Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
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SLOPS, a wide Sort of Breeches worn by Seamen.---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.
About Sunday 24 November 1661
QUART, an English Measure, the fourth Part of a Gallon.GALLON [of Wine,] a measure containing eight Pints, or 231 solid inches.---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.
"The wine gallon contains 231 cubic inches.""A gallon dry measure contains 268 4/5 cubic inches.""The Ale Gallon contains 282 cubic or solid inches."---A New System of Arithmetic. C.G. Burnham, 1841.
So, by Sasha's information above, a wine gallon is 4.62 x (231/282) litres = 3.78 liters. And a "quart of sack" (in Pepys's day) was .95 litres. Since an American quart is .946 litres, Sasha and bw have it exactly right. A wine gallon (or quart) in Pepys' day is the same as an American gallon (or quart).
The Burnham book (1841) makes no mention of an imperial gallon. Also an imperial gallon is 277.42 cubic inches.
Note that a "quart of sack" (at .95 litre) is not too much more than the standard .75 litre wine bottle of today.
About John Fountaine
FOUNTAINE, JOHN (1600-1671), commissioner of the great seal, 1659-60; barrister, Lincoln's Inn, 1629; imprisoned for refusing to pay the parliament's war tax, 1642; assisted in forming royalist association of western counties, 1645; pardoned, 1652, and placed upon parliamentary commissions; serjeant-at-law, 1658.---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.
About Sir Richard Browne (a)
BROWNE, Sir RICHARD (1605-1683), diplomatist; educated at Merton College, Oxford; travelled in France; clerk of the council, 1641-72; resident at the French court for Charles I and Charles II, 1641-60; provided in Paris a chapel for Anglican services, a home for Anglican divines, and a cemetery for protestants; created baronet, 1649; returned to England, 1660.---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.
About John Downes
DOWNES, JOHN (fl. 1666), regicide; sat for Arundel in the Long parliament, 1642; prevailed upon, partly against his will, to sign Charles I's death-warrant; member of the council of state, 1651 and 1659; commissioner for the revenue, 1659; arrested (1660) for his share in the execution of Charles I, and kept a close prisoner in Newgate.---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.
About Lt-Gen. Charles Fleetwood
FLEETWOOD, CHARLES (d. 1692), parliamentarian soldier; admitted at Gray's Inn, 1638; one of Essex's bodyguard, 1642; wounded at first battle of Newbury when captain, 1643; appointed receiver of the court of wards forfeited by his royalist brother, Sir William, 1644; commanded regiment of horse in the new model at Naseby, 1645; M.P., Marlborough, 1646; took leading part in quarrel between army and parliament, 1647, on side of former; joint-governor of Isle of Wight, 1649: lieutenant-general of horse at Dunbar, 1650; member of the third council of state (1651) and commander of the forces in England before Worcester, where he did good service; married as his second wife Cromwell's eldest daughter (Bridget), the widow of Ireton, 1652; named commander-in-chief in Ireland, where in 1654-7 he was also lord-deputy; after the first year came to England and only nominally filled the office; recalled on account of his partiality to the anabaptists; one of the Protector's council, 1654; major-general of the eastern district, 1655; a member of Cromwell's House of Lords, 1656; nominal supporter of Richard Cromwell; headed the army's opposition to the parliament; commander-in-chief, 1659; failed to make terms with General Monck; and at the Restoration was incapacitated for life from holding office.---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.
From King Lear:
FOOL: Let me hire him too: here's my coxcomb. [Offering KENT his cap]
About Monday 18 November 1661
"I saw the quiristers in their surplices going to prayers, and a few idle poor people and boys to hear them, which is the first time I have seen them, and am sorry to see things done so out of order"
Four months ago, on 15 July 1661, Sam saw "scholars in their surplices" which he found "a strange sight." Perhaps he just hasn't adjusted yet to surplices. (Or even to prayer services on Monday mornings.)
CHANCERY, a Court of Equity and Conscience, moderating the Severity of other Courts that are more strictly tied to the Rigour of the Law ---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.
About Saturday 4 January 1661/62
"and much correspondence there has been between our two families all this Christmas"
CORRESPONDENCE, holding mutual Intelligence, Commerce, and Familiarity with; also an answering, fitting, agreeing, or Proportion of one Thing with another. ---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.