The Mayden Queene

The Mayden Queene is in Jacobean and Restoration Plays.

Poll Bill

Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 March 1667. 02 Mar 1667. Up, and to the office, where sitting all the morning, and among other things did agree upon a distribution of £30,000 and odd, which is the only sum we hear of like to come out of all the Poll Bill for the use of this office for buying of goods. I did herein some few courtesies for particular friends I wished well to, and for the King's service also, and was therefore well pleased with what was done.

Sir W. Pen (45) this day did bring an order from the Duke of York (33) for our receiving from him a small vessel for a fireship, and taking away a better of the King's for it, it being expressed for his great service to the King (36). This I am glad of, not for his sake, but that it will give me a better ground, I believe, to ask something for myself of this kind, which I was fearful to begin. This do make Sir W. Pen (45) the most kind to me that can be. I suppose it is this, lest it should find any opposition from me, but I will not oppose, but promote it.

After dinner, with my wife, to the King's house to see "The Mayden Queene", a new play of Dryden's (35), mightily commended for the regularity of it, and the strain and wit; and, the truth is, there is a comical part done by Nell (17)1, which is Florimell, that I never can hope ever to see the like done again, by man or woman. The King (36) and Duke of York (33) were at the play. But so great performance of a comical part was never, I believe, in the world before as Nell (17) do this, both as a mad girle, then most and best of all when she comes in like a young gallant; and hath the notions and carriage of a spark the most that ever I saw any man have. It makes me, I confess, admire her.

Thence home and to the office, where busy a while, and then home to read the lives of Henry 5th and 6th, very fine, in Speede, and to bed. This day I did pay a bill of £50 from my father, being so much out of my own purse gone to pay my uncle Robert's legacy to my aunt Perkins's child.

1. "Her skill increasing with her years, other poets sought to obtain recommendations of her wit and beauty to the success of their writings. I have said that Dryden (35) was one of the principal supporters of the King's house, and ere long in one of his new plays a principal character was set apart for the popular comedian. The drama was a tragi-comedy called 'Secret Love, or the Maiden Queen,' and an additional interest was attached to its production from the King (36) having suggested the plot to its author, and calling it 'his play.'"—Cunningham's Story of Nell Gwyn (17), ed: 1892, pp. 38,39.

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 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 1691. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of John Dryden 1631-1700. Around 1693. Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of John Dryden 1631-1700. Around 1697. Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of John Dryden 1631-1700. Around 1665 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of John Dryden 1631-1700. Before 08 Oct 1699 Mary Beale aka Cradock Painter 1633-1699 (attributed). Portrait of Nell Gwyn Actor 1650-1687. Around1680 Simon Pietersz Verelst 1644-1710. Portrait of Nell Gwyn Actor 1650-1687. Before 14 Nov 1687 Simon Pietersz Verelst 1644-1710. Portrait of Nell Gwyn Actor 1650-1687.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 March 1667. 25 Mar 1667. Ladyday. Up, and with Sir W. Batten (66) and Sir W. Pen (45) by coach to Exeter House to our lawyers to have consulted about our trial to-morrow, but missed them, so parted, and Sir W. Pen (45) and I to Mr. Povy's (53) about a little business of Sir W. Pen's (45), where we went over Mr. Povy's (53) house, which lies in the same good condition as ever, which is most extraordinary fine, and he was now at work with a cabinet-maker, making of a new inlaid table. Having seen his house, we away, having in our way thither called at Mr. Lilly's (48), who was working; and indeed his pictures are without doubt much beyond Mr. Hales's (67), I think I may say I am convinced: but a mighty proud man he is, and full of state.

So home, and to the office, and by and by to dinner, a poor dinner, my wife and I, at Sir W. Pen's (45), and then he and I before to Exeter House, where I do not stay, but to the King's playhouse; and by and by comes Mr. Lowther (26) and his wife (16) and mine, and into a box, forsooth, neither of them being dressed, which I was almost ashamed of. Sir W. Pen (45) and I in the pit, and here saw "The Mayden Queene" again; which indeed the more I see the more I like, and is an excellent play, and so done by Nell (17), her merry part, as cannot be better done in nature, I think.

Thence home, and there I find letters from my brother, which tell me that yesterday when he wrote my mother did rattle in the throat so as they did expect every moment her death, which though I have a good while expected did much surprise me, yet was obliged to sup at Sir W. Pen's (45) and my wife, and there counterfeited some little mirth, but my heart was sad, and so home after supper and to bed, and much troubled in my sleep of my being crying by my mother's bedside, laying my head over hers and crying, she almost dead and dying, and so waked, but what is strange, methought she had hair over her face, and not the same kind of face as my mother really hath, but yet did not consider that, but did weep over her as my mother, whose soul God have mercy of.

Around 1657 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of Thomas Povey Master of Requests 1614-1705. Before 1661. Remigius van Leemput Painter 1607-1675. Copy of Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680 portrait of Henry Hyde, Viscount Cornbury and his first wife Theodosia Capell.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 May 1667. 24 May 1667. Up, and to the office, where, by and by, by appointment, we met upon Sir W. Warren's accounts, wherein I do appear in every thing as much as I can his enemy, though not so far but upon good conditions from him I may return to be his friend, but I do think it necessary to do what I do at present. We broke off at noon without doing much, and then home, where my wife not well, but yet engaged by invitation to go with Sir W. Pen (46). I got her to go with him by coach to Islington to the old house, where his lady (43) and Madam Lowther (16), with her exceeding fine coach and mean horses, and her mother-in-law, did meet us, and two of Mr. Lowther's (26) brothers, and here dined upon nothing but pigeon-pyes, which was such a thing for him to invite all the company to, that I was ashamed of it. But after dinner was all our sport, when there come in a juggler, who, indeed, did shew us so good tricks as I have never seen in my life, I think, of legerdemaine, and such as my wife hath since seriously said that she would not believe but that he did them by the help of the devil. Here, after a bad dinner, and but ordinary company, saving that I discern good parts in one of the sons, who, methought, did take me up very prettily in one or two things that I said, and I was so sensible of it as to be a caution to me hereafter how I do venture to speak more than is necessary in any company, though, as I did now, I do think them incapable to censure me. We broke up, they back to Walthamstow, and only my wife and I and Sir W. Pen (46) to the King's playhouse, and there saw "The Mayden Queene" which, though I have often seen, yet pleases me infinitely, it being impossible, I think, ever to have the Queen's (28) part, which is very good and passionate, and Florimel's part, which is the most comicall that ever was made for woman, ever done better than they two are by young Marshall and Nelly (17).

Home, where I spent the evening with my father and wife, and late at night some flagillette with my wife, and then to supper and to bed.

Before 1687 Pieter Borsseler Painter 1634-1687. Portrait of Catherine of Braganza Queen Consort England 1638-1705. Around 1663 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Eleanor Needham Baroness Byron 1627-1664 depicted as Saint Catherine of Alexandria in a guise probably intended to flatter Charles II's Queen, Catherine of Braganza. Accordingly she carries the martyr's palm branch and leans upon a wheel. The sitter looks to two putti in the upper left, one of whom holds a wreath of bay leaves above her head. She is wearing a copper-red dress with a richly decorated blue mantle about her arms. Around 1665 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Catherine of Braganza Queen Consort England 1638-1705. Around 1670 Jacob Huysmans Painter 1633-1696. Portrait of Catherine of Braganza Queen Consort England 1638-1705. Before 1696 Jacob Huysmans Painter 1633-1696. Portrait of Catherine of Braganza Queen Consort England 1638-1705. Before 1696 Jacob Huysmans Painter 1633-1696. Portrait of Catherine of Braganza Queen Consort England 1638-1705.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 23 August 1667. 23 Aug 1667. Up, and Greeting comes, who brings me a tune for two flageolets, which we played, and is a tune played at the King's playhouse, which goes so well, that I will have more of them, and it will be a mighty pleasure for me to have my wife able to play a part with me, which she will easily, I find, do.

Then abroad to White Hall in a Hackney-coach with Sir W. Pen (46): and in our way, in the narrow street near Paul's, going the backway by Tower Street, and the coach being forced to put back, he was turning himself into a cellar1, which made people cry out to us, and so we were forced to leap out—he out of one, and I out of the other boote2 Query, whether a glass-coach would have permitted us to have made the escape?3 neither of us getting any hurt; nor could the coach have got much hurt had we been in it; but, however, there was cause enough for us to do what we could to save ourselves.

So being all dusty, we put into the Castle tavern, by the Savoy, and there brushed ourselves, and then to White Hall with our fellows to attend the Council, by order upon some proposition of my Lord Anglesey (53), we were called in.

The King (37) there: and it was about considering how the fleete might be discharged at their coming in shortly (the peace being now ratified, and it takes place on Monday next, which Sir W. Coventry (39) said would make some clashing between some of us twenty to one, for want of more warning, but the wind has kept the boats from coming over), whether by money or tickets, and cries out against tickets, but the matter was referred for us to provide an answer to, which we must do in a few days.

So we parted, and I to Westminster to the Exchequer, to see what sums of money other people lend upon the Act; and find of all sizes from £1000 to £100 nay, to £50, nay, to £20, nay, to £5: for I find that one Dr. Reade, Doctor of Law, gives no more, and others of them £20; which is a poor thing, methinks, that we should stoop so low as to borrow such sums. Upon the whole, I do think to lend, since I must lend, £300, though, God knows! it is much against my will to lend any, unless things were in better condition, and likely to continue so.

Thence home and there to dinner, and after dinner by coach out again, setting my wife down at Unthanke's, and I to the Treasury-chamber, where I waited, talking with Sir G. Downing (42), till the Lords met. He tells me how he will make all the Exchequer officers, of one side and t'other, to lend the King (37) money upon the Act; and that the least clerk shall lend money, and he believes the least will £100: but this I do not believe. He made me almost ashamed that we of the Navy had not in all this time lent any; so that I find it necessary I should, and so will speedily do it, before any of my fellows begin, and lead me to a bigger sum.

By and by the Lords come; and I perceive Sir W. Coventry (39) is the man, and nothing done till he comes. Among other things, I hear him observe, looking over a paper, that Sir John Shaw is a miracle of a man, for he thinks he executes more places than any man in England; for there he finds him a Surveyor of some of the King's woods, and so reckoned up many other places, the most inconsistent in the world. Their business with me was to consider how to assigne such of our commanders as will take assignements upon the Act for their wages; and the consideration thereof was referred to me to give them an answer the next sitting: which is a horrid poor thing: but they scruple at nothing of honour in the case. So away hence, and called my wife, and to the King's house, and saw "The Mayden Queene", which pleases us mightily; and then away, and took up Mrs. Turner (44) at her door, and so to Mile End, and there drank, and so back to her house, it being a fine evening, and there supped. The first time I ever was there since they lived there; and she hath all things so neat and well done, that I am mightily pleased with her, and all she do. So here very merry, and then home and to bed, my eyes being very bad. I find most people pleased with their being at ease, and safe of a peace, that they may know no more charge or hazard of an ill-managed war: but nobody speaking of the peace with any content or pleasure, but are silent in it, as of a thing they are ashamed of; no, not at Court, much less in the City.

1. So much of London was yet in ruins.—B.

2. The "boot" was originally a projection on each side of the coach, where the passengers sat with their backs to the carriage. Such a "boot" is seen in the carriage [on the very right] containing the attendants of Queen Elizabeth, in Hoefnagel's well-known picture of Nonsuch Palace, dated 1582. Taylor, the Water Poet, the inveterate opponent of the introduction of coaches, thus satirizes the one in which he was forced to take his place as a passenger: "It wears two boots and no spurs, sometimes having two pairs of legs in one boot; and oftentimes against nature most preposterously it makes fair ladies wear the boot. Moreover, it makes people imitate sea-crabs, in being drawn sideways, as they are when they sit in the boot of the coach". In course of time these projections were abolished, and the coach then consisted of three parts, viz., the body, the boot (on the top of which the coachman sat), and the baskets at the back.

3. See note on introduction of glass coaches, September 23rd, 1667.

In 1676 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of Arthur Annesley 1st Earl Annesley 1614-1686. Before 23 Jun 1686 Mary Beale aka Cradock Painter 1633-1699. Portrait of William Coventry 1628-1686.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 January 1668. 18 Jan 1668. At the office all the morning busy sitting. At noon home to dinner, where Betty Turner (15) dined with us, and after dinner carried my wife, her and Deb. to the 'Change, where they bought some things, while I bought "The Mayden Queene", a play newly printed, which I like at the King's house so well, of Mr. Dryden's (36), which he himself, in his preface, seems to brag of, and indeed is a good play.

So home again, and I late at the office and did much business, and then home to supper and to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 January 1668. 24 Jan 1668. Up before day to my Tangier accounts, and then out and to a Committee of Tangier, where little done but discourse about reduction of the charge of the garrison, and thence to Westminster about orders at the Exchequer, and at the Swan I drank, and there met with a pretty ingenious young Doctor of physic, by chance, and talked with him, and so home to dinner, and after dinner carried my wife to the Temple, and thence she to a play, and I to St. Andrew's church, in Holburne, at the 'Quest House, where the company meets to the burial of my cozen Joyce; and here I staid with a very great rabble of four or five hundred people of mean condition, and I staid in the room with the kindred till ready to go to church, where there is to be a sermon of Dr. Stillingfleete (32), and thence they carried him to St. Sepulchre's. But it being late, and, indeed, not having a black cloak to lead her with, or follow the corps, I away, and saw, indeed, a very great press of people follow the corps. I to the King's playhouse, to fetch my wife, and there saw the best part of "The Mayden Queene", which, the more I see, the more I love, and think one of the best plays I ever saw, and is certainly the best acted of any thing ever the House did, and particularly Becke Marshall, to admiration. Found my wife and Deb., and saw many fine ladies, and sat by Colonell Reames (54), who understands and loves a play as well as I, and I love him for it. And so thence home; and, after being at the Office, I home to supper, and to bed, my eyes being very bad again with overworking with them.

Around 1680 Mary Beale aka Cradock Painter 1633-1699. Portrait of Edward Stillingfleet Bishop of Worcester 1635-1699 when Dean of St Pauls. Around 1690 Mary Beale aka Cradock Painter 1633-1699 (attributed). Portrait of Edward Stillingfleet Bishop of Worcester 1635-1699.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 June 1668. 20 Jun 1668. Up, and talked with my wife all in good humour, and so to the office, where all the morning, and then home to dinner, and so she and I alone to the King's house, and there I saw this new play my wife saw yesterday, and do not like it, it being very smutty, and nothing so good as "The Maiden Queen", or "The Indian Emperour", of his making, that I was troubled at it; and my wife tells me wholly (which he confesses a little in the epilogue) taken out of the "Illustre Bassa". So she to Unthanke's and I to Mr. Povy (54), and there settled some business; and here talked of things, and he thinks there will be great revolutions, and that Creed will be a great man, though a rogue, he being a man of the old strain, which will now be up again. So I took coach, and set Povy (54) down at Charing Cross, and took my wife up, and calling at the New Exchange at Smith's shop, and kissed her pretty hand, and so we home, and there able to do nothing by candlelight, my eyes being now constantly so bad that I must take present advice or be blind.

So to supper, grieved for my eyes, and to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 January 1669. 01 Jan 1669. Up, and presented from Captain Beckford with a noble silver warming-pan, which I am doubtful whether to take or no. Up, and with W. Hewer (27) to the New Exchange, and then he and I to the cabinet-shops, to look out, and did agree, for a cabinet to give my wife for a New-year's gift; and I did buy one cost me £11, which is very pretty, of walnutt-tree, and will come home to-morrow. So back to the Old Exchange, and there met my uncle Wight (67); and there walked, and met with the Houblons, and talked with them-gentlemen whom I honour mightily: and so to my uncle's, and met my wife; and there, with W. Hewer (27), we dined with our family, and had a very good dinner, and pretty merry and after dinner, my wife and I with our coach to the King's playhouse, and there in a box saw "The Mayden Queene". Knepp looked upon us, but I durst not shew her any countenance; and, as well as I could carry myself, I found my wife uneasy there, poor wretch! therefore, I shall avoid that house as much as I can. So back to my aunt's, and there supped and talked, and staid pretty late, it being dry and moonshine, and so walked home, and to bed in very good humour.

In 1689 Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of William Hewer 1642-1715.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 January 1669. 13 Jan 1669. So up and by coach to Sir W. Coventry's (41), but he gone out, so I to White Hall, and thence walked out into the Park, all in the snow, with the Duke of York (35) and the rest, and so home, after visiting my Lady Peterborough (47), and there by invitation find Mr. Povy (55), and there was also Talbot Pepys (22), newly come from Impington, and dined with me; and after dinner and a little talk with Povy (55) about publick matters, he gone, and I and my wife and Talbot towards the Temple, and there to the King's playhouse, and there saw, I think, "The Maiden Queene", and so home and to supper and read, and to bed. This day come home the instrument I have so long longed for, the Parallelogram.