September 1st. Up betimes at my lodging and to my office and among my workmen, and then with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen by coach to St. James’s, this being the first day of our meeting there by the Duke’s order; but when we come, we found him going out by coach with his Duchess, and he told us he was to go abroad with the Queen today (to Durdans, it seems, to dine with my Lord Barkeley, where I have been very merry when I was a little boy); so we went and staid a little at Mr. Coventry’s chamber, and I to my Lord Sandwich’s, who is gone to wait upon the King and Queen today. And so Mr. Paget being there, Will Howe and I and he played over some things of Locke’s that we used to play at sea, that pleased us three well, it being the first music I have heard a great while, so much has my business of late taken me off from all my former delights. By and by by water home, and there dined alone, and after dinner with my brother Tom’s two men I removed all my goods out of Sir W. Pen’s house into one room that I have with much ado got ready at my house, and so I am to be quit of any further obligation to him. So to my office, but missing my key, which I had in my hand just now, makes me very angry and out of order, it being a thing that I hate in others, and more in myself, to be careless of keys, I thinking another not fit to be trusted that leaves a key behind their hole. One thing more vexes me: my wife writes me from the country that her boy plays the rogue there, and she is weary of him, and complains also of her maid Sarah, of which I am also very sorry. Being thus out of temper, I could do little at my office, but went home and eat a bit, and so to my lodging to bed.
2nd. Up betimes and got myself ready alone, and so to my office, my mind much troubled for my key that I lost yesterday, and so to my workmen and put them in order, and so to my office, and we met all the morning, and then dined at Sir W. Batten’s with Sir W. Pen, and so to my office again all the afternoon, and in the evening wrote a letter to Mr. Cooke, in the country, in behalf of my brother Tom, to his mistress, it being the first of my appearing in it, and if she be as Tom sets her out, it may be very well for him. So home and eat a bit, and so to my lodging to bed.
3rd. Up betimes, but now the days begin to shorten, and so whereas I used to rise by four o’clock, it is not broad daylight now till after five o’clock, so that it is after five before I do rise. To my office, and about 8 o’clock I went over to Redriffe, and walked to Deptford, where I found Mr. Coventry and Sir W. Pen beginning the pay, it being my desire to be there today because it is the first pay that Mr. Coventry has been at, and I would be thought to be as much with Mr. Coventry as I can. Here we staid till noon, and by that time paid off the Breda, and then to dinner at the tavern, where I have obtained that our commons is not so large as they used to be, which I am glad to see. After dinner by water to the office, and there we met and sold the Weymouth, Successe, and Fellowship hulkes, where pleasant to see how backward men are at first to bid; and yet when the candle is going out, how they bawl and dispute afterwards who bid the most first. And here I observed one man cunninger than the rest that was sure to bid the last man, and to carry it; and inquiring the reason, he told me that just as the flame goes out the smoke descends, which is a thing I never observed before, and by that he do know the instant when to bid last, which is very pretty. In our discourse in the boat Mr. Coventry told us how the Fanatiques and the Presbyters, that did intend to rise about this time, did choose this day as the most auspicious to them in their endeavours against monarchy: it being fatal twice to the King, and the day of Oliver’s death.1 But, blessed be God! all is likely to be quiet, I hope. After the sale I walked to my brother’s, in my way meeting with Dr. Fairbrother, of whom I enquired what news in Church matters. He tells me, what I heard confirmed since, that it was fully resolved by the King’s new Council that an indulgence should be granted the Presbyters; but upon the Bishop of London’s speech2 (who is now one of the most powerful men in England with the King), their minds were wholly turned. And it is said that my Lord Albemarle did oppose him most; but that I do believe is only in appearance. He told me also that most of the Presbyters now begin to wish they had complied, now they see that no Indulgence will be granted them, which they hoped for; and that the Bishop of London hath taken good care that places are supplied with very good and able men, which is the only thing that will keep all quiet. I took him in the tavern at Puddle dock, but neither he nor I drank any of the wine we called for, but left it, and so after discourse parted, and Mr. Townsend not being at home I went to my brother’s, and there heard how his love matter proceeded, which do not displease me, and so by water to White Hall to my Lord’s lodgings, where he being to go to Hinchingbroke tomorrow morning, I staid and fiddled with Will. Howe some new tunes very pleasant, and then my Lord came in and had much kind talk with him, and then to bed with Mr. Moore there alone. So having taken my leave of my Lord before I went to bed, I resolved to rise early and be gone without more speaking to him —
1 Cromwell had considered the 3rd of September as the most fortunate day of his life, on account of his victories at Dunbar and Worcester. It was also remarkable for the great storm that occurred at the time of his death; and as being the day on which the Fire of London, in 1666, burnt with the greatest fury. — B.
2 Gilbert Sheldon, born July 19th, 1598; Fellow of All Souls, Oxford, 1622; Warden, 1635; Bishop of London, 1660–63; Archbishop of Canterbury, 1663. Died November 9th, 1677.
4th. Which I did, and by water betimes to the Tower and so home, where I shifted myself, being to dine abroad, and so being also trimmed, which is a thing I have very seldom done of late, I gat to my office and then met and sit all the morning, and at noon we all to the Trinity House, where we treated, very dearly, I believe, the officers of the Ordnance; where was Sir W. Compton and the rest and the Lieutenant of the Tower. We had much and good music, which was my best entertainment. Sir Wm. Compton I heard talk with great pleasure of the difference between the fleet now and in Queen Elisabeth’s days; where, in 88, she had but 36 sail great and small, in the world; and ten rounds of powder was their allowance at that time against the Spaniard. After Sir W. Compton and Mr. Coventry, and some of the best of the rest were gone, I grew weary of staying with Sir Williams both, and the more for that my Lady Batten and her crew, at least half a score, come into the room, and I believe we shall pay size for it; but ’tis very pleasant to see her in her hair under her hood, and how by little and little she would fain be a gallant; but, Lord! the company she keeps about her are like herself, that she may be known by them what she is. Being quite weary I stole from them and to my office, where I did business till 9 at night, and so to my lodgings to bed.
5th. Up by break of day at 5 o’clock, and down by water to Woolwich: in my way saw the yacht lately built by our virtuosoes (my Lord Brunkard and others, with the help of Commissioner Pett also) set out from Greenwich with the little Dutch bezan, to try for mastery; and before they got to Woolwich the Dutch beat them half-a-mile (and I hear this afternoon, that, in coming home, it got above three miles); which all our people are glad of. Here I staid and mustered the yard and looked into the storehouses; and so walked all alone to Greenwich, and thence by water to Deptford, and there examined some stores, and did some of my own business in hastening my work there, and so walked to Redriffe, being by this time pretty weary and all in a sweat; took boat there for the Tower, which made me a little fearful, it being a cold, windy morning. So to my lodgings and there rubbed myself clean, and so to Mr. Bland’s, the merchant, by invitation, I alone of all our company of this office; where I found all the officers of the Customs, very grave fine gentlemen, and I am very glad to know them; viz. — Sir Job Harvy, Sir John Wolstenholme, Sir John Jacob, Sir Nicholas Crisp, Sir John Harrison, and Sir John Shaw: very good company. And among other pretty discourse, some was of Sir Jerom Bowes, Embassador from Queene Elizabeth to the Emperor of Russia;1 who, because some of the noblemen there would go up the stairs to the Emperor before him, he would not go up till the Emperor had ordered those two men to be dragged down stairs, with their heads knocking upon every stair till they were killed. And when he was come up, they demanded his sword of him before he entered the room. He told them, if they would have his sword, they should have his boots too. And so caused his boots to be pulled off, and his night-gown and night-cap and slippers to be sent for; and made the Emperor stay till he could go in his night-dress, since he might not go as a soldier. And lastly, when the Emperor in contempt, to show his command of his subjects, did command one to leap from the window down and broke his neck in the sight of our Embassador, he replied that his mistress did set more by, and did make better use of the necks of her subjects but said that, to show what her subjects would do for her, he would, and did, fling down his gantlett before the Emperor; and challenged all the nobility there to take it up, in defence of the Emperor against his Queen: for which, at this very day, the name of Sir Jerom Bowes is famous and honoured there. After dinner I came home and found Sir John Minnes come this day, and I went to him to Sir W. Batten’s, where it pleased me to see how jealous Sir Williams both are of my going down to Woolwich, &c., and doing my duty as I nowadays do, and of my dining with the Commission of the Customs. So to my office, and there till 9 at night, and so to my lodgings to bed. I this day heard that Mr. Martin Noell is knighted by the King, which I much wonder at; but yet he is certainly a very useful man.
1 In 1583; the object of his mission being to persuade the Muscovite (Ivan IV. the Terrible) to a peace with John, King of Sweden. He was also employed to confirm the trade of the English with Russia, and having incurred some personal danger, was received with favour on his return by the Queen. He died in 1616.
6th. Lay long, that is, till 6 and past before I rose, in order to sweat a little away the cold which I was afraid I might have got yesterday, but I bless God I am well. So up and to my office, and then we met and sat till noon, very full of business. Then Sir John Minnes, both Sir Williams and I to the Trinity House, where we had at dinner a couple of venison pasties, of which I eat but little, being almost cloyed, having been at five pasties in three days, namely, two at our own feast, and one yesterday, and two today. So home and at the office all the afternoon, busy till nine at night, and so to my lodging and to bed. This afternoon I had my new key and the lock of my office door altered, having lost my key the other day, which vexed me.
7th (Lord’s day). Up betimes and round about by the streets to my office, and walked in the garden and in my office till my man Will rose, and then sent to tell Sir J. Minnes that I would go with him to Whitehall, which anon we did, in his coach, and to the Chapell, where I heard a good sermon of the Dean of Ely’s, upon returning to the old ways, and a most excellent anthem, with symphonys between, sung by Captain Cooke. Then home with Mr. Fox and his lady; and there dined with them, where much company come to them. Most of our discourse was what ministers are flung out that will not conform: and the care of the Bishop of London that we are here supplied with very good men. Thence to my Lord’s, where nobody at home but a woman that let me in, and Sarah above, whither I went up to her and played and talked with her . . . After I had talked an hour or two with her I went and gave Mr. Hunt a short visit, he being at home alone, and thence walked homewards, and meeting Mr. Pierce, the chyrurgeon, he took me into Somersett House; and there carried me into the Queen–Mother’s presence-chamber, where she was with our own Queen sitting on her left hand (whom I did never see before); and though she be not very charming, yet she hath a good, modest, and innocent look, which is pleasing. Here I also saw Madam Castlemaine, and, which pleased me most, Mr. Crofts, the King’s bastard, a most pretty spark of about 15 years old, who, I perceive, do hang much upon my Lady Castlemaine, and is always with her; and, I hear, the Queens both of them are mighty kind to him.1 By and by in comes the King, and anon the Duke and his Duchess; so that, they being all together, was such a sight as I never could almost have happened to see with so much ease and leisure. They staid till it was dark, and then went away; the King and his Queen, and my Lady Castlemaine and young Crofts, in one coach and the rest in other, coaches. Here were great store of great ladies, but very few handsome. The King and Queen were very merry; and he would have made the Queen–Mother believe that his Queen was with child, and said that she said so. And the young Queen answered, “You lye;” which was the first English word that I ever heard her say which made the King good sport; and he would have taught her to say in English, “Confess and be hanged.” The company being gone I walked home with great content as I can be in for seeing the greatest rarity, and yet a little troubled that I should see them before my wife’s coming home, I having made a promise that I would not, nor did I do it industriously and by design, but by chance only. To my office, to fit myself for waiting on the Duke tomorrow morning with the rest of our company, and so to my lodgings and to bed.
1 James, the son of Charles II. by Lucy Walter, daughter of William Walter, of Roch Castle, co. Pembroke. He was born April 9th, 1649, and landed in England with the Queen–Mother, July 28th, 1662, when he bore the name of Crofts, after Lord Crofts, his governor. He was created Duke of Monmouth, February 14th, 1663, and married Lady Anne Scott, daughter and heiress of Francis, second Earl of Buccleuch, on April 20th following. In 1673 he took the name of Scott, and was created Duke of Buccleuch.
8th. Up betimes and to my office preparing an account to give the Duke this morning of what we have of late done at the office. About 7 o’clock I went forth thinking to go along with Sir John Minnes and the rest, and I found them gone, which did vex me, so I went directly to the old Swan and took boat before them to Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings at Whitehall, and there staying till he was dressed talking with him, he and I to St. James’s, where Sir Williams both and Sir John were come, and so up with Mr. Coventry to the Duke; who, after he was out of his bed, did send for us in; and, when he was quite ready, took us into his closet, and there told us that he do intend to renew the old custom for the Admirals to have their principal officers to meet them once a-week, to give them an account what they have done that week; which I am glad of: and so the rest did tell his Royal Highness that I could do it best for the time past. And so I produced my short notes, and did give him an account of all that we have of late done; and proposed to him several things for his commands, which he did give us, and so dismissed us. The rest to Deptford, I to the Exchequer to meet Mr. Townsend, where I hear he is gone to the Sun tavern, and there found him with some friends at breakfast, which I eat with him, and so we crossed the water together, and in walking I told him my brother Tom’s intentions for a wife, which he would do me all favour in to Mr. Young, whose kinswoman he do look after. We took boat again at the Falcon, and there parted, and I to the old Swan, and so to the Change, and there meeting Sir W. Warren did step to a tavern, and there sat and talked about price of masts and other things, and so broke up and to my office to see what business, and so we took water again, and at the Tower I over to Redriffe, and there left him in the boat and walked to Deptford, and there up and down the yard speaking with people, and so Sir W. Pen coming out of the payhouse did single me out to tell me Sir J. Minnes’ dislike of my blinding his lights over his stairs (which indeed is very bad) and blocking up the house of office on the leads. Which did trouble me. So I went into the payhouse and took an occasion of speaking with him alone, and did give him good satisfaction therein, so as that I am well pleased and do hope now to have my closet on the leads without any more trouble, for he do not object against my having a door upon the leads, but that all my family should not make it a thoroughfare, which I am contented with. So to the pay, and in the evening home in the barge, and so to my office, and after doing some business there to my lodgings, and so to bed.
9th. At my office betimes, and by and by we sat, and at noon Mr. Coventry, Sir J. Minnes, Mr. Pett, and myself by water to Deptford, where we met Sir G. C., Sir W. B., and Sir W. P. At the pay of a ship, and we dined together on a haunch of good venison boiled, and after dinner returned again to the office, and there met several tradesmen by our appointment to know of them their lowest rates that they will take for their several provisions that they sell to us, for I do resolve to know that, and to buy no dearer, that so when we know the lowest rate, it shall be the Treasurer’s fault, and not ours, that we pay dearer. This afternoon Sir John Minnes, Mr. Coventry, and I went into Sir John’s lodgings, where he showed us how I have blinded all his lights, and stopped up his garden door, and other things he takes notice of that he resolves to abridge me of, which do vex me so much that for all this evening and all night in my bed, so great a fool I am, and little master of my passion, that I could not sleep for the thoughts of my losing the privilege of the leads, and other things which in themselves are small and not worth half the trouble. The more fool am I, and must labour against it for shame, especially I that used to preach up Epictetus’s rule:1 Late at my office, troubled in mind, and then to bed, but could hardly sleep at night.
1 “Some things are in our power, others are not” Pepys means, “I ought not to vex myself about what I cannot control.”
10th. Up and to my house, and there contrived a way how Sir John Minnes shall come into the leads, and yet I save part of the closet I hoped for, which, if it will not please him, I am a madman to be troubled at it. To my office, and then at my house among my lazy workmen all day. In the afternoon to the Wardrobe to speak with Mr. Townsend, who tells me that he has spoke with Mr. Young about my brother Tom’s business, and finds that he has made enquiry of him, and do hear him so well spoken of that he doubts not that the business will take with ordinary endeavours. So to my brother’s, and there finding both door and hatch open, I went in and knocked 3 or 4 times, and nobody came to me, which troubled me mightily; at last came Margaret, who complained of Peter, who by and by came in, and I did rattle him soundly for it. I did afterwards take occasion to talk seriously alone with Margaret, who I find a very discreet, good woman, and tells me, upon my demand, that her master is a very good husband, and minds his business well, but his fault is that he has not command over his two men, but they do what they list, and care not for his commands, and especially on Sundays they go whither they please, and not to church, which vexes me mightily, and I am resolved to school [him] soundly for it, it being so much unlike my father, that I cannot endure it in myself or him. So walked home and in my way at the Exchange found my uncle Wight, and he and I to an alehouse to drink a cup of beer, and so away, and I home and at the office till 9 o’clock and past, and so to my lodgings. I forgot that last night Mr. Cooke came to me to make his peace for inviting my brother lately out of town without my leave, but he do give me such a character of the lady that he has found out for him that I do much rejoice at, and did this night write a letter to her, which he enclosed in one of his, and by the report that I hear of her I confess I am much pleased with the match.
11th. Up, but not so soon as I have of late practised, my little trouble of mind and the shortness of the days making me to lie a little longer than I used to do, but I must make it up by sitting up longer of nights. To my office, whither my brother Tom, whom I chide sufficiently for yesterday’s work. So we sat at the office all the morning, some of us at Deptford paying the ordinary there; at noon Sir W. Pen took me to his lodgings to dinner, and after dinner I to my office again, and now and then to see how my work goes on, and so to my office late, and so to my lodgings, and after staying up till past 12 at night, at my musique upon my lute, to bed. This night Tom came to show me a civil letter sent him from his mistress. I am pleased well enough with the business.
12th. Up betimes and to my office, and up to my workmen, which goes on slowly and troubles me much. Besides, my mind is troubled till I see how Sir John Minnes will carry himself to me about my lodgings, for all my fear is that he will get my best chamber from me, for as for the leads I care not a farthing for them. At my office all the morning, Mr. Lewes teaching me to understand the method of making up Purser’s accounts, which is very needful for me and very hard. Dined at home all in dirt, and my mind weary of being thus out of order, but I hope in God it will away, but for the present I am very melancholy, as I have been a great while. All the afternoon till 9 at night at my office, and then home and eat an egg or two, and so to my lodgings and to bed. This day, by letters from my father, I hear that Captain Ferrers, who is with my Lord in the country, was at Brampton (with Mr. Creed) to see him; and that a day or two ago, being provoked to strike one of my Lord’s footmen, the footman drew his sword, and hath almost cut the fingers of one of his hands off; which I am sorry for: but this is the vanity of being apt to command and strike.
13th. Up betimes and to my office, and we sat all the morning, and then at noon dined alone at home, and so among my work folks studying how to get my way sure to me to go upon the leads, which I fear at last I must be contented to go without, but, however, my mind is troubled still about it. We met again in the afternoon to set accounts even between the King and the masters of ships hired to carry provisions to Lisbon, and in the evening Mr. Moore came to me and did lie with me at my lodgings. It is great pleasure to me his company and discourse, and did talk also about my law business, which I must now fall upon minding again, the term coming on apace. So to bed.
14th (Lord’s day). Up very early, and Mr. Moore taking leave of me the barber came and trimmed me (I having him now to come to me again after I have used a pumice-stone a good while, not but what I like this where I cannot conveniently have a barber, but here I cannot keep my hair dry without one), and so by water to White Hall, by the way hearing that the Bishop of London had given a very strict order against boats going on Sundays, and as I come back again, we were examined by the masters of the company in another boat; but I told them who I was. But the door not being open to Westminster stairs there, called in at the Legg and drank a cup of ale and a toast, which I have not done many a month before, but it served me for my two glasses of wine today. Thence to St. James’s to Mr. Coventry, and there staid talking privately with him an hour in his chamber of the business of our office, and found him to admiration good and industrious, and I think my most true friend in all things that are fair. He tells me freely his mind of every man and in every thing. Thence to White Hall chapel, where sermon almost done, and I heard Captain Cooke’s new musique. This the first day of having vialls and other instruments to play a symphony between every verse of the anthem; but the musique more full than it was the last Sunday, and very fine it is.1 But yet I could discern Captain Cooke to overdo his part at singing, which I never did before. Thence up into the Queen’s presence, and there saw the Queen again as I did last Sunday, and some fine ladies with her; but, my troth, not many. Thence to Sir G. Carteret’s, and find him to have sprained his foot and is lame, but yet hath been at chappell, and my Lady much troubled for one of her daughters that is sick. I dined with them, and a very pretty lady, their kinswoman, with them. My joy is, that I do think I have good hold on Sir George and Mr. Coventry. Sir George told me of a chest of drawers that were given Sir W. B. by Hughes the rope-maker, whom he has since put out of his employment, and now the fellow do cry out upon Sir W. for his cabinet. So home again by water and to church, and from church Sir Williams both and Sir John Minnes into the garden, and anon Sir W. Pen and I did discourse about my lodgings and Sir J. Minnes, and I did open all my mind to him, and he told me what he had heard, and I do see that I shall hardly keep my best lodging chamber, which troubles me, but I did send for Goodenough the plasterer, who tells me that it did ever belong to my lodgings, but lent by Mr. Payles to Mr. Smith, and so I will strive hard for it before I lose it. So to supper with them at Sir W. Batten’s, and do counterfeit myself well pleased, but my heart is troubled and offended at the whole company. So to my office to prepare notes to read to the Duke tomorrow morning, and so to my lodgings and to bed, my mind a little eased because I am resolved to know the worst concerning my lodgings tomorrow. Among other things Sir W. Pen did tell me of one of my servants looking into Sir J. Minnes’ window when my Lady Batten lay there, which do much trouble them, and me also, and I fear will wholly occasion my loosing the leads. One thing more he told me of my Jane’s cutting off a carpenter’s long mustacho, and how the fellow cried, and his wife would not come near him a great while, believing that he had been among some of his wenches. At which I was merry, though I perceive they discourse of it as a crime of hers, which I understand not.
1 Charles II. determined to form his own chapel on the model of that at Versailles. Twenty-four instrumentalists were engaged, and this was the first day upon which they were brought into requisition. Evelyn alludes to the change in his Diary, but he puts the date down as the 21st instead of the 14th. “Instead of the antient, grave and solemn wind musiq accompanying the organ, was introduc’d a concert of 24 violins between every pause after the French fantastical light way, better suiting a tavern or playhouse than a church. This was the first time of change, and now we no more heard the cornet which gave life to the organ, that instrument quite left off in which the English were so skilful.” A list of the twenty-four fiddlers in 1674, taken from an Exchequer document, “The names of the Gents of his Majesties Private Musick paid out of the Exchequer,” is printed in North’s “Memoires of Musick,” ed. Rimbault, 1846, p. 98 (note).
15th. Up betimes to meet with the plasterer and bricklayer that did first divide our lodgings, and they do both tell me that my chamber now in dispute did ever belong to my lodgings, which do put me into good quiet of mind. So by water with Sir Wm. Pen to White Hall; and, with much ado, was fain to walk over the piles through the bridge, while Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes were aground against the bridge, and could not in a great while get through. At White Hall we hear that the Duke of York is gone a-hunting today; and so we returned: they going to the Duke of Albemarle’s, where I left them (after I had observed a very good picture or two there), and so home, and there did resolve to give up my endeavours for access to the leads, and to shut up my doors lest the being open might give them occasion of longing for my chamber, which I am in most fear about. So to Deptford, and took my Lady Batten and her daughter and Mrs. Turner along with me, they being going through the garden thither, they to Mr. Unthwayte’s and I to the Pay, and then about 3 o’clock went to dinner (Sir W. Pen and I), and after dinner to the Pay again, and at night by barge home all together, and so to my lodgings and to bed, my mind full of trouble about my house.
16th. Up and to my workmen, and then to the office, and there we sat till noon; then to the Exchange, and in my way met with the housekeeper of this office, and he did give me so good an account of my chamber in my house about which I am so much troubled that I am well at ease in my mind. At my office all the afternoon alone. In the evening Sir J. M. and I walked together a good while in the garden, very pleasant, and takes no notice that he do design any further trouble to me about my house. At night eat a bit of bread and cheese, and so to my lodgings and to bed, my mind ill at ease for these particulars: my house in dirt, and like to lose my best chamber. My wife writes me from the country that she is not pleased there with my father nor mother, nor any of her servants, and that my boy is turned a very rogue. I have £30 to pay to the cavaliers: then a doubt about my being forced to leave all my business here, when I am called to the court at Brampton; and lastly, my law businesses, which vex me to my heart what I shall be able to do next term, which is near at hand.
17th. At my office all the morning, and at noon to the Exchange, where meeting Mr. Moore and Mr. Stucky, of the Wardrobe, we to an ordinary to dinner, and after dinner Mr. Moore and I about 3 o’clock to Paul’s school, to wait upon Mr. Crumlum (Mr. Moore having a hopeful lad, a kinsman of his, there at school), who we take very luckily, and went up to his chamber with him, where there was also an old fellow student of Mr. Crumlum’s, one Mr. Newell, come to see him, of whom he made so much, and of me, that the truth is he with kindness did drink more than I believe he used to do, and did begin to be a little impertinent, the more when after all he would in the evening go forth with us and give us a bottle of wine abroad, and at the tavern met with an acquaintance of his that did occasion impertinent discourse, that though I honour the man, and he do declare abundance of learning and worth, yet I confess my opinion is much lessened of him, and therefore let it be a caution to myself not to love drink, since it has such an effect upon others of greater worth in my own esteem. I could not avoid drinking of 5 glasses this afternoon with him, and after I had parted with him Mr. Moore and I to my house, and after we had eaten something to my lodgings, where the master of the house, a very ordinary fellow, was ready to entertain me and took me into his dining-room where his wife was, a pretty and notable lady, too fine surely for him, and too much wit too. Here I was forced to stay with them a good while and did drink again, there being friends of theirs with them. At last being weary of his idle company, I bid good-night and so to my chamber and Mr. [Moore] and I to bed, neither of us well pleased with our afternoon’s work, merely from our being witnesses of Mr. Crumlum’s weakness. This day my boy is come from Brampton, and my wife I think the next week.
18th. At the office all the morning, and at noon Sir G. Carteret, Mr. Coventry, and I by invitation to dinner to Sheriff Maynell’s, the great money-man; he, Alderman Backwell, and much noble and brave company, with the privilege of their rare discourse, which is great content to me above all other things in the world. And after a great dinner and much discourse, we arose and took leave, and home to the business of my office, where I thank God I take delight, and in the evening to my lodging and to bed. Among other discourse, speaking concerning the great charity used in Catholic countrys, Mr. Ashburnham did tell us, that this last year, there being great want of corn in Paris, and so a collection made for the poor, there was two pearls brought in, nobody knew from whom (till the Queen, seeing them, knew whose they were, but did not discover it), which were sold for 200,000 crownes.
19th. Up betimes and to my office, and at 9 o’clock, none of the rest going, I went alone to Deptford, and there went on where they left last night to pay Woolwich yard, and so at noon dined well, being chief at the table, and do not see but every body begins to give me as much respect and honour as any of the rest. After dinner to Pay again, and so till 9 at night, my great trouble being that I was forced to begin an ill practice of bringing down the wages of servants, for which people did curse me, which I do not love. At night, after I had eaten a cold pullet, I walked by brave moonshine, with three or four armed men to guard me, to Redriffe, it being a joy to my heart to think of the condition that I am now in, that people should of themselves provide this for me, unspoke to. I hear this walk is dangerous to walk alone by night, and much robbery committed here. So from thence by water home, and so to my lodgings to bed.
20th. Up betimes and to my office, where I found my brother Tom, who tells me that his mistress’s mother has wrote a letter to Mr. Lull of her full satisfaction about Tom, of which I was glad, and do think the business will take. All this morning we sat at the office, Sir J. Minnes and I. And so dined at home, and among my workmen all the afternoon, and in the evening Tom brought Mr. Lull to me, a friend of his mistress, a serious man, with whom I spoke, and he gives me a good account of her and of their satisfaction in Tom, all which pleases me well. We walked a good while in the garden together, and did give him a glass of wine at my office, and so parted. So to write letters by the post and news of this to my father concerning Tom, and so home to supper and to my lodgings and to bed. To-night my barber sent me his man to trim me, who did live in King Street in Westminster lately, and tells me that three or four that I knew in that street, tradesmen, are lately fallen mad, and some of them dead, and the others continue mad. They live all within a door or two one of another.
21st (Lord’s day). Got up betimes and walked to St. James’s, and there to Mr. Coventry, and sat an hour with him, talking of business of the office with great pleasure, and I do perceive he do speak his whole mind to me. Thence to the Park, where by appointment I met my brother Tom and Mr. Cooke, and there spoke about Tom’s business, and to good satisfaction. The Queen coming by in her coach, going to her chappell at St. James’s’ (the first time it hath been ready for her), I crowded after her, and I got up to the room where her closet is; and there stood and saw the fine altar, ornaments, and the fryers in their habits, and the priests come in with their fine copes and many other very fine things. I heard their musique too; which may be good, but it did not appear so to me, neither as to their manner of singing, nor was it good concord to my ears, whatever the matter was. The Queene very devout: but what pleased me best was to see my dear Lady Castlemaine, who, tho’ a Protestant, did wait upon the Queen to chappell. By and by, after mass was done, a fryer with his cowl did rise up and preach a sermon in Portuguese; which I not understanding, did go away, and to the King’s chappell, but that was done; and so up to the Queen’s presence-chamber, where she and the King was expected to dine: but she staying at St. James’s, they were forced to remove the things to the King’s presence [chamber]; and there he dined alone, and I with Mr. Fox very finely; but I see I must not make too much of that liberty for my honour sake only, not but that I am very well received. After dinner to Tom’s, and so home, and after walking a good while in the garden I went to my uncle Wight’s, where I found my aunt in mourning and making sad stories for the loss of her dear sister Nicholls, of which I should have been very weary but that pretty Mrs. Margaret Wight came in and I was much pleased with her company, and so all supper did vex my aunt talking in commendation of the mass which I had been at today, but excused it afterwards that it was only to make mirth. And so after supper broke up and home, and after putting my notes in order against tomorrow I went to bed.
22nd. Up betimes among my workmen, hastening to get things ready against my wife’s coming, and so with Sir J. M., Sir W. B., and Sir W. P., by coach to St. James’s, and there with the Duke. I did give him an account of all things past of late; but I stood in great pain, having a great fit of the colic, having catched cold yesterday by putting off my stockings to wipe my toes, but at last it lessened, and then I was pretty well again, but in pain all day more or less. Thence I parted from them and walked to Greatorex’s, and there with him did overlook many pretty things, new inventions, and have bespoke a weather glass of him. Thence to my Lord Crew’s, and dined with the servants, he having dined; and so, after dinner, up to him, and sat an hour talking with him of publique, and my Lord’s private businesses, with much content. So to my brother Tom’s, where Mr. Cooke expected me, and did go with me to see Mr. Young and Mr. Lull in Blackfryers, kindred of Tom’s mistress, where I was very well used, and do find things to go in the business to my good content. Thence to Mr. Townsend, and did there talk with Mr. Young himself also, and then home and to my study, and so to my lodgings and to bed.
23rd. Up betimes and with my workmen, taking some pleasure to see my work come towards an end, though I am vexed every day enough with their delay. We met and sat all the morning, dined at home alone, and with my workmen all the afternoon, and in the evening by water and land to Deptford to give order for things about my house, and came back again by coach with Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Batten (who has been at a Pay today), and to my office and did some business, and so to supper and to my lodgings, and so to bed. In our coming home Sir G. Carteret told me how in most cabaretts in France they have writ upon the walls in fair letters to be read, “Dieu te regarde,” as a good lesson to be in every man’s mind, and have also, as in Holland, their poor’s box; in both which places at the making all contracts and bargains they give so much, which they call God’s penny.
24th. Up betimes and among my workmen, and among them all the morning till noon, and then to my Lord Crew’s, and there dined alone with him, and among other things he do advise me by all means to keep my Lord Sandwich from proceeding too far in the business of Tangier. First, for that he is confident the King will not be able to find money for the building the Mole; and next, for that it is to be done as we propose it by the reducing of the garrison; and then either my Lord must oppose the Duke of York, who will have the Irish regiment under the command of Fitzgerald continued, or else my Lord Peterborough, who is concerned to have the English continued, and he, it seems, is gone back again merely upon my Lord Sandwich’s encouragement. Thence to Mr. Wotton, the shoemaker’s, and there bought a pair of boots, cost me 30s., and he told me how Bird hath lately broke his leg, while he was fencing in “Aglaura,” upon the stage, and that the new theatre of all will be ready against term. So to my brother’s, and there discoursed with him and Mr. Cooke about their journey to Tom’s mistress again, and I did speak with Mr. Croxton about measuring of silk flags. So by water home and to my workmen, and so at night till late at my office, inditing a letter from Tom to his mistress upon his sending her a watch for a token, and so home and to supper, and to my lodgings and to bed. It is my content that by several hands today I hear that I have the name of good-natured man among the poor people that come to the office.
25th. Up betimes and to my workmen, and then to the office, where we sat all the morning. So home to dinner alone and then to my workmen till night, and so to my office till bedtime, and so after supper to my lodgings and to bed. This evening I sat awhile at Sir W. Batten’s with Sir J. Minnes, &c., where he told us among many other things how in Portugal they scorn to make a seat for a house of office, but they do. . . . all in pots and so empty them in the river. I did also hear how the woman, formerly nurse to Mrs. Lemon (Sir W. Batten’s daughter), her child was torn to pieces by two doggs at Walthamstow this week, and is dead, which is very strange.
26th. Up betimes and among my workmen. By and by to Sir W. Batten, who with Sir J. M. are going to Chatham this morning, and I was in great pain till they were gone that I might see whether Sir John do speak any thing of my chamber that I am afraid of losing or no. But he did not, and so my mind is a little at more ease. So all day long till night among my workmen, and in the afternoon did cause the partition between the entry and the boy’s room to be pulled down to lay it all into one, which I hope will please me and make my coming in more pleasant. Late at my office at night writing a letter of excuse to Sir G. Carteret that I cannot wait upon him tomorrow morning to Chatham as I promised, which I am loth to do because of my workmen and my wife’s coming to town tomorrow. So to my lodgings and to bed.
27th. Up betimes and among my workmen, and with great pleasure see the posts in the entry taken down beyond expectation, so that now the boy’s room being laid into the entry do make my coming in very handsome, which was the only fault remaining almost in my house. We sat all the morning, and in the afternoon I got many jobbs done to my mind, and my wife’s chamber put into a good readiness against her coming, which she did at night, for Will did, by my leave to go, meet her upon the road, and at night did bring me word she was come to my brother’s, by my order. So I made myself ready and put things at home in order, and so went thither to her. Being come, I found her and her maid and dogg very well, and herself grown a little fatter than she was. I was very well pleased to see her, and after supper to bed, and had her company with great content and much mutual love, only I do perceive that there has been falling out between my mother and she, and a little between my father and she; but I hope all is well again, and I perceive she likes Brampton House and seat better than ever I did myself, and tells me how my Lord hath drawn a plot of some alteracions to be made there, and hath brought it up, which I saw and like well. I perceive my Lord and Lady have been very kind to her, and Captn. Ferrers so kind that I perceive I have some jealousy of him, but I know what is the Captain’s manner of carriage, and therefore it is nothing to me. She tells me of a Court like to be in a little time, which troubles me, for I would not willingly go out of town.
28th (Lord’s day). Waked early, and fell talking one with another with great pleasure of my house at Brampton and that here, and other matters. She tells me what a rogue my boy is, and strange things he has been found guilty of, not fit to name, which vexes [me], but most of all the unquiett life that my mother makes my father and herself lead through her want of reason. At last I rose, and with Tom to the French Church at the Savoy, where I never was before — a pretty place it is — and there they have the Common Prayer Book read in French, and, which I never saw before, the minister do preach with his hat off, I suppose in further conformity with our Church. So to Tom’s to dinner with my wife, and there came Mr. Cooke, and Joyce Norton do also dine there, and after dinner Cooke and I did talk about his journey and Tom’s within a day or two about his mistress. And I did tell him my mind and give him my opinion in it. So I walked home and found my house made a little clean, and pleases me better and better, and so to church in the afternoon, and after sermon to my study, and there did some things against tomorrow that I go to the Duke’s, and so walked to Tom’s again, and there supped and to bed with good content of mind.
29th (Michaelmas day). This day my oaths for drinking of wine and going to plays are out, and so I do resolve to take a liberty today, and then to fall to them again. Up and by coach to White Hall, in my way taking up Mr. Moore, and walked with him, talking a good while about business, in St. James’s Park, and there left him, and to Mr. Coventry’s, and so with him and Sir W. Pen up to the Duke, where the King came also and staid till the Duke was ready. It being Collarday, we had no time to talk with him about any business. They went out together. So we parted, and in the park Mr. Cooke by appointment met me, to whom I did give my thoughts concerning Tom’s match and their journey tomorrow, and did carry him by water to Tom’s, and there taking up my wife, maid, dog, and him, did carry them home, where my wife is much pleased with my house, and so am I fully. I sent for some dinner and there dined, Mrs. Margaret Pen being by, to whom I had spoke to go along with us to a play this afternoon, and then to the King’s Theatre, where we saw “Midsummer’s Night’s Dream,” which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life. I saw, I confess, some good dancing and some handsome women, which was all my pleasure. Thence set my wife down at Madam Turner’s, and so by coach home, and having delivered Pegg Pen to her father safe, went home, where I find Mr. Deane, of Woolwich, hath sent me the modell he had promised me; but it so far exceeds my expectations, that I am sorry almost he should make such a present to no greater a person; but I am exceeding glad of it, and shall study to do him a courtesy for it. So to my office and wrote a letter to Tom’s mistress’s mother to send by Cooke tomorrow. Then came Mr. Moore thinking to have looked over the business of my Brampton papers against the Court, but my mind was so full of other matters (as it is my nature when I have been a good while from a business, that I have almost forgot it, I am loth to come to it again) that I could not set upon it, and so he and I past the evening away in discourse, and to my lodgings and to bed.
30th. We rose, and he about his business, and I to my house to look over my workmen; but good God! how I do find myself by yesterday’s liberty hard to be brought to follow business again, but however, I must do it, considering the great sweet and pleasure and content of mind that I have had since I did leave drink and plays, and other pleasures, and followed my business. So to my office, where we sat till noon, and then I to dinner with Sir W. Pen, and while we were at it coming my wife to the office, and so I sent for her up, and after dinner we took coach and to the Duke’s playhouse, where we saw “The Duchess of Malfy” well performed, but Betterton and Ianthe to admiration. That being done, home again, by coach, and my wife’s chamber got ready for her to lie in to-night, but my business did call me to my office, so that staying late I did not lie with her at home, but at my lodgings. Strange to see how easily my mind do revert to its former practice of loving plays and wine, having given myself a liberty to them but these two days; but this night I have again bound myself to Christmas next, in which I desire God to bless me and preserve me, for under God I find it to be the best course that ever I could take to bring myself to mind my business. I have also made up this evening my monthly ballance, and find that, notwithstanding the loss of £30 to be paid to the loyall and necessitous cavaliers by act of Parliament,1 yet I am worth about £680, for which the Lord God be praised. My condition at present is this:— I have long been building, and my house to my great content is now almost done. But yet not so but that I shall have dirt, which troubles me too, for my wife has been in the country at Brampton these two months, and is now come home a week or two before the house is ready for her. My mind is somewhat troubled about my best chamber, which I question whether I shall be able to keep or no. I am also troubled for the journey which I must needs take suddenly to the Court at Brampton, but most of all for that I am not provided to understand my business, having not minded it a great while, and at the best shall be able but to make a bad matter of it, but God, I hope, will guide all to the best, and I am resolved tomorrow to fall hard to it. I pray God help me therein, for my father and mother and all our well-doings do depend upon my care therein. My Lord Sandwich has lately been in the country, and very civil to my wife, and hath himself spent some pains in drawing a plot of some alterations in our house there, which I shall follow as I get money. As for the office, my late industry hath been such, as I am become as high in reputation as any man there, and good hold I have of Mr. Coventry and Sir G. Carteret, which I am resolved, and it is necessary for me, to maintain by all fair means. Things are all quiett, but the King poor, and no hopes almost of his being otherwise, by which things will go to rack, especially in the Navy. The late outing of the Presbyterian clergy by their not renouncing the Covenant as the Act of Parliament commands, is the greatest piece of state now in discourse. But for ought I see they are gone out very peaceably, and the people not so much concerned therein as was expected. My brother Tom is gone out of town this day, to make a second journey to his mistress at Banbury, of which I have good expectations, and pray God to bless him therein. My mind, I hope, is settled to follow my business again, for I find that two days’ neglect of business do give more discontent in mind than ten times the pleasure thereof can repair again, be it what it will.
1 Two acts were passed in 1662 for this purpose, viz., 13 and 14 Car. II. cap. 8: “An act for distribution of threescore thousand pounds amongst the truly loyal and indigent commission officers, and for assessing of offices and distributing the monies thereby raised for their further supply;” and cap. 9, “An act for the relief of poor and maimed officers and soldiers who have faithfully served his Majesty and his royal father in the late wars.”
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53