Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Sasha Clarkson has posted 499 annotations/comments since 16 February 2013.
The most recent…
About Saturday 5 December 1663
Charcoal burns hotter than coal or wood, so its easier to get an updraught in a chimney if the weather conditions are encouraging the smoke to blow back down.
About Friday 4 December 1663
14th December Gregorian. Although there's no standardised time, local time in London will be close enough to modern GMT, so sunrise will be around 7:59am, and sunset at about 15:51. Sam's earliest sunset would have been about 4 days ago, but sunrise will continue to get later until 31st December Gregorian, 21st (Sam's) Julian Calendar, when it will rise around 8:06am.
Although Earth's Perihelion is about six days earlier in Sam's day, the (Gregorian) sunset/sunrise times would be almost the same as those today
About Monday 30 November 1663
Pepys is understandably anxious about Sandwich's attitude still. Whatever his public demeanour, at time Sam delights in torturing himself with his worries. However, he is worrying too much. Sandwich has spoken to Pepys about the matter, and that's the end of it, whatever annoyance inevitably lingers.
Sam's defence is that he was reporting public gossip back to his patron, as he felt it was damaging to him. Will Howe however has had it in the neck, because he is a member of Sandwich's household, and M'Lord (rightly) suspects that Howe has been talking of his own private matters and movements to Pepys, and maybe others too, a breach of trust in a servant. Howe may well be somewhat aggrieved because Pepys did *not* discuss the letter with him, or warn him, before he sent it, and hence the subsequent fallout was an unwelcome surprise. So Howe is passing some of his own misery on to Pepys with a version of the conversation, no doubt edited to exclude Sandwich's supplementary questions on the lines of: "Who else did you tell?"
About Friday 27 November 1663
"Elizabeth probably did as much as the maydes did"
There's no evidence for this, and it's doubtful.
1) You don't keep dogs and bark yourself - and I doubt Sam would permit it: It would look bad if he brought visitors home.2) Elizabeth is ill and in pain at the moment.3) Her difficult relations with female staff don't suggest a preference for solidarity with the sisterhood!
About Sunday 29 November 1663
Despite Batten's "good estate", he still lives above his means, and dies broke, leaving Lady B in some straits. Of course, this might be because Sam, Coventry & Carteret limit his corruption.
£770 would not last Elizabeth long if Sam died, nor would it provide a marriage portion for Pall, nor help keep young John at Cambridge or give him a start in life.
BTW, it's been my "poor" wife this last week or so because she's ill. She's either not well enough yet to go to church, and/OR, she's heard via the servants' grapevine that Lady B is going. Elizabeth detests Lady B, and avoids her, to avoid giving her the respect Lady B thinks she's due, because of her social position as wife of a knight.
About Saturday 28 November 1663
I wonder if one paid a fee to borrow the book?
About Tuesday 24 November 1663
It was 46-47 years ago, reading Robert Heinlein's 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress', that I first discovered that an insurer is fundamentally the same as a bookie. As a young teenager, I was somewhat outraged at the thought, but I could not find a counter-argument.
The practices which helped cause the 2008 financial crisis provided yet more corroboration of Heinlein's hypothesis.
About Sunday 22 November 1663
The Killigrew family was of Cornish origin, associated with Pendennis Castle, near Falmouth. Many years ago I read an excellent historical novel, 'Grove Of Eagles', about the family by Winston Graham, of Poldark fame. Graham's historical research was always meticulous. I'm very tempted to scout the online bookshops and see whether I can get a copy for my collection.
About Friday 20 November 1663
If anyone is interested in finding out more about Archangel, and its historical importance to Russia, I'd strongly recommend the following, very moving, book. (Personally I tend to read the Amazon reviews and buy elsewhere, as they neither treat their employees well nor pay their taxes - *or* see if it's available in your public library!)
About Wednesday 18 November 1663
Look up Crutched Friars on Google maps: it's literally round the corner from the navy office in Seething Lane. Having tramped the streets there, I'd guess Will's new lodgings are two -three minutes walk, max, from Sam's.