✹ About Tuesday 4 April 1665 Al Doman on 5 Apr 2018 • Link @Louise Hudson: "I doubt there were many husband/wife operations in Pepys’ time." Do you have any references or research to back that up? My gut feel is in those days of zero social safety nets people did whatever they needed to in order to survive. If a wife had skills and enough time to make use of them it would be in the best interest of the couple to make use of them. Linens vendor/seamstress seems plausible to me. Maybe lodging/inn, cook-house or tavern, lots of possibilities. Yes, any such joint venture would be the property (and responsibility) of the husband but that was the way it was then, no amount of complaining today can change that history. "I suspect Pepys was not the least bit concerned with [Mary Batelier's] sewing abilities." Bit of a spoiler considering this is her first mention in the diary, but if you'd taken the time to visit her references page you would have found there is no mention of any impropriety up to its end, and Sam periodically buys linens from her. More importantly she ends up befriending he and Bess, and over time becomes a regular visitor to her. As I read it, over time Bess spends much more time than Sam with her - she can thank Sam for the introduction. Even today it's not a sin for a man to admire a pretty and friendly woman.