Sunday 29 January 1664/65

(Lord’s day). Up and to my office, where all the morning, putting papers to rights which now grow upon my hands. At noon dined at home. All the afternoon at my business again. In the evening come Mr. Andrews and Hill, and we up to my chamber and there good musique, though my great cold made it the less pleasing to me. Then Mr. Hill (the other going away) and I to supper alone, my wife not appearing, our discourse upon the particular vain humours of Mr. Povy, which are very extraordinary indeed.

After supper I to Sir W. Batten’s, where I found him, Sir W. Pen, Sir J. Robinson, Sir R. Ford and Captain Cocke and Mr. Pen, junior [L&M suggest this is “Mr. Fen Junior”. P.G.]. Here a great deal of sorry disordered talk about the Trinity House men, their being exempted from land service. But, Lord! to see how void of method and sense their discourse was, and in what heat, insomuch as Sir R. Ford (who we judged, some of us, to be a little foxed) fell into very high terms with Sir W. Batten, and then with Captain Cocke. So that I see that no man is wise at all times.

Thence home to prayers and to bed.

19 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

New intelligence dictates fresh tactics, and possibly some action for Sandwisch's fleet as recorded in the Carte Calendar

William Coventry to Sandwich
Written from: [St James']

Date: 29 January 1665

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 143
Document type: Holograph

News has come of the movements of a Dutch squadron under Cornelius Everson [Evertzoon], thought to have designs upon merchantmen in the Downs, and this news has induced H.R.H. to direct Lord Sandwich to stop the going of the squadron northward until he shall have attained to some knowledge of Evertzoon's plans.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

From the chatter at Sir W. Batten’s among "him, Sir W. Pen, Sir J. Robinson, Sir R. Ford and Captain Cocke and Mr. Pen, junior", you wouldn't know a war is afoot.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...putting papers to rights which now grow upon my hands." Thank God that was all ended with the advent of the computer and EDS.

Yeah, right...Staring at overflowing pile of printouts, disks, etc.


Will P. Jr... Pity Sam didn't have a recorded chat with him, would have been interesting to hear his opinion of the Batten social hour.

Patricia  •  Link

When Sam was poor, he used to go to church twice every Sunday; now that he's much wealthier, he sometimes goes in the morning and chases Jane in the afternoon or, as today, he puts his papers in order at the office, plays music, shoots the breeze with his buddies, and doesn't go to church at all...there's a sermon in there somewhere.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Church going

When King Charles had been recently reinstated, it was important for civil servants such as SP to be seen to be conforming in matters of religion - to avoid suspicion - and when the Navy Board had been settled, it was important for them to be seen as a loyal group attending Church at their local church in their own specially commissioned gallery seating - for all to see. Then with the introduction of the Established Prayer book in 1662, it was important to be seen to be attending proper services from proper clergymen using the proper prayer book. Nowadys, things are slacker, there's less paranoia about old Roundhead allegiances coming back to haunt one and SP and no doubt most of the Naval officers have become slacker in their attendances (not even bothering to turn up to snore through a sermon from the poor Scottish preacher.) I don't think Sam's faith has dwindled with his church attendance, it's just not so socially and politically necessary. He doesn't mention it often, but presumably is having family prayers for the household at least on Sunday evenings.

Martin  •  Link

"So that I see that no man is wise at all times."

Indeed, Sam.

Jesse  •  Link

Church going

Very good commentary - which got me thinking (sorry) that perhaps on the other hand, given the hostile situation w/the Dutch, wouldn't a little ostentatious CoE attendance have been politically encouraged to help obtain (or acknowledge) divine assistance in the patriotic cause? Or was religion completely decoupled from that sort of thing then?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Anglicans tend to go in for Thanksgiving or memorial Services post hoc - not importuning the Almighty beforehand.

One of the most moving bits of archive film I have seen was of an Orthodox bishop blessing Russian troops on the front line in WWI - before almost all of them were obliterated: the soldiers were grabbing the Bishop's hand to kiss his ring in desperate gestures as he moved along the line making the sign of the cross over them. I don't think Anglican Bishops ever did that - even in the 17th century, but the 1662 Prayer Book does have a "Psalm or Hymn of Praise and Thanksgiving after Victory" "to be used at Sea" and a single prayer "In time of War and Tumults" as well as thanksgiving prayers for "Peace and Deliverance from our Enemies"and "for restoring Publick Peace at home". No doubt the clergy and Naval Chaplains would be using these prayers appropriately.

cgs  •  Link

foxed, ppl. a. In senses of the vb.

1. Intoxicated, drunk, stupefied.

he knows what it be like
1660 PEPYS Diary 26 Oct., The last of whom I did almost fox with Margate ale.

c. in various proverbial expressions.
1662 PEPYS Diary 26 Dec., We shall endeavour to joyne the lion's skin to the fox's tail.1610

4. Of beer, wine, etc.: Turned sour in the course of fermentation, not properly fermented.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"papers which now grow upon my hands"
Great comment, Robert. I was thinking along the same lines, but you said it better.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"you wouldn't know a war is afoot"
On the contrary, Terry, special exemptions from land service, i.e. military duty, would seem to be the hottest of topics when the nation is gearing up for war.

OED re "land service":
Service performed on land; military, as opposed to naval, service.
a1586 Sidney Arcadia (1622) 123 Seeing wherein the Sea-discipline differed from Land-service. 1597 Shakes. 2 Hen. IV, i. ii. 154 As I was then aduised by my learned Councel, in the lawes of this Land-seruice, I did not come. 1697 Dryden Æneis Ded. f3, I Writ not always in the proper terms of Navigation, Land-Service, or in the Cant of any Profession. 1725 De Foe Voy. round World (1840) 57 A good army for land-service. 1801 T. S. Surr Splendid Misery II. 194 Salano, a Neapolitan pirate originally+took to the land service afterwards, and committed murders out of number. 1819 Byron Juan i. iv, The prince is all for the land-service, Forgetting Duncan, Nelson, Howe, and Jervis.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Speaking of exemptions from military service...Young Mr. Penn ought to be just about the right age. Fortunately for him, like a number of prominent Americans he has a college deferment, not to mention considerable family "pull". To his credit, he will not shortly be embarking on a career of bellicose political posturing calling for the cloutless to be sent to war.

"Pepys. You know, we've been discussing the matter." Batten eyes the newly arrived Sam. "And it doesn't look good, Pepys."

"Doesn't look good at all." Minnes nods.

"No..." Sir Will Penn, sagely.

"I can whip any guy in dis rum..." Sir Richard drunkenly insists.


"Every senior officer in the Naval Office should have some combat experience, Pepys. Can't ask the scum and dogs to do what we wouldn't, you know." Batten, hard stare.

"Every senior officer..." Penn agrees, with slow emphasis. "One of which, of course, you have established yourself to be, Pepys."

"So. We have great news for you, Samuel. And all due to your clear ability in learning the seaman's trade." Batten, broad smile...


"Captain Allen needs a new first officer..."

"Indeed..." Penn, grinning. "And we knew how eager you'd be to have a real chance to display your talents. In the bloody mouth of gory battle..."

"That's wonderful, Mr. Pepys." Will Penn Jr. eagerly cuts in. "I've just applied to the same ship myself. We can slaughter the foul Dutch enemy side by side. No more hiding away in France or college for me. Myself, I can't wait to kill my first Dutchman."

"What...?!" Penn Sr., staring...

Ruben  •  Link

" Sir R. Ford (who we judged, some of us, to be a little foxed) fell into very high terms"...
May it be Samuel is playing with words?
Can it be Sir Ford was "foxed" just like young Mr. George Fox?

Pedro  •  Link

“some knowledge of Evertzoon’s plans.”

This probably refers to Johan Evertsen who had been made Lieutenant-Admiral for the province of Zeeland in December 1664. His son Cornelius will also feature.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Perhaps Ruben is right...That contagion that is Quakerism spreading like the coming plague, people becoming foolishly decent and peaceable, idiotically concerned for their fellow man, insanely treating all as equals, no longer keeping their eye on the main chance, abandoning the sacred doctrine of 'devil take the hindmost'. We may yet even see Sam dropping a few "thees" and "thous" and heaven forfend, neglecting his accounts and seeking to love his wife and serve his poor seamen brothers to the best of his ability.


CGS  •  Link

Fox the man has upset the betters for a long time, outfoxing the Powers to be, some of the time, but never be foxed, one needs all ones wits to push the concept of equality, it only works or accepted by those that be on uneven terms with the privileged ones. [see the House of Lords for those that upset the privileged ones.

Many of the Quakers were in the nick * for not giving due respect to the religious code of the day along with the baptismal group.

The Admirals and drinking buddies would chastising all those that be against war.

In 1664 Margaret Fell was arrested for failing to take an oath and for allowing Quaker Meetings to be held in her home.

andy  •  Link

Sam has Faith that is in tune with the politics of his post, from which he derives his position in society. He embraced the Restoration with alacrity and to his profit, although its libertine nature may have been particularly welcome, and is showing the same trait here, perhaps instinctively.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Here a great deal of sorry disordered talk about the Trinity House men, their being exempted from land service."

In November 1664 Trinity House had protested to Sir John Robinson on behalf of one of the brethren of the corporation summoned to serve in the militia. In March they petitioned the King and the Duke of York, and on 31 March the Privy Council ordered that members of the corporation were to enjoy their ancient exemption from service except in cases where it might be commanded by council warrant: HMC, Rep., 8/1/1/252b. But in August 1667 similar complaints were made: ib., p. 253b. (L&M footnote)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Then Mr. Hill (the other going away) and I to supper alone, my wife not appearing, ..."

Pepys seems resigned to Elizabeth's passive-aggressive retaliation for his bad behavior.

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