Mrs. Jemimah, or Mrs. Jem, was Jemima, eldest daughter of Sir Edward Montagu. At this time she and her sister, Mrs. Ann, seem to have been living alone with their maids in London, and Pepys’s duty was to look after them.
This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.
Ken Welsh • Link
Fascinting. I presume his looking after these innocent ladies will turn out to have been a labour of love!
John Overholt • Link
Mrs. in the text does not have the same meaning as nowadays. Then it did not mean the woman concerned was married but rather meant Mistress and was generally applied to a woman of "superior" station.
Jemima was thirteen in 1659.
"A clever, merry, affectionate child... she was Samuel's favorite. For her, Mistress Jem as he called her, he was always ready to put himself out, to buy toys to send to her in the country and to romp with her when she was in town.... Poor Jem suffered from some malformation in her neck which prevented her from holding her head erect, and in the October of 1659 Pepys was busying himself among other matters in finding her a medical specialist.... by December the child was installed with her maid, Mistress Anne -- a somewhat shrewish party with whom Pepys had many an angry bout -- at Mr. Scott's."
--Arthur Bryant, Samuel Pepys: The Man in the Making (1933, new ed. 1967, p. 50)
I wonder if the "Mrs. Ann" mentioned in the note above is this maid and not a sister? The only sister Bryant refers to is Paulina (three years younger, and not a favorite of Pepys).
p benson • Link
Jemima "Lady Jem" 1646-1671
From the Pepys Family Tree in Claire Tomalin's biography of Samuel Pepys:
Eldest child of Edward Montagu and Jemima Crew. Followed by Edward "Ned", Paulina, Sidney, Anne, Oliver, John, Charles, Catherine, and James.
Her sister Anne was born in 1653 and was, therefore, about six years old in the first year of the diary. The diary references at this time must be to a maid, or is she more a companion who has accompanied Mrs. Jem to London for her neck treatment under Sam's supervision?
From the Tomalin biography: "...Pepys was kept busy visiting the Montagus' eldest child, fourteen-year-old Jemima, under treatment at the house of a surgeon who had promised to straighten her crooked neck, and escorting her younger brother Ned to his boarding shcool at Twickenham."
Mrs. Jem's grandmother was Paulina Pepys, half-sister of Sam's great grandfather John.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.