Thursday 11 April 1667

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and (which is now rare, he having not been with us twice I think these six months) Sir G. Carteret come to us upon some particular business of his office, and went away again. At noon I to the ‘Change, and there hear by Mr. Hublon of the loss of a little East Indiaman, valued at about 20,000l., coming home alone, and safe to within ten leagues of Scilly, and there snapt by a French Caper. Our merchants do much pray for peace; and he tells me that letters are come that the Dutch have stopped the fitting of their great ships, and the coming out of a fleete of theirs of 50 sayle, that was ready to come out; but I doubt the truth of it yet. Thence to Sir G. Carteret, by his invitation to his office, where my Lady was, and dined with him, and very merry and good people they are, when pleased, as any I know. After dinner I to the office, where busy till evening, and then with Balty to Sir G. Carteret’s office, and there with Mr. Fenn despatched the business of Balty’s 1500l. he received for the contingencies of the fleete, whereof he received about 253l. in pieces of eight at a goldsmith’s there hard by, which did puzzle me and him to tell; for I could not tell the difference by sight, only by bigness, and that is not always discernible, between a whole and half-piece and quarterpiece. Having received this money I home with Balty and it, and then abroad by coach with my wife and set her down at her father’s, and I to White Hall, thinking there to have seen the Duchess of Newcastle’s coming this night to Court, to make a visit to the Queene, the King having been with her yesterday, to make her a visit since her coming to town. The whole story of this lady is a romance, and all she do is romantick. Her footmen in velvet coats, and herself in an antique dress, as they say; and was the other day at her own play, “The Humourous Lovers;” the most ridiculous thing that ever was wrote, but yet she and her Lord mightily pleased with it; and she, at the end, made her respects to the players from her box, and did give them thanks. There is as much expectation of her coming to Court, that so people may come to see her, as if it were the Queen of Sheba [L&M say “Queen of Sweden”. P.G.]; but I lost my labour, for she did not come this night. So, meeting Mr. Brisband, he took me up to my Lady Jemimah’s chamber, who is let blood to-day, and so there we sat and talked an hour, I think, very merry and one odd thing or other, and so away, and I took up my wife at her tailor’s (whose wife is brought to bed, and my wife must be godmother), and so with much ado got a coach to carry us home, it being late, and so to my chamber, having little left to do at my office, my eyes being a little sore by reason of my reading a small printed book the other day after it was dark, and so to supper and to bed. It comes in my head to set down that there have been two fires in the City, as I am told for certain, and it is so, within this week.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

Ap: 11. 1667 (Dr. wrens new lamp.) he had seen a digging engine made by bayly)

Dr. merrit of Granarys of Londo granary at Dantzick 9 story high. corne in tanks in Muscovy.) Ld Brereton that corne well dryed would make ale wthout malting. query about moscouy been)

a new Discouery of Pecquet from Paris.) []
query passage from stomack to kidneys)

query obseruatns. about the last plague) about transfusion) and Iniection). mr. Hooke was put in mind to bring in a module for his more expedite way of making brick.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...there snapt by a French Caper..."

Outrageous piracy...Simply shocking. I wonder if it might have the "Soaring Poodle".

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Been...Might have been

Much too early.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Our merchants do much pray for peace..."

Hmmn...I thought they were all crying for war a few years ago. Not enough trade for England and Holland to divide, so one must go under, wasn't that the idea?

Oh, well, even Hitler ended up whining that if anyone had ever told him the Russians had those good T-34 and Stalin tanks coming and a few generals who knew how to use them he never would have attacked.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The Duchess looks rather like Elsa Lanchester when young. While I suppose by "romantic" Sam means impractical or silly, there does seem to be a note of admiration in his description of her.

Mary  •  Link


At this date the term generally meant "resembling tales of old" and referred back to tales of wild adventures of war and love from the Middle Ages. Also improbable, false or fanciful. Not silly, but 'affected' perhaps in this case.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"he received about 253l. in pieces of eight at a goldsmith’s there hard by, which did puzzle me and him to tell; for I could not tell the difference by sight, only by bigness, and that is not always discernible, between a whole and half-piece and quarterpiece."

L&M note Spanish-American mints produced coins that were often irregular in shape, but accurate in weight.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"there snapt by a French Caper"

Caper = privateer (L&M Select Glossary)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lady Jemimah’s chamber, who is let blood to-day"

L&M note she was pregnant.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

De Prata to Sandwich
Written from: Hinchinbroke
Date: 11/21 April 1667

The writer having had an intimation from Lady Sandwich, through Dr Spencer, that the Earl's intention to continue De Prata in his establishment extended only to one year; renews the expression of his hope that his humble service may be found not unacceptable upon his Excellency's return to England.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" the Duchess of an antique dress, as they say;"

L&M elaborate,as did she (Life of W Cavendish, ed. Firth, pp. 174f.), rekarking that as a child she preferred 'a variety of fine clothes' to toys, attiring herself in fashions of her own design. 'I did dislike any who should follow my fashions, for I always took delight in a singularity, even in accouterments of habits'. Cf. and
Evelyn met her on 18 April and was 'much pleasd, with the extraordinary fancifull habit, garb, & discourse of the Duchesse. Her biographer in the DNB (Joseph Knight) concludes that 'her occasional appearances in theatrical costume, and her reputation for purity of life...contributed to gain her a reputation for madness'. (She was known as 'Mad Madge of Newcastle'.)

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.