August 1st. Slept, and lay long; then up and my Lord [Crew] and Sir G. Carteret being gone abroad, I first to see the bridegroom and bride, and found them both up, and he gone to dress himself. Both red in the face, and well enough pleased this morning with their night’s lodging. Thence down and Mr. Brisband and I to billiards: anon come my Lord and Sir G. Carteret in, who have been looking abroad and visiting some farms that Sir G. Carteret hath thereabouts, and, among other things, report the greatest stories of the bigness of the calfes they find there, ready to sell to the butchers, as big, they say, as little Cowes, and that they do give them a piece of chalke to licke, which they hold makes them white in the flesh within. Very merry at dinner, and so to talk and laugh after dinner, and up and down, some to [one] place, some to another, full of content on all sides. Anon about five o’clock, Sir G. Carteret and his lady and I took coach with the greatest joy and kindnesse that could be from the two familys or that ever I saw with so much appearance, and, I believe, reality in all my life. Drove hard home, and it was night ere we got to Deptford, where, with much kindnesse from them to me, I left them, and home to the office, where I find all well, and being weary and sleepy, it being very late, I to bed.
2nd. Up, it being a publique fast, as being the first Wednesday of the month, for the plague; I within doors all day, and upon my monthly accounts late, and there to my great joy settled almost all my private matters of money in my books clearly, and allowing myself several sums which I had hitherto not reckoned myself sure of, because I would not be over sure of any thing, though with reason I might do it, I did find myself really worth £1900, for which the great God of Heaven and Earth be praised! At night to the office to write a few letters, and so home to bed, after fitting myself for tomorrow’s journey.
3rd. Up, and betimes to Deptford to Sir G. Carteret’s, where, not liking the horse that had been hired by Mr. Uthwayt for me, I did desire Sir G. Carteret to let me ride his new £40 horse, which he did, and so I left my ‘hacquenee’—[Haquenee = an ambling nag fitted for ladies’ riding.]— behind, and so after staying a good while in their bedchamber while they were dressing themselves, discoursing merrily, I parted and to the ferry, where I was forced to stay a great while before I could get my horse brought over, and then mounted and rode very finely to Dagenhams; all the way people, citizens, walking to and again to enquire how the plague is in the City this week by the Bill; which by chance, at Greenwich, I had heard was 2,020 of the plague, and 3,000 and odd of all diseases; but methought it was a sad question to be so often asked me. Coming to Dagenhams, I there met our company coming out of the house, having staid as long as they could for me; so I let them go a little before, and went and took leave of my Lady Sandwich, good woman, who seems very sensible of my service in this late business, and having her directions in some things, among others, to get Sir G. Carteret and my Lord to settle the portion, and what Sir G. Carteret is to settle, into land, soon as may be, she not liking that it should lie long undone, for fear of death on either side. So took leave of her, and then down to the buttery, and eat a piece of cold venison pie, and drank and took some bread and cheese in my hand; and so mounted after them, Mr. Marr very kindly staying to lead me the way. By and by met my Lord Crew returning, after having accompanied them a little way, and so after them, Mr. Marr telling me by the way how a mayde servant of Mr. John Wright’s (who lives thereabouts) falling sick of the plague, she was removed to an out-house, and a nurse appointed to look to her; who, being once absent, the mayde got out of the house at the window, and run away. The nurse coming and knocking, and having no answer, believed she was dead, and went and told Mr. Wright so; who and his lady were in great strait what to do to get her buried. At last resolved to go to Burntwood hard by, being in the parish, and there get people to do it. But they would not; so he went home full of trouble, and in the way met the wench walking over the common, which frighted him worse than before; and was forced to send people to take her, which he did; and they got one of the pest coaches and put her into it to carry her to a pest house. And passing in a narrow lane, Sir Anthony Browne, with his brother and some friends in the coach, met this coach with the curtains drawn close. The brother being a young man, and believing there might be some lady in it that would not be seen, and the way being narrow, he thrust his head out of his own into her coach, and to look, and there saw somebody look very ill, and in a sick dress, and stunk mightily; which the coachman also cried out upon. And presently they come up to some people that stood looking after it, and told our gallants that it was a mayde of Mr. Wright’s carried away sick of the plague; which put the young gentleman into a fright had almost cost him his life, but is now well again. I, overtaking our young people, ‘light, and into the coach to them, where mighty merry all the way; and anon come to the Blockehouse, over against Gravesend, where we staid a great while, in a little drinking-house. Sent back our coaches to Dagenhams. I, by and by, by boat to Gravesend, where no newes of Sir G. Carteret come yet; so back again, and fetched them all over, but the two saddle-horses that were to go with us, which could not be brought over in the horseboat, the wind and tide being against us, without towing; so we had some difference with some watermen, who would not tow them over under 20s., whereupon I swore to send one of them to sea and will do it. Anon some others come to me and did it for 10s. By and by comes Sir G. Carteret, and so we set out for Chatham: in my way overtaking some company, wherein was a lady, very pretty, riding singly, her husband in company with her. We fell into talke, and I read a copy of verses which her husband showed me, and he discommended, but the lady commended: and I read them, so as to make the husband turn to commend them. By and by he and I fell into acquaintance, having known me formerly at the Exchequer. His name is Nokes, over against Bow Church. He was servant to Alderman Dashwood. We promised to meet, if ever we come both to London again; and, at parting, I had a fair salute on horseback, in Rochester streets, of the lady, and so parted. Come to Chatham mighty merry, and anon to supper, it being near 9 o’clock ere we come thither. My Lady Carteret come thither in a coach, by herself, before us. Great mind they have to buy a little ‘hacquenee’ that I rode on from Greenwich, for a woman’s horse. Mighty merry, and after supper, all being withdrawn, Sir G. Carteret did take an opportunity to speak with much value and kindness to me, which is of great joy to me. So anon to bed. Mr. Brisband and I together to my content.
4th. Up at five o’clock, and by six walked out alone, with my Lady Slanning, to the Docke Yard, where walked up and down, and so to Mr. Pett’s, who led us into his garden, and there the lady, the best humoured woman in the world, and a devout woman (I having spied her on her knees half an houre this morning in her chamber), clambered up to the top of the banquetting-house to gather nuts, and mighty merry, and so walked back again through the new rope house, which is very usefull; and so to the Hill-house to breakfast and mighty merry. Then they took coach, and Sir G. Carteret kissed me himself heartily, and my Lady several times, with great kindnesse, and then the young ladies, and so with much joy, bade “God be with you!” and an end I think it will be to my mirthe for a great while, it having been the passage of my whole life the most pleasing for the time, considering the quality and nature of the business, and my noble usage in the doing of it, and very many fine journys, entertainments and great company. I returned into the house for a while to do business there with Commissioner Pett, and there with the officers of the Chest, where I saw more of Sir W. Batten’s business than ever I did before, for whereas he did own once under his hand to them that he was accountable for £2200, of which he had yet paid but £1600, he writes them a letter lately that he hath but about £50 left that is due to the Chest, but I will do something in it and that speedily. That being done I took horse, and Mr. Barrow with me bore me company to Gravesend, discoursing of his business, wherein I vexed him, and he me, I seeing his frowardness, but yet that he is in my conscience a very honest man, and some good things he told me, which I shall remember to the King’s advantage. There I took boat alone, and, the tide being against me, landed at Blackwall and walked to Wapping, Captain Bowd whom I met with talking with me all the way, who is a sober man. So home, and found all things well, and letters from Dover that my Lord Hinchingbroke is arrived at Dover, and would be at Scott’s hall this night, where the whole company will meet. I wish myself with them. After writing a few letters I took boat and down to Woolwich very late, and there found my wife and her woman upon the key hearing a fellow in a barge, that lay by, fiddle. So I to them and in, very merry, and to bed, I sleepy and weary.
5th. In the morning up, and my wife showed me several things of her doing, especially one fine woman’s Persian head mighty finely done, beyond what I could expect of her; and so away by water, having ordered in the yarde six or eight bargemen to be whipped, who had last night stolen some of the King’s cordage from out of the yarde. I to Deptford, and there by agreement met with my Lord Bruncker, and there we kept our office, he and I, and did what there was to do, and at noon parted to meet at the office next week. Sir W. Warren and I thence did walk through the rain to Half–Way House, and there I eat a piece of boiled beef and he and I talked over several businesses, among others our design upon the mast docke, which I hope to compass and get 2 or £300 by. Thence to Redriffe, where we parted, and I home, where busy all the afternoon. Stepped to Colvill’s to set right a business of money, where he told me that for certain De Ruyter is come home, with all his fleete, which is very ill newes, considering the charge we have been at in keeping a fleete to the northward so long, besides the great expectation of snapping him, wherein my Lord Sandwich will I doubt suffer some dishonour. I am told also of a great ryott upon Thursday last in Cheapside; Colonell Danvers, a delinquent, having been taken, and in his way to the Tower was rescued from the captain of the guard, and carried away; only one of the rescuers being taken. I am told also that the Duke of Buckingham is dead, but I know not of a certainty. So home and very late at letters, and then home to supper and to bed.
6th (Lord’s day). Dressed and had my head combed by my little girle, to whom I confess ‘que je sum demasiado kind, nuper ponendo mes mains in su des choses de son breast, mais il faut que je’ leave it lest it bring me to ‘alcun major inconvenience’. So to my business in my chamber, look over and settling more of my papers than I could the two last days I have spent about them. In the evening, it raining hard, down to Woolwich, where after some little talk to bed.
7th. Up, and with great pleasure looking over my wife’s pictures, and then to see my Lady Pen, whom I have not seen since her coming hither, and after being a little merry with her, she went forth and I staid there talking with Mrs. Pegg and looking over her pictures, and commended them; but, Lord! so far short of my wife’s, as no comparison. Thence to my wife, and there spent, talking, till noon, when by appointment Mr. Andrews come out of the country to speake with me about their Tangier business, and so having done with him and dined, I home by water, where by appointment I met Dr. Twisden, Mr. Povy, Mr. Lawson, and Stockdale about settling their business of money; but such confusion I never met with, nor could anything be agreed on, but parted like a company of fools, I vexed to lose so much time and pains to no purpose. They gone, comes Rayner, the boatmaker, about some business, and brings a piece of plate with him, which I refused to take of him, thinking indeed that the poor man hath no reason nor encouragement from our dealings with him to give any of us any presents. He gone, there comes Luellin, about Mr. Deering’s business of planke, to have the contract perfected, and offers me twenty pieces in gold, as Deering had done some time since himself, but I both then and now refused it, resolving not to be bribed to dispatch business, but will have it done however out of hand forthwith. So he gone, I to supper and to bed.
8th. Up and to the office, where all the morning we sat. At noon I home to dinner alone, and after dinner Bagwell’s wife waited at the door, and went with me to my office. . . . So parted, and I to Sir W. Batten’s, and there sat the most of the afternoon talking and drinking too much with my Lord Bruncker, Sir G. Smith, G. Cocke and others very merry. I drunk a little mixed, but yet more than I should do. So to my office a little, and then to the Duke of Albemarle’s about some business. The streets mighty empty all the way, now even in London, which is a sad sight. And to Westminster Hall, where talking, hearing very sad stories from Mrs. Mumford; among others, of Mrs. Michell’s son’s family. And poor Will, that used to sell us ale at the Hall-door, his wife and three children died, all, I think, in a day. So home through the City again, wishing I may have taken no ill in going; but I will go, I think, no more thither. Late at the office, and then home to supper, having taken a pullet home with me, and then to bed. The news of De Kuyter’s coming home is certain; and told to the great disadvantage of our fleete, and the praise of De Kuyter; but it cannot be helped, nor do I know what to say to it.
9th. Up betimes to my office, where Tom Hater to the writing of letters with me, which have for a good while been in arreare, and we close at it all day till night, only made a little step out for half an houre in the morning to the Exchequer about striking of tallys, but no good done therein, people being most out of towne. At noon T. Hater dined with me, and so at it all the afternoon. At night home and supped, and after reading a little in Cowley’s poems, my head being disturbed with overmuch business today, I to bed.
10th. Up betimes, and called upon early by my she-cozen Porter, the turner’s wife, to tell me that her husband was carried to the Tower, for buying of some of the King’s powder, and would have my helpe, but I could give her none, not daring any more to appear in the business, having too much trouble lately therein. By and by to the office, where we sat all the morning; in great trouble to see the Bill this week rise so high, to above 4,000 in all, and of them above 3,000 of the plague. And an odd story of Alderman Bence’s stumbling at night over a dead corps in the streete, and going home and telling his wife, she at the fright, being with child, fell sicke and died of the plague. We sat late, and then by invitation my Lord Brunker, Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten and I to Sir G. Smith’s to dinner, where very good company and good cheer. Captain Cocke was there and Jacke Fenn, but to our great wonder Alderman Bence, and tells us that not a word of all this is true, and others said so too, but by his owne story his wife hath been ill, and he fain to leave his house and comes not to her, which continuing a trouble to me all the time I was there. Thence to the office and, after writing letters, home, to draw-over anew my will, which I had bound myself by oath to dispatch by tomorrow night; the town growing so unhealthy, that a man cannot depend upon living two days to an end. So having done something of it, I to bed.
11th. Up, and all day long finishing and writing over my will twice, for my father and my wife, only in the morning a pleasant rencontre happened in having a young married woman brought me by her father, old Delkes, that carries pins always in his mouth, to get her husband off that he should not go to sea, ‘une contre pouvait avoir done any cose cum else, but I did nothing, si ni baisser her’. After they were gone my mind run upon having them called back again, and I sent a messenger to Blackwall, but he failed. So I lost my expectation. I to the Exchequer, about striking new tallys, and I find the Exchequer, by proclamation, removing to Nonesuch. —[Nonsuch Palace, near Epsom, where the Exchequer money was kept during the time of the plague.]— Back again and at my papers, and putting up my books into chests, and settling my house and all things in the best and speediest order I can, lest it should please God to take me away, or force me to leave my house. Late up at it, and weary and full of wind, finding perfectly that so long as I keepe myself in company at meals and do there eat lustily (which I cannot do alone, having no love to eating, but my mind runs upon my business), I am as well as can be, but when I come to be alone, I do not eat in time, nor enough, nor with any good heart, and I immediately begin to be full of wind, which brings my pain, till I come to fill my belly a-days again, then am presently well.
12th. The office now not sitting, but only hereafter on Thursdays at the office, I within all the morning about my papers and setting things still in order, and also much time in settling matters with Dr. Twisden. At noon am sent for by Sir G. Carteret, to meet him and my Lord Hinchingbroke at Deptford, but my Lord did not come thither, he having crossed the river at Gravesend to Dagenhams, whither I dare not follow him, they being afeard of me; but Sir G. Carteret says, he is a most sweet youth in every circumstance. Sir G. Carteret being in haste of going to the Duke of Albemarle and the Archbishop, he was pettish, and so I could not fasten any discourse, but take another time. So he gone, I down to Greenwich and sent away the Bezan, thinking to go with my wife to-night to come back again tomorrow night to the Soveraigne at the buoy off the Nore. Coming back to Deptford, old Bagwell walked a little way with me, and would have me in to his daughter’s, and there he being gone ‘dehors, ego had my volunte de su hiza’. Eat and drank and away home, and after a little at the office to my chamber to put more things still in order, and late to bed. The people die so, that now it seems they are fain to carry the dead to be buried by day-light, the nights not sufficing to do it in. And my Lord Mayor commands people to be within at nine at night all, as they say, that the sick may have liberty to go abroad for ayre. There is one also dead out of one of our ships at Deptford, which troubles us mightily; the Providence fire-ship, which was just fitted to go to sea. But they tell me today no more sick on board. And this day W. Bodham tells me that one is dead at Woolwich, not far from the Rope-yard. I am told, too, that a wife of one of the groomes at Court is dead at Salsbury; so that the King and Queene are speedily to be all gone to Milton. God preserve us!
13th (Lord’s day). Up betimes and to my chamber, it being a very wet day all day, and glad am I that we did not go by water to see “The Soveraigne”1 today, as I intended, clearing all matters in packing up my papers and books, and giving instructions in writing to my executors, thereby perfecting the whole business of my will, to my very great joy; so that I shall be in much better state of soul, I hope, if it should please the Lord to call me away this sickly time. At night to read, being weary with this day’s great work, and then after supper to bed, to rise betimes tomorrow, and to bed with a mind as free as to the business of the world as if I were not worth £100 in the whole world, every thing being evened under my hand in my books and papers, and upon the whole I find myself worth, besides Brampton estate, the sum of £2164, for which the Lord be praised!
1 “The Sovereign of the Seas” was built at Woolwich in 1637 of timber which had been stripped of its bark while growing in the spring, and not felled till the second autumn afterwards; and it is observed by Dr. Plot (“Phil. Trans.” for 1691), in his discourse on the most seasonable time for felling timber, written by the advice of Pepys, that after forty-seven years, “all the ancient timber then remaining in her, it was no easy matter to drive a nail into it” (“Quarterly Review,” vol. viii., p. 35). — B.
14th. Up, and my mind being at mighty ease from the dispatch of my business so much yesterday, I down to Deptford to Sir G. Carteret, where with him a great while, and a great deale of private talke concerning my Lord Sandwich’s and his matters, and chiefly of the latter, I giving him great deale of advice about the necessity of his having caution concerning Fenn, and the many ways there are of his being abused by any man in his place, and why he should not bring his son in to look after his business, and more, to be a Commissioner of the Navy, which he listened to and liked, and told me how much the King was his good Master, and was sure not to deny him that or any thing else greater than that, and I find him a very cunning man, whatever at other times he seems to be, and among other things he told me he was not for the fanfaroone1 to make a show with a great title, as he might have had long since, but the main thing to get an estate; and another thing, speaking of minding of business, “By God,” says he, “I will and have already almost brought it to that pass, that the King shall not be able to whip a cat, but I must be at the tayle of it.” Meaning so necessary he is, and the King and my Lord Treasurer and all do confess it; which, while I mind my business, is my own case in this office of the Navy, and I hope shall be more, if God give me life and health. Thence by agreement to Sir J. Minnes’s lodgings, where I found my Lord Bruncker, and so by water to the ferry, and there took Sir W. Batten’s coach that was sent for us, and to Sir W. Batten’s, where very merry, good cheer, and up and down the garden with great content to me, and, after dinner, beat Captain Cocke at billiards, won about 8s. of him and my Lord Bruncker. So in the evening after, much pleasure back again and I by water to Woolwich, where supped with my wife, and then to bed betimes, because of rising tomorrow at four of the clock in order to the going out with Sir G. Carteret toward Cranborne to my Lord Hinchingbrooke in his way to Court. This night I did present my wife with the dyamond ring, awhile since given me by Mr. Dicke Vines’s brother, for helping him to be a purser, valued at about £10, the first thing of that nature I did ever give her. Great fears we have that the plague will be a great Bill this weeke.
1 Fanfaron, French, from fanfare, a sounding of trumpets; hence, a swaggerer, or empty boaster.
15th. Up by 4 o’clock and walked to Greenwich, where called at Captain Cocke’s and to his chamber, he being in bed, where something put my last night’s dream into my head, which I think is the best that ever was dreamt, which was that I had my Lady Castlemayne in my armes and was admitted to use all the dalliance I desired with her, and then dreamt that this could not be awake, but that it was only a dream; but that since it was a dream, and that I took so much real pleasure in it, what a happy thing it would be if when we are in our graves (as Shakespeere resembles it) we could dream, and dream but such dreams as this, that then we should not need to be so fearful of death, as we are this plague time. Here I hear that news is brought Sir G. Carteret that my Lord Hinchingbrooke is not well, and so cannot meet us at Cranborne to-night. So I to Sir G. Carteret’s; and there was sorry with him for our disappointment. So we have put off our meeting there till Saturday next. Here I staid talking with Sir G. Carteret, he being mighty free with me in his business, and among other things hath ordered Rider and Cutler to put into my hands copper to the value of £5,000 (which Sir G. Carteret’s share it seems come to in it), which is to raise part of the money he is to layout for a purchase for my Lady Jemimah. Thence he and I to Sir J. Minnes’s by invitation, where Sir W. Batten and my Lady, and my Lord Bruncker, and all of us dined upon a venison pasty and other good meat, but nothing well dressed. But my pleasure lay in getting some bills signed by Sir G. Carteret, and promise of present payment from Mr. Fenn, which do rejoice my heart, it being one of the heaviest things I had upon me, that so much of the little I have should lie (viz. near £1000) in the King’s hands. Here very merry and (Sir G. Carteret being gone presently after dinner) to Captain Cocke’s, and there merry, and so broke up and I by water to the Duke of Albemarle, with whom I spoke a great deale in private, they being designed to send a fleete of ships privately to the Streights. No news yet from our fleete, which is much wondered at, but the Duke says for certain guns have been heard to the northward very much. It was dark before I could get home, and so land at Church-yard stairs, where, to my great trouble, I met a dead corps of the plague, in the narrow ally just bringing down a little pair of stairs. But I thank God I was not much disturbed at it. However, I shall beware of being late abroad again.
16th. Up, and after doing some necessary business about my accounts at home, to the office, and there with Mr. Hater wrote letters, and I did deliver to him my last will, one part of it to deliver to my wife when I am dead. Thence to the Exchange, where I have not been a great while. But, Lord! how sad a sight it is to see the streets empty of people, and very few upon the ‘Change. Jealous of every door that one sees shut up, lest it should be the plague; and about us two shops in three, if not more, generally shut up. From the ‘Change to Sir G. Smith’s’ with Mr. Fenn, to whom I am nowadays very complaisant, he being under payment of my bills to me, and some other sums at my desire, which he readily do. Mighty merry with Captain Cocke and Fenn at Sir G. Smith’s, and a brave dinner, but I think Cocke is the greatest epicure that is, eats and drinks with the greatest pleasure and liberty that ever man did. Very contrary newes today upon the ‘Change, some that our fleete hath taken some of the Dutch East India ships, others that we did attaque it at Bergen and were repulsed, others that our fleete is in great danger after this attaque by meeting with the great body now gone out of Holland, almost 100 sayle of men of warr. Every body is at a great losse and nobody can tell. Thence among the goldsmiths to get some money, and so home, settling some new money matters, and to my great joy have got home £500 more of the money due to me, and got some more money to help Andrews first advanced. This day I had the ill news from Dagenhams, that my poor lord of Hinchingbroke his indisposition is turned to the small-pox. Poor gentleman! that he should be come from France so soon to fall sick, and of that disease too, when he should be gone to see a fine lady, his mistresse. I am most heartily sorry for it. So late setting papers to rights, and so home to bed.
17th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon dined together upon some victuals I had prepared at Sir W. Batten’s upon the King’s charge, and after dinner, I having dispatched some business and set things in order at home, we down to the water and by boat to Greenwich to the Bezan yacht, where Sir W. Batten, Sir J. Minnes, my Lord Bruncker and myself, with some servants (among others Mr. Carcasse, my Lord’s clerk, a very civil gentleman), embarked in the yacht and down we went most pleasantly, and noble discourse I had with my Lord Bruneker, who is a most excellent person. Short of Gravesend it grew calme, and so we come to an anchor, and to supper mighty merry, and after it, being moonshine, we out of the cabbin to laugh and talk, and then, as we grew sleepy, went in and upon velvet cushions of the King’s that belong to the yacht fell to sleep, which we all did pretty well till 3 or 4 of the clock, having risen in the night to look for a new comet which is said to have lately shone, but we could see no such thing.
18th. Up about 5 o’clock and dressed ourselves, and to sayle again down to the Soveraigne at the buoy of the Nore, a noble ship, now rigged and fitted and manned; we did not stay long, but to enquire after her readinesse and thence to Sheernesse, where we walked up and down, laying out the ground to be taken in for a yard to lay provisions for cleaning and repairing of ships, and a most proper place it is for the purpose. Thence with great pleasure up the Meadeway, our yacht contending with Commissioner Pett’s, wherein he met us from Chatham, and he had the best of it. Here I come by, but had not tide enough to stop at Quinbrough, a with mighty pleasure spent the day in doing all and seeing these places, which I had never done before. So to the Hill house at Chatham and there dined, and after dinner spent some time discoursing of business. Among others arguing with the Commissioner about his proposing the laying out so much money upon Sheerenesse, unless it be to the slighting of Chatham yarde, for it is much a better place than Chatham, which however the King is not at present in purse to do, though it were to be wished he were. Thence in Commissioner Pett’s coach (leaving them there). I late in the darke to Gravesend, where great is the plague, and I troubled to stay there so long for the tide. At 10 at night, having supped, I took boat alone, and slept well all the way to the Tower docke about three o’clock in the morning. So knocked up my people, and to bed.
19th. Slept till 8 o’clock, and then up and met with letters from the King and Lord Arlington, for the removal of our office to Greenwich. I also wrote letters, and made myself ready to go to Sir G. Carteret, at Windsor; and having borrowed a horse of Mr. Blackbrough, sent him to wait for me at the Duke of Albemarle’s door: when, on a sudden, a letter comes to us from the Duke of Albemarle, to tell us that the fleete is all come back to Solebay, and are presently to be dispatched back again. Whereupon I presently by water to the Duke of Albemarle to know what news; and there I saw a letter from my Lord Sandwich to the Duke of Albemarle, and also from Sir W. Coventry and Captain Teddiman; how my Lord having commanded Teddiman with twenty-two ships1 (of which but fifteen could get thither, and of those fifteen but eight or nine could come up to play) to go to Bergen; where, after several messages to and fro from the Governor of the Castle, urging that Teddiman ought not to come thither with more than five ships, and desiring time to think of it, all the while he suffering the Dutch ships to land their guns to their best advantage; Teddiman on the second pretence, began to play at the Dutch ships, (wherof ten East India-men,) and in three hours’ time (the town and castle, without any provocation, playing on our ships,) they did cut all our cables, so as the wind being off the land, did force us to go out, and rendered our fire-ships useless; without doing any thing, but what hurt of course our guns must have done them: we having lost five commanders, besides Mr. Edward Montagu, and Mr. Windham.2 Our fleete is come home to our great grief with not above five weeks’ dry, and six days’ wet provisions: however, must out again; and the Duke hath ordered the Soveraigne, and all other ships ready, to go out to the fleete to strengthen them. This news troubles us all, but cannot be helped. Having read all this news, and received commands of the Duke with great content, he giving me the words which to my great joy he hath several times said to me, that his greatest reliance is upon me. And my Lord Craven also did come out to talk with me, and told me that I am in mighty esteem with the Duke, for which I bless God. Home, and having given my fellow-officers an account hereof, to Chatham, and wrote other letters, I by water to Charing–Cross, to the post-house, and there the people tell me they are shut up; and so I went to the new post-house, and there got a guide and horses to Hounslow, where I was mightily taken with a little girle, the daughter of the master of the house (Betty Gysby), which, if she lives, will make a great beauty. Here I met with a fine fellow who, while I staid for my horses, did enquire newes, but I could not make him remember Bergen in Norway, in 6 or 7 times telling, so ignorant he was. So to Stanes, and there by this time it was dark night, and got a guide who lost his way in the forest, till by help of the moone (which recompenses me for all the pains I ever took about studying of her motions,) I led my guide into the way back again; and so we made a man rise that kept a gate, and so he carried us to Cranborne. Where in the dark I perceive an old house new building with a great deal of rubbish, and was fain to go up a ladder to Sir G. Carteret’s chamber. And there in his bed I sat down, and told him all my bad newes, which troubled him mightily; but yet we were very merry, and made the best of it; and being myself weary did take leave, and after having spoken with Mr. Fenn in bed, I to bed in my Lady’s chamber that she uses to lie in, and where the Duchesse of York, that now is, was born. So to sleep; being very well, but weary, and the better by having carried with me a bottle of strong water; whereof now and then a sip did me good.
1 A news letter of August 19th (Salisbury), gives the following account of this affair:—“The Earl of Sandwich being on the Norway coast, ordered Sir Thomas Teddeman with 20 ships to attack 50 Dutch merchant ships in Bergen harbour; six convoyers had so placed themselves that only four or five of the ships could be reached at once. The Governor of Bergen fired on our ships, and placed 100 pieces of ordnance and two regiments of foot on the rocks to attack them, but they got clear without the loss of a ship, only 500 men killed or wounded, five or six captains among them. The fleet has gone to Sole Bay to repair losses and be ready to encounter the Dutch fleet, which is gone northward” (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1664–65, pp. 526, 527). Medals were struck in Holland, the inscription in Dutch on one of these is thus translated: “Thus we arrest the pride of the English, who extend their piracy even against their friends, and who insulting the forts of Norway, violate the rights of the harbours of King Frederick; but, for the reward of their audacity, see their vessels destroyed by the balls of the Dutch” (Hawkins’s “Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland,” ed. Franks and Grueber, 1885, vol. i., p. 508). Sir Gilbert Talbot’s “True Narrative of the Earl of Sandwich’s Attempt upon Bergen with the English Fleet on the 3rd of August, 1665, and the Cause of his Miscarriage thereupon,” is in the British Museum (Harl. MS., No. 6859). It is printed in “Archaeologia,” vol. xxii., p. 33. The Earl of Rochester also gave an account of the action in a letter to his mother (Wordsworth’s “Ecclesiastical Biography,” fourth edition, vol. iv., p. 611). Sir John Denham, in his “Advice to a Painter,” gives a long satirical account of the affair. A coloured drawing of the attack upon Bergen, on vellum, showing the range of the ships engaged, is in the British Museum. Shortly after the Bergen affair forty of the Dutch merchant vessels, on their way to Holland, fell into the hands of the English, and in Penn’s “Memorials of Sir William Penn,” vol. ii., p. 364, is a list of the prizes taken on the 3rd and 4th September. The troubles connected with these prizes and the disgrace into which Lord Sandwich fell are fully set forth in subsequent pages of the Diary. Evelyn writes in his Diary (November 27th, 1665): “There was no small suspicion of my Lord Sandwich having permitted divers commanders who were at ye taking of ye East India prizes to break bulk and take to themselves jewels, silkes, &c., tho’ I believe some whom I could name fill’d their pockets, my Lo. Sandwich himself had the least share. However, he underwent the blame, and it created him enemies, and prepossess’d ye Lo. Generall [Duke of Albemarle], for he spake to me of it with much zeale and concerne, and I believe laid load enough on Lo. Sandwich at Oxford.”
2 This Mr. Windham had entered into a formal engagement with the Earl of Rochester, “not without ceremonies of religion, that if either of them died, he should appear, and give the other notice of the future state, if there was any.” He was probably one of the brothers of Sir William Wyndham, Bart. See Wordsworth’s “Ecclesiastical Biography,” fourth. edition, vol. iv., p. 615. — B.
20th (Lord’s day). Sir G. Carteret come and walked by my bedside half an houre, talking and telling me how my Lord is in this unblameable in all this ill-successe, he having followed orders; and that all ought to be imputed to the falsenesse of the King of Denmarke, who, he told me as a secret, had promised to deliver up the Dutch ships to us, and we expected no less; and swears it will, and will easily, be the ruine of him and his kingdom, if we fall out with him, as we must in honour do; but that all that can be, must be to get the fleete out again to intercept De Witt, who certainly will be coming home with the East India ships, he being gone thither. He being gone, I up and with Fenn, being ready to walk forth to see the place; and I find it to be a very noble seat in a noble forest, with the noblest prospect towards Windsor, and round about over many countys, that can be desired; but otherwise a very melancholy place, and little variety save only trees. I had thoughts of going home by water, and of seeing Windsor Chappell and Castle, but finding at my coming in that Sir G. Carteret did prevent me in speaking for my sudden return to look after business, I did presently eat a bit off the spit about 10 o’clock, and so took horse for Stanes, and thence to Brainford to Mr. Povy’s, the weather being very pleasant to ride in. Mr. Povy not being at home I lost my labour, only eat and drank there with his lady, and told my bad newes, and hear the plague is round about them there. So away to Brainford; and there at the inn that goes down to the water-side, I ‘light and paid off my post-horses, and so slipped on my shoes, and laid my things by, the tide not serving, and to church, where a dull sermon, and many Londoners. After church to my inn, and eat and drank, and so about seven o’clock by water, and got between nine and ten to Queenhive, very dark. And I could not get my waterman to go elsewhere for fear of the plague. Thence with a lanthorn, in great fear of meeting of dead corpses, carried to be buried; but, blessed be God, met none, but did see now and then a linke (which is the mark of them) at a distance. So got safe home about 10 o’clock, my people not all abed, and after supper I weary to bed.
21st. Called up, by message from Lord Bruncker and the rest of my fellows, that they will meet me at the Duke of Albemarle’s this morning; so I up, and weary, however, got thither before them, and spoke with my Lord, and with him and other gentlemen to walk in the Parke, where, I perceive, he spends much of his time, having no whither else to go; and here I hear him speake of some Presbyter people that he caused to be apprehended yesterday, at a private meeting in Covent Garden, which he would have released upon paying £5 per man to the poor, but it was answered, they would not pay anything; so he ordered them to another prison from the guard. By and by comes my fellow-officers, and the Duke walked in, and to counsel with us; and that being done we departed, and Sir W. Batten and I to the office, where, after I had done a little business, I to his house to dinner, whither comes Captain Cocke, for whose epicurisme a dish of partriges was sent for, and still gives me reason to think is the greatest epicure in the world. Thence, after dinner, I by water to Sir W. Warren’s and with him two hours, talking of things to his and my profit, and particularly good advice from him what use to make of Sir G. Carteret’s kindnesse to me and my interest in him, with exceeding good cautions for me not using it too much nor obliging him to fear by prying into his secrets, which it were easy for me to do. Thence to my Lord Bruncker, at Greenwich, and Sir J. Minnes by appointment, to looke after the lodgings appointed for us there for our office, which do by no means please me, they being in the heart of all the labourers and workmen there, which makes it as unsafe as to be, I think, at London. Mr. Hugh May, who is a most ingenuous man, did show us the lodgings, and his acquaintance I am desirous of. Thence walked, it being now dark, to Sir J. Minnes’s, and there staid at the door talking with him an hour while messengers went to get a boat for me, to carry me to Woolwich, but all to no purpose; so I was forced to walk it in the darke, at ten o’clock at night, with Sir J. Minnes’s George with me, being mightily troubled for fear of the doggs at Coome farme, and more for fear of rogues by the way, and yet more because of the plague which is there, which is very strange, it being a single house, all alone from the towne, but it seems they use to admit beggars, for their owne safety, to lie in their barns, and they brought it to them; but I bless God I got about eleven of the clock well to my wife, and giving 4s. in recompence to George, I to my wife, and having first viewed her last piece of drawing since I saw her, which is seven or eight days, which pleases me beyond any thing in the world, to bed with great content but weary.
22nd. Up, and after much pleasant talke and being importuned by my wife and her two mayds, which are both good wenches, for me to buy a necklace of pearle for her, and I promising to give her one of £60 in two years at furthest, and in less if she pleases me in her painting, I went away and walked to Greenwich, in my way seeing a coffin with a dead body therein, dead of the plague, lying in an open close belonging to Coome farme, which was carried out last night, and the parish have not appointed any body to bury it; but only set a watch there day and night, that nobody should go thither or come thence, which is a most cruel thing: this disease making us more cruel to one another than if we are doggs. So to the King’s House, and there met my Lord Bruncker and Sir J. Minnes, and to our lodgings again that are appointed for us, which do please me better to day than last night, and are set a doing. Thence I to Deptford, where by appointment I find Mr. Andrews come, and to the Globe, where we dined together and did much business as to our Plymouth gentlemen; and after a good dinner and good discourse, he being a very good man, I think verily, we parted and I to the King’s yard, walked up and down, and by and by out at the back gate, and there saw the Bagwell’s wife’s mother and daughter, and went to them, and went in to the daughter’s house with the mother, and ‘faciebam le cose que ego tenebam a mind to con elle’, and drinking and talking, by and by away, and so walked to Redriffe, troubled to go through the little lane, where the plague is, but did and took water and home, where all well; but Mr. Andrews not coming to even accounts, as I expected, with relation to something of my own profit, I was vexed that I could not settle to business, but home to my viall, though in the evening he did come to my satisfaction. So after supper (he being gone first) I to settle my journall and to bed.
23rd. Up, and whereas I had appointed Mr. Hater and Will to come betimes to the office to meet me about business there, I was called upon as soon as ready by Mr. Andrews to my great content, and he and I to our Tangier accounts, where I settled, to my great joy, all my accounts with him, and, which is more, cleared for my service to the contractors since the last sum I received of them, £222 13s. profit to myself, and received the money actually in the afternoon. After he was gone comes by a pretence of mine yesterday old Delks the waterman, with his daughter Robins, and several times to and again, he leaving her with me, about the getting of his son Robins off, who was pressed yesterday again. . . . All the afternoon at my office mighty busy writing letters, and received a very kind and good one from my Lord Sandwich of his arrival with the fleete at Solebay, and the joy he has at my last newes he met with, of the marriage of my Lady Jemimah; and he tells me more, the good newes that all our ships, which were in such danger that nobody would insure upon them, from the Eastland,1 were all safe arrived, which I am sure is a great piece of good luck, being in much more danger than those of Hambrough which were lost, and their value much greater at this time to us. At night home, much contented with this day’s work, and being at home alone looking over my papers, comes a neighbour of ours hard by to speak with me about business of the office, one Mr. Fuller, a great merchant, but not my acquaintance, but he come drunk, and would have had me gone and drunk with him at home, or have let him send for wine hither, but I would do neither, nor offered him any, but after some sorry discourse parted, and I up to [my] chamber and to bed.
1 Eastland was a name given to the eastern countries of Europe. The Eastland Company, or Company of Merchants trading to the East Country, was incorporated in Queen Elizabeth’s reign (anno 21), and the charter was confirmed 13 Car. II. They were also called “The Merchants of Elbing.”
24th. Up betimes to my office, where my clerks with me, and very busy all the morning writing letters. At noon down to Sir J. Minnes and Lord Bruncker to Greenwich to sign some of the Treasurer’s books, and there dined very well; and thence to look upon our rooms again at the King’s house, which are not yet ready for us. So home and late writing letters, and so, weary with business, home to supper and to bed.
25th. Up betimes to the office, and there, as well as all the afternoon, saving a little dinner time, all alone till late at night writing letters and doing business, that I may get beforehand with my business again, which hath run behind a great while, and then home to supper and to bed. This day I am told that Dr. Burnett, my physician, is this morning dead of the plague; which is strange, his man dying so long ago, and his house this month open again. Now himself dead. Poor unfortunate man!
26th. Up betimes, and prepared to my great satisfaction an account for the board of my office disbursements, which I had suffered to run on to almost £120. That done I down by water to Greenwich, where we met the first day my Lord Bruncker, Sir J. Minnes, and I, and I think we shall do well there, and begin very auspiciously to me by having my account abovesaid passed, and put into a way of having it presently paid. When we rose I find Mr. Andrews and Mr. Yeabsly, who is just come from Plymouth, at the door, and we walked together toward my Lord Brunker’s, talking about their business, Yeabsly being come up on purpose to discourse with me about it, and finished all in a quarter of an hour, and is gone again. I perceive they have some inclination to be going on with their victualling-business for a while longer before they resign it to Mr. Gauden, and I am well contented, for it brings me very good profit with certainty, yet with much care and some pains. We parted at my Lord Bruncker’s doore, where I went in, having never been there before, and there he made a noble entertainment for Sir J. Minnes, myself, and Captain Cocke, none else saving some painted lady that dined there, I know not who she is. But very merry we were, and after dinner into the garden, and to see his and her chamber, where some good pictures, and a very handsome young woman for my lady’s woman. Thence I by water home, in my way seeing a man taken up dead, out of the hold of a small catch that lay at Deptford. I doubt it might be the plague, which, with the thought of Dr. Burnett, did something disturb me, so that I did not what I intended and should have done at the office, as to business, but home sooner than ordinary, and after supper, to read melancholy alone, and then to bed.
27th (Lord’s day). Very well in the morning, and up and to my chamber all the morning to put my things and papers yet more in order, and so to dinner. Thence all the afternoon at my office till late making up my papers and letters there into a good condition of order, and so home to supper, and after reading a good while in the King’s works — [Charles I.‘s Works, now in the Pepysian Library]— which is a noble book, to bed.
28th. Up, and being ready I out to Mr. Colvill, the goldsmith’s, having not for some days been in the streets; but now how few people I see, and those looking like people that had taken leave of the world. I there, and made even all accounts in the world between him and I, in a very good condition, and I would have done the like with Sir Robert Viner, but he is out of towne, the sicknesse being every where thereabouts. I to the Exchange, and I think there was not fifty people upon it, and but few more like to be as they told me, Sir G. Smith and others. Thus I think to take adieu today of the London streets, unless it be to go again to Viner’s. Home to dinner, and there W. Hewer brings me £119 he hath received for my office disbursements, so that I think I have £1800 and more in the house, and, blessed be God! no money out but what I can very well command and that but very little, which is much the best posture I ever was in in my life, both as to the quantity and the certainty I have of the money I am worth; having most of it in my own hand. But then this is a trouble to me what to do with it, being myself this day going to be wholly at Woolwich; but for the present I am resolved to venture it in an iron chest, at least for a while. In the afternoon I sent down my boy to Woolwich with some things before me, in order to my lying there for good and all, and so I followed him. Just now comes newes that the fleete is gone, or going this day, out again, for which God be praised! and my Lord Sandwich hath done himself great right in it, in getting so soon out again. I pray God, he may meet the enemy. Towards the evening, just as I was fitting myself, comes W. Hewer and shows me a letter which Mercer had wrote to her mother about a great difference between my wife and her yesterday, and that my wife will have her go away presently. This, together with my natural jealousy that some bad thing or other may be in the way, did trouble me exceedingly, so as I was in a doubt whether to go thither or no, but having fitted myself and my things I did go, and by night got thither, where I met my wife walking to the waterside with her paynter, Mr. Browne, and her mayds. There I met Commissioner Pett, and my Lord Brunker, and the lady at his house had been theretoday, to see her. Commissioner Pett staid a very little while, and so I to supper with my wife and Mr. Shelden, and so to bed with great pleasure.
29th. In the morning waking, among other discourse my wife begun to tell me the difference between her and Mercer, and that it was only from restraining her to gad abroad to some Frenchmen that were in the town, which I do not wholly yet in part believe, and for my quiet would not enquire into it. So rose and dressed myself, and away by land walking a good way, then remembered that I had promised Commissioner Pett to go with him in his coach, and therefore I went back again to him, and so by his coach to Greenwich, and called at Sir Theophilus Biddulph’s, a sober, discreet man, to discourse of the preventing of the plague in Greenwich, and Woolwich, and Deptford, where in every place it begins to grow very great. We appointed another meeting, and so walked together to Greenwich and there parted, and Pett and I to the office, where all the morning, and after office done I to Sir J. Minnes and dined with him, and thence to Deptford thinking to have seen Bagwell, but did not, and so straight to Redriffe, and home, and late at my business to dispatch away letters, and then home to bed, which I did not intend, but to have staid for altogether at Woolwich, but I made a shift for a bed for Tom, whose bed is gone to Woolwich, and so to bed.
30th. Up betimes and to my business of settling my house and papers, and then abroad and met with Hadley, our clerke, who, upon my asking how the plague goes, he told me it encreases much, and much in our parish; for, says he, there died nine this week, though I have returned but six: which is a very ill practice, and makes me think it is so in other places; and therefore the plague much greater than people take it to be. Thence, as I intended, to Sir R. Viner’s, and there found not Mr. Lewes ready for me, so I went forth and walked towards Moorefields to see (God forbid my presumption!) whether I could see any dead corps going to the grave; but, as God would have it, did not. But, Lord! how every body’s looks, and discourse in the street is of death, and nothing else, and few people going up and down, that the towne is like a place distressed and forsaken. After one turne there back to Viner’s, and there found my business ready for me, and evened all reckonings with them to this day to my great content. So home, and all day till very late at night setting my Tangier and private accounts in order, which I did in both, and in the latter to my great joy do find myself yet in the much best condition that ever I was in, finding myself worth £2180 and odd, besides plate and goods, which I value at £250 more, which is a very great blessing to me. The Lord make me thankfull! and of this at this day above £1800 in cash in my house, which speaks but little out of my hands in desperate condition, but this is very troublesome to have in my house at this time. So late to bed, well pleased with my accounts, but weary of being so long at them.
31st. Up and, after putting several things in order to my removal, to Woolwich; the plague having a great encrease this week, beyond all expectation of almost 2,000, making the general Bill 7,000, odd 100; and the plague above 6,000. I down by appointment to Greenwich, to our office, where I did some business, and there dined with our company and Sir W. Boreman, and Sir The. Biddulph, at Mr. Boreman’s, where a good venison pasty, and after a good merry dinner I to my office, and there late writing letters, and then to Woolwich by water, where pleasant with my wife and people, and after supper to bed. Thus this month ends with great sadness upon the publick, through the greatness of the plague every where through the kingdom almost. Every day sadder and sadder news of its encrease. In the City died this week 7,496 and of them 6,102 of the plague. But it is feared that the true number of the dead, this week is near 10,000; partly from the poor that cannot be taken notice of, through the greatness of the number, and partly from the Quakers and others that will not have any bell ring for them. Our fleete gone out to find the Dutch, we having about 100 sail in our fleete, and in them the Soveraigne one; so that it is a better fleete than the former with the Duke was. All our fear is that the Dutch should be got in before them; which would be a very great sorrow to the publick, and to me particularly, for my Lord Sandwich’s sake. A great deal of money being spent, and the kingdom not in a condition to spare, nor a parliament without much difficulty to meet to give more. And to that; to have it said, what hath been done by our late fleetes? As to myself I am very well, only in fear of the plague, and as much of an ague by being forced to go early and late to Woolwich, and my family to lie there continually. My late gettings have been very great to my great content, and am likely to have yet a few more profitable jobbs in a little while; for which Tangier, and Sir W. Warren I am wholly obliged to.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53