Annotations and comments

Bryan has posted 45 annotations/comments since 1 April 2013.

The most recent…


About Friday 8 December 1665

Bryan  •  Link

Anyone with ideas on why Pepys throws a party now?

SP had a great time at Mrs Pierce's on 6 December and he was returning the favour, perhaps hoping for more of the same: "Here the best company for musique I ever was in, in my life, and wish I could live and die in it, ... I spent the night in extasy almost; and, having invited them to my house a day or two hence, we broke up ..."
The Great Plague was abating and they were still alive, to say nothing of being young and successful. Reason enough for a bit of a knees-up (or two).

About Friday 19 May 1665

Bryan  •  Link

Geordie, Annie, Mary & William

According to Hogg, this song as written in 1688 by Lord Newbottle. It is about the Glorious Revolution. Mary, Willie, and Annie refer to the prince and princess of Orange and princess of Denmark. Although in the text of the song, it is "Menie the daughter".
Geordie isn't identified but an earlier verse mentions "sweet Geordie Brodie".

Here's Hogg's full commentary on the song:
"Cakes of Crowdy
This is another production of the same year, and likewise of a nobleman, having been written by Lord Newbottle in 1688, as the MS. bears. The author was eldest son to William, first marquis of Lothian; and notwithstanding this satire on the revolutionists, he closed with that great measure. Here are two noble authors whom Walpole knew nothing of. The following are some of the heroes mentioned in this song.—Chinnie; Lord Melville, called Chinnie from the length of his features.—Rethy; Lord Raith.—Little Pitcunkie; Melville's third son.—Leven the hero; who whipt Lady Mortonhall with his whip. He is the Lord Huffie of Dr Pitcairn's " Assembly," where he is introduced beating fiddlers and horse-hirers.—Cherrytrees Davie; Mr D. Williamson, who did lie with Lord Burke's daughter.—Gteenock, Dickson, Houston; taxmen of the customs. They were, Sir
J. Hall, Sir J. Dickson, and Mr R. Young.—Borland; this is Captain Drummond, a great turn-coat rogue, who kept the stores in the castle.—Grave Burnet; old Gribo.—Mary, Willie, and
Annie; prince and princess of Orange, and princess of Denmark. —Argyle; he was killed (received his death's wound, at least) in a brothel near Newcastle.—So says an old commentator on my
Lord Newbottle's elegant and witty song!"

The Jacobite Relics of Scotland; Being the Songs, Airs, and Legends of the Adherents to the House of Stuart collected by James Hogg, 1819, page 184.
See page 20 for the song.


About Saturday 13 May 1665

Bryan  •  Link

Watches and Pockets
From Wikipedia: History of Watches,
"Styles changed in the 17th century and men began to wear watches in pockets instead of as pendants (the woman's watch remained a pendant into the 20th century). This is said to have occurred in 1675 when Charles II of England introduced waistcoats. This was not just a matter of fashion or prejudice; watches of the time were notoriously prone to fouling from exposure to the elements, and could only reliably be kept safe from harm if carried securely in the pocket. To fit in pockets, their shape evolved into the typical pocketwatch shape, rounded and flattened with no sharp edges."
So waistcoat pockets and pocket watches are still to come.

About Wednesday 11 January 1664/65

Bryan  •  Link

The Navy Board
Just to summarise and clarify.
From Vincenzo's (aka cgs, in Aqua Scripto, etc) entry
"Navy Board Officials
At the Restoration the offices of the four Principal Officers of the Navy, the Treasurer, Controller, Surveyor and Clerk of the Acts, were re-established, and three Commissioners were appointed to act with them. These officials, known both singly and collectively as Principal Officers and Commissioners of the Navy, formed the Navy Board and were jointly responsible under the direction of the Lord High Admiral for the civil administration of the Navy."

Treasurer: Sir George Carteret
Controller: Sir John Mennes
The Surveyor: Sir William Batten
Clerk of the Acts: SP esq
Commissioners: Sir William Penn, Peter Pett & Lord Berkeley

Additions in 1664:
Sir William, 2nd Viscount Brouncker Extra Commissioner of the Navy, 1664-66
Capt John Taylor was Navy Commissioner at Harwich

I don't think it's correct to say that the Commissioners did the admin work. Penn was an admiral.
Pett and Taylor were shipbuilders. Brouncker was a mathematician. Perhaps better described as technical experts.

The Duke of York, Sandwich and Coventry weren't part of the Navy Board.

About Monday 5 September 1664

Bryan  •  Link

He tells us how Mrs. Lane is undone...
An alternative explanation is that William Bowyer was unaware of SP's nefarious affair with Betty Lane/Martin and was simply passing on gossip to both SP and EP about a mutual acquaintance.
William Bowyer was a doorkeeper at the Exchequer. Betty Lane had her draper's stall in Westminster Hall which was practically next door and SP and EP earlier lived in nearby Axe Yard.

If you start at "...and I to my wife to Unthanke’s" it is fairly clear that the "us" refers to SP and EP.

About Thursday 25 August 1664

Bryan  •  Link

Something that does not appear to have been noticed by earlier annotators.
Jacke Noble claims the child was conceived on Guy Fawkes night (with 3 handy witnesses to Tom's confession) but SP recorded her birth on 6 April, only 5 months later. It casts some doubt on Tom's paternity. Tom died on 15 March.

About Wednesday 13 April 1664

Bryan  •  Link

"and so I rang up my people"

Remember the convenient new bell: Saturday 3 October 1663
"At noon I home to dinner, and then abroad to buy a bell to hang by our chamber door to call the mayds. ... We then to set up our bell with a smith very well, and then I late at the office. "

About Sunday 24 January 1663/64

Bryan  •  Link

Sarah, The Salty One kept many annotators guessing (and amused) the first time round. He could verge on cryptic at times.
The carpenter's son he was referring to was the inventor of the marine chronometer, John Harrison. Harrison was self-educated, so unlike SP, he did not get formal qualifications from either of the two English universities, CAMbridge or OXford, i.e. he was not camoxed.

About Friday 30 October 1663

Bryan  •  Link

Regarding shorthand and names, this passage from the 'About the text' page clarifies all:

'Pepys wrote the bulk of his diary in a shorthand devised by Thomas Shelton, with only a few words, such as names of people and places, written longhand; shorthand was more widely used by scholars in Pepys’ time than it is today ...'

For example this is the first page of the diary, where the names of several people can be seen: