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Sasha Clarkson has posted 536 annotations/comments since 16 February 2013.

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About Tuesday 23 February 1663/64

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"I pray God give me a heart to fear a fall, and to prepare for it!"

Well - wor Sammie has many faults, but hubris doesn't appear to be one of them. :D

About Saturday 20 February 1663/64

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

News of ships' arrival and departure was one of the more important topics of the gossip in the 'Change. The foreunner of the newspaper 'Lloyd's List', would make its first appearance around 1690, published by the eponymous owner of the famous coffee house nearby. Eventually, until 2013 when it moved to digital format, it became a daily publication available throughout the UK. Amongst other news it recorded the arrival and departure of ships in British ports.

In my own home town of Middlesbrough Lloyd's List was prominently displayed by newsagents in the port area, and in some of the poorer areas of the town. As grubby-minded schoolchildren we believed that it was popular with "ladies of negotiable affection" who were interested in ships' arrivals for business purposes.'s_List

About Wednesday 17 February 1663/64

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Long Acre: "It could not be that bad, me thinks..."

A feature of Cities is great wealth living in fairly close proximity to great poverty. Long Acre runs about half a kilometer long, from Great Queen St to St Martin's Lane. That's plenty long enough to have fashionable and unfashionable ends, or even two fashionable ends and an unfashionable middle. In those days, before the construction of Kingsway, Great Queen Street ran 350 metres or so (5 minute's walk) from Long Acre to Lincoln's Inn Fields, where M'Lords expensive new lodgings were situated. Great Queen Street itself began very well-to-do, with houses with 40 foot frontages, and still has some echoes of its former glories.

It's worth looking at the area on Google Maps, and taking a virtual walk around with Street View :)

About Monday 15 February 1663/64

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

'Whig' originated as an abbreviation of 'Whiggamore': thus both historical English party political labels originated as terms of abuse directed against poor rebels.

It is thought that Whiggamores were originally mare drivers, whose nickname derived from "the cry of Whiggam with which they encouraged their horses".

As for the historical origin of 'Tory', a friend sent me a postcard once with the definition, reproduced here:

"Tory. First quoted in The Irish State Papers, January 24, 1656, as 'tories and other lawless persons', - Irish 'toiridhe', 'tor', 'toruighe', lit. 'a (hostile) pursuer', hence, 'a plunderer'."

Nothing much has changed ;)

About Thursday 11 February 1663/64

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I think that Louise and Zexufang have the right of it re the hyperbole, but I also looked up 'hand to fist' in the 13 vol OED, and drew a blank.

However, it occurred to me that Sam might also have meant a jocular variation of 'hand to hand', meaning that he and Elizabeth were, playfully, almost fighting with each other as they grabbed at the meat.

Personal cutlery use was still rare in those days: according to Wikipedia, "most of Europe did not adopt use of the fork until the 18th century".

About Saturday 6 February 1663/64

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Hi Bill - in England, the Civil War was over by 1651, and although some troops would have been lost in Ireland, according to your figure the defeated Irish increased their population post 1650.

In 'History Of England Under The Stuarts', G M Trevellyan* quoted figures in the tens of thousands for English emigration to America in the early 1600s, but nothing for the later period.

Of course, the Great Plague of 1665-6 killed an estimated 200 000 people; smallpox and other diseases regularly culled town and city populations: this seems to have outweighed war, and emigration.

*Trevellyan quotes Justin Winsor's book linked below as the source of his statistics; I suspect that there's a lot more information there relevant to this discussion. :)

About Saturday 6 February 1663/64

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Thank you Bill :)
Interesting figures - what would have been the main factors in the English decline between 1650 and 1700?

As well as war, plague and any change in marital habits, this is the era when emigration to North America took off, for both political and economic reasons. It's difficult to find stats though ...