Monday 5 November 1660

(Office day). Being disappointed of money, we failed of going to Deptford to pay off the Henrietta to-day.

Dined at home, and at home all day, and at the office at night, to make up an account of what the debts of nineteen of the twenty-five ships that should have been paid off, is increased since the adjournment of the Parliament, they being to sit again to-morrow. This 5th of November is observed exceeding well in the City; and at night great bonfires and fireworks. At night Mr. Moore came and sat with me, and there I took a book and he did instruct me in many law notions, in which I took great pleasure. To bed.

23 Annotations

First Reading

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"...we failed of going to Deptford to pay off the Henrietta to-day."

For the benefit of my fellow non-Brits, the Deptford of which Sam speaks is (and was) the site of the Royal Navy yards, located opposite Greenwich on the south bank of the Thames in what is now Greater London.

vincent  •  Link

"...Being disappointed of money, we failed of going to Deptford to pay off the Henrietta to-day..."
The Henrietta was known as the Langford
Langport by Bright, at Horsleydown 1654: Renamed Henrietta after the Restoration. Wrecked in 1689
In many a fight til '89: 20 April War With Spain 1655-60…
Another night with out vittals?

Mary  •  Link

Geographical correction

Deptford and Greenwich are not on opposite banks of the Thames, but are both on the south side, facing the Isle of Dogs across the Greenwich Reach. Deptford is just slightly west (i.e. closer to London) of Greenwich. 'Detford/Depford' and 'Grenich/Grinich' are the current pronunciations of these names.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

"This 5th of November..." To see how the Gunpowder plot is celebrated in my neck of the woods see

A most amazing tradition that must have been widespread in early times. Every year many thousands of people flock to Ottery St. Mary to witness a night of mayhem... and surprisingly no-one ever seems to get hurt.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

A bit 'off subject' but amazing!

Ottery St. Mary is internationally renowned for its Tar Barrels, an old custom said to have originated in the 17th century. Each of Ottery's pubs sponsors a single barrel. In the weeks prior to the day of the event, November 5th, the barrels are soaked with tar. The barrels are lit outside each of the pubs in turn and once the flames begin to pour out, they are hoisted up onto local people's backs and shoulders. The streets and alleys around the pubs are packed with people, all eager to feel the lick of the barrels flame. Seventeen Barrels all in all are lit over the course of the evening. In the afternoon and early evening there are women's and boy's barrels, but as the evening progresses the barrels get larger and by midnight they weigh at least 30 kilos. A great sense of camaraderie exists between the 'Barrel Rollers', despite the fact that they tussle constantly for supremacy of the barrel. In most cases, generations of the same family carry the barrels and take great pride in doing so. It perpetuates Ottery St Mary's great sense of tradition, of time and of history.

Phil  •  Link

Could we keep information that is purely about Deptford or the Gunpowder Plot on their respective background pages please. This is what they're for, and it will save us saying the same things every time the topics are mentioned. Thanks!

David Duff  •  Link

"Could we keep information that is purely about Deptford or the Gunpowder Plot on their respective background pages please."

No, please don't! The comments on all these abstruse subjects are a delight. Let's hear it for Ottery St. Mary!

Phil  •  Link

No David. I'm not saying these discussions shouldn't happen, I'm saying there is a correct place for them, as suggested by the guidelines.

William Crosby  •  Link

While I enjoy the "back pages" the daily entry annotations trigger my interest in the back pages and links, so I say, any discussion of Pepys, his life times, geography, beverages, linens, religion, trivia, and larger issues--is fair game. Please let me add, that I stumbled onto these pages through a long forgotten link, and I never miss a daily entry. I read entries and annotations aloud to family, friends, and co-workers, some despite their protest, eye-rolling, and professed lack of interest. Nevertheless, I hear all the time, "what's going on with 'Peeps'"

Things like wallpaper, pews, prayer books, executions, face patches, privies, relations, and so forth fire my imagination daily. Thanks to all.

G. Surrency  •  Link

Yes, please. Do keep the information coming. Like you, William, I find something in these annotations that leads me to seek deeper in the other links. And I too amuse others with my "Pepys Habit". I'm just sorry that I didn't find out about these annotations until July. I wish I had been reading them from the first day. But I will catch up someday. Thank you all for furthering my education.

Phil  •  Link

This issue has been discussed at great length in the past. While digression is inevitable and interesting, information that is specifically about something for which there is a Background page should be put there. People are free then to point to those annotations or otherwise mention them in daily entries.

I was just pointing out that two annotations were posted here purely on topics for which there are Background pages.

Now, let's return to discussing the diary! (If you wish to discuss this topic further, please do so in the discussion group:… or by emailing me directly.)


Elizabeth Perry  •  Link

"we failed of going to Deptford to pay off the Henrietta to-day."

I believe this means that all the sailors on the Henrietta are sitting on board ship twiddling their thumbs, waiting to be paid so that they can go blow it all on whores and sack.

Tom Carr  •  Link

'Grenich/Grinich' Pronounciation
Here in Connecticut, Greenwich, a town in the SW corner of the state by NYC is pronounced the same way.

However, Thames, the river that runs through cities of New London and Norwich Connecticut, is not prounounced “tems” as in the UK. We pronounce the “TH” as in the word “that” and the “A” as a long A.

Peter  •  Link

I think you are right Elizabeth.... Even worse, there seem to be 19 ships waiting to be paid off for want of money. I'm sure Sam hasn't forgotten the role played by unpaid soldiers back at the beginning of February. It's a recipe for unrest.

Jackie  •  Link

I think that 400 years later, it's easy to underestimate the effect that the Gunpowder Plot would have had if it had succeeded. In US terms, it would have been exactly equivalent to religious fanatics (doesn't matter which faith, with a plot like this) succeeding in destroying everybody present at the State of the Union Address, but having neglecting to have guaranteed that somebody in the line of succession is safely stashed away elsewhere. I imagine that most Countries where the Government is generally accepted (but not necessarily liked) would have similar celebrations to commemorate such a disaster averted.

Sam's time was in living memory of those days, so the events were still immediate, especially as the same religious issues were very much live and current issues in his time as in his grandfather's day. I imagine that in 1660, the fact that the newly returned King's grandfather had escaped disaster and preserved the Kingdom would have made a particularly notable November 5th.


Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Note: a big celebration in the City to mark the demise of Guy Fawkes et al, contrasted with, a couple of days ago, almost no celebration of the return of Henrietta Maria.

Michaela  •  Link

I found the link below with fascinating information on the kind of fireworks which SP might have seen this night, from a book called Mathematical Recreations by Jean Leurechon, and translated into English in 1653:

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Great find, Michaela ... and information worthy of our Encyclopedia as it will enrich reader's understanding throughout the Diary, and they will never find it here again after today. Would you like to post it, or would you like me to do it?

Michaela  •  Link

Hello San Diego Sarah, I’m not exactly sure how to do it, so I’d be grateful if you could post it for me - thanks

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

DONE ... when I log on the first thing I look at is the RECENT ACTIVITY tab ... which allows this to really be a blog.
I'm sure you have also found out there is an Encyclopedia behind each of the words in blue in the copy, which means we don't have to say the same thing over and over again. For instance, there are six references to fireworks in the Diary, and your terrific article is now available every time.
You can also access the Encyclopedia through its tab (above). I spend a lot of time there because I find it almost more interesting than the Diary. (HERESY!)
Making an addition to the Encyclopedia is the same as doing it here ... you'll be a dab hand at it shortly, I'm sure.

Michaela  •  Link

Perfect! Thank you

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