Sunday 12 July 1663

(Lord’s day). Up, and meeting Tom Willson he asked my pardon again, which I easily did give him, telling him only that it was well I was not a woman with child, for it might have made me miscarry.

With Sir J. Minnes to church, where an indifferent good sermon. Here I saw Mrs. Becky Allen, who hath been married, and is this day churched, after her bearing a child. She is grown tall, but looks very white and thin, and I can find no occasion while I am here to come to have her company, which I desire and expected in my coming, but only coming out of the church I kissed her and her sister and mother-in-law.

So to dinner, Sir J. Minnes, Commissioner Pett, and I, &c., and after dinner walked in the garden, it being a very fine day, the best we have had this great while, if not this whole summer.

To church again, and after that walked through the Rope-ground to the Dock, and there over and over the Dock and grounds about it, and storehouses, &c., with the officers of the Yard, and then to Commissioner Pett’s and had a good sullybub and other good things, and merry. Commissioner Pett showed me alone his bodys as a secrett, which I found afterwards by discourse with Sir J. Minnes that he had shown them him, wherein he seems to suppose great mystery in the nature of Lynes to be hid, but I do not understand it at all.

Thence walked to the Hill-house, being myself much dissatisfied, and more than I thought I should have been with Commissioner Pett, being, by what I saw since I came hither, convinced that he is not able to exercise the command in the Yard over the officers that he ought to do, or somebody else, if ever the service be well looked after there.

Sat up and with Sir J. Minnes talking, and he speaking his mind in slighting of the Commissioner, for which I wish there was not so much reason. For I do see he is but a man of words, though indeed he is the ablest man that we have to do service if he would or durst. Sir J. Minnes being gone to bed, I took Mr. Whitfield, one of the clerks, and walked to the Dock about eleven at night, and there got a boat and a crew, and rowed down to the guard-ships, it being a most pleasant moonshine evening that ever I saw almost. The guard-ships were very ready to hail us, being no doubt commanded thereto by their Captain, who remembers how I surprised them the last time I was here. However, I found him ashore, but the ship in pretty good order, and the arms well fixed, charged, and primed. Thence to the Soveraign, where I found no officers aboard, no arms fixed, nor any powder to prime their few guns, which were charged, without bullet though.

So to the London, where neither officers nor any body awake; I boarded her, and might have done what I would, and at last could find but three little boys.

And so spent the whole night in visiting all the ships, in which I found, for the most part, neither an officer aboard, nor any men so much as awake, which I was grieved to find, specially so soon after a great Larum, as Commissioner Pett brought us word that he [had] provided against, and put all in a posture of defence but a week ago, all which I am resolved to represent to the Duke.

20 Annotations

TerryF  •  Link

"Mrs. Becky Allen, who hath been married, and is this day churched, after her bearing a child."

In the 1559 and 1662 Book of Common Prayer "The Thanksgiving of Women after Child-Birth, Commonly called Churching of Women."

This rite was previously reported and discussed in annotations on
27 September 1661 and
16 November 1662

Bradford  •  Link

"Commissioner Pett showed me alone his bodys as a secrett . . . wherein he seems to suppose great mystery in the nature of Lynes to be hid"

The Companion Large Glossary cites this entry for "body: sectional drawing (of a ship)". What could the mystery be? (It can't hardly be what it sounds like---ley lines.) It is a comfort that Pepys was puzzled too.

How kind to pass Tom Wilson off with the odd witticism that "it was well I was not a woman with child, for it might have made me miscarry"---though the imagery shows that Mrs. Becky Allan, late delivered, is indeed already on his mind. A kiss here, there, everywhere---any port in a storm.

The Mollusc  •  Link

Seeing a nice 'body' always gets a navy man excited...

The Commissioner is showing our Mr P his ship hull models, which would be used by the shipyards to scale out each Royal Navy vessel when laying out and constructing the hull.

The hydrodynamic properties of each ship design would be a national secret i.e. the angles of stem or stern, fullness in the bows, hard or soft chines, sheer or tumblehome sides, shape of keel etc. All these things affect (in combination) the stability, speed and handling characteristics of a vessel.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"Does "lynes" mean rigging? Was Pett showing Pepys a new form of rigging to improve the ships in battle or pursuit? Pett and his models reminded me of the scene in the film "Master and Commander" when the Master is shown a model of a ship which proves to him why it is so fast (they can't catch it) but reveals how they could favourably attack it. One of his crew had seen the ship in the construction phase. This was at a time when the French were the enemy. At this time, it is the Dutch, the English are primarily suspicious of.

Sam would have been listening to these Lessons in Church today:
Ecclesiastes 3 and Luke 24 in the morning and Ecclesiastes 4 and I Thessalonians 4 in the afternoon.
Correction - he would have been *hearing* them, but whether he was *listening* is another matter!

TerryF  •  Link

L&M define “body: sectional drawing (of a ship)” - not model.

Many pronouns in that sentence - Who "seems to suppose great mystery in the nature of Lynes to be hid"? Are these lines to be hid when she is built? No wonder our man writes in resignation, "but I do not understand it at all."

language hat  •  Link

lines (OED):
15. pl. a. The outlines, plan, or draught of a building or other structure; spec. in Ship-building, the outlines of a vessel as shown in its horizontal, vertical, and oblique sections. (Also fig.)
1673 TEMPLE Ess. Irel. Wks. 1731 I. 121 The raising such Buildings as I have drawn you here the Lines of. 1691 T. H[ALE] Acc. New Invent. p. xiii, Nor have I heard of any other Ship built by the Kings-fisher's Lines. [...] 1818 JAS. MILL Brit. India II. IV. v. 188 Carnac.. remained.. to lend his countenance and aid to measures, the line of which he had contributed to draw. 1851 Illustr. Catal. Gt. Exhib. 336 Model of a ship's hull... The novelty claimed in the uniformity of its lines.

TerryF  •  Link

LH, thanks for that.

Can it be that what is to be "hid" and a "mystery" are the "lines" = "bodys" themselves?
Yet Commissioner Pett is also showing them 'round - perhaps the "it" that Sam doesn't understand at all?

dirk  •  Link

The good Rev. Josselin seems to have had a very different weather experience today:

"The wet yet continues, and so almost continually from April 18th. past. now a great flood, meadows drowned again and again, very little hay had in, lord remember us in mercy and afflict us not continually, spare for thy name sake. god good in the word, this week my Cousin Hurril . delivered of another dead son, god spared her."

Compare this to Sam's "it being a very fine day, the best we have had this great while, if not this whole summer."

We've encountered a similar discrepancy a couple of months ago, between Sam's and Josselin's descriptions of the weather. In today's case this seems to suggest that Sam is enjoying a local (London) spot of cloudless sky -- the dominating weather pattern for some time still will be cloudsald lots of rain. (As far as I can find, this kind of diary information has never been systematically studied by historic meteorologists -- a pity.)

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Soverign of The Seas

'Tis the stern of the Sovereign, and the gorgeous decorative scheme, that is shown clearly in the famous Lely portrait of Pett now at Greenwich.

[Spoiler Alert] "great mystery in the nature of Lynes"

Pett was later dismissed, the official scapegoat of the investigation into the successful Dutch raid on Chatham in 1667. "Asked why he had brought his ship models into safety but not the ships themselves, he answered that the former were more valuable, much to the incredulous laughter of his accusers."

Jesse  •  Link

"which I was grieved to find"

Unannounced inspection, Sunday (Lord's) night, at 11PM. Not quite cricket? And "resolved to represent to the Duke" too. Seems kind of hard, yet there's that Dutch raid on Chatham to occur and better safe than sorry. Perhaps some other motives?

Xjy  •  Link

Jesse: "Perhaps some other motives?"
Well, if he can't get any, nobody else should ;-)
J: "Seems kind of hard"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

It's a pity more in the Navy didn't pull surprise inspections, though the 1667 Medway attack didn't succeed because the English ships were taken by surprise night assault. Only the boldness of the Dutch attack (still cause of smiles there) came as a surprise and the Navy was well aware of the danger with all the great ships laid up in port owing to the fiscal crisis. Sort of like Stalin knowing the June '41 attack was coming and he wasn't ready but trying to will it off till '42 they convinced themselves the Dutch would never try it-until they did.

tel  •  Link

The good Rev. Josselin.

Dirk, where did the Rev. live?
It may be worth mentioning for those unfamiliar with the UK that our weather can be very "local", often changing radically on a 50 mile drive.
With the Atlantic (and the Gulf Stream) on one side and the European land mass on the other, it's no wonder that the weather forecast is our chief topic of conversation.

Nix  •  Link

"Commissioner Pett showed me alone his bodys as a secrett" --

From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on Pett:

"None of Pett's sons pursued significant careers in the navy, despite the fact that the two eldest were bequeathed their father's ship models in his will."

Harvey  •  Link

Lines of the Hulls; In yacht clubs it is common to see the walls decorated with models of yacht hulls ('bodies'), engraved with 'lines', contour lines as on a topographical map that make the exact shape obvious. These are full of meaning to afficionados.

SP was being shown the plans of the top military secrets of the day, things that any naval architect would have paid a fortune to have 5 minutes looking at... but he didn't know enough for it to mean anything.

Pett wasn't exaggerating their importance.


Australian Susan  •  Link

Thanks Harvey for info re "lynes". Makes sense now. Your point about the importance of this information ehcoes the film incident I remarked on above from "Master and Commander"where knowledge of the hull of a ship gives the Russell Crowe character a battle advantage.

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