Saturday 5 September 1668

Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and to the office to work all the afternoon again till the evening, and then by coach to Mr. Hales’s new house, where, I find, he hath finished my wife’s hand, which is better than the other; and here I find Harris’s picture, done in his habit of “Henry the Fifth;” mighty like a player, but I do not think the picture near so good as any yet he hath made for me: however, it is pretty well, and thence through the fair home, but saw nothing, it being late, and so home to my business at the office, and thence to supper and to bed.

9 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M say the portrait of Harris is untraced.

Mary  •  Link

"which is better than the other"

I'm not sure whether Sam implies that the portrait will show Elizabeth with one 'good' hand and one other 'not so good hand" or whether 'the other' is the first version of her hand, which has now been repainted.

I don't know what the 17th century scale of fees for portraiture was, but these days a commission that includes the subject's hands tends to cost quite a bit more than one in which they do not appear.

JWB  •  Link

Hayls's rendering of Sam's one hand is ackward too.

cgs  •  Link

Feet, hands and visage are the key to a good canvas, in that order.
So hide the feet in leather and hide the hands or tuck under the blouse.
All thumbs?

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The volume covering correspondence from November 1667 through September 1668, is at…
PAGE 618 – 619

Sept. 5. 1668
James Baskerville to Williamson.

A vessel from Nevis reports that the French had not resigned the English part of St. Christopher's when she left.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 245, No. 176.]

Sept. 5. 1668
John Pocock to James Hickes.

Hears by the Hester of North Weymouth, Isle of Wight, from Antigua, that Commissioners were sent from Barbados to St. Christopher's to demand the English part according to the late peace,
but that the French Governer refused to deliver up anything more than the bare land — having carried away all the negroes, &c., to their own plantations - or to make the least satisfaction for them,
unless the English Governor will give an account from time to time of all his actions to the French Governor, and do nothing without his approbation;
upon this the Commissioners made a protest and went back to Barbados.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 245, No. 177.]

Louis XIV has some nerve!

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Louis XIV has some nerve! Yes he does, doesn't he. It comes with being the Sun King.

But the St. Christopher problem is more complicated than what Mr. Pocock has picked up in Yarmouth, and has already escalated, twice, to their Majesties' level. It's one of the main diplomatic actions right now, and worth elaborating upon. Just to skim the flood of ink and letters in the colonial archives (explore them at…) Loouie did agree under the Treaty of Breda to return St. C as long ago as 1667, and on May 2 last, William Lord Willoughby, governor of Barbadoes and England's main man in the Caribbean, related in a formal protest that when the restitution order were served on M. le Chevalier De St. Laurence, French Governor of St. Christopher, "he refusing to take [them in hand, the order] was laid down before him on a chair". How rude.

On May 30 Willoughby attached to a report to Arlington, a memo from M. Lefebre De la Barre, French governor of Guyana, who (as summarized) had explained that "the English must first reimburse the price of the purchases of the French, as well as amelioration, as agreed at the English Court, besides the food of the [English] prisoners, which amounts to great sums", noting further that the houses "built by the French since the hurricane belong of right to them, and as to movables they also belong to the French by the right of war". And a further complication concerning slaves: "if the English demand those taken at St. Christopher's, the French have equal right to demand those taken at Cayenne and sold at Barbadoes, but if any difficulty arises about this article it can be settled by their masters in Europe."

On June 25 in another memo which (on June 28) a colonel Lambarte passed on to Charles II, De la Barre added "that he cannot put his Majesty of England or his Commissioners in possession of that part of St. Christopher's stipulated to be returned to the English unless all the articles of the Treaty concerning this country are at the same time executed", and added a few specifics to the horse-trading: "that restitution be made for things taken since the cessation of hostilities, vizt., 39 negroes [sic, sorry about that] and 3,000 florins in plate and moveables from Cayenne by Henry Willoughby; 12 negroes retained by the Governor of Montserrat ; eight negroes taken from Martinique; and a barque of the West India Company; and that reimbursement be made for the price of dwellings sold by the English to the French, with the ameliorations that have been made according to the estimation of Commissioners named on either side." So now experts have to be appointed to estimate costs, too.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Things are never simple in the colonies, what with those hurricanoes, freewheeling governors and colonels building their own kingdomes, fractious planters, the constant threat of fevers and Indians (the latter often grown quite good at playing one colonial power against another), and the slow and complicated communication between the islands and with faraway Europe. This is all so impossible to manage, you have to wonder if these colonies will still be around in a century; and all this so the Pepys of the world can put sugar in their coffee.

Lambarte also remarked, in his letter to HM, that St. Christopher wasn't just some confetti but "once resettled (...) will put a check on all the French in America". Perhaps. The English are also not blameless; while all this aggravation is going on with the French, Charles II was coming close to firing Willoughby for letting his son, who had been appointed to run Suriname after it swung from Dutch to English rule, refuse to return it to the Dutch under the same treaty of Breda, then return it only after having trashed the place (he even burned a windmill, not a nice thing to do to the Dutch).

And so Charles took a new quill and wrote to Loouie, sometime in June (No. 1777 in the State Papers' colonial series). Ambassador St. Albans delivered the letter on June 30, and was told by the Most Christian himself that the Most Christian "did not use to break his word, and should less do it to the King [of England] than to anybody; that it was to be presumed that some mistake risen by the absence of La Barre, the Governor, is the cause of the delay". Isn't that cute. Why, the Most Christian was almost flustered at being so let down by his people.

But even so, there's still all these technical details, the cost estimates and all that. So, in a letter of July 15 to Arlington, St. Albans now relays from M. de Lionne - Loouis' foreign minister - "that the French King desires his Majesty [of England] not to send the new orders for restitution to M. De la Barre until M. Colbert has laid before his Majesty all that is necessary for the execution of the Treaty, otherwise it is feared that De la Barre might not execute even these last orders".

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

And that's the status right now: It's all in the bulging saddlebags of things to negotiate with dear brother Charles II which Charles Colbert has brought to London. Is it such a tragedy? St. Albans isn't so sure, actually, as in his letter of July 15 he noted that "even when they [the French] shall execute fully the Treaty of Breda it will be very costly to us before we can be re-established, and after without much cost more, be not much the better for being re-established", in particular because the English planters have resettled all over the Caribbean. A possible solution, handed out by some unnamed French official and which St. Albans relays on July 28 in another memo to Arlington: "either a change for some of their islands for our part of St. Christopher's or the buying it with their money". The Most Christian not being above just paying his way out of problems, and Colbert having bigger fish to fry in London than cost estimates for jail food and a few thatched huts.

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