Wednesday 18 December 1667

Up, and to my goldsmith’s in the morning, to look after the providing of 60l. for Mr. Moore, towards the answering of my Lord Sandwich’s bill of exchange, he being come to be contented with my lending him 60l. in part of it, which pleases me, I expecting to have been forced to answer the whole bill; and this, which I do do, I hope to secure out of the plate, which was delivered into my custody of my Lord’s the other day by Mr. Cooke, and which I did get Mr. Stokes, the goldsmith, last night to weigh at my house, and there is enough to secure 100l.. Thence home to the office, and there all the morning by particular appointment with Sir W. Pen, Sir R. Ford, and those that are concerned for my Lady Batten (Mr. Wood, Young, and Lewes), to even the accounts of our prize business, and at noon broke up, and to dinner, every man to his own home, and to it till late at night again, and we did come to some end, and I am mightily put to it how to order the business of my bargaine, but my industry is to keep it off from discourse till the ship be brought home safe, and this I did do, and so we broke up, she appearing in our debts about 1500l., and so we parted, and I to my business, and home to my wife, who is troubled with the tooth ake, and there however I got her to read to me the History of Algiers, which I find a very pretty book, and so to supper with much pleasure talking, and to bed. The Parliament not adjourned yet.

16 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"The Parliament not adjourned yet."

This is not only today's main theme, but that of yesterday and yesterday's yesterday, etc.

I wot Pepys was not the only one living in terror at the suspense of it.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Rather cute home scene of Bess with toothache but apparently (hopefully) enjoying discussing "The History of Algiers" and the woes of Sieur D'Aranda in captivity with her Sam. Seems more an adventure/travel tale like those of Pinto than a "History" but it sounds like fun (for those reading the tale from a safe distance of course). Hope it made her forget the aching tooth.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"I hope to secure out of the plate"
I believe we may have talked about this before, but I can't remember the conclusion if any. Whenever Sam has talked about his "plate", whether acquiring it or storing it or using it, it has always been formed into useful objects, usually for dining - flagons, salts, etc. - and not ingots or silver coins (though he also has some of the latter). So when he transfers some to his Lord to secure a loan, I gather he's actually going into the cupboard and taking out serving pieces, which they will do without until the loan is paid and the lender satisfied. A pawn arrangement, in other words, but apparently a common practice among the moneyed classes in Sam's time. Do others see the situation in this way? It seems a bit strange from our modern perspective to eat off your wealth, but then I've heard of contemporary cultures where people carry their wealth in their teeth.

Eric Walla  •  Link

And as Sam would appear to have plenty of coin available to him as well, it strikes me that securing the debt in this way works as a safeguard, somehow making it more difficult to renege on the debt. Would there have been an agreement drawn up in these cases?

Mary  •  Link

The deal with Sandwich.

I read this a little differently from Paul. Sam discovers that he is in a good position to "secure" the £60 loan out of the Sandwich plate that he holds and has already mentioned that the plate was probably brought to him in the first place as a security for the cash…

Sandwich needs ready cash to meet a bill of exchange. Pepys can supply this, but holds the plate as security for the loan after having ascertained that his risk is well covered.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

I view the plate, sterling silverware I presume, as a good way to keep an eye on the family wealth. One glance at the sideboard and one can see it's all there, with the satisfaction of knowing your guests eye it mightily, you can eat from it, and it has a distinct shape and marking. Not so with coins, which can be stolen and all look alike and can't be identified as yours. The silver could be turned into coins easily enough without much loss during the melting. Coins could be turned into silverware, starting with plate or sheets of silver, supposing the cost of the silversmith's work wasn't too much. The Boston Museum of Art has lots of silver, including two silver kettle drums mated to the ones still used in royal parades.

JWB  •  Link

"...between 1 million and 1.25 million European Christians were captured and forced to work in North Africa from the 16th to 18th centuries...."

For a review of Robt. Davis's "Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White
Slavery in the Med., the Barbary Coast, & Italy,1500-1800" by Jeff Grabmeier goto:…

cum salis grano  •  Link

Money under mattress for a rainy day, Items of Value were a nice way of having wealth and enjoying it too, a nice Drinking goblet of value was so much nicer than a piece of stone, Silver [plate] dining set too.
Still some left over habits, fingers for carrying your wealth [a fake diamond], a neck for the baubles in place of real gems, so Sam, like many enjoyed his wealth, unlike now in so many living rooms, "nutin'" of value, pure unadulterated facade, all monies in circulation creating new derivative wealth, of course exceptions exists like a nice oyster with yag.

Plastic plates so much nicer than fine china, colorful plastic cup for thy burnt wine,
We have evolved.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ormond to Colonel Edward Vernon
Written from: Dublin
Date: 18 December 1667

The disposal of the lands at issue in Barker's case [… ] will, in some measure, depend on the conclusion come to in the House of Commons. The mesne profits [… ] are either in the tenants' hands, or collected, under warrant, by Bellingham. An account of them shall be immediately required. Due provision will be made for reimbursement to Vernon, of expenses incurred in prosecuting the King's interest. ...…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

“I hope to secure out of the plate”

As we have sen with Sam's 'gifts' for example the Gauden Flagons from Viner of August 1664 (… )
functioned as both a decorative object and a store of value: "Coming home, weighed, my two silver flaggons at Stevens’s. They weigh 212 oz. 27 dwt., which is about 50l., at 5s. per oz., and then they judge the fashion to be worth above 5s. per oz. more — nay, some say 10s. an ounce the fashion. But I do not believe, but yet am sorry to see that the fashion is worth so much, and the silver come to no more."…

Spoiler -- The most notorious instance of this occurred in 1689 when Louis XIV melted down the silver and gold furniture in the Grand Apartment at Versailles into coin to pay for the Nine Years War ('War of the League of Augsburg').…

and 'Art Loans' are a flourishing business for some today:…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

In the House of Lords today, the Lords Lord it over a mere Gentleman

L. Gerard versus Carr, for a scandalous Paper.

The Marquis of Worcester reported from the Committee for Privileges, "That they have examined the Matter of the scandalous Paper printed and published against the Lord Gerard of Brandon; and Stephen Carr, being called in, said, He gave a Bundle of Papers to his Sister, which lay upon his Brother's Table, and his Brother bid him give them to his Sister; but knows nothing what was in the Papers, nor who printed them. He owns the Knowledge of a Petition in Writing to the same Purpose of the Paper now shewed him.

"That William Carr being questioned, Whether he did own the Contents of the Paper shewed unto him, and did give Order for the dispersing of it (in which Paper there is a libellous and scandalous Matter against the Lord Gerard of Brandon, a Peer of this Realm, and reflecting upon the Honour and Justice of His Majesty and the House of Peers); he did own the Knowledge of the Contents of it, and that he did give Order for the publishing and dispersing of divers Papers containing the same Matter.

"In regard their Lordships find the Printing such Papers very unparliamentary, and that by such Ways the Honour of the Peers may receive great Prejudice; the Lords do humbly present it as their Opinion, That this Paper be publicly burnt, by the Hand of the Hangman, in The Old Pallace in Westminster, and that the punishing of the Person be humbly submitted to the Judgement of the House."

Carr's Judgement.

"1. That the said William Carr shall be fined to the King's Majesty in the Sum of One Thousand Pounds.

"2. That the said William Carr shall stand in the Pillory, in The Old Pallace Yard at Westminster, on Friday the 20th Day of December Instant, from Twelve to One of the Clock; and on Saturday the 21th of December Instant, at Charing Crosse, from Twelve to One of the Clock; and at the Gate of Gresham Colledge (now called The Exchange) in Bishopsgate Street, on Monday the 23th of December Instant, from Twelve to One of the Clock, having a Paper set over his Head with this Inscription in large Letters, "FOR PUBLISHING SEVERAL SCANDALOUS AND LIBELLOUS PAPERS AGAINST THE LORD GERARD OF BRANDON, A PEER OF THIS REALM, AND REFLECTING UPON THE HONOUR AND JUSTICE OF HIS MAJESTY AND THE HOUSE OF PEERS."

"3. That the said William Carr shall be imprisoned in the Prison of The Fleete, during His Majesty's Pleasure.

"4. That Three of the said printed scandalous and seditious Papers shall be burnt, by the Hand of the Hangman, at the respective Places where the said William Carr is to stand in the Pillory, during the Time of his standing in the Pillory."....…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Most of our talk was of the great discourse the world hath against my Lady Batten, for getting her husband to give her all, and disinherit his eldest son"

L&M: Pepys's note to Humphrey Stokes the goldsmith is in Rawl. A 174, f. 432f, written in the bottom of Moore's letter (18 December) to Pepys. On the back is the porter's receipt for the cash. Pepys preserved notes about this in Rawls., loc. cit., f. 432v; ib., A 185, f. 23f.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The ways of keeping cash out of the hands of pirates, and not shipping bullion around in fragile ships, was an on-going problem.

An good article about how Bills of Exchange changed international trade finance and world history -- it's not as dry as it sounds! -- is at…

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

"all the morning by particular appointment with Sir W. Pen (...) to even the accounts of our prize business"

A hint of what "evening the accounts" may have entailed came in a letter dated December 18, which may have been on the table during that meeting with Penn, from a "William Newland, purser", summarized thusly in the Carte archive: "The only obstacle on paying his accounts depending with Sir Wm. Penn is an allowance for leakage of brandy and oil; the first by defective casks, and the other by an impossibility to prevent waste of such a liquor in so hot a country". (Carte domestic series, II. 225 No. 33, digitized at…)

Which ship the letter is about isn't clear, but one can imagine the bureaucrats around the table trying all morning to grapple with this: whether the casks were actually leaky, how big the leaks were, and how fast brandy evaporates in Jamaica, in tropical weather which most of them could only imagine, relying of the say-so of suntanned guys like Newland. "Very, verrry hot in the Indys, sirs. Brandy just goes poof. You wouldn't believe. Trust me". Sam, sucking on his pencil, then thinks, "yep, I'm not gambling my money on that sort of risks. Let's just do a bit of colliery around Newcastle and exit".

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