Sunday 18 August 1667
‘…turned into St. Dunstan’s Church, where I heard an able sermon of the minister of the place; and stood by a pretty, modest maid, whom I did labour to take by the hand and the body; but she would not, but got further and further from me; and, at last, I could perceive her to take pins out of her pocket to prick me if I should touch her again — which seeing I did forbear, and was glad I did spy her design.’
So it seems that sharp pins, hat or otherwise, have been a young woman’s weapon against predatory males for many centuries. A pity that Samuel Pepys spied ‘her design’ as he might have learnt a good lesson as his diary is full of similar examples. Unlikely though, as his behaviour seems to have been quite acceptable for men of his class at that time. Yet, he made sure that his wife was wearing her drawers when the dancing master came to give her lessons!
Samuel Pepys by John Hayls / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain