Tuesday 31 December 1667

Up, without words to my wife, or few, and those not angry, and so to White Hall, and there waited a long time, while the Duke of York was with the King in the Caball, and there I and Creed stayed talking without, in the Vane-Room, and I perceive all people’s expectation is, what will be the issue of this great business of putting these great Lords out of the council and power, the quarrel, I perceive, being only their standing against the will of the King in the business of the Chancellor. Anon the Duke of York comes out, and then to a committee of Tangier, where my Lord Middleton did come to-day, and seems to me but a dull, heavy man; but he is a great soldier, and stout, and a needy Lord, which will still keep that poor garrison from ever coming to be worth anything to the King. Here, after a short meeting, we broke up, and I home to the office, where they are sitting, and so I to them, and having done our business rose, and I home to dinner with my people, and there dined with me my uncle Thomas, with a mourning hat-band on, for his daughter Mary, and here I and my people did discourse of the Act for the accounts, which do give the greatest power to these people, as they report that have read it (I having not yet read it, and indeed its nature is such as I have no mind to go about to read it, for fear of meeting matter in it to trouble me), that ever was given to any subjects, and too much also. After dinner with my wife and girl to Unthanke’s, and there left her, and I to Westminster, and there to Mrs. Martin’s, and did hazer con elle what I desired, and there did drink with her, and find fault with her husband’s wearing of too fine clothes, by which I perceive he will be a beggar, and so after a little talking I away and took up my wife again, and so home and to the office, where Captain Perryman did give me an account, walking in the garden, how the seamen of England are discouraged by want of money (or otherwise by being, as he says, but I think without cause, by their being underrated) so far as that he thinks the greatest part are gone abroad or going, and says that it is known that there are Irish in the town, up and down, that do labour to entice the seamen out of the nation by giving them 3l. in hand, and promise of 40s. per month, to go into the King of France’s service, which is a mighty shame, but yet I believe is true. I did advise with him about my little vessel, “The Maybolt,” which he says will be best for me to sell, though my employing her to Newcastle this winter, and the next spring, for coles, will be a gainful trade, but yet make me great trouble, but I will think of it, and so to my office, ended my letters, and so home to supper and to bed, good friends with my wife. Thus ends the year, with great happiness to myself and family as to health and good condition in the world, blessed be God for it! only with great trouble to my mind in reference to the publick, there being little hopes left but that the whole nation must in a very little time be lost, either by troubles at home, the Parliament being dissatisfied, and the King led into unsettled councils by some about him, himself considering little, and divisions growing between the King and Duke of York; or else by foreign invasion, to which we must submit if any, at this bad point of time, should come upon us, which the King of France is well able to do. These thoughts, and some cares upon me, concerning my standing in this Office when the Committee of Parliament shall come to examine our Navy matters, which they will now shortly do. I pray God they may do the kingdom service therein, as they will have sufficient opportunity of doing it!

11 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Written from: Whitehall - Date: 31 December 1667

The King to Ormond

Order is to be given to the Commissioners of the Court of Claims in Ireland not to proceed to any disposal of certain lands enumerated in a Schedule, exhibited to them by Dr Gorges, on behalf of the King's dear brother, the Duke of York, until his Majesty's pleasure thereupon shall be further signified.

Arlington to Ormond

Has received the letter from the Council of Ireland, relating to the proceedings of Dr Gorges.

H.R.H. [the Duke of York] approves of that agent's procedure in the complaint, except in the particular of appealing to the King in Parliament, which, the Duke told the writer, Gorges did only in terrorem [to frighten], not meaning to put the threat into execution. ...

H.R.H. added that it was against his own maxim, to bring into Parliament persons or things wherein his Majesty, alone, was able to give relief to the grievance complained of. ...


Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...or else by foreign invasion, to which we must submit if any, at this bad point of time, should come upon us, which the King of France is well able to do."


"But at de time it seemed so much cheaper to buy it than to invade it." Louis notes.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"its nature is such as I have no mind to go about to read it, for fear of meeting matter in it to trouble me"
Right on, Sam. Exactly how I feel about most political news these days.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

And thus ends our year as well, with a thought of thanks to Sam for continuing to struggle through his eye problems to tell us about his life and times. And many thoughts of thanks to my fellow travelers on this extended journey through the 17th century, for their continuing contributions to our entertainment and enlightenment with their wise and witty annotations. And most of all to Phil for paving the path. May you all have a happy and healthy 2011 (or 1668).

Mary  •  Link

"by their being underrated"

L&M explain that although ordinary and able seamen were paid at a standard rate across the fleet, officers and specialists (e.g. carpenters, boatswains) were paid at variable rates according to the official rating of the vessel in which they served.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Happy New Year
Feliz Ano Novo

nix  •  Link

Here is a fascinating account of archeological reconstruction of medieval combat in England --


Two centuries before Samuel's time, but it gives a graphic hint of what they had to fear from invasion or civil strife.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Fascinating article, Nix! Thanks for sharing.

Glyn  •  Link

And it will be Pepys who will come up with a consistent means of assigning ratings to naval ships. Incidentally, since reading this Diary I've become a little amused when people refer to something or someone as being "second rate". In fact, that would be quite a powerful ship - a bit like being a "4 star hotel" rather than a "5 star one".

Diana  •  Link

Hi, does anyone know what the sentence "the King led into unsettled councils by some about him, himself considering little" refer to? Were those "about him" some people against the monarchy (who the King did not really consider "important enemies")?


Terry Foreman  •  Link

Diana, keen reading on your part: perhaps "some about him" are unintentional enemies!
L&M transcribes a single word unlike Wheatley: "the King led into unsettled counsels by some about him, himself considering little" -- methinks this means SP thinks some of the King's chums distract him from attending to his job.
He is an uncertain rudder for the ship of state, the enablers indulge every fancy, and all may be lost.

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