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Stephane Chenard has posted 455 annotations/comments since 1 January 2021.

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Third Reading

About Tuesday 19 February 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

"Nor that it is known who he", the king, "will have", for a queen. Once again we count ourselves fortunate to be so well tapped into the best intelligence network of Europe, that of Venice of course. And so we know better, and allow ourselves a smug half-smile as we listen to Sam and Slingsby from the next table (we'll pretend, if they ask, being amused by the cleavage of that gipsy girl over there).

For tomorrow Giacomo Quirini, the republic's ambassador in Spain, will write (but he's already drafting today, for sure) that the Portuguese are so sure of their candidate, Catherine de Braganza, being picked, that "in Lisbon they have had illuminations, processions and public games, the people being pleased and the whole country rejoicing", and "they have also begun to give the Princess Caterina the title of Majesty".

In two fascinating dispatches at https://www.british-history.ac.uk…, Quirini adds, sourcing it to "a great personage who frequents the king's apartments" in Madrid, that Queen Caterina's dowry is to include "all the East Indies and the fortress of Tangier", among other things, such as half a million ducats in cash. True, the bargaining does go on, with "the English claim[ing] a part of Brazil and the Tercere Islands [one of the Azores] with two million ducats", while Francesco Giavarina, Quirini's colleague in London, will chime in on March 4 (new style, three days from now) that a mysterious envoy from Madrid made a quick dash to the Spanish embassy and, he heard, before rushing back to Spain left "notes of exchange for 5 to 600,000 crowns, for the use of the king here, to constrain him". Not yet a dowry, in this case - a bribe. We phant'sy the Spanish courier had a cloak with a deep cowl and the curtains in his coach were drawn tight.

Of course, nothing is decided, as Slingsby says. But, according to Giavarina, "many of the Council, who are Presbyterians, which means irreconcileable enemies of the Spanish monarchy, favour [the Portuguese ambassador, count de Ponte], forwarding and pushing his proposals". And, for now, the feverish haggling is the toast of the diplomatic scene; Giavarina notes that the courier's visit to the Spanish ambassador "is known to all the foreign ministers, though they have tried to keep it secret". Alas, it's not known to Sam; but it does concern him, already the name Tangiers imprints itself as a faint palimpsest in his life.

Oh and, there's madeira wine hanging in the balance, and the future independence of Portugal, and those inconsequential little bastions in India, which England so disdains right now - mere confettis, when the future is so clearly in Brazil. What do you call them again? Bombay? Hooghly? Chittagong? What could Englishmen possibly do with that?

About Thursday 21 February 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

What with all the hoohay on whether English is like Latin, no-one seems to have noticed the odd little endocyte in Sam's first sentence: "the Coronacion". Now, that is not the accepted horttograf, not even in 1661; Thos. Rugge for instance records that this week's Mercurius Politicus writes of "Greate preparations in the Citty of London, makeinge of pagion and triumphall arches againge the coronation of his Majesty", with a T as in Tudor, and we could not finde a single instance of a coronacion, with a C as in Carrambas, in other English discourse.

So is it "la coronación", and thus Sam's first (maybe one thereof) use of Spanish in the Diary? It did survive the Diary's transcription and translation into 19th and 20th century English, unlike all the endearing Olde English which of course is Sam's language at this time, 1661 (and in which we do wish for an edition of Sam his Diurnall). There must be a reason, and not the saucy reasons for which Sam will later avail of forraigne tongues, or a slip of the quill which we deem improbable.

Is this a subtle allusion, written perhaps in disapproval, to the rumors swirling around Sam in his taverns that Charles will marry with a Spanish beauty and into the Catholic house of Habsburg?

About Thursday 14 February 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

The law's heavy emphasis on inns, butchers &c. could also give one the impression that the private man is, in the sanctity of his castle, free to gorge on rumpsteaks as long as prepared by his Wife - not his "Cook", though we doubt if the hundreds of private Cooks, such as Sam's own, are to come up with that £60 deposit. But nay, the law applies to "all Our subjects, of what degree or quality soever within this Realm". Well, Sam is a Justice of the Peace, so he can police his own home.

But dry your tears, rich and mighty members of the Upper Crust, for there's a cop-out for ye in this case also, provision for "a special Licence first obtained from the Bishop of the Diocess". And indeed, we are pleased to find in the State Papers, on February 11, a "License from the Archbishop of Canterbury to Sec. Nicholas, Anne his wife, and ten persons to be chosen by him to eat meat at his table during Lent, provided he pays 13s. 4d. to the poor chest in his parish". We phant'sy a merry banquet, in which the Archibshop himself cracks the wishbone with a big grin on his face.

Indulgences, anyone? Cheap enough, here; the king's secretary may even struggle to provide exact change on less than a full pound; and we'd love to see the calculation that determin'd those stupendously generous alms.

About Thursday 14 February 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Eat fish! Will it work? Well, as this proclamation appears, so does a usefull compilation of the six others that Englishmen have seen swim across their plates since 1537, including two within just three years from poor Edward VI - read them at https://www.anglican.net/works/th…, and ponder the meaning in terms of strict observance of The Law.

The present one is the longest by far and can be read in the full glory of its 12 paragraphs at https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo…. First, it came out on January 12, so it took a month (admittedly a busy one) to make enough buzz for Sam to mention it. Then, if one thought it's about religion, eat flesh = go to the sulphur lakes of Hell, &c, §1 explains instead that those fish-days are "for the maintenance of the Navy and Shipping of this Realm" and "the encouragement of Fishermen" - an important bunch, economically and as accessories to the Navy (and, if not taken good care of, of pyrates, smugglers, the French, &c.) The apparent multitude of flesh-eaters-on-Lent so being "so great an Enemy to the Plenty of this Our Kingdome".

Future Ages will perhaps resurrect that Proclamation (if it ever should lapse), as they deal with the grievous effects of overindulgence in meat for one's health, the ravages inflicted on Nature by the soy industry, the many bounties (and dwindling stocks) of Fish-flesh, synthetic meat, &c.; but we stray.

Now, how to enforce? The proclamation reaches for the easiest targets, "Inholders, Keepers of Ordinary Tables, Cooks, Butchers, Victuallers, Alehouse-keepers, and Taverners", who are not to get involved in Flesh-on-Lent, and so guarantee by depositing with a Justice of the Peace "two sufficient Sureties of every of them (viz.) the Principal in Forty pounds, and their Sureties in Twenty pounds apiece", plus another £20 every year. Those are no trifling amounts for even a successful innkeeper, but those refusing to lay the deposits are "not to Victual, or sell Beer or Ale from henceforth", then go to prison, for an unspecified amount of time.

Stern indeed, and the proclamation says nothing of what would await the lawbreakers/flesh-eaters. On this point, we find a dispatch from London in the French Gazette, dated February 17, which mentions "a fine, for the first offence, & corporeal punishment, for the second" (the Gazette is also under the impression that it's all "for the encouragement of Fishermen & Merchants who traffick in Fish", the only motive cited in that Catholic mouthpiece). And it's easy to cross the line, because not only is meat not to be sold or eaten, but the Proclamation says it should not even be "uttered" on the dreaded Fish-Days.

About Thursday 7 February 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Good grief, of course duels are illegal. It's only last August that Charles issued "By the King, A proclamation against fighting of duels", thumping the table on how "every person that shall offend against the said Command (...) shall be incapable of holding any office in his Majesties service, and never after be permitted to come to the Court" (https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/…). And it's Sandwich, already on slighly shaky ground, who issued the challenge, here - and to a duke.

Ah, but not on English soil. And what happens in Le Havre de Grace, stays in Le Havre de Grace.

About Tuesday 5 February 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Bravo Sam, my Lord Treasurer's swearing-in, where you casually just happen to wander, was precisely the place to be seen today. Mercurius Politicus (in Thos. Rugge his summation, pp. 146-147) relates it drew "most and the chiefest of the nobility in coatches, about 60 in number". Which is a lot of coatches; back in September the Spanish ambassador extraordinary's super-flash grand entry had set a benchmark at about 50 (https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/…).

Mercurius has this report: "(...) his commission beeing' read, his Lordship took his oath and then went to his place upon the bench where, after some motiones heard, he removed into the Exchequer Chamber and there sate upon erroures [huh?] and received the keyes of the Receipt. Thence hee went to the Receipt side, viewed the officers, and returned backe into the Exchequer Court where, haveinge sate with the Barons, hee also tooke a viewe of the severall officers belonging' to the Kings Rememberancer, the Treasurer's] Rememberancer, and the other houses of record". And maybe, in the crowd, glimpsed the Clerk of the Acts, looking pretty.

About Saturday 19 January 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

We also find, at http://transpont.blogspot.com/201…, (a) a portrait of Venner, with an amusing inset of a Quaker who chose to appear naked before the judge, and (b) notice of a re-enactment of Venner's rising. This, a rather modest affair that will have been held on location in January 2013, is further documented at https://www.brh.org.uk/site/artic…, with another, even more sinister portrait of Venner and some rather strange photographs. A film was made and screened at the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2014, which regrettably we missed. Did anyone go?

About Saturday 19 January 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Allow us to opine on whether living in such a violent century as this XVII has dulled the sensitivities of the People, and they just shrug at the cartloads of smoking bowels they pass on their way to the theater. We're not inside their heads, and inner feelings leave few fossils, but surely this gruesome justice is meant to horrify! It's not meant to be nice or routine, if it didn't sap the appetite (OK, not Sam's) and cause nightmares what would be the point? And so, watch in fascination and cheer on as they may, we phant'sy that the citizen do find it horrific.

Now, to business. We daily receive news on the sheer audacity of this Venner plot, of the sort which would send a shiver up any king's spine, and make him sign a few more HD&Q orders. In the State Papers today (19 Jan.), a "Geo. Bushfield", mercer in Paternoster Row, confesses hearing "George Tutchins" say that, since Venner did fail, the phanaticks "would rise the next moonshiny night, and bring up all their powder, 55 barrels, now at Deptford, to Whitehall". Nice touch, the werewolfy rising by moonshine; and, if not an idle boast, that would supply quite a boom, given estimates that Guy Fawkes' 36 barrels already amounted to one or two tons of explosive.

Also today, Sir John Maynard MP, a lawyer, writes to Lord Mordaunt (why him?) that, not only "so many persons were committed at the last sessions [of the bench in Croydon, Surrey] who will not take the Oath of Allegiance that they are puzzled what to do", but their chief, "Dr. Bradley", is allowed by the gaoler to vent his damnable doctrines among his proselytes". Surely future centuries will not suffer their jailhouses to be where inmates become, er, "radicalized"?

On the Fifth Monarchists' grand vision, the French Gazette (at https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148…, pages 109-120) is about to reprint (on 4 Feb., new style) a "Letter of an Englishmen, to one of his friends", which provides a fascinating, blow-by-blow reportage of last week's events. It alleges, from a Fifth Monarchist "Manifest" - possibly an actual document - that the idea was, after felling "Babyllon, it is the name they give to the Monarchy", to "go to the other States, to make their triumph general; to this end, they will gather their Brothers, to detach them from all the Monarchists: & being disposed to die or vainquish (...) they will rise against all the Carnals, who, they say, only seek the possession of the World, & will put their Kings into irons". This in Louis XIV's propaganda journal, but we thought the idea of exporting the revolution being on the plotters' agenda to be worth mentioning.

About Thursday 10 January 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

On the excesses of repression noted by George Fox, as quoted by Susan, a royal proclamation can be expected in a few days to dial it down a little, and Mercurius Politicus will add this backgrounder: "Now heare in London many abuses was commited upon the acount of the serchinge for armes in the houses of the Fift Monorchy men, Quakers, and Anabaptists, that many were very ill delt withall; for that they robed them, sorely wounded others, and draged some to prison, and all this done without orders."

But on this day, royal secretary Edward Nicholas will note sternly in a letter to Henry Bennet (State Papers, at https://play.google.com/books/rea…) that, apart from the Fifth Monarchists being so violent and irreducible, "The nation is too sensible of their principles not to secure the public peace against them". In other words, they're not a tiny fringe of crazies. We like it when officialdom is so frank.

About Friday 11 January 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Dr Finch in his letter to Lord Conway (at https://play.google.com/books/rea…) also had an excellent report to provide, on what the city of London has been dealing with: "On Sunday [6 Jan., the events' kick-off] , 50 Fifth-Monarchy men went to Mr. Johnson , a bookseller near St. Paul's, and demanded the church keys; being refused, they broke open the door, and setting sentries, demanded of passengers [customers, presumably] whom they were for; one answered for King Charles, on which they replied they were for King Jesus, and shot him through the heart" - those Fifth Monarchists are on to something, here. "On Wednesday morning, they returned to the city with mad courage, fell on the guard, and beat the Life Guard and a whole regiment in half-an-hour, refusing all quarter. Venner their captain was taken [with a bullet in his back, as we noted earlier, less sure of the date than we now are]".

Perhaps Sam's excuse of having to travel tomorrow was a bit convenient, amid all these flying bullets and random terror? Anyway, "the Dukes of York and Albemarle marched with 700 horse into the city, but all was over".

About Friday 11 January 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

"This news do make people think something indeed, that three of the Royal Family should fall sick of the same disease": The dot connectors, a species that will surely have withered in future, more enlightened aeons such as the 21st century of ye ladies and gentlemen, do not have to stretch very far on this one. Why, only recently was the Princess Royal, Mary of Orange, buried, and, as Mercurius Politicus said (in Thos. Rugge his summary), "pray take notice that this solemenity was a privet thinge don in the darke in regarde the two famous leaders fell soe soone that not above three quarters of one yeare but fell the most renowned and hopefull Prince, Duke of Gloucester, on the same distemper, the small pox, as fell this royall lady". And now this; sir John Finch, himself a physician, notes this day in a letter to Lord Conway (State Papers) that "Princess Henrietta is (...) out of danger; Dr Frazer has let her blood; [Finch] hopes it will be with better success than the rest of the Royal Family have had".

A doctor's plot? A curse? Or, less rationally of course, corrupted blood running deep in the Stuart line? Because, to think of it - Mary queen of Scots, deposed; Charles I, shortened; this pox on their house, and on the way to France, at that. Could there be an element of Dieu Le Veult?

About Monday 7 January 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

@@@ We were provided a palace exceeding well furnished. Of the People of wild Turkestan, I should tell you that they are Mahommetans, and tho' they do revere the Lord and are much fond of sweetmeats which they do present each other at their Festivals, they know nothing of Twelfth Night.

About Monday 7 January 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

A colonels' revolt: In the fever of the moment, the shorthand we conjured up for what is more properly known as the Overton plot. It was a bunch of colonels, if a very different event. We plead guilty to not using generally accepted terminology but were writing hastily from the wilds of Turkestan and so distraught by last night's rampage that we just couln't remember the rascal's name.

About Monday 7 January 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Francesco Giavarina the Venetian ambassador in his next weekly dispatch (dated January 21, new style) will explain that "last Sunday was Epiphany" – so that's when it actually was, not today – which "is usually spent in exceptional merriment with banquets and drinking". Sam didn't get invited to any or even disturbed by the party noise, but anyway "the rebels expected to find the people buried in slumber in the dead of the night" and, with the guards "drunk after the day's rejoicings", planned to "enter the houses and slaughter all who did not share their opinions".

But they were betrayed by "one of the confederates", who told all to the mayor of London, who "fortwith mounted his horse". Some mayhem followed while Sam slept peacefully, with "all the streets (...) in arms", York and Monck themselves leading the response, a standoff with "some discharge of muskets", &c. – "one discharge" only from the rebels according to a dispatch dated January 20 (new style, January 8 old style) in the French Gazette, which said the government fielded two companies of trained bands, surely not amounting to 40,000 anything. Mercurius Politicus, which puts the insurgents' number at "neere 40", reports that the rebels "fired with chawed bullets and peeces of curtine roddes shaged" – whatever that is – and, asked by the watch "who are ye for? They said, For Kinge Jesus, and with that they fired and killed som of the trained bands, and so marched towards another watch and in ther hairebrained march killed a constable and wounded a bell man, and proceeded to another gate of the Citty and theire fired againe and killed some more and fled". Eventually the leader, Thomas Venner, "a wine cooper", "was sore wounded, a shot through his backe". We're not quite sure if that happened today, as search is still ongoing in the woods, so hope we're not spoiling any suspense.

Recall that another conspiracy was undone just recently, led by a bunch of colonells. The French Gazette on December 30 said more than 6,000 ["plus de six mille personnes"] were involved, likely an exaggeration but clearly meaning it wasn't a joke.

This is a developing situation, which should keep us and Sam busy in the next few days, so stay tuned (and safe!) Will Charles II the fun-loving, benevolent monarch, decide he can't trust the people after all and and launch a full-spectrum purge?

About Tuesday 1 January 1660/61

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

At least one of the Thomases Pepyses (the Dr., we surmise) has cause to be merry tonight: On its last day, one of the many pieces of business that Parliament dispatched was to "report a List of Debts, charged by this Parliament, and yet unsatisfied", toward their repayment out of Excise revenue. A "Thomas Pepis" is in there, along with 577 other people (list at https://www.british-history.ac.uk…), with £203 19s. 2d. to his name. It's the 287th largest amount, so nothing extravagant and he'll probably have to take a ticket to be paid out, but, even if he never sees the cash, there's always something to be made out of being officially owed money by the State. And hey, it's two thirds of Sam's net worth. So Tommy should pay the drinks.

This should also not keep us from wishing everyone a happy new year. This to apply both to Old Style in the Pepys frame of reference, and New Style for anyone on the different plane of the Universe where we seem to find ourselves.

About Friday 28 December 1660

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Perhaps, in the Lindsay/Oxford tussle, Charles just got better vibes out of Lindsay? The Lord High Chamberlain manages Westminster palace, a sensitive position at a time of so many plots, and one which must also call for a few practical skills and some alertness given the sheer complexity of the place. The king in any case has made clear, early on, that he's uninterested in reversions for their own sake and will rather grant offices based on competence.

But in any case it's a Lords decision. It's the Lords who, way back in 1626 under Charles I, shunted the office from the earls of Oxford, who had held it since the 12th century, to the Lindseys when the Oxfords happened to have no suitable male descendent on offer. A quick rummaging through the State Papers (at https://play.google.com/books/rea…) find, apart from a reference on December 26 which shows this has been going on for months, an unattributed note on December 19 on "reasons why the decision concerning the Earl of Lindsay's earldom and office should not be taken out of the hands of the judges, to whom the King referred it". The King has other things to do than step into every personal matter he's petitioned about, or than doing the Lords' job perhaps.

It's also not an obvious choice to make, because both of them have legitimacy: Lindsay can fall back on the Lords' decision of 1626 - in the hallowed days of Charles I! - but Oxford's claim goes back all the way to Queen Mary and even earlier. Lindsay's proposed solution, if the office and the earldom of Oxford go together, is very simple: make me earl of Oxford too. That seems a rather more radical thing to do. Lindsay himself, in his petition to the king (visible at https://www.british-history.ac.uk…), has little justification to offer, other than 1626 being "to the great Wrong of your Suppliant", and some old records that he thinks would convince the Lords to overturn their predecessors' prior decision. No one wants to take that hot potato, so the king passes it to his secretary, who sends it to the Lords, who, as of today, have only decided to "adjourn [their decision] to the Fourth Day of the Sitting of the next Parliament", whenever that may be. So we wait in suspense.

In the end Lindsay stays high chamberlain and Oxford stays Oxford. Our astrologer predicts that at the king's coronation - an event where the high chamberlain as the king's attendent basks in maximum visibility - those two will still be at it. On 9 May 1661 a commission set up to sort out the avalanche of petitions thrown at the king on that occasion will confirm Lindsay in his appointment, "as being actually in possession", and changing it just being too much bother, "but with a saving of the right of" Oxford, for future reference. Should something happen to Lindsay. We phant'sy that, if the two of them will ever find themselves at the top of a steep staircase, neither will want to go first.

About Sunday 16 December 1660

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

And, ah yes, that other thing about the Duke and his, er, woman Ann Hyde. Piero Mocenigo the Venetian ambassador stays very close to the story, and reported on December 12 (24, new style) that "the King (...) seems to have taken the lady's side, telling his brother that having lacked caution at first he could not draw back in conscience at this stage" or embroil her dad Chancellor Hyde, "so it looks as if everything will go smoothly". Nothing new there, and it only confirms what Sam heard from my Lady Jemima, down corridors of power that have been positively thrumming with the barely-contained scandal.

Charles meanwhile has tried to defuse opposition by elevating Hyde to the Lords, on whose honour no Commons-man may dare trespass and, Mocenigo adds, "it is said that at [Charles'] coronation", planned for February, "the chancellor will be raised to the rank of duke, and so the marriage will be rendered more compatible" [https://www.british-history.ac.uk…]. Actually our palantir suggests Hyde will only be created Viscount Cornbury and Earl of Clarendon, already something, but a dukedom would be a bit much.

About Sunday 16 December 1660

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

The specific project of "burning Westminster" which L&M references, is echoed in Mocenigo's mention that the reinforced palace guards are "as likely to be the first to suffer, as it seems these villains meant to set fire to them and destroy them". "Burning Westminster" still seems easier said than done - where do you start? How do you trap the king in a building of that size, where somebody is probably always rushing with a water bucket to take out a bad candle? Just an idea: on December 13, Nicholas also got a report on the seizure of a barrel of gunpowder, "brought (...) to Sarum [Salisbury?] and claimed by Himphrey Ditton, a Commonwealth man", one of several with "plots in hand", who "hope to (...) see the Cavaliers beg their bread before Christmas".

And so, here we are: Westminster in full panic mode. "Great guards att the Tower, in the Citty, and other places", the Mercurius reports, "and for almost a fortnight togeather all the talke was a plot or what persons was taken prisoners". From the King himself, no less than "A proclamation, commanding all cashiered officers and soldiers, and other persons that cannot give a good account for their being here, to depart out of the cities of London and Westminster" (full text at https://ota.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/rep…). Good luck with enforcing that one, but it should get the attention of the most inattentive, and it's a chance for the Watch to test the new night-sticks on a few "other persons".

Expect reports of guards, arrests, searches and more rogues and under-plots for weeks and weeks. Those evil Fifth Monarchists could be anywhere! Viz., Gen. Albermarle (whose regiment it is, that moved into Westminster) writes to Nicholas today that Col. John Clerk "is upon the guard at Whitehall, but it is not fit that he should be there this night". Amazingly, another "John Clerk" - gotta be the same man - petitions the King on the same day to be released from the Gatehouse. And what of the "obnoxious person (...) concealed in Wm. Du Gard's house, Newington Butts", whom "gentleman pensioner" Edward Short went to arrest and, Short wrote two days ago, who disappeared with Mr. Obnoxious despite posting a bond for £5,000? (Hmm. Du Gard, a papist froggie for sure). Anywhere, I tell you! Bar the doors!

About Sunday 16 December 1660

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Holy masked potatoes, not another plot against H.M.! Not a week goes by without a report in our State Papers on how some shmuck was overheard in a tavern promising to sheath-his-sword-&c. We even stumbled over one last week (https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/…) while discussing the weather in Holland.

And then we surmise that Shmuck gets a free ticket to sunny Barbados like the others. But aye, this one looks a bit serious, and in fact has been ticking awhile, somehow without registering on Sam's radar. At the end of his summary of Mercurius Politicus for November, Thomas Rugg had a longish report that "in this month on[e] Major White was commited prisoner to the Tower of London, as report said for endevouring' a plotts and make a disturbance against kingly power". There followed "great serches", "the Kings guards doubled and cannon mounted in Whit Hall, a regiment of trained bands and a company a night apointed to watch", an entire foot regiment "quartred in the subuarbs of Westminester", all of this lost to Sam in the London noise as far as the Diary shows. The King's secretary, Edward Nicholas, wrote today that he "had early notice of this plot, but suffered it on purpose to ripen till it burst out a few days ago". Venetian ambassador Mocenigo, on the ball as always, reported on December 12 (December 24, new style; handy converter at http://aulis.org/Calendar/Old_%26…) that "some of the accomplices were arrested and imprisoned yesterday (...) Meanwhile strong guards have been set at all the corners of London and the palace" [https://www.british-history.ac.uk…]. Aye, shocking we know, but Sam is five days behind on the newes. Well, his entries were kinda short lately, so he must've been busy, and only now thought "I gotta mention the plot".

And yes, "Many persons committed, as Major Generall Overton, Colonel Zankey, one Babinton and Bagster and other collonells". The State Papers for December 15 include a flurry of reports on the great serches, notably the examination of "John Hall, of Beech Lane, St. Giles's", whom Maj. Thomas White told "he would have the blood of General Monk, and would have killed him and burnt the city before, had his colonel permitted". Discipline, discipline, but still "he will make the city a second Jerusalem, by setting it on fire, and pull the King from his throne". A bit worryingly, Hall "showed [White] a Parliament roll, with the names of all those engaged in the design". Add to the plotters' list, in particular, "Miller, Baxter's Lieut.-Col.", and Hall himself, if he wasn't there to entrap White. Now that's a lot of colonels.

About Sunday 9 December 1660

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

It seemes this was no ordinary gust of wind, for we now see in Rugge his summation of Mercurius Politicus, that "In this month [December, tho' the day unknowne] their were very great winds, that many yeares there [were] not the like; many ships cast away, many houses blowne downe and churches tome with winds. The States of Holand lost a very great many of the shipes their; the Spaniard lost eight of his galleouns, or his best ships. The Earle of Argile and Laird Swenton was then att sea bound for Scotland, [but were] by ill weather forced into Yearmouth."

We see in our crystal ball that on December 20, a Mr. Russell will write from Amsterdam that, among recent events he recaps, "a terrible storm has cast away 50 ships, and blown down 500 houses". And this, whoa, "the very night the burgo-masters refused so just a demand" as a request for assistance in the arrest of "Harry Cromwell", "Huson the cobbler" and other rogues, apparently long pursued as one of the fanaticks' innumerable plots and cabals. Nice to see how Zephyr favors the House of Stuart; they should enjoy, for it won't always be.