Tuesday 6 April 1669

Up, and to the Office, and thence to the Excise Office about some business, and so back to the office and sat till late, and thence to Mr. Batelier’s to dinner, where my cozen Turner and both her daughters, and Talbot Pepys and my wife, and a mighty fine dinner. They at dinner before I come; and, when I had dined, I away home, and thence to White Hall, where the Board waited on the Duke of York to discourse about the disposing of Sir Thomas Allen’s fleete, which is newly come home to Portsmouth; and here Middleton and I did in plain terms acquaint the Duke of York what we thought and had observed in the late Court-martiall, which the Duke did give ear to; and though he thinks not fit to revoke what is already done in this case by a Court-martiall, yet it shall bring forth some good laws in the behaviour of Captains to their under Officers for the time to come.

Thence home, and there, after a while at the Office, I home, and there come home my wife, who hath been with Batelier’s late, and been dancing with the company, at which I seemed a little troubled, not being sent for thither myself, but I was not much so, but went to bed well enough pleased.

16 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the behaviour of Captains to their under Officers"

At the tine that could well be a matter of class, since so many ship captains were so by virtue of a title of nobility (perhaps inherited).

In the case the late Court-martial, Capt. Richard Trevanion had had command of three ships and had shown high signs of great ambition, of which his quarrel with the Purser is one. Although he is a "tar," Trevanion behaved like one entitled and treated his underling like .....

Jenny  •  Link

"...with Batelier’s late, and been dancing with the company, at which I seemed a little troubled, not being sent for thither myself" - dancing perhaps with Pembleton or even Sheeres? Elizabeth dancing and, particularly, without him is really a very sore point with Sam.

JWB  •  Link

'Although he is a tar...'

More likely because he was a tar. A Captain easy in his rank would have sent his second in command, called 'commander' aboard ship no matter his rank, to do his disciplinary work.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir Thomas Allen’s fleete, which is newly come home to Portsmouth"

Allin's fleet had returned from an expedition to Algiers: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1… It had anchored off the Isle of Wight on the 4th and off Spithead on the 6th: Allin, ii.95. (L&M)

I find fascinating what these notes tell us about English navigation habits and capabilities at this time.

Jean Wynn  •  Link

What is a tar? I’m familiar with the use of tar on ships, and know about the NC Tar Heels, but . . .

Sean  •  Link

What is a tar? I’m familiar with the use of tar on ships, and know about the NC Tar Heels, but..

Perhaps an abbreviation of tarpaulin. Used as a nickname for a sailor at this time. In the present context "tarpaulins" were the professionals as opposed to the gentlemen and aristocrats appointed to command.

Mary K  •  Link

Shipboard tars.

Common seamen (below the rank of officer) handled plenty of tar on ships in the process of general material maintenance of ropes, sheets etc. and also used small quantities to keep their queues (plaited hair) under control. They undoubtedly smelt of tar and so acquired this nickname. The term Jack Tar uses the word 'Jack' in its sense of 'common man" (cf jack of all trades). 'Jack tar' is first recorded in print in 1709.

If you visit the Greenwich Maritime Museum and are able to see Nelson's jacket, you will observe that the area of his jacket between the shoulder-blades at the back is notably stained much darker than the surrounding cloth. This is where his queue would have rubbed against the cloth. Tar staining?

Gerald Berg  •  Link

The similarities with Mutiny on Bounty vis a vis class is striking! As I have come to understand it: Bligh was a 'tar' but the officers were not.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Three days ago Roger Baker, the purser whose beating at the hands of Capt. Trenavion occasioned the Court-Martiall in question, wrote to the Commissioners on how badly it all went for him, notwithstanding the wise lessons which Sam and the Duke extracted from the events:

"I am in a deplorable condition (...) I beg for a protection till I have passed my intricate accounts, which will take time, as I am 5 years in arrears". There we pause; 5 years in arrears, in "intricate" accounts? Baker seems a more complex man than one would surmise; more than the humble quill-pushing Bob Cratchit we may suppose; an Adventurer perhaps; recall an obscure private quarrel with the captain about wine purchases had kindl'd their fight, and wonder in what cahoots those two may have been. Anyway, "my creditors have threatened to clap me into prison, by reason of my dismissal by the unjust sentence of the court martial. Thanks for your having moved his Royal Hignness on my behalf (...) I hope my captain may not receive his wages, until satisfaction is given me for the abuses and damages sustained through him" [State Papers, https://play.google.com/books/rea…].

The letter may well be in Sam's hands today. Young Captain Trevanion will go on having a long and illustrious career, warmed by all that Esprit de Corps that will so comfort the lonely officers after a hard day of beating up the crew, up to Bounty days and well beyond. Roger Baker will surface once more, post-Diary at the end of the year, having apparently dodged jail but still not passed his accounts, and pleading for this and that.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A contemporary view of London is given by Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin.
I've standardized the spelling of names I know, corrected scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs. I apologize if I guessed incorrectly:



On the morning of 6/16 April, 1669, the person sent by the Venetian ambassador came again, and was admitted; he requested permission for his excellency to pay his respects to his highness;

[ Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England – SEE https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/… ]

the latter, in the evening, returned the compliment, through the Marquis Guadagno, who, alleging the necessity under which his highness lay, of first paying his respects to their majesties, deferred the interview till after his audience at the palace, and stating what had been his practice elsewhere, in regard to his incog., insinuated that his highness would have no objection to seeing him in a third place;

that same evening Count Lorenzo Magalotti stated the same to the ambassador of France, in return to a similar compliment paid to his highness, through the medium of one of the gentlemen of his suite, and added that his highness was impatient to pay his homage to the ambassador's lady, for he could not signify it to the ambassadress herself, in consequence of her being from home.

[ Charles Colbert, later the Marquis de Croissy, the French Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s – SEE https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl… In 1664, he married Françoise Béraud, daughter of a rich banker, who brought with her the territory of Croissy, which name he took to be turned into a Marquisate in July 1676. ]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


There came to congratulate his highness, my Lord Ashley Cooper, Baron Ashley; my Lord Henry Bennet, Baron Arlington, secretary of state to his majesty; my Lord Henry Howard, with his brothers, Bernard and Edward; my Lord Philip Howard, brother of the above-mentioned, grand almoner to the queen; my Lord Aubry de Vere, Earl of Oxford; my Lord Dutton Gerard; my Lord Joscelin Percy, Earl of Northumberland; my Lord Robert Spencer, Earl of Sunderland; and Sir Theodore de Vaux.

[ Secretary of State Henry Bennet, Baron Arlington see https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl…
[ Anthony Ashley Cooper, Baron Ashley see https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl…
[ Baron Henry Howard of Norfolk, https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl…
[ Hon. Edward and Hon. Bernard Howard, https://royaldescent.blogspot.com…
[ Grand Almoner Sir Philip Thomas Howard supervised, amongst other things, the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl…
[ Aubrey de Vere, 20th Earl of Oxford: https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl…
[ Lord Dutton Gerard seems to have died in 1640 – there is a Digby Gerard, 5th Baron Gerard (1662–1684) married his cousin Lady Elizabeth Gerard (1664-1700), 3rd daughter and coheiress in her issue of Charles Gerard, 1st Earl of Macclesfield. But he’s too young. So this must be Charles Gerard, 6th Baron Gerard -- he was born in 1634. http://www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk…
[ Joscelin Percy succeeded as 11th earl of Northumberland age 16 on his father’s death in 1668. Unfortunately, the young man died of a fever in Turin, presumably while on the "Grand Tour" on 21/31 May 1670. https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl… ]
[ Robert Spencer, 2ND Earl of Sunderland - https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl…
[ Theodore de Vaux MD FRS https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl… ]


To these acts of respectful homage paid by these gentlemen, his highness replied in the most gracious manner; and thus he passed the day without leaving the house.


San Diego Sarah  •  Link


In Cosmo's travelogue, “incognito” is generally shortened to "incog." and I think the meaning was "unofficial, informal", as opposed to "having one's true identity concealed" which is more today's definition.


His highness, Cosmo, must be considered only as a traveler. Under his direction, the narrator of the records was Count Lorenzo Magalotti, afterwards Secretary to the Academy del Cimento, and one of the most learned and eminent characters of the court of Ferdinand II.


"the interview till after his audience at the palace, and stating what had been his practice elsewhere, in regard to his incog., insinuated that his highness would have no objection to seeing him in a third place;"

Diplomats have a code they follow regarding who is recognized first, etc. Where they stand, who kisses, hugs, shakes hands, etc., are all details negotiated before the event so as to avoid any embarrassment. This holds, even when someone as important as Cosmo will be is travelling "incog.".

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In all the answers to the "What is a tar?" question, no one mentioned the reoccuring concept of class in British societial history.

In the 1640s and 1650s there was the religious/political mixed in with breeding, so you might say the Royalists (naval Gentlemen) were the conservative/pseudo Catholic/nobility, as opposed to the Parliamentarians (naval Tars) who were the Presbyterian/non-conservatives, but they included quite a sizeable number of nobility, so it was at best confusing.

In the 1660s that divide was simmering just under the surface, with the Presbyterians at this time seemingly winning the hearts and minds.
They favored the Protestant Dutch Republic over the Catholic French King by Divine Right favored by the Stuart Brothers.

Snobbery, breeding and who you went to school with -- and where -- counted for a lot until very recently in Britain.

Charles II and James had a problem: The Gentlemen who were known to be loyal by and large didn't know much about sailing warships; the experienced Tar Captains worried them as they was never sure they wouldn't join the Dutch in the height of battle, and fire on the home team from within the formation -- but Tar captains knew how to sail, and related better to the sailors.

Their compromise was frequently a 50/50 lineup, evenly dispersed, so a Gentleman could easily sink a Tar-gone-over-to-the-Dutch.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Since I mentioned the Divine Right of Kings, this is a good time to mention a book, "Contesting the English Polity, 1660-1688: Religion, Politics, and Ideas" which discusses many subjects touched on during the last 9 years:

What did people in Restoration England think the correct relationship between church state should be? And how did this thinking evolve?

Based on the author, Mark Goldie's published essays, revised and updated with a new overarching introduction, this book explores the debates in Restoration England about 'godly rule', "Contesting the English Polity, 1660-1688" assesses some of the crucial transitions in English history: how the late Reformation gave way to the early Enlightenment; how Royalism became Toryism and Puritanism became Whiggism; how the power of churchmen was challenged by virulent anticlericalism; how the verities of "divine right" theory revived and collapsed.

"Providing a distinctive account of English thought in the era between the two revolutions of the Stuart century, "Contesting the English Polity, 1660-1688" discusses the ideological foundations of emerging party politics, and the deep intellectual roots of competing visions for the commonwealth, placing the power of religion, and the taming of religion, squarely alongside constitutional battles within secular politics."

September 2023
£95.00 / $140.00

Ebook (EPUB)
September 2023
$29.95 / £24.99

Ebook (EPDF)
September 2023
£24.99 / $29.95

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Lord Macaulay (Thomas Babington, 1800-1859) observed: "There were gentlemen and there were seamen in the Navy of Charles II. But the seamen were not gentlemen, and the gentlemen were not seamen."

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.