Tuesday 3 July 1666

Being very weary, lay long in bed, then to the office and there sat all the day. At noon dined at home, Balty’s wife with us, and in very good humour I was and merry at dinner, and after dinner a song or two, and so I abroad to my Lord Treasurer’s (sending my sister home by the coach), while I staid there by appointment to have met my Lord Bellasses and Commissioners of Excise, but they did not meet me, he being abroad. However Mr. Finch, one of the Commissioners, I met there, and he and I walked two houres together in the garden, talking of many things; sometimes of Mr. Povy, whose vanity, prodigality, neglect of his business, and committing it to unfit hands hath undone him and outed him of all his publique employments, and the thing set on foot by an accidental revivall of a business, wherein he had three or fours years ago, by surprize, got the Duke of Yorke to sign to the having a sum of money paid out of the Excise, before some that was due to him, and now the money is fallen short, and the Duke never likely to be paid. This being revived hath undone Povy. Then we fell to discourse of the Parliament, and the great men there: and among others, Mr. Vaughan, whom he reports as a man of excellent judgement and learning, but most passionate and ‘opiniastre’. He had done himself the most wrong (though he values it not), that is, the displeasure of the King in his standing so long against the breaking of the Act for a triennial parliament; but yet do believe him to be a most loyall gentleman. He told me Mr. Prin’s character; that he is a man of mighty labour and reading and memory, but the worst judge of matters, or layer together of what he hath read, in the world; which I do not, however, believe him in; that he believes him very true to the King in his heart, but can never be reconciled to episcopacy; that the House do not lay much weight upon him, or any thing he says. He told me many fine things, and so we parted, and I home and hard to work a while at the office and then home and till midnight about settling my last month’s accounts wherein I have been interrupted by public business, that I did not state them two or three days ago, but I do now to my great joy find myself worth above 5600l., for which the Lord’s name be praised! So with my heart full of content to bed. Newes come yesterday from Harwich, that the Dutch had appeared upon our coast with their fleete, and we believe did go to the Gun-fleete, and they are supposed to be there now; but I have heard nothing of them to-day. Yesterday Dr. Whistler, at Sir W. Pen’s, told me that Alexander Broome, a the great song-maker, is lately dead.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

July 3 I went to sit with the Commissioners at the Tower of Lond, where our Commiss: being read, we made some progresse in buisinesse: Sir G: Wharton being our Secretary [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_George_Wharton... ], that famous Mathematitian, & who writ the yearely Almanac, during his Majesties troubles: Thence to Painter hall to our other Commiss: [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worshipful_Company... ] & dined at my L: Majors:


Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir G: Wharton ...who writ the yearely Almanac, during his Majesties troubles:"

The Rise and Fall of the Astrological Almanac, by Derek Parker

"The part played by the so-called 'War of the Almanacs' during the English Civil War is still insufficiently explored by historians. One commentator noted that the two astrologers, William Lilly and George Wharton, "led the commons of this kingdom as bears are led by the nose with bagpipes before them"." http://www.skyscript.co.uk/almanac.html

History, nation, and the satirical almanac, 1660-1760, Criticism, Summer, 1998 by Frank Palmeri

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Palmieri begins: "The satiric and parodic almanac Poor Robin was published annually from the mid-1660s through the early nineteenth century. When nine or twelve almanacs for the same year were bound together (as they often were), Poor Robin usually concluded the collection, like a satyr play following a tragic trilogy in Athens, mocking and inverting the conventions of the more serious genre. But Poor Robin not only emptied out the serious almanac; it also accommodated the form it parodied. After the first year of its appearance, the parodic almanac was published by the same Stationers' Company that energetically protected its monopoly on the publishing of all the other almanacs in England. This essay will concern itself with four episodes in the history of the parodic and satiric almanac. Originating with Rabelais and others in the early sixteenth century, the satiric almanac becomes increasingly partisan in England from the 1590s to the 1650s. Early in the Restoration, Poor Robin begins annual publication, and the following four decades see it at its most innovative and suggestive. Swift refers to Poor Robin and builds on the tradition of the satiric almanac when he writes the predictions of Isaac Bickerstaff for 1708, which begin by foretelling the death of John Partridge, another almanac-maker. The Poor Richard almanacs, written by Benjamin Franklin from 1732 to 1758, take Poor Robin and Swift's predictions as two of their models; in form they parallel but in political perspective they diverge dramatically from almanacs on the other side of the Atlantic."

Michael L  •  Link

"Mr. Povy, whose vanity, prodigality, neglect of his business, and committing it to unfit hands..."

Hmm. Wasn't one of those hands Pepys himself?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Could someone help explain exactly what has "undone" Povy? Thanks.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

William Prynne has gotten the reputation of a crank, whom nobody takes seriously any more. A very hard thing to overturn, once established.

Mary  •  Link

"he told me many fine things"

Pepys never loses an opportunity to tap any likely source for news of who's in, who's out, who's up, who's down. All potentially useful information to the rising man.

Lawrence  •  Link

"Yesterday Dr. Whistler, at Sir W. Pen’s, told me that Alexander Broome, a the great song-maker, is lately dead"
L&M Brome (Lawyer, versifier and dramatist) had died on 29 June.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Could someone help explain exactly what has “undone” Povy?"

I gather Pepys is being told that Povey's undone as he can't repay a debt to the Duke of York that's been suddenly declared due ("revived"). His prosperity has long been quite dependent on the Duke's fiduciary trust in him. He'd been Treasurer to the Tangier Committee -- which the Duke chaired --, and is still Treasurer to the Duke himself. L&M note he will be replaced in this role by Sir Allen Apsley this coming September.

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