The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

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Pepys and his wife lived at a house in Axe Yard in Westminster, just south of modern day Downing Street, from August 1658 to July 1660.

See here for general information about Axe Yard itself.

3 Annotations

First Reading

Dave  •  Link

In August 1658 Pepys along with Elizabeth and their servant Jane Birch moved into Axe Yard. At first he could only afford to rent half the house - five rooms and a yard where he bred pigeons - and he still called it "my little house" even after taking over the other half.

Axe Yard was a cul-de-sac right in the heart of Westminster. There were 25 houses along the length of the Yard and the larger ones were owned by wealthy well connected families, it had a narrow entrance into King Street next to the Axe Tavern, and was only a short walk away from King Street gate into Whitehall Palace where he had been living in a single room in Edward Montagu's lodgings.
If you turned right on leaving Axe Yard, a short walk would bring you to Westminster Palace, Parliament and the offices of the Exchequer where he then worked under George Downing.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Samuel Hartlib, after his wife's Mary Burningham Hartlib’s death, went to live with his son Sam in Axe Yard, Westminster, as a neighbor of Samuel Pepys, who later recalled that he had been ‘much below Hartlibb in all respects’ before the Restoration (Pepys, 5.30).

Samuel Hartlib had a stroke towards the end of 1660.
A household fire in 1662 destroyed some of Samuel Hartlib’s papers.
Samuel Hartlib died on Monday, 10 March, 1662 in Axe Yard, where he had been living since 1658.

For more information:…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

L&M Companion: Pepys lived here from c. Aug. 1658 until July 1660. The house was probably on the north side, and was the fourth from King Street. It had 8 hearths, which was about average for a street which also included a house with 36 (probably a rooming house), one with 3, and the others ranged from 4 to 15.

It appears from the rate book of 1657/8 to have been divided, the Pepyses occupying 2/3 (assessed on 5 hearths). Before the Diary begins, the Beales (who had occupied the rest of the house) had moved along the street to the Axe Inn, and Pepys (now presumably in sole occupancy) was paying rent to both Francis Beale and the freeholder, Valentine Wanley of Lambeth.

HMMM ... that's not what Pepys says on the first day of the Diary: "... (we living lately in the garret) ..."…

A garret:
garret -- noun
Synonyms of garret: a room or unfinished part of a house just under the roof.…

Perhaps after Pepys gets a better-paid job in March, he, Elizabeth and Jane take over more space?

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