Annotations and comments

JB has posted 37 annotations/comments since 25 December 2018.

The most recent first…


Third Reading

About Monday 31 December 1660

JB  •  Link

It has just slid past midnight here on the US East Coast, and I would like to echo David A. Smith from 20 years ago (20 years!!):

"Happy New Year to all of us, most especially to Phil Gyford, for:
* Genius in establishing the site (a definitive retro-blog, a truly new innovation in Web culture).
* Fidelity in posting it every day (rain, shine, or ISP crashes).
* Grace in creating the annotation climate (as Helen said, the Web at its best).
So with Mary, and on behalf of all us Pepys-o-philes worldwide, I raise an electronic champagne glass to toast:
Here's to you, Phil -- Happy New Year.”

Happy New Year to all, and thanks again, Phil!

About Thursday 27 December 1660

JB  •  Link

As to dueling in the US….

“"Charleston, probably more than any other American city, was the setting for numerous “affairs of honor,” a euphemism for the abhorrent practice of dueling. According to Dr. David Ramsey, a respected physician and noted historian in the late-18th and early-19th centuries, the propensity for dueling in Charleston was mostly to due to the climate because “warm weather and its attendant increase of bile in the stomach” generated “an irritable temper which made men say and do things thoughtlessly.” Most Charleston duels took place from June through September. A former governor and Charlestonian, John Lyde Wilson, wrote The Code of Honor in 1838, the “rule book” for proper dueling etiquette. Although not officially accepted or endorsed by most Charlestonians, the practice continued throughout South Carolina throughout the War Between the States and was finally legally abolished in the state in 1880.”

"The Cash-Shannon duel, 1880 – This is considered to be the last fatal, and the most documented, duel in South Carolina. The event occurred at Lynches River, near Bishopville, SC. The arguments between Cash and Shannon festered for 27 months, spiraling violently out of control. Growing out of assorted lawsuits, ensuing settlements, and violent-natured people, things came to a head when Shannon alleged that there were monetary shenanigans and fraud involving Cash’s wife, who was “stricken speechless and died.” Cash was out for blood. His challenge was accepted by Shannon. Well-dressed and using all the proper manners, the 2 principals “exchanged pleasantries, took their arranged places on the field, leveled their pistols at each other and fired”. Within minutes, Shannon, a father of 14 children was dead.
This was the final straw for most South Carolinians. This archaic, seemingly barbaric, practice was soon outlawed. It had revealed its total senselessness in a new post-War South. People saw they could be “no longer tolerant of private, prideful violence”.…


About Saturday 21 April 1660

JB  •  Link

With reference to Terry’s post of 10 years ago, oysters have been very important to the history of NYC, and were ubiquitous in certain decades of the 19th century, to the point where the city was identified with oysters. If I may get personal for a moment, I’ve been eating at the Grand Central Oyster Bar since I was a kid. In a rapidly and constantly evolving place, it still feels like “old” Manhattan.

About Sunday 29 January 1659/60

JB  •  Link

Love the new name, AK.

I, too, am trying to be more thorough, Sarah. Started in midway-ish through the Second Reading, and mostly only paid attention to the recent annotations, so I’m enjoying the opportunity to delve in deeper this time. Knowing what lies in his future makes it very interesting to see what led up to his thought process from when I was first introduced to the diary.

Phil, thanks again for this whole endeavor, and for the labeling of the 1st-3rd Readings. The ability to see that at a glance really adds to the pleasure of who knew/guessed what/when, and CA’s time machine aspect.

Second Reading

About Wednesday 17 February 1668/69

JB  •  Link

"...had each of us a ring"

I wondered if this might refer to the ringing of bells instead of the piece of jewelry I initially assumed, and there is some evidence for that (http://hoydensandfirebrands.blogs…):
"In the 17th Century, a passing bell was rung for the dead or dying: Nine rings for a man, six rings for a woman and three rings for a child - followed by one ring for each year of the deceased life."

Though in this case I am sure the first assumption was correct:
"Wealthier families distributed mourning rings among friends and family, bearing the name of the deceased and the date of death engraved on them. Worn for up to a year after the death, these were usually fashioned from black enamel for the men and gold with a black band for the ladies.

On a mourning ring crafted as a memento of the Martyr King, Charles I, the inscription says, ’prepared be to follow me’."

Mourning rings had been around since at least the 14th century, but came into their own in the 17th:…

An example:…

About Friday 22 January 1668/69

JB  •  Link

Terry, I admire the perseverance with which you posted the updated links to the Danckerts' paintings. Thank you.

About Thursday 19 November 1668

JB  •  Link

I'm throwing in with Mary, languagehat, and London Lynn. My reading of "but I have the confidence to deny it to the perjury of myself", given past behavior and modes of expression, is that he is projecting into the future and at least considering not keeping his word, but is comfortable in doing so because he believes he will have skill enough to get away with it, even if it means perjuring himself.

About Saturday 31 October 1668

JB  •  Link

SDS, RG's "Fearless Leader" was the main antagonist in The Rocky and Bullwinkle animated show.…
(in the 3rd section from the top):

Narrator : Fearless Leader here? But I thought we had laws against that kind of thing.
Fearless Leader : You fool. Laws only keep out honest people.
Narrator : What... What do you mean?
Fearless Leader : If you're a crook, you sneak in anyway.

About Sunday 25 October 1668

JB  •  Link

Thanks for the replies, everyone, and the soft correction - even as I typed "comment-" I somehow realized I should have typed "annotators", but neglected to rectify it.

A massive thanks to Phil - and I do hope the second round has been mostly automated or at least less work involved. And thank you, Sarah, for adding "some more significant correspondence to fill out the national picture", which has been great (I, too, have wondered about the habit-forming propensity of the long term commitment and how that has borne out with folks). And thanks to everyone else, past and present, who has participated in this virtual village.

I landed here sometime in 2016, so I've only been around for the second half of the Diary, and am hoping to catch the beginning (:

About Sunday 25 October 1668

JB  •  Link

I often wonder if regular commentators from years past still visit the site and how they might reflect on their thoughts and interactions from that time.

About Monday 28 September 1668

JB  •  Link

"Up betimes, and Knepp’s maid comes to me, to tell me that the women’s day at the playhouse is to-day, and that therefore I must be there, to encrease their profit."

The following is from a little later in history, but it does shed light on the practice and how it developed from there.…

"A clear example of the Restoration actress’s success and popularity can be found in the figure of Elizabeth Barry. Barry is first listed as a member of the Duke’s Company in 1673-74 and acted until 1710, playing both majestic tragic roles and witty comic heroines. The actress was in fact the first performer to be awarded an annual benefit night, a significant way of boosting her income and an acknowledgment of her popularity with the audience.

Benefits were nights on which a particular actor or actress would take home the evening’s takings minus the theatre’s operating expenses for the evening.

Performers could earn more than £50 on such a night, a sum that could double the annual salary of a secondary company member. The actor or actress in question usually picked the play that would be staged for his or her benefit (often a role in which he or she was particularly popular) and was responsible for selling tickets to patrons, focusing on the upper classes, who could pay generously. Benefits became a key part of the theatre’s financial operations in the early eighteenth century. They were stipulated in performers’ contracts and the season would end with a run of benefit performances, usually with the company’s biggest star going first."

I guess in our particular earlier case, the situation was more communal with the take being split amongst (at least the more prominent) ladies.