November 1st. Lay very long in bed discoursing with Mr. Hill of most things of a man’s life, and how little merit do prevail in the world, but only favour; and that, for myself, chance without merit brought me in; and that diligence only keeps me so, and will, living as I do among so many lazy people that the diligent man becomes necessary, that they cannot do anything without him, and so told him of my late business of the victualling, and what cares I am in to keepe myself having to do with people of so different factions at Court, and yet must be fair with them all, which was very pleasant discourse for me to tell, as well as he seemed to take it, for him to hear. At last up, and it being a very foule day for raine and a hideous wind, yet having promised I would go by water to Erith, and bearing sayle was in danger of oversetting, but ordered them take down their sayle, and so cold and wet got thither, as they had ended their dinner. How[ever], I dined well, and after dinner all on shore, my Lord Bruncker with us to Mrs. Williams’s lodgings, and Sir W. Batten, Sir Edmund Pooly, and others; and there, it being my Lord’s birth-day, had every one a green riband tied in our hats very foolishly; and methinks mighty disgracefully for my Lord to have his folly so open to all the world with this woman. But by and by Sir W. Batten and I took coach, and home to Boreman, and so going home by the backside I saw Captain Cocke ‘lighting out of his coach (having been at Erith also with her but not on board) and so he would come along with me to my lodging, and there sat and supped and talked with us, but we were angry a little a while about our message to him the other day about bidding him keepe from the office or his owne office, because of his black dying. I owned it and the reason of it, and would have been glad he had been out of the house, but I could not bid him go, and so supped, and after much other talke of the sad condition and state of the King’s matters we broke up, and my friend and I to bed. This night coming with Sir W. Batten into Greenwich we called upon Coll. Cleggatt, who tells us for certaine that the King of Denmark hath declared to stand for the King of England, but since I hear it is wholly false.
2nd. Up, left my wife and to the office, and there to my great content Sir W. Warren come to me to settle the business of the Tangier boates, wherein I shall get above £100, besides £100 which he gives me in the paying for them out of his owne purse. He gone, I home to my lodgings to dinner, and there comes Captain Wagers newly returned from the Streights, who puts me in great fear for our last ships that went to Tangier with provisions, that they will be taken. A brave, stout fellow this Captain is, and I think very honest. To the office again after dinner and there late writing letters, and then about 8 at night set out from my office and fitting myself at my lodgings intended to have gone this night in a Ketch down to the Fleete, but calling in my way at Sir J. Minnes’s, who is come up from Erith about something about the prizes, they persuaded me not to go till the morning, it being a horrible darke and a windy night. So I back to my lodging and to bed.
3rd. Was called up about four o’clock and in the darke by lanthorne took boat and to the Ketch and set sayle, sleeping a little in the Cabbin till day and then up and fell to reading of Mr. Evelyn’s book about Paynting,1 which is a very pretty book. Carrying good victuals and Tom with me I to breakfast about 9 o’clock, and then to read again and come to the Fleete about twelve, where I found my Lord (the Prince being gone in) on board the Royall James, Sir Thomas Allen commander, and with my Lord an houre alone discoursing what was my chief and only errand about what was adviseable for his Lordship to do in this state of things, himself being under the Duke of Yorke’s and Mr. Coventry’s envy, and a great many more and likely never to do anything honourably but he shall be envied and the honour taken as much as can be from it. His absence lessens his interest at Court, and what is worst we never able to set out a fleete fit for him to command, or, if out, to keepe them out or fit them to do any great thing, or if that were so yet nobody at home minds him or his condition when he is abroad, and lastly the whole affairs of state looking as if they would all on a sudden break in pieces, and then what a sad thing it would be for him to be out of the way. My Lord did concur in every thing and thanked me infinitely for my visit and counsel, telling me that in every thing he concurs, but puts a query, what if the King will not think himself safe, if any man should go but him. How he should go off then? To that I had no answer ready, but the making the King see that he may be of as good use to him here while another goes forth. But for that I am not able to say much. We after this talked of some other little things and so to dinner, where my Lord infinitely kind to me, and after dinner I rose and left him with some Commanders at the table taking tobacco and I took the Bezan back with me, and with a brave gale and tide reached up that night to the Hope, taking great pleasure in learning the seamen’s manner of singing when they sound the depths, and then to supper and to sleep, which I did most excellently all night, it being a horrible foule night for wind and raine.
1 This must surely have been Evelyn’s “Sculptura, or the History and Art of Chalcography and Engraving in Copper,” published in 1662. The translation of Freart’s “Idea of the Perfection of Painting demonstrated” was not published until 1668.
4th. They sayled from midnight, and come to Greenwich about 5 o’clock in the morning. I however lay till about 7 or 8, and so to my office, my head a little akeing, partly for want of natural rest, partly having so much business to do today, and partly from the newes I hear that one of the little boys at my lodging is not well; and they suspect, by their sending for plaister and fume, that it may be the plague; so I sent Mr. Hater and W. Hewer to speake with the mother; but they returned to me, satisfied that there is no hurt nor danger, but the boy is well, and offers to be searched, however, I was resolved myself to abstain coming thither for a while. Sir W. Batten and myself at the office all the morning. At noon with him to dinner at Boreman’s, where Mr. Seymour with us, who is a most conceited fellow and not over much in him. Here Sir W. Batten told us (which I had not heard before) that the last sitting day his cloake was taken from Mingo he going home to dinner, and that he was beaten by the seamen and swears he will come to Greenwich, but no more to the office till he can sit safe. After dinner I to the office and there late, and much troubled to have 100 seamen all the afternoon there, swearing below and cursing us, and breaking the glasse windows, and swear they will pull the house down on Tuesday next. I sent word of this to Court, but nothing will helpe it but money and a rope. Late at night to Mr. Glanville’s there to lie for a night or two, and to bed.
5th (Lord’s day). Up, and after being trimmed, by boat to the Cockpitt, where I heard the Duke of Albemarle’s chaplin make a simple sermon: among other things, reproaching the imperfection of humane learning, he cried: “All our physicians cannot tell what an ague is, and all our arithmetique is not able to number the days of a man;” which, God knows, is not the fault of arithmetique, but that our understandings reach not the thing. To dinner, where a great deale of silly discourse, but the worst is I hear that the plague increases much at Lambeth, St. Martin’s and Westminster, and fear it will all over the city. Thence I to the Swan, thinking to have seen Sarah but she was at church, and so I by water to Deptford, and there made a visit to Mr. Evelyn, who, among other things, showed me most excellent painting in little; in distemper, Indian incke, water colours: graveing; and, above all, the whole secret of mezzo-tinto, and the manner of it, which is very pretty, and good things done with it. He read to me very much also of his discourse, he hath been many years and now is about, about Guardenage; which will be a most noble and pleasant piece. He read me part of a play or two of his making, very good, but not as he conceits them, I think, to be. He showed me his Hortus Hyemalis; leaves laid up in a book of several plants kept dry, which preserve colour, however, and look very finely, better than any Herball. In fine, a most excellent person he is, and must be allowed a little for a little conceitedness; but he may well be so, being a man so much above others. He read me, though with too much gusto, some little poems of his own, that were not transcendant, yet one or two very pretty epigrams; among others, of a lady looking in at a grate, and being pecked at by an eagle that was there. Here comes in, in the middle of our discourse Captain Cocke, as drunk as a dogg, but could stand, and talk and laugh. He did so joy himself in a brave woman that he had been with all the afternoon, and who should it be but my Lady Robinson, but very troublesome he is with his noise and talke, and laughing, though very pleasant. With him in his coach to Mr. Glanville’s, where he sat with Mrs. Penington and myself a good while talking of this fine woman again and then went away. Then the lady and I to very serious discourse and, among other things, of what a bonny lasse my Lady Robinson is, who is reported to be kind to the prisoners, and has said to Sir G. Smith, who is her great crony, “Look! there is a pretty man, I would be content to break a commandment with him,” and such loose expressions she will have often. After an houre’s talke we to bed, the lady mightily troubled about a pretty little bitch she hath, which is very sicke, and will eat nothing, and the worst was, I could hear her in her chamber bemoaning the bitch, and by and by taking her into bed with her. The bitch pissed and shit a bed, and she was fain to rise and had coals out of my chamber to dry the bed again. This night I had a letter that Sir G. Carteret would be in towne tomorrow, which did much surprize me.
6th. Up, and to my office, where busy all the morning and then to dinner to Captain Cocke’s with Mr. Evelyn, where very merry, only vexed after dinner to stay too long for our coach. At last, however, to Lambeth and thence the Cockpitt, where we found Sir G. Carteret come, and in with the Duke and the East India Company about settling the business of the prizes, and they have gone through with it. Then they broke up, and Sir G. Carteret come out, and thence through the garden to the water side and by water I with him in his boat down with Captain Cocke to his house at Greenwich, and while supper was getting ready Sir G. Carteret and I did walk an houre in the garden before the house, talking of my Lord Sandwich’s business; what enemies he hath, and how they have endeavoured to bespatter him: and particularly about his leaving of 30 ships of the enemy, when Pen would have gone, and my Lord called him back again: which is most false. However, he says, it was purposed by some hot-heads in the House of Commons, at the same time when they voted a present to the Duke of Yorke, to have voted £10,000 to the Prince, and half-a-crowne to my Lord of Sandwich; but nothing come of it.1 But, for all this, the King is most firme to my Lord, and so is my Lord Chancellor, and my Lord Arlington. The Prince, in appearance, kind; the Duke of Yorke silent, says no hurt; but admits others to say it in his hearing. Sir W. Pen, the falsest rascal that ever was in the world; and that this afternoon the Duke of Albemarle did tell him that Pen was a very cowardly rogue, and one that hath brought all these rogueish fanatick Captains into the fleete, and swears he should never go out with the fleete again. That Sir W. Coventry is most kind to Pen still; and says nothing nor do any thing openly to the prejudice of my Lord. He agrees with me, that it is impossible for the King [to] set out a fleete again the next year; and that he fears all will come to ruine, there being no money in prospect but these prizes, which will bring, it may be, £20,000, but that will signify nothing in the world for it. That this late Act of Parliament for bringing the money into the Exchequer, and making of it payable out there, intended as a prejudice to him and will be his convenience hereafter and ruine the King’s business, and so I fear it will and do wonder Sir W. Coventry would be led by Sir G. Downing to persuade the King and Duke to have it so, before they had thoroughly weighed all circumstances; that for my Lord, the King has said to him lately that I was an excellent officer, and that my Lord Chancellor do, he thinks, love and esteem of me as well as he do of any man in England that he hath no more acquaintance with. So having done and received from me the sad newes that we are like to have no money here a great while, not even of the very prizes, I set up my rest2 in giving up the King’s service to be ruined and so in to supper, where pretty merry, and after supper late to Mr. Glanville’s, and Sir G. Carteret to bed. I also to bed, it being very late.
1 The tide of popular indignation ran high against Lord Sandwich, and he was sent to Spain as ambassador to get him honourably out of the way (see post, December 6th).
2 The phrase “set up my rest” is a metaphor from the once fashionable game of Primero, meaning, to stand upon the cards you have in your hand, in hopes they may prove better than those of your adversary. Hence, to make up your mind, to be determined (see Nares’s “Glossary”).
7th. Up, and to Sir G. Carteret, and with him, he being very passionate to be gone, without staying a minute for breakfast, to the Duke of Albemarle’s and I with him by water and with Fen: but, among other things, Lord! to see how he wondered to see the river so empty of boats, nobody working at the Custome-house keys; and how fearful he is, and vexed that his man, holding a wine-glasse in his hand for him to drinke out of, did cover his hands, it being a cold, windy, rainy morning, under the waterman’s coate, though he brought the waterman from six or seven miles up the river, too. Nay, he carried this glasse with him for his man to let him drink out of at the Duke of Albemarle’s, where he intended to dine, though this he did to prevent sluttery, for, for the same reason he carried a napkin with him to Captain Cocke’s, making him believe that he should eat with foule linnen. Here he with the Duke walked a good while in the Parke, and I with Fen, but cannot gather that he intends to stay with us, nor thinks any thing at all of ever paying one farthing of money more to us here, let what will come of it. Thence in, and Sir W. Batten comes in by and by, and so staying till noon, and there being a great deal of company there, Sir W. Batten and I took leave of the Duke and Sir G. Carteret, there being no good to be done more for money, and so over the River and by coach to Greenwich, where at Boreman’s we dined, it being late. Thence my head being full of business and mind out of order for thinking of the effects which will arise from the want of money, I made an end of my letters by eight o’clock, and so to my lodging and there spent the evening till midnight talking with Mrs. Penington, who is a very discreet, understanding lady and very pretty discourse we had and great variety, and she tells me with great sorrow her bitch is dead this morning, died in her bed. So broke up and to bed.
8th. Up, and to the office, where busy among other things to looke my warrants for the settling of the Victualling business, the warrants being come to me for the Surveyors of the ports and that for me also to be Surveyor–Generall. I did discourse largely with Tom Willson about it and doubt not to make it a good service to the King as well, as the King gives us very good salarys. It being a fast day, all people were at church and the office quiett; so I did much business, and at noon adventured to my old lodging, and there eat, but am not yet well satisfied, not seeing of Christopher, though they say he is abroad. Thence after dinner to the office again, and thence am sent for to the King’s Head by my Lord Rutherford, who, since I can hope for no more convenience from him, his business is troublesome to me, and therefore I did leave him as soon as I could and by water to Deptford, and there did order my matters so, walking up and down the fields till it was dark night, that ‘je allais a la maison of my valentine — [Bagwell’s wife]— and there ‘je faisais whatever je voudrais avec’ her, and, about eight at night, did take water, being glad I was out of the towne; for the plague, it seems, rages there more than ever, and so to my lodgings, where my Lord had got a supper and the mistresse of the house, and her daughters, and here staid Mrs. Pierce to speake with me about her husband’s business, and I made her sup with us, and then at night my Lord and I walked with her home, and so back again. My Lord and I ended all we had to say as to his business overnight, and so I took leave, and went again to Mr. Glanville’s and so to bed, it being very late.
9th. Up, and did give the servants something at Mr. Glanville’s and so took leave, meaning to lie to-night at my owne lodging. To my office, where busy with Mr. Gawden running over the Victualling business, and he is mightily pleased that this course is taking and seems sensible of my favour and promises kindnesse to me. At noon by water, to the King’s Head at Deptford, where Captain Taylor invites Sir W: Batten, Sir John Robinson (who come in with a great deale of company from hunting, and brought in a hare alive and a great many silly stories they tell of their sport, which pleases them mightily, and me not at all, such is the different sense of pleasure in mankind), and others upon the score of a survey of his new ship; and strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody, Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Robinson being now as kind to him, and report well of his ship and proceedings, and promise money, and Sir W. Batten is a solicitor for him, but it is a strange thing to observe, they being the greatest enemys he had, and yet, I believe, hath in the world in their hearts. Thence after dinner stole away and to my office, where did a great deale of business till midnight, and then to Mrs. Clerk’s, to lodge again, and going home W. Hewer did tell me my wife will be here tomorrow, and hath put away Mary, which vexes me to the heart, I cannot helpe it, though it may be a folly in me, and when I think seriously on it, I think my wife means no ill design in it, or, if she do, I am a foole to be troubled at it, since I cannot helpe it. The Bill of Mortality, to all our griefs, is encreased 399 this week, and the encrease generally through the whole City and suburbs, which makes us all sad.
10th. Up, and entered all my Journall since the 28th of October, having every day’s passages well in my head, though it troubles me to remember it, and which I was forced to, being kept from my lodging, where my books and papers are, for several days. So to my office, where till two or three o’clock busy before I could go to my lodging to dinner, then did it and to my office again. In the evening newes is brought me my wife is come: so I to her, and with her spent the evening, but with no great pleasure, I being vexed about her putting away of Mary in my absence, but yet I took no notice of it at all, but fell into other discourse, and she told me, having herself been this day at my house at London, which was boldly done, to see Mary have her things, that Mr. Harrington, our neighbour, an East country merchant, is dead at Epsum of the plague, and that another neighbour of ours, Mr. Hollworthy, a very able man, is also dead by a fall in the country from his horse, his foot hanging in the stirrup, and his brains beat out. Here we sat talking, and after supper to bed.
11th. I up and to the office (leaving my wife in bed) and there till noon, then to dinner and back again to the office, my wife going to Woolwich again, and I staying very late at my office, and so home to bed.
12th (Lord’s day). Up, and invited by Captain Cocke to dinner. So after being ready I went to him, and there he and I and Mr. Yard (one of the Guinny Company) dined together and very merry. After dinner I by water to the Duke of Albemarle, and there had a little discourse and business with him, chiefly to receive his commands about pilotts to be got for our Hambro’ ships, going now at this time of the year convoy to the merchant ships, that have lain at great pain and charge, some three, some four months at Harwich for a convoy. They hope here the plague will be less this weeke. Thence back by water to Captain Cocke’s, and there he and I spent a great deale of the evening as we had done of the day reading and discoursing over part of Mr. Stillingfleet’s “Origines Sacrae,” wherein many things are very good and some frivolous. Thence by and by he and I to Mrs. Penington’s, but she was gone to bed. So we back and walked a while, and then to his house and to supper, and then broke up, and I home to my lodging to bed.
13th. Up, and to my office, where busy all the morning, and at noon to Captain Cocke’s to dinner as we had appointed in order to settle our business of accounts. But here came in an Alderman, a merchant, a very merry man, and we dined, and, he being gone, after dinner Cocke and I walked into the garden, and there after a little discourse he did undertake under his hand to secure me in £500 profit, for my share of the profit of what we have bought of the prize goods. We agreed upon the terms, which were easier on my side than I expected, and so with extraordinary inward joy we parted till the evening. So I to the office and among other business prepared a deed for him to sign and seale to me about our agreement, which at night I got him to come and sign and seale, and so he and I to Glanville’s, and there he and I sat talking and playing with Mrs. Penington, whom we found undrest in her smocke and petticoats by the fireside, and there we drank and laughed, and she willingly suffered me to put my hand in her bosom very wantonly, and keep it there long. Which methought was very strange, and I looked upon myself as a man mightily deceived in a lady, for I could not have thought she could have suffered it, by her former discourse with me; so modest she seemed and I know not what. We staid here late, and so home after he and I had walked till past midnight, a bright moonshine, clear, cool night, before his door by the water, and so I home after one of the clock.
14th. Called up by break of day by Captain Cocke, by agreement, and he and I in his coach through Kent-streete (a sad place through the plague, people sitting sicke and with plaisters about them in the street begging) to Viner’s and Colvill’s about money business, and so to my house, and there I took £300 in order to the carrying it down to my Lord Sandwich in part of the money I am to pay for Captain Cocke by our agreement. So I took it down, and down I went to Greenwich to my office, and there sat busy till noon, and so home to dinner, and thence to the office again, and by and by to the Duke of Albemarle’s by water late, where I find he had remembered that I had appointed to come to him this day about money, which I excused not doing sooner; but I see, a dull fellow, as he is, do sometimes remember what another thinks he mindeth not. My business was about getting money of the East India Company; but, Lord! to see how the Duke himself magnifies himself in what he had done with the Company; and my Lord Craven what the King could have done without my Lord Duke, and a deale of stir, but most mightily what a brave fellow I am. Back by water, it raining hard, and so to the office, and stopped my going, as I intended, to the buoy of the Nore, and great reason I had to rejoice at it, for it proved the night of as great a storme as was almost ever remembered. Late at the office, and so home to bed. This day, calling at Mr. Rawlinson’s to know how all did there, I hear that my pretty grocer’s wife, Mrs. Beversham, over the way there, her husband is lately dead of the plague at Bow, which I am sorry for, for fear of losing her neighbourhood.
15th. Up and all the morning at the office, busy, and at noon to the King’s Head taverne, where all the Trinity House dined today, to choose a new Master in the room of Hurlestone, that is dead, and Captain Crispe is chosen. But, Lord! to see how Sir W. Batten governs all and tramples upon Hurlestone, but I am confident the Company will grow the worse for that man’s death, for now Batten, and in him a lazy, corrupt, doating rogue, will have all the sway there. After dinner who comes in but my Lady Batten, and a troop of a dozen women almost, and expected, as I found afterward, to be made mighty much of, but nobody minded them; but the best jest was, that when they saw themselves not regarded, they would go away, and it was horrible foule weather; and my Lady Batten walking through the dirty lane with new spicke and span white shoes, she dropped one of her galoshes in the dirt, where it stuck, and she forced to go home without one, at which she was horribly vexed, and I led her; and after vexing her a little more in mirth, I parted, and to Glanville’s, where I knew Sir John Robinson, Sir G. Smith, and Captain Cocke were gone, and there, with the company of Mrs. Penington, whose father, I hear, was one of the Court of justice, and died prisoner, of the stone, in the Tower, I made them, against their resolutions, to stay from houre to houre till it was almost midnight, and a furious, darke and rainy, and windy, stormy night, and, which was best, I, with drinking small beer, made them all drunk drinking wine, at which Sir John Robinson made great sport. But, they being gone, the lady and I very civilly sat an houre by the fireside observing the folly of this Robinson, that makes it his worke to praise himself, and all he say and do, like a heavy-headed coxcombe. The plague, blessed be God! is decreased 400; making the whole this week but 1300 and odd; for which the Lord be praised!
16th. Up, and fitted myself for my journey down to the fleete, and sending my money and boy down by water to Eriffe — [Erith]— I borrowed a horse of Mr. Boreman’s son, and after having sat an houre laughing with my Lady Batten and Mrs. Turner, and eat and drank with them, I took horse and rode to Eriffe, where, after making a little visit to Madam Williams, who did give me information of W. Howe’s having bought eight bags of precious stones taken from about the Dutch Vice–Admirall’s neck, of which there were eight dyamonds which cost him £60,000 sterling, in India, and hoped to have made £2000 here for them. And that this is told by one that sold him one of the bags, which hath nothing but rubys in it, which he had for 35s.; and that it will be proved he hath made £125 of one stone that he bought. This she desired, and I resolved I would give my Lord Sandwich notice of. So I on board my Lord Bruncker; and there he and Sir Edmund Pooly carried me down into the hold of the India shipp, and there did show me the greatest wealth lie in confusion that a man can see in the world. Pepper scattered through every chink, you trod upon it; and in cloves and nutmegs, I walked above the knees; whole rooms full. And silk in bales, and boxes of copper-plate, one of which I saw opened. Having seen this, which was as noble a sight as ever I saw in my life, I away on board the other ship in despair to get the pleasure-boat of the gentlemen there to carry me to the fleet. They were Mr. Ashburnham and Colonell Wyndham; but pleading the King’s business, they did presently agree I should have it. So I presently on board, and got under sail, and had a good bedd by the shift, of Wyndham’s; and so,
17th. Sailed all night, and got down to Quinbrough water, where all the great ships are now come, and there on board my Lord, and was soon received with great content. And after some little discourse, he and I on board Sir W. Pen; and there held a council of Warr about many wants of the fleete, but chiefly how to get slopps and victuals for the fleete now going out to convoy our Hambro’ ships, that have been so long detained for four or five months for want of convoy, which we did accommodate one way or other, and so, after much chatt, Sir W. Pen did give us a very good and neat dinner, and better, I think, than ever I did see at his owne house at home in my life, and so was the other I eat with him. After dinner much talke, and about other things, he and I about his money for his prize goods, wherein I did give him a cool answer, but so as we did not disagree in words much, and so let that fall, and so followed my Lord Sandwich, who was gone a little before me on board the Royall James. And there spent an houre, my Lord playing upon the gittarr, which he now commends above all musique in the world, because it is base enough for a single voice, and is so portable and manageable without much trouble. That being done, I got my Lord to be alone, and so I fell to acquaint him with W. Howe’s business, which he had before heard a little of from Captain Cocke, but made no great matter of it, but now he do, and resolves nothing less than to lay him by the heels, and seize on all he hath, saying that for this yeare or two he hath observed him so proud and conceited he could not endure him. But though I was not at all displeased with it, yet I prayed him to forbear doing anything therein till he heard from me again about it, and I had made more enquiry into the truth of it, which he agreed to. Then we fell to publique discourse, wherein was principally this: he cleared it to me beyond all doubt that Coventry is his enemy, and has been long so. So that I am over that, and my Lord told it me upon my proposal of a friendship between them, which he says is impossible, and methinks that my Lord’s displeasure about the report in print of the first fight was not of his making, but I perceive my Lord cannot forget it, nor the other think he can. I shewed him how advisable it were upon almost any terms for him to get quite off the sea employment. He answers me again that he agrees to it, but thinks the King will not let him go off: He tells me he lacks now my Lord Orrery to solicit it for him, who is very great with the King. As an infinite secret, my Lord tells me, the factions are high between the King and the Duke, and all the Court are in an uproare with their loose amours; the Duke of Yorke being in love desperately with Mrs. Stewart. Nay, that the Duchesse herself is fallen in love with her new Master of the Horse, one Harry Sidney, and another, Harry Savill. So that God knows what will be the end of it. And that the Duke is not so obsequious as he used to be, but very high of late; and would be glad to be in the head of an army as Generall; and that it is said that he do propose to go and command under the King of Spayne, in Flanders. That his amours to Mrs. Stewart are told the King. So that all is like to be nought among them. That he knows that the Duke of Yorke do give leave to have him spoken slightly of in his owne hearing, and doth not oppose it, and told me from what time he hath observed this to begin. So that upon the whole my Lord do concur to wish with all his heart that he could with any honour get from off the imployment. After he had given thanks to me for my kind visit and good counsel, on which he seems to set much by, I left him, and so away to my Bezan againe, and there to read in a pretty French book, “La Nouvelle Allegorique,” upon the strife between rhetorique and its enemies, very pleasant. So, after supper, to sleepe, and sayled all night, and came to Erith before break of day.
18th. About nine of the clock, I went on shore, there (calling by the way only to look upon my Lord Bruncker) to give Mrs. Williams an account of her matters, and so hired an ill-favoured horse, and away to Greenwich to my lodgings, where I hear how rude the souldiers have been in my absence, swearing what they would do with me, which troubled me, but, however, after eating a bit I to the office and there very late writing letters, and so home and to bed.
19th (Lord’s day). Up, and after being trimmed, alone by water to Erith, all the way with my song book singing of Mr. Lawes’s long recitative song in the beginning of his book. Being come there, on board my Lord Bruncker, I find Captain Cocke and other company, the lady not well, and mighty merry we were; Sir Edmund Pooly being very merry, and a right English gentleman, and one of the discontented Cavaliers, that think their loyalty is not considered. After dinner, all on shore to my Lady Williams, and there drank and talked; but, Lord! the most impertinent bold woman with my Lord that ever I did see. I did give her an account again of my business with my Lord touching W. Howe, and she did give me some more information about it, and examination taken about it, and so we parted and I took boat, and to Woolwich, where we found my wife not well of them, and I out of humour begun to dislike her paynting, the last things not pleasing me so well as the former, but I blame myself for my being so little complaisant. So without eating or drinking, there being no wine (which vexed me too), we walked with a lanthorne to Greenwich and eat something at his house, and so home to bed.
20th. Up before day, and wrote some letters to go to my Lord, among others that about W. Howe, which I believe will turn him out, and so took horse for Nonesuch, with two men with me, and the ways very bad, and the weather worse, for wind and rayne. But we got in good time thither, and I did get my tallys got ready, and thence, with as many as could go, to Yowell, and there dined very well, and I saw my Besse, a very well-favoured country lass there, and after being very merry and having spent a piece I took horse, and by another way met with a very good road, but it rained hard and blew, but got home very well. Here I find Mr. Deering come to trouble me about business, which I soon dispatched and parted, he telling me that Luellin hath been dead this fortnight, of the plague, in St. Martin’s Lane, which much surprised me.
21st. Up, and to the office, where all the morning doing business, and at noon home to dinner and quickly back again to the office, where very busy all the evening and late sent a long discourse to Mr. Coventry by his desire about the regulating of the method of our payment of bills in the Navy, which will be very good, though, it may be, he did ayme principally at striking at Sir G. Carteret. So weary but pleased with this business being over I home to supper and to bed.
22nd. Up, and by water to the Duke of Albemarle, and there did some little business, but most to shew myself, and mightily I am yet in his and Lord Craven’s books, and thence to the Swan and there drank and so down to the bridge, and so to the ‘Change, where spoke with many people, and about a great deale of business, which kept me late. I heard this day that Mr. Harrington is not dead of the plague, as we believed, at which I was very glad, but most of all, to hear that the plague is come very low; that is, the whole under 1,000, and the plague 600 and odd: and great hopes of a further decrease, because of this day’s being a very exceeding hard frost, and continues freezing. This day the first of the Oxford Gazettes come out, which is very pretty, full of newes, and no folly in it. Wrote by Williamson. Fear that our Hambro’ ships at last cannot go, because of the great frost, which we believe it is there, nor are our ships cleared at the Pillow [Pillau], which will keepe them there too all this winter, I fear. From the ‘Change, which is pretty full again, I to my office and there took some things, and so by water to my lodging at Greenwich and dined, and then to the office awhile and at night home to my lodgings, and took T. Willson and T. Hater with me, and there spent the evening till midnight discoursing and settling of our Victualling business, that thereby I might draw up instructions for the Surveyours and that we might be doing something to earne our money. This done I late to bed. Among other things it pleased me to have it demonstrated, that a Purser without professed cheating is a professed loser, twice as much as he gets.
23rd. Up betimes, and so, being trimmed, I to get papers ready against Sir H. Cholmly come to me by appointment, he being newly come over from Tangier. He did by and by come, and we settled all matters about his money, and he is a most satisfied man in me, and do declare his resolution to give me 200 per annum. It continuing to be a great frost, which gives us hope for a perfect cure of the plague, he and I to walk in the parke, and there discoursed with grief of the calamity of the times; how the King’s service is performed, and how Tangier is governed by a man, who, though honourable, yet do mind his ways of getting and little else compared, which will never make the place flourish. I brought him and had a good dinner for him, and there come by chance Captain Cuttance, who tells me how W. Howe is laid by the heels, and confined to the Royall Katharine, and his things all seized and how, also, for a quarrel, which indeed the other night my Lord told me, Captain Ferrers, having cut all over the back of another of my Lord’s servants, is parted from my Lord. I sent for little Mrs. Frances Tooker, and after they were gone I sat dallying with her an hour, doing what I would with my hands about her. And a very pretty creature it is. So in the evening to the office, where late writing letters, and at my lodging later writing for the last twelve days my Journall and so to bed. Great expectation what mischief more the French will do us, for we must fall out. We in extraordinary lacke of money and everything else to go to sea next year. My Lord Sandwich is gone from the fleete yesterday toward Oxford.
24th. Up, and after doing some business at the office, I to London, and there, in my way, at my old oyster shop in Gracious Streete, bought two barrels of my fine woman of the shop, who is alive after all the plague, which now is the first observation or inquiry we make at London concerning everybody we knew before it. So to the ‘Change, where very busy with several people, and mightily glad to see the ‘Change so full, and hopes of another abatement still the next week. Off the ‘Change I went home with Sir G. Smith to dinner, sending for one of my barrels of oysters, which were good, though come from Colchester, where the plague hath been so much. Here a very brave dinner, though no invitation; and, Lord! to see how I am treated, that come from so mean a beginning, is matter of wonder to me. But it is God’s great mercy to me, and His blessing upon my taking pains, and being punctual in my dealings. After dinner Captain Cocke and I about some business, and then with my other barrel of oysters home to Greenwich, sent them by water to Mrs. Penington, while he and I landed, and visited Mr. Evelyn, where most excellent discourse with him; among other things he showed me a ledger of a Treasurer of the Navy, his great grandfather, just 100 years old; which I seemed mighty fond of, and he did present me with it, which I take as a great rarity; and he hopes to find me more, older than it. He also shewed us several letters of the old Lord of Leicester’s, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, under the very hand-writing of Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Mary, Queen of Scotts; and others, very venerable names. But, Lord! how poorly, methinks, they wrote in those days, and in what plain uncut paper. Thence, Cocke having sent for his coach, we to Mrs. Penington, and there sat and talked and eat our oysters with great pleasure, and so home to my lodging late and to bed.
25th. Up, and busy at the office all day long, saving dinner time, and in the afternoon also very late at my office, and so home to bed. All our business is now about our Hambro fleete, whether it can go or no this yeare, the weather being set in frosty, and the whole stay being for want of Pilotts now, which I have wrote to the Trinity House about, but have so poor an account from them, that I did acquaint Sir W. Coventry with it this post.
26th (Lord’s day). Up, though very late abed, yet before day to dress myself to go toward Erith, which I would do by land, it being a horrible cold frost to go by water: so borrowed two horses of Mr. Howell and his friend, and with much ado set out, after my horses being frosted1 (which I know not what it means to this day), and my boy having lost one of my spurs and stockings, carrying them to the smith’s; but I borrowed a stocking, and so got up, and Mr. Tooker with me, and rode to Erith, and there on board my Lord Bruncker, met Sir W. Warren upon his business, among others, and did a great deale, Sir J. Minnes, as God would have it, not being there to hinder us with his impertinences. Business done, we to dinner very merry, there being there Sir Edmund Pooly, a very worthy gentleman. They are now come to the copper boxes in the prizes, and hope to have ended all this weeke. After dinner took leave, and on shore to Madam Williams, to give her an account of my Lord’s letter to me about Howe, who he has clapped by the heels on suspicion of having the jewells, and she did give me my Lord Bruncker’s examination of the fellow, that declares his having them; and so away, Sir W. Warren riding with me, and the way being very bad, that is, hard and slippery by reason of the frost, so we could not come to past Woolwich till night. However, having a great mind to have gone to the Duke of Albemarle, I endeavoured to have gone farther, but the night come on and no going, so I ‘light and sent my horse by Tooker, and returned on foot to my wife at Woolwich, where I found, as I had directed, a good dinner to be made against tomorrow, and invited guests in the yarde, meaning to be merry, in order to her taking leave, for she intends to come in a day or two to me for altogether. But here, they tell me, one of the houses behind them is infected, and I was fain to stand there a great while, to have their back-door opened, but they could not, having locked them fast, against any passing through, so was forced to pass by them again, close to their sicke beds, which they were removing out of the house, which troubled me; so I made them uninvite their guests, and to resolve of coming all away to me tomorrow, and I walked with a lanthorne, weary as I was, to Greenwich; but it was a fine walke, it being a hard frost, and so to Captain Cocke’s, but he I found had sent for me to come to him to Mrs. Penington’s, and there I went, and we were very merry, and supped, and Cocke being sleepy he went away betimes. I stayed alone talking and playing with her till past midnight, she suffering me whatever ‘ego voulais avec ses mamilles. . . . Much pleased with her company we parted, and I home to bed at past one, all people being in bed thinking I would have staid out of town all night.
1 Frosting means, having the horses’ shoes turned up by the smith.
27th. Up, and being to go to wait on the Duke of Albemarle, who is to go out of towne to Oxford tomorrow, and I being unwilling to go by water, it being bitter cold, walked it with my landlady’s little boy Christopher to Lambeth, it being a very fine walke and calling at half the way and drank, and so to the Duke of Albemarle, who is visited by every body against his going; and mighty kind to me: and upon my desiring his grace to give me his kind word to the Duke of Yorke, if any occasion there were of speaking of me, he told me he had reason to do so; for there had been nothing done in the Navy without me. His going, I hear, is upon putting the sea business into order, and, as some say, and people of his owne family, that he is agog to go to sea himself the next year. Here I met with a letter from Sir G. Carteret, who is come to Cranborne, that he will be here this afternoon and desires me to be with him. So the Duke would have me dine with him. So it being not dinner time, I to the Swan, and there found Sarah all alone in the house. . . . So away to the Duke of Albemarle again, and there to dinner, he most exceeding kind to me to the observation of all that are there. At dinner comes Sir G. Carteret and dines with us. After dinner a great deal alone with Sir G. Carteret, who tells me that my Lord hath received still worse and worse usage from some base people about the Court. But the King is very kind, and the Duke do not appear the contrary; and my Lord Chancellor swore to him “by —— I will not forsake my Lord of Sandwich.” Our next discourse is upon this Act for money, about which Sir G. Carteret comes to see what money can be got upon it. But none can be got, which pleases him the thoughts of, for, if the Exchequer should succeede in this, his office would faile. But I am apt to think at this time of hurry and plague and want of trade, no money will be got upon a new way which few understand. We walked, Cocke and I, through the Parke with him, and so we being to meet the Vice–Chamberlayne tomorrow at Nonesuch, to treat with Sir Robert Long about the same business, I into London, it being dark night, by a hackney coach; the first I have durst to go in many a day, and with great pain now for fear. But it being unsafe to go by water in the dark and frosty cold, and unable being weary with my morning walke to go on foot, this was my only way. Few people yet in the streets, nor shops open, here and there twenty in a place almost; though not above five or sixe o’clock at night. So to Viner’s, and there heard of Cocke, and found him at the Pope’s Head, drinking with Temple. I to them, where the Goldsmiths do decry the new Act, for money to be all brought into the Exchequer, and paid out thence, saying they will not advance one farthing upon it; and indeed it is their interest to say and do so. Thence Cocke and I to Sir G. Smith’s, it being now night, and there up to his chamber and sat talking, and I barbing —[shaving]— against tomorrow; and anon, at nine at night, comes to us Sir G. Smith and the Lieutenant of the Tower, and there they sat talking and drinking till past midnight, and mighty merry we were, the Lieutenant of the Tower being in a mighty vein of singing, and he hath a very good eare and strong voice, but no manner of skill. Sir G. Smith shewed me his lady’s closett, which was very fine; and, after being very merry, here I lay in a noble chamber, and mighty highly treated, the first time I have lain in London a long time.
28th. Up before day, and Cocke and I took a hackney coach appointed with four horses to take us up, and so carried us over London Bridge. But there, thinking of some business, I did ‘light at the foot of the bridge, and by helpe of a candle at a stall, where some payers were at work, I wrote a letter to Mr. Hater, and never knew so great an instance of the usefulness of carrying pen and ink and wax about one: so we, the way being very bad, to Nonesuch, and thence to Sir Robert Longs house; a fine place, and dinner time ere we got thither; but we had breakfasted a little at Mr. Gawden’s, he being out of towne though, and there borrowed Dr. Taylor’s sermons, and is a most excellent booke and worth my buying, where had a very good dinner, and curiously dressed, and here a couple of ladies, kinswomen of his, not handsome though, but rich, that knew me by report of The. Turner, and mighty merry we were. After dinner to talk of our business, the Act of Parliament, where in short I see Sir R. Long mighty fierce in the great good qualities of it. But in that and many other things he was stiff in, I think without much judgement, or the judgement I expected from him, and already they have evaded the necessity of bringing people into the Exchequer with their bills to be paid there. Sir G. Carteret is titched —[fretful, tetchy]— at this, yet resolves with me to make the best use we can of this Act for the King, but all our care, we think, will not render it as it should be. He did again here alone discourse with me about my Lord, and is himself strongly for my Lord’s not going to sea, which I am glad to hear and did confirm him in it. He tells me too that he talked last night with the Duke of Albemarle about my Lord Sandwich, by the by making him sensible that it is his interest to preserve his old friends, which he confessed he had reason to do, for he knows that ill offices were doing of him, and that he honoured my Lord Sandwich with all his heart. After this discourse we parted, and all of us broke up and we parted. Captain Cocke and I through Wandsworth. Drank at Sir Allen Broderick’s, a great friend and comrade of Cocke’s, whom he values above the world for a witty companion, and I believe he is so. So to Fox–Hall and there took boat, and down to the Old Swan, and thence to Lumbard Streete, it being darke night, and thence to the Tower. Took boat and down to Greenwich, Cocke and I, he home and I to the office, where did a little business, and then to my lodgings, where my wife is come, and I am well pleased with it, only much trouble in those lodgings we have, the mistresse of the house being so deadly dear in everything we have; so that we do resolve to remove home soon as we know how the plague goes this weeke, which we hope will be a good decrease. So to bed.
29th. Up, my wife and I talking how to dispose of our goods, and resolved upon sending our two mayds Alce (who has been a day or two at Woolwich with my wife, thinking to have had a feast there) and Susan home. So my wife after dinner did take them to London with some goods, and I in the afternoon after doing other business did go also by agreement to meet Captain Cocke and from him to Sir Roger Cuttance, about the money due from Cocke to him for the late prize goods, wherein Sir Roger is troubled that he hath not payment as agreed, and the other, that he must pay without being secured in the quiett possession of them, but some accommodation to both, I think, will be found. But Cocke do tell me that several have begged so much of the King to be discovered out of stolen prize goods and so I am afeard we shall hereafter have trouble, therefore I will get myself free of them as soon as I can and my money paid. Thence home to my house, calling my wife, where the poor wretch is putting things in a way to be ready for our coming home, and so by water together to Greenwich, and so spent the night together.
30th. Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon comes Sir Thomas Allen, and I made him dine with me, and very friendly he is, and a good man, I think, but one that professes he loves to get and to save. He dined with my wife and me and Mrs. Barbary, whom my wife brings along with her from Woolwich for as long as she stays here. In the afternoon to the office, and there very late writing letters and then home, my wife and people sitting up for me, and after supper to bed. Great joy we have this week in the weekly Bill, it being come to 544 in all, and but 333 of the plague; so that we are encouraged to get to London soon as we can. And my father writes as great news of joy to them, that he saw Yorke’s waggon go again this week to London, and was full of passengers; and tells me that my aunt Bell hath been dead of the plague these seven weeks.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53