Thursday 12 September 1661

Though it was an office day, yet I was forced to go to the Privy Seal, at which I was all the morning, and from thence to my Lady’s to dinner at the Wardrobe; and in my way upon the Thames, I saw the King’s new pleasure-boat that is come now for the King to take pleasure in above bridge; and also two Gundaloes that are lately brought, which are very rich and fine. After dinner I went into my Lady’s chamber where I found her up now out of her childbed, which I was glad to see, and after an hour’s talk with her I took leave and to Tom Trice again, and sat talking and drinking with him about our business a great while. I do find I am likely to be forced to pay interest for the 200l.. By and by in comes my uncle Thomas, and as he was always a close cunning fellow, so he carries himself to me, and says nothing of what his endeavours are, though to my trouble I know that he is about recovering of Gravely, but neither I nor he began any discourse of the business. From thence to Dr. Williams (at the little blind alehouse in Shoe Lane, at the Gridiron, a place I am ashamed to be seen to go into), and there with some bland counsel of his we discuss our matters, but I find men of so different minds that by my troth I know not what to trust to. It being late I took leave, and by link home and called at Sir W. Batten’s, and there hear that Sir W. Pen do take our jest of the tankard very ill, which I am sorry for.

16 Annotations

Pedro.   Link to this

"at the little blind alehouse in Shoe Lane, at the Gridiron, a place I am ashamed to be seen to go into"

The Gridiron, was this the name of the alehouse? Can't find any record, but there was a famous Goose and Gridiron at St.Paul's Churchyard.

Shoe Lane features in many trials at the Old Bailey, one of which involved Highway Robbery by a Samuel Lord, close to a tavern near Shoe Lane in 1677.

http://hri.shef.ac.uk/luceneweb/bailey/results....

From other cases there seems to have been taverns called "The Robin Hood", the Sun Tavern and the Temple Alehouse, up to 1716.

dirk   Link to this

"hear that Sir W. Pen do take our jest of the tankard very ill, which I am sorry for"

What did he expect?

Ruben   Link to this

looking for " the King's new pleasure-boat”, I found this nice painting (full of details) of a few years later where we can see similar vessels, or may the originals?
http://www.nmm.ac.uk/mag/pages/mnuExplore/Paint...

George   Link to this

" I saw the King's new pleasure-boat that is come now for the King to take pleasure in above bridge; “
Ruben, I read this as a river boat to be used for trips up river, as opposed to the sea going vessels in the picture.

andy   Link to this

"at the little blind alehouse ...a place I am ashamed to be seen to go into"

Remember 31 August when he met the two whores at another alehouse:

"so that I took no pleasure but a great deal of trouble in being there and getting from thence for fear of being seen".

Sam is evidently getting concerned about his public image!

Incidentally, what does "blind" mean in describing an alehouse - no windows?

andy   Link to this

hear that Sir W. Pen do take our jest of the tankard very ill

Yes I agree with Dirk, a great joke if you're in it, but not if you're the victim of it, as S. has just found out. Boys will be boys.

Ruben   Link to this

pleasure-boat
I am sorry I did not explain myself better.
The idea was to look at the small boats around the sea going vessels.
The interpretation of the painting explains that the scene is from the River Thames near Coldharbour Point.

Lawrence   Link to this

"Blind" per L&M Companion, "ii. 192 out of the way, private, obscure: cf."blind alley"

Glyn   Link to this

Hmm, on the one hand we have Sir William Penn, a fighting sailor who joined the navy when but a boy and has either killed people himself in swordfights or seen them get killed; on the other hand we have Pepys, who can be timid when in physical danger. I know who I'd bet on.

It may be unfair, but I think William Batten will get away with it even though he "stole" the tankard. It's the two or more letters that Pepys wrote, abusing Penn and no doubt sending him on fools errands all over the town, that caused the real offence since Penn can take them out of the drawer and read them again and again.

If this had been 17th-century Japan, no doubt Pepys would have had to commit hari-kiri, but as it is I'm very surprised that Penn didn't get him sacked.

Better do some serious grovelling Sam!

Mark Ynys-Mon   Link to this

for the Pleasure Boat a good indication of what sort of thing was involved can be seen in Canaletto's paintings of the Thames and Livery Barges from 70 years later.

See http://tinyurl.com/6a2r7 and especially the large gold barges in the centre.

BradW   Link to this

saw the King's new pleasure-boat

Hang on, wasn’t Charles II the first Englishman to own a specimen of the recent Dutch innovation “the Yacht”, meaning an ocean-going vessel that was neither warship nor merchant vessel, but built only for luxurious travel? This is what I took Sam’s phrase to mean, although perhaps his use of the word “boat” disproves my assertion.

Mary   Link to this

the King's new pleasure boat.

This (per L&M footnote) was the 'Bezan', a smaller variety of the yacht 'Mary' which had been presented to the king by the Dutch (cf. Dutch bezaan = mizzen). Pepys was later to sail down river in her.

Mary   Link to this

"by my troth" again.

Perhaps it is Sam's catch-phrase of the moment.
'Indeed', 'upon my word', 'I swear' seem good equivalents.

Vincent Bell   Link to this

Found a picture of the pleasure boat -
at :

http://www.nmm.ac.uk/mag/pages/mnuExplore/Paint...

"On the extreme right is the forepart of a Dutch bezan yacht, thought to be the one given to Charles II in 1661"

re: the tankard - Sams in trouble! I guess the fun was essentially of the giggling because we're underminding authority ilk. If I were Sir W Penn I would find it very hard to see why they all found so it so funny - though I can vaguely see where they are coming from - anyway, as Sir W Penn I'd be looking to make a statement that make it very clear who was in control around here - compensation from Sam of some sort maybe - watching Sam endlessly polish up all his silver tankards one evening may be appropriately humiliating.

Bob T   Link to this

Blind
I wonder if "obscure, out of the way", is the only meaning of this word. Years ago, a "Blind Pig" was the name for a bootlegger. See what I'm getting at?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I think the problem vexing "Fighting Bill" Penn, conqueror of Jamaica, in properly dealing with our boy (ie, a quick, one-way night boat ride in a sewn-up sack) is that little Pepys has the backing of Lord Sandwich and Montague has the King's ear for now.

Then too, he'd never hear the end of it from that 1660s hippy Quaker boy of his... "But prithee Dad, God wants thee to love thy enemies...Not drown them in the Thames."

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