Annotations and comments

Eric the Bish has posted 12 annotations/comments since 9 July 2020.

The most recent first…


About Wednesday 1 April 1668

Eric the Bish  •  Link

Ref Robert Gertz’ queston (1 Apr 2011): “Does Sam never worry that one of these girls will tell Bess?”

Well sometimes yes: 1 Aug 1662: “I had also a mind to my own wench, but I dare not for fear she should prove honest and refuse and then tell my wife.”

Wishing you all a blessed 2021 Good Friday (Easter a little later this year than in 1668).

About Tuesday 24 March 1667/68

Eric the Bish  •  Link

Teehee “ ... bagpipes, ... at the best, it is mighty barbarous musick.”
It is said that the definition of a gentleman is a man who can play the bagpipes, but doesn’t.

About Sunday 22 March 1667/68

Eric the Bish  •  Link

As a clergyman it is salutary to read SP’s brief summaries of various sermons “A dull sermon“, “A very good sermon”, “A poor sermon”, “An able sermon” et cetera. It would be interesting to know how he judged which category to place each meticulously prepared and carefully crafted masterpiece into. I fear his judgement on my own!
It’s also discouraging, for a preacher, to notice that few, if any, of these sermons seem to do much good, at least as far as our hero is concerned! Perhaps in this pre-mass-media age they are no more consequential than the drone of the television in the background of a busy family living room. Samuel seems to think a good tune is preferable to almost any sermon at all.

About Wednesday 29 January 1667/68

Eric the Bish  •  Link

@Terry Foreman: “The letter merely recites the questions which had been referred to the appropriate officers (L&M) -- as though to assure the committee cursorily that the Board understand what they each have been asked to do.”
Yes indeed: classic defensive staff work: send a reply which says nothing whatsoever. At the very least it will protect you from any accusation that you are not cooperating. At best, you will never hear about the matter again.

About Saturday 25 January 1667/68

Eric the Bish  •  Link

By the time of the Napoleonic wars English superiority in rope-making directly translated into battle-winning advantages at sea. A spliced rope is a weakened rope, and with many miles of standing and running rigging on a line of battle ship, well-made and cared for – and above all long – ropes meant a ship which was less likely to have equipment failure under the stress of weather, battle, or just month on month blockade. You can still see one of these strategically important rope sheds: look up “Anchor Lane Portsmouth“ on your favourite Internet map and there it is: on the north side of the lane.

About Sunday 12 January 1667/68

Eric the Bish  •  Link

“... we fell very foul“ - a naval analogy: to fall foul upon another ship is not just to bump into them, but for the vessels to get tangled up together - almost inevitable for square rigged ships. Damage is almost inevitable unless great care is taken to extricate the vessels from each other - which has perhaps happened here?

About Monday 16 December 1667

Eric the Bish  •  Link

In Cochin. in 1997, I found a tailor who would make up for me an embroidered cummerbund. I was taken aback when I thought our business was finished, but he held out his hands and asked me where the cloth was. That’s what comes from not understanding that a tailor is not necessarily his/her own mercer. Another benefit of reading this diary.

About Friday 22 November 1667

Eric the Bish  •  Link

"neither hath, nor do, nor for the future likely can ..." - djc has it exactly: a fine turn of phrase. The rhythm is somewhat Cranmerian to my mind: the careful and measured pacing out of exact meaning, as in “ ... a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world”. But of course these rhythms were entirely familiar to him.

About Wednesday 20 November 1667

Eric the Bish  •  Link

Could someone help me out please: I have lost the significance of “ discharging of two or three little vessels by ticket without money”. Why is this a bad thing to have done? Does it indicate corruption? Incompetence? Maladministration? Regards, Eric the Bish.

About Thursday 10 October 1667

Eric the Bish  •  Link

“Telling” (counting) continues in the UK Parliament, where “Tellers” are appointed to count the votes. It’s also used in common speech in the UK come to think of it, but without the explicit concept of counting being foremost in the meaning: “How many?” and “what is it?” can both be answered “I can’t tell”.
See also…

About Sunday 25 August 1667

Eric the Bish  •  Link

"... so I back to my boat, which had broke one of her oars in rowing, and had now fastened it again; "

A friend who is coxswain of a very historic vessel has told me about oars of the period. They were generally made of a single piece of wood, and were very narrow. The blades are quite thin and relatively easily damaged. They are repaired by scarfing in a new piece of wood, which can be done in just a few hours. So this may be the case here. An hour in the pub, 90 minutes in church, an hour in the crowd, and 30 minutes of walking between these various locations: four hours is enough time for the unlucky Waterman to go to a Riverside “Kwik Fit“.

About Monday 8 July 1667

Eric the Bish  •  Link

Good morning, and after a few years of “lurking” I thought I should register and comment - and thank all those make this wonderful website possible! Raising a sunken vessel in UK waters is easier than in eg the tideless Baltic. Less need for that tedious pumping of water in and out of the lifting vessels before moving the sunken vessel to shallower water: in many cases you can just let the tide do the work for you. Indeed, if the upper works of the sunken vessel are exposed at low tide you may simply have to close the sea cocks and allow the tide to float her – soggily – whereupon you can pump her out. Useful things, tides.