Friday 11 September 1668

Up, and at my Office all the morning, and after dinner all the afternoon in my house with Batelier shut up, drawing up my defence to the Duke of York upon his great letter, which I have industriously taken this opportunity of doing for my future use. At it late, and my mind and head mighty full of it all night.

15 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"drawing up my defence to the Duke of York upon his great letter"

L&M note Pepys and other Principal Officers had been enjoined to reply to the 'great letter' of 26 August within fourteen days.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Who better to write the reply than the man who wrote the original letter? (Actually, I'm surprised that the other officers are allowing him to do this, if they suspect Pepys is the true author. Maybe they don't know he's taken it upon himself to reply...?)

Jesse  •  Link

"drawing up my defence..."

The 'great apology'? I'm somewhat surprised that Pepys has no further comment on this. Perhaps this is where we'll see something of Pepys the reformer since the original is now "his [DoY's] great letter".

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M say a copy of SP's rely is in the Pepysian Library in Gibson's hand.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

I wonder why he brought his wine merchant friend into the plot. Could it be they were enjoying their private joke?

"Your Grace is so correct in all your citicisms and suggestions. Why oh why did my colleagues and I not think of these brilliant ideas?"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Maybe Pepys needed to be fortified by an old friend without a dog in this fight.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

without a dog in this fight. An excellent turn of phrase, one I had forgotten. Thank you.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Carl in Boston, y'all come live in the South where it's common!

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The volume covering correspondence from November 1667 through September 1668 is at…

PAGES 628-629

Sept. 11. 1668
Charles Whittington to Williamson.

Has had orders from the Farmers of the Customs to keep out all vessels from infected places in France;
has therefore ordered 3 from Rouen to lie out their quarantine,
and 2 from Ostend to stay out a day for examination.

The Ostenders report the arrival there of a new General, called Pedro de Valesco.

Several ships have sailed for Holland, &c., laden with commodities of these parts, and others have come in.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 19.]
We've been seeing warnings around the plague spreading around Lille, Douai, etc. for months. I'm surprised by the slowness of English response.…

Sept. 11. 1668
Account sent by Wm. Sheldon to the Clerk of the Acts of the Navy [Pepys],
of the absence of officers belonging to 5 ships named, at night musters between 11 and 19 Sept.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 21.]
This shows is that Balty's apology for not being able to do the muster on the day appointed was part of a general head count.…

Sept. 11. 1668
Wm. Acworth and 2 others to the Navy Commissioners.

Sir John Shaw's hemp is all come in, and the refuse weighed and gone,
and a bill demanded for what is received.
Ask whether to make the bill for all at 25/. a ton.

More tar will soon be wanted by the ropeyard.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 22.]

Sept. 11. 1668
Fras. Hosier to Sam. Pepys.

Sends loose sheets ruled for a book, and will transmit the rest as soon as he has finished transcribing the book they sent him.
Will use speed and care in the other book promised.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 23.]
Follow-up to Pepys’ visit on Sunday, September 9, 1668…

LKvM  •  Link

Samuel Pepys, ghost writer to the Duke of York, is required to reply to the duke's "great letter" which he (Sam) has written. It sounds like a plot line in a novel.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Recall our discussion of a few days ago, on the ongoing tiff with the French concerning the Caribbean colony of St. Christopher, for which the frogs ask that various outstanding costs be paid them before it's devolved back to the Crown under the treaty of Breda. The solution was expected to come, like so many Prodigies, from M. Colbert the French ambassador.

His Excellency has now obliged, with a letter soberly labelled "M. Colbert to the King of Great Britain". Interesting in itself, as it's not so often that a document emerges from Leicester House (the letter is No. 1840 at…). We learn from him that the ideas floated in late July, of just selling or trading off the damn island, were in fact "approved by his Majesty and Council", and are reassured that, to France, this "seems most proper" indeed.

But also that it would be fine "that the French be reimbursed their charges for keeping and clothing the English prisoners in the islands belonging to the French King", as the French governor had demanded, because, in fact, "Lord Willoughby", the British governor of Barbados, had already "engaged his word that satisfaction should be made". We didn't know that. Very noble and gentlemanly on Willoughby's part. And, given how the rest of government was left to pick up the pieces, also, apparently, a total blank check he handed the French - but what's more aristocratic than a blank check?

From the same quarters, we can't resist anyone wishing for a bit more Action to check out paper No. 1838: It's a long after-action report, on recent rampage against the Spanish to keep them from grabbing Jamaica, from Henry Morgan. Aye, the pyrate. Well, former pirate, given how he's a privateer and "Admiral Morgan" now, so he has to write reports just like Sam, which pyrats don't have to do.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"drawing up my defense to the Duke of York upon his great letter"

His colleages suspect he is the author, so he's acting innocent. If he hadn't written it, he would respond.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Stephane, a tip: When you want to find one of your past posts, click on your name (in blue above) ... up come all your work with the dates! Thank you, Phil.

I think the St. Kitts post you are referring to is…

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Indeed, it is. It was but recent, so we thought the cross-referencing superfluous, and nothing but Mr. Pepys' own closet being so Well-Ordered as this website, entries are always conveniently found with the search box. But you can never cross-reference enough.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Don't take everything personally, Stephane ... I bet 10 people said, "I didn't know that!"

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