Solebay is in Southwold.
Calendar of State Papers Charles II 1665 29 May 1665. 29 May 1655. Royal Charles. 75. Earl of Falmouth (25) to Lord Arlington (37). They sail to-morrow for Sole Bay, Sir George Downing’s letter making them wish to be in deeper water. Hopes to meet the Dutch half seas over. Great skill will be necessary to get men. The decay by sickness and colliers is greater than could be imagined. Hopes soon to be the bringer of good news.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 August 1661. 17 Aug 1661. So the Captain and I and another to the Devil tavern and drank, and so by coach home. Troubled in mind that I cannot bring myself to mind my business, but to be so much in love of plays. We have been at a great loss a great while for a vessel that I sent about a month ago with, things of my Lord's to Lynn, and cannot till now hear of them, but now we are told that they are put into Soale Bay, but to what purpose I know not.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 June 1665. 02 Jun 1665. Lay troubled in mind abed a good while, thinking of my Tangier and victualling business, which I doubt will fall. Up and to the Duke of Albemarle (56), but missed him.
Thence to the Harp and Ball and to Westminster Hall, where I visited "the flowers" in each place, and so met with Mr. Creed, and he and I to Mrs. Croft's to drink and did, but saw not her daughter Borroughes. I away home, and there dined and did business. In the afternoon went with my tallys, made a fair end with Colvill and Viner (34), delivering them £5000 tallys to each and very quietly had credit given me upon other tallys of Mr. Colvill for £2000 and good words for more, and of Mr. Viner (34) too.
Thence home, and there met an expresse from Sir W. Batten (64) at Harwich, that the fleete is all sailed from Solebay, having spied the Dutch fleete at sea, and that, if the calmes hinder not, they must needs now be engaged with them.
Another letter also come to me from Mr. Hater, committed by the Council this afternoon to the Gate House, upon the misfortune of having his name used by one, without his knowledge or privity, for the receiving of some powder that he had bought.
Up to Court about these two, and for the former was led up to my Baroness Castlemayne's (24) lodgings, where the King (35) and she and others were at supper, and there I read the letter and returned; and then to Sir G. Carteret (55) about Hater, and shall have him released to-morrow, upon my giving bail for his appearance, which I have promised to do. Sir G. Carteret (55) did go on purpose to the King (35) to ask this, and it was granted.
So home at past 12, almost one o'clock in the morning. To my office till past two, and then home to supper and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 05 June 1665. 05 Jun 1665. Up very betimes to look some other papers, and then to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier, where I offered my accounts with great acceptation, and so had some good words and honour by it, and one or two things done to my content in my business of Treasurer, but I do clearly see that we shall lose our business of victualling, Sir Thomas Ingram (50) undertaking that it shall be done by persons there as cheap as we do it, and give the seamen their full allowance and themselves give good security here for performance of contract, upon which terms there is no opposing it. This would trouble me, but that I hope when that fails to spend my time to some good advantage other ways, and so shall permit it all to God Almighty's pleasure.
Thence home to dinner, after 'Change, where great talke of the Dutch being fled and we in pursuit of them, and that our ship Charity1 is lost upon our Captain's, Wilkinson, and Lieutenant's yielding, but of this there is no certainty, save the report of some of the sicke men of the Charity, turned adrift in a boat out of the Charity and taken up and brought on shore yesterday to Sole Bay, and the newes hereof brought by Sir Henry Felton.
Home to dinner, and Creed with me. Then he and I down to Deptford, did some business, and back again at night. He home, and I to my office, and so to supper and to bed. This morning I had great discourse with my Lord Barkeley (63) about Mr. Hater, towards whom from a great passion reproaching him with being a fanatique and dangerous for me to keepe, I did bring him to be mighty calme and to ask me pardons for what he had thought of him and to desire me to ask his pardon of Hater himself for the ill words he did give him the other day alone at White Hall (which was, that he had always thought him a man that was no good friend to the King (35), but did never think it would breake out in a thing of this nature), and did advise him to declare his innocence to the Council and pray for his examination and vindication. Of which I shall consider and say no more, but remember one compliment that in great kindness to me he did give me, extolling my care and diligence, that he did love me heartily for my owne sake, and more that he did will me whatsoever I thought for Mr. Coventry's (37) sake, for though the world did think them enemies, and to have an ill aspect, one to another, yet he did love him with all his heart, which was a strange manner of noble compliment, confessing his owning me as a confidant and favourite of Mr. Coventry's (37).
1. Sir William Coventry (37) and Sir William Pen (44) to the Navy Commissioners, June 4th: "Engaged yesterday with the Dutch; they began to stand away at 3 p.m. Chased them all the rest of the day and night; 20 considerable ships are destroyed and taken; we have only lost the Great Charity. The Earl of Marlborough (47), Rear-Admiral Sansum, and Captain Kirby are slain, and Sir John Lawson (50) wounded" (Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1664-65, p. 406).
So to the office, where all the morning till noon, and so to the 'Change, and thence home to dinner. In the afternoon I abroad to St. James's, and there with Mr. Coventry (37) a good while, and understand how matters are ordered in the fleete: that is, my Lord Sandwich (39) goes Admiral; under him Sir G. Ascue (49), and Sir T. Teddiman; Vice-Admiral, Sir W. Pen (44); and under him Sir W. Barkeley (26), and Sir Jos. Jordan: Reere-Admiral, Sir Thomas Allen (32); and under him Sir Christopher Mings (39)1, and Captain Harman (40). We talked in general of business of the Navy, among others how he had lately spoken to Sir G. Carteret (55), and professed great resolution of friendship with him and reconciliation, and resolves to make it good as well as he can, though it troubles him, he tells me, that something will come before him wherein he must give him offence, but I do find upon the whole that Mr. Coventry (37) do not listen to these complaints of money with the readiness and resolvedness to remedy that he used to do, and I think if he begins to draw in it is high time for me to do so too.
From thence walked round to White Hall, the Parke being quite locked up; and I observed a house shut up this day in the Pell Mell, where heretofore in Cromwell's time we young men used to keep our weekly clubs.
And so to White Hall to Sir G. Carteret (55), who is come this day from Chatham, and mighty glad he is to see me, and begun to talk of our great business of the match, which goes on as fast as possible, but for convenience we took water and over to his coach to Lambeth, by which we went to Deptford, all the way talking, first, how matters are quite concluded with all possible content between my Lord and him and signed and sealed, so that my Lady Sandwich (40) is to come thither to-morrow or next day, and the young lady is sent for, and all likely to be ended between them in a very little while, with mighty joy on both sides, and the King (35), Duke (31), Chancellor (56), and all mightily pleased.
Thence to newes, wherein I find that Sir G. Carteret (55) do now take all my Lord Sandwich's (39) business to heart, and makes it the same with his owne. He tells me how at Chatham it was proposed to my Lord Sandwich (39) to be joined with the Prince (45) in the command of the fleete, which he was most willing to; but when it come to the Prince (45), he was quite against it; saying, there could be no government, but that it would be better to have two fleetes, and neither under the command of the other, which he would not agree to. So the King (35) was not pleased; but, without any unkindnesse, did order the fleete to be ordered as above, as to the Admirals and commands: so the Prince (45) is come up; and Sir G. Carteret (55), I remember, had this word thence, that, says he, by this means, though the King (35) told him that it would be but for this expedition, yet I believe we shall keepe him out for altogether. He tells me how my Lord was much troubled at Sir W. Pen's (44) being ordered forth (as it seems he is, to go to Solebay, and with the best fleete he can, to go forth), and no notice taken of my Lord Sandwich (39) going after him, and having the command over him. But after some discourse Mr. Coventry (37) did satisfy, as he says, my Lord, so as they parted friends both in that point and upon the other wherein I know my Lord was troubled, and which Mr. Coventry (37) did speak to him of first thinking that my Lord might justly take offence at, his not being mentioned in the relation of the fight in the news book, and did clear all to my Lord how little he was concerned in it, and therewith my Lord also satisfied, which I am mightily glad of, because I should take it a very great misfortune to me to have them two to differ above all the persons in the world.
Being come to Deptford, my Lady not being within, we parted, and I by water to Woolwich, where I found my wife come, and her two mayds, and very prettily accommodated they will be; and I left them going to supper, grieved in my heart to part with my wife, being worse by much without her, though some trouble there is in having the care of a family at home in this plague time, and so took leave, and I in one boat and W. Hewer (23) in another home very late, first against tide, we having walked in the dark to Greenwich. Late home and to bed, very lonely.
1. The son of a shoemaker, bred to the sea-service; he rose to the rank of an admiral, and was killed in the fight with the Dutch, June, 1666. B. See post June 10th, 1666.
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 19 August 1665. 19 Aug 1665. Slept till 8 o'clock, and then up and met with letters from the King (35) and Lord Arlington (47), for the removal of our office to Greenwich. I also wrote letters, and made myself ready to go to Sir G. Carteret (55), at Windsor; and having borrowed a horse of Mr. Blackbrough, sent him to wait for me at the Duke of Albemarle's (56) door: when, on a sudden, a letter comes to us from the Duke of Albemarle (56), to tell us that the fleete is all come back to Solebay, and are presently to be dispatched back again. Whereupon I presently by water to the Duke of Albemarle (56) to know what news; and there I saw a letter from my Lord Sandwich (40) to the Duke of Albemarle (56), and also from Sir W. Coventry (37) and Teddiman; how my Lord having commanded Teddiman with twenty-two ships1.
Our fleete is come home to our great grief with not above five weeks' dry, and six days' wet provisions: however, must out again; and the Duke (31) hath ordered the Soveraigne, and all other ships ready, to go out to the fleete to strengthen them. This news troubles us all, but cannot be helped. Having read all this news, and received commands of the Duke with great content, he giving me the words which to my great joy he hath several times said to me, that his greatest reliance is upon me. And my Lord Craven (57) also did come out to talk with me, and told me that I am in mighty esteem with the Duke, for which I bless God.
Home, and having given my fellow-officers an account hereof, to Chatham, and wrote other letters, I by water to Charing-Cross, to the post-house, and there the people tell me they are shut up; and so I went to the new post-house, and there got a guide and horses to Hounslow, where I was mightily taken with a little girle, the daughter of the master of the house (Betty Gysby), which, if she lives, will make a great beauty. Here I met with a fine fellow who, while I staid for my horses, did enquire newes, but I could not make him remember Bergen in Norway, in 6 or 7 times telling, so ignorant he was.
So to Stanes, and there by this time it was dark night, and got a guide who lost his way in the forest, till by help of the moone (which recompenses me for all the pains I ever took about studying of her motions,) I led my guide into the way back again; and so we made a man rise that kept a gate, and so he carried us to Cranborne. Where in the dark I perceive an old house new building with a great deal of rubbish, and was fain to go up a ladder to Sir G. Carteret's (55) chamber. And there in his bed I sat down, and told him all my bad newes, which troubled him mightily; but yet we were very merry, and made the best of it; and being myself weary did take leave, and after having spoken with Mr. Fenn in bed, I to bed in my Lady's chamber that she uses to lie in, and where the Duchesse of York, that now is, was born.
So to sleep; being very well, but weary, and the better by having carried with me a bottle of strong water; whereof now and then a sip did me good.
1. A news letter of August 19th (Salisbury), gives the following account of this affair:—"The Earl of Sandwich being on the Norway coast, ordered Sir Thomas Teddeman with 20 ships to attack 50 Dutch merchant ships in Bergen harbour; six convoyers had so placed themselves that only four or five of the ships could be reached at once. The Governor of Bergen fired on our ships, and placed 100 pieces of ordnance and two regiments of foot on the rocks to attack them, but they got clear without the loss of a ship, only 500 men killed or wounded, five or six captains among them. The fleet has gone to Sole Bay to repair losses and be ready to encounter the Dutch fleet, which is gone northward" (Calendar of State Papers, 1664-65, pp. 526, 527). Medals were struck in Holland, the inscription in Dutch on one of these is thus translated: "Thus we arrest the pride of the English, who extend their piracy even against their friends, and who insulting the forts of Norway, violate the rights of the harbours of King Frederick; but, for the reward of their audacity, see their vessels destroyed by the balls of the Dutch" (Hawkins's "Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland", ed. Franks and Grueber, 1885, vol. i., p. 508). Sir Gilbert Talbot's "True Narrative of the Earl of Sandwich's Attempt upon Bergen with the English Fleet on the 3rd of August, 1665, and the Cause of his Miscarriage thereupon", is in the British Museum (Harl. MS., No. 6859). It is printed in "Archaeologia", vol. xxii., p. 33. The Earl of Rochester also gave an account of the action in a letter to his mother (Wordsworth's "Ecclesiastical Biography", fourth edition, vol. iv., p. 611). Sir John Denham (50), in his "Advice to a Painter", gives a long satirical account of the affair. A coloured drawing of the attack upon Bergen, on vellum, showing the range of the ships engaged, is in the British Museum. Shortly after the Bergen affair forty of the Dutch merchant vessels, on their way to Holland, fell into the hands of the English, and in Penn's "Memorials of Sir William Pen (44)", vol. ii., p. 364, is a list of the prizes taken on the 3rd and 4th September. The troubles connected with these prizes and the disgrace into which Lord Sandwich (40) fell are fully set forth in subsequent pages of the Diary. Evelyn writes in his Diary (November 27th, 1665): "There was no small suspicion of my Lord Sandwich (40) having permitted divers commanders who were at ye taking of ye East India prizes to break bulk and take to themselves jewels, silkes, &c., tho' I believe some whom I could name fill'd their pockets, my Lo. Sandwich himself had the least share. However, he underwent the blame, and it created him enemies, and prepossess'd ye Lo. Generall (Duke of Albemarle (56)), for he spake to me of it with much zeale and concerne, and I believe laid load enough on Lo. Sandwich at Oxford". (of which but fifteen could get thither, and of those fifteen but eight or nine could come up to play) to go to Bergen; where, after several messages to and fro from the Governor of the Castle, urging that Teddiman ought not to come thither with more than five ships, and desiring time to think of it, all the while he suffering the Dutch ships to land their guns to their best advantage; Teddiman on the second pretence, began to play at the Dutch ships, (wherof ten East India-men,) and in three hours' time (the town and castle, without any provocation, playing on our ships,) they did cut all our cables, so as the wind being off the land, did force us to go out, and rendered our fire-ships useless; without doing any thing, but what hurt of course our guns must have done them: we having lost five commanders, besides Mr. Edward Montagu (30), and Mr. Windham. This Mr. Windham had entered into a formal engagement with the Earl of Rochester, "not without ceremonies of religion, that if either of them died, he should appear, and give the other notice of the future state, if there was any". He was probably one of the brothers of Sir William Wyndham, Bart. See Wordsworth's "Ecclesiastical Biography", fourth. edition, vol. iv., p. 615. B.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 23 August 1665. 23 Aug 1665. Up, and whereas I had appointed Mr. Hater and Will to come betimes to the office to meet me about business there, I was called upon as soon as ready by Mr. Andrews to my great content, and he and I to our Tangier accounts, where I settled, to my great joy, all my accounts with him, and, which is more, cleared for my service to the contractors since the last sum I received of them, £222 13s. profit to myself, and received the money actually in the afternoon.
After he was gone comes by a pretence of mine yesterday old Delks the waterman, with his daughter Robins, and several times to and again, he leaving her with me, about the getting of his son Robins off, who was pressed yesterday again.... All the afternoon at my office mighty busy writing letters, and received a very kind and good one from my Lord Sandwich (40) of his arrival with the fleete at Solebay, and the joy he has at my last newes he met with, of the marriage of my Lady Jemimah; and he tells me more, the good newes that all our ships, which were in such danger that nobody would insure upon them, from the Eastland1, were all safe arrived, which I am sure is a great piece of good luck, being in much more danger than those of Hambrough which were lost, and their value much greater at this time to us.
At night home, much contented with this day's work, and being at home alone looking over my papers, comes a neighbour of ours hard by to speak with me about business of the office, one Mr. Fuller, a great merchant, but not my acquaintance, but he come drunk, and would have had me gone and drunk with him at home, or have let him send for wine hither, but I would do neither, nor offered him any, but after some sorry discourse parted, and I up to [my] chamber and to bed.
1. Eastland was a name given to the eastern countries of Europe. The Eastland Company, or Company of Merchants trading to the East Country, was incorporated in Queen (26) Elizabeth's reign (anno 21), and the charter was confirmed 13 Car. II They were also called "The Merchants of Elbing"..
Diary of Samuel Pepys 14 September 1665. 14 Sep 1665. Up, and walked to Greenwich, and there fitted myself in several businesses to go to London, where I have not been now a pretty while. But before I went from the office newes is brought by word of mouth that letters are now just now brought from the fleete of our taking a great many more of the Dutch fleete, in which I did never more plainly see my command of my temper in my not admitting myself to receive any kind of joy from it till I had heard the certainty of it, and therefore went by water directly to the Duke of Albemarle (56), where I find a letter of the Lath from Solebay, from my Lord Sandwich (40), of the fleete's meeting with about eighteen more of the Dutch fleete, and his taking of most of them; and the messenger says, they had taken three after the letter was wrote and sealed; which being twenty-one, and the fourteen took the other day, is forty-five sail; some of which are good, and others rich ships, which is so great a cause of joy in us all that my Lord and everybody is highly joyed thereat. And having taken a copy of my Lord's letter, I away back again to the Beare at the bridge foot, being full of wind and out of order, and there called for a biscuit and a piece of cheese and gill of sacke, being forced to walk over the Bridge, toward the 'Change, and the plague being all thereabouts.
Here my news was highly welcome, and I did wonder to see the 'Change so full, I believe 200 people; but not a man or merchant of any fashion, but plain men all. And Lord! to see how I did endeavour all I could to talk with as few as I could, there being now no observation of shutting up of houses infected, that to be sure we do converse and meet with people that have the plague upon them. I to Sir Robert Viner's (34), where my main business was about settling the business of Debusty's £5000 tallys, which I did for the present to enable me to have some money, and so home, buying some things for my wife in the way.
So home, and put up several things to carry to Woolwich, and upon serious thoughts I am advised by W. Griffin to let my money and plate rest there, as being as safe as any place, nobody imagining that people would leave money in their houses now, when all their families are gone. So for the present that being my opinion, I did leave them there still. But, Lord! to see the trouble that it puts a man to, to keep safe what with pain a man hath been getting together, and there is good reason for it.
Down to the office, and there wrote letters to and again about this good newes of our victory, and so by water home late. Where, when I come home I spent some thoughts upon the occurrences of this day, giving matter for as much content on one hand and melancholy on another, as any day in all my life. For the first; the finding of my money and plate, and all safe at London, and speeding in my business of money this day.
The hearing of this good news to such excess, after so great a despair of my Lord's doing anything this year; adding to that, the decrease of 500 and more, which is the first decrease we have yet had in the sickness since it begun: and great hopes that the next week it will be greater.
Then, on the other side, my finding that though the Bill in general is abated, yet the City within the walls is encreased, and likely to continue so, and is close to our house there. My meeting dead corpses of the plague, carried to be buried close to me at noon-day through the City in Fanchurch-street. To see a person sick of the sores, carried close by me by Gracechurch in a hackney-coach. My finding the Angell tavern, at the lower end of Tower-hill shut up, and more than that, the alehouse at the Tower-stairs, and more than that, the person was then dying of the plague when I was last there, a little while ago, at night, to write a short letter there, and I overheard the mistresse of the house sadly saying to her husband somebody was very ill, but did not think it was of the plague.
To hear that poor Payne, my waiter, hath buried a child, and is dying himself. To hear that a labourer I sent but the other day to Dagenhams, to know how they did there, is dead of the plague; and that one of my own watermen, that carried me daily, fell sick as soon as he had landed me on Friday morning last, when I had been all night upon the water (and I believe he did get his infection that day at Brainford), and is now dead of the plague. To hear that Captain Lambert and Cuttle are killed in the taking these ships; and that Mr. Sidney Montague (84) is sick of a desperate fever at my Baroness Carteret's (63), at Scott's-hall. To hear that Mr. Lewes hath another daughter sick.
And, lastly, that both my servants, W. Hewer (23) and Tom Edwards, have lost their fathers, both in St. Sepulchre's parish, of the plague this week, do put me into great apprehensions of melancholy, and with good reason. But I put off the thoughts of sadness as much as I can, and the rather to keep my wife in good heart and family also. After supper (having eat nothing all this day) upon a fine tench of Mr. Shelden's taking, we to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 October 1665. 07 Oct 1665. Up and to the office along with Mr. Childe, whom I sent for to discourse about the victualling business, who will not come into partnership (no more will Captain Beckford), but I do find him a mighty understanding man, and one I will keep a knowledge of. Did business, though not much, at the office; because of the horrible crowd and lamentable moan of the poor seamen that lie starving in the streets for lack of money. Which do trouble and perplex me to the heart; and more at noon when we were to go through them, for then a whole hundred of them followed us; some cursing, some swearing, and some praying to us. And that that made me more troubled was a letter come this afternoon from the Duke of Albemarle (56), signifying the Dutch to be in sight, with 80 sayle, yesterday morning, off of Solebay, coming right into the bay. God knows what they will and may do to us, we having no force abroad able to oppose them, but to be sacrificed to them.
Here come Sir W. Rider to me, whom I sent for about the victualling business also, but he neither will not come into partnership, but desires to be of the Commission if there be one.
Thence back the back way to my office, where very late, very busy. But most of all when at night come two waggons from Rochester with more goods from Captain Cocke (48); and in houseing them at Mr. Tooker's lodgings come two of the Custome-house to seize them, and did seize them but I showed them my 'Transire'. However, after some hot and angry words, we locked them up, and sealed up the key, and did give it to the constable to keep till Monday, and so parted. But, Lord! to think how the poor constable come to me in the dark going home; "Sir", says he, "I have the key, and if you would have me do any service for you, send for me betimes to-morrow morning, and I will do what you would have me". Whether the fellow do this out of kindness or knavery, I cannot tell; but it is pretty to observe. Talking with him in the high way, come close by the bearers with a dead corpse of the plague; but, Lord! to see what custom is, that I am come almost to think nothing of it.
So to my lodging, and there, with Mr. Hater and Will, ending a business of the state of the last six months' charge of the Navy, which we bring to £1,000,000 and above, and I think we do not enlarge much in it if anything. So to bed.
Calendar of State Papers Charles II 05 Aug 1666. 05 Aug 1666. 86. Instructions given to Sir Thos. Clifford (36), returning to the fleet, to be communicated to Prince Rupert (46) and the Duke of Albemarle (57), generals, viz.: to assure them of the King’s satisfaction with their conduct in the last happy engagement; to acquaint them with the state of supplies, the condition of ships sent in disabled, the state of the fleet bound for Gottenburg; to consult about that for Hamburg which waits a convoy, as do the vessels ready to come thence with naval provisions, &c.; to tell them of the disadvantages that may arise from their remaining on the Holland coast, many ships being presumed to be too much: hurt to bear foul weather or the shcck of another engagement, when the Dutch are strengthened with De Beaufort’s (50) fleet, and perhaps some ships from "Denmark, especially as unless their East India and merchant ships come in a few days, they will put into harbour, on notice that their fleet is disabled, and ours: waiting them on their coasts; to tell them that the complaint of Sir Jeremy Smith’s misbehaviour in the late engagement being so universal, unless he have fully satisfied the generals, he should be brought to trial by court martial, and there purged or condemned, but sentence not executed till further orders; to represent that the fleet will run less risk, more easily refresh and refit itself, sooner join the ships making ready, especially the fire-ships, and receive expected recruits, by returning to the Downs, Sole Bay, or the Isle of Wight, but as, on the other hand, the reputation of the victory will be best maintained by the fleet’s continuing on the enemy’s coast, the generals are to reflect seriously on these points and decide for themselves whether to stay or return; to recommend them to let His Majesty hear often from them, and especially their resolutions upon these several directions. [3 pages, draft, corrected by Lord Arlington.]
Calendar of State Papers Charles II 14 Aug 1666. 14 Aug 1666. 20 leagues from land. 132. Duke of Albemarle (57) to the King. Thanks for his gracious letter. Prince Rupert (46) and he think it their greatest honour to serve His Majesty. They are sailing for Solebay with a fair wind, and hope to find provisions, having sent to Comr. Taylor to forward them. Wishes to clear a gallant man falsely accused, Sir Jeremiah Smith, who had more men killed and hurt, and his ship received more shot than any in the fleet. There is not a more spirited man serves in the fleet. A vessel is taken laden with masts and iron. Endorsed, " Received 16th August." [2 pages.] Encloses, 132. 1. Account of the masts, de., on the above ship.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 August 1666. 17 Aug 1666. Up and betimes with Captain Erwin down by water to Woolwich, I walking alone from Greenwich thither, making an end of the "The Adventures of Five Hours", which when all is done is the best play that ever I read in my life. Being come thither I did some business there and at the Rope Yarde, and had a piece of bride-cake sent me by Mrs. Barbary into the boate after me, she being here at her uncle's, with her husband, Mr. Wood's son, the mast-maker, and mighty nobly married, they say, she was, very fine, and he very rich, a strange fortune for so odd a looked mayde, though her hands and body be good, and nature very good, I think.
Back with Captain Erwin, discoursing about the East Indys, where he hath often been. And among other things he tells me how the King of Syam seldom goes out without thirty or forty thousand people with him, and not a word spoke, nor a hum or cough in the whole company to be heard. He tells me the punishment frequently there for malefactors is cutting off the crowne of their head, which they do very dexterously, leaving their brains bare, which kills them presently. He told me what I remember he hath once done heretofore: that every body is to lie flat down at the coming by of the King (36), and nobody to look upon him upon pain of death. And that he and his fellows, being strangers, were invited to see the sport of taking of a wild elephant, and they did only kneel, and look toward the King. Their druggerman did desire them to fall down, for otherwise he should suffer for their contempt of the King. The sport being ended, a messenger comes from the King, which the druggerman thought had been to have taken away his life; but it was to enquire how the strangers liked the sport. The druggerman answered that they did cry it up to be the best that ever they saw, and that they never heard of any Prince so great in every thing as this King. The messenger being gone back, Erwin and his company asked their druggerman what he had said, which he told them. "But why", say they, "would you say that without our leave, it being not true?"—"It is no matter for that", says he, "I must have said it, or have been hanged, for our King do not live by meat, nor drink, but by having great lyes told him". In our way back we come by a little vessel that come into the river this morning, and says he left the fleete in Sole Bay, and that he hath not heard (he belonging to Sir W. Jenings, in the fleete) of any such prizes taken as the ten or twelve I inquired about, and said by Sir W. Batten (65) yesterday to be taken, so I fear it is not true.
So to Westminster, and there, to my great content, did receive my £2000 of Mr. Spicer's telling, which I was to receive of Colvill, and brought it home with me [to] my house by water, and there I find one of my new presses for my books brought home, which pleases me mightily. As, also, do my wife's progresse upon her head that she is making.
So to dinner, and thence abroad with my wife, leaving her at Unthanke's; I to White Hall, waiting at the Council door till it rose, and there spoke with Sir W. Coventry (38), who and I do much fear our Victuallers, they having missed the fleete in their going. But Sir W. Coventry (38) says it is not our fault, but theirs, if they have not left ships to secure them. This he spoke in a chagrin sort of way, methought. After a little more discourse of several businesses, I away homeward, having in the gallery the good fortune to see Mrs. Stewart (19), who is grown a little too tall, but is a woman of most excellent features. The narrative of the late expedition in burning the ships is in print, and makes it a great thing, and I hope it is so.
So took up my wife and home, there I to the office, and thence with Sympson the joyner home to put together the press he hath brought me for my books this day, which pleases me exceedingly. Then to Sir W. Batten's (65), where Sir Richard Ford (52) did very understandingly, methought, give us an account of the originall of the Hollands Bank1, and the nature of it, and how they do never give any interest at all to any person that brings in their money, though what is brought in upon the public faith interest is given by the State for. The unsafe condition of a Bank under a Monarch, and the little safety to a Monarch to have any; or Corporation alone (as London in answer to Amsterdam) to have so great a wealth or credit, it is, that makes it hard to have a Bank here. And as to the former, he did tell us how it sticks in the memory of most merchants how the late King (when by the war between Holland and France and Spayne all the bullion of Spayne was brought hither, one-third of it to be coyned; and indeed it was found advantageous to the merchant to coyne most of it), was persuaded in a strait by my Lord Cottington (87) to seize upon the money in the Tower, which, though in a few days the merchants concerned did prevail to get it released, yet the thing will never be forgot.
So home to supper and to bed, understanding this evening, since I come home, that our Victuallers are all come in to the fleete, which is good newes. Sir John Minnes (67) come home tonight not well, from Chatham, where he hath been at a pay, holding it at Upnor Castle, because of the plague so much in the towne of Chatham. He hath, they say, got an ague, being so much on the water.
1. This bank at Amsterdam is referred to in a tract entitled "An Appeal to Caesar", 1660, p. 22. In 1640 Charles I seized the money in the mint in the Tower entrusted to the safe keeping of the Crown. It was the practice of the London goldsmiths at this time to allow interest at the rate of six or eight per cent. on money deposited with them (J. Biddulph Martin, "The Grasshopper in Lombard Street", 1892, p. 152).
Diary of Samuel Pepys 28 August 1666. 28 Aug 1666. Up, and in my new closet a good while doing business. Then called on Mrs. Martin and Burroughs of Westminster about business of the former's husband. Which done, I to the office, where we sat all the morning.
At noon I, with my wife and Mercer, to Philpott Lane, a great cook's shop, to the wedding of Mr. Longracke, our purveyor, a good, sober, civil man, and hath married a sober, serious mayde. Here I met much ordinary company, I going thither at his great request; but there was Mr. Madden and his lady, a fine, noble, pretty lady, and he, and a fine gentleman seems to be. We four were most together; but the whole company was very simple and innocent. A good-dinner, and, what was best, good musique.
After dinner the young women went to dance; among others Mr. Christopher Pett (46) his daughter, who is a very pretty, modest girle, I am mightily taken with her; and that being done about five o'clock, home, very well pleased with the afternoon's work. And so we broke up mightily civilly, the bride and bridegroom going to Greenwich (they keeping their dinner here only for my sake) to lie, and we home, where I to the office, and anon am on a sudden called to meet Sir W. Pen (45) and Sir W. Coventry (38) at the Victualling Office, which did put me out of order to be so surprised. But I went, and there Sir William Coventry did read me a letter from the Generalls to the King (36)1, a most scurvy letter, reflecting most upon Sir W. Coventry (38), and then upon me for my accounts (not that they are not true, but that we do not consider the expence of the fleete), and then of the whole office, in neglecting them and the King's service, and this in very plain and sharp and menacing terms. I did give a good account of matters according to our computation of the expence of the fleete. I find Sir W. Coventry (38) willing enough to accept of any thing to confront the Generalls. But a great supply must be made, and shall be in grace of God! But, however, our accounts here will be found the true ones. Having done here, and much work set me, I with greater content home than I thought I should have done, and so to the office a while, and then home, and a while in my new closet, which delights me every day more and more, and so late to bed.
1. The letter from Prince Rupert (46) and the Duke of Albemarle (57) to the King (36) (dated August 27th, from the "Royal Charles", Sole Bay) is among the State Papers. The generals complain of the want of supplies, in spite of repeated importunities. The demands are answered by accounts from Mr. Pepys of what has been sent to the fleet, which will not satisfy the ships, unless the provisions could be found "... Have not a month's provision of beer, yet Sir Wm. Coventry assures the ministers that they are supplied till Oct. 3; unless this is quickened they will have to return home too soon.... Want provisions according to their own computation, not Sir Wm. Coventry's, to last to the end of October" ("Calendar", 1666-67, p. 71).
On 28 May 1672 Philip Carteret 1641-1672 (31) and Winston Churchill -1672 were killed at Solebay.
Edward Montagu 1st Earl Sandwich 1625-1672 (46) was killed. His son Edward Montagu 2nd Earl Sandwich 1648-1688 (24) succeeded 2nd Earl Sandwich.
Charles Harbord 1640-1672 (32) was killed. The inscription on his. Monument in Westminster Abbey reads ... Sr. Charles Harbord Knt. his Majesties Surveyor General, and First Lieutenant of the Royall James, under the most noble and illustrious captain Edward, Earle of Sandwich (46), Vice Admirall of England, which after a terrible fight maintained to admiration against a squadron of the Holland fleet for above six houres, neere the Suffolk coast, having put off two fireships, at last being utterly disSabled and few of her men remaining unhurt, was by a third unfortunately set on fire: but he (though he swam well) neglected to save himselfe as some did, and out of the perfect love to that worthy lord (whom for many yeares he had constantly accompanyed in all his honourable imployments, and in all the engagements of the former warr) dyed with him at the age of XXXIII, much bewailed of his father whom he never offended, and much beloved of all for his knowne piety, vertue, loyalty, fortitude and fidelity.
Captain John Cox -1672 was killed in action.
Admiral John Holmes 1640-1683 (32) fought as commander of Rupert.
The Gloucester took part.