Monday 25 November 1667

Up, and all the morning finishing my letter to Sir Robert Brookes, which I did with great content, and yet at noon when I come home to dinner I read it over again after it was sealed and delivered to the messenger, and read it to my clerks who dined with me, and there I did resolve upon some alteration, and caused it to be new writ, and so to the office after dinner, and there all the afternoon mighty busy, and at night did take coach thinking to have gone to Westminster, but it was mighty dark and foul, and my business not great, only to keep my eyes from reading by candle, being weary, but being gone part of my way I turned back, and so home, and there to read, and my wife to read to me out of Sir Robert Cotton’s book about warr, which is very fine, showing how the Kings of England have raised money by the people heretofore upon the people, and how they have played upon the kings also. So after supper I to bed. This morning Sir W. Pen tells me that the House was very hot on Saturday last upon the business of liberty of speech in the House, and damned the vote in the beginning of the Long Parliament against it; I so that he fears that there may be some bad thing which they have a mind to broach, which they dare not do without more security than they now have. God keep us, for things look mighty ill!

7 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Liberty of speech? Uh-oh.

I take it that how bad that "some bad thing" is depends on your pov. For some, chopping another Stuart head off wouldn't be all that hard to deal with.

cum salis grano  •  Link

No body, but nobody can abide dissension.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

It's easy to see how volatile the situation is... If Parliament should come to see its right to fully probe the disaster (ie, liberty of speech in the House) is being infringed on, real trouble could develop quickly. In sacrificing Clarendon and emphasizing his willingness to, even pleasure in doing so, Charles is doing a very shrewd job of playing up to Parliament while negotiating behind their backs with Louis to, with luck, cut them off at the knees. The real loser here of course is Jamie...He appears weak in being unable to defend his father-in-law, at odds with his brother, and the secret negotiations, if found out later, can only harm his regime's chances. One wonders how closely brother Charlie took him into confidence. Given their tempraments, it's not impossible they really are at some odds now. Jamie instinctively inflexible, while wanting to redress the situation, insisting no concession should be given to Parliament's demands...Charlie, not really caring who takes the hit for him, prefering to dodge and maneuver. It's odd and a little sad...For the time, Jamie really is a good choice for Lord High Admiral, relatively (compared to his brother at least) committed to administrative reform with a relatively strong sense of duty, picking men like Coventry and Pepys to do the hard work and backing them. Had Charles and Cathy produced an heir and he'd never become King his rep would probably be quite distinguished once Sam had started his major reforms.

Ah, well...Rather like the old one about how great a King of England Nicholas II would have made. Some men and women just get the wrong jobs at the wrong time.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the House was very hot on Saturday last upon the business of liberty of speech in the House, and damned the vote in the beginning of the Long Parliament against it;...."

L&M note this was a misunderstanding: the resolution passed last Saturday had reaffirmed the traditional liberty of parliamentary speech. [Indeed had strengthened it; see above link ad rem.]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Perhaps so but the Long Parliament was that which lasted through the Civil War, so the resolution "last Saturday" would only have referred to the current Parliament's concerns.

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