Biography of Mary Saunderson Actor 1637-1712

In 1637 Mary Saunderson Actor 1637-1712 was born.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 October 1662. 22 Oct 1662. Up, and carrying my wife and her brother to Covent Garden, near their father's new lodging, by coach, I to my Lord Sandwich's (37), who receives me now more and more kindly, now he sees that I am respected in the world; and is my most noble patron. Here I staid and talked about many things, with my Lord and Mr. Povy (48), being there about Tangier business, for which the Commission is a taking out. Hence (after talking with Mr. Cooke, whom I met here about Mrs. Butler's portion, he do persist to say that it will be worth £600 certain, when he knows as well as I do now that it is but £400, and so I told him, but he is a fool, and has made fools of us).
So I by water to my brother's, and thence to Mr. Smith's, where I was, last night, and there by appointment met Mrs. Butler, with whom I plainly discoursed and she with me. I find she will give but £400, and no more, and is not willing to do that without a joynture, which she expects and I will not grant for that portion, and upon the whole I find that Cooke has made great brags on both sides, and so has abused us both, but know not how to help it, for I perceive she had much greater expectations of Tom's house and being than she finds. But however we did break off the business wholly, but with great love and kindness between her and me, and would have been glad we had known one another's minds sooner, without being misguided by this fellow to both our shames and trouble. For I find her a very discreet, sober woman, and her daughter, I understand and believe, is a good lady; and if portions did agree, though she finds fault with Tom's house, and his bad imperfection in his speech, I believe we should well agree in other matters. After taking a kind farewell, I to Tom's, and there did give him a full account of this sad news, with which I find he is much troubled, but do appear to me to be willing to be guided herein, and apprehends that it is not for his good to do otherwise, and so I do persuade (him) to follow his business again, and I hope he will, but for Cooke's part and Dr. Pepys, I shall know them for two fools another time.
Hence, it raining hard, by coach home, being first trimmed here by Benier, who being acquainted with all the players, do tell me that [her future husband] Betterton (27) is not married to Ianthe (25), as they say; but also that he is a very sober, serious man, and studious and humble, following of his studies, and is rich already with what he gets and saves, and then to my office till late, doing great deal of business, and settling my mind in pretty good order as to my business, though at present they are very many.
So home and to bed. This night was buried, as I hear by the bells at Barking Church, my poor Morena1, whose sickness being desperate, did kill her poor father; and he being dead for sorrow, she could not recover, nor desire to live, but from that time do languish more and more, and so is now dead and buried.
Note 1. The burial of Elizabeth, daughter of John Dekins or Dickens, is recorded in the parish register of All Hallows, Barking, as having taken place on October 22nd. See ante, October 3rd.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 December 1662. 01 Dec 1662. Up and by coach with Sir John Minnes (63) and Sir W. Batten (61) to White Hall to the Duke's chamber, where, as is usual, my Lord Sandwich (37) and all of us, after his being ready, to his closett, and there discoursed of matters of the Navy, and here Mr. Coventry (34) did do me the great kindness to take notice to the Duke (29) of my pains in making a collection of all contracts about masts, which have been of great use to us.
Thence I to my Lord Sandwich's (37), to Mr. Moore, to talk a little about business; and then over the Parke (where I first in my life, it being a great frost, did see people sliding with their skeates1, which is a very pretty art), to Mr. Coventry's (34) chamber to St. James's, where we all met to a venison pasty, and were very merry, Major Norwood being with us, whom they did play upon for his surrendering of Dunkirk. Here we staid till three or four o'clock; and so to the Council Chamber, where there met the Duke of York (29), Prince Rupert (42), Duke of Albemarle (53), my Lord Sandwich (37), Sir Win. Compton (37), Mr. Coventry (34), Sir J. Minnes (63), Sir R. Ford (48), Sir W. Rider, myself, and Captain Cuttance, as Commissioners for Tangier. And after our Commission was read by Mr. Creed, who I perceive is to be our Secretary, we did fall to discourse of matters: as, first, the supplying them forthwith with victualls; then the reducing it to make way for the money, which upon their reduction is to go to the building of the Mole; and so to other matters, ordered as against next meeting.
This done we broke up, and I to the Cockpitt, with much crowding and waiting, where I saw "The Valiant Cidd2" acted, a play I have read with great delight, but is a most dull thing acted, which I never understood before, there being no pleasure in it, though done by [her future husband] Betterton (27) and by Ianthe (25), And another fine wench that is come in the room of Roxalana (20) nor did the King (32) or Queen (24) once smile all the whole play, nor any of the company seem to take any pleasure but what was in the greatness and gallantry of the company.
Thence to my Lord's, and Mr. Moore being in bed I staid not, but with a link walked home and got thither by 12 o'clock, knocked up my boy, and put myself to bed.
Note 1. Iron skates appear to have been introduced by the Dutch, as the name certainly was; but we learn from Fitzstephen that bone skates (although not so called) were used in London in the twelfth century.
Note 2. Translated from the "Cid" of Corneille.

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After 24 Dec 1662 [her husband] Thomas Betterton Actor 1635-1710 and Mary Saunderson Actor 1637-1712 were married. He obtained the license on 24 Dec 1662.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 February 1664. 01 Feb 1664. Up (my maids rising early this morning to washing), and being ready I found Mr. Strutt the purser below with 12 bottles of sacke, and tells me (which from Sir W. Batten (63) I had heard before) how young Jack Davis has railed against Sir W. Batten (63) for his endeavouring to turn him out of his place, at which for the fellow's sake, because it will likely prove his ruin, I am sorry, though I do believe he is a very arch rogue.
I took Strutt by coach with me to White Hall, where I set him down, and I to my Lord's, but found him gone out betimes to the Wardrobe, which I am glad to see that he so attends his business, though it troubles me that my counsel to my prejudice must be the cause of it. They tell me that he goes into the country next week, and that the young ladies come up this week before the old lady.
Here I hear how two men last night, justling for the wall about the New Exchange, did kill one another, each thrusting the other through; one of them of the King's Chappell, one Cave, and the other a retayner of my Lord Generall Middleton's (56).
Thence to White Hall; where, in the Duke's chamber, the King (33) came and stayed an hour or two laughing at Sir W. Petty (40), who was there about his boat; and at Gresham College in general; at which poor Petty was, I perceive, at some loss; but did argue discreetly, and bear the unreasonable follies of the King's objections and other bystanders with great discretion; and offered to take oddes against the King's best boates; but the King (33) would not lay, but cried him down with words only. Gresham College he mightily laughed at, for spending time only in weighing of ayre, and doing nothing else since they sat.
Thence to Westminster Hall, and there met with diverse people, it being terme time. Among others I spoke with Mrs. Lane, of whom I doubted to hear something of the effects of our last meeting about a fortnight or three weeks ago, but to my content did not. Here I met with Mr. Pierce, who tells me of several passages at Court, among others how the King (33), coming the other day to his Theatre to see "The Indian Queen" (which he commends for a very fine thing), my Baroness Castlemaine (23) was in the next box before he came; and leaning over other ladies awhile to whisper to the King (33), she rose out of the box and went into the King's, and set herself on the King's right hand, between the King (33) and the Duke of York (30); which, he swears, put the King (33) himself, as well as every body else, out of countenance; and believes that she did it only to show the world that she is not out of favour yet, as was believed.
Thence with Alderman Maynell by his coach to the 'Change, and there with several people busy, and so home to dinner, and took my wife out immediately to the King's Theatre, it being a new month, and once a month I may go, and there saw "The Indian Queen" acted; which indeed is a most pleasant show, and beyond my expectation; the play good, but spoiled with the ryme, which breaks the sense. But above my expectation most, the eldest Marshall did do her part most excellently well as I ever heard woman in my life; but her voice not so sweet as Ianthe's (27); but, however, we came home mightily contented. Here we met Mr. Pickering (46) and his mistress, Mrs. Doll Wilde (31); he tells me that the business runs high between the Chancellor (54) and my Lord Bristoll (51) against the Parliament; and that my Lord Lauderdale (47) and Cooper (42) open high against the Chancellor (54); which I am sorry for.
In my way home I 'light and to the Coffee-house, where I heard Lt. Coll. Baron tell very good stories of his travels over the high hills in Asia above the clouds, how clear the heaven is above them, how thicke like a mist the way is through the cloud that wets like a sponge one's clothes, the ground above the clouds all dry and parched, nothing in the world growing, it being only a dry earth, yet not so hot above as below the clouds. The stars at night most delicate bright and a fine clear blue sky, but cannot see the earth at any time through the clouds, but the clouds look like a world below you.
Thence home and to supper, being hungry, and so to the office, did business, specially about Creed, for whom I am now pretty well fitted, and so home to bed. This day in Westminster Hall W. Bowyer told me that his father is dead lately, and died by being drowned in the river, coming over in the night; but he says he had not been drinking. He was taken with his stick in his hand and cloake over his shoulder, as ruddy as before he died. His horse was taken overnight in the water, hampered in the bridle, but they were so silly as not to look for his master till the next morning, that he was found drowned.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 28 July 1664. 28 Jul 1664. At the office all the morning, dined, after 'Change, at home, and then abroad, and seeing "The Bondman" upon the posts, I consulted my oaths and find I may go safely this time without breaking it; I went thither, notwithstanding my great desire to have gone to Fleet Alley, God forgive me, again. There I saw it acted. It is true, for want of practice, they had many of them forgot their parts a little; but [her husband] Betterton (28) and my poor Ianthe (27) outdo all the world. There is nothing more taking in the world with me than that play.
Thence to Westminster to my barber's, and strange to think how when I find that Jervas himself did intend to bring home my periwigg, and not Jane his maid, I did desire not to have it at all, for I had a mind to have her bring it home. I also went to Mr. Blagrave's about speaking to him for his kinswoman to come live with my wife, but they are not come to town, and so I home by coach and to my office, and then to supper and to bed. My present posture is thus: my wife in the country and my mayde Besse with her and all quiett there. I am endeavouring to find a woman for her to my mind, and above all one that understands musique, especially singing. I am the willinger to keepe one because I am in good hopes to get 2 or £300 per annum extraordinary by the business of the victualling of Tangier, and yet Mr. Alsopp, my chief hopes, is dead since my looking after it, and now Mr. Lanyon, I fear, is, falling sicke too. I am pretty well in health, only subject to wind upon any cold, and then immediate and great pains.
All our discourse is of a Dutch warr and I find it is likely to come to it, for they are very high and desire not to compliment us at all, as far as I hear, but to send a good fleete to Guinny to oppose us there. My Lord Sandwich (39) newly gone to sea, and I, I think, fallen into his very good opinion again, at least he did before his going, and by his letter since, show me all manner of respect and confidence. I am over-joyed in hopes that upon this month's account I shall find myself worth £1000, besides the rich present of two silver and gilt flaggons which Mr. Gauden did give me the other day. I do now live very prettily at home, being most seriously, quietly, and neatly served by my two mayds Jane and the girle Su, with both of whom I am mightily well pleased.
My greatest trouble is the settling of Brampton Estate, that I may know what to expect, and how to be able to leave it when I die, so as to be just to my promise to my uncle Thomas and his son.
The next thing is this cursed trouble my brother Tom (30) is likely to put us to by his death, forcing us to law with his creditors, among others Dr. Tom Pepys (43), and that with some shame as trouble, and the last how to know in what manner as to saving or spending my father lives, lest they should run me in debt as one of my uncle's executors, and I never the wiser nor better for it. But in all this I hope shortly to be at leisure to consider and inform myself well.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 August 1664. 13 Aug 1664. Up, and before I went to the office comes my Taylor with a coate I have made to wear within doors, purposely to come no lower than my knees, for by my wearing a gowne within doors comes all my tenderness about my legs. There comes also Mr. Reeve, with a microscope and scotoscope1. For the first I did give him £5 10s., a great price, but a most curious bauble it is, and he says, as good, nay, the best he knows in England, and he makes the best in the world. The other he gives me, and is of value; and a curious curiosity it is to look objects in a darke room with.
Mightly pleased with this I to the office, where all the morning. There offered by Sir W. Pen (43) his coach to go to Epsum and carry my wife, I stept out and bade my wife make her ready, but being not very well and other things advising me to the contrary, I did forbear going, and so Mr. Creed dining with me I got him to give my wife and me a play this afternoon, lending him money to do it, which is a fallacy that I have found now once, to avoyde my vowe with, but never to be more practised I swear, and to the new play, at the Duke's house, of "Henry the Fifth"; a most noble play, writ by my Lord Orrery (43); wherein [her husband] Betterton (29), Harris (30), and Ianthe's (27) parts are most incomparably wrote and done, and the whole play the most full of height and raptures of wit and sense, that ever I heard; having but one incongruity, or what did, not please me in it, that is, that King Harry promises to plead for Tudor to their Mistresse, Princesse Katherine of France, more than when it comes to it he seems to do; and Tudor refused by her with some kind of indignity, not with a difficulty and honour that it ought to have been done in to him.
Thence home and to my office, wrote by the post, and then to read a little in Dr. Power's book of discovery by the microscope to enable me a little how to use and what to expect from my glasse.
So to supper and to bed.
Note 1. An optical instrument used to enable objects to be seen in the dark. The name is derived from the Greek.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 April 1665. 03 Apr 1665. Up and to the Duke of Albemarle (56) and White Hall, where much business.
Thence home and to dinner, and then with Creed, my wife, and Mercer to a play at the Duke's, of my Lord Orrery's (43), called "Mustapha", which being not good, made [her husband] Betterton's (29) part and Ianthe's (28) but ordinary too, so that we were not contented with it at all.
Thence home and to the office a while, and then home to supper and to bed. All the pleasure of the play was, the King (34) and my Baroness Castlemayne (24) were there; and pretty witty Nell (15), [Nell Gwynne] at the King's house, and the younger Marshall sat next us; which pleased me mightily.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 29 October 1666. 29 Oct 1666. Up, and to the office to do business, and thither comes to me Sir Thomas Teddiman, and he and I walked a good while in the garden together, discoursing of the disorder and discipline of the fleete, wherein he told me how bad every thing is; but was very wary in speaking any thing to the dishonour of the Prince (46) or Duke of Albemarle (57), but do magnify my Lord Sandwich (41) much before them both, for ability to serve the King (36), and do heartily wish for him here. For he fears that we shall be undone the next year, but that he will, however, see an end of it.
To prevent the necessity of his dining with me I was forced to pretend occasion of going to Westminster, so away I went, and Mr. Barber, the clerk, having a request to make to me to get him into employment, did walk along with me, and by water to Westminster with me, he professing great love to me, and an able clerk he is. When I come thither I find the new Lord Mayor Bolton a-swearing at the Exchequer, with some of the Aldermen and Livery; but, Lord! to see how meanely they now look, who upon this day used to be all little lords, is a sad sight and worthy consideration. And every body did reflect with pity upon the poor City, to which they are now coming to choose and swear their Lord Mayor, compared with what it heretofore was.
Thence by coach (having in the Hall bought me a velvet riding cap, cost me 20s.) to my taylor's, and there bespoke a plain vest, and so to my goldsmith to bid him look out for some gold for me; and he tells me that ginnys, which I bought 2,000 of not long ago, and cost me but 18 1/2d. change, will now cost me 22d.; and but very few to be had at any price. However, some more I will have, for they are very convenient, and of easy disposal.
So home to dinner and to discourse with my brother upon his translation of my Lord Bacon's "Faber Fortunae", which I gave him to do and he has done it, but meanely; I am not pleased with it at all, having done it only literally, but without any life at all.
About five o'clock I took my wife (who is mighty fine, and with a new fair pair of locks, which vex me, though like a foole I helped her the other night to buy them), and to Mrs. Pierce's, and there staying a little I away before to White Hall, and into the new playhouse there, the first time I ever was there, and the first play I have seen since before the great plague.
By and by Mr. Pierce comes, bringing my wife and his, and Knipp.
By and by the King (36) and Queene (56), Duke (33) and Duchesse (29), and all the great ladies of the Court; which, indeed, was a fine sight. But the play being "Love in a Tub", a silly play, and though done by the Duke's people, yet having neither [her husband] Betterton (31) nor his wife (29), and the whole thing done ill, and being ill also, I had no manner of pleasure in the play. Besides, the House, though very fine, yet bad for the voice, for hearing. The sight of the ladies, indeed, was exceeding noble; and above all, my Baroness Castlemayne (25). The play done by ten o'clock. I carried them all home, and then home myself, and well satisfied with the sight, but not the play, we with great content to bed.

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On 28 Apr 1710 [her husband] Thomas Betterton Actor 1635-1710 (74) died.

In 1712 Mary Saunderson Actor 1637-1712 (75) died.