Annotations and comments

john has posted 237 annotations/comments since 14 March 2013.

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About Thursday 8 August 1667

john  •  Link

Carriage suspension is fascinating (maybe because I have suffered riding in a few wagons with no suspension). I have no good reference as to when leaf or coil springs were first used but according to Boyer, "Mediaeval Suspended Carriages" (, the first suspended carriages were suspended by chains and appeared in the 14th century.

About Thursday 1 August 1667

john  •  Link

Thank you for the note, Mary K. There has been (and is) much debate about how much of Defoe's Journal is authentic and how much is imagination but that rings true.

About Monday 29 July 1667

john  •  Link

"so they are all mad; and thus the kingdom is governed!"
Perhaps this is a good summary of the situation.

About Wednesday 24 July 1667

john  •  Link

From the sinking of two men-of-war to a retreat -- how many now believe the official versions anymore?

About Wednesday 17 July 1667

john  •  Link

Michael, Pepys did not live in an age when one could simply visit a medical clinic. I, for one, have no objection of his recording his problems.

About Thursday 18 July 1667

john  •  Link

Well, Carl, our road was only paved two years ago. In summer, the dust clouds from passing vehicles could be seen at some distance and all were covered in dust. (Winter was better in that snow filled in the holes.) Riding in an open carriage would not have been pleasant.

About Saturday 13 July 1667

john  •  Link

"and by chance we fell out again,"
Well, andy, when the temperature is uncomfortably hot, anything can cause an argument.

"And yet no wise man that I meet with, when he comes to think of it, but wishes, with all his heart, a war"
No wise man?

About Thursday 11 July 1667

john  •  Link

"It is high time for us to have peace [...]"
How that has rung through the ages.

About Tuesday 9 July 1667

john  •  Link

"This day my Lord Anglesey, our new Treasurer, come the first time to the Board, and there sat with us till noon; and I do perceive he [...] will do things regular, and understand them himself, [...] and will solicit soundly for money, [...]"
Having a manager understand what is needed and willing to lobby for it higher up the chain should not be over-rated.

About Tuesday 2 July 1667

john  •  Link

" that there is not a good word said of any of us but of me; and me they all do speak mightily of, which, whether true or no, I am mighty glad to hear"
Personal succour in bitter times.

About Sunday 30 June 1667

john  •  Link

As did Sean, I recommend cutting a strip of paper the same length and looping it -- a hefty chain, indeed. Though L&M footnote this: "It was however of inferior (Spanish) iron."

About Monday 1 July 1667

john  •  Link

Well, I have some acquaintance with farms but sows were never spayed. Given the state of medicine then, I shudder to think of the procedure.

About Saturday 29 June 1667

john  •  Link

"ugly dreams" -- Nightmares originally meant something slightly different:

nightmare, n.
1. a. A female spirit or monster supposed to beset people and animals by night, settling upon them when they are asleep and producing a feeling of suffocation by its weight.
   c 1290 S. Eng. Leg. I. 306/228 Ofte huy ouer-liggez [men]: and men cleopiet þe niȝt-mare.    c 1340 Nominale (Skeat) 701 Wolf, fox, and nytmare [F. pesarde].    [et cetera] OED

"Gentleman-captains" -- "lions led by donkeys" or the pirates of Penzance.

About Thursday 20 June 1667

john  •  Link

Regarding his will, one entry is 27 May 1666 (
"Rose betimes, and to my office till church time to write two copies of my Will fair, bearing date this day, wherein I have given my sister Pall 500l., my father for his owne and my mother’s support 2,000l., to my wife the rest of my estate, but to have 2500l. secured to her, though by deducting out of what I have given my father and my sister."
He rewrote since then but I cannot find the reference.

About Wednesday 19 June 1667

john  •  Link

I note that Elizabeth decided to return to London without telling Samuel first. How did she decide it safe to return? I also note that Pepys was worried enough about the outcome to give Hater his key. I presume that Pett's comment about models refers to the Dutch learning their construction. Finally, I suspect that the poor choice of hiding place was his father's idea.

About Tuesday 18 June 1667

john  •  Link

Perhaps Peg Pen found his influence to be an aphrodisiac. (De gustibus and all that ...)

About Sunday 16 June 1667

john  •  Link

Oh, please, please, gentle readers, no politics or a firestorm will erupt. And by the way:

bigly, adv. (ˈbɪglɪ)

2. Loudly, boastfully, haughtily, pompously.

   1532 More Confut. Tindale Wks. 397/1 And bereth it out bigly wt shameles deuelyshe heresie.    1585 Abp. Sandys Serm. (1841) 104 Goliah thought bigly of himself.    1602 Warner Alb. Eng. ix. xlvi. 218 Oftentimes Authoritie lookes biglier than a Bull.