Saturday 29 August 1668

Up, and all the morning at the Office, where the Duke of York’s long letter was read, to their great trouble, and their suspecting me to have been the writer of it. And at noon comes, by appointment, Harris to dine with me and after dinner he and I to Chyrurgeon’s-hall, where they are building it new, very fine; and there to see their theatre; which stood all the fire, and, which was our business, their great picture of Holben’s, thinking to have bought it, by the help of Mr. Pierce, for a little money: I did think to give 200l. for it, it being said to be worth 1000l.; but it is so spoiled that I have no mind to it, and is not a pleasant, though a good picture. Thence carried Harris to his playhouse, where, though four o’clock, so few people there at “The Impertinents,” as I went out; and do believe they did not act, though there was my Lord Arlington and his company there. So I out, and met my wife in a coach, and stopped her going thither to meet me; and took her, and Mercer, and Deb., to Bartholomew Fair, and there did see a ridiculous, obscene little stage-play, called “Marry Andrey;” a foolish thing, but seen by every body; and so to Jacob Hall’s dancing of the ropes; a thing worth seeing, and mightily followed, and so home and to the office, and then to bed. Writing to my father to-night not to unfurnish our house in the country for my sister, who is going to her own house, because I think I may have occasion myself to come thither; and so I do, by our being put out of the Office, which do not at all trouble me to think of.

17 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Well?" Penn eyes his fellow officers...Sir John and Lord Brouncker looking grim. "I'd say gentlemen, it's clear His Grace did not write this damned thing. Apart from his being incapable, no offense to His Grace intended, as a man of action, for such prolonged concentration on administrative matters, he certainly couldn't have such detailed information. At least not without a mole in this office."

"And I think we can all guess who that bug-eyed, periwigged mole might be." Brouncker, grimly.

"One of the new boys, you think?" Mennes blinks.

"No, Sir John..." Penn, frowning... "Not one of the new boys...We mean Pepys."

"Ah...Right...Yes..." Mennes nods carefully.

Can't say as I can argue with the Letter as to Mennes...Penn notes to self.

"Well, the question is, gentlemen...Apart from having the little creature drowned or poisoned...What do we do?" Brouncker regards his office mates.

"All I can say is...I do not 'promote a work ethic that deadens the efficiency of His Majesty's Royal Navy'..." Penn fumes.

"Ha-heh...That was good." Mennes, chuckling.

"Oh? Well I found...'The lack of ability on the part of His Majesty's Comptroller to perform even the slightest part of his duties requires that certain members of the Naval Office perform his duties as well as their own, significantly reducing office performance on a daily basis...' hilarious."


"And where does he get off commenting on my frequent sick days? I have the gout, you know. He's off half the time either at the eye doctor or taking physic. And the little land-lubber never hesitates to rush for home when his wife has an ache. Though frankly, I suspect it's often another woman making use of his 'compassionate services'."

"Good fellow with the ladies..." Mennes, nodding... "He was all morning the other day with that poor widow Burroughs...Decent consideration for them, one must give him that."

"From the sounds coming from his closet, it was pretty intense consideration." Brouncker grins.

Hmmn...? Mennes, blinks.

Well, he still thinks it's sweet how kind I am to my housekeeper, Mrs. Williams...Brouncker eyes Mennes. May the plague take me before I reach such a state.

"And this 'inattention to detail in preparation of office forms'...Lord, classic Pepys, the little paper-pusher..." Penn continues.

"It did say you were especially notorious in that regard..." Mennes notes.

Amazing how he can recover from senility when it's to protect his rear...Penn thinks, glaring.

"I should bother with forms...I, the general-at-sea who conquered Jamaica in '55?!!"

Lord, not Jamaica again...Brouncker, Mennes...

"Well, regardless..." Brouncker, hastily. "The man obviously has the Duke's ear..."

"Lord, when Montagu went down, I thought for sure we had the little ... at last." Penn sighs. "But he got that in with Coventry and once Coventry was won...His Grace was sure to follow."

"He is a busy little fellow, and obliging." Mennes, considering.

"He should be obliging us. He's Clerk of the Acts not Lord High Admiral...He's never commanded a ship or fought an action. He should be what he was meant to be, our chief clerk, subordinate."

"Well, he has it all now...Acts, the Duke's ear, probably the King's as well...And we seem likely headed out the door." Mennes, shrewdly.

"Perhaps we should simply make use of him in our responses..." Brouncker suggests. "He's not anxious to let it be known that he's the Duke's stool pigeon, so lets get him to draft responses. Use the same talents that got us into this mess to get us out...After all, all His Grace really cares about is getting Parliament off his royal back, not promoting the ideas of the Clerk of the Acts. Let our dear expert on office administration explain away our faults...We remained tied together after all, if Parliament does move against us, he goes down too, regardless of whatever head-patting His Grace may do."

Hmmn...Penn, Mennes.

Glyn  •  Link

" by our being put out of the Office, which do not at all trouble me to think of."

Does this mean that Pepys thinks he might lose his job, but no longer is frightened by that possibility? If so, that's a great change from the timid clerk of a few years ago.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

The timid clerk of a few years ago didn't have 5,000L of his own stashed away. Makes a difference.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to Bartholomew Fair, and there did see a ridiculous, obscene little stage-play, called “Marry Andrey;” a foolish thing, but seen by every body"

He calls in a "stage-play" but it wasn't a theatrical play acted by known actors at the King's or Duke's House so L&M don't index it as such, indeed, at all, nor is it in the Companion. A note here says 'Merry Andrew' (clown) ; probably a puppet play.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Writing to my father to-night not to unfurnish our house in the country for my sister, who is going to her own house, because I think I may have occasion myself to come thither"

Samuel and Paulina may be fighting over their father's (John Pepys senior's) furniture.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my sister, who is going to her own house"

On her marriage to John Jackson, Paulina moved to Ellington, Hunts. (L&M)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Charles II: August 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic. British History Online…

Aug. 29. 1668
Letter office, London.
James Hickes to Williamson, Billing.

I am directed by Mr. Ellis, from Mr. May, to be in the park with some of my
fellow archers, to shoot before his Majesty with crossbows on Wednesday next, 4 p.m., when he rises from Council.
I hope they may carry themselves as they ought, and not shoot worse than
they have done before ordinary persons;
but the presence of a King and his nobles May put a daunt upon such as they,
whose converse is with the meanest;
I will put on the best face, with humility and obedience.

Mr. Ellis says that Mr. Godolphin was knighted yesterday.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 245, No. 89.]
Williamson is staying at the Earl of Thurmond’s house at Billing, Northants.

Aug. 29. 1668
Sir Nic. Armorer to Williamson, Billing.

I am charged by Mr. Godolphin to summon you the second time to come away.

I cannot get either a dog or a bitch, and am going this day with 2 ladies to
Bartholomew Fair to hunt them out;
if I find any, they shall come post this night.

The Duke of Ormonde is going to Bristol to meet his Duchess,
and his Majesty is going to Bagshot on Thursday.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 245, No. 90.]

Aug. 29. 1668
John Swaddell to Williamson, Billing.

I have scrutinised Lord Arlington's desire as to your return, and although there is no extraordinary business, yet his lordship wishes you soon home.

Nothing has been signed since you went
save one order to the Treasury Commissioners, concerning the officers of
Lord Wentworth's regiment,
and a warrant for a Plate Lottery which his Majesty has bestowed on the old
loyal officers, wherein Sir Thos. Sandys seems to be particularly concerned.

Mr. Godolphin has been knighted;

directions will be suddenly given for an order for 8,000/., which the King is to pay Lord Gerard for the Duke of Monmouth, who is very desirous to be at the head of his troop;
but the Treasury has not yet resolved on what it shall be assigned.

I send a letter from Mr. Musgrave, who is gone for the North.
[2 pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 245, No. 91.]

Aug. 29. 1668
Rob. Francis to [Williamson].

Father Patrick reports that Lord Arlington would have been glad to grant, or at least promote, your desires as to the pension of 1,000/.; "but the business of the office once requiring that would admit of no dispensation."

He also thinks that you should attend his Majesty in his divertissements at
Bagshot, where he intends going next Monday.

Mr. Godolphin was knighted yesterday, and desires it may be inserted in the Gazette, but he will word it himself with as little affectation as may be.

I wish you a safe return.
[2-¼ pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 245, No. 92.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Aug. 29. 1668
Letter of news [from Rob. Francis] to Sir Edw. Hungerford, M.P., Bath

The French Ambassador is making preparation to give a treat for the King and Queen.

The Muscovites have obtained a great victory against the Turks and Cossacks,
whose General, with 40,000 men, is reported to be slain;

this, if true, may advance the election of the Prince of Muscovy to the Crown
of Poland.

The French King has resolved to recall his Ambassador from Constantinople,
lest the Grand Seignor should reverse upon him the false moneys the French
nation have spread among them, and the succours they sent to Candia.

The King of Portugal is so melancholy in his confinement, and so careless of himself, that he will not suffer any to shave him.

Many disbanded Portuguese have gone into the Spanish service, where they are kindly received.

The English are promised their pay, which done, they will be transported according to his Majesty's order.

Dr. [Wm.] Sancroft, Dean of St. Paul's, and Dr. [Wm.] Thomas, Dean of Worcester, are in nomination for the Bishopric of Chester.

His Royal Highness is going to Dover,
and to visit the Duke of Richmond at Cobham;
then with his Majesty to Bagshot, and after 8 or 9 days,
they will go to Portsmouth, and continue there 2 days.

Major Dean has bid 68,000/. yearly for the Irish Customs, and offered to advance 20,000/. at 10 per cent.
Mr. Morrice has bid 66,000/., and offered 20,000/. without interest;
it will be determined next Wednesday.
[3 pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 245, No. No. 93.]
Ambassador Charles Colbert (1625 — 1696). In 1664, he married Françoise
Béraud, daughter of a rich banker, who brought with her the territory of
Croissy, which name he took to be turned into a Marquisate in July 1676.

Aug. 29. 1668
Letter of news,
sent by [Francis to Williamson].

Sir Dan. Harvey has sailed from Plymouth,
and the Earl of Winchelsea, the present minister [in Turkey], is supposed to be on his way home.

Dr. [George] Hall, Bishop of West Chester, is said to be dead through a fall from his horse, having a knife in his pocket; to the regret of the nation for the loss of so eminent and learned a prelate.

[Wm.] Godolphin has been knighted for his services in Spain, where he is soon to reside as his Majesty’s minister, and has received the compliments of the Court.

The French King having agreed to a conference for composing the differences
with Spain about the dependents of his late conquest, all books relating to
those titles are in the meantime prohibited;

the Ambassadors of England and Holland are to be present at the deciding of
the controversies.

A very rich coach is sent to the Condé De Molina, the Spanish Ambassador in
England, that he may appear in as great splendour as M. Colbert, the Ambassador for the Christian King.
[2-¼ pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 245, No. 94.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Aug. 29. 1668
The Roebuck, Torbay.
Capt. George Liddell to the Navy Commissioners.

Has been plying off Topsham ten weeks as ordered.
Has had the bad fortune to lose his pinnace in Portland Race, and six of his men were drowned;
is supplied with a small boat till he receives their orders where he shall victual, having only one month’s provisions aboard.

Touches at Dartmouth once a week, where he can receive their commands.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 245, No. 96.]

Aug. 29. 1668
Capt. John Wettwang to the Navy Commissioners.

I desire you to write sharply to Mr. Baylie, as he is very backward in the work on the Edgar.

George Jones, master gunner of the Loyal London, is come from Portsmouth with only 12 men,
the ships being paid off before they had order;
I hope to be supplied some other way.

I cannot get one man to work for rigging wages,
but when extra men are wanted, we are forced to stop all boats, and take all
we can get aboard the ships, and let them go again at night.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 245, No. 98.]

James Morgan  •  Link

There is an English country dance from that era called Jacob Hall’s Jig.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Jacob Hall’s dancing of the ropes; a thing worth seeing, and mightily followed, ..."

Pepys appears not to have heard about Hall's romance with Barbara Villiers Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine. He'd mention it salaciously if he had.

john  •  Link

"where the Duke of York’s long letter was read, to their great trouble, and their suspecting me to have been the writer of it. [...] by our being put out of the Office, which do not at all trouble me to think of."

The die is cast?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"The die is cast?"

Yup ... and I think they might have been grateful for not being arrested and sent to the Tower. Scapegoats must have been desired for such an international embarrassment, with so much pain inflicted on so many innocent Englishmen. And the Stuart Brothers could not be held accountable.
Pepys could see this coming, and presumably so could the rest of the Navy Board.
He did something about it, and so far as I can tell. (That speech in the House of Commons showed the Commons that he was an educated, hard working bureaucrat, with statistics and logic at his command.) Not so Penn, Mennes and Carteret, all old salts.
Lord Brouncker had other War troubles to deal with.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"The English are promised their pay, which done, they will be transported according to his Majesty's order."

Charles II is taking this opportunity to send some of his left-over Commonwealth troops abroad.

"Charles’ force gradually increased in size thanks to the demands of foreign wars and the need to garrison new colonies like Tangier and Bombay. These became English possessions in 1661 through the dowry of Charles's new wife, the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza.

"Charles redeployed thousands of ex-Parliamentary troops to these two locations, but also to Portugal to assist in its fight against Spain. This helped consolidate royal power by removing potential troublemakers.

"Only 800 of the 4,500 veterans sent to Iberia made it home at the end of the war in 1668. Half of these were immediately re-posted to Tangier to fight the Moors.

"Charles was the first British monarch to maintain a standing army in peacetime. When he died in 1685, its permanent establishment was as follows:
England - 3 Troops of Life Guards, 1 Regiment of Horse, 1 Regiment of Dragoons, 2 Regiments of Foot Guards and 5 Regiments of Foot.
Scotland - 2 Troops of Life Guards, 5 Regiments of Horse, 1 Regiment of Dragoons, 1 Regiment of Foot Guards and 1 Regiment of Foot.
Ireland - 1 Troop of Life Guards, 3 Regiments of Horse, 1 Regiment of Foot Guards and 6 Regiments of Foot.

"Not everyone was fully reconciled to the need for a standing army. The New Model Army's political interventions and the Rule of the Major-Generals were still fresh in the memory. People also questioned the cost of maintaining a standing army when the country was not at war.

"Some feared that an army under royal command would allow future monarchs to ignore the wishes of Parliament. And their concerns proved well founded when this issue came to a head during the reign of Charles' successor, James II."

Excerpt from The Restoration and the birth of the British Army
The National Army Museum website…

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