Sunday 30 May 1669

(Whitsunday). By water to White Hall, and thence to Sir W. Coventry, where all the morning by his bed-side, he being indisposed. Our discourse was upon the notes I have lately prepared for Commanders’ Instructions; but concluded that nothing will render them effectual, without an amendment in the choice of them, that they be seamen, and not gentleman above the command of the Admiral, by the greatness of their relations at Court. Thence to White Hall, and dined alone with Mr. Chevins his sister: whither by and by come in Mr. Progers and Sir Thomas Allen, and by and by fine Mrs. Wells, who is a great beauty; and there I had my full gaze upon her, to my great content, she being a woman of pretty conversation. Thence to the Duke of York, who, with the officers of the Navy, made a good entrance on my draught of my new Instructions to Commanders, as well expressing general [views] of a reformation among them, as liking of my humble offers towards it. Thence being called by my wife, Mr. Gibson and I, we to the Park, whence the rain suddenly home.

28 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the notes I have lately prepared for Commanders’ Instructions; but concluded that nothing will render them effectual, without an amendment in the choice of them, that they be seamen, and not gentleman above the command of the Admiral, by the greatness of their relations at Court."

A long-standing view now joined with the takeaway from the Court Martial lesson.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Nice to end the diary with Pepys framing one of his most lasting contributions to world history: What would the world be now without the Anglophone naval Empire on which the sun never set?

Ron Morse   Link to this

...and so to bed.

jeannine   Link to this

"and so to bed"...we have one more day to enjoy before he pulls up the covers for good.. we'll cherish while we can..

Robert Gertz   Link to this

And nice the diary is ending with the Deb virus apparently under control and a degree of marital harmony restored...

Of coure the blessings of the Anglophone naval Empire are still a matter of discussion with its victims undoubtedly holding a differing view from those who benefitted...As with Rome, the USSR, the USA, China in its upcoming global moment and all Empires and/or superpowers... Though there has been progress...We lve after all in a world where a Gorbatchev and a Havel and others could have their moments of triumph and tragedy...Something inconceivable not so long ago...And Sam is a contributor to that progress. While Sam's Navy is of course owed a great debt of gratitude for helping to save Humanity from one of its most despicable tyrants, as well as that rather egotistical if charming at times Corsican guy...I prefer to view the Diary as Sam's great contribution to the human spirit. Even if it did take a while for it to come to light.

Jayne from Delaware   Link to this

To all Annotators & Phil, Thanks for the last 9 years. I never had much time for the 17th century. . . until you all brought it to life. This lover of all things Medieval will be forever grateful. My favorite memory occurs early in the diary. Sam is a young gallant gone to the continent to bring back the King, swaggering about and in the journey back is in charge of the dogs sh*tt*ing in his little boat. Thanks for the memories.

FJA   Link to this

Thank you to Phil, Terry, all the Annotators, those like me who occasionally surfaced, and especially to our dear Sam without whom none of this would have been possible. For many years now I have looked forward each day to my morning Pepys Diary fix. Good luck to all of you. May we meet again.

Robert Gertz   Link to this


Deceased Sam, facing post mortum sentence on what he must agree, by his own testimony, are fairly legit charges of adultery and sexual exploitation...Though he's made an impresive defense on corruption charges, as always...

Just a bit annoying that Charles Stuart should be foreman of his Purgatory jury...
"Jury of your temporal peers, eh what Pepys...?" Charles notes to Sam's objection. "Bit egalitarian for me, frankly, but that's the afterlife...Well, old man, you've been found guilty...Incredibly so...On the main charges. Though, good news is you evaded the corruption bit. Bravo, there. But, while we've all enjoyed reading your little opus, we must pass sentence. Anything to say on your behalf?...Though, given my own experience, old boy...Bit of advice, I'd hang head, keep mum. May not help but given my own experience, can’t hurt."

“May I put in a word?...”

“Bess?...” Sam, staring… “Is it really you, after all these years?...Ummn…You look good…”

“You look old…And even more pompous than when I died…”

“True enough…” sigh…“I suppose you’ve come to add your two pence to the testimony?...”

“Having read your Diary…Would you say I’d not have a right to?...”

“Fine…Sure…Is nice to see you, though…”

“Mrs. Pepys?...Bit of a hurry here…Some of us have a bit of punishment to undergo ourselves yet…” Charles… “If you’d like to say anything?...’

“Your honour...when I was in Heaven, and had everything I'd ever dreamed of…”
“Including a certain engineer?...” Sam sighs…
“Quiet you…” Bess, frowning… “Anyway…I suddenly realized that ... this man... this man...
No one ever made me feel like someone…
'Til him…
Life was really nothing but a glum one…
'Til him… “
“Yes, I must agree…” Sam nods…
“Shut up…My existence bordered on the tragic…Always timid, never took a chance…
Then I felt his magic…And my heart began to dance…” twirl…
“Why, Bess...Those lessons did pay off…”
“I was always frightened, fraught with worry...
'Til him….
I was going nowhere in a hurry…
'Til him…
He filled up my empty life…Filled it to the brim…
There could never ever be…Another him …”
“Bess, I ... I never realized ... You're a good singer… Sorry I never let you do ‘Beauty Retire’…“
“You do get that II sang it because n spite of all, I'm your lover and your friend….And all in all…That damned Diary of yours wasn’t all bad…I’m rather glad you didn’t burn it...Much as some parts made me want to…”
“I couldn’t…It’s as much you as me…”
Chorus of Bagwell, Doll, Betty, Diana, Sarah, etc, etc:
“Aaaaaaaahh! “

Bess, frowning: “Don't help, ladies...”

Bess and Sam:
“He/she filled up my empty life
Filled it to the brim …”
“Hell…There could never ever be…Another one ... like him…”

Charles sighing… “Well, that’s all well and good and nicely harmonized but…”
“I’ll take him on my personal recognizance…” Bess, firmly… “And this being the afterlife, if Cathy can do that for you…” narrow-eyed stare…
“Oh…Fine…” Charles puts up hands… “Egalitarianism…No wonder Dad insisted on completing his sentence…Pepys, you are remanded to the custody of Mrs. P …Meaning…You’d better behave yourself from here on in…”
“If I can help it…” Sam…
“You know a composer in a few hundred years will have you say exactly that in his musical play…” Bess notes… “And you better help it is my answer…Come along…”
“Composer, you say?...Musical play?...” beam…
“And so to bed…Little sleepy head…” Bess, singing…

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Whitsun (also Whitsunday, Whit Sunday or Whit) is the name used in the UK for the Christian festival of Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ's disciples (Acts of the Apostles chapter 2). In England it took on some characteristics of Beltane, which originated from the pagan celebration of Summer's Day, the beginning of the Summer half-year, in Europe.[1] Whitsuntide, the week following Whitsunday, was one of three vacation weeks for the medieval villein;[2] on most manors he was free from service on the lord's demesne this week, which marked a pause in the agricultural year.[3] Whit Monday, the day after Whitsun, remained a holiday in the UK until 1967

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

From Wikipedia.

Fauna   Link to this

Thank you all. I'm torn between being happy I found the site and mourning the end.

So the little prince tamed the fox.
And when the hour of his departure drew near—

"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."

htom   Link to this

Robert Gertz -- As reliable as our Sam's roving eye (and more.) Thank you for your many, wonderful, hilarious comments. There were days when I wondered if I was coming back for his story, or your annotation of it. Well done.

Pauline   Link to this

" Mrs. Wells, who is a great beauty; and there I had my full gaze upon her, to my great content, she being a woman of pretty conversation. "

Thank you, Sam, for keeping the faith right up to the end.

Stephen Walkley   Link to this

Thanks very much for this Phil.

Has anyone written an extension to the diary. A what might have been.

sue nicholson   Link to this

"Pepys's Later Diaries" ed CS Knighton, Pub. Sutton 2004.
Not a patch on the 1660-9 diary but gives you a sense of what happened next.

Claire Tomalin's biography and Sam's letters to John Evelyn are well worth a read and also give you a broader picture.

Jackie   Link to this

And so in his final diary entry, Sam Pepys shows why he is regarded as one of the people behind what made the British Navy great. The concept of promotion by merit, training and ability, not birth was highly radical in those days but it laid the foundation for a Navy which was highly effective.

sue nicholson   Link to this

Pepys in later life became President of the Royal Society. People here might be interested in this link:

jeannine   Link to this

Sam's final entry is coming with tomorrow's entry -May has 31 days, so we have one left to enjoy!

rob van hugte   Link to this

@htom; Robert Gertz — As reliable as our Sam’s roving eye (and more.) Thank you for your many, wonderful, hilarious comments. There were days when I wondered if I was coming back for his story, or your annotation of it. Well done.

I can only agree with you htom, I do not know now what to do during my lunchbreak. No Pepys and no Gertz.

Thanks everybody for making this such an interesting experience.

Peter Last   Link to this

My first daughter was born in London (in the ambulance en route to hospital, as recorded on her birth certificate) on the Whitsun holiday in 1958, so it is evocative for me that the Diary should be coming to an end on a day that I so well remember.

Like so many others, I again express my profound gratitude to Phil Gyfford and all the annotators who have made this site part of my daily life for the last eight years or more. I shall miss it more than I can say, as I have expressed before.

Thank you all again.

mary k mcintyre   Link to this

One more day...

It's been a wonderful nine years: Phil's links, Gertz's daft songs & playlets, Glyn's walking tours, and all. How appropriate that we passionate amateurs have so honoured Sam -- the pluperfect passionate amateur himself, 'with child to see any new thing'.

He would have been astonished to see these annotations, from people all over Great Britain and her former colonies (rock the Commonwealth!).

What he'd have given to have Australian Susan show him a platypus! I'd take him up to Hudson's Bay to see icebergs and polar bears.

One more day -- once more into the breach, dear friends!


languagehat   Link to this

"whence the rain suddenly home."

Should read "whence the rain sent us suddenly home."

geoff johnson   Link to this

Longtime reader, first-time annotator. Thanks, everybody.

Linda F   Link to this

About the only thing that would console me at this point would be for someone to walk into the Pepys Library and find tucked into a volume cover, or in a special place in those bookcases, or in an antiquarian bookstore, Pepys's and Elisabeth's notes on their travels abroad. It would just make so much sense that he took, or had Elisabeth take, notes on this experience, and then did not have the heart to write them up after her death.

Since this is not going to happen, looking forward to one more day. What a wonderful time it has been.

Dorothy Willis   Link to this

I don't receive the daily posts by e-mail. I happened on the site and bookmarked it and go to it every morning. I want to be sure I will be kept up to date on whatever happens. Yoo-hoo Powers That Be! That's my e-mail address there. Keep me posted!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Phil will be posting today a substantial article about Pepys after the Diary by Jeannine, the true Pepys scholar among us (I've seen her library).

She's been quietly writing "The Diary so far" for awhile.

I look forward to Jeannine's article's posting!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Dorothy Willis et al.: the way to keep be kept up to date on whatever happens is

1) check the Site News

2) be sure you are a member of the PepysDiary Yahoo! Group which is open:

Max Wainer   Link to this

The Verge has an article about the site:


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