Sunday 23 September 1660

(Lord’s day). My wife got up to put on her mourning to-day and to go to Church this morning. I up and set down my journall for these 5 days past. This morning came one from my father’s with a black cloth coat, made of my short cloak, to walk up and down in. To church my wife and I, with Sir W. Batten, where we heard of Mr. Mills a very good sermon upon these words, “So run that ye may obtain.”

After dinner all alone to Westminster. At Whitehall I met with Mr. Pierce and his wife (she newly come forth after childbirth) both in mourning for the Duke of Gloucester. She went with Mr. Child to Whitehall chapel and Mr. Pierce with me to the Abbey, where I expected to hear Mr. Baxter or Mr. Rowe preach their farewell sermon, and in Mr. Symons’s pew I sat and heard Mr. Rowe. Before sermon I laughed at the reader, who in his prayer desires of God that He would imprint his word on the thumbs of our right hands and on the right great toes of our right feet. In the midst of the sermon some plaster fell from the top of the Abbey, that made me and all the rest in our pew afeard, and I wished myself out.

After sermon with Mr. Pierce to Whitehall, and from thence to my Lord, but Diana did not come according to our agreement. So calling at my father’s (where my wife had been this afternoon but was gone home) I went home.

This afternoon, the King having news of the Princess being come to Margate, he and the Duke of York went down thither in barges to her.

34 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Miller  •  Link

"some plaster fell from the top of the Abbey, that made me and all the rest in our pew afeard, and I wished myself out".
That, Samuel, was for laughing at the reader!

roberto  •  Link

“some plaster fell from the top of the Abbey,...."
Methinks that it might have been for the planned assignation with Diana!!

john lauer  •  Link

"...plaster fell..."
No, his worst sin was being 5 days behind in his writing!

Paul Brewster  •  Link

So run that ye may obtain.
per L&M: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1 Corinthian 9:24

Paul Brewster  •  Link

where I expected to hear Mr. Baxter or Mr. Rowe their farewell sermon in the abbey
L&M leave out the word "preach".

Paul Brewster  •  Link

imprint his word on the thumbs of our right hands and on the right great toes of our right feet
L&M point (careful to use the right digit) to the following:
Exodus 29:20
Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.

Leviticus 8:23
And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot.

Leviticus 14:14
And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Mr. Baxter or Mr. Rowe
L&M Note: "Since 1650 an Independent congregation had met in the Abbey, John Rowe being its second minister after 1654. It now moved first to Smithfield and then to Holborn. ... Richard Baxter, leader of the moderate Puritans, had never been a pastor of this church, but had used its pulpit."

J A Gioia  •  Link

some plaster fell from the top of the Abbey

nay brethren, i say it is for his gross gluttony and o'erweening pride in his costume.

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

For me, it is interesting to see, here in the very heart of the Church of England,and with the Restoration in full swing, a puritan-type clerk still getting away with puritan-type extemporary (and heavily scripture-based, as one poster has pointed out) prayer instead of the set petitions (also Scriptural but perhaps less comical) of the BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.

Interesting that, though five days behind in his writing, Samuel still put in the more embarrassing facts such as "vomiting up his breakfast." When something like that happens to me, I might e-mail it to a friend on the very day, but afterwards, would prefer to forget all about it!

Roger Arbor  •  Link

Mmmm.. interesting, yes. But the Puritan 'party' never really died out at all you know... they are still about and still recognisable. Nothing really changes, we just go around in circles!

Glyn  •  Link

I'm with M Stolzenbach in that I'd write things in my diary to make myself look good - or at least put myself in the best possible light. But for all his many faults, Pepys has one strong virtue in that he is completely honest when writing his Diary even when it makes him look bad.

But what does he use his Diary FOR? It isn't to record his innermost feelings and beliefs in any great depth - we don't get his reactions to a beautiful sunset, thoughts about his ill mother, or his own political beliefs. Is it just an accurate record of each day, but no better (or worse) than that?

Nix  •  Link

Perhaps Samuel is simply not a "deep thinker" --

We get his thoughts about beautiful women, about money (particularly his insecurities), about his enthusiasms, and about people in general. Perhaps those are the things that matter to him. Besides, how many beautiful sunsets was he likely to see in crowded, dirty, smoky, rainy 17th Century London? (My regional bias is showing.)

One wonderful thing about this series of entries is his honesty, even when he is writing from four-day-old notes.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

He hasn't talked about his music as of late and I wonder why!...

vincent  •  Link

"In the midst of the sermon some plaster fell from the top of the Abbey, that made me and all the rest in our pew afeard, and I wished myself out." I wonder why? a small tremor maybe, I remember being in England feeling a 2.5 approx, and most people did not react. Living In California I am sensitive to such small shakes because the next one may be a 6 to7 or the big one .

Second Reading

eileen d.  •  Link

this seems like quite the apt quote for our up-and-coming young wonder he liked it!
1 Corinthians 9:24
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” King James Version (KJV)

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Diana did not come according to our agreement."

Is she trying to tell you something, Pepys, or did her parents keep her at home?
This liaison really isn't a good idea. She may be willing, but Sandwich will be home in a couple of days, and you have nowhere to take her. Plus you know her family ... this could turn out to be very nasty.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Compare Pepys' practical concern for his safety and the safety of the people near him in the Abbey, compared to Rev. Ralph's reaction to his wood pile falling down.…

No mention of this being a sign from God, in need of interpretation. So clearly Pepys mentally wasn't a Presbyterian now.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"For me, it is interesting to see, here in the very heart of the Church of England, and with the Restoration in full swing, a puritan-type clerk still getting away with puritan-type extemporary (and heavily scripture-based, as one poster has pointed out) prayer instead of the set petitions (also Scriptural but perhaps less comical) of the BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER."

John Rowe, Westminster Abbey's second minister after 1654 and Richard Baxter, leader of the moderate Puritans and a guest preacher of great renown, must have been informed of the name(s) of their replacement(s), and were moving along.
Parliament is getting ready to do that across the nation.

No one was really happy with the old Book of Common Prayer, so Rowe not using it isn't really surprising. But I'm sure it will be used next Sunday by the incoming regime.

[On a practical note, since the Book of Common Prayer had been banned in 1642, there was probably a shortage of them. Many had probably been destroyed.]

Richard Baxter was all about ecumenism. He would have fit in perfectly in the 1960's.
'When preaching before Parliament on April 30, 1660, Richard Baxter had asserted that “it was easy for moderate men to come to a fair agreement, that the late Reverend Primate of Ireland (Usher) and myself had agreed in a half an hour,” and that “he and many with him made no exception to the doctrines of the Prayer Book.”
'Since in England, episcopacy could be had without error or superstition, Baxter had no sympathy with the extreme Presbyterian who clamored for its “utter extirpation”.

'It was shortly after this that Richard Baxter was offered a bishopric, which he refused, not because he objected to the office, but because he felt that by so doing he would be in a more disinterested position in his efforts to persuade other members of his party to submit to episcopal government. He was appointed a Royal Chaplain and preached before Charles II.'

So Baxter was far from an extremist or radical.


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

not "soilers" ... SPOILERS!
Funny how you see what you want to see, until it's in print -- and there it is.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... the King having news of the Princess being come to Margate, he and the Duke of York went down thither in barges to her."

I blew up American Google asking how far is was from Whitehall Steps to Margate, Kent by boat. The best it could do is the Tower of London to Margate by car via the M-2 -- 77.5 miles.

But I'd say this was at least a 8 hour row/sail, and considerably more if it was against the tide and/or wind. And it has been windy recently.
[English bargemen were not mistreated the way French ones were. No doubt Louis XIV would have been there first if it was a race.]

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

We slipped ol' Google, our learned but dissolute Books-Seller, a bottle of sack or two and got him to produce maps of England's 17C road network, which were hidden at http://hoydensandfirebrands.blogs… (a late-century version that unfortunately cuts off a bit west of Margate) and more usefully in a remarkably detailed study by Max Satchell at….

It emerges that the M2 is indeed a good approximation of the road on which the king is presently rushing to Margate, at least as far as the fork it will make onto the A299, which in future ages will afford a direct stroll to that port, but would seem to be empty marsh-land as of 1660. Instead, for Margate change at Ramsgate and trudge north along the coast, or catch a hoy. On Google Earth it looks to be a good 120 km from London, not the 77 km of the modern road atlas. So Margate seems a fairly inconvenient place to land. It is so insignificant (at this time, 1660) as to get zero mention in our current volume of the State Papers, but as we reported yesterday the Resolution has been struggling with sandbanks and the wind and couldn't be finicky. Margate is about 20 km south of the Kentish Knock, the sands where the ship was stuck yesterday. There must have been a good reason not to continue south to Ramsgate or Dover.

Anyway. It looks like the king and duke are really legging it, because Capt. Teddiman's journal (still at…) notes that the ship anchored off Margate at 12 noon. Time for the message to be passed to London by some especially fast post-rider, and for the royal party to quickly make some sandwiches and pile into the Bentley, and they're off!

If we may be so bold as to consult our Astrologer and look ahead to tomorrow's reports, Teddiman will record that the king will reach the Resolution and the princess of Orange at 6 pm, the ship having moved a couple of miles west to a better anchorage. So that's a 24-hour journey, no doubt with a break in some comfy inn or château, perhaps in Canterbury, but on roads that the recent weather must have made quite foul, and not without the king's entourage of "divers noblemen", as Teddiman puts it; not all of them, perhaps, as used to rough travel as Charles and James are.

Meanwhile, our friend John Evelyn, usually quite on top of things, has fallen into a time-warp. He writes today, "23rd September 1660: In the midst of all this joy and jubilee [surrounding the Spanish ambassador's entry on the 17th] the Duke of Gloucester died of the smallpox". That, of course, was 10 days previously, and Glou is now buried and turned into a fashion symbol. In fact Mercurius Politicus notes that the king went a-hunting yesterday, killed a stag and had a great day, so mourning's over in those quarters. And he must've have gone with deer sandwiches.

Kentish Karen  •  Link

Margate is indeed about 80 miles from London. The roads back then were unreliable, though fairly direct (today's A2 runs more or less along the old Roman road to London). Most people would have come to Margate by boat, and it remained a popular means of travel throughout the Victorian era (quicker & cheaper than by coach & horses). Steamships first started running a regular London to Margate route in 1815 and guaranteed the journey would take a comparatively speedy 8 hours! So in Pepys's time and by sail it would have taken longer than that - and if the winds were against you (or if there was no wind at all) it must have seemed like days. Today it's quite blustery & while the washing is drying nicely in the garden, it's choppy out to sea!

Alison ONeill  •  Link

Dear Stephane Chenard,
Thanks for your informative post. Isn't Evelyn's discrepancy in the date likely to be due to the difference in the two calendars?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Stephane -- Pepys tells us they went by barge to Margate, which would probably have been a difficult river/sea voyage. They used shallow barges on the River Thames when they needed access to the banks and inlets.
(Think of the beautiful barges we saw at the Queen's Jubilee with rowers and a capony covered seating area at the back, which is over a cabin in case of "inclement weather".)

We have a page for the Kentish Knock.…

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

On especially windy days in Kent, parallel realities from the multiverse are sometimes visible side by side. On this afternoon, as king Charles and James, duke of York recline in the canopied coziness of their royal Barge, they observe through their spyglasses the curious Spectacle of a gilded coach-and-six stuck in the mire of the far London road. How these tiny, bespattered figures curse and struggle to pry it out of the deep rut!

James, whose spyglass is a bit out of focus, mocks and pities the fools who chose the barbarous road when the Thames offers such an obviously more direct way to Margate. He quaffs another deer canapé. But the king thinks to recognize himself, and the royal arms on the coach, and already knows enough of Alchemy. Some powerful wizard - probably French, those being worst - will have steered him, in that alternate World, to this disastrous choice, against all good Advice (such as Mr. Pepys, for instance, dispenses to those who care to pay attention).

Charles crosses himself, and the vision dissolves. The barge continues on its excruciatingly slow but safe journey, past the Isle of Sheppey.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

And is John Evelyn experimenting with the New Style calendar? We did ponder it, but his other entries are consistently old-style. For instance he dates the Spanish ambassador's entry to the 17th, and soon will report on the trials and dispatch of regicides, giving dates that are a bit fuzzy but clearly not New Style. Time warps do happen on especially windy days in Deptford, and maybe Sam's not the only one who cannot write his diary in real time.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Stephane, we know that Evelyn either wrote his Diaries from contemporary notes, or edited his entries in his old age. I've found quite a few times he has the wrong date on his entries. This slip from OS to NS is unique so far as I know, but he had many friends abroad so maybe he had just written a letter to someone in France, or something? We will never know.
I think we have to allow for a little mental confusion.

Peter Johnson  •  Link

Barges - the word covers a variety of vessels.

"Pepys tells us they went by barge to Margate, which would probably have been a difficult river/sea voyage. They used shallow barges on the River Thames when they needed access to the banks and inlets.
(Think of the beautiful barges we saw at the Queen's Jubilee with rowers and a capony covered seating area at the back, which is over a cabin in case of "inclement weather".)"

Before our imaginations get too fixed, may I say that they wouldn't have taken a State or ceremonial barge, rowed with oars, for the trip to Margate and back, which was on the main route for London traffic down the Estuary, using the tide and whatever weather there was, and of no particular difficulty in normal circumstances.

The Palace must have had a flotilla of vessels of various shapes and sizes for all its needs, and I envisage something like an early version of the traditional Thames sailing barge, flat-bottomed with lee-boards rather than a keel, commodious, doubtless made reasonably comfortable for Himself. These were the regional workhorses for the movement of bulk goods - grain, coal, gravel - over the following 300 years, evolved for the shores and inlets of the Estuary and the Sussex and Essex coasts, and a few still working into the 1950s. They abound in photos of the Victorian Thames, and a handful still sail, I think, as private or heritage craft. A great sight under full canvas and traditionally crewed by two men and a boy.

I fondly remember a jolly party aboard one at Maldon in the early '60s..... Ah, nostalgia....

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Vincent's suggestion the falling plaster was caused by an earthquake is possible.

In Sept. 1660 a Baptist minister, Henry Jessey (1603-1663) printed a pamphlet addressed to Charles II, warning him of the bad omens which had recently occurred -- including an earthquake in France. All those sinful toasts and plays were causing God's wrath.


To all, or any of such as love Jesus Christ in Sincerity.
A RELATION OF THE Lords wonderful works of late by an Earthquake, Lightning and by Toads; and by smiting of divers with sudden death, upon Health-drinking, Stage-play, &c.
Of the Lord’s hand at Oxford, by sudden death of several persons, Actors in Play against Puritans; and others.
Of the sudden dreadful Death of the Clerk’s Daughter at in Gloucestershire, the third, just a week before Whitsunday, 1660.
Of the great number of 〈◊〉 in Gloucestershire, 〈◊〉 Midsummer day, 1660.
Of the Earthquake in France, on Munday, June 1660. Part of a Letter to a Merchant in London, dated at Bourdeaux in France, at his house there, June 14/4 1660. Translated from French into English, for H. J.
Others write, that at Toulouse, and some other places in France, was the same Earthquake.
Of the strange Whirlwind on June 2. 1660. in Leicestershire, 〈◊〉 be effects thereof.
A RELATION Of the Imprisonings, Plunderings, and Barbarous Inhumanity and Cruelty, that hath lately been practiced towards several Ministers of the Gospel, and other peaceable people, in WALES, Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire, and other places: Especially since the Late Remnant of the Long Parliament, by their Outing of many, prepared a COFFIN for themselves and others.
With the USES to be made thereof by the Sufferers, and by others.
Part of a Letter from Mr. Tho. Guyn, with Mr. Jenkin Jones, the 29th. of the fourth Month, June 1660.
The Gross Abuses to many Good 〈◊〉 People in Lincolnshire, here follow, 〈◊〉 they were 〈◊〉 in their NARRATIVE or Complaint thereof to the KING near the end of July 1660. Testified under many of their 〈◊〉. Part of a NARRATIVE and Complaint, that by the help of an Honorable Parliament man was presented to the King. the 26th. of the fifth Month, July 1660. With the Kings Answer thereunto.
The substance of the King’s Answer to the Messengers that were sent with this Narration and Petition (upon the presenting it before him, and giving him the Contents of it, with the delivering the Confession of their Faith, into his own hand) was this.
From Gloucestershire, writ April 3. 1660. Part of the First letter.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


From Gloucestershire April 19, 1660. Part of a second Letter.
Part of a third Letter from Gloucestershire 18 of the second Month, 1660.
Another Letter from Gloucestershire, from the house of a godly strict Presbyterian, it was written.
Part of another Letter from that County, the 28th. of the second Month. April 1660.
A true Declaration of the uncivil speeches and carriages of Mr. I. D. Son of Mr. I. D. of B. in the County of Gloucester, against Edward Fletcher, Minister of the〈◊〉place, in the〈◊〉of my〈◊〉and one Mr. R. E. of the same Parish; 〈◊〉 was as followeth.
Part of a Letter from the North, to another Friend.
From Redding Prison, July 16. 1660. Where divers peaceable people were put, having Oaths put upon them, which they were not satisfied to take: Of the LORD’S Instructing, and comforting them, and their Relations.
A letter writ at Newport in WALES, 12 July, 1660, of Rude Proceeds there.
OXFORD PROCEEDS, 1660. The Great Alterations lately made by King’s Commissioners there, in Discharging the Vice-chancellor, and many Heads of Colleges, Beadles, Fellows, &c. are related in several thence, here .
Part of another Letter from another College in Oxford, relatos , in several Fellows, and in the way of God's Worship; That freedom that had been used and allowed of late years, not pleasing these now.
A Letter touching a Cooper’s acts, and end at Waltham near Theobalds.
Of Healths drinking, and Heaven’s doom thereon;
Part of a Letter from Mr. Ab. Ramsbotham.

HEALTHS-SICKNESS: OR, A Compendious and Discourse, proving the drinking and pledging of Healths to be sinful, and utterly unlawful unto Christians; By Arguments, Scriptures, Fathers, Modern Divines, Christian Authors, Historians, Councils, Imperial Laws and Constitutions; and by the voice and verdict of prophane and heathen Writers; Wherein all those Ordinary Objections, Excuses, and Pretenses, which are made to justify, extenuate or excuse the drinking of HEALTHS, are likewise cleared and answered.
To the Most High and Mighty Prince Charles, By the Grace of God King of Great Britain, &c.
After his Epistle to the Reader, of the causes of that odious sin of Drunkenness, beginning his Book, he urgeth many solid Arguments against Drinking of Healths, which are worthy to be Reprinted. The brief sum whereof followeth.
First Argument against these healths.
Part of the KING'S first PROCLAMATION, May 30. 1660.
Also the next PROCLAMATION, June 1.
The Relation of the Death of above 20 or 30.

The entire text with original spelling at…


San Diego Sarah  •  Link


September 1660 also saw the appearance of several titles which contained detailed denials of Henry Jessey's assertions.

This criticism did not go unanswered. The government in October issued a royal proclamation banning the publication of all unlicensed 'almanacs and prognostications', but despite government efforts to suppress or discredit these stories, the campaign continued into 1661 and 1662, with the appearance of the Annus Mirabilis tracts.

Henry Jessey was also an active millenarian, with a scholarly knowledge of Jewish tradition and the Hebrew language. He was a member of the Comenius Circle, along with John Wilkins D.D., John Dury, Samuel Hartlib, Robert Boyle, J. Eliot, W. Bedell and Seth Ward D.D., all of whom were interested in developing a universal language based on Hebrew, and influenced Cromwell to allow Jews to return to England.…

Like many millenarians of that time, the Fifth Monarchists saw themselves as Saints, the preordained elect and chosen ones. They saw it as their calling to prepare the way for King Christ and the New Jerusalem.
The following list comprised their requirements:
legal reform,
purging the clergy,
abolishing tithes,
imposing puritanical morality and
reducing taxes.

Sound familiar?

Some of the Fifth Monarchists, like Major-Gen. Harrison, even offered to serve without pay if it lowered taxes, and even then, the courts were clogged with meaningless lawsuits.

Just because Pepys doesn't report reading these pamphlets, we need to know that not everyone was joyful about the Restoration. Some people were terrified that God was going to punish England with awe-ful retrobutions.

SPOILER: They were not disappointed.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A picture of the Thames barges, traditionally with red sails, I think Peter Johnson refers to is at…).

It must have been glorious to see a river full of them.

HOWEVER, I don't think that would make it under old London Bridge.

About a quarter of the way through the Wiki article they have a HISTORY heading:
"The precursor to the square spritsail barge was the London lighter or dumb-barge. They flitted up and down the river delivering cargo, using the incoming tide to send them up river, and the ebbing tide for the return journey. They were manoeuvered by a pair of bargemen using long sweeps (oars).
"These barges had a flat box like bow (swim-headed) and a near flat stern, or a square sloping stern (budgett stern). There is a print in the Guildhall Library dating from 1764, showing a 1697 built, round bowed barge with a spritsail rig – but with no mizzen. [BUT IT ISN'T REPRODUCED HERE.]

"The spritsail and the leeboards are both of Dutch origin and can be traced back to 1416 and can be seen on the London River by 1600."

Of course the Dutch did it first. Maybe they had two fleets of these barges, on either side of the bridge?

Peter Johnson  •  Link

We shouldn't steer too far off course on this site, so I'll just say that the 19th/20th century craft could drop their masts to navigate bridges, having a pivot and counter-weight, though I entirely agree Old London Bridge could have been one too far. But shooting any bridge would have been challenging - imagine several hundred tons being propelled by wind and water, and two men and a boy having to get the massive masts down and then back up, while keeping enough steerage way on her.

Some sailed far from their home waters, and were at Dunkirk in 1940. There's lots on the web about them and a wide literature - a useful small paperback in the 'Shire' series is "Sailing Barges" by M Hazell, and Bob Roberts "Coasting Bargemaster" gives a good insight. He's also recorded a number of sailing songs and shanties which I think our SP would have enjoyed. I wonder if there are any shanties in SP's collections of ballads.

End of diversion.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.