Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Nate Lockwood has posted 6 annotations/comments since 10 April 2013.
The most recent…
About Tuesday 27 November 1660
"the meek inheriting the earth" is analogous to "when hell freezes over" is it not?.
About Monday 26 November 1660
""a son that is neat in his house"
NEAT clean, trim, cleanly and tightly dressed, clever.---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675."
I still use neat in that respect as in "I like my whisky (and whiskey, too) neat" so it survives. Today's bartender's tend not to understand though, in the US at least.
About Monday 12 November 1660
If the money is used to pay off the crew then they would need quite a bit of change such as silver shillings and copper pence. At the end of voyage when I was in the Merchant Marine (Merchant Navy to some of you) many, many years ago I was owed something like $101.50 and the paymaster would not provide change. Thus I had no way to get into town some distance away, as no taxi driver could change a $100 bill.
About Monday 29 October 1660
The fly-through is a great simulation.
I think that there would have been more haze (smog) from cooking fires and a lot more in the winter when at least some who could afford it would have heating fires in fireplaces.
The lanterns and lights escaping from windows would have been much dimmer and no outside lights, at least, would have been lit in daytime but the creators probably wanted a more artistic effect.
At least a couple of the streets had the centers lower than the sides for drainage of sewage and I suspect that most of the paved streets would have been built that way.
Sure looks like a prosperous area. I can imagine Sam walking down the streets and lanes which were full of people, dogs, livestock, etc. keeping an eye out for where his next step would land and for any coaches, carriages, or mounted horsemen whose horses would be splattering the drainage everywhere. The fact that almost no one bathed would be lost in the general miasma.
About Tuesday 5 June 1660
"So, are we to presume that the fishing was better ashore, than at sea?"
For trout, yes! For fly-fishing, of course, if that was practiced in those days. Of course it could have been an excuse to go ashore for some other reason as there is no mention of bringing fish back to the ship.
About Monday 9 April 1660
Dick, my understanding of "corning" is to make gunpowder in "corns' or tiny evenly sized particles. Gunpowder burns on the surface and to keep the pressure in the gun barrel constant it should burn about a long as it takes to evenly accelerate the cannon ball or or shot out of the barrel. If it takes longer than that to burn it's being wasted.
I believe that corning was achieved by wetting the gunpowder mixture allowing it to be handled more safely. The paste was mixed and extruded through a sieve or plate with lots of holes of even size. I don't know how the extruded paste was cut to size. Since the gunpowder was wet some of the potassium nitrate dissolved and was carried in to the charcoal resulting in a more intimate placement of the oxidizer, potassium nitrate, and the fuel, the porous charcoal.
A problem with early manufacture of gunpowder was that the some of it was dust and that more dust was created by the grains jostling against one another. The dust would collect in the bottom of the containers. When fired the dust would just about instantly burn creating an unwanted pressure spike that could cause the gun barrel to burst. Another problem is that the dust could get into the air without being seen and could ignite and cause an explosion. I've been present at an accident of this type and it's quite impressive.
So corning was a real improvement. I have not bought gunpowder for some decades but I recall that if I was using it in a pistol I would purchase 'ball' whose particles were spherical, quite small, and burned rapidly; but that to reload rifle cartridges were not ball shaped and were a little bigger.
Modern "gunpowder" for larger naval guns was in the form of little cylinders (or not so little for the really large guns) with longitudinal holes that served to keep the surface area approximately constant during burning.
I suspect that you are correct and that the containers would be inverted every once in a while to attempt evenly distribute the dust. At some point the charges were packaged in silk bags which would contain any dust.