Annotations and comments

MartinVT has posted 191 annotations/comments since 10 January 2016.


Third Reading

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.

About Tuesday 28 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"At home looking over my papers and books and house as to the fitting of it to my mind"

AHA! Now Sam is thinking about how to outfit his house (measuring for drapes as we might say). Which confirms that he has given up the notion of selling his position for 1000L to Mr. Man, having taken to heart Montagu's counsel (on Aug. 16:…) that it's not the salary that matters, it's all the other ways the position can pay off. He hasn't brought up Mr. Man's offer since then, but this is the first time he has started thinking about how to fix up the house that came with the Navy job.

About Monday 27 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Yeah, wine and anchovies at 10 p.m. would not make for a good night's sleep, especially after previous libations at the Bull Head.

About Saturday 25 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

It is interesting to explore how Sam's dinner habits have changed since he arrived in his new and improved circumstances.

Back on January 1, a Sunday, the first day of the diary, Pepys recorded: "Dined at home in the garret, where my wife dressed the remains of a turkey, and in the doing of it she burned her hand." The next day, Monday, he stopped at a market stall for some bread and cheese for dinner. On Tuesday, he brought a few companions home for dinner consisting of "a piece of beef and cabbage, and a collar of brawn [bear]." On Wednesday, "dined at home" (in the garret, presumably). On Thursday, "I dined with Mr. Sheply, at my Lord’s lodgings, upon his turkey-pie," in the servants' quarters. On Friday, "I went home and took my wife and went to my cosen, Thomas Pepys, and found them just sat down to dinner, which was very good; only the venison pasty was palpable beef, which was not handsome." (Heavens.) On Saturday, several friends came to his home for "a dish of steaks and a rabbit" during a game of cards. In other words, he paid for only one lunch at a public establishment, the cheese and bread from a market stall, got a few free meals, and ate at home four times.

Contrast this with his dining habits for the past week: Last Sunday, dinner at his new home, "where my wife had on her new petticoat that she bought yesterday." Monday, no mention of dinner — it must have been a bite somewhere on the run, between attending the House of Lords and then going to the Privy Seal. On Tuesday, dinner at Westminster with Mr. Crew, a well-placed lawyer and politician, and Mr. Hickeman, an Oxford man. On Wednesday, dinner at home with Mr. Hayter, a Navy clerk who later held a variety of higher Navy posts. On Thursday, Sam "met with my father Bowyer, and Mr. Spicer, and them I took to the Leg in King Street, and did give them a dish or two of meat." On Friday, "with Sir William Batten and Sir William Pen . . . to dinner at a tavern in Thames Street, where they were invited to a roasted haunch of venison and other very good victuals and company. And today, Saturday, "I took Mr. Turner and Mr. Moore to the Leg in King Street, and did give them a dinner, and afterward to the Sun Tavern, and did give Mr. Turner a glass of wine."

He still has some dinners at home, but no more food truck sandwiches, remains of turkey, or faux pasties. Most of his dinners now help to enhance the strength of his connections in the Navy and elsewhere. Several times he pays for a group dinner at a tavern.

Perhaps some master's dissertation has included a full statistical analysis of Sam's dinner habits (if not, someone should do that!) but this non-scientific comparison of two weeks, before and after Sam's promotions, certainly shows not only his improved finances, but his strategic approach to the cultivation of relationships.

About Tuesday 21 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Dick Wilson, above: "Will Hewer's aunt's kinswoman died in the morning and was buried that night?! Very quick, that."

Not really. The next day was pretty standard, but an early morning death could result in an evening burial. You did not want to keep a corpse in the house any longer than you had to.

About Sunday 19 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"No mention of Lady Batten, Lady Penn or Elizabeth being in church today. Were they all home cooking dinner like good little wives?"

Sam is a pretty regular churchgoer, but doesn't mention the Mrs. coming along very often. Sometimes to the afternoon service. There is often a good Sundat lunch at home, so maybe she did spend the morning cooking. Or maybe she generally worships elsewhere, someplace more in keeping with her Huguenot background.

(Also, today she had to get dressed in that petticoat!)

About Thursday 16 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"in the way talking how good he did hope my place would be to me, and in general speaking that it was not the salary of any place that did make a man rich, but the opportunity of getting money while he is in the place"

So, at last Sam has brought up the still-pending matter of Mr. Man's offer of 1000L for Sam's Navy post — probably not directly, though. Maybe he asked an innocuous question like: What do you think the value of my office might be, if someone were to buy it, not that I'm considering that. Is Sam convinced by Montagu's words, or will he still need to think more about it?

About Monday 13 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"What of Pepys's Clerk of the Acts position's monetary value to him? Has he reported talking to Sandwich about it? Apparently all is settled?!"

Regarding the still-unresolved question of Mr. Man's 1000L offer for Sam's Navy job — It doesn't seem likely that Sam brought up the offer today, or Montagu would not have so readily entrusted Sam with considerable responsibility concerning "the business of his sea commission" while he (Montagu) went out of town for a spell.

Today is Monday; Sam last mentioned his quandary on Friday, but that passage may have been written a day or two later because Friday was his day of great pain. He has a brief meeting with Montagu on Saturday and goes to church with him on Sunday. My sense is that the question has not yet been discussed between them.

But Sam now also has 100L in his purse "which is the first that ever I was master of [so much] at once." He is starting to figure out that eventually, his current assortment of jobs will make him far richer than Mr. Man can make him.

About Saturday 11 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Since kidney stones are mentioned in the description above of the autopsy of Pepys, the medically-minded may also enjoy this precise description of the operation performed on Pepys two years ago in 1658 to remove his kidney stones, here:…

It states that of the various forms of kidney stone operations available at the time, Pepys underwent "Marian lithotomy," which "remained in vogue until nearly the end of the I7th century. Many of the self-taught itinerant lithotomists used it." (One wonders how a self-taught lithotomist might learn the trade. In any event, Sam used a trained and experienced surgeon.)

For the non-squeamish, here's the description, from that paper, of Sam's operation:

"Preparation a few days earlier was by purging, bleeding, and fomentation to the perineum. He was placed on the table with his buttocks raised, his legs flexed, and the hands bound to the
knees. Immobilization of the limbs was further ensured by four strong men. . . A curved probe or bougie with a slit on its left side was thrust through the urethra and into the bladder. The
scrotum was lifted by an assistant to leave the left side of the perineum exposed. A cut was
made on to the slit in the probe, no larger than the thumb, avoiding the seam of the perineum and the anal orifice. The gorget was inserted into the opened urethra and the channel kept open with the pair of conductors or guiders. The staff was withdrawn. The voracious and vociferous crows-beak or duckbill forceps were passed into the bladder to search for the stone. If the opening was too small Pare's dilator was inserted and opened until the forceps with the stone could be withdrawn. It was examined for cracks or facets; any blood clot or fragments were removed and no pieces left behind. Other forceps were available — for example, Pare's and Aston Keys'. A very large stone could be crushed by heavy forceps (Brodie type) and removed
piecemeal. Pepys's operation was a success. The stone, as big as a tennis ball, was complete and

About Friday 10 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"For this month or two it is not imaginable how busy my head has been . . . my waiting at the Privy Seal makes me much more unable to think of anything. . . . Never since I was a man in the world was I ever so great a stranger to public affairs as now I am, having not read a new book or anything like it, or enquiring after any news, or what the Parliament do, or in any wise how things go." Plus, he is worrying about the disposition of his Axe Yard house and the need to acquire furnishings for his new place.

With all that going on, Sam's blood pressure is up, his anxiety level is up, he's stressed, he's feeling overwrought — or "troubled" in his parlance. (And now maybe he's got kidney stones again, which can be caused by stress, or at least a stiff back, also stress-related.) He does not often elaborate this much about his stress level. All this explains why he remains tempted by Mr. Man's offer of 1000L for his Navy job.

About Thursday 9 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Perhaps it was just a matter of convenience, but it was nice of Sam to include his wife with the distinguished company of Dean Fuller and lawyer Moore. Most of the time he has all the merriment while she's stuck at home with the help.

Also: it seems that Sam expected to be included in the visit to Mrs. Blackburn, but "she being within," he could not be admitted to her company and went off to keep himself busy at the Privy Seal. I suspect "being within" means that she was still in the enclosed space of her poster bed and its curtains. Here's a great essay on the public and private spaces of 17th-century homes, including "being within" one's bed even during the daytime:… Recall also William Shakespeare's "second best bed" and "the Great Bed of Ware."