Thursday 12 December 1661

We lay long in bed, then up and made me ready, and by and by come Will Bowyer and Mr. Gregory, my old Exchequer friend, to see me, and I took them to the Dolphin and there did give them a good morning draft, and so parted, and invited them and all my old Exchequer acquaintance to come and dine with me there on Wednesday next.

From thence to the Wardrobe and dined with my Lady, where her brother, Mr. John Crew, dined also, and a strange gentlewoman dined at the table as a servant of my Lady’s; but I knew her not, and so I am afeard that poor Madamoiselle was gone, but I since understand that she is come as housekeeper to my Lady, and is a married woman. From thence to Westminster to my Lord’s house to meet my Lord Privy Seal, who appointed to seal there this afternoon, but by and by word is brought that he is come to Whitehall, and so we are fain to go thither to him, and there we staid to seal till it was so late that though I got leave to go away before he had done, yet the office was done before I could get thither, and so to Sir W. Pen’s, and there sat and talked and drank with him, and so home.

7 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"We lay long in bed, then up and made me ready..." Elisabeth exerts her famed charms...But did she help get him ready this am? If so, nice...And a bit unusual unless all maids were sacked recently.

Ah, those petty and somewhat voyeuristic details Sam occasionally bestows or withholds...

vicenzo  •  Link

It wern't Eliza; it were jack hoare that kept 'im a lying. He not not 'aving 'is skates on, 'e waited until the sun thawed the puddles.
Those that be raised in warm central heated homes and never live in 16th century housing would fail to appreciate the beauty of cold , and the damp of a London day, where one take ones clothing to be the near the fire to remove chill and hands warm up to get the circulation a moving and Oh! the chilblains. When that was the norm [SOP],it would never be mentioned.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I...invited them and all my old Exchequer acquaintance to come and dine with me there on Wednesday next."
That would be Wednesday 18 December; however they gathered on Monday 30 December:… Pepys did not report the notice of a postponement he must have sent out.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Commons addresses a not-uncommon case of body-snatching, but this one violating Parliamentary Privilege.

Upon Information given to this House, That Robert Woolrich, of Grayes Inn in the County of Middlesex, Esquire, having made his last Will, and Sir Solomon Swale, a Member of this House, his Executor; and departing this Life last Night, about Seven of the Clock, at his Lodging, at the House of one Mr. Gwillyme, in Baldwins Gardens, Middlesex; the said Sir Solomon repairing thither, and being present at his Death, and leaving some Servant there to attend the Corps; one Cressett, about Twelve of the Clock at Night, with Five or Six other Persons, armed with Swords, by Force took the Corps of Mr. Woolrich from the Persons employed by Sir Solomon Swale to attend the same; and, without putting him into any Coffin, carried the same away to some Place yet not known; whereby Sir Solomon is like to be prevented from the decent burying of the said Corps, according to his Intention, and the Direction of the Will;

Resolved, &c.; That the Serjeant at Arms, attending this House do apprehend the said Cressett, and other the Persons that were assistant to him in carrying away the said Corps; and bring them in Custody, to answer their Breach of Privilege, in taking the same out of the Custody of the said Sir Solomon Swale, a Member of this House, and the Executor of the said Mr. Woolrich: And that the Serjeant at Arms do also make speedy and diligent Search for the said Corps; and, if he can find where it is, to cause the same to be restored unto the said Sir Solomon Swale; to the end the said Corps may be decently interred, according to the said Will.…

Tonyel  •  Link

Fascinating Terry, but what would have been the motive?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Good question, Tonyel! The body of a wealthy lawyer was not likely seized by force of arms from the servants of an MP to serve as a subject for anatomy research: cadavers could be had otherwise at much less risk.

"Interfering with a grave was a misdemeanour at common law, not a felony, and therefore only punishable with a fine and imprisonment rather than transportation or execution. The trade was a sufficiently lucrative business to run the risk of detection, particularly as the authorities tended to ignore what they considered a necessary evil."…

My guess is the corpse of Robert Woolrich was to be held for ransom.

What's odd is that this was not a regular police matter, but -- presumably because Sir Solomon Swayle raised the point of privilege -- an illustration of the reach of parliamentary jurisdiction. Odder yet, "when the malefactor appeared at the bar on 14 Dec., he was immediately discharged. Moreover, Worledge’s [sic] will never seems to have been proved."

In June 1678, Swayle will be expelled from the House of Commons for recusancy (refusing to attend Church of England services). He will die in the King's Bench prison.…

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