14 Annotations

First Reading

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

The following annotation was made by David Gurliacci (Tue 31 Dec 2002, 5:13 am) to the page for George Monck (http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclo…) but it refers largely to Anne Monck:

Monk's marriage gave both the Puritans and the Victorian historian Henry B. Wheatley (and me) something to wag tongues about:

"Monk was fond of low company; both he and his vulgar wife were quite unfit for high - I cannot say refined - society, for there was but little refinement at court. Ann Clarges had been kind to Monk when he was a prisoner in the Tower, and he married her out of gratitude. She had been previously married to Thomas Ratford, of whose death no notice was given at the time of the marriage, so that the legitimacy of Christopher, afterwards second Duke of Albemarle, was seriously questioned. Aubrey relates a story which cannot well be true, but which proves the general feeling of doubt respecting the point. He says that Thomas Clarges came on shipboard to tell Monk that his sister had had a child. Monk cried out, 'What is it?' and on hearing the answer, 'A boy,' he said, 'Why, then, she is my wife.'"

Pauline  •  Link

Wife of George

"he married Anne Clarges, a woman of low extraction, often supposed to have been his mistress, ‘ever a plain homely dowdy,’ says Pepys, who, like other writers who mention her, is usually still less complimentary."


Vincent’s link above to her miniature in the National Portrait Gallery belies this description.

Nix  •  Link

Anne's portrait --

Artists were not paid to render their subjects "plain, homely, dowdy" -- even if they really were. That's why Cromwell's "warts and all" is so memorable.

mark francis  •  Link

There is a real mystery here. Ann met Colonel Monk when he was imprisoned in the Tower in 1646 when she did his linen. She split from her first husband Thomas Radford in 1649. If Ann Monk's first husband, Thomas Radford was still alive when she married General Monk in 1652 then she was a bigamist. This was tested in a court case in 1674 five years after her death and Radford could not be produced (21 years later) so it the accusation was found not proven. Even so sevweral witnesses said he was alive in 1664 and in 1667 and one that he even attended her funeral. However there was never any record of his burial. So what happened to him? How usual was this that there would be no burial record? Perhaps in the Great Fire. The Public record Office was safe in the White Tower so it would probably not be destroyed. All radford needed to do was to shop himself and the most powerful couple in the land would be destroyed. Did he ever try to blackmail them? Did they ever try to knock him off? Or did he maybe change his name?

CGS  •  Link

Radford, maybe have been happy she be gone, as he had plenty of luscious choices for compensation,and getting divorced [annulled]was very expensive for the unheeled, and civil marriages were not well documented.
Even in the 20th century married couples were not necessary married to each other, this would only come to light when somebody was looking for the gold and if gold was not available nobody bothered with the fine print. Lawyers would only invoke the law if there was a bone-us for them.

Sharing a life is only done if there are benefits for both parties, no matter to the outsider, how un-even
they be and they always dissolve when one party gets no benefits.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Anne Clarges Monck

The Three Spanish Gypsies, in the New Exchange, was the shop of the future " Monkey Duchess," the nickname given by her aristocratic friends to Anne Monk, Duchess of Albemarle. " She was the daughter of John Clarges, a farrier in the Savoy, and horse-shoer to Colonel Monk. In 1632 she was married, in the church of St Lawrence Poultney, to Thomas Radford, son of Thomas Radford, late a farrier, servant to Prince Charles, and resident in the Mews. She had a daughter who was born in 1634, and died in 1638. She lived with her husband at the Three Spanish Gypsies, in the New Exchange, and sold washballs, powder, gloves, and such things, and taught girls plain work. About 1647, being a sempstress to Colonel Monk, she used to carry him his linen. In 1648 her father and mother died. The year after she fell out with her husband, and they parted. But no certificate from any parish register appears reciting his burial. In 1652 she was married in the church of St George, Southwark, to General Monk, and in the following year was delivered of a son, Christopher, (afterwards the second and last Duke of Albemarle,) who was suckled by Honour Mills, who sold apples, herbs, and oysters."* What became of her first husband, and when he died, is not known. http://is.gd/hkAHL

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Monk was ravenous, as well as his wife, who was a mean contemptible creature. They both asked, and sold all that was within their reach, nothing being denied them for some time; till he became so useless, that little personal regard could be paid him.
---History of His Own Time. G. Burnet, 1724

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘barb, n.3 . . < Barbarie .
1. A horse of the breed imported from Barbary and Morocco, noted for great speed and endurance.
a1610 J. Healey tr. Theophrastus Characters xxiii. 82 in tr. Epictetus Manuall (1636) , Barbes, Jennets, and other horses of price.
1735 W. Somerville Chace iii. 387 He reins his docile Barb with manly Grace . . ‘

DNB has:

‘ . . on 23 January 1653 . . [Monck] married . . Anne Radford . . [who] on 28 February 1633 . . had wed [a] farrier, Thomas Radford, from whom she separated in 1649. Radford seems then to have disappeared, so that there was no absolute proof of her widowhood when she married Monck.

A whiff of scandal thus hung around their union, and even in view of his status as a landed gentleman, let alone as a republican general, he was marrying beneath his class. John Aubrey stated that she had been Monck's seamstress when he was imprisoned in the Tower, and that they had become lovers then.

As this had been the only period in which George had lived in London hitherto, there is much plausibility in the story. Theirs was clearly a lasting love match, which was formalized when there seemed reasonable presumption that Radford had gone permanently missing . .

On 7 July 1660 he was created Baron Monck of Potheridge, Beauchamp, and Teyes, earl of Torrington, and duke of Albemarle . . ‘

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

There is a portrait of her, under her maiden name 'Anne Clarges', at: http://thepeerage.com/p309.htm .

The family name is remembered in Clarges St, which runs north to Arabia St from Piccadilly just west of Green Park station, perhaps because her father's heirs owned land there when the area was first built on

Bill  •  Link

Anne Clarges, dutchess of Albemarle, was the daughter of a blacksmith, who gave her an education suitable to the employment she was bred to, which was that of a milliner. As the manners are generally formed early in life, she retained something of the smith's daughter, even at her highest elevation. She was first the mistress, and afterwards the wife, of general Monck; who had such an opinion of her understanding, that he often consulted her in the greatest emergencies. As she was a thorough royalist, it is probable that she had no inconsiderable share in the Restoration. She is supposed to have recommended several of the privy-counsellors in the list which the general presented to the king soon after his landing. It is more than probable that she carried on a very lucrative trade in selling of offices, which were generally filled by such as gave her most money. She was an implacable enemy to lord Clarendon; and had so great an influence over her husband as to prevail with him to help ruin that excellent man, though he was one of his best friends. Indeed the general was afraid to offend her, as she presently took fire; and her anger knew no bounds. She was a great mistress of all the low eloquence of abusive rage, and seldom failed to discharge a volley of curses against such as thoroughly provoked her. Nothing is more certain, than that the intrepid commander, who was never afraid of bullets, was often terrified by the fury of his wife.

The following quotation is from a manuscript of Mr. Aubrey, in Ashmole's Museum: " When he (Monck) was prisoner in the Tower, his sempstress, Nan Clarges, a blacksmith's daughter, was kind to him in a double capacity. It must be remembered that he was then in want, and that she assisted him. Here she was got with child. She was not at all handsome, nor cleanly: her mother was one of the five women barbers, and a woman of ill fame. A ballad was made on her and the other four: the burden of it was,

Did you ever hear the like,
Or ever hear the fame,
Of five women barbers,
That lived in Drury Lane."

---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1775.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I have to counteract the impression that Gen. George Monck was some unknown country bumkin.

He was born at the manor house of Great Potheridge near Torrington, Devonshire on 6 December 1608, the fourth child and second son of Sir Thomas Monck, an impoverished landowner, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Smyth, a wealthy merchant of Exeter.

He was related to both Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester and Sir Richard Grenville MP, another Devonshire warrior of the early 17th century. A young George Monck fought with both of these men, so he knew them.

Gen. George Monck's first cousin on his mother's side was John Grenville, 1st Earl of Bath (1628–1701), who probably owed his elevation to Monck.

However, George did not come to notice through nepotism. They gave him a start, and he went on to earn every accolade he received, on land and at sea, both in wartime and during times of peace. Second sons of poor relatives often work harder than first sons of rich relatives.


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



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