Sunday 16 December 1666

(Lord’s day). Lay long talking with my wife in bed, then up with great content and to my chamber to set right a picture or two, Lovett having sent me yesterday Sancta Clara’s head varnished, which is very fine, and now my closet is so full stored, and so fine, as I would never desire to have it better. Dined without any strangers with me, which I do not like on Sundays. Then after dinner by water to Westminster to see Mrs. Martin, whom I found up in her chamber and ready to go abroad. I sat there with her and her husband and others a pretty while, and then away to White Hall, and there walked up and down to the Queen’s side, and there saw my dear Lady Castlemayne, who continues admirable, methinks, and I do not hear but that the King is the same to her still as ever. Anon to chapel, by the King’s closet, and heard a very good anthemne. Then with Lord Bruncker to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber; and there we sat with him and talked. He is weary of anything to do, he says, in the Navy. He tells us this Committee of Accounts will enquire sharply into our office. And, speaking of Sir J. Minnes, he says he will not bear any body’s faults but his own. He discoursed as bad of Sir W. Batten almost, and cries out upon the discipline of the fleete, which is lost, and that there is not in any of the fourth rates and under scarce left one Sea Commander, but all young gentlemen; and what troubles him, he hears that the gentlemen give out that in two or three years a Tarpaulin shall not dare to look after being better than a Boatswain. Which he is troubled at, and with good reason, and at this day Sir Robert Holmes is mighty troubled that his brother do not command in chief, but is commanded by Captain Hannum, who, Sir W. Coventry says, he believes to be at least of as good blood, is a longer bred seaman, an elder officer, and an elder commander, but such is Sir R. Holmes’s pride as never to be stopt, he being greatly troubled at my Lord Bruncker’s late discharging all his men and officers but the standing officers at Chatham, and so are all other Commanders, and a very great cry hath been to the King from them all in my Lord’s absence. But Sir W. Coventry do undertake to defend it, and my Lord Bruncker got ground I believe by it, who is angry at Sir W. Batten’s and Sir W. Pen’s bad words concerning it, and I have made it worse by telling him that they refuse to sign to a paper which he and I signed on Saturday to declare the reason of his actions, which Sir W. Coventry likes and would have it sent him and he will sign it, which pleases me well. So we parted, and I with Lord Bruncker to Sir P. Neale’s chamber, and there sat and talked awhile, Sir Edward Walker being there, and telling us how he hath lost many fine rowles of antiquity in heraldry by the late fire, but hath saved the most of his papers. Here was also Dr. Wallis, the famous scholar and mathematician; but he promises little. Left them, and in the dark and cold home by water, and so to supper and to read and so to bed, my eyes being better to-day, and I cannot impute it to anything but by my being much in the dark to-night, for I plainly find that it is only excess of light that makes my eyes sore. This after noon I walked with Lord Bruncker into the Park and there talked of the times, and he do think that the King sees that he cannot never have much more money or good from this Parliament, and that therefore he may hereafter dissolve them, that as soon as he has the money settled he believes a peace will be clapped up, and that there are overtures of a peace, which if such as the Lord Chancellor can excuse he will take. For it is the Chancellor’s interest, he says, to bring peace again, for in peace he can do all and command all, but in war he cannot, because he understands not the nature of the war as to the management thereof. He tells me he do not believe the Duke of York will go to sea again, though there are a great many about the King that would be glad of any occasion to take him out of the world, he standing in their ways; and seemed to mean the Duke of Monmouth, who spends his time the most viciously and idly of any man, nor will be fit for any thing; yet bespeaks as if it were not impossible but the King would own him for his son, and that there was a marriage between his mother and him; which God forbid should be if it be not true, nor will the Duke of York easily be gulled in it. But this put to our other distractions makes things appear very sad, and likely to be the occasion of much confusion in a little time, and my Lord Bruncker seems to say that nothing can help us but the King’s making a peace soon as he hath this money; and thereby putting himself out of debt, and so becoming a good husband, and then he will neither need this nor any other Parliament, till he can have one to his mind: for no Parliament can, as he says, be kept long good, but they will spoil one another, and that therefore it hath been the practice of kings to tell Parliaments what he hath for them to do, and give them so long time to do it in, and no longer. Harry Kembe, one of our messengers, is lately dead.

16 Annotations

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Dined without any strangers with me, which I do not like on Sundays.
What an odd idea. It was common for strangers to stay and dine at a big house, much like a hotel. George Washington always had strangers staying with him and eating at his table, and his sober conduct and tight control of drink kept order among the strangers. I had no idea they liked having strangers eat with them.

CGS  •  Link

"...Sancta Clara’s head varnished, which is very fine, and now my closet is so full stored,..." showing his spiritual side?
Could it be a copy of Original by Veracruz??????
Samuel needing secret blessings???
Sancta Clara’s
At this time there was famous and "a very eccentric but popular Augustinian monk".[
known as Abraham a Sancta Clara
In 1662 he joined the Catholic order of Discalced Augustinians, and assumed the religious name by which he is known. In this order he rose step by step until he became prior provincialis and definitor of his province.
"...Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration..." Original by Veracruz??????

CGS  •  Link

Sancta Clara , it appears to be a very controversial subject that gets the blud of many in a tizzy.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"Here was also Dr. Wallis, the famous scholar and mathematician; but he promises little."

Spoiler. Pepys relationship with Wallis prospered sufficiently that SP later commissioned Kneller (the most expensive painter of the day) to paint Wallis's portrait for Oxford. For reproduction and details see:

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"Dined without any strangers with me, which I do not like on Sundays."
Carl, you read this as saying SP likes having strangers dine with him (so what he doesn't like is the "without"). I got the opposite reading, that he doesn't like having strangers dine with him on Sundays. I don't see any obvious way to resolve the ambiguity directly from the text, but harking back to Sam's many Sunday dinners, it does seem to me that he usually has family and close friends there, and is more likely to dine with business acquaintances, or "strangers", during the work week.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... Sancta Clara’s head varnished, which is very fine ..."

St Claire was the patron saint of eyes and eye diseases; 'on Christmas night, 1252, the nun received the grace of seeing from her cell the Church's celebration of Christ's birth.'

Spoiler. On Feb. 14, 1958, Pius XII made her the patron saint of television.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

" is only excess of light that make my eyes sore."
Most likely smoke from candlelight,because there is not much sunlight in England in December.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"St Claire was the patron saint of eyes and eye diseases"
So was St Lucy-Santa Lucia,Santa Luzia-;maybe Pius XII
divided their responsabilities.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

" my closet is so full stored, and so fine, as I would never desire to have it better..."

Does anyone believe that?

Interesting entry...Sam full of high spirits after yesterday's reasonably good news about the cash flow improving and a good night...And morn...With Bess. Then comes the gradually wearing day, with Coventry uncharacteristically despondent, idiot courtiers vowing to complete the destruction of all sense and experience in Navy command structure, a civil dispute in the office with Sam and Bruncker vs Penn and Batten, threats to Jamie's position in the succession, and threats to dissolve Parliament and promote a return to royal absolutism (Which however Sam may be wedded to the royalists must wear a bit at his soul, suggesting new possibilities of civil war.), finally ending in the grim news of mortality.

"Honey? What's the matter? You were so bouncy this am?"

"Life is a hopelessly grim, dark ride that ends in death, Bess. Lets commit suicide before Parliament and my titled coworkers have me clapped in the Tower...Or move to Brampton, about the same in any case."

"If you like...But there is a very nice piece of beef in the pot. And I just got a great new novel...And listen..." Sings.

A definite trill...My God.

"I practiced all day. Come, Sam'l...Lets go look at our plate...That always cheers you."

CGS  •  Link

Very 'inciteful' piece of the wrangling going on.
No monies, few prizes ships to pay for the lost ones, losses here, there and every where, Who were losers, the non matriculated tars or the 'degreed' sons of the landed ones, who were the enept ones???
Always blame the other , attack, King would like to be independent of parliament, is there anyone that likes to beholden to the source of monies, 'can' everyone, especially those that made good in the Interregnum, Charles would love to dump the city merchants, they dothe not doth there beanies properly, so lets establish to whom gets the blame for the losses at sea. Royalists or old salts or the bad weather, or be it the lack of beer and crackers and 'saltpeter".

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Lord Bruncker’s late discharging all his men and officers but the standing officers at Chatham"

L&M note year-round employment of naval officers -- now laid off in winter while their ship were refit -- was gradually introduced (largely due to Pepys's efforts -- in 1668-75. "Standing officers" were warrant officers normally not removable from their ships.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

@ Terry F. 'What is it with Pepys’s undeniable fascination with Catholic icons?'

'Catholic icons' from a (contemporary American) protestant' perspective.

Whatever Ashley may have chosen to perceive as 'Popery,' such was within the mainstream of Laudian 'high' Anglican devotion. Article XXII (1562) forbade 'The Romanish Doctrine concerning ... Worshiping and Adoration, as well as Images as of Reliques, and also invocation of Saints is a fond thing vainly invented ...' however by say 1620's, a distinction was drawn between the 'Romanish Doctorine' (bad) and the 'patristic practice of invocation of Saints' good because replicating the earlier 'purer' practices of the Church prior to corruption by Rome and reflected in the incorporation of days devoted to Mary and Saints in the Anglican 'Calendar' of 1662. SP a formal adherent of established religion and a reader of Thomas Fuller, rather then Peter Heylin, was very probably completely unaware of such theological niceties.

This practice should not be confused with the later Roman Catholic popular veneration of images, chromolithographs, Holy Cards, statues and similar and the use of related devotions introduced circa 1850 as a part of the 'Romanizing zeal' of Bishop, later Cardinal, Wiseman which many English Roman Catholics of the day found disturbing and a substantial number of his clergy opposed.


Michael Robinson  •  Link

“St Claire was the patron saint of eyes and eye diseases” So was St Lucy-Santa Lucia,Santa Luzia-;maybe Pius XII divided their responsabilities.

St. Claire was patroness of sight, eyes, and eye diseases, and St. Lucy of blindness; with the evolution of medieval hospitals for the blind dedicated to St. Lucy into medical establishments, Lucy's perceived role expanded.

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