I have added a bit of extra contextual information in the sidebar next to every diary entry. You can now see:

  • The average temperature for that month (daily data isn’t available until 1772) as recorded by Gordon Manley of the Royal Meteorological Society. You can view the full dataset on the Met Office’s website.

  • Links to the relevant daily Journals for the House of Commons and House of Lords from British History Online. These will hopefully give some context to Pepys’ more political activities.

My thanks to Terry Foreman for finding both these sources of information that help bring Pepys’ world alive. If anyone can suggest anything else, do let me know.


First Reading

Jesse  •  Link

Excellent idea. I was thinking that a link to Evelyn's diary would be nice but the Tufts site is terribly annoying and good luck making it of practical use. I've just done a few casual searches for 17th century info, but I'm sure there has got to be something out there that's worthwhile linking to.

Jesse  •  Link

I know. How about letting users add other items related to the day here instead of the regular annotation area. In addition to Evelyn's diary entries you could include dated letters e.g. today's (11/1/1664) from Coventry to Sandwich.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

I'd prefer to keep annotations and non-annotations quite separate to be honest, with the latter having more constraints in terms of accuracy (whereas annotations can have more opinion) and legality (must be free of copyright).

If there was a site that had Evelyn's diary on it with a separate entry for each page, that would be ideal to link to (or even grab the text from and include that).

Jesse  •  Link

Strictly speaking I'm also proposing only non-annotations such that in theory only the link or directly quoted content would be provided. Of course I realize 'in theory' is often far from fact. Theory might allow something like Terry F's annotation for 11/1/1664 or a more minimal version of it.

Too much effort and hassle to enforce I suppose but it could add some heft to the sidebar - thanks.

Roger  •  Link

First congrats on a great website.
As an employee of the Met Office I think I'll try and get the 'Climate Mob' to display such data on a more user friendly basis. Your link downloads a rather complex notepad file which may need the user to go to the 'format' tab and initiate 'word wrap'. Even then the data isnt easy to interpolate.
Gordon Manley wrote his papers in 1953 and 1974 in the Quarterly Journal of Meteorological Society. Being a Forecaster and not a Climatologist I'm not quite sure where he got his data from. All very interesting nonetheless.
Finally, the temperature you publish daily is a monthly mean temperature(ie average of max and min) but for 'Central England'. Even in Pepys' time the mean temperature for London would have been warmer than further north.
Nevertheless, a useful addition to a great site, especially for 'weather buffs'! Keep up the good work.

Keith Tinkler  •  Link

Once you get to November 1668 my web site has a transcription of the Gadbury diary. The site also has (under CET) Manley's series and a "generational" view of monthly weather as well, based on Manley.

I know Samuel stopped his diary in May 1669 so there wont be a lot of use for it, but there are also some Oxford records from John Locke which includes reference to the Fire of London..

Log in to post a comment.

If you don't have an account, then register here.