Sunday 27 May 1660

(Lord’s day).

Called up by John Goods to see the Garter and Heralds coat, which lay in the coach, brought by Sir Edward Walker, King at Arms, this morning, for my Lord.

My Lord hath summoned all the Commanders on board him, to see the ceremony, which was thus:

Sir Edward putting on his coat, and having laid the George and Garter, and the King’s letter to my Lord, upon a crimson cushion (in the coach, all the Commanders standing by), makes three congees to him, holding the cushion in his arms. Then laying it down with the things upon it upon a chair, he takes the letter, and delivers it to my Lord, which my Lord breaks open and gives him to read. It was directed to our trusty and well beloved Sir Edward Montagu, Knight, one of our Generals at sea, and our Companion elect of our Noble Order of the Garter. The contents of the letter is to show that the Kings of England have for many years made use of this honour, as a special mark of favour, to persons of good extraction and virtue (and that many Emperors, Kings and Princes of other countries have borne this honour), and that whereas my Lord is of a noble family, and hath now done the King such service by sea, at this time, as he hath done; he do send him this George and Garter to wear as Knight of the Order, with a dispensation for the other ceremonies of the habit of the Order, and other things, till hereafter, when it can be done.

So the herald putting the ribbon about his neck, and the Garter about his left leg, he salutes him with joy as Knight of the Garter, and that was all.

After that was done, and the Captain and I had breakfasted with Sir Edward while my Lord was writing of a letter, he took his leave of my Lord, and so to shore again to the King at Canterbury, where he yesterday gave the like honour to General Monk,1 who are the only two for many years that have had the Garter given them, before they had other honours of Earldom, or the like, excepting only the Duke of Buckingham, who was only Sir George Villiers when he was made Knight of the Garter.

A while after Mr. Thos. Crew and Mr. J. Pickering (who had staid long enough to make all the world see him to be a fool), took ship for London.

So there now remain no strangers with my Lord but Mr. Hetley, who had been with us a day before the King went from us.

My Lord and the ship’s company down to sermon. I staid above to write and look over my new song book, which came last night to me from London in lieu of that that my Lord had of me. The officers being all on board, there was not room for me at table, so I dined in my cabin, where, among other things, Mr. Drum brought me a lobster and a bottle of oil, instead of a bottle of vinegar, whereby I spoiled my dinner.

Many orders in the ordering of ships this afternoon. Late to a sermon. After that up to the Lieutenant’s cabin, where Mr. Sheply, I, and the Minister supped, and after that I went down to W. Howe’s cabin, and there, with a great deal of pleasure, singing till it was late. After that to bed.

34 Annotations

First Reading

Nix  •  Link

The "George" --

I presume this would be the red cross of St. George, the patron saint of the order.

For background on the order, see…

Judith Boles  •  Link

Does anyone think that the King's stop at Canterbury was a spiritual pilgrimage? (as in Canterbury Tales), or was this just a convenient stopping place to plan the King's return to London?

The Bishop  •  Link

Pilgrimages to Canterbury were considered a Catholic practice and went out of fashion (to say the least) after Mary's reign. I'm not even sure if Beckett's relics were still there.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

look over my new song book
L&M conjectures that this was a new copy of Playford's "Select ayres and dialogues" (1659)

David Bell  •  Link

While Canterbury is certainly a convenient place to break the journey, remember the religious importance: not the long-dead Archbishop, but the current Archbishop. And remember that Charles, as King, is head of the Established Church.

It may be more symbolic than practical politics: I don't know the details of who he might have met. But it is politics.

Mark  •  Link

The "George" is actually a small enamel badge of St George slaying the dragon that is part of the Garter regalia. If you ever see a close up photo of the Queen or a Knight dressed in the full regalia, you might see it hanging from the front of the chain/collar that is being worn.

D. L. Phoenix  •  Link

There are two Georges in the Garter regalia. The Greater George is enameled and hangs around the neck on a chain. The Lesser George is gold and is situated at the bottom of the blue riband, or sash, worn over the shoulder. I suppose the Greater George is implied. For more information, you might track down a copy of "The Most Noble Order of the Garter" by Begent and Chesshyre.

deepfatfriar  •  Link

"I'm not even sure if Beckett's relics were still there."

They were, if modern guides are to be believed, but the exact location was and is unknown. A Cathedral guide I spoke to in the late 1970s told me that the relics had been removed from their traditional resting place in the time of Henry VIII and buried somewhere in the crypt, and that the ones who did it never revealed the location.

helena murphy  •  Link

The stop at Canterbury bears witness to an incident of great political significance. General Monck presented the King with a list of names of men whom he considered deserved to be members of the Privy Council. It contained the names of forty Presbyterians, and therefore in the King's mind former rebels, and those of only two Royalists. Before receiving the document Charles stated to Monck that he would readily receive advice from him provided that "which will not be prejudicial to my service." Hyde was given the task of disappointing the General before the party continued on to Deptford. This illustrates somewhat the mettle Charles is wrought of and his subtle toughness when occasion requires it.

Nix  •  Link

How can you tell the Puritan era is over?

Samuel feels free to skip today's sermon in favor of catching up on his paperwork -- and perusing his new song book.

Of course the King's visit to Canterbury is largely political. He must solidify his relationship with the established church, both for its own power and for appearance's sake. Public piety has always been an obligatory exercise for politicians. The creeds may vary, but the duty is a constant.

Ed Brickell  •  Link

"Sir Edward ... makes three congees to him, holding the cushion in his arms."

Webster's defines "congees" (conge') as "ceremonius bows" ... couldn't find any information on whether this was a particular type of ceremonius bow, or merely a generic term used at the time.

tamara  •  Link

"prendre congé"
in French, means to bid farewell and leave--a "jour de congé" being a holiday, a day off. I wonder if the "bow" meaning came from the fact of it’s being used when one was about to take leave, or the other way round--if the "farewell" meaning was derived afterwards from the bow that one signalled it with.

Colin Gravois  •  Link

Maybe Helena can tell us (and thanks for her revealing annotation today), but with London beckoning on the horizon and Charles already on shore for two days now and on his way, why all the dilly-dallying around the fleet, the ceremonies, the meals still taken on board, etc., when one would expect Montagu and the other biggies, while Monck is still not fully on board, to remain in the thick of things with the king's entourage??? And isn't Sam chomping at the bit to get back to his old ways in London town?

helena murphy  •  Link

Colin, I shall try to answer your question. It is politic to keep men like Montague in the background, honoured but in a political cocoon. Charles has to reach out to the active ruling class, the Bishops and those who will constitute the House of Lords, those who will make up the Committee of Foreign Affairs and the Privy Council ,and those who will make up the future Cavalier Parliament. The King has to thread a safe line where the military are concerned as the last thing the Parliament would wish to see is the King with the support of a strong army . Soon the decommissioning of large parts of the New Model Army will begin to prevent the possible realisation of this. In this period the titles of Admiral and
General were also interchangable, for example Monck , and Prince Rupert were land and sea commanders simultaneously. Therefore, it is best to keep the military within their appropriate place. From the historical perspective we are also entering the modern period leading to constitutional monarchy and this treatment of Montague has a sound contemporary ring to it.

Nix  •  Link

A more practical reason why Montague remains shipboard --

Charles wants to be sure the fleet is in friendly hands in case things don't go so well in London and he must beat a hasty retreat. (Or needs them to back him up militarily.)

Glyn  •  Link

An even more practical reason is that Montagu and his staff still have a very great deal of work to do: replacing crew, promoting and demoting officers, and getting everything shipshape in the fleet. By this point there was absolutely no possibility of military action against Charles, and he knew that. The last chance of resistance ended with the capture of General Lambert in April:…

As for Canterbury, it was one of the most important towns or cities in the country, so would have been a natural place for Charles to visit, and while he may not have made a pilgrimage to the Cathedral, he may certainly have visited it to pray there. It would have been a natural thing to do for any politician (which basically is what he is).

Glyn  •  Link

Also, Canterbury is a few miles inland, but the coastline stretches in a half-circle around it. So Folkestone and Dover in the south, Deal and Margate in the east, and Sheppey and the Thames to the north, are all within a half-day's horse ride so it's a convenient place to meet.

And, of course, Pepys is back in England and only a day or two's travel from London - can't he get some vacation time to see his wife Elizabeth?

language hat  •  Link

"makes three congees to him":
"Congee" was a common word for "bow," no particular style implied. The OED says the following (note that it was used in that sense as late as 1880):
3. A bow; originally at taking one's leave; afterwards also in salutation, at meeting, etc. arch.
1586 J. HOOKER Girald. Irel. in Holinshed II. 100/2 There with a solemn congée she would bid her lord good night. 1590 MARLOWE Edw. II, V. iv, With a lowly conge to the ground, The prowdest lords salute me as I passe. 1621 BURTON Anat. Mel. III. ii. IV. i. (1651) 524 Kiss it, and with a low congy deliver it unto me. a1631 DRAYTON Triumph David, With coniayes all salute him. 1679 BUNYAN Pilgr. I. (ed. 3; Hanserd-Kn. 120), As they came up with him, he [Mr. By-ends] made them a very low Conje [ed. 9, 1684 Congee], and they also gave him a Complement. a1713 T. ELLWOOD Autobiog. 34 When they saw me.. not moving my Cap, nor bowing my Knee in way of Congee to them; they were amazed. 1751 SMOLLETT Per. Pic. (1779) II. lxxi. 258 Saluting him with divers fashionable congees. 1852 THACKERAY Esmond I. xiv, ‘It is an honour for me’, says my lord, with a profound congee. 1880 W. Cornw. Gloss., ‘Make your congees’ [con-geés: i.e. at parting].

Note the following on the form of the word:
From the 15th to 17th c. the word was completely naturalized, and bade fair to descend into modern Eng. as congy; but since the Restoration, old senses have become obsolete, and there has been a growing tendency to treat the word as French, either in the naturalized form congee (cf. grandee), or, more recently, in the alien form congé.

mary  •  Link

a likely prosaic reason for the pace of Charles' progress to London

is that time is needed for all the practical preparations (outfitting the King's company with impressive clothes, dressing the streets, ensuring that Charles' arms are everwhere to be seen, ensuring that he is greeted by suitably gorgeous dignitaries). The entry to London has to be an impressive spectacle.

Pedro  •  Link

27th May 1660

Off Lisbon, the English ship Experience, bound from Brazil with sugar and tobacco, was boarded by three Zealand men-of-war, her captain was killed and her cargo sold in Galicia. The ship herself made a prize.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Coach, or Couch, in naval affairs, a cabbin or large apartment near the stern of a large ship of war, the floor of which is the same with the quarter-deck; it is always the habitation of the captain.
---The complete dictionary of arts and sciences. T.H. Crocker, 1764.

John Matthew IV  •  Link

My question is about poor Sam's ruined dinner: who eats lobster with vinegar?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"who eats lobster with vinegar?"

It;s been rediscovered:
"A Chef Invents a Lobster Dish, And Pots Start Boiling All Over"
IN the fall of 1999, after five years serving an inventive butter-poached lobster dish at the French Laundry, his celebrated restaurant in Yountville, Calif., the chef Thomas Keller published the recipe. ''Butter-poached lobster,'' he wrote at the beginning of his instructions in ''The French Laundry Cookbook,'' ''is extraordinarily versatile.'' ...Mr. Keller pours boiling water with a little vinegar over his lobsters.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"My Lord hath summoned all the Commanders on board him, to see the ceremony"

The ceremony, held in Mountagu's cabin, began at 6 a.m. (Per L&M note),

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Great George, which is worn suspended from the collar, is a colourfully enamelled (sometimes jewelled) three-dimensional figure of St. George the Martyr on horseback slaying a dragon.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Charles II stayed in Canterbury from May 25 - Monday, May 28, ...
On the Sunday, May 27 Charles II attended service in Canterbury Cathedral.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham must have been a big question mark to Charles II at this time. Rebuffed at debarkation, Villiers jumped into the royal train and was busy making nice to his childhood friend who he had deserted in 1656.

BUT ...
A Prophetick LAMPOON, Made Anno 1659.
By his Grace George Duke of Buckingham:
Relating to what would happen to the GOVERNMENT under KING CHARLES II.

To the Tune Which no body can deny.

WHen Plate was at Pawn, and the Fob at an ebb,
And the Spider might weave in our Stomacks its webb,
Our Stomacks as empty as Brain,
Then CHARLES without Acre,
made a Vow to his Maker,
If e're he saw England again:
I'll have a Religion, all of mine own,
Whether Papist, or Protestant, shall not be known,
But if it prove troublesome, I will have none.

I'll have a fine Parliament, alwayes to friend,
Shall fit me with Treasure, as fast as I spend,
And if they will not, they shall have an end.
I'll have as good Bishops as e're made with hands,
With Consciences flexible to my Commands,
And if they will not, I'll have all their Lands.
I'll have a fine Chancellor shall bear all the sway,
But if they do murmure, I'll take him away,
Yet bring him back agen as soon as I may.
I'll have a Privy Council shall alwayes sit still,
I'll have a fine Juncto shall do what they will,
I'll have two fine Secretary's piss thro a Quill.
I'll have a Privy Purse without controwle,
Shall alwayes wink when my Revenue is stole,
If any be question'd, I'll answer the whole.
I'll have a New London, instead of the Old,
With wide Streets, and uniform to my own Mold,
And if they build too fast, I'll soon make them hold.
I'll have a fine Son, in making tho marr'd,
Shall Reign, if not o're my Kingdoms, o're my Guard,
And shall Successor be, if not to me, to Gerrard.
But what'ere it cost me, I'll have a fine Whore,
As Bold as Alice Pierce, as Fine as Jane Shore,
And when I am weary of her, I'll have more.
My Pimp I'll make my Minister Primeir,
My Baud shall Ambassadors send far and near,
My Wench shall dispose of my Conge Deleir.
I'll have a fine Pond, with a pretty Decoy,
Where the Ducks and the Drakes, shall their Freedom enjoy,
And in their own Language, quack Vive le Roy.

George knew Charles very well. Charles should have known George as well.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"After that was done, and the Captain and I had breakfasted with Sir Edward while my Lord was writing of a letter,"

L&M: After the ceremony, according to Walker's account, Mountagu 'desired Garter to stay some small time untill that hee had by a letter under his hand unto his Majestie as well as Garter's report made due acknowledgement for this transcendent favour'. After which Garter left at about 7 a.m.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"After that was done, and the Captain and I had breakfasted with Sir Edward while my Lord was writing of a letter, he took his leave of my Lord, and so to shore again to the King at Canterbury, where he yesterday gave the like honour to General Monk,1 who are the only two for many years that have had the Garter given them, before they had other honours of Earldom, or the like, excepting only the Duke of Buckingham, who was only Sir George Villiers when he was made Knight of the Garter."

L&M: This was in April 1616, four months before he was raised to the peerage. It was in early July 1660 that Mountague received an earldom and Monck a dukedom. The honours were, however, already promised by letters from the King: Harris, i. 187.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Second Northern War was a complicated conflict, and led to the definition of the modern boundaries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

The war raged from 1655 to 1660, fueled by a belligerent Charles X Gustav of Sweden, who first invaded and occupied western Poland–Lithuania.

In 1658 Charles X Gustav invaded Denmark, daringly crossing the frozen sea to invade Danish territory.

Frederick III, king of Denmark and Norway, immediately sued for peace, losing significant territory to the Swedish in doing so.

Six months later, Charles X Gustav broke all international standards when he invaded Copenhagen.

This time Frederick III did not back down. Instead, he led a heroic defense of the city, rejecting advice to flee with the words, “I will die in my nest, if need be.”

With help from a Dutch fleet, the Denmark–Norway alliance defeated the Swedish forces, and the war was ended by the Treaty of Copenhagen, signed on May 27, 1660. [WAS THIS O.S. OR N.S.? SINCE THE REPORT COMES FROM A BRITISH SITE, I DO NOT KNOW.]

The agreement defined the boundaries between Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, which have remained almost exactly the same to this day. It recovered Fünen and Bornholm for Denmark, and Trøndelag returned to Norway. However, Denmark’s former mainland provinces east of The Sound (Øresund) remained part of Sweden.

The Danish nobility, who had not supported the Danish war effort, became the scapegoats for the country’s losses; and in a coup d’état, Frederick III was named a hereditary and absolute king.…

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