Annotations and comments

Nick Hedley has posted 27 annotations/comments since 3 June 2012.

The most recent first…


Second Reading

About Wednesday 3 March 1668/69

Nick Hedley  •  Link

The Temple was originally the headquarters of the Knights Templars but they were disbanded and, in 1608, King James I granted the Temple to the two Inns of court, Inner and Middle Temple. He stipulated that the Inns should provide the accommodation and education of those studying and following the professions of the law.
The Lord Mayor of London presides over the City of London and, for example, presides nominally over the Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey, and indeed the Old Bailey cannot sit unless one of the Sheriffs of the City is in residence. To this day, the Lord Mayor walks in procession preceded by a sword carrier, who carries a large ceremonial sword pointing upwards to show his authority. Temple is located within the City.
This protest is therefore a turf dispute as to whether the Lord Mayor holds sway in the Temple or whether the Temple is self governing under the rights granted to them in 1608 by the monarch. The Lord Mayor entering the Temple with his sword pointing upwards indicated his thoughts on the matter and the students disagreed.

About Sunday 3 January 1668/69

Nick Hedley  •  Link

Maria Entrup-Henemann at the website gives a discussion of a "trencher salt" as follows:
"I admired the great medieval salts which had not only a practical use but, above all, a ceremonial importance, indicating the relative status of persons by their position at the table in relation to the large salt. However this use was not very convenient, so that, at the end of the 17th century, so called trencher salts were added. Trenchers were individual slabs of hard bread or wood that served as individual plates. Finally the large salts disappeared and individual salts were placed next to each individual trencher or between two of them.

The trencher salts are the early type of salt cellars. There were no spoons in use: you had to put the salt with your knife (as long as it was clean) on the rim of the plate. The salts had no feet and show a wide range of shapes: round, oval rectangular, triangular or octagonal."

No mention of heating, though.

About Tuesday 10 March 1667/68

Nick Hedley  •  Link

In Nix's interesting extracts from the Records of Middlesex County 10 years ago, there is a phrase "in respect to the conviction Sir Thomas Halford pleaded his clergy, and further that the branding was respited at the King's special order. .".
"Pleading of Clergy" was a legal mechanism afforded originally to the clergy but later to anyone who could read, whereby the penalty of a first offence was reduced. The culprit was often branded to show that he had received the benefit of a first offender already, see

About Wednesday 13 November 1667

Nick Hedley  •  Link

"and this heat of the House is much heightened by Sir Thomas Clifford telling them, that he was the man that did, out of his own purse, employ people at the out-ports to prevent the King of Scots to escape after the battle of Worcester."

I cannot understand why Sir Thomas Clifford would want to boast that he tried to prevent the escape after the Battle of Worcester of the current king, Charles II (King of the Scots at the time of the battle). Sir Thomas is currently part of the same king's household (according to the link, he became Comptroller of the Household in 1666 and a member of the Privy Council). Also, this escape seems to be one of the king's favourite anecdotes.

Surely, the report in the diary is mistaken.

About Tuesday 29 October 1667

Nick Hedley  •  Link

" Lord Bruncker and I close together till almost 3 after noon, never stirring, making up a report for the Committee this afternoon about the business of discharging men by ticket" ... "but I think I have done it to very good purpose".

So Samuel did not think much of my Lord Brunker's contribution to the report.

About Monday 4 February 1666/67

Nick Hedley  •  Link

It is lovely how one can feel the resonance of the Diary in modern London. I gave blood at the Barber-Surgeon's Hall on Monday. The appointments were running late so I wandered around their treasures on display, including two fine drinking cups and a splendid Holbein showing Henry VIII presenting a charter to the Barber-Surgeons company, see… for the cups and for the Holbein.

I was chuffed to learn that the Holbein and one of the cups (the right hand one shown in the link above) was mentioned in the Diary of 27 February 1662/3:
"Among other observables we drank the King’s health out of a gilt cup given by King Henry VIII. to this Company, with bells hanging at it, which every man is to ring by shaking after he hath drunk up the whole cup. There is also a very excellent piece of the King, done by Holbein, stands up in the Hall, with the officers of the Company kneeling to him to receive their Charter"

The other cup was, in part, presented by Samuel's friend James Pearse, Surgeon

About Thursday 24 January 1666/67

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HMS Bredagh was originally called HMS Nantwich when it was built during the Commonwealth. Nantwich in Cheshire was the site of a battle in the Civil War, which was won by the Parliamentarians. No doubt this was the reason HMS Nantwich was originally named and subsequently renamed.

About Saturday 11 August 1666

Nick Hedley  •  Link

During this second iteration of the diary, I am not sure that sufficient thanks and credit has been given to the regular and irregular annotators in this round; may I especially thank San Diego Sarah (do I detect a professional historian?) for her informative and knowledgeable comments, and especially her response to my query of yesterday, and of course Terry Foreman who has spanned both rounds and others I should no doubt mention. As a regular reader, but not a poster because all the comments I would like to make have already been made, I would like to say that your posts add an extra dimension to my daily Pepysian fix. Thank you.

About Friday 10 August 1666

Nick Hedley  •  Link

"I met with Colvill, and he and I did agree about his lending me 1000l. upon a tally of 1000l. for Tangier."
Why would Colvill lend 1000l. on a tally of 1000l.? Where is the profit in that to match the risk or even the interest? Or is it a favour because of other business put his way?
Sorry if this has already been discussed - I must have missed it or (more likely) forgotten.

About Friday 25 May 1666

Nick Hedley  •  Link

" travel to Hackney and back, which is a journey of roughly 15 miles in total"
The historic village of Hackney is closer to Seething Lane than you may think. Nearer 5 miles round trip than 15.
I work occasionally in Crutched Friars, just round the corner from Seething Lane and in the summer, I munch a sandwich for lunch in the courtyard garden of St Olave's church, catching up with this blog. Very atmospheric and much recommended.

About Sunday 10 December 1665

Nick Hedley  •  Link

Evelyn's tribute mentioned by The Greenwich Patriot is:
"26th May, 1703. This day died Mr. Samuel Pepys, a very worthy, industrious and curious person, none in England exceeding him in knowledge of the navy, in which he had passed through all the most considerable offices, Clerk of the Acts and Secretary of the Admiralty, all which he performed with great integrity. When King James II. went out of England, he laid down his office, and would serve no more; but withdrawing himself from all public affairs, he lived at Clapham with his partner, Mr. Hewer, formerly his clerk, in a very noble house and sweet place, where he enjoyed the fruit of his labors in great prosperity. He was universally beloved, hospitable, generous, learned in many things, skilled in music, a very great cherisher of learned men of whom he had the conversation. His library and collection of other curiosities were of the most considerable, the models of ships especially. Besides what he published of an account of the navy, as he found and left it, he had for divers years under his hand the History of the Navy, or Navalia, as he called it; but how far advanced, and what will follow of his, is left, I suppose, to his sister's son, Mr. Jackson, a young gentleman, whom Mr. Pepys had educated in all sorts of useful learning, sending him to travel abroad, from whence he returned with extraordinary accomplishments, and worthy to be heir. Mr. Pepys had been for near forty years so much my particular friend, that Mr. Jackson sent me complete mourning, desiring me to be one to hold up the pall at his magnificent obsequies; but my indisposition hindered me from doing him this last office."

About Thursday 14 September 1665

Nick Hedley  •  Link

I suspect that the "plate" that was left at home is not what we now call "silver plate", i.e. silver plated on base metal such as copper or cupronickel since electroplating was not developed until the 1840s and even the earlier Sheffield plate, which involved fusing silver onto copper, was not developed until the 1740s. I would therefore guess that the "plate" is actually solid sterling silver, possibly gilded with gold.

About Friday 30 June 1665

Nick Hedley  •  Link

Often with these entries I the form of summaries, especially at month end, he mentions his accumulated wealth but not so here. The times are too troubling.

About Sunday 14 August 1664

Nick Hedley  •  Link

"After dinner up to my chamber and made an end of Dr. Power’s Henry Power booke of the Microscope, very fine and to my content, and then my wife and I..."
Good to see that someone reads the instruction book fully before having a go with the equipment itself.

About Friday 16 October 1663

Nick Hedley  •  Link

I note that it Sam (and sometimes Sam and Elizabeth) who make the purchases mentioned in the Diary but not Elizabeth by herself. Given that Sam is conscious that Elizabeth is "companionless" and seeking a role, it seems strange (to modern minds) that she could not get out a bit more by herself, especially to go shopping for household goods for example to buy candle snuffers a few days ago. Were women not given control of money or would it seem strange them going into shops alone?

About Saturday 26 September 1663

Nick Hedley  •  Link

"..only no invitation".

Since Mr Rawlinson was an tavern keeper, perhaps this means that Sam and Mr Deane had to pay for their dinner.

As a keen reader of the annotations (but not contributor since everyone has already said everything I can think of, and so much better than I could), I think it is great that we have further interesting and erudite contributors on the second time round, such as San Diego Sarah and Louise Hudson. Thank you.

About Thursday 4 June 1663

Nick Hedley  •  Link

"As Lord High Treasurer and First Lord of the Admiralty, Juxon was the last English clergyman to hold both secular and clerical offices in the medieval tradition of clerical state service."

However, pockets of secular and clerical office continued for over a century afterwards. For example Nathaniel Crew,_3rd… , who was the brother-in-law of the Earl of Sandwich, became Bishop of Durham with the powers of a Prince Bishop
"Prior to 1836, the Bishop of Durham was a prince-bishop and had significant temporal powers over the Liberty of Durham and later the County Palatine of Durham."

About Thursday 12 March 1662/63

Nick Hedley  •  Link

Good point Sasha. It may also be that Uncle Wight was not left anything in the will because, as a successful fishmonger, he was seen as sufficiently wealthy already and had no need of more money from Robert.