36 Annotations

First Reading

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"The Seaman's Grammar and Dictionary" was written by Captain John Smith, who was one of the founders of the Jamestown colony in Virginia. The two-volume set also contains sections on the duties of naval officers and on the conduct of battles.

A facsimile of a 1691 edition of the Seamans Grammar (in Adobe Reader .pdf format) may be found at: http://www.shipbrook.com/jeff/sea…

kilroy  •  Link

Hope Sam's entries don't go blue from his reading "The Seaman's Grammer and Dictionary"

But seriously; I find his choice interesting. Its like today's manager dealing with a technical person. But instead of asking the seaman to explain everything in "layman's" terms, Sam choose to learn their lingo.

(Also handy if the technical people think you don't understand what they are saying.)

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link


"where they stand till I was weary of their company and so away"

Pretty sure this should be "where they staid" (old spelling for "stayed")

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"The Seaman's Grammar and Dictionary"
Thanks Alan Bedford for the site,interesting that it says "ropes"instead of lines,"hericanes"in the West Indies and the juyce of limmons for you Limes

vincent  •  Link

fantabulous find: for all navel terms like down the hatch[ Scuttle]

tc  •  Link

"The Seaman's Grammar and Dictionary"

It is reassuring to see Sam making an effort to learn more about the details, the nuts and bolts and lingo, of the seafaring traditions of his day. A little background info will surely come in handy when dealing with captains and shipbuilders and provisioners.

Sadly, many officers (then and perhaps even now...?) did not know or learn how to "talk the talk" of the sea, and instead came to their exalted positions through patronage and not experience. As Lord Macaulay (Thomas Babington, 1800-1859) observed:

"There were gentlemen and there were seamen in the Navy of Charles II. But the seamen were not gentlemen, and the gentlemen were not seamen."

Pauline  •  Link

"...to read "The Seaman's Grammar and Dictionary"….”
It puts me in mind of Montagu/Sandwich setting off for his first commission/voyage with a model of a ship to learn from. As a result of this kind of seriousness, Sam goes on to earn an historical reknown in the Navy completely aside from his fame as a diarist.

daniel  •  Link

how i sympathize with this day of Sam's.
All loved ones can become wearisome with time. in the words of Dan Hicks "how can i miss you if you don't go away?"

Hic Retearius  •  Link

Res navis [shippy stuff]

Alan Bedford, many thanks. You have delivered us a treasure; Captain Smith's books are a delight. All here may glean a few words from his book not only to illuminate Sam's text as we go along but confident that they will also serve in common speech to this day! After 300 years, "cradle", "scarf", "limber holes", "treenail", "keelson", "garboard", "orlop", "knees" and so on will not only be understood but be in everyday use by any English speaking shipwright worthy of that title the world over.

It amuses this reader to consider that, beyond pronunciation, the Sam of three centuries ago could step into any wooden vessel shipyard in the English speaking world in 2004 and conduct a detailed technical discussion about hull construction with no major misunderstandings.

Mary  •  Link

The Seaman's Grammar.

A great find, both for Sam and for us. This 'standard text' had considerable longevity; Smith died in 1631, Sam consults it in 1661 and the book is still being printed in 1691. I wonder when the final reprint hit the market?

Emilio  •  Link

Another Seaman's Dictionary

L&M note that Sam could also be looking at Sir Henry Manwayring's Thesea-mans dictionary [spelled thus in L&M], first published in 1644. Both books are in the Pepysian Library bound together in one volume. It's not available online as far as I can tell, but here's a description from the 1911 Encyclopedia:

"Sir Henry Manwayring, whose Seaman's Dictionary appeared in 1644, claimed that it was the first treatise on seamanship ever written. After explaining that a writer who had not acquired the art by practice could not expound it, he goes on: 'And as for the professed Seamen, they either want ability and dexterity to express themselves, or (as they do generally) will, to instruct any Gentleman. If any will tell me why the vulgar sort of Seamen hate landmen so much, either he or I may give the reason why they are so unwilling to instruct them in their, art, whence it is that so many gentlemen go long voyages, and return (in a manner) as ignorant and as unable to do their country service as when they went out.' Though the Seaman's Dictionary did not appear in print till 1644, it is described on the title-page as having been presented to George Villiers, duke of Buckingham, the lord high admiral of Charles I, who was murdered in 1628. Manwayring's book is therefore probably, if not the first treatise on seamanship written in English, at least as old as its only rival the Accidences, or the pathway to experience necessary for all young seamen, published in 1626, by the famous Captain John Smith, of Virginia. On the continent of Europe, as in England, while works on navigation and gunnery were common, treatises on practical seamanship date from the 17th century. The books of Manwayring and Smith are rather glossaries of terms than expositions of principles."

Emilio  •  Link

To M. Stolzenbach

L&M confirm that it is "stayed", which they have spelled exactly as we would.

Laura K  •  Link

"Sadly, many officers (then and perhaps even now?) did not know or learn how to "talk the talk" of the sea, and instead came to their exalted positions through patronage and not experience.”

This is a recurrent issue in present day fire and police departments, where a chief who has never served in uniform will not command the respect of officers as well as one who has risen up through the ranks.

I’m not sure that studying lingo from a book, as Sam is doing, would address the problem for the rank-and-file. We’ve all heard slang spoken by people trying to sound hip, who haven’t got a clue what they’re saying. It generally sounds ridiculous. I hope Sam has more luck!

Pauline  •  Link

"studying lingo from a book, as Sam is doing"
It's not just a way to speak and sound like one of the sailors, it names and explains all the physical things aboard a ship and in its riggings.

From Claire Tomalin's book (p297):
"In December 1677 he put forward the most notable of these [his own ideas for the navy]. It was a proposal that no one should be appoined as lieutenant until he had served for three years, received a certificate from his captain and passed an examination in navigation and seamanship at the Navy Office."

JWB  •  Link

Kudos Mr. Bedford, and Jeff Lee.
re pumps we've discussed before, see pgs 16-17(pdf)loc cit.

Robert McSwain  •  Link

I think it important to differentiate from those who study the lingo to impress and those who study to learn. Judging by how Sam spends his time, with ship captains, talking to the skilled craftsmen in the Navy yard, I believe him to be trying to learn. More important, I believe that is how his Navy contacts see him - from an ex naval officer

Laura K  •  Link

sam talking the talk

I wasn't impugning Sam's motives or his education. (Though it is sweet how annotators rush to Sam's defense.)

I was only pointing out that how sailors might view an officer who had not been a sailor might be very different from how that officer's peers or even history might remember him. The comment above re "seamen were not gentlemen and gentlemen not seamen" would seem to apply to Sam, in my opinion.

tc  •  Link

Talking the talk...

Sam never does acquire the sea experience that one might think would be a useful pre-requisite for a man in his position. We've seen him at sea already, and he did pretty well for a country boy; he didn't spend the whole time down with mal de mer, anyway.

But he wants to learn more, so that he will better understand the job. But one suspects he also feels kind of...lacking in the lingo when he's out feeling pretty merry with a tableful of Captains. Maybe he feels it would be nice to know what they are talking about: all that lee shore stuff, and those damned headwinds...and splice the main brace while we're at it, shall we?

So he hits the books, and good for him for that; a lesser man, given Sam's position in a similar, patronage-influenced way, would not bother. And his studies yield great fruit: his early steps in organizing the Navy are instrumental in leading to the juggernaut it becomes in Nelson's day.

Is Sam a gentleman now? He has been pretty lucky for the son of a tailor (not the son of a sailor), and though he now hangs out with the "In Crowd", would he himself consider himself a gentleman? Maybe...probably, but...it may be a moot point whether Sam is a seaman or a gentlemen. Could it be that, deep down inside, he learns to talk like the former and live like the latter?

Both of which he does very well!

(I keep thinking of Sam, sitting around the Cock and Bull or like pub, with a bunch of salty dog captains, telling and re-telling his few sea stories, felling pretty merry you bet; and all his drinking mates inwardly groaning and thinking to themselves "Oh, God, not that same story about ferrying the King across...")

vincent  •  Link

TC: RE:your last paragraph : I do think Sp is not into telling but questioning and picking brains , and one way to do that is not to make it too obvious that thee is picking brains or pockets always your victim must looking the other way, 'tis the way of all pickers of?.

CGS  •  Link

“The Seaman’s Grammar and Dictionary [ for your HD:
another source for this and English Dictionary of the times:

English Dictionarie, The, Cockeram, Henrie; 1647 (169 pp., 13.7 MB)

also among other items of note.
Varietie of Lute-Lessons, Dowland, Robert; 1610 (71 pp., 9.0 MB)

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

THE S E A M A N S Grammar and Dictionary, Explaining all the difficult T E R M S in N A V I G A T I O N:
A N D T H E P R A C T I C A L Navigator and Gunner: In Two Parts
By Captain J O H N S M I T H, Sometimes Governour of Virginia, and Admiral of New England:


The sea-mans dictionary, or, An exposition and demonstration of all the parts and things belonging to a shippe together with an explanation of all the termes and phrases used in the practique of navigation / composed by Henry Manwaring ..
Early English Books Online
with an alphabetical list of the terms defined

meech  •  Link

A belated hank you, Terry, for updating the link...

Third Reading

Mike Zim  •  Link

"lan Bedford on 14 Mar 2004 ... "The Seaman's Grammar and Dictionary" was written by Captain John Smith, who was one of the founders of the Jamestown colony in Virginia." "

Happy coincidence, a clue in tonight's Jeopardy! show "17th century writing" category:
"In his 1624 history of Virginia & New England, he included the famous story of his rescue"

Clever contestant Yogesh's answer: "Oh, I don't know. I'll just guess a random name -- um, who is, uh, John Smith?"

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sir Henry Manwayring AKA Sir Henry Mainwaring MP (1587-1653), of Dover Castle, Kent; later of Camberwell, Surrey.

As a younger son of a Shropshire gentleman, Mainwaring had to make his own way in the world. He graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford in July 1602, and he was admitted to the Inner Temple in Nov. 1604.

In June 1611 he obtained the reversion to the captaincy of a castle on the Hampshire coast.
In Oct., lord admiral Nottingham authorized him to suppress the pirates operating in the Bristol Channel.

In 1612 Mainwaring purchased a small ship for £700, as he planned to accompany Sir Thomas Shirley to Persia to fight the Turks, but he was stopped from sailing by the Spanish ambassador, who feared the ships being assembled by Shirley would be used against Spanish interests.
Mainwaring was incensed and, following Shirley’s departure, he fitted out another vessel ostensibly for a trading voyage to West Africa.
Despite providing surety for his good conduct, he left without permission, and began to wreak havoc on Spanish shipping.

Operating out of Mamora (modern-day Mehidia), on the west coast of Morocco, he amassed a private fleet of between 30 or 40 ships, and by the summer of 1613 had collected around £3,500 worth of goods from ships trading to Spain.
He avoided damaging the interests of British subjects, and in the spring of 1614, on learning that he had seized vessels belonging to an Irish merchant, he made full restitution to the man’s factor.

A few months later he arrived off Newfoundland with 8 vessels intending to protect English fishermen from attacks by the king of Spain’s Flemish allies, but the Spanish, taking advantage of his absence, seized Mamora.

On his return to Morocco that autumn, Mainwaring was forced to move his operations to Villafranca, which the duke of Savoy, then at war with Spain, had declared to be a free port.
Despite losing one of his ships to enemy action in January 1615, Mainwaring badly mauled a small squadron of Spanish warships in the following June so the Spaniards fled to Lisbon.

Mainwaring’s victory over the Spanish squadron coincided with the end of Savoy’s brief war with Spain. It also coincided with the opening of informal negotiations between England and Spain for a Spanish Match for Prince Charles.
Sometime over the summer, King James, under pressure from Spain, sent Mainwaring an ultimatum: Provided he returned to England he would be given a free pardon, but if he failed to do so the king would have to dispatch a fleet to the Mediterranean to destroy his squadron.

Not wishing to fight his Englishmen, and no longer welcome in Savoy, Mainwaring sailed his ships to north-west Ireland, from where, in November, he opened negotiations with King James through his friends in England.
By the end of 1615, Mainwaring had presented himself to the Privy Council, and allowed his ships to be impounded at Dover, but his pardon was not sealed until June 1616.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Following his official rehabilitation, Mainwaring was employed by the lord warden of the Cinque Ports, Lord Zouche, to commission the construction of a 40-ton pinnace, which was launched in August 1616.

He subsequently wrote a paper on the whereabouts, practices and best means to suppress piracy, which was presented to King James in 1618. With no trace of irony, Mainwaring advised the king ‘never to grant any pardon’ to pirates, but ‘to put them all to death, or make slaves of them’, as pirates would only abandon their trade ‘when Your Highness leaves pardoning’.

Towards the end of Dec. 1617, Mainwaring was secretly approached by the Venetian secretary in England, Lionello, who asked if he would be willing to serve the Venetian Republic, which had recently uncovered a plot by Spain to seize control of Venice.
King James had recently granted permission for the Venetians to hire some warships in England, and Mainwaring was asked to scour the Thames to find suitable vessels.
Mainwaring was delighted at this, and identified several ships, but the Venetian ambassador had no authority to appoint a commander for the squadron.
In March 1618 Mainwaring asked King James, who had appointed him as a Gentleman of his Bedchamber, to intercede on his behalf. James not only obliged but, after sending Sir Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery to convey to the ambassador his ‘very earnest commendation’, knighted Mainwaring at Woking.

The doge and senate, anxious that other sea captains would be unwilling to sail under the command of a former pirate, preferred to bestowed Command of the ships on Sir Henry Peyton.
Undeterred, Sir Henry Mainwaring privately offered his services in person to the Venetians’ captain-general.
The Spanish ambassador, Gondomar, vigorously protested, and since King James was determined to conclude a marriage alliance with Spain, Mainwaring was told to delay his departure until after Gondomar had left England in mid-July.
In order to disguise his true intentions, Mainwaring spread the rumor that he had gone to Ireland to resume his career as a buccaneer.

On reaching Venice, Mainwaring was greeted by the English ambassador, Sir Henry Wotton, who called him ‘this redeemed Neptune’.
Through Wotton, Mainwaring explained to the Venetians that they would be better off using 3 purpose-built warships rather than the rag-tag squadron of 7 merchantmen he had scraped together for them.
Impressed by this advice, the Venetians instructed Mainwaring to return to England in order to ask King James to lend them 3 warships.

Sir Henry Mainwaring set out in Jan. 1619, with 600 crowns in his pocket and the promise of 200 more per month, expecting to return soon, so he left behind his trunk of books and mathematical instruments.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


He reached England in March, and at Newmarket gave King James the Venetians’ request. Although sympathetic, James was unwilling to lend any part of his fleet to a foreign power for, as Archbishop Abbot observed, were the ships to be captured James would be honor-bound to recover them, by force if necessary.
But James was taken with Mainwaring’s idea of sending a fleet to the Mediterranean, ostensibly to deal with the pirates who were operating out of Algiers, but really to watch Spanish naval preparations.
Nothing was done immediately, but Mainwaring planted the seed for the subsequent expedition to Algiers.

Following the collapse of his plans to return to Venice with a squadron of warships, Mainwaring was at a loose end.
In April 1619 the new lord admiral, George Villiers, Marquess of Buckingham, asked the Venetian ambassador, Donato, that Mainwaring be found employment by the Republic, to no avail.
By the end of 1619 Mainwaring was acting as an interpreter for Buckingham at meetings between the marquess and Donato.

In Feb. 1620 the lord warden of the Cinque Ports, Lord Zouche, out of ‘mere pity’ as he later claimed, gave Mainwaring the lieutenancy of Dover Castle.
One of Mainwaring’s first duties was to greet the Spanish ambassador Gondomar, whose machinations had so blighted his career. Rather than wait in the town of Dover, Mainwaring went to the beach to meet Gondomar, who remarked that, in gratitude for this courtesy, he would forgive Mainwaring 12 crowns out of the millions he owed Spain.

While lieutenant of Dover Castle, Mainwaring wrote a dictionary of nautical terms for those ‘whose quality, attendance, indisposition of body (or the like)’ prevented them from attaining a firm knowledge of ‘the parts, qualities and manner of doing things with ships’, for, as he observed, ‘very few gentlemen (though they be called seamen) do fully and wholly understand what belongs to their profession’.
The Seaman’s Dictionary was circulated in manuscript by its author. Dedication copies were presented to, among others, Zouche, Buckingham, Algernon Percy, 10th earl of Northumberland, and Archbishop Abbot. It was printed in 1644.

Mainwaring was not chosen to serve on the expedition to Algiers which left England in Oct. 1620.

Following the announcement in Nov, 1620 of parliamentary elections, Mainwaring must have expected he would be one of the lord warden’s candidates for the 2 seats at Dover. Except in 1601, when sickness had prevented it, since 1584 the lord warden had always nominated the lieutenant.
But when Zouche draw up his lists of candidates for the Cinque Ports, Mainwaring was not mentioned.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


The townsmen of Dover found it impossible to provide a candidate for the other seat, so in early Dec. the mayor invited Mainwaring, who then notified Zouche that he intended to stand.
Rather than express satisfaction, Zouche took umbrage at Mainwaring’s casual mention in his letter of Lord Wotton, whereupon Mainwaring had to reassure Zouche, disingenuously as events revealed, that he was not trying to switch patrons.

Mainwaring played a minor role in the Parliament: he made 9 recorded speeches.
He spoke first on 27 Feb. 1621, when he opposed a bill to transfer control of lighthouses to the Trinity House of Deptford, declaring it would be more suitable to pass control of the lighthouses on the Kent coast over to the lord warden, whose local knowledge was superior to that of Trinity House. To make his point, he mentioned existing arrangements at Dover for providing pilots, saying that although the members of Trinity House were able seamen, ‘when they come to the Downs they have a pilot’ provided by the lord warden.

Eight days later he was appointed to the committees for the standardization of the militia’s arms and for the subsidy bill.

On 12 Mar. he defended the right of the Cinque Ports to remain exempt from payment of subsidies, on the grounds that payment ‘would prejudice the king’.

On hearing news that a Hamburg ship carrying sugar, spices and coin to the value of £4,000 had been wrecked on the Goodwin Sands, Mainwaring obtained leave of the Commons to be absent for a few days. On hurrying down to Deal, the serjeant of the Admiralty of the Cinque Ports who was also answerable to Zouche, refused to allow him to take the goods to Dover without special warrant, to his chagrin.

Mainwaring returned to Westminster by early April.

During the Easter recess he attended the grand committee on trade, when he again defended his constituents’ interests in the lighthouses bill.

Speaking on 9 Apr., he pointed out that the Cinque Ports had maintained lighthouses long before Trinity House.

On 24 May he intervened during the debate on the bill to allow free fishing off the American coast to demand that no fish be sold by the planters to any foreigners or carried in any vessels but English ones.

On 19 Nov. 1622 Dover corporation ordered he be given a hogshead of wine ‘towards his charges, he requiring no allowance’.

Nicolas  •  Link

I believe this is the same Captain John Smith who was saved from death by Pocahontas in 1607. She was the daughter of Chief Powhatan. But the story may he apocryphal as Captain Smith only wrote about this incident in 1616.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


In Feb. 1623, Mainwaring applied for the post of flag-captain to the earl of Rutland, who had been given command of the fleet to bring Prince Charles and Buckingham back from Spain.
King James supported this request, and in Apr. Lord Zouche was advised by Secretary Sir Edward Conway MP not to refuse Mainwaring leave.

By then Zouche had heard reports that Mainwaring seldom lodged in Dover Castle, had recently brawled in the street and was a notorious womaniser, had already written to Mainwaring demanding that he resign.

Mainwaring, on receiving this letter, was appalled, and on 9 Apr. he protested his innocence. ‘I am sure the world cannot tax me for keeping any women or frequenting their companies’, he declared. Although he had been involved in a brawl, he claimed merely to have been defending himself from an assailant whom he had not provoked. As for not lodging in the castle, it was true that he had recently stayed in town with his old friend, Sir Henry Carey, Viscount Rochford, but this had been at Rochford’s invitation and had only been for a couple of nights.
Mainwaring pleaded with Zouche to suspend final judgement until he had a full hearing, but the aged lord warden refused, and after receiving an assurance that King James would not interfere, dismissed him from office in early May.

Following his return to England in the autumn of 1623, Mainwaring spread the real reason for his dismissal was that he was considered guilty of ‘effecting the duke of Buckingham’s desires’. This charge, not made public by Zouche, was justified, as Mainwaring now considered the youthful Buckingham rather than the aged Zouche as his patron.

In the copy of his Seaman’s Dictionary which he gave to Buckingham sometime before he left for Spain, Mainwaring described Buckingham as ‘my most honoured lord and patron’.
In contrast, the dedication in the copy given to Zouche refers merely to ‘my ever most honoured lord, Edward, Lord Zouche’.

Mainwaring knew that by courting Buckingham he had offended Zouche, but he determined to secure reinstatement, and enlisted the aid of both Prince Charles and Buckingham.
Prince Charles, impressed with Mainwaring’s performance on the return journey from Spain, wrote to Zouche at the beginning of Nov., while Buckingham promised he would, if necessary, obtain the signatures of all the gentry of Kent and Dover on his behalf.
Zouche remained unmoved, whereupon Prince Charles demanded he justify his decision to sack Mainwaring in writing.
Zouche was obliged not only to repeat his earlier accusations but also to claim that he had been forced to take action because he feared that Mainwaring would bring disgrace upon his office by allowing himself to be arrested at the suit of his creditors.
Charles brushed aside Zouche’s paper, declaring he found Mainwaring to be ‘both a discreet and an able gentleman’.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


While the prince tried to secure his office, Mainwaring increased pressure on Zouche by offering himself to Dover corporation for re-election to in Jan. 1624.
The town’s common council replied that, while grateful for ‘his former kindnesses and pains taken at the last Parliament’, it had decided on Sir Richard Young and Sir Edward Cecil instead.
Mainwaring should ‘not to take it unkindly that he was not now elected’, but he was unwilling to drop the matter, and encouraged the borough’s freemen to petition against the return because they were unlawfully excluded from the franchise.
He also took to lobbying members of the committee for privileges and returns in Westminster Hall, since he was never asked to appear before the committee in person.
As a result of the petition, the Commons declared the election of Young and Cecil void on the grounds the freemen had been unlawfully excluded.

Mainwaring immediately announced he would stand ‘for the first place’ in the new by-election, with Sir Thomas Wilsford MP, as Sir Richard Young informed Lord Zouche, if he ‘could procure himself to be elected by the generality of voices, it will argue that though your lordship will not respect him, yet the inhabitants there do all love him’.

Wilsford’s father-in-law, Kentish politician Sir Edwin Sandys MP, championed the cause, but could not prevent the reelection of Young and Cecil because the mayor of Dover declared Mainwaring ineligible, having lost the freedom of the borough by absence.

By the end of March 1624, Mainwaring, not having secured reelection or reinstatement to office, had only succeeded in infuriating Lord Zouche.

On selling the lord wardenship to Buckingham in July, Zouche expressly stipulated that Mainwaring ‘shall have no place or command in the Cinque Ports during the duke of Buckingham’s time, in respect of his ungrateful labouring the Lord Zouche’s disgrace at the Court and Parliament and threatening of revenge of those poor men, who did satisfy truths of his misdemeanours’.

On the outbreak of war with Spain in 1625, Mainwaring stayed on the sidelines of English activity, because the Cadiz expedition's commander was Sir Edward Cecil MP, whom Mainwaring had just briefly unseated.

In June 1626 Mainwaring was listed as a candidate for command of one of the king’s ships in the expedition to be led by Lord Willoughby, but either he was not offered a commission or declined to serve.

A few months later it was rumoured Mainwaring had succeeded in blowing up an old ship with a vessel that he had built ‘artificially made to go underwater’. News of his success is said to have reached the ears of Buckingham, who demanded to see Mainwaring’s new submarine. (The Dutchman Cornelius Drebble was experimenting with submarines in England at this time.)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


In December 1626, following the failure of Willoughby’s expedition, Mainwaring was appointed to a commission of inquiry into the Navy.
He attended meetings until it fizzled out in May 1627, by which time he was helping to ready the fleet being prepared to relieve La Rochelle.

On 20 June he accompanied King James to inspect the troops stationed on the Isle of Wight, but although the expedition set sail 6 days later, Mainwaring stayed in England.

Over the summer of 1627 Buckingham’s forces on the Ile de Ré ran short of supplies, and in Sept., King James sent Mainwaring to Plymouth to take charge of the transports being prepared to relieve the duke.
Mainwaring discharged this duty so well that in Oct. Sir Charles, Viscount Wilmot MP reported ‘his knowledge and skill hath greatly advanced the expedition’.
Mainwaring stayed at Plymouth during the winter, preparing the forces for a second relief expedition.
In March 1628 he helped Sir James Bagg MP put down a mutiny among the sailors.

Following the failure of this expedition, Mainwaring was transferred to Portsmouth, where he briefly assisted in preparing a third expedition to assist the Huguenots.

On 1 June he was dispatched to London to consult with Buckingham about the fleet, and took no further part in the war effort.

Mainwaring had gained nothing by way of wealth or office by his association with Buckingham, and following his assassination in Aug. 1628 he dcided to repair his fortunes by marriage.
But ‘steeped in poverty’, his first choice -- a handsome widow with £20,000 -- preferred Heneage Finch MP.
In desperation, in 1630 he eloped with a young woman of 23. Fortune Gardiner' father, Sir Thomas Gardiner of Peckham, was a wealthy Surrey gentleman who refused to pay her dowry unless Mainwaring first settled lands on his bride worth £100 p.a.
Fortune Mainwaring died in December 1633, just after this settlement was reached, and their only child, a daughter named Christian, died 6 or 7 years later.

The Navy turned in 1632-3 to Mainwaring as an experts for advice on the correct manning levels for its ships.
His name was near the top of the list of captains considered for the first Ship Money fleet in 1635, but if he was offered a command he refused it.
He did accepted a captaincy in 1636 under the earl of Northumberland, and served in all the remaining Ship Money fleets, rising to the rank of vice-admiral in 1639.

Vice Admiral Sir Henry Mainwaring was outlawed for debt in June 1641, but apparently avoided arrest.
Regarded with suspicion by the Long Parliament, in November 1642 he was forced to resign as master of Trinity House, of which he had been a member since at least 1627.

A royalist in the first Civil War, he joined King Charles at Oxford, where in January 1643 he was awarded an honorary degree.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Ordered to transport Prince Charles to the Isles of Scilly early in 1646, his ship was instead detained to help defend Pendennis Castle against the advancing parliamentarians.
He later accompanied Prince Charles to Jersey, where he was said to have been ‘as poor as the rest’, and served with the royalist fleet in 1648.

He petitioned to compound in November 1651, when his entire property consisted of ‘a horse and wearing apparel to the value of £8’.

Adm. Sir Henry Mainwaring MP was buried, having died intestate, at Camberwell on 15 May, 1653.

Excerpted from his Parliamentary bio:


I posted this not only because Sir Henry Mainwaring lived a great life, wrote a helpful book, and was an early sailing master to Charles II (on their trip from the Isles of Scilly to Jersey), but because it shows how impoverished competent men could be in service to their country and to the Navy.
Patrimony did not work for anyone's good in naval affairs. This was the sort of story Pepys was hearing and would inform his decisions in later days.

Tonyel  •  Link

Thank you SD Sarah for this fascinating biography. It demonstrates that, however bold, brave and bright you were in those days, upsetting one or two wrong people could ruin your life.
That sense of insecurity must quite often have kept Sam awake at night and been lurking below his cheerfulness and good companionship during the day.

Kew Gardener  •  Link

Perhaps this info on Sir Henry Manwayring deserves its own page/section in the diary!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'That sense of insecurity must quite often have kept Sam awake at night and been lurking below his cheerfulness and good companionship during the day."

Imagine a whole country feeling like that!
All those evenings in the pubs with his old friends was done for good reason.

On the whole, I think Charles II did a pretty good job of playing off interest groups against each other, and avoiding being held responsible for very much. That leaves him open to being thought lazy, but he did play a pretty good game of 3-dimensional political tic-tac-toe. As Pepys must have done also.

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