Summary

She ran a draper’s stall in Westminster Hall, where she caught Pepys’ attention. She has been described as his “mistress”, a relationship which continued after Lane married Samuel Martin in 1664. Her sister, Doll, was also one of Pepys’ many other women.

6 Annotations

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Paul Brewster  •  Link

"Pepys's mistress, together with her sister Doll Powell, though for a longer period. Neither found marriage any impediment to her association with Pepys. Betty was presumably the elder since she is usually referred to as 'Mrs' Lane. Both we linen-drapers in Westminster Hall. (The tax returns which show them as paying tax suggests that they were not mere assistants.)"
from the L&M Companion

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Pauline  •  Link

From Claire Tomalin, Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self:
“A…woman he got to know was Betty Lane, who worked in Westminster Hall, where a well-established community of stallholders sold linen, gloves, books and newspapers, and she ran a draper’s stall from which he sometimes bought his linen. Betty was a Nottingham lass who had come south to conduct her own business; she took a cheerful, pagan view of sex and its possibilities, she like Pepys, and he was fascinated by her.” p. 46.

We will meet her again and again, and Tomalin has more. No spoilers for now.

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chip  •  Link

Tomalin, on page 46, tells of a drunken story Pepys heard about a man 'who persuaded a gullible pretty woman to let him handle her private parts by pretending to be a doctor impressed Pepys so much that he went looking for the woman. A real woman he and his fellow clerks got to know was Betty Lane, who worked in Westminster Hall, where a well-established community of stallholders sold linen, gloves, books and newspapers, and she ran a draper's stall from which he sometimes bought his linen. Betty was a Nottingham lass who had come south to conduct her own business; she took a cheerful, pagan view of sex and its possibilities, she liked Pepys, and he was fascinated by her."

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vincent  •  Link

I luv it, two differing flavo(u)rs of the same text. Glasses are tinted, I do believe: That old message game trick: No wonder there are some interesting drops in a stroke or a comma, etc. from the transcribing of the Original Pepys(Pepies) Diurnal.

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joe  •  Link

Betty had a close call with pregnancy, and Pepys and Betty celebrate the good news that she is not with child, see diary entry for 6th July 1667. The same entry has an intrigueing reference to Betty's sister Doll as to Pepys sexual experiences with her.

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Keith R. Dawson  •  Link

A Mrs. Lane was a subscriber to Arthur Phillips book on Australia published 1793.

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References

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

1660

1661

1663

1664

1665

1666

1667

1668

1669