9 Annotations

First Reading

language hat  •  Link

Companion entry:
John Creed was Pepys's principal rival for Sandwich's favor. Born in or near Oundle [in Northamptonshire, about 30 miles northwest of Cambridge], by Apr. 1656 he was in London conducting financial business at the orders of the Council of State, possibly through attachment to Mountagu's service in the Treasury. Certainly by March 1659 he was established in the Mountagu household as a secretary. In that summer he accompanied his master on the Baltic voyage as Admiral's secretary and Deputy-Treasurer of the fleet. But for the Dutch voyage of 1660 Mountagu preferred Pepys, and thereafter Pepys overhauled him in the race for advancement, although Creed remained on Mountagu's household staff and held three more appointments as muster-master and Deputy-Treasurer to the fleet in 1660-3. One reason for his falling back in Mountagu's favor was his puritanism. His letters to Mountagu before the Restoration drip with sanctimonious jargon... He had some private wealth, and (if Pepys is to be believed) was thoroughly mean with it

Hhomeboy  •  Link

Creed comes to life for me in this annotation...

'great Dickensian touch lh!

Nix  •  Link

How large was the poll tax that avoiding it would justify the expense and hassle of moving?

Dan Jones  •  Link

The actual Poll Tax in 1694, for example, was a shilling each quarter (i.e. 20 new pence p.a.)per member of the household, including servants etc. but Creed might have also been avoiding the other parts of the tax, he might have had to pay

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

John Creed of Oundle, Esq. From the way in which Pepys speaks of his friend, he was probably of humble origin, and nothing is known of his history previously to the Restoration, when he seems to have been a retainer in the service of Sir Edward Montagu. In 1662 he was made Secretary to the Commissioners for Tangier, and in 1668 he married Elizabeth Pickering, the niece of his original patron, by whom he had eleven children. Major Richard Creed, the eldest son, who was killed at the battle of Blenheim, lies buried in Tichmarsh Church in Northamptonshire, where there is also a monument erected to his father, describing him as "of Oundle," and as having served King Charles the Second in divers honourable employments at home and abroad, lived with honour, and died lamented, A.D. 1701. What these employments were cannot now be ascertained. There exists still a cenotaph to the memory of the major in Westminster Abbey. Mrs. Creed, wife of John Creed of Oundle, Esq.. was the only daughter of Sir Gilbert Pickering, Bart, by Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir Edward Montagu, and sister of Edward Montagu, first Earl of Sandwich.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Bill  •  Link

CREED, JOHN (fl. 1663), official; deputy-treasurer of the fleet, 1660; secretary to the commissioners for Tangier, 1662; F.R.S., 1663.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sasha Clarkson makes these good points about John Creed at

I think a bit too much has been made of Creed's alleged "lack of family connections".

Like the senior branches of the Pepys, the Creeds were landowners, and therefore mixed with the other members of the land-owning classes. In the area around Northamptonshire area, this would have included various branches of the Montagu family. That, and Creed's involvement with the Protectorate administration (Creed must have been a little older than Pepys), is likely to be how Creed came to Sandwich's attention to begin with.

However, it seems that the Creed family was more fervently Puritan than the Montagus and Pepys, and had connections to the regicide Maj. Gen. Harrison. Hence their position might have been more precarious after the Restoration. Therefore, John Creed clung to Sandwich like a lifeline, and Sandwich tolerated it and made use of him. There was a broad class solidarity cemented by some dark secrets.

Plus Creed in 1668 marries Sandwich’s niece, Elizabeth Pickering, and if Creed were an unconnected country bumpkin, that would not have happened.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.