Tuesday 15 May 1660

We lay till past three o’clock, then up and down the town, to see it by daylight, where we saw the soldiers of the Prince’s guard, all very fine, and the burghers of the town with their arms and muskets as bright as silver. And meeting this morning a schoolmaster that spoke good English and French, he went along with us and shewed us the whole town, and indeed I cannot speak enough of the gallantry of the town. Every body of fashion speaks French or Latin, or both. The women many of them very pretty and in good habits, fashionable and black spots.

He went with me to buy a couple of baskets, one of them for Mrs. Pierce, the other for my wife.

After he was gone, we having first drank with him at our lodging, the judge and I to the Grande Salle where we were shewed the place where the States General sit in council. The hall is a great place, where the flags that they take from their enemies are all hung up; and things to be sold, as in Westminster Hall, and not much unlike it, but that not so big, but much neater.

After that to a bookseller’s and bought for the love of the binding three books: the French Psalms in four parts, Bacon’s Organon, and Farnab. Rhetor.

After that the judge, I and my boy by coach to Scheveling again, where we went into a house of entertainment and drank there, the wind being very high, and we saw two boats overset and the gallants forced to be pulled on shore by the heels, while their trunks, portmanteaus, hats, and feathers, were swimming in the sea. Among others I saw the ministers that come along with the Commissioners (Mr. Case among the rest) sadly dipped. So they came in where we were, and I being in haste left my Copenhagen knife, and so lost it.

Having staid here a great while a gentleman that was going to kiss my Lord’s hand, from the Queen of Bohemia, and I hired a Dutch boat for four rixdollars to carry us on board. We were fain to wait a great while before we could get off from the shore, the sea being very rough.

The Dutchman would fain have made all pay that came into our boat besides us two and our company, there being many of our ship’s company got in who were on shore, but some of them had no money, having spent all on shore.

Coming on board we found all the Commissioners of the House of Lords at dinner with my Lord, who after dinner went away for shore.

Mr. Morland, now Sir Samuel, was here on board, but I do not find that my Lord or any body did give him any respect, he being looked upon by him and all men as a knave. Among others he betrayed Sir Rich. Willis1 that married Dr. F. Jones’s [L&M say “Dr. Foxes“. P.G.] daughter, that he had paid him 1000l. at one time by the Protector’s and Secretary Thurloe’s order, for intelligence that he sent concerning the King.

In the afternoon my Lord called me on purpose to show me his fine cloathes which are now come hither, and indeed are very rich as gold and silver can make them, only his sword he and I do not like.

In the afternoon my Lord and I walked together in the coach two hours, talking together upon all sorts of discourse: as religion, wherein he is, I perceive, wholly sceptical, as well as I, saying, that indeed the Protestants as to the Church of Rome are wholly fanatiques: he likes uniformity and form of prayer.

About State-business, among other things he told me that his conversion to the King’s cause (for so I was saying that I wondered from what time the King could look upon him to become his friend), commenced from his being in the Sound, when he found what usage he was likely to have from a Commonwealth.

My Lord, the Captain, and I supped in my Lord’s chamber, where I did perceive that he did begin to show me much more respect than ever he did yet.

After supper, my Lord sent for me, intending to have me play at cards with him, but I not knowing cribbage, we fell into discourse of many things, till it was so rough sea and the ship rolled so much that I was not able to stand, and so he bid me go to bed.

50 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

L&M Footnote:
"Pepys surprisingly does not record Charles II's entry into the Hague at 11 a.m."

It is certainly surprising given the length and variety of this day's note.

Emilio  •  Link

Bacon's Organon
This would be his New Organon (Novum Organum, as originally published). I actually proofread this book at one point; it's one of the first books to try to establish an experimental scientific method. Here's Amazon's description: "Francis Bacon's New Organon, published in 1620, was revolutionary in its attempt to give formal philosophical shape to a new and rapidly emerging experimental science. It challenged the entire edifice of the philosophy and learning of Bacon's time, and left its mark on all subsequent discussions of scientific method."
L&M notes that Pepys's copy is "either the Leyden edition of 1650 or the Amsterdam edition of 1660." Not in the Pepysian Library, which is why they can't tell which.
Aside from his philosophical writings, Bacon lived a full life as an MP, and later as attorney general under James I. This all ended when he pleaded guilty in a bribery scandal. The Columbia Encyclopedia's brief overview can be found here:

Ed LeZotte  •  Link

This little basket that Pepys buys Elizabeth -- along with one for Mrs. Pierce -- will in time fall victim to one of his occasional rages. During an argument with Elizabth he kicks it, breaks it, and immediately regrets it.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

I'm interested in the relationship we've got here. The L&M Footnote for the story is as follows: "Morland claimed to have saved the King's life in 1659 by warning him of a treacherous plot of Willys's to inveigle him to England. Willys was then a member of the royalist underground movement, and Morland an official of the republican government, in the Secretary of State's office."

Am I correct in assuming the following to be true? Willys a member of the royalist underground betrayed the King to Cromwell and Morland a formal member of the republican government betrayed Cromwell to the King and subsequently betrayed Willys as well. In more modern terms, we have Willys the mole and Morland the double agent.

As a plot spoiler, Richard Willis seems to stay around as the Governor of Newarke for another four years despite the betrayal.

(The footnote then goes on to reference the entry on Sir Richard Willys in the L&M Companion ... maybe someone with a copy can shed some more light on this.)

gerry  •  Link

Re cribbage L&M has"As of Jan 1660 Pepys records having been taught the game by Jemima,my Lords daughter"

Frans  •  Link

My goodness I didn't realise that the cribbage game was that ancient. Is it the same game as we play it now on the west coast of Canada ? In my travels in Europe I never found anybody who even heard of the game !

PHE  •  Link

"[Montagu is] wholly sceptical [of religion], as well as I"
At first reading, this could suggest Montagu was in some way an agnostic or atheist (see comments in Religion-Atheism), but we know that Pepys clearly seems to retain his faith. Therefore, he probably means cynical with respect to the more pompous or devout practices as well as the rivalries between denominations. Was there any true atheism in England or Europe at this time? Any further thoughts?

vk  •  Link

There were atheists at least a century before this. One of the Maitlands - William or John - who held a great deal of power in Scoland while James VI was young famously described God as 'a bogie of the nursery'. If you did not belong to the upper ranks of European society, however, you would not have been able to get away with voicing this sort of opinion. As a result, we don't know who privately held atheist opinions.

This was true in the medieval period asa well. Frederick II of Germany and Pope Boniface VII are two powerful figures who are said to have derided the authority or the veracity of the Christian traditions (the stories about Frederick are somewhat more credible). What the lower orders of society would have said if it had been possible for them to speak freely we can't say.

It is true, however, that the term atheism was frequently misapplied. Those who were too reckless in their theology (deying the trinity, for example) might be branded as atheists.

P.J.CUTLER  •  Link

Cribbage was widely played in Pubs and Clubs in England up to at least 10 years ago,and still may be. Teams used to travel to each other's clubs and play this along with darts, snooker, billiards and dominoes.

Keir Finlow-Bates  •  Link

"I hired a Dutch boat for four rixdollars to carry us on board" - I would guess this is a 'rijksdaalder'; searching some of the Dutch sites on the web suggests that a rijksdaalder may have been worth about 1.5 guilders up to 1945, and became worth 2.5 guilders afterwards. Another site claims that State policy towards consistancy in stamping coinage didn't appear in Holland until after 1680, and wasn't taken up by the rest of the Dutch provinces by 1694, so while Pepys was in the Hague there would have been a lot of different types of coinage circulating.

PHE  •  Link

As a footnote to an online dicussion some weeks ago deriving from Pepys's joy at being titled 'Esquire', I received a letter this week addressing me as such (without the 'Mr' as is correct)- from a building surveyor who surveyed a house for me. The first time I've seen its use in a good few years.

Tina  •  Link

Cribbage is still alive and well in the South of England, played in my local pub along with bezique.

Ed Brickell  •  Link

Pepys' depiction of the "gallants" getting an unwelcome dunking is worthy of Monty Python, or a Marx Brothers movie. An amazing eye for detail.

David A. Smith  •  Link

Cribbage is very popular in New England, especially rural areas, and cribbage boards are often carved in stylish or serpentine tracks. Nice to be playing a game 350 years old!

j a gioia  •  Link


still a very popular game in the upper midwest of the u.s. in minneapolis two evenings ago i saw a couple playing it on the stoop (nice dutch word there) of their apartment building.

i've learned the game at least three times in my life and simply cannot remember the various ways to score the cards; a problem that sam, apparently taught the game but four months past, seems to've had as well.

Ed Brickell  •  Link

"... I being in haste left my Copenhagen knife, and so lost it."

Yesterday his rapier-stick, today the Copenhagen knife ... actually it's a wonder that, as peripatetic as his daily life was, Pepys didn't lose even more things than he reports.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Has anyone else noticed Sam's prodigious ability to get by w/little sleep?

Looking at the entry for May 14, it looks as if they couldn't have gotten to bed much before midnight (they meet the prince at 10 p.m., then have supper after), and today Sam is up "past three o'clock" to go "up and down the town, to see it by daylight."

This isn't the first time I've noticed him functioning very-well-thank-you on three hours or so of sleep. Certainly something of this has to do with his age and level of excitement (I remember being able to do this in my late 20s, too), but I also wonder if, because they're so far north, the days are longer, and so people were simply out and about more? (Or maybe he was exhausted by the end of the day, and that's why he couldn't remember how to play cribbage, or even manage to stay upright in Montagu's chamber!)

I love Sam's pride about the fact that his Lord is beginning "to show me much more respect than ever he did yet" -- becoming friends with someone you admire, and realizing that they value your opinion and actually respect your abilities, *is* truly a buzz.

vk  •  Link

According to John Aubrey (a comtemporary of Pepys), cribbage was invented by the poet Sir John Suckling. If this is true, he would have invented it around the 1630s.

Michiel van der Leeuw  •  Link

A "rijksdaalder" has always been worth 2.5 guilders, so Sam paid 10 guilders to hire this boat, which is imho quite a lot. Dutch trading, I suppose....
Dutch money also knew the "Daalder" which was worth 1.5 guilders; this is the one that Keir is referring to. The Dutch markets advertise for themselves with the slogan "on the market your guilder is worth a daalder"

Glyn  •  Link

Funny of Todd to think of this part of the world as being the "far north", but it is true that hours of daylight vary a lot throughout the year.

For example, if you visit London in June you will have over 16 hours of daylight: but come back in December and you'll have barely 7 hours of daylight (and 17 hours of darkness!). Which would have been even gloomier in an age with little street lighting.

If you want to know what Scheveningen looks like nowadays, have a look at this webcam:


Notice how flat and extensive the beach is.

Regarding rijksdaalers (one of the forerunners of the dollars): coins could be used over a wide area not just in their own countries if made of gold.

helena murphy  •  Link

What does Pepys mean by a " a house of entertainment"? Is this a euphemism for a brothel.? Seventeenth century Amsterdam was a flourishing centre of commercial sex serving the mercenaries and the navy, the backbone of the country who all had the means to pay. Girls were attracted to this work to save for a dowry or to supplement their meagre wages as textile workers. A slovenly girl would never be employed as a maid. Many ,if not the majority would have come from outside Holland. Procuresses often kept taverns but the brothel proper would have been on adjoining premises. Such activity was illegal, and there were houses of correction for prostitutes. Professionals were often heavily in debt because of the gorgeous clothes which they had to buy or hire. There is a substantial subsection of seventeenth century Dutch genre painting which depicts scenes from the Bordello with flirtatious, lusty, beautiful and fashionably dressed girls. One wonders if it were the sobre suited burghers who bought them and it is even more fascinating to think on where they hung them. Fornicators were punished but I daresy our Pepys would have had diplomatic immunity, therefore no need to be in too much haste leaving behind his Copenhagen knife .

sources: Hufton, Olwen, The Prospect Before Her. A History of Women in Western Europe. Volume One 1500-1800
Fontana 1997

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "so far north"

Glyn, you're right, I was (incorrectly) talking about the Londonish latitude like it was the Arctic, but for this Northern Virginia boy, y'all *are* far north! :^)

Paul Brewster  •  Link

... commenced from his being in the Sound, when he found what usage he was likely to have from a Commonwealth.

An L&M footnote highlights a familiar civilian vs military control issue:

"In August 1659 in the Baltic, Montague found himself at odds with the civilian commissioners sent be the republican government, and withdrew most of the fleet."

tavella  •  Link

" After that to a bookseller’s and bought for the love of the binding three books: the French Psalms in four parts, Bacon’s Organon, and Farnab. Rhetor."

'for the love of the binding' -- I love this phrase! I share the same weakness for a beautifully designed book.

Emilio  •  Link

"bought for the love of the binding three books"
It is a nice remark from Sam. L&M note that the books didn't necessarily have a fancy binding, but one that was no longer common in England. It also adds a new dimension to today's entry to think we could still hold one of these books in the Pepysian Library:
"Of the books now bought, the Farnaby is presumably PL 81: a plain white limp vellum of the sort which though common in Holland seems to have been unusual in England after 1650."
Vellum, btw, is lamb or calf skin, and is the the thin, tough, floppy material that I mostly see covering Bibles these days.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

It seems to me that a "house of entertainment" is more likely a pub, since they were drinking something there. It seems to be like they saw that the winds were too high to go back to their ship, so they sat in a pub for a while to wait for a better opportunity.

jeannine  •  Link

Sandwich's Journal Entry Today

"Tuesday. The King of England arrived at the Hague from Breda. The Centurion came into Schevelinge Bay with the Lords Commissioners from the House of Peers, who dined aboard the Naseby and after went ashore the Schevelinge."

Capt. Petrus.S. Dorpmans  •  Link

15th. May 1660.
"...the French Psamls in four parts, Bacon's Organon, and Farnab. Rhetor..."

Index Rhetoricus, by Thomas Farnaby. This book, printed at Amsterdam in 1648, is still in the Pepys library.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Copenhagen knife "

L&M note this may be one bought while Pepys was in the Baltic for a few days in the summer of 1659 delivering dispatches to Mountagu.

Bill  •  Link

I don't understand the disdain of Morland. He was a secretary to Thurlow (Cromwell's spymaster) and he spied on Thurlow himself for Charles. Charles knighted him at Breda. Isn't this a good thing (for the King)? Maybe all spys are knaves.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"...I saw the ministers that come along with the Commissioners ... sadly dipped."

No hint of Schadenfreude then? ;)

Tonyel  •  Link

Way off topic, but is there any significance in that some names in the annotations appear in blue and some in black? I plan to be following the site again for however many years it takes and, at my age, I don't have the time to puzzle about this each morning!

Dick Wilson  •  Link

Bill, Morland won the Kings' approbation by betraying his friends. Once that betrayal became public knowledge, everyone on both sides would look at him askance, and his former friends would sharpen their daggers.

william wright  •  Link

Tonyel. The blue ones are clickable and take you to that persons comments.
The black ones do not. Maybe they are no longer active.

Tonyel  •  Link

Thanks William. One less thing to worry about.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Bacon's Organon
The Novum Organum, fully Novum Organum Scientiarum ('new instrument of science'), is a philosophical work by Francis Bacon, written in Latin and published in 1620. The title is a reference to Aristotle's work Organon, which was his treatise on logic and syllogism. In Novum Organum, Bacon details a new system of [reduction and inductive] logic he believes to be superior to the old ways of syllogism. This is now known as the Baconian method. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nov…

John Wheater  •  Link

"walked in the COACH"

'Coach' here is part of the ship (Comp).

Maybe an encyclopedia entry...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lord and I walked together in the coach "

COACH : captain's stateroom in large ship, over the steerage: OED
(Large Glossary)

Nice get, John Wheater,

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"After that to a bookseller’s and bought for the love of the binding three books: the French Psalms in four parts"

L&M: ? replaced in the PL by /henry du Mont's four-part setting of Anthoine Godeau's paraphrase (Paris, 1663: PL 1644-7).

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'"[Montagu is] wholly sceptical [of religion], as well as I"

'At first reading, this could suggest Montagu was in some way an agnostic or atheist ... but we know that Pepys clearly seems to retain his faith.'

Pepys says he has lost his faith. I believe him.
There were many reasons for going to church:
-- there's the social aspect (who else was there, and what were they wearing?)
-- it was required by law: this is where the news from the Court/parliament is explained from the pulpit (marriage banns and announcements about events in the church hall are about all that remains of this custom, but back then it was the most efficient way of getting official word to the people in a timely manner) -- collections for the relief of people, burned cities, and slaves kidnapped by the Barbary pirates was organized here
-- and if you wanted to be employed and in good standing socially, you were at church, come rain or shine, regularly.
Soon singing and organs will be reintroduced along with the Anglican service. You know how Pepys feels about music.

We have already seen that Elizabeth rarely goes to church with him. I guess when you live in a cosmopolitan place like London, the ability of the clergy to count heads and keep track was limited.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...the judge and I to the Grande Salle...."; "After that the judge, I and my boy by coach to Scheveling again, where we went into a house of entertainment...."

The Judge was apparently the Judge Advocate, John Fowler, per an annote yesterday:'

Terry Foreman  •  Link

That annote yesterday was Paul Brewster's.

RLB  •  Link

@Sarah: and yet, he... religiously? Faithfully? At any rate, regularly attends services both at home and on board ship. Private services at that, not big church services.

I think he has retained his faith in religion. I'm not sure which form, and we know he has several in his family. What I think he's lost is his faith in *official* religion. But that's another matter, especially now that the Puritans are out.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

So you think by being "wholly sceptical [of religion]", Pepys means he is no longer a Puritan, and goes to church hoping to hear something to restore his faith, RBG? I'm good with that theory.

Many people in times of war and civil upheaval either find God, or loose Him completely.

Going to services on board was not really a matter of choice; that was a matter of order and cohesion, and as good as manditory (so long as he was aboard when it began, and couldn't sneak in over the rail, late and unseen).

Ashley Smith  •  Link

Hi Sarah, I too think Sam had doubts about his beliefs but it was such a dangerous time to disclose these thoughts to anyone. It's nice he was able to talk to his boss about this openly, fortifying his working relationship, if nothing else.
I confess I'm an atheist (I prefer plate tectonics and understanding what the weather means, rather than the confusion these two sciences had in creating religion), so I might be biased but in Sam's day there were so many unresolved ideas, laws, variations in how a person worshiped etc in must have been hard to nail down a strict belief one way or other and easier to just go with the flow of peer pressure.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

When King Charles lost his head, it "let the geni out of the bottle" in Britain. Suddenly the unthinkable was possible. People -- everyone -- started to discuss possibilities. Yes, the Puritan authorities tried to put the geni back in the bottle, but divorce, pensions, equality, universal health care and education, nudity, dissent in all its forms including alternative forms of government (Pepys has been to the Rota Club and met James Harrington), and the nature of God itself, were up for reconsideration. There were still Ranters around in the late 1660's. And it wasn't just in Britain --

In 1660, a Jew from a Portuguese family, Baruch “Benedictus” Spinoza, was forced to move from Amsterdam to Rijnsburg (a small town in the Dutch Republic), after a death threat because of his unconventional thoughts. Discussing his beliefs with his friends, Baruch Spinoza admitted to doubting many of their religious traditional beliefs, such as life after death. He was reported him to the synagogue. After trying to persuade him to keep his opinions to himself, the rabbis had excommunicated him in 1656. But Spinoza persisted.

Rene Descarte had published thought-provoking mathematical and philosophical books from 1628 to 1649 -- again, from the Netherlands.

In 1633, Galileo was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church, but his works were published outside of Italy in the Protestant lands.

England's own John Locke was Pepys' peer in age, but he went to Westminster School and Oxford, while Sam went to St. Paul's and Cambridge. Perhaps they met; they were both from Parliamentarian families.

What an exciting time to be a smart teenager! Questioning authority was in. It was the 1970's on steriods and speed. Wait -- we had the drugs. They did it on sugar.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Now might be a moment to think about how -- in the villages and small towns of Britain -- life was organized.

Educated people read Cicero’s "De Officiis" (On Offices - or Duties).
Thousands of Early Modern people held local office.
Every parish had a constable, churchwardens, overseers of the poor, chosen by vote or rotation.
People served in militias, were watchmen of the ward, governed charitable orphanages and almshouses.
To think only of the ‘restricted’ parliamentary franchise disguises the vibrant civic life of England’s parish and borough republics.

That quasi-republican tradition offered a far richer understanding of citizenship than our scratching a few ‘X’s on ballot papers every couple of years.

People experienced power, kept official records, were held accountable for the welfare of others, and had to learn to logically argue truth to power (the local lord of the manor).

London was big enough, with the Court, City, Houses of Parliament, suburbs and Guilds, that these unifying experiences were easy to avoid.

When Pepys lived in Brampton, he experienced family life with these civic responsibilities.

Pepys was born in 1633, so he's 27. Montagu was born in 1625, so he's 35.
I think it was their difference in social status that has hampered confessional communication up until now. Pepys needed to be schooled into taking off his cap and calling Montagu "M'Lord" and not "cousin" or "Eddie".
But now Montagu has found a way to elevate his smart young cousin so he can become an Esquire. Maybe this change in status makes confidences pallatable -- or perhaps Montagu was mentoring Pepys into politely negotiating the sort of conversations and colleagues he was going to encounter in his new life as Clerk of the Acts, with all that could entail down the road?

My respect for Montagu grows daily.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Now that I've found the citation, I should give credit for some of the points in the preceeding post to

After the Levellers: On the Non-Mysterious Disappearance of Parliamentary Reform in England -- 23 November 2021 – by Mark Goldie

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