Monday 23 February 1662/63

Up by times; and not daring to go by land, did (Griffin going along with me for fear), slip to White Hall by water; where to Mr. Coventry, and, as we used to do, to the Duke; the other of my fellows being come. But we said nothing of our business, the Duke being sent for to the King, that he could not stay to speak with us. This morning came my Lord Windsor to kiss the Duke’s hand, being returned from Jamaica. He tells the Duke, that from such a degree of latitude going thither he begun to be sick, and was never well till his coming so far back again, and then presently begun to be well. He told the Duke of their taking the fort of St. Jago, upon Cuba, by his men; but, upon the whole, I believe that he did matters like a young lord, and was weary of being upon service out of his own country, where he might have pleasure. For methought it was a shame to see him this very afternoon, being the first day of his coming to town, to be at a playhouse. Thence to my Lord Sandwich, who though he has been abroad again two or three days is falling ill again, and is let blood this morning, though I hope it is only a great cold that he has got. It was a great trouble to me (and I had great apprehensions of it) that my Lord desired me to go to Westminster Hall, to the Parliament- house door, about business; and to Sir Wm. Wheeler, which I told him I would do, but durst not go for fear of being taken by these rogues; but was forced to go to White Hall and take boat, and so land below the Tower at the Iron-gate; and so the back way over Little Tower Hill; and with my cloak over my face, took one of the watermen along with me, and staid behind a wall in the New-buildings behind our garden, while he went to see whether any body stood within the Merchants’ Gate, under which we pass to go into our garden, and there standing but a little dirty boy before the gate, did make me quake and sweat to think he might be a Trepan. But there was nobody, and so I got safe into the garden, and coming to open my office door, something behind it fell in the opening, which made me start. So that God knows in what a sad condition I should be in if I were truly in the condition that many a poor man is for debt: and therefore ought to bless God that I have no such reall reason, and to endeavour to keep myself, by my good deportment and good husbandry, out of any such condition. At home I found Mr. Creed with my wife, and so he dined with us, I finding by a note that Mr. Clerke in my absence hath left here, that I am free; and that he hath stopped all matters in Court; I was very glad of it, and immediately had a light thought of taking pleasure to rejoice my heart, and so resolved to take my wife to a play at Court to-night, and the rather because it is my birthday, being this day thirty years old, for which let me praise God. While my wife dressed herself, Creed and I walked out to see what play was acted to-day, and we find it “The Slighted Mayde.” But, Lord! to see that though I did know myself to be out of danger, yet I durst not go through the street, but round by the garden into Tower Street. By and by took coach, and to the Duke’s house, where we saw it well acted, though the play hath little good in it, being most pleased to see the little girl dance in boy’s apparel, she having very fine legs, only bends in the hams, as I perceive all women do. The play being done, we took coach and to Court, and there got good places, and saw “The Wilde Gallant,” performed by the King’s house, but it was ill acted, and the play so poor a thing as I never saw in my life almost, and so little answering the name, that from beginning to end, I could not, nor can at this time, tell certainly which was the Wild Gallant. The King did not seem pleased at all, all the whole play, nor any body else, though Mr. Clerke whom we met here did commend it to us. My Lady Castlemaine was all worth seeing tonight, and little Steward. —[Mrs. Stuart]— Mrs. Wells do appear at Court again, and looks well; so that, it may be, the late report of laying the dropped child to her was not true. It being done, we got a coach and got well home about 12 at night. Now as my mind was but very ill satisfied with these two plays themselves, so was I in the midst of them sad to think of the spending so much money and venturing upon the breach of my vow, which I found myself sorry for, I bless God, though my nature would well be contented to follow the pleasure still. But I did make payment of my forfeiture presently, though I hope to save it back again by forbearing two plays at Court for this one at the Theatre, or else to forbear that to the Theatre which I am to have at Easter. But it being my birthday and my day of liberty regained to me, and lastly, the last play that is likely to be acted at Court before Easter, because of the Lent coming in, I was the easier content to fling away so much money. So to bed. This day I was told that my Lady Castlemaine hath all the King’s Christmas presents, made him by the peers, given to her, which is a most abominable thing; and that at the great ball she was much richer in jewells than the Queen and Duchess put both together.

69 Annotations

Terry F  •  Link

St Jago

I.e. Santiago (St James)

James masc. proper name, name of two of Christ's disciples, late 12c. M.E. vernacular form of L.L. Jacomus (cf. O.Fr. James, Sp. Jaime, It. Giacomo), altered from L. Jacobus (see Jacob). The Welsh form was Iago, the Cornish Jago.

"the Merchants’ Gate, under which we pass to go into our garden"

L&M note that the garden of the Navy Office "stretched eastward almost to Tower Hill, and a narrow tongue of ground from that Hill gave access to a gate in the garden wall." This was the back-entrance to the Navy Office garden that Sam'l used when sleeping in a spare room while his flat was being remodeled after Penn returned unexpected by all except Robert Gertz (as I recall it) from Ireland a few months ago.

jeannine  •  Link

"This day I was told that my Lady Castlemaine hath all the King’s Christmas presents, made him by the peers, given to her, which is a most abominable thing; and that at the great ball she was much richer in jewells than the Queen and Duchess put both together."
Davidson reports that (p 168) “It was at this New Year’s Eve ball [1662] that Lady Castlemaine’s blaze of costly jewels far outshone those worn by the Queen and the Duchess of York together, and that people told each other she had coaxed the King to hand over to her all the Christmas presents given in the usual custom by the peers. This old custom was soon after discontinued. Perhaps the peers hardly appreciated being made this involuntarily to contribute to the possessions of ‘the Lady”.”

chris  •  Link

Could someone please explain why Sam is in such a panic, and particularly the "Trepan" reference? Isn't it something to do with knocking holes in your skull?

language hat  •  Link

No, this is a different word.
A person who entraps or decoys others into actions or positions which may be to his advantage and to their ruin or loss.
1641 T. JORDAN Walks of Islington II. ii. If we had known you had been a Trapan, you should ne'r have been admitted into our company. 1653 (title) The Total Rout, or a Brief Discovery Of a Pack of Knaves and Drabs, intituled Pimps, Panders, Hectors, Trapans, Nappers, Mobs, and Spanners. [...] 1855 MACAULAY Hist. Eng. xvii. IV. 32 Old associates who had once thought him a man of.. spotless honour,.. hinted their suspicions that he had been from the beginning a spy and a trepan.

dirk  •  Link

Santiago -- Saint James

According to the Spanish tradition James, the apostle, came to Spain -- shortly after Christ's Ascension, to preach. He was buried there, and his grave was lost -- to be found again by the hermit Pelayo (to whom James appeared in a vision) in the 9th century. On 25 July 816 James's relics found their final resting place in what would later become the famous cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in north-east Spain -- even today a place of pilgrimage. The figure of James played an important part in the "reconquista" of Spain -- i.e. the fighting to reclaim Spanish territory from the Arabs, who were occupying most of the country in the Middle Ages. Saint James is said to have come back in person to lead several battles in person, which earned him the name of "Santiago Matamoros" (= "Saint James, Killer of Moors").

Info from:
(in German)

dirk  •  Link

"most pleased to see the little girl dance in boy’s apparel, she having very fine legs, only bends in the hams, as I perceive all women do"

A fine observer, our Samuel...

dirk  •  Link

Happy Birthday, Sam!

dirk  •  Link

Weather report (the Rev. Josselin's diary):

"and this 23. Feb. a little frost again:"

Bradford  •  Link

But just what does he mean, Dirk, by having "very fine legs, only ^bends^ in the hams"? Merriam-Webster offers this double primary definition for "ham":

1a: the hollow of the knee
1b: a buttock with its associated thigh---usu. used in pl.

That latter is the sense known to me; they're a very prominent portion of the American Mid-South anatomy. But where the bends come in---well, maybe delicacy forbids.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

nowadays jail bait

daniel  •  Link

yes, happy Birthday, Sam and many more!

dirk  •  Link

the "bend"

Bradford, I suspect what Sam means is the "development" ("the bend") of the Vastus lateralis not uncommonly found with the female of Homo sapiens -- see muscle diagram:

Further comment might indeed be somewhat delicate, I think.

Terry F  •  Link

Santiago de Cuba

"Founded in 1514 by Diego de Velázquez and moved to its present site in 1588, Santiago served for some time as Cuba's capital. In its early days, it was captured by French and English buccaneers and was a center of the smuggling trade with the British West Indies."

Well!! My Lord Windsor a buccaneer?!
(It all depends on one's POV.)

dirk  •  Link


Just to complete the picture: Santiago was the patron saint of Spain -- which is why his name was used as a battle cry by the Spaniards, and why so many towns were named after him.

JWB  •  Link

"...only bends in the hams, as I perceive all women do."
Obviously Sam had no intimate acquaintance with Dutch women speed sliders on his visit to the Hague back in '60.

Stolzi  •  Link

"bends in the hams"

Could he mean that she was... bow-legged?

Happy 30th, Sam!

This entry tickled me; I have made so many similar bargains about self-indulgences.

linus  •  Link

Wouldn't bends probably refer to a dance move, since the girl is dancing? I don't think he would suddenly make a discovery about the female anatomy at this point.

Ima Fake  •  Link

Could someone please explain why Sam is in such a panic?

Yesterday, Sam was confronted with what we would call a Writ of Attachment, court process requiring the arrest of a person in a civil case. When you don't pay your child support, I can apply for a Writ of Attachment and you are confined in jail until the back support is paid.

In Sam's day there were two different courts, law and Equity. (OK, there were far more than two, but, let's keep it simple.) Law was the rigid application of inflexible rules. Equity was the power of the King to do justice.

Imagine a man on his deathbed who turns over money to his good friend. "Here, take this money which I can't give to my minor son and use it for his benefit."

Man dies; friend spends the money on his mistress. Son's guardian sues. Law Judge says, "Title to the money is in the name of friend." Title is everything, son loses.

Well, you can imagine that this result would not sit well with the community. The situation is brought to the attention of King who naturally upset. King says, "Give the kid his money or go to jail."

"But, King, I won my lawsuit."

"I don't care, you were not supposed to get that money, give it to the kid or I'll clap you in irons until you give it back."

Thus, a trust.

Over the years, the King passed his power to his chancelors and a set of rules evolved. Equity became a safety valve for the unfair results the application of rules can sometimes have.

By Sam's time, a Peitioner in Equity could apply for a Writ and if the Chancelor thought the application had merit, he could issue the Commission of Rebellion, a writ issuing out of chancery to compel the defendant to appear.

This is just the procedure, for the merits of this lawsuit, read the annotations.

Spock  •  Link

I don't know why Sam didn't like it. It's very logical.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Huff wheeze puff "... So that God knows in what a sad condition I should be in if I were truly in the condition that many a poor man is for debt: and therefore ought to bless God that I have no such reall reason, and to endeavour to keep myself, by my good deportment and good husbandry, out of any such condition...."

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

'I don’t know why Sam didn’t like it'
Unfortunately it be not accepted by his [Samuell's] set of rose tinted glasses, 'tis wot the makes the world go round.
May be he relys on the pundit of the day for his view, tho I doubt it, in todays world every body waits for the Neilsons, or the Art section of the Mecurius Publicus before making any comment, then it maybe not good for ones health to have a differing opinion from the Royals?.

dirk  •  Link

why Sam is in such a panic

I guess Sam's uneasiness has to do with the fact that he himself is here held "bodily" responsible in a case that really involves the Navy Board. (How this is juridically possible I'm not sure, but I take it the Navy Board had no corporate form, and this was a case of joint liability, i.e. each member could be held accountable for the whole.) His main worry is to get the rest of the Board to support him. They eventually do, so that he can go out in peace again.

It all started on 4 February 1661/1662: "This afternoon, going into the office, one met me and did serve a subpoena upon me for one Field, whom we did commit to prison the other day for some ill words he did give the office."

Edward Field of Wapping had accused the Board of failing to act on the embezzlement of some pieces of timber, worth £15, by a labourer. Field was committed for slander, but successfully sued for wrongful arrest on technical grounds. In October 1662 Field was awarded £30 damages.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"...she having very fine legs, only bends in the hams, as I perceive all women do..."
OE. ham(m, hom(m, str. f. = OHG. hamma, MHG. hamme, Ger. dial. hamm, angle of the knee, Du. hamme (Kilian) ham ‘ham’; cf. also, with single m, OHG. hama, MHG. hame, Flem. hame, ON. h m: app. f. an OTeut. *ham-, *hamm- to be crooked.]
A. n. I. 1. a. That part of the leg at the back of the knee; the hollow or bend of the knee.

b. By extension: The back of the thigh; the thigh and buttock collectively. Usually in pl.
1552 Hamme, femur

2. The thigh of a slaughtered animal, used for food; spec. that of a hog salted and dried in smoke or otherwise; also, the meat so prepared
1st ref 1637 Hist. Kirk (Wodrow) 324 Mr. Henrie Blyth had such antipathie aganis an ham, that no sooner did he heare a ham spoken of but he swarfed

Most other forms of 'ham' came later, [ham writer/actor, hamfisted hamstrung]except for the meaning a strip of land
OE ham [Home] which, in composition, has been shortened to ham, as in Hampstead, Hampton}" Hámtún), Oakham, Lewisham, etc., and, in this form, is sometimes used by historical writers in the sense ‘town, village, or manor’ of the Old English period.
and East and West Ham from the o. Friesian word.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

how much???"...took one of the watermen along with me,..."

TerryF  •  Link

"God knows in what a sad condition I should be in if I were truly in the condition that many a poor man is for debt"

True for nearly the next 200 years, much to the benefit of the colonies of Georgia in North America and New Holland in the South Pacific, aka, Australia.

God knows in what a sad condition we all should be in, if we were truly in the condition that many a poor man was in for debt in those times!!

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Hams: should not we read: "... only she bends in the hams, as I perceive all women do". Indeed women bend in another way than men do: they 'hinge' in the hips, whereas men do so in the lower part of their backs.

alanB  •  Link

"..and so the back way over Little Tower Hill; and with my cloak over my face,.."
Happy Birthday Zorro - and so to bed ZZzzzzz..

GrahamT  •  Link

bends in the hams...
I think Wim has it. That makes much more sense.

GrahamT  •  Link

Up by times:

Is this a mis-scan for "Up betimes" (early), or another form of the same thing?

Xjy  •  Link

trepan and bends
Presumably the transferred meaning comes from boring your way skilfully into other people's confidence, as well as the sound similarity to "trap" (the words "trepan" and "trap" aren't etymologically related. The skull drill trepan is clearly derived from Greek "trypan" to bore, whereas "trap" is obscure, derived from Middle Dutch "trappe" and possibly related to Med. Latin "trappa" and the Spanish "trampa", with maybe a root meaning of something an animal steps on. In our quote, it looks as if the two meanings might have been fused.
Today's equivalent of Sam's "trepan" may be the mole.
As for bends, well, Sam is maybe getting a bit more relaxed when he observes women as he approaches middle age so his hormones give him time to appreciate details of female anatonomy instead of just going for the bullseye. And we should be charitable. Nakedness/scanty dress wasn't as common then as now, not even in private. Not to mention today's plethora of still and moving images of the naked body in the media. Sam is beginning to analyse consciously the attractive differences he's always felt and reacted to.

Pedro  •  Link

Well!! My Lord Windsor a buccaneer?! (It all depends on one’s POV.)

Terry, I hope you refer to my Lord Windsor in the more modern sense, of a practical adventurer plundering the Spaniards.

Summary from Pope’s biography of Henry Morgan gives a description of how they were to get their name…

As tobacco gave way to sugar, the planters needed more men to work every acre. The problem was solved by the import of slaves, and discarding of the less productive white indentured servants. Many went to join the cow killers, Negro slaves who had escaped from their Spanish, English, French or Dutch masters, and foreign seamen who had been marooned by their captains. They lived along the coasts of Hispaniola and Cuba, where cattle from the early Spanish settlers had run wild and created enormous natural ranches.

The cow killers had adopted the boucan of the Caribbees, and later came to be called boucaniers, and eventually the English pronunciation buccaneers.

The French Governor of Tortuga described them as “living like savages without recognizing any authority and committing a thousand robberies”
Another Frenchman Abbe du Tertre said…” an unorganized rabble of men from all countries, rendered expert and active by the necessity of their exercise, which was to go in chase of cattle to obtain their hides, and from being chased themselves by the Spaniards who never gave them any quarter…They were dressed in a pair of drawers and a shirt at the most, shod with the skin of a hog’s leg fastened at the top and behind the foot, with strips of the same skin girdled round the middle of their body with a sack which served them to sleep in as a defence against the innumerable insects which bit and sucked the blood from all parts of their bodies which were left uncovered…” (They also smeared their bodies with lard)

Mary  •  Link

sneaking in and out by the back door.

L&M notes that, although the normal access to the Navy Office was from Seething Lane, its garden stretched eastwards almost as far as Tower HIll and a narrow tongue of land led from Tower Hill to a point that gave access to a gate in the Navy Office garden wall.

GrahamT  •  Link

Re: "Nakedness/scanty dress wasn’t as common then as now, not even in private."
Not so during the Restoration. Maybe during the Interregnum and certainly later, during the Victorian period. Earlier annotations and Liza Picard both suggest that it was normal to sleep naked then, so Sam would certainly have seen at least Beth in her birthday suit, and maybe the servants too, in their own home. We also know that Restoration theatre was not shy in showing scantily clad people on stage. Women's fashions also often showed off the breasts; a kerchief being the only covering in many cases. It was not a big thing then, so wouldn't draw too much comment from Sam. Prudity goes in cycles; it is not a steadily eroding phenomenon, so we are not necessarily less prudish than folks in the 17th century.

GrahamT  •  Link

That should have been Claire Tomalin, not Liza Picard. Apologies to both 17th century historians.

jeannine  •  Link

"Lord Sandwich and Sam"
Just an interesting little finding to give us even MORE appreciation of Sam on his birthday entry. I just located a copy of the actual Journals Of Sandwich (1659-1665)and went to look through it for the references of Sam. There are only 8 and nothing more signaficant that mentioning he'd sent a letter to him, or a similar notation. He only mentions his wife 3 times ("sent a letter to Lady Sandwich"). What a contrast to the writings of Sam whose entries carry such an encompassing and vivid view of his world.

celtcahill  •  Link

" Trepan "

Worried about a little street theater to get him busted.

" Oh, please kind sir, me sisterss stuck - caught her dress and needs help just around the corner" and find an impressment gang when he gets there....

Gary J. Bivin  •  Link

I had understood that women did not normally perform on stage in Shakespere's time: female roles were acted by boys. This would give an amusing added layer to the numerous cross-dressing scenes where a woman, disguised as a boy -- is actually protrayed by a boy. Apparently by Peypy's time, the rule has changed somewhat.

Pedro  •  Link

“For methought it was a shame to see him this very afternoon, being the first day of his coming to town, to be at a playhouse.”

Surely better to be seen openly at a playhouse than to be noticed slinking around some dubious London streets?

Brian  •  Link

"At home I found Mr. Creed with my wife,"
. . . having a completely innocent encounter, of course . . .

TerryF  •  Link

"Up by times:" - GrahamT, L&M have it “Up betimes” (early), as you supposed.

Pedro, I inferred that Windsor was among those ID'd as "buccaneers" by the very modern source that I quoted re "Santiago de Cuba": I did think they took liberties with the history of the Caribbean, hence my protest - and yours!

TerryF  •  Link

"But we said nothing of our business, the Duke being sent for to the King, that he could not stay to speak with us."

An odd and interesting locution, evidently meaning that *doing business* is *saying/speaking* -- methinks NOT meaning they did business, but kept it a secret.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

“But we said nothing of our business, the Duke being sent for to the King,"

I read this as "we had no opportunity to discuss our business with the Duke." Business not just speaking, but more likely giving a report and/or getting approval for a course of action.

TerryF  •  Link

“But we said nothing of our business, the Duke being sent for to the King, that he could not stay to speak with us.”

Thanks, A. Hamilton, for that fine reading, which confirms that a great deal of business at that level consisted yet of speaking only -- no written copies/summaries of reports circulated beforehand or handed out for reference/amendment/confirmation.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

“Lord Sandwich and Sam”

Jeannine, it would be interesting to know if Sandwich mentions the financial anxieties he has asked Sam to help him resolve in recent days (including today).

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Today we have ways of recording of every eh,aH, sniffle. 'tis why the coffee shop be not popular as it was when men of substance were free to discuss the price of a red herring in the days of before greggs without upsetting the PC group, now only the bored room be available to do "Business" and rules of yeas and nays, and a plea to that it be off the record to accomplish the true business otherwise it be leaked to hoi polloi.

TerryF  •  Link


"The Buccaneers used this knife when they hunted wild pig and oxen on the Islands around Santa Domingo and Jamaica. Boucans came in all sizes and shapes and looked like a cut down cutlass. These knives were primarily used as a utility knife, but could be used in combat to hack or slash an enemy in battle [or to kill cows]."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Well Sam, the 'Wild Gallant' was sitting in his Royal box, his bro Jim by his side, as usual.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

An innocent encounter? Creed?

excuse me while I...

jeannine  •  Link

"Lord Sandwich and Sam”

AH--Of interest there is a one year (give or take a few months) gap in the journals--no entry for 1663! It will take up again (spoiler, but we know it) around the Dutch War. I am thinking of going through the entries and taking out any interesting ones of the past few years and adding them to correspond with Sam's timing. He was very focused on ships, the naval activity, etc. The index has 10 pages (yes pages) listing ships and their refernece in the Diary and only 8 small spots mentioning Sam. Somewhere there must be letters, personal correspondence, etc. but not in the journal. I will keep your question in mind as I read and let you know if I find anything.

Bradford  •  Link

Thanks to Dirk for the diagram (isn't amazing one can walk at all, given the complexity of the mechanism?) and Wim for the alternative reading.

Jeannine, you realize we will expecting you to provide An Alternative View from here on out thanks to your new discovery?

jeannine  •  Link

Bradford, Will do, but understand that Sandy doesn't kick in again until 1664 --what a disappointment!! I was bumming. Actually I was surprised that the Naval Society has a long listing of different volumes of information that they have published, among the listing are Sam's minutes of the naval meetings. The local maritime bookstore that has a copy is on vacation til March sometime, but I'll check that out when they return, but quite honestly I sort of like Sam's gossip better than listings of ships, naval activites, etc., which probably doesn't say much for me as a person, but at least I'm honest. More fun reading about dropped babies, rooftop escapes, arguements with the servants than nautical tides and boat listings, but that's just my lowly perspective.

TerryF  •  Link

I wonder if the likeliest boucan is a machete?

dirk  •  Link

"I wonder if the likeliest boucan is a machete?"

The native inhabitants of the West Indies had developed a method of preserving meat by roasting it and curing it with smoke. The fire pit and grating were called a boucan and the finished strips of meat were also known as "boucan" (probably an indigenous word) or "viande boucanée" (French). It seems that originally the word "boucan" was not used for the knife used on these occasions -- although some sources claim the opposite.

According to legend, the buccaneers did invent the cutlass: the long knives used by the original buccaneers to butcher meat for the boucan evolved into the famous short sword used by all seamen.

Picture of a cutlass -- believed to have evolved from the knife for the "boucan".

The French "Dictionnaire de L'Académie française", 4th Edition (1762), defines
"BOUCAN. s.m. Le lieu où les Sauvages font fumer leurs viandes. On appelle aussi de même le gril de bois sur lequel ils les font fumer & sécher."
[Translation: "The place where savages smoke their meat. The wood grill where they do the smoking and drying is also called by that name." -- no reference to the term being used for the knife also...]

For what they're worth: see also

Grahamt  •  Link

Re: "the finished strips of meat were also known as “boucan”"
Smoke cured meat (pork); This sounds very much like "bacon" to me. Is there an etymological link? (I have lost my SOED disc, so can't check myself)

pedro  •  Link

Barbecu (More from Pope’s biography).

Indians in the Caribbean had had a method of curing meat which the cow killers copied. The Indians did not have knowledge of salt, and the whole carcase would go bad within 12 hours if nothing was done. They dug a pit and created what they called a boucan with a grating placed on 4 supports called a barbecue and by the French a grille de bois. The meat was cut into long strips, and the cured meat was called boucan. The cured meat was of a fine red colour and of excellent flavour, but in 6 months of it being boucanned it had little taste left.

From adopting the boucan of the Caribbees, the hunters in Hispaniola, the Spaniards excepted, came to be called boucaniers.

(Sorry Terry, I did not mean to imply that you had an opinion, only used to point to the word buccaneer and an alternative meaning!)

pedro  •  Link

Barbecue should read barbecu in the above.

language hat  •  Link

Xjy, they are two different words. They have nothing to do with each other, any more than reveal (the carpentry term) and reveal (the verb). There are lots of words that happen to sound/look alike. The OED says: "The earlier spelling of the n. was trapan, probably formed in some way from TRAP."

language hat  •  Link

"Women’s fashions also often showed off the breasts"

But not the hams. It's quite possible Sam has not had many opportunities to see that portion of the female anatomy, and he's only now coming to the conclusion that the female body he knows best, his wife's, is in that respect representative rather than anomalous.

dirk  •  Link


The word "bacon" seems to be of Germanic origin -- through Old French. If "boucan" is indeed an indigenous West-Indian word, then both words cannot possibly be related. LH?

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Each age has held a segment of the Female structure as taboo while another element be in vogue for viewing. Mystery, Man always wants "wot" it can not have. A peek at the forbidden be the most important aspect of getting a high of the day, especially when no one else is given that option.

language hat  •  Link

"both words cannot possibly be related. LH?"

Yeah, sorry, I just figured the suggested connection was self-evidently absurd and could be ignored, but no, they're not related. "Bacon" is a native Germanic word related to "back," whereas, in the words of the OED:

"Boucan is the French spelling... of a Tupi or allied Brazilian word, conveyed by Europeans in the 16th c. to Guiana and the West Indies, and hence often set down as Carib, Haitian, etc. The modern Tupi form is mocaém (Pg. moquém): the Carib names were ioualla (youlla), anaké, the Haitian barbacóa."

david ross mcirvine  •  Link

Noting Pedro's fine annotation to the Santiago de Cuba in the background section under "Jamaica"--and noting others' fine annotations already on Windsor et al, I add my 2 cents with trepidation.

Lord Windsor's administration inaugurated the heyday of the privateers, and indeed along on the raid on Santiago de Cuba was a young Henry Morgan, formerly a Captain in the Port Royal militia. Lord Windsor gave Henry Morgan his privateering commission.

When Windsor arrived he brought almost 13,000 pounds, with which he payed off the regular garrsion. These he replaced with a militia, and the 1,000 or so men from the regular garrison were able to go privateering. The Santiago raid was not so profitable, due to the Spanish taking the gold inland.

Also, it's been a while since i've commented so I am still barely catching up. Hi everybody!
(who has mixed feelings about Captain Henry Morgan, whose image appears on bottles of spiritous liquor, the drinking of which made many of his students miss class.)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The discussion of Santiago and Jamaica is very much on-topic.

Founded in 1509, Santiago [Jamaica] was part of the early Spanish colonization of the Americas.

Clashes with the English in the Caribbean in 1655 resulted in the capture of the island from Spain, the only place in the Spanish West Indies that did not have new defensive works. Jamaica was the first place in that part of the New World to be occupied by another European power beside Spain. Its capture was the casus belli that resulted in the Anglo-Spanish War, the actual war between England and Spanish Empire. England took formal control of Jamaica island and the Cayman Islands after the Treaty of Madrid was signed in 1670. Spain also agreed to permit English ships freedom of movement in the Caribbean. Each country agreed to refrain from trading in the others territory.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"But it being my birthday and my day of liberty regained to me, and lastly, the last play that is likely to be acted at Court before Easter, because of the Lent coming in, I was the easier content to fling away so much money."

I.e. on the visit to Lincoln's Inn Fields. It was not until 1675 that the King allowed a company to charge for admissions to a court performance at Whitehall -- much to Evelyn's disgust (29 September). (L&M note)

29th September, 1675. I saw the Italian Scaramuccio
act before the King at Whitehall, people giving money
to come in, which was very scandalous, and never so be-
fore at Court diversions. Having seen him act before in
Italy, many years past, I was not averse from seeing the
most excellent of that kind of folly.
The diary of John Evelyn

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