Wednesday 22 January 1667/68

Up, mightily busy all the morning at the office. At noon with Lord Brouncker to Sir D. Gawden’s, at the Victualling-Office, to dinner, where I have not dined since he was Sheriff: He expected us; and a good dinner, and much good company; and a fine house, and especially two rooms, very fine, he hath built there. His lady a good lady; but my Lord led himself and me to a great absurdity in kissing all the ladies, but the finest of all the company, leaving her out, I know not how; and I was loath to do it, since he omitted it. Here little Chaplin dined, who is like to be Sheriff the next year; and a pretty humoured little man he is. I met here with Mr. Talents, the younger, of Magdalene College, Chaplain here to the Sheriff; which I was glad to see, though not much acquainted with him. This day come the first demand from the Commissioners of Accounts to us, and it contains more than we shall ever be able to answer while we live, and I do foresee we shall be put to much trouble and some shame, at least some of us. Thence stole away after dinner to my cozen Kate’s, and there find the Crowner’s jury sitting, but they could not end it, but put off the business to Shrove Tuesday next, and so do give way to the burying of him, and that is all; but they all incline to find it a natural death, though there are mighty busy people to have it go otherwise, thinking to get his estate, but are mistaken. Thence, after sitting with her and company a while, comforting her: though I can find she can, as all other women, cry, and yet talk of other things all in a breath. So home, and there to cards with my wife, Deb., and Betty Turner, and Batelier, and after supper late to sing. But, Lord! how did I please myself to make Betty Turner sing, to see what a beast she is as to singing, not knowing how to sing one note in tune; but, only for the experiment, I would not for 40s. hear her sing a tune: worse than my wife a thousand times, so that it do a little reconcile me to her. So late to bed.

6 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"after dinner to my cozen Kate's, and there find the Crowner's jury sitting"


Chiefly Brit., Now Dial. coroner


"The office of Coroner is a uniquely English institution, though perhaps 'Norman' might be more accurate in the sense in which we know it was instigated almost eight hundred years ago, during the reign of Richard the Lionheart....The edict that formally established the Coroners was Article 20 of the "Articles of Eyre" in September 1194. The "General Eyre" was the periodic visitation of the King's itinerant Judges, who travelled slowly around the country dispensing what passed for justice in those days. It was the forerunner of the "Assizes", derived from the Norman-French for "sittings" which, in turn, of course, gave way to the present Crown Courts in more recent times. [ The Eyre… ]

The Eyre of September 1194 was held in the County of Kent, and Article 20 baldly stated that:


And that is the only statutory basis for the Coroner. Each county had three Coroners and a poor man who had to walk behind their horses, carrying the "Coroners' Rolls" and pen and ink: ....The keeping of the pleas of the Crown was the source of the title, the original Latin was "custos placitorum coronas" from which the word "coroner" is derived. He was referred to for hundreds of years as "the Crowner" - as in Shakespeare's Hamlet, where derisively it is said "But is this law? Ay, marry, is't crowner's quest law!"....

[ The coroner before 1307… ]

Unlike the Continent, where medico-legal autopsies were held in Bologna as early as the 13th Century, the English Coroner had no help from doctors until relatively recent times. It was not until 1836 that he was allowed to pay a medical witness a fee. Before this, the Coroner had to do the best he could by himself: looking at the body to detect any sign of violence and to determine the number and type of wounds present. "

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Definition of EYRE

: a circuit traveled by an itinerant justice in medieval England or the court he presided over

Origin of EYRE
Middle English eire, from Anglo-French, journey, eyre, from errer to travel — more at errant

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...worse than my wife a thousand times, so that it do a little reconcile me to her."

So is that Bess' singing Turner's nightmare croaking has reconciled you to...Or the joy of knowing those lessons have made Bess sing better than at least one person reconciles you to poor Betty T's croaks?

Gee, and we thought Bess was on the verge of trilling...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Eyre might make an interesting, descriptive surname for a fictional character.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Your reference to Jane of the Brontes is most apt, and has not passed unnoticed.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This day come the first demand from the Commissioners of Accounts to us, and it contains more than we shall ever be able to answer while we live"

L&M note the Brooke House Committee wrote on the 21st asking for an account of naval expenses, stores, contracts, and the hiring of ships during the late war. The questions were referred to the various officers concerned. For the Board's answers see and…

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