Annotations and comments

James Morgan has posted 97 annotations/comments since 21 October 2015.


Second Reading

About Monday 3 February 1667/68

James Morgan  •  Link

Looing at Phil's chart of Pepy's estate above, there is a huge jump, almost a doubling from August 1665-December 1665 then it levels off to a steady increases again.
One of the other notes for today mentions war years profiteering as an explantion. Is there a more detailed explanation somewhere of how he picked up almost 2,000 pounds?

About Tuesday 14 January 1667/68

James Morgan  •  Link

It's great to see in the same entry two people recognized for the quality of their dancing. Mary Davis, despite being "a most homely jade", rises in the world because "dances beyond any thing in the world". Then Captain OBryan, "who spoke and did well, but, above all things, did dance most incomparably" and also gains recognition. His entry says he even became captain of a 56 gun ship for it.

About Tuesday 17 December 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

Thanks for the note about Google Ngram Viewer. I tried the terms plague, fire from 1660-1700 in English texts, and found as might be expected plague mentions declined after the 1665. Interestingly when I did the same search on French texts, plague had few hits. Perhaps I should have used a French term, but fire got hits in both sets of texts. Anyway, two minutes of playing around was entertaining. The viewer is at, and the "About Ngram Viewer" link at the bottom of the page has a very detailed explanation of the viewer for researchers.

About Sunday 17 November 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

To pick up the discussion from 2010 between Jesse and Classicist, I think the "good and sober man" is the Captain's description of the person talking with Buckingham. Cocke describes him this way twice, at the beginning and end of the story, I think trying to convince Pepys of the reliability of his source for this improbable tale.
"But he tells me another thing, which he says he had from the person himself who spoke with the Duke of Buckingham, who, he says, is a very sober and worthy man, that he did lately speak with the Duke of Buckingham about his greatness now with the King, and told him- “But, sir, these things that the King do now, in suffering the Parliament to do all this, you know are not fit for the King to suffer, and you know how often you have said to me that the King was a weak man, and unable to govern, but to be governed, and that you could command him as you listed; why do you suffer him to go on in these things?” — “Why,” says the Duke of Buckingham, “I do suffer him to do this, that I may hereafter the better command him.” This he swears to me the person himself to whom the Duke of Buckingham said this did tell it him, and is a man of worth, understanding, and credit. "

About Sunday 13 October 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

In the early days when Sam reckoned his worth in the hundreds, 20L would have been a lot. But on that trip when he dug up the money and found it a little short he seemed quite happy at the end to be missing only about 20L. I was quite surprised that he would be so calm about it at the end, but I suppose he was afraid at first of losing all the money, and then of losing 50L or so, so the 20L came as a relief.

About Tuesday 24 September 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

Thanks Terry for the letter from Clarendon. I had not known of the loss of his wife. I assume the other affliction is the loss of his office. It is a powerful paragraph:
"... The truth is, I know not what to say, the world is so much altered since I wrote last. The great affliction I lay under, in the unexpected loss of my wife - which I did not apprehend full two days - had, I thought pretty well prepared me to quit this world; yet I cannot tell you that the other, which followed within few days, did not exceedingly surprize, & even astonish, me. Nor, in truth, am I yet recovered out of that trance; nor can I imagine how, from being thought a pretty wise fellow, I became suddenly to have no understanding, & to be of no use." ...

About Friday 13 September 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

It sounded to me like the coal was their common property, and Penn insisted they all hold out for 30s on the sale of any excess. Pepys is anticipating the price will come down with the peace, and thinks they'll eventually be glad to sell for less, but it seems he let Penn have his way. Perhaps Penn is thinking it will go higher with winter coming on.

About Tuesday 17 September 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

It seems odd that Pepys is pursuing both the wife and the mother of Michell. Is Michell in some way subservient to Pepys like the Deptford fellow.

About Saturday 10 August 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

Does anyone know the story of Mennes going to Boulogne to eat a pig? The poem by Denham reads like encoded political satire. I didn't find anything in the entries under Mennes or Denham to explain the poem.

About Sunday 21 July 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

What a lovely picture of a moonlight excursion. It almost sounds Japanese in it's appreciation of nature.
It's also interesting that he could discuss the Ship Tavern beauty with Mercer. There have been other instances of him discussing these beauties with Elizabeth. It seems his admiration for beauty in women was an shared interest, though he does keep his assignations clandestine.

About Monday 8 July 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

I was interested in Evelyn's new fuel.
"8th July, 1667. My Lord Brereton and others dined at my house, where I showed them proof of my new fuel, which was very glowing, and without smoke or ill smell."
The link to his diary seems to be broken, but I found the Bray edition in Project Gutenberg, and on 7/2/67 he talks of the new fuel: "to be made at Maestricht, with a mixture of charcoal dust and loam, and which was tried with success at Gresham College"

John Evelyn. The Diary of John Evelyn (Volume 2 of 2) (Kindle Locations 671-672).

About Thursday 13 June 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

I'm just wondering, is this the only invasion of the British Isles by a foreign power since 1066?
There are various royal succession battles, such as the Glorious Revolution and the two Stuart rebellions, but I don't think that any of them had a significant number of foreign troops. Did any of the French intrigues in Ireland ever have them landing any significant number of troops? The Spanish Armada famously didn't make it. And while the Germans certainly bombed heavily in WW II they didn't manage an invasion.

About Monday 29 April 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

It is interesting that the news of Sandwich's son marriage negotiations follows so quickly after Pepys hearing of the financial disarray of his family on April 27th, and Pepys turning a deaf ear to suggestion that he might lend 1900l.
"This afternoon I spent some time walking with Mr. Moore, in the garden, among other things discoursing of my Lord Sandwich’s family, which he tells me is in a very bad condition, for want of money and management, my Lord’s charging them with bills, and nobody, nor any thing provided to answer them. He did discourse of his hopes of being supplied with 1900l. against a present bill from me, but I took no notice of it, nor will do it. It seems Mr. Sheply doubts his accounts are ill kept, and every thing else in the family out of order, which I am grieved to hear of."

About Wednesday 24 April 1667

James Morgan  •  Link

"He told me to my face that I was a very good clerk, and did understand the business and do it very well, and that he would never desire a better." I took this to be a hig compliment, rather than "faint praise", given the lack of competent officials in the era. He might indeed be one of the "four good men".