Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Sasha Clarkson has posted 160 annotations/comments since 16 February 2013.
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About Thursday 28 November 1661
Will Hewer gets a rareish mention today. Will lives wth Pepys at the moment of course, being the equivalent of a paid intern. Today's mention should remind us that Will is there, but that Pepys doesn't record everything in his diary: it's nowhere near a complete record of his life, merely those things he finds in some way remarkable (in the original meaning of the word).
As ye years pass, Will grows up and becomes much more valuable to Sam, and is correspondingly mentioned much more in the later years of the diary.
"... it being a fine moonshine night..."; this confirms what I posted a couple of days ago. Today is December 8th Gregorian: according to NASA's historical data, two days after the full moon. So close to the equinox, the nearly full moon will be high in the sky, like the sun in summer.
About Tuesday 26 November 1661
Yes - confirmed by NASA! :)http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/phase/phases1601.html
Ha - I've just played with the link above: if it is to be believed, and I don't see why not, there was a full moon for Pepys today!
Today is December 6th in the Gregorian Calendar, so, at the latitude of Seething lane (51°30'N - longitude 000°04'W), there would be just over eight hours of daylight, plus twilight depending upon the weather. So from about 3:30 - 4pm on, candles or lanterns would have been an absolute necessity for reading - or even for cutting bread or meat. BTW 04' means 4 minutes of arc, 4/60 = 1/15 degree west of Greenwich.
About Sunday 24 November 1661
A Imperial (British) quart today is 1.136 litres, a US quart is 0.946 litres. When and how the British and colonial measures diverged is another question.
In Pepys' day there were different measures for different goods. It seems that the American Gallon is the same as what used to be the "wine gallon", which implies that Pepys' company would have been drinking an American quart. The modern Imperial gallon of 4.54 litres was not defined until 1824, and was based on the older "ale gallon" of 4.62 litres.
St Clement's, Eastcheap was just round the corner for Pepys.
St Clement Danes is well away from where Pepys lived and socialised casually, being at the Westminster end of Fleet Street, almost in the Strand. I sang there with The King's College London Music Society during the 1970s. The bells do (very delightfully) chime 'Oranges and Lemons', but as both of the current churches are Wren churches replacing older ones, and the rhyme is much older, the eponymy of the rhyme is disputed!
About Saturday 23 November 1661
Re Cock/Cocke: what would the difference have been in the shorthand?
About Thursday 21 November 1661
The spelling of sirloin as surloyne is interesting, it corroborates the theory that the origin is from the old French "surlonge". It's also "rost" beef. I would love to hear how Sam actually pronounced these words.
About Wednesday 20 November 1661
The crucial thing about today's news is that it is "nothing ... but what Ned Pickering tells me". Pickering is currently a jealous poor relation, being Sandwich's brother "in law in law" via Sandwich's sister. His elder brother Gilbert was a regicide who had his bacon (and lands) saved by Sandwich obtaining a pardon for him. Ned's dubious gossip often has the flavour of anticipated Schadenfreude.
The important revenge, against the regicides, having already been taken, I don't buy that there is a Machiavellian plot by Charles to destroy all Commonwealth/Protectorate supporters. Some, like Sandwich's cousin Manchester, now Lord Chamberlain, had very illustrious careers under the restoration. However, the new court is a venial place; the way to the top is by flattery, bribery and backstabbery. Sandwich has always been a moderate, and is a bit too honourable to thrive in this environment; also, being abroad, he can't defend himself easily against intrigue.