Annotations and comments

San Diego Sarah has posted 1152 annotations/comments since 6 August 2015.

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About Tuesday 21 February 1664/65

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Anyone know what Rochester did between Christmas Day 1664 (when he delivered Minette's letter to Charles II) and today, February 21, when he has been kicked out of Court and has had time to set himself up playing pranks on the (quite elderly for the times) daughters of his father's friends?

I have to get a Rochester biography. Any recommendations?

And this story reads two ways now. 1) Pepys says Rochester set up the two girls to make a spectacle of themselves. But 2) Mrs. Jameson says the women wanted to meet him and thought this was a good way to do so. Grammont seems to be more in the Pepys camp.

Grammont tells the story in detail in Chapter X. Most of the chapter is about Rochester, if you care to read it all, or you can scroll down and find the highlighted “famous German doctor” and read from there.

About Tuesday 21 February 1664/65

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"What mad freaks the Maids of Honour at Court have the Mrs Jennings, one of the Duchess' maids, the other day dressed herself like an orange wench"

From "Beauties of the Court of Charles II” by Mrs. Jameson:
'The cause of the ‘shameful’ outing of Miss Jennings and a Miss Price was that they had been duped into the first of the many ongoing and outlandish frolics of a now 18-year-old Lord Rochester, who was parading as a German doctor and astrologer.'

Frances Jennings, sister of the future Duchess of Marlborough, inspired Anthony Hamilton to write, “Her face reminded me of the dawn, or of some Goddess of the Spring.” On one occasion she and her fellow maid of honour, Goditha Price, disguised as orange girls, sold fruit at the theatre. They went unrecognised by the male courtiers who accosted them, or their mistress the Duchess of York.

Goditha Price -- Maid of Honor to the Duchess of York -- daughter of Sir Herbert Price MP, Master of the King's Household. L&M say she was called "fat price" in *Memoirs of Count Gramont* By Anthony, Count Hamilton Born in Llanguick, Glamorganshire, Wales on 16 Jan 1637. So she was aged 28 in 1665.

James, Duke of York was also known to have had an affair with Goditha Price, daughter of Herbert Price, 1st Baronet of the Priory.

Clarendon described Herbert Price, 1st Bart. as much trusted by Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester, so he may have been the way John Wilmot, 2nd Duke of Rochester met the two women. ... Herbert Price, 1st Bart MP became interested in the relief of poor prisoners, serving on a committee in 1665; but his position at Court was strengthened by the success of his daughter, ‘fat Price’, whose ample charms and compliant disposition made her a conquest of the Duke of York.

The Windsor Beauties: Ladies of the Court of Charles II -- THE first four Maids of Honour of the Duchess of York MAIDS OF HONOUR GODITHA PRICE; HENRIETTA MARIA BLAGGE; MISS HOBART; AND ELIZABETH BAGOT, COUNTESS OF FALMOUTH, AFTERWARDS COUNTESS OF DORSET 1643 - 1684 BY Lewis Melville

Interesting that Pepys tells us gossip about Charles II, but nothing about his boss' side affairs.

Sounds like John Evelyn may be dealing more with father Price later in the year, taking care of the prisoners of war.

About Tuesday 21 February 1664/65

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"The King seems to purpose, with respect to Colonel [Richard] Talbot, to order him to be taken out of the Tower, but not to see him or to permit his return to Court."

So you are suggesting there could have been a "Catholic Intrigue" between Charles II and Secretary Bennet to free Talbot?

Why alert Ormonde to the fact ... except to say the Irish fanatic who wanted to kill you 3 years ago is about to be released from the Tower? I still see this as a courtesy note and will need more evidence to suspect Charles and Bennet of working with the Irish rebels. I like my Louis XIV theory better. 8-)

About Tuesday 21 February 1664/65

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thanks, Terry, for that wonderful info about the Carte MSS. It was on my To Do List to find out about them, and I'm sure the gang in years to come will also be interested.

"Terry speculates about a Catholic intrigue leading to Secretary Bennet telling Ormonde that Col. Richard Talbot is to be released."

"Sarah, that was not speculation. I was responding to an extant letter dated this date in 1665 in the online electronic catalogue of the Carte Papers."

Terry, I read the letter you posted before I wrote my annotation. Nowhere in it do I see anything justifying what I think is your editorial headline of "Catholic Intrigue". Now if that's actually what the Carte MMS says, that's different. Back in 2008 you and The Salty One often made up playful headlines.

True, there were lots of Irish Catholic Intrigues in 1665 and later. Talbot's bio leads me to believe he was involved in many of them.

Maybe you are implying Secretary Bennet was a closet Catholic (good friend of a known Roman Catholic, the Earl of Bristol) and therefore suspect of bribery? ... but I see "Secretary of State Sir Henry Bennet, Baron Arlington married 16 Apr. 1666, Isabella, da. of Lodewyk van Nassau, Lord of Beverweerd, 1 da.

"Sir Henry Bennet, Baron Arlington is probably the only secretary of state to have married an enemy alien in the middle of a hard-fought war; but his choice was politically sound, for she was not only an impeccable Protestant but sister-in-law to Thomas Butler, through whom Arlington formed an invaluable reinsurance with the Church party."

We can agree James Butler, Duke of Ormonde was definitely not an Irish conspirator. So a conspiracy between Ormonde and Bennet is highly unlikely. Nor would Ormonde's duties be involved in Talbot's release. But since Talbot was imprisoned for challenging Ormonde to a duel in 1661, Ormonde would have wanted to know the man was on the loose again.

So I repeat my question, "Terry may know more about this, but why would Charles II play into the hand of the Irish rebels?"

Logically no one here is an Irish conspirator.

I suspect it was impossible for Charles to keep Talbot locked up without trial any longer. Maybe keeping him locked up was making things worse in Ireland?

One conspiracy theory I can come up with is that Charles was paid off by Louis XIV who wanted to ferment cheap rebellion in Ireland, and the money was delivered by the good old Irish Earl of Castlemaine. You think????? 8-)

Your knowledge of 17th century history is far superior to mine, and may have prompted a "Spoiler Alert" headline -- I dunno. But I still don't think the letter as posted calls for this conclusion.

About Tuesday 21 February 1664/65

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I was surprised there were no annotations about Elizabeth's hot-house visit. Where it was ... ladies only on Tuesdays ... Rochester lurking behind the curtains ... whatever. So I went hunting and discovered that:

Roman-style public baths were introduced by returning crusaders in the 11th and 12th centuries, who had enjoyed warm baths in the Middle East. Baths came and went over the centuries, only to be closed by Henry VIII because of prostitution. SEE

Christianity turns out to be the only global religion with no laws about hygiene. In the early years of the church, the holier you were, the dirtier you were. Cleanliness was a luxury, because cleanliness was comfortable and attractive. The holier the monk, hermit and saint, the less they wash. The smellier you were, the closer to God people perceived you to be.

When the Black Death arrived in the 14th century, the king of France asked the medical faculty at the Sorbonne, "What is causing this hideous plague that is killing one out of every three Europeans, and what can we do to prevent it?" And the doctor opined that the people most at risk for catching the plague had opened their pores in hot bath water, making them more susceptible.

So in France, England and most European countries for about 500 years, people believed it was dangerous to bathe.

In the 17th century the cuffs and collar of a shirt were thought to be wicks that drew out dirt. People believed it safer to change their linen shirt than to bathe. They thought the flax in the linen exerted a magnetic attraction to sweat and drew it out of the body.

In the Middle Ages, St. Bernard said, "We all stink. No one smells." so they must have had tolerance for body odor. Think about smoking. I never smelled it as a child when everyone smoked, but now I can smell the traces of nicotine in someone's hair or on a hotel pillow.

The 17th century was arguably the dirtiest in Western history. People wore perfume so they couldn't smell their neighbors. One story goes that Madame de Montespan (mistress of Louis XIV) doused herself in perfume so she couldn't smell Louis' halitosis. But he hated perfume because it gave him headaches. One day they had a big fight about it in his coach, in front of Queen Marie Thérèse . SEE

On 4 April 1662 the House of Commons voted against erecting and using of public and artificial Baths and Bath-stoves

However, around 1679 a public bath called The Duke of York’s Bagnio or the Royal Bagnio was provided by the Duke of York in Roman Bath Street, London. Medals or tokens, bearing the figure of a man for men’s baths and a women for women’s baths, with respective days of admission, were issued. This is a long and interesting account ... SEE

I hope people have more to add to this.

About Tuesday 21 February 1664/65

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Lady Castlemayne will in merriment say that her daughter (not above a year old or two) ..."

This is linked to Charlotte Fitzroy Palmer, who was the second daughter of Barbara Villiers Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine, and was born 5 September 1664 making her 5 months old.

However, Charles II and Barbara's first daughter is also alive and well, and would be going on four:

Anne Palmer Fitzroy (later Anne Lennart, Countess of Sussex) (25 February 1661 – 16 May 1721 or 1722) -- for more information, see,_Cou...

Personally, if I were the mother, I'd be boasting about how precocious my 4 year old was, not the 6 month old.

About Tuesday 21 February 1664/65

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I dined with Sir W. Batten and my Lady, they being now a’days very fond of me."

Yet on 7 Feb. 1665: "I am at a loss," writes Pepys, "whether it will be better for me to have him die, because he is a bad man, or live, for fear a worse should come."

What a difference two weeks can make. Pepys must have done something. There are so many stories missing from the diary.

About Thursday 19 January 1664/65

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Or perhaps, Sasha, he didn't know how. There were no standard accounting procedures taught at business school back then -- I'm not sure they had even figured out double entry bookkeeping, never mind P&L accounts.

When Charles II came back, presumably there was a "clean sweep" of Puritans out of the offices -- and not everyone who escaped the cuts was disposed to do a good job. Pepys became aware that the Navy Board accounts were unhelpful a year ago, and sought out a better system. After he saw Auditor Beale's standards, he took Treasurer Carteret to take a look, and presumably they adopted those standards. (Always a good idea to know what the Auditor wants!) SEE

Povy was too dumb, lazy, cheap or incompetent to get organized. Maybe the Tangier Committee didn't fund an assistant and he wouldn't use his own money to stay out of trouble. Whatever the reasons, I'm sure he regretted it by now.

About Tuesday 21 February 1664/65

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Terry speculates about a Catholic intrigue leading to Secretary Bennet telling Ormonde that Col. Richard Talbot is to be released.

Talbot was made a gentleman of James, Duke of York's bedchamber at the Restoration; that didn't last long because he was imprisoned for challenging James Butler, Duke of Ormonde, to a duel in 1661. So Talbot's been locked up for about 4 years, and this was probably a courtesy note so Butler can keep an eye out for him in case Talbot tries anything.

Terry may knows more about this, but why would Charles II play into the hand of the Irish rebels? Talbot was a spokesman of the Irish Roman Catholics and made trouble for decades.