Tuesday 19 November 1667

To the office, and thence before noon I, by the Board’s direction, to the Parliament House to speak with Sir R. Brookes about the meaning of an order come to us this day to bring all the books of the office to the Committee. I find by him that it is only about the business of an order of ours for paying off the ships by ticket, which they think I on behalf of my Lord Bruncker do suppress, which vexes me, and more at its occasioning the bringing them our books. So home and to dinner, where Mr. Shepley with me, newly come out of the country, but I was at little liberty to talk to him, but after dinner with two contracts to the Committee, with Lord Bruncker and Sir T. Harvy, and there did deliver them, and promised at their command more, but much against my will. And here Sir R. Brookes did take me alone, and pray me to prevent their trouble, by discovering the order he would have. I told him I would suppress none, nor could, but this did not satisfy him, and so we parted, I vexed that I should bring on myself this suspicion. Here I did stand by unseen, and did hear their impertinent yet malicious examinations of some rogues about the business of Bergen, wherein they would wind in something against my Lord Sandwich (it was plain by their manner of examining, as Sir Thomas Crew did afterwards observe to me, who was there), but all amounted to little I think. But here Sir Thomas Crew and W. Hewer, who was there also, did tell me that they did hear Captain Downing give a cruel testimony against my Lord Bruncker, for his neglect, and doing nothing, in the time of straits at Chatham, when he was spoke to, and did tell the Committee that he, Downing, did presently after, in Lord Bruncker’s hearing, tell the Duke of Albemarle, that if he might advise the King, he should hang both my Lord Bruncker and Pett. This is very hard. Thence with W. Hewer and our messenger, Marlow, home by coach, and so late at letters, and then home to supper, and my wife to read and then to bed. This night I wrote to my father, in answer to a new match which is proposed (the executor of Ensum, my sister’s former servant) for my sister, that I will continue my mind of giving her 500l., if he likes of the match. My father did also this week, by Shepley, return me up a ‘guinny, which, it seems, upon searching the ground, they have found since I was there. I was told this day that Lory Hide, second son of my Lord Chancellor, did some time since in the House say, that if he thought his father was guilty but of one of the things then said against him, he would be the first that should call for judgement against him: which Mr. Waller, the poet, did say was spoke like the old Roman, like Brutus, for its greatness and worthiness.

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Letters from: Charleville [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleville,_Count... ]
19 November 1667

Orrery to the Archbishop of Dublin

From good hands is daily assured that the distance between [the King] and [Duke of York] increases so much, that [in MS.: "as"] those who wish well to either of them apprehend the consequences of it. Is assured too that smart Votes are drawn against [Ormond] whose ruin many fierce men design. [Orrery] does him all the service he can, though [Ormond] knows it not, nor shall. ...

Orrery to Boyle

Communicates the Court gossip, sent to him from Whitehall, about Clarendon and Ormond and their respective enemies.

Regards it as "an affront" to the writer that "Foxen should dare" [on the strength of support at the Viceregal Court] "to present an additional list of names, for the new Charter" [of the City of Limerick].


nix  •  Link

One more instance of the constancy of human nature -- the Parliamentary approach sounds eerily like modern-day Congressional investigations I've beene exposed to.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Mr. Speaker I have here in my hand the names of 59 crucifix-carrying Papists in the administration."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" For of the gods we think according to the common opinion; and of men, that for certain by necessity of nature they will everywhere reign over such as they be too strong for. Neither did we make this law nor are we the first that use it made; but as we found it, and shall leave it to posterity for ever, so also we use it, knowing that you likewise, and others that should have the same power which we have, would do the same.".

Thucydides 5.105/2 (Athenian speech to the Melians). *History of the Peloponnesian War* Thomas Hobbes, Ed.

Mark S  •  Link

"...was spoke like the old Roman, like Brutus, for its greatness and worthiness."

The Brutus referred to here is not Marcus Junius Brutus who joined in the assassination of Julius Caesar, but rather his ancestor Lucius Junius Brutus, who lived in the 6th century BC.

Lucius Junius Brutus was one of the first two people to be elected as consuls after the monarchy was overthrown. As consul, he condemned two of his own sons to death after finding them guilty of breaking the new laws and conspiring to restore the monarchy.

He was famous in Roman history for putting the law and the interests of the state above his own personal interests.

That's why the son of the Lord Chancellor, who said that if he thought his father was guilty he would be the first to call for judgement against him, is compared with L. Junius Brutus who was the first to call for judgement against his own sons.

Ruben  •  Link

“…was spoke like the old Roman, like Brutus, for its greatness and worthiness.”

Dangerous double intention here.
This Brutus is imagined to have executed his own sons. But he also made swear the Romans never to allow a king in Rome.
Words said in public a few years after Restauration by a politician and poet that admired Cromwell, when Cromwell was in power and admired Charles, after Restauration.
Who can say if the intention was laudatory (if related only to the execution of his sons) or denigratory, if related to Brutus republicanism?
I have to see again the BBC direct transmition from Parliament, and judge for myself.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"if he might advise the King, he should hang both my Lord Bruncker and Pett. This is very hard."
Nice sense of understatement, Sam.

There is also a strong resemblance to the present UK Labour party here - all fighting like rats in a sack to blame each other for a recent disaster.

Ruben  •  Link

"rats in a sack"
What about Lord Young?

Ruben  •  Link

Not a sack, but a sacking, like in old Istanbul...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

old Istanbul...? You mean the ancient practice of sewing em up in sacking and tossing em into the Golden Horn?

To be fair to the Ottomans, the practice appealed to the Romans too.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

:This night I wrote to my father, in answer to a new match which is proposed (the executor of Ensum, my sister’s former servant) for my sister, that I will continue my mind of giving her 500l., if he likes of the match."

Lucky Pall to have her menfolk desperately trying every possibility... Must make for hilarity on that BBC radio series.


But Pall will have her own way...And even win a place in Sam's heart in future years. I suppose over time she came to feel her funny, pompous ole brother was after all just trying to do for her in his unthinking inconsiderate way.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Lucius Junius Brutus was the founder of the Roman Republic and traditionally one of the first consuls in 509 BC. He was claimed as an ancestor of the Roman gens Junia, including Marcus Junius Brutus, the most famous of Caesar's assassins.


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