Samuel P., age 27, English Channel


In the morning when I woke and rose, I saw myself out of the scuttle close by the shore, which afterwards I was told to be the Dutch shore; the Hague was clearly to be seen by us.

My Lord went up in his nightgown into the cuddy, to see how to dispose thereof for himself and us that belong to him, to give order for our removal to-day.

Some masty Dutchmen came on board to proffer their boats to carry things from us on shore, &c., to get money by us.

Before noon some gentlemen came on board from the shore to kiss my Lord’s hands. And by and by Mr. North and Dr. Clerke went to kiss the Queen of Bohemia’s hands, from my Lord, with twelve attendants from on board to wait on them, among which I sent my boy, who, like myself, is with child to see any strange thing.

After noon they came back again after having kissed the Queen of Bohemia’s hand, and were sent again by my Lord to do the same to the Prince of Orange. So I got the Captain to ask leave for me to go, which my Lord did give, and I taking my boy and judge Advocate with me, went in company with them. The weather bad; we were sadly washed when we came near the shore, it being very hard to land there.

The shore is, as all the country between that and the Hague, all sand. The rest of the company got a coach by themselves; Mr. Creed and I went in the fore part of a coach wherein were two very pretty ladies, very fashionable and with black patches, who very merrily sang all the way and that very well, and were very free to kiss the two blades that were with them.

I took out my flageolette and piped, but in piping I dropped my rapier-stick, but when I came to the Hague, I sent my boy back again for it and he found it, for which I did give him 6d., but some horses had gone over it and broke the scabbard. The Hague is a most neat place in all respects. The houses so neat in all places and things as is possible.

Here we walked up and down a great while, the town being now very full of Englishmen, for that the Londoners were come on shore today.

But going to see the Prince, he was gone forth with his governor, and so we walked up and down the town and court to see the place; and by the help of a stranger, an Englishman, we saw a great many places, and were made to understand many things, as the intention of may- poles, which we saw there standing at every great man’s door, of different greatness according to the quality of the person. About 10 at night the Prince comes home, and we found an easy admission. His attendance very inconsiderable as for a prince; but yet handsome, and his tutor a fine man, and himself a very pretty boy. It was bright moonshine to-night. This done we went to a place we had taken to sup in, where a sallet and two or three bones of mutton were provided for a matter of ten of us which was very strange. After supper the Judge and I to another house, leaving them there, and he and I lay in one press bed, there being two more in the same room, but all very neat and handsome, my boy sleeping upon a bench by me.

*(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.)