The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

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16 Annotations

First Reading

michael f vincent  •  Link

Dunkirk/Dunkerque : picture 1665 A port with a lot of history……
It was captured at the battle of the Dunes June 1658, it being a nest of PIRATES…
16th Century : Dunkirk becomes the main Port for the Netherlands. Spanish, Dutch and English all covet the strategic position of Dunkirk and occupy the town at the some period of time, in 1600's,
"look a head" no money charles sells off a capital asset."
In 1662 : Louis XIV buys the town from the English and gives it "Freeport Status". Since then, the commerce expands. Then Jean Bart becomes famous for the French not for the Anglais

kvk  •  Link

Dunkirk is a coatal fortress in Flanders. Prior to 1658 it was a Spanish possession. In May 1657, Cromwell agreed to help France in her war against Spain through an Anglo-French attack on three of Spain's fortresses in Flanders: Gravelines, Mardyck, and Dunkirk. Gravelines was to be given to Franc, the other two to England.

Dunkirk was besieged in May 1658, and a Spanish relieving force defeated in June. When Dunkirk surrendered to the French, Cardinal Mazarin honored the treaty and turned it over to the English (Louis XIV wanted to keep it).

Cromwell wanted Dunkirk as an English foothold on the continent, and it serves this role in 1660. Dunkirk is, however, a city of Catholics and English troops stationed there have had some difficulties adjusting to being surrounded by Catholics.

Terry F  •  Link

When "Dunkirk... was sold to the French for 5 m. livres by a treaty signed on 7/17 October [1662], a deputation of London merchants went to protest that the surrender would make Dunkirk 'the Harbour of all the *Privateers*', and the King therefore asked Louis XIV to issue an edict against the corsairs....But the Privateers, based in Dunkirk and thereabouts, inflicted millions of pounds worth of damage on English shipping during the Anglo-French wars of the following hundred years. In the period 1656-1783 English prize goods totalling almost ?6m. were sold in Dunkirk prize-courts alone...." L&M 1662 iii.220 note 1.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

So Lxvi gets his money back.
Brilliant move. Charles gets his spending money and the merchants of the London pay the tab ,['tis better than paying customs duties].

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Cost too much??? Donkerke.
Ordered, That the Sum of Twelve hundred Pounds a Week shall be paid to Colonel Edward Harley, Governor of Donkerque, upon Account of the Garison of Donkerque, from the Sixth Day of November last, until the Twenty-fifth Day of December instant; and paid out of the Moiety of the Excise of Ale and Beer; for the Maintenance of the said Garison.
Resolved, That the Customs, Contributions, and other Revenues, arising in Dunkerque, shall also go towards the Maintenance of the said Garison of Donkerke.
Resolved, That the Lords Concurrence be desired herein: And Mr. Herbert is to carry it to the Lords

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 10 December 1660', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 202-04. URL:…. Date accessed: 20 October 2005.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Fun and games of the Hi seas 1650 :
WHEREAS divers good People of this Commonwealth have of late sustained great Losses and Damages, by having their Ships and Goods unduly seized, pillaged, surprised, and taken, by divers French Ships, and French Men, Subjects to the French King; by which means the Shipping of this Nation hath been, in some measure, impaired, and the English Trade lessened: And albeit all fair Courses have been observed, according to the Forms of Princes and States in Amity, in seeking and demanding Redress and Reparation, yet none could be obtained; but on the contrary, several of the French Ships have since unduly spoiled other English Ships in the former manner; so that, according to the Laws and Customs of Nations, there ought to be Droit de Marque, and Letters of Reprisal are grantable: But, in respect that many of the English, so spoiled, are not able to undergo the Charge of setting forth Ships of their own to make Seizures by such Letters of Marque; and for that, by the Law used amongst Nations, any State may, in such Case, cause Justice to be executed by their own immediate Officers and Ministers, immediately, where they find it requisite:

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 6: 11 September 1650', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 6: 1648-1651 (1802), pp. 465-67. URL:…. Date accessed: 20 October 2005.

more on the Importance of Dunqeque and the Levant trade.…

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

case for dropping Dunkirk. may 1662 by Lord Chancellor [HoL]
"You may with a very good Conscience assure yourselves, and your Friends and Neighbours, that the Charge the Crown is now at, by Sea and Land, for the Peace and Security and Wealth and Honour of the Nation, amounts to no less than Eight Hundred Thousand Pounds a Year, all which did not cost the Crown before these Troubles Fourscore Thousand Pounds the Year; and therefore they will never blame you for any Supply you have given, or Addition you have made to the Revenue of the Crown. And whosoever unskilfully murmurs at the Expence of Dunkirk, and the other new Acquisitions, which ought to be looked upon as Jewels of an immense Magnitude in the Royal Diadem, do not enough remember what we have lost by Dunkirk, and should always do if it were in an Enemy's Hands; nor duly consider the vast Advantages those other Dominions are like, by GOD's Blessing, in a short Time, to bring to the Trade, Navigation, Wealth, and Honour of the King and Kingdom. His Majesty hath enough expressed His Desire to live in a perfect Peace and Amity with all His Neighbours; nor is it an ill Ingredient (Footnote *) towards the Firmness and Stability of that Peace and Amity, which His Royal Ancestors have held and maintained with them, that He hath some Advantages in Case of a War, which They were without.

From: 'House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 19 May 1662', Journal of the House of Lords: volume 11: 1660-1666, pp. 468-77. URL:…. Date accessed: 20 October 2005.

Glyn  •  Link

The French and Cromwell's army had together captured Dunkirk and other territory from the Spanish four years earlier, in 1658. Dunkirk was handed over to the English, and the French took over the region of Artois. We can see who got the better deal: the English were in Dunkirk for four years only, but the French are still in Artois.

King Charles reached the logical conclusion that Dunkirk was undefendable should the French ever wish to conquer it, so he got the price for it that he could when he sold it to them in 1662.

Pedro  •  Link

Sale of Dunkirk.

"It was true that financial necessity played some part in Charles' decision; quite apart from the high price paid by France (some £400,000), Dunkirk cost a fortune to maintain. But the drift of the English King's diplomatic desires were clear, even without his anti-Spanish Portuguese marriage, so gratifying to France. Into these dreams , the Franco-Dutch treaty of 1662 came as an unpleasant reminder of the French King's priorities."

(Antonia Fraser, King Charles II)

We can see who got the better deal: Dunkirk occupying a key position between France and the Spanish Netherlands.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

A treaty was signed on the 27th October by which Dunkirk was sold to France for five million livres, two of which were to be paid immediately, and the remaining three by eight bills at dates varying from three months to two years; during which time the King of England was to contribute the aid of a naval force, if necessary, for defence against Spain. Subsequently the remaining three millions were reduced to 2,500,000 to be paid at Paris, and 254,000 in London. It is not known that Clarendon suggested the sale of Dunkirk, but it is certain that he adopted the measure with zeal. There is also no doubt that he got as much as France could be induced to give. —Lister's Life of Clarendon, ii. 173-4.
---Wheatley, 1899.

Bill  •  Link

The next measure of the King has not had the good fortune to be justifyed by any party; but is considered as one of the greatest mistakes, if not blemishes, of his reign: 'Tis the sale of Dunkirk to the French. The parsimonious maxims of the Parliament, and the liberal, not to say lavish, disposition of the King, were but ill suited to each other; and notwithstanding all the supplies voted him, his treasury was still very empty and very much indebted. He had received the sum of 200,000 crowns from France; but the forces sent over to Portugal, and the fleets, maintained in order to defend that kingdom, had already cost the King that sum, and together with it, above double the money, which he had received for the Queen's dowry. The time fixed for payment of his sister's portion to the duke of Orleans was now approaching. Tangiers, a fortress from which great benefit was expected, was become an additional burthen on the crown; and Rutherford, who now commanded in Dunkirk, had encreased the charge of that garrison to near a hundred thousand pounds a year. These considerations had such influence, not only on the King, but even on Clarendon, that that uncorrupt minister was the most forward to advise the accepting a sum of money in lieu of a place which, he thought, the King, from the narrow state of his revenue, was no longer able to retain. By the treaty with Portugal, it was stipulated, that Dunkirk should never be yielded to the Spaniards: France was therefore the only purchaser that remained. D'Estrades was invited over by a letter from the chancellor himself, in order to conclude the bargain. Nine hundred thousand pounds were demanded: One hundred thousand were offered. The English by degrees lowered their demands: The French raised their offer: And the bargain was struck at 400,000 pounds. The artillery and stores were valued at a fifth of the sum. The importance of this sale was not, at that time, sufficiently known, either abroad or at home.
---The History of England. David Hume, 1759.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

L&M Companion has nothing about the background to Dunkirk in Pepys' days.

The BCW Project to the rescue:

After the ending of the Anglo-Dutch war in April 1654, Lord-Protector Cromwell and the Council of State turned their attention to England's traditional enemies France and Spain, which were at war with one another in the Spanish Netherlands.
French and Spanish revulsion at the execution of King Charles had given way to pragmatism, and both nations sought an alliance with the increasingly powerful English Protectorate.
Throughout 1654, the ambassadors Antoine de Bordeaux-Neufville of France and Alonso de Cardenas of Spain vied with one another to secure Cromwell's favour.

Most members of the Council of State favoured an alliance with France, although a minority, headed by John Lambert, argued that the loss of trade with Spain would be too high a price to pay.
Cromwell eventually decided to support France, initially through a commercial treaty rather than a military alliance.
Although he had apparently abandoned the idea of intervening in the European war, Cromwell secretly planned the Western Design, an attack on Spanish territories in the West Indies, which was put into operation in 1655 and resulted in the capture of Jamaica by England.
Meanwhile, the English fleet imposed an unofficial blockade to prevent supplies and reinforcements sailing from Spain to the West Indies.

War was openly declared in October 1655 and endorsed when the Second Protectorate Parliament assembled the following year. The blockade of Spain by the English navy continued during 1656-7 and severely disrupted the Spanish economy.
In March 1657, England and France entered a formal military alliance against Spain during which English troops served alongside the French under Marshal Turenne in Flanders [AND JAMES, DUKE OF YORK].
Under the terms of the alliance, the port of Dunkirk was ceded to England after the Anglo-French victory over the Spanish at the battle of the Dunes in June 1658.

The war between France and Spain ended with the signing of the Peace of the Pyrenees on 28 October 1659.

After the Restoration, the Anglo-Spanish war was formally terminated in September 1660.
Charles II sold Dunkirk back to Louis XIV in November 1662 — although less than £300,000 of the promised £500,000 was ever paid.
Jamaica remained a British colony; the Spanish formally recognised Britain's ownership of the island in 1670.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In 1660, when Charles II returned to England, “His Majesty's Royal Regiment of Guards” was placed on English establishment although it was left in the Spanish Netherlands. They were successively transferred from Nivelles to Namur and then to Dunkirk.

Also in 1660, Charles II raised a second regiment of Foot Guards (12 companies of 100 men each) in England which was designated as the "King's Regiment of Guards" and placed under the command of Col. John Russell.

In 1661, Col. John Russell’s "King's Regiment of Guards" took part in the reduction of an insurrection in London [Venner's Uprising]. It was then distributed among several garrisons where it replaced disbanded companies from the former Commonwealth.

The same year, “Lord Wentworth's Regiment” of “His Majesty's Royal Regiment of Guards”, still garrisoning Dunkirk, was brought back to full strength (12 companies of 100 men each).

In 1662, when Dunkirk was sold, “Lord Wentworth's Regiment” of “His Majesty's Royal Regiment of Guards” was recalled to England where it was distributed in several garrisons: Windsor, Landguard Fort, Pendennis Castle, Guernsey, Dover, Plymouth, Berwick and Hull.

Information taken from…

We know this regiment as the Grenadier Guards today.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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