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From Our Editors

The following manuscript was recently discovered in Westminster among the personal effects of Samuel Pepys, a 17th-century English gentleman, diarist, and chief secretary of the admiralty. It is thought to be the first written evidence of the existence of tinted windows.

Thursday, 14 June 1667

Up very betimes with the great brightness of the sun, and so to meet with Sir Carteret¹, who come to speak to me on the horrible newes such as we shall hear shortly of: that for the want of boats, our Navy has been routed by the Flemings on the waters of Medway², that our sailors refuse to mount their vessels, and that want of money causes prevents Parliament from sending out a fleete for a proper answer. Then go we by water to Deptford, and to a good dinner of plain pheasant and much wine.

After dinner, Carteret shewed his new coach, which doth defend the eyes from the fury of the sun with windows painted with pitch. Back to Whitehall by coach, as sundry youths and maidens cry out at the pleasant appearance of our noble hoopty. Though without, summer heat doth oppress and sweat the rabble, I remain undisturbed, despite my seventeen 17 stone of cloth finery, powder, jewellry, and wigs. I do understand but little of it, but welcome any respite from Apollo’s rays. So to supper, and then to bed, with thoughts of vexation and jealousy for Sir Carteret’s good fortune.

¹ Sir George Carteret, member of the Privy Council and staunch Tory

² Pepys refers to the Raid on the Medway, a decisive Dutch victory in the Second Anglo–Dutch War, in which the Dutch fleet launched a surprise attack on the docks at Chatham, towing away more than a dozen English ships as well as the Royal Navy mascot—a hardtack biscuit with pasted-on googly eyes named the Rt. Hon. Captain Crisp.

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