Saturday 8 June 1667

Up, and to the office, where all the news this morning is, that the Dutch are come with a fleete of eighty sail to Harwich, and that guns were heard plain by Sir W. Rider’s people at Bednallgreene, all yesterday even. So to the office, we all sat all the morning, and then home to dinner, where our dinner a ham of French bacon, boiled with pigeons, an excellent dish. Here dined with us only W. Hewer and his mother. After dinner to the office again, where busy till night, and then home and to read a little and then to bed. The news is confirmed that the Dutch are off of Harwich, but had done nothing last night. The King hath sent down my Lord of Oxford to raise the countries there; and all the Westerne barges are taken up to make a bridge over the River, about the Hope, for horse to cross the River, if there be occasion.


15 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So to the office, we all sat all the morning, and then home to dinner, where our dinner a ham of French bacon, boiled with pigeons, an excellent dish."

Caught fresh outside, no doubt...

Oh, well, with disaster a stone's throw away, might as well enjoy a good boiled pigeon.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Pigeons?

(The Pepys's meal as a metaphor.)

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

that the Dutch are come with a fleete of eighty sail to Harwich,

Spoiler. Bad intelligence, Sam, as tomorrow will reveal.

JWB  •  Link

''The wife dies and the husband wants to know what's in those pages—..any infidelity,"'

"Do You Know, Offhand, Anyone Who Knows Shorthand?
As a Skill Fades, Translators Are in Demand; Ms. Sanders Charges 20.5 Cents a Word"(plus 0.20/minute)
Barry Newman, today's page 1, Wall Street Journal

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"The King hath sent down my Lord of Oxford to raise the countries there;"

L&M note the Earl of Oxford was Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse (the Oxford Blues), and also Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire.

"all the Westerne barges are taken up to make a bridge over the River, about the Hope, for horse to cross the River, if there be occasion."

Western barges plied between the upstream ports (Windsor, Maidenhead, etc.) and the capital. Many brought corn and market produce to Queenhithe. They had been used before for the building of bridges -- in 1588 at Tilbury, and 1642 at Putney. (L&M footnote)

Marquess  •  Link

Boiled meat sounds bland and awful.

Mary K  •  Link

Boiled smoked/cured ham or gammon is far from awful and very far from bland. You really wouldn't want to tackle a joint of it uncooked and it's often too salty to eat roast. Simmer long and gently and you have a delicious dinner.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Sounds like coungry ham

Country ham is a variety of heavily salted ham preserved by curing and smoking, associated with the cuisine of the Southern United States.[1] Used as a method of preservation from before widespread refrigeration, country ham is packed in a mixture of salts, sugar, and spices and allowed to cure for a long period of time, sometimes months, and often smoked afterwards. It is extremely dry and salty, often too salty to be palatable on its own. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country_ham

JB  •  Link

SDS - really enjoyed the "matrimonial dispute" in the link, thanks very much!

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Robert Gertz:
"So to the office, we all sat all the morning, and then home to dinner, where our dinner a ham of French bacon, boiled with pigeons, an excellent dish."

Caught fresh outside, no doubt...

Oh, well, with disaster a stone's throw away, might as well enjoy a good boiled pigeon.

——-
It wasn't unusual to eat pigeons in Pepys’ time and up to the present day, though now they’re called squabs. Remember “Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie”? That was apparently good eats.

Bryan  •  Link

At the beginning of the diary at least, SP kept pigeons:
8 February 1659/60 "A little practice on my flageolet, and afterwards walking in my yard to see my stock of pigeons, which begin now with the spring to breed very fast."
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/02/08/

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