2 Annotations

First Reading

A. Hamilton  •  Link

A varnisher with a pretty wife, from whom Pepys has ordered various items. Recommended to Pepys by Mr. Povy (Diary May 2, 1665):

"I by and by to Mr. Povy’s to see him, who is yet in his chamber not well, and thence by his advice to one Lovett’s, a varnisher, to see his manner of new varnish, but found not him at home, but his wife, a very beautiful woman, who shewed me much variety of admirable work, and is in order to my having of some papers fitted with his lines for my use for tables and the like."

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys' relationship with the Catholic Lovetts went deep quite quickly.

He first visits their business on May 5, 1665 and by October 18, 1666 he is standing as godfather to their son and paying the midwife and maid:

"... and so away by coach towards Lovett’s ... where I stood godfather. But it was pretty, that, being a Protestant, a man stood by and was my Proxy to answer for me. A priest christened it, and the boy’s name is Samuel. The ceremonies many, and some foolish. The priest in a gentleman’s dress, more than my owne; but is a Capuchin, one of the Queene-mother’s priests. He did give my proxy and the woman proxy (my Lady Bills, absent, had a proxy also) good advice to bring up the child, and, at the end, that he ought never to marry the child nor the godmother, nor the godmother the child or the godfather: but, which is strange, they say that the mother of the child and the godfather may marry. By and by the Lady Bills come in, a well-bred but crooked woman. The poor people of the house had good wine, and a good cake; and she a pretty woman in her lying-in dress. It cost me near 40s. the whole christening: to midwife 20s., nurse 10s., mayde 2s. 6d., and the coach 5s. I was very well satisfied with what I have done, and so home "

Since the fire, Pepys seems to be happily paying for things he would probably previously have balked at. This one surprised me. Being a godfather in those days could have implications.

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


  • May