Friday 5 January 1665/66

I with my Lord Bruncker and Mrs. Williams by coach with four horses to London, to my Lord’s house in Covent-Guarden. But, Lord! what staring to see a nobleman’s coach come to town. And porters every where bow to us; and such begging of beggars! And a delightfull thing it is to see the towne full of people again as now it is; and shops begin to open, though in many places seven or eight together, and more, all shut; but yet the towne is full, compared with what it used to be. I mean the City end; for Covent-Guarden and Westminster are yet very empty of people, no Court nor gentry being there. Set Mrs. Williams down at my Lord’s house and he and I to Sir G. Carteret, at his chamber at White Hall, he being come to town last night to stay one day. So my Lord and he and I much talke about the Act, what credit we find upon it, but no private talke between him and I. So I to the ‘Change, and there met Mr. Povy, newly come to town, and he and I to Sir George Smith’s and there dined nobly. He tells me how my Lord Bellases complains for want of money and of him and me therein, but I value it not, for I know I do all that can be done. We had no time to talk of particulars, but leave it to another day, and I away to Cornhill to expect my Lord Bruncker’s coming back again, and I staid at my stationer’s house, and by and by comes my Lord, and did take me up and so to Greenwich, and after sitting with them a while at their house, home, thinking to get Mrs. Knipp, but could not, she being busy with company, but sent me a pleasant letter, writing herself “Barbary Allen.” I went therefore to Mr. Boreman’s for pastime, and there staid an houre or two talking with him, and reading a discourse about the River of Thames, the reason of its being choked up in several places with shelfes; which is plain is, by the encroachments made upon the River, and running out of causeways into the River at every wood-wharfe; which was not heretofore when Westminster Hall and White Hall were built, and Redriffe Church, which now are sometimes overflown with water. I had great satisfaction herein. So home and to my papers for lacke of company, but by and by comes little Mrs. Tooker and sat and supped with me, and I kept her very late talking and making her comb my head, and did what I will with her. So late to bed.

30 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

L&M and Duncan Grey add some transciption at the end

“ …. I had great satisfaction herein; so home, and to my papers for lack of company, but by and by comes little Mrs. Tooker and sat and supped with me, and I kept her very late, talking and making her comb my head; and I did what I will with her et tena grande plaisir con ella,(took great pleasure with her) tocando sa cosa con mi cosa, (touching her thing with my thing) and hazendo la cosa per cette moyen. [doing the thing by this means] (made me ejaculate?) So late to bed.” (Duncan Grey's translation) [mine]
http://www.pepys.info/bits3.html

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Makes you wish Mrs. Knipp had been around, eh? Sheesh.

I know others have written otherwise, but I keep wishing that Mrs. Tooker was somehow older than has been reported -- maybe she was physically precocious or something, I dunno. I'm usually good at stepping out of my 21st century mores as I read the Diary, but this relationship always gets me.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"little Mrs. Tooker"

Todd, I do not know why someone asserted she was a child.

L&M only say she is the daughter of a Mrs. Tooker. It's possible by "little Mrs. Tooker" Pepys merely means to distinguish her from her mother and another woman of the same name and ca. Elizabeth's age whom he knows; and Frances Tooker may have been diminutive in stature as well.

cgs   Link to this

"...by coach with four horses..." wot be t'others a pair or be they six?

Bryan M   Link to this

Sam himself gives a fairly good indication that she was young:

October 11: "and so, by Captain Cocke’s coach, had brought a very pretty child, a daughter of one Mrs. Tooker’s".

October 25: "and there sat with Mrs. Ferrers two hours, and with my little girle, Mistress Frances Tooker, and very pleasant".

Terry Foreman   Link to this

That's pretty convincing, Bryan, and, as Todd said. pretty disgusting.

Bryan M   Link to this

Little Mrs Tooker

SPOILER

On March 23 Sam will provide a clearer indication of Frances Tooker's age:

"...little Mrs. Tooker, my pretty little girle, ... she being a very pretty child, and now grown almost a woman."

Interpreting "almost a woman" in light of the fact that Elizabeth was only fifteen when she married Sam, my guess is she was aged 12 to 14. The sleaze factor is definitely way too high.

Mary   Link to this

Sam really knows how to show a girl a good time, doesn't he? Getting his 'little girl' to comb his hair (presumably for nits) doesn't sound like especially seductive foreplay.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Yet it's one of his favorites, as we shall see...

JonTom in Massachusetts   Link to this

The whole "little Mrs Tooker" business does take one aback. Can her mother (from the way she is described as the "daughter of Mrs Tooker", I'm assuming that the father is dead) be aware that she's paying visits to a man alone in his lodgings late at night? The honorific "Mrs." implies a certain social class doesn't it? That is, she's a "lady", not the kind of girl who has nothing to lose if her reputation is lost.

Mary   Link to this

The Tookers.

L&M Companion is fairly guarded in its account of the various Tookers who were living on the banks of the Thames in the 1660s. It refers to:

John Tooker (died 1667)who was river-agent to the Navy Board from 1664.
Anne Tooker (possibly widow of the above)who was housekeeper of the Payhouse at Chatham in 1669.
Mrs. Tooker and daughter Frances, Pepys's neighbours at Greenwich in 1665 "neither of them any better than she should have been".

However,the Companion declines to identify Mrs. Anne Tooker with Sam's accommodating neighbour, though admits that this is a possibility.

There is, of course, no guarantee that the accommodating Greenwich neighbour was ever actually married to a man by the name of Tooker; the 'Mrs.' could simply be a courtesy title.

JWB   Link to this

Modus operandi

"...had my head combed by my little girle..." (Susan)
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/08/06/

JWB   Link to this

The name Tooker is variant of Tucker. A tucker is a fuller, tuck A/S for cloth, which in modern German is tuch.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... making her comb my head, and did what I will with her ..."

If this is the effect on SP of relief from a simple head louse infestation perhaps we should be thankful that he has yet to describe the impact of public lice.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...And porters every where bow to us; and such begging of beggars! ..."

Sam's observation gives us an insight into the disruption of normal life for the poor of London during the plague - the status quo ante is reasserting itself. And maybe there are more beggars now, with livelihoods lost and breadwinners dead in the horrific summer past. As well as porters, (who are just beggars with handcarts really), I bet there are lots more linkboys, horseholders, casual messengers and the like. People desperate for the gentry to return and give them work.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Tomalin concludes Frances T was around 12. Remember no age of consent then - and females always seen as the chattel of a father, brother or husband. Except when a widow. Not much awareness of rape or the right to say No and a general idea that women and girls obeyed and could be beaten for refusing. I don't think Sam, or indeed most men of that time, would have any idea that what he did would be seen in later times as dreadfully wrong.

Margaret   Link to this

I think Oz Sue is right when she says that most men of his time wouldn't see anything wrong. With most of the women he dallies with, he doesn't actually have sex, so little Mrs. Tooker is still a virgin.

If he deflowered her, I think that would have been a different matter. Though it might depend on whether or not she has male relatives ready take vengeance.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"thinking to get Mrs. Knipp, but could not, she being busy with company, but sent me a pleasant letter, writing herself “Barbary Allen.”"

Elizabeth Knepp was an actress,after all, and you know what they are like (even though she was married) -- kind of flirty, with a good sense of humor, apparently.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

One suspects Frances didn't have a living father, though of course Griffin's being quite alive didn't stop Sam with his daughter.

Sam is very fond of The Turner...I suspect he'd be horrified by the notion of us suspecting anything in that direction as not only is she a relative and daughter to his beloved Jane but of a fairly high social position. Would that he would have had such regard for less protected girls.

And of course Jane would probably put his stone back if she ever caught him messing with The...And he doubtless knows it.

cgs   Link to this

Nits, they may be but!
"...and I kept her very late talking and making her comb my head, and did what I will with her..."

Sam, there he being nit picked, would be plagued by knowing what be the 'sauce ' of the out-break that reduced London's population by a third.

'Tis natures way not all will die from the same source.
by the when did 2 + 2 or mating of plague, humans and rat fleas come to light?

Rose   Link to this

San Francisco in the late 1850s I think.

cgs   Link to this

Why did Samuel fail to get the plague????
He had all the correct ingredients?
itchy fleas, rats, surly be present, cats were banned.
it could have been he had the correct love song.

Mosquitoes make sweet love music
Sexy songs sung by mosquitoes in courtship could be key to curbing the spread of dengue fever, say scientists.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/78144...

Now to find the correct rap music for ddogg earred fleas.

jim walters   Link to this

I think that Sam failed to contract the plague because he was constantly having his house remodeled, almost from the first day that he took possesion of it. All that tearing up of closets and what not would surely drive out any rats,and destroy their nesting places. Maintaining the outside in good order would keep rats from entering through chinks and holes in the wall.

Mary   Link to this

But see www.pepysdiary.com/archive/1662/04/23

"the fleas all came to him and not to me."
Sam seems to be less attractive to fleas than some other mortals, and this may have been significant.

cgs   Link to this

excellent point,

Rose   Link to this

I wish I remembered where I read this, but I did read that certain people really are luckier with flea bites than others.

Mary   Link to this

It certainly holds true with susceptibility to mosquito bites, so perhaps flea bites present a similar case.

Stacia   Link to this

I'm coming to this quite late, but wanted to thank you for pointing out that the Mr Tooker mentioned on 1st January of this year (4 days ago) is not definitively Frances Tooker's father or the wife of Mrs Tooker. It seems as though Sam would have mentioned that Mrs Tooker was no relation to the Navy agent, but that is admittedly a big assumption on my part.

CGS   Link to this

more on little miss Tooker?
sometimes I think these name are made up to suit the situation?

• January 5th, 1666 http://www.pepys.info/bits.html
Pepys finds the combing of his hair an erotic grooming experience ...
“ …. I had great satisfaction herein; so home, and to my papers for lack of company, but by and by comes little Mrs. Tooker and sat and supped with me, and I kept her very late, talking and making her comb my head; and I did what I will with her et tena grande plaisir con ella, [took great pleasure of her] tocando sa cosa con mi cosa, [touching her thing with my thing] and hazendo la cosa per cette moyen. [doing the thing in this way] So late to bed.”

CGS   Link to this

tooker to day:
http://www.pepys.info/bits.html

Log in to post an annotation.

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