Tuesday 27 March 1666

All the morning at the office busy. At noon dined at home, Mr. Cooke, our old acquaintance at my Lord Sandwich’s, come to see and dine with me, but I quite out of humour, having many other and better things to thinke of. Thence to the office to settle my people’s worke and then home to my publique accounts of Tangier, which it is strange by meddling with evening reckonings with Mr. Povy lately how I myself am become intangled therein, so that after all I could do, ready to breake my head and brains, I thought of another way, though not so perfect, yet the only one which this account is capable of. Upon this latter I sat up till past two in the morning and then to bed.


13 Annotations

cape henry  •  Link

"...ready to breake my head and brains..." It seems to me that Pepys forecast this moment some months ago when he regretted having taken the Tangier treasury position.It is impossible to account for the output of a cow being milked by many farmers.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Cooke, our old acquaintance at my Lord Sandwich’s, come to see and dine with me, but I quite out of humour, having many other and better things to thinke of."

Samuel surely has accounting problems on his mind when he associates Mr. Cooke mainly with the early days with Sandwich in 1660, and not with Cooke's unseemly dealings with brother Tom Pepys in 1662. At this more recent time Cooke abetted Tom's attempt to win a wife by promising his mistress an unauthorized sum as a jointure (a sum that SP was supposed to be good for): see the graph for those two periods of frequent mentions of Cooke. http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/662/#refer…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...which it is strange by meddling with evening reckonings with Mr. Povy lately how I myself am become intangled..."

All Povey's doing...

Perhaps Povey is one of those people who seem clear and well-reasoned at first until you start following the tortuous labyrinth that is their mind.

Spoiler...

This agony may well explain in part why Sam felt justified in denying Tom P any of the Tangier profits later on. Up to this time he seems to have cut Povey in as per their agreement.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... and then to bed."

Ed Rothstein has some interesting observations about C17th. sleep in his review of the current exhibition up at the Folger Library in Washington, D.C., “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream”:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/28/arts/design/28l…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... and then home to my publique accounts of Tangier, which it is strange by meddling with evening reckonings with Mr. Povy lately how I myself am become intangled therein, so that after all I could do, ready to breake my head and brains, I thought of another way, though not so perfect, yet the only one which this account is capable of."

Perhaps this is how the 'fool' Povy started life prosperous by inheritance lived as a well connected 'great merchant' and died a wealthy man.

cgs  •  Link

Samuell's version of toxic assets:
"...Thence to the office to settle my people’s worke and then home to my publique accounts of Tangier, which it is strange by meddling with evening reckonings with Mr. Povy lately how I myself am become intangled therein..."
Tangier, tangled assets? There be mole here somewhere.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

mole

Ho ho!

"ready to breake my head and brains, I thought of another way, though not so perfect, yet the only one which this account is capable of.”

Makes me think of a remark by George Buttrick, Preacher to the University at Harvard's Memorial Church in my day. He once defined "expert" as "x, an unknown quantity" and "spurt,a drip under pressure."

cgs  •  Link

ex or a has been as in ex- wife
pert = presumptuous or full of effluent
OED 2. In negative sense.

a. Of a person, esp. a young one, or one regarded as socially inferior: impertinent or saucy in speech or manners; malapert; cheeky.
or b. In negative sense: audacious, culpably bold or daring; presumptuous; insubordinate. Obs.
In early use having more force than sense A. 2a, but later merging with this.

Not accepted by macadamia
Thus cheeky has been

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Cooke, our old acquaintance at my Lord Sandwich’s, come to see and dine with me, but I quite out of humour, having many other and better things to thinke of,"

L&M: Pepys could rarely bring himself to be polite to him. In 1663 Cooke had begged to be appointed to a post in the navy before in had been established: https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/03/01/

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... I thought of another way, though not so perfect, yet the only one which this account is capable of."

Pepys has discovered the fertile world of Alternative Facts. He is always ahead of his time.

JayW  •  Link

I sympathise with Sam, having had many late nights trying to balance a set of accounts!

James Morgan  •  Link

Even with today advantages I have an account for a group trip last year with the bank statement differs from mine by $2, no matter what I do. I'll have to think if there's another way to look at it, "though not perfect".

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys missed a big event today:

On 27 March 1666, Charles II, James, Duke of York and Prince Rupert attended launch of the Defiance, a 64-gun [64 guns comprising 22 demi-cannon, 28 culverins and 14 demi-culverins] third rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, ordered on 26 October 1664 under the shipbuilding program of that year. The launch was at William Castle's private shipyard at Deptford.

Robert Holmes was appointed captain and knighted during the occasion. (Was that why Pepys ignored the event?)

This is an opportunity to explain some of the rivalries amongst the "Gentlemen Captains" and the Tars (professional seamen, from the Commonwealth navy) to which Pepys will refer in the next few months, with frustration.

And this is also an opportunity to explain that the fleet was usually divided into three squadrons or vans, the Red, White and Blue. When sailing in line, one squadron leads, one is in the middle, and one brings up the rear. When the Generals-at-Sea display a particular set of flags (those famous bewpers), each van does whatever they have to do to change course, or adjust to take advantage of the wind, or attack a particular squadron of the enemy, etc. It takes practice when you have 80-plus ships and lots of people who have no idea what they are doing.

As a friend of Prince Rupert's, and a part of the Red Squadron, Sir Robert Holmes was finally given acting flag-rank when the fleet was divided to shadow the Dutch and simultaneously intercept the French (which put him, satisfyingly, one step above John Harman, Rear Admiral of the White - a slighting of the principle of seniority which would have been unthinkable by the end of the century).

During the Four Days Battle, Admiral Sir Robert Holmes was reported to have "done wonders" (CSP Dom., 7 June 1666), and was confirmed as rear-admiral of the Red, his ship having received such a battering that he transferred his flag to the partially burnt and dismasted Henry, Rear Adm. Sir John Harman's ship, who had been wounded.

But again, Rear Admiral Sir Robert Holmes' rivals, Sir Jeremiah Smith (Admiral of the Blue) and Sir Edward Spragge (Vice Admiral of the Blue) were promoted above him.

These professional rivalries were a hallmark of the restoration navy, and Holmes used the conduct of the St. James' Day battle to start a bitter quarrel with Sir Jeremiah Smith, whose rear squadron had been routed by Cornelis Van Tromp.

The recriminations between the officers and their respective factions played a role in the subsequent Parliamentary investigation over embezzlement in the naval administration and the conduct of the war.

For more about Holmes
https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/930/

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