Sunday 22nd July 2007

By Jeannine Kerwin

Sam’s diary affords us the wonderful opportunity to see his world and view the individuals surrounding him through his eyes. The men and women that he writes of have been uniquely recorded and preserved for prosperity. Years before Sam kept his diary, on a small island that lies between England and France, another diarist, the Jersey born, Jean Chevalier, kept a diary of his own. In the book, Jean Chevalier and His Times1 the author Arthur Charles Saunders tells us that Chevalier was the “Pepys” of the island, and that “self”, which is so significant in Sam’s diary, is very minor in this diary. Quite like Sam, Chevalier was very interested in “his fellow men and, as incident followed incident during those eight troublous years 1643 - 1651” (Saunders, p. 13.) he recorded the details:

He had good descriptive powers although it is sometimes difficult to read his diary, written as it is, more or less in the patois of the Island, and, as we read page after page, we get before us a panoramic mental view of the great events which occupied the attention of the Jerseymen of that period. In 1651 the diary stopped and we have no definitive knowledge as to why it was not continued, except that Jean was a strong Royalist and, after the year 1651, members of the Royalist party had to walk very warily and it was dangerous for anyone to continue a diary in which the Parliamentary party would meet with no favour.

(Saunders, p. 13).

Within his pages, Chevalier left behind a wonderful picture of the great doings of those stormy times. He divided his diary into 3 parts: “Gouvernement de Sir Phelipe Carteret”; “Gouvernement de lisle de Luytent Lidcot lauthorite du Plement”; and “the reduction of the Island by Captaine Carteret authorisay de sa Majeste” (Saunders, p. 40). As we collectively explore the character of the men of Sam’s world, one of those men, Sir George Carteret, is a key person in both diaries.

Exploring Carteret’s long relationship with King Charles, whom he met as a young prince in exile, brings a broadened understanding of the unique relationship that Carteret and the King have brought forward into Sam’s world. This relationship is one of the rare “lifetime” relationships that Charles steadfastly and faithfully maintained. The foundation for that relationship was clearly established during Carteret’s years as the Governor of the Isle of Jersey. Carteret was a relentless, loyal supporter of both Charles I and Charles II and served both men with an unmatched steadfast allegiance.

Carteret, a Jerseyman from birth, was born on 6th May in either 1609 or 1610, the son of Elizabeth and Elie de Carteret. He left school at an early age and took to the sea, becoming a lieutenant in the King’s Navy in 1629 and progressing rapidly. In 1638 he was promoted to Vice-Admiral and made an expedition to Sallee, a pirate stronghold where he freed and recovered over 270 English slaves during his naval activities. During a follow on assignment to Sallee, Carteret kept a journal, now printed as The Barbary Voyage of 1638. In 1639 he was made Comptroller of the Navy. In 1640 he lost both of his parents, but later that year found a lifetime of fulfillment when on the 16th May he was married at Mont Orgueil Castle to his cousin Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Philip de Carteret, Bailiff of Jersey. The young couple resided in the Navy Office in Seething Lane. His first son was born on 20th September, 1642.

In addition to his extensive sea experience, some characteristics of Carteret included his striking ability to plan ahead, assess complex strategic situations and consistently display exceptional organizational talents, often under pressure. Carteret was also well known to be highly inventive in terms of creating capital for himself and was very conscious of getting what he considered to be his “just due”, which unfortunately often angered others.2 In spite of his strong accumulation tendencies it must be noted that he was extremely generous to those in his “fold” as this lovely excerpt from a 1639 letter to Elizabeth, whom he was courting at the time, shows us:

This day I landed the Earl of Leicester at Dieppe, who has given me a chain of gold. How much it is worth I do now know; but, such as it is, I give it to my dear Betty. If you think fit, I will sell it and put the money into a collar of pearls, or you shall have it as it is.

(Balleine, p. 18). Edward Hyde (later the Lord Chancellor of Sam’s diary), would record in his History, much of which he wrote during his stay at Jersey, that he and his friends would often go to the “castle to Sir George Carteret; who treated them with extraordinary kindness and civility, and spent much time with them” (Ollard, Clarendon, p. 114). In terms of generosity, the Prince of Wales, who later became King Charles II, was clearly well established within the “fold” of Carteret. In addition, Carteret was a strongly devoted husband and father with an upright sense of moral conduct, winning the approval of the likes of Hyde.

From the beginning of Chevalier’s diary, Parliamentary forces were fighting for control of Jersey. After the death of his Uncle Philip, Carteret, who had been appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the island returned to Jersey and reconquered the island from Parliament. On 5 February 1644 he required that “all persons between the ages of fifteen and sixteen, who had not already done so, should take the oath of loyalty to His Majesty” (Saunders, p. 75). He then proceeded to take measures that the island should be able to defend itself, and made it into a strategic privateering base. For the first 5 months of his position, Carteret’s privateers were at risk of being hanged. They were clearly violating International Law as they practiced without the necessary Letter of Marque. In December of 1644,

the King regularized their status by appointing Carteret “Vice-Admiral in the islands of Guernsey, Jersey, Sark, Alderney, and the maritime parts adjacent.” An imposing parchment in barbarous Latin conferred on him jurisdiction over all things on or in the sea, including, not only ships and men, but “whales, porpoises, dolphins, riggs, grampuses, and all other fish that by reason of their size have by ancient custom been held to appertain to the High Admiral.” This important clause was the one that gave him the power to issue Letters of Marque and so to make his little fleet part of the Royal Navy. The licensed piracy was so profitable that Carteret was not only able to meet all the expenses of the castles, but also to lay the foundation of an exceedingly large private fortune.

(Balleine, p. 54).

Meanwhile, the Prince of Wales was on the move. With Parliament closing in on him, the young Prince had been forced to flee the Scilly Islands for his safety and went to Jersey, where Carteret maintained complete command over the Jersey bays. During the Prince’s stay and in spite of the strain on the small island, Carteret and all Jersey folk handled this situation with utmost consideration. The Prince’s safety was maintained at all times and Carteret ensured that the Prince, housed at Elizabeth Castle with his Council, received the dignity of Royal protocol “Jersey-Style”, and that guests were graciously provided for. These assorted sections of Balleine’s biography of Carteret, many based on Chevalier’s diary, give us an indication of life in Jersey while the Prince was their guest (pp. 42-45):

It was only an hour before sunset, and Carteret had to face the problem of finding accommodation for three hundred uninvited guests. The Prince and Lords in Waiting were given rooms in the Castle; and horsemen rode to all parts of the island seeking lodgings for the rest. Even Hyde, though one of the four Councilors, and Fanshawe, the Prince’s Secretary, had to be content with beds in Town. “We quartered”, wrote Lady Fanshawe, “at a widow’s house in the Market Place, a stocking-merchant.”

Though here we have a definite case of Royalty on the run, the pomp and pageantry of the Whitehall ritual were still punctiliously adhered to. There was a galaxy of Court officials, gentlemen ushers, gentlemen of the privy chamber, grooms of the bedchamber, pages of honour, pages of the backstairs, a master of the robes, a gentleman carver and a cup bearer.

The Proud Black Eagle [ship carrying the Prince from the Scilly Island] had brought a dazzling display of silver-gilt plate to the island, and this was spread on the table whenever the Prince dined. The boy sat in solitary state with a Doctor of Divinity standing on his right to boom forth a Latin grace. On his left the elderly Lords in Waiting stood gravely in a group. A page presented on bended knee a silver bowl for rinsing the royal hands. Kneeling squires offered dishes one by one, and the gentleman-carver cut a portion from those which the Prince had selected, tasted it himself to prove that it had not been poisoned, and then laid it before him. The wine was served by a boy cup-bearer who first sipped it himself, and, as the Prince drank, held a basin under his chin, lest a drop should soil his clothes.

When Charles rode across the sands in the Town Church on Sunday, a hundred horsemen went before him; three hundred musketeers followed with drums beating. His chair was placed in front of the pulpit, and the table provided for his books was covered with rose petals. The floor around his seat was sprinkled with sweet-smelling herbs. The senior Commissioner stood at his elbow to point out the passages in the Bible to which the preacher referred.

More to Charles’ taste probably was a gift that Carteret gave him. He had already shown a love of seamanship, and on the voyage from Scilly he had stood for many hours at the helm. So Sir George procured for him from St. Malo a gaily painted, two-masted pinnacle with twelve pairs of oars. He now spent most of his spare time sailing up and down St. Aubin’s Bay, and he would allow no one else to touch the tiller.

During his stay, celebrations included rejoicings, bonfires and the Royal Standard flying for the first time from Elizabeth Castle. A Grand Review was held on St. Aubin’s sand with firing of guns and beating of drums, and shouts of “long live the Prince” which Charles acknowledged by raising his hat.

All the officers were graciously presented to the Prince and, on their knees, were graciously allowed to kiss the Prince’s hand. Then volleys were fired by the musketeers and two shots were fired from each parish gun, and the Prince, after having passed through the lines of troops, left a large gratuity to be divided among the soldiers, and retired with his followers to Elizabeth Castle.

(Saunders, p. 110). On the 24th of April the Prince of Wales knighted Captain George Carteret and presented him with a patent as Baronet.

True to form, the Prince may have left behind another “gift” to the island as he kept himself busy with non-official activities. Island gossip was that he impregnated a Jersey maiden, who later gave birth to a son named, James de la Cloche du Bourg de Jersey.

In a letter from King Charles II in 1665 he acknowledged James as his natural son and described his mother as “A young lady who was among the most distinguished on our Kingdom, more from frailty of our first youth than from any intention or great depravity.”

(Saunders, p. 113).

With the Queen mother, Henrietta, directing her son to come immediately to France, the Prince’s stay only lasted until June 1646. Before he left, the Prince sent a letter to “Our Trusty and well-beloved States of Jersey” dated 22 June 1646:

Trusty and welbeloved we cannot before our departure hence — 24th June, 1646 — but Express ye great sence and acknowledgement we have of ye Extraordinary proofes we have found during our Residence here of the good affeccons of ye Inhabitans of this Island to the Crown and to our Person, assuring you hereby that we shall Embrace and seeke all opportunitie to testiffie ye same By ye most reall wayes and so much we desire you in our name to make knowne to ye Islanders which shall make Good upon all occasions.

(Saunders, pp. 118-119).

When the Prince arrived at France, he deeply regretted ever leaving the Isle of Jersey. He left behind his popularity, support, financing, and the loyal zealous team under Carteret. With his focus turned away from protecting the Prince’s person, Carteret turned his attention back to protecting the island and fortifying the Fort of St. Aubin and Elizabeth Castle. Over the next few years an infuriated Parliament made attempts to quell the island and bring it under their control, but Carteret vehemently resisted and remained loyal to the King, whom he corresponded with during this time. In May 1647 when news reached Jersey that a small Parliamentarian army, which had been destined to take over the island had been moved elsewhere, Carteret, allowed for the disloyal residents to leave the island for France. Chevalier tells us that “Les nouvelles vindrent à Sire Gorge q Dieu avoit este rapellez” (Saunders, p. 124) and for awhile Carteret was better able to focus on preparations without worries of infighting.

Carteret maintained the Royalist Cause battling off Parliamentarian ships with a steadfast determination and established himself and his privateers as much hated targets of Parliament. Meanwhile Cromwell was gaining power and Parliament was making some headway. By May 1647, the political winds had changed and the King of France, now influenced by Parliament, issued a decree calling for these privateers to be declared Pirates. This action was a severe blow to the Jersey privateers who had allowed for Carteret to finance many of his expenses to fortify and defend the island as he supported the Stuart cause. It says much for Carteret that outwardly he maintained the appearance of a

successful man determined to continue his fight for the cause he loved so well. Some writers have given this world the impression that Carteret was a hard, selfish and unscrupulous man only too ready to take every opportunity to cruelly oppress and rob his opponents, but a study of the Lieutenant-Governor, especially when things appeared to have been going against him, shows him up in a better light and few men of that time, or of any time, would have been able to do what he did for his King during those strenuous and dangerous year 1643 -1651, when he had so many powerful enemies in England working for his downfall, and there was so much suspected treachery among some of the Islanders who were only awaiting a favourable opportunity to bring the island under the control of Parliament. He was a great man and a great organizer and now that the privateering days were restricted he still fought on, and not only fought on but carried the war into the enemy’s camp.

(Saunders, pp. 128-129).

Hyde, in a letter to Hopton (another devoted Royalist), wrote:

The sudden revoking of all commissions at sea, without giving Sir George any notice, has much disturbed him; for these good fellows cost him nothing, and were a great part of his strength. Though the promiscuous granting of commissions to men of all nations might be very scandalous, and was very inconvenient to the island, they all going under the name of Jersey men-of-war, when they never came hither nor brought one penny to the place, yet to suppress those who attend this place, when the inhabitants suffer every day by Parliament, is, methinks, to bind their hands and take away the only weapon by which they can infest their neighbours.

(Balleine, p. 56).

In 1647 both Carteret and Hyde received letters from King Charles I urging them to “show patience under the trials which God was laying upon him and them, and assured them that soon he hoped to announce the signing of a righteous peace” (Balleine, p. 63). With a show of genuine support for Jersey outwardly, Charles I, in his effort to try to free himself, “had agreed to terms, which contained the clause ‘that Sir George Carteret and other notorious delinquents be banished this Kingdom for life, and their estates sequestered for three years, and after three years settled on their posterity” (Balleine, p. 64). Carteret never discovered the King’s disloyalty to him and remained his steadfast supporter. When the news of the execution of Charles I became known in Jersey, Parliament also issued a warning that stated that “any person who shall presume to proclaim Charles Stuart, commonly called the Prince of Wales, to be King shall be deemed a traitor and suffer accordingly” (Balleine, p. 71). An undaunted Carteret set forth a proclamation defying Parliament and boldly declared Charles II as the new King. As Carteret declared, “Long Live Charles II,” the attending Islanders “took up the cry and, to show their loyalty, threw their hats in the air, and drums and trumpets helped to add to the enthusiasm of the crowd” (Saunders, p. 146).

The prohibition against Carteret’s Jersey privateering ended abruptly. The Prince, now the declared King, “sent Carteret a bundle of Letters of Marque, signed by himself in ink, with a blank for the names of the captain and boat left for Carteret to fill in, and soon once more, Jersey privateers were making the Channel dangerous for ships flying Cromwell’s flag” (Balleine, p. 57). An extract from one of these letters, signed by Charles II, follows (Balleine, p. 57):

Know that we, reposing trust and confidence in your courage, experience in sea affairs, a good affection to Us, do by these presents nominate and appoint you Captain of the good ship ………………………, giving you authority with your ship manned, equipped, and armed for war, to enter any River or Port of England, and, either there or at sea, to apprehend and possess, and in the case of resistance to sink, fire, or otherwise destroy, all ships together with their men, goods, and lading, belonging to any place or person of our subjects in actual rebellion against, or not in present obedience to Us, together with the ships, persons, and goods, of all their aiders and abettors.

And to bring all ships, persons and merchandize as you shall take, without breaking the bulk or altering the property of any of the said goods, to our Island of Jersey, there to cause the same to be adjudged lawful prize by such Judge of the Admiralty as is settled there, and after such adjudication to pay the tenths and fifteenths to Our use to such person as shall have authority to receive the same.

Provided that you do not permit any injury to be done to any ships belonging to subjects of any Prince or State in league or amity with Us,

And that you make the Isle of Jersey the constant place of your abode, and obey the orders of the Governor there, whilst you enjoy the benefits our this Our commission,

Provided that you enter into bond of one thousand pounds sterling to Us for the performance of all these particulars.

CHARLES R

In addition to this naval win for Carteret, he received a highly unexpected prize. The execution of King Charles I caused considerable discontent within the Navy. One of their frigates, the “Heart” changed sides and, to the surprise of all, arrived at Jersey. Carteret, not one to miss an opportunity, took advantage of the fact that nobody knew this change of loyalties had occurred. He sent the Heart off to Guernsey to capture another ship, the “Secant”. The crew of the Secant, unknowing that the Heart had pledged their loyalty to the King, was an easy target and the captured ship and its prizes went to Jersey. An unusual characteristic of Carteret is revealed here. Although he did “imprison the Jerseymen and Guernseymen on board, he sent the others to St. Malo and gave each of them a piece of eight so that they might be able to pay their expenses in getting back to England” (Saunders, p. 149).

Carteret’s requirement for oaths of loyalty to the King continued, as did the privateering. Carteret, in his wisdom, continued to make surprise visits throughout the island to check on the defenses and their upkeep. In June of 1649 Carteret received a mandate from the King to attend to him in Paris. While away, Carteret was disheartened to hear that the Heart had been captured by a Parliament ship. He returned however, with the uplifting news that The King, so impressed by the loyalty of his island subjects, had decided to spend the winter of 1649-1650 on the island. King Charles arrived there with the Duke of York and an entourage of about 300. Jersey had now become headquarters for the Royalist party. Unlike the previous trip Chevalier has recorded, this trip included many more prominent people than the group previously accompanying Charles. This trip also differed from the previous as Charles was now 19 years of age and no longer under the control of his mother.

During his stay, Charles and the Duke of York visited the forts, fished, attended church and other somewhat relaxed activities. “For the winter of 1649-50 Charles was thus free from pressure. Ireland had fallen through. Rupert was in Lisbon, Hyde in Madrid, Montrose in Scandinavia, the Queen in offended dudgeon. There was nothing much to do, a situation by no means disagreeable to his taste” (Ollard, Image, p. 74). Throughout this time, aided by the skillful sea services of Carteret’s privateers, Charles maintained considerable correspondence with the mainland and his faithful followers. During a Grand Review on October 31, the King knighted Carteret’s son Philip [whom we shall meet again in Sam’s diary, with a completely charming anecdote, involving a daughter of Lord Sandwich].

Charles corresponded and often met with his advisors throughout this time, and it was decided that he would eventually leave for Scotland. On 11 February 1650 Charles granted Carteret an island off the coast of Virginia called Smith Island. Two days later Charles left for Holland, and appointed his brother, the Duke of York, Governor of Jersey. Upon leaving the island the King made this promise to Carteret:

Carteret, I will add this to you under my owne hand that I can never forgett the good services you have done to my father & to me and, if god bless me, you shall find I doe remember them to the advantage of you and yours; and for this you have the word of your very loving freind. Charles R.

(Ollard, Image, p. 73.)

Chevalier tells that, at the King’s second departure from the Island, the people did not grieve so much as they had done the first time and he tells us that the Jersey people fully expected that he was now starting on an expedition, which would, with the aid of his Scotch subjects, result in his regaining his throne of his ancestors and they all united in wishing him every success.

(Saunders, p. 170.) Tensions continued to grow within the Channels.

Charles was declared King of Scotland on 1 January 1651. Cromwell had defeated the Scotch Army at Dunbar and the Royal Forces at Worcester, leaving Charles to flee to Normandy. Parliament now set their sights on Jersey. Carteret fortified the island for battle. On the 20th of October, a fleet sent was under the command of the highly distinguished Admiral Blake with approximately 3,000 troops to take over the island. Slowly the forces under Blake made headway with the surrender of Mont Orgueil castle on the 25th and the siege of Elizabeth Castle (where Carteret was located). With Elizabeth Castle in a hopeless situation the parties spent over a week to negotiate the terms of surrender. The surrender took place on 15 December 1651. A summary of the terms of the surrender follows (Balleine, pp. 98-99):

  1. All the garrison should receive free pardon for acts done during the War.
  2. Carteret and his two widowed sisters should retain their estates in the island without paying any composition.
  3. The rest of the garrison might retain their estates on paying a composition of not more than two years’ value of them.
  4. Members of the garrison might live quietly in Jersey, if they swore to commit no further hostile acts against Parliament; of, if they chose to live overseas, they might draw the revenue from their estates as freely as those who remained in the island; and those who desired to sell should have liberty to do so.
  5. All who decided to go to France should be provided with vessels by Parliament.
  6. Prisoners of war on either side should be liberated.
  7. The sick and wounded should be nursed in the Castle until restored to health.
  8. The garrison should march out on 15th December with full honours of war, colours flying, drums beating, fuses lit at both ends, and bullets in mouth.
  9. Free passes were promised to anyone who wanted to go to America
  10. A secret clause stated that Carteret was to receive £1,800 sterling. This was a common custom during such situations.

As Chevalier’s diary ended in 1651, Balleine’s biography of Carteret best sums up the next few years of his exile. The next day Carteret set sail for France and maintained his support of Charles II to the best of his ability. His whereabouts during much of this time is sketchy as he was not a great man of letters. With his considerable knowledge of ship building he was given the job of Superintendent of the French shipyards earning a salary of 1,200 pistoles a year. He also continued his privateering activities on a much more limited basis. When Mazarin entered into an agreement with Cromwell against Spain, Carteret pondered schemes to recapture Jersey. The British Ambassador was sent to France with instructions to have Carteret extradited back to England or have him imprisoned. Carteret was imprisoned in the Bastille, without ever having been publicly charged with anything and remained there until the end of 1657. After the death of Cromwell, Carteret, whose shipbuilding skills had proved quite impressive to the French, found himself back in the ship yards at Brest.

The Restoration of Charles II was soon to follow. Ollard tells us that for once, a Stuart held true to their word (Image, pp. 73-74) [slight historical spoiler]:

The promise [of the letter given Carteret in 1650] was fully honoured. At the Restoration Carteret was rewarded with the Treasuryship of the Navy, one of the most lucrative posts in the government. When the disasters of the Second Dutch War exposed the Navy Board to the avenging fury of the House of Commons the Treasurer was enabled to exchange offices with the Deputy Treasurer of Ireland3, another of the most coveted jobs in the administration. The ingratitude so often charged against the Stuarts is notably absent from Charles II’s treatment of this brave and loyal servant. Pepys, a sharp and often malicious critic of his colleagues, praises Carteret for his good nature, his diligence and his honesty. As host to the young King and his brother he was as generous as his credit and the profits of his privateers would allow. Best of all no doubt was his lack of political standing and ambition. His sympathies lay with Hyde and Hopton to whom he had given shelter four years earlier, but he was essentially an executive, content to carry out policy rather than frame one.

A.C. Saunders, offers this character sketch of Carteret, during his Jersey years:

There was not much sentiment about George Carteret. He knew what he wanted and was determined to get it. A great sailor and a faithful servant to the King and the Royal Cause, he realized that, when he became Lieutenant-Governor and had taken up duties in the Island, he would be in a very dangerous position, and that if he failed, the Parliamentarians would show him little mercy. He was a much stronger character than his uncle, the late Sir Philip [who had role prior to him], but had the same accumulative tendencies and was very fond of power and riches and, later on, was known in England as the rich Sir George. He was very brave and had very considerable organizing ability and he allowed few scruples to interfere with his plans for the good of the cause he had at heart, and he was determined to grant stern justice to those who, during the last year of his uncle’s life, had treated him so badly. The Parliamentarians had little encouragement to submit their grievances to his sense of justice. He would admit of no grievances and considered that for their past actions they deserved utmost penalties. Many fled from the Island, but during the next eight years those remaining could get little assistance or support from the English Parliament.

Sir George was all powerful in Jersey and, in all his actions, was supported by the members of the States who were always ready to follow his lead. Therefore he was always careful before taking any action in the Island to see that his conduct was in accordance with the legal procedure of the Island.

Therefore until 1651 he was the Dictator of the Island, and maintained the honour of the Royalist cause and, gathering together a number of ships and manning them with gallant mariners, he was able to spread terror among the English vessels trading to and from English ports, in the English Channel.

It is only a great man who could have done what he did in keeping the Royal Standard flying for nearly three years after the execution of Charles I, and historians in the past have done little justice to the gallant stand made by Sir George and his supporters in the little Island of Jersey, a stand which required the greatest Admiral, Blake, with seventy ships and three thousand men to put down, and then only after Sir George had been granted full honours of war.

Notwithstanding his many faults and his lack of sympathy in his dealing with opponents, who were not faultless, he may be considered as one of the greatest leaders during the Civil Wars, and the Royalist stand in Jersey as one of the great epochs in history.”

Notes

  1. Saunders’ book Jean Chevalier and His Times is rather rare, but may be available in the US via the public library inter-library loan program. There is a copy available for loan from the San Francisco public library. In the UK the book is available through the British Library. The Balleine book, All for the King, which draws heavily from Chevalier’s diary and is also quoted throughout this article, is available through Amazon UK or AbeBooks. Return

  2. Throughout his career Carteret angered others by his shrewd and highly successful accumulation abilities. In March 1653, Carteret (acting on the King’s behalf) fought with Prince Rupert over the spoils from the “Swallow” and the two became enemies. During the years of Sam’s diary, Carteret’s salary, as Treasurer of the Navy often caused considerable friction as explained by Balleine (p. 123): “Previous Treasurers’ salaries had included the right to keep threepence out of every pound that passed through their hands. Carteret’s however was at first fixed at around £2,000 a year but, with his usual financial canniness, in 1662 he persuaded the King to revert to the old arrangement. As in peace-time the Navy cost about £400,000 a year, this meant a poundage of £5,000, and should the country go to war, his income would become colossal”. Sam records Carteret’s argument with William Coventry, which is based on this percentage issue, in his 12 June 1662 entry. Although Carteret “won” this dispute he became Coventry’s enemy in the process, as Sam’s ongoing diary entries reveal. On several occasions, Carteret had loaned the King money as opposed to giving the King money (which other Royalists had done). Upon seeing the King repay Carteret, others, who had not been so shrewd in their financing, were highly indignant. Return

  3. [Spoiler] Quotes in this note are from the Balleine book. From 1666-1667 Carteret was investigated for activities related to the handling of accounts for the Dutch War. During this time Charles II steadfastly supported Carteret and used his rights as King to adjourn Parliament on several occasions in hopes that the accusations would die down. After this tactic did not prove successful, Charles made a statement that “he had personally examined the Navy Accounts, and was satisfied that there was nothing wrong with them, and he forbad further discussion” (p. 135). “The Treasury Books have now been edited by Dr. William Shaw who had access to documents which the Committee never saw and he has written: ‘The lasting impression which they leave is that of an active, capable, honest body of officials struggling vainly against absolutely insuperable financial difficulties” (p. 130). There have been no substantiated signs of cheating or embezzlement, and to the contrary, Carteret has been recorded as to digging into his own pockets to support the King and, at times naval activities on his behalf. Return

Books consulted and/or quoted for this article

  • Balleine, G.R., All for the King, 1976.
  • Carteret, Sir George, The Barbary Voyage of 1638, 1929.
  • Fraser, Antonia, King Charles II, 1979.
  • Hutton, Ronald, Charles II, 1989.
  • Nelson, William, Sir George Carteret Lord Proprietor of New Jersey with a Notice of the Isle of Jersey and a Brief Sketch of Lord John Berkeley, 1893.
  • Ollard, Richard, The Image of the King, 1979.
  • Ollard, Richard, Clarendon and His Friends, 1988.
  • Saunders, A.C., Jean Chevalier and His Times. A Story of Sir George Carteret, Baronet, and The Great Rebellion, 1936.

6 Comments

Terry F   Link to this

Jeannine,
Splendid, fascinating and timely!! Thanks for this!
Another note: Sir George was born in 1599, and the Duke of York in 1530. During his second visit to Jersey, surely his father's death added depth to his relation to Carteret. Perhaps the PepysSociogram ought to show a stronger bond between the two? http://www.pepysdiary.com/static/img/indepth/20...

*Jean Chevalier and His Times* is also available in several other libraries in the US and UK
http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/919566&referer=bri...

Bradford   Link to this

Striking to think what a rich back story lies behind each of Pepys's mates, admired or not, on the Board: he knew them as people, face to face---we see the whole stretch of their careers and lives. Thanks again to our assiduous Historian, Jeannine!

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Jeannine, another stupendous contribution. Many thanks.

I found myself curious about James' whereabouts during Charles' first visit to Jersey. According to Wikipedia, he was confined in Saint James' Palace from 1646 to 1648, when he escaped and went to The Hague in disguise. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_II_of_England

A gremlin got into Terry's post and changed Charles' birth year from 1630 to 1530, and his title from Prince of Wales to Duke of York (I infer Charles is the intended referent, because of the mention of his "second visit").

Pedro   Link to this

"Sam's diary affords us the wonderful opportunity to see his world and view the individuals surrounding him through his eyes."

Thank you to Jeannine for another in depth and detailed look at one of the characters in the Diary. Sometimes taking only Sam's view can lead to some of characters being misrepresented.

Michael de Carteret   Link to this

Please see our Official History at the website

John Chamberlin   Link to this

I came across your web site searching for letters of Marque, and Charles II. In Maryland, America, July 1652 a Dutch Sloop was captured by the indians, and 49 guns takes. Myself and an associate have discovered the land site. Upon research , we found that Cromwell has sent a deligation and reduced the state to Parliamentarian control. Within 60 days a peace treaty was signed by the Susquehannock Indians ceding the state of Maryland from the indians. I believe as part of the treaty, a royalist trading post was given to the indians. The ship was the "John & Thomas" with a part owner John and Thomas Ringold. The ship would have left Europe about late 1651-52. One issue was did she carry a letter of Marque from Charles II.

Any help would be appreciated.

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