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“The Account Between Us”: Honor, Reciprocity and Companionship in Male Friendship in the Later Seventeenth Century*

  • Katharine W. Swett


The anthropologist Marshall Sahlins posed the question, is a friend a friend because he helps you, or does he help you because he is your friend? Most cultures, Sahlins noted, could choose one of the two. Individuals in Tudor-Stuart Britain, however, would be hard-pressed not to reply, both. Thus, in 1577 after their children’s marriage Sir William Gerard wrote to Moras Wynn of Gwydir that he appreciated Wynn making the match out of “very friendship without respect of gain,” by which Gerard meant affection and goodwill, but went on to add that he understood Wynn now “expected friendship” from him, meaning practical assistance using Gerard’s Court connections. Friendship was both chosen and given, a fortunate accident or a tie strenuously worked for and assiduously cultivated. Ubiquitous and vital, friendship was an act as much as a state of mind: Richard Brathwait spoke to its scope in claiming “there is no greater wilderness than to be without true friends.”



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A number of people have read and commented on versions of this paper. My thanks to Paul Seaver, David Cressy, Roger Manning, Stanley Chojnacki, Christopher Highley, Margaret Newell, Muriel McClendon, and Michael Moore, also to participants in the History Department faculty seminar at Ohio State University and, originally, to those who attended my session at the NACBS conference in Boulder, Colorado in 1992.



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1 Cited in Neuschel, Kristen B., Word of Honor: Interpreting Noble Culture in Sixteenth-Century France (Ithaca, 1989), p. 23.

2 National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. National Library of Wales Manuscript 905 IE f.66. February 8, 1577. Sir William Gerard from Dublin to Moras Wynn at Gwydir, Caernarfonshire. Gerard was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1576.

3 Brathwait, Richard, The English Gentleman (London, 1630), p. 243 (facsimile publication, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1975). The English Experience, no. 717.

4 Bacon, Francis, “Of Friendship,” p. 162, and “Of Followers and Friends,” pp. 3239 , in. A Harmony of the Essays of Francis Bacon, ed., Edward Arber (London, 1871). Brathwait, Gentleman, p. 243.

5 Bacon, , “Followers,” pp. 3839 , and “Friendship,” p. 162. Cicero and Montaigne were the most often cited essayists on friendship. For valuable commentary on the concept of friendship in history, literature and philosophy, see the appendix in Nelson, Benjamin, The Idea of Usury: From Tribal Brotherhood to Universal Otherhood (Princeton, 1949), also Mills, Laurens J., One Soul in Bodies Twain: Friendship in Tudor Literature and Stuart Drama (Bloomington, 1937).

6 An important brief exception is Bray, Alan, “Homosexuality and the signs of male friendship in Elizabethan England,” History Workshop Journal 29 (1990): 119 , reprinted in Queering the Renaissance, ed. Jonathan Goldberg (Durham, 1994), pp. 40-61. Stone, Lawrence, The Family, Sex and Marriage in England, 1500-1800 (New York, 1977), pp. 9798 . Gillis, John R., For Better, For Worse: British Marriages, 1600 to the Present (New York, 1985), pp. 3437 . An overview of friendship with some English material is Chartier, Roger, ed., A History of Private Life, Volume III: Passions of the Renaissance (Cambridge, MA, 1989), pp. 44791 . On early modern English gentry sociability see Fletcher, Anthony, A County Community in Peace and War: Sussex, 1600-1660 (London, 1975), pp. 4453 , also Heal, Felicity and Holmes, Clive, The Gentry in England and Wales, 1500-1700 (Stanford, 1994), ch. 8. Useful on friendship and the construction of manhood from an anthropological perspective are Brain, Robert, Friends and Lovers (London, 1976) and Gilmore, David D., Manhood in the Making: Cultural Concepts of Masculinity (New Haven, 1990). See also, Cowan, Brian, “Reasonable Ecstasies: Shaftesbury and the Languages of Libertinism,” Journal of British Studies 37, 2 (1998): 11138.

7 Trumbach, Randolph, The Rise of the Egalitarian Family: Aristocratic Kinship and Domestic Relatiom in Eighteenth-Century England (New York, 1978), p. 64.

8 John Gillis interprets the word’s range and ambiguity as a sign of friendship’s great emotional significance, while Stone distinguishes between “friend” and “friends.” Gillis, For Better, For Worse, p. 35. Stone, Family, Sex and Marriage, p. 97.

9 The “friends,” as Stone noted, occupy an important place in the tiny, vague vocabulary of English kinship, best discussed in Cressy, David, “Kinship and Kin Interaction in Early Modern England,” Past and Present 113 (1986): 3869 . On the role of the “friends” in the making of marriage, see O’Hara, Diana, ‘“Ruled by my friends’: aspects of marriage in the diocese of Canterbury, c.1540-1570,” Continuity and Change 6, 1 (1991): 941 ; Rushton, Peter, “Property, Power and Family Networks: The Problem of Disputed Marriage in Early Modern England,” Journal of Family History 11, 3 (1986): 20519.

10 Peck, Linda Levy, Court patronage and corruption in early Stuart England (London, 1990) has many good examples of the latter.

11 Neuschel, Word of Honor, pp. 15-20, 72-76.

12 Trexler, Richard, Public Life in Renaissance Florence (New York, 1980), pp. 13158 . Weissman, Ronald F. E., Ritual Brotherhood in Renaissance Florence (New York, 1982), pp. 2635: “One was lost without one’s friends, but one stood to be used and abused by them all the same” (p. 29). For a milder picture see Klapisch-Zuber, Christiane, “Kin, Friends, and Neighbors: The Urban Territory of a Merchant Family in 1400” in Women, Family and Ritual in Renaissance Italy (Chicago, 1985), pp. 6893.

13 Gillis, For Better, For Worse, ch. 1, especially pp. 34-37. Westhauser, Karl E., “Friendship and Family in Early Modern England: the Sociability of Adam Eyre and Samuel Pepys,” Journal of Social History 27 (1994): 51736 . Rotundo, E. Anthony, “Romantic Friendship: Male Intimacy and Middle-Class Youth in the Northern United States, 1800-1900,” Journal of Social History 23, 1 (1989): 125.

14 Trumbach, Rise, p. 67, noted also in Davidoff, Leonore and Hall, Catherine, Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780-1850 (Chicago, 1987).

15 His birth date has been given as 1619 and 1625 by various historians, probably to fit in with his supposed election as M.P. in 1647. In fact he has most likely been mistaken for his uncle Sir Richard Wynn, the second Gwydir baronet, who died July 1649, or with another Richard Wynn entirely. His birth in 1634, ten years after his parents’ marriage, is recorded in the Llanrwst parish register, and when negotiating for his son’s marriage in 1653, Sir Owen Wynn noted that Richard was certainly free of romantic attachments elsewhere, “he being little from home at any time.” Jones, J. Gwynfor, The Wynn Family of Gwydir: Origins, Growth and Development c. 1490-1674 (Aberystwyth, 1995), p. 110, n 67, and p. 232 . N.L.W. 9064E f.44, Sir Owen Wynn to Sir Thomas Myddelton, April 15, 1653. Henning, Basil Duke, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1660-1690, Vol. 3 (London, 1983), pp. 78182.

16 The Wynn of Gwydir Papers at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth comprise some 650 letters during the period 1654-74. I supplement them with the Mostyn Manuscripts at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, which contain letters to Thomas Mostyn from his friends. On the Wynn and Mostyn families see Griffith, John Edwards, Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families with Their Collateral Branches in Denbighshire, Merionethshire and Other Parts (Horncastle, 1914), Mostyn, Lord and Glenn, T. A., History of the Family of Mostyn of Mostyn (London, 1925), and for the early seventeenth century, Carr, A. D., “The Mostyn Family and Estate, 1200-1642,” (Ph.D. diss., University of Wales, 1975).

17 Knoke, David and Kuklinski, James H., Network Analysis (Beverly Hills, 1982), p. 19.

18 See N.L.W. 9066E ff. 264, 274, 8; 469E f.6; 9067E f.107.

19 On letters, Irving, William Henry, The Providence of Wit in the English Letter Writers (Durham, 1955), p. 13.

20 In the sixteenth century advice books on letter-writing appeared and the letters of famous men such as Cicero, Balzac and Sir Philip Sidney were first published in the seventeenth. Spufford, Margaret, Small Books and Pleasant Histories: Popular Fiction and its Readership in Seventeenth-Century England (London, 1981), pp. 6872 ; Irving, Providence of Wit, pp. 4-62.

21 Mullan, John, Sentiment and Sociability: The Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century (Oxford, 1988), p. 5.

22 Joan Scott, in discussing how language shapes and limits the way experience itself is understood by our historical subjects, notes “Experience is at once always already an interpretation and something that needs to be interpreted.” Scott, Joan, “The Evidence of Experience,” Critical Inquiry 17 (Summer 1991): 797 . My thanks to Frances Dolan for this reference.

23 Some additional examples are N.L.W. 9064E ff. 104-05; 9065E ff.110.

24 By anthropomorphizing the dog and playfully declaring its desire to salute the recipient N.L.W. 9068E f.235. February 10, 1670. 9066E ff.10, 20. On other new trends and fashions in the 1650s, see Hirst, Derek, “Locating the 1650s in England’s Seventeenth CenturyHistory 81 (July 1996): 35983.

25 Quoted in Irving, Providence of Wit, p. 12.

26 N.L.W. 9065E f.173. August 28, 1657, at Penrhyn, Caernarfonshire, f. 112. February 25, 1655. f.164. February 25, 1655.

27 N.L.W. Additional Manuscript 469E f.13. December 27, 1661.

28 See N.L.W. Add. MS. 469E f.13. December 27, 1661. 9068E f.30. May 13, 1672. Attuned to gendered behavior in their breeding animals, the friends were struck by the relative freedom of females to accept or reject a mate. On human projections onto animals see Thomas, Keith, Man and the Natural World (New York, 1983), p. 61.

29 University College of North Wales Library, Bangor. Mostyn Additional Manuscripts, Vol.1, no.20. October 20, 1674. See also N.L.W. 9068E f.264. October 12, 1670. Thomas Bulkeley at Maesycastell to Sir Richard Wynn.

30 Jones, J. Gwynfor, “Concepts of Order and Gentility,” in Class, Community and Culture in Tudor Wales, ed. Jones, J. Gwynfor (Cardiff, 1989), p. 121.

31 N.L.W. 9067E f.115. April 14, 1665.

32 N.L.W. 9066E f.36. November 4, 1661.

33 N.L.W. 9066E f.292. n.d., but after 1660.

34 On the conjunction of convention, propriety and meaning in letters see Stevens, Forrest Tyler, “Erasmus’s ‘Tigress’: The Language of Friendship, Pleasure, and the Renaissance Letter,” in Queering the Renaissance, ed. Goldberg, (Durham, 1994), pp. 12440 ; also Walker, Roger M., “A Rediscovered 17th Century Literary Friendship: Sir Richard Fanshawe and Dom Francisco Manuel de Melo,” Sixteenth Century Journal 23, 1 (1992).

35 His first letter is N.L.W. 9066E f. 273. September 11, 1660. For later samples see ff. 286, 292, 16.

36 N.L.W 9064E f.104. November 1, 1654.

37 Peacham, Henry, The Compleat Gentleman (1634; rpt. Oxford, 1906), pp. 4243 , thought it vital to have a good style, for “speech is the Character of a man, and the Interpreter of his mind, and writing the image of that….”

38 On the permissive attitude toward male friendships that fell within approved boundaries, as did those of Wynn’s circle, see Bray, “Homosexuality,” pp. 44, 46, 49. He also notes perceptively that whereas their public conduct was for the eyes of the world, language helped cement the private trust between two friends.

39 N.L.W. 9066E f.1. January 17, 1661. This technique might also be employed by sons to their fathers.

40 N.L.W. 9065E f.202. n.d., c. 1658. True friends showed “tender respect” for one another’s honor, and would do anything to procure or further it. Brathwait, Gentleman, p. 242.

41 Clawson, Mary Ann, “Early Modem Fratemalism and the Patriarchal Family,” Feminist Studies 6, 2 (1980): 383.

42 Quoted in James, Mervyn, “English Politics and the Concept of Honor” in Society, Politics and Culture: Studies in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 1986), p. 312 . James argues that competition and aggression were always latent in the relations of men of honor, though subject to the restraints imposed by honor’s bonds. On the nature of honor see Finley, M. I., The World of Odysseus (New York, 1954 ), Wyatt-Brown, Bertram, Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (Oxford, 1982), Pt. 1, and Stewart, Frank Henderson, Honor (Chicago, 1994).

43 On the distinction, Anthony Fletcher notes “Honour was only at stake with equals; reputation was at stake with everyone.” Fletcher, A. J., “Honour, Reputation and Local Officeholding in Early Stuart England,” in Order and Disorder in Early Modern England, eds. Fletcher, Anthony and Stevenson, John (Cambridge, 1985), p. 110 . The most influential piece on this subject is Pitt-Rivers, Julian, “Honour and Social Status,” in Honour and Shame: The Values of Mediterranean Society, ed. Peristiany, J. G. (Chicago, 1966), pp. 1977, esp. pp. 2239 . Honor mattered also to some men beneath the rank of gentleman, and yeomen or private soldiers sometimes fought duels with one another.

44 Hanawalt, Barbara A., “Lady Honor Lisle’s Networks of Influence,” in Women and Power in the Middle Ages, eds. Erler, Mary and Kowaleski, Maryanne (Athens, GA, 1988) pp. 188212 , offers a good introduction to instrumental friendships.

45 N.L.W. 9067E f.138. April 2, 1666. Compare with 9066E f.268. Aug. 17, 1660. 9066E f.30. Oct. 7, 1661. 9068E f.224. Sept. 8, 1669. The gravity of the given word also eased the pre-arrangement of parliamentary elections: U.C.N.W. Mostyn MSS 9066, nos. 39, 46. Thomas Bulkeley to Thomas Mostyn.

46 N.L.W. 469E f.64! “By such action as these one may find who are our friends really.” Sarah Wynn also criticized her brothers, when her husband complained they had paid him insufficient respect.

47 N.L.W. 9065E f.202.

48 Gifts ranged from oysters to horses; for some examples see N.L.W. 9068E ff. 275-77, 279. On the importance of gifts to the gentry, including the popular rings for remembrance, see Fletcher, County Community, pp. 48-49. On the significance of gift-giving and receiving, Mauss, Marcel, The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (New York, 1967).

49 The return of a favor requested might be immediate or stored for future use. N.L.W. 9054E f. 32. February 21, 1612. Richard Gerard to Sir John Wynn. 468E f.78. April 7, 1657. Richard Kyffin to Morus Wynn at Gwydir. See also Slater, Miriam, Family Life in the Seventeenth Century: The Verneys of Claydon House (London, 1984), pp. 1718, 4850, 59.

50 N.L.W. 9065E ff. 224, 228, 247; 9066E ff. 281, 1, 4. Little is known of the duel on Belgrave Heath on August 22, 1661 which caused Roger’s death. Myddelton, William, editor. Chirk Castle Accounts from 1667, vol. 2 (1931): p. 3, n. 12. On duelling see Kiernan, V. G., The Duel in European History: Honour and the Reign of Aristocracy (Oxford, 1988).

51 N.L.W. 9066E F.31. October 10, 1661. Christian remarried in 1669 to a much older lawyer, John Edisbury, and died in 1670. N.L.W. 9066E ff. 35, 42.

52 N.L.W. 9067E F. 108. February 15, 1665. U.C.N.W. Mostyn MSS 9066 no. 23. December 9, 1674.

53 N.L.W. 9066E ff.39, 79. November 27, 1661. June 2, 1663. 9067E ff. 94, 100, 131, 141. March 31 and May 28, 1664. November 2, 1665. June 2, 1666. 9068E f.228. Nov. 29, 1669. Add. MS. 469E f.27. June 20, 1664. N.L.W. 9067E ff.189, 202, 209. November 7, 1667. April 1, 1668. Sept. 26, 1668.

54 N.L.W. 9065E f.164.

55 Drinking was of course the leading masculine pastime for all social ranks; for a longer view see Barker-Benfield, G. J., The Culture of Sensibility: Sex and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Chicago, 1992), pp. 5051 . On the recreations of the later Stuart Welsh gentry, which resemble those of their English counterparts, see Jenkins, Geraint H., The Foundations of Modern Wales: Wales 1642-1780 (Oxford, 1987), p. 99 . On hunting’s social and political significance, consult Jenkins, Philip, The Making of a Ruling Class: the Glamorgan gentry, 1640-1790 (Cambridge, 1983), pp. 26366 , and Manning, Roger B., Hunters and Poachers: A Social and Cultural History of Unlawful Hunting in England, 1485-1640 (Oxford, 1993).

56 Venison was “a class of gift which honoured both giver and receiver.” Hainsworth, D. R., Stewards, Lords and People: The estate steward and his world in later Stuart England (Cambridge, 1992), p. 122.

57 N.L.W. 9068E f.277. December 3, n.d. N.L.W. 9066E f.41. Sir Roger Mostyn to Sir Richard Wynn. 9067E f. 182. John Wynn of Melai to same. N.L.W. 469E f.62. June 19, 1669. On one occasion Herbert proposed a hunt to shake off the gloom of a local smallpox epidemic that was decimating the lower orders. N.L.W. 9067E f.102. June 26, 1664.

58 For instance, Sir Roger Mostyn joked to Richard that his son-in-law Puleston’s sobriety “seldom happens but upon a great Eclipse…for you go sometimes sober to bed he never.” N.L.W. 9066E f.36. He was equally forgiving of his own indulgences. 9066E f.16. May 9, 1661. 9068E f.264. October 12, 1670.

59 N.L.W. 9065E f.169. January 29, 1657. 9067E f.151. 9066E f.84.

60 Disparity of rank carried other risks. In his examination of the conventions of male friendship, Bray points out that the ideal assumed both men would be of gentle birth; when one was not, the relationship was likely to be viewed far less favorably and might become vulnerable to accusations of sodomy. Bray, “Homosexuality,” pp. 50-56.

61 In spring 1674 see N.L.W. 9068E f.58, 9069E ff. 60-61.

62 Westhauser, “Friendship and Family,” compares the sociability of Samuel Pepys and rural Adam Eyre. The latter was far down the social scale from Richard Wynn, but his social circle was similarly stable.

63 Notable absences among his chosen companions were his first cousins, the sons of his paternal uncles William and Henry Wynn.

64 Sir John Wynn’s distinction was “I have ever more accepted of a true friend than a kinsman, for many kinsmen there are but few friends.” N.L.W. 9059E f.4. January 21, 1624. This proverb is also cited in Goody, Jack, The development of the family and marriage in Europe (Cambridge, 1983), p. 272.

65 N.L.W. 9067E f.143. June 14, 1666.

66 N.L.W. 9065E f.184.

67 N.L.W. 9064E ff. 104-05, 9065E f.110. 9065E f.112. February 25, 1655.

68 Lady Sarah Wynn maintained nearly as active a social life as her husband, as did her sisters and mother. See also Slater, Family Life, on Vemey, Lady Mary, and Eales, Jacqueline, Puritans and Roundheads: The Harleys of Brampton Bryan and the outbreak of the English Civil War (Cambridge, 1990), ch. 2, esp. pp. 4041 , on Harley, Lady Brilliana, Heal, Felicity, Hospitality in Early Modern England (Oxford, 1990), ch. 4.

69 Bacon, “Followers,” pp. 38-39. Partially quoted in Bray, “Homosexuality,” p. 46.

70 N.L.W. 9066E f.37, November 12, 1661. 9067E f.100, May 28, 1664.

71 The bitter pre-Civil War enmity between the Wynns of Gwydir and the Griffiths of Lleyn, for example, dwindled before the Restoration. N.L.W. 9065E f.177. Dec. 13, 1657. William Griffith of Lleyn to Richard Wynn at Gwydir. Also 9066E ff. 282, 286, in 1660. On Caernarfonshire politics see Dodd, A. H., A History of Caernarvonshire (2nd ed.; Wrexham, Clwyd, 1990), pp. 14658, 16466 . Johnson, A. M., “Wales during the Commonwealth and Protectorate,” in Puritans and Revolutionaries, eds. Pennington, D. H. and Thomas, Keith (Oxford, 1978), pp. 236, 255.

72 The horse was difficult to train. N.L.W. 9067E f.102. June 26, 1664. Edward Herbert to Richard Wynn. After the Restoration Richard, too, jested about Presbyterians. N.L.W. 9066E f.259. June 12, 1660. Richard Wynn in London to Lady Grace Wynn at Gwydir. But neither man mocked the views of their intrepid father-in-law, Sir Thomas Myddelton, a Presbyterian when he was secluded from Parliament in Pride’s Purge but no longer, apparently, by the 1660s.

73 N.L.W. 469E f.7, 9066E ff. 16, 18, 75.

74 Rosenheim, James, The Townshends of Raynham: Nobility in Transition in Restoration and Early Hanoverian England (Middletown, CT, 1989), pp. 3739, 58 , remarks on the heavy toll exacted on Horatio Townshend’s friendships by his political choices and ambitions. Townshend was Wynn’s exact contemporary.

75 N.L.W. 469E f.48, 9067E f.158. Both Oct. 30, 1666. Sir Richard Wynn at Coventry to Lady Sarah Wynn at Gwydir. John Wynn of Melai at Gray’s Inn to Sir Richard Wynn. See also 9066E ff. 20-23. June 13-July 17, 1661. Thomas Bulkeley to Wynn.

76 On delays, N.L.W. 9067E ff. 95-96, 9068E ff. 4-5. On Parliament and stays in London see N.L.W. 469E f.48; 9066E f.286; 9067E ff.158, 182, 203; 9068E ff.226, 270, 45.

77 Jenkins, Making of a Ruling Class, p. 264, also notes this longing for country life on the part of the Glamorgan elite when in London, and it is unlikely to have been unique to the Welsh gentry. On London’s leisure culture see Barker-Benfield, The Culture of Sensibility, ch. 2.

78 N.L.W. 9067E f.155. October 14, 1666. 9068E f.236. February 21, 1670. “Advice to a Daughter” in Halifax: Complete Works, ed. J.P. Kenyon (Baltimore, 1969), pp. 286-87.

79 N.L.W. Add. MS. 469E f.42. September 22, 1666. Sarah was the only person with whom Richard used “thee” and “thou.” His London letters mingled endearments with instructions about his horses, and included several postscript greetings and drinks to Sarah’s health from “honest Jack Wynn and Tom Grosvenor,” Richard’s companions in London. 469E ff 39-42, 44-48.

80 Barker-Benfield, Culture of Sensibility, p. 96. Stone, The Family, Sex and Marriage, p. 199.

81 N.L.W. 9068E f.51. February 28, 1674. N.L.W. 9065E f.162. August 20, 1656. Sir Roger Mostyn wrote that his wife and child were still very weak; in his distraction he did not even mention the infant’s sex. 9067E f.91. Jan. 4, 1664. 9068E ff. 7,9,11-14 concern Sarah Wynn’s final illness in spring 1671.

82 N.L.W. 9065E f.202. Thomas Bulkeley was also fond of lauding this benefit of marriage. N.L.W. 9066E f.292.

83 N.L.W. 9065E, f.181. February 21, 1658. Edward Herbert to Richard Wynn at Gwydir. Also see f.202, cited above, and f.184. A surviving 1660 letter from his wife Anne is very affectionate, similar in tone and phrasing to her sister Sarah’s letters to her husband Richard Wynn. Printed in Chirk Castle Accounts, 2: 46-47, n. 227.

84 NX.W. 9067E f.99; 469E f.27.

85 N.L.W. 9066E ff. 18, 22. May 27, 1661 at Gwydir and July 12, at Beaumaris. U.C.N.W. Mostyn MSS 9066 no. 18. September 20, 1674.

86 This was Edmund Tilney’s theme in The Flower of Friendship: A Renaissance Dialogue Contesting Marriage, ed. Valerie Wayne (Ithaca, 1992). Daniel Rogers’ Matrimonial Honour enjoined wives to “remember thou art a true friend, made for the day of adversity….” Quoted in Powell, C. L., English Domestic Relations, 1487-1653 (New York, 1917), p. 139 . Mutuality is the chief emphasis of William Gouge’s Domestical Duties. Leites, Edmund, “The Duty to Desire: Love, Friendship and Sexuality in Some Puritan Theories of Marriage,” Journal of Social History 15 (1982): 383408 , offers a thought-provoking discussion of these issues, esp. pp. 391-94.

87 This was the central dilemma in many loving marriages. Davidoff and Hall discuss the tension and sadness it could cause in Family Fortunes, pp. 326-29. On mutuality and hierarchy see also Fletcher, Anthony, “The Protestant Idea of Marriage,” in Religion, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain, eds. Fletcher, Anthony and Roberts, Peter (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 16181 , and Fletcher, Anthony, Gender, Sex and Subordination in England 1500-1800 (New Haven, CT, 1995), ch. 8, “Husbands and Wives: Case Studies,” pp. 15472.

88 N.L.W. 469E f.9. June 13, 1661. Also see N.L.W. 469E ff.40, 50-52.

89 The few close friendships of Richard’s contemporary, the clergyman Ralph Josselin, were not with men alone but with three couples and one woman, Mary Church; this last was the deepest. Josselin’s heterosocial ties certainly suggest that gender barriers were not insurmountable or invariable. Macfarlane, Alan, The Family Life of Ralph Josselin (New York, 1970), pp. 15052.

90 On Thomas Grosvenor see N.L.W. 9066E f.39, 9067E f.94, 9068E f.228. 9068E f. 266. Oct. 15, n.d. Edward Herbert to Richard Wynn. N.L.W. 9065E f.146~. June 5, 1656.

91 U.C.N.W. Mostyn MSS 9066 nos.7, 12, 30.

92 Though tension in the father-heir relationship was persistent over several generations of the Wynn family, sons were guarded in criticizing fathers in letters, even to their understanding brothers. Carr, “Mostyn Family,” notes similar behavior in the Mostyn family in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

93 N.L.W. 9068E f.249. June 15, 1670.

94 N.L.W. 9067E f.206. Thomas Vaughan in London to Sir Richard Wynn at Gwydir. For a similar comment see 9065E f.169. Jan. 29, 1657. Robert Mostyn to Richard Wynn.

95 N.L.W. 9068E ff. 265, 7. October 13, 1670, and February 25, 1671.

96 On Richard and Moras see N.L.W. 9065E f.248. May 11, 1660. Richard Wynn to Moras Wynn. 9066E f.259. June 12, 1660. Richard Wynn to Lady Grace Wynn. 469E f.52 Dec. 20, 1666. Richard Wynn to Sarah Wynn. Will of Sir Richard Wynn of Gwydir, baronet. March 24, 1674. Wynnstay Manuscripts DD/WY/6591. Clwyd Record Office, Ruthin. Richard’s cousin Thomas Mostyn of Mostyn’s choices similarly favored the elder generation and close kin in the versions of his will he wrote as a young married man. U.C.N. W. (Bangor), Mostyn Manuscripts 171, 174.

97 Mostyn, was only eighteen in 1642. Royalist Officers of North Wales, 1642-1660, comp. Tucker, Norman. (Denbigh, 1961), p. 45 . Tucker also lists a Robert Williams (p. 66), but with so common a name we cannot be sure he is Wynn’s friend.

98 N.L.W. 9066E f.10. March 19, 1661.

99 N.L.W. 9065E ff. 201, 211. Except in Anglesey, most north Welsh ex-Royalists came to terms with the Protectorate. Nevertheless Johnson, “Wales,” p. 246, notes that in general north Wales did not see the same level of return to government posts by the old ruling families in the late 1650s as did other parts of the country.

100 N.L.W. 9065E ff.219, 221-24. Myddelton fled temporarily to France and his lands were sequestered. The account in N. Tucker, “Richard Wynne and the Booth Rebellion,” Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historical Society (1959): 46-64, is a trifle fanciful, but utilizes all the Wynn of Gwydir Papers referring to the episode. Morrill, John, Cheshire 1630-1660: County Government and Society during the English Revolution (Oxford, 1974), pp. 30025 . Dodd, History, pp. 151-53. Geraint Jenkins, Foundations of Modern Wales, pp. 32-42, sees the rebellion as an emphatic political gesture by moderates and old ruling families.

101 This is my strong impression, but only a maternal cousin of Wynn’s, updating his mother on the composition fine Richard will have to pay as penalty for joining the rebellion, sympathizes cautiously: “They only attempted the Redemption of the Nation.” N.L.W. 9065E f.243. February 1660. William Dolben to Grace Lady Wynn. Most of what little research has been done on provincial history in the 1650s tends to bear the Restoration very much in mind. Coward, Barry, “The experience of the gentry, 1640-1660,” in Town and Countryside in the English Revolution, ed Richardson, R. C. (Manchester, 1992), p. 208.

102 Jenkins, Foundations of Modern Wales, pp. 6-7 and passim in ch. 1 on Sir Thomas Myddelton, p. 12 on Bulkeley, p. 24 on Mostyn, p. 26 on Herbert. On the Wynns see Dodd, History, p. 105 and passim; Aylmer, G. E., The King’s Servants: The Civil Service of Charles 1, 1625-1642 (London, 1961), p. 382 . On the Grosvenors, see Morrill, Cheshire, pp. 21-23, 208. See also Jones, E. Gwynne, ed., “History of the Bulkeley Family by William Williams, clergyman, c. 1673-74”, in Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions (1948): 199 . Carr, , “Mostyn Family.” The Dictionary of Welsh Biography (Oxford, 1959) is useful on families as well as individuals.

103 Hutton, Ronald, The Restoration: A Political and Religious History of England and Wales 1658-1667 (Oxford, 1985), pp. 11920, 146 , cites Clarendon, noting that even ten years age difference could create striking differences in memories and assumptions. Generational difference is a “concept which explains much but should not be made absolute.”

104 Pollock, Linda, “Living on the Stage of the World: the Concept of Privacy among the Elite of Early Modern England,” in Rethinking Social History: English Society 1570-1920 and its interpretation, ed. Wilson, Adrian (Manchester, 1993), pp. 7896.

105 U.C.N.W. (Bangor) Mostyn MSS, no. 18. September 20, 1674. Sir Richard Wynn at Gwydir to Thomas Mostyn at Gloddaeth. Richard concluded, “if I be anything well I will see you this winter.” His wife Sarah had died in June 1671 and though without a son he had not yet remarried.

* A number of people have read and commented on versions of this paper. My thanks to Paul Seaver, David Cressy, Roger Manning, Stanley Chojnacki, Christopher Highley, Margaret Newell, Muriel McClendon, and Michael Moore, also to participants in the History Department faculty seminar at Ohio State University and, originally, to those who attended my session at the NACBS conference in Boulder, Colorado in 1992.

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