Tuesday 11 October 1664

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. My wife this morning went, being invited, to my Lady Sandwich, and I alone at home at dinner, till by and by Luellin comes and dines with me. He tells me what a bawdy loose play this “Parson’s Wedding” is, that is acted by nothing but women at the King’s house, and I am glad of it. Thence to the Fishery in Thames Street, and there several good discourses about the letting of the Lotterys, and, among others, one Sir Thomas Clifford, whom yet I knew not, do speak very well and neatly.

Thence I to my cozen Will Joyce to get him to go to Brampton with me this week, but I think he will not, and I am not a whit sorry for it, for his company both chargeable and troublesome.

So home and to my office, and then to supper and then to my office again till late, and so home, with my head and heart full of business, and so to bed.

My wife tells me the sad news of my Lady Castlemayne’s being now become so decayed, that one would not know her; at least far from a beauty, which I am sorry for.

This day with great joy Captain Titus told us the particulars of the French’s expedition against Gigery upon the Barbary Coast, in the Straights, with 6,000 chosen men. They have taken the Fort of Gigery, wherein were five men and three guns, which makes the whole story of the King of France’s policy and power to be laughed at.

32 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

On behalf of Dirk - from the Carte Calendar

William Coventry to Sandwich
Written from: St James's

Date: 12 October 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 234
Document type: Holograph

Has received Lord Sandwich's letters, sent by captain Berkeley. The news he brings, of De Ruyter's sailing to Guinea, will probably alter the King's resolutions [as to the disposal of the Fleet under his Lordship]. Encloses sailing orders, in duplicate, for Prince Rupert, which Lord Sandwich is requested to dispatch by two several vessels. The Prince is to go to Spithead.


ironsights  •  Link

What does he mean when he says: "we sat all the morning"?

Martin  •  Link

"Sat all morning" seems to be [I asked this once myself], we were in meetings all morning. Although when using this expression, he never tells us what the meetings were about.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"He tells me what a bawdy loose play this "Parson's Wedding" is, that is acted by nothing but women at the King's house, and I am glad of it."

I'm sure they all want to be taken as serious actresses. Let us hear it for Samuel Pepys, enlightened advocate before his time of women's rights.

Ok, I can't write that with a straight face...Sam, you rogue. But I thought it was the "Parson's Dream"...Which somehow works better.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"and I am not a whit sorry for it, for his company both chargeable and troublesome"

Then why'd you ask him, Sam? What use do you think he would have been to you, I wonder...?

Patricia  •  Link

The French sent a force of 6,000 to capture a fort being held by 5 men with 3 cannons? Am I understanding that right? So they look like fools, and the Brits laugh at them?

Mary  •  Link

the taking of Gigery.

L&M give some interesting information here. At Jijelli the French were trying to establish a base that would act as a counterbalance to Tangier and sent a force of 8000 men in 63 vessels (including one battalion of English troops!) to take the fort. The attack was successful not least because the defenders had already withdrawn from the place before the fleet arrived.

SPOILER: however, they will be back in October and drive the French occupiers out again.

andy  •  Link

we sat all the morning

maybe he sat on a Standing Committee??

or stood while the Standing Committee sat??

Firenze  •  Link

'sat all the morning' - still in common-ish usage in the UK, particular in reference to official entities: 'The House sat until 3 am'. In fact, an elected MP is the Sitting Member - until he stands for re-election of course.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"sat all morning" refers to all the Navy Officers (supposedly) meeting at one of their regular office days when business is done at the Navy Office. These days were set when the Office was re-set up after the restoration. Sam's other regular Govt business commitments are attending the Duke on Monday mornings (usually) and attending meetings of the Tangier Committee and the Fisheries (which he does today).

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Then why'd you ask him, Sam? What use do you think he would have been to you, I wonder...?"

On the road...

"Yer moneys or yer life, gents!!"

Hmmn...Sam, Hewer, and Will Joyce eye the masked group.

Hewer much too valuable, Sam notes to self.

"Will, hold them off, would you? There's a good fellow. Come, Hewer!" kicks horse to full gallop.

Ummn...Cousin Sam? Joyce stares after his fast-vanishing cousin, Hewer galloping close after...Cloak boldly over shoulder in defiance of the now rather perturbed-looking highwaymen.

Pedro  •  Link

resent day Jijel (Djidjelli)

Town and roadstead port, northeastern Algeria, on the Mediterranean seacoast and the western edge of the Collo Kabylie region. The city of Jijel, originally a Phoenician trading post, passed successively to the Romans (as Igilgili), the Arabs, and, in the 16th century, to the pirate Khayr ad-Din (Barbarossa). It remained a corsair stronghold until captured by the French in 1839. Strong local resistance, finally subdued in 1851, resulted in the construction of three forts along its southern fringe and minimal colonization. The original town was devastated by an earthquake in 1856.

(Encyclopædia Britannica)

In 1664, July 23 under the reign of Louis XIV, a French forwarding directed by the Duke of Beaufort, small natural son of Henri IV unloaded and took the city. Resistance was organized under the direction of Aga Chabane and the French were driven out in October of the same year. Several were done prisoners. Some were repurchased by their families by paying a ransom. Others, which had not been repurchased remained like slaves and were freed thereafter and became highly skilled sailors and took part even in the race under the direction of the corsairs jijeliens.…

Wreckers Punished.

When a shipwreck happens on the coast of Gigery, which is situated about fifty leagues to the eastward of Algiers, the inhabitants, who are a tribe of wandering Arabs, flock down from the mountains, and seize on everything they possibly can, without any consideration as to the country to which the vessel belongs. If it should happen to be a Turkish ship, the Mahommedan crew is dismissed, with a sufficient supply of provisions to enable them to reach a place where they can be relieved, but all other subjects are made slaves. These Arabs put a high value on iron, which was on one occasion attended with fatal consequences. A bark belonging to Tunis being stranded on the coast of Gigery, the inhabitants hastened on board to plunder. The Turks and Moors who composed the crew, were allowed to go at large; and the natives after carrying off as much as they could, were anxious to obtain the iron about the vessel. As they did not well know how to come at it, they laid a train to the powder magazine, concluding that if the ship blew up, they would be able to collect the iron from the fragments. On setting fire to the train, the vessel indeed blew up; but fifty of the plunderers, who had not retired beyond the effects of the explosion, were killed, and a much larger number wounded.


Bradford  •  Link

What Makes Sam Glad:
Only women acting in a ribald play.
Having an insincere invitation turned down.
What Makes Sam Sorry:
Rumors of Lady C.'s loss of looks.
(Saw a photo from the Ghent Film Festival the other day and did not recognize the famous actress who had altered in similar fashion. I was sorry too.)

Trust Llewellyn to have the day's most interesting news.

mary mcintyre  •  Link

what's up w/Castlemaine? She was still a hottie at last report, no?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

what's up w/Castlemaine? She was still a hottie at last report, no?

Last reports were from the surgeon Pierce "...who he believes has lately slunk a great belly away, for from very big she is come to be down again." (http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/08/17/ )

A wife who recently "was angry with me for not coming home, and for gadding abroad to look after beauties, she told me plainly,..." (http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/10/02/ )is not perhaps a disinterested source.

Ruben  •  Link

a side show from Pepys point of view.
To see what the locals think about this point in history, I looked at some Algerian sites (most of them welcoming tourists to spend there they hard currency). The best information, of course, is in French and relates a different story than the one from the European sources.
The best map is the original French map (from 1664!) and can be seen at:
Another map, not so good, is from a hundred years later and can be seen at the Hebrew University site at:

Terry F  •  Link

Thank you for the maps, Ruben. The French one even portrays the Duc de Beaufort's forces chasing unidentified "enemies" (letter 'S' at far right).

Terry F  •  Link

Thank you for the maps, Ruben. The French one even portrays the Duc de Beaufort's forces chasing unidentified "enemies" (letter 'S' at far right).

Ruben  •  Link

very soon the soldiers from Piccardy will be decimated, and others will convert and fight "against the infidels", i.e., against the French.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Khayr ad Din(Barbarossa)"
"Dawn of the Faith"if I am not mistaken;barba rossa is Red Beard of course;Houari Boumedienne,hero of the Algerian Independence had red hair.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Wonderful French map! Thank you. Off topic, but I couldn't help but think (did anyone else?) of the fictitious town created by Terry Pratchett for his novel Pyramids: Djellibeybi (say it out loud...) Sorry.
Have a good weekend everyone. I'm listening to music from Louis XIV's Court a ce moment - very apt.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Thank you for the maps, Ruben. The French one is quite marvel of information about the topography, the town and outlying structures, the arrangement of the French ships and troops during the assault, and the little tableaux of engagements.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Are you surprised Will Joyce won't ride to Brampton with you? Two weeks ago:

Sunday 25 September 1664 (Lord’s day). "It seems Will has got a fall off his horse and broke his face."

Presumably Will Joyce lost some work time recovering from this. Falling off your horse is something drunks do. I think you're better off without him, Sam. However, it brings home Sam's lack of available male friends ... with Creed presumably running errands for Sandwich, he has no one.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Lady Castlemaine has just given birth (4th September) to her daughter Charlotte, so, whatever the state of her belly, she might not be looking her best at the moment.


Alas for the ill wishes and Schadenfreude of the more respectable ladies in court circles, she retains her influence for several more years.

My guess re Will Joyce is that, for some unspecified reason, despite his distaste. Sam felt under a social obligation to invite him. I do find the description of Joyce's company as "chargeable and troublesome", rather amusing! :D

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Lady Castlemaine's title was Lady of the Bedchamber. Indeed! (Alas, not the King's bedchamber.)

Read about her fascinating life on Wikipedia.

"[She] had many notable descendants, including Diana, Princess of Wales, Sarah, Duchess of York, the Mitford sisters, philosopher Bertrand Russell, Sir Anthony Eden, British Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957, and Serena Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon."

I suspect that when Sam says they "sat all morning," it was to engage in royal gossip, general chitchat and politics, as he does in the diary.

Background Lurker  •  Link

"we sat all the morning"

I'm sure this has been discussed before.
SP is using "sat" in the following sense "sit: to hold an official meeting of a committee, court, etc." (Cambridge Dictionary).
SP was a member of the Navy Board which was *jointly responsible* under the direction of the Lord High Admiral for the civil administration of the Navy. Two members of the Board constituted a quorum. So when SP says that they sat all morning it means two or more members of the Navy Board were present and were officially in session as the Board. When they were sitting they were legally doing business on behalf of the navy.

Tonyel  •  Link

"The attack was successful not least because the defenders had already withdrawn from the place before the fleet arrived."
Another reminder of the late and much missed Terry Pratchett: His hero Cohen the Barbarian who had survived many battles by being somewhere else at the time.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ’ . . where we sat all the morning.’

‘sit, v. < Common Germanic . .
. . 4. a. To occupy a seat in the capacity of a judge or with some administrative function.
. . 1681 A. Wood Life 17 Aug. The judges..went to the Guildhall yard where they sate from 9 to 12 . . ‘


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