Friday, 10 April 2015

Samuel Pepys and his sister Paulina

Paulina 'Pall' Pepys (1640-89) was the only surviving sister of Samuel Pepys out of the five daughters born to their parents John Pepys and Margaret Kite.
In February 1668 Paulina married John Jackson (1640-80) and had two sons; Samuel (b.1669) and John (1673-1723).

Samuel Pepys
At the time when Samuel Pepys begins his famous diary, his relationship with his sister is not a good one and she seems to already have had a reputation for misbehaving and causing trouble. Throughout his diary, Samuel mentions the sums of money he gives to his sister for her personal use.
The second mention of his sister Paulina in the diary, on the 24th January 1660, contains a complaint about her behaviour. Paulina had been stealing items, including scissors from Samuel's wife and a book from his maid.
In the November of 1660 it was agreed that Paulina would go and live with Samuel and his wife, however she would not be a guest, instead she would work for the couple as a servant. Paulina moved in on the 2nd January 1661, and even on that first evening Samuel would not permit her to dine with them, as he feared she would expect to every evening. Paulina spent most of her time at the Pepys house with Samuel's wife Lizzie as her maid.

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Lizzie Pepys
The arrangement seems to have only lasted for a few months as by July 1661 Samuel was already determined to be rid of her. On the 25th August, Samuel convinced his father to allow Paulina to move back to their parents house in the country. She did not leave however until the 5th September as the Pepys' other maid had quit and Paulina was doing all of the household work.
Throughout 1662 Samuel continues to make complaints about Paulina's behaviour. On the 11th June, Samuel complains that Paulina writes to their father unnecessarily about how ill their mother is, forcing him to leave London early. On the 14th October, Samuel says of his sister that he finds her 'so very ill-natured that I cannot love her, and she so cruel a hypocrite that she can cry when she pleases'.
In January 1663, Paulina returned to living with the Pepys', as they needed a maid and to use Paulina would 'save money flung away upon a stranger', despite the fact that neither Samuel or Elizabeth were particularly interested in having Paulina in their house again. In July 1663 Paulina was causing trouble in the Pepys household as she was causing difficulties between Lizzie Pepys and her companion Mary Ashwell, who had joined the Pepys household in March of that year.

In December 1663 Samuel comes to the conclusion that his sister 'grows now old, and must be disposed of one way or another'. In short, he decided it was time to find her a husband to get her out of his way. Samuel Pepys was responsible for providing the monetary dowry for his sister; the amount of which heavily affected the choice of husband. The first mention of the dowry states that Samuel is willing to give his sister 400l (5th October 1665). On the 14th January 1666, this is increased to 450l, in addition to 50l that she receives from her uncle; providing her with 500l in total.

On the 9th of February 1664 the first proposed husband mentioned in the diary is a Captain Grove. It appears that this match did not last long however, and in May it was decided that Paulina would move back to London to live with Samuel in the hope of finding her a husband.
The Pepys house in Brampton
The next potential husband mentioned is Philip Harman on the 21st July 1665. Philip Harman (1637-97) was an upholsterer in Cornhill and was distantly related to the Pepys' by marriage, Samuel described him as 'a most good-natured, and discreet man, and...very cunning'. He had only recently lost his wife at the time of his mention in the diary. When the topic of Paulina's dowry was discussed between Philip and Samuel, Samuel offered a dowry of 500l. However, Philip stated that he didn't need the money and that the money should be given to Paulina for her own personal use, perhaps to the amount of 200 or 300l. The match with Paulina was not successful, despite it continuing until March of 1666, and he was still unmarried in 1668.

On the 16th of February 1666, Samuel has the idea of a man named Benjamin Gauden as a match for his sister. He is a connection of Samuel's through the Navy as Benjamin was the son of the Navy victualler, Dennis Gauden. Initially Benjamin had expected a dowry of 1000l, however he and Samuel came to an agreement by which Samuel would give only half of that and the remainder would be taken yearly out of the amount he usually pays to Samuel. Therefore on the 2nd April 1666, it seemed set that Benjamin would marry Paulina. However after his meeting with Benjamin, Samuel then went to the London Exchange and was advised by a Mr Warren that such a marriage would not be acceptable and would cause only harm for both Samuel's and Benjamin's businesses. Samuel then saw fit to cancel the arrangement with Benjamin Gauden.

The next suitor for Paulina was proposed by Samuel and Paulina's father in March 1666. The gentleman in question is from Brampton - the Pepys' home in the country - rather that one of Samuel's connections from the city. The man was called Robert Ensum, who had 'seven score and odd pounds land per annum in possession, and expects 1000l in money by the death of an old aunt'. Samuel notes that Ensum has no close family, with both his parents being deceased and being an only child. Ensum asked for a dowry of 600l from Samuel for Paulina, as well as 100l upon the birth of Paulina and Ensum's first child. Despite the high cost of the dowry, Samuel seems to be set upon this match for his sister until Lizzie tells him her opinion of Ensum; that he is a 'drunken, ill-favoured, ill-bred country fellow', which makes Samuel decide to continue the match with Harman instead. It appears that Lizzie's opinion of Ensum was either ignored or untrue as in June 1666, Samuel's father gave his approval to the match with Ensum. Samuel would then give Ensum 500l and 100l upon the birth of the first child born to the couple. This match came to an abrupt end however, when on the 12th of December 1666 Robert Ensum died.

By 1667 it seems that Samuel was getting tired of his sister and was desperate to have her married; Samuel and his father searched for 'a husband for my sister, whereof there is at present no appearance; but we must endeavour to find her one now, for she grows old and ugly' (10 October 1667).

Just a month after this raw desperation, the man who would go on to marry Paulina was found in November. Samuel's father wrote to him to suggest a grazier named John Jackson, who was the executor of the estate of his cousin Robert Ensum - Paulina's former fiance. Samuel intended to give 500l as a dowry if Jackson was interested in the match. Jackson was set to inherit the estate of his uncle Luke Phillips, a lawyer who often acted for Samuel Pepys.

Richard Cumberland
In January 1668 Samuel writes that he would prefer his sister to marry Richard Cumberland (1631-1718). Cumberland was a Bishop and a philosopher who went to school with Samuel, who had 'a mighty mind to have a relation so able a man, and honest, and so old an acquaintance as Mr Cumberland'. However, as Mr Cumberland is not mentioned again, this idea may have stemmed only from Samuel's admiration of the man and not the practicality of finding his sister a husband.

It seems that Samuel asked his cousin Roger Pepys to review the estate of John Jackson in January 1668, which satisfied Samuel enough to allow him to approve of him as a husband for Paulina. In February, Paulina was given her portion of 600l, as well as to be given 60l annually.

On the 2nd March 1668, Samuel received the news that Paulina was married to John Jackson the previous Thursday. The couple went to live in Ellington, close to the Pepys home in Brampton.

It seems that after her marriage, the relationship between Samuel and Paulina slowly improves; in May 1668 Samuel notes that she 'growing fat, and, since being married, I think looks comelier than before: but a mighty pert woman she is, and I think proud, he keeping her mighty handsome, and they say mighty fond'. Which, although is not entirely complimentary, it is an improvement on the things he had previously said about his sister. The final mention of Paulina in the diary is that she is pregnant in May 1669, with her eldest son whom she will go on to name Samuel.
The relationship between Samuel and Paulina did improve as they got older, and Paulina's second son John became Samuel's protege and heir and was present at his uncle's death in 1703.

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