Annotations and comments

Bryan has posted 53 annotations/comments since 1 April 2013.


About Thursday 2 April 1663

Bryan  •  Link

"It's a pity Sam wasn't able to nip it in the bud here ... he certainly seems to be trying."

I somehow think that Capt. Holmes wasn't the type of guy who would allow his bud to be nipped. The title of Richard Ollard's biography of Holmes was "Man of War". Here's an excerpt from the back cover: "Adventurous, energetic, combative and unscrupulous, Robert Holmes first attracted the attention of Prince Rupert as a young cavalry officer in the Civil War. As a Royalist exile, he accompanied the Prince first into the French service and then, in one of the strangest and most romantic episodes in naval history, on a cruise that carried the Royalist colors -- no longer flying in England -- to Portugal, the Mediterranean, West Africa and the West Indies."

About Sunday 22 March 1662/63

Bryan  •  Link

" ... my wife and I and her woman by coach to Westminster, ..."

It's a safe assumption that "her woman" refers to Ms Ashwell, for example from two weeks previous on March 15 "Up and with my wife and her woman Ashwell the first time to church, ..."

SP indicated his state of mind during the day: "This day though I was merry enough ...". SP regularly records things not going quite to plan without any indication of annoyance. Today for example, too early for the christening, so a quick coach ride to Chelsea to get some fresh air. It was probably just an accepted part of life.

About Thursday 19 March 1662/63

Bryan  •  Link

From the Online Etymology Dictionary
betimes (adv.)
"at an early period," early 14c., from betime (c. 1300, from be- + time) + adverbial genitive -s.


word-forming element with a wide range of meaning: "thoroughly, completely; ...
Be- can also be privative (as in behead), causative, or have just about any sense required. The prefix was productive 16c.-17c. in forming useful words, many of which have not survived, such as bethwack "to thrash soundly" (1550s), betongue "to assail in speech, to scold" (1630s).

I wonder, did Sam ever rise betimes to betongue and bethwack his errant boy?

About Tuesday 3 March 1662/63

Bryan  •  Link

"And here Mrs. The. shewed me my name upon her breast as her Valentine, which will cost me 20s."

Yes, the precocious daughter is definitely Theophila (The).
Why the expense? St Valentine's day often involved the exchange of small gifts, sometimes gloves. And sometimes (for a favorite coz) lots of gloves.
I think it's safe to assume that SP was referring to the front of The's dress rather than part of her anatomy.

About Wednesday 31 December 1662

Bryan  •  Link

A small correction above: " William, my clerk" links to William Howe. It should link to Will Hewer.

A very happy new year to Phil and all annotators and lurkers.

About Wednesday 3 December 1662

Bryan  •  Link

"He may be, by comparison, or is he just blowing his own horn?"
Louise, surely history has given us a clear answer to that question.

About Saturday 2 November 1661

Bryan  •  Link

"and a match carelessly with it, thinking that it was out"

Slow matches were used in Europe to fire matchlock firearms up to the early 1700s. From Wikipedia: "Slow matches were most suitable for use around black-powder weapons because a slow match could be roughly handled without going out, and only presented a small glowing tip instead of a large flame that risked igniting nearby gunpowder." No mention of the risk with gunpowder in pockets.

About Thursday 11 April 1661

Bryan  •  Link

"[The] Youngmans careless Wooing" is contained in Pepys' own collection of broadside ballads. I see now that Pepys started this collection is the 1680s but it is still much closer in time and place to "today's" entry than the 1719 collection found by Brian Barr.

A facsimile of the printed ballad can be found here:

The University of California Santa Barbara has a archive of 17th Century ballads including the entire Pepys collection here:

The site has quite a bit of background information on the Pepys collection of ballads that might be of interest to annotators.

About Thursday 11 April 1661

Bryan  •  Link

“Goe and bee hanged, that’s good-bye.”

A BALLAD of Old PROVERBS posted above by Brian Barr might not be the sung by SP.

"[The] Youngmans careless Wooing, And the Witty Maids Replication" looks more like the correct one as it starts "Down in an Arbour devoted to Venus" and has the reference: Magdalene College Pepys 3.130.

About Friday 17 May 1661

Bryan  •  Link

Why is the amount rounded to six and eight pence, or what am I missing?

Six and eight pence = six shillings and eight pence, which is the exact amount. Two thirds (0.66) of a shilling (12d) is 8 pence.

About Monday 12 November 1660

Bryan  •  Link

Sister Pall is still living with mum and dad in London off Fleet Street at this stage. Uncle Robert, who is literally on his last leg, has promised to "raise a portion" for Pall in his will (see ). So I don't think it's about Pall's marriage prospects.

Given Pall's "ill-nature" and the weeping for joy, my guess is that things are less than harmonious in the old Pepy's family home and everyone is looking for an exit before dastardly deed are done.

About Thursday 27 September 1660

Bryan  •  Link

"Pepys does nothing but gripe about his workers" Let's see:

Sep 28: All the afternoon among my workmen till 10 or 11 at night, and did give them drink and very merry with them ...
Sep 27: ...thence home to my workmen all the afternoon.
Sep 26: At home with the workmen all the afternoon, ...
Sep 25:...and by coach home, where the plasterers being at work in all the rooms in my house,
Sep 18: At home all the morning looking over my workmen in my house ...
Sep 12: At home all the afternoon looking after my workmen, whose laziness do much trouble me

One negative comment out of six. Hardly "nothing but gripe".

I think you will find if you search through the annotations that the workers who renovated SP's house weren't paid by SP. The workers (and material) came from the dockyards at Deptford or similar. They were Navy employees working on Navy property. SP was just making sure, as always, that the King got value for money. ;-)

About Wednesday 29 August 1660

Bryan  •  Link

"the wench which"

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:
which (pron.) ... In Middle English used as a relative pronoun where Modern English would use who, as still in the Lord's Prayer.

So, Mirabai, this is one sin we can say that Sam is not guilty of.

About St Olave, Hart Street

Bryan  •  Link

A side view of St Olave church showing the covered staircase leading to the Navy Office gallery

"A watercolour by G Robertson of the south east view of the Parish Church of St Olave, Hart Street, London EC3, showing the exterior staircase used by the English diarist and naval administrator Samuel Pepys, (1633 - 1703), to gain access to the pew in the gallery reserved for the Navy office."…