Sunday 3 March 1666/67

(Lord’s day). Lay long, merrily talking with my wife, and then up and to church, where a dull sermon of Mr. Mills touching Original Sin, and then home, and there find little Michell and his wife, whom I love mightily. Mightily contented I was in their company, for I love her much; and so after dinner I left them and by water from the Old Swan to White Hall, where, walking in the galleries, I in the first place met Mr. Pierce, who tells me the story of Tom Woodall, the surgeon, killed in a drunken quarrel, and how the Duke of York hath a mind to get him [Pierce] one of his places in St. Thomas’s Hospitall. Then comes Mr. Hayward, the Duke of York’s servant, and tells us that the Swede’s Embassador hath been here to-day with news that it is believed that the Dutch will yield to have the treaty at London or Dover, neither of which will get our King any credit, we having already consented to have it at The Hague; which, it seems, De Witt opposed, as a thing wherein the King of England must needs have some profound design, which in my conscience he hath not. They do also tell me that newes is this day come to the King, that the King of France is come with his army to the frontiers of Flanders, demanding leave to pass through their country towards Poland, but is denied, and thereupon that he is gone into the country. How true this is I dare not believe till I hear more. From them I walked into the Parke, it being a fine but very cold day; and there took two or three turns the length of the Pell Mell: and there I met Serjeant Bearcroft, who was sent for the Duke of Buckingham, to have brought him prisoner to the Tower. He come to towne this day, and brings word that, being overtaken and outrid by the Duchesse of Buckingham within a few miles of the Duke’s house of Westhorp, he believes she got thither about a quarter of an hour before him, and so had time to consider; so that, when he come, the doors were kept shut against him. The next day, coming with officers of the neighbour market-town to force open the doors, they were open for him, but the Duke gone; so he took horse presently, and heard upon the road that the Duke of Buckingham was gone before him for London: so that he believes he is this day also come to towne before him; but no newes is yet heard of him. This is all he brings. Thence to my Lord Chancellor’s, and there, meeting Sir H. Cholmly, he and I walked in my Lord’s garden, and talked; among other things, of the treaty: and he says there will certainly be a peace, but I cannot believe it. He tells me that the Duke of Buckingham his crimes, as far as he knows, are his being of a caball with some discontented persons of the late House of Commons, and opposing the desires of the King in all his matters in that House; and endeavouring to become popular, and advising how the Commons’ House should proceed, and how he would order the House of Lords. And that he hath been endeavouring to have the King’s nativity calculated; which was done, and the fellow now in the Tower about it; which itself hath heretofore, as he says, been held treason, and people died for it; but by the Statute of Treasons, in Queen Mary’s times and since, it hath been left out. He tells me that this silly Lord hath provoked, by his ill- carriage, the Duke of York, my Lord Chancellor, and all the great persons; and therefore, most likely, will die. He tells me, too, many practices of treachery against this King; as betraying him in Scotland, and giving Oliver an account of the King’s private councils; which the King knows very well, and hath yet pardoned him.1 Here I passed away a little time more talking with him and Creed, whom I met there, and so away, Creed walking with me to White Hall, and there I took water and stayed at Michell’s to drink. I home, and there to read very good things in Fuller’s “Church History,” and “Worthies,” and so to supper, and after supper had much good discourse with W. Hewer, who supped with us, about the ticket office and the knaveries and extortions every day used there, and particularly of the business of Mr. Carcasse, whom I fear I shall find a very rogue. So parted with him, and then to bed.

  1. Two of our greatest poets have drawn the character of the Duke of Buckingham in brilliant verse, and both have condemned him to infamy. There is enough in Pepys’s reports to corroborate the main features of Dryden’s magnificent portrait of Zimri in “Absolom and Achitophel”:

    In the first rank of these did Zimri stand; A man so various that he seemed to be Not one, but all mankind’s epitome; Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong; Was everything by starts, and nothing long,

    But, in the course of one revolving moon, Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon; Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking, Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking, * * * * * * * He laughed himself from Court, then sought relief By forming parties, but could ne’er be chief.

    Pope’s facts are not correct, and hence the effect of his picture is impaired. In spite of the duke’s constant visits to the Tower, Charles II. still continued his friend; but on the death of the king, expecting little from James, he retired to his estate at Helmsley, in Yorkshire, to nurse his property and to restore his constitution. He died on April 16th, 1687, at Kirkby Moorside, after a few days’ illness, caused by sitting on the damp grass when heated from a fox chase. The scene of his death was the house of a tenant, not “the worst inn’s worst room” (Moral Essays,” epist. iii.). He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

20 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the Duke of Buckingham his crimes, as far as he knows, are his being of a caball with some discontented persons of the late House of Commons...."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabal_Ministry

Jesse   Link to this

"are his being of a caball with some discontented persons" - Cabal Ministry

This is a little confusing and to add to it the cabal acronym probably postdates the usage here (origin 1610-1620 per dictionary.com) even though they're likely -- though not necessarily -- one and the same.

cum salis grano   Link to this

Mnemonics, a popular pastime for those that wished that the common man be like mushrooms , kept in the dark...
Cabal was banded around at this time , the 5 geezers fitted nicely into the popular conspiracy mode.
Buckingham, Lauderdale, Ashly, Orery, and Trevor.
along with
Arlington, Clifford,
Whence it came ....

cum salis grano   Link to this

cabal, n.2

not this:
1613 PURCHAS Pilgr. I. V. xiv. (1617) 517 The Cabal is a wilde Beast in this Island [Java] whose bones doe restraine the blood from issuing in wounded parties.

but see 6;

cabal n1

[a. F. cabale (16th c. in Littré), used in all the English senses, ad. med.L. cab(b)ala (It., Sp., Pg. cabala),
CABBALA, q.v. In 17th c. at first pronounced {sm}cabal (whence the abridged CAB n.5); the current pronunciation was evidently reintroduced from Fr., perh. with sense 5 or 6.]

1. = CABBALA 1: The Jewish tradition as to the interpretation of the Old Testament. Obs.
1616 BULLOKAR, Cabal, the tradition of the Jewes doctrine of religion.
1660 HOWELL Lex. Tetragl., Words do involve the deepest Mysteries, By them the Jew into his Caball pries.
1663 BUTLER Hud. I. i. 530 For Mystick Learning, wondrous able In Magick, Talisman, and Cabal.

2. = CABBALA 2: a. Any tradition or special private interpretation.
b. A secret. Obs.
a1637 B. JONSON (O.) The measuring of the temple, a cabal found out but lately.
1635 D. PERSON Varieties I. Introd. 3 An insight in the Cabals and secrets of Nature.
1660-3 J. SPENCER Prodigies (1665) 344 If the truth..had been still reserved as a Cabbal amongst men.
1663 J. HEATH Flagellum or O. Cromwell 192 How the whole mystery and cabal of this business was managed by the..Committee.

3. A secret or private intrigue of a sinister character formed by a small body of persons; ‘something less than conspiracy’ (J.).
1646-7 CLARENDON Hist. Reb. (1702) I. v. 439 The King..asked him, whether he were engaged in any Cabal concerning the army?
1663 J. HEATH Flagellum or O. Cromwell, He was no sooner rid of the danger of this but he was puzzled with Lambert's cabal.

4. A secret or private meeting, esp. of intriguers or of a faction. arch. or Obs.
1649 BP. GUTHRIE Mem. (1702) 23 The Supplicants..met again at their several Caballs.
1656-7 CROMWELL in Burton Diary (1828) I. 382 He had never been at any cabal about the same.

5. A small body of persons engaged in secret or private machination or intrigue; a junto, clique, côterie, party, faction.
1660 Trial Regic. 175 You were..of the cabal. 1670 MARVELL Corr. cxlvii. Wks. 1872-5 II. 326 The governing cabal are Buckingham, Lauderdale, Ashly, Orery, and Trevor. Not but the other cabal [Arlington, Clifford, and their party] too have seemingly sometimes their turn.

6. Applied in the reign of Charles II to the small committee or junto of the Privy Council, otherwise called the ‘Committee for Foreign Affairs’, which had the chief management of the course of government, and was the precursor of the modern cabinet.

1665 PEPYS Diary 14 Oct., It being read before the King, Duke, and the Caball, with complete applause.
1667 Ibid. 31 Mar., Walked to my Lord Treasurer's, where the King, Duke of York, and the Cabal, and much company withal.

1667 Ibid. (1877) V. 128 The Cabal at present, being as he says the King, and the Duke of Buckingham, and Lord Keeper, the Duke of Albemarle and privy seale.

b. in Hist. applied spec. to the five ministers of Charles II, who signed the Treaty of Alliance with France for war against Holland in 1672: these were Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley (Earl of Shaftesbury), and Lauderdale, the initials of whose names thus arranged chanced to spell the word cabal.
This was merely a witticism referring to sense 6; in point of fact these five men did not constitute the whole ‘Cabal’, or Committee for Foreign Affairs; nor were they so closely united in policy as to constitute a ‘cabal’ in sense 5, where quot. 1670 shows that three of them belonged to one ‘cabal’ or clique, and two to another. The name seems to have been first given to the five ministers in the pamphlet of 1673 ‘England's Appeal from the private Cabal at White-hall to the Great Council of the nation..by a true lover of his country.’ Modern historians often write loosely of the Buckingham-Arlington administration from the fall of Clarendon in 1667 to 1673 as the Cabal Cabinet or Cabal Ministry.
1673 England's Appeal 18 The safest way not to wrong neither the cabal nor the truth is to take a short survey of the carriage of the chief promoters of this war. 1689

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... a dull sermon of Mr. Mills touching Original Sin, ..."

But an improvement on his prior essay:

" ... Mr. Mills made an unnecessary sermon upon Original Sin, neither understood by himself nor the people. ..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/02/10/

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...the story of Tom Woodall, the surgeon, killed in a drunken quarrel..."

On the one hand...Surgeon in Ordinary to the King?Yikes!

On the other hand, at least he used alcohol...Maybe before the advent of antisepsis your best bet was a drunken surgeon..."Damn, spilled my gin all over the damned instruments and the wound site. Sorry, Your Highness...I assure you..." hic. "Your trepannin'll be..." hic. "A success..." or, as in Sam's case, new instruments.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"He died...after a few days' illness caused by sitting on the damp grass when heated from a fox chase."
Old theory of disease causation, still subscribed by my mother!

Mary   Link to this

A de A.
Only equalled by the perils of sitting in a draught. Or (in Sam's case) by getting your feet wet.

Mary   Link to this

the casting of a king's horoscope.

This had never, of itself, been a treasonable crime. However, since 1353 it had been treasonable to undertake any act "compassing or imagining the death of a King, Queen or heir" and it's difficult to see how a full horoscope could be drawn without falling foul of this law.

JWB   Link to this

"Dryden’s magnificent portrait of Zimri"

"Dryden had a pension of £300 and a butt of Canary wine." Wikipedia

(Oh, and be careful of playing out in the night air. You'll catch your death of the croup.)

BFWB   Link to this

"the casting of a king’s horoscope."

Nowadays the Duke would be searching for the king's original Kenyan birth certificate.

Susan Scott   Link to this

There's a Victorian painting by Augustus Egg of "The Death of Buckingham" that was wildly popular in the 19th c. Showing the Duke dying alone and in despairing poverty and having gotten the bleak end he deserved for all his mischief, was very pleasing to Victorians. In reality, his end was as described above, and relatively free of drama and suffering, esp. considering the gruesome 17th c. deaths of many of his contemporaries like the Earl of Rochester. Even in death, Buckingham managed to slip free.

Here's the Egg painting:
http://tinyurl.com/ykydyh8g

cum salis grano   Link to this

egg painting :
http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/egg/painti...

Susan S, your URL failed.

cape henry   Link to this

"...and endeavouring to become popular..." This is also a grave accusation in this context, suggesting he is attempting to become the leader of some faction.

Buckingham's is a fascinating life. For those not already buried under reading, I recommend it.

cape henry   Link to this

"...to church, where a dull sermon of Mr. Mills touching Original Sin, and then home, and there find little Michell and his wife, whom I love mightily."

This line has to be intentionally funny because he is too careful a writer to credit it otherwise.

cum salis grano   Link to this

for those that do not know sin.
OED
the concept of original sin was established by the writings of St Augustine (died c604)).

a1393 GOWER Confessio Amantis (Fairf.) VI. 1 The grete Senne original, Which every man in general Upon his berthe hath envenymed.

original sin n. Theol. a state of corruption or sinfulness, or a tendency to evil, supposedly innate in all human beings and held to be inherited from Adam as a consequence of the Fall; opposed to actual sin (see ACTUAL adj. 1)

sin the word, where did it come:
[OE. syn(n, for original *sunj{omac}, related to continental forms with extended stem, viz. OFris. sende, MDu. sonde (Du. zonde), OS. sundea, sundia, OHG. sunt(e)a, sund(e)a (G. sünde), ON. syn{edh}, synd (Icel., Norw., Sw., Da. synd). The stem may be related to that of L. sons, sont-is guilty. In OE. there are examples of the original general sense, ‘offence, wrong-doing, misdeed’.]

Brian   Link to this

Original Sin: ADAM'S FALL

"In Adam's fall/We sinned all."

- from 'The New England Primer'

language hat   Link to this

Can I just ask people not to use tinyurl? I like to be able to see where I'm going.

Australian Susan   Link to this

More Health Old Wive's Tales:

Don't drink cold water - you'll get a fog on your stomach.

Don't go out with wet hair - you'll get pneumonia.

Susan S - wonderful Victorian paintings! Thank you!

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