Annotations and comments

Louise Hudson has posted 337 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.

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About Tuesday 15 November 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I wonder if a blind alehouse was something like what were called speakeasies in the 20th century—a drinking place that had no sign, hidden doorways, perhaps no windows, where secret assignations could take place. Although actual speakeasies in the US were created during Prohibition to skirt the law against buying and selling alcoholic drinks, there were probably secret pubs for other kinds of subterfuge in many places.

About Thursday 10 November 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

When the servants get sick like this, is it common for them to stay in their Master's house or return home for care? Granted she may be too ill to travel, but I'd be curious if Elizabeth is caring for her, other staff, etc. and what the norm would be.

I suspect she stayed at the Pepys’. I think he would have said if she was taken away. Most likely it was Bess’s woman or another servant who took care of her rather than Bess. herself. Just basing this on my sense of how things probably were then.

About Wednesday 9 November 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“The Duke of York is this day
gone away to Portsmouth.”

That sounds like the beginning of a Limerick or a nursery rhyme. It might be hard to find a rhyme for Portsmouth, though.

About Sunday 6 November 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Robert Gertz: Seriously, it's always interesting to me that Sam makes no suggestion that Uncle is seeking or getting anything from him; especially when Sam speaks of a good day with the Fishery Committee I'd expect to find evidence that our fishmonger Uncle has some finger in the pie but as yet, nothing from Sam indicating Wight is involved or even interested in his dealings. So far only in the business of the mysterious Iuduco Maes has there been any hint of Wight seeking favors or help from his well-connected nephew.


It’s different when it’s in the family. Neoptism works both ways, from uncle to nephew and vice versa.

About Monday 31 October 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

He might have been, but I doubt he would have told her that. I think it’s more likely that he was feeling as if he spent too much on his clothes, so started worrying about money, and who better to take it out on than handy Bess and her “wasteful” ways with the household accounts.

About Monday 31 October 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Yes, Sarah. I’ll bet she didn’t spend £17 on clothes for herself, either. I wouldn’t blame her for padding the books. Living with a man who watches every penny she spends but thinks nothing of decking himself out with expensive clothes would make any women rebel. She deserves every penny she manages fo squeeze out of the household accounts—more actually, but she probably has no chance to access any other funds. . I’ll also wager that she has no idea how much Sam spent on his new duds, nor how much he has “laid up”. Women had no right to know how much their husbands earned or anything about how he handled “his” money. I know for a fact that this attitude went on all the way through the 20th century in some families. Maybe it still happens today, in England, especially.

About Thursday 20 October 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“Then I to my office, where I took in with me Bagwell’s wife, and there I caressed her, and find her every day more and more coming with good words and promises of getting her husband a place, which I will do. “

Sounds like today’s Harvey Weinstein. “Be nice to me and I’ll find your husband a job, my little chickadee.”

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

About Wednesday 19 October 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Glyn wrote: “London women in the 17th century seem a bit more able to stick up for themselves than I had imagined before reading this diary.”

I doubt many London women had the ability to do so. Most of them would have been burdened with a constant round of child care. Sam and Elizabeth were by this time married for 9 years. If she was able to conceive she could easily have borne five children by 1664. Effective birth control was unheard of. It’s unlikely she would have been out socializing as she was if she’d had a baby every two years or so as most of her peers would have had. Sam’s diary would have been very different.

About Tuesday 11 October 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Lady Castlemaine's title was Lady of the Bedchamber. Indeed! (Alas, not the King's bedchamber.)

Read about her fascinating life on Wikipedia.

"[She] had many notable descendants, including Diana, Princess of Wales, Sarah, Duchess of York, the Mitford sisters, philosopher Bertrand Russell, Sir Anthony Eden, British Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957, and Serena Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon."

I suspect that when Sam says they "sat all morning," it was to engage in royal gossip, general chitchat and politics, as he does in the diary.