Samuel Pepys.

The diary of Samuel Pepys : with selections from his correspondence (Volume 4) online

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that eight of them were come into the Hope, and thirty
more following them, at ten this morning. By-and-by
cornea an order from Whitehall to send down one of
our number to Chatham, fearing that, as they did
before, they may make a show first up hither, but then
go to Chatham : so my Lord Brouncker do go, and we
here are ordered to give notice to the merchant men-of-
war, gone below the barricado at Woolwich, to come
up again.

24th. Betimes this morning comes a letter from the
Clerk of the Cheque at Gravesend to me, to tell me
that the Dutch fleet did come all into the Hope yester-
day noon, and held a fight with our ships from thence
till seven at night ; that they had burned twelve fire-
ships, and we took one of theirs, and burned five of
our fire-ships. But then rising and going to Sir W.
Batten, he tells me that we have burned one of their
men-of-war, and another of theirs is blown up : but
how true this is I know not. But these fellows are
mighty bold, and have had the fortune of the wind
easterly this time to bring them up, and prevent our
troubling them with our fire-ships ; and, indeed, have
had the winds at their command from the beginning,
and now do take the beginning of the spring, as if
they had some great design to do. About five o'clock
down to Gravesend, all the way with extraordinary



92 PEPTS'S I>IABT. [July,

content reading of Boyle's Hydrostatics, which, the more
I read and understand, the more I admire, as a most
excellent piece of philosophy ; and as we come nearer
Gravesend we hear the Dutch fleet and ours a-firing
their guns most distinctly and loud. So I landed, and
discoursed with the landlord of the Ship, who unde-
ceives me in what I heard this morning about the
Dutch having lost two men-of-war, for it is not so, but
several of their fire-ships. He do say that this after-
noon they did force our ships to retreat, but that now
they are gone down as far as Shield-haven ; but what the
event hath been of this evening's guns they know not,
but suppose not much, for they have all this while shot
at good distance one from another. They seem confi-
dent of the security of this town and the river above
it, if ever the enemy should come up so high ; their
fortifications being so good, and guns many. But he do
say that people do complain of Sir Edward Spragg, that
he hath not done extraordinary ; and more of Sir W.
Jenings, that he came up with his tamkins in his guns.
Having eat a bit of cold venison, and drank, I away,
took boat, and homeward again with great pleasure,
the moon shining, and it being a fine, pleasant, cool
evening, and got home by half -past twelve at night,
and so to bed.

25th. At night, Sir W. Batten, W. Pen, myself,
and Sir R. Ford, did meet in the garden to discourse
about our prizes at Hull. It appears that Hogg is the



1667.] PBPTS'S DIARY. 93

veriest rogue, the most observable embezzler that ever
was known. This vexes us, and made us very free and
plain with Sir W. Pen, who hath been his great patron,
and as very a rogue as he. But he does now seem to
own that his opinion is changed of him, and that he
will join with us in our strictest inquiries, and did sign
to the letters we had drawn, which he had refused
before, and so seemingly parted good friends. I de-
manded of Sir R. Ford and the rest what passed to-
day at the meeting of Parliament; who told me that,
contrary to all expectation by the King that there
would be but a thin meeting, there met above 300
this first day, and all the discontented party ; and, in-
deed, the whole House seems to be no other almost.
The Speaker told them, as soon as they were sat, that
he was ordered by the King to let them know he was
hindered by some important business to come to them,
and speak to them, as he intended; and, therefore,
ordered him to move that they would adjourn them-
selves till Monday next, it being very plain to all the
House that he expects to hear by that time of the seal-
ing of the peace, which by letters, it seems from my
Lord Hollis, was to be sealed last Sunday. But before
they would come to the question whether they would
adjourn, Sir Thomas Tomkins steps up and tells them
that all the country is grieved at this new-raised
standing army ; and that they thought themselves cafe
enough in their train-bands; and that, therefore, he



94 PEPYS'S DIABT. [July,

desired the King might be moved to disband them
Then rises Garraway and seconds him, only with this
explanation, which he said he believed the other meant;
that, as soon as peace should be concluded, they might
be disbanded. Then rose Sir W. Coventry, and told
them that he did approve of what the last gentleman
said ; but also that at the same time he did -no more
than what, he durst be bold to say, he knew to be the
King's mind, that as soon as peace was concluded he
would do it of himself. Then rose Sir Thomas Little-
ton, and did give several reasons from the uncertainty
of their meeting again but to adjourn, in case news
comes of the peace being ended before Monday next,
and the possibility of the King's having some about
him that may endeavour to alter his own, and the good
part of his Council's advice, for the keeping up of the
land army ; and, therefore, it was fit that they did
present it to the King as their desire, that, as soon as
peace was concluded, the land army might be laid down,
and that this their request might be carried to the
King by them of their House that were Privy Coun-
cillors ; which was put to the vote, and carried ncmine
contradicente. So after this vote passed, they ad-
journed ; but it is plain what the effects of this Parlia-
ment will be, if they be suffered to sit, that they will
fall foul upon the faults of the Government ; and I
praj God they may be permitted to do it, for nothing



1667.] PEPYS'S DIARY. 95

else, I fear, will save the King and kingdom than the
doing it betimes.

26th. No news all this day what we have done to the
enemy, but that the enemy is fallen down, and we after
them, but to little purpose.

27th. To the office, where I hear that Sir John
Coventry is come over from Bredah, a nephew, I think,
of Sir W. Coventry's : but what message he brings I
know not. This morning news is come that Sir Jos.
Jordan is come from Harwich, with sixteen fire-ships
and four other little ships of war, and did attempt to
do some execution upon the enemy, but did it without
discretion, as most do say, so as they have been able
to do no good, but have lost four of their fire-ships.
They attempted this, it seeins, when the wind was too
strong, that our grapplings could not hold : others say
we came to leeward of them, but all condemn it as
a foolish management. They are come to Sir Edward
Spragg about Lee, and the Dutch are below at the
Nore. At the office all the morning ; and at noon to
the 'Change, where I met Fenn ; and he tells me that
Sir John Coventry do bring the confirmation of the
peace ; but I do not find the 'Change at all glad of it,
but rather the worse, they looking upon it as a peace
made only to preserve the King for a time in his lusts
and ease, and to sacrifice trade and his kingdoms only
to his own pleasures, so that the hearts of merchants
are quite down. He tells me that the King and my



96 PEPYS'S DIABT. ["July,

Lady Castlemaine are quite broke off, and she is gone
away, and is with child, and swears the King shall own
it; and she will have it christened in the chapel at
Whitehall so, and owned for the King's, as other
kings have done ; or she will bring it into Whitehall
gallery, and dash the brains of it out before the King's
face. He tells me that the King and Court were never
in the world so bad as they are now for gaining,
swearing, women, and drinking, and the most abomin-
able vices that ever were in the world ; so that
all must come to nought. He told me that Sir G.
Carteret was at this end of the town : so I went to visit
him in Broad Street; and there he and I together:
and he is mightily pleased with my Lady Jem's
having a son ; and a mighty glad man he is. He [Sir
George Carteret] tells me, as to news, that the peace is
now confirmed, and all that over. He says it was a
very unhappy motion in the House the other day about
the land army ; for, whether the King hath a mind of
his own to do the thing desired or no, his doing it will
be looked upon as a thing done only in fear of the
Parliament. He says that the Duke of York is sus-
pected to be the great man that is for the raising of
this army, and bringing things to be commanded by an
army ; but that he do know that he is wronged therein.
He do say that the Court is in a way to ruin all for
their pleasures; and says that he himself hath once
taken the liberty to tell the King the necessity of



1667.] PEPYSS DIAET. 97

having, at least, a show of religion in the Government,
and sobriety, and that it was that that did set up and
keep np Oliver, though he was the greatest rogue in
the world. He tells me the King adheres to no man,
but this day delivers himself up to this, and the next
day to that, to the ruin of himself and business ; that
he is at the command of any woman like a slave,
though he be the best man to the Queen in the world,
with so much respect, and never lies a night from her,
but yet cannot command himself in the presence of
a woman he likes. It raining this day all day to our
great joy, it having not rained, I think, this month
before, so as the ground was everywhere so burned and
dry as could be, and no travelling in the road or
streets in London for dust.

28th. All the morning close, to di'aw up a letter to
Sir W. Coventry upon the tidings of peace, taking
occasion, before I am forced to it, to resign up to His
Royal Highness my place of the victualling, and to
recommend myself to him by promise of doing my
utmost to improve this peace in the best manner we
may, to save the kingdom from ruin.

29th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten to St. James's,
to Sir W. Coventry's chamber, where, among other
things, he came to me, and told me that he had
received my yesterday's letters, and that we concurred
very well in our notions, and that, as to my place
which I had offered to resign of the victualling, he



98 PEPTS'S DIAEY. [July,

had drawn up a letter at the same time for the Duke
of York's signing for the like places in general raised
during this war, and that he had done ine right to the
Duke of York, to let him know that I had, of my own
accord, offered to resign mine. The letter do bid us
to do all things, particularising several, for the laying
up of the ships and easing the King of charge, so
that the war is now professedly over. By-and-by
up to the Duke of York's chamber, and there all the
talk was about Jordan's coming with so much indis-
cretion, with his four little frigates and sixteen fire-
ships from Harwich, to annoy the enemy. His
failures were of several sorts, I know not which the
truest : that he came with so strong a gale of wind
that his grapplings would not hold ; that he did come
by their lee, whereas, if he had come athwart their
hawse, they would have held ; that they did not stop a
tide, and ebb up with a windward tide, and then they
would not have come so fast. Now, there happened to
be Captain Jenifer by, who commanded the Lily in
this business, and thus says, that, finding the Dutch
not so many as they expected, they did not know that
there were more of them above, and so were not so
earnest to the setting upon these, that they did do
what they could to make the fire-ships fall in among
the enemy, and for their lives neither Sir J. Jordan
nor others could, by shooting several times at them,
make them go in, and it seems they were commanded



1667.] PEPYS'S DIARY. 99

by some idle fellows, such as they could of a sudden
gather up at Harwich, which is a sad consideration
that, at such a time as this, where the saving tho
reputation of the whole nation lay at stake, and after
so long a war, the King had not credit to gather a few
able men to command these vessels. He says that if
they had come up slower the enemy would, with their
boats and their great sloops, which they have to row with
a great many men, and did come and cut up several of
our fire-ships, and would certainly have taken most of
them, for they do come with a great provision of these
boats on purpose, and to save their men, which is
bravely done of them, though they did on this very
occasion show great fear, as they say, by some men
leaping overboard out of a great ship, as these were
all of them of sixty and seventy guns a-piece, which
one of our fire-ships laid on board, though the fire did
not take. But yet it is brave to see what care they do
take to encourage their men to provide great stores of
boats to save them, while we have not credit to find
one boat for a ship. And, further, he told us that this
new way used by Deane, and this Sir W. Coventry
observed several times, of preparing of fire-ships do
not do the work; for the fire, not being strong and
quick enough to flame up, so as to take the rigging
and sails, lies smothering a great while, half-an-hour
before it flames, in which time they can get the fire-
ship off safely, though, which is uncertain, and did



100 PEPYS'S DIARY. [July,

fail in one or two this bout, it do serve to burn our
own ships. But what a shame it is to consider how
two of our ships' companies did desert their ships for
fear of being taken by their boats, our little frigates
being forced to leave them, being chased by their
greater ! And one more company did set their ship
on fire and leave her, which afterwards a Faversham
fisherman came up to and put out the fire, and carried
safe into Faversham, where she now is, which was
observed by the Duke of York and all the company
with him that it was only want of courage and a
general dismay and abjectness of spirit upon all our
men ; and others did observe our ill management, and
God Almighty's curse upon all that we have in
hand, for never such an opportunity was of destroying
so many good ships of theirs as we now had. But to
see how negligent we were in this business, that our
fleet of Jordan's should not have any notice where
Spragg was. nor Spragg of Jordan's, so as to be able
to meet and join in the business, and help one another ;
but Jordan, when he saw Spragg's fleet above, did
think them to be another part of the enemy's fleet !
While, on the other side, notwithstanding our people
at Court made such a secret of Jordan's design that
nobody must know it, and even this office itself must
not know it, nor for my part I did not, though Sir
W. Batten says by others' discourse to him he had
heard something of it; yet De Ruyter, or he that



1667.] PEPYS'S DIABT. 101

commanded this fleet, had notice of it, and told it to a
fisherman of ours, that he took and released on
Thursday last, which was the day before our fleet
came to him. But then that that seems most to our
disgrace, and which the Duke of York did take
special and vehement notice of, is that when the Dutch
saw so many fire-ships provided for them, themselves
lying, I think, about the Nore, they did with all their
great ships, with a north-east wind, as I take it they
said, but whatever it was, it was a wind that we should
not have done it with, turn down to the Middle-
ground, which the Duke of York observed never was
nor would have been undertaken by ourselves. And
whereas some of the company answered it was their
great fear, not their choice, that made them do it, the
Duke of York answered that it was, it may be, their
fear and wisdom that made them do it, but yet their
fear did not make them mistake, as we should have
done, when we have had no fear upon us, and have
run our ships on ground. And this brought it into
my mind that they managed their retreat down this
difficult passage, with all their fear, better than we
could do ourselves in the main sea, when the Duke of
Albemarle ran away from the Dutch, when the Prince
was lost, and the Royal Charles and the other great
ships came on ground upon the Galloper. Thus, in all
things, in 'wisdom, courage, force, knowledge of our



102 PEPYS'S DIARY. [July,

own streams, and success, the Dutch have the best of us,
and do end the war with victory on their side. The
Duke of Tork being ready we into his closet, but,
being in haste to go to the Parliament House, he
could not stay. So we parted, and to Westminster
Hall, where the Hall full of people to see the issue of
the day, the King being to come to speak to the House
to-day. One thing extraordinary was, this day a
man, a Quaker, came naked through the Hall, only
very civilly tied about the loins to avoid scandal, and
with a chafing-dish of fire and brimstone burning
upon his head, did pass through the Hall, crying,
" Repent ! repent ! " Presently comes down the
House of Commons, the King having made them a
very short and no pleasing speech to them at all, not
at all giving them thanks for their readiness to come
up to town this busy time, but told them that he did
thiiik he should have had occasion for them, but had
none, and therefore did dismiss them to look after
their own occasions till October, and that he did
wonder any should offer to bring in a suspicion
that he intended to rule by an army, or otherwise
than by the laws of the land, which he promised them
he would do; and so bade them go home and settle
the minds of the country in that particular, and
only added that he had made a peace which he did
believe they would find reasonable, and a good peace,



1667.] PEPYS'S DIAEY. 103

but did give them none of the particulars thereof.
Thus they are dismissed again to their general great
distaste, I believe the greatest that ever Parliament was,
to see themselves so fooled, and the nation in certain
condition of ruin, while the King, they see, is only
governed by his lust, and women, and rogues about
him. The Speaker, they found, was kept from coming
in the morning to the House on purpose, till after the
King was come to the House of Lords, for fear they
should be doing anything in the House of Commons to
the further dissatisfaction of the King and his courtiers.
They do all give up the kingdom for lost that I speak
to, and do hear what the King says, how he and the
Duke of York do do what they can to get up an army,
that they may need no more Parliaments, and how my
Lady Castlemaine hath, before the late breach between
her and the King, said to the King, that he must rule
by an army, or all would be lost, and that Bab. May
hath given the like advice to the King, to crush the
English gentlemen, saying that 300 a year was
enough for any man but them that lived at Court. I
am told that many petitions were provided for the
Parliament, complaining of the wrongs they have re-
ceived from the Court and courtiers, in city and coun-
try, if the Parliament had but sat, and I do perceive
they all do resolve to have a good account of the money
spent before ever they give a farthing more ; and the



104 PEPYS*S DIARY. [July,

whole kingdom is everywhere sensible of their being
abused, insomuch that they forced their Parliament
men to come up to sit, and niy cousin Roger told me
that but that was in mirth, he believed if he had not
come up he should have had his house burned. The
kingdom never in so troubled a condition in this world
as now ; nobody pleased with the peace, and yet nobody
daring wish for the continuance of the war, it being
plain that nothing do nor can thrive under us. Here
I saw old good Mr. Yaughan, and several of the great
men of the Commons, and some of them old men, that
are come 200 miles, and more, to attend this session of
Parliament, and have been at great charge and disap-
pointments in their other private business, and now
all to no purpose, neither to serve their country, con-
tent themselves, nor receive any thanks from the King.
It is verily expected by many of them that the King
will continue the prorogation in October, so as, if it be
possible, never to have this Parliament more. My
Lord Bristol took his place in the House of Lords
this day, but not in his robes, and when the King
came in he withdrew, but my Lord of Buckingham
was there as brisk as ever, and sat in his robes, which
is a monstrous thing, that a man should be pro-
claimed against, and put in the Tower, and released
without any trial, and yet not restored to his places.
But, above all, I saw my Lord Mordaunt as merry aa



1667.] PEPYS'S DIARY. 105

the best, that it seems hath done such further indig-
nities to Mr. Taylor since the last sitting of Parliament
as would hang him, if there were nothing else, would
the King do what were fit for him ; but nothing of
that is now likely to be. After having spent an hour
or two in the Hall, my cousin Roger and I and Creed to
the Old Exchange, where I find all the merchants sad
at this peace and breaking up of the Parliament, as
men despairing of any good to the nation, which is
a grievous consideration, and so home. Cousin Roger
and Creed to dinner with me, and very merry, but
among other things they told me of the strange, bold
sermon of Dr. Creeton yesterday before the King ;
how he preached against the sins of the Court, and
particularly against adultery ; over and over instancing
how for that single sin in David the whole nation was
undone, and of our negligence in having our castles
without ammunition and powder when the Dutch came
upon us, and how we have no courage nowadays,
but let our ships be taken out of our harbour. Here
Creed did tell us the story of the duel last night, in
Covent Garden, between Sir H. Bellassis and Tom
Porter. It is worth remembering the silliness of the
quarrel, and is a kind of emblem of the general com-
plexion of this whole kingdom at present. They two
dined yesterday at Sir Robert Carr's, where it seems
people do drink high, all that come. It happened that



106 PEPYSS DIAKY. [July,

these two, the greatest friends in the world, were talk-
ing together, and Sir H. Bellassis talked a little
louder than ordinary to Tom Porter, giving of him
some advice. Some of the company standing by said,
"What! are they quarrelling, that they talk so high?"
Sir H. Bellassis hearing it, said, " No ! " says he, " I
would have you know I never quarrel, but I strike,
and take that as a rule of mine ! " " How ? " says Tom
Porter, " strike ! I would I could see the man in
England that durst give me a blow ! " With that Sir
H. Bellassis did give him a box of the ear, and so they
were going to fight there, but were hindered. And
by-and-by Tom Porter went out, and meeting Dryden
the poet, told him of the business, and that he was re-
solved to fight Sir H. Bellassis presently, for he knew,
if he did not, they should be friends to-morrow, and
then the blow would rest upon him, which he would
prevent, and desired Dryden to let him have his boy to
bring him notice which way Sir H. Bellassis goes
By-aud-by he is informed that Sir H. Bellassis's coach
was coming so Tom Porter went out of the coffee-
house where he stayed for the tidings, and stopped the
coach, and bade Sir H. Bellassis come out. " Why,"
says Sir H. Bellassis, " you will not hurt me coming
out, will you ? " " No," says Tom Porter. So out he
went, and both drew : and Sir H. Bellassis having
drawn and flung away his scabbard, Tom Porter asked



1667.] PEPYS'S DIARY. 107

him whether he was ready ? The other answering him
he was, they fell to fight, some of their acquaintance
by. They wounded one another, and Sir H. Bellassis
so much that it is feared that he will die : and finding
himself severely wounded, he called to Tom Porter,
and kissed him, and bade him shift for himself, "for,"
says he, " Tom, thou hast hurt me, but I will make shift
to stand upon my legs till thou mayest withdraw, and
the world not take notice of you, for I would not have
thee troubled for what thou hast done." And so
whether he did fly or no I cannot tell, but Tom Porter
showed Sir H. Bellassis that he was wounded too :
and they are both ill, but Sir H. Bellassis to fear
of life. And this is a fine example; and Sir H.
Bellassis a Parliament man, too, and both of them
extraordinary friends! Cousin Roger did acquaint
me in private with an offer made of his marry-
ing of Mrs Elizabeth Wiles, whom I know, a kins-
woman of Mr. Honiwood's, an ugly old maid, but good
housewife, and is said to have 2,500 to her portion,
but if I can find that she has but 2,000, which he
prays me to examine, he says he will have her, she
being one he hath long known intimately, and a good


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Online LibrarySamuel PepysThe diary of Samuel Pepys : with selections from his correspondence (Volume 4) → online text (page 6 of 23)