History of Stepney

1666 Four Days' Battle

1667 Raid on the Medway

Stepney is in Middlesex.

On 05 Aug 1447 John Holland 2nd Duke Exeter 1395-1447 (52) died at Stepney. He was buried at the Church of St Katharine's by the Tower. His son Henry Holland 3rd Duke Exeter 1430-1475 (17) succeeded 3rd Duke Exeter 1C 1397, 3rd Earl Huntingdon 4C 1388. Anne York Duchess Exeter 1439-1476 (7) by marriage Duchess Exeter.

In 1508 Charles Brandon 1st Duke Suffolk 1484-1545 (24) and Anne Browne -1511 were married secretely at Stepney.

Around 1543 Unknown Painter. Portrait of Charles Brandon 1st Duke Suffolk 1484-1545.

Diary of Henry Machyn August 1552. 21 Aug 1552. The xxj day of August was the monumentt of ser Anthony Wynckfeld (65) knyght, and controller of the kynges h[owsse], bered at Stepnay with a grett compeny of mornars, [with] prestes and clarkes syngyng, and a harold ys ys M.... and so cared from Bednoll Gren over Mylle End; with ys standdard and a grett baner of armes, and [his helmet] and ys targett of the garter, and ys sword, crest a [bull] gold and sabull; and at the communyon dyd pryche [the vicar] of Sordyche, a Skott; and after a grett dener for all that cam; and alle ys gayre was offered, the elmett, and then the targett, and then the sword, and the standard, and then ys baner of armes; and after dener yt was sett up over hym, the wyche a goodly shyth to, and alle was offered to the prest,—the vj king Edward the vjth.

Before 12 Nov 1557 John Maynard Sheriff Merchant 1509-1557 died. He was buried on 12 Nov 1557 at Stepney.

Diary of Henry Machyn November 1557. 12 Nov 1557. [The xij day of November was buried at Stepney master Maynard (48), merchant, and sheriff of London in the sixth] yere of kyng Edward the vjth (20), the wyche kept a grett howse, and in the time of Cryustymas he had a lord of mysrulle, and after the kynges lord of mysse-rulle cam and dynyd with hym; and at the crosse of Chepe he mad a grett skaffold, and mad a proclamasyon. [He was buried] with ij whytt branchys, and xij torchys, and iiij grett [tapers]; and after to Popeler to dener, and that was grett.

Around 1540 Hans Holbein The Younger Painter 1497-1543. Portrait of Edward VI King England and Ireland 1537-1553 Around 1546 Unknown Painter. After William Scrots Painter 1517-1553. Portrait of Edward VI King England and Ireland 1537-1553. Around 1547. Workshop of Master John Painter. Portrait of Edward VI King England and Ireland 1537-1553.

On 28 Aug 1558 George Darcy 1st Baron Darcy Aston 1497-1558 (61) died at Stepney. His son John Darcy 2nd Baron Darcy Aston 1540-1602 (18) succeeded 2nd Baron Darcy Aston.

On 30 Apr 1587 John Newdigate 1570-1603 (17) and Anne Fitton 1574-1587 (12) were married at Stepney.

1592. Unknown Painter. Portrait of sisters Anne Fitton 1574-1587 aged eighteen and Mary Fitton 1578-1647 aged fifteen.

On 30 Apr 1587 Anne Fitton 1574-1587 (12) died at Stepney.

On or before 22 Jul 1662 Dorothy Basse 1662-1736 was born to William Basse 1611- (51) and Susannah Gill 1630- (32) at Stepney. She was christened on 22 Jul 1662 at St Bride's Church.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 November 1666. 24 Nov 1666. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon rose and to my closet, and finished my report to my Lord Treasurer (59) of our Tangier wants, and then with Sir J. Minnes (67) by coach to Stepney to the Trinity House, where it is kept again now since the burning of their other house in London. And here a great many met at Sir Thomas Allen's (33) feast, of his being made an Elder Brother; but he is sick, and so could not be there. Here was much good company, and very merry; but the discourse of Scotland, it seems, is confirmed, and that they are 4000 of them in armes, and do declare for King and Covenant, which is very ill news. I pray God deliver us from the ill consequences we may justly fear from it. Here was a good venison pasty or two and other good victuals; but towards the latter end of the dinner I rose, and without taking leave went away from the table, and got Sir J. Minnes' (67) coach and away home, and thence with my report to my Lord Treasurer's (59), where I did deliver it to Sir Philip Warwicke (56) for my Lord, who was busy, my report for him to consider against to-morrow's council.

Sir Philip Warwicke (56), I find, is full of trouble in his mind to see how things go, and what our wants are; and so I have no delight to trouble him with discourse, though I honour the man with all my heart, and I think him to be a very able and right honest man. So away home again, and there to my office to write my letters very late, and then home to supper, and then to read the late printed discourse of witches by a member of Gresham College, and then to bed; the discourse being well writ, in good stile, but methinks not very convincing. This day Mr. Martin is come to tell me his wife is brought to bed of a girle, and I promised to christen it next. Sunday.

Around 1660 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Thomas Wriothesley 4th Earl of Southampton 1607-1667 holding his Lord Treasurer Staff of Office. Before 09 Dec 1641 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of John Mennes Comptroller 1599-1671.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 June 1667. 03 Jun 1667. Up, and by coach to St. James's, and with Sir W. Coventry (39) a great while talking about several businesses, but especially about accounts, and how backward our Treasurer (57) is in giving them satisfaction, and the truth is I do doubt he cannot do better, but it is strange to say that being conscious of our doing little at this day, nor for some time past in our office for want of money, I do hang my head to him, and cannot be so free with him as I used to be, nor can be free with him, though of all men, I think, I have the least cause to be so, having taken so much more pains, while I could do anything, than the rest of my fellows.

Parted with him, and so going through the Park met Mr. Mills, our parson, whom I went back with to bring him to Sir W. Coventry (39), to give him the form of a qualification for the Duke of York (33) to sign to, to enable him to have two livings: which was a service I did, but much against my will, for a lazy, fat priest.

Thence to Westminster Hall, and there walked a turn or two with Sir William Doyly (53), who did lay a wager with me, the Treasurership would be in one hand, notwithstanding this present Commission, before Christmas: on which we did lay a poll of ling, a brace of carps, and a pottle of wine; and Sir W. Pen (46) and Mr. Scowen to be at the eating of them.

Thence down by water to Deptford, it being Trinity Monday, when the Master is chosen, and there, finding them all at church, and thinking they dined, as usual, at Stepny, I turned back, having a good book in my hand, the Life of Cardinal Wolsey, wrote by his own servant, and to Ratcliffe; and so walked to Stepny, and spent, my time in the churchyard, looking over the gravestones, expecting when the company would come by. Finding no company stirring, I sent to the house to see; and, it seems, they dine not there, but at Deptford: so I back again to Deptford, and there find them just sat down. And so I down with them; and we had a good dinner of plain meat, and good company at our table: among others, my good Mr. Evelyn (46), with whom, after dinner, I stepped aside, and talked upon the present posture of our affairs; which is, that the Dutch are known to be abroad with eighty sail of ships of war, and twenty fire-ships; and the French come into the Channell with twenty sail of men-of-war, and five fireships, while we have not a ship at sea to do them any hurt with; but are calling in all we can, while our Embassadors are treating at Bredah; and the Dutch look upon them as come to beg peace, and use them accordingly; and all this through the negligence of our Prince, who hath power, if he would, to master all these with the money and men that he hath had the command of, and may now have, if he would mind his business. But, for aught we see, the Kingdom is likely to be lost, as well as the reputation of it is, for ever; notwithstanding so much reputation got and preserved by a rebel that went before him.

This discourse of ours ended with sorrowful reflections upon our condition, and so broke up, and Creed and I got out of the room, and away by water to White Hall, and there he and I waited in the Treasury-chamber an hour or two, where we saw the Country Receivers and Accountants for money come to attend; and one of them, a brisk young fellow, with his hat cocked like a fool behind, as the present fashion among the blades is, committed to the Serjeant.

By and by, I, upon desire, was called in, and delivered in my report of my Accounts. Present, Lord Ashly (45), Clifford (36), and Duncomb (44), who, being busy, did not read it; but committed it to Sir George Downing (42), and so I was dismissed; but, Lord! to see how Duncomb (44) do take upon him is an eyesore, though I think he deserves great honour, but only the suddenness of his rise, and his pride. But I do like the way of these lords, that they admit nobody to use many words, nor do they spend many words themselves, but in great state do hear what they see necessary, and say little themselves, but bid withdraw.

Thence Creed and I by water up to Fox Hall, and over against it stopped, thinking to see some Cock-fighting; but it was just being done, and, therefore, back again to the other side, and to Spring Garden, and there eat and drank a little, and then to walk up and down the garden, reflecting upon the bad management of things now, compared with what it was in the late rebellious times, when men, some for fear, and some for religion, minded their business, which none now do, by being void of both. Much talk of this and, other kinds, very pleasant, and so when it was almost night we home, setting him in at White Hall, and I to the Old Swan, and thence home, where to supper, and then to read a little, and so to bed.

Before 23 Jun 1686 Mary Beale aka Cradock Painter 1633-1699. Portrait of William Coventry 1628-1686. Before 1694 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of King James II when Duke of York. Around 1666 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II and Anne Hyde Queen Consort England 1637-1671. See Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 March 1666. Before 04 Jan 1674 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II wearing his Garter Robes. Around 1672 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of King James II. Around 1644. Robert Walker Painter 1599-1658. Portrait of John Evelyn 1620-1706. In 1689 Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of John Evelyn 1620-1706. Around 1650 Adriaen Hanneman Painter 1603-1671. Portrait of John Evelyn 1620-1706. Around 1672 John Greenhill Painter 1644-1676. Portrait of Anthony Ashley-Cooper 1st Earl Shaftesbury 1621-1683. Before 11 Jul 1671 Adriaen Hanneman Painter 1603-1671. Portrait of Anthony Ashley-Cooper 1st Earl Shaftesbury 1621-1683. Around 1672 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Thomas Clifford 1st Baron Clifford Chudleigh 1630-1673.

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Bethnall Green, Stepney, Middlesex

Diary of Henry Machyn August 1552. 15 Aug 1552. The xv day of August ded the nobull knyght ser [Anthony] Wynckfeld (65), comtroller of the kynges honorabull howsse, [and of] ys preve consell, and knyght of the honorabull order of the garter; the wyche he ded at Bednoll Grene, at yong sir John G[ates] plasse,—the vj king Edward vjth. And (in) ys sted master Cottun comtroller.

Diary of Henry Machyn August 1552. 21 Aug 1552. The xxj day of August was the monumentt of ser Anthony Wynckfeld (65) knyght, and controller of the kynges h[owsse], bered at Stepnay with a grett compeny of mornars, [with] prestes and clarkes syngyng, and a harold ys ys M.... and so cared from Bednoll Gren over Mylle End; with ys standdard and a grett baner of armes, and [his helmet] and ys targett of the garter, and ys sword, crest a [bull] gold and sabull; and at the communyon dyd pryche [the vicar] of Sordyche, a Skott; and after a grett dener for all that cam; and alle ys gayre was offered, the elmett, and then the targett, and then the sword, and the standard, and then ys baner of armes; and after dener yt was sett up over hym, the wyche a goodly shyth to, and alle was offered to the prest,—the vj king Edward the vjth.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 June 1663. 26 Jun 1663. Up betimes, and Mr. Moore coming to see me, he and I discoursed of going to Oxford this Commencement, Mr. Nathaniel Crew being Proctor and Mr. Childe commencing Doctor of Musique this year, which I have a great mind to do, and, if I can, will order my matters so that I may do it.

By and by, he and I to the Temple, it raining hard, my cozen Roger (46) being got out, he and I walked a good while among the Temple trees discoursing of my getting my Lord to let me have security upon his estate for £100 per ann. for two lives, my own and my wife, for my money. But upon second thoughts Mr. Moore tells me it is very likely my Lord will think that I beg something, and may take it ill, and so we resolved not to move it there, but to look for it somewhere else. Here it raining hard he and I walked into the King's Bench Court, where I never was before, and there staid an hour almost, till it had done raining, which is a sad season, that it is said there hath not been one fair day these three months, and I think it is true, and then by water to Westminster, and at the Parliament House I spoke with Roger Pepys (46). The House is upon the King's answer to their message about Temple, which is, that my Lord of Bristol (50) did tell him that Temple (29) did say those words; so the House are resolved upon sending some of their members to him to know the truth, and to demand satisfaction if it be not true.

So by water home, and after a little while getting me ready, Sir W. Batten (62), Sir J. Minnes (64), my Lady Batten, and I by coach to Bednall Green, to Sir W. Rider's to dinner, where a fine place, good lady mother, and their daughter, Mrs. Middleton, a fine woman. A noble dinner, and a fine merry walk with the ladies alone after dinner in the garden, which is very pleasant; the greatest quantity of strawberrys I ever saw, and good, and a collation of great mirth, Sir J. Minnes (64) reading a book of scolding very prettily. This very house1 was built by the Blind Beggar of Bednall Green, so much talked of and sang in ballads; but they say it was only some of the outhouses of it. We drank great store of wine, and a beer glass at last which made me almost sick. At table, discoursing of thunder and lightning, they told many stories of their own knowledge at table of their masts being shivered from top to bottom, and sometimes only within and the outside whole, but among the rest Sir W. Rider did tell a story of his own knowledge, that a Genoese gally in Leghorn Roads was struck by thunder, so as the mast was broke a-pieces, and the shackle upon one of the slaves was melted clear off of his leg without hurting his leg. Sir William went on board the vessel, and would have contributed towards the release of the slave whom Heaven had thus set free, but he could not compass it, and so he was brought to his fetters again.

In the evening home, and a little to my Tryangle, and so to bed.

1. Sir William Rider's house was known as Kirby Castle, and was supposed to have been built in 1570 by John Thorpe for John Kirby. It was associated in rhyme with other follies of the time in bricks and mortar, as recorded by Stow "Kirkebyes Castell, and Fisher's Follie, Spinila's pleasure, and Megse's glorie". The place was known in Strype's time as the "Blind Beggar's House", but he knew nothing of the ballad, "The Beggar's Daughter of Bednall Green", for he remarks, "perhaps Kirby beggared himself by it". Sr. William Rider died at this house in 1669.

2. From www.spitalfieldmusic.org.uk. The story starts with the sad story of the Blind Beggar, a man who didn’t have a penny to his name but his pride and joy was his daughter Bessy – "a fair daughter, most pleasant and bright". Many men, including a gentleman of fortune, a London merchant and an innkeeper’s son, could not help to fall in love with Bessy due to her great beauty and her sweet countenance. However, most would soon turn their backs on her once they found out about her lowly status and her poor blind father, who spent his days begging for charity accompanied by his faithful dog. There was one man who was different! He was described as a Knight and he was determined to marry young Bessy and wanted to meet her father to ask for her hand in marriage as he believed that you "weigh true love not by the weight of the purse". A wedding soon followed that featured the most skillful musicians, the most scrumptious foods and attended by many of the noblest families – a wedding of "joy and delight". This was when the secret was finally revealed! The Blind Beggar was in fact the son of Simon de Montford who had been an influential baron during reign of King John. Despite being blinded at the Battle of Evesham (other sources say he died at the battle), he was indeed a man of substantial means; he lived the life of a Blind Beggar to ensure that whoever would win the heart and love of young Bessy was not after her money!

Around 1637 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of George Digby 2nd Earl Bristol 1612-1677 and William Russell 1st Duke Bedford 1616-1700. Around 1638 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of George Digby 2nd Earl Bristol 1612-1677. Before 09 Dec 1641 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of John Mennes Comptroller 1599-1671.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 April 1664. 25 Apr 1664. Up, and with Sir W. Pen (43) by coach to St. James's and there up to the Duke (30), and after he was ready to his closet, where most of our talke about a Dutch warr, and discoursing of things indeed now for it. The Duke (30), which gives me great good hopes, do talk of setting up a good discipline in the fleete. In the Duke's chamber there is a bird, given him by Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, comes from the East Indys, black the greatest part, with the finest collar of white about the neck; but talks many things and neyes like the horse, and other things, the best almost that ever I heard bird in my life.

Thence down with Mr. Coventry (36) and Sir W. Rider, who was there (going along with us from the East Indya house to-day) to discourse of my Lord Peterborough's (42) accounts, and then walked over the Parke, and in Mr. Cutler's coach with him and Rider as far as the Strand, and thence I walked to my Lord Sandwich's (38), where by agreement I met my wife, and there dined with the young ladies; my Lady, being not well, kept her chamber. Much simple discourse at table among the young ladies.

After dinner walked in the garden, talking, with Mr. Moore about my Lord's business. He told me my Lord runs in debt every day more and more, and takes little care how to come out of it. He counted to me how my Lord pays us now for above £9000, which is a sad thing, especially considering the probability of his going to sea, in great danger of his life, and his children, many of them, to provide for.

Thence, the young ladies going out to visit, I took my wife by coach out through the city, discoursing how to spend the afternoon; and conquered, with much ado, a desire of going to a play; but took her out at White Chapel, and to Bednal Green; so to Hackney, where I have not been many a year, since a little child I boarded there.

Thence to Kingsland, by my nurse's house, Goody Lawrence, where my brother Tom (30) and I was kept when young. Then to Newington Green, and saw the outside of Mrs. Herbert's house, where she lived, and my Aunt Ellen with her; but, Lord! how in every point I find myself to over-value things when a child.

Thence to Islington, and so to St. John's to the Red Bull, and there: saw the latter part of a rude prize fought, but with good pleasure enough; and thence back to Islington, and at the King's Head, where Pitts lived, we 'light and eat and drunk for remembrance of the old house sake, and so through Kingsland again, and so to Bishopsgate, and so home with great pleasure. The country mighty pleasant, and we with great content home, and after supper to bed, only a little troubled at the young ladies leaving my wife so to-day, and from some passages fearing my Lady might be offended. But I hope the best.

Before 1694 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of King James II when Duke of York. Around 1666 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II and Anne Hyde Queen Consort England 1637-1671. See Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 March 1666. Before 04 Jan 1674 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II wearing his Garter Robes. Around 1672 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of King James II. Before 23 Jun 1686 Mary Beale aka Cradock Painter 1633-1699. Portrait of William Coventry 1628-1686. Around 1650 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Edward Montagu 1st Earl Sandwich 1625-1672.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 08 September 1666. 08 Sep 1666. Up and with Sir W. Batten (65) and Sir W. Pen (45) by water to White Hall and they to St. James's. I stopped with Sir G. Carteret (56) to desire him to go with us, and to enquire after money. But the first he cannot do, and the other as little, or says, "when we can get any, or what shall we do for it?" He, it seems, is employed in the correspondence between the City and the King (36) every day, in settling of things. I find him full of trouble, to think how things will go. I left him, and to St. James's, where we met first at Sir W. Coventry's (38) chamber, and there did what business we can, without any books. Our discourse, as every thing else, was confused. The fleete is at Portsmouth, there staying a wind to carry them to the Downes, or towards Bullen, where they say the Dutch fleete is gone, and stays. We concluded upon private meetings for a while, not having any money to satisfy any people that may come to us. I bought two eeles upon the Thames, cost me six shillings.

Thence with Sir W. Batten (65) to the Cock-pit, whither the Duke of Albemarle (57) is come. It seems the King (36) holds him so necessary at this time, that he hath sent for him, and will keep him here. Indeed, his interest in the City, being acquainted, and his care in keeping things quiet, is reckoned that wherein he will be very serviceable. We to him; he is courted in appearance by every body. He very kind to us; I perceive he lays by all business of the fleete at present, and minds the City, and is now hastening to Gresham College, to discourse with the Aldermen. Sir W. Batten (65) and I home (where met by my brother John (25), come to town to see how things are with us), and then presently he with me to Gresham College; where infinity of people, partly through novelty to see the new place, and partly to find out and hear what is become one man of another. I met with many people undone, and more that have extraordinary great losses. People speaking their thoughts variously about the beginning of the fire, and the rebuilding; of the City. Then to Sir W. Batten's (65), and took my brothet with me, and there dined with a great company of neighbours; and much good discourse; among others, of the low spirits of some rich men in the City, in sparing any encouragement to the poor people that wrought for the saving their houses. Among others, Alderman Starling, a very rich man, without; children, the fire at next door to him in our lane, after our men had saved his house, did give 2s. 6d. among thirty of them, and did quarrel with some that would remove the rubbish out of the way of the fire, saying that they come to steal. Sir W. Coventry (38) told me of another this morning, in Holborne, which he shewed the King (36) that when it was offered to stop the fire near his house for such a reward that came but to 2s. 6d. a man among the neighbours he would, give but 18d.

Thence to Bednall Green by coach, my brother with me, and saw all well there, and fetched away my journall book to enter for five days past, and then back to the office where I find Bagwell's wife, and her husband come home. Agreed to come to their house to-morrow, I sending him away to his ship to-day.

To the office and late writing letters, and then to Sir W. Pen's (45), my brother lying with me, and Sir W. Pen (45) gone down to rest himself at Woolwich. But I was much frighted and kept awake in my bed, by some noise I heard a great while below stairs; and the boys not coming up to me when I knocked. It was by their discovery of people stealing of some neighbours' wine that lay in vessels in the streets.

So to sleep; and all well all night.

Around 1642. William Dobson Painter 1611-1646. Portrait of the future King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Before 1691. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Around 1665 John Greenhill Painter 1644-1676. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his Garter Robes. Around 1661 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his coronation robes. Before 11 Jul 1671 Adriaen Hanneman Painter 1603-1671. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. 1675. Hendrick Danckerts Painter 1625-1680. Portrait of Royal Gardener John Rose presenting a pineappel to King Charles II Before 03 Jan 1670  Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of George Monck 1st Duke Albemarle 1608-1670. Before 03 Jan 1670 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of George Monck 1st Duke Albemarle 1608-1670 in his Garter Robes.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 09 September 1666. 09 Sep 1666. Sunday. Up and was trimmed, and sent my brother to Woolwich to my wife, to dine with her. I to church, where our parson made a melancholy but good sermon; and many and most in the church cried, specially the women. The church mighty full; but few of fashion, and most strangers. I walked to Bednall Green, and there dined well, but a bad venison pasty at Sir W. Rider's. Good people they are, and good discourse; and his daughter, Middleton, a fine woman, discreet.

Thence home, and to church again, and there preached Dean Harding; but, methinks, a bad, poor sermon, though proper for the time; nor eloquent, in saying at this time that the City is reduced from a large folio to a decimotertio.

So to my office, there to write down my journall, and take leave of my brother, whom I sent back this afternoon, though rainy; which it hath not done a good while before. But I had no room or convenience for him here till my house is fitted; but I was very kind to him, and do take very well of him his journey. I did give him 40s. for his pocket, and so, he being gone, and, it presently rayning, I was troubled for him, though it is good for the fyre. Anon to Sir W. Pen's (45) to bed, and made my boy Tom to read me asleep.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 08 June 1667. 08 Jun 1667. Up, and to the office, where all the news this morning is, that the Dutch are come with a fleete of eighty sail to Harwich, and that guns were heard plain by Sir W. Rider's people at Bednallgreene, all yesterday even.

Kirby Castle aka Blind Beggar's House, Bethnall Green, Stepney, Middlesex

Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 June 1663. 26 Jun 1663. Up betimes, and Mr. Moore coming to see me, he and I discoursed of going to Oxford this Commencement, Mr. Nathaniel Crew being Proctor and Mr. Childe commencing Doctor of Musique this year, which I have a great mind to do, and, if I can, will order my matters so that I may do it.

By and by, he and I to the Temple, it raining hard, my cozen Roger (46) being got out, he and I walked a good while among the Temple trees discoursing of my getting my Lord to let me have security upon his estate for £100 per ann. for two lives, my own and my wife, for my money. But upon second thoughts Mr. Moore tells me it is very likely my Lord will think that I beg something, and may take it ill, and so we resolved not to move it there, but to look for it somewhere else. Here it raining hard he and I walked into the King's Bench Court, where I never was before, and there staid an hour almost, till it had done raining, which is a sad season, that it is said there hath not been one fair day these three months, and I think it is true, and then by water to Westminster, and at the Parliament House I spoke with Roger Pepys (46). The House is upon the King's answer to their message about Temple, which is, that my Lord of Bristol (50) did tell him that Temple (29) did say those words; so the House are resolved upon sending some of their members to him to know the truth, and to demand satisfaction if it be not true.

So by water home, and after a little while getting me ready, Sir W. Batten (62), Sir J. Minnes (64), my Lady Batten, and I by coach to Bednall Green, to Sir W. Rider's to dinner, where a fine place, good lady mother, and their daughter, Mrs. Middleton, a fine woman. A noble dinner, and a fine merry walk with the ladies alone after dinner in the garden, which is very pleasant; the greatest quantity of strawberrys I ever saw, and good, and a collation of great mirth, Sir J. Minnes (64) reading a book of scolding very prettily. This very house1 was built by the Blind Beggar of Bednall Green, so much talked of and sang in ballads; but they say it was only some of the outhouses of it. We drank great store of wine, and a beer glass at last which made me almost sick. At table, discoursing of thunder and lightning, they told many stories of their own knowledge at table of their masts being shivered from top to bottom, and sometimes only within and the outside whole, but among the rest Sir W. Rider did tell a story of his own knowledge, that a Genoese gally in Leghorn Roads was struck by thunder, so as the mast was broke a-pieces, and the shackle upon one of the slaves was melted clear off of his leg without hurting his leg. Sir William went on board the vessel, and would have contributed towards the release of the slave whom Heaven had thus set free, but he could not compass it, and so he was brought to his fetters again.

In the evening home, and a little to my Tryangle, and so to bed.

1. Sir William Rider's house was known as Kirby Castle, and was supposed to have been built in 1570 by John Thorpe for John Kirby. It was associated in rhyme with other follies of the time in bricks and mortar, as recorded by Stow "Kirkebyes Castell, and Fisher's Follie, Spinila's pleasure, and Megse's glorie". The place was known in Strype's time as the "Blind Beggar's House", but he knew nothing of the ballad, "The Beggar's Daughter of Bednall Green", for he remarks, "perhaps Kirby beggared himself by it". Sr. William Rider died at this house in 1669.

2. From www.spitalfieldmusic.org.uk. The story starts with the sad story of the Blind Beggar, a man who didn’t have a penny to his name but his pride and joy was his daughter Bessy – "a fair daughter, most pleasant and bright". Many men, including a gentleman of fortune, a London merchant and an innkeeper’s son, could not help to fall in love with Bessy due to her great beauty and her sweet countenance. However, most would soon turn their backs on her once they found out about her lowly status and her poor blind father, who spent his days begging for charity accompanied by his faithful dog. There was one man who was different! He was described as a Knight and he was determined to marry young Bessy and wanted to meet her father to ask for her hand in marriage as he believed that you "weigh true love not by the weight of the purse". A wedding soon followed that featured the most skillful musicians, the most scrumptious foods and attended by many of the noblest families – a wedding of "joy and delight". This was when the secret was finally revealed! The Blind Beggar was in fact the son of Simon de Montford who had been an influential baron during reign of King John. Despite being blinded at the Battle of Evesham (other sources say he died at the battle), he was indeed a man of substantial means; he lived the life of a Blind Beggar to ensure that whoever would win the heart and love of young Bessy was not after her money!

Around 1637 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of George Digby 2nd Earl Bristol 1612-1677 and William Russell 1st Duke Bedford 1616-1700. Around 1638 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of George Digby 2nd Earl Bristol 1612-1677. Before 09 Dec 1641 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of John Mennes Comptroller 1599-1671.

Spitalfields, Stepney, Middlesex

St Dunstan's Church Stepney, Middlesex

On 12 Dec 1594 Edward Russell 3rd Earl Bedford 1572-1627 (21) and Lucy Harrington Countess Bedford 1580-1627 (14) were married at St Dunstan's Church Stepney. She by marriage Countess Bedford. She brought an enormous dowry of £10000 and the estate of Minster Lovell.

Around 1606 John Critz 1551-1642. Portrait of Lucy Harrington Countess Bedford 1580-1627. Around 1615 William Larkin Painter 1582-1619. Portrait of Lucy Harrington Countess Bedford 1580-1627. Before 07 Dec 1680 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Lucy Harrington Countess Bedford 1580-1627. 1612. Studio of Isaac Oliver Painter 1565-1617. Miniature Portrait of (probably) Lucy Harrington Countess Bedford 1580-1627. Oliver painted the woman's pearl earrings using Nicholas Hilliard's jewelling technique, which involved laying a raised blob of white lead paint with some shadowing to one side. This form was then crowned with a rounded touch of real silver that was burnished with, to quote Hilliard,

On 07 Feb 1626 Edward Whalley 1607-1675 (19) and Judith Duffield of Rochester in Kent were married at St Dunstan's Church Stepney.

Stratford le Bow Stepney, Middlesex

Diary of Henry Machyn August 1555. 23 Aug 1555. The xxiij day of August was bornyd at [Stratford]-of-bowe, in the conte of Mydyllsex, a woman, [wife] of John Waren (29), clothworker, a huphulster [over] agaynst sant Johns in Walbroke; the wyche .... John her hosband was bornyd with on Cardmaker in Smythfeld, for herese boyth; and the sam woman had a sune taken at her bornyng and cared to Nuwgatt [to his] syster, for they will borne [burn] boyth.

Diary of Henry Machyn May 1556. 15 May 1556. The xv day of May was cared in a care from Nuwgatt thrug London unto Strettford-a-bow to borne ij men; the on blyne [one blind], the thodur lame; and ij tall men, the (one) was a penter, the thodur a clothworker; the penter ys nam was Huw Loveroke, dwellyng in Seythin lane; the blynd man dwellyng in sant Thomas apostylles.

John Evelyn's Diary 24 March 1700. 24 Mar 1700. The season warm, gentle, and exceedingly pleasant. Divers persons of quality entered into the Society for Reformation of Manners; and some lectures were set up, particularly in the city of London. The most eminent of the clergy preached at Bow Church, after reading a declaration set forth by the King (69) to suppress the growing wickedness; this began already to take some effect as to common swearing, and oaths in the mouths of people of all ranks.

Around 1642. William Dobson Painter 1611-1646. Portrait of the future King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Before 1691. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Around 1665 John Greenhill Painter 1644-1676. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his Garter Robes. Around 1661 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his coronation robes. Before 11 Jul 1671 Adriaen Hanneman Painter 1603-1671. Portrait of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. 1675. Hendrick Danckerts Painter 1625-1680. Portrait of Royal Gardener John Rose presenting a pineappel to King Charles II

Whitechapel, Stepney, Middlesex

John Evelyn's Diary 16 March 1683. 16 Mar 1683. I went to see Sir Josiah Child's (52) prodigious cost in planting walnut trees about his seat, and making fish ponds, many miles in circuit, in Epping Forest, in a barren spot, as oftentimes these suddenly monied men for the most part seat themselves. He from a merchant's apprentice, and management of the East_India Company's stock, being arrived to an estate (it is said) of £200,000; and lately married his daughter (17) to the eldest son (22) of the Duke of Beaufort, late Marquis of Worcester, with £50,000 portional present, and various expectations.

I dined at Mr. Houblon's (53), a rich and gentle French merchant, who was building a house in the Forest, near Sir J. Child's (52), in a place where the late Earl of Norwich (68) dwelt some time, and which came from his lady, the widow of Mr. Baker. It will be a pretty villa, about five miles from Whitechapel.

Before 1691. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of Josiah Child Merchant 1631-1699.

St Mary's Church, Whitechapel, Stepney, Middlesex

Before 10 Jun 1666 Vice-Admiral Christopher Myngs 1625-1666 died of wounds received at the Four Days' Battle. He was buried at St Mary's Church.

Around 1665 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Vice-Admiral Christopher Myngs 1625-1666. One of the Flagmen of Lowestoft.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 June 1666. 13 Jun 1666. Up, and by coach to St. James's, and there did our business before the Duke (32) as usual, having, before the Duke come out of his bed, walked in an ante-chamber with Sir H. Cholmly (33), who tells me there are great jarrs between the Duke of Yorke (32) and the Duke of Albemarle (57), about the later's turning out one or two of the commanders put in by the Duke of Yorke (32). Among others, Captain Du Tell, a Frenchman, put in by the Duke of Yorke (32), and mightily defended by him; and is therein led by Monsieur Blancford, that it seems hath the same command over the Duke of Yorke (32) as Sir W. Coventry (38) hath; which raises ill blood between them. And I do in several little things observe that Sir W. Coventry (38) hath of late, by the by, reflected on the Duke of Albemarle (57) and his captains, particularly in that of old Teddiman, who did deserve to be turned out this fight, and was so; but I heard Sir W. Coventry (38) say that the Duke of Albemarle (57) put in one as bad as he is in his room, and one that did as little.

After we had done with the Duke of Yorke (32), I with others to White Hall, there to attend again a Committee of Tangier, but there was none, which vexed me to the heart, and makes me mighty doubtfull that when we have one, it will be prejudiced against poor Yeabsly and to my great disadvantage thereby, my Lord Peterborough (44) making it his business, I perceive (whether in spite to me, whom he cannot but smell to be a friend to it, or to my Lord Ashly (44), I know not), to obstruct it, and seems to take delight in disappointing of us; but I shall be revenged of him. Here I staid a very great while, almost till noon, and then meeting Balty (26) I took him with me, and to Westminster to the Exchequer about breaking of two tallys of £2000 each into smaller tallys, which I have been endeavouring a good while, but to my trouble it will not, I fear, be done, though there be no reason against it, but only a little trouble to the clerks; but it is nothing to me of real profit at all.

Thence with Balty (26) to Hales's (66) by coach, it being the seventh day from my making my late oathes, and by them I am at liberty to dispense with any of my oathes every seventh day after I had for the six days before going performed all my vowes. Here I find my father's picture begun, and so much to my content, that it joys my very heart to thinke that I should have his picture so well done; who, besides that he is my father, and a man that loves me, and hath ever done so, is also, at this day, one of the most carefull and innocent men, in the world.

Thence with mighty content homeward, and in my way at the Stockes did buy a couple of lobsters, and so home to dinner, where I find my wife and father had dined, and were going out to Hales's (66) to sit there, so Balty (26) and I alone to dinner, and in the middle of my grace, praying for a blessing upon (these his good creatures), my mind fell upon my lobsters: upon which I cried, Odd zooks! and Balty (26) looked upon me like a man at a losse what I meant, thinking at first that I meant only that I had said the grace after meat instead of that before meat. But then I cried, what is become of my lobsters? Whereupon he run out of doors to overtake the coach, but could not, so came back again, and mighty merry at dinner to thinke of my surprize.

After dinner to the Excise Office by appointment, and there find my Lord Bellasses (51) and the Commissioners, and by and by the whole company come to dispute the business of our running so far behindhand there, and did come to a good issue in it, that is to say, to resolve upon having the debt due to us, and the Household and the Guards from the Excise stated, and so we shall come to know the worst of our condition and endeavour for some helpe from my Lord Treasurer (59).

Thence home, and put off Balty (26), and so, being invited, to Sir Christopher Mings's (40) funeral, but find them gone to church. However I into the church (which is a fair, large church, and a great chappell) and there heard the service, and staid till they buried him, and then out. And there met with Sir W. Coventry (38) (who was there out of great generosity, and no person of quality there but he) and went with him into his coach, and being in it with him there happened this extraordinary case, one of the most romantique that ever I heard of in my life, and could not have believed, but that I did see it; which was this:—About a dozen able, lusty, proper men come to the coach-side with tears in their eyes, and one of them that spoke for the rest begun and says to Sir W. Coventry (38), "We are here a dozen of us that have long known and loved, and served our dead commander, Sir Christopher Mings (40), and have now done the last office of laying him in the ground. We would be glad we had any other to offer after him, and in revenge of him. All we have is our lives; if you will please to get His Royal Highness to give us a fireship among us all, here is a dozen of us, out of all which choose you one to be commander, and the rest of us, whoever he is, will serve him; and, if possible, do that that shall show our memory of our dead commander, and our revenge". Sir W. Coventry (38) was herewith much moved (as well as I, who could hardly abstain from weeping), and took their names, and so parted; telling me that he would move His Royal Highness as in a thing very extraordinary, which was done. Thereon see the next day in this book. So we parted. The truth is, Sir Christopher Mings (40) was a very stout man, and a man of great parts, and most excellent tongue among ordinary men; and as Sir W. Coventry (38) says, could have been the most useful man at such a pinch of time as this. He was come into great renowne here at home, and more abroad in the West Indys. He had brought his family into a way of being great; but dying at this time, his memory and name (his father being always and at this day a shoemaker, and his mother a Hoyman's daughter; of which he was used frequently to boast) will be quite forgot in a few months as if he had never been, nor any of his name be the better by it; he having not had time to will any estate, but is dead poor rather than rich.

So we left the church and crowd, and I home (being set down on Tower Hill), and there did a little business and then in the evening went down by water to Deptford, it being very late, and there I staid out as much time as I could, and then took boat again homeward, but the officers being gone in, returned and walked to Mrs. Bagwell's house, and there (it being by this time pretty dark and past ten o'clock) went into her house and did what I would. But I was not a little fearfull of what she told me but now, which is, that her servant was dead of the plague, that her coming to me yesterday was the first day of her coming forth, and that she had new whitened the house all below stairs, but that above stairs they are not so fit for me to go up to, they being not so. So I parted thence, with a very good will, but very civil, and away to the waterside, and sent for a pint of sacke and so home, drank what I would and gave the waterman the rest; and so adieu.

Home about twelve at night, and so to bed, finding most of my people gone to bed. In my way home I called on a fisherman and bought three eeles, which cost me three shillings.

Before 1694 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of King James II when Duke of York. Around 1666 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II and Anne Hyde Queen Consort England 1637-1671. See Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 March 1666. Before 04 Jan 1674 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II wearing his Garter Robes. Around 1672 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of King James II. Before 03 Jan 1670  Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of George Monck 1st Duke Albemarle 1608-1670. Before 03 Jan 1670 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of George Monck 1st Duke Albemarle 1608-1670 in his Garter Robes. Before 23 Jun 1686 Mary Beale aka Cradock Painter 1633-1699. Portrait of William Coventry 1628-1686. Around 1672 John Greenhill Painter 1644-1676. Portrait of Anthony Ashley-Cooper 1st Earl Shaftesbury 1621-1683. Before 11 Jul 1671 Adriaen Hanneman Painter 1603-1671. Portrait of Anthony Ashley-Cooper 1st Earl Shaftesbury 1621-1683. Around 1634 Gilbert Jackson Painter 1595-1648. Portrait of John Belasyse 1st Baron Belasyse 1614-1689. Around 1669 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of John Belasyse 1st Baron Belasyse 1614-1689. Around 1660 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Thomas Wriothesley 4th Earl of Southampton 1607-1667 holding his Lord Treasurer Staff of Office.