Friday 14 August 1668

Up, and by water to White Hall and St. James’s, and to see Sir W. Coventry, and discourse about business of our Office, telling him my trouble there, to see how things are ordered. I told him also what Cocke told me the other day, but he says there is not much in it, though he do know that this hath been in the eye of some persons to compass for the turning all things in the navy, and that it looks so like a popular thing as that he thinks something may be done in it, but whether so general or no, as I tell it him, he knows not.

Thence to White Hall, and there wait at the Council-chamber door a good while, talking with one or other, and so home by water, though but for a little while, because I am to return to White Hall. At home I find Symson, putting up my new chimney-piece, in our great chamber, which is very fine, but will cost a great deal of money, but it is not flung away.

So back to White Hall, and after the council up, I with Mr. Wren, by invitation, to Sir Stephen Fox’s to dinner, where the Cofferer and Sir Edward Savage; where many good stories of the antiquity and estates of many families at this day in Cheshire, and that part of the kingdom, more than what is on this side, near London.

My Lady [Fox] dining with us; a very good lady, and a family governed so nobly and neatly as do me good to see it.

Thence the Cofferer, Sir Stephen, and I to the Commissioners of the Treasury about business: and so I up to the Duke of York, who enquired for what I had promised him, about my observations of the miscarriages of our Office;1 and I told him he should have it next week, being glad he called for it; for I find he is concerned to do something, and to secure himself thereby, I believe: for the world is labouring to eclipse him, I doubt; I mean, the factious part of the Parliament. The Office met this afternoon as usual, and waited on him; where, among other things, he talked a great while of his intentions of going to Dover soon, to be sworn as Lord Warden, which is a matter of great ceremony and state, and so to the Temple with Mr. Wren, to the Attorney’s chamber, about business, but he abroad, and so I home, and there spent the evening talking with my wife and piping, and pleased with our chimney-piece, and so to bed.

14 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

14th August, 1668. His Majesty was pleased to grant me a lease of a slip of ground out of Brick Close, to enlarge my fore-court, for which I now gave him thanks; then, entering into other discourse, he talked to me of a new varnish for ships, instead of pitch, and of the gilding with which his new yacht was beautified. I showed his Majesty the perpetual motion sent to me by Dr. Stokes, from Cologne; and then came in Monsieur Colbert, the French Ambassador.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the world is labouring to eclipse him, I doubt" = I fear

Chris Squire  •  Link

‘family, n. < Latin familia household, < famulus servant.
I. 1. a. The servants of a house or establishment; the household. Obs. . .
?a1400 Chester Pl. (Shaks. Soc.) I. 213 You are my desciples, and of my familie.
. . 1722 D. Defoe Jrnl. Plague Year 10, I was a single Man‥but I had a Family of Servants . . ‘ [OED]

Paul Chapin  •  Link

I find it a little surprising that Sam is willing to put a lot of money into installing something as big and permanent as a chimney-piece into the quarters that are provided him because of his position, when he has been hearing talk that his whole office may be facing upheaval. If he loses his job, he loses his house too, and presumably the chimney-piece with it.

E. Scribo  •  Link

Symson/Simpson is a joiner. The chimney-piece is cabinetry and very possibly designed for disassembly. It could stand in front of the existing fireplace and look very handsome, fastened to the walls, and be removed if the owner wished.

Even today, you can go to a salvage place and buy a chimney piece---mantel and fireplace surround---removed from an older home; Victorian and Edwardian pieces in wood and tile are sought after, and of course marble or other stonework.

Geoff Hallett  •  Link

Starting tonight at 7.45 pm BBC Radio 4 a fifteen minute programme 'Pepys Diary' to run 5 nights a week. Newspaper notes it as a repeat.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"[The Duke of York] talked a great while of his intentions of going to Dover soon, to be sworn as Lord Warden, which is a matter of great ceremony and state..."

L&M note, having been appointed in 1660 Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports… and Constable of Dover Castle, he was not sworn in until 3 September 1668. On that day the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent and a force of the county militia attended him to Dover, where the ceremony was held in a tent.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Thanks, E. Scribo, for that useful comment. I guess Sam figures his next house might have a fireplace and hearth close enough in dimensions to the current one that he can reasonably expect to reinstall the chimney-piece there. He did say the money was not "flung away."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Ought to be interesting for the new tenant of Seething Lane...Fireplaces and chimneys removed...Any built in bookcases gone...Windows left gaping holes...And...

"What the devil are those men doing with the roof?"

"Well, Shaftsbury, Pepys did have receipts for when he had the house raised and a new roof put in. You do get to keep the walls, the Naval Office paid for them. Oh, and mind the..."

Hmmn... "Shaftsbury?"

"He took the floors?!" call from cellar...

"Just the flooring...And a few floor beams he'd put in."

Brampton...Where workmen arrive with said roof and flooring the next day.

"Well done on the 'creative accounting' on the renovations, Hewer..." Sam pats Will.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I with Mr. Wren, by invitation, to Sir Stephen Fox’s to dinner, where the Cofferer and Sir Edward Savage; where many good stories of the antiquity and estates of many families at this day in Cheshire, "

L&M: This was a boast frequently repeated. Savage (Gentleman of the Privy Chamber) came of a prolific Cheshire family.

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…

Aug. 14. 1668
Rich. Forster to Williamson.

Most of the ships have sailed.

There is a report of some rising in Scotland; for their greater security they
press every fifth man.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 244, No. 173.]

Aug. 14. 1668
G. Turner to Rob. Francis, at Williamson’s office, Scotland Yard, Whitehall.

I beg a safe and speedy conveyance of a letter enclosed from one of your
near relations, whose prevalent rhetoric I do not doubt.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 244, No. 174.]

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