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been such a hit as will never come again in this age.
2d. Up, and to the office, where certain news is brought us of a letter come to the King this morning from the Duke of Albemarle, dated yesterday at eleven o'clock, as they were sailing to the Gunfleet, that they were in sight of the Dutch fleet, and were fitting themselves to fight them; so that they are, ere this, certainly engaged: besides, several do averr that they heard the guns yesterday in the afternoon. This put us at the Board into a tosse. Presently come orders for our sending away to the fleet a recruit of 200 soldiers. So I rose from the table, and to the Victualling-office, and thence upon the river among several vessels, to consider of the sending them away; and, lastly, down to Greenwich, and there appointed two yachts to be ready for them; and did order the soldiers to march to Blackewall. Having set all things in order against the next flood, I went on shore with Captain Erwin at Greenwich, and into the parke, and there we could hear the guns from the fleete most plainly. We walked to the water-side, and there, seeing the King and Duke come down in their barge to Greenwich-house, I to them, and did give them an account what I was doing. They went up to the park to hear the guns of the fleet go off. All our hopes now are, that Prince Rupert with his fleet is coming back, and will be with the fleet this even: a message being sent to him for that purpose, on Wednesday last; and a return is come from him this morning, that he did intend to sail from St. Ellen's point about four in the afternoon yesterday; which gives us great hopes, the wind being very fair, that he is with
them this even, and the fresh going off of the guns makes us believe the same. Down to Blackewall, and there saw the soldiers, who were by this time gotten most of them drunk, shipped off. But, Lord! to see how the poor fellows kissed their wives and sweethearts in that simple manner at their going off, and shouted, and let off their guns, was strange sport. In the evening come up the River the Katharine yacht, Captain Fazeby, who hath brought over my Lord of Aylesbury, and Sir Thomas Liddall,' with a very pretty daughter, and in a pretty travelling-dress, from Flanders, who saw the Dutch fleet on Thursday, and ran from them; but from that hour to this hath not heard one gun, nor any news of any fight. Having put the soldiers on board, I home.
3rd. (Lord's day; Whit-sunday.) Up, and by water to White Hall, and there met with Mr. Coventry, who tells me the only news from the fleet is brought by Captain Elliott, of the Portland, which, by being run on board by the Guernsey, was disabled from staying abroad; so is come in to Aldbrough. That he saw one of the Dutch great ships blown up, and three on fire. That they begun to fight on Friday; and, at his coming into port, he could make another ship of the King's coming in, which he judged to be the Rupert: that he knows of no other hurt to our ships. With this good news, I home by water again, and to church in the sermontime, and with great joy told it my fellows in the pew. After church time, to the Exchange, as full of people, and hath been all this noon, as of any other day, only
1 Of Ravensworth Castle, Durham, succeeded his grandfather, the first Baronet, 1650. He had three daughters. Ob. 1697.
for news. To White Hall, and there met with this bad news farther, that the Prince come to Dover but at ten o'clock last night, and there heard nothing of a fight; so that we are defeated of all our hopes of his help to the fleet. It is also reported by some Victuallers, that the Duke of Albemarle and Holmes their flags were shot down, and both fain to come to anchor to renew their rigging and sails. A letter is also come this afternoon, from Harman in the Henery; which states, that she was taken by Elliott for the Rupert; that being fallen into the body of the Dutch fleet, he made his way through them, was set on by three fire-ships, one after another, got two of them off, and disabled the third; was set on fire himself; upon which many of his men leapt into the sea and perished; among others, the parson first. Have lost above 100 men, and a good many women, God knows what is become of Balty and at last quenched his own fire, and got to Aldbrough; being, as all say, the greatest hazard that ever any ship escaped, and so bravely managed by him. The mast of the third fire-ship fell into their ship on fire, and hurt Harman's leg, which makes him lame now, but not dangerous. I to Sir G. Carteret, who told me there hath been great bad management in all this ; that the King's orders that went on Friday for calling back the Prince were sent but by the ordinary post on Wednesday; and come to the Prince his hands but on Friday; and then, instead of sailing presently, he stays till four in the evening. And that which is worst of all, the Hampshire, laden with merchants' money, come from the Straights, set out with or but just before the fleet, and was in the Downes by five in the clock yes
terday morning; and the Prince with his fleet come to Dover but at ten of the clock at night. This is hard to answer, if it be true. This puts great astonishment into the King, and Duke, and Court, every body being out of countenance. Home by the 'Change, which is full of people still, and all talk highly of the failure of the Prince, in not making more haste after his instructions did come, and of our managements here in not giving it sooner, and with more care, and oftener.
4th. To White Hall, where, when we come, we find the Duke at St. James's, whither he is lately gone to lodge. So, walking through the Park, we saw hundreds of people listening at the Gravel-pits, and to and again in the Park, to hear the guns. I saw a letter, dated last night, from Strowd, Governor of Dover Castle, which says that the Prince come thither the night before with his fleet; but that for the guns which we writ that we heard, it is only a mistake for thunder; and, so far as to yesterday, it is a miraculous thing that we all Friday, and Saturday, and yesterday, did hear every where most plainly the guns go off, and yet at Deale and Dover, to last night, they did not hear one word of a fight, nor think they heard one gun. This, added to what I have set down before, the other day, about the Katharine, makes room for a great dispute in philosophy, how we should hear it and they not, the same wind that brought it to us being the same that should bring it to them: but so it is. Major Halsey, however, who was sent down on purpose to hear the news, did bring news this morning that he did see the Prince and his fleet at nine of the clock yesterday
morning, four or five leagues to sea behind the Goodwin, so that, by the hearing of the guns this morning, we conclude he is come to the fleet. After waiting upon the Duke with Sir W. Pen, who was commanded to go to-night, by water, down to Harwich, to dispatch away all the ships he can, I home; where no sooner come, but news is brought me of a couple of men come to speak with me from the fleet; so I down, and who should it be but Mr. Daniel, all muffled up, and his face as black as the chimney, and covered with dirt, pitch, and tar, and powder, and muffled with dirty clouts, and his right eye stopped with oakum. He is come last night, at five o'clock, from the fleet, with a comrade of his that hath endangered another eye. They were set on shore at Harwich this morning, and at two o'clock, in a catch, with about twenty more wounded men from the Royall Charles. They being able to ride, took post about three this morning, and were here between eleven and twelve. I went presently into the coach with them, and carried them to Somerset-House-stairs, and there took water, all the world gazing upon us, and concluding it to be news from the fleet, and every body's face appeared expecting of news, to the Privy-stairs, and left them at Mr. Coventry's lodging, he, though, not being there, and so I into the Park to the King, and told him my Lord Generall was well the last night at five o'clock, and the Prince come with his fleet and joyned with his about seven. The King was mightily pleased with this news, and so took me by the hand and talked a little of it, I giving him the best account I could; and then he bid me to fetch the two seamen to him, he walking into the house. So I went and fetched the