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Re: [pepysdiary] Sir John Baber

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  • Nicholas Balmer
    Hello Kate, Thanks for the news on Toger Morrice s Entring Book. Several years ago I read some of Morrice s correspondance, at Dr William s Library. I have
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 6, 2006
      Hello Kate,
      Thanks for the news on Toger Morrice's Entring Book. Several years ago I read some of Morrice's correspondance, at Dr William's Library.
      I have been looking forward to the full transcripts coming out very much, as I am aware that they spent a lot of time together.
      A few years ago I uncovered a receipt from Sir John Baber's grandson in which he acknowledged payment from a Humphrey Morrice for the hire of horses in 1709 for stag hunting.
      There is also a connection with a slightly earlier Morrice in the 1690's who appears to have nearly broken the flegling Bank of England, so I am really looking forward to the research coming out on the Morrice family, so that with any luck I can work out how this fits together.
      Nick Balmer
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Kate
      Sent: Monday, November 06, 2006 2:31 PM
      Subject: [pepysdiary] Sir John Baber

      Hello Nick
      Having done some research on Sir John Baber you might be interested to know he features frequently in the 'Entring Book' of Roger Morrice. Morrice is a sort of anti-Pepys: a Presbyterian who kept an epic news diary from 1678 into the 1690s. One of Morrice's chief sources of Court news was Baber so Baber clearly wasn't limiting his gossiping to Pepys!  I've posted a link to the Entring Book project site below, though it is now a bit outdated:
      The edition is due out in April 2007, so will hopefully be in major libraries sometime next year.

      Nicholas Balmer <nicholas.balmer1@ ntlworld. com> wrote:
      Hello Michael,
      For those of you who wish to fully understand the impact of the Plague in 1665 I can highly recommend "The Great Plague, The Story of London's Most Deadly Year" by A. Lloyd Moote and Dorothy Moote.
      It was published in 2003 by John Hopkin's Press.
      The book goes into both the origins of the plague but also its impact on London. There is a great deal of interest about how london functioned in those days as well.
      I found the book originally whilst researching my 8 x great grandfather Sir John Baber who was a Physician in Henrietta Street just off Covent Garden, just yards from Long Acre where the 1665 outbreak first started.  He was one of three physician's to the King, and was responsible for many of the precautions put in place to protect the court.
      In October 1667, Sir John petitioned “for a warrant for payment from the Exchequer of 954l 4s. arrears of his pension of 12s a day, from 1st December 1662 to 16th April 1667, there being no fund at the Green Cloth from which it can be paid.”.  He annexed a “Note of monies due to Sir John Baber; for 1597 days, total., 958l 4s.”[i]
      The petition, is just one of many attempts he had made to get payment for his work.  However it demonstrates the important role, Sir John was playing in ensuring that the King remained healthy.  One can but regret that we don’t have Sir John’s account of events during the Great Plague.  That he did play a role is clear from the following document, which describes arrangements that were made so that the Court could return to London, from it’s self imposed exile to avoid getting caught up in the epidemic.
      December 19th 1665. Westminster.
      Edm Godfrey to Fras. Lann.  Memoranda to be imparted to Mountjoy Earl of Newport.
                  The workhouse in the New Churchyard is finished, and the vault made the largest burying place in England.  The Lords Chamberlain’s letter, published by the King’s order in all churches near Whitehall, has been of great use to prevent the swarming of rascally lodgers, who, if they have not occasioned, have greatly spread the plague there, and brought more charge on the inhabitants than they are able to support.
                  All the common Sewers and watercourses have been cleaned against the return of the King and Court.  Has paid Dr. Innard at the pest house 200l, for services till All Hallow’s Day.
                  Since which he pretends to higher terms, on some agreement with Sir John Baber.  He and all his regiment are to be dismissed the pesthouse, except three warders and a nurse or two, to prevent its being pulled down as formerly.
                  Has met Mr. Warcupp twice a week in Covent Garden Vestry Meetings; they have agreed well, and the people seem satisfied with there government, except some poor, who cry out through dearness of fuel, and want of employment because King & Court are away, and some of the nobility and gentry forget their debts as well as their charity.  They have ordered all churchyards where many have been buried to be filled up with fresh mould, and earth a yard high laid on the graves etc. etc.[ii]
      From the above it would appear that Sir John must have been one of those people in authority, who were left in London to battle with the disease amongst the poor and those who could not flee. As both a Doctor and a Justice of the Peace, he was one of who attended the meetings of the St. Paul’s Vestry twice a week. I expect Sir John had to promise Dr. Innard and his brave staff a great deal, to get them to remain at his post in the Pesthouse.
      He was already a widower appears to have sent his own children to the Isle of Wight with his mother in law Lady Richards, where her appearance engendered panick as presumably the servants and villagers knew where she was coming from, and what her son in law was involved in.
      Inhabitants of Yaverland to Sir W. Oglander
      The Humble desire of ye Inhabitants of yaverland August the 30th (65)
      These few lines are to entreate yor worpp for to send to Bradinge yt they might sett a watch & ward to keepe out all newport people out of the towne wee are resolved to keepe a gard day & night att yarbridge & wee have beene with Major Holmes att the fort & he hath promise that none shall come that way & we doe understand that the Lady Richards is minded to come to Yaverland too morrow but we are resolved for to stop her & not to lett her come in & wee are fearfull if she might come in thorough Brading & soe to come over the wall by ye sluce therefore we thought fitt to acquainte your worshipp with it hopeinge that yor worshipp will send to Bradinge that they might secure that way
      From the records I know that Sir John waspart of the vestry for St Paul's Covent Garden at this time.  I cannot at present work out what he actually did, but I have discovered a curious set of minutes about a column put up after the plague in the Piazza which had Sir John's arms on it in reward for his services, which I think must have been related to the plague. Only 25 doctors and physicians stayed in London. Most fled. Those that stayed are identified in Moote's book, and their extremely interesting tales are told.
      In much of Europe there was a tradition of building ornamental columns to celebrate a cities deliverance from the Plague.  The Piazza at Covent Garden when it was originally laid out it was an empty square.  At some point in the 1630’s a single solitary tree was planted in the centre of the Piazza surrounded by some wooden railings.  In 1668 it was decided by the parishioners that a column be erected to replace the tree which was not growing very well.  A Mr. Tomlinson, who was probably Richard Tomlinson, a churchwarden, proposed the erection of the column.  In 1668 he informed the vestry : -
      “that he and his gentlemen had a desire to erect a Doricke columne of polished marble, for the support of a quadrangular dyall in the midst of the railes where now the trees are, it being very improbable that they should ever come to any maturity.”[iv]
      The Churchwarden’ s accounts for 1668-9 record the receipts of gifts “towards the Erecting of the Columne - £20 from the fifth Earl of Bedford, and £10 each from Sir Charles Cotterell, master of ceremonies, and Lord Denzil Holles. 
      £90 was paid to “Mr Keizar at the Sculpture of the Pallas for the Columne”, 8s. 6d. to Mr Wainwright for the four gnomons, and £2to Mr. Browne, “the mathematician, for his paines about the dial.”
      10s. was paid for “ Drawing A Modell of the Columne to be presented to the Vestry.”
      Then the churchwardens accounts go on to record that “Upon due consideration of those many signall services, that the Honorable Sir John Baber hath don this Parish from Time to Time Wee thought it good to affix his Coate of Armes, in one of the Heilds belonging to the Columne, as a Perpetual acknowledgement of our gratitude, and to Refuse any present from him that should be tendered Towards the Charge thereof.”[v]
      Sir John Baber appears in Pepy’s Diary on 12th-13th January 1666 when Pepy’s says-
      “And again my Lord Brouncker[i] doth tell us that he hath it from Sir John Baber, that relates to my Lord Craven, that my Lord Craven doth look after Sir G Carteret’s place and doth reckon himself sure of it.”[ii]

       Later on in 1670's together with Sir Robert Howard he would run a dirty tricks campaign to oust Pepy's from his Kings Lynn seat in Parliament, although from the correspondance preserved by Tanner they seem to have been friends until that point.

      [i] C.S.P.D. Volume CXCVII paragraph 93.
      [ii] C.S.P.D. Volume CXXXIX 1665-1666 paragraph 68.
      [iii] Source: (OG/89/11) from http://www.btintern et.com/~rob. martin1/bem/ plag.htm
      [iv] See “Survey of London, Volume XXXVI, page 79, and 331, originally from British Library scrapbook entitled “Gleanings relating to the Parish of Covent Garden Westminster” pressmark 1889 a 20.
      [v] Covent Garden Churchwardens Accounts, Westminster Records Office
      [i] Lord Brouncker 1620-1684, Navy commissioner 1664-1679.  Commissioner of the Duke of York’s Household to 1667, Chancellor to the Queen 1662 -1684.  He was a mathematician, and first President of the Royal Society, who carried out some of the first experiment science.  He designed a yacht for king Charles II.
      [ii] Taken from “The Diary of Samuel Pepys” Volume vii, 1666.  1972 edition published by G Bell & Sons Ltd.
      Nick Balmer

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