Tuesday 24 April 1666

Up, and presently am told that the girle that came yesterday hath packed up her things to be gone home again to Enfield, whence she come, which I was glad of, that we might be at first rid of her altogether rather than be liable to her going away hereafter. The reason was that London do not agree with her. So I did give her something, and away she went. By and by comes Mr. Bland to me, the first time since his coming from Tangier, and tells me, in short, how all things are out of order there, and like to be; and the place never likely to come to anything while the soldiers govern all, and do not encourage trade. He gone I to the office, where all the morning, and so to dinner, and there in the afternoon very busy all day till late, and so home to supper and to bed.

4 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"London do not agree with her..."

Whoa. All right, Sam...What did you do to that girl?

Let us hope it was just homesickness...

So much for the notion of 17th century house maids chained to their jobs... Though of course if Sam had wanted to keep her, he probably could have easily put pressure on her via parents, outright beatings, etc.

jeannine  •  Link

From “The Rupert and Monck Letter Book”, edited by Powell and Timings. Yesterday (April 23) Rupert and Monk who had replaced Lord Sandwich and are co-Generals at Sea took command of the fleet at Nore. In this Letter Book the editors explain that they track their letters from today through October 3. They add that “at first sight perhaps it may seem that it resembles the schoolmaster in Sinister Street, who created ‘his own rubbish heap and invited the upper fifth to scratch in it for pearls. Always he managed to conceal the nobility of his theme beneath a mass of what he called minor points.’ In reality the book shows that day work of the admirals as they endeavored to get the fleet ready for sea. So thorough were they that the minutest minor point did not escape their attention.”

The book details the difficulties with manning the ship, controlling and maintaining seamen, interacting with the victualler (Gauden) and getting reports of accounts (from Pepys!) as opposed to the supplies that they needed.

Among today’s letters was this little gem to Sir Thomas Allen, Adm,. of the White Squadron. Note that Monck, in his experience dealing with the plague was pretty strict about the possibilities of how the plague could be brought on board and the orders reflect that along with the need to get their ships properly supplied.

“You are carefully to observe the ensuing directions. Turn all the women to shore and suffer none to come aboard. Order the commissary to muster the squadron with all expedition, and once a week, if possible. Take special care that the Muster Masters do observe the Instructions they have received from His Royal Highness the Duke of York, and give us an account of the doing therein. Cause the several captains in the squadron to give us a speedy account of the wet and dry provisions that have on board, also of the powder and shot, Botswains, Carpenters, and Gunners stores, and let them be careful that they spend no ship’s provisions, unless they are necessitated thereunto, and if they are let us have speedy notice of it, and let every ship in the squadron take in as much provisions both dry and wet and Gunners’ stores as they can, to the end they may be better able to help one another. Your lo. Friends. Rupert Albemarle.”

Other letters that they sent today went to

1. Coventry –requesting supplies, flags and streamers ‘for distinguishing the squadrons’ and ketches
2. Carteret –requesting ‘payment of the contingencies of the Navy’
3. Commissioners of Ordinance –requesting ‘50 Rounds apiece’ of powder, canvas and junk
4. Gauden- requesting ‘ketches to fetch water’ and that provisions be sent to them (if the Officers have to leave the ships to get provisions their men will run away and/or they may risk bringing infection [plague] back to the ships).
5. Master of Attendance at Chatham- requesting ‘skillful Pilots for the carrying down to the Bouy of Nore eleven of his Majs, ships”

Firenze  •  Link

London did not agree with her...

I remember hearing an account in my own family of a young woman who was being pushed into a disagreeable match (this would be rural west Ulster, about the 1920s). To escape, she went into service in Belfast - but in less than a week, fled home, unable to cope with the big city.

(The story continues that she married the oul' farmer, who, as soon as they were out the church door, bolted off over the fields, the better to be first at the house for the wedding breakfast. As did all the relatives who were too disapproving to be at the service, but weren't going to miss out on The Feed).

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...the place never likely to come to anything while the soldiers govern all, and do not encourage trade."

Sounds like there was some hope of establishing a genuine colony at Tangier rather than just a military base.

Reason 101 why it would have been a bad idea to publish the Diary in Sam's lifetime...


"'ey Archie...Look at this."

"Wha...?" drunken blink...

"This. This thing by that clerk in London, Peeps or whoever."


"You know Archie can't read, Charlie." another soldier in the mess frowns. "GIve 'er here...Where is it?"

"Right here. Look at what the litte $%#$^ says about His Majesty's soldiers here. Little #@#$%#!"

"'...the place never likely to come to anything while the soldiers govern all...'? The little #$%&! Wait, Pepys? Wasn't he the treasurer a whiles back...When we were gettin' that moldly biscuit and rat-infested beef?"

"And no beer..."

"And no beer...Why that... If I could be gettin' my hands on him!"

"You can Richie. I 'eard from the Major 'imself...The little #$&*%'s been sent out by the King. 'e's coming to review the place." Benevolent smile. "The Major suggested we show 'im some true Tangier 'ospitality."

"Ay. Perhaps a tour of the defenses...Just outside the lines?"

"After a proper march past an 'onor guard." Charlie nods.

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