Monday 6 July 1668

Up, and to St. James’s, and there attended the Duke of York, and was there by himself told how angry he was, and did declare to my Lord Anglesey, about his late complaining of things of the Navy to the King in Council, and not to him; and I perceive he is mightily concerned at it, and resolved to reform things therein. Thence with W. Coventry walked in the Park together a good while, he mighty kind to me. And hear many pretty stories of my Lord Chancellor’s being heretofore made sport of by Peter Talbot the priest, in his story of the death of Cardinall Bleau;1 by Lord Cottington, in his ‘Dolor de las Tyipas’;2 and Tom Killigrew, in his being bred in Ram Ally, and now bound prentice to Lord Cottington, going to Spain with 1000l., and two suits of clothes. Thence home to dinner, and thence to Mr. Cooper’s, and there met my wife and W. Hewer and Deb.; and there my wife first sat for her picture: but he is a most admirable workman, and good company. Here comes Harris, and first told us how Betterton is come again upon the stage: whereupon my wife and company to the [Duke’s] house to see “Henry the Fifth;” while I to attend the Duke of York at the Committee of the Navy, at the Council, where some high dispute between him and W. Coventry about settling pensions upon all Flag-Officers, while unemployed: W. Coventry against it, and, I think, with reason. Thence I to the playhouse, and saw a piece of the play, and glad to see Betterton; and so with wife and Deb. to Spring-garden, and eat a lobster, and so home in the evening and to bed. Great doings at Paris, I hear, with their triumphs for their late conquests! The Duchesse of Richmond sworn last week of the queen’s Bedchamber, and the King minding little else but what he used to do — about his women.

  1. It is probable these stories, in ridicule of Clarendon, are nowhere recorded. Cardinal Jean Balue was the minister of Louis XI. of France. The reader will remember him in Sir W. Scott’s “Quentin Durward.” He was confined for eleven years in an iron cage invented by himself in the Chateau de Loches, and died soon after he regained his liberty. — B.

  2. Gripes. It was a joke against Lord Cottington that whenever he was seriously ill he declared himself a Roman Catholic, when he was well again he returned to the Protestant faith.

7 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

L&M note, like Clarendon, Cardinal Balue had been hated for his wealth and power; the two had been accused, but not convicted, of treason. Talbot was probably referring not to the death of Balue, but to his imprisonment (1469-1480) -- as rumor had it, in a cage in which he could neither stand nor sit.

Jesse   Link to this

"resolved to reform things therein"

Reform what, going over the DoY's head to complain or the issues behind the complaint?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Rejoicing in Paris over conquests and a version of Henry V on stage in London...Hmmn...

Paris...

"So...The English challenge us with a bad version of Henry V, eh? Well, we shall counter with a marginally better 'William the Conqueror'...After all, their Henri may have captured most of France for a time but our William never lost England...Ha, ha, ha..."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Cardinal Jean Balue was the minister of Louis XI. of France. The reader will remember him in Sir W. Scott’s “Quentin Durward.” "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quentin_Durward + links to the text.

L&M say authority for the story of his prison cage is dubious.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I to attend the Duke of York at the Committee of the Navy, at the Council, where some high dispute between him and W. Coventry about settling pensions upon all Flag-Officers, while unemployed: W. Coventry against it, and, I think, with reason."

The issue apparently is whether naval officers -- like army officers -- should be continuously employed, so pension-worthy when "unemployed," i.e., in peacetime.

L&M note the Duke of York's view prevailed, the navy was gradually professionalized from the Flag-officers down by the time of the Third Dutch War (1672-4), and Pepys would regard this as an essental reform. (Why he and Coventry opposed this now is unknown.)

***

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Great doings at Paris, I hear, with their triumphs for their late conquests!"

L&M note that by the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, Spain was forced to concede important territory to France.

Some details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congress_of_Aix-la...

Bryan M   Link to this

(Why he and Coventry opposed this now is unknown.)

Coventry was Treasury's man and Sam was the navy's bean counter. I suspect the reason was the perennial problem: "the want of money in the Navy".

In his biography of Sam's chum Robert Holmes, Ollard argues that a major advantage that the Dutch had over the English was their superior financial administration.

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