Thursday 1 August 1661

This morning Sir Williams both, and my wife and I and Mrs. Margarett Pen (this first time that I have seen her since she came from Ireland) went by coach to Walthamstow, a-gossiping to Mrs. Browne, where I did give her six silver spoons1 for her boy. Here we had a venison pasty, brought hot from London, and were very merry. Only I hear how nurse’s husband has spoken strangely of my Lady Batten how she was such a man’s whore, who indeed is known to leave her her estate, which we would fain have reconciled to-day, but could not and indeed I do believe that the story is true.

Back again at night home.

16 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Who indeed is known to leave her her estate" Am I missing something? Amazing how Sam is listening to the nurse's husband badmouthing his Lady Batten and seems to agree with him.

Bradford  •  Link

Any foodies out there keeping a running count of the venison pasties?

Sjoerd  •  Link

I don't understand the Lady Batten line either, but maybe this helps:
"man's whore" could mean "kept woman".
Maybe a remarried widow who was allowed to keep her own "estate" (as opposed to let her husband have it and run it) could give rise to these (male) comments.

From… :

"Since her brothel days, Nell had been the mistress of several men, but only one at a time. "I was but one man's whore," she said, using a word that in those times also meant "kept woman" or "adulteress."

vicente  •  Link

"...nurse's husband has spoken strangely of my Lady Batten how she was such a man's whore,…”
Second wife , no longer a man’s slave: has her own money, the most likely reason, to quote a modern woman ” shuve it” which gives any one a sense of independent action, never to depend on a another ‘uman for ones bread, butter and of course pleasures. Many men being so dependant on the Macho feedback will oft use the most derogative sayings to level the playing field to get an advantage. Even in this day of quote “freedoms” those that draw a pay check toe the company line even to going against ones beliefs in order to eat, have a roof, and a proverbial shirt.
Very few women were indepandant at this time, not until early 20th century were the “weaker sex” about to break the bonds of being a youngs mans slave.[fortunately there are many examples of independant Women [Bodecia for one???].
To receive a favour is to sell your liberty . Many marriages are based on the economic and not on mutual equality , sharing and real partnership, even with all the H’edification that is available.
Beneficium accipere libertatem est vendere. Syrus, Maxims

dirk  •  Link

"had a venison pasty, brought hot from London"

Brought hot from London: sounds very modern, like having a pizza. Would have been "slightly" bigger though.

vicente  •  Link

strange today I read_"...The medical profession is in danger of losing its power and influence because too many women are scaling its ranks, according to the female head..."…

Bullus Hutton  •  Link

nurse's husband has spoken strangely of my Lady Batten..
I don’t think this is such a big deal. Despite my esteemed Vincent’s incisive analysis concerning the emergence of fem power, it is perhaps just a reflection of Sam’s love of gossip.
“..such a man's whore, who indeed is known to leave her her estate ..” seems to me that she has been known to interact with people of a class lower than her own.
Sam would have loved to get some hard evidence, ” would fain have reconciled (the rumour) to-day, but could not..” which clearly disappoints him more than somewhat, particularly since he ” do believe that the story is true..”
He’s a great old gossip monger, in amongst his wonderous observations of the social shenanigans of his day!

andy  •  Link

Plus ça change…

Not being a Radfem myself, but these are typical double standards, dally with the married ladies one minute, complain they’re nobbut mens’ whores the next…some things never change…but let he without guilt cast the first stone!

niamh  •  Link

"..such a man's whore, who indeed is known to leave her her estate .."

I’m reading that as she was/is the mistress of a certain man who Pepy’s doesn’t want to name. She is to be or has been left property in his will.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

"who indeed is known to leave her her estate .."

I think this means that she has already inherited, or Sam would have written 'who indeed is known to leave her his estate' if the man had not yet died and the estate still belonged to him. This reads to me as if he has died and that this is the estate that now belongs to her.

Pauline  •  Link

her estate/his estate
But if they were not married, he would have no legal claim to leave her "her estate". Perhaps the estate was "his" but is referred to as "hers" because it is (as Sam writes) the estate that she now enjoys and had brought to her marriage with Batten.

"...which we would fain have reconciled to-day...." Wonder who all is involved in this "we"?

And finding the story true is to leave it unreconciled? Unreconciled in Sam's mind about the ways of the world and women's honor.

vicente  •  Link

Margarett--- aged 12? Mrs meaning mistress: "...Mrs. Margarett Pen (this first time that I have seen her since she came from Ireland..." not blossomed yet?

Pauline  •  Link

Margaret Penn
I'm finding conflicting information for her, Vincent. The 1651 birth date is sometimes given as her date of marriage to Lowther, yet here she is called Mrs. Margaret Penn.

Based on July 28 last entry:
"...tells me that whereas I expected she should have been a great beauty, she is a very plain girl..."
I would think he and Elizabeth were not talking about a 10-year-old girl. I have found two sources giving her birth year as 1636, so she may be 25. One source gives her marriage to Anthony Lowther as February 1666-67, with a son born in 1670. Let's go with this.

Maybe Mrs. as an honorific for the eldest unmarried daughter goes this far back.

vicente  •  Link

mrs, mistress the young lady of the house. Have to look up OED for when Miss. came into vogue. Mrs has been used in different ways.
Penn born 1621 Captain at 21, [1642] R.Adm 23, [1644] V. Adm [ireland at 24] Adm 29 1650. Gen at 31 at !st Dutch War.
from will of 1670 has grand daughter Margaret Lowther, two [2 ]sonnes Richard[not yet 21 and favourite?] and Wm . [at odds with papa and executor]
Mis read ?: there is also a grand daughter of same name. Many a man celebrates promotion by having wife give birth 9 mths later. Daughter can only 20 approx now, if Ist born in 42 now only 20.Maybe more like the result of being made admiral, celibration of 1650.

vicente  •  Link

Re: Mistress Penn Marge: broth Will is 17 {at this date} [result of papa being upted to R. Adm:] youngster Richard a teen? [not 21 when will was writ 1670] my guess 'twas 51 she be borne .

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Lady Batten had her own cash, thanks to the generosity of a previous...Ummn...boyfriend? Now we know why Sam didn't feel Sir W.B. would take a 40 lbs touch too hard.

Rumor or false, sure to lead to trouble later on should Beth and Milady not get on...

"Ah, good morrow, Lady Batten...(you golddigging slut)..." "Good morrow, Mrs. Pepys...(you dirty little half-French probable Papist nobody)"

Though no doubt a juicy source of many happy mornings' conversation between our gossip-loving Pepys'.

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