January 1st (Lord’s day). Lay long in bed, having been busy late last night, then up and to my office, where upon ordering my accounts and papers with respect to my understanding my last year’s gains and expense, which I find very great, as I have already set down yesterday. Now this day I am dividing my expense, to see what my clothes and every particular hath stood me in: I mean all the branches of my expense. At noon a good venison pasty and a turkey to ourselves without any body so much as invited by us, a thing unusuall for so small a family of my condition: but we did it and were very merry. After dinner to my office again, where very late alone upon my accounts, but have not brought them to order yet, and very intricate I find it, notwithstanding my care all the year to keep things in as good method as any man can do. Past 11 o’clock home to supper and to bed.
2nd. Up, and it being a most fine, hard frost I walked a good way toward White Hall, and then being overtaken with Sir W. Pen’s coach, went into it, and with him thither, and there did our usual business with the Duke. Thence, being forced to pay a great deale of money away in boxes (that is, basins at White Hall), I to my barber’s, Gervas, and there had a little opportunity of speaking with my Jane alone, and did give her something, and of herself she did tell me a place where I might come to her on Sunday next, which I will not fail, but to see how modestly and harmlessly she brought it out was very pretty. Thence to the Swan, and there did sport a good while with Herbert’s young kinswoman without hurt, though they being abroad, the old people. Then to the Hall, and there agreed with Mrs. Martin, and to her lodgings which she has now taken to lie in, in Bow Streete, pitiful poor things, yet she thinks them pretty, and so they are for her condition I believe good enough. Here I did ‘ce que je voudrais avec’ her most freely, and it having cost 2s. in wine and cake upon her, I away sick of her impudence, and by coach to my Lord Brunker’s, by appointment, in the Piazza, in Covent–Guarding; where I occasioned much mirth with a ballet I brought with me, made from the seamen at sea to their ladies in town; saying Sir W. Pen, Sir G. Ascue, and Sir J. Lawson made them. Here a most noble French dinner and banquet, the best I have seen this many a day and good discourse. Thence to my bookseller’s and at his binder’s saw Hooke’s book of the Microscope,1 which is so pretty that I presently bespoke it, and away home to the office, where we met to do something, and then though very late by coach to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s, but having company with him could not speak with him. So back again home, where thinking to be merry was vexed with my wife’s having looked out a letter in Sir Philip Sidney about jealousy for me to read, which she industriously and maliciously caused me to do, and the truth is my conscience told me it was most proper for me, and therefore was touched at it, but tooke no notice of it, but read it out most frankly, but it stucke in my stomach, and moreover I was vexed to have a dog brought to my house to line our little bitch, which they make him do in all their sights, which, God forgive me, do stir my jealousy again, though of itself the thing is a very immodest sight. However, to cards with my wife a good while, and then to bed.
1 “Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by Magnifying Glasses. London, 1665,” a very remarkable work with elaborate plates, some of which have been used for lecture illustrations almost to our own day. On November 23rd, 1664, the President of the Royal Society was “desired to sign a licence for printing of Mr. Hooke’s microscopical book.” At this time the book was mostly printed, but it was delayed, much to Hooke’s disgust, by the examination of several Fellows of the Society. In spite of this examination the council were anxious that the author should make it clear that he alone was responsible for any theory put forward, and they gave him notice to that effect. Hooke made this clear in his dedication (see Birch’s “History,” vol. i., pp. 490–491)
3rd. Up, and by coach to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s, the streete being full of footballs, it being a great frost, and found him and Mr. Coventry walking in St. James’s Parke. I did my errand to him about the felling of the King’s timber in the forests, and then to my Lord of Oxford, Justice in Eyre, for his consent thereto, for want whereof my Lord Privy Seale stops the whole business. I found him in his lodgings, in but an ordinary furnished house and roome where he was, but I find him to be a man of good discreet replys. Thence to the Coffee-house, where certain newes that the Dutch have taken some of our colliers to the North; some say four, some say seven. Thence to the ‘Change a while, and so home to dinner and to the office, where we sat late, and then I to write my letters, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, who is going out of towne to Harwich tomorrow to set up a light-house there, which he hath lately got a patent from the King to set up, that will turne much to his profit. Here very merry, and so to my office again, where very late, and then home to supper and to bed, but sat up with my wife at cards till past two in the morning.
4th. Lay long, and then up and to my Lord of Oxford’s, but his Lordshipp was in bed at past ten o’clock: and, Lord helpe us! so rude a dirty family I never saw in my life. He sent me out word my business was not done, but should against the afternoon. I thence to the Coffee-house, there but little company, and so home to the ‘Change, where I hear of some more of our ships lost to the Northward. So to Sir W. Batten’s, but he was set out before I got thither. I sat long talking with my lady, and then home to dinner. Then come Mr. Moore to see me, and he and I to my Lord of Oxford’s, but not finding him within Mr. Moore and I to “Love in a Tubb,” which is very merry, but only so by gesture, not wit at all, which methinks is beneath the House. So walked home, it being a very hard frost, and I find myself as heretofore in cold weather to begin to burn within and pimples and pricks all over my body, my pores with cold being shut up. So home to supper and to cards and to bed.
5th. Up, it being very cold and a great snow and frost tonight. To the office, and there all the morning. At noon dined at home, troubled at my wife’s being simply angry with Jane, our cook mayde (a good servant, though perhaps hath faults and is cunning), and given her warning to be gone. So to the office again, where we sat late, and then I to my office, and there very late doing business. Home to supper and to the office again, and then late home to bed.
6th. Lay long in bed, but most of it angry and scolding with my wife about her warning Jane our cookemayde to be gone and upon that she desires to go abroad today to look a place. A very good mayde she is and fully to my mind, being neat, only they say a little apt to scold, but I hear her not. To my office all the morning busy. Dined at home. To my office again, being pretty well reconciled to my wife, which I did desire to be, because she had designed much mirthe today to end Christmas with among her servants. At night home, being twelfenight, and there chose my piece of cake, but went up to my viall, and then to bed, leaving my wife and people up at their sports, which they continue till morning, not coming to bed at all.
7th. Up and to the office all the morning. At noon dined alone, my wife and family most of them a-bed. Then to see my Lady Batten and sit with her a while, Sir W. Batten being out of town, and then to my office doing very much business very late, and then home to supper and to bed.
8th (Lord’s day). Up betimes, and it being a very fine frosty day, I and my boy walked to White Hall, and there to the Chappell, where one Dr. Beaumont’ preached a good sermon, and afterwards a brave anthem upon the 150 Psalm, where upon the word “trumpet” very good musique was made. So walked to my Lady’s and there dined with her (my boy going home), where much pretty discourse, and after dinner walked to Westminster, and there to the house where Jane Welsh had appointed me, but it being sermon time they would not let me in, and said nobody was there to speak with me. I spent the whole afternoon walking into the Church and Abbey, and up and down, but could not find her, and so in the evening took a coach and home, and there sat discoursing with my wife, and by and by at supper, drinking some cold drink I think it was, I was forced to go make water, and had very great pain after it, but was well by and by and continued so, it being only I think from the drink, or from my straining at stool to do more than my body would. So after prayers to bed.
9th. Up and walked to White Hall, it being still a brave frost, and I in perfect good health, blessed be God! In my way saw a woman that broke her thigh, in her heels slipping up upon the frosty streete. To the Duke, and there did our usual worke. Here I saw the Royal Society bring their new book, wherein is nobly writ their charter’ and laws, and comes to be signed by the Duke as a Fellow; and all the Fellows’ hands are to be entered there, and lie as a monument; and the King hath put his with the word Founder. Thence I to Westminster, to my barber’s, and found occasion to see Jane, but in presence of her mistress, and so could not speak to her of her failing me yesterday, and then to the Swan to Herbert’s girl, and lost time a little with her, and so took coach, and to my Lord Crew’s and dined with him, who receives me with the greatest respect that could be, telling me that he do much doubt of the successe of this warr with Holland, we going about it, he doubts, by the instigation of persons that do not enough apprehend the consequences of the danger of it, and therein I do think with him. Holmes was this day sent to the Tower — [For taking New York from the Dutch]— but I perceive it is made matter of jest only; but if the Dutch should be our masters, it may come to be of earnest to him, to be given over to them for a sacrifice, as Sir W. Rawly [Raleigh] was. Thence to White Hall to a Tangier Committee, where I was accosted and most highly complimented by my Lord Bellasses,1 our new governor, beyond my expectation, or measure I could imagine he would have given any man, as if I were the only person of business that he intended to rely on, and desires my correspondence with him. This I was not only surprized at, but am well pleased with, and may make good use of it. Our patent is renewed, and he and my Lord Barkeley, and Sir Thomas Ingram put in as commissioners. Here some business happened which may bring me some profit. Thence took coach and calling my wife at her tailor’s (she being come this afternoon to bring her mother some apples, neat’s tongues, and wine); I home, and there at my office late with Sir W. Warren, and had a great deal of good discourse and counsel from him, which I hope I shall take, being all for my good in my deportment in my office, yet with all honesty. He gone I home to supper and to bed.
1 John Belasyse, second son of Thomas, first Viscount Fauconberg, created Baron Belasyse of Worlaby, January 27th, 1644, Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire, and Governor of Hull. He was appointed Governor of Tangier, and Captain of the Band of Gentlemen Pensioners. He was a Roman Catholic, and therefore was deprived of all his appointments in 1672 by the provisions of the Test Act, but in 1684 James II. made him First Commissioner of the Treasury. He died 1689.
10th. Lay long, it being still very cold, and then to the office, where till dinner, and then home, and by and by to the office, where we sat and were very late, and I writing letters till twelve at night, and then after supper to bed.
11th. Up, and very angry with my boy for lying long a bed and forgetting his lute. To my office all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change, and so home to dinner. After dinner to Gresham College to my Lord Brunker and Commissioner Pett, taking, Mr. Castle with me there to discourse over his draught of a ship he is to build for us. Where I first found reason to apprehend Commissioner Pett to be a man of an ability extraordinary in any thing, for I found he did turn and wind Castle like a chicken in his business, and that most pertinently and mister-like, and great pleasure it was to me to hear them discourse, I, of late having studied something thereof, and my Lord Brunker is a very able person also himself in this sort of business, as owning himself to be a master in the business of all lines and Conicall Sections: Thence home, where very late at my office doing business to my content, though [God] knows with what ado it was that when I was out I could get myself to come home to my business, or when I was there though late would stay there from going abroad again. To supper and to bed. This evening, by a letter from Plymouth, I hear that two of our ships, the Leopard and another, in the Straights, are lost by running aground; and that three more had like to have been so, but got off, whereof Captain Allen one: and that a Dutch fleete are gone thither; which if they should meet with our lame ships, God knows what would become of them. This I reckon most sad newes; God make us sensible of it! This night, when I come home, I was much troubled to hear my poor canary bird, that I have kept these three or four years, is dead.
12th. Up, and to White Hall about getting a privy seal for felling of the King’s timber for the navy, and to the Lords’ House to speak with my Lord Privy Seale about it, and so to the ‘Change, where to my last night’s ill news I met more. Spoke with a Frenchman who was taken, but released, by a Dutch man-of-war of thirty-six guns (with seven more of the like or greater ships), off the North Foreland, by Margett. Which is a strange attempt, that they should come to our teeth; but the wind being easterly, the wind that should bring our force from Portsmouth, will carry them away home. God preserve us against them, and pardon our making them in our discourse so contemptible an enemy! So home and to dinner, where Mr. Hollyard with us dined. So to the office, and there late till 11 at night and more, and then home to supper and to bed.
13th. Up betimes and walked to my Lord Bellasses’s lodgings in Lincolne’s Inne Fieldes, and there he received and discoursed with me in the most respectfull manner that could be, telling me what a character of my judgment, and care, and love to Tangier he had received of me, that he desired my advice and my constant correspondence, which he much valued, and in my courtship, in which, though I understand his designe very well, and that it is only a piece of courtship, yet it is a comfort to me that I am become so considerable as to have him need to say that to me, which, if I did not do something in the world, would never have been. Here well satisfied I to Sir Ph. Warwicke, and there did some business with him; thence to Jervas’s and there spent a little idle time with him, his wife, Jane, and a sweetheart of hers. So to the Hall awhile and thence to the Exchange, where yesterday’s newes confirmed, though in a little different manner; but a couple of ships in the Straights we have lost, and the Dutch have been in Margaret [Margate] Road. Thence home to dinner and so abroad and alone to the King’s house, to a play, “The Traytor,” where, unfortunately, I met with Sir W. Pen, so that I must be forced to confess it to my wife, which troubles me. Thence walked home, being ill-satisfied with the present actings of the House, and prefer the other House before this infinitely. To my Lady Batten’s, where I find Pegg Pen, the first time that ever I saw her to wear spots. Here very merry, Sir W. Batten being looked for to-night, but is not yet come from Harwich. So home to supper and to bed.
14th. Up and to White Hall, where long waited in the Duke’s chamber for a Committee intended for Tangier, but none met, and so I home and to the office, where we met a little, and then to the ‘Change, where our late ill newes confirmed in loss of two ships in the Straights, but are now the Phoenix and Nonsuch! Home to dinner, thence with my wife to the King’s house, there to see “Vulpone,” a most excellent play; the best I think I ever saw, and well, acted. So with Sir W. Pen home in his coach, and then to the office. So home, to supper, and bed, resolving by the grace of God from this day to fall hard to my business again, after some weeke or fortnight’s neglect.
15th (Lord’s day). Up, and after a little at my office to prepare a fresh draught of my vowes for the next yeare, I to church, where a most insipid young coxcomb preached. Then home to dinner, and after dinner to read in “Rushworth’s Collections” about the charge against the late Duke of Buckingham, in order to the fitting me to speak and understand the discourse anon before the King about the suffering the Turkey merchants to send out their fleete at this dangerous time, when we can neither spare them ships to go, nor men, nor King’s ships to convoy them. At four o’clock with Sir W. Pen in his coach to my Lord Chancellor’s, where by and by Mr. Coventry, Sir W. Pen, Sir J. Lawson, Sir G. Ascue, and myself were called in to the King, there being several of the Privy Council, and my Lord Chancellor lying at length upon a couch (of the goute I suppose); and there Sir W. Pen begun, and he had prepared heads in a paper, and spoke pretty well to purpose, but with so much leisure and gravity as was tiresome; besides, the things he said were but very poor to a man in his trade after a great consideration, but it was to purpose, indeed to dissuade the King from letting these Turkey ships to go out: saying (in short) the King having resolved to have 130 ships out by the spring, he must have above 20 of them merchantmen. Towards which, he in the whole River could find but 12 or 14, and of them the five ships taken up by these merchants were a part, and so could not be spared. That we should need 30,000 [sailors] to man these 130 ships, and of them in service we have not above 16,000; so we shall need 14,000 more. That these ships will with their convoys carry above 2,000 men, and those the best men that could be got; it being the men used to the Southward that are the best men for warr, though those bred in the North among the colliers are good for labour. That it will not be safe for the merchants, nor honourable for the King, to expose these rich ships with his convoy of six ships to go, it not being enough to secure them against the Dutch, who, without doubt, will have a great fleete in the Straights. This, Sir J. Lawson enlarged upon. Sir G. Ascue he chiefly spoke that the warr and trade could not be supported together, and, therefore, that trade must stand still to give way to them. This Mr. Coventry seconded, and showed how the medium of the men the King hath one year with another employed in his Navy since his coming, hath not been above 3,000 men, or at most 4,000 men; and now having occasion of 30,000, the remaining 26,000 must be found out of the trade of the nation. He showed how the cloaths, sending by these merchants to Turkey, are already bought and paid for to the workmen, and are as many as they would send these twelve months or more; so the poor do not suffer by their not going, but only the merchant, upon whose hands they lit dead; and so the inconvenience is the less. And yet for them he propounded, either the King should, if his Treasure would suffer it, buy them, and showed the losse would not be so great to him: or, dispense with the Act of Navigation, and let them be carried out by strangers; and ending that he doubted not but when the merchants saw there was no remedy, they would and could find ways of sending them abroad to their profit. All ended with a conviction (unless future discourse with the merchants should alter it) that it was not fit for them to go out, though the ships be loaded. The King in discourse did ask me two or three questions about my newes of Allen’s loss in the Streights, but I said nothing as to the business, nor am not much sorry for it, unless the King had spoke to me as he did to them, and then I could have said something to the purpose I think. So we withdrew, and the merchants were called in. Staying without, my Lord Fitz Harding come thither, and fell to discourse of Prince Rupert, and made nothing to say that his disease was the pox and that he must be fluxed, telling the horrible degree of the disease upon him with its breaking out on his head. But above all I observed how he observed from the Prince, that courage is not what men take it to be, a contempt of death; for, says he, how chagrined the Prince was the other day when he thought he should die, having no more mind to it than another man. But, says he, some men are more apt to think they shall escape than another man in fight, while another is doubtfull he shall be hit. But when the first man is sure he shall die, as now the Prince is, he is as much troubled and apprehensive of it as any man else; for, says he, since we told [him] that we believe he would overcome his disease, he is as merry, and swears and laughs and curses, and do all the things of a [man] in health, as ever he did in his life; which, methought, was a most extraordinary saying before a great many persons there of quality. So by and by with Sir W. Pen home again, and after supper to the office to finish my vows, and so to bed.
16th. Up and with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen to White Hall, where we did our business with the Duke. Thence I to Westminster Hall and walked up and down. Among others Ned Pickering met me and tells me how active my Lord is at sea, and that my Lord Hinchingbroke is now at Rome, and, by all report, a very noble and hopefull gentleman. Thence to Mr. Povy’s, and there met Creed, and dined well after his old manner of plenty and curiosity. But I sat in pain to think whether he would begin with me again after dinner with his enquiry after my bill, but he did not, but fell into other discourse, at which I was glad, but was vexed this morning meeting of Creed at some bye questions that he demanded of me about some such thing, which made me fear he meant that very matter, but I perceive he did not. Thence to visit my Lady Sandwich and so to a Tangier Committee, where a great company of the new Commissioners, Lords, that in behalfe of my Lord Bellasses are very loud and busy and call for Povy’s accounts, but it was a most sorrowful thing to see how he answered to questions so little to the purpose, but to his owne wrong. All the while I sensible how I am concerned in my bill of £100 and somewhat more. So great a trouble is fear, though in a case that at the worst will bear enquiry. My Lord Barkeley was very violent against Povy. But my Lord Ashly, I observe, is a most clear man in matters of accounts, and most ingeniously did discourse and explain all matters. We broke up, leaving the thing to a Committee of which I am one. Povy, Creed, and I staid discoursing, I much troubled in mind seemingly for the business, but indeed only on my own behalf, though I have no great reason for it, but so painfull a thing is fear. So after considering how to order business, Povy and I walked together as far as the New Exchange and so parted, and I by coach home. To the office a while, then to supper and to bed. This afternoon Secretary Bennet read to the Duke of Yorke his letters, which say that Allen1 has met with the Dutch Smyrna fleet at Cales — [The old form of the name Cadiz.]— and sunk one and taken three. How true or what these ships are time will show, but it is good newes and the newes of our ships being lost is doubted at dales and Malaga. God send it false!
1 Among the State Papers is a letter from Captain Thomas Allin to Sir Richard Fanshaw, dated from “The Plymouth, Cadiz Bay,” December 25th, 1664, in which he writes: “On the 19th attacked with his seven ships left, a Dutch fleet of fourteen, three of which were men-of-war; sunk two vessels and took two others, one a rich prize from Smyrna; the others retired much battered. Has also taken a Dutch prize laden with iron and planks, coming from Lisbon (“Calendar,” Domestic, 1664–65, p. 122).
17th. Up and walked to Mr. Povy’s by appointment, where I found him and Creed busy about fitting things for the Committee, and thence we to my Lord Ashly’s, where to see how simply, beyond all patience, Povy did again, by his many words and no understanding, confound himself and his business, to his disgrace, and rendering every body doubtfull of his being either a foole or knave, is very wonderfull. We broke up all dissatisfied, and referred the business to a meeting of Mr. Sherwin and others to settle, but here it was mighty strange methought to find myself sit herein Committee with my hat on, while Mr. Sherwin stood bare as a clerke, with his hat off to his Lord Ashlyand the rest, but I thank God I think myself never a whit the better man for all that. Thence with Creed to the ‘Change and Coffee-house, and so home, where a brave dinner, by having a brace of pheasants and very merry about Povy’s folly. So anon to the office, and there sitting very late, and then after a little time at Sir W. Batten’s, where I am mighty great and could if I thought it fit continue so, I to the office again, and there very late, and so home to the sorting of some of my books, and so to bed, the weather becoming pretty warm, and I think and hope the frost will break.
18th. Up and by and by to my bookseller’s, and there did give thorough direction for the new binding of a great many of my old books, to make my whole study of the same binding, within very few. Thence to my Lady Sandwich’s, who sent for me this morning. Dined with her, and it was to get a letter of hers conveyed by a safe hand to my Lord’s owne hand at Portsmouth, which I did undertake. Here my Lady did begin to talk of what she had heard concerning Creed, of his being suspected to be a fanatique and a false fellow. I told her I thought he was as shrewd and cunning a man as any in England, and one that I would feare first should outwit me in any thing. To which she readily concurred. Thence to Mr. Povy’s by agreement, and there with Mr. Sherwin, Auditor Beale, and Creed and I hard at it very late about Mr. Povy’s accounts, but such accounts I never did see, or hope again to see in my days. At night, late, they gone, I did get him to put out of this account our sums that are in posse only yet, which he approved of when told, but would never have stayed it if I had been gone. Thence at 9 at night home, and so to supper vexed and my head akeing and to bed.
19th. Up, and it being yesterday and today a great thaw it is not for a man to walk the streets, but took coach and to Mr. Povy’s, and there meeting all of us again agreed upon an answer to the Lords by and by, and thence we did come to Exeter House, and there was a witness of most [base] language against Mr. Povy, from my Lord Peterborough, who is most furiously angry with him, because the other, as a foole, would needs say that the £26,000 was my Lord Peterborough’s account, and that he had nothing to do with it. The Lords did find fault also with our answer, but I think really my Lord Ashly would fain have the outside of an Exchequer — [This word is blotted, and the whole sentence is confused.]— but when we come better to be examined. So home by coach, with my Lord Barkeley, who, by his discourse, I find do look upon Mr. Coventry as an enemy but yet professes great justice and pains. I at home after dinner to the office, and there sat all the afternoon and evening, and then home to supper and to bed. Memorandum. This day and yesterday, I think it is the change of the weather, I have a great deal of pain, but nothing like what I use to have. I can hardly keep myself loose, but on the contrary am forced to drive away my pain. Here I am so sleepy I cannot hold open my eyes, and therefore must be forced to break off this day’s passages more shortly than I would and should have done. This day was buried (but I could not be there) my cozen Percivall Angier; and yesterday I received the newes that Dr. Tom Pepys is dead, at Impington, for which I am but little sorry, not only because he would have been troublesome to us, but a shame to his family and profession; he was such a coxcomb.
20th. Up and to Westminster, where having spoke with Sir Ph. Warwicke, I to Jervas, and there I find them all in great disorder about Jane, her mistress telling me secretly that she was sworn not to reveal anything, but she was undone. At last for all her oath she told me that she had made herself sure to a fellow that comes to their house that can only fiddle for his living, and did keep him company, and had plainly told her that she was sure to him never to leave him for any body else. Now they were this day contriving to get her presently to marry one Hayes that was there, and I did seem to persuade her to it. And at last got them to suffer me to advise privately, and by that means had her company and think I shall meet her next Sunday, but I do really doubt she will be undone in marrying this fellow. But I did give her my advice, and so let her do her pleasure, so I have now and then her company. Thence to the Swan at noon, and there sent for a bit of meat and dined, and had my baiser of the fille of the house there, but nothing plus. So took coach and to my Lady Sandwich’s, and so to my bookseller’s, and there took home Hooke’s book of microscopy, a most excellent piece, and of which I am very proud. So home, and by and by again abroad with my wife about several businesses, and met at the New Exchange, and there to our trouble found our pretty Doll is gone away to live they say with her father in the country, but I doubt something worse. So homeward, in my way buying a hare and taking it home, which arose upon my discourse today with Mr. Batten, in Westminster Hall, who showed me my mistake that my hare’s foote hath not the joynt to it; and assures me he never had his cholique since he carried it about him: and it is a strange thing how fancy works, for I no sooner almost handled his foote but my belly began to be loose and to break wind, and whereas I was in some pain yesterday and t’other day and in fear of more today, I became very well, and so continue. At home to my office a while, and so to supper, read, and to cards, and to bed.
21st. At the office all the morning. Thence my Lord Brunker carried me as far as Mr. Povy’s, and there I ‘light and dined, meeting Mr. Sherwin, Creed, &c., there upon his accounts. After dinner they parted and Mr. Povy carried me to Somersett House, and there showed me the Queene–Mother’s chamber and closett, most beautiful places for furniture and pictures; and so down the great stone stairs to the garden, and tried the brave echo upon the stairs; which continues a voice so long as the singing three notes, concords, one after another, they all three shall sound in consort together a good while most pleasantly. Thence to a Tangier Committee at White Hall, where I saw nothing ordered by judgment, but great heat and passion and faction now in behalf of my Lord Bellasses, and to the reproach of my Lord Tiviott, and dislike as it were of former proceedings. So away with Mr. Povy, he carrying me homeward to Mark Lane in his coach, a simple fellow I now find him, to his utter shame in his business of accounts, as none but a sorry foole would have discovered himself; and yet, in little, light, sorry things very cunning; yet, in the principal, the most ignorant man I ever met with in so great trust as he is. To my office till past 12, and then home to supper and to bed, being now mighty well, and truly I cannot but impute it to my fresh hare’s foote. Before I went to bed I sat up till two o’clock in my chamber reading of Mr. Hooke’s Microscopicall Observations, the most ingenious book that ever I read in my life.
22nd (Lord’s day). Up, leaving my wife in bed, being sick of her months, and to church. Thence home, and in my wife’s chamber dined very merry, discoursing, among other things, of a design I have come in my head this morning at church of making a match between Mrs. Betty Pickering and Mr. Hill, my friend the merchant, that loves musique and comes to me a’Sundays, a most ingenious and sweet-natured and highly accomplished person. I know not how their fortunes may agree, but their disposition and merits are much of a sort, and persons, though different, yet equally, I think, acceptable. After dinner walked to Westminster, and after being at the Abbey and heard a good anthem well sung there, I as I had appointed to the Trumpett, there expecting when Jane Welsh should come, but anon comes a maid of the house to tell me that her mistress and master would not let her go forth, not knowing of my being here, but to keep her from her sweetheart. So being defeated, away by coach home, and there spent the evening prettily in discourse with my wife and Mercer, and so to supper, prayers, and to bed.
23rd. Up, and with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen to White Hall; but there finding the Duke gone to his lodgings at St. James’s for all together, his Duchesse being ready to lie in, we to him, and there did our usual business. And here I met the great newes confirmed by the Duke’s own relation, by a letter from Captain Allen. First, of our own loss of two ships, the Phoenix and Nonesuch, in the Bay of Gibraltar: then of his, and his seven ships with him, in the Bay of Cales, or thereabouts, fighting with the 34 Dutch Smyrna fleete; sinking the King Salamon, a ship worth a £150,000 or more, some say £200,000, and another; and taking of three merchant-ships. Two of our ships were disabled, by the Dutch unfortunately falling against their will against them; the Advice, Captain W. Poole, and Antelope, Captain Clerke: The Dutch men-of-war did little service. Captain Allen did receive many shots at distance before he would fire one gun, which he did not do till he come within pistol-shot of his enemy. The Spaniards on shore at Cales did stand laughing at the Dutch, to see them run away and flee to the shore, 34 or thereabouts, against eight Englishmen at most. I do purpose to get the whole relation, if I live, of Captain Allen himself. In our loss of the two ships in the Bay of Gibraltar, it is observable how the world do comment upon the misfortune of Captain Moone of the Nonesuch (who did lose, in the same manner, the Satisfaction), as a person that hath ill-luck attending him; without considering that the whole fleete was ashore. Captain Allen led the way, and Captain Allen himself writes that all the masters of the fleete, old and young, were mistaken, and did carry their ships aground. But I think I heard the Duke say that Moone, being put into the Oxford, had in this conflict regained his credit, by sinking one and taking another. Captain Seale of the Milford hath done his part very well, in boarding the King Salamon, which held out half an hour after she was boarded; and his men kept her an hour after they did master her, and then she sunk, and drowned about 17 of her men. Thence to Jervas’s, my mind, God forgive me, running too much after some folly, but ‘elle’ not being within I away by coach to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner. And finding Mrs. Bagwell waiting at the office after dinner, away she and I to a cabaret where she and I have eat before, and there I had her company ‘tout’ and had ‘mon plaisir’ of ‘elle’. But strange to see how a woman, notwithstanding her greatest pretences of love ‘a son mari’ and religion, may be ‘vaincue’. Thence to the Court of the Turkey Company at Sir Andrew Rickard’s to treat about carrying some men of ours to Tangier, and had there a very civil reception, though a denial of the thing as not practicable with them, and I think so too. So to my office a little and to Jervas’s again, thinking ‘avoir rencontrais’ Jane, ‘mais elle n’etait pas dedans’. So I back again and to my office, where I did with great content ‘ferais’ a vow to mind my business, and ‘laisser aller les femmes’ for a month, and am with all my heart glad to find myself able to come to so good a resolution, that thereby I may follow my business, which and my honour thereby lies a bleeding. So home to supper and to bed.
24th. Up and by coach to Westminster Hall and the Parliament House, and there spoke with Mr. Coventry and others about business and so back to the ‘Change, where no news more than that the Dutch have, by consent of all the Provinces, voted no trade to be suffered for eighteen months, but that they apply themselves wholly to the warr.1 And they say it is very true, but very strange, for we use to believe they cannot support themselves without trade. Thence home to dinner and then to the office, where all the afternoon, and at night till very late, and then home to supper and bed, having a great cold, got on Sunday last, by sitting too long with my head bare, for Mercer to comb my hair and wash my eares.
1 This statement of a total prohibition of all trade, and for so long a period as eighteen months, by a government so essentially commercial as that of the United Provinces, seems extraordinary. The fact was, that when in the beginning of the year 1665 the States General saw that the war with England was become inevitable, they took several vigorous measures, and determined to equip a formidable fleet, and with a view to obtain a sufficient number of men to man it, prohibited all navigation, especially in the great and small fisheries as they were then called, and in the whale fishery. This measure appears to have resembled the embargoes so commonly resorted to in this country on similar occasions, rather than a total prohibition of trade. — B.
25th. Up, and busy all the morning, dined at home upon a hare pye, very good meat, and so to my office again, and in the afternoon by coach to attend the Council at White Hall, but come too late, so back with Mr. Gifford, a merchant, and he and I to the Coffee-house, where I met Mr. Hill, and there he tells me that he is to be Assistant to the Secretary of the Prize Office (Sir Ellis Layton), which is to be held at Sir Richard Ford’s, which, methinks, is but something low, but perhaps may bring him something considerable; but it makes me alter my opinion of his being so rich as to make a fortune for Mrs. Pickering. Thence home and visited Sir J. Minnes, who continues ill, but is something better; there he told me what a mad freaking fellow Sir Ellis Layton hath been, and is, and once at Antwerp was really mad. Thence to my office late, my cold troubling me, and having by squeezing myself in a coach hurt my testicles, but I hope will cease its pain without swelling. So home out of order, to supper and to bed.
26th. Lay, being in some pain, but not much, with my last night’s bruise, but up and to my office, where busy all the morning, the like after dinner till very late, then home to supper and to bed. My wife mightily troubled with the tooth ake, and my cold not being gone yet, but my bruise yesterday goes away again, and it chiefly occasioned I think now from the sudden change of the weather from a frost to a great rayne on a sudden.
27th. Called up by Mr. Creed to discourse about some Tangier business, and he gone I made me ready and found Jane Welsh, Mr. Jervas his mayde, come to tell me that she was gone from her master, and is resolved to stick to this sweetheart of hers, one Harbing (a very sorry little fellow, and poor), which I did in a word or two endeavour to dissuade her from, but being unwilling to keep her long at my house, I sent her away and by and by followed her to the Exchange, and thence led her about down to the 3 Cranes, and there took boat for the Falcon, and at a house looking into the fields there took up and sat an hour or two talking and discoursing. . . . Thence having endeavoured to make her think of making herself happy by staying out her time with her master and other counsels, but she told me she could not do it, for it was her fortune to have this man, though she did believe it would be to her ruine, which is a strange, stupid thing, to a fellow of no kind of worth in the world and a beggar to boot. Thence away to boat again and landed her at the Three Cranes again, and I to the Bridge, and so home, and after shifting myself, being dirty, I to the ‘Change, and thence to Mr. Povy’s and there dined, and thence with him and Creed to my Lord Bellasses’, and there debated a great while how to put things in order against his going, and so with my Lord in his coach to White Hall, and with him to my Lord Duke of Albemarle, finding him at cards. After a few dull words or two, I away to White Hall again, and there delivered a letter to the Duke of Yorke about our Navy business, and thence walked up and down in the gallery, talking with Mr. Slingsby, who is a very ingenious person, about the Mint and coynage of money. Among other things, he argues that there being £700,000 coined in the Rump time, and by all the Treasurers of that time, it being their opinion that the Rump money was in all payments, one with another, about a tenth part of all their money. Then, says he, to my question, the nearest guess we can make is, that the money passing up and down in business is £7,000,000. To another question of mine he made me fully understand that the old law of prohibiting bullion to be exported, is, and ever was a folly and an injury, rather than good. Arguing thus, that if the exportations exceed importations, then the balance must be brought home in money, which, when our merchants know cannot be carried out again, they will forbear to bring home in money, but let it lie abroad for trade, or keepe in foreign banks: or if our importations exceed our exportations, then, to keepe credit, the merchants will and must find ways of carrying out money by stealth, which is a most easy thing to do, and is every where done; and therefore the law against it signifies nothing in the world. Besides, that it is seen, that where money is free, there is great plenty; where it is restrained, as here, there is a great want, as in Spayne. These and many other fine discourses I had from him. Thence by coach home (to see Sir J. Minnes first), who is still sick, and I doubt worse than he seems to be. Mrs. Turner here took me into her closet, and there did give me a glass of most pure water, and shewed me her Rocke, which indeed is a very noble thing but a very bawble. So away to my office, where late, busy, and then home to supper and to bed.
28th. Up and to my office, where all the morning, and then home to dinner, and after dinner abroad, walked to Paul’s Churchyard, but my books not bound, which vexed me. So home to my office again, where very late about business, and so home to supper and to bed, my cold continuing in a great degree upon me still. This day I received a good sum of money due to me upon one score or another from Sir G. Carteret, among others to clear all my matters about Colours — [Flags]— wherein a month or two since I was so embarrassed and I thank God I find myself to have got clear, by that commodity, £50 and something more; and earned it with dear pains and care and issuing of my owne money, and saved the King near £100 in it.
29th (Lord’s day). Up and to my office, where all the morning, putting papers to rights which now grow upon my hands. At noon dined at home. All the afternoon at my business again. In the evening come Mr. Andrews and Hill, and we up to my chamber and there good musique, though my great cold made it the less pleasing to me. Then Mr. Hill (the other going away) and I to supper alone, my wife not appearing, our discourse upon the particular vain humours of Mr. Povy, which are very extraordinary indeed. After supper I to Sir W. Batten’s, where I found him, Sir W. Pen, Sir J. Robinson, Sir R. Ford and Captain Cocke and Mr. Pen, junior. Here a great deal of sorry disordered talk about the Trinity House men, their being exempted from land service. But, Lord! to see how void of method and sense their discourse was, and in what heat, insomuch as Sir R. Ford (who we judged, some of us, to be a little foxed) fell into very high terms with Sir W. Batten, and then with Captain Cocke. So that I see that no man is wise at all times. Thence home to prayers and to bed.
30th. This is solemnly kept as a Fast all over the City, but I kept my house, putting my closett to rights again, having lately put it out of order in removing my books and things in order to being made clean. At this all day, and at night to my office, there to do some business, and being late at it, comes Mercer to me, to tell me that my wife was in bed, and desired me to come home; for they hear, and have, night after night, lately heard noises over their head upon the leads. Now it is strange to think how, knowing that I have a great sum of money in my house, this puts me into a most mighty affright, that for more than two hours, I could not almost tell what to do or say, but feared this and that, and remembered that this evening I saw a woman and two men stand suspiciously in the entry, in the darke; I calling to them, they made me only this answer, the woman said that the men came to see her; but who she was I could not tell. The truth is, my house is mighty dangerous, having so many ways to be come to; and at my windows, over the stairs, to see who goes up and down; but, if I escape to-night, I will remedy it. God preserve us this night safe! So at almost two o’clock, I home to my house, and, in great fear, to bed, thinking every running of a mouse really a thiefe; and so to sleep, very brokenly, all night long, and found all safe in the morning.
31st. Up and with Sir W. Batten to Westminster, where to speak at the House with my Lord Bellasses, and am cruelly vexed to see myself put upon businesses so uncertainly about getting ships for Tangier being ordered, a servile thing, almost every day. So to the ‘Change, back by coach with Sir W. Batten, and thence to the Crowne, a taverne hard by, with Sir W. Rider and Cutler, where we alone, a very good dinner. Thence home to the office, and there all the afternoon late. The office being up, my wife sent for me, and what was it but to tell me how Jane carries herself, and I must put her away presently. But I did hear both sides and find my wife much in fault, and the grounds of all the difference is my wife’s fondness of Tom, to the being displeased with all the house beside to defend the boy, which vexes me, but I will cure it. Many high words between my wife and I, but the wench shall go, but I will take a course with the boy, for I fear I have spoiled him already. Thence to the office, to my accounts, and there at once to ease my mind I have made myself debtor to Mr. Povy for the £117 5s. got with so much joy the last month, but seeing that it is not like to be kept without some trouble and question, I do even discharge my mind of it, and so if I come now to refund it, as I fear I shall, I shall now be ne’er a whit the poorer for it, though yet it is some trouble to me to be poorer by such a sum than I thought myself a month since. But, however, a quiet mind and to be sure of my owne is worth all. The Lord be praised for what I have, which is this month come down to £1257. I staid up about my accounts till almost two in the morning.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53