Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
has posted 126 annotations/comments since 7 August 2015.
About Saturday 28 February 1662/63
Yes indeed I am in the UK!
Ox cheek. Bought some from my butcher only last month and once slow cooked it was tender and tasty. I didn't have to deal with the head of course!
About Tuesday 17 February 1662/63
In a letter to the Daily Telegraph this week, a mother reported that as late as 1971 she was not even allowed to see a baby stillborn at 35 weeks.
Also, the comment from Charles that the child was 'a month and 3 hours old' may just have referred to the last assignation with his mistress. It couldn't have been true of the foetus if the sex was known.
About Saturday 14 February 1662/63
Having read all the explanations and links above with many thanks to the previous contributors, I think I have got my head round the land issues. However, two things that Sam specifically mentioned have passed with little or no comment. Firstly, he eventually agreed to 'settle' all my uncle's estate that he has left. Does this mean he kept Brampton for his lifetime only, and then it passed to his cousins, or was he referring to the complete agreement whereby he kept Brampton and they took Gravely? And he was 'forced to promise' a half share of anything else he finds, which he has agreed to, and noted to that effect on the reverse of the list he gave them and the one he kept himself, although he doesn't think there is any more to be added. Nowadays, personal estate would be anything except land. So the £376 would be the value of cash, household goods and anything else as listed by Sam for his cousins.
About Review: "Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution"
I second everything in this review. It is an amazing exhibition. I was just a tad disappointed that I didn't see any mention of this website as a source of further information.
About Thursday 29 January 1662/63
Just remembered there was an episode while Bess was away during the time of the work on he house.
Re Michelle's comment above. We haven't yet seen signs of Sam 'cheating on her all the time'. An appreciation of beauty in other women, yes, but so far that's about it. Unless others have been noticing more than I?
About Tuesday 20 January 1662/63
I have a box full of my mother's diaries which cover the last twenty-three years of her life, as well as many years' of my own diaries. I fear they would not be of interest to future generations in the same way as Sam's. I write what happens, sometimes how I feel about it, and it may never be read again. And yet I still write almost every day.
About Wednesday 21 January 1662/63
Plough Sunday was celebrated as usual on BBC Radio 4's The Archers this year on 10 January. I assume there are still some real church services somewhere in the country to encourage the scriptwriters to include it again.
About Saturday 10 January 1662/63
I just looked at the clip again to check on the recipe. The chef first made deep cuts in the meat and stuffed them with butter and pepper as well as the ginger. Then he ground nutmeg and salt over the top. Just in case anyone is trying this at home!
Thanks John York. I watched the clip on the venison pasty. I had previously pictured Sam digging into something more like a Cornish pasty, but the programme explains that the pastry was made of rye flour and water (Ugh!) and wrapped around the joint of meat as a form of packaging and preservative. When the chef tasted the result he cut off the pastry and just took a slice of the meat. In case anyone is too late too see the clip, the meat was prepared with spices including ginger stuffed into cuts across the joint. These would have varied depending on what was available in the kitchen, then nutmeg and salt was ground over the meat. Then it was wrapped in the pastry and decorated (both for looks and as a way of strengthening the wrapping). The chef made a hole in the top and put it in a slow oven for 2 - 3 hours. Once cooked the hole was sealed by pouring in clarified butter which also filled any gaps between meat and pastry so no air could get in and spoil it.
About Tuesday 6 January 1662/63
Night dressings = nightwear. They have been staying overnight at Lord Sandwich's lodgings.
About Tuesday 23 December 1662
I thought Sam's house belonged to the Navy and was part of the perks of his office. I don't recall any entries about paying for it.
About Friday 19 December 1662
'Give over!' meaning 'stop it!' was in common useage in my post-war London childhood.
About Saturday 20 December 1662
And travelling 'with great content' in the coach is clearly NOT shorthand for connubial bliss.
About Monday 15 December 1662
Here's Sam going to bed 'with great content' after spending the previous night away from home. Is this more evidence of his code for conjugal relations, as suspected by some of yesterday's commentators?
About Thursday 27 November 1662
And for SIR HUGH MYDDELTON AND THE WATER SUPPLY OF OLD LONDON
Pedro's link to the story of the construction of the New River still works. And the fear of flooding is still relevant. We bought a house in Ware in 2004 which was close to the New River. Our solicitor (not a local) looked on the map and warned us we might be flooded. We had to explain that this was an aqueduct, not a river. Also that the house was about 8 metres up a slope and that there was a field lower than the water level on the opposite side, so there was no chance of any water reaching our property. I've been living alongside the New River all my life, first in London near the New River Head, gradually moving out along the Lea Valley and eventually coming to Ware. It's never flooded in my lifetime!
About Tuesday 18 November 1662
"I will not give it him without my father’s consent, which I will write to him to-night about, and have done it"I would interpret this as 'I said I would write to him tonight, and I have now done so' rather than Pepys stopping half way through his diary entry to write the letter as suggested by Dirk above.
About Thursday 30 October 1662
I doubt that Sam spent too much time planning his entries. He was used to setting down his thoughts and recollections daily. Here he tells the story of the treasure hunt from getting up to going to bed, back-tracks to the morning walk with Mr Coventry and adds on the final stories as an afterthought so he doesn't forget them. Not exactly a minute by minute chronological account!
About Tuesday 14 October 1662
I think bravely in this context is more likely 'looking good' than 'being courageous' Travellers would take advantage of moonlight if they could. In mid October in the UK it gets dark by late afternoon (sunset is 17.07 GMT today) so having left after the court proceedings Sam probably wanted to get to Cambridge and the main road back to London before resting so he could get home the next day.