Sunday 17 January 1663/64

(Lord’s day). Up, and I and my wife to church, where Pembleton appeared, which, God forgive me, did vex me, but I made nothing of it. So home to dinner, and betimes my wife and I to the French church and there heard a good sermon, the first time my wife and I were there ever together. We sat by three sisters, all pretty women. It was pleasant to hear the reader give notice to them, that the children to be catechized next Sunday were them of Hounsditch and Blanche Chapiton. Thence home, and there found Ashwell come to see my wife (we having called at her lodging the other day to speak with her about dressing my wife when my Lord Sandwich dines here), and is as merry as ever, and speaks as disconcerned for any difference between us on her going away as ever. She being gone, my wife and I to see Sir W. Pen and there supped with him much against my stomach, for the dishes were so deadly foule that I could not endure to look upon them.

So after supper home to prayers and to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

Blanche Chapiton.

So where is it? Whitechapel?

language hat  •  Link

Yes, presumably Whitechapel.
This appears to be the only place the phrase has ever occurred; this entry gets the leftovers from Sam's recent bout of linguistic playfulness. (There doesn't seem to be a French word "chapiton" -- 'chapel' is "chapelle" -- but of course Sam isn't composing a learned treatise, just making a little joke for his own benefit.)

Glyn  •  Link

But I took it to mean the opposite - that it was the French(?) "reader" who called it by the name Blanche Chapiton, which is what Pepys found amusing. But I've no evidence for that. Anywhere in France with that particular name?

Terry  •  Link

Blanche Chapiton.
Chapiton is a French dialect word roughly translating to "poorly organised bad warehouse" (according to and my attempt at a transalation). Of course it could have meant something else in the 17th century!

djc  •  Link

Blanche Chapiton
L&M note Blanch Appleton in Aldgate Ward

MissAnn  •  Link

So, on the one hand Sam is "vexed" by Pembleton turning up at church this morning, but is quite happy to sit next to three pretty sisters at the French Church this afternoon - oh the double standards! AND, the plump Betty Lane is back in his good books again. Sounds more and more like a soap opera every day.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam takes the bull by the horns...Or dancing shoes...At last.

"Pembleton?! What the devil are you doing here, staring up at my wife?"

"Mr. Pepys." Broad smile, proffered hand.

"Mrs. Betty Lane suggested I give you hearty good wishes and convey her thanks for a lovely visit yesterday."

Even broader smile...

"Sam'l? Was that Mr. Pembleton?" Bess, over from a pleasant conversation with several ladies.


"He's in quite a good mood. Looks like the cat who swallowed the canary." she looks after the indeed quite content dancing master, now striding happily off from the church door.

"Like the cat who swallowed my 50L from Luellin." Sam glares darkly.


"Nothing, nothing..."


Rex Gordon  •  Link

Houndsditch and Blanche Chapiton ...

Whitechapel and Houndsditch were close to each other. Stow's Survey says this about Houndsditch: "From Aldgate, north-west to Bishopsgate, lieth the ditch of the city called Houndes ditch; for that in old time, when the same lay open, much filth (conveyed forth of the city), especially dead dogs, were there laid or cast; wherefore of latter time a mud wall was made, inclosing the ditch, to keep out the laying of such filth as had been accustomed." There was a Houndsditch street, Stow writes, which was also called Barbican street.

Mary  •  Link

Blanch Appleton.

Stow also reports on Blanch Appleton.
"At the northeast corner of Mark Lane was the manor of a knight of Richard II, called by the pretty name of Blanch Appleton, afterwards corrupted into Blind Chapel Court. In the reign of Edward IV [lived 1442 - 1483] basket-makers and wire-drawers were allowed to practice their trades in Blanch Appleton."

Rex Gordon  •  Link

It was pleasant to hear the reader ...

Mary - Maybe Sam is amused by the reader's French accent, in which Blanch Appleton would emerge as Blanche Chapiton.

Mary  •  Link

mangled Appleton?

Yes, that's what I thought, too.

Bradford  •  Link

Wonder what the foul entrées were, don't you? Perhaps an ill-sauced swan.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"More ground sheep's guts, Pepys?" Penn asks.

Pedro  •  Link

"Blanch Appleton, afterwards corrupted into Blind Chapel Court."

From the Book of Days...

Corruption has done its work with street-names. The popular love of abbreviation has transformed the Via de Alwych (the old name for Drury Lane) into Wych Street, and Gatherum into Gutter Lane, while vulgar mispronunciation has altered Desmond into Deadman's Place, Sidon into Sything and Seething Lane, Candlewick into Cannon Street, Strypes Court (named after the historian's father) into Tripe Court, St. Olave's into Tooley Street, Golding into Golden Square, Birch over into Birchin Lane, Blanche-Appleton into Blind-chapel Court, and Knightenguild Lane (so called from tenements pertaining to the knighten-guild created by Edgar the Saxon) into Nightingale Lane. Battersea figures in Domesday Book as Patricesy, passing to its present form through the intermediate ones of Baltrichsey and Battersey; Chelsea, known to the Saxons as Cealchylle, and to Sir Thomas More as Chelcith, is, according to Norden, 'so called from the nature of the place, whose strand is like the diesel, coesel or cesol, which the sea casteth up, of sand and pebble stones, thereof called. Cheselsey, briefly Chelsey.'

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary today...

"... And this day was my Wife brought to bed of a sonn borne exactly at 2 in the afternoone: blessed be God for this mercy to her, who had ceased from bearing some yeares:"

Nix  •  Link

Not a soap opera, MissAnn -- a French farce. Think Moliere or Feydeau.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

"...for the dishes were so deadly foule that I could not endure to look upon them."

For some reason, the phrase "deadly foule" really made me laugh. That must have been some really nasty food to earn such a description from Sam. Perhaps it was meat or other food that was so old that it was spoiling? Penn might have taken the opportunity to use it up before it was hopelessly spoiled.

Sir W. Penn to Mrs Penn: "It's just that busybody Pepys that is coming to dinner. No need to waste good food. Hopefully, he'll learn to decline our dinner invitations in the future."

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"So home to dinner, and betimes my wife and I to the French church ..."

A new time of day for 'betimes.' I think in this case it means they were early to the service. Pepys was so late a couple of weeks ago he decided not to go in, and went to a church service elsewhere.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

' . . betimes my wife and I to the French church . . '

'betimes, adv < betime v.*
3. In good time, in due time; while there is yet time, before it is too late.
. . 1667   Milton Paradise Lost iii. 186   To appease betimes Th' incensed Deitie . .
* a. intr. To betide. 1. a. intr. To happen, befall . .
. . 1591   Spenser Prosopopoia in Complaints 37   A strange adventure, that betided Betwixt the Foxe and th' Ape . . '

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