Thursday 5 March 1667/68

With these thoughts I lay troubling myself till six o’clock, restless, and at last getting my wife to talk to me to comfort me, which she at last did, and made me resolve to quit my hands of this Office, and endure the trouble of it no longer than till I can clear myself of it. So with great trouble, but yet with some ease, from this discourse with my wife, I up, and to my Office, whither come my clerks, and so I did huddle the best I could some more notes for my discourse to-day, and by nine o’clock was ready, and did go down to the Old Swan, and there by boat, with T. H[ater] and W. H[ewer] with me, to Westminster, where I found myself come time enough, and my brethren all ready. But I full of thoughts and trouble touching the issue of this day; and, to comfort myself, did go to the Dog and drink half-a-pint of mulled sack, and in the Hall [Westminster] did drink a dram of brandy at Mrs. Hewlett’s; and with the warmth of this did find myself in better order as to courage, truly. So we all up to the lobby; and between eleven and twelve o’clock, were called in, with the mace before us, into the House, where a mighty full House; and we stood at the bar, namely, Brouncker, Sir J. Minnes, Sir T. Harvey, and myself, W. Pen being in the House, as a Member. I perceive the whole House was full, and full of expectation of our defence what it would be, and with great prejudice. After the Speaker had told us the dissatisfaction of the House, and read the Report of the Committee, I began our defence most acceptably and smoothly, and continued at it without any hesitation or losse, but with full scope, and all my reason free about me, as if it had been at my own table, from that time till past three in the afternoon; and so ended, without any interruption from the Speaker; but we withdrew. And there all my Fellow-Officers, and all the world that was within hearing, did congratulate me, and cry up my speech as the best thing they ever heard; and my Fellow-Officers overjoyed in it; we were called in again by and by to answer only one question, touching our paying tickets to ticket-mongers; and so out; and we were in hopes to have had a vote this day in our favour, and so the generality of the House was; but my speech, being so long, many had gone out to dinner and come in again half drunk; and then there are two or three that are professed enemies to us and every body else; among others, Sir T. Littleton, Sir Thomas Lee, Mr. Wiles, the coxcomb whom I saw heretofore at the cock-fighting, and a few others; I say, these did rise up and speak against the coming to a vote now, the House not being full, by reason of several being at dinner, but most because that the House was to attend the King this afternoon, about the business of religion, wherein they pray him to put in force all the laws against Nonconformists and Papists; and this prevented it, so that they put it off to to-morrow come se’nnight. However, it is plain we have got great ground; and everybody says I have got the most honour that any could have had opportunity of getting; and so with our hearts mightily overjoyed at this success, we all to dinner to Lord Brouncker’s — that is to say, myself, T. Harvey, and W. Pen, and there dined; and thence with Sir Anthony Morgan, who is an acquaintance of Brouncker’s, a very wise man, we after dinner to the King’s house, and there saw part of “The Discontented Colonel,” but could take no great pleasure in it, because of our coming in in the middle of it. After the play, home with W. Pen, and there to my wife, whom W. Hewer had told of my success, and she overjoyed, and I also as to my particular; and, after talking awhile, I betimes to bed, having had no quiet rest a good while.


33 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

march. 5. Stenos expt. by artery bound the dogg stood and went to be prosecuted)

Sr G. Ent mr Graues hatching Egges at Cairo. mr Hooke moued that some way might be considerd of to practise the hatching of chicken here in England without any animall & hauing suggested the Lamp furnace and a certaine sweet substance keeping heat for many dayes which he did not think fit to name now he was disired to make the expt the best way he could and to giue the Society an account of its Sucesse

(account of mr Smethwicks glasses being Read it was desired that / 69 / they might be tryd once more.

mr Hook was desired to prouide against next day as good sphericall glasses as he could both for telescope Reading & Procuring glasse which he vndertook.

the nice wind contracting vessel wth improuement produced it appeard sensible of the least wind made neer it, it was orderd a Description of it wth a scheam should be made & registred mr Hook suggested that such a vessell as this might by some variation be turned into a good Otacousticon [ http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/otacousticon ] he was desired to prepare such a one against the next Day.

http://webapps.qmul.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hooke_folio.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Pepys's speech, given "from [between eleven and twelve o'clock] till past three in the afternoon; and so ended, without any interruption from the Speaker; but we withdrew."

Commons Journal -- Seamens Tickets.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?comp…

L&M note Pepys's speech is summarized in The Diary of John Milward, Esq., Member of Parliament for Derbyshire, September, 1666 to May, 1668, pp. 207-9; Grey, i, 71-4 (misdated 15 February)

Grey's Debates
[The defence of Lord Brunkard, and the Commissioners of the Navy....was delivered, in substance, by one of their clerks, with the help of books and notes; Lord Brunkard, and the rest of the Commissioners of the Navy present at the Bar, standing:] http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?comp…

Ramona  •  Link

Bravo, well done, a true highlight of the
diary. We're all heaving a huge sigh of relief for our man,Mister Pepys.

Michael L  •  Link

The frequency of good quality entries (such as today's) is increasing. I will be truly sorry when this diary ends.

Mary  •  Link

"getting my wife to talk to me to comfort me"

A rare glimpse into the relationship between Sam and Elizabeth that goes beyond the mundane, day-to-day ups and downs.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

And there all my Fellow- Officers, and all the world that was within hearing, did congratulate me, and cry up my speech as the best thing they ever heard
This is the finest moment in Pepys' Diary, a moment every Pepysian carries in his heart. Any Pepysian can remember the hour, and the times, and the circumstance of this famous speech, by memory and with only occasional looking at the written diary just for reference.

Margaret  •  Link

"...but my speech, being so long, many had gone out to dinner and come in again half drunk..."

Not a very edifying view of parliament!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This is the finest moment in Pepys’ Diary,..."

It surely helped lay the foundation for his 1684 appointment as the King's Secretary for the affairs of the Admiralty.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The glorious day...Though given as Margaret notes, the condition of many members it may be just as well that the vote wasn't held today. Sam's joy and relief after the tension of the past weeks is palpable and it seems he won over the decisive middle grounders who were leaning to turn the whole office out. And of course it is sweet that he not only sought comfort from his "poor wretch", Bess, but shared the great news with her and noted her joy for him.

A "Discontented Colonel" but an overjoyed Clerk of the Acts.

john  •  Link

For once, a prophet with honour in his own country (though I find shameful the description of Pepys as "one of their clerks").

arby  •  Link

"se'nnight"?
And it sounds like Bess took some convincing to get her to talk about it, any thoughts about why?

Mary  •  Link

Well, it's a bit difficult to be aroused from sleep in the early morning and then be expected to offer sympathetic and constructive advice about a crisis in one's husband's career. Pepys has perhaps been churning this over and over in his mind for some time but Elizabeth may have been peacefully sleeping until wakened and put on the spot.

Louise H  •  Link

Another thing amazing about this entry is that Sam had the discipline not to jump right in and say "A great day of vindication," as I surely would have done. Instead, he went back and remembered the continued trepidation of the morning, with his huddling of more notes and the half-pint of sack. So we share his suspense until the triumphal moment of congratulation. Splendid writing, and for his own pleasure and edification only (we think).

JWB  •  Link

"...turned into a good Otacousticon..."

Hooke invents coffee-can telephone:

"...how far Otocousticons may be improv'd, nor what other wayes there may be of quickning our hearing, or conveying sound through other bodies then the Air: for that that it not the only medium, I can assure the Reader, that I have, by the help of a distended wire, propagated the sound to a very considerable distance in an instant,..." Preface to "Micrgraphia"

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam's splendid performance today, and meticulous preparation served him in good stead when he had to defend himself against the Popish Plot accusations in the 1670s.

The phrase "The defence of Lord Brunkard, and the Commissioners of the Navy….was delivered, in substance, by one of their clerks, with the help of books and notes; " sounds as though it was thought the Commissioners had prepared the defence and then had the clerk read it - so far from the truth!

This is a wonderful entry.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"I began our defence most acceptably and smoothly, and continued at it without any hesitation or losse, but with full scope, and all my reason free about me, as if it had been at my own table"
I love this succinct description of the feeling of being "in the zone," something that we get to experience a few times in our lives if we're fortunate. "All my reason free about me" is a phrase that I will remember.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Nothing like some sack and brandy to get one's reason free about one...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"We...were called in, with the mace before us, into the House"

A ceremonial mace is a highly ornamented staff of metal or wood, carried before a sovereign or other high official in civic ceremonies by a mace-bearer, intended to represent the official's authority. The mace, as used today, derives from the original mace used as a weapon. Processions often feature maces, as on parliamentary or formal academic occasions....Parliament cannot lawfully meet without the Mace, representing the monarch's authority, being present in the chambers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_mace#Uni…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

John Milward's Diary is available second hand on Amazon for $34.00. I'm not volunteerings.

I followed Terry's link, then sorted by Seamens Tickets, and there is a report of a speech by Pepys, (mis)labeled as Die Veneris, 14 Februarii, 1667.

I checked my notes and don't see Pepys addressing Parliament then.

If you have any insights on this, please share.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Pepys addressed Parliament Thursday 5 March 1667/68
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/03/05/

There is surely no printed version og what he said, given the time and bi
Hansard is the traditional name of the transcripts of Parliamentary debates in Britain and many Commonwealth countries. It is named after Thomas Curson Hansard (1776–1833), a London printer and publisher, who was the first official printer to the Parliament at Westminster.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hansard

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... the House was to attend the King this afternoon, about the business of religion, wherein they pray him to put in force all the laws against Nonconformists and Papists; ..."

Those pesky Quakers were stirring up all sorts of trouble ... Margaret Askew Fell (who was to marry George Fox in 1669) remained in prison for 4-1/2 years except for a brief parole in 1665. During her imprisonment she took up the pen, writing Religious pamphlets (published by Ellis Hookes in London).

She was in prison during the Plague and the Great Fire.

In January 1665 Charles II granted Margaret Askew Fell's forfeited estate to her son, George Fell, who was no longer a Quaker. However, Fell left his sisters in charge of Swarthmoor Hall as he preferred the city.

During 1666 Margaret Fell wrote and published a pamphlet from prison justifying women's right to speaks in church: "Women's Speaking Justified, Proved and Allowed of by the Scriptures, All Such as Speak by the Spirit and Power of the Lord Jesus And How Women Were the First That Preached the Tidings of the Resurrection of Jesus, and Were Sent by Christ's Own Command Before He Ascended to the Father" (John 20;17).

An example of this message: "And certain Women which had been healed of evil Spirits and Infirmities, Mary Magdalen; and Joanna the Wife of Chuza, Herods Stewards Wife; and many others which ministered unto him of their substance, Luke 8. 2, 3.

"Thus we see that Jesus owned the Love and Grace that appeared in Women, and did not despise it; and by what is recorded in the Scriptures, he received as much love, kindness, compassion, and tender dealing towards him from Women, as he did from any others, both in his life time, and also after they had exercised their cruelty upon him; ..."

And later: "And see what glorious expression Queen Hester used to comfort the People of God, which was the Church of God, as you may read in the book of Hester, which caused joy and gladness of heart among all the Jews, who prayed and worshipped the Lord in all places, who jeoparded her life contrary to the Kings command, went and spoke to the King, in the wisdom and fear of the Lord, by which means she saved the lives of the People of God; and righteous Mordecai did not forbid her speaking, but said, If she held her peace, her and her Fathers house should be destroyed; and herein you blind Priests are contrary to Righteous Mordecai."

For the entire pamphlet, see https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/fell/spea…

No wonder the men wanted to enforce the laws.

I wonder if Elizabeth quietly read things like this, as she pushed Pepys into accepting her opinions and position?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I just read more of the biography, and it says in the summer of 1668, by order of Charles II and the council, Margaret Askew Fell was released from Lancaster prison.

So while I assume they had the plague in Lancaster, the Great Fire would not have affected her directly. Maybe son George lost his London home?
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/margaret-fell/

Marquess  •  Link

A great day for Sam, in the 6 part BBC Classic Serial dramatisation of the diary, this entry is one of the highlights of the whole series.

Robert Harneis  •  Link

This is truly a great moment for Sam. He has 'arrived'. The irony of it is that it was also the first step in the process that was to make him a worthwhile target of the Popish Plot conspirators. According to Arthur Bryant, after the diary, he was used by the king to defend naval policy in parliament which he did brilliantly. It seems he was a bit too successful especially in mocking certain parliamentary critics, whilst at the same time making the King laugh. Thus only a few years later we find him in the Tower of London and fighting for his life and career. Did Charles come to to the rescue of his faithfull servant? Of course not. Sam had to depend on his own considerable resources,j his many friends and especially Bess's tiresome brother Balty, plus a bit of luck, to escape ruin and even execution. It says a lot for Sam that so many people were prepared to help him in hazardous times. With perfect timing Charles re-extended his approval publicly once Sam had put himself in the clear.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Our bookseller Mr. Google, of Scanning Lane near the Cloud, let us have enough of a peek at the diary of Mr John Milward MP to Discover that notes taken by (or at least attributed to) the latter on this Glorious Day were reproduced in a trade journal, The Mariner's Mirror, in 1928. And yes, that source is online (under doi:10.1080/00253359.1928.10655451). The article is "Reports of Pepys's Speech in the House of Commons, March 5th, 1668, Communicated by Mr E. S. de Beer", The Mariner's Mirror, vol. 14, No. 1 (January 1928), pp. 55-63.

Whether it is the same content as appears in the member's Diary, we know not, but it adds valuable detail to the summary in Grey's Debates and, touchingly (at least for Pepsyans) it says the Commissioners "came to the bar and one Pepes undertook the whole business for all the rest. He made a narrative of almost three hours long".

De Beer's article also reproduces Grey's Debates. On Milward, he describes his source as "from British Museum Additional MS. 334I3, ff. 55, 56. This manuscript contains reports of debates from September 18th, 1666, until May 8th, 1668, when it breaks off." [This is also the period covered by Milward's diary, so we suspect it's the same stuff in a nicer binding]. "The reporting is not very good; the manuscript was apparently compiled outside the House from rough notes, not from shorthand notes, but it is valuable on account of the reports of numerous debates which are not reported elsewhere, such as those on the charges against Peter Pett. The British Museum Catalogue of MSS. associates it with John Milward or Millward, member for Derby from 1665 to 1670."

Milward (if it's him) adds to Grey's in relating the myriad ways tickets have been abused, by Admirals declaring triple the headcount known to the Commissioners, counterfeiting and the like, all adding to the complication of changes and turnover in the crews which the ticket system just couldn't handle, since "it is not in the power of the commissioners of the Navy to increase or diminish the number of tickets" - an almost open incitation to just bending the rules. He notes also that the resourceful Commissioners "victualled some ships that were to be laid up, only to keep the men in pay until they were in capacity to pay them".

Sam wasn't the only one to speak but not everyone had his eloquence (or sheer, opposition-crushing stamina and command of detail). Milward notes that "First that it was Lord Brunkard that paid seamen at Chatham by tickets. Secondly my lord being asked why he did so, made this answer I know what I have to do."

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

So, three hours of juicy scandalous stuff, and Sam emerged from it in squeaky-clean glory. Bravo indeed. We can imagine him, outside the hearing room, as MPs emerge yawning and muttering on their way to lunch (and drink). The Commissioners, who "stood" at the bar for 3 hours, gracefully sit at last on a bench. Sam is besieged by newsmen from the Gazettes, whose portraitists jostle furiously to capture him on their easels and woodcuts, amid the flash of lanterns and sprays of woodchips. "Mr. Peeps, is it true that ..?" "Mr. Peeps, we understand you said that ..?" And from the painters, trying to get the angle: "Mr. Peeeps!" "Mr. Clerk of the Acts!" And from one: "Mr. Secretary, look this way please".

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

[And here's the text attributed to Milward]:

[Part 1]

March 5•••

Then the House went upon the business of the day, to hear the defence of the Commissioners and Officers of the Navy in the paying of seamen by tickets. They came to the bar and one Pepes undertook the whole business for all the rest. He made a narrative of almost three hours long: in answer to these particulars.

First that it was Lord Brunkard that paid seamen at Chatham by tickets.

Secondly my lord being asked why he did so, made this answer I know what I have to do.

Thirdly that in paying by tickets they did it irregularly: as that they paid tickets that. were bought, before those that brought their own tickets and had done the service.

Fourthly, there being an order made for the regular paying of the seamen and soldiers yet they kept not that order.

Pepes divided his narrative into these three heads.

First he showed the usefulness and necessity of tickets.

Secondly concerning the charge of irregular paying by tickets.

Thirdly concerning the paying of seamen and ships by tickets.

For the first that tickets were useful and necessary.

First in regard of men that are dead, to whose widows and executors they give tickets, by which they may receive the pay of those that are dead. And upon the death of a commander of one ship and a new commander placed in his room, it may be he may bring with him 20 or 40 soldiers or seamen and so it is necessary to give them tickets.

Secondly tickets are necessary upon the change of men, as if they put out unserviceable and take in more serviceable men.

Thirdly tickets are necessary where there is not ready money. He said that no tickets were granted but such as were signed by the commander of the ship.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

[Part 2]

Tickets may be extremely abused if not well looked to both in counterfeiting tickets, and some may by cheating get double tickets. But it is not in the power of the commissioners of the Navy to increase or diminish the number of tickets. It is ordinary for a ship that is well manned with 700 men to have 1500 or 2000 names in the muster book, because of the several ways of altering and changing men: as by the death of some, the removing of others, and cashiering of others, and taking new men into all their places.

Of 55 ships there was not in two years' war above 5000 men paid by rickets by the Officers of the Navy: whereas treble that number have been paid by the admirals.

It may be there hath been some irregularity in paying with tickets and some that have been paid before others, that were in due order to be paid not so soon.

It was judged necessary by his Royal Highness and so judged by him being our High Admiral, that payment should not be bound up to time and order but that upon some great necessity some may be paid now, that in due order ought to stay until some others should be first paid. And that this should be left to the discretion of the Officers of the Navy: nor can that be called irregular that never was regular; and therefore those officers are not to be condemned, if the pitiful necessity of some have been relieved before others out of the strict order.

Whereas it was objected against those Officers that they had made an order for the due payment of seamen but did not keep and observe that order above one week: Mr Pepys said that such an order was only spoke of and designed, but was never ratified nor signed; nor were any future orders (though some were made) strictly obliging, nor the regularity of them strictly kept.

These commissioners do altogether justify themselves from any indirect or partial paying by tickets, but only where mere necessity did compel them.

The third charge was their discharging men and ships by tickets, to which he answered, that they were so far from doing it to the disadvantage of the men, that because they had not ready money to pay them (which they say was the only reason why they paid by tickets) they victualled some ships that were to be laid up, only to keep the men in pay until they were in capacity to pay them.

At three of the clock we attended the king ....

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

And that's it. Yes, it's "Pepes" in the original manuscript (de Beer says), an indication of how Milward may have heard it in the pronounciation of the time.

John G  •  Link

Thank you Stephane for that fascinating insight.
John G, Sydney

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thank you Stephane. I'm so happy you knew where to find Milward.

And thank you Robert Harneis for Arthur Bryant's opinions.

You made my evening.

Liz  •  Link

“ I up, and to my Office, whither come my clerks, and so I did huddle the best I could some more notes for my discourse to-day”. I well remember ‘huddling’ with my boss and colleagues, pouring over figures, trying to think of all the things we might be asked at the Board meeting!

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