Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
GrannieAnnie has posted 10 annotations/comments since 6 January 2014.
The most recent…
About Monday 17 June 1661
About Penn's hippie son: he later used his independent bent well for England when he wrote about and stood up against the inhumanity of persecution. One of his achievements later was handling the "Bushell Case" where he successfully convinced a jury not to subject a Quaker to imprisonment for his faith. Even though the magistrate demanded that the jury change its verdict (!) "Penn maintained successfully that a jury must not be coerced by the bench. This landmark case established the freedom of English juries." Well done, Penn!
About Friday 31 May 1661
Mrs P's problem: no one has used the words "clinical depression" which often manifests itself as anger (especially in men.) Her loss of so many children alone would be ample reason to be depressed and angry as well as seeing her youthfulness dwindle away with much of her life's work carried to the graveyard. And today the doc would surely check for underactive thyroid. Add to that perhaps the hot flashes of menopause were disrupting her sleep leaving her worn to a frazzle. Nursing all those children could have resulted in tooth loss (the saying a tooth lost for each pregnancy was apparently true) which could lead then to malnutrition , only eating foods she could gum. She might have had intestinal parasites causing anemia and fatigue. Or she might have used toxic white lead to give herself a nice pale complection while unwittingly slowly poisoning herself. My guess is she had something biochemically wrong going on, poor thing.
About Thursday 30 May 1661
Early Toilet Paper: Lamb's Ear plants (Stachys) have silvery fuzzy leaves that feel suede-like. I read they were planted along a pathway one would walk at night, say to the outhouse, and the path was well marked in moonlight by the silvery leaves. En route one might pluck a leaf or two for toilet paper which would feel more comfortable than corn husks and cleaner than shudder-shudder a sponge everyone else has used. Ewwww!
About Wednesday 22 May 1661
"If I understand correctly this means "venison pie" in modern English... Must have been a huge pie by all standards - but this was not unusual at the time."
Which brings to mind the world-famous all time biggest: "4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie, when the pie was opened the birds began to sing, wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the King?"
I wonder for which king and which era this political pie was written.
About Wednesday 24 April 1661
"After dinner home, and advised with my wife about ordering things in my house,"Small point but he advises his wife about ordering things in his house, not "in our house."
As I recall, back then the wife had no property rights. Though there were some cases in America where the widow had some rights to do business and make property decisions, perhaps in England also? For example when Richard Warren (a Mayflower Pilgrim) died in the early 1600s, his wife was permitted by the court to make business and property decisions.
About Tuesday 9 April 1661
"the best hand" I'm with Robin: surely this means her handwriting often stated in old writings as something was "written in a neat hand."
About Wednesday 6 March 1660/61
I, too, was disappointed I'd missed the party! And by 10 years, no less!
Perhaps those of us late-comers will have to arrange our own get-together, myself coming from Delaware (USA). Of course inviting the party-goers who left us out in the cold : )
In researching wigge: it appears the Swiss bake an August weggen, a buttery bread, not sweet, but formed to look like the Swiss flag, and whoknows when that custom began.
About Sir William Warren
Seeing the note that he was involved with shipping timber from New England, I wonder if he was any relation to the Richard Warren who was a London merchant and a Pilgrim on the Mayflower ship to America. Not much is known of Richard Warren except he had a huge family, all girls except one son, and most of the people related today to the Mayflower ancestors are related to Richard Warren.
About Saturday 2 February 1660/61
Mary's comment gives a baseline for their weekly food costs, but how does one calculate it accurately considering Sam is mooching meals constantly from His Lady and others? It seems like it is pay-back time for him otherwise he'll be labeled a sponge like many today who don't bother reciprocating a dinner.
About Saturday 5 January 1660/61
the laying of an extra place:Though I don't know where this originated, some Christian families today set an extra place as a reminder that Christ is also present at their table. I wonder would it have helped to quiet our children's pandemonium?