Saturday 23 March 1666/67

At the office all the morning, where Sir W. Pen come, being returned from Chatham, from considering the means of fortifying the river Medway, by a chain at the stakes, and ships laid there with guns to keep the enemy from coming up to burn our ships; all our care now being to fortify ourselves against their invading us. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office all the afternoon again, where Mr. Moore come, who tells me that there is now no doubt made of a peace being agreed on, the King having declared this week in Council that they would treat at Bredagh. He gone I to my office, where busy late, and so to supper and to bed. Vexed with our mayde Luce, our cook-mayde, who is a good drudging servant in everything else, and pleases us, but that she will be drunk, and hath been so last night and all this day, that she could not make clean the house. My fear is only fire.

27 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The King to Ormond
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 23 March 1667

A proclamation, or act of State, is to issue in Ireland, "prohibiting the importation of all commodities of the growth, or manufacture, of any other Kingdom or Country, which our people of Ireland may well live without." ...

Adds directions as to certain matters of revenue.

Arlington to Ormond
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 23 March 1667

Enclosed herewith is his Majesty's letter "to recompense the damage that Kingdom hath sustained by the passing of the Irish Cattle Bill, which I do not hear anybody ask his Majesty to support by any act from him; but if the trick go forward of bringing Cattle over, as I hear it hitherto succeeds, the clamour will be doubled upon us." ... This evening, Lord Arran [ son of Ormonde… ] brought the Lord Lieutenant's letter of the 16th. ...

Brodrick to Ormond
Written from: London
Date: 23 March 1667

The West-India Merchants believe that the French were (after obtaining some considerable spoil) repulsed from Antigua by the Planters. ...

The East-India Company are fully assured of obtaining Polleron [ Pulo Run, East Indies… ] ... with a considerable enlargement of their trade. ... The King presseth them to take Bombay; and my Lord Chancellor [Clarendon] gives them frank hopes that the King of Portugal will deliver Basseur [ in MS.: "Bazire"; it had belonged, by cession, to the Portuguese, since 1534, & was part of the contracted dowry of Queen Catharine; but the Portuguese kept it, until 1765 (Thomson, Gazetteer of India, sub voce)] to his Majesty & his Majesty to them, on very reasonable terms. ...…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ormond to Orrery
Written from: Dublin
Date: 23 March 1667

... The insolent deportment of the Congregation at mass in Kerry, in rescuing the Tory [ ], calls for full inquiry. ... It is hoped that to any of more than common quality, who stood by whilst it was done, Lord Orrery will teach their duty upon such an occasion. ...

Communicates, at great length, various details concerning matters of revenue & trade. ... Much wonders to find that it should be held [by some of the Ministers in England] fitter for the King to allow - as the less inconvenience to that Kingdom - the liberty of transporting wool [ from Ireland ] into foreign parts, rather "than that of a free trade with the American Plantations. It was otherwise esteemed in former times, and will be still so thought by me, till I am convinced of the contrary by some other arguments than bare assertions." ...…

cape henry  •  Link

"...Lord Orrery will teach their duty upon such an occasion. …" Isn't it interesting how such simple and innocuous words can convey such menace?

3.23 a busy day on the Irish front. Thanks TF.

cape henry  •  Link

"...but that she will be drunk, and hath been so last night and all this day, that she could not make clean the house. My fear is only fire." Even in the early days I don't recall the Pepys putting up with drunkenness.This seems odd.

Bradford  •  Link

"Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for tuppence"---but this is before those days, surely. Refresh our minds: what would be your likely tipple at the time, to get drunk on a maid's wages?

Michael L  •  Link

"considering the means of fortifying the river Medway..."

Sounds like a terrific idea to me! Ahem... I wonder how this will turn out?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"3.23 a busy day on the Irish front."

Yes, cape henry:

'Tis still about the Act for the Settlement of Ireland which "imposed penalties including death and land confiscation against participants and bystanders of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and subsequent unrest [ guerrilla insurgency ]....The act was passed on 12 August 1652 by the Rump Parliament of England, who had taken power after the Second English Civil War and had agreed to the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. The conquest was deemed necessary as Royalist supporters of Charles II of England had allied themselves with the Confederation of Kilkenny (the confederation formed by Irish Catholics during the Irish Confederate Wars) and so was a threat to the newly formed English Commonwealth...."…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

To be sure, one might object that the "Act of Settlement (1662) passed by the Irish Parliament in Dublin...was a partial reversal of the Cromwellian Act of Settlement 1652....

"The [1662] Act describes itself An act for the better execution of His Majesty's gracious declaration for the Settlement of his Kingdom of Ireland, and the satisfaction of the several interests of adventurers1, soldiers, and other his subjects there.

"By this measure, what has been described as a, "favoured minority" of Irish Catholics — mostly Old English Royalists — recovered all or most of their pre-war estates. Examples of this include Ormonde and his relatives and supporters like Richard Bellings. The people who had been militant Irish Confederates during the wars — who had rejected an alliance with the English Royalists, or sought better terms from Charles I in return for an alliance — got little or nothing from the settlement. Many of them regarded it as a betrayal by the Stuart monarchy, which they had fought for in the Civil Wars. The poet Daibhi O Bruadair wrote that the Restoration was "Purgatory" for Irish Catholics, while the former Confederate and Catholic Bishop Nicholas French wrote a pamphlet about Charles II titled, The Unkind Deserter of Loyal men and true Friends."…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"In the greater part of the county of Kerry, in the more remote districts of the counties of Cork and Limerick, and in a very large section of Connaught, a state of society subsisted to which we find no parallel in England, but which bore a striking resemblance to that which was then existing in the Highlands of Scotland. These districts—consisting almost exclusively of wild mountains and bogs, doomed by the nature of the soil to great poverty, traversed by few or no regular roads, far removed from all considerable centres of civilised life, and inhabited chiefly by a wild and wretched population of Catholics—lay virtually beyond the empire of the law. Smuggling was the one lucrative trade, and it was practised equally by landlord, middleman, and tenant, by Catholic and Protestant. The officers of the revenue were baffled by a conspiracy of all classes, and informers were in such danger from popular outrage that they soon abandoned their trade. In the deep natural harbours among the mountains, privateers found their shelter, priests and friars from the Continent landed in safety, recruits were shipped by hundreds for the service of France, and the finest native wool was exchanged for the wines and brandies of the South." A history of Ireland in the eighteenth century, Volume 1, By William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...who tells me that there is now no doubt made of a peace being agreed on, the King having declared this week in Council that they would treat at Bredagh."


"Oh, ja, Engander. We will let you treat for peace. But we would like a few days to...Consider...Your offer..."

"...Und to consult with our ally, King Louis."

"Oh, ja. Let us wait just a few days more und then we will give you an answer, Mr. Ambassador."

"Und tell your king we look forward to properly thanking him for his repayment of our kindness to him during his exile here."

"Why the devil were they all laughing?" "Dutchmen, sir. Who can figure them out?"

tg  •  Link

Vexed with our mayde Luce, our cook-mayde, who is a good drudging servant in everything else, and pleases us, but that she will be drunk, and hath been so last night and all this day, that she could not make clean the house. My fear is only fire.

I found this passage puzzling as well. No mention of what or who's drink she's imbibing and yes Sam seems very indulgent about her derelict duties and potential accidental arson. But drinking all last night and all today? She's on a bender for sure.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

My guess is that Luce has found her way into Sam's wine cellar. But one would think he would be rather more indignant - perhaps she performs other services for him that make up for these lapses?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Could be Luce's benders are an occassional epic annoyance followed by promises of reform. She's been with them a while I believe. Wasn't she the one Sam once was about to kick when caught by a neighbor's boy servant? Sam does seem to have a certain affection for old time servants...Family. If Luce is a fine cook that alone would make it difficult for him to part with her and Jane probably covers for her a good deal. Perhaps at this stage Sam suffers little from the need to directly control the staff thanks to Jane's supervision and Bess' improved management ability, so he can be a bit more indulgent than the young man for whom troubles with the maids were one more headache in a busy day.

Australian Susan  •  Link

I think you're right, RG. We have not had Sam being asked to umpire on Bess vs Servants disputes for a long while - things seem to be on an even keel. maybe Sam does not want to risk upsetting this and is prepared to tolerate the tipsiness. But I don't think she can be getting at Sam's wine - I think that would be too much for him. maybe strong beer?

Fear of Fire

Not sure what is happening in other countries, but over here, it is going to be illegal to sell non-self-extinguishing cigarettes soon. There have been just so many fires caused by drunk persons falling asleep in front of tv with cigarette in hand, which eventually sets the sofa on fire. Alcohol and naked flames and a human tend to lead to house fires. Be afraid Sam, be very afraid. I would be.

cape henry  •  Link

"These districts...lay virtually beyond the empire of the law."These districts also had counterparts in various locations in Europe, notably in the Pyrenees Mountain region and in northern Italy, to name a couple.Some persisted into the early 20th Century.But the condition of land and population matched that of this description pretty closely.

Michiel van der Leeuw  •  Link

"fortifying the river Medway, by a chain at the stakes, and ships laid there with guns to keep the enemy from coming up to burn our ships;"

OK, which of you have been sending spoilers to Charles and James?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"all our care now being to fortify ourselves against their invading us"

His comments on this and other measures being taken show Pepys's is for the active offense -- not the passive defense. Is this part of a pattern?!

cum salis grano  •  Link

Wars take preparation, walls have ears, people imbibe, tongues wag, especially the bragging about the extra monies being siphoned off by the advantage takers that are always around when it can be made.
Monies are the milk of espying. Some may call them rumors but where there is smoke there be some one fanning the flames, thus five plus five be a nice six.
A good decision maker always uses a little alchemy, clairvoyance, and GUT feel.

Not all problems are written about before they happen, they usually go into print when the solution is found, thus as it was said somewhere, the winner in a war is one that never uses the old known rules, they only fail when the MO is known thus the winner must get into the brain of thine enemy first before thine foe knows what he be a thinking.

There are plenty of 20C / 21C examples available.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Hmmn..." Admiral Sir William eyes signs in road near Medway River.

"This way to Medway! Welcome, fellow Protestants!"

"Give that bastard lech Charlie one in the arse for us!"

"Burn you papist thieves of the people, burn!! The fleet's that way, Dutchboys!!"

"I sense things are not quite right with morale." Penn notes to aide.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Even before the 1662 Act of Settlement there was:

'Charles II, 1660: [15. An Act for restoreing unto James Marquesse of Ormond all his Honours Mannours Land and Tenements in Ireland whereof he was in possession on the 23th of October 1641 or at any time since.]', Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 206.…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Vexed with our mayde Luce, our cook-mayde, who is a good drudging servant in everything else, and pleases us, but ..."

Between the plague and the fire, my bet is any poor, able-bodied, unemployed servant woman has left the expensive, cold, over-crowded City of London. The Lady Magazine of the 17th century burned up in the fire. Luce does all the work no one else wants to do. Plus she seems to be a reasonable cook. And Elizabeth hasn't picked a fight with her yet. Given that there must have been a limited supply of good drudge cooks around, Pepys isn't jumping to a solution he would have had no trouble making three years ago.

(Lady Magazine is where the gentry advertise for butlers, governesses, ladies maids, etc. Ask the Dowager Countess, Lady Violet Crawley of Grantham.)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Terry, I found this link to an e-version of your book, which seems to give wonderful background information on Whigs and Tories and all sorts of international things concerning the Stuart Brothers, William and Mary, Anne and the Georges. But a search did not find any mention of Kerry for me.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Lady Magazine didn't start publishing until the 1880's. Terry pointed me to the first women's magazine, The Ladies Mercury which started publication in 1693.…

I suspect at the time of the Diary everyone found their servants the way the Pepys have up until now -- by recommendation and referral. Or by taking in a likely parish orphan and teaching him/her a trade. (You could have had it all, Wayneman.)

Tonyel  •  Link

I'm surprised that no-one so far has referred to our present world-wide plague which is beginning to make Sam's world sound even more familiar - shops shutting, folk out of work, unreliable cures and nostrums being offered and an air of panic coupled with mistrust of politicians......

A plane flew over yesterday leaving a contrail in a clear blue sky, the first for about a week. I found myself watching it until it disappeared - not quite open-mouthed but with a vague sense of wonder.

Good luck to all of us.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Amen to that. Moving to Greenwich won't do any of us any good. Having spent an hour in the checkout line today, despire being unable to buy any toilet paper, I'm having flashbacks about Russian supermarkets and stories about WWII rationing. ONWARDS!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I'm surprised that no-one so far has referred to our present world-wide plague which is beginning to make Sam's world sound even more familiar"

Today Phil posted to the Site News section, which reports in part:

"Traffic to our site has shot up over the past couple of days, with most of the new visits coming from search engines and ending up on the Encyclopedia page about the Plague. Is this ... some other coronavirus-related inspiration? ...

"It shows that we usually have around 1800 users per day, which goes up to over 6000 on 23 March. Most of those coming via “google / organic”, which means from Google search results. “(direct) / (none)” means people typing in the site’s URL or following their own bookmarks (I think).

"Meanwhile, for an alternative Pepys parody, magazine The Fence is running a possibly regular series of modern-day-Pepys diaries which are clearly written by someone very familiar with the language of the real thing, ... Here’s the current article (and an archived version in case that disappears), and an excerpt:

"'Up betimes and by tube to Westminster, and there busy with several business all morning, for our firm intends a splendid show at the conference in the middle of this month. Then comes the intern to my office like a doting fool, and proves himself an ass talking excitedly of this plague come late out of China, which, he says, is now in Italy. Of which, my wife and I having had no Wi-Fi this last month, I know nothing, only to see how vexed this blockhead intern was did almost make me fearful myself. Yet I remembered talking with my Lord and Lady touching this matter, and him very skeptical, and my lady said to me, ‘What, Mr Pepys – shall’t die of a hiccough at the last?’ And at this jest we were all very merry. Thence home to sing with my wife in the garden, but with much trouble, for it was bitterly cold. And so to bed, our iPhones left downstairs as is now our custom.'

"Stay safe everyone."
for the chart and the rest of his post, see…

I know we all make the same wish back to Phil, who maintains this wonderful asset and makes it available to all, free of charge. If you would like to make a donation to support Project Gutenberg or to enrich his reading life, he gives the directions here:

Mary K  •  Link

I think that Phil should be proposed for an MBE. He's done more to bring the wonderful world of Samuel Pepys and England in the turbulent mid-17th century to a whole, world-wide community than many a more orthodox teacher of history and more than several other MBEs that I can think of.

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