Annotations and comments

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


Third Reading

About Wednesday 8 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Can someone remind me who D. W. is (that inserted the comment in today's text about Wheatley's censorship)?

About Monday 6 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Note that the original conversation with Mr. Man (July 30) was fueled by Rhenish wine; this one by the good wines at Mr. Rawlinson's establishment, both over several-hour spans. Again, let's see what happens when Sam sobers up. I think that if Sam even brings it up with Montagu, my Lord will wisely point out that 1000L is less than three years salary for the Navy board clerk's post, so it is Man who will be earning a 35% return on his investment, courtesy of Sam, and Sam will have a hard time earning a single-digit return.

About Saturday 4 August 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

There was some titillation above over the possible hanky-panky behind "&c" with Betty Hall, but note that earlier he bespoke some linens from her for the new house. Presumably this is a good sign that he intends to stay there, by keeping his navy board position and not selling it, as he was contemplating a few days ago. But we don't know conclusively, yet.

About Monday 30 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

As noted above, it does seem odd that Pepys would even contemplate selling the job he has just obtained and begun. Remember that a nice house comes with the position! Plus, if he sold the job that Montagu pulled strings for him to get, he would also be jeopardizing his continuing position as Montagu's clerk. So he'd be throwing away two jobs and a house in exchange for 1400 pounds. That Rhenish wine seems to make you kind of stupid. My bet is that tomorrow he comes to his senses and tells Mr. Man to forget it.

About Thursday 26 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

From Terry Foreman on 3 Jul 2013 above:
"The said Patent bears Date the 12th Day of July Instant, in the Twelfth Year of King Charles the Second..."

So for official purposes at least, Charles II's reign is considered to have begun immediately upon the death of Charles I, who was executed on 30 January 1649, despite the Interregnum during which Charles II was in exile.

About Monday 23 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"our little boy proving a droll"

Droll as a noun (now archaic) meant a jester or entertainer. Sam's pre-supper tippling probably contributed to the drollery.

About Sunday 22 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

There is a good history of St. James's Park here:…

Evidently, King James "kept a collection of animals in the park. They included camels, crocodiles and an elephant. There were also aviaries of exotic birds along what is now Birdcage Walk." Presumably the "enclosure" was for the collection of animals.

In 1660, King Charles II initiated a redesign of the park. But at this point in the year, work had not yet started, so the enclosure was still there. From the park history linked above:

"The new park was probably created by the French landscaper, Andre Mollet. The centrepiece was a straight canal, 2,560ft long and 125ft wide, lined on each side with avenues of trees. The new park was opened to the public for the first time. King Charles II entertained guests here and also courted his favourite mistress, Nell Gwyn. The diarist, John Evelyn, a contemporary of Samuel Pepys, wrote on March 4th 1671:

" 'I had a faire opportunity of talking to his Majestie... & thence walked with him thro St. James's Parke to the Garden, where I both saw and heard a very familiar discourse between... [the King] & Mrs. Nellie'

"King Charles introduced the game, Pelle Melle, from France. This was played on a long fenced court and players used a mallet to hit a ball through a hoop. The courts in St James's Park gave their names to the present day Pall Mall and The Mall. A tradition also began at this time that continues today. In 1664, a Russian ambassador presented a pair of pelicans to the king. Pelicans are still offered to the park by foreign ambassadors and remain one of the most popular sights in the park."

About Friday 20 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"We sat at the office this morning"
"After we rose at the office..."

Sam will use these terms frequently going forward. I believe what this signifies is that they sat in meetings, and then "rose" when they were concluded. Occasionally the business of the meeting may be mentioned, and sometimes he says "met" instead of "sat." It does not mean that they each sat at their desks individually doing their work.

About Wednesday 18 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"I did carry it [the half buck] to my mother"

I'm imagining Sam hiking through London with the half-buck slung over his shoulder...but more likely he engaged a carriage, as he has been doing more often lately.

About Sunday 15 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"According to one story, during the time of Henry VIII, paper was printed in 17″ x 22” sheets..."

And that is why, today, standard copy paper is 8.5x11, exactly one-fourth the size of those sheets.

About Sunday 15 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"My wife and I mightily pleased with our new house that we hope to have." As mentioned above, this introduces a teeny-tiny note of doubt into Sam's previous certainty regarding the house, which included, the other day, obtaining permission to cut a hole in the roof. So, perhaps there are still some contingencies not settled among the new claimants of the various houses.

About Saturday 14 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"Up early and advised with my wife"

So he didn't advise his wife what to do, it was a mutual consultation, which is nice (even though he tells us the other day that he showed her "my house").

About Friday 13 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

Ivan/2015: "It seems noteworthy that Sam can ask for a new door to be fitted and that his wish is granted."

Note that he received permission, but needs to pay for the work himself. ("I got leave to have a door made me into the leads.") This is the first many improvements Sam makes to the house at his own expense. He doesn't mind paying, because the house comes for free with the job he has for life.

About Friday 6 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"So to my Lord’s and dined with W. Howe and Sarah, thinking it might be the last time that I might dine with them together."

A theory: Howe is my Lord's clerk, Sarah is a housekeeper there (rehired to the position on June 15). Sam as a longtime fellow employee is welcome to drop in for a meal with the servants anytime, and does so regularly. But now, he is being kicked upstairs, as it were, becoming Clerk of the Acts, and as such he may not be able to socialize below stairs. A few nights ago he "supped with my Lord, he and I together, in the great dining-room alone by ourselves, the first time I ever did it in London." And he has been dining around town with other important people. So, he thinks that it may no longer be seemly to eat with the help, perhaps especially not with Sarah and Howe together.

About Friday 6 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

On June 27, Sam visited his old room with the bed removed and sang, enjoying the acoustics. in that entry, he wrote:

"To Westminster, and with Mr. Howe by coach to the Speaker’s, where my Lord supped with the King, but I could not get in. So back again, and after a song or two in my chamber in the dark, which do (now that the bed is out) sound very well, I went home and to bed."

So perhaps Howe returned with him to the chamber that day as well, and today they repeated the pleasure.

About Thursday 5 July 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

King Charles II was generous with his bucks. Later on, he gave a brace of bucks to some "loyal apprentices," who thanked him with a poem written by one of their number, printed in 1681, called "Loyalty Rewarded; OR, A POEM UPON THE Brace of BUCKS Bestowed upon the Loyal Apprentices, by His Majesty".… (publication details:…)

These lads were apparently a bit tardy in sending their acknowledgment, apologizing for it thus:

"And though our poor Address came late, however,
We did imagine, better late than never;
And since we could not in the Front appear,
We're humbly content to bring up the Rear..."

About Thursday 28 June 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

For a second day in a row, Sam shows his auditory prowess. Yesterday by remarking on the acoustics of his old room now that the bed is gone; today by identifying the singer who is hidden behind a curtain. And as mentioned yesterday, earlier over in Holland, by appreciating the echo effects of an area under the porch at Huis Ten Bosch.

About Friday 22 June 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"my old Lady Middlesex" was 47 at this time (born 28 January 1613). Maybe Sam calls her "old lady" because she married the Earl of Middlesex about 1655 when she was 42 and he was 30. More about her here:…. It's kind of an embarrassment to be remembered through the ages for a wet fart, so let's try to celebrate her instead for her syllabub recipe, which actually sounds pretty good: http://foodhistorjottings.blogspo…

About Wednesday 20 June 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"A small hotel 'The Samuel Pepys Diaryrooms' is nearby."

This pub, just named the Samuel Pepys, is apparently still around:…
It's not clear there are rooms to rent. The comments are a bit disconcerting ("...a rotten seedy drug den..." "AVOID, AVOID, AVOID" "Disorganised chaos and hostile management" "Angry and disappointed" etc., although there are some positive reviews as well). It was, or is, for sale, so you can view some photos here:…

About Tuesday 19 June 1660

MartinVT  •  Link

"Strap them to the deck?"

"transported on freight ships" seems to be the answer. Probably on deck as they would not fit down below. Towing would be dangerous.….

Most masts were not made of single trees the whole length. Those that were were called pole-masts; masts made by joining several lengths of timber together were called made-masts. Made-masts were actually stronger than pole-masts. More than you might want to know (but important stuff for Sam to know, later on) is here (published 1794):…
Included there is this bit: "MASTS from America are mostly trimmed in the country nearly to their sizes..." Which makes sense, so you would not transport the raw timber, just the completed lengths of masts.