Wednesday 29 April 1668

Up, and to my office, where all the morning busy. At noon dined at home, and my clerks with me, and thence I to White Hall, and there do hear how Sir W. Pen hath delivered in his answer; and the Lords have sent it down to the Commons, but they have not yet read it, nor taken notice of it, so as, I believe, they will by design defer it till they rise, that so he, by lying under an impeachment, may be prevented in his going to sea, which will vex him, and trouble the Duke of York. Did little business with the Duke of York, and then Lord Brouncker and I to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw “Love in a Tubb;” and, after the play done, I stepped up to Harris’s dressing-room, where I never was, and there I observe much company come to him, and the Witts, to talk, after the play is done, and to assign meetings. Mine was to talk about going down to see “The Resolution,” and so away, and thence to Westminster Hall, and there met with Mr. G. Montagu, and walked and talked; who tells me that the best fence against the Parliament’s present fury is delay, and recommended it to me, in my friends’ business and my own, if I have any; and is that, that Sir W. Coventry do take, and will secure himself; that the King will deliver up all to the Parliament; and being petitioned the other day by Mr. Brouncker to protect him, with teares in his eyes, the King did say he could not, and bid him shift for himself, at least till the House is up. Thence I away to White Hall, and there took coach home with a stranger I let into the coach, to club with me for it, he going into London, I set him down at the lower end of Cheapside, and I home, and to Sir W. Pen’s, and there sat, and by and by, it being now about nine o’clock at night, I heard Mercer’s voice, and my boy Tom’s singing in the garden, which pleased me mightily, I longing to see the girl, having not seen her since my wife went; and so into the garden to her and sang, and then home to supper, and mightily pleased with her company, in talking and singing, and so parted, and to bed.

17 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir W. Pen hath delivered in his answer"

Sir W. Penn's Answer to the Articles of Impeachment against him.

This Day Sir William Pen, according to the Order of this House the 27th Instant, being appointed to put in his Answer to the Impeachment of the House of Commons against him, was brought to the Bar, by the Gentleman Usher, and having kneeled until the Lord Keeper commanded him to stand up, he humbly presented his said Answer; which was read, as followeth: [and what followeth is fullsome but involves the claim the assets he took "were by him, as his Share and Proportion, sold and converted by him this Defendant to his own Use, by virtue of the said Orders of the said Earl of Sandwich"....]…

andy  •  Link

the best fence against the Parliament’s present fury is delay,

wise counsel, especially in this media-savvy age

Christopher Squire  •  Link

‘club v. . . 8. a. To combine in making up a sum (as the cost or expense of an entertainment, etc.) by a number of individual contributions; to go shares in the cost of anything. Const. with others, for an object.
1655    R. Younge Blemish of Govt. 18   Who constantly clubs it, first for his mornings draught, secondly at Exchange time, thirdly at night when shops are shut in.
1662    S. Pepys Diary 24 Nov. (1970) III. 266   How he did endeavour to find out a ninepence to club with me for the coach.’ [OED]

language hat  •  Link

"and to assign meetings. Mine was to talk about going down to see 'The Resolution'"

Can anyone explain this? Who is assigning what sort of meetings?

Christopher Squire  •  Link

Language hat: the 'who' is anybody; the 'what' is:

‘assign, v. . . 8. a. To fix, settle, determine, or authoritatively appoint (a time or temporal limit).
. . 1708    Swift Predict. for 1708 7   In this Month likewise an Ambassador will dye in London, but I cannot assign the Day . .
†b. To fix the time and place of (a meeting).
1558    W. Forrest Hist. Grisild the Second (1875) 89   A Cowrte he assigned at Dunstaple, To whiche was summoned goode Grysilidis.
†9. To make an assignation or appointment with (a person) to do a thing. Obs.
1470–85    Malory Morte d'Arthur (1817) x. ii,   I assigne you to mete me in the medowe.
1470–85    Malory Morte d'Arthur (1816) I. 187   And there this night I had assigned my love and lady to have slept with me.’ [OED]

'Make an appointment' is the modern equivalent.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Commons considers: How shall we deal with the bootleggers?

Supply Bill; Wine Duties, &c.

The House then resumed the Debate of the Matter upon the Clause in the twelfth Sheet of the Bill, as to so much as did relate to Searches in the Houses of private Persons: And the House being of Opinion, that private Mens Houses should not be searched, without Leave; and yet that a Course should be taken, that they should not conceal Retailers Wines in their Cellars or Rooms, to defeat the King of this Duty;

Resolved, &c. That it be referred to the Committee appointed to bring in the former Clauses, to bring in a Clause, for Penalties on such Retailers as do not make true and full Entries of all such Wines as are in their own Hands, or in the Hands of any other Persons to their Use: And also on all such private Persons as shall harbour or conceal the Wines of any Retailers; and of a Reward to such as shall make the Discovery of it: And Sir Robert Brookes is added to this Committee.…

Mary  •  Link

"to assign meetings......"

I take it that people, including the wits, have come round to Harris's dressing room with two objectives; to talk with him and to arrange occasions (assign meetings) on which they will meet him again. Pepys' objective ("Mine") was to make an arrangement to take Harris on a jaunt down river to look at the vessel "The Resolution".

Perhaps we shall see if anything comes of this in future entries.

djc  •  Link

Pepys contribution to the talk among the Witts was about the Resolution. I do not read it that he arranged any particular meeting, but his observation of what the company did apart from talk. In the context of the company(Actors, Witts) I suspect the modern sense of assignation may apply.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Put not your trust in princes, Henry...

language hat  •  Link

"Pepys’ objective 'Mine') was to make an arrangement to take Harris on a jaunt down river to look at the vessel The Resolution."

Thanks, that clears it up admirably!

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Witts"

As they were known, a group of literati centring on the figure of John Dryden.'s_Coffee_House

I can't imagine they and Harris would feature a cold, wet tour down the Thames after a play; in the event, neither did Pepys.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Another printing press found:

April 29. 1668
Warrant for committing Elizabeth Calvert to the Gatehouse,
for keeping a private press,
and vending unlicensed and scandalous books and pamphlets.
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

We think it prudent, given how some of this Society would have to travel all the way from the Antipodes, to give notice of this Advertisement seen in the late Gazette (No. 254, with items dated through April 29):

We are ordered to give notice, that by reason of the approaching heat of Summer, His Majesty intends to continue touching for the Evil till Friday after the First of May inclusively, and no longer.
That's only a week hence; does the Gazette think we all live in London? And yes, lest we forget, Charlie has a Magick Finger; one source (…) implies he uses it an average of a dozen times a day. So bring your scrofulas!

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

And what to make of this, in a letter Middleton is sending today to the Commissioners:

"Particulars of ships under repair, &c. (...) The masters of Watermen's Hall are good Christians, but very knaves; they should be ordered to send down 10 or 12 old women to be nurses to the children they send for the King to breed for them; unless his Royal Highness sends all the masters down themselves, the King will not have justice (...)" [S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No.38]

Unless we're missing some obscure joke in Middleton's thoroughly businesslike letter, we take this to perhaps reveal that, between the coils of rope and the barrels of biscuits, the Watermen also stock a bunch of children, perhaps orphans destined for a glorious life of ropemaking, raised ("bred") by the Crown ("the King"), but young enough to need nurses. And there could be a hundred of them, wailing and stealing the biscuits, if they need that many old women.

Sam's job just gets even more complicated. "My lord, you want me to find a dozen what??"

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Finally, slightly off-topic but still revealing, the Carte Calendar (MS Carte 81, f. 286) records a minute by Lord Wharton, on no less than an "Address from both Houses of Parliament to the King", which alas is undated and not found by a quick search of Grey's Debates. On what? On "praying for the encouragement, by the example of His Majesty & of the Royal Family, of the habitual use, in apparel, of English manufactures". See, it's not all about impeaching our friends.

That old classic, the head of State proudly wearing the local woolens. Except Charlie (and likely Sam, and likely both Houses of Parliament) would rather clad Himself in Italian silks, 'coz the local woolens, they scratch.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Elizabeth Calvert the woman pyrate printer: She was, but she might not have started the business, which she continued after the death of husband Giles Calvert in 1664. She must have been a tough nut though, as their print shop at the Sign of the Black Spread Eagle in St Paul's Churchyard had been notorious for turning out a multitude of radical, republican and dissenter stuff, and currently there had been a warrant against Liz since at least January. According to an interesting article at […] she intersected Pepysland in printing one of the Quaker tracts that will later send Admiral Sir Will's son William Penn to the Tower.

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