Annotations and comments

Bryan has posted 34 annotations/comments since 1 April 2013.

The most recent…


About Saturday 2 May 1663

Bryan  •  Link

Why would "pricklouse" be a term of contempt for a tailor? Here's a suggestion.
Skilled tailors, presumably like SP's father, made clothes from clean, new cloth. However the poorest, least skilled tailors repaired worn out, lice-infested clothes and would literally prick a louse or two while sewing. So the insult comes not from being called a tailor but an incompetent tailor good for nothing more than repairing used clothing.

About Thursday 2 April 1663

Bryan  •  Link

"It's a pity Sam wasn't able to nip it in the bud here ... he certainly seems to be trying."

I somehow think that Capt. Holmes wasn't the type of guy who would allow his bud to be nipped. The title of Richard Ollard's biography of Holmes was "Man of War". Here's an excerpt from the back cover: "Adventurous, energetic, combative and unscrupulous, Robert Holmes first attracted the attention of Prince Rupert as a young cavalry officer in the Civil War. As a Royalist exile, he accompanied the Prince first into the French service and then, in one of the strangest and most romantic episodes in naval history, on a cruise that carried the Royalist colors -- no longer flying in England -- to Portugal, the Mediterranean, West Africa and the West Indies."

About Sunday 22 March 1662/63

Bryan  •  Link

" ... my wife and I and her woman by coach to Westminster, ..."

It's a safe assumption that "her woman" refers to Ms Ashwell, for example from two weeks previous on March 15 "Up and with my wife and her woman Ashwell the first time to church, ..."

SP indicated his state of mind during the day: "This day though I was merry enough ...". SP regularly records things not going quite to plan without any indication of annoyance. Today for example, too early for the christening, so a quick coach ride to Chelsea to get some fresh air. It was probably just an accepted part of life.

About Thursday 19 March 1662/63

Bryan  •  Link

From the Online Etymology Dictionary
betimes (adv.)
"at an early period," early 14c., from betime (c. 1300, from be- + time) + adverbial genitive -s.


word-forming element with a wide range of meaning: "thoroughly, completely; ...
Be- can also be privative (as in behead), causative, or have just about any sense required. The prefix was productive 16c.-17c. in forming useful words, many of which have not survived, such as bethwack "to thrash soundly" (1550s), betongue "to assail in speech, to scold" (1630s).

I wonder, did Sam ever rise betimes to betongue and bethwack his errant boy?

About Tuesday 3 March 1662/63

Bryan  •  Link

"And here Mrs. The. shewed me my name upon her breast as her Valentine, which will cost me 20s."

Yes, the precocious daughter is definitely Theophila (The).
Why the expense? St Valentine's day often involved the exchange of small gifts, sometimes gloves. And sometimes (for a favorite coz) lots of gloves.
I think it's safe to assume that SP was referring to the front of The's dress rather than part of her anatomy.

About Wednesday 31 December 1662

Bryan  •  Link

A small correction above: " William, my clerk" links to William Howe. It should link to Will Hewer.

A very happy new year to Phil and all annotators and lurkers.

About Wednesday 3 December 1662

Bryan  •  Link

"He may be, by comparison, or is he just blowing his own horn?"
Louise, surely history has given us a clear answer to that question.