Thursday 19 April 1660

A great deal of business all this day, and Burr being gone to shore without my leave did vex me much.

At dinner news was brought us that my Lord was chosen at Dover. This afternoon came one Mr. Mansell on board as a Reformado, to whom my Lord did shew exceeding great respect, but upon what account I do not yet know. This day it has rained much, so that when I came to go to bed I found it wet through, so I was fain to wrap myself up in a dry sheet, and so lay all night.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Susanna  •  Link

Sixty Pieces of Silver

During the epic escape to the continent in 1651, Charles II's companions "fixed up a boat with a merchant named Francis Mansell, by the simple expedient of getting him drunk: the payment was to be sixty pieces of silver. Officially, his cargo was billed as a party of illegal duelists." (Antonia Fraser, "Royal Charles")

vincent  •  Link

"fain" meaning happy,pleased, seems to fit, other meanigs too, had to look it up.

WKW  •  Link

or fain as "obliged, compelled, forced"
or a combination (all "archaic")

Joe  •  Link

Bed wetting
So it didn't occur to Sam to have someone fix the leak after last time...

Pauline  •  Link

It is odd, isn't it, Joe
I wonder if the remodeling to put a better chimney in for Montagu's chamber is to blame.

vincent  •  Link

"fain" It depends how one does view ship board life in the English Channel in march. provides the the following
fain ADJECTIVE: Archaic. Disposed to accept or agree.

My Ancestors  •  Link

During the epic escape to the continent in 1651, Charles II’s companions “fixed up a boat with a merchant named Francis Mansell, by the simple expedient of getting him drunk: the payment was to be sixty pieces of silver. Officially, his cargo was billed as a party of illegal duelists.”

That is likely to be wrong. Charles would have never shown Francis respect on his return as Francis boarded his ship to greet him along with another person of repute. Francis also wasn't likely a Frenchman either quite possibly he was a kinsman of Sir Robert (Lord Admiral of the narrow seas - English Channel)and had access to coal ships as part of his glass house business and trader with Italy and Europe - Francis procured a coal steamer# also this Francis would have then therefore been a kinsman with another Francis an ardent royalist doctor of divinity at Oxford University #Ejected by parliamentarian puritans - The Francis of Oxford being the nephew of Sir Robert#. The fact that these kinsmen were royalist Welsh #Although the name is Norman origin circa 1260 into southern Wales# had benefited from Charles 1 and then Charles 2 on his return #E.g. benefacting Oxford Jesus cllge) makes me think there is more than a passing connection on all this, in those times there was ample reason to confuscate the truth, Francis the merchant was buried in England and his surname as with his kinsmen has no legacy in France as is an anglicised name.

Second Reading

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"We are sailing slowly."

I think it's more accurate to say the Naseby was sheltering behind the Goodwin Sands from the Channel storms, in an anchorage known as The Downs. Cities serving The Downs include Dover/South Foreland at the south end, Folkstone, Deal, Walmer, Ramsgate, Sandwich, Kingsdown, and Ramsgate/Broadstairs/North Foreland at the north end.…

Before this election, the mayor of Dover, "in a formal letter to Montagu, pointed out the urgency of government help for the repair of the pier, adding that no less than 52 families in the town were owed money by the Admiralty. With some assurance of payment, they would be ready and willing to carry out repairs to the fleet, then lying in the Downs."…

This tells us that the fleet was not seaworthy yet. And the Naseby had just undergone a refit, so these relocations are part of her shakedown cruise.

Pepys will probably tell us when at least 800 sailors join the ship; as we've discussed, it takes at least that many to fire Naseby's guns, plus more to sail the ship, should she need to act as a warship. The French or the Spanish might think it's a good idea to drown Charles II and James before they reach England!?

The fact that Pepys has his choice of births indicates that they were not up to a full compliment yet.

No mention of victualling happening yet. That's an expense the good people of Dover will want to be paid for by someone at the time.

So, all in all, I think they are pretty much stationary. As stationary as the winds and tides allow.

Tonyel  •  Link

Bed wetting. Sam's windows had been broken by the enthusiastic firing of cannon salutes and, presumably, could not be re-glazed at sea. I would have thought he would have had them covered up by now but maybe they were the only source of ventilation in a small, smelly cabin.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Aye, we seem to be treading water, but we're a command ship, a hub in glorious immovability like an aircraft carrier, and others do the movin' around. In an attachment to his recent report to the Admiralty on the subject of mackerels (which we pars'd at…), Montague yesterday sent an order of battle listing 32 ships. A considerable fleet, tho' from Sam's account alone you'd think we're alone on the gleaming sea.

Meanwhile, who wants news from Breda? The French Gazette has them! (Get it at…, page 394). Its report is dated April 20, but of course that's new style, so for us in our smelly cabins on the Naseby it's April 9 and already old news. And it says:

"The King of the Great Britain is, for some days, in this city [Breda], where the Court is flocking in the greatest numbers [ſe rend des plus groſſes], as from all parts come the English Lords & Gentlemen. His British Majesty is working, meanwhile, to make his Train of the most magnificent, hoping to soon pass to his Domains, on the advice that the Fleet of Montaigu, had displayed the Royal Standard, & that in a Banquet offered to all of the Officers, one had toasted, several times, the health of His said Majesty, to the sound of the gun's salute".

Now waiiit a minute. Yes, we had from Sam a few reports, on April 2 and more grandly on April 9-10, that "all or most" of the captains had come for a merry dinner. If the more recent Banquet is what the Gazette is reporting with a dateline on (in old style) the same date, then the news are sure moving fast - not impossible, unless that report was really already written in advance, like a press release; or maybe the Gazette's datelines are not really when the writing was done (that particular edition was printed on May 1st).

Sam on the 10th did hear a "great rattling of guns". Nothing from him, however, on all the captains toasting H.M.'s health - a bit odd, since he reports every whisper of royalism he comes across. He hadn't been at that dinner - instead he had private dinners, notably his own boisterous evening on the 9th with the lieutenant and poor Rev. Ibbot - but it's hard to believe he didn't have his ear on the wall, figuratively or literally, to monitor the seniors' doings in the nearby great cabin. OK, maybe they didn't all shout "long live the King" in a chorus before tossing their glasses at the walls. Maybe they did so just when Ibbot threw his caudle at Sam.

But so - we're flying the king's flag? The King is packing his bags "ſur l'avis que la Flotte de Montaigu, avoit aboré l'Etendart Royal". Remarkable, on a ship whose gilded figurehead is still Cromwell's mug (with laurels). But when did Sam mention this extraordinary display?

MartinVT  •  Link

Regarding that reporting in the Gazette: Keep in mind that even back then, fake news was a thing. I prefer to trust the accounts of Mr. Pepys, who is well placed right there on the flagship, than the likely second- or third-hand report in the Gazette, embellished at each step along the way.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Tonyel -- the broken window was on the Switfsure -- they are on the Naseby now.

Eric the Bish  •  Link

Ships - even modern grp and steel ones - leak: there are deck piercings for masts and fittings (like that chimney); and a wooden ship has gaps between the deck planks. These are caulked and tarred, but the caulking/tarring can be and often is less than 100%. The water gets in, then tracks along beams etc so where it drips is almost certainly not where it’s getting in. And if you do get the ship utterly watertight you have condensation to worry about.
So a cabin just below the main deck may have disadvantages.
Clever sailors stow their bedding away until it’s needed; dodge the drips, and on dry days air the blankets to get them fully dry.
Sleeping in the great cabin a deck below as Pepys did two days ago might be another smart move.

Tonyel  •  Link

Thanks SDS and EtB, I'd forgotten Sam's move and have also experienced soggy sleeping quarters on a boat. I stand corrected.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Fake news in the French Gazette? We're shocked - shocked! - that this may even be conceivable in the Sun King's beautifulll kingdom.

Bit of background: The Gazette is (in principle) the sole authorized news-book in France at this time. On French internal matters it only publishes happy news, but the bulk of its content is foreign dispatches. On England it generally tracks the other sources at our disposal. The Gazette would not be above biasing or hand-picking at least some of its reports to push this or that French faction with a stake in the matter, and as such its seemingly factual reports are a bit hard to decode. France (well, Versailles) is sympathetic to Charles II but otherwise still very much sitting on the fence.

But the Gazette of course doesn't have a reporter in Breda who fact-checks and then rushes to a payphone to dictate his copy to the editor, currently Mr. Theophraste Renaudot Jr., son of the founder. Someone in Breda, quite possibly in C2's court, sent a letter which the Gazette reproduced (the professional press of the more enlightened ages to come will of course shy away from copy-pasting press releases, pwah).

So this news of "the Fleet of Montagu" flying the King's three lions rampant rather than (maybe) the cross-and-Irish-harp (see those banners at… and…) may well be completely invented - some Breda courtier running ahead of the story, or wanting to convince Europe that the cake's already baked. Or maybe Renaudot embellished, to please the pro-C2 faction in Versailles. It doesn't matter. Charles himself should know what's going on aboard the Naseby if young Mr Montagu was indeed visiting him latelt, but what the ships are doing out at sea is pretty much impossible for anyone in France (or even in Breda) to prove or disprove.

However, the Gazette in the 1660s (says a history quoted at…) prints around 8,000 copies. It's a lot. Everyone in Versailles or in the merchant quarters of Paris and Lyons now "knows" what Sam still doesn't, or isn't quite sure of: The boat he's on (more or less) resounds with "vive le Roy" and is one ardent king-carrying machine. Now if the Gazette fell into Sam's hands right now, would he be pleased or plain horrified?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Stephane, how could you!? Louis XIV moves the court to Versailles in 1682 -- right now it's a hunting lodge. I believe you should change the palace named above to The Louvre?

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Well, duh, harrumpf and blush, yes Sarah of course you're right. Tho' Louis likes that hunting lodge so much... We must've been touched by a prophetick vision (quick! hide the time machine in the bushes). Yes, that's it: in a later age, L14 will be so completely associated with Versailles, that it will endure as shorthand for power. Indeed it will be hard to even imagine the Sun King in the promiscuous squalor of Paris; kinda like picturing Elvis in Memphis rather than in Vegas. But right now in 1660, Elvis is still in Memphis, and for Versailles please read (and change trains at) Le Louvre.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Since we're time-travelling, about this (probable) canard of the fleet flying the royal flag, on May 7 the French Gazette (printed "aux Galleries du Louvre", eh) will print, as a supplement across no less than 13 pages, a "letter from London", purportedly "from an English gentleman" and dated April 24. It extols the joys of the return of English monarchy and the "end of Tyranny" (sounds familiar) and heaps laurels on Monck, calling him an Instrument of God and "a Sun that is not destined to illuminate only one Earth but to give delightful Aspects, at the least, to all of Europe" (no less). Though, interestingly at this late stage and in a document that reads very much like a memo from Vers... from the Louvre on What You Should Think About England, "We well see what he [Monck] has done, but we do not see what he wants to do". Well, the ways of God.

More to our purpose, the only piece of (seemingly) factual hard news in these 13 pages is that "General Montagu had the Royal Standard displayed at the front and aft of the Vessels of the Fleet he commands: & regaled all the Officers, with a superb Banquet, where one drank to the King's health, to the sound of all the cannon" (this at…, pages 481-482). Strange; someone writing from London shouldn't be short of colorful local anecdotes, and have to fish this one from out at sea.

Well, well. And that's supposed to come four days after that letter from Breda. So, either the royal-flag rumor has crossed the channel (and then 'twould be strange if Sam didn't pick it soon), or someone in Ver... in the Louvre, really wants us to picture this royal flag-waving Montagu-fleet in our minds, as concrete evidence that the Restoration will happen. Why? Who needs to be convinced by (apparently fake) concrete evidence?

If we may hypothesize, it looks like someone's trying to manipulate the market. But on what market does England matter to the speculators?

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