Annotations and comments

San Diego Sarah has posted 763 annotations/comments since 6 August 2015.

The most recent…


About Sunday 12 June 1664

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"The Office patronage of Thomas by the officers still in London that I take it Sir J. Mennes envisions is perhaps appropriate, ..."

My reading of this situation is that William Griffith invited Pepys, Mennes and Lady Batton to stand as Godparents for Thomas.

After the invitations had been dispatched (and Elizabeth told that they would be attending the christening), Mennes told Griffith that it wasn't appropriate for Pepys to be one (probably because he isn't the social equal of Batten and Mennes), and Griffith "so sought for other." Pepys therefore decided not to attend the christening (not to embarrass the Griffiths, whatever) but Bess didn't get the memo and still planned on going.

The annotations mention Sir William Batten possibly having a ward named William Griffith. Therefore, having Lady B as the Godmother would make sense.

In answer to Terry's question, today Anglicans have three godparents. Girls have two Godmothers and one Godfather. Boys get two Godfathers and one Godmother. It sounds as if things haven't changed in 400 years. They can be relatives or close friends of the parents: people trusted to look out for the child's best interests if/when necessary (and to remember your birthday, Christmas, confirmation and wedding).

About Sunday 22 May 1664

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Larry -- check out the encyclopedia, and you'll find lots of annotations on fruits and veggies. Plus earlier in the Diary we had lots of recipes and cookery book references. The problem was finding fresh veggies, especially in London. The gentry had it shipped in from their estates. People like Pepys -- well, he had friends in the victualing business, didn't he. "Arrangements" were doubtless made.

About Tuesday 7 June 1664

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


In early modern England, the Operative Free Masons made certain Inns their headquarters.

When an Inn was selected as the Free Mason's center, the Arms of the Fraternity, carved and painted upon a board (4 ft. by 3 ft.) was placed over the door of the building.

It paid Innkeepers to cater to the Free Masons as by the regulations they were obliged to stay at a "Lodge Free Mason's Arms" if there was one in the district, so the Brethren and Fellows could "bear witness they were in an honest place and with civil company."

Free Masons were forbidden to haunt Taverns, Inns or Ale houses, or to play Cards, Dice, Tables or any other unlawful game, nor was he to absent himself from the service of his masters day or night.

The Innkeeper of every Free Mason's Arms was sworn as a Serving Brother, so he could enter the lodge. His wife was sworn as a "Mason's Dame" so she could serve in the lodge as a waitress when required.

At all the "Arms" Inns, the Free Masons required at least two bedrooms or wards be provided for the sole use of Fraternity members -- one ward for the seniors and one for the juniors, and the regulations made the Masons of highest rank in the respective wards responsible that the brethren kept order.

The "Mason's Dame" might enter the wards, whenever necessary, to act as a nurse to any Mason who was ill, or had met with an accident, and her conduct was specially provided for in her "oath."

Upon all the main roads of the country over which parties of Operative Masons journeyed to obtain work, a "Lodge Free Masons' Arms" existed about every 16 to 20 miles.

For instance, "The Free Mason's Arms" in Burley's Lane, Leicester, where for many years an important Lodge met every evening in the week and at noon every Saturday.

There were many others Mason's Arms nearby, e.g. "The Free Mason's Arms", Market Harborough, the "Mason's Arms," Donisthorpe, the Birch Tree, Bardon Hill, and the Red House, Coalville.

The Fosse Road was the main route from Lincoln to the West of England, and many parties of Free Masons journeyed from Barton-on-Humber to Bristol and the west for business.

Old prints show the eaves of the "Free Mason's Arms" projected nearly 3 feet over the walls. Above the porch, partly hiding one of the windows, was the Sign-board on which were the Arms of the Worshipful of the Free Masons of Westminster, and the words "Lodge 80."

The reason for mentioning Westminster is that the Operative Free Masons for the Division from the Thames to Barton-on-Humber, and South of the River Trent (except the city of London and a few Lodges in Leicestershire) were ruled by the Grand Lodge meeting at the Rummer and Grapes Tavern, Westminster.

An illustration of the Lodge on the Wolds, dated 1701, shows a wing had been added, indicating their increased level of business.

About Tuesday 7 June 1664

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sick care -- from:

Sick Servants in Early Modern Britain -- January 11, 2017 ~ by DR ALUN WITHEY

In early modern Britain the family provided both physical medicines and care. The burden usually fell on women, and involved extra washing, preparing medicines, etc. Men were the gatherers of remedies, but early modern medical literature didn’t prepare them when forced into a caring role when their wives fell sick.

What when servants fell sick? As Pepys says in his diary: “I lived in Axe Yard, having my wife and servant Jane, and no more family than us three”. Jane was fully part of the Pepys family.

It paid to treat sick servants, so they returned to work fast. In large houses an outbreak of sickness could be disastrous.

From work on early modern medicine in Wales:

William Davies of Clytha, Monmouthshire's accounts show he hired a boy, William Prosser in May 1718. Prosser received pocket money. Davies records giving Prosser 6 shillings to visit Usk Fair, and gave 2 shillings for the boy to play cards. Davies paid for new stockings and shoe repair, and allowed Prosser time off to visit his sick sister. Davies noted how long Prosser was sick, and like a modern employer, Davies provided sickpay: “June ye 15th I gave you one shilling when you were sick’. Was this the norm, or was Prosser lucky?

The probate inventory of Cardiff laborer William Cozens shows in his last illnes he lived in his employer's house, receiving care. Cozens was a laborer; he did not usually live with the family.

Gentry household accounts show the routine provision of medicines for sick servants. The accounts of Lord Herbert, 9th Earl of Pembroke, show the remedies ordered from London apothecary John Jackson -- from 1744 - 1747 there were 848 prescriptions, including ones for servants, the ‘coachman’ and a ‘housemaid’.

A Chirk Castle coachman received a ‘botle of physic from Dr. Puleston’, and when the ‘boy Thomas was swoll’n under the chin’ the accounts show payment for a man to fetch the Wrexham apothecary.

Employers who failed to care for their servants were denounced as ‘cursed and hard-hearted persons’ whose threshold the prospective servant should be wary to cross. Preachers like William Perkins said it was ‘Christian duty’ to care for a servant who ‘In time of his service be sick’.

Some were not so sympathetic. Thomas Ffoulkes of Holywell, Flintshire, kept tabs on his maid. In January 1724 he noted “she went rambling home several other times” suggesting Margaret was pulling a ‘sickie’.

Sick servants were often recipients of generous care. As part of the family, this might be expected. But they were employees, reliant on the goodwill of their masters and mistresses. If no one else was available, how did it feel for the mistress to tend her sick cook?

About Monday 6 June 1664

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"So by water with Mr. Gauden and others to see a ship hired by me for the Commissioners of Tangier, and to give order therein."

So Alderman Gauden is gathering provisions to ship to Tangier in this unscheduled dispatch. I assume this unexpected departure is justified by sending out Teviot's replacement, whoever that may be.

About Sunday 5 June 1664

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... but that being a little over I to bed again, and lay, and then up and to my office ..."

Been there: sick spouse finally stabilizes, so you go to bed, hoping to get a couple of hours of shut eye -- but instead lie there staring at the ceiling, waiting for the alarm to ring so you can go to work. Exhausting. At least Pepys has maydes to tend to Elizabeth during the day.

About Sunday 5 June 1664

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... but men are troubled to see their evil represented to them, though they glory and boast among their likes in the doing of it."

Maybe Rev. Josselin should read Mr. Spencer’s Book of Prodigys. Of course, we don't know who "men" refers to, or who is doing the representing, or what is considered "evil" ... but we can agree bad boys love to boast of their conquests to their peers.

About Sunday 5 June 1664

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"the King abused by infamous pictures. for which lewd courses give occasion, ..."

Do you think he is objecting to Lely's "Windsor Beauties"?

The Windsor Beauties are a famous collection of paintings by Sir Peter Lely, painted in the early to mid 1660s. They were originally housed in the Queen's bedchamber in Windsor Castle (hence the name Windsor Beauties).

Why would Charles II hang pictures of his girlfriends in Catherine's chambers? Seems unnecessarily unkind.

For more see

About Saturday 4 June 1664

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The reason the newsletter was addressed to Sir George Lane was that he was -- at least in March 1662 -- a Clerk in Ordinary to the Privy Council. The Privy Council was (and is) the senior official branch of the government of the UK¹.
Since Privy Council members are normally appointed for life I assume Sir George Lane was still there, and had the power to enforce the points enumerated.
¹ also of several ex-colonies.

more info at