Friday 12 February 1668/69

Up, and my wife with me to White Hall, and Tom, and there she sets us down, and there to wait on the Duke of York, with the rest of us, at the Robes, where the Duke of York did tell us that the King would have us prepare a draught of the present administration of the Navy, and what it was in the late times, in order to his being able to distinguish between the good and the bad, which I shall do, but to do it well will give me a great deal of trouble. Here we shewed him Sir J. Minnes’s propositions about balancing Storekeeper’s accounts; and I did shew him Hosier’s, which did please him mightily, and he will have it shewed the Council and King anon, to be put in practice. Thence to the Treasurer’s; and I and Sir J. Minnes and Mr. Tippets down to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, and there had a hot debate from Sir Thomas Clifford and my Lord Ashly (the latter of which, I hear, is turning about as fast as he can to the Duke of Buckingham’s side, being in danger, it seems, of being otherwise out of play, which would not be convenient for him), against Sir W. Coventry and Sir J. Duncomb, who did uphold our Office against an accusation of our Treasurers, who told the Lords that they found that we had run the King in debt 50,000l. or more, more than the money appointed for the year would defray, which they declared like fools, and with design to hurt us, though the thing is in itself ridiculous. But my Lord Ashly and Clifford did most horribly cry out against the want of method in the Office. At last it come that it should be put in writing what they had to object; but I was devilish mad at it, to see us thus wounded by our own members, and so away vexed, and called my wife, and to Hercules Pillars, Tom and I, there dined; and here there coming a Frenchman by with his Shew, we did make him shew it us, which he did just as Lacy acts it, which made it mighty pleasant to me. So after dinner we away and to Dancre’s, and there saw our picture of Greenwich in doing, which is mighty pretty, and so to White Hall, my wife to Unthank’s, and I attended with Lord Brouncker the King and Council, about the proposition of balancing Storekeeper’s accounts and there presented Hosier’s book, and it was mighty well resented and approved of. So the Council being up, we to the Queen’s side with the King and Duke of York: and the Duke of York did take me out to talk of our Treasurers, whom he is mighty angry with: and I perceive he is mighty desirous to bring in as many good motions of profit and reformation in the Navy as he can, before the Treasurers do light upon them, they being desirous, it seems, to be thought the great reformers: and the Duke of York do well. But to my great joy he is mighty open to me in every thing; and by this means I know his whole mind, and shall be able to secure myself, if he stands. Here to-night I understand, by my Lord Brouncker, that at last it is concluded on by the King and Buckingham that my Lord of Ormond shall not hold his government of Ireland, which is a great stroke, to shew the power of Buckingham and the poor spirit of the King, and little hold that any man can have of him. Thence I homeward, and calling my wife called at my cozen Turner’s, and there met our new cozen Pepys (Mrs. Dickenson), and Bab. and Betty come yesterday to town, poor girls, whom we have reason to love, and mighty glad we are to see them; and there staid and talked a little, being also mightily pleased to see Betty Turner, who is now in town, and her brothers Charles and Will, being come from school to see their father, and there talked a while, and so home, and there Pelling hath got me W. Pen’s book against the Trinity. I got my wife to read it to me; and I find it so well writ as, I think, it is too good for him ever to have writ it; and it is a serious sort of book, and not fit for every body to read. So to supper and to bed.


17 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Here we shewed him Sir J. Minnes’s propositions about balancing Storekeeper’s accounts; and I did shew him Hosier’s, which did please him mightily, and he will have it shewed the Council and King anon, to be put in practice. "

Pepys follows through: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/11/24/#c3863…
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Chris Squire  •  Link

‘ . . and there presented Hosier’s book, and it was mighty well resented and approved of.’

‘resent, v. Etym: < Anglo-Norman resenter
. . 5. trans. . . b. To take favourably, to approve of . . Obs. rare.
a1646 J. Gregory Posthuma (1649) 168 Mahomet having introduc'd a new Superstition, which the men of Mecha‥resented not, was forced to flie that place.
1650 Brief Descr. Future Hist. Europe To Rdr. 1 There are several passages in it, which (I know) will not resent with our Great Ones.’ [OED]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"here there coming a Frenchman by with his Shew, we did make him shew it us, which he did just as Lacy acts it, which made it mighty pleasant to me."

L&M suggest a [ portable ] puppet-show featuring a part played in the manner of, mimicking one of the many played by John Lacy, the leading comedian of the King's Company. See http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/6368/#refe…

Mary  •  Link

"that the King would have us prepare a draught of the present administration of the Navy, and what it was in the late times, in order to his being able to distinguish between the good and the bad, which I shall do, but to do it well will give me a great deal of trouble."

Won't it, just?

Ralph Berry  •  Link

"...balancing Storekeeper's accounts..."

Do we know what type of bookkeeping systems were being used in the Navy at this time or indeed for Sam's personal accounting? The Australian author Jane Gleeson-White in her book "Double Entry" sets out the history and that the double entry system was formulated by the arabs, recorded by the Italian Friar Pacioli in the late fifteenth century, adopted completely by the Venetians who also had a strong audit policy and afterwards by the Dutch. It was known as the "Venetian" or "Italian" method. She suggests that it was not universally used by the British until the nineteenth century and I know from my early accounting training even in the twentieth century some British firms were still using single entry accounting. Double Entry is now almost universally adopted.

On the 11 Feb Sam mentioned his Day Book, I assume this is similar to the first book of record prescribed by Pacioli which he called the "Memoriale"

Do any of Sam's accounting records survive and do we know the system he used? When he talks about balancing accounts was he referring to balancing his trial balance or balancing his bookkeeping to the cash and assets on hand? Do any commentators have any ideas??

Can we assume he was using Arabic and not Roman numerals?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Will Penn Jr. now truly embarked on his famed career...And Sam finding himself impressed, in spite of himself. Well, could be worse...Considering Will used to mildly flirt with Bess in French...

"...not fit for every body to read."

"This is quite a book, Sam'l." Bess notes. "Hard to believe it's by the same young (though like your Johnny, harmless) fellow who used to drop by, speaking to me."

"Indeed..."

"I feel so bad..."

"Bess?"

"I mean when we Catholics take over, we'll have to burn him if the Church hasn't already. Though it is so well done...Perhaps I'll join his Society."

"Are you just having fun with me? Or...?"

"Me to know, you to find out."

pepfie  •  Link

Update "well resented"

resent, v.

†II.8.b To take or receive in a certain way or with certain feelings; to take well or ill. Obs. (common c 1655–85).

... 1669 Pepys Diary 13 Feb., It was mighty well resented and approved of.  
[OED 2nd ed. 2009]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"at last it is concluded on by the King and Buckingham that my Lord of Ormond shall not hold his government of Ireland"

The announcement that Ormond was to be replaced by Lord Robartes was made by the King at the Committee for Foreign Affairs at Essex House on the afternoon of the 14th, in Ormond's presence. (Per L&M note)

psw  •  Link

In view of accounting the year of 1635 saw another English work printed:
The Merchants’ Mirror, or directions for the perfect ordering and keeping of ac-
counts, framed by the way of Debitour and Creditour after the Italian manner,
by Richard Dafforne. Robert Colinson printed in 1683 the first Scottish book on
accountancy entitled Idea Rationaria, or the perfect accomptant, necessary for
all merchants.

https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=A4OJWu…

It seems they were doing double entry accounting but it was not fully standardized as the paper presented as Hosier's book indicates.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... to see us thus wounded by our own members ..."

The Navy Board could hardly say things like, "We've been complaining about Comptroller Mennes to the Lord High Admiral since 1663." This report will take all of Pepys' diplomacy.

In November 1661 Mennes was appointed Controller of the Navy. At that time Pepys described him as "ill at ease" in this role, and when exasperated by his incompetence referred to him as "dolt" "dotard" and "old fool" -- but as of January 1664 it appears Mennes may have had Parkinson's, or lead or alcohol poisoning. Outside the office Pepys admits that Mennes, with his skills as a poet and mimic, and was great company, so the Stuart brothers (who value wit highly) may not have taken their complaints seriously.
The King needed to be seen employing Parliamentary men, and needed to pension some experienced marine fighting men.

All these Admirals are proven fighting men ... they didn't graduate from University and are unqualified for office life.
We call it the Peter Principle today, and these men had been promoted to their level of incompetence.

The educated Pepys has been able to prove himself under several tests of bureaucratic fire ... which also may also have sent the wrong message to the Stuart Brothers who [SPOILER] are about to experiment with a Navy Board staffed entirely by proven bureaucrats. They -- and the usual lack of funds -- will lose the next Anglo-Dutch War, but that's beyond the Diary.

Can you imagine Pepys in charge of a ship of 70 guns in a battle?
"Hewer ... take over; I'm going to throw up."

Short term, I see no easy answers.
Batten died, days before he would probably have been exposed double dealing in tickets;
Carteret read the writing on the wall, and agreed to a job that has effectively sidelined him in far-off Dublin;
Penn is under indictment, despite his heroic wartime leadership.
Mennes and Pepys are the last men standing.

Long term, Pepys had some answers, and James, Duke of York had implemented the first last year.
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/07/06/#c334…

The Navy needed professionals, which involved salaries, pensions, disability, a code of ethics,
examinations leading to the promotion of the qualified,
schools for the education in mathematics and navigation for potention officers,
the abolition of impressment and flogging,
not to mention the invention of refrigeration for fresh food, an understanding of latitude and longitude, and the evolution of banks and cheques (to do away with tickets).
Penicillin would be nice.

Sir Joseph Williamson will endow the Mathematical School, Rochester and Pepys will endow the Royal Mathematical School at Christ's Hospital (to train 40 boys annually in navigation, for the benefit of the Royal Navy and the English Merchant Navy). These schools are decades away.

This Commission is looking for economies, not professionalism.
One way wins wars, the other doesn't.
Poor Pepys.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Here we shewed him Sir J. Minnes’s propositions about balancing Storekeeper’s accounts; and I did shew him Hosier’s, which did please him mightily, and he will have it shewed the Council and King anon, to be put in practice."

This sounds like the plan James, Duke of York approved the other day:
"After dinner, I did what I went for, which was to get his consent that Balty might hold his Muster-Master’s place by deputy, in his new employment which I design for him, about the Storekeeper’s accounts; which the Duke of York did grant me, and I was mighty glad of it."
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1669/02/10/

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Ralph Berry on 13 Feb 2012 • Link • Flag
"...balancing Storekeeper's accounts..."

"Do we know what type of bookkeeping systems were being used in the Navy at this time or indeed for Sam's personal accounting? The Australian author Jane Gleeson-White in her book "Double Entry" sets out the history and that the double entry system was formulated by the Arabs, recorded by the Italian Friar Pacioli in the late fifteenth century, adopted completely by the Venetians who also had a strong audit policy and afterwards by the Dutch. ..."

The last entry in our Encyclopedia page is specifically about accounting practices, and the other entries are a bit of a primer to most of the big issues around Finance in Pepys' time:
https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/2427/

I'm not familiar with anything in this blog specifically on audit policies, it sounds like a book review of "Double Entry" is called for. Anyone????

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

In the Treasury Commission's minutes for this day (at www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-treasury-books/vol3…) we find not a Word of this 50,000L. tussle with the Navy. We phant'sy that mayhap it took place before or after the official meeting, or the commission's Remembrancer had dropped his quill, or he got a Significant Look from my Lord Ashly, to go and water ye flowers for a minute.

The only Naval business pertains to the Commission's consideration on the 27th instant of my Lord Anglesey having "diverted" supply funds (we evok'd it at https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1669/01/27/#c555…): "The King to be moved in the 4,000L. paid by the Earl of Anglesey to other uses but which should have been for buying stores: that another fund may be appointed for it". This looks like a careful climb-down from accusations against one of the Big Men.

Incidentally we also find in today's State Papers (https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=vik5AQAAM…) an annoyed request from White Hall, "referenc[ing] (...) the petition of John Chase, his Majesty's apothecary, to find a way for payment of his arrears of 7,000L. and provide for his future payment, the King being wishful to relieve his extremity. With a repetition of the recommendation thereof, the King being displeased that it has not been attended to". The-king-being-displeased, aye gentlemen, let's get moving now, for all we know this Chase may be withholding deliveries of quicksilver for the royal elaboratory next door...

Let the Treasurers chafe and wiggle. Our Sam is walking on water; eating the Duke's sauce right out of his Grace's spoon, and today, seeing them getting dressed down right after a matter-of-fact popping by the State Council. Oh, and the minutes for last Wednesday said "Process against Mr. Pepys to be stopped till sealing day".

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

A reminder of the Unpredictability of Kings, or maybe of the Blindeness of Great Men: Wasn't my lord Ormond writing to his pal Ossory just four days ago, on the 9th instant, of being "confident that the King neither is, nor will be, prevailed to remove him from the government of Ireland..."? And this, after months of presence at Court precisely to find out. (Carte calendar, https://web.archive.org/web/20191107143044/http:/…).

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

One of the reasons I like to use names as well as titles is that it gives me a hook into relationships.
James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde was corresponding with his oldest son, Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory MP (1623-1680) in the Irish tradition, and Baron Butler of Moor Park in the English, who is on temporary assignment trying to keep the peace in Ireland.

Personally, I also spell the Irish Duke's title with an "e", as was clarified by King Charles I, so it would not be confused with the Scots Duke of Ormond (one of his titles at birth). This has created spelling confusion amongst historians ever since. IMHO it's a personal preference at this point.

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