Saturday 8 April 1665

Up, and all the morning full of business at the office. At noon dined with Mr. Povy, and then to the getting some business looked over of his, and then I to my Lord Chancellor’s, where to have spoke with the Duke of Albemarle, but the King and Council busy, I could not; then to the Old Exchange and there of my new pretty seamstress bought four bands, and so home, where I found my house mighty neat and clean. Then to my office late, till past 12, and so home to bed.

The French Embassadors1 are come incognito before their train, which will hereafter be very pompous. It is thought they come to get our King to joyne with the King of France in helping him against Flanders, and they to do the like to us against Holland. We have laine a good while with a good fleete at Harwich. The Dutch not said yet to be out. We, as high as we make our shew, I am sure, are unable to set out another small fleete, if this should be worsted. Wherefore, God send us peace! I cry.

11 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"M. de Courtin"

Honoré de Courtin (in French)…

(The Google translation of the preceding ):…

(No surprise -- the translation is faulty where most idiomatic. E.g., the Origins and youth paragraph begins by telling us that he belonged to a family several generations of distinguished Parisian lawyers, and his grandfather was "Maître des requêtes" -- a specific high office in the French court system:… Rusty and under-equipped translators like me sure benefit greatly from the web!)

jeannine  •  Link

"where I found my house mighty neat and clean"

I heard a radio discussion today about this recent article on housework (which was very funny) and then read Sam's entry today. I wonder how many additional hours of housework Elizabeth picked up when she said "I do"?,29…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I guess Sam's praise regarding home is meant as a sort of a tribute to Bess' improved management skills.
Interesting that it comes in the same sentence referring to his new lady interest. A little pang of guilt perhaps?

Mercer seems a remarkably good-natured companion for Bess seeing Sam has made no mention of trouble as yet.

"The Dutch not said yet to be out. We, as high as we make our shew, I am sure, are unable to set out another small fleete, if this should be worsted. Wherefore, God send us peace! I cry."

At this rate the Dutch strategy becomes obvious...Sit and wait a little longer for the Englanders to run completely out of cash.

"Your Majesty...As ambassidor I am instructed to speak in the king's voice."


"Charlie, mon ami...It grieves my heart to hear you are in difficulties. What can your good friend and brother Louis do for vous? An alliance, perhaps? ...Certainmoi. Just a few minor and trifling conditions...And all your troubles with this foolish Parliament...Over.


England shall change her name to...Louisland.

New England shall be annexed to Canada as New Louisland.

I shall of course annex Holland as Louisland, Nor.

And you shall change your name to...Charles Louis Stuart."

Phil  •  Link

"where I found my house mighty neat and clean.." Sam must have been a hand full for Elizabeth to keep up with; bringing home scientific equipment & books, dinner almost every day, supper and parties on a regular basis, not to mention renovations and building projects he seems to have on the go on a regular basis. Perhaps to Sam there is a difference between neat & clean and "mighty" neat & clean. The latter being those times when Elizabeth was finally able to catch up to all he brings to their home.

dirk  •  Link

"Louisland!" Well, Robert, you're probably not far off. Remember "Louisiana", which was indeed named after King Louis XIV.

Pedro  •  Link

The French ambassadors

“…Nor was it easy to see anything, outside of a Dutch alliance, to deliver France from a British “empire of the seas”, a menace of which found offensive expression in the very terms of the declaration of war.”

“It was thus in an uncheering atmosphere that in February 1665 Louis launched his final effort for peace in the celebre ambassade, which he composed by adding to the resident, and unliked, Comminge two persons of greater usefulness or of more acceptance. The dignified member of the embassy was the Duc de Verneuil natural son of the great Henri, and so, after Henri’s fashion, Charles’ uncle, a rather gouty ornament, it is true, most in his element at Newmarket; his working partner was Courtin, not only a diplomat of a high order, but a jovial sinner who could understand Charles’ ruling passion.”

SPOILER? “Their stay in England, from April to December, was extremely disagreeable. The plague drove them from London to Kingston, and thence to Oxford…Moreover the Frenchmen’s task was hopeless, for with the first English success and the consequent passion for war, their role as mediators became increasingly unpopular. They were refused lodging, the Londoners expected them to provide illuminations for English victories, their windows were broken, and their doors chalked with the plague cross…”

(British Foreign Policy 1660-1672 by Feiling)

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thank you, Pedro ... I have been looking everywhere for hints as to what the French were up to.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"where I found my house mighty neat and clean."

Spring Cleaning ... it's April, it must have stopped raining for a few days. Plus for a few days Pepys has been working late and not throwing lunch parties, and so the women could focus on other things.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"It is thought they come to get our King to joyne with the King of France in helping him against Flanders, and they to do the like to us against Holland."

They came in fact to prevent the English fleet from sailing against the Dutch, and to mediate in a dispute. They were in a hurry because war had already been declared. Louis, however, was still hoping to prevent a conflict since neither side had withdrawn its representatives. He sent one of the toyal princes (Henri de Bourbon, Duc de Verneuil, natural son of Henri IV and uncle of Charles II), together with a professional diplomat, Honoré Courtin, who with the ambassador, de Cominges, constituted what became know as the célèbre ambassade. They stayed until December. Verneuil went to see both the King and the Queen Mother on the 9th, and paid many visits to court before the state entry on 6th May: Rec. de instructions, Angleterre (ed. Lusserand, i. 345+; CSPVen. 1665-6, pp. 94, 95, 110, 115, 121, 125, J.J. Jusserand, French Ambassador, pp. 233-4; Feiling, p. 142. (L&M note)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thanks, Terry -- L&M to the rescue. What a visit these two are in for!

I love "... jovial sinner who could understand Charles’ ruling passion.”

Pray which ruling passion was this? The remarks seem to refer to Newmarket and therefore racing, which Charles doesn't seem to have done much of recently. (Not that workaholic Pepys would know.)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

So now we know why Coventry is in Harwich, and why Pepys pays for the lighter.…

Thursday 6 April 1665

“On April 4 , 1665 Coventry wrote to Pepys from Harwich about the need for lighters: CSPD 1664-5, p. 292. On April 8. 1665 Pepys lent £100 for the purchase of one: Further Corr., p. 40. (Per L&M footnote)"

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