Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Autumnbreeze Movies has posted 7 annotations/comments since 22 April 2014.
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About Friday 17 January 1667/68
The story of the romance between Anna Talbot and George Villiers continues, retold after Pope: on the day of the duel, the Countess trembled all morning for her gallant, who afterwards 'slept' with her in his bloodied shirt. The romance lived on and much later on, when the Duke of Buckingham brought his mistress to live with him, his indignant wife, the Duchess, told him that she and Talbot couldn't live in the same house. "So I thought, Madam, and have therefore ordered the horses to convey you to your father", the Duke replied. But the Duchess appears to have stayed. Talbot and Villiers had an illegitimate son. Their affair was finally broken off in 1673 and the countess went to France to spent time in a convent. She afterwards returned to England and remarried.
Duels were fought not so much to kill the offending opponent, though that often happened, as to gain "satisfaction", that is, to restore one's honour by demonstrating a willingness to risk one's life for it. The person who felt offended could signal the demand to fight for honour with an obviously insulting gesture, such as throwing his glove before the offender (throw down the gauntlet).
Each party named trusted representatives ("seconds") who would determined a suitable "field of honour", an isolated secret place to avoid detection by authorities, check that the weapons were equal and that the duel was fair. In the 16th and early part of 17th centuries, it was normal for the seconds also to fight each other. Later, the seconds only made sure that rules were followed and tried to reconcile the duellers ... but not everywhere; the Irish code in 1777 still allowed the seconds an option to exchange shots. Lord Shrewsbury must have asked his kinsman, Sir John Talbot (of Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, Long Acre, Westminster, and Salwarpe, Worcestershire, MP), to second in the duel. He probably also asked Bernard Howard, a son of the Earl of Arundel, or maybe Sir John asked him. Both seconds survived the fight and Sir John fought for James II in the Monmouth rebellion (1685), after which he had a military career and continued as MP; he died in 1714. However, one of Villiers's seconds, Capt. William Jenkins was killed on the spot ... perhaps by the soldierly Sir John?
About Saturday 7 January 1659/60
In Central and Eastern Europe cabbage and cucumbers are fermented in salt and eaten through winter. They are very nutritious.
Cabbage stores very well. I think turnips and swedes do too, as do beetroot and carrots. The Spanish introduced potatoes to Europe in the second half of the 16th century, so they probably ate them in Sam's London and potatoes are rich in vitamin C. I wonder if vegetables were pickled at that time?
David Gurliacci, thanks for the interesting thread on the work Pepys may have been doing for E. Montagu and all the complicated and intertwining possibilities of intentions the other parties may have had. It really opens up this short diary entry.
About Sunday 1 January 1659/60
I've been reading the diary for many months now and, after initially feeling bewildered in the 17th century world of daily events, common phrases and puzzling encounters with people great and small, have arrived at the date of 10 November 1667, the second half of my reading done on this site (the first, on my Kindle). Thanks to this website, my understanding of Pepys's London soared; I now feel at home in his world, and very involved in its joys and troubles. I've also become aware that when I began to read the entries, I was so overwhelmed that I missed a lot as there were no annotations or explanations on the Kindle (I did a bit of researching myself, discovered a few things, and as I was doing this stumbled upon this wonderful website). So now I'm reading the first entries again, and the annotations, to make up for my loss. Thank you, Phil, and everybody who contributed to it!
About William Symons
an underclerk at the Council of State (until early 1660)