Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Bill has posted 2661 annotations/comments since 9 March 2013.
The most recent…
About Tuesday 22 March 1663/64
I'm surprised Wheatley let any of this entry through, quite risque.
"My dear, I don't care what they do, so long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses."
About Wednesday 16 March 1663/64
Puppy, (an abusive word) Un sot, un maraut, un fat. [a fool, a rascal, a silly fop]---The Royal Dictionary Abridged ...: French and English. English and French. A. Boyer, 1755.
"Dr. Pepys, the puppy"
PUPPY, … also an unexperienced raw Fellow ---An universal etymological English dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.
About Birchin Lane
Bircbin Lane, from CORNHILL, opposite the east end of the Royal Exchange, to Lombard Street.
Then have ye Birchover Lane, so called of Birchover, the first builder and owner thereof, now corruptly called Birchin Lane. . . . This lane and the high street near adjoining hath been inhabited for the most part with wealthy drapers.— Stow, p. 75.
As is frequently the case, Stow appears to be wrong in his etymology. The earliest known mention of the place is in a Record of 1301, where it is called Bercheneres Lane on Cornhill. In 19 Edward III. (1345), one "Byndo of Florence, a Lombard, was taken at the suit of John de Croydone, servant of John atte Bell, vintner, with the mainour of six silver cups, and half of a broken cup, stolen in Berchemers Lane in the ward of Langebourne in London. . . . The jury say, upon their oath, that the said Byndo is guilty of the felony aforesaid. Therefore he is to be hanged" The original name was, no doubt, Birchener's and not Birchover's Lane. In a document of the 15th century it is written Berchers Lane. Ascham speaks of "a common proverb of Birching Lane." To send a person to Birching Lane has an obvious meaning; and to "return by Weeping Cross" was a joke of kindred origin.
Birchin Lane is a place of considerable trade, especially for men's apparel, the greatest part of the shopkeepers being salesmen.—R.B., in Strype, B. ii. p. 150.
It was a great mart for ready-made clothes as early as the end of the 16th century.---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
About Monday 25 April 1664
"a bird...from the East Indys, black the greatest part, with the finest collar of white about the neck; but talks many things and neyes like the horse, and other things, the best almost that ever I heard bird in my life."
The description is insufficient to enable the bird to be determined with certainty, but Professor Newton informs the editor that it is most likely to have been a grackle of some kind. The Gracula religiosa, or mina, has a yellow collar, is easily tamed, and learns to talk and whistle with great facility. Professor Newton kindly contributes the following two interesting quotations, showing that minas were brought from India early in the eighteenth century; and he believes that, as the mina is a favourite cage-bird in India, it was brought over as soon as direct trade with that country was established. One of the earliest figures of the bird is by Eleazer Albin ("Natural History of Birds," vol. ii., pi. 38), in 1738, who writes: "This bird imitates a human voice, speaking very articulately. I drew this bird at Mr. Mere's coffee-house in King Street, Bloomsbury. Sir Hans Sloan had one of these birds that spoke very prettily, which he presented to Her Majesty Queen Carolina. They are brought from East India." George Edwards ("Natural History of Uncommon Birds," vol. i., pi. 17), whose plate is dated September 25th, 1740, gives two figures, one from a bird he saw at a dealer's in White Hart Yard, in the Strand, and the other from a bird which belonged to Dr. George Wharton, treasurer of the College of Physicians, adding: "For whistling, singing, and talking, it is accounted in the first rank, expressing words with an accent nearer human than parrots, or any other bird usually taught to talk. They are said to come from the Island of Borneo, and 'tis likely they come from thence and the adjacent parts. They are brought to us by the India Company's ships."---Wheatley, 1904.
About Tuesday 19 April 1664
“where I first saw orange-trees”
John Evelyn mentions in his Diary (Sept. 25th, 1679) the excellence of the China oranges grown on his own trees, and later on he writes: "20 September, 1700. I went to Beddington, the ancient seate of the Carews, heretofore adorned with ample gardens and the first orange trees that had been seen in England planted in the open ground." William Bray, the editor, says that oranges were eaten in this kingdom in the time of King James I., if not earlier, as appears by the accounts of a student in the Temple, which he had seen.---Wheatley, 1904.
About Wednesday 13 April 1664
“Then to talk of our business with the Dutch; he tells me fully that he believes it will not come to a warr”
Among the State Papers is a news letter (dated July 14th, 1664) containing information as to the views of the Dutch respecting a war with England. "They are preparing many ships, and raising 6,000 men, and have no doubt of conquering by sea." "A wise man says the States know how to master England by sending moneys into Scotland for them to rebel, and also to the discontented in England, so as to place the King in the same straits as his father was, and bring him to agree with Holland" ("Calendar," 1663-64, p. 642).---Wheatley, 1904.
About Michiel Adriaanszoon de Ruyter
A current web site for the National Maritime Museum portrait: http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/object...
About Triennial Parliaments Act 1664
April 5th, 1664. In compliance with the King's expressed wish "the House immediately set about repealing the obnoxious Triennial Bill, which they stigmatized as derogatory to the prerogative of the Crown, and as a short compensation prepared another short one, which provided that parliaments should not be intermitted above three years" (Cobbett's " Parliamentary History," vol. iv., col. 292).---Wheatley, 1904.
About Monday 28 March 1664
“I walked through the house with him for an hour in St. James’s fields”
St. James's Fields consisted of an open space west of the Haymarket, and north of Pall Mall, now occupied by St. James's Square and the adjacent streets. The square was planned about this time by the Earl of St. Albans.---Wheatley, 1904.