Sunday 13 May 1660

(Lord’s day). Trimmed in the morning, after that to the cook’s room with Mr. Sheply, the first time that I was there this voyage.

Then to the quarter-deck, upon which the tailors and painters were at work, cutting out some pieces of yellow cloth into the fashion of a crown and C. R. and put it upon a fine sheet, and that into the flag instead of the State’s arms, which after dinner was finished and set up after it had been shewn to my Lord, who took physic to-day and was in his chamber, and liked it so well as to bid me give the tailors 20s. among them for doing of it.

This morn Sir J. Boys and Capt. Isham met us in the Nonsuch, the first of whom, after a word or two with my Lord, went forward, the other staid.

I heard by them how Mr. Downing had never made any address to the King, and for that was hated exceedingly by the Court, and that he was in a Dutch ship which sailed by us, then going to England with disgrace.

Also how Mr. Morland was knighted by the King this week, and that the King did give the reason of it openly, that it was for his giving him intelligence all the time he was clerk to Secretary Thurloe.

In the afternoon a council of war, only to acquaint them that the Harp must be taken out of all their flags,1 it being very offensive to the King.

Mr. Cook, who came after us in the Yarmouth, bringing me a letter from my wife and a Latin letter from my brother John, with both of which I was exceedingly pleased.

No sermon all day, we being under sail, only at night prayers, wherein Mr. Ibbott prayed for all that were related to us in a spiritual and fleshly way.

We came within sight of Middle’s shore.

Late at night we writ letters to the King of the news of our coming, and Mr. Edward Pickering carried them.

Capt. Isham went on shore, nobody showing of him any respect; so the old man very fairly took leave of my Lord, and my Lord very coldly bid him “God be with you,” which was very strange, but that I hear that he keeps a great deal of prating and talking on shore, on board, at the King’s Courts, what command he had with my Lord, &c.

After letters were gone then to bed.

30 Annotations

First Reading

Nix  •  Link

"We came within sight of Middle's shore" --

Would this be Middelburg, Holland?

Or is it somewhere on the East coast of England?

I know they're not far apart, but it still seems startling that it would be a one-day's sail in 17th century craft.

And does anyone know why the king is offended by the harp on the flag? Does this have to do with Cromwell's Irish campaign?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

that the Harp must be taken out of all their flags
Per L&M "The King objected to the use of the Irish emblem, since Ireland was regarded as a dependency. The harp did not reappear on flags until the paliamentary union of 1801."

Swordfish  •  Link

"bringing me a ... Latin letter from my brother John..."

Is this a common way to write to your sibling, or are they using latin as a form of cipher?

Danski  •  Link

The "Union Jack"

...I believe, is only a "Jack" if it's flown on a ship. Otherwise, it's the Union Flag.

Asking people to forgive my overt nationalism would be far too English of me... so I'm not going to do it. :o)

Danski  •  Link

The L&M footnote opened some questions for me.

The best source I've found so far gives a brief history of the flag, and a breakdown of why it looks as it does today, here:…

For the flag to be a "true" "Jack," it seems it needs to be square, and flown from the "Jack-staff" of a Royal Navy vessel.

There's not all that much to be found about this on the web at the moment, and still less from "official" sources - this site… seems very non-committal (!).

The flag as it stands today was finally OK'd in 1801, and I'm committing treason if I hang it the wrong way up... :o)

[20 July 2015: Broken links replaced with versions. P.G.]

vincent  •  Link

"Pepys, John "(brother) on weekend feb 25th febuary up to college he did go : "see the entry ";he had to prove that he did do well at col. big bro. heres proof. SP took him to Parkers piece and introduced his brother to all the hallowed grounds and fields behind King’s College.

vincent  •  Link

flags: see paintings of Elizabethan, Interregnum and post 1703.
Flags on ships see Blakes battle ship at Santa Cruz 165x followed by the swallow 1703( after) pre 1606 the revenge, the last fight of

vincent  •  Link

"Capt. Isham .. shore, nobody showing of him any respect; ...leave of my Lord, and my Lord very coldly bid him “God be with you,” which was very strange, but ..great deal of prating and talking on shore, on board, at the King’s Courts, what command he had with my Lord, &c. " 'tis a lesson one should learn??" on on on and on: with that I bid thee adeiu"

Vince  •  Link

I heard by them how Mr. Downing had never made any address to the King, ......then going to England with disgrace.
What does this mean? and why the disgrace, I'm sure many people had not addressed the King, unless 'addressed' means something more formal.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

SP may not have had a complete picture here according to an L&M footnote: "Downing had in fact successfully approached a royalist agent on 25 March ... and from then onwards had passed information to the King. His visit to England was hurried, for he was back in the Hague by midnight on 19 May with letters of recommendation from Monck..."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Mr. Morland
Wheatley includes another note regarding the role of this royalist agent.
Quoting from Sir William Lower's "Relation ... of the Voiage and Residence which ... Charles II hath made in Holland", Hague, 1660:
"We think to relate here, as a thing most remarkable that the same day Mr. Moorland, Chief Commissioner under Mr. Thurlo, who was Secretary of Estate under Oliver Cromwell, his chief and most confident minister of his tyranny, arrived at Breda, where he brought divers letter and notes of most great importance, forasmuch as the King discovered there a part of the intricate plots of the interreign; and likewise the perfidiousness of some of those who owed him, without doubt the greatest fidelity of the world. The King received him perfectly well, made him knight, and rendered him this publick testimony, that he had received most considerable services from him for some years past.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

Latin Letter from John Pepys
In answer to the question from Swordfish, John, the younger brother of Samuel, is a student at Cambridge. I assume that he wrote in Latin mainly to demonstrate his proficiency. From what I can gather, mastery of Latin was about the most important thing a student was expected to learn at school. His older brother seems pleased with his progress.

Joe  •  Link

Upside-down flag.
My understanding has always been that flying the Union Jack upside-down on a ship is a distress signal (although a very poor one!)

Michiel van der Leeuw  •  Link

Middle's shore
The Naseby (or is it already called Royal Charles?) probably follows the same route as the present ferries from Dover to Oostende and Zeebrugge. On this route, you get right between Dover and Calais, and then out in the open. Middle's shore will therefore not have a been a spot on the English coast, and also not Middelburg, because you pass that town on quite a long distance on your way to Scheveningen. There is a place called Middelkerke near Oostende, so my guess is that the Naseby is getting nearer to Oostende.

Emilio  •  Link

Downing and harp
In reply to Vince's question, Downing had been strongly tied to the Puritans, and had held a high office as teller of the Exchequer. He had even come to England from Massachusetts to become a chaplin for one of the Puritan companies. If he didn't make a special effort to become friendly with the returning king, he could expect to be out of a job very quickly. His BG page has all sorts of information on his illustrious past and future career.
As for the Irish Harp, my initial assumption was that it commemorated Cromwell's subjection of Ireland, which would certainly be another reason for Charles to have no love for it on the flag. Perhaps the Cromwell link is the unspoken real motive behind his objections.

Susanna  •  Link

Latin Letters

Perhaps Sam had requested that his younger brother write to him in Latin, as a gauge of his skills? My grandmother's uncle (a classicist) had her write him regular letters in Latin when she was learning the language.

helena murphy  •  Link

The harp forms part of the royal coat of arms of Charles II in 1660. It also formed part of the arms of the Commonwealth in Ireland,during the King's exile. It is most probably its Commonwealth associations here which upsets the King. With the Restoration of Charles in 1660, Ireland becomes a Kingdom again.

vk  •  Link

Fluency in Latin was necessary before going to University. Lectures were given in Latin, and compositions were written in Latin.

language hat  •  Link

"a crown and C. R."
I imagine it's perfectly clear to the Brits among us, but C.R. = Carolus Rex 'King Charles.'

Glyn  •  Link

Mr Downing

Pepys dislikes Downing, and is quick to listen to any gossip that puts Downing in a bad light: that's a very human reaction if not a creditable one. Downing has been out of the country for several months but is still Sam's boss, and until recently had the power to dismiss him. I don't think he does have that ability anymore, so quick has been Pepys' rise in power in the last 2 or 3 months.

jeannine  •  Link

Sandwich's Journal Entry Today

"Sunday. Weighed again, the wind fair. About five of the clock in the afternoon we made the island of Walcheren, when the Assistance frigate overtook us with a packet from England."

Capt.Petrus.S. Dorpmans  •  Link

13th.(Lord's Day)1660.
"...We came within sight of Middle's shore..."

off the coast of Middelburg, Zeeland, The Netherlands.

Nick Flowers  •  Link

We can assume that the standard being flown by Naseby on its trip outward was Mountagu's General at Sea standard, which had originally been used during the Commonwealth, was replaced during the Protectorate but re appeared during the confusion after Richard Cromwell's downfall. Its appearance would indeed have been offensive to Charles as Blake was flying it during his successful driving of Prince Rupert's squadron from the seas. An example of this standard has survived and is at the National Maritime Museum, but not on display. It is problematical because the Cross and Harp escutcheons are inverted, although the symbols themselves are the right way up. These escutcheons are on a red field surrounded by an asymmetrical wreath, palm and laurel(or bay). It is supposed that it was made in error, discarded into a chest, and thus survived the destruction of Commonwealth images at the Restoration. It surfaced in the mid 1750s and is referred to in The Gentleman's Magazine of March 1803 (p. 220) when George III examined it.

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

It is understandable that Charles objected to any of the insignia of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, but there was no reason for him to object to the subjugation of Ireland per se, as subjugation had always been part of English policy. This aimed to exploit the country as a potential source of revenue (and land for Royal supporters), and also prevent it being used as a base by England's continental enemies.

Before James II & VII, the last reigning monarch to set foot in Ireland had been Richard II, though he was accompanied by the future Henry V.

Like most contemporary monarchs, the Stuart Kings were always more concerned about their personal rights and dignities than they were about peace, justice or the well-being of their subjects. Their assorted peoples and territories were never more than chess-pieces to be used, and if necessary sacrificed.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Today the Guardian printed an article about Capt. Edward Barlow, who could easily have known Pepys later, although he does not appear in the Diary because he was younger and junior at the time.

As a farm worker’s son, Barlow joined the navy as a child, sailed as a teenager on the same ship as Pepys to bring Charles II back to England, and went on to survive several shipwrecks and captivity, and eventually rose to become a captain.…

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