Saturday 18 July 1668

At the office all the morning. At noon dined at home and Creed with me, who I do really begin to hate, and do use him with some reservedness. Here was also my old acquaintance, Will Swan, to see me, who continues a factious fanatick still, and I do use him civilly, in expectation that those fellows may grow great again. Thence to the office, and then with my wife to the ‘Change and Unthanke’s, after having been at Cooper’s and sat there for her picture, which will be a noble picture, but yet I think not so like as Hales’s is. So home and to my office, and then to walk in the garden, and home to supper and to bed. They say the King of France is making a war again, in Flanders, with the King of Spain; the King of Spain refusing to give him all that he says was promised him in the treaty. Creed told me this day how when the King was at my Lord Cornwallis’s when he went last to Newmarket, that being there on a Sunday, the Duke of Buckingham did in the afternoon to please the King make a bawdy sermon to him out of Canticles, and that my Lord Cornwallis did endeavour to get the King a whore, and that must be a pretty girl the daughter of the parson of the place, but that she did get away, and leaped off of some place and killed herself, which if true is very sad.

10 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"They say the King of France is making a war again, in Flanders"

L&M say the story is untrue, told by France's enemies, esp. the Governor of the Spanish Netherlands.

***

"when the King was at my Lord Cornwallis’s when he went last to Newmarket,"

May 22-23 http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/05/22/

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"on a Sunday, the Duke of Buckingham did in the afternoon to please the King make a bawdy sermon to him out of Canticles, and that my Lord Cornwallis did endeavour to get the King a whore...."

L&M note Aubrey reports mimicry of sermons was a fashionable game; the story about making a whore of the parson's daughter "has not been traced elsewhere."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...Lord Cornwallis did endeavour to get the King a whore, and that must be a pretty girl the daughter of the parson of the place, but that she did get away, and leaped off of some place and killed herself, which if true is very sad."

"Bess?...BESS?!"

"I'm right here in the other bed, Sam'l...No need to yell..."

"Can't wait till it gets cooler..."

"Unnh..."

What's the meaning there?...

"Bess?..."

"Yo...Still right here, Sam'l."

"What I was meaning to ask was...That poor parson's daughter?"

"That was awful...If true..."

"Yes, but...If the King were to...I mean...Notice you?"

"Petite moi? Oooh..."

"You know what I mean..."

"Uh-huh..."

"Well?"

"Well, what?"

"Would you jump?"

"Never have yet with you...And he's the King."

"Bess?!"

"Off the highest point of London Bridge...That make you feel better?"

"Rather..."

"Now...Insert the words 'not bloody likely'..."

"Bess..."

"Now, say, push said King off said highest point of London Bridge and get my hubs to help make it look like an accident..."

"Hmmn...Practical...Yet gets the mission accomplished...I like it."

"Thought you would..."

***

john   Link to this

“...Lord Cornwallis did endeavour to get the King a whore..."

An interesting (and depressing) look at pressing young women into prostitution slavery at court.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

john, indeed. Even if there was no "pressing young women into prostitution slavery" or suicide in this or any other case, the fact that such a story can be bandied about so blithely as plausible by one who has court connections to another who has court connections, is a scandal beyond very sad.

Is it possible the story is just an attempt by Creed to claim greater insider knowledge? a "courtly" brag and put down of Pepys ('Where have YOU been?')?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Sam'l...? You think Creed really knew what he was talking about, about that poor girl?"

"Hard to say...He is rather well-connected but... I don't see that he would have been able to get such information."

"I suppose..."

Twelve hours earlier...Home of the parson of Lord Cornwallis' estate.

"A charming place, Mr. Howe...Pity we are not seeing it by light of day."

"A most pleasant seat, Mr. Creed."

"Indeed. I myself have considered at times the potential joys of resuming my old profession and seeking some such delightful little parsonage...Ah, there's the room, I believe." Studies house plan by shielded candle.

"Mr. Creed...I feel I must confess to certain reservations regards this particular assignment."

"Mr. Howe...The protection of the King's reputation, at all costs, is a sacred trust. The means..." pats crowbar... "May be regretable...The ends...Vital to the national interest."

"True enough, Mr. Creed...Still, to rifle through a tragically deceased young woman's diary and personal letters seeking to remove anything incriminating the King whose admittedly rather...Unfortunate...Behavior."

"Mr. Howe...Old friend, I must caution you to go no further. The matter admits neither of indiscretion...Or delay. You may depart...No pun intended I assure you...Now if you wish. But action must be taken." lifts crowbar to door.

"I suppose so...Still, with the said young lady lying downstairs in the parlor...?"

"And the small family grieving with her body...No better time, Mr. Howe. If we be quick. For England, Howe."

"Indeed, Mr. Creed."

Dorothy Willis   Link to this

The story about the girl sounds like an urban legend. I've heard similar stories before, for instance in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

jeannine   Link to this

“…Lord Cornwallis did endeavor to get the King a whore…”

Lining up whores and mistresses for the King is important business in Charles' court. In terms of at least 2 of his mistresses, there were little groups of high level courtiers that worked to pressure at these ladies to 'give themselves' to the King. Frances Stuart was pressured by Buckingham & friends (although she never gave in) and later Lord Arlington, his wife & entourage put the pressure on Louise De Keroualle (who did give in). Charles also had ongoing 'back stairs' ladies provided by his titled pimps. Keeping the King happy in his bedroom often came with perks and privileges. Many a good man, knowing the Kings character, would send his beautiful and chaste daughter out into the country to avoid such a fate for his child. Based on Charles’ sexual reputation, this is the type story that truthful or not, could easily be believed to be truth and thus spread through the gossip channel as fact.

Clement   Link to this

If Pepys diary had been read in the 18th century we would now have a whole body of folk ballads recalling the story of the King's little runaway girl being played on fiddle, guitar and banjo around campfires and at music festivals across the western world.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Even in Fritz Lang's masterpiece sci-fi film, "Metropolis" there's a famous early scene where a group of courtesans is lined up and inspected as to worthiness to cavort with young Freder Frederson, son of the Master of Metropolis. Not much changes...

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.