Folio 224

Long before any newes of the Sea fight betwixt us and the Hollander \which happened on the 3d of June, 1665/[1] Monsieur Bezon,[2] Intendant of this Province was heard to say; the English would be good for nought, unlesse they be once soundly beaten.  S. Th. Cru

9bre 1665 Montpelier.

I made my reverence to my Lord of Alsbury:[3] who was infinitely civil to me upon my Fathers Unckle Sir Matth. Listers memory.[4]  He was pleased to say many things of him to me, amongst the rest he told me that the Lodge in his Parke in Bedfordshire was built by him and was [[two words]]\exactly/  according to the Designe of Sir Philip Sidney in his Arcadie, a house of Pleasure.

My lord told \me/ that my neice, who had the honour to be called at court Faire-Mistris Ginnins,[5] was as witty as handsome and that, my Lord of Falmouth, who died bravely the 3d of June,[6] was her very passionate servant.

Folio 224 verso

And that my Lord had was pleased with the discours, when at Court sometimes he assisted at the Enterteins[7] betwixt \them/ these two.

December 1665 Montpelier

I had the honour and good happe to assist att an Anatomie Lecteur or \some/ particular dissections made by Monsieur Steno[8] the Dane himselfe in my Lord of Ailesburys cabinet. The Demonstrations were neat and clever \wherein/ I much admired next into the ingenuitie and great modestie of the Person and which appeared the rathar, by reason of the great impertinencie of a French Doctour and Professuer that assisted \alsoe/ at the Assemblie.

[1] Battle of Lowestoft, the first major battle of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.  It was a rare British victory in a war that would become dominated by the Dutch.

[2] Claude Bazin de Bezons (1617-1684), who served as intendant to Langeudoc from 1654 to 1674, during which he directed the reorganization of the Universities of Montpellier and Toulouse.  A member of l’Académie Française, he would be named to the Council d’État.

[3] Robert Bruce, the First Earl of Ailesbury and Second Earl of Elgin; he was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1685 and evinced interest in natural philosophy throughout his life.

[4] Sir Matthew Lister, elected a fellow of the College of Physicians in 1607, where he served as a censor or examiner of new candidates. He was Lister’s great uncle.  Matthew Lister served as a royal physician to James I and Charles I. In his early career, he was attached to the household of the widowed Mary Sidney Herbert (1561–1621), the Countess of Pembroke, with whom he flirted as well as having a business relationship. Matthew managed her estates, as Anthony à Wood sniggered to ‘her best advantage’, and received £120–£140 per year upon her death in 1621, his being ‘well worn in her service’.  In Aubrey’s Brief Lives, Aubrey speculated that Mary had secretly married the doctor, ‘a learned and handsome gentleman’ who was ten years her junior.  Aubrey also noted that Sir Matthew had Houghton House built in 1615 for the Countess, its two fashionable Italianate loggias of the latest fashion. (See John Aubrey, Aubrey’s Brief Lives, ed. Richard W. Barber (Woodbridge, 1982), 140, 192) Sir Philip Sidney, the brother of the Countess, may also have influenced the design of Houghton House.  Sidney wrote The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia (London: William Ponsonbie, 1590). The stately home in his work was described thus:

The house itself was built of fair and strong stone, not affecting so much any extraordinary kind of fineness as an honorable representing of a firm stateliness. The lights, doors and stairs rather directed to the use of the guest than to the eye of the artificer; and yet as the one chiefly heeded, so the other not neglected; each place handsome without curiosity, and homely without loathsomeness; not so dainty as not to be trod on, nor yet flubbered up with good-fellowship; all more lasting than beautiful, but that the consideration of the exceeding lastingness made the eye believe it was exceeding beautiful.

Houghton House, (now ruined) located on the ridge just north of Ampthill, about eight miles south of Bedford.  There has been speculation that Houghton House was also the model for and may have been the model for House Beautiful in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress.

[5] Frances Jennings (1647-1730), who after a marriage to Sir George Hamilton, married Richard Talbot and became Countess of Tyrconnel.   At court, her beauty earned her the nickname of ‘La Belle Jennings’.   She was Susanna Lister’s granddaughter from her first marriage to Gifford Thornhurst; Susanna was Lister’s mother.

[6] Charles Berkeley, 1st Earl of Falmouth (1630-3 June 1665), who was killed during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

[7] Entretiens.

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