Thursday 8 May 1662

At the office all the morning doing business alone, and then to the Wardrobe, where my Lady going out with the children to dinner I staid not, but returned home, and was overtaken in St. Paul’s Churchyard by Sir G. Carteret in his coach, and so he carried me to the Exchange, where I staid awhile. He told me that the Queen and the fleet were in Mount’s Bay on Monday last, and that the Queen endures her sickness pretty well. He also told me how Sir John Lawson hath done some execution upon the Turks in the Straight, of which I am glad, and told the news the first on the Exchange, and was much followed by merchants to tell it. So home and to dinner, and by and by to the office, and after the rest gone (my Lady Albemarle being this day at dinner at Sir W. Batten’s) Sir G. Carteret comes, and he and I walked in the garden, and, among other discourse, tells me that it is Mr. Coventry that is to come to us as a Commissioner of the Navy; at which he is much vexed, and cries out upon Sir W. Pen, and threatens him highly. And looking upon his lodgings, which are now enlarging, he in passion cried, “Guarda mi spada; for, by God, I may chance to keep him in Ireland, when he is there:” for Sir W. Pen is going thither with my Lord Lieutenant. But it is my design to keep much in with Sir George; and I think I have begun very well towards it. So to the office, and was there late doing business, and so with my head full of business I to bed.

17 Annotations

Pedro   Link to this

"Lawson hath done some execution on the Turks in the Straight"

Lawson had sailed under Sandwich on the 13th June 61, and on July 29th arrived at Algiers. After a council of war, Sandwich sent demands to the Algerians. They were refused, as they said the death of Cromwell had abrogated Blake's treaty. The weather favoured defence and the fleet stood of to wait for better weather. One week later Sandwich left for Lisbon with 5 ships, leaving Lawson with 10 ships of the line, to make as much nuisance of himself as he could.

Sep 6th Sandwich arrives at Lisbon, and stays for 4 weeks. Soon after arriving he receives the news of a substantial success gained by Lawson against the Algerians. Two merchant ships and two men of war had been captured and another driven ashore. Lawson is sent orders to join him in Tangier Bay.

After the handover of Tangier to Lord Peterborough at the end of January, Sandwich decided that, with the presence of the fleet from England under Mennes, he had such large superiority over the Dutch, that he could despatch a powerful squadron under Lawson to re-enter the Med and resume hostilities against the Algerians. Lawson was once again successful, even extorting a treaty from them later in the year.
(This success will have implications later.)

Summary from Ollard’s biography of Sandwich.

dirk   Link to this

"Sir John Lawson hath done some execution upon the Turks in the Straight, ... and told the news the first on the Exchange, and was much followed by merchants to tell it"

Obviously this was good news for merchants whose vessels were in constant danger in the Straights of Gibraltar. They would all have been eager to hear all about it.

Gibraltar itself not being in British hands yet, the navy lacked a permanent foothold close to the action. Successes like Lawson's might therefore be expected to have only a short term effect. Any chance of the British using some Portuguese port as a basis for future expeditions?

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: "...and told the news the first on the exchange..."

A heady day for Sam! It's always nice to be among the first in the know -- information is power, as I'm sure was true even then (perhaps more so, since information moved more slowly than now). Add to that his perception of his rising importance in Sir George's eyes, and of Sir George's confidence in him as a confidant (all according to plan, thank you very much), and no wonder he goes to bed with his "head full of business."

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

also the House of Commons did mention "...Captives at Algiers, &c.
Sir Jervas Hollis delivers a Message from his Majesty,
That he had, upon the Petition of the Captives of Algiers, recommended them to this House, to take their Case into Consideration."
Ordered, That the Debate of the Matter touching the Captives of Algiers be heard on Friday..."

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 7 May 1662', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 422-23. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com.... Date accessed: 09 May 2005.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"navy lacked a permanent foothold"
Is this what they are after with Tangier? But got a much better deal wit hGibralter. Also Malta.
See The Command of the Ocean: a Naval history of Britain 1649-1815 by N.A.M. Rodger, Allen Lane, 2004, ISBN 0713994118
The author is an ex-Admiral and has written other books about the Royal navy, so he has all the personal experience to make this an excellent read. I have not yet read it, but it is now on my to-be-read list. Large section on Pepys and the Navy, also Penn and Batten and much else to interest us.
Amazon link http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0...
Amazon.co.uk link
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/071399...

(Added to further reading section)

J A Gioia   Link to this

Guarda mi spada

"watch my sword"

Ruben   Link to this

"Guarda mi spada" (Italian)
...Sir Carteret raises his sword by the sheath's blade, showing Pepys the cross formed between the handle and the blade and cries "guarda mi spada"...meaning "by this cross I swear!" for, by God, I may chance ...etc.
The cross being in a sword made the promise more emphatic, and more agressive...

Pedro   Link to this

"the Queen endures her sickness pretty well."

Many accounts of the voyage, such as that of Davidson, say that Catherine never lost her courage and composure. The Portuguese historian Rau says--

"The voyage was very stormy, and for a few days they were assaulted by a storm that put them in great danger. The fear of the passengers, as they were tormented by the noise of cracking of wooden rods and the snapping of the masts, they thought that their hour had arrived. Catarina suffered the effects of the sea that kept her in the seclusion of her rooms."

"Sandwich, to distract and cheer her up, came at night with his musicians, to play and sing at her door."

dirk   Link to this

"some execution upon the Turks in the Straight"

Read a private Hagman's report of his encounter with the Moors at Tangiers five days earlier:
"On the 3rd May we had our first real engagement with the Moors..."

http://www.army.mod.uk/tigers/battletour.htm

Pauline   Link to this

'a private Hagman's report’
Thanks, dirk, for this very interesting link.

john lauer   Link to this

"Sword watches me"
is how Babelfish renders it.

Robert Gertz   Link to this


So Honest Marshall (er Commissioner) Will Coventry is coming to town to rout out corruption...No wonder Treasurer Carteret's nervous. But what's Carteret got against good Admiral Sir WP? Unless Penn Sr's been less skillful in his 'dealings' in the office which threatens to expose their cozy nest?

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

Pvt. Hagman vs official report. "Tis Like the great victory on Jamaica and neer a mention of the drubbing weeks before at Santa Domingo;
Nowt changes 'wot' the PBI see and the His Lordship dispaches be two different battles fought on the same day and same location.
salt on the wound and then sniff the pinch.
Thanks Dirk for the peek.

swervin dave mcirvine   Link to this

A military man named hagman in Tangier, hmmm--one wonders if he found a bottle with a bare-midriffed genie in it. Tis well the English are now defending tiny lil princess Braggo's dowry, though: the moors, like, totally pwnz0red the portugeuse at tangiers. Game over, d00d.

Pedro   Link to this

Tis well the English are now defending tiny lil princess Braggo's dowry, though: the moors, like, totally pwnz0red the portugeuse at tangiers.

Old Rowley's eyes lit up at the possible acquisition of Tangier from the Portuguese, so much so, that he insisted that it was handed over before the marriage. The Portuguese first took over Tangier in 1471, and held it for nearly 200 years. They had constant battles with the Moors, and at this time in the diary they were fighting for their independent existence against Spain, after years of occupation.
Little Catarina's mom was a very shrewd negotiator, and as mentioned before, even with our great military might, we decided to give it up as a bad job some 18 years later.

Pedro   Link to this

"Is this what they are after with Tangier? But got a much better deal with Gibralter. Also Malta."

Ollard in his biography of Sandwich mentions that at the Restoration, the only two members of the Privy Council for the Navy with naval experience were Monck and Sandwich. Sandwich having an analytical turn of mind, and being a "blue water" man, more concerned that the navy should protect and expand the ocean trade, not to bicker with the Dutch over herring fishing.

"Sandwich subscribed to Cromwell's primary objective, the securing of a permanent base at the entry of the Med, preferably Gibraltar. This would mean that a strong squadron would always be in a position to hinder Spain and France from uniting their Med and Atlantic fleets, to harry and pillage the treasure convoys returning from Spanish America and, inside the Med, to teach the pirates of Algiers and Tripoli and their no less rapacious Christian rivals the Knights of St. John at Malta and those of St. Stephen at Pisa a much-needed lesson. Sandwich had already surveyed and made drawings of Gibraltar on his first Med cruise, and his journal shows that he revisited it at the first opportunity after the Restoration.

Pedro   Link to this

“He told me that the Queen and the fleet were in Mount’s Bay on Monday last,”

On this day Allin is on his way to Lisbon in the Foresight with horses for Portugal. He is near Mount’s Bay, and meets the fleet carrying the Queene…

“…Sir John Mennes sent his boat aboard for me…he wished me to speak the General, to know the Queen’s pleasure, so I stood close in to the bay where he came to anchor. I went aboard and kissed the Queen’s hand who ordered me to stay for her letters, which were not finished before ten o’clock…”

(Journals of Sir Thomas Allin edited by RC Anderson)

Interesting here is that there is a lack of known letters from Catherine to her mother, while there are many going the other way.

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