March 1st. Up, and to White Hall to the Committee of Tangier, but it did not meet. But here I do hear first that my Lady Paulina Montagu did die yesterday; at which I went to my Lord’s lodgings, but he is shut up with sorrow, and so not to be spoken with: and therefore I returned, and to Westminster Hall, where I have not been, I think, in some months. And here the Hall was very full, the King having, by Commission to some Lords this day, prorogued the Parliament till the 19th of October next: at which I am glad, hoping to have time to go over to France this year. But I was most of all surprised this morning by my Lord Bellassis, who, by appointment, met me at Auditor Wood’s, at the Temple, and tells me of a duell designed between the Duke of Buckingham and my Lord Halifax, or Sir W. Coventry; the challenge being carried by Harry Saville, but prevented by my Lord Arlington, and the King told of it; and this was all the discourse at Court this day. But I, meeting Sir W. Coventry in the Duke of York’s chamber, he would not own it to me, but told me that he was a man of too much peace to meddle with fighting, and so it rested: but the talk is full in the town of the business. Thence, having walked some turns with my cozen Pepys, and most people, by their discourse, believing that this Parliament will never sit more, I away to several places to look after things against tomorrow’s feast, and so home to dinner; and thence, after noon, my wife and I out by hackneycoach, and spent the afternoon in several places, doing several things at the ‘Change and elsewhere against tomorrow; and, among others, I did also bring home a piece of my face cast in plaister, for to make a wizard upon, for my eyes. And so home, where W. Batelier come, and sat with us; and there, after many doubts, did resolve to go on with our feast and dancing tomorrow; and so, after supper, left the maids to make clean the house, and to lay the cloth, and other things against tomorrow, and we to bed.
2nd. Up, and at the office till noon, when home, and there I find my company come, namely, Madam Turner, Dyke, The., and Betty Turner, and Mr. Bellwood, formerly their father’s clerk, but now set up for himself — a conceited, silly fellow, but one they make mightily of — my cozen Roger Pepys, and his wife, and two daughters. I had a noble dinner for them, as I almost ever had, and mighty merry, and particularly myself pleased with looking on Betty Turner, who is mighty pretty. After dinner, we fell one to one talk, and another to another, and looking over my house, and closet, and things; and The. Turner to write a letter to a lady in the country, in which I did, now and then, put in half a dozen words, and sometimes five or six lines, and then she as much, and made up a long and good letter, she being mighty witty really, though troublesome-humoured with it. And thus till night, that our musick come, and the Office ready and candles, and also W. Batelier and his sister Susan come, and also Will. Howe and two gentlemen more, strangers, which, at my request yesterday, he did bring to dance, called Mr. Ireton and Mr. Starkey. We fell to dancing, and continued, only with intermission for a good supper, till two in the morning, the musick being Greeting, and another most excellent violin, and theorbo, the best in town. And so with mighty mirth, and pleased with their dancing of jigs afterwards several of them, and, among others, Betty Turner, who did it mighty prettily; and, lastly, W. Batelier’s “Blackmore and Blackmore Mad;” and then to a country-dance again, and so broke up with extraordinary pleasure, as being one of the days and nights of my life spent with the greatest content; and that which I can but hope to repeat again a few times in my whole life. This done, we parted, the strangers home, and I did lodge my cozen Pepys and his wife in our blue chamber. My cozen Turner, her sister, and The., in our best chamber; Bab., Betty, and Betty Turner, in our own chamber; and myself and my wife in the maid’s bed, which is very good. Our maids in the coachman’s bed; the coachman with the boy in his settlebed, and Tom where he uses to lie. And so I did, to my great content, lodge at once in my house, with the greatest ease, fifteen, and eight of them strangers of quality. My wife this day put on first her French gown, called a Sac, which becomes her very well, brought her over by W. Batelier.
3rd. Up, after a very good night’s rest, and was called upon by Sir H. Cholmly, who was with me an hour, and though acquainted did not stay to talk with my company I had in the house, but away, and then I to my guests, and got them to breakfast, and then parted by coaches; and I did, in mine, carry my she-cozen Pepys and her daughters home, and there left them, and so to White Hall, where W. Hewer met me; and he and I took a turn in St. James’s Park, and in the Mall did meet Sir W. Coventry and Sir J. Duncomb, and did speak with them about some business before the Lords of the Treasury; but I did find them more than usually busy, though I knew not then the reason of it, though I guess it by what followed tomorrow. Thence to Dancre’s, the painter’s, and there saw my picture of Greenwich, finished to my very good content, though this manner of distemper do make the figures not so pleasing as in oyle. So to Unthanke’s, and there took up my wife, and carried her to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw an old play, the first time acted these forty years, called “The Lady’s Tryall,” acted only by the young people of the house; but the house very full. But it is but a sorry play, and the worse by how much my head is out of humour by being a little sleepy and my legs weary since last night. So after the play we to the New Exchange, and so called at my cozen Turner’s; and there, meeting Mr. Bellwood, did hear how my Lord Mayor, being invited this day to dinner at the Reader’s at the Temple, and endeavouring to carry his sword up, the students did pull it down, and forced him to go and stay all the day in a private Councillor’s chamber, until the Reader himself could get the young gentlemen to dinner; and then my Lord Mayor did retreat out of the Temple by stealth, with his sword up. This do make great heat among the students; and my Lord Mayor did send to the King, and also I hear that Sir Richard Browne did cause the drums to beat for the Train-bands, but all is over, only I hear that the students do resolve to try the Charter of the City. So we home, and betimes to bed, and slept well all night.
4th. Up, and a while at the office, but thinking to have Mr. Povy’s business today at the Committee for Tangier, I left the Board and away to White Hall, where in the first court I did meet Sir Jeremy Smith, who did tell me that Sir W. Coventry was just now sent to the Tower, about the business of his challenging the Duke of Buckingham, and so was also Harry Saville to the Gate-house; which, as [he is] a gentleman, and of the Duke of York’s bedchamber, I heard afterwards that the Duke of York is mightily incensed at, and do appear very high to the King that he might not be sent thither, but to the Tower, this being done only in contempt to him. This news of Sir W. Coventry did strike me to the heart, and with reason, for by this and my Lord of Ormond’s business, I do doubt that the Duke of Buckingham will be so flushed, that he will not stop at any thing, but be forced to do any thing now, as thinking it not safe to end here; and, Sir W. Coventry being gone, the King will have never a good counsellor, nor the Duke of York any sure friend to stick to him; nor any good man will be left to advise what is good. This, therefore, do heartily trouble me as any thing that ever I heard. So up into the House, and met with several people; but the Committee did not meet; and the whole House I find full of this business of Sir W. Coventry’s, and most men very sensible of the cause and effects of it. So, meeting with my Lord Bellassis, he told me the particulars of this matter; that it arises about a quarrel which Sir W. Coventry had with the Duke of Buckingham about a design between the Duke and Sir Robert Howard, to bring him into a play at the King’s house, which W. Coventry not enduring, did by H. Saville send a letter to the Duke of Buckingham, that he had a desire to speak with him. Upon which, the Duke of Buckingham did bid Holmes, his champion ever since my Lord Shrewsbury’s business,1 go to him to know the business; but H. Saville would not tell it to any but himself, and therefore did go presently to the Duke of Buckingham, and told him that his uncle Coventry was a person of honour, and was sensible of his Grace’s liberty taken of abusing him, and that he had a desire of satisfaction, and would fight with him. But that here they were interrupted by my Lord Chamberlain’s coming in, who was commanded to go to bid the Duke of Buckingham to come to the King, Holmes having discovered it. He told me that the King did last night, at the Council, ask the Duke of Buckingham, upon his honour, whether he had received any challenge from W. Coventry? which he confessed that he had; and then the King asking W. Coventry, he told him that he did not owne what the Duke of Buckingham had said, though it was not fit for him to give him a direct contradiction. But, being by the King put upon declaring, upon his honour, the matter, he answered that he had understood that many hard questions had upon this business been moved to some lawyers, and that therefore he was unwilling to declare any thing that might, from his own mouth, render him obnoxious to his Majesty’s displeasure, and, therefore, prayed to be excused: which the King did think fit to interpret to be a confession, and so gave warrant that night for his commitment to the Tower. Being very much troubled at this, I away by coach homewards, and directly to the Tower, where I find him in one Mr. Bennet’s house, son to Major Bayly, one of the Officers of the Ordnance, in the Bricke Tower:2 where I find him busy with my Lord Halifax and his brother; so I would not stay to interrupt them, but only to give him comfort, and offer my service to him, which he kindly and cheerfully received, only owning his being troubled for the King his master’s displeasure, which, I suppose, is the ordinary form and will of persons in this condition. And so I parted, with great content, that I had so earlily seen him there; and so going out, did meet Sir Jer. Smith going to meet me, who had newly been with Sir W. Coventry. And so he and I by water to Redriffe, and so walked to Deptford, where I have not been, I think, these twelve months: and there to the Treasurer’s house, where the Duke of York is, and his Duchess; and there we find them at dinner in the great room, unhung; and there was with them my Lady Duchess of Monmouth, the Countess of Falmouth, Castlemayne, Henrietta Hide’ (my Lady Hinchingbroke’s sister), and my Lady Peterborough. And after dinner Sir Jer. Smith and I were invited down to dinner with some of the Maids of Honour, namely, Mrs. Ogle, Blake, and Howard, which did me good to have the honour to dine with, and look on; and the Mother of the Maids, and Mrs. Howard, the mother of the Maid of Honour of that name, and the Duke’s housekeeper here. Here was also Monsieur Blancfort, Sir Richard Powell, Colonel Villers, Sir Jonathan Trelawny, and others. And here drank most excellent, and great variety, and plenty of wines, more than I have drank, at once, these seven years, but yet did me no great hurt. Having dined and very merry, and understanding by Blancfort how angry the Duke of York was, about their offering to send Saville to the Gate-house, among the rogues; and then, observing how this company, both the ladies and all, are of a gang, and did drink a health to the union of the two brothers, and talking of others as their enemies, they parted, and so we up; and there I did find the Dupe of York and Duchess, with all the great ladies, sitting upon a carpet, on the ground, there being no chairs, playing at “I love my love with an A, because he is so and so: and I hate him with an A, because of this and that:” and some of them, but particularly the Duchess herself, and my Lady Castlemayne, were very witty. This done, they took barge, and I with Sir J. Smith to Captain Cox’s; and there to talk, and left them and other company to drink; while I slunk out to Bagwell’s; and there saw her, and her mother, and our late maid Nell, who cried for joy to see me, but I had no time for pleasure then nor could stay, but after drinking I back to the yard, having a month’s mind para have had a bout with Nell, which I believe I could have had, and may another time. So to Cox’s, and thence walked with Sir J. Smith back to Redriffe; and so, by water home, and there my wife mighty angry for my absence, and fell mightily out, but not being certain of any thing, but thinks only that Pierce or Knepp was there, and did ask me, and, I perceive, the boy, many questions. But I did answer her; and so, after much ado, did go to bed, and lie quiet all night; but [she] had another bout with me in the morning, but I did make shift to quiet her, but yet she was not fully satisfied, poor wretch! in her mind, and thinks much of my taking so much pleasure from her; which, indeed, is a fault, though I did not design or foresee it when I went.
1 Charles II. wrote to his sister (Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans), on March 7th, 1669: “I am not sorry that Sir Will. Coventry has given me this good occasion by sending my Lord of Buckingham a challenge to turne him out of the Councill. I do intend to turn him allso out of the Treasury. The truth of it is, he has been a troublesome man in both places and I am well rid of him” (Julia Cartwright’s “Madame,” 1894, p. 283).
2 The Brick Tower stands on the northern wall, a little to the west of Martin tower, with which it communicates by a secret passage. It was the residence of the Master of the Ordnance, and Raleigh was lodged here for a time.
5th. Up, and by water to White Hall, where did a little business with the Duke of York at our usual attending him, and thence to my wife, who was with my coach at Unthanke’s, though not very well of those upon her, and so home to dinner, and after dinner I to the Tower, where I find Sir W. Coventry with abundance of company with him; and after sitting awhile, and hearing some merry discourse, and, among others, of Mr. Brouncker’s being this day summoned to Sir William Morton, one of the judges, to give in security for his good behaviour, upon his words the other day to Sir John Morton, a Parliament-man, at White Hall, who had heretofore spoke very highly against Brouncker in the House, I away, and to Aldgate, and walked forward towards White Chapel, till my wife overtook me with the coach, it being a mighty fine afternoon; and there we went the first time out of town with our coach and horses, and went as far as Bow, the spring beginning a little now to appear, though the way be dirty; and so, with great pleasure, with the fore-part of our coach up, we spent the afternoon. And so in the evening home, and there busy at the Office awhile, and so to bed, mightily pleased with being at peace with my poor wife, and with the pleasure we may hope to have with our coach this summer, when the weather comes to be good.
6th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning, only before the Office I stepped to Sir W. Coventry at the Tower, and there had a great deal of discourse with him; among others, of the King’s putting him out of the Council yesterday, with which he is well contented, as with what else they can strip him of, he telling me, and so hath long done, that he is weary and surfeited of business; but he joins with me in his fears that all will go to naught, as matters are now managed. He told me the matter of the play that was intended for his abuse, wherein they foolishly and sillily bring in two tables like that which he hath made, with a round hole in the middle, in his closet, to turn himself in; and he is to be in one of them as master, and Sir J. Duncomb in the other, as his man or imitator: and their discourse in those tables, about the disposing of their books and papers, very foolish. But that, that he is offended with, is his being made so contemptible, as that any should dare to make a gentleman a subject for the mirth of the world: and that therefore he had told Tom Killigrew that he should tell his actors, whoever they were, that did offer at any thing like representing him, that he would not complain to my Lord Chamberlain, which was too weak, nor get him beaten, as Sir Charles Sidly is said to do, but that he would cause his nose to be cut. He told me the passage at the Council much like what my Lord Bellassis told me. He told me how that the Duke of Buckingham did himself, some time since, desire to join with him, of all men in England, and did bid him propound to himself to be Chief Minister of State, saying that he would bring it about, but that he refused to have anything to do with any faction; and that the Duke of Buckingham did, within these few days, say that, of all men in England, he would have chosen W. Coventry to have joined entire with. He tells me that he fears their prevailing against the Duke of York; and that their violence will force them to it, as being already beyond his pardon. He repeated to me many examples of challenging of Privy–Councillors and others; but never any proceeded against with that severity which he is, it never amounting to others to more than a little confinement. He tells me of his being weary of the Treasury, and of the folly, ambition, and desire of popularity of Sir Thomas Clifford; and yet the rudeness of his tongue and passions when angry. This and much more discourse being over I with great pleasure come home and to the office, where all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and thence to the office again, where very hard at work all the afternoon till night, and then home to my wife to read to me, and to bed, my cold having been now almost for three days quite gone from me. This day my wife made it appear to me that my late entertainment this week cost me above £12, an expence which I am almost ashamed of, though it is but once in a great while, and is the end for which, in the most part, we live, to have such a merry day once or twice in a man’s life.
7th (Lord’s day). Up, and to the office, busy till church time, and then to church, where a dull sermon, and so home to dinner, all alone with my wife, and then to even my Journall to this day, and then to the Tower, to see Sir W. Coventry, who had H. Jermin and a great many more with him, and more, while I was there, come in; so that I do hear that there was not less than sixty coaches there yesterday, and the other day; which I hear also that there is a great exception taken at, by the King and the Duke of Buckingham, but it cannot be helped. Thence home, and with our coach out to Suffolk Street, to see my cozen Pepys, but neither the old nor young at home. So to my cozen Turner’s, and there staid talking a little, and then back to Suffolk Street, where they not being yet come home I to White Hall, and there hear that there are letters come from Sir Thomas Allen, that he hath made some kind of peace with Algiers; upon which the King and Duke of York, being to go out of town tomorrow, are met at my Lord Arlington’s: so I there, and by Mr. Wren was desired to stay to see if there were occasion for their speaking with me, which I did, walking without, with Charles Porter,1 talking of a great many things: and I perceive all the world is against the Duke of Buckingham his acting thus high, and do prophesy nothing but ruin from it: But he do well observe that the church lands cannot certainly come to much, if the King shall [be] persuaded to take them; they being leased out for long leases. By and by, after two hours’ stay, they rose, having, as Wren tells me, resolved upon sending six ships to the Streights forthwith, not being contented with the peace upon the terms they demand, which are, that all our ships, where any Turks or Moores shall be found slaves, shall be prizes; which will imply that they, must be searched. I hear that tomorrow the King and the Duke of York set out for Newmarket, by three in the morning; to some foot and horse-races, to be abroad ten or twelve days: So I away, without seeing the Duke of York; but Mr. Wren showed me the Order of Council about the balancing the Storekeeper’s accounts, passed the Council in the very terms I drew it, only I did put in my name as he that presented the book of Hosier’s preparing, and that is left out — I mean, my name — which is no great matter. So to my wife to Suffolk Streete, where she was gone, and there I found them at supper, and eat a little with them, and so home, and there to bed, my cold pretty well gone.
1 Charles Porter “was the son of a prebend[ary] in Norwich, and a ‘prentice boy in the city in the rebellious times. When the committee house was blown up, he was very active in that rising, and after the soldiers came and dispersed the rout, he, as a rat among joint stools, shifted to and fro among the shambles, and had forty pistols shot at him by the troopers that rode after him to kill him [24th April, 1648]. In that distress he had the presence of mind to catch up a little child that, during the rout, was frighted, and stood crying in the streets, and, unobserved by the troopers, ran away with it. The people opened a way for him, saying, ‘Make room for the poor child.’ Thus he got off, and while search was made for him in the market-place, got into the Yarmouth ferry, and at Yarmouth took ship and went to Holland. . . . In Holland he trailed a pike, and was in several actions as a common soldier. At length he kept a cavalier eating-house; but, his customers being needy, he soon broke, and came for England, and being a genteel youth, was taken in among the chancery clerks, and got to be under a master. . . . His industry was great; and he had an acquired dexterity and skill in the forms of the court; and although he was a bon companion, and followed much the bottle, yet he made such dispatches as satisfied his clients, especially the clerks, who knew where to find him. His person was florid, and speech prompt and articulate. But his vices, in the way of women and the bottle, were so ungoverned, as brought him to a morsel. . . . When the Lord Keeper North had the Seal, who from an early acquaintance had a kindness for him which was well known, and also that he was well heard, as they call it, business flowed in to him very fast, and yet he could scarce keep himself at liberty to follow his business. . . . At the Revolution, when his interest fell from, and his debts began to fall upon him, he was at his wits’ end. . . . His character for fidelity, loyalty, and facetious conversation was without exception”— Roger North’s Lives of the Norths (Lord Keeper Guilford), ed. Jessopp, vol. i., pp. 381–2. He was originally made Lord Chancellor of Ireland in the reign of James II., during the viceroyalty of Lord Clarendon, 1686, when he was knighted. “He was,” says Burnet, “a man of ready wit, and being poor was thought a person fit to be made a tool of. When Clarendon was recalled, Porter was also displaced, and Fitton was made chancellor, a man who knew no other law than the king’s pleasure” (“Own Time”). Sir Charles Porter was again made Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1690, and in this same year he acted as one of the Lords Justices. This note of Lord Braybrooke’s is retained and added to, but the reference may after all be to another Charles Porter. See vol. iii., p. 122, and vol. vi., p. 98.
8th. Up, and with W. Hewer by hackney coach to White Hall, where the King and the Duke of York is gone by three in the morning, and had the misfortune to be overset with the Duke of York, the Duke of Monmouth, and the Prince, at the King’s Gate’ in Holborne; and the King all dirty, but no hurt. How it come to pass I know not, but only it was dark, and the torches did not, they say, light the coach as they should do. I thought this morning to have seen my Lord Sandwich before he went out of town, but I come half an hour too late; which troubles me, I having not seen him since my Lady Palls died. So W. Hewer and I to the Harp-and-Ball, to drink my morning draught, having come out in haste; and there met with King, the Parliament-man, with whom I had some impertinent talk. And so to the Privy Seal Office, to examine what records I could find there, for my help in the great business I am put upon, of defending the present constitution of the Navy; but there could not have liberty without order from him that is in present waiting, Mr. Bickerstaffe, who is out of town. This I did after I had walked to the New Exchange and there met Mr. Moore, who went with me thither, and I find him the same discontented poor man as ever. He tells me that Mr. Shepley is upon being turned away from my Lord’s family, and another sent down, which I am sorry for; but his age and good fellowship have almost made him fit for nothing. Thence, at Unthanke’s my wife met me, and with our coach to my cozen Turner’s and there dined, and after dinner with my wife alone to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Mocke Astrologer,” which I have often seen, and but an ordinary play; and so to my cozen Turner’s again, where we met Roger Pepys, his wife, and two daughters, and there staid and talked a little, and then home, and there my wife to read to me, my eyes being sensibly hurt by the too great lights of the playhouse. So to supper and to bed.
9th. Up, and to the Tower; and there find Sir W. Coventry alone, writing down his journal, which, he tells me, he now keeps of the material things; upon which I told him, and he is the only man I ever told it to, I think, that I kept it most strictly these eight or ten years; and I am sorry almost that I told it him, it not being necessary, nor may be convenient to have it known. Here he showed me the petition he had sent to the King by my Lord Keeper, which was not to desire any admittance to employment, but submitting himself therein humbly to his Majesty; but prayed the removal of his displeasure, and that he might be set free. He tells me that my Lord Keeper did acquaint the King with the substance of it, not shewing him the petition; who answered, that he was disposing of his employments, and when that was done, he might be led to discharge him: and this is what he expects, and what he seems to desire. But by this discourse he was pleased to take occasion to shew me and read to me his account, which he hath kept by him under his own hand, of all his discourse, and the King’s answers to him, upon the great business of my Lord Clarendon, and how he had first moved the Duke of York with it twice, at good distance, one after another, but without success; shewing me thereby the simplicity and reasons of his so doing, and the manner of it; and the King’s accepting it, telling him that he was not satisfied in his management, and did discover some dissatisfaction against him for his opposing the laying aside of my Lord Treasurer, at Oxford, which was a secret the King had not discovered. And really I was mighty proud to be privy to this great transaction, it giving me great conviction of the noble nature and ends of Sir W. Coventry in it, and considerations in general of the consequences of great men’s actions, and the uncertainty of their estates, and other very serious considerations. From this to other discourse, and so to the Office, where we sat all the morning, and after dinner by coach to my cozen Turner’s, thinking to have taken the young ladies to a play; but The. was let blood today; and so my wife and I towards the King’s playhouse, and by the way found Betty [Turner], and Bab., and Betty Pepys staying for us; and so took them all to see “Claricilla,” which do not please me almost at all, though there are some good things in it. And so to my cozen Turner’s again, and there find my Lady Mordaunt, and her sister Johnson; and by and by comes in a gentleman, Mr. Overbury, a pleasant man, who plays most excellently on the flagelette, a little one, that sounded as low as one of mine, and mighty pretty. Hence by and by away, and with my wife, and Bab. and Betty Pepys, and W. Hewer, whom I carried all this day with me, to my cozen Stradwick’s, where I have not been ever since my brother Tom died, there being some difference between my father and them, upon the account of my cozen Scott; and I was glad of this opportunity of seeing them, they being good and substantial people, and kind, and here met my cozen Roger and his wife, and my cozen Turner, and here, which I never did before, I drank a glass, of a pint, I believe, at one draught, of the juice of oranges, of whose peel they make comfits; and here they drink the juice as wine, with sugar, and it is very fine drink; but, it being new, I was doubtful whether it might not do me hurt. Having staid a while, my wife and I back, with my cozen Turner, etc., to her house, and there we took our leaves of my cozen Pepys, who goes with his wife and two daughters for Impington tomorrow. They are very good people, and people I love, and am obliged to, and shall have great pleasure in their friendship, and particularly in hers, she being an understanding and good woman. So away home, and there after signing my letters, my eyes being bad, to supper and to bed.
10th. Up, and by hackney-coach to Auditor Beale’s Office, in Holborne, to look for records of the Navy, but he was out of the way, and so forced to go next to White Hall, to the Privy Seal; and, after staying a little there, then to Westminster, where, at the Exchequer, I met with Mr. Newport and Major Halsey; and, after doing a little business with Mr. Burges, we by water to White Hall, where I made a little stop: and so with them by coach to Temple Bar, where, at the Sugar Loaf we dined, and W. Hewer with me; and there comes a companion of theirs, Colonel Vernon, I think they called him; a merry good fellow, and one that was very plain in cursing the Duke of Buckingham, and discoursing of his designs to ruin us, and that ruin must follow his counsels, and that we are an undone people. To which the others concurred, but not so plain, but all vexed at Sir W. Coventry’s being laid aside: but Vernon, he is concerned, I perceive, for my Lord Ormond’s being laid aside; but their company, being all old cavaliers, were very pleasant to hear how they swear and talk. But Halsey, to my content, tells me that my Lord Duke of Albemarle says that W. Coventry being gone, nothing will be well done at the Treasury, and I believe it; but they do all talk as that Duncombe, upon some pretence or other, must follow him. Thence to Auditor Beale’s, his house and office, but not to be found, and therefore to the Privy Seale at White Hall, where, with W. Hewer and Mr. Gibson, who met me at the Temple, I spent the afternoon till evening looking over the books there, and did find several things to my purpose, though few of those I designed to find, the books being kept there in no method at all. Having done there, we by water home, and there find my cozen Turner and her two daughters come to see us; and there, after talking a little, I had my coach ready, and my wife and I, they going home, we out to White Chapel to take a little ayre, though yet the dirtiness of the road do prevent most of the pleasure, which should have been from this tour. So home, and my wife to read to me till supper, and to bed.
11th. Up, and to Sir W. Coventry, to the Tower, where I walked and talked with him an hour alone, from one good thing to another: who tells me that he hears that the Commission is gone down to the King, with a blank to fill, for his place in the Treasury: and he believes it will be filled with one of our Treasurers of the Navy, but which he knows not, but he believes it will be Osborne. We walked down to the Stone Walk, which is called, it seems, my Lord of Northumberland’s walk, being paved by some one of that title, that was prisoner there: and at the end of it, there is a piece of iron upon the wall, with, his armes upon it, and holes to put in a peg, for every turn that they make upon that walk. So away to the Office, where busy all the morning, and so to dinner, and so very busy all the afternoon, at my Office, late; and then home tired, to supper, with content with my wife, and so to bed, she pleasing me, though I dare not own it, that she hath hired a chambermaid; but she, after many commendations, told me that she had one great fault, and that was, that she was very handsome, at which I made nothing, but let her go on; but many times to-night she took occasion to discourse of her handsomeness, and the danger she was in by taking her, and that she did doubt yet whether it would be fit for her, to take her. But I did assure her of my resolutions to have nothing to do with her maids, but in myself I was glad to have the content to have a handsome one to look on.
12th. Up, and abroad, with my own coach, to Auditor Beale’s house, and thence with W. Hewer to his Office, and there with great content spent all the morning looking over the Navy accounts of several years, and the several patents of the Treasurers, which was more than I did hope to have found there. About noon I ended there, to my great content, and giving the clerks there 20s. for their trouble, and having sent for W. Howe to me to discourse with him about the Patent Office records, wherein I remembered his brother to be concerned, I took him in my coach with W. Hewer and myself towards Westminster; and there he carried me to Nott’s, the famous bookbinder, that bound for my Lord Chancellor’s library; and here I did take occasion for curiosity to bespeak a book to be bound, only that I might have one of his binding. Thence back to Graye’s Inne: and, at the next door, at a cook’s-shop of Howe’s acquaintance, we bespoke dinner, it being now two o’clock; and in the meantime he carried us into Graye’s Inne, to his chamber, where I never was before; and it is very pretty, and little, and neat, as he was always. And so, after a little stay, and looking over a book or two there, we carried a piece of my Lord Coke with us, and to our dinner, where, after dinner, he read at my desire a chapter in my Lord Coke about perjury, wherein I did learn a good deal touching oaths, and so away to the Patent Office; in Chancery Lane, where his brother Jacke, being newly broke by running in debt, and growing an idle rogue, he is forced to hide himself; and W. Howe do look after the Office, and here I did set a clerk to look out some things for me in their books, while W. Hewer and I to the Crowne Offices where we met with several good things that I most wanted, and did take short notes of the dockets, and so back to the Patent Office, and did the like there, and by candle-light ended. And so home, where, thinking to meet my wife with content, after my pains all this day, I find her in her closet, alone, in the dark, in a hot fit of railing against me, upon some news she has this day heard of Deb.‘s living very fine, and with black spots, and speaking ill words of her mistress, which with good reason might vex her; and the baggage is to blame, but, God knows, I know nothing of her, nor what she do, nor what becomes of her, though God knows that my devil that is within me do wish that I could. Yet God I hope will prevent me therein, for I dare not trust myself with it if I should know it; but, what with my high words, and slighting it, and then serious, I did at last bring her to very good and kind terms, poor heart! and I was heartily glad of it, for I do see there is no man can be happier than myself, if I will, with her. But in her fit she did tell me what vexed me all the night, that this had put her upon putting off her handsome maid and hiring another that was full of the small pox, which did mightily vex me, though I said nothing, and do still. So down to supper, and she to read to me, and then with all possible kindness to bed.
13th. Up, and to the Tower, to see Sir W. Coventry, and with him talking of business of the Navy, all alone, an hour, he taking physic. And so away to the Office, where all the morning, and then home to dinner, with my people, and so to the Office again, and there all the afternoon till night, when comes, by mistake, my cozen Turner, and her two daughters, which love such freaks, to eat some anchovies and ham of bacon with me, instead of noon, at dinner, when I expected them. But, however, I had done my business before they come, and so was in good humour enough to be with them, and so home to them to supper, and pretty merry, being pleased to see Betty Turner, which hath something mighty pretty. But that which put me in good humour, both at noon and night, is the fancy that I am this day made a Captain of one of the King’s ships, Mr. Wren having this day sent me, the Duke of York’s commission to be Captain of “The Jerzy,” in order to my being of a Court-martiall for examining the loss of “The Defyance,” and other things; which do give me occasion of much mirth, and may be of some use to me, at least I shall get a little money by it for the time I have it; it being designed that I must really be a Captain to be able to sit in this Court. They staid till about eight at night, and then away, and my wife to read to me, and then to bed in mighty good humour, but for my eyes.
14th (Lord’s day). Up, and to my office with Tom, whom I made to read to me the books of Propositions in the time of the Grand Commission, which I did read a good part of before church, and then with my wife to church, where I did see my milliner’s wife come again, which pleased me; but I durst not be seen to mind her for fear of my wife’s seeing me, though the woman I did never speak twenty words to, and that but only in her husband’s shop. But so fearful I am of discontenting my wife, or giving her cause of jealousy. But here we heard a most excellent good sermon of Mr. Gifford’s, upon the righteousness of Scribes and Pharisees. So home to dinner and to work again, and so till dinner, where W. Howe come and dined with me, and staid and read in my Lord Cooke upon his chapter of perjury again, which pleased me, and so parted, and I to my office, and there made an end of the books of Propositions, which did please me mightily to hear read, they being excellently writ and much to the purpose, and yet so as I think I shall make good use of his defence of our present constitution. About four o’clock took coach to visit my cozen Turner, and I out with her to make a visit, but the lady she went to see was abroad. So back and to talk with her and her daughters, and then home, and she and I to walk in the garden, the first time this year, the weather being mighty temperate; and then I to write down my Journall for the last week, my eyes being very bad, and therefore I forced to find a way to use by turns with my tube, one after another, and so home to supper and to bed. Before I went from my office this night I did tell Tom my resolution not to keep him after Jane was gone, but shall do well by him, which pleases him; and I think he will presently marry her, and go away out of my house with her.
15th. Up, and by water with W. Hewer to the Temple; and thence to the Rolls, where I made inquiry for several rolls, and was soon informed in the manner of it: and so spent the whole morning with W. Hewer, he taking little notes in short-hand, while I hired a clerk there to read to me about twelve or more several rolls which I did call for: and it was great pleasure to me to see the method wherein their rolls are kept; that when the Master of the Office, one Mr. Case, do call for them, who is a man that I have heretofore known by coming to my Lord of Sandwich’s, he did most readily turn to them. At noon they shut up; and W. Hewer and I did walk to the Cocke, at the end of Suffolke Streete, where I never was, a great ordinary, mightily cried up, and there bespoke a pullett; which while dressing, he and I walked into St. James’s Park, and thence back, and dined very handsome, with a good soup, and a pullet, for 4s. 6d. the whole. Thence back to the Rolls, and did a little more business: and so by water to White Hall, whither. I went to speak with Mr. Williamson, that if he hath any papers relating to the Navy I might see them, which he promises me: and so by water home, with great content for what I have this day found, having got almost as much as I desire of the history of the Navy, from 1618 to 1642, when the King and Parliament fell out. So home, and did get my wife to read, and so to supper and to bed.
16th. Up, and to the office, after having visited Sir W. Coventry at the Tower, and walked with him upon the Stone Walk, alone, till other company come to him, and had very good discourse with him. At noon home, where my wife and Jane gone abroad, and Tom, in order to their buying of things for their wedding, which, upon my discourse the last night, is now resolved to be done, upon the 26th of this month, the day of my solemnity for my cutting of the stone, when my cozen Turner must be with us. My wife, therefore, not at dinner; and comes to me Mr. Evelyn of Deptford, a worthy good man, and dined with me, but a bad dinner; who is grieved for, and speaks openly to me his thoughts of, the times, and our ruin approaching; and all by the folly of the King. His business to me was about some ground of his, at Deptford, next to the King’s yard: and after dinner we parted. My sister Michell coming also this day to see us, whom I left there, and I away down by water with W. Hewer to Woolwich, where I have not been I think more than a year or two, and here I saw, but did not go on board, my ship “The Jerzy,” she lying at the wharf under repair. But my business was to speak with Ackworth, about some old things and passages in the Navy, for my information therein, in order to my great business now of stating the history of the Navy. This I did; and upon the whole do find that the late times, in all their management, were not more husbandly than we; and other things of good content to me. His wife was sick, and so I could not see her. Thence, after seeing Mr. Sheldon, I to Greenwich by water, and there landed at the King’s house, which goes on slow, but is very pretty.1 I to the Park, there to see the prospect of the hill, to judge of Dancre’s picture, which he hath made thereof for me: and I do like it very well: and it is a very pretty place. Thence to Deptford, but staid not, Uthwayte being out of the way: and so home, and then to the Ship Tavern, Morrice’s, and staid till W. Hewer fetched his uncle Blackburne by appointment to me, to discourse of the business of the Navy in the late times; and he did do it, by giving me a most exact account in writing, of the several turns in the Admiralty and Navy, of the persons employed therein, from the beginning of the King’s leaving the Parliament, to his Son’s coming in, to my great content; and now I am fully informed in all I at present desire. We fell to other talk; and I find by him that the Bishops must certainly fall, and their hierarchy; these people have got so much ground upon the King and kingdom as is not to be got again from them: and the Bishops do well deserve it. But it is all the talk, I find, that Dr. Wilkins, my friend, the Bishop of Chester, shall be removed to Winchester, and be Lord Treasurer. Though this be foolish talk, yet I do gather that he is a mighty rising man, as being a Latitudinarian, and the Duke of Buckingham his great friend. Here we staid talking till to at night, where I did never drink before since this man come to the house, though for his pretty wife’s sake I do fetch my wine from this, whom I could not nevertheless get para see to-night, though her husband did seem to call for her. So parted here and I home, and to supper and to bed.
1 The old palace at Greenwich had just been pulled down, and a new building commenced by Charles II., only one wing of which was completed, at the expense of £36,000, under the auspices of Webb, Inigo Jones’s kinsman and executor. In 1694 the unfinished edifice was granted by William and Mary to trustees for the use and service of a Naval Hospital; and it has been repeatedly enlarged and improved till it has arrived at its present splendour. — B.
17th. Up, and by water to see Mr. Wren, and then Mr. Williamson, who did shew me the very original bookes of propositions made by the Commissioners for the Navy, in 1618, to my great content; but no other Navy papers he could now shew me. Thence to Westminster by water and to the Hall, where Mrs. Michell do surprize me with the news that Doll Lane is suddenly brought to bed at her sister’s lodging, and gives it out that she is married, but there is no such thing certainly, she never mentioning it before, but I have cause to rejoice that I have not seen her a great while, she having several times desired my company, but I doubt to an evil end. Thence to the Exchequer, where W. Hewer come to me, and after a little business did go by water home, and there dined, and took my wife by a hackney to the King’s playhouse, and saw “The Coxcomb,” the first time acted, but an old play, and a silly one, being acted only by the young people. Here met cozen Turner and The. So parted there from them, and home by coach and to my letters at the office, where pretty late, and so to supper and to bed.
18th. Up, and to see Sir W. Coventry, and walked with him a good while in the Stone Walk: and brave discourse about my Lord Chancellor, and his ill managements and mistakes, and several things of the Navy, and thence to the office, where we sat all the morning, and so home to dinner, where my wife mighty finely dressed, by a maid that she hath taken, and is to come to her when Jane goes; and the same she the other day told me of, to be so handsome. I therefore longed to see her, but did not till after dinner, that my wife and I going by coach, she went with us to Holborne, where we set her down. She is a mighty proper maid, and pretty comely, but so so; but hath a most pleasing tone of voice, and speaks handsomely, but hath most great hands, and I believe ugly; but very well dressed, and good clothes, and the maid I believe will please me well enough. Thence to visit Ned Pickering and his lady, and Creed and his wife, but the former abroad, and the latter out of town, gone to my Lady Pickering’s in Northamptonshire, upon occasion of the late death of their brother, Oliver Pickering, a youth, that is dead of the smallpox. So my wife and I to Dancre’s to see the pictures; and thence to Hyde Park, the first time we were there this year, or ever in our own coach, where with mighty pride rode up and down, and many coaches there; and I thought our horses and coach as pretty as any there, and observed so to be by others. Here staid till night, and so home, and to the office, where busy late, and so home to supper and to bed, with great content, but much business in my head of the office, which troubles me.
19th. Up, and by water to White Hall, there to the Lords of the Treasury, and did some business, and here Sir Thomas Clifford did speak to me, as desirous that I would some time come and confer with him about the Navy, which I am glad of, but will take the direction of the Duke of York before I do it, though I would be glad to do something to secure myself, if I could, in my employment. Thence to the plaisterer’s, and took my face, and my Lord Duke of Albemarle’s, home with me by coach, they being done to my mind; and mighty glad I am of understanding this way of having the pictures of any friends. At home to dinner, where Mr. Sheres dined with us, but after dinner I left him and my wife, and with Commissioner Middleton and Kempthorne to a Court-martiall, to which, by virtue of my late Captainship, I am called, the first I was ever at; where many Commanders, and Kempthorne president. Here was tried a difference between Sir L. Van Hemskirke, the Dutch Captain who commands “The Nonsuch,” built by his direction, and his Lieutenant; a drunken kind of silly business. We ordered the Lieutenant to ask him pardon, and have resolved to lay before the Duke of York what concerns the Captain, which was striking of his Lieutenant and challenging him to fight, which comes not within any article of the laws martiall. But upon discourse the other day with Sir W. Coventry, I did advise Middleton, and he and I did forbear to give judgment, but after the debate did withdraw into another cabin, the Court being held in one of the yachts, which was on purpose brought up over against St. Katharine’s, it being to be feared that this precedent of our being made Captains, in order to the trying of the loss of “The Defyance,” wherein we are the proper persons to enquire into the want of instructions while ships do lie in harbour, evil use might be hereafter made of the precedent by putting the Duke of Buckingham, or any of these rude fellows that now are uppermost, to make packed Courts, by Captains made on purpose to serve their turns. The other cause was of the loss of “The Providence” at Tangier, where the Captain’s being by chance on shore may prove very inconvenient to him, for example’s sake, though the man be a good man, and one whom, for Norwood’s sake, I would be kind to; but I will not offer any thing to the excusing such a miscarriage. He is at present confined, till he can bring better proofs on his behalf of the reasons of his being on shore. So Middleton and I away to the Office; and there I late busy, making my people, as I have done lately, to read Mr. Holland’s’ Discourse of the Navy, and what other things I can get to inform me fully in all; and here late, about eight at night, comes Mr. Wren to me, who had been at the Tower to Coventry. He come only to see how matters go, and tells me, as a secret, that last night the Duke of York’s closet was broken open, and his cabinets, and shut again, one of them that the rogue that did it hath left plate and a watch behind him, and therefore they fear that it was only for papers, which looks like a very malicious business in design, to hurt the Duke of York; but they cannot know that till the Duke of York comes to town about the papers, and therefore make no words of it. He gone, I to work again, and then to supper at home, and to bed.
20th. Up, and to the Tower, to W. Coventry, and there walked with him alone, on the Stone Walk, till company come to him; and there about the business of the Navy discoursed with him, and about my Lord Chancellor and Treasurer; that they were against the war [with the Dutch] at first, declaring, as wise men and statesmen, at first to the King, that they thought it fit to have a war with them at some time or other, but that it ought not to be till we found the Crowns of Spain and France together by the Bares, the want of which did ruin our war. But then he told me that, a great deal before the war, my Lord Chancellor did speak of a war with some heat, as a thing to be desired, and did it upon a belief that he could with his speeches make the Parliament give what money he pleased, and do what he would, or would make the King desire; but he found himself soon deceived of the Parliament, they having a long time before his removal been cloyed with his speeches and good words, and were come to hate him. Sir W. Coventry did tell me it, as the wisest thing that ever was said to the King by any statesman of his time, and it was by my Lord Treasurer that is dead, whom, I find, he takes for a very great statesman — that when the King did shew himself forward for passing the Act of Indemnity, he did advise the King that he would hold his hand in doing it, till he had got his power restored, that had been diminished by the late times, and his revenue settled in such a manner as he might depend on himself, without resting upon Parliaments — and then pass it. But my Lord Chancellor, who thought he could have the command of Parliaments for ever, because for the King’s sake they were awhile willing to grant all the King desired, did press for its being done; and so it was, and the King from that time able to do nothing with the Parliament almost. Thence to the office, where sat all the forenoon, and then home to dinner, and so to the office, where late busy, and so home, mightily pleased with the news brought me to-night, that the King and Duke of York are come back this afternoon, and no sooner come, but a warrant was sent to the Tower for the releasing Sir W. Coventry; which do put me in some hopes that there may be, in this absence, some accommodation made between the Duke of York and the Duke of Buckingham and; Arlington. So home, to supper, and to bed.
21st (Lord’s day). Up, and by water over to Southwarke; and then, not getting a boat, I forced to walk to Stangate; and so over to White Hall, in a scull; where up to the Duke of York’s dressing-room, and there met Harry Saville, and understand that Sir W. Coventry is come to his house last night. I understand by Mr. Wren that his friends having, by Secretary Trevor and my Lord Keeper, applied to the King upon his first coming home, and a promise made that he should be discharged this day, my Lord Arlington did anticipate them, by sending a warrant presently for his discharge which looks a little like kindness, or a desire of it; which God send! though I fear the contrary: however, my heart is glad that he is out. Thence up and down the House. Met with Mr. May, who tells me the story of his being put by Sir John Denham’s place, of Surveyor of the King’s Works, who it seems, is lately dead, by the unkindness of the Duke Buckingham, who hath brought in Dr. Wren: though, he tells me, he hath been his servant for twenty years together in all his wants and dangers, saving him from want of bread by his care and management, and with a promise of having his help in his advancement, and an engagement under his hand for £1000 not yet paid, and yet the Duke of Buckingham so ungrateful as to put him by: which is an ill thing, though Dr. Wren is a worthy man. But he tells me that the King is kind to him, and hath promised him a pension of £300 a-year out of the Works; which will be of more content to him than the place, which, under their present wants of money, is a place that disobliges most people, being not able to do what they desire to their lodgings. Here meeting with Sir H. Cholmly and Povy, that tell me that my Lord Middleton is resolved in the Cabal that he shall not go to Tangier; and that Sir Edward Harlow [Harley], whom I know not, is propounded to go, who was Governor of Dunkirke, and, they say, a most worthy brave man, which I shall be very glad of. So by water (H. Russell coming for me) home to dinner, where W. Howe comes to dine with me; and after dinner propounds to me my lending him £500, to help him to purchase a place — the Master of the Patent Office, of Sir Richard Piggott. I did give him a civil answer, but shall think twice of it; and the more, because of the changes we are like to have in the Navy, which will not make it fit for me to divide the little I have left more than I have done, God knowing what my condition is, I having not attended, and now not being able to examine what my state is, of my accounts, and being in the world, which troubles me mightily. He gone, I to the office to enter my journall for a week. News is lately come of the Algerines taking £3000 in money, out of one of our Company’s East India ships, outward bound, which will certainly make the war last; which I am sorry for, being so poor as we are, and broken in pieces. At night my wife to read to me, and then to supper, where Pelling comes to see and sup with us, and I find that he is assisting my wife in getting a licence to our young people to be married this Lent, which is resolved shall be done upon Friday next, my great day, or feast, for my being cut of the stone. So after supper to bed, my eyes being very bad.
22nd. Up, and by water, with W. Newer, to White Hall, there to attend the Lords of the Treasury; but, before they sat, I did make a step to see Sir W. Coventry at his house, where, I bless God! he is come again; but in my way I met him, and so he took me into his coach and carried me to White Hall, and there set me down where he ought not — at least, he hath not yet leave to come, nor hath thought fit to ask it, hearing that Henry Saville is not only denied to kiss the King’s hand, but the King, being asked it by the Duke of York, did deny it, and directed that the Duke shall not receive him, to wait upon him in his chamber, till further orders. Sir W. Coventry told me that he was going to visit Sir John Trevor, who hath been kind to him; and he shewed me a long list of all his friends that he must this week make visits to, that come to visit him in the Tower; and seems mighty well satisfied with his being out of business, but I hope he will not long be so; at least, I do believe that all must go to rat if the King do not come to see the want of such a servant. Thence to the Treasury–Chamber, and there all the morning to my great grief, put to do Sir G. Downing’s work of dividing the Customes for this year, between the Navy, the Ordnance and Tangier: but it did so trouble my eyes, that I had rather have given £20 than have had it to do; but I did thereby oblige Sir Thomas Clifford and Sir J. Duncombe, and so am glad of the opportunity to recommend myself to the former for the latter I need not, he loving me well already. At it till noon, here being several of my brethren with me but doing nothing, but I all. But this day I did also represent to our Treasurers, which was read here, a state of the charge of the Navy, and what the expence of it this year would likely be; which is done so as it will appear well done and to my honour, for so the Lords did take it: and I oblige the Treasurers by doing it, at their request. Thence with W. Hewer at noon to Unthanke’s, where my wife stays for me and so to the Cocke, where there was no room, and thence to King Street, to several cook’s shops, where nothing to be had; and at last to the corner shop, going down Ivy Lane, by my Lord of Salisbury’s, and there got a good dinner, my wife, and W. Newer, and I: and after dinner she, with her coach, home; and he and I to look over my papers for the East India Company, against the afternoon: which done, I with them to White Hall, and there to the Treasury–Chamber, where the East India Company and three Councillors pleaded against me alone, for three or four hours, till seven at night, before the Lords; and the Lords did give me the conquest on behalf of the King, but could not come to any conclusion, the Company being stiff: and so I think we shall go to law with them. This done, and my eyes mighty bad with this day’s work, I to Mr. Wren’s, and then up to the Duke of York, and there with Mr. Wren did propound to him my going to Chatham tomorrow with Commissioner Middleton, and so this week to make the pay there, and examine the business of “The Defyance” being lost, and other businesses, which I did the rather, that I might be out of the way at the wedding, and be at a little liberty myself for a day, or two, to find a little pleasure, and give my eyes a little ease. The Duke of York mightily satisfied with it; and so away home, where my wife troubled at my being so late abroad, poor woman! though never more busy, but I satisfied her; and so begun to put things in order for my journey tomorrow, and so, after supper, to bed.
23rd. Up, and to my office to do a little business there, and so, my things being all ready, I took coach with Commissioner Middleton, Captain Tinker, and Mr. Huchinson, a hackney coach, and over the bridge, and so out towards Chatham, and; dined at Dartford, where we staid an hour or two, it being a cold day; and so on, and got to Chatham just at night, with very good discourse by the way, but mostly of matters of religion, wherein Huchinson his vein lies. After supper, we fell to talk of spirits and apparitions, whereupon many pretty, particular stories were told, so as to make me almost afeard to lie alone, but for shame I could not help it; and so to bed and, being sleepy, fell soon to rest, and so rested well.
24th. Up, and walked abroad in the garden, and find that Mrs. Tooker has not any of her daughters here as I expected and so walked to the yard, leaving Middleton at the pay, and there I only walked up and down the yard, and then to the Hill–House, and there did give order for the coach to be made ready; and got Mr. Gibson, whom I carried with me, to go with me and Mr. Coney, the surgeon, towards Maydston which I had a mighty mind to see, and took occasion, in my way, at St. Margett’s, to pretend to call to see Captain Allen to see whether Mrs. Jowles, his daughter, was there; and there his wife come to the door, he being at London, and through a window, I spied Jowles, but took no notice of he but made excuse till night, and then promised to come and see Mrs. Allen again, and so away, it being a mighty cold and windy, but clear day; and had the pleasure of seeing the Medway running, winding up and down mightily, and a very fine country; and I went a little out of the way to have visited Sir John Bankes, but he at London; but here I had a sight of his seat and house, the outside, which is an old abbey just like Hinchingbroke, and as good at least, and mighty finely placed by the river; and he keeps the grounds about it, and walls and the house, very handsome: I was mightily pleased with the sight of it. Thence to Maydstone, which I had a mighty mind to see, having never been there; and walked all up and down the town, and up to the top of the steeple, and had a noble view, and then down again: and in the town did see an old man beating of flax, and did step into the barn and give him money, and saw that piece of husbandry which I never saw, and it is very pretty: in the street also I did buy and send to our inne, the Bell, a dish of fresh fish. And so, having walked all round the town, and found it very pretty, as most towns I ever saw, though not very big, and people of good fashion in it, we to our inne to dinner, and had a good dinner; and after dinner a barber come to me, and there trimmed me, that I might be clean against night, to go to Mrs. Allen. And so, staying till about four o’clock, we set out, I alone in the coach going and coming; and in our way back, I ‘light out of the way to see a Saxon monument,1 as they say, of a King, which is three stones standing upright, and a great round one lying on them, of great bigness, although not so big as those on Salisbury Plain; but certainly it is a thing of great antiquity, and I mightily glad to see it; it is near to Aylesford, where Sir John Bankes lives. So homeward, and stopped again at Captain Allen’s, and there ‘light, and sent the coach and Gibson home, and I and Coney staid; and there comes to us Mrs. Jowles, who is a very fine, proper lady, as most I know, and well dressed. Here was also a gentleman, one Major Manly, and his wife, neighbours; and here we staid, and drank, and talked, and set Coney and him to play while Mrs. Jowles and I to talk, and there had all our old stories up, and there I had the liberty to salute her often, and pull off her glove, where her hand mighty moist, and she mighty free in kindness to me, and je do not at all doubt that I might have had that that I would have desired de elle had I had time to have carried her to Cobham, as she, upon my proposing it, was very willing to go, for elle is a whore, that is certain, but a very brave and comely one. Here was a pretty cozen of hers come in to supper also, of a great fortune, daughter-inlaw to this Manly, mighty pretty, but had now such a cold, she could not speak. Here mightily pleased with Mrs. Jowles, and did get her to the street door, and there to her su breasts, and baiser her without any force, and credo that I might have had all else, but it was not time nor place. Here staid till almost twelve at night, and then with a lanthorn from thence walked over the fields, as dark as pitch, and mighty cold, and snow, to Chatham, and Mr. Coney with great kindness to me: and there all in bed before I come home, and so I presently to bed.
1 Kits–Cotty House, a cromlech in Aylesford parish, Kent, on a hillside adjacent to the river Medway, three and a half miles N. by W. of Maidstone. It consists of three upright stones and an overlying one, and forms a small chamber open in front. It is supposed to have been the centre of a group of monuments indicating the burial-place of the Belgian settlers in this part of Britain. Other stones of a similar character exist in the neighbourhood.
25th. Up, and by and by, about eight o’clock, come Rear–Admiral Kempthorne and seven Captains more, by the Duke of York’s order, as we expected, to hold the Court-martiall about the loss of “The Defyance;” and so presently we by boat to “The Charles,” which lies over against Upnor Castle, and there we fell to the business; and there I did manage the business, the Duke of York having, by special order, directed them to take the assistance of Commissioner Middleton and me, forasmuch as there might be need of advice in what relates to the government of the ships in harbour. And so I did lay the law open to them, and rattle the Master Attendants out of their wits almost; and made the trial last till seven at night, not eating a bit all the day; only when we had done examination, and I given my thoughts that the neglect of the Gunner of the ship was as great as I thought any neglect could be, which might by the law deserve death, but Commissioner Middleton did declare that he was against giving the sentence of death, we withdrew, as not being of the Court, and so left them to do what they pleased; and, while they were debating it, the Boatswain of the ship did bring us out of the kettle a piece of hot salt beef, and some brown bread and brandy; and there we did make a little meal, but so good as I never would desire to eat better meat while I live, only I would have cleaner dishes. By and by they had done, and called us down from the quarterdeck; and there we find they do sentence that the Gunner of “The Defyance” should stand upon “The Charles” three hours with his fault writ upon his breast, and with a halter about his neck, and so be made incapable of any office. The truth is, the man do seem, and is, I believe, a good man; but his neglect, in trusting a girl to carry fire into his cabin, is not to be pardoned. This being done, we took boat and home; and there a good supper was ready for us, which should have been our dinner. The Captains, desirous to be at London, went away presently for Gravesend, to get thither by this night’s tide; and so we to supper, it having been a great snowy and mighty cold, foul day; and so after supper to bed.
26th. Up, and with Middleton all the morning at the Docke, looking over the storehouses and Commissioner Pett’s house, in order to Captain Cox’s coming to live there in his stead, as Commissioner. But it is a mighty pretty house; and pretty to see how every thing is said to be out of repair for this new man, though £10 would put it into as good condition in every thing as it ever was in, so free every body is of the King’s money. By and by to Mr. Wilson’s, and there drank, but did not see his wife, nor any woman in the yard, and so to dinner at the Hill–House; and after dinner, till eight at night, close, Middleton and I, examining the business of Mr. Pett, about selling a boat, and we find him a very knave; and some other quarrels of his, wherein, to justify himself, he hath made complaints of others. This being done, we to supper, and so to talk, Commissioner Middleton being mighty good company upon a journey, and so to bed, thinking how merry my people are at this time, putting Tom and Jane to bed, being to have been married this day, it being also my feast for my being cut of the stone, but how many years I do not remember, but I think it to be about ten or eleven.
27th. Up, and did a little business, Middleton and I, then; after drinking a little buttered ale, he and Huchinson and: I took coach, and, exceeding merry in talk, to Dartford: Middleton finding stories of his own life at Barbadoes, and up and down at Venice, and elsewhere, that are mighty pretty, and worth hearing; and he is a strange good companion, and; droll upon the road, more than ever I could have thought to have been in him. Here we dined and met Captain Allen of Rochester, who dined with us, and so went on his journey homeward, and we by and by took coach again and got home about six at night, it being all the morning as cold, snowy, windy, and rainy day, as any in the whole winter past, but pretty clear in the afternoon. I find all well, but my wife abroad with Jane, who was married yesterday, and I to the office busy, till by and by my wife comes home, and so home, and there hear how merry they were yesterday, and I glad at it, they being married, it seems, very handsomely, at Islington; and dined at the old house, and lay in our blue chamber, with much company, and wonderful merry. The Turner and Mary Batelier bridesmaids, and Talbot Pepys and W. Hewer bridesmen. Anon to supper and to bed, my head a little troubled with the muchness of the business I have upon me at present. So to bed.
28th (Lord’s day). Lay long talking with pleasure with my wife, and so up and to the Office with Tom, who looks mighty smug upon his marriage, as Jane also do, both of whom I did give joy, and so Tom and I at work at the Office all the morning, till dinner, and then dined, W. Batelier with us; and so after dinner to work again, and sent for Gibson, and kept him also till eight at night, doing much business. And so, that being done, and my journal writ, my eyes being very bad, and every day worse and worse, I fear: but I find it most certain that stronge drinks do make my eyes sore, as they have done heretofore always; for, when I was in the country, when my eyes were at the best, their stronge beere would make my eyes sore: so home to supper, and by and by to bed.
29th. Up, and by water to White Hall; and there to the Duke of York, to shew myself, after my journey to Chatham, but did no business today with him: only after gone from him, I to Sir T. Clifford’s; and there, after an hour’s waiting, he being alone in his closet, I did speak with him, and give him the account he gave me to draw up, and he did like it very well: and then fell to talk of the business of the Navy and giving me good words, did fall foul of the constitution [of the Board], and did then discover his thoughts, that Sir J. Minnes was too old, and so was Colonel Middleton, and that my Lord Brouncker did mind his mathematics too much. I did not give much encouragement to that of finding fault with my fellow-officers; but did stand up for the constitution, and did say that what faults there were in our Office would be found not to arise from the constitution, but from the failures of the officers in whose hands it was. This he did seem to give good ear to; but did give me of myself very good words, which pleased me well, though I shall not build upon them any thing. Thence home; and after dinner by water with Tom down to Greenwich, he reading to me all the way, coming and going, my collections out of the Duke of York’s old manuscript of the Navy, which I have bound up, and do please me mightily. At Greenwich I come to Captain Cocke’s, where the house full of company, at the burial of James Temple, who, it seems, hath been dead these five days here I had a very good ring, which I did give my wife as soon as I come home. I spent my time there walking in the garden, talking with James Pierce, who tells me that he is certain that the Duke of Buckingham had been with his wenches all the time that he was absent, which was all the last week, nobody knowing where he was. The great talk is of the King’s being hot of late against Conventicles, and to see whether the Duke of Buckingham’s being returned will turn the King, which will make him very popular: and some think it is his plot to make the King thus, to shew his power in the making him change his mind. But Pierce did tell me that the King did certainly say, that he that took one stone from the Church, did take two from his Crown. By and by the corpse come out; and I, with Sir Richard Browne and Mr. Evelyn, in their coach to the church, where Mr. Plume preached. But I, in the midst of the sermon, did go out, and walked all alone, round to Deptford, thinking para have seen the wife of Bagwell, which I did at her door, but I could not conveniently go into her house, and so lost my labour: and so to the King’s Yard, and there my boat by order met me; and home, where I made my boy to finish the my manuscript, and so to supper and to bed my new chamber-maid, that comes in the room of Jane; is come, Jane and Tom lying at their own lodging this night: the new maid’s name is Matt, a proper and very comely maid . . . This day also our cook-maid Bridget went away, which I was sorry for; but, just at her going she was found to be a thief, and so I was the less trouble for it; but now our whole house will, in a manner, be new which, since Jane is gone, I am not at all sorry for, for that my late differences with my wife about poor Deb. will not be remembered. So to bed after supper, and to sleep with great content.
30th. Up, and to Sir W. Coventry, to see and discourse with him; and he tells me that he hath lately been with my Lord Keeper, and had much discourse about the Navy; and particularly he tells me that he finds they are divided touching me and my Lord Brouncker; some are for removing; and some for keeping us. He told my Lord Keeper that it would cost the King £10,000 before he hath made another as fit to serve him in the Navy as I am; which, though I believe it is true, yet I am much pleased to have that character given me by W. Coventry, whatever be the success of it. But I perceive they do think that I know too much, and shall impose upon whomever shall come next, and therefore must be removed, though he tells me that Sir T. Clifford is inclined well enough to me, and Sir T. Osborne; by what I have lately done, I suppose. This news do a little trouble me, but yet, when I consider it, it is but what I ought not to be much troubled for, considering my incapacity, in regard to my eyes, to continue long at this work, and this when I think of and talk with my wife do make me the less troubled for it. After some talk of the business of the navy more with him, I away and to the Office, where all the morning; and Sir W. Pen, the first time that he hath been here since his being last sick, which, I think, is two or three months; and I think will be the last that he will be here as one of the Board, he now inviting us all to dine with him, as a parting dinner, on Thursday next, which I am glad of, I am sure; for he is a very villain. At noon home to dinner, where, and at the office, all the afternoon, troubled at what I have this morning heard, at least my mind full of thoughts upon it, and so at night after supper to bed.
31st. Up, and by water to Sir W. Coventry’s, there to talk with him about business of the Navy, and received from him direction what to advise the Duke of York at this time, which was, to submit and give way to the King’s naming a man or two, that the people about him have a mind should be brought into the Navy, and perhaps that may stop their fury in running further against the whole; and this, he believes, will do it. After much discourse with him, I walked out with him into St. James’s Park, where, being afeard to be seen with him, he having not leave yet to kiss the King’s hand, but notice taken, as I hear, of all that go to him, I did take the pretence of my attending the Tangier Committee, to take my leave, though to serve him I should, I think, stick at nothing. At the Committee, this morning, my Lord Middleton declares at last his being ready to go, as soon as ever money can be made ready to pay the garrison: and so I have orders to get money, but how soon I know not. Thence home, and there find Mr Sheres, for whom I find my moher of late to talk with mighty kindness; and particularly he hath shewn himself to be a poet, and that she do mightily value him for. He did not stay to dine with us, but we to dinner; and then, in the afternoon, my wife being very well dressed by her new maid, we abroad, to make a visit to Mrs. Pickering; but she abroad again, and so we never yet saw her. Thence to Dancre’s, and there, saw our pictures which are in doing; and I did choose a view of Rome instead of Hampton Court; and mightily pleased I shall be in them. Here were Sir Charles Cotterell and his son bespeaking something; both ingenious men. Thence my wife and I to the Park; and pretty store of company; and so home with great content the month, my mind in pretty good content for all things, but the designs on foot to bring alterations in the Office, which troubles me.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59