Annotations and comments

Mary K has posted 994 annotations/comments since 9 March 2007.

The most recent…


About Bladder and kidney stones

Mary K  •  Link

Elizabethan description of cutting for the stone.

I have just come across this Elizabethan description of the operation in the February 1601 diary of John Manningham, a young law student of The Middle Temple.

"One Burneham of London, whoe was the watergate officer at Flushinge, being troubled with the stone so mutche that it was a hindraunce unto him in the execution of his office, ventured a dangerous cure and was cutt for it, but dyed of it. This cure by cutting is a newe invention, a kinde of practise not knowne to former ages. There is a seame in the passage of the yard neere the fundament, which the surgeons searche with a crooked instrument concaved at one ende (called a catheter) whereunto they make incision and then grope for the stone with another toole which they call a duckes bill. Yf the stone be greater then may be drawne forth at the hole made by the same, the partie dyes for it."

The Diary of John Mannigham of the Middle Temple.
edited by Robert Parker Sorlien.
published by The University Press of New England (for the University of Rhode Island). 1976
ISBN No. 0-87451-113-5

About Thursday 18 August 1664

Mary K  •  Link

"and then to my barber, willing to have any opportunity to speak to Jane, but wanted it. "

"wanted" here means that Samuel's need of an opportunity to see Jane was not met. He was left wanting.

About Monday 15 August 1664

Mary K  •  Link

"up the spout"

Haven't come across that one, though "up the duff" is generally well recognised (with suggestions that "duff' represents a wayward version of "dough.") If so, that would get us back to the bread/baking source area.

About Monday 15 August 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Another English euphemism for pregnancy, though much less common than the above is, "she's been eating fresh bread."

About Wednesday 27 July 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Draught/draft in Mod. British English

Contrariwise, we draft a speech, make a first draft of any piece of writing, (accounts, an illustration, a book, a play, a report etc.) One may be drafted into a job, into one of the armed services, onto a committee.

A ship may be partly described by its draught (the depth of water that it draws) and ill-fitting windows and doors let in a nasty draught. You may consume a draught of some liquid and although you may 'pull' a pint of beer, the beer that you are drinking is described as draught beer or 'on draught. A draught horse will be one that pulls a load.

About Friday 12 August 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Note for newer annotators.

It's almost always worthwhile reading the annotations that others have been making over the past 10 years before adding one's most recent thoughts and observations. Sometimes one can correct or expand an earlier note in light of more recent or more thorough research. On other occasions one may simply repeat or overlook a point that has already been noted.

In addition to showing the daily annotations, Phil has supplied us with an extremely useful Encyclopedia facility which draws together information into useful categories of specific interest.

About Friday 24 June 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Chiddingstone Castle/Barbara Villiers portrait?

Further to my 10-year-old annotation, Chiddingstone Castle in Kent is now open to the public on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays and Bank Holidays. The Stuart collections are certainly worth a visit as are the other memorabilia housed here.

About Tuesday 7 June 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Elizabeth's ailments.

This is a subject that has been much discussed by annotators in previous years. Do look at the Encyclopaedia and In-Depth sections for relevant history.

About Sunday 22 May 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Dr. Johnson commented more weightily on cucumbers.

"It has been a common saying of physicians in England, that a cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing."

About Monday 23 May 1664

Mary K  •  Link

a trip out for Elizabeth.

It's late May in the south of England, the weather is getting warmer, the streets, paths and byways provide cleaner walking (despite today's sudden and unexpected rain) and a little trip down the river likely to be more appealing than a chillier trip in earlier months of the year.