Sunday 2 October 1664

(Lord’s day). My wife not being well to go to church I walked with my boy through the City, putting in at several churches, among others at Bishopsgate, and there saw the picture usually put before the King’s book, put up in the church, but very ill painted, though it were a pretty piece to set up in a church. I intended to have seen the Quakers, who, they say, do meet every Lord’s day at the Mouth —[Tavern. D.W.]— at Bishopsgate; but I could see none stirring, nor was it fit to aske for the place, so I walked over Moorefields, and thence to Clerkenwell church, and there, as I wished, sat next pew to the fair Butler, who indeed is a most perfect beauty still; and one I do very much admire myself for my choice of her for a beauty, she having the best lower part of her face that ever I saw all days of my life. After church I walked to my Lady Sandwich’s, through my Lord Southampton’s new buildings in the fields behind Gray’s Inn; and, indeed, they are a very great and a noble work. So I dined with my Lady, and the same innocent discourse that we used to have, only after dinner, being alone, she asked me my opinion about Creed, whether he would have a wife or no, and what he was worth, and proposed Mrs. Wright for him, which, she says, she heard he was once inquiring after. She desired I would take a good time and manner of proposing it, and I said I would, though I believed he would love nothing but money, and much was not to be expected there, she said. So away back to Clerkenwell Church, thinking to have got sight of la belle Boteler again, but failed, and so after church walked all over the fields home, and there my wife was angry with me for not coming home, and for gadding abroad to look after beauties, she told me plainly, so I made all peace, and to supper. This evening came Mrs. Lane (now Martin) with her husband to desire my helpe about a place for him. It seems poor Mr. Daniel is dead of the Victualling Office, a place too good for this puppy to follow him in. But I did give him the best words I could, and so after drinking a glasse of wine sent them going, but with great kindnesse. Go to supper, prayers, and to bed.

21 Annotations

Glyn  •  Link

He has made an understandable error and gone to The Mouth just outside the Bishopgate entrance into the City rather than to The Bull and Mouth near the Aldersgate entrance into the City. As he then walked via Moorfields to Clerkenwell, he must have got quite close to his original intended destination. I don't believe that taverns were open on a Sunday, so perhaps he loitered on a street corner near The Mouth in the hope of seeing Quakers going inside it.

Ding  •  Link

Mrs Lane drops Sam a note at the office and he's all a flutter, but when she brings hubby round to the house looking for a job, it's calm as can be and "Let's have a spot of wine." Our Sam can hide that guilty conscience pretty well.

Terry F  •  Link

Clerkenwell church

"CLERKENWELL, an extensive parish, in the Finsbury division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex; separated from the city of London on the south by the intervening parish of St. Sepulchre, and on the west by the liberties of Saffron-Hill and Ely-Rents; and containing, with the chapelry of Pentonville, 56,756 inhabitants. This place derives its name from an ancient well, round which the clerks, or inferior clergy, of London, were in the habit of assembling at certain periods, for the performance of sacred dramas, as noticed in the reign of Henry II. by Fitz-Stephen, who calls the well Fons Clericorum. The site appears to have been well adapted for the purpose, being in the centre of gently rising grounds, that formed an extensive natural amphitheatre, for the accommodation of the numerous spectators who attended. The most celebrated of these festivals occurred in 1391, in the reign of Richard II., and continued for three days, during which several sacred dramas were performed by the clerks, in presence of the king and queen, attended by the whole court. Soon after the year 1100, Jordan Briset and Muriel his wife founded a priory here for nuns of the Benedictine order, dedicated to St. Mary, and the site of which is now occupied by St. James's church:"

Clerkenwell's parish green led into Aylsbury Street, east of St. James church on the west side of this segment of the 1746 Rocque map

Bradford  •  Link

"at Bishopsgate . . . there saw the picture usually put before the King's book, put up in the church,"

Did a painting usually obscure the King's prayer book from view, in case he was reading "L'École des Dames"? Translation, please.

"the fair Butler . . . [has] the best lower part of her face that ever I saw all days of my life."
Does this mean that her chin was comelier than her eyes? A singular beauty, indeed! Maybe her nose was out of joint.

"poor Mr. Daniel is dead of the Victualling Office": office-life has had that mortal effect on many a sad soul.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Pardon me but where are the Quakers meeting?"

I can see why that question might not do...


"...for gadding abroad to look after beauties, she told me plainly..."

Nice to know our girl's no fool.

Patricia  •  Link

"I do very much admire myself for my choice of her for a beauty" What appalling candour! I admire her beauty and admire myself for my good taste in admiring her--a variant on the Mutual Admiration Society.

Terry F  •  Link

L&M say this is the picture "in St. Botolph's (no longer there)" to which Pepys here refers. "The image of the Eikon Basilike was engraved by William Marshall (fl. 1617-49) and produced within days of the King's martyrdom. It was of such popularity that Marshall had to re-engrave the plates eight times."

Terry F  •  Link

"the picture usually put before the King's book" -- i.e., the frontispiece to the book *Eikon Basilike* celebrating the memory of Charles I.

andy  •  Link

gadding abroad to look after beauties

yes, she knows, and now he knows she knows...and then comes Betty Lane, just to prove the point. Shame Betty didn't meet Pembleton coming out as she was going in...

Australian Susan  •  Link

Where are the Quakers meeting?

If he had been trying to find a Catholic Mass being celebrated, one could understand his caution in making open enquiries, but maybe asking about Dissenters too openly was not a politic act either or perhaps Sam just could not find anyone he felt like approaching to ask in the area where he was? No-one fit for the purpose.

JWB  •  Link

1) East London History:
"Suppression of conventicles in London
The authorities would now expend a great deal of time and energy breaking up conventicles, reasoning that if they couldn't stop people thinking dissent, they could at least stop them spreading it. The peaceable Quakers carried on regardless, and in the early 1660s, regular meetings were taking place at the houses of William Beane in Stepney, of Captain James Brock, of Peter Burdett in Westbury Street, Spitalfields, and of Sibyl Heaman in Limehouse.

By 1669 Stepney had have several buildings fitted up as meeting houses, as well as conventicles in private houses. Presbyterians had fitted up a warehouse near Ratcliff Cross, where 200 were said to meet, and a purpose-built house in Spitalfields, where 800 met under Dr Samuel Annesley; they also had a chapel in Broad Street, Wapping-Stepney, from 1668.

Quakers meet in Ratcliff
Quakers meanwhile had a purpose-built brick house in Schoolhouse Lane, Ratcliff (Brook Street), for 500, and a meeting place for 500 in Westbury Street. Baptists met at the houses of Thomas Launder, a rich butcher, in Limehouse, where the congregation was 100; of Mr Cherry in Poplar, where Launder was the preacher; in Wapping they had a purpose-built house in Artichoke Lane, with a congregation of 200, as well as the old meeting house in Meeting House Alley.

In 1670, the lieutenant of the Tower Hamlets, Sir John Robinson, was ordered to keep watch on sectarians. Robinson, who thought the dissenters were losing heart, wanted to compel owners of meeting houses to put them to other uses. Between 1661 and 1689 more conventiclers were summonsed from Stepney than anywhere else in Middlesex; partly because Robinson had a large cadre of troops at his disposal.

Dissenters to Newgate Gaol
Yet the impression grows of the constabulary and army facing an unstoppable tide. Quaker meetings at Beane's house were broken up on 20 successive Sundays in 1664-5, when attendances ranged from 14 to 134 and the numbers convicted from 4 to 34. From 1664 inhabitants convicted for a third time were transported, their goods being seized by the constables to pay for their own transportation ... yet they kept on meeting.

And the indomitable offenders had widespread sympathy, even support, from other local people. In 1665 by a Stepney yeoman and five craftsmen of Limehouse were fined for refusing to help the constable take conventiclers from Sibyl Heaman's house to Newgate Gaol. In 1685 a headborough (a local official) was fined for warning a Quaker about a warrant."

2)Marshall Massey:
"And that was only the beginning. H. Larry Ingle reports that after the Conventicle Act 1664,

Within a year five London meetings alone produced over 2,100 arrests of Quakers whose only crime was being at worship, although it was probable that some of these imprisonments included people incarcerated more than once.

-- Ingle, First Among Friends. George Fox and the Creation of Quakerism (Oxford Univ., 1994), p. 212"

Bradford  •  Link

Thanks, Terry: how misleading prepositions can be if one does not know the writer's train of thought! The linked image of Charles I is clear enough to read the "Explanation" of the emblem, and also to give a little frisson to those who didn't know there was a Society of King Charles the Martyr in existence today.

Glyn  •  Link

Gray's Inn is where Sam and Elizabeth sometimes went to see everyone promenade in their finest, most fashionable clothes on Sunday afternoons. No wonder she's annoyed that he was doing this while she was stuck at home by herself.

Cum grano salis  •  Link

"...sat next pew to the fair Butler..."
Re: Quakers : They upset the order conduct of the lessors by not giving due respect to the better types, just like the Navy royal likes foreign flags to be dipped in their presence.
This practice of giving due reverence is still in vogue in most institutions, especially boot camp and freshman years.
All born equal but some be more equal than others.
Here was a case of one correct view on life, mine not yours, but Sam wants his own answers not those given by edict from the pulpit, it be same for many people not to take everything on faith as outlined by Descartes.

Kit  •  Link

Volume X (the Companion) of L&M says taverns were allowed to be open any time except during Sunday service hours. Not sure what those hours would be, as there were long and multiple services.

Terry F  •  Link

"a place too good for this puppy to follow him in."

I take it the place is the late Mr. Daniels's in the Victualing Office, and "this puppy" is Samuel Martin, "Fat Betty" Lane's new husband.

Very contemporary sound to "puppy" here; I wonder how old this usage is?

Cum grano salis  •  Link

OED to the rescue:

2. a. colloq. (freq. derogatory). A foolish, conceited, or impertinent young man; (also) a young person, esp. one who is inexperienced or naive.
In later use often somewhat arch.
In quot. a1613 perh.: a mannequin.
?1544 E. ALLEN

puppy, n.< Middle French, French poupée POUPÉE n.

Cum grano salis  •  Link

"...there my wife was angry with me for not coming home, and for gadding abroad to look after beauties, she told me plainly,..."

By gad sir

I should gladly ring your gaddy neck with a gad
but I am in the mood just to gad thy head with this gad.
you gad fly sir,
Have you finished your gadding.

" I made all peace, and to supper..."
another of his forays
1662-3 PEPYS Diary 1 Jan., Willing to make an end of my gaddings and to set to my business.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

At the Bull and Mouth, Watergate, was held the most important Quaker meeting in the city. The room there had been used by Friends since 1654; destroyed by the Fire, it was later rebuilt and served as a meeting-place until 1740: W. Beck and T.F. Ball, London Friends' Meetings, ch. ix. The Quakers were the boldest of all nonconformists in defying the laws against conventicles.
(L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lord Southampton’s new buildings in the fields behind Gray’s Inn"

The development by Lord Treasurer Southampton of what is now Bloomsbury Sq. His mansion, afterwards known as Bedford House, occupied the whole n. side of the square, having 50 hearths: Mdx. R.O., Hearth Tax, 1664, 2, mb. 8.
(L&M footnote)

Ivan  •  Link

Although Sam married for love it seems rather the case of the pot calling the kettle black when he observes to Lady Sandwich that Creed "would love nothing but money" when a suitable partner is being discussed. It would seem that Mrs. Wright is not very wealthy!

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