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San Diego Sarah has posted 2087 annotations/comments since 6 August 2015.

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About Wednesday 20 June 1666

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"my father being to go away tomorrow" -- hence all these pesky family meals with the Joyces. Or maybe the wives are very fond of Pall? Anyways, the end is in sight.

About Beans

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The only mention of beans in the Diary is in June ... isn't this the time for those lovely long green beans I remember slicing finely in my childhood?

My first reaction was Boston Baked Beans, but that can't be right.

About Tuesday 19 June 1666

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... the first thing the Prince said to the King upon his coming, was complaining of the Commissioners of the Navy; ... which I am troubled at, and do fear may in violence break out upon this office some time or other; for we shall not be able to carry on the business."

Another part in the puzzle as to what the Navy complex looked like. I imagine the "house" fronted on Seething Lane (and being an Elizabethan building probably had three "wings" out the back in which the Commissioners lived), with the garden enclosed by a wall with a gate out onto Tower Hill. But this sounds as if it was more open to the public than that, and if the sailors and/or their relatives were upset, the Commissioners were vulnerable.

Probably reminds him of the rocks coming through the windows at Greenwich last summer.

About Tuesday 19 June 1666

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Duke of Medina ... not helpful, because there were several of them.

My nomination as to which Duke of Medina this might be comes from this 1664 entry in Lady Anne Fanshawe's memoires about her husband, Ambassador Richard Fanshawe (Sandwich's predecessor):

"October the 21st, we went to see the Buen Retiro. The Duke de Medina de las Torres, who has the keeping of this house of the King's from his Majesty, sent two of his gentlemen to show us all that belongs thereunto. The place is adorned with much water and fountains, trees and fine gardens, with many hermitages up and down the place, and a very good house for his Majesty; yet the pictures therein did far exceed the rest, they being many, and all very curious, done by the best hand in the world in their times."

While I'm sharing about Lady Fanshawe, here's her take on Sandwich's appointment:

"December the 17th, 1665, my husband, upon the part of our King his master, and the Duke de Medina de las Torres, on the part of his Catholic Majesty, did conclude and signed together the peace between England and Spain, and the articles for the adjustment between Spain and Portugal, which articles were cavilled at by the Lord Chancellor Clarendon and his party, that they might have an opportunity to send the Earl of Sandwich out of the way from the Parliament, which then sat, and who, as he and his friends feared, would be severely punished for his cowardice in the Dutch fight.

"He neither understood the customs of the Court, nor the language, nor indeed anything but a vicious life; and thus was he shuffled into your father's employment to reap the benefit of his five years' negotiation of the peace between England, Spain, and Portugal: and after above thirty years studying state affairs, and many of them in the Spanish Court: so much are Ambassadors slaves to the public ministers at home, who often, through envy or ignorance, ruin them!"

For more about this adventurous woman's incredible life in service to Charles I and II, see

About Robert Boyle

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Robert Boyle moved to Oxford in 1654. He proved to be an extremely competent physicist and gave his name to the law that relates the pressure and the volume of a gas.

Boyle stayed in Oxford until 1668 when he moved to London. If he was a regular attendee at the Wednesday afternoon lectures at Gresham College, he must also have been a regular traveler.

Gresham College, then in Bishopsgate Street, was a 120-mile round trip from his home near the Three Tuns public house in Oxford. With more than a day's ride each way he would have had little time left for anything else, so it seems safe to assume Robert Boyle did not make it his usual custom to attend the lectures on Wednesday afternoons.

But Boyle did sometimes come up to London to stay with his sister, Katherine Boyle Jones, Lady Ranelagh in Chelsea, as John Evelyn visited him there on 7 September 1660.

Lots of information on all the Boyles from

About Lincoln's Inn Fields

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In 1666 John, 1st Baron Belasyse of Worlaby lived in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and was married to his third wife, Anne Paulet, daughter of the Marquis of Winchester.

About Thursday 4 May 1665

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

More on indigo:

Blue dye had long existed in England, but it was made from the flowering plant woad. Even when the more versatile indigo became available, the woad cultivators resisted importing the new blue.

Historian Dauril Alden notes in The Journal of Economic History that the woad cultivators campaigned aggressively against indigo, declaring:
'[it] was properly “food for the devil” and was also poisonous, as in fact it was (particularly to the woadmen). By the end of the 16th century, they had succeeded in persuading governments in the Germanies, France, and England to prohibit use of the so-called “devil’s dye.”'

Still, the ban on indigo did not last long, especially when dyers discovered its potential. “Different textiles required different treatment and even different dyes to achieve a given color,” writes historian Susan Fairlie of The Economic History Review.

Wool is the easiest to dye, while silk, cotton, and linen are each a bit harder and need varying amounts of dyes like woad. “The only fast, attractive dye which worked equally on all four, with minor differences in preparation, was indigo.”

In the second half of the 18th century, the Royal Navy sailed the world in service of the expansion and enforcement of the British Empire. Its officers wore uniforms in a deep blue, now known as navy blue. The rich hue was a recent development, and wouldn’t have been possible in previous centuries when the color was scarce.

In 1748, the Royal Navy adopted dark blue officer’s uniforms. The blue of seamen’s uniforms is not due to the color of the sky and sea, but relates to the British colonization of India and the expansion of the East India Trading Company after the victory over the French in the Seven Years’ War (1756–63).

The rich color comes from the indigo plant, Indigofera tinctoria, native to India, and thus available to the British after they had colonized the country. It had been in use in Europe since the late 13th century.

“Indigo was then not only plentiful and affordable [in the 18th century], but unlike other dyes was particularly color fast, outclassing other colors in withstanding extensive exposure to sun and salt water.”

So by 1665 presumably some plants had been sent to St. Kitts/St. Christopher's to start a more convenient source.

More from

About Monday 18 June 1666

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... to Lumbard Streete again, where much talke at Colvill’s, he censuring the times, and how matters are ordered, and with reason enough; but, above all, the thinking to borrow money of the City, which will not be done, but be denied, they being little pleased with the King’s affairs, and that must breed differences between the King and the City."

Downing saw this day coming. Whether or not the new-fangled way of raising money will work, Pepys truly does not know. Perhaps The City thought Lady Castlemaine should pay?