Up and to the office, where I set hard to business, but was informed that the Duke of Yorke is come, and hath appointed us to attend him this afternoon. So after dinner, and doing some business at the office, I to White Hall, where the Court is full of the Duke and his courtiers returned from sea. All fat and lusty, and ruddy by being in the sun. I kissed his hands, and we waited all the afternoon. By and by saw Mr. Coventry, which rejoiced my very heart. Anon he and I, from all the rest of the company, walked into the Matted Gallery; where after many expressions of love, we fell to talk of business. Among other things, how my Lord Sandwich, both in his counsells and personal service, hath done most honourably and serviceably. Sir J. Lawson is come to Greenwich; but his wound in his knee yet very bad. Jonas Poole, in the Vantguard, did basely, so as to be, or will be, turned out of his ship. Captain Holmes1 expecting upon Sansum’s death to be made Rear-admirall to the Prince (but Harman is2 put in) hath delivered up to the Duke his commission, which the Duke took and tore. He, it seems, had bid the Prince, who first told him of Holmes’s intention, that he should dissuade him from it; for that he was resolved to take it if he offered it. Yet Holmes would do it, like a rash, proud coxcombe. But he is rich, and hath, it seems, sought an occasion of leaving the service. Several of our captains have done ill. The great ships are the ships do the business, they quite deadening the enemy. They run away upon sight of “The Prince.”3 It is strange to see how people do already slight Sir William Barkeley,4 my Lord FitzHarding’s brother, who, three months since, was the delight of the Court. Captain Smith of “The Mary” the Duke talks mightily of; and some great thing will be done for him. Strange to hear how the Dutch do relate, as the Duke says, that they are the conquerors; and bonefires are made in Dunkirke in their behalf; though a clearer victory can never be expected. Mr. Coventry thinks they cannot have lost less than 6000 men, and we not dead above 200, and wounded about 400; in all about 600. Thence home and to my office till past twelve, and then home to supper and to bed, my wife and mother not being yet come home from W. Hewer’s chamber, who treats my mother tonight. Captain Grovel the Duke told us this day, hath done the basest thing at Lowestoffe, in hearing of the guns, and could not (as others) be got out, but staid there; for which he will be tried; and is reckoned a prating coxcombe, and of no courage.
- Captain Robert Holmes (afterwards knighted). Sir William Coventry, in a letter to Lord Arlington (dated from “The Royal Charles,” Southwold Bay, June 13th), writes: “Capt. Holmes asked to be rear admiral of the white squadron in place of Sansum who was killed, but the Duke gave the place to Captain Harman, on which he delivered up his commission, which the Duke received, and put Captain Langhorne in his stead” (“Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1664-65, p. 423). ↩
- John Harman, afterwards knighted. He had served with great reputation in several naval fights, and was desperately wounded in 1673, while [sic. P.G.] ↩
- “The Prince” was Lord Sandwich’s ship; the captain was Roger Cuttance. It was put up at Chatham for repair at this date. ↩
- Sir William Berkeley, see note, vol. iii., p. 334. His behaviour after the death of his brother, Lord Falmouth, is severely commented on in “Poems on State Affairs,” vol. i., p. 29
Berkeley had heard it soon, and thought not good To venture more of royal Harding’s blood; To be immortal he was not of age, And did e’en now the Indian Prize presage; And judged it safe and decent, cost what cost, To lose the day, since his dear brother’s lost. With his whole squadron straight away he bore, And, like good boy, promised to fight no more.— B. ↩