Friday 1 May 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy. Then to Westminster Hall, and there met Sir W. Pen, who labours to have his answer to his impeachment, and sent down from the Lords’ House, read by the House of Commons; but they are so busy on other matters, that he cannot, and thereby will, as he believes, by design, be prevented from going to sea this year. Here met my cozen Thomas Pepys of Deptford, and took some turns with him; who is mightily troubled for this Act now passed against Conventicles, and in few words, and sober, do lament the condition we are in, by a negligent Prince and a mad Parliament. Thence I by coach to the Temple, and there set him down, and then to Sir G. Carteret’s to dine, but he not being at home, I back again to the New Exchange a little, and thence back again to Hercules Pillars, and there dined all alone, and then to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Surprizall;” and a disorder in the pit by its raining in, from the cupola at top, it being a very foul day, and cold, so as there are few I believe go to the Park to-day, if any. Thence to Westminster Hall, and there I understand how the Houses of Commons and Lords are like to disagree very much, about the business of the East India Company and one Skinner; to the latter of which the Lords have awarded 5000l. from the former, for some wrong done him heretofore; and the former appealing to the Commons, the Lords vote their petition a libell; and so there is like to follow very hot work. Thence by water, not being able to get a coach, nor boat but a sculler, and that with company, it being so foul a day, to the Old Swan, and so home, and there spent the evening, making Balty read to me, and so to supper and to bed.


14 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...it being so foul a day" is read by L&M.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...there spent the evening, making Balty read to me..."

I'll bet Balty loved that.

Arthur Perry  •  Link

The hyperlink for "a negligent Prince" points to Prince Rupert, but it seems like Sam might be referring to King Charles II.

language hat  •  Link

Yes, I'm guessing the king is the intended referent.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Thanks - I've changed the link now.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a disorder in the pit by its raining in, from the cupola at top"

Pepys has more than one reference to the inadequate protection against bad weather given by this glazed cupola [intended as a source of light]. (L&M)

For a sceptical discussion of Pepys's testimony, see "New Light on Elizabethan Theatre" -- W.J. Lawrence. The Living Age, Vol 290, pp. 226-227. https://books.google.com/books?id=1ac_AQAAMAAJ&pg…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"it being a very foul day, and cold, so as there are few I believe go to the Park to-day, if any."

On May Day all London usually took a jaunt in Hyde Park. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Houses of Commons and Lords are like to disagree very much, about the business of the East India Company and one Skinner; to the latter of which the Lords have awarded 5000l. from the former, for some wrong done him heretofore; and the former appealing to the Commons, the Lords vote their petition a libell; and so there is like to follow very hot work."

This developed into a legal dispute of the first importance and marked the last occasion on which the Lords exercised an original civil jurisdiction. Thomas Skinner, accusing the E. India Company of having seized a ship of his, had brought the case in the Lords and had been awarded damages. Long debates followed in the Commons, 2-8 May, at the end of which Skinner was put in custody. The Lords thereupon declared the proceedings illegal snd arrested four of the Company. Adjournment and prorogation of parliament prevented a settlement and in 1670 both houses agreed to expunge all record of the affair from their journals. Since then the Lords have tacitly accepted their incapacity in such cases. See Grey http://www.british-history.ac.uk/greys-debates/vo… ; etc. (L&M footnote)

In law this is Skinner's Case, the name usually given to the celebrated dispute between the House of Lords and the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom over the question of the original jurisdiction of the former house in civil suits. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinner's_Case

Cobbett's Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings ..., Volume 6
https://books.google.com/books?id=nw5AAAAAYAAJ&pg…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"In law this is Skinner's Case, the name usually given to the celebrated dispute between the House of Lords and the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom over the question of the original jurisdiction of the former house in civil suits." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinner%27s_Case

Eric the Bish  •  Link

“ Thence by water, not being able to get a coach, nor boat but a sculler”. From other references, were not all the boats used for these trips up and down the river propelled by oars? So does Samuel mean that he could not get a large boat with one person per oar either side, but a small boat with only a single rower operating both oars? This would presumably be a slow trip!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

England is awash in rumors and confusion:

May 1. 1668
H. W. to [Williamson?].

I have been to Sunderland and Cleadon, and was very well received by Capt. Gower, who told me that he was with Paul Hobson when the warrant came to apprehend them both;
that he followed the advice of the landlord, who kept him in an upper room, and thence led him into the street;
that he went from one friend's house to another, in one of which he continued 4 months without fire or candle, although in the winter, and only went out at night with his cloak over his face;
that he was often in company, but afraid of trapanners, who bring people to the gallows.

He spoke much of the Parliament being in confusion, and not knowing which way to turn; they talk of mischief and a sudden change.

I met Capt. Gower at Shields, and the captain said he had become acquainted with John or Rob. Linton of Shields, who had Lord Swinton, a Scotchman, and a Quaker at his house.

His lordship intends going into most counties of England, ere he returns.

I was with George Bateman, who had heard of Swinton, and had seen his papers and a prophecy, which he had lent, but promised I should have them the next time he came to Durham.
Bateman says it is believed all England through that nothing but Popery is intended, but he is satisfied that it will be prevented.

It was reported at Durham and Sunderland that the Chancellor was seized by 38 seamen, who surprised the guard, killing the captain of the watch, and dragged the Chancellor out of his bed, and had a contest who should have the honour of slaying him; but being so long about it, other soldiers came, rescued the Chancellor, slew some of the men, and took others prisoners, 7 or 8 only escaping.

Bateman said rejoicingly that the Parliament could not devise how to raise the King any more money, and that the King had sent to the citizens of London to borrow 300,000l., but they refused to lend until their bills were answered;
that he sent a second time for 100,000l., when they said they would not lend one penny till the bills were answered, which, said Bateman, "they will never do, for there is the most foul ugly thing charged upon sundry [persons] not far from Whitehall, concerning the firing of London and other things of great importance," wherein they have dealt so treacherously, that he was confident there would be no more money raised that way, nor the bills answered.

Gower wondered they trusted Merrinton, mayor of Newcastle and commissary of musters, and Hen. Dawson, formerly alderman of Newcastle, with custom house places, and wished I was in with them, and said he would see if it could be done.
Endorsed, "Fanatics in the North."
[1 ¾ pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 94.]

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