Annotations and comments

john has posted 316 annotations/comments since 14 March 2013.

1 May 2014, 12:35 p.m. - john

"This morning, after order given to my workmen" Methinks this entry hints at why Sam was so much amongst his workmen, namely to arrange for the day's work in the absence of architectural plans.

23 Apr 2014, 12:51 p.m. - john

JWB wrote: "If you've ever ridden gussied-up horses, you know they're as vain as Sam in his velvet coat." They also rode stallions, not mares or geldings, so the analogy fits well.

21 Apr 2014, 1:44 p.m. - john

Martin, in his well-written comment: "but you can still encounter it in some places, e.g. the House of Lords," Indeed, I recall being a bit bemused when I first read certain legal judgements that started wih "My Lords!" and sometimes noted what "their Lordships" would think.

13 Apr 2014, 10:40 p.m. - john

@Terry: Thank you -- that provides me with a good starting point. (In the process, I found an interesting animation of Pepys' London may be found here: )

13 Apr 2014, 1:30 p.m. - john

What is known about building practices of that day and what sort of directions would he have given to his workman, who seem to start quite early and require constant guidance? I suspect their directions were mostly Sam pointing and saying that a staircase should go here. Does anyone have a reference?

24 Mar 2014, 2:15 p.m. - john

"his master fell about his ears and beat him so, that it put the whole house in an uprore." To answer jack's question, methinks this another example of the commonly accepted violence of the time; they laughed.

17 Mar 2014, 12:14 p.m. - john

Our Will seems to be far more numerate than the average servant at the time. And no answer to vincent's decade-old question.

9 Mar 2014, 8:18 p.m. - john

Homely as reported in the OED (alluded to by Mary , supra): Def'n 4.b.5. Of persons, etc.: Of commonplace appearance or features; not beautiful, ‘plain’, uncomely. (Said also of the features themselves.) [With quotations from the 16th and 17th centuries.] The day's events makes me wonder how Sam kept enough wits to accurately record the events. Did he scribble down the events just before bed?

6 Mar 2014, 2:27 p.m. - john

What did Sam and His Lady talk about -- small talk, affairs of state, learned discussions, gossip?

5 Mar 2014, 4:05 p.m. - john

How much effort was a 2h ride in 1660? Saddles then were somewhat different than today. They seemed to have very high pommels and cantles; I have no idea what it would have been like cantering in one -- even posting would have been difficult. (I have spent hours in forward saddles, military saddles, and western-style saddles. My comfort differed depending on circumstances and horse.)

15 Dec 2013, 4:23 p.m. - john

"Also all this day looking upon my workmen." He seems to spend a lot of time supervising his workmen. Why?

23 Nov 2013, 5:26 p.m. - john

"This morning came the carpenters to make me a door [...]" Very fast work for an outside door, assuming they framed it as per today (king, jack studs, and all that).

28 Jul 2013, 7:23 p.m. - john

"What happened to the poor horses?" Given the treatment of urban horses at a later time ( for example but there must be better references), one feared the worst.

8 May 2013, 1:09 p.m. - john

As to the legal (ab)use of language and its historical journey, I heartily recommend "Party of the First Part: The Curious World of Legalese" by Adam Freedman. Though an American author, he traces its roots back to England.

15 Apr 2013, 1:02 p.m. - john

"had like to have been drowned had it not been for a rope" is probably not merely a turn of phrase. I dimly recall that swimming then was not common and sailors overboard were typically considered lost. A reference to support or refute my memory would be appreciated.

14 Mar 2013, 12:57 p.m. - john

Going to sea had consequences. Could Sam swim? At that time, I believe that sailors were not taught to swim. Those who fell overboard typically drowned.