September 1st. Up and all the morning at the office busy, and after dinner to the office again busy till about four, and then I abroad (my wife being gone to Hales’s about drawing her hand new in her picture) and I to see Betty Michell, which I did, but su mari was dentro, and no pleasure. So to the Fair, and there saw several sights; among others, the mare that tells money,1 and many things to admiration; and, among others, come to me, when she was bid to go to him of the company that most loved a pretty wench in a corner. And this did cost me 12d. to the horse, which I had flung him before, and did give me occasion to baiser a mighty belle fille that was in the house that was exceeding plain, but fort belle. At night going home I went to my bookseller’s in Duck Lane, and find her weeping in the shop, so as ego could not have any discourse con her nor ask the reason, so departed and took coach home, and taking coach was set on by a wench that was naught, and would have gone along with me to her lodging in Shoe Lane, but ego did donner her a shilling . . . and left her, and home, where after supper, W. Batelier with us, we to bed. This day Mrs. Martin come to see us, and dined with us.
1 This is not the first learned horse of which we read. Shakespeare, “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” act i., SC. 2, mentions “the dancing horse,”’ and the commentators have added many particulars of Banks’s bay horse.
2nd. Fast-day for the burning of London, strictly observed. I at home at the office all day, forenoon and afternoon, about the Victualler’s contract and other things, and at night home to supper, having had but a cold dinner, Mr. Gibson with me; and this evening comes Mr. Hill to discourse with me about Yeabsly and Lanyon’s business, wherein they are troubled, and I fear they have played the knave too far for me to help or think fit to appear for them. So he gone, and after supper, to bed, being troubled with a summons, though a kind one, from Mr. Jessop, to attend the Commissioners of Accounts tomorrow.
3rd. Up, and to the Office, where busy till it was time to go to the Commissioners of Accounts, which I did about noon, and there was received with all possible respect, their business being only to explain the meaning of one of their late demands to us, which we had not answered in our answer to them, and, this being done, I away with great content, my mind being troubled before, and so to the Exchequer and several places, calling on several businesses, and particularly my bookseller’s, among others, for “Hobbs’s Leviathan,”1 which is now mightily called for; and what was heretofore sold for 8s. I now give 24s. for, at the second hand, and is sold for 30s., it being a book the Bishops will not let be printed again, and so home to dinner, and then to the office all the afternoon, and towards evening by water to the Commissioners of the Treasury, and presently back again, and there met a little with W. Pen and the rest about our Prize accounts, and so W. Pen and Lord Brouncker and I at the lodging of the latter to read over our new draft of the victualler’s contract, and so broke up and home to supper and to bed.
1 “Leviathan: or the matter, forme and power of a Commonwealth ecclesiasticall and civill,” by Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, first published in 1651. It was reprinted in 1680, with its old date. Hobbes’s complete works, English and Latin, were published by Sir William Molesworth in sixteen volumes 8vo. between 1839 and 1845.
4th. Up, and met at the Office all the morning; and at noon my wife, and Deb., and Mercer, and W. Hewer and I to the Fair, and there, at the old house, did eat a pig, and was pretty merry, but saw no sights, my wife having a mind to see the play “Bartholomew–Fayre,” with puppets. Which we did, and it is an excellent play; the more I see it, the more I love the wit of it; only the business of abusing the Puritans begins to grow stale, and of no use, they being the people that, at last, will be found the wisest. And here Knepp come to us, and sat with us, and thence took coach in two coaches, and losing one another, my wife, and Knepp, and I to Hercules Pillars, and there supped, and I did take from her mouth the words and notes of her song of “the Larke,” which pleases me mightily. And so set her at home, and away we home, where our company come home before us. This night Knepp tells us that there is a Spanish woman lately come over, that pretends to sing as well as Mrs. Knight; both of which I must endeavour to hear. So, after supper, to bed.
5th. Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and to the office to work all the afternoon again till the evening, and then by coach to Mr. Hales’s new house, where, I find, he hath finished my wife’s hand, which is better than the other; and here I find Harris’s picture, done in his habit of “Henry the Fifth;” mighty like a player, but I do not think the picture near so good as any yet he hath made for me: however, it is pretty well, and thence through the fair home, but saw nothing, it being late, and so home to my business at the office, and thence to supper and to bed.
6th (Lord’s day). Up betimes, and got myself ready to go by water, and about nine o’clock took boat with Henry Russell to Gravesend, coming thither about one, where, at the Ship, I dined; and thither come to me Mr. Hosier, whom I went to speak with, about several businesses of work that he is doing, and I would have him do, of writing work, for me. And I did go with him to his lodging, and there did see his wife, a pretty tolerable woman, and do find him upon an extraordinary good work of designing a method of keeping our Storekeeper’s Accounts, in the Navy. Here I should have met with Mr. Wilson, but he is sick, and could not come from Chatham to me. So, having done with Hosier, I took boat again the beginning of the flood, and come home by nine at night, with much pleasure, it being a fine day. Going down I spent reading of the “Five Sermons of Five Several Styles,” worth comparing one with another: but I do think, when all is done, that, contrary to the design of the book, the Presbyterian style and the Independent are the best of the five sermons to be preached in; this I do, by the best of my present judgment think, and coming back I spent reading of a book of warrants of our office in the first Dutch war, and do find that my letters and warrants and method will be found another gate’s business than this that the world so much adores, and I am glad for my own sake to find it so. My boy was with me, and read to me all day, and we sang a while together, and so home to supper a little, and so to bed.
7th. At the office all the morning, we met, and at noon dined at home, and after dinner carried my wife and Deb. to Unthanke’s, and I to White Hall with Mr. Gibson, where the rest of our officers met us, and to the Commissioners of the Treasury about the Victualling contract, but staid not long, but thence, sending Gibson to my wife, I with Lord Brouncker (who was this day in an unusual manner merry, I believe with drink), J. Minnes, and W. Pen to Bartholomew–Fair; and there saw the dancing mare again, which, today, I find to act much worse than the other day, she forgetting many things, which her master beat her for, and was mightily vexed; and then the dancing of the ropes, and also the little stage-play, which is very ridiculous, and so home to the office with Lord Brouncker, W. Pen, and myself (J. Minnes being gone home before not well), and so, after a little talk together, I home to supper and to bed.
8th. Up, and by water to White Hall, and to St. James’s, there to talk a little with Mr. Wren about the private business we are upon, in the Office, where he tells me he finds that they all suspect me to be the author of the great letter, which I value not, being satisfied that it is the best thing I could ever do for myself; and so, after some discourse of this kind more, I back to the Office, where all the morning; and after dinner to it again, all the afternoon, and very late, and then home to supper, where met W. Batelier and Betty Turner; and, after some talk with them, and supper, we to bed. This day, I received so earnest an invitation again from Roger Pepys, to come to Sturbridge–Fair [at Cambridge] that I resolve to let my wife go, which she shall do the next week, and so to bed. This day I received two letters from the Duke of Richmond about his yacht, which is newly taken into the King’s service, and I am glad of it, hoping hereby to oblige him, and to have occasions of seeing his noble Duchess, which I admire.
9th. Up, and to the office, and thence to the Duke of Richmond’s lodgings by his desire, by letter, yesterday. I find him at his lodgings in the little building in the bowling-green, at White Hall, that was begun to be built by Captain Rolt. They are fine rooms. I did hope to see his lady, the beautiful Mrs. Stuart, but she, I hear, is in the country. His business was about his yacht, and he seems a mighty good-natured man, and did presently write me a warrant for a doe from Cobham, when the season comes, bucks season being past. I shall make much of this acquaintance, that I may live to see his lady near. Thence to Westminster, to Sir R. Longs Office: and, going, met Mr. George Montagu, who talked and complimented me mightily; and long discourse I had with him, who, for news, tells me for certain that Trevor do come to be Secretary at Michaelmas, and that Morrice goes out, and he believes, without any compensation. He tells me that now Buckingham does rule all; and the other day, in the King’s journey he is now on, at Bagshot, and that way, he caused Prince Rupert’s horses to be turned out of an inne, and caused his own to be kept there, which the Prince complained of to the King, and the Duke of York seconded the complaint; but the King did over-rule it for Buckingham, by which there are high displeasures among them; and Buckingham and Arlington rule all. Thence by water home and to dinner, and after dinner by water again to White Hall, where Brouncker, W. Pen, and I attended the Commissioners of the Treasury about the victualling-contract, where high words between Sir Thomas Clifford and us, and myself more particularly, who told him that something, that he said was told him about this business, was a flat untruth. However, we went on to our business in, the examination of the draught, and so parted, and I vexed at what happened, and Brouncker and W. Pen and I home in a hackney coach. And I all that night so vexed that I did not sleep almost all night, which shows how unfit I am for trouble. So, after a little supper, vexed, and spending a little time melancholy in making a base to the Lark’s song, I to bed.
10th. Up, and by water to White Hall, and there to Sir W. Coventry’s house, where I staid in his dining-room two hours thinking to speak with him, but I find Garraway and he are private, which I am glad of, Captain Cocke bringing them this day together. Cocke come out and talked to me, but it was too late for me to stay longer, and therefore to the Treasury chamber, where the rest met, and W. Coventry come presently after. And we spent the morning in finishing the Victualler’s contract, and so I by water home, and there dined with me Batelier and his wife, and Mercer, and my people, at a good venison-pasty; and after dinner I and W. Howe, who come to see me, by water to the Temple, and met our four women, my wife, M. Batelier, Mercer, and Deb., at the Duke’s play-house, and there saw “The Maid in the Mill,” revived — a pretty, harmless old play. Thence to Unthanke’s, and ‘Change, where wife did a little business, while Mercer and I staid in the coach; and, in a quarter of an hour, I taught her the whole Larke’s song perfectly, so excellent an eare she hath. Here we at Unthanke’s ‘light, and walked them to White Hall, my wife mighty angry at it, and did give me ill words before Batelier, which vexed me, but I made no matter of it, but vexed to myself. So landed them, it being fine moonshine, at the Bear, and so took water to the other side, and home. I to the office, where a child is laid at Sir J. Minnes’s door, as there was one heretofore. So being good friends again, my wife seeking, it, by my being silent I overcoming her, we to bed.
11th. Up, and at my Office all the morning, and after dinner all the afternoon in my house with Batelier shut up, drawing up my defence to the Duke of York upon his great letter, which I have industriously taken this opportunity of doing for my future use. At it late, and my mind and head mighty full of it all night.
12th. At it again in the morning, and then to the Office, where till noon, and I do see great whispering among my brethren about their replies to the Duke of York, which vexed me, though I know no reason for it; for I have no manner of ground to fear them. At noon home to dinner, and, after dinner, to work all the afternoon again. At home late, and so to bed.
13th (Lord’s day). The like all this morning and afternoon, and finished it to my mind. So about four o’clock walked to the Temple, and there by coach to St. James’s, and met, to my wish, the Duke of York and Mr. Wren; and understand the Duke of York hath received answers from Brouncker, W. Pen, and J. Minnes; and as soon as he saw me, he bid Mr. Wren read them over with me. So having no opportunity of talk with the Duke of York, and Mr. Wren some business to do, he put them into my hands like an idle companion, to, take home with me before himself had read them, which do give me great opportunity of altering my answer, if there was cause. So took a hackney and home, and after supper made my wife to read them all over, wherein she is mighty useful to me; and I find them all evasions, and in many things false, and in few, to the full purpose. Little said reflective on me, though W. Pen and J. Minnes do mean me in one or two places, and J. Minnes a little more plainly would lead the Duke of York to question the exactness of my keeping my records; but all to no purpose. My mind is mightily pleased by this, if I can but get time to have a copy taken of them, for my future use; but I must return them tomorrow. So to bed.
14th. Up betimes, and walked to the Temple, and stopped, viewing the Exchange, and Paul’s, and St. Fayth’s, where strange how the very sight of the stones falling from the top of the steeple do make me sea-sick! But no hurt, I hear, hath yet happened in all this work of the steeple, which is very much. So from the Temple I by coach to St. James’s, where I find Sir W. Pen and Lord Anglesey, who delivered this morning his answer to the Duke of York, but I could not see it. But after being above with the Duke of York, but said nothing, I down with Mr. Wren; and he and I read all over that I had, and I expounded them to him, and did so order it that I had them home with me, so that I shall, to my heart’s wish, be able to take a copy of them. After dinner, I by water to, White Hall; and there, with the Cofferer and Sir Stephen Fox, attended the Commissioners of the Treasury, about bettering our fund; and are promised it speedily. Thence by water home, and so all the afternoon and evening late busy at the office, and then home to supper, and Mrs. Turner comes to see my wife before her journey tomorrow, but she is in bed, and so sat talking to little purpose with me a great while, and, she gone, I to bed.
15th. Up mighty betimes, my wife and people, Mercer lying here all night, by three o’clock, and I about five; and they before, and I after them, to the coach in Bishopsgate Street, which was not ready to set out. So took wife and Mercer and Deb. and W. Hewer (who are all to set out this day for Cambridge, to cozen Roger Pepys’s, to see Sturbridge Fayre); and I shewed them the Exchange, which is very finely carried on, with good dispatch. So walked back and saw them gone, there being only one man in the coach besides them; and so home to the Office, where Mrs. Daniel come and staid talking to little purpose with me to borrow money, but I did not lend her any, having not opportunity para hater allo thing mit her. At the office all the morning, and at noon dined with my people at home, and so to the office again a while, and so by water to the King’s playhouse, to see a new play, acted but yesterday, a translation out of French by Dryden, called “The Ladys a la Mode:” so mean a thing as, when they come to say it would be acted again tomorrow, both he that said it, Beeson, and the pit fell a-laughing, there being this day not a quarter of the pit full. Thence to St. James’s and White Hall to wait on the Duke of York, but could not come to speak to him till time to go home, and so by water home, and there late at the office and my chamber busy, and so after a little supper to bed.
16th. Up; and dressing myself I did begin para toker the breasts of my maid Jane, which elle did give way to more than usual heretofore, so I have a design to try more when I can bring it to. So to the office, and thence to St. James’s to the Duke of York, walking it to the Temple, and in my way observe that the Stockes are now pulled quite down; and it will make the coming into Cornhill and Lumber Street mighty noble. I stopped, too, at Paul’s, and there did go into St. Fayth’s Church, and also in the body of the west part of the Church; and do see a hideous sight of the walls of the Church ready to fall, that I was in fear as long as I was in it: and here I saw the great vaults underneath the body of the Church. No hurt, I hear, is done yet, since their going to pull down the Church and steeple; but one man, on Monday this week, fell from the top to a piece of the roof, of the east end, that stands next the steeple, and there broke himself all to pieces. It is pretty here to see how the late Church was but a case wrought over the old Church; for you may see the very old pillars standing whole within the wall of this. When I come to St. James’s, I find the Duke of York gone with the King to see the muster of the Guards in Hyde Park; and their Colonel, the Duke of Monmouth, to take his command this day of the King’s Life–Guard, by surrender of my Lord Gerard. So I took a hackney-coach and saw it all: and indeed it was mighty noble, and their firing mighty fine, and the Duke of Monmouth in mighty rich clothes; but the well-ordering of the men I understand not. Here, among a thousand coaches that were there, I saw and spoke to Mrs. Pierce: and by and by Mr. Wren hunts me out, and gives me my Lord Anglesey’s answer to the Duke of York’s letter, where, I perceive, he do do what he can to hurt me, by bidding the Duke of York call for my books: but this will do me all the right in the world, and yet I am troubled at it. So away out of the Park, and home; and there Mr. Gibson and I to dinner: and all the afternoon with him, writing over anew, and a little altering, my answer to the Duke of York, which I have not yet delivered, and so have the opportunity of doing it after seeing all their answers, though this do give me occasion to alter very little. This done, he to write it over, and I to the Office, where late, and then home; and he had finished it; and then he to read to me the life of Archbishop Laud, wrote by Dr. Heylin; which is a shrewd book, but that which I believe will do the Bishops in general no great good, but hurt, it pleads for so much Popish. So after supper to bed. This day my father’s letters tell me of the death of poor Fancy, in the country, big with puppies, which troubles me, as being one of my oldest acquaintances and servants. Also good Stankes is dead.
17th. Up, and all the morning sitting at the office, where every body grown mighty cautious in what they do, or omit to do, and at noon comes Knepp, with design to dine with Lord Brouncker, but she being undressed, and there being: much company, dined with me; and after dinner I out with her, and carried her to the playhouse; and in the way did give her five guineas as a fairing, I having given her nothing a great while, and her coming hither sometimes having been matter of cost to her, and so I to St. James’s, but missed of the Duke of York, and so went back to the King’s playhouse, and saw “Rollo, Duke of Normandy,” which, for old acquaintance, pleased me pretty well, and so home and to my business,. and to read again, and to bed. This evening Batelier comes to tell me that he was going down to Cambridge to my company, to see the Fair, which vexed me, and the more because I fear he do know that Knepp did dine with me today. —[And that he might tell Mrs. Pepys. — B.
18th. Up, and to St. James’s, and there took a turn or two in the Park; and then up to the Duke of York, and there had opportunity of delivering my answer to his late letter, which he did not read, but give to Mr. Wren, as looking on it as a thing I needed not have done, but only that I might not give occasion to the rest to suspect my communication with the Duke of York against them. So now I am at rest in that matter, and shall be more, when my copies are finished of their answers, which I am now taking with all speed. Thence to my several booksellers and elsewhere, about several errands, and so at noon home, and after dinner by coach to White Hall, and thither comes the Duke of York to us, and by and by met at the robe chamber upon our usual business, where the Duke of York I find somewhat sour, and particularly angry with Lord Anglesey for his not being there now, nor at other times so often as he should be with us. So to the King’s house, and saw a piece of “Henry the Fourth;” at the end of the play, thinking to have gone abroad with Knepp, but it was too late, and she to get her part against tomorrow, in “The Silent Woman,” and so I only set her at home, and away home myself, and there to read again and sup with Gibson, and so to bed.
19th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy, and so dined with my people at home, and then to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Silent Woman;” the best comedy, I think, that ever was wrote; and sitting by Shadwell the poet, he was big with admiration of it. Here was my Lord Brouncker and W. Pen and their ladies in the box, being grown mighty kind of a sudden; but, God knows, it will last but a little while, I dare swear. Knepp did her part mighty well. And so home straight, and to work, and particularly to my cozen Roger, who, W. Hewer and my wife writes me, do use them with mighty plenty and noble entertainment: so home to supper, and to bed. All the news now is, that Mr. Trevor is for certain now to be Secretary, in Morrice’s place, which the Duke of York did himself tell me yesterday; and also that Parliament is to be adjourned to the 1st of March, which do please me well, hoping thereby to get my things in a little better order than I should have done; and the less attendances at that end of the town in winter. So home to supper and to bed.
20th (Lord’s day). Up, and to set some papers to rights in my chamber, and the like in my office, and so to church, at our own church, and heard but a dull sermon of one Dr. Hicks, who is a suitor to Mrs. Howell, the widow of our turner of the Navy; thence home to dinner, staying till past one o’clock for Harris, whom I invited, and to bring Shadwell the poet with him; but they come not, and so a good dinner lost, through my own folly. And so to dinner alone, having since church heard the boy read over Dryden’s Reply to Sir R. Howard’s Answer, about his Essay of Poesy, and a letter in answer to that; the last whereof is mighty silly, in behalf of Howard.1 Thence walked forth and got a coach and to visit Mrs. Pierce, with whom, and him, I staid a little while, and do hear how the Duchesse of Monmouth is at this time in great trouble of the shortness of her lame leg, which is likely to grow shorter and shorter, that she will never recover it. Thence to St. Margaret’s Church, thinking to have seen Betty Michell, but she was not there. So back, and walked to Gray’s Inn walks a while, but little company; and so over the fields to Clerkenwell, to see whether I could find that the fair Botelers do live there still, I seeing Frances the other day in a coach with Cary Dillon, her old servant, but know not where she lives. So walked home, and there walked in the garden an hour, it being mighty pleasant weather, and so took my Lady Pen and Mrs. Markham home with me and sent for Mrs. Turner, and by and by comes Sir W. Pen and supped with me, a good supper, part of my dinner today. They gone, Mrs. Turner staid an hour talking with me. . . . So parted, and I to bed.
1 The title of the letter is as follows: “A Letter from a Gentleman to the Honourable Ed. Howard, Esq., occasioned by a Civiliz’d Epistle of Mr. Dryden’s before his Second Edition of his Indian Emperour. In the Savoy, printed by Thomas Newcomb, 1668.” The “Civiliz’d Epistle” was a caustic attack on Sir Robert Howard; and the Letter is signed, “Sir, your faithful and humble servant, R. F.”— i.e., Richard Flecknoe.
21st. Up, and betimes Sir D. Gawden with me talking about the Victualling business, which is now under dispute for a new contract, or whether it shall be put into a Commission. He gone, comes Mr. Hill to talk with me about Lanyon’s business, and so being in haste I took him to the water with me, and so to White Hall, and there left him, and I to Sir W. Coventry, and shewed him my answer to the Duke of York’s great letter, which he likes well. We also discoursed about the Victualling business, which he thinks there is a design to put into a way of Commission, but do look upon all things to be managed with faction, and is grieved under it. So to St. James’s, and there the Duke of York did of his own accord come to me, and tell me that he had read, and do like of, my answers to the objections which he did give me the other day, about the Navy; and so did W. Coventry too, who told me that the Duke of York had shown him them: So to White Hall a little and the Chequer, and then by water home to dinner with my people, where Tong was also this day with me, whom I shall employ for a time, and so out again and by water to Somerset House, but when come thither I turned back and to Southwarke–Fair, very dirty, and there saw the puppet-show of Whittington, which was pretty to see; and how that idle thing do work upon people that see it, and even myself too! And thence to Jacob Hall’s dancing on the ropes, where I saw such action as I never saw before, and mightily worth seeing; and here took acquaintance with a fellow that carried me to a tavern, whither come the musick of this booth, and by and by Jacob Hall himself, with whom I had a mind to speak, to hear whether he had ever any mischief by falls in his time. He told me, “Yes, many; but never to the breaking of a limb:” he seems a mighty strong man. So giving them a bottle or two of wine, I away with Payne, the waterman. He, seeing me at the play, did get a link to light me, and so light me to the Beare, where Bland, my waterman, waited for me with gold and other things he kept for me, to the value of £40 and more, which I had about me, for fear of my pockets being cut. So by link-light through the bridge, it being mighty dark, but still weather, and so home, where I find my draught of “The Resolution” come, finished, from Chatham; but will cost me, one way or other, about £12 or £13, in the board, frame, and garnishing, which is a little too much, but I will not be beholden to the King’s officers that do it. So to supper, and the boy to read to me, and so to bed. This day I met Mr. Moore in the New Exchange, and had much talk of my Lord’s concernments. This day also come out first the new five-pieces in gold, coined by the Guiny Company; and I did get two pieces of Mr. Holder.1
1 Guineas took their name from the gold brought from Guinea by the African Company in 1663, who, as an encouragement to bring over gold to be coined, were permitted by their charter from Charles II. to have their stamp of an elephant upon the coin. When first coined they were valued at 20s., but were worth 30s. in 1695. There were likewise fivepound pieces, like the guinea, with the inscription upon the rim.
22nd. Up, and to the Office, where sitting all the morning at noon, home to dinner, with my people, and so to the Office again, where busy all the afternoon, and in the evening spent my time walking in the dark, in the garden, to favour my eyes, which I find nothing but ease to help. In the garden there comes to me my Lady Pen and Mrs. Turner and Markham, and we sat and talked together, and I carried them home, and there eat a bit of something, and by and by comes Sir W. Pen, and eat with us, and mighty merry-in appearance, at least, he being on all occasions glad to be at friendship with me, though we hate one another, and know it on both sides. They gone, Mrs. Turner and I to walk in the garden. . . . So led her home, and I back to bed. This day Mr. Wren did give me, at the Board, Commissioner Middleton’s answer to the Duke of York’s great letter; so that now I have all of them.
23rd. At my office busy all the morning. At noon comes Mr. Evelyn to me, about some business with the Office, and there in discourse tells me of his loss, to the value of F 500, which he hath met with, in a late attempt of making of bricks1 upon an adventure with others, by which he presumed to have got a great deal of money: so that I see the most ingenious men may sometimes be mistaken. So to the ‘Change a little, and then home to dinner, and then by water to White Hall, to attend the Commissioners of the Treasury with Alderman Backewell, about £10,000 he is to lend us for Tangier, and then up to a Committee of the Council, where was the Duke of York, and they did give us, the Officers of the Navy, the proposals of the several bidders for the victualling of the Navy, for us to give our answer to, which is the best, and whether it be better to victual by commission or contract, and to bring them our answer by Friday afternoon, which is a great deal of work. So thence back with Sir J. Minnes home, and come after us Sir W. Pen and Lord Brouncker, and we fell to the business, and I late when they were gone to digest something of it, and so to supper and to bed.
1 At the end of the year 1666 a Dutchman of the Prince of Orange’s party, named Kiviet, came over to England with proposals for embanking the river from the Temple to the Tower with brick, and was knighted by the king. He was introduced to Evelyn, whom he persuaded to join with him in a great undertaking for the making of bricks. On March 26th, 1667, the two went in search of brick-earth, and in September articles were drawn up between them for the purpose of proceeding in the manufacture. In April, 1668, Evelyn subscribed 50,000 bricks for the building of a college for the Royal Society, in addition to £50 given previously for the same purpose. No more information on the subject is given in Evelyn’s “Diary.”
24th. Up betimes and Sir D. Gawden with me, and I told him all, being very desirous for the King’s sake, as well as my own, that he may be kept in it, and after consulting him I to the Office, where we met again and spent most of the morning about this business, and no other, and so at noon home to dinner, and then close with Mr. Gibson till night, drawing up our answer, which I did the most part by seven at night, and so to Lord Brouncker and the rest at his lodgings to read it, and they approved of it. So back home to supper, and made my boy read to me awhile, and then to bed.
25th. Up, and Sir D. Gawden with me betimes to confer again about this business, and he gone I all the morning finishing our answer, which I did by noon, and so to dinner, and W. Batelier with me, who is lately come from Impington, beyond which I perceive he went not, whatever his pretence at first was; and so he tells me how well and merry all are there, and how nobly used by my cozen. He gone, after dinner I to work again, and Gibson having wrote our answer fair and got Brouncker and the rest to sign it, I by coach to White Hall to the Committee of the Council, which met late, and Brouncker and J. Minnes with me, and there the Duke of York present (but not W. Coventry, who I perceive do wholly avoid to have to do publickly in this business, being shy of appearing in any Navy business, which I telling him the other day that I thought the King might suffer by it, he told me that the occasion is now so small that it cannot be fatal to the service, and for the present it is better for him not to appear, saying that it may fare the worse for his appearing in it as things are now governed), where our answer was read and debated, and some hot words between the Duke of York and Sir T. Clifford, the first for and the latter against Gawden, but the whole put off to tomorrow’s Council, for till the King goes out of town the next week the Council sits every day. So with the Duke of York and some others to his closet, and Alderman Backewell about a Committee of Tangier, and there did agree upon a price for pieces of eight at 4s. 6d. Present the Duke of York, Arlington, Berkeley, Sir J. Minnes, and myself. They gone, the Duke of York did tell me how hot Clifford is for Child, and for removing of old Officers, he saying plainly to-night, that though D. Gawden was a man that had done the best service that he believed any man, or any ten men, could have done, yet that it was for the King’s interest not to let it lie too long in one hand, lest nobody should be able to serve him but one. But the Duke of York did openly tell him that he was not for removing of old servants that have done well, neither in this place, nor in any other place, which is very nobly said. It being 7 or 8 at night, I home with Backewell by coach, and so walked to D. Gawden’s, but he not at home, and so back to my chamber, the boy to read to me, and so to supper and to bed.
26th. Could sleep but little last night, for my concernments in this business of the victualling for Sir D. Gawden, so up in the morning and he comes to me, and there I did tell him all, and give him my advice, and so he away, and I to the office, where we met and did a little business, and I left them and by water to attend the Council, which I did all the morning, but was not called in, but the Council meets again in the afternoon on purpose about it. So I at noon to Westminster Hall and there stayed a little, and at the Swan also, thinking to have got Doll Lane thither, but elle did not understand my signs; and so I away and walked to Charing Cross, and there into the great new Ordinary, by my Lord Mulgrave’s, being led thither by Mr. Beale, one of Oliver’s, and now of the King’s Guards; and he sat with me while I had two grilled pigeons, very handsome and good meat: and there he and I talked of our old acquaintances, W. Clerke and others, he being a very civil man, and so walked to Westminster and there parted, and I to the Swan again, but did nothing, and so to White Hall, and there attended the King and Council, who met and heard our answer. I present, and then withdrew; and they sent two hours at least afterwards about it, and at last rose; and to my great content, the Duke of York, at coming out, told me that it was carried for D. Gawden at 6d. 8d., and 8 3/4d.; but with great difficulty, I understand, both from him and others, so much that Sir Edward Walker told me that he prays to God he may never live to need to plead his merit, for D. Gawden’s sake; for that it hath stood him in no stead in this business at all, though both he and all the world that speaks of him, speaks of him as the most deserving man of any servant of the King’s in the whole nation, and so I think he is: but it is done, and my heart is glad at it. So I took coach and away, and in Holborne overtook D. Gawden’s coach, and stopped and went home, and Gibson to come after, and to my house, where D. Gawden did talk a little, and he do mightily acknowledge my kindness to him, and I know I have done the King and myself good service in it. So he gone, and myself in mighty great content in what is done, I to the office a little, and then home to supper, and the boy to read to me, and so to bed. This noon I went to my Lady Peterborough’s house, and talked with her about the money due to her Lord, and it gives me great trouble, her importunity and impertinency about it. This afternoon at Court I met with Lord Hinchingbroke, newly come out of the country, who tells me that Creed’s business with Mrs. Pickering will do, which I am neither troubled nor glad at.
27th (Lord’s day). Up, and to my office to finish my journall for five days past, and so abroad and walked to White Hall, calling in at Somerset House Chapel, and also at the Spanish Embassador’s at York House, and there did hear a little masse: and so to White Hall; and there the King being gone to Chapel, I to walk all the morning in the Park, where I met Mr. Wren; and he and I walked together in the Pell–Mell, it being most summer weather that ever was seen: and here talking of several things: of the corruption of the Court, and how unfit it is for ingenious men, and himself particularly, to live in it, where a man cannot live but he must spend, and cannot get suitably, without breach of his honour: and did thereupon tell me of the basest thing of my Lord Barkeley, one of the basest things that ever was heard of of a man, which was this: how the Duke of York’s Commissioners do let his wine-licenses at a bad rate, and being offered a better, they did persuade the Duke of York to give some satisfaction to the former to quit it, and let it to the latter, which being done, my Lord Barkeley did make the bargain for the former to have £1500 a-year to quit it; whereof, since, it is come to light that they were to have but £800 and himself £700, which the Duke of York hath ever since for some years paid, though this second bargain hath been broken, and the Duke of York lost by it, [half] of what the first was. He told me that there hath been a seeming accommodation between the Duke of York and the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Arlington, the two latter desiring it; but yet that there is not true agreement between them, but they do labour to bring in all new creatures into play, and the Duke of York do oppose it, as particularly in this of Sir D. Gawden. Thence, he gone, I to the Queen’s Chapel, and there heard some good singing; and so to White Hall, and saw the King and Queen at dinner and thence with Sir Stephen Fox to dinner: and the Cofferer with us; and there mighty kind usage, and good discourse. Thence spent all the afternoon walking in the Park, and then in the evening at Court, on the Queen’s side; and there met Mr. Godolphin, who tells me that the news, is true we heard yesterday, of my Lord Sandwich’s being come to Mount’s Bay, in Cornwall, and so I heard this afternoon at Mrs. Pierce’s, whom I went to make a short visit to. This night, in the Queen’s drawing-room, my Lord Brouncker told me the difference that is now between the three Embassadors here, the Venetian, French, and Spaniard; the third not being willing to make a visit to the first, because he would not receive him at the door; who is willing to give him as much respect as he did to the French, who was used no otherwise, and who refuses now to take more of him, upon being desired thereto, in order to the making an accommodation in this matter, which is very pretty. So a boat staying for me all this evening, I home in the dark about eight at night, and so over the ruins from the Old Swan home with great trouble, and so to hear my boy read a little, and supper and to bed. This evening I found at home Pelling and Wallington and one Aldrige, and we supped and sung.
28th. Up betimes, and Knepp’s maid comes to me, to tell me that the women’s day at the playhouse is today, and that therefore I must be there, to encrease their profit. I did give the pretty maid Betty that comes to me half-a-crown for coming, and had a baiser or two-elle being mighty jolie. And so I about my business. By water to St. James’s, and there had good opportunity of speaking with the Duke of York, who desires me again, talking on that matter, to prepare something for him to do for the better managing of our Office, telling me that, my Lord Keeper and he talking about it yesterday, my Lord Keeper did advise him to do so, it being better to come from him than otherwise, which I have promised to do. Thence to my Lord Burlington’s houses the first time I ever was there, it being the house built by Sir John Denham, next to Clarendon House; and here I visited my Lord Hinchingbroke and his lady; Mr. Sidney Montagu being come last night to town unexpectedly from Mount’s Bay, where he left my Lord well, eight days since, so as we may now hourly expect to hear of his arrival at Portsmouth. Sidney is mighty grown; and I am glad I am here to see him at his first coming, though it cost me dear, for here I come to be necessitated to supply them with £500 for my Lord. He sent him up with a declaration to his friends, of the necessity of his being presently supplied with £2000; but I do not think he will get one. However, I think it becomes my duty to my Lord to do something extraordinary in this, and the rather because I have been remiss in writing to him during this voyage, more than ever I did in my life, and more indeed than was fit for me. By and by comes Sir W. Godolphin to see Mr. Sidney, who, I perceive, is much dissatisfied that he should come to town last night, and not yet be with my Lord Arlington, who, and all the town, hear of his being come to town, and he did, it seems, take notice of it to Godolphin this morning: so that I perceive this remissness in affairs do continue in my Lord’s managements still, which I am sorry for; but, above all, to see in what a condition my Lord is for money, that I dare swear he do not know where to take up £500 of any man in England at this time, upon his word, but of myself, as I believe by the sequel hereof it will appear. Here I first saw and saluted my Lady Burlington, a very fine-speaking lady, and a good woman, but old, and not handsome; but a brave woman in her parts. Here my Lady Hinchingbroke tells me that she hath bought most of the wedding-clothes for Mrs. Dickering, so that the thing is gone through, and will soon be ended; which I wonder at, but let them do as they will. Here I also, standing by a candle that was brought for sealing of a letter, do set my periwigg a-fire, which made such an odd noise, nobody could tell what it was till they saw the flame, my back being to the candle. Thence to Westminster Hall and there walked a little, and to the Exchequer, and so home by water, and after eating a bit I to my vintner’s, and there did only look upon su wife, which is mighty handsome; and so to my glove and ribbon shop, in Fenchurch Street, and did the like there. And there, stopping against the door of the shop, saw Mrs. Horsfall, now a late widow, in a coach. I to her, and shook her by the hand, and so she away; and I by coach towards the King’s playhouse, and meeting W. Howe took him with me, and there saw “The City Match;” not acted these thirty years, and but a silly play: the King and Court there; the house, for the women’s sake, mighty full. So I to White Hall, and there all the evening on the Queen’s side; and it being a most summerlike day, and a fine warm evening, the Italians come in a barge under the leads, before the Queen’s drawing-room; and so the Queen and ladies went out, and heard them, for almost an hour: and it was indeed very good together; but yet there was but one voice that alone did appear considerable, and that was Seignor Joanni. This done, by and by they went in; and here I saw Mr. Sidney Montagu kiss the Queen’s hand, who was mighty kind to him, and the ladies looked mightily on him; and the King come by and by, and did talk to him. So I away by coach with Alderman Backewell home, who is mighty kind to me, more than ordinary, in his expressions. But I do hear this day what troubles me, that Sir W. Coventry is quite out of play, the King seldom speaking to him; and that there is a design of making a Lord Treasurer, and that my Lord Arlington shall be the man; but I cannot believe it. But yet the Duke of Buckingham hath it in his mind, and those with him, to make a thorough alteration in things; and, among the rest, Coventry to be out. The Duke of York did this day tell me how hot the whole party was in the business of Gawden; and particularly, my Lord Anglesey tells me, the Duke of Buckingham, for Child against Gawden; but the Duke of York did stand stoutly to it. So home to read and sup, and to bed.
29th (Tuesday, Michaelmas day). Up, and to the Office, where all the morning.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53