Tuesday 11 August 1668

Up, and by water to Sir W. Coventry to visit him, whom I find yet troubled at the Commissioners of Accounts, about this business of Sir W. Warren, which is a ridiculous thing, and can come to nothing but contempt, and thence to Westminster Hall, where the Parliament met enough to adjourne, which they did, to the 10th of November next, and so by water home to the office, and so to dinner, and thence at the Office all the afternoon till night, being mightily pleased with a little trial I have made of the use of a tube-spectacall of paper, tried with my right eye. This day I hear that, to the great joy of the Nonconformists, the time is out of the Act against them, so that they may meet: and they have declared that they will have a morning lecture1 up again, which is pretty strange; and they are connived at by the King every where, I hear, in City and country. So to visit W. Pen, who is yet ill, and then home, where W. Batelier and Mrs. Turner come and sat and supped with us, and so they gone we to bed. This afternoon my wife, and Mercer, and Deb., went with Pelling to see the gypsies at Lambeth, and have their fortunes told; but what they did, I did not enquire.

  1. During the troubled reign of Charles I., the House of Commons gave parishioners the right of appointing lecturers at the various churches without the consent of rector or vicar, and this naturally gave rise to many quarrels. In the early period of the war between the king and the parliament, a course of sermons or lectures was projected in aid of the parliamentary cause. These lectures, which were preached by eminent Presbyterian divines at seven o’clock on the Sunday mornings, were commenced in the church of St. Mary Magdalen in Milk Street, but were soon afterwards removed to St. Giles’s, Cripplegate. After the Restoration the lectures were collected in four volumes, and published under the title of the “Cripplegate Morning Exercises,” vol. i. in 1661; vol. ii. in 1674; vol. iii. in 1682; and vol. iv. in 1690. In addition there were two volumes which form a supplement to the work, viz., “The Morning Exercises methodized,” preached at St. Giles’s-in-the-Fields, edited by the Rev. Thomas Case in 1660, and the “Exercises against Popery,” preached in Southwark, and published in 1675 (see Demon’s “Records of St. Giles’s, Crinnlegate,” 1883, pp. 55-56).

5 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"This afternoon my wife, and Mercer, and Deb., went with Pelling to see the gypsies at Lambeth, and have their fortunes told"

The Norwood Gipsies


Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the Parliament met enough to adjourne, which they did, to the 10th of November next"

See House of Commons Journal

House of Lords Journal

Robert Gertz   Link to this


"So foul and so fair a day I hath not seen..." Pelling shakes head.

"How much farther to...Whoa!!" Bess stares at the three gypies in the road waving at the coach.



"Ahh! Damnit, you bloody idiot driver, watch where you're going! Damned tourists..."

"Excuse, ladies...Grandmother's a bit tetched in the head. Hail, Madame Mercer, famed that is to be!"

"Hail, young Willet...Famed that is to be..." slight frown...

"Is that the hussy?" Grandmother hisses... "Shhh, Grandmother..."

"Hail, Madame Pepys, daughter of St. Michel, wife to the famed Clerk of the Acts...Hail thou that shalt have thy fondest wishes for travel and thy husband's advancement granted and shalt be immortal hereafter!"


"Speak and we'll answer..."

"Tis a shilling per session..."

Mercer, eyeing Bess. "Good lady, why do you start, and seem to fear things that do sound so fair? You, three there...In the name of truth, are ye fantastical or that indeed which outwardly ye show? Our noble friend you greet with present grace and great prediction of noble having and hope,that she seems rapt withal. If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear your favors nor your hate."

"I think we ought to go..." Deb, nervously...Eyeing the grandmother giving her a gimlet eye...


"A shilling?" Bess, blinking... "Oh, forget it...Sam'l would be livid. Pelling, lets go."

The three gypsies stare at the departing coach...

"Well, so much for tellin' her to avoid la Rue do Saint Martin in Paris." the first shrugs.


Terry Foreman   Link to this

L&M remark that Norwood in Lambeth parish was a favorite resort of gipsies until the late 19th century, of which "Gipsy Hill" preserves the memory.


The Lambeth area in 1746, fairly wooded, where 'travellers' might pitch camp.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

325. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The arrival of the Sig. Colbert in London and further the announcement that he has in hand the conduct of the most important affair that has been negotiated in this century gives the Lords States matter for consideration and compels them to be most attentively on their guard. They feel confident that if France makes liberal proposals to England for disturbing the commerce of Holland, she will not find them ready to listen to her there. If by offers of cash she attempts to detach that kingdom from the States, the latter hope that the knot of the alliance will stand in the way. They protest that the jealousies which are being disseminated among the allies will serve to turn their thoughts to Holland to derive the benefit of new friendships and to unite closely with them. If the designs of France upon the Low Countries alone had the power to facilitate the alliance between England, Sweden, and Holland, other attempts would induce them to join themselves in alliance with other princes with redoubtable forces. The Ambassador Meermen, who has returned from London, asserts however that he left things in the best state of security and that no change was to be feared.
Paris, the 11th August, 1668. [Italian.]

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