Wednesday 18 July 1666

Up in good case, and so by coach to St. James’s after my fellows, and there did our business, which is mostly every day to complain of want of money, and that only will undo us in a little time.

Here, among other things, before us all, the Duke of Yorke did say, that now at length he is come to a sure knowledge that the Dutch did lose in the late engagements twenty-nine captains and thirteen ships. Upon which Sir W. Coventry did publickly move, that if his Royal Highness had this of a certainty, it would be of use to send this down to the fleete, and to cause it to be spread about the fleete, for the recovering of the spirits of the officers and seamen; who are under great dejectedness for want of knowing that they did do any thing against the enemy, notwithstanding all that they did to us. Which, though it be true, yet methought was one of the most dishonourable motions to our countrymen that ever was made; and is worth remembering.

Thence with Sir W. Pen home, calling at Lilly’s, to have a time appointed when to be drawn among the other Commanders of Flags the last year’s fight. And so full of work Lilly is, that he was fain to take his table-book out to see how his time is appointed, and appointed six days hence for him to come between seven and eight in the morning.

Thence with him home; and there by appointment I find Dr. Fuller, now Bishop of Limericke, in Ireland; whom I knew in his low condition at Twittenham. I had also by his desire Sir W. Pen, and with him his lady and daughter, and had a good dinner, and find the Bishop the same good man as ever; and in a word, kind to us, and, methinks, one of the comeliest and most becoming prelates in all respects that ever I saw in my life. During dinner comes an acquaintance of his, Sir Thomas Littleton; whom I knew not while he was in my house, but liked his discourse; and afterwards, by Sir W. Pen, do come to know that he is one of the greatest speakers in the House of Commons, and the usual second to the great Vaughan. So was sorry I did observe him no more, and gain more of his acquaintance.

After dinner, they being gone, and I mightily pleased with my guests, I down the river to Greenwich, about business, and thence walked to Woolwich, reading “The Rivall Ladys” all the way, and find it a most pleasant and fine writ play. At Woolwich saw Mr. Shelden, it being late, and there eat and drank, being kindly used by him and Bab, and so by water to Deptford, it being 10 o’clock before I got to Deptford, and dark, and there to Bagwell’s, and, having staid there a while, away home, and after supper to bed.

The Duke of Yorke said this day that by the letters from the Generals they would sail with the Fleete this day or to-morrow.


34 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Gresham College — from the Hooke Folio Online

IIuly. 18. 1666. (Sr. R Moray pes: Ores, figurd stones, also 96 Roman Brasse medalls) these were deliuerd to the Keeper of the Repository mr Hooke (also a wasp nest)

Ld Sanwiches Letter. Orderd ____ & that Dr. Pope & mr Hooke should ioyne in making obseruations answerable to those intended to be made in Spain

(antelope skin) corroded glasse) oat ale. vitriolate spring strongest in September)

There was tryed an expt. wth. Sal Armon: & salt peter to see which of the two had the greatest force to cool. the expt. not being orderd as it should be. The Curator [ Hooke ] was charged to Lett it be made at the next meeting wth. both the salts putt into an aequall quantity of water, in the same vessell obseruing the same time with both.

The circular pendulum applyed to a clock being inquired after the pt. affirmed that he had made tryall of one. and obserued the motion of it for 4 dayes. in which time it had gone soe aequally wth. his pendulum Clock that after those 4 dayes were elapsed he found it only to haue gone one minute too fast.
The Expt. wth. the pendulum and two balls, not yet succeeding it was Referred till next day when also the expt. shewing that a circular pendulum is the same wth. two pendulum crossing one another was orderd to be made.

http://webapps.qmul.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hooke_folio.…

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Terry, thanks once again for the extract from the Hooke folio. I always read those closely, with great interest.

I wonder if we have any further information about Lord Sandwich's letter from Spain, and what the observations were that were to be made jointly in Spain and England.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Paul, The observations were that were to be made jointly in Spain and England seem to have to do with this:

"While [Sandwich] was in Spain he sent to the society a paper of observations upon an eclipse of the moon, and received the thanks of his colleagues. He also wrote upon a solar eclipse, he corrected the accepted latitude of Madrid, and added some notes upon the immersion [emergence?] of the satellites of Jupiter."

Full text of "The life of Edward Montagu, first Earl of Sandwich, 1625-1672" - 232 THE PLANTATIONS [CHAP, xiv http://snipurl.com/nicpi

Terry Foreman  •  Link

February 11. 1666. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS of the Royal Society

An Account of some Observations, lately made in Spain, by His Excellency the Earl of Sandwich.

The Right Honourable the Earl of Sandwich, as he appears eminent in discharging the Trust, his Majesty hath reposed in him, of Ambassador Extraordinary to the King of Spain; so he forgets not in the midst of that Employment, that he is a Member of the Royal Society; but does from time to time, when his weighty State-Negotiations do permit, imploy himself in making considerable Observations of divers kinds, both Astronomical and Physiological; and communicateth the same to the said Society; as for instance, lately, what he has observ'd concerning the Solar Eclipse in June last, the Suns height in the Solstice, and also the Latitude of Madrid, esteeming by the Suns Altitude in the Solstice, and by other Meridian Altitudes, the Latitude of Madrid to be 40 deg. 10 min; which differs considerably from that assigned by others; the General Chart of Europe giving to it 41 deg. 30 min. the General Map of Spain, 40 deg. 27 min. A large Provincial Map of Castile, 40 deg. 38 min.

To these particulars, and others formerly imparted, his Excellency is making more of the same nature; and particularly those of the Immersion of the Satellites of Jupiter.

We must not omit mentioning here, what he hath observed of Halo's about the Moon; which he relates in these words;

Decemb. 25. Old Style, 1666. [sic] In the Evening, here (vid. at Madrid) was a great Halo about the Moon, the Semidiameter whereof was about 23 deg. 30 min. Aldebaran was just in the North-east part of the Circle, and the two Horns of Aries just enclosed by the South-west of the Circle, the Moon being in the Center. I note this the rather (saith he) because five or six years ago, vid. Novemb. 21. Old Style, 1661. an hour after Sun-set, I saw a great Halo about the Moon of the same Semidiameter, {391}at Tangier, the Moon being very near the same place, where she was now. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/28758/28758-h/2875…

Ruben  •  Link

"he has observ’d ...the Latitude of Madrid to be 40 deg. 10 min; which differs considerably from that assigned by others; the General Chart of Europe giving to it 41 deg. 30 min. the General Map of Spain, 40 deg. 27 min. A large Provincial Map of Castile, 40 deg. 38 min."
In our days Wikipedia's coordinates are: 40 deg.24'N.
Not bad for an amateur.

JWB  •  Link

"...Sal Armon: & salt peter to see which of the two had the greatest force to cool."

Repair to your "CRC Handbook of Chem. & Physics" where you'll find that Berthelot, I think it was he, or more likely his nameless grad student, amassed all that calorimetry data in 19th C. KNO3's heat of solution is about twice as endothermic as ammonium chloride, but with near twice its molecular weight, equal weights in equal amounts of water will lower the temp about the same(35/28), advantage saltpeter.

andy  •  Link

And so full of work Lilly is, that he was fain to take his table-book out to see how his time is appointed, and appointed six days hence for him to come between seven and eight in the morning

In Russia this year my tutor (who is now retired) commented on her experience working in a european political office where she observed how we were obsessed with organising our diaries like this. Now we use pda's.

Bradford  •  Link

Is there any record of Pepys himself using a "table-book" (interesting designation), as he continues to Rise?

language hat  •  Link

"Which, though it be true, yet methought was one of the most dishonourable motions to our countrymen that ever was made"

Does anybody know what he means by this? Letting the fleet know that the Dutch lost twenty-nine captains and thirteen ships seemed quite sensible to me.

cgs  •  Link

I wonder how Samuel viewed this quote from the Prologue:

" All who (like him) have writ ill plays before, For they, like thieves, condemned, are hangman made, To execute the members of their trade. "

cgs  •  Link

"...with Sir W. Pen home, calling at Lilly’s, to have a time appointed when to be drawn among the other Commanders of Flags the last year’s fight..."

have found young Penn:

painting of W. Penn jr.[aged 22yrs] by Lilly
http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/colonial/jb_col…

Jesse  •  Link

Penn's portrait.

The link didn't work because I forgot to leave a space before adding the end of sentence period. Same portrait though. Thanks for pointing this out.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“Which, though it be true, yet methought was one of the most dishonourable motions to our countrymen that ever was made”

Might Pepys have been referring to the very (apparent) necessity of it? Why/how did "our countrymen" NOT know that damage had been inflicted on the enemy?

(I'm not satisfied with this, language hat, but....)

A. Hamilton  •  Link

LH, I agree. A head scratcher.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

LH, I interpreted that passage to mean that Sam thought it was a slander on the officers and men of the Navy to suggest that they might ever have low morale for any reason - what in a later age would be called defeatism. Not a very sensible comment for him to make, I admit, so I may be wrong.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Re LH's comment. I took this to mean that Sam thought Coventry ought not to have mentioned this low morale in a public forum where it would be minuted. Maybe Coventry is playing some political game against the Duke and trying to point-score. Good to observe that Sam is supportive and protective of the Navy personnel. But he didn't join in this debate. Not prepared to be seen to criticise his patron, maybe.

language hat  •  Link

Well, there's a considerable gap between "something that perhaps should not have been brought up in public" and "one of the most dishonourable motions to our countrymen that ever was made"... but that's our Sam, everything is the best/worst thing he's ever seen.

Harvey  •  Link

"... he has observ’d …the Latitude of Madrid to be 40 deg. 10 min ... the General Chart of Europe giving to it 41 deg. 30 min. the General Map of Spain, 40 deg. 27 min. A large Provincial Map of Castile, 40 deg. 38 min. In our days Wikipedia’s coordinates are: 40 deg.24’N..."

This matters as one minute of latitude is one nautical mile, so someone expecting to find it at 4038 would be 14 nautical miles away from its now known position at 4024. This would take 3 1/2 hours sailing to correct for a ship doing 4 knots. Plenty of time for the reception committee to observe and prepare.

So this is strategically important information.

cgs  •  Link

Thanks for mileage, easier to comprehend [6 hrs walk]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Up in good ease" transcribe L&M. No health complaints today!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir W. Pen ... calling at Lilly’s"

The Flagmen of Lowestoft are a collection of thirteen paintings by Sir Peter Lely, painted in the mid-1660s. They were originally part of the Royal Collections, though most were given to Greenwich Hospital in the nineteenth century, and are now in the care of the National Maritime Museum. The paintings are of prominent naval officers, most of them of flag rank, who had fought at the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665. Lely at the time was Principal Painter to King Charles II. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagmen_of_Lowestoft

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"While [Sandwich] was in Spain he sent to the society a paper of observations upon an eclipse of the moon, and received the thanks of his colleagues. He also wrote upon a solar eclipse, he corrected the accepted latitude of Madrid, and added some notes upon the immersion [emergence?] of the satellites of Jupiter."
Full text of "The life of Edward Montagu, first Earl of Sandwich, 1625-1672" - 232 THE PLANTATIONS [CHAP, xiv https://archive.org/stream/lifeofedwardmont02harr…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Duke of Yorke did say, that now at length he is come to a sure knowledge that the Dutch did lose in the late engagements twenty-nine captains and thirteen ships."

L&M : The Dutch lost nine captains: G.Brandt, Michel de Ruiter (trans., 1698), p. 363.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The "Young Penn" whose portrait is linked above by cgs is the son of Admiral Sir W. Penn. It is not the portrait sought today.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Sir W. Coventry did publickly move, that if his Royal Highness had this of a certainty, it would be of use to send this down to the fleete, and to cause it to be spread about the fleete, for the recovering of the spirits of the officers and seamen; who are under great dejectedness for want of knowing that they did do any thing against the enemy, notwithstanding all that they did to us. Which, though it be true, yet methought was one of the most dishonourable motions to our countrymen that ever was made; and is worth remembering."

Remember on Thursday 12 July, 1666, Pepys listened to Coventry's dejected appraisal of where things stood. Pepys concluded: "In fine, I do observe, he [COVENTRY] hath no esteem nor kindness for the Duke’s matters, but, contrarily, do slight him and them; and I pray God the Kingdom do not pay too dear by this jarring; though this blockheaded Duke I did never expect better from."

Coventry reads all the Duke of York's dispatches. He knows what the real figures are. Today, in front of everyone, Coventry questions whether or not the Duke's figures are correct, and if York is prepared to stand behind them, they should be publicized etc. This can be read as Coventry challenging York about sending bogus intelligence to the fleet to bolster morale with lies. Pepys, being on the inside, listens with astonishment to the deceit.

I wonder which Duke was the blockhead on July 12, Albemarle or York?

https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/07/12/

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Gresham College — from the Hooke Folio Online

IIuly. 18. 1666. ... There was tryed an expt. wth. Sal Armon: & salt peter to see which of the two had the greatest force to cool. the expt. not being orderd as it should be. The Curator [ Hooke ] was charged to Lett it be made at the next meeting wth. both the salts putt into an aequall quantity of water, in the same vessell obseruing the same time with both.

And for those of us following Evelyn's Diary:

2 July, 1666. Came Sir John Duncomb and Mr. Thomas Chicheley, both Privy Councilors and Commissioners of His Majesty's Ordnance, to visit me, and let me know that his Majesty had in Council, nominated me to be one of the Commissioners for regulating the farming and making of saltpeter through the whole kingdom, and that we were to sit in the Tower the next day.

3 July, 1666. I went to sit with the Commissioners at the Tower, where our commission being read, we made some progress in business, our Secretary being Sir George Wharton, that famous mathematician who wrote the yearly Almanac during his Majesty's troubles.

Saltpeter (nitre) is needed for the production of gunpowder. Evidently England needs to be making more of it. Evelyn is an F.R.S. so he may have asked the Royal Society for help improving it?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In those days gunpowder was a fortuitous mix of sulphur, charcoal and saltpetre. It was that last ingredient that was the most vital and the hardest to obtain.

John Evelyn's family made gunpowder at several locations for the Royalist armies during the Civil Wars, which explains his inclusion on the Saltpetre Commission.

What do the night soil men do with their haul? They either sold it to the garden markets around London -- or to the saltpetremen to make gunpowder.

In the rest of Europe each country had organized the making of saltpetre; in Sweden you could pay your taxes with it. But not England -- I wonder why. Charles I's efforts to take communities' stashes of gunpowder made him very unpopular -- but his saltpetremen's strong-arm methods to take people's dung from their stables, etc., contributed to unrest leading to the Civil Wars.

Under Charles II the government conceded home production was inadequate, and started importing it in earnest from India through the East India Company.

An interesting book on the subject is Saltpeter: The Mother of Gunpowder -- by David Cressy -- Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013, ISBN: 9780199695751; 256pp.

Even this review is interesting:
http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1481

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Notes taken from: A BRIEF HISTORY OF LIMERICK, IRELAND

In the 16th century Limerick was a busy little Irish town but the 17th century was a turbulent one for Ireland, and Limerick underwent four sieges.

In 1641 Ireland rose in rebellion.
In 1642 the Irish army entered Limerick. The English troops in the city withdrew into the castle and the Irish laid siege. The English held out for a month but they gave in when they realized the Irish were mining the walls.

In 1649 Oliver Cromwell began the reconquest of Ireland.
In June 1651 an English army under Henry Ireton arrived in Limerick. They were unable to take the city by storm as it was too heavily defended, so they blockaded it. Plague broke out in the city and decimated the defenders. Eventually, after 5 months, the Irish under their leader, Hugh O'Neil were forced to surrender.
The English executed several people who they claimed were responsible for prolonging the siege by refusing to accept surrender terms earlier.

Then in 1688 the Catholic king of England, James II was deposed.
In 1689 James II landed in Ireland with French troops. The Irish rose in support but in 1690 they were defeated at the Battle of the Boyne.

James II fled to France and his army retreated westwards. Despite the defeat at the Boyne in June the French/Irish decided to defend the city.

William III, the new English king, arrived on 8 August 1690, but he had to wait for his heavy cannons to brought from Dublin. along the way the cannons were intercepted by Patrick Sarsfield on 11 August, who destroyed the ammunition, wagons, and horses. Sadly this only delayed the inevitable.

The third siege pf Limerick began in late August 1690 and on the 25th a breach was made in the walls of the city. William III’s forces attempted to break through the breach, but were repulsed. The English were running out of ammunition and at the end of August the siege was lifted.

The siege of Limerick (#4) was resumed in 1691 when an English army was sent under a Dutchman named Ginkel. (William III was king of Holland as well as England). On 8 September, 1691 Ginkel's men began the bombardment and soon made a breach in the walls of Englishtown.
On 22 September the English soldiers crossed the Shannon on a pontoon bridge and attacked the earthwork a French officer ordered his men to raise the drawbridge before the Irish troops could cross. The English then massacred the Irish soldiers. The remaining defenders were demoralized by this disaster and the next day (23 September) they asked for a truce.

Limerick surrendered on 3 October, 1691, but the English did not honor the treaty.

In the late 17th century a palace was built for the Protestant Bishops of Limerick. (Which might account for Bishop Fuller not wanting to live there from 1663-1667 -- he didn't have a nice enough palace?)

http://www.localhistories.org/limerick.html

Jonathan V  •  Link

Very interesting posts, San Diego Sarah. Many thanks! That certainly helped clarify Coventry's statement and Pepys' comment. I was very unsure of what he was getting at, but your post makes sense.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Had Pepys known the following, would he have been so enthusiastic about meeting Sir Thomas Littleton MP today?

Littleton wanted to granted only one-fifth of the £2,500,000 demanded by the Government in the Oxford finance bill. (Penn as an MP must have known that, but Littleton turned out in later years to be no friend of Penn's either.)

In pursuit of office, in 1665 Sir Thomas Littleton MP had attached himself to Secretary of State, Sir Henry Bennet, Lord Arlington, who was also a Commissioner of Prizes. Who knows what Littleton's heard about Pepys' shenanigans with the prize ships last year.

In 1666 Sir Thomas Littleton MP acted as teller for a bill for the preservation of naval stores, about which we will presumably hear something later.

Thomas Littleton MP resisted the government proposals for the additional excise, both in debate and division, earning from Andrew Marvell the sobriquet of ‘great Littleton’.

Later Sir Thomas Littleton MP reported a bill for the better attendance of those Members who had not followed his example by taking up permanent residence in London.

Gilbert Burnet, who later became Thomas Littleton MP’s next-door neighbor in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, wrote: “Littleton was the ablest and vehementest arguer of them all. He commonly lay quiet till the end of a debate; and he often ended it, speaking with a strain of conviction and authority that was not easily resisted. ... A man of strong head and sound judgment, he had just as much knowledge in trade, history, and the disposition of Europe and the constitution of England as served to feed and direct his own thoughts, and no more.”

I wonder if great Littleton "lay quiet" this evening as well, listening to Pepys tell everyone how he had single-handedly refit the fleet for this next encounter.

From https://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/…

Peach  •  Link

The information on salt petre brings to mind the lovely little boot camp myth that Uncle Sam spikes the eggs with said chemical, in order to suppress "carnal urges". Considering the gossip that goes around a compartment during those 6-13 weeks (depending on branch of service), it is of varying efficacy.

Seriously though if something like that actually happens, it's less likely to be in the food and more likely to be in whatever oodles of shots are given in the first week.

As for Sam...well, he probably couldn't have hurt for a little salt petre, perhaps right along side his lucky rabbit's foot and cups of sacke. I'm sure Bagwell, Mitchell, et al. would've appreciated the attempt, at least.

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