Saturday 29 September 1660

All day at home to make an end of our dirty work of the plasterers, and indeed my kitchen is now so handsome that I did not repent of all the trouble that I have been put to, to have it done.

This day or yesterday, I hear, Prince Rupert is come to Court; but welcome to nobody.

19 Annotations

First Reading

Brian G McMullen  •  Link

The phrase used in my area of the USA is writing up the 'punch list'. Not sure if that translates elsewhere but it sounds like SP is down to the final cleanup work. I hope his gets completed faster than mine!

mary house  •  Link

How I would love to know what this handsome kitchen actually looked like, and indeed the rest of the house.

Mary  •  Link

the final clean-up work?

I doubt it; all that new plaster is going to need some sort of finish applied to it once it has dried out. In the kitchen this may simply have been a limewash, reapplied annually. Elsewhere in a house paint, painted cloths, tapestry or tapestry-like hangings or panels of embossed and coloured/gilded leather might be found. In 1660 wallpaper shops arrived in London, too (see Picard, p.41 ff). This paper was sold in thick sheets that were either stuck or nailed to the wall itself or to a canvas foundation mounted on battens.

Jackie  •  Link

Bit of ingratitude to Prince Rupert isn't it? The man fought hard and generally well during the civil war. OK, he lost a couple of battles and made the correct decision to surrender Bristol, emerging with his army ready to fight another day, instead of fighting to the last man as the King had wanted, but I'd have thought he deserved better than this.

helena murphy  •  Link

Prince Rupert will be more than welcome to his cousins, King Charles and the Duke of York. He will fight equally as bravely as a general-at-sea on behalf of England in the course of the Anglo-Dutch wars, as he did as a young cavalier during the civil war. Sadly Pepys undermines this man of great intelligence, courage ,integrity
and military genius. The best book dealing with Rupert's military career is "Prince Rupert Portrait of a Soldier" by General Sir Frank Kitson. (Constable 1994) The author is the former
Commander-in-Chief UK Land Forces(1982-1985).

v  •  Link

Sadly Pepys undermines this man of great intelligence, courage ,integrity
and military genius.

I didn't read this as Sam's personal opinion - rather more like gossip he has heard!

apthorp  •  Link

but welcome to nobody.
not exactly an insightful indictment. If anyone is doing the analysis here it is Pepys correspondents. One has to suspect the opinion ultimately emerges from the cousins. From that perspective it is a very interesting observation.

helena murphy  •  Link

As one familiar with some of the biographies on Prince Rupert my comment refers to how Pepys disparaged him during the years of the Restoration when both of these men had to deal with each other as regards naval matters. Edward Hyde also disliked him ,and his writing on the civil war helped to shape how people saw events and those who participated in them. In his introduction to "Portrait of a Soldier" General Kitson rightly points out that "neither Pepys nor Hyde was an impartial historian writing in an academic environment ." Therefore their attitudes to contemporary public figures
might have been tinged with personal prejudice. Pepys' most certainly was as regards Rupert.

For those interested in Rupert's naval career and the Anglo-Dutch naval wars General Kitson's "Prince Rupert
General at Sea " is to be recommended.

Jackie  •  Link

So, erm, does this mean that Rupert was in charge when the Dutch nicked the Royal flagship?

JWB  •  Link

"...but, welcome to nobody."
English have always been dog lovers. Rupert should have taken better care of Boy.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Rupert should have taken better care of Boy
That last note might need an explanation for one not acquainted with the history of Prince Rupert and Boy ...

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The dog Boye (died 2 July 1644 at the battle of Marston Moor), also Boy, was a celebrated and iconic white hunting poodle belonging to Prince Rupert of the Rhine in the 17th century. Puritan or Roundhead propagandists alleged that the dog was "endowed" with magical powers.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...I hear, Prince Rupert is come to Court; but welcome to nobody."

L&M note Prince Rupert had in the civil war and afterwards quarreled with Charles I and most of the royalists, including Hyde. Since 1654 he had absented himself from court. The King now gave him an annuity (beginning this day) but nothing else. Nor was he admitted to the Privy Council until April 1662.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

' . . Rupert in his middle age was a difficult man to like. He had the sardonic, even embittered, air of an ageing dandy and was thought to be more saturnine, severe, and short-tempered than ever . . He was dogged by court and party faction during every stage of his career, and he was temperamentally incapable of overcoming it. He was too irascible, tactless, and impatient to be an effective politician, unjustly blaming subordinates for lack of support and the hostility of rival commanders for any failures. A poor judge of character, he was too influenced by disreputable followers, and alienated many who might have helped him . .

He [was] a highly competent, courageous, and energetic soldier, who became an equally successful sailor. The terrifying effect of his thunderbolt charges has entered popular legend. His youth and good looks, well preserved in the early portraits of Van Dyck . . , have prettified the image.' [DNB]

Jackie  •  Link

Prince Rupert was one of the better Royalist military commanders. At Bristol, he realised that holding the fort to the last man was a waste of time and resources, tying down a substantial army which would be more use in the field, so he surrendered the fort in a deal which allowed him to march away with the entire army which had been besieged in there. Charles I thought this was cowardice and banished him, but it was in fact the most sensible move – at the end of the process he gave up a static position, but still had the army and weapons to use. Also there’s an interesting bit of physics called Prince Rupert’s Drops, which he did study where glass cooled quickly in droplets in water create tear-shaped drops which are incredibly tough and can be hammered on without effect, but if the thin neck is gently snapped, they will disintegrate.

However it’s easy to see how somebody who lacks Courtly diplomacy might well have ended up banished for pointing out something along the lines of “I saved your entire army, you idiot…”

eileen d.  •  Link

Dictionary of National Biography
The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published from 1885. The updated Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) was published on 23 September 2004 in 60 volumes and online.

Bill  •  Link

eileen d., I have taken it upon myself to post entries from the DNB: Index and Epitome (1906) into our in-house encyclopedia. These entries are very short, abbreviated summaries of biographies in the DNB.

Since I mentioned him above, here is the longish entry for Prince Rupert:…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

At this time Rupert is third in line of succession. Despite his wartime conquests, the English people knew he was a strong Protestant (unlike questionable Charles II and James), and he was not only forgiven but immediately much loved by the English people.

Given Rupert's unexplained antagonism towards Sandwich, and Pepys' outburst today, I suspect something personal had happened that we do not know about, which lies behind these feelings.

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