January 1669

Sam shows either guilt or thoughtfulness to Elizabeth with a cabinet for her New Year’s gift and a 30l. allowance for clothing (1, 2, 3, 4). They spend time together riding about in their coach, having dinner guests and seeing plays. Elizabeth has a few jealous outbursts and one evening comes after Sam with hot tongs, while on another occasion she accuses him of having wandering eyes (10, 12, 20).

Sam spends time preparing for a great dinner at his house with Lord Sandwich, Peterborough, Sir Charles Harbourd, Lord Hinchingbroke, Mr. Sidney and Sir William Godolphin as his guests. He is extremely pleased with the meal and the entertainment afterwards (18, 22, 23). The next day he is awoken to a warrant calling for the Principal Officers to attend the King. The King is interested in finding out when all of his ships might be repaired and fit for service, but the King doesn’t reveal why he needs to know (24).

See the full diary entries for January 1669

February 1669

Sam is further plagued by his eyes, but forges on. He works on assorted Navy business with the Duke of York (10, 12, 14) and ensures a Muster-Master role for Balty (10). Sam buys himself a brass parallelogram (4) and has a plaster made of his face (10).

Elizabeth’s suspicions of Sam now center on his relationship at home with Jane. Sam moves to have Jane and Tom leave by Easter (7, 8) in order to maintain a happier home. Elizabeth is wise to be suspicious, as Sam is almost tempted when he follows a pretty lady in mourning after the burial of Captain Middleton’s wife. With his watchful boy at the gate, Sam’s hopes are thwarted (17).

On a very cheery note, Sam finds that his cousin Roger Pepys has quietly remarried (8). Roger’s daughters Bab and Betty arrive in town and stay with a receptive Sam (18). Over the next days they are whisked off to plays (20, 22), Westminster Abbey, where they see the tomb of Katherine of Valois, the making of glass at a Glass-House (23), and dinner at Will Hewer’s impressive lodgings (24). By the end of their adventures Sam is happily referring to them as “my girls” (25).

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March 1669

Lord Sandwich is so devastated at the death of his much beloved daughter, Lady Paulina Montagu, that he is unable to attend Sam when he comes to comfort him (1). As Sandwich mourns, Sam finds that Sir. W. Coventry has been accused of an attempted duel with the Duke of Buckingham (1), is put into the Tower (4), removed from his Council (6), and finally released (20). The action against Coventry and the King’s siding with his favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, only furthers the rift between the Duke of York and his brother, the King. The Duke of York determines that if he allows the King to fill a seat or two in the Navy that it may stop him from replacing the entire Navy (31). As this unfolds, Sam and Commissioner Middleton attend a Court Martial (19), which Sam finds interesting (19).

Elizabeth hears painful rumors that Deb is slandering her (12). The household prepares for the upcoming wedding of Jane and Tom, which takes place on the anniversary of Sam’s “cutting of the stone” (26). Elizabeth seeks a replacement maid and debates if she should take the pretty girl or the one with marks all over her face from small pox (11, 12). Much to Sam’s delight and excitement, Elizabeth welcomes Matt, the pretty one (29).

See the full diary entries for March 1669

April 1669

Sam assists in a Court Martial (1, 10), attends a Council on war (3), settles matters to assign Customs between the Navy Office and Victualler (7), and attends to Tangier accounts (27, 28). Sir W. Coventry remains on poor terms with the King (17).

Sam’s eyes continue to plague him and keep him from his diary for 14 days. In spite of a vizard mask with tubes (24) and potential eye water treatment (30), he struggles daily.

While with Hewer, his eyes are sharp enough to spot Deb at White Hall (13). He sends Hewer away, pursues Deb to find where she lives, returning home to Elizabeth and speaking “as innocent” of his day (13). He tracks down Deb, brings her to a blind alehouse, forces her to touch him, gives her 20s, and sets up another rendezvous (15). Sam cautiously fears Elizabeth (16), but feels bold enough to return in search of Deb at the date he set forth, only to find she is not there as he had hoped, so he turns to Doll for relief (19). Later that month, Sam sees Deb with a gentlewoman, but no contact is made (26).

See the full diary entries for April 1669

May 1669

Sam works on the Instructions of the Commanders and discourses on the Council on trade (8, 10). The Duke of York hopes he has mastered his adversaries as the King is finally satisfied at the Constitution of the Navy, appointing Sir Jeremy Smith to Commissioner of the Navy, in place of Penn (10). The Duke of York is further pleased when the Duke of Buckingham is linked, via his whore, Lady Shrewsbury, to the near deadly attack on Harry Killigrew and the death of his man (19). The Duke of York hopes this will bring about Buckingham’s fall.

After the death of Paulina, Lord Sandwich returns and he shares a nice visit with Sam (2). Sam hears that Pall is pregnant (12).

Sam sends a porter to inquire about Deb, only to find that she has gone to Greenwich (4). He finds himself wanting to pursue her, but has the wisdom in “private vows last night in prayer to God Almighty cleared my mind for the present of the thoughts of going to Deb at Greenwich, which I did long after” (7).

Sam places his energies into planning for his trip with Elizabeth to France in the summer (7). He requests leave and the King showing true concern over Sam’s eyes, “commanded me to give them rest this summer, according to my late petition to the Duke of York” for the time away (24).

At the end of the month, Sam closes the diary, his eyes no longer good enough to write it himself (31):

“And thus ends all that I doubt I shall ever be able to do with my own eyes in the keeping of my journal, I being not able to do it any longer, having done now so long as to undo my eyes almost every time that I take a pen in my hand; and, therefore, whatever comes of it, I must forbear: and, therefore, resolve, from this time forward, to have it kept by my people in long-hand, and must therefore be contented to set down no more than is fit for them and all the world to know; or, if there be any thing, which cannot be much, now my amours to Deb are past, and my eyes hindering me in almost all other pleasures, I must endeavour to keep a margin in my book open, to add, here and there, a note in short-hand with my own hand.”

“And so I betake myself to that course, which is almost as much as to see myself go into my grave: for which, and all the discomforts that will accompany my being blind, the good God prepare me!”

See the full diary entries for May 1669