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at dinner. In the afternoon, I went again with my wife to the Duchess of Newcastle, who received her in a kind of transport, suitable to her extravagant humour and dress, which was very singular.
8th May. Made up accounts with our Receiver, which'
amounted to 33,936/. 1*. 4<f. Dined at Lord Cornbury's, |
with Don Francisco de Melos, Portugal Ambassador, and /
kindred to the Queen: Of the party were Mr. Henry j
Jermyn,1 and Sir Henry Capel.* Afterwards I went to Arundel-House, to salute Mr. Howard's sons, newly returned out of France.
11th. To London; dined with the Duke of Newcastle, and sat discoursing with her Grace in her bed-chamber after dinner, till my Lord Marquis of Dorchester with other company came in, when I went away.
30M. To London, to wait on the Duchess of Newcastle (who was a mighty pretender to learning, poetry, and philosophy, and had in both published divers books) to the Royal Society,* whither she came in great pomp, and being received by our Lord President at the door of our meetingroom, the mace, &c., carried before him, had several experiments showed to her. I conducted her Grace to her coach, and returned home.
1st June. I went to Greenwich, where his Majesty was trying divers grenadoes shot out of cannon at the Castlehill, from the house in the Park; they brake not till they hit the mark, the forged ones brake not at all, but the cast ones very well. The inventor was a German there present. At the same time, a ring was showed to the King, pretended to be a projection of mercury, and malleable, and said by the gentlemen to be fixed by the juice of a plant. «
8th. To London, alarmed by the Dutch, who were fallen on our fleet at Chatham, by a most audacious enterprise entering the very river with part of their fleet, doing us
- 1 In 1685 created Baron Jermyn of Dover.
* A leading member of the Houae of Commons, created April 11th, 1692, Baron Capel of Tewkesbury, afterwards Lord lieutenant of Ireland.
* Thia may remind us of the visit of another great lady, Queen Christina, to one of the sittings of the French Academy, recorded by Monsieur Fellisaon, in his History of that learned body.
not only disgrace, but incredible mischief in burning several of our best men-of-war lying at anchor and moored there, and all this through our unaccountable negligence in not setting out our fleet in due time. This alarm caused me, fearing the enemy might venture up the Thames even to London (which they might have done with ease, and fired all the vessels in the River, too), to send away my best goods, plate, &c., from my house to another place. The alarm was so great that it put both Country and City into fear, a panic, and consternation, such as I hope I shall never see more ; everybody was flying, none knew why or whither. Now, there were land-forces despatched with the Duke of Albemarle, Lord Middleton,1 Prince Rupert, and the Duke, to hinder the Dutch coming to Chatham, fortifying Upnor Castle, and laying chains and bombs; but the resolute enemy brake through all, and set fire on our ships, and retreated in spite, stopping up the Thames, the rest of the fleet lying before the mouth of it.
1ith June. I went to see the work at Woolwich, a battery to prevent them coming up to London, which Prince Rupert commanded, and sunk some ships in the river.
17th. This night, about two o'clock, some chips and combustible matter prepared for some fire-ships, taking flame in Deptford-yard, made such a blaze, and caused such an uproar in the Tower (it being given out that the Dutch fleet was come up, and had landed their men and fired the Tower), as had liked to have done more mischief before people would be persuaded to the contrary and believe the accident. Everybody went to their arms. These were sad and troublesome times.
24th. The Dutch fleet still continuing to stop up the river, so as nothing could stir out or come in, I was before the Council, and commanded by his Majesty to go with some others and search about the environs of the city, now exceedingly distressed for want of fuel, whether there could
1 John Middleton ns first a Parliamentary general, but subsequently fought for Charles II. at Worcester, and otherwise distinguished himself as a Royalist officer till the Restoration, when he was created Earl of Middleton. He was Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in Scotland, Governor of Edinburgh Castle, Commissioner of the Scottish Parhament, and linalh Governor of Tangier, wb *e he died in 1673.
be any peat, or turf, found fit for use. The next day, I went and discovered enough, and made my report that there might be found a great deal; but nothing further was done in it.
28/A June. I went to Chatham, and thence to view not only what mischief the Dutch had done; but how triumphantly their whole fleet lay within the very mouth of the Thames, all from the North Fore-land, Margate, even to the buoy of the Nore—a dreadful spectacle as ever Englishmen saw, and a dishonour never to be wiped off! Those who advised his Majesty to prepare no fleet this spring deserved—I know what—but1—
Here in the river off Chatham, just before the town, lay the carcase of the London (now the third time burnt), the Eoyal Oak, the James, &c. yet smoking; and now, when the mischief was done, we were making trifling forts on the brink of the river. Here were yet forces, both of horse and foot, with general Middleton continually expecting the motions of the enemy's fleet. I had much discourse with him, who was an experienced commander. I told him I wondered the King did not fortify Sheerness1 and the Ferry; both abandoned.
2nd July. Called upon by my Lord Arlington, as from his Majesty, about the new fuei. The occasion why I was mentioned, was from what I said in my Sylva three years before, about a sort of fuel for a need, which obstructed a patent of Lord Carlingford,* who had been seeking for it himself; he was endeavouring to bring me into the project, and proffered me a share. I met my Lord; and, on the 9th, by an order of Council, went to my Lord Mayor, to be assisting. In the mean time they had made an experiment of my receipt of houlliet, which 1 mention in my book to be made at Maestricht, with a mixture of charcoal dust and loam, and which was tried with success at Gresham College
1 "The Parliament giving bat weak supplies for the war, the King, to save charges, is persuaded by the Chancellor, the Lord Treasurer, Southampton, the Duke of Albemarle, andthe other ministers, to lay up the first and second-rate ships, and make only a defensive war in the next campaign. The Duke of York opposed this, but was Over-ruled." Life of King James II., Tol i p. 426.
1 Since done. Evelyn's note.
1 Theobald, second Viscount Taafe, created Earl of Carlingford, June 20,1662.
(then being the exchange for the meeting of the merchants since the fire) for everybody to see. This done, I went to the Treasury for 12,000/. for the sick and wounded yet on my hand>;.
Next day, we met again about the fuel at Sir J. Armourer's in the Mews.
8th July. My Lord Brereton and others dined at my house, where I showed them proof of my new fuel, which was very glowing, and without smoke or ill smell.
10/A. I went to see Sir Samuel Morland's1 inventions and machines, arithmetical wheels, quench-fires, and new harp.
17th. The Master of the Mint and his lady, Mr. Williamson, Sir Nicholas Armourer,* Sir Edward Bowyer, Sir Anthony Auger, and other friends dined with me.
29th. I went to Gravesend; the Dutch fleet still at anchor before the river, where I saw five of his Majesty's inen-at-war encounter above twenty of the Dutch, in the bottom of the Hope, chasing them with many broadsides given and returned towards the buoy of the Nore, where the body of their fleet lay, which lasted till about midnight. One of their ships was fired, supposed by themselves, she being run on ground. Having seen this bold action, and their braving us so far up the river, I went home the next day,
1 Aubrey (in his account of Surrey, voL i. p. 12) says: "Under the equestrian Statue of Charles II., in the great Court at Windsor, is an engine for raising ivntcr, contrived by Sir Samuel Morland, alias Morley. He was son of Sir Samuel Morland, of Sulhamsted Bannister, Berks, created Baronet by Charles II., in consideration of services performed during his exile. The son was a great mechanic, and was presented with a gold medal, and made Maguter Mechrnniamm by the King, in 1681. He invented the drum capstands, for weighing heavy anchors: the speaking trumpet, and other useful engines. He died and was buried at HuiiiuiiTsmiih, 1696. There is a monument for the two wives of Sir Samuel Morland in Westminster Abbey. There is a print of the son, by Lombart, after Ix-ly. This Sir Samuel, the son, built a large room in his garden at Vauxhall, which was much admired at that time. On the top was a punchinello, holding a dial." More to a similar effect will he found in Manning and Bray's History of Surrey. He receives frequent mention from Evelyn in his letters as well as this Diary. For further notice of inventions by him, see ^ot/ 70, 120,1G7, 185, and 350.
'Sir Nicholas (a different person from Sir James) Armourer was Equeriy to Charles II. l'epys tells a curious anecdote of his inducing the King to drink the Duke of York's health on his knees. The Queen of Bohemia talks of him familiarly in her letters as Nick Armourer.
not without indignation at our negligence, and the nation's reproach. It is well known who of the Commissioners of the Treasuy gave advice that the charge of setting forth a fleet this year might be spared, Sir W. C. (William Coventry) by name.
1st August. I received the sad news of Abraham Cowley's death, that incomparable poet and virtuous man, my very dear friend, and was greatly deplored.
3rd. Went to Mr. Cowley's funeral, whose corpse lay at Wallingford House, and was thence conveyed to Westminster Abbey in a hearse with six horses and all funeral decency, near a hundred coaches of noblemen and persons of quality following; among these, all the wits of the town, divers bishops and clergymen. He was interred next Geoffry Chaucer, and near Spenser. A goodly monument is since erected to his memory.
Now did his Majesty again dine in the presence, in ancient state, with music and all the court-ceremonies, which had been interrupted since the late war.
8th. Visited Mr. Oldenburg, a close prisoner in the Tower, being suspected of writing intelligence. I had an order from Lord Arlington, Secretary of State, which caused me to be admitted. This gentleman was secretary to our Society, and I am confident will prove an innocent person.1 '15M. Finished my account, amounting to 25,000/.
17th. To the funeral of Mr. Farringdon, a relation of my wife's.
There was now a very gallant horse to be baited to death with dogs; but he fought them all, so as the fiercest of them could not fasten on him, till the men run him through with their swords. This wicked and barbarous sport deserved to have been punished in the cruel contrivers to get money, under pretence that the horse bad killed a man, which was false. I would not be persuaded to be a spectator.
21it. Saw the famous Italian puppet-play, for it was no other.
24th. I was appointed, with the rest of my brother Commissioners, to put in execution an order of Council for frec
1 Henry Oldenburg, Secretary to the Royal Society. He was committed to the Tower, as Pepys inform* us, "for writing news to a virtuoso in France," but was shortly afterwards liberated.