Saturday 28 December 1667

Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning, at noon home, and there to dinner with my clerks and Mr. Pelling, and had a very good dinner, among others a haunch of venison boiled, and merry we were, and I rose soon from dinner, and with my wife and girle to the King’s house, and there saw “The Mad Couple,” which is but an ordinary play; but only Nell’s and Hart’s mad parts are most excellently done, but especially hers: which makes it a miracle to me to think how ill she do any serious part, as, the other day, just like a fool or changeling; and, in a mad part, do beyond all imitation almost. [It pleased us mightily to see the natural affection of a poor woman, the mother of one of the children brought on the stage: the child crying, she by force got upon the stage, and took up her child and carried it away off of the stage from Hart.]

Many fine faces here to-day. Thence home, and there to the office late, and then home to supper and to bed.

I am told to-day, which troubles me, that great complaint is made upon the ’Change, among our merchants, that the very Ostend little pickaroon men-of-war do offer violence to our merchant-men, and search them, beat our masters, and plunder them, upon pretence of carrying Frenchmen’s goods. Lord! what a condition are we come to, and that so soon after a war!


13 Annotations

Roger The Weather  •  Link

Average Temperature for December 1667, 3C.

This was indeed a cold December in 1667, the mean of 3C ranking 82nd coldest out of 351 since 1659. However, the current December in 'Central England' is in contention of being the coldest of all in this period! with the mean near 0c,(much dependant on the next few days). Probably something to do with global warming........

Christopher Squire  •  Link

‘picaroon, n.1 and adj.
Etymology:  Probably a transferred use of Spanish picarón.
 1. A. n. a. A pirate or privateer. Also fig. Now chiefly hist.
1624    J. Smith Gen. Hist. Virginia v. 184   Meeting a French Piccaroune‥hee‥tooke from them what hee liked.
c1681    E. Hickeringill Trimmer in Wks. (1716) I. 355   A Letter of Mart against the Common-Piqueroon of all good Mens Reputations.
. . 1996    Observer 3 Mar. (Life Suppl.) 47/3   In certain latitudes, the crew had stood day and night anti-pirate watches, fire hoses primed and ready to repel the picaroons.’ [OED]

Roger The Weather's suggested climate change explanation for the cold weather we've had in europe [now much abated] is discussed at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/201…

‘Cold winter in a world of warming? Last June, during the International Polar Year conference, James Overland suggested that there are more cold and snowy winters to come. He argued that the exceptionally cold snowy 2009-2010 winter in Europe had a connection with the loss of sea-ice in the Arctic. The cold winters were associated with a persistent ‘blocking event’, bringing in cold air over Europe from the north and the east . . ‘

The jury is still out & may be some time on this one . .

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Written from: London - Date: 28 December 1667

William Legge to Ormond

Has received the Duke's letter of December 18. Says that political affairs in England are now "in a strange labyrinth, from such change of counsels in Parliament and Court." Nor does the Duke escape.
_____

Anglesey to Ormond

Reverts to the subject of the claims of the "nominees", under the Acts of Settlement and Explanation.

The Christmas at Court is, he adds, a very doleful one. The wont and work of the season used to be "love, and friendly converse; now, there is nothing but practice to undermine and supplant one another". ...

http://www.rsl.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects/cart…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Heaven...

"Mr. Pepys." grim tone.

Kapow...

Sam wipes cream pie from face... "I see you've read my Diary too, Ms. Gywn."

"I figured you'd appreciate the comic irony touch." Neil glares. Turning on heel and stalking off.

"You know..." Sam notes to Bess as she wipes pie...Hmmn, coconut, not bad, she notes... "I often wonder if this really is Heaven and not..."

"Sam'l...I'd never lie to you." Bess, shocked tone... "But it never hurts to keep you wondering a little." grin. Hmmn...Stoops to pick up flyer dropped on floor. "Ms. Gywn left this, I think. Hmmn..." hands to Sam.

"Neil Gywn is 'Hamlet'?!" Sam chokes. "Oh, this is Hell!"

"Now, now. You don't have to go." Bess soothes.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...that the very Ostend little pickaroon men-of-war do offer violence to our merchant-men, and search them, beat our masters, and plunder them..."

Since Ostend should still be part of the Spanish Netherlands is Sam complaining about Spanish or Spanish-sanctioned privateers, local pirates, Dutch or Dutch-sanctioned privateers...Or all of the above?

Ummn...Gee wasn't Sam and co up to something like this with the Greyhound,etc?

"But when we rob and plunder, it's with style and politeness." Bess notes, firmly.

"Thank you, dear."

"Don't mention it, Cap't."

"But you might note we were more or less still at war."

"Right. Even better."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“The Mad Couple”

Nell Gwynn and Charles Hart played Mirida and Philidor, the 'mad couple.'

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"It pleased us mightily to see the natural affection of a poor woman, the mother of one of the children brought on the stage: the child crying, she by force got upon the stage, and took up her child and carried it away off of the stage from Hart."

During the course of the play several of Filidor's children are carried in by nurses in an attempt to extract money from him. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the very Ostend little pickaroon men-of-war do offer violence to our merchant-men, and search them, beat our masters, and plunder them, upon pretence of carrying Frenchmen’s goods."

Cf. the report (21 December) in CSPD 1667-8, p. 94. Certain Ostenders tortured the seamen by twisting small cords with knots around their heads to make them confess that they were carrying French goods. (L&M note)

john  •  Link

"the child crying, she by force got upon the stage, and took up her child"
Centuries later, W.C. Fields would warn to never share the stage with children or animals.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

It interests me that Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey, and as of 1667 the Treasurer of the Navy, continues to keep up such a detailed correspondence with the Lord Lt. of Ireland, James Butler, Duke of Ormonde.

Anglesey's services in the administration of Ireland had been especially valuable to Ormonde when Anglesey filled the office of Vice-Treasurer of Ireland from 1660 until 1667. I suppose they were friends. As we have seen, it was important to have correspondents [spies?] you trusted in other places, so Anglesey was probably in receipt of "gratuities" from Ormonde regardless.

I Googled "Acts of Settlement and Explanation" and many Acts of Settlement came up, but none dated 1667 or 1668. My guess is this was Anglesey's shorthand way of referring to all the Commissions in progress examining the conduct of the second Anglo-Dutch war, and the financial management of Charles II's and the Duke of York's households.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

So why is William Legge reporting to Ormonde?

Wikisource says that Col. William Legge (1609?-1672) was a royalist, the eldest son of Edward Legge, sometime vice-president of Munster, by Mary, daughter of Percy Walsh of Moy valley, co. Kildare (Collins, Peerage, ed. Brydges, iv.107).

Edward Legge died in 1616. William 'was brought out of Ireland by Henry Danvers, Earl of Danby, President of Munster, his godfather, who had promised to take care of his education' (Collins, Peerage, ed. out,) and

William must have been smart as King Charles I used him to fortify places and be in charge of ordinance, and during the exile, William became a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles II (i.e. one of his body guards). Charles II offered him an earldom, which he refused because he had a large but impoverished family. But he continued serving in the Bedchamber.

So Legge would know how unhappy were the strange labyrinths at Court and in Parliament this Christmas.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Legge,_William_(160…

Our Encyclopedia isn't much more helpful. https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/7894/#whe…

I guess being Irish was enough. Maybe Ormonde and Legg got to know each other during their exile abroad? They both were part of the cadre protecting Charles II.

On interesting note is that his wife was Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir William Washington of Packington, Leicestershire (and a niece of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham). No hint so far as I can see that Legg was a follower of our George, who wanted to move the elderly Ormonde out of the way. But family ties were very important back then.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... great complaint is made upon the ’Change, among our merchants, that the very Ostend little pickaroon men-of-war do offer violence to our merchant-men, and search them, beat our masters, and plunder them, upon pretence of carrying Frenchmen’s goods."

The French knew what to do with those Ostenders:

Jan. 20. 1668
Lyme.
Anth. Thorold to Hickes.
The French have lost much at St. Malo and elsewhere, by the Ostenders keeping in sight of their harbor, and taking more than 20 of their Bordeaux fleet.
Large ships are fitting up in several parts of France to clear the coasts;
they took some Ostenders, and hung the men on the yard's arm.
The French enlist soldiers daily.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 232, No. 186.]

https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-paper…

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