Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Dick Wilson has posted 138 annotations/comments since 18 February 2013.
The most recent…
About Sunday 27 October 1661
I believe that in this context, "engrossing" means "Monopolizing". The Navy Board approves contracts with vendors; they accept kick-backs from the vendors, or are themselves the silent partners of the vendors -- but all for the purpose of seeing to it that His Majesty gets the best value for his money, of course.
About Wednesday 21 August 1661
I do not understand why Will Joyce is angry. It sounds like he was being paid to mourn Aunt Fenner, but not paid enough. Could that be the case? Why would anybody pay him, and his brother, anything?
About Monday 19 August 1661
Poor Aunt Fenner!
About Friday 28 June 1661
Pepys never mentions Elizabeth's name. Re-purposing "the Nursery" is a sign that they may be giving up on having children. The diary is recording, bit by bit, the slow crumbling of their marriage. Pepys takes pride in Elizabeth, especially when she is the prettiest girl in the room, but it seems to be somewhat of a pride of possession. The idea of partnership was alien to the age, and to both of them.
About Tuesday 21 May 1661
I just Googled "Stetson Hats". They have one priced at $1,000 and several in the $200 range. Ninety pounds would be about $145. Expensive? Yes. Extravagant? Certainly, but maybe not so unheard of as one might think. Me? I have a brown fedora, a cross between Indiana Jones and Phil Hartman, but older than both of theirs.
About Monday 6 May 1661
Re David Smith's 2004 post: If memory serves, Jefferson freed only 5 of the approximately 150 people he owned.
About Friday 29 March 1661
I would have assumed, that had the King or Duke wished to dispatch two vessels upon His Majesty's Secret Service, that the entire Navy Board would have been consulted, and fully informed from the outset. I presume that the admiralty would prepare the sailing orders for the Captains, select the captains, and the ships. But the Board should know full details, so they can provide follow-on forces, replacements, supply ships, whatever the mission requires. This procedure does not bode well, for this or future operations.
About Wednesday 27 March 1661
I like these descriptive collectives. Why not 'A noise of children in the house', or 'A noise of family come to call'.
About Friday 8 March 1660/61
"Homely" is one of those words that can get you in trouble in a hurry. British English: Warm, friendly, comfortable, familiar, pleasant. American English: Plain, drab, dull, uninteresting, slapped upside the head with a ugly stick. So to say of a woman, that she is homely, can be a high compliment or a low insult. Handle with care.
About Friday 15 February 1660/61
Diana's question defies accurate answer, so here's a try at an inaccurate one. Using Vincent's price of 2 pounds 10 and 3 per (troy) ounce of gold in Sam's day, his 350 pounds could have bought 139.3 ounces. That could be sold today (Feb. 2014) for $183,416.31 in US Dollars. That's a good solid base of savings for an upper middle class household, but nowhere near enough for retirement. Also, the US did not really have a national currency until the Lincoln Administration. Prior to that, every bank printed its own money.