1893 text

Elizabeth Aynsworth, here mentioned, was a noted procurerss at Cambridge, banished from that town by the university authorities for her evil courses. She subsequently kept the Rein Deer Inn at Bishops Stortford, at which the Vice-Chancellor, and some of the heads of colleges, had occasion to sleep, in their way to London, and were nobly entertained, their supper being served off plate. The next morning their hostess refused to make any charge, saying, that she was still indebted to the Vice-Chancellor, who, by driving her out of Cambridge, had made her fortune. No tradition of this woman has been preserved at Bishops Stortford; but it appears, from the register of that parish, that she was buried there 26th of March, 1686. It is recorded in the “History of Essex,” vol. iii., (p. 130) 8vo., 1770, and in a pamphlet in the British Museum, entitled, “Boteler’s Case,” that she was implicated in the murder of Captain Wood, a Hertfordshire gentleman, at Manuden, in Essex, and for which offence a person named Boteler was executed at Chelmsford, September 10th, 1667, and that Mrs. Aynsworth, tried at the same time as an accessory before the fact, was acquitted for want of evidence; though in her way to the jail she endeavoured to throw herself into the river, but was prevented. See Postea, May 25th, 1668. — B.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

2 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Elizabeth Aynsworth

Details about her life as proprietress of the Reindeer Inn at Bishops Stortford, where, with her husband, Edward Aynsworth, [she] established the Reindeer as a place of good ‘entertainment’ [as a stop on the road from London to Cambridge]; Samuel Pepys's patronage there; the 1677 murder there of Captain William Wade, and the subsequent confession, trial, conviction and hanging of William Boteler. http://www.stortfordhistory.co.uk…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Bishop Stafford, where Lowther and his friend did meet us again, and carried us to the Raynedeere, where Mrs. Aynsworth, who lived heretofore at Cambridge, and whom I knew better than they think for, do live." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

Elizabeth Aynsworth had been banished from Cambridge by the university authorities and had settled at the Reindeer Inn at Bishop's Stortford, Herts., a well-known stopping place on the road between London and Newmarket. There she throve and she became involved in in an affray in 1677. On one occasion the proctor who had sent her away from Cambridge dined there. He was served with a 'most elegant supper all in plate' which he and his party were afraid to touch lest they should have a lord's reckoning to pay. Upon which the woman appeared, and said it was the least she could do in return of that gentleman's whipping her out, by which she had so much advanced herself."'. New and Complete Hist. Essex (1770), iii, 130-1. (L&M note) https://books.google.co.uk/books?…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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