Friday 19 July 1667

Up and comes the flageolet master, and brings me two new great Ivory pipes which cost me 32s., and so to play, and he being done, and Balty’s wife taking her leave of me, she going back to Lee to-day, I to Westminster and there did receive 15,000l. orders out of the Exchequer in part of a bigger sum upon the eleven months tax for Tangier, part of which I presently delivered to Sir H. Cholmly, who was there, and thence with Mr. Gawden to Auditor Woods and Beales to examine some precedents in his business of the Victualling on his behalf, and so home, and in my way by coach down Marke Lane, mightily pleased and smitten to see, as I thought, in passing, the pretty woman, the line-maker’s wife that lived in Fenchurch Streete, and I had great mind to have gone back to have seen, but yet would correct my nature and would not. So to dinner with my wife, and then to sing, and so to the office, where busy all the afternoon late, and to Sir W. Batten’s and to Sir R. Ford’s, we all to consider about our great prize at Hull, being troubled at our being likely to be troubled with Prince Rupert, by reason of Hogg’s consorting himself with two privateers of the Prince’s, and so we study how to ease or secure ourselves. So to walk in the garden with my wife, and then to supper and to bed. One tells me that, by letter from Holland, the people there are made to believe that our condition in England is such as they may have whatever they will ask; and that so they are mighty high, and despise us, or a peace with us; and there is too much reason for them to do so.

The Dutch fleete are in great squadrons everywhere still about Harwich, and were lately at Portsmouth; and the last letters say at Plymouth, and now gone to Dartmouth to destroy our Straights’ fleete lately got in thither; but God knows whether they can do it any hurt, or no, but it was pretty news come the other day so fast, of the Dutch fleets being in so many places, that Sir W. Batten at table cried, “By God,” says he, “I think the Devil shits Dutchmen.”


20 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...but it was pretty news come the other day so fast, of the Dutch fleets being in so many places, that Sir W. Batten at table cried, “By God,” says he, “I think the Devil shits Dutchmen.”..."

Pithy epitaph for a bad war.

JWB  •  Link

Batten's table cry...

Obviously, the old tarp rising to take Mennes' place as minnesinger of the board. Has a certain aptness, considering postion on the Rhine & called Netherlands after all.

language hat  •  Link

"I had great mind to have gone back to have seen, but yet would correct my nature and would not."

Well done, Sam. If only you could keep that up.

"By God,” says he, “I think the Devil shits Dutchmen.”

Now, that's what I call a snappy ending!

Larry Bunce  •  Link

According to the "Measuring Worth" website, 32s for the flageolet translates to 2,300 pounds today, based on the average wage. Modern professional-quality flutes can be had for less, but the flageolet was replaced by the penny whistle in the 19th century. (Try to get one in ivory today, though.)

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Snappy ending indeed - I had to smile.
This may be the last time for a few hundred years that the English are in such straights.
The Dutch will come again in 1688.

Paul E  •  Link

My home state, Delaware (like Manhattan), was a Dutch Colony until 1664 when the Brits took it. I wonder why the Dutch did not take advantage of this position of strength to regain their colonies in America?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I wonder why the Dutch did not take advantage of this position of strength to regain their colonies in America? "

They had other priorities:

"During the negotiations, the English commissioners (Denzil Holles and Henry Coventry) offered to return New Netherland in exchange for their sugar factories on the coast of Surinam[citation needed], that had been taken by Abraham Crijnssen earlier in 1667. The Dutch side declined. In the East Indies, the Dutch secured a worldwide monopoly on nutmeg by forcing England to give up their claim on Run, the most remote of the Banda Islands. The Act of Navigation was moderated in that the Dutch were now allowed to ship German goods, if imported over the Rhine, to England." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Breda_(166…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Ah, Terry now I've got an image of Sam mumbling weird stuff about desert island Dune while running from sandworms.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the line-maker’s wife that lived in Fenchurch Streete"

line-maker = manufacturer of rope, sashcords, etc. OED
(L&M Large Glossary)

cyclops  •  Link

Glyn - David Mitchell has put his effort into a new series, Upstart Crow, as a constantly frustrated author of Shakespearian works. "It's what I Do!!", he explains to all who will listen

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I to Westminster and there did receive 15,000l. orders out of the Exchequer in part of a bigger sum upon the eleven months tax for Tangier."

L&M: A warrant for 24 orders amounting to £15,500 was issued on 16 July: CTB, ii. 171. For the grant of £30,000 in June, see https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/06/26/

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"The Dutch fleete are in great squadrons everywhere still about Harwich, and were lately at Portsmouth; and the last letters say at Plymouth, and now gone to Dartmouth to destroy our Streights’ fleete lately got in thither; but God knows whether they can do it any hurt, or no,"

L&M: For the news of de Ruyter's movements, see CSPD 1667, pp. 295-6, 301-2, 309; Deane to Pepys, Harwich, 13 July: Rawl. A 195a, f. 138r. The militia was out both in Devon and Cornwall, but no serious attack was made anywhere (the worst that happened being a few shots fired at Torquay), and the Streights fleet escaped damage.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"(the worst that happened being a few shots fired at Torquay),"

Dr. Kevin Dixon is a Torquay author and runs a website about the local history. I found his take on this event:

In a letter dated July 19, 1667, it was recorded thatTorquay was attacked by two Dutch warships:

“Hear that the Dutch have made an attempt at Torbay: they fired two small barques (a ship with three or more masts) at Torquay and shot at a gentleman’s house near the water but have now retreated.”

It’s now believed that the house in question was Torre Abbey. The attack appears to have been a hit-and-run affair.

Following that incident Torbay was made ready for any Dutch return: “The place is in good condition having 150 guns, 1,500 landsmen, and 800 seamen”.

So why would the Dutch – land of tulips and windmills – have shot up a peaceful backwater like Torquay? The attack on Torre Abbey came at the end of the Second Anglo-Dutch War of 1665–67 after hostilities had begun in 1664 and the English had already captured New Amsterdam in the Americas (which was renamed, only once, as New York). ...

Things went badly for the English. The plague in 1665 and the Great Fire of London in 1666 contributed to our problems which culminated in the humiliating Dutch ‘Raid on the Medway’ in June 1667 when a flotilla of ships, led by Admiral de Ruyter, broke through the defensive chains guarding the Medway, burned part of the English fleet docked at Chatham and towed away the Unity and the Royal Charles, pride and flagship of the English fleet.

... It looks like that Torquay hit-and-run attack was a diversionary tactic and one of the last actions in that long-forgotten conflict.

[I asked Dr. Dixon for permission to share his information, and for more information about the letter. He replied: We don't know much more than this. The source is Arthur Ellis in his 506 page, "An Historical Survey of Torquay" (1930). He spent a great deal of time researching the material for his book on Torquay but, sadly, didn't include many references. The reference to the attack is on page 404: "a letter dated July 19th 1667".

[One guess is that this letter didn't survive WWII as the Exeter Records Office was severely damaged by bombing raids. The diversionary attack suggestion is mine, and linked to the idea that the French in 1690 also attacked Teignmouth in an apparently pointless exercise.

[I suppose Torre Abbey -- as an unusual fortified Abbey, but by then the home of the Cary family -- looked from the sea as if it had a military use, and so was fired on. We do know that cannon balls were found at the Abbey in the 19th century and this recorded Dutch attack seems to be the only time the Abbey was attacked in this way.]

His information is posted on a Facebook page: "Torbay Undiscovered, Lost, Forgotten, Unloved!"

Terrible name ... I LOVE Torquay.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Torquay (/tɔːrˈkiː/ tor-KEE) is a seaside town in Devon, England, part of the unitary authority area of Torbay. It lies 18 miles (29 km) south of the county town of Exeter and 28 miles (45 km) east-north-east of Plymouth, on the north of Tor Bay, adjoining the neighbouring town of Paignton on the west of the bay and across from the fishing port of Brixham. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torquay

David G  •  Link

Nice that Sam is sufficiently healed from what was a nasty sprained ankle that he now is able to go for a short walk.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

"but yet would correct my nature " A new formulation for Sam for this vice of nature?

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