March 1st. Up, and this day being the day than: by a promise, a great while ago, made to my wife, I was to give her £20 to lay out in clothes against Easter, she did, notwithstanding last night’s falling out, come to peace with me and I with her, but did boggle mightily at the parting with my money, but at last did give it her, and then she abroad to buy her things, and I to my office, where busy all the morning. At noon I to dinner at Trinity House, and thence to Gresham College, where Mr. Hooke read a second very curious lecture about the late Comett; among other things proving very probably that this is the very same Comett that appeared before in the year 1618, and that in such a time probably it will appear again, which is a very new opinion; but all will be in print. Then to the meeting, where Sir G. Carteret’s two sons, his owne, and Sir N. Slaning, were admitted of the society: and this day I did pay my admission money, 40s. to the society. Here was very fine discourses and experiments, but I do lacke philosophy enough to understand them, and so cannot remember them. Among others, a very particular account of the making of the several sorts of bread in France, which is accounted the best place for bread in the world. So home, where very busy getting an answer to some question of Sir Philip Warwicke touching the expense of the navy, and that being done I by coach at 8 at night with my wife and Mercer to Sir Philip’s and discoursed with him (leaving them in the coach), and then back with them home and to supper and to bed.
2nd. Begun this day to rise betimes before six o’clock, and, going down to call my people, found Besse and the girle with their clothes on, lying within their bedding upon the ground close by the fireside, and a candle burning all night, pretending they would rise to scoure. This vexed me, but Besse is going and so she will not trouble me long. Up, and by water to Burston about my Lord’s plate, and then home to the office, so there all the morning sitting. At noon dined with Sir W. Batten (my wife being gone again today to buy things, having bought nothing yesterday for lack of Mrs. Pierces company), and thence to the office again, where very busy till 12 at night, and vexed at my wife’s staying out so late, she not being at home at 9 o’clock, but at last she is come home, but the reason of her stay I know not yet. So shut up my books, and home to supper and to bed.
3rd. Up, and abroad about several things, among others to see Mr. Peter Honiwood, who was at my house the other day, and I find it was for nothing but to pay me my brother John’s Quarterage. Thence to see Mrs. Turner, who takes it mighty ill I did not come to dine with the Reader, her husband, which, she says, was the greatest feast that ever was yet kept by a Reader, and I believe it was well. But I am glad I did not go, which confirms her in an opinion that I am growne proud. Thence to the ‘Change, and to several places, and so home to dinner and to my office, where till 12 at night writing over a discourse of mine to Mr. Coventry touching the Fishermen of the Thames upon a reference of the business by him to me concerning their being protected from presse. Then home to supper and to bed.
4th. Up very betimes, and walked, it being bitter cold, to Ratcliffe, to the plate-maker’s and back again. To the office, where we sat all the morning, I, with being empty and full of ayre and wind, had some pain today. Dined alone at home, my wife being gone abroad to buy some more things. All the afternoon at the office. William Howe come to see me, being come up with my Lord from sea: he is grown a discreet, but very conceited fellow. He tells me how little respectfully Sir W. Pen did carry it to my Lord onboard the Duke’s ship at sea; and that Captain Minnes, a favourite of Prince Rupert’s, do shew my Lord little respect; but that every body else esteems my Lord as they ought. I am sorry for the folly of the latter, and vexed at the dissimulation of the former. At night home to supper and to bed. This day was proclaimed at the ‘Change the war with Holland.
5th (Lord’s day). Up, and Mr. Burston bringing me by order my Lord’s plates, which he has been making this week. I did take coach and to my Lord Sandwich’s and dined with my Lord; it being the first time he hath dined at home since his coming from sea: and a pretty odd demand it was of my Lord to my Lady before me: “How do you, sweetheart? How have you done all this week?” himself taking notice of it to me, that he had hardly seen her the week before. At dinner he did use me with the greatest solemnity in the world, in carving for me, and nobody else, and calling often to my Lady to cut for me; and all the respect possible. After dinner looked over the plates, liked them mightily, and indeed I think he is the most exact man in what he do in the world of that kind. So home again, and there after a song or two in the evening with Mr. Hill, I to my office, and then home to supper and to bed.
6th. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes by coach, being a most lamentable cold day as any this year, to St. James’s, and there did our business with the Duke. Great preparations for his speedy return to sea. I saw him try on his buff coat and hatpiece covered with black velvet. It troubles me more to think of his venture, than of anything else in the whole warr. Thence home to dinner, where I saw Besse go away; she having of all wenches that ever lived with us received the greatest love and kindnesse and good clothes, besides wages, and gone away with the greatest ingratitude. I then abroad to look after my Hamaccoes, and so home, and there find our new chamber-mayde, Mary, come, which instead of handsome, as my wife spoke and still seems to reckon, is a very ordinary wench, I think, and therein was mightily disappointed. To my office, where busy late, and then home to supper and to bed, and was troubled all this night with a pain in my left testicle, that run up presently into my left kidney and there kept akeing all night. In great pain.
7th. Up, and was pretty well, but going to the office, and I think it was sitting with my back to the fire, it set me in a great rage again, that I could not continue till past noon at the office, but was forced to go home, nor could sit down to dinner, but betook myself to my bed, and being there a while my pain begun to abate and grow less and less. Anon I went to make water, not dreaming of any thing but my testicle that by some accident I might have bruised as I used to do, but in pissing there come from me two stones, I could feel them, and caused my water to be looked into; but without any pain to me in going out, which makes me think that it was not a fit of the stone at all; for my pain was asswaged upon my lying down a great while before I went to make water. Anon I made water again very freely and plentifully. I kept my bed in good ease all the evening, then rose and sat up an hour or two, and then to bed and lay till 8 o’clock, and then,
8th. Though a bitter cold day, yet I rose, and though my pain and tenderness in my testicle remains a little, yet I do verily think that my pain yesterday was nothing else, and therefore I hope my disease of the stone may not return to me, but void itself in pissing, which God grant, but I will consult my physitian. This morning is brought me to the office the sad newes of “The London,” in which Sir J. Lawson’s men were all bringing her from Chatham to the Hope, and thence he was to go to sea in her; but a little a’this side the buoy of the Nower, she suddenly blew up. About 24 [men] and a woman that were in the round-house and coach saved; the rest, being above 300, drowned: the ship breaking all in pieces, with 80 pieces of brass ordnance. She lies sunk, with her round-house above water. Sir J. Lawson hath a great loss in this of so many good chosen men, and many relations among them. I went to the ‘Change, where the news taken very much to heart. So home to dinner, and Mr. Moore with me. Then I to Gresham College, and there saw several pretty experiments, and so home and to my office, and at night about I I home to supper and to bed.
9th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the afternoon. At noon to dinner at home, and then abroad with my wife, left her at the New Exchange and I to Westminster, where I hear Mrs. Martin is brought to bed of a boy and christened Charles, which I am very glad of, for I was fearful of being called to be a godfather to it. But it seems it was to be done suddenly, and so I escaped. It is strange to see how a liberty and going abroad without purpose of doing anything do lead a man to what is bad, for I was just upon going to her, where I must of necessity [have] broken my oath or made a forfeit. But I did not, company being (I heard by my porter) with her, and so I home again, taking up my wife, and was set down by her at Paule’s Schoole, where I visited Mr. Crumlum at his house; and, Lord! to see how ridiculous a conceited pedagogue he is, though a learned man, he being so dogmaticall in all he do and says. But among other discourse, we fell to the old discourse of Paule’s Schoole; and he did, upon my declaring my value of it, give me one of Lilly’s grammars of a very old impression, as it was in the Catholique times, which I shall much set by. And so, after some small discourse, away and called upon my wife at a linen draper’s shop buying linen, and so home, and to my office, where late, and home to supper and to bed. This night my wife had a new suit of flowered ash-coloured silke, very noble.
10th. Up, and to the office all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change, where very hot, people’s proposal of the City giving the King’ another ship for “The London,” that is lately blown up, which would be very handsome, and if well managed, might be done; but I fear if it be put into ill hands, or that the courtiers do solicit it, it will never be done. Home to dinner, and thence to the Committee of Tangier at White Hall, where my Lord Barkely and Craven and others; but, Lord! to see how superficially things are done in the business of the Lottery, which will be the disgrace of the Fishery, and without profit. Home, vexed at my loss of time, and thereto my office. Late at night come the two Bellamys, formerly petty warrant Victuallers of the Navy, to take my advice about a navy debt of theirs for the compassing of which they offer a great deal of money, and the thing most just. Perhaps I may undertake it, and get something by it, which will be a good job. So home late to bed.
11th. Up and to the office, at noon home to dinner, and to the office again, where very late, and then home to supper and to bed. This day returned Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes from Lee Roade, where they have been to see the wrecke of “The London,” out of which, they say, the guns may be got, but the hull of her will be wholly lost, as not being capable of being weighed.
12th (Lord’s day). Up, and borrowing Sir J. Minnes’s coach, to my Lord Sandwich’s, but he was gone abroad. I sent the coach back for my wife, my Lord a second time dining at home on purpose to meet me, he having not dined once at home but those times since his coming from sea. I sat down and read over the Bishop of Chichester’s’ sermon upon the anniversary of the King’s death, much cried up, but, methinks, but a mean sermon. By and by comes in my Lord, and he and I to talke of many things in the Navy, one from another, in general, to see how the greatest things are committed to very ordinary men, as to parts and experience, to do; among others, my Lord Barkeley. We talked also of getting W. Howe to be put into the Muster–Mastershipp in the roome of Creed, if Creed will give way, but my Lord do it without any great gusto, calling Howe a proud coxcomb in passion. Down to dinner, where my wife in her new lace whiske, which, indeed, is very noble, and I much pleased with it, and so my Lady also. Here very pleasant my Lord was at dinner, and after dinner did look over his plate, which Burston hath brought him today, and is the last of the three that he will have made. After satisfied with that, he abroad, and I after much discourse with my Lady about Sir G. Carteret’s son, of whom she hath some thoughts for a husband for my Lady Jemimah, we away home by coach again, and there sang a good while very pleasantly with Mr. Andrews and Hill. They gone; we to supper, and betimes to bed.
13th. Up betimes, this being the first morning of my promise upon a forfeite not to lie in bed a quarter of an hour after my first waking. Abroad to St. James’s, and there much business, the King also being with us a great while. Thence to the ‘Change, and thence with Captain Tayler and Sir W. Warren dined at a house hard by for discourse sake, and so I home, and there meeting a letter from Mrs. Martin desiring to speak with me, I (though against my promise of visiting her) did go, and there found her in her childbed dress desiring my favour to get her husband a place. I staid not long, but taking Sir W. Warren up at White Hall home, and among other discourse fell to a business which he says shall if accomplished bring me £100. He gone, I to supper and to bed. This day my wife begun to wear light-coloured locks, quite white almost, which, though it makes her look very pretty, yet not being natural, vexes me, that I will not have her wear them. This day I saw my Lord Castlemayne at St. James’s, lately come from France.
14th. Up before six, to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon dined with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, at the Tower, with Sir J. Robinson, at a farewell dinner which he gives Major Holmes at his going out of the Tower, where he hath for some time, since his coming from Guinny, been a prisoner, and, it seems, had presented the Lieutenant with fifty pieces yesterday. Here a great deale of good victuals and company. Thence home to my office, where very late, and home to supper and to bed weary of business.
15th. Up and by coach with Sir W. Batten to St. James’s, where among other things before the Duke, Captain Taylor was called in, and, Sir J. Robinson his accuser not appearing, was acquitted quite from his charge, and declared that he should go to Harwich, which I was very well pleased at. Thence I to Mr. Coventry’s chamber, and there privately an houre with him in discourse of the office, and did deliver to him many notes of things about which he is to get the Duke’s command, before he goes, for the putting of business among us in better order. He did largely owne his dependance as to the office upon my care, and received very great expressions of love from him, and so parted with great satisfaction to myself. So home to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner, where my wife being gone down upon a sudden warning from my Lord Sandwich’s daughters to the Hope with them to see “The Prince,” I dined alone. After dinner to the office, and anon to Gresham College, where, among other good discourse, there was tried the great poyson of Maccassa upon a dogg,1 but it had no effect all the time we sat there. We anon broke up and I home, where late at my office, my wife not coming home. I to bed, troubled, about 12 or past.
1 “The experiment of trying to poison a dog with some of the Macassar powder in which a needle had been dipped was made, but without success.”— Pepys himself made a communication at this meeting of the information he had received from the master of the Jersey ship, who had been in company of Major Holmes in the Guinea voyage, concerning the pendulum watches (Birch’s “History,” vol. ii., p. 23).
16th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, my wife coming home from the water this morning, having lain with them on board “The Prince” all night. At noon home to dinner, where my wife told me the unpleasant journey she had yesterday among the children, whose fear upon the water and folly made it very unpleasing to her. A good dinner, and then to the office again. This afternoon Mr. Harris, the sayle-maker, sent me a noble present of two large silver candlesticks and snuffers, and a slice to keep them upon, which indeed is very handsome. At night come Mr. Andrews with £36, the further fruits of my Tangier contract, and so to bed late and weary with business, but in good content of mind, blessing God for these his benefits.
17th. Up and to my office, and then with Sir W. Batten to St. James’s, where many come to take leave, as was expected, of the Duke, but he do not go till Monday. This night my Lady Wood died of the small-pox, and is much lamented among the great persons for a good-natured woman and a good wife, but for all that it was ever believed she was as others are. The Duke did give us some commands, and so broke up, not taking leave of him. But the best piece of newes is, that instead of a great many troublesome Lords, the whole business is to be left with the Duke of Albemarle to act as Admirall in his stead; which is a thing that do cheer my heart. For the other would have vexed us with attendance, and never done the business. Thence to the Committee of Tangier, where the Duke a little, and then left us and we staid. A very great Committee, the Lords Albemarle, Sandwich, Barkely, Fitzharding, Peterborough, Ashley, Sir Thos. Ingram, Sir G. Carteret and others. The whole business was the stating of Povy’s accounts, of whom to say no more, never could man say worse himself nor have worse said of him than was by the company to his face; I mean, as to his folly and very reflecting words to his honesty. Broke up without anything but trouble and shame, only I got my businesses done to the signing of two bills for the Contractors and Captain Taylor, and so come away well pleased, and home, taking up my wife at the ‘Change, to dinner. After dinner out again bringing my wife to her father’s again at Charing Cross, and I to the Committee again, where a new meeting of trouble about Povy, who still makes his business worse and worse, and broke up with the most open shame again to him, and high words to him of disgrace that they would not trust him with any more money till he had given an account of this. So broke up. Then he took occasion to desire me to step aside, and he and I by water to London together. In the way, of his owne accord, he proposed to me that he would surrender his place of Treasurer’ to me to have half the profit. The thing is new to me; but the more I think the more I like it, and do put him upon getting it done by the Duke. Whether it takes or no I care not, but I think at present it may have some convenience in it. Home, and there find my wife come home and gone to bed, of a cold got yesterday by water. At the office Bellamy come to me again, and I am in hopes something may be got by his business. So late home to supper and bed.
18th. Up and to the office, where all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change, and took Mr. Hill along with me to Mr. Povy’s, where we dined, and shewed him the house to his good content, and I expect when we meet we shall laugh at it. But I having business to stay, he went away, and Povy and Creed and I to do some business upon Povy’s accounts all the afternoon till late at night, where, God help him! never man was so confounded, and all his people about him in this world as he and his are. After we had done something [to the] purpose we broke up, and Povy acquainted me before Creed (having said something of it also this morning at our office to me) what he had done in speaking to the Duke and others about his making me Treasurer, and has carried it a great way, so as I think it cannot well be set back. Creed, I perceive, envies me in it, but I think as that will do me no hurte, so if it did I am at a great losse to think whether it were not best for me to let it wholly alone, for it will much disquiett me and my business of the Navy, which in this warr will certainly be worth all my time to me. Home, continuing in this doubtfull condition what to think of it, but God Almighty do his will in it for the best. To my office, where late, and then home to supper and to bed.
19th (Lord’s day). Mr. Povy sent his coach for me betimes, and I to him, and there to our great trouble do find that my Lord FitzHarding do appear for Mr. Brunkard1 to be Paymaster upon Povy’s going out, by a former promise of the Duke’s, and offering to give as much as any for it. This put us all into a great dumpe, and so we went to Creed’s new lodging in the Mewes, and there we found Creed with his parrot upon his shoulder, which struck Mr. Povy coming by just by the eye, very deep, which, had it hit his eye, had put it out. This a while troubled us, but not proving very bad, we to our business consulting what to do; at last resolved, and I to Mr. Coventry, and there had his most friendly and ingenuous advice, advising me not to decline the thing, it being that that will bring me to be known to great persons, while now I am buried among three or four of us, says he, in the Navy; but do not make a declared opposition to my Lord FitzHarding. Thence I to Creed, and walked talking in the Park an hour with him, and then to my Lord Sandwich’s to dinner, and after dinner to Mr. Povy’s, who hath been with the Duke of Yorke, and, by the mediation of Mr. Coventry, the Duke told him that the business shall go on, and he will take off Brunkerd, and my Lord FitzHarding is quiett too. But to see the mischief, I hear that Sir G. Carteret did not seem pleased, but said nothing when he heard me proposed to come in Povy’s room, which may learn me to distinguish between that man that is a man’s true and false friend. Being very glad of this news Mr. Povy and I in his coach to Hyde Parke, being the first day of the tour there. Where many brave ladies; among others, Castlemayne lay impudently upon her back in her coach asleep, with her mouth open. There was also my Lady Kerneguy,2 once my Lady Anne Hambleton, that is said to have given the Duke a clap upon his first coming over. Here I saw Sir J. Lawson’s daughter and husband, a fine couple, and also Mr. Southwell and his new lady, very pretty. Thence back, putting in at Dr. Whore’s, where I saw his lady, a very fine woman. So home, and thither by my desire comes by and by Creed and lay with me, very merry and full of discourse, what to do tomorrow, and the conveniences that will attend my having of this place, and I do think they may be very great.
1 Henry Brouncker, younger brother of William, Viscount Brouncker, President of the Royal Society. He was Groom of the Bedchamber to the Duke of York, and succeeded to the office of Cofferer on the death of William Ashburnham in 1671. His character was bad, and his conduct in the sea-fight of 1665 was impugned. He was expelled from the House of Commons, but succeeded to his brother’s title in 1684. He died in January, 1687.
2 Daughter of William, Duke of Hamilton, wife of Lord Carnegy, who became Earl of Southesk on his father’s death. She is frequently mentioned in the “Memoires de Grammont,” and in the letters of the second Earl of Chesterfield. — B.
20th. Up, Creed and I, and had Mr. Povy’s coach sent for us, and we to his house; where we did some business in order to the work of this day. Povy and I to my Lord Sandwich, who tells me that the Duke is not only a friend to the business, but to me, in terms of the greatest love and respect and value of me that can be thought, which overjoys me. Thence to St. James’s, and there was in great doubt of Brunkerd, but at last I hear that Brunkerd desists. The Duke did direct Secretary Bennet, who was there, to declare his mind to the Tangier Committee, that he approves of me for Treasurer; and with a character of me to be a man whose industry and discretion he would trust soon as any man’s in England: and did the like to my Lord Sandwich. So to White Hall to the Committee of Tangier, where there were present, my Lord of Albemarle, my Lord Peterborough, Sandwich, Barkeley, FitzHarding, Secretary Bennet, Sir Thomas Ingram, Sir John Lawson, Povy and I. Where, after other business, Povy did declare his business very handsomely; that he was sorry he had been so unhappy in his accounts, as not to give their Lordships the satisfaction he intended, and that he was sure his accounts are right, and continues to submit them to examination, and is ready to lay down in ready money the fault of his account; and that for the future, that the work might be better done and with more quiet to him, he desired, by approbation of the Duke, he might resign his place to Mr. Pepys. Whereupon, Secretary Bennet did deliver the Duke’s command, which was received with great content and allowance beyond expectation; the Secretary repeating also the Duke’s character of me. And I could discern my Lord FitzHarding was well pleased with me, and signified full satisfaction, and whispered something seriously of me to the Secretary. And there I received their constitution under all their hands presently; so that I am already confirmed their Treasurer, and put into a condition of striking of tallys;1 and all without one harsh word or word of dislike, but quite the contrary; which is a good fortune beyond all imagination. Here we rose, and Povy and Creed and I, all full of joy, thence to dinner, they setting me down at Sir J. Winter’s, by promise, and dined with him; and a worthy fine man he seems to be, and of good discourse, our business was to discourse of supplying the King with iron for anchors, if it can be judged good enough, and a fine thing it is to see myself come to the condition of being received by persons of this rank, he being, and having long been, Secretary to the Queene–Mother. Thence to Povy’s, and there sat and considered of business a little and then home, where late at it, W. Howe being with me about his business of accounts for his money laid out in the fleet, and he gone, I home to supper and to bed. Newes is this day come of Captain Allen’s being come home from the Straights, as far as Portland, with eleven of the King’s ships, and about twenty-two of merchantmen.
1 The practice of striking tallies at the Exchequer was a curious survival of an ancient method of keeping accounts. The method adopted is described in Hubert Hall’s “Antiquities and Curiosities of the Exchequer,” 1891. The following account of the use of tallies, so frequently alluded to in the Diary, was supplied by Lord Braybrooke. Formerly accounts were kept, and large sums of money paid and received, by the King’s Exchequer, with little other form than the exchange or delivery of tallies, pieces of wood notched or scored, corresponding blocks being kept by the parties to the account; and from this usage one of the head officers of the Exchequer was called the tallier, or teller. These tallies were often negotiable; Adam Smith, in his “Wealth of Nations,” book ii., ch. xi., says that “in 1696 tallies had been at forty, and fifty, and sixty per cent. discount, and bank-notes at twenty per cent.” The system of tallies was discontinued in 1824; and the destruction of the old Houses of Parliament, in the night of October 16th, 1834, is thought to have been occasioned by the overheating of the flues, when the furnaces were employed to consume the tallies rendered useless by the alteration in the mode of keeping the Exchequer accounts.
21st. Up, and my taylor coming to me, did consult all my wardrobe how to order my clothes against next summer. Then to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change, and brought home Mr. Andrews, and there with Mr. Sheply dined and very merry, and a good dinner. Thence to Mr. Povy’s to discourse about settling our business of Treasurer, and I think all things will go very fayre between us and to my content, but the more I see the more silly the man seems to me. Thence by coach to the Mewes, but Creed was not there. In our way the coach drove through a lane by Drury Lane, where abundance of loose women stood at the doors, which, God forgive me, did put evil thoughts in me, but proceeded no further, blessed be God. So home, and late at my office, then home and there found a couple of state cups, very large, coming, I suppose, each to about £6 a piece, from Burrows the slopseller.
22nd. Up, and to Mr. Povy’s about our business, and thence I to see Sir Ph. Warwicke, but could not meet with him. So to Mr. Coventry, whose profession of love and esteem for me to myself was so large and free that I never could expect or wish for more, nor could have it from any man in England, that I should value it more. Thence to Mr. Povy’s, and with Creed to the ‘Change and to my house, but, it being washing day, dined not at home, but took him (I being invited) to Mr. Hubland’s, the merchant, where Sir William Petty, and abundance of most ingenious men, owners and freighters of “The Experiment,” now going with her two bodies to sea. Most excellent discourse. Among others, Sir William Petty did tell me that in good earnest he hath in his will left such parts of his estate to him that could invent such and such things. As among others, that could discover truly the way of milk coming into the breasts of a woman; and he that could invent proper characters to express to another the mixture of relishes and tastes. And says, that to him that invents gold, he gives nothing for the philosopher’s stone; for (says he) they that find out that, will be able to pay themselves. But, says he, by this means it is better than to give to a lecture; for here my executors, that must part with this, will be sure to be well convinced of the invention before they do part with their money. After dinner Mr. Hill took me with Mrs. Hubland, who is a fine gentlewoman, into another room, and there made her sing, which she do very well, to my great content. Then to Gresham College, and there did see a kitling killed almost quite, but that we could not quite kill her, with such a way; the ayre out of a receiver, wherein she was put, and then the ayre being let in upon her revives her immediately;1 nay, and this ayre is to be made by putting together a liquor and some body that ferments, the steam of that do do the work. Thence home, and thence to White Hall, where the house full of the Duke’s going tomorrow, and thence to St. James’s, wherein these things fell out: (1) I saw the Duke, kissed his hand, and had his most kind expressions of his value and opinion of me, which comforted me above all things in the world, (2) the like from Mr. Coventry most heartily and affectionately. (3) Saw, among other fine ladies, Mrs. Middleton,2 a very great beauty I never knew or heard of before; (4) I saw Waller the poet, whom I never saw before. So, very late, by coach home with W. Pen, who was there. To supper and to bed, with my heart at rest, and my head very busy thinking of my several matters now on foot, the new comfort of my old navy business, and the new one of my employment on Tangier.
1 “Two experiments were made for the finding out a way to breathe under water, useful for divers.” The first was on a bird and the second on “a kitling” (Birch’s “History,” vol. ii., p. 25).
2 Jane, daughter to Sir Robert Needham, is frequently mentioned in the “Grammont Memoirs,” and Evelyn calls her “that famous and indeed incomparable beauty” (“Diary,” August 2nd, 1683). Her portrait is in the Royal Collection amongst the beauties of Charles II.‘s Court. Sir Robert Needham was related to John Evelyn.
23rd. Up and to my Lord Sandwich, who follows the Duke this day by water down to the Hope, where “The Prince” lies. He received me, busy as he was, with mighty kindness and joy at my promotions; telling me most largely how the Duke hath expressed on all occasions his good opinion of my service and love for me. I paid my thanks and acknowledgement to him; and so back home, where at the office all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change. Home, and Lewellin dined with me. Thence abroad, carried my wife to Westminster by coach, I to the Swan, Herbert’s, and there had much of the good company of Sarah and to my wish, and then to see Mrs. Martin, who was very kind, three weeks of her month of lying in is over. So took up my wife and home, and at my office a while, and thence to supper and to bed. Great talk of noises of guns heard at Deale, but nothing particularly whether in earnest or not.
24th. Up betimes, and by agreement to the Globe taverne in Fleet Street to Mr. Clerke, my sollicitor, about the business of my uncle’s accounts, and we went with one Jefferys to one of the Barons (Spelman), and there my accounts were declared and I sworn to the truth thereof to my knowledge, and so I shall after a few formalities be cleared of all. Thence to Povy’s, and there delivered him his letters of greatest import to him that is possible, yet dropped by young Bland, just come from Tangier, upon the road by Sittingburne, taken up and sent to Mr. Pett, at Chatham. Thus everything done by Povy is done with a fatal folly and neglect. Then to our discourse with him, Creed, Mr. Viner, myself and Poyntz about the business of the Workehouse at Clerkenwell, and after dinner went thither and saw all the works there, and did also consult the Act concerning the business and other papers in order to our coming in to undertake it with Povy, the management of the House, but I do not think we can safely meddle with it, at least I, unless I had time to look after it myself, but the thing is very ingenious and laudable. Thence to my Lady Sandwich’s, where my wife all this day, having kept Good Friday very strict with fasting. Here we supped, and talked very merry. My Lady alone with me, very earnest about Sir G. Carteret’s son, with whom I perceive they do desire my Lady Jemimah may be matched. Thence home and to my office, and then to bed.
25th (Lady day). Up betimes and to my office, where all the morning. At noon dined alone with Sir W. Batten, where great discourse of Sir W. Pen, Sir W. Batten being, I perceive, quite out of love with him, thinking him too great and too high, and began to talk that the world do question his courage, upon which I told him plainly I have been told that he was articled against for it, and that Sir H. Vane was his great friend therein. This he was, I perceive, glad to hear. Thence to the office, and there very late, very busy, to my great content. This afternoon of a sudden is come home Sir W. Pen from the fleete, but upon what score I know not. Late home to supper and to bed.
26th (Lord’s day and Easter day). Up (and with my wife, who has not been at church a month or two) to church. At noon home to dinner, my wife and I (Mercer staying to the Sacrament) alone. This is the day seven years which, by the blessing of God, I have survived of my being cut of the stone, and am now in very perfect good health and have long been; and though the last winter hath been as hard a winter as any have been these many years, yet I never was better in my life, nor have not, these ten years, gone colder in the summer than I have done all this winter, wearing only a doublet, and a waistcoate cut open on the back; abroad, a cloake and within doors a coate I slipped on. Now I am at a losse to know whether it be my hare’s foot which is my preservative against wind, for I never had a fit of the collique since I wore it, and nothing but wind brings me pain, and the carrying away of wind takes away my pain, or my keeping my back cool; for when I do lie longer than ordinary upon my back in bed, my water the next morning is very hot, or whether it be my taking of a pill of turpentine every morning, which keeps me always loose, or all together, but this I know, with thanks to God Almighty, that I am now as well as ever I can wish or desire to be, having now and then little grudgings of wind, that brings me a little pain, but it is over presently, only I do find that my backe grows very weak, that I cannot stoop to write or tell money without sitting but I have pain for a good while after it. Yet a week or two ago I had one day’s great pain; but it was upon my getting a bruise on one of my testicles, and then I did void two small stones, without pain though, and, upon my going to bed and bearing up of my testicles, I was well the next. But I did observe that my sitting with my back to the fire at the office did then, as it do at all times, make my back ake, and my water hot, and brings me some pain. I sent yesterday an invitation to Mrs. Turner and her family to come to keep this day with me, which she granted, but afterward sent me word that it being Sunday and Easter day she desired to choose another and put off this. Which I was willing enough to do; and so put it off as to this day, and will leave it to my own convenience when to choose another, and perhaps shall escape a feast by it. At my office all the afternoon drawing up my agreement with Mr. Povy for me to sign to him tomorrow morning. In the evening spent an hour in the garden walking with Sir J. Minnes, talking of the Chest business, wherein Sir W. Batten deals so unfairly, wherein the old man is very hot for the present, but that zeal will not last nor is to be trusted. So home to supper, prayers, and to bed.
27th. Up betimes to Mr. Povy’s, and there did sign and seal my agreement with him about my place of being Treasurer for Tangier, it being the greatest part of it drawnout of a draught of his own drawing up, only I have added something here and there in favour of myself. Thence to the Duke of Albemarle, the first time that we officers of the Navy have waited upon him since the Duke of Yorke’s going, who hath deputed him to be Admirall in his absence. And I find him a quiet heavy man, that will help business when he can, and hinder nothing, and am very well pleased with our attendance on him. I did afterwards alone give him thanks for his favour to me about my Tangier business, which he received kindly, and did speak much of his esteem of me. Thence, and did the same to Sir H. Bennet, who did the like to me very fully, and did give me all his letters lately come from hence for me to read, which I returned in the afternoon to him. Thence to Mrs. Martin, who, though her husband is gone away, as he writes, like a fool into France, yet is as simple and wanton as ever she was, with much I made myself merry and away. So to my Lord Peterborough’s; where Povy, Creed, Williamson, Auditor Beale, and myself, and mighty merry to see how plainly my Lord and Povy did abuse one another about their accounts, each thinking the other a foole, and I thinking they were not either of them, in that point, much in the wrong, though in everything, and even in this manner of reproaching one another, very witty and pleasant. Among other things, we had here the genteelest dinner and the neatest house that I have seen many a day, and the latter beyond anything I ever saw in a nobleman’s house. Thence visited my Lord Barkeley, and did sit discoursing with him in his chamber a good while, and [he] mighty friendly to me about the same business of Tangier. From that to other discourse of the times and the want of money, and he said that the Parliament must be called again soon, and more money raised, not by tax, for he said he believed the people could not pay it, but he would have either a general excise upon everything, or else that every city incorporate should pay a toll into the King’s revenue, as he says it is in all the cities in the world; for here a citizen hath no more laid on them than their neighbours in the country, whereas, as a city, it ought to pay considerably to the King for their charter; but I fear this will breed ill blood. Thence to Povy, and after a little talk home to my office late. Then to supper and to bed.
28th. Up betimes and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and I did most of the business there, God wot. Then to the ‘Change, and thence to the Coffee-house with Sir W. Warren, where much good discourse for us both till 9 o’clock with great pleasure and content, and then parted and I home to dinner, having eat nothing, and so to my office. At night supped with my wife at Sir W. Pen’s, who is to go back for good and all to the fleete tomorrow. Took leave and to my office, where till 12 at night, and then home to bed.
29th. Up betimes and to Povy’s, where a good while talking about our business; thence abroad into the City, but upon his tally could not get any money in Lumbard Streete, through the disrepute which he suffers, I perceive, upon his giving up his place, which people think was not choice, but necessity, as indeed it was. So back to his house, after we had been at my house to taste my wine, but my wife being abroad nobody could come at it, and so we were defeated. To his house, and before dinner he and I did discourse of the business of freight, wherein I am so much concerned, above £100 for myself, and in my over hasty making a bill out for the rest for him, but he resolves to move Creed in it. Which troubled me much, and Creed by and by comes, and after dinner he did, but in the most cunning ingenious manner, do his business with Creed by bringing it in by the by, that the most subtile man in the world could never have done it better, and I must say that he is a most witty, cunning man and one that I (am) most afeard of in my conversation, though in all serious matters of business the eeriest foole that ever I met with. The bill was produced and a copy given Creed, whereupon he wrote his Intratur upon the originall, and I hope it will pass, at least I am now put to it that I must stand by it and justify it, but I pray God it may never come to that test. Thence between vexed and joyed, not knowing what yet to make of it, home, calling for my Lord Cooke’s 3 volumes at my bookseller’s, and so home, where I found a new cook mayd, her name is ——— that promises very little. So to my office, where late about drawing up a proposal for Captain Taylor, for him to deliver to the City about his building the new ship, which I have done well, and I hope will do the business, and so home to supper and to bed.
30th. Up, and to my Lord Ashly, but did nothing, and to Sir Ph. Warwicke and spoke with him about business, and so back to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and thence to the Tangier Committee, where, Lord! to see how they did run into the giving of Sir J. Lawson (who is come to towne today to get this business done) £4000 about his Mole business, and were going to give him 4s. per yarde more, which arises in the whole Mole to £36,000, is a strange thing, but the latter by chance was stopped, the former was given. Thence to see Mrs. Martin, whose husband being it seems gone away, and as she is informed he hath another woman whom he uses, and has long done, as a wife, she is mighty reserved and resolved to keep herself so till the return of her husband, which a pleasant thing to think of her. Thence home, and to my office, where late, and to bed.
31st. Up betimes and walked to my Lord Ashly, and there with Creed after long waiting spoke with him, and was civilly used by him; thence to Sir Ph. Warwicke, and then to visit my Lord of Falmouth, who did also receive me pretty civilly, but not as I expected; he, I perceive, believing that I had undertaken to justify Povy’s accounts, taking them upon myself, but I rectified him therein. So to my Lady Sandwich’s to dinner, and up to her chamber after dinner, and there discoursed about Sir G. Carteret’s son, in proposition between us two for my Lady Jemimah. So to Povy, and with him spent the afternoon very busy, till I was weary of following this and neglecting my navy business. So at night called my wife at my Lady’s, and so home. To my office and there made up my month’s account, which, God be praised! rose to £1300. Which I bless God for. So after 12 o’clock home to supper and to bed. I find Creed mightily transported by my Lord of Falmouth’s kind words to him, and saying that he hath a place in his intention for him, which he believes will be considerable. A witty man he is in every respect, but of no good nature, nor a man ordinarily to be dealt with. My Lady Castlemayne is sicke again, people think, slipping her filly.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53