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7 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

Following the Restoration of the Monarchy, the taverns of Covent Garden gained a bad reputation for

Nix  •  Link

"Far less fashionable [than hatelaine's] was the Fleece tavern, where Pepys found pleasant entertainment on several occasions. His earliest reference to the house is in his account of meeting two gentlemen who told him how a Scottish knight was 'killed basely the other day at the Fleece,' but that tale did not prevent him from visiting the tavern himself. Along with a 'Captain Cuttle' and two others he went thither to drink, and 'there we spent till four o'clock, telling stories of Algiers, and the manner of life of slaves there.' And then he tells how one night he dropped in at the Opera for the last act 'and there found Mr. Sanchy and Mrs. Mary Archer, sister to the fair Betty, whom I did admire at Cambridge, and thence took them to the Fleece in Covent Garden; but Mr. Sanchy could not by any argument get his lady to trust herself with him into the taverne, which he was much troubled at.'"

-- From Henry Shelley's "Inns and Taverns of Old London"

vincent  •  Link

Definition: \Fleeced\, a.
1. Furnished with a fleece; as, a sheep is well fleeced. --Spenser.

2. Stripped of a fleece; plundered; robbed.…

Me flees OE fleos

Aaron Allen  •  Link

General Patrick Ruthven lived near the Fleece Tavern in Covent Garden in 1641. See Rev. Wm. Macray, The Ruthven Correspondence (London, 1868).

David Fletcher  •  Link

Known as an infamous rough spot in Covent Garden. The "Scottish knight" referred to by Pepys on 1 December 1660 conflates two facts regarding the occurrence. The knight in question was in actuality Sir John Godschalke of St. Martin in the Field, and the murderer reputed to be one Scotsman named "Balenden." Rugge and other diarists rendered Sir John as "Gooscall," close but not quite. His will was probated in the P.C.C. in November 1660. He left a widow, Anne Filmer Godschalke (or Godscall as she rendered it, daughter of Sir Robert Filmer--author of "Patriarcha"--of East Sutton, Kent, as well as a son John and daughter Anne. The latter were not referenced in his will, written in 1659, and it may be that Lady Anne Godschalke was with child at the time of the murder.

Second Reading

Antiquarian  •  Link

William Clifton, the landlord of the Fleece dyring the period of Pepys' visits was one of those many tradesmen who issued there own tokens during the period 1648/9 to 1672. Clifton issued both farthings and half pennies in the name of the Fleece. For an image and more information about these tokens see the post at;


Bill  •  Link

"The Fleece Tavern, in York Street, Covent Garden," observes John Aubrey, in his Miscellanies, p. 81, "was very unfortunate for homicides; there have been several killed; three in my time. It is now (1692) a private house." In Rugge's Journal is the following entry:— "Nov. 1660, One Sir John Gooscall was unfortunately killed in the Fleece Tavern, Covent Garden, by one Balendin, a Scotchman, who was taken, and committed to the Gatehouse in this month."
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

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


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