Friday 2 October 1663

Up betimes and by water to St. James’s, and there visited Mr. Coventry as a compliment after his new coming to town, but had no great talk with him, he being full of business. So back by foot through London, doing several errands, and at the ’Change met with Mr. Cutler, and he and I to a coffee-house, and there discoursed, and he do assure me that there is great likelyhood of a war with Holland, but I hope we shall be in good condition before it comes to break out. I like his company, and will make much of his acquaintance.

So home to dinner with my wife, who is over head and eares in getting her house up, and so to the office, and with Mr. Lewes, late, upon some of the old victuallers’ accounts, and so home to supper and to bed, up to our red chamber, where we purpose always to lie. This day I received a letter from Mr. Barlow, with a Terella, which I had hoped he had sent me, but to my trouble I find it is to present from him to my Lord Sandwich, but I will make a little use of it first, and then give it him.

35 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

We've seen the terella before

Wednesday 23 January 1660/61
"With [Greatorex] to Gresham Colledge (where I never was before), and saw the manner of the house, and found great company of persons of honour there"…
vincent from:[jan 1661 J Evelyn ]23. To Lond, at our Society, where was divers Exp: on the Terrella sent us by his Majestie
Ruben pointed to The Terrella…
and wrote "if you read… ["William Gilbert: forgotten genius" (forgotten? Hardly! -TF)] then you understand that it is possible that the embryonic Royal Society was discussing the last edition of Gilbert’s book, 5 years before or received from the King whatever remained from the ;hardware' of Gilbert’s experiment decades before."

TerryF  •  Link

The Terrella now has a Wikipedia article…

William Gilbert's 'Terrella'…

William Gilbert (or Gilberd, as he wrote it...)…

William Gilbert aka William of Colchester "set out to debunk magical notions of magnetism, yet in building an intellectual bridge between natural philosophy and emerging sciences, he did not completely abandon reference to the occult. For example, he believed that an invisible 'orb of virtue' [force] surrounds a magnet and extends in all directions around it. Other magnets and pieces of iron react to this orb of virtue and move or rotate in response. Magnets within the orb are attracted whereas those outside are unaffected. The source of the orb remained a mystery. Although his language was that of the natural philosophy of the time, some of his ideas were ahead of his time. His orbs of virtue were a fledgling notion of the idea of fields that would revolutionize physics more than two centuries later."…

jeannine  •  Link

"but I will make a little use of it first, and then give it him."
Gotta love it! This truly is a line for one's diary-I doubt he'd tell anyone he'd be playing with the gift destined for Sandwich first and then pass it on to him. Perhaps if he really enjoys playing with it, he'll avoid Sandwich for awhile so he can keep it longer.

Kilroy  •  Link

How would one make use of a Terlla? I'm imagining playing with it with a compass in hand. Watching changes in the needle as you moved it around this little model of the Earth.

What it wouldn't show is that Earth’s magnetic poles differ from its rotational poles. Was there ever an attempt to use this difference to solve the longitude problem?

in aqua  •  Link

The street doth know "...he do assure me that there is great likelyhood of a war with Holland..." how and why?

JWB  •  Link

Box your compass

"In 1580, Robert Norman published The New Attraction, containing observations on the variation and dip of the magnetic compass. Twenty years later, a general concept of the world distribution of magnetism was postulated by William Gilbert in his De Magnete. He attempted to explain planetary motions on the principle that the earth is a magnet, and described the importance of this magnetism in practical problems of navigation. By the beginning of the eighteenth century there was a full and accurate plotting of lines of magnetic variation, as seen here on Edmund Halley's chart of the Atlantic. This knowledge enabled the navigator to make the appropriate corrections to the ship's course.

Mariners attempted to relate the amount of easterly or westerly variation of the compass with longitude. But the pattern of magnetic variation over the earth's surface made any correlation unreliable, and the method was finally discredited in 1634."…

TerryF  •  Link

Wars and rumors of war

The day before yesterday, Wednesday 30 September "All the common talke for newes is the Turke’s advance in Hungary, &c."…

Talk about "the Arab street"!

in aqua  •  Link

Really I will not break it :...little use of it first.. ." Maxwell were be thee?

Curiosity kills the cat?
The nicest people be those that always use their inquiring mind.

Joe  •  Link

" wife, who is over head and eares in getting her house up..."

Another great phrase. She has seemed unusually busy lately, and Pepys has not reported any tension or bickering on her part. This doesn't seem like an extended washing day; rather, she seems to be throwing herself into this nesting project with enthusiasm.

Mary  •  Link

old victuallers' accounts.

L&M note that an enquiry was under way into the question of payment for provisions that were ordered for the navy before June 1660 but delivered afterwards. How long afterwards they do not say. Are the merchants seeking increased payments, to take account of inflation since the date of ordering?

Pedro  •  Link

of a war with Holland…" how and why?

No doubt some reasons will come out in the future Diary entries, but trade and profit could be the main reasons? Some of the background below is summarised from Ollard’s Man of War.

Looking before the First Dutch War (1652-54) the Dutch had built up by far the largest mercantile fleet in Europe. The Dutch East India Company wanted monopoly and had the power to colonise as well as trade, as we have seen with the nutmeg and Banda Island. They had annexed most of Portugal’s territory in the East, and were controlling the profitable spice trade. Cromwell introduced the Navigation Act of 1651.

Although a peace was made with the Treaty of Westminster hostilities continued in the overseas empires. By 1658 the Dutch had control of the cinnamon in Ceylon, and by 1663 the best pepper ports on the Malabar coast.

And the gold from Guinee? Sam had told us…

“This day I heard the Duke speak of a great design that he and my Lord of Pembroke have, and a great many others, of sending a venture to some parts of Africa to dig for gold ore there. They intend to admit as many as will venture their money, and so make themselves a company. 250l. is the lowest share for every man.”…

The dashing Holmes had embarked on his first voyage to the West coast of Africa, and the Duke of York, Coventry and Arlington have investments to bear fruit.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"I will make a little use of it first"

Oh, poor Sam! You can imagine his face falling or at least his smile becoming rather fixed when it dawns on him that the fascinating object is being given to him just as a go-between and not his to keep - it is *just* the sort of boy's toy, sorry - extremelyusefulcannot dowithoutitneccessity - which Sam would love to own.
Similarly, I often (very, very carefully) read books I am intending to give to family prior to parcelling them up......

A. Hamilton  •  Link

"I will make a little use of it first"

Magnets and books are at least durable objects, unlike a box of candy or cigars. To one unlettered in 17th century politics, I find it interesting, if not ironic, that the Dutch Wars began under Cromwell, Calvinist attacking Calvinist. So much for the theory that religion was the principle cause of conflict in the era.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

- A war with the Dutch - War was indeed pending and became inevitable in the next couple of years.
The main cause was the rivalry between the Dutch and the English. The English Act of Navigation was a thorn in the side of the Dutch and the English were envious of the wealth of the Dutch and the supremacy of their navy. Also the English wanted New Amsterdam so they could be the only traders on the American coast.
The other day an interesting book was published: "The Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667) - International Raison d'Etat, Mercantilism and Maritime Strife" by Gijs Rommelse, a Dutch historian who studied the archives and came up with new insights into this war. It is written in English. (ISBN 90-6550-907-0)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The Red Room...In which they propose always to lie.

Maybe it ever be red, guys.

Unless of course Bess' obsession has a darker side...

"Lock me in the red room...All covered in red. Everything red, red. Never to leave my red, red room. Never wants me to leave. Don't want to leave my pretty red, red room."

"Wretch? Everything going well with the new closet I so generously have provided?" Sam eyes his busy bee of a Bess as she mumbles.

Hewer having mentioned some nonsense about her acting strangely. And here she is working away, utterly content. Silly, impudent fellow.

"Oh, yes. I love my red room, Sam'l. Here you can keep me forever, forever in your keeping."

Redrum! Redrum! a faint voice calls.

Hmmn? Sam looks about...

"Here we can lie together." she nods at the newly set up bed. "Safe in each other's keeping. Forever in red, my red room." Bess notes, a rather fixedly adoring look on her face as she smiles at Sam.

"Uh, yes. Certainly, dear. Well, I've a bit of business in my office. I'll leave you to it till supper."

"No one will ever take me or my Sam'l from my red, red room." Bess whispers as she works along. A quick glance to the rather sharp object under the bed.

"No dancing master casting his wicked eyes upon me. No linen sellers throwing themselves at my Sam, as Lady Batten so vilely claimed. These lies will never come true...So long as we never leave my red, red room."


Would our Merry Monarch betray the generous hospitality of those who sheltered him so long?

Van Hugte  •  Link

As Wim van der Meij points out, an interesting new book on the Anglo-Dutch Wars. A sinopsys in the newspaper gives some more insight in why our Merry Monarch betrayed the generous hospitality. Always more pragmatical than principal he went along with the courts (a.o the Dukes')opinion rather than trying to delay the inevitable. As the book points out, it was only a matter of time before the small (land, resources, population) Holland would be at war with England.

alanB  •  Link

"but I hope we shall be in good condition before it comes to break out."

Very prophetic. Sam does seem to anticipate and be planning for improvements in the Navy. What he really needs (at little expense) is/are some good chains for the river.

Pedro  •  Link

Would our Merry Monarch betray the generous hospitality of those who sheltered him so long?

Does Old Rowley have any choice? The money for a war must come from Parliament, and the tide of opinion on the street is gathering momentum. Given that the Duke and some in the Court are pressing for a war, the main thrust seems to be coming from the traders who want a piece of the action.

At the end of the day the Parliament will not give a toss where Charlie spent his exile. Even if the King felt something for the Dutch, which I am not sure he did, can he stem this tide?

in aqua  •  Link

Monopolie or monopolize, or I want it all, I mean all, all be mine. [read Bacon on this]. 'English Act of Navigation' this insignificant act of dipping a flag, act of submission of do it my way, be the way of the world. This business of must use my ship, caused the ex english and friends to go a dumping spree in stump 'arbor a few years later.

Pedro  •  Link

"William Gilbert: forgotten genius" (forgotten? Hardly! -TF)

Terry, obviously one of the old school! The CGS system was much better with the old gilberts, maxwells, oersteds and gauss!

TerryF  •  Link

"Terry, obviously one of the old school!"

Yep. I studied physics first in 1960.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Seems awful that factions in England should seek war based on issues of greed alone and the two great Protestant powers might therefore come to blows over so little...

I should worry that God might send plague and fire and disgraceful defeat at one's own home naval base as punishment.

in aqua  •  Link

Robert were did thee migrate from ? Venus? or was that Ork.
Man be 99% Animal, so the head lines do read, so why should they not remove all obstacles to their personnal wealth and happiness, and help those that stand in their way, find a better place out of reach of the earths orbit by using those that be awe or dread to do the dread deeds of finding health liberty and the pursuit of personal satisfaction.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Still, my friend...God will give it His best shot.

And then some...

Pedro  •  Link

Daniel Defoe, Journal of the Plague Year (1722)

"It was about the beginning of September, 1664, that I, among the rest of my neighbours, heard in ordinary discourse that the plague was returned again in Holland; for it had been very violent there, and particularly at Amsterdam and Rotterdam, in the year 1663, whither, they say, it was brought, some said from Italy, others from the Levant, among some goods which were brought home by their Turkey fleet; others said it was brought from Candia; others from Cyprus. It mattered not from whence it came; but all agreed it was come into Holland again."

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

1663 - the plague in Holland.
1663 and 1664 were indeed bad years for Holland: in Amsterdam only 25.000 people died (among whom Hendrikje Stoffels, Rembrandt's wife).

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"it was brought from Candia"

language hat  •  Link


Also the name of the capital city (now Iraklion).

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"at the ‘Change met with Mr. Cutler, and he and I to a coffee-house, and there discoursed, and he do assure me that there is great likelyhood of a war with Holland, but I hope we shall be in good condition before it comes to break out. I like his company, and will make much of his acquaintance."

William Cutler, hemp merchant, may well have spoken the views of that section of the mercantile interest which favoured a war. The government undertook serious naval preparations only in the following spring. The English began hostilities with Holmes's raids on the Dutch colonies in West Africa, and with attacks on Dutch commercial shipping which culminated in Allin's capture of the Smyrna fleet (December 1664). The English declaration of war came in March 1665. (L&M note)

An authoritative source on such matters in this period is N.A.M. Roger, The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815.…'s%20raids%20in%20west%20africa&f=false

StanB  •  Link

Oxford was the first English city to establish a coffeehouse in 1650, named the Angel and still in existence today, The first coffeehouses established in Oxford were known as penny universities, as they offered an alternative form of learning to structural academic learning, while still being frequented by the English virtuosi who actively pursued advances in human knowledge. The coffeehouses would charge a penny admission, which would include access to newspapers and conversation.Reporters called "runners" went around to the coffeehouses announcing the latest news. Anyone who had a penny could come inside. Students from the universities also frequented the coffeehouses, sometimes even spending more time at the shops than at school.…

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: my wife, who is over head and eares in getting her house up,

‘head, n.1 < Germanic . .
. . P3. In collocation with another noun
. . e.
(a) over head and ears: (so as to be) completely immersed; (fig.) (so as to be) deeply immersed or involved in something .. .
. . 1663 S. Pepys Diary 2 Oct. (1971) IV. 322 My wife, who is over head and ears in getting her house up . . ‘

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