Friday 19 February 1668/69

Up, and after seeing the girls, who lodged in our bed, with their maid Martha, who hath been their father’s maid these twenty years and more, I with Lord Brouncker to White Hall, where all of us waited on the Duke of York; and after our usual business done, W. Hewer and I to look my wife at the Black Lion, Mercer’s, but she is gone home, and so I home and there dined, and W. Batelier and W. Hewer with us. All the afternoon I at the Office, while the young people went to see Bedlam, and at night home to them and to supper, and pretty merry, only troubled with a great cold at this time, and my eyes very bad ever since Monday night last that the light of the candles spoiled me. So to bed.

This morning, among other things, talking with Sir W. Coventry, I did propose to him my putting in to serve in Parliament, if there should, as the world begins to expect, be a new one chose: he likes it mightily, both for the King’s and Service’s sake, and the Duke of York, and will propound it to the Duke of York: and I confess, if there be one, I would be glad to be in.


10 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

1669...

"So Sir William, what do you think? Have I got what it takes to make it in politics these days?"

"It takes influence...And a degree of money, Pepys. Shouldn't be too difficult with your connections."

2012...

"So Sir William, what do you think? Have I got what it takes to make it in politics these days?"

"It takes money...And a degree of influence, Pepys. Shouldn't be too difficult with your connections."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to White Hall, where all of us waited on the Duke of York; and after our usual business done, "

Does anyone have a clue as to what "our usual business " is?

Jesse  •  Link

re: clue as to what “our usual business ” is

Not really but I'd hazard a guess that it might be like some status meetings I used to attend where everyone gets together and updates what they've been doing. Show the boss you've not been idle and get some feedback.

Bryan M  •  Link

Does anyone have a clue as to what “our usual business ” is?

The DoY's official job was Lord High Admiral which entailed operational control of the navy. The Navy Board had administrative responsibility for the navy; building and repairing ships, recruiting and paying sailors, victualling, etc. The DoY instigated (more or less) weekly meetings way back and initially Sam was quite nervous about them. Hence “our usual business”. Sam didn't really specify what the business was but I guess it was mainly about coordinating the Navy Board’s activities with the DoY operational plans for keeping the Dutch and French in their proper places. And occasionally board members defending themselves against totally scurrilous accusations of corruption.

From memory, the meetings started out being on Mondays but, like washing day, the day has varied.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This morning, among other things, talking with Sir W. Coventry, I did propose to him my putting in to serve in Parliament, if there should, as the world begins to expect, be a new one chose: he likes it mightily, both for the King’s and Service’s sake, and the Duke of York, and will propound it to the Duke of York: and I confess, if there be one, I would be glad to be in."

L&M: For Pepys's parliamentary career, see https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/11/27/ and https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/11/27/#c388…

Sam Ursu  •  Link

"All the afternoon I at the Office, while the young people went to see Bedlam."

Pretty sure this refers to the entertainment activity of Londoners paying to tour the Bedlam mental hospital.

My understanding is that the hospital was relocated in 1676 to a brand-new location, but the work was ongoing for several years, so possibly also underway in 1669. I also read that the Bedlam governor was actively promoting visitors "of Quality" at this time to donate to finance that new construction.

Usually, we think of touring Bedlam and viewing the "mad lunaticks" for laughs as a Georgian thing (late 1700s), but it does seem to be well underway in Pepys's era as well.

Matt Newton  •  Link

And the term ' Bedlam ' to mean chaos?

Mary Scrivener  •  Link

Matt, I think they went to see the famous ‘hospital’ that housed the severely mentally ill. It began in the mid-13th century and was still well know by Pepys time. The hospital gave the world the term for noisy chaos. I’m sure I’m not doing this Justice,if someone knows more about the place as a tourist stop, please weigh in.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sam, Matt and Mary, Bedlam is in blue in the text. You can click through on it to our Encyclopedia and there's some great information there from 2007 to clarify what this is about.

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