Tuesday 28 April 1668

Up betimes, and to Sir W. Coventry’s by water, but lost my labour, so through the Park to White Hall, and thence to my Lord Crew’s to advise again with him about my Lord Sandwich, and so to the office, where till noon, and then I by coach to Westminster Hall, and there do understand that the business of religion, and the Act against Conventicles, have so taken them up all this morning, and do still, that my Lord Sandwich’s business is not like to come on to-day, which I am heartily glad of. This law against Conventicles is very severe; but Creed, whom I met here, do tell me that, it being moved that Papists’ meetings might be included, the House was divided upon it, and it was carried in the negative; which will give great disgust to the people, I doubt. Thence with Creed to Hercules Pillars by the Temple again, and there dined he and I all alone, and thence to the King’s house, and there did see “Love in a Maze,” wherein very good mirth of Lacy, the clown, and Wintersell, the country-knight, his master. Thence to the New Exchange to pay a debt of my wife’s there, and so home, and there to the office and walk in the garden in the dark to ease my eyes, and so home to supper and to bed.

10 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Commons Journal - 28 April
Suppressing Conventicles.

An ingrossed Bill for Continuance of a former Act to prevent and suppress seditious Conventicles, was read.

A Proviso relating to Roman Catholicks, was tendered, declaring the Act to be intended against them; and once read: But it being debated, whether that Proviso were proper for the Bill;...it passed in the Negative. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/…

[ A poison pill inserted by a Cromwellian revanchist, anti-Catholic to the core? ]

Mary  •  Link

Ravensbourne Mills.

Terry's reference to the mills that stood near the estuary of the River Ravensbourne brings the 17th century close to home for me. The Ravensbourne rises very close to my home in Kent and the narrow stream that runs through our garden is a minor tributary of it. Here it is home to freshwater shrimp, newts, frogs and water voles with king-cups, reed, iris, ferns and hellebores along the banks. The Deptford Reach end of the river is not quite so pretty.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Mary, thanks for reassuring us that what was alive in the 17th century hasn't all been paved or built over!

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Mary, thanks for shewing us that the Bertie Wooster movies are true: that people with houses in Kent study newts, their life cycle, newts in sickness and in health, some even devote their lives to studying newts. Seriously though, we Americans do love Bertie Wooster, who is fictional, and now are watching the Royal Wedding, which is most wonderful.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"at, it being moved that Papists’ meetings might be included, the House was divided upon it, and it was carried in the negative;"

L&M: By 84 votes to 69: see above, CJ, ix. 90. Some members argued against the bill on the ground that it would be milder than the existing laws against the Papists: Milward, p. 283.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to the King’s house, and there did see “Love in a Maze,” wherein very good mirth of Lacy, the clown, and Wintersell, the country- knight, his master."

L&M: The play was a comedy by Shirley. John Lacy, a popular comedian, played Johnny Thump; and William Wintersell Sir Gervais Simple.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

One printing press found after all that:

April 28. 1668
Warrant for committing —
Pool to the Gatehouse, for keeping a private press, printing unlicensed books, &c.
Minute. [S.P. Dom. Entry Book 30, f. 28.]

'Charles II: April 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 320-369. British History Online

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

"Warrant for committing — Pool to the Gatehouse, for keeping a private press"

Pfew. What a relief. Though it seems (from her later petition to the King, at S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 93 in early May) that Elizabeth Poole was only the landlady, and if so L'Estrange's goons grabbed the first person they saw, and the actual printer is still running. But they stomped on all the pamphlets!

And hey, what's this, also dated April 28 and likely related:

Account by Sam Mearne of expenses incurred in seizing a private printing-press under a warrant from Lord Arlington, amounting to 24l. 0s. 6d. [S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No.28]

Twenty-four quids for making an arrest? Excuse me? It might be more than the press is worth! Spent on what? Liveries? ("She threw ink at us!") Coaches? ("'twas in a nice part of Southwark, so we needed high-class wheels, see, to blend in") Food? ("We had to loosen up that informant. If Chatelin's is where he wanted to meet, then we had to go to Chatelin's. Yea, six times. Yea, all of us. The fellow knew his French vintages though"). Informants? ("Well he said he got the pamphlet from his cousin, who wouldn't talk for free so we had to pay, and he said he got it from his uncle... We had to pay off the whole village"). Letters? ("We had to request that docket all the way from Bombay"). Doctors? ("Paper cuts, my lord, the stigma of our trade"). Muscle? ("The door was soooo thick"). Disguises? ("So no one would figure us out, the whole squad dressed up as Turks").

But never mind. The King will like the arrest so much that Samuel Mearne, a bookbinder whose beautiful work still evokes over 11,000 Google hits, will be gifted the press that he helped seize (on May 27, S.P. Dom., Entry Book 31, f. 8.) His Wikipedia notice mentions that his police work was popular with the other publishers, because apart from turning out seditious material the illegal presses also infringed their copyrights on the approved stuff.

Third Reading

Trevor M Randall  •  Link

Hercules Pillars

Either there was a seventeenth century pillar known as the Hercules or it seems a possessive is missing…and it irks me.

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