Saturday 29 February 1667/68

Up, and walked to Captain Cocke’s, where Sir G. Carteret promised to meet me and did come to discourse about the prize-business of my Lord Sandwich’s, which I perceive is likely to be of great ill consequence to my Lord, the House being mighty vehement in it. We could say little but advise that his friends should labour to get it put off, till he comes. We did here talk many things over, in lamentation of the present posture of affairs, and the ill condition of all people that have had anything to do under the King, wishing ourselves a great way off: Here they tell me how Sir Thomas Allen hath taken the Englishmen out of “La Roche,” and taken from him an Ostend prize which La Roche had fetched out of our harbours; and at this day La Roche keeps upon our coasts; and had the boldness to land some men and go a mile up into the country, and there took some goods belonging to this prize out of a house there; which our King resents, and, they say, hath wrote to the King of France about; and everybody do think a war will follow; and then in what a case we shall be for want of money, nobody knows. Thence to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and to the office again in the afternoon, where we met to consider of an answer to the Parliament about the not paying of tickets according to our own orders, to which I hope we shall be able to give a satisfactory answer, but that the design of the House being apparently to remove us, I do question whether the best answer will prevail with them. This done I by coach with my wife to Martin, my bookseller’s, expecting to have had my Kercher’s Musurgia, but to my trouble and loss of trouble it was not done. So home again, my head full of thoughts about our troubles in the office, and so to the office. Wrote to my father this post, and sent him now Colvill’s —[The Goldsmith.]— note for 600l. for my sister’s portion, being glad that I shall, I hope, have that business over before I am out of place, and I trust I shall be able to save a little of what I have got, and so shall not be troubled to be at ease; for I am weary of this life.

So ends this month, with a great deal of care and trouble in my head about the answerings of the Parliament, and particularly in our payment of seamen by tickets.


12 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Wrote to my father this post, and sent him now Colvill’s —[The Goldsmith.]— note for 600l. for my sister’s portion,..."

L&M note this appears to be the earliest definite case recorded use of a goldsmith's note for making a payment.

"The earliest extant cheque, dated 1659, is preserved in the Institute of Banking Library and is for £400. On 29 February 1668 Pepys recorded sending his father a goldsmith's note for £600." http://is.gd/etjUhH

Mary  •  Link

La Roche.

This entry enlarges on the happenings in the West Country that Sam mentioned on 19th February 1668

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I wonder if members of the House have more on their minds than prize goods regarding their displeasure with Sandwich. Could be a number secretly blame him for the Restoration, at least now Charles has proven a somewhat less than beau ideal of a king.

Frank G.  •  Link

"Could be a number secretly blame him for the Restoration"

I would have thought that Albemarle might deserve more blame for that particular bit of business.

JWB  •  Link

By coincidence this weekend I found Roob's "Alchemy & Mysticism" in one of my dusty piles and read with interest about Kircher and his collection at the Vatican. Suggest those interested in history of science read his Wikipedia bio & go from there. This cranky old stuff is all new to me.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"I would have thought that Albemarle might deserve more blame for that particular bit of business." Sure, but his partner in crime is in Parliamentary gunsights just now. Just wondering if a few are secretly relishing the chance to bring down either man, but Sandwich with his old ties to Cromwell and his role in betraying the Commonwealth he had so profitably served might be especially disliked by a number who in these times must formally keep mum about their true political sympathies.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Saturday 29 February 1667/68 is not an error, scanning or otherwise

February 29, also known as leap day or leap year day, is a date added to most years that are divisible by 4, such as 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, and 2024. A leap day is added in various solar calendars (calendars based on the Earth's revolution around the Sun), including the Gregorian calendar standard in most of the world. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_29

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Wrote to my father this post, and sent him now Colvill’s —[The Goldsmith.]— note for 600l. for my sister’s portion"

The earliest extant English goldsmith's receipt appeared some twenty-
six years before the cheque and was issued by Laurence Hoare in 1633. A
goldsmith's receipt or note was evidence of ability to pay; of money in
the bank. At first such receipts were issued to named customers who had
made deposits of cash, and in time became negotiable just like endorsed
bills of exchange. Then 'some ingenious goldsmith conceived the epoch-
making notion of giving notes not only to those who had deposited
metal, but also to those who came to borrow it, and so founded modern
banking' (H. Withers 1909: 20). This position was reached by the 1660s.
We owe our evidence for the earliest recorded English case of a banknote
used for payment to that fount of social and economic knowledge, the
famous diary of Samuel Pepys, Secretary to the Navy. In his entry for 29
February 1668 he casually mentions sending to his father a note for £600
— issued by the goldsmith Colvill. https://archive.org/stream/A_History_of_Money-Fro…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Here they tell me how Sir Thomas Allen hath taken the Englishmen out of “La Roche,” and taken from him an Ostend prize which La Roche had fetched out of our harbours; and at this day La Roche keeps upon our coasts; and had the boldness to land some men and go a mile up into the country, and there took some goods belonging to this prize out of a house there; which our King resents, and, they say, hath wrote to the King of France about; and everybody do think a war will follow; and then in what a case we shall be for want of money, nobody knows,"

L&M: Louis de la Roche, in the Jules César, commanded a small French squadron which had been attacking the lines of communication between Spain and the Netherlands in the Channel. He had captured a company of English soldiers in Plymouth under Capt. Bevill Skelton destined for the service of Spain, and was transporting them to France. At Torquay he had attacked an Ostend ship (the Sainte Marie) in the harbour itself, and had landed an armed party to secure its cargo, which had been hidden in a private house. Charles II had made a vigorous protest to the French King about these violations of English soil and waters, and had instructed Sir Thomas Allin to intercept de la Roche if he found himself with a superior force. Allin had come up with the French off Spithead on the 25th, and after an exchange of civilities, had secured the release of the English troops and the English prize, See Allin, ii. 9-10. CSPD 1667-8, passim: C. H. Hartmann, The King my brother, pp. 213-14; Bulstrode Papers, i. 26, 27.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I went to college and lived in and near Torquay for 8 years, and never heard this story before:

Feb. 19. 1668
DEVONSHIRE
Account attested by several Ostend mariners before Thos. Newman, deputy vice-admiral of Devonshire, 14 Feb. 1668,
and before Sir Giles Sweit, surrogate of the Admiralty Court, 19 Feb.,
of the seizure of their vessel, the St. Mary of Ostend,
at Torquay, by Capt. De la Roche and 2 French men-of-war.

On his approach, being unable to defend their ship, they bored holes into her, and escaped to shore, carrying their sails, ammunition, &c., and gave them in charge to Dan. Luscombe, of Torquay;
but De la Roche sent men to seize the ammunition, &c., stopped up the holes, and carried away the vessel.
He also carried off a boat belonging to an Ostend vessel, near Cowes Castle.
[2½ pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 235, No. 7.]

'Charles II: February 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 204-261.
British History Online
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

So here we are on the De la Roche business: it gets its 7 lines of fame in the Diary. Tracking all these shenanigans was worth it after all. Though Sam doesn't seem too preoccupied with "everybody's" opinion that war will follow, and quickly moves on to tickets and bookbinding.

The main piece of news is that Charles wrote to Louis to complain. So far the King's only personal appearance in this affair had been his instructions of February 23 to York (De la Roche's raid to retrieve the St. Mary's sails and ammunitions from its fleeing crew had been on the 14th). If he sent his démarche on the same day, it should have reached Versailles a few days ago, assuming the weather allowed the mails to cross the Channel. We would love to see that letter, if it did exist.

Note that Allin's meeting with De la Roche, which we surmised on Thursday to have been quite icy, will come across in the Gazette's version for the publick (in No. 239, published on or about March 2) as much more of an Entente Cordiale between gentlemen: on the 27th, "after the usual salutation and Ceremonies upon such occasions", Allin "prevailed with [De la Roche] to dismiss an Ostender [the captured St. Mary] and to discharge above an hundred English which he had aboard him". De la Roche nods his head, sees the wisdom of backing down, shakes hands with Sir Thomas, has another one for the road. Not something to make "everybody" cry war about.

It seems however that a bit more happened in the Spithead today, February 29, as a violent storm (reported in which various dispatches) kept ships and likely the French fleet from getting away. Tomorrow (March 1), Allin (our spy on the Monmouth tells us) will write to Williamson that he "has taken the Mary of Ostend and 4 other Ostenders from Monsieur De la Roche" -- so now there's five Ostenders, not just the one -- and "will send all the English they had aboard on shore at Portsmouth" -- seemingly "all" of up to 300 who had been reported, not just the 103 he had persuaded to leave (State Paper No. 175, https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=gCk5AQAAM…).

And now De la Roche would end up with zero prize, and zero mercenary. Poor De la Roche! More tea? Or would you have war? Tea? War? We wager that De la Roche will, instead, wisely leave English waters, indeed losing his English crew along the way, and sail on to his other current assignment in the Straits. But remember, in State Paper No. 126 which San Diego Sarah copied yesterday, it was said the "ominous drumming" had sounded out of the "strange well at Oundle", a habitual portent of great disaster and sorrow!

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