Sunday 8 April 1660

(Lord’s day). Very calm again, and I pretty well, but my head aked all day. About noon set sail; in our way I see many vessels and masts, which are now the greatest guides for ships. We had a brave wind all the afternoon, and overtook two good merchantmen that overtook us yesterday, going to the East Indies. The lieutenant and I lay out of his window with his glass, looking at the women that were on board them, being pretty handsome. This evening Major Willoughby, who had been here three or four days on board with Mr. Pickering, went on board a catch [ketch] for Dunkirk. We continued sailing when I went to bed, being somewhat ill again, and Will Howe, the surgeon, parson, and Balty supped in the Lieutenant’s cabin and afterwards sat disputing, the parson for and I against extemporary prayers, very hot.

48 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

A most excellent entry!

I can almost smell the sea air and delight in the exhilaration of "the chase" during the day ... and feel Sam's queasiness at night.

Anyone care to explain why praying extemporaneously would have been fodder for debate?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"my head aked all day"
A cute note from the OED. "Ake: an earlier and better spelling for ACHE v."

Laura Brown  •  Link

Extemporary prayers

These are spontaneous prayers, not following a written text, and were forbidden by the Book of Common Prayer (it was thought they would encourage vanity and "enthusiasm," the latter being a bad thing). The Puritans, however, preferred extemporary prayer to formulaic prayers, and composed the Westminster Directory (1644?) as a replacement for the Book of Common Prayer.

Roger Miller  •  Link

Prayers ex tempore

I've just come across this Life by Izaak Walton of Robert Sanderson (1587-1662) who was made Bishop of Lincoln at the Restoration.…

This passage where Walton relates a conversation with Sanderson that took place in 1655 has relevance to today's entry: "He [Sanderson] seemed to lament, that the Parliament had taken upon them to abolish our Liturgy, to the scandal of so many devout and learned men, and the disgrace of those many martyrs, who had sealed the truth and use of it with their blood: and that no Minister was now thought godly that did not decry it, and at least pretend to make better prayers ex tempore; and that they, and only they, that could do so, prayed by the Spirit, and were godly; though in their sermons they disputed, and evidently contradicted each other in their prayers. And as he did dislike this, so he did most highly commend the Common Prayer of the Church, saying, "the Collects were the most passionate, proper, and most elegant expressions that any language ever afforded; and that there was in them such piety, and so interwoven with instructions, that they taught us to know the power, the wisdom, the majesty, and mercy of God, and much of our duty both to him and our neighbour; and that a congregation, behaving themselves reverently, and putting up to God these joint and known desires for pardon of sins, and praises for mercies received, could not but be more pleasing to God, than those raw, unpremeditated expressions, to which many of the hearers could not say, Amen."

As I understand it, Sanderson was instrumental in the 1662 revision of the Book of Common Prayer following the Restoration.

Pepys was taking the conservative line. I wonder if he really had strong feelings about this. Perhaps he just liked a good argument.

This is a link to resources on the BCP.…

vk (formerly KVK)  •  Link

The puritans wanted to eliminate all traces of Romish religion from the English church. The Prayer Book was, they correctly pointed out, a version of the Roman missal. It's content was different and it was in English, but puritans refused to consider the recitation of a set text as a form of prayer - except for the Lord's Prayer, which Jesus explicitly authorized.

The use of the Prayer book was part of Elizabeth I's plan to form a compromise church between the Roman church and radical Protestantism. It created a Catholic-style ceremony with Protestant content. In addition, she was worried (with reason, it turned out) that allowing people to express themselves spontaneously would lead the uneducated to make heretical or controversial statements.

That was why the Prayer Book was developed. By the outbreak of the civil war in 1640, however, there were a substantial number among the common people who had become attached to the rituals of the Prayer Book. Puritan sermons were often long and abusive, and many hated them for that reason alone.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

The casual comment about seeing two merchantmen bound for the East Indies conceals a wealth of adventure and excitement. The English and the Dutch had fought for decades over trading rights in the East Indies, because of the immense value of the nutmeg trade. Later, the English ceded control to the Dutch in exchange for a valueless piece of land on the other side of the world: Manhattan.

Further details here:…

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"merchantmen . . . to the East Indies"

A Latham & Matthews note says three ships were headed for Surat (in Gujarat on the Northwest coast of India) at this time: the Richard and Martha, the Eagle and the American. L&M cites East India Company records.

By the way, at the time of the diary, "American" would have referred not to any colonists but to the American Indians. I don't have an OED handy to confirm it, but I've read that the more modern meaning of "American" didn't come about until the 1690s.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Warm company, hot argument -- & coldness?

All these people in Lt. Lambert's cabin are Mountagu's men. Balthasar would have been the least familiar to the rest of them.

Pepys seems to be comfortable enough to argue with the chaplain, Ibbot, and to argue hotly. We know Pepys respects Ibbot's sermonizing, but -- possibly -- the argument creates some coolness between the two, because he doesn't mention Ibbot again until 6 May or mention socializing with him until 18 May.

Pepys was arguing religion hotly with his mother sometime back. He also argues with his wife. Are there any other instances where Pepys is found arguing so far? This seems to be the first argument outside his family. Perhaps Ibbot was the more argumentative one, but we don't know.

michael f vincent  •  Link

"disputing" Religion? Very,very dicey, Lots of people lost their job if not their head.This was the age of strong feelings so you only discussed weakly or strongly with people you trusted.

michael f vincent  •  Link

"We had a brave wind all the afternoon," such a good expression, so much nicer than a strong wind.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

343 years later and guys are still cruising around, scoping out the chicks.

Firenze  •  Link

Northern Irish english still retains a 17th C sense of "brave" - "That's a brave day" "How are you? Oh, bravely"

PHE  •  Link

Debate on religion
Presummably for Pepys, the equivalent of modern day political debate. Religion then had a much higher profile and influence on day-to-day affairs, with various 'parties' and many subtleties analagous to our (ie. European/Western) current political landscape.

bruce  •  Link

A few details of the East Indiamen from this excellent site.…
I can't work out what the numbers of crew, or numbers of passengers, would be on a 600 ton merchantman of this time - any offers?

Poor old Sam - he's already been away from London too long if he's reduced to this level to find female company....

Laura K  •  Link

"Poor old Sam - he’s already been away from London too long if he’s reduced to this level to find female company."

He's not reduced to any level - and he's not finding company, either. He's just enjoying the view. A timeless tradition, just like arguing about politics or religion.

Emilio  •  Link

"He's just enjoying the view."
From anything I've read, this is one of his regular habits making its first appearance in the diary, and a brief glimpse of what we'll be getting more of in the future.

Nix  •  Link

The prayer disputation, and excellent discussion by the annotators, reminds us that the Book of Common Prayer did not mean "ordinary" or "run-of-the-mill" prayers but a SHARED and uniform approach to religion. The debate between Samuel and the parson is still with us, in the competition between instituational churches that see themselves as the link between the members and the deity (e.g., Catholic, Episcopal) and the Protestant denominations that emphasize the individual's "direct" relationship with Christ or God (e.g., Baptist or Congregational). I'm finding it very interesting to see how many of the questions and issues that were front and center 350 years ago are still going strong -- a very contemporary man, that Samuel.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

re: “American”
The OED dates the use of American as a reference to the colonies to 1647. It has the following sense and supporting quote:
"2. a. Belonging to the British colonies in North America (obs.) ... 1647 Ward Simple Cob. 24 Divers make it an Article of our American Creed."

So it looks like the ship's name could either be a reference to American Indians or the colonies.

Emilio  •  Link

It seems significant, though, that the phrase in the 1647 quote is "OUR American Creed." I'm not sure the East India Co. would yet agree that the colonists are entitled to a noun of their own.

mw  •  Link

Brave wind:
In these parts a brave wind or the similarly used lazy wind means a wind that blows straight through you rather than around. Often heard on a windswept day late in winter.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

I personally thought it was hilarious that Pepys was checking out the women in the other ship with a looking glass. Many centuries may pass and culture may change, but basic human behaviour remains the same.

Roger Miller  •  Link


\Ketch\ (k[e^]ch), n. [Prob. corrupted fr. Turk. q[=a][imac]q : cf. F. caiche. Cf. Ca[\"i]que.] (Naut.) An almost obsolete form of vessel, with a mainmast and a mizzenmast, -- usually from one hundred to two hundred and fifty tons burden.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Glyn  •  Link

At what point did Americans start calling themselves "Americans" rather than, say, Virginians, New Englanders etc. How many States were in existence in 1660? And how many European countries had territory over there: Spain, Portugal, France, England, Holland(?)?

The church service of the Anglican (Episcopalian) Church is still almost identical to that in the (Roman) Catholic Church. And the Anglicans still consider themselves a "Catholic" church and affirm this in the liturgy. Roger Miller's earlier suggestion is interesting, but I don't think Pepys was arguing a position he didn't believe in - he seems to like the orderliness of a well-structured service rather than the chaotic nature of other Protestant services.

Neil Cresswell  •  Link


There are still a few around today. I remember sailing on one based out of the Thames, the Arethusa, about 10 years ago. Quite an experience.

Following picture should give an idea:…

Alan Bedford  •  Link

In response to Glyn - British citizens over here started calling themselves "Americans" by the middle of the 17th Century, when there was a generation that had been born and raised here, although there were not many of them. I'm sure that George Downing (Sam's former boss), who returned to Britain, would not have considered himself "American" although I imagine that some other Britons might have.

And there were about nine British colonies as of about 1660. (No States until 1776.) Spain, Portugal, Holland, France, Denmark (I believe) and Russia also held colonies in the New World.

Susanna  •  Link

British America

In 1660, British possessions along the mainland of North America consisted of Virginia (1607), Plymouth (1620), Massachusetts (1630), Maryland (1632), Connecticut (1636), New Haven (1636), and Rhode Island (1636). Connecticut will swallow up New Haven in 1665, and Massachusetts will absorb Plymouth in 1691.

In the Caribbean, there are English sugar colonies on St. Christopher (1624), Barbados (1627), Nevis (1628), Montserrat (1632), Antigua (1632), and Jamaica (taken from Spain, 1655). Barbados is the first British colony with a majority population of black slaves (there are more slaves on Barbados than in the rest of British America put together), and the slave code it will adapt in 1661 will become the model for those later adopted in Jamaica and South Carolina.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Maine was originally a part of Massachusetts.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

Thanks, Susanna. I overlooked the Caribbean colonies and overcounted the mainland colonies.

Maine, as a province separate from Massachusetts, was granted to Sir Ferdinando Gorges in 1639. It became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony some time after 1674.

vk  •  Link

What about
New Hampshire and North Carolina?

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Calling ourselves "Americans"

Paul Brewster's OED citation shows the term "American" was used by somebody, but I wonder how widely the term was used back then. Admittedly, this isn't conclusive, but I found these three websites that each place the earliest use of the word (as a name for colonists here) later than the diary period:

"United States' citizens also lack a distinctive short name. Since about 1710, they have called themselves Americans (a name previously restricted to Amerindians)."…

"... [American Indian] natives (the word "American" was generally reserved for them at the time [17th century])"…

"31. Why did the word 'American' enter the colonial vocabulary around 1750?"…

vincent  •  Link

Glyn: colonising others tried:
In the late 1630's the Swedish queen wanted colonies and sent ships full of Finns and Swedish settlers to occupy South Jersey which they called New Sweden.…

Susanna  •  Link

Eastern North America, c. 1660

There are English colonists living in what would become the New Hampshire and North Carolina colonies, but neither has a charter as of 1660. (North Carolina: 1663 as a part of the Carolina Colony, 1729 as an independent colony; New Hampshire: 1680) The area that will become Georgia and South Carolina belongs principally to the Catawba, Creek, and Cherokee.

In 1660, the area that will become Delaware, New Jersey, and New York are all part of the New Netherlands colony, the Dutch having successfully invaded and absorbed New Sweden in 1655. Florida is part of New Spain. The French are (very slowly) colonizing the St. Lawrence valley of Canada, and concentrating on the fur trade. The Iroquois Confederacy in the future New York and Pennsylvania provide a buffer between the French, English, and Dutch; they trade with all three.

George Pabody  •  Link

By 1660 there are also French colonists - some second and third generation - in parts of Acadie (now the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), and English colonists in Long Island which, if it was then considered part of "New Amsterdam", was open to settlement from England.

Bill-in-Georgia  •  Link

At what point did Americans start calling themselves “Americans”?

This may not have been the first use in the colonies, but certainly among the most famous. In 1774 Patrick Henry (who in the next year would want liberty or death) said in a speech to the first Continental Congress: "I am not a Virginian but an American."

Roger Miller  •  Link

Religious disputes

I notice that on 4th March Sam had an argument after supper with his mother and records that 'she and I talked very high about religion, I in defence of the religion I was born in.' which was interpreted as support for the Church of England…

and on 8th January when he went to hear Mr Gunning preach there was speculation that our man attended private services using the banned BCP.…

I must say that I'm with Sam on the BCP. I think that evensong is my favourite service: not too long and usually some wonderful music. When you take part there's something very satisfying about repeating the familiar order of events.

Glyn  •  Link

The fact that Pepys could maintain a diary for 10 years, when most people abandon theirs after a few months, shows that he has a very methodical and orderly mind. I think his preference for orderly services shows the same aspect of his character.

I really like this entry after a succession of very dry ones. And I'm full of admiration for these men (and women!) who could board these tiny wooden ships and sail half the world away. I especially like the fact that the English Channel is so crammed with sailing ships that they don't really need to navigate with compasses to avoid the reefs and other dangerous hazards - instead point at a sail further away and say "Just steer towards that ship - if it hasn't sunk then the route must be safe!"

vincent  •  Link

“Just steer towards that ship - if it hasn’t sunk then the route must be safe!” Please do not follow a shallow draught type:( with all the mod technology did not a "car transport" recently find the shoals a nice resting place)

David Quidnunc  •  Link

CORRECTION: Warm company ... coldness?

In my 9 April 3:01 a.m. entry (above) I say Ibbott doesn't appear again in a social context until 18 May. Well, I misread the L&M index -- Ibbott is there again on 11 April, although he won't be in somewhat social company with Pepys again until about five weeks later, on 18 May.

But Pepys says on 11 April that he's "sensible" that he has been too lighthearted in the way he treats Ibbott, a sober, serious minister. Ibbott may be cool to Pepys. Pepys's lighthearted behavior may be the reason, but I wonder if it's this argument after all.

Frank v  •  Link

Incidentally, a Yawl has the same combination of mainmast and mizzenmast as a Ketch but is steered from in front of the mizzenmast which is usually placed further astern. Here's a picture of a modern one.

vincent  •  Link

"and I pretty well, but my head aked all day"
No comment !! Was it the Caudle? or was it the wine? or was the local oysters? (Bardsley tasty). any Thoughts? ( any MD's out there):

Second Reading

Dick Wilson  •  Link

The Virginians of this era discovered that they could get much higher prices for their Tobacco in New Amsterdam (New York) than they could in London, (the one English port in which they were permitted to trade). They maintained this trade throughout Cromwell's Reign, and well into the Restoration. When the Dutch Wars began, they were distraught when they learned that they were expected to not trade with the enemy. Dutch ships from new Amsterdam also called in Virginia.

Robin Peters  •  Link

Slightly off topic. How much more I am enjoying the annotations this second time round. Do I detect the first change in a familiar name? now "vincent" and is he still with us in 2013?

Dick Wilson  •  Link

I am with you, Robin. The first time through the diary I lurked, read without posting, in part fearing backlash from the crazies on the internet, but mainly because I had little to contribute to the mix. This time, I figure to ignore the crazies -- Thank you Phill, for censuring them -- and to contribute posts, trying to make up for what I may lack in facts, with a matching lack of thought. Cheers!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Meanwhile ... "it pleased God to deliver me out of this affliction, for which I render him hearty thanks: going to church the 8th, and receiving the blessed eucharist."

John Evelyn has been delivered from whatever ailed him.…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I wonder what the Puritan American Willoughby and the Royalist English nobleman Pickering were going to do in Dunkirk. They couldn't have been travelling together, could they? They are the odd couple, if so.

Sam Ursu  •  Link

I have to admit, when I read that one passage, I could just instantly see in my mind Pepys ("Peeps") and Lt. Lambert giggling and laughing as they crammed closer to the window, passing the scope back and forth as they "peeped" on the ladies on the other ships.

Just a truly visceral reaction on my part, and judging by the comments above, I wasn't the only one. After all, one minute, Pepys is stuck in some far-off century with weird words and archaic customs, and the next, he's doing a Bud Light commercial with Spuds MacKenzie :)

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