Annotations and comments

Bill has posted 1947 annotations/comments since 9 March 2013.

The most recent…


About James Scott ("Mr Crofts", 1st Duke of Monmouth)

Bill  •  Link

SCOTT, JAMES (known as Fitzroy and as Crofts), Duke of Monmouth And Buccleuch (1649-1685), natural son of Charles II, by Lucy, daughter of Richard Walters of Haverfordwest; born at the Hague; entrusted on his mother's death to the care of Lord Crofts, as whose kinsman he passed; instructed in protestant religion; acknowledged by Charles II as his son, 1663, and made Baron Tyndale, Earl of Doncaster, Duke of Monmouth, and K.G.; married Anne Scott, countess of Buccleuch, and took surname of Scott, 1663; captain of Charles II’s lifeguard of horse, 1668; privy councillor, 1670; captain-general of Charles II's forces, 1670; served against Dutch, 1672 and 1673; chancellor of Cambridge University, 1674; served against the French at Ostend and Mons, 1678; identified himself with protestant movement in England; quelled insurrection which ensued in Scotland on murder of Archbishop Sharp, 1679; deprived of commission as general, in consequence of reaction in favour of Duke of York, and banished, 1679; retired to Holland, but returned immediately and was deprived of all offices; deprived of chancellorship of Cambridge, 1682; made progress through west of England, and was arrested at Taunton, but released on bail; joined Russell, Essex, and Sidney in plot to murder Charles II and Duke of York; in conjunction with Essex, Howard, Russell, Hampden, and Sidney arranged for risings in England and Scotland; was promised pardon, having revealed to Charles II all he knew of the conspiracy after its discovery, but was banished from the court; retired to Zealand, 1684; treated with marked respect by Prince of Orange, who, however, dismissed him on death of Charles II; arranged with Argyll and Ferguson expedition to England; landed at Lyme Regis, 11 June 1685, and claimed as 'head and captain-general of protestant forces of the kingdom' a ‘legitimate and legal' right to the crown; was proclaimed king at Taunton, 20 June; defeated by Feversham and Churchill at Sedgemoor, 5 July; escaped, but was captured; executed in the Tower of London, 15 July. Portraits of him by Lely and W. Wissing are in the National Portrait Gallery.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

About Tuesday 9 September 1662

Bill  •  Link

“things he takes notice of that he resolves to abridge me of”

ABRIDGED OF, Deprived of, debarred from.
3 Restraint, or abridgment of liberty.
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

About Monday 8 September 1662

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“my blinding his lights over his stairs”

LIGHTS, … in Architecture, they are the Windows or Openings in the Walls to let in the Air and Light.
---A new general English dictionary. T. Dyche, 1735.

About Saturday 6 September 1662

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“of which I eat but little, being almost cloyed”

to CLOY, to give one his fill, to glut.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

About New Palace Yard

Bill  •  Link

Palace Yard (New), the open space before the north entrance to Westminster Hall, so called from being the great court of the new palace begun by William II., of which Westminster Hall was the chief feature completed. The Clock-tower, long the distinguishing feature of New Palace Yard, was originally built, temp. Edward I., out of the fine imposed on Ralph de Hingham, Chief Justice of England. There is a capital view of it by Hollar. The great bell of the tower (Westminster Tom) was given by William III. to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's; and the metal of which it was made forms a part of the great bell of the Cathedral.
Before the Great Hall there is a large Court called the new Palace, where there is a strong tower of stone, containing a clock, which striketh on a great Bell every hour, to give notice to the Judges how the time passeth; when the wind is south-south-west, it may be heard unto any part of London, and commonly it presageth wet weather.—Howell's Londinopolis, fol. 1657, p. 378; and see Ned Ward, The London Spy, pt. 8.

---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

About Saturday 23 August 1662

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“then would take their child, which the nurse held in her armes, and dandle it”

to DANDLE, to fondle or make much of.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

About Friday 22 August 1662

Bill  •  Link

"that it was 10,000 to one it had not broke Captain Badily’s neck"

I too found this expression interesting and I'm sure the basic idea does come from gaming, though it's hard to imagine a game where this small a chance would appear. The modern mathematical theory of probability dates from the late 1650s when two famous French mathematicians, Pascal and Fermat, worked out the solution to a difficult dice problem.

Note that this year (1662) John Graunt published a work (Pepys noted it in March) that also is an important step in establishing the ideas of probability and statistical inference.

Graunt's 'Natural and political observations made upon the bills of mortality'

About Goody Lawrence

Bill  •  Link

When he and his brother Tom were children they lived with a nurse (Goody Lawrence) at Kingsland, and in after life Samuel refers to his habit of shooting with bow and arrow in the fields around that place.
---Wheatley, 1896