Thursday 4 March 1668/69

Up, and a while at the office, but thinking to have Mr. Povy’s business to-day at the Committee for Tangier, I left the Board and away to White Hall, where in the first court I did meet Sir Jeremy Smith, who did tell me that Sir W. Coventry was just now sent to the Tower, about the business of his challenging the Duke of Buckingham, and so was also Harry Saville to the Gate-house; which, as [he is] a gentleman, and of the Duke of York’s bedchamber, I heard afterwards that the Duke of York is mightily incensed at, and do appear very high to the King that he might not be sent thither, but to the Tower, this being done only in contempt to him. This news of Sir W. Coventry did strike me to the heart, and with reason, for by this and my Lord of Ormond’s business, I do doubt that the Duke of Buckingham will be so flushed, that he will not stop at any thing, but be forced to do any thing now, as thinking it not safe to end here; and, Sir W. Coventry being gone, the King will have never a good counsellor, nor the Duke of York any sure friend to stick to him; nor any good man will be left to advise what is good. This, therefore, do heartily trouble me as any thing that ever I heard. So up into the House, and met with several people; but the Committee did not meet; and the whole House I find full of this business of Sir W. Coventry’s, and most men very sensible of the cause and effects of it. So, meeting with my Lord Bellassis, he told me the particulars of this matter; that it arises about a quarrel which Sir W. Coventry had with the Duke of Buckingham about a design between the Duke and Sir Robert Howard, to bring him into a play at the King’s house, which W. Coventry not enduring, did by H. Saville send a letter to the Duke of Buckingham, that he had a desire to speak with him. Upon which, the Duke of Buckingham did bid Holmes, his champion ever since my Lord Shrewsbury’s business,1 go to him to know the business; but H. Saville would not tell it to any but himself, and therefore did go presently to the Duke of Buckingham, and told him that his uncle Coventry was a person of honour, and was sensible of his Grace’s liberty taken of abusing him, and that he had a desire of satisfaction, and would fight with him. But that here they were interrupted by my Lord Chamberlain’s coming in, who was commanded to go to bid the Duke of Buckingham to come to the King, Holmes having discovered it. He told me that the King did last night, at the Council, ask the Duke of Buckingham, upon his honour, whether he had received any challenge from W. Coventry? which he confessed that he had; and then the King asking W. Coventry, he told him that he did not owne what the Duke of Buckingham had said, though it was not fit for him to give him a direct contradiction. But, being by the King put upon declaring, upon his honour, the matter, he answered that he had understood that many hard questions had upon this business been moved to some lawyers, and that therefore he was unwilling to declare any thing that might, from his own mouth, render him obnoxious to his Majesty’s displeasure, and, therefore, prayed to be excused: which the King did think fit to interpret to be a confession, and so gave warrant that night for his commitment to the Tower. Being very much troubled at this, I away by coach homewards, and directly to the Tower, where I find him in one Mr. Bennet’s house, son to Major Bayly, one of the Officers of the Ordnance, in the Bricke Tower:2 where I find him busy with my Lord Halifax and his brother; so I would not stay to interrupt them, but only to give him comfort, and offer my service to him, which he kindly and cheerfully received, only owning his being troubled for the King his master’s displeasure, which, I suppose, is the ordinary form and will of persons in this condition. And so I parted, with great content, that I had so earlily seen him there; and so going out, did meet Sir Jer. Smith going to meet me, who had newly been with Sir W. Coventry. And so he and I by water to Redriffe, and so walked to Deptford, where I have not been, I think, these twelve months: and there to the Treasurer’s house, where the Duke of York is, and his Duchess; and there we find them at dinner in the great room, unhung; and there was with them my Lady Duchess of Monmouth, the Countess of Falmouth, Castlemayne, Henrietta Hide (my Lady Hinchingbroke’s sister), and my Lady Peterborough. And after dinner Sir Jer. Smith and I were invited down to dinner with some of the Maids of Honour, namely, Mrs. Ogle, Blake, and Howard, which did me good to have the honour to dine with, and look on; and the Mother of the Maids, and Mrs. Howard, the mother of the Maid of Honour of that name, and the Duke’s housekeeper here. Here was also Monsieur Blancfort, Sir Richard Powell, Colonel Villers, Sir Jonathan Trelawny, and others. And here drank most excellent, and great variety, and plenty of wines, more than I have drank, at once, these seven years, but yet did me no great hurt. Having dined and very merry, and understanding by Blancfort how angry the Duke of York was, about their offering to send Saville to the Gate-house, among the rogues; and then, observing how this company, both the ladies and all, are of a gang, and did drink a health to the union of the two brothers, and talking of others as their enemies, they parted, and so we up; and there I did find the Duke of York and Duchess, with all the great ladies, sitting upon a carpet, on the ground, there being no chairs, playing at “I love my love with an A, because he is so and so: and I hate him with an A, because of this and that:” and some of them, but particularly the Duchess herself, and my Lady Castlemayne, were very witty. This done, they took barge, and I with Sir J. Smith to Captain Cox’s; and there to talk, and left them and other company to drink; while I slunk out to Bagwell’s; and there saw her, and her mother, and our late maid Nell, who cried for joy to see me, but I had no time for pleasure then nor could stay, but after drinking I back to the yard, having a month’s mind para have had a bout with Nell, which I believe I could have had, and may another time. So to Cox’s, and thence walked with Sir J. Smith back to Redriffe; and so, by water home, and there my wife mighty angry for my absence, and fell mightily out, but not being certain of any thing, but thinks only that Pierce or Knepp was there, and did ask me, and, I perceive, the boy, many questions. But I did answer her; and so, after much ado, did go to bed, and lie quiet all night; but [she] had another bout with me in the morning, but I did make shift to quiet her, but yet she was not fully satisfied, poor wretch! in her mind, and thinks much of my taking so much pleasure from her; which, indeed, is a fault, though I did not design or foresee it when I went.

  1. Charles II. wrote to his sister (Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans), on March 7th, 1669: “I am not sorry that Sir Will. Coventry has given me this good occasion by sending my Lord of Buckingham a challenge to turne him out of the Councill. I do intend to turn him allso out of the Treasury. The truth of it is, he has been a troublesome man in both places and I am well rid of him” (Julia Cartwright’s “Madame,” 1894, p. 283).
  2. The Brick Tower stands on the northern wall, a little to the west of Martin tower, with which it communicates by a secret passage. It was the residence of the Master of the Ordnance, and Raleigh was lodged here for a time.

18 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

March 4. There were made some more expts. to find what is the resistance of the air to bodys moued through it with Seuerall Velocitys. which was at this time done with Seuerall weights fastend to the same area of a thin Latten plate. [some of the Results are set down but Rudely.] -- It was orderd that these Expts. should be varied the next Day. by applying the same weight to seuerall areas. --

a Palm Leaf viewd in the new microscope.

Dr Lower tractus de Corde presented. [ http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/anatomia/blood... ]

Vz -- It being mentioned that the aequinox being neer at Hand. some care might be taken of obseruing the precise time of the Suns entrance into Aries,

Mr. Hooke said that he Intended to make a fitt apparatus for it against the next Autumnall AEquinox.

Expts. for the next Day, besides &c. -- were ordered, the Curators magneticall watch. as also &c --

http://webapps.qmul.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hooke_foli...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

4th March, 1669. To the Council of the Royal Society, about disposing my Lord Howard's library,now given to us,

http://goo.gl/eySTk

Chris Squire   Link to this

‘month's mind, n.
1. a. Chiefly R.C. Church. The commemoration of a deceased person by the celebration of a requiem mass, prayers, etc., on a day one month from the date of the death or funeral . .

2. Used allusively or humorously as a synonym for mind n.1 14 : an inclination, fancy, liking. Esp. in to have (also bear) a month's mind . to be in a month's mind : to have a strong expectation (rare). Now regional.
. . 1660 S. Pepys Diary 20 May (1970) I. 150 In another bed there was a pretty Duch woman‥but though I had a month's mind to her, I had not the boldness to go to her.’ [OE]

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

"And after dinner Sir Jer. Smith and I were invited down to dinner with some of the Maids of Honour, namely, Mrs. Ogle, Blake, and Howard, which did me good to have the honour to dine with, and look on"

Sam ogles Ogle --and later visits Mrs. Bagwell and likes his chances with Nell -- and Elizabeth senses that his eye is again a-roving!

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Here is a question for any legal historians out there. Is Sir W. Coventry, in the following passage, asserting something like the Fifth Amendment right not to testify against one's self, and isn't the king's response a good reason for codifying that right against self-incrimination?

"he was unwilling to declare any thing that might, from his own mouth, render him obnoxious to his Majesty’s displeasure, and, therefore, prayed to be excused: which the King did think fit to interpret to be a confession, and so gave warrant that night for his commitment to the Tower."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the Duke of Buckingham did bid Holmes, his champion ever since my Lord Shrewsbury’s business"

A duel fought over the Countess of Shrewsbury. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/01/17/

Jesse   Link to this

"Sir W. Coventry was just now sent to the Tower"

Was Coventry attempting to skirt the duel accusation with the "business [has] been moved to some lawyers" claim or was he sincere and holding back hoping (against hope really) to avoid further irritating Chas. who clearly wasn't favorable towards him? And I wonder if Saville is completely on board with the particulars related about his meeting with the DoB, and if so, was the "desire for satisfaction" actually authorized by Coventry?

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

In vino ...

"And here drank most excellent, and great variety, and plenty of wines, more than I have drank, at once, these seven years, but yet did me no great hurt."

But it is after his consuming these wines that Sam's libido, and Elizabeth's suspicions, are aroused.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Ah! Cherchez la femme! Cherchez la troisieme bonne!

Carl in Boston   Link to this

And here drank most excellent, and great variety, and plenty of wines, more than I have drank, at once, these seven years, but yet did me no great hurt.
And in Brideshead Revisited, the Marquis was unused to wine. It was not the amount, or the quality, but the variety which undid his stomach. To understand this, is to forgive all.
As for Coventry's "confession", 'twas close enough to give the King occasion to remove Buckingham from the Council and the Treasury, the way I read this. Coventry is a pawn in the King's chess game with Buckingham. I often think the USA was right to have the Fifth Amendment against self incrimination, and the establishment of the civil service to protect public servants against political intrigue.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"As for Coventry’s “confession”, ‘twas close enough to give the King occasion to remove Buckingham from the Council and the Treasury,...."

If only it were not Coventry, who gives the King honest counsel (tells him what he doesn't want to hear) being removed (says Pepys)!

Savile, Coventry's second, this day is transferred from the Gate House to the Tower 'for honour's sake' (L&M note). Coventry and his nephew and messenger, Savide , will be releasede from the Tower on the 20th.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"playing at “I love my love with an A, because he is so and so: and I hate him with an A, because of this and that:”"

I Love My Love with an A

I love my love with an A, because he's Agreeable.
I hate him because he's Avaricious.
He took me to the Sign of the Acorn,
And treated me with Apples.
His name's Andrew,
And he lives at Arlington.
http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=hes&p=1824

This rhyme can be found in The Nursery Rhyme Book, edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897).
http://books.google.com/books?id=dOwYAAAAYAAJ&p... p. 51

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Interesting that Jamie seems to have little concern for his most capable and trusted servant, Coventry. I suppose he and Charles may have come to a brotherly agreement that the nagging Sir Will must go but will not, hopefully, in the end, suffer much.

So ends the last best hope for Jamie, in my opinion...Though debatable, Coventry's reforms if fully enacted...Or at least the general feeling that the administration was in capable, fairly decent hands, working for more efficient government...might have helped enormously to keep York and the Stuarts in the saddle later on. Hard to say of course but in hindsight this little "duel" may have enormous final consequences even as Jamie plays happily away...

***
No mention of desire to have a bout with Bagwell...Does Sam feel going for a mere maid like Nell is less of a vow-breaker to Bess or is he simply tiring of Bagwell?

pepfie   Link to this

AS, pour comble d'ironie c'était la quatrième bonne maintenant suivant PG.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/background/people/sam...

languagehat   Link to this

"Interesting that Jamie seems to have little concern for his most capable and trusted servant, Coventry"

How do you get that out of "the Duke of York is mightily incensed"? I think James has a great deal of concern, but there's nothing whatever he can do about it -- his brother is king, and that's that. James may be a roisterer, but he's no idiot; he knows Coventry's value.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Jamie's incensed that treatments weren't equal but he's done nothing concrete to support Coventry that I see now and for some time. Coventry's been steadily slipping in favor and in my opinion Jamie's abandoned him, to his own detriment, turning his back on reform. Coventry's expressed bittermess at his treatment in past entries as well.

languagehat   Link to this

Ah, that may well be.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

It's debatable whether Coventry's reforms could have saved Jamie later but he was advocating wide-ranging reform and had Parliamentary connections as well as some social standing independent of his position. In contrast, Sam did fine work but was confined to the Navy, which offered little scope to improve James' standing later, plus he was totally dependent on James' and Charles' goodwill and could not risk speaking as truth to power as Coventry did. I do think Coventry was far more flexible and in a better position with Parliament than say the rigid Strafford under Charles I. But, hard to say...I would only submit that strong, efficient government with closer ties to Parliament might have improved Jamie's chances of survival amd Coventry was the best man to bring that about on a government-wide scale.

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