Annotations and comments

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


About Monday 9 May 1664

Mary  •  Link

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.

About Saturday 7 May 1664

Mary  •  Link

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.

About Saturday 7 May 1664

Mary  •  Link

"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.....?

About Thursday 5 May 1664

Mary  •  Link

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.

About Wednesday 4 May 1664

Mary  •  Link

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.

About Monday 2 May 1664

Mary  •  Link

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.

About Saturday 30 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

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,

About Saturday 30 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

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.

About Tuesday 26 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

a pleasant walk observing the birds.

These will be the caged birds in the Birdcage Walk royal aviary.

About Tuesday 26 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

W. Joyce's debt.

This is presumably the money for which he was pursuing Lady P. in the first place.

About Saturday 23 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

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.

About Friday 22 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

"in their coach to Hide Park"

Sam can properly enjoy seeing and being seen when in a 'proper' coach, rather than just the hired hackney of a few days ago. I'm reminded of a sight from my childhood: young men taking one another's photographs as they lounged against some stranger's 'posh' car parked in the street.

About Thursday 21 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

"and so to the office ..... to my office...."

L&M give the same transcription, but they add an editorial semi-colon after 'late'. This has the effect of making the last part of the sentence sound like a simple summary of the afternoon's doings.

About Wednesday 20 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

Oaths for 1664,

We do know the details of one clause. On 3rd January Sam undertook not to visit a public theatre more than once a month and that he would not spend more than 50 shillings in total on theatre-going before the following New Year's Day unless he should 'become worth 1000l. sooner than then'.

Perhaps he is exercising the £1000 standard when it comes to the purchase of books, as well.

About Monday 18 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

"being in a hackney"

Sam feels that his appearance amongst the 'bon ton' in a mere, hired coach (especially one laden with Rabbit's friends and relations) rather than in his own carriage is distinctly non-U. However, he does take coach more and more often these days, whereas a couple of years ago he spent more time on foot or on the river. He's rising in the world but has reached that uncomfortable, middle-class stage where he can't keep up with the Joneses socially, though he can equal and exceed them professionally and intellectually.

About Tuesday 12 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

Tom the Tailor's shop-house.

Do we know whether the Pepys family actually owned the premises in Salisbury Court? And if so, whether it was owned as freehold or leasehold?

About Monday 11 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

"against my father comes to lie here..."

The straightforward reading of this is that Sam prepares papers in anticipation of his father's staying in the house so that the two men may discuss affairs at Brampton etc. Papa has not stayed overnight today, but probably plans to do so in the near future.

About Paternoster Row

Mary  •  Link

Mercers in the vicinity of St. Paul's.

As noted a couple of years ago, there was a shop (Nicholson's?) that sold fabric, haberdashery etc. in St. Paul's Churchyard well into the 20th century. I recall being taken there as a child to choose fabric for a dressing-gown in the 1950s.

About Sunday 10 April 1664

Mary  •  Link

Elizabeth's gowns.

The L&M edition firmly transcribes 'gown' in the singular in both instances here. "Petticoats" remains, predictably, in the plural form, but that's not a problem.