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.

29 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

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In the final years of Cromwell’s Protectorate, Lucy Percy Hay, Countess of Carlisle became a Royalist agent, joining others who worked to restore Charles II to his father's throne.

A few short months after the Restoration, on November 5, 1660, Lucy Hay, Countess of Carlisle quietly passed away.
According to the Journal of Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl Leicester. Kent Archives. U1475/F24 p. 109 after 'dining well' at lunchtime, she fell suddenly sick around 2pm whilst 'cutting a piece of ribbon'. She was dead by 5 or 6pm that same day.

Femme fatale, informant, spy, Lucy Hay was a fascinating character. Alexandre Dumas obviously agreed (she was the model for Lady deWinter in The Three Muskateers).

And how ironic she died on November 5, because her father was Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, AKA the Wizard Earl, who spent 18 years in the Tower for the sin of being related to one of the Gunpowder Plotters.…

For Lucy Hay, Countess of Carlisle's fascinating career, see

Another point-of-view comes in 'Court Lady and Country Wife - Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth Century England' by Lita-Rose Betcherman. Pub 2006 by Harper Perennial. It describes the lives of lives of the sisters Lucy Percy Hay (Countess of Carlisle) and Dorothy Percy Sidney (Countess of Leicester).…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"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."

I wonder if Mr. Moore explained real estate law, renter's rights, and the protection of access to your leads?
Nah -- more likely contract law.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Our encyclopedia says the Henrietta had 300 sailors. There are 19 more ships waiting to be paid off. That's approx. 5,700 angry sailors. I hope they aren't all moored at Deptford.
The Poll Tax collection can't be going well. I know Evelyn has paid up, but I don't remember Pepys paying anything yet.

Carol D  •  Link

Seeing Jackie's comment from the First Reading makes me think that we perhaps had a shudder of the Gunpowder Plot "what if?" after the Jan 6th 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol. Institutions of government are not necessarily any safer now than they were 500+ years ago, even in long-established democracies.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Maybe we weren't disappointed of money because there ain't any, but for other reasons. Tomorrow, if we may be allowed to borrow the time machine, William Prynne, the flamboyant MP for Bath and Somerset, will write to the Navy commissioners that "as Sir George Carteret has not arrived, and their presence is required at the House, [he] advises them to postpone till Thursday the disbanding and paying off the Henrietta" (State Papers).

Parliament is about to reconvene, and the MPs and VIPs can't leave London right now. So what? Do a MP for towns that are nowhere near Deptford, the Treasurer of the Navy and, for that matter, Sam himself, have to be personally on dockside to pay off a bunch of sailors from a single frigate? Maybe; officials wanting to be in the picture is a phenomenon which we understand will recur in future times. Prynne is on the parliamentary commission in charge of disbanding the army, but maybe he also plans to report the scene in one of his high-profile pamphlets?

As for the poll tax, there seems to be enough of it to cashier army regiments with all diligence. Maybe they're prioritized, given the more persuasive protest options which a soldier in central London may enjoy relative to a sailor in Deptford.

So, team Henrietta, just a few days more with that pent-up anger. How many of you anyway? Let's quibble: Our Encyclopedia (at…) does say 300 from a primary source, but that's in 1665. Right now, according to… the number is 210. On 3 January next, another letter to the Commissioners, asking for crew sizes for the winter fleet, will note that "the Henrietta has more than her number, which is 180". Somehow there's space for another 120 hammocks in there. It's still only one-third to one-fifth the size of an army regiment (1,000 men, in principle, says…), and correspondingly 3-5 times less urgent a problem.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Lots of points to think about in that post, Stephane.

On one question, "Do a MP for towns that are nowhere near Deptford, the Treasurer of the Navy and, for that matter, Sam himself, have to be personally on dockside to pay off a bunch of sailors from a single frigate?"

Later on we will see that no, they don't have to be there. Ships at Portsmouth have their own Commissioner, for instance. But the Navy Board are not trotting off to Liverpool or Falmouth or Hull where there are ships but no commissioners.

I think the Navy Board personnel are taking especial care of Deptford because MPs like the meticulous Col. John Birch and the pamphleteer William Prynne just turn up "to help" -- i.e. checking to see the money is really going to the sailors, to experience the process, and to better understand the Navy paperwork, etc.
If something goes wrong the questions, accusations and fall-out will come fast. Saying the process of distributing thousands of pounds had been delegated to underlings won't be sufficient.

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