Friday 20 May 1664

Up and to my office, whither by and by comes Mr. Cholmely, and staying till the rest of the company come he told me how Mr. Edward Montagu is turned out of the Court, not [to] return again. His fault, I perceive, was his pride, and most of all his affecting to seem great with the Queene and it seems indeed had more of her eare than any body else, and would be with her talking alone two or three hours together; insomuch that the Lords about the King, when he would be jesting with them about their wives, would tell the King that he must have a care of his wife too, for she hath now the gallant: and they say the King himself did once ask Montagu how his mistress (meaning the Queene) did. He grew so proud, and despised every body, besides suffering nobody, he or she, to get or do any thing about the Queene, that they all laboured to do him a good turn. They also say that he did give some affront to the Duke of Monmouth, which the King himself did speak to him of. But strange it is that this man should, from the greatest negligence in the world, come to be the miracle of attendance, so as to take all offices from everybody, either men or women, about the Queene. Insomuch that he was observed as a miracle, but that which is the worst, that which in a wise manner performed [would] turn to his greatest advantage, was by being so observed employed to his greatest wrong, the world concluding that there must be something more than ordinary to cause him to do this. So he is gone, nobody pitying but laughing at him; and he pretends only that he is gone to his father, that is sick in the country. By and by comes Povy, Creed, and Vernatty, and so to their accounts, wherein more trouble and vexation with Povy. That being done, I sent them going and myself fell to business till dinner. So home to dinner very pleasant. In the afternoon to my office, where busy again, and by and by came a letter from my father so full of trouble for discontents there between my mother and servants, and such troubles to my father from hence from Cave that hath my brother’s bastard that I know not what in the world to do, but with great trouble, it growing night, spent some time walking, and putting care as much as I could out of my head, with my wife in the garden, and so home to supper and to bed.

13 Annotations

jeannine   Link to this

May 20, 1664 Edward Montague gets sacked

"Edward Montagu is turned out of Court"....

From "The Way of the Montagues" by Bernard Falk

"As related by Lord Dartmouth in a note to Burnet's 'History of his Own Time', the episode has a quaint, almost pantomimic quality. The queen, never having had an admirer before nor after, asked the king what people meant by squeezing one by the hand. The king told her 'love'. 'Then', she said, 'Mr. Montague loves me mightily'; upon which he was turned out! The historian Boyer, presumably basing himself on reliable gossip confirms Dartmouth's facts. "

"That Dartmouth should appear the more exactly informed of the two [Falk is comparing Pepys version of the story to Dartmouth's] as to the immediate cause of Montagu's dismissal is scarcely surprising, having regard to his astonishing gift for worming confidences out of Charles, who in his company would divulge the most piquant of Court secrets. Evidently what angered the king were not doubts about his wife's chastity, which, as he was well aware, was above suspicion, but fear of being made an object of ridicule, always a sensitive point with the Stuarts. He did not want people going round the Court whispering that the queen's young Master of the Horse was either in love, or pretending to be in love, with his royal mistress, a situation rendered all the more absurd by Her Majesty's unsuitability for such a romantic role, no less than the knowledge, common to most people, of how manifold were Montagu's opportunities for safer and more congenial love-making elsewhere."

"The mischief, we repeat, lay not so much in what Montagu did, as in the gossip which his behavior attracted, and the damaging interpretation put on that behaviour. He had committed the unforgivable sin of turning against the king what had come to be regarded as a legitimate joke at his subject's expense. Rarely had the Restoration wits been provided with a more delectable topic on which to exercise their mocking talents. They were used to making merry over the king's goings-on, but now they could vary their mirth with sly quirps directed at his prudish queen, the last person on earth likely to be involved in a scandal. It gave them no end of moral satisfaction to be able behind his back to quiz Charles, who had mercilessly cuckolded so many husbands, on himself having had a narrow escape from the same humiliating experience; which explained why he had struck out with such savagery against his wife's personal attendant."

[Slight Spoiler] Whatever the real reason was for Montagu's dismissal, Catherine was wise enough to refrain from taking any steps to have Montagu pardoned, but, choose to show her loyalty by not replacing Montagu's position (Master of the Horse), until his untimely death in Bergen in 1665. His replacement would be his brother, Ralph Montagu.

Even Antonia Fraser, Charles' biographer felt that in this situation Charles, "like so many unfaithful husband, managed to work up a fit of illogical jealousy against Edward Montagu, the Queen's Master of the Horse, because he was thought to have squeezed her hand".

Jesse   Link to this

"that he is gone to his father, that is sick"

Not far from today's 'wanting to spend more time with the family.' Rather than Antonia Fraser's 'fit of illogical jealousy' (thanks Jeannine) Charles may have found a suitable excuse to rid his court of a continuing irritant. Again, not hard to find today's equivalent.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

There is always the possibility that Charles felt young Montagu was making fun at Catherine's expense and the foolish gossip was humilating to her. If nothing else, he was noted for taking offense at slights to her by others, despite his own oafish behavior towards her. That combined with an affront to the King's favorite child surely would have doomed the idiot fop even with the easygoing Charles.

***
"...spent some time walking, and putting care as much as I could out of my head, with my wife in the garden..." Lovely picture. And interesting that he seeks comfort from Bess' presence, not wishing to race off to Betty or some other lady. Clearly whatever makes him seek pleasure elsewhere from time to time, it's not incompatibility or general disharmony with his mate-for-life.

It also seems Bess has chosen not to view his inaction with Uncle in too bad a light...

Australian Susan   Link to this

"The mischief, we repeat, lay not so much in what Montagu did, as in the gossip which his behavior attracted, and the damaging interpretation put on that behaviour."
This reminds me of the French Lieutenant's Woman. What was assumed to have been done by viewing the actions taken is far in excess of what actually happened, but truth is totally disregarded.

Francis Bacon   Link to this

"truth is totally disregarded"

[I]t is not only the difficulty and labor, which men take in finding out of truth, nor again, that when it is found, it imposeth upon men's thoughts, that doth bring lies in favor; but a natural though corrupt love, of the lie itself.... Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond, or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men's minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds, of a number of men, poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...such troubles to my father from hence from Cave that hath my brother's bastard..."

While John Sr. can certainly not afford to bear the charges of poor Elizabeth "Taylor", surely an infant's care would not bankrupt his son, our hero.

"Shall I be plain? I wish the bastard(s) dead,
And I would have it suddenly performed..."
-Richard III

Gus Spier   Link to this

Young Ned turned out ...

I offer a different analysis of Mr. Edward's behavior. The Encyclopedia (http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/670/) reveals that young Edward had secretly converted to Roman Catholicism. He occupies a position at court (the Queen's Master of Horse) where he is a close, personal servant of the one of the few openly Catholic personages at court. He is devoted to her both as co-religionist and as romantic figure. He assumes more influence with the Queen than is appropriate, overbearing the other royal servants.

The queen herself is isolated at court. Even if the young man's actions are inappropriate, she will not correct him and put him in his place. Perhaps rashly, she uncovers her devotee to Charles. And the king, predictably, dismisses him from court.

I try very hard to remember that these are people ... and they laugh and cry, smile and hurt, much like the rest of us. The difference bewteen them and us is the consequence of their tears and chortles for the generations that follow.

jeannine   Link to this

"I try very hard to remember that these are people ... and they laugh and cry, smile and hurt, much like the rest of us. The difference bewteen them and us is the consequence of their tears and chortles for the generations that follow."

Wise words for us all to remember Gus and to add only more to ponder on the equation, read on, as it is not clear as to Edward's motives, or actual actions. Even though Sam never liked him (not exactly sure why), Charles was indebted to Montagu, as documented by Clarendon, as instrumental in bringing about the Restoration. In the planning Charles' advisors were aware that in order to pull off the Restoration that it would be extremely helpful to pull together all of the Montagu's, especially the other Edward (who would become Lord Sandwich) because he was in charge of the Fleet under Cromwell. As Falk writes (see book reference above):
"Could he but persuade his cousin to declare for the king, so Hyde wrote the Abbot [Walter Montagu] the situation would be saved, the king enabled to land in England, and the country delivered from the misery of contending factions. As events turned out, it was another Montagu, Edward [the one Sam refers to today]...who, as bearer of a special appeal from Charles, was to be the means of bringing the Commander of the Fleet over to the Royalist cause" (p. 53).

Prior to today's entry Edward had several issues with his father. On November 25, 1663 Charles had written to Montagu's father "indicating the pleasure it would give him to serve the house of Montagu. Charles 's letter, returning thanks to the old peer for heeding the plea that he should pardon his extravagant and profligate son Ned [Edward], was remarkable for acknowledging the service rendered him by that young man..."I am glad," he wrote, to hear my recommendation of your son to your kindness hath so good effect, for he has asked my leave to go and see you and to receive the fruits of it. I shall be glad to hear you have given the like encouragement to his brother [Ralph], of whom I have a very good opinion, though he hath not had the own good affection to my service, you shall always find me ready to entertain any opportunity of doing you a good turn, or to any of your relatives, [signed] Your affectionate friend, Charles R." (Falk p 63-64)

While Charles may have chosen a path quite different than that promised to Edward's father, Clarendon thought highly of Edward and remained grateful for his role in the Restoration throughout his life.

Bradford   Link to this

But how piquant that Catherine named, as Edward's replacement, his brother. There's a little rebuke therein which could hardly be objected to without making oneself ridiculous by one's own hand. Thanks, as always, Jeannine.

Terry F   Link to this

Ned's miracle

I take it the "miracle" Pepys reports is a "wonder" or "astonishment" and "unexpected," not quite yet David Hume's "violation of the laws of nature"! http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/hume-miracle...

"But strange it is that this man should, from the greatest negligence in the world, come to be the miracle of attendance....about the Queene. Insomuch that he was observed as a miracle..., the world concluding that there must be something more than ordinary to cause him to do this."

And so Ned is perceived to her as John Brown later to Queen Victoria, as though Catherine were supposing (imagining?) her negligent husband dead.

cape henry   Link to this

"...and such troubles to my father from hence from Cave that hath my brother's bastard that I know not what in the world to do, but with great trouble..." Note again that Sam evinces no personal interest in the 'bastard' other than to consider the trouble she may bring him and his family.

Nix   Link to this

The jealous king --

Perhaps Catherine should hire herself a dancing master?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Poor thing... Hopefully only Sam and his father know of little "Mrs. Taylor". One would like to believe someone in the family would care a bit if they knew.

***

Sam seems to be ever so slowly distancing himself from the Montagus... He's hinting my Lady is out of the loop at Court, unlike our very well appraised hero and I wonder at his calling her "Lady Sandwich" rather than the old "my Lady".

***

Penn's stock with Coventry is up these days due to his usefulness in the coming war...I wonder if that's encouraging a resentful Sam to find a new target in Povy. He does seem to enjoy taking shots at, even ridiculing those he once considered his superiors as he finds them wanting.

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