Annotations and comments

Tonyel has posted 223 annotations/comments since 11 March 2013.

Comments

About Monday 14 May 1666

Tonyel  •  Link

At Bow we eat and drank and so back again, it being very cool in the evening.
Can't help wondering, would the hackney driver be sent to the public bar with a shilling for his supper and be told to wait? Or were hackneys readily available at inns when you were ready to go home?

About Wednesday 9 May 1666

Tonyel  •  Link

" I come, and what was it but to scold at me and she would go abroad to take the ayre presently, that she would. "

A slight touch of the Oirish, so it is....

About Tuesday 8 May 1666

Tonyel  •  Link

Possibly John Downing was experienced in making anchors for fishing smacks and other small boats but realised he was out of his depth (sorry!) when it came to securing a warship. I respect Sam's decision to repay the bribe - it shows a moral sensibility in a wicked world and is also good politics. Word would have got around that Mr Pepys is 'open for business' but he does play it straight.

About Wednesday 2 May 1666

Tonyel  •  Link

Yes Jonathan, I came back. So thoroughly enjoyed reading the diary first time around that I leapt at the chance of reading it again to see what I'd missed. It's amusing to think of a comment or query now and find that I already raised it ten years ago!

About Saturday 28 April 1666

Tonyel  •  Link

I think that, apart from his generosity towards Bess, Sam looks upon a pearl necklace as an investment which could be cashed in if times got hard. The same applies to all the silver plate he has been piling up.

About Monday 23 April 1666

Tonyel  •  Link

I confess I've lost track of the maids. But seems to me that his little girl ("Su" above), is not the same person as the cook-maid "Susan"

I begin to wonder if Sam called all his junior maids Susan when he could not recall their actual names. It was common practice in some of the great houses, even into the 20th century, to allocate a previous holder's name to a specific post.

About Monday 23 April 1666

Tonyel  •  Link

"This morning the House of Parliament do meet, only to adjourne again till winter."

Given the shambolic way that our modern parliamentarians have been acting over Brexit, one can only wish they might follow suit.

About Thursday 12 April 1666

Tonyel  •  Link

As a Brit, I still recognise "homely" in the same way - not ugly, but rather plain perhaps.
However, who is Sam describing as such? He has just mentioned four women including his wife in one sentence.

About Sunday 8 April 1666

Tonyel  •  Link

Or he was shot - but the room was locked from the inside and there was no trace of a gun!
Sorry, there are some things we will never know.

About Wednesday 4 April 1666

Tonyel  •  Link

" and proposes a business for which he hath promised Mrs. Williams for my Lord Bruncker a set of plate shall cost him 500l. and me the like, which will be a good business indeed."

I read this as Cocke offering £500 to Bruncker AND to Sam as well. If he can lay out £1,000 in bribes it must be a spectacularly good business. We await more details......

About Friday 9 March 1665/66

Tonyel  •  Link

Well, ok...Sam Pepys is never cold about anything...But his campaign ala Bagwell was and is very calculated and unfeeling.

Putting our modern morals aside, I see Sam and the Bagwells regarding this as a business matter. They could not afford to bribe him with money to gain advantage so they bribed him with the only asset they had. I don't think Sam ever expressed any false affection for Mrs B. and, to be fair, he kept his side of the bargain.

About Tuesday 6 March 1665/66

Tonyel  •  Link

Dining obligations, as with so many things in Britain past and present, were probably governed by social standing. The great houses were permanently open to equals and deserving lessers (like Sam). Sam, being lower on the social scale - but climbing - usually entertained his friends and useful folk beneath him like the clerks.
Brounker, by inviting himself round, is probably indicating a social promotion for Sam which he passed with flying colours.
Of course, such things are very subtle, no fixed rules.

About Monday 5 March 1665/66

Tonyel  •  Link

£200! That takes the total to £4800 - so close to £5000! You can imagine a throbbing rhythm in Sam's mind as he goes about his business:

"Nearly there, nearly there..."

About Tuesday 13 February 1665/66

Tonyel  •  Link

Can't argue with casual misogyny, then or now, but I think there is an element of familiar affection as well. Much like we males saying " I saw old Charlie today."

About Monday 29 January 1665/66

Tonyel  •  Link

Jamie and Charlie showing a deal of consideration these last two days...They really do seem to have appreciated Sam's efforts during the plague, though possibly it's a matter of Jamie pushing Charlie.

My reading is that Sam has now reached that delightful point on the ladder where he is almost indispensable and those above him know it. They also know that it's in their own interest to look after him - a kind word here, an extra (paying) job there....

About Monday 15 January 1665/66

Tonyel  •  Link

"in my old cloth suit, while my usuall one is to my taylor’s to mend, which I had at noon again."

And we think Amazon Prime is speedy!

About Wednesday 20 December 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

I suspect that Sam had at least two sets of account books each for the Navy, Tangier, prize goods and for anything else that might fall into his lap. Relying on memory alone after 3 or 4 months is asking for trouble.

About Friday 8 December 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

the taciturn Christopher Knepp was by trade a horse-dealer. Or, in modern terms, a second-hand car salesman.
"Dragged out on a cold night all the way to Greenwich, to meet some of her wealthy friends who might be in the market for a horse or two - and all they did was sing - until two in the flaming morning - and then she accuses me of being bad company. Me! "

About Tuesday 28 November 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

Wouldn't Sam have loved Blackberries.
A fine example of the speed of change! Ten years later and I can't recall what a Blackberry was.

About Monday 27 November 1665

Tonyel  •  Link

A long day full of eating, drinking, lusting,singing and business. Whatever happened to little Christopher while all this was going on? Did he just lie down in the corner of each room?