Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Chris Squire UK has posted 132 annotations/comments since 16 February 2013.
The most recent…
About Thursday 18 April 1661
Re 'some brave wine':
' . . 3. loosely, as a general epithet of admiration or praise: Worthy, excellent, good, ‘capital’, ‘fine’, ‘famous’, etc.; ‘an indeterminate word, used to express the superabundance of any valuable quality in men or things’ (Johnson). arch. (Cf. braw adj.) . . b. of things. . . a1616 Shakespeare King Lear (1623) iii. ii. 79 This is a braue night to coole a Curtizan.1653 I. Walton Compl. Angler 104 We wil make a brave Breakfast with a piece of powdered Bief . . ' [OED]
About Sunday 14 April 1661
Here’s what OED has to say re ‘gracy’:
‘gracy, adj. Editorial misreading of lazy; taken to mean ‘full of teaching about grace, evangelical’.1848 Diary & Corr. S. Pepys 14 Apr. 1661 (ed. 3) 213 Heard Mr. Jacomb, at Ludgate, upon these words, ‘Christ loved you and therefore let us love one another’, and made a gracy [1970 lazy] sermon, like a Presbyterian.’
‘lazy, adj. and n. Etym: obscure . . 2. a. . . Formerly of literary style . . : Languid, having little energy.a1568 R. Ascham Scholemaster (1570) ii. f. 37v, Melancthon..came to this low kinde of writyng, by vsing ouer moch Paraphrasis in reading: For studying therbie to..make euerie thing streight and easie, in smothing and playning all things to much, neuer leaueth, whiles the sence it selfe be left, both lowse and lasie.’
About Thursday 11 April 1661
A modern poem inspired by this entry:
' . . But where is he that cropped their offerings— The pick-purse of enchantments, riding by, Whistling his "Go and Be Hanged, That's Twice Good bye"?
Who such a frolic pomp of blessing made To kiss a little pretty dairymaid. . . . And country wives with bare and earth-burnt knees, And boys with beer, and smiles from balconies. . . .
The greensleeve girl, apprentice-equerry, Tending great men with slant-eye mockery: "Then Mr Sam says, ‘Riding's hot,’ he says, Tasting their ale and waving twopences. . . . "
Into one gaze they swam, a moment swirled, One fiery paintbox of the body's world— Into Sam's eye, that flying bushranger— Swinging their torches for earth's voyager . . '
About Wednesday 10 April 1661
‘narrow seas, n. 1. Chiefly with the (also in sing.). The seas separating Great Britain from Ireland and from continental Europe. Esp. in early use (in sing.) applied to the English Channel; subsequently spec. (until the introduction of the legal concept of international waters) both the English Channel and the southern North Sea, over which the English monarch claimed sovereignty . . a1450–1500 (▸1436) Libel Eng. Policy (1926) 7 (MED), No man may denye..That we bee maysteres of the narowe see. . . 1595 Shakespeare Henry VI, Pt. 3 i. i. 240 Sterne Fawconbridge Commands the narrow seas. . . 1807 Edinb. Rev. Oct. 17 Great Britain has the sovereignty of what are called the narrow seas. . . 1995 Jrnl. Mil. Hist. 59 620 Submarines would prevent hostile navies from undertaking any serious operations in the narrow seas around Britain.’
About Saturday 6 April 1661
‘rule of thumb, n. Etym: < rule n.1 + of prep. + thumb n., probably so called on account of the thumb being used as a reference for approximate measurements of various kinds . .
A suggestion that the phrase refers to an alleged rule allowing a husband to beat his wife with a stick the thickness of his thumb cannot be substantiated (compare the discussion by H. D. Kelly in Jrnl. for Legal Educ. 44 (1994) 341–65); it also poses semantic problems. The suggestion appears to be of late 20th-cent. origin, probably arising from a misunderstanding of the pun in the following passage (discussing the alleged rule mentioned above):
1976 D. Martin Battered Wives 31 [In 19th-cent. America] the common-law doctrine had been modified to allow the husband ‘the right to whip his wife, provided he used a switch no thicker than his thumb’—a rule of thumb, so to speak.
A. n. 1. As a mass noun. Method or procedure derived from practice or experience, rather than theory or scientific knowledge; a roughly practical method. Chiefly in by rule of thumb.a1658 J. Durham Heaven upon Earth (1685) ii. 217 Many profest Christians are like to foolish builders, who build by guess, and by rule of thumb . . ‘
About Wednesday 3 April 1661
Here's the up to date Tondering link:
'The “Christian calendar” is the term traditionally used to designate the calendar commonly in use, although it originated in pre-Christian Rome . . (it) has years of 365 or 366 days. It is divided into 12 months that have no relationship to the motion of the moon . . Two main versions . . have existed in recent times: The Julian . . and the Gregorian . . The difference between them lies in the way they approximate the length of the tropical year and their rules for calculating Easter. But (both) inherited a lot of their structure from the ancient Roman calendar. Therefore a study of that calendar is also relevant here.'http://www.tondering.dk/claus/cal/christian.php
About Tuesday 2 April 1661
‘beˈtwit, v. Emphatic of twit n.11661 S. Pepys Diary 2 Apr. (1970) II. 65 Strange how these men..betwitt and reproach one another with their former conditions.’
‘twit, v.1. a. trans. To blame, find fault with, censure, reproach, upbraid (a person), esp. in a light or annoying way; to cast an imputation upon; to taunt. . . 1594 Shakespeare Henry VI, Pt. 2 iii. i. 178 Doth he not twit our soveraigne Lady here, As if that she had sobornde or hired some to sweare against his life . . ’
About Sunday 31 March 1661
‘occasion, n.1 I. Senses relating to action arising from a chance or opportunity. 1. a. A conjunction of circumstances favourable or suitable to an end or purpose, or admitting of something being done or effected; an opportunity. In early use: esp. †an opportunity of attacking, of fault-finding, or of giving or taking offence; an opportunity for trouble (obs.).
to take occasion : to take advantage of an opportunity.
. . 1660 S. Pepys Diary 6 Dec. (1970) I. 311, I took occasion to go up and to bed in a pett. . . 1875 B. Jowett tr. Plato Dialogues (ed. 2) III. 597 Here..we may take occasion to correct an error which occurred at p. 582. . . 1943 K. A. Porter Let. 29 May (1990) iv. 267, I take occasion for a little side-swipe at the high-powered Hollywood aspects of this war as photographed by such fakes as Zanuck et al.’
About Thursday 28 March 1661
I am going round for the second time - the first was interrupted so that I missed much of the middle - and enjoy reading comments from my brash younger self, Christo - oh to be a stripling of 59 again . .
jude cooper r emaps: have a look at http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/324/ ' Here’s a chronological summary of the most useful historical London maps available online . . '
This website has become an encyclopedia about Pepys so it is the first place to look for background information.
About Saturday 23 March 1660/61
‘clap . . Etymology: Middle English clappen . . 11. esp. To put (with promptitude or high-handedness) in prison or custody; to imprison, confine. Also simply to clap up ( †to clap fast ): ‘to imprison with little formality or delay’ (Johnson).c1530 A. Barclay Egloges i. sig. F, Then art thou clappyd in the flete or clynke.1581 J. Marbeck Bk. Notes & Common Places 667 The King caused him to be clapt in prison. . . 1697 J. Potter Archæologiæ Græcæ I. i. xxvi. 142 Let him be clapt up in Gaol till he pays the whole . . 1843 T. Carlyle Past & Present ii. vi. 95 Some were clapt in prison.’