Thursday 12 January 1664/65

Up, and to White Hall about getting a privy seal for felling of the King’s timber for the navy, and to the Lords’ House to speak with my Lord Privy Seale about it, and so to the ‘Change, where to my last night’s ill news I met more. Spoke with a Frenchman who was taken, but released, by a Dutch man-of-war of thirty-six guns (with seven more of the like or greater ships), off the North Foreland, by Margett. Which is a strange attempt, that they should come to our teeth; but the wind being easterly, the wind that should bring our force from Portsmouth, will carry them away home. God preserve us against them, and pardon our making them in our discourse so contemptible an enemy! So home and to dinner, where Mr. Hollyard with us dined. So to the office, and there late till 11 at night and more, and then home to supper and to bed.

21 Annotations

Colin Sharp  •  Link

"by Margett."
That's how Margate is pronounced by the locals.
Colin from "Ramsgett"

Linda F  •  Link

Have to wonder how, in Sam's day, it was possible to predict that an easterly wind would remain easterly long enough to bring either relief from Plymouth or the Dutch out of its reach. Another lost art?
Could the Dutch and French both have been driven closer to the coast than intended by winter weather?
(And appreciate clarification of Margett, which I wrongly assumed was the Dutch naval officer's name.)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Margate is but ca. 15 km from Sandwich.

jeannine  •  Link

“Further Correspondence of Samuel Pepys”, edited by Tanner.

Sam to the Sandwich

12 January 1664[-5]

My last was touching the Prince, --the 10th. This is to give your Lordship an account of some ill news we have from the Straits, which I shall best do by transcribing my letter from a merchant of credit in Plymouth. There are no particular letters from Cadiz or the fleet of it, nor hath the King other notice of it than this, but yet the manner of the report makes it look for a truth.
Further, of the same unwelcome sound, I am to acquaint your Lordship that upon the ‘Change this day I spoke with a master of a French vessel who saith that on Tuesday last he was seized on by a Dutchman of 36 guns off the North Foreland, nor far from Margett, 7 Dutch ships of war being in company more, and great ships of 40 guns. Finding them all French and French goods, they released the vessel, taking only 3 English passengers and their trunks and goods. We have been all this afternoon very solicitous for our East India ships now outward bound in the Downs, but by advice this evening I find they were safe there yesterday, and no notice taken of any Dutch ships. However, the report of the Frenchman we believe to be true, and think it a great scape that they should not visit the Downs, which they might easily and safely done, and may yet. God preserve your Lordship, and send me better tidings for my next.
{Postscript]. I shall add only this, that our next ship of masts so long detained in Holland they have at least released and she is come home.

jeannine  •  Link

January 12

Here is an interesting letter from Minette (CII’s favorite sister) to Charles, regarding the great comet. This is from Ruth Norrington’s “My Dearest Minette”. Minette apparently shares the same humor as Charles does.

12-22 January

I have read the paper you send me regularly, and am glad to hear what is happening, in order to know what I am to reply. I tell my Lord Fitzhardinge the reason why there are many things I cannot speak of now, but I expect this will not last, and you will find it out first. The last time I wrote, I begged you to tell me what people think of the comet in England, and, two hours afterwards, I received yours, in which you asked me the same question. I must tell you then, that assemblies have been held at the Jesuit’s Observatory, to which all the wise men went and all the foolish ones too. They disputed according to their belief, but no two of them think alike! Some say it is the same star that has come back, and other that it is an altogether new one, and as one would have to go there to find the truth, I suppose the question must remain undecided, as well as the stuff of which it is made, which is also a matter fo great dispute. This is all that my ignorance permits me to tell you, but I daresay it is enough to satisfy your curiosity, since Messieurs les savants are not doubt everyone of them fools, or nearly so, which is all that will be told you today by your humble servant.

jeannine  •  Link

“Journals of the Earl of Sandwich” edited by R.C. Anderson

January 1665

12th. Thursday. About ¼ before 7 at night I saw the Blazing Star so near his place the night before that I could not point him (in a small globe) beside it. He was to sight of the same condition with that star in Ligature Piscium that I last observed him from. By my cross-staff distant from Aries upper horn 9° 18, Star in Ligatura Piscium of 6° decl. N. 5° 58’, Star in Bull’s back 18° 20’, Star in the point of the Triangle 15° 37’, the Moon 16° 05’. No stream discernable.

cgs  •  Link

Good old Easterlies have much fun with the tides of the Tems.

Mary  •  Link

that easterly.

An easterly wind blows *from* the east, not towards the east. An easterly would help to keep the Dutch ships close to the Kent shore and would hamper any English vessels that were trying to reach Kent from Portsmouth. Sam should surely have written 'westerly'.

George R  •  Link

Re. Mr Pepys comment about Easterly wind, I read it as the wind is easterly at present and a westerly could bring the fleet from Portsmouth but would assist the Dutch in scurrying away homewards.

Pedro  •  Link

"Margate is but ca. 15 km from Sandwich."

And Sandwich (Lord) is, from Jeannine’s annotation and his journal, a lot of miles away in St.Helen’s Road. An anchorage off St.Helens on the Isle of Wight, where he had arrived on the 31st December.

Pedro  •  Link

Tuesday last.

If Sam means the 10th January, Sandwich recorded the weather near the Isle of Wight as being hazy and windy.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

- contemptible an enemy -
I am glad I never met with any hostility in the UK, being a Dutchman. On the contrary: being Dutch often was an advantage.
One exception: if I said "I am Dutch " it was sometimes understood as 'Deutsch' and that was not always for the better. So: "I am from Holland".

Glyn  •  Link

"and pardon our making them in our discourse so contemptible an enemy!"

The English underestimated the Dutch before the fighting began, and in their discussions thought that they would be easy to defeat ("contemptible" in the sense of being hardly worth fighting, rather than being immoral). That was probably the prejudices of the aristocrats against a republican nation. Now that they are losing Pepys is sorry that everyone under-estimated the Dutch - but he's been feeling that for some time.

cgs  •  Link

Not every one chooses his government.

cgs  •  Link

Wim van der Meij on Sun -"... contemptible an enemy -
I am glad I never met with any hostility in the UK, being a Dutchman. On the contrary: being Dutch often was an advantage..."
There be an area called Holland in the shire of Lincolne, along with Fens that it was due to a Hollander/Dutchman that drained the fens thereby giving an nice area to grow nice veggies.

Pedro  •  Link

“and pardon our making them in our discourse so contemptible an enemy!”

Glyn, I read this differently and contemptible would mean more in the way of disgraceful. I believe that Sam, and many such as Evelyn, have an admiration for the Dutch as Sam has said of the retake of Goree…

“as well as justification to them in their doing wrong to no man as to his private [property], only takeing whatever is found to belong to the Company, and nothing else”.

“This put to that of Guinny makes me fear them mightily, and certainly they are a most wise people, and careful of their business.”

But Sam says “in our discourse” which I take to refer to the discourse of the country in general. Sam has not informed us of the propaganda war that is been whipped up, which is similar to that prior to the First Dutch War, as the old grievances are still not settled. The Amboyna massacre, as seen through English eyes, might feature in the Intelligencer.

I think it is too soon to say that any, bar the most cautious, think they are losing or that they have underestimated the Dutch.

cgs  •  Link

"...but the wind being easterly, the wind that should bring our force from Portsmouth,..."
Sam was misinformed?

Here is an overview of what setups generally do, and don't, bring snow during the winter months, which should hopefully answer a lot of the frequently asked questions.

"Easterly" snowfalls.

Generally the most well known of snow setups, this setup most often arises when high pressure comes out of Siberia into Scandinavia, and then ridges westwards giving the British Isles a cold easterly airflow.

cgs  •  Link

Not a word said of the activities of the Hollanders, the men of the 'Houses of' were concerned with settling their losses of income, or over spending of income, there were many foreclosures.

Ivan  •  Link

"But the wind being Easterly....."
L&M's footnote 1. reads "Recte, westerly", so Sam has made a mistake. Probably in a hurry!

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