Wednesday 3 April 1661

Up among my workmen, my head akeing all day from last night’s debauch. To the office all the morning, and at noon dined with Sir W. Batten and Pen, who would needs have me drink two drafts of sack to-day to cure me of last night’s disease, which I thought strange but I think find it true.1

Then home with my workmen all the afternoon, at night into the garden to play on my flageolette, it being moonshine, where I staid a good while, and so home and to bed.

This day I hear that the Dutch have sent the King a great present of money, which we think will stop the match with Portugal; and judge this to be the reason that our so great haste in sending the two ships to the East Indys is also stayed.

38 Annotations

First Reading

dirk  •  Link

"at night into the garden to play on my flageolette (...) where I staid a good while"

A nuisance to the neighbours, I imagine. Lucky that Sam didn't get any flower pots thrown at his head. Some people need their sleep, you know!

Paul Brewster  •  Link

which we think will stop the match with Portugal
per L&M, "Both Holland and Spain spent lavishly in unsuccessful attempts to stop [the marriage alliance between Charles II and Catherine of Braganza]".

dirk  •  Link

hangovers & remedies

"Ethanol, the major alcoholic chemical in most drinks, seems to only play a small part in producing the thirst, headache, fatigue, nausea, sweating, tremor, remorse and anxiety which are typical of a hangover. What ARE important are things called congeners - complex organic molecules such as polyphenols, higher alcohols including methanol, histamine, tannins or fusel oils. Some people suggest that methanol is the real villain because it is metabolised to formaldehyde and formic acid, and it is these chemicals which cause the symptoms of a hangover. (...) Beware 'hair of the dog' remedies (i.e., more alcohol as a hangover cure). They do actually help hangover symptoms initially, because the ethanol in the drinks blocks the breakdown of methanol to formaldehyde and formic acid. However, you may just be delaying the pain!"

Paul Brewster  •  Link

will stop the mach with Portugal
L&M substitute the word "mach" for "match". I thought it was a typo in my printing of L&M (second printing 1971) until I looked it up in the OED and found this entry: "mach, obs. form of match n. and v.". I'd sure be curious about the shorthand in this case.

Judy  •  Link

Thank you Dirk for the information on hangovers. I wonder how Sam stood the pain in his aking head.

vincent  •  Link

Moon shine: The sky must have been very clear as new moon was on 30 of March. Moon rise, to-day was approx 11am so the moon was close to setting.
scrounged from :…

Birdie  •  Link

Vincent, re: moon
You forget that Pepys was on the Julian calendar. Today's diary date would be April 13 (approx) on the Julian calendar.

Birdie  •  Link

I mean April 13 on the Gregorian calendar (our modern day calendar).

Xjy  •  Link

"the Dutch have sent the King a great present of money"
Diplomacy in a nutshell. And if you can't buy 'em, you knife 'em. The higher you go, the more brutal, corrupt and rotten it gets. And of course Sam swallows it all without blinking... Mind you, today he needed some time to himself with his flageolet to calm his mind.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

"...I thought strange but I think find it true."

Is Sam really saying that "the hair of the dog" is new to him? Implausible, to put it mildly.

David Goldfarb  •  Link

Which means that April 5th will be Good Friday and the 7th, Easter.

Lawrence  •  Link

Interestingly Sam has a blue moon in His July 1661 (Julian Calendar) as we do here in 2004 (Gregorian) For those who are not sure what a blue moon is look here.…

Mary  •  Link

Easter Day 1661 is not until April 14th.

JWB  •  Link

Dowsing Sam...
Remember when Sam was dowsed though a scuttle during morning washdown aboad ship. That was after an evening's music, I think. Beware of Mrs. Davis.

vincent  •  Link

Re: Julian and Gregory: 'Tis Easter that caused the mixup:
the moon would take approx 29.5**** or so days to have the moon full again.
Easter, according to Pepys is on the 14th: so should the moon be full?
reading Pepys it seeems full moon is now the fourth.
The ecclesiastical rules are:
Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after the day of the vernal equinox;
this particular ecclesiastical full moon is the 14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon); and
the vernal equinox is fixed as March 21.
want to compute Easter…
another site:…
pascal moon:…
to calc for 1661=…

vincent  •  Link

Re: Lawrences leads and Sams entries are in agreement.
How come the English Church would not go with Gregory ? [ I guess the normal reason, Political egos].On what basis did Easter and Lent get calculated by the English Church? was this the religious out, the Pascal moon?
the Pascal moon was
19 goes evenly 87 times into 1661 (19 x 87 = 1653)
the remainder is 8. (1661 - 1653 = 8)
Add 1 to this number 9, this is the Golden Number (8 + 1 = 9)
The Paschal moon is 4/16/1661…

Birdie  •  Link

Vincent, Sam's entry and the NASA webpage (that you gave and that shows phases of the moon 1601 to 1700) are also in agreement. As I tried to point out, Sam is on the Julian calendar and NASA uses the current Gregorian calendar.

Lawrence  •  Link

Vincent I wish I knew half of what you'd forgot about this subject on Easter, and thanks for the great leads.

Michael  •  Link

"How come the English Church would not go with Gregory ?"
The pope simply ordered the new calendar to be adopted, which led most non-catholic countries of Europe promptly into resisting that move. The chaos resulting from that can be imagined. However, in the long run the new calendar was simply better and thus was slowly adopted - in some countries more slowly than in others, and England was among the more stubborn.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Easter 1661

If I understand the rule (Easter is the first Sunday after the first eccelsiastical full moon on or after the Vernal equinox of March 21, and the ecclesiastical full moon comes 14 days after the new moon), and Easter fell on April 14, 1661, the ecclesiatical full moon in question, or "paschal moon" for 1661 could not have come before April 7 or after April 13, and the new moon would have fallen 14 days earlier, between March 24 and March 31. If NASA (op. cit.) is using the Gregorian calendar (GC) and if the Julian calendar in use in Britain in 1661 is ten days behind the GC, then the NASA new moon date of March 30 GC would be March 20 Julian, and its full moon date of April 14 GC would be April 4 Julian. These dates fall outside the dates predicted by the formula. Its a puzzle.

Susan  •  Link

Tsarist Russia held to the Julian calendar until after the Revolution. I think they must have been the last country in Europe to change. Apropos of this, Orthodox Easter is always a week after Catholic Easter (Australian Greeks get cheap Easter eggs!) - I'm not sure how this fits in with paschal moons and I don't know why they are different. This applies to Russian, Serbian & Greek Orthodox churches here in Brisbane, but not the Lebanese Orthodox Christians who have the same Easter weekend as us Anglicans. Confused?

Rich Merne  •  Link

Yes,....suffice that it seems you could actually see the moon then, in clear skys over London. Anybody lucky enough to still be able to view the heavens through unpolluted skys will appreciate.

Susan  •  Link

And here is how to calulate Easter for the Gregorian calendar, the Julian calendar, the Orthodox church etc. Including Epacts and Golden Numbers!…

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Easter 1661

Having wasted many a pleasant minute with the Tondering site given us by Susan, I am able to report my conclusion that Easter 1661 fell, correctly under the Julian system, on April 14. Had the Gregorian calendar been in use (as it was in Catholic countries), Easter would have been a week later, on April 21, Gregorian, which would have been the same day as Thursday April 11 in Britain. The Tondering site further confirms that the NASA site given by Vincent correctly places the full moon on April 14, Gregorian. However, a curiosity emerges. The Paschal full moon (which we are told can vary from the actual full moon by as much as a day) fell on Sunday April 7, 1661, Julian calendar, according to the Tondering formulas. But the actual full moon, as calculated by NASA, would have fallen on April 4, Julian, or the day after today's entry by Sam about bringht moonshine. This conclusion is arrived at by subtracting the 10 day difference between Gregorian and Julian calendars at that time (actually, it was closer to 10.5 days). If this actual full moon date had been used by ecclesiatical authorities, Easter would have fallen on April 7, 1661 in London, not April 14. I'm not sure what to make of the difference.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Easter correction:
I should have said Gregorian Easter 1661 fell three days earlier than Julian Easter, not a week later. Sorry.

dirk  •  Link

Easter calculations

Re - Andrew Hamilton e.a.

If the rule for the calculation were simply to take the first sunday after the first full moon of spring, Easter 1661 should have fallen on April 7th. The thing is that the above is merely a rule of thumb, which gives the correct result in almost all cases. But the actual calculation of the Easter date is more complicated than that, because the 19 year moon cycle is taken into account (metonic cycle). The way this is done differs for the Julian (British) calendar and the Gregorian (continental) calendar. Calculations are fairly complex, but you can get a fairly accurate idea of what's involved ("Golden Number", "Epact" etc) browsing through the Tondering site.

This should "explain" why Easter 1661 fell on the "wrong" date (with a full moon on April 4th).

vincent  •  Link

Rich : smoke gets in your eyes:"to moon?" From J Evelyn:
"...Smoake issuing from one or two Tunnels neer Northumberland-House, and not far from Scotland-yard, did so invade the Court; that all the Rooms, Galleries, and Places about it were fill'd and infested with it; and that to such a degree, as Men could hardly discern one another for the Clowd, and none could support, without manifest Inconveniency..."
John Evelyn:…

Second Reading

jude cooper  •  Link

Ten years on and still burbling about calendars! Thought you might like to know that Cwm Gwuan in pembrokeshire still uses the Julien calendar when celebrating new year. We also perform our mummers play on old twelfth night in Herefordshire.

Weavethe hawk  •  Link

Becomes awfully long winded at times, doesn't it?

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Here's the up to date Tondering link:

'The “Christian calendar” is the term traditionally used to designate the calendar commonly in use, although it originated in pre-Christian Rome . . (it) has years of 365 or 366 days. It is divided into 12 months that have no relationship to the motion of the moon . . Two main versions . . have existed in recent times: The Julian . . and the Gregorian . . The difference between them lies in the way they approximate the length of the tropical year and their rules for calculating Easter. But (both) inherited a lot of their structure from the ancient Roman calendar. Therefore a study of that calendar is also relevant here.'…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the marriage alliance between Charles II and Catherine of Braganza"

L&M: See… and…

Cf. A second Memorial or Remonstrance, in relation to the Overtures for a Marriage with the Infanta Catherine of Braganza

Date: [April] 1661

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 31, fol(s). 89

Document type: Translation. Endorsed by Lane.

A second Memorial or Remonstrance, in relation to the Overtures for a Marriage with the Infanta Catherine of Braganza; presented by the Ambassador of the King of Spain to King Charles II.…

Third Reading

LKvM  •  Link

Re the problem of the date of Easter:
It depends on the crucial date of the Jewish Passover, which is called "The Last Supper" by Christians.
The crucifixion occurred the day after Passover AKA The Last Supper.
On the third day after the crucifixion the resurrection occurred, and that day is called Easter by Christians.
That's the historical biblical record. No days of the week (Monday, Tuesday, etc. are mentioned).
Over the centuries since Constantine the Roman Catholic Church arranged it all so that Passover, called The Last Supper, took place on a Wednesday, the crucufixion took place on a Thursday (Greindonnerstag or "crying Thursday" in German), and then Good Friday would conveniently lead in three days to the resurrection on a (surprise!) Sunday, which was called Easter Sunday.
With Jewish astronomers calculating the date of Passover and competing Christian astronomers calculating the same date but calling it The Last Supper, and Julian and Gregorian calendar confusion thrown in to boot, it's no wonder that there was confusion all over Europe about Easter

徽柔  •  Link

“This day I hear that the Dutch have sent the King a great present of money, which we think will stop the match with Portugal; and judge this to be the reason that our so great haste in sending the two ships to the East Indys is also stayed.”
Spoiler:Charles married a Portuguese princess anyway.LOL

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

A bribe, against the Braganza marriage, of course, but from, you say, the Dutch? Are you sure? Why would the Dutch, enemies to Spain that occupies half their land, support its cause? Unless the bribe is meant to keep England out of their own war with Portugal, over there in the East Indies? Now that would be rich, the proud Dutch paying up to avert a naval fight with England.

That would make only slightly better sense, but the real problem is the Venetian embassy has heard nothing of a Dutch bribe, despite the microscopic attention it pays to these matters. Possible explanation: Giavarina, the ambassador in London, will report tomorrow that the fantastic amounts which Madrid is sending London-way - "200,000 pieces of eight", as his colleague in Madrid put it when they were authorized a month ago (…), which he now quotes as "200,000 crowns" - are not being delivered in clinking bags of gold, but as "notes of exchange (...) payable on the mart of Antwerp" (his cable is in the usual place, at…). Previous reports had put the money in the hands of "merchants in Paris" or in those of Spanish couriers, but maybe they were different bags, or just inaccurate chatter.

Sam, not being fully plugged into that particular grapevine, may have heard of a ship inbound from "Dutch-land" with the cash finally paid on that note - though right now Antwerp, still one of the main banking centers of Europe, is part of the Spanish Flanders, not the properly "Dutch" United Provinces. A small ship sent post-haste just to collect a heavy trunk... now that would make a good story for its officers to tell in taverns where Sam listens.

As for the naval expedition being stayed, Giavarina also has a more prosaic explanation: "As everything drags on to extreme length at this Court (...) the preparation of the squadron of ships is subject to the same inconvenience"; and "the lack of money is a hindrance, delaying the provisioning required for the voyage". Now, if provisioning was the explanation, Sam would know and wouldn't be looking for it elsewhere. Of course the Spanish money could help, but it's only just arrived, and for sure the naval budget is not where it will end up...

RLB  •  Link

@LKvM: I'm afraid you're a day out. Wednesday is supposed to be the day Judas went to the Sanhedrin to conspire to betray Jesus; Maundy Thursday (Witte Donderdag, Gründonnerstag - not Grein) was the day of the Last Supper and, subsequently, betrayal and arrest; and Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified, after having been held through the night and brought before Pilate and Herod.

This latter point is important in the story, because it explains the haste the Sanhedrin had to get Jesus arrested, convicted, executed and buried: the next day was the Sabbath, when such matters were forbidden. It *had* to be finished before the Sabbath Eve, or as we would now call it, Friday evening. And yes, that *is* mentioned in the Bible, in Luke 23:54.

Jesus rose from the grave on the third day, Sunday; but note that this is not three days after! The confusion - and I suspect, dragging this back to site subject, that the same confusion happened in Sam's time - is over the different way both Romans and Jews counted days from modern Europeans.

First, the day - at least for liturgical reasons - started at dusk and continued to the next dusk. What we would call the evening before was for them the evening *of*. Hence Sinterklaasavond being December 5th, when the feast of Saint Nicholas is December 6th; and hence also Halloween, the e'en of All Hallows a.k.a Allerheiligen, November 1st.

Second, when they counted an interval of days, they counted both the starting day and the end day. Where we say that Sunday is two days *after* Friday, for them Sunday would be the third day *from* Friday.

And then Gregory XIII and Clavius came along and now this site has to show the first couple of days of each year with two dates...

(And don't get me started on the Ides of March! Then again, you don't have to, because all of that mess is explained on Claus Tondering's website, mentioned above, and indeed very useful.)

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