Tuesday 19 August 1662

Up betimes and to see how my work goes on. Then Mr. Creed came to me, and he and I walked an hour or two till 8 o’clock in the garden, speaking of our accounts one with another and then things public. Among other things he tells me that my Lord has put me into Commission with himself and many noblemen and others for Tangier, which, if it be, is not only great honour, but may be of profit too, and I am very glad of it.

By and by to sit at the office; and Mr. Coventry did tell us of the duell between Mr. Jermyn, nephew to my Lord St. Albans, and Colonel Giles Rawlins, the latter of whom is killed, and the first mortally wounded, as it is thought. They fought against Captain Thomas Howard, my Lord Carlisle’s brother, and another unknown; who, they say, had armour on that they could not be hurt, so that one of their swords went up to the hilt against it. They had horses ready, and are fled. But what is most strange, Howard sent one challenge, but they could not meet, and then another, and did meet yesterday at the old Pall Mall at St. James’s, and would not to the last tell Jermyn what the quarrel was; nor do any body know. The Court is much concerned in this fray, and I am glad of it; hoping that it will cause some good laws against it.

After sitting, Sir G. Carteret and I walked a good while in the garden, who told me that Sir W. Batten had made his complaint to him that some of us had a mind to do him a bad turn, but I do not see that Sir George is concerned for him at all, but rather against him. He professes all love to me, and did tell me how he had spoke of me to my Lord Chancellor, and that if my Lord Sandwich would ask my Lord Chancellor, he should know what he had said of me to him to my advantage, of which I am very glad, and do not doubt that all things will grow better and better every day for me.

Dined at home alone, then to my office, and there till late at night doing business, and so home, eat a bit, and to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

T. Foreman.  •  Link

"my Lord has put me into Commission... for Tangier"

L&M note: "See [27 October] Similar committees [to oversee trade and economic development] existed for a few but not all other colonies: C.M. Andrews, *Brit. committees of trade and plantations*, p. 80.”

T. Foreman.  •  Link

"the duell between Mr. Jermyn,...and Colonel Giles Rawlins, ...the first mortally wounded, as it is thought."

L&M note: "This was a quarrel over the Countess of Shrewsbury: the duels were fought on the 17th [last Sunday!], and are described in [two books Pepys owned]. Jermyn survived.”

“The Court is much concerned in this fray, and I am glad of it; hoping that it will cause some good laws against it.”

L&M note: "Duelling was prohibited by royal proclamations and (for officers of the armed services) by the articles of war. The most recent proclamation (13 August 1660: Steele, no. 3245) had been ineffective. The King actually pardoned the Duke of Buckingham for his part in the worst duel of the reign in 1668…. Proclamations (often repeated) remained futile until manners changed.”

Jeannine  •  Link

Terry--I think that the Duke of Buckingham
dueled against Shrewsbury and then hooked up with his wife. The story is the lady he fought for watched with joy as her husband was killed and then went off to have a long and lewd affair with Buckingham. Dueling was off limits and prohibited ,if, you weren't one of Charles' buddies, in which case he seemed to turn the other way and not notice.
On another note and to keep in mind in the future... In terms of moving up the chain career wise Sam is always looking for someone to put in a "good word" for him. In the case of George mentioning his conversation with Clarendon (Lord Chancellor) it's good background information to know that Clarendon really respected and personally "liked" Sandwich --there aren't a whole lot of people that Clarendon thought highly of and Sandwich was one of them. Sandwich was a great link to the top for one to have. I've often thought it would be interesting to "flow chart" the office politics/friendships to see who liked whom, who stuck up for whom, etc. At this point Clarendon is still somewhat highly regarded by the king so being positioned well in his eyes is a good thing. Also, over time, I'm not so sure that Clarendon and Carteret were really friends. A little like a soap opera I fear--who likes whom and for how long before the politics shift them into another direction.This is what made the court politics so unstable--the shifts of who is "in" and who is "out" were so fluid that people were constantly shifting alliances.

T, Foreman  •  Link

Jeannine, thanks for another "Bedchamber" narrative, and the useful suggestion of someone doing what was called in school when I was 12 a "sociogram" (we were asked to ID and rank 3 whom we would most like to work with on a project). In a few months the whole crewe will be seated on the Tangier Committee for Trade and Plantations!!

T, Foreman  •  Link

I suppose one might say that the duel was foreplay to the Duke of Buckingham's lewd affair with the late Shrewsbury's wife.

Today in Kansas a man began serving a life-sentence for 10 murders that terrorized the city of Wichita, a city of over 300,000 for 17 years: after the murders he was sexually aroused. Compared to Dennis Rader, Buckingham was a piker.

Pauline  •  Link

Dueling for Lady Shrewsbury
A notorious lady, indeed. But we need to keep the duels she inspired straight:

This one is a challenge to Jermyn by Howard after Jermyn crashed a dinner party that Howard was giving for Lady Shrewsbury and made fun of the bagpipe music Howard provided along with the sumptuous meal. It appears that they were both her lovers. Lady S encouraged the party crasher. Sounds like Howard was genteel, Jermyn crass; but I'm just googling around and don't necessarily trust the sources--the kind of story that is fun to retell and embellish.

On January 16, 1668 (we'll be reading all about in here, then), Lady Shrewsbury's long-acquiescing husband will challenge her lover, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, to the more famous duel.

Pauline  •  Link

further gossip
Thomas Howard flees the country for awhile. Henry Jermyn is taken in by relatives, his injuries precluding futher gallantry. Lady S abates not. One of those "sociograms" on the Villiers/Howard passions might be in order.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I think the twisted and pathetic thing from Kansas mentioned above can't really be placed alongside Buckingham who at least had some understandable reason for his atrocious act. As a result of the reports, I was thinking about our modern fascination with serial killers and the more or less absence of mention of such things in the Diary...But they did exist in Sam's day... As a quick review of some of the broadsheet ballads in his collection show. I looked through my copy of the "Pepysian Garland", a partial collection, and it is filled with ballads about grisly killers both male and female-of wives, of husbands, of children. It would be a mistake to assume, sadly, such things did not exist in Sam's day but he apparently preferred not to feature them as "news"...

Jeannine  •  Link

Thanks Pauline for the info and insight into Lady S's activity. As someone who has never incited even one set of men to draw swords against each other on my behalf, she's done it at least twice, leaving me to be reavealed as a total under achiever! Woe is me I guess.

From the characterization of Jermyn as "crass" that would seem to fall into place for future things to come as she spirals downward towards Buckingham. She seems to like the "bad boys" and the excitement of instigating conflict. The sadness is the immaturity and self-centeredness of the times--she'll start a conflict and someone will end up dead as the result of her "court play" and antics.

Stolzi  •  Link


"I am very glad, and do not doubt that all things will grow better and better every day for me"

Oh, Sam can be such a weasel sometimes. Young man on the make!

Stolzi  •  Link


An excellent page on the quarrelsome Cavaliers, with an account of the scandalous Buckingham-Shrewsbury duel.

The color picture, too, gives the atmosphere of such a fight. I could not find a portrait of the femme fatale herself.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

It appears that now't was done 'til '63 then only passed in '66: it needed an important person to get his cum uppence, like most acts, only come about only when those with money has an undying interest in the result. Howard being of the catholic family?? was not needed to run the country.
Bill to prevent Duels [Committees to meet. 1st july 3rd july 15th 1663 ].
Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act to prevent the sending and carrying of Challenges, and fighting of Duels."

From: 'House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 1 July 1663', Journal of the House of Lords: volume 11: 1660-1666, p. 546. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/…. Date accessed: 20 August 2005.
It was put off until '66 Duelling.
A Bill to prevent the Sending and Carrying of Challenges, and Fighting of Duels, was read the Second time.

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 22 November 1666', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), p. 652. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/…. Date accessed: 20 August 2005.

Jackie  •  Link

Duelling had a strange legal status for some time. There were several famous trials over the Centuries. In Pepy's time (and for a Century or so afterwards) it was hard to find a jury to convict people who'd been duelling. Then, in Victorian times, the climate had changed such that defending one's honour (or the honour of a lady) was no longer seen as an excuse. In between all of that, various highly prominent people had taken part in duels (or as they liked to tell the Court at their trials, spontaneously met at dawn whereupon they quarrelled...), including most famously the Duke of Wellington (who was roundly condemned in the papers of the time for having put himself into a position where he might have ended up facing a murder chargs, whilst occupying the post of the First Lord of the Treasury - i.e. the Prime Miniister).

Never mind the King's protection, in Pepy's time, most juries would have happily let off the survivors.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Re Jeannine's idea of sociograms.
I am sure this could be done (as I have been involved with similar work when working as a research assistant to someone who mapped patterns of affliiations in 19th century Parliamentary voting patterns (see Cromwell, Valerie, Mapping the Political World of 1861: A Multidimensional Analysis of House of Commons' Division Lists VII,281 Legislative Studies Quarterly) Valerie used a computer analysistechnique then just developed at the Univeristy of Bath (this was in 1979). It would probably be possible to use something like this for mapping any social connection/s. Wonder if anyone has done it for the late 17th century? I know books have been written about Govt. in the 17th century such as those by the late Gerald Aylmer on Civil servants in Charles I's reign and in the Interregnum (The King's Servants and The State's Servants). Any books on social connections in the 17th century?

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"...most juries would have happily let off the survivors...." My limited understanding of juries, they did what the Judge TOLD them [or was that instructions that they must obey, otherwise it be the padd[l]ed cell] , it was not until that Quaker William Pen JR., sitting on a jurie, spent a few hours in the clink and refused to change his ways,. That Judge and jury deviated for the first time. First recorded case? of an independant jurie bodie. Please remember the Man standing in quaking shoes got "15 seconds/minutes" to have his say [not 4 mths] be in and out as the Oak tree could not wait.
Reading thru the limited notes on the Parliament Web page, the impression left is that the Accused sitting on grand capital case, just barely received 15 minutes of glory of being found [not] guilty.

T, Foreman  •  Link

Robert Gertz, "the twisted and pathetic thing from Kansas" was wrongly tied to Buckingham; it seems the party sexually aroused by lethal violence in the duels today and later was the femme fatale herself!
(May whoever was offended accept my humble apologies and please to forego a duel in favor of a venison pasty or whatever, at my cost, of course.)

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"Mr. Coventry did tell us of the duell"

"Aug 18, 1662, Capt.Thomas Howard, the Earl of Carlisle's brother, and the Lord Dillon's son, a Colonel, met with Mr. Giles Rawlings, privy purse to the D. of York, and Mr. Jermyn, the Earl of St Albans's nephew ... There had been a slight quarrel betwixt them, and as they, Rawlings and Jermyn, came from tennis, these two drew at them, and then Col. Dillon killed this Mr. Rawlings dead upon the spot. Mr. Jermyn was left for dead. This Capt. Howard was unfortunate since the return of bis Majy, in killing a horse-courser man in St Giles. Mr. Rawlings was much lamented; he lived in a very handsome state, six horses in his coach, three footmen, &c. Oct. Capt Thomas Howard and Lord Dillon's son, both of them fled about the killing of Mr. Giles Rawlings; but after a quarter of a year they came into England, and were acquitted by law." Rugge's Diurnal. Captain Howard afterwards married the Duchess of Richmond.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Bill  •  Link

Hamilton gives the following account of the duel, which arose from rivalry between Howard and Jermyn about Lady Shrewsbury - "Jermyn prit pour second, Giles Rawlings, homme de bonne fortune et gros joueur. Howard se servit de Dillon. adroit et brave, fort honnete homme, et par malheur intime ami de Rawlings. Dans ce combat la fortune, ne fut point pour les favoris de l'amour. Le pauvre Rawlings y fut tué tout roide, et Jermyn, percé de trois coups d'epée, fut porté chez son oncle avec fort peu de signes de vie." Mem. de Grammont.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Google translate:
Jermyn took for second, Giles Rawlings, a man of good fortune and big player. Howard served Dillon. clever and brave, strong honest man, and intimate friend of misfortune Rawlings. In this fight fortune, was not for the favorites of love. The poor Rawlings was killed there all stiff and Jermyn, pierced by three shots sword, was carried to his uncle with very few signs of life.

Third Reading

Ruslan  •  Link

8 years later, here is what deepl.com makes of the same passage:

Jermyn's second-in-command was Giles Rawlings, a man of good fortune and a heavy gambler. Howard used Dillon, a skilful, brave and honest man, and unfortunately a close friend of Rawlings. In this battle, fortune did not favor love's favorites. Poor Rawlings was killed outright, and Jermyn, pierced by three swords, was carried to his uncle's house with very few signs of life.

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