Sunday 19 April 1668

(Sunday). Lay long. Roger Pepys and his son come, and to Church with me, where W. Pen was, and did endeavour to shew himself to the Church. Then home to dinner, and Roger Pepys did tell me the whole story of Harman, how he prevaricated, and hath undoubtedly been imposed on, and wheedled; and he is called the miller’s man that, in Richard the Third’s time, was hanged for his master.1 So after dinner I took them by water to White Hall, taking in a very pretty woman at Paul’s Wharf, and there landed we, and I left Roger Pepys and to St. Margaret’s Church, and there saw Betty, and so to walk in the Abbey with Sir John Talbot, who would fain have pumped me about the prizes, but I would not let him, and so to walk towards Michell’s to see her, but could not, and so to Martin’s, and her husband was at home, and so took coach and to the Park, and thence home and to bed betimes.
Water 1s.
coach 5s.
Balty borrowed 2l.

[The entries from April 10th to April 19th are transcribed from three leaves (six pages) of rough notes, which are inserted in the MS. The rough notes were made to serve for a sort of account book, but the amounts paid are often not registered in the fair copy when he came to transcribe his notes into the Diary.]

  1. The story alluded to by Pepys, which belongs not to the reign of Richard III., but to that of Edward VI., occurred during a seditious outbreak at Bodmin, in Cornwall, and is thus related by Holinshed:

    At the same time, and neare the same place [Bodmin], dwelled a miller, that had beene a greate dooer in that rebellion, for whom also Sir Anthonie Kingston sought: but the miller being thereof warned, called a good tall fellow that he had to his servant, and said unto him, ‘I have business to go from home; if anie therefore come to ask for me, saie thou art the owner of the mill, and the man for whom they shall so aske, and that thou hast kept this mill for the space of three yeares; but in no wise name me.’ The servant promised his maister so to doo. And shortlie after, came Sir Anthonie Kingston to the miller’s house, and calling for the miller, the servant came forth, and answered that he was the miller. ‘How long,’ quoth Sir Anthonie, ‘hast thou kept this mill?’ He answered, ‘Three years.’ — ‘Well, then,’ said he, ‘come on: thou must go with me;’ and caused his men to laie hands on him, and to bring him to the next tree, saieing to him, ‘Thou hast been a busie knave, and therefore here shalt thou hang.’ Then cried the fellow out, and saide that he was not the miller, but the miller’s man. ‘Well, then,’ said Sir Anthonie, ‘thou art a false knave to be in two tales: therefore,’ said he, ‘hang him up;’ and so incontinentlie hanged he was indeed. After he was dead, one that was present told Sir Anthonie, ‘Surelie, sir, this was but the miller’s man.’ — `What then!’ said he, ‘could he ever have done his maister better service than to hang for him?’”

    — B.

5 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"to St. Margaret’s Church, and there saw Betty"

There are 10 women called "Betty" in the Encyclopedia -- and that doesn't take into account the 40+ women named Elizabeth -- all after the late Queen.

We see the Betty at St. Margaret's cannot be Betty Martin, so that might leave 9; however, also we find Pepys in recent years also going more than once "to the [St. Margaret's] parish church, thinking to see Betty Michell" http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/08/25/ -- so I believe it is she.

Terry W   Link to this

No luck with Betty Mitchell or Betty Martin, so an early night instead. Poor Sam.

Christopher Squire   Link to this

‘wheedle, v. Etym:  Origin obscure. Possibly a survival in a specialized application of Old English wǽdlian to beg, originally to be poor . .
1. a. trans. To entice or persuade by soft flattering words; to gain over or take in by coaxing or cajolery.
1661    T. Blount Glossographia (ed. 2) ,   Whead or Wheadle, is a late word of fancy, and signifies to draw one in, by fair words or subtile insinuation, to act any thing of disadvantage or reproof . . ‘ [OED]

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Bess, I thought I'd drop a line.
The weather's cool. Balty's fine.
I'm in bed each night at nine.
P.S. I love you.

Yesterday Parliament threatened pain,
but all in all I can't complain.
Was it dusty on the way?
P.S. I love you.

Write to the Penns just as soon as you're able.
Admiral Sir Will nearly had a fall.
Bridget burned a hole in the dining room table.
And then I took Knipp...Ummn, I guess that's all.

Nothing left for me to say.
And so I'll close...But by the way.
All your boys are thinking of you."
(Hmmn...What did my clerks mean by that?)
"P.S. I love you.
Bess, I love you."

Phoenix   Link to this

Bess relies:

The trip was rough we bounced around from seat to seat but finally found a goodly place to settle down. Will was kind. By the way, such a friend I must say a husband’s wife never had -holding my hand as I was sad on leaving you. Have been busy all the day, art and music, games to play, walks in woods and by the way a dance or two. Would you believe the other night, I met by chance -oh what a fright- a friend from long ago? We were in masks and chose by lot and as we danced all I thought was of you. Then, surprise, surprise at the end - when masks were done I clapped my hands – oh what fun!- t’was none other than Pembleton ! Now don’t be mad, the girls with me so flirt with him that I can’t be anything but true. You see?
Have to go, company awaits, a little party can’t be late to learn anew a step for two.
Love,
Bess

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