Annotations and comments

RSGII has posted 61 annotations/comments since 30 December 2015.

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About Thursday 2 April 1668

RSGII  •  Link

For a better understanding of the various key officers and specialties on a warship (captain, master, boatswain, gunner, carpenter, purser, surgeon), and their training and skills, as well as the transformation and increasing professionalism over the period, in which Pepys played a major role, I commend “Pepys’s Navy, Ships, Men, & Warfare, 1649-1689” by J.D. Davies.

About Wednesday 11 March 1667/68

RSGII  •  Link

And how many of us have spoken for three hours to the House, or any other Parliament, that is, or will be, remembered 350 plus years later? Pretty nigh standard to meet.

About Thursday 2 January 1667/68

RSGII  •  Link

Compound masts are usually overlapped and bound at the joints with line (rope) and metal, strengthened with stays and shrouds. See “Pepys Navy” for more elaboration. Obtaining a reliable supply of masts and hemp—masts were imported from the Northeastern American colonies and Scandinavia, was critical to the success of the Navy. They needed hundreds of spare masts and miles of rope/line on hand. Pepys understanding of this trade and negotiation of contracts was key to his influence and power. The Admirals knew how to fight ships. Sam knew how to supply them.

About Tuesday 29 October 1667

RSGII  •  Link

On tickets. Even in the 1960’s, US Navy sailors were paid in cash and Supply Officers had to carry a $100,000 or so in their safes on a Destroyer to do so. Obtaining and transporting this cash from on shore Navy disbursement offices was a risky business involving armed guards and carrying weapons. Plus lots of safeguards against theft and verification sailors had been properly paid.

About Wednesday 23 October 1667

RSGII  •  Link

The model ships were the jewels in the crown. They contained the secrets of British ship building. No blueprints in those days. He should have commended for keeping them from the Dutch..

About Monday 2 September 1667

RSGII  •  Link

A US pints a pound the world around, at least for estimating. For precise work it is 1.043 lbs. A British pint is 1 1/4 lbs, so you get more for your money in a British pub!

About Tuesday 18 December 1666

RSGII  •  Link

Traveling the Thames with its strong currents in a small boat was a dangerous business as Batters death reminded Sam. He had to do it often and was often understandably afraid and Batters death will make him even more fearful in the future.

About Recent Pepys articles

RSGII  •  Link

The podcast “Beyond the Diary” is a light and enjoyable overview of the diary and Sam’s life.

About Tuesday 29 May 1666

RSGII  •  Link

As I understand it, on the day of or after Monk’s entry into the city, and defiance of the rump Parliament, Pepys interviewed Monk’s personal secretary and got the inside story of what had happened from him, a far better source than trying to make sense of troop movements. He then reported on this to Sandwich and us along with careful details of the celebrations and atmospherics, e.g. the number of bonfires observed at various locations, the eating of rumps, etc.

About Saturday 10 March 1665/66

RSGII  •  Link

Goofing Off? The guy is up at 5 or 6, works 6 or 7 hours until noon, takes a few hours off, lets say until 3 or 4, then works until midnight, his usual late night cut off, so basically two of our modern 7 1/2 to 8 hour days. I would hire him in a minute.

About Ask Pepys author Dr Kate Loveman a question

RSGII  •  Link

As I understand from Pepys Navy, the Navy was by far the largest economic unit/actor in Great Britain of the time, having a major impact on trade, employment, suppliers etc. Hence Pepys importance in managing the behind the scenes day to day working of the enterprise, while leaving strategy or fighting to the naval officers and aristocrats.
What I am less clear is how it was financed, something Pepys and his professional colleagues spent a lot of time worrying over.

About Review: "Pepys's Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-1689" by J. D. Davies

RSGII  •  Link

Having now read this book, it is the kind of reference book you dip into from time to time, I recommend it as providing an essential context to understanding Pepys and his time and what he was actually doing that made him so important to Kings, Dukes and Admirals. By the 1660’s, the Navy was by far the largest industrial enterprise in Britain, and its imports and purchases of masts, lumber, hemp, guns, and supplies, a major driving force in the economy and trade.

Sam was at the center of all this, and it explains his rise to prominence in the political world of Kings and Dukes as management by unqualified nobles gave way to technocrats like Sam, self taught as he was. Logistics wins wars. And he understood the logistics that enabled the experienced fighters like Penn and Monck to be successful. That is why they valued him.

The book also gives you a better feel for the forces leading to the crucial Anglo Dutch wars that dominated the period. And the reasons for seeming obscure and petty importance given to such things as salutes to the flag.

And you learn why the ships Carpenter was as important as the ships Gunner, and Ships Master. And why the Baltic trade, importing masts and hemp, was so vital.

About Saturday 30 December 1665

RSGII  •  Link

See the discussion on Prices in the encyclopedia to better understang how wealthy Pepys had become in a very short time. Or go to the site for calculators to convert to present day values his 4,000£ of liquid assets. Depending on how you measure his wealth, his 4,,000£ today could be worth from £0.6m to £7.6m to £13m, depending whether you use the real wage, the labor value or relative income to convert. And, of course, the basket of goods available to him didn’t include Mercedes cars or Anesthesiologists, but did include a lot of cheap labor, watermen, links boys, etc.
Happy New Year

About Friday 22 December 1665

RSGII  •  Link

"now the river is frozen I know not how to get to him."

He normally travels by water from his Greenwich office and often comments on the dangers of traveling when the river starts to ice. When the river freezes, he doesn’t have this option. Getting to London Bridge is the problem, not crossing it.

About Sunday 17 September 1665

RSGII  •  Link

Or some places in the 20th century. I remember the shock of being posted to Hong Kong in the 1960s and finding the standard workweek was 5 1/2 days. Sunday was the only real day off.

About Tuesday 12 September 1665

RSGII  •  Link

And is repaid handsomly when, after the diary period, Balty goes to France to collect evidence that helps spring Sam from his false imprisonment in the Tower.