The Diary of Samuel Pepys, by Samuel Pepys

October 1664

October 1st. Up and at the office both forenoon and afternoon very busy, and with great pleasure in being so. This morning Mrs. Lane (now Martin) like a foolish woman, came to the Horseshoe hard by, and sent for me while I was: at the office; to come to speak with her by a note sealed up, I know to get me to do something for her husband, but I sent her an answer that I would see her at Westminster, and so I did not go, and she went away, poor soul. At night home to supper, weary, and my eyes sore with writing and reading, and to bed. We go now on with great vigour in preparing against the Dutch, who, they say, will now fall upon us without doubt upon this high newes come of our beating them so, wholly in Guinny.

2nd (Lord’s day). My wife not being well to go to church I walked with my boy through the City, putting in at several churches, among others at Bishopsgate, and there saw the picture usually put before the King’s book, put up in the church, but very ill painted, though it were a pretty piece to set up in a church. I intended to have seen the Quakers, who, they say, do meet every Lord’s day at the Mouth at Bishopsgate; but I could see none stirring, nor was it fit to aske for the place, so I walked over Moorefields, and thence to Clerkenwell church, and there, as I wished, sat next pew to the fair Butler, who indeed is a most perfect beauty still; and one I do very much admire myself for my choice of her for a beauty, she having the best lower part of her face that ever I saw all days of my life. After church I walked to my Lady Sandwich’s, through my Lord Southampton’s new buildings in the fields behind Gray’s Inn; and, indeed, they are a very great and a noble work. So I dined with my Lady, and the same innocent discourse that we used to have, only after dinner, being alone, she asked me my opinion about Creed, whether he would have a wife or no, and what he was worth, and proposed Mrs. Wright for him, which, she says, she heard he was once inquiring after. She desired I would take a good time and manner of proposing it, and I said I would, though I believed he would love nothing but money, and much was not to be expected there, she said. So away back to Clerkenwell Church, thinking to have got sight of la belle Boteler again, but failed, and so after church walked all over the fields home, and there my wife was angry with me for not coming home, and for gadding abroad to look after beauties, she told me plainly, so I made all peace, and to supper. This evening came Mrs. Lane (now Martin) with her husband to desire my helpe about a place for him. It seems poor Mr. Daniel is dead of the Victualling Office, a place too good for this puppy to follow him in. But I did give him the best words I could, and so after drinking a glasse of wine sent them going, but with great kindnesse. Go to supper, prayers, and to bed.

3rd. Up with Sir J. Minnes, by coach, to St. James’s; and there all the newes now of very hot preparations for the Dutch: and being with the Duke, he told us he was resolved to make a tripp himself, and that Sir W. Pen should go in the same ship with him. Which honour, God forgive me! I could grudge him, for his knavery and dissimulation, though I do not envy much the having the same place myself. Talke also of great haste in the getting out another fleete, and building some ships; and now it is likely we have put one another by each other’s dalliance past a retreate. Thence with our heads full of business we broke up, and I to my barber’s, and there only saw Jane and stroked her under the chin, and away to the Exchange, and there long about several businesses, hoping to get money by them, and thence home to dinner and there found Hawly. But meeting Bagwell’s wife at the office before I went home I took her into the office and there kissed her only. She rebuked me for doing it, saying that did I do so much to many bodies else it would be a stain to me. But I do not see but she takes it well enough, though in the main I believe she is very honest. So after some kind discourse we parted, and I home to dinner, and after dinner down to Deptford, where I found Mr. Coventry, and there we made, an experiment of Holland’s and our cordage, and ours outdid it a great deale, as my book of observations tells particularly. Here we were late, and so home together by water, and I to my office, where late, putting things in order. Mr. Bland came this night to me to take his leave of me, he going to Tangier, wherein I wish him good successe. So home to supper and to bed, my mind troubled at the businesses I have to do, that I cannot mind them as I ought to do and get money, and more that I have neglected my frequenting and seeming more busy publicly than I have done of late in this hurry of business, but there is time left to recover it, and I trust in God I shall.

4th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and this morning Sir W. Pen went to Chatham to look: after the ships now going out thence, and particularly that wherein the Duke and himself go. He took Sir G. Ascue with: him, whom, I believe, he hath brought into play. At noon to the ‘Change and thence home, where I found my aunt James and the two she joyces. They dined and were merry with us. Thence after dinner to a play, to see “The Generall;” which is so dull and so ill-acted, that I think it is the worst. I ever saw or heard in all my days. I happened to sit near; to Sir Charles Sidly; who I find a very witty man, and he did at every line take notice of the dullness of the poet and badness of the action, that most pertinently; which I was mightily taken with; and among others where by Altemire’s command Clarimont, the Generall, is commanded to rescue his Rivall, whom she loved, Lucidor, he, after a great deal of demurre, broke out; “Well, I’le save my Rivall and make her confess, that I deserve, while he do but possesse.” “Why, what, pox,” says Sir Charles Sydly, “would he have him have more, or what is there more to be had of a woman than the possessing her?” Thence-setting all them at home, I home with my wife and Mercer, vexed at my losing my time and above 20s. in money, and neglecting my business to see so bad a play. To-morrow they told us should be acted, or the day after, a new play, called “The Parson’s Dreame,” acted all by women. So to my office, and there did business; and so home to supper and to bed.

5th. Up betimes and to my office, and thence by coach to New Bridewell to meet with Mr. Poyntz to discourse with him (being Master of the Workhouse there) about making of Bewpers for us. But he was not within; however his clerke did lead me up and down through all the house, and there I did with great pleasure see the many pretty works, and the little children employed, every one to do something, which was a very fine sight, and worthy encouragement. I cast away a crowne among them, and so to the ‘Change and among the Linnen Wholesale Drapers to enquire about Callicos, to see what can be done with them for the supplying our want of Bewpers for flaggs, and I think I shall do something therein to good purpose for the King. So to the Coffeehouse, and there fell in discourse with the Secretary of the Virtuosi of Gresham College, and had very fine discourse with him. He tells me of a new invented instrument to be tried before the College anon, and I intend to see it. So to Trinity House, and there I dined among the old dull fellows, and so home and to my office a while, and then comes Mr. Cocker to see me, and I discoursed with him about his writing and ability of sight, and how I shall do to get some glasse or other to helpe my eyes by candlelight; and he tells me he will bring me the helps he hath within a day or two, and shew me what he do. Thence to the Musique-meeting at the Postoffice, where I was once before. And thither anon come all the Gresham College, and a great deal of noble company: and the new instrument was brought called the Arched Viall,1 where being tuned with lute-strings, and played on with kees like an organ, a piece of parchment is always kept moving; and the strings, which by the kees are pressed down upon it, are grated in imitation of a bow, by the parchment; and so it is intended to resemble several vyalls played on with one bow, but so basely and harshly, that it will never do. But after three hours’ stay it could not be fixed in tune; and so they were fain to go to some other musique of instruments, which I am grown quite out of love with, and so I, after some good discourse with Mr. Spong, Hill, Grant, and Dr. Whistler, and others by turns, I home to my office and there late, and so home, where I understand my wife has spoke to Jane and ended matters of difference between her and her, and she stays with us, which I am glad of; for her fault is nothing but sleepiness and forgetfulness, otherwise a good-natured, quiet, well-meaning, honest servant, and one that will do as she is bid, so one called upon her and will see her do it. This morning, by three o’clock, the Prince —[Rupert]— and King, and Duke with him, went down the River, and the Prince under sail the next tide after, and so is gone from the Hope. God give him better successe than he used to have! This day Mr. Bland went away hence towards his voyage to Tangier. This day also I had a letter from an unknown hand that tells me that Jacke Angier, he believes, is dead at Lisbon, for he left him there ill.

1 “There seems to be a curious fate reigning over the instruments which have the word ‘arch’ prefixed to their name. They have no vitality, and somehow or other come to grief. Even the famous archlute, which was still a living thing in the time of Handel, has now disappeared from the concert room and joined Mr. Pepys’s ‘Arched Viall’ in the limbo of things forgotten. . . . Mr. Pepys’s verdict that it would never do . . . has been fully confirmed by the event, as his predictions usually were, being indeed always founded on calm judgment and close observation.”— B. (Hueffer’s Italian and other Studies, 1883, p. 263).

6th. Up and to the office, where busy all the morning, among other things about this of the flags and my bringing in of callicos to oppose Young and Whistler. At noon by promise Mr. Pierce and his wife and Madam Clerke and her niece came and dined with me to a rare chine of beefe and spent the afternoon very pleasantly all the afternoon, and then to my office in the evening, they being gone, and late at business, and then home to supper and to bed, my mind coming to itself in following of my business.

7th. Lay pretty while with some discontent abed, even to the having bad words with my wife, and blows too, about the ill-serving up of our victuals yesterday; but all ended in love, and so I rose and to my office busy all the morning. At noon dined at home, and then to my office again, and then abroad to look after callicos for flags, and hope to get a small matter by my pains therein and yet save the King a great deal of money, and so home to my office, and there came Mr. Cocker, and brought me a globe of glasse, and a frame of oyled paper, as I desired, to show me the manner of his gaining light to grave by, and to lessen the glaringnesse of it at pleasure by an oyled paper. This I bought of him, giving him a crowne for it; and so, well satisfied, he went away, and I to my business again, and so home to supper, prayers, and to bed.

8th. All the morning at the office, and after dinner abroad, and among other things contracted with one Mr. Bridges, at the White Bear on Cornhill, for 100 pieces of Callico to make flaggs; and as I know I shall save the King money, so I hope to get a little for my pains and venture of my own money myself. Late in the evening doing business, and then comes Captain Tayler, and he and I till 12 o’clock at night arguing about the freight of his ship Eagle, hired formerly by me to Tangier, and at last we made an end, and I hope to get a little money, some small matter by it. So home to bed, being weary and cold, but contented that I have made an end of that business.

9th (Lord’s day). Lay pretty long, but however up time enough with my wife to go to church. Then home to dinner, and Mr. Fuller, my Cambridge acquaintance, coming to me about what he was with me lately, to release a waterman, he told me he was to preach at Barking Church; and so I to heare him, and he preached well and neatly. Thence, it being time enough, to our owne church, and there staid wholly privately at the great doore to gaze upon a pretty lady, and from church dogged her home, whither she went to a house near Tower hill, and I think her to be one of the prettiest women I ever saw. So home, and at my office a while busy, then to my uncle Wight’s, whither it seems my wife went after sermon and there supped, but my aunt and uncle in a very ill humour one with another, but I made shift with much ado to keep them from scolding, and so after supper home and to bed without prayers, it being cold, and tomorrow washing day.

10th. Up and, it being rainy, in Sir W. Pen’s coach to St. James’s, and there did our usual business with the Duke, and more and more preparations every day appear against the Dutch, and (which I must confess do a little move my envy) Sir W. Pen do grow every day more and more regarded by the Duke,1 because of his service heretofore in the Dutch warr which I am confident is by some strong obligations he hath laid upon Mr. Coventry; for Mr. Coventry must needs know that he is a man of very mean parts, but only a bred seaman: Going home in coach with Sir W. Batten he told me how Sir J. Minnes by the means of Sir R. Ford was the last night brought to his house and did discover the reason of his so long discontent with him, and now they are friends again, which I am sorry for, but he told it me so plainly that I see there is no thorough understanding between them, nor love, and so I hope there will be no great combination in any thing, nor do I see Sir J. Minnes very fond as he used to be. But: Sir W. Batten do raffle still against Mr. Turner and his wife, telling me he is a false fellow, and his wife a false woman, and has rotten teeth and false, set in with wire, and as I know they are so, so I am glad he finds it so. To the Coffee-house, and thence to the ‘Change, and therewith Sir W. Warren to the Coffee-house behind the ‘Change, and sat alone with him till 4 o’clock talking of his businesses first and then of business in general, and discourse how I might get money and how to carry myself to advantage to contract no envy and yet make the world see my pains; which was with great content to me, and a good friend and helpe I am like to find him, for which God be thanked! So home to dinner at 4 o’clock, and then to the office, and there late, and so home to supper and to bed, having sat up till past twelve at night to look over the account of the collections for the Fishery, and the loose and base manner that monies so collected are disposed of in, would make a man never part with a penny in that manner, and, above all, the inconvenience of having a great man, though never so seeming pious as my Lord Pembroke is. He is too great to be called to an account, and is abused by his servants, and yet obliged to defend them for his owne sake. This day, by the blessing of God, my wife and I have been married nine years: but my head being full of business, I did not think of it to keep it in any extraordinary manner. But bless God for our long lives and loves and health together, which the same God long continue, I wish, from my very heart!

1 “The duke had decided that the English fleet should consist of three squadrons to be commanded by himself, Prince Rupert, and Lord Sandwich, from which arrangement the two last, who were land admirals; had concluded that Penn would have no concern in this fleet. Neither the duke, Rupert, nor Sandwich had ever been engaged in an encounter of fleets. . . . Penn alone of the four was familiar with all these things. By the duke’s unexpected announcement that he should take Penn with him into his own ship, Rupert and Sandwich at once discovered that they would be really and practically under Penn’s command in everything.”

11th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. My wife this morning went, being invited, to my Lady Sandwich, and I alone at home at dinner, till by and by Luellin comes and dines with me. He tells me what a bawdy loose play this “Parson’s Wedding” is, that is acted by nothing but women at the King’s house, and I am glad of it. Thence to the Fishery in Thames Street, and there several good discourses about the letting of the Lotterys, and, among others, one Sir Thomas Clifford, whom yet I knew not, do speak very well and neatly. Thence I to my cozen Will Joyce to get him to go to Brampton with me this week, but I think he will not, and I am not a whit sorry for it, for his company both chargeable and troublesome. So home and to my office, and then to supper and then to my office again till late, and so home, with my head and heart full of business, and so to bed. My wife tells me the sad news of my Lady Castlemayne’s being now become so decayed, that one would not know her; at least far from a beauty, which I am sorry for. This day with great joy Captain Titus told us the particulars of the French’s expedition against Gigery upon the Barbary Coast, in the Straights, with 6,000 chosen men. They have taken the Fort of Gigery, wherein were five men and three guns, which makes the whole story of the King of France’s policy and power to be laughed at.

12th. This morning all the morning at my office ordering things against my journey tomorrow. At noon to the Coffeehouse, where very good discourse. For newes, all say De Ruyter is gone to Guinny before us. Sir J. Lawson is come to Portsmouth; and our fleete is hastening all speed: I mean this new fleete. Prince Rupert with his is got into the Downes. At home dined with me W. Joyce and a friend of his. W. Joyce will go with me to Brampton. After dinner I out to Mr. Bridges, the linnen draper, and evened with (him) for 100 pieces of callico, and did give him £208 18s., which I now trust the King for, but hope both to save the King money and to get a little by it to boot. Thence by water up and down all the timber yards to look out some Dram timber, but can find none for our turne at the price I would have; and so I home, and there at my office late doing business against my journey to clear my hands of every thing for two days. So home and to supper and bed.

13th. After being at the office all the morning, I home and dined, and taking leave of my wife with my mind not a little troubled how she would look after herself or house in my absence, especially, too, leaving a considerable sum of money in the office, I by coach to the Red Lyon in Aldersgate Street, and there, by agreement, met W. Joyce and Tom Trice, and mounted, I upon a very fine mare that Sir W. Warren helps me to, and so very merrily rode till it was very darke, I leading the way through the darke to Welling, and there, not being very weary, to supper and to bed. But very bad accommodation at the Swan. In this day’s journey I met with Mr. White, Cromwell’s chaplin that was, and had a great deale of discourse with him. Among others, he tells me that Richard is, and hath long been, in France, and is now going into Italy. He owns publiquely that he do correspond, and return him all his money. That Richard hath been in some straits at the beginning; but relieved by his friends. That he goes by another name, but do not disguise himself, nor deny himself to any man that challenges him. He tells me, for certain, that offers had been made to the old man, of marriage between the King and his daughter, to have obliged him, but he would not.1 He thinks (with me) that it never was in his power to bring in the King with the consent of any of his officers about him; and that he scorned to bring him in as Monk did, to secure himself and deliver every body else. When I told him of what I found writ in a French book of one Monsieur Sorbiere, that gives an account of his observations herein England; among other things he says, that it is reported that Cromwell did, in his life-time, transpose many of the bodies of the Kings of England from one grave to another, and that by that means it is not known certainly whether the head that is now set up upon a post be that of Cromwell, or of one of the Kings; Mr. White tells me that he believes he never had so poor a low thought in him to trouble himself about it. He says the hand of God is much to be seen; that all his children are in good condition enough as to estate, and that their relations that betrayed their family are all now either hanged or very miserable.

1 The Protector wished the Duke of Buckingham to marry his daughter Frances. She married, 1. Robert Rich, grandson and heir to Robert, Earl of Warwick, on November 11th, 1657, who died in the following February; 2. Sir John Russell, Bart. She died January 27th, 1721–22, aged eighty-four. In T. Morrice’s life of Roger, Earl of Orrery, prefixed to Orrery’s “State Letters” (Dublin, 1743, vol. i., p. 40), there is a circumstantial account of an interview between Orrery (then Lord Broghill) and Cromwell, in which the former suggested to the latter that Charles II. should marry Frances Cromwell. Cromwell gave great attention to the reasons urged, “but walking two or three turns, and pondering with himself, he told Lord Broghill the king would never forgive him the death of his father. His lordship desired him to employ somebody to sound the king in this matter, to see how he would take it, and offered himself to mediate in it for him. But Cromwell would not consent, but again repeated, ‘The king cannot and will not forgive the death of his father;’ and so he left his lordship, who durst not tell him he had already dealt with his majesty in that affair. Upon this my lord withdrew, and meeting Cromwell’s wife and daughter, they inquired how he had succeeded; of which having given them an account, he added they must try their interest in him, but none could prevail.”

14th. Up by break of day, and got to Brampton by three o’clock, where my father and mother overjoyed to see me, my mother, ready to weepe every time she looked upon me. After dinner my father and I to the Court, and there did all our business to my mind, as I have set down in a paper particularly expressing our proceedings at this court. So home, where W. Joyce full of talk and pleased with his journey, and after supper I to bed and left my father, mother, and him laughing.

15th. My father and I up and walked alone to Hinchingbroke; and among the other late chargeable works that my Lord hath done there, we saw his water-works and the Oral which is very fine; and so is the house all over, but I am sorry to think of the money at this time spent therein. Back to my father’s (Mr. Sheply being out of town) and there breakfasted, after making an end with Barton about his businesses, and then my mother called me into the garden, and there but all to no purpose desiring me to be friends with John, but I told her I cannot, nor indeed easily shall, which afflicted the poor woman, but I cannot help it. Then taking leave, W. Joyce and I set out, calling T. Trice at Bugden, and thence got by night to Stevenage, and there mighty merry, though I in bed more weary than the other two days, which, I think, proceeded from our galloping so much, my other weariness being almost all over; but I find that a coney skin in my breeches preserves me perfectly from galling, and that eating after I come to my Inne, without drinking, do keep me from being stomach sick, which drink do presently make me. We lay all in several beds in the same room, and W. Joyce full of his impertinent tricks and talk, which then made us merry, as any other fool would have done. So to sleep.

16th (Lord’s day). It raining, we set out, and about nine o’clock got to Hatfield in church-time; and I ‘light and saw my simple Lord Salsbury sit there in his gallery. Staid not in the Church, but thence mounted again and to Barnett by the end of sermon, and there dined at the Red Lyon very weary again, but all my weariness yesterday night and today in my thighs only, the rest of my weariness in my shoulders and arms being quite gone. Thence home, parting company at my cozen Anth. Joyce’s, by four o’clock, weary, but very well, to bed at home, where I find all well. Anon my wife came to bed, but for my ease rose again and lay with her woman.

17th. Rose very well and not weary, and with Sir W. Batten to St. James’s; there did our business. I saw Sir J. Lawson since his return from sea first this morning, and hear that my Lord Sandwich is come from Portsmouth to town. Thence I to him, and finding him at my Lord Crew’s, I went with him home to his house and much kind discourse. Thence my Lord to Court, and I with Creed to the ‘Change, and thence with Sir W. Warren to a cook’s shop and dined, discoursing and advising him about his great contract he is to make tomorrow, and do every day receive great satisfaction in his company, and a prospect of a just advantage by his friendship. Thence to my office doing some business, but it being very cold, I, for fear of getting cold, went early home to bed, my wife not being come home from my Lady Jemimah, with whom she hath been at a play and at Court today.

18th. Up and to the office, where among other things we made a very great contract with Sir W. Warren for 3,000 loade of timber. At noon dined at home. In the afternoon to the Fishery, where, very confused and very ridiculous, my Lord Craven’s proceedings, especially his finding fault with Sir J. Collaton and Colonell Griffin’s’ report in the accounts of the lottery-men. Thence I with Mr. Gray in his coach to White Hall, but the King and Duke being abroad, we returned to Somersett House. In discourse I find him a very worthy and studious gentleman in the business of trade, and among-other things he observed well to me, how it is not the greatest wits, but the steady man, that is a good merchant: he instanced in Ford and Cocke, the last of whom he values above all men as his oracle, as Mr. Coventry do Mr. Jolliffe. He says that it is concluded among merchants, that where a trade hath once been and do decay, it never recovers again, and therefore that the manufacture of cloath of England will never come to esteem again; that, among other faults, Sir Richard Ford cannot keepe a secret, and that it is so much the part of a merchant to be guilty of that fault that the Duke of Yoke is resolved to commit no more secrets to the merchants of the Royall Company; that Sir Ellis Layton is, for a speech of forty words, the wittiest man that ever he knew in his life, but longer he is nothing, his judgment being nothing at all, but his wit most absolute. At Somersett House he carried me in, and there I saw the Queene’s new rooms, which are most stately and nobly furnished; and there I saw her, and the Duke of Yorke and Duchesse were there. The Duke espied me, and came to me, and talked with me a very great while about our contract this day with Sir W. Warren, and among other things did with some contempt ask whether we did except Polliards, which Sir W. Batten did yesterday (in spite, as the Duke I believe by my Lord Barkely do well enough know) among other things in writing propose. Thence home by coach, it raining hard, and to my office, where late, then home to supper and to bed. This night the Dutch Embassador desired and had an audience of the King. What the issue of it was I know not. Both sides I believe desire peace, but neither will begin, and so I believe a warr will follow. The Prince is with his fleet at Portsmouth, and the Dutch are making all preparations for warr.

19th. Up and to my office all the morning. At noon dined at home; then abroad by coach to buy for the office “Herne upon the Statute of Charitable Uses,” in order to the doing something better in the Chest than we have done, for I am ashamed to see Sir W. Batten possess himself so long of so much money as he hath done. Coming home, weighed, my two silver flaggons at Stevens’s. They weigh 212 oz. 27 dwt., which is about £50, at 5s. per oz., and then they judge the fashion to be worth above 5s. per oz. more — nay, some say 10s. an ounce the fashion. But I do not believe, but yet am sorry to see that the fashion is worth so much, and the silver come to no more. So home and to my office, where very busy late. My wife at Mercer’s mother’s, I believe, W. Hewer with them, which I do not like, that he should ask my leave to go about business, and then to go and spend his time in sport, and leave me here busy. To supper and to bed, my wife coming in by and by, which though I know there was no hurt in it; I do not like.

20th. Up and to the office, where all the morning. At noon my uncle Thomas came, dined with me, and received some money of me. Then I to my office, where I took in with me Bagwell’s wife, and there I caressed her, and find her every day more and more coming with good words and promises of getting her husband a place, which I will do. So we parted, and I to my Lord Sandwich at his lodgings, and after a little stay away with Mr. Cholmely to Fleete Streete; in the way he telling me that Tangier is like to be in a bad condition with this same Fitzgerald, he being a man of no honour, nor presence, nor little honesty, and endeavours: to raise the Irish and suppress the English interest there; and offend every body, and do nothing that I hear of well, which I am sorry for. Thence home, by the way taking two silver tumblers home, which I have bought, and so home, and there late busy at my office, and then home to supper and to bed.

21st. Up and by coach to Mr. Cole’s, and there conferred with him about some law business, and so to Sir W. Turner’s, and there bought my cloth, coloured, for a suit and cloake, to line with plush the cloak, which will cost me money, but I find that I must go handsomely, whatever it costs me, and the charge will be made up in the fruit it brings. Thence to the Coffee-house and ‘Change, and so home to dinner, and then to the office all the afternoon, whither comes W. Howe to see me, being come from, and going presently back to sea with my Lord. Among other things he tells me Mr. Creed is much out of favour with my Lord from his freedom of talke and bold carriage, and other things with which my Lord is not pleased, but most I doubt his not lending my Lord money, and Mr. Moore’s reporting what his answer was I doubt in the worst manner. But, however, a very unworthy rogue he is, and, therefore, let him go for one good for nothing, though wise to the height above most men I converse with. In the evening (W. Howe being gone) comes Mr. Martin, to trouble me again to get him a Lieutenant’s place for which he is as fit as a foole can be. But I put him off like an arse, as he is, and so setting my papers and books in order: I home to supper and to bed.

22nd. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon comes my uncle Thomas and his daughter Mary about getting me to pay them the £30 due now, but payable in law to her husband. I did give them the best answer I could, and so parted, they not desiring to stay to dinner. After dinner I down to Deptford, and there did business, and so back to my office, where very late busy, and so home to supper and to bed.

23rd (Lord’s day). Up and to church. At noon comes unexpected Mr. Fuller, the minister, and dines with me, and also I had invited Mr. Cooper with one I judge come from sea, and he and I spent the whole afternoon together, he teaching me some things in understanding of plates. At night to the office, doing business, and then home to supper. Then a psalm, to prayers, and to bed.

24th. Up and in Sir J. Minnes’ coach (alone with Mrs. Turner as far as Paternoster Row, where I set her down) to St. James’s, and there did our business, and I had the good lucke to speak what pleased the Duke about our great contract in hand with Sir W. Warren against Sir W. Batten, wherein the Duke is very earnest for our contracting. Thence home to the office till noon, and then dined and to the ‘Change and off with Sir W. Warren for a while, consulting about managing his contract. Thence to a Committee at White Hall of Tangier, where I had the good lucke to speak something to very good purpose about the Mole at Tangier, which was well received even by Sir J. Lawson and Mr. Cholmely, the undertakers, against whose interest I spoke; that I believe I shall be valued for it. Thence into the galleries to talk with my Lord Sandwich; among other things, about the Prince’s writing up to tell us of the danger he and his fleete lie in at Portsmouth, of receiving affronts from the Dutch; which, my Lord said, he would never have done, had he lain there with one ship alone: nor is there any great reason for it, because of the sands. However, the fleete will be ordered to go and lay themselves up at the Cowes. Much beneath the prowesse of the Prince, I think, and the honour of the nation, at the first to be found to secure themselves. My Lord is well pleased to think, that, if the Duke and the Prince go, all the blame of any miscarriage will not light on him; and that if any thing goes well, he hopes he shall have the share of the glory, for the Prince is by no means well esteemed of by any body. Thence home, and though not very well yet up late about the Fishery business, wherein I hope to give an account how I find the Collections to have been managed, which I did finish to my great content, and so home to supper and to bed. This day the great O’Neale died; I believe, to the content of all the Protestant pretenders in Ireland.

25th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and finished Sir W. Warren’s great contract for timber, with great content to me, because just in the terms I wrote last night to Sir W. Warren and against the terms proposed by Sir W. Batten. At noon home to dinner, and there found Creed and Hawley. After dinner comes in Mrs. Ingram, the first time to make a visit to my wife. After a little stay I left them and to the Committee of the Fishery, and there did make my report of the late public collections for the Fishery, much to the satisfaction of the Committee, and I think much to my reputation, for good notice was taken of it and much it was commended. So home, in my way taking care of a piece of plate for Mr. Christopher Pett, against the launching of his new great ship tomorrow at Woolwich, which I singly did move to His Royall Highness, and did obtain it for him, to the value of twenty pieces. And he, under his hand, do acknowledge to me that he did never receive so great a kindness from any man in the world as from me herein. So to my office, and then to supper, and then to my office again, where busy late, being very full now a days of business to my great content, I thank God, and so home to bed, my house being full of a design, to go tomorrow, my wife and all her servants, to see the new ship launched.

26th. Up, my people rising mighty betimes, to fit themselves to go by water; and my boy, he could not sleep, but wakes about four o’clock, and in bed lay playing on his lute till daylight, and, it seems, did the like last night till twelve o’clock. About eight o’clock, my wife, she and her woman, and Besse and Jane, and W. Hewer and the boy, to the water-side, and there took boat, and by and by I out of doors, to look after the flaggon, to get it ready to carry to Woolwich. That being not ready, I stepped aside and found out Nellson, he that Whistler buys his bewpers of, and did there buy 5 pieces at their price, and am in hopes thereby to bring them down or buy ourselves all we spend of Nellson at the first hand. This jobb was greatly to my content, and by and by the flaggon being finished at the burnisher’s, I home, and there fitted myself, and took a hackney-coach I hired, it being a very cold and foule day, to Woolwich, all the way reading in a good book touching the fishery, and that being done, in the book upon the statute of charitable uses, mightily to my satisfaction. At Woolwich; I there up to the King and Duke, and they liked the plate well. Here I staid above with them while the ship was launched, which was done with great success, and the King did very much like the ship, saying, she had the best bow that ever he saw. But, Lord! the sorry talke and discourse among the great courtiers round about him, without any reverence in the world, but with so much disorder. By and by the Queene comes and her Mayds of Honour; one whereof, Mrs. Boynton, and the Duchesse of Buckingham, had been very siclee coming by water in the barge (the water being very rough); but what silly sport they made with them in very common terms, methought, was very poor, and below what people think these great people say and do. The launching being done, the King and company went down to take barge; and I sent for Mr. Pett, and put the flaggon into the Duke’s hand, and he, in the presence of the King, did give it, Mr. Pett taking it upon his knee. This Mr. Pett is wholly beholding to me for, and he do know and I believe will acknowledge it. Thence I to Mr. Ackworth, and there eat and drank with Commissioner Pett and his wife, and thence to Shelden’s, where Sir W. Batten and his Lady were. By and by I took coach after I had enquired for my wife or her boat, but found none. Going out of the gate, an ordinary woman prayed me to give her room to London, which I did, but spoke not to her all the way, but read, as long as I could see, my book again. Dark when we came to London, and a stop of coaches in Southwarke. I staid above half an houre and then ‘light, and finding Sir W. Batten’s coach, heard they were gone into the Beare at the Bridge foot, and thither I to them. Presently the stop is removed, and then going out to find my coach, I could not find it, for it was gone with the rest; so I fair to go through the darke and dirt over the bridge, and my leg fell in a hole broke on the bridge, but, the constable standing there to keep people from it, I was catched up, otherwise I had broke my leg; for which mercy the Lord be praised! So at Fanchurch I found my coach staying for me, and so home, where the little girle hath looked to the house well, but no wife come home, which made me begin to fear [for] her, the water being very rough, and cold and darke. But by and by she and her company come in all well, at which I was glad, though angry. Thence I to Sir W. Batten’s, and there sat late with him, Sir R. Ford, and Sir John Robinson; the last of whom continues still the same foole he was, crying up what power he has in the City, in knowing their temper, and being able to do what he will with them. It seems the City did last night very freely lend the King £100,000 without any security but the King’s word, which was very noble. But this loggerhead and Sir R. Ford would make us believe that they did it. Now Sir R. Ford is a cunning man, and makes a foole of the other, and the other believes whatever the other tells him. But, Lord! to think that such a man should be Lieutenant of the Tower, and so great a man as he is, is a strange thing to me. With them late and then home and with my wife to bed, after supper.

27th. Up and to the office, where all the morning busy. At noon, Sir G. Carteret, Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, Sir W. Pen, and myself, were treated at the Dolphin by Mr. Foly, the ironmonger, where a good plain dinner, but I expected musique, the missing of which spoiled my dinner, only very good merry discourse at dinner. Thence with Sir G. Carteret by coach to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier, and thence back to London, and ‘light in Cheapside and I to Nellson’s, and there met with a rub at first, but took him out to drink, and there discoursed to my great content so far with him that I think I shall agree with him for Bewpers to serve the Navy with. So with great content home and to my office, where late, and having got a great cold in my head yesterday home to supper and to bed.

28th. Slept ill all night, having got a very great cold the other day at Woolwich in [my] head, which makes me full of snot. Up in the morning, and my tailor brings me home my fine, new, coloured cloth suit, my cloake lined with plush, as good a suit as ever I wore in my life, and mighty neat, to my great content. To my office, and there all the morning. At noon to Nellson’s, and there bought 20 pieces more of Bewpers, and hope to go on with him to a contract. Thence to the ‘Change a little, and thence home with Luellin to dinner, where Mr. Deane met me by appointment, and after dinner he and I up to my chamber, and there hard at discourse, and advising him what to do in his business at Harwich, and then to discourse of our old business of ships and taking new rules of him to my great pleasure, and he being gone I to my office a little, and then to see Sir W. Batten, who is sick of a greater cold than I, and thither comes to me Mr. Holliard, and into the chamber to me, and, poor man (beyond all I ever saw of him), was a little drunk, and there sat talking and finding acquaintance with Sir W. Batten and my Lady by relations on both sides, that there we staid very long. At last broke up, and he home much overcome with drink, but well enough to get well home. So I home to supper and to bed.

29th. Up, and it being my Lord Mayor’s show, my boy and three mayds went out; but it being a very foule, rainy day, from morning till night, I was sorry my wife let them go out. All the morning at the office. At dinner at home. In the afternoon to the office again, and about 9 o’clock by appointment to the King’s Head tavern upon Fish Street Hill, whither Mr. Wolfe (and Parham by his means) met me to discourse about the Fishery, and great light I had by Parham, who is a little conceited, but a very knowing man in his way, and in the general fishing trade of England. Here I staid three hours, and eat a barrel of very fine oysters of Wolfe’s giving me, and so, it raining hard, home and to my office, and then home to bed. All the talke is that De Ruyter is come over-land home with six or eight of his captaines to command here at home, and their ships kept abroad in the Straights; which sounds as if they had a mind to do something with us.

30th (Lord’s day). Up, and this morning put on my new, fine, coloured cloth suit, with my cloake lined with plush, which is a dear and noble suit, costing me about £17. To church, and then home to dinner, and after dinner to a little musique with my boy, and so to church with my wife, and so home, and with her all the evening reading and at musique with my boy with great pleasure, and so to supper, prayers, and to bed.

31st. Very busy all the morning, at noon Creed to me and dined with me, and then he and I to White Hall, there to a Committee of Tangier, where it is worth remembering when Mr. Coventry proposed the retrenching some of the charge of the horse, the first word asked by the Duke of Albemarle was, “Let us see who commands them,” there being three troops. One of them he calls to mind was by Sir Toby Bridges. “Oh!” says he, “there is a very good man. If you must reform1 two of them, be sure let him command the troop that is left.” Thence home, and there came presently to me Mr. Young and Whistler, who find that I have quite overcome them in their business of flags, and now they come to intreat my favour, but I will be even with them. So late to my office and there till past one in the morning making up my month’s accounts, and find that my expense this month in clothes has kept me from laying up anything; but I am no worse, but a little better than I was, which is £1205, a great sum, the Lord be praised for it! So home to bed, with my mind full of content therein, and vexed for my being so angry in bad words to my wife to-night, she not giving me a good account of her layings out to my mind to-night. This day I hear young Mr. Stanly, a brave young [gentleman], that went out with young Jermin, with Prince Rupert, is already dead of the small-pox, at Portsmouth. All preparations against the Dutch; and the Duke of Yorke fitting himself with all speed, to go to the fleete which is hastening for him; being now resolved to go in the Charles.

1 Reform, i.e. disband. See “Memoirs of Sir John Reresby,” September 2nd, 1651. “A great many younger brothers and reformed officers of the King’s army depended upon him for their meat and drink.” So reformado, a discharged or disbanded officer. — M. B.

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Last updated Monday, March 17, 2014 at 17:10