Saturday 28 March 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy, and at noon home to dinner with my clerks; and though my head full of business, yet I had a desire to end this holyday week with a play; and so, with my wife and Deb., to the King’s house, and there saw “The Indian Emperour,” a very good play indeed, and thence directly home, and to my writing of my letters, and so home to supper and to bed for fearing my eyes. Our greatest business at the office to-day is our want of money for the setting forth of these ships that are to go out, and my people at dinner tell me that they do verily doubt that the want of men will be so great, as we must press; and if we press, there will be mutinies in the town; for the seamen are said already to have threatened the pulling down of the Treasury Office; and if they do once come to that, it will not be long before they come to ours.


15 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Arlington to Ormond
Written from: London
Date: 28 March 1668

Has received his Grace's letter of 20th current ... and has shewed to the King the shorter letter, concerning his Grace's coming to England. The King, like the present writer, sees no need that he should be hasty in doing so. ...

At first the entertaining, in the House of Commons, of the Adventurers' Petition gave an apprehension that it might possibly occasion new reflections upon the Lord Lieutenant [Ormond]; but now the letting the Commissioners [Churchill and Brodrick] who are the true and proper parties against that petition, go into Ireland seems to shew that the Petition will not be taken up again, during the present Session. ...
http://www.rsl.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects/cart…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my people at dinner tell me that they do verily doubt that the want of men will be so great, as we must press"

I.e. they tell me that they do verily FEAR that there will be so few men ready and willing to go to sea, that we must impress them against their will.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"and if we press, there will be mutinies in the town; for the seamen are said already to have threatened the pulling down of the Treasury Office"

"pulling down" a building again.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Seems a strange progression...Why wouldn't seamen start with the Naval Office to protest the pressing of men?

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

Seems a strange progression…Why wouldn’t seamen start with the Naval Office to protest the pressing of men?

I'll bet Sam and his colleagues have taken every opportunity to blame the Treasury: "we would pay like a shot boys, it's those dammed Treasury folk won't give us the money".

More widely, with the apprentices and the seamen in revolt, taxes rising, plague and fire recent memories and war still threatening, it just needs the UN to declare a no-fly zone..........

Adam  •  Link

Solution - everyone who turns up to protest gets a free extended stay on a ship.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a free extended stay on a ship" -- Adam, this made me laugh: isn't that called a free "cruise"? Adverise that!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"The Treasury Office (Navy) in the 1660's is the "Pay Office" "

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Meanwhile, in Lisbon, Catherine of Braganza's former sister-in-law is marrying Catherine's younger brother:

On 28 March 1668, former queen Maria Francisca Isabel de Sabóia married the Infante Pedro, Duke of Beja, now the Prince Regent of Portugal.

Maria's former husband, King Alfonso VI, is now residing in exile in Terceira, the Azores.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Francisca_of_…

James Morgan  •  Link

I wondered at the reference to a "Holyday week" that he is celebrating by going to a play. What holiday week would end 3/28? I checked and Easter was April 1 in 1668 per a couple of internet sources, so this is the week between palm sunday and easter, and this is the day after Good Friday. I wouldn't think they'd be celebrating until Easter itself.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Some of the demands recently sent to the Navy Commissioners:

March 14. 1668
Portsmouth.
J. Tippetts to the Navy Commissioners.

The Monk and Tiger are fit to receive men and provisions, and several others ordered to be first got ready will not be long in hand.
Sir Edw. Spragg has sailed from Spithead;
the Francis, sent in by him for recruits, cannot be despatched yet for want of tides.
Asks orders as to supplying stores for vessels sent in.

Is in great want of money for the workmen;
is obliged to give some of them a little time to work for the merchants, on condition that they will return at a day's warning.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 236, No. 113.]

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March 17. 1668
Wm. Sarsfield, purser of the Harp, to the Navy Commissioners.

I remind you of my commander’s disbursements for the Harp, and also of Capt. Sharland's for the Mary yacht.
I entreat that a bill may be made out for my extra necessary money and for sick and wounded seamen;
I have received but 6d. a man per month, and the allowance on sixth-rate ships is 9d.;
I have had no answer to my petition, presented long since.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 236, No. 185.]

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March 19. 1668
Woolwich.
Roger Eastwood to the Navy Commissioners.

Repairs of the Reserve and Falcon.
Wants reed, deals, and calked to complete the works, and other provisions named in a demand long since sent.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 7.]

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March 19. 1668
Deptford.
John Cox and Wm. Fownes to the Navy Commissioners.

The 60l. ordered for paying board wages to seamen rigging the Charles being almost paid away,
entreats them to order 60l. more, which will enable her to sail next spring tides.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 9.]

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March 19. 1668
Deptford.
Jonas Shish to the Navy Commissioners.

All the calkers but 2 or 3 have left the service, and are at work on merchant ships.
Has warned them to come into yard to calk and grave four ships, and not one appears.
Sends their names; they all live at Deptford.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 10.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

March 19. 1668
Harwich.
Capt. Ant. Deane to the Navy Commissioners.

Although your Honors have not procured the money promised I have paid all the men except those in rigging wages; let me not suffer by my forwardness; I have wholly disabled my credit, unless supported by you.
[1½ pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 12.]

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March 22. 1668
Portsmouth.
Chris. Brouncker to Lord Brouncker.

Asks to have 11 tons of iron now in the stores, about to be disposed of at the market price, not having had any money a great while for work done for the service.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 33.]

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March 25. 1668
John Moorhouse to the Navy Commissioners.

Sends particulars of the quantity of timber lying in Aliceholt and Whittlewood Forestes;
also of timber bought by several persons from Mr. Langrack as waste.
Has put a stop to its carrying away until he receives orders.

The lieutenant of Aliceholt Forest has 100/. in hand for waste, which was ordered to be paid to Langrack for the King's use.

Those that keep the locks and weirs keep up the water, and hinder the barges passing except when they please, unless they have such allowances as they demand. If this were remedied, a fourth of the expense of water carriage would be saved;

1,000/. is due from Mr. Langrack for carriage; his executors should state that account, and should be satisfied about the quantity of timber felled and uncarried.

Has nearly spent the money received, and asks a further supply.
[3 pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 64.]

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March 25. 1668
Chatham.
Sir Wm. Penn to the Navy Commissioners.

Arrived here 2 p.m.; easily discerned it to be a holiday, there being no men at work.
Sends a demand for completing the 7 ships ordered first to be despatched;
until it is answered, the whole work is at a stand.
Wants the best orders for disposal of the 5,000/. he brought down, which is in the hands of Mr. Gregory.
Intends for home on Friday.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 66.]

Who would you pay?

'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…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I would pay this one:

March 26. 1668
Woolwich.
Ann Pett to Sam. Pepys.

My husband died last Sunday, and has left me in a mean condition, having spent by losses and sickness my own estate and his, and I have 4 children and am 300/. in debt.
His sickness has cost, since he came to Woolwich, 700/., besides what is now to pay.

I intreat you to assist me in obtaining 500/. due to my husband, as also money owing in the yard, and to stand my friend to the Navy Commissioners, that I may continue in my house some time longer;

my husband always attended to his Majesty's service, and never looked after his own concerns.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 71.]

Ann is the widow of Sir Christopher Pett, Master Shipwright, Woolwich and Deptford (1652–1668).

'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…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I wondered at the reference to a "Holyday week" that he is celebrating by going to a play."

This is a Pepysian rational to allow himself to see yet another play.
On 26 March, 1658, Samuel Pepys was "cut for the stone".
Each year on the same date, or near to it, he has a celebration in thanks of being delivered safely from the both the stone and the dangerous operation to remove it.

This year's celebration has stretched to a week ... my guess is that he's worked very hard through a plague, a fire, a war, and now Parliamentary investigations. He may have made a lot of money, but he lost the life he wanted to live.

Now he's resentful at having to defend himself and the Navy Board, to be audited and have his budgets cut, and to ordered to invent a fleet with few funds, so is giving himself lots of rewards to make up for opportunities lost, past, present and future.

JayW  •  Link

James Morgan - Here in the U.K. the week between Palm Sunday and Easter is known as Holy Week hence Sam’s reference to ‘this holyday week’. This year, 2021, Palm Sunday was yesterday, so Holy Week started yesterday.

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