Annotations and comments

RSGII has posted 54 annotations/comments since 30 December 2015.

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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.