Thursday 18 May 1665

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.

  1. 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.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"my Lord Bellasses’s endeavour to supplant us," i.e., say L&M, in the victualing of Tangier (they cite a letter from Povey to Pepys of 19 May).

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"we shall stand a tug for it," i.e., "endure pressure" on its behalf (L&M Large Glossary).

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"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"

What temptations prompted this sentence? Do tell, Samuel! In any case, it looks as if he resisted ... for now.

Love "we shall stand a tug for it." How tempted I am sometimes to work these expressions into everyday life, but knowledge of the puzzled looks I'd get keeps me from it.

Larry Bunce   Link to this

"and there was before the King (who ever now calls me by my name)"
Our boy Sam is no stranger to the King. He was on the ship that brought Charles II back from Holland in 1660, and on 24 May reported "I was called to write a pass for my Lord Mandeville to take up horses to London, which I wrote in the King’s name, and carried it to him to sign, which was the first and only one that ever he signed in the ship Charles." Sam reported with some pride when they got back to London (9 June) that he met the King in Green Park. I was under the impression that Sam talked with the King, but there seems to be some doubt that the King noticed Sam at that time.
In the earlier entries, Sam was just a secretary to Lord Montagu, but now the King is taking notice of Sam for his own work.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

(Can an American Democrat resist the chance Sam generously gives me?)

Nixon never changes...

(Seriously, like most, I admire some things, hate much in the man. But, back to Sam.)

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...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."

Details, Sam! What foul delights and pleasures of the world are we missing out on here?!

"The Greatest Play Since 'Siege of RhodesII', sir. Come on in and have a gander at our Nelly!"

Oh...Nelly. Eyes revealing if crude portrait waved by leering barker.

No, business...War...Must resist...

"Mr. Pepys...So wonderful to meet with you like this."

"Mrs. Martin? How...Nice..."

"I've been missing your...Trade...At my place, sir." Bright smile, slight display of lower leg.

Uh... "Yes, well...I really must be about the King's business. I'll drop by soon."

Whoops...Wrong turn...

"Girls, girls, girls...Welcome to the finest house Fleet Street has to offer..."

No, no, no...

Phew...

"Mr. Pepys, my favorite customer..." Bookseller, beaming. "I've just the thing for ye." Offers large volume...

Oh, my...A brand new Livy...With newly discovered books...Oh...

No, business...War...King questioning...Duke...Go...

"Later, thanks."

"Pepys, ole sport."

"Jack Cade?"

"Come on in and let me treat ye to a round...Or four..."

"Uh...Well..." Glance round...

"Sure the great Mr. P can spare a mo from his busy day to have a round with an ole mate."

No, no...Duty, duty...

"Another time, Jack."

"Mr. Pepys...How fortunate (after checking in every spot for four hours) to find you like this."

"Uh...Mrs. Bagwell. I..."

"I was so hoping to speak with you. This war opening up so many positions I was wondering if it wouldn't be possible for my Will to finally have his talents recognized."

"Well, I'm sure in time..."

"He's so many talents, Mr. Pepys. And so willing to do anything Duty requires..."

Yes, you are...Uh...

"Perhaps we could go somewhere and discuss my...er, his talents?"

Twenty minutes...Would it really cost us the war?

No, Duty...Duty, Samuel.

"I shall keep him foremost in mind as promotion is considered, Mrs. Bagwell. I must...Must...Go."

Ah...Nearly to good ole Seething...

"Mr. Pepys? I have your new suits ready." Unthankes, pausing in street. "Quite the beauties they are...Would you care to come by for the fitting now?"

Oh, Lord...Why dost thou torment me?

JWB   Link to this

Richard Nixon served with distinction as officer US Navy in the Pacific WWII. His great-grandfather, with the 73rd Ohio, bled to death in nightlong agony on the Emmitsburg Pike, Gettysburg defending the Republic from Democrats.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

Off topic
"his great great grandfather"
Weren't the Nixons, Quakers, and consequently pacifists and conscientious objectors?

Pedro   Link to this

"Nixon served with distinction"

Davies in Gentlemen and Tarpaulins says...

Captain Nixon who had fought in the first Dutch War and whose courage had been highly commended by Albermarle himself, was sentenced to death for cowardice.

(Sandwich will give account of the Court Martial on the 25th in his Journal)

J A Gioia   Link to this

Pres. Nixon's mother was a Friend.

Pedro   Link to this

“A most fowle unhandsome thing as ever was heard, for plain cowardice on Nixon’s part.”

It seems as if poor Nixon is already found guilty before his Court Martial. Perhaps some would like to have an example made in order discourage others in the coming battles.

Pedro   Link to this

Captain Nixon.

It seems strange that, as far as I can see, L&M’s only mention of Nixon is that he held three commissions between 61 and 64, and died before 1688.

Today’s added note, confirmed by Sandwich, suggest that we can put a much earlier date to his demise!

CGS   Link to this

To be sentenced be one thing, but , a Pardon could have saved the use of a bullet, as he be commissioned and the king did not want to decommission, if he had been one of the lessors then it would have been an immediate garratting and over the the side he would have gone.

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