Tuesday 26 January 1668/69

Up, and to the office, where busy sitting all the morning. Then to the Office again, and then to White Hall, leaving my wife at Unthanke’s; and I to the Secretary’s chamber, where I was, by particular order, this day summoned to attend, as I find Sir D. Gawden also was. And here was the King and the Cabinet met; and, being called in, among the rest I find my Lord Privy Seale, whom I never before knew to be in so much play, as to be of the Cabinet. The business is, that the Algerines have broke the peace with us, by taking some Spaniards and goods out of an English ship, which had the Duke of York’s pass, of which advice come this day; and the King is resolved to stop Sir Thomas Allen’s fleete from coming home till he hath amends made him for this affront, and therefore sent for us to advise about victuals to be sent to that fleete, and some more ships; wherein I answered them to what they demanded of me, which was but some few mean things; but I see that on all these occasions they seem to rely most upon me. And so, this being done, I took coach and took up my wife and straight home, and there late at the office busy, and then home, and there I find W. Batelier hath also sent the books which I made him bring me out of France. Among others, L’Estat, de France, Marnix, &c., to my great content; and so I was well pleased with them, and shall take a time to look them over: as also one or two printed musick-books of songs; but my eyes are now too much out of tune to look upon them with any pleasure, therefore to supper and to bed.


10 Annotations

Art Perry  •  Link

"as also one or two printed musick-books of songs; but my eyes are now too much out of tune to look upon them with any pleasure"

Here we have a bit of the poet in Pepys. I love the turn of phrase!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Turn of phrase

SP remarks on how much Lord Robartes "[is] in play" -- much-used phase, that.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"and therefore sent for us to advise about victuals to be sent to that fleete, and some more ships"

L&M note the Algerines, claiming the 1664 treaty did not cover foreigners or foreign goods on English ships, had taken "60 Spaniards, many friars and a person of quality" from the Williams of London, and demanded a ransom of 100,000 pieces of eight. Two ships were immediately fitted out for dispatch to the Straits and Allin was able to impose another treaty on the Algerines (February (1670) .

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Cabinet met; and, being called in, among the rest I find my Lord Privy Seale, whom I never before knew to be in so much play, as to be of the Cabinet. "

In May Lord Robartes was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland [succeeding The Duke of Ormonde: 21 February 1662- and The Earl of Ossory (Lord Deputy): 7 February 1668-], while still retaining the Privy Seal. (L&M)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_chief_gover…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"W. Batelier hath also sent the books which I made him bring me out of France. Among others, L’Estat, de France, Marnix, &c.,"

L&M: Philippe de Marnix was one of the leaders of the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain, and his book Tableau des différends de la religion one of the most influential attacks of its time against Roman Catholicism.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Among others, L’Estat, de France, Marnix, &c., to my great content"

Just in case you missed it, Pepys was fluent in French, despite what his fractured version might have led you to think. I wonder if French spelling was any better than the English? Speaking is a different skill to reading it, of course. And an appreciation of Latin helps ... and since Pepys has his MA from Cambridge, he can read Latin.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

"The Algerines [who] broke the peace with us" have been insolent for some time. A letter of December 14 (in the State Papers at https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=vik5AQAAM…) had already given us the story of captain whose frigate had been "lost at Tangiers", and who said "the Algiers men-of-war have plundered several English ships since Sir Thos. Allin left". On December 24 another letter told of the Fortune being relieved by "3 Algiers men-of-war" of "£7 of oranges and lemons, £20 worth of wine", apparently not so haram to those Muslim corsairs, "and their arms, clothes, provisions, books and instruments".

Allin, in September, had got Taffilet, conqueror of Morocco and most of the Barbary coast, to sign one of these highly civilized peace treaties that it will please white men, in centuries to come, to keep bestowing on restless natives. Taffilet might now be pushing his luck. On January 11 the Gazette de France, in one of its rare instances of printing interesting newes, had a detailed report of the Allin-Tafilet deal (available in high French at https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k6277282b), which makes clear that (a) the Algerines are, as per Article I, to leave alone any English ship, or ship found, upon inspection by a barque carrying no more than two men, to carry a majority of Anglois, or even non-Anglois foreigners if they carry English passports (safe-conducts, not IDs); and (b) the treaty had been agreed upon after Allin had prepared fire-ships to burn down the Algiers fleet, which didn't do so only because of a contrary wind - a colorful detail which the English accounts we had seen had, for some reason, skipped over. Taffilet wisely signalled acceptance before the wind turned.

So Taffilet, whether he controls those corsairs or not, might be pushing his luck. On last information Allin is in Livorno not so far from Algiers, and another of the Mediterranean's users, not a shrinking violet either and with rather more resources and better supplies in the area, is losing patience: The Gazette, in No. 332 (page 2) had a dispatch from Paris, dated Jan. 26 new style, on King Louis sending 18 ships from Toulon "with a considerable force" to "attend the motions of the corsairs of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli who have of late seized upon some of our [French] merchant ships".

This could prove an interesting instance of French-English co-operation; whoever succeeds in checking the Barbary pirates could also well claim to be the real boss in that part of the Med. France had offered to buy Tangiers, and been rebuffed, remember? "See, you can't even defend it. I'll lower my cash offer just a bit".

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Let us add that the lord Taffilet, a.k.a. Taffaletta but who for the record may prefer to be known as His Excellency Al-Rashid ibn Sharif, can play one tribe against another, and appears in any case to know exactly what he's doing. Sir Richard Bulstrode (his journall at https://archive.org/details/bulstrodepapers00buls…), who maintains his own correspondence with Tangiers, has a letter which reports that "Taffaletta is returned from the south with a very rich spoile and full of pride. He covetts soe much to see a splending ambassy from England and hath ordered them of Sally to agree to a peace by sea and not by land".

"Sally" being the Republic of Salé, an Ostend-style pyrate kingdom on the Moroccan coast, run in part by a cosmopolitan band of European renegades who, like the Ostenders, can apparently be turned on and off. Their Wikipedia entry at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salé_Rovers is worth perusing in its French version.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Well hey, who knew, as we wrote the above Allin was in Algiers bay already. His long report to Williamson appears in the State Papers on February 2. It is too much to unpack here, but it's fascinating in its graphic detail of the admiral's bargaining with the corsairs; we felt the frayed carpets under our feet. Allin frees some ships and three captive women, kicks some bribes including a couple of slaves (ahem) at the corsairs, who say most touchingly that they only pester ships because they need the money. He moans at the state of his fleet in a way that makes us want to petition Mr. Pepys. Doesn't burn anything, but wouldn't be in any state to do that, and everyone is being most reasonable and businesslike anyway. Note that one of his vessels is sidetracked to load marble for "the King's building".

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'"Sally" being the Republic of Salé, an Ostend-style pyrate kingdom on the Moroccan coast ...'
I love the description of Ostend!!!

I've been spelling it Sallee, but I find Stephane is correct. Phil has it under "Sale" in our Encyclopedia:
https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/6820/

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