Tuesday 8 January 1666/67

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where my uncle Thomas with me to receive his quarterage. He tells me his son Thomas is set up in Smithfield, where he hath a shop— I suppose, a booth. Presently after dinner to the office, and there set close to my business and did a great deal before night, and am resolved to stand to it, having been a truant too long. At night to Sir W. Batten’s to consider some things about our prizes, and then to other talk, and among other things he tells me that he hears for certain that Sir W. Coventry hath resigned to the King his place of Commissioner of the Navy, the thing he bath often told me that he had a mind to do, but I am surprised to think that he hath done it, and am full of thoughts all this evening after I heard it what may be the consequences of it to me. So home and to supper, and then saw the catalogue of my books, which my brother had wrote out, now perfectly alphabeticall, and so to bed. Sir Richard Ford did this evening at Sir W. Batten’s tell us that upon opening the body of my Lady Denham it is said that they found a vessel about her matrix which had never been broke by her husband, that caused all pains in her body. Which if true is excellent invention to clear both the Duchesse from poison or the Duke from lying with her.

20 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ormond to Kingston
Written from: Dublin Castle
Date: 8 January 1667

Finding reason to believe that the Popish titulary clergy, who reside in the parts of Connaught which are infested with Tories [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%B3raidhe#Wood... ], do rather animate & encourage them in their wicked courses ... than admonish them to the performance of ... duty & loyalty to his Majesty which ... they owe to him ... all and every of the Clergy aforesaid "that shall be found in those parts where ... Tories do haunt", are to be apprehended and committed to prison until further direction ...


Terry Foreman  •  Link

"opening the body of my Lady Denham it is said that they found a vessel about her matrix"

4. (Anat.) Any tube or canal in which the blood or other fluids are contained, secreted, or circulated, as the arteries, veins, lymphatics, etc. [1913 Webster] http://www.dictionary.net/vessel

womb, or place in the womb where conception takes place. (L&M Large Glossary)


Australian Susan  •  Link

Could they mean the hymen? But they would not have to autopsy her to find that out. Mysterious.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

"the thing he bath often told me that he had a mind to do, but I am surprised to think that he hath done it, and am full of thoughts all this evening after I heard it what may be the consequences of it to me."
Such poofing of thought. One would go blind by candlelight writing out such nonsense.

Betty Birney  •  Link

I know it sounds like he's talking about the hymen, but obviously that wouldn't have killed her. I'm wondering if it was an ectopic pregnancy. Perhaps the medical community didn't know about it back then. It happens when an egg gets implanted outside of the womb, often in a fallopian tube (called a tubal pregnancy). It is a medical emergency which can be fatal.



Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... they found a vessel about her matrix which had never been broke by her husband, that caused all pains in her body. "

Might some form of uterine fibroids be a possibility given the observation that it 'caused all pains in her body'? Perhaps Ruben can help ...

Jesse  •  Link

”...they found a vessel..."

Completely amateur guess: cervical cancer w/death due to kidney failure. She'd been very ill for at least a couple months. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/11/10/

CGS  •  Link

"...where he hath a shop— I suppose, a booth. ..."
still in fashion, a great way to start ones emporium when one has limited monies.
[all the great malls have them, a cheaper versions was call the barrow, that went from market to market].

Of course to Sam it was..... as he now be use to the great Mall of the day the Exchange, where you only exchanged money for goods and not the wrong [used] goods for another after purchase.

CGS  •  Link

Tories do haunt”,
A. n.

1. a. In the 17th c., one of the dispossessed Irish, who became outlaws, subsisting by plundering and killing the English settlers and soldiers; a bog-trotter, a rapparee; later, often applied to any Irish Papist or Royalist in arms.

Obs. exc. Hist.
1646 (Jan. 22) Exam. P. Congan in Cal. Ormonde MSS. N.S. (1902) I. 105 Some others of the Irish called Tories.
1646 MAJ. W. CADOGAN in Calr. Ormonde MSS. (1899) II. 39 (May 17), Divers that had served under Finglas, Rowen and Welsh and such as had been Tories.
1647 Proclamation 2 Nov. (MS. Trinity Coll. Dublin, F. 3. 18. No. 22) Roberies..comitted by the Tories and Rebells upon the Protestants and others adhering to the Protestant partie.
1650 WHITELOCK Mem. 12 July (1732) 464/1 That eight Officers..riding upon the Highway [in Ireland], were murder'd by those bloody Highway Rogues called the Tories.
1652 (Dec. 18) in Cal. St. Papers, Dom. 41, I took the little island in Waterford river, and beat off Sturlock, the great Tory.
1656 BLOUNT Glossogr., Banditi,..in the north of England, Moss-Troopers; in Ireland Tories.

1657 BURTON Diary 10 June, Major Morgan... We have three beasts to destroy, that lay burdens upon us,{em}1st,
is a public Tory, on whose head we lay 200l., and 40l.
upon a private Tory's... 2d. beast, is a priest, on whose head we lay 10l., if he be eminent, more.
3d. beast, the wolf, on whom we lay 5l. a head if a dog; 10l. if a bitch.

CGS  •  Link

MP's [HoC] still looking for ways to to get new sails and cheese for the wars.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... set up in Smithfield, where he hath a shop — I suppose, a booth. "

L&M footnote "Pepys supposed that it was one of the temporary buildings replacing those burnt out in the Great Fire. But it appears to have been a building with four hearths ... "

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... saw the catalogue of my books, which my brother had wrote out, now perfectly alphabeticall ..."

This process began before Christmas:
"Spent the evening in fitting my books, to have the number set upon each, in order to my having an alphabet of my whole, which will be of great ease to me."

Spoiler. This catalogue, the first of many similar shelf orderings, re-orderings and alphabets, does not survive.

Ruben  •  Link

a painting of Lady Denham by Lely. See:

For information and a smile about the Denham's and Pepys read:
At fifty years, prematurely-aged in looks,
Marrying twenty-three-year Margaret Brooke.
Friends would declare the gravest error in his life
Was limping to the altar with his trophy wife.
Brooke was daughter and wife of Knights of the Bath,
Each one honored in war's aftermath.
Of this ill-starred match, much was written and said,
But in nineteen months this public beauty was dead.
........From Pepys we have word on this mistress noisome,
That My Lady Pen told him Margaret was poisoned.
From what contemporary evidence can show,
The culprit did not consist of cocoa.
The doctors pronounced her dead of colic,
A bitter end for this chocoholic.
But the malady that did My Lady benight thus
Was consistent with acute appendicitus

Ruben  •  Link

From: The History of Burlington House with some spoiler included. See:
In 1664, Sir John Denham, a wealthy lawyer and architect, who held the office of Surveyor General to the Crown chose the site because he was convinced that no-one would build beyond him in the fields and the woodland to the North and West. The original house was built for the reception of his new bride, Margaret Brooke, a niece of the Earl of Bristol. She was eighteen and he was "an old limping man" of about fifty! They were married in Westminster Abbey, and the Duke of York, later James II, was among those present. Within months, Margaret had become the Duke's mistress, and it was not a clandestine affair. In October 1666, the diarist Samuel Pepys recorded:

"To Whitehall, and there the Duke of York, who has gone over to all his pleasures again, what with his woman, Lady Denham, and his hunting three times a week".
Knowledge of her infidelity, and her dissolute way of living, preyed on Sir John's mind, and when she was found dead at their home, apparently from an overdose of a drug or poison, no-one doubted that he had been responsible for her death.

Surprisingly enough, the volatile populace was inclined to sympathise with her, and he was threatened with being torn to pieces if he should leave his home. However, public emotions rapidly changed when he announced a magnificent funeral at which he distributed "four times as much burnt wine as had been drunk at any funeral in England".

In 1668, Sir John sold his home to Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Burlington, (elder brother of Robert Boyle, the "father of modern chemistry") who having altered and modestly enlarged the property, lived there until his death in 1697. Pepys recorded on 28 September 1668:

"Thence to my Lord Burlington's House, the first time I was there, it being the house built by Sir John Denham".
He also notes that, on the same day:
"I also, standing by a candle that was brought for sealing a letter, did set my periwigg (sic) afire; which made such an odd noise nobody could tell what it was until they saw the flame, my back being to the candle".

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"...a vessel about her matrix which had never been broke..."
May be it has to do with the Bartholin's glands.

Ruben  •  Link

"they found a vessel about her matrix"
I pressume it was a Royal Yatch.

Seriously, there is no such vessel to brake by normal sexual relations.
This "had never been broke" is mental genuflexion to the Royal, so he comes out clean of all this mess and making Denham impotent and the deceased Lady a virgin.

Michael  •  Link

I suspect they do mean the hymen: No, it wouldn't Cause medical problems but perhaps current medical opinion, word on the street or Sam (it's difficult to tell who's doing the conjecturing) thought it did; it could have been examined w/o surgery but that could be embarrassing for both parties so they may not have done the examination if they didn't think that might be the issue; hymens don't necessarily break during intercourse and on rare occasion never break- that may not have been known at the time and this might have simply been a marvel they assumed must have caused her problems.

CGS  •  Link

"...that upon opening the body of my Lady Denham it is said that they found a vessel about her matrix which had never been broke by her husband, that caused all pains in her body..."

Appendicitis was unknown at this time, not all bits and pieces of body were identified and the functions known or even understood.
Not all organs fit the stereo type, many variations.

autopsy performed, Still two more centuries of learning and study before understanding of an appendix burst.
I kind of like the idea of appendix burst followed by peritonitis :
When was the first noted death from this cause ?
Sexual organ is much more exciting than an unknown organ rupturing.
I. A supporting or enclosing structure.

1. The womb; the uterus of a mammal. Also (in later use esp. of an oviparous vertebrate or invertebrate animal): the ovary; the part of the female reproductive tract producing or storing eggs or embryos. Now chiefly hist.
rising of the matrix: see RISING n. Phrases.
?a1425 tr.

1615 H. CROOKE [greek word]272 The partes of the Female are the wombe and the rest which by a general name are called matrices.

1655 T. MOFFETT & C. BENNET Healths Improvem. xiii. 116 The matrix of beasts..is but a sinewy and hard substance.

1671 J. SHARP Midwives Bk. IV. viii. 224 If the Matrix be too much dilated, use things that contract and fasten, as Baths prepared, Unguents, Ointments, Fumes, Odours, Plaisters.
1726-31 N. TINDAL tr. P. Rapin de Thoyras Hist. Eng. (1743) II. XVII. 74 (note) The women that attended about Queen Mary alledged that her Matrix was consumed.

2. a. A place or medium in which something is originated, produced, or developed; the environment in which a particular activity or process begins; a point of origin and growth.
Now chiefly with reference to abstract things. In early use sometimes with reference to minerals, and overlapping with sense 3a.

1858 H. GRAY Anat. 545 The part of the cutis beneath the body and root of the nail is called the matrix.

[something extra hanging on]

3. a. Biol. A small process or prolongation developed from the surface of any organ. spec., short for vermiform appendix (of the cæcum): see VERMIFORM a. 3a.
1615 CROOKE Body of Man 113 The appendixe of the Mesenterie..of the nature of a ligament.
1658 SIR T. BROWNE Gard. Cyrus 526 The appendices or beards in the calicular leaves [of the rose].

Robert Gertz  •  Link

That bit about the autopsy possibly proving the Duke had never lain with Denham seems odd as she's the "public mistress". I wonder if it would have suited Jamie as a prince to have such window dressing on display as proof of his virility while remaining technically/personally faithful to his wife. I mean in terms of the "mistress gap" with France and other great powers.

Log in to post an annotation.

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