Tuesday 9 May 1665

Up betimes, and to my business at the office, where all the morning. At noon comes Mrs. The. Turner, and dines with us, and my wife’s painting-master staid and dined; and I take great pleasure in thinking that my wife will really come to something in that business. Here dined also Luellin. So after dinner to my office, and there very busy till almost midnight, and so home to supper and to bed.

This day we have newes of eight ships being taken by some of ours going into the Texel, their two men of warr, that convoyed them, running in. They come from about Ireland, round to the north.

11 Annotations

First Reading

JWB  •  Link

Mrs. The. Turner

What 'The' inveigling free limning lesson- she who would not accomodated Sam's inveigling keyboard lessons?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"What? You call those 'eyes'?" The, sneering. "I really must be frank, cousin Bess..." (Like this is news? Bess sighs.) "This is just like your inadequate bird cage episode. You may be of the French persuasion and somewhat attractive in a gross and earthy sort of way but you sadly lack the taste cousin Samuel needs in a proper wife. Don't you agree, Mr. Browne?"

"Ah...Ha, ha...Well..." Browne, desperately. "I'm sure Mrs. Pepys will do well in her work."

"Yes...You would say that. Your financial interests are at stake here." The nods thoughtfully.

"I'll be leaving you to your entertaining, dearest." Sam hastily...

"Poor cousin Samuel...He really deserves so much better." The notes sadly at the hurrying Sam.

Can't kill her now...Mr. Browne is still here, Bess reminds herself. Though my girls would gladly help...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Heaven...Bess Pepys' corner...

Where a weedy, tubercular (He kept the look, thought it made him appealing, God notes to Son at their ringside seats) Robert Louis Stevenson is getting his from an angry Bess...

"Ooof..." He's down again at Bess' latest sock...

"Mercy! Leave off, Mrs. Pepys!! I retract my...Oh!"

Sam watching with interest...And the good sense to let the Missus have her deserved fun. Only reconciled a century (thanks be to God for those sweet and loving passages in my Diary)...

"Mercy, cousin Bess!..." Stevenson groans. "I was your dear cousin The in your century, reincarnated as Stevenson in the nineteenth."

What? Bess stops in mid-kick. The groaning Stevenson spitting blood, drags him/herself to a sitting position in a corner.

"Yes. Dear cousin The. See?" Takes 'The' form a moment. Resuming Stevenson immediately.

"My, my. I should've known immediately from your essay. It was so you. Well, that explains a lot. Say, nice job with 'Treasure Island'...And thanks."

"Tha..Thank you. Thanks?"

"I was gonna let you off easy...Given your talent. But now, dear little The, I can't forego the chance to finally kick the immortal crap out of you."

"Cousin Samuel?!!"

"Sorry, The...No can help..." Sam waves. "Only reconciled a century, you know. But I agree...Great job with 'Treasure Island'."

"Heaven..." Bess sings, kicking... "I'm in Heaven..." Kick... "Arrrgh..."

Martin  •  Link

"This day we have newes of eight ships being taken by some of ours going into the Texel..."

The Texel refers to the Texel Roads:

Texel is the first and largest of the string of Wadden Islands that extend northeast from the tip of the province North-Holland. Ships sailing from Amsterdam and other harbors on the Zuiderzee bound for the North Sea and points beyond would wait for crews, freight and good sailing winds off the east coast of Texel, in the Wadden Sea. While there, they would take on water and other provisions from Texel. A community of pilots living on Texel guided the ships through the Marsdiep, the tidal stream between Texel and North Holland, into the open sea.

Pepys and others used "the Texel" as if it were a river, which it's not. The Dutch term for the anchorage area, which also extended northward on the lee side of the next Wadden Islands, Vlieland and Terschelling, was the "rede van Texel", or Texel roadstead -- a roadstead, or roads, being an offshore anchorage.

As it happens, most of my ancestors are from Texel and many were pilots and seafarers.

Pedro  •  Link

“Pepys and others used “the Texel” as if it were a river”

I am not so sure that Sam, although he came into our scrutiny without any naval experience, would actually think of it as a river. He is very quick on the uptake and keen to learn, as can be seen from his possession of “The Seaman’s Grammar”.

Certainly his associates, such as Penn and others, also say “the Texel” but they know very well from experience that it is an anchorage. They use the term “roads” quite frequently for places of anchorage such as Tangier Roads.

I think that they would use the term “the Texel” just as they would for the Downs and the Hope.

(I cannot, on first check, see the term roadstead but I think it has been used. Can someone check when it was first used in the OED?)

For the record this is what Sandwich says on the 5th May concerning Texel from his Journal edited by Anderson, where a Council of War discussed attacking the Dutch fleet…

“It was considered that the broadest channel of the Texel (viz. the Spanish Gat) is of late times grown worse, not above 3 fathom at the best of a spring tide (where the water rises and falls not above 6 foot) and is a long flat of near 2 miles to run over.”

“The other channel of the Texel, called Land Diep, is very narrow, of entrance not above a ship’s length, and has the same depth of water as the other and but a very little way to run over until you come in to deepwater (from the offing running in 5 fathom you shall come into 3 and in a ship’s length into 15 fathom, the hole where their ships now ride).”

Daniel Jones  •  Link

"This day we have newes of eight ships being taken by some of ours going into the Texel, their two men of warr, that convoyed them, running in."

I interpret this sentence to mean that the two Dutch warships opted for discretion and left the merchants to fend for themselves. Anyone have another interpretation?

Paul Chapin  •  Link

For Pedro, here's the OED entry for "roadstead":

A place where ships may conveniently or safely lie at anchor near the shore.
[1351 Cartul. Whitby (Surtees) II. 425 Deinz mesme la vile ou en la mere pres jongnaunts, apelle Radestede.]
1556 Borough in Hakluyt (1886) III. 120 Our barke did ride such a roadsted thet it was to be marueiled+how she was able to abide it. 1600 R. Carr tr. Mahumetan Hist. 57 Perceiuing that they had not a safe rodested there, they remoued from thence to an other rodested of that Island, called Maiaro. 1633 Sir J. Borough Sovereignty Brit. Seas (1651) 153 We stay till the Herring come home to our roade steads. 1774 Hull Dock Act 49 The roadstead near the haven mouth. 1795 in H. Tooke Purley (1829) I. 410 It+has no good Roadsted, and is not tenable, if not protected by a fleet. 1820 W. Scoresby Acc. Arctic Reg. I. 155 The coast affords several road-steads. 1856 Stanley Sinai & Pal. vi. (1858) 265 Caipha, at the opposite corner of the bay+, served as a roadstead. 1899 F. T. Bullen Log Sea-waif 47 We came to an anchor near the middle of the roadstead.

The 1351 reference is evidently from a French source, an unusual citation for the OED, but apropos here because it refers to a (presumably English) name. But we have English references from 1556 on.

Pedro  •  Link

"the two Dutch warships opted for discretion and left the merchants to fend for themselves"

Daniel, this could be the same incident as reported by Sandwich on the 4th of May see...


Then the men of war escaped by the supposed negligence of Captain Hyde.

(Thanks Paul for the OED)

CGS  •  Link

Texel: by looking at the Map of [ West Frisian including Texel ] Islands that guarde the way into Dutch protected Ports and Amsterdam, one can see why it be a wonderful place for finding true bounty , it be like a lion or leopard lying in wait for a luvely [sic] morsels of prime meat.
see the battle.


A bad habit of language is to leave out key words making the assumption that all understand, 'tis why the word ass u me is of good meaning.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This day we have newes of eight ships being taken by some of ours going into the Texel, their two men of warr, that convoyed them, running in."

L&M regard this as running into harbour and note the action took place on 4-5 May: see Sandwich, pp. 204-5. Cap. Hyde of the Sapphire was later reprimanded for letting the men-of-war escape. (L&M note)

Martin, thank you for bringing your local knowledge to bear on what is said here about the Texel.

Third Reading

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