Annotations and comments

MartinVT has posted 182 annotations/comments since 10 January 2016.


Third Reading

About Tuesday 23 October 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"From thence I took my Lord’s picture, and carried it to Mr. de Cretz to be copied."

After Sam got permission for the copying, I rather imagined that Mr. De Critz would show up at Montagu's to do the copying there, this being a valuable painting and all. But apparently it was OK for Sam to hoist it off the wall and carry it off through the streets (maybe by carriage). Today it would not be transported unless in a crate, by professional art movers.

About Monday 22 October 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Again no mention of the 80 quid the boss owes Sam, but presumably he brought it up during their nice evening chat, along with his wish to have the portrait copied, and other topics.

About Saturday 20 October 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Sam does not mention today whether he discussed with My Lord the 80L that he figured last night he is owed. Presumably a dinner with My Lord and My Lady together was not a good time to discuss business. (And, between turds in the cellar and limbs on the Aldersgate, his mind may have been elsewhere.) Let's see how long it takes him to get reimbursed.

About Tuesday 16 October 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"[My Lord, the 1st Earl of Sandwich] had lately lost a great deal of money at cards, which he fears he do too much addict himself to now-a-days."

This addiction apparently runs in the family for generations to come, and was the reason that My Lord's great-grandson, the 4th Earl, would invent the sandwich.

About Saturday 13 October 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"I was angry with my wife for her things lying about"

'Twas ever thus. At this point, Elizabeth is still 19 (her 20th birthday is coming up on October 23). Apparently she hasn't quite grown out of that teenage stage where you leave stuff lying around. Sam needs to cut her some slack.

About Thursday 11 October 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

The Leg — one of Sam's favorites. I realize it probably has something like a carving of leg of mutton hanging outside and therefore is so named, but every time the place is mentioned in the diary, I get this vision of a proverbial "hollow leg," meaning a prodigious capacity for alcoholic drinks, something Sam and his friends seem to have.

About Saturday 6 October 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

We still have ketchup/catsup, which according to Wikipedia entered print in English around 1790 as catchup, followed by ketchup in 1711.

About Thursday 4 October 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"We two," the L&M version as noted above, makes a lot more sense than "at 2." If it was 2 p.m. already, then a detour to the Raindeer for oysters, that would mean dinner at 3 p.m., not likely.

About Friday 28 September 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Under the entry for Sept. 26, I speculated why Sam is spending so much time with his workmen — my guesses were that (a) a lot of decisions about specifications and design had to be made on the fly and he didn't want to leave it to them, and (b) that he might have had security concerns leaving them on their own in the house with all his stuff.

But today we learn a third possibility, (c) that he really does enjoy hanging out with them, being "very merry" with them. Clearly he likes being there, and is enjoying their drollery, not complaining about it.

For a fellow moving up in the world like Sam is, it is useful to maintain your ability to work with and relate to the working men and women who make the world go round.

About Wednesday 3 October 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"she having been abroad today to buy more furniture for her house"

I believe this is the first time Sam has referred to the house as "her house", rather than "my house". Quite a significant statement for its day, both for the fact that he trusts his wife to purchase furnishings for their house, and for referring to the house as belonging to her.

About Wednesday 26 September 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"At home with the workmen all the afternoon" — as he has been for frequently for hours at a time. Why?

Surely Sam is not helping out by plastering and doing finish carpentry himself. Nor is he particularly qualified to supervise the workers in his house. And I doubt he is shooting the breeze with them and keeping them from their labors. So why is he hanging out with them?

A few possibilities: Most likely there are no architectural drawing and specifications for this job. Decisions are made on the fly: "Mr. Pepys, how high would you like this wainscoting to be?" "What kind of moulding would you like where the walls meet the ceiling?" "Do you like this color stain, or should it be a tad darker?" Etc. You would want to be around for this, so the crew doesn't start guessing.

There is also the question of security — he might want someone to be around while they are in his house where all his worldly good now are, and if Liz is out shopping or visiting, the duty falls to Sam.

About Monday 24 September 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"though I am wholly ignorant in the duty of a justice of peace" ... and after all these years, we have not touched on that question, either.

But here's a start: Per Wikipedia, during Sam's time: "Being an unpaid office, undertaken voluntarily and sometimes more for the sake of renown or to confirm the justice's standing within the community, the justice was typically a member of the gentry. The justices of the peace conducted arraignments in all criminal cases, and tried misdemeanours and infractions of local ordinances and bylaws. Towns and boroughs with enough burdensome judicial business that could not find volunteers for the unpaid role of justice of the peace had to petition the Crown for authority to hire a paid stipendiary magistrate."

Since there's no money in it, it's doubtful Sam will exert himself very much as a JP.

About Friday 14 September 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

SDS: I wish this site had a "like" button or something, I "like" your description of Sam's morning routine very much!

About Sunday 16 September 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

(very first comment above:)
--walking up and down in Westminster Abbey all sermon time
--L&M replace "till" with "all"

"All" feels wrong, "till" feels right. Sam mentions that during this walkabout he is conversing with "Ben. Palmer and Fetters" about the supposed death of the Earl of Oxford. Walking and talking during the sermon would surely be frowned upon, although the Abbey has plenty of room for discourse out of earshot of the seating area for sermons. But, he listened to the sermon and thought it was pretty good. So he sat and listened to it, and the walking was just "till" the sermon, not during it.

About Thursday 13 September 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Regarding the deaths of the babies, Sam may be a little circumspect about them (not noting any particular emotions) because he and his wife have thus far in five years of marriage been unable to conceive a child themselves, and may well be wondering whether they ever will. Certainly this comes to their mind in connection with any news, good or bad, about children of friends or relatives.

About Sunday 9 September 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Good points, Peter Johnson. That footnote may have pointed us in the wrong direction for 20 years. The HAC provided officers to lead the various "Trained Bands." Major Hart and Sam are members of "Mountagu's regiment", which could well be just one of the Trained Bands, not the HAC itself, that had HAC officers.

About Sunday 9 September 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

I probably should have omitted "firmly" in the above comment, because that statement on HAC's website (…) says "traditionally" which is a weasel word indicating that they don't really have solid documentation of direct and continuous lineage back to that 1537 outfit. Note that in their history, they describe several gaps and re-activations: They trained at Bishopsgate until 1560; then "military exercises were revived in the Bishopsgate “Artillery Garden” between 1586 and 1588 by the captains of the City’s forces (the “Trained Bands”) in response to a threatened Spanish invasion"; then, following the abatement of that threat, it seems there was another gap, after which "in 1611, during a period of chivalric patriotism, some of the “Captains of the Artillery Garden” and other citizens returned to practise in the same ground and formed the Society of Arms." Next, "the Civil War years of 1642-1649 led to division and the suspension of the Society of Arms." Ex-members fought on both sides of that war. The company was "re-formed" in 1657, presumably with Sam on board, and after that its existence appears to be more continuous and better documented.

About Sunday 9 September 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"The HAC can trace its history back as far as 1087"

Sort of. That Wikipedia page links to a 1909 book of military prints which says it is "probable" that is was first formed "around" 1087 but cites no source. The HAC's own website is silent on 1087 and states firmly that "The Company traditionally traces its origins to 1537 when Henry VIII granted a charter to the 'Fraternity or Guild of Artillery of Longbows, Crossbows and Handguns' ".

About Saturday 8 September 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Two slow days in a row for Sam, and tomorrow is Lord's Day. The boss is away and he is making a long weekend of it.

About Thursday 6 September 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"20s. a day all the time he was in Holland, which I wonder at"

"wonder at" — meaning he is amazed, impressed, admiring, sees it as a wonder, perhaps envious. Not today's sense of questioning, being curious. (Admiration aside, though, Sam is careful not to get to deeply connected with Pett in his dealings with Coventry.0

"him that is going down the wind"

Older dictionaries list "down the wind" as meaning "decaying; declining; in a state of decay." Sam uses the expression in this sense on at least one other occasion in the diary. If you wanted to avoid the stench of something decaying, you made sure to remain upwind of it, since the stench of decay travels down the wind.