Annotations and comments

Mary K has posted 989 annotations/comments since 9 March 2007.

The most recent…


About Friday 12 August 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Note for newer annotators.

It's almost always worthwhile reading the annotations that others have been making over the past 10 years before adding one's most recent thoughts and observations. Sometimes one can correct or expand an earlier note in light of more recent or more thorough research. On other occasions one may simply repeat or overlook a point that has already been noted.

In addition to showing the daily annotations, Phil has supplied us with an extremely useful Encyclopedia facility which draws together information into useful categories of specific interest.

About Friday 24 June 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Chiddingstone Castle/Barbara Villiers portrait?

Further to my 10-year-old annotation, Chiddingstone Castle in Kent is now open to the public on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays and Bank Holidays. The Stuart collections are certainly worth a visit as are the other memorabilia housed here.

About Tuesday 7 June 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Elizabeth's ailments.

This is a subject that has been much discussed by annotators in previous years. Do look at the Encyclopaedia and In-Depth sections for relevant history.

About Sunday 22 May 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Dr. Johnson commented more weightily on cucumbers.

"It has been a common saying of physicians in England, that a cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing."

About Monday 23 May 1664

Mary K  •  Link

a trip out for Elizabeth.

It's late May in the south of England, the weather is getting warmer, the streets, paths and byways provide cleaner walking (despite today's sudden and unexpected rain) and a little trip down the river likely to be more appealing than a chillier trip in earlier months of the year.

About Tuesday 3 May 1664

Mary K  •  Link

I cannot be the only wife for whom this little vignette recalls memories of the many times one has had to take a gravy- or sauce-besplattered tie to the dry cleaners. At least Sam's bands won't have been made of silk.

About Sunday 1 May 1664

Mary K  •  Link

"playing as it were leisurely..."

Perhaps treating the whole trip down the river as if it were simply an outing for pleasure UNTIL Deptford is reached and work calls for Samuel's attention. Presumably he was killing two birds with one stone - a call at the yard, preceded by a nice little outing for Elizabeth.

About Saturday 16 April 1664

Mary K  •  Link

my wife and Besse gone over the water......

At various points over the years annotators have referred to Elizabeth Pepys as "Bess" - jokingly adopting a familiar diminutive of her Christian name. The fact that the maid is called Besse by Pepys could lead one to infer that if indeed Elizabeth ever acquires a diminutive name from her husband, it is probably not Bess. Whether either Samuel or Elizabeth habitually used any kind of 'pet' names for one another remains a moot point; it was most common for married couple to address one another simply as "husband" and "wife".

(By the 18th century we find couples addressing one another as "Mr. X....." or "Mrs. X...." and this fashion persisted well into the 19th century, particularly in the case of wives addressing their husbands).

About Wednesday 6 April 1664

Mary K  •  Link

"the other side of the water"

This will surely have been Southwark, the other side of the Thames from the City of London. In the mid 17th century it was still an area with a very dubious reputation; somewhere where an unwanted child could easily be "lost." As well as its continuing popularity as an area for bull-baiting, bear-baiting etc. (and the concomitant activities of gambling, thuggery and robbery) it was also viewed by the city authorities as a "nest of fanatiques" much favoured by foreign immigrants of uncertain political aims. In 1664 there was a proposal that a new bridge should be constructed across the Thames so as to enable the soldiery more rapid access to the south bank of the Thames for the quick suppression of "sectaries."

About Wednesday 23 March 1663/64

Mary K  •  Link

I doubt the Montagu girls went to Tom's funeral as well, not least because women in general simply did not attend funerals; it was "not done." Funeral observance was man's business. This aspect of social etiquette persisted into the 19th century.