Wednesday 4 December 1667

At the office all the morning. At noon to dinner, and presently with my wife abroad, whom and her girle I leave at Unthanke’s, and so to White Hall in expectation of waiting on the Duke of York to-day, but was prevented therein, only at Mr. Wren’s chamber there I hear that the House of Lords did send down the paper which my Lord Chancellor left behind him, directed to the Lords, to be seditious and scandalous; and the Commons have voted that it be burned by the hands of the hangman, and that the King be desired to agree to it. I do hear, also, that they have desired the King to use means to stop his escape out of the nation. Here I also heard Mr. Jermin, who was there in the chamber upon occasion of Sir Thomas Harvy’s telling him of his brother’s having a child, and thereby taking away his hopes (that is, Mr. Jermin’s) of 2000l. a year. He swore, God damn him, he did not desire to have any more wealth than he had in the world, which indeed is a great estate, having all his uncle’s, my Lord St. Alban’s, and my Lord hath all the Queen-Mother’s. But when Sir Thos. Harvy told him that “hereafter you will wish it more;” — “By God,” answers he, “I won’t promise what I shall do hereafter.” Thence into the House, and there spied a pretty woman with spots on her face, well clad, who was enquiring for the guard chamber; I followed her, and there she went up, and turned into the turning towards the chapel, and I after her, and upon the stairs there met her coming up again, and there kissed her twice, and her business was to enquire for Sir Edward Bishop, one of the serjeants at armes. I believe she was a woman of pleasure, but was shy enough to me, and so I saw her go out afterwards, and I took a hackney coach, and away. I to Westminster Hall, and there walked, and thence towards White Hall by coach, and spying Mrs. Burroughs in a shop did stop and ‘light and speak to her; and so to White Hall, where I ‘light and went and met her coming towards White Hall, but was upon business, and I could not get her to go any whither and so parted, and I home with my wife and girle (my wife not being very well, of a great looseness day and night for these two days). So home, my wife to read to me in Sir R. Cotton’s book of warr, which is excellent reading, and particularly I was mightily pleased this night in what we read about the little profit or honour this kingdom ever gained by the greatest of its conquests abroad in France. This evening come Mr. Mills and sat with us a while, who is mighty kind and good company, and so, he gone, I to supper and to bed. My wife an unquiet night. This day Gilsthrop is buried, who hath made all the late discourse of the great discovery of 65,000l., of which the King bath been wronged.

14 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"[The Commons have declared] the paper which my Lord Chancellor left behind him, directed to the Lords, to be seditious and scandalous; and the Commons have voted that it be burned by the hands of the hangman"

Earl of Clarendon's Address.

"I Cannot express the insupportable Trouble and Grief of Mind, I sustain, under the Apprehension of being misrepresented to your Lordships, and when I hear how much of your Lordships Time hath been spent upon the Mention of me, as it is attended with more publick Consequences, and of the Differences in Opinion, which have already, or may probably arise between your Lordships, and the Honourable House of Commons; whereby the great and weighty Affairs of the Kingdom may be obstructed in a Time of so general a Dissatisfaction."

"I am very unfortunate to find myself to suffer so much under Two very disadvantageous Reflections, which are in no Degree applicable to me."

[ Etc. Worth a read. ]

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Paper declared scanlous, and to be burnt.

Resolved, &c. That the Paper sent by the Earl of Clarendon to the Lords, and by them sent down to this House, is scandalous and seditious; and doth reproach the King, and the publick Justice of the Nation.

Resolved, &c. The Lords be desired, that the Paper be burned by the Hand of the Hangman.

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Terry, thanks for that. A great example of how one must know the context to understand the text. To the naive reader (me) Clarendon's defense sounds judicious and well-founded, yet the Parliament men, knowing how to read between the lines, found it scandalous and seditious, and they were probably right.

It's amusing that their ire demanded that the hangman burn the paper, obviously in lieu of its author, now safely out of reach. Hard to see how much practical effect that could have had in a town full of printing presses constantly spewing out broadsides.

Mr.Gunning   Link to this

"I was mightily pleased this night in what we read about the little profit or honour this kingdom ever gained by the greatest of its conquests abroad in France."

Do I read this correctly? Sam was pleased that England gained little from its wars with France?

Mary   Link to this

"waiting on the Duke of York today.."

So we are to understand that the duke has now recovered from smallpox. It must have been a fairly light attack, as previously reported.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Mr. G-I think Sam meant he appreciated the irony of the wasted effort in France during the Hundred Years' War and how much more sensible it was not to continue to chase after such phantoms of empire.

Not to mention it's probably of great comfort after a lost war to read that a series of great tactical victories quickly turned to ashes.

JWB   Link to this

The Duke of York was sufficiently recovered to have taken & relayed the King's order that Clarendon "be gone" on the 29th Nov.

classicist   Link to this

Ordering papers to be burned by the common hangman seems to have been a standard way of registering disapproval of their contents. Many of the Army and Leveller petitions of Civil War period were disposed of in that manner.

JWB   Link to this

"Of what England lost in Clarendon, we can allow the
sordid history that followed his fall to afford a sufficiently sure and
graphic indication."
Henry Craik.'The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon V2'

JWB   Link to this

"...my wife not being very well, of a great looseness day and night for these two days..."
Wilkinson's Scotch cakes purchased 2 days ago. Sovereign remedy?

Mary   Link to this

Poor Elizabeth. What the late 18th century might have referred to as an attack of the "werry-go-nimbles."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Craik's V2 from the Gutenberg Project

http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/6671/pg6671...

Thanks, JWB.

Also:
Martine Watson Brownley, "Why Clarendon Served the Stuarts"
Biography - Volume 4, Number 2, Spring 1981, pp. 119-137. University of Hawai'i Press

Abstract:

A central biographical problem in Clarendon's career is the question of how a man of his personal integrity and political principles managed to devote his efforts to two kings with characters and policies antithetical to his own. Delineation of Clarendon's attitudes toward his service offers insights into his character which illuminate the private man behind the public figure.
http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/biograp...

Mary   Link to this

Elizabeth's unquiet night.

This just reminds me that we have heard very little of late of the state of Sam's bowels. In the earlier years of the diary he seemed quite often to be costive and to need to resort to physic, which in turn meant that he had to stay closeted at home the following day. This now rarely seems to happen. Is he eating a better diet? Has he found a less drastic answer to the problem than violent physic? He certainly doesn't appear to take more exercise.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Perhaps Bess' illness provides the solution, Mary.

"Oh, Bess...Try this would you?"

Ruben   Link to this

Sam’s bowels
Physic was taken not only because of the bowels, but also to "clean the body" of obnoxious substances in situations like head pain, general weakness and the like.

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