Wednesday 20 November 1667

Up, and all the morning at my office shut up with Mr. Gibson, I walking and he reading to me the order books of the office from the beginning of the war, for preventing the Parliament’s having them in their hands before I have looked them over and seen the utmost that can be said against us from any of our orders, and to my great content all the morning I find none. So at noon home to dinner with my clerks, who have of late dined frequently with me, and I do purpose to have them so still, by that means I having opportunity to talk with them about business, and I love their company very well. All the morning Mr. Hater and the boy did shut up themselves at my house doing something towards the finishing the abstract book of our contracts for my pocket, which I shall now want very much. After dinner I stayed at home all the afternoon, and Gibson with me; he and I shut up till about ten at night. We went through all our orders, and towards the end I do meet with two or three orders for our discharging of two or three little vessels by ticket without money, which do plunge me; but, however, I have the advantage by this means to study an answer and to prepare a defence, at least for myself. So he gone I to supper, my mind busy thinking after our defence in this matter, but with vexation to think that a thing of this kind, which in itself brings nothing but trouble and shame to us, should happen before all others to become a charge against us.

This afternoon Mr. Mills come and visited me, and stayed a little with me (my wife being to be godmother to his child to-morrow), and among other talk he told me how fully satisfactory my first Report was to the House in the business of Chatham: which I am glad to hear; and the more, for that I know that he is a great creature of Sir R. Brookes’s.


26 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

In the House of Lords today

E. of Clarendon not to be committed on a general Charge.

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?comp…

Protest against it.

"We, whose Names are underwritten, do, according to the ancient Right and Usage of all the Peers of the Realm assembled in Parliament, after due Leave demanded from the House in the usual Manner and Form, as the Journal Book doth shew, enter and record our Protestation and particular Dissents, as followeth, and for these Reasons:

"1. That we are satisfied in Agreement with so much of the Reasons of the House of Commons alledged to that Purpose, as, upon a very long and solemn Debate in this House, did concur with our Sense, That the Earl of Clarendon should be committed to Custody, without assigning of special Matter until the particular Impeachment shall be exhibited against him by the Commons before the Lords in Parliament: Or else how shall any Great Officer of the Crown and his Complices be prevented from evading to be brought to a fair and speedy Trial?

"2. We do conceive that the Four Precedents urged by the House of Commons for his Commitment as aforesaid, and to justify the Way of their Proceedings by general Impeachment only, are valid, and full to the Point in this Case; and that the Precedent of William de la Poole Duke of Suffolk, in the 28 of H. VI. is no Precedent at all to the contrary, in regard that it was no Judgement nor Appeal in Parliament, but rather an Appeal to the King from the Judicature of the Parliament whilst the Parliament was sitting, which is not according to the Known Privileges and Customs of this House.

"3. The Earl of Clarendon's Power and Influences in the absolute Management of all the great Affairs of the Realm hath been so notorious, ever since His Majesty's happy Return into England, until the Great Seal was taken from him, that, whilst he is at Liberty, few or none of the Witnesses will probably dare to declare in Evidence all that they know against him; for Defect whereof, the Safety of the King's Person and the Peace of the whole Kingdom may be very much endangered.

"4. We conceive that, in Cases of Treason and traiterous Practices, the House of Commons have an inherent Right in them to impeach any Peer of the Realm, or other Subject of England, without assigning of special Matter; because Treason either against the King's Person, or the Government established, which are Indivisibles, is such a Specialty in itself alone, that it needs no further Specification as to the Matter of safe Custody; nor can it be suspected that so Honourable a Body as the House of Commons would have accused a Peer of the Realm of the Earl of Clarendon's Eminency and Condition, without very good Cause.

"Buckingham.

Albemarle.
Pemb. & Montgomery.
Rochester.
Norwich.
Bathe.
Cha. Gerard.
Northampton.
Bristol.
Kent.
Carlisle.
Berkshire.
Say & Seale.
Arlington.
Howard of Charlton.
Vaughan.
W. Sandys.
Windesor.
Byron.
Powis.
Teynham.
Jo. Lucas.
Jo. Duresme.
Hen. Hereford.
J. Berkeley.
Will. St. Davids.
Dover.
Poulett."
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?comp…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Neat image of Sam as paterfamilias at dinner, his clerks round him at table like sons. Bess must have enjoyed it as well, the attentions and respect of a group of earnest young men paid to her and to her Sam...And of course just the pleasant variety and chance to hear just what Sam did in that office all day.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Bess!"

"Lord...Hmmn, I am picking up things from Sam...What now?" Bess, sighing. Eyeing the clerks at long dining table, Sam at head.

"What is it, Sam'l? Oh, hello, Mr. 'Caesar'."

"Gentlemen..." Sam.

Hayter, Hewer, Gibson, et al as chorus... Caesar on violin...

Chorus:

"Bessie...

We...Love you...

You're the one, the one for me."

Hewer, Sam:

"I'm in love and I won't lie. She's my girl and always on my mind. She gives me her love and a feeling that's right. Never let me down'specially at night.

So I'm gonna do the best I can.
To please that girl and be her only man.

She picks me up when I'm feeling low.
And that's why, baby I've got to let you know."

Chorus:
"Bessie, we love you.
You're the one, the one for me."

She's the kind of girl who makes you feel nice."

Sam, Hewer:

"So I try my best to do what's right. And take her for a ride - ev'rything's fine."

Chorus:

"Oh, Bessie...We love you. You're the one for me."

Sam, Hewer:
"Search so far, search so long. To find someone...someone to count on.
Now I feel I got it right here. Found it in you, baby, you my dear.
We can do all life so nice.
We'll have it all and ev'rything will be alright.
I'm promissing you...take it from me..."

Chorus:
"OohBessie... -Bessie, I love you...You're the one...the one for me. I'm promissing you...take it from me..."

"Sam'l?"

"It was an exceptional venison pasty, Bess."

Margaret  •  Link

It must have been a big plus for the clerks, to have the main meal of the day provided for free. Food was a major item of the daily expenses in those days.

Eric Walla  •  Link

Do you get a sense that Sam is the only one of the primary officers who is preparing a defense? Or is he the only one who can understand the books well enough to identify what is straight up and what smells like week-old fish?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Let's see: For the failure to fortify Sheerness leaving Chatham open to the humiliating raid of the Medway of June 1667, are Peter Pett and the Earl of Clarendon slated to take the fall for Brouncker, the Duke of York and the King?

JWB  •  Link

But Terry: "... his discourse was his own, his actions were the ministry's." Chas.II reported by Hume in the Wiki bio.

Fern  •  Link

Before I read the comments I had assumed that Bess and Deb would be dining in another room while the men had a "working dinner".

Mary  •  Link

a working lunch?

I had made the same assumption as Fern though I find no direct evidence for either course of action. In general the office clerks are not part of the Pepys' social scene, so I take this to be a business (and politic) move on Sam's part.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Mills come and visited me, and stayed a little with me (my wife being to be godmother to his child to-morrow), and among other talk he told me how fully satisfactory my first Report was to the House in the business of Chatham: which I am glad to hear; and the more, for that I know that he is a great creature of Sir R. Brookes’s."

Brooke was chairman of the Common's first ever Committee on Miscarriages into an entire war. L&M note for his previous and ongoing personal association with Milles, see http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/05/29/#c5379…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Up, and all the morning at my office shut up with Mr. Gibson, I walking and he reading to me the order books of the office from the beginning of the war"

L&M: Untraced; probably the 'Books containing the Abstracts of Orders' listed in the inventory of books remaining in the office of the Clerk of the Acts, October 1688: BM, Add. 9303, f. 124r.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"for preventing the Parliament’s having them in their hands before I have looked them over and seen the utmost that can be said against us from any of our orders,"

L&M: Parliament was likely to criticise any dilatoriness: cf. https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/10/27/

Terry Foreman  •  Link

""Mr. Mills come and visited me, and stayed a little with me (my wife being to be godmother to his child to-morrow), and among other talk he told me how fully satisfactory my first Report was to the House in the business of Chatham:"

L&M: See https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/10/22/

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... it needs no further Specification as to the Matter of safe Custody; nor can it be suspected that so Honourable a Body as the House of Commons would have accused a Peer of the Realm of the Earl of Clarendon's Eminency and Condition, without very good Cause.
"Buckingham.
Albemarle.
Pemb. & Montgomery.
Rochester.
Norwich.
..."

Buckingham, Rochester and Norwich are all related through marriage to Clarendon. I suppose politics demanded they declare their allegiance at their uncle's expense ... but young Rochester's father, Gen. Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester, had shared many adventures during the Interregnum with then Edward Hyde, and I find it distasteful for the 20-year-old to be right behind seasoned politicians like Villiers, Albemarle and Pembroke. His mother would be horrified.
Or would she? Anne St.John Lee Wilmot, Dowager Countess of Rochester was always pragmatic.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I've been looking into Pembroke's background, and it turns out he was also related to the Clarendon/Villiers network by marriage, if nothing else.

In 1649, after the death of his first wife, Philip Herbert, 5th Earl of Pembroke married Catherine Villiers, daughter of Sir William Villiers, 1st Baronet.
https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1392/#:~:….

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Do you get a sense that Sam is the only one of the primary officers who is preparing a defense? Or is he the only one who can understand the books well enough to identify what is straight up and what smells like week-old fish?"

Yes and no. Pepys is the Clerk of Record for the Navy Board, so he is accountable for the paperwork, but not necessarily the validity of the invoices if approved by the Surveyor, etc. The admirals have become used to him being their spokesperson, and he has proven to be excellent at it in the last few years. So yes, he is the point man.

But Brouncker is worrying about a whole other problem: He was involved in stopping the chase after the fleeing Dutch fleet (in order to protect James, the Heir Apparent), thus losing England's best chance of ending the war in year 2. Pepys can't help him with that.

I suspect but do not know that Admiral Penn will have to answer for Sheerness at some point. During the summer and autumn of 1666 Penn spent a lot of time with the fleet at the Nore. Pepys doesn’t specify what he was doing, but I believe he was overseeing the possible fleet repairs and the building of the dockyard and fort. Pepys can't help him explain why the work was unfinished, beyond saying the invoices were paid. Batten is probably happy not to be on the carpet next to Penn.
https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/8834/#c54…

So it's Carcasse and the Ticket Office that trips them up. A function done in another office by a Batten clerk. Pepys only got involved by accident.
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/12/22/#c548…

It's a shame Batten can't answer for any of this.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"For the failure to fortify Sheerness leaving Chatham open to the humiliating raid of the Medway of June 1667, are Peter Pett and the Earl of Clarendon slated to take the fall for Brouncker, the Duke of York and the King?"

Rest assured Charles II will not be held accountable for anything, Terry. No one wanted James to be King.
If the Duke of York wasn't so sick with smallpox, I think he'd be sweating bullets right now. He wasn't popular, he was Clarendon's son-in-law, and he was the Lord High Admiral. He's an excellent target.
Clarendon was accused of a variety of things, none of which could be proved, so his enemies kept on trying other charges ... in the end he was impeached by the House of Commons for blatant violations of Habeas Corpus, for sending prisoners out of England to places like Jersey and holding them there without benefit of trial.
An excellent review of Clarendon's impeachment is at
https://thehistoryofparliament.wordpress.com/2017…

And Peter Pett's charges were were ridiculous enough to appeal to and be clear to the people. Pett has been a thorn in everyone's side all year, and I think Pepys for one will be happy he's gone. He was a lesson in the Peter Principle: promoted to his level of incompetence. Whose fault was that? Not his.

This is the first time the House of Commons was tasked with examining the prosecution of an entire war, not just incidents. Sir Robert Brooke and his committee had a lot to untangle, and following the money is as good a way to start as any.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Before I read the comments, I had assumed that Bess and Deb would be dining in another room while the men had a "working dinner".'

Since the Pepys home has a small and a large dining room, I think the assumption that the ladies were not present is correct.
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/09/23/

"In general, the office clerks are not part of the Pepys' social scene, so I take this to be a business (and politic) move on Sam's part."

"So at noon home to dinner with my clerks, who have of late dined frequently with me, and I do purpose to have them so still, by that means I having opportunity to talk with them about business, and I love their company very well."

This is a way to thank the clerks for their long hours and discretion during the War, and to bind the team together for what must be an intimidating experience: If their Parliamentary Hearings go badly, who knows who could be in the Tower next to Mr. Pett, and the clerks' jobs gone.

I suspect there is also a certain amount of cross-information shared over pasties which can be helpful ... having worked in a law office on some complex and related cases, a surprising number of connections were made during casual conversations in the break room and at lunch.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"the Clarendon/Villiers network by marriage"

This was misleading. Yes, the extended tentacles of marriage did connect them all, and usually that means a certain unity of purpose, as demonstrated by all these signatures at the top of today's document. But Buckingham was the leader, and Hyde was too old, infirm and intractable to be a follower.

Clarendon was always against the French influence, and therefore Buckingham was in favor of it. Buckingham aspired to his father's position of influence with Charles II, and therefore getting old uncle Hyde out of the way was essential (even Barbara VILLIERS Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine could agree to that): Buckingham is poised to be Charles' number one minister. From the Tower accused of treason to the Privy Council in 4 months is incredible.
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/07/16/

Charles' affection for his French relatives, mistresses, their money and their religion lasted his entire reign. Clarendon was against everything Charles was for. The King is always right. He owns everything.

Eric the Bish  •  Link

Could someone help me out please: I have lost the significance of “ discharging of two or three little vessels by ticket without money”. Why is this a bad thing to have done? Does it indicate corruption? Incompetence? Maladministration? Regards, Eric the Bish.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"His mother would be horrified.
"Or would she? Anne St.John Lee Wilmot, Dowager Countess of Rochester was always pragmatic."

I was right ... she was horrified. I found this digest of letters between the Dowager Countess and the Earl of Rochester, at
http://rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/3501

Basically, in 1667 a subtle but severe rift came between Anne St.John Lee Wilmot, Dowager Countess of Rochester and her son John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester.

The older woman did not like her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Mallet Wilmot, despite her wealth; she did not approve of her son's libertinism (the Dowager Countess considered herself a highly-devout Christian), so when young Rochester acted to help impeach Clarendon (the Countess' cousin, longtime aide and benefactor), an opposition was established.

Tonyel  •  Link

"discharging of two or three little vessels by ticket without money”
I'll admit I'm not clear about this since everyone knew that money was short. Sam's words sound like he is already preparing his defence - "only little vessels, perhaps two or three? Nothing to see here..."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys is preparing his defense, Tonyel.

And Eric the Bish, if you click through on the word TICKET above, on that Encyclopedia page you'll find
https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/4086/#c55…

Charles II and Carteret had agreed the tars were to be paid 50-50 tickets-to-cash back in 1660.
We have read several times of Pepys doing The Pay when they swapped cash for tickets dockside. We've read about innkeepers coming in with lots of tickets they have cashed, because they were better at negotiating the repayments from the Ticket Office and James Carkesse, with the interest which Charles II didn't want to pay.

The process didn't working easily:

https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/10/24/
Thursday 25 October 1666

"Up betimes and by water to White Hall, and there with Sir G. Carteret to Sir W. Coventry, ... and there agreed upon a method of paying of tickets; ..."

Then on 17 January, 1667 L&M: New regulations for the issue of pay tickets were concluded by the Navy Board, but proved difficult to enforce in war conditions: PL 2874, p. 479.

In a few days, Pepys will discover that his current understanding of the situation is wrong, and his explanation about how three unnamed ships were paid off with tickets only and no cash needs to be amended.

I suspect Batten had a nice income stream from the Ticket Office via Carkesse, and everyone was quite happy that their nosy Clerk of the Acts went through almost seven years without demanding to be involved with the running of that off-site department.
Then Batten dies, and here is Pepys, up to his ass in Parliamentary alligators, and being sued by the main potential witness/fall guy/perpetrator.
What a nightmare.

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