Saturday 19 August 1665

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.

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.

27 Annotations

James in Illinois   Link to this

"...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." How many of us could tell directions by the position of the moon? Sam'l is a clever lad.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"But soft what light through yonder window breaks? 'Tis the Pepyser here to see the Carter(et)."

I'm trying to picture Sir George finding Sam at his chamber window...

"Now Pepys...I know I did say I loved you with all my heart at the wedding but..."

CGS   Link to this

"...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..." Tis very scary to be lost in the Forest [mine was Epping during blackout days I having a built in compass head, and my Papa did not, I had to lead the way by Moonlit cloudy night] Twas very frightening too listening to the song of leaves and noises of animal coughs so I can empathize with poor olde Samuel, he be imaging the stories of fierce game in them their forest.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"mightily taken with a little girle"
Oh no.

Ralph Berry   Link to this

We have to admire Sam's fitness and stamina. He is always on the move. Friday he east to Sheerness & Gravesend and up the Medway, the next day he is west to Hounlsow and Staines and getting lost in the woods. Presumably he was travelling by boat, horse with or without carriage and around the City walking. Boat travel up and down the river would have been relatively relaxed with a boatman doing most of the hard work but the rest of it would have been pretty strenuous. I imagine the roads were appalling, conditions rough and yet nearly all of the time he is "very merry". Then he is in the office till midnight clearing up the backlog!

Is'nt he just one of those characters we would all love to meet?

Margaret   Link to this

Telling directions by the moon can still be helpful today--it's saved me a couple of times when I was driving in the countryside. (Of course it helps that in western Canada the country roads all run due north/south or east/west, so once the sun, moon, or stars give you a direction, you're okay.)

And yes, I'd love to meet Sam.

Has he been in Greenwich much yet? I noticed last month when I was there, that one of the buildings (or was it one of the rooms?) was named after Pepys, but the guide admitted that he didn't live there, they just named it in his honour.

mary mcintyre   Link to this

Margaret -- OK, I'll bite. How do you tell directions by the moon?

Not that I can see it in Toronto, what w/all the light pollution :D

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Pepys in Greenwich

Stay tuned.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Anybody else think Sandwich is being very foolhardy in what he did today? (as in the footnote) Was he overcome with desire for the wealth on board the East Indian fleet?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Margaret — OK, I’ll bite. How do you tell directions by the moon?

Even after reviewing this, below, am perplexed and would be grateful for an explanation how you use the moon, rather than sun and time, or fixed stars, for direction:
LUNAR PHASES WEB TOOL
http://www.calvin.edu/~lmolnar/moon/

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"with not above five weeks’ dry, and six days’ wet provisions: however, must out again"

Cash and credit crunch hits the fleet victualing ...

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

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.

I take this to be something like usquebaugh or whisky - "the water of life". A sip now and then will certainly keep your spirits up.

Jonathan Addleman   Link to this

If, as Pepys might have, you observe the moon nearly every night, you get to know where it should be at a given time. For example, I've noticed, in biking home each evening around a similar time this week, that the moon, around 10PM is in a certain spot. Knowing approximately how much it moves 'backwards' from night to night, you can estimate the direction based on looking at the moon.

JWB   Link to this

Look on the Bright Side:

It's no trick if your'e out & about most nights. I rise a 7 AM each day to walk my dog & this morning the near full moon was directly west,with full bright side facing east as the sun rising in the east. When the moon rising early evening, the bright side of the moon will face west. When rising after midnight, the moon will present the bright side to the east.

Bradford   Link to this

Obvious though it is to spell it out this way, the founding fact is that the moon, like the sun, rises in the east and sets in the west. Elaborate from there.

Michael L   Link to this

Although the moon, like the sun, rises in the east and (in the northern hemisphere) sweeps over the south before setting in the west, there are two ways that telling time with the moon is harder than with the sun:

* The moon rises roughly an hour later each night than the previous night. At the time of full moon, it rises around 6pm, but the night before, it was 5pm, and the night after, it is around 7pm, etc. A week after full moon, it does not rise until midnight, making it useless for early evening. When it is close to new moon, it it out only during during the day, making it utterly useless at night.

* The moon has pretty wild north-south swings. Unlike the sun's predictable drift south in winter and north in summer, the moon can go either way any time through the year. When it does, it can go much further in a north-south direction than the sun ever does. A few weeks ago, when the sun was over the northern hemisphere, the moon was waaaay down south, even below the Tropic of Capricorn, where the sun never is.

If you observe the moon each night, as Sam apparently does, and you have a watch (as he mentioned he has), you can kind of use the previous night to help you with tonight. But even then, the moon is less helpful than the sun as a rule.

Pedro   Link to this

“Anybody else think Sandwich is being very foolhardy in what he did today?”

Australian Susan, just to point out that the added notes are not all from the 19th August 1665 and therefore they add a SPOILER, the prizes have not yet been taken.

No doubt we will hear much more about the incident when the time comes, and there is information from the man himself from the Sandwich Journals.

Best leave the discussion to a little later in time?

Margaret   Link to this

The moon:

The full moon is like the sun, but 12 hours different: it rises in the east at sunset, & sets in the west at sunrise.

The half moon in the "first quarter" is overhead at sunset, and sets in the west half-way through the night (which is probably quite a bit later than midnight, especially if you have daylight savings). The half moon in the "third quarter" rises in the east half-way through the night, and is overhead at dawn.

It gets more complicated when you realize that, except in March & September, neither the sun nor the moon rise directly east. The full moon is opposite the sun, so in the northern hemisphere in June, the sun rises well to the north of east, while the full moon rises well to the south of east.

You really have to live in the country (away from the city lights) to get a feel for this. I got confused once driving at night from Drumheller to Calgary, but the full moon was behind me, so I knew that I was headed west, & would hit the main north-south highway sooner or later. My passengers (visiting from England) asked me to explain how to tell directions from the moon, and I couldn't think how to explain it. I never did give them an answer, and I don't think my answer here is very helpful either.

Pedro   Link to this

"Twas very frightening too listening to the song of leaves and noises of animal coughs so I can empathize with poor olde Samuel, he be imaging the stories of fierce game in them their forest."

Perhaps Sam walked by brave moonshine?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

What Sandwich did first was predicated on a secret agreement made by Frederick III (the King of Denmark and Norway) to connive with the English against the Dutch for a share of the booty of any treasure-ships taken. However, the agreement seems to have come unraveled as Teddiman approached Bergen, whose governor took the part of the Dutch, and the Danes helped the Dutch beat off the English (L&M note).

What happened thereafter was surely tainted by "the Bergen affair."

CGS   Link to this

Man in the moon always points the way, 'weather' he be waining or waxing, thumbing his nose or beckoning thee to fall off the edge.

http://www.netaxs.com/mhmyers/mnillusion.html

Pedro   Link to this

“a secret agreement made by Frederick III (the King of Denmark and Norway)

An agreement made between the Kings of England and Norway who were both short of a few bob.

As already mentioned, in his biography of De Ruyter, Blok says that the Danes had already demanded around 100,000 rix-dollars for the protection afforded by their fortresses to Dutch shipping. Perhaps this led to the confusion.

When De Ruyter arrived at Bergen the States decided that no further payments would be made.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Governor of Bergen on the ramparts watching the approaching Dutch fleet...

"To betray the English or the Dutch, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings, arrows, and cutoff of protection money of an outraged Holland or to take arms against a sea of English and by opposing, end our secret alliance. (Likely, it being Montagu in command) to die; to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; to sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, along with the pain of having shot pass through us, must give us pause."

"Governor, methinks we really should make a decision on this, sir."

"Hmmn...Yes...But there's the respect that makes calamity of so long life. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time? The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, the pangs of despised love, the law's delay, the insolence of office and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes..."

Cannonfire from Teddiman's force...

"Sir?"

"...When he himself might his quietus make
with a bare bodkin? Duck, my friend."

Both drop to avoid whizzing death overhead...

"...I mean, who would fardels bear,to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscover'd country from whose bourn
no traveller returns, puzzles the will and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of?"

"I'm going to flip a coin, sir. Heads Dutch, tails English."

"Fine. Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, my friend. And thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, and enterprises of great pith and moment with this regard their currents turn awry, and lose the name of action."

"Right, sir. Dutch then. Return fire!"

jeannine   Link to this

"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. ↩"

Forgive me for not having the exact details (traveling without books) but as I recall, Rochester, Windham and Montagu had become friends on board. When this 'deal' was discussed Montagu declined being part of it (religious reasons) but the other 2 made the pact. One of Rochester's biographers (can't recall which one) implied that when Windham didn't come back with an affirmation of the afterlife that this had a terrible effect on Rochester's faith and added to his spiral downward.

Also, of note, Montagu was the Queen's horseman who had gotten the boot by Charles II for squeezing her hand. After he was fired, Catherine, out of loyalty to her very platonic friend (on her part) did not replace him. Slight spolier, but she will replace him over time with Montagu's brother Ralph, who turns out to be quite the colorful character outside of his role as Master of the Horse.

Pedro   Link to this

The Danish situation…

May be of interest is a summary from British Foreign Policy 1660-72 by Feiling…

Yet if compelled to make choice between Sweden and Denmark, England would hardly hesitate. Denmark could indeed provide useful quantities of masts and hemp, tar from Stavanger, train oil and stockfish from Iceland, but both political tradition and commerce fast tied her to Holland.

Sir Gilbert Talbot was sent to Denmark in September I664 and convinced himself that Fredrick III and his chief minister Sehested were preparing to come down on the English side. More knowledge of Sehested’s career would have warned a stupider man.

As Talbot's demands meant a break with the Dutch, they required a squadron of 15 English ships in the Sound, subsidies during and after the war and the removal of the factory at Hamburg, not to Stade as Sweden had asked, but to Gluckstadt.

Treaties signed by April 65 were limited and cloudy. Talbot had accepted a secret article, without sanction, to protect Denmark against offended commercial powers. The Lowestoft victory tilted the needy Fredrick towards the English end of the scale; his poverty being serious. Within a fortnight he accepted Talbot’s suggestions that a happy moment to declare war would come when De Ruyter touched with his ships from America and the East India convoy in some Norwegian port.

Thus began the inglorious exploit of Bergen. Fredrick still refused to be rushed into an offensive war, but he agreed to sell the Dutch harbouring in Bergen at a price of half the spoil. By July 10th the Danes had received Arlington's word that the spoils should be fairly divided, expected to be great, with Clifford
valuing them at six million sterling.

Clifford's midnight conversations with the governor, disguised as a sailor, and searching for a second chance in mixed Latin and French, went against the English.

SPOILER?

The majority of the English government was determined to mark in a drastic fashion the Danes' breach of faith. Clifford, Arlington’s choice, was sent to Copenhagen in September. If he failed to get full satisfaction he was at once to proceed to Stockholm, to strike up an offensive alliance against Holland, and to invite Sweden to "join us in our revenge” against Denmark.

USA Answers   Link to this

Sir Gilbert Talbot was sent to Denmark in September I664 and convinced himself that Fredrick III and his chief minister Sehested were preparing to come down on the English side. More knowledge of Sehested’s career would have warned a stupider man.

dirk   Link to this

From the Carte Papers, Bodleian Library
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Sir George Carteret to Sandwich

Written from: Cranborne
Date: 19 August 1665

Referring to the ill success of the naval enterprize at Bergen, asserts that to his own knowledge, the orders from Court were issued upon good grounds; the King of Denmark having given an engagement that he would "not protect any of the Dutch ships in his harbour". Adds that the great object of the Government now is to hasten his Lordship's return to sea...

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