Friday 13 November 1668

Up, and with Sir W. Pen by coach to White Hall, where to the Duke of York, and there did our usual business; and thence I to the Commissioners of the Treasury, where I staid, and heard an excellent case argued between my Lord Gerard and the Town of Newcastle, about a piece of ground which that Lord hath got a grant of, under the Exchequer Seal, which they were endeavouring to get of the King under the Great Seal. I liked mightily the Counsel for the town, Shaftow, their Recorder, and Mr. Offly. But I was troubled, and so were the Lords, to hear my Lord fly out against their great pretence of merit from the King, for their sufferings and loyalty; telling them that they might thank him for that repute which they have for their loyalty, for that it was he that forced them to be so, against their wills, when he was there: and, moreover, did offer a paper to the Lords to read from the Town, sent in 1648; but the Lords would not read it; but I believe it was something about bringing the King to trial, or some such thing, in that year. Thence I to the Three Tuns Tavern, by Charing Cross, and there dined with W. Pen, Sir J. Minnes, and Commissioner Middleton; and as merry as my mind could be, that hath so much trouble upon it at home. And thence to White Hall, and there staid in Mr. Wren’s chamber with him, reading over my draught of a letter, which Mr. Gibson then attended me with; and there he did like all, but doubted whether it would be necessary for the Duke to write in so sharp a style to the Office, as I had drawn it in; which I yield to him, to consider the present posture of the times and the Duke of York and whether it were not better to err on that hand than the other. He told me that he did not think it was necessary for the Duke of York to do so, and that it would not suit so well with his nature nor greatness; which last, perhaps, is true, but then do too truly shew the effects of having Princes in places, where order and discipline should be. I left it to him to do as the Duke of York pleases; and so fell to other talk, and with great freedom, of public things; and he told me, upon my several inquiries to that purpose, that he did believe it was not yet resolved whether the Parliament should ever meet more or no, the three great rulers of things now standing thus:— The Duke of Buckingham is absolutely against their meeting, as moved thereto by his people that he advises with, the people of the late times, who do never expect to have any thing done by this Parliament for their religion, and who do propose that, by the sale of the Church-lands, they shall be able to put the King out of debt: my Lord Keeper is utterly against putting away this and choosing another Parliament, lest they prove worse than this, and will make all the King’s friends, and the King himself, in a desperate condition: my Lord Arlington know not which is best for him, being to seek whether this or the next will use him worst. He tells me that he believes that it is intended to call this Parliament, and try them with a sum of money; and, if they do not like it, then to send them going, and call another, who will, at the ruin of the Church perhaps, please the King with what he will for a time. And he tells me, therefore, that he do believe that this policy will be endeavoured by the Church and their friends — to seem to promise the King money, when it shall be propounded, but make the King and these great men buy it dear, before they have it. He tells me that he is really persuaded that the design of the Duke of Buckingham is, by bringing the state into such a condition as, if the King do die without issue, it shall, upon his death, break into pieces again; and so put by the Duke of York, who they have disobliged, they know, to that degree, as to despair of his pardon. He tells me that there is no way to rule the King but by brisknesse, which the Duke of Buckingham hath above all men; and that the Duke of York having it not, his best way is what he practices, that is to say, a good temper, which will support him till the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Arlington fall out, which cannot be long first, the former knowing that the latter did, in the time of the Chancellor, endeavour with the Chancellor to hang him at that time, when he was proclaimed against. And here, by the by, he told me that the Duke of Buckingham did, by his friends, treat with my Lord Chancellor, by the mediation of Matt. Wren and Matt. Clifford, to fall in with my Lord Chancellor; which, he tells me, he did advise my Lord Chancellor to accept of, as that, that with his own interest and the Duke of York’s, would undoubtedly have assured all to him and his family; but that my Lord Chancellor was a man not to be advised, thinking himself too high to be counselled: and so all is come to nothing; for by that means the Duke of Buckingham became desperate, and was forced to fall in with Arlington, to his [the Chancellor’s] ruin. Thence I home, and there to talk, with great pleasure all the evening, with my wife, who tells me that Deb. has been abroad to-day, and is come home and says she has got a place to go to, so as she will be gone tomorrow morning. This troubled me, and the truth is, I have a good mind to have the maidenhead of this girl, which I should not doubt to have if je could get time para be con her. But she will be gone and I not know whither. Before we went to bed my wife told me she would not have me to see her or give her her wages, and so I did give my wife 10l. for her year and half a quarter’s wages, which she went into her chamber and paid her, and so to bed, and there, blessed be God! we did sleep well and with peace, which I had not done in now almost twenty nights together. This afternoon I went to my coachmaker and Crow’s, and there saw things go on to my great content. This morning, at the Treasury-chamber, I did meet Jack Fenn, and there he did shew me my Lord Anglesey’s petition and the King’s answer: the former good and stout, as I before did hear it: but the latter short and weak, saying that he was not, by what the King had done, hindered from taking the benefit of his laws, and that the reason he had to suspect his mismanagement of his money in Ireland, did make him think it unfit to trust him with his Treasury in England, till he was satisfied in the former.

24 Annotations

Chris Squire  •  Link

‘briskness, n.
. . 1.c. Abrupt blunt manner; brusqueness. Obs.
1668 S. Pepys Diary 13 Nov. (1976) IX. 361 There is no way to rule the King but by brisknesse, which the Duke of Buckingham hath above all men.’ [OED]

Maurie Beck  •  Link

I have a good mind to have the maidenhead of this girl, which I should not doubt to have if je could get time para be con her.

"Only with the spice of guilt can sin be truly savored" (Lonny Chapman).

Jenny  •  Link

Bobby Shaftoe's gone to sea, silver buckles on his knee....

This has to be the same Robert Shaftoe. An old song from the North East.

Jenny  •  Link

Ah, probably not, That Bobby Shaftoe was a century later. He has to be a relation though.

Jenny  •  Link

Sam has it bad. He is prepared to throw caution to the wind in his pursuit of Deb. Maybe I'm using modern mores again but this is very, very typical of an unfaithful man.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

He's been unfaithful with others, but with Deb he's also smitten.

Mary  •  Link

"I have a good mind to have the maidenhead of this girl.."

An element of droit de seigneur creeping in here?

andy  •  Link

droit de seigneur

More in a spirit of bravado I think, just bragging to the Diary, his own creation, who understands him.

Mark S  •  Link

So £10 for a year and and half a quarter’s wages. That's just under 6d per day, in addition to board and lodging.

The round sum of £10 suggests that he is giving her a bit extra, rather than making an exact calculation.

Why is he paying her for such a long period? I would have expected payment to be made to servants every quarter.

martinb  •  Link

Yesterday she was a "slut", today she's a virgin. Flexibility of mind, I suppose.

NJM  •  Link

* Spoiler Alert *
I think that the "affair" with Deb goes deeper with Sam than with the other ladies. Last weekend I was at the Pepys library in Cambridge and saw the last page and saw the final entry of the original diary. There he says he will write no more to preserve his eyes and mentions his amour for Deb. Interestingly "amour" is one of the few words in plain script and not shorthand. So he still had feelings for her long after she left his service.
As we now know he did meet her again in later life when she came to him to gain influence for a posting for her husband.

Bryan M  •  Link

Martin, I fear you do Sam an injustice.
Yesterday she was a "cunning girle", though not a slut. Well, not quite. And perhaps, not yet.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Deb. has been abroad to-day, and is come home and says she has got a place to go to. Well, well, Deb needed but one day to get a new job. Poof. She was good.

John in Newcastle  •  Link

This is probably only of interest to people from North East England. The 'piece of ground' in dispute between the Town of Newcastle and Gerard was the Castle Garth - the area inside the castle's outer walls but outside the Keep

The city takes its name from this 'New Castle' - built on the site of a Roman Fort in 1090


Robert Gertz  •  Link

Interesting politics with Wren and the Duke...So York must be seen as gracious and not too much of a martinet?...Curious in light of his fate. Poor Jamie, he can't seem to win no matter what course he chooses. If only he could have remained a royal uncle with an important and useful job. He might well have ended with some of the credit for reforming the Navy.

Breathtaking honesty, Sam... I wonder if he meant it as a frank admission that he feels he'd never be easy with Bess and his home life until he'd scratched that itch. There seems no real interest in pursuing a permanent relationship with Deb...He certainly doesn't try to claim he is swept away by romantic passion...He just would like the maidenhead of that pretty young girl.


"Hewer, care to...?...I say, Hewer? Oh, now don't you start, too...Truly this is my Black Friday. Eh? What's this, Jane?"

"The annual letter from...Her...husband, challenging you, sir."

"I still say, how can I be getting challenges in Heaven? What's this...Chris Knepp will second?"

"Just be glad me Tom never read your Diary himself, sir."

"Jane!!!" cry...

"Must go, sir...You know she gets nervous when we're together on this day, sir. Thankfully only this day."


"You've only yerself, sir...To blame, I mean."

"Right, Jane..."

"Tomorrow she'll be back to reading the nicer parts and appreciatin' the honesty, sir."

"I know, Jane...Did hope this year might be different after I beat the crap out of Robert Louis Stevenson last year."

"Not quite enough, sir...Good effort, though, sir."


Robert Gertz  •  Link

A bitter Gerald raking up old injuries and Civil War memories best left forgotten... Learnt nothing, forgotten nothing? Though I'm curious Sam expresses so little concern over the possibility of Parliament being terminated. I'd think even if he's thrown his lot in with the King, he'd be nervous and trying to sound the temper of friends and foes there...But the public mood is sullen rather than actively hostile, I guess.

Dorothy  •  Link

I see a parallel between what Charles II did to his wife, forcing her to have his mistress as her personal attendant, and what Sam Pepys is trying to do in his own little kingdom. Maybe Bess has talked over the royal situation with her friends and decided, "My husband had better not try that here!" So Sam is learning he is not king of his particular castle.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Inclement weather inside and out.

John Gadbury’s London Diary
Great winds and rain at night, frost at night

AnnieC  •  Link

Deb's powerlessness vis-à-vis her employment status is becoming clearer to me now. It would appear she had to wait for Sam to dismiss her before she could look for another job and receive the wages he owed her.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Is SP'S power really unusual? Even today, can you have two (even 9-5) jobs at the same time? Severance pay (at best) comes only after all your time has been logged on the last day, no?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"I have a good mind to have the maidenhead of this girl"
I keep wondering if Deb would have aggreed; was virginity a thing valued by society at the time?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"at the Treasury-chamber, I did meet Jack Fenn, and there he did shew me my Lord Anglesey’s petition and the King’s answer:....the reason he had to suspect his mismanagement of his money in Ireland, did make him think it unfit to trust him with his Treasury in England, till he was satisfied in the former."

Anglesey's petition (undated, but presented on 4 November) and the King's reply (11 November) are in PRO. Two later petitions of Anglesey (5 December 1668 and 24 November 1669) are in CSPD. He had relinquished his vice-treasurership of Ireland in July 1667, on his appointment as Treasurer of the Navy, but an inquiry into his Irish administration was still proceeding. He later brought an action against his successors in the navy post: T. Carte, Ormond, 1651, iv.340), but in 1672 accepted a pension in lieu of office: CSPD.

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