Sunday 13 January 1660/61

In the morning we all went to church, and sat in the pew belonging to us, where a cold sermon of a young man that never had preached before. Here Commissioner came with his wife and daughters, the eldest being his wife’s daughter is a very comely black woman. So to the Globe to dinner, and then with Commissioner Pett to his lodgings there (which he hath for the present while he is building the King’s yacht, which will be a pretty thing, and much beyond the Dutchman’s), and from thence with him and his wife and daughter-in-law by coach to Greenwich Church, where a good sermon, a fine church, and a great company of handsome women. After sermon to Deptford again; where, at the Commissioner’s and the Globe, we staid long. And so I to Mr. Davis’s to bed again. But no sooner in bed, but we had an alarm, and so we rose: and the Comptroller comes into the Yard to us; and seamen of all the ships present repair to us, and there we armed with every one a handspike, with which they were as fierce as could be. At last we hear that it was only five or six men that did ride through the guard in the town, without stopping to the guard that was there; and, some say, shot at them. But all being quiet there, we caused the seamen to go on board again: And so we all to bed (after I had sat awhile with Mr. Davis in his study, which is filled with good books and some very good song books) I likewise to bed.

15 Annotations

First Reading

Lawrence  •  Link

But no sooner in bed but we had an alarm,
Sam having to be brave yet once again, the year can only get better for him.

Emilio  •  Link

"we all went to church"

The church Sam goes to first today is not St. Olave's, as he's currently in Deptford. L&M identify it as St. Nicholas's. The church that Sam walked in is still there, although it has been refurbished and rebuilt a number of times in the intervening years. Here's a short history and some links:

"The ancient parish of St Nicholas, Deptford was divided in 1730 into the parishes of St Nicholas and St Paul. At this date the two parishes were of equal rateable value, but St Paul's had a far larger area and therefore acquired a much greater population in the 19th century. In 1900 the civil parish of St Paul, Deptford become the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford, whilst the civil parish of St Nicholas, Deptford was included in the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich. Part of the parish of St Paul's (the western half of the New Cross area) was in Surrey until the County of London was formed in 1889." (from… )

Pictures and detailed chronology:…

History of the church bells, which date from 1701:…

It is remarkable that Sam has already paid for a pew here as well as at St. Olave's, however. Is there perhaps a special pew set aside for the officers of the Navy Office?

Emilio  •  Link

the King's yacht, which will be a pretty thing

L&M note: "Peter Pett's yacht was the Catherine. For the Dutch yacht (given to the King by the city of Amsterdam and commanded by Jan de Gens), see [15 Aug 1660 entry:… ]. Yachts were a Dutch invention, and at 8 November 1660 Pepys had not believed it possible that the English could build anything comparable."

Emilio  •  Link

"Here Commissioner came with his wife"

The L&M text spells out right away that "Comissioner Pett came. . . ." Who knows what may have happened to the name in Wheatley's text.

dirk  •  Link

the King's yacht

The first recorded yacht race ever will take place in 1661, when the king’s yacht (the Dutch yacht or the new one?) will compete against that of his younger brother, the Duke of York (later James II) on the Thames.


vincent  •  Link

A figure of speech or written to shock the 21C readers."...And so I to Mr. Davis's to bed again…” or do they share the top cover as there is no where else to escape that frezze [teeth chattering rum slugging English warmth] in that nice foggy “tems” damp weather.

Mary  •  Link

Sleeping arrangements.

We've visited this question before and established that it was common, and accepted, that visitors/travellers could find themselves sharing beds, sometimes with total strangers.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Sleeping arrangements

I don't think Sam and Mr. Davis are sharing a bed ... see yesterday's entry, which shows that Sam is *lodging* "most prince-like" at Mr. Davis's.

To answer Emilio's question about the pew, I had assumed in reading the entry that "the pew belonging to us" is owned by, or was given to, the Navy Office and its representatives, a necessary arrangement given their power and influence in the town. If Sam had bought a pew there, surely he would have mentioned it earlier?

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

There are a few nice pictures here of Dutch yachts (in Dutch 'Statenjacht') here:… .
They were small rather round boats, with one or two masts; the latter with a sail-plan more or less like the famous Thames Barges

vincent  •  Link

Pew: my guess, as this is a Navy town, the pew is the Navy's preserve. This town receives many important upper bracket guests, to see Pett's latest creation.
Re: sleeping arrangements, I do think they are, as Todd Bernhardt outlined.{ so sorry me mind has to be elevated.}["...where a good sermon, a fine church, and a great company of handsome women..."]

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Weather: dry, warm, windy January

Not too far away in Essex, the Rev. Ralph Josselin (who farms) records in his diary for this date that "the season is very open, no cold, only divers winds."

"Open" according to my Webster's New World Dictionary can mean ""having relatively little snow or frost; mild [an *open* winter]" (brackets in original).…

In Essex, the weather won't change much in the next week or so, since Josselin writes on 21 January (or is it 28 January? Hard to tell):

"Weather very dry and warm, things spring already, a time beyond ordinary pleasant. but now a little frost in the nights."…

Although it can rain in one place and not another, even in the same region, Josselin's description is probably very close to what the weather was like for Pepys in London.

Second Reading

Dick Wilson  •  Link

I'll bet that the seamen were mightily disappointed that they didn't get to join in a monster brawl. These men, confined aboard ship, are turned out in the nighttime. They pour ashore and are issued clubs and are all keyed up to have some fun. "Let's go get 'em!" But then " 'em " turns out to be a half dozen drunks who ran past the guards and are now long since gone. Turn in the handspikes? Go back aboard ship? What a let down!

Louise  •  Link

" the eldest being his wife’s daughter is a very comely black woman."

She might not have been "black" in the sense of African, as most Westerners would today. English people until well into the 20th century had a habit of calling Italians, Greeks, Spaniards, and Indians, among others, "black." Black hair, brown eyes, even slightly olive skin is all it took to qualify as "black".

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

We are enjoying another 'open' winter in London this year, a relief after a run of cold winters. It has brought a lot of rain, however, and strong winds and therefore flooding for some hapless souls.

' . . 12. a. Of weather or a season: mild, not sharp; spec. free from frost, snow, and ice; (Naut.) free from fog and mist. Now chiefly regional.

1602 J. Brereton Briefe Relation Discov. Virginia 4 Our going vpon an vnknowen coast, made vs not ouer-bolde to stand in with the shore, but in open weather.
1615 W. Lawson Country Housewifes Garden (1626) 19 In, calme, and moist weather is best.
1714 Swift Let. to Bolingbroke 14 Sept. in Wks. (1765) VIII. ii. 42 Hay will certainly be dear, unless we have an open winter . . ' [OED]

John Matthew IV  •  Link

"very comely black woman."

My edition of Wheatley has this simple footnote: "The old expression for a brunette."

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