The Trumpet in King Street, Westminster

A farthing of The Trumpet Tavern, King Street, Westminster

A farthing of The Trumpet Tavern, King Street, Westminster

The above brass farthing token measures 15.8 mm and weighs 0.71 grams. It was issued in the name of The Trumpet Tavern which was once located in King Street in St. Margaret’s Parish,Westminster. The design of the token may be formally described as follows;

Obverse: (star) THE.TRVMPET.IN.KINGS, around twisted wire inner circle, trumpet within.
Reverse: (star) STREETE.WESTMINSTER , around twisted wire inner circle, .C. over T (rosette) I within.

King Street, Westminster (c.1720)

King Street, Westminster (c.1720)

The initials of the couple that ran The Trumpet at the time the token was issued, a Mr. “T.C” and his wife Mrs.” J/I. C” have not as yet been positively identified by researchers. There are four individuals living in King Street at the time of the 1664 Hearth Tax who had initials that make them possible contenders;

King Street (North from the New Palace to the Sanctuary Gate):

1) Thomas Collins – 5 hearths recorded

King Street (North End):

2) Jane Charlton – 5 hearths recorded
3) Thomas Crispe – 6 hearths recorded
4) Captain Cooke – 6 hearths recorded

However, there are strong arguments that this token cannot be identified with any of the above. Firstly, in his diary entry for Saturday 9th January 1663/64 Pepys refers to the Trumpet as Mrs. Hare’s. Not a Mrs. C’s. Furthermore the style of this farthing token would identify it (and hence the tenancy of its issuers) with an earlier date than 1664. It is perfectly conceivable that by the time of the 1664 Hearth Tax our Mr. and Mrs. “C” may well have moved on.

The Trumpet is one of five taverns in King Street, Westminster, that was mentioned by Samuel Pepys in his diaries. The other mentioned were; The Bell, The Dog, The Sun and The Angel. The Angel and The Trumpet are the least two mentioned of this group and were obviously not his favourite drinking establishments in the street.
The Trumpet is mentioned in five separate entries in Pepys’ diary as listed chronologically below. On the last occasion (in January 1664/5) it appears that he was using it as a rendezvous for one of his many illicit extra marital liaisons, safe in the knowledge that none of his acquaintances would be there.

Saturday 4th August 1660

…I went and bespoke some linen of Betty Lane in the Hall, and after that to the Trumpet, where I sat and talked with her, &c. At night, it being very rainy, and it thundering and lightning exceedingly, I took coach at the Trumpet door, taking Monsieur L’Impertinent along with me as far as the Savoy, where he said he went to lie with Cary Dillon, and is still upon the mind of going (he and his whole family) to Ireland.”

Saturday 9th January 1663/64

“After dinner by coach I carried my wife and Jane to Westminster, leaving her at Mr. Hunt’s, and I to Westminster Hall, and there visited Mrs. Lane, and by appointment went out and met her at the Trumpet, Mrs. Hare’s, but the room being damp we went to the Bell tavern, and there I had her company, but could not do as I used to do (yet nothing but what was honest) … So I to talk about her having Hawley, she told me flatly no, she could not love him.”

Monday 15th August 1664

“To the Coffee-house I, and so to the Change a little, and then home to dinner with Creed, whom I met at the Coffee-house, and after dinner by coach set him down at the Temple, and I and my wife to Mr. Blagrave’s. They being none of them at home; I to the Hall, leaving her there, and thence to the Trumpett, whither came Mrs. Lane, and there begins a sad story how her husband, as I feared, proves not worth a farthing, and that she is with child and undone, if I do not get him a place. I had my pleasure here of her, and she, like an impudent jade, depends upon my kindness to her husband, but I will have no more to do with her, let her brew as she has baked, seeing she would not take my counsel about Hawly. After drinking we parted……”

Friday 9th December 1664

“At noon home to dinner, Mr. Hunt and his wife with us, and very pleasant. Then in the afternoon I carried them home by coach, and I to Westminster Hall, and thence to Gervas’s, and there find I cannot prevail with Jane to go forth with me, but though I took a good occasion of going to the Trumpet she declined coming, which vexed me. “Je avait grande envie envers elle, avec vrai amour et passion”. (Trans: I longed for her with true love and passion). Thence home and to my office till one in the morning……”

Sunday 22nd January 1664/65

“After dinner walked to Westminster, and after being at the Abbey and heard a good anthem well sung there, I as I had appointed to the Trumpett, there expecting when Jane Welsh should come, but anon comes a maid of the house to tell me that her mistress and master would not let her go forth, not knowing of my being here, but to keep her from her sweetheart. So being defeated, away by coach home, and there spent the evening prettily in discourse with my wife and Mercer, and so to supper, prayers, and to bed.”

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Filed under Tokens from Pepys' London, Tokens from West of the City Walls

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