Wednesday 11 April 1660

A Gentleman came this morning from my Lord of Manchester to my Lord for a pass for Mr. Boyle, which was made him. I ate a good breakfast by my Lord’s orders with him in the great cabin below. The wind all this day was very high, so that a gentleman that was at dinner with my Lord that came along with Sir John Bloys (who seemed a fine man) was forced to rise from table. This afternoon came a great packet of letters from London directed to me, among the rest two from my wife, the first that I have since coming away from London. All the news from London is that things go on further towards a King. That the Skinners’ Company the other day at their entertaining of General Monk had took down the Parliament Arms in their Hall, and set up the King’s.

In the evening my Lord and I had a great deal of discourse about the several Captains of the Fleet and his interest among them, and had his mind clear to bring in the King. He confessed to me that he was not sure of his own Captain [Cuttance] to be true to him, and that he did not like Captain Stokes. At night W. Howe and I at our viallins in my cabin, where Mr. Ibbott and the lieutenant were late. I staid the lieutenant late, shewing him my manner of keeping a journal. After that to bed.

It comes now into my mind to observe that I am sensible that I have been a little too free to make mirth with the minister of our ship, he being a very sober and an upright man.

32 Annotations

First Reading

Keith Wright  •  Link

"I staid the lieutenant late, shewing him my manner of keeping a journal."

Will our man repent of having disclosed this secret, even to someone he likes, such as David Lambert? (See DQ's useful survey of Lambert's appearances until now on "the lieutenant" link.)

Glyn  •  Link

two letters from my wife, the first that I have since coming away from London.

Samuel last saw Elizabeth on Saturday 17 March, and sailed from London on Friday 23 March.

Since these letters have been redirected from London, perhaps that may explain the long delay in reaching him, but she's also perhaps not a keen letter writer, unlike her husband who has written to her several times. But only two letters in all that time would probably be a disappointment to him.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Well, here's Ibbott again.

Back on 8 April, the Rev. Ibbott and Pepys were hotly arguing about extemporaneous prayer, and I pointed out that Pepys didn't mention Ibbott in the diary again for about a month. Well, I misread Latham & Matthews's index volume.

It won't be until May 18 (I promise!) before Ibbott appears again in a social context. It doesn't appear that Pepys is mad with Ibbott, but the absence of any social meetings noted in the diary for the next five weeks or so may mean Ibbott is cool to Pepys. Remember, they're on ship together for a while with a limited number of people to socialize with.

This entry shows that Pepys thinks that he's being too lighthearted with Ibbott. Is his being "sensible" of that a reaction to Ibbott's coolness toward him? I would have thought the argument of a few days ago would have been reason enough for Ibbott's coolness. Pepys is either insensible to that or has some reason to ignore it. Pepys himself doesn't seem cool to Ibbott, so if they're distant, it seems to be Ibbott's choice.

vincent  •  Link

april 8th ...."the parson for and I against extemporary prayers, very hot."
april 9th ...."It comes now into my mind to observe that I am sensible that I have been a little too free to make mirth with the minister of our ship, he being a very sober and an upright man."
"very Hot " says it all: Many men take their religion very seriously (very deeply). For some there is only ONE view point. Thats why some do try proselytize. Mix politics and religion, you have a very volatile conditions for mad reactions. Even wars are started for less.
SP sees this and cools it: by staying away even in confined quarters.

mary house  •  Link

One wonders how many of Pepys' friends and acquaintances were aware that he was keeping a journal. Is anything known of this?

Pauline  •  Link

Mary, two, according to Sam
“…Pepys guarded [the diary] carefully, and says he mentioned its existence to only two people, Lieutenant Lambert, the young naval officer he first met in the Baltic, to whom he showed “my manner of keeping a journall” in the spring of 1660, and much later a descreet and trusted senior colleague, William Coventry.”

From Claire Tomalin, “Samuel Pepys: An Unequalled Self,” p. 80.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Fascinating politics going on here. Through Sam's eyes, we watch Montagu weighing up who is on whose side. Monk seems to have sewn up the army, and now Montagu needs to know upon whom he can rely in the Navy.

mw  •  Link

A wonderful entry dealing with sensibility and reflection. SPs fine personal understanding challenged by his lords evaluation of other people. A process so important.
With SP as a participant in a great deal of discourse with his lord, two important points are apparent. Firstly the evident respect of SP by his lord and secondly the capacity of SP to participate in that quality of dialogue. Most importantly we then see SP being sensible of his own behaviour in the way any person of discrection and discipline is capable. A fine example of the type of behaviour so much part of the evaluation process that can be seminal to keeping a journal. Did Lambert realise the value of journal writing?

The viallins are more probably viols not violins as seems to be the common understanding. And on matters musical was the old music played by Mrs Crewe ( just before SP went to sea) the Fitzwilliam virginal book? ( A period joke)

Michiel van der Leeuw  •  Link

"Keeping a journal"
If Sam was reluctant to reveal his diary to others, I'm surprised he's showing it to someone who, it appears, is not a close friend, an onboard a ship, where stories if Sam keeping a diary may quickly spread.

Could it not be that Sam, always busy with financial affairs, showed the lieutenant his way of book-keeping?

Mary  •  Link

Keeping a journal

Interesting suggestion, Michiel. One could equally postulate that Sam was keeping a kind of day-book: distances, sailed, anchorages (if any), visitors to the ship, departures from the ship, letters and papers sent and received and so forth in much the same way that a modern PA keeps up the boss's diary for future reference.

Still, this can only be speculation: and might Pepys not have referred to this as 'my sea-journal', 'my business journal' or something similar if he had intended a document other than his diary?

The statement 'I staid the lieutenant late' implies that Pepys deliberately kept Lambert back after Ibbotson and the others had left for the night, so perhaps he had formed a particular friendship with him (possibly during the Baltic voyage of the previous year)and showed him the diary as a mark of special trust. A bit of male-bonding?

Hhomeboy  •  Link

diaries, journals & Montagu....

I've mentioned once before that the Naval society has a pamphlet containing Montagu's sea journals--has anyone read Montagu's journals and do we know from Ollard or others whether Montagu kept a personal diary?

I've also asked whether anyone familiar with the Evelyn-Pepys correspondence could comment on whether Evelyn and Pepys discussed diary writing.

I'm sure several contemporaries observed Sam writing his entries although most must have assumed his jottings were related to his official duties or were a sort of personal daybook or repository for philosophical ruminations.

I for one would appreciate it and get far more out of these annotations (in which most key questions are never answered authoritatively) if we could forward such questions on occasion to experts such as Ms. Tomalin and/or others--via an appointed intermediary...

Fred Bacon  •  Link

Showing Lambert his journal

Don't forget that Lieutenant Lambert and Sam only recently were girl watching together from Lambert's quarters. If they felt comfortable enough to share that sort of "bonding" experience, then they were probably developing a close friendship. It's not difficult to believe, under the circumstances, that Sam would have discussed his journal with Lambert.

Fred Bacon  •  Link

"I have been a little too free to make mirth with the minister of our ship"

There are two ways to read this. The first is that Sam has been too forward with the minister, and is now regarded by him with some disdain.

The other interpretation (which seems to fit more with their recent argument) is that Sam has been "making mirth" at the minister's expense. It may only have been relatively harmless pokes at the man's religious ideas, but in the confines of a ship could produce significant friction. I doubt that Sam intentionally hurt the man's feelings. He was probably just trying to be witty.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Hhomeboy - if you go to… and click on the link entitled 'The correspondence of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn', you will find the entire corpus of letters between them arranged in decades from the 1660s to the 1700s. A search on the words 'diary' and 'journal' did not throw up anything in the 1660s letters.

Pauline  •  Link

"...a little too free to make mirth with the minister..."
On May 8 Sam was out of sorts, hadn't gained sea legs yet, when he joined a group and had the "high" debate with Ibbott. Today feeling better, and getting mail from home, he is in better spirits. I think he likes the company of Lt. Lambert and Ibbott, and Howe of course; and in realizing the good company they provide, chastises himself for going too far with Ibbott before in the interest of having a good argument about religion. As a sport, no debate more rousing than religion. But on second thought, you might decide that a minister to the small community in which you find yourself is not the wisest choice for debating partner. He may well have sensed that Ibbott was discomforted by the debate.

Or the being "too free to make mirth" could refer to something that happened at this evening's social get together; with Sam, now growing in his liking and respect for Ibbott, wanting to refoot the friendship.

David Bell  •  Link

"shewing him my manner of keeping a journal"

That has a couple or three of possible readings. It could, for instance, be Sam teaching something about the shorthand he is using, rather than revealing the content of his diary. Which would give an impression of the diary being some sort of confidential journal of official, or at least not personal, business.

It may even be that Pepys wanted one of Montagu's men aware of the diary, since some of the content might be incriminating if the Restoration scheme were to fail. He's saying, in effect, "you don't need to know what's in this, but if something should happen to me, keep it safe".

Judy Bailey  •  Link

I wonder if by "journal" Pepys meant an accounting journal. Financial people still refer to making "journal entries" when they mean writing down amounts due or spent. This would make a lot of sense considering the sums of money he handles, not only for his own expenses but those of his "Lord." I would expect someone like him to keep a formal, not just mental, record.

language hat  •  Link

I don't think we can know for sure one way or the other, but it seems more plausible to me that (as David Bell says) something is meant other than "I let him take a look at my personal diary," especially given the phrasing "my manner of keeping a journal."

And speaking of phrasing, I love the elaborate periphrasis of "It comes now into my mind to observe that I am sensible that I have been a little too free..." Somehow it reminds me of the Knight's "The name of the song is called 'Haddock's Eyes.'"

Roger Miller  •  Link


Later on Pepys refers to the diary as his journal particularly where he mentions bringing it up to date from notes. When he is sorting out his money he talks about doing his accounts or making his balance.

The way he puts it - "I staid the lieutenant late" - it is implied that Pepys took the initiative in showing the diary to the lieutenant. I hope he wasn't showing off!

Second Reading

Dick Wilson  •  Link

A journal, from "jour" meaning day, is a book in which one makes daily entries. An accounting journal is one which records transactions as they occur; then, daily, entries are sorted out and copied into their proper account books. I think we can assume, from the fact that Pepys was writing in this journal when he reported showing Lt. Lambert his manner of keeping a journal, that he was revealing the existence of this document to his friend. Was this a smart thing to do? Probably not. Does anyone know when ships began keeping log books? I know of one Naval officer who kept a secret log book of his own, because he did not trust the captain's log.
By the way, "Diary" in British English can mean "appointment book" or "office appointment book", but not in American English.

Dick Wilson  •  Link

On another topic, there was mention in an earlier annotation of a BBC Program (Programme) which referenced our boy Sam. I have just watched such, and it might be the referenced show. The presenter goes through several pages of Pepys' scrapbook. It is on Youtube and is a little less than an hour long. Just log onto and do a search for "17th Century History for Girls _ BBC Documentary _ Harlots, Housewives and Heroines". This is evidently part one of three parts. The principal subject of this part is not Housewives or Heroines.

Mary K  •  Link

"Harlots, Housewives and Heroines" sounds like a programme that was presented by Lucy Worsley some months ago. The current BBC4 offering on informal 17th century writing is "The Century that Wrote Itself." Presented by Adam Nicolson; Wednesday evenings 9 p.m. Three parts. Haven't watched it yet, but will catch up in due course.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Adam Nicolson is the son of writer Nigel Nicolson and his wife Philippa Tennyson-d'Eyncourt. He is the grandson of the writers Vita Sackville-West and Sir Harold Nicolson.

HRW  •  Link

I wonder what Sam would consider "a good breakfast".

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"That the Skinners’ Company the other day at their entertaining of General Monk had took down the Parliament Arms in their Hall, and set up the King’s."

L&M: This was on 4 April: cf. CSPClar., iv. 626.


Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of England from 1653 to 1659 during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell…
Arms of King Charles II of England and Scotland: Quarterly of 4: 1st & 4th grand quarters: quarterly of four; 1&4: France; 2&3:England (Plantagenet); 2nd grand quarter: Scotland; 3rd grand quarter: Ireland…

Third Reading

Tonyel  •  Link

'I ate a good breakfast'
'The wind all this day was very high, so that a gentleman that was at dinner... was forced to rise from table'

Touch of smugness from Old Seadog Sam, observing someone else's 'squeamishness'

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'I ate a good breakfast'
Sounds like relief, or a note of hope, that his constitution has adjusted to life aboard.
At dinner, a man who had just arrived, had to leave the table. That's another sign to Pepys that he is/has adjusting to sea life.
I don't see smugness -- I see gratitude. That unfortunate man was him a few hours ago.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

What a relief for the very sober and upright Rev. Ibbot. Why, the Sam who gave him such a hard time a few days ago was a Beast, drunk on the brisk sea air, on a day spent ogling the ladies with his pal the lieutenant, and perhaps on the special bottle the captain keeps for seasick VIPs; and likely a difficult one to debate with, as Sam will soon be a sermon critic whose verdict on many (most?) of those he'll attend will come to "booooorrring!" We phant'sy that Sam was "free to make mirth" with the good minister's talent for improvisation, his pronunciation, projection and elocution, the rhytm and scansion of his sermons - pah, all terrible, and no presence on the stage! Perhaps he also bandied jokes in (freshly learn'd) naval slang with the lieutenant - unwise, given Ibbot's abundant experience at sea. Wait, did Sam reach for his knotted cane, until Lt. Lambert (who keeps to small beer, having a ship to manage) puts a restraining hand on his arm?

But today's Sam, now refocused on keeping his papers in order and who spent last night alone with his vialin - now that's better. Perhaps my lord, who seems to know Ibbot quite well too, had a quiet word with Sam on this being a business trip?

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