Friday 8 April 1664

Up betimes and to the office, and anon, it begunn to be fair after a great shower this morning, Sir W. Batten and I by water (calling his son Castle by the way, between whom and I no notice at all of his letter the other day to me) to Deptford, and after a turn in the yard, I went with him to the Almes’-house to see the new building which he, with some ambition, is building of there, during his being Master of Trinity House; and a good worke it is, but to see how simply he answered somebody concerning setting up the arms of the corporation upon the door, that and any thing else he did not deny it, but said he would leave that to the master that comes after him.

There I left him and to the King’s yard again, and there made good inquiry into the business of the poop lanterns, wherein I found occasion to correct myself mightily for what I have done in the contract with the platerer, and am resolved, though I know not how, to make them to alter it, though they signed it last night, and so I took Stanes1 home with me by boat and discoursed it, and he will come to reason when I can make him to understand it.

No sooner landed but it fell a mighty storm of rain and hail, so I put into a cane shop and bought one to walk with, cost me 4s. 6d., all of one joint.

So home to dinner, and had an excellent Good Friday dinner of peas porridge and apple pye.

So to the office all the afternoon preparing a new book for my contracts, and this afternoon come home the office globes done to my great content. In the evening a little to visit Sir W. Pen, who hath a feeling this day or two of his old pain. Then to walk in the garden with my wife, and so to my office a while, and then home to the only Lenten supper I have had of wiggs —[Buns or teacakes.]— and ale, and so to bed. This morning betimes came to my office to me boatswain Smith of Woolwich, telling me a notable piece of knavery of the officers of the yard and Mr. Gold in behalf of a contract made for some old ropes by Mr. Wood, and I believe I shall find Sir W. Batten of the plot (vide my office daybook2).

33 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"the business of the poop lanterns"

Batten had earlier refused, for procedural reasons, to countersign the contract Pepys had drawn up for Stanes to do the glazing of four poop lanterns, but Our Man now has regrets about (L&M tell the tale)

Poop lanterns are evidently a messy biz.

jeannine  •  Link

From "Pepys at Table" by
Drive and Berriedale~Johnson p 30-31

"Although dried peas frequently appeared on everyone's table, especially in winter, there are plenty of recipes for fresh pea soup - mot of which are excellent....April would have been early for fresh peas. Mrs. Blencowe's recipe also refers only to 'peas' but it is so good with fresh peas that I am assuming she had it in mind...."

To Make Peas Soope

The Receipt Book of Mrs. Ann Blencoew 1694

'Take about two Quarts of peas and boyl them down till they are thick; then put to them a leeke and a little slice of bacon and a little bunch of sweet herbs and let them boyl till they are broke. Then work them with ye back of a ladle thro a coarse hair sieve; then take about 3 pints of your peas and mix about 3 quarts of a very strong broth and work them very well together. Then sett them over a Stove and let them boyl very easily. Then as for your herbs, take out the quantity of a gallon of soope; take a large handful of spinage and one third of sorrill and one cabbage, Lettice and a little Charvell and Cresses and a head or two of sallery and Indive, and ye heart of a Savoy and a little mint, but mince your mint very small if it be green, but if it be dry, then drie it before ye fire to powder and sift it through a sieve, and mince ye herbs with one leeke very small and put them into a brass dish or saspan with half a pound of butter and let ym stive till they begin to be tender. Then put to them a quart of good gravy or strong broth but gravy is best, and when you have mix't it well then putt it into ye pott to ye pease and a little beaten cloves and mace. So let it stove about half an hour, then have a french roll, either dry'd in the oven or toasted by ye fire, in thin slices, then season ye soope to your palate and serve it up. If you please you may put forced meat balls into it, or any other thing as pallattes and sweetbreads or Combs."

Australian Susan  •  Link

Poop lanterns

Were these some sort of warning lights for other shipping?

Thank you for the recipe, Jeannine. It does sound tasty! But what are "pallattes" ? Some other form of offal like sweetbreads? And how about "Combs" ??

Australian Susan  •  Link

Alms Houses

Anyone know if these exist in Deptford still?

taotianone  •  Link

i would think "lantern" refers to the captain's cabin with many window panes at the stern of the ship, possibily also to a glazed enclosure of some sort above it. in architecture, a "widow's walk" or glazed cupola above the attic of the building is referred to as a "lantern."

egoscribo  •  Link

Australian Susan: There are the Samuel Pepys housing estates in Deptford still. Trinity's almshouses were pulled down during the 19c.

We recently took Claire Tomalin's Pepys-themed walk from London to Greenwich and passed the estates (and in general very little he would recognize) en route.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Pallattes, Combs, and Platerers

These three puzzlers sent me off to the OED. There is no entry for "pallatte" as such, but "pallate" is given as an obsolete spelling for "palate," and one example in the entry for "palate," from 1771, is "To fricasey Ox Palates," suggesting that they were used for food. So maybe that would be something you would put in pea soup.

As to "comb," the only definitions that seemed even remotely possible were a rooster's comb and a honeycomb. Your guess is as good as mine as to which would make a better soup ingredient.

The only example for "platerer" is today's Diary entry. The OED calls it an obsolete form of "plater," but I think they may be giving Sam too much credit; I'll bet it was just a mistake on his part. "Plater" here refers of course to someone who goldplates or silverplates metal objects, not the later (19th) century use in shipbuilding referring to someone who attaches iron armor plates to ships.

Thanks to Jeannine for that great recipe. It's the most precise and detailed I've ever seen from that period. I may try it sometime (but without palates or combs).

bchan  •  Link

LOL poop lanterns

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

OED: poop lantern n. a lantern carried at the stern of a ship to serve as a signal at night
The Poop be nowt to do with noises from the rear end [the German connetion] or that bag for carrying dogs waste or beeing warn out or even A stupid or ineffectual person; a fool, a bore but

1. a. The aftermost part of a ship; the stern; the aftermost and highest deck often forming (esp. in a wooden ship) the roof of a cabin in the stern.

b. A cabin built on the after part of the quarterdeck; a roundhouse. Obs. rare

pallattes [pallat] could be a flat piece of dough for bedding down the sweetmeat and honey comb.
OED be fun?
Comb 8. The flat cake or plate consisting of a double series of hexagonal cells of wax made by bees; a honeycomb;

SWEET a. + BREAD n., but the reason for the name is not obvious.]
1. The pancreas, or the thymus gland, of an animal, esp. as used for food (distinguished respectively as heart, stomach, or belly sweetbread and throat, gullet, or neck sweetbread): esteemed a delicacy.

AussieRene  •  Link

And a happy Passover to you Clement.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Alms Houses --- Trinity Hospitals (as of 1796)

There are two hospitals at Deptford belonging to the Corporation of the Trinity-house. The old hospital, of which there is a view, engraved by Gribelin, in 1701, was built in the reign of Henry VIII. It consisted originally of 21 apartments; but, being pulled down and rebuilt in 1788, the number was increased to 25. This hospital adjoins to the churchyard. The other, which is in Church-street, was built about the latter end of the last century. Sir Richard Browne, in 1672, gave the grouud, after the expiration of a short term; and Capt. William Maples, in 1680, gave 1300l. towards the building. This hospital consists of 56 apartments, forming a spacious quadrangle; in the centre of which is placed a statue of Capt. Maples. On the east side, opposite the entrance, is a plain building, which serves both for a chapel and a hall. Here the Brethren of the Trinity-house meet annually on Trinity Monday, and afterwards go to St. Nicholas's church, where they hear divine service and a sermon. The pensioners, in both hospitals, consist of decayed pilots and masters of ships, or their widows. The single men and widows receive about 18l. per annum; the married men about 28l.

Deptford, St Nicholas', The Environs of London: volume 4: Counties of Herts, Essex & Kent (1796), pp. 359-85. URL:…. Date accessed: 09 April 2007

Rgemini  •  Link

Deptford Almshouses: According to Darrell Spurgeon's book "Discover Deptford and Lewisham" the Trinity Almshouses were demolished in 1877. Referring to the Stowage site: "Trinity House was based here, immediately to the east of St Nicholas churchyard, from 1511 (a charter was granted by Henry VIII in 1514) to 1660, when it moved to Water Lane in the City of London; in 1796 it moved to its present building on Tower Hill. The annual Court continued to be held in Deptford until 1852, and Trinity House almshouses remained on the site until 1877." (Spurgeon, 1997: ISBN 0 9515624 6 0)

JWB  •  Link

"Gold plating of silver was very popular and in 1250 Bartholommeus Anglicus gave the following advice:

"And when a plate of gold shall be melded with a plate of silver, or joined there to, it needeth to beware namely of three things, of powder, of winde and of moisture: for if any hereof come between gold and silver, they may not be joined together,then one with another: and therefore it needeth to meddle these two metals together in a full cleane place and quiet and when they be joined in this manner, the joining is inseparable, so that they may not afterward be departed asunder,"

This advice is good today. Amalgamation processes were also popular. The gold was dissolved in mercury. The amalgam was coated onto the piece and then heated to drive off the mercury leaving a gold coated piece. Gold could also be removed by the reverse process (1567)."

A Short History of Metals
Alan W. Cramb

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Carnegie Mellon University…

Bradford  •  Link

"No sooner landed but it fell a mighty storm of rain and hail, so I put into a cane shop and bought one to walk with, cost me 4s. 6d., all of one joint."

Wouldn't one get more protection from an umbrella?

cape henry  •  Link

"Wouldn't one get more protection from an umbrella?"
The umbrellas of this period (parasols) would have been used to ward off the sun's rays and were neither sturdy, nor waterproof. I think the use of the umbrella for weather protection came some time after this. The walking stick - or cane - would have been used to negotiate slippery places and to determine the depth of puddles, etc.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

"poop lanterns"

Poop could be an ancient word, as one Latin term for a ship is "puppis", sometimes used with particular reference to an elevated section at the stern.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Lovely picture, Lurker. Thanks!

Dave  •  Link

"apple pye" reminded me of the old nursery rhyme-"sing a song of sixpence" where four and twenty blackbirds began singing when the pie was opened. Here is a recipe to make such a pie.

"To make pie that the birds may be alive in them and flie out when it is cut up".…

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Thanks to Dave for that fun link. The instructions say to put a normal pie in the big one with the birds, so you'll have something for your guests to eat when the birds fly out, but I'm not sure I'd want to eat a pie that had been sharing a space with a lot of live birds.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"...then home to the only Lenten supper I have had of wiggs --[Buns or teacakes.]-- and ale, and so to bed..." see Glossary Wigg…

Mary  •  Link


L&M gloss these as cakes or buns made of fine flour.

Terry F  •  Link

In the absence of Dirk

De Prata to Sandwich
Written from: Paris

Date: 8 April 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 223, fol(s). 83-84

Document type: [with seal of arms]

Thinks that (Edward Mountagu, son of Sandwich, Viscount) Lord Hinchinbroke's passionate fondness for music may "be one of the reasons which keep him from reading of books, and having that curiosity for the knowledge of History, which he hath for all honest things besides". In a conversation with the Venetian Ambassador at this Court, the other evening, when the talk turned upon horsemanship, the Venetian observed that a man of quality, of earlier date than my Lord of Newcastle, had treated of that topic, - namely Xenophon; upon which Lord Hinchinbroke asked, 'who is Xenophon?'.


Household-account, of expenditure, at Paris, for Lord Hinchinbroke, and Mr Sydney Montagu

Date: April 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 223, fol(s). 85-87…

Edward Montagu is to his father, Lord Sandwich, as John Pepys is to his older brother Samuel.

Terry F  •  Link

"The distinction between sticks and canes is based on the materials used; sticks were made of ivory, whalebone, ebony and other valuable woods. Canes were made from Malacca or rattan, bamboo and other hardy reeds. Quality canes spoke volumes about a person's wealth and social status.

"After the 1600s, canes became fashionable for men to carry as part of their daily attire. New rules of etiquette were formed during this time. To break this code of behavior was considered a violation of good manners. In 1702, the men of London were required to have a license in order to carry a walking stick or cane. Cane use was considered a privilege, and gentlemen had to abide by those rules or lose the privilege

"One example of a cane license reads: You are hereby required to permit the bearer of this cane to pass and repass through the streets of London, or anyplace within ten miles of it, without theft or molestation: Provided that he does not walk with it under his arm, brandish it in the air, or hang it on a button, in which case it shall be forfeited, and I hereby declare it forfeited to anyone who shall think it safe to take it from him. Signed________. (Source: Lester and Oerke Accessories of Dress, Peoria, IL. The Manual Arts Press.)

"In the late 17th Century oak sticks were carried, especially by the Puritans. The fashion (for men) continued into the 18th Century. From time to time, women also carried walking sticks or canes as a fashion accessory."…

"Around the 17th or 18th century, the cane took over for the sword as an essential part of the European gentleman's wardrobe, used primarily as a Walking stick. In addition to its value as a decorative accessory, the cane also continued to fulfill some of the function of the sword as a weapon. The standard cane was rattan (especially Malacca) with a rounded metal grip. Some canes had specially weighted metalwork. Other types of wood, such as hickory, are equally suitable."

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"how simply he answered somebody concerning setting up the arms of the corporation upon the door"

I know the arms themselves are but the subject of "discourse" Pepys overhears, but, for what it's worth to us, here are images of them:…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

From 1661 Batten had sat in parliament as member for Rochester, and since June 1663 had held the honorable post of master of the Trinity House. -- Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 3, 1885.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... I took Stanes home with me by boat and discoursed it, ..."
"This morning betimes came to my office to me boatswain Smith of Woolwich, telling me a notable piece of knavery of the officers of the yard and Mr. Gold in behalf of a contract made for some old ropes by Mr. Wood, and I believe I shall find Sir W. Batten of the plot"

Remember Pepys' Friday 18 December 1663 trip:
"... and down to Woolwich, calling at Ham Creeke, ... and so to the Ropeyarde and Docke, discoursing several things, and so back again and did the like at Deptford, and I find that it is absolutely necessary for me to do thus once a weeke at least all the yeare round, which will do me great good, ..."

Pepys hasn't been able to do this once a week, but he is there more frequently this Spring than last year. His hands-on involvement is paying off. The men trust him, and some are as eager to clean up the yards as he is.

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

I suspect that 'lantern' referred to section of windows in the aft cabin from the online OED although there's no nautical reference and while I was able to find good images, HMS Victory for one, they all used landlubber terminology:

"A square, curved, or polygonal structure on the top of a dome or a room, with the sides glazed or open so as to admit light.
‘the building is well lit by the ring of windows in the octagonal lantern’"

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Australian Susan asked about Alms Houses
"Anyone know if these exist in Deptford still?"

Perhaps you have discovered them by now, 10 years after asking the question, Susan. If not there are many listed in Debtford on various websites on the Internet. It isn't clear to me if any are still standing.


But there are many almshouses across England still standing and in use as houses.….

I've seen the ones in Appleby (Cumbria) and in Watford (Hertfordshire).…

Bridget Carrie Davis  •  Link

Hmmm, I had just assumed that the lanterns were for the poop deck.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . the business of the poop lanterns, . .’

‘poop, n.1 < Middle French . .
1. a. The aftermost part of a ship; the stern; the aftermost and highest deck often forming (esp. in a wooden ship) the roof of a cabin in the stern.

. . poop lantern n. a lantern carried at the stern of a ship to serve as a signal at night.
. . 1651 Severall Proc. Parl. No. 87. 1328 They..have shot most of all our Riggins to peeces,..and shot all the Caben and Stern, and the poope Lanthorn also.
1698 E. Ward London Spy I. ii. 9 The Brawny forsake the Tavern, and Stagger, haulking, after a Poop-Lanthorn, to their own House . . ‘
Re: ‘ . . the contract with the platerer . . ’

‘platerer, n. Obs. rare. A person employed in the application of metal plate or plates; one who manufactures metal plates.
1664 S. Pepys Diary 8 Apr. (1971) V. 117 What I have done in the contract with the platerer.
1877 Times 6 Apr. 13/1 (advt.) Iron platerer's wares, black ironmongery, ironmonger's sundries.’

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

apple pye:

The idea of adding cheese to apple pies appears to have originated in England, where all sorts of fillings were added to pies. At some point, the 17th-century trend of adding dairy-based sauces to pies morphed into a tradition of topping them with cheese. For instance, in Yorkshire, apple pie was served with Wensleydale, which is likely how the phrase “an apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze” began.

According to The Mystic Seaport Cookbook: 350 Years of New England Cooking, New England settlers brought the idea behind these Yorkshire pies with them, but instead of Wensleydale, they began using cheddar.

Why cheese? Apple pies were quite bland: prior to the creation of the Red Delicious apple in the late 19th century few apples tasted sweet. Cheese offered a readily available supplement.

After all, the most popular pie topping today — ice cream — was out of the question.

Places in the United States with heavy concentrations of dairy farms therefore became centers of the cheese-on-apple-pie craze. These included New England, Pennsylvania, and especially the Midwest—largely the regions where cheddar cheese apple pie is popular today.…

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.