Tuesday 31 July 1666

Good friends in the morning and up to the office, where sitting all the morning, and while at table we were mightily joyed with newes brought by Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten of the death of De Ruyter, but when Sir W. Coventry come, he told us there was no such thing, which quite dashed me again, though, God forgive me! I was a little sorry in my heart before lest it might give occasion of too much glory to the Duke of Albemarle.

Great bandying this day between Sir W. Coventry and my Lord Bruncker about Captain Cocke, which I am well pleased with, while I keepe from any open relyance on either side, but rather on Sir W. Coventry’s.

At noon had a haunch of venison boiled and a very good dinner besides, there dining with me on a sudden invitation the two mayden sisters, Bateliers, and their elder brother, a pretty man, understanding and well discoursed, much pleased with his company.

Having dined myself I rose to go to a Committee of Tangier, and did come thither time enough to meet Povy and Creed and none else. The Court being empty, the King being gone to Tunbridge, and the Duke of Yorke a-hunting. I had some discourse with Povy, who is mightily discontented, I find, about his disappointments at Court; and says, of all places, if there be hell, it is here. No faith, no truth, no love, nor any agreement between man and wife, nor friends. He would have spoke broader, but I put it off to another time; and so parted.

Then with Creed and read over with him the narrative of the late [fight], which he makes a very poor thing of, as it is indeed, and speaks most slightingly of the whole matter.

Povy discoursed with me about my Lord Peterborough’s 50l. which his man did give me from him, the last year’s salary I paid him, which he would have Povy pay him again; but I have not taken it to myself yet, and therefore will most heartily return him, and mark him out for a coxcomb.

Povy went down to Mr. Williamson’s, and brought me up this extract out of the Flanders’ letters to-day come: That Admiral Everson, and the Admiral and Vice-Admiral of Freezeland, with many captains and men, are slain; that De Ruyter is safe, but lost 250 men out of his own ship; but that he is in great disgrace, and Trump in better favour; that Bankert’s ship is burned, himself hardly escaping with a few men on board De Haes; that fifteen captains are to be tried the seventh of August; and that the hangman was sent from Flushing to assist the Council of Warr. How much of this is true, time will shew.

Thence to Westminster Hall and walked an hour with Creed talking of the late fight, and observing the ridiculous management thereof and success of the Duke of Albemarle.

Thence parted and to Mrs. Martin’s lodgings, and sat with her a while, and then by water home, all the way reading the Narrative of the late fight in order, it may be, to the making some marginal notes upon it.

At the Old Swan found my Betty Michell at the doore, where I staid talking with her a pretty while, it being dusky, and kissed her and so away home and writ my letters, and then home to supper, where the, brother and Mary Batelier are still and Mercer’s two sisters. They have spent the time dancing this afternoon, and we were very merry, and then after supper into the garden and there walked, and then home with them and then back again, my wife and I and the girls, and sang in the garden and then to bed.

Colville was with me this morning, and to my great joy I could now have all my money in, that I have in the world. But the times being open again, I thinke it is best to keepe some of it abroad.

Mighty well, and end this month in content of mind and body. The publique matters looking more safe for the present than they did, and we having a victory over the Dutch just such as I could have wished, and as the kingdom was fit to bear, enough to give us the name of conquerors, and leave us masters of the sea, but without any such great matters done as should give the Duke of Albemarle any honour at all, or give him cause to rise to his former insolence.


16 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Thence parted and to Mrs. Martin’s lodgings, and sat with her a while..."

Monk Pepys apparently finds a few pleasures besides the music he mentioned yesterday.

Perhaps Bess' good-natured mood at dawn was based on the reflection that if Sam is overfond of "singing" with Mercer, she herself perhaps has enjoyed "painting" an awful lot with Mr. Browne...

Not to mention "dancing" with Capt. Ferrers and Lord Sandwich.

At least we who love Bess as much as Sam can hope...

***
Heaven...

"What the devil does he mean 'painting' and 'dancing'?"

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, that nice Dr. Freud I've been seeing says." Bess notes. "And you notice I'd not asked as to the fondl...I mean, 'singing'."

"It really was singing."

"Well...It really was dancing with Pembleton."

"Oh?" Pleased tone...

Wait...She said nothing about the others... "Bess!"

And this being Heaven, where does that Freud fellow get off sending me bills for her 'sessions'?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I had some discourse with Povy, who is mightily discontented, I find, about his disappointments at Court; and says, of all places, if there be hell, it is here. No faith, no truth, no love, nor any agreement between man and wife, nor friends."

"disappointments" is an understatement -- recall 3 July when Pepys was told of: "Mr. Povy, whose vanity, prodigality, neglect of his business, and committing it to unfit hands hath undone him and outed him of all his publique employments, and the thing set on foot by an accidental revivall of a business, wherein he had three or fours years ago, by surprize, got the Duke of Yorke to sign to the having a sum of money paid out of the Excise, before some that was due to him, and now the money is fallen short, and the Duke never likely to be paid. This being revived hath undone Povy." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/07/03/

It may be that Mr. Povey tells the truth about the court.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"But the times being open again, I thinke it is best to keepe some of it abroad"

"open" = unsettled (L&M Select Glossary)

"abroad" = away (L&M Select Glossary)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the brother" transcribe L&M: the comma in the text above seems to be a scanning error.

Nix  •  Link

"No faith, no truth, no love, nor any agreement between man and wife, nor friends." --

300 years later Harry Truman will observe: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Then with Creed and read over with him the narrative of the late [fight]"

This was the official account: The victory over the fleet of the States General, obtained by His Majesties Navy Royal in the late engagement, begun the 25. of July instant. / As it came from His Highness Prince Rupert, and His Grace the Duke of Albemarle. Published by authority. https://books.google.com/books?id=0blMAAAAMAAJ&pg…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"De Ruyter is safe, but lost 250 men out of his own ship; but that he is in great disgrace, and Trump in better favour."

On the contrary: de Ruyter received the thanks of the States-General; but made a critical report on Tromp's action in breaking off the main engagement to pursue Smith's squadron. Tromp was dismissed on 14/24 August (Per L&M footnote)

Tromp was criticized for splitting the Dutch fleet, as the English had been split in the Four Days Battle.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

End of the month review, but no mention of vows. Perhaps he thinks the quarterly or semi-annual versions work for him now. (I'm not so sure.)

Tonyel  •  Link

How much of this is true, time will shew.

"Fake Newes!"
A sudden image of Sam with a Twitter account.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Now they know the fight ended up with the Dutch hemmed into Flushing / Vlissingen harbor, until the wind changed and the Dutch were able to limp home.

I wonder if Monck and Rupert discussed rescuing the English POWs there who had urgently needed supplies earlier this month?

https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/07/11/
Wednesday 11 July 1666
Up, and by water to Sir G. Downing’s, there to discourse with him about the relief of the prisoners in Holland; which I did, and we do resolve of the manner of sending them some.
L&M note: Those in the gaol at Flushing/Vlissingen were in need of food and medical attention.

john  •  Link

"Povy discoursed with me about my Lord Peterborough’s 50l. which his man did give me from him, the last year’s salary I paid him, which he would have Povy pay him again; but I have not taken it to myself yet, and therefore will most heartily return him, and mark him out for a coxcomb."

This passage eludes me. Could someone kindly elucidate?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

“I was a little sorry in my heart before lest it might give occasion of too much glory to the Duke of Albemarle.” AND

“Thence to Westminster Hall and walked an hour with Creed talking of the late fight, and observing the ridiculous management thereof and success of the Duke of Albemarle.” AND

“we having a victory over the Dutch just such as I could have wished, and as the kingdom was fit to bear, enough to give us the name of conquerors, and leave us masters of the sea, but without any such great matters done as should give the Duke of Albemarle any honour at all, or give him cause to rise to his former insolence.”

This answers my confusion about which Duke was being referred to on Thursday 12 July, 1666, when Pepys, after listened to Coventry's dejected appraisal of where things stood, 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."

Albemarle is the blockheaded Duke, not James, Duke of York.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"This passage eludes me. Could someone kindly elucidate?"

I think you need to ask Pepys. There are too many him's for my brain to untangle. It seems to report an irritating conversation ... but that Pepys now has enough money to give up 50l. and not overly care is the meat of it to me.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Charles II needs information from behind enemy lines, and all year he has been communicating in more-or-less good faith with De Witt, encouraging the Orangists to rise up (but one of their leaders was Van Tromp), and reaching out to ex-pats who might exchange intelligence for pardons or money.

One such intelligencer was the 24-year-old widow, Aphra Johnson Behn:

The facts about Aphra Johnson's life after her return to England from Surinam in 1664 are unclear. She is known to have met and taken the name of the man considered to be her husband, who was perhaps a Dutch merchant whose name was either "Ben," "Beane," "Bene," or "Behn." From then on she was known as "Mrs. Behn," the name she later used for her professional writing.

(Aphra Behn was propelled into writing for a living by the death of her husband in 1665, and her indebtedness as a result of her employment as a spy for Charles II.)

When her husband died, Aphra Behn was left with no income. Possibly because of her association, through him, with the Dutch community, she was appointed an intelligence gatherer for Charles II, who was, at least, to pay for her trip to Antwerp as his spy.

But Charles II did not respond to Aphra Behn's repeated requests for money so in December 1666 she was forced to borrow for her passage back to England. Charles continued to refuse payment, and in 1668 Behn was thrown into debtor's prison.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/aphra-behn

“A Memoir of Mrs. Behn” by Montague Summers is considered the definitive biography of Aphra Behn, the first Englishwoman to earn her livelihood by authorship. It is interesting, but difficult to unravel. In it he tells us that Aphra's "... chief business was to establish an intimacy with William Scott [son of Thomas Scott, the regicide who was executed 17 October, 1660]. This William ... was quite ready to become a spy in the English service and to report on the doings of the English exiles who were not only holding treasonable correspondence with traitors at home and plotting against Charles II, but even joining with the Dutch foe to injure their native land. Scott was extremely anxious for his own pardon and, in addition, eager to earn any money he could.

"Aphra then, taking with her some 40 pounds in cash, all she had, set sail with Sir Anthony Desmarces either at the latter end of July or early in August, 1666, ..."
[Sir Anthony Desmarces was an ally of Aphra Behn, and had something to do with the lotteries and the Fishmongers Guild in 1663]
...
So around now, the beautiful, traveled, widow Behn is about to take Antwerp by storm.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Another example of Charles II's negotiations with the Dutch:

During 1666, Henri de Fleury de Coulan, Sieur de Buat, St. Sire et La Forest de Gay (A.K.A. Capt. Henri Buat) became a messenger in secret correspondence between Sir Gabriel Sylvius, then living at the court in London, and a former member of the court of the late Mary Stuart, the Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, and members of the entourage of the young Prince William of Orange.

Sylvius was acting on behalf of Secretary of State, Henry Bennet, Lord Arlington (who, in April 1666 married another Orangist, Isabella van Beverweerd).

This exchange was originally a diplomatic "back channel" way for the Dutch and English governments to explore possibilities of peace. Grand Pensionary De Witt was therefore aware of it, and it had his tacit approval.

However, Arlington and Sylvius had ideas in case the peace negotiations failed. They wanted an Orangist coup d'état to overthrow the De Witt regime, restore the stadtholderate, end the war, and renew the Anglo-Dutch friendship.

Sylvius foolishly wrote full details of this plan in a letter to Capt. Henri Buat, which he sent in a packet together with letters intended for the eyes of De Witt.

Henri Buat got confused and handed all the correspondence over to De Witt.

When Buat discovered his mistake he went to De Witt asking for the "wrong" letter back, but it was too late: De Witt had given it to the States of Holland for further action.

Buat was arrested for what was called "the Buat Conspiracy." In the criminal proceedings it transpired that two Rotterdam regents, Johan Kievit and Ewout van der Horst, had compromised themselves enough to also be charged. They escaped to England, and were tried in absentia.

Henri Buat had the misfortune to be tried for treason by the Hof van Holland (the main court of the province of Holland).

This was controversial, as the treason was against the Generality, so that the Hoge Raad van Holland en Zeeland (the federal supreme court) would have been more appropriate.
Also, the Executive -- in the form of the States of Holland -- exerted undue influence in the proceedings.

Arguably, Capt. Henri Buat did not intented to commit treason; he was the naive lackey of the principals making war.

Nevertheless, the facts were clear; he was convicted, and the sentence of public execution by Christiaan Hals, the headsman from The Hague, was carried out on October 11, 1666.

And as for Johan Kievit -- he was knighted by Charles II, and we'll meet up with him again in Evelyn's Diary next year.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_de_Fleury_de_…

Gerald Berg  •  Link

SDS thanks for the notations on the most interesting Aphra Behn. Her treatment by Chuck the 2nd certainly reenforces Povy's take on the court.

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