Sept. 1st. Up pretty betimes, and after a little at my viall to my office, where we sat all the morning, and I got my bill among others for my carved work (which I expected to have paid for myself) signed at the table, and hope to get the money back again, though if the rest had not got it paid by the King, I never intended nor did desire to have him pay for my vanity. In the evening my brother John coming to me to complain that my wife seems to be discontented at his being here, and shows him great disrespect; so I took and walked with him in the garden, and discoursed long with him about my affairs, and how imprudent it is for my father and mother and him to take exceptions without great cause at my wife, considering how much it concerns them to keep her their friend and for my peace; not that I would ever be led by her to forget or desert them in the main, but yet she deserves to be pleased and complied with a little, considering the manner of life that I keep her to, and how convenient it were for me to have Brampton for her to be sent to when I have a mind or occasion to go abroad to Portsmouth or elsewhere. So directed him how to behave himself to her, and gave him other counsel; and so to my office, where late.
2nd. Up betimes and to my office, and thence with Sir J. Minnes by coach to White Hall, where met us Sir W. Batten, and there staid by the Council Chamber till the Lords called us in, being appointed four days ago to attend them with an account of the riott among the seamen the other day, when Sir J. Minnes did as like a coxcomb as ever I saw any man speak in my life, and so we were dismissed, they making nothing almost of the matter. We staid long without, till by and by my Lord Mayor comes, who also was commanded to be there, and he having, we not being within with him, an admonition from the Lords to take better care of preserving the peace, we joyned with him, and the Lords having commanded Sir J. Minnes to prosecute the fellows for the riott, we rode along with my Lord Mayor in his coach to the Sessions House in the Old Bayley, where the Sessions are now sitting. Here I heard two or three ordinary tryalls, among others one (which, they say, is very common now-a-days, and therefore in my now taking of mayds I resolve to look to have some body to answer for them) a woman that went and was indicted by four names for entering herself a cookemayde to a gentleman that prosecuted her there, and after 3 days run away with a silver tankard, a porringer of silver, and a couple of spoons, and being now found is found guilty, and likely will be hanged. By and by up to dinner with my Lord Mayor and the Aldermen, and a very great dinner and most excellent venison, but it almost made me sick by not daring to drink wine. After dinner into a withdrawing room; and there we talked, among other things, of the Lord Mayor’s sword. They tell me this sword, they believe, is at least a hundred or two hundred years old; and another that he hath, which is called the Black Sword, which the Lord Mayor wears when he mournes, but properly is their Lenten sword to wear upon Good Friday and other Lent days, is older than that. Thence I, leaving Sir J. Minnes to look after his indictment drawing up, I home by water, and there found my wife mightily pleased with a present of shells, fine shells given her by Captain Hickes, and so she and I up and look them over, and indeed they are very pleasant ones. By and by in comes Mr. Lewellin, lately come from Ireland, to see me, and he tells me how the English interest falls mightily there, the Irish party being too great, so that most of the old rebells are found innocent, and their lands, which were forfeited and bought or given to the English, are restored to them; which gives great discontent there among the English. He being gone, I to my office, where late, putting things in order, and so home to supper and to bed. Going through the City, my Lord Mayor told me how the piller set up by Exeter House is only to show where the pipes of water run to the City; and observed that this City is as well watered as any city in the world, and that the bringing the water to the City hath cost it first and last above £300,000; but by the new building, and the building of St. James’s by my Lord St. Albans,1 which is now about (and which the City stomach I perceive highly, but dare not oppose it), were it now to be done, it would not be done for a million of money.
1 It was at this time that the Earl of St. Albans planned St. James’s Square, which was first styled “The Piazza.” The “Warrant for a grant to Baptist May and Abraham Cowley on nomination of the Earl of St. Albans of several parcels of ground in Pall Mall described, on rental of £80, for building thereon a square of 13 or 14 great and good houses,” was dated September 24th, 1664.
3rd. Up betimes, and for an hour at my viall before my people rise. Then up and to the office a while, and then to Sir W. Batten, who is going this day for pleasure down to the Downes. I eat a breakfast with them, and at my Lady’s desire with them by coach to Greenwich, where I went aboard with them on the Charlotte yacht. The wind very fresh, and I believe they will be all sicke enough, besides that she is mighty troublesome on the water. Methinks she makes over much of her husband’s ward, young Mr. Griffin, as if she expected some service from him when he comes to it, being a pretty young boy. I left them under sayle, and I to Deptford, and, after a word or two with Sir J. Minnes, walked to Redriffe and so home. In my way, it coming into my head, overtaking of a beggar or two on the way that looked like Gypsys, what the Gypsys 8 or 9 days ago had foretold, that somebody that day se’nnight should be with me to borrow money, but I should lend none; and looking, when I came to my office, upon my journall, that my brother John had brought a letter that day from my brother Tom to borrow £20 more of me, which had vexed me so that I had sent the letter to my father into the country, to acquaint him of it, and how little he is beforehand that he is still forced to borrow. But it pleased me mightily to see how, contrary to my expectations, having so lately lent him £20, and belief that he had money by him to spare, and that after some days not thinking of it, I should look back and find what the Gypsy had told me to be so true. After dinner at home to my office, and there till late doing business, being very well pleased with Mr. Cutler’s coming to me about some business, and among other things tells me that they value me as a man of business, which he accounts the best virtuoso, and I know his thinking me so, and speaking where he comes, may be of good use to me. Home to supper, and to bed.
4th. Up betimes, and an hour at my viall, and then abroad by water to White Hall and Westminster Hall, and there bought the first newes-books of L’Estrange’s writing;1 he beginning this week; and makes, methinks, but a simple beginning. Then to speak to Mrs. Lane, who seems desirous to have me come to see her and to have her company as I had a little while ago, which methinks if she were very modest, considering how I tumbled her and tost her, she should not. Thence to Mrs. Harper, and sent for Creed, and there Mrs. Harper sent for a maid for me to come to live with my wife. I like the maid’s looks well enough, and I believe may do well, she looking very modestly and speaking so too. I directed her to speak with my wife, and so Creed and I away to Mr. Povy’s, and he not being at home, walked to Lincoln’s Inn walks, which they are making very fine, and about one o’clock went back to Povy’s; and by and by in comes he, and so we sat and down to dinner, and his lady, whom I never saw before (a handsome old woman that brought him money that makes him do as he does), and so we had plenty of meat and drink, though I drunk no wine, though mightily urged to it, and in the exact manner that I never saw in my life any where, and he the most full and satisfied in it that man can be in this world with any thing. After dinner done, to see his new cellars, which he has made so fine with so noble an arch and such contrivances for his barrels and bottles, and in a room next to it such a grotto and fountayne, which in summer will be so pleasant as nothing in the world can be almost. But to see how he himself do pride himself too much in it, and command and expect to have all admiration, though indeed everything do highly deserve it, is a little troublesome. Thence Creed and I away, and by his importunity away by coach to Bartholomew Fayre, where I have no mind to go without my wife, and therefore rode through the fayre without ‘lighting, and away home, leaving him there; and at home made my wife get herself presently ready, and so carried her by coach to the fayre, and showed her the monkeys dancing on the ropes, which was strange, but such dirty sport that I was not pleased with it. There was also a horse with hoofs like rams hornes, a goose with four feet, and a cock with three. Thence to another place, and saw some German Clocke works, the Salutation of the Virgin Mary, and several Scriptural stories; but above all there was at last represented the sea, with Neptune, Venus, mermaids, and Ayrid on a dolphin, the sea rocking, so well done, that had it been in a gaudy manner and place, and at a little distance, it had been admirable. Thence home by coach with my wife, and I awhile to the office, and so to supper and to bed. This day I read a Proclamation for calling in and commanding every body to apprehend my Lord Bristoll.
1 Roger L’Estrange, a voluminous writer of pamphlets and periodical papers, and translator of classics, &c. Born 1616. He was Licenser of the Press to Charles II. and James II.; and M.P. for Winchester in James II.‘s parliament. L’Estrange was knighted in the reign of James II., and died 1704. In 1663 L’Estrange set up a paper called “The Public Intelligencer,” which came out on August 31st, and continued to be published twice a week till January 19th, 1665, when it was superseded by the scheme of publishing the “London Gazette,” the first number of which appeared on February 4th following.
5th. Up betimes and to my viall awhile, and so to the office, and there sat, and busy all the morning. So at noon to the Exchange, and so home to dinner, where I met Creed, who dined with me, and after dinner mightily importuned by Captain Hicks, who came to tell my wife the names and story of all the shells, which was a pretty present he made her the other day. He being gone, Creed, my wife, and I to Cornhill, and after many tryalls bought my wife a chintz, that is, a painted Indian callico, for to line her new study, which is very pretty. So home with her, and then I away (Creed being gone) to Captain Minors upon Tower Hill, and there, abating only some impertinence of his, I did inform myself well in things relating to the East Indys; both of the country and the disappointment the King met with the last voyage, by the knavery of the Portugall Viceroy, and the inconsiderablenesse of the place of Bombaim,1 if we had had it. But, above all things, it seems strange to me that matters should not be understood before they went out; and also that such a thing as this, which was expected to be one of the best parts of the Queen’s portion, should not be better understood; it being, if we had it, but a poor place, and not really so as was described to our King in the draught of it, but a poor little island; whereas they made the King and Lord Chancellor, and other learned men about the King, believe that that, and other islands which are near it, were all one piece; and so the draught was drawn and presented to the King, and believed by the King and expected to prove so when our men came thither; but it is quite otherwise. Thence to my office, and after several letters writ, home to supper and to bed, and took a pill. I hear this day that Sir W. Batten was fain to put ashore at Queenborough with my Lady, who has been so sick she swears never to go to sea again. But it happens well that Holmes is come home into the Downes, where he will meet my Lady, and it may be do her more good than she looked for. He brings news of the peace between Tangier and the Moors, but the particulars I know not. He is come but yesterday.
1 Bombay, which was transferred to the East India Company in 1669. The seat of the Western Presidency of India was removed from Surat to Bombay in 1685–87.
6th (Lord’s day). My pill I took last night worked very well, and I lay long in bed and sweat to get away the itching all about my body from head to foot, which is beginning again as it did the last winter, and I find after I am up that it is abated. I staid at home all day and my wife also, whom, God forgive me, I staid along with me for fear of her seeing of Pembleton. But she and I entertained one another all day long with great pleasure, contriving about my wife’s closet and the bedchamber, whither we intend to go up she and I today. We dined alone and supped also at night, my brother John with us, and so to prayers and to bed.
7th. Up pretty betimes, and awhile to my vyall, and then abroad to several places, to buy things for the furnishing my house and my wife’s closet, and then met my uncle Thomas, by appointment, and he and I to the Prerogative Office in Paternoster Row, and there searched and found my uncle Day’s will, end read it over and advised upon it, and his wife’s after him, and though my aunt Perkins testimony is very good, yet I fear the estate being great, and the rest that are able to inform us in the matter are all possessed of more or less of the estate, it will be hard for us ever to do anything, nor will I adventure anything till I see what part will be given to us by my uncle Thomas of all that is gained. But I had another end of putting my uncle into some doubt, that so I might keep him: yet from going into the country that he may be there against the Court at his own charge, and so I left him and his son at a loss what to do till I see them again. And so I to my Lord Crew’s, thinking to have dined there, but it was too late, and so back and called at my brother’s and Mr. Holden’s about several businesses, and went all alone to the Black Spread Eagle in Bride Lane, and there had a chopp of veale and some bread, cheese, and beer, cost me a shilling to my dinner, and so through Fleet Ally, God forgive me, out of an itch to look upon the sluts there, against which when I saw them my stomach turned, and so to Bartholomew Fayre, where I met with Mr. Pickering, and he and I to see the monkeys at the Dutch house, which is far beyond the other that my wife and I saw the other day; and thence to see the dancing on the ropes, which was very poor and tedious. But he and I fell in discourse about my Lord Sandwich. He tells me how he is sorry for my Lord at his being at Chelsey, and that his but seeming so to my Lord without speaking one word, had put him clear out of my Lord’s favour, so as that he was fain to leave him before he went into the country, for that he was put to eat with his servants; but I could not fish from him, though I knew it, what was the matter; but am very sorry to see that my Lord hath thus much forgot his honour, but am resolved not to meddle with it. The play being done, I stole from him and hied home, buying several things at the ironmonger’s — dogs, tongs, and shovels — for my wife’s closett and the rest of my house, and so home, and thence to my office awhile, and so home to supper and to bed. By my letters from Tangier today I hear that it grows very strong by land, and the Mole goes on. They have lately killed two hundred of the Moores, and lost about forty or fifty. I am mightily afeard of laying out too much money in goods upon my house, but it is not money flung away, though I reckon nothing money but when it is in the bank, till I have a good sum beforehand in the world.
8th. Up and to my viall a while, and then to my office on Phillips having brought me a draught of the Katherine yacht, prettily well done for the common way of doing it. At the office all the morning making up our last half year’s account to my Lord Treasurer, which comes to £160,000 or there abouts, the proper expense of this half year, only with an addition of £13,000 for the third due of the last account to the Treasurer for his disbursements, and £1100 for this half year’s; so that in three years and a half his thirds come to £14,100. Dined at home with my wife. It being washing day, we had a good pie baked of a leg of mutton; and then to my office, and then abroad, and among other places to Moxon’s, and there bought a payre of globes cost me £3 10s., with which I am well pleased, I buying them principally for my wife, who has a mind to understand them, and I shall take pleasure to teach her. But here I saw his great window in his dining room, where there is the two Terrestrial Hemispheres, so painted as I never saw in my life, and nobly done and to good purpose, done by his own hand. Thence home to my office, and there at business late, and then to supper home and to bed, my people sitting up longer than ordinary before they had done their washing.
9th. Up by break of day, and then to my vials a while, and so to Sir W. Warren’s by agreement, and after talking and eating something with him, he and I down by water to Woolwich, and there I did several businesses, and had good discourse, and thence walked to Greenwich; in my way a little boy overtook us with a fine cupp turned out of Lignum Vitae, which the poor child confessed was made in the King’s yard by his father, a turner there, and that he do often do it, and that I might have one, and God knows what, which I shall examine. Thence to Sir W. Warren’s again, and there drew up a contract for masts which he is to sell us, and so home to dinner, finding my poor wife busy. I, after dinner, to the office, and then to White Hall, to Sir G. Carteret’s, but did not speak with him, and so to Westminster Hall, God forgive me, thinking to meet Mrs. Lane, but she was not there, but here I met with Ned Pickering, with whom I walked 3 or 4 hours till evening, he telling me the whole business of my Lord’s folly with this Mrs. Becke, at Chelsey, of all which I am ashamed to see my Lord so grossly play the beast and fool, to the flinging off of all honour, friends, servants, and every thing and person that is good, and only will have his private lust undisturbed with this common. . . . his sitting up night after night alone, suffering nobody to come to them, and all the day too, casting off Pickering, basely reproaching him with his small estate, which yet is a good one, and other poor courses to obtain privacy beneath his honour, and with his carrying her abroad and playing on his lute under her window, and forty other poor sordid things, which I am grieved to hear; but believe it to no purpose for me to meddle with it, but let him go on till God Almighty and his own conscience and thoughts of his lady and family do it. So after long discourse, to my full satisfaction but great trouble, I home by water and at my office late, and so to supper to my poor wife, and so to bed, being troubled to think that I shall be forced to go to Brampton the next Court, next week.
10th. Up betimes and to my office, and there sat all the morning making a great contract with Sir W. Warren for £3,000 worth of masts; but, good God! to see what a man might do, were I a knave, the whole business from beginning to end being done by me out of the office, and signed to by them upon the once reading of it to them, without the least care or consultation either of quality, price, number, or need of them, only in general that it was good to have a store. But I hope my pains was such, as the King has the best bargain of masts has been bought these 27 years in this office. Dined at home and then to my office again, many people about business with me, and then stepped a little abroad about business to the Wardrobe, but missed Mr. Moore, and elswhere, and in my way met Mr. Moore, who tells me of the good peace that is made at Tangier with the Moores, but to continue but from six months to six months, and that the Mole is laid out, and likely to be done with great ease and successe, we to have a quantity of ground for our cattle about the town to our use. To my office late, and then home to supper, after writing letters, and to bed. This day our cook maid (we having no luck in maids now-adays), which was likely to prove a good servant, though none of the best cooks, fell sick and is gone to her friends, having been with us but 4 days.
11th. This morning, about two or three o’clock, knocked up in our back yard, and rising to the window, being moonshine, I found it was the constable and his watch, who had found our back yard door open, and so came in to see what the matter was. So I desired them to shut the door, and bid them good night, and so to bed again, and at 6 o’clock up and a while to my vyall, and then to the office, where all the morning upon the victualler’s accounts, and then with him to dinner at the Dolphin, where I eat well but drank no wine neither; which keeps me in such good order that I am mightily pleased with myself for it. Hither Mr. Moore came to me, and he and I home and advised about business, and so after an hour’s examining the state of the Navy debts lately cast up, I took coach to Sir Philip Warwick’s, but finding Sir G. Carteret there I did not go in, but directly home, again, it raining hard, having first of all been with Creed and Mrs. Harper about a cook maid, and am like to have one from Creed’s lodging. In my way home visited my Lord Crew and Sir Thomas, thinking they might have enquired by the by of me touching my Lord’s matters at Chelsey, but they said nothing, and so after some slight common talk I bid them good night. At home to my office, and after a while doing business home to supper and bed.
12th. Up betimes, and by water to White Hall; and thence to Sir Philip Warwick, and there had half an hour’s private discourse with him; and did give him some good satisfaction in our Navy matters, and he also me, as to the money paid and due to the Navy; so as he makes me assured by particulars, that Sir G. Carteret is paid within £80,000 every farthing that we to this day, nay to Michaelmas day next have demanded; and that, I am sure, is above £50,000 snore than truly our expenses have been, whatever is become of the money. Home with great content that I have thus begun an acquaintance with him, who is a great man, and a man of as much business as any man in England; which I will endeavour to deserve and keep. Thence by water to my office, in here all the morning, and so to the ‘Change at noon, and there by appointment met and bring home my uncle Thomas, who resolves to go with me to Brampton on Monday next. I wish he may hold his mind. I do not tell him, and yet he believes that there is a Court to be that he is to do some business for us there. The truth is I do find him a much more cunning fellow than I ever took him for, nay in his very drink he has his wits about him. I took him home to dinner, and after dinner he began, after a glass of wine or two, to exclaim against Sir G. Carteret and his family in Jersey, bidding me to have a care of him, and how high, proud, false, and politique a fellow he is, and how low he has been under his command in the island. After dinner, and long discourse, he went away to meet on Monday morning, and I to my office, and thence by water to White Hall and Westminster Hall about several businesses, and so home, and to my office writing a laborious letter about our last account to my Lord Treasurer, which took me to one o’clock in the morning,
13th (Lord’s day). So that Griffin was fain to carry it to Westminster to go by express, and my other letters of import to my father and elsewhere could not go at all. To bed between one and two and slept till 8, and lay talking till 9 with great pleasure with my wife. So up and put my clothes in order against tomorrow’s journey, and then at noon at dinner, and all the afternoon almost playing and discoursing with my wife with great content, and then to my office there to put papers in order against my going. And by and by comes my uncle Wight to bid us to dinner tomorrow to a haunch of venison I sent them yesterday, given me by Mr. Povy, but I cannot go, but my wife will. Then into the garden to read my weekly vows, and then home, where at supper saying to my wife, in ordinary fondness, “Well! shall you and I never travel together again?” she took me up and offered and desired to go along with me. I thinking by that means to have her safe from harm’s way at home here, was willing enough to feign, and after some difficulties made did send about for a horse and other things, and so I think she will go. So, in a hurry getting myself and her things ready, to bed.
14th. Up betimes, and my wife’s mind and mine holding for her going, so she to get her ready, and I abroad to do the like for myself, and so home, and after setting every thing at my office and at home in order, by coach to Bishop’s Gate, it being a very promising fair day. There at the Dolphin we met my uncle Thomas and his son-inlaw, which seems a very sober man, and Mr. Moore. So Mr. Moore and my wife set out before, and my uncle and I staid for his son Thomas, who, by a sudden resolution, is preparing to go with us, which makes me fear something of mischief which they design to do us. He staying a great while, the old man and I before, and about eight miles off, his son comes after us, and about six miles further we overtake Mr. Moore and my wife, which makes me mightily consider what a great deal of ground is lost in a little time, when it is to be got up again by another, that is to go his own ground and the other’s too; and so after a little bayte (I paying all the reckonings the whole journey) at Ware, to Buntingford, where my wife, by drinking some cold beer, being hot herself, presently after ‘lighting, begins to be sick, and became so pale, and I alone with her in a great chamber there, that I thought she would have died, and so in great horror, and having a great tryall of my true love and passion for her, called the mayds and mistresse of the house, and so with some strong water, and after a little vomit, she came to be pretty well again; and so to bed, and I having put her to bed with great content, I called in my company, and supped in the chamber by her, and being very merry in talk, supped and then parted, and I to bed and lay very well. This day my cozen Thomas dropped his hanger, and it was lost.
15th. Up pretty betimes and rode as far as Godmanehester, Mr. Moore having two falls, once in water and another in dirt, and there ‘light and eat and drunk, being all of us very weary, but especially my uncle and wife. Thence to Brampton to my father’s, and there found all well, but not sensible how they ought to treat my uncle and his son, at least till the Court be over, which vexed me, but on my counsel they carried it fair to them; and so my father, cozen Thomas, and I up to Hinchingbroke, where I find my Lord and his company gone to Boughton, which vexed me; but there I find my Lady and the young ladies, and there I alone with my Lady two hours, she carrying me through every part of the house and gardens, which are, and will be, mighty noble indeed. Here I saw Mrs. Betty Pickering, who is a very well-bred and comely lady, but very fat. Thence, without so much as drinking, home with my father and cozen, who staid for me, and to a good supper; after I had had an hour’s talk with my father abroad in the fields, wherein he begun to talk very highly of my promises to him of giving him the profits of Sturtlow, as if it were nothing that I give him out of my purse, and that he would have me to give this also from myself to my brothers and sister; I mean Brampton and all, I think: I confess I was angry to hear him talk in that manner, and took him up roundly in it, and advised him if he could not live upon £50 per ann., which was another part of his discourse, that he would think to come and live at Tom’s again, where £50 per ann. will be a good addition to Tom’s trade, and I think that must be done when all is done. But my father spoke nothing more of it all the time I was in the country, though at the time he seemed to like it well enough. I also spoke with Piggott too this evening before I went in to supper, and doubt that I shall meet with some knots in my business tomorrow before I can do it at the Court, but I shall do my best. After supper my uncle and his son to Stankes’s to bed, which troubles me, all our father’s beds being lent to Hinchingbroke, and so my wife and I to bed, she very weary.
16th. Up betimes, and with my wife to Hinchingbroke to see my Lady, she being to go to my Lord this morning, and there I left her, and so back to the Court, and heard Sir R. Bernard’s charges to the Courts Baron and Leete, which took up till noon, and were worth hearing, and after putting my business into some way, went home to my father’s to dinner, and after dinner to the Court, where Sir Robert and his son came again by and by, and then to our business, and my father and I having given bond to him for the £21 Piggott owed him, my uncle Thomas did quietly admit himself and surrender to us the lands first mortgaged for our whole debt, and Sir Robert added to it what makes it up £209, to be paid in six months. But when I came to give him an account of more lands to be surrendered to us, wherein Piggott’s wife was concerned, and she there to give her consent, Sir Robert would not hear of it, but began to talk very high that we were very cruel, and we had caution enough for our money, and he could not in conscience let the woman do it, and reproached my uncle, both he and his son, with taking use upon use for this money. To all which I did give him such answers and spoke so well, and kept him so to it, that all the Court was silent to hear us, and by report since do confess they did never hear the like in the place. But he by a wile had got our bond, and I was content to have as much as I could though I could not get all, and so took Piggott’s surrender of them without his wife, and by Sir Robert’s own consent did tell the Court that if the money were not paid in the time, and the security prove not sufficient, I would conclude myself wronged by Sir Robert, which he granted I should do. This kept us till night, but am heartily glad it ended so well on my uncle’s part, he doing that and Prior’s little house very willingly. So the Court broke up, and my father and Mr. Shepley and I to Gorrum’s to drink, and then I left them, and to the Bull, where my uncle was to hear what he and the people said of our business, and here nothing but what liked me very well. So by and by home and to supper, and with my mind in pretty good quiett, to bed.
17th. Up, and my father being gone to bed ill last night and continuing so this morning, I was forced to come to a new consideration, whether it was fit for to let my uncle and his son go to Wisbeach about my uncle Day’s estate alone or no, and concluded it unfit; and so resolved to go with them myself, leaving my wife there, I begun a journey with them, and with much ado, through the fens, along dikes, where sometimes we were ready to have our horses sink to the belly, we got by night, with great deal of stir and hard riding, to Parson’s Drove, a heathen place, where I found my uncle and aunt Perkins, and their daughters, poor wretches! in a sad, poor thatched cottage, like a poor barn, or stable, peeling of hemp, in which I did give myself good content to see their manner of preparing of hemp; and in a poor condition of habitt took them to our miserable inn, and there, after long stay, and hearing of Frank, their son, the miller, play, upon his treble, as he calls it, with which he earns part of his living, and singing of a country bawdy song, we sat down to supper; the whole crew, and Frank’s wife and child, a sad company, of which I was ashamed, supped with us. And after supper I, talking with my aunt about her report concerning my uncle Day’s will and surrender, I found her in such different reports from what she writes and says to the people, and short of what I expected, that I fear little will be done of good in it. By and by newes is brought to us that one of our horses is stole out of the stable, which proves my uncle’s, at which I am inwardly glad — I mean, that it was not mine; and at this we were at a great loss; and they doubting a person that lay at next door, a Londoner, some lawyer’s clerk, we caused him to be secured in his bed, and other care to be taken to seize the horse; and so about twelve at night or more, to bed in a sad, cold, nasty chamber, only the mayde was indifferent handsome, and so I had a kiss or two of her, and I to bed, and a little after I was asleep they waked me to tell me that the horse was found, which was good newes, and so to sleep till the morning, but was bit cruelly, and nobody else of our company, which I wonder at, by the gnatts.
18th. Up, and got our people together as soon as we could; and after eating a dish of cold cream, which was my supper last night too, we took leave of our beggarly company, though they seem good people, too; and over most sad Fenns, all the way observing the sad life which the people of the place which if they be born there, they do call the Breedlings’ of the place, do live, sometimes rowing from one spot to another, and then wadeing, to Wisbeach, a pretty town, and a fine church and library, where sundry very old abbey manuscripts; and a fine house, built on the church ground by Secretary Thurlow, and a fine gallery built for him in the church, but now all in the Bishop of Ely’s hands. After visiting the church, &c., we went out of the towne, by the help of a stranger, to find out one Blinkhorne, a miller, of whom we might inquire something of old Day’s disposal of his estate, and in whose hands it now is; and by great chance we met him, and brought him to our inn to dinner; and instead of being informed in his estate by this fellow, we find that he is the next heir to the estate, which was matter, of great sport to my cozen Thomas and me, to see such a fellow prevent us in our hopes, he being Day’s brother’s, daughter’s son, whereas we are but his sister’s sons and grandsons; so that, after all, we were fain to propose our matter to him, and to get him to give us leave to look after the business, and so he to have one-third part, and we two to have the other two-third parts, of what should be recovered of the estate, which he consented to; and after some discourse and paying the reckoning, we mounted again, and rode, being very merry at our defeat, to Chatteris, my uncle very weary, and after supper, and my telling of three stories, to their good liking, of spirits, we all three in a chamber went to bed.
19th. Up pretty betimes, and after eating something, we set out and I (being willing thereto) went by a mistake with them to St. Ives, and there, it being known that it was their nearer way to London, I took leave of them there, they going straight to London and I to Brampton, where I find my father ill in bed still, and Madam Norbery (whom and her fair daughter and sister I was ashamed to kiss, but did, my lip being sore with riding in the wind and bit with the gnatts), lately come to town, come to see my father and mother, and they after a little stay being gone, I told my father my success. And after dinner my wife and I took horse, and rode with marvellous, and the first and only hour of, pleasure, that ever I had in this estate since I had to do with it, to Brampton woods; and through the wood rode, and gathered nuts in my way, and then at Graffam to an old woman’s house to drink, where my wife used to go; and being in all circumstances highly pleased, and in my wife’s riding and good company at this time, I rode, and she showed me the river behind my father’s house, which is very pleasant, and so saw her home, and I straight to Huntingdon, and there met Mr. Shepley and to the Crown (having sent home my horse by Stankes), and there a barber came and trimmed me, and thence walked to Hinchingbroke, where my Lord and ladies all are just alighted. And so I in among them, and my Lord glad to see me, and the whole company. Here I staid and supped with them, and after a good stay talking, but yet observing my Lord not to be so mightily ingulphed in his pleasure in the country as I expected and hoped, I took leave of them, and after a walk in the courtyard in the dark with Mr. Howe, who tells me that my Lord do not enjoy himself and please himself as he used to do, but will hasten up to London, and that he is resolved to go to Chelsey again, which we are heartily grieved for and studious how to prevent if it be possible, I took horse, there being one appointed for me, and a groom to attend me, and so home, where my wife: staid up and sister for me, and so to bed, troubled for what I hear of my Lord.
20th (Lord’s day). Up, and finding my father somewhat better, walked to Huntingdon church, where in my Lord’s pew, with the young ladies, by my Lord’s own showing me the place, I stayed the sermon, and so to Hinchingbroke, walking with Mr. Shepley and Dr. King, whom they account a witty man here, as well as a good physician, and there my Lord took me with the rest of the company, and singly demanded my opinion in the walks in his garden, about the bringing of the crooked wall on the mount to a shape; and so to dinner, there being Collonel Williams and much other company, and a noble dinner. But having before got my Lord’s warrant for travelling today, there being a proclamation read yesterday against it at Huntingdon, at which I am very glad, I took leave, leaving them at dinner, and walked alone to my father’s, and there, after a word or two to my father and mother, my wife and I mounted, and, with my father’s boy, upon a horse I borrowed of Captain Ferrers, we rode to Bigglesworth by the help of a couple of countrymen, that led us through the very long and dangerous waters, because of the ditches on each side, though it begun to be very dark, and there we had a good breast of mutton roasted for us, and supped, and to bed.
21st. Up very betimes by break of day, and got my wife up, whom the thought of this day’s long journey do discourage; and after eating something, and changing of a piece of gold to pay the reckoning, we mounted, and through Baldwicke, where a fayre is kept today, and a great one for cheese and other such commodities, and so to Hatfield, it being most curious weather from the time we set out to our getting home, and here we dined, and my wife being very weary, and believing that it would be hard to get her home to-night, and a great charge to keep her longer abroad, I took the opportunity of an empty coach that was to go to London, and left her to come in it to London, for half-a-crown, and so I and the boy home as fast as we could drive, and it was even night before we got home. So that I account it very good fortune that we took this course, being myself very weary, much more would my wife have been. At home found all very well and my house in good order. To see Sir W. Pen, who is pretty well, and Sir J. Minnes, who is a little lame on one foot, and the rest gone to Chatham, viz.: Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Batten, who has in my absence inveighed against my contract the other day for Warren’s masts, in which he is a knave, and I shall find matter of tryumph, but it vexes me a little. So home, and by and by comes my wife by coach well home, and having got a good fowl ready for supper against her coming, we eat heartily, and so with great content and ease to our own bed, there nothing appearing so to our content as to be at our own home, after being abroad awhile.
22nd. I up, well refreshed after my journey, and to my office and there set some things in order, and then Sir W. Pen and I met and held an office, and at noon to dinner, and so by water with my wife to Westminster, she to see her father and mother, and we met again at my Lord’s lodgings, and thence by water home again, where at the door we met Sir W. Pen and his daughter coming to visit us, and after their visit I to my office, and after some discourse to my great satisfaction with Sir W. Warren about our bargain of masts, I wrote my letters by the post, and so home to supper and to bed. This day my wife showed me bills printed, wherein her father, with Sir John Collidon and Sir Edward Ford, have got a patent for curing of smoky chimneys.1 I wish they may do good thereof, but fear it will prove but a poor project. This day the King and Queen are to come to Oxford. I hear my Lady Castlemaine is for certain gone to Oxford to meet him, having lain within here at home this week or two, supposed to have miscarried; but for certain is as great in favour as heretofore;2 at least Mrs. Sarah at my Lord’s, who hears all from their own family, do say so. Every day brings newes of the Turke’s advance into Germany, to the awakeing of all the Christian Princes thereabouts, and possessing himself of Hungary. My present care is fitting my wife’s closett and my house, and making her a velvet coate, and me a new black cloth suit, and coate and cloake, and evening my reckoning as well as I can against Michaelmas Day, hoping for all that to have my balance as great or greater than ever I had yet.
1 The Patent numbered 138 is printed in the appendix to Wheatley’s “Samuel Pepys and the World he lived in” (p. 241). It is drawn in favour of John Colladon, Doctor in Physicke, and of Alexander Marchant, of St. Michall, and describes “a way to prevent and cure the smoakeing of Chimneys, either by stopping the tunnell towards the top, and altering the former course of the smoake, or by setting tunnells with checke within the chimneyes.” Sir Edward Ford’s name does not appear in the patent.
2 According to Collins, Henry Fitzroy, Lady Castlemaine’s second son by Charles II., was born on September 20th, 1663. He was the first Duke of Grafton. — B.
23rd. Up betimes and to my office, where setting down my journall while I was in the country to this day, and at noon by water to my Lord Crew’s, and there dined with him and Sir Thomas, thinking to have them inquire something about my Lord’s lodgings at Chelsey, or any thing of that sort, but they did not, nor seem to take the least notice of it, which is their discretion, though it might be better for my Lord and them too if they did, that so we might advise together for the best, which cannot be while we seem ignorant one to another, and it is not fit for me to begin the discourse. Thence walked to several places about business and to Westminster Hall, thinking to meet Mrs. Lane, which is my great vanity upon me at present, but I must correct it. She was not in the way. So by water home and to my office, whither by and by came my brother John, who is to go to Cambridge tomorrow, and I did give him a most severe reprimand for his bad account he gives me of his studies. This I did with great passion and sharp words, which I was sorry to be forced to say, but that I think it for his good, forswearing doing anything for him, and that which I have yet, and now do give him, is against my heart, and will also be hereafter, till I do see him give me a better account of his studies. I was sorry to see him give me no answer, but, for aught I see, to hear me without great resentment, and such as I should have had: in his condition. But I have done my duty, let him do his, for I am resolved to be as good as my word. After two hours walking in the garden, till after it was dark, I ended with him and to my office, and there set some papers in order, and so to supper, and my poor wife, who is mighty busy at home; fitting her closet. So to bed.
24th. Up betimes, and after taking leave of my brother, John, who went from me to my father’s this day, I went forth by water to Sir Philip Warwick’s, where I was with him a pretty while; and in discourse he tells me, and made it; appear to me, that the King cannot be in debt to the Navy at this time £5,000; and it is my opinion that Sir G. Carteret do owe the King money, and yet the whole Navy debt paid. Thence I parted, being doubtful of myself that I have not, spoke with the gravity and weight that I ought to do in so great a business. But I rather hope it is my doubtfulness of myself, and the haste which he was in, some very great personages waiting for him without, while he was with me, that made him willing to be gone. To the office by water, where we sat doing little, now Mr. Coventry is not here, but only vex myself to see what a sort of coxcombs we are when he is not here to undertake such a business as we do. In the afternoon telling my wife that I go to Deptford, I went, by water to Westminster Hall, and there finding Mrs. Lane, took her over to Lambeth, where we were lately, and there, did what I would with her, but only the main thing, which she; would not consent to, for which God be praised. . . . . But, trust in the Lord, I shall never do so again while I live. After being tired with her company I landed her at White; Hall, and so home and at my office writing letters till 12 at night almost, and then home to supper and bed, and there found my poor wife hard at work, which grieved my heart to see that I should abuse so good a wretch, and that is just with God to make her bad with me for my wrongin of her, but I do resolve never to do the like again. So to bed.
25th. Lay pretty long in bed, and so to my office all the morning till by and by called out by Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, with them by water to Deptford, where it of a sudden did lighten, thunder, and rain so as we could do nothing but stay in Davis’s house, and by and by Sir J. Minnes and I home again by water, and I home to dinner, and after dinner to the office, and there till night all alone, even of my clerks being there, doing of business, and so home and to bed.
26th. Up and to my office, and there we sat till noon, and then I to the Exchange, but did little there, but meeting Mr. Rawlinson he would needs have me home to dinner, and Mr. Deane of Woolwich being with me I took him with me, and there we dined very well at his own dinner, only no invitation, but here I sat with little pleasure, considering my wife at home alone, and so I made what haste home I could, and was forced to sit down again at dinner with her, being unwilling to neglect her by being known to dine abroad. My doing so being only to keep Deane from dining at home with me, being doubtful what I have to eat. So to the office, and there till late at night, and so home to supper and bed, being mightily pleased to find my wife so mindful of her house.
27th (Lord’s day). Lay chatting with my wife a good while, then up and got me ready and to church, without my man William, whom I have not seen today, nor care, but would be glad to have him put himself far enough out of my favour that he may not wonder to have me put him away. So home to dinner, being a little troubled to see Pembleton out again, but I do not discern in my wife the least memory of him. Dined, and so to my office a little, and then to church again, where a drowsy sermon, and so home to spend the evening with my poor wife, consulting about her closett, clothes, and other things. At night to supper, though with little comfort, I finding myself both head and breast in great pain, and what troubles me most my right ear is almost deaf. It is a cold, which God Almighty in justice did give me while I sat lewdly sporting with Mrs. Lane the other day with the broken window in my neck. I went to bed with a posset, being very melancholy in consideration of the loss of my hearing.
28th. Up, though with pain in my head, stomach, and ear, and that deaf so as in my way by coach to White Hall with Sir J. Minnes I called at Mr. Holliard’s, who did give me some pills, and tells me I shall have my hearing again and be well. So to White Hall, where Sir J. Minnes and I did spend an hour in the Gallery, looking upon the pictures, in which he hath some judgment. And by and by the Commissioners for Tangier met: and there my Lord Teviott, together with Captain Cuttance, Captain Evans, and Jonas Moore, sent to that purpose, did bring us a brave draught of the Mole to be built there; and report that it is likely to be the most considerable place the King of England hath in the world; and so I am apt to think it will. After discourse of this, and of supplying the garrison with some more horse, we rose; and Sir J. Minnes and I home again, finding the street about our house full, Sir R. Ford beginning his shrievalty today and, what with his and our houses being new painted, the street begins to look a great deal better than it did, and more gracefull. Home and eat one bit of meat, and then by water with him and Sir W. Batten to a sale of old provisions at Deptford, which we did at Captain Boddily’s house, to the value of £600 or £700, but I am not satisfied with the method used in this thing. Then home again by water, and after a little at my office, and visit Sir W. Pen, who is not very well again, with his late pain, home to supper, being hungry, and my ear and cold not so bad I think as it was. So to bed, taking one of my pills. Newes that the King comes to town for certain on Thursday next from his progresse.
29th. Took two pills more in the morning and they worked all day, and I kept the house. About noon dined, and then to carry several heavy things with my wife up and down stairs, in order to our going to lie above, and Will to come down to the Wardrobe, and that put me into a violent sweat, so I had a fire made, and then, being dry again, she and I to put up some paper pictures in the red chamber, where we go to lie very pretty, and the map of Paris. Then in the evening, towards night, it fell to thunder, lighten, and rain so violently that my house was all afloat, and I in all the rain up to the gutters, and there dabbled in the rain and wet half an hour, enough to have killed a man. That done downstairs to dry myself again, and by and by come Mr. Sympson to set up my wife’s chimney-piece in her closett, which pleases me, and so that being done, I to supper and to bed, shifting myself from top to toe, and doubtful of my doing myself hurt.
30th. Rose very well, and my hearing pretty well again, and so to my office, by and by Mr. Holliard come, and at my house he searched my ear, and I hope all will be well, though I do not yet hear so well as I used to do with my right ear. So to my office till noon, and then home to dinner, and in the afternoon by water to White Hall, to the Tangier Committee; where my Lord Tiviott about his accounts; which grieves me to see that his accounts being to be examined by us, there are none of the great men at the Board that in compliment will except against any thing in his accounts, and so none of the little persons dare do it: so the King is abused. Thence home again by water with Sir W. Rider, and so to my office, and there I sat late making up my month’s accounts, and, blessed be God, do find myself £760 creditor, notwithstanding that for clothes for myself and wife, and layings out on her closett, I have spent this month £47. So home, where I found our new cooke-mayde Elizabeth, whom my wife never saw at all, nor I but once at a distance before, but recommended well by Mr. Creed, and I hope will prove well. So to supper, prayers, and bed. This evening Mr. Coventry is come to St. James’s, but I did not go see him, and tomorrow the King, Queen, Duke and his Lady, and the whole Court comes to towne from their progresse. Myself and family well, only my father sicke in the country. All the common talke for newes is the Turke’s advance in Hungary, &c.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53