Wednesday 19 September 1660

(Office day). I put on my mourning and went to the office. At noon thinking to have found my wife in hers, I found that the tailor had failed her, at which I was vexed because of an invitation that we have to a dinner this day, but after having waited till past one o’clock I went, and left her to put on some other clothes and come after me to the Mitre tavern in Wood-street (a house of the greatest note in London), where I met W. Symons, and D. Scobell, and their wives, Mr. Samford, Luellin, Chetwind, one Mr. Vivion, and Mr. White, formerly chaplin to the Lady Protectresse1 (and still so, and one they say that is likely to get my Lady Francess for his wife).

Here we were very merry and had a very good dinner, my wife coming after me hither to us. Among other pleasures some of us fell to handycapp, a sport that I never knew before, which was very good. We staid till it was very late; it rained sadly, but we made shift to get coaches. So home and to bed.

9 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

my Lady Francesse for his wife
per L&M: "The Lady Protectresse" was Elizabeth, widow of Oliver Cromwell; at her death in 1665 she left her property in the hands of Jeremiah White, who had been chaplain both to her and to her husband…. Frances was her fourth daughter, who from 1658 until her marriage in 1663 to Sir John Russell was the widow of Robert Rich. Pepys’s story is at variance with that given by Oldmixon, who knew White well. According to him … White had paid court to Lady Frances some years before. Discovered on his knees before her by the Protector (who planned to break off the affair), he quickly explained that he was asking to marry her gentlewoman, whereupon Oliver had him married to the gentlewoman immediately. The marriage, says Oldmixon, was not very happy and lasted for fifty years.”

J A Gioia  •  Link

the Lady Protectresse

can anyone explain the status of the cromwell women after the restoration? it seems high enough for sam to be impressed meeting their chaplain here. (has the old man been dug up yet? is junior in irons somewhere?) lacking any presumptive male heirs, was the family allowed a comfortable retirement?

Mary  •  Link

The status of the Cromwell women

After the death of the Protector is well outlined by Antonia Fraser in her "Cromwell, Our Chief of Men" p. 687ff. The treatment of the Cromwell family after the Restoration was broadly very humane. "The King, ever courteous to the female sex, suffered her [the widow, Elizabeth] to live without molestation..... she was able to spend her last days in peace at the home of her son-in-law .... Northborough Manor in Northamptonshire, where she died in 1665. ..... The truth was that the Cromwell family, in the absence of their august head, were considered harmless."

vincent  •  Link

"it rained sadly, but we made shift to get coaches." so nicely put (Londons be smogged drizzle, one being washed by soot,white linen becomes wonderfully grey.)

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Richard Cromwell, poor old "Tumbledown Dick", who had never sought office, lived until 1712. After the restoration he lived in France, returning to England around 1680. By then, even as a figurehead, he posed no threat to the regime. (By then, Charles' illegitimate son, Monmouth, was already becoming a popular focus of opposition.)

Of course, had Cromwell's eldest son Henry, or his son-in-law Henry Ireton, survived him, there might well not have been a restoration at all. One might speculate that the office of Protector might have then become like the Dutch office of Stadtholder.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Interesting that, every now and then, Pepys gets his gossip wrong. In this case, White, being still married, was in no position to pay court to the recently widowed Frances.

These mistakes don't reflect badly upon Pepys: it's just a reminder of how different the times were. These days, one can check almost any fact on the internet. When I was young, we had Chambers' Encyclopaedia at home, and had the yearbooks delivered annually: so, in our "upper working class" semi, we had access to huge amounts of accurate and up-to-date information. And there were newspaper archives in the major public libraries too. Pepys had none of this, so for most things he - and everyone else - had to rely on gossip and rumour.

MarkS  •  Link

The Mitre tavern was a favourite haunt of Dr Samuel Johnson and James Boswell a century later.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

MarkS: you are correct but it was not Pepys' Mitre but the one in Fleet St: Mitre Court EC4 Opposite Fetter Lane, on the south side of Fleet Street.
As it takes its leave of Fleet Street by way of a short passage beneath Mitre House, Mitre Court soon opens out into a small but attractive courtyard giving access to Serjeants Inn, within the Temple. Adjacent to the Court with its frontage on Fleet Street was the Elizabethan Mitre Tavern.

'I had learnt that his place of frequent resort was the Mitre Tavern in Fleet Street, where he used to sit up late, and I begged that I might be allowed to pass an evening with him there soon, which he promised I should' . . Alas the Mitre was demolished in 1829 by Hoar's Bank to provide space for an extension to their premises.…

Annie B  •  Link

I wonder what Elizabeth wore instead!

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