Monday 4 November 1667

Up betimes, and by water with Sir R. Ford (who is going to Parliament) to Westminster; and there landing at the New Exchange stairs, I to Sir W. Coventry: and there he read over to me the Prince’s and the Duke of Albemarle’s Narratives; wherein they are very severe against him and our Office. But [Sir] W. Coventry do contemn them; only that their persons and qualities are great, and so I do perceive [he] is afeard of them, though he will not confess it. But he do say that, if he can get out of these briars, he will never trouble himself with Princes nor Dukes again. He finds several things in their Narratives, which are both inconsistent and foolish, as well as untrue, especially as to what the Duke of Albemarle avers of his knowing of the enemy’s being abroad sooner than he says it, which [Sir] W. Coventry will shew him his own letter against him, for I confess I do see so much, that, were I but well possessed of what I should have in the world, I think I could willingly retreat, and trouble myself no more with it. Thence home, and there met Sir H. Cholmly, and he and I to the Excise Office to see what tallies are paying, and thence back to the Old Exchange, by the way talking of news, and he owning Sir W. Coventry, in his opinion, to be one of the worthiest men in the nation, as I do really think he is. He tells me he do think really that they will cut off my Lord Chancellor’s head, the Chancellor at this day showing as much pride as is possible to those few that venture their fortunes by coming to see him; and that the Duke of York is troubled much, knowing that those that fling down the Chancellor cannot stop there, but will do something to him, to prevent his having it in his power hereafter to avenge himself and father-in-law upon them. And this Sir H. Cholmly fears may be by divorcing the Queen and getting another, or declaring the Duke of Monmouth legitimate; which God forbid! He tells me he do verily believe that there will come in an impeachment of High Treason against my Lord of Ormond; among other things, for ordering the quartering of soldiers in Ireland on free quarters; which, it seems, is High Treason in that country, and was one of the things that lost the Lord Strafford his head, and the law is not yet repealed; which, he says, was a mighty oversight of him not to have it repealed, which he might with ease have done, or have justified himself by an Act. From the Exchange I took a coach, and went to Turlington, the great spectacle- maker, for advice, who dissuades me from using old spectacles, but rather young ones, and do tell me that nothing can wrong my eyes more than for me to use reading-glasses, which do magnify much. Thence home, and there dined, and then abroad and left my wife and Willett at her tailor’s, and I to White Hall, where the Commissioners of the Treasury do not sit, and therefore I to Westminster to the Hall, and there meeting with Col. Reames I did very cheaply by him get copies of the Prince’s and Duke of Albemarle’s Narratives, which they did deliver the other day to the House, of which I am mighty glad, both for my present information and for my future satisfaction. So back by coach, and took up my wife, and away home, and there in my chamber all the evening among my papers and my accounts of Tangier to my great satisfaction, and so to supper and to bed.

11 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Arlington to Sandwich
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 4 November 1667

Document type: Original; chiefly in cypher

Upon the Writer's earnest pressure there has been a debate before his Majesty upon the question whether Lord Sandwich should continue to reside at the Court of Madrid, now that the substance of negotiation is successfully concluded; and it is resolved that he should be recalled. Mr Godolphin is to be left to the care of the King's affairs, "under a smaller character". Adds that the Government think it to be a mistake that Spain should grow colder in offers to Portugal upon the revolution there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Restora...

http://www.rsl.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects/ca...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Sir H. Cholmly "do verily believe that there will come in an impeachment of High Treason against my Lord of Ormond; among other things, for ordering the quartering of soldiers in Ireland on free quarters"

For the calendar of the Warrant, by the Duke of Ormond, to the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of the city of Dublin, for providing quarters for the Regiment of Guards, the Life-Guard of horse, and the Guard of Battleaxes, respectively and the Petition of the Lord Mayor and citizens of Dublin to … [the] Duke of Ormond, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, concerning the quartering of Troops in that City see 5 October.

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/10/05/#c30...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Very shaky ground if Coventry is so concerned and the big-titled boys are starting to get anxious enough to engage in such defensive, aggressive manuevers. Fortunately it looks like our hero is seen as a very useful but generally non-threatening/challenging man by everyone whereas Coventry has prickled a few skins with his reformist program and has the title to make his charges dangerous.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...and therefore I to Westminster to the Hall, and there meeting with Col. Reames I did very cheaply by him get copies of the Prince’s and Duke of Albemarle’s Narratives, which they did deliver the other day to the House, of which I am mighty glad, both for my present information and for my future satisfaction...."

Was this like a forerunner of Hansard? Or were these particular speeches printed because of their importance? Was it customary for MPs to make money from selling transcripts of the House's business? Or did Reames have a government appointment to do this?

classicist   Link to this

'Was this a forerunner of Hansard?' The Grand Remonstrance of 1641 was one of the first big political statements to be printed. At the time this was controversial: 'I did not dream we should remonstrate downward,'commented Sir Edward Dering, 'and tell stories to the people.' Over the course of the Civil Wars, however, everybody and his brother(and even, sometimes, sister)printed speeches, sermons and narratives, so that it became commonplace. The usual practice was for the interested party to pay the printer, though the printer might venture if himself if he thought there was a good market. It's interesting that these 'Narratives' were available by the 4th of November when they were apparently delivered to the house on the 31st October.

Douglas Robertson   Link to this

My guess is that Reames's copies were handwritten ones made by a clerk.

Mary   Link to this

At this date it was still officially a breach of parliamentary privilege to report who had spoken and what he had said in parliament. Anyone who did so could be fined. This policy of secrecy began to be eroded by 'leakage' during the 17th century (often for purposes of propaganda) but officially remained in force until the latter part of the 18th century, when punishment for the publication of parliamentary debates ceased to be enforced.

Sam is acquiring decidedly unofficial reports of the speeches in question.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"At this date it was still officially a breach of parliamentary privilege to report who had spoken and what he had said in parliament."

Mary, I'm puzzled.

Does this apply to the King or his mouthpiece, the Lord Keeper? http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Last month -- from the 23rd on -- were covered in part and with a two-year delay by Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: volume 1
Year published: 1769
Author: Anchitell Grey
Description: Covers period from October 1667 until April 1671.
Sponsor: History of Parliament Trust
Source: House of Commons, Debates (Grey) (Primary sources)
Places: London, South East, South West, East, Midlands, North, Scotland, Wales
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/source.aspx?pu...

How do we have these records if they're forbidden to report?

cum salis grano   Link to this

Law is not always in step with the power thinking of the day. There are always more than one side , those that hold the power , those that disagree then there are those that could not care less, and it is always in constant motion unless it is under a ruthless dictatorship then the pressure builds and then eruption, just like a hay stack.. Wind of change.

Mary   Link to this

TF - we really need a constitutional historian here. Perhaps the publication date cited (1769) gives a clue?

My tentative suggestion is that parliamentary privilege would have been maintained if the only reports that existed were reserved exclusively for the members themselves and lodged, perhaps, in the library of the house. It would have been circulation outside parliament that breached that privilege.

However, I'm getting out of my depth and would welcome clarification, like TF, from someone who has greater knowledge of English constitutional and political history.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... I did very cheaply by him get copies of the Prince’s and Duke of Albemarle’s Narratives, ..."

L&M footnote " Bullen Reynes ... would have obtained MS. copies (from the Journal entries) at the office of the clerks to the House. They do not appear to have survived among Pepys's papers."

As L&M note these are from the official records maintained by the clerks to Parliament -- these are the sources for the later printed editions.

See:
I want... the text of a debate before 1803
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_Arch...
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/...
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/...

For anecdotal account of the history of publication of parliamentary proceedings:
http://www.hansard-westminster.co.uk/story.asp

Finding British Sessional Papers and Parliamentary Debates
http://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/ref/BPP.html

Alas paid access except for those with appropriate affiliations 'Parliamentary History 26, I (Feb 2007):
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/parh...

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