Edward Clarke to

Edward Clarke snr

London 24th February 1670

deare father

I yesterday came into London together with Mr Venner who mett me at Beaconsfeild (where the Oxford coach1 lay the first night) and soe accompanied me hither, and has by his care provided mee a very convenient chamber nigh the Temple, he endeavoured to hire me one in the Temple but it is not at present to be done without paying allmost thrice the value of it. I was in very great want of all sorts of linning, and I desire you to pardon mee the liberty I have taken in furnishing my selfe without makeing you first acquainted therewith; I have allsoe bought a cloake, a sword and a belt.1 Sr You may direct any letter to mee at Major Pinkney's3 house a goldsmith over against St Dunstans4 church in Fleet Street I will endeavoure to bee as frugall in all things as possible.

Ed Clarke
  1. This was the Oxford coach rather than the Flying coach which completed the journey to London in a day.
  2. Cloak, sword and belt had become standard wear for the man-about-town after the restoration.
  3. Major Pinkney was Henry Pinkney, a major in the City Train band, who had set up as a goldsmith about 1650; Pepys had visited him in December 1660. He was active in the parish affairs of St Dunstan's, holding various offices. His goldsmith's business turned into a bank later, and the heavy metal shield with the sign of 3 Squirrels made in early 17C pewter can still be seen on the site in Fleet Street, the business having first turned into Goslings Bank and then Barclays.
  4. St Dunstans in the West had just escaped the Fire; gunpowder had been used to make some open spaces to defeat the flames and the church was saved although all houses north of its churchyard and from Kings Bench Walk to Fleet Street had been burned to the ground. Major Pinkney himself had lost four houses.