Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Cara has posted 4 annotations/comments since 15 May 2014.
The most recent…
About Saturday 15 June 1661
Hi the banks do still weigh coins even now in the UK although I have no idea how they cope with the amount of counterfeit coins there are in the system which routinely do not work in slot machines (eg the ones at car parks where they just drop down and won't register) I wonder if there were counterfeit coins in Pepys' time. There were certainly counterfeit jewels. In 1604, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths heard that one of their number, Thomas Sympson of Cheapside, had been counterfeiting stones and setting them in gold. The wardens undertook a search of Sympson's house, where they found a large quantity of stones held to be 'of greate value which he privately shewed to divers of the Company affirming them to be right whereas in truthe they were counterfett and of noe worth'. There was an inquiry. The Court Minutes for Friday 8 October 1608 provide an account of their findings. The wardens discovered that Sympson had employed 7 jewellers and lapidaries to make a large number of, 'cristalls and other stones of noe worth to be cut after severall fashions. He had found a way to dye the crystals in artificial colours and by great cunning had transformed them to look like balas rubies of great price, which 'very probably might passé for stones upwards of £7000 to £8000'. Sympson intended to send the stones to 'forren Countryes' & had already approached Sir Thomas Lawe, the governor of the Turkey Company, for this very purpose. Sympson's counterfeits had brought great 'disgrace and discredit...indignitie and scandall' to the Goldsmith's Company. Even more grave, when it emerged that some of the forgeries had been taken to Robert Cecil, by this time lord treasurer of England who had referred the matter to the Company. The Beadle was sent to summon Sympson to Goldsmith's Hall. He refused to go, making, 'slanderous and irreverent and insuffereable speeches,' when the wardens lost their temper and made a grab for Sympson, he made a 'violent escape.' He seems to have got away with it, as he continued in his trade and was eventually appointed one of 'Her Majesties' jewellers. I am indebted to Hazel Forsyth's book, 'The Cheapside Hoard, London's Lost Jewels'. As Senior Curator at the Museum of London she has written this excellent companion to the recent exhibition at the Museum of London on the buried hoard of Elizabethan and Early Stuart jewellery discovered buried at Cheapside, and very pretty they were too (even the forgeries!)
About Tuesday 14 May 1661
You may well be right Sasha, and Samuel is obviously pleased in his social climbing that although Creed is mentioned, he's definitely not a favourite or, by the sounds of it, likely to become one. Samuel must often have felt his position was precarious and any affirmation of his place within the hierarchy is worth a diary mention.
About Sunday 12 May 1661
Also, on pattens, Thomas Hardy regularly refers to characters wearing them in his novels
They still pack abscesses even now with concertina'd lint, doesn't seem the process has changed much.I think it's very touching that Samuel would have performed such an intimate and frankly unpleasant task for his wife. He must have loved her very much! Also, it's not so long ago that people routinely walked long distances and thought it was the norm. My grandfather thought nothing of walking seven miles or so to work then back again to save the price of a tram ticket in the thirties.