Sunday 12 June 1664

(Lord’s day). All the morning in my chamber consulting my lesson of ship building, and at noon Mr. Creed by appointment came and dined with us, and sat talking all the afternoon till, about church time, my wife and I began our great dispute about going to Griffin’s child’s christening, where I was to have been godfather, but Sir J. Minnes refusing, he wanted an equal for me and my Lady Batten, and so sought for other. Then the question was whether my wife should go, and she having dressed herself on purpose, was very angry, and began to talk openly of my keeping her within doors before Creed, which vexed me to the guts, but I had the discretion to keep myself without passion, and so resolved at last not to go, but to go down by water, which we did by H. Russell —[a waterman]— to the Half-way house, and there eat and drank, and upon a very small occasion had a difference again broke out, where without any the least cause she had the cunning to cry a great while, and talk and blubber, which made me mighty angry in mind, but said nothing to provoke her because Creed was there, but walked home, being troubled in my mind also about the knavery and neglect of Captain Fudge and Taylor, who were to have had their ship for Tangier ready by Thursday last, and now the men by a mistake are come on board, and not any master or man or boy of the ship’s company on board with them when we came by her side this afternoon, and also received a letter from Mr. Coventry this day in complaint of it. We came home, and after supper Creed went home, and I to bed. My wife made great means to be friends, coming to my bedside and doing all things to please me, and at last I could not hold out, but seemed pleased, and so parted, and I with much ado to sleep, but was easily wakened by extraordinary great rain, and my mind troubled the more to think what the soldiers would do on board tonight in all this weather.

28 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

For the first time, I pity poor John Creed ... it's never good to be a third wheel in those situations.

And I pity poor Sam, troubled by the knavery and neglect of the deliciously named Captain Fudge (something tells me he never became a privateer ... not exactly a name to strike fear in the hearts of men or women) and Captain Taylor. The best-laid plans, etc.

Clement  •  Link

"poor John Creed"
It also strikes me how intimately these people knew and associated with each other. Even though their relationship was historically about their Lord's business, it wasn't unusual for them to travel and sleep in the same bed, or apparently to be a companion observer through several hours of marital dischord, with out withdrawl or dismissal. Truly a different type of business relationship that we are used to now.

Sam's troubled mind for "what the soldiers would do on board tonight in all this weather" provide evidence that he is truly taking his administrative responsibilities seriously (not solely as a means to personal enrichment) and that he's in for years of stress ahead, considering how frequently logisitcal difficulties in meshing men and materiel seem to occur in the business of war (or "national defense" as it is now called).

cape henry  •  Link

This may be the most prolonged and intimate domestic scene in the diary to date.I do not, off hand, recall any written with such detail and fullness or with such a complete arc.Extraordinary.

Louise H  •  Link

Cape Henry, for fans of prolonged and intimate Pepysian domestic scenes, with detail, fullness, and complete arc, this one's hard to beat:….

Terry F  •  Link

A domestic PM, after a long morning spent studying shipbuilding.

Are we to gather that Sir J. Mennes (sic) wants to be no less godfather than Pepys -- so two of them; that Lady Batten was to be Thomas Griffith's godmother; that Mennes sought an "other" (alter) for her; and that Elżbieta nominated herself; etc.?

cape henry  •  Link

Thanks, LH - I think you're right. I did not recall that one. Also, TF asks a very good question: what's going on there in that passage?

Terry F  •  Link

Interesting and not surprising that the Navy Office doorkeeper, William Griffith, intended that our congenial man be godfather of his son. The Office patronage of Thomas by the officers still in London that I take it Sir J. Mennes envisions is perhaps appropriate, given what glimpses we've had of his father's service.

How common would multiple, unrelated godparents be? Could the Anglican liturgy of 1662 accommodate Sir J. Mennes's scenario? (I'm guessing "probably.")

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"My wife made great means to be friends, coming to my bedside and doing all things to please me, and at last I could not hold out, but seemed pleased, and so parted, and I with much ado to sleep..."

Parted? Hmmn...The Pepyses don't seem to be sleeping together much these days.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...which we did by H. Russell --[a waterman]..."

An Immortalized waterman... I wonder how many important figures of the day, long forgotten, gnash their teeth at this passage.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

" mind troubled the more to think what the soldiers would do on board tonight in all this weather."

"Sidney? Ain't these the best lodgin's ye ever had?" one soldier snugly nestled in his hammock below decks pokes his mate in the hammock above.

"Aye, William. Haven't had such a comfortable berth since I lived at home. And no bastard of a captain or a master to order us about. 'Tis Heaven.

"Not to mention me wife." chuckle.

"Mates? More of this hot drink from the unguarded stores?" a comrade passing with steaming mugs pauses. "Aye, George, thank ye. My God, tis good. What do they calls it again?"

"Tis coffee from the Americas...The hold's loaded with it. Anyone for more fresh bread and fine cheese, likewise left unguarded? Drenched in the tastest spices of the East?"

"Oh, no more, thanks George, I've had me fill. I tell ye Sid, tis a night in Heaven."

"Aye. And listen to that lovely rain on the decks above. Reminds me of when I was a wee boy safe at home."

"Anyone like a warm toddy? There be plenty left from the captain's cabin. And grab a blanket if ye need one."

"Thank ye, Sarge, I will to both." Sidney calls.

Bradford  •  Link

What mischief does Sam suppose they could get up to on board, short of scuttling the ship? Irreverent vision of hardened types on deck, square-dancing to mouth music.

Nate  •  Link

What mischief does Sam suppose they could get up to on board, short of scuttling the ship?

Well, it depends if there are stores on board, they can be used or stolen and sold. Any piece of rigging, line, sail, hawser, block, chain, anchor, tool, board, etc. could be fair game. Anything not nailed down or that can be broken loose.

With the ship in port there will be people on board attempting to sell things to any one on board and to buy things as well if it looks as if they can get away with it.

I've seen this sort of thing.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I think Sam's honestly (and honorably) concerned for the men. And if it were me in command of those poor fellows left like that, I'd break into the hold and take anything for my men, selling whatever I could if necessary to get them food and shelter and let the clerks (or the CoA) sort it out later. As many a good commander has done and will do.

Pedro  •  Link

"and my mind troubled the more to think what the soldiers would do on board tonight in all this weather."

Poor old Sam he probably would not know that this is as good as it gets for the men on board, and off to the Forgotten Colony. At least the pressed men (in theory) would have only three years to serve and then be discharged. That is of course if they survive.

In January 1662 there were about 3000 men and numbers fell steadily throughout 1662, due as Peterborough thought, to their sloth, but probably due to the unprepared state of the expedition. The Portuguese had hardly left a house fit for habitation, and what buildings there were were broken up for firewood. A diet of salt meat caused malnutrition and sickness, whilst the officers spent most of their time bickering and neglecting their duty. In the first 9 months 605 men were lost to sickness and enemy action.

Following the defeat of Teviot the strength had dropped to 1400, one half of the garrison had died.

(info from The Army of Charles II by Childs)

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"I've seen this sort of thing." 'wot' not be tied down, is up for grabs, it be called perks,found this
for the other boot, it be a spoiler, but it be how others see us.

Castle Rising, Samuel Pepys, Esq; once a Taylor, then Serving Man to the Lord Sandwich, now Secretary to the Admiralty, got by Passes and other illegal Ways 40000 l.

From: 'An argument for a petition for a new Parliament', The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons : volume 5: 1713-1714 (1742), pp. 15-30. URL:…. Date accessed: 14 June 2007.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Diary of Ralph Josselin

June. 12. God good to me. and mine in manifold outward mercies, this day a day of holy rest, is now the sport, and pleasure day of the general rout of people, oh lord awaken persons from their sensual walking(.) a very hot day. god good in his word in a very great assembly of people.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"about church time, my wife and I began our great dispute about going to Griffin’s child’s christening,"

The child (Thomas) was buried on the following 17 October. (L*M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

What Cumsalisgrano found is political screed: a 1677 Anonymous libel on the Earl of Danby's organization, in which multiple MP's are mischaracterized. Light reading. Now available in another format:…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thanks, Terry ... unsupported old links are land mines for the historians of the future.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"The Office patronage of Thomas by the officers still in London that I take it Sir J. Mennes envisions is perhaps appropriate, ..."

My reading of this situation is that William Griffith invited Pepys, Mennes and Lady Batton to stand as Godparents for Thomas.

After the invitations had been dispatched (and Elizabeth told that they would be attending the christening), Mennes told Griffith that it wasn't appropriate for Pepys to be one (probably because he isn't the social equal of Batten and Mennes), and Griffith "so sought for other." Pepys therefore decided not to attend the christening (not to embarrass the Griffiths, whatever) but Bess didn't get the memo and still planned on going.

The annotations mention Sir William Batten possibly having a ward named William Griffith. Therefore, having Lady B as the Godmother would make sense.

In answer to Terry's question, today Anglicans have three godparents. Girls have two Godmothers and one Godfather. Boys get two Godfathers and one Godmother. It sounds as if things haven't changed in 400 years. They can be relatives or close friends of the parents: people trusted to look out for the child's best interests if/when necessary (and to remember your birthday, Christmas, confirmation and wedding).

Bridget Carrie Davis  •  Link

It sounds to me as though Sam didn't go to the christening because he felt slighted and that is why Elizabeth was so vocal about it.

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

Regarding the looming war with the Dutch, I found this quote attributed to Elizabeth I

“The use of the sea and air is common to all; neither can a title to the ocean belong to any people or private persons, forasmuch as neither nature nor public use and custom perait any possession, thereof.”

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Nate, what is the source of this attribution?

Whether the sea was free or not had been first argued in naval hostilities and then in publications by the Dutch (yes) and the Portuguese (no).

In 1609 Hugo Grotius sought to ground his defense of the seizure in terms of the natural principles of justice; Grotius formulated a new principle that the sea was international territory and all nations were free to use it for seafaring trade. One chapter of his long theory-laden treatise entitled De Jure Prædæ made it to the press in the form of the influential pamphlet, Mare Liberum (The Free Sea).

England, competing fiercely with the Dutch for domination of world trade, opposed Grotius' ideas and claimed sovereignty over the waters around the British Isles. In Mare clausum (1635) John Selden coined the term, endeavoring to prove that the sea was in practice virtually as capable of appropriation as terrestrial territory.…

Pepys owned Selden's 'Mare Clausum', which has a page in the Encyclopedia here:…

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

I first found it starting a chapter in a novel by Dana Stabenow (if you google the sentence it will show up) but it's listed in Wikiquote:…

I found it interesting because it's the earliest 'freedom of the seas' assertion I've encountered. I know from my long, long, ago naval classes that Alfred Thayer Mahan espoused freedom of the seas and examined it in his book 'The Influence of Sea Power upon History', although I've not read it from cover to cover. Freedom of the seas facilitates commerce and, BTW, projection of power.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Since a Free Ocean (Mare Liberum) would seem the default, Elizabeth was surely responding to a claim to the contrary. The Wikiquote says she waS speaking (or writing) "To the Spanish Ambassador (1580)". It would be nice to know the occasion.

The context was a series of global disputes with a religious edge: "During Age of discovery, between the 15th and 17th century, sailing that had been mostly coastal became oceanic. Thus, the main focus was on long-haul routes. Countries of the Iberian Peninsula were pioneers in this process, seeking exclusive property and exploration rights over lands discovered and to be discovered.....The papacy helped legitimize and strengthen these claims, since Pope Nicholas V, who by the bull Romanus Pontifex of 1455, prohibited others to navigate the seas under the Portuguese exclusive without permission of the king of Portugal. The very titling of Portuguese kings announced this claim to the seas: "King of Portugal and the Algarves, within and beyond the sea in Africa, Lord of Commerce, Conquest and Shipping of Arabia, Persia and India". With the discovery of sea route to India and later the route of Manila the concept of "Mare clausum" in the treaty was realized. This policy was refused by European nations like France, Holland and England, who were then barred from expanding and trading, and engaged in privateering and piracy of routes, products and colonies.

"In the 16th and 17th century Spain considered the Pacific Ocean a Mare clausum – a sea closed to other naval powers. As the only known entrance from the Atlantic, the Strait of Magellan was at times patrolled by fleets sent to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships. On the western end of the Pacific Ocean the Dutch threatened the Spanish Philippines."…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Nate, thanks for posting the Wikiquote of Q. Elizabeth.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: sea freedom quote:

A google search readily reveals the source to be the Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure, vol 6, 1750, July 1750, p. 18; taken from The History Of England, p. 324, Vol 6 (no further details given).

The occasion was the Spanish ambassador’s protest after Drake’s return from his ‘astonishing three-year voyage around the world carrying treasure beyond imagination.’ (DNB) on 26 September 1580.

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