Tuesday 5 June 1660

A-bed late. In the morning my Lord went on shore with the Vice-Admiral a-fishing, and at dinner returned.

In the afternoon I played at ninepins with my Lord, and when he went in again I got him to sign my accounts for 115l., and so upon my private balance I find myself confirmed in my estimation that I am worth 100l..

In the evening in my cabin a great while getting the song without book, “Help, help Divinity, &c.”

After supper my Lord called for the lieutenant’s cittern, and with two candlesticks with money in them for symballs, we made barber’s music,1 with which my Lord was well pleased.

So to bed.

28 Annotations

First Reading

Michael L  •  Link

Sam sure is tickled at his personal worth being L100 -- this is at least the third time he's mentioned it this week.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

The cittern is similar to a bouzoukee (a Greek stringed instrument, similar to a mandolin but longer, and with a round rather than a teardrop shape.) Typically, the cittern had ten strings, of which five could be plucked and the other five vibrated sympathetically. Tuning was typically DGDAE (wth the second D just above middle C.)

They migrated to Britain from southern Europe. In Italy, they were called cythara. Citterns are still manufactured, in limited quantities, usually for traditional-style folk musicians.

Mary  •  Link

Sam's delight.

Of course he's thrilled with his new wealth. When he went on board the ship at the end of March he was worth about £20. Now, two months later, he is worth five times that amount. I’d be pretty delighted in similar circumstances.

andy thomas  •  Link

Sam now has another interest - money - to add to his other 3: women, drink and gambling...

Sam P  •  Link

or rather to add to his other 4 : drink , gambling, women & music!

Arbor  •  Link

So is anyone going to tell us what "Help, help Divinity, &c" refers to... what book? Some insight to Pepys and Theology perhaps? Or am is missing something being a new (and confirmed) reader?

Christo  •  Link

'Help, help Divinity,' is the name of a song; 'without book' means 'by heart'.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"Help, help, O help, Divinity of Love"
by Henry Lawes, printed in “The Second Book of Ayres and Dialogues.” London (Playford), 1655. It is entitled “A Storme.” per Wheatley

L&M add the following details: “setting of Henry Hughes’s poem (referring to Henrietta-Maria’s landing in a storm at Bridlington, 1643)

Colin Gravois  •  Link

Sam and his money is a story in itself (his financial situation seems to be an ever recurring concern to him). If his net worth increased three-fold during his two months at sea, it means the total amount of wealth he accumulated during his first 27 years was a paltry £25. Now a few days ago (30 May) he was worth £80, and in less than one week (3 June) it increased 25%, and he didn't record receiving any money, and noted only one session of ninepins, during the intervening days. That's some vigorish! One is curious to find out where the money comes from (or makes one want for an extended naval cruise -- Nixon is said to have paid for Duke Law School with his poker winnings while in the Pacific in WWII!). And then yesterday Montagu signed over to him £115, which is what prompted his second confirmation of his net worth. This is a bit confusing. Can some financial wizard out there parse that out for us.

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

'This is no doubt "the barber's music" with which Lord Sandwich entertained himself’

What? it wasn’t a barbershop quartet? :)


I wonder how =those= got started. Could there be a continuous tradition of making music while awaiting a shave or a haircut?

Dai B  •  Link

The startling tradition whereby those waiting for the barber's attention played the cittern sounds somewhat double-edged...presumably the better the player, the longer they would have to wait for their trim. Could you get in the chair early by mangling a piece?

vincent  •  Link

Barbers quartet 'tis leech time not trim time,not the sideburns that need trimming but the blush of their cheeks:The better they play, better the blood pressure will be:

Laura K  •  Link

sam's various enjoyments

I find it amusing that many people seem to ascribe a leering quality to Sam's pasttimes - wink, wink, he liked gambling and women - as if we've been reading an account of drunken debauchery and whoring.

Sam clearly enjoys playing games and gambling, making and listening to music, and he isn't blind to women. I find it endearing, but I don't read it as the majority of his diary.

He seems such an intelligent, trustworthy, and in many ways serious, person, concerned with his position in the world, his wife, his employer's esteem of him, and not least of course the complicated political scene around him.

It seems to me that some readers exaggerate the gambling and drinking and occasional woman-watching. He's not a Puritan, but he's hardly a wild man.

vincent  •  Link

Sam is truly a Koni-Nor Diamond: so many facets; each one angle a jewel by it self: is a news maker and brilliant exceeds most us single minded beblinkered mob: He is source of information ,insperation, enjoyment of wishful thinking. In one line can elicit and inform each one of us to suit every flavo(u)r that we so desire.

Emilio  •  Link

Sam's accounts

I've been merrily catching up the last few days, and I have a different but related question to ask.

My understanding of his accounting for the last few days has been this: He first decided to look over his accounts a week ago Wed and found he was worth 80l, only double the 40l he had estimated in Jan, but still very good for less than 6 mos. work. Last Sun., after a more detailed study, he found that the number was actually 100l. (And what a strangely appealing image that is, Sam innocently counting his money while everyone else is off listening to a sermon!)

My questions is, why does Sam get Montagu to sign off on his own, personal wealth (and does today's figure of 115l mean that he's gained even more in the last couple days)? Likewise, Montagu is obviously giving some kind of official recognition of Sam's new, wealthier status, but this also seems a bit strange as most of the new money has come from 'gifts' and other such under-the-table sources. Can anyone else clear up the social implications of what's going on?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: £115 vs. £100

Emilio, I think the two amounts are from different sources. If I’m reading the entry correctly, the £115 are possibly state funds that Sam is responsible for (with Montagu’s oversight, hence the sign-off), while the £100 is Sam’s personal wealth.

Like everyone else, I’m charmed that Sam is so proud of crossing the £100 mark -- surely it must have been some benchmark of personal wealth in those times for him to mention it three days in a row.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"we made barber’s music"

If you will now see the pleasantest sight you have seen yet, walk but up these two steps, and you shall see a Jury (or Conspiracy,) of Barber-Surgeons, sitting upon Life and Death. You must think that any Divertisement there was welcome, so that I went up, and found it in Truth a very pleasant Spectacle. These Barbers were most of them Chain'd by the middle; their Hands at Liberty; and every one of them, a Cittern about his Neck; and upon his Knees a Chessboard and still as he reacht to have a Touch at the Cittern, the Instrument Vanisht; and so did the Chess board, when he thought to have a Game at Draughts; which is directly Tantalizing the poor Rogues, for a Cittern is as natural to a Barber, as Milk to a Calf.
---The Visions of Dom Francisco de Quevedo Villegas. 1696.

Buz. My education has been like a gentleman.
Gen. Have you any skill in song or instrument?
Buz. As a gentleman should have; I know all, but play on none: I am no barber.
---Old Fortunatus. Thomas Dekker, about 1590.

Bill  •  Link

The song mentioned by Pepys is entitled 'A Storme' and bears the character of a monologue. Chloris at sea, near the land, is surprised by a storm. Amintor on the shore, expecting her arrival, thus complains:

'Help, help, O help, Divinity of Love,
Or Neptune will commit a rape upon my Cloris,
She's on his bosom,' etc.

The music is of a declamatory character and depicts the situation of the unfortunate Amintor with considerable force.
---Italian and other studies. F. Hueffner, 1883

Dick Wilson  •  Link

So, are we to presume that the fishing was better ashore, than at sea?

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

"So, are we to presume that the fishing was better ashore, than at sea?"

For trout, yes! For fly-fishing, of course, if that was practiced in those days. Of course it could have been an excuse to go ashore for some other reason as there is no mention of bringing fish back to the ship.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I agree -- not all this money belonged to Pepys personally. As Creed isn't sailing on the Naseby, I'm guessing Sam has to handle the fleet's daily petty cash for things like horse warrants. For safety the big bucks are hidden in Montagu's cabin. That's why Pepys had to show Montagu the paperwork, and he signed off on it.

Each Captain also has petty cash for his ship.

The petty cash is used for emergencies: a sick seaman who has to be put ashore and someone hired to tend to him; unanticipated needed supplies; the occasional new mast when the fleet is in the Med. etc.

At the end of the voyage the Captains and Admiral will have to account for it to the Navy Board -- SPOILER that's something Creed has a lot of trouble doing. Maybe that's understandable when you have to make up a King's shortfall.

MartinVT  •  Link

For word nerds: "cittern" derives originally from Greek "kythara", which also gave rise to "guitar" and "zither" (and other early instruments called "citole", "gitterne" and "gittern." In turn, "kythara" may have derived from Persian "sihtar", from which Hindu "sitar" is derived. Quite a swath of stringed instruments with related names.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"we made barber’s music"

From the 16th until the 18th century the cittern was a common English barber shop instrument, kept in waiting areas for customers to entertain themselves and others with, and popular sheet music for the instrument was published to that end.[3] The top of the pegbox was often decorated with a small carved head, perhaps not always of great artistic merit; in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, the term "cittern-head" is used as an insult:[4][5]

HOLOFERNES: What is this?
BOYET: A cittern-head.
DUMAIN: The head of a bodkin.
BIRON: A Death's face in a ring.


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Today the new Lord High Admiral, James, Duke of York tackles one of the problems created by the fast (for those days) change in power:

The restoration of the monarch was an astonishingly rapid development, one which could hardly have been foreseen until just before it took place. Inevitably this led to confusion, especially in outlying parts of the country, and left opportunities for the unscrupulous to take advantage of the situation before certainty returned.

An example happened at Swansea in May 1660:
On 9 March, 1660, a 30-ton vessel came to an anchor in Mumbles Road. She was the Royalist privateer Henrietta Maria, commanded by Capt. George Dowdall, sailing under a commission issued by James, Duke of York at Brussels in the previous July.
Capt. Dowdall was unaware that Charles II had been proclaimed in London on the previous day, and proceeded to capture several ships in Swansea Bay.

Complainants hastened to Cardiff to demand action from Col. Edward Freeman, governor of the castle and one of the commissioners of militia for Glamorgan. Freeman immediately dispatched soldiers to the Mumbles, and followed them the next day.

Gov. Freeman informed Capt. Dowdall of the developments in London, ‘telling him he daily expecteth his Majesty’s arrival, at which the said captain was very glad’; Dowdall immediately agreed to restore the prizes he had taken, and not to attack any more shipping.

Gov. Freeman then proclaimed Charles II the King aboard the Henrietta Maria, at which ‘Captain Dowdall caused divers guns to be fired and he and all his soldiers [sic] uttered many expressions of joy’.
Capt. Dowdall and his crew kept their peaceful word.

This changed on March 15, 1660, when the frigate Lichfield sailed into Mumbles Road. She was a different proposition to the relatively small Henrietta Maria – a Fifth Rate frigate of 24 guns.
Her captain, William Barker, gave the order to open fire, and the Henrietta Maria cut her anchor cable and sailed for the mouth of the River Tawe. The Lichfield pursued her, firing all the time.
The Henrietta Maria anchored at Swansea Quay, but the Lichfield followed. The Henrietta Maria now cut her other anchor cable and sailed even further upstream, where the Lichfield could not follow.
The Henrietta Maria sailed ‘above the town’, but then ‘stuck at the Point’ and could go no further.

Capt. Barker sent some 40 to 60 men ashore, armed with cutlasses and muskets. They boarded the Henrietta Maria, stripped the crew (beating some of them), broke open chests and boxes, and pillaged the money, most of it takings from the prizes the Royalists had taken – perhaps £500, according to one source, £300 of which (another source says £360, yet another £380) was in Capt. Dowdall’s sea chest, together with some £80 worth of other goods plundered from prizes, including canvas, fine linen, tobacco, clothes, arms and ammunition.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Capt. Dowdall and Capt. Barker had a frosty encounter at the adjacent house of William Jones, the mayor of Swansea.
Dowdall stated that he sailed with the Duke of York’s commission, and ‘hoped that he [Barker] was not an enemy, saying he was a servant of His Majesty’s’.
Capt. Barker replied stiffly ‘that the King had no need of such servants’ and told Capt. Dowdall he was sending the Henrietta Maria to Plymouth as a prize, which is what he duly did.

The affair at Swansea was one of the first things that crossed James' desk during his earliest days in office as Lord High Admiral, following their entry on 29 May, 1660;

On 5 June, 1660 James ordered Capt. Dowdall to ensure the contents of the Henrietta Maria were not embezzled (wishful thinking, as the ship had obviously been cleared out at Swansea) and placed into safe custody.

What ultimately happened to the Henrietta Maria and the money she had been carrying would require further work in the papers of the High Court of Admiralty, but Capt. Barker never held a command in the Restoration navy.

There is no further record of Capt. Dowdall either; he was probably an Irishman (a George Dowdall had been Archbishop of Armagh), and one of the volunteers aboard was ‘Capt. Owen Sullivan’ of Munster, ‘gentleman’.

The engagement between the Lichfield and the Henrietta Maria in Swansea Bay has a claim to be the last ‘battle’ of the British Civil Wars, and certainly deserves a footnote in the naval history of Wales.

For the original article by Welsh historian J.D. Davies, see

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