Tuesday 28 January 1667/68

Up, and to the office, and there with W. Griffin talking about getting the place to build a coach-house, or to hire one, which I now do resolve to have, and do now declare it; for it is plainly for my benefit for saving money. By and by the office sat, and there we concluded on our letter to the Commissioners of Accounts and to the several officers of ours about the work they are to do to answer their late great demands. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner set my wife and girl down at the Exchange, and I to White Hall; and, by and by, the Duke of York comes, and we had a little meeting, Anglesey, W. Pen, and I there, and none else: and, among other things, did discourse of the want of discipline in the fleete, which the Duke of York confessed, and yet said that he, while he was there, did keep it in a good measure, but that it was now lost when he was absent; but he will endeavour to have it again. That he did tell the Prince and Duke of Albemarle they would lose all order by making such and such men commanders, which they would, because they were stout men: he told them that it was a reproach to the nation, as if there were no sober men among us, that were stout, to be had. That they did put out some men for cowards that the Duke of York had put in, but little before, for stout men; and would now, were he to go to sea again, entertain them in his own division, to choose: and did put in an idle fellow, Greene, who was hardly thought fit for a boatswain by him: they did put him from being a lieutenant to a captain’s place of a second-rate ship; as idle a drunken fellow, he said, as any was in the fleete. That he will now desire the King to let him be what he is, that is, Admirall; and he will put in none but those that he hath great reason to think well of; and particularly says, that; though he likes Colonell Legg well, yet his son that was, he knows not how, made a captain after he had been but one voyage at sea, he should go to sea another apprenticeship, before ever he gives him a command. We did tell him of the many defects and disorders among the captains, and I prayed we might do it in writing to him, which he liked; and I am glad of an opportunity of doing it. Thence away, and took up wife and girl, and home, and to the office, busy late, and so to supper and to bed. My wife this day hears from her father and mother: they are in France, at Paris; he, poor good man! I think he is, gives her good counsel still, which I always observed of him, and thankful for my small charities to him. I could be willing to do something for them, were I sure not to bring them over again hither. Coming home, my wife and I went and saw Kate Joyce, who is still in mighty sorrow, and the more from something that Dr. Stillingfleete should simply say in his sermon, of her husband’s manner of dying, as killing himself.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Written from: London - 28 January 1668

Captain Forster to Ormond

Amongst the proceedings here taken for retrenchment of the public expenditure in Ireland are the following:

All pensions are to cease, except those to the Countess of Tyrconnel, and to Mr [Patrick?] Archer, the merchant.

All new additions [of charge] since the Earl of Strafford's time
[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Wentworth,_1s… ] are struck off, except those [additions of salary] to the Judges; and those [are] "pared near the quick".

The sums for 'Concordatums' are reduced from £9,000 to £4,000. "And some skill [had to be be] used to continue them [at] so much. For my Lord of Strafford's pattern is pressed hard as a rule to all." ...

Further financial details are added, at great length.

Brodrick to Ormond

On Saturday next, the writer is to attend the Duchess [of York], who sits twice a week, with the Duke's Commissioners, for the regulation of his estate & household. ...

"My Lord of Clarendon is, very lame, at Calais; uncertain where to fix [his abode]. The Spanish Ambassador here promised for him a license, from the Marquess of Castelrodrigo, to pass through any of his [Catholic] Majesty's dominion in the Netherlands." ...


"the Duchess [of York]...sits twice a week, with the Duke's Commissioners, for the regulation of his estate & household" and perhaps, as Mr. Povey said yesterday, "is a devil against [The Duke], and do now come like Queen Elizabeth,...and sees what they do; and she crosses out this man’s wages and prices, as she sees fit, for saving money...."

Carl in Boston  •  Link

That Duchess of York is a good example of why the Colonies abolished the aristocracy, and made a USA government with two terms of service max.
Here we see Pepys moving toward a navy based on merit, instead of aristocratic connections. Much as we are panting to see the movie The King's Speech, with Colin Firth swanking about in fantastic clothing, we still do love our homespun origins. I see Pepys Memoires of the Royal Navy over there. Forgive me, I have been fighting the snow melt seeping into the attic and so below, and I now resort to a glass of Pepys.

Roger The Weather  •  Link

'It being weather like the beginning of a frost and the ground dry,' ('yesterday')

January 1668 was relatively mild, ranking 286th coldest of the last 353 since 1659, with a mean temperature of 5.0C, ...more so than the current mildish January which is currently 4.5C. This compares to a long term average of 3.8C.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The Duchess? If you mean yesterday's action in her cutting fees and salaries left and right at the Council, Carl...I'd have to say, more power to her, though of course unfortunately she's looking out for her interests pretty well. From a revolutionary standpoint, I'd be more concerned with the system Sam describes here and many times earlier of Rupert and Albemarle, but especially Rupert, wanting to place untried "gentlemen" in naval captaincies and kicking the experienced men out, particularly if they have old Commonwealth associations and lack Penn's or Batten's connections and ability to turn coats.

Jamie actually shines a bit here and in these accounts...He really did want to do his job well and promote by merit even if he tended to lapse into hunting, etc. The tragedy perhaps was that he ever became King instead of remaining if not a particularly brilliant Lord Admiral of the Navy, at least a good figurehead who had some ability to pick and support some truly brilliant men like Coventry and Pepys.

Fascinating bit here when Sam actually speaks well of Dad-in-law, Alex...Though he is very happy to see him remain in Paris at a distance. "...gives her good counsel still..."? Perhaps a reference to the great Leaving of '55 when Bess walked for several months?...A clue that it was dear ole Dad who talked his disappointed, frustrated daughter into returning to her husband and his garret room at the Montagus?

But if Alex had been helpful and even well thought of by Sam, why would Sam have taken such pains to so completely avoid him when he and Dorothea lived in London? Though of course Bess also seemed anxious to keep the parents away from Sam and the house... And our hero has kept even closer relations on a tight financial leash...I suppose one more set of aged parents was too great a nightmare to contemplate.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"with W. Griffin talking about getting the place to build a coach-house, or to hire one, which I now do resolve to have, and do now declare it; for it is plainly for my benefit for saving money."

L&M note Pepys will buy his coach on 24 October.

classicist  •  Link

'All pensions are to cease, except those to the Countess of Tyrconnel and Mr. Archer.' Is this countess the wife of Richard Talbot,1st Earl, who so inflamed the Irish situation when James was king? ('For Talbot's a dog, and Tyrconnel's an ass') If so, how do we interpret this favouritism? Wikipedia says that Talbot tried to disgrace Anne Hyde before the Restoration: if Anne, now Duchess of York, is the one sparing the Talbot family finances during 'retrenchments' it seems uncommonly forgiving.

Paul  •  Link

Carl in Boston: I am sure you will find The King's Speech a wonderful movie. He doesn't "swank about in fantastic clothing", however. This isn't Charles II. The King was actually a very modest man, and is shown usually in normal suits or normal naval uniform - as he says on becoming king, "I'm just a naval officer". He was in the heat of the action at the Battle of Jutland in WWI. On odd occasions in more formal dress with decorations you might find elaborate, when swearing the oath as king, for instance. But it's no more "fantastic clothing" than some full dress uniforms in the US forces. Enjoy the movie.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I think of George VI as what Jamie might have been capable of under the right conditions, minus the experiences of the Civil War, with a proper understanding of his constitutional role, and without the pressure of Louis' example of absolutism always before him as a goal. But as they say, Nicholas II could have made a fine King of England but was a terrible choice by Fate for Czar...Perhaps James II's unhappy luck was that he was born 300 or so years too early.

cum salis grano  •  Link

"...which I now do resolve to have, and do now declare it; for it is plainly for my benefit for saving money..."

Like having a Lear jet, saving money by investing in a time saver along with the liveried status.
No more hanging around for an old nag dragging a broken glass windowed un-sprung conveyance .

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