Annotations and comments

has posted 479 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.


About Saturday 12 May 1666

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I agree with JWB and Phoenix. I, too, would liked to read Pepys’ words about Elisabeth’s illness and death, as wrenching as it would have been. We would have learned so much. Given all of the diseases around at the time it’s amazing that anyone reached 30.


Elisabeth died of typhoid fever at the age of 29. I wonder if they knew what her illness was. If only they’d had antibiotics then.

About Wednesday 2 May 1666

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“Thence among other stops went to my ruler’s house, and there staid a great while with Nan idling away the afternoon with pleasure.”

With Pepys’ proclivities. I’d worry about the “girle”, indoors or out.

About Tuesday 1 May 1666

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I can just hear Peter Cook, in "On the Bench" from "Beyond the Fringe":
"Yes, I could have been a judge but I never had the Latin, never had the Latin for the judging, I just never had sufficient of it to get through the rigorous judging exams. They're noted for their rigor. People come staggering out saying, 'My God, what a rigorous exam --.' And so I became a miner instead."

Thanks for the memories, A. Hamilton. I miss Peter Cook.

“I managed to get through the mining exams — they're not very rigorous, they only ask one question, they say, "What is your name?", and I got 50 per cent on that.”

About Friday 27 April 1666

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Many of you have helped me to know what leads are, but I can’t get the thought out of my head that they are on a pitched roof and Sam and Bess (and their guests) had to hold on to keep from sliding off. A funny picture.

About Thursday 12 April 1666

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“She grows mighty homely and looks old. Thence ashamed at myself for this losse of time”

He would have been less likely to consider it a loss of time if she’d been younger and better looking.

About Wednesday 11 April 1666

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Thanks for the information, SD Sarah. What a coincidence that the inventor of the clothes hanger might have been named Hanger. Nomenclature is destiny, I guess.

About Wednesday 11 April 1666

Louise Hudson  •  Link

When I read about rails in his wife’s closet I was thinking of rails or poles to hang hangers on, as we have now. Couldn’t figure how leads came into it unless he meant brackets. But Robin Peters writes about French Windows, a flat roof and a recreation area. In Elizabeth’s closet?

In any case, does anyone know if they had anything like modern clothes hangers in 1666? If not, how did they hang up their clothes? Perhaps only on hooks?

About Wednesday 28 March 1666

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“Thence to the Cockpitt, and dined with a great deal of company at the Duke of Albemarle’s, and a bad and dirty, nasty dinner.”

But, apparently, he ate it.

About Sunday 25 March 1666

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Sarah: I should have known there was an easy way to find out, but the census department of the US Government would never have occurred to me to be the place to look.

It didn’t occur to me, either. I found it with a Google search.

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.