Tuesday 24 April 1660

This morning I had Mr. Luellin and Mr. Sheply to the remainder of my oysters that were left yesterday. After that very busy all the morning. While I was at dinner with my Lord, the Coxon of the Vice- Admiral came for me to the Vice-Admiral to dinner. So I told my Lord and he gave me leave to go. I rose therefore from table and went, where there was very many commanders, and very pleasant we were on board the London, which hath a state-room much bigger than the Nazeby, but not so rich. After that, with the Captain on board our own ship, where we were saluted with the news of Lambert’s being taken, which news was brought to London on Sunday last. He was taken in Northamptonshire by Colonel Ingoldsby, at the head of a party, by which means their whole design is broke, and things now very open and safe. And every man begins to be merry and full of hopes. In the afternoon my Lord gave a great large character to write out, so I spent all the day about it, and after supper my Lord and we had some more very good musique and singing of “Turne Amaryllis,” as it is printed in the song book, with which my Lord was very much pleased. After that to bed.

16 Annotations

First Reading

WKW  •  Link

Though it has been clarified before, it bears repeating (mainly because I keep forgetting) that a "character" means a "code or cipher," or by extension a coded message.
Amid the word's many other meanings, by Johnson's time someone of Pepys's standing could write out "a character" for a former employee seeking a new post---i.e., a letter of recommendation, a reference.

Eric Walla  •  Link

This entry clearly shows ...

... the release of tension that has been in the air since Lambert escaped the Tower and the fanatiques resumed their strut. Surely they NOW believe that the Gods are on their side. They weren't too sure there for a while.

We all naturally have our own built-in plot spoilers since we know how things came out. I think it much too easy to discount the uncertainty behind these men's actions on behalf of the Restoration and their fear that the tide could turn again.

Glyn  •  Link

For example, Pepys wrote "characters" for his boss George Downing on 25 and 28 January, shortly before Downing left for Europe.

Bill-in-Georgia  •  Link


But what was the message? Surely important. Our Sam seems quite discreet about putting his boss's business into his diary.

Query: Does Sam's method of writing his diary qualify as a character or was it just a form of shorthand? If not a character, why didn't he use one?

Mary  •  Link

Character vs. shorthand

Sam's diary is written in a slightly personalised version of Shelton's 'Short Writing and Tachygraphy', which was published in London in 1626. (See L&M Vol 1, pp. xlviii ff.). It was designed to enable people to write quickly rather than secretly.

The character that Sam uses when writing out confidential letters for Mountagu is a code, designed to preserve secrecy. It is plainly a laborious process to turn plain text into character and we saw, in the earlier entries, that on occasion Sam did not manage to encode his exemplars to Mountagu's satisfaction and had to do the work over again.

Presumably Sam's reason for choosing to use shorthand for the diary is that he was primarily interested in immediacy of record ( with an element of discretion) rather than secrecy at the expense of immediacy.

Matthew  •  Link

"So I spent all the day about it" - yet he was only given the job in the afternoon. Along with "great large" is this an indication of petulance at being given excessive work?

Nix  •  Link

Uncertainty --

Consider Samuel's situation in light of the current state of affairs in Iraq (sorry to bring the 21st century into this): The repressive government has fallen, various groups of "fanatiques" are competing for influence, and nobody knows how it will come out. I'm not trying to make some political point, but only to emphasize Eric's insight about reading this in light of the author who did not know the end of the story.

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

Loved this sentence:

"And every man begins to be merry and full of hopes. "

Paul Brewster  •  Link

L&M Footnote on the song-book:
"Playford's Select ayres and dialogues (1659), pp. 112-113, has Thomas Brewer's new setting of James Shirley's lyric 'Turn Amaryllis to thy swain' (Schoole of complement, 1631, p. 37)."

Warren Keith Wright  •  Link

Born in London in 1611, Thomas Brewer, composer and viol player, served in the household of Sir Nicholas Lestrange at some point in his career; he seems to have died sometime between 1660 and 1670. Aside from instrumental works, he wrote a good many airs and catches. "His best-known song," says "New Grove" (3.273), "is probably the glee 'Turn, Amaryllis, to thy swain'".
Anyone have any luck finding the Shirley text?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Turne Amaryllis
Here's what I've found so far although not in the place referenced by L&M:
The treasury of musick (1669):
Turn Amarillis to thy Swain turn Amarillis to thy Swain, turn Amarillis to thy Swain, thy Damon calls thee back again, thy Damon calls thee back again: Here is a pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Arbour by, where Apollo, where Apollo, where Apollo, where Apollo, cannot cannot spy, where Apollo cannot spy. Here let's sit, and whilst I play, sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe a Rounddelay; sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe a Rounddelay. (From the English Poetry Database)

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Another less elaborate source for "Turne Amarillis" with pretty much the same general idea
Catch that Catch can (1652):
Turne Amarillis to thy Swaine, thy Damon calls thee back againe. Here is a pretty pretty Arbor by, where Apollo, cannot spy: there lets sit, and whilst I play, sing to my pipe a round delay. (Again the English Poetry Database)

Second Reading

Bryan  •  Link

"And every man begins to be merry and full of hopes."

On the uncertainty mentioned by Eric and Nix above, Wikipedia have a nice, two-sentence summary of the political events over the last 6 months:

"After the second dissolution of the Rump, in October 1659, the prospect of a total descent into anarchy loomed as the Army's pretence of unity finally dissolved into factions. Into this atmosphere General George Monck, Governor of Scotland under the Cromwells, marched south with his army from Scotland."


Very few, apart from Lambert, were keen to re-ignite the civil wars.

Bill  •  Link

More info on "Turn Amaryllis" recently in the Encyclopedia>Entertainment>Music>Songs

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"news of Lambert’s being taken, which news was brought to London on Sunday last. He was taken in Northamptonshire by Colonel Ingoldsby, at the head of a party, by which means their whole design is broke, and things now very open and safe."

This was the last rising of the fanatics before the Restoration, and the last fling of their most dangerous leader. Col. Richard Ingoldsby, at the head of a detachment of regulars, reinforced by militia, came up with the rebels near Daventry on the 22nd. Lambert and his principal supporters were taken without a fight; the rest fled. The news was conveyed to Mountagu in a letter from Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, London, 23 April: Sandwich MSS, Letters from Ministers, i.f.23r. (L&M footnote)

During the English Civil War, the army of King Charles I stayed at Daventry in 1645 after storming the Parliamentary garrison at Leicester and on its way to relieve the siege of Oxford. However, Parliament's newly formed New Model Army, led by Sir Thomas Fairfax, was marching north from besieging Oxford after being instructed to engage the king's main army. Fairfax's leading detachments of horse clashed with Royalist outposts near Daventry on 12 June, alerting the king to the presence of the Parliamentary army. The Royalists made for their reinforcements at Newark-on-Trent but after reaching Market Harborough turned to fight, which resulted in the decisive Battle of Naseby. The village of Naseby is approximately 14 miles (23 km) northeast of Daventry.

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