Saturday 25 March 1665

(Lady day). Up betimes and to my office, where all the morning. At noon dined alone with Sir W. Batten, where great discourse of Sir W. Pen, Sir W. Batten being, I perceive, quite out of love with him, thinking him too great and too high, and began to talk that the world do question his courage, upon which I told him plainly I have been told that he was articled against for it, and that Sir H. Vane was his great friend therein. This he was, I perceive, glad to hear. Thence to the office, and there very late, very busy, to my great content.

This afternoon of a sudden is come home Sir W. Pen from the fleete, but upon what score I know not.

Late home to supper and to bed.

26 Annotations

First Reading

JWB  •  Link

Penn & Halsey, Admirals of the World:

"...began to talk that the world do question his courage,"


Carl in Boston  •  Link

Up betimes and to my office, where all the morning.
This is the Pepys I have read for years, and admire.
Up betimes, and to my office. So Mote It Be.

Australian Susan  •  Link

This is Easter Day! But no mention of this - just the usual "Lord's Day" and no mention either of why he did not go to church today, nor mention of Bess and her new spring wardrobe (usually purchased to be shown off at church on Easter Day). Surely this is odd. He didn't go to church last week either and no reference to this omission. I know we could not expect any references to palm branches, palm crosses, Christ's Passion last Sunday nor eggs nor, heaven forfend, bunnies, but I did expect *some* mention of the most important day in the Christian year!
Information on Easter Eggs…

cape henry  •  Link

"...Easter Day! But no mention of this..."[AS] As his career has advanced, Pepys interest in church has receded. We can easily recall early on when one of his intellectual occupations was the weekly critique of sermons and their delivery. This is rare now, and mentioned offhand when it is at all.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Bit lousy of Sam pulling the memory of the tragic and noble Sir Henry Vane into his petty sniping war against Penn.


But it's Saturday, (Lady? day) Susan... And Bess at least did keep Good Friday well.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"This afternoon of a sudden is come home Sir W. Pen from the fleete, but upon what score I know not."

Maybe because he got word that his compatriots were questioning his courage?

(While we're at it, what does "he was articled against for it" mean?)

JWB  •  Link

articled against-

I take to mean proceedings under the Articles of War. But it was Gen'l Venables, not Penn who was examined and sent to the Tower for the failure to take Hispaniola in 1655. According to Granville Penn, the army never let it go and kept up a campaign of rumor & insinuation vs. Penn. See p 36 (and the notes) of G. Penn's "Memorials of the Professional Life and Times of Sir William Penn "…

dirk  •  Link

"This is Easter Day!"

Susan, strictly speaking this is "Lady's Day". Not Easter: that's tomorrow...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Sir W. Batten v. Sir W. Penn

SP, you are poisoning your own broth, trashing the neighborhood: What are the Navy Board and Seething Lane to be like after this!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

There's a great link at the beginning of today's entry with a Fra Angelico "Annunciation " explaining this particular "quarter day." Take a gander.
(Take a goose.)

GrahamT  •  Link

Lady Day:
So we are now in 1665 according to both calanders.
Happy New Year!

Ding  •  Link

Lady Day: The day of the annunciation, hence Mary's day, hence Lady Day. I was born March 25th (many years ago) to an Irish Catholic mother who came close to calling me Annunciato, dodged a bullet there!

adamw  •  Link

An early Easter in 1665, but not as early as 2008. Earliest since 1913. Easter can fall on the 22nd of March but no earlier, and that hasn't happened since 1818. But a surfeit of religious dates in 1665 - there's no intrinsic connection between lady day and easter; one is fixed, the other wanders with the moon. Odd, since they are supposed to mark conception and death of the same person.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Senior moment here. read Lady Day as Lords Day. very sorry. Nice to see everyone else is awake, even if I'm not. Surfeit of chocolate? Incidentally, Orthodox Easter is about as late as it can be this year - April 27th - whereas the Western Easter has been almost as early as it can be. For the first time, Queensland has unhooked easter from end of school term and we just had a long weekend with two more weeks of school. Confusing.

Brian  •  Link

For cowardice and the story of Sir W. Penn and Sir Henry Vane, see… , about two-thirds of the way through this very long entry.

Ruben  •  Link

Easter is not wandering. It is an exact day, but in the Hebrew Calendar (based originally on the Babilonian calendar). Other early Christian festivities are also based on the Hebrew Calendar. Later on, when Rome converted to Christianity, some Roman celebrations were incorporated to the Christian festivities together with a calendar based on the Roman.

language hat  •  Link

"Easter is not wandering. It is an exact day, but in the Hebrew Calendar"

And what is that day in the Hebrew calendar?

Ruben  •  Link

If you check the word Easter in the wikipedia: "Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover not only for much of its symbolism but also for its position in the calendar."..."The term Quartodeciman (derived from the Vulgate Latin, quarta decima,[10] meaning fourteen) refers to the very early Christian practice of celebrating Easter on 14 Nisan of the Hebrew Calendar.[11] [12] Nisan 14 is the day of preparation for the Jewish celebration of Passover. Much later, during the Middle Ages, Nisan 14 was called the Paschal Full Moon."...
"Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts, in that they do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars (both of which follow the cycle of the sun and the seasons). Instead, the date for Easter is determined on a lunisolar calendar, as is the Hebrew calendar."

And when you check the entry for Passover:
"The Christian holiday of Easter is temporally related to Passover; the New Testament relates that Christ's Last Supper was during or near the time of Passover. The Eastern Orthodox Christian Church observes Pascha in accordance with Jewish Passover, whereas most Western Christians observe Easter according to the Gregorian calendar. More often then not the two observances coincide."

Australian Susan  •  Link

Coinciding of eastern and Western easter and Passover:

This happened last year.

Eastern Churches still follow the Julian Calendar and Western the Gregorian. More or less. Some Eastern Churches follow Western practice, but no Western Church follows eastern practice.

"The Easter reckoning which became standard at both Rome and Constantinople [Eastern and Western centres of Faith] was an adaptation to the Roman calendar of Alexandrian calculations in which a lunar Paschal calendar was mapped onto the civil year as reformed by Augustus. The lunar calendar was a notional Jewish calendar not actually used by Jews whether at Alexandria or elsewhere, in which no notice was taken of the rules restricting the feria of 1 Tishri. It comprised 12 months, alternately full and hollow each conceived as beginning in the corresponding solar month, as in the Egyptian religious calendar, rather than ending in it as in the West.[I now omit a lot of calculations]... the full pattern of Easter dates recurs after 28 x 19 = 532 years; this is known as the Paschal cycle."
from "A Short History of Time" by Leofranc Holford-Strevens, who has a whole chapter and an Appendix on calculating easter, which is fiendishly complex, partly because this is so important to Christians. He points out that the Armenian and Greek communities in Jerusalem have come to blows over discrepancies between their methods of calculating easter.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Calculating Easter

For the complexities involved in the problem, and the substantial intellectual and other resources devoted its solution, see, J.L. Heilbron 'The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories' Harvard, 1999. It's a fascinating, beautifully written book pointing out amongst many other things the intellectual difficulties and negotiations that occur when dogma, that of an earth centered universe, and observation collide. (The mathematics is no where near as difficult or complex as some of the reviews suggest but does require some thought and attention to follow.)

"In a new book, "The Sun in the Church" (Harvard, 1999), Dr. John L. Heilbron, a historian of science, reveals the ubiquity of the solar observatories, which heretofore were little known among scholars. And he shows that the church was not necessarily seeking knowledge for knowledge's sake, a traditional aim of pure science. Rather, like many patrons, it wanted something practical in return for its investments: mainly the improvement of the calendar so church officials could more accurately establish the date of Easter.

When to celebrate the feast of Christ's resurrection had become a bureaucratic crisis in the church. Traditionally, Easter fell on the Sunday after the first full moon of spring. But by the 12th century, the usual ways to predict that date had gone awry.

To set a date for Easter Sunday years in advance, and thus reinforce the church's power and unity, popes and ecclesiastical officials had for centuries relied on astronomers, who pondered over old manuscripts and devised instruments that set them at the forefront of the scientific revolution.

According to Dr. Heilbron, the church "gave more financial and social support to the study of astronomy for over six centuries, from the recovery of ancient learning during the late Middle Ages into the Enlightenment, than any other, and probably, all other, institutions."…

Churches as scientific instruments………

language hat  •  Link

"Instead, the date for Easter is determined on a lunisolar calendar, as is the Hebrew calendar."

In other words, as I thought, it is not an exact day in the Hebrew calendar.

Australian Susan  •  Link

As MR points out, the drive to improve calendars was so that the Church could accurately determine Easter (not knowledge for its own sake). Likewise, the drive to develop accurate timepieces arose so that monks could sing or say the offices required by their Rules at the correct times. The by-products of both these drives were better calendars and clocks for lay purposes, but the original motivation was religious. Something similar in parallel are the various inventions applied to other applications derived from technology innovations associated with competitive space exploration in the 60s (such as survival blankets and pens you can right at any angle with).
The Holford-Strevens book to which i referred to in a previous annotation is a fascinating read. There is also a much large work by the same author called The Oxford Companion to the Year (OUP, 1999)
for Amazon ref.

Second Reading

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

I agree with MR and AS and note that a great driving force for very accurate clocks was to solve the longitude problem which was of great interest for navigation especially for the merchant navy; and the search was on, but not solved, in the 17th century.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the sun; rather, its date is determined on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council. No details for the computation were specified; these were worked out in practice, a process that took centuries and generated a number of controversies. It has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March,[10] but calculations vary.”…

Gerald Berg  •  Link

The Jewish holiday of Sukkoth was where Jews traditionally utilized palm fronds for building the sukkah etc.. This was done in the 7th month of the year when palm fronds were supple and readily available (having grown through the summer). I have yet to find a good explanation as to how (or why) palm fronds where used for purpose in the spring. At this point (of the year) the new growth would be minuscule and the old growth dry, stiff and unappealing. The best explanation is it was (like Christmas) a substitution for Roman (spring) festivities. Jesus may well have been executed later in the year.

RSGII  •  Link

Re Penn and Halsey: No one ever questioned Halsey’s courage-his judgement/rashness maybe but not his courage. “The World wants to know” was code filler that was never intended to be included in the delivered message.

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