Thursday 17 January 1660/61

Up, and breakfast with my Lady. Then come Captains Cuttance and Blake to carry her in the barge on board; and so we went through Ham Creeke to the Soverayne (a goodly sight all the way to see the brave ships that lie here) first, which is a most noble ship. I never saw her before. My Lady Sandwich, my Lady Jemimah, Mrs. Browne, Mrs. Grace, and Mary and the page, my lady’s servants and myself, all went into the lanthorn together. From thence to the Charles, where my lady took great pleasure to see all the rooms, and to hear me tell her how things are when my Lord is there. After we had seen all, then the officers of the ship had prepared a handsome breakfast for her, and while she was pledging my Lord’s health they give her five guns. That done, we went off, and then they give us thirteen guns more. I confess it was a great pleasure to myself to see the ship that I begun my good fortune in. From thence on board the Newcastle, to show my Lady the difference between a great and a small ship. Among these ships I did give away 7l.. So back again and went on shore at Chatham, where I had ordered the coach to wait for us. Here I heard that Sir William Batten and his lady (who I knew were here, and did endeavour to avoyd) were now gone this morning to London. So we took coach, and I went into the coach, and went through the town, without making stop at our inn, but left J. Goods to pay the reckoning. So I rode with my lady in the coach, and the page on the horse that I should have rid on — he desiring it. It begun to be dark before we could come to Dartford, and to rain hard, and the horses to fayle, which was our great care to prevent, for fear of my Lord’s displeasure, so here we sat up for to-night, as also Captains Cuttance and Blake, who came along with us. We sat and talked till supper, and at supper my Lady and I entered into a great dispute concerning what were best for a man to do with his estate — whether to make his elder son heir, which my Lady is for, and I against, but rather to make all equall. This discourse took us much time, till it was time to go to bed; but we being merry, we bade my Lady goodnight, and intended to have gone to the Post-house to drink, and hear a pretty girl play of the cittern (and indeed we should have lain there, but by a mistake we did not), but it was late, and we could not hear her, and the guard came to examine what we were; so we returned to our Inn and to bed, the page and I in one bed, and the two captains in another, all in one chamber, where we had very good mirth with our most abominable lodging.

34 Annotations

First Reading

Emilio  •  Link

the Soverayne

L&M have an acerbic footnote on this ship: "The Royal Sovereign; the largest and best-known warship of the fleet (some said the most useless); one of the first of the three-deckers; built from ship-money in 1637, burnt by accident in 1696."

Emilio  •  Link

"My Lady Sandwich, my Lady Jemimah, Mrs. Browne, Mrs. Grace, and Mary and the page, my lady's servants and myself, all went into the lanthorn together"

That's some big lantern! I'd never realized ships could have them on such a scale - obviously I don't read enough Patrick O'Brian.

"There were seven lanterns at the stern; when in use they were lit by huge candles. . . . According to Magalotti the largest held six people; James Howell says ten. There were nine on this occasion". (L&M footnote)

dirk  •  Link

"they give her five guns (...) and then they give us thirteen guns more"

I take it this is a 5 + 13 gunshots salute. Does anybody know the specific meaning of this number of shots?

Emilio  •  Link

"whether to make his elder son heir, [or] rather to make all equall"

L&M: "The latter method ('gavelkind'; applying to all male heirs) was prevalent in several parts of England, but particularly in Kent (the county in which this conversation took place), and, although by 1661 less widespread than in the Middle Ages, was not abolished until 1922. Pepys had heard Capt. Silas Taylor discourse about it on 21 February 1660."

This manner of inheritance was surprisingly durable. You would think that dividing up land so would quickly make plots unworkably small, but in practice this did not generally happen:

"Partible inheritance [such as gavelkind in Kent] seems to be characteristic of areas in which opportunities for supplemental economic activities were abundant. Thus in the fenlands and wooded areas where hunting and fishing provided additional sources of food less land was needed to support a family. Fenlands in East Anglia and woodlands in Kent could afford partible inheritance. But partible inheritance in practice did not necessarily imply fragmentation. . . . In Kent an active land market helped to counteract the effects of gavelkind inheritance. Elsewhere siblings sold their interest in the land to one brother or the legal ownership would be in all siblings' names but only one worked the land. Thus family land tended to remain intact or be regrouped into units. The tendency to splinter was particularly noticeable in the land hunger of the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; but other than that period of crisis, land units tended to coalesce" (Barbara Hanawalt, The Ties That Bound, 70-71)

Charlezzzzz  •  Link

Sir William Batten and his lady (who I knew were here, and did endeavour to avoyd) were now gone...
Batten and Pepys mutually disliked each other, but Pepys seemed to have disliked B's wife even more. I wonder if Pepys disliked most of his colleagues in the Navy more than he should have; certainly there were few he respected much.

dirk  •  Link

gun salutes

"In the days of cannon, it took as long as twenty minutes to load and fire a gun. When a ship fired her guns in salute, she rendered herself powerless for the duration. By emptying their guns, the ship's crew showed shore batteries and forts that they were no threat. Over time, this gesture became a show of respect, with both shore and ship gun batteries firing volleys. (...) The 21 gun salute was an effort to cut costs. The habit of firing salutes became wasteful, with ships and shore batteries firing shots for hours on end. This was particularly expensive for ships, which had a limited space to store powder (which went bad quickly in the salt air). The British admiralty first dictated the policies now in place as a practical matter to save gunpowder. The rule was simple, for every volley fired by a ship in salute, a shore battery could return up to three shots. The regulations limited ships to a total of seven shots in salute, so the 21 gun-salute became the salute used to honor the only the most important dignitaries."…

"It was not until 1675 that regulations were introduced in Britain limiting the number of guns to be fired in salutes." ... "The 21-gun salute is fired for chiefs of state, heads of government, members of a reigning royal family and others of comparable rank. Salutes of 17, 15, 13, 11, seven and five shots are fired for people of lesser rank. Firing an odd number of shots is believed to stem from an ancient naval superstition that an even number of shots is unlucky."…

vincent  •  Link

"... my Lady..." Sp only now finds out why she is in this neck of the "Tems".
"... My Lady Sandwich, my Lady Jemimah, Mrs. Browne, Mrs. Grace, and Mary and the page, my lady's servants and myself,…” 7 + servants and of course there was a coachman and a few other hangers on with their pipeing at the back of the coach.
I don’t think she was in any danger. We kind of forget the faceless ones.[those that must pick up afterwards ; not scene, not hurd. Oh! but if a misstep then….]

vincent  •  Link

"...but it was late, and we could not hear her, and the guard came to examine what we were; so we returned to our Inn and to bed, the page and I in one bed, and the two captains in another, all in one chamber, where we had very good mirth with our most abominable lodging..."
Security {'ey u wot, yer up teh?}
A good description of sleeping arrangements. Before Affluence of the 1970's, this was not a strange arrangement.

Mary  •  Link

Sam's horsemanship again.

No mention of sore muscles today! Doubtless Sam's daily portion of exercise (all that walking about London) helps in this regard, but I would still have expected him to be somewhat saddle-sore today. True, he travels back towards London in the coach rather than on horseback, but this would probably be prompted by protocol rather than by personal comfort.

David  •  Link

As a interested observer to the annotatons what or who is L & M

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

David - Who are L&M

They are Robert Latham and William Matthews, editors of the latest edition of the diary. The version you are reading was edited by Henry B. Wheatley (late 19th. c), the "Wheatley Edition". This is in the public domain whereas "L&M" is not, so it's a matter of copyright.

If you continue to follow the diary, and I hope you do, you will notice frequent postings from those who have access to "L&M", and they are invaluable in explaining unclear entries, missing words and good old-fashioned self-censorship.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

" SP horsemanship" with all this riding he is running the risk of dislodging one of his several kidney stones and going through one of the worse pains one can endure!

Roger Arbor  •  Link

Up, and breakfast with my Lady...

Sam does not usually eat breakfast, he drinks it... his "morning draught". So, any ideas about just what and why here? An upper-class institution that has spread to the rest of us?

helena murphy  •  Link

Lady Sandwich is to be complimented on her informed and it appears thorough visit to these ships and for the evident interest which she shows in her husband's work . Her behavior also gives lie to any stereotyped notions we may have about women's lives and interests in this era. Here we see her getting to grips with her husband's working world and probably that of naval warfare.It is heartening to know that there is more to her than child rearing and needlepoint ,important though these things are. The discussion on inheritance also indicates her to be highly articulate in debate and an intellectual match for Pepys,a university man.On a lighter vain it must have been quite a sight to see,five ladies in floor length billowing gowns and cloaks, traipsing up and down The Charles and Pepys in his element leading them all!

libelled lady  •  Link

I get the impression she's just touring the ship for entertainment.

Mary  •  Link

The question of breakfast.

It's also possible that something more substantial than the simple morning draught was provided/deemed suitable for travellers on the road who break their journey overnight.

J A Gioia  •  Link Lady Jemimah...

notice how sam paints the scene. last night at the inn she was plain jem. today, as part of a ceremonial party, she becomes 'my lady jemimah'. whether this was by design or merely reflected the writer's innate sense of protocol, it's a deft stlyistic touch.

dirk  •  Link


It's hard to tell whether Sam got anything more than a "morning draught" for breakfast - these were somewhat special cicumstances, as he was travelling. Normal custom though was to have two meals a day (not three). At around 10 o'clock people would eat a rather summary "breakfast" - mainly bread and something - and the next meal would be in late afternoon/evening, and ususally a very, very heavy one!

Henry VIII is credited with the saying that "he that eateth more than twice a day liveth like a beast"...

dirk  •  Link

meals - cont'd

There were a couple of accepted execeptions to the two-meals-a-day rule: people doing heavy physical labour ... and priests.

aqua  •  Link

another entry for the OED "...all went into the lanthorn together...."
3 a. A lighthouse. b. The chamber at the top of a lighthouse, in which the light is placed. c. Some part of a ship.

Pedro  •  Link

On 17th January Allin reaches Constantinople

“…a very great reception, far beyond any before him (Winchilsea)...many eminent officers with huge great turbans so big as to go into half a bushel"

And on the 23rd Allin went to the bagnio or prison to see Captain Gallilee.

"We were no sooner in but commanded out and brought before a Pasha who asked me divers questions and answered by my dragoman. At length I caused to ask him leave to go in again…and so I went in and spoke to Captain Gallilee, who was very poor, and then went aboard.”

Anderson in the footnote says Gallilee had been the master of the Relief of London, a ship hired by the Venetians for service against the Turks. He had been taken prisoner in 1652…many attempts to secure his release had been in vain

(Journals of Sir Thomas Allin edited by RC Anderson)

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"From thence on board the Newcastle, to show my Lady the difference between a great and a small ship."

Newcastle was a 44-gun fourth-rate frigate of the English Royal Navy, originally built for the navy of the Commonwealth of England by Phineas Pett II at Ratcliffe, and launched in May 1653....Her first action came in 1655 when, along with fourteen other warships, she sailed into Porto Farina in Algiers to engage Barbary Pirates. This action resulted in the destruction of the entire pirate fleet, which won the Newcastle lineage its first battle honour. In 1657 she took part in Admiral Blake's daring attack on Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and in 1665, she fought at the Battle of Lowestoft.…

John Matthew IV  •  Link

"whether to make his elder son heir, which my Lady is for, and I against, but rather to make all equall."

The old Primogeniture vs. Partible debate.

As an eldest son, I have always favoured Primogeniture.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

libellede lady posts "I get the impression [Lady Sandwich is] just touring the ship for entertainment."

Not "just": this is also educational -- for all the tourists, but for her also very especially informative for her, as Pepys explains: "to the Charles, where my lady took great pleasure to see all the rooms, and to hear me tell her how things are when my Lord is there. " And where he was when he brought the King back.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Then come Captains Cuttance and Blake to carry her in the barge on board"

Glad to see Capt. Cuttance has regained his good manners. Yesterday's frosty reception probably reflected his dismay at being saddled with his boss' wife, children and household with no warning and no resources. Now that's sorted, he's delighted to show off his ship and to fire cannons in her honor.

MartinVT  •  Link

SDS — "frosty reception", "bad manners"

Are we sure that Cuttance acted that way? Yesterday's line was: "The sport was how she had intended to have kept herself unknown, and how the Captain (whom she had sent for) of the Charles had forsoothed her, though he knew her well and she him. In fine we supped merry..."

So Cuttance is mentioned in the context of a lot of merriment about Lady Sandwich trying to remain incognito. Cuttance shows up and plays along, acting as if he doesn't know her. We don't know what he may have said, but it was probably in the positive sense of "forsoothing" (as quoted yesterday, "to treat ceremoniously") rather than the negative sense of contempt and derision (which could well have led to his dismissal).

I suspect there were a few winks involved, so that the Sandwich party would understand what was going on.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I agree, MartinVT. Now that I have sorted out yesterday's narrative better, I now see Roger Cuttance's response differently. Which doesn't mean he wasn't a bit flustered by Lady Sandwich and her party of 8 arriving on his turf unannounced! But I'm sure he could have handled it had Pepys not shown up.

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

“a most noble ship. I never saw her before.”

I reckon that Pepys in his career ahead will be seeing a goodly number of ships for his first time.
Does anyone know, aproximately, how many vessels the Navy had at this point. And would it ever be likely or possible that one person could have seen all of them?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Does anyone know, aproximately, how many vessels the Navy had at this point."

Probably not, Richard. They were constantly building ships, but didn't always have the money to fix them, so they were mothballed and left to rot -- in later times these hulks were used as prisons. Did they count or not? Plus storms, dry rot, etc. meant ships were constantly sinking -- and if it went down in the Far East, how did London know was it sunk? Taken by pirates and renamed? Gone rogue, and trading on its own behalf in Amsterdam? It might be legitimately absent for years before it was listed as missing in London.

Recently I recall the Navy Board had a meeting to make up a list of ships, their condition, and where they thought they were located for Parliament. Parliament promptly decommissioned some of them.

Another "problem" your question misses is that the Navy used other people's ships when it went to war. Every freighter carried cannon to fight pirates anyways. Warships like the Charles were rare, and not used for much, so if England wasn't at war, it was sitting idle in a creek off the Medway, deteriorating.

There are scholarly books, like J.D. Davies' "Kings of the Sea: Charles II and James II" about the building of the modern Royal Navy, in which Pepys played a part. J.D. probably has some helpful stats:…

Historic UK has a nice graph showing fluctuations in the size of the Royal Navy since 1650…

Wiki has a list of ships by rating, with when they were built and what happened to them, when known…

The Royal Navy has an informative, but it's not helpful on this subject, website…

Please share if you come up with a better answer.

Eric the Bish  •  Link

Gun salutes .

The 13 gun salute will have been in honour of her husband: 13 guns for an admiral. The earlier five gun salute seems to have been a personal and unofficial compliment to her.

The Royal Navy today has an entire chapter of “BRd 2” devoted to the topic: the firing of gun salutes is tightly organised and controlled. It was not so in Samuel Pepys’ day: look back to Tuesday 22 May 1660 for the firing of wild and exuberant gun salutes around the fleet upon the return of the king.

William Crosby  •  Link

There is a mention in the comments during the first reading--of Patrick O'Brian's historical novels which deal with the British Navy immediately before, during, and subsequent to the Napoleonic Wars 1800-1815. I read all of these novels sometime after the first reading and while achronological to the Pepys Diary period--those brilliant historical novels really deepen my visualization of the British Navy as depicted by Samuel Pepys. The Hornblower novels also help me picture much of what is happening with the British Navy as depicted by Pepys.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

William Crosby, if you enjoyed O'Brian, try J.D. Davies.
As an Historian, he loves to write navel novels, mostly about the Stuarts, filling in the "gaps".
His book about the Great Fire ("Death's Bright Angel"), for instance, has a Authors Notes on what he discovered researching the book which is almost as long as the novel.
If you read them now, you'll enjoy the Second Anglo-Dutch war part of the Diary more.…

RM  •  Link

I think the Ham Creek hyperlink (to an entry about a location in East London) is incorrect for today’s diary entry, as the ships they visit this day are surely anchored in the River Medway in Kent, otherwise why did they travel down to Chatham at all?

Looking at a map of Chatham is seems that there was once a tidal creek that presumably is now buried in a culvert underneath modern Chatham centre, with a couple of pumping stations (Old Brook and Rat’s Bay) perhaps marking points along the course of a subterranean river. The map shows the maojor roads diverging as they near the modern riverside, suggestive of the shape of an inlet and the ground either side to the north and south does rise quite steeply. Steet names give clues too – The Brook, Rope Walk (surely a reference to the ropemaking that was discussed a coule of days ago). Apparently the area had numerous carpentry workshops and storehouses in the past.

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