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Elisabeth has posted 24 annotations/comments since 11 May 2018.

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Third Reading

About Tuesday 16 April 1661

Elisabeth  •  Link

The Golden Ball in Swithins Lane neare London Stone

What a lovely phrase! Also it’s interesting to note that London Stone was still a well-known landmark in the late 17th century.

About Thursday 20 December 1660

Elisabeth  •  Link

James is his only sibling left

Don’t forget Princess Henrietta (nicknamed Minette) who arrived in England with her mother on November 2. She is engaged to Philippe of Orléans, brother of Louis XIV.

Fans of Noel Streatfeild’s novel “Ballet Shoes” will remember that Pauline Fossil plays Princess Henrietta in a film.

About Saturday 15 December 1660

Elisabeth  •  Link

Eels bought of a man that cried them about.

I just finished Charlie Taverner’s fascinating book “Street Food: Hawkers and the History of London” (Oxford University Press, 2023). I recommend it to anyone interested in the lives of people who sold food in the streets of London from the late 16th to the early 20th centuries.

About Thursday 17 May 1660

Elisabeth  •  Link

To the Echo

If thou couldst, doctor, cast
The water of my land, find her disease,
And purge it to a sound and pristine health,
I would applaud thee to the very echo
That should applaud again.

Macbeth 5.3

About Monday 27 February 1659/60

Elisabeth  •  Link

My flageolette

I love that Sam took his instrument with him on his travels. I wonder if he habitually packed his flageolet on trips or if he had heard about the wonderful echoes at Audley End and took his flageolet to try them out himself.

About Thursday 2 February 1659/60

Elisabeth  •  Link

Chequer and Exchequer

Chequer is an obsolete name for a chessboard, which was sometimes used as an inn or tavern sign (Pepys stayed at an inn called the Chequer near Cambridge on February 24, 1660). The Exchequer is commonly thought to have taken its name from the table covered with a checked cloth (scaccarium) which served as the king’s counting table (Pepys sometimes refers to the Exchequer as the Chequer: see September 21, 1668). The surname de Scaccario was held by a twelfth century landowner and Exchequer official who may have given his name to Chequers, the country house of UK prime ministers.

About Monday 2 January 1659/60

Elisabeth  •  Link

Brawn. This 1658 recipe from The Compleat Cook by WM is given in foodsofengland.co.uk:

To bake Brawn.
Take two Buttocks and hang them up two or three dayes, then take them down and dip them into hot Water, and pluck off the skin, dry them very well with a clean Cloth, when you have so done, take Lard, cut it in peices as big as your little finger, and season it very well with Pepper, Cloves, Mace, Nutmeg, and Salt, put each of them into an earthen Pot, put in a Pint of Claret wine, a pound of Mutton Suet. So close it with past let the Oven be well heated; and so bake them, you must give them time for the baking according to the bignesse of the Haunches, and the thicknesse of the Pots, they commonly allot seven hours for the baking of them; let them stand three dayes, then take off their Cover, and poure away all the Liquor, then have clarified Butter, and fill up both the Pots, to keep it for the use, it will very well keep two or three moneths.

Second Reading

About Monday 26 April 1669

Elisabeth  •  Link

Hungerford House and Hungerford Market

Hungerford House and some surrounding properties belonged to Sir Edward Hungerford (1632-1711), described by the ODNB as “politician, merchant, and spendthrift”. In 1677 he obtained permission to hold a market in the area, prompting this piece of wit:

“Thriftless himself, but lyke the goode manure,

His rotten waste did fertilise the lande,

And others' thriftye toile hath wrought the cure,

A goodlie mercatt joines the busie Strand.”
(Quoted in “Survey of London: Volume 18, St-Martin-in-the-Fields II: the Strand”, London County Council, 1937; https://www.british-history.ac.uk…)

However the market was not a success and passed through other hands, including, for a time, Sir Christopher Wren. A new market building was erected in 1833 and was delightfully described by Henry Mayhew in 1862 on the eve of its destruction (Henry Mayhew and John Binny, “The Criminal Prisons of London”, 1862; https://www.victorianlondon.org/m…). The area is now covered by Charing Cross Station.

About Saturday 27 March 1669

Elisabeth  •  Link

“Did you ever see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness!”

— the Dormouse, “Alice in Wonderland”

About Thursday 31 December 1668

Elisabeth  •  Link

Happy 2022 from San Francisco, where Omicron has cancelled most public gatherings. May this year see the end of the plague.

About Thursday 3 December 1668

Elisabeth  •  Link

Dr. Pope & Mr. Hooke said tht Sr And. King had seen divers amphisbenae in Spaine.

The amphisbaena has been described since antiquity as a serpent with a head at either end of its body (see Pliny, “Natural History”, 8:35). The modern classification Amphisbaenidae describes a family of legless burrowing reptiles found in South America and Africa which have, alas, just one head.

About Wednesday 19 August 1668

Elisabeth  •  Link

On Pineapples

According to Margaret Willes, the first pineapples raised in Europe came from the hothouse of a Dutch woman, Agneta Block, in 1687. The first English pineapple was not cultivated until the early eighteenth century, despite the painting Terry Foreman mentions above, of royal gardener John Rose presenting a pineapple to Charles II. Margaret Willes, “The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn” (2017), 209-210.

About Sunday 29 March 1668

Elisabeth  •  Link

Five Women Barbers

John Heneage Jesse, Memoirs of the Court of England During the Reign of the Stuarts (1857)

“[Anne Clarges’, later Anne Monck, Duchess of Albemarle’s] mother was one of the five women-barbers, and a woman of ill-fame. A ballad was made on her and the other four; the burden of it was, -

‘Did you ever hear the like,
Or ever hear the fame,
Of five women barbers,
Who lived in Drury Lane?’

In a curious memoir of one Mul-Sack, a celebrated highwayman, there is a notice of these ladies. ‘They were five noted amazons in Drury Lane, who were called women-shavers, and whose actions were then talked of much about town; till being apprehended for a riot, and one or two of them severely punished, the rest fled to Barbadoes.’ The writer of this memoir mentions a disgusting and brutal act of cruelty on the part of these wretches towards another woman, the particulars of which are too gross for publication.”

About Monday 30 December 1667

Elisabeth  •  Link

“I had been at both my booksellers and there laid out several pounds in books now against the new year.”

Ah yes, the year-end book-buying spree. I’ve just been doing the same thing myself.

About Thursday 17 October 1667

Elisabeth  •  Link

“My people had forgot to get wine ready, I having none in my house, which I cannot say now these almost three years, I think, without having two or three sorts.”

On July 7, 1665, Sam wrote: “It hath pleased God to bring me that at this time I have two tierces of Claret, two quarter casks of Canary, and a smaller vessel of Sack; a vessel of Tent, another of Malaga, and another of white wine, all in my wine cellar together; which, I believe, none of my friends of my name now alive ever had of his own at one time."

About Monday 19 November 1666

Elisabeth  •  Link

“Here had six bottles of claret filled, and I sent them to Mrs. Martin, whom I had promised some of my owne, and, having none of my owne, sent her this.”

On July 7, 1665, Sam noted that he had two tierces of claret (about 84 gallons). Where has it all gone?

About Wednesday 14 November 1666

Elisabeth  •  Link

So to the Exchange for some things for my wife...

Despite the fire and anxiety about the state of the nation, business seems to be good at the site of the Royal Exchange. I can only assume that merchants there are successfully improvising shops and stalls in what remains of the building.

About Saturday 14 July 1666

Elisabeth  •  Link

It’s amazing to me that four or five tons of cork were apparently just sitting around somewhere, ready to be “agreed for” at a moment’s notice,