June 1st. Up, having lain long, going to bed very late after the ending of my accounts. Being up Mr. Hollyard came to me, and to my great sorrow, after his great assuring me that I could not possibly have the stone again, he tells me that he do verily fear that I have it again, and has brought me something to dissolve it, which do make me very much troubled, and pray to God to ease me. He gone, I down by water to Woolwich and Deptford to look after the dispatch of the ships, all the way reading Mr. Spencer’s Book of Prodigys, which is most ingeniously writ, both for matter and style. Home at noon, and my little girl got me my dinner, and I presently out by water and landed at Somerset stairs, and thence through Covent Garden, where I met with Mr. Southwell (Sir W. Pen’s friend), who tells me the very sad newes of my Lord Tiviott’s and nineteen more commission officers being killed at Tangier by the Moores, by an ambush of the enemy upon them, while they were surveying their lines; which is very sad, and, he says, afflicts the King much. Thence to W. Joyce’s, where by appointment I met my wife (but neither of them at home), and she and I to the King’s house, and saw “The Silent Woman;” but methought not so well done or so good a play as I formerly thought it to be, or else I am nowadays out of humour. Before the play was done, it fell such a storm of hayle, that we in the middle of the pit were fain to rise;1 and all the house in a disorder, and so my wife and I out and got into a little alehouse, and staid there an hour after the play was done before we could get a coach, which at last we did (and by chance took up Joyce Norton and Mrs. Bowles, and set them at home), and so home ourselves, and I, after a little to my office, so home to supper and to bed.
1 The stage was covered in by a tiled roof, but the pit was open to the sky. “The pit lay open to the weather for sake of light, but was subsequently covered in with a glazed cupola, which, however, only imperfectly protected the audience, so that in stormy weather the house was thrown into disorder, and the people in the pit were fain to rise” (Cunningham’s “Story of Nell Gwyn,” ed. 1893, p. 33).
2nd. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and then to the ‘Change, where after some stay by coach with Sir J. Minnes and Mr. Coventry to St. James’s, and there dined with Mr. Coventry very finely, and so over the Parke to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier about providing provisions, money, and men for Tangier. At it all the afternoon, but it is strange to see how poorly and brokenly things are done of the greatest consequence, and how soon the memory of this great man is gone, or, at least, out of mind by the thoughts of who goes next, which is not yet knowne. My Lord of Oxford, Muskerry, and several others are discoursed of. It seems my Lord Tiviott’s design was to go a mile and half out of the towne, to cut down a wood in which the enemy did use to lie in ambush. He had sent several spyes; but all brought word that the way was clear, and so might be for any body’s discovery of an enemy before you are upon them. There they were all snapt, he and all his officers, and about 200 men, as they say; there being left now in the garrison but four captains. This happened the 3d of May last, being not before that day twelvemonth of his entering into his government there: but at his going out in the morning he said to some of his officers, “Gentlemen, let us look to ourselves, for it was this day three years that so many brave Englishmen were knocked on the head by the Moores, when Fines made his sally out.” Here till almost night, and then home with Sir J. Minnes by coach, and so to my office a while, and home to supper and bed, being now in constant pain in my back, but whether it be only wind or what it is the Lord knows, but I fear the worst.
3rd. Up, still in a constant pain in my back, which much afflicts me with fear of the consequence of it. All the morning at the office, we sat at the office extraordinary upon the business of our stores, but, Lord! what a pitiful account the Surveyor makes of it grieves my heart. This morning before I came out I made a bargain with Captain Taylor for a ship for the Commissioners for Tangier, wherein I hope to get £40 or £50. To the ‘Change, and thence home and dined, and then by coach to White Hall, sending my wife to Mrs. Hunt’s. At the Committee for Tangier all the afternoon, where a sad consideration to see things of so great weight managed in so confused a manner as it is, so as I would not have the buying of an acre of land bought by the Duke of York and Mr. Coventry, for ought I see, being the only two that do anything like men; Prince Rupert do nothing but swear and laugh a little, with an oathe or two, and that’s all he do. Thence called my wife and home, and I late at my office, and so home to supper and to bed, pleased at my hopes of gains by today’s work, but very sad to think of the state of my health.
4th. Up and to St. James’s by coach, after a good deal of talk before I went forth with J. Noble, who tells me that he will secure us against Cave, that though he knows, and can prove it, yet nobody else can prove it, to be Tom’s child; that the bond was made by one Hudson, a scrivener, next to the Fountaine taverne, in the Old Bayly; that the children were born, and christened, and entered in the parish-book of St. Sepulchre’s, by the name of Anne and Elizabeth Taylor and he will give us security against Cave if we pay him the money. And then up to the Duke, and was with him giving him an account how matters go, and of the necessity there is of a power to presse seamen, without which we cannot really raise men for this fleete of twelve sayle, besides that it will assert the King’s power of pressing, which at present is somewhat doubted, and will make the Dutch believe that we are in earnest. Thence by water to the office, where we sat till almost two o’clock. This morning Captain Ferrer came to the office to tell me that my Lord hath given him a promise of Young’s place in the Wardrobe, and hearing that I pretend a promise to it he comes to ask my consent, which I denied him, and told him my Lord may do what he pleases with his promise to me, but my father’s condition is not so as that I should let it go if my Lord will stand to his word, and so I sent him going, myself being troubled a little at it. After office I with Mr. Coventry by water to St. James’s and dined with him, and had excellent discourse from him. So to the Committee for Tangier all afternoon, where still the same confused doings, and my Lord Fitz–Harding now added to the Committee; which will signify much. It grieves me to see how brokenly things are ordered. So by coach home, and at my office late, and so to supper and to bed, my body by plenty of breaking of wind being just now pretty well again, having had a constant akeing in my back these 5 or 6 days. Mr. Coventry discoursing this noon about Sir W. Batten (what a sad fellow he is!) told me how the King told him the other day how Sir W. Batten, being in the ship with him and Prince Rupert when they expected to fight with Warwick, did walk up and down sweating with a napkin under his throat to dry up his sweat; and that Prince Rupert being a most jealous man, and particularly of Batten, do walk up and down swearing bloodily to the King, that Batten had a mind to betray them today, and that the napkin was a signal; “but, by God,” says he, “if things go ill, the first thing I will do is to shoot him.” He discoursed largely and bravely to me concerning the different sort of valours, the active and passive valour. For the latter, he brought as an instance General Blake; who, in the defending of Taunton and Lime for the Parliament, did through his stubborn sort of valour defend it the most ‘opiniastrement’ that ever any man did any thing; and yet never was the man that ever made any attaque by land or sea, but rather avoyded it on all, even fair occasions. On the other side, Prince Rupert, the boldest attaquer in the world for personal courage; and yet, in the defending of Bristol, no man ever did anything worse, he wanting the patience and seasoned head to consult and advise for defence, and to bear with the evils of a siege. The like he says is said of my Lord Tiviott, who was the boldest adventurer of his person in the world, and from a mean man in few years was come to this greatness of command and repute only by the death of all his officers, he many times having the luck of being the only survivor of them all, by venturing upon services for the King of France that nobody else would; and yet no man upon a defence, he being all fury and no judgment in a fight. He tells me above all of the Duke of Yorke, that he is more himself and more of judgement is at hand in him in the middle of a desperate service, than at other times, as appeared in the business of Dunkirke, wherein no man ever did braver things, or was in hotter service in the close of that day, being surrounded with enemies; and then, contrary to the advice of all about him, his counsel carried himself and the rest through them safe, by advising that he might make his passage with but a dozen with him; “For,” says he, “the enemy cannot move after me so fast with a great body, and with a small one we shall be enough to deal with them;” and though he is a man naturally martiall to the highest degree, yet a man that never in his life talks one word of himself or service of his owne, but only that he saw such or such a thing, and lays it down for a maxime that a Hector can have no courage. He told me also, as a great instance of some men, that the Prince of Condo’s excellence is, that there not being a more furious man in the world, danger in fight never disturbs him more than just to make him civill, and to command in words of great obligation to his officers and men; but without any the least disturbance in his judgment or spirit.
5th (Lord’s day). About one in the morning I was knocked up by my mayds to come to my wife who is very ill. I rose, and from some cold she got today, or from something else, she is taken with great gripings, a looseness, and vomiting. I lay a while by her upon the bed, she being in great pain, poor wretch, but that being a little over I to bed again, and lay, and then up and to my office all the morning, setting matters to rights in some accounts and papers, and then to dinner, whither Mr. Shepley, late come to town, came to me, and after dinner and some pleasant discourse he went his way, being to go out of town to Huntington again tomorrow. So all the afternoon with my wife discoursing and talking, and in the evening to my office doing business, and then home to supper and to bed.
6th. Up and found my wife very ill again, which troubles me, but I was forced to go forth. So by water with Mr. Gauden and others to see a ship hired by me for the Commissioners of Tangier, and to give order therein. So back to the office, and by coach with Mr. Gauden to White Hall, and there to my Lord Sandwich, and here I met Mr. Townsend very opportunely and Captain Ferrer, and after some discourse we did accommodate the business of the Wardrobe place, that he shall have the reversion if he will take it out by giving a covenant that if Mr. Young’ dyes before my father my father shall have the benefit of it for his life. So home, and thence by water to Deptford, and there found our Trinity Brethren come from their election to church, where Dr. Britton made, methought, an indifferent sermon touching the decency that we ought to observe in God’s house, the church, but yet to see how ridiculously some men will carry themselves. Sir W. Batten did at open table anon in the name of the whole Society desire him to print his sermon, as if the Doctor could think that they were fit judges of a good sermon. Then by barge with Sir W. Batten to Trinity House. It seems they have with much ado carried it for Sir G. Carteret against Captain Harrison, poor man, who by succession ought to have been it, and most hands were for him, but only they were forced to fright the younger Brethren by requiring them to set their hands (which is an ill course) and then Sir G. Carteret carryed it. Here was at dinner my Lord Sandwich, Mr. Coventry, my Lord Craven, and others. A great dinner, and good company. Mr. Prin also, who would not drink any health, no, not the King’s, but sat down with his hat on all the while;1 but nobody took notice of it to him at all; but in discourse with the Doctor he did declare himself that he ever was, and has expressed himself in all his books for mixt communion against the Presbyterian examination. Thence after dinner by water, my Lord Sandwich and all us Tangier men, where at the Committee busy till night with great confusion, and then by coach home, with this content, however, that I find myself every day become more and more known, and shall one day hope to have benefit by it. I found my wife a little better. A little to my office, then home to supper and to bed.
1 William Prynne had published in 1628 a small book against the drinking of healths, entitled, “Healthes, Sicknesse; or a compendious and briefe Discourse, prouing, the Drinking and Pledging of Healthes to be sinfull and utterly unlawfull unto Christians . . . wherein all those ordinary objections, excuses or pretences, which are made to justifie, extenuate, or excuse the drinking or pledging of Healthes are likewise cleared and answered.” The pamphlet was dedicated to Charles I. as “more interessed in the theame and subject of this compendious discourse then any other that I know,” and “because your Majestie of all other persons within your owne dominions, are most dishonoured, prejudiced, and abused by these Healthes.”
7th. Up and to the office (having by my going by water without any thing upon my legs yesterday got some pain upon me again), where all the morning. At noon a little to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner, my wife being ill still in bed. Thence to the office, where busy all the afternoon till 9 at night, and so home to my wife, to supper, and to bed.
8th. All day before dinner with Creed, talking of many things, among others, of my Lord’s going so often to Chelsy, and he, without my speaking much, do tell me that his daughters do perceive all, and do hate the place, and the young woman there, Mrs. Betty Becke; for my Lord, who sent them thither only for a disguise for his going thither, will come under pretence to see them, and pack them out of doors to the Parke, and stay behind with her; but now the young ladies are gone to their mother to Kensington. To dinner, and after dinner till 10 at night in my study writing of my old broken office notes in shorthand all in one book, till my eyes did ake ready to drop out. So home to supper and to bed.
9th. Up and at my office all the morning. At noon dined at home, Mr. Hunt and his kinswoman (wife in the country), after dinner I to the office, where we sat all the afternoon. Then at night by coach to attend the Duke of Albemarle about the Tangier ship. Coming back my wife spied me going home by coach from Mr. Hunt’s, with whom she hath gained much in discourse today concerning W. Howe’s discourse of me to him. That he was the man that got me to be secretary to my Lord; and all that I have thereby, and that for all this I never did give him 6d. in my life. Which makes me wonder that this rogue dare talk after this manner, and I think all the world is grown false. But I hope I shall make good use of it. So home to supper and to bed, my eyes aching mightily since last night.
10th. Up and by water to White Hall, and there to a Committee of Tangier, and had occasion to see how my Lord Ashworth —[Lord Ashworth is probably a miswriting for Lord Ashley (afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury).]— deports himself, which is very fine indeed, and it joys my heart to see that there is any body looks so near into the King’s business as I perceive he do in this business of my Lord Peterborough’s accounts. Thence into the Parke, and met and walked with Captain Sylas Taylor, my old acquaintance while I was of the Exchequer, and Dr. Whore, talking of musique, and particularly of Mr. Berckenshaw’s way, which Taylor magnifies mightily, and perhaps but what it deserves, but not so easily to be understood as he and others make of it. Thence home by water, and after dinner abroad to buy several things, as a map, and powder, and other small things, and so home to my office, and in the evening with Captain Taylor by water to our Tangier ship, and so home, well pleased, having received £26 profit today of my bargain for this ship, which comforts me mightily, though I confess my heart, what with my being out of order as to my health, and the fear I have of the money my Lord oweth me and I stand indebted to him in, is much cast down of late. In the evening home to supper and to bed.
11th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, where some discourse arose from Sir G. Carteret and Mr. Coventry, which gives me occasion to think that something like a war is expected now indeed, though upon the ‘Change afterwards I hear too that an Embassador is landed from Holland, and one from their East India Company, to treat with ours about the wrongs we pretend to. Mr. Creed dined with me, and thence after dinner by coach with my wife only to take the ayre, it being very warm and pleasant, to Bowe and Old Ford; and thence to Hackney. There ‘light, and played at shuffle-board, eat cream and good churies; and so with good refreshment home. Then to my office vexed with Captain Taylor about the delay of carrying down the ship hired by me for Tangier, and late about that and other things at the office. So home to supper and to bed.
12th (Lord’s day). All the morning in my chamber consulting my lesson of ship building, and at noon Mr. Creed by appointment came and dined with us, and sat talking all the afternoon till, about church time, my wife and I began our great dispute about going to Griffin’s child’s christening, where I was to have been godfather, but Sir J. Minnes refusing, he wanted an equal for me and my Lady Batten, and so sought for other. Then the question was whether my wife should go, and she having dressed herself on purpose, was very angry, and began to talk openly of my keeping her within doors before Creed, which vexed me to the guts, but I had the discretion to keep myself without passion, and so resolved at last not to go, but to go down by water, which we did by H. Russell —[a waterman]— to the Half-way house, and there eat and drank, and upon a very small occasion had a difference again broke out, where without any the least cause she had the cunning to cry a great while, and talk and blubber, which made me mighty angry in mind, but said nothing to provoke her because Creed was there, but walked home, being troubled in my mind also about the knavery and neglect of Captain Fudge and Taylor, who were to have had their ship for Tangier ready by Thursday last, and now the men by a mistake are come on board, and not any master or man or boy of the ship’s company on board with them when we came by her side this afternoon, and also received a letter from Mr. Coventry this day in complaint of it. We came home, and after supper Creed went home, and I to bed. My wife made great means to be friends, coming to my bedside and doing all things to please me, and at last I could not hold out, but seemed pleased, and so parted, and I with much ado to sleep, but was easily wakened by extraordinary great rain, and my mind troubled the more to think what the soldiers would do on board tonight in all this weather.
13th. So up at 5 o’clock, and with Captain Taylor on board her at Deptford, and found all out of order, only the soldiers civil, and Sir Arthur Bassett a civil person. I rated at Captain Taylor, whom, contrary to my expectation, I found a lying and a very stupid blundering fellow, good for nothing, and yet we talk of him in the Navy as if he had been an excellent officer, but I find him a lying knave, and of no judgment or dispatch at all. After finding the condition of the ship, no master, not above four men, and many ship’s provisions, sayls, and other things wanting, I went back and called upon Fudge, whom I found like a lying rogue unready to go on board, but I did so jeer him that I made him get every thing ready, and left Taylor and H. Russell to quicken him, and so away and I by water on to White Hall, where I met his Royal Highnesse at a Tangier Committee about this very thing, and did there satisfy him how things are, at which all was pacified without any trouble, and I hope may end well, but I confess I am at a real trouble for fear the rogue should not do his work, and I come to shame and losse of the money I did hope justly to have got by it. Thence walked with Mr. Coventry to St. James’s, and there spent by his desire the whole morning reading of some old Navy books given him of old Sir John Cooke’s by the Archbishop of Canterbury that now is; wherein the order that was observed in the Navy then, above what it is now, is very observable, and fine things we did observe in our reading. Anon to dinner, after dinner to discourse of the business of the Dutch warr, wherein he tells me the Dutch do in every particular, which are but few and small things that we can demand of them, whatever cry we unjustly make, do seem to offer at an accommodation, for they do owne that it is not for their profit to have warr with England. We did also talk of a History of the Navy of England, how fit it were to be writ; and he did say that it hath been in his mind to propose to me the writing of the History of the late Dutch warr, which I am glad to hear, it being a thing I much desire, and sorts mightily with my genius; and, if well done, may recommend me much. So he says he will get me an order for making of searches to all records, &c., in order thereto, and I shall take great delight in doing of it. Thence by water down to the Tower, and thither sent for Mr. Creed to my house, where he promised to be, and he and I down to the ship, and find all things in pretty good order, and I hope will end to my mind. Thence having a gaily down to Greenwich, and there saw the King’s works, which are great, a-doing there, and so to the Cherry Garden, and so carried some cherries home, and after supper to bed, my wife lying with me, which from my not being thoroughly well, nor she, we have not done above once these two or three weeks.
14th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and had great conflict about the flags again, and am vexed methought to see my Lord Berkely not satisfied with what I said, but however I stop the King’s being abused by the flag makers for the present. I do not know how it may end, but I will do my best to preserve it. So home to dinner, and after dinner by coach to Kensington. In the way overtaking Mr. Laxton, the apothecary, with his wife and daughters, very fine young lasses, in a coach; and so both of us to my Lady Sandwich, who hath lain this fortnight here at Deane Hodges’s. Much company came hither today, my Lady Carteret, &c., Sir William Wheeler and his lady, and, above all, Mr. Becke, of Chelsy, and wife and daughter, my Lord’s mistress, and one that hath not one good feature in her face, and yet is a fine lady, of a fine taille, and very well carriaged, and mighty discreet. I took all the occasion I could to discourse with the young ladies in her company to give occasion to her to talk, which now and then she did, and that mighty finely, and is, I perceive, a woman of such an ayre, as I wonder the less at my Lord’s favour to her, and I dare warrant him she hath brains enough to entangle him. Two or three houres we were in her company, going into Sir H. Finche’s garden, and seeing the fountayne, and singing there with the ladies, and a mighty fine cool place it is, with a great laver of water in the middle and the bravest place for musique I ever heard. After much mirthe, discoursing to the ladies in defence of the city against the country or court, and giving them occasion to invite themselves tomorrow to me to dinner, to my venison pasty, I got their mother’s leave, and so good night, very well pleased with my day’s work, and, above all, that I have seen my Lord’s mistresse. So home to supper, and a little at my office, and to bed.
15th. Up and by appointment with Captain Witham (the Captain that brought the newes of the disaster at Tangier, where my Lord Tiviott was slain) and Mr. Tooker to Beares Quay, and there saw and more afterward at the several grannarys several parcels of oates, and strange it is to hear how it will heat itself if laid up green and not often turned. We came not to any agreement, but did cheapen several parcels, and thence away, promising to send again to them. So to the Victualling office, and then home. And in our garden I got Captain Witham to tell me the whole story of my Lord Tiviott’s misfortune; for he was upon the guard with his horse neare the towne, when at a distance he saw the enemy appear upon a hill, a mile and a half off, and made up to them, and with much ado escaped himself; but what became of my Lord he neither knows nor thinks that any body but the enemy can tell. Our losse was about four hundred. But he tells me that the greater wonder is that my Lord Tiviott met no sooner with such a disaster; for every day he did commit himself to more probable danger than this, for now he had the assurance of all his scouts that there was no enemy thereabouts; whereas he used every day to go out with two or three with him, to make his discoveries, in greater danger, and yet the man that could not endure to have anybody else to go a step out of order to endanger himself. He concludes him to be the man of the hardest fate to lose so much honour at one blow that ever was. His relation being done he parted; and so I home to look after things for dinner. And anon at noon comes Mr. Creed by chance, and by and by the three young ladies:—[Lord Sandwich’s daughters.]— and very merry we were with our pasty, very well baked; and a good dish of roasted chickens; pease, lobsters, strawberries. And after dinner to cards: and about five o’clock, by water down to Greenwich; and up to the top of the hill, and there played upon the ground at cards. And so to the Cherry Garden, and then by water singing finely to the Bridge, and there landed; and so took boat again, and to Somersett House. And by this time, the tide being against us, it was past ten of the clock; and such a troublesome passage, in regard of my Lady Paulina’s fearfullness, that in all my life I never did see any poor wretch in that condition. Being come hither, there waited for them their coach; but it being so late, I doubted what to do how to get them home. After half an hour’s stay in the street, I sent my wife home by coach with Mr. Creed’s boy; and myself and Creed in the coach home with them. But, Lord! the fear that my Lady Paulina was in every step of the way; and indeed at this time of the night it was no safe thing to go that road; so that I was even afeard myself, though I appeared otherwise. — We came safe, however, to their house, where all were abed; we knocked them up, my Lady and all the family being in bed. So put them into doors; and leaving them with the mayds, bade them good night, and then into the towne, Creed and I, it being about twelve o’clock and past; and to several houses, inns, but could get no lodging, all being in bed. At the last house, at last, we found some people drinking and roaring; and there got in, and after drinking, got an ill bed, where
16th. I lay in my drawers and stockings and wastecoate till five of the clock, and so up; and being well pleased with our frolique, walked to Knightsbridge, and there eat a messe of creame, and so to St. James’s, and there walked a little, and so I to White Hall, and took coach, and found my wife well got home last night, and now in bed. So I to the office, where all the morning, and at noon to the ‘Change, so home and to my office, where Mr. Ackworth came to me (though he knows himself and I know him to be a very knave), yet he came to me to discover the knavery of other people like the most honest man in the world. However, good use I shall make of his discourse, for in this he is much in the right. He being gone I to the ‘Change, Mr. Creed with me, after we had been by water to see a vessell we have hired to carry more soldiers to Tangier, and also visited a rope ground, wherein I learnt several useful things. The talk upon the ‘Change is, that De Ruyter is dead, with fifty men of his own ship, of the plague, at Cales: that the Holland Embassador here do endeavour to sweeten us with fair words; and things likely to be peaceable. Home after I had spoke with my cozen Richard Pepys upon the ‘Change, about supplying us with bewpers from Norwich, which I should be glad of, if cheap. So home to supper and bed.
17th. Up, and to my office, where I dispatched much business, and then down by water to Woolwich to make a discovery of a cheate providing for us in the working of some of our own ground Tows into new cordage, to be sold to us for Riga cordage. Thence to Mr. Falconer’s, where I met Sir W. Batten and Lady, and Captain Tinker, and there dined with them, and so to the Dockyarde and to Deptford by water, and there very long informing myself in the business of flags and bewpers and other things, and so home late, being weary, and full of good information today, but I perceive the corruptions of the Navy are of so many kinds that it is endless to look after them, especially while such a one as Sir W. Batten discourages every man that is honest. So home to my office, there very late, and then to supper and to bed mightily troubled in my mind to hear how Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes do labour all they can to abuse or enable others to abuse the King.
18th. From morning till 11 at night (only a little at dinner at home) at my office very busy, setting many businesses in order to my great trouble, but great content in the end. So home to supper and to bed. Strange to see how pert Sir W. Pen is today newly come from Portsmouth with his head full of great reports of his service and the state of the ships there. When that is over he will be just as another man again or worse. But I wonder whence Mr. Coventry should take all this care for him, to send for him up only to look after his Irish business with my Lord Ormond and to get the Duke’s leave for him to come with so much officiousness, when I am sure he knows him as well as I do as to his little service he do.
19th (Lord’s day). Up, and all the morning and afternoon (only at dinner at home) at my office doing many businesses for want of time on the week days. In the afternoon the greatest shower of rain of a sudden and the greatest and most continued thunder that ever I heard I think in my life. In the evening home to my wife, and there talked seriously of several of our family concernments, and among others of bringing Pall out of the country to us here to try to put her off, which I am very desirous, and my wife also of. So to supper, prayers, which I have of late too much omitted. So to bed.
20th. It having been a very cold night last night I had got some cold, and so in pain by wind, and a sure precursor of pain is sudden letting off farts, and when that stops, then my passages stop and my pain begins. Up and did several businesses, and so with my wife by water to White Hall, she to her father’s, I to the Duke, where we did our usual business. And among other discourse of the Dutch, he was merrily saying how they print that Prince Rupert, Duke of Albemarle, and my Lord Sandwich, are to be Generalls; and soon after is to follow them “Vieux Pen;” and so the Duke called him in mirth Old Pen. They have, it seems, lately wrote to the King, to assure him that their setting-out ships were only to defend their fishing-trade, and to stay near home, not to annoy the King’s subjects; and to desire that he would do the like with his ships: which the King laughs at, but yet is troubled they should think him such a child, to suffer them to bring home their fish and East India Company’s ships, and then they will not care a fart for us. Thence to Westminster Hall, it being term time, meeting Mr. Dickering, he tells me how my Lady last week went to see Mrs. Becke, the mother; and by and by the daughter came in, but that my Lady do say herself, as he says, that she knew not for what reason, for she never knew they had a daughter, which I do not believe. She was troubled, and her heart did rise as soon as she appeared, and seems the most ugly woman that ever she saw. This if true were strange, but I believe it is not. Thence to my Lord’s lodgings; and were merry with the young ladies, who make a great story of their appearing before their mother the morning after we carried them, the last week, home so late; and that their mother took it very well, at least without any anger. Here I heard how the rich widow, my Lady Gold, is married to one Neale, after he had received a box on the eare by her brother (who was there a sentinel, in behalf of some courtier) at the door; but made him draw, and wounded him. She called Neale up to her, and sent for a priest, married presently, and went to bed. The brother sent to the Court, and had a serjeant sent for Neale; but Neale sent for him up to be seen in bed, and she owned him for her husband: and so all is past. It seems Sir H. Bennet did look after her. My Lady very pleasant. After dinner came in Sir Thomas Crew and Mr. Sidney, lately come from France, who is growne a little, and a pretty youth he is; but not so improved as they did give him out to be, but like a child still. But yet I can perceive he hath good parts and good inclinations. Thence with Creed, who dined here, to Westminster to find out Mr. Hawly, and did, but he did not accept of my offer of his being steward to my Lord at sea. Thence alone to several places about my law businesses, and with good success; at last I to Mr. Townsend at the Wardrobe, and received kind words from him to be true to me against Captain Ferrers his endeavours to get the place from my father as my Lord hath promised him. Here met Will. Howe, and he went forth with me; and by water back to White Hall to wait on my Lord, who is come back from Hinchinbroke; where he has been about 4 or 5 days. But I was never more vexed to see how an over-officious visitt is received, for he received me with as little concernment as in the middle of his discontent, and a fool I am to be of so servile a humour, and vexed with that consideration I took coach home, and could not get it off my mind all night. To supper and to bed, my wife finding fault with Besse for her calling upon Jane that lived with us, and there heard Mrs. Harper and her talk ill of us and not told us of it. With which I was also vexed, and told her soundly of it till she cried, poor wench, and I hope without dissimulation, and yet I cannot tell; however, I was glad to see in what manner she received it, and so to sleep.
21st. Being weary yesterday with walking I sleep long, and at last up and to the office, where all the morning. At home to dinner, Mr. Deane with me. After dinner I to White Hall (setting down my wife by the way) to a Committee of Tangier, where the Duke of Yorke, I perceive, do attend the business very well, much better than any man there or most of them, and my [mind] eased of some trouble I lay under for fear of his thinking ill of me from the bad successe in the setting forth of these crew men to Tangier. Thence with Mr. Creed, and walked in the Parke, and so to the New Exchange, meeting Mr. Moore, and he with us. I shewed him no friendly look, but he took no notice to me of the Wardrobe business, which vexes me. I perceive by him my Lord’s business of his family and estate goes very ill, and runs in debt mightily. I would to God I were clear of it, both as to my owne money and the bond of £1000, which I stand debtor for him in, to my cozen Thomas Pepys. Thence by coach home and to my office a little, and so to supper and to bed.
22nd. Up and I found Mr. Creed below, who staid with me a while, and then I to business all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change and Coffee-house, where great talke of the Dutch preparing of sixty sayle of ships. The plague grows mightily among them, both at sea and land. From the ‘Change to dinner to Trinity House with Sir W. Rider and Cutler, where a very good dinner. Here Sir G. Ascue dined also, who I perceive desires to make himself known among the seamen. Thence home, there coming to me my Lord Peterborough’s Sollicitor with a letter from him to desire present dispatch in his business of freight, and promises me £50, which is good newes, and I hope to do his business readily for him. This much rejoiced me. All the afternoon at his business, and late at night comes the Sollicitor again, and I with him at 9 o’clock to Mr. Povy’s, and there acquainted him with the business. The money he won’t pay without warrant, but that will be got done in a few days. So home by coach and to bed.
23rd. Up, and to the office, and there we sat all the morning. So to the ‘Change, and then home to dinner and to my office, where till 10 at night very busy, and so home to supper and to bed. My cozen, Thomas Pepys, was with me yesterday and I took occasion to speak to him about the bond I stand bound for my Lord Sandwich to him in £1000. I did very plainly, obliging him to secrecy, tell him how the matter stands, yet with all duty to my Lord my resolution to be bound for whatever he desires me for him, yet that I would be glad he had any other security. I perceive by Mr. Moore today that he hath been with my Lord, and my Lord how he takes it I know not, but he is looking after other security and I am mighty glad of it. W. Howe was with me this afternoon, to desire some things to be got ready for my Lord against his going down to his ship, which will be soon; for it seems the King and both the Queenes intend to visit him. The Lord knows how my Lord will get out of this charge; for Mr. Moore tells me today that he is £10,000 in debt and this will, with many other things that daily will grow upon him (while he minds his pleasure as he do), set him further backward. But it was pretty this afternoon to hear W. Howe mince the matter, and say that he do believe that my Lord is in debt £2000 or £3000, and then corrected himself and said, No, not so, but I am afraid he is in debt £1000. I pray God gets me well rid of his Lordship as to his debt, and I care not.
24th. Up and out with Captain Witham in several places again to look for oats for Tangier, and among other places to the City granarys, where it seems every company have their granary and obliged to keep such a quantity of corne always there or at a time of scarcity to issue so much at so much a bushell: and a fine thing it is to see their stores of all sorts, for piles for the bridge, and for pipes, a thing I never saw before.1 Thence to the office, and there busy all the morning. At noon to my uncle Wight’s, and there dined, my wife being there all the morning. After dinner to White Hall; and there met with Mr. Pierce, and he showed me the Queene’s bed-chamber, and her closett, where she had nothing but some pretty pious pictures, and books of devotion; and her holy water at her head as she sleeps, with her clock by her bed-side, wherein a lamp burns that tells her the time of the night at any time. Thence with him to the Parke, and there met the Queene coming from Chappell, with her Mayds of Honour, all in silver-lace gowns again: which is new to me, and that which I did not think would have been brought up again. Thence he carried me to the King’s closett: where such variety of pictures, and other things of value and rarity, that I was properly confounded and enjoyed no pleasure in the sight of them; which is the only time in my life that ever I was so at a loss for pleasure, in the greatest plenty of objects to give it me. Thence home, calling in many places and doing abundance of errands to my great content, and at night weary home, where Mr. Creed waited for me, and he and I walked in the garden, where he told me he is now in a hurry fitting himself for sea, and that it remains that he deals as an ingenuous man with me in the business I wot of, which he will do before he goes. But I perceive he will have me do many good turns for him first, both as to his bills coming to him in this office, and also in his absence at the Committee of Tangier, which I promise, and as he acquits himself to me I will willingly do. I would I knew the worst of it, what it is he intends, that so I may either quit my hands of him or continue my kindness still to him.
1 From the commencement of the reign of Henry VIII., or perhaps earlier, it was the custom of the City of London to provide against scarcity, by requiring each of the chartered Companies to keep in store a certain quantity of corn, which was to be renewed from time to time, and when required for that purpose, produced in the market for sale, at such times and prices, and in such quantities, as the Lord Mayor or Common Council should direct. See the report of a case in the Court of Chancery, “Attorney–General v. Haberdashers’ Company” (Mylne and Keens “Reports,” vol. i., p. 420). — B.
25th. We staid late, and he lay with me all night and rose very merry talking, and excellent company he is, that is the truth of it, and a most cunning man. He being gone I to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon to dinner, and then to my office busy, and by and by home with Mr. Deane to a lesson upon raising a Bend of Timbers,1 and he being gone I to the office, and there came Captain Taylor, and he and I home, and I have done all very well with him as to the business of the last trouble, so that come what will come my name will be clear of any false dealing with him. So to my office again late, and then to bed.
1 This seems to refer to knee timber, of which there was not a sufficient supply. A proposal was made to produce this bent wood artificially: “June 22, 1664. Sir William Petty intimated that it seemed by the scarcity and greater rate of knee timber that nature did not furnish crooked wood enough for building: wherefore he thought it would be fit to raise by art, so much of it in proportion, as to reduce it to an equal rate with strait timber” (Birch’s “History of the Royal Society,”)
26th (Lord’s day). Up, and Sir J. Minnes set me down at my Lord Sandwich’s, where I waited till his coming down, when he came, too, could find little to say to me but only a general question or two, and so good-bye. Here his little daughter, my Lady Katharine was brought, who is lately come from my father’s at Brampton, to have her cheek looked after, which is and hath long been sore. But my Lord will rather have it be as it is, with a scarr in her face, than endanger it being worse by tampering. He being gone, I went home, a little troubled to see he minds me no more, and with Creed called at several churches, which, God knows, are supplied with very young men, and the churches very empty; so home and at our owne church looked in, and there heard one preach whom Sir W. Pen brought, which he desired us yesterday to hear, that had been his chaplin in Ireland, a very silly fellow. So home and to dinner, and after dinner a frolique took us, we would go this afternoon to the Hope; so my wife dressed herself, and, with good victuals and drink, we took boat presently and the tide with us got down, but it was night, and the tide spent by the time we got to Gravesend; so there we stopped, but went not on shore, only Creed, to get some cherries,1 and send a letter to the Hope, where the Fleete lies. And so, it being rainy, and thundering mightily, and lightning, we returned. By and by the evening turned mighty clear and moonshine; we got with great pleasure home, about twelve o’clock, which did much please us, Creed telling pretty stories in the boat. He lay with me all night.
1 Pliny tells us that cherries were introduced into Britain by the Romans, and Lydgate alludes to them as sold in the London streets. Richard Haines, fruiterer to Henry VI IL, imported a number of cherry trees from Flanders, and planted them at Tenham, in Kent. Hence the fame of the Kentish cherries.
27th. Up, and he and I walked to Paul’s Church yard, and there saw Sir Harry Spillman’s book, and I bespoke it and others, and thence we took coach, and he to my Lord’s and I to St. James’s, where we did our usual business, and thence I home and dined, and then by water to Woolwich, and there spent the afternoon till night under pretence of buying Captain Blackman’s house and grounds, and viewing the ground took notice of Clothiers’ cordage with which he, I believe, thinks to cheat the King. That being done I by water home, it being night first, and there I find our new mayd Jane come, a cook mayd. So to bed.
28th. Up, and this day put on a half shirt first this summer, it being very hot; and yet so ill-tempered I am grown, that I am afeard I shall catch cold, while all the world is ready to melt away. To the office all the morning, at noon to dinner at home, then to my office till the evening, then out about several businesses and then by appointment to the ‘Change, and thence with my uncle Wight to the Mum house, and there drinking, he do complain of his wife most cruel as the most troublesome woman in the world, and how she will have her will, saying she brought him a portion and God knows what. By which, with many instances more, I perceive they do live a sad life together. Thence to the Mitre and there comes Dr. Burnett to us and Mr. Maes, but the meeting was chiefly to bring the Doctor and me together, and there I began to have his advice about my disease, and then invited him to my house: and I am resolved to put myself into his hands. Here very late, but I drank nothing, nor will, though he do advise me to take care of cold drinks. So home and to bed.
29th. Up, and Mr. Shepley came to me, who is lately come to town; among other things I hear by him how the children are sent for away from my father’s, but he says without any great discontent. I am troubled there should be this occasion of difference, and yet I am glad they are gone, lest it should have come to worse. He tells me how my brave dogg I did give him, going out betimes one morning to Huntington, was set upon by five other doggs, and worried to pieces, of which I am a little, and he the most sorry I ever saw man for such a thing. Forth with him and walked a good way talking, then parted and I to the Temple, and to my cozen Roger Pepys, and thence by water to Westminster to see Dean Honiwood, whom I had not visited a great while. He is a good-natured, but a very weak man, yet a Dean, and a man in great esteem. Thence walked to my Lord Sandwich’s, and there dined, my Lord there. He was pleasant enough at table with me, but yet without any discourse of business, or any regard to me when dinner was over, but fell to cards, and my Lady and I sat two hours alone, talking of the condition of her family’s being greatly in debt, and many children now coming up to provide for. I did give her my sense very plain of it, which she took well and carried further than myself, to the bemoaning their condition, and remembering how finely things were ordered about six years ago, when I lived there and my Lord at sea every year. Thence home, doing several errands by the way. So to my office, and there till late at night, Mr. Comander coming to me for me to sign and seal the new draft of my will, which I did do, I having altered something upon the death of my brother Tom. So home to supper and to bed.
30th. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, Mr. Wayth with me, and by and by comes in Mr. Falconer and his wife and dined with us, the first time she was ever here. We had a pretty good dinner, very merry in discourse, sat after dinner an hour or two, then down by water to Deptford and Woolwich about getting of some business done which I was bound to by my oath this month, and though in some things I have not come to the height of my vow of doing all my business in paying all my petty debts and receipt of all my petty monies due to me, yet I bless God I am not conscious of any neglect in me that they are not done, having not minded my pleasure at all, and so being resolved to take no manner of pleasure till it be done, I doubt not God will forgive me for not forfeiting the £10 promised. Walked back from Woolwich to Greenwich all alone, save a man that had a cudgell in his hand, and, though he told me he laboured in the King’s yarde, and many other good arguments that he is an honest man, yet, God forgive me! I did doubt he might knock me on the head behind with his club. But I got safe home. Then to the making up my month’s accounts, and find myself still a gainer and rose to £951, for which God be blessed. I end the month with my mind full of business and some sorrow that I have not exactly performed all my vowes, though my not doing is not my fault, and shall be made good out of my first leisure. Great doubts yet whether the Dutch wary go on or no. The Fleet ready in the Hope, of twelve sayle. The King and Queenes go on board, they say, on Saturday next. Young children of my Lord Sandwich gone with their mayds from my mother’s, which troubles me, it being, I hear from Mr. Shepley, with great discontent, saying, that though they buy good meate, yet can never have it before it stinks, which I am ashamed of.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59