Annotations and comments

has posted 126 annotations/comments since 7 August 2015.


About Friday 17 August 1666

JayW  •  Link

David G. Traditional wedding cake is still very popular - made of heavy fruitcake with white icing, two or more tiers using pillars for the upper one(s). Modern alternatives are now available including piles of individual cupcakes, lighter sponge cake, chocolate cake and many others. Lots of options online.

About Thursday 9 August 1666

JayW  •  Link

See her on the bridge at midnight,
the water cold she stands above.
First a cry, a splash, Good Heavens!
Oh what is she a doing of?

Given what we’ve seen of Sam’s treatment of women, this old Music Hall song is very appropriate. It’s called ‘She was poor but she was honest’ and there are several versions on YouTube.

About Wednesday 30 May 1666

JayW  •  Link

When I walk along Ware High Street this morning I shall look at the old houses and think of John Pepys riding through. The milestones now in Ware show it’s still 22 miles to London.

About Sunday 6 May 1666

JayW  •  Link

“So after evened I have gone”
I read ‘evened’ as a reference to the settling of monies owed between Gauden and Sam.

About Friday 27 April 1666

JayW  •  Link

The Henery. The Cockney pronunciation of Henry as in the music hall song I learned as a child from my mother:
I'm 'Enery the Eighth, I am,
'Enery the Eighth I am, I am!
I got married to the widow next door,
She's been married seven times before
And every one was an 'Enery
She wouldn't have a Willie nor a Sam
I'm her eighth old man named 'Enery
'Enery the Eighth, I am!
For a version by Herman’s Hermits:…

About Tuesday 27 March 1666

JayW  •  Link

I sympathise with Sam, having had many late nights trying to balance a set of accounts!

About Thursday 1 February 1665/66

JayW  •  Link

David G , the servants would have been aware that Sam had been in. That’s probably how he discovered that Bess had gone to see her parent. As no dinner had been made ready, it wa to be expected that he would seek food elsewhere. It doesn’t seem as if people expected to know where everyone was then in the same way we do now.

About Wednesday 18 October 1665

JayW  •  Link

Bess has come to stay overnight and has now gone home! Or rather, to her lodgings for the time being. No mention of Mercer today though.

About Thursday 24 August 1665

JayW  •  Link

For another example of moving government offices, the colonial government in India used to move every year from the heat of Delhi up to Shimla, in the hills. Eventually they built a railway but at first they (and their files) travelled by carts or on horseback.

About Saturday 29 July 1665

JayW  •  Link

SDS - I think it’s more of an insight into the effects of the plague than ‘Pepys' [lack of] character’. The disease could kill in hours. The house could have been shut up with everyone inside it, probably a death sentence for all of them. If it was just a headache he could go home. If worse, better he died there than in Sam’s bed!
Interesting that he bought new linen for it.

About Sunday 23 July 1665

JayW  •  Link

I suspect Australian Susan didn’t mean there was a lack of food - more likely that since Hampton Court was in the country, there was a lack of places to eat it.

About Tuesday 18 July 1665

JayW  •  Link

“I remember an Argentinian buffon (Tato Bores), always making risky jokes but still surviving during the Junta years. He said (on TV) that he never changed the policies he defended and had only one line and that was the government line. He could not be blamed that government changed...”

Did anyone else think of the Vicar of Bray when reading this comment?

About Friday 19 May 1665

JayW  •  Link

Geordie the drinker = George I
Anne the eater = Queen Anne
Mary the daughter = Mary II
William the cheater = William III

Mary was daughter of James II. She and her husband William took the throne in the Glorious Revolution.
Anne was a stout lady. Was George I a drinker? Does this verse come from the time of George I?

About Sunday 12 March 1664/65

JayW  •  Link

StanB the sermon was originally given on the anniversary. Sam is reading a published version - see Michael Robinson’s first comment above from 13 March 2008.

About Wednesday 15 February 1664/65

JayW  •  Link

I didn’t realise that there was a connection between The Royal Society and Gresham College. I’ve been using their podcasts for some time. Many lectures on a huge range of subjects can be found online at:

Gresham College
Exists to provide free public lectures which have been given for over 400 years. Includes a guide to subjects and digital archive of past lectures.

About Tuesday 6 December 1664

JayW  •  Link

We are reading this today in the light of the #MeToo campaign. It’s 350 years or so since Pepys was meeting Mrs Lane and Mrs Bagwell but the world hasn’t changed. Even if women succeed in improving their position and demanding respect in the US and U.K. there will be many others around the world who will still be exploited.

About Thursday 6 October 1664

JayW  •  Link

There are frequent reports in the U.K. now of people moving into towns and villages, complaining about chiming clocks and bells keeping them awake, and petitioning local councils and churches for them to be silenced at night. Longstanding local residents usually object. However, despite an outcry from British MPs, the Westminster chimes of Big Ben have just been silenced while restoration work is carried out over the next five years.