Tuesday 25 September 1660

To the office, where Sir W. Batten, Colonel Slingsby, and I sat awhile, and Sir R. Ford coming to us about some business, we talked together of the interest of this kingdom to have a peace with Spain and a war with France and Holland; where Sir R. Ford talked like a man of great reason and experience. And afterwards I did send for a cup of tee (a China drink) of which I never had drank before, and went away.

Then came Col. Birch and Sir R. Browne by a former appointment, and with them from Tower wharf in the barge belonging to our office we went to Deptford to pay off the ship Success, which (Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Pen coming afterwards to us) we did, Col. Birch being a mighty busy man and one that is the most indefatigable and forward to make himself work of any man that ever I knew in my life. At the Globe we had a very good dinner, and after that to the pay again, which being finished we returned by water again, and I from our office with Col. Slingsby by coach to Westminster (I setting him down at his lodgings by the way) to inquire for my Lord’s coming thither (the King and the Princess1 coming up the river this afternoon as we were at our pay), and I found him gone to Mr. Crew’s, where I found him well, only had got some corns upon his foot which was not well yet. My Lord told me how the ship that brought the Princess and him (The Tredagh) did knock six times upon the Kentish Knock, which put them in great fear for the ship; but got off well. He told me also how the King had knighted Vice-Admiral Lawson and Sir Richard Stayner. From him late and by coach home, where the plasterers being at work in all the rooms in my house, my wife was fain to make a bed upon the ground for her and me, and so there we lay all night.

55 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Miller  •  Link

"did knock six times upon the Kentish Knock"
The Battle of Kentish Knock took place
26th September 1652 in the mouth of the Thames, near the Kentish Knock sandbank. Dutch fleet of about seventy ships under De Witt defeated by British fleet of about the same size under Blake. The Dutch picked the fight as retaliation for a British attack made shortly before on the Dutch herring fleet which was poaching in British waters.

Eric Walla  •  Link

Oh oh, the tee craze has begun ...

As a confirmed tea drinker, but American, I wasn't aware of the history behind the introduction into England. But Stash lends its aid:


Should've known--tea and Restoration go together.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

only, had got some brush upon his foot which was not well yet.
L&M substitute "brush" for "corns". They should be distunguishable from the shorthand. I suspect that Wheatley didn't understand a "brush upon his foot" and substituted a known ailment of the foot.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

for her and I
Wheatley does seem obsessed with correcting SP's grammar.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

how the King hath knighted Vice-Admirall Lawson and Sir Rich. Stayner
L&M say that this was done on the 24th. They go on to say that "Stayner had previously been knighted by Cromwell in 1657."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

And afterwards did send for a Cupp of Tee (a China drink) of which I never had drank before) and went away
L&M reproduce this well-known passage as above leaving out the first "I". They note that the unbalanced parentheses are Pepys's own. The footnote goes on to say that the Tee was "imported via Holland from c. 1658, but cost c. £2 per lb.”

Paul Brewster  •  Link

to have a peace with Spain and a war with France and Holland - where Sir R. Ford talked like a man of great reason and experience
In the interest of "full disclosure", L&M add the following footnote: "This new policy satisfied the major mercantile interests. Ford was one of the greatest of the merchants trading with Spain."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

to pay off the ship Successe
L&M Footnote: The "Old Success" in harbour since November 1658 and now paid off at a cost of £3228. … Col. John Birch and Sir Richard Browne were two of the parliamentary commissioners appointed to disband the forces.

helena murphy  •  Link

Ale would have been the national beverage in England at this time, but when Catherine of Braganza, the future wife of Charles II, arrived in Portsmouth on May 13th 1662 she asked for a cup of tea , thus popularising it immensely. She would probably have been familiar with Indian tea as Bombay had been a Portuguese possession but now formed part of her dowry to Charles.She also brought him Tangiers on the Mediterranean and two million crowns.Incidentally she was escorted to England by Lord Sandwich on board the Royal Charles.

Grahamt  •  Link

India tea:
I understand that the tea plant was introduced to India at the end of the 17th century and China had a monopoly on it before then.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

Isn't it wonderful to be lifting a cup of tea to ones lips [in a bone china cup of course] as Samuel 'loads' on my machine. I nearly dropped it... wonder what he made of it?

helena murphy  •  Link

Thank you Graham for your comment. I look forward to taking up the matter tomorrow with those who probably know best,namely my friends from India and China and I can guarantee you a very lively discussion. In matters such as this, in spite of our knowledge native sources can be invaluable

mattatt  •  Link

"at The Globe" - I wonder if this the by-then closed Globe Theatre? Prolly not - such names are much re-used in the UK :-)

David Cooper  •  Link

Tea first came to Europe about 1559 from Japan to Holland. The first English record of tea was as late as 1657. Imported tea came primarily from China until the development of Assam in the eighteenth century. See "Green Gold" by Alan Macfarlane and Iris Macfarlane.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"and I from our office with Col. Slingsby by coach to Westminster"

I keep waiting for the appearance of Violet, Guy and Lionel. On another topic, for an excellent supply of tea, try the Pelikan in Zutphen.

Chris Wedgwood  •  Link

So what is "a brush upon his foot"?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Chinese Tea" Macau was a portuguese colony at the time also. Incidently those 2 million crowns came from the Gold mines in Brazil and probably the Gold coast of Africa; no wonder when recently a statue of Catarina de Braganza was to be erected at the Borough of Queens in New York (named after her)it was scuttled because of the objection of the Black people;it is in storage now.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Here's some possible entries from the OED:
Brush, n [3]
3. ? A slight attack of illness. (Cf. brash.)
1733 Swift's Corr. ... [Dr. Sheridan] hope nothing ails her but a brush.

Brush, n[2]
9. A graze, esp. on a horse's leg. [see below] 1710 Lond. Gaz. ... A Grey Gelding having a Brush in the right Hip.

brush, v [2]
6. To injure or hurt by grazing; said esp. of a horse grazing his fetlock with the shoe or hoof of the fellow foot. Also absol.
1691 Lond. Gaz. ... A grey Gelding about 15 hands his Knees brush'd. 1868 Bp. Fraser in Life ... I hope he [a horse] does not "cut" or "brush" in his action. 1886 Sat. Rev. … Such severe and unnecessary pain, as the horse [inflicts] by hitting or brushing himself behind.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

I also happened to be drinking a cup of tea (my 'morning draft') as I read this. Cheers.

Glyn  •  Link

Ladies and gentlemen - this is an historic occasion: the precise moment when an English adult drank his first cup of tea - frankly I'm a little touched by it. In importance, it ranks right up there with the day when some prehistoric traders landed their boats in Scotland and said to the natives "We've got this brown-coloured drink - we call it 'whisky' maybe you Scots will get a taste for it?"

But at this time, the English didn't really know how to serve tea. It was brewed up in big barrels and allowed to cool down, then drawn off (like beer) and warmed up - which sounds vile.

Just out of interest, does anyone know how many tons of the stuff we drink nowadays and the average consumption? All I know is that we still drink much more tea than coffee.

J A Gioia  •  Link


maybe sandwich bruised his foot during the trouble on the kentish knocks.

Nix  •  Link

The Globe --

From context, most likely a tavern in Deptford. A fitting name for a seaport tavern.

Nix  •  Link

"brush" vs. "corns" --

OED gives as one (very obscure) usage of brush:

"3. ? A slight attack of illness. (Cf. BRASH.)

"1733 Swift's Corr. II. 717, I [Dr. Sheridan] hope nothing ails her but a brush."

Nix  •  Link

The Kentish Knock --

In 1660 would they initial "k" of "Knock" have been vocalized?

Glyn  •  Link

The Tredagh

This is another Irish name for Drogheda (the site of Cromwell's infamous alleged massacre), so I wonder if it was named after that particular battle. Here are some recent Irish discussions about that event:


Are those builders Ever going to finish their work - the dust must be getting everywhere.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

The History of Tea in England... or why England became a global power on the back of a 'drink made with dried leaves in boiling water' (Douglas Adams)... Very much worth a visit:


Paul Brewster  •  Link

The Tredagh
per Wheatley "'The Tredagh', a third-rate of fifty guns, had its name changed to 'Resolution'".

Glyn  •  Link

We often say something is "second rate" or "third rate" with the meaning that it is quite poor or substandard. In fact a second-rate or even third-rate ship was pretty dam powerful.

Re Nix's query - I know the K of Knight was definitely pronounced in Chaucers day, 300 years earlier, as in his "Knight's Tale" and am fairly sure it would have been pronounced in Pepys day in the North of England (Northumbria etc). But in London?

tamara  •  Link

re how to make tea:

I wonder if the cooled down tea was made strong on purpose and then served by diluting with boiling water? this is essentially the Russian method of making tea (and it isn't nasty at all): make a small pot of extremely strong tea which sits on top of the samovar all day. Pour a little in your glass (in a posh silver holder if you're lucky) and dilute it with hot water from the samovar. doesn't lend itself to tea-with-milk though.

Ernst Dinkla  •  Link

"did knock six times upon the Kentish Knock"

“Witte Corneliszoon de With” (called Dubbelwit = DoubleWhite) should be the name of the Dutch commander of that fleet. My source (Elsevier Winkler Prins) says 8 october 1652 at Duins, near the Flemish coast. Blake as the opponent and De With was defeated there.

So not related to the De Witt’s.
The brothers De Witt were the Dutch political leaders of that period.
They supported the fleet to protect the Dutch trade but also to get the power in their struggle with the House of Oranje that relied more on the army. One of the De Witt’s was aboard a vessel when De Ruyter cracked the chain at Chatham in 1667.

language hat  •  Link

"those who probably know best,namely my friends from India and China":
Helena, I'm afraid historians (from any land) are the ones who "know best"; inhabitants of a country are likely to believe all sorts of nonsense about its history (usually, of course, nonsense that favors their own country).

Glyn: Surely the Scots brought the fine art of distillation with them when they came over from Ireland 1,500 years ago, and it was they who introduced the traders to the seductive tipple.

Phil  •  Link

Regarding all the tea links and info... that's what the tea Background Info page is for. Or we'll be saying the same things with every cup Sam drinks!
Sorry to nag.

Jean Spencer  •  Link

For no reason, I prefer to think it was the Globe theatre, where they went for dinner and a PLAY, not pay.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Sadly, Jean, it can't have been. It was burned down in 1613, rebuilt in 1614, and was destroyed by the Puritans in 1644, although a working reconstruction opened in 1997.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

'Twas the newly named Resolution named at best guess for the infamous battle of the Boyne, living on in the memories of many."...My Lord told me how the ship that brought the Princess and him (The Tredagh) did knock six times upon the Kentish Knock,2..."
see the Notes by Paul Brewster.

Daniel Baker  •  Link

Am I correct in thinking that coffee would have been the most popular hot drink in England at this time?

Mary  •  Link

At this date tea, coffee and chocolate were luxury drinks, expensive beverages not available to the general population. For hot drinks in cold weather people were more likely to have resorted to mulled or buttered ale or possibly mulled wine for those with a little more cash to spend. For the sickly or those in need of a real pick-me-up a posset or caudle would have been available.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

BRUSH. [brosse, Fr. from bruscus, Lat.]
1. An instrument for rubbing. Stillingfleet.
2. A rude assault; a shock. Clarendon.
To BRUSH. [from the noun]
2. To strike with quickness. Spenser, Pope.
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

5 The "Mercurius Politicus" of September 30th, 1658, sets forth: "That excellent and by all Physicians, approved, China drink, called by the Chineans Tcha, by other nations Tay alias Tee, is sold at the Sultancss Head Coffee-House, in Sweetings Rents, by the Royal Exchange, London." "Coffee, chocolate, and a kind of drink called tee, sold in almost every street in 1659."—Rugge's Diurnal. It is stated in " Boyne's Trade Tokens," ed. Williamson, vol. i., 1889, p. 593, "that the word tea occurs on no other tokens than those issued from 'the Great Turk' (Morat y" Great) coffeehouse in Exchange Alley. The Dutch East India Company introduced tea into Europe in 1610, and it is said to have been first imported into England from Holland about 1650. The English "East India Company" purchased and presented 2 lbs. of tea to Charles II. in 1664, and 23$ lbs. in 1666. The first order for its importation by the company was in 1668, and the first consignment of it, amounting to I43[ lbs., was received from Bantam in 1669 (see Sir George Birdwood's "Report on the Old Records at the India Office," 1890, p. 26). By act 12 Car. II., capp. 23, 24, a duty of 8d. per gallon was imposed upon the infusion of tea, as well as on chocolate and sherbet.

Bill  •  Link

Ourania : The High and Mighty Lady the Princess Royal of Aurange congratulated on Her Most Happy Arrival September the 25th M.DC.LX.

Sure Darling Fortune humour'd thy sweet mind
In thy most safe Recesse, 'twas hugely kind
To take thy from our black tempestuous Times,
And place thee in Serener quiet Climes.
Bright Guardian Angel, since you fled from hence
W' have lost our Vertue and our Innocence;
W' have lost our peace, w' have lost your father too,
And all's imputed to our want of You.

Dick Wilson  •  Link

So: " England became a global power on the back of a 'drink made with dried leaves in boiling water' ..."

My ancestors contemporary with Pepys were in Virginia, busy shipping dried leaves which you set afire to suck the smoke into your lungs. It was a source of finance and fortune from then until just about now.

Edith Lank  •  Link

That reference to drinking tee was quoted somewhere (too lazy to look it up) long before the Diary had been officially translated. As far as I know, nobody knows how this happened. Mystery.

Ivan  •  Link

Like Roger Arbor I wonder if Mr Pepys enjoyed his first ever cup of tea. As a good Englishman I am sure he must have done!! This is a momentous and historic occasion!

AndreaLouise Hanover  •  Link

I am drinking tea reading this. I wonder if he enjoyed it as much as I do.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

To compensate for Glyn's link about Drogheda gone wrong

The Siege of Drogheda took place on 3–11 September 1649 at the outset of the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. ... The outcome of the siege and the extent to which civilians were targeted is a significant topic of debate among historians.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ourania the high and mighty lady the Princess Royal of Aurange congratulated on her most happy arrival September the 25th. M.DC.LX.
London: Printed by W. Godbid, 1660. Early English Books Online [full text]

Third Reading

The Greenwich Patriot  •  Link

Just in case anyone is still wondering, the Globe pub was on what is now called Evelyn Street, Deptford. It closed as a pub in 1986.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

From what’s been discussed here regarding “brush” on the foot, it sounds to me like blisters one would get from a badly fitting shoe. “Brush” would fit the description.

john  •  Link

"[...] where the plasterers being at work in all the rooms in my house, my wife was fain to make a bed upon the ground for her and me, and so there we lay all night."

The odour of wet plaster would have permeated the entire house, making sleep difficult. Does "ground" mean a floor or actually outside?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

At the States General at The Hague, on 25 September, 1660, the States of Holland under the prime movers Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt, brother-in-law Pieter de Graeff, his younger brother Andries de Graeff and Gillis Valckenier, resolved to take charge of William III, Prince of Orange's education to ensure he would acquire the skills to serve in a future — although undetermined — state function.

I wonder what uncle Charles II thinks about that.

(Yes, William was the III even before he became King of England. William "the Silent" was his grandfather -- his father was William II.)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... the interest of this kingdom to have a peace with Spain and a war with France and Holland ... "

"... the States of Holland under the prime movers Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt ..."

It appears the English habit of refering to the Netherlands as "Holland" (which is just one of the 7 States) has been with us for at least 350 years.
And to confuse things further in the 17th century, the Netherlands was divided into the Spanish Netherlands (Catholic) and the Dutch Republic/United Providences (Protestant).

The DR/UP was the entrepreneurial capital of the world. I think the SN was more rural, and the Spanish did not exactly encourage entrepreneurial people in far-off territories.
A helpful map is at

In the 17th century they were still working off the belief that 'if you do well, I must do badly', so it was considered to be in the national interest to topple the top country in whatever field they were discussing.
Envy, in other words, justified everything.

Come to think of it, the idea that cooperation creates a bigger pie, so everyone does well, is still a hard sell. Harvard Law School teaches a course about it. President Kennedy offered a more folksy expression of the same principle: A rising tide raises all boats. 'Win, win, win' was a novel selling slogan in the 1990's.

The 7 Deadly Sins (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride) seem to win every time if we are not careful -- or is that just a short-term point-of-view, with 'Virtue Is Its Own Reward' being the long-term truth?

Sir Richard Ford was definately a short-term point-of-view fellow, so long as someone else was doing the work and the fighting for him.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Does "ground" mean a floor or outside?'

John, I hope it means floor. It's be a tad cold sleeping outside in London in late September.
Pepys really doesn't give us enough information to answer your question with certainty.

Maybe "ground" means ground floor -- 1st floor if you're an American.
Later we will learn that the Seething Lane house came with a basement, so it would have been on a wooden floor on the ground floor, as well as in the bedroom on the 1st/2nd floor.

My take on Pepys' sentence was that Elizabeth had to move and/or cover up all the furniture in their bedroom to protect it from the plasterers, so she and Pepys had to improvise a bed on the floor that night -- who knows where. But I bet it was by a fireplace.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"we went to Deptford to pay off the ship Success ..."

"L&M Footnote: The "Old Success" in harbour since November 1658 and now paid off at a cost of £3228. … Col. John Birch and Sir Richard Browne were two of the parliamentary commissioners appointed to disband the forces."

That's a lot of money for an old ship that has been docked in the harbor for 2 years. Surely "the forces" hadn't been kept on board doing nothing for 2 years?

Perhaps the sailors had refused to leave until they were paid? -- yes, that must have been the situation. A sit in! Occupy Success!
There's nothing new under the sun.

Log in to post an annotation.

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