Annotations and comments

San Diego Sarah has posted 4,653 annotations/comments since 6 August 2015.

The most recent first…


About Laurens van Heemskerck

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

After the Diary:

The renegade Dutchman, Capt. Laurens van Heemskerck afterwards fell into great poverty in England, and was evicted from his house for non-payment of rent; upon which he petitioned Charles II for some reward for his services, stating that, but for the great goodness of Prince Rupert, his wife and children must inevitably have starved.[46]
[46] D.S.P. 1670. Chas. II 281 a 173.


About Thursday 7 September 1665

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Evelyn's note about pest ships means that before this there were pest houses, which were now over-run. One was the first building on a street I knew quite well:

"1665 was the year of The Great Plague. ‘Pesthouses’ were built for plague victims, the first one in London being on Carnaby Street.

"In 1682 bricklayer, Richard Tyler, laid out Carnaby Street, which took its name from Karnaby House, the first house built on the street."…

About Denzil Holles (Baron Holles)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

This article tells us that Denzil Holles owned the land on which today we see the Cerne Abbas Giant. They have discovered that it is not a prehistoric monument after all, and dates to about 900 AD ... and that the Giant originally wore trousers with a belt. His imposing genitals were added later, possibly with the blessings of Lord Holles as a protest against Cromwell. An 18th century antiquarian account says the giant was then called Hele or Helis.

This seems out of character to me.

The other "suspect" is Thomas Freke, the MP for Dorchester (1638-1701), and Holles' step-son, who was nicknamed the Great Freke. His parliamentary biography doesn't paint him as someone with a great sense of humor either.…

My thought is that some local Banksy did some graffiti on the hillside and somehow persuaded Lord Holles and/or the Great Freke not to destroy it. Another unknown a novelist can have a lot of fun with.

But it is a reminder that the Stuarts were far from Victorian in their attitudes. Theirs was a ribald, expressive, humorous time as they dealt with the weighty issues which inspired the US Constitution and influence our lives today in surprising ways.…

About Tuesday 12 May 1668

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I'm wrong about the Earl of Ogle:
Henry Cavendish Snr. was the 4th but only surviving son of the 1st Duke of Newcastle, known as Viscount Mansfield from 1659-1665, and Earl of Ogle from 1665-1676.…

That makes more sense than a 5 year old writing to Arlington. I think the Henry Jnr., Earl of Ogle (incorrect annotation above to the letter) is Henry Snr.'s son (Snr. becomes the Duke of Newcastle in 1676), so Jnr. was Earl of Ogle for his final four years.

Now to find out why a Royalist like Henry Cavendish Snr. was at Glentworth, Lincs. ... Glentworth Hall belonged to the Wray family (not very Royalists), and I haven't found another Big House in the area. If he was a guest, that may account for why he requested the mail be held in the village and not sent to the house. All very intriguing.

About Christopher Boone

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I found this will for a Christopher Boone (1615 - 1686), East India Company man, son of Thomas Boone of Mount Boone, Dartmouth Devonshire.…

The reference to Thomas of Mount Boone means he is a cousin of Charles Boone MP (1652 - 1689)…

Presuming this to be the right man, quite a lot can be gleaned about the man from the two sites.

About Sir Samuel Barnardiston

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Samuel Barnardiston (1620-1707). His father, Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston MP of Kedington, Suffolk, was a strong Presbyterian, who was in opposition during all of King Charles’ Parliaments, but abstained from sitting after Pride’s Purge.

In 1639 Samuel Barnardiston was apprenticed to John Langham, and he probably took part in the 1640 riots against King Charles.

By 1643 Samuel had joined his brother Nathaniel in Smyrna.
He returned to England by 1652, and soon became prominent in the affairs of the Levant and East India Companies.

His first wife, Thomasine Brand, daughter of Joseph Brand of Edwardstone, Suffolk, died in 1654, and he did not remarry until after 1679, when he married Mary Reynardson Onslow, the daughter of Sir Abraham Reynardson, Merchant Taylor, of Bishopsgate, London, and the widow of Richard Onslow, another London merchant.

In 1654 he also became a Freeman of the Grocers’ Company, of the Levant Company also in 1654, assistant of the Levant Company from 1654-62, a freeman of the East India Company in 1657, and of their governing committee 1661-8,

A dissenter after the Restoration, Samuel Barnardiston employed an ejected Presbyterian minister as his chaplain. He bought the Brightwell estate, worth £800 p.a., in Suffolk in 1662 and built a grand house.

On 11 May, 1663, Samuel Barnardiston was created a baronet as a person of ‘irreproachable loyalty’, with a special remainder to his nephews, the sons of his brother Nathaniel.
Sir Samuel Barnardiston did not abandon his mercantile interests, and in 1668, as deputy governor of the East India Company, he was the principal defendant in the case brought before the Lords by the interloping merchant, Skinner, which seriously embroiled the two Houses.
He was fined £300, but the Lower House resolved that he had ‘behaved himself like a good commoner of England’.

As a follower of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, he got into a mess during the Popish Plot, wrote some indiscreet letters, fled to Holland, was fined so much money he had to sell his estate, including his wife's coach and horses. He only regained respectability when William III and Mary II came to power.…
He became a Member of Parliament for Suffolk in 1674.…

About Sunday 10 May 1668

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

It's Sunday. We know Hewer was a nonconformist. I suspect he took Balty to hear more exciting preachers than the one Pepys just experienced, possibly in Blue Anchor Alley, off Old Street?

In March it was noted that the Quakers held great meetings at Stepney. Vavasour Powell, the great metropolitan fifth monarchy preacher, preached at Mr. Nye's meeting in Blue Anchor Alley.…

About Sunday 3 May 1668

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Good observations, Mary K ... but your verbs require the participation of the lady with the hooked nose in the upper pew under the pulpit, which clearly didn't happen. So I am left presuming something more manly, performed mentally, and requiring very accommodating clothing. How did he leave the church with no one noticing? "I spilled my coffee" would not be an available excuse. (I'm glad we're all adults here.)

About Sunday 3 May 1668

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... Sir A. Rickard, though he be under the Black Rod, by order of the Lords’ House, upon the quarrel between the East India Company and Skinner, which is like to come to a very great heat between the two Houses."

"under the Black Rod" means Sir Andrew is under house arrest, supervised by I know not who as Wikipedia doesn't list anyone holding that post from the Restoration until 1671:

As one of the major partners, if not the Chairman, of the East India Company Sir Andrew was critical in the Skinner case. Wikipedia doesn't specify who were the Chairmen before 1714.…

SPOILER: Sir Andrew is ordered released on May 9, but this leads me to believe the four men's confinements weren't too arduous.

About Tuesday 11 April 1665

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Thence to the office, where late very busy, but with some trouble have also some hopes of profit too."

If you'd been less busy war profiteering, Mr. Pepys, you could have joined hundreds of other Londoners watch a highway woman in Newgate gaol breathing her last by poison to avoid a trip to Tyburn tomorrow.

This Oxford Dictionary of National Biography report includes a note about how suicides were treated at burial which I have not heard anywhere else. Does anyone have information, either way?…

Realizing the free version will disappear in 7 days, unless you have a subscription, here are the highlights:

The anonymous pamphlet "The High-Way Woman" is the only known biography of Marcy Clay and no other evidence has yet come to light to corroborate its story. but it describes how, at 15, Marcy left Dorset for London, where she met a some thieves who taught her the art of shoplifting, at which she excelled.

Marcy Clay returned to the south-west of England when she was too well-known in London for safety. She worked there for some years at the 'country trade', thieving her way around fairs and markets.

On reaching adulthood, Marcy Clay took up the 'more manly debaucheries' of highway robbery, in part because she was 'of a bold and daring spirit'.

It describes Marcy Clay‘s first robbery, undertaken to pay off a £30 debt, and how she continued to rob — in male disguise and well-mounted — because of 'how much easier her money came this way'.

Marcy, her biographer claims, committed numerous highway robberies, showed considerable personal courage, and acquired a reputation for herself in the south-west, where there was 'much talk of her'.

Apparently Marcy Clay felt better suited to the shoplifting life, and returned to London. Here she was arrested on four occasions, but managed to escape from prison each time.

Marcy Clay was condemned to be executed on 12 April, 1665, for an unspecified theft but swore that she would not be hanged. Therefore on the morning of 11 April, in Newgate gaol, she poisoned herself with '4 papers of white mercury'. It took her 12 hours to die, during which time hundreds of spectators came to watch her final agonies.

Marcy Clay was buried near the gallows at Tyburn on 14 April, 1665, with a stake through her bowels, as was customary in cases of suicide.


It's this stake through the bowels detail that has me surprised. I'm aware of quite a few suicides in the 17th century, but none have mentioned this "custom".