Wednesday 13 November 1667

Up, and down to the Old Swan, and so to Westminster; where I find the House sitting, and in a mighty heat about Commissioner Pett, that they would have him impeached, though the Committee have yet brought in but part of their Report: and this heat of the House is much heightened by Sir Thomas Clifford telling them, that he was the man that did, out of his own purse, employ people at the out-ports to prevent the King of Scots to escape after the battle of Worcester. The House was in a great heat all this day about it; and at last it was carried, however, that it should be referred back to the Committee to make further enquiry. I here spoke with Roger Pepys, who sent for me, and it was to tell me that the Committee is mighty full of the business of buying and selling of tickets, and to caution me against such an enquiry (wherein I am very safe), and that they have already found out Sir Richard Ford’s son to have had a hand in it, which they take to be the same as if the father had done it, and I do believe the father may be as likely to be concerned in it as his son. But I perceive by him they are resolved to find out the bottom of the business if it be possible. By and by I met with Mr. Wren, who tells me that the Duke of York is in as good condition as is possible for a man, in his condition of the smallpox. He, I perceive, is mightily concerned in the business of my Lord Chancellor, the impeachment against whom is gone up to the House of Lords; and great differences there are in the Lords’ House about it, and the Lords are very high one against another. Thence home to dinner, and as soon as dinner done I and my wife and Willet to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw the Tempest again, which is very pleasant, and full of so good variety that I cannot be more pleased almost in a comedy, only the seamen’s part a little too tedious. Thence home, and there to my chamber, and do begin anew to bind myself to keep my old vows, and among the rest not to see a play till Christmas but once in every other week, and have laid aside 10l., which is to be lost to the poor, if I do. This I hope in God will bind me, for I do find myself mightily wronged in my reputation, and indeed in my purse and business, by my late following of my pleasure for so long time as I have done. So to supper and then to bed. This day Mr. Chichly told me, with a seeming trouble, that the House have stopped his son Jack (Sir John) his going to France, that he may be a witness against my Lord Sandwich: which do trouble me, though he can, I think, say little.


14 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"only the seamen’s part a little too tedious"

L&M note Davenant had introduced [what were supposed to be] comic seamen into the altered *Tempest*. The link Michael Robinson provided permits a sample of their nugatory dialogue with which the first Act is larded. Typical is:

Enter Mariners and pass over the Stage.
Trincalo (boatswain)
"Heigh, my hearts, chearly, chearly, my hearts, yare, yare. "

and

Trincalo
"Brace off the Fore-yard."

http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Texts/tempes…

Carl in Boston  •  Link

The House in a mighty heat over Commissioner Pett, but I see from the scholarly notes that Pett remains a commissioner until 1672. I suppose this will blow over for Pett. I was getting alarmed for his safety, and indeed, his head.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Oops, I have now learned from Wikipedia that Pett was fired, probably in 1667. He died in 1672, and in comfortable circumstance, so he had 5 good years of retirement.

nix  •  Link

Having sung the part of the Boatswain in H.M.S. Pinafore last week, I heartily endorse the practice of introducing comic seamen into any context. Imagine:

Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum
Till Birnam Wood to Dunsinane is come ....

Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of beer
He poured the poison in the old king's ear ....

Yo, ho, ho and a flagon of mead
If you prick us, do we not bleed ....

nix  •  Link

Correction -- make that a schooner of beer.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the House sitting, and in a mighty heat about Commissioner Pett, that they would have him impeached, though the Committee have yet brought in but part of their Report....and at last it was carried, however, that it should be referred back to the Committee to make further enquiry."
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/commons-jrnl/vol…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"but part of their Report: and this heat of the House is much heightened by Sir Thomas Clifford telling them, that he was the man that did, out of his own purse, employ people at the out-ports to prevent the King of Scots to escape after the battle of Worcester."

Grey's Debates has a different account:
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/greys-debates/vo…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This day Mr. Chichly told me, with a seeming trouble, that the House have stopped his son Jack (Sir John) his going to France, that he may be a witness against my Lord Sandwich: which do trouble me, though he can, I think, say little."

L&M: Sir John Chicheley had commanded the Antelope in the campaign of 1665.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... they have already found out Sir Richard Ford’s son to have had a hand in it ..."

L&M Companion: Sir Richard Ford had two sons, John and Samuel.

Neither of the boys followed Sir Richard into Parliament, and Googling for victuallers with their names doesn't bring any results. Anyone got any ideas?

Harry R  •  Link

"Thence home, and there to my chamber, and do begin anew to bind myself to keep my old vows, and among the rest not to see a play till Christmas but once in every other week, and have laid aside 10l., which is to be lost to the poor, if I do. This I hope in God will bind me, for I do find myself mightily wronged in my reputation, and indeed in my purse and business, by my late following of my pleasure for so long time as I have done."

I wonder what's eating Sam. Apart from his play going, and where's the sin in that, the Protectorate being long gone, he seems to have walked the line. What aspects of his reputation have been wronged, and by whom, that he needs to renew his vows? And why have they affected his purse? Has Sam been leaving matters of a personal nature out of his diary? Anyway the prospect of losing £10 to the poor should steel his resolve.

Nick Hedley  •  Link

"and this heat of the House is much heightened by Sir Thomas Clifford telling them, that he was the man that did, out of his own purse, employ people at the out-ports to prevent the King of Scots to escape after the battle of Worcester."

I cannot understand why Sir Thomas Clifford would want to boast that he tried to prevent the escape after the Battle of Worcester of the current king, Charles II (King of the Scots at the time of the battle). Sir Thomas is currently part of the same king's household (according to the link, he became Comptroller of the Household in 1666 and a member of the Privy Council). Also, this escape seems to be one of the king's favourite anecdotes.

Surely, the report in the diary is mistaken.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"the House ... in a mighty heat about Commissioner Pett, that they would have him impeached, ... and this heat of the House is much heightened by Sir Thomas Clifford telling them, that he [PETT] was the man that did, out of his own purse, employ people at the out-ports to prevent the King of Scots to escape after the battle of Worcester."

Pepys' circuitous writing tripped you up.

Pett served both Commonwealth and King equally. His family built ships, for anyone who could pay. Which was fair enough. But then a story that a Pett (and there were many of them, many with the same family names) paid to keep Charles II in England and in danger, that story is a step too far for the Committee.

But was this story true? If it was, was it this Pett? If you read the stories of Charles' escape, there seem to be quite a few people ready and willing to help him, even with a 1,000l. Parliamentary bounty on his head. And with that bounty, why would it be necessary to offer further inducements?

I can't think of any financial motivation for Clifford to say this, beyond further integrating himself with Charles II and the other members of the CABAL.
Unless Clifford had written proof (e.g. a receipt -- forged?) from October 1651, this can only be inflammatory hear-say testimony.
Why were they so desperate to bring in a Guilty verdict? Yes, Pett's the fall guy for Chatham burning, but this seems to me to be over-kill.

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