Saturday 5 August 1665

In the morning up, and my wife showed me several things of her doing, especially one fine woman’s Persian head mighty finely done, beyond what I could expect of her; and so away by water, having ordered in the yarde six or eight bargemen to be whipped, who had last night stolen some of the King’s cordage from out of the yarde.

I to Deptford, and there by agreement met with my Lord Bruncker, and there we kept our office, he and I, and did what there was to do, and at noon parted to meet at the office next week. Sir W. Warren and I thence did walk through the rain to Half-Way House, and there I eat a piece of boiled beef and he and I talked over several businesses, among others our design upon the mast docke, which I hope to compass and get 2 or 300l. by.

Thence to Redriffe, where we parted, and I home, where busy all the afternoon. Stepped to Colvill’s to set right a business of money, where he told me that for certain De Ruyter is come home, with all his fleete, which is very ill newes, considering the charge we have been at in keeping a fleete to the northward so long, besides the great expectation of snapping him, wherein my Lord Sandwich will I doubt suffer some dishonour.

I am told also of a great ryott upon Thursday last in Cheapside; Colonell Danvers, a delinquent, having been taken, and in his way to the Tower was rescued from the captain of the guard, and carried away; only one of the rescuers being taken.

I am told also that the Duke of Buckingham is dead, but I know not of a certainty. So home and very late at letters, and then home to supper and to bed.

37 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

About Sandwich and De Ruyter, Pepys and London don't know the full story. There was a sea battle 3 days ago (August 2nd).

"Sandwich and took the fleet to sea again in July, with Penn as his second-in-command. Their business was to exploit the victory of Lowestoft by exploiting Dutch trade, all of which was forced to come northabout and through the North Sea. Specifically they were looking for de Ruyter, homeward-bound from West Africa and the Americas, and for a rich VOC convoy (Dutch East India Company).

"The usual manning and victualling problems, compounded by plague in England, made prolonged cruising unattractive...Sandwich therefore took the fleet north (narrowly missing de Ruyter on the way) to the coast of Norway, which was ruled by Denmark, therefore friendly to the Dutch and the obvious landfall for inward-bound Dutch shipping. He learned from the British minister in Copenhagen that King Frederick III was willing to break his alliance and escape from the tutelage of the Dutch at a profitable moment, where there was a rich Dutch convoy in one of his ports which could be taken by a joint Anglo-Danish attack and the proceeds shared. The prospect was not negligible, when a single large Dutch Indiaman could be worth £250,000, or a quarter of Charles II's usual annual revenues.

"Discovering that the VOC convoy was in Bergen, Sandwich sent in a force under Rear-Admiral Thomas Teddeman to attack. Unfortunately, although Frederick II was indeed planning a treacherous attack on his ally, his orders to the governor of Bergen had not yet arrived, and when Teddemann attacked on 2 August he was beaten off by a determined defence by Commodore Peter de Bieter and the Danish batteries. Instead of a strategic and financial coup, the defeat forced Denmark back into Dutch arms."

"The Command of the Ocean" by N.A.M. Richards.

I imagine that Sandwich is not a happy sailor at this moment in time.

Glyn  •  Link

Sorry "Their business was to exploit the victory of Lowestoft by EXPLOITING Dutch trade," should read "by INTERCEPTING Dutch trade".

jeannine  •  Link

"In the morning up, and my wife showed me several things of her doing, especially one fine woman’s Persian head mighty finely done, beyond what I could expect of her;"

I know it was mentioned a few days ago, but I don't think we ever got an answer. Do we know if Sam kept Elizabeth's artwork and if, so, is it still in existence?

Also, spoiler here but “I am told also that the Duke of Buckingham is dead, but I know not of a certainty” –not true –he will outlive the King.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Today, in Dutch waters …

Two ”of a series of drawings made by Van de Velde the Elder when he was attached to the Dutch fleet following the action at Bergen on 2 August 1665, …”

Willem van de Velde, the Elder, Tromp’s fleet: a council of war, 5 August 1665?…

a second drawing, "Tromp’s fleet: a council of war off the Texel, 5 August 1665"…

CGS  •  Link

Where there be muck there be monies.
I hope to compass and get 2 or 300l
compass, v.2
trans. To COMPOST, to manure.???

many fine shadings or take your pick

1 compass, n.1 (a. and adv.) *
2 compass, n.2 *
3 compass, v.1

a. F. compasse-r (12th c. in Littré), to measure, design, contrive, regulate, adjust; cf. Pr., Sp. compasar ‘to measure with a compass, to compass about’ (Minsheu), It. compassare to measure with compasses, to weigh in the mind, ‘to compasse about’ (Florio):{em}L. type *compass{amac}re. See the n.]

I. To plan, contrive, devise.

1. trans. To plan, design, contrive, devise (a work of art). Obs.
c1330 R. BRUNNE *
2. To contrive, devise, machinate (a purpose). Usually in a bad sense: see quots. 1292, 1491.
1659 W. BROUGH Sacr. Princ. 251 To contrive mischiefs, and to compasse designes of vanity. 1681 Trial S. Colledge 119 To compasse or imagine the imprisonment of the King.
b. with inf. phr. or subord. clause.
c1325 E.E. Allit..
1513 MORE Rich. III, Wks. 42/1 His uncle hadde coumpassed to rule the kynge.

c. absol. or intr. Obs.
3. To consider, ponder, meditate, ‘go through’.... c1400 Destr. Troy
b. intr., or with obj. clause. Obs.c 1340
II. 4. To describe with compasses (a circle).
c1391 CHAUCER Astrol.

III. To go or come round, put round, encompass. literally.
In senses 5-8 often extended by round, about; in senses 5-7 also with in.

5. trans. To pass or move round; to traverse in a circular or circuitous course, make the circuit of.
b. absol. or intr. To go round, make a circuit.
d. with cognate obj. to compass (a course, circuit, voyage, period, etc.).
1629 J. COLE Of Death 35 When his life hath compassed his course.

6. To come round, close round, as a multitude; to form a circle about, surround, with friendly or hostile intent; to hem in; sometimes spec. ‘to beleaguer, besiege, block’ (J.). Cf. ENCOMPASS.

7. To encircle, environ, lie round and enclose, as the sea, a girdle, etc. Also with round, about, in.
c1340 Cursor M
8. To encircle, or surround with something.
1601 F. GODWIN Bps. of Eng. 59 He compassed the Tower of London with a strong wall.
1685 STILLINGFL. Orig. Brit. i. 29 The custome of compassing Churches with Church-yards was not so ancient.
b. To embrace, encircle with the arms. Obs.

c1590 MARLOWE Faust. (Qo. 1616) Wks. (Rtldg.) 124/1 In mine arms I would have compass'd him.
1606 SHAKES. Tr. & Cr. I. iii. 276 A Lady, wiser, fairer, truer, Then euer Greeke did compasse in his armes.

IV. fig. To get within one's compass, grasp, or reach; to ‘get round’.

To catch, seize, lay hold of. Obs.
1509 BARCLAY Shyp of Folys (1570) 241 My pleasaunt pace Is light as flee, thus none that be can me compace. 1526 TINDALE 1 Cor. iii. 19 It is written: He compaseth [1611 taketh] the wyse in their craftynes.

10. To grasp with the mind, comprehend fully.
11. To attain to or achieve (an end or object aimed at); to accomplish.
1601 SHAKES. Twel. N. I. ii. 45 That were hard to compasse, Because she will admit no kinde of suite. 1653 H. COGAN tr. Pinto's Trav. xxii. 77 The better to compass his intent.

b. To get at, attain, obtain, win (an object).
1591 SHAKES. Two Gent. II. iv. 214 If not, to compasse her Ile vse my skill.

12. To ‘get round’, ‘come round’, circumvent.

a1661 FULLER Worthies (1840) II. 502 He compassed the crown by cruelty.

1696 EVELYN Diary (1827) IV. 358 He compassed a vast estate.

b. To adulterate or sophisticate (wine, etc.).

13. To get over, surmount. Obs.

V. [from the n. or adj.] To make or be ‘compass’ or rounded.

14. trans. To bend into a circle or curve; to curve, incurve. Cf. COMPASSED 3.
15. intr. To curve, bend round, be curved. (Now only of timber.) Cf. COMPASSING ppl. a. b.

1627 CAPT. SMITH Seaman's Gram. ii. 2 At the ends they begin to compasse.

compass, v.2
trans. To COMPOST, to manure.
1557 TUSSER 100 Points Husb. xi, One aker well compast, is worth akers three. 1573 {emem} Husb. (1878) 124 Thry fallowing won, get compassing don. 1607 TOPSELL Four-f. Beasts (1673) 487 With the dung of Sheep they compasse and fat the earth. 1626 BACON Sylva §596 As for Earth it Compasseth itself. 1632 J. LEE Short Surv. Sweden 12.

Bergie  •  Link

"having ordered in the yarde six or eight bargemen to be whipped, who had last night stolen some of the King’s cordage"
Pretty cavalier of him to give this order and forget, within a day, how many men were punished. And doesn't he steal from the King whenever he negotiates a contract? Oh, right, that doesn't count--it's white-collar crime, available only to one with an office job.

GrahamT  •  Link

Re: "it’s white-collar crime..."
It is true that double standards are at work, but Pepys probably wouldn't agree. His money from his dealings for the King is his "commission". He does a job, and takes a cut. This is what anyone with the word "agent" in their job title does nowadays. The difference is that Pepys negotiates his own cut and the King doesn't know about it (or does he?)
On the other hand, the Bargemen have stolen equipment from a Royal Dockyard, which could have been required for a ship to sail to defend the realm. The King doesn't get anything in return, as he does from Pepys. I don't think we are talking about a piece of string to hold their trousers up; this cordage is probably for use on their own barges, or for selling on, thus potentially saving/making them a large amount of money.
They are "lucky" this was seen as simple theft and not sabotage, as it would then be treason.
Stealing Naval equipment from a military dockyard in time of war is pretty stupid, whereas profiteering from war is your patriotic duty, it seems. Some things don't change.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

He give them whopping:
Odd that the bargemen, six or eight, get a standard whipping apiece and then are expected to go back to work.

adamw  •  Link

Double standards and 'commissions'

Can anyone answer a question: does Pepys actually receive a salary for his post with the Navy Board? Or does all his income derive from the deals he can make along the way, using the benefit of his position? If the latter, then he really can't be accused of white-collar crime.

I seem to recall a figure of £50 p.a. being mentioned when he was first appointed to the Navy, but he never mentions receiving this, and anyway this is dwarfed by the sums he brings in through wheeling and dealing.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

If I remember right Charles once hooted at an naval officer as a fool who refused the usual merchant's "good passage" bribe to carry cargo on a royal navy ship. He probably would have winked broadly at Sam's skimmings, so long as his cut was not seriously affected and anything underhanded was done strictly on the quiet and in the back room. The trouble would be if Sam: Got caught by a zealous or ambitious figure and his actions exposed to the Parliament and public; was over obvious and clumsy, leading again to damaging exposure; arrogant in his flouting of the rules to the point of causing talk, any of which making the government and King look ridiculous and therefore demanding action.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam gets 350Ls per year as COA, with 100L formerly going as a kickback to Mr. Barlow who claimed the job based on his past tenure. Happily for Sam, who showed a decent regard for the man as a basically honest and respectable fellow, Barlow passed on in February.

And of course, anything not nailed down that he can carry off without being caught is his...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So Mr. P.? Will that be six or eight men to be flogged?"

"You know the guilty parties. Use your own discretion, man."

"Aye, sir. Uh, sir?...Would that be flogging to death, permanent crippling injury, permanent non-crippling injury, agonized suffering for months, unbearable pain for weeks, one day's hideous pain, a few hours gasping, or fake-it-at-the-last-minute-but-warn-them-to-make-it-look-awful, sir?"

"Must I attend to every minor decision? Base it on the value of each man to the yard, naturally. Remember you are representing the legal justice and moral authority of Charles II."

"Of course, sir. Sorry, sir."

You heard...Find out which of the thirty bargemen we have can pay us off...Hold the eight poorest...Hiss to assistant.

"Oh,uh, sir?"

"Yes?!" halt in mid-step entry to coach.

"Sorry, sir. One last question, sir. Public, wives and children to be admitted to view, sir?"

"For Heaven's sake, man. Whatever's the usual custom." Steps in, slams door.

Hmmphf...Watches departing coach. Two pence a head may not matter to the great Mr. Pepys but to us little fellows...

Louise H  •  Link

I find it a bit surprising that Pepys has the authority to order the flogging on his own. I would have guessed flogging orders would have come from someone in the naval chain of command, not someone who's essentially a civilian. I'd have thought Pepys's options to be, e.g., firing or fining the fellows, or referring them to naval discipline. I don't recall him ordering flogging before. Has he?

JWB  •  Link

Louise H

"...and there at Sir Heneage Finch Sollicitor General’s chambers, before him and Sir W. Wilde, Recorder of London (whom we sent for from his chamber) we were sworn justices of peace for Middlesex, Essex, Kent, and Southampton; with which honour I did find myself mightily pleased, though I am wholly ignorant in the duty of a justice of peace."…

JWB  •  Link

in loc.cit.: "Paul Brewster on Thu 25 Sep 2003, 04:30am

Justices of Peace for Middlesex, Essex, Kent, and Southampton
per L&M: “It was customary to make the Principal Officers of the Navy justices for the counties in which the royal dockyards were situated. …. The officers lacked similar powers in the city itself until an act of 1664.”'

Louise H  •  Link

Thanks, JWB. I'd forgotten about that appointment as justice of the peace. I was curious whether justices of the peace could order flogging, which I associate with the navy and not civilian justice. Googling brought me this link on JP duties in the 17th century:…

While this site is hardly comprehensive, it does specify that JPs could order whipping of "vagabonds and rogues." It also seems to specify tougher punishment of thieves, so maybe Pepys was letting these bargemen off lightly.

adamw  •  Link

Robert, many thanks for that reminder. Can you recall Sam actually mentioning receiving his £350? Presumably this would be a merrily clinking leather bag on a quarter day, or some such, rather than an anonymous bank transfer. Maybe it is too routine to be worthy of special comment, but given his close attention to financial matters & monthly totting up, I would expect a comment.

CGS  •  Link

Household accounts : payment of those beneath and above stairs and grub came from the 250 quid [350 less 100 ] or 5 quid a week plus the extra that he got in hand , Hewer's stipend which is used to feed, housing and clothing the lad.
the gratuities he kept control of while his Salary , young Beth got to use.
His Pater et Mater and sister had to live off 50 pounds for the year, and his in laws were living of scraps.
Samuell is living high off the hog [pork of the day],like any of the modern entrepreneurs with the big expense account.

CGS  •  Link

Theft if less than a bob got thee a lashing,
more could get thee dangling at the end of the rope,

So Samuell saved the state time, money and life for for some bits of old hemp.

Of Theft Under 10 Shillings

from the court itself.
Until 1691 women convicted of stealing goods worth ten shillings or more were subject to a mandatory sentence of death (whereas men could claim benefit of clergy). By reducing the value of the goods below 10 shillings, juries could avoid imposing this penalty. A statute passed in 1691 allowed women to claim benefit of clergy on the same terms as men. This verdict has only been assigned to women convicted on a partial verdict of stealing goods worth less than 10 shillings before 1692.Theft Under 5 Shillings

A Lima shilling from the reign of George II. The word Lima has been included under the king's bust to indicate that the coin was made from silver captured by Admiral Anson.

Defendants convicted of shoplifting goods worth 5 shillings or more after 1699 were subject to a mandatory death sentence. By reducing the value of the goods below 5 shillings, juries could avoid this statutory penalty. This verdict became redundant when shoplifting ceased to be a capital offence in 1823.
Of Theft Under 1 Shilling

This verdict reduced the charge against the convict to petty larceny, which meant that the defendant was punished by a fine, whipping, or, increasingly from 1718, by transportation. The elimination of the distinction between grand and petty larceny in 1827 rendered this verdict redundant

Of Theft Under 1 Shilling

This verdict reduced the charge against the convict to petty larceny, which meant that the defendant was punished by a fine, whipping, or, increasingly from 1718, by transportation. The elimination of the distinction between grand and petty larceny in 1827 rendered this verdict redundant.

[lifted from

CGS  •  Link

"...who had last night stolen some of the King’s cordage from out of the yarde...."
cord rope for hanging ?

1b. A rope for hanging; the hangman's rope.

cordage OED.

1. Cords or ropes collectively or in the mass, esp. the ropes in the rigging of a ship.
1598 /....
a1643 W. CARTWRIGHT Lady Errant IV. i, Wee'l give our hair for Cordage, and our finest Linnen for Sails.

2. The action of cording or tying cords. rare.
1616 T. ADAMS Sacr. Thankf. 28 This mans whole life is spent in tying of cords: his profession is cordage.
[a. F. corde string of a musical instrument, string, rope, cord:{em}L. chorda, ad. Gr. {chi}{omicron}{rho}{delta}{ghacu} gut, string of a musical instrument (made of gut). The later refashioning CHORD, q.v., is now restricted to a few special senses.]

1. a. A string composed of several strands twisted or woven together; in ordinary popular use, now restricted to small ropes, and thick or stout strings; but formerly applied more widely, e.g. to the ropes of a ship, the string of a bow, etc. Cf. also whip-cord, welting-cord, and quot. 1835. Also applied to strands of wire twisted or woven together.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Context for the flogging Pepys ordered: "Whipping [as punishment]"
(from the Old Bailey site -- thanks for the reminder and detail, CGS)

"Offenders (mostly those convicted of theft) were sentenced to be stripped to the waist and flogged 'at a cart's tail' along a length of public street, usually near the scene of the crime, 'until his [or her] back be bloody'.

"Publicity was traditionally an essential feature of this punishment, serving to shame the offender and deter others from committing the crime. Even in the late seventeenth century, however, the courts occasionally ordered that the punishment should be carried out in prison or a house of correction rather than on the streets."…

More about Benefit of Clergy (incl. what all who've studied Chaucer know)…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

By the the late 18th and 19th centuries, the Benefit of Clergy plea, ameliorating harsher punishment, will result in the transportation of minor felons to Australia.

tyndale  •  Link

His decision to have thieves flogged seems less controversial than his resolution two days ago to have those price-jacking waterman pressed into the navy.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Whipping vs. other punishments

I would venture that in the context of the times, whipping would have been considered a more lenient punishment, for men at least, than imprisonment or pressing into naval service. A whipped man could go back to work after a few days' recovery, while a prisoner or a pressman would have no way to feed his family.

Miss Ann  •  Link

Re: Justices of the Peace being able to order a flogging - I'm going to look up my JP's Handbook tonight and see if I can do it too! Those kids had better look out if I can legally do it.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam does have a touch of that Charles Laughton look. "Flog those mutinous dogs!"

Pedro  •  Link

And on the diplomatic front...

Still Louis perservered. His pressure on the Dutch, at London and the Hague, resulted in a second offer on or about the 5th of August, which reflected, or indeed over-represented, the concessions he had been able to wring from Holland. England should keep New York, Bonavista, and St. Andrie on the Gambia, Cormantin in Guinea; Cape Coast Castle should be razed; commissioners should draw up comercial regulations for the future; Holland should keep Pulo Run. But any weakening on the Orange and fisheries questions de Witt refused to hear, and the English reply, given at Salisbury on the 19th August was uncomprimising. New York and Cape Coast were England's by right, Pulo Run was English by two treaties, reparation must be given for English ships and pretentions, also hints of war indemnity.

(British Foreign Policy 1660-72 by Feiling)

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sorry, Miss Ann, A JP in Australia is a totally different being from one in the UK!

Speaking of which - the youngest female transported on the First Fleet (in her own right as an adult - some children came with their mothers) was 13 and had stolen lace worth 1 shilling.

I think Sam's bargemen escaped lightly - for those times. Possibly showing how important a commodity healthy men were becoming in this strange summer.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I wonder what could, if anything, be done to track down any trace of Bess' works. I assume the Pepys library has been thoroughly searched for anything tucked away by Sam.

Envision hordes of gimlet-eyed Pepysians chatting up innumerable puzzled but polite hosts in any English location possibly visited by Sam or having any chance of having secured Pepysian memorabilia.

"Well, sir. 'Tis very kind of you to allow our little band to visit your lovely abode. As devotees of Mr. Samuel Pepys, I, Caspir Gutman, esquire, can tell you it is a great honor for us to stand here and...Why, Miss O'Shaunessy?"

The lovely Miss O'Shaunessy, 'secretary' to Mr. Gutman, faints. Gutman's 'associate' Mr. Cairo goes into hysterics...His younger 'associate' Mr. Cook eyes all narrowly.

The host, naturally, hurries off to fetch water.

"Mr. Cairo, you and Miss O'Shaunessy keep them occupied while Wilmer and I rifle through what we can find. Come, Wilmer. A veritable fortune awaits us should we find Mrs. Pepys' self-portrait."

"All right." Cook, evenly. "But if that guy from San Francisco shows this time, I'm letting him have it, and no one's gonna stop me."

Pedro  •  Link

Glynn...I imagine that Sandwich is not a happy sailor at this moment in time.

Sandwich will not hear the news of Teddiman until the unlucky 13th of August!

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I am told also of a great ryott upon Thursday last in Cheapside; Colonell Danvers, a delinquent, having been taken, and in his way to the Tower was rescued from the captain of the guard, and carried away; only one of the rescuers being taken. "

Cf. the brief account in the letter (10 August) to William Sancroft, Dean of St Paul's , in Sir Henry Ellis (ed.), Orig. Letters (1825-46), ser. 2, iv. 28. Henry Danvers, a milenarian Baptist, , Governor of Stafford in the civil war, was regarded as a dangerous leader of rebellion, and a warrant for his arrest had been out since 1662. Clarendon indirectly mentioned his escape in his speech to parliament in the following October: LJ , xi, 688. He was later arrested, and released in 1671.... (Per L&M note)

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Jeannine 2008:

Elizabeth’s art is not mentioned in the DNB entry for her. She left no will, having no property of her own and no children keen to preserve and strengthen their memories of her.

No doubt it passed by descent through several generations of their heirs until the attribution to her was forgotten, the collection was dispersed then discarded unregarded.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . our design upon the mast docke, which I hope to compass . . ‘

‘compass, v.1 < French
. . 11. a. To attain to or achieve (an end or object aimed at); to accomplish.
. . 1653   H. Cogan tr. F. M. Pinto Voy. & Adventures xxii. 77   The better to compass his intent . . ‘

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

An article about the evolution (devolution?) of the Benefit of Clergy provision. People didn't get off that easy after all: Their thumbs were branded so they would be recognized if they tried it again.…

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.