Saturday 12 September 1668

At it again in the morning, and then to the Office, where till noon, and I do see great whispering among my brethren about their replies to the Duke of York, which vexed me, though I know no reason for it; for I have no manner of ground to fear them. At noon home to dinner, and, after dinner, to work all the afternoon again. At home late, and so to bed.

10 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Divide et impera!" Evidently the mandate was for EACH of the Principal Officers to respond to the 'great letter' of 26 August, thus we see why SP had begun his.

Eric Walla  •  Link

How inefficient of you, Sam! I would have expected you to have your letter written--at least a solid draft!--by the time you finished the "great letter" ...

Jesse  •  Link

"whispering among my brethren about their replies"

The Office Strikes Back? The mandate makes sense. The rest of the gang has a good idea that Pepys drafted the original so it's understandable that they'd collude in their replies. The mandate also explains why Pepys would bother with one.

AnnieC  •  Link

Oh boy, office politics.
Something that continually strikes me about the Diary is not how much things have changed, but how little.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Short Diary day, so here is all the mail:

The volume covering correspondence from Nov. 1667 through Sept. 1668 is at…

PAGES 628-629

Sept. 12. 1668
Roger Baker, purser of the Dartmouth in the Downs, to Sam. Pepys

Capt. [Rich.] Trevanion wishes the Board to know that his provisions will be expired the 26th inst., and desires orders.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 24.]

Sept. 12. 1668
Sir John Knight to the Navy Commissioners.

Hopes that the Edgar will soon be ready for sea, and that Mr. Baylie will not be a hindrance to her despatch,
her guns and shot being all in the hold, and the flyboat that brought them discharged.
Pray's orders to supply what shall be wanting, if certified by the captain, that her despatch may not be retarded.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 25.]

Demand of stores required by the carpenter of the Edgar, and certified by the captain to be wanting. – 12 Sept. 1668.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 251.]

Sept. 12. 1668
Wm. Acworth, storekeeper, to the Navy Commissioners.

Several demands for a supply of deals have been made, but only 1,000 from
Deptford received.
Is informed that there is a considerable fleet of ships arrived from Norway with deals, which when stacked or housed, it is a charge to remove to the waterside and put them into lighters;
therefore now is a cheap time to buy.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 26.]
Acworth is back at work? He better not slip up again.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sept. 12. 1668
Edw. Byland to Sam. Pepys.

Twelve of the calkers pressed have appeared and are at work, but with much discontent, and give out they will be gone if the rest come not.
Desires some course to be taken with those behind.

Must leave the new ship if the provisions come not suddenly; broom is wanted.

Shall launch the Portsmouth next spring [tide],
and will dock the bulk and trim her,
and then the Assistant, if they approve.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 27.]

Sept. 12. 1668
for a pardon to George Ball, late captain of the Hampshire frigate,
in consideration of his former loyalty and services in the late war,
of 425/., in which sum he is condemned by the Commissioners for inquiry into the embezzlement of prize goods.
[S.P. Dom., Entry Book 26, f. 39.]

Sept. 12. 1668
Caveat in favour of Dr. Killigrew,
that nothing pass concerning the rectory of St. Olave's, Southwark.
[S.P. Dom., Entry Book 32, p. 3.]
This might be Dr. Henry Killigrew (1613–1700)?…

Sept. 12. 1668
Rich. Ellsworth to Williamson.

I beg you to recommend [Sam.] Wood, prebend of Bristol, for a vacant living, and I will see you gratified to your content.
You may boldly assert him to be orthodox, as he not only has my lord bishop's and the Dean and Chapter's certificate for his qualifications, but he was also a commission officer in the wars, and for his loyalty and affection, an order was made by the committee of Somersetshire, after the Parliamentary forces had gotten those parts, that he should not preach within the county on pain of imprisonment, which circumstance will weigh with their lordships.

Did I not know him to be every way qualified, I durst not, as a gentleman in ordinary of his Majesty's Privy Chamber, venture to recommend him.
[Much damaged. S.P. Dom., Car.II. 246, No. 28.]

Sept. 12. 1668
Ant. Thorold to Hickes.

The Sarah and Jane from Morlaix reports that there is not a carpenter to be had there,
they being all impressed and carried to Brest, Rochelle, and other places, where the French King is building many ships of war;

also that a strict prohibition is made by the Parliament of Brittany against all commerce with Rouen, and other infected places in Normandy.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 29.]
Plague is spreading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sept. 12. 1668
James Baskerville to Williamson.

Two small vessels have arrived from France, and the Bristol Merchant from the Straits.

One of them saw the Sallee man-of-war pirate,
which lately took 2 small Bristol ships and made them prize, and the men slaves;
but she being a ship of a good size, the pirate left her.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 30.]
Allin is on his way to deal with these pirates ... again.

Sept. 12. 1668
Rich. Watts to [Williamson].

The Vice and Rear Admiral have sailed for the river to be paid.

There was a report that a great fire had happened at a farm at Baston, 7 miles from Dover, when 500/. worth of corn was burnt, with the house, barn, &c., but on going there, found only a kitchen or brewhouse destroyed.

Sixteen merchant ships have sailed from the Downs outward bound.

Only his Majesty's ships Dartmouth and Sweepstakes and 2 merchant ships are remaining.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 31.]
The Vice and Real Admirals???????????????????????

Sept. 12 . 1668
Edw. Kinaston to Rob. Francis.

Being informed that received the 50/., I send a bill for 40/., which you are to pay at sight and give an account of this and another concern.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 32.]
L&M Companion -- Edward Kinaston -- A merchant involved in the supply of victuals for Tangier.…

Sept. 12. 1668
Extract from a paper of news.
The King will proceed against privateers who have taken 80 vessels last month, and has written positively to the French King about them, especially to Virginia
ships, threatening to grant letters of reprisal.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 33.]
London wants its tobacco back. I don't recall Pepys saying he smoked ever.

Are these the Ostenders again, or a more general mercantile attack by French privateers? Tobacco was - in England - thought to keep the plague away. Maybe this is the reason for these attacks?

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

The French privateers taking 80 British vessels last month: We are much intrigued. Nothing of this surfaced in either the colonial papers, but of course it's not a comprehensive record of everything that passed, and communication with the colonies can easily take over a month. Maybe in the Gazette? We're still behind in our stack of Gazettes.

More to the point, it's puzzling because, right now in 1668, the French and English privateers generally work hand-in-hand against Spain. Henry Morgan, in the huge fleet he assembled earlier in the year for the raids against Spain to keep it from taking Jamaica, had 200 Frenchmen (his after-action report is linked to an annotation we made yesterday, see…) And it's not just the privateers - the co-operation is State policy at the highest levels, France's great Peace with Spain be damned. France's rationale was that Spain, in denying all access to its own colonies, infringed on freedom of navigation; also, as a pirate might tell us before making us walk the ol' plank, "we're not in Europe here".

This will soon change. Next year, in June 1669, Louis XIV will ask for a review on whether to keep supporting the French privateers at Tortuga (his letter, in French, is at…) Tortuga, a small island of some infamy that's close to Jamaica, was full of English privateers who kept an eye on the colony that Admiral Penn helped conquer. It will all start to fall apart in 1670 when Charles will sign the treaty of Madrid to make peace with Spain in the Caribbean, but for now the partnership is quite real and profitable. A fascinating source on this is "The Economic and Military Impact of Privateers and Pirates on Britain’s Rise as a World Power", a recent MA thesis by Trevor John Whitaker that is available at…

So what about these 80 vessels? It could be out-of-work Ostenders, now doing their own thing against all comers in the Channel, but if so it seems a lot, and is sure to show up in the Gazette; besides the Ostenders weren't some freewheeling pirates either, and Ostend is now one of the Flemish ports which France owns and controls. Or, if they were taken in the Caribbean, it could have something to do with a split between Morgan and his French crews, who became disaffected over the meagre loot they got from the sack of Puerto Principe (in Cuba) in March, and because Morgan hung one of their mates after one drunken fight too many. Morgan's bio at Wikipedia (…) which on these events is sourced to the later memoirs of a French Morgan-friend-turned-enemy named Exquemelin, says the French returned to Tortuga. It still seems unlikely that the "positions open" notice board there would have included a lot of jobs against British ships.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

And the "Caveat in favour of Dr. Killigrew, that nothing pass concerning the rectory of St. Olave's, Southwark": Nice to get some news about the neighborhood from the State Papers for a change, rather than the usual Office stuff or geopolitics, but how frustratingly brief is that notice - we're not even told who it's from. If given in 2021 the caveat would likely be to protect the rectory from some predatory development (e.g., from that bloke on Seething Lane who's been looking all over to build a garage for his future coach). This being 1668, we phant'sy that it's Killigrew the theatre owner who wants to use it to store props. Recall that good buildings are scarce and exceedingly in demand in post-Fire central London, and there's construction projects all around, too. Maybe someone more savvy on the church's history will know?

Anyway, the rectory did survive whatever the caveat was about. So did its relief of St. Olave, with a great big axe in hand and trampling a fallen king - check it out at…, and wonder what impure thoughts it may have given Sam, who had seen Charles I's head roll on the floor of the Banqueting House (he did, didn't he) if he passed it on his way to Another Dull Sermon.

A note: the church's website ( says that its Sunday service (at 11 am BST) is currently broadcast on Zoom, allowing Pepsyans from Tokyo to Tierra del Fuego to attend like they're Sam (sermon any good today?) And, speaking of the rector, on this very day the rectory's current tenant, the Rev'd Canon Arani Sen, has (re-) posted a thoughtful Reflection on Sam and the plague (at…)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

At one time St. Olave was a big deal in London and surrounds. There's more than one church named for him.

Pepys goes to St. Olave Hart Street

Across London Bridge, in Southwark, Surrey, was another St. Olave's ... the rectory of which Dr. [Henry?] Killigrew appears to have been protecting.…

Dr. Henry Killigrew's brother, Thomas the theater manager, was far from a doctor:

"Unlike that of his brothers William (1606–1695) and Henry, who both studied at Oxford, Thomas' formal education appears to have been rather incidental. Correct spelling was an achievement that, even in later life, he never quite attained. As his brother Henry, in a letter to Anthony Wood, testified in November 1691, Thomas 'wanted some learning to poise his excellent natural wit' (Pritchard, 288)."…

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.