Friday 5 July 1667

Up, and to the office, where Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, [Sir] T. Harvy and I met upon Mr. Gawden’s accounts, and was at it all the morning. This morning Sir G. Carteret did come to us, and walked in the garden. It was to talk with me about some thing of my Lord Sandwich’s, but here he told us that the great seale is passed to my Lord Annesly [Anglesey] for Treasurer of the Navy: so that now he do no more belong to us: and I confess, for his sake, I am glad of it, and do believe the other will have little content in it. At noon I home to dinner with my wife, and after dinner to sing, and then to the office a little and Sir W. Batten’s, where I am vexed to hear that Nan Wright, now Mrs. Markham, Sir W. Pen’s mayde and whore, is come to sit in our pew at church, and did so while my Lady Batten was there. I confess I am very much vexed at it and ashamed. By and by out with [Sir] W. Pen to White Hall, where I staid not, but to the New Exchange to buy gloves and other little errands, and so home and to my office busy till night, and then walked in the garden with my wife, and then to supper and to sing, and so to bed. No news, but that the Dutch are gone clear from Harwich northward, and have given out they are going to Yarmouth.

16 Annotations

Bradford  •  Link

In what terms, do you imagine, did Elizabeth and Samuel, taking a turn round the garden, discuss the incursion of Nan Wright into their pew?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Nan Wright, now Mrs. Markham, Sir W. Pen’s mayde and whore, is come to sit in our pew at church..."

That's ok Sam. Imagine how Lord Sandwich talks to Lady Sandwich about his upstart servant/clerk who refuses to loan his son a little money after all that's been done for him.


London Gazette...All the "news" that you wouldn't want your child to see.

Front page.

"Sir W. Penn's illicit relationship with maid exposed! A confidential source in the Naval Office tells all! Was Nan the 'wright' girl at the 'wright' time?!"

Page two.

"Space aliens assisted Dutch in capture of Shearness! Louis XIV said to be Martian leader in disguise! Head of Shakespeare on Mars sends orders to Antichrist in Rome!"

Page three.

"King seen with Lady Castlemaine and guests at moth party! Will a certain FS be allowed back into HM's presence? Our confidential sources at Court tell all!"

Page four.

"Winning lotto number!"

Page five...

"Dutch invade England. Fleet burned."

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

I have been very busy these last few months, so I have missed the "Dutch invasion" into the Thames. There is so much reference still though that I can say that this feat was treated as a big victory and an act of heroism in the history books that were used in the schools here in Holland.
The arrogant (the word perfidious was perhaps not yet used then) English had been taught a lesson and this 'English Sea War' was won by the Dutch. Not so the other three.
Am I right that, partly because of Sam, the Navy was reformed after this incident?

Ruben  •  Link

Welcome back, Wim!
I always try to see both sides, but it was a difficult exercise, considering that I only had sources in English or translated from English.
This in spite of the fact that I sympathise with both sides!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Dutch side-De Witt remains a tragic and heroic figure for me. Medway's a daring and amazing victory and as Sam notes the Dutch behaved with admirable restraint during their landings. The irony is how quickly De Witt will find it turning to ashes.


Sam did play a large role in reforming the Navy afterwards. Coventry was gradually forced out by an ungrateful Charles and Jamie but Sam managed to accomplish much of what Sir William hoped to see.

language hat  •  Link

I too have always admired the Dutch in this period, and am sorry their victory was snatched away from them.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Apart from the necessity of handwear replacement...Gloves are sold by pretty, young and not so young-but-all-the-more-willing-to-give-a-bug-eyed CoA-a-tumble women in their stalls.

cum salis grano  •  Link

I luved [sic] "me" Dent pigskins, "didnae" have to show off "me" lifelines.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

LH, given who became king in 1688, maybe the Dutch didn't have their victory snatched away from them after all...?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"the Dutch"
Maybe they were progressive at home but overseas they were just snatching the portuguese colonies in Asia, Africa and South America;in Brazil they were kicked out, by the afro-brazilians and indians mostly, in 1640.
It is about time to get rid of the eurocentric view of the world.

language hat  •  Link

When you find a perfect, totally admirable state somewhere in the bloody history of the world, let me know. Until then, I'll ignore fashionable games of historical "gotcha" that pretend European states were uniquely evil and the rest of the world an Eden untouched by sin.

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"...given who became king in 1688, maybe the Dutch didn’t have their victory snatched away from them after all…?" Yeah, but De Witt and the republic had lost out to (and in De Witt's case, been murdered by) William's royalist group by then. While De Witt was certainly not a democratic champion he did lead Dutch republicanism to oppose monarchy and hereditary right as personified by the House of Orange. Not a little tribute must go to Charles Stuart I think for his ability to reinvent his foreign policy and pull a completely new situation out of the disaster so that within a few years it will be the Republic facing a desperate situation with Britain and France allied while William undermines from within.

And then of course we have William...The most skillful player on the board or at least the best survivor.

language hat  •  Link

The Dutch national anthem must be the only one in the world that includes a pledge of loyalty to a foreign ruler: "den Koning van Hispanje/ heb ik altijd geëerd" ("I have always honored the King of Spain").

Sjoerd  •  Link

Thanks, Language Hat. About Spain, we expect to get our own back coming sunday !

Sjoerd  •  Link

Ow shoot!

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