(Lord’s day). Up, and put on my new tunique of velvett; which is very plain, but good. This morning is brought to me an order for the presenting the Committee of Parliament to-morrow with a list of the commanders and ships’ names of all the fleetes set out since the war, and particularly of those ships which were divided from the fleete with Prince Rupert;1 which gives me occasion to see that they are busy after that business, and I am glad of it. So I alone to church, and then home, and there Mr. Deane comes and dines with me by invitation, and both at and after dinner he and I spent all the day till it was dark in discourse of business of the Navy and the ground of the many miscarriages, wherein he do inform me in many more than I knew, and I had desired him to put them in writing, and many indeed they are and good ones; and also we discoursed of the business of shipping, and he hath promised me a draught of the ship he is now building, wherein I am mightily pleased. This afternoon comes to me Captain O’Bryan, about a ship that the King hath given him; and he and I to talk of the Parliament; and he tells me that the business of the Duke of York’s slackening sail in the first fight, at the beginning of the war, is brought into question, and Sir W. Pen and Captain Cox are to appear to-morrow about it; and it is thought will at last be laid upon Mr. Bruncker’s giving orders from the Duke of York (which the Duke of York do not own) to Captain Cox to do it; but it seems they do resent this very highly, and are mad in going through all business, where they can lay any fault. I am glad to hear, that in the world I am as kindly spoke of as any body; for, for aught I see, there is bloody work like to be, Sir W. Coventry having been forced to produce a letter in Parliament wherein the Duke of Albemarle did from Sheernesse write in what good posture all things were at Chatham, and that the chain was so well placed that he feared no attempt of the enemy: so that, among other things, I see every body is upon his own defence, and spares not to blame another to defend himself, and the same course I shall take. But God knows where it will end! He gone, and Deane, I to my chamber for a while, and then comes Pelling the apothecary to see us, and sat and supped with me (my wife being gone to bed sick of the cholique), and then I to bed, after supper. Pelling tells me that my Lady Duchesse Albemarle was at Mrs. Turner’s this afternoon, she being ill, and did there publickly talk of business, and of our Office; and that she believed that I was safe, and had done well; and so, I thank God! I hear every body speaks of me; and indeed, I think, without vanity, I may expect to be profited rather than injured by this inquiry, which the Parliament makes into business.
- This question of the division of the fleet in May, 1666, was one over which endless controversy as to responsibility was raised. When Prince Rupert, with twenty ships, was detached to prevent the junction of the French squadron with the Dutch, the Duke of Albemarle was left with fifty-four ships against eighty belonging to the Dutch. Albemarle’s tactics are praised by Captain Mahan. ↩