History of Great Piazza Covent Garden

Great Piazza Covent Garden is in Covent Garden.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 January 1662. 17 Jan 1662. To Westminster with Mr. Moore, and there, after several walks up and down to hear news, I met with Lany, the Frenchman, who told me that he had a letter from France last night, that tells him that my Lord Hinchingbroke is dead, [proved false] and that he did die yesterday was se'nnight, which do surprise me exceedingly (though we know that he hath been sick these two months), so I hardly ever was in my life; but being fearfull that my Lady should come to hear it too suddenly, he and I went up to my Lord Crew's, and there I dined with him, and after dinner we told him, and the whole family is much disturbed by it: so we consulted what to do to tell my Lady of it; and at last we thought of my going first to Mr. George Montagu's (39) to hear whether he had any news of it, which I did, and there found all his house in great heaviness for the death of his son, Mr. George Montagu (39), who did go with our young gentlemen into France, and that they hear nothing at all of our young Lord; so believing that thence comes the mistake, I returned to my Lord Crew (in my way in the Piazza seeing a house on fire, and all the streets full of people to quench it), and told them of it, which they are much glad of, and conclude, and so I hope, that my Lord is well; and so I went to my Lady Sandwich (37), and told her all, and after much talk I parted thence with my wife, who had been there all the day, and so home to my musique, and then to bed.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 January 1665. 02 Jan 1665. Up, and it being a most fine, hard frost I walked a good way toward White Hall, and then being overtaken with Sir W. Pen's (43) coach, went into it, and with him thither, and there did our usual business with the Duke (31).
Thence, being forced to pay a great deale of money away in boxes (that is, basins at White Hall), I to my barber's, Gervas, and there had a little opportunity of speaking with my Jane alone, and did give her something, and of herself she did tell me a place where I might come to her on Sunday next, which I will not fail, but to see how modestly and harmlessly she brought it out was very pretty.
Thence to the Swan, and there did sport a good while with Herbert's young kinswoman without hurt, though they being abroad, the old people.
Then to the Hall, and there agreed with Mrs. Martin, and to her lodgings which she has now taken to lie in, in Bow Streete, pitiful poor things, yet she thinks them pretty, and so they are for her condition I believe good enough. Here I did 'ce que je voudrais avec' her most freely, and it having cost 2s. in wine and cake upon her, I away sick of her impudence, and by coach to my Lord Bruncker's (45), by appointment, in the Piazza, in Covent-Guarding; where I occasioned much mirth with a ballet I brought with me, made from the seamen at sea to their ladies in town; saying Sir W. Pen (43), Sir G. Ascue (49), and Sir J. Lawson (50) made them. Here a most noble French dinner and banquet, the best I have seen this many a day and good discourse.
Thence to my bookseller's and at his binder's saw Hooke's (29) book of the microscope1, which is so pretty that I presently bespoke it, and away home to the office, where we met to do something, and then though very late by coach to Sir Ph. Warwicke's (55), but having company with him could not speak with him.
So back again home, where thinking to be merry was vexed with my wife's having looked out a letter in Sir Philip Sidney about jealousy for me to read, which she industriously and maliciously caused me to do, and the truth is my conscience told me it was most proper for me, and therefore was touched at it, but tooke no notice of it, but read it out most frankly, but it stucke in my stomach, and moreover I was vexed to have a dog brought to my house to line our little bitch, which they make him do in all their sights, which, God forgive me, do stir my jealousy again, though of itself the thing is a very immodest sight. However, to cards with my wife a good while, and then to bed.
Note 1. "Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by Magnifying Glasses. London, 1665", a very remarkable work with elaborate plates, some of which have been used for lecture illustrations almost to our own day. On November 23rd, 1664, the President of the Royal Society was "desired to sign a licence for printing of Mr. Hooke's microscopical book". At this time the book was mostly printed, but it was delayed, much to Hooke's disgust, by the examination of several Fellows of the Society. In spite of this examination the council were anxious that the author should make it clear that he alone was responsible for any theory put forward, and they gave him notice to that effect. Hooke made this clear in his dedication (see Birch's "History", vol. i., pp. 490-491).

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 August 1666. 02 Aug 1666. [Up] and to the office, where we sat, and in discourse at the table with Sir W. Batten (65), I was obliged to tell him it was an untruth, which did displease him mightily, and parted at noon very angry with me. At home find Lovett, who brought me some papers varnished, and showed me my crucifix, which will be very fine when done. He dined with me and Balty's (26) wife, who is in great pain for her husband (26), not hearing of him since the fight; but I understand he was not in it, going hence too late, and I am glad of it.
Thence to the office, and thither comes to me Creed, and he and I walked a good while, and then to the Victualling Office together, and there with Mr. Gawden I did much business, and so away with Creed again, and by coach to see my Lord Bruncker (46), who it seems was not well yesterday, but being come thither, I find his coach ready to carry him abroad, but Tom, his footman, whatever the matter was, was lothe to desire me to come in, but I walked a great while in the Piatza till I was going away, but by and by my Lord himself comes down and coldly received me.
So I soon parted, having enough for my over officious folly in troubling myself to visit him, and I am apt to think that he was fearfull that my coming was out of design to see how he spent his time [rather] than to enquire after his health. So parted, and I with Creed down to the New Exchange Stairs, and there I took water, and he parted, so home, and then down to Woolwich, reading and making an end of the "Rival Ladys", and find it a very pretty play.
At Woolwich, it being now night, I find my wife and Mercer, and Mr. Batelier and Mary there, and a supper getting ready. So I staid, in some pain, it being late, and post night. So supped and merrily home, but it was twelve at night first. However, sent away some letters, and home to bed.

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Poll Bill

Diary of Samuel Pepys 21 January 1667. 21 Jan 1667. Up betimes, and with, Sir W. Batten (66), Sir W. Pen (45), Sir R. Ford (53), by coach to the Swede's Resident's in the Piatza, to discourse with him about two of our prizes, wherein he puts in his concernment as for his countrymen. We had no satisfaction, nor did give him any, but I find him a cunning fellow. He lives in one of the great houses there, but ill-furnished; and come to us out of bed in his furred mittens and furred cap.
Thence to Exeter House to the Doctors Commons, and there with our Proctors to Dr. Walker, who was not very well, but, however, did hear our matters, and after a dull seeming hearing of them read, did discourse most understandingly of them, as well as ever I heard man, telling us all our grounds of pretence to the prize would do no good, and made it appear but thus, and thus, it may be, but yet did give us but little reason to expect it would prove, which troubled us, but I was mightily taken to hear his manner of discourse.
Thence with them to Westminster Hall, they setting me down at White Hall, where I missed of finding Sir G. Carteret (57), up to the Lords' House, and there come mighty seasonably to hear the Solicitor about my Lord Buckingham's (38) pretence to the title of Lord Rosse. Mr. Atturny Montagu (49) is also a good man, and so is old Sir P. Ball; but the Solicitor and Scroggs after him are excellent men.
Here spoke with my Lord Bellasses (52) about getting some money for Tangier, which he doubts we shall not be able to do out of the Poll Bill, it being so strictly tied for the Navy. He tells me the Lords have passed the Bill for the accounts with some little amendments.
So down to the Hall, and thence with our company to Exeter House, and then did the business I have said before, we doing nothing the first time of going, it being too early. At home find Lovett, to whom I did give my Baroness Castlemayne's (26) head to do. He is talking of going into Spayne to get money by his art, but I doubt he will do no good, he being a man of an unsettled head.
Thence by water down to Deptford, the first time I have been by water a great while, and there did some little business and walked home, and there come into my company three drunken seamen, but one especially, who told me such stories, calling me Captain, as made me mighty merry, and they would leap and skip, and kiss what mayds they met all the way. I did at first give them money to drink, lest they should know who I was, and so become troublesome to me.
Parted at Redriffe, and there home and to the office, where did much business, and then to Sir W. Batten's (66), where Sir W. Pen (45), Sir R. Ford (53), and I to hear a proposition Sir R. Ford (53) was to acquaint us with from the Swedes Embassador, in manner of saying, that for money he might be got to our side and relinquish the trouble he may give us. Sir W. Pen (45) did make a long simple declaration of his resolution to give nothing to deceive any poor man of what was his right by law, but ended in doing whatever any body else would, and we did commission Sir R. Ford (53) to give promise of not beyond £350 to him and his Secretary, in case they did not oppose us in the Phoenix (the net profits of which, as Sir R. Ford (53) cast up before us, the Admiral's tenths, and ship's thirds, and other charges all cleared, will amount to £3,000) and that we did gain her. Sir R. Ford (53) did pray for a curse upon his family, if he was privy to anything more than he told us (which I believe he is a knave in), yet we all concluded him the most fit man for it and very honest, and so left it wholly to him to manage as he pleased.
Thence to the office a little while longer, and so home, where W. Hewer's (25) mother was, and Mrs. Turner (44), our neighbour, and supped with us. His mother a well-favoured old little woman, and a good woman, I believe. After we had supped, and merry, we parted late, Mrs. Turner (44) having staid behind to talk a little about her lodgings, which now my Lord Bruncker (47) upon Sir W. Coventry's (39) surrendering do claim, but I cannot think he will come to live in them so as to need to put them out.
She gone, we to bed all. This night, at supper, comes from Sir W. Coventry (39) the Order of Councill for my Lord Bruncker (47) to do all the Comptroller's (56) part relating to the Treasurer's accounts, and Sir W. Pen (45), all relating to the Victualler's, and Sir J. Minnes (67) to do the rest. This, I hope, will do much better for the King (36) than now, and, I think, will give neither of them ground to over-top me, as I feared they would; which pleases me mightily. This evening, Mr. Wren and Captain Cocke (50) called upon me at the office, and there told me how the House was in better temper to-day, and hath passed the Bill for the remainder of the money, but not to be passed finally till they have done some other things which they will have passed with it; wherein they are very open, what their meaning is, which was but doubted before, for they do in all respects doubt the King's pleasing them.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 09 April 1667. 09 Apr 1667. Up. and to the office a while, none of my fellow officers coming to sit, it being holiday, and so towards noon I to the Exchange, and there do hear mighty cries for peace, and that otherwise we shall be undone; and yet I do suspect the badness of the peace we shall make. Several do complain of abundance of land flung up by tenants out of their hands for want of ability to pay their rents; and by name, that the Duke of Buckingham (39) hath £6000 so flung up. And my father writes, that Jasper Trice, upon this pretence of his tenants' dealing with him, is broke up housekeeping, and gone to board with his brother, Naylor, at Offord; which is very sad.
So home to dinner, and after dinner I took coach and to the King's house, and by and by comes after me my wife with W. Hewer (25) and his mother and Barker, and there we saw "The Tameing of a Shrew", which hath some very good pieces in it, but generally is but a mean play; and the best part, "Sawny",1 done by Lacy (52), hath not half its life, by reason of the words, I suppose, not being understood, at least by me.
After the play was done, as I come so I went away alone, and had a mind to have taken out Knipp to have taken the ayre with her, and to that end sent a porter in to her that she should take a coach and come to me to the Piatza in Covent_Garden, where I waited for her, but was doubtful I might have done ill in doing it if we should be visti ensemble, sed elle was gone out, and so I was eased of my care, and therefore away to Westminster to the Swan, and there did baiser la little missa.... and drank, and then by water to the Old Swan, and there found Betty Michell sitting at the door, it being darkish. I staid and talked a little with her, but no once baiser la, though she was to my thinking at this time une de plus pretty mohers that ever I did voir in my vida, and God forgive me my mind did run sobre elle all the vespre and night and la day suivante.
So home and to the office a little, and then to Sir W. Batten's (66), where he tells me how he hath found his lady's jewels again, which have been so long lost, and a servant imprisoned and arraigned, and they were in her closet under a china cup, where he hath servants will swear they did look in searching the house; but Mrs. Turner (44) and I, and others, do believe that they were only disposed of by my Lady, in case she had died, to some friends of hers, and now laid there again.
So home to supper, and to read the book I bought yesterday of the Turkish policy, which is a good book, well writ, and so owned by Dr. Clerke yesterday to me, commending it mightily to me for my reading as the only book of the subject that ever was writ, yet so designedly.
So to bed.
Note 1. This play was entitled "Sawney the Scot, or the Taming of a Shrew", and consisted of an alteration of Shakespeare's play by John Lacy (52). Although it had long been popular it was not printed until 1698. In the old "Taming of a Shrew" (1594), reprinted by Thomas Amyot for the Shakespeare Society in 1844, the hero's servant is named Sander, and this seems to have given the hint to Lacy (52), when altering Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew", to foist a 'Scotsman into the action. Sawney was one of Lacy's (52) favourite characters, and occupies a prominent position in Michael Wright's (49) picture at Hampton Court. Evelyn, on October 3rd, 1662, "visited Mr. Wright, a Scotsman, who had liv'd long at Rome, and was esteem'd a good painter", and he singles out as his best picture, "Lacy (52), the famous Roscius, or comedian, whom he has painted in three dresses, as a gallant, a Presbyterian minister, and a Scotch Highlander in his plaid". Langbaine and Aubrey both make the mistake of ascribing the third figure to Teague in "The Committee"; and in spite of Evelyn's clear statement, his editor in a note follows them in their blunder. Planche has reproduced the picture in his "History of Costume" (Vol. ii., p. 243).

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Around 1755 Samuel Scott Painter 1702-1772 (53). Covent Garden Piazza and Market, London.

Around 1755 Samuel Scott Painter 1702-1772. Covent Garden Piazza and Market, London.

1 Great Piazza Covent Garden, Westminster

From 1637 to 1641 Abbot Walter Montagu 1603-1677 (38) lived at 1 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

Around 1650 to 1656 John Paulet 5th Marquess Winchester 1598-1675 (58) lived at 1 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

Around 1660 to 1661 Charles Gerard 1st Earl Macclesfield 1618-1694 (43) lived at 1 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

3 Great Piazza Covent Garden, Westminster

From 1639 to 1643 John Mordaunt 1st Earl Peterborough -1642 lived at 3 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

From 1692 to 1713 John Closterman Painter 1660-1711 (53) lived at 3 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

4 5 Great Piazza Covent Garden, Westminster

From 1640 to 1641 Thomas Culpepper 1514-1541 lived at 4 5 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

6 7 Great Piazza Covent Garden, Westminster

From 1640 to 1644 Henry Wallop 1568-1642 (75) lived at 6 7 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

From 1645 to 1647 Robert Wallop 1601-1667 (45) lived at 6 7 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

From 1653 to 1654 Lionel Tollemache 3rd Baronet Talmash 1624-1669 (29) lived at 6 7 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

From 1663 to 1690 Edward Russell 1643-1714 (47) lived at 6 7 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

8 Great Piazza Covent Garden, Westminster

From 1636 to 1640 Thomas Killigrew Playwright 1612-1683 (27) lived at 8 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

Around 1635 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of Thomas Killigrew Playwright 1612-1683.In 1638 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of Thomas Killigrew Playwright 1612-1683 and (probably) William Crofts 1st Baron Crofts 1611-1677.

From 1640 to 1641 Philip Wharton 4th Baron Wharton 1613-1696 (27) lived at 8 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

Around 1640 Henry Mordaunt 2nd Earl Peterborough 1621-1697 (18) lived at 8 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

From 1661 to 1662 Thomas Killigrew Playwright 1612-1683 (49) lived at 8 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

From 1663 to 1673 Aubrey Vere 20th Earl Oxford 1627-1703 (45) lived at 8 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

Around 1656 Gilbert Soest Painter 1605-1681. Portrait of Aubrey Vere 20th Earl Oxford 1627-1703.

From 1702 to 1726 Thomas Murray Painter 1663-1735 (63) lived at 8 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

9 10 Great Piazza Covent Garden, Westminster

From 1718 to 1720 Thomas Grey 2nd Earl Stamford 1654-1720 (66) lived at 9 10 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

From 1720 to 1730 Edward Wortley Montagu 1678-1761 (51) lived at 9 10 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

In 1730 John Vanderbank Painter 1694-1739. Portrait of Edward Wortley Montagu 1678-1761.

10 11 Great Piazza Covent Garden, Westminster

From 1651 to 1680 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680 (61) lived at 10 11 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

12 Great Piazza Covent Garden, Westminster

From 1722 to 1734 James Thornhill Painter 1675-1734 (59) lived at 12 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

13 14 Great Piazza Covent Garden, Westminster

From 1644 to 1652 Denzil Holles 1st Baron Holles 1599-1680 (52) lived at 13 14 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

In 1656 Mildmay Fane 2nd Earl Westmoreland 1602-1666 (53) lived at 13 14 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

In 1664 Charles Stewart 6th Duke Lennox 3rd Duke Richmond 1639-1672 (24) lived at 13 14 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

Around 1668 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Charles Stewart 6th Duke Lennox 3rd Duke Richmond 1639-1672.

16 17 Great Piazza Covent Garden, Westminster

From 1664 to 1666 Mountjoy Blount 1st Earl Newport 1597-1666 (69) lived at 16 17 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

Around 1637 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of Mountjoy Blount 1st Earl Newport 1597-1666.Around 1640 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of Mountjoy Blount 1st Earl Newport 1597-1666.

In 1680 Bishop Nathaniel Crew 3rd Baron Crew 1633-1721 (46) lived at 16 17 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

Before 1691. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of Bishop Nathaniel Crew 3rd Baron Crew 1633-1721.In 1698 Godfrey Kneller Painter 1646-1723. Portrait of Bishop Nathaniel Crew 3rd Baron Crew 1633-1721.Around 1675 John Greenhill Painter 1644-1676 (attributed). Portrait of Bishop Nathaniel Crew 3rd Baron Crew 1633-1721.

In 1682 Godfrey Kneller Painter 1646-1723 (35) lived at 16 17 Great Piazza Covent Garden.

From 1727 to 1734 Arthur Pond Painter 1705-1758 (29) lived at 16 17 Great Piazza Covent Garden.