Samuel P., age 27, English Channel


This morning my Lord showed me the King’s declaration and his letter to the two Generals to be communicated to the fleet. The contents of the letter are his offer of grace to all that will come in within forty days, only excepting them that the Parliament shall hereafter except. That the sales of lands during these troubles, and all other things, shall be left to the Parliament, by which he will stand. The letter dated at Breda, April, 4 1660, in the 12th year of his reign. Upon the receipt of it this morning by an express, Mr. Phillips, one of the messengers of the Council from General Monk, my Lord summoned a council of war, and in the mean time did dictate to me how he would have the vote ordered which he would have pass this council. Which done, the Commanders all came on board, and the council sat in the coach (the first council of war that had been in my time), where I read the letter and declaration; and while they were discoursing upon it, I seemed to draw up a vote, which being offered, they passed. Not one man seemed to say no to it, though I am confident many in their hearts were against it.

After this was done, I went up to the quarter-deck with my Lord and the Commanders, and there read both the papers and the vote; which done, and demanding their opinion, the seamen did all of them cry out, “God bless King Charles!” with the greatest joy imaginable.

That being done, Sir R. Stayner, who had invited us yesterday, took all the Commanders and myself on board him to dinner, which not being ready, I went with Captain Hayward to the Plimouth and Essex, and did what I had to do there and returned, where very merry at dinner. After dinner, to the rest of the ships (staid at the Assistance to hear the harper a good while) quite through the fleet. Which was a very brave sight to visit all the ships, and to be received with the respect and honour that I was on board them all; and much more to see the great joy that I brought to all men; not one through the whole fleet showing the least dislike of the business. In the evening as I was going on board the Vice-Admiral, the General began to fire his guns, which he did all that he had in the ship, and so did all the rest of the Commanders, which was very gallant, and to hear the bullets go hissing over our heads as we were in the boat. This done and finished my Proclamation, I returned to the Nazeby, where my Lord was much pleased to hear how all the fleet took it in a transport of joy, showed me a private letter of the King’s to him, and another from the Duke of York in such familiar style as to their common friend, with all kindness imaginable. And I found by the letters, and so my Lord told me too, that there had been many letters passed between them for a great while, and I perceive unknown to Monk. And among the rest that had carried these letters Sir John Boys is one, and that Mr. Norwood, which had a ship to carry him over the other day, when my Lord would not have me put down his name in the book. The King speaks of his being courted to come to the Hague, but do desire my Lord’s advice whither to come to take ship. And the Duke offers to learn the seaman’s trade of him, in such familiar words as if Jack Cole and I had writ them. This was very strange to me, that my Lord should carry all things so wisely and prudently as he do, and I was over joyful to see him in so good condition, and he did not a little please himself to tell me how he had provided for himself so great a hold on the King.

After this to supper, and then to writing of letters till twelve at night, and so up again at three in the morning. My Lord seemed to put great confidence in me, and would take my advice in many things. I perceive his being willing to do all the honour in the world to Monk, and to let him have all the honour of doing the business, though he will many times express his thoughts of him to be but a thick-sculled fool. So that I do believe there is some agreement more than ordinary between the King and my Lord to let Monk carry on the business, for it is he that must do the business, or at least that can hinder it, if he be not flattered and observed. This, my Lord will hint himself sometimes. My Lord, I perceive by the King’s letter, had writ to him about his father, Crew, and the King did speak well of him; but my Lord tells me, that he is afeard that he hath too much concerned himself with the Presbyterians against the House of Lords, which will do him a great discourtesy.

*(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.)