Sunday 29 July 1666

(Lord’s day). Up and all the morning in my chamber making up my accounts in my book with my father and brother and stating them. Towards noon before sermon was done at church comes newes by a letter to Sir W. Batten, to my hand, of the late fight, which I sent to his house, he at church. But, Lord! with what impatience I staid till sermon was done, to know the issue of the fight, with a thousand hopes and fears and thoughts about the consequences of either. At last sermon is done and he come home, and the bells immediately rung soon as the church was done. But coming; to Sir W. Batten to know the newes, his letter said nothing of it; but all the towne is full of a victory. By and by a letter from Sir W. Coventry tells me that we have the victory. Beat them into the Weelings;1 had taken two of their great ships; but by the orders of the Generalls they are burned. This being, methought, but a poor result after the fighting of two so great fleetes, and four days having no tidings of them, I was still impatient; but could know no more. So away home to dinner, where Mr. Spong and Reeves dined with me by invitation. And after dinner to our business of my microscope to be shown some of the observables of that, and then down to my office to looke in a darke room with my glasses and tube, and most excellently things appeared indeed beyond imagination. This was our worke all the afternoon trying the several glasses and several objects, among others, one of my plates, where the lines appeared so very plain that it is not possible to thinke how plain it was done. Thence satisfied exceedingly with all this we home and to discourse many pretty things, and so staid out the afternoon till it began to be dark, and then they away and I to Sir W. Batten, where the Lieutenant of the Tower was, and Sir John Minnes, and the newes I find is no more or less than what I had heard before; only that our Blue squadron, it seems, was pursued the most of the time, having more ships, a great many, than its number allotted to her share. Young Seamour is killed, the only captain slain. The Resolution burned; but, as they say, most of her [crew] and commander saved. This is all, only we keep the sea, which denotes a victory, or at least that we are not beaten; but no great matters to brag of, God knows. So home to supper and to bed.

11 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

July 29 The Pestilence now a fresh increasing in our Parish, I forbore going to Church: In the [Afternoon] came tidings of our Victorie over the Hollanders, sinking some, and driving others on ground, & into their ports:

Lawrence  •  Link

"chamber making up my accounts in my book with my father and brother and stating them"
Presumably by letter, and not in person?

Patricia  •  Link

"in my chamber making up my accounts in my book with my father and brother and stating them."
Someone else can name the parts of speech here; but I think the sentence might have been written "in my chamber making up my accounts with my father and brother and stating them in my book." 'with my father and brother' refers to the accounts, which he has reckoned up and then written in his book.

Ben  •  Link

With 'Weelings'is most probably meant 'De Wielingen'. This is the southern main channel leading to the Westerschelde, not far from the Flemish coast, kind of from Wenduine to Breskens.

Mary  •  Link

Mr. Spong and Reeves dined with me by invitation.

As opposed to all those casual dinner-time guests that Pepys and others seem to take for granted.

Fraser  •  Link

I love the entries which show Sam being fascinated by science. One can almost feel the Enlightenment rolling along.

What a time to be alive. On the down side, ones allotted time was rather shorter, and less pleasant. But still.

Ruben  •  Link

your allotted time could be shorter yet, if...:
"Several hardened criminals, including William Spigott (1721) and Edward Burnworth, lasted a half hour under 400 pounds before pleading to the indictment. Others, such as Major Strangways (1658) and John Weekes (1731), refused to plead, even under 400 pounds, and were killed when bystanders, out of mercy, sat on them" (from Wikipedia).
And: "In 1790, Sir Benjamin Hammett introduced a bill into Parliament to end the practice (of burning people alive). He explained that the year before, as Sheriff of London, he had been responsible for the burning of Catherine Murphy, found guilty of counterfeiting, but that he had allowed her to be hanged first."..."men were hanged, drawn and quartered".
But you will never choose. To choose is not part of your contract with life, except suicide that is no solution but dissolution.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Seems Sam prefers not to display Bess' interests in science to male friends. Though to be fair, except when he instructs her, there's been no record of her eagerly demanding the use of telescope or microscope or additional scientific training.

cgs  •  Link

Why should Sam mention that Elizabeth demands to look see at Venus on the lane.
Entomologists? be that how we got peeping tom into the the lingo??? blame Tom not Sam.

He, science, She, that's not art either.

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