint that had conventionally been reserved by artists for battlefield scenes.

A Stag Hunt at Versailles is currently in the Royal Collection:…

mountebank  •  Link

Sad to see the mention of Lisa Jardine who died a few years back. I still miss the talks she used to give on BBC radio. Such a loss.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Terry let me know that "vere" means "truly" ... apparently the Secretary of the Royal Society was confused.

Mary K  •  Link

..and that my Lord Ashley did snuff and talk as high to him ...

Can't you just see that dismissive, nose-raised sniff? It's these little contemporary comments that bring the diary so vividly to life.

[ OED to snuff: to express scorn, disdain or contempt by sniffing.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... as now to have Troutbecke, his old surgeon, and intended to go Surgeon-General of the fleete, to go Physician-General of the fleete, of which there never was any precedent in the world ..."

Evelyn's cries for help have not fallen on deaf ears, just helpless ones. My guess is that James and Charles have asked Troutbecke for his help improving their response to the inevitable slew of casualties expected this coming summer. A new hospital and a new Physician-General position are a substantial investment in care. Now to pay for it.

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