Saturday 1 June 1661

Having taken our leaves of Sir W. Batten and my Lady, who are gone this morning to keep their Whitsuntide, Sir W. Pen and I and Mr. Gauden by water to Woolwich, and there went from ship to ship to give order for and take notice of their forwardness to go forth, and then to Deptford and did the like, having dined at Woolwich with Captain Poole at the tavern there.

From Deptford we walked to Redriffe, calling at the half-way house, and there come into a room where there was infinite of new cakes placed that are made against Whitsuntide, and there we were very merry.

By water home, and there did businesses of the office. Among others got my Lord’s imprest of 1000l. and Mr. Creed’s of 10,000l. against this voyage their bills signed. Having wrote letters into the country and read some things I went to bed.

23 Annotations

First Reading

Rick Ansell  •  Link

Here we have the 'top team' from the Navy and Victualling Boards doing a readiness inspection. I picture them up and down the sides of ships out and in to their boat like regular yo-yos.

Once aboard they would be in conference with the Captain, Purser, Bosun etc. checking what was aboard and what still had to be delivered. They may have made a few spot checks on the figures they were being given - Bosuns, in particular, were renowned for handing a few items over the side in return for cash.

A notable absence from their conferences would have been the Gunner - his world was governed by the Ordnance Board. The Navy Board looked after the ships themselves, the Victualling Board provisions and the Ordnance Board the armament.


Xjy  •  Link

Ablative absolute
Short sharp entry today. Lots of things subordinated that he might normally make a meal of -- like having a meal :-) Having taken leave, having dined, having wrote...
But it was a very full day -- Woolwich and Deptford doing Rick's yo-yo inspection, making merry among an infinitude of cakes, big money transactions at the office, lots of letters at home. Phew...
I like "having wrote" -- the living vernacular.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Quite a walk they had from Deptford to Redriffe!
Would they have followed the road (path) along the river, or cut across the land? If they did the latter they might have passed the place which is now Pepys Park (a bit to the right of Deptford Park)

tc  •  Link

...ship to ship...

One wonders how much, at this early stage in his career, Sam is able to contribute to these inspections. He is still relatively new to the job, after all. Likely at this early point in a lifetime of such inspections he relies on Sir Penn and Mr. Gauden to see that the physical requirements are met for the forthcoming journeys: cordage, spare spars, spare sailcloth, all the nuts and bolts of the Navy.

And hopefully Penn & Gauden have the experience to pick up on some of the scams and cons of life aboard ship: as Rick points out, bosuns and pursers worked some amazing schemes!

Sam, one assumes, is still "learning the ropes", studying his "Seaman's Grammar and Dictionary" and picking up important knowledge through osmosis and observation.

Rick pictures the scene well; there must have been some nervous times for some ships when the boat containing the inspection committee came alongside!

Alan Bedford  •  Link

" my Lord's imprest of 1000l. and Mr. Creed's of 10,000l. against this voyage their bills signed…”

Definitely not petty cash, and, it seems, somewhat greater than the cost of provisioning might be. Advances against hoped-for profits/booty?

Gus  •  Link

It's an awfully busy day. Let's see ..
- by boat to Woolwich,
- inspect ships (how many are in port?),
- dine with Captain Poole,
- by boat to Deptford,
- inspect ships (again how many?),
- walk to Redriffe,
- stop at the halfway house,
- make merry,
- by boat to the office
- do business, including
-- signature for Montague's 1000 L imprest
-- signature for Creeds 10000 L imprest
- write letters
- read
- go to bed
That's a lot of activity in one day, no?


Australian Susan  •  Link

Whit Cakes
See Steve H's recipe: these were pretty stolid affairs, Sindy, maybe not what we would want to eat many of. Soul Cakes (made for All Souls' Day on Novemeber 2nd) are also rib-sticking dough with the odd currant or two. Mind you, I think Sam would have tucked merrily into today's mud cake or baked cheesecake or carrot cake or date and walnut cake or...sorry have to go and have a sugar fix......

Daniel Baker  •  Link

These imprests are somewhat mysterious. Who is lending money to whom? Are Creed and Mountagu lending 11,000 L to Pepys? Or is someone else lending 11,000 L to Mountagu and Creed? Is this Pepys's investment in the fleet's voyage, which he had earlier been deliberating?

cum salis grano  •  Link

'...Among others got my Lord’s imprest of 1000l. and Mr. Creed’s of 10,000l. against this voyage their bills signed...."
imprest, v.1
[ad. It. (and med.L.) imprestre to lend:

1. trans. To advance, lend (money).
b. With inverted construction: To furnish (a person) with an advance of money.

1612 DAVIES Why Ireland, etc. (1747) 58 He should have four thousand Markes for the first year, whereof he should be imprested 2,000 li before hand.

1613 SIR R. BOYLE in Lismore Papers (1886) I. 23 This day I impresed [=imprested] my mother in lawe..wth 50li ster. to sett the worck in hande.
2. To draw (a bill or money by a bill).
1617 MORYSON Itin. II. 207 Billes imprested upon accounts here.

1661 PEPYS Diary 13 June, So to the Wardrobe and got my Lord to order Mr. Creed to imprest so much upon me to be paid by Alderman Buckwell.
impress, v.3
1. trans. To advance (money): = IMPREST v.1 1.
1665 EVELYN Diary 19 Mar., £5000 impressed for the service of the sick and wounded prisoners.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"Imprest" was discussed in the annotations of 9 February 1660/61 and it was generally agreed that an imprest is an advance payment for future expenses, sort of like 'petty cash.'. It will needs be accounted for at a later date. SP had an imprest of 30£ (!) before his ocean trip in early 1660. And for which he later worried about the accounting.

Creed must have great financial control of this trip since he has an imprest of 10,000£. I imagine "my lord" won't bother with the paperwork for his 1,000£. Or rather SP will have to reconstruct it after his return!

JedidiahStott  •  Link

The fleet setting out will have to buy provisions and maybe water in foreign parts, perhaps pay sailors something on account, pay port and harbour dues, likely bribe various officials, make appropriate presents to grandees , and many other expenses.

The imprest is a "float" money advanced for such purposes. It would not do to have England's grand fleet stuck in some foreign port unable to buy provisions to get home.

The imprest will have to be accounted for on return and any left over returned. The accounting for is part of Mr Pepys's job.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" Sir W. Pen and I and Mr. Gauden by water to Woolwich, and there went from ship to ship to give order for and take notice of their forwardness to go forth, and then to Deptford and did the like, having dined at Woolwich with Captain Poole at the tavern there."

SPOILER: The ships were about to sail under Sandwich to the Mediterranean: they set off on 13 June and returned on 14 May 1662. Jonas Poole had married a sister of Penn. (L&M note)

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

The link for "my Lady" goes to Jemima Mountagu. It seems more likely that Sam means Mrs. Batten, no?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I wonder why the Lords didn't sit today.

And in the Commons, keeping people in their seats was an issue:
"Climbing over Seats forbidden.
"Ordered, That, whensoever the House is to rise, every Member keep their Seat, till the Speaker go out; and then every one in their Course orderly, as they sit, and not over the Formes.

"Ordered, That all such of the Members of this House, as climb over their Seats, shall pay Twelve-pence to the Serjeant attending this House."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Among others got my Lord’s imprest of 1000l. and Mr. Creed’s of 10,000l. against this voyage their bills signed."

As I recall -- and I haven't looked this up -- 17 ships are sailing for Portugal; let's say there are a minimum of 500 men per ship. 8,500 men will need fresh food and water, spars and masts break, people get sick and need to be left with funds to cover their recovery; they are being entertained in Portugal by royalty, and need to reciprocate; they will be transporting a Princess for months at sea -- along with her dozens of attendants. Add gifts and port fees and other miscellaneous expenses, I can see 10,000l. disappearing quite quickly.

I wonder where Creed will keep the cash? If it's gold, that's still a lot of small barrels to keep under his bunk in his locked cabin. If it's in silver, that's a whole lot more barrels to keep where? They could overflow his cabin.

Maybe there's a "vault" next to the "armory" in the bowels of the ship, which is off limits to the crew?
Does anyone remember where to find the incredible diagram of a ship we shared during the 1660 voyage?

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Buried among the undated documents that the State Papers throw together at the end of their May collection, is a "Grant to the Earl of Sandwich of the offices of Master of the Swans in the Thames and of Bailiff of Whittlesea-Mere [a large swamp, near Cambidge, rich in waterfowl;…], with the custody of the swans there".

Swans! As if My Lord didn't have enough to do already. Will Sam have to go throw them pieces of bread? Does Sandwich especially like swans? Or is there no rent-paying office that's too small for grabbing? And can he keep the feathers?

Carol D  •  Link

The recipe link from the 1st reading no longer works. Here's another I found -…

The gooseberry bushes on my allotment (in southern England) are fruiting now so, if the birds have left any, I may try to make a cake.

Sandra Gail  •  Link

San Diego Sarah:
Here is a link to the great animation of an 18th century warship that (I think) was shared last year.…

And this is my first time posting to this group. I love reading the diary and I love reading the annotations. Both have enriched my life substantially in the past year and a half.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

THANKS Sandra -- and please join in whenever you feel inspired. Your insights are as good as anyone's; we are all guessing most of the time, since none of us were there!
And I agree about the enrichment to our everyday lives -- I feel exactly the same as you. If we make it through the entire 9-1/2 years, I think we've earned an honorary History degree!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Or is there no rent-paying office that's too small for grabbing? And can he keep the feathers?"

Sandwich has lots of retainers to employ and pay, and so no office is too small. And as for the feathers -- I wonder how they work in mattresses?

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

On this day also starts a new volume of the State Papers, that will entertain and improve us through 1662. For reference, it is available at…. Also, in a much more awkward format, at…. Much luvv to Mary Anne Everett Green, who presided over the monstruous editing job back in 1861, and to whoever ran those 780 pages one by one through the scanner at the University of Indiana in 2009. Thanks to them we know for instance that My Lord wrote today to the Navy Commissioners, for "an imprest of 1,000l. , that he may not be retarded in his sudden repairing to the fleet".

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

AMEN to that, Stephane. I am constantly mentally thanking Victorian and Edwardian historians for their research and writing, and to Open Source and the Google librarians for their quick access to information it probably took the first round annotators years to accummulate.

I wonder if AI will expose us to "alternative" 17th century history? Is this a factual zenith? Will a black Queen Charlotte be accepted as a fact in 100 years? Maybe AI can tell us who probably murdered Edmund Berry Godfrey?

One good piece of news is that children are being taught cursive handwriting again, so there's hope a few will be able to read the documents that are too weird for AI to grasp.

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