March 1st. Up, and to the office and there all the morning sitting and at noon to dinner with my Lord Bruncker, Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen at the White Horse in Lumbard Streete, where, God forgive us! good sport with Captain Cocke’s having his mayde sicke of the plague a day or two ago and sent to the pest house, where she now is, but he will not say anything but that she is well. But blessed be God! a good Bill this week we have; being but 237 in all, and 42 of the plague, and of them but six in the City: though my Lord Bruneker says, that these six are most of them in new parishes where they were not the last week. Here was with us also Mr. Williamson, who the more I know, the more I honour. Hence I slipt after dinner without notice home and there close to my business at my office till twelve at night, having with great comfort returned to my business by some fresh vowes in addition to my former, and-more severe, and a great joy it is to me to see myself in a good disposition to business. So home to supper and to my Journall and to bed.
2nd. Up, as I have of late resolved before 7 in the morning and to the office, where all the morning, among other things setting my wife and Mercer with much pleasure to worke upon the ruling of some paper for the making of books for pursers, which will require a great deale of worke and they will earn a good deale of money by it, the hopes of which makes them worke mighty hard. At noon dined and to the office again, and about 4 o’clock took coach and to my Lord Treasurer’s and thence to Sir Philip Warwicke’s new house by appointment, there to spend an houre in talking and we were together above an hour, and very good discourse about the state of the King as to money, and particularly in the point of the Navy. He endeavours hard to come to a good understanding of Sir G. Carteret’s accounts, and by his discourse I find Sir G. Carteret must be brought to it, and what a madman he is that he do not do it of himself, for the King expects the Parliament will call upon him for his promise of giving an account of the money, and he will be ready for it, which cannot be, I am sure, without Sir G. Carteret’s accounts be better understood than they are. He seems to have a great esteem of me and my opinion and thoughts of things. After we had spent an houre thus discoursing and vexed that we do but grope so in the darke as we do, because the people, that should enlighten us, do not helpe us, we resolved fitting some things for another meeting, and so broke up. He shewed me his house, which is yet all unhung, but will be a very noble house indeed. Thence by coach calling at my bookseller’s and carried home £10 worth of books, all, I hope, I shall buy a great while. There by appointment find Mr. Hill come to sup and take his last leave of me, and by and by in comes Mr. James Houbland to bear us company, a man I love mightily, and will not lose his acquaintance. He told me in my eare this night what he and his brothers have resolved to give me, which is £200, for helping them out with two or three ships. A good sum and that which I did believe they would give me, and I did expect little less. Here we talked and very good company till late, and then took leave of one another, and indeed I am heartily sorry for Mr. Hill’s leaving us, for he is a very worthy gentleman, as most I know. God give him a good voyage and successe in his business. Thus we parted and my wife and I to bed, heavy for the losse of our friend.
3rd. All the morning at the office, at noon to the Old James, being sent for, and there dined with Sir William Rider, Cutler, and others, to make an end with two Scots Maisters about the freight of two ships of my Lord Rutherford’s. After a small dinner and a little discourse I away to the Crowne behind the Exchange to Sir W. Pen, Captain Cocke and Fen, about getting a bill of Cocke’s paid to Pen, in part for the East India goods he sold us. Here Sir W. Pen did give me the reason in my eare of his importunity for money, for that he is now to marry his daughter. God send her better fortune than her father deserves I should wish him for a false rogue. Thence by coach to Hales’s, and there saw my wife sit; and I do like her picture mightily, and very like it will be, and a brave piece of work. But he do complain that her nose hath cost him as much work as another’s face, and he hath done it finely indeed. Thence home and late at the office, and then to bed.
4th (Lord’s day). And all day at my Tangier and private accounts, having neglected them since Christmas, which I hope I shall never do again; for I find the inconvenience of it, it being ten times the labour to remember and settle things. But I thank God I did it at last, and brought them all fine and right; and I am, I thinke, by all appears to me (and I am sure I cannot be £10 wrong), worth above £4600, for which the Lord be praised! being the biggest sum I ever was worth yet.
5th. I was at it till past two o’clock on Monday morning, and then read my vowes, and to bed with great joy and content that I have brought my things to so good a settlement, and now having my mind fixed to follow my business again and sensible of Sir W. Coventry’s jealousies, I doubt, concerning me, partly my siding with Sir G. Carteret, and partly that indeed I have been silent in my business of the office a great while, and given but little account of myself and least of all to him, having not made him one visitt since he came to towne from Oxford, I am resolved to fall hard to it again, and fetch up the time and interest I have lost or am in a fair way of doing it. Up about eight o’clock, being called up by several people, among others by Mr. Moone, with whom I went to Lumbard Streete to Colvill, and so back again and in my chamber he and I did end all our businesses together of accounts for money upon bills of Exchange, and am pleased to find myself reputed a man of business and method, as he do give me out to be. To the ‘Change at noon and so home to dinner. Newes for certain of the King of Denmarke’s declaring for the Dutch, and resolution to assist them. To the office, and there all the afternoon. In the evening come Mr. James and brother Houblons to agree upon share parties for their ships, and did acquaint me that they had paid my messenger, whom I sent this afternoon for it, £200 for my friendship in the business, which pleases me mightily. They being gone I forth late to Sir H. Viner’s to take a receipt of them for the £200 lodged for me there with them, and so back home, and after supper to bed.
6th. Up betimes and did much business before office time. Then to the office and there till noon and so home to dinner and to the office again till night. In the evening being at Sir W. Batten’s, stepped in (for I have not used to go thither a good while), I find my Lord Bruncker and Mrs. Williams, and they would of their own accord, though I had never obliged them (nor my wife neither) with one visit for many of theirs, go see my house and my wife; which I showed them and made them welcome with wine and China oranges (now a great rarity since the war, none to be had). There being also Captain Cocke and Mrs. Turner, who had never been in my house since I come to the office before, and Mrs. Carcasse, wife of Mr. Carcasses. My house happened to be mighty clean, and did me great honour, and they mightily pleased with it. They gone I to the office and did some business, and then home to supper and to bed. My mind troubled through a doubtfulness of my having incurred Sir W. Coventry’s displeasure by not having waited on him since his coming to towne, which is a mighty faulte and that I can bear the fear of the bad effects of till I have been with him, which shall be tomorrow, God willing. So to bed.
7th. Up betimes, and to St. James’s, thinking Mr. Coventry had lain there; but he do not, but at White Hall; so thither I went and had as good a time as heart could wish, and after an houre in his chamber about publique business he and I walked up, and the Duke being gone abroad we walked an houre in the Matted Gallery: he of himself begun to discourse of the unhappy differences between him and my Lord of Sandwich, and from the beginning to the end did run through all passages wherein my Lord hath, at any time, gathered any dissatisfaction, and cleared himself to me most honourably; and in truth, I do believe he do as he says. I did afterwards purge myself of all partiality in the business of Sir G. Carteret, (whose story Sir W. Coventry did also run over,) that I do mind the King’s interest, notwithstanding my relation to him; all which he declares he firmly believes, and assures me he hath the same kindnesse and opinion of me as ever. And when I said I was jealous of myself, that having now come to such an income as I am, by his favour, I should not be found to do as much service as might deserve it; he did assure me, he thinks it not too much for me, but thinks I deserve it as much as any man in England. All this discourse did cheer my heart, and sets me right again, after a good deal of melancholy, out of fears of his disinclination to me, upon the differences with my Lord Sandwich and Sir G. Carteret; but I am satisfied throughly, and so went away quite another man, and by the grace of God will never lose it again by my folly in not visiting and writing to him, as I used heretofore to do. Thence by coach to the Temple, and it being a holyday, a fast-day, there ‘light, and took water, being invited, and down to Greenwich, to Captain Cocke’s, where dined, he and Lord Bruncker, and Matt. Wren, Boltele, and Major Cooper, who is also a very pretty companion; but they all drink hard, and, after dinner, to gaming at cards. So I provoked my Lord to be gone, and he and I to Mr. Cottle’s and met Mrs. Williams (without whom he cannot stir out of doors) and there took coach and away home. They carry me to London and set me down at the Temple, where my mind changed and I home, and to writing and heare my boy play on the lute, and a turne with my wife pleasantly in the garden by moonshine, my heart being in great peace, and so home to supper and to bed. The King and Duke are to go tomorrow to Audly End, in order to the seeing and buying of it of my Lord Suffolke.
8th. Up betimes and to the office, where all the morning sitting and did discover three or four fresh instances of Sir W. Pen’s old cheating dissembling tricks, he being as false a fellow as ever was born. Thence with Sir. W. Batten and Lord Bruncker to the White Horse in Lumbard Streete to dine with Captain Cocke, upon particular business of canvas to buy for the King, and here by chance I saw the mistresse of the house I have heard much of, and a very pretty woman she is indeed and her husband the simplest looked fellow and old that ever I saw. After dinner I took coach and away to Hales’s, where my wife is sitting; and, indeed, her face and necke, which are now finished, do so please me that I am not myself almost, nor was not all the night after in writing of my letters, in consideration of the fine picture that I shall be master of. Thence home and to the office, where very late, and so home to supper and to bed.
9th. Up, and being ready, to the Cockpitt to make a visit to the Duke of Albemarle, and to my great joy find him the same man to me that [he has been] heretofore, which I was in great doubt of, through my negligence in not visiting of him a great while; and having now set all to rights there, I am in mighty ease in my mind and I think shall never suffer matters to run so far backward again as I have done of late, with reference to my neglecting him and Sir W. Coventry. Thence by water down to Deptford, where I met my Lord Bruncker and Sir W. Batten by agreement, and to measuring Mr. Castle’s new third-rate ship, which is to be called the Defyance.1 And here I had my end in saving the King some money and getting myself some experience in knowing how they do measure ships. Thence I left them and walked to Redriffe, and there taking water was overtaken by them in their boat, and so they would have me in with them to Castle’s house, where my Lady Batten and Madam Williams were, and there dined and a deale of doings. I had a good dinner and counterfeit mirthe and pleasure with them, but had but little, thinking how I neglected my business. Anon, all home to Sir W. Batten’s and there Mrs. Knipp coming we did spend the evening together very merry. She and I singing, and, God forgive me! I do still see that my nature is not to be quite conquered, but will esteem pleasure above all things, though yet in the middle of it, it has reluctances after my business, which is neglected by my following my pleasure. However musique and women I cannot but give way to, whatever my business is. They being gone I to the office a while and so home to supper and to bed.
1 William Castell wrote to the Navy Commissioners on February 17th, 1665–66, to inform them that the “Defiance” had gone to Longreach, and again, on February 22nd, to say that Mr. Grey had no masts large enough for the new ship. Sir William Batten on March 29th asked for the consent of the Board to bring the “Defiance” into dock (” Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1665–66, pp. 252, 262, 324).
10th. Up, and to the office, and there busy sitting till noon. I find at home Mrs. Pierce and Knipp come to dine with me. We were mighty merry; and, after dinner, I carried them and my wife out by coach to the New Exchange, and there I did give my valentine, Mrs. Pierce, a dozen payre of gloves, and a payre of silke stockings, and Knipp for company’s sake, though my wife had, by my consent, laid out 20s. upon her the other day, six payre of gloves. Thence to Hales’s to have seen our pictures, but could not get in, he being abroad, and so to the Cakehouse hard by, and there sat in the coach with great pleasure, and eat some fine cakes and so carried them to Pierces and away home. It is a mighty fine witty boy, Mrs. Pierces little boy. Thence home and to the office, where late writing letters and leaving a great deale to do on Monday, I home to supper and to bed. The truth is, I do indulge myself a little the more in pleasure, knowing that this is the proper age of my life to do it; and out of my observation that most men that do thrive in the world, do forget to take pleasure during the time that they are getting their estate, but reserve that till they have got one, and then it is too late for them to enjoy it with any pleasure.
11th (Lord’s day). Up, and by water to White Hall, there met Mr. Coventry coming out, going along with the Commissioners of the Ordnance to the water side to take barge, they being to go down to the Hope. I returned with them as far as the Tower in their barge speaking with Sir W. Coventry and so home and to church, and at noon dined and then to my chamber, where with great pleasure about one business or other till late, and so to supper and to bed.
12th. Up betimes, and called on by abundance of people about business, and then away by water to Westminster, and there to the Exchequer about some business, and thence by coach calling at several places, to the Old Exchange, and there did much business, and so homeward and bought a silver salt for my ordinary table to use, and so home to dinner, and after dinner comes my uncle and aunt Wight, the latter I have not seen since the plague; a silly, froward, ugly woman she is. We made mighty much of them, and she talks mightily of her fear of the sicknesse, and so a deale of tittle tattle and I left them and to my office where late, and so home to supper and to bed. This day I hear my Uncle Talbot Pepys died the last week, and was buried. All the news now is, that Sir Jeremy Smith is at Cales —[Cadiz]— with his fleete, and Mings in the Elve. —[Elbe]— The King is come this noon to towne from Audly End, with the Duke of Yorke and a fine train of gentlemen.
13th. Up betimes, and to the office, where busy sitting all the morning, and I begin to find a little convenience by holding up my head to Sir W. Pen, for he is come to be more supple. At noon to dinner, and then to the office again, where mighty business, doing a great deale till midnight and then home to supper and to bed. The plague encreased this week 29 from 28, though the total fallen from 238 to 207, which do never a whit please me.
14th. Up, and met by 6 o’clock in my chamber Mr. Povy (from White Hall) about evening reckonings between him and me, on our Tangier business, and at it hard till toward eight o’clock, and he then carried me in his chariot to White Hall, where by and by my fellow officers met me, and we had a meeting before the Duke. Thence with my Lord Bruncker towards London, and in our way called in Covent Garden, and took in Sir John (formerly Dr.) Baber; who hath this humour that he will not enter into discourse while any stranger is in company, till he be told who he is that seems a stranger to him. This he did declare openly to me, and asked my Lord who I was, giving this reason, that he has been inconvenienced by being too free in discourse till he knew who all the company were. Thence to Guildhall (in our way taking in Dr. Wilkins), and there my Lord and I had full and large discourse with Sir Thomas Player, the Chamberlain of the City (a man I have much heard of for his credit and punctuality in the City, and on that score I had a desire to be made known to him), about the credit of our tallys, which are lodged there for security to such as should lend money thereon to the use of the Navy. And I had great satisfaction therein: and the truth is, I find all our matters of credit to be in an ill condition. Thence, I being in a little haste walked before and to the ‘Change a little and then home, and presently to Trinity house to dinner, where Captain Cox made his Elder Brother’s dinner. But it seemed to me a very poor sorry dinner. I having many things in my head rose, when my belly was full, though the dinner not half done, and home and there to do some business, and by and by out of doors and met Mr. Povy coming to me by appointment, but it being a little too late, I took a little pride in the streete not to go back with him, but prayed him to come another time, and I away to Kate Joyce’s, thinking to have spoke to her husband about Pall’s business, but a stranger, the Welsh Dr. Powell, being there I forebore and went away and so to Hales’s, to see my wife’s picture, which I like mighty well, and there had the pleasure to see how suddenly he draws the Heavens, laying a darke ground and then lightening it when and where he will. Thence to walk all alone in the fields behind Grayes Inne, making an end of reading over my dear “Faber fortunae,” of my Lord Bacon’s, and thence, it growing dark, took two or three wanton turns about the idle places and lanes about Drury Lane, but to no satisfaction, but a great fear of the plague among them, and so anon I walked by invitation to Mrs. Pierces, where I find much good company, that is to say, Mrs. Pierce, my wife, Mrs. Worshipp and her daughter, and Harris the player, and Knipp, and Mercer, and Mrs. Barbary Sheldon, who is come this day to spend a weeke with my wife; and here with musique we danced, and sung and supped, and then to sing and dance till past one in the morning; and much mirthe with Sir Anthony Apsley and one Colonell Sidney, who lodge in the house; and above all, they are mightily taken with Mrs. Knipp. Hence weary and sleepy we broke up, and I and my company homeward by coach and to bed.
15th. Lay till it was full time to rise, it being eight o’clock, and so to the office and there sat till almost three o’clock and then to dinner, and after dinner (my wife and Mercer and Mrs. Barbary being gone to Hales’s before), I and my cozen Anthony Joyce, who come on purpose to dinner with me, and he and I to discourse of our proposition of marriage between Pall and Harman, and upon discourse he and I to Harman’s house and took him to a taverne hard by, and we to discourse of our business, and I offered £500, and he declares most ingenuously that his trade is not to be trusted on, that he however needs no money, but would have her money bestowed on her, which I like well, he saying that he would adventure 2 or £300 with her. I like him as a most good-natured, and discreet man, and, I believe, very cunning. We come to this conclusion for us to meete one another the next weeke, and then we hope to come to some end, for I did declare myself well satisfied with the match. Thence to Hales’s, where I met my wife and people; and do find the picture, above all things, a most pretty picture, and mighty like my wife; and I asked him his price: he says £14, and the truth is, I think he do deserve it. Thence toward London and home, and I to the office, where I did much, and betimes to bed, having had of late so little sleep, and there slept
16th. Till 7 this morning. Up and all the morning about the Victualler’s business, passing his account. At noon to the ‘Change, and did several businesses, and thence to the Crowne behind the ‘Change and dined with my Lord Bruncker and Captain Cocke and Fenn, and Madam Williams, who without question must be my Lord’s wife, and else she could not follow him wherever he goes and kisse and use him publiquely as she do. Thence to the office, where Sir W. Pen and I made an end of the Victualler’s business, and thence abroad about several businesses, and so in the evening back again, and anon called on by Mr. Povy, and he and I staid together in my chamber till 12 at night ending our reckonings and giving him tallys for all I was to pay him and so parted, and I to make good my Journall for two or three days, and begun it till I come to the other side, where I have scratched so much, for, for want of sleep, I begun to write idle and from the purpose. So forced to breake off, and to bed. —[There are several erasures in the original MS.
17th. Up, and to finish my Journall, which I had not sense enough the last night to make an end of, and thence to the office, where very busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner and presently with my wife out to Hales’s, where I am still infinitely pleased with my wife’s picture. I paid him £14 for it, and 25s. for the frame, and I think it is not a whit too deare for so good a picture. It is not yet quite finished and dry, so as to be fit to bring home yet. This day I begun to sit, and he will make me, I think, a very fine picture. He promises it shall be as good as my wife’s, and I sit to have it full of shadows, and do almost break my neck looking over my shoulder to make the posture for him to work by. Thence home and to the office, and so home having a great cold, and so my wife and Mrs. Barbary have very great ones, we are at a loss how we all come by it together, so to bed, drinking butter-ale. This day my W. Hewer comes from Portsmouth and gives me an instance of another piece of knavery of Sir W. Pen, who wrote to Commissioner Middleton, that it was my negligence the other day he was not acquainted, as the board directed, with our clerks coming down to the pay. But I need no new arguments to teach me that he is a false rogue to me and all the world besides.
18th (Lord’s day). Up and my cold better, so to church, and then home to dinner, and so walked out to St. James’s Church, thinking to have seen faire Mrs. Butler, but could not, she not being there, nor, I believe, lives thereabouts now. So walked to Westminster, very fine fair dry weather, but all cry out for lack of rain. To Herbert’s and drank, and thence to Mrs. Martin’s, and did what I would with her; her husband going for some wine for us. The poor man I do think would take pains if I can get him a purser’s place, which I will endeavour. She tells me as a secret that Betty Howlet of the Hall, my little sweetheart, that I used to call my second wife, is married to a younger son of Mr. Michell’s (his elder brother, who should have had her, being dead this plague), at which I am glad, and that they are to live nearer me in Thames Streete, by the Old Swan. Thence by coach home and to my chamber about some accounts, and so to bed. Sir Christopher Mings is come home from Hambro without anything done, saving bringing home some pipestaves for us.
19th. Up betimes and upon a meeting extraordinary at the office most of the morning with Lord Bruncker, Sir W. Coventry, and Sir W. Pen, upon the business of the accounts. Where now we have got almost as much as we would have we begin to lay all on the Controller, and I fear he will be run down with it, for he is every day less and less capable of doing business. Thence with my Lord Bruncker, Sir W. Coventry to the ticket office, to see in what little order things are there, and there it is a shame to see how the King is served. Thence to the Chamberlain of London, and satisfy ourselves more particularly how much credit we have there, which proves very little. Thence to Sir Robert Long’s, absent. About much the same business, but have not the satisfaction we would have there neither. So Sir W. Coventry parted, and my Lord and I to Mrs. Williams’s, and there I saw her closett, where indeed a great many fine things there are, but the woman I hate. Here we dined, and Sir J. Minnes come to us, and after dinner we walked to the King’s play-house, all in dirt, they being altering of the stage to make it wider. But God knows when they will begin to act again; but my business here was to see the inside of the stage and all the tiring-rooms and machines; and, indeed, it was a sight worthy seeing. But to see their clothes, and the various sorts, and what a mixture of things there was; here a wooden-leg, there a ruff, here a hobbyhorse, there a crown, would make a man split himself to see with laughing; and particularly Lacy’s wardrobe, and Shotrell’s. But then again, to think how fine they show on the stage by candle-light, and how poor things they are to look now too near hand, is not pleasant at all. The machines are fine, and the paintings very pretty. Thence mightily satisfied in my curiosity I away with my Lord to see him at her house again, and so take leave and by coach home and to the office, and thence sent for to Sir G. Carteret by and by to the Broad Streete, where he and I walked two or three hours till it was quite darke in his gallery talking of his affairs, wherein I assure him all will do well, and did give him (with great liberty, which he accepted kindly) my advice to deny the Board nothing they would aske about his accounts, but rather call upon them to know whether there was anything more they desired, or was wanting. But our great discourse and serious reflections was upon the bad state of the kingdom in general, through want of money and good conduct, which we fear will undo all. Thence mightily satisfied with this good fortune of this discourse with him I home, and there walked in the darke till 10 o’clock at night in the garden with Sir W. Warren, talking of many things belonging to us particularly, and I hope to get something considerably by him before the year be over. He gives me good advice of circumspection in my place, which I am now in great mind to improve; for I think our office stands on very ticklish terms, the Parliament likely to sit shortly and likely to be asked more money, and we able to give a very bad account of the expence of what we have done with what they did give before. Besides, the turning out the prize officers may be an example for the King giving us up to the Parliament’s pleasure as easily, for we deserve it as much. Besides, Sir G. Carteret did tell me tonight how my Lord Bruncker himself, whose good-will I could have depended as much on as any, did himself to him take notice of the many places I have; and though I was a painful man, yet the Navy was enough for any man to go through with in his owne single place there, which much troubles me, and shall yet provoke me to more and more care and diligence than ever. Thence home to supper, where I find my wife and Mrs. Barbary with great colds, as I also at this time have. This day by letter from my father he propounds a match in the country for Pall, which pleased me well, of one that hath seven score and odd pounds land per annum in possession, and expects £1000 in money by the death of an old aunt. He hath neither father, mother, sister, nor brother, but demands £600 down, and £100 on the birth of first child, which I had some inclination to stretch to. He is kinsman to, and lives with, Mr. Phillips, but my wife tells me he is a drunken, ill-favoured, ill-bred country fellow, which sets me off of it again, and I will go on with Harman. So after supper to bed.
20th. Up and to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon dined in haste, and so my wife, Mrs. Barbary, Mercer, and I by coach to Hales’s, where I find my wife’s picture now perfectly finished in all respects, and a beautiful picture it is, as almost I ever saw. I sat again, and had a great deale done, but, whatever the matter is, I do not fancy that it has the ayre of my face, though it will be a very fine picture. Thence home and to my business, being post night, and so home to supper and to, bed.
21st. Up betimes, and first by coach to my Lord Generall to visitt him, and then to the Duke of Yorke, where we all met and did our usual business with him; but, Lord! how everything is yielded to presently, even by Sir W. Coventry, that is propounded by the Duke, as now to have Troutbecke, his old surgeon, and intended to go Surgeon–General of the fleete, to go Physician–General of the fleete, of which there never was any precedent in the world, and he for that to have £20 per month. Thence with Lord Bruncker to Sir Robert Long, whom we found in his closett, and after some discourse of business he fell to discourse at large and pleasant, and among other things told us of the plenty of partridges in France, where he says the King of France and his company killed with their guns, in the plain de Versailles, 300 and odd partridges at one bout. Thence I to the Excise Office behind the ‘Change, and there find our business of our tallys in great disorder as to payment, and thereupon do take a resolution of thinking how to remedy it, as soon as I can. Thence home, and there met Sir W. Warren, and after I had eat a bit of victuals (he staying in the office) he and I to White Hall. He to look after the business of the prize ships which we are endeavouring to buy, and hope to get money by them. So I to London by coach and to Gresham College, where I staid half an houre, and so away home to my office, and there walking late alone in the darke in the garden with Sir W. Warren, who tells me that at the Committee of the Lords for the prizes today, there passed very high words between my Lord Ashly and Sir W. Coventry, about our business of the prize ships. And that my Lord Ashly did snuff and talk as high to him, as he used to do to any ordinary seaman. And that Sir W. Coventry did take it very quietly, but yet for all did speak his mind soberly and with reason, and went away, saying, he had done his duty therein, and so left it to them, whether they would let so many ships go for masts or not: Here he and I talked of 1,000 businesses, all profitable discourse, and late parted, and I home to supper and to bed, troubled a little at a letter from my father, telling me how [he] is like to be sued for a debt of Tom’s, by Smith, the mercer.
22nd. Up, and to the office all the morning. At noon my wife being gone to her father’s I dined with Sir W. Batten, he inviting me. After dinner to my office close, and did very much business, and so late home to supper and to bed. The plague increased four this week, which troubles me, though but one in the whole.
23rd. Up, and going out of my dressing-room, when ready to go down stairs, I spied little Mrs. Tooker, my pretty little girle, which, it seems, did come yesterday to our house to stay a little while with us, but I did not know of it till now. I was glad of her coming, she being a very pretty child, and now grown almost a woman. I out by six o’clock by appointment to Hales’s, where we fell to my picture presently very hard, and it comes on a very fine picture, and very merry, pleasant discourse we had all the morning while he was painting. Anon comes my wife and Mercer and little Tooker, and having done with me we all to a picture drawer’s hard by, Hales carrying me to see some landskipps of a man’s doing. But I do not [like] any of them, save only a piece of fruit, which indeed was very fine. Thence I to Westminster, to the Chequer, about a little business, and then to the Swan, and there sent for a bit of meat and dined; and after dinner had opportunity of being pleased with Sarah; and so away to Westminster Hall, and there Mrs. Michell tells me with great joy how little Betty Howlett is married to her young son Michell, which is a pretty odd thing, that he should so soon succeed in the match to his elder brother that died of the plague, and to the house and trade intended for him, and more they say that the girle has heretofore said that she did love this little one more than the other brother that was intended her all along. I am mighty glad of this match, and more that they are likely to live near me in Thames Streete, where I may see Betty now and then, whom I from a girle did use to call my second wife, and mighty pretty she is. Thence by coach to Anthony Joyce to receive Harman’s answer, which did trouble me to receive, for he now demands £800, whereas he never made exception at the portion, but accepted of £500. This I do not like; but, however, I cannot much blame the man, if he thinks he can get more of another than of me. So home and hard to my business at the office, where much business, and so home to supper and to bed.
24th. Up and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where Anthony Joyce, and I did give my final answer, I would give but £500 with my sister, and did show him the good offer made us in the country, to which I did now more and more incline, and intend to pursue that. After dinner I to White Hall to a Committee for Tangier, where the Duke of Yorke was, and I acquitted myself well in what I had to do. After the Committee up, I had occasion to follow the Duke into his lodgings, into a chamber where the Duchesse was sitting to have her picture drawn by Lilly, who was there at work. But I was well pleased to see that there was nothing near so much resemblance of her face in his work, which is now the second, if not the third time, as there was of my wife’s at the very first time. Nor do I think at last it can be like, the lines not being in proportion to those of her face. So home, and to the office, where late, and so to bed.
25th (Lady day and Sunday). Up, and to my chamber in my gowne all the morning about settling my papers there. At noon to dinner, where my wife’s brother, whom I sent for to offer making him a Muster–Master and send to sea, which the poore man likes well of and will go, and it will be a good preferment to him, only hazardous. I hope he will prove a good discreet man. After dinner to my papers and Tangier accounts again till supper, and after supper again to them, but by my mixing them, I know not how, my private and publique accounts, it makes me mad to see how hard it is to bring them to be understood, and my head is confounded, that though I did sweare to sit up till one o’clock upon them, yet, I fear, it will be to no purpose, for I cannot understand what I do or have been doing of them today.
26th. Up, and a meeting extraordinary there was of Sir W. Coventry, Lord Bruncker, and myself, about the business of settling the ticket office, where infinite room is left for abusing the King in the wages of seamen. Our [meeting] being done, my Lord Bruncker and I to the Tower, to see the famous engraver, to get him to grave a seale for the office. And did see some of the finest pieces of work in embossed work, that ever I did see in my life, for fineness and smallness of the images thereon, and I will carry my wife thither to shew them her. Here I also did see bars of gold melting, which was a fine sight. So with my Lord to the Pope’s Head Taverne in Lumbard Streete to dine by appointment with Captain Taylor, whither Sir W. Coventry come to us, and were mighty merry, and I find reason to honour him every day more and more. Thence alone to Broade Street to Sir G. Carteret by his desire to confer with him, who is I find in great pain about the business of the office, and not a little, I believe, in fear of falling there, Sir W. Coventry having so great a pique against him, and herein I first learn an eminent instance how great a man this day, that nobody would think could be shaken, is the next overthrown, dashed out of countenance, and every small thing of irregularity in his business taken notice of, where nobody the other day durst cast an eye upon them, and next I see that he that the other day nobody durst come near is now as supple as a spaniel, and sends and speaks to me with great submission, and readily hears to advice. Thence home to the office, where busy late, and so home a little to my accounts publique and private, but could not get myself rightly to know how to dispose of them in order to passing.
27th. All the morning at the office busy. At noon dined at home, Mr. Cooke, our old acquaintance at my Lord Sandwich’s, come to see and dine with me, but I quite out of humour, having many other and better things to thinke of. Thence to the office to settle my people’s worke and then home to my publique accounts of Tangier, which it is strange by meddling with evening reckonings with Mr. Povy lately how I myself am become intangled therein, so that after all I could do, ready to breake my head and brains, I thought of another way, though not so perfect, yet the only one which this account is capable of. Upon this latter I sat up till past two in the morning and then to bed.
28th. Up, and with Creed, who come hither betimes to speake with me about his accounts, to White Hall by water, mighty merry in discourse, though I had been very little troubled with him, or did countenance it, having now, blessed be God! a great deale of good business to mind to better purpose than chatting with him. Waited on the Duke, after that walked with Sir W. Clerke into St. James’s Parke, and by and by met with Mr. Hayes, Prince Rupert’s Secretary, who are mighty, both, briske blades, but I fear they promise themselves more than they expect. Thence to the Cockpitt, and dined with a great deal of company at the Duke of Albemarle’s, and a bad and dirty, nasty dinner. So by coach to Hales’s, and there sat again, and it is become mighty like. Hither come my wife and Mercer brought by Mrs. Pierce and Knipp, we were mighty merry and the picture goes on the better for it. Thence set them down at Pierces, and we home, where busy and at my chamber till 12 at night, and so to bed. This night, I am told, the Queene of Portugall, the mother to our Queene, is lately dead, and newes brought of it hither this day.1
1 Donna Luiza, the Queen Regent of Portugal. She was daughter of the Duke de Medina Sidonia and widow of Juan IV. The Court wore the deepest mourning on this occasion. The ladies were directed to wear their hair plain, and to appear without spots on their faces, the disfiguring fashion of patching having just been introduced. — Strickland s Queens of England, vol. viii., p. 362.
29th. All the morning hard at the office. At noon dined and then out to Lumbard Streete, to look after the getting of some money that is lodged there of mine in Viner’s hands, I having no mind to have it lie there longer. So back again and to the office, where and at home about publique and private business and accounts till past 12 at night, and so to bed. This day, poor Jane, my old, little Jane, came to us again, to my wife’s and my great content, and we hope to take mighty pleasure in her, she having all the marks and qualities of a good and loving and honest servant, she coming by force away from the other place, where she hath lived ever since she went from us, and at our desire, her late mistresse having used all the stratagems she could to keepe her.
30th. My wife and I mighty pleased with Jane’s coming to us again. Up, and away goes Alce, our cooke-mayde, a good servant, whom we loved and did well by her, and she an excellent servant, but would not bear being told of any faulte in the fewest and kindest words and would go away of her owne accord, after having given her mistresse warning fickly for a quarter of a yeare together. So we shall take another girle and make little Jane our cook, at least, make a trial of it. Up, and after much business I out to Lumbard Streete, and there received £2200 and brought it home; and, contrary to expectation, received £35 for the use of £2000 of it [for] a quarter of a year, where it hath produced me this profit, and hath been a convenience to me as to care and security of my house, and demandable at two days’ warning, as this hath been. This morning Sir W. Warren come to me a second time about having £2000 of me upon his bills on the Act to enable him to pay for the ships he is buying, wherein I shall have considerable profit. I am loth to do it, but yet speaking with Colvill I do not see but I shall be able to do it and get money by it too. Thence home and eat one mouthful, and so to Hales’s, and there sat till almost quite darke upon working my gowne, which I hired to be drawn in; an Indian gowne, and I do see all the reason to expect a most excellent picture of it. So home and to my private accounts in my chamber till past one in the morning, and so to bed, with my head full of thoughts for my evening of all my accounts tomorrow, the latter end of the month, in which God give me good issue, for I never was in such a confusion in my life and that in great sums.
31st. All the morning at the office busy. At noon to dinner, and thence to the office and did my business there as soon as I could, and then home and to my accounts, where very late at them, but, Lord! what a deale of do I have to understand any part of them, and in short do what I could, I could not come to any understanding of them, but after I had throughly wearied myself, I was forced to go to bed and leave them much against my will and vowe too, but I hope God will forgive me, for I have sat up these four nights till past twelve at night to master them, but cannot. Thus ends this month, with my head and mind mighty full and disquiett because of my accounts, which I have let go too long, and confounded my publique with my private that I cannot come to any liquidating of them. However, I do see that I must be grown richer than I was by a good deale last month. Busy also I am in thoughts for a husband for my sister, and to that end my wife and I have determined that she shall presently go into the country to my father and mother, and consider of a proffer made them for her in the country, which, if she likes, shall go forward.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53