Sunday 28 October 1666

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church with my wife, and then home, and there is come little Michell and his wife, I sent for them, and also comes Captain Guy to dine with me, and he and I much talk together. He cries out of the discipline of the fleete, and confesses really that the true English valour we talk of is almost spent and worn out; few of the commanders doing what they should do, and he much fears we shall therefore be beaten the next year. He assures me we were beaten home the last June fight, and that the whole fleete was ashamed to hear of our bonefires. He commends Smith, and cries out of Holmes for an idle, proud, conceited, though stout fellow. He tells me we are to owe the losse of so many ships on the sands, not to any fault of the pilots, but to the weather; but in this I have good authority to fear there was something more. He says the Dutch do fight in very good order, and we in none at all. He says that in the July fight, both the Prince and Holmes had their belly-fulls, and were fain to go aside; though, if the wind had continued, we had utterly beaten them. He do confess the whole to be governed by a company of fools, and fears our ruine.

After dinner he gone, I with my brother to White Hall and he to Westminster Abbey. I presently to Mrs. Martin’s, and there met widow Burroughes and Doll, and did tumble them all the afternoon as I pleased, and having given them a bottle of wine I parted and home by boat (my brother going by land), and thence with my wife to sit and sup with my uncle and aunt Wight, and see Woolly’s wife, who is a pretty woman, and after supper, being very merry, in abusing my aunt with Dr. Venner, we home, and I to do something in my accounts, and so to bed.

The Revenge having her forecastle blown up with powder to the killing of some men in the River, and the Dyamond’s being overset in the careening at Sheernesse, are further marks of the method all the King’s work is now done in. The Foresight also and another come to disasters in the same place this week in the cleaning; which is strange.

21 Annotations

First Reading

tg  •  Link

"I presently to Mrs. Martin’s, and there met widow Burroughes and Doll, and did tumble them all the afternoon as I pleased, and having given them a bottle of wine I parted..."

You have to admire our hero's stamina. He tumbled all three all afternoon as he pleased. Is this the first time he uses "tumbled" as a euphemism? Maybe the more literate contributers could post a history of tumbling.

Mary  •  Link


OED 9.

To handle roughly or indelicately, to touse or tousle.

Pepys has been indulging in some indelicate romping all the afternoon.

andy  •  Link

Sam should publish "Sam's Bawdy Stories" and be done with it, he'd be the Tucker Max (qv) of his generation. Is Betty Martin running some kind of bordello?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam's own little stimulus package, providing employment to a needy naval widow and a side business to a naval supplier and her sister/partner. I can just see it listed in his account books now.
Captain "Gloom" Guy.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"being very merry, in abusing my aunt with Dr. Venner"

Anybody able to explain why they're able to abuse Aunt Wight with (what I assume is talk of) Dr. Venner?

Also, can anyone explain what "the Dyamond’s being overset in the careening at Sheernesse" means?

Thanks in advance.

Nate  •  Link

Main Entry: 1ca·reen
Pronunciation: \kə-ˈrēn\
Function: verb
Etymology: from carine side of a ship, from Middle French, submerged part of a hull, from Latin carina hull, half of a nutshell; perhaps akin to Greek karyon nut
Date: circa 1583
transitive verb
1 : to put (a ship or boat) on a beach especially in order to clean, caulk, or repair the hull
2 : to cause to heel over

Ship would be beached at high tide so that it could be leaned over to expose the side and part of the bottom for cleaning and repair. My guess is that it was done badly and leaned way too far which may cause problems when the tide comes back.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Anybody able to explain why they’re able to abuse Aunt Wight with (what I assume is talk of) Dr. Venner?"

Dr. Venner is her family physician. She must go to see him a lot. There are such addicts. She's been teased about this before.
Thursday 8 December 1664: "In the evening comes my aunt and uncle Wight, Mrs. Norbury, and her daughter, and after them Mr. Norbury, where no great pleasure, my aunt being out of humour in her fine clothes, and it raining hard. Besides, I was a little too bold with her about her doating on Dr. Venner."…

Perhaps they asked her whether she'd "seen" Dr. Venner lately?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Poor Aunt Wight...Nephew Sam, husband William. God is very cruel to some folks.

CGS  •  Link

Samuell liked careening maids, as often said in pubs galore, bottoms up.

add on

[a. F. carène fem., keel, in phrases such as en carène = ‘on the careen’, helped by the use of the verb.]

1. The position of a ship laid or heeled over on one side. on (upon) the careen: turned over on one side for repairing, or by stress of weather, etc.

1591 Hon. Actions E. Glemham, Which compeld them to lie vpon the carine, to stop their leakes.

1627 CAPT. SMITH Seaman's Gram. ii. 13 Breaming her..either in a dry dock or vpon her Careene.

2. The process of careening:

12 W. ROGERS Voy. (1718) 217 The Dutchess began to make ready for a careen.

careen, v.

[corresponds to mod.F. caréner, earlier cariner, Sp. carenar, It. carenare, f. F. carène, Sp. or It. carena keel:{em}L. car{imac}na keel.
(The precise source of the vb. does not appear; it may even have been f. the n.: the Fr., Sp., It. verb is not in Cotgr., Minsheu, Florio.)]

1. a. trans. To turn (a ship) over on one side for cleaning, caulking, or repairing; to clean, caulk, etc. (a ship so turned over).
1600 HAKLUYT Voy. (1810) III, A fit place to carene the ship.

1628 DIGBY Voy. Medit. (1868) 56 To stay att Milo to carine and fitt her.

1682 WHELER Journ. Greece I. 28 A Fountain of Pitch..with which they caren Vessels.

b. transf. Humorously to careen a wig.
1675 Character Town Gallant 5 He..pulls out his Comb, Carreens his Wigg.

careening, vbl. n.

The action of the verb CAREEN.
1668 in WILKINS Real. Char. 283. 1692 in Capt. Smith's Seaman's Gram. xvi. 76 Careening, is bringing a Ship to lye down on one side while they trim and caulk the other.

Jesse  •  Link

"disasters in the same place"

No early version of root cause analysis. Pepys chalking the mishaps up to random confluence ("which is strange").

CGS  •  Link

Tumble has also deeper meanings as The Bard also did use when he used it in the modern vernacular.
See OED.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"disasters in the same place"

No early version of root cause analysis. Pepys chalking the mishaps up to random confluence ("which is strange").

L&M: An equiry into these twin disasters was immediately made by Penn: CSPD

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"He says that in the July fight, both the Prince and Holmes had their belly-fulls, and were fain to go aside; ..."

Is Capt. Guy saying that Rupert and Holmes were drunk, but refused to stand aside?

Nothing in my on-line dictionaries seems to fit.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Is Betty Martin running some kind of bordello?"

No, but these working gals are her close friends, and here comes a man with enough money to bring a decent bottle or two of wine and some snacks, and one thing leads to another and there's lots of laughing and bawdy jokes on a winter Sunday afternoon.

God has seen fit to spare them from the plague and the fire, so they are letting off steam. Being in close proximity to death changes you, and these folk had seen things in the last 2 years you and I do not dream of. Widows and women whose husbands are out of town need to have fun too.

Besides, working gals see lots of gentlemen around these days. If they are good enough for the Court, why not play around with good ol' Pepys? The Church doesn't seem to be winning any arguments these days. It's 1666 -- God could take them all at any time. And England is clearly being punished. It's just a matter of time ... carpe diem.

Mary K  •  Link

The most straightforward interpretation of Captain Guy's words is that both Rupert and Holmes had had more than enough of their prospects in the current engagement and decided to take no further part in it - presumably having judged it (whether accurately or not) unprofitable. They didn't just stand aside they went aside. Guy seems to be citing their behaviour as examples of the lack of order and courage that he alleges.

Drunkenness doesn't come into it; they simply don't have the stomach for the situation.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

That makes perfect sense, Mary K. It's so out-of-character for what I've heard about Rupert and Holmes that that never occurred to me.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary has moved:

October 28 ... The Pestilence now through God’s mercy, began now to abate in our Towne considerably.


“Our Towne” is Deptford, across the Thames from London. Evelyn's estate borders on the dockyards. That's where Mrs. Bagwell lives, and this may account for Pepys not wanting to see her recently.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I was reading the review for a new Stuart novel (which sounds excellent), and the author wrote this about the mind-set of Pepys and the inhabitants of London in particular at this time:

"Consider experiencing the politically divisive furore of five or six consecutive Brexits between now and 2040, plus a conflict that accounted for proportionally more of the country’s population than World War One, followed by a pandemic that wiped out a quarter of the people in London and a blaze that consumed much of city. Then take away the ability to know what was happening and why, and you begin to get an inkling."

"Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die." -- Isaiah 22:13, Ecclesiastes 8:15, 1 Corinthians 15:32, and Luke 12:19


Of course, he's not writing specifically of 1666 as we are, but to the above currently we can add the fear of invasion by the Dutch and French, and profound distrust of anyone suspected of being a Roman Catholic.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Up, and to church with my wife, ..."

Good move, Elizabeth. This is not a good time for thinking about becoming a Roman Catholic. I expect to see you in church a lot more for quite some time to come.

john  •  Link

So lucky for us that Pepys is not a gossip and thus others speak to him so freely.

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