Jenny Doughty • Link
I suppose this glut of meat would be because so many cattle were slaughtered at this time of year.
Roger Arbor • Link
One wonders why men such as Sir Denis Gauden continued to 'whet the palms' of Pepys and others in positions of authority, when for their trouble they received virtually nothing for supplying the fleet? Why on earth did they do it? Pride or simply hoping all would be well? Gauden and many like him became paupers simply because they trusted the State would, sooner or later, pay its debts.
Mary • Link
Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Gauden was not appointed sole victualler to the navy until this year, 1660. He may well, therefore, have every hope this Christmas that the contract is going to be valuable to him and so feel it well worth while to be generous with his Yule-tide gifts to Navy Office officials like Pepys. He cannot know that the government is going to fail to honour its debts to him for years to come.
Lawrence • Link
The Government will financially ruin this Man in time, and our Sam will live with Will Hewer in Mr Gauden's old House at clapham. Which is where Sam will spend His closing Years sorting His Library out with His Nephew John Jackson. The Library is kept at Magdalene College Cambridge. Well worth the visit.
Andrew Hamilton • Link
This night Mr. Gauden sent me a great chine of beef and half a dozen of tongues.
Do we know enough of Pepys's house and 17th century housekeeping to know or guess where he would have stored such a quantity of beef and tongues, and how long they would keep, or how they would be cooked, and by whom in his household?
Mary • Link
Beef and tongues
The meat may not need to be kept all that long, as Christmas is coming. The tongues can be boiled, cooled and pressed and the beef will hang nicely until required.
Nigel Pond • Link
I suspect that in Pepys time people were used to their meat being a little "gamey"...
It may be chill enough for Gauden to send gift meat to his customers with confidence
See tomorrow's post by David Quidnunc http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…
Today's weather in Essex
From the Rev. Ralph Josselin's diary:
"very wintery cold, wet weather..."
It was the middle od December. Cold enough to keep meat cool enough to last a few days, or a week if it was cooked. It is 39 degrees in Essex today, December 19, 2013. The temperature was probably similar in 1660. (Josselin did say it was "very wintery cold, wet weather). Meat would keep as well and as long as it would in a refrigerator today.
Warm weather in Essex for December! Its only 7 degrees today here in Liverpool. I know first Fahrenheit and then Celcius measures of temperature weren't developed until the 18th century, but as Pepys was British and we have been employing Celsius/centigrade for a number of decades here I'd find degree C preferable to degree F (or at least clarity about the scale being used).
"And no actual mention of Christmas."
Why would Pepys mention Christmas? It was banned in 1647 -- meaning he was 13 the last time his family MIGHT have celebrated it (did his Puritan mother or his less-so father prevail on this?).
There is still a lot of resistance to reinstating the Church of England and all those Popish "holy-days" -- just this week we have been reading about a foiled uprising; if one succceeds, Charles II might yet be heading for the block. (Sorry - horrible pun.)
People are dismayed that Parliament is not keeping Charles II's Breda promise of freedom of worship. I.E. The right not to celebrate Christmas.
Let's talk about what's in the Diary, and not our 21st century expectations of a man in a red suit on the roof with an escort of flying reindeer!!!
"This night Mr. Gauden sent me a great chine of beef and half a dozen of tongues."
We had a lengthy discussion about how long food would be safe to eat in summer time, when Pepys was asked to judge the merits of 2 friend's poems or plays or something, and the bet was accompanied by half a pie. I can't find the entries right now, but I remember being surprised at how cold cellars can be in summer.
Plus people were very good about sharing excess food -- it was too valuable to waste -- so some could easily be delivered to both sets of parents, Balty, and the Joyces. Or given to the other Commissioners in return for their generous hospitality while the Pepys' house is so disordered.
Too much food is a nice problem to have in winter.
In response to https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/… et al:
To be clear, the most common time to slaughter cattle (for meat) is definitely NOT in December.
Cattle are generally born in the springtime and are traditionally slaughtered at around 22-24 months, so February to April would be more traditional in terms of a "glut" of beef on the market.
Perhaps some folks are confusing beef with hogs, which ARE generally slaughtered at the end of autumn/early winter (in some places, it was done on certain specific days such as Michaelmas), for entirely practical reasons.
Traditionally, hogs were born in the spring time, weaned, fed by people in the summer, and then turned out into the forest to fatten up on mast (nuts and other stuff in the woods) in the autumn. Then, when the forest is out of "free food" come the end of autumn, and with winter making it costly (in every sense of the word) to keep feeding a full-grown pig, it makes sense to slaughter it.
And unlike cattle, pigs ARE suitable for slaughter at less than a year. Whereas a nine-month-old cow is still nowhere near maximum weight.
As for storage, (previously boiled) beef tongue lasts for a few weeks "as is" and can be served and eaten cold (i.e. without any more cooking needed, making it a kind of 'fast food' in this period). The bigger parts/cuts/joints would have all been salted and put into a barrel had long-term "shelf life" been the goal, so I think this gift of meat was clearly meant for Pepys' near-term consumption i.e. holiday feasting.
Meanwhile, at the House of Commons, Charles II takes care of his "sister", Lady Jane Lane, who provided him with cover during his escape after the second battle of Worcester:
"Grant to Lane.
"The Question being propounded, That, as a Mark of Respect to Mrs. Lane, and in Testimony of the high Resentment and Value of her Service, in being so signally instrumental to the Preservation and Security of the Person of his Royal Majesty, there be conferred upon the said Mrs. Lane the Sum of One Thousand Pounds, to buy her a Jewel; and that the same be and hereby stands charged on the Arrears of the Grand Excise, and paid to her, or her Assigns, in Course, after the other Sums shall be satisfied, which are charged on the Grand Excise by former Orders of this Parliament: And the Commissioners of the Excise, for the Time being, are hereby impowered, and required to satisfy and pay the same accordingly: And this Order, together with the Acquittance of the said Mrs. Lane, or her Assigns, shall be, to the said Commissioners, a sufficient Warrant and Discharge:
"And the Question being put, That this Question be now put;
"It passed in the Affirmative:
"And the main Question being put;
"Resolved, That, as a Mark of Respect to Mrs. Lane, and in Testimony of the high Resentment and Value of her Service, in being so signally instrumental to the Preservation and Security of the Person of his Royal Majesty, there be conferred upon the said Mrs. Lane the Sum of One thousand Pounds, to buy her a Jewel; and that the same be and hereby stands charged on the Arrears of the Grand Excise; and paid to her or her Assigns, in Course, after the other Sums shall be satisfied, which are charged on the Grand Excise, by former Orders of this Parliament: And the Commissioners of the Excise, for the Time being, are hereby impowered and required, to satisfy and pay the same accordingly: And this Order, together with the Acquittance of the said Mrs. Lane, or her Assigns, testifying the Receipt thereof, shall be to the Commissioners of Excise, a sufficient Warrant and Discharge.
"The Lords Concurrence is desired herein: And Sir Clement Throgmorton is to carry it to the Lords."
One of our annotators, Gillian Bagwell, is an author and has written a book about this episode from Jane Lane's point of view. She shared with us (start at the 2nd paragraph):
Later the Lords take care of one of King Charles' good friends, who tried (unsuccessfully) to help him escape from Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight:
'Order for 3000£. for Capt. Titus.
'"ORDERED, by the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, That, in Consideration of the eminent and faithful Services performed by Captain Silas Titus to His Majesty and the Kingdom, the Debt owing him, and his Charges abroad when he was banished this Kingdom for his Adherence to his Trust, the Sum of Three Thousand Pounds be, and hereby stands, charged on the Arrears of the Grand Excise, and paid out of the same, to him or his Assigns, in Course, after the other Sums shall be satisfied which are charged on the Grand Excise by former Orders of this Parliament: And the Commissioners of the Excise for the Time being are hereby empowered and required to satisfy the same accordingly; and this Order, together with the Acquittance of the said Captain Tytus, or his Assigns, testifying the Receipt thereof, shall be to the said Commissioners of Excise a sufficient Warrant and Discharge."'
Silus Titus deserved it -- but so did his accomplise, Lady Jane Whorwood. Sadly Charles II "forgot" her -- perhaps she was a bit of a 'hot potato' for the saintly image he was painting of his father? -- so there's no mention of her in Pepys' Diary. But I've found her mentioned elsewhere at
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/… -- sher formal seperation.
Her violent husband gets more air time!
Lady Jane Whorwood died as a very poor widow, living with her daughter and son-in-law. She deserved better, and is getting her due these days.