Annotations and comments

Louise Hudson has posted 409 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.

The most recent…


About Sunday 4 March 1665/66

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Ian: “Nice to see Sam doing so well. A quick currency conversion on the National Archives website gives the value of his 4600l. the modern equivalent of £353,142.00. A nice little nest egg!”

Good amount of change but it wouldn’t buy him a nice house in London, in 2011.

About Thursday 1 March 1665/66

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Glyn: “Mr Williamson . . . . in a very few years he'll be knighted and Sam never will.”

Isn’t it great to be able to make predictions from the future?

About Wednesday 7 February 1665/66

Louise Hudson  •  Link

@Al Doman

You might be right about hammers back then. But I still think Liz could do better. Women tend to be gentler than men at many tasks. Men seem to have a need to make as much noise as possible and shake the whole house when using a hammer. Testosterone, I guess.

Nobody knew what tetanus was in those days, not even doctors. It wasn‘t discovered and identified until 1884 by several researchers. Antonio Carle and Giorgio Rattone first discovered evidence that tetanus was an infectious disease in that year. A vaccine was not developed for another 56 years.

About Wednesday 7 February 1665/66

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I’ve hit my thumb with a hammer many times, but never so hard as to “bruise my left thumb so as broke a great deal of my flesh off, that it hung by a little.” How, pray tell could he have been using the hammer that he would hit his thumb that hard? He should have left the hammering to a joiner, or Elizabeth. She would certainly have had a better time of it.

About Sunday 4 February 1665/66

Louise Hudson  •  Link

In the early part of the 20th century, even to the 1950s cold air was considered a treatment for tuberculosis, so the idea had not died between Sam’s time and close to ours. Patients who could afford it were sent to sanitoriums, preferably in cold climates, such as Switzerland and made to sit or lie on balconies in the cold air. Windows were also kept wide open day and night in bedrooms and dormitories, perhaps in an effort to freeze the disease. Poor patients had little treatment and often died quickly.

About Wednesday 24 January 1665/66

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“. . .and even sacke for lacke of a little wine, which I was forced to drink against my oathe, but without pleasure.”

That must make it all right, then. It doesn’t count if it isn’t pleasurable.


To die — to sleep.
To sleep — perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub!

Hamlet, Shakespeare

About Saturday 20 January 1665/66

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Mary: Mr Kinaston

I don't think that this is the same man as the famous actor of that name.

No, the actor’s name is Kinison, but Pepys and he share the same first name.

About Thursday 18 January 1665/66

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Like Eric Walla, I too wondered if Elizabeth ever changed out of her nightgown and wore a coat, it being February. I don’t suppose she would have gone out without changing, though. Not a detail Sam would think was worth recording.

About Tuesday 16 January 1665/66

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Matquess: “I am surprised that Sam didn't try it on with the young woman when she came to ask for advice.“

Who’s to say he didn’t, though it would be very risky with his wife in the house. He may have set the scene for a future encounter.

I, too, would like to know what “pretty black and white” meant.

About Wednesday 10 January 1665/66

Louise Hudson  •  Link

We might all appreciate warmed plates if we lived in a house that did not have central heating with dishes kept in unheated cupboards, which was the case in England in Pepys’ time. I remember my grandmothers, both of whom cooked meals on enormous coal stoves, which also provided the only heat in the house, placing plates in the oven to warm. This was in Pennsylvania’s coal country where temperatures could drop to well below freezing for weeks on end and the dishes became as cold as ice. I doubt they could ever have imagined something as fancy and expensive as a chafing dish.