Saturday 26 May 1660

Thanks to God I got to bed in my own poor cabin, and slept well till 9 o’clock this morning. Mr. North and Dr. Clerke and all the great company being gone, I found myself very uncouth all this day for want thereof. My Lord dined with the Vice-Admiral to-day (who is as officious, poor man! as any spaniel can be; but I believe all to no purpose, for I believe he will not hold his place).

So I dined commander at the coach table to-day, and all the officers of the ship with me, and Mr. White of Dover. After a game or two at nine-pins, to work all the afternoon, making above twenty orders.

In the evening my Lord having been a-shore, the first time that he hath been a-shore since he came out of the Hope (having resolved not to go till he had brought his Majesty into England), returned on board with a great deal of pleasure.

I supped with the Captain in his cabin with young Captain Cuttance, and afterwards a messenger from the King came with a letter, and to go into France, and by that means we supped again with him at 12 o’clock at night.

This night the Captain told me that my Lord had appointed me 30l. out of the 1000 ducats which the King had given to the ship, at which my heart was very much joyed.

To bed.

16 Annotations

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

RIP, Sam.

Three hundred years ago, Sam sloughed off this mortal coil, leaving we who remain to Rest in Pepys.

Courtesy of fellow Pepyshead Keith Wright, who alerted me to an excellent article by Ferdinand Mount at the Times Literary Supplement ( ), here's what Evelyn had to say on the day that Sam went away:
"This day dyed Mr. Sam. Pepys, a very worthy, Industrious and curious person, none in England exceeding him in the Knowledge of the Navy, in which he had passed thro all the most Considerable Offices, Clerk of the Acts, and Secretary to the Admiralty, all which he performed with greate Integrity: when K: James the 2d went out of England he layed down his Office and would serve no more: But withdrawing himself from all publique Afairs, lived at Clapham with his partner (formerly his Cleark) Mr. Hewer, in a very noble House and sweete place . . . . was universaly beloved, Hospitable, generous, Learned in many things, skill'd in Musick, a very greate Cherisher of Learned men of whom he had the Conversation.”

Thanks to the power of Sam’s pen — and the commitment of such people as Wheatley, Latham, Matthews and, yes, Gyford — the Conversation continues. Here’s to another 300 years!

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Mr. White
L&M Footnote him as Thomas White, navy agent. They go on to say that he was also a Storekeeper at Dover since at least 1657. "He had a salary of L100 p.a. and looked after the despatch, repair, cleaning and refitting of H.M. ships. In 1667 he applied for permission to surrender the post."

Paul Brewster   Link to this

who is as officious, poor man! as any spaniel can be; but I believe all to no purpose, for I believe he will not hold his place
Interesting to see how SP underestimates the power of a spaniel to win the heart of King Charles.

Per L&M: "Lawson (republican and Anabaptist in the past) now won the King's favor. He was knight in September 1660 and was given several commands before his death in 1665.

chip   Link to this

I would be willing to wager that SP, when called yesterday by the Duke of York, did upon his desire, make sure of the 30l he received today. I would also bet that Pepys today never imagined that it would be the month and day carved on his stone.

language hat   Link to this

I found myself very uncouth all this day:
This is a strange use of "uncouth"; the OED gives it its own subentry. After
5. Of places: Not commonly known or frequented; solitary, desolate, wild, rugged, rough.
b. Of life, surroundings, etc.: Unattractive, unpleasant, uncomfortable. Obs. or arch.
They add:
c. Strange; uneasy; at a loss. Obs. [1 occurrence]
1660 PEPYS Diary 26 May, All the great company being gone, I found myself very uncouth all this day for want thereof.

I don't understand "so I dined commander at the coach table to-day"; is this how the L&M edition reads?

mary   Link to this

So I dined commander ...

L&M note that 'dined' here replaces 'supped' but does not indicate where 'supped' might have appeared.

I would guess that Sam means that he took the head of the table, presided over it etc. at dinner in the coach. Although he mentions all the officers being with him, this probably doesn't include the Captain, who is normally mentioned by name and who would take precedence over Sam, even though the latter is basking in Mountagu's reflected glory.

Mary   Link to this


As Language Hat says, a singular use of the word. All those of rank and consequence now having departed the ship, perhaps Sam feels that he has been left with the hoi polloi of the Naseby's (now The Charles's) company and this has brought him uncomfortably back to earth in his own estimation, reminding hm that he is not a man of rank or consequence yet.

He's clearly feeling very flat and out of place after all the excitement and heady glory of the last few days. Maybe claiming the head of the table at dinner is his way of compensating for this in a small way?

Paul Brewster   Link to this

L&M note that "dined" here replaces "supped" but does not indicate where "supped" might have appeared.

The Reader’s Guide in the L&M indicates that the word ‘repl’ in the textual notes indicate Pepys’s alterations. These alterations I assume are among the “many corrections and changes, perhaps 4000 all told [that] are made [in the manuscript] so neatly that only close examination reveals their existence” as discussed by L&M in their Introduction (p. xliv)

It may have been that upon rereading he noticed that he had used the phrase supped three times in the same entry. He probably decided to differentiate between “dined” for the midday meal and “supped” for the evening meal on the same day. The situation is further confused by the fact that he "supped … again at 12 a-clock at night."

helena murphy   Link to this

The Vice-Admiral , Sir John Lawson ,will continue to hold his rank and his place due simply to his professional seafaring experience ,irrespective of his previous political views. Charles and the Duke of York, now Lord High Admiral ,are sufficiently pragmatic to be unaffected by his past,and in fact an Act of Indemnity and Oblivion was passed to pardon lesser figures who had taken the Parliamentarian side. Neither is the King oblivious to Dutch naval strength , and wealth based on its far flung maritime empire. Like his father before him, Charles will be committed to building up the Royal Navy to meet this challenge.

vincent   Link to this

(who is as officious, poor man! as any spaniel can be; but I believe all to no purpose, for I believe he will not hold his place),
Lawson, V.adm.- 'e can't say the Kings henglish, not washed with "cam water" but knew how to run a fleet: One of the first up from the ranks. Sam will learn there is more to the feller than his ingratiating ways: He had to compensate for the lack of his Latinised vocabulary, Thanks Helena Murphy:

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Veblen on dogs
A friend pointed me to this quote from Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class, which seems appropriate here as well as in the previous day's entry ...
"The dog has advantages in the way of uselessness as well as in special gifts
of temperament. He is often spoken of, in an eminent sense, as the friend of
man, and his intelligence and fidelity are praised. The meaning of this is
that the dog is man's servant and that he has the gift of an unquestioning
subservience and a slave's quickness in guessing his master's mood. Coupled
with these traits, which fit him well for the relation of status -- and
which must for the present purpose be set down as serviceable traits -- the
dog has some characteristics which are of a more equivocal aesthetic value.
He is the filthiest of the domestic animals in his person and the nastiest
in his habits. For this he makes up is a servile, fawning attitude towards
his master, and a readiness to inflict damage and discomfort on all else."

jamie yeager   Link to this

30 pounds
If Sam's net worth, which he cast up earlier onboard during the voyage as 40 pounds, remained the same, then he almost doubled his net worth at a stroke with this gift from the King via his Lord...

Bill   Link to this

Vice Admiral John Lawson did indeed survive any bureaucratic infighting and will be knighted in September. He died in the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665. More at

Pat McCann   Link to this

Todd. Shouldn't the "RIP Sam" have a 'Spoiler Alert' warning? :)

What a fantastic few weeks we have just been through. Second time around and I still love my daily fix of Pepys.

Bob Terry   Link to this

I've got a question. How did the high priced help, Dukes, Admirals, the King, and Princesses, get on and off these ships? Did they climb a rope ladder? Get hoisted aboard on the end of a rope or what?

Chris Squire UK   Link to this

‘ . . In June 1661, as second to Montagu, now earl of Sandwich, he was sent to the straits to subdue the Barbary corsairs and secure England's new acquisition, Tangier. During the next four summers he was commander of a powerful Mediterranean squadron . . in . . the first encounter [of the Second Anglo-Dutch War] off Lowestoft, on 3 June 1665 . . After he and the duke had pounded their way through the Dutch centre and destroyed their admiral's flagship, in the ensuing chase Lawson was struck in the knee by a musket ball. The wound was not considered dangerous but gangrene set in and he died at Greenwich on 29 June . . ‘ [DNB]

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