Sunday 25 February 1665/66

(Lord’s day). My wife up between three and four of the clock in the morning to dress herself, and I about five, and were all ready to take coach, she and I and Mercer, a little. past five, but, to our trouble, the coach did not come till six. Then with our coach of four horses I hire on purpose, and Leshmore to ride by, we through the City to Branford and so to Windsor, Captain Ferrers overtaking us at Kensington, being to go with us, and here drank, and so through, making no stay, to Cranborne, about eleven o’clock, and found my Lord and the ladies at a sermon in the house; which being ended we to them, and all the company glad to see us, and mighty merry to dinner. Here was my Lord, and Lord Hinchingbroke, and Mr. Sidney, Sir Charles Herbert, and Mr. Carteret, my Lady Carteret, my Lady Jemimah, and Lady Slaning. After dinner to talk to and again, and then to walke in the Parke, my Lord and I alone, talking upon these heads; first, he has left his business of the prizes as well as is possible for him, having cleared himself before the Commissioners by the King’s commands, so that nothing or little is to be feared from that point, he goes fully assured, he tells me, of the King’s favour. That upon occasion I may know, I desired to know, his friends I may trust to, he tells me, but that he is not yet in England, but continues this summer in Ireland, my Lord Orrery is his father almost in affection. He tells me my Lord of Suffolke, Lord Arlington, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Treasurer, Mr. Atturny Montagu, Sir Thomas Clifford in the House of Commons, Sir G. Carteret, and some others I cannot presently remember, are friends that I may rely on for him. He tells me my Lord Chancellor seems his very good friend, but doubts that he may not think him so much a servant of the Duke of Yorke’s as he would have him, and indeed my Lord tells me he hath lately made it his business to be seen studious of the King’s favour, and not of the Duke’s, and by the King will stand or fall, for factions there are, as he tells me, and God knows how high they may come. The Duke of Albemarle’s post is so great, having had the name of bringing in the King, that he is like to stand, or, if it were not for him, God knows in what troubles we might be from some private faction, if an army could be got into another hand, which God forbid! It is believed that though Mr. Coventry be in appearance so great against the Chancellor, yet that there is a good understanding between the Duke and him. He dreads the issue of this year, and fears there will be some very great revolutions before his coming back again. He doubts it is needful for him to have a pardon for his last year’s actions, all which he did without commission, and at most but the King’s private single word for that of Bergen; but he dares not ask it at this time, lest it should make them think that there is something more in it than yet they know; and if it should be denied, it would be of very ill consequence. He says also, if it should in Parliament be enquired into the selling of Dunkirke (though the Chancellor was the man that would have it sold to France, saying the King of Spayne had no money to give for it); yet he will be found to have been the greatest adviser of it; which he is a little apprehensive may be called upon this Parliament. He told me it would not be necessary for him to tell me his debts, because he thinks I know them so well. He tells me, that for the match propounded of Mrs. Mallett for my Lord Hinchingbroke, it hath been lately off, and now her friends bring it on again, and an overture hath been made to him by a servant of hers, to compass the thing without consent of friends, she herself having a respect to my Lord’s family, but my Lord will not listen to it but in a way of honour. The Duke hath for this weeke or two been very kind to him, more than lately; and so others, which he thinks is a good sign of faire weather again. He says the Archbishopp of Canterbury hath been very kind to him, and hath plainly said to him that he and all the world knows the difference between his judgment and brains and the Duke of Albemarle’s, and then calls my Lady Duchesse the veryest slut and drudge and the foulest worde that can be spoke of a woman almost. My Lord having walked an houre with me talking thus and going in, and my Lady Carteret not suffering me to go back again to-night, my Lord to walke again with me about some of this and other discourse, and then in a-doors and to talke with all and with my Lady Carteret, and I with the young ladies and gentle men, who played on the guittar, and mighty merry, and anon to supper, and then my Lord going away to write, the young gentlemen to flinging of cushions, and other mad sports; at this late till towards twelve at night, and then being sleepy, I and my wife in a passage-room to bed, and slept not very well because of noise.

13 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Welcome to the Sandwich wake...er going away house party. And as always at such things, a good time was had by all, excepting perhaps the corpse.

Interesting that Lady Jem (mom, I mean) is not mentioned, apparently she's at Hinchingbrook? Too much for her to make "happy face" and attend or maybe Edward can't bear to face her gentle sorrow for him in the midst of all this?

"He says the Archbishopp of Canterbury hath been very kind to him, and hath plainly said to him that he and all the world knows the difference between his judgment and brains and the Duke of Albemarle’s..."

Of course, it isn't Monck who's out of his posts and off to sunny Spain. All-in-all quite a demonstration of loyalty on Sam's part, though he clearly has been cautious over these past months to assure himself that his assocation with Sandwich is not dangerously frowned upon. Interesting is Sam's straight reporting of Sandwich's nervous remarks to him over the past couple of days. No comments on the Earl's constant insistent that he leaves in secure standing...That counting of friends still faithful is almost painful...despite his obvious fall from grace (tarnished hero, a kingmaker no longer) or in his sneering at Albemarle, the surviving partner, and rage at the Duchess. Unlike Sam's rather hypocritical judgment of Sandwich's folly at the end of last year "...to suffer a company of rogues..." we are left to make our own objective judgment. I can't help thinking Sam is in deep distress here. As a practical man he must state and face facts and he sees Sandwich has been brought down and flung out of the elect, possibly for good. But with the man he owes so much to now facing exile and humiliation he can't bring himself to make a harsh pronouncement of his fall.

What a shame we don't get Bess' take on all this, at least in passing...Is she bucking Sam up to show his loyalty or nervously counseling him to be cautious?

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"and then calls my Lady Duchesse the veryest slut and drudge and the foulest worde that can be spoke of a woman almost."

Robert, this looks to me as if the Archbishop is saying this, and Sandwich is reporting it to Sam, rather than saying it himself (thought I he obviously agrees).

What a fantastic insight into court politics and the issues of the day this entry is...

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

*though* he obviously agrees ... sorry, not enough coffee yet.

Pedro   Link to this

Is the report of Sandwich’s demise greatly exaggerated, and will it be out of sight out of mind as far as Sam is concerned?

Ira   Link to this

"flinging of cushions" - A 17th-century pillow fight?

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

I read Sandwich as assessing Albemarle, as head of the army, as the main protector of the King & realm, but Sandwich is also not above passing on the snobbish remark of the Archbishop about the Duchess. This entry is a John Buchan moment, when the main actor, an able outsider, is taken into the inside secrets about how the world is run. Robert Gertz is right that Sandwich probably knows he has fallen out of favor and will be effectively banished from court, but he still knows what's going on, and puts on as hopeful a gloss for himself as he can. Sam obviously hangs on every word and records the conversation at length even if he withholds judgment.

JWB   Link to this

"I and my wife in a passage-room to bed, and slept not very well because of noise."

Pluperfect of state?

All those passage rooms, one after the other in Shoenbrunn et al., useless unless you've century's of family portraits to hang or scores of hangers-on to put-up overnight.

Pedro   Link to this

“and then calls my Lady Duchesse the veryest slut and drudge and the foulest worde that can be spoke of a woman almost.”

"...but Albemarle, as well as his wife, who was a mean contemptible woman, became so exceedingly ravenous, begging and selling everything within his reach, that he lost credit everywhere, though the King, in acknowledgment of his services, showed him all the outward appearance of respect, at the same time he despised him."

Bishop Bernet

cgs   Link to this

With whom should one back, the obvious Catholick one or the less Catholick one, the court still has cork tips on its rapiers.

A lesson for all those that live and survive depending on their wits to eat and live well in the power struggle of the inner power circle.

Tradition method of removing a pain the side, is always to promote by finding a nice title in political Siberia, 'tis better than decoratin' a pole on the London bridge or Tower wall over looking the Navy offices..

A definin' moment for the louse prickin' lad, thanks to 20/20 vision of 'ind 'site'.

Lawrence   Link to this

"He doubts it is needful for him to have a pardon for his last year’s actions, all which he did without commission, and at most but the King’s private single word for that of Bergen"

This is about last August 2nd, the action of Norway, where Lord sanwiche's reputation suffered a blow! is Pepys suggesting that Sandwich had the Nod from the king, but as they say nothing in writing?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"He doubts it is needful for him to have a pardon for his last year’s actions, all which he did without commission, and at most but the King’s private single word for that of Bergen; but he dares not ask it at this time,...."

Methinks "doubts" here means "suspects".

L&M note for the action at Bergen see 19 August 1665
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/08/19/

SPOILER -- for the pardon for the prize-goods affair see 26 August 1666 http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/08/26/

The Mollusc   Link to this

As 'M' often says to James, "Mr Bond, if this plan should fail, naturally we will deny all knowledge of you".

The secret instructions to Lord Sandwich (about his fleet attacking Bergen) cannot be brought into the open to restore his reputation.

cape henry   Link to this

"...having cleared himself before the Commissioners by the King’s commands..." This, to me, is the hinge upon which the entire entry swings. Sandwich is able to have the rest of the conversation in light of this vindication by decree rather than operation of law. He could certainly have done a lot worse than being banished to "sunny Spain," that's for sure.

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