Tuesday 11 December 1666

Up, and to the office, where we sat, and at noon home to dinner, a small dinner because of a good supper. After dinner my wife and I by coach to St. Clement’s Church, to Mrs. Turner’s lodgings, hard by, to take our leaves of her. She is returning into the North to her children, where, I perceive, her husband hath clearly got the mastery of her, and she is likely to spend her days there, which for her sake I am a little sorry for, though for his it is but fit she should live where he hath a mind. Here were several people come to see and take leave of her, she going to-morrow: among others, my Lady Mordant, which was Betty Turner, a most homely widow, but young, and pretty rich, and good natured. Thence, having promised to write every month to her, we home, and I to my office, while my wife to get things together for supper. Dispatching my business at the office. Anon come our guests, old Mr. Batelier, and his son and daughter, Mercer, which was all our company. We had a good venison pasty and other good cheer, and as merry as in so good, innocent, and understanding company I could be. He is much troubled that wines, laden by him in France before the late proclamation was out, cannot now be brought into England, which is so much to his and other merchants’ loss. We sat long at supper and then to talk, and so late parted and so to bed. This day the Poll Bill was to be passed, and great endeavours used to take away the Proviso.

23 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"wines, laden by him in France before the late proclamation was out, cannot now be brought into England"

L&M note a proclamation of 10 November had prohibited the import from France of all goods and manufactures of French origin.

CGS  •  Link

thus unladen them at a loss

Free markets?????

CGS  •  Link

The king gets his wish, they receivers of Poll will tell where every farthing is spent and whose pocket it does rest in.

Publick accounting 1666 vs public accounting of MPs expenses.

see HoC

CGS  •  Link

More coins to be minted.
Cheese prices to be fixed along with all purchases by the Government, no open bids for the highest price.
Sad Day for baksheese.
English wine only, English beef only,
Smugglers delight, no paying the farmers of customs.
see HoL for details.

Mary  •  Link

"a most homely widow"

We discussed the meaning of 'homely' before and I believe we came to the consensus view that it meant 'plain' rather than downright unattractive or ugly.

ONeville  •  Link

She is returning into the North

Does anyone know where exactly? Sounds like there was a North South divide even then.

Bob T  •  Link

a most homely widow”

We discussed the meaning of ‘homely’ before and I believe we came to the consensus view that it meant ‘plain’ rather than downright unattractive or ugly.

"Homely" is still used here in eastern Canada, as in "She's as homely as a stump fence"

language hat  •  Link

"We discussed the meaning of ‘homely’ before and I believe we came to the consensus view that it meant ‘plain’ rather than downright unattractive or ugly."

It doesn't even need to refer to appearance; at this period it still retains its original sense of "pertaining to a home; such as is natural to find at home; simple, unpolished." When the messenger in Macbeth says "If you will take a homely man's advice, Be not found here," he is not referring to his looks.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

@ O'Neill "Sounds like there was a North South divide even then."

Perhaps it's worth pointing out that given the condition of roads and the difficulty of land travel water transport was more important and faster. For someone in London or the south-east of England the European ports from Spain to the Baltic would have been closer in terms of travel time than central Yorkshire.

It can be a revealing experiment to redraw maps, either for the C17th. or today, with the scale in average travel time rather than distance.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Apologies: for "O'Neill" read "ONeville"

CGS  •  Link

OED on the subject of Homely. 2 previous entries by Mr P.
"...a most homely widow..."
homely, a.
1. Of or belonging to the home or household; domestic, ‘family’. Obs.
13.. E.E. Allit. P. A. 1210 He gef vus to be his homly hyne.
a1366 CHAUCER Rom. Rose 1373 Many hoomly trees ther were, That peches, coynes, and apples bere.

2. Become as one of the household; familiar, intimate; at home with. Now rare or arch.
c1375 ...
1636 RUTHERFORD Let. to Earlestown 6 July, Ye see your father is homely with you.

b. Familiar, that one is ‘at home’ with. rare.
1889 ..

3. Characteristic of home as the place where one receives kind treatment; kind, kindly. Now rare or Obs.
c1375 ...

4. Such as belongs to home or is produced or practised at home (esp. a humble home); unsophisticated, simple; plain, unadorned, not fine; everyday, commonplace; unpolished, rough, rude. (Sometimes approbative, as connoting the absence of artificial embellishment; but often apologetic, depreciative, or even as a euphemism for ‘wanting refinement, polish, or grace’.) a. Of things.
c1386 CHAUCER..

b. Of persons.
5. Of persons, etc.: Of commonplace appearance or features; not beautiful, ‘plain’, uncomely. (Said also of the features themselves.)
1590 SHAKES. Com. Err. II. i. 89 Hath homelie age th'alluring beauty tooke From my poore cheeke?
a1619 M. FOTHERBY Atheom. II. xii. §1 (1622) 332 Some parts of Man be..comely, some homely.
1634 MILTON Comus 748 It is for homely features to keep home.
1669 PENN No Cross xi. §10 Nothing is Homely in God's Sight but Sin.

homely, adv. obs

1. Familiarly, intimately.

2. Kindly.

3. Plainly, simply, unpretentiously; without adornment or polish; without refinement; rudely, roughly.

4. Without reserve or circumlocution; directly ‘home’; straight to the point; plainly.

CGS  •  Link

Homely [ my take], someone not stuck on themselves but pleasant company, no court black patches and not wearing the latest garb of Palace and speaking of latest shenanigans.

London to York, it was always a bit of journey, even by train and or car, Crossing the Humber ug!

Mud glorious mud now it be nice in ones db9.

CGS  •  Link

sumart strange here?
"...my Lady Mordant, which was Betty Turner,..."
surely 2 differing persons, one a widow, one a daughter of Jane???

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

CGS, isn't it simply that Elizabeth (Betty) Mordaunt's maiden name was Turner?

CGS  •  Link

Betty, sister of Theo [age 14]is positioned as the youngest thus 11/12?, I would have thought, to have been too young to be already widowed or even married ?


There was a Sir Charles Mordaunt, 4th Baronet (c. 1638-1665) wiki

Elizabeth [Betty ] very common name.

Jane's Sister, Elizabeth is married to Mr Dyke .

# Sir Charles Mordaunt 4th Bart. (1638 - 1664), married Elizabeth Johnson (abt 1645 - ?) of St Gregory,London, at St Bennet's, Paul's Wharf on 18th December 1663, but he died without issue. His widow married Francis Godolphin, of Colston, Wiltshire in 1669.
another Eliza
# Elizabeth Mordaunt who died unmarried

An interesting read, seeing all of Pepys aquaitenances crossing paths.

I be still confused so many Beths.

Turner a daughter or Sister or a nee Johnson? or Betty unknown.

CGS  •  Link

"..She is returning into the North to her children,.." This makes daughter unlikely .

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Poor Jane T...Doomed to the joys of Yorkshire, apparently Hell to her thinking.


She'll be back.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Three examples of marriage in one entry...Our "perfect" couple with that romantic fool of ours...

(Really, Sam beams. He means me, Bess glares.)

...Our miserably unhappy couple, the Palmers...Though Roger ought to be pleased to escape. I wonder how "for ever" their severance can be since Sam doesn't mention divorce.

And our middlin', "open"? marriage, the Turners. At least John seems remarkably willing to let Jane go off to London...Or did until her house burned down...
Whom one can suppose are reasonably happy having produced our delightful, if bratty The and the boys and since Jane seems willing to rejoin him, however reluctantly.

At least she isn't begging Sam to save her as she saved him...

CGS  •  Link

“…my Lady Mordant, which was Betty Turner,.."
[may s/b My Lady Mordant with Betty Turner
The Turner moniker leads to the fact that it could have been a cousin, the daughter of a future Lord Mayor.

Elizabeth wife to Sir Charles recently deceased, the daughter and heiress of Mr. Nicholas Johnson,
of London. Her uncle was Sir William Turner a merchant of the Drapers' Company, [became Lord Mayor of London [1668]].
She had also an unmarried Sister in law, Sir Charles Sister named Elizabeth.

extrapolated from


Michael Robinson  •  Link

“…my Lady Mordant, which was Betty Turner,..”

L&M footnote, " ... Pepys is mistaken in calling her Betty Turner; she was the daughter of Nicholas Johnson, of London, who had married Sir William Turner's sister. Her first Husband (Sir George Mordaunt Bt.) had died in 1665."

Spoiler "With her sister Mrs. Steward, she became a close friend of Pepys in the 1670's. ..."

CGS  •  Link

thanks, now was it sir George or was it sir Charles? [not important]

jeannine  •  Link

“Lady Mordant, which was Betty Turner, a most homely widow, but young, and pretty rich, and good natured.”

No matter what definition of ‘homely” is used (plain, drawn to the home or downright ugly), Lady Mordant has all of the attributes of a great catch –“young, rich and good natured”. If she circles her life around her home a man wouldn’t have to worry about her flitting through the Court, etc.

But, if she is plain or ugly, even better because

If You Wanna Be Happy
Jimmy Soul

you tube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwpR2-9EvsQ

If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.

A pretty woman makes her husband look small
And very often causes his downfall.
As soon as he marries her
Then she starts to do
The things that will break his heart.
But if you make an ugly woman your wife,
You'll be happy for the rest of your life,
An ugly woman cooks her meals on time,
She'll always give you peace of mind.

Don't let your friends say
You have no taste,
Go ahead and marry anyway,
Though her face is ugly,
Her eyes don't match,
Take it from me she's a better catch.

Say man.
Hey baby.
Saw your wife the other day.
Yeah, she's ugly.
Yeah, she's ugly but she sure can cook.
Yeah?. Okay.

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