Monday 17 March 1661/62

All the morning at the office by myself about setting things in order there, and so at noon to the Exchange to see and be seen, and so home to dinner and then to the office again till night, and then home and after supper and reading a while to bed.

Last night the Blackmore pink brought the three prisoners, Barkestead, Okey, and Corbet, to the Tower, being taken at Delfe in Holland; where, the Captain tells me, the Dutch were a good while before they could be persuaded to let them go, they being taken prisoners in their land. But Sir G. Downing would not be answered so: though all the world takes notice of him for a most ungrateful villain for his pains.

9 Annotations

Australian Susan  •  Link

"to see and be seen"
Oh the importance of your position - keep yourself in the public eye or vanish for everymore - and no hope of future preferment - we shall soon see, no doubt, the recording of more barrells of oysters for colleagues or hoped-for colleagues, the bottles of wine, the theatre tickets. Nothing much changes, does it in London?

Miss Ann  •  Link

Seems those of us with paperwork to do always end up spending many hours in the office "setting things in order" - that is exactly what I've been doing today with my new computer system, a wonderful invention but still so much time setting the damn thing up to be efficient!

Regarding the prisoners being transported back to England - did they have an extradition treaty with the Dutch or did they just turn up and take what prisoners they deigned to be theirs? Old Sir G is trying very hard to impress the right people.

Sam's excursion to The Exchange to see and be seen - who else would be there at noon?, surely those whom he would wish to impress would be hard at work at this time?

dirk  •  Link

the prisoners

Clearly the Dutch agreed with the prisoners's removal to Britain - with some reluctance ("the Dutch were a good while before they could be persuaded to let them go"). It seems improbable that there would have been an extradition treaty at the time, but maybe L&M has more to tell about this.

Jesse  •  Link

"to see and be seen"

First (and probably not last?) time this phrase has been used here (if my search was correct) and I was somewhat surprised, thinking it to be more modern.

‘Spectatvm venivnt, venivnt spectentvr vt ipsae’ - They come to see, they come that they themselves be seen.

Pauline  •  Link

"...the Dutch were a good while before they could be persuaded to let them go..."
Sounds like the kind of incidence that will lead to establishing "extradiction treaties".

JohnT  •  Link

" The captain tells me..." Possibly Sam met him at the Exchange, when he was parading to see and be seen. An example of how items of hard political news were communicated through presumably a small informal network of people who knew when and where to be. And Sam would pass it on, with the editorial spin ( " a most ungrateful villain " ) to others he met that day and next.

Sjoerd  •  Link

The "trade" of the english regicides by the Dutch Staten Generaal to Charles II was a very opportunistic piece of politics on behalf of the Staten. And it was perceived to be so by the lower authorities, whose sympathies were maybe more with the puritan-minded refugees then with the absolute monarch, and even less with the treacherous "ambassador" Downing.

"But in the spring of 1662 the states performed a service for Charles II which tended to some extent to counteract the effect of these incidents. The regicides had been excepted from the bill of amnesty which had been passed in the summer of 1660.39 Some had been taken, others were in hiding in the republic. Since the passing of the bill attempts had been made to secure the latter, but without avail, because it seemed impossible to obtain an order for their arrest without at the same time giving them notice of the impending action. The regicides spent much time in Rotterdam, and it was possibly the municipal authorities who warned them of their danger. At last Downing bribed a certain Abraham Kicke, who was entrusted with the correspondence of the fugitives, to assist him in capturing them. Okey, Barkstead, and Corbet went to Delft in March 1662, and Downing hastened to take advantage of his opportunity. He secured an order from De Witt for the arrest of these men, and with a few English officers arrested them at the house of Kicke. Yet the municipality of Delft would not permit the prisoners to be removed from its jurisdiction until Downing had obtained an order from De Witt for their extradition; and then, not without danger of rescue from the sympathetic Hollanders, the men were conveyed to the coast and thence to England."

neven  •  Link

Since the "spectatum veniunt" verse is from Ovid, I believe things in Rome went pretty much the same way back then too. Could someone check when did the translation enter English usage?

language hat  •  Link

to see and be seen:

c1386 CHAUCER Wife's Prol. 552:
I hadde the bettre leyser for to pleye
And for to se and eek for to be seye [=seen]
Of lusty folk.

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