The Country Captain

The Country Captain is in Jacobean and Restoration Plays.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 October 1661. 26 Oct 1661. So at the office all the morning, and in the afternoon Sir W. Pen (40), my wife and I to the Theatre, and there saw "The Country Captain", the first time it hath been acted this twenty-five years, a play of my Lord Newcastle's (68), but so silly a play as in all my life I never saw, and the first that ever I was weary of in my life.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 November 1661. 25 Nov 1661. At noon, at the rising of the House, I met with Sir W. Pen (40) and Major General Massy1, who I find by discourse to be a very ingenious man, and among other things a great master in the secresys of powder and fireworks, and another knight to dinner, at the Swan, in the Palace yard, and our meat brought from the Legg; and after dinner Sir W. Pen (40) and I to the Theatre, and there saw "The Country Captain", a dull play, and that being done, I left him with his Torys2 and went to the Opera, and saw the last act of "The Bondman", and there found Mr. Sanchy and Mrs. Mary Archer, sister to the fair Betty, whom I did admire at Cambridge, and thence took them to the Fleece in Covent Garden, there to bid good night to Sir W. Pen (40) who staid for me; but Mr. Sanchy could not by any argument get his lady to trust herself with him into the tavern, which he was much troubled at, and so we returned immediately into the city by coach, and at the Mitre in Cheapside there light and drank, and then yet her at her uncle's in the Old Jewry.

1. Major-General Edward Massey (or Massie), son of John Massie, was captain of one of the foot companies of the Irish Expedition, and had Oliver Cromwell as his ensign (see Peacock's "Army Lists in 1642", p. 65). He was Governor of Gloucester in its obstinate defence against the royal forces, 1643; dismissed by the self- denying ordinance when he entered Charles II's service. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Worcester, September 3rd, 1651, but escaped abroad.

2. This is a strange use of the word Tory, and an early one also. The word originally meant bogtrotters or wild Irish, and as Penn was Governor of Kildare these may have been some of his Irish followers. The term was not used politically until about 1679.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 14 August 1667. 14 Aug 1667. Up, and to the office, where we held a meeting extraordinary upon some particular business, and there sat all the morning.

At noon, my wife being gone to the whitster's again to her clothes, I to dinner to Sir W. Batten's (66), where much of our discourse concerning Carcasse, who it seems do find success before the Council, and do everywhere threaten us with what he will prove against us, which do vex us to see that we must be subjected to such a rogue of our own servants as this is.

By and by to talk of our prize at Hull, and Sir W. Batten (66) offering, again and again, seriously how he would sell his part for £1000 and I considering the knavery of Hogg and his company, and the trouble we may have with the Prince Rupert (47) about the consort ship, and how we are linked with Sir R. Ford (53), whose son-in-law too is got thither, and there we intrust him with all our concern, who I doubt not is of the same trade with his father-in-law for a knave, and then the danger of the sea, if it shall be brought about, or bad debts contracted in the sale, but chiefly to be eased of my fears about all or any of this, I did offer my part to him for £700. With a little beating the bargain, we come to a perfect agreement for £666 13s. 4d., which is two-thirds of £1000, which is my proportion of the prize. I went to my office full of doubts and joy concerning what I had done; but, however, did put into writing the heads of our agreement, and returned to Sir W. Batten (66), and we both signed them; and Sir R. Ford (53), being come thither since, witnessed them. So having put it past further dispute I away, satisfied, and took coach and to the King's playhouse, and there saw "The Country Captain", which is a very ordinary play. Methinks I had no pleasure therein at all, and so home again and to my business hard till my wife come home from her clothes, and so with her to supper and to bed. No news yet come of the ratification of the peace which we have expected now every hour since yesterday.

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 1644-1710. Portrait of Prince Rupert.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 14 May 1668. 14 May 1668. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner with my people, but did not stay to dine out with them, but rose and straight by water to the Temple, and so to Penny's, my tailor's, where by and by by agreement Mercer, and she, to my great content, brings Mrs. Gayet, and I carried them to the King's house; but, coming too soon, we out again to the Rose taverne, and there I did give them a tankard of cool drink, the weather being very hot, and then into the playhouse again, and there saw "The Country Captain", a very dull play, that did give us no content, and besides, little company there, which made it very unpleasing.

Thence to the waterside, at Strand bridge, and so up by water and to Fox-Hall, where we walked a great while, and pleased mightily with the pleasure thereof, and the company there, and then in, and eat and drank, and then out again and walked, and it beginning to be dark, we to a corner and sang, that everybody got about us to hear us; and so home, where I saw them both at their doors, and, full of the content of this afternoon's pleasure, I home and to walk in the garden a little, and so home to bed.