Annotations and comments

Charles Miller has posted nine annotations/comments since 10 August 2023.

The most recent first…

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Third Reading

About Friday 15 February 1660/61

Charles Miller  •  Link

Just to update SPs value, according to the Bank of England’s historical converter, £350 in 1660 is worth £57,915.47 as at January 2024.

About Wednesday 2 January 1660/61

Charles Miller  •  Link

I’m inclined to be a little more generous to Pall, ‘though I didn’t know about the scissors or book, were they stolen (and hidden away) or just borrowed without permission for instance. Certainly it was common for unmarried females to become semi-servants in middling class households and I see parallels with Parson Woodforde whose niece acted as housekeeper until he died although she was certainly at his table she was also in the kitchen. Her main “complaint” was probably as I suspect Palls was, a vibrant young woman rusticating in rural England without much prospect of marriage: too well born to be a laborers wife and too low to be gentry, a true middle class dilemma which must have been incredibly frustrating - living with elderly parents with no company of your own age, it must have been like living on Mars, no wonder she grew rebellious by her early 20’s, most women had started large families of their own by then.. She had my sympathy but SP is behaving perfectly correctly.

About Monday 31 December 1666

Charles Miller  •  Link

https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/…

A small point re Larry Bunce’s assertion that SPs £6200 would be worth £8.9m in 2010, according to the historic currency converter at Kew, £6200 in 1670 (the nearst year that can be selected) would be worth £705,426.70 in 2017, the present cut off year for the converter, a far more plausible sum..

About Friday 30 November 1660

Charles Miller  •  Link

The barrel in this instance would, I think, be similar to a costrel - a small portable container in use until the 19th century, and would probably contain 24-30 oysters, so enough to share as a mid-morning snack with office colleagues, perhaps 3-4 each. What I don’t know is whether the barrel was bought or returned.. SP mentions them so often, what did he do with them?

About The Royal Prince

Charles Miller  •  Link

Better still is the Admiralty Board model of Prince, held in store by the Science Museum, London: https://collection.sciencemuseumg…

This is highy accurate in scale and even the carved work, likely made by a talented shipwright at the yard. Let’s hope they put it back on public view one day.

About Tuesday 28 August 1660

Charles Miller  •  Link

According to the Bank of England, 2/6 in 1660 equates to about £20.59 today - but in 1955 was only the equivalent of £2.69 which, assuming they’ve kept it pre-decimal might not be too far off, but I wasn’t around to judge….

About Thursday 23 August 1660

Charles Miller  •  Link

I wonder if if could be one of a choice depending on taste and availability - chocolate was becoming available in the right places, and warmed milk with nutmeg or honey are also referenced elsewhere in the diary.

About Thursday 16 August 1660

Charles Miller  •  Link

I was on a group visit to Boston and environs this May, the tipping culture is almost aggressive, expected for the smallest service. The payment machines suggest three levels of tip, which are then taxed along with the rest of the bill. The rather gruff coach driver apparently expected a tip north of $1000 for his three part days work - he didn’t get it, but still had one I’d call generous. Contrast this to France where the opposite has occurrd and tipping is disappearing..

About Thursday 9 August 1660

Charles Miller  •  Link

Bit of nautical trivia re the 'Plymouth': Capt. John Hayward was only in command of her between 14th June to 24th August 1660. She was a Third Rate (or 'Middling Ship') built by John Taylor at Wapping, ordered 1652 and commissioned 1654. She was 139.5 ft long and displaced 741 tons, carried a crew of 260 with 52 guns, completed at an initial cost of £5,372.5.0d. She had quite a long life and was re-built as a Fourth Rate at Blackwall in 1703-5 - but foundered with all hands in Channel 11th August 1705.