Wednesday 23 September 1668

At my office busy all the morning. At noon comes Mr. Evelyn to me, about some business with the Office, and there in discourse tells me of his loss, to the value of 500l., which he hath met with, in a late attempt of making of bricks1 upon an adventure with others, by which he presumed to have got a great deal of money: so that I see the most ingenious men may sometimes be mistaken. So to the ’Change a little, and then home to dinner, and then by water to White Hall, to attend the Commissioners of the Treasury with Alderman Backewell, about 10,000l. he is to lend us for Tangier, and then up to a Committee of the Council, where was the Duke of York, and they did give us, the Officers of the Navy, the proposals of the several bidders for the victualling of the Navy, for us to give our answer to, which is the best, and whether it be better to victual by commission or contract, and to bring them our answer by Friday afternoon, which is a great deal of work. So thence back with Sir J. Minnes home, and come after us Sir W. Pen and Lord Brouncker, and we fell to the business, and I late when they were gone to digest something of it, and so to supper and to bed.

16 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to attend the Commissioners of the Treasury with Alderman Backewell, about 10,000l. he is to lend us for Tangier"

Sure sounds like a high risk- high yield investment for this high-roller to me!! (See his page for his future.)

Was/is it a matter of being called "Alderman" ever after having been one?

Chris Squire  •  Link

‘Alderman, n. Etym: < Old English aldor . .
1. A senior, signor, superior, ruler; a noble or person of high rank . .
. . 3. Since the guilds became identified with the corporation or ruling municipal body: A magistrate in English and Irish cities and boroughs, next in dignity to the mayor; properly, as in London, the chief officer of a ward.
. . a1616 Shakespeare Richard III (1623) iii. vii. 66 The Maior and Aldermen [1597 Cittizens]‥Are come to haue some conference with his Grace.
. . 1667 E. Chamberlayne Present State Great Brit. i. 201 The 26 Aldermen preside over the 26 Wards of the City [of London]. All the Aldermen that have been Lord-Mayors, and the three eldest Aldermen that have not yet arrived to that honourable Estate, are by their Charter Justices of the Peace.
. . 1878 W. Stubbs Constit. Hist. III. 565 The title of alderman, which had once belonged to the heads of the several guilds, was transferred to the magistrates of the several wards into which the town was divided, or to the sworn assistants of the mayor, in the cases in which no such division was made.’ [OED]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Tangier, it's a land of opportunity. So let me get this straight...Backewell is willing to lend Charles Stuart's administration 10000Ls for the Tangier colony? This administration? What, did Charlie sell him Barbara Palmer? I know, I know...All part of the political influence game...But I wouldn't do for anything less than Babs thrown in.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Evelyn's Diary's mentions of Kievet as noted are posted on this site

Pepys spelled it a third way, in February 1667:

"At home, by appointment, comes Captain Cocke to me, to talk of State matters, and about the peace; who told me that the whole business is managed between Kevet, Burgomaster of Amsterdam, and my Lord Arlington, who hath, by the interest of his wife there, some interest."… "Kevet" page…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"comes Mr. Evelyn to me, about some business with the Office"

L&M note Evelyn was a Commissioner of the Sick and Wounded, 1664-67. In that role, as we saw, he had tapped resources of the Navy Office with Pepys's aid.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

This Mr. Kiviet or Kievit sounds like quite the hustler. His Wikipedia biography says he was not from Amsterdam but Rotterdam, where he was not burgomeister but a member of the city council. He fled Holland in late 1666 under suspicion of treason and can hardly have been a Dutch envoy for peace talks two ro three months later But he was well received by Charles II because he was close to the King's nephew, William Prince of Orange and it was being caught plotting on William's behalf that caused him to flee Holland. In 1672, after William gained power, he returned to Holland and is thought to have been complicit in the murder of the de Witt brothers, who had ruled the Dutch Republic. The cause of the murder, interestingly, was a grudge against the bothers by Admiral Tromp, who felt he had been deliberately disgraced by them when they dismissed him from the navy following an quarrel with Admiral de Ruyter over the St. James's Day Battle against the Enlish fleet Jul25-26, 1666 (Old Style).…

In 1686 Kievit was arrested for embezzlement of state funds and later convicted.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Evelyn, in accordance with the provisions of the city's first Rebuilding Act:

6 March. I proposed to my Lo. Chancellor Monsieur Kiviet's
[… ] undertaking to warfe the whole river of Thames, or Key, from the Temple to the Tower, as far as the fire destroied, with brick, without piles, both lasting and ornamental.—Great frosts, snow and winds, prodigious at the vernal equinox ; indeede it had ben a yeare of prodigies in this nation, plague, warr, fire, rains, tempest, and comet.…

The scheme was abandoned, as was the later scheme (under the second act, 1670) to embank the section from the Tower to London Bridge. See Evelyn, iii.471, 476, 477-8; T.F. Reddaway, Rebuilding of London, pp. 221+. (L&M note)

Sam Ursu  •  Link

Kievit seems to be something of an aristocratic, one-man PR machine in his day, which probably explains how he convinced Evelyn to go all-in on the brick-making scheme to build a permanent embankment on the Thames in central London.

During the First Anglo-Dutch War, a key admiral, Cornelis Tromp, had extraordinarily bad luck with the wind and ended up getting his ships separated from the rest of the fleet (St. James Day Battle). Seen as an Orangist (pro-monarchist), Tromp was "vilified in the press" so to speak, but Kievit's sister was married to Tromp, and Kievit put out an influential pamphlet defending his brother-in-law's actions.

Kievit then began fomenting a coup against the (Republican) De Witt brothers in Holland, which led to Kievit getting exiled to England. But this openly pro-monarchical stance led to his being embraced by the newly restored English King (Charles 2). Kievit's allies then murdered (and ate the roasted livers!) of the De Witt brothers in a coup that finally succeeded in putting a royal on the throne (William 3). And then Cornelis Tromp got his revenge by blasting the English in the second Dutch-English War.

Kievit seems like a really nasty piece of work, but you have to admire just how deftly he managed to stay on the right side of history. Everyone in both England and Holland seems to have known just what a blackguard he was (he fomented at LEAST four different coup attempts), but because he was always acting to support royal power, he enjoyed a pretty swanky life.

PS - The Fire of London and the First Anglo-Dutch War more or less bankrupted Charles 2, which is probably the main reason why the brick embankment on the Thames was never built during his lifetime, rather than some flim-flammery on Kievit's part.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Interesting that Pepys doesn't mention meeting Herr Kievit. Since such an embankment would presumably made docking ships/boats easier, I would have thought his nose would be in the plans somewhere. But evidently not, at this stage anyways.

Just to clarify Sam's interesting entry above, the First Anglo-Dutch War was waged by Cromwell from 1652 - 1654.…

Pepys is navigating the ramifications of the Second ADW now.

The grizzly end of the de Witt brothers takes place after the Diary in June 1672, during the Dutch "Year of Disaster".…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

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

Pages 644 – 647 ... LOTS of mail today

Fras. Bellott to Williamson.

Many vessels have put in by contrary winds.
The Wren pink, laden with wines for his Majesty and goods for Lord Sandwich, is supposed to have put into Scilly.
Mr. Montague, Lord Sandwich's second son, and Capt. John Seymour dined with me yesterday, and have since gone for London.

The Greenwich frigate, with Lord Sandwich aboard, has been left in Mount's Bay by contrary winds.

Several Londoners and others are here outward bound, laden with pilchards.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 121.]

Sept. 23. 1668
Thos. Holden to Hickes.

The Katherine of London has arrived from Barbados with sugar and cotton,
and reports that the French still keep St. Christophers.

The Concord of London, also from Barbados, came out with 8 others,
and met 5 Virginiamen at sea.
Others named have also come in.

The Greenwich frigate has put into Penzance from Spain, with the Earl of Sandwich on board.
His son came to the castle, and is since gone to London with Capt. Seymour.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 122.]

Sept. 23. 1668
for a grant to Thos. Fowke of pardon for usury;
He furnished John Sabine in 1664 with 100/. on bond of repayment of 140/. in 1665, taking the hazard of Sabine's life,
and therefore conceived that the transaction was not usurious.
[S.P. Dom., Entry Book 28, p. 17.]

Sept. 23. 1668
Privy seal
for 170/. 10s. to Wm. Chiffinch, for the purchase of:
small house at Newmarket, adjoining the house there late bought by the King from the Earl of Thomond.
Minute. [Dom., Entry Book, 30, f. 81.]

Sept. 23. 1668
Pass for 26 horses to Nevis.
Minute. [S.P. Dom., Entry Book 30, f. 81.]

Sept. 23. 1668
Certificate by Jos. Hinton, Luke Rugeley, and Thos. Willis,
that Lady Moreland has the dropsy and is considered hardly curable;
and as she has a desire to return to France, her native country, they conceive the air may be of advanage to her health.

With note that a pass is required for Lady Moreland and her 2 children, with
2 maid servants and a footboy.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 128.]

Sept. 23. 1668
that when Sir Thos. Allin left Cadiz, a Holland squadron appeared, and sent word that they had come in sight to salute the King's flag, which they did with 15 guns, and the admiral struck his flag.
Sir Thomas returned the salutes, giving the admiral gun for gun, and the others 2 guns less than they fired.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 130.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sept. 23. 1668
The Edgar, King Road
Capt. John Wettwang to the Navy Commissioners.

Will enter the men from Portsmouth as they come on board.
Some of them have been 14 days in Bristol, and could not be got on board till the ship was in Kingroad.
Has little ballast, and shall mount the guns as soon as possible;
if the shipwright do but make haste, hopes with fair weather to get ballast and provisions aboard, and will then set all to work to get men.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 132.]

Sept. 23. 1668
Dan. Boutell, master calker of the yard at Chatham (to Sam. Pepys].

Mr. Gregory requested you and Mr. Pett to ask for a warrant for entering calkers, oakum boys, &c., as there will be great occasion for them.
There are several amongst those pressed that profess to belong to Deptford and Woolwich, but I was not to take their report.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 133.]

Sept. 23. 1668 / Oct. 3 1668
J. W. or J. Bulstrode to [Williamson].

I perceive that the person mentioned in my former letter is supposed to be taken;
if in England, it is well;
but if he is thought to be one of the two that are here, it is a mistake, as that party is known to have lived here with Mr. Blount last summer, and the person imprisoned with Blount is a young man and a stranger.

Blount showed me a letter from a friend in England who met Granger 5 or 6 miles from London, and wondered he had not come over with Blount.
The latter says that if the King and Council have a desire to take Granger, no man can do it but himself, or by his directions, as from their intimacy, he knows all his several names and disguises, and the places he lodges at, some of which are 100 miles from London.

Blount has only a civil action on him, and the magistrates have been much importuned by the Duke of Albemarle for his transport into England, which they refuse without Blount's consent, it being contrary to their privileges;

I am willing to render the services needed, if it is so contrived that no suspicion of it is vented abroad, as that would hinder the success.

I believe Blount will be able to effect it, and do a particular service to Lord Arlington, and a public one to the kingdom, as Granger has great designs on foot with his new agents, and has often professed to Blount that he would make a postmaster in every road of England;
also that he intends to lay down 1,000/. upon a true bill beyond sea, to get an opportunity of counterfeiting one for 5,000/. or 6,000/. thereby,
and that he has sent an agent abroad for that purpose;

his time now draws near of going to his winter quarters, many miles from London, where he may most easily be taken.

[2 pages .S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 135.]
Ideas anyone???

JayW  •  Link

SDS - you wanted ideas. Here are mine.
Blount is in prison in Bruges. He is willing to betray Granger and says he (Blount) is the only one who knows where to find him and the false names he uses.
There is only a civil action against Blount so the Bruges magistrates won’t deport him.
The author of the letter is willing to help arrange the deal so long as it’s kept secret.
Granger says he can corrupt all the postmasters. He is planning to invest £1,000 in a bill of exchange which he will use to make a counterfeit for £5,000 or £6,000 and has already sent an agent off to get it.
Granger will soon go somewhere away from London for the winter and that’s when he could be arrested most easily.

JayW  •  Link

I think Stephane has done a great job on tomorrow’s post!

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sadly John Evelyn did not invest in the brickworks on Brick Road, Spitalfields -- they were a going venture until comparatively recently.

Turns out that the cheapest bricks possible were made for the rebuilding of London -- and fortune smiled upon us because they were some of the best bricks ever made, per the chap who is currently replacing them as needed at Hampton Court, St. James's, etc.

For everything you need to know about how to make bricks the old fashioned way, see…

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