Aug. 1st. Up betimes and got me ready, and so to the office and put things in order for my going. By and by comes Sir G. Carteret, and he and I did some business, and then Mr. Coventry sending for me, he staying in the boat, I got myself presently ready and down to him, he and I by water to Gravesend (his man Lambert with us), and there eat a bit and so mounted, I upon one of his horses which met him there, a brave proud horse, all the way talking of businesses of the office and other matters to good purpose. Being come to Chatham, we put on our boots and so walked to the yard, where we met Commissioner Pett, and there walked up and down looking and inquiring into many businesses, and in the evening went to the Commissioner’s and there in his upper Arbor sat and talked, and there pressed upon the Commissioner to take upon him a power to correct and suspend officers that do not their duty and other things, which he unwillingly answered he would if we would own him in it. Being gone thence Mr. Coventry and I did discourse about him, and conclude that he is not able to do the same in that yard that he might and can and it maybe will do in another, what with his old faults and the relations that he has to most people that act there. After an hour or two’s discourse at the Hill-house before going to bed, I see him to his and he me to my chamber, he lying in the Treasurer’s and I in the Controller’s chambers.
2nd (Lord’s day). Up and after the barber had done he and I walked to the Docke, and so on board the Mathias, where Commissioner Pett and he and I and a good many of the officers and others of the yard did hear an excellent sermon of Mr. Hudson’s upon “All is yours and you are God’s,” a most ready, learned, and good sermon, such as I have not heard a good while, nor ever thought he could have preached. We took him with us to the Hill-house, and there we dined, and an officer or two with us. So after dinner the company withdrew, and we three to private discourse and laid the matters of the yard home again to the Commissioner, and discoursed largely of several matters. Then to the parish church, and there heard a poor sermon with a great deal of false Greek in it, upon these words, “Ye are my friends, if ye do these things which I command you.” Thence to the Docke and by water to view St. Mary Creeke, but do not find it so proper for a wet docks as we would have it, it being uneven ground and hard in the bottom and no, great depth of water in many places. Returned and walked from the Docke home, Mr. Coventry and I very much troubled to see how backward Commissioner Pett is to tell any of the faults of the officers, and to see nothing in better condition here for his being here than they are in other yards where there is none. After some discourse to bed. But I sat up an hour after Mr. Coventry was gone to read my vows, it raining a wonderful hard showre about 11 at night for an hour together. So to bed.
3rd. Up both of us very betimes and to the Yard, and see the men called over and choose some to be discharged. Then to the Ropehouses and viewed them all and made an experiment which was the stronger, English or Riga hemp, the latter proved the stronger, but the other is very good, and much better we believe than any but Riga. We did many other things this morning, and I caused the Timber measurer to measure some timber, where I found much fault and with reason, which we took public notice of, and did give them admonition for the time to come. At noon Mr. Pett did give us a very great dinner, too big in all conscience, so that most of it was left untouched. Here was Collonell Newman and several other gentlemen of the country and officers of the yard. After dinner they withdrew and Commissioner Pett, Mr. Coventry and I sat close to our business all the noon in his parler, and there run through much business and answered several people. And then in the evening walked in the garden, where we conjured him to look after the yard, and for the time to come that he would take the whole faults and ill management of the yard upon himself, he having full power and our concurrence to suspend or do anything else that he thinks fit to keep people and officers to their duty. He having made good promises, though I fear his performance, we parted (though I spoke so freely that he could have been angry) good friends, and in some hopes that matters will be better for the time to come. So walked to the Hillhouse (which we did view and the yard about it, and do think to put it off as soon as we can conveniently) and there made ourselves ready and mounted and rode to Gravesend (my riding Coate not being to be found I fear it is stole) on our way being overtaken by Captain Browne that serves the office of the Ordnance at Chatham. All the way, though he was a rogue and served the late times all along, yet he kept us in discourse of the many services that he did for many of the King’s party, lords and Dukes, and among others he recovered a dog that was stolne from Mr. Cary (head-keeper of the buck-hounds to the King) and preserved several horses of the Duke of Richmond’s, and his best horse he was forst to put out his eyes and keep him for a stallion to preserve him from being carried away. But he gone at last upon my enquiry to tell us how (he having been here too for survey of the Ropeyard) the day’s work of the Rope-makers become settled, which pleased me very well. Being come to our Inn Mr. Coventry and I sat, and talked till 9 or 10 a-clock and then to bed.
4th. We were called up about four a-clock, and being ready went and took a Gravesend boat, and to London by nine a-clock. By the way talking of several businesses of the navy. So to the office, where Sir Wm. Pen (the first time that he has been with us a great while, he having been long sick) met us, and there we sat all the morning. My brother John I find come to town to my house, as I sent for him, on Saturday last; so at noon home and dined with him, and after dinner and the barber been with me I walked out with him to my viall maker’s and other places and then left him, and I by water to Blackbury’s, and there talked with him about some masts (and by the way he tells me that Paul’s is now going to be repaired in good earnest), and so with him to his garden close by his house, where I eat some peaches and apricots; a very pretty place. So over the water to Westminster hall, and not finding Mrs. Lane, with whom I purposed to be merry, I went to Jervas’s and took him and his wife over the water to their mother Palmer’s (the woman that speaks in the belly, and with whom I have two or three years ago made good sport with Mr. Mallard), thinking because I had heard that she is a woman of that sort that I might there have lit upon some lady of pleasure (for which God forgive me), but blest be God there was none, nor anything that pleased me, but a poor little house that she has set out as fine as she can, and for her singing which she pretends to is only some old body songs and those sung abominably, only she pretends to be able to sing both bass and treble, which she do something like, but not what I thought formerly and expected now; nor do her speaking in her belly take me now as it did then, but it may be that is because I know it and see her mouth when she speaks, which should not be. After I had spent a shilling there in wine I took boat with Jervas and his wife and set them at Westminster, and it being late forbore Mrs. Lane and went by water to the Old Swan by a boat, where I had good sport with one of the young men about his travells as far as Voxhall, in mockery, which yet the fellow answered me most prettily and traveller-like unto my very good mirth. So home, and with my brother eat a bit of bread and cheese, and so to bed, he with me. This day I received a letter from my wife, which troubles me mightily, wherein she tells me how Ashwell did give her the lie to her teeth, and that thereupon my wife giving her a box on the eare, the other struck her again, and a deal of stir which troubles me, and that my Lady has been told by my father or mother something of my wife’s carriage, which altogether vexes me, and I fear I shall find a trouble of my wife when she comes home to get down her head again, but if Ashwell goes I am resolved to have no more, but to live poorly and low again for a good while, and save money and keep my wife within bounds if I can, or else I shall bid Adieu to all content in the world. So to bed, my mind somewhat disturbed at this, but yet I shall take care, by prudence, to avoid the ill consequences which I fear, things not being gone too far yet, and this height that my wife is come to being occasioned from my own folly in giving her too much head heretofore for the year past.
5th. All the morning at the office, whither Deane of Woolwich came to me and discoursed of the body of ships, which I am now going about to understand, and then I took him to the coffee-house, where he was very earnest against Mr. Grant’s report in favour of Sir W. Petty’s vessel, even to some passion on both sides almost. So to the Exchange, and thence home to dinner with my brother, and in the afternoon to Westminster hall, and there found Mrs. Lane, and by and by by agreement we met at the Parliament stairs (in my way down to the boat who should meet us but my lady Jemimah, who saw me lead her but said nothing to me of her, though I ought to speak to her to see whether she would take notice of it or no) and off to Stangate and so to the King’s Head at Lambeth marsh, and had variety of meats and drinks, but I did so towse her and handled her, but could get nothing more from her though I was very near it; but as wanton and bucksome as she is she dares not adventure upon the business, in which I very much commend and like her. Staid pretty late, and so over with her by water, and being in a great sweat with my towsing of her durst not go home by water, but took coach, and at home my brother and I fell upon Des Cartes, and I perceive he has studied him well, and I cannot find but he has minded his book, and do love it. This evening came a letter about business from Mr. Coventry, and with it a silver pen he promised me to carry inke in, which is very necessary. So to prayers and to bed.
6th. Up and was angry with my maid Hannah for keeping the house no better, it being more dirty now-a-days than ever it was while my whole family was together. So to my office, whither Mr. Coventry came and Sir William Pen, and we sat all the morning. This day Mr. Coventry borrowed of me my manuscript of the Navy. At noon I to the ‘Change, and meeting with Sir W. Warren, to a coffee-house, and there finished a contract with him for the office, and so parted, and I to my cozen Mary Joyce’s at a gossiping, where much company and good cheer. There was the King’s Falconer, that lives by Paul’s, and his wife, an ugly pusse, but brought him money. He speaking of the strength of hawkes, which will strike a fowle to the ground with that force that shall make the fowle rebound a great way from ground, which no force of man or art can do, but it was very pleasant to hear what reasons he and another, one Ballard, a rich man of the same Company of Leathersellers of which the Joyces are, did give for this. Ballard’s wife, a pretty and a very well-bred woman, I took occasion to kiss several times, and she to carve, drink, and show me great respect. After dinner to talk and laugh. I drank no wine, but sent for some water; the beer not being good. A fiddler was sent for, and there one Mrs. Lurkin, a neighbour, a good, and merry poor woman, but a very tall woman, did dance and show such tricks that made us all merry, but above all a daughter of Mr. Brumfield’s, black, but well-shaped and modest, did dance very well, which pleased me mightily. I begun the Duchess with her, but could not do it; but, however, I came off well enough, and made mighty much of her, kissing and leading her home, with her cozen Anthony and Kate Joyce (Kate being very handsome and well, that is, handsomely dressed today, and I grew mighty kind and familiar with her, and kissed her soundly, which she takes very well) to their house, and there I left them, having in our way, though nine o’clock at night, carried them into a puppet play in Lincolnes Inn Fields, where there was the story of Holofernes, and other clockwork, well done. There was at this house today Mr. Lawrence, who did give the name, it seems, to my cozen Joyce’s child, Samuel, who is a very civil gentleman, and his wife a pretty woman, who, with Kate Joyce, were stewards of the feast today, and a double share cost for a man and a woman came to 16s., which I also would pay, though they would not by any means have had me do so. I walked home very well contented with this afternoon’s work, I thinking it convenient to keep in with the Joyces against a bad day, if I should have occasion to make use of them. So I walked home, and after a letter to my wife by the post and my father, I home to supper, and after a little talk with my brother to bed.
7th. Up and to my office a little, and then to Brown’s for my measuring rule, which is made, and is certainly the best and the most commodious for carrying in one’s pocket, and most useful that ever was made, and myself have the honour of being as it were the inventor of this form of it. Here I staid discoursing an hour with him and then home, and thither came Sir Fairbrother to me, and we walked a while together in the garden and then abroad into the cittie, and then we parted for a while and I to my Viall, which I find done and once varnished, and it will please me very well when it is quite varnished. Thence home and to study my new rule till my head aked cruelly. So by and by to dinner and the Doctor and Mr. Creed came to me. The Doctor’s discourse, which (though he be a very good-natured man) is but simple, was some sport to me and Creed, though my head akeing I took no great pleasure in it. We parted after dinner, and I walked to Deptford and there found Sir W. Pen, and I fell to measuring of some planks that was serving into the yard, which the people took notice of, and the measurer himself was amused at, for I did it much more ready than he, and I believe Sir W. Pen would be glad I could have done less or he more. By and by he went away and I staid walking up and down, discoursing with the officers of the yard of several things, and so walked back again, and on my way young Bagwell and his wife waylayd me to desire my favour about getting him a better ship, which I shall pretend to be willing to do for them, but my mind is to know his wife a little better. They being parted I went with Cadbury the mast maker to view a parcel of good masts which I think it were good to buy, and resolve to speak to the board about it. So home, and my brother John and I up and I to my musique, and then to discourse with him, and I find him not so thorough a philosopher, at least in Aristotle, as I took him for, he not being able to tell me the definition of final nor which of the 4 Qualitys belonged to each of the 4 Elements. So to prayers, and to bed, among other things being much satisfied with my new rule.
8th. Up and to my office, whither I search for Brown the mathematical instrument maker, who now brought me a ruler for measuring timber and other things so well done and in all things to my mind that I do set up my trust upon it that I cannot have a better, nor any man else have so good for this purpose, this being of my own ordering. By and by we sat all the morning dispatching of business, and then at noon rose, and I with Mr. Coventry down to the water-side, talking, wherein I see so much goodness and endeavours of doing the King service, that I do more and more admire him. It being the greatest trouble to me, he says, in the world to see not only in the Navy, but in the greatest matters of State, where he can lay his finger upon the soare (meaning this man’s faults, and this man’s office the fault lies in), and yet dare or can not remedy matters. Thence to the Exchange about several businesses, and so home to dinner, and in the afternoon took my brother John and Will down to Woolwich by water, and after being there a good while, and eating of fruit in Sheldon’s garden, we began our walk back again, I asking many things in physiques of my brother John, to which he gives me so bad or no answer at all, as in the regions of the ayre he told me that he knew of no such thing, for he never read Aristotle’s philosophy and Des Cartes ownes no such thing, which vexed me to hear him say. But I shall call him to task, and see what it is that he has studied since his going to the University. It was late before we could get from Greenwich to London by water, the tide being against us and almost past, so that to save time and to be clear of anchors I landed at Wapping, and so walked home weary enough, walking over the stones. This night Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes returned [from] Portsmouth, but I did not go see them.
9th (Lord’s day). Up, and leaving my brother John to go somewhere else, I to church, and heard Mr. Mills (who is lately returned out of the country, and it seems was fetched in by many of the parishioners, with great state,) preach upon the authority of the ministers, upon these words, “We are therefore embassadors of Christ.” Wherein, among other high expressions, he said, that such a learned man used to say, that if a minister of the word and an angell should meet him together, he would salute the minister first; which methought was a little too high. This day I begun to make use of the silver pen (Mr. Coventry did give me) in writing of this sermon, taking only the heads of it in Latin, which I shall, I think, continue to do. So home and at my office reading my vowes, and so to Sir W. Batten to dinner, being invited and sent for, and being willing to hear how they left things at Portsmouth, which I found but ill enough, and are mightily for a Commissioner to be at seat there to keep the yard in order. Thence in the afternoon with my Lady Batten, leading her through the streets by the hand to St. Dunstan’s Church, hard by us (where by Mrs. Russell’s means we were set well), and heard an excellent sermon of one Mr. Gifford, the parson there, upon “Remember Lot’s wife.” So from thence walked back to Mrs. Russell’s, and there drank and sat talking a great while. Among other things talked of young Dawes that married the great fortune, who it seems has a Baronet’s patent given him, and is now Sir Thos. Dawes, and a very fine bred man they say he is. Thence home, and my brother being abroad I walked to my uncle Wight’s and there staid, though with little pleasure, and supped, there being the husband of Mrs. Anne Wight, who it seems is lately married to one Mr. Bentley, a Norwich factor. Home, and staid up a good while examining Will in his Latin below, and my brother along with him in his Greeke, and so to prayers and to bed. This afternoon I was amused at the tune set to the Psalm by the Clerke of the parish, and thought at first that he was out, but I find him to be a good songster, and the parish could sing it very well, and was a good tune. But I wonder that there should be a tune in the Psalms that I never heard of.
10th. Up, though not so early this summer as I did all the last, for which I am sorry, and though late am resolved to get up betimes before the season of rising be quite past. To my office to fit myself to wait on the Duke this day. By and by by water to White Hall, and so to St. James’s, and anon called into the Duke’s chamber, and being dressed we were all as usual taken in with him and discoursed of our matters, and that being done, he walked, and I in the company with him, to White Hall, and there he took barge for Woolwich, and, I up to the Committee of Tangier, where my Lord Sandwich, pay Lord Peterborough, (whom I have not seen before since his coming back,) Sir W. Compton, and Mr. Povy. Our discourse about supplying my Lord Teviott with money, wherein I am sorry to see, though they do not care for him, yet they are willing to let him for civility and compliment only have money almost without expecting any account of it; but by this means, he being such a cunning fellow as he is, the King is like to pay dear for our courtiers’ ceremony. Thence by coach with my Lords Peterborough and Sandwich to my Lord Peterborough’s house; and there, after an hour’s looking over some fine books of the Italian buildings, with fine cuts; and also my Lord Peterborough’s bowes and arrows, of which he is a great lover, we sat down to dinner, my Lady coming down to dinner also, and there being Mr. Williamson, that belongs to Sir H. Bennet, whom I find a pretty understanding and accomplished man, but a little conceited. After dinner I took leave and went to Greatorex’s, whom I found in his garden, and set him to work upon my ruler, to engrave an almanac and other things upon the brasses of it, which a little before night he did, but the latter part he slubbered over, that I must get him to do it over better, or else I shall not fancy my rule, which is such a folly that I am come to now, that whereas before my delight was in multitude of books, and spending money in that and buying alway of other things, now that I am become a better husband, and have left off buying, now my delight is in the neatness of everything, and so cannot be pleased with anything unless it be very neat, which is a strange folly. Hither came W. Howe about business, and he and I had a great deal of discourse about my Lord Sandwich, and I find by him that my Lord do dote upon one of the daughters of Mrs. [Becke] where he lies, so that he spends his time and money upon her. He tells me she is a woman of a very bad fame and very impudent, and has told my Lord so, yet for all that my Lord do spend all his evenings with her, though he be at court in the day time, and that the world do take notice of it, and that Pickering is only there as a blind, that the world may think that my Lord spends his time with him when he do worse, and that hence it is that my Lord has no more mind to go into the country than he has. In fine, I perceive my Lord is dabbling with this wench, for which I am sorry, though I do not wonder at it, being a man amorous enough, and now begins to allow himself the liberty that he says every body else at Court takes. Here I am told that my Lord Bristoll is either fled or concealed himself; having been sent for to the King, it is believed to be sent to the Tower, but he is gone out of the way. Yesterday, I am told also, that Sir J. Lenthall, in Southwarke, did apprehend about one hundred Quakers, and other such people, and hath sent some of them to the gaole at Kingston, it being now the time of the Assizes. Hence home and examined a piece of, Latin of Will’s with my brother, and so to prayers and to bed. This evening I had a letter from my father that says that my wife will come to town this week, at which I wonder that she should come to town without my knowing more of it. But I find they have lived very ill together since she went, and I must use all the brains I have to bring her to any good when she do come home, which I fear will be hard to do, and do much disgust me the thoughts of it.
11th. Up and to my office, whither, by and by, my brother Tom came, and I did soundly rattle him for his neglecting to see and please the Joyces as he has of late done. I confess I do fear that he do not understand his business, nor will do any good in his trade, though he tells me that he do please every body and that he gets money, but I shall not believe it till I see a state of his accounts, which I have ordered him to bring me before he sees me any more. We met and sat at the office all the morning, and at noon I to the ‘Change, where I met Dr. Pierce, who tells me that the King comes to towne this day, from Tunbridge, to stay a day or two, and then fetch the Queen from thence, who he says is grown a very debonnaire lady, and now hugs him, and meets him gallopping upon the road, and all the actions of a fond and pleasant lady that can be, that he believes has a chat now and then of Mrs. Stewart, but that there is no great danger of her, she being only an innocent, young, raw girl; but my Lady Castlemaine, who rules the King in matters of state, and do what she list with him, he believes is now falling quite out of favour. After the Queen is come back she goes to the Bath; and so to Oxford, where great entertainments are making for her. This day I am told that my Lord Bristoll hath warrants issued out against him, to have carried him to the Tower; but he is fled away, or hid himself. So much the Chancellor hath got the better of him. Upon the ‘Change my brother, and Will bring me word that Madam Turner would come and dine with me today, so I hasted home and found her and Mrs. Morrice there (The. Joyce being gone into the country), which is the reason of the mother rambling. I got a dinner for them, and after dinner my uncle Thomas and aunt Bell came and saw me, and I made them almost foxed with wine till they were very kind (but I did not carry them up to my ladies). So they went away, and so my two ladies and I in Mrs. Turner’s coach to Mr. Povy’s, who being not within, we went in and there shewed Mrs. Turner his perspective and volary,1 and the fine things that he is building of now, which is a most neat thing. Thence to the Temple and by water to Westminster; and there Morrice and I went to Sir R. Ling’s to have fetched a niece of his, but she was not within, and so we went to boat again and then down to the bridge, and there tried to find a sister of Mrs. Morrice’s, but she was not within neither, and so we went through bridge, and I carried them on board the King’s pleasure-boat, all the way reading in a book of Receipts of making fine meats and sweetmeats, among others to make my own sweet water, which made us good sport. So I landed them at Greenwich, and there to a garden, and gave them fruit and wine, and so to boat again, and finally, in the cool of the evening, to Lyon Kee,2 the tide against us, and so landed and walked to the Bridge, and there took a coach by chance passing by, and so I saw them home, and there eat some cold venison with them, and drunk and bade them good night, having been mighty merry with them, and I think it is not amiss to preserve, though it cost me a little, such a friend as Mrs. Turner. So home and to bed, my head running upon what to do tomorrow to fit things against my wife’s coming, as to buy a bedstead, because my brother John is here, and I have now no more beds than are used.
1 A large birdcage, in which the birds can fly about; French ‘voliere’. Ben Jonson uses the word volary.
2 Lion Key, Lower Thames Street, where the famous Duchess of Suffolk in the time of Bishop Gardiner’s persecution took boat for the continent. James, Duke of York, also left the country from this same place on the night of April 20th, 1648, when he escaped from St. James’s Palace.
12th. A little to my office, to put down my yesterday’s journall, and so abroad to buy a bedstead and do other things. So home again, and having put up the bedstead and done other things in order to my wife’s coming, I went out to several places and to Mrs. Turner’s, she inviting me last night, and there dined; with her and Madam Morrice and a stranger we were very merry and had a fine dinner, and thence I took leave and to White Hall, where my Lords Sandwich, Peterborough, and others made a Tangier Committee; spent the afternoon in reading and ordering with a great deal of alteration, and yet methinks never a whit the better, of a letter drawn by Creed to my Lord Rutherford. The Lords being against anything that looked to be rough, though it was in matter of money and accounts, wherein their courtship may cost the King dear. Only I do see by them, that speaking in matters distasteful to him that we write to, it is best to do it in the plainest way and without ambages or reasoning, but only say matters of fact, and leave the party to collect your meaning. Thence by water to my brother’s, and there I hear my wife is come and gone home, and my father is come to town also, at which I wondered. But I discern it is to give my brother advice about his business, and it may be to pacify me about the differences that have been between my wife and him and my mother at her late being with them. Though by and by he coming to Mr. Holden’s (where I was buying a hat) he took no notice to me of anything. I talked to him a little while and left him to lie at the end of the town, and I home, where methought I found my wife strange, not knowing, I believe, in what temper she could expect me to be in, but I fell to kind words, and so we were very kind, only she could not forbear telling me how she had been used by them and her mayde, Ashwell, in the country, but I find it will be best not to examine it, for I doubt she’s in fault too, and therefore I seek to put it off from my hearing, and so to bed and there entertained her with great content, and so to sleep.
13th. Lay long in bed with my wife talking of family matters, and so up and to the office, where we sat all the’ morning, and then home to dinner, and after dinner my wife and I to talk again about getting of a couple of good mayds and to part with Ashwell, which troubles me for her father’s sake, though I shall be glad to have the charge taken away of keeping a woman. Thence a little to the office, and so abroad with my wife by water to White Hall, and there at my Lord’s lodgings met my Lady Jemimah, with whom we staid a good while. Thence to Mrs. Hunt’s, where I left my wife, and I to walk a little in St. James’s Park, while Mrs. Harper might come home, with whom we came to speak about her kinswoman Jane Gentleman to come and live with us as a chamber mayde, and there met with Mr. Hoole my old acquaintance of Magdalen, and walked with him an hour in the Parke, discoursing chiefly of Sir Samuel Morland, whose lady is gone into France. It seems he buys ground and a farm in the country, and lays out money upon building, and God knows what! so that most of the money he sold his pension of £500 per annum for, to Sir Arthur Slingsby, is believed is gone. It seems he hath very great promises from the King, and Hoole hath seen some of the King’s letters, under his own hand, to Morland, promising him great things (and among others, the order of the Garter, as Sir Samuel says); but his lady thought it below her to ask any thing at the King’s first coming, believing the King would do it of himself, when as Hoole do really think if he had asked to be Secretary of State at the King’s first coming, he might have had it. And the other day at her going into France, she did speak largely to the King herself, how her husband hath failed of what his Majesty had promised, and she was sure intended him; and the King did promise still, as he is a King and a gentleman, to be as good as his word in a little time, to a tittle: but I never believe it. Here in the Park I met with Mr. Coventry, where he sent for a letter he had newly writ to me, wherein he had enclosed one from Commissioner Pett complaining of his being defeated in his attempt to suspend two pursers, wherein the manner of his doing it, and complaint of our seeing him (contrary to our promises the other day), deserted, did make us laugh mightily, and was good sport to think how awkwardly he goes about a thing that he has no courage of his own nor mind to do. Mr. Coventry answered it very handsomely, but I perceive Pett has left off his corresponding with me any more. Thence to fetch my wife from Mrs. Hunt’s, where now he was come in, and we eat and drunk, and so away (their child being at home, a very lively, but not pretty at all), by water to Mrs. Turner’s, and there made a short visit, and so home by coach, and after supper to prayers and to bed, and before going to bed Ashwell began to make her complaint, and by her I do perceive that she has received most base usage from my wife, which my wife sillily denies, but it is impossible the wench could invent words and matter so particularly, against which my wife has nothing to say but flatly to deny, which I am sorry to see, and blows to have past, and high words even at Hinchinbrooke House among my Lady’s people, of which I am mightily ashamed. I said nothing to either of them, but let them talk till she was gone and left us abed, and then I told my wife my mind with great sobriety of grief, and so to sleep.
14th. Awake, and to chide my wife again, and I find that my wife has got too great head to be brought down soon, nor is it possible with any convenience to keep Ashwell longer, my wife is so set and convinced, as she was in Sarah, to make her appear a Lyer in every small thing that we shall have no peace while she stays. So I up and to my office doing several businesses in my study, and so home to dinner. The time having outslipt me and my stomach, it being past, two a-clock, and yet before we could sit down to dinner Mrs. Harper and her cousin Jane came, and we treated and discoursed long about her coming to my wife for a chamber mayd, and I think she will do well. So they went away expecting notice when she shall come, and so we sat down to dinner at four a-clock almost, and then I walked forth to my brother’s, where I found my father very discontented, and has no mind to come to my house, and would have begun some of the differences between my wife and him, but I desired to hear none of them, and am sorry at my folly in forcing it and theirs in not telling me of it at the beginning, and therefore am resolved to make the best of a bad market, and to bring my wife to herself again as soon and as well as I can. So we parted very kindly, and he will dine with me tomorrow or next day. Thence walked home, doing several errands by the way, and at home took my wife to visit Sir W. Pen, who is still lame, and after an hour with him went home and supped, and with great content to bed.
15th. Lay pretty long in bed, being a little troubled with some pain got by wind and cold, and so up with good peace of mind, hoping that my wife will mind her house and servants, and so to the office, and being too soon to sit walked to my viail, which is well nigh done, and I believe I may have it home to my mind next week. So back to my office, and there we sat all the morning, I till 2 o’clock before I could go to dinner again. After dinner walked forth to my instrument maker, and there had my rule he made me lay now so perfected, that I think in all points I have never need or desire a better, or think that any man yet had one so good in all the several points of it for my use. So by water down to Deptford, taking into my boat with me Mr. Palmer, one whom I knew and his wife when I was first married, being an acquaintance of my wife’s and her friends lodging at Charing Cross during our differences. He joyed me in my condition, and himself it seems is forced to follow the law in a common ordinary way, but seems to do well, and is a sober man, enough by his discourse. He landed with me at Deptford, where he saw by the officers’ respect to me a piece of my command, and took notice of it, though God knows I hope I shall not be elated with that, but rather desire to be known for serving the King well, and doing my duty. He gone I walked up and down the yard a while discoursing with the officers, and so by water home meditating on my new Rule with great pleasure. So to my office, and there by candle light doing business, and so home to supper and to bed.
16th (Lord’s day). Up and with my wife to church, and finding her desirous to go to church, I did suspect her meeting of Pembleton, but he was not there, and so I thought my jealousy in vain, and treat the sermon with great quiet. And home to dinner very pleasant, only some angry, notwithstanding my wife could not forbear to give Ashwell, and after dinner to church again, and there, looking up and down, I found Pembleton to stand in the isle against us, he coming too late to get a pew. Which, Lord! into what a sweat did it put me! I do not think my wife did see him, which did a little satisfy me. But it makes me mad to see of what a jealous temper I am and cannot helpe it, though let him do what he can I do not see, as I am going to reduce my family, what hurt he can do me, there being no more occasion now for my wife to learn of him. Here preached a confident young coxcomb. So home, and I staid a while with Sir J. Minnes, at Mrs. Turner’s, hearing his parrat talk, laugh, and crow, which it do to admiration. So home and with my wife to see Sir W. Pen, and thence to my uncle Wight, and took him at supper and sat down, where methinks my uncle is more kind than he used to be both to me now, and my father tell me to him also, which I am glad at. After supper home, it being extraordinary dark, and by chance a lanthorn came by, and so we hired it to light us home, otherwise were we no sooner within doors but a great showre fell that had doused us cruelly if we had not been within, it being as dark as pitch. So to prayers and to bed.
17th. Up, and then fell into discourse, my wife and I to Ashwell, and much against my will I am fain to express a willingness to Ashwell that she should go from us, and yet in my mind I am glad of it, to ease me of the charge. So she is to go to her father this day. And leaving my wife and her talking highly, I went away by coach with Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten to St. James’s, and there attended of course the Duke. And so to White Hall, where I met Mr. Moore, and he tells me with great sorrow of my lord’s being debauched he fears by this woman at Chelsey, which I am troubled at, and resolve to speak to him of it if I can seasonably. Thence home, where I dined, and after dinner comes our old mayde Susan to look for a gorgett that she says she has lost by leaving it here, and by many circumstances it being clear to me that Hannah, our present cook-mayde, not only has it, but had it on upon her necke when Susan came in, and shifted it off presently upon her coming in, I did charge her so home with it (having a mind to have her gone from us), that in a huff she told us she would be gone to-night if I would pay her her wages, which I was glad and my wife of, and so fetched her her wages, and though I am doubtful that she may convey some things away with her clothes, my wife searching them, yet we are glad of her being so gone, and so she went away in a quarter of an hour’s time. Being much amused at this to have never a maid but Ashwell, that we do not intend to keep, nor a boy, and my wife and I being left for an hour, till my brother came in, alone in the house, I grew very melancholy, and so my brother being come in I went forth to Mrs. Holden’s, to whom I formerly spoke about a girle to come to me instead of a boy, and the like I did to Mrs. Standing and also to my brother Tom, whom I found at an alehouse in Popinjay ally drinking, and I standing with him at the gate of the ally, Ashwell came by, and so I left Tom and went almost home with her, talking of her going away. I find that she is willing to go, and told her (though behind my back my wife has told her that it was more my desire than hers that she should go, which was not well), that seeing my wife and she could not agree I did choose rather (was she my sister) have her gone, it would be better for us and for her too. To which she willing agreed, and will not tell me anything but that she do believe that my wife would have some body there that might not be so liable to give me information of things as she takes her to be. But, however, I must later to prevent all that. I parted with her near home, agreeing to take no notice of my coming along with her, and so by and by came home after her. Where I find a sad distracted house, which troubles me. However, to supper and prayers and to bed. And while we were getting to bed my wife began to discourse to her, and plainly asked whether she had got a place or no. And the other answered that she could go if we would to one of our own office, to which we agreed if she would. She thereupon said no; she would not go to any but where she might teach children, because of keeping herself in use of what things she had earnt, which she do not here nor will there, but only dressing. By which I perceive the wench is cunning, but one very fit for such a place, and accomplished to be woman to any lady in the land. So quietly to sleep, it being a cold night. But till my house is settled, I do not see that I can mind my business of the office, which grieves me to the heart. But I hope all will over in a little time, and I hope to the best. This day at Mrs. Holden’s I found my new low crowned beaver according to the present fashion made, and will be sent home tomorrow.
18th. Up and to my office, where we sat all the morning. And at noon home, and my father came and dined with me, Susan being come and helped my wife to dress dinner. After dinner my father and I talked about our country-matters, and in fine I find that he thinks £50 per ann. will go near to keep them all, which I am glad of. He having taken his leave of me and my wife without any mention of the differences between them and my wife in the country, I went forth to several places about businesses, and so home again, and after prayers to bed.
19th. Up betimes, and my wife up and about the house, Susan beginning to have her drunken tricks, and put us in mind of her old faults and folly and distractednesse, which we had forgot, so that I became mightily troubled with her. This morning came my joyners to new lay the floors, and begun with the dining room. I out and see my viall again, and it is very well, and to Mr. Hollyard, and took some pills of him and a note under his hand to drink wine with my beere, without which I was obliged, by my private vowe, to drink none a good while, and have strictly observed it, and by my drinking of small beere and not eating, I am so mightily troubled with wind, that I know not what to do almost. Thence to White Hall, and there met Mr. Moore, and fell a-talking about my Lord’s folly at Chelsey, and it was our discourse by water to London and to the great coffee house against the Exchange, where we sat a good while talking; and I find that my lord is wholly given up to this wench, who it seems has been reputed a common strumpett. I have little encouragement from Mr. Moore to meddle with it to tell my Lord, for fear it may do him no good, but me hurt. Thence homewards, taking leave of him, and met Tom Marsh, my old acquaintance at Westminster, who talks mightily of the honour of his place, being Clerke Assistant to the Clerke of the House of Commons, and I take him to be a coxcombe, and so did give him half a pint of wine, but drink none myself, and so got shut of him. So home, and there found my wife almost mad with Susan’s tricks, so as she is forced to let her go and leave the house all in dirt and the clothes all wet, and gets Goody Taylour to do the business for her till another comes. Here came Will Howe, and he and I alone in my chamber talking of my Lord, who drives me out of love to my Lord to tell my Lord of the matter we discoursed of, which tend so much to the ruin of his state, and so I resolved to take a good heart and do whatever comes of it. He gone, we sat down and eat a bit of dinner fetched from the cooke’s, and so up again and to my joyners, who will make my floors very handsome. By and by comes in Pembleton, which begun to make me sweat, but I did give him so little countenance, and declared at one word against dancing any more, and bid him a short (God be with you) myself, and so he took as short a leave of my wife and so went away, and I think without any time of receiving any great satisfaction from my wife or invitation to come again. To my office till it was dark doing business, and so home by candle light to make up my accounts for my Lord and Mr. Moore. By and by comes Mr. Moore to me, and staid a good while with me making up his accounts and mine, and we did not come to any end therein for want of his papers, and so put it off to another time. He supped with me in all my dirt and disorder, and so went away and we to bed. I discoursed with him a great while about my speaking to my Lord of his business, and I apprehend from him that it is likely to prove perhaps of bad effect to me and no good to him, and therefore I shall even let it alone and let God do his will, at least till my Lord is in the country, and then we shall see whether he resolves to come to Chelsey again or no, and so order the stopping of him therein if we can.
20th. Up betimes and to my office (having first been angry with my brother John, and in the heat of my sudden passion called him Asse and coxcomb, for which I am sorry, it being but for leaving the key of his chamber with a spring lock within side of his door), and there we sat all the morning, and at noon dined at home, and there found a little girl, which she told my wife her name was Jinny, by which name we shall call her. I think a good likely girl, and a parish child of St. Bride’s, of honest parentage, and recommended by the churchwarden. After dinner among my joyners laying my floors, which please me well, and so to my office, and we sat this afternoon upon an extraordinary business of victualling. In the evening came Commissioner Pett, who fell foule on mee for my carriage to him at Chatham, wherein, after protestation of my love and good meaning to him, he was quiet; but I doubt he will not be able to do the service there that any other man of his ability would. Home in the evening my viall (and lute new strung being brought home too), and I would have paid Mr. Hunt for it, but he did not come along with it himself, which I expected and was angry for it, so much is it against my nature to owe anything to any body. This evening the girle that was brought to me today for so good a one, being cleansed of lice this day by my wife, and good, new clothes put on her back, she run away from Goody Taylour that was shewing her the way to the bakehouse, and we heard no more of her. So to supper and to bed.
21st. Up betimes and among my joyners, and to my office, where the joyners are also laying mouldings in the inside of my closet. Then abroad and by water to White Hall, and there got Sir G. Carteret to sign me my last quarter’s bills for my wages, and meeting with Mr. Creed he told me how my Lord Teviott hath received another attaque from Guyland at Tangier with 10,000 men, and at last, as is said, is come, after a personal treaty with him, to a good understanding and peace with him. Thence to my brother’s, and there told him how my girl has served us which he sent me, and directed him to get my clothes again, and get the girl whipped. So to other places by the way about small businesses, and so home, and after looking over all my workmen, I went by water and land to Deptford, and there found by appointment Sir W. Batten, but he was got to Mr. Waith’s to dinner, where I dined with him, a good dinner and good discourse, and his wife, I believe, a good woman. We fell in discourse of Captain Cocke, and how his lady has lost all her fine linen almost, but besides that they say she gives out she had £3000 worth of linen, which we all laugh at, and Sir W. Batten (who I perceive is not so fond of the Captain as he used to be, and less of her, from her slight receiving of him and his lady it seems once) told me how he should say that he see he must spend £700 per ann. get it how he could, which was a high speech, and by all men’s discover, his estate not good enough to spend so much. After dinner altered our design to go to Woolwich, and put it off to tomorrow morning, and so went all to Greenwich (Mrs. Waith excepted, who went thither, but not to the same house with us, but to her father’s, that lives there), to the musique-house, where we had paltry musique, till the master organist came, whom by discourse I afterwards knew, having employed him for my Lord Sandwich, to prick out something (his name Arundell), and he did give me a fine voluntary or two, and so home by water, and at home I find my girl that run away brought by a bedel of St. Bride’s Parish, and stripped her and sent her away, and a newe one come, of Griffin’s helping to, which I think will prove a pretty girl. Her name, Susan, and so to supper after having this evening paid Mr. Hunt £3 for my viall (besides the carving which I paid this day 10s. for to the carver), and he tells me that I may, without flattery, say, I have as good a Theorbo viall and viallin as is in England. So to bed.
22nd. Up by four o’clock to go with Sir W. Batten to Woolwich and Sir J. Minnes, which we did, though not before 6 or 7 by their laying a-bed. Our business was to survey the new wharf building there, in order to the giving more to him that do it (Mr. Randall) than contracted for, but I see no reason for it, though it be well done, yet no better than contracted to be. Here we eat and drank at the Clerke of the Cheques, and in taking water at the Tower gate, we drank a cup of strong water, which I did out of pure conscience to my health, and I think is not excepted by my oaths, but it is a thing I shall not do again, hoping to have no such occasion. After breakfast Mr. Castle and I walked to Greenwich, and in our way met some gypsys, who would needs tell me my fortune, and I suffered one of them, who told me many things common as others do, but bade me beware of a John and a Thomas, for they did seek to do me hurt, and that somebody should be with me this day se’nnight to borrow money of me, but I should lend him none. She got ninepence of me. And so I left them and to Greenwich and so to Deptford, where the two knights were come, and thence home by water, where I find my closet done at my office to my mind and work gone well on at home; and Ashwell gone abroad to her father, my wife having spoken plainly to her. After dinner to my office, getting my closet made clean and setting some papers in order, and so in the evening home and to bed. This day Sir W. Batten tells me that Mr. Newburne (of whom the nickname came up among us forarse Tom Newburne) is dead of eating cowcumbers, of which, the other day, I heard another, I think Sir Nicholas Crisp’s son.
23rd (Lord’s day). Up and to church without my wife, she being all dirty, as my house is. God forgive me, I looked about to see if I could spy Pembleton, but I could not, which did please me not a little. Home to dinner, and then to walk up and down in my house with my wife, discoursing of our family matters, and I hope, after all my troubles of mind and jealousy, we shall live happily still. To church again, and so home to my wife; and with her read “Iter Boreale,” a poem, made just at the King’s coming home; but I never read it before, and now like it pretty well, but not so as it was cried up. So to supper. No pleasure or discourse with Ashwell, with whom for her neglect and unconcernment to do any thing in this time of dirt and trouble in the house, but gadding abroad as she has been all this afternoon, I know not whither. After supper to prayers and to bed, having been, by a sudden letter coming to me from Mr. Coventry, been with Sir W. Pen, to discourse with him about sending 500 soldiers into Ireland. I doubt matters do not go very right there.
24th. Up very early, and my joyners came to work. I to Mr. Moore; from him came back home again, and drew up an account to my Lord, and that being done met him at my Lord Sandwich’s, where I was a good while alone with my Lord; and I perceive he confides in me and loves me as he uses to do, and tells me his condition, which is now very well all I fear is that he will not live within compass, for I am told this morning of strange dotages of his upon the slut at Chelsea, even in the presence of his daughter, my Lady Jem, and Mrs. Ferrets, who took notice of it. There come to him this morning his prints of the river Tagus and the City of Lisbon, which he measured with his own hand, and printed by command of the King. My Lord pleases himself with it, but methinks it ought to have been better done than by jobing. Besides I put him upon having some took off upon white sattin, which he ordered presently. I offered my Lord my accounts, and did give him up his old bond for £500 and took a new one of him for £700, which I am by lending him more money to make up: and I am glad of it. My Lord would have had me dine with him, but I had a mind to go home to my workmen, and so took a kind good bye of him, and so with Creed to St. James’s, and, missing Mr. Coventry, walked to the New Exchange, and there drank some whey, and so I by water home, and found my closett at my office made very clean and neat to my mind mightily, and home to dinner, and then to my office to brush my books, and put them and my papers in order again, and all the afternoon till late at night doing business there, and so home to supper, and then to work in my chamber, making matters of this day’s accounts clear in my books, they being a little extraordinary, and so being very late I put myself to bed, the rest being long ago gone.
25th. Up very early and removed the things out of my chamber into the dining room, it being to be new floored this day. So the workmen being come and falling to work there, I to the office, and thence down to Lymehouse to Phin. Pett’s about masts, and so back to the office, where we sat; and being rose, and Mr. Coventry being gone, taking his leave, for that he is to go to the Bath with the Duke tomorrow, I to the ‘Change and there spoke with several persons, and lastly with Sir W. Warren, and with him to a Coffee House, and there sat two hours talking of office business and Mr. Wood’s knavery, which I verily believe, and lastly he tells me that he hears that Captain Cocke is like to become a principal officer, either a Controller or a Surveyor, at which I am not sorry so either of the other may be gone, and I think it probable enough that it may be so. So home at 2 o’clock, and there I found Ashwell gone, and her wages come to 50s., and my wife, by a mistake from me, did give her 20s. more; but I am glad that she is gone and the charge saved. After dinner among my joyners, and with them till dark night, and this night they made an end of all; and so having paid them 40s. for their six days’ work, I am glad they have ended and are gone, for I am weary and my wife too of this dirt. My wife growing peevish at night, being weary, and I a little vexed to see that she do not retain things in her memory that belong to the house as she ought and I myself do, I went out in a little seeming discontent to the office, and after being there a while, home to supper and to bed. To-morrow they say the King and the Duke set out for the Bath. This noon going to the Exchange, I met a fine fellow with trumpets before him in Leadenhall-street, and upon enquiry I find that he is the clerk of the City Market; and three or four men carried each of them an arrow of a pound weight in their hands. It seems this Lord Mayor begins again an old custome, that upon the three first days of Bartholomew Fayre, the first, there is a match of wrestling, which was done, and the Lord Mayor there and Aldermen in Moorefields yesterday: today, shooting: and tomorrow, hunting. And this officer of course is to perform this ceremony of riding through the city, I think to proclaim or challenge any to shoot. It seems that the people of the fayre cry out upon it as a great hindrance to them.
26th. Up, and after doing something in order to the putting of my house in order now the joynery is done, I went by water to White Hall, where the Court full of waggons and horses, the King and Court going this day out towards the Bath, and I to St. James’s, where I spent an hour or more talking of many things to my great content with Mr. Coventry in his chamber, he being ready to set forth too with the Duke today, and so left him, and I meeting Mr. Gauden, with him to our offices and in Sir W. Pen’s chamber did discourse by a meeting on purpose with Mr. Waith about the victualling business and came to some issue in it. So home to dinner, and Mr. Moore came and dined with me, and after dinner I paid him some money which evened all reckonings between him and me to this day, and for my Lord also I paid him some money, so that now my Lord owes me, for which I have his bond, just £700. After long discourse with him of the fitness of his giving me a receipt for this money, which I for my security think necessary and he otherwise do not think so, at last, after being a little angry, and I resolving not to let go my money without it, he did give me one. Thence I took him, and he and I took a pleasant walk to Deptford and back again, I doing much business there. He went home and I home also, indoors to supper, being very glad to see my house begin to look like itself again, hoping after this is over not to be in any dirt a great while again, but it is very handsome, and will be more when the floors come to be of one colour. So weary to bed. Pleased this day to see Captain Hickes come to me with a list of all the officers of Deptford Yard, wherein he, being a high old Cavalier, do give me an account of every one of them to their reproach in all respects, and discovers many of their knaverys; and tells me, and so I thank God I hear every where, that my name is up for a good husband for the King, and a good man, for which I bless God; and that he did this by particular direction of Mr. Coventry.
27th. Up, after much pleasant talke with my wife and a little that vexes me, for I see that she is confirmed in it that all that I do is by design, and that my very keeping of the house in dirt, and the doing of this and any thing else in the house, is but to find her employment to keep her within and from minding of her pleasure, in which, though I am sorry to see she minds it, is true enough in a great degree. To my office, and there we sat and despatched much business. Home and dined with my wife well, and then up and made clean my closet of books, and had my chamber a third time made very clean, so that it is now in a very fine condition. Thence down to see some good plank in the river with Sir W. Batten and back again, it being a very cold day and a cold wind. Home again, and after seeing Sir W. Pen, to my office, and there till late doing of business, being mightily encouraged by every body that I meet withal upon the ‘Change and every where else, that I am taken notice of for a man that do the King’s business wholly and well. For which the Lord be praised, for I know no honour I desire more. Home to supper, where I find my house very clean from top to bottom again to my great content. I found a feacho (as he calls it) of fine sugar and a case of orange-flower water come from Mr. Cocke, of Lisbon, the fruits of my last year’s service to him, which I did in great justice to the man, a perfect stranger. He sends it me desiring that I would not let Sir J. Minnes know it, from whom he expected to have found the service done that he had from me, from whom he could expect nothing, and the other failed him, and would have done I am sure to this day had not I brought it to some end. After supper to bed.
28th. At the office betimes (it being cold all night and this morning, and a very great frost they say abroad, which is much, having had no summer at all almost), where we sat, and in the afternoon also about settling the establishment of the number of men borne on ships, &c., till the evening, and after that in my closet till late, and quite tired with business, home to supper and to bed.
29th. Abroad with my wife by water to Westminster, and there left her at my Lord’s lodgings, and I to Jervas the barber’s, and there was trimmed, and did deliver back a periwigg, which he brought by my desire the other day to show me, having some thoughts, though no great desire or resolution yet to wear one, and so I put it off for a while. Thence to my wife, and calling at both the Exchanges, buying stockings for her and myself, and also at Leadenhall, where she and I, it being candlelight, bought meat for tomorrow, having never a mayde to do it, and I myself bought, while my wife was gone to another shop, a leg of beef, a good one, for six pense, and my wife says is worth my money. So walked home with a woman carrying our things. I am mightily displeased at a letter Tom sent me last night, to borrow £20 more of me, and yet gives me no account, as I have long desired, how matters stand with him in the world. I am troubled also to see how, contrary to my expectation, my brother John neither is the scholler nor minds his studies as I thought would have done, but loiters away his time, so that I must send him soon to Cambridge again.
31st. Up and to my office all the morning, where Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes did pay the short allowance money to the East India companies, and by the assistance of the City Marshall and his men, did lay hold of two or three of the chief of the companies that were in the mutiny the other day, and sent them to prison. This noon came Jane Gentleman to serve my wife as her chamber mayde. I wish she may prove well. So ends this month, with my mind pretty well in quiett, and in good disposition of health since my drinking at home of a little wine with my beer; but no where else do I drink any wine at all. The King and Queen and the Court at the Bath, my Lord Sandwich in the country newly gone.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53