Wednesday 18 March 1667/68

Up betimes to Westminster, where met with cozen Roger and Creed and walked with them, and Roger do still continue of the mind that there is no other way of saving this nation but by dissolving this Parliament and calling another; but there are so many about the King that will not be able to stand, if a new Parliament come, that they will not persuade the King to it. I spent most of the morning walking with one or other, and anon met Doll Lane at the Dog tavern, and there je did hater what I did desire with her … and I did give her as being my valentine 20s. to buy what elle would. Thence away by coach to my bookseller’s, and to several places to pay my debts, and to Ducke Lane, and there bought Montaigne’s Essays, in English, and so away home to dinner, and after dinner with W. Pen to White Hall, where we and my Lord Brouncker attended the Council, to discourse about the fitness of entering of men presently for the manning of the fleete, before one ship is in condition to receive them. W. Coventry did argue against it: I was wholly silent, because I saw the King, upon the earnestness of the Prince, was willing to it, crying very sillily, “If ever you intend to man the fleete, without being cheated by the captains and pursers, you may go to bed, and resolve never to have it manned;” and so it was, like other things, over-ruled that all volunteers should be presently entered. Then there was another great business about our signing of certificates to the Exchequer for [prize] goods, upon the 1,250,000l. Act, which the Commissioners of the Treasury did all oppose, and to the laying fault upon us. But I did then speak to the justifying what we had done, even to the angering of Duncomb and Clifford, which I was vexed at: but, for all that, I did set the Office and myself right, and went away with the victory, my Lord Keeper saying that he would not advise the Council to order us to sign no more certificates. But, before I began to say anything in this matter, the King and the Duke of York talking at the Council-table, before all the Lords, of the Committee of Miscarriages, how this entering of men before the ships could be ready would be reckoned a miscarriage; “Why,” says the King, “it is then but Mr. Pepys making of another speech to them;” which made all the Lords, and there were by also the Atturny and Sollicitor-Generall, look upon me. Thence Sir W. Coventry, W. Pen and I, by hackney-coach to take a little ayre in Hyde Parke, the first time I have been there this year; and we did meet many coaches going and coming, it being mighty pleasant weather; and so, coming back again, I ’light in the Pell Mell; and there went to see Sir H. Cholmly, who continues very ill of his cold. And there come in Sir H. Yelverton, whom Sir H. Cholmly commended me to his acquaintance, which the other received, but without remembering to me, or I him, of our being school-fellows together; and I said nothing of it. But he took notice of my speech the other day at the bar of the House; and indeed I perceive he is a wise man by his manner of discourse, and here he do say that the town is full of it, that now the Parliament hath resolved upon 300,000l., the King, instead of fifty, will set out but twenty-five ships, and the Dutch as many; and that Smith is to command them, who is allowed to have the better of Holmes in the late dispute, and is in good esteem in the Parliament, above the other. Thence home, and there, in favour to my eyes, stayed at home, reading the ridiculous History of my Lord Newcastle, wrote by his wife, which shews her to be a mad, conceited, ridiculous woman, and he an asse to suffer her to write what she writes to him, and of him. Betty Turner sent my wife the book to read, and it being a fair print, to ease my eyes, which would be reading, I read that. Anon comes Mrs. Turner and sat and talked with us, and most about the business of Ackworth,1 which comes before us to-morrow, that I would favour it, but I do not think, notwithstanding all the friendship I can shew him, that he can escape, and therefore it had been better that he had followed the advice I sent him the other day by Mrs. Turner, to make up the business. So parted, and I to bed, my eyes being very bad; and I know not how in the world to abstain from reading.


18 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

What the ellipsis suppressed

"...and anon met Doll Lane at the Dog tavern, and there yo did hazer what I did desire with her and did it backward, not having convenience to do it the other way. And I did give her as being my valentine, 20s. to buy what elle would."

L&M text.

Christopher Squire  •  Link

' . . Roger do still continue of the mind that there is no other way of saving this nation but by dissolving this Parliament and calling another; but there are so many about the King that will not be able to stand, if a new Parliament come, that they will not persuade the King to it .. '

Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Supply.

The House then resumed the Debate of the Matter touching his Majesty's Supply.

Resolved, &c. That a Poll Bill be brought in, towards the Supply of his Majesty; wherein no Housholders, which are not worth Twenty Pounds, shall be taxed for themselves, or their Children.

Resolved, &c. That so much of the remaining Two hundred thousand Pounds, which shall not be raised by the Poll Bill, or otherwise given this Session of Parliament, shall be supplied by an Imposition on Wines at the Custom-house. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?comp…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Our Sam...Subject of a royal witticism. He has nearly reached the promised land.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"Resolved, &c. That a Poll Bill be brought in, towards the Supply of his Majesty; wherein no Housholders, which are not worth Twenty Pounds, shall be taxed for themselves, or their Children."
Seeds of a progressive tax structure.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Seeds of tax-exempt status for charitable institutions yesterday when the Church was excused from direct imposts and allowed to decide in Convocation whether to pay anything into the public coffers. More today about this:

[Debate, whether the Clergy should be comprehended in the Poll Bill.]

Sir William Coventry.] The Chapter of Windsor alone has laid out 26,000 l. in repairs, and other charitable uses, since they were restored—Generally the old Clergy are dead, and have left their successors in very lean places—He has many other instances of that nature, but is unprepared to speak to the business; but will satisfy any gentleman, he having collected many particulars of that nature.

Mr Sollicitor Finch.] Besides the iniquity and injustice of the example, the Clergy estates being already gone into other families, never any tax since our late necessities were the Clergy taxed with, but by the Convocation; but in a Poll Bill, as they are a part of mankind, they have been—Never did the Parliament lay any tax upon the Laity, that the Clergy did rise without taxing themselves in their Convocation—If they, who know the sore and the weaker places of the Clergy, tax themselves, can we know them better?—The Papists say that since Pater Noster was out of England we have built few churches; but Bishop Andrews demonstrates, that the Clergy, in works of piety, are not, since that time, debtors to mankind—His Grace of Canterbury (fn. 2) is now building a theatre at Oxford worth 15,000 l.—Look upon Cardinals and their nephews (we have none of them) and you will not see such public works, or any like ours, either public or private.

Mr Waller.] In these things, on both sides, great mistakes, and much partiality—In King James's time, for the Palatinate, we here gave three subsidies, the Clergy six—He has been told by old men it was usual, but withall, that this House never taxed the Clergy—But in the tax for Ireland, the Clergy were taxed with the parish; but what they lost by it in dignity they got in profit—We then broke in upon them—The matter was about religion—Should we make a new Law, we break in upon them afresh—Among themselves they will consider the meaner Clergy—Let us see what they will do, and consider them accordingly—Perhaps we may do less upon them than they themselves; therefore put no negative upon them.

Mr Vaughan.] Affirms that the Clergy were never here rated till our Interregnum—The Clergy, upon the roll, is often called one of the estates, in calculating the quality of the people, but in Law-making not—He would set the House right in that point.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?comp…

Ireland is a different case, of course.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"and there bought Montaigne’s Essays, in English"

Guess I was wrong in my assumption on March 17th! The English translation it is...

That's quite the late Valentine's Day present, Sam.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lord Keeper saying that he would not advise the Council to order us to sign no more certificates"

The Treasury claimed that the Navy Board was allowing charges which could not be met by advances under the Additional Aid Act of 1665 to become the first charge on the Eleven Months Tax of 1667. Pepys's a swer seems to have been a defense of the practice insofar as it concerned pyment of interest to creditors rather than payment for goods. The difficulty, however, was that the Exchequer had not accounted for any intereest, and only £28,000 remained from the first act when the second was passed. The matter was this day referred to the law officers who om 3 April, contrary to Pepys's expectation, reported in the Treasury's favour. A council order forbidding the issue of more certificates followed on 22 April. (L&M)

Not a victory!? Did the lens of his oratorical triumph distort his view of things?

psw  •  Link

TB: That's quite the late Valentine's Day present, Sam.

You get what you pay for... plus ca change...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"and to Ducke Lane, and there bought Montaigne’s Essays, in English,"

L&M: John Florio's translation, first published in 1603 and several times reissued. Pepys retained the version by Charles Cotton (1693): PL 1018-29.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I checked Oct. Nov. Dec. 1667, and Jan Feb Mar 1668 and this is all I found om Acworth’s problems:

'Charles II: January 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 153-204. British History Online
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

Jan. 30. 1668
Woolwich.
Wm. Acworth to Sam. Pepys.
Desires that his coming up to the Board on Clayford's complaint may be deferred till after the survey by Col. Middleton of the provisions in the stores;
wants a copy of Clayford's petition, and his Royal Highness's reference, that he may have time to clear himself;
is receiving 100 tons of hemp from Sir John Shaw, and 40 from Mr. Hayle.
[Ibid. No. 124.]

'Charles II: February 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 204-261. British History Online
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

Feb. 27. 1668
Woolwich.
Wm. Acworth to the Navy Commissioners.
I have put a stop to all law proceedings concerning Clayford, and will not molest him nor his bail till the business be settled, provided he does not take advantage and prosecute me.

I have much business;
a great quantity of hemp is bought, and daily weighed, to be transported to Portsmouth, and I am transcribing the accounts;
I desire not to be sent up and down to answer Clayford's complaint until this service is over.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 235, No. 103.]

'Charles II: March 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 262-320. British History Online
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

March 12. 1668
Whitehall.
M. Wren to the Navy Commissioners.
Mr. Acworth, the storekeeper at Woolwich, says he can answer satisfactorily an accusation of Clayford, for converting stores to his own use;
but being very full of employment, he is straitened in time, and obtained his Royal Highness' leave to have till Thursday week to put in his answer;
he desires you to allow him the time he craves, and if after that he makes any further delay, he will be without excuse.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 236, No. 83.]

MORE TO FOLLOW

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I was wholly silent, because I saw the King, upon the earnestness of the Prince, was willing to it, crying very sillily, “If ever you intend to man the fleete, without being cheated by the captains and pursers, you may go to bed, and resolve never to have it manned;” and so it was, like other things, over-ruled that all volunteers should be presently entered."

There were volunteers (for which I read experienced Navy sailors, not nobles wanting to prove their courage and patriotism, who arrive at the last minute before a fight, and don't know how to do anything) so the Stuart brothers want them to board unseaworthy ships in mid-March? Now the Navy has to feed and pay them. Why on earth would they want to do that?

Still panicked by Captain Lois de la Roche?

I'm not seeing a lot about the Dunkirkers these days.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

They were "volunteers" because these seamen were not pressed into service.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

"but there are so many about the King that will not be able to stand, if a new Parliament come..."

By what mechanism will these flunkies of the King not be able to stand?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

HAHAHAHAHAHA, Gerald, very clever.

"but there are so many about the King" ... they be landed gentry, earls and dukes, who are not elected. The most influential man at the time is reported to be Charles II's old childhood friend, and a traitor and a troubled, troubled soul on many levels, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. Don't ask me how he pulled this off ... he was in the Tower in danger of losing his head a year ago.

The "Court party" in the House of Commons is unofficial, opposed by the also unofficial "Country party" which runs on the slogan of "No More Courtiers."
But they are elected all MPs, and the House of Commons is in charge of taxation.

Ergo, Buckingham unofficially guides the Court Party MPs. The House of Lords doesn't do budgets.

As we have seen, the Court party isn't strong enough to pass a generous Supply Bill, or protect the Stuart Brothers from embarrassing household budget cuts. Charles II is so unpopular that if an election was called, even more Country Party people would be elected, and things would go from bad to worse.

Better to stay with the devil you know, than deal with the devil you don't know.

And I suspect most of the flunkies are staggering as it is. Sobriety wasn't their way.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Remember how many references Pepys has made to people wanting "Oliver" back? Hold an election, and an "Oliver" might be arise, with a sizeable majority. Then what? Another civil war?

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

We second Charlie's advice to grab any naval volunteer while they're around. If anyone is mad enough to want to sign up for a service that notoriously pays late or not at all and is fairly likely to send them back dead or missing a leg, then let them sign up by all means, and put them to cleaning the decks or something (or sell them to Venice? That channel is still open). The incremental cost, measured largely in biscuits, will be minimal, there probably not being many of them anyway. All of Europe is on a hair trigger; aside from the very real possibility of sudden conflict aside, another war scare and they could all scamper away. And what's the alternative? It's springtime, they'll go back to the farm and won't reappear for 9 months. Or another De la Roche will shows up and recruit them away. Or they'll become Company men. Or worse, if they're really good, they'll go pyrate.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I trust the MPs voting on Supply agree with your thinking, Stephane.

As is frequently the case even today, I suspect the politicians won't cooperate with reality, and Pepys and Co. will be stuck with the no money, no ships, no victuals, and thousands of men quandary.

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