Annotations and comments

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


About Sunday 4 September 1664

Mary  •  Link

The boy.

We have established that he was about 19 years old at this time, so his voice should have settled by now, even allowing for puberty to have arrived slightly later in the 17th century than it does in the developed world nowadays.

About Sunday 4 September 1664

Mary  •  Link

Mrs. Ferrabosco.

Ferrabosco was a name well known in English musical circles in the 17th Century. The family came originally from Bologna. About half a dozen Ferraboscos established reputations for themselves in England, but the identity of this particular lady is uncertain. L&M Companion speculates that she may have been Elizabeth Ferrabosco, a niece of Alfonso Ferrabsoco III, whose brother Henry had been a Court musician and Royalist soldier.

About Friday 2 September 1664

Mary  •  Link

"Keep it in the family" may sometimes be useful advice, but it can also lead to some horrible tangles especially (as in the Pepys' case) financial ones and, especially again, when one of he parties involved has the misfortune to die.

About Saturday 27 August 1664

Mary  •  Link

Young Tom Edwards.

The tone of the entry inclines one to the opinion that Tom is scarcely out of childhood and the reference to an habitual eight o'clock bedtime reinforces this view. But L&M assures us ( and why should we not believe it?) that Tom was born in 1645. Thus he is already 19 years old at this date; not exactly a child, though as yet untutored in the ways of the world. Certainly not an infant ripped untimely from his mother's bosom.

About Saturday 27 August 1664

Mary  •  Link

Young Tom Edwards,

The tone of these entries inclines one to assume that Tom was scarcely out of childhood at this point and the eight o'clock habitual bedtime reinforces this view. If L&M are to be believed (and why not?) he was born in 1645 and so is 19 years old at the start of his employ with Samuel. Not such a very little boy, then; just untutored in the ways of the world.

About Friday 19 August 1664

Mary  •  Link

Lady Pen.

This is the former Margriet Jaspers, who was about 41 or 42 at this date. Old indeed!

About Thursday 18 August 1664

Mary  •  Link

"present occasion for 6l."

Martha's reading is the right one. Reeve not only needs the money, his need is present, i.e. urgent and immediate.

Sam's wit would seem to lie in his being able to think up an entirely plausible and reasonable excuse on the spur of the moment for not advancing this sum.

About Saturday 13 August 1664

Mary  •  Link

".... to come no lower than my knees."

If Sam has got used to wearing a long house-gown when at home, then his lower legs will indeed feel chilly when he ventures out of doors - and we all know how wary he has become of getting chilled; that way lies the route to his 'old pain.' A knee-length jacket of some sort will, he hopes, render his lower extremities less sensitive and liable to chilling. At least, that's how I read it.

About Wednesday 10 August 1664

Mary  •  Link

candle set to advantage.

Indeed, it could have been a shoe-maker's window. On the other hand, if such were the case I should have expected Sam to comment on the use of such a handy device. Maybe the candle was a short-ish object simply set to one side of the work so that the surface was illuminated obliquely. Illumination of this sort can be a help with very fine, monochrome needlework, so perhaps also with engraving.

About Friday 5 August 1664

Mary  •  Link

the very pretty horse.

No doubt the hired animals that Sam normally has to use on the infrequent occasions when he makes this sort of journey are pretty humdrum beasts, more notable for stolidity than his present mount. Having been ridden by horsemen good, bad and indifferent they are likely to have hard mouths and, whilst presumably durable, yet less than willing rides. Hard work for the rider.

About Saturday 30 July 1664

Mary  •  Link

"I hope to be 100l or two the better"

Presumably Pepys foresees that up to two-thirds of this £300 may have to be laid out in payments to others further down the supply chain.

About Saturday 30 July 1664

Mary  •  Link

precious stones.

An L&M footnote states that there were in fact three stones, not two. When Charles showed them to the French Ambassador, the latter thought them to be of no very great value.

The donor of the jewels, the self-styled Governor of Maliapur, was asking for a ship in return for his present, so the gift came with loose strings attached. The subsequent history of the stones is not mentioned, so perhaps they weren't terribly good after all.

About Friday 29 July 1664

Mary  •  Link


This noun can derive its form from both 'ingenious' and from 'ingenuous'

In this particular instance, it would look as though the latter derivation is the one in question and, according to OED sense 3, could mean 'freedom from reserve, openness, candour'.

In other words, Pepys is saying that the group feels under some restraint when the Master of Music is with them.

About Monday 25 July 1664

Mary  •  Link

"come in as an adventurer"

It sounds as if, failing Alsop, Sam is considering buying himself a share in any replacement contract by going into some kind of partnership with the successful bidders. There is surely no way that he can raise enough cash himself to undertake the whole enterprise, even if such a move were to pass muster with the other members of the Navy Board. But a small 'interest' might be feasible.

About Thursday 21 July 1664

Mary  •  Link

Betty Lane/Martin.

Can we have found yet another possible origin for the English phrase "all my eye and Betty Martin"?

What's this I hear, Samuel, about you spending a suspicious amount of time at that linen draper's stall in Westminster while I've been away in the country?

What a silly tale, Elizabeth. That's all my eye!
(sotto voce) and Betty Martin.

About Wednesday 20 July 1664

Mary  •  Link

The lottery.

What is not clear is the origin of the goods that were available for winning. Some of these prizes were plainly very valuable. Presumably some folk sought to gain kudos by giving them. Or perhaps they simply had their arms twisted?

About Thursday 14 July 1664

Mary  •  Link

Sir John Shaw's new house.

This was Eltham Lodge, built in the grounds of the then largely ruined Eltham Palace. The Eltham estate had been leased to Shaw by Charles II for a virtually peppercorn rent in thanks for Shaw's support of him during his exile. Eltham Lodge was designed by a colleague of Wren's and still stands today as the clubhouse of the Royal Blackheath Golf Club. The Shaw family remained in Eltham until the 1820s.

Eltham Palace itself merits a google.

About Sunday 17 July 1664

Mary  •  Link

"Queen, Queen Caroline...."

One of George IV's reported objections to Caroline of Brunswick was that she was negligent about personal hygiene and, presumably, this rhyme alludes to that. Another version of the rhyme substitutes 'face' for 'hair'.

About Monday 18 July 1664

Mary  •  Link

war with Holland to begin about winter.

Does it strike anyone else as odd that this time of year should be chosen for embarking on a war with another seafaring nation? The North Sea is not noted for its benign weather during the winter months.