Wednesday 12 October 1664

This morning all the morning at my office ordering things against my journey to-morrow. At noon to the Coffeehouse, where very good discourse.

For newes, all say De Ruyter is gone to Guinny before us. Sir J. Lawson is come to Portsmouth; and our fleete is hastening all speed: I mean this new fleete. Prince Rupert with his is got into the Downes.

At home dined with me W. Joyce and a friend of his. W. Joyce will go with me to Brampton. After dinner I out to Mr. Bridges, the linnen draper, and evened with (him) for 100 pieces of callico, and did give him 208l. 18s., which I now trust the King for, but hope both to save the King money and to get a little by it to boot.

Thence by water up and down all the timber yards to look out some Dram timber, but can find none for our turne at the price I would have; and so I home, and there at my office late doing business against my journey to clear my hands of every thing for two days.

So home and to supper and bed.

23 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

Royal Correspondence
La.IV.34 fol. 106

The Duke of York (James II and VII) to Prince Rupert

Plans to intercept De Ruyter who seems bound for Guinea.

St James's, 12 Oct. 1664…

JWB  •  Link

Seaport in Norway. Timber floated down the Drammen to Dram is Dram deal.

robot.borez  •  Link

Cue boring bargaining discourse.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...did give him 208l. 18s., which I now trust the King for..."

All right, how many of us are chortling over this one?

Sort of touching in a way, I suppose...Who would have believed our boy would still bear such innocent faith in God's Anointed?

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

did give him 208l. 18s., which I now trust the King for

But can the King trust Sam? If he is laying out his own money, rather than have the bill sent to the Navy Office, I can imagine more than "a little" being added to the final total.
I wonder, in passing, would the 208l.18s. include painting the flags - or is this just for the calico?

Ruben  •  Link

Were the flags painted? or, were the flags stitched together from different pieces of colored fabric?

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"but hope both to save the King money and to get a little by it to boot"

Sam puts the emphasis on hope. As I read it, he knows the Navy Office is going to buy calico and thinks that when the offers are made he will be able to put in the lowest offer at a price that includes a commission for himself, thus saving the king money relative to other offers and lining his own pocket. I think this is the diary's first entry to report that Sam is laying out a substantial sum of his own in expectation of winning a contract.

Pedro  •  Link

Plans to intercept De Ruyter who seems bound for Guinea.

Early on the morning of this day...

De Ruyter reaches Goree. Nine English ships were lying under the shore, one a royal warship, and eight belonging to the English East India Company. The English colours were flying from both of the former Dutch fortresses. The fleet , drawn up in a crescent, immediately began to invest the English ships, whereupon the English Governor sent them a message: "What do you mean by coming thus armed under our fortresses and ships?"

De Ruyter's reply was terse," This you can well understand." The English warship was asked what its attitude would be and replied that it would be neutral and would make no effort to stop the Dutch attack against the merchantmen and the fortresses. The English merchantmen argued that they did not belong to the West India Company, but were only carrying its goods and were prepared to hand them over if the ships were let free, and the freight of the goods paid. De Ruyter agreed, but the eight English captains were placed under provisional arrest to prevent secret unloading of cargoes.

De Ruyter hesitated somewhat as to whether, in the absence of a state of war, he had the right to interfere with the goods and ships. He decided, however, to take the risk.

Abercrombie, the Governor of Goree, replied to the request to surrender the Island with a request for a ten day delay. He hoped that assistance would arrive from England, but De Ruyter gave him until the next morning.

(Summary from The Life of Admiral De Ruyter by Blok)

Pedro  •  Link

"For newes, all say De Ruyter is gone to Guinny before us. Sir J. Lawson is come to Portsmouth"

Interesting that Terry's annotation shows a letter from the Duke of York, dated the 12th, to intercept De Ruyter.

Lawson's arrival at Portsmouth is considered as the first time the English had realized that the fleet to take back Guinea had sailed from the Med and not from Holland. The Dutch plan of secrecy had paid of and De Ruyter had stolen a march on the English

Pedro  •  Link

One letter on behalf of Dirk and Terry relevant to the above annotations...

William Coventry to Sandwich

Written from: St James's
Date: 12 October 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 234

Document type: Holograph

Has received Lord Sandwich's letters, sent by captain Berkeley. The news he brings, of De Ruyter's sailing to Guinea, will probably alter the King's resolutions [as to the disposal of the Fleet under his Lordship]. Encloses sailing orders, in duplicate, for Prince Rupert, which Lord Sandwich is requested to dispatch by two several vessels. The Prince is to go to Spithead.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

and evened with (him) for 100 pieces of callico, and did give him 208l. 18s., which I now trust the King for...
Sam has laid out 20% of his assets, 208 / 1000 pounds, which is quite a move if he is speculating that he will win a contract open to all bidders.
It's a safe bet if he is acting like a modern "factor" or middleman in facilitating the sale of clothing and cloth. He can add on his "vigorish" or vig in settling with the Navy Board. Sea air being corrosive to cloth, I suppose, they must have gone through a lot of cloth in a year.

Don McCahill  •  Link

Why are we assuming that Sam is forking over his own money? Could he not have withdrawn money from a Navy account?

It seems unlikely that our Sam would risk that level of his own money in any way.

B/orre Ludvigsen  •  Link

Drammen ("Dram timber") is an industrial town on the west side of the Oslofjord. Located at the mouth of the Drammen River, it's industrial history is founded on timber floated from its hinterland to water powered mills. Timber, both plank and round (for masts and spars) was then exported directly as Drammen was then (and now) one of the largest ports in the country. One of its main rivals was Halden, across on the east side of the fjord on the border with Sweden. At the time Halden was also a major producer of timber floated on the Halden waterway, a string of lakes and rivers stretching far up into the country. Located on the Iddefjord ships carrying timber had to pass through Svinesund (sound) also the main crossing to Sweden and customs station. Hence the source of "Svinesund timber" mentioned elsewhere.

Pedro  •  Link

October 12th.

"His majesty in council declared that it was of absolute necesity for the service, that provision should be made of sea-victuals for 20 000 men for one whole year, to commence immediately.

(Memorials of the Professional Life and Times of Sir William Penn by Granville Penn)

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Dram deals

Thanks to JWB for Dram's location and to B/orre Ludvigsen for its role: "Dram" is no longer on the Norway map, but it was known by this name as recently as the late 19C, when its deals were second only to Christiania (20 mi NE) :

"Timber.—A standard Christiania deal is 11 feet long, 1J inch thick, and 0 inches broad; and 5l"2 such deals make a load.
Freight of deals from Norway to England is calculated at the rate of single deals, the standard measure of which for Christiania and all the southern ports of Norway, except Dram (a small town on the Drainmen, about 20 miles SW. of Christiania), is 11 feet long, and 1 1/2 inch in thickness. A single deal from Dram is reckoned 19 feet long, and 1 1/2 inch thick.


Image of Dram Bay: Boydell's picturesque scenery of Norway, London, 1820.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Sir J. Lawson is come to Portsmouth."… -- Journal of Sir Thomas Allin 27 Sept 1664 - Cadiz "... we sat to consult our departure and considering by all circumstances that de Ruyter's fleet was gone to Guinea we desired Sir John Lawson to write the same to his Royal Highness and send it by express to my Lord Fanshaw for him to send it forward, writing the same to him, that de Ruyter had taken 300 butts of wine and beverage, great quantity of oil, bread and flesh, and pretended that he was gone to make peace at Salee."

Lawson got to Portsmouth in 15 days, with a request for further instructions from James, Duke of York.

According to the memoirs of Lady Anne Harrison Fanshawe, Ambassador Sir Richard Fanshawe returned to Madrid early in March 1664. There is no mention of him going anywhere before 17 December 1665, when he signed a treaty with the Spanish minister, but Charles II refused to ratify it ...…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Fanshawe book is one that doesn't work in this format apparently. So I am posting the link in two halves, and you can copy and combine in your browser.

Don't know how to get around this any other way. Or you can search for it on Gutenberg: catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=1461929 (I put the break in the same place so it prints out clearly for you):

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

In answer to Ruben those many years ago.
In my experience the flags would be stitched together. Paint would flake off and the dyes, especially those of that time, would fade quickly.

RSGII  •  Link

What civilians call flags the Navy calls ensigns. The British naval ensigns have been standardized since 1653 and there are three, the White, The Red, and the Blue. What we think of as the British flag sits in the upper left corner of the ensigns, which are otherwise a solid color.
Flags in the Navy are signal flags with shapes and colors that denote a letter or number. They are square. There are also triangular pennants denoting various things. These are now an international standard, Many letter flags also have specific meaning like diver below or refueling.

RSGII  •  Link

Signal flags are still used to communicate orders or messages between ships at sea. Small groups of letters are code for various maneuvers, like prepare to turn right together on my signal- the signal being the dropping of the flags.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . evened with (him) for 100 pieces of callico . . ’

‘even, v. < Old English . .
. . 4.  a. To make (accounts, etc.) even; to balance, settle, square; to come to agreement upon (points of difference).
. . 1664   S. Pepys Diary 15 July (1971) IV. 206   He hath now evened his reckonings at the Wardrobe till Michaelmas last.’
Re: ‘ . . to look out some Dram timber . . ’

‘dram, n.2 < Short for Drammen.
Timber from Drammen in Norway. Also attrib. 1663—1858’
Re: ‘ . . can find none for our turne . . ’

'turn, n. < Anglo-Norman . .
. . 30. a. Requirement, need, exigency; purpose, use, convenience. arch.
. . 1659   H. Hammond Paraphr. & Annot. Psalms (xviii. 5 Annot.) 99/2   Ropes or cords are proper for that turne.

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