Annotations and comments

San Diego Sarah has posted 3,527 annotations/comments since 6 August 2015.

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About Tuesday 17 September 1667

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I think in Pepys fractured language moher means wife. So he's referring to Michael Mitchell's wife, Betty, and my guess is the Deptford reference is to the Bagwells. I don't think anyone's mother is involved -- yet.

Mrs. Mitchell Snr., and Mr. and Mrs. Howlett know Pepys from Westminster Hall where they have their businesses. Mrs. Howlett has done her best to keep Pepys away from Betty for years. After the Mitchell Jrs. married, and opened The Old Swan, Mrs. Howlett was effectively out of the picture.

About Edgar Stuart (Duke of Cambridge)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Poor Anne Hyde, Duchess of York, pregnant through the deaths of two sons in the Spring, and the dismissal of her father, Chancellor Hyde, just weeks before.

Edgar's life only lasted four years, but at least he outlasted his mother.

Edgar Stuart, Duke of Cambridge (14 September 1667 – 8 June 1671) was the fourth son of James, Duke of York and his first wife, Anne Hyde.

Edgar was immediately second in the line of succession to the English and Scottish thrones.

He was born at St. James's Palace and baptized there with George Monck, Duke of Albemarle; Edward Somerset, Marquis of Worcester, and Barbara Villiers Howard, Countess of Suffolk [AUNT TO BARBARA VILLIERS PALMER, COUNTESS OF CASTLEMAINE] as sponsors.

The name "Edgar" has ancient roots in both the English (Edgar the Peaceful) and Scottish (Edgar, King of Scotland) monarchies.

On 7 October, 1667 our Edgar was created Duke and Earl of Cambridge and Baron of Dauntsey.

His elder brother, Charles, had died at the age of six months in 1661 before the patent for the title of Duke of Cambridge was passed. Another brother, James was formally created Duke of Cambridge before his death in 1667 at the age of three.

Edgar’s titles became extinct on his death in 1671, until the birth of another son, Charles, to the Duke of York with his second wife, Mary of Modena, in 1677.

Anne Hyde, Duchess of York was ill for months following Edgar's birth and never fully recovered, although she gave birth twice more to daughters who died before their first birthdays;

Anne Hyde, Duchess of York died on 13 March 1671.

Edgar Stuart, Duke of Cambridge died at Richmond Palace on 8 June, 1671 and was entombed in the royal vault in the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey on 12 June, 1671, his coffin placed atop that of his mother.

For pictures of Anne Hyde and James, Duke of York, but not of Edgar, see
The article is below the pictures.

About Monday 20 October 1662

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Charles needed the money and France offered him some. Not enough, probably. But he took it."

I was reading up on Anne Hyde this evening, and came across a sentence that said the French believed the Duchess’ influence was worthwhile and gave her a generous gift for her support of the sale of Dunkirk.

And I suspect Anne wasn't the only recipient. So Dunkirk did cost more than Charles II received.


About Sunday 15 September 1667

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I wonder if Mrs. Markham had an "Eliza Doolittle" accent.

Okay for Pepys to be kissing behind the garden wall, but not for being publically associated with. After all, he's also a pretender.

About Friday 13 September 1667

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Hi Gerald ... "Does Mrs. Lowther’s bloodied nose have a play in this affair?"

My take on Pepys' repeated snarky remarks about Peg Penn Lowther is that she's the one who got away. There was that afternoon when Pepys wrote something like, "This afternoon I will have her" a couple of weeks after her marriage. In the event, someone decided to escort them, and after that Pepys never got her alone again, and she stopped coming by the office.
and the final missed opportunity on
He had every reason to expect success after years of grooming.

Now he's playing the "she's not worthy of me" game, like some smitten teenager. But she's the teenager, and clearly enjoying herself.

The coachman's comments and his relationship to Adm. Penn are too obscure for me to know what was really going on. Perhaps it'll be more clear later.

And as to the sale of the cauldrons of coal: Pepys has done the maths, and I don't think he would allow himself to sell for a loss. He doesn't strike me as having philanthropic instincts at this point in his career. He won't even help Lady Jemima and the Montagu family, who have been his friends since he was a boy.

Pepys must see incredible poverty every day, and has hardened his heart to starvation, unpaid sailors, widows, orphans, cripples and people so poor they can't escape the ruined city. It was a time when only the strong survived.

About Friday 13 September 1667

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"How many Elizabeths are to be found in this diary now? It's still a popular name today."

The name Elizabeth then and now is popular because we both live in the times of the two much-respected Queen Elizabeths.
That takes care of the Royalists.

And as for the Puritans, Cromwell's wife's name was Elizabeth. And in the Bible:
'One day Zechariah was serving as a priest before God . . . . An angel from the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw the angel, he was startled and overcome with fear. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah. Your prayers have been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will give birth to your son and you must name him John.” Luke 1:8, 11-13 CEB'

I would be interested to know if Elizabeth was equally as popular as a name during the reigns of the Georges, Edwards and Victoria.

As to your question about how many Elizabeths are in the Diary, feel free to go to the Encyclopedia, scroll down to People, and start counting. We'd love to hear the answer.

About Friday 13 September 1667

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'"Called up by people come to deliver in ten chaldron of coals, brought in one of our prizes from Newcastle."
'Has there been any mention of how this coal became a prize? I assume they are not raiding Newcastle collier ships - perhaps some of the recent prize goods were exchanged for coal?'

The coal was very welcome by London which was having trouble cooking their food this summer, but the coal was not the prize.
An English privateer must had caught this ship ... possibly from the Dutch? ... and taken it back to Newcastle, just as the Pepys, Hogg and the Flying Greyhound story has played out.
That prize ship has now been put to work bringing much-needed coal to London ... so the Peace Treaty must have resulted in the blockade of Newcastle being lifted.
And yes, the blockading Dutch would have raided English collier ships, which has been why Pepys has been complaining about the cost of fuel ... the Dutch wanted to capture English ships and coal as much as the English wanted to catch their ships and produce.

About Tuesday 4 December 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Parliamentary win at Naseby, June 1645, inspired this song and the still relevant phrase, "The World Turned Upside-Down":

The text is found in the Thomason Tracts (669. f. 10 (47)), dated 8 April 1646.
The World Turned Upside Down (To the Tune of, When the King enioys his own again)

Listen to me and you shall hear,
news hath not been this thousand year:
Since Herod, Caesar, and many more,
you never heard the like before.
Holy-dayes are despis'd,
new fashions are devis'd.
Old Christmas is kickt out of Town.
Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down.

The wise men did rejoyce to see our Savior Christs Nativity:
The Angels did good tidings bring,
the Sheepheards did rejoyce and sing.
Let all honest men, take example by them.
Why should we from good Laws be bound?
Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down.

Command is given, we must obey,
and quite forget old Christmas day:
Kill a thousand men, or a Town regain,
we will give thanks and praise amain.
The wine pot shall clinke, we will feast and drinke.
And then strange motions will abound.
Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down.

Our Lords and Knights, and Gentry too,
doe mean old fashions to forgoe:
They set a porter at the gate,
that none must enter in thereat.
They count it a sin, when poor people come in.
Hospitality itselfe is drown'd.
Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down.

The serving men doe sit and whine,
and thinke it long ere dinner time:
The Butler's still out of the way,
or else my Lady keeps the key,
The poor old cook, in the larder doth look,
Where is no goodnesse to be found,
Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down.

To conclude, I'le tell you news that's right,
Christmas was kil'd at Naseby fight:
Charity was slain at that same time,
Jack Tell troth too, a friend of mine,
Likewise then did die, roast beef and shred pie,
Pig, Goose and Capon no quarter found.
Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down.

Merry Christmas, 1660 ... I hope it's celebrated with more content and less lament this year.

About Saturday 5 September 1663

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A visit to Bristol in 1663 was really quite daring, which may account for why Charles II didn't stay long.

With the Restoration, Lundy Island [in the Bristol Channel, off the north coast of Devon and south coast of Ireland] attracted piracies again.

In 1663 Lundy Island was held by French privateers.

For a history of Devonshire, see…
This nugget is on page 139.

About Sunday 31 May 1663

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I slept most of the sermon."

Be happy St. Olave's haven't engaged someone known as "the sluggard waker":

"Another unusual position at Exeter cathedral was the sluggard waker, who had a long wooden pole with a brass knob on one end and a fox’s tail or something similar on the other. The brass end was used to prod any man in the back who dared fall asleep during a service, and the fluffy end was used on women who nodded off to tickle them awake."

Lovely pictures of Exeter Cathedral, and information about another job: Dog Whipper:…

About Thursday 12 September 1667

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Good point, Jay. London was still a disaster with building in progress here and there, and Pepys wasn't cantering in the Park. That being the case, I wonder why he doesn't ride more often. If you don't do it for a long time, after riding is a painful experience. Keeping a horse is cheaper than keeping a coach. Why doesn't the Navy Board have stables with a "horse pool"? After all, they employ boatmen and sculls. That's probably the answer: going by boat to Westminster or Greenwich is usually faster and safer by boat, no matter the tide, than by horse. And you can ask a boatman to deliver a package unsupervised.

About Thursday 12 September 1667

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... and then I rode from the office (which I have not done five times I think since I come thither) ..."

Yes, I think this must involve a horse, but not the cart/chariot/coach. I suppose this means Tom Edwards could not go with him ... and what did Pepys do with the horse when he got to the Exchequer? There can't have been many tallies, or he couldn't have taken the clerks out for a drink at the Dog, or to visit Mrs. Martin, or to the theater. By now I suspect he's in a Hackney.

Another example of what was so mundane to Pepys he doesn't bother to tell us the details, but to us it's unfathomable.

About Friday 4 August 1665

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Since Sir William Petty makes no further appearances in the offices of the Navy Board, I'll put this last information about his efforts to make English ships faster than everyone else's, and less dependent on the wind:

The name of Sir William Petty’s next experimental ship in 1664/65 was The Experiment, which was given to her at her launching.

The history of The Experiment is not clear, but it is known that she perished in a gale of wind in the Irish Channel, when many other vessels miscarried. Some of her crew were saved, but 17 men were lost with her, the date of this event being in 1665.

From that time onward the project slept – not only owing to its own misfortunes, but because Sir William lost money in Irish speculations and in the Great Fire of London.

Twenty years later, in 1683, ‘the fit of the double bottom, as he tells us, did return very fiercely upon him. His new vessel, however, performed as abominably as if built on purpose to disappoint in the highest degree every particular that was expected of her.’

We also know little of this vessel. Her name was the St. Michael, and she was the last of the type to be built.

Whether Sir William Petty had made radical departures from the previous design we do not know, but both Pepys and Sir Anthony Deane were prepared, not only to dispute every claim which Sir William made on her behalf, but to back their opinions to a substantial amount of money.

A copy of a model of The Experiment is shown in the ‘Life of Petty.’ The vessel was designed to look, on the broadside, like an ordinary craft. She appears to have been flat-bottomed, but of her rig we know nothing.

The model did not satisfy Sir William, for it showed only one deck, whereas the ship had two; but in general aspect it was at least approximately correct.

For more about Sir William Petty’s experimental ships, see…

About Friday 4 August 1665

San Diego Sarah  •  Link…
4 August, 1665. John Evelyn's Diary

I went to Wotton with my Son and his tutor, Mr. Bohun, Fellow of New College (recommended to me by Dr. Wilkins, and the President of New College, Oxford), for fear of the pestilence, still increasing in London and its environs.

On my return, I called at Durdans, where I found Dr. Wilkins, Sir William Petty, and Mr. Hooke, contriving chariots, new rigging for ships, a wheel for one to run races in, and other mechanical inventions; perhaps three such persons together were not to be found elsewhere in Europe, for parts and ingenuity.

About Monday 1 February 1663/64

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

So this is the occasion Charles II poked fun at Sir William Petty for his strange looking sluice vessel, which has just sailed to London from Dublin in winter seas. After this wiser heads quickly prevailed upon Charles to give Sir William due respect, and to launch what must have been Petty’s third, or fourth?, sluice-boat.

For more about Sir William Petty's experiments, see…

About Monday 22 June 1663

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


‘She undertook this last Voyage upon a Wager, notwithstanding her Antagonist at the time appointed (though all full of confidence before) durst not engage against her. Whereby, to speak truth, she won rather Money than Honour, otherwise then as she met accidentally means of asserting that too. In her former voyage to Holyhead, she turned in against Wind and Tide into that narrow Harbour amongst the Rocks and Ships with such Dexterity, as many ancient Seamen confessed they had never seen the like. Upon these experiments most gainsayers are now silent, objecting only the excessive charge of building her, and of men to Sail her, and the danger of separation of her bodies in a Storm. But as to charge, let the Author look to it, and the Passengers to the danger of separation.’

After the race the ship went to London, Petty giving a banquet to his crew in October 1663 before they started, and taking the opportunity of making a speech. ‘The intention was to send them with a vessel to His Majesty, which, though full of ugly faults and eyesores, being built for a fresh-water lough, and to be carried 8 miles on land, was to outsail any other vessel whatever, and to endure all the hazards of the troublesome passage from hence to London. Wherefore, he advised them, if they did not believe he should answer these ends, they should not venture their lives to make them and him ridiculous.’

The vessel reached London safely early in 1664, and although Charles II was inclined at first to poke fun at Sir William Petty, he was quickly prevailed upon to lend him respect, and to launch what must have been Petty’s third, or fourth?, ‘sluice-boat.’

For more about Sir William Petty's experiments, see…

About Monday 22 June 1663

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Meanwhile, in Dublin, Sir William Petty’s second ‘sluice vessel’ was much bigger than his ‘cylinder’ boat, being 30 tons, although otherwise designed on similar lines. It also carried the customary load of 5 tons of guns and a crew of 30.

The objections raised against the cylinder boat were also laid against the sluice vessel: her small grip on the water and large surface exposed to the wind would make her ride badly, and she was likely to break up in a gale.

(Both objections ultimately proved true, as she broke adrift in Dublin Bay, drove ashore, and was severely damaged; and a successor was eventually lost at sea.)

The sluice vessel is best known for her excellent sailing powers, which were described in a contemporary newspaper account:

‘Sir William Petty is become famous’ (wrote the Dublin correspondent on 29 June, 1663) ‘by the success of his new Invention of the double-bottom’d ship, against the Judgement and Resolution of almost all mankind. When first the ship adventured to Holyhead, she staid there many days before her return, and ’tis pleasant to consider how her adversaries insulted, and having first establisht the conclusion that she was cast away, afterwards discourst the several necessities why it must be so. But her return in triumph has checkt the division of some, and becalmed the violence of others, the first point being clearly gained that she can bear the seas.

‘There has been much ado in this Town for these last 9 or 10 months, about projecting a new way of Shipping, and the success of it hath been such as that we have been all in faction about it. Several of the Vertuosi have more or less approved it, whilst the generality have much denied and reproached it. There have been three several vessels built, and made to sail, all consisting of double Bodies conjoined, each of several shapes, dimensions and distances: but the last being the first that seems to be of use, Burthen, Beauty and Accommodation, is the first likewise which I thought fit so particularly to give you an account of. ...

‘On Wednesday this new Device, … returned the second time from Holyhead on the 22nd instant about five in the afternoon directly against the Wind. She set out from thence with the Ossory Ketch, the most famed of all our three Pacquet Boats, and to which we are most beholding for the speedy transport of our Letters, especially in contrary Winds, but arrived sixteen hours before the said Ketch, whom she ran out of sight and left to Leeward, in a watch or four houres time, whereby we guess that she outdoes ordinary vessels half in half.

About Sir William Petty

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In Charles II’s reign there were two main areas in which ship design improvement was sought.

The first was the effort to design ships which could sail better than any before them;
the second effort was to make ships more or less independent of the winds.

Sir William Petty experimented in both areas, but without lasting success in either. His maritime inventions involved the principle of a catamaran, or double-hulled vessel.

The names given to his several craft by different people have caused much confusion, but it is clear that he built four -- possibly five -- sailing vessels of different dimensions, and that in later life he devised a paddle-wheel, which gave ships ‘fresh way at sea in a calm.’

He was not alone, as Admiral Sir Edward Spragge, having made some fairly satisfactory experiments in 1673, had a towboat built and established at Chatham in 1683. It was double hulled, with a paddle-wheel between the floats, and, although it was built by the Navy Board officials, it is probable Petty’s double-hulled sailing vessels influenced the design.

Tow vessels of various designs were used at the great ports from this time until the intro­duction of steam, although rarely mentioned throughout the 18th century.

For more about Sir William Petty's experiments, see…

About Monday 12 January 1662/63

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Meanwhile, in Dublin, Sir William Petty’s first experimental sailing vessel was ready for a test. The 'catamaran' was built in 1662 with the encouragement of the Royal Society.

The Society decided to compare Petty’s vessel with existing types in a race between her and all comers. Royal Society members in Dublin formed a committee, and offered a flag as the prize to be raced for in the bay.

There were four competitors: Petty’s vessel; an open barge belonging to Charles II; a ‘large black pleasure-boat,’ and a man-of-war’s boat. The race was sailed in a strong wind on January 12, 1663, and Petty’s vessel won easily, his crew taking down the flag at the end of the course, and wearing it in the maintop ‘as admiral of the cylinders.’

We know Petty’s boat was 1¾ tons burden, carried 600 sq. ft. of sail, and, from her description as the ‘cylinders,’ probably had circular cross sections. Birch has an illustration of her at anchor, showing two hulls supported a complete deck with rails, looking like a cattle-pen, She had two masts and a bowsprit. We do not know how she was rigged. The illustration suggests a schooner, but we only have spars to judge by, and the form of hull does not agree with the description.

The committee’s report gave a long account of the race. Suffice to say the boats ran to leeward to the mark-boat, the ‘cylinders’ establishing a long lead; when they hauled their wind for the beat home the pleasure-boat did best of the other three competitors, since she was loaded with two tons of ballast. The man-of-war’s boat carried two empty barrels, which she now filled, but even this ballast-trimming did not help.

On the way home the ‘cylinders’ missed stays – the description of the incident suggests she may have been a lugger; she went ashore, broke a rudder; but succeeded in winning easily, while the pleasure-boat broke her boom, and retired.

When the race committee presented their report and asked for the Society's opinion, the answer was, ‘That the Committee should be put in mind that the matter of navigation, being a State concern, was not proper to be managed by the Society; and that Sir William Petty, for his private satisfaction, may when he pleases have the sense of particular members of the Society concerning his invention.’

This is typical. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries the Navy Board guarded professional secrets and the monopoly of the East India Company, forming a code of silence from which the art of shipbuilding emerged with great difficulty.

Any improvement had to be from individual effort. Any semi-official or corporate attempt to remedy matters would be considered as infringing vested interests, if not as endangering the national welfare.

For more about Petty's boat building experiments, see…