Saturday 25 February 1664/65

Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon to the ’Change; where just before I come, the Swede that had told the King and the Duke so boldly this great lie of the Dutch flinging our men back to back into the sea at Guinny, so particularly, and readily, and confidently, was whipt round the ’Change: he confessing it a lie, and that he did it in hopes to get something. It is said the judges, upon demand, did give it their opinion that the law would judge him to be whipt, to lose his eares, or to have his nose slit but I do not hear that anything more is to be done to him. They say he is delivered over to the Dutch Embassador to do what he pleased with him. But the world do think that there is some design on one side or other, either of the Dutch or French, for it is not likely a fellow would invent such a lie to get money whereas he might have hoped for a better reward by telling something in behalf of us to please us.

Thence to the Sun taverne, and there dined with Sir W. Warren and Mr. Gifford, the merchant: and I hear how Nich. Colborne, that lately lived and got a great estate there, is gone to live like a prince in the country, and that this Wadlow, that did the like at the Devil by St. Dunstane’s, did go into the country, and there spent almost all he had got, and hath now choused this Colborne out of his house, that he might come to his old trade again. But, Lord! to see how full the house is, no room for any company almost to come into it. Thence home to the office, where dispatched much business; at night late home, and to clean myself with warm water; my wife will have me, because she do herself, and so to bed.

35 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Carte Calendar records how Somerset's men were in the cross-hairs of the impressment campaign

Ormond to Lord Poulett
Written from: Whitehall

Date: 25 February 1665
Communicates further directions received from his Majesty concerning the raising of seamen, in Somersetshire

Ormond to the Justices of Somersetshire
Written from: [Whitehall]

Date: 25 February 1665
Account is to be given of the numbers of seamen already raised in the county, under previous warrants and instructions sent by the Writer ... with all possible expedition. The Lords of Council have prescribed the methods of proceeding in this affair, which must be punctually observed.


Lords of the Council to Ormond
Written from: Whitehall

Date: 17 February 1665
Further instructions concerning impressment of seamen in Somersetshire. With rules of procedure therein.

Ormond to the Justices of Bristol
Written from: [Whitehall]

Date: 25 February 1665
To the same effect, as in the Letter calendared above.


Copy of the Letter from the Lords of Council; as above

Date: 17 February 1665

Australian Susan  •  Link

Interesting to take note of the letters TF draws our attention to above and compare with the story Sam relates today of "the Swede" and Sam's suspicion of it. maybe somebody felt that the impressed men needed to feel they were fighting dastardly villains and so might feel better about being forced onto ships. Reminds me of the propaganda about atrocities towards Belgians shown by the German army in WWI, widely circulated to encourage enlistment amongst British men.

And Sam gets a wash!! Too many cold and lonely nights have done it. "and so to bed" and more ,much more, no doubt than merely sleep. Elizabeth is a canny lass.

dirk  •  Link

Still, it's a strange story. A Swede (if he is indeed a Swede?) - the Swedes being the natural allies of Britain in this conflict - would be trustes by the English man-in-the-street if he was spreading rumours like this. And this kind of rumour might be useful as an extra motivation for a nation going to war. If this was planned and organized by the British MI5/MI6 of the time, it would have been a poor deal for the "Swede", as he is being given over to the Dutch (the enemy) for punishment. Very strange indeed. I guess we'll never know what was really behind it.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"hath now choused this Colborne out of his house"

chouse: To dupe, cheat, trick; to swindle or defraud (OED)

Miss Ann  •  Link

Is this not slightly presumptuous that just because his dear wife has had a lovely bath she will be open to his amorous advances once he has had one too?

Can you imagine the pong from the two of them in the recent days -- how long is it since they actually bathed? I can't recall.

This bathing lark (or lack thereof) has caused a great deal of mirth and ribbing in the Colonies over the years of those from the Motherland - it might be OK to go the whole winter without taking to the tub in the Old Dart but here in the Antipides it is very much warmer and the body does stink after just a little while. All those jokes about where an Englishman keeps his money - under the soap! Boom! Boom!

Just another reminder of how things have changed over the years, hopefully (haven't been to the UK in a long time, I'm assuming Neighbours and Home & Away has had some affect on the citizenry other than altering their speech).

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"... to clean myself with warm water; ..."

L&M note: "One of the rare occasions on which Pepys records having washed."

Firenze  •  Link

Yes, well, when you've invested in something major like a bath, you don't want to just squander the effects. I can hear the grumbling below stairs tho - this time of night - on your feet all day - now it's stoke fire - heat kettle - fill can - drag upstairs - all so's we can 'wash' - pah!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Well, at least he seems anxious to satisfy Bess...If only to regain his bedmate. And perhaps more convinced of her resolution to maintain a cleaner state.

Very gentlemanly regards the false atrocity stories...Hand him over to the Dutch? Still, the official declaration of war hasn't been made yet, has it? Given Sam's nervousness about how Holmes behaved toward the Dutch in Guinea perhaps there's an anxiety to prevent such tales of either side from circulating.

Then too the British do tend to strive for generousity toward foes when it can be granted.

"We have a very daring and skillful opponent against us...And may I say across the havoc of war a very great general." Winston Churchill, 1942 regarding Erwin Rommel.


"Sir John?"

"Uh, Pepys...The others have appointed me to speak to you regarding...Well..."

"Sir John?"

"Pepys. We've noticed something about you...Damnit, man, let me cut to the chase. Pepys, you don't smell anymore. No one can smell you."


"It's disconcerting Pepys. We're all used to the daily routine, the, as it were, family odor, in the office. Now it just doesn't seem like the office anymore. Besides Batten's and Penn's wives are asking them to start washing now. A dangerous chain, Pepys... God knows where it may end. And washing with London water, Pepys? Life in your hands, you know."

Mary  •  Link

Just punishment?

L&M refer to a letter written by Sir T. Osborne which states that the Swede-cum-Dutchman lost his ears by way of punishment.

Nix  •  Link

I would have thought the just punishment for spreading false reports would be cutting out his tongue.

Pedro  •  Link

“They say he is delivered over to the Dutch Embassador to do what he pleased with him.”

"An ambassador is an honest person sent to lie abroad for their country."

Sir Henry Wotton (1568–1639)

Ruben  •  Link

Lies and lemons
the quotation about the "honest ambassador" was already cited by a editor's note the 12 november 1661: "His conduct reminds us of Sir Henry Wotton’s definition of an ambassador—that he is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country. A pun upon the term lieger—ambassador.—B."
Wotton is the Sir with the garden full of "brave orange and lemon trees", visited and wondered by young Samuel at the beginning of the diary.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

A footnote to Dirk's annotation of yesterday about John Evelyn’s diary entry:

“Dr. Fell, Canon of Christ Church, .... however he is a good man."

Dr Fell is the subject of the well-known lines:

I do not love thee, Dr Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not love thee, Dr Fell.

For the full story and a biography, see

Michael Robinson  •  Link

A footnote to Paul Dyson's annotation -- Dr Fell lives ...

With Times as the 'default' face in many Microsoft applications Dr. Fell almost certainly is part of your day to day life: Stanly Morrison is supposed to have based 'Times Roman'(Linotype version) 'Times New Roman'(Monotype version) on one of the eight 'Plantin' founts Fell purchased in Amsterdam and gave to Oxford in 1672:-……
Digital reproduction of some of the original Fell faces,with history:

Mary  •  Link

the Fell types.

What a delicious sidelight on the living legacy of the 17th Century. Thank you, Michael. This strikes me as exactly the kind of 'off-topic' annotation that would leave us all the poorer were it not made.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" .. propaganda about atrocities towards Belgians shown by the German army in WWI, widely circulated to encourage enlistment amongst British men."

German Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial. John Horne and Alan Kramer. Yale University Press, 2002, 608 pp. $40.00.
This colossal study delves into the facts and myths surrounding the reports of German war atrocities in Belgium and France in 1914. The authors argue that the contradictory reports of Germans and Allies on what happened resulted from divergent views of the Germans' collective reprisals against civilians. These acts were war crimes under international law, but "the German army considered the real atrocity to be mass civilian resistance." The Belgian and French accounts of atrocities tended to be more accurate than the German charges about collective civilian resistance. On the other hand, the occupiers were disoriented and fearful, fed by memories of the Franco-Prussian War, by harsh German policy toward irregular warfare, and by militant nationalism. As a result, "violence could be started by almost anything," and it provoked reprisals that "appeared to be anything but accidental." Tragically, this issue survived in the "war culture" of the belligerent countries in the 1920s and 1930s. Allies were divided over how to handle German war crimes (a skeptical United States resisted the idea of an international court), and Weimar Germany refused to accept responsibility. Meanwhile, growing numbers of pacifists, especially in the United States, believed that the reports of German atrocities were simply an "Allied invention." Few history books can claim to be definitive -- but this one should be accepted as such.…

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and to clean myself with warm water"
The Portuguese when they first came to Brazil in the 16th century were said to bathe three times in their lives: when they were born, when they married and before burial; now the Indians loved water and bathed twice a day; little by little the portuguese changed their habits.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Plantin and the Fell Types

Michael's note brings back memory of having visited the Musee Plantin in Antwerp some half-century ago. It preserves one of Europe's oldest printing houses, and I suppose that the Plantin types purchased in Amsterdam by Dr. Fell in the 17th century originated there. I have entered below a sonnet by Christophe Plantin (1520-1589). My copy was printed at the museum on an old press with old type. While it expresses an ideal of the good life shared(to some extent) by Samuel Pepys (with exceptions regarding ambition and control of passions), it can also be read ironically, as my brother once pointed out. (Accents omitted)

Le Bonheur de ce Monde

A voir une mason commode, propre & belle,
Un jardin tapisse d'espaliers odorans,
Des fruits, d'excellent vin, peu de train, peu
Posseder seul, sans bruit, une femme fidele.

N'avoir dettes, amour, ni proces, ne querelle,
Ni di partage a faire avec ses parens,
Se contenter de peu, n'esperer rein des Grands,
Regler tous ses desseins sur une juste modele.

Vivre avec franchise & sans ambition,
S'adonner sans scruple a la devotion,
Dompter ses passions, les rendre obeissantes.

Conserver l'esprit libre, & le jugemont fort,
Dire son Chapelet en cultiver ses entes,
Cest attendre chez soi bien doucement la mort.…

language hat  •  Link

Nice poem! But since it's got typos as well as no accents, I'll provide a more accurate version:

Avoir une maison commode, propre & belle,
Un jardin tapissé d’espaliers odorans,
Des fruits, d’excellent vin, peu de train, peu d’enfans,
Posseder seul, sans bruit, une femme fidéle.

N’avoir dettes, amour, ni procés, ni querelle,
Ni de partage à faire avecque ses parens,
Se contenter de peu, n’espérer rien des Grands,
Régler tous ses desseins sur un juste modéle.

Vivre avecque franchise & sans ambition,
S’adonner sans scrupule à la dévotion,
Domter ses passions, les rendre obéissantes.

Conserver l’esprit libre, & le jugement fort,
Dire son Chapelet en cultivant des entes,
C’est attendre chez soi bien doucement la mort.

Pedro  •  Link

“in the cross-hairs of the impressment campaign"

Of an earlier time (1645) Robert Boyle wrote to his sister…

“The foot we saw were poor pressed countrymen, whom this party of horse were sent, not to convoy, but to guard. Amongst them I saw one poor rogue, lacqueyed by his wife, and carrying a child upon his shoulders. A pretty device methinks, to make those, who have no goods, to fight for their wives and children! Good God! That reasonable creatures, that call themselves Christians too, should delight in such an unnatural thing as war, where cruelty at least becomes a necessity, and unprocured poverty becomes a crime; and a man with his whole family must be subject to be unavoidably undone, because the violence perhaps of those very soldiers that press him, had made him poor.”

(from Robert Boyle by Luis Trenchard More)

A.Hamilton  •  Link

Thank you, L.H.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I hear how Nich. Colborne, that lately lived and got a great estate there, is gone to live like a prince in the country, and that this Wadlow, that did the like at the Devil by St. Dunstane’s, did go into the country, and there spent almost all he had got, and hath now choused this Colborne out of his house, that he might come to his old trade again."

[ Partly true: ] Both were innkeepers and vintners. Nicholas Colborne had bought the manor of Esher for close on £10,000 in 1663 and lived in style in the manor-house.… John Wadlow had an estate in Yorkshire. (Per L&M footnote)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"He was no Swede, he was Dutch. Makes it even stranger."

Not every Dutchman liked the De Witt regime. But the little Stadholder, William, was under the Regency of an English mother and Dutch grandmother who did not agree about anything, so he was in no position to contest the Dutch republic. To me, that the liar was Dutch makes more sense than his being Swedish.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Ormond to Lord Poulett"

I'm thinking that must be John Paulet, 5th Marquis of Winchester. At the Restoration, he regained his estates. Despite a resolution by the Cavalier Parliament, he was never compensated for losses incurred in King Charles' service.

At this time he was lived quietly at Englefield House, Berkshire, where his main interests were in agricultural improvement and literature. He never attempted to rebuild Basing House.

I guess he was on "special assignment" to Somerset to round up some fishermen? Or is there some other Poulett I am unaware of?

For more info on the Marquis, see…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"If this was planned and organized by the British MI5/MI6 of the time, ..."

Seems to me Cromwell's spymaster Downing has his hands full at the Hague, and although he must have spies reporting to him, Charles must have had someone in London coordinating his intelligence. I understand Thomas Chiffinch did some security and confidential work, but he sounds more like the Secret Service than a spymaster (a la Burleigh). Maybe Hyde kept the secrets? -- he seems a bit too busy with other matters. Any nominations?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I hear how Nich. Colborne, that lately lived and got a great estate there, is gone to live like a prince in the country, and that this Wadlow, that did the like at the Devil by St. Dunstane’s, did go into the country, and there spent almost all he had got, and hath now choused this Colborne out of his house, that he might come to his old trade again."

Pepys has got his facts wrong again. This part of the manor of Esher is now known as Claremont, and was later home to Queen Victoria and Clive of India. Nicholas Colborne's house is long gone. But according to… he lived there until 1677:

In 1659 George Price and Margaret his wife quitclaimed the manor of Claremont, which was originally part of the manor of Esher Episcopi, to Walter Plomer and his sister Elizabeth, (fn. 18) who held a manorial court here in 1662, (fn. 19)

In 1663, in conjunction with George Price and his wife Margaret and their son and heir, John, they conveyed Claremont to Nicholas Colborne, citizen and vintner of London, in consideration of the sum of £9,104 14s. 6d. paid to Sir Walter Plomer and his sister Elizabeth, and a competent sum to John Price. (fn. 20)

[I think this means Colborne paid £9,104 14s. 6d. to both John Price and the Plomers? I.E. the property cost £18,209 9s.]

Nicholas Colborne mortgaged the estate of Claremont, which in 1677 was purchased by Philip Doughty. (fn. 21) ...

So who knows what Capt. Wadlow was up to. He doesn't warrant a mention in the official history.

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

When I was first in Brazil in 1991 I did some reading to prepare myself. One author said that 'the Portuguese brought Christianity to the Indians and the Indians gave the Portuguese the habit of bathing: The Portuguese got the better deal'.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Charles II's spymaster ... I may have answered my own question, but there seems to be little info to support this. I must investigate further:

Joseph Williamson, Keeper of the State Paper Office at Whitehall, in 1663 was made Under-Secretary of State, and soon afterwards knighted. He was one of the ablest of Pepys' colleagues in the public service. Williamson’s part in the establishment of an efficient intelligence and espionage system was an important one between 1660 and his retirement in 1679. For some 19 years he had a major influence on the secretariat’s involvement in the covert world.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ’ . . and hath now choused this Colborne out of his house, . . ’

‘chouse, v.1 trans. To dupe, cheat, trick . . < chouse, n. < chiaus, n. (< . . Turkish chāush . . A Turkish messenger, sergeant, or lictor. . . 1666 Oxford Gaz. No. 57/3 Several Chiauses..have been returned with contempt..with their Noses and Ears cut off.)

trans. To dupe, cheat, trick; to swindle or defraud of or out of.
. . 1669 Dryden Wild Gallant ii. i. 16 You shall chouse him of horses, cloathes and Money . . ‘


HDS  •  Link

What would Sir Henry Wotton say about America's ambassador to the UN?

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