Diary of Samuel Pepys — Volume 27: March 1663-64
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An amusing instance will be found in the Parliamentary Debates. On May 11th, , the King's verbal message to quicken the supply was brought in by Mr. Secretary Williamson, when Pepys spoke to this effect:. Pepys was chosen by the electors of Harwich as their member in the short Parliament that sat from March to July, , his colleague being Sir Anthony Deane, but both members were sent to the Tower in May on a baseless charge, and they were superseded in the next Parliament that met on the 17th October, The high-handed treatment which Pepys underwent at this time exhibits a marked instance of the disgraceful persecution connected with the so-called Popish plot.
He was totally unconnected with the Roman Catholic party, but his association with the Duke of York was sufficient to mark him as a prey for the men who initiated this "Terror" of the seventeenth century.
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Edmund Berry Godfrey came to his death in October, , and in December Samuel Atkins, Pepys's clerk, was brought to trial as an accessory to his murder. Shaftesbury and the others not having succeeded in getting at Pepys through his clerk, soon afterwards attacked him more directly, using the infamous evidence of Colonel Scott. Much light has lately been thrown upon the underhand dealings of this miscreant by Mr. Scull, who printed privately in a valuable work entitled, "Dorothea Scott, otherwise Gotherson, and Hogben of Egerton House, Kent, John Scott calling himself Colonel Scott ingratiated himself into acquaintance with Major Gotherson, and sold to the latter large tracts of land in Long Island, to which he had no right whatever.
Dorothea Gotherson, after her husband's death, took steps to ascertain the exact state of her property, and obtained the assistance of Colonel Francis Lovelace, Governor of New York. Scott's fraud was discovered, and a petition for redress was presented to the King. The result of this was that the Duke of York commanded Pepys to collect evidence against Scott, and he accordingly brought together a great number of depositions and information as to his dishonest proceedings in New England, Long Island, Barbadoes, France, Holland, and England, and these papers are preserved among the Rawlinson Manuscripts in the Bodleian.
Scott had his revenge, and accused Pepys of betraying the Navy by sending secret particulars to the French Government, and of a design to dethrone the king and extirpate the Protestant religion. Pepys and Sir Anthony Deane were committed to the Tower under the Speaker's warrant on May 22nd, , and Pepys's place at the Admiralty was filled by the appointment of Thomas Hayter. When the two prisoners were brought to the bar of the King's Bench on the 2nd of June, the Attorney-General refused bail, but subsequently they were allowed to find security for L30, Pepys was put to great expense in collecting evidence against Scott and obtaining witnesses to clear himself of the charges brought against him.
He employed his brother-in-law, Balthasar St. Michel, to collect evidence in France, as he himself explains in a letter to the Commissioners of the Navy:—. In the end Scott refused to acknowledge to the truth of his original deposition, and the prisoners were relieved from their bail on February 12th, John James, a butler previously in Pepys's service, confessed on his deathbed in that he had trumped up the whole story relating to his former master's change of religion at the instigation of Mr.
William Harbord, M. William Harbord, of Cadbury, co. Somerset, second son of Sir Charles Harbord, whom he succeeded in as Surveyor. General of the Land Revenues of the Crown, was Pepys's most persistent enemy. Several papers referring to Harbord's conduct were found at Scott's lodging after his flight, and are now preserved among the Rawlinson MSS. One of these was the following memorandum, which shows pretty plainly Pepys's opinion of Harbord:—. Besides Scott's dishonesty in his dealings with Major Gotherson, it came out that he had cheated the States of Holland out of L7,, in consequence of which he was hanged in effigy at the Hague in In he fled from England to escape from the law, as he had been guilty of wilful murder by killing George Butler, a hackney coachman, and he reached Norway in safety, where he remained till In that year some of his influential friends obtained a pardon for him from William III.
It is creditable to Charles II. In the following year there was some chance that Pepys might retire from public affairs, and take upon himself the headship of one of the chief Cambridge colleges. Maryon, a Fellow of Clare Hall, recommended Pepys to apply to the King for the appointment, being assured that the royal mandate if obtained would secure his election.
He liked the idea, but replied that he believed Colonel Legge afterwards Lord Dartmouth wanted to get the office for an old tutor.
Nothing further seems to have been done by Pepys, except that he promised if he were chosen to give the whole profit of the first year, and at least half of that of each succeeding year, to "be dedicated to the general and public use of the college. John Coplestone was appointed to the post. On May 22nd, , the Rev. Milles, rector of St. Olave's, who is so often mentioned in the Diary, gave Pepys a certificate as to his attention to the services of the Church.
It is not quite clear what was the occasion of the certificate, but probably the Diarist wished to have it ready in case of another attack upon him in respect to his tendency towards the Church of Rome. Early in Pepys accompanied the Duke of York to Scotland, and narrowly escaped shipwreck by the way. Before letters could arrive in London to tell of his safety, the news came of the wreck of the "Gloucester" the Duke's ship , and of the loss of many lives. His friends' anxiety was relieved by the arrival of a letter which Pepys wrote from Edinburgh to Hewer on May 8th, in which he detailed the particulars of the adventure.
The Duke invited him to go on board the "Gloucester" frigate, but he preferred his own yacht the "Catherine " , in which he had more room, and in consequence of his resolution he saved himself from the risk of drowning. On May 5th the frigate struck upon the sand called "The Lemon and Oar," about sixteen leagues from the mouth of the Humber. This was caused by the carelessness of the pilot, to whom Pepys imputed "an obstinate over-weening in opposition to the contrary opinions of Sir I. Berry, his master, mates, Col.
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Legg, the Duke himself, and several others, concurring unanimously in not being yet clear of the sands. Pepys stayed in Edinburgh for a short time, and the Duke of York allowed him to be present at two councils. He then visited; with Colonel George Legge, some of the principal places in the neighbourhood, such as Stirling, Linlithgow, Hamilton, and Glasgow.
The latter place he describes as "a very extraordinary town indeed for beauty and trade, much superior to any in Scotland. Pepys had now been out of office for some time, but he was soon to have employment again. Tangier, which was acquired at the marriage of the King to Katharine of Braganza, had long been an incumbrance, and it was resolved at last to destroy the place.
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Colonel Legge now Lord Dartmouth was in August, , constituted Captain-General of his Majesty's forces in Africa, and Governor of Tangier, and sent with a fleet of about twenty sail to demolish and blow up the works, destroy the harbour, and bring home the garrison. Pepys received the King's commands to accompany Lord Dartmouth on his expedition, but the latter's instructions were secret, and Pepys therefore did not know what had been decided upon.
He saw quite enough, however, to form a strong opinion of the uselessness of the place to England.
Lord Dartmouth carried out his instructions thoroughly, and on March 29th, , he and his party including Pepys arrived in the English Channel. A very special honour was conferred upon Pepys in this year, when he was elected President of the Royal Society in succession to Sir Cyril Wyche, and he held the office for two years.
Pepys had been admitted a fellow of the society on February 15th, , and from Birch's "History" we find that in the following month he made a statement to the society:—. Pepys gave an account of what information he had received from the Master of the Jersey ship which had been in company with Major Holmes in the Guinea voyage concerning the pendulum watches March 15th, The records of the society show that he frequently made himself useful by obtaining such information as might be required in his department.
After he retired from the presidency, he continued to entertain some of the most distinguished members of the society on Saturday evenings at his house in York Buildings. Evelyn expressed the strongest regret when it was necessary to discontinue these meetings on account of the infirmities of the host.
In Charles II. From his intimate association with James it might have been supposed that a long period of official life was still before Pepys, but the new king's bigotry and incapacity soon made this a practical impossibility.
At the coronation of James II. Pepys marched in the procession immediately behind the king's canopy, as one of the sixteen barons of the Cinque Ports. In the year a new charter was granted to the Trinity Company, and Pepys was named in it the first master, this being the second time that he had held the office of master. Evelyn specially refers to the event in his Diary, and mentions the distinguished persons present at the dinner on July 20th.
It is evident that at this time Pepys was looked upon as a specially influential man, and when a parliament was summoned to meet on May 19th, , he was elected both for Harwich and for Sandwich. This parliament was dissolved by proclamation July 2nd, , and on August 24th the king declared in council that another parliament should be summoned for November 27th, , but great changes took place before that date, and when the Convention Parliament was called together in January and February, , Pepys found no place in it.
The right-hand man of the exiled monarch was not likely to find favour in the eyes of those who were now in possession. When the election for Harwich came on, the electors refused to return him, and the streets echoed to the cry of "No Tower men, no men out of the Tower!
We have little or no information to guide us as to Pepys's proceedings at the period of the Revolution. We know that James II. Pepys had many firm friends upon whom he could rely, but he had also enemies who lost no opportunity of worrying him. On June 10th, , Evelyn has this entry in his Diary, which throws some light upon the events of the time:—. On the 25th of this same month Pepys was committed to the Gatehouse at Westminster on a charge of having sent information to the French Court of the state of the English navy. There was no evidence of any kind against him, and at the end of July he was allowed to return to his own house on account of ill-health.
Nothing further was done in respect to the charge, but he was not free till some time after, and he was long kept in anxiety, for even in he still apprehended some fresh persecution. Sir Peter Palavicini, Mr. James Houblon, Mr. Blackburne, and Mr.
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Martin bailed him, and he sent them the following circular letter:—. He employed the enforced idleness caused by being thrust out of his employment in the collection of the materials for the valuable work which he published in , under the title of "Memoirs of the Navy. There is little more to be told of Pepys's life. He continued to keep up an extended correspondence with his many friends, and as Treasurer of Christ's Hospital he took very great interest in the welfare of that institution.
He succeeded in preserving from impending ruin the mathematical foundation which had been originally designed by him, and through his anxious solicitations endowed and cherished by Charles II. One of the last public acts of his life was the presentation of the portrait of the eminent Dr.
In he sent Sir Godfrey Kneller to Oxford to paint the portrait, and the University rewarded him with a Latin diploma containing in gorgeous language the expression of thanks for his munificence. On the 26th May, , Samuel Pepys, after long continued suffering, breathed his last in the presence of the learned Dr.