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

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About Sunday 15 May 1664

RSGII  •  Link

Re Uncle Wight provisioning ships. Sailors on warships don't usually eat fish. Provisions listed for the British ship Bellona 74 guns in 1760
listed as provisions for 650 men for four months.

Beef 5200 pieces 20800 lbs
Pork 9620 pieces 19240 lbs
Beer 236 butts 29736 US gallons
Water 339 butts 30 puncheons 60 hogsheads 49018 US gallons
Bread 650 bags 72800 lbs
Butter 3900 lbs
Cheese 14160 lbs
Oatmeal 19008 lbs
Peas 20800 lbs
Flour 15590 lbs
Suet 2600 lbs
Vinegar 709 US gallons

Hadn't changed 200 years later when I served in the US Navy- better be meat and potaoes for the crew if you didn't want a riot.

About Wednesday 23 March 1663/64

RSGII  •  Link

Nate, it was indeed the Knox. Navigation was indeed very tricky in the South China Sea. Often cloudy and the Chinese didn't participate in the crude radio navigation system of the day called LORAN, so it was pretty much as in Pepys time.
I believe it was months before they could get the Knox off the shoal, and then she was scrapped. I knew an officer on the staff of the Admiral that convened the Courts Martials of the Capt and OOD, but never got the whole story. Comparison watch error I heard. Like the Knox on the Rocks bit.

About Wednesday 23 March 1663/64

RSGII  •  Link

Al true. I was a ships navigator in the days of sextants and chronometers and if you knew your position within 5 to 10 miles, you were doing good. But charts also have errors. There are vast areas of uncharted waters with unknown sea mounts and shoals rising to a few feet beneath the surface. I discovered and reported one many years ago in the South China Sea.

About Wednesday 23 March 1663/64

RSGII  •  Link

Re islands rising and falling. Besides the creation of new islands by volcanic activity, e.g. off Iceland, there are areas lke the South China Sea where low lying islands are covered at high tide and visible at low tide. The Chinese have been recently building up some of these. Even worse from the mariners perspective are those that lie just beneath the surface. One of our sister destroyers went aground on one of these unmarked on the charts.

About Thursday 3 March 1663/64

RSGII  •  Link

If I remember correctly, there was a falling out over Creeds accounts with The Navy board within the last few months and Pepys had to cover for him.

About Sunday 21 February 1663/64

RSGII  •  Link

Re preserving masts. The French buried the beams for their chateus in creeks for decades before using them.

About Sunday 24 January 1663/64

RSGII  •  Link

As a former US Navy navigator who has used a sextant, I can confirm how critical knowing the exact time is to knowing your position. If your chronometer is off by only a minute, your position could be off by about 15 miles. The great innovation of the chronometer is not that it kept exact time but that its rate of error was known so you could correct its reading to get the exact time. Of course, even then it is a bit of an art and if you get your position within 10 miles of where you actually are you are doing well.

About Saturday 16 January 1663/64

RSGII  •  Link

When studying engineering in the days before computers, we all used slide rules to do the calculations. Since the longer the rule, the greater the accuracy, a spiral rule which wrapped a longer scale many times in a spiral out from the center could give one slightly more accurate results and was also easier to carry. The linear rule had more scales and could be used for different calculations. I used both.

About Thursday 31 December 1663

RSGII  •  Link

Happy new year all. Sams 800 £ in 1663 when compared to the average wage then would require about 1.5 million pounds today compared to todays average wage. This is a better measure of his weath than the cpi comparison. Not bad for a young guy. See the fascinating site measuringworth.com for various ways of comparing wealth over time. Of course 700 £ is lent to Sandwich, who is a credit risk not known for his prudent financial management.

About Tuesday 25 August 1663

RSGII  •  Link

I again draw your attention to the website measuringworth.com for a sophisticated discussion of this issue and calculators for making various comparisons. Given the enormous changes in income, the types of goods and services purchased and the enormous growth in national wealth, the answers depends on the question. For example, Pepys paid his cook about 5 lb a year. Today a cook is said to earn about 25,000 lb a year, so the multiplier on this simple comparison would be 5000 not 100. Services are of course different than goods. Cheers

About Saturday 22 August 1663

RSGII  •  Link

Tomatoes, or certain varieties of tomatoes can be poison to certain people. About 50 years ago I visited a Rockefeller Foundation research station in India. One of their projects was to breed out the attribute of a local tomato that was fatal to a portion of the local population.

About Monday 12 January 1662/63

RSGII  •  Link

Sandwich's 8,000 pounds income would be equivalent to about 1 million pounds today using CPI or GNP deflator. To have the same ratio of income to the average wage, you would need to have an income of about 15 million today. See Measuringworth.com

About Monday 29 December 1662

RSGII  •  Link

Sam’s wealth of £630. Over the years there have been attempts to convert Sams wealth to modern terms using the CPI or GNP net deflator, most recently on 12/27/1662. While the results are not wrong, they are misleading, because they do not reflect the huge increase in wealth over the last 350 years.
There is a marvelous web site with the tools to correct this: Measuringworth.com, which describes the seven possible ways of measuring value over time and suggests which might be most appropriate for various purposes, e.g. the CPI o GNP deflator to understand the cost of coal in 1662. Plugging Sams £630 in gives about £80k using the CPI/GNP deflator methods, which is consistent with previous efforts. However this only tells us how much it would take to buy the basket of goods, food, heat, transport, labor that Sam bought. And these items are a much smaller share of our incomes today. If we compare Sam’s pot of gold to the average wage, or the GNP per capita, better measures of his relative wealth, you would need between £1.3 and 3.0 million today to have the same level of relative economic position he had with his £630 in 1662.
And the reason all of those tradesmen and “citizens” were happy to see him—his economic clout, his share of Britain’s 1662 GNP was the equivalent of someone with £20.6m today, a real city man or Silicon Valley type driving his 1662 Tesla!