Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


One morning in November 1662 Samuel Pepys was summoned by Lady Batten and told ‘very civilly that she did not desire, nor hoped I did that anything should pass between us but what was civill, though there was not the neighbourliness between her and my wife that was fit to be’.1 In deploying the terms ‘civil’ and ‘neighbourliness’ to discuss her relationships with Samuel and Elizabeth Pepys, Lad)? Batten used a language of sociability which would have been familiar to early modern people of all social ranks and both sexes. Female honesty and credit were denned not only by women’s roles as family members and household residents, but also by their social interactions with other Londoners. This chapter examines how the reputations of women were affected by their standing within the local communities of early modern London by discussing notions of good neighbourliness, company and civility.


Public House Seventeenth Century Social Rank Good Neighbour Good Neighbourliness 
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  1. 25.
    J. Eales, ‘Samuel Clarke and the “lives” of godly women in seventeenth-century England’ in W. J. Sheils and D. Wood (eds), Women in the church, Studies in Church History, 27 (1990), p. 371Google Scholar
  2. 26.
    P. Lake, ‘Feminine piety and personal potency: the “emancipation” of Mrs Jane Ratcliffe’, The Seventeenth Century, 2:2 (1987), pp. 157–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tim Reinke-Williams 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social SciencesUniversity of NorthamptonUK

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