Annotations and comments

Louise Hudson has posted 497 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.


Second Reading

About Saturday 8 February 1661/62

Louise Hudson  •  Link

daniel on 9 Feb 2005 • Link

Chillish today?
Why not a Physic?

According to seventeenth century medicine, does anyone know the connection between these two conditions?

It was a common thing to think that physic would remedy just about any ailment. This thinking went well into the 20th Century and perhaps the 21st in some places. My own parents had this notion.

About Thursday 6 February 1661/62

Louise Hudson  •  Link

alteracon: presumaby Sam's idiosyncratic spelling of alteration. Nothing to get excited about. i doubt there is anything more to it than that.

About Tuesday 4 February 1661/62

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Vicenzo wrote: "...They say every woman dreams of snakes at least once in her life... "

I'm not sure the snakes women dream of are necessarily reptiles.

About Sunday 19 January 1661/62

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I've heard that before insurance for shipments, shippers would break up their packs of goods and place them on different ships so if one went down, the whole shipment would not be lost. This could have been the precursor of insurance, which would have made such breaking up of shipments unnecessary. The cost of a lost shipment would be bourne by all who bought the insurance.

About Thursday 16 January 1661/62

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Dirk : "In 2002 (last year in the database), £6 from 1662 would have been worth £491.23, using the retail price index. And similarly 36s from 1662 would be £147.37. . .

"So, the portraits are costing Sam a considerable sum of money.

Two hand-painted portraits would have cost a lot more than £491 in 2007. The frames would also cost more than £147 for two unless they were a poor grade and were bought at a discount store. Sam got a bargain compared to 2007.

About Wednesday 15 January 1661/62

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I suspect "the plague" in this case was a biblical threat and not an actual one, a religious punishment because they had failed to fast--a little like saying, "God will punish us for that."

About Monday 13 January 1661/62

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"whose mother, Mary Attwaters, after forty-four years of widowhood, died at ninety-three, having lived to see three hundred and sixty-seven of her own lawful descendants"

I wonder how that worked out exactly. Seems impossible.

About Sunday 12 January 1661/62

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"So home and to read, I being troubled to hear my wife rate though not without cause at her mayd Nell, who is a lazy slut."

I wonder why he didn't beat her. He's done that to troublesome servants before.

About Friday 3 January 1661/62

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"...I am loth to do for fear I have spent too much, and delay it the rather that I may pay for my pictures and my wife’s, and the book that I am buying for Paul’s School before I do cast up my accompts."

Comforting to know that even in London in the 1600s "denial" was not just a river in Egypt.

About Monday 30 December 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"If you were living in London around the time of the Great Fire on 1666 WHAT would you be eating and drinking?

Firstly the city of London – and elsewhere – would contain a number of Chop Houses. Chop houses were places where city folk, traders and businessmen discussed their commercial affairs over plates of traditionally cooked meats such as steaks and chops, which were usually grilled. These were consumed with beers or fine wines.

The 17th century is when the forks began to be used in Britain. They were introduced from Italy and were seen as unmanly at the start but gradually became accepted over the next century.
This was also the century when many new foods were introduced into England. By and large these were only for the wealthy. These new foods included fruits from exotic locations in the new world such as bananas and pineapples.

For the majority of the population food was basic and boring like bread, cheese and onions. Pottage was an almost daily part of the diet. This was a stew that was prepared by boiling grain in water to make a kind of porridge. If you could obtain it you might add some meat or vegetables.

For the better off pies, pastries and puddings were popular – in many cases richer than what we would eat today. Due to the fact that Prince Charles I had a French wife more elaborate dishes with strong sauces were introduced and were called kickshaws, after ‘quelquechose’, the French word for ‘something’. Charles II married a Portuguese princess and so the fashion for European food remained strong in his reign. So we see the use of anchovies, capers and wine, roux, ragouts and fricassees. Salads using raw uncooked vegetables started to be eaten as well in this time.

It is interesting that when Samuel Pepys saw the fire approaching in 1666 the items he choise to bury and save was a large parmesan cheese and his wine – showing what he valued."…

I think Pepys was not exaggerating when he spoke almost exclusively of meat, fish and oysters at most meals. I suspect that if vegetables were snuck in we would have heard about it. bread. Of course, was not worth mentioning. It was what everyone ate when there was nothing else available, even by the relatively well-off.

Interesting notes about forks.

About Friday 27 December 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

". . . and did hear him tell a story, which he did persuade us to believe to be true, that St. John and the Virgin Mary did appear to Gregory, a Bishopp, at his prayer to be confirmed in the faith, which I did wonder to hear from him. "

Then I did write about it in my diary.

About Sunday 22 December 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

You may be right but the Mrs. got blamed, anyway, not just the maid.

"there I took occasion, from the blacknesse of the meat as it came out of the pot, to fall out with my wife and my maid for their sluttery"

About Sunday 22 December 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"to fall out with my wife and my maid for their sluttery"

He probably meant slovenliess or carelessness because the meat was not well cooked.

Apparently he never did a thing in the kitchen (befitting his station and the times). Complaining and verbal abuse he was good at. How I wish Elizabeth had kept a diary that survived.

About Friday 13 December 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Australian Susan wrote

"...while I all the while stood looking on a pretty lady's picture, whose face did please me extremely….”
Oh Sam! Sam! Sam! Maybe Elizabeth didn’t notice? It’s the honesty of Sam’s remarks, such as this, which make this diary such excellent reading (one thing among many).

Louise: I'm sure if Elizabeth did notice he would have said something about studying the painting technique--certainly not the subject.

Susan: It’s good that he is much better pleased with Savill’s attempt on Elizabeth’s likeness than his own - he was becoming quite sour about his portrait.

Louise: Don't we all have a picture in our heads about what we look like? Isn't that picture far better looking than any "likeness," be it a painting in Sam's day or a photograph in ours? I'm always chagrined at what I look like in photos. They look nothing like the picture I have of myself in my head. But Sam knows what Elizabeth looks like so the painting might well have reflected her actual looks (even in dead color) . Sam, though, was probably convinced that he was much better looking than he was depicted on canvas.

About Thursday 5 December 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I think Paynter was just Sam's way of spelling painter. It isn't the first time nor will it be the last that he's using creative spelling.

About Thursday 5 December 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Many painters won't allow subjects to see portraits until they are finished. Don't know if that was the practice in Sam's day. If it was Sam must have sneaked a peek when the paInter wasn't looking. Or he's just overly concerned.

About Wednesday 20 November 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"my Lady Wright being there too, whom I find to be a witty but very conceited woman and proud"

I wonder if he would describe an opinionated man as conceited and proud?

About Monday 18 November 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Too bad there was no Alcoholics Anonymous in Pepys' time. They would have told him that there is no difference between being merry amd being drunk and that alcoholics try to fool themselves that way all the time. Come on Sam. Up on your feet: "My name is Samuel Pepys and I am an alcoholic."

About Saturday 16 November 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Chancery Court in Pepys' time mst have been like Chancery Court in Dickens' time, which Dickens wrote about in Bleak House. Apparently not much had changed in Chancery Court in the approximately 200 years between Pepys and Dickens. 

"At the novel's core is long-running litigation in England's Court of Chancery, Jarndyce v Jarndyce, which has far-reaching consequences for all involved. This case revolves around a testator who apparently made several wills. The litigation, which already has taken many years and consumed between £60,000 and £70,000 in court costs, is emblematic of the failure of Chancery. Dickens's assault on the flaws of the British judicial system is based in part on his own experiences as a law clerk, and in part on his experiences as a Chancery litigant seeking to enforce copyright on his earlier books. His harsh characterisation of the slow, arcane Chancery law process gave memorable form to pre-existing widespread frustration with the system.…