Sunday 29 October 1665

(Lord’s day). Up, and being ready set out with Captain Cocke in his coach toward Erith, Mr. Deane riding along with us, where we dined and were very merry. After dinner we fell to discourse about the Dutch, Cocke undertaking to prove that they were able to wage warr with us three years together, which, though it may be true, yet, not being satisfied with his arguments, my Lord and I did oppose the strength of his arguments, which brought us to a great heate, he being a conceited man, but of no Logique in his head at all, which made my Lord and I mirth. Anon we parted, and back again, we hardly having a word all the way, he being so vexed at our not yielding to his persuasion. I was set down at Woolwich towne end, and walked through the towne in the darke, it being now night. But in the streete did overtake and almost run upon two women crying and carrying a man’s coffin between them. I suppose the husband of one of them, which, methinks, is a sad thing.

Being come to Shelden’s, I find my people in the darke in the dining room, merry and laughing, and, I thought, sporting one with another, which, God helpe me! raised my jealousy presently. Come in the darke, and one of them touching me (which afterward I found was Susan) made them shreeke, and so went out up stairs, leaving them to light a candle and to run out. I went out and was very vexed till I found my wife was gone with Mr. Hill and Mercer this day to see me at Greenwich, and these people were at supper, and the candle on a sudden falling out of the candlesticke (which I saw as I come through the yarde) and Mrs. Barbary being there I was well at ease again, and so bethought myself what to do, whether to go to Greenwich or stay there; at last go I would, and so with a lanthorne, and 3 or 4 people with me, among others Mr. Browne, who was there, would go, I walked with a lanthorne and discoursed with him about paynting and the several sorts of it.

I came in good time to Greenwich, where I found Mr. Hill with my wife, and very glad I was to see him. To supper and discourse of musique and so to bed, I lying with him talking till midnight about Berckenshaw’s musique rules, which I did to his great satisfaction inform him in, and so to sleep.

15 Annotations

First Reading

JWB  •  Link

The "my lord",taking Sam's side in the heated discussion, I take to be Brouncker from yesterday, a man of some Logique.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So you see, Hill...For this up tempo piece Berckenshaw would..."

"Goddamnit!!!" loud cry, sound of splintering wood.

"Bess?! What the...?"

"Shut up!" grabs the struggling Sam out of bed, carrying him wrapped in bedclothes, trying to get muffled words out... "This is one night you're not locking me out while you chat away with the latest interesting guest."


"Good night, Mr. Hill. Thanks for a lovely evening." polite nod.

The astonished, if somewhat...Why doesn't Mrs. Hill ever do that?...Hill staring after her departing form, Sam in her arms still trying to make a feeble struggle wrapped in the bedclothes.

Ruben  •  Link

"at last go I would, and so with a lanthorne, and 3 or 4 people with me, among others Mr. Browne, who was there, would go, I walked with a lanthorne and discoursed with him about paynting and the several sorts of it."
No waste of time for Samuel!
There is always something more to learn...

Linda F  •  Link


Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Come in the darke, and one of them touching me (which afterward I found was Susan) made them shreeke, and so went out up stairs, leaving them to light a candle and to run out."

"Then a dead man with a hook appeared out of the dark and...Ahhhhhh!!!!"

"AHHHHH!!!" high-pitched scream...Crashing sound, door slam.

"Careful, there. Lord, Susan, you shriek like a little girl!"

"Twasn't me..." nervous Susan's voice. "I felt..." Hmmn. Come to think of it I know that grope.

"It was Mr. Pepys. Everyone look sharp. Tom, get a candle and lets make sure he didn't fall in the muck outside." Will Hewer's voice in the dark.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thank you RG! Wonderful! As soon as I read this I thought: two great scenes for him!

Actually, you mention Hewer, but Sam hasn't been referring to him much recently - it's been all Hater, Hater, Hater. Hope all is well.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Fright in the dark? Hallowe'en's nearly here.

DiPhi  •  Link

This is another great entry, but I am puzzled as to why Sam would walk all the way to Greenwich to be with Bess and then sleep with Mr. Hill. How far a walk would that have been? Although I imagine Bess was sleeping with Mercer, who couldn't have been expected to sleep with Mr. Hill!

But I do love the vision of Sam and Hill in bed together while our loquacious and terribly knowledgeable Sam goes on and on about the intricate rules of music while Hill is trying to go to sleep!

Mary  •  Link

The walk from Woolwich to Greenwich would (assuming a fairly direct route being taken) be about 5.5km (say 3.5 miles).

At least Sam got to see Elizabeth: sometimes he doesn't manage to see her for days together now that the office has shifted out of London for the duration of the worst of the plaguey times.

daveh  •  Link

He was checking up on his wife...A guilty mind is prone to paranoia

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Diary of Ralph Josselin
Oct: 29. God good in manifold mercies for which my soul praises him over near 101. died at Colchester. lord remove thy rod, blessed be god Coln is preserved(.) the plague at Colchester Oxford. the visitation Court suspended one, and I am free. bless god oh my soul, a great audience. Halsted in hazard.…

Tonyel  •  Link

"God good in manifold mercies for which my soul praises him over near 101. died at Colchester."

The logic of this, presumably, is that if God wasn't being merciful that week maybe 1001 might have died? I wonder if the Rev. Josselin ever privately questioned his religious cliches?

David  •  Link

I wonder if he took his wig off when he got home?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Meanwhile, at Mbwila [Angola] an event which changes the world is taking place. The Battle of Ulanga leaves the Portuguese victorious by killing the reigning manikongo, António I Nvita. Although Kongo continues to exist, it is no longer a unified kingdom.

BACKGROUND: Faced with Kongo’s resistance to expanding the slave trade, in 1575 Portugal starts a colony at Luanda as a base to wage an aggressive destabilization campaign against its old partner.

Kongo eventually turns to Holland as an ally, because the Dutch were not engaged in slaving and was an enemy of the then-unified kingdom of Spain and Portugal.

The 1623 letter by Kongo’s King Pedro II initiating an alliance with Holland, and requests “four or five warships as well as 500 or 600 soldiers” and promised to pay for “the ships and the salaries of the soldiers in gold, silver, and ivory.”

Holland soon enters the alliance, hoping that by cutting off the supply of slaves from this region (which supplied more than half of those sent to Brazil and the Spanish Indies), Brazil, a plantation society, could no longer be Portugal’s leading source of wealth.

This alliance made Africa a major player in the struggle for control over the South Atlantic during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), with Dutch warships being sent in 1624, and again in 1641 when they successfully help Kongo drive off the Portuguese.

In 1648, Blacks from Brazil were shipped back across the Atlantic by Lisbon to restore its hold on Angola.

What ultimately undid Kongo was the horrific demographic drain of slaves that followed its defeat by Portugal in 1665, PLUS the economic vulnerability it shared with other important late holdouts against the Europeans — powerful kingdoms like the Ashanti Empire and Benin — which was a loss of control over their money supply.

In Kongo, a local high quality cloth was the traditional measure of value and means of exchange, alongside a seashell, harvested from the nearby coast. The Dutch flooded the region with its early industrial textiles, wiping out the market for Kongo’s cloth.

After the Portuguese gained control of Luanda, they flooded the region with shells, both local ones and others imported from the Indian Ocean. Similar monetary catastrophes befell the few surviving big West African kingdoms — compounded by the fall in the price of gold and silver following the New World discoveries of ore.

For several centuries, Western African societies had exported gold. In return, Africans received cowries, copper, cloth, and iron -- all things that declined in value over time. All the while, Africa was bled of its people, as slave labor was being put to productive use for the benefit of the West.

Much more from…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In my last post I use the usual English shorthand of "Holland" when I think I should have said either "the United Providences" or "the Dutch Republic". (It's going to take years to clean up all my notes.) My apologies to my Dutch colleagues here.


We now have a place to post slavery-related information:…

It's not in the Encyclopedia, but under "Most recently commented-on Site News Posts".

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