Thursday 24 December 1668

A cold day. Up, and to the Office, where all the morning alone at the Office, nobody meeting, being the eve of Christmas. At noon home to dinner, and then to the Office busy, all the afternoon, and at night home to supper, and it being now very cold, and in hopes of a frost, I begin this night to put on a waistcoat, it being the first winter in my whole memory that ever I staid till this day before I did so. So to bed in mighty good humour with my wife, but sad, in one thing, and that is for my poor eyes.

4 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The Royal Society today at Arundel House -- from the Hook Folio Online 

Dec. 24. noe meeting.

Valerie   Link to this

How odd to modern eye, that there's no mention of Christmas festivities. Though I suppose there must have been some, as people weren't at the office. I wonder if he bought a present for Bess, or if Valentine's was the big gift-giving day?

Roger The Weather   Link to this

'and it being now very cold, and in hopes of a frost, I begin this night to put on a waistcoat, it being the first winter in my whole memory that ever I staid till this day before I did so.'

December 1668 had been mild up to now (the month ranks 247th coldest December out of 352 since 1659) and is very similar temperature-wise to the current December(the current month a little milder still). Readers in the UK will know that both months are in stark contrast to last December(2010) which was the 2nd coldest ever in 'Central England'
Sam will experience a much colder Decemeber next year and several more in the next 10 years.

languagehat   Link to this

"How odd to modern eye, that there’s no mention of Christmas festivities."

Remember, the holiday had been banned altogether until the restoration. There's a good piece (focusing on the U.S., but with background on England) here:
http://theweek.com/article/index/222676/when-am...

"Puritans in the English Parliament eliminated Christmas as a national holiday in 1645, amid widespread anti-Christmas sentiment. Settlers in New England went even further, outlawing Christmas celebrations entirely in 1659. Anyone caught shirking their work duties or feasting was forced to pay a significant penalty of five shillings. Christmas returned to England in 1660, but in New England it remained banned until the 1680s, when the Crown managed to exert greater control over its subjects in Massachusetts."

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