Die Veneris, 14 Februarii, 1667.
ORDERED, That the Committee, to which the
Bill concerning Mr. Golding, be revived; and do
sit this Afternoon: And Mr. Coleman, and Sir Robert
Bradshaw, are added to the Committee.
Defrauding the King.
Ordered, That the Committee appointed for Discovery
of Monies in the Hands of such Persons as have defrauded
his Majesty, be revived; and do sit this Afternoon.
Defaulter's Fine remitted.
Ordered, That Mr. Chetwin's Fine of Forty Pounds,
for not attending Yesterday, be being this Day in the
House, and coming Yesterday to Town, be remitted.
An ingrossed Bill, sent from the Lords, for enabling
Sir Wm. Juxon, Executor of the late Lord Archbishop
of Canterbury, to recover Part of his Estate, was read
the First time.
Ordered, That this Bill be read the Second time on
Sir Job Charlton reports from the Committee of Elections, the Case between Sir Trevor Williams and Mr.
Herbert, touching the Election for the County of Monmouth; that the Committee had examined the Matter, and
found, that Sir Trevor Williams had the Majority of Voices
by much; and that he was duly elected, and ought to sit.
Resolved, That the House doth agree with the Committee, that Sir Trevor Williams was duly elected Knight
for the County of Monmouth, and ought to sit.
Miscarriages of the War.
Sir Robert Brookes reports from the Committee appointed to inquire into the Miscarriages of the War, the
State of the Matter, so far as the Committee had proceeded: Which being contained in several Papers in
Writing; (being Seven in Number) which he read in his
Place, and afterwards delivered the same in at the Clerk's
Table; and the same being again read, are as followeth;
The Want of Intelligence from Abroad appeared in
Two Particulars: The First was, in that of the French
Ships being at Bell Isle, and that some others were expected at Brest, with the Duke de Beanfort, when they
were yet in the Mediterranean; by which Occasion, that
fatal Resolution was taken of dividing the Fleet: Which
was also encouraged by Intelligence given by Sir Wm.
Coventry, and Sir George Carterett, on the 14th of May,
when they came to the Fleet about it; which was, that
the Dutch would not be out in Six Weeks; whereas
(which is the Second Particular) their Fleet came out
Seven Days after; viz. on the 21st of May; and no
Advice thereof was sent to the Duke of Albemarle, except
a Letter from the Lord Arlington, of the 24th of May,
(which came to him the 27th) intimating that the Dutch
would be suddenly out, without mentioning any Time
of their coming; and, on the 25th of the same Month,
Prince Rupert had Orders to divide from the Fleet with
Twenty Ships, and some Fireships. It appears moreover,
by a Letter from his Royal Highness to the said Duke of
Albemarle, dated 31 Maii, (which came to him after
the Fight) that his Majesty had no Intelligence of the
coming out of the Dutch till the Day before, viz. 30th
May in the Evening; which was Nine Days after they
came out: And so great was the Negligence entrusted
by his said Royal Highness with a Letter he writ at
Midnight that Day to recal the Prince, that it came not
to him till 1 Junii, Nine in the Morning, in St. Helen's
Road near Portsmonth, where he came to an Anchor;
and he had not had it then, but that he sent his Boat to
Portsmouth to inquire after Intelligence.
The Abstract of Letters of Intelligence,
May 21. Speaks-"the Dutch Fleet to be designed to
come out the latter End of June, stilo novo, if they came
out at all: Which, 'tis believed, they will not, except the
English Fleet retire; that so, they might come out and
without Dishonour avoid fighting; which they cannot do
unless the English keep the Sea."
May 25. Tells, that-"upon Advice of the English
Fleet being ready to come out, Three of Four Deputies
were immediately sent away by the States to the Texell,
with Orders to unman such Ships as were most unserviceable; whereby they hoped to man the rest fully.-A
Fast hath here been kept for the good Success of the
Fleet; which is upon the point of going out, and will
infallibly be all out before the End of this Week."
May 25th. Speaks-"the Return of the Deputies who
went to the Texell to hasten out the Fleet; and that they
talk much of the Excellency of their Fleet, and of the
great Resolution of the Officers and Mariners; and that
their Fleet consists of Eighty-five Ships.-The Manner
of the Fight, which is kept as a very great Secret, and is
to be in Three Squadrons; Trump in the Van; Ruyter in
the Middle; the Zealand Fleet in the Rear.- Men are
wanting in several Ships; but France desired not to delay,
lest the Duke of Beaufort run any Risque; for there is
Advice of his passing Alicant the 8th of May.- Probably
the Holland Fleet alone will find the First Assault of the
English; who are likewise at Sea. The French and
Danish Ships will serve for a Reserve."
Miscarriages of the War.
May 30. Speaks- "all Hopes of Accommodation past;
for that the Dutch are resolved to try the Hazard of one
Battle more, having put their Fleet to Sea on Tuesday last,
consisting of Seventy-two Ships, besides Fireships. - The
Fleet continues yet upon the Coast, in Expectation of Five
or Six good Ships more, which will suddenly be ready."
May 30. Tells - "how good an Omen' tis reckoned,
that their Fleet are out, or most of them; but they had
rather have heard a Likelihood of Peace; which is much
Letter, received May 30. Speaks - "the Fleet have
set sail from the Texell on Tuesday last, consisting of
Seventy capital Ships, besides Fireships, and other Ships;
the Squadron of North Holland being likewise ready to
The Design of the Fleet is variously discoursed. Most
think they are to join with the French. - The Fleet is still
upon the Coast, waiting the coming of the North Holland
and Friezland Ships.
The Report concerning the Fort at Sheernesse.
That it appears to the Committee, that his Royal
Highness, on the 27th of December 1666, directed the
Commissioners of the Ordnance to send some knowing
Person down, to view the Ground at or near the Point;
who were to report where the Platform was fittest to be
That the View was hereupon made; and, on the 23rd
of March, or shortly after, the said Commissioners had
Command from his Royal Highness, for making the Fort
there. On the 27th of April 1667, Captain Valentine
Price was sent down with Instructions from the said Commissioners to look after the Works, with Direction also to
take care for the Payment of the Workmen employed.
That from the said 27th of April, to the Time of the
Attempt made by the Dutch, the Prosecution of the Work
was so dilatory, that it was not in any measure defensible;
occasioned by the Want of a sufficient Number of Workmen; there being seldom more than Ten at one Time
employed; although, as this Committee was informed,
there were Men enough to be hired: And, if this Work
had been perfected, which might have been as soon done
as that at Woolwich, with the like Number of Men, or
with a smaller Number in Three Weeks Time, the Navy
probably had been secured: And it is the humble Opinion of this Committee, that the Firing of his Majesty's
Ships in the River of Medway, to the great Dishonour
of the Nation, was chiefly occasioned by the Neglect of
finishing the Fort at Sheernesse.
A Report, in not prosecuting the Victory in the First
That, it appearing to this Committee, by the Testimony of his Highness Prince Rupert by his Information
to the House, that, if the Orders of his Royal Highness
had been (as they ought) strictly observed in the First
Summer's Engagement, the whole Fleet of the Enemy
had probably been destroyed; it is the Opinion of this
Committee, that the not prosecuting the Victory in that
Engagement was one of the Miscarriages in the Conduct
of the late War.
A Report concerning the Admiral's quitting the Fleet.
That the Admiral's quitting of the Fleet, about the
Month of October in the Year 1665, and drawing off
the Ships, whereby the Dutch infested the Coast, to the
great Hazard, Dishonour, and Loss of the Kingdom,
is one of the great Miscarriages of the late War.
That it be reported to the House, as a Miscarriage,
That, notwithstanding his Majesty had Eighteen thousand
Men in Pay, in dispersed Ships, in the Year 1667, there
was not a sufficient Number of Ships left to secure the
Rivers of Medway and Thames.
A Report of the Payment of the Fleet by Tickets.
The Commissioners and principal Officers of the Navy
were the Persons trusted in the late War for discharging
the Seamen, upon coming in of Ships into Harbour.
The First Time any Ships in his Majesty's Service
were discharged by Tickets, was in the Month of May
1665; in which Month, the Nonsuch, and the Phænix,
were so discharged; and, betwixt that time and the End
of February in the same Year, about Fifty-five Ships more
were at several times discharged in the same Manner;
all which, except the Lizard, the Bear, and the Golden
Lion, were Merchant Ships, Victuallers, Tenders, Water
Ships, and Hospital Ships: Which was all done by Order
of the Commissioners and principal Officers of the Navy.
And his Royal Highness, in his Letter to them of 28
October, 1666, when he was pleased to give Orders for
the Payment of the First and Second Rate Ships then
coming into Chatham, and the Buoy in the Nore, he
was so satisfied of the ill Consequences that followed the
discharging of Ships with Tickets in the Year before,
that, amongst other Directions in that Letter, he expressed himself in these Words:
"Because the Prejudice which may arise to the King's
Service by the Want and Disorder of the Great Numbers
of Men discharged by Tickets, where there is not Money
to pay them, may be greater than the Benefit arising by
that Discharge; I chuse therefore not (as formerly) positively to order the immediate doing thereof; but desire
you to consult with the Treasurer; and by his Advice to
make the best Progress you can in it, when you find
yourself in Condition for the doing of it."
Nevertheless, when the great Ships came into Chatham,
about that Time or shortly after the Date of that Letter,
the Lord Brunkard, one of the said Commissioners,
repaired thither; and, without any Order for so doing
by the said Commissioners (as the Clerk of their Acts
informed this Committee) he discharged all the Officers,
Soldiers, and Mariners, out of the great Ships, without
any Money; giving them Tickets only for their Service:
And, being acquainted by Sir Fretchvile Hollis, at that
time, of the dangerous Consequence of such Payment, he
would nor thereby be deterred; but answered, He knew
his own Business. His Manner of proceeding was, first
to put all the Men out of Wages and Diet, without Payment; and, as soon as he came to view the Muster of
such particular Ship, all that he found absent, after being
so put out, he noted as Runaways, thereby to debar them
of any Manner of Satisfaction; and to the rest he gave
Tickets. In the Ship Henry, whereof Sir Robert Holmes
was Commander, he noted Eighty-three for Runaways,
who had therefore no Tickets, though the Men were as
stout and deserving as any in the Fleet, and such as had
not forsaken the Ships till they were put out of Diet and
Wages, and went abroad only to get Subsistence.
We find Payment by Tickets to have always been in
Use in the Navy, in some Cases; as, when a Man died,
or was slain, the Heir or Administrator of such Person
had a Ticket for his Pay; and when any Man, for Sickness, or Insufficiency, was discharged, he likewise had
a Ticket made out for receiving his Pay: But the discharging of whole Ships by Tickets was never heard of
or attempted till the Time before mentioned; which
occasioned many great Inconveniencies: And that which
made it yet a greater Grievance, was, the disorderly
Payment of the Tickets, which was practised, not only
in those that referred to the paying of whole Ships, but
also of all other Tickets or Bills for Money due from the
Treasurer of the Navy.
His Royal Highness was very careful to have all
Tickets regularly paid, and gave therein Directions to the
Commissioners and principal Officers of the Navy; who,
in pursuance thereof, made Orders, that the Tickets that
were First in Time should be First paid; which they
themselves never observed: For, though they agreed to
the Method in general, yet they still broke it singly; for
one Commissioner being always present at each Pay-day,
the Tickets of those only were paid, for the most part,
who had his Friendship.
And, moreover, when by Bills sent up, whole Ship
Companies were directed to come to the Office, to receive
the Money due upon their Tickets and Bills at a Day
certain, they were there delayed and made to attend many
Months, till, being tired out they were by Necessity compelled to sell their Tickets and Bills at Five, Six, Seven,
Eight, Nine, and sometimes Ten Shillings in the Pound
Loss; many of which, being once sold, we find to have
been speedily paid: Which must imply a very corrupt
Contrivance to have been between the principal Officers
of the Navy and Treasury on the one Part, and the
Buyers of the Tickets on the other: Amongst which, as
this Committee was informed, one Robson, a Servant of
one of the Commissioners, brought Tickets to the Treasurer's Office, at several times, amounting to the Sum of
near One thousand Pounds, the Monies for which were
paid to him by Mr. Stephens one of the Treasurer's Instruments: And most of those that appeared in buying of
Tickets immediately from the Seamen were Persons of
mean Condition, who for themselves received a small Reward at Three-pence or Six-pence in the Pound at most;
yet did, and could, deal for great Sums; as, particularly,
one Mrs. Swan, the Wife of a Purser, returned One thousand Pounds in a Week. By paying by Tickets, Opportunity hath been given, by making false and counterfeit
Tickets; of which many have been discovered to this Committee; but it is supposed many more have been paid.
It hath alienated the Hearts of the Seamen from his
Majesty's Service; and made many, that had no other
Ways of Living, but going to Sea, rather go to the
Enemy, than beg; as was evident, when the Holland
Ships made the Invasion at Chatham, many of our discontented Seamen were seen.
It hath occasioned Supernumeraries, and disordered
all Establishment; and made the Expence of the War
much greater than it really was, and impossible to be
known, till all be paid. Upon orderly Payment, which
usually was by the Book, in the Office, the Treasurer and
the principal Officers of his Majesty's Navy saw every
Man; and so were Judges, in every Capacity, how they
were to be paid, whether as able Seamen, or otherwise;
but, to the great Discouragement of Seamen, by the Payment of Tickets, Captains and Pursers, for private Respect, prefer, as they please, Boys and Persons incapable,
to be Midshipmen, able Seamen, or ordinary Seamen.
Mr. Fenn, one belonging to the Office of the Treasury
of the Navy, being asked, why the Seamen were not paid
in Money, since there had been so much granted by the
Parliament, answered, That, from the Beginning of the
Dutch War, which he computed to be at Michaelmas 1664,
to Michaelmas 1667, there had not been Three Millions
paid into that Office, in Money or Assignment, for the
Payment of Seamens Wages, Merchants Goods bought
into his Majesty's Stores, Workmen in his Majesty's
Yards, and all other Necessaries relating to the War.
Heads of those Matters now before the Committee, now
The Miscarrying of the Enterprize at Bergen.
The Plundering the East India Ships, whilst the Dutch
The ill Choice of Officers in the Fleet.
The not setting cut a sufficient Fleet the last Year.
The Separation of those that were out, so that they
The Want of Provision and Ammunition in our Forts.
The Permission of Seamen to go into Merchant Ships,
thereby to make Necessity of not setting out the Fleet.
There be likewise some Particulars in the Narratives
of his Highness Prince Rupert, and the Duke of Albemarle, relating to the Negligences of supplying the Fleet
with Provisions and Ammunition, and the slow Dispatch
of setting out Fireships, and other Ships, and other Matters of that Nature.
The first Paper, relating to the Miscarriage in point of
Intelligence, was read the Second time; and debated:
Resolved, &c. That the Division of the Fleet, in May
1666, was a Miscarriage.
Ordered, That the further Debate of the Report be
adjourned till To-morrow Morning.
* * * *