Friday 23 October 1668

Up, and plasterers at work and painters about my house. Commissioner Middleton and I to St. James’s, where with the rest of our company we attended on our usual business the Duke of York. Thence I to White Hall, to my Lord Sandwich’s, where I find my Lord within, but busy, private; and so I staid a little talking with the young gentlemen: and so away with Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, towards Tyburne, to see the people executed; but come too late, it being done; two men and a woman hanged, and so back again and to my coachmaker’s, and there did come a little nearer agreement for the coach, and so to Duck Lane, and there my bookseller’s, and saw his moher, but elle is so big-bellied that elle is not worth seeing. So home, and there all alone to dinner, my wife and W. Hewer being gone to Deptford to see her mother, and so I to the office all the afternoon. In the afternoon comes my cozen, Sidney Pickering, to bring my wife and me his sister’s favour for her wedding, which is kindly done, and he gone, I to business again, and in the evening home, made my wife read till supper time, and so to bed. This day Pierce do tell me, among other news, the late frolick and debauchery of Sir Charles Sidly and Buckhurst, running up and down all the night with their arses bare, through the streets; and at last fighting, and being beat by the watch and clapped up all night; and how the King takes their parts; and my Lord Chief Justice Keeling hath laid the constable by the heels to answer it next Sessions: which is a horrid shame. How the King and these gentlemen did make the fiddlers of Thetford, this last progress, to sing them all the bawdy songs they could think of. How Sir W. Coventry was brought the other day to the Duchesse of York by the Duke, to kiss her hand; who did acknowledge his unhappiness to occasion her so much sorrow, declaring his intentions in it, and praying her pardon; which she did give him upon his promise to make good his pretences of innocence to her family, by his faithfulness to his master, the Duke of York. That the Duke of Buckingham is now all in all, and will ruin Coventry, if he can: and that W. Coventry do now rest wholly upon the Duke of York for his standing, which is a great turn. He tells me that my Lady Castlemayne, however, is a mortal enemy to the Duke of Buckingham, which I understand not; but, it seems, she is disgusted with his greatness, and his ill usage of her. That the King was drunk at Saxam with Sidly, Buckhurst, &c., the night that my Lord Arlington come thither, and would not give him audience, or could not which is true, for it was the night that I was there, and saw the King go up to his chamber, and was told that the King had been drinking. He tells me, too, that the Duke of York did the next day chide Bab. May for his occasioning the King’s giving himself up to these gentlemen, to the neglecting of my Lord Arlington: to which he answered merrily, that, by God, there was no man in England that had heads to lose, durst do what they do, every day, with the King, and asked the Duke of York’s pardon: which is a sign of a mad world. God bless us out of it!


33 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...so away with Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, towards Tyburne, to see the people executed;..."

"Well, missed it...What a pity. Shall we be off, Mr. Pierce?"

"Just a mo, Pepys...I must speak a word to the cabman here. Arrangements for some of my...Ummn...patients. Oh, Grey..."

"Ah, Jamie Pierce...What can ole John Grey do for his good friend the famous court surgeon, eh Jamie?"

Familiar fellow...Sam eyes the tall, gaunt, overly friendly and obsequious, yet somehow, rather sinister, cabman. The two moving off to talk in private...

And we have a perfectly good cabman here...

"Sorry, Pepys." Pierce climbs in... "Normally Bets handles these things for me but she's pregnant again and wasn't quite up to another exhumation...er, execution. Off we go, driver..."

Grey giving bow and doff of hat with sinister grin as they pass.

"Fellow garden in his spare time? I see he keeps a spade and shovel on his cab rack..." Sam notes.

"Haven't the foggiest..." Pierce, looking out the other window.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Gee, debauchery was more fun in those days, wasn't it? Now you can barely hope to get away with fleecing the unimportant and the law often refuses to accept the "I'm a superior human being by birth" excuse.

Chris Squire  •  Link

‘favour | favor, n. Etym: ME favor , . .
. . 2.c. A complimentary term for: Communication, letter . .
1645 J. Howell Epistolæ Ho-elianæ iv. viii. 8 Since I was beholden to you for your many favours in Oxford, I have not heard from you.
1679 S. Pepys Let. to Duke of York 9 June, The‥excuse of my no earlier owing the favour of your Royal Highness's, by Captain Sanders.’ [OED]

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"there was no man in England that had heads to lose, durst do what they do, every day, with the King"

Can someone clarify this for me? Thanks in advance.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Debauchery

Buckhurst and Sedley had a known penchant for public drunken nakedness ensemble, a notorious prior instance of which Pepys had recorded

"Dr. Johnson relates the story in the “Lives of the Poets,” in his life of Sackville, Lord Dorset “Sackville, who was then Lord Buckhurst, with Sir Charles Sedley and Sir Thomas Ogle, got drunk [1 June 1663] at the Cock, in Bow Street, by Covent Garden, and going into the balcony exposed themselves to the populace in very indecent postures. At last, as they grew warmer, Sedley stood forth naked, and harangued the populace in such profane language, that the publick indignation was awakened; the crowd attempted to force the door, and being repulsed, drove in the performers with stones, and broke the windows of the house. For this misdemeanour they were indicted, and Sedley was fined five hundred pounds; what was the sentence of the others is not known. Sedley employed [Henry] Killigrew and another to procure a remission from the King, but (mark the friendship of the dissolute!) they begged the fine for themselves, and exacted it to the last groat.” The woman known as Oxford Kate appears to have kept the notorious Cock Tavern in Bow Street at this date. "
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/07/01/

Thus arose The King v. Sir Charles Sedley, which in U.S. law is the original case both of obscene conduct and of pornography

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/07/01/#c3722…

Dorothy Willis  •  Link

This is almost my first comment, although I have been enjoying this group for some time.

I always assumed what Pepys got was a sort of buttonhole decoration or cockade made of white ribbon and given to all the men who attended. In general a wedding favor seems to have been some small remembrance given to guests and special friends -- as, indeed, it still is.

martinb  •  Link

The sub-text of today's entry seems to be: "Other people have all the fun". Driven from home by the plasterers and painters, our man fails to speak to Sandwich, arrives too late for a hanging, discovers that Mrs Shrewsbury is too big-bellied to be worth looking at, then has to eat "all alone" and spend the rest of the afternoon working in the office. Meanwhile, others are having a fine old time...

It's not that SP actually wants to run up and down the streets of London with no clothes on, but part of him seems to be envious as well as appalled.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

I love the subtle changes: a few days ago Sam went to look at a second-hand coach. Today he visits "my coachmaker".

Michael Wright  •  Link

“there was no man in England that had heads to lose, durst do what they do, every day, with the King”

Subject to correction, I think:

there was no man in England who would dare to do what they do in the presence of the King; that is, no man who had a head to lose (beheading being implied as the appropriate punishment for what the King's companions do).

Or, simpler, just repunctuate a bit:

“there was no man in England, that had (a) head to lose, durst do what they do every day with the King”

HTH

Mary  •  Link

Wedding favours.

According to a couple of sources that I have found, the typical upper-class wedding favour of the 17th century was a bonbonniere (of china or glass) that contained candied almonds or some other choice sweetmeat.

The tradition of giving wedding favours to guests goes back to the Greeks.

Dr Owen Charles Parry-Jones  •  Link

Regarding Saxam, was there any special attraction in Suffolk for the King to be gallivanting there with these two bravados? Thetford is not far away, but did someone have property nearby perhaps?

cgs  •  Link

GGs at NM track, another diversion from the popular normal sports of the lucky ones!!!
New market heath was made popular by Carlos II for his afternoon rest.
Crofts being for his evening fun

Australian Susan  •  Link

Why did Sam make an especial effort to see this execution? Had they become rare? He doesn't even mention the names of those who died, so it can't have been someone famous (cf Charles I's execution). Rather odd.

He mentions that Bess went with Will Hewer to visit her mother, but no mention of Deb accompanying her. Didn't want Deb to see how her parents lived maybe?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" plasterers at work and painters about my house"

Paper trail: The plasterer's bill (£6 19s. 6d.) is recorded in the Navy Treasurer's ledgers: PRO, Adm. 20/12, p. 21, no. 5. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"How Sir W. Coventry was brought the other day to the Duchesse of York by the Duke, to kiss her hand; who did acknowledge his unhappiness to occasion her so much sorrow"

By his part in the fall of Clarendon, her father, in October 1667. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lord Chief Justice Keeling hath laid the constable by the heels to answer it next Sessions"

L&M do not note when that would be. Can anyone here be of help?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"That the King was drunk at Saxam with Sidly, Buckhurst, &c., the night that my Lord Arlington come thither, and would not give him audience, or could not which is true, for it was the night that I was there, and saw the King go up to his chamber, and was told that the King had been drinking."

L&M: The King was there on the night of 7-8 October: Bulstrode Papers, i. 67. Arlington wrote to Williamson from Bury on the 7th reporting that he had failed to see the King 'by reason of the uncertainty of his motions': CSPD 1668-9, p. 8.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Entry Book: October 1668', in Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 2, 1667-1668, ed. William A Shaw (London, 1905), pp. 623-630. British History Online
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-treasury-boo…

@@@
Oct. 23 1668
The Treasury Lords to the Customs Farmers
to discharge the seizure of the lace belonging to the Spanish Ambassador's gentlemen.
Treasury Outletters Customs I. p. 133.
---
Seems a bit petty ... Antonio Francesca Mesia, de Tobar y Paz, Conde de Molina, the Spanish Ambassador to the Court of St. James 1665-9 must have had an opinion about that.

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Oct. 23 1668
Order for
75/. to Dame Rebecca Williams and
150/. to Dame Barbara Villiers.
Treasury Order Book XXXVI. p. 52.
---
I don't think this is another gift to our Barbara Villiers Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine.
I think this refers goes to her great-aunt, Barbara St.John Villiers (1590-1672), who married the 1st Duke of Buckingham's difficult older brother, Amb. Sir Edward Villiers MP, and was one of those widows who was a power behind the scenes for four reigns (counting the Interregnum as one).
http://lydiardhouse.blogspot.com/2012/01/lady-st-…

Nephew George, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, is the most powerful courtier in the nation now, and this may indicate he's taking care of the family.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... Antonio Francesca Mesia, de Tobar y Paz, Conde de Molina, the Spanish Ambassador to the Court of St. James 1665-9 must have had an opinion about that."

Oh yes he did ... from
'Minute Book: October 1668, 1-15', in Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 2, 1667-1668, ed. William A Shaw (London, 1905), pp. 448-461. British History Online
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-treasury-boo…

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Oct. 15. 1668
Thursday.
ITEM:
Write the farmers and officers of the Customs on the Spanish Ambassador's complaint as to a small box of lace, &c., taken out of an Ostend man-of-war brought out of Flanders for the use of his family by a gentleman of his;

and further, as to the little respect shewn to him by the officers at Gravesend.

The farmers to report a valuation of the box, &c.
[Treasury Minute Book II. pp. 351–2.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 5, 1661-1668, ed. W Noel Sainsbury (London, 1880), pp. 615-622. British History Online

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

October 1668

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Oct. 23. 1668
Barbados.
#1860. Presentment and requests of the Grand Jury (impannelled for this sessions of oyer and terminer and general gaol delivery, held the 20th Oct. 1668) to Gov. Lord Willoughby.

They present the churchwardens and other public officers for their great neglect touching the strict observance of the Lord's day.

They request his Excellency to give encouragement to the speedy erection of an inland town for security of the magazine, and free schools there, to prevent youth seeking education in foreign parts;

to take care that none officiate as ministers but those in holy orders of the Church of England;
that the Indian bridge be rebuilt;
that the late Acts for the regular building of St. Michael's be duly observed;
that care be taken to erect the manufactory of cotton and other manufactories;
to pass an Act regulating the exorbitant fees of public offices;
to erect a magazine in or about St. Michael's;
to repair the fortifications and erect others where needful;
and that none of the Jewish nation be suffered to retail any goods, "it being a privilege they are nowhere allowed," and "extremely prejudicial to the poor of our own nation, who might be comfortably supported thereby."

They present the hearty thanks of the island to his Excellency for his love, care, and good government, by which they have been preserved, "not only to the satisfaction but admiration of all his Majesty's loving subjects of this island."
Assure him that it is not without great sorrow that they have understood his intention to return to England;
and request him to silence in himself "those resentments which the prejudice of particular persons may have created,"
and by his Majesty's consent return to re-assume that authority which they hope his Majesty will enlarge to him.

Further, they request him to mediate with his Majesty for a right understanding of their loyalty, and for such advantages of trade and privileges as may tend to their encouragement and comfort;
and to return hearty thanks to his Majesty for supplying them in their late sufferings with ships, arms, and ammunition,
and for the bounteous provisions they understand he has further made for them.

Signed by Henry Walrond, Oct. 23, 1668.

Indorsed by Lord Willoughby, but struck through, "The presentment of the Grand Jury to send to my wife, Oct. 24, 1668."
2-½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIII., No. 70.]
---
William, Lord WILLOUGHBY, 6th Baron of Parham MP (1616 – 1673), Gov. Barbados (1666 – 1673)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The volume of Domestic State Papers covering correspondence from Oct. 1668 to Dec. 1669 is at

https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=vik5AQAAM…

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Oct. 23 1668.
Whitehall
Petition
of Dr. Hamnet Ward, chaplain of Walter, Bishop of Oxford, to the King,
for a dispensation to hold with his rectory of Porlock, Somerset,
the vicarage of Sturminster Newton, Dorset, to which he has been presented,
they being above 30 miles distant, and both being a little above 200/. a year.

Was forced for his loyalty to spend much of his time abroad during the Usurpation, and his brother died under sequestration for his loyalty, leaving 6 poor orphans, who have ever since received their sustenance from the petitioner.

With reference thereon to the Bishop of Hereford, dean of the King's chapel,
and his report in favour of the petition.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, Nos. 48, 49.]

Annexing,
Certificate by Walter, Bishop of Oxford,
that he knows Dr. Hamnet Ward to be a person of eminent parts and learning,
and believes the contents of his petition to be true.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 491.]

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Oct. 23? 1668
Petition of Andrew Walton to the King,
for a grant of the rectory of East Mersey, Essex.

Was chaplain with Sir Rob. Holmes in several ships during the war with the Dutch, then had a grant of the said rectory, through mediation of the Bishop of London, but was disappointed of it by another person, who is now dead.

With note in his favour by Henry, Bishop of Hereford.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 50.)

Annexing,
Certificate by Humphrey, Bishop of London,
that Andrew Walton, clerk, served as Chaplain in the Henry, under Sir Rob.
Holmes, by whom he has been well recommended; and that having received
other good testimony in his behalf, he conceives him worthy of favour.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 501.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Oct. 23 1668.
Whitehall
Order of Council
on petition of Sir P. Musgrave, Bart., Governor of Carlisle garrison,

complaining of John Aglionby, alderman of Carlisle, for affronting the guards and officers in their prosecuting of his design to make a division between the city and garrison, fomenting false rumours in the heads of the citizens, &c.

Aglionby was summoned before the Board, and — after many expressions of
esteem from the King of Sir P. Musgrave's fidelity and good services to his late
and present Majesty, especially in his prudent governing of Carlisle, and of
displeasure against Aglionby for affronting the Governor, and procuring a writing from the city endangering its quiet, and containing false aspersions of the Governor - the Board declared the garrison officers innocent of the accusation.

Aglionby was ordered to acknowledge his misdemeanour to Sir Philip and the
officers' satisfaction, publicly in presence of the mayor and aldermen, within a
month, and the letter, obtained surreptitiously by him from the city, was ordered to be rescinded from the acts of the corporation.
[Copy. 14 pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 51.]

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Oct. 23 1668.
Will. Wakeman to Williamson.

A vessel of Bristol, laden with Barnstaple hides and tallow from Ireland,
ran ashore on Braunton Sands and perished, but the men were saved.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 52.]

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Oct. 23 1668.
Plymouth
John Clarke to Williamson.

Craves excuse for his long silence; has been at Exeter 6 weeks, under a course of physic, but has returned in a competent measure of health.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 53.]

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Milford
John Powell to Williamson.

The Providence has arrived from Genoa, with lemons and marble, and is bound for Amsterdam;

she reports that the Dutch merchant ships are very insolent to the English in the Straits, by commanding them aboard, which if they refuse, they board their ships, and take away great quantities of their goods.

Also that Sir Thos. Allin was at Malaga with his fleet 5 weeks since.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 54.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Oct. 23 1668
Rich. Watts to [Williamson].

The Crown has arrived from Ireland;
the Norwich came out with her, but has not yet arrived; the seamen fear for her safety.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 57.]

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Oct. 23 1668.
Wm. Sclater to Williamson.

I am informed by Sir Wm. Bowles that the same obstruction which some
malevolent persons - who, having gained their own ends unjustly, shut the doors to their fellows — had obtained in Oxford, should be the rule at Cambridge, and they have promise of a patent.

Please to remember, before it passes, one who has done the Church and his
Majesty as good service as those who would bolt the door against us;
his Majesty promised me in particular that none of us should suffer for our modesty, which is all that is laid to our charge, that we did not apply early enough, nor take the opportunity afforded by the King's coming in.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 59. See Calendar, 1667-8, p. 609.]

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Oct. 23 1668.
Yarmouth
Rich. Bower to Williamson.

The wind has continued so high that the fishery are prevented from driving, and fish is double the price it was.

A considerable fleet of colliers have passed.

I send a letter for his Lordship [Arlington] and beg you will let me know if there is anything that he scruples at, as I shall give him full satisfaction therein.

Capt. Clifton understands the whole business; I shall solicit him to wait on you.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 60.]

Encloses,
Rich. Bower to Lord [Arlington].

I was prosecuted for an embezzled cable, seized on information of John Barker,
and was convicted at Thetford Assizes, because Barker was absent at sea;

on his return, I obtained a rule for a new trial, but my opponents try to postpone it till Barker is gone to sea again.

Long details of the case.
I beg indemnity.

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Oct. 23 1668.
Information of Sam. Mearne, King's book binder, before Lord Arlington.

Thomas Leach, printer, confessed to him and others that Mr. Wilson acknowledged being the author of a book called “Nehushtan," and corrected the book, sheet by sheet, at the press.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 61.]
---
The book printed in 1668 was:
“Nehushtan, or, A sober and peaceable discourse, concerning the abolishing of things abused to superstition and idolatry which may serve as one intire, and sufficient argument, to evince that the liturgy, ceremonies, and other things used at this day in the Church of England, ought neither to be imposed, nor retained, but utterly extirpated and laid aside : and to vindicate the non-conformists in their refusal to close with them.” -- By Joseph Wilson, died 1672.
https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo2/A66578.0001.00…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Oct. 23 1668.
Portmouth
Hugh Salesbury to Williamson.

I went to see your barb, but found Sir Philip [Honeywood's] groom had fetched it away.
I will arrange about sending it to you.

The Dartmouth is ready to sail,
and the Milford, which was ordered for the winter guard, is again laid aside.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 248, No. 56.]
---
Sir Philip Honeywood was the Lt. Gov. of Portsmouth (the Duke of York officially being the Gov.), so we know that the gift of this lovely Arab horse to Williamson has now become a hot potato. Very nice of Hugh Salesbury to offer to arrange for its delivery to London.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"It's not that SP actually wants to run up and down the streets of London with no clothes on, but part of him seems to be envious as well as appalled."

I think Pepys is suffering from the same middle class angst we suffer from today. That Charles II and Chief Justice Keeling would take the side of two drunk, naked aristocrats over a constable vainly trying to keep the peace is just infuriating.
Pepys is envious of their undeserved privilege, just as today we want billionaires to pay more taxes than the common joe, and women want rapists to go to prison.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Why did Sam make an especial effort to see this execution? Had they become rare? He doesn't even mention the names of those who died, so it can't have been someone famous (cf Charles I's execution). Rather odd."

I think Pepys wanted to hear Pearse's gossip from Little Saxham, but Pearse had to get to the execution in order to get his vials of blood from the condemned. They practiced what we now call Corpse Medicine. So Pepys hitched a ride in his carriage.

In 1685 drops made from human skull were among treatments given to the dying Charles II.

In 1647 the preacher and author, Thomas Fuller, referred to mummy as “good physic but bad food”. His statement implies that medical processes could somehow refine human flesh, elevating it above the savagery of cannibalism.

In the late 17th century, the Puritan minister Edward Taylor wrote that “human blood, drunk warm and new is held good in the falling sickness”.

Drinking human blood “recent and hot” was still being recommended for epilepsy by English physicians in 1747.

When the subject had died in a healthy state, his vitality undiminished by age or disease, that was the ideal. Had he died from disease, his youth would have been wasted, the vital spirits decreasing with the blood. Ideally, therefore, the corpse should have been drowned, strangled or smothered.

A violent death produces fear. Medical theory held that fear forcibly expelled the spirits from vital organs (liver, heart and brain) into the flesh – hence the prickling of hair or skin, and flashing of the eyes. This kind of flesh would, accordingly, be especially potent.
https://www.historyextra.com/period/renaissance/c…

And no, executions were not rare.
In cities without an organized police force, the fear of crime was real and ever-present, and so the authorities responded with harsher and harsher penalties.
In 1688, there were 50 offences listed as being punishable by death;
by 1776, there were almost 200;
by 1799, 220.
Prostitutes and pickpockets feared both the cells of Newgate Prison, and the "triple-tree" of the Tyburn gallows, where Marble Arch stands today.

There is a blog devoted to details taken from original sources about executions -- if you can stomach it.
http://www.executedtoday.com/2012/12/16/themed-se…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"my wife and W. Hewer being gone to Deptford to see her mother,"

I'm struck by how little work Hewer is doing these days. But as I just posted, at a time "without an organized police force, the fear of crime was real and ever-present" and if Hewer wasn't going along to defend Elizabeth, Pepys would have to do it. That's why really rich men had footmen running besides the coach, and the King had his ever-present Body Guards made up of noblemen.

I remember seeing a film about Marie Antoinette's run for the German border and freedom; in one scene she looks out of her coach window and exclaims, "There ain't no guards!" Immortal words.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... Lord Chief Justice Keeling hath laid the constable by the heels to answer it next Sessions ..."

laid by the heels means to imprison. Let's hope the next session is soon.

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