Saturday 13 March 1668/69

Up, and to the Tower, to see Sir W. Coventry, and with him talking of business of the Navy, all alone, an hour, he taking physic. And so away to the Office, where all the morning, and then home to dinner, with my people, and so to the Office again, and there all the afternoon till night, when comes, by mistake, my cozen Turner, and her two daughters, which love such freaks, to eat some anchovies and ham of bacon with me, instead of noon, at dinner, when I expected them. But, however, I had done my business before they come, and so was in good humour enough to be with them, and so home to them to supper, and pretty merry, being pleased to see Betty Turner, which hath something mighty pretty. But that which put me in good humour, both at noon and night, is the fancy that I am this day made a Captain of one of the King’s ships, Mr. Wren having this day sent me, the Duke of York’s commission to be Captain of “The Jerzy,” in order to my being of a Court-martiall for examining the loss of “The Defyance,” and other things; which do give me occasion of much mirth, and may be of some use to me, at least I shall get a little money by it for the time I have it; it being designed that I must really be a Captain to be able to sit in this Court. They staid till about eight at night, and then away, and my wife to read to me, and then to bed in mighty good humour, but for my eyes.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I am this day made a Captain of one of the King’s order to my being of a Court-martiall"

L&M note that Pepys (together with Middleton) acted as expert assessors, not as full members of the court. The *Defiance* had been destroyed by fire at Chatham in the previous December. The trial had been ordered shortly afterwards, but the warrant constituting the court was not issued until 10 March.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The act governing the court-martial in this case

Burning Ship or Stores.; Punishment.

26. All persons that shall willingly burn or sett fire on any Shipp or Magazine or [sto (fn. 4) ] of Powder or Shipp Boat Ketch Hoy or Vessell or Tackle or Furniture thereto belonging not appertaining to an Enemy or Rebell shall be punished with death.

Charles II, 1661: An Act for the Establishing Articles and Orders for the regulateing and better Government of His Majesties Navies Ships of Warr & Forces by Sea.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

This was the same act governing the handling of naval prizes and goods thereon

Taking out of Prize, or Ships or Goods seized for Prize, any Money, &c. before Judgment had Punishment.; Proviso for Pillage.; Exception.

7. None in his Majesties pay shall take out of any Prize or Ship or Goods seized on for Prize any Money Plate Goods Lading or Tackle before Judgement thereof first past in the Admiralty Court but the full and intire accompt of the whole without imbezlement shall be brought in and Judgement past intirely upon the whole without fraud upon pain of such punishment as shall be imposed by a Court martiall or the Court of Admiralty excepting That it shall be lawfull for all Captaines Seamen Souldiers and others serving as aforesaid to take and to have to themselves as Pillage without further or other account to be given for the same all such Goods and [Merchandize (fn. 1) ] (other then Armes Ammunition Tackle Furniture or Stores of such Ship) as shall be found by them or any of them in any Ship (they shall take in fight or prize) upon or above the Gundeck of the said Ship and not otherwise.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

“I am this day made a Captain of one of the King’s ships"

A forerunner of Sir Joseph Porter, KCB

languagehat  •  Link

Sir Joseph Porter being the fellow who polished up that handle so carefully that now he is the Ruler of the Queen's Navy.

Stan Oram  •  Link

Burning of Ships or stores: It was, until the Blair government changed things very recently (in historic terms), that Treason or starting a fire in Her Majesty's Dockyards, were still hanging offences, the last remaining after the death penalty had been abolished for murder etc.

Don McCahill  •  Link

> which love such freaks

What does this mean?

Stephen Walkley  •  Link

freak |frēk|
1 a very unusual and unexpected event or situation: the teacher says the accident was a total freak | [ as modifier ] : a freak storm.
4 archaic: a sudden arbitrary change of mind; a whim: follow this way or that, as the freak takes you.

Jenny  •  Link

"which love such freaks"

I take this to mean that the mix up between should have been there for lunch and actually arriving for dinner amused the Turners greatly and that this sort of mix up always amused them. "Ha ha Sam you were expecting us for lunch - well, here we are now, not too late are we? ha ha."

Sam, luckily in a good mood, raises his eyes heavenwards and provides the meal.

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