Annotations and comments

Louise Hudson has posted 479 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.


About Friday 8 April 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Australian Susan asked about Alms Houses
"Anyone know if these exist in Deptford still?"

Perhaps you have discovered them by now, 10 years after asking the question, Susan. If not there are many listed in Debtford on various websites on the Internet. It isn't clear to me if any are still standing.…

But there are many almshouses across England still standing and in use as houses.….

I've seen the ones in Appleby (Cumbria) and in Watford (Hertfordshire).…

About Sunday 3 April 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

David G.

And down South, and something my parents always said, "up home" even though "home" (where their parents lived) was not up but west on the same latitude. This was in the US. My relatives in Pennsylvania used to say they were going ."out" to New Jersey, where we lived.

About Sunday 27 March 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I suspect that Sam has some person or persons in mind, perhaps unborn, someone "out there" to whom he is directing his writing, perhaps a son or daughter, or anyone who might come across his writings after his own demise--someone who might be interested in knowing what life was like in 17th Century London. I doubt he thought all of us would be reading his writing 500 years later, but it's not hard to believe he wanted his writing to be read by someone, so he was addressing that unknown entity. I remember when I wrote a diary, I always thought of some unknown person, perhaps a descendant in another century reading it, so I wrote to that person, assuming that he or she would need some things explained. I'd wager that the Rev. Josselin did, too. A little like acting to an empty house. You can't help hoping someone is listening.

Maids who were "Jills of all trades" and could handle most household chores were called maids of all work, at least in subsequent centuries. They went where they were needed and didn't specialize.

About Tuesday 22 March 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Sean wrote:

"My God. I can't believe Pepys was turned on by seeing dogs do it."

But he didn't see them do it, according to the passage. He must have been turned on just by the thought of it, which is even creepier!

About Sunday 20 March 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link


"but, in spite of his fears, she died a Protestant"

[SPOILER--for anyone who doesn't know of the timing of Elizabeth's death.]

Elizabeth didn't have a lot of time to decide whether to become a Catholic. She died unexpectedly at a young age. She may well have planned to become a Catholic before she died, but didn't have the opportunity.

About Saturday 19 March 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

LHayes. "[H]aving a good hen, with eggs, to dinner, with great content." Anyone else, on first reading this, imagine a happy hen and her eggs sitting down to dinner with Sam and Elizabeth?"

I had the same thought. I also wonder if eating hen and eggs would be considered not kosher, like eating meat and dairy. But I suspect Sam wouldn't know anything about that.

About Friday 18 March 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Dan Jenkins writes of private cemeteries. In a small town in a churchyard in Pennsylvania where many of my ancestors are buried, there is at least one private family cemetery within the churchyard, with a short wall around it. I have seen similar ones in various other cemeteries.

Thanks to Glynn for the information about "burnt wine". I couldn't wrap my head around that one.

About Tuesday 15 March 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

It seems so strange to us in the 21st century that young otherwise healthy person could die for no known reason. I wonder if there is a doctor on this blog who could offer an opinion as to what killed Tom. There could be no modern post mortem, either. But surely Tom's symptoms could point to something considering our understanding of modern medicine. Other well known historical figures have been diagnosed in retrospect--Charlotte Bronte and Mozart being two examples.

About Thursday 10 March 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

To "call" in England means to visit--hence calling cards. Many an unaware American in England has been surprised--or shocked--to find someone ringing his doorbell unexpectedly after someone said he'd call. If it's telephone contact he's referring to a modern day Brit would say he'll "ring" you. I assume that "calling" in Pepys' time, as it does today, meant coming to someone's home, in this case for Pepys to "collect" his wife at Mrs. Hunt's where he had "set" her earlier.

About Tuesday 8 March 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Robert Gertz wrote:

"I suppose if you bottled it under a fancy trade name, slapped a $1,300 price per ounce on it, and got Angelina Jolie to splash a bit..."

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

About Wednesday 2 March 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Andrew Hamilton wrote:
"Is anyone else struck by the fashion in the days of Charles II of putting one's name on some remote place? There's Pennsylvania, Charleston (S.C.), where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers flow together to form the Atlantic Ocean, as we all learned as children, Digby Nova Scotia, Carteret, New Jersey, and of course New York, then Fairfax, Va., lots of Virginia counties, and, of course, Sandwich, Massachusetts. Alas Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. is not named for Lord Lauderdale, but it may be named for a descendant. Nowadays the proprietors of all this real estate would command large premiums for such naming rights. I guess the Indians didn't have good agents."

People were perhaps less mercenary and more ethical then. This is from Wikipedia

Vice Admiral Sir George Carteret, 1st Baronet (c.1610—18 January 1680 N.S.), son of Elias de Carteret, was a royalist statesman in Jersey and England, who served in the Clarendon Ministry as Treasurer of the Navy. He was also one of the original Lords Proprietor of the former British colony of Carolina and New Jersey. Carteret, New Jersey, as well as Carteret County, North Carolina, both in the United States, are named after him.

About Wednesday 2 March 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Pedro wrote:

"I threatened my future wife that, when reading my vows, I would say "my awful wedded wife". Of course on the day I had to be very very careful."

She could easily have gotten back at you by saying, "my awful wedded husband."

Has the marriage held up?

About Sunday 28 February 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I wonder how old the boy is. Probably no more than 10. What a time for children! If they're orphaned, hungry and homeless, make use of them.

About Saturday 27 February 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Mrs. Bagwell, wife of William.

Oliver Mundy on 12 Aug 2016
Guy de la Bedoyère ('The Letters of Samuel Pepys', Boydell, Woodbridge, 2006: ISBN 184383197X) identifies her as Judith (née Campion), citing a record of the marriage of this woman and a William Bagwell in 1658.

"I liked the woman very well and stroked her under the chin". . .

Plenty of territory under the chin.

"One of the most notorious aphrodisiacs, oysters are high in zinc and have a reputation for being great for love and fertility. Researchers recently found that oysters contain amino acids that trigger production of sex hormones." Wikipedia.

About Thursday 25 February 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

It's more likely that any male desire for offspring in Pepys' time and class was to fulfill the desire of the wife. That's not to say men didn't love their children or identify with them once they had them, but they probably didn't pine for them the way a woman might. I could be wrong but I doubt that a child would have changed Pepys' daily life very much--at least not during in a child's early years.

About Sunday 21 February 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

The first use of the word luncheon I ever heard was in Nancy Drew mysteries. It did add an air of sophistication to my ears that lunch never had. That, along with her roadster. Lunch was what we ate at school from brown paper bags.

I can imagine Sam was quite happy with the most admirable slut Susan.

About Thursday 18 February 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Pepys often works in his office until midnight or later. He must have had some kind of light--candles or lanterns, perhaps, though oil lamps didn't come into use until the late 1700s. Pepys would probably have had candleholders with a shiny metal panel behind the candle to increase the candlelight. It couldn't have been easy to read anything after dark until gaslight was invented in the 1800s.

About Wednesday 17 February 1663/64

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"Up, and with my wife, setting her down by her father’s in Long Acre, in so ill looked a place, among all the whore houses, that I was troubled at it, to see her go thither. "

Apparently not troubled enough to go with her. Oh, yes, he had more important things to consider than his wife's safety--or "the girl's" sleep, but I'm sure he pays her well.