Monday 20 January 1667/68

For my honor’d Friend Samuell Pepys Esqr

Clearke of the Acts etc:

at the Navy Office with,

a little Roll of Paper. London.


Sayes Court

20 January 16681


I am heartily asham’d I could not performe your Commands before now: It was friday2 ‘ere I could possibly get home, and since I am here, I have ben so afflicted with the Griping of the Gutts3, that I was not able to bestow the paines I intended on the Scheme4 I send you, which will onely serve you to preserve our reproch in memory, and my little skill in designing; But I have don it as I could, and as it appear’d to me from the Hill above Gillingham. The draught which I follow for Chatham River is from an old paper lying by me, and not from any printed Mapp, and some of the flexures I have presumed to reforme (as I thinke at least) as the River then presented itselfe to my Eye: You must excuse the defects of Sir,

Your most humble servant

J Evelyn:

The extreame whiteness of my Inke also deceived me etc

Source: Bodleian MS Rawl. A195, f.77. No endorsement.

  1. MS: “Sayes-Court 20th:Jan:-67/8”.
  2. Friday, 17 January.
  3. A constriction of the bowels; not an uncommon complaint of E’s but, curiously, there is no mention of the ailment in his diary, as there often is.
  4. The drawing is bound with this letter at MS Rawl. A195, f.78, endorsed by E, “A Scheme of the Posture of the Dutch-Fleete, and Action at Shere-nesse and Chatham 10th, 11th and 12 of June 1667 taken up on place by JE”. A reproduction was published in Braybrooke’s editions of Pepys’s diary and correspondence in 1825 and 1854. An earlier version, also in E’s hand, is in Texas (Pforzheimer MS 35B). It seems to have been sent originally to P with the letter of 6 December 1681 (C10 — see the book from which this page is taken) and was sold as Item 2862 in the Davey Catalogue. It was described as the draft sketch made on site, forming the model for the fair copy above. Both drawings depict the lower reaches of the Thames and Medway, and the location of numbered ships marked with a table of their names and fates.

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