Monday 12 March 1665/66

Up betimes, and called on by abundance of people about business, and then away by water to Westminster, and there to the Exchequer about some business, and thence by coach calling at several places, to the Old Exchange, and there did much business, and so homeward and bought a silver salt for my ordinary table to use, and so home to dinner, and after dinner comes my uncle and aunt Wight, the latter I have not seen since the plague; a silly, froward, ugly woman she is. We made mighty much of them, and she talks mightily of her fear of the sicknesse, and so a deale of tittle tattle and I left them and to my office where late, and so home to supper and to bed. This day I hear my Uncle Talbot Pepys died the last week, and was buried. All the news now is, that Sir Jeremy Smith is at Cales —[Cadiz]— with his fleete, and Mings in the Elve.— [Elbe]— The King is come this noon to towne from Audly End, with the Duke of Yorke and a fine train of gentlemen.

19 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Sir Jeremy Smith is at Cales—[Cadiz]—with his fleete"

See this annotation of 15 February 1665/66 for the role of Sandwich in the strategic deployment of this fleet at the ’ Gibraltar defile ’ to prevent de Beaufort's fleet at Toulon in the Med from joining French and Dutch naval forces on the Atlantic:

defile or choke point

Lawrence   Link to this

Yet one more victim of the Plague;
" This day I hear my Uncle Talbot Pepys died the last week, and was buried" He was 83 years of age!

Lawrence   Link to this

"and so homeward and bought a silver salt for my ordinary table to use"

Just a thought? was salt expensive at this time? I read somewhere that Roman soldiers were paid some of there salary with salt???

cgs   Link to this

tittle tattle
1. Talk, chatter, prattle; esp. empty or trifling talk about trivial matters, petty gossip.
(In quot. a 1529 perh. used advb.)
a1529 SKELTON Phyllyp Sparowe 357, I played with him tyttel tattyll, And fed him with my spattyl, With his byll betwene my lippes.

cgs   Link to this

Salt plays well with History,for cod and hams of these times Salt be important and was imported in great lots from France.
for details and interest read Mark Kurlansky "Salt" a world history.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

bought a silver salt for my ordinary table to use
The salt would have been inexpensive for Sam, but the salt cellar would be of expensively worked silver, ornately chased and carved, with cherubs round about, and with a silver spoon, making his relatives ogle the cellar mightily, but dispensing too much in gobs. Salt shakers are a much better improvement, though not in the shape of cherubs, swans and cows, etc. See them all at your Museum of Art.
The King had the theatrics right. Salt is to be dispensed with a flourish, and with the blaring of trumpets, and beating of drums. For Sam, a salt cellar will do, but less noisy.

tld   Link to this

Uncle Talbot Pepys died. This entry doesn't say of the plague yet the linked annotation and Lawrence say as such.

Did I miss something?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...and I left them and to my office where late, and so home to supper and to bed."

Lucky Bess to be left to entertain dear old Uncle Wight...Sam on one of his bad days only fifty plus pounds heavier and decades older. What bliss!

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... bought a silver salt for my ordinary table to use, ..."

On June 19th. 1665 "I paid for a dozen of silver salts 6l. 14s. 6d. ..." this suggests that a a salt for 'my ordinary table' would cost about 12 shillings at most.

The last item on the page linked below is a plain ‘capstan form’ unlined cast silver small salt, London 1580 — this was the usual form still in Pepys’ day and to the end of the C 17th. The “quality is typical of the type that would have been owned by a moderately successful businessman of an emerging ‘middle class’”; survivals in silver are of extraordinary rarity, the majority are pewter. (Price in 2005 of the illustrated example, L 38,809)

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Changes in salt making in England in the C 17th.

Apparently the limiting factor, and the major cost, in salt production was readily available fuel to heat the evaporation pans which during this period with forest becoming exhausted changed from wood to coal:

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Michael R, the account of salt-making is very thought-provoking, touching as it does on many aspects of the implementation of the new ("the modern") measures of efficiency = units of measure / unit of time. Thanks.

Mary   Link to this

salt and table-manners.

The acceptable (and practical) manner of using salt from an open cellar was and is to place a modest spoonful of it on the rim of the plate and then take up small pinches between finger and thumb to scatter gently over the food if required. No question of dumping great clumps of it across one's plate directly from the spoon.

Lawrence   Link to this

"This day I hear my Uncle Talbot Pepys died the last week, and was buried"
L&M. say that "He had died in his 83rd year on the 1st and was buried on the 5th at Impingdon, near Cambridge. He was Pepys' great-ucle"

So maybe there was no plague involved at all, I got my infomation from the link, so guess I could be in error here?

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...since the plague..."

Sam is probably echoing the normal view here: everyone felt the plague was over (at least until the summer) and they could talk about it as a completed (harrowing) event.

Salt - I was taught to use salt in the manner described by Mary, but we just had glass salt containers - silver spoons though.

Sorry about strange posting above - am annotating with a cat on the desk...nuff said....

cgs   Link to this

"about it as a completed (harrowing) event".

harrowing from harrow
3. To tear, lacerate, wound (physically).
1633 T. ADAMS Exp. 2 Peter i. 16 The thorns harrowing his sacred head

b. To tear up. Obs.
4. To lacerate or wound the feelings of; to vex, pain, or distress greatly. (Rarely with up.)
b. To vex, disturb. Obs.

5. To castrate. Obs.
1753 Stewart's Trial 139 He wants to harrow him [a horse] this spring. Ibid. 179 At the harrowing.

Hence harrowed ppl. a., {harrowing vbl. n.}
1523 FITZHERB. Husb. §12 As moche plowynge and harow~ynge. 1552 HULOET, Harrowed after the maner of backe harrowynge, pectitus.

harrow v2
trans. To harry, rob, spoil. a. Used especially in the phrase to harrow hell, said of Christ.

trans. To harry, rob, spoil. a. Used especially in the phrase to harrow hell, said of Christ.

Hence harrowed ppl. a.; harrowing (OE. her{asg}ung) vbl. n., spoiling (of hell), also in general sense, plundering, sacking (of a country).
1599 SANDYS Europæ Spec. (1632) 184 The harrowing and desolating of the Countrey.

cgs   Link to this

All the 'wiches' on names were places to get thy salaries at one time. Thus Sandwich be of an old salt by the sand. Poor old England did not have enough sun and plastic bags to get the water steamed up to have a good evaporation process, so they burrowed poor old Cheshire like so many bunnies and then a village would sink. Thus Rochelle over the channel could good monies for its products.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

Lawrence -

Not only were Roman soldiers paid in salt, but our word "salary" is derived from the Latin "salarium," a payment made in salt (sal).

Carl in Boston   Link to this

salt and table-manners
Mary, thank you so much for this impressive annotation. I'm not kidding. One would never know this was how salt was used, but it makes eminent sense. I sprinkle it in my hand, getting the right amount, and then cast it over food, to get the dose right.
others: there is in the long lost mysteries of the English language, reference to salt (...white or ...whit) in place names. The subject of "Ley Lines" criss crossing the prehistoric British landscape (Stonehenge, etc, etc) and preserved in survey lines that run in the front door of many British churches, through the altar, out the back wall, down the high street, across where the salt sellers came in the woods long long ago, and into the door of another British church miles away, is a subject for solemn reflection both by day, and BY NIGHT.

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