Monday 24 August 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning upon considerations on the Victualler’s contract, and then home to dinner, where my wife is upon hanging the long chamber where the girl lies, with the sad stuff that was in the best chamber, in order to the hanging that with tapestry. So to dinner, and then to the office again, where all the afternoon till night, we met to discourse upon the alterations which are propounded to be made in the draft of the victualler’s contract which we did lately make, and then we being up comes Mr. Child, Papillion and Littleton, his partners, to discourse upon the matter with me, which I did, and spent all the evening with them at the office, and so, they being gone, I to supper and talk with my wife, and so to bed.

7 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Wonder what the "Pepys tapestry" shows?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"all the afternoon till night, we met to discourse upon the alterations which are propounded to be made in the draft of the victualler’s contract which we did lately make"

L&M note some of the potential contractors objected to some of the terms first specified by the Navy Board in its draft contract (cited by number, of course) .

This hardly need be noted: such back-and-forth between a government agency and its suppliers is SOP in military contacting; lots of time spent on this.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"sad" here means muted or sober colours (muddy green for example), not that it was past its best. Stuff was a plain material. It seems Sam can now afford bright colours (more expensive to produce) and a tapestry - a more expensive type of wall hanging. More display of conspicuous consumption. Party coming up??

Second Reading

john  •  Link

It seems that they are discoursing on a non-vendor-specific RFQ.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

The contract had better be finalized soon (and spoiler: it won't, it's gonna drag for days) for the Gazette, in No. 287 has already printed this


The Lords Commiſsioners of His Majesties Treaſury, having by His Majeſties Command, upon Conſideration, the making of a New Contract for the Victualling of His Majeſties Navy, have thought fit to publish that they will be ready to receive the Propoſals of any able and ſufficient Undertakers, on Thursday being the 20th of August inſtant at Three of the Clock in the Afternoon; and in the meantime, ſuch as are desirous to undertake the ſaid Victualling, may repair to Sir George Downing, and ſee the Conditions under which it is to be performed; that ſo they may the better propoſe the doing the same at reaſonable rates.

And ſo, here they must be lining up, the hopeful Undertakers, in their best doublets and rental wigs and with their bribes (nay) gifts (nay) samples in hand; at least those who needed the Gazette to know, since this notice appears for the first time in an issue that contains articles datelined through August 25, and the real players may have been discussing their Propoſals in Sir George's backroom over his fine port for a few days.

Or maybe not. "Williamson was hasty", Downing would say, "we do not yet have the making of a New Contract. We'll get back in touch! Yes, do leave a case of your ſamples along with your card". And notice it's the Treasury that invited everyone, to a party which it's actually the Navy Board that's organizing; no wonder there was a mixup.

And maybe there won't be such a riot of Undertakers at Sir George's door anyway. The Navy must have quite a reputation for bankrupting its suppliers, and could mainly attract the naive and the especially crooked ("'reaſonable rates', we said!") Unless (as we suspect) everyone in England is already in debt to everyone else; the Navy, in actually paying after a few years, is in fact a better deal than most of the Quality; and "supplier to His Majeſties Navy" (or "battle-tested against the slimy Dutch") is a label worth paying for ("If my biscuits don't spoil? Why, our boys depend on 'em from Barbadoes to Bombay!")

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

It was a very good time for Louis XIV to send over an Ambassador with a lot of Louis d'Or to distribute!

With examples like the First and Second Anglo-Dutch Wars, I have to wonder why it is that governments are still so eager to declare a mercantile war. You'd think the human race would have learned by now that it is not good for the economy of either the winners or the losers, no matter how much they desire a market or a commodity.

Seems to me, it is the countries that stay out of the conflicts that benefit.

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