Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Bill has posted 2,770 annotations/comments since 9 March 2013.
About Tothill Street
Tothill, Tuthill, or Tuttle Street, from the Broad Sanctuary to the Broadway, Westminster.
Tothill Street, a large street in Westminster, between Petty France (west) and the Old Gate House (east).—Hatton, 8vo, 1708, p. 84.
Such is Hatton's description; but the Gatehouse has long been level with the ground, and Petty France has since been transformed into York Street. Our notions have also changed about its size—no one would call it "a large street" now. In the 16th and 17th centuries there were mansions on both sides of Tothill Street, those on the south having gardens reaching to the Park. Stourton House, at the southwest end of the street, was the residence of the Lords Dacre of the South; opposite to it lived Lord Grey de Wilton; and at Caron House died, 1612, Sir George Carew. At Lincoln House Sir Henry Herbert had his office as Master of the Revels in 1664-1665. On May 28, 1623, Endymion Porter wrote to his wife Olive that "Lady Carey in Tuttle Street" is to pay her "£112 for money lent by him to her son in Spain." Before the middle of the 17th century smaller houses were beginning to be built here.---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
About Swan with Two Necks
Swan with two Necks, Lad Lane, an old inn, tavern, and booking and parcel office, from which coaches and waggons started to the north of England; a corruption of Swan with two Nicks, the mark (cygninota) of the Vintners' Company for their "game of swans" on the Thames. By an old law (or custom, rather) every swan that swam under London Bridge belonged, by right of office, to the Lieutenant of the Tower. Lad Lane is now incorporated with Gresham Street.The Carriers of Manchester doe lodge at the Two Neck'd Swan in Lad Lane, between Great Wood Street, and Milk Street End.—Taylor's Carrier's Cosmographie, 4to, 1637.There was a house with this sign, in 1632, in Swan Alley, Southwark.---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
About Quest House
The parish church of St. Sepulchre's was known as St. Sepulchre's in the Bailey. The Quest House was rebuilt by Dr. William Bell, vicar from 1662 to 1683. Strype writes of this: "A new house, free to Dr. Bell's successors, with a yard thereto. The use of a parlour, kitchen, and washhouse under the Quest-house that belonged to the parish for the said Bell's time, he being at the trouble to build it, and brought £200 towards it; the use thereof reserved to the parish on public occasions of quest or burials."---Wheatley, 1904.
About Monday 16 May 1664
"By and by we to see an experiment of killing a dogg by letting opium into his hind leg."
Pepys does not say whether this experiment was in any way connected with the work of the Royal Society. About this time the minutes contain the following reference: "May 4, 1664. It was ordered that Dr. Croune, Dr. Balle, and Mr. Hooke take care at the next meeting to cut off some skin of a dog; and that the operator provide a dog for that purpose." Several experiments at subsequent meetings are reported (Birch's "History of the Royal Society," vol. i., p. 422).---Wheatley, 1904.
About Friday 20 May 1664
"they say the King himself did once ask Montagu how his mistress (meaning the Queene) did."
After the Restoration ... Edward was, some time, Master of the Horse to Queen Catherine, but was removed (as 'twas reported) for a Squeeze of her Hand...---The History of the Life and Reign of Queen Anne. A. Boyer, 1722.
About William Ryley (jun.)
RYLEY, WILLIAM, the younger (d. 1675), archivist; son of William Ryley the elder; barrister, Inner Temple, 1866; employed under his father in record office.---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.
About William Ryley (sen.)
RYLEY, WILLIAM, the elder (d.1667), herald and archivist; studied at Middle Temple; clerk of records in Tower, c. 1620; Bluemantle pursuivant of arms, 1633; Lancaster herald, 1641; supported parliamentarians, but was more than once suspected of treachery; keeper of records, 1644; Norroy king-of-arms, 1646; Clarenceux king-of-arms, 1659; proclaimed Charles II, 1660, but was reduced to rank of Lancaster herald on Restoration; buried in east cloister, Westminster Abbey; associated with his son William Ryley the younger in publication of 'Placita Parliamentaria. Or pleadings in Parliament,' 1661.---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.
MUM, a kind of malt-liquor, much drank in Germany; and chiefly brought from Brunswick, which is the place of most note for making it, The process of brewing mum, as recorded in the townhouse of that city, is as follows: Take sixty-three gallons of water that has been boiled till one-third part is consumed, and brew it with seven bushels of wheaten-malt, one bushel of oat-meal, and one bushel of ground beans; when it is tunned, the hogshead must not be filled too full at first; as soon as it begins to work, put into it three pounds of the inner rind of fir; one pound of the tops of fir and beach; three handfuls of carduus benedictus; a handful or two of the flowers of rosa solis; add burnet, betony, marjoram, avens, pennyroyal, and wild thyme, of each a handful and a half; of elder-flowers, two handfuls or more; seeds of cardamum bruised, thirty ounces; barberries bruised, one ounce; when the liquor has worked a while, put the herbs and seeds into the vessel; and, after they are added, let it work over as little as possible; then fill it up; lastly, when it is stopped, put into the hogshead ten new-laid eggs unbroken; stop it up close, and drink it at two years end. Our english brewers, instead of the inner rind of fir, use cardamum, ginger, and sassafras; and also add elecampane, madder, and red-sanders. Mum, on being imported, pays for every barrel 11. 5 s. ---Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences. 1741.
“and there drunk mum”
Mum was a wholesome kind of malt liquor prepared in Germany. The receipt for making it is given in Rees's Encyclopedia. One of Andrew Yarranton's wild schemes, at this time, was to bring the mum trade from Brunswick, and fix it at Stratford-on-Avon. See his England's Improvement.---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.
About The Labyrinth (?)
Or, "The Fatal Embarrassment," taken from Corneille.---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.
About The Poultry Counter
Poultry Compter, Wood Street, a sheriff’s prison, which stood a little to the east of Grocers' Hall Court; Chapel Place led directly to it. It was the only prison in London with a ward set apart for Jews (probably due to its proximity to the Jewry), and was the only prison left unattacked in the riots of 1780. It was a brick building of fifteen wards—the king's, the prince's, the upper, middle and women's wards, and the Jews' ward. There was a chapel, and the leads were used for exercise grounds.John Bradford, one of the most illustrious of the Marian martyrs, was imprisoned here from January 30 to June 30, 1550. Here he was persecuted with "conferences," but as nothing could stir his fortitude, "he was suddenly conveyed out of the Compter, in the night season to Newgate; and from thence he was carried to Smithfield." Dekker and Boyse, two unfortunate sons of song, were long inhabitants of the Poultry Compter. Here died Lamb, the conjuror (commonly called Dr. Lamb), of the injuries he had received from the mob, who pelted him (June 13, 1628) from Moorgate to the Windmill in the Old Jewry, where he was felled to the ground with a stone, and was thence carried to the Poultry Compter, where he died the same night The rabble believed that the doctor dealt with the devil, and assisted the Duke of Buckingham in misleading the King. The City had to pay heavily for their negligence in not protecting the unfortunate man. The last slave imprisoned in England was confined (1772) in the Poultry Compter. This was Somerset, a negro, the particulars of whose case excited Sharpe and Clarkson in their useful and successful labour in the cause of negro emancipation.
Some four houses west from this parish of St. Mildred is a prison house pertaining to one of the sheriffs of London, and is called the Compter in the Poultry. This hath been there kept and continued time out of mind, for I have not read of the original thereof.—Stow, p. 99.
First Officer. Nay, we have been scholars, I can tell you,—we could not have been knaves so soon else; for as in that notable city called London, stand two most famous universities, Poultry and Wood Street, where some are of twenty years' standing, and have took all their degrees, from the Master's side, down to the Mistress's side, the Hole, so in like manner, etc.— The Phoenix, by T. Middleton, 4to, 1607.
Prisoners committed by the Lord Mayor were sent to the Poultry; prisoners committed by the sitting aldermen to Giltspur Street prison. The prisoners were removed from the Poultry Compter to White Cross Street prison shortly after the latter was completed.---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
About John Vaughan (MP Cardiganshire)
VAUGHAN, Sir JOHN (1603-1674), judge; of Christ Church, Oxford; barrister, Inner Temple, 1630; friend of John Selden; M.P., Cardigan, 1628, April 1640, and in the Long parliament, 1640 till expelled, 1645; consulted by Charles I at Newport, 1648; imprisoned; M.P., Cardiganshire, 1661-8; a leader of the country party; active in the impeachment of Clarendon, 1667; knighted, 1668; chief-justice of the common pleas, 1668.---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.
About Leg (Westminster)
Leg Tavern, King Street, Westminster. The leg was a not infrequent sign for hosiers and bootmakers, and as they would take care that their boots and stockings were represented as fitting close and smooth, the aptness of Falstaff’s simile is clear when he says that one of the reasons which made Prince Henry love Poins was that he wore "his boot very smooth, like unto the sign of the Leg." For inns the sign was very unusual.
December 18, 1656.—We dined with the Clothworkers at the Leg [they had a cause before the House]. After dinner I was awhile at the Leg with Major-General Howard, Mr. Briscoe, etc. etc.—Burton's Diary, vol. i. p. 174.
June 25, 1660.—With my Lord at White Hall all the morning. . . . Dined with young Mr. Powell, lately come from the Sound, being amused at our great charges here, and Mr. Southerne, now clerk to Mr. Coventry, at the Leg in King Street.— Pepys.
Pepys went again, May 27, 1661, to "Clerke's at the Legg, and there dined very merry." It was evidently a house in good favour.---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
About Monday 28 March 1664
"...for I perceive all these gentlemen that I was with to-day were against it (though there was reason enough on their side); yet purely, I could perceive, because it was the King’s mind to have it; and should he demand any thing else, I believe they would give it him."
plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
About Friday 25 March 1664
“some great persons in the pew I pretended to, and went in, did question my coming in”
To PRETEND, to use a Pretence, to make as if; to affirm or maintain.---An universal etymological English dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.
About Tuesday 22 March 1663/64
I'm surprised Wheatley let any of this entry through, quite risque.
"My dear, I don't care what they do, so long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses."
About Wednesday 16 March 1663/64
Puppy, (an abusive word) Un sot, un maraut, un fat. [a fool, a rascal, a silly fop]---The Royal Dictionary Abridged ...: French and English. English and French. A. Boyer, 1755.
"Dr. Pepys, the puppy"
PUPPY, … also an unexperienced raw Fellow ---An universal etymological English dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.
About Birchin Lane
Bircbin Lane, from CORNHILL, opposite the east end of the Royal Exchange, to Lombard Street.
Then have ye Birchover Lane, so called of Birchover, the first builder and owner thereof, now corruptly called Birchin Lane. . . . This lane and the high street near adjoining hath been inhabited for the most part with wealthy drapers.— Stow, p. 75.
As is frequently the case, Stow appears to be wrong in his etymology. The earliest known mention of the place is in a Record of 1301, where it is called Bercheneres Lane on Cornhill. In 19 Edward III. (1345), one "Byndo of Florence, a Lombard, was taken at the suit of John de Croydone, servant of John atte Bell, vintner, with the mainour of six silver cups, and half of a broken cup, stolen in Berchemers Lane in the ward of Langebourne in London. . . . The jury say, upon their oath, that the said Byndo is guilty of the felony aforesaid. Therefore he is to be hanged" The original name was, no doubt, Birchener's and not Birchover's Lane. In a document of the 15th century it is written Berchers Lane. Ascham speaks of "a common proverb of Birching Lane." To send a person to Birching Lane has an obvious meaning; and to "return by Weeping Cross" was a joke of kindred origin.
Birchin Lane is a place of considerable trade, especially for men's apparel, the greatest part of the shopkeepers being salesmen.—R.B., in Strype, B. ii. p. 150.
It was a great mart for ready-made clothes as early as the end of the 16th century.---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
About Monday 25 April 1664
"a bird...from the East Indys, black the greatest part, with the finest collar of white about the neck; but talks many things and neyes like the horse, and other things, the best almost that ever I heard bird in my life."
The description is insufficient to enable the bird to be determined with certainty, but Professor Newton informs the editor that it is most likely to have been a grackle of some kind. The Gracula religiosa, or mina, has a yellow collar, is easily tamed, and learns to talk and whistle with great facility. Professor Newton kindly contributes the following two interesting quotations, showing that minas were brought from India early in the eighteenth century; and he believes that, as the mina is a favourite cage-bird in India, it was brought over as soon as direct trade with that country was established. One of the earliest figures of the bird is by Eleazer Albin ("Natural History of Birds," vol. ii., pi. 38), in 1738, who writes: "This bird imitates a human voice, speaking very articulately. I drew this bird at Mr. Mere's coffee-house in King Street, Bloomsbury. Sir Hans Sloan had one of these birds that spoke very prettily, which he presented to Her Majesty Queen Carolina. They are brought from East India." George Edwards ("Natural History of Uncommon Birds," vol. i., pi. 17), whose plate is dated September 25th, 1740, gives two figures, one from a bird he saw at a dealer's in White Hart Yard, in the Strand, and the other from a bird which belonged to Dr. George Wharton, treasurer of the College of Physicians, adding: "For whistling, singing, and talking, it is accounted in the first rank, expressing words with an accent nearer human than parrots, or any other bird usually taught to talk. They are said to come from the Island of Borneo, and 'tis likely they come from thence and the adjacent parts. They are brought to us by the India Company's ships."---Wheatley, 1904.