Monday 17 March 1661/62

All the morning at the office by myself about setting things in order there, and so at noon to the Exchange to see and be seen, and so home to dinner and then to the office again till night, and then home and after supper and reading a while to bed.

Last night the Blackmore pink brought the three prisoners, Barkestead, Okey, and Corbet, to the Tower, being taken at Delfe in Holland; where, the Captain tells me, the Dutch were a good while before they could be persuaded to let them go, they being taken prisoners in their land. But Sir G. Downing would not be answered so: though all the world takes notice of him for a most ungrateful villain for his pains.

16 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

"to see and be seen"
Oh the importance of your position - keep yourself in the public eye or vanish for everymore - and no hope of future preferment - we shall soon see, no doubt, the recording of more barrells of oysters for colleagues or hoped-for colleagues, the bottles of wine, the theatre tickets. Nothing much changes, does it in London?

Miss Ann  •  Link

Seems those of us with paperwork to do always end up spending many hours in the office "setting things in order" - that is exactly what I've been doing today with my new computer system, a wonderful invention but still so much time setting the damn thing up to be efficient!

Regarding the prisoners being transported back to England - did they have an extradition treaty with the Dutch or did they just turn up and take what prisoners they deigned to be theirs? Old Sir G is trying very hard to impress the right people.

Sam's excursion to The Exchange to see and be seen - who else would be there at noon?, surely those whom he would wish to impress would be hard at work at this time?

dirk  •  Link

the prisoners

Clearly the Dutch agreed with the prisoners's removal to Britain - with some reluctance ("the Dutch were a good while before they could be persuaded to let them go"). It seems improbable that there would have been an extradition treaty at the time, but maybe L&M has more to tell about this.

Jesse  •  Link

"to see and be seen"

First (and probably not last?) time this phrase has been used here (if my search was correct) and I was somewhat surprised, thinking it to be more modern.

‘Spectatvm venivnt, venivnt spectentvr vt ipsae’ - They come to see, they come that they themselves be seen.

Pauline  •  Link

"...the Dutch were a good while before they could be persuaded to let them go..."
Sounds like the kind of incidence that will lead to establishing "extradiction treaties".

JohnT  •  Link

" The captain tells me..." Possibly Sam met him at the Exchange, when he was parading to see and be seen. An example of how items of hard political news were communicated through presumably a small informal network of people who knew when and where to be. And Sam would pass it on, with the editorial spin ( " a most ungrateful villain " ) to others he met that day and next.

Sjoerd  •  Link

The "trade" of the english regicides by the Dutch Staten Generaal to Charles II was a very opportunistic piece of politics on behalf of the Staten. And it was perceived to be so by the lower authorities, whose sympathies were maybe more with the puritan-minded refugees then with the absolute monarch, and even less with the treacherous "ambassador" Downing.

"But in the spring of 1662 the states performed a service for Charles II which tended to some extent to counteract the effect of these incidents. The regicides had been excepted from the bill of amnesty which had been passed in the summer of 1660.39 Some had been taken, others were in hiding in the republic. Since the passing of the bill attempts had been made to secure the latter, but without avail, because it seemed impossible to obtain an order for their arrest without at the same time giving them notice of the impending action. The regicides spent much time in Rotterdam, and it was possibly the municipal authorities who warned them of their danger. At last Downing bribed a certain Abraham Kicke, who was entrusted with the correspondence of the fugitives, to assist him in capturing them. Okey, Barkstead, and Corbet went to Delft in March 1662, and Downing hastened to take advantage of his opportunity. He secured an order from De Witt for the arrest of these men, and with a few English officers arrested them at the house of Kicke. Yet the municipality of Delft would not permit the prisoners to be removed from its jurisdiction until Downing had obtained an order from De Witt for their extradition; and then, not without danger of rescue from the sympathetic Hollanders, the men were conveyed to the coast and thence to England."…

neven  •  Link

Since the "spectatum veniunt" verse is from Ovid, I believe things in Rome went pretty much the same way back then too. Could someone check when did the translation enter English usage?

language hat  •  Link

to see and be seen:

c1386 CHAUCER Wife's Prol. 552:
I hadde the bettre leyser for to pleye
And for to se and eek for to be seye [=seen]
Of lusty folk.

Second Reading

Margaret Rose  •  Link

"But Sir G. Downing would not be answered so: though all the world takes notice of him for a most ungrateful villain for his pains." -- I can't tell if Sam likes Sir George or not.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Sam never liked Sir George Downing. Downing employed Pepys as a clerk in the Exchequer, as a favour to Pepys' patron Montagu, later Lord Sandwich, though Pepys' father's cousin Sir Richard (d 1659) had been Baron of the Exchequer too, and was Chief Justice in Ireland where Downing had many interests.

Many people changed sides during the Civil Wars and aftermath, for a variety of reasons, and were usually not regarded as contemptible turncoats. But Col John Oakey, one of those Downing had apprehended, had been Downing's patron and sponsor. Indeed, Downing had been chaplain to Oakey's regiment. Downing's extraordinarily zealous delivery of Oakey to suffer the "vile death of traitors" might well have been seen generally as a betrayal too far, even in those callous times.

Dick Wilson  •  Link

Earlier, Sam had noted that Downing sent his prisoners to England in the "Blackmore" , which is probably Sam's spelling for Blackmoor. Today he notes that the ship is a "Pink", a ship type characterized by having a narrow, overhanging stern. An interesting use of the word.

Lex Lector  •  Link

"Pinks" seem to have existed over a considerable period of time - Patrick O'Brian mentions them several times in his series of "Aubrey/Maturin" novels set during the Napoleonic Wars. There were three main types: Dutch, Danish and Mediterranean; all small and narrow-sterned, all square-rigged, all used principally for coastal work.
Sources: P.O'B, and Dean King's "A Sea of Words" - which is an invaluable concordance for the series.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘see . . 5. a. trans. To direct the sight (literal or metaphorical) intentionally to; to look at, contemplate, examine, inspect, or scrutinize; to visit (a place); to attend (a play, etc.) as a spectator . . Also to see and (to) be seen; hence see-and-be-seen attrib. phr.
. . 1828 Scott Jrnl. 3 May (1941) 236 After the dinner I went to Mrs. Scott of Harden, to see and be seen by her nieces.
. . a1911 W. S. Gilbert Lost Bab Ballads (1932) 31 To see and be seen is for what we pay At Islington on the half-crown day.
1960 Times 3 June 6/5 London audiences to which the social see-and-be-seen set attaches itself.
1961 Economist 25 Nov. 770/1 This mixing of ‘blind’ traffic with see-and-be-seen aircraft is particularly dangerous in overcrowded terminal areas.’

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘pink, n.2 < Middle Dutch pincke small sea-going ship, fishing-boat
a. A small sailing vessel, usually having a narrow stern; spec. (a) a flat-bottomed boat with bulging sides, used for coasting and fishing; (b) a small warship in which the stern broadens out at the level of the upper deck to accommodate quarter guns . .
. . 1574 J. Baret Aluearie P 349 A Pinke: a little shippe.
. . 1794 D. Steel Elements & Pract. Rigging & Seamanship I. 236 Pinks are mediterranean-vessels, and differ from the Xebec only in being more lofty, and not sharp in the bottom, as they are vessels of burthen. They have long narrow sterns, and three masts, carrying latteen-sails.
. . 1894 R. O. Heslop Northumberland Words Pink, an old-fashioned type of collier vessel, familiar on the Tyne until about the middle of the present century . . ‘

Ivan  •  Link

Charles Spencer writes at length in Chapter 10 [Strangers in a Strange Land] of his excellent book "Killers of the King" published in 2014 concerning the arrest in the Netherlands of Barkstead, Okey and Corbet and what might be termed the despicable behaviour of Downing.

The following quote will give a flavour of his views: "John Okey, "little thinking", as a friend wrote, "that his New England tottered chaplain whom he clothed and fed at his table, and who dipped with him in his own dish should prove like the Devil among the twelve to his Lord and Master", assumed that he and Barkstead would be left alone during their travels through the Netherlands. He quickly checked through an intermediary that this would be the case, and received assurances of their wellbeing from Downing, who claimed that he had no orders to look out for them."

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