Annotations and comments

Mary K has posted 1001 annotations/comments since 9 March 2007.

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About Mingo

Mary K  •  Link

Mingo's Hart Street antecedents.

Mingo was by no means the first black African to live in the parish of St. Olave's Hart Street.

John Barker, a merchant and MP living in the parish from about 1582 onwards, had in his employ in the later years of the 16th Century a number of African servants including Mary Fillis (a young girl described as a "Morisco"), George (a blackamore) and Leying Mouea ("a blackamore of 20 years). Alderman Paul Bayning, a Hart Street neighbour of the Baker family, employed at least 5 Africans over the same period including "three maids, blackamores" (one called Julyanne) and two men - Abell and Anthony.

Dr. Hector Nunes, a refugee from the Portuguese Inquisition resident in the neighbourhood since 1549, had numerous black servants in his household including three women named Elizabeth, Grace and Mary.

Altogether between 1588 and 1638 St. Olave's Hart Street saw three baptisms and 12 burials of Africans, whilst the neighbouring church of St. Botolph's Aldgate saw just one baptism (of the aforementioned Mary Fillis) but 17 burials of Africans.

For further information, see the book "Black Tudors" cited in the note that precedes this one.

About Tuesday 1 November 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Oyster barrels.

For discussion of oyster barrels, go to the Encyclopedia (food), where is it suggested that these were small barrels (tubs) about 7 - 13 inches high. Not so very different in size from the pint and half-pint pots that shrimp, cockles etc. used to be sold in in 20th Century England. You bought such shellfish by volume, not by weight.

An additional wrinkle to the oysters is that they were often transported and sold as pickled shellfish in pre-20th Century days when they still offered a cheap snack or meal.

About Mingo

Mary K  •  Link

For a fascinating account of the surprisingly long history of free men and women of African origin living and working in England, see the following recently published book:

"Black Tudors" by Miranda Kaufmann.
A Oneworld book
ISBN 978-1-78607-184-2

About Tuesday 22 October 1661

Mary K  •  Link

"looking is your choice"

Well, that's not quite fair comment when the nub of the spoiler falls under the same glance as the warning. In this case one does not have to follow the link actively to know what the outcome will be. Many (most?) of us register at least part of the text of two contiguous lines of print at the same time.

About Monday 3 October 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Mrs. Bagwell's warning.

Together with XJY above, I think that Mrs. B. is giving Samuel a direct warning that it might harm his career/reputation if others were to know as much about his carryings-on with various women as she does. When Samuel notes that "in the main I believe she is very honest" it sounds to me as if he has his fingers crossed as he expresses the belief that she will deal honestly (i.e. discreetly) with him.

About Thursday 22 September 1664

Mary K  •  Link

Mealtime hat niceties

Not many years ago, whilst staying in a very up-market hotel, I encountered an elderly Austrian lady who always wore her hat to breakfast.

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.