Sunday 27 December 1663

Up and to church alone and so home to dinner with my wife very pleasant and pleased with one another’s company, and in our general enjoyment one of another, better we think than most other couples do. So after dinner to the French church, but came too late, and so back to our owne church, where I slept all the sermon the Scott preaching, and so home, and in the evening Sir J. Minnes and I met at Sir W. Pen’s about ordering some business of the Navy, and so I home to supper, discourse, prayers, and bed.

18 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

Meanwhile on the West African Coast...

At Cape Verde a sail was reported to the northward...a fine Dutch West Indian of about 300 tons, her colours at her main...Holmes tacked towards her and fired , she struck her flag but not her topsails...the prize proved to be the Brill an 8-gun West Indian carrying a cargo of lime, iron and brandy for Goreee Island and 27 passengers for the West Indies.

Holmes decided to postpone the reconnaissance of Goree and Sail to the Gambia.

(Man of War...Ollard)

Bradford  •  Link

That Scot---he knocks 'em dead time after time.

jeannine  •  Link

"where I slept all the sermon the Scott preaching'
Do you suppose the Scot's name was Ambien?

(for those outside the US this is a sleeping aid drug that's advertised all the time)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Did Holmes have official orders to attack Dutch shipping? Or was he operating loosely as a privateer with unofficial orders, (not to be acknowledged) to hammer Dutch trade?

Victory to the Republic! C'mon De Ruyter!

The Court...

"So my lady Castlemaine and I will be needing the royal yacht for New Year's..."

"Yes, sire..." sigh...

"Oh and Jamie?"


"I've given approval to an attack on the Dutch in Africa. Holmes ought to be slamming them about presently. You might want to inform the boys in the Naval Office to do...Whatever it is one does in such matters." Airy wave of hand. "At least it ought to get old Penn up and about on that gouty leg."

", Sire...We discussed this a fortnight ago. We're not at all ready, we need another year's preparation."

"Oh, nonsense, Jamie. They say war brings out the best in our spirits. You'll manage splendidly. Anyway, Barbara thought it was a good time to attack...Xmas and all."

Patricia  •  Link

"very pleasant and pleased with one another's company, and in our general enjoyment one of another, better we think than most other couples do." This is so sweet! And I believe all loving couples feel the same way.

Jesse  •  Link

"to the French church"

Avoiding "the [dread] Scott"? (Sorry) Looking at past references it curiously seems that Pepys prefers this time of year (December) for his visits there.

George R  •  Link

I sometimes wonder whether Sam did in fact sleep through the Scott's sermons , or whether he had a premonition that we would be reading this 343year on and was just kidding.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The Scot...

"Und wi'll turn to the text of ye letter to the Corinthians. Wherein the guldly sain' saye wa' so er' ye aire wi' me brudthas ye sud be ought wi' me 'bout me business and wherein ye midst of thems that are like...Down wid the British bastards, brudthas!..".(the Scot looks round...Not a head but one has turned to him...Perfect. The months of hard work have paid off. He eyes the agent seated in the front pew nodding to him...A valiant fellow to have resisted the urge to nod off.) "...onto to ye who aire gin wi' the least o' them...Fleet units presently stationed at Chatham are as follows...Who wud ye be but as one like a' to him if we follow ye text of ye letter ta ye Romans...The Charles, The James, The Swiftsure, at sea with Holmes, the Norwich...(the Dutch agent hurriedly copying)..."

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Scot's Sermons ...

Robert - Some years ago on a visit to Edinburgh I found a New Testament "translated" into "Scots" and bought it. It reads not at all unlike your parody above, and is frequently very amusing.

By the way, clicking on your link to reply to you personally still takes us to a page dedicated to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Izzat you?

Happy New Year, everybody.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Yep. My guilty pleasure story site. I find the characters and story line from the series an interesting basic set up with a strong heroine, a challenging redeemed hero character whose aspirations run to goals ascribed to female characters in the past, and interesting secondary characters, and it's easy and fun to write while I'm trying to write and read more sober stuff. It does include a Pepys (past life) Slayer story where I've flipped the sexes (Sam is Buffy's soul; Bess, although Slayer, is William's) and will, I hope, carry a bit more on Sam and Bess later, possibly a 'Book of Tales' page.

End of my one commercial...Sorry.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

Was the capture of the Dutch ship punishment for not striking colors before the English navy or was this simple privateering? Holmes is amazingly uptight about the whole color-striking thing, and has already fired his guns at two ships for not striking their colors even before he reached Africa.

Holmes is quite a character, that's for sure.

Pedro  •  Link

Holmes had had a spot of bother concerning the striking of the flag and will not make the same mistake.

In this case it seems that he would take the ship as a prize anyway. He sold the goods at the Gambia and manned the Brill with his own men.

For Striking the flag see the entry...

"This day Holmes come to town; and we do expect hourly to hear what usage he hath from the Duke and the King about this late business of letting the Swedish Embassador go by him without striking his flag.1"

...This want of caution, and disobedience of orders, fell heavily on Holmes, who was imprisoned for two months, and not re-appointed to the same ship.…

In Ollard's biography of Holmes...

"Coventry and Pepys were asked by the Duke what the form was for striking the flag. Neither knew, but Pepys rather than admit his ignorance, invented a plausible piece of moonshine."

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

To answer Robert Gertz' question "Did Holmes have official orders to attack Dutch shipping? Or was he operating loosely as a privateer with unofficial orders, (not to be acknowledged) to hammer Dutch trade?" I guess he didn't have access to the encyclopedia back then. The relevant snippet is:

The second African expedition – 1663 - 1664

"The objectives of the famous 1664 Guinea expedition are unclear. Although Capt. Robert Holmes was later charged with exceeding his orders by capturing Dutch forts and ships there, William Coventry talks of a "game" that was to be started there, which can only mean an Anglo-Dutch war (Bath MSS. CII, ff. 3-13).

"Capt. Robert Holmes' orders, again drafted by Coventry and signed by James, Duke of York, were to 'promote the Interests of the Royal Company' in HMS Jersey and to 'kill, take, sink or destroy such as shall oppose you' (Bath MSS. XCV, ff.3-5) - especially the Goulden Lyon of Flushing, a Dutch West India Company ship that had given the English a lot of trouble.

"The reason for the charges against Capt. Robert Holmes was that his success exceeded even the most unreasonable expectations, and that he was, diplomatically, a convenient scapegoat (a fact of which he seems to have been aware).

"In sight of the Dutch base at Gorée he took the West Indiaman Brill on 27 December 1663."

There's lots more adventures to come, but you'll have to read them for yourself.

James Morgan  •  Link

I was wondering which Encyclopedia SD Sarah was citing, but found the quotation in the Wikipedia article on Robert Holmes, at…. Thanks to SDS for the quotation. He did have an interesting life.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Hi James ... at the top of this page you will see DIARY - LETTERS - ENCYCLOPEDIA - IN-DEPTH ARTICLES etc. When I forget myself, as in this case, it's usually because I'm quoting from our own "encyclopedia" which is generally linked to Wikipedia (for copyright reasons, I understand). At the start of the Diary annotations not all these useful bells-and-whistles were available to the participants so there are (thankfully) still lots of gaps for you and me to fill in.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

‘ . . Holmes received . . instructions for another voyage to Guinea . . Ostensibly intended to protect the African Company's trade, the real purpose of the expedition was to disrupt that of the Dutch and to seize Dutch possessions on the Guinea coast. . .

On 21 January Holmes attacked Goree . . Sailing on to Sierra Leone and Cape Palmas, he took the 30-gun . . Walcheren on 28 March . . taking the Dutch fort of Anta . .

He . . took (several) Dutch positions along the Gold Coast before sailing for England on 16 June. The Jersey . . the Downs on the 27 December.

By the time of his return, a . . Dutch fleet under De Ruyter had retaken virtually all of his conquests, and, in turn, a large English fleet under Rupert was fitting out to oppose it. The African Company was baying for compensation . . and he was committed to the Tower . . his . . pardon came on 23 March (because) largely to his activities in Africa, England had gone to war with the Netherlands on 22 February.

Holmes's command of the Jersey was also notable for its trial of two sea-going pendulum clocks, . . in search of a solution to the ‘longitude problem’. On his return, Holmes considerably overplayed the usefulness and accuracy of the clocks, though the voyage does represent the first sea trial of devices successfully developed in the following century . .

Holmes's (reputation) suffered . . , primarily because of his clashes with Pepys and his reputation as the begetter of two wars . . (He was) Undoubtedly brave and passionately loyal to his monarchs, despite propensities for quarrelling, exceeding orders, and self-aggrandizement . . ‘

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re copyright, wikipedia, etc.:

‘Wikipedia's textual content is copyright, but you may reuse it under the terms of our licensing requirements:

Most text in Wikipedia, excluding quotations, has been released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA) . . and can therefore be reused (provided) you release any derived work under (on the same terms). This requires that, among other things, you attribute the authors and allow others to freely copy your work . . '…

Bill  •  Link

And also if one of "our" encyclopedia entries also has a link to a Wikipedia entry, I see no need to reproduce any of Wikipedia's information in an annotation. (Especially without attribution.)

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