Tuesday 31 December 1667

Up, without words to my wife, or few, and those not angry, and so to White Hall, and there waited a long time, while the Duke of York was with the King in the Caball, and there I and Creed stayed talking without, in the Vane-Room, and I perceive all people’s expectation is, what will be the issue of this great business of putting these great Lords out of the council and power, the quarrel, I perceive, being only their standing against the will of the King in the business of the Chancellor. Anon the Duke of York comes out, and then to a committee of Tangier, where my Lord Middleton did come to-day, and seems to me but a dull, heavy man; but he is a great soldier, and stout, and a needy Lord, which will still keep that poor garrison from ever coming to be worth anything to the King. Here, after a short meeting, we broke up, and I home to the office, where they are sitting, and so I to them, and having done our business rose, and I home to dinner with my people, and there dined with me my uncle Thomas, with a mourning hat-band on, for his daughter Mary, and here I and my people did discourse of the Act for the accounts, which do give the greatest power to these people, as they report that have read it (I having not yet read it, and indeed its nature is such as I have no mind to go about to read it, for fear of meeting matter in it to trouble me), that ever was given to any subjects, and too much also. After dinner with my wife and girl to Unthanke’s, and there left her, and I to Westminster, and there to Mrs. Martin’s, and did hazer con elle what I desired, and there did drink with her, and find fault with her husband’s wearing of too fine clothes, by which I perceive he will be a beggar, and so after a little talking I away and took up my wife again, and so home and to the office, where Captain Perryman did give me an account, walking in the garden, how the seamen of England are discouraged by want of money (or otherwise by being, as he says, but I think without cause, by their being underrated) so far as that he thinks the greatest part are gone abroad or going, and says that it is known that there are Irish in the town, up and down, that do labour to entice the seamen out of the nation by giving them 3l. in hand, and promise of 40s. per month, to go into the King of France’s service, which is a mighty shame, but yet I believe is true. I did advise with him about my little vessel, “The Maybolt,” which he says will be best for me to sell, though my employing her to Newcastle this winter, and the next spring, for coles, will be a gainful trade, but yet make me great trouble, but I will think of it, and so to my office, ended my letters, and so home to supper and to bed, good friends with my wife.

Thus ends the year, with great happiness to myself and family as to health and good condition in the world, blessed be God for it! only with great trouble to my mind in reference to the publick, there being little hopes left but that the whole nation must in a very little time be lost, either by troubles at home, the Parliament being dissatisfied, and the King led into unsettled councils by some about him, himself considering little, and divisions growing between the King and Duke of York; or else by foreign invasion, to which we must submit if any, at this bad point of time, should come upon us, which the King of France is well able to do. These thoughts, and some cares upon me, concerning my standing in this Office when the Committee of Parliament shall come to examine our Navy matters, which they will now shortly do. I pray God they may do the kingdom service therein, as they will have sufficient opportunity of doing it!

17 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Written from: Whitehall - Date: 31 December 1667

The King to Ormond

Order is to be given to the Commissioners of the Court of Claims in Ireland not to proceed to any disposal of certain lands enumerated in a Schedule, exhibited to them by Dr Gorges, on behalf of the King's dear brother, the Duke of York, until his Majesty's pleasure thereupon shall be further signified.

Arlington to Ormond

Has received the letter from the Council of Ireland, relating to the proceedings of Dr Gorges.

H.R.H. [the Duke of York] approves of that agent's procedure in the complaint, except in the particular of appealing to the King in Parliament, which, the Duke told the writer, Gorges did only in terrorem [to frighten], not meaning to put the threat into execution. ...

H.R.H. added that it was against his own maxim, to bring into Parliament persons or things wherein his Majesty, alone, was able to give relief to the grievance complained of. ...


Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...or else by foreign invasion, to which we must submit if any, at this bad point of time, should come upon us, which the King of France is well able to do."


"But at de time it seemed so much cheaper to buy it than to invade it." Louis notes.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"its nature is such as I have no mind to go about to read it, for fear of meeting matter in it to trouble me"
Right on, Sam. Exactly how I feel about most political news these days.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

And thus ends our year as well, with a thought of thanks to Sam for continuing to struggle through his eye problems to tell us about his life and times. And many thoughts of thanks to my fellow travelers on this extended journey through the 17th century, for their continuing contributions to our entertainment and enlightenment with their wise and witty annotations. And most of all to Phil for paving the path. May you all have a happy and healthy 2011 (or 1668).

Mary  •  Link

"by their being underrated"

L&M explain that although ordinary and able seamen were paid at a standard rate across the fleet, officers and specialists (e.g. carpenters, boatswains) were paid at variable rates according to the official rating of the vessel in which they served.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Happy New Year
Feliz Ano Novo

nix  •  Link

Here is a fascinating account of archeological reconstruction of medieval combat in England --


Two centuries before Samuel's time, but it gives a graphic hint of what they had to fear from invasion or civil strife.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Fascinating article, Nix! Thanks for sharing.

Glyn  •  Link

And it will be Pepys who will come up with a consistent means of assigning ratings to naval ships. Incidentally, since reading this Diary I've become a little amused when people refer to something or someone as being "second rate". In fact, that would be quite a powerful ship - a bit like being a "4 star hotel" rather than a "5 star one".

Second Reading

Diana  •  Link

Hi, does anyone know what the sentence "the King led into unsettled councils by some about him, himself considering little" refer to? Were those "about him" some people against the monarchy (who the King did not really consider "important enemies")?


Terry Foreman  •  Link

Diana, keen reading on your part: perhaps "some about him" are unintentional enemies!
L&M transcribes a single word unlike Wheatley: "the King led into unsettled counsels by some about him, himself considering little" -- methinks this means SP thinks some of the King's chums distract him from attending to his job.
He is an uncertain rudder for the ship of state, the enablers indulge every fancy, and all may be lost.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Irish in the town...labour to entice the seamen out of the nation by giving them 3l. in hand, and promise of 40s. per month, to go into the King of France’s service, which is a mighty shame, but yet I believe is true."

Sea-wages had remained unaltered since 1653 at 19s. a month for ordinary seamen, and 24s. for able-bodied seamen. Proclamations forbidding seamen to serve abroad were ineffective. Many Irishmen -- disinherited peasants and ca. 20,000 troops of the catholic royalist army -- had migrated to France in the 1650s. (Per L&M note)

The globalization of labor is as old as humankind.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Greetings from Paris. For some time we have espied England's inner councils through Mr. Pepys, Esq.'s most useful Journall, and would now like to take this opportunity to blow our cover and wish your Society a happy new year 1668. Is this the year we'll invade? Wouldn't you like to know.

For the time being, let us remark upon Mr. Pepys' second-hand report of "Irish in the town" offering £3 and promising 40s. per month to join His Most Christian Majesty's service. He sources this to Capt. Perriman. The captain seems quite sanguine over that business, because on December 28 he wrote to the Navy Commissioners to relate precisely this - in Mr. Carte's summary of his letter, that "some Irishmen about London are endeavouring to seduce English seamen", etc, etc. Note, however, that Pepys quotes a conversation he had on December 31 with the captain, not the letter. It is suggestive of how information is compartmented within the Office, and how much Mr. Pepys, for all his access to the Court and preoccupation with top-level government business, is in the loop of official papers not pertaining to cables, anchors, beer and biscuits, the tedium on which he is, "all day, very busy".

We have found Mr. Carte's archive most invaluable. I know, it doesn't come together before about 70 years after 1668 when I'm writing this, but we have a time machine, and anyway time flows in funny ways on pepysdiary.com. Indeed we also find an undated petition, from "Dec.[ember]?", sent to the King (Charles, not Louis) by 49 officers and soldiers, for "a livelihood, till they can be employed in some foreign country" - which they tried to do in Portugal, only to be kicked out because they're Catholics. Just a reminder that soldiers in 1668 can go as a matter of course where the money is; of course within some reason, and the technical expertise of seamen may be more difficult to replace than the average grunt.

The Carte papers (domestic series) is a bit hard to find online, but currently the 1667-68 papers are at https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=gCk5AQAAM…. The last 3 digits is the page number for this day, January 1. Turn to page 111 for a wholly unrelated but unforgettable petition from "Edward Suckley to the King, for relief", as a list of woes including "his wife's old age of 160 years" prevent him from getting a job. We are moved, also, by a petition from "Wm. Gilom to the Navy Commissioners", now found at page 129, wherein he asks to be paid "tickets granted him for wages as commander" but, regrettably, lost all paperwork as he "can neither read nor write, nor is acquainted with the ways of a purser, and his books were torn and gnawed by rats while he lay sick at Harwich". We can easily imagine the clerks passing that sob story around the office and having a good laugh at the illiterate commander's expense, before kicking it over to Mr. Pepys so he could use some eyesight to fix the matter ...

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Loved both your posts today, Stephanie. Welcome aboard.
And a very Healthy and Happy 2021 to all annotators, lurkers and guests, past, present and future. Mr. Pepys certainly adds perspective to our lives.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

For the Carte Papers also google "Carte calendar" for The Electronic Calendar of the Carte Papers, 1660-87

Scroll down for the year web-pages, then search for dates/person names, subjects, etc.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Our abject apologies! A dysfluxion of the Minde, which the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is well known to cause (or could it be too much brandy in our chocolate?) has made us confuse calendars. Our references, and the hard-won link cited above, were to the Calendar of State Papers (Domestic Series), compiled by the Public Records Office and in which Mr. Carte had no hand.

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