Friday 28 June 1667

Up, and hear Sir W. Batten is come to town: I to see him; he is very ill of his fever, and come to town only for advice. Sir J. Minnes, I hear also, is very ill all this night, worse than before. Thence I going out met at the gate Sir H. Cholmly coming to me, and I to him in the coach, and both of us presently to St. James’s, by the way discoursing of some Tangier business about money, which the want of I see will certainly bring the place into a bad condition. We find the Duke of York and [Sir] W. Coventry gone this morning, by two o’clock, to Chatham, to come home to-night: and it is fine to observe how both the King and Duke of York have, in their several late journeys to and again, done them in the night for coolnesse. Thence with him to the Treasury Chamber, and then to the Exchequer to inform ourselves a little about our warrant for 30,000l. for Tangier, which vexes us that it is so far off in time of payment. Having walked two or three turns with him in the Hall we parted, and I home by coach, and did business at the office till noon, and then by water to White Hall to dinner to Sir G. Carteret, but he not at home, but I dined with my Lady and good company, and good dinner. My Lady and the family in very good humour upon this business of his parting with his place of Treasurer of the Navy, which I perceive they do own, and we did talk of it with satisfaction. They do here tell me that the Duke of Buckingham hath surrendered himself to Secretary Morrice, and is going to the Tower. Mr. Fenn, at the table, says that he hath been taken by the watch two or three times of late, at unseasonable hours, but so disguised that they could not know him: and when I come home, by and by, Mr. Lowther tells me that the Duke of Buckingham do dine publickly this day at Wadlow’s, at the Sun Tavern; and is mighty merry, and sent word to the Lieutenant of the Tower, that he would come to him as soon as he had dined. Now, how sad a thing it is, when we come to make sport of proclaiming men traitors, and banishing them, and putting them out of their offices, and Privy Council, and of sending to and going to the Tower: God have mercy on us! At table, my Lady and Sir Philip Carteret have great and good discourse of the greatness of the present King of France — what great things he hath done, that a man may pass, at any hour in the night, all over that wild city [Paris], with a purse in his hand and no danger: that there is not a beggar to be seen in it, nor dirt lying in it; that he hath married two of Colbert’s daughters to two of the greatest princes of France, and given them portions — bought the greatest dukedom in France, and given it to Colbert;1 and ne’er a prince in France dare whisper against it, whereas here our King cannot do any such thing, but everybody’s mouth is open against him for it, and the man that hath the favour also. That to several commanders that had not money to set them out to the present campagne, he did of his own accord — send them 1000l. sterling a-piece, to equip themselves. But then they did enlarge upon the slavery of the people — that they are taxed more than the real estates they have; nay, it is an ordinary thing for people to desire to give the King all their land that they have, and themselves become only his tenants, and pay him rent to the full value of it: so they may have but their earnings, But this will not be granted; but he shall give the value of his rent, and part of his labour too. That there is not a petty governor of a province — nay, of a town, but he will take the daughter from the richest man in the town under him, that hath got anything, and give her to his footman for a wife if he pleases, and the King of France will do the like to the best man in his kingdom — take his daughter from him, and give her to his footman, or whom he pleases. It is said that he do make a sport of us now; and says, that he knows no reason why his cozen, the King of England, should not be as willing to let him have his kingdom, as that the Dutch should take it from him, which is a most wretched thing that ever we should live to be in this most contemptible condition. After dinner Sir G. Carteret come in, and I to him and my Lady, and there he did tell me that the business was done between him and my Lord Anglesey; that himself is to have the other’s place of Deputy Treasurer of Ireland, which is a place of honour and great profit, being far better, I know not for what reason, but a reason there is, than the Treasurer’s, my Lord of Corke’s, and to give the other his, of Treasurer of the Navy; that the King, at his earnest entreaty, did, with much unwillingness, but with owning of great obligations to him, for his faithfulness and long service to him and his father, and therefore was willing to grant his desire. That the Duke of York hath given him the same kind words, so that it is done with all the good manner that could be, and he I perceive do look upon it, and so do I, I confess, as a great good fortune to him to meet with one of my Lord Anglesey’s quality willing to receive it at this time. Sir W. Coventry he hath not yet made acquainted with it, nor do intend it, it being done purely to ease himself of the many troubles and plagues which he thinks the perverseness and unkindness of Sir W. Coventry and others by his means have and is likely every day to bring upon him, and the Parliament’s envy, and lastly to put himself into a condition of making up his accounts, which he is, he says, afeard he shall never otherwise be. My Lord Chancellor, I perceive, is his friend in it. I remember I did in the morning tell Sir H. Cholmly of this business: and he answered me, he was sorry for it; for, whatever Sir G. Carteret was, he is confident my Lord Anglesey is one of the greatest knaves in the world, which is news to me, but I shall make my use of it. Having done this discourse with Sir G. Carteret, and signified my great satisfaction in it, which they seem to look upon as something, I went away and by coach hom, and there find my wife making of tea, a drink which Mr. Pelling, the Potticary, tells her is good for her cold and defluxions. I to the office (whither come Mr. Carcasse to me to sue for my favour to him), and Sir W. Pen’s, where I find Mr. Lowther come to town after the journey, and after a small visit to him, I to the office to do much business, and then in the evening to Sir W. Batten’s, to see how he did; and he is better than he was. He told me how Mrs. Lowther had her train held up yesterday by her page, at his house in the country; which is so ridiculous a piece of pride as I am ashamed of. He told me also how he hears by somebody that my Lord Bruncker’s maid hath told that her lady Mrs. Williams had sold her jewels and clothes to raise money for something or other; and indeed the last night a letter was sent from her to me, to send to my Lord, with about five pieces of gold in it, which methought at the time was but a poor supply. I then to Sir W. Pen, who continues a little ill, or dissembles it, the latter of which I am apt to believe. Here I staid but little, not meaning much kindness in it; and so to the office, and dispatched more business; and then home at night, and to supper with my wife, and who should come in but Mr. Pelling, and supped with us, and told us the news of the town; how the officers of the Navy are cried out upon, and a great many greater men; but do think that I shall do well enough; and I think, if I have justice, I shall. He tells me of my Lord Duke of Buckingham, his dining to-day at the Sun, and that he was mighty merry; and, what is strange, tells me that really he is at this day a very popular man, the world reckoning him to suffer upon no other account than that he did propound in Parliament to have all the questions that had to do with the receipt of the taxes and prizes; but they must be very silly that do think he can do any thing out of good intention. After a great deal of tittle-tattle with this honest man, he gone we to bed. We hear that the Dutch are gone down again; and thanks be to God! the trouble they give us this second time is not very considerable.

  1. The Carterets appear to have mystified Pepys, who eagerly believed all that was told him. At this time Paris was notoriously unsafe, infested with robbers and beggars, and abominably unclean. Colbert had three daughters, of whom the eldest was just married when Pepys wrote, viz., Jean Marie Therese, to the Duc de Chevreuse, on the 3rd February, 1667. The second daughter, Henriette Louise, was not married to the Duc de St. Aignan till January 21st, 1671; and the third, Marie Anne, to the Duc de Mortemart, February 14th, 1679. Colbert himself was never made a duke. His highest title was Marquis de Seignelay. — B.

20 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

28th June, 1667. I went to Chatham, and thence to view not only what mischief the Dutch had don; but how triumphantly their whole fleet lay within the very mouth of the Thames, all from the North Fore-land, Margate, even to the buoy of the Nore — a dreadful spectacle as ever Englishmen saw, and a dishonor never to be wiped off! Those who advised his Majesty to prepare no fleet this spring deserved—I know what—but [1].

Here in the river off Chatham, just before the town, lay the carcase of the «London» (now the third time burnt), the «Royal Oak,» the « James,» etc., yet smoking;, when the mischief was done, we were making trifling forts on the brink of the river. Here were yet forces, both of horse and foot, with General Middleton continually expecting the motions of the enemy's fleet. I had much discourse with him, who was an experienced commander. I told him I wondered the King did not fortify Sheerness and the Ferry; both abandoned.

[1] The Parliament giving but weak supplies for the war, the King to save charges is persuaded by the Chancellor, the Lord Treasurer Southampton, the Duke of Albemarle, and the other Ministers, to lay up the first and second rate ships, and make only a defensive war in the next campaign. The Duke of York opposed this, but was over-ruled. Life of James II. vol I. p. 425.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"Mr. Fenn, at the table, says that he hath been taken by the watch two or three times of late, at unseasonable hours, but so disguised that they could not know him: ..."

This does beg the question what on earth was Cartaret's paymaster, ie the person who actually controlled and dolled out the Navy's remaining cash, doing while disguised 'at unseasonable hours' to attract the attention of the watch during this crisis, and be relieved that they did not know him?

Mary   Link to this

"he hath been taken by the watch....."

This is Fenn's report of the career of the Duke of Buckingham. It was he who was missed by the watch, not Fenn.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Interesting on the pros and cons of absolutist Louis' reign...The old 'trains run on time' vs loss of freedom arguments, though understandably given the current sit in England, #not to mention his mentor Coventry's enthusiasm for benevolent despotism# Sam seems inclined towards the pros he's been fed.

Tea time, eh...I wonder what that cost.

Claire   Link to this

I was startled to recall that tea was not always the national drink of England, and in fact began to be imported in the 1660s.

A quick check with Wikipedia turns up this: "On 25 September 1660 Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary: 'I did send for a cup of tee (a China drink) of which I never had drank before.'"

jeannine   Link to this

Tea in England. Tea was around prior to the Diary, but it only became popular among the 'elite' as Queen Catherine of Braganza enjoyed it.


JWB   Link to this


Mr. Pelling's Rx not disinterested, he being a appothecary and tea originally sold at their shops.

Mary   Link to this

Entirely reasonable that tea should have been sold by apothecaries.

Not because it was likely to cure all the ills that were claimed for it, but because it should properly be made with boiling [n.b really boiling, not just hot] water. Hence less likely to transmit noxious bugs to imbibers than water or even doubtfully brewed beer.

martinb   Link to this

"done them in the night for coolness"

Does this mean what I think it means? The TLS recently had a long-running correspondence on the history of the word "cool" with its connotation of insouciance etc, which turned up instances of such usage as far back as the 1830s. Is Pepys using the word "coolness" in a similar way? If so, this pre-dates all those TLS examples by a very long stretch..

arby   Link to this

Thanks for the links Jeannine. £10 per pound for tea then, amazing. And they weren't even addicted yet. You could lose the farm is you developed a tea habit. I wish Sam had mentioned what he thought of it the first time. rb

Robert Gertz   Link to this

" wife making of tea, a drink which Mr. Pelling, the Potticary, tells her is good for her cold and defluxions..."

At 10L/lb Pelling can afford to make that return drop-by later. Sam truly spares no expense for the poor wretch when she's ill...Though if this becomes a steady habit we may hear more.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Pepys...eagerly believed all that was told him."

L&M note several canards Pepys records in this entry, but he doesn't believe them all -- e.g. what Cholmly says about Anglesey -- and we know not what else.

Bradford   Link to this

Martin, it would seem these journeys were made by night when it was apparently markedly cooler---"We find the Duke of York and [Sir] W. Coventry gone this morning, by two o’clock," which shows how hot it must have been, to go to such lengths to avoid long daytime travel. The TLS examples, of varying degrees of persuasiveness, went back farther than one might imagine, but as you say not this far back---though a citation from Abraham Lincoln seems fairly convincing.

martinb   Link to this

Bradford, I think you're right. Thanks.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Lord Buckingham:

Forever to dwell
In a dungeon cell,
Growing thin and wizen
In this Tower prison,
Is a poor look out
For a courtier stout,
Who is longing for the rattle
Of a complicated battle —
Who is longing for the rattle
Of a complicated battle —
For the rum - tum - tum
Of the military drum
And the guns that go boom! boom!

Sir John Robinson, Tower guards in chorus:
The rum-tum-tum
Of the military drum,
Rum-tum-tum-tummy, tummy, tummy, tummy, tum,
Who is longing for the rattle of a complicated battle —
For the rum tum tum
Of the military drum!
Prr, prr, prr, ra-pum-pum!

Sam, arrested this night, sighing:
Forever to dwell
In the adjacent cell,
Growing thin and wizen
In this Tower prison,
Is like a poor look out
For a CoA stout,
Who is longing for the clatter
Of a complicated matter—
Who is longing for the clatter
Of a complicated matter —
For the harrumped ascents
Of the Naval office gents
Who buy the guns that go boom! boom!

Parliamentary investigative committee, frowning in unison:
When England's pride
Has at length been satisfied
With the just conditions
Of our Dutch inquisitions,
You may go in haste
And indulge your taste
For the fascinating rattle
Of a complicated battle —
And the fascinating clatter
Of a complicated matter —
For the rum-tum-tum,
Of your military drum,
And your guns that go boom! boom!

The rum-tum-tum
Of the military drum,
Rum-tum-tum-tummy, tummy, tummy, tummy, tum!
Lord B is longing for the rattle
Of a complicated battle
While Pepys would gladly take the clatter
Of a complicated matter
For the rum-tum-tum
Of the military drum!
Tum, prr, prr, prr, ra-pum, pum!

But till that time you'll here remain,
And bail we will not entertain,
Should Parliament’s mandate be disobeyed,
Your lives the penalty will pay!
So till that time you'll here remain,
And bail we will not entertain.
Should Parliament’s mandate be disobeyed,
Your lives the penalty will pay!

"Now that was a dream..." Bess notes. "Nice tune, you should set it down before you forget it."

"And then I dreamed Creed was singing about being a disagreeable man..." Sam shakes head.

language hat   Link to this

"though a citation from Abraham Lincoln seems fairly convincing"

The citation from Abraham Lincoln does not involve the modern sense; he is using it to mean "composedly and deliberately audacious or impudent in making a proposal, demand, or assumption" (the OED's 2d). The modern sense "originated around the second decade of the 20th cent."

Bradford   Link to this

Telling distinction, to which I happily defer--misled by instances where the nineteenth-century brand of coolness receives twentieth-century admiration as being cool.
Pepys might have used "presumptuous" for the first sense, and for the second "the best I have ever had / seen / experienced in my life."

language hat   Link to this

"and for the second 'the best I have ever had / seen / experienced in my life.'"

Thanks, that gave me a good laugh!

Australian Susan   Link to this

Travelling by night would surely have been rather dangerous if done at any speed. Was there a full moon at this time? Or did they drive slowly and have linksmen to light them?

cum salis grano   Link to this

speed of carriage, best bet average 4 mph, very little room for a gallop, too many pot holes and then there is the dodging the apprentices. The Nags probable had a 10/12 hour day too.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.