Tuesday 5 May 1668

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon home to dinner and Creed with me, and after dinner he and I to the Duke of York’s playhouse; and there coming late, he and I up to the balcony-box, where we find my Lady Castlemayne and several great ladies; and there we sat with them, and I saw “The Impertinents” once more, now three times, and the three only days it hath been acted. And to see the folly how the house do this day cry up the play more than yesterday! and I for that reason like it, I find, the better, too; by Sir Positive At-all, I understand, is meant Sir Robert Howard. My Lady [Castlemaine] pretty well pleased with it; but here I sat close to her fine woman, Willson, who indeed is very handsome, but, they say, with child by the King. I asked, and she told me this was the first time her Lady had seen it, I having a mind to say something to her. One thing of familiarity I observed in my Lady Castlemayne: she called to one of her women, another that sat by this, for a little patch off her face, and put it into her mouth and wetted it, and so clapped it upon her own by the side of her mouth, I suppose she feeling a pimple rising there. Thence with Creed to Westminster Hall, and there met with cozen Roger, who tells me of the great conference this day between the Lords and Commons, about the business of the East India Company, as being one of the weightiest conferences that hath been, and managed as weightily. I am heartily sorry I was not there, it being upon a mighty point of the privileges of the subjects of England, in regard to the authority of the House of Lords, and their being condemned by them as the Supreme Court, which, we say, ought not to be, but by appeal from other Courts. And he tells me that the Commons had much the better of them, in reason and history there quoted, and believes the Lords will let it fall. Thence to walk in the Hall, and there hear that Mrs. Martin’s child, my god-daughter, is dead, and so by water to the Old Swan, and thence home, and there a little at Sir W. Pen’s, and so to bed.


23 Annotations

JWB  •  Link

god-daughter

"She (Mrs. Martin) doth tell me that this child did come la meme jour [ the same day ] that it ought to hazer after my avoir ete con elle [ having ? been with her ] before her marido [ husband ] did venir [ come ] home..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/12/18/

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"And to see the folly how the house do this day cry up the play more than yesterday! and I for that reason like it, I find, the better, too..." Classic study of the power of group persuasion by S. Pepys, 1668.

***

Poor Betty. She's a doughty type and will no doubt come through fine but one hopes her good buddy Sam will drop by with condolences. In many ways she often seems just about the best friend he has in the world.

Georgiana Wickham  •  Link

“She (Mrs. Martin) doth tell me that this child did come la meme jour [ the same day ] that it ought to hazer after my avoir ete con elle [ having ? been with her ] before her marido [ husband ] did venir [ come ] home…”

Does this mean "the child was born nine months to the day after I had been with her" and is the implication therefore that this might have been Pepys' child?

Georgiana Wickham  •  Link

I like the juxtaposition of Lady Castlemayne's pimple and the authority of the House of Lords.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Lords tell a story that was retold in the US Congress last year

Shortness of Time never to be used as an Argument for passing Bills without due Consideration.

Upon Report made by the Lord Chamberlain, from the Committee of the whole House, concerning the Bill for raising Three Hundred and Ten Thousand Pounds by an Imposition on Wines and other Liquors, "That, in regard the said Bill being very long, and consisting of many Paragraphs, came from the House of Commons so near the Time of Adjournment; he was commanded to report it as the Opinion of the Committee, That it might be entered into the Journal Book of this House, that there may be no such Argument hereafter used in this House (as was upon this Bill of Shortness of Time), for the passing of Bills, to precipitate the passing of them; but that due Consideration may be had hereafter, according to the Course of Parliaments:"

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?comp…

Mary  •  Link

Mrs. Martin's claim.

There seems little doubt that the lady was trying to pin paternity onto Sam, but he wasn't playing the game, beyond agreeing to become the child's godfather. A position of responsibility, but a deal less expensive than accepting parental responsibility.

Presumably the child was not born on such a date as to make Mr. Martin suspicious. At no point in the diary so far has Sam even hinted that he might have fathered a child (though he would plainly have wished to have a child of his own) and one has the impression that he had come to accept his own incapacity in this regard. It's possible that either Mrs. Martin genuinely couldn't tell whose child the little girl was, or she was just trying it on with Sam in the hope of financial support.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir Positive At-all"

L&M note Sir Positive was described in the Dramatis Personae as "a foolish Knight, that pretends to understand everything in the world, will suffer no man to understand anything in his Company; so foolish Positive, that he will never be convinced of an Error, though never so gross."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"by Sir Positive At-all, I understand, is meant Sir Robert Howard. "

Sir Positive was described in the Dramatis Personae as 'a foolish Knight that pretends to understand everything in the world, will suffer no man to understand anything in his Company; so foolishly Positive that he will never be convinced of an Error, though never so gross.'

John Evelyn: I6th. I dined at Sir Robert Howard's, Auditor of the Exchequer, a gentleman pretending to all manner of arts and sciences, for which he had been the subject of comedy, under the name of Sir Positive not ill-natured, but insufferably boasting. He was son to the late Earl of Berkshire.

1 Evelyn here means Sir Positive At-All, in Shadwell's comedy of The Sullen Lovers, which Pepys also tells us was meant for Sir Kobert Howard, Dryden's brother-in-law. https://books.google.com/books?id=p1U7AAAAYAAJ&pg…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I am heartily sorry I was not there, it being upon a mighty point of the privileges of the subjects of England, in regard to the authority of the House of Lords, and their being condemned by them as the Supreme Court, which, we say, ought not to be, but by appeal from other Courts. "

L&M note the Commons' principal objections were that the subject in such cases was deprived of the right to a trial by jury and of his right of appeal.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence with Creed to Westminster Hall, and there met with cozen Roger, who tells me of the great conference this day between the Lords and Commons, about the business of the East India Company, as being one of the weightiest conferences that hath been, and managed as weightily."

L&M: For the case, see https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/05/01/#c540…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

May 4. 1668 Warrant for the safe delivery of 20 tuns of French and Spanish wines custom free to the Earl of Carlingford, as the King's free gift.
[Docquet, Vol. 23, No. 213.]

I have a note that Charles II sent Theobald Taaffe, 1st Earl of Carlingford on a diplomatic mission to the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Leopold and the prince-bishop of Munster in 1665 to solicit their co-operation against the Dutch. (Wikipedia notes: "Critics said that he had no qualifications for the position except a capacity for drink.") This was Taffee's final public appointment. However, he doesn't die for another 9 years.

Sounds like he's going to be giving some wild parties in the mean time.
Just where I haven't discovered, but they were a very old Catholic Irish family. Taffee must have liked Bavaria, as the family ends up fighting for the Emperor, and by WWI is on the wrong side of things, from England's point of view.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

May 4. 1668
Coventry.
Ralph Hope to Williamson.

The Duke of Ormonde has arrived, accompanied with the Earl of Chesterfield, Lord Dungannon, and Sir Edward Sutton, and was met by Viscount Conway from Ragley and Sir Henry Puckering from Warwick.

He landed at Holyhead on Saturday week,
came to Chester on Tuesday,
Wednesday to Sir Thos. Delves’,
Thursday to Litchfield,
and Friday to Bratby, to the Earl of Chesterfield’s, where the Earl of Carlingford left him and returned.

He [ORMONDE] left there today at noon, and came to Coventry, where he stays with the Earl of Chesterfield;
thence he goes to Dunstable, where Sir George Lane has preceded him.

There are very terrifying accounts in the town of a great number of French having landed in several parts, and of a more than ordinary influx of Frenchmen to London;
also of great apprehensions of danger from them, which reports, being improved by the discontented and disaffected spirits, very much distract and affright the county.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 129.]

Ah, sounds like Theobald Taaffe, 1st Earl of Carlingford lives in Ireland now, and is a travelling companion of James Butler, Duke of Ormonde. Maybe the wine can catch up with Taaffe for the return trip?

Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield is the "father" of Ormonde's grandchild. Or was it the Duke of York?

Sounds as if Ormonde won't be in London until after Parliament adjourns.

I like Sir Henry Puckering, MP for Warwick.
"Lady Puckering was Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Murray, and sister to Lady Anne Halkett. Puckering proved a great friend to Lady Halkett, lending her money before her marriage [in 1656], and fighting a duel in Flanders with Col. Joseph Bampfield, one of her suitors, who was suspected of having a wife still living (he was wounded in the hand). After Lady Puckering's death, Puckering forgave Lady Halkett all her debts to him."
[Anne Halkett and Col. Bampfield rescued James, Duke of York from Cromwell in 1648.]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Henry_Puckering…
Pepys may have known him as Puckering was Paymaster to the King's forces, and worked closely with Stephen Fox.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

May 5. 1668
Chatham
Major Hen. Nicoll to Sam. Pepys.

The new Act against Nonconformists so startles Mr. Moorcock that he will not engage in articles or bonds, for fear he should be imprisoned and break them; but he will go on in the work upon my account;
and I shall get others that will accomplish it, and go on in the business upon my own account, and will give bonds for 2,000l. to perfect it in the time, if entrusted.

When I know the Board's resolutions, I will proceed accordingly, and if I undertake it alone, I will make it as much my business as if my life lay on it.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 141.] Encloses,

Edw. Moorcock to Hen. Nicoll.
I am resolved to meddle no farther in the business of the works at Chatham;
it is 100/. worse to us now than if we had concluded a few days after we first treated with the Navy Commissioners;

the detriment would have been no way balanced if they had granted the trivials I insisted on, which would not have been 40s. damage to the King, but the want of them might have been 40/. damage to the undertakers.

I am also discouraged to hear of that Act of violence which has passed Parliament about religion; for if, in the middle of our business, we should have been taken in the worshipping of God according to our conscience, our work must have ceased, and so our bonds become forfeited; and nothing less than a prison is like to be the portion of those that come not to the public worship, of which number I am one; so that, until this storm is over, I will not meddle with any employment of great moment.
London, 1 May 1668.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 141I]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

May 5. 1668
Ordnance Office.
Edw. Sherburne and Geo. Clark to the Navy Commissioners.
Have received the letter from the officers of Deptford Yard, and the complaint from the jury of the manor of Sayes Court, in the parish of Deptford, about the landing of great quantities of gunpowder near the King's yard;

have taken care that no more gunpowder shall be landed there, but that the powder to be carried to Brockley Store shall, for the future, be carried up Deptford Creek.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 142.]

Sayes Court is John Evelyn's home, and he comes from a family that made its money from making gunpowder during the Civil Wars. No wonder he doesn't want it unloaded anywhere near his house. And his house was next to the shipyards, so that makes it an even better idea not to land gunpowder there.

What does jury mean in this context? Merriam-Webster.com is not helpful.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

This is really bad:

May 5. 1668
The French Victory,
between Gravesend and the Hope.
Capt. John Fortiscue to Sam. Pepys.

The ship is ready to sail.
Asks him to hasten down the money for the seamen's tickets due, amounting to about 340/., as the season of the year is far spent, and he should have been, according to his old custom, in Yarmouth Roads 5 weeks ago,
the fishermen of Aldborough, Sole, Yarmouth, Lynn, Wells, and Newcastle being all gone.
Should have waited on their Honours, but is forced to stay in the ship by the unruliness of his men, especially of those that want their money.
Has waited 10 days in the Hope for payment.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 145.]

The European fishing grounds are hotly contested, and if there is any sign of weakness we should expect it be exploited. For the Navy not to be there in support is ... unconscionable.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Throughout the month there are requests like this:

May 3. 1668
Chatham.
Commissioner Middleton to Sam. Pepys.

Particulars of ships.
The Katherine and two others stay only for bread;
if a supply be not speedily sent, fears they will not be gotten suddenly from hence for want of men, for they cannot be fed.
[1 ½ pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 122.]

Sir Dennis Gauden was wealthy, but even he's not this wealthy:

May 5. 1668
London
Sir Denis Gauden to the Navy Commissioners.

I am daily sensible of the want of victuals in the ships going to sea, but to my great affliction, am not in condition to prevent it, though using all endeavours.

This will appear if it be considered what has been done without money or orders for it until this night, when I have received [a bill?] in part of the 30.000/. so long promised; but how or when money will be raised or received thereon, I do not know;
neither can it be expected that the needful victuals can be provided in a short time after.

I will use all possible endeavours to answer the wants.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 144.]

Sad days indeed.

All of the above entries can be found at:
'Charles II: May 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 369-418. British History Online
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-paper…

Marquess  •  Link

What a delight it must have been for Sam to be in such close proximity o all those fine ladies. I wonder if he's still in awe of Castlemaine's beauty? A beauty that he gave such high praises to when he saw her portrait at the painter's.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Sarah, regarding "the fishermen (...) being all gone", and the European fishing grounds being hotly contested.

We suspect that the real bother in the fishermen being gone is that they couldn't be pressed to share the glory of Captain Fortiscue's good ship. Able seamen are a scarce commodity. But what indeed of the fish? Could any cod wars between England and its neighbors have added to the Navy's problems?

'Tis the nature of the times in the 21st century to always have in mind the competition for resources and, immediately post-Brexit, the fishing grounds are certainly contested between France and England. In 1668 however, there must have been a lot more fish in the sea, chased by fewer fishermen - one article (1), while focused on the long-distance fleet, notes the civil war and other inconveniences had cut the fleet by one-third, to 100 large vessels in 1660 - and for a limited market. England in 1668 has around 5 million inhabitants, who probably don't eat much fish unless they live on the coast as salt was still a bit expensive.

There's also not a lot of statistics, but still occasional evidence of pressure on some fish stocks. The Norwegians cod fisheries, in particular, seem to have been struggling in the 1660s, (2) due to environmental fluctuations ('tis still the little ice age, and who knows how the North Sea responded). But it may have been a local problem only. In fact one remarkably detailed reconstruction of dutch herring catches, available at (3), concludes that, while there will be declines later on, in the 1660s the catches were nearing record highs. And so there was plenty of fish in the sea, and maybe more competition for the fishermen themselves than among fishermen for the fish.

The same study notes that fishing seasons were short, and prices the best at the start of the season, so if they behaved like the Dutch the fishermen of Yarmouth wouldn't have wanted to wait. Not that Sam really cares either way; he's more into venison (cited around 70 times) and lobster (around 30 times) than the sea fishes (around 10 times).

(1) "The English Migratory Fishery and Trade in the 17th Century", https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/exploration/1…
(2) Terje G. Birkedal, "When the fish went away", The Norwegian-American, 30 June 2020 [https://www.norwegianamerican.com/when-the-fish-w…].
(3) B. Poulsen, "Reconstructing stock fluctuations of North Sea herring, 1604-1850", in "Dutch Herring: An Environmental History, c. 1600-1860", Amsterdam University Press (2008), pp. 130-159 (very, very obligingly posted by the author at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bo-Poulsen/p…).

John G  •  Link

Read today that French fishermen are protesting about fishing rights after Brexit. Still the same problems after three and a half centuries!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Stephane, my understand from reading more of the letters is that these fleets were off to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

The colonies? If so those fishermen be venturesome and so a real loss to the Navy, and out there for sure they will tangle with the French. Just last month, we saw a mass of memoranda [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., Nos. 65-71, at https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-paper…] on the sorry state of Newfoundland, how it's been ruined and occupied by the French since 1662, and turned into a cesspit of impiety and drunkenness -- we are at a loss on how a lusty young sailor may prefer possibly that to Naval service. Interestingly, in terms of overfishing, among the horrors which the memos described was "great abuses committed by unseasonable fishing". But the lure must have been strong, because those are all North Sea ports the captain named, and not usual Atlantic fishing ports, so the lads will be going the long way; as far as possible from the press maybe, and maybe the North Sea is too hot indeed.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.