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RSGII has posted 64 annotations/comments since 30 December 2015.

Comments

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.

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