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San Diego Sarah has posted 6,509 annotations/comments since 6 August 2015.

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About London in Pepys' time

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

John Gay (1690 – 1760), poet and dramatist, wrote a 3 volume poem called "Trivia: the Art of Walking the Streets of London" which was published in 1716. It is unequalled for its description of the sights, sounds, smells and employment opportunities of turn--of-the-century London.

We may tut in judgment at the loose morals of the Restitution Court and Pepys' London as portrayed in the Diary, but things only went downhill from here as you'll see in William Hogarth's etchings. He was 7 years younger than Gay.

Excepts of John Gay's poem, and why and how "Trivia" probably inspired Hogarth and Dean Jonathan Swift's work can be found at
Clare Brant, ‘Seduced by the City: Gay’s Trivia and Hogarth’. Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London, Volume 6 Number 1 (March 2008). Online at…

The poem itself:…

I read her paper first, and then the poem. It made more sense that way.

About Thomas Meriton (Rector of St Nicholas Cole Abbey)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pictures and more of the history of St. Nicholas Cole Abbey and the area around it:

Known generally as the West Fish Market, Ekwall notes that “another name-form [for Old Fish Street] is Westpiscaria”; ‘Piscaria’ or ‘Pisconaria’ meaning ‘the Fish-Market’ and the ‘West-’ affix being a “distinction from the fish-market on the London Bridge”.

Meanwhile, Carlin and Belcher suggest that Old Fish Street may have been called, in 1252, “the west fish market”.

The alley used to run from Distaff Lane, which is still there but was originally called Fish Street, down to what is today Upper Thames Street.

It may have originally been called Baggardses Lane but was certainly known as Fish Street Hill by Tudor times.

It gained the Old, as in Old Fish Street Hill, sometime in the 17th-18th-century, as it’s marked as such in Horwood's Map of 1799 which shows the remaining section of the alley.

It might be much the same today if it wasn’t for the Victorians driving a wide road through this part of London, cutting through the middle of Old Fish Street Hill with Queen Victoria Street. What was left was a tiny runt of the alley to the north, and a renamed passage to the south, Lambeth Hill, and that had its route changed after WW2 bombing flattened this part of London.

What’s there today is a short alley that passes between an old church and a modern office block.

The church that the alley runs past the back of is St Nicholas Cole Abbey, which despite its name is not an Abbey. It’s St Nicholas church, and the name “Cole Abbey” is derived from “coldharbour”, a medieval word for a traveler’s shelter or shelter from the cold.

The earliest reference to the church is in a letter of Pope Lucius II in 1144–5, and the church is named after St. Nicholas of Myra, patron saint of fishermen, which is apt as it sat next to that original fish market.

John Stow records that, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, a lead and stone cistern, fed by the Thames, was set up against the north wall of the church “for the care and commodity of the Fishmongers in and about Old Fish Street”.

The church was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London, and again partially rebuilt when Victoria Street was built beside it to move the entrance and open up new windows to the south.

During the early years of steam trains on the Underground, a vent shaft next to the church so covered it in smoke that the church became known as “St Nicholas Cole Hole Abbey”.

The church was gutted on 10 May 1941 during the worst air raid of WW2, when 1,436 people were killed along with the destruction of large swathes of London. The church remained a ruin for over a decade, but was finally rebuilt and reconsecrated in May 1962.


Does anyone know if the fish market was still there in Pepys' time?

About Thursday 16 January 1667/68

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... the Dutch and French are said to make such preparations as 50 sail will do no good."

‘“Nothing strikes the eye nor signals the magnificence of the king better than a well-adorned ship.” -- Jean-Baptiste Colbert reflects Louis XIV’s ambition to expand France’s navy at the outset of his personal reign.

Meredith Martin and Gillian Weiss’s fascinating new book reveals how this absolute monarch devoted his boundless energy to warfare , not only on land but also at sea, for which he had more than 40 galleys built, all crewed by convicts and enslaved Turks.

"The Sun King at Sea: Maritime Art and Galley Slavery in Louis XIV's France" in
Hardcover was released on January 4, 2022 by Meredith Martin and Gillian Weiss (Authors)

This richly illustrated volume, the first devoted to maritime art and galley slavery in early modern France, shows how royal propagandists used the image and labor of enslaved Muslims to glorify Louis XIV.

Mediterranean maritime art and the forced labor on which it depended were fundamental to the politics and propaganda of France’s Louis XIV (r. 1643–1715). Yet most studies of French art in this period focus on Paris and Versailles, overlooking the presence or portrayal of galley slaves on the kingdom’s coasts. By examining a wide range of artistic productions — ship design, artillery sculpture, medals, paintings, and prints — Meredith Martin and Gillian Weiss uncover a vital aspect of royal representation and unsettle a standard picture of art and power in early modern France.

With an abundant selection of startling images, many never before published, "The Sun King at Sea" emphasizes the role of esclaves turcs (enslaved Turks) — rowers who were captured or purchased from Islamic lands — in building and decorating ships and other art objects that circulated on land and by sea to glorify the Crown.

Challenging the notion that human bondage vanished from continental France, this cross-disciplinary volume invites a reassessment of servitude as a visible condition, mode of representation, and symbol of sovereignty during Louis XIV’s reign.

• Publisher ‏ : ‎ Getty Research Institute (January 4, 2022)
• Language ‏ : ‎ English
• Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
• ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1606067303
• ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1606067307

About Saturday 27 March 1669

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"After they were gone, Sir Arthur Ackland came in, a young man of 17 years of age, who, by the death of his father, is come into possession of a fortune of 2,000., per annum."

The Acland family of Devonshire is an old one.
An Arthur Acland from a junior branch has a Parliamentary biography, but he was born in 1616.…

Sir Hugh Acland sat in Parliament representing the senior branch, and he inherited 2,000/. in 1671. He was also too old in 1669.…

The Killerton estate in Broadclyst, near Exeter, Devon, is first mentioned in 1242. In the Elizabethan times the estate was sold to the Acland family, who owned the adjoining property at Columb John.…

Wikipedia makes 2 suggestions [** and *** BELOW] about other known 17th century Aclands. My bet goes to ** as he is the right age and had inherited when he was one year old. The *** Arthur would have been 14 in 1669, and should have been away at Oxford University in March:

Sir John Acland, 1st Baronet (c. 1591 – 1647), English landowner, was the only son of Arthur Acland. Pricked High Sheriff of Devon in 1641, he fought as a Royalist during the English Civil Wars.
He was created a baronet for his service in 1644, but the letters patent were lost; a new grant was made in 1677/8 to the 5th Baronet confirming the 1644 creation.
He surrendered to the Parliamentarians when Thomas Fairfax captured Exeter in 1646 and composed for his estate.
Upon his death in 1647, he was succeeded by his eldest son.

Sir Francis Acland, 2nd Baronet (died 1649) was the eldest son of Sir John Acland, 1st Baronet. He succeeded in 1647, and died unmarried in 1649, was succeeded by his brother.

Sir John Acland, 3rd Baronet (died 1655) was the second son of Sir John Acland, 1st Baronet. He succeeded his brother in 1649. In 1654, he married Margaret, daughter of Denys Rolle.
They had two children:
a daughter, Margaret (died 1691), married John Arundell, 2nd Baron Arundell,
and a son, **Arthur (b. 1654), who succeeded to the baronetcy when Sir John died in 1655.

*** Sir Arthur Acland, 4th Baronet (1655–1672) was the only son of Sir John Acland, 3rd Baronet. He matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford on 27 July 1669.
Sir Arthur died as a minor in 1672, unmarried, and was succeeded by his uncle Hugh.

I think Cosmo's Arthur was ** above, if you believe Wikipedia.

About Thursday 15 April 1669

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


William Aikin, Esquire -- any ideas?

William Brereton MP FRS…

George, 9th Baron Berkeley…

Dr. Timothy Clarke…

John Wilkins, Bishop of Chester…

Dr. William Crown -- any ideas?

Dr. Jonathan Goddard

John Evelyn…

Sir George Ent…

Baron Henry Howard of Norfolk,…

Sir Robert Moray,…

Sir Paul Neile,…

Thomas Henshaw…

Dr. Walter Pope

Henry Oldenburg…

Edward Montagu, Earl of Sandwich…

Seth Ward, Bishop of Salisbury…

Sir Theodore de Vaux…

Sir Gilbert Talbot MP FRS…

About mid-day, his highness returned home, and dined as usual.

After dinner, he recommenced his visits to the ladies;

Towards evening Cosmo went to see a comedy at the King’s Theater, see…


The afternoon visits were often to the wives of noblemen and ambassadors who had already met Cosmo socially. They seem to have kept open houses regularly for this purpose.


His highness, Cosmo, must be considered only as a traveler. Under his direction, the narrator of the records was Count Lorenzo Magalotti, afterwards Secretary to the Academy del Cimento, and one of the most learned and eminent characters of the court of Ferdinand II.

About Thursday 15 April 1669

San Diego Sarah  •  Link



Towards this, the planets or satellites of Jupiter, are of great service, by the observation of whose eclipses (these succeeding one another almost every day) they are studying to find out a method of forming astronomical tables, in order to discover the true meridians of the earth; for the different meridians will be shewn by the different hours at which they will happen, when observed at different places, beginning from the east, and proceeding westward.

The academy has a library (gifted by the Lord Henry Howard, and continually increasing in the number of its books) for the convenience of the academicians, and particularly of the two professors, who are to live in the said college (as soon as the fund from which their stipend is to be paid, can be arranged) in the apartments preparing for that purpose, distinct from the halls and chambers appropriated to the meeting and to the council; and it is to be their duty to refer to the society, all subjects on which their opinion shall be required, and to collect the philosophical and mechanical experiments from the authors who shall be discussed, in order to facilitated the life discovery of truth.

Baron Henry Howard of Norfolk,…


The council of the society, at that time, composed of William, Viscount Brouncker, President; William Aikin, Esquire, my Lord William Brereton, my Lord George Berkeley, Doctor Timothy Clerk, Daniel Colval, Esquire, the Bishop of Chester, the physicians, William Crown and Jonathan Goddard, John Evelyn, Esquire, Sir George Ent, Baron Henry Howard of Norfolk, Sir Robert Moray, Sir Paul Neile, Thomas Hensham, Walter Pope, physician, Henry Oldenburg, Edward, Earl of Sandwich, the Bishop of Salisbury, Sir Theodore de Vaux, and Sir Gilbert Talbot, all elective counsellors, who, as occasion may require, assemble together in this chamber called the Council Chamber, and make such resolutions as the good government of this collection of virtuosi may require.

About Thursday 15 April 1669

San Diego Sarah  •  Link



At their meetings, no precedence or distinction of place is observed, except by the president and secretary; the first is in the middle of the table, and the latter at the head of it, on his left hand, the other academicians taking their seats indifferently on benches of wood with backs to them, arranged in two rows; and if any one enters unexpectedly, after the meeting has begun, every one remains seated, nor is his salutation, returned, except by the president alone, who acknowledges it by an inclination of the head, that he may not interrupt the person who is speaking on the subject or experiment proposed by the secretary.

They observe the ceremony of speaking to the president uncovered, waiting from him for permission to be covered, and explaining their sentiments in few words, relative to the subject under discussion; and, to avoid confusion and disorder, one does not begin before the other has ended his speech; neither are opposite opinions maintained with obstinacy, but with temper, the language of civility and moderation being always adopted amongst them, which renders them so much the more praiseworthy, as they are a society composed of persons of different nations.

It has for its coat of arms, a field of silver, denoting a blank tablet, with the motto, 'Nullius in verba' to shew that they do not suffer themselves to be induced by passion and prejudice, to follow any particular opinions.

The t^Jjjnpt, ,wh^]),i§j||n^?r,J:)3u^ of Doctor; Robert Hook, a man of genius, and of much esteem in experimental matters, was founded by Daniel Colwal, now treasurer of the academy, and is full of the greatest rarities, brought from the most distant parts; such as quadrupeds, birds, fishes, serpents, insects, shells, feathers, seeds, minerals, and many petrifactions, mummies, and giims; and every day, in order to enrich it still more, the academicians contribute everything of value which comes into their hands, so that in time it will be the most beautiful, the largest and the most curious, in respect to natural productions, that is anywhere to be found.

Robert Hooke…
Daniel Colwal…

Amongst these curiosities, the most remarkable are an ostrich, whose young were always born alive; an herb which grew in the stomach of a thrush; and the skill of a moor, tanned, with the beard and hair white; but more worthy of observation than all the rest, is a clock, whose movements are derived from the vicinity of a loadstone, and it is so adjusted as to discover the distance of countries, at sea, by the longitude.

About Thursday 15 April 1669

San Diego Sarah  •  Link



He afterwards went, in his carriage, with his usual retinue, to Arundel House, in the interior of Gresham College, given by Henry Howard of Norfolk, for the sittings of the Academy, or Royal Society, which meets every Thursday after dinner, to take cognizance of matters of natural philosophy, and for the study and examination of chemical, mechanical, and mathematical subjects.

THE ACADEMY (John Evelyn’s original name for the ROYAL SOCIETY),…

Baron Henry Howard of Norfolk,…

This Royal Academy took its origin from some philosophers of London, and was restored in the reign of Charles II; who (besides his own inclination) in order to encourage the genius of men of quality (who, at the time that there was no court in this kingdom, applied themselves diligently to such studies) established and confirmed it; making himself in fact its founder, by granting it the most ample privileges, which are recorded in a book ratified by the King, the Duke of York, and Prince Robert [RUPERT].

Prince Rupert of the Rhine and his scientific contributions,…

This institution is governed by a council, consisting of 20 members, elected out of the whole body of the society; the head of which is the president, at present the Earl of Brouncker, who, sitting on a seat in the middle of the table of the assembly, has a large silver mace, with the royal arms, lying before him, with which it is customary for the mace-bearer, or the porter of the academy, to walk before him.

Earl of Brouncker = William, 2nd Viscount Brouncker…

Persons of every nation and religion, and profession, are admitted among the academicians, and they are under no other obligation than to swear to the observance of the statutes, and to attend the meetings as often as is in their power; especially those for the election of officers, to promote its interests, and not to do anything to its prejudice.

About Thursday 15 April 1669

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin, also attended the Royal Society meeting today.

I've standardized the spelling of names I know, corrected scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs. I apologize if I guessed incorrectly:

On the morning of 15/25 April, 1669, his highness having heard mass, received Sir Charles Cotterell, master of the ceremonies, who, with his son, came to pay him the homage of their respect; and likewise gave audience to Sir Chapel, who came for the same purpose of complimenting his highness.

Major Sir Charles Cotterell, MP, master of ceremonies to Charles II =…

His son, Clement Cotterell, assistant master of ceremonies to Charles II, and someone who had gone to Spain and Portugal with the Earl of Sandwich =…

Sir Chapel -- any ideas?


About King's House (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A contemporary view of The King's House is given by Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin, who visited it on 15/25 April, 1669.

I've standardized the spelling of names I know, corrected scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs. I apologize if I guessed incorrectly:

... going towards evening to the King's Theatre, to hear the comedy, in his majesty's box. This theatre is nearly of a circular form, surrounded, in the inside, by boxes separated from each other, and divided into several rows of seats, for the greater accommodation of the ladies and gentlemen, who, in conformity with the freedom of the country, sit together indiscriminately; a large space being left on the ground-floor for the rest of the audience.

The scenery is very light, capable of a great if any changes, and embellished with beautiful landscapes.
Before the comedy begins, that the audience may not be tired with waiting, the most delightful symphonies are played; on which account many persons come early to enjoy this agreeable amusement.

The comedies which are acted, are in prose; but their plots are confused, neither unity nor regularity being observed; the authors having in view, rather than anything else, to describe accurately the passions of the mind, the virtues and the vices; and they succeed the better, the more the players themselves, who are excellent, assist them with action, and with the enunciation of their language, which is very well adapted for the purpose, as being a variation, but very much confined and curtailed, of the Teutonic idiom; and enriched with many phrases and words of the most beautiful and expressive description, taken both from ancient find modern languages.

From the theatre, his highness returned home, and retiring to his apartment, supped alone.



His highness, Cosmo, must be considered only as a traveler. Under his direction, the narrator of the records was Count Lorenzo Magalotti, afterwards Secretary to the Academy del Cimento, and one of the most learned and eminent characters of the court of Ferdinand II.

About John Michael Wright

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary – he and Mary Browne Evelyn live at Sayes Court, Deptford.…


3 October, 1662.
I was invited to the College of Physicians, where Dr. Meret, a learned man and library-keeper, showed me the library, theater for anatomy, and divers natural curiosities; the statue and epigram under it of that renowned physician, Dr. Harvey, discoverer of the circulation of the blood.

There I saw Dr. Gilbert, Sir William Paddy's and other pictures of men famous in their faculty.

Visited Mr. Wright, a Scotchman, who had lived long at Rome, and was esteemed a good painter. The pictures of the Judges at Guildhall are of his hand, and so are some pieces in Whitehall, as the roof in his Majesty's old bedchamber, being Astraea, the St. Catherine, and a chimneypiece in the Queen's privy chamber; but his best, in my opinion, is Lacy, the famous Roscius or comedian, whom he has painted in 3 dresses, as a gallant, a Presbyterian minister, and a Scotch highlander in his plaid. It is in his Majesty's dining room at Windsor.

He had at his house an excellent collection, especially that small piece of Correggio, Scotus of de la Marca, a design of Paulo; and, above all, those ruins of Polydore, with some good agates and medals, especially a Scipio, and a Caesar's head of gold.


Dr. Christopher Merrett FRS (1614 - 1695) =…

Dr. William Harvey (1578-1657) =

Dr. Gilbert, Sir William Paddy's = NOMINATIONS ANYONE?

John Lacy, the actor playwrite =…

About Sir George Savile (Viscount Halifax)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

During the Diary years, George Savile was an MP:

At the Restoration, George Savile, 4th Bart., was one of the largest landowners in England, with estates chiefly in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, bringing in £10,000 a year.

Since Thornhill had been burnt down during the second Civil War, Rufford became George Savile’s principal seat.

Although ineligible under the last ordinance of the Long Parliament, Savile tood for Pontefract at the general election of 1660. The rough-and-tumble of the canvass and the hustings was always uncongenial to his fastidious taste, and in his absence, he was involved in a double return.

He was seated, and became a moderately active Member of the Convention Parliament. Doubtless a court supporter, he did not speak, but was named to 19 committees.

Savile was appointed to the committees that produced the navigation bill, reported on the revenue, and considered the bill to settle ministers in their livings.

Little is known of his business activities, but he was later engaged in the sale of annuities at 9 years’ purchase; he was therefore probably concerned in the outcome to a bill to reduce the maximum rate of interest to 6 per cent, and he was named to the committee.

He was also one of the Members sent into the City of London on 14 Aug. 1660 to raise an urgent government loan.

In the second session George Savile, MP’s only important committee was for the attainder bill.

George Savile MP declined an invitation to stand for the county in 1661 and took no part in public affairs for the next few years.

George Savile provided hospitality to Anne and James, Duke and Duchess of York in 1665 when they left London because of the plague, which earned him a recommendation for a peerage. Chancellor Hyde blocked it because of Savile's reputation for atheism. He was never able to shake off this awkward rumor, although he told Bishop Gilbert Burnet that such a thing was hardly conceivable.

George Savile was closely connected with George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. When Villiers was dismissed in 1667, Savile resigned from the West Riding lieutenancy, only to office with his patron a few months later.

George Savile, 4TH Bart., first made his mark in national politics as a member of the public accounts commission [BROOKE HOUSE COMMISSION] set up after the fall of Chancellor Clarendon.

A peerage could no longer be denied to George Savile, and he was created Viscount Halifax on 13 Jan., 1668, although Samuel Pepys thought that it ‘would displease the Parliament’ by suggesting that he had gone over to the Court.

George Savile, Viscount Halifax was appointed to the council of trade,

During the third Anglo-Dutch war George Savile, Viscount Halifax was made a Privy Councilor and sent on a diplomatic mission.

For more of George Savile's adventures, see…

About Sir George Savile (Viscount Halifax)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary – he and Mary Browne Evelyn live at Sayes Court, Deptford.…


27 September, 1662.
Came to visit me Sir George Saville, grandson to the learned Sir Henry Saville, who published St. Chrysostom.

Sir George was a witty gentleman, if not a little too prompt and daring.


Fortunately the 29-year-old member of Parliament didn't listen to the 42-year-old Evelyn. Society would have been deprived of much witty conversation and debate if he had.

About River Thames

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

During the third week of July, the annual Swan Upping occurs.
Since Sandwich was tasked with organizing it during the Diary, and he was away fighting or abroad as an Ambassador ending a war for much of it, I wonder who he delegated this event to.
This article shows a book of swan markings from Norfolk which covers the Diary years. They marked the King's swans' beaks so they were identifiable.…

About Chatham, Kent

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Here are some 2022 photos of Chatham dockyards and, more interesting to me, pictures of the ropewalk.
While the equipment is more modern than that of Pepys' time, I bet the basic ideas behind ropemaking have not changed. Yes, what may have taken 120 men in 1666 took 8 in 1820, but weaving is weaving, platting is platting, and rope twisting miles of rope is basically the same today as in Egyptian times.
Also photo of the 17th century mulberry tree in the Commissioner's garden ... courtesy of James I and VI.…

About Scott's Hall, Kent

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Scott's Hall was the home of the ancient Scott family of Kent. During the Diary the following people lived there:

Catherine Goring Scott lived here during the Diary years,…

Her husband, Sir Edward Scott, Knight of the Bath…

Lady Caroline Carteret Scott…

Sir Thomas Scott, her husband…

Scot's Hall (or Scott's Hall) was a country house in Smeeth, between Ashford and Folkestone in southeast England. It was the property of a gentry family, the Scotts. The first known resident was Sir John Scott (born 1436), who married Caroline Carter.

Samuel Pepys was a regular visitor in the 17th century: the contemporary owner, Sir Thomas Scott, married Caroline Carteret, daughter of Pepys' friend and colleague, Sir George Carteret. With his keen nose for gossip, Pepys noted that Thomas' right to inherit the estate was debatable: his parents were separated, and his father for a time refused to acknowledge any of his wife's children, although he ultimately did acknowledge Thomas as his son.

Highlights from