Up, and with Sir J. Minnes to the Duke of Albemarle, where we did much business, and I with good content to myself; among other things we did examine Nixon and Stanesby, about their late running from two Dutchmen;1 for which they are committed to a vessel to carry them to the fleete to be tried. A most fowle unhandsome thing as ever was heard, for plain cowardice on Nixon’s part. Thence with the Duke of Albemarle in his coach to my Lord Treasurer, and there was before the King (who ever now calls me by my name) and Lord Chancellor, and many other great Lords, discoursing about insuring of some of the King’s goods, wherein the King accepted of my motion that we should; and so away, well pleased. To the office, and dined, and then to the office again, and abroad to speak with Sir G. Carteret; but, Lord! to see how fraile a man I am, subject to my vanities, that can hardly forbear, though pressed with never so much business, my pursuing of pleasure, but home I got, and there very busy very late. Among other things consulting with Mr. Andrews about our Tangier business, wherein we are like to meet with some trouble, and my Lord Bellasses’s endeavour to supplant us, which vexes my mind; but, however, our undertaking is so honourable that we shall stand a tug for it I think. So home to supper and to bed.
- Captain Edward Nixon, of the “Elizabeth,” and Captain John Stanesby, of the “Eagle.” John Lanyon wrote to the Navy Commissioners from Plymouth, May 16th: “Understands from the seamen that the conduct of Captains Nixon and Stanesby in their late engagement with two Dutch capers was very foul; the night they left the Dutch, no lights were put out as formerly, and though in sight of them in the morning, they still kept on their way; the Eagle lay by some time, and both the enemy’s ships plied on her, but finding the Elizabeth nearly out of sight she also made sail; it is true the wind and sea were high, but there were no sufficient reasons for such endeavours to get from them.” (“Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1664-65, p. 367). Both captains were tried; Nixon was condemned to be shot but Stanesby was cleared, and Charnock asserts that he was commander the “Happy Return” in 1672. ↩