History of Gravesend

1665 Great Plague of London

1667 Raid on the Medway

1690 Glorious Revolution

Gravesend is in Kent.

Diary of Henry Machyn November 1554. 24 Nov 1554. [The same day cardinal Pole (54) came from Gravesend by water, with the earl of Shrewsbury (54), the lord Montagu (25), the bishops of Durham (80) and Ely (48), the lord Paget (48), sir Edward Hastings (33), the lord Cobham (57), and diverse] knyghts and gentyllmen, in barges, and thay all [did shoot the] bryge be-twyn xij and on of the cloke, and a-g[ainst] the steleard of Temes my lord chanseler (71) mett [them in his] barge, and my lord of Shrousbury (54) [had his] barge with the [talbot, all] ys men in bluw cotes, red-hosse, skarlett capes, [and white] fethers; and so to the cort gatt, and ther the Kyng('s) (27) grace [met him] and inbrasyd hym, and so lad ym thrughe the kyng('s) hall;] and he had borne a-for hym a sylver crosse, and [he was arrayed in] a skarlet gowne and a sqware skarlett cape; and my lord [North] bare the swarde a-for the Kyng; and so they whent up unto the Quens chambur, and ther her grace (38) salutyd hym; and after he toke ys leyffe, and toke ys barge to ys plase at Lambeth, that was the bysshope of Cantorberys, Crenmer (65), and so to dener.

Read More ...

Around 1555 Dorothy Herbert 1555-1615 was born to Henry Herbert 2nd Earl Pembroke 1538-1601 (16) and Catherine Talbot Countess Pembroke 1550-1576 (5) at Gravesend.

Diary of Henry Machyn January 1559. 08 Jan 1559. The viij of January ded at the Grayffes-end Lankoster the harold of armes, the wyche ded comm home from the berehyng of ser John Baker knyght, and bered the ix day of January at Grayffes-end.

Diary of Henry Machyn June 1563. 19 Jun 1563. The sam day was browth to the Towre serten .... for ther was capten callyd .... conveyed them away for they [were gone to] Grayff-ende and browth bake to the Towre agayne.

In 1586 Dorothy Herbert 1586-1615 was born to Henry Herbert 2nd Earl Pembroke 1538-1601 (47) and Mary Sidney Countess Pembroke 1561-1621 (24) at Gravesend.

Around 1590 Nicholas Hilliard Painter 1547-1619. Portrait of Mary Sidney Countess Pembroke 1561-1621.

On 13 Jun 1603 Thomas Smythe 1558-1625 (45) sailed from Gravesend arriving in Arkhangelsk on 22 Jul 1603.

In 1615 Dorothy Herbert 1586-1615 (29) died at Gravesend.

In 1615 Dorothy Herbert 1555-1615 (60) died at Gravesend.

John Evelyn's Diary 12 October 1641. 12 Oct 1641. From Dover, I that night rode post to Canterbury. Here I visited the cathedral, then in great splendour, those famous windows being entire, since demolished by the fanatics. The next morning, by Sittingboume, I came to Rochester, and thence to Gravesend, where a light-horseman (as they call it) taking us in, we spent our tide as far as Greenwich. From hence, after we had a little refreshed ourselves at the College, (for by reason of the contagion then in London we balked the inns,) we came to London landing at Arundel-stairs. Here I took leave of his Lordship (56), and retired to my lodgings in the Middle Temple, being about two in the morning, the 14th of October.

John Evelyn's Diary 12 July 1649. 12 Jul 1649. It was about three in the afternoon, I took oars for Gravesend., accompanied by my cousin, Stephens, and sister, Glanville, who there supped with me and returned; whence I took post immediately to Dover, where I arrived by nine in the morning; and, about eleven that night, went on board a barque guarded by a pinnace of eight guns; this being the first time the Packet-boat had obtained a convoy, having several times before been pillaged. We had a good passage, though chased for some hours by a pirate, but he dared not attack our frigate, and we then chased him till he got under the protection of the castle at Calais. It was a small privateer belonging to the Prince of Wales. I carried over with me my servant, Richard Hoare, an incomparable writer of several hands, whom I afterward preferred in the Prerogative Office, at the return of his Majesty. Lady Catherine Scott, daughter of the Earl of Norwich (64), followed us in a shallop, with Mr. Arthur Slingsby (26), who left England incognito. At the entrance of the town, the Lieutenant Governor, being on his horse with the guards, let us pass courteously. I visited Sir Richard Lloyd, an English gentleman, and walked in the church, where the ornament about the high altar of black marble is very fine, and there is a good picture of the Assumption. The citadel seems to be impregnable, and the whole country about it to be laid under water by sluices for many miles.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 12 August 1650. 12 Aug 1650. Set out for Paris, taking post at Gravesend, and so that night to Canterbury, where being surprised by the soldiers, and having only an antiquated pass, with some fortunate dexterity I got clear of them though not without extraordinary hazard, having before counterfeited one with success, it being so difficult to procure one of the rebels without entering into oaths, which I never would do. At Dover, money to the searchers and officers was as authentic as the hand and seal of Bradshawe himself, where I had not so much as my trunk opened.

John Evelyn's Diary 06 February 1652. 06 Feb 1652. I embarked early in the packet boat, but put my goods in a stouter vessel. It was calm, so that we got not to Dover till eight at night. I took horse for Canterbury, and lay at Rochester; next day, to Gravesend, took a pair of oars, and landed at Sayes Court, where I stayed three days to refresh, and look after my packet and goods, sent by a stouter vessel. I went to visit my cousin, Richard Fanshawe (43), and divers other friends.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 March 1660. 24 Mar 1660. At work hard all the day writing letters to the Council, &c. This day Mr. Creed came on: board and dined very boldly with my Lord, but he could not get a bed there. At night Capt. Isham (32) who had been at Gravesend all last night and to-day came and brought Mr. Lucy (one acquainted with Mrs. Pierce, with whom I had been at her house), I drank with him in the Captain's cabin, but my business could not stay with him. I despatch many letters to-day abroad and it was late before we could get to bed. Mr. Sheply and Howe supped with me in my cabin. The boy Eliezer flung down a can of beer upon my papers which made me give him a box of the ear, it having all spoiled my papers and cost me a great deal of work. So to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 28 March 1660. 28 Mar 1660. This morning and the whole day busy, and that the more because Mr. Burr was about his own business all the day at Gravesend. At night there was a gentleman very well bred, his name was Banes, going for Flushing, who spoke French and Latin very well, brought by direction from Captain Clerke hither, as a prisoner, because he called out of the vessel that he went in, "Where is your King, we have done our business, Vive le Roi". He confessed himself a Cavalier in his heart, and that he and his whole family had fought for the King; but that he was then drunk, having been all night taking his leave at Gravesend the night before, and so could not remember what it was that he said; but in his words and carriage showed much of a gentleman. My Lord had a great kindness for him, but did not think it safe to release him, but commanded him to be used civilly, so he was taken to the Master's Cabin and had supper there. In the meantime I wrote a letter to the Council about him, and an order for the vessel to be sent for back that he was taken out of. But a while after, he sent a letter down to my Lord, which my Lord did like very well, and did advise with me what was best to be done. So I put in something to my Lord and then to the Captain that the gentleman was to be released and the letter stopped, which was done. So I went up and sat and talked with him in Latin and French, and drank a bottle or two with him; and about eleven at night he took boat again, and so God bless him. Thence I to my cabin and to bed. This day we had news of the election at Huntingdon for Bernard and Pedly, at which my Lord was much troubled for his friends' missing of it.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 29 March 1660. 29 Mar 1660. We lie still a little below Gravesend. At night Mr. Sheply returned from London, and told us of several elections for the next Parliament. That the King's effigies was new making to be set up in the Exchange again. This evening was a great whispering of some of the Vice-Admiral's captains that they were dissatisfied, and did intend to fight themselves, to oppose the General (51). But it was soon hushed, and the Vice-Admiral did wholly deny any such thing, and protested to stand by the General. At night Mr. Sheply, W. Howe, and I supped in my cabin. So up to the Master's cabin, where we sat talking, and then to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 31 March 1660. 31 Mar 1660. This morning Captain Jowles of the "Wexford" came on board, for whom I got commission from my Lord to be commander of the ship. Upon the doing thereof he was to make the 20s. piece that he sent me yesterday, up £5; wherefore he sent me a bill that he did owe me £4., which I sent my boy to Gravesend with him, and he did give the boy £4 for me, and the boy gave him the bill under his hand. This morning, Mr. Hill that lives in Axe-yard was here on board with the Vice-Admiral. I did give him a bottle of wine, and was exceedingly satisfied of the power that I have to make my friends welcome. Many orders to make all the afternoon. At night Mr. Sheply, Howe, Ibbott, and I supped in my cabin together.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 08 June 1660. 08 Jun 1660. Out early, took horses at Deale. I troubled much with the King's (30) gittar, and Fairbrother, the rogue that I intrusted with the carrying of it on foot, whom I thought I had lost. Col. Dixwell's horse taken by a soldier and delivered to my Lord, and by him to me to carry to London. Came to Canterbury, dined there. I saw the minster and the remains of Becket's tomb. To Sittiligborne and Rochester. At Chatham and Rochester the ships and bridge. Mr. Hetly's mistake about dinner. Come to Gravesend. A good handsome wench I kissed, the first that I have seen a great while. Supped with my Lord, drank late below with Penrose, the Captain. To bed late, having first laid out all my things against to-morrow to put myself in a walking garb. Weary and hot to bed to Mr. Moore.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 05 August 1660. 05 Aug 1660.Lord's Day. my wife being much in pain, I went this morning to Dr. Williams (who had cured her once before of this business), in Holborn, and he did give me an ointment which I sent home by my boy, and a plaister which I took with me to Westminster (having called and seen my mother in the morning as I went to the doctor), where I dined with Mr. Sheply (my Lord dining at Kensington).
After dinner to St. Margaret's, where the first time I ever heard Common Prayer in that Church. I sat with Mr. Hill in his pew; Mr. Hill that married in Axe Yard and that was aboard us in the Hope. Church done I went and Mr. Sheply to see W. Howe at Mr. Pierces, where I staid singing of songs and psalms an hour or two, and were very pleasant with Mrs. Pierce and him. Thence to my Lord's, where I staid and talked and drank with Mr. Sheply. After that to Westminster stairs, where I saw a fray between Mynheer Clinke, a Dutchman, that was at Hartlibb's (60) wedding, and a waterman, which made good sport.
After that I got a Gravesend boat, that was come up to fetch some bread on this side the bridge, and got them to carry me to the bridge, and so home, where I found my wife. After prayers I to bed to her, she having had a very bad night of it. This morning before I was up Will came home pretty well again, he having been only weary with riding, which he is not used to.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 11 August 1660. 11 Aug 1660.I rose to-day without any pain, which makes me think that my pain yesterday was nothing but from my drinking too much the day before. To my Lord this morning, who did give me order to get some things ready against the afternoon for the Admiralty where he would meet. To the Privy Seal, and from thence going to my own house in Axeyard, I went in to Mrs. Crisp's, where I met with Mr. Hartlibb (60); for whom I wrote a letter for my Lord to sign for a ship for his brother and sister, who went away hence this day to Gravesend, and from thence to Holland. I found by discourse with Mrs. Crisp that he is very jealous of her, for that she is yet very kind to her old servant Meade. Hence to my Lord's to dinner with Mr. Sheply, so to the Privy Seal; and at night home, and then sent for the barber, and was trimmed in the kitchen, the first time that ever I was so. I was vexed this night that W. Hewer (18) was out of doors till ten at night but was pretty well satisfied again when my wife told me that he wept because I was angry, though indeed he did give me a good reason for his being out; but I thought it a good occasion to let him know that I do expect his being at home. So to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 September 1660. 25 Sep 1660. To the office, where Sir W. Batten (59), Colonel Slingsby (49), and I sat awhile, and Sir R. Ford (46)1 coming to us about some business, we talked together of the interest of this kingdom to have a peace with Spain and a war with France and Holland; where Sir R. Ford (46) talked like a man of great reason and experience. And afterwards I did send for a cup of tee2 (a China drink) of which I never had drank before, and went away. Then came Col. Birch (45) and Sir R. Browne by a former appointment, and with them from Tower wharf in the barge belonging to our office we went to Deptford to pay off the ship Success, which (Sir G. Carteret (50) and Sir W. Pen (39) coming afterwards to us) we did, Col. Birch (45) being a mighty busy man and one that is the most indefatigable and forward to make himself work of any man that ever I knew in my life. At the Globe we had a very good dinner, and after that to the pay again, which being finished we returned by water again, and I from our office with Col. Slingsby (49) by coach to Westminster (I setting him down at his lodgings by the way) to inquire for my Lord's coming thither (the King and the Princess3 coming up the river this afternoon as we were at our pay), and I found him gone to Mr. Crew's (62), where I found him well, only had got some corns upon his foot which was not well yet. My Lord told me how the ship that brought the Princess and him (The Tredagh) did knock six times upon the Kentish Knock4, which put them in great fear for the ship; but got off well. He told me also how the King had knighted Vice-Admiral Lawson (45) and Sir Richard Stayner (35). From him late and by coach home, where the plasterers being at work in all the rooms in my house, my wife was fain to make a bed upon the ground for her and me, and so there we lay all night.
Note 1. Sir Richard Ford was one of the commissioners sent to Breda to desire Charles II to return to England immediately.
Note 2. That excellent and by all Physicians, approved, China drink, called by the Chineans Tcha, by other nations Tay alias Tee, is sold at the Sultaness Head Coffee-House, in Sweetings Rents, by the "Royal Exchange, London". "Coffee, chocolate, and a kind of drink called tee, sold in almost every street in 1659".—Rugge's Diurnal. It is stated in "Boyne's Trade Tokens", ed. Williamson, vol. i., 1889, p. 593 that the word tea occurs on no other tokens than those issued from 'the Great Turk' (Morat ye Great) coffeehouse in Exchange Alley. The Dutch East India Company introduced tea into Europe in 1610, and it is said to have been first imported into England from Holland about 1650. The English "East India Company" purchased and presented 2 lbs. of tea to Charles II in 1660, and 23 lbs. in 1666. The first order for its importation by the company was in 1668, and the first consignment of it, amounting to 143 lbs., was received from Bantam in 1669 (see Sir George Birdwood's "Report on the Old Records at the India Office", 1890, p. 26). By act 12 Car. II., capp. 23, 24, a duty of 8d. per gallon was imposed upon the infusion of tea, as well as on chocolate and sherbet.
Note 3. "The Princess Royall came from Gravesend to Whitehall by water, attended by a noble retinue of about one hundred persons, gentry, and servants, and tradesmen, and tirewomen, and others, that took that opportunity to advance their fortunes, by coming in with so excellent a Princess as without question she is".-Rugge's Diurnal. A broadside, entitled "Ourania, the High and Mighty Lady the Princess Royal of Aurange, congratulated on her most happy arrival, September the 25th, 1660", was printed on the 29th.
Note 4. A shoal in the North Sea, off the Thames mouth, outside the Long Sand, fifteen miles N.N.E. of the North Foreland. It measures seven miles north-eastward, and about two miles in breadth. It is partly dry at low water. A revolving light was set up in 1840.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 08 April 1661. 08 Apr 1661. Up early, my Lady Batten knocking at her door that comes into one of my chambers. I did give directions to my people and workmen, and so about 8 o'clock we took barge at the Tower, Sir William Batten (60) and his lady, Mrs. Turner (38), Mr. Fowler and I A very pleasant passage and so to Gravesend, where we dined, and from thence a coach took them and me, and Mr. Fowler with some others came from Rochester to meet us, on horseback. At Rochester, where alight at Mr. Alcock's and there drank and had good sport, with his bringing out so many sorts of cheese. Then to the Hillhouse at Chatham, where I never was before, and I found a pretty pleasant house and am pleased with the arms that hang up there. Here we supped very merry, and late to bed; Sir William telling me that old Edgeborrow, his predecessor, did die and walk in my chamber, did make me some what afeard, but not so much as for mirth's sake I did seem. So to bed in the treasurer's chamber.

John Evelyn's Diary 01 October 1661. 01 Oct 1661. I sailed this morning with his Majesty (31) in one of his yachts (or pleasure boats), vessels not known among us till the Dutch East India Company presented that curious piece to the King (31); being very excellent sailing vessels. It was on a wager between his other new pleasure boat, built frigate-like, and one of the Duke of York's (27); the wager £100; the race from Greenwich to Gravesend and back. The King (31) lost it going, the wind being contrary, but saved stakes in returning. There were divers noble persons and lords on board, his Majesty (31) sometimes steering himself. His barge and kitchen boat attended. I brake fast this morning with the King (31) at return in his smaller vessel, he being pleased to take me and only four more, who were noblemen, with him; but dined in his yacht, where we all ate together with his Majesty (31). In this passage he was pleased to discourse to me about my book inveighing against the nuisance of the smoke of London, and proposing expedients how, by removing those particulars I mentioned, it might be reformed; commanding me to prepare a Bill against the next session of Parliament, being, as he said, resolved to have something done in it. Then he discoursed to me of the improvement of gardens and buildings, now very rare in England comparatively to other countries. He then commanded me to draw up the matter of fact happening at the bloody encounter which then had newly happened between the French and Spanish Ambassadors near the Tower, contending for precedency, at the reception of the Swedish Ambassador; giving me orders to consult Sir William Compton (36), Master of the Ordnance, to inform me of what he knew of it, and with his favorite, Sir Charles Berkeley (31), captain of the Duke's life guard, then present with his troop and three foot companies; with some other reflections and instructions, to be prepared with a declaration to take off the reports which went about of his Majesty's (31) partiality in the affairs, and of his officers' and spectators' rudeness while the conflict lasted. So I came home that night, and went next morning to London, where from the officers of the Tower, Sir William Compton (36), Sir Charles Berkeley (31), and others who were attending at this meeting of the Ambassadors three days before, having collected what I could, I drew up a Narrative in vindication of his Majesty (31), and the carriage of his officers and standers-by.
On Thursday his Majesty (31) sent one of the pages of the back stairs for me to wait on him with my papers, in his cabinet where was present only Sir Henry Bennett (43) (Privy-Purse), when beginning to read to his Majesty (31) what I had drawn up, by the time I had read half a page, came in Mr. Secretary Morice (58) with a large paper, desiring to speak with his Majesty (31), who told him he was now very busy, and therefore ordered him to come again some other time; the Secretary replied that what he had in his hand was of extraordinary importance. So the King (31) rose up, and, commanding me to stay, went aside to a corner of the room with the Secretary; after a while, the Secretary being dispatched, his Majesty (31) returning to me at the table, a letter was brought him from Madame out of France;68 this he read and then bid me proceed from where I left off. This I did till I had ended all the narrative, to his Majesty's (31) great satisfaction; and, after I had inserted one or two more clauses, in which his Majesty (31) instructed me, commanded that it should that night be sent to the posthouse, directed to the Lord Ambassador at Paris (the Earl of St. Alban's), and then at leisure to prepare him a copy, which he would publish. This I did, and immediately sent my papers to the Secretary of State, with his Majesty's (31) express command of dispatching them that night for France. Before I went out of the King's (31) closet, he called me back to show me some ivory statues, and other curiosities that I had not seen before.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 30 May 1662. 30 May 1662. This morning I made up my accounts, and find myself 'de claro' worth about £530, and no more, so little have I increased it since my last reckoning; but I confess I have laid out much money in clothes. Upon a suddaine motion I took my wife, and Sarah and Will by water, with some victuals with us, as low as Gravesend, intending to have gone into the Hope to The Royal James, to have seen the ship and Mr. Shepley, but meeting Mr. Shepley in a hoy, bringing up my Lord's things, she and I went on board, and sailed up with them as far as half-way tree, very glad to see Mr. Shepley. Here we saw a little Turk and a negroe, which are intended for pages to the two young ladies. Many birds and other pretty noveltys there was, but I was afeard of being louzy, and so took boat again, and got to London before them, all the way, coming and going, reading in the "Wallflower" with great pleasure.
So home, and thence to the Wardrobe, where Mr. Shepley was come with the things. Here I staid talking with my Lady, who is preparing to go to-morrow to Hampton Court.
So home, and at ten o'clock at night Mr. Shepley came to sup with me. So we had a dish of mackerell and pease, and so he bid us good night, going to lie on board the hoy, and I to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 August 1662. 02 Aug 1662. Up early, and got me ready in my riding clothes, and so to the office, and there wrote letters to my father and wife against night, and then to the business of my office, which being done, I took boat with Will, and down to Greenwich, where Captain Cocke (45) not being at home I was vexed, and went to walk in the Park till he come thither to me: and Will's forgetting to bring my boots in the boat did also vex me, for I was forced to send the boat back again for them. I to Captain Cocke's (45) along with him to dinner, where I find his lady still pretty, but not so good a humour as I thought she was. We had a plain, good dinner, and I see they do live very frugally. I eat among other fruit much mulberrys, a thing I have not eat of these many years, since I used to be at Ashted, at my cozen Pepys's.
After dinner we to boat, and had a pleasant passage down to Gravesend, but it was nine o'clock before we got thither, so that we were in great doubt what to do, whether to stay there or no; and the rather because I was afeard to ride, because of my pain...; but at the Swan, finding Mr. Hemson and Lieutenant Carteret (21) of the Foresight come to meet me, I borrowed Mr. Hemson's horse, and he took another, and so we rode to Rochester in the dark, and there at the Crown Mr. Gregory, Barrow, and others staid to meet me. So after a glass of wine, we to our barge, that was ready for me, to the Hill-house, where we soon went to bed, before we slept I telling upon discourse Captain Cocke (45) the manner of my being cut of the stone, which pleased him much.
So to sleep.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 04 August 1662. 04 Aug 1662. Up by four o'clock in the morning and walked to the Dock, where Commissioner Pett (51) and I took barge and went to the guardships and mustered them, finding them but badly manned; thence to the Sovereign, which we found kept in good order and very clean, which pleased us well, but few of the officers on board.
Thence to the Charles, and were troubled to see her kept so neglectedly by the boatswain Clements, who I always took for a very good officer; it is a very brave ship.
Thence to Upnor Castle, and there went up to the top, where there is a fine prospect, but of very small force; so to the yard, and there mustered the whole ordinary, where great disorder by multitude of servants and old decrepid men, which must be remedied.
So to all the storehouses and viewed the stores of all sorts and the hemp, where we found Captain Cocke's (45) (which he came down to see along with me) very bad, and some others, and with much content (God forgive me) I did hear by the Clerk of the Ropeyard how it was by Sir W. Batten's (61) private letter that one parcel of Alderman Barker's' was received.
At two o'clock to dinner to the Hill-house, and after dinner dispatched many people's business, and then to the yard again, and looked over Mr. Gregory's and Barrow's houses to see the matter of difference between them concerning an alteration that Barrow would make, which I shall report to the board, but both their houses very pretty, and deserve to be so, being well kept.
Then to a trial of several sorts of hemp, but could not perform it here so well as at Woolwich, but we did do it pretty well.
So took barge at the dock and to Rochester, and there Captain Cocke (45) and I and our two men took coach about 8 at night and to Gravesend, where it was very dark before we got thither to the Swan; and there, meeting with Doncaster, an old waterman of mine above bridge, we eat a short supper, being very merry with the drolling, drunken coachman that brought us, and so took water. It being very dark, and the wind rising, and our waterman unacquainted with this part of the river, so that we presently cast upon the Essex shore, but got off again, and so, as well as we could, went on, but I in such fear that I could not sleep till we came to Erith, and there it begun to be calm, and the stars to shine, and so I began to take heart again, and the rest too, and so made shift to slumber a little. Above Woolwich we lost our way, and went back to Blackwall, and up and down, being guided by nothing but the barking of a dog, which we had observed in passing by Blackwall, and so, [Continued tomorrow]

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 July 1663. 10 Jul 1663. Up late and by water to Westminster Hall, where I met Pierce the chirurgeon, who tells me that for certain the King (33) is grown colder to my Baroness Castlemaine's (22) than ordinary, and that he believes he begins to love the Queen (24), and do make much of her, more than he used to do.
Up to the Lobby, and there sent out for Mr. Coventry (35) and Sir W. Batten (62), and told them if they thought convenient I would go to Chatham today, Sir John Minnes (64) being already there at a Pay, and I would do such and such business there, which they thought well of, and so I went home and prepared myself to go after, dinner with Sir W. Batten (62). Sir W. Batten (62) and Mr. Coventry (35) tell me that my Lord Bristoll (50) hath this day impeached my Chancellor (54) in the House of Lords of High Treason. The chief of the articles are these:
1st. That he should be the occasion of the peace made with Holland lately upon such disadvantageous terms, and that he was bribed to it.
2d. That Dunkirke was also sold by his advice chiefly, so much to the damage of England.
3d. That he had £6000 given him for the drawing-up or promoting of the Irish declaration lately, concerning the division of the lands there.
4th. He did carry on the design of the Portugall match, so much to the prejudice of the Crown of England, notwithstanding that he knew the Queen (24) is not capable of bearing children.
5th. That the Duke's (29) marrying of his daughter (26) was a practice of his, thereby to raise his family; and that it was done by indirect courses.
6th. That the breaking-off of the match with Parma, in which he was employed at the very time when the match with Portugall was made up here, which he took as a great slur to him, and so it was; and that, indeed, is the chief occasion of all this fewde.
7th. That he hath endeavoured to bring in Popery, and wrote to the Pope for a cap for a subject of the King (33) of England's (my Lord Aubigny (43) ); and some say that he lays it to the Chancellor (54), that a good Protestant Secretary (Sir Edward Nicholas) was laid aside, and a Papist, Sir H. Bennet (45), put in his room: which is very strange, when the last of these two is his own creature, and such an enemy accounted to the Chancellor (54), that they never did nor do agree; and all the world did judge the Chancellor (54) to be falling from the time that Sir H. Bennet (45) was brought in. Besides my Lord Bristoll (50) being a Catholique himself, all this is very strange.
These are the main of the Articles. Upon which my Chancellor (54) desired that the noble Lord that brought in these Articles, would sign to them with his hand; which my Lord Bristoll (50) did presently. Then the House did order that the judges should, against Monday next, bring in their opinion, Whether these articles are treason, or no? and next, they would know, Whether they were brought in regularly or no, without leave of the Lords' House? After dinner I took boat (H. Russell) and down to Gravesend in good time, and thence with a guide post to Chatham, where I found Sir J. Minnes (64) and Mr. Wayth walking in the garden, whom I told all this day's news, which I left the town full of, and it is great news, and will certainly be in the consequence of it.
By and by to supper, and after long discourse, Sir J. Minnes (64) and I, he saw me to my chamber, which not pleasing me, I sent word so to Mrs. Bradford, that I should be crowded into such a hole, while the clerks and boarders of her own take up the best rooms. However I lay there and slept well.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 August 1663. 01 Aug 1663. Up betimes and got me ready, and so to the office and put things in order for my going.
By and by comes Sir G. Carteret (53), and he and I did some business, and then Mr. Coventry (35) sending for me, he staying in the boat, I got myself presently ready and down to him, he and I by water to Gravesend (his man Lambert with us), and there eat a bit and so mounted, I upon one of his horses which met him there, a brave proud horse, all the way talking of businesses of the office and other matters to good purpose.
Being come to Chatham, we put on our boots and so walked to the yard, where we met Commissioner Pett (52), and there walked up and down looking and inquiring into many businesses, and in the evening went to the Commissioner's and there in his upper Arbor sat and talked, and there pressed upon the Commissioner to take upon him a power to correct and suspend officers that do not their duty and other things, which he unwillingly answered he would if we would own him in it.
Being gone thence Mr. Coventry (35) and I did discourse about him, and conclude that he is not able to do the same in that yard that he might and can and it maybe will do in another, what with his old faults and the relations that he has to most people that act there. After an hour or two's discourse at the Hill-house before going to bed, I see him to his and he me to my chamber, he lying in the Treasurer's and I in the Controller's chambers.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 02 August 1663. 02 Aug 1663. This evening I accompanied Mr. Treasurer and Vice-Chamberlain Carteret (53) to his lately married son-in-law's, Sir Thomas Scott (25), to Scott's Hall. We took barge as far as Gravesend, and thence by post to Rochester, whence in coach and six horses to Scott's Hall; a right noble seat, uniformly built, with a handsome gallery. It stands in a park well stored, the land fat and good. We were exceedingly feasted by the young knight, and in his pretty chapel heard an excellent sermon by his chaplain. In the afternoon, preached the learned Sir Norton Knatchbull (who has a noble seat hard by, and a plantation of stately fir trees). In the churchyard of the parish church I measured an overgrown yew tree, that was eighteen of my paces in compass, out of some branches of which, torn off by the winds, were sawed divers goodly planks.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 August 1663. 03 Aug 1663. Up both of us very betimes and to the Yard, and see the men called over and choose some to be discharged. Then to the Ropehouses and viewed them all and made an experiment which was the stronger, English or Riga hemp, the latter proved the stronger, but the other is very good, and much better we believe than any but Riga. We did many other things this morning, and I caused the Timber measurer to measure some timber, where I found much fault and with reason, which we took public notice of, and did give them admonition for the time to come.
At noon Mr. Pett (52) did give us a very great dinner, too big in all conscience, so that most of it was left untouched. Here was Collonell Newman and several other gentlemen of the country and officers of the yard.
After dinner they withdrew and Commissioner Pett (52), Mr. Coventry (35) and I sat close to our business all the noon in his parler, and there run through much business and answered several people. And then in the evening walked in the garden, where we conjured him to look after the yard, and for the time to come that he would take the whole faults and ill management of the yard upon himself, he having full power and our concurrence to suspend or do anything else that he thinks fit to keep people and officers to their duty. He having made good promises, though I fear his performance, we parted (though I spoke so freely that he could have been angry) good friends, and in some hopes that matters will be better for the time to come.
So walked to the Hillhouse (which we did view and the yard about it, and do think to put it off as soon as we can conveniently) and there made ourselves ready and mounted and rode to Gravesend (my riding Coate not being to be found I fear it is stole) on our way being overtaken by Captain Browne that serves the office of the Ordnance at Chatham. All the way, though he was a rogue and served the late times all along, yet he kept us in discourse of the many services that he did for many of the King's party, lords and Dukes, and among others he recovered a dog that was stolne from Mr. Cary (head-keeper of the buck-hounds to the King (33)) and preserved several horses of the Duke of Richmond's (24), and his best horse he was forst to put out his eyes and keep him for a stallion to preserve him from being carried away. But he gone at last upon my enquiry to tell us how (he having been here too for survey of the Ropeyard) the day's work of the Rope-makers become settled, which pleased me very well. Being come to our Inn Mr. Coventry (35) and I sat, and talked till 9 or 10 a-clock and then to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 04 August 1663. 04 Aug 1663. We were called up about four a-clock, and being ready went and took a Gravesend boat, and to London by nine a-clock. By the way talking of several businesses of the navy.
So to the office, where Sir Wm. Pen (42) (the first time that he has been with us a great while, he having been long sick) met us, and there we sat all the morning. My brother John (22) I find come to town to my house, as I sent for him, on Saturday last; so at noon home and dined with him, and after dinner and the barber been with me I walked out with him to my viall maker's and other places and then left him, and I by water to Blackbury's, and there talked with him about some masts (and by the way he tells me that Paul's is now going to be repaired in good earnest), and so with him to his garden close by his house, where I eat some peaches and apricots; a very pretty place.
So over the water to Westminster Hall, and not finding Mrs. Lane, with whom I purposed to be merry, I went to Jervas's and took him and his wife over the water to their mother Palmer's (the woman that speaks in the belly, and with whom I have two or three years ago made good sport with Mr. Mallard), thinking because I had heard that she is a woman of that sort that I might there have lit upon some lady of pleasure (for which God forgive me), but blest be God there was none, nor anything that pleased me, but a poor little house that she has set out as fine as she can, and for her singing which she pretends to is only some old body songs and those sung abominably, only she pretends to be able to sing both bass and treble, which she do something like, but not what I thought formerly and expected now; nor do her speaking in her belly take me now as it did then, but it may be that is because I know it and see her mouth when she speaks, which should not be.
After I had spent a shilling there in wine I took boat with Jervas and his wife and set them at Westminster, and it being late forbore Mrs. Lane and went by water to the Old Swan by a boat, where I had good sport with one of the young men about his travells as far as Voxhall, in mockery, which yet the fellow answered me most prettily and traveller-like unto my very good mirth.
So home, and with my brother eat a bit of bread and cheese, and so to bed, he with me.
This day I received a letter from my wife, which troubles me mightily, wherein she tells me how Ashwell did give her the lie to her teeth, and that thereupon my wife giving her a box on the eare, the other struck her again, and a deal of stir which troubles me, and that my Lady has been told by my father or mother something of my wife's carriage, which altogether vexes me, and I fear I shall find a trouble of my wife when she comes home to get down her head again, but if Ashwell goes I am resolved to have no more, but to live poorly and low again for a good while, and save money and keep my wife within bounds if I can, or else I shall bid Adieu to all content in the world.
So to bed, my mind somewhat disturbed at this, but yet I shall take care, by prudence, to avoid the ill consequences which I fear, things not being gone too far yet, and this height that my wife is come to being occasioned from my own folly in giving her too much head heretofore for the year past.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 10 August 1663. 10 Aug 1663. We returned by Sir Norton's, whose house is likewise in a park. This gentleman is a worthy person, and learned critic, especially in Greek and Hebrew. Passing by Chatham, we saw his Majesty's (33) Royal Navy, and dined at Commissioner Pett's (43), master-builder there, who showed me his study and models, with other curiosities belonging to his art. He is esteemed for the most skillful shipbuilder in the world. He hath a pretty garden and banqueting house, pots, statues, cypresses, resembling some villas about Rome. After a great feast we rode post to Gravesend, and, sending the coach to London, came by barge home that night.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 June 1664. 26 Jun 1664. Lord's Day. Up, and Sir J. Minnes (65) set me down at my Lord Sandwich's (38), where I waited till his coming down, when he came, too, could find little to say to me but only a general question or two, and so good-bye. Here his little daughter, my Lady Katharine (2) was brought, who is lately come from my father's at Brampton, to have her cheek looked after, which is and hath long been sore. But my Lord will rather have it be as it is, with a scarr in her face, than endanger it being worse by tampering.
He being gone, I went home, a little troubled to see he minds me no more, and with Creed called at several churches, which, God knows, are supplied with very young men, and the churches very empty; so home and at our owne church looked in, and there heard one preach whom Sir W. Pen (43) brought, which he desired us yesterday to hear, that had been his chaplin in Ireland, a very silly fellow.
So home and to dinner, and after dinner a frolique took us, we would go this afternoon to the Hope; so my wife dressed herself, and, with good victuals and drink, we took boat presently and the tide with us got down, but it was night, and the tide spent by the time we got to Gravesend; so there we stopped, but went not on shore, only Creed, to get some cherries1, and send a letter to the Hope, where the Fleete lies. And so, it being rainy, and thundering mightily, and lightning, we returned.
By and by the evening turned mighty clear and moonshine; we got with great pleasure home, about twelve o'clock, which did much please us, Creed telling pretty stories in the boat. He lay with me all night.
Note 1. Pliny tells us that cherries were introduced into Britain by the Romans, and Lydgate alludes to them as sold in the London streets. Richard Haines, fruiterer to Henry VI IL, imported a number of cherry trees from Flanders, and planted them at Tenham, in Kent. Hence the fame of the Kentish cherries.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 12 January 1665. 12 Jan 1665. To Gravesend, and returned home. A cold, busy, but not unpleasant journey.

John Evelyn's Diary 03 June 1665. 03 Jun 1665. In my return went to Gravesend; the fleets being just now engaged, gave special orders for my officers to be ready to receive the wounded and prisoners.

Great Plague of London

Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 June 1665. 07 Jun 1665. This morning my wife and mother rose about two o'clock; and with Mercer, Mary, the boy, and W. Hewer (23), as they had designed, took boat and down to refresh themselves on the water to Gravesend. Lay till 7 o'clock, then up and to the office upon Sir G. Carteret's (55) accounts again, where very busy; thence abroad and to the 'Change, no news of certainty being yet come from the fleete.
Thence to the Dolphin Taverne, where Sir J. Minnes (66), Lord Brunkard (45), Sir Thomas Harvy (40), and myself dined, upon Sir G. Carteret's (55) charge, and very merry we were, Sir Thomas Harvy (40) being a very drolle.
Thence to the office, and meeting Creed away with him to my Lord Treasurer's (58), there thinking to have met the goldsmiths, at White Hall, but did not, and so appointed another time for my Lord to speak to them to advance us some money.
Thence, it being the hottest day that ever I felt in my life, and it is confessed so by all other people the hottest they ever knew in England in the beginning of June, we to the New Exchange, and there drunk whey, with much entreaty getting it for our money, and [they] would not be entreated to let us have one glasse more.
So took water and to Fox-Hall, to the Spring garden, and there walked an houre or two with great pleasure, saving our minds ill at ease concerning the fleete and my Lord Sandwich (39), that we have no newes of them, and ill reports run up and down of his being killed, but without ground. Here staid pleasantly walking and spending but 6d. till nine at night, and then by water to White Hall, and there I stopped to hear news of the fleete, but none come, which is strange, and so by water home, where, weary with walking and with the mighty heat of the weather, and for my wife's not coming home, I staying walking in the garden till twelve at night, when it begun to lighten exceedingly, through the greatness of the heat. Then despairing of her coming home, I to bed.
This day, much against my will, I did in Drury Lane see two or three houses marked with a red cross upon the doors, and "Lord have mercy upon us" writ there; which was a sad sight to me, being the first of the kind that, to my remembrance, I ever saw. It put me into an ill conception of myself and my smell, so that I was forced to buy some roll-tobacco to smell to and chaw, which took away the apprehension.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 August 1665. 03 Aug 1665. Up, and betimes to Deptford to Sir G. Carteret's (55), where, not liking the horse that had been hired by Mr. Uthwayt for me, I did desire Sir G. Carteret (55) to let me ride his new £40 horse, which he did, and so I left my 'hacquenee'1 behind, and so after staying a good while in their bedchamber while they were dressing themselves, discoursing merrily, I parted and to the ferry, where I was forced to stay a great while before I could get my horse brought over, and then mounted and rode very finely to Dagenhams; all the way people, citizens, walking to and again to enquire how the plague is in the City this week by the Bill; which by chance, at Greenwich, I had heard was 2,020 of the plague, and 3,000 and odd of all diseases; but methought it was a sad question to be so often asked me.
Coming to Dagenhams, I there met our company coming out of the house, having staid as long as they could for me; so I let them go a little before, and went and took leave of my Lady Sandwich (40), good woman, who seems very sensible of my service in this late business, and having her directions in some things, among others, to get Sir G. Carteret (55) and my Lord to settle the portion, and what Sir G. Carteret (55) is to settle, into land, soon as may be, she not liking that it should lie long undone, for fear of death on either side.
So took leave of her, and then down to the buttery, and eat a piece of cold venison pie, and drank and took some bread and cheese in my hand; and so mounted after them, Mr. Marr very kindly staying to lead me the way.
By and by met my Lord Crew (67) returning, after having accompanied them a little way, and so after them, Mr. Marr telling me by the way how a mayde servant of Mr. John Wright's (who lives thereabouts) falling sick of the plague, she was removed to an out-house, and a nurse appointed to look to her; who, being once absent, the mayde got out of the house at the window, and run away. The nurse coming and knocking, and having no answer, believed she was dead, and went and told Mr. Wright so; who and his lady were in great strait what to do to get her buried. At last resolved to go to Burntwood hard by, being in the parish, and there get people to do it. But they would not; so he went home full of trouble, and in the way met the wench walking over the common, which frighted him worse than before; and was forced to send people to take her, which he did; and they got one of the pest coaches and put her into it to carry her to a pest house. And passing in a narrow lane, Sir Anthony Browne, with his brother and some friends in the coach, met this coach with the curtains drawn close. The brother being a young man, and believing there might be some lady in it that would not be seen, and the way being narrow, he thrust his head out of his own into her coach, and to look, and there saw somebody look very ill, and in a sick dress, and stunk mightily; which the coachman also cried out upon. And presently they come up to some people that stood looking after it, and told our gallants that it was a mayde of Mr. Wright's carried away sick of the plague; which put the young gentleman into a fright had almost cost him his life, but is now well again. I, overtaking our young people, 'light, and into the coach to them, where mighty merry all the way; and anon come to the Blockehouse, over against Gravesend, where we staid a great while, in a little drinking-house.
Sent back our coaches to Dagenhams. I, by and by, by boat to Gravesend, where no newes of Sir G. Carteret (55) come yet; so back again, and fetched them all over, but the two saddle-horses that were to go with us, which could not be brought over in the horseboat, the wind and tide being against us, without towing; so we had some difference with some watermen, who would not tow them over under 20s., whereupon I swore to send one of them to sea and will do it. Anon some others come to me and did it for 10s.
By and by comes Sir G. Carteret (55), and so we set out for Chatham: in my way overtaking some company, wherein was a lady, very pretty, riding singly, her husband in company with her. We fell into talke, and I read a copy of verses which her husband showed me, and he discommended, but the lady commended: and I read them, so as to make the husband turn to commend them.
By and by he and I fell into acquaintance, having known me formerly at the Exchequer. His name is Nokes, over against Bow Church. He was servant to Alderman Dashwood. We promised to meet, if ever we come both to London again; and, at parting, I had a fair salute on horseback, in Rochester streets, of the lady, and so parted.
Come to Chatham mighty merry, and anon to supper, it being near 9 o'clock ere we come thither. My Baroness Carteret (63) come thither in a coach, by herself, before us. Great mind they have to buy a little 'hacquenee' that I rode on from Greenwich, for a woman's horse. Mighty merry, and after supper, all being withdrawn, Sir G. Carteret (55) did take an opportunity to speak with much value and kindness to me, which is of great joy to me. So anon to bed. Mr. Brisband and I together to my content.
Note 1. Haquenee = an ambling nag fitted for ladies' riding.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 04 August 1665. 04 Aug 1665. Up at five o'clock, and by six walked out alone, with my Lady Slanning, to the Docke Yard, where walked up and down, and so to Mr. Pett's (54), who led us into his garden, and there the lady, the best humoured woman in the world, and a devout woman (I having spied her on her knees half an houre this morning in her chamber), clambered up to the top of the banquetting-house to gather nuts, and mighty merry, and so walked back again through the new rope house, which is very usefull; and so to the Hill-house to breakfast and mighty merry.
Then they took coach, and Sir G. Carteret (55) kissed me himself heartily, and my Lady several times, with great kindnesse, and then the young ladies, and so with much joy, bade "God be with you!" and an end I think it will be to my mirthe for a great while, it having been the passage of my whole life the most pleasing for the time, considering the quality and nature of the business, and my noble usage in the doing of it, and very many fine journys, entertainments and great company. I returned into the house for a while to do business there with Commissioner Pett (54), and there with the officers of the Chest, where I saw more of Sir W. Batten's (64) business than ever I did before, for whereas he did own once under his hand to them that he was accountable for £2200, of which he had yet paid but £1600, he writes them a letter lately that he hath but about £50 left that is due to the Chest, but I will do something in it and that speedily.
That being done I took horse, and Mr. Barrow with me bore me company to Gravesend, discoursing of his business, wherein I vexed him, and he me, I seeing his frowardness, but yet that he is in my conscience a very honest man, and some good things he told me, which I shall remember to the King's advantage.
There I took boat alone, and, the tide being against me, landed at Blackwall and walked to Wapping, Captain Bowd whom I met with talking with me all the way, who is a sober man.
So home, and found all things well, and letters from Dover that my Lord Hinchingbrooke (17) is arrived at Dover, and would be at Scott's hall this night, where the whole company will meet. I wish myself with them.
After writing a few letters I took boat and down to Woolwich very late, and there found my wife and her woman upon the key hearing a fellow in a barge, that lay by, fiddle. So I to them and in, very merry, and to bed, I sleepy and weary.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 12 August 1665. 12 Aug 1665. At noon am sent for by Sir G. Carteret (55), to meet him and my Lord Hinchingbrooke (17) at Deptford, but my Lord did not come thither, he having crossed the river at Gravesend to Dagenhams, whither I dare not follow him, they being afeard of me; but Sir G. Carteret (55) says, he is a most sweet youth in every circumstance. Sir G. Carteret (55) being in haste of going to the Duke of Albemarle (56) and the Archbishop (67), he was pettish, and so I could not fasten any discourse, but take another time.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 August 1665. 17 Aug 1665. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon dined together upon some victuals I had prepared at Sir W. Batten's (64) upon the King's charge, and after dinner, I having dispatched some business and set things in order at home, we down to the water and by boat to Greenwich to the Bezan yacht, where Sir W. Batten (64), Sir J. Minnes (66), my Lord Bruncker (45) and myself, with some servants (among others Mr. Carcasse, my Lord's clerk, a very civil gentleman), embarked in the yacht and down we went most pleasantly, and noble discourse I had with my Lord Bruneker (45), who is a most excellent person. Short of Gravesend it grew calme, and so we come to an anchor, and to supper mighty merry, and after it, being moonshine, we out of the cabbin to laugh and talk, and then, as we grew sleepy, went in and upon velvet cushions of the King's that belong to the yacht fell to sleep, which we all did pretty well till 3 or 4 of the clock, having risen in the night to look for a new comet which is said to have lately shone, but we could see no such thing.

Great Plague of London

Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 August 1665. 18 Aug 1665. Up about 5 o'clock and dressed ourselves, and to sayle again down to the Soveraigne at the buoy of the Nore, a noble ship, now rigged and fitted and manned; we did not stay long, but to enquire after her readinesse and thence to Sheernesse, where we walked up and down, laying out the ground to be taken in for a yard to lay provisions for cleaning and repairing of ships, and a most proper place it is for the purpose.
Thence with great pleasure up the Meadeway, our yacht contending with Commissioner Pett's (55), wherein he met us from Chatham, and he had the best of it. Here I come by, but had not tide enough to stop at Quinbrough, a with mighty pleasure spent the day in doing all and seeing these places, which I had never done before.
So to the Hill house at Chatham and there dined, and after dinner spent some time discoursing of business. Among others arguing with the Commissioner about his proposing the laying out so much money upon Sheerenesse, unless it be to the slighting of Chatham yarde, for it is much a better place than Chatham, which however the King (35) is not at present in purse to do, though it were to be wished he were.
Thence in Commissioner Pett's (55) coach (leaving them there). I late in the darke to Gravesend, where great is the plague, and I troubled to stay there so long for the tide.
At 10 at night, having supped, I took boat alone, and slept well all the way to the Tower docke about three o'clock in the morning. So knocked up my people, and to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 September 1665. 17 Sep 1665. Lord's Day. Up, and before I went out of my chamber did draw a musique scale, in order to my having it at any time ready in my hand to turn to for exercise, for I have a great mind in this Vacation to perfect myself in my scale, in order to my practising of composition, and so that being done I down stairs, and there find Captain Cocke (48) under the barber's hands, the barber that did heretofore trim Commissioner Pett (55), and with whom I have been. He offered to come this day after dinner with his violin to play me a set of Lyra-ayres upon it, which I was glad of, hoping to be merry thereby. Being ready we to church, where a company of fine people to church, and a fine Church, and very good sermon, Mr. Plume' being a very excellent scholler and preacher. Coming out of the church I met Mrs. Pierce, whom I was ashamed to see, having not been with her since my coming to town, but promised to visit her.
Thence with Captain Cocke (48), in his coach, home to dinner, whither comes by invitation my Lord Bruncker (45) and his mistresse and very good company we were, but in dinner time comes Sir J. Minnes (66) from the fleete, like a simple weak man, having nothing to say of what he hath done there, but tells of what value he imagines the prizes to be, and that my Lord Sandwich (40) is well, and mightily concerned to hear that I was well. But this did put me upon a desire of going thither; and, moving of it to my Lord, we presently agreed upon it to go this very tide, we two and Captain Cocke (48). So every body prepared to fit himself for his journey, and I walked to Woolwich to trim and shift myself, and by the time I was ready they come down in the Bezan yacht, and so I aboard and my boy Tom, and there very merrily we sailed to below Gravesend, and there come to anchor for all night, and supped and talked, and with much pleasure at last settled ourselves to sleep having very good lodging upon cushions in the cabbin.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 September 1665. 24 Sep 1665. Lord's Day. Waked, and up and drank, and then to discourse; and then being about Grayes, and a very calme, curious morning, we took our wherry, and to the fishermen, and bought a great deal of fine fish, and to Gravesend to White's, and had part of it dressed; and, in the meantime, we to walk about a mile from the towne, and so back again; and there, after breakfast, one of our watermen told us he had heard of a bargain of cloves for us, and we went to a blind alehouse at the further end wretched dirty seamen, who, of the towne to a couple of poor wretches, had got together about 37 lb. of cloves and to 10 of nutmeggs, and we bought them of them, the first at 5s. 6d. per lb. and the latter at 4s.; and paid them in gold; but, Lord! to see how silly these men are in the selling of it, and easily to be persuaded almost to anything, offering a bag to us to pass as 20 lbs. of cloves, which upon weighing proved 25 lbs.
But it would never have been allowed by my conscience to have wronged the poor wretches, who told us how dangerously they had got some, and dearly paid for the rest of these goods. This being done we with great content herein on board again and there Captain Cocke (48) and I to discourse of our business, but he will not yet be open to me, nor am I to him till I hear what he will say and do with Sir Roger Cuttance. However, this discourse did do me good, and got me a copy of the agreement made the other day on board for the parcel of Mr. Pierce and Sir Roger Cuttance, but this great parcel is of my Lord Sandwich's (40).
By and by to dinner about 3 o'clock and then I in the cabbin to writing down my journall for these last seven days to my great content, it having pleased God that in this sad time of the plague every thing else has conspired to my happiness and pleasure more for these last three months than in all my life before in so little time. God long preserve it and make me thankful) for it! After finishing my Journal), then to discourse and to read, and then to supper and to bed, my mind not being at full ease, having not fully satisfied myself how Captain Cocke (48) will deal with me as to the share of the profits.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 October 1665. 02 Oct 1665. We having sailed all night (and I do wonder how they in the dark could find the way) we got by morning to Gillingham, and thence all walked to Chatham; and there with Commissioner Pett (55) viewed the Yard; and among other things, a teame of four horses come close by us, he being with me, drawing a piece of timber that I am confident one man could easily have carried upon his back. I made the horses be taken away, and a man or two to take the timber away with their hands. This the Commissioner did see, but said nothing, but I think had cause to be ashamed of.
We walked, he and I and Cocke (48), to the Hill-house, where we find Sir W. Pen (44) in bed and there much talke and much dissembling of kindnesse from him, but he is a false rogue, and I shall not trust him, but my being there did procure his consent to have his silk carried away before the money received, which he would not have done for Cocke (48) I am sure.
Thence to Rochester, walked to the Crowne, and while dinner was getting ready, I did there walk to visit the old Castle ruines, which hath been a noble place, and there going up I did upon the stairs overtake three pretty mayds or women and took them up with me, and I did 'baiser sur mouches et toucher leur mains1' and necks to my great pleasure: but, Lord! to see what a dreadfull thing it is to look down the precipices, for it did fright me mightily, and hinder me of much pleasure which I would have made to myself in the company of these three, if it had not been for that. The place hath been very noble and great and strong in former ages.
So to walk up and down the Cathedral, and thence to the Crowne, whither Mr. Fowler, the Mayor of the towne, was come in his gowne, and is a very reverend magistrate. After I had eat a bit, not staying to eat with them, I went away, and so took horses and to Gravesend, and there staid not, but got a boat, the sicknesse being very much in the towne still, and so called on board my Lord Bruncker (45) and Sir John Minnes (66), on board one of the East Indiamen at Erith, and there do find them full of envious complaints for the pillageing of the ships, but I did pacify them, and discoursed about making money of some of the goods, and do hope to be the better by it honestly.
So took leave (Madam Williams being here also with my Lord (45)), and about 8 o'clock got to Woolwich and there supped and mighty pleasant with my wife, who is, for ought I see, all friends with her mayds, and so in great joy and content to bed.
Note 1. TT. baiser sur mouches et toucher leur mains. Kiss their beauty spots and touched their hands.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 17 October 1665. 17 Oct 1665. I went to Gravesend; next day to Chatham; thence to Maidstone, in order to the march of 500 prisoners to Leeds Castle, which I had hired of Lord Culpeper (39). I was earnestly desired by the learned Sir Roger Twysden (68), and Deputy-Lieutenants, to spare Maidstone from quartering any of my sick flock. Here, Sir Edward Brett (57) sent me some horse to bring up the rear. This country, from Rochester to Maidstone and the Downs, is very agreeable for the prospect.

John Evelyn's Diary 21 October 1665. 21 Oct 1665. I came from Gravesend, where Sir J. Griffith, the Governor of the Fort, entertained me very handsomely.

In 1667 John Griffith was appointed Governor of Gravesend.

1667 Raid on the Medway

Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 June 1667. 10 Jun 1667. Up; and news brought us that, the Dutch are come up as high as the Nore; and more pressing orders for fireships. W. Batten (66), W. Pen (46), and I to St. James's; where the Duke of York (33) gone this morning betimes, to send away some men down to Chatham.
So we three to White Hall, and met Sir W. Coventry (39), who presses all that is possible for fire-ships. So we three to the office presently; and thither comes Sir Fretcheville Hollis (25), who is to command them all in some exploits he is to do with them on the enemy in the River.
So we all down to Deptford, and pitched upon ships and set men at work: but, Lord! to see how backwardly things move at this pinch, notwithstanding that, by the enemy's being now come up as high as almost the Hope, Sir J. Minnes (68), who has gone down to pay some ships there, hath sent up the money; and so we are possessed of money to do what we will with.
Yet partly ourselves, being used to be idle and in despair, and partly people that have been used to be deceived by us as to money, won't believe us; and we know not, though we have it, how almost to promise it; and our wants such, and men out of the way, that it is an admirable thing to consider how much the King (37) suffers, and how necessary it is in a State to keep the King's service always in a good posture and credit. Here I eat a bit, and then in the afternoon took boat and down to Greenwich, where I find the stairs full of people, there being a great riding1 there to-day for a man, the constable of the town, whose wife beat him. Here I was with much ado fain to press two watermen to make me a galley, and so to Woolwich to give order for the dispatch of a ship I have taken under my care to see dispatched, and orders being so given, I, under pretence to fetch up the ship, which lay at Grays (the Golden Hand)2, did do that in my way, and went down to Gravesend, where I find the Duke of Albemarle (58) just come, with a great many idle lords and gentlemen, with their pistols and fooleries; and the bulwarke not able to have stood half an hour had they come up; but the Dutch are fallen down from the Hope and Shell-haven as low as Sheernesse, and we do plainly at this time hear the guns play. Yet I do not find the Duke of Albemarle (58) intends to go thither, but stays here to-night, and hath, though the Dutch are gone, ordered our frigates to be brought to a line between the two blockhouses; which I took then to be a ridiculous thing.
So I away into the town and took a captain or two of our ships (who did give me an account of the proceedings of the Dutch fleete in the river) to the taverne, and there eat and drank, and I find the townsmen had removed most of their goods out of the town, for fear of the Dutch coming up to them; and from Sir John Griffen, that last night there was not twelve men to be got in the town to defend it: which the master of the house tells me is not true, but that the men of the town did intend to stay, though they did indeed, and so had he, at the Ship, removed their goods.
Thence went off to an Ostend man-of-war, just now come up, who met the Dutch fleete, who took three ships that he come convoying hither from him says they are as low as the Nore, or thereabouts.
So I homeward, as long as it was light reading Mr. Boyle's (40) book of Hydrostatics, which is a most excellent book as ever I read, and I will take much pains to understand him through if I can, the doctrine being very useful. When it grew too dark to read I lay down and took a nap, it being a most excellent fine evening, and about one o'clock got home, and after having wrote to Sir W. Coventry (39) an account of what I had done and seen (which is entered in my letter-book), I to bed.
Note 1. It was an ancient custom in Berkshire, when a man had beaten his wife, for the neighbours to parade in front of his house, for the purpose of serenading him with kettles, and horns and hand-bells, and every species of "rough music", by which name the ceremony was designated. Perhaps the riding mentioned by Pepys was a punishment somewhat similar. Malcolm ("Manners of London") quotes from the "Protestant Mercury", that a porter's lady, who resided near Strand Lane, beat her husband with so much violence and perseverance, that the poor man was compelled to leap out of the window to escape her fury. Exasperated at this virago, the neighbours made a "riding", i.e. a pedestrian procession, headed by a drum, and accompanied by a chemise, displayed for a banner. The manual musician sounded the tune of "You round-headed cuckolds, come dig, come dig!" and nearly seventy coalheavers, carmen, and porters, adorned with large horns fastened to their heads, followed. The public seemed highly pleased with the nature of the punishment, and gave liberally to the vindicators of injured manhood. B.
Note 2. The "Golden Hand" was to have been used for the conveyance of the Swedish Ambassadors' horses and goods to Holland. In August, 1667, Frances, widow of Captain Douglas and daughter of Lord Grey, petitioned the King (37) "for a gift of the prize ship Golden Hand, now employed in weighing the ships sunk at Chatham, where her husband lost his life in defence of the ships against the Dutch" (Calendar of State Papers, 1667, p. 430).

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 11 June 1667. 11 Jun 1667. Up, and more letters still from Sir W. Coventry (39) about more fire-ships, and so Sir W. Batten (66) and I to the office, where Bruncker (47) come to us, who is just now going to Chatham upon a desire of Commissioner Pett's (56), who is in a very fearful stink for fear of the Dutch, and desires help for God and the King (37) and kingdom's sake. So Bruncker (47) goes down, and Sir J. Minnes (68) also, from Gravesend. This morning Pett writes us word that Sheernesse is lost last night, after two or three hours' dispute. The enemy hath possessed himself of that place; which is very sad, and puts us into great fears of Chatham. Sir W. Batten (66) and I down by water to Deptford, and there Sir W. Pen (46) and we did consider of several matters relating to the dispatch of the fire-ships, and so Sir W. Batten (66) and I home again, and there to dinner, my wife and father having dined, and after dinner, by W. Hewer's (25) lucky advice, went to Mr. Fenn, and did get him to pay me above £400 of my wages, and W. Hewer (25) received it for me, and brought it home this night.
Thence I meeting Mr. Moore went toward the other end of the town by coach, and spying Mercer in the street, I took leave of Moore and 'light and followed her, and at Paul's overtook her and walked with her through the dusty street almost to home, and there in Lombard Street met The. Turner (15) in coach, who had been at my house to see us, being to go out of town to-morrow to the Northward, and so I promised to see her tomorrow, and then home, and there to our business, hiring some fire-ships, and receiving every hour almost letters from Sir W. Coventry (39), calling for more fire-ships; and an order from Council to enable us to take any man's ships; and Sir W. Coventry (39), in his letter to us, says he do not doubt but at this time, under an invasion, as he owns it to be, the King (37) may, by law, take any man's goods.
At this business late, and then home; where a great deal of serious talk with my wife about the sad state we are in, and especially from the beating up of drums this night for the trainbands upon pain of death to appear in arms to-morrow morning with bullet and powder, and money to supply themselves with victuals for a fortnight; which, considering the soldiers drawn out to Chatham and elsewhere, looks as if they had a design to ruin the City and give it up to be undone; which, I hear, makes the sober citizens to think very sadly of things.
So to bed after supper, ill in my mind. This afternoon Mrs. Williams sent to me to speak with her, which I did, only about news. I had not spoke with her many a day before by reason of Carcasses business.

Read More ...

1667 Raid on the Medway

Diary of Samuel Pepys 14 June 1667. 14 Jun 1667. Up, and to the office; where Mr. fryer comes and tells me that there are several Frenchmen and Flemish ships in the River, with passes from the Duke of York (33) for carrying of prisoners, that ought to be parted from the rest of the ships, and their powder taken, lest they do fire themselves when the enemy comes, and so spoil us; which is good advice, and I think I will give notice of it; and did so. But it is pretty odd to see how every body, even at this high time of danger, puts business off of their own hands! He says that he told this to the Lieutenant of the Tower (52), to whom I, for the same reason, was directing him to go; and the Lieutenant of the Tower bade him come to us, for he had nothing to do with it; and yesterday comes Captain Crew, of one of the fireships, and told me that the officers of the Ordnance would deliver his gunner's materials, but not compound them1, 2 but that we must do it; whereupon I was forced to write to them about it; and one that like a great many come to me this morning by and by comes—Mr. Wilson, and by direction of his, a man of Mr. Gawden's; who come from Chatham last night, and saw the three ships burnt, they lying all dry, and boats going from the men-of-war and fire them. But that, that he tells me of worst consequence is, that he himself, I think he said, did hear many Englishmen on board the Dutch ships speaking to one another in English; and that they did cry and say, "We did heretofore fight for tickets; now we fight for dollars!" and did ask how such and such a one did, and would commend themselves to them: which is a sad consideration.
And Mr. Lewes, who was present at this fellow's discourse to me, did tell me, that he is told that when they took "The Royall Charles", they said that they had their tickets signed, and showed some, and that now they come to have them paid, and would have them paid before they parted. And several seamen come this morning to me, to tell me that, if I would get their tickets paid, they would go and do all they could against the Dutch; but otherwise they would not venture being killed, and lose all they have already fought for: so that I was forced to try what I could do to get them paid.
This man tells me that the ships burnt last night did lie above Upnor Castle, over against the Docke; and the boats come from the ships of war and burnt them all which is very sad. And masters of ships, that we are now taking up, do keep from their ships all their stores, or as much as they can, so that we can despatch them, having not time to appraise them nor secure their payment; only some little money we have, which we are fain to pay the men we have with, every night, or they will not work. And indeed the hearts as well as affections of the seamen are turned away; and in the open streets in Wapping, and up and down, the wives have cried publickly, "This comes of your not paying our husbands; and now your work is undone, or done by hands that understand it not". And Sir W. Batten (66) told me that he was himself affronted with a woman, in language of this kind, on Tower Hill publickly yesterday; and we are fain to bear it, and to keep one at the office door to let no idle people in, for fear of firing of the office and doing us mischief.
The City is troubled at their being put upon duty: summoned one hour, and discharged two hours after; and then again summoned two hours after that; to their great charge as well as trouble. And Pelling, the Potticary, tells me the world says all over, that less charge than what the Kingdom is put to, of one kind or other, by this business, would have set out all our great ships. It is said they did in open streets yesterday, at Westminster, cry, "A Parliament! a Parliament!" and I do believe it will cost blood to answer for these miscarriages. We do not hear that the Dutch are come to Gravesend; which is a wonder. But a wonderful thing it is that to this day we have not one word yet from Bruncker (47), or Peter Pett (56), or J. Minnes (68), of any thing at Chatham. The people that come hither to hear how things go, make me ashamed to be found unable to answer them: for I am left alone here at the office; and the truth is, I am glad my station is to be here, near my own home and out of danger, yet in a place of doing the King (37) good service.
I have this morning good news from Gibson; three letters from three several stages, that he was safe last night as far as Royston, at between nine and ten at night. The dismay that is upon us all, in the business of the Kingdom and Navy at this day, is not to be expressed otherwise than by the condition the citizens were in when the City was on fire, nobody knowing which way to turn themselves, while every thing concurred to greaten the fire; as here the easterly gale and spring-tides for coming up both rivers, and enabling them to break the chaine. D. Gauden did tell me yesterday, that the day before at the Council they were ready to fall together by the ears at the Council-table, arraigning one another of being guilty of the counsel that brought us into this misery, by laying up all the great ships. Mr. Hater tells me at noon that some rude people have been, as he hears, at my Chancellor's (58), where they have cut down the trees before his house and broke his windows; and a gibbet either set up before or painted upon his gate, and these three words writ: "Three sights to be seen; Dunkirke, Tangier, and a barren Queene (57)"3.
It gives great matter of talk that it is said there is at this hour, in the Exchequer, as much money as is ready to break down the floor. This arises, I believe, from Sir G. Downing's (42) late talk of the greatness of the sum lying there of people's money, that they would not fetch away, which he shewed me and a great many others. Most people that I speak with are in doubt how we shall do to secure our seamen from running over to the Dutch; which is a sad but very true consideration at this day.
At noon I am told that my Lord Duke of Albemarle (58) is made Lord High Constable; the meaning whereof at this time I know not, nor whether it, be true or no.
Dined, and Mr. Hater and W. Hewer (25) with me; where they do speak very sorrowfully of the posture of the times, and how people do cry out in the streets of their being bought and sold; and both they, and every body that come to me, do tell me that people make nothing of talking treason in the streets openly: as, that we are bought and sold, and governed by Papists, and that we are betrayed by people about the King (37), and shall be delivered up to the French, and I know not what.
At dinner we discoursed of Tom of the Wood, a fellow that lives like a hermit near Woolwich, who, as they say, and Mr. Bodham, they tell me, affirms that he was by at the justice's when some did accuse him there for it, did foretell the burning of the City, and now says that a greater desolation is at hand. Thence we read and laughed at Lilly's prophecies this month, in his Almanack this year! !So to the office after dinner; and thither comes Mr. Pierce, who tells me his condition, how he cannot get his money, about £500, which, he says, is a very great part of what he hath for his family and children, out of Viner's (36) hand: and indeed it is to be feared that this will wholly undo the bankers. He says he knows nothing of the late affronts to my Chancellor's (58) house, as is said, nor hears of the Duke of Albemarle's (58) being made High Constable; but says that they are in great distraction at White Hall, and that every where people do speak high against Sir W. Coventry (39): but he agrees with me, that he is the best Minister of State the King (37) hath, and so from my heart I believe.
At night come home Sir W. Batten (66) and W. Pen (46), who only can tell me that they have placed guns at Woolwich and Deptford, and sunk some ships below Woolwich and Blackewall, and are in hopes that they will stop the enemy's coming up. But strange our confusion! that among them that are sunk they have gone and sunk without consideration "The Franakin",' one of the King's ships, with stores to a very considerable value, that hath been long loaden for supply of the ships; and the new ship at Bristoll, and much wanted there; and nobody will own that they directed it, but do lay it on Sir W. Rider. They speak also of another ship, loaden to the value of £80,000, sunk with the goods in her, or at least was mightily contended for by him, and a foreign ship, that had the faith of the nation for her security: this Sir R. Ford (53) tells us: And it is too plain a truth, that both here and at Chatham the ships that we have sunk have many, and the first of them, been ships completely fitted for fire-ships at great charge. But most strange the backwardness and disorder of all people, especially the King's people in pay, to do any work, Sir W. Pen (46) tells me, all crying out for money; and it was so at Chatham, that this night comes an order from Sir W. Coventry (39) to stop the pay of the wages of that Yard; the Duke of Albemarle (58) having related, that not above three of 1100 in pay there did attend to do any work there.
This evening having sent a messenger to Chatham on purpose, we have received a dull letter from my Lord Bruncker (47) and Peter Pett (56), how matters have gone there this week; but not so much, or so particularly, as we knew it by common talk before, and as true. I doubt they will be found to have been but slow men in this business; and they say the Duke of Albemarle (58) did tell my Lord Bruncker (47) to his face that his discharging of the great ships there was the cause of all this; and I am told that it is become common talk against my Lord Bruncker (47). But in that he is to be justified, for he did it by verbal order from Sir W. Coventry (39), and with good intent; and it was to good purpose, whatever the success be, for the men would have but spent the King (37) so much the more in wages, and yet not attended on board to have done the King (37) any service; and as an evidence of that, just now, being the 15th day in the morning that I am writing yesterday's passages, one is with me, Jacob Bryan, Purser of "The Princesse", who confesses to me that he hath about 180 men borne at this day in victuals and wages on that ship lying at Chatham, being lately brought in thither; of which 180 there was not above five appeared to do the King (37) any service at this late business. And this morning also, some of the Cambridge's men come up from Portsmouth, by order from Sir Fretcheville Hollis (25), who boasted to us the other day that he had sent for 50, and would be hanged if 100 did not come up that would do as much as twice the number of other men: I say some of them, instead of being at work at Deptford, where they were intended, do come to the office this morning to demand the payment of their tickets; for otherwise they would, they said, do no more work; and are, as I understand from every body that has to do with them, the most debauched, damning, swearing rogues that ever were in the Navy, just like their prophane commander.
So to Sir W. Batten's (66) to sit and talk a little, and then home to my flageolet, my heart being at pretty good ease by a letter from my wife, brought by Saunders, that my father and wife got well last night to their Inne and out again this morning, and Gibson's being got safe to Caxton at twelve last night.
So to supper, and then to bed. No news to-day of any motion of the enemy either upwards towards Chatham or this way.
Note 1. Meaning, apparently, that the Ordnance would deliver the charcoal, sulphur, and saltpetre separately, but not mix them as gunpowder.
Note 2. The want of ammunition when the Dutch burnt the fleet, and the revenge of the deserter sailors, are well described by Marvell "Our Seamen, whom no danger's shape could fright, Unpaid, refuse to mount their ships, for spite Or to their fellows swim, on board the Dutch, Who show the tempting metal in their clutch.
Note 3. "Pride, Lust, Ambition, and the People's Hate, the Kingdom's broker, ruin of the State, Dunkirk's sad loss, divider of the fleet, Tangier's compounder for a barren sheet This shrub of gentry, married to the crown, His daughter to the heir, is tumbled down". Poems on State Affairs, vol. i., p. 253. B.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 June 1667. 17 Jun 1667. Up, and to my office, where busy all the morning, particularly setting my people to work in transcribing pieces of letters publique and private, which I do collect against a black day to defend the office with and myself.
At noon dined at home, Mr. Hater with me alone, who do seem to be confident that this nation will be undone, and with good reason: Wishes himself at Hambrough, as a great many more, he says, he believes do, but nothing but the reconciling of the Presbyterian party will save us, and I am of his mind. At the office all the afternoon, where every moment business of one kind or other about the fire-ships and other businesses, most of them vexatious for want of money, the commanders all complaining that, if they miss to pay their men a night, they run away; seamen demanding money of them by way of advance, and some of Sir Fretcheville Hollis's (25) men, that he so bragged of, demanding their tickets to be paid, or they would not work: this Hollis (25), Sir W. Batten (66) and W. Pen (46) say, proves a very...[Missing text: 'wind-fucker' apparently], as Sir W. B. (66) terms him, and the other called him a conceited, idle, prating, lying fellow.
But it was pleasant this morning to hear Hollis (25) give me the account what, he says, he told the King (37) in Commissioner Pett's (56) presence, whence it was that his ship was fit sooner than others, telling the King (37) how he dealt with the several Commissioners and agents of the Ports where he comes, offering Lanyon to carry him a Ton or two of goods to the Streights, giving Middleton an hour or two's hearing of his stories of Barbadoes, going to prayer with Taylor, and standing bare and calling, "If it please your Honour", to Pett (56), but Sir W. Pen (46) says that he tells this story to every body, and believes it to be a very lie.
At night comes Captain Cocke (50) to see me, and he and I an hour in the garden together. He tells me there have been great endeavours of bringing in the Presbyterian interest, but that it will not do. He named to me several of the insipid lords that are to command the armies that are to be raised. He says the King (37) and Court are all troubled, and the gates of the Court were shut up upon the first coming of the Dutch to us, but they do mind the business no more than ever: that the bankers, he fears, are broke as to ready-money, though Viner (36) had £100,000 by him when our trouble begun: that he and the Duke of Albemarle (58) have received into their own hands, of Viner (36), the former £10,000, and the latter £12,000, in tallies or assignments, to secure what was in his hands of theirs; and many other great men of our. masters have done the like; which is no good sign, when they begin to fear the main. He and every body cries out of the office of the Ordnance, for their neglects, both at Gravesend and Upnor, and everywhere else.
He gone, I to my business again, and then home to supper and to bed. I have lately played the fool much with our Nell, in playing with her breasts. This night, late, comes a porter with a letter from Monsieur Pratt, to borrow £100 for my Lord Hinchingbrooke (19), to enable him to go out with his troop in the country, as he is commanded; but I did find an excuse to decline it. Among other reasons to myself, this is one, to teach him the necessity of being a good husband, and keeping money or credit by him.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 19 June 1667. 19 Jun 1667. Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy with Fist again, beginning early to overtake my business in my letters, which for a post or two have by the late and present troubles been interrupted.
At noon comes Sir W. Batten (66) and Sir W. Pen (46), and we to Sir W. Pen's house, and there discoursed of business an hour, and by and by comes an order from Sir R. Browne (62), commanding me this afternoon to attend the Council-board, with all my books and papers touching the Medway. I was ready [to fear] some mischief to myself, though it appears most reasonable that it is to inform them about Commissioner Pett (56). I eat a little bit in haste at Sir W. Batten's (66), without much comfort, being fearful, though I shew it not, and to my office and get up some papers, and found out the most material letters and orders in our books, and so took coach and to the Council-chamber lobby, where I met Mr. Evelyn (46), who do miserably decry our follies that bring all this misery upon us.
While we were discoursing over our publique misfortunes, I am called in to a large Committee of the Council: present the Duke of Albemarle (58), Anglesey (52), Arlington (49), Ashly (45), Carteret (57), Duncomb (44), Coventry (39), Ingram (52), Clifford (36), Lauderdale (51), Morrice (64), Manchester (65), Craven (59), Carlisle (38), Bridgewater (44).
And after Sir W. Coventry's (39) telling them what orders His Royal Highness had made for the safety of the Medway, I told them to their full content what we had done, and showed them our letters. Then was Peter Pett (56) called in, with the Lieutenant of the Tower (52). He is in his old clothes, and looked most sillily. His charge was chiefly the not carrying up of the great ships, and the using of the boats in carrying away his goods; to which he answered very sillily, though his faults to me seem only great omissions. Lord Arlington (49) and Coventry (39) very severe against him; the former saying that, if he was not guilty, the world would think them all guilty1. The latter urged, that there must be some faults, and that the Admiral must be found to have done his part. I did say an unhappy word, which I was sorry for, when he complained of want of oares for the boats: and there was, it seems, enough, and good enough, to carry away all the boats with from the King's occasions. He said he used never a boat till they were all gone but one; and that was to carry away things of great value, and these were his models of ships; which, when the Council, some of them, had said they wished that the Dutch had had them instead of the King's ships, he answered, he did believe the Dutch would have made more advantage of the models than of the ships, and that the King (37) had had greater loss thereby; this they all laughed at.
After having heard him for an hour or more, they bid him withdraw. I all this while showing him no respect, but rather against him, for which God forgive me! for I mean no hurt to him, but only find that these Lords are upon their own purgation, and it is necessary I should be so in behalf of the office. He being gone, they caused Sir Richard Browne (62) to read over his minutes; and then my Lord Arlington (49) moved that they might be put into my hands to put into form, I being more acquainted with such business; and they were so.
So I away back with my books and papers; and when I got into the Court it was pretty to see how people gazed upon me, that I thought myself obliged to salute people and to smile, lest they should think I was a prisoner too; but afterwards I found that most did take me to be there to bear evidence against P. Pett (56); but my fear was such, at my going in, of the success of the day, that at my going in I did think fit to give T. Hater, whom I took with me, to wait the event, my closet-key and directions where to find £500 and more in silver and gold, and my tallys, to remove, in case of any misfortune to me.
Thence to Sir G. Carteret's (57) to take my leave of my Lady Jem, who is going into the country tomorrow; but she being now at prayers with my Lady and family, and hearing here by Yorke, the carrier, that my wife is coming to towne, I did make haste home to see her, that she might not find me abroad, it being the first minute I have been abroad since yesterday was se'ennight. It is pretty to see how strange it is to be abroad to see people, as it used to be after a month or two's absence, and I have brought myself so to it, that I have no great mind to be abroad, which I could not have believed of myself.
I got home, and after being there a little, she come, and two of her fellow-travellers with her, with whom we drunk: a couple of merchant-like men, I think, but have friends in our country. They being gone, I and my wife to talk, who did give me so bad an account of her and my father's method in burying of our gold, that made me mad: and she herself is not pleased with it, she believing that my sister knows of it. My father and she did it on Sunday, when they were gone to church, in open daylight, in the midst of the garden; where, for aught they knew, many eyes might see them: which put me into such trouble, that I was almost mad about it, and presently cast about, how to have it back again to secure it here, the times being a little better now; at least at White Hall they seem as if they were, but one way or other I am resolved to free them from the place if I can get them. Such was my trouble at this, that I fell out with my wife, that though new come to towne, I did not sup with her, nor speak to her tonight, but to bed and sleep.
Note 1. Pett (56) was made a scapegoat. This is confirmed by Marvel: "After this loss, to relish discontent, Some one must be accused by Parliament; All our miscarriages on Pett (56) must fall, His name alone seems fit to answer all. Whose counsel first did this mad war beget? Who all commands sold through the Navy? Pett. Who would not follow when the Dutch were beat? Who treated out the time at Bergen? Pett. Who the Dutch fleet with storms disabled met, And, rifling prizes, them neglected? Pett. Who with false news prevented the Gazette, The fleet divided, writ for Ruhert? Pett. Who all our seamen cheated of their debt? And all our prizes who did swallow? Pett. Who did advise no navy out to set? And who the forts left unprepared? Pett. Who to supply with powder did forget Languard, Sheerness, Gravesend, and Upnor? Pett. Who all our ships exposed in Chatham net? Who should it be but the fanatick Pett? Pett, the sea-architect, in making ships, Was the first cause of all these naval slips. Had he not built, none of these faults had been; If no creation, there had been no sin But his great crime, one boat away he sent, That lost our fleet, and did our flight prevent". Instructions to a Painter.—B.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 June 1667. 25 Jun 1667. Up, and with Sir W. Pen (46) in his new chariot (which indeed is plain, but pretty and more fashionable in shape than any coach he hath, and yet do not cost him, harness and all, above £32) to White Hall; where staid a very little: and thence to St. James's to Sir W. Coventry (39), whom I have not seen since before the coming of the Dutch into the river, nor did indeed know how well to go see him, for shame either to him or me, or both of us, to find ourselves in so much misery. I find that he and his fellow-Treasurers are in the utmost want of money, and do find fault with Sir G. Carteret (57), that, having kept the mystery of borrowing money to himself so long, to the ruin of the nation, as Sir W. Coventry (39) said in words to Sir W. Pen (46) and me, he should now lay it aside and come to them for money for every penny he hath, declaring that he can raise no more: which, I confess, do appear to me the most like ill-will of any thing that I have observed of Sir W. Coventry (39), when he himself did tell us, on another occasion at the same time, that the bankers who used to furnish them money are not able to lend a farthing, and he knows well enough that that was all the mystery Sir G. Carteret did use, that is, only his credit with them. He told us the masters and owners of the two ships that I had complained of, for not readily setting forth their ships, which we had taken up to make men-of-war, had been yesterday with the King (37) and Council, and had made their case so well understood, that the King (37) did owe them for what they had earned the last year, that they could not set them out again without some money or stores out of the King's Yards; the latter of which Sir W. Coventry (39) said must be done, for that they were not able to raise money for them, though it was but £200 a ship: which do skew us our condition to be so bad, that I am in a total despair of ever having the nation do well.
After talking awhile, and all out of heart with stories of want of seamen, and seamen's running away, and their demanding a month's advance, and our being forced to give seamen 3s. a-day to go hence to work at Chatham, and other things that show nothing but destruction upon us; for it is certain that, as it now is, the seamen of England, in my conscience, would, if they could, go over and serve the King of France (28) or Holland rather than us.
Up to the Duke of York (33) to his chamber, where he seems to be pretty easy, and now and then merry; but yet one may perceive in all their minds there is something of trouble and care, and with good reason.
Thence to White Hall, and with Sir W. Pen (46), by chariot; and there in the Court met with my Lord Anglesey (52): and he to talk with Sir W. Pen (46), and told him of the masters of ships being with the Council yesterday, and that we were not in condition, though the men were willing, to furnish them with £200 of money, already due to them as earned by them the last year, to enable them to set out their ships again this year for the King (37): which he is amazed at; and when I told him, "my Lord, this is a sad instance of the condition we are in", he answered, that it was so indeed, and sighed: and so parted: and he up to the Council-chamber, where I perceive they sit every morning, and I to Westminster Hall, where it is Term time. I met with none I knew, nor did desire it, but only past through the-Hall and so back again, and by coach home to dinner, being weary indeed of seeing the world, and thinking it high time for me to provide against the foul weather that is certainly coming upon us.
So to the office, and there Sir W. Pen (46) and I did some business, and then home to dinner, where my wife pleases me mightily with what she can do upon the flageolet, and then I to the office again, and busy all the afternoon, and it is worth noting that the King (37) and Council, in their order of the 23rd instant, for unloading three merchant-ships taken up for the King's service for men-of-war, do call the late coming of the Dutch "an invasion". I was told, yesterday, that Mr. Oldenburg (48), our Secretary at Gresham College, is put into the Tower, for writing newes to a virtuoso in France, with whom he constantly corresponds in philosophical matters; which makes it very unsafe at this time to write, or almost do any thing. Several captains come to the office yesterday and to-day, complaining that their men come and go when they will, and will not be commanded, though they are paid every night, or may be. Nay, this afternoon comes Harry Russell from Gravesend, telling us that the money carried down yesterday for the Chest at Chatham had like to have been seized upon yesterday, in the barge there, by seamen, who did beat our watermen: and what men should these be but the boat's crew of Sir Fretcheville Hollis (25), who used to brag so much of the goodness and order of his men, and his command over them.
Busy all the afternoon at the office. Towards night I with Mr. Kinaston to White Hall about a Tangier order, but lost our labour, only met Sir H. Cholmly (34) there, and he tells me great newes; that this day in Council the King (37) hath declared that he will call his Parliament in thirty days: which is the best newes I have heard a great while, and will, if any thing, save the Kingdom. How the King (37) come to be advised to this, I know not; but he tells me that it was against the Duke of York's (33) mind flatly, who did rather advise the King (37) to raise money as he pleased; and against the Chancellor's (58), who told the King (37) that Queen Elizabeth did do all her business in eighty-eight without calling a Parliament, and so might he do, for anything he saw.
But, blessed be God! it is done; and pray God it may hold, though some of us must surely go to the pot, for all must be flung up to them, or nothing will be done. So back home, and my wife down by water, I sent her, with Mrs. Hewer and her son, W. Hewer (25), to see the sunk ships, while I staid at the office, and in the evening was visited by Mr. Roberts the merchant by us about the getting him a ship cleared from serving the King (37) as a man of war, which I will endeavour to do. So home to supper and to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 29 June 1667. 29 Jun 1667. Up, having had many ugly dreams to-night of my father and my sister and mother's coming to us, and meeting my wife and me at the gate of the office going out, they all in laced suits, and come, they told me, to be with me this May day. My mother told me she lacked a pair of gloves, and I remembered a pair of my wife's in my chamber, and resolved she should have them, but then recollected how my mother come to be here when I was in mourning for her, and so thinking it to be a mistake in our thinking her all this while dead, I did contrive that it should be said to any that enquired that it was my mother-in-law, my wife's mother, that was dead, and we in mourning for. This dream troubled me and I waked.... [Missing text 'Then I dreamed that I had great pain of the stone in making water, and that once I looked upon my yard [ i.e., penis ] in making water at the steps before my door, and there took hold of the end of a thing and pulled it out, and it was a turd; and it came into my mind that I was in the same condition with my aunt Pepys, my uncle Roberts wife. And by and by, on the like occasion, I pulled out something and flung it on the ground -- it looked like slime or snot, and presently it swelled and turned into a gray kind of Bird, and I would have taken it into my hand and it run from me to the corner of the door, going into the garden in the entry by Sir J. Mennes's; and so I waked.']. These dreams did trouble me mightily all night.
Up, and by coach to St. James's, and there find Sir W. Coventry (39) and Sir W. Pen (46) above stairs, and then we to discourse about making up our accounts against the Parliament; and Sir W. Coventry (39) did give us the best advice he could for us to provide for our own justification, believing, as everybody do, that they will fall heavily upon us all, though he lay all upon want of money, only a little, he says (if the Parliament be in any temper), may be laid upon themselves for not providing money sooner, they being expressly and industriously warned thereof by him, he says, even to the troubling them, that some of them did afterwards tell him that he had frighted them. He says he do prepare to justify himself, and that he hears that my Chancellor (58), my Lord Arlington (49), the Vice Chamberlain and himself are reported all up and down the Coffee houses to be the four sacrifices that must be made to atone the people.
Then we to talk of the loss of all affection and obedience, now in the seamen, so that all power is lost. He told us that he do concur in thinking that want of money do do the most of it, but that that is not all, but the having of gentlemen Captains, who discourage all Tarpaulins, and have given out that they would in a little time bring it to that pass that a Tarpaulin should not dare to aspire to more than to be a Boatswain or a gunner. That this makes the Sea Captains to lose their own good affections to the service, and to instil it into the seamen also, and that the seamen do see it themselves and resent it; and tells us that it is notorious, even to his bearing of great ill will at Court, that he hath been the opposer of gentlemen Captains; and Sir W. Pen (46) did put in, and said that he was esteemed to have been the man that did instil it into Sir W. Coventry (39), which Sir W. Coventry (39) did owne also, and says that he hath always told the Gentlemen Captains his opinion of them, and that himself who had now served to the business of the sea 6 or 7 years should know a little, and as much as them that had never almost been at sea, and that yet he found himself fitter to be a Bishop or Pope than to be a Sea-Commander, and so indeed he is. I begun to tell him of the experience I had of the great brags made by Sir F. Hollis (25) the other day, and the little proof either of the command or interest he had in his men, which Sir W. Pen (46) seconded by saying Sir Fr. Hollis (25) had told him that there was not a pilot to be got the other day for his fire-ships, and so was forced to carry them down himself, which Sir W. Coventry (39) says, in my conscience, he knows no more to do and understand the River no more than he do Tiber or Ganges.
Thence I away with Sir W. Pen (46) to White Hall, to the Treasury Chamber, but to no purpose, and so by coach home, and there to my office to business, and then home to dinner, and to pipe with my wife, and so to the office again, having taken a resolution to take a turn to Chatham to-morrow, indeed to do business of the King's, but also to give myself the satisfaction of seeing the place after the Dutch have been here. I have sent to and got Creed to go with me by coach betimes to-morrow morning. After having done my business at the office I home, and there I found Coleman come again to my house, and with my wife in our great chamber, which vexed me, there being a bed therein. I staid there awhile, and then to my study vexed, showing no civility to the man. But he comes on a compliment to receive my wife's commands into the country, whither he is going, and it being Saturday my wife told me there was no other room for her to bring him in, and so much is truth.
But I staid vexed in my closet till by and by my cozen Thomas Pepys, of Hatcham, come to see me, and he up to my closet, and there sat talking an hour or two of the sad state of the times, whereof we did talk very freely, and he thinks nothing but a union of religious interests will ever settle us; and I do think that, and the Parliament's taking the whole management of things into their hands, and severe inquisitions into our miscarriages; will help us. After we had bewailed ourselves and the Kingdom very freely one to another (wherein I do blame myself for my freedom of speech to anybody), he gone, and Coleman gone also before, I to the office, whither Creed come by my desire, and he and I to my wife, to whom I now propose the going to Chatham, who, mightily pleased with it, sent for Mercer to go with her, but she could not go, having friends at home, which vexed my wife and me; and the poor wretch would have had anybody else to have gone, but I would like nobody else, so was contented to stay at home, on condition to go to Ispsum next Sunday, which I will do, and so I to the office to dispatch my business, and then home to supper with Creed, and then Creed and I together to bed, very pleasant in discourse.
This day talking with Sir W. Batten (66), he did give me an account how ill the King (37) and Duke of York (33) was advised to send orders for our frigates and fire-ships to come from Gravesend, soon as ever news come of the Dutch being returned into the river, wherein no seamen, he believes, was advised with; for, says he, we might have done just as Warwicke did, when he, W. Batten; come with the King (37) and the like fleete, in the late wars, into the river: for Warwicke did not run away from them, but sailed before them when they sailed, and come to anchor when they come to anchor, and always kept in a small distance from them: so as to be able to take any opportunity of any of their ships running aground, or change of wind, or any thing else, to his advantage. So might we have done with our fire-ships, and we have lost an opportunity of taking or burning a good ship of their's, which was run aground about Holehaven, I think he said, with the wind so as their ships could not get her away; but we might have done what we would with her, and, it may be, done them mischief, too, with the wind. This seems very probable, and I believe was not considered.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 July 1667. 01 Jul 1667. Up betimes, about 9 o'clock, waked by a damned noise between a sow gelder and a cow and a dog, nobody after we were up being able to tell us what it was. After being ready we took coach, and, being very sleepy, droused most part of the way to Gravesend, and there 'light, and down to the new batterys, which are like to be very fine, and there did hear a plain fellow cry out upon the folly of the King's officers above, to spend so much money in works at Woolwich and Deptford, and sinking of good ships loaden with goods, when, if half the charge had been laid out here, it would have secured all that, and this place too, before now. And I think it is not only true in this, but that the best of the actions of us all are so silly, that the meanest people begin to see through them, and contemn them. Besides, says he, they spoil the river by it. Then informed ourselves where we might have some creame, and they guided us to one Goody Best's, a little out of the towne towards London road, and thither we went with the coach, and find it a mighty clean, plain house, and had a dish of very good creame to our liking, and so away presently very merry, and fell to reading of the several Advices to a Painter, which made us good sport, and indeed are very witty, and Creed did also repeat to me some of the substance of letters of old Burleigh in Queen (28) Elizabeth's time, which he hath of late read in the printed Cabbala, which is a very fine style at this day and fit to be imitated. With this, and talking and laughing at the folly of our masters in the management of things at this day, we got home by noon, where all well, and then to dinner, and after dinner both of us laid down upon the couch and chairs and to sleep, which I did for an hour or two, and then to the office, where I am sorry to hear that Sir J. Minnes (68) is likely to die this night, or to-morrow, I forgot to set down that we met this morning upon the road with Mrs. Williams going down to my Lord Bruncker (47); we bowed without speaking one to another, but I am ashamed at the folly of the man to have her down at this serious busy time, when the town and country is full of people and full of censure, and against him particularly. At Sir W. Batten's (66) my Lady tells me that she hears for certain that my Lord's maid of his lodging here do give out that Mrs. Williams hath been fain of late to sell her best clothes and jewels to get a little money upon, which is a sad condition.
Thence to the office, and did write to my Lord Bruncker (47) to give me a little satisfaction about the certainty of the chain's being broke, which I begin to doubt, and the more from Sir W. Pen's (46) discourse. It is worth while to read my letter to him entered in my letter book.
Home in the evening to supper, and so pretty betimes, about 10 o'clock, to bed, and slept well. This day letters are come that my sister (26) is very ill.

Read More ...

1667 Raid on the Medway

John Evelyn's Diary 19 July 1667. 19 Jul 1667. I went to Gravesend; the Dutch fleet still at anchor before the river, where I saw five of his Majesty's (37) men-at-war encounter above twenty of the Dutch, in the bottom of the Hope, chasing them with many broadsides given and returned toward the Buoy of the Nore, where the body of their fleet lay, which lasted till about midnight. One of their ships was fired, supposed by themselves, she being run on ground. Having seen this bold action, and their braving us so far up the river, I went home the next day, not without indignation at our negligence, and the nation's reproach. It is well known who of the Commissioners of the Treasury gave advice that the charge of setting forth a fleet this year might be spared, Sir W. C. (William Coventry (39)) by name.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 23 July 1667. 23 Jul 1667. Up betimes and to the office, doing something towards our great account to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, and anon the office sat, and all the morning doing business.
At noon home to dinner, and then close to my business all the afternoon.
In the evening Sir R. Ford (53) is come back from the Prince (47) and tells Sir W. Batten (66) and me how basely Sir W. Pen (46) received our letter we sent him about the prizes at Hull, and slily answered him about the D. Gawden's leaving all his concerns to him, but the Prince did it afterward by letter brought by Sir R. Ford (53) to us, which Sir W. Pen (46) knows not of, but a very rogue he is.
By and by comes sudden news to me by letter from the Clerke of the Cheque at Gravesend, that there were thirty sail of Dutch men-of-war coming up into the Hope this last tide: which I told Sir W. Pen (46) of; but he would not believe it, but laughed, and said it was a fleete of Billanders1, and that the guns that were heard was the salutation of the Swede's Ambassador that comes over with them. But within half an hour comes another letter from Captain Proud, that eight of them were come into the Hope, and thirty more following them, at ten this morning.
By and by comes an order from White Hall 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 Bruncker (47) 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. So with much trouble to supper, home and to bed.
Note 1. "Bilander. A small merchant vessel with two masts, particularly distinguished from other vessels with two masts by the form of her mainsail, which is bent to the whole length of her yard, hanging fore and aft, and inclined to the horizon at an angle of about 45 deg. Few vessels are now rigged in this manner, and the name is rather indiscriminately used".—Smyth's Sailor's Word-Book.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 July 1667. 24 Jul 1667. At noon home to dinner, where my wife mighty musty, [Dull, heavy, spiritless] but I took no notice of it, but after dinner to the office, and there with Mr. Harper did another good piece of work about my late collection of the accounts of the Navy presented to the Parliament at their last session, which was left unfinished, and now I have done it which sets my mind at my ease, and so, having tired myself, I took a pair of oares about five o'clock, which I made a gally at Redriffe, and so with very much pleasure down to Gravesend, all the way with extraordinary content reading of Boyle's (40) Hydrostatickes, which the more I read and understand, the more I admire, as a most excellent piece of philosophy; as we come nearer Gravesend, we hear the Dutch fleete and ours a-firing their guns most distinctly and loud. But before we got to Gravesend they ceased, and it grew darkish, and so I landed only (and the flood being come) and went up to the Ship and discoursed with the landlord of the house, who undeceives 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 afternoon 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 confident of the security of this town and the River above it, if 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 (47), that he hath not done extraordinary; and more of Sir W. Jenings, that he come up with his tamkins1 in his guns. Having discoursed this a little with him, and 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.
Note 1. Tamkin, or tampion, the wooden stopper of a cannon placed in the muzzle to exclude water or dust.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 July 1667. 24 Jul 1667. Betimes this morning comes a letter from the Clerke of the Cheque at Gravesend to me, to tell me that the Dutch fleete did come all into the Hope yesterday 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 their's, and burned five of our fire-ships. But then rising and going to Sir W. Batten (66), 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. I to my office, and there hard at work all the morning, to my great content, abstracting the contract book into my abstract book, which I have by reason of the war omitted for above two years, but now am endeavouring to have all my books ready and perfect against the Parliament comes, that upon examination I may be in condition to value myself upon my perfect doing of my own duty.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 09 August 1667. 09 Aug 1667. Up, and betimes with Sir H. Cholmly (35) upon some accounts of Tangier, and then he and I to Westminster, to Mr. Burges, and then walked in the Hall, and he and I talked, and he do really declare that he expects that of necessity this kingdom will fall back again to a commonwealth, and other wise men are of the same mind: this family doing all that silly men can do, to make themselves unable to support their kingdom, minding their lust and their pleasure, and making their government so chargeable, that people do well remember better things were done, and better managed, and with much less charge under a commonwealth than they have been by this King, and do seem to resolve to wind up his businesses and get money in his hand against the turn do come. After some talk I by coach and there dined, and with us Mr. Batelier by chance coming in to speak with me, and when I come home, and find Mr. Goodgroome, my wife's singing-master, there I did soundly rattle him for neglecting her so much as he hath done—she not having learned three songs these three months and more.
After dinner my wife abroad with Mrs. Turner (44), and I to the office, where busy all the afternoon, and in the evening by coach to St. James's, and there met Sir W. Coventry (39); and he and I walked in the Park an hour. And then to his chamber, where he read to me the heads of the late great dispute between him and the rest of the Commissioners of the Treasury, and our new Treasurer of the Navy where they have overthrown him the last Wednesday, in the great dispute touching his having the payment of the Victualler, which is now settled by Council that he is not to have it and, indeed, they have been most just, as well as most severe and bold, in the doing this against a man of his quality; but I perceive he do really make no difference between any man. He tells me this day it is supposed the peace is ratified at Bredah, and all that matter over. We did talk of many retrenchments of charge of the Navy which he will put in practice, and every where else; though, he tells me, he despairs of being able to do what ought to be done for the saving of the Kingdom, which I tell him, as indeed all the world is almost in hopes of, upon the proceeding of these gentlemen for the regulating of the Treasury, it being so late, and our poverty grown so great, that they want where to set their feet, to begin to do any thing.
He tells me how weary he hath for this year and a half been of the war; and how in the Duke of York's (33) bedchamber, at Christ Church, at Oxford, when the Court was there, he did labour to persuade the Duke to fling off the care of the Navy, and get it committed to other hands; which, if he had done, would have been much to his honour, being just come home with so much honour from sea as he did. I took notice of the sharp letter he wrote, which he sent us to read yesterday, to Sir Edward Spragg (47), where he is very plain about his leaving his charge of the ships at Gravesend, when the enemy come last up, and several other things: a copy whereof I have kept. But it is done like a most worthy man; and he says it is good, now and then, to tell these gentlemen their duties, for they need it. And it seems, as he tells me, all our Knights are fallen out one with another, he, and Jenings, and Hollis (25), and (his words were) they are disputing which is the coward among them; and yet men that take the greatest liberty of censuring others! Here, with him, very late, till I could hardly get a coach or link willing to go through the ruines; but I do, but will not do it again, being, indeed, very dangerous.
So home and to supper, and bed, my head most full of an answer I have drawn this noon to the Committee of the Council to whom Carcasses business is referred to be examined again.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 27 January 1668. 27 Jan 1668. It being weather like the beginning of a frost and the ground dry, I walked as far as the Temple, and there took coach and to White Hall, but the Committee not being met I to Westminster, and there I do hear of the letter that is in the pamphlet this day of the King of France (29), declaring his design to go on against Flanders, and the grounds of it, which do set us mightily at rest.
So to White Hall, and there a Committee of Tangier, but little done there, only I did get two or three little jobs done to the perfecting two or three papers about my Tangier accounts. Here Mr. Povy (54) do tell me how he is like to lose his £400 a-year pension of the Duke of York (34), which he took in consideration of his place which was taken from him. He tells me the Duchesse (30) is a devil against him, and do now come like Queen Elizabeth, and sits with the Duke of York's (34) Council, and sees what they do; and she crosses out this man's wages and prices, as she sees fit, for saving money; but yet, he tells me, she reserves £5000 a-year for her own spending; and my Lady Peterborough (46), by and by, tells me that the Duchesse (30) do lay up, mightily, jewells.
Thence to my Lady Peterborough's (46), she desiring to speak with me. She loves to be taken dressing herself, as I always find her; and there, after a little talk, to please her, about her husband's (46) pension, which I do not think he will ever get again, I away thence home, and all the afternoon mighty busy at the office, and late, preparing a letter to the Commissioners of Accounts, our first letter to them, and so home to supper, where Betty Turner (15) was (whose brother Frank did set out toward the East Indies this day, his father (55) and mother (45) gone down with him to Gravesend), and there was her little brother Moses, whom I examined, and he is a pretty good scholar for a child, and so after supper to talk and laugh, and to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 06 September 1668. 06 Sep 1668. Lord's Day. Up betimes, and got myself ready to go by water, and about nine o'clock took boat with Henry Russell to Gravesend, coming thither about one, where, at the Ship, I dined; and thither come to me Mr. Hosier, whom I went to speak with, about several businesses of work that he is doing, and I would have him do, of writing work, for me. And I did go with him to his lodging, and there did see his wife, a pretty tolerable woman, and do find him upon an extraordinary good work of designing a method of keeping our Storekeeper's Accounts, in the Navy. Here I should have met with Mr. Wilson, but he is sick, and could not come from Chatham to me. So, having done with Hosier, I took boat again the beginning of the flood, and come home by nine at night, with much pleasure, it being a fine day. Going down I spent reading of the "Five Sermons of Five Several Styles", worth comparing one with another: but I do think, when all is done, that, contrary to the design of the book, the Presbyterian style and the Independent are the best of the five sermons to be preached in; this I do, by the best of my present judgment think, and coming back I spent reading of a book of warrants of our office in the first Dutch war, and do find that my letters and warrants and method will be found another gate's business than this that the world so much adores, and I am glad for my own sake to find it so. My boy was with me, and read to me all day, and we sang a while together, and so home to supper a little, and so to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 March 1669. 25 Mar 1669. Up, and by and by, about eight o'clock, come Rear-Admiral Kempthorne (49) and seven Captains more, by the Duke of York's (35) order, as we expected, to hold the Court-martiall about the loss of "The Defyance"; and so presently we by boat to "The Charles", which lies over against Upnor Castle, and there we fell to the business; and there I did manage the business, the Duke of York (35) having, by special order, directed them to take the assistance of Commissioner Middleton and me, forasmuch as there might be need of advice in what relates to the government of the ships in harbour. And so I did lay the law open to them, and rattle the Master Attendants out of their wits almost; and made the trial last till seven at night, not eating a bit all the day; only when we had done examination, and I given my thoughts that the neglect of the Gunner of the ship was as great as I thought any neglect could be, which might by the law deserve death, but Commissioner Middleton did declare that he was against giving the sentence of death, we withdrew, as not being of the Court, and so left them to do what they pleased; and, while they were debating it, the Boatswain of the ship did bring us out of the kettle a piece of hot salt beef, and some brown bread and brandy; and there we did make a little meal, but so good as I never would desire to eat better meat while I live, only I would have cleaner dishes.
By and by they had done, and called us down from the quarterdeck; and there we find they do sentence that the Gunner of "The Defyance" should stand upon "The Charles" three hours with his fault writ upon his breast, and with a halter about his neck, and so be made incapable of any office. The truth is, the man do seem, and is, I believe, a good man; but his neglect, in trusting a girl to carry fire into his cabin, is not to be pardoned. This being done, we took boat and home; and there a good supper was ready for us, which should have been our dinner. The Captains, desirous to be at London, went away presently for Gravesend, to get thither by this night's tide; and so we to supper, it having been a great snowy and mighty cold, foul day; and so after supper to bed.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 18 August 1672. 18 Aug 1672. Sir James Hayes (35), Secretary to Prince Rupert (52), dined with me; after dinner I was sent to Gravesend to dispose of no fewer than 800 sick men. That night I got to the fleet at the Buoy of the Nore, where I spoke with the King (42) and the Duke (38); and, after dinner next day, returned to Gravesend.

John Evelyn's Diary 08 September 1672. 08 Sep 1672. I lay at Gravesend, thence to Rochester, returning on the 11th.

Glorious Revolution

John Evelyn's Diary 18 December 1688. 18 Dec 1688. I saw the King (55) take barge to Gravesend at twelve o'clock—a sad sight! The Prince (38) comes to St. James's, and fills Whitehall with Dutch guards. A Council of Peers meet about an expedient to call a Parliament; adjourn to the House of Lords. The Chancellor, Earl of Peterborough (67), and divers others taken. The Earl of Sunderland (47) flies; Sir Edward Hale (43), Walker, and others, taken and secured.
All the world go to see the Prince (38) at St. James's, where there is a great Court. There I saw him, and several of my acquaintance who came over with him. He is very stately, serious and reserved. The English soldiers sent out of town to disband them; not well pleased.

John Ashton Edmund Elliot Richard Graham 1691. On Fryday, the 2d day of this Sessions, my Lord Preston (41), John Ashton and Edmund Elliot, were all Arrained for High Treason, my Lord Preston (41) was Tryed on Saturday by the name of Sir Richard Graham, Mr. Ashton on Monday. The Indictments against them consisted of Two Parts, the First of which set forth, That they had a Treasonable Design carrying on to Depose the King and Queen, and to Subvert and Alter the Government of the Kingdom of England, and to raise War and Rebellion in the same; which said Traiterous and Wicked Designs and Purposes to bring to pass, they did, on the 29th of December last, Meet and Conspire together, with several other Traitors not yet discovered, and did Compose several Treasonable Letters, Notes and Memorandums in writing, which set forth the most effectual way and means how they might Dethrone and Depose our Most Gracious Sovereign Lord and Lady the King (40) and Queen (28), and further describing therein how the Affairs of this Kingdom stood, and of what Strength and Force our Shipping was; as also the Fortifications of several Sea-Port-Towns within this Kingdom. The Second Part was their adhering to the Kings's Enemies: And to that end, that they might Acquaint Lewis the French King of the same, they did hire a Boat and Embarque themselves in order to Transport themselves and Pacquet of Treasonable Letters into France, agreeing to pay for their said Passages the Sum of One hundred Pound; and, in order to their Treasonable Voyage, they had made their Passage as far as below Gravesend, but were then Taken by Captain Billop, who Cruised abroad to search for them.
After this the Evidence for the King (40) being called, gave an Account particularly from Step to Step, how cunningly and subtilly they managed this horrid Conspiracy, by hiring the Smack called the Thomas and Elizabeth, to convey them secretly into France; in order to which they took Water in a Skuller at Surrey-Stairs, and went on Board the aforesaid Vessel, which lay in the River of Thames over against the Tower: From thence they set Sail down the River, till coming within the View of the George Frigate, lying in Long-reach, they desired the Master of the Smack to hide them under the Quarter-Hatches; which was done, they having some Fear of being discovered: There they remained till past that Danger, and then came up; but when they were within Sight of Gravesend they hid again, and a little below it Captain Billop came aboard them, under Pretence of Pressing the Masters two Men, who were assistants to him; but indeed his Design and real Intention was to find out those Traytors, which, upon Search, he found lying along under the Hatches; and after their being haled up he search'd them, and found a Pacquet of Treasonable Papers in Mr. Ashton's Bosom: which he with the Prisoners carried before my Lord Nottingham; who examined the Papers, and after being examined by the Cabinet Council they were committed to the Tower. The Evidence was very full and plain against them both, much to the same effect and purport: The Letters being also Read against them in Court, were adjudged to be of no less Import than High-Treason. Upon the whole they had nothing material to offer in their Defence; so after a very long hearing, they were both found Guilty of High Treason. Edmond Elliot was ordered to remain till further order.

Read More ...

Around 1680 Willem Wissing Painter 1656-1687. Portrait of William III King England Scotland and Ireland 1650-1702 wearing his Garter Collar.Around 1676 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Mary Stewart II Queen England Scotland and Ireland 1662-1694.Around 1686 Willem Wissing Painter 1656-1687. Portrait of Mary Stewart II Queen England Scotland and Ireland 1662-1694.

John Evelyn's Diary 31 March 1693. 31 Mar 1693. I met the King (42) going to Gravesend to embark in his yacht for Holland.

After Jun 1846 following the death of her mother Emma Lucy Madox Brown Painter 1843-1894 was sent to live with her aunt Helen Bromley at Gravesend.

Ship Tavern, Gravesend, Kent

Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 July 1667. 24 Jul 1667. At noon home to dinner, where my wife mighty musty, [Dull, heavy, spiritless] but I took no notice of it, but after dinner to the office, and there with Mr. Harper did another good piece of work about my late collection of the accounts of the Navy presented to the Parliament at their last session, which was left unfinished, and now I have done it which sets my mind at my ease, and so, having tired myself, I took a pair of oares about five o'clock, which I made a gally at Redriffe, and so with very much pleasure down to Gravesend, all the way with extraordinary content reading of Boyle's (40) Hydrostatickes, which the more I read and understand, the more I admire, as a most excellent piece of philosophy; as we come nearer Gravesend, we hear the Dutch fleete and ours a-firing their guns most distinctly and loud. But before we got to Gravesend they ceased, and it grew darkish, and so I landed only (and the flood being come) and went up to the Ship and discoursed with the landlord of the house, who undeceives 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 afternoon 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 confident of the security of this town and the River above it, if 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 (47), that he hath not done extraordinary; and more of Sir W. Jenings, that he come up with his tamkins1 in his guns. Having discoursed this a little with him, and 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.
Note 1. Tamkin, or tampion, the wooden stopper of a cannon placed in the muzzle to exclude water or dust.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 06 September 1668. 06 Sep 1668. Lord's Day. Up betimes, and got myself ready to go by water, and about nine o'clock took boat with Henry Russell to Gravesend, coming thither about one, where, at the Ship, I dined; and thither come to me Mr. Hosier, whom I went to speak with, about several businesses of work that he is doing, and I would have him do, of writing work, for me. And I did go with him to his lodging, and there did see his wife, a pretty tolerable woman, and do find him upon an extraordinary good work of designing a method of keeping our Storekeeper's Accounts, in the Navy. Here I should have met with Mr. Wilson, but he is sick, and could not come from Chatham to me. So, having done with Hosier, I took boat again the beginning of the flood, and come home by nine at night, with much pleasure, it being a fine day. Going down I spent reading of the "Five Sermons of Five Several Styles", worth comparing one with another: but I do think, when all is done, that, contrary to the design of the book, the Presbyterian style and the Independent are the best of the five sermons to be preached in; this I do, by the best of my present judgment think, and coming back I spent reading of a book of warrants of our office in the first Dutch war, and do find that my letters and warrants and method will be found another gate's business than this that the world so much adores, and I am glad for my own sake to find it so. My boy was with me, and read to me all day, and we sang a while together, and so home to supper a little, and so to bed.

The Ship Tavern was possibly located at 21 Bath Street in Gravesend where a pub named The Ship closed in 1964.