Sunday 9 August 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and walked to Holborne, where got John Powell’s coach at the Black Swan, and he attended me at St. James’s, where waited on the Duke of York: and both by him and several of the Privy-Council, beyond expectation, I find that my going to Sir Thomas Allen was looked upon as a thing necessary: and I have got some advantage by it, among them. Thence to White Hall, and thence to visit Lord Brouncker, and back to White Hall, where saw the Queen and ladies; and so, with Mr. Slingsby, to Mrs. Williams’s, thinking to dine with Lord Brouncker there, but did not, having promised my wife to come home, though here I met Knepp, to my great content. So home; and, after dinner, I took my wife and Deb. round by Hackney, and up and down to take the ayre; and then home, and made visits to Mrs. Turner, and Mrs. Mercer, and Sir W. Pen, who is come from Epsom not well, and Sir J. Minnes, who is not well neither. And so home to supper, and to set my books a little right, and then to bed. This day Betty Michell come and dined with us, the first day after her lying in, whom I was glad to see.


10 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Curious thing life...Sam calmly calling on the uncle who once offered to purchase his wife's "services" for 500Ls...Betty Michell calmly coming to dine at the home of her serial groper about whose intentions being fairly dishonorable she can't have much doubt after the "box incident".

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“the Black Swan”

What a wonderful name: at the time = "There's nothing like it!"

“The term black swan derives from a Latin expression—its oldest known reference comes from the poet Juvenal’s characterization of something being “rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno” (6.165).In English, this Latin phrase means “a rare bird in the lands, and very like a black swan.” When the phrase was coined, the black swan was presumed not to exist.,,,Juvenal’s phrase was a common expression in 16th century London as a statement of impossibility. The London expression derives from the Old World presumption that all swans must be white because all historical records of swans reported that they had white feathers. In that context, a black swan was impossible or at least nonexistent. After a Dutch expedition led by explorer Willem de Vlamingh on the Swan River in 1697, discovered black swans in Western Australia, he term metamorphosed to connote that a perceived impossibility might later be disproven.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory#Ba…

Carl in Boston  •  Link

When the phrase was coined, the black swan was presumed not to exist.
What a useful annotation, what a rare insight into the ballet "Swan Lake". The black swan is next to impossible, a rare creation of the evil Rothbart to cloud the mind of the Prince. In the Paris Opera Ballet version, the black swan appears to dance briefly and then disappears while other dancers presented by Rothbart dance in front of the confused Prince. It's like a game of Three Card Monte, trying to spot the black swan. Alas, too late, the Prince plights his troth, and then the true White Swan is revealed, to his dismay. The Prince loses. In the Italian version, the Prince stomps Rothbart down to Hell, eventually. I always thought one was a black or white swan depending on whether you were dancing matinee or evening.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

The link to Mr. Slingsby goes to Sir Arthur Slingsby. I'm pretty sure that's incorrect because Sir Arthur Slingsby died back in 1665.

I wonder if this Mr. Slingsby is related Sir Arthur.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Charles II: August 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 516-565. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

@@@
Aug. 9. 1668
Portsmouth.
Hugh Salesbury to Williamson.

The Royal Sovereign has sailed from Spithead for Chatham.
Sir Thos. Allin still remains at Spithead.
[S P Dom., Car. II. 244, No. 130.]

@@@
Aug. 9. 1668
The Monmouth, Spithead.
Sir Thos. Allin to the Navy Commissioners.

Has received orders to sail,
and shall be forced to go without the colours and glass demanded;
the colours he has are only rags, and fit for fifth-rate frigates.

The Royal Sovereign and Emsworth have sailed.

Wants [h]is inglass for mending the windows.
[S P Dom., Car. II. 244, No. 131.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... walked to Holborne, where got John Powell’s coach at the Black Swan, and he attended me at St. James’s, ..."

In my copy of L&M it says John Powell was "A Navy Office messenger".

Oh Pepys, so close and yet so far:
I have long speculated that there were inter-departmental mail carriers.
Surely the Navy Commissioners would box up their mail for Deptford every afternoon, and give it to one of their watermen for delivery.
Same for the Duke of York/Matthew Wren -- same for the Admiralty Office -- but not necessarily delivered by river.

Correspondence for Portsmouth, Chatham and Harwich would probably go in the regular mail, which someone has to deliver to the Post Office at the Red Lion at Charing Cross, as it moved there on February 10, 1668. Pepys includes letters to Brampton with this run.
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/02/10/?c=55…

On the other hand, in our Encyclopedia, Terry's L&M Companion specifies John Powell was a "Messenger to the Admiralty office", but specifies "He HAD served under the Commonwealth."
So now we can assume his employment has carried over to the new regime.

Holborn hardly seems a central location.
You'd think he'd make a daily run to the Municions Office at the Tower, the Navy Office, the Victuallers Office, and Caskett et al at the Pay Office, dropping off and picking up the mail.
But it's Sunday ... did that make a difference?

The fact Powell continues with Pepys to St. James's indicates he had business there ... delivering the mail? or just helping Pepys with his letter boxes as a courtesy?

The L&M notation in my book confirms my idea about the inter-departmental mail system, but not its scope.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... at St. James’s, where waited on the Duke of York: and both by him and several of the Privy-Council, beyond expectation, I find that my going to Sir Thomas Allen was looked upon as a thing necessary: and I have got some advantage by it, among them."

Now we're privy to the months of complaints lodged by Allin about Pepys' lack of services to the new fleet, I'm not surprised James and the Privy Council were pleased you'd had the courtesy to visit and hear the Admiral's opinions in person.
I was surprised at Pepys' reports at how cordial the meeting had been. Maybe Fitzgerald hogged all the time coaching Allin on negotiation techniques with the Sultan?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Sam calmly calling on the uncle who once offered to purchase his wife's "services" for 500/s ... Betty Michell calmly coming to dine at the home of her serial groper about whose intentions being dishonorable she can't have much doubt after the "box incident"."

Not so curious in those times: A rich man needed an heir. I bet he wasn't the first to look for a "safe" surrogate the only way available to them at the time. We make it acceptable by using injections as intermediaries.
And the custom and good will of an influential man for the Mitchell's humble inn would overcome Betty's qualms, especially if she allies herself successfully with Elizabeth, which she seems to have done.
10 years ago Robert Gertz seems to have been blissfully unaware of the minefield women have always negotiated. "Just say No" rarely works. Hopefully the MeToo outpourings, resulting this week in the unseating the Gov. of New York State, has exlained the problem adequately.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

As Kevin Peter says above, Sir Arthur Slingsby (who L&M indicate this is, in their Index) is dead at this point. I'm linking him to Henry Slingsby, given the only other male Slingsby mentioned in the diary is Col. Robert, who is also dead at this point.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A rare example of L&M getting something wrong. Since references are far more available to us than they were to the good professors 100 years ago, I find this liberating. Questioning authority is healthy.

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