Tuesday 1 January 1666/67

Lay long, being a bitter, cold, frosty day, the frost being now grown old, and the Thames covered with ice. Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy. At noon to the ‘Change a little, where Mr. James Houblon and I walked a good while speaking of our ill condition in not being able to set out a fleet (we doubt) this year, and the certain ill effect that must bring, which is lamentable. Home to dinner, where the best powdered goose that ever I eat. Then to the office again, and to Sir W. Batten’s to examine the Commission going down to Portsmouth to examine witnesses about our prizes, of which God give a good issue! and then to the office again, where late, and so home, my eyes sore. To supper and to bed.

18 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Arlington to Ormond
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 1 January 1667

An army of 40,000 men is said to be lying about Conquet, in readiness to be transported to Ireland ... This advice is given by a Flemish vessel, arriving lately at St Michael's Mount in Cornwall ... Letters from Flanders & Holland confirm the report, though confusedly ...

Anglesey to Ormond
Written from: London
Date: 1 January 1667

Mentions advices which have come from France of the shipping of a considerable body of troops, and also a report that a fleet comprising twenty-five Dutch men-of-war has passed the Channel.


Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the best powdered goose that ever I eat"

Powdered Goose?...a once-great English delicacy: salt-cured and smoked goose – the "powder" referred to the salt – which was hugely popular as a feature of grand meals in the 17th century but which has since all but disappeared from view.

cape henry  •  Link

There was a time when wintering wildfowl in the Mid-Atlantic region of America were hunted in vast numbers by professional gunners. This game, which would have included goose, was salted, closely packed in barrels and shipped to the cities of the Northeast. The majority of these gunners were watermen who made their living fishing and crabbing during the warm months. Many who read this will be familiar with salt cod, and there is a variant of that along the American East Coast - "corned" spot, a medium sized salt water school fish. Hams continue to be cured with salt. Even this edition of the Diary has it's own CGS, who has remained salty and well preserved a since its inception.

CGS  •  Link

Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady's chamber.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn't say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stairs.[1]

CGS  •  Link

Goose, having eaten and raised them, come in many tastes, wild and gamey, pond raised [lardy], and grass and corn raised, tasty.
Geese make great guards and will keep thy lawn trim [one day a fortnight else....]
Raising Geese on the the commons not in the Commons of course, was a popular pastime for keeping wenches in trim shape..

CGS  •  Link

Sad day for the Claret set, King needs money and sober sailors. so tax and tax'
H o C:
and also the Opinion of the Committee for Ten Shillings per Tun to be imposed on Wines, for a Recompence to his Royal Highness the Duke of Yorke, for the Prejudice to him in his Wine Licences:

and the Other Mr Pepys meanwhile will be active in the Commons:
Ordered, That Mr. Pepis do carry up such Bills as are ready, to the Lords

Bob T  •  Link

Geese make great guards and will keep thy lawn trim [one day a fortnight else….]
And remember to wear an old pair of shoes.

Michael McCollough  •  Link

"Geese make great guards"- but they're not too discriminating: when I was small my grandparents had a particular goose who wouldn't let me out of the car. I still felt a little bit bad for him the day we ate him, though.

language hat  •  Link

“the best powdered goose that ever I eat”

Thanks for that most interesting link, Terry.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Happy New Year, happy 350th, and happy 7th to Phil, Mary, Language Hat and lurkers there on Jan. 1, 2003 and still aboard. This is my 2nd 350th, having been in Harvard Yard in 1986 for that institution's celebration. (I was also in the Yard in 1936 for the 300th, though a little young to appreciate the occasion, then being 6 mos. old.)

I soaked a salt-cured Virginia (Smithfield) ham for 30 hours and cooked it in water for another 7 hours this week to prepare it for New Years Day luncheon; it was still quite salty.

arby  •  Link

The best country (salt cured) ham I ever had was home grown and aged up a holler in Kentucky. They parboiled it and then wrapped it in a couple of old quilts for 24 hours. Absolutely wonderful, and not too salty at all.
Add my happys to the above, thanks for all the links and the 'splainin this last year, I appreciate it. rb

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I imagine the Houblons as merchant princes found such information as Sam offered as to the fleet's movements and plans for the season very useful.

CGS  •  Link

Life amongst the successful, is to have good current inside info, just never upset thy peers or make them jealous in the execution of gleaned data, otherwise the Tower awaits your presence.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Is this jury-tampering? It strikes me as certainly odd. I'd love to have seen this:

"to the office again, and to Sir W. Batten’s to examine the Commission going down to Portsmouth to examine witnesses about our prizes"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

How to Cook Your Goose (excerpts from this page)

Many Americans are unfamiliar with the wonders of goose fat because they are unfamiliar with goose. The Christmas goose belongs in a Charles Dickens' novel, not a Norman Rockwell painting.

The English who settled America ate goose. But American taste for it lessened with future generations, and goose became a rarity on tables in the New World. There are probably a number of reasons.

A goose has much more fat than a chicken or turkey, although the meat itself is lean. There are easily detached pods of fat that can be pulled out of the goose. Do not discard. Put the fat in a container to render later. This is the good news part.

Goose is not to everyone's taste. It has a stronger flavor than the chicken breast so common in the American diet. Cooked properly, however, it can be a rich, flavorful meat. This is the time of year to give it a try. And, after carefully collecting the goose fat, anyone can make prize-winning potatoes.

Early American Goose

Early Americans ate goose, as they had in England. This version is adapted from Hearthside Cooking: Virginia Plantation Cuisine (Howell Press Inc. 1986) by Nancy Carter Crump. The book is used as a guide for demonstrators at historic sites that feature open-hearth cooking. The recipe is delicious.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the frost being now grown old, and the Thames covered with ice. "

River Thames frost fairs were held on the tideway of the River Thames at London in some of the winters between the 17th century and early 19th century, during the period known as the Little Ice Age, when the river froze over. During that time the British winter was more severe than it is now, and the river was wider and slower, further impeded by the medieval Old London Bridge.

Even at its peak, in the mid-17th century, the Thames freezing at London was less frequent than modern legend sometimes suggests, never exceeding about one year in ten except for four winters between 1649 and 1666.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Thames covered with ice. "

L&M: It thawed on the 6th: J. Goad, Astro-Meteorologice (1690), p. 306.

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