Annotations and comments

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

Comments

About Saturday 25 March 1665

RSGII  •  Link

Re Penn and Halsey: No one ever questioned Halsey’s courage-his judgement/rashness maybe but not his courage. “The World wants to know” was code filler that was never intended to be included in the delivered message.

About Friday 24 February 1664/65

RSGII  •  Link

As the Navigator of a Destroyer in the 1960’s, I used both dead reckoning and celestial navigation. DR is simply laying out on a chart (in pencil so the chart can be reused) your ships track using your starting point, course, speed and elapsed time to establish your current position. You do not attempt to correct it for tides or currents. And yet it can be remarkably effective and is still used today as a check on electronic charts.
Celestial navigation tries to give you a fix of your current position at the time of measurement, but it requires you to be able to see both the stars and the horizon during a brief period at sunrise and sunset. It is difficult or impossible in cloudy conditions, which are frequent in the tropics. At best you have a probable error of 5 to 10 miles. A noon sun line gives you only your latitude, but in the old days was a useful way to travel East or West along a known latitude.

About Thursday 23 February 1664/65

RSGII  •  Link

A toast to you Mr Pepys and your many accomplishments and extraordinary network of friends and associates. And for your willingness to candidly share your faults and weaknesses. Cheers also to Mr Gyford for doing this for us. I try to read this day by day to experience your life as you did. We may be better educated than you were but few, if any, can match your accoplishments by Thirty Two.

About Thursday 16 February 1664/65

RSGII  •  Link

It seems like such an extraordinary request to modern eyes- for a former neighbor to show up for dinner with a daughter in tow and a letter requesting you take her as your own. Was this accepted behavior in the 17th century? I gather from his reaction that it was not. One can only imagine what Elizabeth’s reaction might have been.

About Thursday 16 February 1664/65

RSGII  •  Link

I fail to see why a Naval official should be expected to take in and raise the child of another man, seaman or not. He is not running an orphanage, although (spoiler), he supported John Evelyn in establishing Chelsea Hospital for veterans after the diary period (Willes book).

About Monday 6 February 1664/65

RSGII  •  Link

One measure of extreme cold in London was when the river Thames froze solid and a Frost Fair could be held with skating and shops in the ice. The Frost Fair of 1683: According to a document of the time: 'A very violent frost began, which lasted to the 6th of February, in so great extremity, that the pools were frozen 18 inches thick at least, and the Thames was so frozen that a great street from the Temple to Southwark was built with shops, and all manner of things sold' Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1241292/A…

About Prices

RSGII  •  Link

The site reference in Chris’s piece, measuringworth.com, also has a very useful calculator where you can plug in the beginning date, e.g. 1664, the end date, 2016 (the most recent full year), the amount you’re starting with, say the £2.5 million Parliament appropriated for the Navy in 1664 , and it will provide you a table with the current equivalent values for different purposes, such as those noted by Chris, e.g. £2.5 million in 1664 is equivalent to £85 billion in 2016 in terms of its share of GDP.

About Prices

RSGII  •  Link

Of interest, glassdoor,com reports the current average salary for a cook in the UK is about £16,240, so the economic status hasn’t changed much in 340 years! Other sites give different current cook salaries, e.g. £23k, but it depends on the location and all in the same general range as Pepys cook’s current economic status.

About Wednesday 30 November 1664

RSGII  •  Link

Of interest, glassdoor,com reports the current average salary for a cook in the UK is about £16,240, so the economic status hasn’t changed much in 340 years! Other sites give different current cook salaries, e.g. £23k, but it depends on the location and all in the same general range as Pepys cook’s current economic status.

About Saturday 26 November 1664

RSGII  •  Link

That site has a nice little calculator where you can plug in the beginning date,e.g. 1664, the end date, 2016 (the most recent full year), the amount you’re starting with, £2.5 million, and it will provide you a table with the current equivalent values for different purposes, such as those noted by Chris.

About Saturday 26 November 1664

RSGII  •  Link

Using the measuring worth calculators referred to above, the share of GNP represented by £2.5 million in 1664 would be equivalent to £85 billion today. Not exactly a cheap war in terms of the amount of national wealth consumed.

About Friday 18 November 1664

RSGII  •  Link

Swearing then as now was likely considered a sign of low class behavior. In my experience, very senior folk have to very careful about when they use swear words or off color stories least they lose the respect of their collegues and subordinates as here. I have seen it happen more than once. Selective use on the other hand can have very considerable impact. Eisenhower was reportedly very good at this in private meetings.

About Sunday 6 November 1664

RSGII  •  Link

British Sailors then didn’t eat fish, so no business fot the fishmonger uncle. Even In the 1960’s when I was a serving officer, if you didn’t want a mutiny, you better serve the crew meat and potatoes.

About Wednesday 12 October 1664

RSGII  •  Link

Signal flags are still used to communicate orders or messages between ships at sea. Small groups of letters are code for various maneuvers, like prepare to turn right together on my signal- the signal being the dropping of the flags.

About Wednesday 12 October 1664

RSGII  •  Link

What civilians call flags the Navy calls ensigns. The British naval ensigns have been standardized since 1653 and there are three, the White, The Red, and the Blue. What we think of as the British flag sits in the upper left corner of the ensigns, which are otherwise a solid color.
Flags in the Navy are signal flags with shapes and colors that denote a letter or number. They are square. There are also triangular pennants denoting various things. These are now an international standard, Many letter flags also have specific meaning like diver below or refueling.

About Saturday 1 October 1664

RSGII  •  Link

Impressment of American Seaman by British Warships was of course one of the contributing causes of the War of 1812.

About Tuesday 27 September 1664

RSGII  •  Link

This seems to finally clarify what his definition of net worth is: cash, gold and silver on hand. This would seem to exclude monies owed and monies owed to him, e.g. The 700L lent to Sandwich, as well as real estate. Not clear how he values other assets like the two silver flagons and silver salt cellars or other personal items like furniture or clothing.

About Friday 12 August 1664

RSGII  •  Link

Interesting new comments, but hard to have a dialog when 2017 annotators, unlike in 2007, are commenting weeks before the page is released.