Wednesday 13 September 1665

Up, and walked to Greenwich, taking pleasure to walk with my minute watch in my hand, by which I am come now to see the distances of my way from Woolwich to Greenwich, and do find myself to come within two minutes constantly to the same place at the end of each quarter of an houre.

Here we rendezvoused at Captain Cocke’s, and there eat oysters, and so my Lord Bruncker, Sir J. Minnes, and I took boat, and in my Lord’s coach to Sir W. Hickes’s, whither by and by my Lady Batten and Sir William comes. It is a good seat, with a fair grove of trees by it, and the remains of a good garden; but so let to run to ruine, both house and every thing in and about it, so ill furnished and miserably looked after, I never did see in all my life. Not so much as a latch to his dining-room door; which saved him nothing, for the wind blowing into the room for want thereof, flung down a great bow pott that stood upon the side-table, and that fell upon some Venice glasses, and did him a crown’s worth of hurt.

He did give us the meanest dinner (of beef, shoulder and umbles of venison1 which he takes away from the keeper of the Forest, and a few pigeons, and all in the meanest manner) that ever I did see, to the basest degree.

After dinner we officers of the Navy stepped aside to read some letters and consider some business, and so in again. I was only pleased at a very fine picture of the Queene-Mother, when she was young, by Van-Dike; a very good picture, and a lovely sweet face.

Thence in the afternoon home, and landing at Greenwich I saw Mr. Pen walking my way, so we walked together, and for discourse I put him into talk of France, when he took delight to tell me of his observations, some good, some impertinent, and all ill told, but it served for want of better, and so to my house, where I find my wife abroad, and hath been all this day, nobody knows where, which troubled me, it being late and a cold evening. So being invited to his mother’s to supper, we took Mrs. Barbara, who was mighty finely dressed, and in my Lady’s coach, which we met going for my wife, we thither, and there after some discourse went to supper. By and by comes my wife and Mercer, and had been with Captain Cocke all day, he coming and taking her out to go see his boy at school at Brumly [Bromley], and brought her home again with great respect. Here pretty merry, only I had no stomach, having dined late, to eat. After supper Mr. Pen and I fell to discourse about some words in a French song my wife was saying, “D’un air tout interdict,” wherein I laid twenty to one against him which he would not agree with me, though I know myself in the right as to the sense of the word, and almost angry we were, and were an houre and more upon the dispute, till at last broke up not satisfied, and so home in their coach and so to bed.

H. Russell did this day deliver my 20s. to my wife’s father or mother, but has not yet told us how they do.

24 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"bow pott"

Flower pot (L&M Select Glossary)

The Mollusc  •  Link

Surely the 'Mr. Pen' walking Samuel's way from Greenwich refers to (young) William Penn, not the Admiral.

In the following sentence, the mention of 'So being invited to his mother’s to supper,' reinforces the assumption of the son strolling and conversing with his father's colleague.

Perhaps the proprietor of this Blog might intercede and change that link...

Gus Spier  •  Link

"D’un air tout interdict" ... most unhelpfully tells me it means "On the air while interdict"

Makes me wonder what they're really trying to say.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

I concur with The Mollusc. Young Pen has recently returned from France, so is full of stories of what he saw there. It's fun, and a little strange, to picture him and Sam arguing vehemently about the meaning of some French words, with Elizabeth, who surely knew the right answer, standing silently by.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Sorry, young Penn. I'm starting to spell like Sam.

Margaret  •  Link

"D’un air tout interdict"

The best I can come up with is "of an air all interdict" which doesn't make much sense. I don't think "inderdict" is a French word, so Sam probably got it wrong. (I have enough trouble making out words in English songs.)

Which probably explains why the argument went on so long!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Bess speaks and we are there! It's like when Garbo did her first talkie.

Sam?...Bess with Capt Cocke?...All day? The swaggering Cocke who's happiest roaring drunk and joying himself in a brave woman or two? Still, Mercer was there and even you can behave when the situation calls for it. But methinks thou dost harp on the good Capt's "great respect" for Bess a bit much.

If true, he or Mercer must have been mashing his hand in the carriage door the whole way and back...

Must resist...Pepys too valuable and Sandwich patron...Think of the boy, pleasant quiet thoughts...Yes...I, George Cocke am equal to...

My God, but she's a damned fine woman...Just look at those...

"Mrs. Pepys..."


"Uh...Fine weather we're having today."

But not so fine as those fantastic...

"Indeed, Captain. Sam'l is hopeful it may ease the plague...Less heat and humidity for the vapors."

"Yes, quite."

Mercer, carefully watching...Ready to pounce...

Lord for a drink right now...

No, perhaps not...

"Mrs. Pepys?"


"Would you mind handing me that book from under your seat?"

Oh, please...Just a little reaching...

"Oh, cert..."

"I'll get it." Mercer, curtly.


Young Mr. Penn Jr.'s brotherly love not quite fully developed as yet I see... Now there's a hilarious picture...The young and somewhat full of himself future founder of Pennsylvania colony almost to blows with Sam (while flirting a bit with Bess which might possibly explain Sam's pursuit of victory in the matter) over the translation of a French song.

History and the rest of us are grateful, Sam.

CGS  •  Link

“D’un air tout interdict”
As usuual Samuell has fun using his mixture of lingua.
interdict L Latin Banish, prohihit
:banish all the air [between us].

in other words belt up.
'tis the take from this heathen.

Arborfield  •  Link

The only individuals so resolutely checking their watches between Woolwich and Greenwich in these days... are the runners in the London Marathon! I'll never run that stretch again without thinking of Sam, bless him.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

some words in a French song my wife was saying, “D’un air tout interdict,”

I read this as Bess saying that the song was forbidden, i.e. in polite company. So the two men have no-one to confirm the true meaning of the naughty word.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"....taking pleasure to walk with my minute watch in my hand, by which I am come now to see the distances of my way from Woolwich to Greenwich, and do find myself to come within two minutes constantly to the same place at the end of each quarter of an houre...." Wonder how many people Sam told this to? Including Bess. My husband has just acquired an iPhone(he won it) and we hear instances of its marvels every other minute. Well, that's what it seems like.....

Sam certainly feels insulted getting umble pie (made from the innards) and not yummy venison pasty (made from the haunch). Reminds me of the meal given to Becky Sharp when she first joins the Crawley household "Presently the baronet plunged a fork into the saucepan on the fire and withdrew from the pot a piece of tripe and an onion which he divided into pretty equal portions.." (Vanity Fair p. 105 - Penguin edition.)

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"D'un air tout interdict"
Agree with Tony Eldridge,"air" here having the meaning of "aria"

language hat  •  Link

“D’un air tout interdict”

This is not a line of spoken dialog but "some words in a French song," and it's perfectly good French -- you just have to realize that "interdict" is an old spelling for the modern word "interdit," which here does not mean 'prohibited' but 'dumbfounded, taken aback, disconcerted.' So “d’un air tout interdict” means 'with a completely interdit air,' in other words 'in a completely interdit way/manner/fashion,' and they will have been arguing about what exactly "interdit" means here -- as you can see from the definitions I provided, it has a fairly wide range of significance. Nothing to do with arias or naughtiness, I'm afraid.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"so to my house"

L&M remind us this is his lodgings at Sheldon's house at Woolwich.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So...The trip to Bromley was pleasant?"

"Oh, very. Uh, Sam'l?"

"And Capt. Cocke a thorough...Yes?"

"Sam'l? Mercer didn't have anything to say to you about today did she?"


"I mean...You know how that girl lies. If she did say anything...?"

"Nooo...She did not."





"You really love me, don't you?"


"And you know I really love you...?"




"If I, without ever meaning to...I mean, just hypothetically, if something...Happened. Say with someone who seemed very charming and was an old family friend. Someone who you, you I mean, always seemed to place great confidence in... I mean...Sometimes even when the last thing in the world you want..."


Phil Gyford  •  Link

Thanks for the correction Mollusc -- the Mr. Pen link is now corrected.

Pedro  •  Link

And finally…

“Wind NE. I weighed anchor and sailed (with all the 1st and 2nd rate ships, Dutch ships and merchantmen, and all the prizes) unto the buoy of the Nore, where I came to an anchor about sunset. Most of the frigates I sent to Hosely Bay under the command of Rear Admiral Harman. And I do not hear of any ship of the fleet or prizes missing.”

(The Journal of Edward Montagu edited by Anderson)

And so endeth the sea Journal of Sam’s Lord.

In his biography of Sandwich Ollard, says that from this period onwards we can see him clearest because he kept, largely in his own elegant hand, a journal on a scale that dwarfs all his other productions of this kind. It was not like his cousins’ immortal diary, intentionally self-revelatory. He was not, so far as one could see, interested in his own psychology. He appears to have thought himself a rational man acting for rational motives which therefore require no examination or elucidation.

Pedro  •  Link

Adventures at sea…

If you found Sandwich interesting we do have Allin’s Journal from October 1665 to September 1666!

A. Hamilton  •  Link

“D’un air tout interdict,”

According to this link from, "un air interdit" is a French idiom that can be translated as "aback," as in "taken aback." Here is firm support for LH's analysis, and an understandable topic for debate between Sam & young William.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my minute watch"

L&M: Probably a watch with two dials, one recording the minutes; possibly the 'watch with many motions' which he exchanged in 1666:… They were rare (and inaccurate) before introduction of the balance-spring c. 1675. In the diary Pepys usually gives the time of day roughly by the hour.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lord Bruncker, Sir J. Minnes, and I took boat, and in my Lord’s coach to Sir W. Hickes’s"

Ruckholtz, Essex, residence of the Ranger of Waltham Forest; built under Elizabeth; taken down 1757. Hickes had another house, Beverston Castle, Glos.…
(L&M note)

JayW  •  Link

Thanks for the picture link Terry. No knowing if it’s the same one l suppose?

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