Tuesday 3 April 1660

Late to bed. About three in the morning there was great knocking at my cabin, which with much difficulty (so they say) waked me, and I rose, but it was only for a packet, so went to my bed again, and in the morning gave it my Lord.

This morning Capt. Isham comes on board to see my Lord and drunk his wine before he went into the Downs, there likewise come many merchants to get convoy to the Baltique, which a course was taken for.

They dined with my Lord, and one of them by name Alderman Wood talked much to my Lord of the hopes that we have now to be settled, (under the King he meant); but my Lord took no notice of it. After dinner which was late my Lord went on shore, and after him I and Capt. Sparling went in his boat, but the water being almost at low water we could not stay for fear of not getting into our boat again. So back again. This day come the Lieutenant of the Swiftsure, who was sent by my Lord to Hastings, one of the Cinque Ports, to have got Mr. Edward Montagu to have been one of their burgesses, but could not, for they were all promised before. After he had done his message, I took him and Mr. Pierce, the surgeon (who this day came on board, and not before), to my cabin, where we drank a bottle of wine. At night, busy a-writing, and so to bed. My heart exceeding heavy for not hearing of my dear wife, and indeed I do not remember that ever my heart was so apprehensive of her absence as at this very time.

22 Annotations

First Reading

M Wright  •  Link

Perhaps Sam's penchant for strong drink in his cabin during the evenings made waking him such a difficult task at 3 in the morning.

Emilio  •  Link

"Hastings, one of the Cinque Ports"
How interesting that Sam would specially note this. Right now Sam is getting his 'sea legs' in more ways than one, as far as the naval life goes. This brief comment has really driven that home for me for the first time.

JudyB  •  Link

I have never heard of so many goings and comings happening on one ship within such a short period of time. Are they at anchor? Moving very slowly so that visitors can keep up by traveling by land? This ship seems to be more of a stationary hotel than a means of transportation.

Warren Keith Wright  •  Link

It seems worth mentioning with this entry that while there was an Edward Wood who was an alderman, this William Wood was in fact a timber merchant and mast-maker from Wapping. (In later years, when he often partnered with Surveyor of the Navy Sir William Batten, Pepys disliked their joint monopolist tendencies. Cf. Companion entries.)
Since their marriage in late 1655, Samuel and Elizabeth had been separated before, when in May 1659 he journeyed to the Baltic with letters for Mountagu; but now the unsettled state of the state makes his dismay at being apart even stronger than then.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"to get convoy to the Baltique"

-- for protection against pirates?

The L&M index volume has no listing for "pirates," so apparently the word never enters the diary.

There were concerns about pirates on the Dutch coast. In an official diary of a trip to Holland as ambassasdor, George Downing (Pepys's Exchequer boss) mentions the danger of pirates at the mouth of the Maas, the river that leads to Rotterdam. [11 Jan. 1657/8 entry; quoted in John Beresford's "Godfather of Downing Street," p 85]

Alan  •  Link

There's something about a boat that makes me, at least, sleep like a log. Constant motion which the body has to adapt to is subtle excercise; sun, wind all take their toll, not to mention the wine and dinner as stated.

Mary  •  Link

The Downs

An area of sea lying between the Thames Estuary and the Straits of Dover, protected by the Goodwin Sands from easterlies and by the land mass of Kent from westerlies. Hence a favoured (and often very crowded) holding point for merchant shipping that was awaiting a favourable wind for an outward voyage.

Sue  •  Link

Why was Pepys so apprehensive of Mrs Pepys' absence today?

mary  •  Link

my heart was so apprehensive of her absence

In this context, Pepys is most probably saying that his heart was particularly conscious of, or sensible to, his wife's absence on this particular day. He's suddenly missing her a great deal, has had no news from her and thinks to comment on the fact.

Although the modern use of apprehensive almost invariably involves an idea of fear or foreboding, this was not necessarily the case in 17th Century usage.

Hhomeboy  •  Link

a worriesome heart...

One can be worried by a lack of news of or from a loved one without fearing the worst--true then, true now.

There are quite a couple of now obsolete uses for 'apprehend' but this isn't one of them.

Mary  •  Link

apprehensive heart again

Hhomeboy's statement notwithstanding, the OED gives authority for a reading of 'conscious of, sensible to' for apprehensive.

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

As Sam noted in his diary entries of 21st and 25th March, Mountagu sought and obtained "the writ and mandate for him to dispose to the Cinque Ports for choice of Parliament-men." In the Convention Parliament, before being raised to the Peerage, Mountagu was MP for Dover. His colleague as MP for Dover was his cousin George Mountagu, who was reelected for the seat in the Cavalier Parliament.

The post of 'Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports' had been vacant since the death of Blake. Although Mountagu never held the post, as Emilio observed, he may, for practical purposes, have sought to exercise at least some of the functions of the post. It certainly seems as though he was trying to pack the Parliamentary seats with his friends and family.

Jackie  •  Link

Suspect his apprehension about his wife is a reflection of just how dangerous the situation is. They're not entirely succeeded in stacking Parliament and if word gets to the wrong people as to what they're all about, they could wind up on a treason charge. They are after all plotting to overthrow the current Government!

Bryan  •  Link

"They are after all plotting to overthrow the current Government!"

Is that the case? We know where this voyage is heading, but does Sam? The situation is fluid. Monck knows what is going on and probably Mountagu, but Charles' Declaration of Breda won't be made public for another month. And, isn't the reason that people want Charles back because there is barely an effective government at the moment?

If we take the diary at face value, then all Sam knows is that Mountagu, the newly appointed General at Sea, has hired Sam as his secretary and is getting the fleet ready to take it out for the summer sailing season.

As for Sam’s heavy heart, I think the simple answer is that he is 26, she is 19 and we know he didn’t marry her for money.

Jackie  •  Link

The man who translates Montague's cyphers i.e. his most secret stuff almost certainly knows which way the wind is blowing. Sam's proven he can be trusted not to blab.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This day come the Lieutenant of the Swiftsure, who was sent by my Lord to Hastings, one of the Cinque Ports, to have got Mr. Edward Montagu to have been one of their burgesses, but could not, for they were all promised before."

L&M: The lieutenant brought a letter from the Town Clerk of Hastings: Carte 73, f.372r. Edward Mountagu (eldest son of the 2nd Lord Mountagu of Boughton) failed also to get in at Weymouth, but in 1661 was elected to the following parliament for Sandwich.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sasha notes that "It certainly seems as though he was trying to pack the Parliamentary seats with his friends and family."

There are 13 Montagues listed in the House of Commons biography index from 1660 - 1690. Then you need to add Pickerings, Wrights, a couple of Pepys, etc. to see how far their interests ranged:

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... my heart was so apprehensive of her absence ..."

Yup, Pepys, it could be a long time before you see her again. Montagu could be sent anywhere to represent England -- pirate chasing in the Med., Guyana, Bermuda, the Spanish Main.
I think it was Nelson who said something like, every seaman is single south of Gibralter.

LKvM  •  Link

JudyB asked
"Are they at anchor?"
Yes, they are at anchor a little below Gravesend.

William Crosby  •  Link

As to Sam's apprehension about being separate from his wife--in addition to documenting his nearly constant philandering Pepys was also irrationally jealous of any attention paid Elisabeth which we will see more than once in the coming years. Perhaps it was projection.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Pyrates, corsairs and Ostenders of course be as everyday commonplaces as, say, lice (scratch) and cholera (shiver). We recently noted a report of Ostenders all the way to Norway, and the Mercurius Politicus lately cited a State Council order for naval escorts in "the Irish Seas, to prevent the great piracies commited theire". But that's not the main reason why "many merchants [ask] to get convoy to the Baltique, which a course was taken for".

On April 1, Montague wrote (from the Swiftsure, perhaps in Sam's hand) to Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper (presently on the State Council): "A few days since, I received an order from the Council of State to appoint a sufficient convoy for securing our trade within the Baltic Sea, which the merchants have represented to be greatly obstructed by the Duke of Brandenburg's lately interdicting all trade to or from any of the Swedish ports, and commissioning above 20 pickeroons to disturb and destroy the said trade". My lord then says he figures that three frigates should be escort enough. (The letter is in the State Papers).

The "duke of Brandenburg" would seem to be no less than Great Elector Frederick William, a fairly considerable military commander who's currently a bit of a French client but busy pumping up Prussia to great-power status. He will all his life alternate between war with Sweden and alliances with Sweden. Right now he's winning Prussia's independence from Sweden as he wraps up the Second Northern War, a 5-year, 15-country affair that has extended all the way to the Crimean Khanate and even to America, where it saw Sweden lose the Delaware valley to the Dutch. And you thought English politics were complicated?

Las, also on the way to the Baltick, is Denmark, recently a war zone too and still aswarm with idle Swedish and Polish troops, and so a good place to have a naval escort. In future years the king of Denmark will also aggravate England by levying stiff fees on its passing ships. Curse those nordick kinglets who presume to impede England's liberty of the seas and god-given right to get all the herring!

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