5 Annotations

First Reading

language hat  •  Link

Elizabeth (born Turner) was Batten's second wife.
They had married in 1659; she was the widow of William Woodstocke of Westminster.

Terry F,  •  Link

Pepys had a low opinion of her fairly early.

E.g. Thursday 1 August 1661: "I hear how nurse’s husband has spoken strangely of my Lady Batten how she was such a man’s whore" http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Elizabeth Woodcock, evidently his second wife (as his daughter Martha is often mentioned), married Feb. 3, 1658-9, to Sir W. Batten; and secondly, in 1671, to a foreigner called, in the register of Battersea parish, Lord Leyenburg. Lady Leighenberg was buried at Walthamstow, Sept. 16, 1681. Sir James Barkman Leyenburg, the envoy from Sweden, was resident in England till 1682, or later. His name occurs in The Intelligencer, 12th March, 1663-4, as delayed at Stockholm by a fever, though his despatches were ready. A hostile message appears to have passed between him and Pepys, in November, 1670, but the duel was prevented. Perhaps they quarrelled about the money due from Sir W. Batten to Pepys, for which the widow was liable.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Despite a very good start to their relationship, it seems that Lady Batten and Bess fell out because Bess didn't want to take a socially subordinate position. The first hint of a problem in the diary was on Easter Day 1662, when Sam & Bess tried to get round the natural precedence of the pews in church.


From then on, the relationship deteriorated, including complaints to Pepys about Bess' servants, and Sam formally notes on 31st December 1662 that they make themselves "a little strange" to "Lady Batten and hers"


Bess' family regards itself as aristocratic, though fallen on hard times. The Battens have humbler origins, but Lady B has precedence over Bess in formal occasions, including church,, because of her husband's title. The sticking point for Bess was possibly the inclusion of Lady Batten's daughter in this precedence.

Whatever the causes, in 10th March 1663, the dispute broke out into open warfare, in which the following day Pepys "doubted", ie feared/suspected, "my wife was to blame".


I regard the problems between them as an escalated pecking order dispute between the two ladies which Bess could not win, and which damaged the relationship between their husbands. I also think that Sam made a strategic mistake by encouraging/humouring Bess in these games. The Battens remained remarkably cordial to him under the circumstances - especially when Bess was away, as the example below illustrates.


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Lady Elizabeth Turner Woodstocke Batten was Sir William Batten's second wife. They married February 3, 1659. She was the widow of William Woodstocke of Westminster, and the daughter of a Mr. Turner.

Funny how many people named Turner were in the Diary. I wonder if she was related to any of them.

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