Thursday 29 April 1669

Up, and to the Office, where all the morning, and at noon dined at home, and then to the Office again, there to despatch as much business as I could, that I might be at liberty to-morrow to look after my many things that I have to do, against May-day. So at night home to supper and to bed.

5 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

Apr. 29. The curator produced his magneticall watch improued by hauing soe contriued the magneticall Ballance (which is insteed of a Pendulum as to make it vibrate as Little arches as shall be desird thereby to make the Vibrations always aequall and the magnet to haue a stronger influence vpon the said Ballance. It was again ordered that a hand shewing minutes & seconds should be added to it, thereby to compare it with a Pendulum for an assurance of its aequall going. The curator mentiond that he had yet another way for measuring time Exactly wherein a Suddain turning motion should not cause a stop or Disorder as it did in this way.

There were also made 2 microscopicall obseruations. 1. of the texture of fatt. which apppeared to be like froth full of cells. the other of a kind of mould vpon Bookbinders Paste, which was found to haue a fine mosse growing on it: that had on the tops of its stems a head Like seed. --

mr neiles theory of motio[n] [… ]…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"[Neile] entered the debate on the theory of motion, as a critic of the empiricist stance of other members. His own theory of motion was held up from publication by unfavourable peer review by Wallis, in 1667; a revision was communicated to the society on 29 April 1669. Neile objected to Wren's 1668 work on collision as lacking discussion of causality: he asked for discussion of the nature of momentum. His own work was much influenced by ideas drawn from the De Corpore of Thomas Hobbes."…

Neile was one of those who regarded the helter-skelter experimentation as no "philosophical" or scientific program at all, and causality as the key to producing an explanatory theory (the Grand Unifyied Theory of its time).

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Today Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin, continues his visit with the Court at Newmarket.
I've standardized names, scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs:

The following day, 9 May/April 29, 1669 the sky appeared lowering and cloudy, and threatened rain, which would prevent the horseraces that were to take place on that day; but at sunrise, the clouds partly dispersed, and the king went into the country, and his highness along with him, to renew the diversion of hare hunting; the great pleasure of which, in this plain county, is, that being entirely free from trees, it leaves to the huntsman the full enjoyment of seeing the animals without interruption, and observing their subtle flight, and frequent deceptions in turning and doubling round and round, passing frequently by the same place, and retracing their steps.


After enjoying this recreation, his highness returned at mid-day, and before going to his own quarters, went to those of the king, and the tables being prepared beforehand, there dined with his highness, my Lord James, Duke of Ormonde, steward of his majesty's household; my Lord George, Duke of Buckingham, master of the horse; my Lord Edward, Earl of Manchester, chamberlain; my Lord O'Brien, Earl of Thomond; my Lord Germain; the Marquis of Blandford; Bernard Howard of Norfolk; my Lord William Crofts; my Lord Francis Newport, Baron Newport; Sir --, Elliot; and the gentlemen belonging to his highness's retinue. [My guess is courtier Sir THOMAS ELLIOT who shared Charles' days in exile?]

At three o'clock, according to the English mode of reckoning, the king and the Duke of York went from Newmarket to see the horseraces, and repaired to the place appropriated to this sport, going to a certain spot which is nearly in the middle of the course, and there his majesty stopped and amused himself with seeing my Lord Blandford and my Lord Germain play at bowls.

The racecourse is a tract of ground in the neighborhood of Newmarket, which, extending to the distance of 4 miles, over a spacious and level meadow covered with very short grass, is marked out by tall wooden posts, painted white. These point out the road that leads directly to the goal, to which they are continued the whole way; they are placed at regular distances from one another, and the last is distinguished by a flag mounted upon it, to designate the termination of the course.


The horses intended for this exercise, in order to render them more swift, are kept always girt, that their bellies may not drop, and thereby interfere with the agility of their movements; and when the time of the races draws near, they feed them with the greatest care, and very sparingly, giving them, for the most part, in order to keep them in full vigor, beverages composed of soaked bread, and fresh eggs.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Two horses only started on this occasion, one belonging to Bernard Howard of Norfolk, and the other to Sir Elliot. They left Newmarket saddled in a very simple and light manner, after the English fashion, led by the hand, and at a slow pace, by the men who were to ride them, dressed in taffeta of different colors; that of Howard being white, and that of Elliot green.

When they reached the place where they were to start, they mounted, and loosening the reins, let the horses go, keeping them in at the beginning, that they might not be too eager at first setting off, and their strength fail them in consequence, at the more important part of the race; and the farther they advanced in the course, the more they urged them, forcing them to continue it at full speed.

When they came to the station where the King and the Duke of York, with some lords and gentlemen of his majesty's court, were waiting on horseback till they should pass, the latter set off after them at the utmost speed, which was scarcely inferior to that of the racehorses; for the English horses being accustomed to run, can keep up with the racers without difficulty; and they are frequently trained for this purpose in another race ground, out of London, situated on a hill, which swells from the plain with so gradual and gentle a rise, that at a distance it cannot be distinguished from a plain; and there is always a numerous concourse of carriages there to see the races, upon which considerable bets are made.

Meanwhile, his highness, with his attendants and others of his court, stopping on horseback at a little distance from the goal, rode along the meadows, waiting the arrival of the horses, and of his majesty, who came up close after them, with a numerous train of gentlemen and ladies, who stood so thick on horseback, and galloped so freely, that they were no way inferior to those who had been for years accustomed to the manege.

As the king passed, his highness bowed, and immediately turned and followed his majesty to the goal, where trumpets and drums which were in readiness for that purpose, sounded in applause of the conqueror, which was the horse of Sir — Elliot.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link



From the race-ground his majesty being very much heated, adjourned to his house, accompanied by his highness, and by the greater part of the gentlemen who had come to see the race; and having paid his compliments, his highness departed, retiring to his own lodgings, that he might leave his majesty at liberty, who having rested a little, went out again on foot, and took a walk through Newmarket, and to a short distance out of the town.

His highness did the same, and appeared again at court in the evening.



His highness, Cosmo, must be considered only as a traveler. Under his direction, the narrator of the records was Count Lorenzo Magalotti, afterwards Secretary to the Academy del Cimento, and one of the most learned and eminent characters of the court of Ferdinand II.

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