Annotations and comments

Mary K has posted 1,132 annotations/comments since 9 March 2007.


About Sunday 20 November 1664

Mary  •  Link

Peg Penn

This Peg Penn is surely Margaret Penn, the daughter of Marie and John Jasper of Ballycase, County Clare. She married, firstly, Nicasius van der Schuren and then, after his death, William Penn (knighted 1660) in 1643. L&M Companion does not give her date of birth, but notes that she died in Walthamstow in 1672. Notable Quaker, William Penn, was her eldest son, born 1644,

About Monday 31 October 1664

Mary  •  Link

Poor Bess.

Sam no doubt expects the housekeeping money to be accounted for down to the last penny. Unless Elizabeth is to keep minutely detailed accounts of every deal that she makes in the markets day by day, this is going to be very difficult for her - not least because many deals will have involved a process of chaffering and bargain-making. Stall-holders are unlikely to give out written receipts.

About Saturday 29 October 1664

Mary  •  Link

The Dutch fleet remains in The Straights.

According to an L&M footnote, this was a false rumour. de Ruyter was actually en route to Guinea.

About Saturday 29 October 1664

Mary  •  Link

A barrel of oysters for late supper?

Not sure that my digestive system would welcome this. Let's hope that our man manages to sleep well tonight.

About Thursday 20 October 1664

Mary  •  Link

two silver tumblers

I'm willing to bet that these were comparatively unadorned and so represent relatively greater intrinsic value than the magnificent flagons that were valued yesterday.

About Saturday 15 October 1664

Mary  •  Link


The 'grotto' interpretation is very attractive. Grottos had become fashionable in Italy during the 17th century and the fashion had spread to France by the middle of the century. Perhaps Montagu was making a landscape fashion-statement. Various websites mention the extensive works that were done at Hinchingbroke in Edward's time, but I can find no details of any landscape projects.

About Tuesday 11 October 1664

Mary  •  Link

the taking of Gigery.

L&M give some interesting information here. At Jijelli the French were trying to establish a base that would act as a counterbalance to Tangier and sent a force of 8000 men in 63 vessels (including one battalion of English troops!) to take the fort. The attack was successful not least because the defenders had already withdrawn from the place before the fleet arrived.

SPOILER: however, they will be back in October and drive the French occupiers out again.

About Sunday 9 October 1664

Mary  •  Link

Just looking?

Well, no. Strictly speaking he's stalking the woman. And why should he want to know where she lives if he has not at least half a mind to 'bump into her in the street' at some point in the future?

About Friday 7 October 1664

Mary  •  Link

Mr. Cocker's 'globe'

There was speculation on this article in the entry for August 10th 1664. Some variation on the 'shoemaker's window' now sounds even more likely, since we have reference to a globe.

I too see the frame of oiled paper as something separate from the globe itself.

About Tuesday 4 October 1664

Mary  •  Link

"The Generall" vs. "The Parson's Dream."

Now, could Sam possibly be calculating that today's play was so very, very bad that it scarcely counts as part of his self-imposed theatre ration, and that therefore he might be allowed to go and see the new play without breaking the rules? He has jumped through more complicated moral hoops in the past.

About Tuesday 27 September 1664

Mary  •  Link

No banks.

One practical solution to Sam's dilemma would be to lodge his money, or some part of it, with a reputable goldsmith. Nowhere will he find absolute security for his gold and there would still remain the problem of fetching and carrying it to and from such premises. However, the goldsmiths tended to have safer storage than other places and were accustomed to provide this service.

About Friday 23 September 1664

Mary  •  Link

£1000 fine and £70 per annum

"fine' in this case is a legal term. It is a sum of money paid by a tenant at the beginning of his tenancy in order that his rent may be small or minimal. Carteret has been voted a housing allowance of £1000 down and rent of £70 p.a. Not bad.

About Friday 23 September 1664

Mary  •  Link

Pepys' palate.

I know just what he means: that very uncomfortable symptom of the early stages of a cold where the soft palate and the area behind it becomes very sore and swollen. The act of swallowing both solids and liquids is painful as the back of the tongue rises against the soft palate.

About Thursday 15 September 1664

Mary  •  Link

The mention of Brahmins calls to mind the 'Heaven Born' of the pre-independence Indian Civil Service, but that was abbreviated to ICS.

About Monday 19 September 1664

Mary  •  Link

Jane Welsh.

There's yet another possibility. Jarvis has learned, either by direct observation or by report from neighbours, that Mr. Pepys is visiting the area rather more often than business concerns warrant and has warned his young employee that the boss will be keeping an eye on her. If Jane loses her job, she'll probably lose her lodging as well and that would be a serious consideration.

About Friday 16 September 1664

Mary  •  Link

horseradish ale.

Horseradish ale was made with a mixture of horseradish, wormwood and tansy; sounds sufficiently unpalatable to be esteemed as a useful nostrum.

Horseradish was also regarded as a cough expectorant and a treatment for scurvy, food poisoning, tuberculosis and colic. This last may have prompted Pargiter to recommend the 'ale' to Pepys.

Its culinary use as a relish to accompany roast meats, especially beef, had also gained popularity by this date.

About Tuesday 6 September 1664

Mary  •  Link


This sounds to me very much like the colloquial ModE "dead" when used as an intensifier: dead pretty, dead clever, dead stupid, dead useless etc.