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Re: [pepysdiary] Decoded Roger Morrice diary reveals dark days of C17

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  • Terry Foreman
    Michael R, Thanks very much for the word. The publication of the Entring Book has been much-awaited indeed! If it were not in copyright it would be a
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 5, 2007
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      Michael R,

      Thanks very much for the word. The publication of the Entring Book has
      been much-awaited indeed! If it were not in copyright it would be a
      wonderful blog to follow on the end of PepysDiary.


      At 04:13 AM 8/5/2007 +0000, you wrote:
      > Decoded Roger Morrice diary reveals dark days
      >By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Sunday Telegraph
      >Last Updated: 2:15am BST 05/08/2007
      ># Extracts: Entring Book of Roger Morrice
      >Freak weather, prisoners held without trial, bishops behaving badly:
      >it's the stuff of everyday news. Except these are not 21st-century
      >reports, they are 17th-century ones.
      >It has taken seven years - at least two longer than expected - and the
      >collaboration of six leading international academics to extract these
      >stories of life in the late Stuart period from the "diary" of Roger
      >Morrice, a Puritan cleric-turned-lobby correspondent.
      >Prof Mark Goldie, decoded Roger Morrice diary reveals dark days
      >Prof Mark Goldie with his recently published set of 'The Entering Book
      >of Roger Morrice 1677-1691'
      >His Entring Book, which lay forgotten for 300 years in a small
      >research library in London, was unearthed in 2000, but this week the
      >journal, hailed as "the most important unpublished British diary of
      >the later 17th century", will be published.
      >The work has been compared in importance to that of Samuel Pepys.
      >The research team, led by Mark Goldie, of Cambridge University, has
      >sifted through 1,500 pages, which amounts to nearly one million words
      >of 17th-century English. This includes 40,000 words written in an
      >archaic shorthand, critical of the monarch of the day, Charles II,
      >which had to be decoded by a specialist.
      >"It is a huge source of material that will play a very significant
      >role in helping historians and students understand the period," said
      >Mr Goldie. "It shows England in a very different mood to the Pepys
      >diary, which was celebrating getting rid of the Puritans."
      >Morrice's diary begins in 1677 and ends in 1691, covering the reigns
      >of Charles II, James II, and William III and Mary II. He depicted a
      >darker England thrown into a great crisis of "popery and arbitrary power".
      >His writing was shaped by his personal experiences. Born in 1628, he
      >became vicar of Duffield in Derbyshire in 1658, but was expelled from
      >his parish four years later after Charles II returned from exile,
      >introducing the high church Restoration era that persecuted and jailed
      >Morrice moved to London where he became a de facto investigative
      >journalist, relying partly on the gossip of the popular coffee houses
      >and on a well-placed source in the king's privy council whose name was
      >hidden in his coded writing.
      >"Like all journalists, Morrice needed good sources and he was lucky to
      >have a very leaky secretary on the privy council called Richard
      >Collings," said Mr Goldie.
      >Morrice's sources enabled him to provide unique accounts of events of
      >great historical significance, including the death of Charles II.
      >"On Thursday night a priest came up the back way. It was believed by
      >all that he confessed the king, gave him extreme unction and that His
      >Majesty died a papist."
      >In the diary, he writes of the persecution faced by those who refused
      >to abide by the laws of the Stuart state and established Church,
      >particularly against those, such as the Quakers and Puritans, who
      >worshipped illegally.
      >"Eleven young men and women were seized at a chapel and convicted,
      >fined and jailed, where they are put to hard labour," he wrote.
      >Other passages cover issues that are just as relevant today,
      >discussing law, religion, terrorism or weather.
      >"The government has violated the fundamental laws of the kingdom and
      >advanced arbitrary power and infringed liberty and property… and
      >judges convict offenders… without any trial by juries," he writes on
      >January 23, 1679.
      >Describing the detention of those suspected of plotting against the
      >king, on October 16, 1684, he tells of the case of one unfortunate
      >victim where the soldiers were ordered to "keep him from sleeping,
      >which they did without intermission for nine or 10 days. When he was
      >ready to die … the balls of his eyes swollen as big as tennis balls …
      >they tormented him by the thumbs".
      >Elsewhere he reveals the debauched lifestyle of some of the country's
      >most senior clergy: "The Bishop of London has lain in a bawdy house."
      >He describes how in the winter of 1683-84 the Thames froze so hard
      >that coaches travelled across the ice, an ox was roasted and bear
      >baiting and other sports were held on the river's surface.
      >Frances Henderson, who deciphered Morrice's code, said: "He clearly
      >found it important to conceal his sources and developed a very
      >effective shorthand code."
      >Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph
      >Media Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without
      >licence. For the full copyright statement see Copyright
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