Wednesday 2 August 1665

Up, it being a publique fast, as being the first Wednesday of the month, for the plague; I within doors all day, and upon my monthly accounts late, and there to my great joy settled almost all my private matters of money in my books clearly, and allowing myself several sums which I had hitherto not reckoned myself sure of, because I would not be over sure of any thing, though with reason I might do it, I did find myself really worth 1900l., for which the great God of Heaven and Earth be praised! At night to the office to write a few letters, and so home to bed, after fitting myself for tomorrow’s journey.

16 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"it being a publique fast, as being the first Wednesday of the month, for the plague"

So proclaimed 12 July 1665: "“A form of Common Prayer; together with an order for fasting for the averting of God’s heavy visitation upon many places of this realm. The fast to be observed within the cities of London and Westminster and places adjacent, on Wednesday the twelfth of this instant July, and both there and in all parts of this realm on the first Wednesday in every month during the visitation” (“Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1664-65, p. 466)."…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary today (in lieu of Dirk)

Was the Solemn Fast through England to deprecate Gods displeasure against the Land by Pestilence & War:


Archaic. to pray for deliverance from.
[Origin: 1615–25; < L dépreca-tus prayed against, warded off (ptp. of dépreca-ri-), equiv. to dé- de- + prec(a-ri-) to pray + -a-tus -ate1]…

Pedro  •  Link

Micheal’s link to the Long and detailed account:-…
Probably gives a Dutch version of events…

“…This caused a heated discussion about which target should have priority. The fleet commander, Lord Sandwich, against the advice of most of his flag officers decided to split the fleet.”

From Sandwich’s Journal a summary

On the 21st Sandwich held a Council of War to decide what could be done upon the ships in Bergen. Intelligence suggested that De Ruyter, with 60 sail, had been off Bergen on the 10th.

On the 23rd certain news that neither De Ruyter or the East Indiamen were at Bergen, but 28 sail of Straits, French and Portugal ships of Holland.

On the 26th a Council of War to prepare a fleet to go to Bergen and intelligence that De Ruyter had touched Bergen on the 10th and reached the Ems on the 26th (probably written up on the 27th).

On the 30th another Council of War when it was decided to send Teddiman with 22 ships. Penn was against at the first debate but after news that the East Indiamen had arrived seemed to concur with it.

dirk  •  Link

From the Carte Papers, Bodleian Library…

Sir George Carteret to Sandwich

Written from: Deptford
Date: 2 August 1665

Assures his Lordship that his "greatest joy is accomplished... by the marriage of our children". Looks upon that match as the greatest of all temporal blessings ever received by him at God's hands. Tomorrow the writer & Lady Carteret are to "meet our young people at Gravesend to carry them down to Scots Hall in Kent, where part of my family is already; a healthfull place & out of the way of infection". Mentions his intention to make a settlement on Lady Jemima, "something greater than is mentioned in those articles between your Lordship and me ... This I do out of my abundant care of that sweet Lady".

dirk  •  Link

Pedro, the following was (still is) the official Dutch version of events. The (rough) translation is my own.

A fleet of merchant vessels, under the command of VOC officer Pieter de Bitter lay waiting in the Bay of Bergen (now Norway, then Danish) for the Dutch fleet to escort them back safely to Holland. In spite of King Frederik's neutrality, and the fact that Frederik had received ample support from the Dutch in his recent war with Sweden, the British were able to convince the Danish/Norwegian king to allow them to attack the Dutch fleet. In return Frederik was offered part of the booty. The British fleet under the command of Thomas Teddiman arrived on 10 August [substract 10 days for the British date]. The Danish commander of the fortifications at the entry of the bay, general Ahlefeldt had not been informed yet of the agreement with King Frederik, and would not allow the British to attack. In the meantime Bitter had positioned 8 of his best ships in a line near the entry to the bay, with his own ship, the Walcheren, in the middle. Most of the guns on these Dutch ships were shifted to the side facing the English. The latter formed a line facing the Dutch, in front of the bay's entry - at a distance of only a few hundred yards from their enemy.

On 12 August [remember the 10 days difference!] at 6 am 400 British cannon opened the attack, causing little or no damage however because the British had been ordered to aim (too) low in order to avoid hitting the city of Bergen in the background.

The offland wind blew all the smoke from the Dutch gunfire over to the English ships who were temporarily blinded. It also made it impossible for Teddiman do deploy his fire ships.

In spite of the precautions some cannon balls had hit the Danish forts, whereupon Ahlefeldt fired back at the British. The fight lasted for three hours and a half, after which the British retreated (with between 400 and 500 casualties).

Dutch losses were only about a hundred dead and wounded. Their ships were heavily damaged but still seaworthy. The Dutch war fleet arrived on 29 August, and the combined fleet left the bay on 2 September. In spite of the stormy weather the larger part of the fleet arrived safely in Holland.


Pedro  •  Link

Dirk, my mention of the Dutch version of accounts was directed towards the "heated discussion” and being against the advice of most of his flag officers.

The other flag officers were Allin and Penn. In Sandwich's Journal he notes that Penn was against, but seemed to concur when intelligence was gained of the ships in the harbour at Bergan.

Allin in his Journal says that Penn was for going homeward and to wait before Texel for supplies from England, and then meet the Dutch Fleet. But Allin also states that Sandwich had been given instructors that “upon good advice he was to follow De Ruyter or the East Indiamen into Norway and destroy them where his honour could.” During the Council Elliot, in the Sapphire, had brought in an Ostender who told of 40 ships there from Cadiz, the Straits, Lisbon, the West Indies and three more East Indiamen.

The attempt at Bergen will have repercussions and Ollard in his biography of Montague says...

“But Commanders in Chief have to wait the passage of time before the stains left by political interference or mismanagement fade from their reputation. Sandwich not only had to contend with the malice of those at home who were jealous of his previous successes but with the practical responsibility of protecting his badly mauled squadron without letting any more Dutch ships evade his search.''

CGS  •  Link

'tis great to see the eye piece from both sides

Pedro  •  Link

Thanks Dirk for the Dutch version of the battle.

Ollard in his biography of Montague says that the Danish Governor of Bergen had insisted on a delay after Teddiman had arrived in the early evening of the 1st of August, with plenty of time left to do the job.

The argument went on all night enabling the Dutch, even with many of their men ashore, to land cannon from their ships and to maneuver vessels up the marrows where a few ships moored in a close line form a boom behind which the rest could shelter, and to reinforce with their own the ports which protected the whole anchorage. By morning an already difficult situation had deteriorated so disastrously that Teddiman could delay no longer, he must either turn tail or fight under the most unpromising circumstances.

dirk  •  Link

Evelyn's diary entry for today

A second source completes todays entry (as given by Terry) as follows:

"our Dr preaching on 26 Levit: v. 41, 42, that the meanes to obtain remission of punishment was not to repine at it, but humbly to submit to it."…

dirk  •  Link

Leviticus 26:41-42

And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:

Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.…

Pedro  •  Link

Run with the hare and hunt with the hounds!

Dirk, in his biography of De Ruyter Blok says that the Danes had demanded around 100,000 rix-dollars for the protection afforded by their fortresses. When De Ruyter arrived at Bergen the States decided not to make any further payments!

Second Reading

RSGII  •  Link

Or the similar entry on Prices. In short, in terms of relative economic status he is worth several million in todays dollars or pounds.
I find it useful to remember his cooks annual salary was 5 pounds, so he is roughly worth 380 times a modern cook. But the detailed alternative ways of looking at the issue in the two encyclopedia entries, and their widely different results, forces one to look beyond simple ratios in trying to understand what his 1900£ means. Cheers

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