Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
RSGII has posted 71 annotations/comments since 30 December 2015.
The most recent first…
About Thursday 31 December 1668
Best wishes to all.
About Tuesday 29 December 1668
During WWII and after, my grandfather raised chickens for the eggs and meat in his back yard. We learned very young how to dispatch, pluck and clean them for dinner. None of my descendants has a clue. We also had a fair bit of venison, properly aged for flavor.
About Thursday 26 November 1668
Re tally of 1000l, see tally sticks in the encyclopedia under Money and Business, Financial Transactions. It was an ancient method of government money using matched half’s of notched sticks. The notches indicated the amount, the matching to the half held by the Treasury proved it was genuine.
About Richard Howell
It was also used for the shaft bearings on my US Navy WWII era Destroyer.
It was also used for the shaft bearings on my USNavy WWII era Destroyer.
About Saturday 30 May 1668
A lead dial. A lead on a ship is used to measure the depth of the water. Possibly a device for that? Pretty important for a ship builder moving hulls in shallow waters to know now much he has under the keel.
About Sunday 24 May 1668
High day is the day of a religious festival. Nautical twilight is the precise period before sunrise (and after sunset) when the sun is between 6 and 12 deg below the horizon. During Nautical twilight, you can normally see both the horizon and the stars and measure the angle between them for navigation periods. It varies in length by location. It is the short period when Navigators at sea “shoot” the stars to determine their position. But it still may not be bright enough to safely move about. That is Civil twilight, when the sun is 6 degrees or less below the horizon,
About Roll Call. Say hello!
Phil, and the others who shared their expertise, thanks for educating me for the last 7 or 8 years. I had read the diary for 1666 before I discovered your site and its wonderful and illuminating annotations from an obviously learned group. As an ex US Naval Officer, department head (Chief Engineering Officer) on an ancient WWII US Navy Destroyer in the far east in my early post University years, I perhaps bring a slightly different perspective on Pepys incredible career transforming an ad hoc campaign Navy to a professional organization. Some forget that the Navy was the largest organization in Britain at the time, and he was effectively the Chief Administrative Officer and Logistician (Not the war maker or tactician). And logistics is what wins wars.But what I most appreciate about Pepys is his understanding of how the world really works, with all its imperfections and petty infighting, with honorable people and venal people, with effective governments and ineffective ones. All seen with a dash if insight and humor. I spent 40 years as, first a junior, and then a senior international civil servant trying to help governments with the problems and policies of economic development and Pepys gets how things really work better than almost anyone.His peccadillos are amusing and his candid self observations amazing, but what matters is he gets things done.Thanks again for an enjoyable ride.RSG
About Sunday 12 April 1668
A Naval interpretation. In battle, after damage to the masts, the carpenters damage control crew often had to cut away sails, in other words get rid of useless items dragging the ship down. Perhaps Sam is reminding himself to do this with his own affairs.
About Saturday 11 April 1668
Conning is also the nautical term for directing the steering of a ship. “I have the Conn” is the Naval command that you are in charge of directing all others in steering the ship, i.e. the helmsman. So “conning my gamut” could mean that in response to peace, he is rethinking all his options.
About Thursday 2 April 1668
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
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
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
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
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
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 Sunday 25 August 1667
Her oars. A ship is always a she.
About Thursday 3 January 1666/67
But see Jan 4, e.g. spoiler tomorrow, for the office party. Cheers and a wassail for all.
What was the feast, play and music evening on Dec 26, with several guests, if not a Christmas party?
About Tuesday 18 December 1666
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.