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San Diego Sarah has posted 8,163 annotations/comments since 6 August 2015.

The most recent first…


Third Reading

About Will Hewer

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

No one, including the House of Commons biographers, seems to know anything about William Hewer's educational background.
He went to work for Pepys when he was 18/19 -- old enough to have graduated from University and spent a few years at the Inns of Court learning the basics of law and business. That was standard education for an intelligent and wealthy young man in those days, and Hewer was both.

His HoC biography says Hewer became dep. judge-advocate of the navy in 1677 -- while that undoubtedly required less learning then than it does today, a basic exposure to the law would seem to be needed to qualify for the post.

If not university and the Inns, where was he educated all these missing years? No talk of his being abroad -- and why would he done that?
His family were well-connected Puritans, and doing very well during the Interregnum.

Any ideas or leads?

About Thursday 29 November 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

7l. 10s. = 150s./365 days = about 5d a day.
No one is living, eating and dressing for a government job on that, even in 1660.
Hewer and the other clerks must have been 'eligible' for some gratuity situations or there would have been no workers in the Navy Board office.

Does anyone remember if Robert Blackborne paid Pepys a gratuity for taking on Will as his personal servant? I've looked through my notes and see nothing to that end, but it would have been entirely appropriate.

About Thursday 29 November 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sofia, yes Pepys is going to keep Will's meager salary of 7l. 10s. to help cover the cost of his board and lodging.

The Hewers are wealthy -- "poor" Will will want for nothing, and is getting an excellent business education and exposure to the most influential people at Court and in politics.
He's 19 by now, and a clothes horse as you'll find out.

Curiously neither Wiki or our annotations mention his education, but in 1677, Hewer will be appointed Judge Advocate-General for the Admiralty, so it's probable he had completed University and spent a few years at the Inns of Court in order to be eligible for that role -- standard education for a wealthy and intelligent lad. [As I said, I have no citation for this idea; it just seems probable to me.]

SPOILER: When he moves away from the Pepys in a few years, the 7l. 10s. will be his -- and will not pay for the manner in which he choses to live.

Had he been a poor lad, Pepys might well have made a different decision.

About Wednesday 28 October 1668

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"But I did get, to my great content, my account allowed of fees, with great applause by my Lord Ashly and Sir W. Pen."

Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Lord Ashley, was last mentioned by Pepys in June. This is the reason why:

"In June 1668 Anthony Ashley Cooper, later to become the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, underwent abdominal surgery to drain a large abscess above his liver. The case is extraordinary, not simply on account of the eminence of the patient and the danger of the procedure, but also because of the many celebrated figures involved.
"A trove of manuscripts relating to this famous operation survives amongst the Shaftesbury Papers in the National Archives at Kew. These include case notes in the hand of the philosopher Dr. John Locke and advice from leading physicians of the day including Francis Glisson, Sir George Ent and Thomas Sydenham.
"The majority of this material has never been published before. This article provides complete transcriptions and translations of all of these manuscripts, thus providing for the first time a comprehensive case history. It is prefaced with an extended introduction."

But more of the article is protected by copywrite, so if anyone knows more, please share. FROM:…

You'd think Pepys would be interested in mentioning something as close as this to his own experience in life. They were both survivors or an horredous experience.

Wiki tells us:
"In May 1668, Ashley became ill, apparently with a hydatid cyst. His secretary, John Locke MD, recommended an operation that almost certainly saved Ashley's life and Ashley was grateful to Locke for the rest of his life.
"As part of the operation, a tube was inserted to drain fluid from the abscess, and after the operation, the physician left the tube in the body, and installed a copper tap to allow for possible future drainage.
"In later years, this would be the occasion for his Tory enemies to dub him 'Tapski', with the Polish ending because Tories accused him of wanting to make England an elective monarchy like the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth."…

About Monday 3 December 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

After so many irrelevant notes about current Latin usage, the fact that it was the universal language of the Middle Ages and Early Modern world hasn't even been mentioned.

No one in Europe learned English.
No one in France hears the name of Shakespeare for another 50 years.

This sceptred isle was a cultural backwater, surrounded by Catholic monarchs who believed it their cause to rescue the population from damnation.
To keep them at bay, England needed a strong Navy, which also protected its trade routes and fleets. As today, England cannot produce what it needs to feed its population a healthy diet.
In order to communicate with all these many opposing factors and courts, Latin was the common denominator.

If a scientific or mathematical paper was to find the circulation needed to influence thinking throughout Europe, it was written in Latin.
A book on philosophy, or a play with a strong message, had to be in at least Latin to find its audience.

Italy and Germany were not countries for another 200 years. All those fiefdoms had their own dialects/languages.

Many of the biographies in our blog mention the people translating texts from Latin and Greek into English -- enabling the not-university-educated folk to begin to have an appreciation of information from abroad and/or the days of yore.

People abroad were not studying English yet -- as we experience daily, even the English hadn't quite decided for themselves what it looked like, or how to spell it. The beginnings of the change were due to the translation of the Bible into English, and to Shakespeare and his fellow playwrights.

For an idea of the domination of Latin in 17th century university education, see…

About Trinity College, Cambridge

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A notebook, originally thought lost, which belonged to Isaac Newton’s long-time friend and collaborator, John Wickins, was purchased at auction in 2022 thanks to the generosity of Friends of the National Libraries, Friends of Cambridge University Library and other donors.

It was kept by John Wickins while he was Newton’s roommate at Trinity College, and presents the earliest datable evidence of Newton’s theological writing. Containing 12,000 words in English and 5,000 in Latin, the notebook is the longest collection of Newtonian writing to be discovered in the last half a century.

The Latin text records a University ‘disputation’ in which Isaac Newton was required to discuss in public two theological topics. Although the text only contains Newton’s first disputation, concerning the compatibility of God’s perfect foreknowledge with human free will, it reflects how seriously he took the exercise.

Newton spoke in Latin for over an hour on a subject that was as difficult as it was sensitive. What does the manuscript tell us about Newton’s religious beliefs?

Disputations involved students using argumentative skills to defend a set proposition from the counterarguments of their peers, or even their professor. Newton was not exempt from these exercises, and it is interesting that the topics on which he disputed remained central to his theological reading and writing for the next four decades.

The text of the disputation shows Newton facing the big questions of free will and evil head on. Newton seems to have undertaken a program of intense theological reading as shown in the letters he wrote to John Wickins, copied in the notebook, where he supplied bibliographical essays to his friend.

What the notebook shows us is the institutional push that drove Newton to start to engage in a program of theological study and how he was being shaped by the university where he lived and worked.

The manuscript gives us a precious insight into Newton’s relationship with his friend, to whom he addressed himself as ‘your ever loving Chamber fellow’. The pair chose to live together for much of their time at Trinity.

John Wickins acted as an assistant to Newton and helped to copy notes as well as turning their College rooms into a laboratory. Wickins wrote out a number of optical papers for Newton, just as he wrote out the texts in this notebook. Some of the letters in the notebook reveal that during the 1670s Wickins worked with Newton on improving the reflecting telescope.

Newton was an unusual Christian. At some point in his adult years, and certainly by 1690, Newton had dismantled the standard biblical proofs for the doctrine of the Trinity whilst keeping his beliefs to himself.


About Sunday 2 December 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Charles II has managed to calm Parliament's desire to impose the full force of the Church of England on the provinces -- and the Rev. Ralph for one breathes a sigh of relief.

Diary of Ralph Josselin (Private Collection)
Tuesday, 2 December, 1660

God good to us in many mercies, gospel liberties and freedom yet continued(,) fears on many, said lists are taken of the fanatic and all honest men that are not as formal as others are so accounted, but gods purpose that shall stand(.)
god was good to me in the word this day, help me and mine to walk humbly with thee, and it shall be well with us.
(link above -- top right)

It remains to be seen what he'll do about Christmas.

About Saturday 1 December 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I went to my Lord St. Albans lodgings, and found him in bed, talking to a priest (he looked like one) that leaned along over the side of the bed, and there I desired to know his mind about making the catch stay longer, which I got ready for him the other day. He seems to be a fine civil gentleman."

Pepys may have been aware of the gossip about Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans:
'Gossip which the historian Henry Hallam accepted as authentic, but which is supported by no real evidence, asserted that Jermyn was secretly married to Queen Henrietta Maria during their exile in France. It was further rumoured during Jermyn's lifetime that he may have been the true father of at least one of her children, even perhaps of Charles II.
"The Domestic State Papers for 13 August, 1660, contain a report by Capt. Francis Robinson of Nathaniel Angelo, a Windsor clergyman, asserting that "all the royal children were Jermyn's bastards."'…

Most Englishmen were very wary of anything and everything French (almost a code word for Roman Catholic), and St. Albans was the leading advocate of all things French.

Pepys assuming that the man was a priest is not surprising.

Sandwich had asked Pepys to order the ketch when the Queen Mother, Minette and St. Albans were imminently supposed to return to France. This sounds as if Sandwich was not authorized to release the ketch, although everyone knew their return was rescheduled until next year.…

Evidently, St. Albans was grateful for Sandwich and Pepys' care, and was respectful of Pepys' time.

About Saturday 1 December 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

For those amongst us who have forgotten what Latin we knew:

Post proelium, praemium. 'After the battle comes the reward.'

Cucullus non facit monachum, ‘The cowl does not make the monk’ --
A person should not be judged by external appearances. An old proverb quoted by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.

About The Scornful Lady (Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys saw "The Scornful Lady" 7 times during the Diary years -- we all enjoy re-runs:
The first 2 times it was acted by all male casts and he made no comment about it; the third time he saw it with a woman in the lead and liked it more.
The fourth time, again no comment about the play, but lots about the nobility in attendance, so he probably was only watching the play peripherally

He takes a 4-year break from the theater, until "to the King’s playhouse, ... and there saw “The Scornfull Lady” well acted; Doll Common doing Abigail most excellently, and Knipp the widow very well, and will be an excellent actor, I think. In other parts the play not so well done as used to be, by the old actors." So by his 5th performance, Pepys was into comparing past and present performances, and of course the ladies.
For a lengthy series of annotations about the implication of calling the servant 'Abigail', see…

The 6th visit was unsuccessful as they arrived at 3 and there was no one in the pit. I think this means the show had ended by the time they arrived.
And his 7th visit was also unremarkable.

I am struck by how so many 17th century plays feature women who speak up and take agency for their lives. Men fight back, so the authors thought they were writing cautionary tales. But in reality, they were encouraging women to think and own their situations.

Notes from other annotators' comments:
"The Scornful Lady" was a comedy written by Beaumont and Fletcher, first acted about 1615 and first published in 1616.

Kiss till the cows come home. - Scornful Lady (act II, sc. 2)
Beggars must be no choosers. - Scornful Lady (act V, sc. 3)
My dancing days are done. - Scornful Lady (act V, sc. 3)

About Five Guineas

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Five guinea pieces were the largest denomination issued from the reigns of Charles II all the way up to George III, replaced ultimately by the gold 5l. piece. Only the wealthiest and most distinguished members of society would ever have handled a five-guinea piece.

The essence of each king and queen is intrinsically captured in the superb detail in the striking of the portraits, on these remarkable and imposing coins.

... There is little wonder why the five guinea market has continued to go from strength over the last 20 years. In the early 2000s, a five guinea piece in good condition could be acquired for around £8,000, in today’s market, the same coin would cost £40,000 plus.

Pictures and more info at…

About Wednesday 28 November 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Is this Pepys asking Hater to try and get the 30/. from the treasury for him or is it some other money due to him?"

I think Pepys is asking Hater to pick up his annual salary as Clerk of the Acts from the Treasury since "... among the officers do hear that they may have our salaries allowed by the Treasurer," and Pepys will be even more "... very glad, and praise God for it" when that cash is also in his pocket.

You get your money when it is available. Strike while the iron is hot, Pepys. First come, first served.

About The Scornful Lady (Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Title: The Scornful Lady.
Authors: Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher.
Date: c. 1609-1610.
Genre: City Comedy.
Language Difficulty Rating: 8 (more difficult – much slang).
Setting: London.

The Scornful Lady is an almost plotless investigation into the driving force some people have to control and manipulate the emotions of others.

The characters are all “everyday” people, and the language reflects the everyday speech of London’s 17th century citizens. You may wish to note the extensive use of animal-related insults and imagery.

Our Story: The scornful lady (who is given no name) is a cold-hearted manipulator, requiring her lover Elder to travel to France for a year to punish him for some indiscreet behavior on his part.
Elder fakes his own death, and plans revenge.

Download and Read The Scornful Lady, with or without annotations at…

About Tuesday 27 November 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... Soon as dinner was done my wife took her leave, and went with Mr. Blackburne and his wife to London ..."

I was about to observe that once again Robert Blackburne was visiting at the Sandwich apartments, but Pepys doesn't quite say that. Instead, it sounds as if Elizabeth has asked the Blackburnes to pick her up from a prearranged spot outside the Palace of Whitehall after lunch.
No harm in emphasizing your family's good connections.

Sandwich has yet to go to work at the House of Lords, which seems to be manditory for all the other peers of the realm. "I'm just too busy rearranging the excess furniture at the Wardrobe" doesn't sound like a good excuse to me.

About Tuesday 27 November 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

According to Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate. Written December 10/01, 1660:

"It being desirable for many reasons that the king should see the present parliament dissolved, and considering that if the queen left for France on Monday as proposed, and he accompanied her and had to remain long away from London, as might easily happen at the present season, if the wind was contrary, especially as the queen decided to cross from Portsmouth to Havre de Grace, he might not be present at the dissolution when his presence is most necessary in order to sign the bills passed, he has persuaded his mother to delay her departure.
To this she readily consented, especially as she does not wish to be travelling at Christmas time, now at hand.
So her departure is postponed; they do not say until when, but it must be until after the dissolution, and some would even put it until after the king's coronation."

Lots more gossip at
Citation: BHO Chicago MLA
'Venice: December 1660', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32, 1659-1661, ed. Allen B Hinds (London, 1931), pp. 220-233.
British History Online…

Travel in 17th Century England in the winter was a muddy, cold, wet, miserable thing to do. The gales in the Channel are dangerous and can last for days. Altogether this trip was a dangerous undertaking.
I suspect Queen Mother Henrietta Maria (1) wanted to finalize the Minette/Philipe union, and (2) not be present when Anne Hyde moved into St. James's Palace with her son, and be recognized as the Duchess of York.

But Charles II rightly didn't want to be catching his death on the road to or at Portsmouth while those Presbyterian MPs were pulling last minute fast ones before dissolving Parliament.

So they settle on having a Happy Family Christmas as a good cover story, while most English people scratch their heads and say "what's Christmas?"

About Monday 26 November 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

According to several sources, Slingsby Bethel (1619 - 1697)'s mother's maiden name was Slingsby -- so he could have been a cousin or in-law of the Controller. He was a Parliamentarian, but more radical than our Col. Robert Slingsby:

"... As MP for Knaresborough in 1659, he opposed Richard Cromwell’s attempt to succeed his father as Protector. He also opposed Gen. Monck and the Restoration (1660).
He moved to Rotterdam, communicated with the English republican exiles around Edmund Ludlow in Switzerland, and plotted an uprising in England with Algernon Sidney and others.
The revolutionaries were divided, a division deepened by Bethel’s attack on Cromwell in his first major pamphlet, The World’s Mistake in Oliver Cromwell (1668).
His second was The Present Interest of England stated (1671).

When revolutionary tactics changed in the mid 1670s, Bethel returned to England. He published his third main work, The Interest of the Princes and States of Europe (1680).

Sidney helped him become elected as one of two Sheriffs of London (1680).
To be eligible for office, Bethel had to take the Anglican sacrament. His willingness to do so, coupled with the partisan and frugal manner in which he conducted himself in office, drew criticism from royalists and moderate Whigs.

He was satirized as ‘Shimei’ in John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681).
Gilbert Burnet noted he ‘was a man of knowledge, and had writ a very judicious book of the interests of Princes: But as he was a known republican in principle, so he was a sullen and wilful man; and turned from the ordinary way of a Sheriff’s living into the extream of sordidness’.

Bethel’s ‘sordidness’ included packing juries, brutality, suborning witnesses, frugality, and assault and battery.
He defended himself in The Vindication of Slingsby Bethel Esq. (1681).

In the royalist reaction of 1682, he fled to Hamburg and the United Providences. In his absence, he was convicted of riot and assault and fined heavily in 1683.

Abroad, Bethel returned to revolutionary plotting with other exiled Whigs, including Locke. He was excluded from those pardoned by James II in 1687, and returned to England only after the 1688 Revolution.

In 1689, the House of Lords reversed his conviction.

His last public office seems to have been on a committee preparing regulations for the Bank of England.

Bethel was one of the earliest English exponents of continental European interest theory.
Drawing on Machiavelli, Harrington and Pieter de la Court, Bethel analyzed politics in terms of hierarchies of domestic and foreign ‘interests’. England’s over-riding domestic interest was trade.
From this he argued for republicanism and toleration.
England’s overriding foreign interest was maintaining the balance of power. From this he argued for a Dutch alliance against France.

There's more at…

About Monday 26 November 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"After the Restoration, Praise-God Barebone was looked upon with a jealous eye, and on Nov. 26, 1661, was apprehended, ..."

I should read my own annotation -- this is next year! Sorry everyone!!!

About Monday 26 November 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sorry, David G., I know nothing of Slingsby being a poet worthy of reprinting. Maybe a manuscript in a library somewhere ...? But probably not. Good luck hunting -- you never know what the Google librarian will turn up.

About Monday 26 November 1660

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In the House of Lords today:

Order to prevent Robberies and Disorders in London, &c.
The House being informed of the great Disorder in London and Westm. and the Countries adjacent, and of the great Robberies and Murders as are daily committed:
It is ORDERED, That the Lord Chancellor do acquaint the Lord Chief Justice of England with this Information; and desire him to send to the Lord Mayor of London, and the Justices in the several Countries adjacent, to take special Order, by keeping strict Watches, and other lawful Means, to prevent these Disorders.

But the Commons appear to be unaware of any unusual activities.