December 1st. This morning to the office, full of resolution to spend the whole day at business, and there, among other things, I did agree with Poynter to be my clerke for my Victualling business, and so all alone all the day long shut up in my little closett at my office, drawing up instructions, which I should long since have done for my Surveyours of the Ports, Sir W. Coventry desiring much to have them, and he might well have expected them long since. After dinner to it again, and at night had long discourse with Gibson, who is for Yarmouth, who makes me understand so much of the victualling business and the pursers’ trade, that I am ashamed I should go about the concerning myself in a business which I understand so very very little of, and made me distrust all I had been doing today. So I did lay it by till tomorrow morning to think of it afresh, and so home by promise to my wife, to have mirth there. So we had our neighbours, little Miss Tooker and Mrs. Daniels, to dance, and after supper I to bed, and left them merry below, which they did not part from till two or three in the morning.
2nd. Up, and discoursing with my wife, who is resolved to go to London for good and all this day, we did agree upon giving Mr. Sheldon £10, and Mrs. Barbary two pieces, and so I left her to go down thither to fetch away the rest of the things and pay him the money, and so I to the office, where very busy setting Mr. Poynter to write out my last night’s worke, which pleases me this day, but yet it is pretty to reflect how much I am out of confidence with what I had done upon Gibson’s discourse with me, for fear I should have done it sillily, but Poynter likes them, and Mr. Hater also, but yet I am afeard lest they should do it out of flattery, so conscious I am of my ignorance. Dined with my wife at noon and took leave of her, she being to go to London, as I said, for altogether, and I to the office, busy till past one in the morning.
3rd. It being Lord’s day, up and dressed and to church, thinking to have sat with Sir James Bunce to hear his daughter and her husband sing, that are so much commended, but was prevented by being invited into Coll. Cleggatt’s pew. However, there I sat, near Mr. Laneare, with whom I spoke, and in sight, by chance, and very near my fat brown beauty of our Parish, the rich merchant’s lady, a very noble woman, and Madame Pierce. A good sermon of Mr. Plume’s, and so to Captain Cocke’s, and there dined with him, and Colonell Wyndham, a worthy gentleman, whose wife was nurse to the present King, and one that while she lived governed him and every thing else, as Cocke says, as a minister of state; the old King putting mighty weight and trust upon her. They talked much of matters of State and persons, and particularly how my Lord Barkeley hath all along been a fortunate, though a passionate and but weak man as to policy; but as a kinsman brought in and promoted by my Lord of St. Alban’s, and one that is the greatest vapourer in the world, this Colonell Wyndham says; and one to whom only, with Jacke Asheburnel and Colonel Legg, the King’s removal to the Isle of Wight from Hampton Court was communicated; and (though betrayed by their knavery, or at best by their ignorance, insomuch that they have all solemnly charged one another with their failures therein, and have been at daggers-drawing publickly about it), yet now none greater friends in the world. We dined, and in comes Mrs. Owen, a kinswoman of my Lord Bruncker’s, about getting a man discharged, which I did for her, and by and by Mrs. Pierce to speake with me (and Mary my wife’s late maid, now gone to her) about her husband’s business of money, and she tells us how she prevented Captain Fisher the other day in his purchase of all her husband’s fine goods, as pearls and silks, that he had seized in an Apothecary’s house, a friend of theirs, but she got in and broke them open and removed all before Captain Fisher came the next day to fetch them away, at which he is starke mad. She went home, and I to my lodgings. At night by agreement I fetched her again with Cocke’s coach, and he come and we sat and talked together, thinking to have had Mrs. Coleman and my songsters, her husband and Laneare, but they failed me. So we to supper, and as merry as was sufficient, and my pretty little Miss with me; and so after supper walked [with] Pierce home, and so back and to bed. But, Lord! I stand admiring of the wittinesse of her little boy, which is one of the wittiest boys, but most confident that ever I did see of a child of 9 years old or under in all my life, or indeed one twice his age almost, but all for roguish wit. So to bed.
4th. Several people to me about business, among others Captain Taylor, intended Storekeeper for Harwich, whom I did give some assistance in his dispatch by lending him money. So out and by water to London and to the ‘Change, and up and down about several businesses, and after the observing (God forgive me!) one or two of my neighbour Jason’s women come to towne, which did please me very well, home to my house at the office, where my wife had got a dinner for me: and it was a joyfull thing for us to meet here, for which God be praised! Here was her brother come to see her, and speake with me about business. It seems my recommending of him hath not only obtained his presently being admitted into the Duke of Albemarle’s guards, and present pay, but also by the Duke’s and Sir Philip Howard’s direction, to be put as a right-hand man, and other marks of special respect, at which I am very glad, partly for him, and partly to see that I am reckoned something in my recommendations, but wish he may carry himself that I may receive no disgrace by him. So to the ‘Change. Up and down again in the evening about business and to meet Captain Cocke, who waited for Mrs. Pierce (with whom he is mightily stricken), to receive and hide for her her rich goods she saved the other day from seizure. Upon the ‘Change today Colvill tells me, from Oxford, that the King in person hath justified my Lord Sandwich to the highest degree; and is right in his favour to the uttermost. So late by water home, taking a barrel of oysters with me, and at Greenwich went and sat with Madam Penington. . . . and made her undress her head and sit dishevilled all night sporting till two in the morning, and so away to my lodging and so to bed. Over-fasting all the morning hath filled me mightily with wind, and nothing else hath done it, that I fear a fit of the cholique.
5th. Up and to the office, where very busy about several businesses all the morning. At noon empty, yet without stomach to dinner, having spoiled myself with fasting yesterday, and so filled with wind. In the afternoon by water, calling Mr. Stevens (who is with great trouble paying of seamen of their tickets at Deptford) and to London, to look for Captain Kingdom whom we found at home about 5 o’clock. I tried him, and he promised to follow us presently to the East India House to sign papers to-night in order to the settling the business of my receiving money for Tangier. We went and stopt the officer there to shut up. He made us stay above an houre. I sent for him; he comes, but was not found at home, but abroad on other business, and brings a paper saying that he had been this houre looking for the Lord Ashley’s order. When he looks for it, that is not the paper. He would go again to look; kept us waiting till almost 8 at night. Then was I to go home by water this weather and darke, and to write letters by the post, besides keeping the East India officers there so late. I sent for him again; at last he comes, and says he cannot find the paper (which is a pretty thing to lay orders for £100,000 no better). I was angry; he told me I ought to give people ease at night, and all business was to be done by day. I answered him sharply, that I did [not] make, nor any honest man, any difference between night and day in the King’s business, and this was such, and my Lord Ashley should know. He answered me short. I told him I knew the time (meaning the Rump’s time) when he did other men’s business with more diligence. He cried, “Nay, say not so,” and stopped his mouth, not one word after. We then did our business without the order in less than eight minutes, which he made me to no purpose stay above two hours for the doing. This made him mad, and so we exchanged notes, and I had notes for £14,000 of the Treasurer of the Company, and so away and by water to Greenwich and wrote my letters, and so home late to bed.
6th. Up betimes, it being fast-day; and by water to the Duke of Albemarle, who come to towne from Oxford last night. He is mighty brisk, and very kind to me, and asks my advice principally in every thing. He surprises me with the news that my Lord Sandwich goes Embassador to Spayne speedily; though I know not whence this arises, yet I am heartily glad of it. He did give me several directions what to do, and so I home by water again and to church a little, thinking to have met Mrs. Pierce in order to our meeting at night; but she not there, I home and dined, and comes presently by appointment my wife. I spent the afternoon upon a song of Solyman’s words to Roxalana that I have set, and so with my wife walked and Mercer to Mrs. Pierce’s, where Captain Rolt and Mrs. Knipp, Mr. Coleman and his wife, and Laneare, Mrs. Worshipp and her singing daughter, met; and by and by unexpectedly comes Mr. Pierce from Oxford. Here the best company for musique I ever was in, in my life, and wish I could live and die in it, both for musique and the face of Mrs. Pierce, and my wife and Knipp, who is pretty enough; but the most excellent, mad-humoured thing, and sings the noblest that ever I heard in my life, and Rolt, with her, some things together most excellently. I spent the night in extasy almost; and, having invited them to my house a day or two hence, we broke up, Pierce having told me that he is told how the King hath done my Lord Sandwich all the right imaginable, by shewing him his countenance before all the world on every occasion, to remove thoughts of discontent; and that he is to go Embassador, and that the Duke of Yorke is made generall of all forces by land and sea, and the Duke of Albemarle, lieutenant-generall. Whether the two latter alterations be so, true or no, he knows not, but he is told so; but my Lord is in full favour with the King. So all home and to bed.
7th. Up and to the office, where very busy all day. Sir G. Carteret’s letter tells me my Lord Sandwich is, as I was told, declared Embassador Extraordinary to Spayne, and to go with all speed away, and that his enemies have done him as much good as he could wish. At noon late to dinner, and after dinner spent till night with Mr. Gibson and Hater discoursing and making myself more fully [know] the trade of pursers, and what fittest to be done in their business, and so to the office till midnight writing letters, and so home, and after supper with my wife about one o’clock to bed.
8th. Up, well pleased in my mind about my Lord Sandwich, about whom I shall know more anon from Sir G. Carteret, who will be in towne, and also that the Hambrough [ships] after all difficulties are got out. God send them good speed! So, after being trimmed, I by water to London, to the Navy office, there to give order to my mayde to buy things to send down to Greenwich for supper to-night; and I also to buy other things, as oysters, and lemons, 6d. per piece, and oranges, 3d. That done I to the ‘Change, and among many other things, especially for getting of my Tangier money, I by appointment met Mr. Gawden, and he and I to the Pope’s Head Taverne, and there he did give me alone a very pretty dinner. Our business to talk of his matters and his supply of money, which was necessary for us to talk on before the Duke of Albemarle this afternoon and Sir G. Carteret. After that I offered now to pay him the £4000 remaining of his £8000 for Tangier, which he took with great kindnesse, and prayed me most frankly to give him a note for £3500 and accept the other £500 for myself, which in good earnest was against my judgement to do, for [I] expected about £100 and no more, but however he would have me do it, and ownes very great obligations to me, and the man indeed I love, and he deserves it. This put me into great joy, though with a little stay to it till we have time to settle it, for for so great a sum I was fearfull any accident might by death or otherwise defeate me, having not now time to change papers. So we rose, and by water to White Hall, where we found Sir G. Carteret with the Duke, and also Sir G. Downing, whom I had not seen in many years before. He greeted me very kindly, and I him; though methinks I am touched, that it should be said that he was my master heretofore, as doubtless he will. So to talk of our Navy business, and particularly money business, of which there is little hopes of any present supply upon this new Act, the goldsmiths being here (and Alderman Backewell newly come from Flanders), and none offering any. So we rose without doing more than my stating the case of the Victualler, that whereas there is due to him on the last year’s declaration £80,000, and the charge of this year’s amounts to £420,000 and odd, he must be supplied between this and the end of January with £150,000, and the remainder in 40 weeks by weekly payments, or else he cannot go through his business. Thence after some discourse with Sir G. Carteret, who, though he tells me that he is glad of my Lord’s being made Embassador, and that it is the greatest courtesy his enemies could do him; yet I find he is not heartily merry upon it, and that it was no design of my Lord’s friends, but the prevalence of his enemies, and that the Duke of Albemarle and Prince Rupert are like to go to sea together the next year. I pray God, when my Lord is gone, they do not fall hard upon the Vice–Chamberlain, being alone, and in so envious a place, though by this late Act and the instructions now a brewing for our office as to method of payments will destroy the profit of his place of itself without more trouble. Thence by water down to Greenwich, and there found all my company come; that is, Mrs. Knipp, and an ill, melancholy, jealous-looking fellow, her husband, that spoke not a word to us all the night, Pierce and his wife, and Rolt, Mrs. Worshipp and her daughter, Coleman and his wife, and Laneare, and, to make us perfectly happy, there comes by chance to towne Mr. Hill to see us. Most excellent musique we had in abundance, and a good supper, dancing, and a pleasant scene of Mrs. Knipp’s rising sicke from table, but whispered me it was for some hard word or other her husband gave her just now when she laughed and was more merry than ordinary. But we got her in humour again, and mighty merry; spending the night, till two in the morning, with most complete content as ever in my life, it being increased by my day’s work with Gawden. Then broke up, and we to bed, Mr. Hill and I, whom I love more and more, and he us.
9th. Called up betimes by my Lord Bruncker, who is come to towne from his long water worke at Erith last night, to go with him to the Duke of Albemarle, which by his coach I did. Our discourse upon the ill posture of the times through lacke of money. At the Duke’s did some business, and I believe he was not pleased to see all the Duke’s discourse and applications to me and everybody else. Discoursed also with Sir G. Carteret about office business, but no money in view. Here my Lord and I staid and dined, the Vice–Chamberlain taking his leave. At table the Duchesse, a damned ill-looked woman, complaining of her Lord’s going to sea the next year, said these cursed words: “If my Lord had been a coward he had gone to sea no more: it may be then he might have been excused, and made an Embassador” (meaning my Lord Sandwich).1 This made me mad, and I believed she perceived my countenance change, and blushed herself very much. I was in hopes others had not minded it, but my Lord Bruncker, after we were come away, took notice of the words to me with displeasure. Thence after dinner away by water, calling and taking leave of Sir G. Carteret, whom we found going through at White Hall, and so over to Lambeth and took coach and home, and so to the office, where late writing letters, and then home to Mr. Hill, and sang, among other things, my song of “Beauty retire,” which he likes, only excepts against two notes in the base, but likes the whole very well. So late to bed.
1 When Lord Sandwich was away a new commander had to be chosen, and rank and long service pointed out Prince Rupert for the office, it having been decided that the heir presumptive should be kept at home. It was thought, however, that the same confidence could not be placed in the prince’s discretion as in his courage, and therefore the Duke of Albemarle was induced to take a joint command with him, “and so make one admiral of two persons” (see Lister’s “Life of Clarendon,” vol. ii., pp. 360,361).
10th (Lord’s day). Lay long talking, Hill and I, with great pleasure, and then up, and being ready walked to Cocke’s for some newes, but heard none, only they would have us stay their dinner, and sent for my wife, who come, and very merry we were, there being Sir Edmund Pooly and Mr. Evelyn. Before we had dined comes Mr. Andrews, whom we had sent for to Bow, and so after dinner home, and there we sang some things, but not with much pleasure, Mr. Andrews being in so great haste to go home, his wife looking every hour to be brought to bed. He gone Mr. Hill and I continued our musique, one thing after another, late till supper, and so to bed with great pleasure.
11th. Lay long with great pleasure talking. So I left him and to London to the ‘Change, and after discoursed with several people about business; met Mr. Gawden at the Pope’s Head, where he brought Mr. Lewes and T. Willson to discourse about the Victualling business, and the alterations of the pursers’ trade, for something must be done to secure the King a little better, and yet that they may have wherewith to live. After dinner I took him aside, and perfected to my great joy my business with him, wherein he deals most nobly in giving me his hand for the £4,000, and would take my note but for £3500. This is a great blessing, and God make me thankfull truly for it. With him till it was darke putting in writing our discourse about victualling, and so parted, and I to Viner’s, and there evened all accounts, and took up my notes setting all straight between us to this day. The like to Colvill, and paying several bills due from me on the Tangier account. Then late met Cocke and Temple at the Pope’s Head, and there had good discourse with Temple, who tells me that of the £80,000 advanced already by the East India Company, they have had £5000 out of their hands. He discoursed largely of the quantity of money coyned, and what may be thought the real sum of money in the kingdom. He told me, too, as an instance of the thrift used in the King’s business, that the tools and the interest of the money-using to the King for the money he borrowed while the new invention of the mill money was perfected, cost him £35,000, and in mirthe tells me that the new fashion money is good for nothing but to help the Prince if he can secretly get copper plates shut up in silver it shall never be discovered, at least not in his age. Thence Cocke and I by water, he home and I home, and there sat with Mr. Hill and my wife supping, talking and singing till midnight, and then to bed. [That I may remember it the more particularly, I thought fit to insert this additional memorandum of Temple’s discourse this night with me, which I took in writing from his mouth. Before the Harp and Crosse money was cried down, he and his fellow goldsmiths did make some particular trials what proportion that money bore to the old King’s money, and they found that generally it come to, one with another, about £25 in every £100. Of this money there was, upon the calling of it in, £650,000 at least brought into the Tower; and from thence he computes that the whole money of England must be full £6,250,000. But for all this believes that there is above £30,000,000; he supposing that about the King’s coming in (when he begun to observe the quantity of the new money) people begun to be fearfull of this money’s being cried down, and so picked it out and set it a-going as fast as they could, to be rid of it; and he thinks £30,000,000 the rather, because if there were but £16,250,000 the King having £2,000,000 every year, would have the whole money of the kingdom in his hands in eight years. He tells me about £350,000 sterling was coined out of the French money, the proceeds of Dunkirke; so that, with what was coined of the Crosse money, there is new coined about £1,000,000 besides the gold, which is guessed at £500,000. He tells me, that, though the King did deposit the French money in pawn all the while for the £350,000 he was forced to borrow thereupon till the tools could be made for the new Minting in the present form, yet the interest he paid for that time came to £35,000, Viner having to his knowledge £10,000 for the use of £100,000 of it.]—(The passage between brackets is from a piece of paper inserted in this place.)
12th. Up, and to the office, where my Lord Bruncker met, and among other things did finish a contract with Cocke for hemp, by which I hope to get my money due from him paid presently. At noon home to dinner, only eating a bit, and with much kindness taking leave of Mr. Hill who goes away today, and so I by water saving the tide through Bridge and to Sir G. Downing by appointment at Charing Crosse, who did at first mightily please me with informing me thoroughly the virtue and force of this Act, and indeed it is ten times better than ever I thought could have been said of it, but when he come to impose upon me that without more ado I must get by my credit people to serve in goods and lend money upon it and none could do it better than I, and the King should give me thanks particularly in it, and I could not get him to excuse me, but I must come to him though to no purpose on Saturday, and that he is sure I will bring him some bargains or other made upon this Act, it vexed me more than all the pleasure I took before, for I find he will be troublesome to me in it, if I will let him have as much of my time as he would have. So late I took leave and in the cold (the weather setting in cold) home to the office and, after my letters being wrote, home to supper and to bed, my wife being also gone to London.
13th. Up betimes and finished my journall for five days back, and then after being ready to my Lord Bruncker by appointment, there to order the disposing of some money that we have come into the office, and here to my great content I did get a bill of imprest to Captain Cocke to pay myself in part of what is coming to me from him for my Lord Sandwich’s satisfaction and my owne, and also another payment or two wherein I am concerned, and having done that did go to Mr. Pierce’s, where he and his wife made me drink some tea, and so he and I by water together to London. Here at a taverne in Cornhill he and I did agree upon my delivering up to him a bill of Captain Cocke’s, put into my hand for Pierce’s use upon evening of reckonings about the prize goods, and so away to the ‘Change, and there hear the ill news, to my great and all our great trouble, that the plague is encreased again this week, notwithstanding there hath been a day or two great frosts; but we hope it is only the effects of the late close warm weather, and if the frosts continue the next week, may fall again; but the town do thicken so much with people, that it is much if the plague do not grow again upon us. Off the ‘Change invited by Sheriff Hooker, who keeps the poorest, mean, dirty table in a dirty house that ever I did see any Sheriff of London; and a plain, ordinary, silly man I think he is, but rich; only his son, Mr. Lethulier, I like, for a pretty, civil, understanding merchant; and the more by much, because he happens to be husband to our noble, fat, brave lady in our parish, that I and my wife admire so. Thence away to the Pope’s Head Taverne, and there met first with Captain Cocke, and dispatched my business with him to my content, he being ready to sign his bill of imprest of £2,000, and gives it me in part of his payment to me, which glads my heart. He being gone, comes Sir W. Warren, who advised with me about several things about getting money, and £100 I shall presently have of him. We advised about a business of insurance, wherein something may be saved to him and got to me, and to that end he and I did take a coach at night and to the Cockepitt, there to get the Duke of Albemarle’s advice for our insuring some of our Sounde goods coming home under Harman’s convoy, but he proved shy of doing it without knowledge of the Duke of Yorke, so we back again and calling at my house to see my wife, who is well; though my great trouble is that our poor little parish is the greatest number this weeke in all the city within the walls, having six, from one the last weeke; and so by water to Greenwich leaving Sir W. Warren at home, and I straight to my Lord Bruncker, it being late, and concluded upon insuring something and to send to that purpose to Sir W. Warren to come to us tomorrow morning. So I home and, my mind in great rest, to bed.
14th. Up, and to the office a while with my Lord Bruncker, where we directed Sir W. Warren in the business of the insurance as I desired, and ended some other businesses of his, and so at noon I to London, but the ‘Change was done before I got thither, so I to the Pope’s Head Taverne, and there find Mr. Gawden and Captain Beckford and Nick Osborne going to dinner, and I dined with them and very exceeding merry we were as I had [not] been a great while, and dinner being done I to the East India House and there had an assignment on Mr. Temple for the £2,000 of Cocke’s, which joyed my heart; so, having seen my wife in the way, I home by water and to write my letters and then home to bed.
15th. Up, and spent all the morning with my Surveyors of the Ports for the Victualling, and there read to them what instructions I had provided for them and discoursed largely much of our business and the business of the pursers. I left them to dine with my people, and to my Lord Bruncker’s where I met with a great good dinner and Sir T. Teddiman, with whom my Lord and I were to discourse about the bringing of W. Howe to a tryall for his jewells, and there till almost night, and so away toward the office and in my way met with Sir James Bunce; and after asking what newes, he cried “Ah!” says he (I know [not] whether in earnest or jest), “this is the time for you,” says he, “that were for Oliver heretofore; you are full of employment, and we poor Cavaliers sit still and can get nothing;” which was a pretty reproach, I thought, but answered nothing to it, for fear of making it worse. So away and I to see Mrs. Penington, but company being to come to her, I staid not, but to the office a little and so home, and after supper to bed.
16th. Up, and met at the office; Sir W. Batten with us, who come from Portsmouth on Monday last, and hath not been with us to see or discourse with us about any business till this day. At noon to dinner, Sir W. Warren with me on boat, and thence I by water, it being a fearfull cold, snowing day to Westminster to White Hall stairs and thence to Sir G. Downing, to whom I brought the happy newes of my having contracted, as we did this day with Sir W. Warren, for a ship’s lading of Norway goods here and another at Harwich to the value of above £3,000, which is the first that hath been got upon the New Act, and he is overjoyed with it and tells me he will do me all the right to Court about it in the world, and I am glad I have it to write to Sir W. Coventry to-night. He would fain have me come in £200 to lend upon the Act, but I desire to be excused in doing that, it being to little purpose for us that relate to the King to do it, for the sum gets the King no courtesy nor credit. So I parted from him and walked to Westminster Hall, where Sir W. Warren, who come along with me, staid for me, and there I did see Betty Howlet come after the sicknesse to the Hall. Had not opportunity to salute her, as I desired, but was glad to see her and a very pretty wench she is. Thence back, landing at the Old Swan and taking boat again at Billingsgate, and setting ashore we home and I to the office. . . . and there wrote my letters, and so home to supper and to bed, it being a great frost. Newes is come today of our Sounde fleete being come, but I do not know what Sir W. Warren hath insured.
17th (Lord’s day). After being trimmed word brought me that Cutler’s coach is, by appointment, come to the Isle of Doggs for me, and so I over the water; and in his coach to Hackney, a very fine, cold, clear, frosty day. At his house I find him with a plain little dinner, good wine, and welcome. He is still a prating man; and the more I know him, the less I find in him. A pretty house he hath here indeed, of his owne building. His old mother was an object at dinner that made me not like it; and, after dinner, to visit his sicke wife I did not also take much joy in, but very friendly he is to me, not for any kindnesse I think he hath to any man, but thinking me, I perceive, a man whose friendship is to be looked after. After dinner back again and to Deptford to Mr. Evelyn’s, who was not within, but I had appointed my cozen Thos. Pepys of Hatcham to meet me there, to discourse about getting his £1000 of my Lord Sandwich, having now an opportunity of my having above that sum in my hands of his. I found this a dull fellow still in all his discourse, but in this he is ready enough to embrace what I counsel him to, which is, to write importunately to my Lord and me about it and I will look after it. I do again and again declare myself a man unfit to be security for such a sum. He walked with me as far as Deptford upper towne, being mighty respectfull to me, and there parted, he telling me that this towne is still very bad of the plague. I walked to Greenwich first, to make a short visit to my Lord Bruncker, and next to Mrs. Penington and spent all the evening with her with the same freedom I used to have and very pleasant company. With her till one of the clock in the morning and past, and so to my lodging to bed, and
18th. Betimes, up, it being a fine frost, and walked it to Redriffe, calling and drinking at Half-way house, thinking, indeed, to have overtaken some of the people of our house, the women, who were to walk the same walke, but I could not. So to London, and there visited my wife, and was a little displeased to find she is so forward all of a spurt to make much of her brother and sister since my last kindnesse to him in getting him a place, but all ended well presently, and I to the ‘Change and up and down to Kingdon and the goldsmith’s to meet Mr. Stephens, and did get all my money matters most excellently cleared to my complete satisfaction. Passing over Cornhill I spied young Mrs. Daniel and Sarah, my landlady’s daughter, who are come, as I expected, to towne, and did say they spied me and I dogged them to St. Martin’s, where I passed by them being shy, and walked down as low as Ducke Lane and enquired for some Spanish books, and so back again and they were gone. So to the ‘Change, hoping to see them in the streete, and missing them, went back again thither and back to the ‘Change, but no sight of them, so went after my business again, and, though late, was sent to by Sir W. Warren (who heard where I was) to intreat me to come dine with him, hearing that I lacked a dinner, at the Pope’s Head; and there with Mr. Hinton, the goldsmith, and others, very merry; but, Lord! to see how Dr. Hinton come in with a gallant or two from Court, and do so call “Cozen” Mr. Hinton, the goldsmith, but I that know him to be a beggar and a knave, did make great sport in my mind at it.1 After dinner Sir W. Warren and I alone in another room a little while talking about business, and so parted, and I hence, my mind full of content in my day’s worke, home by water to Greenwich, the river beginning to be very full of ice, so as I was a little frighted, but got home well, it being darke. So having no mind to do any business, went home to my lodgings, and there got little Mrs. Tooker, and Mrs. Daniel, the daughter, and Sarah to my chamber to cards and sup with me, when in comes Mr. Pierce to me, who tells me how W. Howe has been examined on shipboard by my Lord Bruncker today, and others, and that he has charged him out of envy with sending goods under my Lord’s seale and in my Lord Bruncker’s name, thereby to get them safe passage, which, he tells me, is false, but that he did use my name to that purpose, and hath acknowledged it to my Lord Bruncker, but do also confess to me that one parcel he thinks he did use my Lord Bruncker’s name, which do vexe me mightily that my name should be brought in question about such things, though I did not say much to him of my discontent till I have spoke with my Lord Bruncker about it. So he being gone, being to go to Oxford tomorrow, we to cards again late, and so broke up, I having great pleasure with my little girle, Mrs. Tooker.
1 John Hinton, M.D., a strong royalist, who attended Henrietta Maria in her confinement at Exeter when she gave birth to the Princess Henrietta. He was knighted by Charles II., and appointed physician in ordinary to the king and queen. His knighthood was a reward for having procured a private advance of money from his kinsman, the goldsmith, to enable the Duke of Albemarle to pay the army (see “Memorial to King Charles II. from Sir John Hinton, A.D. 1679,” printed in Ellis’s “Original Letters,” 3rd series, vol. iv., p 296).
19th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon by agreement comes Hatcham Pepys to dine with me. I thought to have had him to Sir J. Minnes to a good venison pasty with the rest of my fellows, being invited, but seeing much company I went away with him and had a good dinner at home. He did give me letters he hath wrote to my Lord and Moore about my Lord’s money to get it paid to my cozen, which I will make good use of. I made mighty much of him, but a sorry dull fellow he is, fit for nothing that is ingenious, nor is there a turd of kindnesse or service to be had from him. So I shall neglect him if I could get but him satisfied about this money that I may be out of bonds for my Lord to him. To see that this fellow could desire me to helpe him to some employment, if it were but of £100 per annum: when he is not worth less than, I believe, £20,000. He gone, I to Sir J. Minnes, and thence with my Lord Bruncker on board the Bezan to examine W. Howe again, who I find upon this tryall one of much more wit and ingenuity in his answers than ever I expected, he being very cunning and discreet and well spoken in them. I said little to him or concerning him; but, Lord! to see how he writes to me a-days, and styles me “My Honour.” So much is a man subjected and dejected under afflictions as to flatter me in that manner on this occasion. Back with my Lord to Sir J. Minnes, where I left him and the rest of a great deale of company, and so I to my office, where late writing letters and then home to bed.
20th. Up, and was trimmed, but not time enough to save my Lord Bruncker’s coach or Sir J. Minnes’s, and so was fain to walk to Lambeth on foot, but it was a very fine frosty walke, and great pleasure in it, but troublesome getting over the River for ice. I to the Duke of Albemarle, whither my brethren were all come, but I was not too late. There we sat in discourse upon our Navy business an houre, and thence in my Lord Bruncker’s coach alone, he walking before (while I staid awhile talking with Sir G. Downing about the Act, in which he is horrid troublesome) to the Old Exchange. Thence I took Sir Ellis Layton to Captain Cocke’s, where my Lord Bruncker and Lady Williams dine, and we all mighty merry; but Sir Ellis Layton one of the best companions at a meale in the world. After dinner I to the Exchange to see whether my pretty seamstress be come again or no, and I find she is, so I to her, saluted her over her counter in the open Exchange above, and mightily joyed to see her, poor pretty woman! I must confess I think her a great beauty. After laying out a little money there for two pair of thread stockings, cost 8s., I to Lumbard Streete to see some business to-night there at the goldsmith’s, among others paying in £1258 to Viner for my Lord Sandwich’s use upon Cocke’s account. I was called by my Lord Bruncker in his coach with his mistresse, and Mr. Cottle the lawyer, our acquaintance at Greenwich, and so home to Greenwich, and thence I to Mrs. Penington, and had a supper from the King’s Head for her, and there mighty merry and free as I used to be with her, and at last, late, I did pray her to undress herself into her nightgowne, that I might see how to have her picture drawne carelessly (for she is mighty proud of that conceit), and I would walk without in the streete till she had done. So I did walk forth, and whether I made too many turns or no in the darke cold frosty night between the two walls up to the Parke gate I know not, but she was gone to bed when I come again to the house, upon pretence of leaving some papers there, which I did on purpose by her consent. So I away home, and was there sat up for to be spoken with my young Mrs. Daniel, to pray me to speake for her husband to be a Lieutenant. I had the opportunity here of kissing her again and again, and did answer that I would be very willing to do him any kindnesse, and so parted, and I to bed, exceedingly pleased in all my matters of money this month or two, it having pleased God to bless me with several opportunities of good sums, and that I have them in effect all very well paid, or in my power to have. But two things trouble me; one, the sicknesse is increased above 80 this weeke (though in my owne parish not one has died, though six the last weeke); the other, most of all, which is, that I have so complexed an account for these last two months for variety of layings out upon Tangier, occasions and variety of gettings that I have not made even with myself now these 3 or 4 months, which do trouble me mightily, finding that I shall hardly ever come to understand them thoroughly again, as I used to do my accounts when I was at home.
21st. At the office all the morning. At noon all of us dined at Captain Cocke’s at a good chine of beef, and other good meat; but, being all frost-bitten, was most of it unroast; but very merry, and a good dish of fowle we dressed ourselves. Mr. Evelyn there, in very good humour. All the afternoon till night pleasant, and then I took my leave of them and to the office, where I wrote my letters, and away home, my head full of business and some trouble for my letting my accounts go so far that I have made an oathe this night for the drinking no wine, &c., on such penalties till I have passed my accounts and cleared all. Coming home and going to bed, the boy tells me his sister Daniel has provided me a supper of little birds killed by her husband, and I made her sup with me, and after supper were alone a great while, and I had the pleasure of her lips, she being a pretty woman, and one whom a great belly becomes as well as ever I saw any. She gone, I to bed. This day I was come to by Mrs. Burrows, of Westminster, Lieutenant Burrows (lately dead) his wife, a most pretty woman and my old acquaintance; I had a kiss or two of her, and a most modest woman she is.
22nd. Up betimes and to my Lord Bruncker to consider the late instructions sent us for the method of our signing bills hereafter and paying them. By and by, by agreement, comes Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, and then to read them publicly and consider of putting them in execution. About this all the morning, and, it appearing necessary for the Controller to have another Clerke, I recommended Poynter to him, which he accepts, and I by that means rid of one that I fear would not have been fit for my turne, though he writes very well. At noon comes Mr. Hill to towne, and finds me out here, and brings Mr. Houbland, who met him here. So I was compelled to leave my Lord and his dinner and company, and with them to the Beare, and dined with them and their brothers, of which Hill had his and the other two of his, and mighty merry and very fine company they are, and I glad to see them. After dinner I forced to take leave of them by being called upon by Mr. Andrews, I having sent for him, and by a fine glosse did bring him to desire tallys for what orders I have to pay him and his company for Tangier victualls, and I by that means cleared to myself £210 coming to me upon their two orders, which is also a noble addition to my late profits, which have been very considerable of late, but how great I know not till I come to cast up my accounts, which burdens my mind that it should be so backward, but I am resolved to settle to nothing till I have done it. He gone, I to my Lord Bruncker’s, and there spent the evening by my desire in seeing his Lordship open to pieces and make up again his watch, thereby being taught what I never knew before; and it is a thing very well worth my having seen, and am mightily pleased and satisfied with it. So I sat talking with him till late at night, somewhat vexed at a snappish answer Madam Williams did give me to herself, upon my speaking a free word to her in mirthe, calling her a mad jade. She answered, we were not so well acquainted yet. But I was more at a letter from my Lord Duke of Albemarle today, pressing us to continue our meetings for all Christmas, which, though every body intended not to have done, yet I am concluded in it, who intended nothing else. But I see it is necessary that I do make often visits to my Lord Duke, which nothing shall hinder after I have evened my accounts, and now the river is frozen I know not how to get to him. Thence to my lodging, making up my Journall for 8 or 9 days, and so my mind being eased of it, I to supper and to bed. The weather hath been frosty these eight or nine days, and so we hope for an abatement of the plague the next weeke, or else God have mercy upon us! for the plague will certainly continue the next year if it do not.
23rd. At my office all the morning and home to dinner, my head full of business, and there my wife finds me unexpectedly. But I not being at leisure to stay or talk with her, she went down by coach to Woolwich, thinking to fetch Mrs. Barbary to carry her to London to keep her Christmas with her, and I to the office. This day one come to me with four great turkies, as a present from Mr. Deane, at Harwich, three of which my wife carried in the evening home with her to London in her coach (Mrs. Barbary not being to be got so suddenly, but will come to her the next week), and I at my office late, and then to my lodgings to bed.
24th (Sunday). Up betimes, to my Lord Duke of Albemarle by water, and after some talke with him about business of the office with great content, and so back again and to dinner, my landlady and her daughters with me, and had mince-pies, and very merry at a mischance her young son had in tearing of his new coate quite down the outside of his sleeve in the whole cloth, one of the strangest mishaps that ever I saw in my life. Then to church, and placed myself in the Parson’s pew under the pulpit, to hear Mrs. Chamberlain in the next pew sing, who is daughter to Sir James Bunch, of whom I have heard much, and indeed she sings very finely, and from church met with Sir W. Warren and he and I walked together talking about his and my businesses, getting of money as fairly as we can, and, having set him part of his way home, I walked to my Lord Bruncker, whom I heard was at Alderman Hooker’s, hoping to see and salute Mrs. Lethulier, whom I did see in passing, but no opportunity of beginning acquaintance, but a very noble lady she is, however the silly alderman got her. Here we sat talking a great while, Sir The. Biddulph and Mr. Vaughan, a son-inlaw of Alderman Hooker’s. Hence with my Lord Bruncker home and sat a little with him and so home to bed.
25th (Christmas-day). To church in the morning, and there saw a wedding in the church, which I have not seen many a day; and the young people so merry one with another, and strange to see what delight we married people have to see these poor fools decoyed into our condition, every man and woman gazing and smiling at them. Here I saw again my beauty Lethulier. Thence to my Lord Bruncker’s by invitation and dined there, and so home to look over and settle my papers, both of my accounts private, and those of Tangier, which I have let go so long that it were impossible for any soul, had I died, to understand them, or ever come to any good end in them. I hope God will never suffer me to come to that disorder again.
26th. Up, and to the office, where Sir J. Minnes and my Lord Bruncker and I met, to give our directions to the Commanders of all the ships in the river to bring in lists of their ships’ companies, with entries, discharges, &c., all the last voyage, where young Seymour, among 20 that stood bare, stood with his hat on, a proud, saucy young man. Thence with them to Mr. Cuttle’s, being invited, and dined nobly and neatly; with a very pretty house and a fine turret at top, with winding stairs and the finest prospect I know about all Greenwich, save the top of the hill, and yet in some respects better than that. Here I also saw some fine writing worke and flourishing of Mr. Hore, he one that I knew long ago, an acquaintance of Mr. Tomson’s at Westminster, that is this man’s clerk. It is the story of the several Archbishops of Canterbury, engrossed in vellum, to hang up in Canterbury Cathedrall in tables, in lieu of the old ones, which are almost worn out. Thence to the office a while, and so to Captain Cocke’s and there talked, and home to look over my papers, and so to bed.
27th. Up, and with Cocke, by coach to London, there home to my wife, and angry about her desiring a mayde yet, before the plague is quite over. It seems Mercer is troubled that she hath not one under her, but I will not venture my family by increasing it before it be safe. Thence about many businesses, particularly with Sir W. Warren on the ‘Change, and he and I dined together and settled our Tangier matters, wherein I get above £200 presently. We dined together at the Pope’s Head to do this, and thence to the goldsmiths, I to examine the state of my matters there too, and so with him to my house, but my wife was gone abroad to Mrs. Mercer’s, so we took boat, and it being darke and the thaw having broke the ice, but not carried it quite away, the boat did pass through so much of it all along, and that with the crackling and noise that it made me fearfull indeed. So I forced the watermen to land us on Redriffe side, and so walked together till Sir W. Warren and I parted near his house and thence I walked quite over the fields home by light of linke, one of my watermen carrying it, and I reading by the light of it, it being a very fine, clear, dry night. So to Captain Cocke’s, and there sat and talked, especially with his Counsellor, about his prize goods, that hath done him good turne, being of the company with Captain Fisher, his name Godderson; here I supped and so home to bed, with great content that the plague is decreased to 152, the whole being but 330.
28th. Up and to the office, and thence with a great deal of business in my head, dined alone with Cocke. So home alone strictly about my accounts, wherein I made a good beginning, and so, after letters wrote by the post, to bed.
29th. Up betimes, and all day long within doors upon my accounts, publique and private, and find the ill effect of letting them go so long without evening, that no soul could have ever understood them but myself, and I with much ado. But, however, my regularity in all I did and spent do helpe me, and I hope to find them well. Late at them and to bed.
30th. Up and to the office, at noon home to dinner, and all the afternoon to my accounts again, and there find myself, to my great joy, a great deal worth above £4000, for which the Lord be praised! and is principally occasioned by my getting £500 of Cocke, for my profit in his bargains of prize goods, and from Mr. Gawden’s making me a present of £500 more, when I paid him 8000 for Tangier. So to my office to write letters, then to my accounts again, and so to bed, being in great ease of mind.
31st (Lord’s day). All the morning in my chamber, writing fair the state of my Tangier accounts, and so dined at home. In the afternoon to the Duke of Albemarle and thence back again by water, and so to my chamber to finish the entry of my accounts and to think of the business I am next to do, which is the stating my thoughts and putting in order my collections about the business of pursers, to see where the fault of our present constitution relating to them lies and what to propose to mend it, and upon this late and with my head full of this business to bed. Thus ends this year, to my great joy, in this manner. I have raised my estate from £1300 in this year to £4400. I have got myself greater interest, I think, by my diligence, and my employments encreased by that of Treasurer for Tangier, and Surveyour of the Victualls. It is true we have gone through great melancholy because of the great plague, and I put to great charges by it, by keeping my family long at Woolwich, and myself and another part of my family, my clerks, at my charge at Greenwich, and a mayde at London; but I hope the King will give us some satisfaction for that. But now the plague is abated almost to nothing, and I intending to get to London as fast as I can. My family, that is my wife and maids, having been there these two or three weeks. The Dutch war goes on very ill, by reason of lack of money; having none to hope for, all being put into disorder by a new Act that is made as an experiment to bring credit to the Exchequer, for goods and money to be advanced upon the credit of that Act. I have never lived so merrily (besides that I never got so much) as I have done this plague time, by my Lord Bruncker’s and Captain Cocke’s good company, and the acquaintance of Mrs. Knipp, Coleman and her husband, and Mr. Laneare, and great store of dancings we have had at my cost (which I was willing to indulge myself and wife) at my lodgings. The great evil of this year, and the only one indeed, is the fall of my Lord of Sandwich, whose mistake about the prizes hath undone him, I believe, as to interest at Court; though sent (for a little palliating it) Embassador into Spayne, which he is now fitting himself for. But the Duke of Albemarle goes with the Prince to sea this next year, and my Lord very meanly spoken of; and, indeed, his miscarriage about the prize goods is not to be excused, to suffer a company of rogues to go away with ten times as much as himself, and the blame of all to be deservedly laid upon him.1 My whole family hath been well all this while, and all my friends I know of, saving my aunt Bell, who is dead, and some children of my cozen Sarah’s, of the plague. But many of such as I know very well, dead; yet, to our great joy, the town fills apace, and shops begin to be open again. Pray God continue the plague’s decrease! for that keeps the Court away from the place of business, and so all goes to rack as to publick matters, they at this distance not thinking of it.
1 According to Granville Penn (“Memorials of Sir W. Penn,” ii. 488 n.) £2000 went to Lord Sandwich and £8000 among eight others.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53