Annotations and comments

Mary K has posted 1,141 annotations/comments since 9 March 2007.

8 Jun 2007, 10:08 a.m. - Mary K

Hospital admission for Elizabeth? Never! In order to obtain admission to a London hospital (e.g. St. Bartholomew's) one had to prove both sickness and poverty (written proof required of the latter). Most people were nursed at home, by friends or possibly in the home of a 'professional' nurse who would charge for her services.

4 Jun 2007, 4:44 p.m. - Mary K

Missing a word somewhere? It looks as if the L&M edition may agree with this proposal. They punctuate thus: "... and acre of land bought by - the Duke of York and Mr. Coventry, for aught I see, being the only two ...." Perhaps we are to understand 'the Tangier Committee' in place of the dash? No editorial explanation is given.

30 May 2007, 5:05 p.m. - Mary K

Well done, Andrew. It's good to know that these annotators can count a Really Useful Member amongst their number!

30 May 2007, 3:49 p.m. - Mary K

Sources of Povey's money. Looks to me (see background information) as if he has had plenty of opportunity to make his own fortune. A barrister, an entrepreneurial merchant and a man who has held potentially profitable government posts under both Cromwell and Charles. No mention of marrying a wealthy wife, though he did inherit his country house (at Hounslow) from his father, Justinian Povey.

29 May 2007, 12:28 p.m. - Mary K

Seasonal fruit and vegetables. A visit to the website below will give an outline of what may be expected to make a first appearance during various months of the year.

27 May 2007, 3:39 p.m. - Mary K

7 roods of meadow. A rood is an area of one quarter of an acre, or 10,890 square feet. Land doesn't seem particularly cheap around Portholme.

17 May 2007, 6:09 a.m. - Mary K

"eeriest" The multi-volume L&M prints "veriest" which is what one would expect in this context. Mrs. Pierce is still beautiful and still has the glow of youth in her cheeks; slatternly maybe, but not eerie.

16 May 2007, 6:21 a.m. - Mary K

"cleansing the innards from time to time...." It was not uncommon practice, even in the earlier part of the 20th century, to take a regular purge as a matter of course; thought to be a genuinely healthy measure and perhaps necessitated in part by a diet that laid less emphasis on the value of fresh fruit and vegetables or fibre.

13 May 2007, 7:51 a.m. - Mary K

My wife sick of those... Given Elizabeth's indisposition today, Uncle Wight could hardly have chosen a worse day than yesterday to make his outrageous proposal ... it's dollars to doughnuts that she suffers from some degree of PMT and will have found his advances even less amusing than might have been the case at other times of the month.

10 May 2007, 5:48 a.m. - Mary K

Abraham Colfe, clerk: a side-note to the above. Colfe's School still exists in Lewisham, though it is no longer a free school. Colfe made the Leathersellers' Company (one of the London liveries) trustees of his will and links between the company and the school remain strong.

8 May 2007, 11:56 a.m. - Mary K

ship models It was just such models as these that Commissioner Pett of Chatham was to be accused of having wasted time to rescue when the Dutch sailed up the Medway.

8 May 2007, 6:22 a.m. - Mary K

"and giving order for other things about it" Ah, that well-known request heard too often by the workman. "While you're here, would you just .....?" A heart-sink moment for all builders, plumbers, decorators, electricians etc. with full order-books. Pepys wanted a door repositioning, but since Sympson is on the spot, would he just.....?

6 May 2007, 6:54 a.m. - Mary K

the changing of the spoons. Is anyone clearer than I am about this question of Uncle Robert's spoons, the letter P and Sam's fears that he has done himself no good by following Tom's practice? If Sam had admitted to putting an R on the spoons (for RP, Robert Pepys) the passage would make better sense. Monograms usually embrace all initials, not just those of the surname.

5 May 2007, 5:02 p.m. - Mary K

Langford's tenancy. According to an earlier note by L&M, Langford was a sub-tenant in the Salisbury Court property, with John Pepys Sr.the principal tenant. The landlord was a certain Mr. Frank, whom we may eventually meet in 1669.

3 May 2007, 4:55 p.m. - Mary K

The 'Change. Built by the Earl of Salisbury in the first decade of the 17th century, it was planned as both a bourse for merchants and also a retail shopping area for the supply of luxury goods. As noted in the L&M Companion, the bourse gradually failed, but the building itself became a centre for fashionable society and also the place where news (mercantile and political) and gossip were exchanged. Linda Levy Peck's "Consuming Splendor" devotes part of it's first chapter to description of the 'Change. No doubt Sam's business there involved networking and news-gathering, enlivened from time to time with the odd luxury purchase for wife and/or home.

1 May 2007, 12:09 p.m. - Mary K

That was exactly the point that I was making, RG. The 'officious little Pepys' could prove a useful scapegoat for the more illustrious members of the Navy Office and Sam is apprehensive of his own potential vulnerability,

1 May 2007, 6:46 a.m. - Mary K

for my part I dread it. Wasn't it the Duke of Wellington, apropos the Battle of Waterloo, who remarked that, although he couldn't say for sure that he had won the battle, he knew damn' well who would have lost it? Sam knows that the navy is by no means ready to undertake a war at sea; he is well aware that he is making a name (and an income) for himself in the business of naval supply and organisation; he knows that he is making enemies whilst doing so. A large part of his fear must be that, as well as risking his capital if Sandwich is killed in battle, his own position and employment will be severely threatened if the adventure goes badly ..... the Old Guard will close ranks and he risks being hung out to dry.

27 Apr 2007, 6:39 a.m. - Mary K

a pleasant walk observing the birds. These will be the caged birds in the Birdcage Walk royal aviary.

27 Apr 2007, 6:36 a.m. - Mary K

W. Joyce's debt. This is presumably the money for which he was pursuing Lady P. in the first place.

24 Apr 2007, 7 a.m. - Mary K

All the afternoon, not being well, at my office.... Does this strike anyone else as an odd conjunction of ideas? Perhaps we are to understand that, despite the day's being an official holiday marking the anniversary of the coronation, Pepys is not feeling well enough to go out and about again in the afternoon, though he can raise the energy to spend several uninterrupted hours in the office. Poor Elizabeth; no outings to the Halfway House, Lincoln's Inn Fields or Hyde Park today. I suppose that 'not being well' could just possibly refer to the weather being unsuitable for an outing, but this seems an unlikely way of expressing the fact. One would expect to read 'fine' or 'fair' rather than 'well' in that case.