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Messages - Andrew Tarr

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The Common Room / Re: How to explain his “gentleman” status?
« on: Wednesday 26 May 21 09:21 BST (UK)  »
I think it means simply that he has no occupation - i.e. he no longer occupies himself.  It probably corresponds to the ladies who 'live on own means'.  Presumably he has planted tea profitably.

On my wife's tree is a very ordinary lad who married in Gateshead in the 1850s, describing his father as a 'gentleman', which had fascinated his family.  I unearthed what I could, and my presumption is that his teenage mother, who apparently did not marry until her thirties, had possibly been taken advantage of by the local squire.  So to that extent the description may have been accurate.

The Common Room / Re: Surname evolution... could Bryan/Brian become Brant?
« on: Tuesday 25 May 21 09:14 BST (UK)  »
I think 'evolution' is the wrong word to apply to names at the time you mention.  Few people could read or write, and the only 'standard' spelling was in Latin.  Scribes tried to write what they heard, so what got recorded would depend on the speaker.  As literacy grew, names tended not to evolve, as their owners became attached to them, so many variants were 'fossilised'.

My tree includes a family in east Somerset which changed from Allard to Allwood.  I can just about imagine a West Country accent somewhere between those two spellings.

The Common Room / Re: Sixpence
« on: Saturday 22 May 21 23:13 BST (UK)  »
The original 5 New Pence piece was the same size as a shilling and a 10 New Pence piece was the same size as a florin (2 shillings). Are the present coins smaller than original New Pence coins or just lighter? Or is it just me thinking everything is smaller now?  There was no new coin worth the same as an old sixpence.

We were decimalised in February 1971 - just over 50 years ago.  To begin with, the values which would be retained stayed the same to limit confusion - that was the shilling (5p) and the florin.  Anything smaller had no exact equivalent.  As the 'silver' coins were bulky, much later they shrank to the size we have now.  We had to accept the 7-sided 50p piece instead of ten-bob notes !

It always seemed silly to me that we had florins (2/-) as well as half-crowns (2/6), both huge coins which quickly wore holes in trouser pockets.  The reason was that florins were a Victorian attempt at decimalisation which went no further, but that coin persisted.

The Common Room / Re: Seaching PRs and came across these symbols
« on: Saturday 22 May 21 09:21 BST (UK)  »
Schoolboy German comes in handy, sometimes ;)

As I also suggested, schoolboy French shows things better than German :

Monday (Lundi);  Tuesday (Mardi: Mars);  Wednesday (Mercredi);  Thursday (Jeudi: Jupiter);  Friday (Vendredi: Venus).

I checked the perpetual calendar linked above (#20) and most of the dates in the OP matched for 1701.  It's not clear whether that corresponds to '1701' starting or ending in March - which is why transcribers of old records have to show either/or.

The Common Room / Re: Seaching PRs and came across these symbols
« on: Friday 21 May 21 23:08 BST (UK)  »
Forgive me for seeming not quite on top of all this, but have we actually reached a consensus as to what these planetary symbols actually mean? A day of the week, or an hour of the day?
I don't know about a consensus, but after Sandblown's explicit diagram above I am surprised that you still seem to have doubts - unless you disbelieve the diagram of course ...  :)

I'm not sure how you could assume anything to do with hours of the day - please explain.

The Common Room / Re: Seaching PRs and came across these symbols
« on: Friday 21 May 21 18:24 BST (UK)  »
Well, if nothing else, I think that diagram answers what the symbols on the OP must be about.  We  are looking at Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, as we supposed.  Presumably the original scribe knew what he was doing ?

The Common Room / Re: Seaching PRs and came across these symbols
« on: Friday 21 May 21 15:08 BST (UK)  »
Yes, but surely that means if you were calculating back from now to a date in 1702, the days of the week would be offset by 3 days?

Can we be sure of the year we are discussing ? The calendar year then began on March 25th - which may explain why the extract we are shown starts on the 30th ?  We may be looking at 1701 or 1703 (new style).  Tho that would only make a day's difference to our calculation of course .... >:(

The Common Room / Re: Seaching PRs and came across these symbols
« on: Friday 21 May 21 12:31 BST (UK)  »
Maybe the planetary symbols represent the time of day?: The Chaldean Sequence allocates a planet for each hour of the day...the symbols on the document are the Sun, Mercury and Saturn. Could the word at the top of the column possibly be "Hour" ?

Given that the symbols are Sun, Mercury and Saturn, corresponding to Sunday, Wednesday (Mercredi in French) and Saturday, they are internally consistent within the sample shown above; but it seems that the original scribe was using a calendar out of step with Guy's calculations - possibly one of astrological significance ?

The Common Room / Re: Seaching PRs and came across these symbols
« on: Friday 21 May 21 09:15 BST (UK)  »
The problem is the symbols do not always match the days of the week the dates pertain to.
For example March the 30th was a Thursday not a Sunday, the 6th of April in 1702 was also a Thursday, not a Sunday the symbol refers to.
The 16th was a Sunday but the symbol claims it to be a Friday, however the 30th is a Sunday which coincides with the symbol.

Your hypothesis may well be right, Guy, but your last point about April 16th and 30th is not, as they both show the same symbol (as they should).
Perhaps we should try to interpret the column heading starting W..  The two characters following resemble the 'e' in June.

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