About five o’clock my wife come home, it having lightened all night hard, and one great shower of rain. She come and lay upon the bed; I up and to the office, where all the morning. Alone at home to dinner, my wife, mother, and Mercer dining at W. Joyce’s; I giving her a caution to go round by the Half Moone to his house, because of the plague. I to my Lord Treasurer’s by appointment of Sir Thomas Ingram’s, to meet the Goldsmiths; where I met with the great news at last newly come, brought by Bab May from the Duke of Yorke, that we have totally routed the Dutch; that the Duke himself, the Prince, my Lord Sandwich, and Mr. Coventry are all well: which did put me into such joy, that I forgot almost all other thoughts. The particulars I shall set down by and by. By and by comes Alderman Maynell and Mr. Viner, and there my Lord Treasurer did intreat them to furnish me with money upon my tallys, Sir Philip Warwicke before my Lord declaring the King’s changing of the hand from Mr. Povy to me, whom he called a very sober person, and one whom the Lord Treasurer would owne in all things that I should concern myself with them in the business of money. They did at present declare they could not part with money at present. My Lord did press them very hard, and I hope upon their considering we shall get some of them. Thence with great joy to the Cocke-pitt; where the Duke of Albemarle, like a man out of himself with content, new-told me all; and by and by comes a letter from Mr. Coventry’s own hand to him, which he never opened (which was a strange thing), but did give it me to open and read, and consider what was fit for our office to do in it, and leave the letter with Sir W. Clerke; which upon such a time and occasion was a strange piece of indifference, hardly pardonable. I copied out the letter, and did also take minutes out of Sir W. Clerke’s other letters; and the sum of the newes is:
Victory over the Dutch, June 3rd, 1665.
This day they engaged; the Dutch neglecting greatly the opportunity of the wind they had of us, by which they lost the benefit of their fire- ships. The Earl of Falmouth, Muskerry, and Mr. Richard Boyle killed on board the Duke’s ship, the Royall Charles, with one shot: their blood and brains flying in the Duke’s face; and the head of Mr. Boyle striking down the Duke, as some say. Earle of Marlborough, Portland, Rear-Admirall Sansum (to Prince Rupert) killed, and Capt. Kirby and Ableson. Sir John Lawson wounded on the knee; hath had some bones taken out, and is likely to be well again. Upon receiving the hurt, he sent to the Duke for another to command the Royall Oake. The Duke sent Jordan1 out of the St. George, who did brave things in her. Capt. Jer. Smith of the Mary was second to the Duke, and stepped between him and Captain Seaton of the Urania (76 guns and 400 men), who had sworn to board the Duke; killed him, 200 men, and took the ship; himself losing 99 men, and never an officer saved but himself and lieutenant. His master indeed is saved, with his leg cut off: Admirall Opdam blown up, Trump killed, and said by Holmes; all the rest of their admiralls, as they say, but Everson (whom they dare not trust for his affection to the Prince of Orange), are killed: we having taken and sunk, as is believed, about 24 of their best ships; killed and taken near 8 or 10,000 men, and lost, we think, not above 700. A great[er] victory never known in the world. They are all fled, some 43 got into the Texell, and others elsewhere, and we in pursuit of the rest. Thence, with my heart full of joy; home, and to my office a little; then to my Lady Pen’s, where they are all joyed and not a little puffed up at the good successe of their father;1 and good service indeed is said to have been done by him. Had a great bonefire at the gate; and I with my Lady Pen’s people and others to Mrs. Turner’s great room, and then down into the streete. I did give the boys 4s. among them, and mighty merry. So home to bed, with my heart at great rest and quiett, saving that the consideration of the victory is too great for me presently to comprehend.
Mrs. Ady (Julia Cartwright), in her fascinating life of Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, gives an account of the receipt of the news of the great sea-fight in Paris, and quotes a letter of Charles II. to his sister, dated, “Whitehall, June 8th, 1665” The first report that reached Paris was that “the Duke of York’s ship had been blown up, and he himself had been drowned.” “The shock was too much for Madame … she was seized with convulsions, and became so dangerously ill that Lord Hollis wrote to the king, ‘If things had gone ill at sea I really believe Madame would have died.’” Charles wrote: “I thanke God we have now the certayne newes of a very considerable victory over the Duch; you will see most of the particulars by the relation my Lord Hopis will shew you, though I have had as great a losse as ‘tis possible in a good frinde, poore C. Barckely. It troubles me so much, as I hope you will excuse the shortnesse of this letter, haveing receaved the newes of it but two houres agoe” (“Madame,” 1894, pp. 215, 216).
- Afterwards Sir Joseph Jordan, commander of the “Royal Sovereign,” and Vice-Admiral of the Red, 1672. He was knighted on July 1st, 1665. — B. ↩
- In the royal charter granted by Charles II. in 1680 to William Penn for the government of his American province, to be styled Pennsylvania, special reference is made to “the memory and merits of Sir William Penn in divers services, and particularly his conduct, courage, and discretion under our dearest brother, James, Duke of York, in that signal battle and victory fought and obtained against the Dutch fleet commanded by Heer van Opdam in 1665” (Penn’s “Memorials of Sir W. Penn,” vol. ii., p. 359). ↩