Tuesday 7 April 1663

Up very betimes, and angry with Will that he made no more haste to rise after I called him. So to my office, and all the morning there. At noon to the Exchange, and so home to dinner, where I found my wife had been with Ashwell to La Roche’s to have her tooth drawn, which it seems aches much, but my wife could not get her to be contented to have it drawn after the first twich, but would let it alone, and so they came home with it undone, which made my wife and me good sport.

After dinner to the office, where Sir J. Minnes did make a great complaint to me alone, how my clerk Mr. Hater had entered in one of the Sea books a ticket to have been signed by him before it had been examined, which makes the old fool mad almost, though there was upon enquiry the greatest reason in the world for it. Which though it vexes me, yet it is most to see from day to day what a coxcomb he is, and that so great a trust should lie in the hands of such a fool.

We sat all the afternoon, and I late at my office, it being post night, and so home to supper, my father being come again to my house, and after supper to bed, and after some talk to sleep.

23 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

But which tooth twitched? Some are no great loss (wisdom teeth that unwisely grow where there's no room for them); but it is striking how the loss, or even the breakage, of either incisor can turn the best-favored among us into a derelict. And when your face is part of your fortune. . . .

Australian Susan  •  Link

Fascinating pictures and descriptions, dirk! My daughters have both had to have their wisdom teeth extracted recntly, so dentistry is much in my mind at the moment.
In one of Jane Austen's letters to her sister, there is a description of Jane accompanying some of her neices to the dentist: "The poor Girls & their Teeth!..we were a whole hour at Spence's & Lizzy's were filed & lamented over again & poor Marianne had two taken out after all, the two just beyond the Eye teeth, to make room for those in front. When her doom was fixed, Fanny, Lizzy & I walked into the next room, where we heard each of the two sharp hasty Screams. Fanny's teeth were cleaned too & pretty as they are, Spence found something to do to them, putting in gold and talking gravely & making a considerable point of seeing her again before winter; he had before urged the expediency of Lizzy & Marrianne being brought to Town in the course of a couple of Months to be farther examined, and continued to the last to press for their all coming to him - my brother would not absolutely promise. The little girls' teeth I can suppose in a critical state, but I think he must be a lover of Teeth & Money & Mischeif to parade about Fanny's. I would not have had him look at mine for a shilling a tooth and double it. It was a disagreeable hour."[p. 223 in the Deirdre le Faye ed. of JA's letters. dated Sept. 16th, 1813.Fanny was 20, Lizzy 13 and Marianne 12] Until anesthesia was applied, dental extraction must have remained the same disagreeable experience. Ashwell's problem presumably was exacerbated by infection, which would have meant any movement of the tooth was excruciatingly painful. Little Marianne's extractions were of perfectly healthy teeth it seems and done of cosmetic reasons - making her a more attractive propostion on the marriage market in a few years.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Also Good Teeth were often pulled from the poor and cadavers for transplanting into the extracted spaces left by extraction of the better financially endowed.
{ I was reminded of this, by rereading Les Miserables }

jeannine  •  Link

Ouch Dirk!! Great pics, but painful to think about. I suppose so we can add novacaine to the growing list of things we are grateful to have now that didn't exist then.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Glasco had none, but now some teeth has got;
Which though they furre, will neither ake nor rot.
Six teeth he has, whereof twice two are known
Made of a haft, that was mutton-bone.
Which not for use, but meerly for the sight,
He wears all day, and draws those teeth at night.
Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
See Mona Lisa smile [?]
pages 104-105. Eliza Picard Restoration London
the segment is for all those that care about the results of no Colegate and all things nice, sugar[sweet wine] and spice [cloves].

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Somehow I suspect it wasn't "good sport" for poor Ashwell.


Will, ya lazy lout!

andy  •  Link

angry with Will that he made no more haste to rise after I called him

anyone with teenage sons will recognise this one (wasn't the same in my day of course...)

JohnT  •  Link

The diary was plainly written at least the day after. Fascinating that one of the key events that Sam judges worth recording is his anger at Will for being a stayabed.This memory of surely transient emotion is remarkable in itself. But why write it down whether for his own later perusal or for posterity ? Thank the heavens that he did or we would miss so many humanising and domestic touches.

matthew newton  •  Link

Sea books
Clarification please on Sea Books and tickets.
What should be examined and entered?
And in what order?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"angry with Will that he made no more haste to rise after I called him"
Our Will is not a morning person; hope he did not get beaten!

Stolzi  •  Link

"poor Marianne had two taken out after all, the two just beyond the Eye teeth, to make room for those in front"

Which I had the identical thing done to me when I was a kid being prepared for orthodontia (only I lost four, two upstairs and two downstairs).

Poor Marianne, indeed, having two healthy teeth pulled without anesthesia!

Charles Munoz  •  Link

Toothache! Which I've read that, without dentistry, the average person wd have lost most teeth by age forty, wch, it seems, wd average out to about a tooth each year, usually preceeded by toothache. Yet how often has Sam mentioned having a toothache? And (since I can't get a good answer from my dentist) how long wd a typical toothache last before the tooth came out?

TerryF  •  Link

Ashwell & Marianne were born too early to have avoided pain (why weren''t they plied with gin?)

1723—Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon publishes The Surgeon Dentist, A Treatise on Teeth (Le Chirurgien Dentiste). Fauchard is credited as being the Father of Modern Dentistry because his book was the first to describe a comprehensive system for the practice of dentistry including basic oral anatomy and function, operative and restorative techniques, and denture construction. http://www.ada.org/public/resourc…

"In 1846...William Morton...conducts the first successful public demonstration of the use of ether as an anesthesia for surgery." http://www.ada.org/public/resourc…

* * *

(I was given ether at age 3 when my tonsils and adenoids were removed, and I STILL recall the odor. Olfactory memories are deep-seated indeed!)

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"...the Sea books [The Ledger, or Log book recording all the Bills of the ships accounts] a ticket [ authorised payment, the amount owed for playing seaman which one presents to the pay master ] to have been signed by him before it had been examined, ..."
Part of the function of the Navy office be Accounts Payable for work done aboard the HMS's vessels.
Just my take.
thus one gets the Saying "just the Ticket"
Ticket mention 7 times previous. see Ticket:
In other words Minnes wants to approve all payments [bills] before
the deed be done . Always watch and question how thy pennies go, there be always someone that be a slipping in a charge that not be correct, like be done with hospital bills et al.

Australian Susan  •  Link

A couple of other literary nasty experiences with minor surgery: Roald Dahl's description of having his adenoids out with no pain relief and no warning (from his autobiography) and Charlotte Bronte's having to witness her father's cataract operation - no anesthesia - and Patrick insisted on having Charlotee in the room. (recorded in letters)Thank heavens for modern medicine - in these instances. In the 17th century, there were no effective analgesics, so there was little to relieve Ashwell's symptoms, other than nerving herself up to have the tooth out.

Australian Susan  •  Link

To add to dirk's website about ancient dental practices, here is a story from the BBC website about prehistoric dentistry. Amazing.

Patricia  •  Link

I suspect that, when people speak of "the good old days", they aren't thinking about medicine or dentistry.
Sure hope the tooth fairy was generous back then!

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

House of Lords Journal today

Petition against Priests, &c. and King's Answer, to be printed.

The Duke of Albemarle reported, "That himself and those Lords as were appointed with some Members of the House of Commons have waited on the King, and given Him Thanks, as they were directed; and His Majesty hath given Order for the Printing and Publishing those Papers as were desired might be printed."

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Will's coming up 21, too old to be beaten, and probably the wrong class too. Remember he is Blackborne's nephew. He is also far more than a servant, much more like a personal assistant.

Sam stands up for Tom Hater, whom he greatly esteems, and whose career he assists. Ironically, Hater would eventually get the bumbling Minnes' job as Comptroller of the Navy!

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Back when I was a lad I had a girlfriend whose mother came out from Newfoundland for a visit. Her teeth were the cause of much pain and her solution (if it could be called that) was to drop cloves into the cavities. That lovely lady had grit in more ways than one!
I imagine this solution dated back some ways. In Pepy's time using cloves in this way would be a very expensive solution.

jimmigee  •  Link

Clove oil is still used as a relief from toothache. Yes, the "good old days" of medicine and dentristry were NOT.

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