Sunday 16 April 1665

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed, then up and to my chamber and my office, looking over some plates which I find necessary for me to understand pretty well, because of the Dutch warr. Then home to dinner, where Creed dined with us, and so after dinner he and I walked to the Rolls’ Chappell, expecting to hear the great Stillingfleete preach, but he did not; but a very sorry fellow, which vexed me. The sermon done, we parted, and I home, where I find Mr. Andrews, and by and by comes Captain Taylor, my old acquaintance at Westminster, that understands musique very well and composes mighty bravely; he brought us some things of two parts to sing, very hard; but that that is the worst, he is very conceited of them, and that though they are good makes them troublesome to one, to see him every note commend and admire them. He supped with me, and a good understanding man he is and a good scholler, and, among other things, a great antiquary, and among other things he can, as he says, show the very originall Charter to Worcester, of King Edgar’s, wherein he stiles himself, Rex Marium Brittanniae, &c.; which is the great text that Mr. Selden and others do quote, but imperfectly and upon trust. But he hath the very originall, which he says he will shew me.

He gone we to bed.

This night I am told that newes is come of our taking of three Dutch men-of-warr, with the loss of one of our Captains.

31 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Edgar the Peaceful, reigning 31 or so years...Not bad and a very rare title. So that would be the Edgar of "King Lear"?


A very pleasant Sunday even if we failed to receive the words of the great Stillingfleete (hope he lives up to his impressive name) and Cap't. Taylor was a bit much about his composition.

"Sam'l? Was the Captain's music not good?"

"Good?" Sam breaths a trembling sigh, tear running down cheek. "It was exquisite. Divine ecstasy."

Well...Then...? Bess stares as Sam stalks off to his study.

"From now on, despite my gratitute for the 1300Ls, we are enemies, Lord." he vows to the fire, fuming.

"Because, excepting finances, you deny me...And bestow genius upon that lump of a man. And leave me, who need I point out keeps vows with alacrity, with nothing, tormented and peering though the twisted stanza bars of my cage. This I vow...I will hurt and harm your creation. Not even my Diary shall ever let the world know of what you have touched this foolish man with."

Now, what to do...Hmmn...A quick visit to Hooke to borrow some of that Florentine cat-killer which he told me if diluted will kill slowly? Then purchase a frightening death mask and go to tell Taylor in a disguised voice somewhat like his own deceased father's that I'm a wealthy patron in disguise who is commissioning a Requiem Mass of him. Wait a couple of weeks...Then his good friend Pepys pays a call to find poor Taylor near death and needing help to finish his Mass. Yes, yes...Then it will be Pepys who is touched by God.

Hmmn...That 'commissioning' thing...

Could be expensive...Not to mention the death mask, the coaches to and fro.

Hell, it's only a few glorious compositions and he's a naval captain in wartime. If the Dutch don't kill him, drink will.

"Hmmn...Now where the devil is the current volume of my journal?"

A grimly reading Bess, Diary in hand. "Shelton's Shorthand, Pocket Edition." by her side.

"From now on, we are enemies..." she eyes the secret cruifix above her desk in her study.

Still...Never would've thought I'd want to kill him for envy of his literary talent rather than the philandering...


Robert Gertz  •  Link

And with the Pope here in the US too...this Catholic boy must hand head in overquick typing shame...Crucifix.

cgs  •  Link

your copy here; how to play your instrument Sam;

London; John Playford, 1655
An Introduction to the Skill of Musick. In two Books.…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... show the very originall Charter to Worcester, of King Edgar’s, wherein he stiles himself, Rex Marium Brittanniae, &c. ..."

L&M note:-

“The 10th. Century King Edgar became in the C 17th. a symbol of British maritime aspirations. He is featured in the decorations of the greatest warship of the time (the Royal Sovereign, finished in 1637) which in fact it was proposed to call the Edgar: ...The reference here is to a spurious charter allegedly of 28th. December 964. ... Taylor’s MS. was probably the 12th.- century copy now in the British Library, Harl. 7513. The phrase ‘Marium Brit. Domini’ occurs on the box in which it was contained, not in the charter itself, and is of course much later. ... Selden cited the charter with some circumspection in ‘Mare Clausum’ (trans. 1652, pp 273+ ) and Pepys several times refers to it in ‘Naval Minutes’ (J. R. Tanner ed., ‘Samuel Pepys Naval Minutes,’ 1926, pp. 58, 290, 302) …

Taylor had laid hands on the MS during the Interregnum, when he was a sequestrator in Herefordshire. He showed it to several people, including Aubrey who wrote (Brief Lives (ed Clark) Oxford: 1898 ii pp 254-5): ‘Taylor garbled the library of the church of Worcester, and evidences, where he had the original grant of King Edgar … whence the Kings of England derive their right to the sovereignty of the sea. ‘Tis printed in Mr. Seldon’s ‘Mare Clausum.’ I have seen it many times, & it is as legible as but lately written (Roman character). He offered it to the King for 120 L. but his majesty would not give so much. Since his death, I acquainted the Secretary of the Estate . . . & his creditors seized on his goods and papers. He told me that it did of right belong to Worcester Church. I told one of their prebends, & they cared not for such things. I beleeve (sic) it haz wrapt herrings by this time,’

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"... that Mr. Selden ... do quote, ..."

Pepys was certainly familiar with the book in Marchamount Needham's translation:-

" .. to Paul’s Church Yard, to cause the title of my English “Mare Clausum” to be changed, and the new title, dedicated to the King, to be put to it, because I am ashamed to have the other seen dedicated to the Commonwealth."…

The Pepysian Libaray

JWB  •  Link

Edward Stillingfleet
From Jonathan Richardson, Richardsoniana (1776), pp. 89-90.
King Charles II asked Stillingfleet, `How it came about that he always read his sermons before him, when, he was informed, he always preached without book elsewhere?' He told the King that `the awe of so noble an audience, where he saw nothing that was not greatly superior to him, but chiefly the seeing before him so great and wise a prince, made him afraid to trust himself'. With which answer the King was very well contented. `But pray,' says Stillingfleet, `will your majesty give me leave to ask a question too? Why do you read your speeches, when you can have none of the same reason?' `Why truly, doctor,' says the King, `your question is a very-pertinent one, and so will be my answer. I have asked them [the House of Commons] so often, and for so much money, that I am ashamed to look them in the face.'…

language hat  •  Link

"I have asked them so often, and for so much money, that I am ashamed to look them in the face."

He's a rogue, but a charming one.

Mary  •  Link


Lest anyone be misled, this Edgar has absolutely nothing to do with Gloucester's son in King Lear.

JWB  •  Link

Charming rogue?

-if the anecdote is true. Has smell of royalist hagiography. Seems to me I've read it before, though I'm sure I would have remembered Stillingfleet's unique name. Perhaps something similar written about Dunne and James I?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“The 10th. Century King Edgar became in the C 17th. a symbol of British maritime aspirations. He is featured in the decorations of the greatest warship of the time (the Royal Sovereign, finished in 1637) which in fact it was proposed to call the Edgar: …"

Sovereign of the Seas
"Each brass cannon was embossed with a rose and crown, the foul anchor, the sceptre and trident and a motto, 'Carolus Edgari sceptrum stabilivit aquarum' (Charles has firmly grasped Edgar's sceptre of the seas). This referred to the early English King Edgar, whose figure on horseback formed the ship's figurehead. Behind this on the beakhead bulkhead, six twice-life-size female figures represented Counsel, Carefulness, Industry, Strength, Valour and Victory, with Cupid bridling a lion, an allusion to the mercy of Charles I. Overall, the allegorical references promoted Charles's claim to sovereignty of the seas and naval might as a deterrent and instrument of peace. Ironically, in this context, the king's extension of Ship Money taxation to inland counties to expand his navy - including building the 'Sovereign' - was one of the causes of the Civil War that overthrew him (1642-49)."…

"The reference here is to a spurious charter allegedly of 28th. December 964. …"

The 12c fraud itself…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Aorry, not "The 12c fraud itself" but where it can be found.

Ruben  •  Link

Is the anecdote true?
I checked a very known source, and this is what I found:

Ezra 9:6 (King James Bible)
"And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens."

I think both, StrangeName and the King knew their Bible as did all other educated person. Probably the anecdote was invented by someone who also new the Book and told to others that understood why it was said.
Because a few lines before, in Ezra 9:2 you read:
"For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass."
And now you see that the anecdote is critical or subversive, considering the deeds of the present King.

Phil  •  Link

It's a pleasure to read these annotations, you all have made the reading of Pepys diary online so rich,thought provoking and addictive.

One (of the oh so many) topics touched on today is King Edgar. It seems so inappropriate to name a battle ship after a king known for peace.

JWB  •  Link

Ruben: He does have one of those "foreign wives" and has returned from exile.

Ruben  •  Link

He married a Catholic and worse than that he is fornicating with all kind of courtesans, local and imported. He has natural sons and pretensions for them. Terrible! What has become of this Kingdom? The only way to speak and live by the True Word and stay alive and free is moving to a New World and build a New Jerusalem.

jeannine  •  Link

"What has become of this Kingdom?"

I love JWB's quote about Charles II: 'Why truly, doctor,’ says the King, `your question is a very-pertinent one, and so will be my answer. I have asked them [the House of Commons] so often, and for so much money, that I am ashamed to look them in the face.’ To me, it just sounds so 'Charles" -a mixture of wit and honesty in the embarrassing situation of once again begging for money! In spite of ALL of his character flaws, and there were many, he did have a charming way of just telling the truth.

And for Ruben’s wonderful question “What has become of this Kingdom?” it will probably only become more debauched over time, which although it will be ‘spiritually’ wanting will more than make up for itself in the ludicrous stories that Sam will hopefully dutifully record for all of us.

Actually, amidst all of the talk of war, business, etc., I have been pining for a visit between Dr. Pierce and Sam, for the lack of court gossip these days is rather depressing to me! Oh the days of full of talk of dropped babies, Castlemaine tantrums, beauties in competition, pompous aristocracy making asses of themselves….let’s hope our Sam hasn’t become too much of a business man to keep recording the seedier side of Court life!

CGS  •  Link

I think that Charles got even , he prorogued them.
"...I have asked them [the House of Commons] so often, and for so much money, that I am ashamed to look them in the face.’..."
no money no loot [prize monies]

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" What has become of this Kingdom? ... moving to a New World and build a New Jerusalem."

[ 1 ]
Still was the night, Serene and Bright,
when all Men sleeping lay;
Calm was the season, and carnal reason
thought so 'twould last for ay.
Soul, take thine ease, let sorrow cease,
much good thou hast in store:
This was their Song, their Cups among,
the Evening before.

[ 2 ]
Wallowing in all kind of sin,
vile wretches lay secure:
The best of men had scarcely then
their Lamps kept in good ure.
Virgins unwise, who through disguise
amongst the best were number'd,
Had clos'd their eyes; yea, and the wise
through sloth and frailty slumber'd.

[ 3 ]
Like as of old, when Men grow bold
Gods' threatnings to contemn,
Who stopt their Ear, and would not hear,
when Mercy warned them:
But took their course, without remorse
till God began to powre
Destruction the World upon
in a tempestuous showre.

[ 4 ]
They put away the evil day,
And drown'd their care and fears,
Till drown'd were they, and swept away
by vengeance unawares:
So at the last, whilst Men sleep fast
in their security,
Surpriz'd they are in such a snare
as cometh suddenly.

[ 5 ]
For at midnight brake forth a Light,
which turn'd the night to day,
And speedily an hideous cry
did all the world dismay.
Sinners awake, their hearts do ake,
trembling their loynes surprizeth;
Amaz'd with fear, by what they hear,
each one of them ariseth.

[ 203 ]
What? to be sent to Punishment,
and flames of Burning Fire,
To be surrounded, and eke confounded
with Gods Revengful ire.
What? to abide, not for a tide
these Torments, but for Ever:
To be released, or to be eased,
not after years, but Never.

[ 204 ]
Oh, fearful Doom! now there's no room
for hope or help at all:
Sentence is past which aye shall last,
Christ will not it recall.
There might you hear them rent and tear
the Air with their out-cries:
The hideous noise of their sad voice
ascendeth to the Skies.

[ 205 ]
They wring their hands, their caitiff-hands
and gnash their teeth for terrour;
They cry, they roar for anguish sore,
and gnaw their tongues for horrour.
But get away without delay,
Christ pitties not your cry:
Depart to Hell, there may you yell,
and roar Eternally.

[ 206 ]
That word, Depart, maugre their heart,
drives every wicked one,
With mighty pow'r, the self-same hour,
far from the Judge's Throne.
Away they're chaste by the strong blast
of this Death-threatning mouth:
They flee full fast, as if in haste,
although they be full loath.

[ 207 ]
As chaff that's dry, and dust doth fly
before the Northern wind:
Right so are they chased away,
and can no Refuge find.
They hasten to the Pit of Wo,
guarded by Angels stout;
Who to fulfil Christ's holy will,
attend this wicked Rout.

[ 208 ]
Whom having brought, as they are taught,
unto the brink of Hell,
(That dismal place far from Christ's face,
where Death and Darkness dwell:
Where Gods fierce Ire kindleth the fire,
and vengeance feeds the flame
With piles of Wood, and Brimstone Flood,
that none can quench the same,)

[ 209 ]
With Iron bands they bind their hands,
and cursed feet together,
And cast them all, both great and small,
into that Lake for ever.
Where day and night, without respite,
they wail, and cry, and howl
For tort'ring pain, which they sustain
in Body and in Soul.

[ 210 ]
For day and night, in their despight,
their torments smoak ascendeth.
Their pain and grief have no relief,
their anguish never endeth.
There must they ly, and never dy,
though dying every day:
There must they dying ever ly,
and not consume away.

[ 211 ]
Dy fain they would, if dy they could,
but Death will not be had;
God's direful wrath their bodies hath
for ev'r Immortal made.
They live to ly in misery,
and bear eternal wo;
And live they must whilst God is just,
that he may plague them so.

[ 219 ]
The Saints behold with courage bold,
and thankful wonderment,
To see all those that were their foes
thus sent to punishment:
Then do they sing unto their King
a Song of endless Praise:
They praise his Name, and do proclaim
that just are all his ways.

Michael Wigglesworth " The day of doom: or, A poetical description of the Great and Last Judgment. With a short discourse about eternity." Cambridge Mass.: 1662.……

dirk  •  Link

The rev. Josselin's diary entry for today:

"God good to me in his word, friends family, I preached at Markshall god prosper his word. season dry, night almost continual cold frosts"

language hat  •  Link

"I think both, StrangeName and the King knew their Bible as did all other educated person."

Sure, but this does not need to be a biblical reference; "not being able to look someone in the face" is a natural human phenomenon, not a wild metaphor invented by the writer of Ezra.

As for "if the anecdote is true": of course we have no way of knowing, but it could perfectly well be; as jeannine says, it fits with everything we know about Charles's character. I don't like kings any better than the next anarchist, but that doesn't mean I believe they're all monsters incapable of human moments.

Ruben  •  Link

"if the anecdote is true"
if Charles said that it was a very simple straigth forward humoristic answer. But why to remember such an anecdote? Anecdotes and things said are remembered for their value in a certain context, like in our case.
Lets see another example: did Marie Antoinette say something about eating cake instead of bread? No, she did not. But, alas! it is the concept others had of her that put those words in her mouth (the head not being connected to the rest of the body).
That was the reason I looked for a better answer.
I believe that in Pepys times the Bible was the principal source of reference, in second place being the classic Latin literature.

Mary  •  Link

if the anecdote is true.

Sometimes it is the strictly commonplace utterances of the Great and Good that are noted and reported, simply because they are just what any common-or-garden person might be expected to say in a similar context.

"Look, they're just like us!"

Ruben  •  Link

if the anecdote is true
Mary, you are right if you consider today's world, where everything gets recorded, filmed and published. But 300 years ago things were different.

People expected their "superiors" somehow to be better, etc. And those expected to be better usually did they part too.
In battle, a captain would stand on the deck of his ship wearing his best white uniform for all his staff and enemies to see him from the farthest distance. If he could not face the enemy like this, he would loose the confidence of his people and had no authority. For him it was better to die (ask Nelson) than to bend down or take shelter.
Same in duels: two adversaries would face the pistol of their rival and look how the other one depressed slowly the trigger without running away.
I think that when the "betters" were not better enough, anecdotes would reveal that.
But this is already becoming a digression...

language hat  •  Link

"That was the reason I looked for a better answer."

I don't understand why a vague Biblical reference is a "better" answer than a sense of humor. But we're obviously not going to agree about it.

Pedro  •  Link

Meanwhile in the West Indies…

De Ruyter had arrived at Barbados in April, but failing to take the ships in the harbour, sailed up to Martinique. There he repaired the damage with the help of the French and then sailed off to attack Virginia and New England.

In the meantime Sir Thomas Modyford had instructed, on orders from London, and given Colonel Edward Morgan his orders: he was to prepare an expedition to attack all the main Dutch Islands, Statia and Saba in the Leewards and Curacao and Bonaire off the coast of Venezuela…by the time De Ruyter had arrived Sir Thomas had reported to Arlington that “the privateers come in a-pace and cheerfully offer life and fortune to His Majesty’s service.”

On the 16th April Morgan sailed and Sir Thomas was very satisfied and wrote to Arlington…

“They are chiefly reformed privateers, scarce a planter amongst them, being resolute fellows, and are well armed with fuses and pistols. Their design is to fall upon St. Eustatius, Saba and Curacao, and on their homeward voyage visit the French and English buccaneers at Hispaniola and Tortugas. All this is prepared by the honest Privateer, at a rate of “no purchase, no pay”, and it will cost the King nothing considerable, some powder and mortar pieces.”

(Biography of Harry Morgan by Pope)

Second Reading

Tonyel  •  Link

"Sometimes it is the strictly commonplace utterances of the Great and Good that are noted"

Our own longstanding heir to the throne recently made an old and weak pun in a speech concerning his genes and having trouble fitting into his jeans. The assembled company roared with forced laughter no doubt confirming in his mind, as with so many other kings and presidents, that he must be something special. At least the earlier Charles had a reputation for supplying a prompt and accurate riposte to comments and situations which suggests intelligence and a ready wit.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"What has become of this Kingdom?"

In the 17th century, the question would have been "What *is* become of this Kingdom?"

The verb "to be" was still used by Sam and contemporaries as the perfect tense auxiliary for intransitive verbs, as continues to be the practice in today's French and German.…

This can be used in literature to make the language sound archaic, eg, from Tolkien, Elendil saying
"Out of the Great Sea to Middle Earth I *am* come ..."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"This night I am told that news is come of our taking of three Dutch men-of-war, with the loss of one of our Captains."

Does L&M or anyone have information on these rumors? Or perhaps I'll have to wait until tomorrow ...???

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M, who usually present an account and supporting sources of such naval encounters, have nothing here.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M regularly cite pertinent sources --- diaries, correspondence and calendars of state papers (government records in The National Archives in Kew). They found no records in 1970, but a research could be done.

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