Monday 6 April 1668

Betimes I to Alderman Backewell, and with him to my Lord Ashly’s, where did a little business about Tangier, and to talk about the business of certificates, wherein, contrary to what could be believed, the King and Duke of York themselves, in my absence, did call for some of the Commissioners of the Treasury, and give them directions about the business [of the certificates], which I, despairing to do any thing on a Sunday, and not thinking that they would think of it themselves, did rest satisfied, and stayed at home all yesterday, leaving it to do something in this day; but I find that the King and Duke of York had been so pressing in it, that my Lord Ashly was more forward with the doing of it this day, than I could have been. And so I to White Hall with Alderman Backewell in his coach, with Mr. Blany; my Lord’s Secretary: and there did draw up a rough draught of what order I would have, and did carry it in, and had it read twice and approved of, before my Lord Ashly and three more of the Commissioners of the Treasury, and then went up to the Council-chamber, where the Duke of York, and Prince Rupert, and the rest of the Committee of the Navy were sitting: and I did get some of them to read it there: and they would have had it passed presently, but Sir John Nicholas desired they would first have it approved by a full Council: and, therefore, a Council Extraordinary was readily summoned against the afternoon, and the Duke of York run presently to the King, as if now they were really set to mind their business, which God grant! So I thence to Westminster, and walked in the Hall and up and down, the House being called over to-day, and little news, but some talk as if the agreement between France and Spain were like to be, which would be bad for us, and at noon with Sir Herbert Price to Mr. George Montagu’s to dinner, being invited by him in the hall, and there mightily made of, even to great trouble to me to be so commended before my face, with that flattery and importunity, that I was quite troubled with it. Yet he is a fine gentleman, truly, and his lady a fine woman; and, among many sons that I saw there, there was a little daughter that is mighty pretty, of which he is infinite fond: and, after dinner, did make her play on the gittar and sing, which she did mighty prettily, and seems to have a mighty musical soul, keeping time with most excellent spirit. Here I met with Mr. Brownlow, my old schoolfellow, who come thither, I suppose, as a suitor to one of the young ladies that were there, and a sober man he seems to be. But here Mr. Montagu did tell me how Mr. Vaughan, in that very room, did say that I was a great man, and had great understanding, and I know not what, which, I confess, I was a little proud of, if I may believe him. Here I do hear, as a great secret, that the King, and Duke of York and Duchesse, and my Lady Castlemayne, are now all agreed in a strict league, and all things like to go very current, and that it is not impossible to have my Lord Clarendon, in time, here again. But I do hear that my Lady Castlemayne is horribly vexed at the late libell,1 the petition of the poor whores about the town, whose houses were pulled down the other day. I have got one of them, but it is not very witty, but devilish severe against her and the King and I wonder how it durst be printed and spread abroad, which shews that the times are loose, and come to a great disregard of the King, or Court, or Government. Thence I to White Hall to attend the Council, and when the Council rose we find my order mightily enlarged by the Sollicitor Generall, who was called thither, making it more safe for him and the Council, but their order is the same in the command of it that I drew, and will I think defend us well. So thence, meeting Creed, he and I to the new Cocke-pitt by the King’s gate, and there saw the manner of it, and the mixed rabble of people that come thither; and saw two battles of cocks, wherein is no great sport, but only to consider how these creatures, without any provocation, do fight and kill one another, and aim only at one another’s heads, and by their good will not leave till one of them be killed; and thence to the Park in a hackney coach, so would not go into the tour, but round about the Park, and to the House, and there at the door eat and drank; whither come my Lady Kerneagy, of whom Creed tells me more particulars; how her Lord, finding her and the Duke of York at the King’s first coming in too kind, did get it out of her that he did dishonour him, and so bid her continue …, which is the most pernicious and full piece of revenge that ever I heard of; and he at this day owns it with great glory, and looks upon the Duke of York and the world with great content in the ampleness of his revenge. Thence (where the place was now by the last night’s rain very pleasant, and no dust) to White Hall, and set Creed down, and I home and to my chamber, and there about my musique notions again, wherein I take delight and find great satisfaction in them, and so, after a little supper, to bed. This day, in the afternoon, stepping with the Duke of York into St. James’s Park, it rained: and I was forced to lend the Duke of York my cloak, which he wore through the Park.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

With the ellipsis (above), Wheatley veils the rumor of a royal scandal

" the House [Keeper's Lodge]...whither came my Lady Kerneagy, of whom Creed tells me more particularly; how her Lord, finding her and the Duke of York at the King's first coming in too kind, did get it out of her that he did dishonour him; and so bid her continue to let him, and himself went to the foulest whore he could find, that he might get the pox; and did, and did give his wife it on purpose, that she (and he persuaded and threatened her that she should) might give it the Duke of York; which she did, and he did give it to the Duchesse; and since, all her children are thus sickly and infirm -- which is the most pernicious and foul piece of revenge that ever I heard of."

L&M text.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Thomas Killigrew [the dramatist & well-known boon companion of King Charles II] to Ormond
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 6 April 1668

Particulars of a former project of marriage between the writer's "cousin Shirley", and Mrs Mary Ware; and of a charge, in relation to the lady, now brought against Shirley. ... Will only say: "If a woman may lie with a man, by a trick of matrimony, and, after a week's trial of him, hang him, and take another, it will be equally just that the Law provide that men may take the same privilege, and a husband, after a week's trial, hang his wife."…

Christopher Squire  •  Link

‘call over . . 2. To read aloud (a roll or list of names), to which the persons called are to answer, in order to prove their presence. Also absol.
1687    Bp. Cartwright in Magd. Coll. & Jas. II (O.H.S.) 117   We called over the College Roll.
. . 1863    H. Cox Inst. Eng. Govt. i. ix. 137   It has been the practice of the House of Commons, on several occasions of sufficient importance, to order that the House be called over at a future day.’ [OED]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"What? His Majesty and His Grace together have 'handled it'?" shocked look. "A coach, a coach...My Naval Office for a coach!"


While the sexual vengeance story sounds too good to be true...

"So...Mr. P been havin' his way with you, eh Betty?"

"Now, Martin."

"Well, joke's on him."


Terry Foreman  •  Link

"“The Poor Whores’ Petition to the most splendid, illustrious, serene and eminent Lady of Pleasure the Countess of Castlemayne, &c., signed by us, Madam Cresswell and Damaris Page, this present 25th day of March, 1668.” This sham petition occasioned a pretended answer, entitled, “The Gracious Answer of the Most Illustrious Lady of Pleasure, the Countess of Castlem … to the Poor Whores’ Petition.”"… poor-whores petition&f=false

Carl in Boston  •  Link

to my chamber, and there about my musique notions again, wherein I take delight and find great satisfaction in them,
Music is a great hobby. Sam was particular to keep professional musicians out of his musical playing. Just amateurs playing together, which is a good idea.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...the sexual vengeance story sounds too good to be true…"

It may well be, and so irresistible, L&M note, 'twas often told, e.g. by Burnet, Gramont, et al., and there is this from "An Historical Poem." By A. Marvel, Esq.:

But now Y--ks Genitals grew over-hot,;
With D--ham and Carneigs infected Plot; p. 90

Art Perry  •  Link

Do any of Sam's musical notions survive in print?

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Art, Sam's big tune "Beauty Retire" can be read in an oil painting of him, if you read sideways. He holds the music in his hand, and was mightily proud of it. I got a copy of the whole tune from Jeanine. It's an ordinary sort of tune.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

@ Art Perry

Pepys's setting of 'Beauty Retire' is reproduced as a folding plate in L&M Vol VI (1665) between pp 320-1. This is not in Pepys's autograph but a later transcription made for him by Caeser Morelli. It one of a group of various undated song transcriptions made by Morelli for Pepys bound as the second half of PL 2803 -- 'Beauty Retire' at f. 111v-112r., and 'It is decreed' ff. 108v-111v. These are the only surviving records of compositions by Pepys. [The Library also includes settings of both songs by Morelli in PL 2803(2)]

'Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College Cambridge, IV' Cambridge: Brewer, 1989 includes a compete list of the printed and manuscript musical holdings in the Pepys Library, for the manuscript there are detailed lists of the contents.

For Pepys's musical activities generally, including some reference to his attempts at and reasons for his difficulties with composition see Richard Luckett's well informed entry 'Music' in the L&M companion:…

Glyn  •  Link

There was a 30-minute programme about Pepys and his music on BBC Radio 3 some time last year, which included this song. It was shorter than I had thought it would be - less than two minutes.

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