6 Annotations

First Reading

Pauline  •  Link

from L&M Companion
kt 1660, bt 1665 (c. 1615-80). Merchant and financier. He lived in London Wall in a large house (taxed on 22 hearths) next door to James Houblon, sen. He had provided money for the King when he was in exile and was a confidant of Clarendon, to whom he acted (with Sir. G. Carteret) as business adviser. Among the many offices he held were those of Commissioner of the Customs 1660-2, farmer of the customs 1662-71, collector of customs in London from 1669, and Treasurer of the Dunkirk garrison 1660-2. He served on the Council for Trade 1660-8 and that for Foreign Plantations 1661-70; amd was M.P. for Lyme Regis 1661-Jan. 79.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Sir John Shaw, a Farmer of the Customs, was created Baronet, in 1665, for his services in lending the King large sums of money during his exile. Ob. 1679-80.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Bill  •  Link

Sir John Shaw, once a vintners boy, got of the crown, out of the customs, and by other wayes, 60000l.
---A Seasonable Argument ... for a New Parliament. Andrew Marvell, [1677] 1776.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Sir John Shaw: among his many offices he held a surveyorship of the royal forests.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sir John Shaw was the MP for Lyme Regis during the Diary years. His biography for these times may explain Pepys challenges:

Sir John Shaw MP "was appointed to the committees to report on the effect of customs duties on the balance of trade, to renew the Navigation Acts, to consider a bill to naturalize prize ships, and to recommend increases in import duties.

"Meanwhile the Treasury alleged ‘fraudulent practices’ in the accounts of the first customs farm, of which he was the last surviving partner, and remarked of the Dunkirk account which he presented with Backwell in 1668 that it appeared ‘wholly irregular’.

"Even Shaw’s humble neighbour, the clerk of the Woolwich ropeyard, was able, with the support of Samuel Pepys, to defy the great man over a parcel of 100 tons of Flemish hemp, which Shaw wished to unload on the navy at £44 a ton. Every bundle had to be opened by this dutiful official ‘knowing what cheats are usually packed up in the midst of it’, and of the first 34 tons, 16 were cast out as refuse.

"In vain might Shaw write to the clerk to beware, lest it go to the King; he was neither to be terrified by menaces nor tempted by allurements, though he did complain of ‘more trouble and vexation over this pitiful parcel of stuff than I have known amongst £200,000 worth from others’.

"It is impossible not to conclude that Shaw was lucky to escape the humiliations that befell Carteret at the hands of the House of Commons."

Loaning a fortune to Charles II during his exile only gives you so much cover, Sir John. https://www.historyofparliamenton…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

May 12. 1668
Woolwich Ropeyard.
Wm. Bodham to the Navy Commissioners.

There are 15 or 16 tons of Sir John Shaw’s Flanders hemp thrown by and refused;
it must be weighed and taken away before he can tell what the net will be, and make out bills.
Asks orders how to rate a portion of it, as out of 35 tons, 15 or 16 were ejected.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 209.]


June 22. 1668
Woolwich Ropeyard.
Wm. Bodham, clerk of the ropeyard, to [Sam. Pepys].

Sir John Shaw has been speaking ill of the Woolwich officers for telling the truth, and also of the Board.
Sir John contracted in April 1667 to serve in 100 tons of the best Flanders hemp by 31 July following, and failed of performance;
in November he proffered it and was refused, the contract being nulled by himself, and the goods scarce worth half the price first agreed on.
On this he supplicated his Majesty and the Duke of York, and by some allegations and pretences, got an order to serve it in; I had it examined, and finding not one ton in 5 the best, and 16 tons out of 34 tons cast by as refuse, I would not take in any more without further directions.
I have suffered many menaces from Capt. Low for refusing, and Sir John by letter bade me beware lest he go to the King; I persisted however, and resolved, if their Honours would not screen me, to forfeit my place rather than my integrity.
Details of correspondence with Sir John about taking back the hemp, the price, &c.
I have had more trouble and vexation about this pitiful parcel of stuff than I have known in 4 years amongst 200,000/. worth from others.
[3 pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No. 216.]

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


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