Tuesday 19 May 1668

Up, and called on Mr. Pierce, who tells me that after all this ado Ward is come to town, and hath appeared to the Commissioners of Accounts and given such answers as he thinks will do every body right, and let the world see that their great expectations and jealousies have been vain in this matter of the prizes. The Commissioners were mighty inquisitive whether he was not instructed by letters or otherwise from hence from my Lord Sandwich’s friends what to say and do, and particularly from me, which he did wholly deny, as it was true, I not knowing the man that I know of. He tells me also that, for certain, Mr. Vaughan is made Lord Chief justice, which I am glad of. He tells me, too; that since my Lord of Ormond’s coming over, the King begins to be mightily reclaimed, and sups every night with great pleasure with the Queene: and yet, it seems, he is mighty hot upon the Duchess of Richmond; insomuch that, upon Sunday was se’nnight, at night, after he had ordered his Guards and coach to be ready to carry him to the Park, he did, on a sudden, take a pair of oars or sculler, and all alone, or but one with him, go to Somersett House, and there, the garden-door not being open, himself clamber over the walls to make a visit to her, which is a horrid shame. He gone, I to the office, where we sat all the morning, Sir W. Pen sick of the gout comes not out. After dinner at home, to White Hall, it being a very rainy day, and there a Committee for Tangier, where I was mightily pleased to see Sir W. Coventry fall upon my Lord Bellasses’ business of the 3d. in every piece of it which he would get to himself, making the King pay 4s. 9d, while he puts them off for 4s. 6d., so that Sir W. Coventry continues still the same man for the King’s good. But here Creed did vex me with saying that I ought first to have my account past by the Commissioners of Tangier before in the Exchequer. Thence W. Coventry and I in the Matted gallery, and there he did talk very well to me about the way to save the credit of the officers of the Navy, and their places too, by making use of this interval of Parliament to be found to be mending of matters in the Navy, and that nothing but this will do it, and gives an instance in themselves of the Treasury, whereof himself and Sir John Duncombe all the world knows have enemies, and my Lord Ashly a man obnoxious to most, and Sir Thomas Clifford one that as a man suddenly rising and a creature of my Lord Arlington’s hath enemies enough (none of them being otherwise but the Duke of Albemarle), yet with all this fault they hear nothing of the business of the Treasury, but all well spoken of there. He is for the removal of Sir John Minnes, thinking that thereby the world will see a greater change in the hands than now they do; and I will endeavour it, and endeavour to do some good in the office also. So home by coach, and to the office, where ended my letters, and then home, and there got Balty to read to me out of Sorbiere’s Observations in his Voyage into England, and then to bed.

7 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Written from: Whitehall - 19 May 1668

Ormond to the Archbishop of Dublin

... In an audience of the King, since the recess of Parliament, the writer, as he hopes, satisfied his Majesty that his affairs in Ireland have not been so negligently managed, as by some had been suggested to him. ...

It will be expected that Ireland shall bear the charges belonging to it. ... The Revenue & the Charge must therefore be brought to meet, one way or other, with an overplus to pay off debts, by degrees. ...

Adds various details concerning the current affairs of that Kingdom. ...
_____

Ormond to Ossory [now acting Lord Lieutenant of Ireland]

... Some here are of opinion that before the next meeting of the Parliament, the writer should divest himself of the Lieutenancy of Ireland. He suffers them to believe that he may be of their mind, but is not yet satisfied that it can be good for himself, or for the King's service. When so satisfied, very slender persuasions shall prevail with him. ...

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

Glyn   Link to this

What a great image of the king rowing down the Thames and then climbing over the walls of Somerset House.

Chris Squire   Link to this

Glyn: I agree but add that that the tide was probably ebbing; I guess that C noticed this & realised that he could easily ride down on it from Whitehall to Somerset House, less than a mile, and therefore on impulse did so.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...it seems, he is mighty hot upon the Duchess of Richmond; insomuch that, upon Sunday was se’nnight, at night, after he had ordered his Guards and coach to be ready to carry him to the Park, he did, on a sudden, take a pair of oars or sculler, and all alone, or but one with him, go to Somersett House, and there, the garden-door not being open, himself clamber over the walls to make a visit to her, which is a horrid shame."

"And so I just thought, Cathy having her devotions and all, and me with nothing to do, I'd just hop down the river and see my good friend er friends..."

"Really...?" Frances, in robe, dryly, turning to husband likewise in robe. "How nice. Charlie...We have anything in the kitchen?"

"I'll take potluck...Isn't it endlessly amusing how we're both Charles Stuart, Charlie?" addresses Richmond, taking Frances' arm.

nix   Link to this

Apparently when one is surrounded by yes men 24/7, the most erotically charged word in the language is "no."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Lord Ashly a man obnoxious to most, and Sir Thomas Clifford one that as a man suddenly rising and a creature of my Lord Arlington’s "

The Cabal Ministry is forming. "The CABAL was a group of high councillors who held power in the Three Kingdoms—England (with Wales), Scotland and Ireland—from 1668 to circa 1674. Following the end of the Clarendon Ministry in 1667, conduct of the government of Charles II fell to a group that came to be known as the Cabal. This group consisted of five Privy Councillors (Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley-Cooper, and Lauderdale) who formed the council's Committee for Foreign Affairs. Through that committee and their own offices, the five members were able to direct government policy both at home and abroad. The notion of an organised group in government, as opposed to a single royal favourite holding clear power, was seen by many as a threat to the authority of the throne. Others saw it as subverting the power of the Council or of Parliament, whilst Buckingham's close relationship with the King made the Cabal unpopular with some reformers. The title "Cabal" resulted from the perception that they had conspired together in Clarendon's fall and prosecution, and in its increasingly secretive conduct of government, and was helped by the fact that the initial letters of their names could be arranged to form CABAL as an acronym. However, there were sharp ideological divisions between the five, ranging from the Parliamentary idealism of Ashley to the autocratic absolutism of Lauderdale." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabal_Ministry

Mary   Link to this

Surely the Cabal must count as the first truly memorable Ministry in British politics.

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