Friday 24 February 1664/65

Up, and to my office, where all the morning upon advising again with some fishermen and the water bayliffe of the City, by Mr. Coventry’s direction, touching the protections which are desired for the fishermen upon the River, and I am glad of the occasion to make me understand something of it. At noon home to dinner, and all the afternoon till 9 at night in my chamber, and Mr. Hater with me (to prevent being disturbed at the office), to perfect my contract book, which, for want of time, hath a long time lain without being entered in as I used to do from month to month.

Then to my office, where till almost 12, and so home to bed.

29 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

H.R.H. Charles II's attention to matters in Morocco logged in the Carte Calendar

Instructions, by the King, for ... John, Lord Bellasis, Captain-General & Commander-in-Chief of our Forces in Africa & Governor of Tangier
Written from: Whitehall

Date: 24 February 1665

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 34, fol(s). 67-69
Document type: Copy…

Pedro  •  Link

On this day...

De Ruyter has sailed for the Antilles and on this day crosses "The Line".

Pedro  •  Link

Also on this day...

Allin is somewhere around Giraltar…

On the previous day he reported that Captain Hosier had been aboard other ships in the morning and dead before 3 o'clock. On this day…

"I sent our surgeon with 4 more of the fleet to visit Hosier's corpse, who opened his body and found his liver and lungs consumed and his heart like a bladder, all his bowels out of order, and found those obstructions carried him out of this world. He was buried about 4 o'clock."

(Information from The Jornals of Sir Thomas Allin edited by Anderson)

Margaret  •  Link

"...where till almost 12, and so home to bed"

He's been working until midnight a lot lately. What does this mean for the servants? Does someone have to stay up to let him in?

And does Elizabeth wake up when he climbs in bed?

I admire his work ethic, but it must be hard on the rest of his household.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"....and all the afternoon till 9 at night in my chamber, and Mr. Hater with me (to prevent being disturbed at the office),...."
Oh, doesn't that ring true! It's harder nowadays with email and mobile phones, but busy people still crave solid uninterrupted worktime. This links in with our discussions on privacy earlier this month. Sam has no compunction about 'bringing work home' and obviously expects his chamber to be sacrosanct - a private space entirely. But, people need to be invited into this space: Hater comes to work with him, but from the context, no other clerk from the office would presume to step across the courtyard and interrupt Sam with the kind of demands with which they were, presumably, allowed to step into his closet "private" office at work for, which has a different degree of privacy from the (bed)chamber at home.
We have seen that Elizabeth comes across to the office toi talk to Sam in his "private" office at work, but she seems to have left Sam entirely alone in his bedchamber at home.

CGS  •  Link

“The Line”.Is this the line for Portuguese , Spain etal., that divvies up the areas of influence for the ships of peace.

CGS  •  Link

Terry your date line equator line was a later evolution I dothe think, The Line in Pepys time I believe had something to doe with the Spanish/?Portuguese agreement for "who got got wot " and who did not get the rights to land and jewels..

Pedro  •  Link

Crossing the Line for De Ruyter.

My annotation implying that De Ruyter is sailing direct from Guinea to the Antilles and crossing the line, would lead CGS and myself to site the Line established by the Treaty of Tordesillas. But re-reading the account from The Life of Admiral De Ruyter by Blok, the sequence of events shows that it may be as Terry suggests the Equator.

This was the first time that De Ruyter, unlike Holmes, has sailed down the West Coast of Africa. Near Morocco he asked if anyone in the fleet had ever been to Goree, and it appeared that only one quarter-master and a few boatswains had done so. The journey was therefore hazardous.

Blok says that after the business in West Africa De Ruyter sailed for the Antilles, but owing to the prevailing winds on the Guinea coast, he first sailed a SE and S direction, and afterwards to the NW in the direction of the Antilles. On the 6th March (Dutch time) he crossed the line, and afterwards passed St. Thomas (I take this as São Tomé) and Annobon.

The ships were continually scattering and on the 17th De Ruyter called a council of war and demanded the captains justify their conduct. After following the Equator more or less for some way, he turned N and passed St. Iago one of the Cape Verde Islands. He was then able to take a direct course towards Barbados, being difficult to make a dead reckoning as the sun was directly above him, and sailing was done by the stars.

JWB  •  Link

"...being difficult to make a dead reckoning as the sun was directly above him, and sailing was done by the stars."

Dead reckoning is just vector addition. It does not involve site reduction from Sun, Moon, planets or stars. It is resorted to in lieu (good navy term) of star citing and to serve as a confirmation of calculations when reductions made.

Pedro  •  Link

“Dead reckoning is just vector addition. It does not involve site reduction from Sun, Moon, planets or stars.”

Here are the exact words used by Blok…

“Then, at last, it (the fleet) was able to take a direct course towards Barbados. It was difficult to make a dead reckoning, “because the sun was straight above us,” says the Journal, so that sailing was done by the stars.”

cgs  •  Link

Thanks Terry , the map be wonderful,
The trade winds in their cyclic movements made it rather difficult to cross, west or eastbound along the equator but one needs a Yachtsman, one that traveled the seven seas to see if it be a north south line or an east west line.
"Line" such a luverly word , one could write a book on the shades of meaning.
To line, the verb was used before, with his lap dog if I remember correctly..
Line, n.1
a sample other meanings.
1. = FLAX. a. The fibre of flax.
2. Flax spun or woven; linen thread or cloth
I. Cord or string (and derived senses).

1. a. A rope, cord, string; a leash for dogs or for hawks. Chiefly Naut. or as short for clothes-line, etc. Also applied with words prefixed to particular ‘makes’ of rope, e.g. cod-line, house-line, whale-line. spec. as used by climbers

another :
6. hard lines: ill luck, bad fortune. (Prob. nautical in origin; now often associated with 4c.) hard line money (Naut.): extra pay in consideration of special hardships.
re dead reckoning, so interesting to see word meanings take on new lines.

Ralph Berry  •  Link

" perfect my contract book..."

It sounds like Sam had a book in which he recorded all of his contracts. This might well explain why he recorded little information in his diary about his business dealings as he was recording them sererately in the contract book. I had wondered if he was not recording them at all and relied on memory in case a written record might give evidence that could backfire on him but this is obviously not the case. Does anyone know if any of these contract books has survived?

re Navigation. Dead reckoning is really just plotting on a map where you think your boat is taking into account estimated distance travelled, direction and tidal drift. My understanding is that navigation relied substantially on dead reckoning until the invention of an accurate time piece. It would be possible in Sam's time to work out how far North or South a boat was from the angle of the sun at midday or the angle of the Polar Star (in the Northern Hemisphere) at night. It was not possible to work out how far East or West a ship was until an accurate time piece allowed a sailor to know the time of midday at a given start point, subsequently established as Greenwhich, and compare it with midday at the ships position as established by the time the sun was at its highest point in the sky.

Now days sailors and airman rely almost entirely on GPS (Satnavs) and I sometimes wonder if any of them have the old navigation skills to cope if the satellites are switched off.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Does anyone know if any of these contract books has survived?"

Thomas Hayter seems to have a history of being there when the contracts are being recorded, or, as it was 16 April 1662: "all the afternoon, Mr. Hater to that end coming to me, he and I did go about my abstracting all the contracts made in the office since we came into it."…

To this L&M noted that the whereabouts of the abstract they compiled then and at other times are unknown; moreover the eight official contract books that cover 1660-1686, while listed in the catalog of the British Library, are, like Bob Dylan in the 2007 biopic, not there.

Ralph Berry  •  Link

Thanks Terry, pity, they would be mighty interesting.

Ralph Berry  •  Link

re Navigation, of course any celestial navigation depended on being able to see the sun and stars. In periods of cloudy weather it was back to the old dead reckoning, the cause of many a ship wreck.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Dead reckoning and time. For an interesting, popular read (it was also made into a film by the BBC with Michael Gambon and Jeremy Irons - wonderful acting) see Longitude by D. Sobel. Amazon ref:…

The author writes intelligently and does not confuse reasonable ignorance on the part of his readers with stupidity.

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary for today:

"Dr. Fell, Canon of Christ Church, preach'd before the King on 15 ch. Romans, v. 2, a very formal discourse, and in blank verse, according to his manner; however he is a good man.

"Mr. Philips, preceptor to my sonn, went to be with the Earle of Pembroke's sonn, my Lord Herbert."


According to the King James Bible, Romans, ch.15 v.2:
"Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification."

Al Day  •  Link

Susan, as an item of interest, Dava Sobel is a woman. She has written for the New York Post, several magazines and several books. I found her book Galileo's Daughter to be very interesting. She states that the daughters remains were secretly interred with Galieo in Florence.

djc  •  Link

A fine work on Navigation is
D W Waters The Art of Navigation in Elizabethan and Early Stuart Times. London 1958.

It is indeed important to keep in mind that for a sailing ship the fastest route is dictated by prevailing wind and tide. The distance sailed is irrelevant, sailing does not use more fuel, or the boat wear out faster going the long way round, but supplies are finite, time matters.
Thus the crossing from N. Europe to the N.America and back again is was usually an anticlockwise circuit: first south to the Canaries, then W, then NNE.

CGS  •  Link

The day in the year and your shadow of your nose be under thy feet would indicate thy latitude, which would change from Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer lines via the Equator.
The Equator lies between the Mouth of the Amazon [ approx] and Libreville Africa.
So between March 21/22 December 22 one would be on the Antarctic side of the equatorial divide.
that be my best guess.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"advising again with some fishermen and the water bayliffe of the City, by Mr. Coventry’s direction, touching the protections which are desired for the fishermen upon the River..."

The Board had consulted the city corporation to make sure that London's supplies of fish would not be dangerously reduced if some of the Barking and Greenwich fishermen were pressed into the Navy: see… Coventry's letter to Pepys is in Rawl. A 174, f. 464r. The water-bailiff was the official who executed the corporation's rights and duties in the river. Thomas Malyn now held the office. (Per L&M footnote)

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Re Dirk's annotation re Evelyn's mentionof the preaching of Dr Fell:

This must surely be *the* Dr John Fell, Dean Of Christ Church, immortalised by Tom Brown's epigram:

"I do not like thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why – I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not like thee, Doctor Fell"

(sometimes "like" is replaced by love")……

According to Wikipedia, Evelyn found Fell's sermons "dull".…

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"Thomas Hayter seems to have a history of being there when the contracts are being recorded"

Despite being a "conventicler" (a religious dissenter), Hayter was Pepys' chief clerk and trusted protegé.

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

Re: Navigation. Estimating the ship's latitude by the altitude of the sun at local apparent noon (LAN) or at twilight by Polaris would have been a welcome factor in dead reckoning especially if the desired course should along a meridian or parallel. It's really hard to take a good sight when the ship is in tropical waters.

Using the sun one takes a sight around 9 am and another at LAN, say 3 and half hours later and 'advances' the 9 o'clock line along the track by the distance that they reckon the ship traveled in that time using their best guess for speed (dead reckoning). The Captain now has the important noon position (more or less)j.

BTW 20 years ago, around 1988, I discovered that the California Maritime Academy was no longer teaching celestial navigation. At some point neither was the Annapolis Naval Academy but I've heard that they have recently reinstated the course.

RSGII  •  Link

As the Navigator of a Destroyer in the 1960’s, I used both dead reckoning and celestial navigation. DR is simply laying out on a chart (in pencil so the chart can be reused) your ships track using your starting point, course, speed and elapsed time to establish your current position. You do not attempt to correct it for tides or currents. And yet it can be remarkably effective and is still used today as a check on electronic charts.
Celestial navigation tries to give you a fix of your current position at the time of measurement, but it requires you to be able to see both the stars and the horizon during a brief period at sunrise and sunset. It is difficult or impossible in cloudy conditions, which are frequent in the tropics. At best you have a probable error of 5 to 10 miles. A noon sun line gives you only your latitude, but in the old days was a useful way to travel East or West along a known latitude.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Joshua Slocum’s 1895 solo circumnavigation of the world has to be the greatest feat of dead reckoning ever. The apex being his 2000 miles crossing of the Pacific with only 1 lunar sighting and (as I recall) being less than 50 miles off on arrival. A very fine read for anyone interested is his account of the adventure: Sailing Alone Around the World.…

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