Thursday 19 September 1667

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon home to dinner, W. Hewer and I and my wife, when comes my cozen, Kate Joyce, and an aunt of ours, Lettice, formerly Haynes, and now Howlett, come to town to see her friends, and also Sarah Kite, with her little boy in her armes, a very pretty little boy. The child I like very well, and could wish it my own. My wife being all unready, did not appear. I made as much of them as I could such ordinary company; and yet my heart was glad to see them, though their condition was a little below my present state, to be familiar with. She tells me how the lifeguard, which we thought a little while since was sent down into the country about some insurrection, was sent to Winchcombe, to spoil the tobacco there, which it seems the people there do plant contrary to law, and have always done, and still been under force and danger of having it spoiled, as it hath been oftentimes, and yet they will continue to plant it. The place, she says, is a miserable poor place. They gone, I to the office, where all the afternoon very busy, and at night, when my eyes were weary of the light, I and my wife to walk in the garden, and then home to supper and pipe, and then to bed.

24 Annotations

First Reading

L. K. van Marjenhoff  •  Link

What an awful snob this upstart on the upswing is.

Bradford  •  Link

"Sarah Kite, with her little boy in her armes, a very pretty little boy. The child I like very well, and could wish it my own."

Very touching, knowing as we do that he never will have such a child of his own.

Michael L  •  Link

Tobacco in Gloucestershire? Really? I would expect the best way to spoil the crop in such a damp, rainy, temperate clime would be to just leave it be.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Arlington to Sandwich
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 19 September 1667

Mentions a delay which has intervened in the return of Mr Sheeres to Madrid. Instructs Lord Sandwich to offer His Majesty's mediation on the points in difference between Spain and France. The King would send, should the offer be accepted, for a Congress, whether held in a neutral town or at Paris itself.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

19th September, 1667. To London, with Mr. Henry Howard, of Norfolk, of whom I obtained the gift of his Arundelian marbles [… ], those celebrated and famous inscriptions, Greek and Latin, gathered with so much cost and industry from Greece, by his illustrious grandfather, the magnificent Earl of Arundel, my noble friend while he lived. When I saw these precious monuments miserably neglected, and scattered up and down about the garden, and other parts of Arundel House, and how exceedingly the corrosive air of London impaired them, I procured him to bestow them on the University of Oxford. This he was pleased to grant me; and now gave me the key of the gallery, with leave to mark all those stones, urns, altars, etc., and whatever I found had inscriptions on them, that were not statues. This I did; and getting them removed and piled together, with those which were incrusted in the garden walls, I sent immediately letters to the Vice-Chancellor of what I had procured, and that if they esteemed it a service to the University (of which I had been a member), they should take order for their transportation. This done

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" the lifeguard, which we thought a little while since was sent down into the country about some insurrection, was sent to Winchcombe, to spoil the tobacco there"

1640s, "bodyguard of soldiers," from life + guard, translating Ger. leibgarde. Sense of "person paid to watch over bathers" is from 1896.…

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"What an awful snob this upstart on the upswing is."

L.K., I think it's a little more complicated than that. SP says he was really glad to see them "in my heart", but at the same time aware that his current social position (earned, not inherited) precluded over-familiarity. From what I understand about English class structure, this was a very real and justified concern, up to the mid-20th century. I actually detect a note of regret on Sam's part that things are that way.

sbt  •  Link

In this case the Life Guards in question are The Life Guards, a Regiment (or rather, Half Regiment) of Cavalry within the British Army - First Battle Honour 'Sedgemoor' (1684, during the Monmouth Rebellion) most recent Battle Hounours 'Al Basrah' and 'Iraq 2003'…

In 1667 they had four troops, two formed in exile in 1658, one formed as 'Moncks Life Guards' by the 'current' Duke of Albemarle in 1659 during the turmoil that led to the Restoration and one formed in 1661, after the Restoration. In 1667 they were still all 'Gentlemen', with no Non-Comissioned Officers (Corporals were comissioned as Lieutenants).

They are currently unified with The Blues and Royals, one half of which (The Royal Dragoons) began as the Tangier Horse, 'currently' busy in that location earning their first Battle Honour.

sbt  •  Link

PS: This makes the Life Guards one of the few originally Royalist elements of a Army largely formed of units created by the Parliamentarians. This is why the UK has a 'Royal Navy', a 'Royal Air Force' but NOT a 'Royal Army'. Individual units in the army have been awarded the 'Royal' prefix over time but the British Army's heritage is Parliamentarian, something that it was unwise to forget in 1667.

As Royalist Gentlemen the Life Guards could be counted upon not to sympathise over-much with the lower orders in Winchcombe.

cum salis grano  •  Link

Growing tobacco in England,as noted above, dampness is a problem, nice leaf size, but essential to have a drying kiln, and/or a nice big airy barn with heat.

lifted: 1617
Tobacco that outlandish weede
It spends the braine and spoiles the seede
It dulls the spirite, it dims the sight
It robs a woman of her right

# 1665-66: HEALTH: EUROPE: THE GREAT PLAGUE Smoking tobacco is thought to have a protective effect. Smoking is made compulsory at Eton to ward off infection.
# 1665: HEALTH: ENGLAND: Samuel Pepys describes a Royal Society experiment in which a cat quickly dies when fed "a drop of distilled oil of tobacco."
# 1666: AGRICULTURE: Maryland faces oversupply; bans production of tobacco for one year

another link;

* The two strands to this slide show:

o How poor small holders in 17 th Century Gloucestershire & Worcestershire resisted continual attempts by the state to prevent them from growing tobacco…

Mary  •  Link

Tobacco growing in England.

This received a boost during WW2 when overseas supplies were much reduced. My grandfather, living in London, began growing his own tobacco at the time (as did others). He dried it, 'cured' it a little with rum, rolled it into tightly wrapped 'sausages,' shaved off a small amount each week and smoked it in his pipe. He continued this practice for the rest of his life and the result was a very sweet-smelling 'weed' which my husband assures me was a perfectly enjoyable, mild smoke.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

A short while ago Sam might have been begging the Joyces for help while locked in the Tower as the Royal scapegoat if the higher-ups had decided Pett wouldn't fit the bill, now milord is feeling utterly secure...At least until Parliament comes knocking at his door again.

Sad to think of Sam enviously eyeing the Kite boy when just a couple of years ago he coldly turned his niece out into the void.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Of course, as with yesterday, I can't help feeling Sam is whistling in the wind a bit to keep up his courage. All his patrons are gone but for York now and he's standing alone...Anything that makes him feel secure and solid, he's probably anxious to embrace.

cum salis grano  •  Link

Shortages in WWII gave way to other "leafs" being tested like lettuce, dock , not so good a smoke.

classicist  •  Link

Winchcombe, 'a miserable poor place,' mirabile dictu.
Very much Cotswolds stockbroker belt these days.

JWB  •  Link

The tariff of 1660 established a 1/2 penny per pound tax on tobacco. "Colonial tobacco was valued at twenty pence a pound, when it could be freely bought in Virginia and Maryland for from one-penny to twopence, and sold in England, after paying duties, freight, and other charges, for from four to five pence. Thus, while nominally a system of ad valorem rates, actually the tariff was one of specific duties." p 128-132, Geo. L. Beer, "The Old Colonial System. 1660=1754"…

Fern  •  Link

"At noon home to dinner, W. Hewer and I and my wife,"

But when the poor relations knock at the door, Bess is "all unready" and does not appear.
Bess' non-appearance is, I presume, a signal to the visitors that they are not social equals. But they are aware of that and don't expect her to show up.
The class system only works smoothly if everyone follows the unwritten, unspoken rules.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

In fairness to Bess, she may really not have been dressed to receive guests. At least in the manner to which Sam is accustomed...

nix  •  Link

"when my eyes were weary of the light" --

A report on National Public Radio this morning really drove home to me Samuel's eyestrain issues. (The book under discussion is "At Home: A Short History Of Private Life," by Bill Bryson).

"Homes were not only historically hard to keep warm — until the last 150 years or so, they were also extremely hard to keep lit. In his chapter 'Fuse Box,' Bryson attempts to convey what a pre-industrial world was actually like:

"'We forget just how painfully dim the world was before electricity. A candle, a good candle, provides barely a hundredth of the illumination of a single 100 watt lightbulb. Open your refrigerator door, and you summon forth more light than the total amount enjoyed by most households in the 18th century. The world at night, for much of history, was a very dark place indeed.'

"When Bryson came across the refrigerator statistic during the course of his research, it was winter in England, and completely dark. As an experiment he went into the darkest room in his house and attempted to read by candlelight.

"'It's nearly impossible,' he says. 'I mean, everybody should try it as an experiment sometime. Because not that long ago, a very large proportion of people, that was all the illumination they would have.'

"Unsurprisingly, Bryson adds, this lack of light defined the way people spent their evenings. In his book, he quotes a guest at a Virginia plantation in the 18th century, who wrote in his diary that a dinner was 'luminous and splendid' because of the seven candles that illuminated the room.

"'To him it was a blaze of light,' Bryson writes."……

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Illicit tobacco growing in 17th Century England

"Cotswold tobacco was thought to be mildly hallucinogenic, explaining why the government felt a need to clamp down on it. In towns like Winchcombe, tobacco growing became a vital part of the economy; it would have employed over 200 labourers in summer, lifting many out of poverty. However, the Stuart state was not very interested in this. ...

"Occasionally the Stuart state tried to clamp down on growers in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Most efforts, a few arrests aside, met with resistance.

"The market, not state intervention, drew the domestic tobacco industry to an end. Cotswolds growers were undercut-by the 1680s the high level of cultivation in Virginia made imports cheaper, with the price falling relative to English tobacco. It is possible that soil in Winchcombe and Cheltenham was exhausted and couldn’t support crops. By the end of the century, Gloucestershire’s tobacco industry had ended.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" the lifeguard... was sent to Winchcombe, to spoil the tobacco there, which it seems the people there do plant contrary to law,"

L&M note that the government's prohibition had been designed since a proclamation of 1619 to protect the valuable Virginia trade.

Supporting the Virginia, then Carolina, tobacco trade would be consistent with English competition with colonial Spain.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the lifeguard...was sent to Winchcombe, to spoil the tobacco there, which it seems the people there do plant contrary to law, and have always done, and still been under force and danger of having it spoiled, as it hath been oftentimes, and yet they will continue to plant it."

L&M: Winchcombe, Gos., was the most important centre in England of tobacco cultivation. The government's prohibition, designed to protect the valuable Virginia trade, had begun with a proclamation of 1619; many similar orders had been issued since, including statutes in 1660 and 1661, but to no effect. The use of troops had begun under the Interregnum, and on this occasion six-score horse of the Guard had been sent on 14 August (the local J.P.'s being unable or unwilling to act): HMC, Le Fleming, p. 52. Cf. CSPD 1661-2, p. 602; Tanner 47, f. 119v. There is evidence of English-grown tobacco being sold in Virginia in 1621. Large-scale cultivation ended towards the close of the century. W. J. Hardy in Archaeologia, 51 (pt i)/157+; E. Lipson, Econ. hist. Engl. (1934 ed.), iii. 169-71; W.B. Wilcox, Gloucestershire 1590-1640, pp. 158-62.

Harry R  •  Link

lifted: 1617
Tobacco that outlandish weede etc.

An alternative view:
Hail thou inspiring plant! Thou balm of life,
Well might thy worth engage two nations' strife;
Exhaustless fountain of Britannia's wealth;
Thou friend of wisdom and thou source of health.
-from an early tobacco label…

john  •  Link

I think that L.K. inadvertantly proves Paul Chapin's point. Pepys is an excellent administrator who has reached his standing by hard and diligent work. Yet L.K. denigrates him by calling him an "upstart". For all his naval knowledge and administrative skill, he is employed at pleasure and being seen with the "wrong" people would jeopardise that.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.