Slept till 8 o’clock, and then up and met with letters from the King and Lord Arlington, for the removal of our office to Greenwich. I also wrote letters, and made myself ready to go to Sir G. Carteret, at Windsor; and having borrowed a horse of Mr. Blackbrough, sent him to wait for me at the Duke of Albemarle’s door: when, on a sudden, a letter comes to us from the Duke of Albemarle, to tell us that the fleete is all come back to Solebay, and are presently to be dispatched back again. Whereupon I presently by water to the Duke of Albemarle to know what news; and there I saw a letter from my Lord Sandwich to the Duke of Albemarle, and also from Sir W. Coventry and Captain Teddiman; how my Lord having commanded Teddiman with twenty-two ships1 (of which but fifteen could get thither, and of those fifteen but eight or nine could come up to play) to go to Bergen; where, after several messages to and fro from the Governor of the Castle, urging that Teddiman ought not to come thither with more than five ships, and desiring time to think of it, all the while he suffering the Dutch ships to land their guns to their best advantage; Teddiman on the second pretence, began to play at the Dutch ships, (wherof ten East India-men,) and in three hours’ time (the town and castle, without any provocation, playing on our ships,) they did cut all our cables, so as the wind being off the land, did force us to go out, and rendered our fire-ships useless; without doing any thing, but what hurt of course our guns must have done them: we having lost five commanders, besides Mr. Edward Montagu, and Mr. Windham.2 Our fleete is come home to our great grief with not above five weeks’ dry, and six days’ wet provisions: however, must out again; and the Duke hath ordered the Soveraigne, and all other ships ready, to go out to the fleete to strengthen them. This news troubles us all, but cannot be helped. Having read all this news, and received commands of the Duke with great content, he giving me the words which to my great joy he hath several times said to me, that his greatest reliance is upon me. And my Lord Craven also did come out to talk with me, and told me that I am in mighty esteem with the Duke, for which I bless God. Home, and having given my fellow-officers an account hereof, to Chatham, and wrote other letters, I by water to Charing-Cross, to the post-house, and there the people tell me they are shut up; and so I went to the new post-house, and there got a guide and horses to Hounslow, where I was mightily taken with a little girle, the daughter of the master of the house (Betty Gysby), which, if she lives, will make a great beauty. Here I met with a fine fellow who, while I staid for my horses, did enquire newes, but I could not make him remember Bergen in Norway, in 6 or 7 times telling, so ignorant he was. So to Stanes, and there by this time it was dark night, and got a guide who lost his way in the forest, till by help of the moone (which recompenses me for all the pains I ever took about studying of her motions,) I led my guide into the way back again; and so we made a man rise that kept a gate, and so he carried us to Cranborne. Where in the dark I perceive an old house new building with a great deal of rubbish, and was fain to go up a ladder to Sir G. Carteret’s chamber. And there in his bed I sat down, and told him all my bad newes, which troubled him mightily; but yet we were very merry, and made the best of it; and being myself weary did take leave, and after having spoken with Mr. Fenn in bed, I to bed in my Lady’s chamber that she uses to lie in, and where the Duchesse of York, that now is, was born. So to sleep; being very well, but weary, and the better by having carried with me a bottle of strong water; whereof now and then a sip did me good.
- A news letter of August 19th (Salisbury), gives the following account of this affair:-” The Earl of Sandwich being on the Norway coast, ordered Sir Thomas Teddeman with 20 ships to attack 50 Dutch merchant ships in Bergen harbour; six convoyers had so placed themselves that only four or five of the ships could be reached at once. The Governor of Bergen fired on our ships, and placed 100 pieces of ordnance and two regiments of foot on the rocks to attack them, but they got clear without the loss of a ship, only 500 men killed or wounded, five or six captains among them. The fleet has gone to Sole Bay to repair losses and be ready to encounter the Dutch fleet, which is gone northward” (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1664-65, pp. 526, 527). Medals were struck in Holland, the inscription in Dutch on one of these is thus translated: “Thus we arrest the pride of the English, who extend their piracy even against their friends, and who insulting the forts of Norway, violate the rights of the harbours of King Frederick; but, for the reward of their audacity, see their vessels destroyed by the balls of the Dutch” (Hawkins’s “Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland,” ed. Franks and Grueber, 1885, vol. i., p. 508). Sir Gilbert Talbot’s “True Narrative of the Earl of Sandwich’s Attempt upon Bergen with the English Fleet on the 3rd of August, 1665, and the Cause of his Miscarriage thereupon,” is in the British Museum (Harl. MS., No. 6859). It is printed in “Archaeologia,” vol. xxii., p. 33. The Earl of Rochester also gave an account of the action in a letter to his mother (Wordsworth’s “Ecclesiastical Biography,” fourth edition, vol. iv., p. 611). Sir John Denham, in his “Advice to a Painter,” gives a long satirical account of the affair. A coloured drawing of the attack upon Bergen, on vellum, showing the range of the ships engaged, is in the British Museum. Shortly after the Bergen affair forty of the Dutch merchant vessels, on their way to Holland, fell into the hands of the English, and in Penn’s “Memorials of Sir William Penn,” vol. ii., p. 364, is a list of the prizes taken on the 3rd and 4th September. The troubles connected with these prizes and the disgrace into which Lord Sandwich fell are fully set forth in subsequent pages of the Diary. Evelyn writes in his Diary (November 27th, 1665): “There was no small suspicion of my Lord Sandwich having permitted divers commanders who were at ye taking of ye East India prizes to break bulk and take to themselves jewels, silkes, &c., tho’ I believe some whom I could name fill’d their pockets, my Lo. Sandwich himself had the least share. However, he underwent the blame, and it created him enemies, and prepossess’d ye Lo. Generall [Duke of Albemarle], for he spake to me of it with much zeale and concerne, and I believe laid load enough on Lo. Sandwich at Oxford.” ↩
- This Mr. Windham had entered into a formal engagement with the Earl of Rochester, “not without ceremonies of religion, that if either of them died, he should appear, and give the other notice of the future state, if there was any.” He was probably one of the brothers of Sir William Wyndham, Bart. See Wordsworth’s “Ecclesiastical Biography,” fourth. edition, vol. iv., p. 615. — B. ↩