History of Sheerness

1665 Great Plague of London

1666 Four Days' Battle

1667 Raid on the Medway

1672 Battle of Solebay

Sheerness is in Isle of Sheppey.

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.

Around 1642. William Dobson Painter 1611-1646. Portrait of the future Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Before 1691. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Around 1665 John Greenhill Painter 1644-1676. Portrait of Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his Garter Robes. Around 1661 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his coronation robes. Before 11 Jul 1671 Adriaen Hanneman Painter 1603-1671. Portrait of Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. 1675. Hendrick Danckerts Painter 1625-1680. Portrait of Royal Gardener John Rose presenting a pineappel to King Charles II

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John Evelyn's Diary 17 June 1666. 17 Jun 1666. Came his Majesty (36), the Duke (57), and many Noblemen. After Council, we went to prayers. My business being dispatched, I returned to Chatham, having lain but one night in the Royal Charles; we had a tempestuous sea. I went on shore at Sheerness, where they were building an arsenal for the fleet, and designing a royal fort with a receptacle for great ships to ride at anchor; but here I beheld the sad spectacle, more than half that gallant bulwark of the Kingdom miserably shattered, hardly a vessel entire, but appearing rather so many wrecks and hulls, so cruelly had the Dutch mangled us. The loss of the Prince, that gallant vessel, had been a loss to be universally deplored, none knowing for what reason we first engaged in this ungrateful war; we lost besides nine or ten more, and near 600 men slain and 1,100 wounded, 2,000 prisoners; to balance which, perhaps we might destroy eighteen or twenty of the enemy's ships, and 700 or 800 poor men.

Before 03 Jan 1670  Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of George Monck 1st Duke Albemarle 1608-1670. Before 03 Jan 1670 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of George Monck 1st Duke Albemarle 1608-1670 in his Garter Robes.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 July 1666. 01 Jul 1666. Sunday. Up betimes, and to the office receiving letters, two or three one after another from Sir W. Coventry (38), and sent as many to him, being full of variety of business and hurry, but among the chiefest is the getting of these pressed men out of the City down the river to the fleete. While I was hard at it comes Sir W. Pen (45) to towne, which I little expected, having invited my Lady (42) and her daughter Pegg (15) to dine with me to-day; which at noon they did, and Sir W. Pen (45) with them: and pretty merry we were. And though I do not love him, yet I find it necessary to keep in with him; his good service at Shearnesse in getting out the fleete being much taken notice of, and reported to the King (36) and Duke (32) [of York], even from the Prince (46) and Duke of Albemarle (57) themselves, and made the most of to me and them by Sir W. Coventry (38): therefore I think it discretion, great and necessary discretion, to keep in with him.

After dinner to the office again, where busy, and then down to Deptford to the yard, thinking to have seen Bagwell's wife, whose husband (29) is gone yesterday back to the fleete, but I did not see her, so missed what I went for, and so back to the Tower several times, about the business of the pressed men, and late at it till twelve at night, shipping of them. But, Lord! how some poor women did cry; and in my life I never did see such natural expression of passion as I did here in some women's bewailing themselves, and running to every parcel of men that were brought, one after another, to look for their husbands, and wept over every vessel that went off, thinking they might be there, and looking after the ship as far as ever they could by moone-light, that it grieved me to the heart to hear them. Besides, to see poor patient labouring men and housekeepers, leaving poor wives and families, taking up on a sudden by strangers, was very hard, and that without press-money, but forced against all law to be gone. It is a great tyranny. Having done this I to the Lieutenant of the Tower (51) and bade him good night, and so away home and to bed.

Before 23 Jun 1686 Mary Beale aka Cradock Painter 1633-1699. Portrait of William Coventry 1628-1686. Before 1694 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of King James II when Duke of York. Around 1666 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II and Anne Hyde Queen Consort England 1637-1671. See Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 March 1666. Before 04 Jan 1674 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II wearing his Garter Robes. Around 1672 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of King James II. Around 1642. William Dobson Painter 1611-1646. Portrait of the Prince Rupert, Colonel John Russell 1620-1687 and Colonel William Murray. Before 1656 Gerrit van Honthorst Painter 1592-1656. Portrait of Prince Rupert. Around 1672 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of Prince Rupert. Around 1680 Simon Pietersz Verelst Painter 1644-1710. Portrait of Prince Rupert. Around 1662 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of John Robinson Lord Mayor of London 1st Baronet 1615-1680.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 July 1666. 20 Jul 1666. Up, and finding by a letter late last night that the fleete is gone, and that Sir W. Pen (45) is ordered to go down to Sheernesse, and finding him ready to go to St. James's this morning, I was willing to go with him to see how things go1, and so with him thither (but no discourse with the Duke), but to White Hall, and there the Duke of York (32) did bid Sir W. Pen (45) to stay to discourse with him and the King (36) about business of the fleete, which troubled me a little, but it was only out of envy, for which I blame myself, having no reason to expect to be called to advise in a matter I understand not. So I away to Lovett's, there to see how my picture goes on to be varnished (a fine Crucifix)2, which will be very fine; and here I saw some fine prints, brought from France by Sir Thomas Crew (42), who is lately returned.

So home, calling at the stationer's for some paper fit to varnish, and in my way home met with Lovett, to whom I gave it, and he did present me with a varnished staffe, very fine and light to walk with.

So home and to dinner, there coming young Mrs. Daniel and her sister Sarah, and dined with us; and old Mr. Hawly, whose condition pities me, he being forced to turne under parish-clerke at St. Gyles's, I think at the other end of the towne.

Thence I to the office, where busy all the afternoon, and in the evening with Sir W. Pen (45), walking with whom in the garden I am of late mighty great, and it is wisdom to continue myself so, for he is of all the men of the office at present most manifestly usefull and best thought of. He and I supped together upon the seat in the garden, and thence, he gone, my wife and Mercer come and walked and sang late, and then home to bed.

Note 1. Sir William Pen's (45) instructions from the Duke of York (32) directing him to embark on his Majesty's yacht "Henrietta", and to see to the manning of such ships has had been left behind by the fleet, dated on this day, 20th July, is printed in Penn's "Memorials of Sir W. Penn (45)", vol. ii., p. 406.

Note 2. This picture occasioned Pepys trouble long afterwards, having been brought as evidence that he was a Papist (see "Life", vol. i., p. xxxiii).

Around 1707. Charles D'Agar Painter 1669-1723. Portrait of Thomas Crew 2nd Baron Crew 1624-1697.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 21 July 1666. 21 Jul 1666. Up and to the office, where all the morning sitting. At noon walked in the garden with Commissioner Pett (55) (newly come to towne), who tells me how infinite the disorders are among the commanders and all officers of the fleete. No discipline: nothing but swearing and cursing, and every body doing what they please; and the Generalls, understanding no better, suffer it, to the reproaching of this Board, or whoever it will be. He himself hath been challenged twice to the field, or something as good, by Sir Edward Spragge (46) and Captain Seymour. He tells me that captains carry, for all the late orders, what men they please; demand and consume what provisions they please. So that he fears, and I do no less, that God Almighty cannot bless us while we keep in this disorder that we are in: he observing to me too, that there is no man of counsel or advice in the fleete; and the truth is, the gentlemen captains will undo us, for they are not to be kept in order, their friends about the King (36) and Duke, and their own house, is so free, that it is not for any person but the Duke himself to have any command over them. He gone I to dinner, and then to the office, where busy all the afternoon.

At night walked in the garden with my wife, and so I home to supper and to bed. Sir W. Pen (45) is gone down to Sheernesse to-day to see things made ready against the fleete shall come in again, which makes Pett mad, and calls him dissembling knave, and that himself takes all the pains and is blamed, while he do nothing but hinder business and takes all the honour of it to himself, and tells me plainly he will fling, up his commission rather than bear it.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 August 1666. 01 Aug 1666. Up betimes to the settling of my last month's accounts, and I bless God I find them very clear, and that I am worth £5700, the most that ever my book did yet make out. So prepared to attend the Duke of Yorke (32) as usual, but Sir W. Pen (45), just as I was going out, comes home from Sheernesse, and held me in discourse about publique business, till I come by coach too late to St. James's, and there find that every thing stood still, and nothing done for want of me.

Thence walked over the Parke with Sir W. Coventry (38), who I clearly see is not thoroughly pleased with the late management of the fight, nor with any thing that the Generalls do; only is glad to hear that De Ruyter (59) is out of favour, and that this fight hath cost them 5,000 men, as they themselves do report. And it is a strange thing, as he observes, how now and then the slaughter runs on one hand; there being 5,000 killed on theirs, and not above 400 or 500 killed and wounded on ours, and as many flag-officers on theirs as ordinary captains in ours; there being Everson, and the Admiral and Vice-Admiral of Freezeland on theirs, and Seamour, Martin, and——-, on ours. I left him going to Chappell, it being the common fast day, and the Duke of York (32) at Chappell.

And I to Mrs. Martin's, but she abroad, so I sauntered to or again to the Abbey, and then to the parish church, fearfull of being seen to do so, and so after the parish church was ended, I to the Swan and there dined upon a rabbit, and after dinner to Mrs. Martin's, and there find Mrs. Burroughs, and by and by comes a pretty widow, one Mrs. Eastwood, and one Mrs. Fenton, a maid; and here merry kissing and looking on their breasts, and all the innocent pleasure in the world. But, Lord! to see the dissembling of this widow, how upon the singing of a certain jigg by Doll, Mrs. Martin's sister, she seemed to be sick and fainted and God knows what, because the jigg, which her husband (who died this last sickness) loved. But by and by I made her as merry as is possible, and towzed and tumbled her as I pleased, and then carried her and her sober pretty kinswoman Mrs. Fenton home to their lodgings in the new market of my Lord Treasurer's (59), and there left them. Mightily pleased with this afternoon's mirth, but in great pain to ride in a coach with them, for fear of being seen.

So home, and there much pleased with my wife's drawing today in her pictures, and so to supper and to bed very pleasant.

1667. Ferdinand Bol 1616-1680. Portrait of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter 1607-1676. Around 1660 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Thomas Wriothesley 4th Earl of Southampton 1607-1667 holding his Lord Treasurer Staff of Office.

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Four Days' Battle

Diary of Samuel Pepys 28 October 1666. 28 Oct 1666. Lord's Day. Up, and to church with my wife, and then home, and there is come little Michell and his wife, I sent for them, and also comes Captain Guy to dine with me, and he and I much talk together. He cries out of the discipline of the fleete, and confesses really that the true English valour we talk of is almost spent and worn out; few of the commanders doing what they should do, and he much fears we shall therefore be beaten the next year. He assures me we were beaten home the last June fight, and that the whole fleete was ashamed to hear of our bonefires. He commends Smith, and cries out of Holmes (44) for an idle, proud, conceited, though stout fellow. He tells me we are to owe the losse of so many ships on the sands, not to any fault of the pilots, but to the weather; but in this I have good authority to fear there was something more. He says the Dutch do fight in very good order, and we in none at all. He says that in the July fight, both the Prince (46) and Holmes (44) had their belly-fulls, and were fain to go aside; though, if the wind had continued, we had utterly beaten them. He do confess the whole to be governed by a company of fools, and fears our ruine.

After dinner he gone, I with my brother to White Hall and he to Westminster Abbey. I presently to Mrs. Martin's, and there met widow Burroughes and Doll, and did tumble them all the afternoon as I pleased, and having given them a bottle of wine I parted and home by boat (my brother going by land), and thence with my wife to sit and sup with my uncle and aunt Wight (47), and see Woolly's wife, who is a pretty woman, and after supper, being very merry, in abusing my aunt with Dr. Venner, we home, and I to do something in my accounts, and so to bed.

The Revenge having her forecastle blown up with powder to the killing of some men in the River, and the Dyamond's being overset in the careening at Sheernesse, are further marks of the method all the King's work is now done in. The Foresight also and another come to disasters in the same place this week in the cleaning; which is strange.

Around 1670 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Freschville Holles 1642-1672 and Admiral Robert Holmes 1622-1692.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 27 February 1667. 27 Feb 1667. Up by candle-light, about six o'clock, it being bitter cold weather again, after all our warm weather, and by water down to Woolwich Rope-yard, I being this day at a leisure, the King (36) and Duke of York (33) being gone down to Sheerenesse this morning to lay out the design for a fortification there to the river Medway; and so we do not attend the Duke of York (33) as we should otherwise have done, and there to the Dock Yard to enquire of the state of things, and went into Mr. Pett's (56); and there, beyond expectation, he did present me with a Japan cane, with a silver head, and his wife sent me by him a ring, with a Woolwich stone1 now much in request; which I accepted, the values not being great, and knowing that I had done them courtesies, which he did own in very high terms; and then, at my asking, did give me an old draught of an ancient-built ship, given him by his father, of the Beare, in Queen Elizabeth's time. This did much please me, it being a thing I much desired to have, to shew the difference in the build of ships now and heretofore.

Being much taken with this kindness, I away to Blackwall and Deptford, to satisfy myself there about the King's business, and then walked to Redriffe, and so home about noon; there find Mr. Hunt, newly come out of the country, who tells me the country is much impoverished by the greatness of taxes: the farmers do break every day almost, and £1000 a-year become not worth £500. He dined with us, and we had good discourse of the general ill state of things, and, by the way, he told me some ridiculous pieces of thrift of Sir G. Downing's (42), who is his countryman, in inviting some poor people, at Christmas last, to charm the country people's mouths; but did give them nothing but beef, porridge, pudding, and pork, and nothing said all dinner, but only his mother would say, "It's good broth, son". He would answer, "Yes, it is good broth". Then, says his lady, Confirm all, and say, "Yes, very good broth". By and by she would begin and say, "Good pork:"—"Yes", says the mother, "good pork". Then he cries, "Yes, very good pork". And so they said of all things; to which nobody made any answer, they going there not out of love or esteem of them, but to eat his victuals, knowing him to be a niggardly fellow; and with this he is jeered now all over the country.

This day just before dinner comes Captain Story, of Cambridge, to me to the office, about a bill for prest money2, for men sent out of the country and the countries about him to the fleete the last year; but, Lord! to see the natures of men; how this man, hearing of my name, did ask me of my country, and told me of my cozen Roger (49), that he was not so wise a man as his father (84); for that he do not agree in Parliament with his fellow burgesses and knights of the shire, whereas I know very well the reason; for he is not so high a flyer as Mr. Chichley (52) and others, but loves the King (36) better than any of them, and to better purpose. But yet, he says that he is a very honest gentleman, and thence runs into a hundred stories of his own services to the King (36), and how he at this day brings in the taxes before anybody here thinks they are collected: discourse very absurd to entertain a stranger with. He being gone, and I glad of it, I home then to dinner.

After dinner with my wife by coach abroad, and set Mr. Hunt down at the Temple and her at her brother's (27), and I to White Hall to meet Sir W. Coventry (39), but found him not, but met Mr. Cooling, who tells me of my Lord Duke of Buckingham's (39) being sent for last night, by a Serjeant at Armes, to the Tower, for treasonable practices, and that the King (36) is infinitely angry with him, and declared him no longer one of his Council. I know not the reason of it, or occasion.

To Westminster Hall, and there paid what I owed for books, and so by coach, took up my wife to the Exchange, and there bought things for Mrs. Pierce's little daughter, my Valentine, and so to their house, where we find Knipp, who also challengeth me for her Valentine. She looks well, sang well, and very merry we were for half an hour. Tells me Harris (33) is well again, having been very ill, and so we home, and I to the office; then, at night, to Sir W. Pen's (45), and sat with my Lady, and the young couple (Sir William out of town) talking merrily; but they make a very sorry couple, methinks, though rich. So late home and to bed.

Note 1. Woolwich stones, still collected in that locality, are simply waterworn pebbles of flint, which, when broken with a hammer, exhibit on the smooth surface some resemblance to the human face; and their possessors are thus enabled to trace likenesses of friends, or eminent public characters. The late Mr. Tennant, the geologist, of the Strand, had a collection of such stones. In the British Museum is a nodule of globular or Egyptian jasper, which, in its fracture, bears a striking resemblance to the well-known portrait of Chaucer. It is engraved in Rymsdyk's "Museum Britannicum", tab. xxviii. A flint, showing Mr. Pitt's face, used once to be exhibited at the meetings of the Pitt Club. B.

Note 2. Money paid to men who enlist into the public service; press money. So called because those who receive it are to be prest or ready when called on ("Encyclopaedic Dictionary ").

Around 1546. William Scrots Painter 1517-1553. Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland before her accession painted for her father. Around 1570 Hans Eworth Painter 1520-1574. Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland. In 1579 George Gower Painter 1540-1596. The Plimton Sieve Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland. Around 1585 William Segar Painter 1554-1663. Ermine Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland. Around 1592 Marcus Gheeraerts Painter 1562-1636. The Ditchley Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland. After 1585 Unknown Painter. Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland. Around 1563 Steven van der Meulen Painter -1564. Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland. Around 1675 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of George Villiers 2nd Duke of Buckingham 1628-1687 wearing his Garter Collar.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 06 March 1667. 06 Mar 1667. Up, and with Sir W. Pen (45) to White Hall by coach, and by the way agreed to acquaint Sir W. Coventry (39) with the business of Mr. Carcasse, and he and I spoke to Sir W. Coventry (39) that we might move it to the Duke of York (33), which I did in a very indifferent, that is, impartial manner, but vexed I believe Lord Bruncker (47). Here the Duke of York (33) did acquaint us, and the King (36) did the like also, afterwards coming in, with his resolution of altering the manner of the war this year; that is, we shall keep what fleete we have abroad in several squadrons: so that now all is come out; but we are to keep it as close as we can, without hindering the work that is to be done in preparation to this. Great preparations there are to fortify Sheernesse and the yard at Portsmouth, and forces are drawing down to both those places, and elsewhere by the seaside; so that we have some fear of an invasion; and the Duke of York (33) himself did declare his expectation of the enemy's blocking us up here in the River, and therefore directed that we should send away all the ships that we have to fit out hence. Sir W. Pen (45) told me, going with me this morning to White Hall, that for certain the Duke of Buckingham (39) is brought into the Tower, and that he hath had an hour's private conference with the King (36) before he was sent thither. To Westminster Hall. There bought some news books, and, as every where else, hear every body complain of the dearness of coals, being at £4 per chaldron, the weather, too, being become most bitter cold, the King (36) saying to-day that it was the coldest day he ever knew in England.

Thence by coach to my Lord Crew's (69), where very welcome. Here I find they are in doubt where the Duke of Buckingham (39) is; which makes me mightily reflect on the uncertainty of all history, when, in a business of this moment, and of this day's growth, we cannot tell the truth. Here dined my old acquaintance, Mr. Borfett, that was my Lord Sandwich's (41) chaplain, and my Lady Wright and Dr. Boreman, who is preacher at St. Gyles's in the Fields, who, after dinner, did give my Lord an account of two papist women lately converted, whereof one wrote her recantation, which he shewed under her own hand mighty well drawn, so as my Lord desired a copy of it, after he had satisfied himself from the Doctor, that to his knowledge she was not a woman under any necessity.

Thence by coach home and staid a very little, and then by water to Redriffe, and walked to Bagwell's, where 'la moher' was 'defro, sed' would not have me 'demeurer' there 'parce que' Mrs. Batters and one of my 'ancillas', I believe Jane (for she was gone abroad to-day), was in the town, and coming thither; so I away presently, esteeming it a great escape.

So to the yard and spoke a word or two, and then by water home, wondrous cold, and reading a ridiculous ballad made in praise of the Duke of Albemarle (58), to the tune of St. George, the tune being printed, too; and I observe that people have some great encouragement to make ballads of him of this kind. There are so many, that hereafter he will sound like Guy of Warwicke.

Then abroad with my wife, leaving her at the 'Change, while I to Sir H. Cholmly's (34), a pretty house, and a fine, worthy, well-disposed gentleman he is. He and I to Sir Ph. Warwicke's (57), about money for Tangier, but to little purpose. H. Cholmley (34) tells me, among other things, that he hears of little hopes of a peace, their demands being so high as we shall never grant, and could tell me that we shall keep no fleete abroad this year, but only squadrons. And, among other things, that my Lord Bellasses (52), he believes, will lose his command of Tangier by his corrupt covetous ways of.endeavouring to sell his command, which I am glad [of], for he is a man of no worth in the world but compliment.

So to the 'Change, and there bought 32s. worth of things for Mrs. Knipp, my Valentine, which is pretty to see how my wife is come to convention with me, that, whatever I do give to anybody else, I shall give her as much, which I am not much displeased with.

So home and to the office and Sir W. Batten (66), to tell him what I had done to-day about Carcasse's business, and God forgive me I am not without design to give a blow to Sir W. Batten (66) by it.

So home, where Mr. Batelier supped with us and talked away the evening pretty late, and so he gone and we to bed.

Around 1650 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Edward Montagu 1st Earl Sandwich 1625-1672. Around 1634 Gilbert Jackson Painter 1595-1648. Portrait of John Belasyse 1st Baron Belasyse 1614-1689. Around 1669 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of John Belasyse 1st Baron Belasyse 1614-1689.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 March 1667. 22 Mar 1667. Up and by coach to Sir Ph. Warwicke (57) about business for Tangier about money, and then to Sir Stephen Fox (39) to give him account of a little service I have done him about money coming to him from our office, and then to Lovett's and saw a few baubling things of their doing which are very pretty, but the quality of the people, living only by shifts, do not please me, that it makes me I do no more care for them, nor shall have more acquaintance with them after I have got my Baroness Castlemayne's (26) picture home.

So to White Hall, where the King (36) at Chapel, and I would not stay, but to Westminster to Howlett's, and there, he being not well, I sent for a quart of claret and burnt it and drank, and had a 'basado' or three or four of Sarah, whom 'je trouve ici', and so by coach to Sir Robt. Viner's (36) about my accounts with him, and so to the 'Change, where I hear for certain that we are going on with our treaty of peace, and that we are to treat at Bredah. But this our condescension people do think will undo us, and I do much fear it.

So home to dinner, where my wife having dressed herself in a silly dress of a blue petticoat uppermost, and a white satin waistcoat and whitehood, though I think she did it because her gown is gone to the tailor's, did, together with my being hungry, which always makes me peevish, make me angry, but when my belly was full were friends again, and dined and then by water down to Greenwich and thence walked to Woolwich, all the way reading Playford's (44) "Introduction to Musique", wherein are some things very pretty.

At Woolwich I did much business, taking an account of the state of the ships there under hand, thence to Blackwall, and did the like for two ships we have repairing there, and then to Deptford and did the like there, and so home. Captain Perriman with me from Deptford, telling me many particulars how the King's business is ill ordered, and indeed so they are, God knows!

So home and to the office, where did business, and so home to my chamber, and then to supper and to bed. Landing at the Tower to-night I met on Tower Hill with Captain Cocke (50) and spent half an hour walking in the dusk of the evening with him, talking of the sorrowful condition we are in, that we must be ruined if the Parliament do not come and chastize us, that we are resolved to make a peace whatever it cost, that the King (36) is disobliging the Parliament in this interval all that may be, yet his money is gone and he must have more, and they likely not to give it, without a great deal of do. God knows what the issue of it will be. But the considering that the Duke of York (33), instead of being at sea as Admirall, is now going from port to port, as he is at this day at Harwich, and was the other day with the King (36) at Sheernesse, and hath ordered at Portsmouth how fortifications shall be made to oppose the enemy, in case of invasion, [which] is to us a sad consideration, and as shameful to the nation, especially after so many proud vaunts as we have made against the Dutch, and all from the folly of the Duke of Albemarle (58), who made nothing of beating them, and Sir John Lawson (52) he always declared that we never did fail to beat them with lesser numbers than theirs, which did so prevail with the King (36) as to throw us into this war.

Before 1725. John James Baker Painter -1725. Portrait of Stephen Fox Paymaster 1627-1716. Before 07 Nov 1666. William Faithorne Before 1694 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland 1640-1709. Around 1664 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland 1640-1709 and her son Charles Fitzroy 1st Duke Southampton as Madonna and Child. Around 1666 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland 1640-1709. One of the Windsor Beauties. Before 07 Dec 1680 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland 1640-1709. Before 07 Dec 1680 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland 1640-1709. Around 1690 Jacob Huysmans Painter 1633-1696. Portrait of Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland 1640-1709. Before 01 Jan 1701 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland 1640-1709. Before 1694 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of Robert Vyner Banker 1st Baronet 1631-1688 and Mary Whitchurch Lady Vyner -1674 and their children. Around 1665 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Admiral John Lawson 1615-1665. One of the Flagmen of Lowestoft.

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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).

Around 1670 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Freschville Holles 1642-1672 and Admiral Robert Holmes 1622-1692. Before 09 Dec 1641 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of John Mennes Comptroller 1599-1671. In 1689. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of Robert Boyle Scientist 1627-1691.

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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.

In 1689 Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of William Hewer 1642-1715.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 12 June 1667. 12 Jun 1667. Up very betimes to our business at the office, there hiring of more fire-ships; and at it close all the morning.

At noon home, and Sir W. Pen (46) dined with us.

By and by, after dinner, my wife out by coach to see her mother; and I in another, being afraid, at this busy time, to be seen with a woman in a coach, as if I were idle, towards The. Turner's (15); but met Sir W. Coventry's (39) boy; and there in his letter find that the Dutch had made no motion since their taking Sheernesse; and the Duke of Albemarle (58) writes that all is safe as to the great ships against any assault, the boom and chaine being so fortified; which put my heart into great joy1. When I come to Sir W: Coventry's (39) chamber, I find him abroad; but his clerk, Powell, do tell me that ill newes is come to Court of the Dutch breaking the Chaine at Chatham; which struck me to the heart.

And to White Hall to hear the truth of it; and there, going up the back-stairs, I did hear some lacquies speaking of sad newes come to Court, saying, that hardly anybody in the Court but do look as if he cried, and would not go into the house for fear of being seen, but slunk out and got into a coach, and to The. Turner's (15) to Sir W. Turner's (51), where I met Roger Pepys (50), newly come out of the country. He and I talked aside a little, he offering a match for Pall (26), one Barnes, of whom we shall talk more the next time. His father married a Pepys; in discourse, he told me further that his grandfather, my great grandfather, had £800 per annum, in Queen Elizabeth's time, in the very town of Cottenham; and that we did certainly come out of Scotland with the Abbot of Crowland. More talk I had, and shall have more with him, but my mind is so sad and head full of this ill news that I cannot now set it down.

A short visit here, my wife coming to me, and took leave of The. (15), and so home, where all our hearts do now ake; for the newes is true, that the Dutch have broke the chaine and burned our ships, and particularly "The Royal Charles",2 other particulars I know not, but most sad to be sure. And, the truth is, I do fear so much that the whole kingdom is undone, that I do this night resolve to study with my father and wife what to do with the little that I have in money by me, for I give [up] all the rest that I have in the King's hands, for Tangier, for lost.

So God help us! and God knows what disorders we may fall into, and whether any violence on this office, or perhaps some severity on our persons, as being reckoned by the silly people, or perhaps may, by policy of State, be thought fit to be condemned by the King (37) and Duke of York (33), and so put to trouble; though, God knows! I have, in my own person, done my full duty, I am sure. So having with much ado finished my business at the office, I home to consider with my father and wife of things, and then to supper and to bed with a heavy heart. The manner of my advising this night with my father was, I took him and my wife up to her chamber, and shut the door; and there told them the sad state of the times how we are like to be all undone; that I do fear some violence will be offered to this office, where all I have in the world is; and resolved upon sending it away—sometimes into the country—sometimes my father to lie in town, and have the gold with him at Sarah Giles's, and with that resolution went to bed full of fear and fright, hardly slept all night.

Note 1. There had been correspondence with Pett respecting this chain in April and May. On the 10th May Pett wrote to the Navy Commissioners, "The chain is promised to be dispatched to-morrow, and all things are ready for fixing it". On the 11th June the Dutch "got twenty or twenty-two ships over the narrow part of the river at Chatham, where ships had been sunk; after two and a half hours' fighting one guard-ship after another was fired and blown up, and the enemy master of the chain" (Calendar of State Papers, 1667, pp. 58, 87, 215).

Note 2. Vandervelde's drawings of the conflagration of the English fleet, made by him on the spot, are in the British Museum. B.

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John Evelyn's Diary 28 June 1667. 28 Jun 1667. I went to Chatham, and thence to view not only what mischief the Dutch had done; but how triumphantly their whole fleet lay within the very mouth of the Thames, all from the North Foreland, Margate, even to the buoy of the Nore — a dreadful spectacle as ever Englishmen saw, and a dishonor never to be wiped off! Those who advised his Majesty (37) to prepare no fleet this spring deserved—I know what—but—.

Here in the river off Chatham, just before the town, lay the carcase of the "London" (now the third time burnt), the "Royal Oak", "James", etc., yet smoking; and now, when the mischief was done, we were making trifling forts on the brink of the river. Here were yet forces, both of horse and foot, with General Middleton (59) continually expecting the motions of the enemy's fleet. I had much discourse with him, who was an experienced commander, I told him I wondered the King (37) did not fortify Sheerness and the Ferry; both abandoned.

Before 12 Dec 1676 Jacob Huysmans Painter 1633-1696. Portrait of John Middleton 1st Earl Middleton 1608-1674.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 30 June 1667. 30 Jun 1667. Lord's Day. Up about three o'clock, and Creed and I got ourselves ready, and took coach at our gate, it being very fine weather, and the cool of the morning, and with much pleasure, without any stop, got to Rochester about ten of the clock, all the way having mighty pleasant talk of the fate that is over all we do, that it seems as if we were designed in every thing, by land by sea, to undo ourselves.

At the foot of Rochester bridge, at the landing-place, I met my Lord Bruncker (47) and my Lord Douglas (21), and all the officers of the soldiers in the town, waiting there for the Duke of York (33), whom they heard was coming thither this day; by and by comes my Lord_Middleton (59), the first time I remember to have seen him, well mounted, who had been to meet him, but come back without him; he seems a fine soldier, and so every body says he is; and a man, like my Lord Teviott, and indeed most of the Scotch gentry, as I observe, of few words. After staying here by the water-side and seeing the boats come up from Chatham, with them that rowed with bandeleeres about their shoulders, and muskets in their boats, they being the workmen of the Yard, who have promised to redeem their credit, lost by their deserting the service when the Dutch were there, my Lord Bruncker (47) went with Lord Middleton to his inne, the Crowne, to dinner, which I took unkindly, but he was slightly invited.

So I and Creed down by boat to Chatham-yard (our watermen having their bandeleeres about them all the way), and to Commissioner Pett's (56) house, where my Lord Bruncker (47) told me that I should meet with his dinner two dishes of meat, but did not, but however by the help of Mr. Wiles had some beer and ale brought me, and a good piece of roast beef from somebody's table, and eat well at two, and after dinner into the garden to shew Creed, and I must confess it must needs be thought a sorrowful thing for a man that hath taken so much pains to make a place neat to lose it as Commissioner Pett (56) must now this.

Thence to see the batteries made; which, indeed, are very fine, and guns placed so as one would think the River should be very secure. I was glad, as also it was new to me, to see so many fortifications as I have of late seen, and so up to the top of the Hill, there to look, and could see towards Sheerenesse, to spy the Dutch fleete, but could make [out] none but one vessel, they being all gone. But here I was told, that, in all the late attempt, there was but one man that they knew killed on shore: and that was a man that had laid himself upon his belly upon one of the hills, on the other side of the River, to see the action; and a bullet come, took the ground away just under his belly, and ripped up his belly, and so was killed.

Thence back to the docke, and in my way saw how they are fain to take the deals of the rope-house to supply other occasions, and how sillily the country troopers look, that stand upon the passes there; and, methinks, as if they were more willing to run away than to fight, and it is said that the country soldiers did first run at Sheerenesse, but that then my Lord Douglas's (21) men did run also; but it is excused that there was no defence for them towards the sea, that so the very beach did fly in their faces as the bullets come, and annoyed them, they having, after all this preparation of the officers of the ordnance, only done something towards the land, and nothing at all towards the sea. The people here everywhere do speak very badly of Sir Edward Spragge (47), as not behaving himself as he should have done in that business, going away with the first, and that old Captain Pyne, who, I am here told, and no sooner, is Master-Gunner of England, was the last that staid there.

Thence by barge, it raining hard, down to the chaine; and in our way did see the sad wrackes of the poor "Royall Oake", "James", and "London"1 and several other of our ships by us sunk, and several of the enemy's, whereof three men-of-war that they could not get off, and so burned. We did also see several dead bodies lie by the side of the water. I do not see that Upnor Castle hath received any hurt by them, though they played long against it; and they themselves shot till they had hardly a gun left upon the carriages, so badly provided they were: they have now made two batteries on that side, which will be very good, and do good service.

So to the chaine, and there saw it fast at the end on Upnor side of the River; very fast, and borne up upon the several stages across the River; and where it is broke nobody can tell me. I went on shore on Upnor side to look upon the end of the chaine; and caused the link to be measured, and it was six inches and one-fourth in circumference. They have burned the Crane House that was to hawl it taught. It seems very remarkable to me, and of great honour to the Dutch, that those of them that did go on shore to Gillingham, though they went in fear of their lives, and were some of them killed; and, notwithstanding their provocation at Schelling, yet killed none of our people nor plundered their houses, but did take some things of easy carriage, and left the rest, and not a house burned; and, which is to our eternal disgrace, that what my Lord Douglas's (21) men, who come after them, found there, they plundered and took all away; and the watermen that carried us did further tell us, that our own soldiers are far more terrible to those people of the country-towns than the Dutch themselves. We were told at the batteries, upon my seeing of the field-guns that were there, that, had they come a day sooner, they had been able to have saved all; but they had no orders, and lay lingering upon the way, and did not come forward for want of direction. Commissioner Pett's (56) house was all unfurnished, he having carried away all his goods. I met with no satisfaction whereabouts the chaine was broke, but do confess I met with nobody that I could well expect to have satisfaction [from], it being Sunday; and the officers of the Yard most of them abroad, or at the Hill house, at the pay of the Chest, which they did make use of to day to do part in.

Several complaints, I hear, of the Monmouth's coming away too soon from the chaine, where she was placed with the two guard-ships to secure it; and Captain Robert Clerke, my friend, is blamed for so doing there, but I hear nothing of him at London about it; but Captain Brookes's running aground with the "Sancta Maria", which was one of the three ships that were ordered to be sunk to have dammed up the River at the chaine, is mightily cried against, and with reason, he being the chief man to approve of the abilities of other men, and the other two slips did get safe thither and he run aground; but yet I do hear that though he be blameable, yet if she had been there, she nor two more to them three would have been able to have commanded the river all over. I find that here, as it hath been in our river, fire-ships, when fitted, have been sunk afterwards, and particularly those here at the Mussle, where they did no good at all. Our great ships that were run aground and sunk are all well raised but the "Vanguard", which they go about to raise to-morrow. "the Henery", being let loose to drive up the river of herself, did run up as high as the bridge, and broke down some of the rails of the bridge, and so back again with the tide, and up again, and then berthed himself so well as no pilot could ever have done better; and Punnet says he would not, for his life, have undertaken to have done it, with all his skill. I find it is true that the Dutch did heele "The Charles" to get her down, and yet run aground twice or thrice, and yet got her safe away, and have her, with a great many good guns in her, which none of our pilots would ever have undertaken. It is very considerable the quantity of goods, which the making of these platforms and batterys do take out of the King's stores: so that we shall have little left there, and, God knows! no credit to buy any; besides, the taking away and spending of (it is possible) several goods that would have been either rejected or abatement made for them before used. It is a strange thing to see that, while my Lords Douglas and Middleton do ride up and down upon single horses, my Lord Bruncker (47) do go up and down with his Hackney-coach and six horses at the King's charge, which will do, for all this time, and the time that he is likely to stay, must amount to a great deal. But I do not see that he hath any command over the seamen, he being affronted by three or four seamen before my very face, which he took sillily, methought; and is not able to do so much good as a good boatswain in this business. My Lord Bruncker (47), I perceive, do endeavour to speak well of Commissioner Pett (56), saying that he did exercise great care and pains while he was there, but do not undertake to answer for his not carrying up of the great ships. Back again to Rochester, and there walked to the Cathedral as they were beginning of the service, but would not be seen to stay to church there, besides had no mind, but rather to go to our inne, the White Hart, where we drank and were fain (the towne being so full of soldiers) to have a bed corded for us to lie in, I being unwilling to lie at the Hill house for one night, being desirous to be near our coach to be gone betimes to-morrow morning. Here in the streets, I did hear the Scotch march beat by the drums before the soldiers, which is very odde.

Thence to the Castle, and viewed it with Creed, and had good satisfaction from him that showed it us touching the history of it. Then into the fields, a fine walk, and there saw Sir Francis Clerke's house, which is a pretty seat, and then back to our inne and bespoke supper, and so back to the fields and into the Cherry garden, where we had them fresh gathered, and here met with a young, plain, silly shopkeeper, and his wife, a pretty young woman, the man's name Hawkins, and I did kiss her, and we talked (and the woman of the house is a very talking bawdy jade), and eat cherries together, and then to walk in the fields till it was late, and did kiss her, and I believe had I had a fit time and place I might have done what I would with her. Walked back and left them at their house near our inne, and then to our inne, where, I hear, my Lord Bruncker (47) hath sent for me to speak with me before I go: so I took his coach, which stands there with two horses, and to him and to his bedside, where he was in bed, and hath a watchman with a halbert at his door; and to him, and did talk a little, and find him a very weak man for this business that he is upon; and do pity the King's service, that is no better handled, and his folly to call away Pett before we could have found a better man to have staid in his stead; so took leave of him, and with Creed back again, it being now about 10 at night, and to our inne to supper, and then to bed, being both sleepy, but could get no sheets to our bed, only linen to our mouths, and so to sleep, merrily talking of Hawkins and his wife, and troubled that Creed did see so much of my dalliance, though very little.

Note 1. "The bottom of 'The Royal James' is got afloat, and those of the 'Loyal London' and 'Royal Oak' soon will be so. Many men are at work to put Sheerness in a posture of defence, and a boom is being fitted over the river by Upnor Castle, which with the good fortifications will leave nothing to fear".—Calendar of State Papers, 1667, p. 285.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 October 1667. 20 Oct 1667. Lord's Day. Up, and put on my new tunique of velvett; which is very plain, but good. This morning is brought to me an order for the presenting the Committee of Parliament to-morrow with a list of the commanders and ships' names of all the fleetes set out since the war, and particularly of those ships which were divided from the fleete with Prince Rupert (47)1 which gives me occasion to see that they are busy after that business, and I am glad of it.

So I alone to church, and then home, and there Deane (33) comes and dines with me by invitation, and both at and after dinner he and I spent all the day till it was dark in discourse of business of the Navy and the ground of the many miscarriages, wherein he do inform me in many more than I knew, and I had desired him to put them in writing, and many indeed they are and good ones; and also we discoursed of the business of shipping, and he hath promised me a draught of the ship he is now building, wherein I am mightily pleased. This afternoon comes to me Captain O'Bryan, about a ship that the King (37) hath given him; and he and I to talk of the Parliament; and he tells me that the business of the Duke of York's (34) slackening sail in the first fight, at the beginning of the war, is brought into question, and Sir W. Pen (46) and Captain Cox are to appear to-morrow about it; and it is thought will at last be laid upon Mr. Bruncker's giving orders from the Duke of York (34) (which the Duke of York (34) do not own) to Captain Cox to do it; but it seems they do resent this very highly, and are mad in going through all business, where they can lay any fault. I am glad to hear, that in the world I am as kindly spoke of as any body; for, for aught I see, there is bloody work like to be, Sir W. Coventry (39) having been forced to produce a letter in Parliament wherein the Duke of Albemarle (58) did from Sheernesse write in what good posture all things were at Chatham, and that the chain was so well placed that he feared no attempt of the enemy: so that, among other things, I see every body is upon his own defence, and spares not to blame another to defend himself, and the same course I shall take. But God knows where it will end! He gone, and Deane (33), I to my chamber for a while, and then comes Pelling the apothecary to see us, and sat and supped with me (my wife being gone to bed sick of the cholique), and then I to bed, after supper. Pelting tells me that my Lady Duchesse Albemarle (48) was at Mrs. Turner's (44) this afternoon, she being ill, and did there publickly talk of business, and of our Office; and that she believed that I was safe, and had done well; and so, I thank God! I hear every body speaks of me; and indeed, I think, without vanity, I may expect to be profited rather than injured by this inquiry, which the Parliament makes into business.

Note 1. This question of the division of the fleet in May, 1666, was one over which endless controversy as to responsibility was raised. When Prince Rupert (47), with twenty ships, was detached to prevent the junction of the French squadron with the Dutch, the Duke of Albemarle (58) was left with fifty-four ships against eighty belonging to the Dutch. Albemarle's tactics are praised by Captain Mahan.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 15 November 1667. 15 Nov 1667. Up, and to Alderman Backewell's (49)1 and there discoursed with him about the remitting of this £6000 to Tangier, which he hath promised to do by the first post, and that will be by Monday next, the 18th, and he and I agreed that I would take notice of it that so he may be found to have done his best upon the desire of the Lords Commissioners. From this we went to discourse of his condition, and he with some vain glory told me that the business of Sheernesse did make him quite mad, and indeed might well have undone him; but yet that he did the very next day pay here and got bills to answer his promise to the King (37) for the Swedes Embassadors (who were then doing our business at the treaty at Breda) £7000, and did promise the Bankers there, that if they would draw upon him all that he had of theirs and £10,000 more, he would answer it. He told me that Serjeant Maynard come to him for a sum of money that he had in his hands of his, and so did many others, and his answer was, What countrymen are you? And when they told him, why then, says he, here is a tally upon the Receiver of your country for so [much], and to yours for so much, and did offer to lay by tallies to the full value of all that he owed in the world, and £40,000 more for the security thereof, and not to touch a penny of his own till the full of what he owed was paid, which so pleased every body that he hath mastered all, so that he hath lent the Commissioners of the Treasury above £40,000 in money since that business, and did this morning offer to a lady who come to give him notice that she should need her money £3000, in twenty days, he bid her if she pleased send for it to-day and she should have it. Which is a very great thing, and will make them greater than ever they were, I am apt to think, in some time.

Thence to Westminster, and there I walked with several, and do hear that there is to be a conference between the two Houses today; so I stayed: and it was only to tell the Commons that the Lords cannot agree to the confining or sequestring of the Earle of Clarendon (58) from the Parliament, forasmuch as they do not specify any particular crime which they lay upon him and call Treason. This the House did receive, and so parted: at which, I hear, the Commons are like to grow very high, and will insist upon their privileges, and the Lords will own theirs, though the Duke of Buckingham (39), Bristoll (55), and others, have been very high in the House of Lords to have had him committed. This is likely to breed ill blood.

Thence I away home, calling at my mercer's and tailor's, and there find, as I expected, Mr. Caesar and little Pelham Humphreys, lately returned from France, and is an absolute Monsieur, as full of form, and confidence, and vanity, and disparages everything, and everybody's skill but his own. The truth is, every body says he is very able, but to hear how he laughs at all the King's musick here, as Blagrave and others, that they cannot keep time nor tune, nor understand anything; and that Grebus, the Frenchman, the King's master of the musick, how he understands nothing, nor can play on any instrument, and so cannot compose: and that he will give him a lift out of his place; and that he and the King (37) are mighty great! and that he hath already spoke to the King of Grebus would make a man piss.

I had a good dinner for them, as a venison pasty and some fowl, and after dinner we did play, he on the Theorbo. Mr. Caesar on his French lute, and I on the viol, but made but mean musique, nor do I see that this Frenchman do so much wonders on the Theorbo, but without question he is a good musician, but his vanity do offend me.

They gone, towards night, I to the office awhile, and then home and to my chamber, where busy till by and by comes Mr. Moore, and he staid and supped and talked with me about many things, and tells me his great fear that all things will go to ruin among us, for that the King (37) hath, as he says Sir Thomas Crew (43) told him, been heard to say that the quarrel is not between my Chancellor (58) and him, but his brother and him; which will make sad work among us if that be once promoted, as to be sure it will, Buckingham (39) and Bristoll (55) being now the only counsel the King (37) follows, so as Arlington (49) and Coventry (39) are come to signify little. He tells me they are likely to fall upon my Lord Sandwich (42); but, for my part, sometimes I am apt to think they cannot do him much harm, he telling me that there is no great fear of the business of Resumption! By and by, I got him to read part of my Lord Cooke's chapter of treason, which is mighty well worth reading, and do inform me in many things, and for aught I see it is useful now to know what these crimes are.

And then to supper, and after supper he went away, and so I got the girl to comb my head, and then to bed, my eyes bad. This day, Poundy, the waterman, was with me, to let me know that he was summonsed to bear witness against me to Prince Rupert's (47) people (who have a commission to look after the business of prize-goods) about the business of the prize-goods I was concerned in: but I did desire him to speak all he knew, and not to spare me, nor did promise nor give him any thing, but sent him away with good words, to bid him say all he knew to be true. This do not trouble me much.

Note 1. Edward Backwell (49), goldsmith and alderman of the City of London. He was a man of considerable wealth during the Commonwealth. After the Restoration he negotiated Charles II's principal money transactions. He was M.P. for Wendover in the parliament of 1679, and in the Oxford parliament of 1680. According to the writer of the life in the "Diet. of Nat. Biog. "his heirs did not ultimately suffer any pecuniary loss by the closure of the Exchequer. Mr. Hilton Price stated that Backwell removed to Holland in 1676, and died therein 1679; but this is disproved by the pedigree in Lipscomb's "Hist. of Bucks", where the date of his death is given as 1683, as well as by the fact that he sat for Wendover in 1679 and 1680, as stated above.

Around 1643. William Dobson Painter 1611-1646. Portrait of Edward Hyde 1st Earl Clarendon 1609-1674. Before 04 Jan 1674 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Edward Hyde 1st Earl Clarendon 1609-1674. Around 1637 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of George Digby 2nd Earl Bristol 1612-1677 and William Russell 1st Duke Bedford 1616-1700. Around 1638 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of George Digby 2nd Earl Bristol 1612-1677. Around 1676 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Henry Bennet 1st Earl Arlington 1618-1685 wearing his Garter Robes. Before 07 Dec 1680 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Henry Bennet 1st Earl Arlington 1618-1685. Before 1634 Gilbert Jackson Painter 1595-1648. Portrait of Edward Coke Lord Chief Justice 1552-1634. 1593. Unknown Painter. Portrait of Edward Coke Lord Chief Justice 1552-1634.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 February 1668. 17 Feb 1668. Up, and to the office, where all the morning till noon getting some things more ready against the afternoon for the Committee of Accounts, which did give me great trouble, to see how I am forced to dance after them in one place, and to answer Committees of Parliament in another.

At noon thence toward the Committee, but meeting with Sir W. Warren in Fleet Street he and I to the Ordinary by Temple Bar and there dined together, and to talk, where he do seem to be very high now in defiance of the Board, now he says that the worst is come upon him to have his accounts brought to the Committee of Accounts, and he do reflect upon my late coldness to him, but upon the whole I do find that he is still a cunning fellow, and will find it necessary to be fair to me, and what hath passed between us of coldness to hold his tongue, which do please me very well.

Thence to the Committee, where I did deliver the several things they expected from me, with great respect and show of satisfaction, and my mind thereby eased of some care. But thence I to Westminster Hall, and there spent till late at night walking to and again with many people, and there in general I hear of the great high words that were in the House on Saturday last, upon the first part of the Committee's Report about the dividing of the fleete; wherein some would have the counsels of the King (37) to be declared, and the reasons of them, and who did give them; where Sir W. Coventry (40) laid open to them the consequences of doing that, that the King (37) would never have any honest and wise men ever to be of his Council. They did here in the House talk boldly of the King's bad counsellors, and how they must be all turned out, and many of them, and better; brought in: and the proceedings of the Long-Parliament in the beginning of the war were called to memory: and the King's bad intelligence was mentioned, wherein they were bitter against my Lord Arlington (50), saying, among other things, that whatever Morrice's was, who declared he had but £750 a-year allowed him for intelligence, the King (37) paid too dear for my Lord Arlington's (50), in giving him £10,000 and a barony for it. Sir W. Coventry (40) did here come to his defence, in the business of the letter that was sent to call back Prince Rupert (48), after he was divided from the fleete, wherein great delay was objected; but he did show that he sent it at one in the morning, when the Duke of York (34) did give him the instructions after supper that night, and did clear himself well of it: only it was laid as a fault, which I know not how he removes, of not sending it by an express, but by the ordinary post; but I think I have heard he did send it to my Lord Arlington's (50); and that there it lay for some hours; it coming not to Sir Philip Honiwood's hand at Portsmouth till four in the afternoon that day, being about fifteen or sixteen hours in going; and about this, I think, I have heard of a falling out between my Lord Arlington (50), heretofore, and W. Coventry (40). Some mutterings I did hear of a design of dissolving the Parliament; but I think there is no ground for it yet, though Oliver would have dissolved them for half the trouble and contempt these have put upon the King (37) and his councils. The dividing of the fleete, however, is, I hear, voted a miscarriage, and the not building a fortification at Sheernesse: and I have reason every hour to expect that they will vote the like of our paying men off by ticket; and what the consequence of that will be I know not, but I am put thereby into great trouble of mind. I did spend a little time at the Swan, and there did kiss the maid, Sarah.

At noon home, and there up to my wife, who is still ill, and supped with her, my mind being mighty full of trouble for the office and my concernments therein, and so to supper and talking with W. Hewer (26) in her chamber about business of the office, wherein he do well understand himself and our case, and it do me advantage to talk with him and the rest of my people. I to bed below as I did last night.

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John Evelyn's Diary 23 July 1668. 23 Jul 1668. At the Royal Society, were presented divers glossa petras, and other natural curiosities, found in digging to build the fort at Sheerness. They were just the same as they bring from Malta, pretending them to be viper's teeth, whereas, in truth, they are of a shark, as we found by comparing them with one in our repository.

John Evelyn's Diary 23 March 1672. 23 Mar 1672. Captain Cox, one of the Commissioners of the Navy, furnishing me with a yacht, I sailed to Sheerness to see that fort also, now newly finished; several places on both sides the Swale and Medway to Gillingham and Upnore, being also provided with redoubts and batteries to secure the station of our men-of-war at Chatham, and shut the door when the steeds were stolen.

1672 Battle of Solebay

John Evelyn's Diary 02 June 1672. 02 Jun 1672. Trinity Sunday, I passed at Rochester; and, on the 5th, there was buried in the Cathedral Monsieur Rabiniére, Rear Admiral of the French squadron, a gallant person, who died of the wounds he received in the fight. This ceremony lay on me, which I performed with all the decency I could, inviting the Mayor and Aldermen to come in their formalities. Sir Jonas Atkins was there with his guards; and the Dean and Prebendaries: one of his countrymen pronouncing a funeral oration at the brink of his grave, which I caused to be dug in the choir. This is more at large described in the "Gazette" of that day; Colonel Reymes (58), my colleague in commission, assisting, who was so kind as to accompany me from London, though it was not his district; for indeed the stress of both these wars lay more on me by far than on any of my brethren, who had little to do in theirs. I went to see Upnor Castle, which I found pretty well defended, but of no great moment.

Next day I sailed to the fleet, now riding at the buoy of the "Nore", where I met his Majesty (42), the Duke (38), Lord Arlington (54), and all the great men, in the "Charles", lying miserably shattered; but the miss of Lord Sandwich (46) redoubled the loss to me, and showed the folly of hazarding so brave a fleet, and losing so many good men, for no provocation but that the Hollanders exceeded us in industry, and in all things but envy.

At Sheerness, I gave his Majesty (42) and his Royal Highness (38) an account of my charge, and returned to Queenborough; next day dined at Major Dorel's, Governor of Sheerness; thence, to Rochester; and the following day, home.

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The Nore. A sandbank at the mouth of the Thames Estuary, near the town of Sheerness. It marks the point where the River Thames meets the North Sea.