Wednesday 25 November 1668

Up, and by coach with W. Hewer to see W. Coventry; but he gone out, I to White Hall, and there waited on Lord Sandwich, which I have little encouragement to do, because of the difficulty of seeing him, and the little he hath to say to me when I do see him, or to any body else, but his own idle people about him, Sir Charles Harbord, &c. Thence walked with him to White Hall, where to the Duke of York; and there the Duke, and Wren, and I, by appointment in his closet, to read over our letter to the Office, which he heard, and signed it, and it is to my mind, Mr. Wren having made it somewhat sweeter to the Board, and yet with all the advice fully, that I did draw it up with. He [the Duke] said little more to us now, his head being full of other business; but I do see that he do continue to put a value upon my advice; and so Mr. Wren and I to his chamber, and there talked: and he seems to hope that these people, the Duke of Buckingham and Arlington, will run themselves off of their legs; they being forced to be always putting the King upon one idle thing or other, against the easiness of his nature, which he will never be able to bear, nor they to keep him to, and so will lose themselves. And, for instance of their little progress, he tells me that my Lord of Ormond is like yet to carry it, and to continue in his command in Ireland; at least, they cannot get the better of him yet. But he tells me that the Keeper is wrought upon, as they say, to give his opinion for the dissolving of the Parliament, which, he thinks, will undo him in the eyes of the people. He do not seem to own the hearing or fearing of any thing to be done in the Admiralty, to the lessening of the Duke of York, though he hears how the town talk’s full of it. Thence I by coach home, and there find my cozen Roger come to dine with me, and to seal his mortgage for the 500l. I lend him; but he and I first walked to the ‘Change, there to look for my uncle Wight, and get him to dinner with us. So home, buying a barrel of oysters at my old oyster-woman’s, in Gracious Street, but over the way to where she kept her shop before. So home, and there merry at dinner; and the money not being ready, I carried Roger Pepys to Holborn Conduit, and there left him going to Stradwick’s, whom we avoided to see, because of our long absence, and my wife and I to the Duke of York’s house, to see “The Duchesse of Malfy,” a sorry play, and sat with little pleasure, for fear of my wife’s seeing me look about, and so I was uneasy all the while, though I desire and resolve never to give her trouble of that kind more. So home, and there busy at the Office a while, and then home, where my wife to read to me, and so to supper, and to bed. This evening, to my great content, I got Sir Richard Ford to give me leave to set my coach in his yard.

19 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

25th November, 1668. I waited on Lord Sandwich, who presented me with a Sembrador [ sower ] he brought out of Spain, showing me his two books of observations made during his embassy and stay at Madrid, in which were several rare things he promised to impart to me.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Duke...[was] read over our letter to the Office, which he heard, and signed it, and it is to my mind, Mr. Wren having made it somewhat sweeter to the Board, and yet with all the advice fully, that I did draw it up with. "

See 20 November: "Mr. Wren’s alterations of my draught of a letter for the Duke of York to sign, to the Board; which I like mighty well, they being not considerable, only in mollifying some hard terms, which I had thought fit to put in."

We all profit from a friendly editor.

Peter Taylor  •  Link

Should Sam be eating oysters so soon after making those vows?

Chris Squire  •  Link

‘sower, n. . . 1.c. A machine or apparatus for sowing seed; a sowing-machine.
1728 E. Chambers Cycl. at Sembrador, To remedy this Inconvenience, the Sembrador or Sower, is invented, which being fastened to the Plough, the whole Business of Plowing, Sowing and Harrowing is done at once.’ [OED]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I dunno Sam...I saw Malfi twice and rather liked it, especially when the Cardinal buys it, after poisoning his factorum/mistress, even if the sudden transition of the villain to hero is rather jarring.

"Samuel...! Mr. P!"

Lord, Knepp at 45 degrees...Avert, avert...

"Why, it's Mr. Pepys...!"

No, no...Back, Beck...Back...

"Sam'l. That Gwyn woman is waving at us. Why is she waving at us?"

Oh, Lord finish it now...Strike me blind, now.

"Really...? Didn't see her."

"...Arrgh..." last gasp of remaining, insane evil brother on stage. Final speech. Good triumphs for the child Duke set up in hope. Curtain...Falls...


"Well, that was fine..." Bess, contentedly... "And you were a model husband."

So...No need to proceed in ripping the balls from their sockets, for now...Sam sighs. "Ah. Thank you, dearest."

"We should go again tomorrow, now I know there'll be no trouble. I know how much you love the theater...And in all things but ... unrelated to me, I want to please you, Sam'l. You know that."

Oh, no...Not...Wait.

God, she even knows about ... ?

"You've read my Diary, haven't you?"

"You're a marvellous master of human character, dear." smile. "And such a fine inspiration as a teacher. Oh, here they come on stage again."



Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the town talk’s full of it."


Robert Gertz  •  Link

It seems it's tough to be bro of a king like Charlie.

Mary  •  Link


Chris Squire has already answered that question amongst the annotations to this very entry.

JWB  •  Link

From J.M. Wilson's 'The Rural Cyclopedia'. 1849:

"SEMBRADOR# One of the earliest invented drill-sowing machines# It was invented by the Spaniard Don Joseph de Lucatello, and brought early to the notice of Britons through the Philosophical Transactions# It was fastened to the tail of the plough, and it dropped the seed6 of corn-crops regularly into the furrow, and effected the sowing of any given area with about onefifth of the seeds which were usually employed in hand-sowing; but it was not found to answer in common practice, and is now on record as a mere agricultural curiosity# See the article SowIng-maciiines# "


Terry Foreman  •  Link


A footnote in Evelyn's Diary: [ A new engine for ploughing, equal sowing, and harrowing at once. There is a letter by Evelyn to Lord Brouncker on this in the Miscellaneous Writings, 1825, pp. 621-22. It is also described by its inventor, Don Joseph Lucatelo , in Phil. Trans. June, 1670, No. 60, vol. v. p. 1056.]
Lucatelo's Spanish description of 1664 was translated for the Phil. Trans. by Lord Sandwich, as Eveyn's letter makes clear.

john  •  Link

A plea for posterity: Can we please avoid the use of shortened URLs? I know not how long they are maintained and I doubt that even the Wayback machine keeps them.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Evelyn and Sandwich are longtime friends and both Fellows of the Royal Society since 1663. While Sandwich was in Madrid they corresponded often about a variety of RS matters, including agriculture. Evelyn, ever the experimental gardener, requested seeds of various kinds and those likely among the "several rare things he promised to impart to [him]."

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and the little he hath to say me when I do see him"
Well Sam, he owes you money,man.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"[The Duke of York] seems to hope that these people, the Duke of Buckingham and Arlington, will run themselves off of their legs; they being forced to be always putting the King upon one idle thing or other"

To dance {run, walk, etc) a person off his legs*, to cause (him) to dance, etc. to exhaustion.

1663 Butler Hud. 1. iii. 326 Purging Comfits and Ants Eggs, Had almost brought him off his legs. 1668 Pepys Diary 25 Nov., These people..will run themselves off of their legs. *A New English dictionary on historical principles: founded mainly ...*, Volume 6, p.181 By Philological Society (Great Britain)

martinb  •  Link

Sorry for coming so late to discussion of the sembrador.

Ollard's biography of Sandwich ("Cromwell's Earl" etc, 1994# contains a reference to this device, which he describes #p. 156# as a "drill-plough invented by a Corinthian gentleman, an anticipation of that constructed by Jethro Tull in the next century." Ollard says that Sandwich took one back to London and exhibited it at Gresham College in 1670.

Ollard's book has two whole chapters on Sandwich's journal for the time he spent in Spain and it contains a number of reproductions of the drawings in Sandwich's notebooks. Some of these were done by Charles Harbord, mentioned by Pepys above, and are fascinating. Several of them would clearly have been interesting to a man like Evelyn: sketches of the watering plan of the British embassy garden in Madrid, for example, or drawings of leather-backed chairs #still seen in Spanish paradores today, btw#, hammers, braseros etc.

Someone some day should take on the task of transcribing the whole of Sandwich's journal, which is still held at Mapperton, I think. Not as intimate as Mr Pepys', perhaps, but full of useful insights into 17th-century life in England and other places.

#Apologies if someone has pointed all this out already.#

r l battle  •  Link

Finally after almost a month, the Pepys' take in a play.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Re Sp. Sembrador, cf the motto of the French publisher Larousse, accompanied by a drawing of a woman blowing dandelion seeds: "Je seme a tout vent."

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