Annotations and comments

Louise Hudson has posted 480 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.

11 Jan 2019, 2:48 a.m. - Louise Hudson

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.

8 Jan 2019, 4:27 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Terry Foreman wrote: Knipp" Pepys's phonetic spelling of "Knepp" shows how early the medial e sound in English began its migration. In the US very few of us still SAY English as a matter of course; most of our compatriots say "Inglish." The change in pronunciation was a result of the Great Vowel Shift that took place between the 1400s and into the 1700s, so Sam was right in the middle of it, without realizing it was happening, of course. Interesting information on the vowel shift, including its causes, here:

7 Jan 2019, 12:29 p.m. - Louise Hudson

Linda F wrote “The thought of Sam extracting the clove from one piece of sticky cake and hiding it in another reminds me that back then no one had the first notion of germs and how they operate.” At the time when everything anyone came in contact must have been teeming with with bacteria, personal hygiene being unknown, I doubt the handling of a single clove would have made much difference. I wanted to remind myself of the lyrics to Barbara Allen, so did an Internet search and found this: . “Looking for Barbara Allen? Get Cell Phone #, Address, Pics & more.” Who knew? I did find interesting history and other information at

6 Jan 2019, 3:38 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Thanks, Colin, I think! Barbers were tooth pullers then. They were called barber surgeons. No antiseptics, no anesthetics, probably little washing of hands.

5 Jan 2019, 2:06 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Nt another word about poor Bess’s toothache. What did they do in those days for toothache? No modern dentistry.

26 Dec 2018, 8:44 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Mweey Christmas ro you, too, SDS. We are well and dry and more important, unburnt. We made it through the latest fires unscathed, though some friends lost their houses.

24 Dec 2018, 10:15 p.m. - Louise Hudson

Ralph Berry wrote, “I would like to try one of his fine venison pies”. You can make one or have someone make it for you. Here’s one recipe, though it is probaby much better than anything Pepys ever had. There are many other recipes online, too.

22 Dec 2018, 2:41 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Tg: And then the widow Burrows is made to submit but luckily proves to be "a most modest woman". Apparently she didn’t let him get to where he wanted to go, so that made her a “most modest woman”. LSL, you won’t get slammed. There are plenty of women who have common sense. Don’t equate us all with the lunatic fringe.

24 Nov 2018, 5:42 p.m. - Louise Hudson

MarkS wrote: “The one mitigating factor for Pepys is that he never went further than "doing what I would with my hands about her". It seems he considered actual sex as going too far. There is no suggestion that she was unwilling, though of course that is no excuse, then or now.” According to the encyclopedia here, she was “barely pre pubescent in the two years Pepys knew her” Different times, yes, but still outrageous behavior. I wouldn’t call it a “mitigating” factor. No idea why he refers to as her as “Mrs.” Her birth name was Tooker. If she’d been married she would have been known by her husband’s name.

24 Nov 2018, 8:40 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Pepys may use “it” because girls and women were considered to be objects for men’s pleasure. Australian Susan says, “It was ok to beat servants-just not too much.” Maybe it was ok to molest children, too-just not too much. I doubt they had an age of consent in Pepys’ time. Consent was apparently unnecessary.

19 Oct 2018, 5:47 a.m. - Louise Hudson

“Up, and after some pleasant discourse with my wife (though my head full of business) I out and left her to go home, and myself to the office, and thence by water to the Duke of Albemarle’s, and so back again and find my wife gone.” Did he ever find out where she was? “. . . after eating something, to bed, my mind eased of a great deal of figures and castings.” But no thought of Bess.

8 Oct 2018, 2:06 a.m. - Louise Hudson

A. Hamilton: “Don Macahill's remark reminds me that I made a similar suggestion in a book on the defense budget circa 1972. It was called "Helpless Giant" and in the introduction, which I wrote but which was signed by Rep. Les Aspin D Wis., I suggested, as I recall, that members of Congress take down the photographs and models of new weapons systems on their office walls and replace them with pictures of the poor.” Did they do it? (Rhetorical question)

3 Oct 2018, 2:12 a.m. - Louise Hudson

“and there going up I did upon the stairs overtake three pretty mayds or women and took them up with me, and I did ‘baiser sur mouches et toucher leur mains’ and necks to my great pleasure” Too bad there wasn’t a #MeToo movement in Pepys’ time. 17th Century women could certainly have used it.

10 Sep 2018, 9:23 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Thanks, Sarah. I agree with your assessment.

9 Sep 2018, 3:17 a.m. - Louise Hudson

What’s up with the letter Sam “discusses” with his wife? Not even a comment on it!

16 Aug 2018, 6:39 a.m. - Louise Hudson

“It was dark before I could get home, and so land at Church-yard stairs, where, to my great trouble, I met a dead corps of the plague, in the narrow ally just bringing down a little pair of stairs. But I thank God I was not much disturbed at it.” Good grief! He might have not been “disturbed” by it but I wonder of he stumbled over it or touched it! Even in those days they must have known that the plague was “catching” somehow.. Even if they didn’t know the process of contagion, they must have known that people came down with the plague after being close to someone else who had it or who was dead from it. They knew enough to go away from the city to try to avoid it. Sam seems very cavalier about it despite people dying of plague all around him every day. Well, we know he lived to age 70, so must have managed to avoid it, despite meeting “a dead corpse of the plague.”

3 Aug 2018, 7:42 a.m. - Louise Hudson

£1900 in 1665 would be worth approximately £200,000 today.

2 Aug 2018, 2:06 a.m. - Louise Hudson

“I first to see the bridegroom and bride, and found them both up, and he gone to dress himself. Both red in the face, and well enough pleased this morning with their night’s lodging.” It’s easy to see why newlyweds have come to prefer going out of town for their wedding night. What cheek!

17 Jul 2018, 11:56 a.m. - Louise Hudson

"...Lady Jem. must have something done to her body by Scott before she can be married..." By the circumlocution I suspect Jem has an imperforate hymen requiring Scott, the surgeon, to perform an hymenotomy. We have no reason to suspect the neck straightening 5 years ago was not a success, and that whatever is now required is minor in that marriage not postponed. ————- How would anyone know she had an imperforate hymen before she was married?

4 Jul 2018, 6:42 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Yes, there are various meanings of "very poor" but Pepys used the phrase. He must have had something in mind. Perhaps Lawson left the widow with much more debt than assets.