Monday 23 April 1660

All the morning very busy getting my packet ready for London, only for an hour or two had the Captain and Mr. Sheply in my cabin at the barrel of pickled oysters that the Captain did give me on Saturday last. After dinner I sent Mr. Dunn to London with the packet. This afternoon I had 40s. given me by Captain Cowes of the Paradox. In the evening the first time that we had any sport among the seamen, and indeed there was extraordinary good sport after my Lord had done playing at ninepins. After that W. Howe and I went to play two trebles in the great cabin below, which my Lord hearing, after supper he called for our instruments, and played a set of Lock’s, two trebles, and a base, and that being done, he fell to singing of a song made upon the Rump, with which he played himself well, to the tune of “The Blacksmith.”

After all that done, then to bed.

40 Annotations

First Reading

WKW  •  Link

"there was extraordinary good sport after my Lord had done playing at ninepins"
Is the syntax purely sequential, or is it fair to read in the sense of "after Mountagu left, so things could really get rolling"? (Pardon.)

Glyn  •  Link

"W. Howe and I went to play two trebles in the great cabin below"

He and his friend are playing two "treble viols", and Montagu later joins in with his "bass viol". To listen to these instruments, you should go to the link in "Background Information: Entertainment, Music, Instruments, Viol":…

By the way, today Pepys not only doesn't mention that it's Easter Monday: he also doesn't mention the fact that it's St George's Day (the Patron Saint of England).

Glyn  •  Link

That's an ingenious idea WKW - it may be correct, the sentence seems a little unclear to me.

ellen  •  Link

I thought "sport" was gambling. Sam mentioned it right after receiving the money and then after that they played their instruments. Maybe it wasn't his money though. It's fun to guess.

Roger Miller  •  Link

As far as I can find out, Easter Monday has only been a holiday in Britain since 1871.

Also, anything to do with saints sounds dangerously papist to me.

Nix  •  Link

"...after my Lord had done playing ..."

WKW's reading makes sense, but it could simply be Montague breaking the ice -- once he had played, setting the tone for the afternoon and showing himself to be one of the boys, everyone else was more at ease and could enjoy themselves unselfconsciously.

steve h  •  Link

Back in London

On this date, General Monk and the Council of State issued an order forbididng stage plays.

This was nothing new, but perhaps needed to adress the growing surreptitious theatre going on. And this after Monk hsd been entertained by so many plays at the guild halls!

language hat  •  Link

Thanks for the detective work, Pauline!
I love "estate in tail."

Alan Bedford  •  Link

A bit about the composer, Matthew Locke, whose music (we presume)was played today by Pepys, Howe and Montagu:

"Matthew Locke was raised in England during the turbulent times of the English Civil War. Both Charles I and his heir Charles knew of him before he left for the Netherlands in the 1640s. Upon his return to England, he took part in theatre collaborations, including the first English opera, now lost. During the last years of the Commonwealth, he produced several notable collections of chamber music... Locke's chamber music was and is held in high esteem for its intensity of expression, exhibited in angular melodic lines, harmonic clashes and dissonances, implied changes in tempo and dynamics, and subtle motivic development...
"With the Restoration in 1660, Locke worked at court. Apparently the preference of the monarch for simple toe-tapping dance tunes did not much challenge him, and the quality of his music diminished."
- from concert notes by S. B. Patrick of the Albuquerque Baroque Players.

john lauer  •  Link

Would pickled oysters have been in brine,
or in vinegar (which doesn't sound as good)?

vincent  •  Link

Roger M. also it is pagan too: Religion and/or Pagan ?
along with hot cross buns (feast of Eostre saxon goddess...)
Easter Rabbit and eggs sybols of norse goddess Ostara ....(fertility etc)
Easter lilies (phallic symbol)

PHE  •  Link

- unusual name for a ship. Does anyone have any background on this?
The image of a government minister (Montagu in effect) having a late night sing-along with his civil servants is a little sureal from today's viewpoint.

chip  •  Link

Easter, always falling on a Sunday, is usually referred to as Easter Day. The fact that SP is on a ship to gather a King whose mother heard mass (illegaly) in his youth and who will marry Catherine of Braganza in 2 years (Portuguese and presumably catholic), makes one aware that the catholic/protestant question that has plagued England for more than a century goes on (even though the pendulum had swung puritanical by this point).

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"Paradox" could be mis-transcribed from "Paragon," a fighting ship of 593 tons, crew of 260 and 52 guns, mentioned in Pepys list of Navy ships in 1651.

I can't easily (i.e. via Google) find evidence that the British Navy ever had a ship named "Paradox."

Alan Bedford  •  Link

There are some samples from a Matthew Locke consort at:…

In this case it's treble viol, bass viol and organ, but very listenable!

Nix  •  Link

"The Rump" and "Greensleeves" --

Would that the be same Greensleeves that has carried down as the prototypical English (and, in the U.S., deep Southern mountain) folk song to modern times? (As I recall that the lyrics -- "Alas, my love, you do me wrong" etc. -- are usually atrributed to Henry VIII.) However, these words don't fit particularly well with that tune.

"Estate in tail" -- "An estate of inheritance, which, instead of descending to heirs generally, goes to the heirs of the donee's body, which means his lawful issue, his children, and through them to his grandchildren in a direct line, so long as his posterity endures in a regular order and course of descent, and upon the death of the first owner without issue, the estate determines [i.e., comes to an end]." Black's Law Dictionary (4th ed.) The effect of an estate in tail was to limit the ability of the donor's descendants to sell the property -- it required the consent of all their children, grandchildren, etc. The difficulties and intergenerational tensions created by this device played a role in Trollope's "The Way We Live Now", as I recall.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Paradox or Paragon
Wheatley Footnote: "The "Paradox" was a sixth-rate of twelve guns."

melinda trapelo  •  Link

GREENSLEEVES: Nix, this is THE famous tune you are thinking of, or a variant of it. The version you probably know is a 19th-century version (in hymnals as "What child is this"). The tune has varied a lot over the years.
However, it is NOT by Henry VIII - it is not nearly old enough. Neither are those words. Just a bit of folklore, like the story of John Newton writing "Amazing Grace" and turning his slave ship around in mid-ocean. Great story, bogus history!

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"Paradox" or "Paragon" -
Thanks to Paul. I reviewed Pepys 1651 list, and "Paradox" is there. Crew of 60, not gun complement is not noted.

David Bell  •  Link

The Easter = Eostre idea first appears in Bede and, while not impossible, has no other support.

May I commend Diary Readers interested in this to… which is a LiveJournal entry by Jo Walton, author and historian. Apart from some discussion of Easter, and the name, and suggestions about possible origins of the Spring Festival, there's also a good cake recipe.

Phil  •  Link

Yet again, can I remind people to check whether the Background Info pages have a suitable place for annotatons. In this instance, the Easter page:…

Pauline  •  Link

I'm just loving the image
of all/some/most of us sitting at our computers trying to sing these words (The Resurrection of the Rump) to the tune of Greensleeves! All around the world.

Anyone make it work? What is that old song that has the refrain "that nobody can deny"? Is that a variation that works?

serafina  •  Link

"Which nobody can deny"
Could this be the "For he's a Jolly Good Fellow" tune? I did try out (to the suprise of my co-workers) and it does work better than "Greensleeves"

john s.  •  Link

Yes Pauline, here in Nevada, in the
middle of a sand storm, it doesn't
parce. Maybe if the wind weren't blowing...
Think Serafina closer with Jolly Good etc.

Matt McIrvin  •  Link

Serafina: I was also reminded of "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow."

But today, at least, the line "which nobody can deny" occurs in that song primarily in the US; in Britain the line is usually "and so say all of us." Perhaps it was not always so, or maybe the line is cross-pollination from another song!

Roger Miller  •  Link

Another candidate for Montagu's song

The Bodlian Library in Oxford holds a collection of over 30,000 broadside ballads, many of which are available in digital form. See…

A search for 'rump' produces a number of results including this one to the tune of The Blacksmith:…

This is an image of the text that Pauline found:…

You don't have to look very far to find that The Blacksmith is a very common tune for ballads and that these often use the 'Which nobody can deny' refrain. I'm still to be convinced that it is the same as the version of Greensleeves that I know.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Back to caudles again! Further search of the Gode Cookery site so well-found by Chris, earlier, also throws up a recipe for 'A cawdle for a sick body.' This goes: 'Take lemmon posset drink and thicken it with the yolks of eggs, and sweeten it with sugar.'

A further search of the site for posset throws up a number of candidates, none containing lemon but giving the idea of how such a thing could be made. (Click on the link… to go to the relevant section of the site). It looks distinctly warming and comforting if one happened to be a 'sick body'.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"song made upon the Rump, with which he played himself well, to the tune of “The Blacksmith.”

Such songs, to that tune, must have been popular! Or maybe it was just the tune that was popular. Here's another from "Rump: or an exact collection of the choycest poems and songs relating to the late times. By the most eminent wits, from anno 1639 to anno 1661" London, 1662. Part 1, Page 361 (!)

December 26, 1659
To the Tune of the Blacksmith

Now Master and Prentice for Rimes must pump
On Hab, Noll, Arthur, and Lawson Vantrump,
A Long Parliament of a Short Rump
Which no body can deny

For Wits and No-Wits now have an Itch
To prepare some damnable tearing Switch
For them whose very Face is a Breech.
Which, &c

Twelve years they sate above Kings and Queens,
Full twelve, and then had enter'd their teens
When Oliver came to out-sin their Sins.
Which, &c

(This continues for 13 more verses)

Dick Wilson  •  Link

How do you play nine-pins on a ship?

Jackie  •  Link

So here we have Montague, formerly a solid Parliament Man happily singing songs dissing Parliament. How times are a changing!

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

He's certainly dissing the Rump Jackie. I'm not quite sure that's the same as dissing Parliament. :)

The Rump Parliament consisted only of those members of the Long Parliament who remained after Pride's Purge. By the time Cromwell and Harrison kicked them out, they were thoroughly discredited. The recall of the Rump by the army after Richard Cromwell's resignation was a desperate measure, almost universally unpopular except with a few vested interests.

Unfortunately, the Wiki articles aren't particularly reliable or clear. GM Trevellyan, in his 'England Under The Stuarts' gives a pretty good description of the sequences of events and the motivations of the players.

meech  •  Link

I have posted an excerpt from the following website regarding the age of "Greensleeves". My impression has always been that it was even older than the 1580 date mentioned. Perhaps this is just the first time it was written down and had previously existed for generations as an oral tradition. ??…

meech  •  Link

Sorry, forgot to mention, I posted it to the Encyclopedia under "The Blacksmith" in "Songs".

Third Reading

Sam Ursu  •  Link

As for bowling (playing ninepins) aboard a ship:

First, it must be understood that bowling was a popular sport in this era. There's the legendary story of Drake bowling (albeit on land) as the Spanish Armada approached England about 70 years before Pepys' time, for context. Drake, of course, was a mariner through and through.

Besides its general popularity as a sport (on land), the impetus for shipboard bowling, I believe, is that the navy used wooden balls for practicing/aiming the firing of the ship's cannons (a cannonball is about the same size as a bowling ball). Therefore, there were plenty of wooden balls about onboard, so it makes sense that sailors would also use them for some bowling games/matches.

Furthermore, a quick search shows that the British Navy even today has a really active bowling program for its sailors (they even hold competitions), so it seems that the tradition hasn't gone away even in modern times.

Tonyel  •  Link

For anyone who can get BBC programmes, may I recommend 'The Alehouse Sessions' which appeared on BBC4 last night and which, presumably, will now be found on BBC I-player.
A very jolly group of Scandinavian and British folk musicians playing music from Cromwell's time through to the Restoration including dances, songs, reels, jigs and sea shanties but also from Playford's The English Dancing Master and several pieces by Purcell.
It's easy to imagine Sam, William Howe and even My Lord entertaining the assembled company with their fiddles and a glass near at hand.

Joel Dinda  •  Link

Somehow no one seems to have mentioned that we've encountered Matthew Locke before in the diary. Sam got together with Locke and Henry Purcell's dad at the Coffee House on January 21, where they made music for "an hour or two." Somehow they managed an eight-part canon with three singers.…

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