Monday 30 April 1660

All the morning getting instructions ready for the Squadron of ships that are going to-day to the Streights, among others Captain Teddiman, Curtis, and Captain Robert Blake to be commander of the whole Squadron.

After dinner to ninepins, W. Howe and I against Mr. Creed and the Captain. We lost 5s. apiece to them. After that W. Howe, Mr. Sheply and I got my Lord’s leave to go to see Captain Sparling. So we took boat and first went on shore, it being very pleasant in the fields; but a very pitiful town Deal is. We went to Fuller’s (the famous place for ale), but they have none but what was in the vat. After that to Poole’s, a tavern in the town, where we drank, and so to boat again, and went to the Assistance, where we were treated very civilly by the Captain, and he did give us such music upon the harp by a fellow that he keeps on board that I never expect to hear the like again, yet he is a drunken simple fellow to look on as any I ever saw. After that on board the Nazeby, where we found my Lord at supper, so I sat down and very pleasant my Lord was with Mr. Creed and Sheply, who he puzzled about finding out the meaning of the three notes [L&M say “holes”. P.G.] which my Lord had cut over the chrystal of his watch. After supper some musique. Then Mr. Sheply, W. Howe and I up to the Lieutenant’s cabin, where we drank, and I and W. Howe were very merry, and among other frolics he pulls out the spigot of the little vessel of ale that was there in the cabin and drew some into his mounteere, and after he had drank, I endeavouring to dash it in his face, he got my velvet studying cap and drew some into mine too, that we made ourselves a great deal of mirth, but spoiled my clothes with the ale that we dashed up and down. After that to bed very late with drink enough in my head.

31 Annotations

Nix  •  Link

"Mounteere" = montero, "A cap of a type formerly worn in Spain for hunting, having a spherical crown and (freq. fur-lined) flaps able to be drawn down to protect the ears and neck. Also montero cap." OED

I'm surprised he remembered all of this that well when he wrote it down the next morning.

gerry  •  Link

Fullers ale, 30 years ago when I lived in Kent Fullers was still a going concern. Don't know if it still is.

WKW  •  Link

"We lost 5s. apiece to them" at ninepins. Did Sam and Will have the money on them to pay up Creed and Cuttance?
The playing of the harper is such that "I never expect to hear the like again, yet he is a drunken simple fellow to look on as any I ever saw." Not the first time, nor the last, that the Muses' rep.s belie their looks.
"and among other frolics"---maybe, Nix, he could not remember all of them after all! The just-pre-Restoration version of a water pistol/balloon fight.

gerry  •  Link

Per L&M "a watch at this period might be a pocket-or pendant-watch,or a non-striking clock. Crystal was normally used for the face,and sometimes for the whole case. The holes may have been the means of suspending it from cords in order to minimise the ship's motion."

Judy Bailey  •  Link

Sam seems to be having a great time recently! Interestingly, with all this merriment and frolics, he has not mentioned his longing for his wife left behind.

Glyn  •  Link

Fullers is a prosperous London brewery and is going strong - and I can vouch for the quality of its beers - but has no connections with Kent. I think that the name here is only a coincidence.

So 5 shillings (a crown) appears to be the standard wager when playing skittles.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Holes vs notes:
The L&M footnote on the watch makes more sense when one sees that L&M has the following variance from the Gutenberg "meaning of the three holes [not notes] which my Lord hath cut over the Chrystall of his watch"

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

I have emailed Fuller, Smith and Turner to tell them about this and ask them how far back in history the Fullers name goes. I will report back with any information that emerges, though I suspect it won't be as old as this.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Holes vs. notes

Thanks, Paul ... buy why were Creed and Sheply "puzzled about finding out the meaning of the three [holes] which which my Lord hath cut over the Chrystall of his watch"? This sounds like a customization of Montagu's, perhaps for a covert/personal purpose...?

That asked, it does indeed sound like a fun day and night for Our Boy. Would that I were living a life that carefree!

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Thanks, Jenny!

Nice to know that we can count on you for ale research ... something tells me you and Sam would have gotten along just fine... ;^)

Tim Nolan  •  Link

I am new to this site,and I'm sure it's been asked before,but could not find the answer in the background info. Are the dates listed in each posting the Old style dates as listed in his calendar, or have they be changed to new style?? WOuld today's posting be April 30 or May 10th in correspondence with the days??

Bert Winther  •  Link

Tim, The dates here are according to the Julian calendar that was used in Great Britain until 1752

Bullus Hutton  •  Link

We lost 5s. apiece to them.
Glyn-I don't think 5s. was by any means a standard wager, pretty rich for a regular game (around $200,if my rambling perspective on Background, Value of Money is halfway correct) but it was maybe the reason the Captain came down for a game, hmm here's a guy who doesn't mind risking a few a few bucks, and so once again SP makes a calculated investment to remain in top drawer company.

mary  •  Link

Three holes in a watch-glass

L&M (note) suggests that this may have been done with the idea of suspending the watch from 'cords' in an effort to minimise the effects of the ship's motion upon it. Not sure how effective that would have been, if so.

andy thomas  •  Link

The three notes cut into the crystal - I remember seeing an exhibition of Longitude at the Greenwich obeservatory a few years ago, which had a number of timepieces in it, the argument being that there was a drive to get accurate timepieces in order to calculate longitude, although I don't remember the details.

I think the watch would be used on board ship for navigation, so these might be three markings or etchings into the watch glass, perhaps used to measure the angle between the two fingers of the timepiece compared with the position of the sun or a star (you might repeatedly point one of the markings at the star and note the angle between the hour and minute hands and the other two points).

We need an astro-navigator to think about this!

andy thomas  •  Link


I have found the following source on that Greenwich exhibition on the use of time measuring devices to measure longitude. The problem was known but hadn't been solved at Sam's time so I wonder if he was reporting some piece of new technology?

Colin Gravois  •  Link

Now these daily diary dates (ex. today, Monday 30 April 1660) and other dates found in the Diary, are they given in the Julian calendar, as was in use during Pepyes day, or have they been converted to the Gregorian calendar, which Britain did not formally use until the middle of the 18th century? What was a Monday then would not necessarily be one today to a researcher, unless conversion was made. Believe some of us would be interested in knowing that.

Matthew  •  Link

Montagu is a musician - could the "Three notes" be a musical allusion that he had had engraved on his watch?

Mary  •  Link

Fuller's Brewery

If Jenny's researches show the modern Fullers to be connected historically with Pepys' Fullers, then that will upset Shepherd Neame, a Kentish brewery based at Faversham, which claims to be the oldest brewery in the country, established 1698.

Vera  •  Link

I keep seeing annotations asking about the calendar - would it be worth making a 'once and for all statement' under the 'Background Info' section?

j a gioia  •  Link

finding out the meaning of the three notes which my Lord had cut over the chrystal of his watch

is 'my lord' here refering to montegu or the capatin of the nasby? and it seems to be that 'my lord' is asking the men himself to puzzle over the meaning of the marks.

and note that they are cut 'over' the chrystal, not 'into'. suspending a timepiece from holes in the chrystal seems a bit odd anyway. i am inclined to think that they are musical notations (did the watch chime?) or perhaps of more mysterious (masonic perhaps?) origins.

Simon Cox  •  Link

I actually come from Deal and there was a local brewery at the top of the hill in Walmer, a village two shakes of a lambs tail up the road but has long been part of Deal, called Thompson & Son Ltd. the pub opposite the site changed its name from the George to the Thompson Bell when the brewery was demolished. At one time Deal was reputed to have one pub per 14 head of population. You may have heard of Walmer castle - its where the Duke of Wellington died and is the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports (formally teh Queen Mother).
Sheperd Neames is the oldest brewery in the Country and a fine drop od ale too.

Glyn  •  Link

Bullus Hutton (incidentally good name): I agree that five shillings would be too expensive for a regular game (it's certainly expensive enough for SP to notice it when he's not paid his winnings). But it might be what you pay out when you settle up at the end of the evening after having played a series of games (e.g. first team to win 9 games or something like that, so they play (perhaps) 15 games but only one sum of 5 shillings changes hands).

I've been around Fullers Brewery in Chiswick a few times, and am pretty sure they began some 150 - 200 years after this period.

Nix  •  Link

The Fullers website --

-- indicates that a John Fuller joined a 200 year old brewery in Chiswick in 1829. The prior name of the brewery isn't given. So it looks like this was not the Fuller's brewery that Pepys patronized. It's possible that John came from the Fullers of Deal, but no indication to that effect.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

I had a reply from Fullers as follows:

Fuller's (the Griffin Brewery) history only began in the 1680's when Thomas Mawson came to Chiswick and created the foundations of the brewery we have here today. Fuller Smith & Turner as a partnership began in 1845. The Fuller's first involvement was in 1829, when John Fuller came to the rescue of the brewery. I am afraid that this indicates that the 'Fuller's' mentioned in the diary cannot be the same as the Fuller's we know today.

So that seems to settle it!

Dick Wilson  •  Link

One has to wonder what the ordinary seamen thought of these doings. Their work was hard, as they watched their betters playing games. They got to sit in the boat while the swells went to sample the ales ashore. They had their grog ration, but if that ever led to throwing drinks on each other, someone would be flogged for it. One wonders what they thought, and realizes, that their opinions did not matter one iota.

william wright  •  Link

I do not think grog was introduced until the 1740s, but I may be wrong on that.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Squadron of ships that are going to-day to the Streights, among others Captain Teddiman, Curtis, and Captain Robert Blake to be commander of the whole Squadron."

A squadron of four sailed this day to convoy a fleet of merchantmen to the Mediterranean: Sandwich, pp. 74-5. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"After that to Poole’s, a tavern in the town"

Mountagu's letters to Deal were directed to Poole's,say L&M, evidently a postal stop, where they were held until the mail was carried to London.

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