The Royal Prince is in Ships.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 11 July 1663. 11 Jul 1663. Up early and to the Dock, and with the Storekeeper and other officers all the morning from one office to another.
At noon to the Hill-house in Commissioner Pett's (52) coach, and after seeing the guard-ships, to dinner, and after dining done to the Dock by coach, it raining hard, to see "The Prince" launched, which hath lain in the Dock in repairing these three years. I went into her and was launched in her.
Thence by boat ashore, it raining, and I went to Mr. Barrow's, where Sir J. Minnes (64) and Commissioner Pett (52); we staid long eating sweetmeats and drinking, and looking over some antiquities of Mr. Barrow's, among others an old manuscript Almanac, that I believe was made for some monastery, in parchment, which I could spend much time upon to understand. Here was a pretty young lady, a niece of Barrow's, which I took much pleasure to look on.
Thence by barge to St Mary Creeke; where Commissioner Pett (52) (doubtful of the growing greatness of Portsmouth by the finding of those creeks there), do design a wett dock at no great charge, and yet no little one; he thinks towards £10,000. And the place, indeed, is likely to be a very fit place, when the King (33) hath money to do it with.
Thence, it raining as hard as it could pour down, home to the Hillhouse, and anon to supper, and after supper, Sir J. Minnes (64) and I had great discourse with Captain Cox and Mr. Hempson about business of the yard, and particularly of pursers' accounts with Hempson, who is a cunning knave in that point. So late to bed and, Mr. Wayth being gone, I lay above in the Treasurer's (56) bed and slept well. About one or two in the morning the curtains of my bed being drawn waked me, and I saw a man stand there by the inside of my bed calling me French dogg 20 times, one after another, and I starting, as if I would get out of the bed, he fell a-laughing as hard as he could drive, still calling me French dogg, and laid his hand on my shoulder. At last, whether I said anything or no I cannot tell, but I perceived the man, after he had looked wistly upon me, and found that I did not answer him to the names that he called me by, which was Salmon, Sir Carteret's clerk, and Robt. Maddox, another of the clerks, he put off his hat on a suddaine, and forebore laughing, and asked who I was, saying, "Are you Mr. Pepys?" I told him yes, and now being come a little better to myself, I found him to be Tom Willson, Sir W. Batten's (62) clerk, and fearing he might be in some melancholy fit, I was at a loss what to do or say. At last I asked him what he meant. He desired my pardon for that he was mistaken, for he thought verily, not knowing of my coming to lie there, that it had been Salmon, the Frenchman, with whom he intended to have made some sport. So I made nothing of it, but bade him good night, and I, after a little pause, to sleep again, being well pleased that it ended no worse, and being a little the better pleased with it, because it was the Surveyor's clerk, which will make sport when I come to tell Sir W. Batten (62) of it, it being a report that old Edgeborough, the former Surveyor, who died here, do now and then walk.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 15 March 1665. 15 Mar 1665. So home to the 'Change, and thence home to dinner, where my wife being gone down upon a sudden warning from my Lord Sandwich's (39) daughters to the Hope with them to see "The Prince", I dined alone.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 16 March 1665. 16 Mar 1665. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, my wife coming home from the water this morning, having lain with them on board "The Prince" all night.
At noon home to dinner, where my wife told me the unpleasant journey she had yesterday among the children, whose fear upon the water and folly made it very unpleasing to her. A good dinner, and then to the office again. This afternoon Mr. Harris, the sayle-maker, sent me a noble present of two large silver candlesticks and snuffers, and a slice to keep them upon, which indeed is very handsome. At night come Mr. Andrews with £36, the further fruits of my Tangier contract, and so to bed late and weary with business, but in good content of mind, blessing God for these his benefits.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 23 March 1665. 23 Mar 1665. Up and to my Lord Sandwich (39), who follows the Duke (31) this day by water down to the Hope, where "The Prince" lies. He received me, busy as he was, with mighty kindness and joy at my promotions; telling me most largely how the Duke (31) hath expressed on all occasions his good opinion of my service and love for me. I paid my thanks and acknowledgement to him; and so back home, where at the office all the morning.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 16 June 1665. 16 Jun 1665. Up and to the office, where I set hard to business, but was informed that the Duke of Yorke (31) is come, and hath appointed us to attend him this afternoon. So after dinner, and doing some business at the office, I to White Hall, where the Court is full of the Duke (31) and his courtiers returned from sea. All fat and lusty, and ruddy by being in the sun. I kissed his hands, and we waited all the afternoon.
By and by saw Mr. Coventry (37), which rejoiced my very heart. Anon he and I, from all the rest of the company, walked into the Matted Gallery; where after many expressions of love, we fell to talk of business. Among other things, how my Lord Sandwich (39), both in his counsells and personal service, hath done most honourably and serviceably. Sir J. Lawson (50) is come to Greenwich; but his wound in his knee yet very bad. Jonas Poole, in the Vantguard, did basely, so as to be, or will be, turned out of his ship. Captain Holmes (43)1 expecting upon Sansum's death to be made Rear-admirall to the Prince (45) (but Harman (40)2 is put in) hath delivered up to the Duke (31) his commission, which the Duke (31) took and tore. He, it seems, had bid the Prince, who first told him of Holmes's intention, that he should dissuade him from it; for that he was resolved to take it if he offered it. Yet Holmes would do it, like a rash, proud coxcombe. But he is rich, and hath, it seems, sought an occasion of leaving the service. Several of our captains have done ill. The great ships are the ships do the business, they quite deadening the enemy. They run away upon sight of "The Prince3".
It is strange to see how people do already slight Sir William Barkeley (26)4, my Lord FitzHarding's (35) brother, who, three months since, was the delight of the Court. Captain Smith of "The Mary" the Duke (31) talks mightily of; and some great thing will be done for him.
Strange to hear how the Dutch do relate, as the Duke says, that they are the conquerors; and bonefires are made in Dunkirke in their behalf; though a clearer victory can never be expected. Mr. Coventry (37) thinks they cannot have lost less than 6000 men, and we not dead above 200, and wounded about 400; in all about 600.
Thence home and to my office till past twelve, and then home to supper and to bed, my wife and mother not being yet come home from W. Hewer's (23) chamber, who treats my mother tonight.
Captain Grove the Duke (31) told us this day, hath done the basest thing at Lowestoffe, in hearing of the guns, and could not (as others) be got out, but staid there; for which he will be tried; and is reckoned a prating coxcombe, and of no courage.
Note 1. Captain Robert Holmes (43) (afterwards knighted). Sir William Coventry (37), in a letter to Lord Arlington (47) (dated from "The Royal Charles", Southwold Bay, June 13th), writes: "Capt. Holmes asked to be rear admiral of the white squadron in place of Sansum who was killed, but the Duke gave the place to Captain Harman (40), on which he delivered up his commission, which the Duke received, and put Captain Langhorne in his stead" (Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1664-65, p. 423).
Note 2. John Harman (40), afterwards knighted. He had served with great reputation in several naval fights, and was desperately wounded in 1673, while.
Note 3. "The Prince" was Lord Sandwich's (39) ship; the captain was Roger Cuttance. It was put up at Chatham for repair at this date.
Note 4. Sir William Berkeley (26), see note, vol. iii., p. 334. His behaviour after the death of his brother, Lord Falmouth (35), is severely commented on in "Poems on State Affairs", vol. i., p. 29 "Berkeley had heard it soon, and thought not good To venture more of royal Harding's blood; To be immortal he was not of age, And did e'en now the Indian Prize presage; And judged it safe and decent, cost what cost, To lose the day, since his dear brother's lost. With his whole squadron straight away he bore, And, like good boy, promised to fight no more". B.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 06 July 1665. 06 Jul 1665. Up and forth to give order to my pretty grocer's wife's house, who, her husband tells me, is going this day for the summer into the country. I bespoke some sugar, &c., for my father, and so home to the office, where all the morning.
At noon dined at home, and then by water to White Hall to Sir G. Carteret (55) about money for the office, a sad thought, for in a little while all must go to wracke, winter coming on apace, when a great sum must be ready to pay part of the fleete, and so far we are from it that we have not enough to stop the mouths of poor people and their hands from falling about our eares here almost in the office. God give a good end to it! Sir G. Carteret (55) told me one considerable thing: Alderman Backewell (47) is ordered abroad upon some private score with a great sum of money; wherein I was instrumental the other day in shipping him away. It seems some of his creditors have taken notice of it, and he was like to be broke yesterday in his absence; Sir G. Carteret (55) telling me that the King (35) and the Kingdom must as good as fall with that man at this time; and that he was forced to get £4000 himself to answer Backewell's people's occasions, or he must have broke; but committed this to me as a great secret and which I am heartily sorry to hear.
Thence, after a little merry discourse of our marrying business, I parted, and by coach to several places, among others to see my Lord Brunckerd (45), who is not well, but was at rest when I come. I could not see him, nor had much mind, one of the great houses within two doors of him being shut up: and, Lord! the number of houses visited, which this day I observed through the town quite round in my way by Long Lane and London Wall.
So home to the office, and thence to Sir W. Batten (64), and spent the evening at supper; and, among other discourse, the rashness of Sir John Lawson (50), for breeding up his daughter so high and proud, refusing a man of great interest, Sir W. Barkeley (26), to match her with a melancholy fellow, Colonell Norton's' (49) son, of no interest nor good nature nor generosity at all, giving her £6000, when the other would have taken her with two; when he himself knew that he was not worth the money himself in all the world, he did give her that portion, and is since dead, and left his wife and two daughters beggars, and the other gone away with £6000, and no content in it, through the ill qualities of her father-in-law and husband, who, it seems, though a pretty woman, contracted for her as if he had been buying a horse; and, worst of all, is now of no use to serve the mother and two little sisters in any stead at Court, whereas the other might have done what he would for her: so here is an end of this family's pride, which, with good care, might have been what they would, and done well.
Thence, weary of this discourse, as the act of the greatest rashness that ever I heard of in all my little conversation, we parted, and I home to bed. Sir W. Pen (44), it seems, sailed last night from Solebay with, about sixty sail of ship, and my Lord Sandwich (39) in "The Prince" and some others, it seems, going after them to overtake them, for I am sure my Lord Sandwich (39) will do all possible to overtake them, and will be troubled to the heart if he do it not.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 September 1665. 18 Sep 1665. By break of day we come to within sight of the fleete, which was a very fine thing to behold, being above 100 ships, great and small; with the flag-ships of each squadron, distinguished by their several flags on their main, fore, or mizen masts. Among others, the Soveraigne, Charles, and Prince; in the last of which my Lord Sandwich (40) was. When we called by her side his Lordshipp was not stirring, so we come to anchor a little below his ship, thinking to have rowed on board him, but the wind and tide was so strong against us that we could not get up to him, no, though rowed by a boat of the Prince's that come to us to tow us up; at last however he brought us within a little way, and then they flung out a rope to us from the Prince and so come on board, but with great trouble and tune and patience, it being very cold; we find my Lord newly up in his night-gown very well. He received us kindly; telling us the state of the fleet, lacking provisions, having no beer at all, nor have had most of them these three weeks or month, and but few days' dry provisions. And indeed he tells us that he believes no fleete was ever set to sea in so ill condition of provision, as this was when it went out last. He did inform us in the business of Bergen1, so as to let us see how the judgment of the world is not to be depended on in things they know not; it being a place just wide enough, and not so much hardly, for ships to go through to it, the yardarmes sticking in the very rocks. He do not, upon his best enquiry, find reason to except against any part of the management of the business by Teddiman; he having staid treating no longer than during the night, whiles he was fitting himself to fight, bringing his ship a-breast, and not a quarter of an hour longer (as is said); nor could more ships have been brought to play, as is thought. Nor could men be landed, there being 10,000 men effectively always in armes of the Danes; nor, says he, could we expect more from the Dane than he did, it being impossible to set fire on the ships but it must burn the towne. But that wherein the Dane did amisse is, that he did assist them, the Dutch, all the while, while he was treating with us, while he should have been neutrall to us both. But, however, he did demand but the treaty of us; which is, that we should not come with more than five ships. A flag of truce is said, and confessed by my Lord, that he believes it was hung out; but while they did hang it out, they did shoot at us; so that it was not either seen perhaps, or fit to cease upon sight of it, while they continued actually in action against us. But the main thing my Lord wonders at, and condemns the Dane for, is, that the blockhead (56), who is so much in debt to the Hollander, having now a treasure more by much than all his Crowne was worth, and that which would for ever have beggared the Hollanders, should not take this time to break with the Hollander, and, thereby paid his debt which must have been forgiven him, and got the greatest treasure into his hands that ever was together in the world.
By and by my Lord took me aside to discourse of his private matters, who was very free with me touching the ill condition of the fleete that it hath been in, and the good fortune that he hath had, and nothing else that these prizes are to be imputed to. He also talked with me about Mr. Coventry's (37) dealing with him in sending Sir W. Pen (44) away before him, which was not fair nor kind; but that he hath mastered and cajoled Sir W. Pen (44), that he hath been able to do, nothing in the fleete, but been obedient to him; but withal tells me he is a man that is but of very mean parts, and a fellow not to be lived with, so false and base he is; which I know well enough to be very true, and did, as I had formerly done, give my Lord my knowledge of him.
By and by was called a Council of Warr on board, when come Sir W. Pen (44) there, and Sir Christopher Mings (39), Sir Edward Spragg (45), Sir Jos. Jordan, Sir Thomas Teddiman, and Sir Roger Cuttance, and so the necessity of the fleete for victuals, clothes, and money was discoursed, but by the discourse there of all but my Lord, that is to say, the counterfeit grave nonsense of Sir W. Pen (44) and the poor mean discourse of the rest, methinks I saw how the government and management of the greatest business of the three nations is committed to very ordinary heads, saving my Lord, and in effect is only upon him, who is able to do what he pleases with them, they not having the meanest degree of reason to be able to oppose anything that he says, and so I fear it is ordered but like all the rest of the King's publique affayres.
The council being up they most of them went away, only Sir W. Pen (44) who staid to dine there and did so, but the wind being high the ship (though the motion of it was hardly discernible to the eye) did make me sick, so as I could not eat any thing almost.
After dinner Cocke (48) did pray me to helpe him to £500 of W. How, who is deputy Treasurer, wherein my Lord Bruncker (45) and I am to be concerned and I did aske it my Lord, and he did consent to have us furnished with £500, and I did get it paid to Sir Roger Cuttance and Mr. Pierce in part for above £1000 worth of goods, Mace, Nutmegs, Cynamon, and Cloves, and he tells us we may hope to get £1500 by it, which God send! Great spoil, I hear, there hath been of the two East India ships, and that yet they will come in to the King (35) very rich: so that I hope this journey will be worth £100 to me2.
After having paid this money, we took leave of my Lord and so to our Yacht again, having seen many of my friends there. Among others I hear that W. Howe will grow very rich by this last business and grows very proud and insolent by it; but it is what I ever expected. I hear by every body how much my poor Lord of Sandwich was concerned for me during my silence a while, lest I had been dead of the plague in this sickly time. No sooner come into the yacht, though overjoyed with the good work we have done to-day, but I was overcome with sea sickness so that I begun to spue soundly, and so continued a good while, till at last I went into the cabbin and shutting my eyes my trouble did cease that I fell asleep, which continued till we come into Chatham river where the water was smooth, and then I rose and was very well, and the tide coming to be against us we did land before we come to Chatham and walked a mile, having very good discourse by the way, it being dark and it beginning to rain just as we got thither. At Commissioner Pett's (55) we did eat and drink very well and very merry we were, and about 10 at night, it being moonshine and very cold, we set out, his coach carrying us, and so all night travelled to Greenwich, we sometimes sleeping a little and then talking and laughing by the way, and with much pleasure, but that it was very horrible cold, that I was afeard of an ague.
A pretty passage was that the coach stood of a sudden and the coachman come down and the horses stirring, he cried, Hold! which waked me, and the coach[man] standing at the boote to [do] something or other and crying, Hold! I did wake of a sudden and not knowing who he was, nor thinking of the coachman between sleeping and waking I did take up the heart to take him by the shoulder, thinking verily he had been a thief. But when I waked I found my cowardly heart to discover a fear within me and that I should never have done it if I had been awake.
Note 2. There is a shorthand journal of proceedings relating to Pepys's purchase of some East India prize goods among the Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian Library.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 September 1665. 25 Sep 1665. Found ourselves come to the fleete, and so aboard the Prince; and there, after a good while in discourse, we did agree a bargain of £5,000 with Sir Roger Cuttance for my Lord Sandwich (40) for silk, cinnamon, nutmeggs, and indigo. And I was near signing to an undertaking for the payment of the whole sum; but I did by chance escape it; having since, upon second thoughts, great cause to be glad of it, reflecting upon the craft and not good condition, it may be, of Captain Cocke (48). I could get no trifles for my wife. !Anon to dinner and thence in great haste to make a short visit to Sir W. Pen (44), where I found them and his lady (41) and daughter (14) and many commanders at dinner. Among others Sir G. Askue (49), of whom whatever the matter is, the world is silent altogether. But a very pretty dinner there was, and after dinner Sir W. Pen (44) made a bargain with Cocke (48) for ten bales of silke, at 16s. per lb., which, as Cocke (48) says, will be a good pennyworth, and so away to the Prince and presently comes my Lord on board from Greenwich, with whom, after a little discourse about his trusting of Cocke (48), we parted and to our yacht; but it being calme, we to make haste, took our wherry toward Chatham; but, it growing darke, we were put to great difficultys, our simple, yet confident waterman, not knowing a step of the way; and we found ourselves to go backward and forward, which, in the darke night and a wild place, did vex us mightily. At last we got a fisher boy by chance, and took him into the boat, and being an odde kind of boy, did vex us too; for he would not answer us aloud when we spoke to him, but did carry us safe thither, though with a mistake or two; but I wonder they were not more. In our way I was [surprised] and so were we all, at the strange nature of the sea-water in a darke night, that it seemed like fire upon every stroke of the oare, and, they say, is a sign of winde. We went to the Crowne Inne, at Rochester, and there to supper, and made ourselves merry with our poor fisher-boy, who told us he had not been in a bed in the whole seven years since he came to 'prentice, and hath two or three more years to serve. After eating something, we in our clothes to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 June 1666. 07 Jun 1666. Up betimes, and to my office about business (Sir W. Coventry (38) having sent me word that he is gone down to the fleete to see how matters stand, and to be back again speedily); and with the same expectation of congratulating ourselves with the victory that I had yesterday. But my Lord Bruncker (46) and Sir T. H. (41) that come from Court, tell me quite contrary newes, which astonishes me: that is to say, that we are beaten, lost many ships and good commanders; have not taken one ship of the enemy's; and so can only report ourselves a victory; nor is it certain that we were left masters of the field. But, above all, that The Prince run on shore upon the Galloper, and there stuck; was endeavoured to be fetched off by the Dutch, but could not; and so they burned her; and Sir G. Ascue (50) is taken prisoner, and carried into Holland. This newes do much trouble me, and the thoughts of the ill consequences of it, and the pride and presumption that brought us to it.
At noon to the 'Change, and there find the discourse of towne, and their countenances much changed; but yet not very plain.
So home to dinner all alone, my father and people being gone all to Woolwich to see the launching of the new ship The Greenwich, built by Chr. Pett. I left alone with little Mrs. Tooker, whom I kept with me in my chamber all the afternoon, and did what I would with her.
By and by comes Mr. Wayth to me; and discoursing of our ill successe, he tells me plainly from Captain Page's own mouth (who hath lost his arm in the fight), that the Dutch did pursue us two hours before they left us, and then they suffered us to go on homewards, and they retreated towards their coast: which is very sad newes. Then to my office and anon to White Hall, late, to the Duke of York (32) to see what commands he hath and to pray a meeting to-morrow for Tangier in behalf of Mr. Yeabsly, which I did do and do find the Duke (32) much damped in his discourse, touching the late fight, and all the Court talk sadly of it. The Duke (32) did give me several letters he had received from the fleete, and Sir W. Coventry (38) and Sir W. Pen (45), who are gone down thither, for me to pick out some works to be done for the setting out the fleete again; and so I took them home with me, and was drawing out an abstract of them till midnight. And as to newes, I do find great reason to think that we are beaten in every respect, and that we are the losers. The Prince upon the Galloper, where both the Royall Charles and Royall Katharine had come twice aground, but got off. The Essex carried into Holland; the Swiftsure missing (Sir William Barkeley (27)) ever since the beginning of the fight. Captains Bacon, Tearne, Wood, Mootham, Whitty, and Coppin, slayne. The Duke of Albemarle (57) writes, that he never fought with worse officers in his life, not above twenty of them behaving themselves like men. Sir William Clerke (43) lost his leg; and in two days died. The Loyall George, Seven Oakes, and Swiftsure, are still missing, having never, as the Generall writes himself, engaged with them. It was as great an alteration to find myself required to write a sad letter instead of a triumphant one to my Lady Sandwich (41) this night, as ever on any occasion I had in my life. So late home and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 June 1666. 10 Jun 1666. Lord's Day. Up very betimes, and down the river to Deptford, and did a good deale of business in sending away and directing several things to the Fleete.
At noon home to dinner, where my cozen Joyces, both of them, they and their wives and little Will, come by invitation to dinner to me, and I had a good dinner for them; but, Lord! how sicke was I of W. Joyce's company, both the impertinencies of it and his ill manners before me at my table to his wife, which I could hardly forbear taking notice of; but being at my table and for his wife's sake, I did, though I will prevent his giving me the like occasion again at my house I will warrant him.
After dinner I took leave and by water to White Hall, and there spent all the afternoon in the Gallery, till the Council was up, to speake with Sir W. Coventry (38). Walking here I met with Pierce the surgeon, who is lately come from the fleete, and tells me that all the commanders, officers, and even the common seamen do condemn every part of the late conduct of the Duke of Albemarle (57): both in his fighting at all, in his manner of fighting, running among them in his retreat, and running the ships on ground; so as nothing can be worse spoken of. That Holmes, Spragg, and Smith do all the business, and the old and wiser commanders nothing. So as Sir Thomas Teddiman (whom the King (36) and all the world speak well of) is mightily discontented, as being wholly slighted. He says we lost more after the Prince (46) come, than before too. The Prince was so maimed, as to be forced to be towed home. He says all the fleete confess their being chased home by the Dutch; and yet the body of the Dutch that did it, was not above forty sayle at most. And yet this put us into the fright, as to bring all our ships on ground. He says, however, that the Duke of Albemarle (57) is as high almost as ever, and pleases himself to think that he hath given the Dutch their bellies full, without sense of what he hath lost us; and talks how he knows now the way to beat them. But he says, that even Smith himself, one of his creatures, did himself condemn the late conduct from the beginning to the end.
He tells me further, how the Duke of Yorke (32) is wholly given up to his new mistresse, my Lady Denham (26), going at noon-day with all his gentlemen with him to visit her in Scotland Yard; she declaring she will not be his mistresse, as Mrs. Price (29), to go up and down the Privy-stairs, but will be owned publicly; and so she is. Mr. Bruncker (39), it seems, was the pimp to bring it about, and my Baroness Castlemaine's (25), who designs thereby to fortify herself by the Duke; there being a falling-out the other day between the King (36) and her: on this occasion, the Queene (56), in ordinary talke before the ladies in her drawing-room, did say to my Baroness Castlemaine's (25) that she feared the King (36) did take cold, by staying so late abroad at her house. She answered before them all, that he did not stay so late abroad with her, for he went betimes thence (though he do not before one, two, or three in the morning), but must stay somewhere else. The King (36) then coming in and overhearing, did whisper in the eare aside, and told her she was a bold impertinent woman, and bid her to be gone out of the Court, and not come again till he sent for, her; which she did presently, and went to a lodging in the Pell Mell, and kept there two or three days, and then sent to the King (36) to know whether she might send for her things away out of her house. The King (36) sent to her, she must first come and view them: and so she come, and the King (36) went to her, and all friends again. He tells me she did, in her anger, say she would be even with the King (36), and print his letters to her. So putting all together, we are and are like to be in a sad condition. We are endeavouring to raise money by borrowing it of the City; but I do not think the City will lend a farthing.
By and by the Council broke up, and I spoke with Sir W. Coventry (38) about business, with whom I doubt not in a little time to be mighty well, when I shall appear to mind my business again as I used to do, which by the grace of God I will do. Gone from him I endeavoured to find out Sir G. Carteret (56), and at last did at Mr. Ashburnham's (62), in the Old Palace Yarde, and thence he and I stepped out and walked an houre in the church-yarde, under Henry the Seventh's Chappell, he being lately come from the fleete; and tells me, as I hear from every body else, that the management in the late fight was bad from top to bottom. That several said this would not have been if my Lord Sandwich (40) had had the ordering of it. Nay, he tells me that certainly had my Lord Sandwich (40) had the misfortune to have done as they have done, the King (36) could not have saved him. There is, too, nothing but discontent among the officers; and all the old experienced men are slighted. He tells me to my question (but as a great secret), that the dividing of the fleete did proceed first from a proposition from the fleete, though agreed to hence. But he confesses it arose from want of due intelligence, which he confesses we do want. He do, however, call the fleete's retreat on Sunday a very honourable retreat, and that the Duke of Albemarle (57) did do well in it, and would have been well if he had done it sooner, rather than venture the loss of the fleete and crown, as he must have done if the Prince had not come. He was surprised when I told him I heard that the King (36) did intend to borrow some money of the City, and would know who had spoke of it to me; I told him Sir Ellis Layton this afternoon. He says it is a dangerous discourse; for that the City certainly will not be invited to do it, and then for the King (36) to ask it and be denied, will be the beginning of our sorrow. He seems to fear we shall all fall to pieces among ourselves.
This evening we hear that Sir Christopher Mings (40) is dead of his late wounds; and Sir W. Coventry (38) did commend him to me in a most extraordinary manner. But this day, after three days' trial in vain, and the hazard of the spoiling of the ship in lying till next spring, besides the disgrace of it, newes is brought that the Loyall London is launched at Deptford. Having talked thus much with Sir G. Carteret (56) we parted there, and I home by water, taking in my boat with me young Michell and my Betty his wife, meeting them accidentally going to look a boat. I set them down at the Old Swan and myself, went through bridge to the Tower, and so home, and after supper to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 October 1666. 20 Oct 1666. He being gone, there comes to me Commissioner Middleton, whom I took on purpose to walk in the garden with me, and to learn what he observed when the fleete was at Portsmouth. He says that the fleete was in such a condition, as to discipline, as if the Devil had commanded it; so much wickedness of all sorts. Enquiring how it come to pass that so many ships miscarried this year, he tells me that he enquired; and the pilots do say, that they dare not do nor go but as the Captains will have them; and if they offer to do otherwise, the Captains swear they will run them through. He says that he heard Captain Digby (my Lord of Bristol's (53) son, a young fellow that never was but one year, if that, in the fleete) say that he did hope he should not see a tarpaulin have the command of a ship within this twelve months. He observed while he was on board the Admirall, when the fleete was at Portsmouth, that there was a faction there. Holmes (44) commanded all on the Prince's (46) side, and Sir Jeremy Smith on the Duke's (33), and every body that come did apply themselves to one side or other; and when the Duke of Albemarle (57) was gone away to come hither, then Sir Jeremy Smith did hang his head, and walked in the Generall's ship but like a private commander. He says he was on board The Prince, when the newes come of the burning of London; and all the Prince (46) said was, that now Shipton's prophecy was out; and he heard a young commander presently swear, that now a citizen's wife that would not take under half a piece before, would be occupied for half-a-crowne: and made mighty sport of it.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 November 1666. 02 Nov 1666. Up betimes, and with Sir W. Batten (65) to Woolwich, where first we went on board the Ruby, French prize, the only ship of war we have taken from any of our enemies this year. It seems a very good ship, but with galleries quite round the sterne to walk in as a balcone, which will be taken down. She had also about forty good brass guns, but will make little amends to our loss in The Prince.
Thence to the Ropeyarde and the other yards to do several businesses, he and I also did buy some apples and pork; by the same token the butcher commended it as the best in England for cloath and colour. And for his beef, says he, "Look how fat it is; the lean appears only here and there a speck, like beauty-spots". Having done at Woolwich, we to Deptford (it being very cold upon the water), and there did also a little more business, and so home, I reading all the why to make end of the "Bondman" (which the oftener I read the more I like), and begun "The Duchesse of Malfy"; which seems a good play.
At home to dinner, and there come Mr. Pierce, surgeon, to see me, and after I had eat something, he and I and my wife by coach to Westminster, she set us down at White Hall, and she to her brother's (26). I up into the House, and among other things walked a good while with the Serjeant Trumpet, who tells me, as I wished, that the King's Italian here is about setting three parts for trumpets, and shall teach some to sound them, and believes they will be admirable musique. I also walked with Sir Stephen Fox (39) an houre, and good discourse of publique business with him, who seems very much satisfied with my discourse, and desired more of my acquaintance. Then comes out the King (36) and Duke of York (33) from the Council, and so I spoke awhile to Sir W. Coventry (38) about some office business, and so called my wife (her brother (26) being now a little better than he was), and so home, and I to my chamber to do some business, and then to supper and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 January 1667. 10 Jan 1667. Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon home and, there being business to do in the afternoon, took my Lord Bruncker (47) home with me, who dined with me. His discourse and mine about the bad performances of the Controller's and Surveyor's places by the hands they are now in, and the shame to the service and loss the King (36) suffers by it.
Then after dinner to the office, where we and some of the chief of the Trinity House met to examine the occasion of the loss of The Prince Royall, the master and mates being examined, which I took and keep, and so broke up, and I to my letters by the post, and so home and to supper with my mind at pretty good ease, being entered upon minding my business, and so to bed. This noon Mrs. Burroughs come to me about business, whom I did baiser....
Diary of Samuel Pepys 12 March 1667. 12 Mar 1667. Up, and to the office, where all-the morning, and my Lord Bruncker (47) mighty quiet, and no words all day, which I wonder at, expecting that he would have fallen again upon the business of Carcasse, and the more for that here happened that Perkins, who was the greatest witness of all against him, was brought in by Sir W. Batten (66) to prove that he did really belong to The Prince, but being examined was found rather a fool than anything, as not being able to give any account when he come in nor when he come out of her, more than that he was taken by the Dutch in her, but did agree in earnest to Sir W. Pen's (45) saying that she lay up all, the winter before at Lambeth. This I confess did make me begin to doubt the truth of his evidence, but not to doubt the faults of Carcasse, for he was condemned by, many other better evidences than his, besides the whole world's report.
At noon home, and there find Mr. Goodgroome, whose teaching of my wife only by singing over and over again to her, and letting her sing with him, not by herself, to correct her faults, I do not like at all, but was angry at it; but have this content, that I do think she will come to sing pretty well, and to trill in time, which pleases me well. He dined with us, and then to the office, when we had a sorry meeting to little purpose, and then broke up, and I to my office, and busy late to good purpose, and so home to supper and to bed. This day a poor seaman, almost starved for want of food, lay in our yard a-dying. I sent him half-a-crown, and we ordered his ticket to be paid.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 23 October 1667. 23 Oct 1667. Up, and Sir W. Pen (46) and I in his coach to White Hall, there to attend the Duke of York (34); but come a little too late, and so missed it: only spoke with him, and heard him correct my Lord Barkeley (65), who fell foul on Sir Edward Spragg (47), who, it seems, said yesterday to the House, that if the Officers of the Ordnance had done as much work at Shereness in ten weeks as "The Prince" did in ten days, he could have defended the place against the Dutch: but the Duke of York (34) told him that every body must have liberty, at this time, to make their own defence, though it be to the charging of the fault upon any other, so it be true; so I perceive the whole world is at work in blaming one another.
Thence Sir W. Pen (46) and I back into London; and there saw the King (37), with his kettle-drums and trumpets, going to the Exchange, to lay the first stone of the first pillar of the new building of the Exchange; which, the gates being shut, I could not get in to see: but, with Sir W. Pen (46), to Captain Cocke's (50) to drink a dram of brandy, and so he to the Treasury office about Sir G. Carteret's (57) accounts, and I took coach and back again toward Westminster; but in my way stopped at the Exchange, and got in, the King (37) being newly gone; and there find the bottom of the first pillar laid. And here was a shed set up, and hung with tapestry, and a canopy of state, and some good victuals and wine, for the King (37), who, it seems, did it; and so a great many people, as Tom Killigrew (55), and others of the Court there, and there I did eat a mouthful and drink a little, and do find Mr. Gawden in his gowne as Sheriffe, and understand that the King (37) hath this morning knighted him upon the place, which I am mightily pleased with; and I think the other Sheriffe, who is Davis, the little fellow, my schoolfellow,—the bookseller, who was one of Audley's' Executors, and now become Sheriffe; which is a strange turn, methinks.
Here mighty merry (there being a good deal of good company) for a quarter of an hour, and so I away and to Westminster Hall, where I come just as the House rose; and there, in the Hall, met with Sir W. Coventry (39), who is in pain to defend himself in the business of tickets, it being said that the paying of the ships at Chatham by ticket was by his direction, and he hath wrote to me to find his letters, and shew them him, but I find none; but did there argue the case with him, and I think no great blame can be laid on us for that matter, only I see he is fearfull. And he tells me his mistake in the House the other day, which occasions him much trouble, in shewing of the House the Duke of Albemarle's (58) letter about the good condition of Chatham, which he is sorry for, and, owns as a mistake, the thing not being necessary to have been done; and confesses that nobody can escape from such error, some times or other. He says the House was well satisfied with my Report yesterday; and so several others told me in the Hall that my Report was very good and satisfactory, and that I have got advantage by it in the House: I pray God it may prove so! And here, after the Hall pretty empty, I did walk a few turns with Commissioner Pett (57), and did give the poor weak man some advice for his advantage how to better his pleading for himself, which I think he will if he can remember and practise, for I would not have the man suffer what he do not deserve, there being enough of what he do deserve to lie upon him.
Thence to Mrs. Martin's, and there staid till two o'clock, and drank and talked, and did give her £3 to buy my goddaughter her first new gowne.... [Missing text: "and I did hazer algo con her;"] and so away homeward, and in my way met Sir W. Pen (46) in Cheapside, and went into his coach, and back again and to the King's playhouse, and there saw "The Black Prince" again: which is now mightily bettered by that long letter being printed, and so delivered to every body at their going in, and some short reference made to it in heart in the play, which do mighty well; but, when all is done, I think it the worst play of my Lord Orrery's (46). But here, to my great satisfaction, I did see my Lord Hinchingbrooke (19) and his mistress (23), with her father (55) and mother (54); and I am mightily pleased with the young lady, being handsome enough—and, indeed, to my great liking, as I would have her. I could not but look upon them all the play; being exceeding pleased with my good hap to see them, God bring them together! and they are now already mighty kind to one another, and he is as it were one of their family. The play done I home, and to the office a while, and then home to supper, very hungry, and then to my chamber, to read the true story, in Speed, of the Black Prince, and so to bed. This day, it was moved in the House that a day might be appointed to bring in an impeachment against the Chancellor (58), but it was decried as being irregular; but that, if there was ground for complaint, it might be brought to the Committee for miscarriages, and, if they thought good, to present it to the House; and so it was carried. They did also vote this day thanks to be given to the Prince and Duke of Albemarle (58), for their care and conduct in the last year's war, which is a strange act; but, I know not how, the blockhead Albemarle hath strange luck to be loved, though he be, and every man must know it, the heaviest man in the world, but stout and honest to his country. This evening late, Mr. Moore come to me to prepare matters for my Lord Sandwich's (42) defence; wherein I can little assist, but will do all I can; and am in great fear of nothing but the damned business of the prizes, but I fear my Lord will receive a cursed deal of trouble by it.