Secretary to Prince Rupert.
James Hayes (Prince Rupert's secretary)
Lightly edited from “Rupert, Prince Palatine” -- by EVA SCOTT
WESTMINSTER -- ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE & Co.
NEW YORK -- G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
Rupert's admirers thought that "the good prince" had not received his due in the official reports of the Four Day action. His secretary, James Hayes, wrote to Henry Bennet, Lord Arlington's secretary to expostulate. "Give me leave to suggest that, since in the Dutch Gazette those lying words speak dishonorably of the Prince, it will offer an occasion of a word or two in yours, more to his merit; in whom I did indeed discover so extraordinary courage, conduct and presence of mind in the midst of all the showers of cannon bullet, that higher I think cannot be imagined of any man that ever fought. I observed him with astonishment all that day."
 Dom. State Papers. Chas. II. 159. f. 3. Hayes, 15 June, 1666.
This letter produced the following note, added to the official gazette: "The writer of this letter could not think fit to mingle in his relations any expressions of His Royal Highness's personal behavior, because it was prepared for his own sight. But it is most certain that never any Prince, or it may be truly said, any private person, was, in an action of war, exposed to more danger from the beginning to the end of it. His conduct and presence of mind equaling his fearless courage, and carrying him to change his ship three times, setting up his Royal standard in each of them, to animate his own men and brave the enemy."
 Dom. State Papers, Chas. II. Vol. 159. 3 (1).
For this tribute secretary James Hayes returned grateful thanks. "You have done right to a brave Prince, whose worth will endure praise, though I find his ears are too modest to hear his own."
 Dom. State Papers, Chas. II. 159. 55. Hayes, June 21, 1666.
Rupert was far more engaged with his smoldering wrath against the Commissioners of the Navy, than in considering what the Dutch Gazette did, or did not say, say about him. A month earlier he had written to Charles II that "unless some course" were taken with the victualler -- viz. Pepys -- the whole fleet would be ruined.
 Dom. State Papers, Chas. II. 156. 100. 22 May, 1666.
Now, when the fleet came into refit, the first thing Rupert did on meeting Charles II, was to reiterate his complaints. "Which," wrote Pepys, "I am troubled at, and do fear may in violence break out upon this office some time or other, and we shall not be able to carry on the business."
 Pepys. June 20, 1666.
But Rupert's time on shore was short, and the victualling storm was deferred.
By July 22, 1666 the fleet was again at sea.
James Hayes was a Member of Parliament under Richard Cromwell in 1659. At this time (2020) the biographies of MPs during the Commonwealth and Interregnum years have not been published. On a whim I checked for the years 1690-1715 and there was his son, also a James Hayes, which included a few paragraphs about his father's career:
James Hayes’ father [i.e. OUR JAMES HAYES] originating from a minor gentry family of Beckington on the Somerset–Wiltshire border, was a man with an eye to the main chance and came to enjoy a semi-official prominence in the counsels of leading courtiers.
After Oxford he had qualified as a barrister at Lincoln’s Inn, and, as recorder of Marlborough, was returned for that borough to Richard Cromwell’s Protectorate Parliament.
In 1666 James Hayes became secretary to Prince Rupert, serving until at least 1672.
He was knighted in 1670, and it was presumably through Court influence that he became a member of Lord Ranelagh’s (Richard Jones*) ‘undertaking’ established in the 1670s to manage the farm of the Irish revenue.
Sir James Hayes married the widow of the 4th Lord Falkland, an opportune match by which he acquired manorial property at Great Tew in Oxfordshire.
Later, Sir James Hayes' money-making activities enabled him to purchase Bedgebury in Kent with its associated manors, and he raised an entirely new mansion there in the years just prior to his death.
But when Sir James died in February 1693 his brother John, whom he had appointed trustee and guardian of his son James, found the estates to be ‘somewhat encumbered’ by Sir James’ ‘new undertakings’.
It is not clear whether John Hayes ever succeeded in clearing these burdens, but others were later incurred, including a £2,000 portion for Sir James’s daughter, which remained for the younger Hayes a source of trouble for much of his life.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Andrew A. Hanham
3. L. Inn Adm. i. 345; L. Inn Black Bks. iii. 49; Evelyn Diary, iii. 623; Liber Munerum Publicorum Hiberniae ed. Lascelles, pt. ii. 45; CP, v. 241; PCC 42 Box; Her. and Gen. iii. 138–9; NLS, ms 7015, f. 84; Hay of Belton mss GD73/1/26a.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.