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76                                   DIARY OF                            LONDON

Never had a parish a greater loss, not only as he was
an excellent preacher, and fitted for our great and vulgar
auditory, but for his excellent life and charity, his meek-
ness and obliging nature, industrious, helpful, and full of
g'ood works. He left near ^400 to the poor in his will,
and that what children of his should die in their minor-
ity, their portion should be so employed. I lost in par-
ticular a special friend, and one that had an extraordinary
love for me and mine.

25th February, 1672. To London, to speak with the
Bishop, and Sir John Cutler, our patron, to present Mr.
Frampton (afterward Bishop of Gloucester).

ist March, 1672. A full Council of Plantations, on the
danger of the Leeward Islands, threatened by the French,
who had taken some of our ships, and began to interrupt
our trade. Also in debate, whether the new Governor
of St. Christopher should be subordinate to the Governor
of Barbadoes. The debate was serious and long.

12th March, 1672. Now was the first blow given by
us to the Dutch convoy of the Smyrna fleet, by Sir Robert
Holmes and Lord Ossory, in which we received little
save blows, and a worthy reproach for attacking our
neighbors ere any war was proclaimed, and then pre-
tending the occasion to be, that some time before, the
Merlin yacht chancing to sail through the whole Dutch
fleet, their Admiral did not strike to that trifling vessel.
Surely, this was a quarrel slenderly grounded, and not
becoming Christian neighbors. We are likely to thrive,
accordingly. Lord Ossory several times deplored to me
his being engaged in it; he had more justice and honor
than in the least to approve of it, though he had been
over-persuaded to the expedition. There is no doubt but
we should have surprised this exceeding rich fleet, had
not the avarice and ambition of Holmes and Spragge
separated themselves, and willfully divided our fleet, on
presumption that either of them was strong enough to
deal with the Dutch convoy without joining and mutual
help; but they so warmly plied our divided fleets, that
while in conflict the merchants sailed away, and got safe
into Holland.

A few days before this, the Treasurer of the House-
hold, Sir Thomas Clifford, hinted to me, as a confidant,
that his Majesty would SHUT UP THE EXCHEQUER (and,specially medals, books, plants, andd for the bill, of which