Samuel P., age 27, English Channel


This morning I was told how the people of Deal have set up two or three Maypoles, and have hung up their flags upon the top of them, and do resolve to be very merry to-day. It being a very pleasant day, I wished myself in Hide Park.

This day I do count myself to have had full two years of perfect cure for the stone, for which God of heaven be blessed. This day Captain Parker came on board, and without his expectation I had a commission for him for the Nonsuch frigate (he being now in the Cheriton), for which he gave me a French pistole. Captain H. Cuttance has commission for the Cheriton. After dinner to nine-pins, and won something. The rest of the afternoon in my cabin writing and piping.

While we were at supper we heard a great noise upon the Quarter Deck, so we all rose instantly, and found it was to save the coxon of the Cheriton, who, dropping overboard, could not be saved, but was drowned. To-day I put on my suit that was altered from the great skirts to little ones.

To-day I hear they were very merry at Deal, setting up the King’s flag upon one of their maypoles, and drinking his health upon their knees in the streets, and firing the guns, which the soldiers of the Castle threatened; but durst not oppose.

*(The Diary of Samuel Pepys M.A. F.R.S., edited by Henry B. Wheatley F.S.A., London, George Bell & Sons York St. Covent Garden, Cambridge Deighton Bell & Co., 1893.)