Saturday 28 December 1667

Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning, at noon home, and there to dinner with my clerks and Mr. Pelling, and had a very good dinner, among others a haunch of venison boiled, and merry we were, and I rose soon from dinner, and with my wife and girle to the King’s house, and there saw “The Mad Couple,” which is but an ordinary play; but only Nell’s and Hart’s mad parts are most excellently done, but especially hers: which makes it a miracle to me to think how ill she do any serious part, as, the other day, just like a fool or changeling; and, in a mad part, do beyond all imitation almost. [It pleased us mightily to see the natural affection of a poor woman, the mother of one of the children brought on the stage: the child crying, she by force got upon the stage, and took up her child and carried it away off of the stage from Hart.] Many fine faces here to-day. Thence home, and there to the office late, and then home to supper and to bed. I am told to-day, which troubles me, that great complaint is made upon the ‘Change, among our merchants, that the very Ostend little pickaroon men-of-war do offer violence to our merchant-men, and search them, beat our masters, and plunder them, upon pretence of carrying Frenchmen’s goods. Lord! what a condition are we come to, and that so soon after a war!

5 Annotations

Roger The Weather  •  Link

Average Temperature for December 1667, 3C.

This was indeed a cold December in 1667, the mean of 3C ranking 82nd coldest out of 351 since 1659. However, the current December in 'Central England' is in contention of being the coldest of all in this period! with the mean near 0c,(much dependant on the next few days). Probably something to do with global warming........

Christopher Squire  •  Link

‘picaroon, n.1 and adj.
Etymology:  Probably a transferred use of Spanish picarón.
 1. A. n. a. A pirate or privateer. Also fig. Now chiefly hist.
1624    J. Smith Gen. Hist. Virginia v. 184   Meeting a French Piccaroune‥hee‥tooke from them what hee liked.
c1681    E. Hickeringill Trimmer in Wks. (1716) I. 355   A Letter of Mart against the Common-Piqueroon of all good Mens Reputations.
. . 1996    Observer 3 Mar. (Life Suppl.) 47/3   In certain latitudes, the crew had stood day and night anti-pirate watches, fire hoses primed and ready to repel the picaroons.’ [OED]

Roger The Weather's suggested climate change explanation for the cold weather we've had in europe [now much abated] is discussed at:

‘Cold winter in a world of warming? Last June, during the International Polar Year conference, James Overland suggested that there are more cold and snowy winters to come. He argued that the exceptionally cold snowy 2009-2010 winter in Europe had a connection with the loss of sea-ice in the Arctic. The cold winters were associated with a persistent ‘blocking event’, bringing in cold air over Europe from the north and the east . . ‘

The jury is still out & may be some time on this one . .

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Written from: London - Date: 28 December 1667

William Legge to Ormond

Has received the Duke's letter of December 18. Says that political affairs in England are now "in a strange labyrinth, from such change of counsels in Parliament and Court." Nor does the Duke escape.

Anglesey to Ormond

Reverts to the subject of the claims of the "nominees", under the Acts of Settlement and Explanation.

The Christmas at Court is, he adds, a very doleful one. The wont and work of the season used to be "love, and friendly converse; now, there is nothing but practice to undermine and supplant one another". ...

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"Mr. Pepys." grim tone.


Sam wipes cream pie from face... "I see you've read my Diary too, Ms. Gywn."

"I figured you'd appreciate the comic irony touch." Neil glares. Turning on heel and stalking off.

"You know..." Sam notes to Bess as she wipes pie...Hmmn, coconut, not bad, she notes... "I often wonder if this really is Heaven and not..."

"Sam'l...I'd never lie to you." Bess, shocked tone... "But it never hurts to keep you wondering a little." grin. Hmmn...Stoops to pick up flyer dropped on floor. "Ms. Gywn left this, I think. Hmmn..." hands to Sam.

"Neil Gywn is 'Hamlet'?!" Sam chokes. "Oh, this is Hell!"

"Now, now. You don't have to go." Bess soothes.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...that the very Ostend little pickaroon men-of-war do offer violence to our merchant-men, and search them, beat our masters, and plunder them..."

Since Ostend should still be part of the Spanish Netherlands is Sam complaining about Spanish or Spanish-sanctioned privateers, local pirates, Dutch or Dutch-sanctioned privateers...Or all of the above?

Ummn...Gee wasn't Sam and co up to something like this with the Greyhound,etc?

"But when we rob and plunder, it's with style and politeness." Bess notes, firmly.

"Thank you, dear."

"Don't mention it, Cap't."

"But you might note we were more or less still at war."

"Right. Even better."

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