Saturday 18 July 1668

At the office all the morning. At noon dined at home and Creed with me, who I do really begin to hate, and do use him with some reservedness. Here was also my old acquaintance, Will Swan, to see me, who continues a factious fanatick still, and I do use him civilly, in expectation that those fellows may grow great again. Thence to the office, and then with my wife to the ’Change and Unthanke’s, after having been at Cooper’s and sat there for her picture, which will be a noble picture, but yet I think not so like as Hales’s is. So home and to my office, and then to walk in the garden, and home to supper and to bed. They say the King of France is making a war again, in Flanders, with the King of Spain; the King of Spain refusing to give him all that he says was promised him in the treaty. Creed told me this day how when the King was at my Lord Cornwallis’s when he went last to Newmarket, that being there on a Sunday, the Duke of Buckingham did in the afternoon to please the King make a bawdy sermon to him out of Canticles, and that my Lord Cornwallis did endeavour to get the King a whore, and that must be a pretty girl the daughter of the parson of the place, but that she did get away, and leaped off of some place and killed herself, which if true is very sad.

13 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"They say the King of France is making a war again, in Flanders"

L&M say the story is untrue, told by France's enemies, esp. the Governor of the Spanish Netherlands.


"when the King was at my Lord Cornwallis’s when he went last to Newmarket,"

May 22-23…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"on a Sunday, the Duke of Buckingham did in the afternoon to please the King make a bawdy sermon to him out of Canticles, and that my Lord Cornwallis did endeavour to get the King a whore...."

L&M note Aubrey reports mimicry of sermons was a fashionable game; the story about making a whore of the parson's daughter "has not been traced elsewhere."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...Lord Cornwallis did endeavour to get the King a whore, and that must be a pretty girl the daughter of the parson of the place, but that she did get away, and leaped off of some place and killed herself, which if true is very sad."


"I'm right here in the other bed, Sam'l...No need to yell..."

"Can't wait till it gets cooler..."


What's the meaning there?...


"Yo...Still right here, Sam'l."

"What I was meaning to ask was...That poor parson's daughter?"

"That was awful...If true..."

"Yes, but...If the King were to...I mean...Notice you?"

"Petite moi? Oooh..."

"You know what I mean..."



"Well, what?"

"Would you jump?"

"Never have yet with you...And he's the King."


"Off the highest point of London Bridge...That make you feel better?"


"Now...Insert the words 'not bloody likely'..."


"Now, say, push said King off said highest point of London Bridge and get my hubs to help make it look like an accident..."

"Hmmn...Practical...Yet gets the mission accomplished...I like it."

"Thought you would..."


john  •  Link

“...Lord Cornwallis did endeavour to get the King a whore..."

An interesting (and depressing) look at pressing young women into prostitution slavery at court.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

john, indeed. Even if there was no "pressing young women into prostitution slavery" or suicide in this or any other case, the fact that such a story can be bandied about so blithely as plausible by one who has court connections to another who has court connections, is a scandal beyond very sad.

Is it possible the story is just an attempt by Creed to claim greater insider knowledge? a "courtly" brag and put down of Pepys ('Where have YOU been?')?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Sam'l...? You think Creed really knew what he was talking about, about that poor girl?"

"Hard to say...He is rather well-connected but... I don't see that he would have been able to get such information."

"I suppose..."

Twelve hours earlier...Home of the parson of Lord Cornwallis' estate.

"A charming place, Mr. Howe...Pity we are not seeing it by light of day."

"A most pleasant seat, Mr. Creed."

"Indeed. I myself have considered at times the potential joys of resuming my old profession and seeking some such delightful little parsonage...Ah, there's the room, I believe." Studies house plan by shielded candle.

"Mr. Creed...I feel I must confess to certain reservations regards this particular assignment."

"Mr. Howe...The protection of the King's reputation, at all costs, is a sacred trust. The means..." pats crowbar... "May be regretable...The ends...Vital to the national interest."

"True enough, Mr. Creed...Still, to rifle through a tragically deceased young woman's diary and personal letters seeking to remove anything incriminating the King whose admittedly rather...Unfortunate...Behavior."

"Mr. Howe...Old friend, I must caution you to go no further. The matter admits neither of indiscretion...Or delay. You may depart...No pun intended I assure you...Now if you wish. But action must be taken." lifts crowbar to door.

"I suppose so...Still, with the said young lady lying downstairs in the parlor...?"

"And the small family grieving with her body...No better time, Mr. Howe. If we be quick. For England, Howe."

"Indeed, Mr. Creed."

Dorothy Willis  •  Link

The story about the girl sounds like an urban legend. I've heard similar stories before, for instance in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

jeannine  •  Link

“…Lord Cornwallis did endeavor to get the King a whore…”

Lining up whores and mistresses for the King is important business in Charles' court. In terms of at least 2 of his mistresses, there were little groups of high level courtiers that worked to pressure at these ladies to 'give themselves' to the King. Frances Stuart was pressured by Buckingham & friends (although she never gave in) and later Lord Arlington, his wife & entourage put the pressure on Louise De Keroualle (who did give in). Charles also had ongoing 'back stairs' ladies provided by his titled pimps. Keeping the King happy in his bedroom often came with perks and privileges. Many a good man, knowing the Kings character, would send his beautiful and chaste daughter out into the country to avoid such a fate for his child. Based on Charles’ sexual reputation, this is the type story that truthful or not, could easily be believed to be truth and thus spread through the gossip channel as fact.

Clement  •  Link

If Pepys diary had been read in the 18th century we would now have a whole body of folk ballads recalling the story of the King's little runaway girl being played on fiddle, guitar and banjo around campfires and at music festivals across the western world.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Even in Fritz Lang's masterpiece sci-fi film, "Metropolis" there's a famous early scene where a group of courtesans is lined up and inspected as to worthiness to cavort with young Freder Frederson, son of the Master of Metropolis. Not much changes...

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Charles II: July 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, pp. 469-516.…

July 18. 1668 Major John Scott to Williamson.
I know of no other reason for the dislike you have taken against me than the unhappy accident in Scotland Yard, supposed to be by Andrews.
I knew Andrews as a reputed honest man in Barbados, and recommended him to Col. Morrice, from whom he brought me letters, and desired me to procure him employment as a clerk.

Capt. Berry and I made it our business to try and serve him, and had the ships gone out, he had been captain in a frigate.

I recommended him to Sir Edmund Godfrey, but he breaking up house, that failed, and I saw no more of him till, coming to your room, I met Mr. Price, who said he would write no more in Scotland Yard.
I introduced Andrews to Mr. Francis requesting he might be taken on trial, which he was, and had a little work, though his writing did not quite satisfy.

I never heard of him after, but my nephew saw him the day after the villainy was committed in Holborn.

Thanks for favors; I have been unable to recompense them;
the unkindness of the Earl of Clarendon, and my zeal to my King and country, have been my ruin.
Attached is a scrap requesting prayer for a troubled, sinful, and almost despairing soul.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 70.]
Is THE John Scott, of later Pepys' contentions?

Sir Edmund Godfrey is presumably Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, a Justice who has left for an European vacation, again famous after the Diary.

[July 18.] 1668
Wm. Perwich to [Williamson].

Acknowledges the receipt of letters and newspapers of the 16th for his lordship [Arlington], who has arrived here this morning, having travelled all the nights and resting during the heat of the days.

Her ladyship and sisters are well, and the Duchess of Monmouth is hourly expected.

His lordship speaks of going to Oxford.
He bids me desire you to consult with Sir John Trevor about the Prince of Monaco’s wishes, and advise the Council accordingly.
[Damaged. 1-½ pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 71.]
Mr. Perwick works for Lord Arlington. There was a Court exodus for Bath ... Adm. Sir Robert Holmes and Sir Frescheville Hollis are later recorded as being there. Summer holiday time.

Prince Louis I of Monaco, who was unhappily married to/separated from Catherine Charlotte de Gramont Grimaldi, a Lady in Waiting to Henrietta Anne/Minette.
In 1662 Louis succeeded his grandfather, Honoré II, as Prince of Monaco. In 1666 he distinguished himself at the Four Days' Battle, fighting for the Dutch.
On 5 July 1668 he took the oath to Louis XIV of France in the Parlement on account of being Duke of Valentinois and a Peer of France.…

None of his on-line biographies hint at the Prince's wishes in 1668.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

July 19. 1668
B. J. [Ben Johnson] to Williamson.

The carpenter and 2 others of the Francis frigate have been towed ashore at a boat’s stern from the Mary to the point without the town, by order of a court-martial for publishing false accusations against their captain.

The Victory fireship and the Garland frigate have arrived at Spithead, to join with others in making up Sir Thos. Allin’s squadron.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 74.]
I presume the 3 sailors survived?

July 19. 1668
Lord Keeper Bridgeman to Williamson.
Recently Bridgeman was convalescing at Rushall, near Tunbridge Wells.

The Duke of Buckingham dined with me yesterday;
I had discourse about despatching Sir Wm. Temple, and am confident if Sir William or any on his behalf would solicit, the privy seal would be filled up with 1,000/. towards his equipage and preparation, which is as little as can be given in this case, and a few days’ delay may be of more prejudice to the King’s affairs than many thousand pounds may do good.

I hope you will give Mr. Treasurer [of the Chamber] this opinion, and further Sir Wm. Temple as much as may be.

I find that Sir Thomas Allin is to demand reparation from the Prince of Monaco for wrong done an Englishman, and in case of refusal, to take it.
I told the Duke of Buckingham the case was not rightly presented to Council, for the King sent, by his minister, to the King of France, to know whether that Prince was under his protection, and if he were, for reparation to be made by his means.
The answer was that he was under French protection, and that the customs demanded by the Prince were such as had been used and paid by the subjects of other Princes; there it rests.

I desired the Duke to acquaint his Majesty with this, and the Duke took a memorial of it, but the instructions appearing so positive as to taking reparation if refused, I cannot see how a war with France can be avoided.

I doubt not if the French cannot obtain that conjunction of England which they desire, their next work will be to pick a quarrel with England alone, upon a private account, severing our allies from us.

If we must have a war, it will be prudent to avoid it upon a single account,
and to make it upon the account of the late alliance, and so make our neighbors bear a part of it;

I should be glad if this was represented to the King or the Duke of Buckingham, as Sir Thos. AIIin goes on Tuesday to Portsmouth.
[1-½ pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 78.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

OOOPS the last 2 letters should be posted tomorrow. SORRY.

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