Elizabeth Holcroft was born to William Holcroft of Basingstoke.
In or before 1641 Robert Lowther (age 45) and Elizabeth Holcroft were married.
In 05 Jan 1655 [her husband] Robert Lowther (age 59) died.
Pepy's Diary. 14 Mar 1667. Thence Sir W. Batten (age 66), Sir W. Pen (age 45), and I, back again; I mightily pleased with what I had said and done, and the success thereof. But, it being a fine clear day, I did, 'en gayete de coeur', propose going to Bow for ayre sake, and dine there, which they embraced, and so Sir W. Batten (age 66) and I (setting Sir W. Pen (age 45) down at Mark Lane [Map] end) straight to Bow, to the Queen's Head, and there bespoke our dinner, carrying meat with us from London; and anon comes Sir W. Pen (age 45) with my wife and Lady Batten, and then [her son] Mr. Lowder (age 26) with his mother and wife (age 16). While Sir W. Batten (age 66) and I were alone, we had much friendly discourse, though I will never trust him far; but we do propose getting "The Flying Greyhound", our privateer, to us and Sir W. Pen (age 45) at the end of the year when we call her home, by begging her of the King (age 36), and I do not think we shall be denied her. They being come, we to oysters and so to talk, very pleasant I was all day, and anon to dinner, and I made very good company. Here till the evening, so as it was dark almost before we got home (back again in the same method, I think, we went), and spent the night talking at Sir W. Batten's (age 66), only a little at my office, to look over the Victualler's contract, and draw up some arguments for him to plead for his charges in transportation of goods beyond the ports which the letter of one article in his contract do lay upon him. This done I home to supper and to bed. Troubled a little at my fear that my Lord Bruncker (age 47) should tell Sir W. Coventry (age 39) of our neglecting the office this afternoon (which was intended) to look after our pleasures, but nothing will fall upon me alone about this.
Pepy's Diary. 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 (age 46). I got her to go with him by coach to Islington to the old house, where his lady (age 43) and Madam Lowther (age 16), with her exceeding fine coach and mean horses, and her mother-in-law, did meet us, and two of [her son] Mr. Lowther's (age 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 [Map], and only my wife and I and Sir W. Pen (age 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 (age 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 (age 17).
Pepy's Diary. 21 Jun 1667. In the evening sent for home, and there I find my Lady Pen (age 43) and Mrs. Lowther, and Mrs. Turner (age 44) and my wife eating some victuals, and there I sat and laughed with them a little, and so to the office again, and in the evening walked with my wife in the garden, and did give Sir W. Pen (age 46) at his lodgings (being just come from Deptford [Map] from attending the dispatch of the fire-ships there) an account of what passed the other day at Council touching Commissioner Pett (age 56), and so home to supper and to bed.
Pepy's Diary. 22 Jun 1667. After dinner I left them, and to the office, and thence to Sir W. Pen's (age 46), there to talk with Mrs. Lowther, and by and by we hearing Mercer and my boy singing at my house, making exceeding good musique, to the joy of my heart, that I should be the master of it, I took her to my office and there merry a while, and then I left them, and at the office busy all the afternoon, and sleepy after a great dinner.
Pepy's Diary. 28 Jun 1667. I to the office (whither come Mr. Carcasse to me to sue for my favour to him), and Sir W. Pen's (age 46), where I find [her son] Mr. Lowther (age 26) come to town after the journey, and after a small visit to him, I to the office to do much business, and then in the evening to Sir W. Batten's (age 66), to see how he did; and he is better than he was. He told me how Mrs. Lowther had her train held up yesterday by her page, at his house in the country; which is so ridiculous a piece of pride as I am ashamed of.
Pepy's Diary. 14 Jul 1667. A very fine day, and so towards Epsum, talking all the way pleasantly, and particularly of the pride and ignorance of Mrs. Lowther, in having of her train carried up? The country very fine, only the way very dusty. We got to Epsum by eight o'clock, to the well; where much company, and there we 'light, and I drank the water: they did not, but do go about and walk a little among the women, but I did drink four pints, and had some very good stools by it. Here I met with divers of our town, among others with several of the tradesmen of our office, but did talk but little with them, it growing hot in the sun, and so we took coach again and to the towne, to the King's Head, where our coachman carried us, and there had an ill room for us to go into, but the best in the house that was not taken up. Here we called for drink, and bespoke dinner; and hear that my Lord Buckhurst (age 24) and Nelly (age 17) are lodged at the next house, and Sir Charles Sidly (age 28) with them and keep a merry house. Poor girl (age 17)! I pity her; but more the loss of her at the King's house. Here I saw Gilsthrop, Sir W. Batten's (age 66) clerk that hath been long sick, he looks like a dying man, with a consumption got, as is believed, by the pox, but God knows that the man is in a sad condition, though he finds himself much better since his coming thither, he says. W. Hewer (age 25) rode with us, and I left him and the women, and myself walked to church, where few people, contrary to what I expected, and none I knew, but all the Houblons, brothers, and them after sermon I did salute, and walk with towards my inne, which was in their way to their lodgings. They come last night to see their elder brother, who stays here at the waters, and away to-morrow. James (age 37) did tell me that I was the only happy man of the Navy, of whom, he says, during all this freedom the people have taken of speaking treason, he hath not heard one bad word of me, which is a great joy to me; for I hear the same of others, but do know that I have deserved as well as most. We parted to meet anon, and I to my women into a better room, which the people of the house borrowed for us, and there to dinner, a good dinner, and were merry, and Pendleton come to us, who happened to be in the house, and there talked and were merry.
Pepy's Diary. 30 Aug 1667. By and by comes newes that my Lady Viner (age 36) was come to see Mrs. Lowther, which I was glad of, and all the pleasure I had here was to see her, which I did, and saluted her, and find she is pretty, though not so eminently so as people talked of her, and of very pretty carriage and discourse. I sat with them and her an hour talking and pleasant, and then slunk away alone without taking leave, leaving my wife there to come home with them, and I to Bartholomew fayre, to walk up and down; and there, among other things, find my Baroness Castlemayne (age 26) at a puppet-play, "Patient Grizill"1, and the street full of people expecting her coming out. I confess I did wonder at her courage to come abroad, thinking the people would abuse her; but they, silly people! do not know her work she makes, and therefore suffered her with great respect to take coach, and she away, without any trouble at all, which I wondered at, I confess. I only walked up and down, and, among others, saw Tom Pepys, the turner, who hath a shop, and I think lives in the fair when the fair is not. I only asked how he did as he stood in the street, and so up and down sauntering till late and then home, and there discoursed with my wife of our bad entertainment to-day, and so to bed. I met Captain Cocke (age 50) to-day at the Council Chamber and took him with me to Westminster, who tells me that there is yet expectation that the Chancellor (age 58) will lose the Seal, and that he is sure that the King (age 37) hath said it to him who told it him, and he fears we shall be soon broke in pieces, and assures me that there have been high words between the Duke of York (age 33) and Sir W. Coventry (age 39), for his being so high against the Chancellor (age 58); so as the Duke of York (age 33) would not sign some papers that he brought, saying that he could not endure the sight of him: and that Sir W. Coventry (age 39) answered, that what he did was in obedience to the King's commands; and that he did not think any man fit to serve a Prince, that did not know how to retire and live a country life. This is all I hear.
Note 1. The well-known story, first told by Boccaccio, then by Petrarca, afterwards by Chaucer, and which has since become proverbial. Tom Warton, writing about 1770, says, "I need not mention that it is to this day represented in England, on a stage of the lowest species, and of the highest antiquity: I mean at a puppet show" ("Hist. of English Poetry", sect. xv.). B.
Pepy's Diary. 11 Sep 1667. Up, and with Mr. Gawden to the Exchequer. By the way, he tells me this day he is to be answered whether he must hold Sheriffe or no; for he would not hold unless he may keep it at his office, which is out of the city (and so my Lord Mayor must come with his sword down, whenever he comes thither), which he do, because he cannot get a house fit for him in the city, or else he will fine for it. Among others that they have in nomination for Sheriffe, one is little Chaplin (age 40), who was his servant, and a very young man to undergo that place; but as the city is now, there is no great honour nor joy to be had, in being a public officer. At the Exchequer I looked after my business, and when done went home to the 'Change [Map], and there bought a case of knives for dinner, and a dish of fruit for 5s., and bespoke other things, and then home, and here I find all things in good order, and a good dinner towards. Anon comes Sir W. Batten (age 66) and his lady, and Mr. Griffith, their ward, and Sir W. Pen (age 46) and his lady (age 43), and Mrs. Lowther, who is grown, either through pride or want of manners, a fool, having not a word to say almost all dinner; and, as a further mark of a beggarly, proud fool, hath a bracelet of diamonds and rubies about her wrist, and a sixpenny necklace about her neck, and not one good rag of clothes upon her back; and Sir John Chichly (age 27) in their company, and Mrs. Turner (age 44). Here I had an extraordinary good and handsome dinner for them, better than any of them deserve or understand, saving Sir John Chichly (age 27) and Mrs. Turner (age 44), and not much mirth, only what I by discourse made, and that against my genius.
Pepy's Diary. 13 Sep 1667. To the office, and there despatched business till ten o'clock, and then with Sir W. Batten (age 66) and my wife and Mrs. Turner (age 44) by Hackney-coach to Walthamstow [Map], to Mr. Shipman's to dinner, where Sir W. Pen (age 46) and my Lady and Mrs. Lowther (the latter of which hath got a sore nose, given her, I believe, from her husband, which made me I could not look upon her with any pleasure), and here a very good and plentifull wholesome dinner, and, above all thing, such plenty of milk meats, she keeping a great dairy, and so good as I never met with. The afternoon proved very foul weather, the morning fair. We staid talking till evening, and then home, and there to my flageolet with my wife, and so to bed without any supper, my belly being full and dinner not digested. It vexed me to hear how Sir W. Pen (age 46), who come alone from London, being to send his coachman for his wife and daughter, and bidding his coachman in much anger to go for them (he being vexed, like a rogue, to do anything to please his wife), his coachman Tom was heard to say a pox, or God rot her, can she walk hither? These words do so mad me that I could find in my heart to give him or my Lady notice of them.
Pepy's Diary. 09 May 1668. Thence to Westminster Hall [Map], where I hear the Lords are up, but what they have done I know not, and so walked toward White Hall and thence by water to the Tower, and so home and there to my letters, and so to Sir W. Pen's (age 47); and there did talk with Mrs. Lowther, who is very kind to me, more than usual, and I will make use of it. She begins to draw very well, and I think do as well, if not better, than my wife, if it be true that she do it herself, what she shews me, and so to bed, and my head akeing all night with the wine I drank to-day, and my eyes ill. So lay long, my head pretty well in the morning.
Pepy's Diary. 10 May 1668. Lord's Day. Up, and to the office, there to do, business till church time, when Mr. Shepley, newly come to town, come to see me, and we had some discourse of all matters, and particularly of my Lord Sandwich's (age 42) concernments, and here did by the by as he would seem tell me that my Lady [Lady Sandwich (age 43).] had it in her thoughts, if she had occasion, to, borrow £100 of me, which I did not declare any opposition to, though I doubt it will be so much lost. But, however, I will not deny my Lady, if she ask it, whatever comes of it, though it be lost; but shall be glad that it is no bigger sum. And yet it vexes me though, and the more because it brings into my head some apprehensions what trouble I may here after be brought to when my Lord comes home, if he should ask me to come into bonds with him, as I fear he will have occasions to make money, but I hope I shall have the wit to deny it. He being gone, I to church, and so home, and there comes W. Hewer (age 26) and Balty (age 28), and by and by I sent for Mercer to come and dine with me, and pretty merry, and after dinner I fell to teach her "Canite Jehovae", which she did a great part presently, and so she away, and I to church, and from church home with my Lady Pen (age 44); and, after being there an hour or so talking, I took her, and Mrs. Lowther, and old Mrs. Whistler, her mother-in-law, by water with great pleasure as far as Chelsy, and so back to Spring Garden, at Fox-Hall, and there walked, and eat, and drank, and so to water again, and set down the old woman at home at Durham Yard:' and it raining all the way, it troubled us; but, however, my cloak kept us all dry, and so home, and at the Tower Wharfe [Map] there we did send for a pair of old shoes for Mrs. Lowther, and there I did pull the others off and put them on, elle being peu shy, but do speak con mighty kindness to me that she would desire me pour su mari if it were to be done.... Here staid a little at Sir W. Pen's (age 47), who was gone to bed, it being about eleven at night, and so I home to bed.