The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from:

4 Annotations

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

pell mell be a verb first; then came the game with a mallet to give its name to the place where they played, now a famous street. Pall Mall,
OED [out of sequence]
:1656 T. BLOUNT Glossographia, Pale Maille.., this game was heretofore used at the Alley near St. Jameses, and vulgarly called Pel-Mel.
1661 T. RUGGE Annuall Diurnall Sept., in B.L. Add. MS. 10116 f. 249v, [The road] from charing Cross to St James by St James park wall, and at the back side of pallmall is now altred by reason a new pallmall is made for the vse of his majestie in St James park by the wall.
b. An alley in which the game of pall-mall is played. Obs.
c1660 J. EVELYN Diary anno 1644 (1955) II. 111 A very noble Garden and Parke [sc. St. Germains], where there is a pall-maill.

1663 S. PEPYS Diary 15 May (1971) IV. 135, I walked in the park, discoursing with the keeper of the Pell Mell who was sweeping of it who told me of what the earth is mixed that doth floor the Mall, and that over all there is Cockle-shells powdered.

1679-88 Secret Service Money Charles. & James (1851) 133 To Lawrence Dupuy, be laid out and expended towards the repayring the Pall Mall in St. James's Parke.

connection and spelling changes.

Pall-mall Paille- Maille
1. A game in which players use a mallet to drive a boxwood ball through an iron ring suspended at the end of a long alley in as few strokes as possible, or within a given number of strokes. Now hist.
The game was popular in Italy, France, and Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries, and in England in the 17th cent.
a1566 T. HOBY Trav. (1902) 72 At Chasteubriant the French King shewed my Lord Marquess great plesure and disport, sometime in plaing at tenice,..sometime at the palla malla.

4. Polo. Obs. rare.
1678 J. PHILLIPS tr. J. B. Tavernier Trav. IV. v. 154 Here [i.e. at Ispahan] the men play at Pall-mall [Fr. le jeu de mail] on horseback, the Horse-man being to strike the Ball running at full speed, between the two Goals.
Pell Mell as a verb.
1. trans. To mix up indiscriminately. Obs. rare.
1606 W. BIRNIE Blame of Kirk-buriall xvii. sig. E4, They pel-mell the dead with the liuing all in one kirk. a1649 W. DRUMMOND Wks. (1711) 147 The Game ended, Kings, Queens, Bishops, Knights, Pawns pell-melled are confusedly thrown into the Box.
otherwise it be mingling milling disorderly 1864
a. Chiefly Mil. With reference to combatants: without keeping ranks; hand to hand, man to man; in a mêlée. Also fig. Obs. 1579
1663 S. BUTLER Hudibras I. iii. 201 To come, pell-mell to handiblows.
b. With reference to pursuer and pursued: in such a manner as to be confused with each other; in mingled confusion. Obs.
1677 London Gaz. No. 1181/4 [They] were so closely followed, that our Soldiers entred with them pell-mell into the City
a1641 R. MONTAGU Acts & Monuments (1642) viii. 540 Nor were men and women intermingled pell mell in their Synagogues

Bill  •  Link

Pall Mall, a spacious street extending from the foot of St. James's Street to the foot of the Haymarket, and so called from a game of that name, somewhat similar to croquet, introduced into England in the reign of Charles I., perhaps earlier. King James I., in his Basilicon Doron, recommends it as a game that Prince Henry should use. The name (Italian palamaglio, French paille motile), is given to avenues and walks in other countries, as at Utrecht in Holland. The Malls at Blois, Tours, and Lyons are mentioned by Evelyn in his Memoirs, under the year 1644.

A paille-mall is a wooden hammer set to the end of a long staffe to strike a boule with, at which game noblemen and gentlemen in France doe play much.—The French Garden for English Ladies, 8vo, 1621.

---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

Bill  •  Link

PELL-MELL [pele-mele, F. of peles, Locks of Wooll, and meles, mingled together] confusedly, without Order.
PELL-MELL [pellere malleo, to drive with a mallet] the place for exercising this Game in St. James's Park, and also a Street near it. See PALLE MAILLE.
PALLE MAILLE, a Game where a round Bowl is with a Mallet struck through a high Arch of Iron standing at either End of an Alley. See PELL-MELL.
---An universal etymological English dictionary. N. Bailey, 1759.

Log in to post an annotation.

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


Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.






  • Jul