1893 text

A place of entertainment within or adjoining Westminster Hall. It is called in “Hudibras,” “False Heaven, at the end of the Hall.” There were two other alehouses near Westminster Hall, called Hell and Purgatory.

Nor break his fast
In Heaven and Hell.

Ben Jonson’s Alchemist, act v. SC. 2.

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

3 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Miller  •  Link

In the medieval Palace of Westminster there were three rooms called

Glyn  •  Link

One of three ancient alehouses abutting on Westminster Hall, which were in existence by 1485, and were originally prison cells for the Royal Courts (as stated above, the others were Purgatory and Hell). By Pepys time its main customers were lawyers' clerks, as mentioned in Ben Jonson's play "The Alchemist".

It was pulled down in about 1741 when Westminster Bridge was being built and the nearby roads were being widened and moved. The Committee Rooms of the House of Commons now stand on this site.

Source: "One on Every Corner - The History of Some Westminster Pubs" by Westminster City Archives.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, three places within or adjoining Westminster Hall, mentioned together in a grant of wardenship by Henry VII., 1485, to Antony Kene. Heaven was a tavern, Hell, formerly a prison for king's debtors, was also a tavern, but of meaner grade, though much frequented by lawyers. Purgatory was anciently a temporary prison, or "lock-up," and here was kept the Westminster ducking-stool for scolds.

Subtle. Her grace would have you eat no more Woolsack pies, Nor Dagger frumety.
Dol Common. Nor break his fast In Heaven and Hell.
—Ben Jonson, The Alchemist

When Pride "purged" the Parliament on December 6, 1648, the forty-one he excepted were shut up for the night in a tavern called Hell, kept by a Mr. Duke.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

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