Monday 14 December 1663

Up by candlelight, which I do not use to do, though it be very late, that is to say almost 8 o’clock, and out by coach to White Hall, where we all met and to the Duke, where I heard a large discourse between one that goes over an agent from the King to Legorne and thereabouts, to remove the inconveniences his ships are put to by denial of pratique; which is a thing that is now-a-days made use of only as a cheat, for a man may buy a bill of health for a piece of eight, and my enemy may agree with the Intendent of the Sante for ten pieces of eight or so; that he shall not give me a bill of health, and so spoil me in my design, whatever it be. This the King will not endure, and so resolves either to have it removed, or to keep all ships from coming in, or going out there, so long as his ships are stayed for want hereof. Then, my Lord Sandwich being there, we all went into the Duke’s closet and did our business. But among other things, Lord! what an account did Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten make of the pulling down and burning of the head of the Charles, where Cromwell was placed with people under his horse, and Peter, as the Duke called him, is praying to him; and Sir J. Minnes would needs infer the temper of the people from their joy at the doing of this and their building a gibbet for the hanging of his head up, when God knows, it is even the flinging away of 100l. out of the King’s purse, to the building of another, which it seems must be a Neptune. Thence I through White Hall only to see what was doing, but meeting none that I knew I went through the garden to my Lord Sandwich’s lodging, where I found my Lord got before me (which I did not intend or expect) and was there trying some musique, which he intends for an anthem of three parts, I know not whether for the King’s chapel or no, but he seems mighty intent upon it. But it did trouble me to hear him swear before God and other oathes, as he did now and then without any occasion, which methinks did so ill become him, and I hope will be a caution for me, it being so ill a thing in him. The musique being done, without showing me any good or ill countenance, he did give me his hat and so adieu, and went down to his coach without saying anything to me. He being gone I and Mr. Howe talked a good while. He tells me that my Lord, it is true, for a while after my letter, was displeased, and did shew many slightings of me when he had occasion of mentioning me to his Lordship, but that now my Lord is in good temper and he do believe will shew me as much respect as ever, and would have me not to refrain to come to him. This news I confess did much trouble me, but when I did hear how he is come to himself, and hath wholly left Chelsy, and the slut, and that I see he do follow his business, and becomes in better repute than before, I am rejoiced to see it, though it do cost me some disfavour for a time, for if not his good nature and ingenuity, yet I believe his memory will not bear it always in his mind. But it is my comfort that this is the thing that after so many years good service that has made him my enemy. Thence to the King’s Head ordinary, and there dined among a company of fine gentlemen; some of them discoursed of the King of France’s greatness, and how he is come to make the Princes of the Blood to take place of all foreign Embassadors, which it seems is granted by them of Venice and other States, and expected from my Lord. Hollis, our King’s Embassador there; and that either upon that score or something else he hath not had his entry yet in Paris, but hath received several affronts, and among others his harnesse cut, and his gentlemen of his horse killed, which will breed bad blood if true. They say also that the King of France hath hired threescore ships of Holland, and forty of the Swede, but nobody knows what to do; but some great designs he hath on foot against the next year. Thence by coach home and to my office, where I spent all the evening till night with Captain Taylor discoursing about keeping of masts, and when he was gone, with Sir W. Warren, who did give me excellent discourse about the same thing, which I have committed to paper, and then fell to other talk of his being at Chatham lately and there discoursing of his masts. Commissioner Pett did let fall several scurvy words concerning my pretending to know masts as well as any body, which I know proceeds ever since I told him I could measure a piece of timber as well as anybody employed by the King. But, however, I shall remember him for a black sheep again a good while, with all his fair words to me, and perhaps may let him know that my ignorance does the King as much good as all his knowledge, which would do more it is true if it were well used. Then we fell to talk of Sir J. Minnes’s and Sir W. Batten’s burning of Oliver’s head, while he was there; which was done with so much insulting and folly as I never heard of, and had the Trayned Band of Rochester to come to the solemnity, which when all comes to all, Commissioner Pett says it never was made for him; but it troubles me the King should suffer 100l. losse in his purse, to make a new one after it was forgot whose it was, or any words spoke of it. He being gone I mightily pleased with his discourse, by which I always learn something, I to read a little in Rushworth, and so home to supper to my wife, it having been washing day, and so to bed, my mind I confess a little troubled for my Lord Sandwich’s displeasure. But God will give me patience to bear since it rises from so good an occasion.

18 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

pratique
Ship's license for port facilities, awarded on presentation of a clean bill of health (Select Glossary)

L&M remind us that Leghorn was a port used by English ships for victualling, etc., but now the Spanish were spreading the rumor that these ships were bringing plague from Tangier, and so should be denied pratique.

Terry F   Link to this

L&M clarify Sirs Mennes and Batten's histrionic

"pulling down and burning of the [figure]head of the [ship The Royal] Charles, where Cromwell was placed with people [of 6 nations] under his horse, and Peter [Hugh Peters?], as the Duke called him, is praying to him;" to be replaced with a figure-head of Neptune.

What is this play to public acclaim about - with Trayned Bands and all - by men of supposed dignity?

Bradford   Link to this

Lovers of Dickens, who recurs inevitably to mind during the festive season (though this year there seem to be more "Nutcracker"s than "Christmas Carol"s about), will find it impossible not to think of Mr. Dick and King Charles's head. Happily, for those with vague recollections of the exact connection, the great lexicographer Michael Quinion of "World Wide Words" explains it all for us:

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-kin1.htm

It would not be too great a spoiler if someone should tell us, as a Christmas present, whether Neptune's Head did indeed replace the shriveled relic.

cumgranosalis   Link to this

"..., and the slut, ..." Sam read thy Horace,Satire,III,25-27
"Cum tua pervideas oculis mala lippus inunctis ;cur in amicorum vitiis tam cernis acutum quam aquilla?

When you view thy own evil, thine eyes be blinkered ; but thy friend failings , you see like that of an eagle.

Patricia   Link to this

"Up by candlelight, which I do not use to do, though it be very late, that is to say almost 8 o'clock" Several times lately, Pepys has commented on the amount of daylight to be seen when he gets up in the morning, or at evening. Since this isn't a new phenomenon, do you think he's suddenly turned his unquenchable curiosity this way? His knowledge of what causes fewer hours of daylight in winter is probably about equal to mine: I know why the ancients lit fires at the solstice, and welcome their modern equivalent, Christmas lights.

Terry F   Link to this

"Several times lately, Pepys has commented on the amount of daylight to be seen when he gets up in the morning, or at evening. Since this isn't a new phenomenon, do you think he's suddenly turned his unquenchable curiosity this way?"

Patricia, alert to the smallest clues, as usual.
Might Pepys's remarking on this also be a symptom that, in the back of his mind is the observation of 19 February 1662/63 - "my eyes begin to fail me, looking so long by candlelight upon white paper." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/02/19/

andy   Link to this

But it is my comfort that this is the thing that after so many years good service that has made him my enemy

It's perhaps as much a tribute to Sandwich's good nature as to Pepys' ability in the King's Navy Office that Sandwich didn't retaliate against him. I'm sure that if he had wanted to there would have been a long line of wenches to be found.

Pedro   Link to this

"where Cromwell was placed with people under his horse, and Peter, as the Duke called him, is praying to him;"

From vincent's background...

from J Evelyn:1655
9th ... my Bro: dining with me, we went to see the greate Ship(*2) newly built, by the
Usurper Oliver, carrying 96 brasse Guns, & of 1000 tunn: In the prow was Oliver on horseback
trampling 6 nations under foote, a Scott, Irishman, Dutch, French, Spaniard & English as was
easily made out by their several habits: A Fame held a laurell over his insulting head, & the word
God with us:
(2) The Naseby, renamed the Royal Charles in 1660, E went aboard
in 1665.

Hugh Peters could well be a good candidate as he was Chief Chaplin to Cromwell's army. Less likely would bet Peter Pett the designer of the ship launched in 1655.


Xjy   Link to this

Horace's lines
Let's give the man his due :-)

From Satires I.3.25ff

cum tua pervideas oculis mala lippus inunctis,
cur in amicorum vitiis tam cernis acutum
quam aut aquila aut serpens Epidaurius? [...]

That's got the scansion skipping.

"When you look on your own failings with such runny, gummed-up eyes,
why do you scan your friends' faults as sharply
as an eagle or an Epidaurian snake?"

That's a literal English version.

"Your own faults viewed with rheumy gummed-up eyes,
Why use that piercing gaze on errant friends,
Like eagle or enchanted snake?"

That's a less literal English version.

Rod McCaslin   Link to this

Are they just now taking the figurehead of Cromwell off the former Naseby? Its been nearly three years now since the monarchy returned. Why the delay?

Terry F   Link to this

"Are they just now taking the figurehead of Cromwell off the former Naseby? Its been nearly three years now since the monarchy returned. Why the delay?"
Rod McCaslin, Exactly!!
And for almost three years the Naseby's been called "The Royal Charles" - the King's son with the Head of his father's Usurper. And why are "they" the Comptroller and the Surveyor of the Navy , who ceremoniously decapitate Charles (as it were) - but really take Cromwell's Head. Why don't they put it on a pike?!

Pedro   Link to this

"Lord! what an account did Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten make of the pulling down and burning of the head of the Charles,"

As the Charles/Naseby brought the King over at the Restoration, this account would seem to be from the Minnes/Batten "book of tales".

Pedro   Link to this

"the Spanish were spreading the rumor that these ships were bringing plague from Tangier"

Fortuneately, the plague which affected the coast of North Africa during the latter half of the 17C, did not chance upon Tangier, a fact largely dependent upon luck and strict quarantine which was imposed on ships which entered the harbour. However, there were unspecified epidemics which swept through the garrison.

(The Army of Charles II...J.Childs)

Pedro   Link to this

"we all went into the Duke's closet and did our business."

This line would not have been out of place yesterday!

Glyn   Link to this

The depiction of Oliver Cromwell mentioned here appears on several medallions and in print, so maybe someone can find it.

As for the Royal Charles, I'm a little puzzled by this. It's very diplomatic of our Dutch readers not to have mentioned that the ship's insignia is now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Here it is:

http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_assets/NG-M...

The Museum is currently being redeveloped but this is still on display just past the entrance.

As you see this is the Royal Coat of Arms (what looks like a horse is a unicorn with the horn missing), not a Neptune. Perhaps the Neptune was for the other end of the ship or they decided later to have the Coat of Arms instead.

I can see why Pepys thinks that this is a waste of a lot of money but it is something that does have to be done to mark the change of regime. The big surprise is that it wasn't done earlier.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Nice of Sam to throw in the bit that he does admit (to himself at least) that Pett still knows more than he on naval matters. And a tribute to his good sense that he still seeks to learn from him. It seems Pett is torn between (jealous?) sniping at the upstart clerk and a desire to display his knowledge of all things nautical.

Pedro   Link to this

On this day...

Holmes in the Jersey reaches Funchal (Madeira), where he saw a small frigate bearing away before the wind under all the sail she could make. He gave chase and after 15 miles he was not gaining on her and gave up...the beverage wine that he was to take on had regretfully to be abandoned and course was set to Cape Verde.

Kevin Peter   Link to this

I believe that when Sam refers to the "head of the ship", he is referring to the carving that is often located at the bow of the ship underneath the bowsprit. I've usually seen carvings of women and mermaids and the like, but a carving of Cromwell crushing his enemies would certainly be imposing. A figure of Neptune at the bow would certainly make sense in this context as well.

The coat of arms in the Rijksmuseum was from the stern of the Royal Charles, so it's entirely possible that there was a Neptune on the bow.

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