April 1st. All the morning very busy at the office preparing a last half-year’s account for my Lord Treasurer. At noon eat a bit and stepped to Sir Ph. Warwicke, by coach to my Lord Treasurer’s, and after some private conference and examining of my papers with him I did return into the City and to Sir G. Carteret, whom I found with the Commissioners of Prizes dining at Captain Cocke’s, in Broad Streete, very merry. Among other tricks, there did come a blind fiddler to the doore, and Sir G. Carteret did go to the doore and lead the blind fiddler by the hand in. Thence with Sir G. Carteret to my Lord Treasurer, and by and by come Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, and anon we come to my Lord, and there did lay open the expence for the six months past, and an estimate of the seven months to come, to November next: the first arising to above £500,000, and the latter will, as we judge, come to above £1,000,000. But to see how my Lord Treasurer did bless himself, crying he could do no more than he could, nor give more money than he had, if the occasion and expence were never so great, which is but a sad story. And then to hear how like a passionate and ignorant asse Sir G. Carteret did harangue upon the abuse of Tickets did make me mad almost and yet was fain to hold my tongue. Thence home, vexed mightily to see how simply our greatest ministers do content themselves to understand and do things, while the King’s service in the meantime lies a-bleeding. At my office late writing letters till ready to drop down asleep with my late sitting up of late, and running up and down a-days. So to bed.
2nd (Lord’s day). At my office all the morning, renewing my vowes in writing and then home to dinner. All the afternoon, Mr. Tasborough, one of Mr. Povy’s clerks, with me about his master’s accounts. In the evening Mr. Andrews and Hill sang, but supped not with me, then after supper to bed.
3rd. Up and to the Duke of Albemarle and White Hall, where much business. Thence home and to dinner, and then with Creed, my wife, and Mercer to a play at the Duke’s, of my Lord Orrery’s, called “Mustapha,” which being not good, made Betterton’s part and Ianthe’s but ordinary too, so that we were not contented with it at all. Thence home and to the office a while, and then home to supper and to bed. All the pleasure of the play was, the King and my Lady Castlemayne were there; and pretty witty Nell — [Nell Gwynne]— at the King’s house, and the younger Marshall sat next us; which pleased me mightily.
4th. All the morning at the office busy, at noon to the ‘Change, and then went up to the ‘Change to buy a pair of cotton stockings, which I did at the husband’s shop of the most pretty woman there, who did also invite me to buy some linnen of her, and I was glad of the occasion, and bespoke some bands of her, intending to make her my seamstress, she being one of the prettiest and most modest looked women that ever I did see. Dined at home and to the office, where very late till I was ready to fall down asleep, and did several times nod in the middle of my letters.
5th. This day was kept publiquely by the King’s command, as a fast day against the Dutch warr, and I betimes with Mr. Tooker, whom I have brought into the Navy to serve us as a husband to see goods timely shipped off from hence to the Fleete and other places, and took him with me to Woolwich and Deptford, where by business I have been hindered a great while of going, did a very great deale of business, and home, and there by promise find Creed, and he and my wife, Mercer and I by coach to take the ayre; and, where we had formerly been, at Hackney, did there eat some pullets we carried with us, and some things of the house; and after a game or two at shuffle-board, home, and Creed lay with me; but, being sleepy, he had no mind to talk about business, which indeed I intended, by inviting him to lie with me, but I would not force it on him, and so to bed, he and I, and to sleep, being the first time I have been so much at my ease and taken so much fresh ayre these many weeks or months.
6th. At the office sat all the morning, where, in the absence of Sir W. Batten, Sir G. Carteret being angry about the business of tickets, spoke of Sir W. Batten for speaking some words about the signing of tickets, and called Sir W. Batten in his discourse at the table to us (the clerks being withdrawn) “shitten foole,” which vexed me. At noon to the ‘Change, and there set my business of lighters’ buying for the King, to Sir W. Warren, and I think he will do it for me to very great advantage, at which I am mightily rejoiced. Home and after a mouthfull of dinner to the office, where till 6 o’clock, and then to White Hall, and there with Sir G. Carteret and my Lord Brunkerd attended the Duke of Albemarle about the business of money. I also went to Jervas’s, my barber, for my periwigg that was mending there, and there do hear that Jane is quite undone, taking the idle fellow for her husband yet not married, and lay with him several weeks that had another wife and child, and she is now going into Ireland. So called my wife at the ‘Change and home, and at my office writing letters till one o’clock in the morning, that I was ready to fall down asleep again. Great talke of a new Comett; and it is certain one do now appear as bright as the late one at the best; but I have not seen it myself.
7th. Up betimes to the Duke of Albemarle about money to be got for the Navy, or else we must shut up shop. Thence to Westminster Hall and up and down, doing not much; then to London, but to prevent Povy’s dining with me (who I see is at the ‘Change) I went back again and to Herbert’s at Westminster, there sent for a bit of meat and dined, and then to my Lord Treasurer’s, and there with Sir Philip Warwicke, and thence to White Hall in my Lord Treasurer’s chamber with Sir Philip Warwicke till dark night, about fower hours talking of the business of the Navy Charge, and how Sir G. Carteret do order business, keeping us in ignorance what he do with his money, and also Sir Philip did shew me nakedly the King’s condition for money for the Navy; and he do assure me, unless the King can get some noblemen or rich money-gentlemen to lend him money, or to get the City to do it, it is impossible to find money: we having already, as he says, spent one year’s share of the three-years’ tax, which comes to £2,500,000. Being very glad of this day’s discourse in all but that I fear I shall quite lose Sir G. Carteret, who knows that I have been privately here all this day with Sir Ph. Warwicke. However, I will order it so as to give him as little offence as I can. So home to my office, and then to supper and to bed.
8th. Up, and all the morning full of business at the office. At noon dined with Mr. Povy, and then to the getting some business looked over of his, and then I to my Lord Chancellor’s, where to have spoke with the Duke of Albemarle, but the King and Council busy, I could not; then to the Old Exchange and there of my new pretty seamstress bought four bands, and so home, where I found my house mighty neat and clean. Then to my office late, till past 12, and so home to bed. The French Embassadors1 are come incognito before their train, which will hereafter be very pompous. It is thought they come to get our King to joyne with the King of France in helping him against Flanders, and they to do the like to us against Holland. We have laine a good while with a good fleete at Harwich. The Dutch not said yet to be out. We, as high as we make our shew, I am sure, are unable to set out another small fleete, if this should be worsted. Wherefore, God send us peace! I cry.
1 The French ambassadors were Henri de Bourbon, Duc de Verneuil, natural son of Henry IV. and brother of Henrietta Maria, and M. de Courtin. — B.
9th (Lord’s day). To church with my wife in the morning, in her new light-coloured silk gowne, which is, with her new point, very noble. Dined at home, and in the afternoon to Fanchurch, the little church in the middle of Fanchurch Streete, where a very few people and few of any rank. Thence, after sermon, home, and in the evening walking in the garden, my Lady Pen and her daughter walked with my wife and I, and so to my house to eat with us, and very merry, and so broke up and to bed.
10th. Up, and to the Duke of Albemarle’s, and thence to White Hall to a Committee for Tangier, where new disorder about Mr. Povy’s accounts, that I think I shall never be settled in my business of Treasurer for him. Here Captain Cooke met me, and did seem discontented about my boy Tom’s having no time to mind his singing nor lute, which I answered him fully in, that he desired me that I would baste his coate. So home and to the ‘Change, and thence to the “Old James” to dine with Sir W. Rider, Cutler, and Mr. Deering, upon the business of hemp, and so hence to White Hall to have attended the King and Lord Chancellor about the debts of the navy and to get some money, but the meeting failed. So my Lord Brunkard took me and Sir Thomas Harvy in his coach to the Parke, which is very troublesome with the dust; and ne’er a great beauty there today but Mrs. Middleton, and so home to my office, where Mr. Warren proposed my getting of £100 to get him a protection for a ship to go out, which I think I shall do. So home to supper and to bed.
11th. Up and betimes to Alderman Cheverton to treat with him about hempe, and so back to the office. At noon dined at the Sun, behind the ‘Change, with Sir Edward Deering and his brother and Commissioner Pett, we having made a contract with Sir Edward this day about timber. Thence to the office, where late very busy, but with some trouble have also some hopes of profit too. So home to supper and to bed.
12th. Up, and to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier, where, contrary to all expectation, my Lord Ashly, being vexed with Povy’s accounts, did propose it as necessary that Povy should be still continued Treasurer of Tangier till he had made up his accounts; and with such arguments as, I confess, I was not prepared to answer, but by putting off of the discourse, and so, I think, brought it right again; but it troubled me so all the day after, and night too, that I was not quiet, though I think it doubtfull whether I shall be much the worse for it or no, if it should come to be so. Dined at home and thence to White Hall again (where I lose most of my time now-a-days to my great trouble, charge, and loss of time and benefit), and there, after the Council rose, Sir G. Carteret, my Lord Brunkard, Sir Thomas Harvy, and myself, down to my Lord Treasurer’s chamber to him and the Chancellor, and the Duke of Albemarle; and there I did give them a large account of the charge of the Navy, and want of money. But strange to see how they held up their hands crying, “What shall we do?” Says my Lord Treasurer, “Why, what means all this, Mr. Pepys? This is true, you say; but what would you have me to do? I have given all I can for my life. Why will not people lend their money? Why will they not trust the King as well as Oliver? Why do our prizes come to nothing, that yielded so much heretofore?” And this was all we could get, and went away without other answer, which is one of the saddest things that, at such a time as this, with the greatest action on foot that ever was in England, nothing should be minded, but let things go on of themselves do as well as they can. So home, vexed, and going to my Lady Batten’s, there found a great many women with her, in her chamber merry, my Lady Pen and her daughter, among others; where my Lady Pen flung me down upon the bed, and herself and others, one after another, upon me, and very merry we were, and thence I home and called my wife with my Lady Pen to supper, and very merry as I could be, being vexed as I was. So home to bed.
13th. Lay long in bed, troubled a little with wind, but not much. So to the office, and there all the morning. At noon to Sheriff Waterman’s to dinner, all of us men of the office in towne, and our wives, my Lady Carteret and daughters, and Ladies Batten, Pen, and my wife, &c., and very good cheer we had and merry; musique at and after dinner, and a fellow danced a jigg; but when the company begun to dance, I came away lest I should be taken out; and God knows how my wife carried herself, but I left her to try her fortune. So home, and late at the office, and then home to supper and to bed.
14th. Up, and betimes to Mr. Povy, being desirous to have an end of my trouble of mind touching my Tangier business, whether he hath any desire of accepting what my Lord Ashly offered, of his becoming Treasurer again; and there I did, with a seeming most generous spirit, offer him to take it back again upon his owne terms; but he did answer to me that he would not above all things in the world, at which I was for the present satisfied; but, going away thence and speaking with Creed, he puts me in doubt that the very nature of the thing will require that he be put in again; and did give me the reasons of the auditors, which, I confess, are so plain, that I know not how to withstand them. But he did give me most ingenious advice what to do in it, and anon, my Lord Barkeley and some of the Commissioners coming together, though not in a meeting, I did procure that they should order Povy’s payment of his remain of accounts to me; which order if it do pass will put a good stop to the fastening of the thing upon me. At noon Creed and I to a cook’s shop at Charing Cross, and there dined and had much discourse, and his very good upon my business, and upon other things, among the rest upon Will Howe’s dissembling with us, we discovering one to another his carriage to us, present and absent, being a very false fellow. Thence to White Hall again, and there spent the afternoon, and then home to fetch a letter for the Council, and so back to White Hall, where walked an hour with Mr. Wren, of my Lord Chancellor’s, and Mr. Ager, and then to Unthanke’s and called my wife, and with her through the city to Mile–End Greene, and eat some creame and cakes and so back home, and I a little at the office, and so home to supper and to bed. This morning I was saluted with newes that the fleetes, ours and the Dutch, were engaged, and that the guns were heard at Walthamstow to play all yesterday, and that Captain Teddiman’s legs were shot off in the Royall Katherine. But before night I hear the contrary, both by letters of my owne and messengers thence, that they were all well of our side and no enemy appears yet, and that the Royall Katherine is come to the fleete, and likely to prove as good a ship as any the King hath, of which I am heartily glad, both for Christopher Pett’s sake and Captain Teddiman that is in her.
15th. Up, and to White Hall about several businesses, but chiefly to see the proposals of my warrants about Tangier under Creed, but to my trouble found them not finished. So back to the office, where all the morning, busy, then home to dinner, and then all the afternoon till very late at my office, and then home to supper and to bed, weary.
16th (Lord’s day). Lay long in bed, then up and to my chamber and my office, looking over some plates which I find necessary for me to understand pretty well, because of the Dutch warr. Then home to dinner, where Creed dined with us, and so after dinner he and I walked to the Rolls’ Chappell, expecting to hear the great Stillingfleete preach, but he did not; but a very sorry fellow, which vexed me. The sermon done, we parted, and I home, where I find Mr. Andrews, and by and by comes Captain Taylor, my old acquaintance at Westminster, that understands musique very well and composes mighty bravely; he brought us some things of two parts to sing, very hard; but that that is the worst, he is very conceited of them, and that though they are good makes them troublesome to one, to see him every note commend and admire them. He supped with me, and a good understanding man he is and a good scholler, and, among other things, a great antiquary, and among other things he can, as he says, show the very originall Charter to Worcester, of King Edgar’s, wherein he stiles himself, Rex Marium Brittanniae, &c.; which is the great text that Mr. Selden and others do quote, but imperfectly and upon trust. But he hath the very originall, which he says he will shew me. He gone we to bed. This night I am told that newes is come of our taking of three Dutch men-of-warr, with the loss of one of our Captains.
17th. Up and to the Duke of Albemarle’s, where he shewed me Mr. Coventry’s letters, how three Dutch privateers are taken, in one whereof Everson’s’ son is captaine. But they have killed poor Captaine Golding in The Diamond. Two of them, one of 32 and the other of 20 odd guns, did stand stoutly up against her, which hath 46, and the Yarmouth that hath 52 guns, and as many more men as they. So that they did more than we could expect, not yielding till many of their men were killed. And Everson, when he was brought before the Duke of Yorke, and was observed to be shot through the hat, answered, that he wished it had gone through his head, rather than been taken. One thing more is written: that two of our ships the other day appearing upon the coast of Holland, they presently fired their beacons round the country to give notice. And newes is brought the King, that the Dutch Smyrna fleete is seen upon the back of Scotland; and thereupon the King hath wrote to the Duke, that he do appoint a fleete to go to the Northward to try to meet them coming home round: which God send! Thence to White Hall; where the King seeing me, did come to me, and calling me by name, did discourse with me about the ships in the River: and this is the first time that ever I knew the King did know me personally; so that hereafter I must not go thither, but with expectation to be questioned, and to be ready to give good answers. So home, and thence with Creed, who come to dine with me, to the Old James, where we dined with Sir W. Rider and Cutler, and, by and by, being called by my wife, we all to a play, “The Ghosts,” at the Duke’s house, but a very simple play. Thence up and down, with my wife with me, to look [for] Sir Ph. Warwicke (Mr. Creed going from me), but missed of him and so home, and late and busy at my office. So home to supper and to bed. This day was left at my house a very neat silver watch, by one Briggs, a scrivener and sollicitor, at which I was angry with my wife for receiving, or, at least, for opening the box wherein it was, and so far witnessing our receipt of it, as to give the messenger 5s. for bringing it; but it can’t be helped, and I will endeavour to do the man a kindnesse, he being a friend of my uncle Wight’s.
18th. Up and to Sir Philip Warwicke, and walked with him an houre with great delight in the Parke about Sir G. Carteret’s accounts, and the endeavours that he hath made to bring Sir G. Carteret to show his accounts and let the world see what he receives and what he pays. Thence home to the office, where I find Sir J. Minnes come home from Chatham, and Sir W. Batten both this morning from Harwich, where they have been these 7 or 8 days. At noon with my wife and Mr. Moore by water to Chelsey about my Privy Seale for Tangier, but my Lord Privy Seale was gone abroad, and so we, without going out of the boat, forced to return, and found him not at White Hall. So I to Sir Philip Warwicke and with him to my Lord Treasurer, who signed my commission for Tangier–Treasurer and the docquet of my Privy Seale, for the monies to be paid to me. Thence to White Hall to Mr. Moore again, and not finding my Lord I home, taking my wife and woman up at Unthanke’s. Late at my office, then to supper and to bed.
19th. Up by five o’clock, and by water to White Hall; and there took coach, and with Mr. Moore to Chelsy; where, after all my fears what doubts and difficulties my Lord Privy Seale would make at my Tangier Privy Seale, he did pass it at first reading, without my speaking with him. And then called me in, and was very civil to me. I passed my time in contemplating (before I was called in) the picture of my Lord’s son’s lady, a most beautiful woman, and most like to Mrs. Butler. Thence very much joyed to London back again, and found out Mr. Povy; told him this; and then went and left my Privy Seale at my Lord Treasurer’s; and so to the ‘Change, and thence to Trinity–House; where a great dinner of Captain Crisp, who is made an Elder Brother. And so, being very pleasant at dinner, away home, Creed with me; and there met Povy; and we to Gresham College, where we saw some experiments upon a hen, a dogg, and a cat, of the Florence poyson.1 The first it made for a time drunk, but it come to itself again quickly; the second it made vomitt mightily, but no other hurt. The third I did not stay to see the effect of it, being taken out by Povy. He and I walked below together, he giving me most exceeding discouragements in the getting of money (whether by design or no I know not, for I am now come to think him a most cunning fellow in most things he do, but his accounts), and made it plain to me that money will be hard to get, and that it is to be feared Backewell hath a design in it to get the thing forced upon himself. This put me into a cruel melancholy to think I may lose what I have had so near my hand; but yet something may be hoped for which tomorrow will shew. He gone, Creed and I together a great while consulting what to do in this case, and after all I left him to do what he thought fit in his discourse tomorrow with my Lord Ashly. So home, and in my way met with Mr. Warren, from whom my hopes I fear will fail of what I hoped for, by my getting him a protection. But all these troubles will if not be over, yet we shall see the worst of there in a day or two. So to my office, and thence to supper, and my head akeing, betimes, that is by 10 or 11 o’clock, to bed.
1 “Sir Robert Moray presented the Society from the King with a phial of Florentine poison sent for by his Majesty from Florence, on purpose to have those experiments related of the efficacy thereof, tried by the Society.” The poison had little effect upon the kitten (Birch’s “History;” vol. ii., p. 31).
20th. Up, and all the morning busy at the office. At noon dined, and Mr. Povy by agreement with me (where his boldness with Mercer, poor innocent wench, did make both her and me blush, to think how he were able to debauch a poor girl if he had opportunity) at a dish or two of plain meat of his own choice. After dinner comes Creed and then Andrews, where want of money to Andrews the main discourse, and at last in confidence of Creed’s judgement I am resolved to spare him 4 or £500 of what lies by me upon the security of some Tallys. This went against my heart to begin, but when obtaining Mr. Creed to joyne with me we do resolve to assist Mr. Andrews. Then anon we parted, and I to my office, where late, and then home to supper and to bed. This night I am told the first play is played in White Hall noon-hall, which is now turned to a house of playing. I had a great mind, but could not go to see it.
21st. Up and to my office about business. Anon comes Creed and Povy, and we treat about the business of our lending money, Creed and I, upon a tally for the satisfying of Andrews, and did conclude it as in papers is expressed, and as I am glad to have an opportunity of having 10 per cent. for my money, so I am as glad that the sum I begin this trade with is no more than £350. We all dined at Andrews’ charge at the Sun behind the ‘Change, a good dinner the worst dressed that ever I eat any, then home, and there found Kate Joyce and Harman come to see us. With them, after long talk, abroad by coach, a tour in the fields, and drunk at Islington, it being very pleasant, the dust being laid by a little rain, and so home very well pleased with this day’s work. So after a while at my office to supper and to bed. This day we hear that the Duke and the fleete are sailed yesterday. Pray God go along with them, that they have good speed in the beginning of their worke.
22nd. Up, and Mr. Caesar, my boy’s lute-master, being come betimes to teach him, I did speak with him seriously about the boy, what my mind was, if he did not look after his lute and singing that I would turn him away; which I hope will do some good upon the boy. All the morning busy at the office. At noon dined at home, and then to the office again very busy till very late, and so home to supper and to bed. My wife making great preparation to go to Court to Chappell tomorrow. This day I have newes from Mr. Coventry that the fleete is sailed yesterday from Harwich to the coast of Holland to see what the Dutch will do. God go along with them!
23rd (Lord’s day). Mr. Povy, according to promise, sent his coach betimes, and I carried my wife and her woman to White Hall Chappell and set them in the Organ Loft, and I having left to untruss went to the Harp and Ball and there drank also, and entertained myself in talke with the mayde of the house, a pretty mayde and very modest. Thence to the Chappell and heard the famous young Stillingfleete, whom I knew at Cambridge, and is now newly admitted one of the King’s chaplains; and was presented, they say, to my Lord Treasurer for St. Andrew’s, Holborne, where he is now minister, with these words: that they (the Bishops of Canterbury, London, and another) believed he is the ablest young man to preach the Gospel of any since the Apostles. He did make the most plain, honest, good, grave sermon, in the most unconcerned and easy yet substantial manner, that ever I heard in my life, upon the words of Samuell to the people, “Fear the Lord in truth with all your heart, and remember the great things that he hath done for you.” It being proper to this day, the day of the King’s Coronation. Thence to Mr. Povy’s, where mightily treated, and Creed with us. But Lord! to see how Povy overdoes every thing in commending it, do make it nauseous to me, and was not (by reason of my large praise of his house) over acceptable to my wife. Thence after dinner Creed and we by coach took the ayre in the fields beyond St. Pancras, it raining now and then, which it seems is most welcome weather, and then all to my house, where comes Mr. Hill, Andrews, and Captain Taylor, and good musique, but at supper to hear the arguments we had against Taylor concerning a Corant, he saying that the law of a dancing Corant is to have every barr to end in a pricked crochet and quaver, which I did deny, was very strange. It proceeded till I vexed him, but all parted friends, for Creed and I to laugh at when he was gone. After supper, Creed and I together to bed, in Mercer’s bed, and so to sleep.
24th. Up and with Creed in Sir W. Batten’s coach to White Hall. Sir W. Batten and I to the Duke of Albemarle, where very busy. Then I to Creed’s chamber, where I received with much ado my two orders about receiving Povy’s monies and answering his credits, and it is strange how he will preserve his constant humour of delaying all business that comes before him. Thence he and I to London to my office, and back again to my Lady Sandwich’s to dinner, where my wife by agreement. After dinner alone, my Lady told me, with the prettiest kind of doubtfullnesse, whether it would be fit for her with respect to Creed to do it, that is, in the world, that Creed had broke his desire to her of being a servant to Mrs. Betty Pickering, and placed it upon encouragement which he had from some discourse of her ladyship, commending of her virtues to him, which, poor lady, she meant most innocently. She did give him a cold answer, but not so severe as it ought to have been; and, it seems, as the lady since to my Lady confesses, he had wrote a letter to her, which she answered slightly, and was resolved to contemn any motion of his therein. My Lady takes the thing very ill, as it is fit she should; but I advise her to stop all future occasions of the world’s taking notice of his coming thither so often as of late he hath done. But to think that he should have this devilish presumption to aime at a lady so near to my Lord is strange, both for his modesty and discretion. Thence to the Cockepitt, and there walked an houre with my Lord Duke of Albemarle alone in his garden, where he expressed in great words his opinion of me; that I was the right hand of the Navy here, nobody but I taking any care of any thing therein; so that he should not know what could be done without me. At which I was (from him) not a little proud. Thence to a Committee of Tangier, where because not a quorum little was done, and so away to my wife (Creed with me) at Mrs. Pierce’s, who continues very pretty and is now great with child. I had not seen her a great while. Thence by coach to my Lord Treasurer’s, but could not speak with Sir Ph. Warwicke. So by coach with my wife and Mercer to the Parke; but the King being there, and I now-a-days being doubtfull of being seen in any pleasure, did part from the tour, and away out of the Parke to Knightsbridge, and there eat and drank in the coach, and so home, and after a while at my office, home to supper and to bed, having got a great cold I think by my pulling off my periwigg so often.
25th. At the office all the morning, and the like after dinner, at home all the afternoon till very late, and then to bed, being very hoarse with a cold I did lately get with leaving off my periwigg. This afternoon W. Pen, lately come from his father in the fleete, did give me an account how the fleete did sayle, about 103 in all, besides small catches, they being in sight of six or seven Dutch scouts, and sent ships in chase of them.
26th. Up very betimes, my cold continuing and my stomach sick with the buttered ale that I did drink the last night in bed, which did lie upon me till I did this morning vomitt it up. So walked to Povy’s, where Creed met me, and there I did receive the first parcel of money as Treasurer of Tangier, and did give him my receipt for it, which was about £2,800 value in Tallys; we did also examine and settle several other things, and then I away to White Hall, talking, with Povy alone, about my opinion of Creed’s indiscretion in looking after Mrs. Pickering, desiring him to make no more a sport of it, but to correct him, if he finds that he continues to owne any such thing. This I did by my Lady’s desire, and do intend to pursue the stop of it. So to the Carrier’s by Cripplegate, to see whether my mother be come to towne or no, I expecting her today, but she is not come. So to dinner to my Lady Sandwich’s, and there after dinner above in the diningroom did spend an houre or two with her talking again about Creed’s folly; but strange it is that he should dare to propose this business himself of Mrs. Pickering to my Lady, and to tell my Lady that he did it for her virtue sake, not minding her money, for he could have a wife with more, but, for that, he did intend to depend upon her Ladyshipp to get as much of her father and mother for her as she could; and that, what he did, was by encouragement from discourse of her Ladyshipp’s: he also had wrote to Mrs. Pickering, but she did give him a slighting answer back again. But I do very much fear that Mrs. Pickering’s honour, if the world comes to take notice of it, may be wronged by it. Thence home, and all the afternoon till night at my office, then home to supper and to bed.
27th. Up, and to my office, where all the morning, at noon Creed dined with me; and, after dinner, walked in the garden, he telling me that my Lord Treasurer now begins to be scrupulous, and will know what becomes of the £26,000 saved by my Lord Peterborough, before he parts with any more money, which puts us into new doubts, and me into a great fear, that all my cake will be doe still.1 But I am well prepared for it to bear it, being not clear whether it will be more for my profit to have it, or go without it, as my profits of the Navy are likely now to be. All the afternoon till late hard at the office. Then to supper and to bed. This night William Hewer is returned from Harwich, where he hath been paying off of some ships this fortnight, and went to sea a good way with the fleete, which was 96 in company then, men of warr, besides some come in, and following them since, which makes now above 100, whom God bless!
1 An obsolete proverb, signifying to lose one’s hopes, a cake coming out of the oven in a state of dough being considered spoiled.
“My cake is dough; but I’ll in among the rest;
Out of hope of all, but my share in the feast.”
Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, act v., sc. i.-M. B.
28th. Up by 5 o’clock, and by appointment with Creed by 6 at his chamber, expecting Povy, who come not. Thence he and I out to Sir Philip Warwicke’s, but being not up we took a turn in the garden hard by, and thither comes Povy to us. After some discourse of the reason of the difficulty that Sir Philip Warwicke makes in issuing a warrant for my striking of tallys, namely, the having a clear account of the £26,000 saved by my Lord of Peterborough, we parted, and I to Sir P. Warwicke, who did give me an account of his demurr, which I applied myself to remove by taking Creed with me to my Lord Ashly, from whom, contrary to all expectation, I received a very kind answer, just as we could have wished it, that he would satisfy my Lord Treasurer. Thence very well satisfied I home, and down the River to visit the victualling-ships, where I find all out of order. And come home to dinner, and then to write a letter to the Duke of Albemarle about the victualling-ships, and carried it myself to the Council-chamber, where it was read; and when they rose, my Lord Chancellor passing by stroked me on the head, and told me that the Board had read my letter, and taken order for the punishing of the watermen for not appearing on board the ships.1 And so did the King afterwards, who do now know me so well, that he never sees me but he speaks to me about our Navy business. Thence got my Lord Ashly to my Lord Treasurer below in his chamber, and there removed the scruple, and by and by brought Mr. Sherwin to Sir Philip Warwicke and did the like, and so home, and after a while at my office, to bed.
1 Among the State Papers are lists of watermen impressed and put on board the victualling ships. Attached to one of these is a “note of their unfitness and refractory conduct; also that many go ashore to sleep, and are discontent that they, as masters of families, are pressed, while single men are excused on giving money to the pressmen” (“Calendar,” Domestic, 1664–65, p. 323).
29th. All the morning busy at the office. In the afternoon to my Lord Treasurer’s, and there got my Lord Treasurer to sign the warrant for my striking of tallys, and so doing many jobbs in my way home, and there late writeing letters, being troubled in my mind to hear that Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes do take notice that I am now-a-days much from the office upon no office business, which vexes me, and will make me mind my business the better, I hope in God; but what troubles me more is, that I do omit to write, as I should do, to Mr. Coventry, which I must not do, though this night I minded it so little as to sleep in the middle of my letter to him, and committed forty blotts and blurrs in my letter to him, but of this I hope never more to be guilty, if I have not already given him sufficient offence. So, late home, and to bed.
30th (Lord’s day). Up and to my office alone all the morning, making up my monthly accounts, which though it hath been very intricate, and very great disbursements and receipts and odd reckonings, yet I differed not from the truth; viz.: between my first computing what my profit ought to be and then what my cash and debts do really make me worth, not above 10s., which is very much, and I do much value myself upon the account, and herein I with great joy find myself to have gained this month above £100 clear, and in the whole to be worth above £1400, the greatest sum I ever yet was worth. Thence home to dinner, and there find poor Mr. Spong walking at my door, where he had knocked, and being told I was at the office staid modestly there walking because of disturbing me, which methinks was one of the most modest acts (of a man that hath no need of being so to me) that ever I knew in my life. He dined with me, and then after dinner to my closet, where abundance of mighty pretty discourse, wherein, in a word, I find him the man of the world that hath of his own ingenuity obtained the most in most things, being withall no scholler. He gone, I took boat and down to Woolwich and Deptford, and made it late home, and so to supper and to bed. Thus I end this month in great content as to my estate and gettings: in much trouble as to the pains I have taken, and the rubs I expect yet to meet with, about the business of Tangier. The fleete, with about 106 ships upon the coast of Holland, in sight of the Dutch, within the Texel. Great fears of the sickenesse here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve as all!
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53