Monday 17 February 1661/62

This morning, both Sir Williams, myself, and Captain Cocke and Captain Tinker of the Convertine, which we are going to look upon (being intended to go with these ships fitting for the East Indys), down to Deptford; and thence, after being on shipboard, to Woolwich, and there eat something. The Sir Williams being unwilling to eat flesh,1 Captain Cocke and I had a breast of veal roasted. And here I drank wine upon necessity, being ill for want of it, and I find reason to fear that by my too sudden leaving off wine, I do contract many evils upon myself.

Going and coming we played at gleeke, and I won 9s. 6d. clear, the most that ever I won in my life. I pray God it may not tempt me to play again.

Being come home again we went to the Dolphin, where Mr. Alcock and my Lady and Mrs. Martha Batten came to us, and after them many others (as it always is where Sir W. Batten goes), and there we had some pullets to supper. I eat though I was not very well, and after that left them, and so home and to bed.

30 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

This day John Everlyn says...

"This night was buried in Westminster the Queene of Bohemia .& this night, & the next day fell such a storme of Haile, Thunder & lightning, as never was seene the like in any mans memorie….. so exceedingly was Gods hand against this ungratefull, vicious Nation, & Court.”…

” against this ungratefull, vicious Nation, & Court.” The same court that Mr. Everlyn spends so much time hobnobbing with?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"I pray God it may not tempt me to play again"
Paraphrasing Oscar Wild,SP can resist anything but temptation.

Glyn  •  Link

Who or what was a "Convertine"?

trevor  •  Link

Glyn Asked:

Who or what was a "Convertine"?

It is the name of the shipped commanded by Captain Tinker. It was in the East India Trading Company fleet, but I couldn’t find too much about it.

This link below has few details, other than service period, but mabye other searches will find something else.…


Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...I find reason to fear that by my too sudden leaving off wine, I do contract many evils upon myself."

Uh-huh. Followed by...

"I eat though I was not very well..."

Sam, he who dost not see the hand of God in this... (As your young Mr. Penn, Jr. would probably point out.)

"...we went to the Dolphin, where Mr. Alcock and my Lady and Mrs. Martha Batten came to us, and after them many others (as it always is where Sir W. Batten goes)..." Sir Bill Batten, 1660's London's beloved party king (after the Stuart boys, naturally).

I hope the "we" meant Beth was included.

Pauline  •  Link

Uh-huh. Also followed by

I won 9s. 6d. clear, the most that ever I won in my life

JWB  •  Link

"...Fishmongers' Company petitioned the King that Lent might be kept…”
Reformation did to the Hanseatic League what Baltic pirates couldn’t.

vicenzo  •  Link

Covertine: most likely a newish boat with 56 guns

Ruben  •  Link

in another site I found another Convertine sold to the Portuguese in 1650.…
so the name probably was reused for "our " Convertine.
In another site:…
with a list of Merchant Vessels in the Service of the East India Company, 1601-1832 the Convertine figures with 240 tons and one voyage in 1661. I presume this is "our" Convertine, later lost to the Dutch.

Ruben  •  Link

Une autre Convertine:
The French have something different to say about our Convertine:

"Roger TAYLOR: ...Au début de février 1661, un flibustier du même nom avait été mis aux fers pour piraterie, en compagnie de George Freebourne, Robert Martin, William Foxery et Jeremy Medlicoate, à bord du HMS Convertine, mouillant à Port Royal.” (see: )
and then:
“George FREEBOURNE : flibustier anglais.

En janvier 1661, ce capitaine débarqua en fraude à la Jamaïque la cargaison de l'une de ses prises, mais il fut arrêté par le gouverneur D'Oyley et envoyé, avec trois autres flibustiers, en Angleterre sur le HMS Convertine pour y être jugé pour piraterie.”
So may be the ship was back from Jamaica or still better did not sail to Jamaica (the French used another calendar).
We know that the ship did only one voyage, so Pepys probably inspected the ship before it sailed to Jamaica.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Warrington has a note on the Convertine and calls it a fourth-rate of forty-eight guns. In 1665 it was commanded by Captain John Pierce.
By-the-way on this side of the North Sea we would say the ship was won by the Dutch.

Pedro  •  Link

"And here I drank wine upon necessity"

Will should have used this excuse when he was with Mr. Southerne and Homewood at the Dolphin, on the 6th of January.

Glyn  •  Link

Is there any internal logic at all as to how English ships were/are named? Probably not, because a lot of them were converted merchant ships. (I think that there is for American naval ships, though I don't know what its specifics are.)

Perhaps languagehat or another multi-linguist might explain the derivation of "Convertine", because I don't believe it to be an English word or English surname. The English navy did use foreign names for their ships, so is this one of them?

Susanna  •  Link


The OED lists "convertine" as meaning "inclined to be converted," an obsolete and rare word, with one citation, from 1608.

john lauer  •  Link

Well then, how appropriate, if it had been converted!

E  •  Link

Ships' names
There is more than you may want to now about the current method of naming British Royal Navy ships in an article from the Navy News. The headline is "Long odds on HMS Death Star".…

Rather more fun is a webpage about the logic of the families of names used by the RN, USN, and others; the USN having a straightforward system. Oddly enough this is on a science-fiction-role-playing-game website.

language hat  •  Link

the derivation of "Convertine":

It is in fact both an English word (as Susanna explains) and a surname (if you google it you’ll find a number of examples); it’s obviously related to the word “convert,” but whether the ship’s name comes from a vocabulary item or the surname is probably unknowable at this late date. The surname is rare enough that it’s not in any of my references, but the name Converse usually referred originally to a lay brother in a monastery who lived according to a less strict rule and did manual labor (although it sometimes referred to a convert from Judaism; in the 13th century there was a House of Converts for such people on the site of the present Public Records Office, which is why the earlier name of Chancery Lane was Convers Lane).

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Convertine -- 4th rate, 50-60 guns; Portuguese prize 1650; captured by Dutch 1666. [ L&M Index. ]

Bill  •  Link

the derivation of "Convertine":
In September, 1892, the following notice appeared in the journal "Notes and Queries." Although respondents mentioned Pepys' diary, the question received no answer.

Convertine : Convertive. - In the seventeenth century we had a ship of war whose name appears as Convertiue but whether the last letter but one is a u or an n is doubtful. It is printed indiscriminately v or n; Convertive or Convertine. Can some friendly reader suggest a meaning of the name which may perhaps determine the spelling? J.K. Laughton.
British History Online has many entries for ships with both names in the 17th century though "Convertive" appears almost exclusively in the early 1600s and the two names do not seem to overlap. Were they somehow related/linked? See my next note.

Bill  •  Link

the derivation of "Convertine":
This ship [the Convertine], originally the Destiny, built for Sir Walter Ralegh [sic] before his last voyage, and afterwards bought or confiscated into the navy (E.H.R. vii. 486, n.63), and thus 'converted,' appears in the navy lists and the State Papers as the 'Convertive,' 500 tons and 30 guns. In 1648 she sailed to Holland with the rest of the ships that revolted against the Parliament (Cal. S.P. Dom. 1648-9, p.124). In the Commonwealth lists, however, there appears a 40-gun ship of 500 net and 666 gross tonnage named the Convertine, a prize of 1651 (E.H.R. xi. 46), probably the same ship retaken, but there is no doubt that the two names were used indifferently long before Commonwealth times. 'Convertine' is written in a State Paper as early as 1629 (S.P. Dom. vol.cxxxv. No.32).
---Publications of the Navy Records Society, v.7, p.379-380, 1896.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"I find reason to fear that by my too sudden leaving off wine, I do contract many evils upon myself."

There is scriptural support for Sam's position:

"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities."
(1 Timothy 5:23, King James' Bible)

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

"This night was buried in Westminster the Queene of Bohemia . . “ (Evelyn)

‘ . . She was the . . (Elizabeth) eldest daughter of James VI and I, King of Scots, England, and Ireland . . her grandson succeeded to the British throne as George I of Great Britain . . The reigning British monarch, Elizabeth II, is her direct descendant of the 10th and 11th generation through different paths. Most other European royal families . . are also descended from Elizabeth Stuart . . ‘…

And yet our diarist was too busy gambling and giving himself indigestion to noticed her funeral.

jimmigee  •  Link

Re Sasha's Bible quote. . . so those religions that forbid drinking of wine, beer or stronger stuff must be guided by other scriptural quotes?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

jimmigee, staying on topic, Sasha is supplying a scriptural warrant in the Protestant Christian tradition for Pepys's admonishing himself.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

IMHO both Pedro and Chris miss the point of Evelyn's Diary entry:

17 February, 1662.

I went with my Lord of Bristol to see his house at Wimbledon, newly bought of the Queen-Mother, to help contrive the garden after the modern.
It is a delicious place for prospect and the thickets, but the soil cold and weeping clay.

Returned that evening with Sir Henry Bennett.

This night was buried in Westminster Abbey the Queen of Bohemia, after all her sorrows and afflictions being come to die in the arms of her nephew, the King;

also this night and the next day fell such a storm of hail, thunder, and lightning, as never was seen the like in any man’s memory, especially the tempest of wind, being southwest, which subverted, besides huge trees, many houses, innumerable chimneys (among others that of my parlor at Sayes Court), and made such havoc at land and sea, that several perished on both.

Divers lamentable fires were also kindled at this time; so exceedingly was God’s hand against this ungrateful and vicious nation and Court.


The Queen of Bohemia - Elizabeth Stuart Pfalz-Simmern, Queen of Bohemia…

Evelyn's early delight in the return of the Stuarts has been tempered by events, the Court's wanton ways, and the Stuart Brothers' womanizing.
Like most people of his time, he believed God punished people for wickedness and misdeads by storms, plagues floods, etc. The King, as Defender of the Faith, demanded everyone go to Church regularly to pray for forgiveness, to avert storms like this being visited upon them.

Follow the link above, and find out why Charles II's impoverished aunt Elizabeth Stuart Pfalz-Simmern, Queen of Bohemia was the problem relative (and therefore not invited to his coronation). The old portrait of her wearing the Tudor Crown (proclaiming her willingness to be Queen of England) must have been known to him. That she died "in the arms of her nephew, the King" may not be physically accurate -- it may just mean they had become reconcilled.

Does "this ungrateful and vicious nation and Court" refer to the Queen of Bohemia, or to the superstitious-religiosity of the day, frightened by a terrible storm?


The Manor House at Wimbledon, sold by Queen Mother Henrietta Maria to George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol. This becomes the scene of much action soon.…

Henry Bennet, Lord Arlington --…

FROM John Evelyn's Diary – he and Mary Browne Evelyn live at Saye's Court, Deptford.


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