Monday 28 September 1668

Up betimes, and Knepp’s maid comes to me, to tell me that the women’s day at the playhouse is to-day, and that therefore I must be there, to encrease their profit. I did give the pretty maid Betty that comes to me half-a-crown for coming, and had a baiser or two-elle being mighty jolie. And so I about my business. By water to St. James’s, and there had good opportunity of speaking with the Duke of York, who desires me again, talking on that matter, to prepare something for him to do for the better managing of our Office, telling me that, my Lord Keeper and he talking about it yesterday, my Lord Keeper did advise him to do so, it being better to come from him than otherwise, which I have promised to do. Thence to my Lord Burlington’s house the first time I ever was there, it being the house built by Sir John Denham, next to Clarendon House; and here I visited my Lord Hinchingbroke and his lady; Mr. Sidney Montagu being come last night to town unexpectedly from Mount’s Bay, where he left my Lord well, eight days since, so as we may now hourly expect to hear of his arrival at Portsmouth. Sidney is mighty grown; and I am glad I am here to see him at his first coming, though it cost me dear, for here I come to be necessitated to supply them with 500l. for my Lord. He sent him up with a declaration to his friends, of the necessity of his being presently supplied with 2000l.; but I do not think he will get one. However, I think it becomes my duty to my Lord to do something extraordinary in this, and the rather because I have been remiss in writing to him during this voyage, more than ever I did in my life, and more indeed than was fit for me. By and by comes Sir W. Godolphin to see Mr. Sidney, who, I perceive, is much dissatisfied that he should come to town last night, and not yet be with my Lord Arlington, who, and all the town, hear of his being come to town, and he did, it seems, take notice of it to Godolphin this morning: so that I perceive this remissness in affairs do continue in my Lord’s managements still, which I am sorry for; but, above all, to see in what a condition my Lord is for money, that I dare swear he do not know where to take up 500l. of any man in England at this time, upon his word, but of myself, as I believe by the sequel hereof it will appear. Here I first saw and saluted my Lady Burlington, a very fine-speaking lady, and a good woman, but old, and not handsome; but a brave woman in her parts. Here my Lady Hinchingbroke tells me that she hath bought most of the wedding-clothes for Mrs. Pickering, so that the thing is gone through, and will soon be ended; which I wonder at, but let them do as they will. Here I also, standing by a candle that was brought for sealing of a letter, do set my periwigg a-fire, which made such an odd noise, nobody could tell what it was till they saw the flame, my back being to the candle. Thence to Westminster Hall and there walked a little, and to the Exchequer, and so home by water, and after eating a bit I to my vintner’s, and there did only look upon su wife, which is mighty handsome; and so to my glove and ribbon shop, in Fenchurch Street, and did the like there. And there, stopping against the door of the shop, saw Mrs. Horsfall, now a late widow, in a coach. I to her, and shook her by the hand, and so she away; and I by coach towards the King’s playhouse, and meeting W. Howe took him with me, and there saw “The City Match;” not acted these thirty years, and but a silly play: the King and Court there; the house, for the women’s sake, mighty full. So I to White Hall, and there all the evening on the Queen’s side; and it being a most summerlike day, and a fine warm evening, the Italians come in a barge under the leads, before the Queen’s drawing-room; and so the Queen and ladies went out, and heard them, for almost an hour: and it was indeed very good together; but yet there was but one voice that alone did appear considerable, and that was Seignor Joanni. This done, by and by they went in; and here I saw Mr. Sidney Montagu kiss the Queen’s hand, who was mighty kind to him, and the ladies looked mightily on him; and the King come by and by, and did talk to him. So I away by coach with Alderman Backewell home, who is mighty kind to me, more than ordinary, in his expressions. But I do hear this day what troubles me, that Sir W. Coventry is quite out of play, the King seldom speaking to him; and that there is a design of making a Lord Treasurer, and that my Lord Arlington shall be the man; but I cannot believe it. But yet the Duke of Buckingham hath it in his mind, and those with him, to make a thorough alteration in things; and, among the rest, Coventry to be out. The Duke of York did this day tell me how hot the whole party was in the business of Gawden; and particularly, my Lord Anglesey tells me, the Duke of Buckingham, for Child against Gawden; but the Duke of York did stand stoutly to it. So home to read and sup, and to bed.


31 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The concerns of Pepys and Wren (see yesterday's discourse) are widespread.

Ormond to Ossory
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 28 September 1668

As to public affairs, discontent and despondency were never higher or more universal; nor ever any Court so far fallen to so much contempt. Justice betwixt man and man, indeed, and that upon offenders, is well distributed in the Courts of Judicature. But certainly favours, recompenses, employments, are not so. As to private affairs, the King had been persuaded by the Duke's enemies, that he had not served his Majesty in Ireland with the care & thrift needed. And the King may have been drawn into some promise not to admit of the Duke's return. In the end, his enemies will be found to be also the King's enemies.

http://www.rsl.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects/cart…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M note the three contractors who bid in competition with Gauden were Josiah Child, one King and one Dodington.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Poor Samdwich...Worse than in disrepute, forgotten, or so it seems. And now Coventry's dreams of an efficient technocratic absolutism seem wrecked on the poor foundation of Stuarts he was forced to rely on. Quite a change from those heady early Restoration days...And Sam the survivor, it seems.

Meanwhile Bess continues her autumn orgy...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Heaven...

"See that...?" grin...

"Hmmn...You know the fellow uses 'seem' a lot."

"'autumn orgy'?" Bess, annoyed. "At least pretend that bothers you a bit."

"Well, I was a progressive sort of husband...A man ahead of his..."

"Oh, please...Say?...You didn't really give Sandwich 500Ls?"

"Bess, he did make it all possible."

"Never gave me 500Ls..."

"Bess, I gave you all...Well, I would've..."

"Uncle Wight would've given me 500Ls."

"Bess..."

"Could've given me 200L and Sandwich 200L...I would've settled for that...But, no..."

"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I come to be necessitated to supply them with 500l. for my Lord."

L&M note Pepys immediately sent £500 to Portsmouth by a letter of credit from Edward Backwell drawn on Hugh Salisbury of Portsmouth.

(The web of goldsmith-bankers saves the day!)

Michael L  •  Link

It's a possible spoiler, but does Sandwich ever repay this extravagant loan from Sam?

Mary  •  Link

"a fine-speaking lady .... a brave woman in her parts"

No beauty, but Sam concedes her character, perhaps accomplishments and intelligence.

andy  •  Link

do set my periwigg a-fire, which made such an odd noise, nobody could tell what it was till they saw the flame, my back being to the candle.

In any celluloid adaptation this must surely rank with Jane falling into the boat, as one of Sam's greatest recorded moments! And a graphic counterpoint to the Great Fire.

Teresa Forster  •  Link

'a most summerlike day, and a fine warm evening'

I love it when Sam's weather and our contemporary weather coincide. Here too it has been most fine and warm for the past two days. I noted a high of 26 degrees Wednesday afternoon. The temperature for September 1688 was 14 degrees, but of course this was an average and I quote our maximum.

Mary  •  Link

"which made such an odd noise....."

Couldn't they smell it? Burning hair smells horrible.

Phoenix  •  Link

Amid all the other smells present? Maybe not

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Sam's periwig in flames and he unaware. A comic scene indeed.

JWB  •  Link

Losing face with periwig afire, witnessed by the 2 younger Sandwiches before august gathering, may have precipitated Sam's largess.

(For youall w/ Windows £=Press Num lock, hold Alt key down, type 0163 on Num pad, release Alt key)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Kindness seems to be epidemic today, except for the King to W. Coventry, who -- SPOILER --, L&M note, will..., well, you can imagine what's ccoming.

Glyn  •  Link

"and a fine warm evening, the Italians come in a barge under the leads, before the Queen’s drawing-room; and so the Queen and ladies went out, and heard them, for almost an hour: and it was indeed very good together;"

So the Italian singers serenaded the women from a boat on the river on a fine summer evening - what a romantic image.

JKM  •  Link

Lovely image indeed! Do you suppose this entertainment had been prearranged, or did the Italians do it on spec in the hopes of having money thrown them?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence to my Lord Burlington’s house"

L&M: Burlington House, Piccadilly. Burlington was Hinchingbrooke's father-in-law.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" Mr. Sidney Montagu being come last night to town unexpectedly from Mount’s Bay, where he left my Lord well, eight days since, so as we may now hourly expect to hear of his arrival at Portsmouth. Sidney is mighty grown; and I am glad I am here to see him at his first coming, though it cost me dear, for here I come to be necessitated to supply them with 500l. for my Lord."

L&M tell us F. Bellott to Williamson [the newsbook publisher and general enabler], Pendennis, 23 September, reporting that the Greenwich frigate with Sandwich aboard was anchored in Mount's Bay because of contrary winds. She had sailed from Tangier on 29 August: Harris, ii.159.

Pepys immediately sent £500 to Portsmouth. by a letter od credit from Edward Backwell drawn on Hugh Salisbury of Portsmouth; Pepys to Sandwich, 29 September. Sandwich, recording its receipt on 30 September remarked that it 'was 'absolutely necessary for my occasions and noe more': Sandwich MSS, Journals, viii, 546.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Duke of Buckingham hath it in his mind, and those with him, to make a thorough alteration in things; and, among the rest, Coventry to be out."

Coventry was now upheld only by the Duke of York's support, and resigned in March 1669. (L&M note)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"L&M note Pepys immediately sent £500 to Portsmouth by a letter of credit from Edward Backwell drawn on Hugh Salisbury of Portsmouth."

These financial instruments are still widely used throughout the world.

The first version issued that I have heard about was by King John who wanted some Italian marble. He gave money or property to his local chapter of the Crusaders, who passed along the information to the Italian branch, who bough and shipped the marble to King John, with written information about the costs. The English Crusaders returned to King John what money wasn't needed for these costs plus their mark up. If they needed more money, they hung onto the marble until John coughed up. At the end of the year all the branches of the Crusaders settled up, so that a minimum of cash ever got shipped very far (which was dangerous because of robbers).

Today the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris is responsible for writing the rules. The most important recent version is called the eUCP2002 which outlined how documents can be exchanged on the internet, bypassing the banks -- which is where we came in, and how Pepys did this transaction in 1668. Goldsmith to goldsmith. No central clearing house required.

(Now you know what my day job is.)

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Up betimes, and Knepp’s maid comes to me, to tell me that the women’s day at the playhouse is to-day,"

L&M: Today was the actresses' benefit day.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The volume covering correspondence from Nov. 1667 – Sept. 1668 is at
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=gCk5AQAAM…

Pages 653 – 656 – all the letters they didn’t write yesterday, they wrote today:

@@@
Sept. 28 1668.
Sam. Hartlib to Williamson.

The traders in salt request you to present their memorial to Lord Arlington, so that he may the better understand their request, which they doubt not will tend much to his Majesty's and his subjects' service, and enable them to continue their trade.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 247, No. 12.]

Annexing,
Memorial [to Council] on the behalf of the traders in white salt in and about London.

A former petition to his Majesty and Council, representing the necessity for a supply of salt, was laid aside on some considerations relating to the general trade between England and Scotland;
it is now represented by the oaths of 8 of the chiefest traders, made before the Lord Mayor of London –
1. That by reason of the obstructions upon the importation of Scotch salt, there is a want of 1,500 wey to supply the Navy, merchants, and markets.
2. That vessels sent to Shields cannot be laden for want of it, though they have raised their price from 32s. and 33s. per wey to 40s. and 42s. 6d.
3. That the necessity for salt has been so great that they were forced to tuke off the new-made salt at Shields, which wasted much into brine.
4. That they can only keep salt from being monopolised at Shields by giving encouragement to makers in both kingdoms to import it.
5. That Sir Denis Gauden has certified the want of it for the Navy, and that the Scotch salt is best for fish and flesh, and the present quarter of the year the great season for its consumption.

Pray that his Majesty will licence such a quantity of Scotch salt as he shall think fit to be imported at a farthing per gallon, and that in regard of his Majesty's sudden removal, their lordships will move that the petition and papers in Sir Edward Walker's hands may be read.
[Copy. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 247, No. 121.]
---
Pepys knew Sir Edward Walker, a fellow traveler in exile with Charles and James, and councilor: https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/856/#c531…

Pepys also knew Samuel Hartlib Jnr:
https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1014/

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sept. 28 1668.
Warrant to the Attorney-General to draw up a bill for constituting a council of trade.
Minute. [S.P. Dom., Entry Book 30, f. 83.]

@@@
Sept. 28? 1668
Commission to the Duke of York and numerous other nobles,
officers of State and of the household, merchants, &c.,
to form a council for regulating the trade and manufactures of the kingdom;
with allowance of 1,000/. a year for their expenses.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 247, No. 14.]

@@@
Sept. 28? 1668
Instructions to the Committee of Trade, whose names are given,
to inquire into the state of trade, the observance of the several statutes therein;
the best mode of carriage, &c., of goods;
the use fulness or otherwise of the merchant companies;
means of preventing export of wool;
cause of decay in the fishing;
the trade of the plantations;
the treaties on commerce with foreign powers;
establishment of free ports;
customs and imposts;
advantages of exchange of coin, or of permission to export it;
rates of interest;
account of exports and imports, &c.
[7 pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 247, No. 15.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sept. 28 1668.
Pendennis
Fras. Bellott to Williamson.

Most of the ships that were in harbour have gone out,
and 14 have come in, one of which gives an account that the English officers and soldiers are embarked on board the King's frigates at Lisbon for England;

2 or 3 Barbados men have arrived, one having 4 cwt. of silk, made in the island, being the first growth, which is sent as a present to his Majesty.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 247, No. 7.]
---
They made silk in Barbados!???

@@@
Sept. 28 1668.
Carlisle
Chris. Musgrave to [Williamson].

I hear that the Court is removing to Audley End, and the Privy Council is ordered to attend his Majesty on my father's business, which is appointed to be heard 21 October.
Am I to attend there?
It will be difficult to get the counsel required to come so far.
I will set off for London 12 Oct.
[2 pages. [S.P. Dom., Car. II. 247, No. 9.]

@@@
Sept. 28 1668.
Essex House.
J. Rushworth to Williamson.

The bearer, Mrs. Price, has a son brought from Windsor in custody of Serjeant Topham, on a false pretence of speaking words which he denies;
begs his release on bail, as he is low in fortune, and would be ruined by the serjeant's fees.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 247, No. 10.]

@@@
Sept. 28? 1668
Petition of Sam. Price to the King for release, or examination before Council;
is in custody of John Topham, serjeant-at-arms, for words said by an enemy of his to be spoken by him against his Majesty, when he last offered at Windsor, although he can prove the contrary.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 247, No. 11.]

JB  •  Link

"Up betimes, and Knepp’s maid comes to me, to tell me that the women’s day at the playhouse is to-day, and that therefore I must be there, to encrease their profit."

The following is from a little later in history, but it does shed light on the practice and how it developed from there.
https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/230561902.pdf

"A clear example of the Restoration actress’s success and popularity can be found in the figure of Elizabeth Barry. Barry is first listed as a member of the Duke’s Company in 1673-74 and acted until 1710, playing both majestic tragic roles and witty comic heroines. The actress was in fact the first performer to be awarded an annual benefit night, a significant way of boosting her income and an acknowledgment of her popularity with the audience.

Benefits were nights on which a particular actor or actress would take home the evening’s takings minus the theatre’s operating expenses for the evening.

Performers could earn more than £50 on such a night, a sum that could double the annual salary of a secondary company member. The actor or actress in question usually picked the play that would be staged for his or her benefit (often a role in which he or she was particularly popular) and was responsible for selling tickets to patrons, focusing on the upper classes, who could pay generously. Benefits became a key part of the theatre’s financial operations in the early eighteenth century. They were stipulated in performers’ contracts and the season would end with a run of benefit performances, usually with the company’s biggest star going first."

I guess in our particular earlier case, the situation was more communal with the take being split amongst (at least the more prominent) ladies.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Everyone seems very relaxed about the incident at the Burlingtons', but we feel it deserves a thorough investigation. This is Sam's beautiful periwigg, the pride of his shaven pate, that we're talkin' about. First, the mechanicks of the event: We were under the impression that said wig reached to shoulder-length, so Sam would have had to sit with his back directly over the flame; how can anyone so used to sealing-candles and to periwiggs, and as alert to open flames as anyone living in 1668, be so negligent? Tut-tut, says Smokey Bear. The alternative is that Sam wasn't sitting but standing, but the candle would then have to be a good 30 centimeters tall, which seems a bit much for sealing letters even in a lordly house.

In this case the fire had to be intense enough for the hair to crackle audibly! We're not talking about some vague smoldering here. Cue Sam yanking off the flaming wig and setting fire to the curtains, the tocsin rung, Londoners throwing their clocks into the river and burying their cheese again, jews and Catholicks killed just in case 'twas them, Louis XIV seizing his chance to invade.

The Curator of Expts. should be directed to stop torturing doggs for a moment and to procure some wigs, to ascertain from what Distance, depending e.g. on the Dryness and Nature of the Hair, would a significant Fire Risk arise, and how ardent the combustion must be for an Audible noise to issue. All periwigged heads in attendance nod approval; it seems more urgent than all this tedious tinkering with air pressure; also, it's not like it never happens. Consider, for instance, the Hogarthian illustration at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dr._Slop,…, which postdates today's entry by over a century but could well be what today's scene looked like? Or this one, more recent still, at https://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Thomas-Rowlandson…, which we find hilarious and a proof that Wigs On Fire tend to be considered funny, even though they're likely to hurt a lot?

Wigs on Fire in fact might be as commonplace as inkstains, in a city full of offices full of wigs and sealing candles, since Sam then casually proceeds to Westminster and the Exchequer, fearless of giggles about "liar, liar, wig on fire". Hey, every other bureaucrat or official he meets there also has a few singed locks, it shows how hard you work for His Majestie.

We expect that Sam, swinging by home, picked a fresh wig before heading for the theater, where the working-man look wouldn't do. (If not - Knepp, offstage, twirling a hairlock: "My Sammy-boy needs a patch for his wiggy? Why sir, would you peruse our catalog?") But while buying more ribbons rates a mention, fixing the wig doesn't.

Harry R  •  Link

Thanks for drawing this episode out Stephane. It's caused surprisingly little comment from earlier annotators. I laughed like a fool as I imagined the scene and at Sam’s apparent sangfroid. There's no rebuke for the idiot who left the candle there. How did he maintain his dignity, his gravitas? How did my Lady Hitchingbroke react? Did our hero see out the day with the damaged wig, like a Marx Brothers stooge with half a moustache shaved off? Perhaps the Timpsons of the day did wig repairs while-u-wait.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Imagine Pepys running around all day wearing a burnt periwig. Hilarious. Or perhaps Tom was sent home to fetch the second best periwig.

Sam Ursu  •  Link

Sam clearly states that he was standing, and the candle was brought in to seal a letter, so the candle was probably sitting on a WRITING desk. Writing desks were usually sloped, so the candle could have been perched on the upper part of the desk.

Depending on how much time Sam was standing there or how long his periwig was, it seems perfectly feasible for it to catch fire, although the way he describes it makes it seem like it must've been over the flame for several minutes before anyone noticed. However, since the entire wig didn't catch on fire, it was probably more of a smoldering burn (and a rather horrific smell) than actually being set alight, even though it did make a "strange noise."

In 2004, a rabbinical ruling in New York caused several Orthodox women to burn their (real human hair) wigs. I had a look at some of the footage today, and it does seem that wigs do not burn particularly well.

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