Sunday 2 August 1663

(Lord’s day) Up and after the barber had done he and I walked to the Docke, and so on board the Mathias, where Commissioner Pett and he and I and a good many of the officers and others of the yard did hear an excellent sermon of Mr. Hudson’s upon “All is yours and you are God’s,” a most ready, learned, and good sermon, such as I have not heard a good while, nor ever thought he could have preached.

We took him with us to the Hill-house, and there we dined, and an officer or two with us. So after dinner the company withdrew, and we three to private discourse and laid the matters of the yard home again to the Commissioner, and discoursed largely of several matters.

Then to the parish church, and there heard a poor sermon with a great deal of false Greek in it, upon these words, “Ye are my friends, if ye do these things which I command you.”

Thence to the Docke and by water to view St. Mary Creeke, but do not find it so proper for a wet docks as we would have it, it being uneven ground and hard in the bottom and no great depth of water in many places.

Returned and walked from the Docke home, Mr. Coventry and I very much troubled to see how backward Commissioner Pett is to tell any of the faults of the officers, and to see nothing in better condition here for his being here than they are in other yards where there is none. After some discourse to bed. But I sat up an hour after Mr. Coventry was gone to read my vows, it raining a wonderful hard showre about 11 at night for an hour together. So to bed.

18 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

Today's sermon texts

"All is yours and you are God's"

1 Corinthians 3
22-23: "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."

"Ye are my friends, if ye do these things which I command you."

The Gospel of John 15,
14: "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."

Bradford  •  Link

Thank you, Terry, for tracking down the source of the Good Sermon (when did Pepys last praise one?)---this takes on a much more spiritual tone than "All is yours and you are God's," which sounds more like the stance adopted by some today, "We are Gods and all is ours."

Surely Pepys's vows are not so extensive that they take an hour to read? Is even the Benedictine Rule that long?

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary entry for today:

"... This Evening I accompanied Mr. Tressurer & Vice Chamberlaine Carteret to his lately married Son in Laws Sir Tho: Scot to Scots hall in Kent; wee took barge as far as Graysin [=Gravesend], thence by Post to Rochester, whence in Coach & six horses to Scots hall, a right noble seate, uniformely built, hand-some Gallery, it stands in a Park well stored, fat & good land: we were exceedingly feasted by the young knight & in his pretty Chapell heard an excellent sermon by his Chaplaine ... In the Churchyard of the Parish-Church I measurd an over-grown Yew-tree that was 18 of my paces in compasse out of some branches of which, torne off by the Winds, were divers goodly planks sawed:"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

It must be the "whereas"s and the "howsoever"s that keep the reading so long.

"Vow 116: Whereas the party of the first part, I, Samuel Pepys, do hereby vow not to towse a woman not my wife more than once between Easter and Christmas. When I am free to come to some new terms (Howsoever an exception may be made if the lady of the second fair part should be of but one degree less than a Castlemaine or Stewart though one degree above a Pierce in beauty, wherein I am allowed to note that we only go round once in life and while I love my wife, ho, ho, oh you kid.) Forfeit to be ten shillings.

Vow 117: Diligence being most acceptible to the Lord, I, Samuel Pepys, esq., the party of the first part, do hereby solemnly vow, (Whereas it must be noted that this is without infringement on Vow 10 to be most correct in attendance on my duty), to be most diligent in the performance of my assigned tasks in the office. Whereas it is most difficult to establish an accurate measure of the said 'diligence' I, Samuel Pepys, party of the first part, do establish the measure of said 'diligence' to be in full and satisfactory completion of daily tasks to the limits possible within one day's span."

Say, what do you suppose Will Hewer's doing while the Lord High Pooh-bah's away?

Hopefully, he's got his cloak thrown back,and the Latin reader sits somewhat (though not entirely, we wouldn't want Will to sink to utter degradation) less well attended on his desk.

Or maybe,

"Dear Mrs. Pepys,

As per your request I have deciphered all of Mr. Pepys' journal to the point when he left for Chatham the other day. The total number of rendezvous with other women since my last review, is, rather surprisingly, 1...With Mrs. Betty Lane, the owner of a stall in Whitehall. You will be, I hope comforted to note that he does specifically mention having done no more than towsing her, though somewhat roughly. He did mention an unfortunate interest in two other women, a Mrs. Bagwell, wife to one of our yard carpenters, and a rather young Mrs. Betty Mitchell, daughter to a couple who may be known to you. I trust it will relieve you to know that Mr. Pepys only expressed an interest in both ladies and has, as yet, gone no further.
I hope this information will not be distressing to you, given as you must be aware, the daily temptations your dear husband faces.

I remain your (and Mr. Pepys') faithful servant,

William Hewer."

TerryF  •  Link

Cf. the earlier, more favorable view of St Mary's Creek's suitability for a wet dock -

11 July 1663…

and Australian Susan's post about it -
"I took the wet dock plan to mean that Pett wanted to ensure that plans for a wet dock which would take the better rated ships was got under way before someone with control over the purse strings decided that using the creeks at Portsmouth would suffice for repairs. Or that Pett was worried about work passing from Chatham/Woolwich/Deptford to Portsmouth, with subsequent loss of employment around his area."…

Today's more exacting survey's a great disappointment.

Aqua  •  Link

"Wet docks em?, room for negotiation, Portsmouth have lots of good inlets, better supervised too? ."
Work shops, the anvil not be shinning,
Timbers be shivering quite a bit, better maintained [ drop in observations] down at Dartford, closer to the office where we can keep an eye on them.
Pett and Family has survived the mascinations of interference from them their city folk.
Sam has been successful up to now, in reforming the slovenliness of the other docks with inspections without warning. But Medway be under the Pett control.
Sam may be totally correct, cost overruns galore, what government project is not, Sam be a one man oversight control.
Money be honey, never enough to keep every one in a sweet mood.
Sam has natural instincts for graft and sink holes.
Pett likes his sloppy officers, they be grateful for his leadership [?]

Australian Susan  •  Link

The Sermons Sam heard today were not based on the Calendar readings for the day (from 2 Samuel, Jeremiah and John).

TerryF  •  Link

A modest proposal about the keeping of dock yards

A set of quantified performance standards adopted by the Navy Board - at Pepys's instigation, with the support of Mr. Coventry and Sir George Carteret - governing the issues under discussion among the three who yesterday sat under the Arbor, which no dockyards meet, but which might serve as targets, to be implented gradually, according to certain benchmarks, with penalties for those who fail to act in the yards.

This further gets Pepys out of the line of fire for being "harsh" (he has Mr. Coventry for his cover in Chatham), and removes the personal onus from Peter Pett's enforcing performace standards, &c.

TerryF  •  Link

"Pett and Family" - nice phrase, Aqua.

(Reminds me of an Irish whisky company...)

A. Hamilton  •  Link

this minimum Rule which we have written for beginners

So ends Chapter 73 of the Rule of Benedict

Joe  •  Link

"to read my vows"

Persistence is one of Pepys' qualities. He could easily chuck the whole project of making and keeping vows, or just let it lapse without comment, especially since it seems like such a private affair. Who else would know--or care? SP isn't cloistered with others following the same program, as those who subscribe to the OSB. Like the way he keeps at the Diary (and thank you for that, Mr. Pepys), also a seemingly private affair, he takes advantage of a spare hour to return to, reflect on and remember (OK, that's a lot to hang on the word "read") his commitment to live a better life. Pretty impressive, really--that persistence, that commitment, in spite of the mess and opportunities of everyday living and his often imperfect reactions to it all.

A puzzle: what is the relationship between the vows and the Diary? Essays will be due next Friday.

Pedro  •  Link

Evelyn from Dirk..."In the Churchyard of the Parish-Church I easurd an over-grown Yew-tree that was 18 of my paces in compasse out of some branches of which, torne off by the Winds, were divers goodly planks sawed:"

The usual scientific ways of dating a tree, by counting the annual rings in the trunk or by carbon dating, are not accurate when it comes to Yews. The trees have a complex growth pattern and may stop growing (and putting on annual rings) for long periods of time. The Totteridge Yew in Herefordshire was measured in 1677 by Sir John Cullum as having a girth of 26 ft at 3 ft from the ground. When Alan Meredith made the measurement in 1982 and 1991 it was still the same. There had been no growth in width in 314 years, even though the tree is very much alive!
Another Yew, which was carbon dated as being 187 years old, was known to a 1000 years old from historical evidence!

All you ever wanted to know about yew trees...…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" and to see nothing in better condition here for his being here than they are in other yards where there is none."

Cheatham (largest of the yards) was the only one with a resident commissioner until Thomas Middleton was appointed to Portsmouth in 1664. (L&M footnote)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

CHATHAM is in the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester.
The church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, stands on the chalk cliff, just above the Old Dock, more than a quarter of a mile north-westward from the High Street.
This church, built in 1316 for bishop Thomas de Woldham; ...
The east end of of the church is all that remains of that building; the north and south isles being more modern, as the dock and navy establishments having been so greatly enlarged, the inhabitants became so numerous, that the old church was too small; so the navy commissioners in 1635 repaired the church, rebuilt and enlarged the west end, and erected the steeple; ...
Among other monuments are — In the chancel, ... for Edw. Yardley, gent. of Chatham, obt. 1655; and Dorothy his wife, 1657; had six sons and two daughters.
In the nave, two brass plates, inscription for Steven Borough, died 1584, born at Northam, Devonshire; he discovered Muscovia, by the northern sea passage to St. Nicholas, in 1553; at his setting forth from England, he was accompanied by two other ships, Sir Hugh Willoughby being admiral of the fleet, who, with all the two ships companies, were frozen to death in Lappia the same winter after his discovery of Russia, and the adjoining coasts of Lappia, Nova Zembla, and the country of Samoyeda, &c. he frequented the trade yearly to St. Nicholas, as chief pilot for the voyage, till he was chosen one of the masters in ordinary of the queen's royal navy, which he was employed in till his death.
A monument for Sir John Cox, a captain and commander in the navy, slain in a sea engagement with the Dutch, in 1672.
A memorial for the Fletchers, master carvers of the dock yard, and their families.
A memorial for the Mawdistlys of this parish; ...
A monument for Robert Wilkinson, alias Edilbury, gent. of Denbighshire, obt. 1610.
Near the west door, on a pedestal, the figure of a man to the middle, lying his right hand on a death's head, and holding a book in his left, for Kenrike, Edisbury, esq. of Marchwell, Denbighshire, surveyor of the navy, ob. 1638; he married Mary, daughter and heir of Edward Peters, alias Harding, gent. of Rochester.
In the belfry stands the figure of a man, in a praying posture, dressed in the habit of queen Elizabeth's time.
Mr. John Pyham, late minister of this parish, gave to this church a silver flaggon and two silver plates, in 1636.
Mr. Benjamin Ruffhead, anchorsmith of the dock, gave the branch and iron work, in 1689; he also gave a silver bason, in 1694.
Hightlights from…

Gerald Berg  •  Link

An interesting point Joe makes on Pepys private dialogue with discipline. I take his musical pursuits to be of a piece with that.

I am curious about the vow reading. I usually take vows to be religiously based. Reading Benedictine in length? Very funny. The two of his I hold in my head are: avoiding drink and avoiding plays. These are more in line with what I would call resolutions. Perhaps his reading of vows is more like an internal pep talk?

And the limiting of plays? What's with that? He talks of the expense but somehow to me (at least) there sounds a moral dimension also. What I can't figure if it's a cultural bias - as in the traditional prejudice with theater being disreputable or something more peculiar to SP?

I should mention a book at this point: The Reformation of Emotions in the Age of Shakespeare by S. Mullaney.

I am imagining that 100 hundred years prior in 1563 Pepy's forebears would have been Catholic?
Not having an English nor a catholic background am I wrong to be still detecting it in Pepys?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"And the limiting of plays? What's with that? He talks of the expense but somehow to me (at least) there sounds a moral dimension also. What I can't figure if it's a cultural bias - as in the traditional prejudice with theater being disreputable or something more peculiar to SP?"

Gerald Berg, you are onto something worth keeping in mind.

Just 21 years ago in September 1642 the Long Parliament ordered a closure of the London theatres. The order cited the current "times of humiliation" and their incompatibility with "public stage-plays", representative of "lascivious Mirth and Levity". The ban, which was not completely effective, was reinforced by an Act of 11 February 1648. It provided for the treatment of actors as rogues, the demolition of theatre seating, and fines for spectators.[2]
In 1660, after the English Restoration brought King Charles II to effective power in England, the theatrical ban was lifted. Under a new licensing system, two London theatres with royal patents were opened.…

For most of Pepys's life plays and actors (male and female) were regarded as morally dangerous. Though he associates with them, there is still a streak of Puritan moralism in Pepys -- consider his views of the court.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . a most ready, learned, and good sermon . .’

‘ready, adj., adv., int., and n. < Old English
. . 4.c. Of speech, discourse, or writing: expressed promptly, easily, or fluently.
. . 1591 R. Greene Notable Discouery of Coosenage To Rdr. sig. B3, [He] tipled so much Malmsie that hee had neuer a ready word in his mouth.
. . 1697 Dryden Ded. Georgics in tr. Virgil Wks. sig. ¶1v, A clearness of Notion, express'd in ready and unstudied words. . . ‘
Re: ‘ . . to read my vows . . ’

‘vow, n.< Anglo-Norman . .
. . 4. An earnest wish or desire; a prayer, a supplication . . Not always clearly distinct from sense 1.

1563 tr. Musculus' Common-pl. 499 A vowe is oftentymes taken for a desyre, and prayer. So whan those thynges whyche we haue desyred, do fall oute accordinge vnto oure mynde, wee saye we haue oure wishe or vowe.
. . 1742 D. Hume Stoic in Ess. (1777) I. i. xvi. 159 Even their own vows, though granted, cannot give them happiness . . ‘

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