Annotations and comments

David G has posted 32 annotations/comments since 22 January 2016.

The most recent…


About Friday 27 October 1665

David G  •  Link

Was the conversation with the Duke of Albemarle where the formal job offer was made and accepted?

About Sunday 6 August 1665

David G  •  Link

Not likely that the maid was combing for lice since Sam shaved his head when he started wearing a wig. Maybe she was arranging the wig?

About Monday 10 July 1665

David G  •  Link

A “nest of puppies”: It appears that this expression was rarely used between Pepys’ era and the current decade but suddenly has become common once again.

About Friday 7 July 1665

David G  •  Link

Like William Wright, I had never heard of Tent as a type of wine. I googled “vessel of tent” and every hit but one — an article in an Australian newspaper from 1884 — was to the diary. My guess is that Tent was in favor briefly and British taste in wine then moved on to claret, hock, sherry and port.

About Tuesday 30 May 1665

David G  •  Link

In response to Tony Eldridge's question from ten years ago, back in the seventeenth century, insurance served two functions. First, it could transfer the risk of loss from the owner of property to a third party (now, an insurance company; then, a wealthy person willing to risk capital in exchange for a profit if no claims were presented). Second, it was a form of gambling. That is, one could purchase insurance on property owned by someone else and if that person suffers a loss, the policyholder could present a claim to the insurer. This latter type of insurance presented a moral hazard, that is, it tempted policyholders to commit crimes in order to collect on an insurance policy, e.g., someone might buy insurance on a ship owned by a third party and then hire a pirate to capture the ship. To eliminate the moral hazard, Parliament enacted laws in the 1720s requiring a policyholder to have an "insurable interest" in any property that the insurance policy covers, that is, the policyholder must have a very good reason for avoiding a claim such as owning or leasing the property that the insurance policy covers. Similarly, I can purchase a life insurance policy that covers my spouse but cannot buy life insurance on a neighbor who lives across the street.

In this instance, Sam and Sir George Carteret are discussing the first type of insurance -- the type we still have today -- because they were talking about buying insurance for "our goods." There was no rule then, and there really is no rule now, preventing someone from buying insurance on a cargo after the ship has sailed and before anything has happened to the cargo. As it turned out, however, the Dutch captured the ships carrying the Hamburg cargo before Sam and Sir George got around to buying insurance. All in all, the Dutch war does not seem to have been well managed.

About Wednesday 12 April 1665

David G  •  Link

One wonders how incompetent the government really was -- how can it have been a surprise to Southampton that the Dutch war was going to be very expensive and that the Treasury would need to raise vast amounts of money to keep the navy at sea? But apparently it was a surprise.

It is a treat for the modern reader when Pepys quotes someone as extensively as he does in this entry. To think that this is what someone actually said (or close to it) more than 350 years ago.

About Saturday 4 February 1664/65

David G  •  Link

Going back to the posts ten years ago, I assume that Jane was paid quarterly, that she was either one or two months into the current quarter (one would think that the quarter began on the first of January, so we’re a month in, though the text suggests that we’re two months in), and that Sam is paying her for the full quarter, to Bess’s great annoyance (in part because Sam was expressing dissatisfaction with her decision to discharge Jane and possibly in part because the money came out of the housekeeping budget).

About Tuesday 22 November 1664

David G  •  Link

Sam ends the day's entry by saying that got home at 1:00 a.m., so references in other diary entries to a late night probably meant a night that ended before midnight.

About Sunday 23 October 1664

David G  •  Link

I wish he had told us how he managed to talk his uninvited guest Mr Fuller into leaving right after the meal so the afternoon could be devoted to looking at plates with Mr Cooper.