Thursday 25 June 1663

Up both of us pretty early and to my chamber, where he and I did draw up a letter to Sir G. Carteret in excuse and preparation for Creed against we meet before the Duke upon his accounts, which I drew up and it proved very well, but I am pleased to see with what secret cunning and variety of artifice this Creed has carried on his business even unknown to me, which he is now forced by an accident to communicate to me. So that taking up all the papers of moment which lead to the clearing of his accounts unobserved out of the Controller’s hand, which he now makes great use of; knowing that the Controller has not wherewith to betray him. About this all the morning, only Mr. Bland came to me about some business of his, and told me the news, which holds to be true, that the Portuguese did let in the Spaniard by a plot, and they being in the midst of the country and we believing that they would have taken the whole country, they did all rise and kill the whole body, near 8,000 men, and Don John of Austria having two horses killed under him, was forced with one man to flee away. Sir George Carteret at the office (after dinner, and Creed being gone, for both now and yesterday I was afraid to have him seen by Sir G. Carteret with me, for fear that he should increase his doubt that I am of a plot with Creed in the business of his accounts) did tell us that upon Tuesday last, being with my Lord Treasurer, he showed him a letter from Portugall speaking of the advance of the Spaniards into their country, and yet that the Portuguese were never more courageous than now; for by an old prophecy, from France, sent thither some years, though not many since, from the French King, it is foretold that the Spaniards should come into their country, and in such a valley they should be all killed, and then their country should be wholly delivered from the Spaniards. This was on Tuesday last, and yesterday came the very first news that in this very valley they had thus routed and killed the Spaniards, which is very strange but true. So late at the office, and then home to supper and to bed. This noon I received a letter from the country from my wife, wherein she seems much pleased with the country; God continue that she may have pleasure while she is there. She, by my Lady’s advice, desires a new petticoat of the new silk striped stuff, very pretty. So I went to Paternoster Row presently, and bought her one, with Mr. Creed’s help, a very fine rich one, the best I did see there, and much better than she desires or expects, and sent it by Creed to Unthanke to be made against tomorrow to send by the carrier, thinking it had been but Wednesday to-day, but I found myself mistaken, and also the taylor being out of the way, it could not be done, but the stuff was sent me back at night by Creed to dispose of some other way to make, but now I shall keep it to next week.

22 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

What a pity that the useful surname "Unthanke" has passed from usage---or has it?
Here in the "dear old dirty Mid-South" we rejoice in a judge named Dollars and both bankers and preachers named Swindoll.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Info re Unthanke as a surname
http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?gsfn...

TerryF   Link to this

"Don John of Austria [the Younger]... was forced...to flee away"

"Don Juan José de Austria, Count of Oñate (1629 - 17 September 1679) was a Spanish general and political figure. He served as the prime minister of Spain between 1677 and 1679....During 1661 and 1662 he commanded against the Portuguese in Estremadura. The Spanish troops were ill-appointed, irregularly paid and un-trustworthy, but they were superior in numbers and some successes were gained. If Don John had not suffered from the indolence which Clarendon, who knew him, considered his chief defect, the Portuguese would have been hard pressed. The greater part of the south of Portugal was overrun, but in 1663 the Portuguese were reinforced by a body of English troops, and were put under the command of the Huguenot Schomberg. By him Don John was completely beaten at Estremos." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_of_Austria_th...

Bradford   Link to this

Most interesting, A. Susan; and apparently Unthanke is still well-known enough for someone to take it as their screen name.

Lest you thing Sam's "very strange but true" sounds quaint, type it into Advanced Google Exact Phrase. (I'll spare you the URL, which would reach from Pepysville to Portugal and back.)

dirk   Link to this

"for by an old prophecy, from France, sent thither some years, though not many since"

Could be one of Nostradamus' prophecies...

http://www.nostradamus500.com/GenFAQs.htm
http://www.propheties.it/no/nostradamus.html
http://nostradamusquatrains.com/

Googling Nostradamus' quatrains, I haven't been able to find one that contains anything close to the prophecy mentioned here...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

and bought her one, with Mr. Creed’s help, a very fine rich one, ...

Creed's fashion or financial assistance, or both? Pepys' does seem to have a candle to the devil.

tel   Link to this

So that taking up all the papers of moment which lead to the clearing of his accounts unobserved out of the Controller’s hand, which he now makes great use of; knowing that the Controller has not wherewith to betray him.
Can anyone clarify this? It has a hint of blackmail about it.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Interesting that Sam doesn't mention the role of the English support force in Portugal. News may travel slow but I would think that would be stressed as a triumph for Charles' policy even in the "very first news". We'll see shortly I suppose but it would be interesting if the sending of the support force had been a state secret in case of defeat.
***

Now there's a nice side of Sam...Running right out to buy whatever the Missus' requests and "better than she desires or expects."

Apparently Lady Jem has made Brampton bearable...

E   Link to this

There was a famous Unthank family at Norwich. It can cause confusion when you give directions "You take the Unthank Road..." "The what????"

John M   Link to this

"and bought her one, with Mr. Creed’s help"

This must mean that either Sam borrowed some money from Creed, or that Creed gave the money as a gift in return for Sam drawing up the letter to Sir G. Carteret. The other possible explanation - that Sam consulted Creed for advice on buying silk for petticoats seems most unlikely.

Who is the Controller? Just what is this murky business all about.

Bob T   Link to this

Sam consulted Creed for advice on buying silk for petticoats seems most unlikely

Not really. Two males looking at women's clothing, and attempting to buy something. "Looks OK to me, what do you think?"
"I don't know. If she doesn't like it, you can always bring it back."

jeannine   Link to this

"that the Portuguese did let in the Spaniard by a plot, and they being in the midst of the country and we believing that they would have taken the whole country, they did all rise and kill the whole body, near 8,000 men, and Don John of Austria having two horses killed under him, was forced with one man to flee away"

Sam is referring to the battle of Ameixial which was actually fought on June 8th (but he is just getting news of the victory). Davidson explains that Queen Catherine was overjoyed at the news of the Portuguese win. “The English arms had helped to win the day, and the Spanish were driven back from their steady march on Lisbon and totally routed. One of the Portuguese generals, the Conde de Villa Flor, seeing the courage and ardour which the English regiment under Colonel Hunt forced the steep hill held by Don John of Austria, cried aloud, “These heretics are better to us than all our saints!’ It is incredible that King Alphonzo rewarded the saviours of the day with a mere gift of snuff, which they disdainfully flung on the ground at their feet. Charles sent them forth thousand crowns and his thanks, as a reparation. It must be said, by way of some extenuation of Alphonzo’s niggardliness, that the Portuguese exchequer was practically exhausted.”

There is no doubt of the magnitude of the English bravery and the importance of the win to the Portugal. King Alphonzo, as we must remember was both mentally and physically disabled and the country so poor that there wasn’t much of anything to offer to the English soldiers (nor to pay the remainder of her outstanding dowry promised the Charles at their marriage). Catherine, although living in the court of Charles II was not at all a part” of it in terms of the popular and “beautiful people” living decadent lives. Her wins, during her Queenship will be found in the wins for Portugal, so this is truly a happy day for her.

To see where the battle took place see #4 on this map

http://www.portugalvirtual.pt/_tourism/plains/e...

More general historical background on Portugal during this time

http://portugalfromtherestorationtothe1755earth...

jeannine   Link to this

"She, by my Lady’s advice, desires a new petticoat of the new silk striped stuff, very pretty"

When "my Lady" offers advice, Sam takes note and acts promptly. As I recall, this isn't the only time that Lady Sandwich has told Sam to take better care of his wife. Although we often debate Elizabeth's "likeability" in terms of her issues with servants, etc. Lady Sandwich is consistently one of her fans.

language hat   Link to this

Thanks, jeannine -- great background info!

language hat   Link to this

Unthank:
From a noun "unthank" that had been out of use for a century by Pepys' day, but of course obsolete words often live on as surnames. OED:
[OE. unþanc masc. (f. un- UN-1 12 + þanc THANK n.), = OFris. unthonk (WFris. ontank, NFris. untoonk), MDu. ondanc (Du. ondank), MLG. undank, OHG. undanch, unthank (MHG. undanc, G. undank) ingratitude, displeasure, etc.; ON. úþökk fem., a reproach, censure, etc. (MSw. othak, Sw. otack, MDa. and Da. utak ingratitude, etc.).]
I. 1. Absence of gratitude or good-will; unfavourable thought or feeling; ill-will, disfavour; displeasure expressed in actions or words.
[etc.]

Note that the "THANK n." mentioned in the etymology is not the word we're used to but an obsolete noun meaning 'thought.'

Paul Dyson   Link to this

Now there’s a nice side of Sam…Running right out to buy whatever the Missus’ requests and “better than she desires or expects.”

Should we be a mite cynical and attribute Sam's unaccustomed and instant generosity to a desire to impress Lady Jemima? Here's a neat cue for one of your superb dialogues, Robert, with Jem and Bess conspiring to ease some cash from Sam's purse.

Sam's words: "and much better than she desires or expects" have a faint echo of a Book of Common Prayer collect (12th Sunday after Trinity) "Almighty and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve ...", so perhaps he wasn't always asleep in church.

celtcahill   Link to this

" So that taking up all the papers of moment which lead to the clearing of his accounts unobserved out of the Controller’s hand, which he now makes great use of; knowing that the Controller has not wherewith to betray him. "

Creed appears to have shuffled the papers that would better document his accounts such that the accounts look better than they really are, contrary documentation now absent.

TerryF   Link to this

"taking up all the papers of moment which lead to the clearing of his accounts unobserved out of the Controller’s hand"

L&M observe that Creed had spent £4600 plus on supplies in 1661-62 as Deputy-Treasurer of Sandwich's fleet in the Mediterranean.

My read on this is that he would, of necessity, have done so as need arose, without the supervision of the Navy treasurer (Controller), and that his receipts, etc., would have been far from orderly. SP is helping organize a claim; but that it is irregularly bloated isn't per se clear.

Pedro   Link to this

The Fog of War.

Jeannine…The quotation attributed to Conde Vila Flor may not have been at the Battle of Ameixial. Davidson would probably have taken it from the great historian Agnes Srickland's biography (c 1845) where the source is Colbatch (1664-1748). However, the same source is quoted by the modern historian LME Shaw (Trade, Inquisition and the English Nation in Portugal) as being in the later Battle of Valença. Sam is unlikely to mention this battle and so Shaw says...

“The behaviour of the troops in the battles of Ameixial and Valença (1663/4) was never given its due. To show his appreciation of their efforts at Ameixial, Afonso had sent three pounds of snuff for each company. The men had thrown it in the air!

After Valença, the moral of the English troops was particularly low. As a result of not being given support from the Portuguese and the French which they had a right to expect, the English casualties were extremely high. More than 450 were killed and wounded, whereas no more than 150 casualties were sustained by the other nationalities put together. As the English numbered about one in twenty, that was a high proportion. A chaplain at the battle told Colbatch that the steady advance of the English up a steep hill under enemy fire, without firing themselves, was considered by the Portuguese to have been so foolhardy, that they thought the English were deserting to Spain. They were given no covering fire from the French and the Portuguese. Vila Flor, the Portuguese commanding officer was reported to have said "those heretics are better than our saints".

Pedro   Link to this

Battle of Ameixial (or Canal)

I do not see any evidence of letting the Spaniard in by plot as the Portuguese were fighting desperately to keep their independence. Don John of Austria had invaded Portugal in 61, and again in 62 when the heat and fevers of the summer forced him to retreat, but he was back the following year for his third offensive. In 62 Schomberg, the French General who had arrived with 600 men, introduced new formations and discipline to the army. The Marriage Treaty had seen the arrival of English troops, and in June 62 Castelo Melhor, (a military man himself), made a successful coup and ruled the country in the name of Afonso.

Castelo Melhor reorganized the army and appointed Conde de Vila Flor and Schomberg as commanders (subject to many differences of opinion) to repel DJ's advance. The campaign had not started well and DJ took many towns including Evora and opened the way to Lisbon, but DJ was over extending himself in the Alentejo. Marialva the Portuguese commander reorganised, and with the help of one third English and a battalion of French, stretched DJ's lines of communication, and so he had to retreat. Vila Flor and Schomberg pushed his retreat. DJ occupied the high forts of Ameixial intending to send prisoners and supplies, and later artillery and a steady flow of troops, by road to Canal, unknown to the Portuguese. D. Luís de Meneses, artillery commander, noticed that fire had been reduced from 8 to 4, and so Schomberg decided to attack. DJ still believed that the forts were strong enough to hold the Portuguese for some time and continued to move troops, but the Portuguese rapidly took the heights and the retreat turned to flight. The Spanish were caught along the narrow road to Canal and the Battle of Ameixial (or Canal) was fought.

Casualties seem to have been about 4000 Spanish dead, and 3500 prisoners and 2500 injures, plus much equipment. DJ and only a few more made it to Arronches.

As for the French prophesy I can at the moment only find two references from Portuguese sources, and the source is quoted as Samuel Pepys’ Diary, which is very strange but true.

Pedro   Link to this

“It must be said, by way of some extenuation of Alphonso’s niggardliness, that the Portuguese exchequer was practically exhausted.” (Davidson from Jeannine’s annotation)

On the 25 June 1663 (Portuguese date) at Lisbon arrived around 40 merchant ships with valuable commodities in the range of 7 to 8 million cruzados…

The finance for the war for 62 and 63 was a million cruzados.

(The Ministry of Afonso VI …Vasconcellos e Souza)

Pauline   Link to this

"...with what secret cunning and variety of artifice this Creed has carried on his business even unknown to me..."
I DO like the sense "this Creed" lends to Sam's astonishment and being tickled at Creed's guile.

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