Sunday 28 July 1667

(Lord’s day). Up and to my chamber, where all the morning close, to draw up a letter to Sir W. Coventry upon the tidings of peace, taking occasion, before I am forced to it, to resign up to his Royall Highness my place of the Victualling, and to recommend myself to him by promise of doing my utmost to improve this peace in the best manner we may, to save the kingdom from ruin. By noon I had done this to my good content, and then with my wife all alone to dinner, and so to my chamber all the afternoon to write my letter fair, and sent it away, and then to talk with my wife, and read, and so by daylight (the only time I think I have done it this year) to supper, and then to my chamber to read and so to bed, my mind very much eased after what I have done to-day.

8 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Carlingford to Ormond
Written from: London
Date: 28 July 1667

... Flanders is like to be entirely lost this summer. Oudenarde was taken on the first of August, N.S., by assault. A lost was yielded, without opposition. Dermonde is now besieged, and, as the writer believes, Brussels. ... The Hollanders threaten to employ an army to join with the Spaniards; and have victualled their fleet until the end of October. ...

A war against the French, continues Lord Carlingford, "is lately proclaimed in Madrid, and an offer made to our King giving the title of King to his brother-in-law
[… ], which, I hear, he will not now accept; being engaged to the French to continue in war for ten years". ...…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Well, I am well out of the Victualling, Bess. Though it may mean a few less visits to Unthanke's, I can breath...What?"

"Sam'l..." Bess holds up the new edition of the London Gazette.


"'Byline, John Creed'!!!"

"'A confidential source in the Naval Office revealed this afternoon that the Victualler General and Clerk of the Acts Samuel Fitzwellian Pepys has resigned from one of his positions, that of victualler general. Pepys, considered the power in the office until the recent disaster at Chatham, requested to be relieved of his post in a meeting with His Grace the Duke of York, Lord High Admiral. Rumors abound that Pepys will shortly give up his post as Clerk of the Acts as demands for a through investigation by Parliament of our recent naval disaster...!!!!' That snake, that little...And I can guess who the 'confidential source' was..."

"You never told me your middle name was Fitzwellian..." Bess, aggrieved.


"Don't know that I'd've married a man knowing his middle name was Fitzwellian..."

"Bess, that's not my...Hmmn...Hewer!!"


"Take a response. 'Mr. Pepys noted that the report supposedly the statement of a confidential source in the Naval office..." ("That son of a ... Penn, no that's out..." "Yes, sir.") '...Was a fabrication entire, beginning with the invention of a false middle name. Mr. Pepys categorically denies his middle name to be Fitzwellian'..."

"Thank God." Bess, relieved...

"...'He further states that it is likewise a fabrication that he has resigned his post as Clerk of the Acts. Indeed, his request to be relieved of the victualler generalcy was made in order that in this time of crisis he might utterly...' ("Totally?" Bess suggested)...totally focus his energies on the recovery of our naval forces.' Got that?"

"Yes, sir."

"Off with you, lad! There's not a moment to lose for the sake of the Nation and our jobs!!"


"Hmmn? Bess?"

"Really not Fitzwellian?"

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

All right, Robert I'll admit it's driving me crazy. Why Fitzwellian?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Why not? Besides, blame John Creed, freelancer.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Up and to my chamber, where all the morning close, to draw up a letter to Sir W. Coventry upon the tidings of peace, taking occasion, before I am forced to it, to resign up to his Royall Highness my place of the Victualling, and to recommend myself to him by promise of doing my utmost to improve this peace in the best manner we may, to save the kingdom from ruin."

L&M: Copy (in Gibson's hand) in NMM, LBK/8, pp. 489-9; printed in Further Corr., pp. 178-80. Cf. also CSPD Add. 1660-85, pp. 208, 210.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A slow Pepys day, but elsewhere things were quite exciting, as reported in…
Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London -- By Nigel Jones

The book is full of wonderful details and well worth your time. But the story that relates to today is about the felon, Capt. Thomas Blood and his "employer", George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham.

In July 1667, hearing that one of his former republican co-conspirators, John Mason, was being transferred from the Tower of London to York for trial and probable execution, Col. Thomas Blood resolved to rescue him.

Travelling north with John Mason's armed escort was Col. William Leving, a former rebel who had turned King’s Evidence and was due to testify against Mason.

At an inn near Doncaster, Col. Blood sprung an ambush. Despite falling from his horse three times and sustaining a wound to the face and a sword thrust through his arm, he won the brawl, grabbing John Mason and escaping. However, his nose was disfigured for the rest of his life.

On this day in York, Col. William Leving was found poisoned in his jail cell.

Why did this happen? Buckingham was Lord Lt. of Yorkshire, and the records are therefore sketchy. But speculation is that this was clean up from the 1663 Farnley Wood uprising. It seems Col. Leving probably struck a "plea bargain", State Papers show his being recommended as a spy on April 3, 1664 by Sir Roger Langley, high sheriff of Yorkshire, to Secretary of State Henry Bennet.
And on October 5, 1664, Bennet issued a Certificate of Employment for William Leving, and requests that he not be molested or restrained.

Villiers was a convinced anti-Catholic; he sympathized with Blood’s religious stance, if not his republican politics. Descended from royalty on his mother’s side and brought up from infancy with the Stuart brothers, George Villiers had pretensions to succeed the childless Charles II, and on his deathbed referred to himself as ‘a prince’.

Villiers weaved a very tangled web; he took care of a loose end today.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

And in Chertsey this day the poet and Royalist spy, Abraham Cowley, died.

A biography of George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
By John Harold Wilson, Professor of English at Ohio State University
Stratford Press, New York
Library of Congress #54-7304
Page 96-7

On July 28, 1667, Abraham Cowley died at his home in Chertsey. There can be no doubt of [George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham]’s love for his old friend. Sometime later he wrote in his Commonplace Book. “If those that are dead retain any sense of their friends below, he dies still by my grief, as I die continually by his death.” – a conceit worthy of the great poet himself.

Cowley’s body was carried to Wallingford House* where it lay in state for a week.

Nearly a hundred “coaches of noblemen and persons of quality” followed the hearse to Westminster Abbey where Cowley was buried next to Chaucer and Spenser. Buckingham, who paid all the expenses of splendid funeral, erected a marble monument to his friend, and Charles II, who had ignored the living poet, was heard to say that “Mr. Cowley had not left a better man behind him in England.” Praise costs so little. (2)

(2) Arthur Bryant, The Letters of King Charles II, 1936, p 218; Commonplace Book f. 22; Nethercot, Cowley, pp. 275-77.

* Wallingford House was Buckingham's home in London.

Log in to post an annotation.

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