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

15 Annotations

A. Stockdale  •  Link

Magdalene is pronounced "maudlin".

Dai B  •  Link

Magdalene College Oxford is pronounced 'maudlin' (an affectation). I believe Magdelene College Cambridge is pronounced as written. After all, who was Mary Maudlin?

Grahamt  •  Link

Both colleges - Magdelen (Oxford) and Magdelene (Cambridge) are/were pronounced 'maudlin'. The word maudlin is from the same root: (from SOED)

maudlin n. [(O)Fr. Madeleine f. eccl.L Magdalena: see MAGDALEN. In branch II f. the adj.]

Bryan Methods  •  Link

Magdelene, Cambridge, is currently pronounced 'Maudlin' by all undergraduates in Cambridge. However, this appears to have been a recent change (or re-adoption), as undergraduates a decade ago pronounced it as we conventionally pronounce Mary Magdelen (evidenced not only by testimony but on the BBC program 'Have I Got News for You'.

Those attending Magdelen college, Oxford, have apparently always pronounced it 'Maudlin'.

Katherine  •  Link

More to the point, what did he read there? I ask because he also studied at Trinity Hall, and as a graduate of that college this is extremely interesting news for me (we always thought the most interesting alumni was Douglas Hurd). Trinity Hall is and was best known for law, having been founded in 1350 by Bishop Bateman for the study of ecclesiastical law.

And for the record, as a recent graduate of Cambridge (well, 1994-1997 anyway) I can confirm that we did all pronounce Magdelene 'maudlin' and everyone had done so for some time, so I think the decade figure might be a bit off.

David Quidnunc  •  Link


Which is useful information to remember when we run across other people in the diary and are told when they graduated from the same college.

David Quidnunc  •  Link


... "survives at Magdalene -- to which it was bequeathed under stipulations that ensure that its contents remain intact and unaltered. It is still housed in the glazed bookcases that Pepys had had made for it by dockyard joiners over the years, and still arranged in the order in which he and his heir had left it. In the first of the bookcases, on the back row of the second shelf, are the volumes of the diary."

-- Robert Latham, "Samuel Pepys: The most famous diarist of them all," a page at Magdelene College's Web site.

David Quidnunc  •  Link


"Latham, who died early in 1995.... was a Fellow of Magdalene from 1972 to 1984 and an Honorary Fellow from 1984 to 1995."

-- from the same Web page as the posting just above, which can be found at

David Oxley  •  Link

I was told as an Undergraduate at Magdalene Cambridge that it was pronounced Maudlin as a pun on Lord Audley who was a benefactor and first publisher of the Pepys Diaries and letters ( actually he pinched them from a poor clergy man who did the work)

Jo  •  Link

I was also told this by an undergraduate at Magdalene (Cambridge). However, as I was also told that the bridge I was standing on was originally built without nails or bolts by Sir Isaac Newton, and that the building was haunted by several ghosts, I decided to take it with a pinch of salt.

mbywater  •  Link

"...the usual contemporary pronunciation of Magdalene(e) was then [1542, when Lord Audley refounded Buckingham College as Magdalene] ‘maudlyn’"

-- Cunich, Peter, David Houyle, Eamon Duffy & Ronald Hyam. A History of Magdalene College Cambridge 1428-1988 (Cambridge, 1984)

oxbridge student  •  Link

Note the spellings are different.

Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalene College, Cambridge

Both are pronounced 'Maudlin'.

Phil Major  •  Link

As You Said!

CGS  •  Link

Magdalene how spelt in the Commons: Mawdlyn
Die Lunæ, 5 Februarii, 1643.
Ordered, That the Plate of Mawdlyn College in Cambridge, seized as it was conveying away to Oxford, be referred to my Lord of Manchester, to be disposed of for the Use of the Publick, as his Lordship shall think fit.

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