Friday 18 December 1668

All the morning at the office about Sir W. Warren’s accounts, my mind full of my business, having before we met gone to Lord Brouncker, and got him to read over my paper, who owns most absolute content in it, and the advantage I have in it, and the folly of the Surveyor. At noon home to dinner; and then again to the office a while, and so by hackney coach to Brooke House, and there spoke with Colonel Thomson, I by order carrying them [the Commissioners of Accounts] our Contract-books, from the beginning to the end of the late war. I found him finding of errors in a ship’s book, where he shewed me many, which must end in the ruin, I doubt, of the Controller, who found them not out in the pay of the ship, or the whole Office. But I took little notice of them to concern myself in them, but so leaving my books I home to the Office, where the office met, and after some other business done, fell to mine, which the Surveyor begun to be a little brisk at the beginning; but when I come to the point to touch him, which I had all the advantages in the world to do, he become as calm as a lamb, and owned, as the whole Board did, their satisfaction, and cried excuse: and so all made friends; and their acknowledgment put into writing, and delivered into Sir J. Minnes’s hand, to be kept there for the use of the Board, or me, when I shall call for it; they desiring it might be so, that I might not make use of it to the prejudice of the Surveyor, whom I had an advantage over, by his extraordinary folly in this matter. But, besides this, I have no small advantage got by this business, as I have put several things into my letter which I should otherwise have wanted an opportunity of saying, which pleases me mightily. So Middleton desiring to be friends, I forgave him; and all mighty quiet, and fell to talk of other stories, and there staid, all of us, till nine or ten at night, more than ever we did in our lives before, together. And so home, where I have a new fight to fight with my wife, who is under new trouble by some news she hath heard of Deb.’s being mighty fine, and gives out that she has a friend that gives her money, and this my wife believes to be me, and, poor wretch! I cannot blame her, and therefore she run into mighty extremes; but I did pacify all, and were mighty good friends, and to bed, and I hope it will be our last struggle from this business, for I am resolved never to give any new occasion, and great peace I find in my mind by it. So to supper, she and I to bed.

14 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ubi W. Hewer?

My Shadow
By Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow­
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an errant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.…

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

So Middleton desiring to be friends, I forgave him; and all mighty quiet, and fell to talk of other stories, and there staid, all of us, till nine or ten at night, more than ever we did in our lives before, together.
Agression > accusation > rebuttal > retreat > satisfaction > general embarrassment > deperate good fellowship.
Sounds like a fine plotline for a play.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

So Middleton desiring to be friends, I forgave him; and all mighty quiet, and fell to talk of other stories.
Now there's a point to write a sermon, how people you know are friends, then enemies, then friends again.

Dorothy  •  Link

I wonder how many of the people Pepys gave his "paper" to actually read it. It sounds as if it is very long.

Glyn  •  Link

A lot of people fall to pieces in an argument, but Pepys seems to be quite the opposite - I think that he would have made a good lawyer. He certainly wouldn't need any assertiveness classes.

And it's good to see that he isn't blaming his wife even when she's accusing him unjustly.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

After all, he did plan to give Deb money initially... But it is a good wake-up call should he be considering evading his shadow...Bess is clearly keeping surveillance via the gossip net on Deb Willet. One wonders...If Bess can monitor Deb so well...What else has she been able to keep track of regarding Sam's dalliances?

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to Brooke House, and there spoke with Colonel Thomson, I by order carrying them [the Commissioners of Accounts] our Contract-books, from the beginning to the end of the late war."

L&M: For the contract books, see…

LKvM  •  Link

"and so by hackney coach to Brooke House . . . . " Coach-owner Sam had to hop a common hackney. Had Elizabeth commandeered the coach to track Deb?
Liked the ubi Hewer poem, but Hewer would have been in big trouble if he had "stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed."

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

'Tis the Season, when half the coaches of London are full of Account Books, as the worm-eaten tomes are pulled from dusty shelves, and the Captains' lies therein inspected to judge their skill at hiding their Rake-Offs. Today Mr. W. Jessop also has this "Receipt (...) for the use of the Committee of Accounts, of two books of contracts made by the Navy Commissioners between 1664 and 1667" (State Papers, at… of course). They would seem to be the books found perused by Col. Thomson. A Wm. Jessop reappears in the State Papers (same volume, p. 652) as "keeper of the writings in the Duchy Office", implying that the ships' books weren't held by the Navy Office (though we had seen reference to its having a full collection), but in grander and even safer hands in the Duke of York's chambers. If so, it didn't take long for Thomson to find these many "errors".

Let's have a thought for Sam's fellow bureaucrat William Jessop, forever pickled in history with heavy books of contracts under his arm as he clambers onto a coach... Unless, the Receipt being "by W. Jessop", he just signed it off, remaining safe at his desk amid the archives, wishing the bearer good luck (and, to himself, that the three-ring binder would be soon invented).

Scube  •  Link

Have to admit that I have missed precisely the advantage that Sam has over Middleton. Would be grateful for any insight on that point. Thanks

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I have missed precisely the advantage that Sam has over Middleton"

Scube, as I understand it the Chatham accountant had a beef with Hewer, and went to Middleton to protest. Pepys launched an investigation which vindicated Hewer. I don't recall seeing a link to the original docs., but I haven't been following that closely recently so maybe I missed it.

Terry posted the crux of the story on 16 December, 1668:
L&M: Pepys to Navy Board, 16 December: copy (in Gibson's hand) in NMM, PLA/19, n.p. For Middleton's allegations against Hewer, see… and…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Bear in mind the other members of the Navy Board are pretty sure Pepys wrote James, Duke of York's critique of their wartime performance, so they are probably looking for opportunities to take the little bureaucrat down a peg. Middleton must have thought Chatham had a case, but lacked the sense to do a review of the paperwork before launching the attack -- he's a fighting man, not a bureaucrat.

In 1660 Charles II had filled the Navy Board with men who knew the Navy -- except for Pepys who knew budgets, Latin and how to run an office. It's possible Pepys' critique might have helped swayed Charles to think he would be better served by a Navy Board who understood bureaucracy, and let the Captains and Admirals do the sailing, because SPOILER as we will see, the next Navy Board didn't know much about the Navy.

The "problem" wasn't the Navy Board's competence. The solutions were a professional, on-going, salaried Navy, filled with craftsmen who took pride in doing their many jobs correctly -- everyone, from the shipyards to the victualling office to the sailors. And the Navy Board needed money to pay them for doing their jobs right, and pay them on time.

The first move towards this goal had been achieved (edited version for length):

"At the end of the Second Anglo-Dutch War the Government formally recognized for the first time the claims of officers to pay in peace time. The first step did not go far, but the principle lead to the modern system of continuous employment.

"By an Order in Council of 17 July, 1668, it was provided that, in consideration of 'the eminent services performed in the late war against the Dutch by the flag officers,' and that 'during the time of peace several of them are out of employment, and thereby disabled to support themselves in a condition answerable to their merits and those marks of honour his Majesty hath conferred on them,' they should receive 'pensions' in proportion to the scale of pay on active service which had been fixed at the beginning of the war.

These 'pensions' ranged from £150 a year for captains of flag-ships up to £250 a year for rear-admirals and vice-admirals of fleets.

By an Order of 26 June, 1674, the same scale was established for flag officers who had served in the Third Anglo-Dutch War;

and in 1674 and 1675 the system of half-pay for officers when they were not actively employed was further extended to the captains and masters of first and second rate ships who had served in the war, and to the commanders of squadrons.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


In 1672 another important change relating to pay was made by the Council. The principle of pensions on superannuation was adopted for officers. These were to be 'equal to the salary and known allowances they enjoyed,' provided that they had completed 15 years of service 'where the employment is constant, such as that of boatswains, gunners, pursers, carpenters, &c.,' or 8 years where it is not constant, 'such as that of masters, chirurgeons, &c.'

In 1673 the principle of superannuation was extended from cases of old age to officers wounded in service at sea. Such officers were to receive one year's wages, 'and the continuance of them in pay during the whole time they shall by good proof appear to have lain under cure.'"

From a series of wonderful lectures about Pepys' career:
NOVEMBER 6, 13, 20 and 27, 1919

What happened for the critical master craftsmen in the dock yards, I do not know. Does anyone else???

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