April 1st (Lord’s day). Up and abroad, and by coach to Charing Cross, to wait on Sir Philip Howard; whom I found in bed: and he do receive me very civilly. My request was about suffering my wife’s brother to go to sea, and to save his pay in the Duke’s guards; which after a little difficulty he did with great respect agree to. I find him a very fine-spoken gentleman, and one of great parts, and very courteous. Much pleased with this visit I to White Hall, where I met Sir G. Downing, and to discourse with him an houre about the Exchequer payments upon the late Act, and informed myself of him thoroughly in my safety in lending £2000 to Sir W. Warren, upon an order of his upon the Exchequer for £2602 and I do purpose to do it. Thence meeting Dr. Allen, the physician, he and I and another walked in the Parke, a most pleasant warm day, and to the Queene’s chappell; where I do not so dislike the musique. Here I saw on a post an invitation to all good Catholiques to pray for the soul of such a one departed this life. The Queene, I hear, do not yet hear of the death of her mother, she being in a course of physique, that they dare not tell it her. At noon by coach home, and there by invitation met my uncle and aunt Wight and their cozen Mary, and dined with me and very merry. After dinner my uncle and I abroad by coach to White Hall, up and down the house, and I did some business and thence with him and a gentleman he met with to my Lord Chancellor’s new house, and there viewed it again and again and up to the top and I like it as well as ever and think it a most noble house. So all up and down my Lord St. Albans his new building and market-house, and the taverne under the market-house, looking to and again into every place of building, and so away and took coach and home, where to my accounts, and was at them till I could not hold open my eyes, and so to bed. I this afternoon made a visit to my Lady Carteret, whom I understood newly come to towne; and she took it mighty kindly, but I see her face and heart are dejected from the condition her husband’s matters stand in. But I hope they will do all well enough. And I do comfort her as much as I can, for she is a noble lady.
2nd. Up, and to the office and thence with Mr. Gawden to Guildhall to see the bills and tallys there in the chamber (and by the way in the streete his new coach broke and we fain to take an old hackney). Thence to the Exchequer again to inform myself of some other points in the new Act in order to my lending Sir W. Warren £2000 upon an order of his upon the Act, which they all encourage me to. There walking with Mr. Gawden in Westminster Hall, he and I to talke from one business to another and at last to the marriage of his daughter. He told me the story of Creed’s pretences to his daughter, and how he would not believe but she loved him, while his daughter was in great passion on the other hand against him. Thence to talke of his son Benjamin; and I propounded a match for him, and at last named my sister, which he embraces heartily, and speaking of the lowness of her portion, that it would be less than £1000, he tells me if every thing else agrees, he will out of what he means to give me yearly, make a portion for her shall cost me nothing more than I intend freely. This did mightily rejoice me and full of it did go with him to London to the ‘Change; and there did much business and at the Coffee-house with Sir W. Warren, who very wisely did shew me that my matching my sister with Mr. Gawden would undo me in all my places, everybody suspecting me in all I do; and I shall neither be able to serve him, nor free myself from imputation of being of his faction, while I am placed for his severest check. I was convinced that it would be for neither of our interests to make this alliance, and so am quite off of it again, but with great satisfaction in the motion. Thence to the Crowne tavern behind the Exchange to meet with Cocke and Fenn and did so, and dined with them, and after dinner had the intent of our meeting, which was some private discourse with Fenn, telling him what I hear and think of his business, which he takes very kindly and says he will look about him. It was about his giving of ill language and answers to people that come to him about money and some other particulars. This morning Mrs. Barbary and little Mrs. Tooker went away homeward. Thence my wife by coach calling me at White Hall to visit my Lady Carteret, and she was not within. So to Westminster Hall, where I purposely tooke my wife well dressed into the Hall to see and be seen; and, among others, [met] Howlet’s daughter, who is newly married, and is she I call wife, and one I love mightily. So to Broad Streete and there met my Lady and Sir G. Carteret, and sat and talked with them a good while and so home, and to my accounts which I cannot get through with. But at it till I grew drowsy, and so to bed mightily vexed that I can come to no better issue in my accounts.
3rd. Up, and Sir W. Warren with me betimes and signed a bond, and assigned his order on the Exchequer to a blank for me to fill and I did deliver him £1900. The truth is, it is a great venture to venture so much on the Act, but thereby I hedge in £300 gift for my service about some ships that he hath bought, prizes, and good interest besides, and his bond to repay me the money at six weeks’ warning. So to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and there my brother Balty dined with me and my wife, who is become a good serious man, and I hope to do him good being sending him a Muster–Master on one of the squadrons of the fleete. After dinner and he gone I to my accounts hard all the afternoon till it was quite darke, and I thank God I do come to bring them very fairly to make me worth £5,000 stocke in the world, which is a great mercy to me. Though I am a little troubled to find £50 difference between the particular account I make to myself of my profits and loss in each month and the account which I raise from my acquittances and money which I have at the end of every month in my chest and other men’s hands. However I do well believe that I am effectually £5,000, the greatest sum I ever was in my life yet, and this day I have as I have said before agreed with Sir W. Warren and got of him £300 gift. At night a while to the office and then home and supped and to my accounts again till I was ready to sleepe, there being no pleasure to handle them, if they are not kept in good order. So to bed.
4th. Up, and with Sir W. Pen in his coach to White Hall, in his way talking simply and fondly as he used to do, but I find myself to slight him and his simple talke, I thank God, and that my condition will enable me to do it. Thence, after doing our business with the Duke of Yorke, with Captain Cocke home to the ‘Change in his coach. He promises me presently a dozen of silver salts, and proposes a business for which he hath promised Mrs. Williams for my Lord Bruncker a set of plate shall cost him £500 and me the like, which will be a good business indeed. After done several businesses at the ‘Change I home, and being washing day dined upon cold meate, and so abroad by coach to Hales’s, and there sat till night, mightily pleased with my picture, which is now almost finished. So by coach home, it being the fast day and to my chamber and so after supper to bed, consulting how to send my wife into the country to advise about Pall’s marriage, which I much desire, and my father too, and two or three offers are now in hand.
5th. Up, and before office time to Lumbard Streete, and there at Viner’s was shewn the silver plates, made for Captain Cocke to present my Lord Bruncker; and I chose a dozen of the same weight to be bespoke for myself, which he told me yesterday he would give me on the same occasion. To the office, where the falsenesse and impertinencies of Sir W. Pen would make a man mad to think of. At noon would have avoided, but could not, dining with my Lord Bruncker and his mistresse with Captain Cocke at the Sun Taverne in Fish Streete, where a good dinner, but the woman do tire me, and indeed how simply my Lord Bruncker, who is otherwise a wise man, do proceed at the table in serving of Cocke, without any means of understanding in his proposal, or defence when proposed, would make a man think him a foole. After dinner home, where I find my wife hath on a sudden, upon notice of a coach going away tomorrow, taken a resolution of going in it to Brampton, we having lately thought it fit for her to go to satisfy herself and me in the nature of the fellow that is there proposed to my sister. So she to fit herself for her journey and I to the office all the afternoon till late, and so home and late putting notes to “It is decreed, nor shall thy fate, &c.” and then to bed. The plague is, to our great grief, encreased nine this week, though decreased a few in the total. And this encrease runs through many parishes, which makes us much fear the next year.
6th. Up mighty betimes upon my wife’s going this day toward Brampton. I could not go to the coach with her, but W. Hewer did and hath leave from me to go the whole day’s journey with her. All the morning upon business at the office, and at noon dined, and Mrs. Hunt coming lent her £5 on her occasions and so carried her to Axe Yard end at Westminster and there left her, a good and understanding woman, and her husband I perceive thrives mightily in his business of the Excise. Thence to Mr. Hales and there sat, and my picture almost finished, which by the word of Mr. and Mrs. Pierce (who come in accidently) is mighty like, and I am sure I am mightily pleased both in the thing and the posture. Thence with them home a little, and so to White Hall and there met by agreement with Sir Stephen Fox and Mr. Ashburnham, and discoursed the business of our Excise tallys; the former being Treasurer of the guards, and the other Cofferer of the King’s household. I benefitted much by their discourse. We come to no great conclusion upon our discourse, but parted, and I home, where all things, methinks, melancholy in the absence of my wife. This day great newes of the Swedes declaring for us against the Dutch, and, so far as that, I believe it. After a little supper to bed.
7th. Lay pretty long today, lying alone and thinking of several businesses. So up to the office and there till noon. Thence with my Lord Bruncker home by coach to Mrs. Williams’s, where Bab. Allen and Dr. Charleton dined. Bab and I sang and were mighty merry as we could be there, where the rest of the company did not overplease. Thence took her by coach to Hales’s, and there find Mrs. Pierce and her boy and Mary. She had done sitting the first time, and indeed her face is mighty like at first dash. Thence took them to the cakehouse, and there called in the coach for cakes and drank, and thence I carried them to my Lord Chancellor’s new house to shew them that, and all mightily pleased, thence set each down at home, and so I home to the office, where about ten of the clock W. Hewer comes to me to tell me that he has left my wife well this morning at Bugden, which was great riding, and brings me a letter from her. She is very well got thither, of which I am heartily glad. After writing several letters, I home to supper and to bed. The Parliament of which I was afraid of their calling us of the Navy to an account of the expense of money and stores and wherein we were so little ready to give them a good answer [will soon meet]. The Bishop of Munster, every body says, is coming to peace with the Dutch, we having not supplied him with the money promised him.
8th (Lord’s day). Up, and was in great trouble how to get a passage to White Hall, it raining, and no coach to be had. So I walked to the Old Swan, and there got a scull. To the Duke of Yorke, where we all met to hear the debate between Sir Thomas Allen and Mr. Wayth; the former complaining of the latter’s ill usage of him at the late pay of his ship. But a very sorry poor occasion he had for it. The Duke did determine it with great judgement, chiding both, but encouraging Wayth to continue to be a check to all captains in any thing to the King’s right. And, indeed, I never did see the Duke do any thing more in order, nor with more judgement than he did pass the verdict in this business. The Court full this morning of the newes of Tom Cheffin’s death, the King’s closett-keeper. He was well last night as ever, flaying at tables in the house, and not very ill this morning at six o’clock, yet dead before seven: they think, of an imposthume in his breast. But it looks fearfully among people nowadays, the plague, as we hear, encreasing every where again. To the Chappell, but could not get in to hear well. But I had the pleasure once in my life to see an Archbishop (this was of Yorke) in a pulpit. Then at a loss how to get home to dinner, having promised to carry Mrs. Hunt thither. At last got my Lord Hinchingbroke’s coach, he staying at Court; and so took her up in Axe-yard, and home and dined. And good discourse of the old matters of the Protector and his family, she having a relation to them. The Protector1 lives in France: spends about £500 per annum. Thence carried her home again and then to Court and walked over to St. James’s Chappell, thinking to have heard a Jesuite preach, but come too late. So got a hackney and home, and there to business. At night had Mercer comb my head and so to supper, sing a psalm, and to bed.
1 Richard Cromwell subsequently returned to England, and resided in strict privacy at Cheshunt for some years before his death in 1712
9th. Up betimes, and with my Joyner begun the making of the window in my boy’s chamber bigger, purposing it shall be a roome to eat and for having musique in. To the office, where a meeting upon extraordinary business, at noon to the ‘Change about more, and then home with Creed and dined, and then with him to the Committee of Tangier, where I got two or three things done I had a mind to of convenience to me. Thence by coach to Mrs. Pierce’s, and with her and Knipp and Mrs. Pierce’s boy and girle abroad, thinking to have been merry at Chelsey; but being come almost to the house by coach near the waterside, a house alone, I think the Swan, a gentleman walking by called to us to tell us that the house was shut up of the sicknesse. So we with great affright turned back, being holden to the gentleman; and went away (I for my part in great disorder) for Kensington, and there I spent about 30s. upon the jades with great pleasure, and we sang finely and staid till about eight at night, the night coming on apace and so set them down at Pierce’s, and so away home, where awhile with Sir W. Warren about business, and then to bed,
10th. Up betimes, and many people to me about business. To the office and there sat till noon, and then home and dined, and to the office again all the afternoon, where we sat all, the first time of our resolution to sit both forenoons and afternoons. Much business at night and then home, and though late did see some work done by the plasterer to my new window in the boy’s chamber plastered. Then to supper, and after having my head combed by the little girle to bed. Bad news that the plague is decreased in the general again and two increased in the sickness.
11th. To White Hall, having first set my people to worke about setting me rails upon the leads of my wife’s closett, a thing I have long designed, but never had a fit opportunity till now. After having done with the Duke of Yorke, I to Hales’s, where there was nothing found to be done more to my picture, but the musique, which now pleases me mightily, it being painted true. Thence home, and after dinner to Gresham College, where a great deal of do and formality in choosing of the Council and Officers. I had three votes to be of the Council, who am but a stranger, nor expected any. So my Lord Bruncker being confirmed President I home, where I find to my great content my rails up upon my leads. To the office and did a little business, and then home and did a great jobb at my Tangier accounts, which I find are mighty apt to run into confusion, my head also being too full of other businesses and pleasures. This noon Bagwell’s wife come to me to the office, after her being long at Portsmouth. After supper, and past 12 at night to bed.
12th. Up and to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined at home and so to my office again, and taking a turne in the garden my Lady Pen comes to me and takes me into her house, where I find her daughter and a pretty lady of her acquaintance, one Mrs. Lowder, sister, I suppose, of her servant Lowder’s, with whom I, notwithstanding all my resolution to follow business close this afternoon, did stay talking and playing the foole almost all the afternoon, and there saw two or three foolish sorry pictures of her doing, but very ridiculous compared to what my wife do. She grows mighty homely and looks old. Thence ashamed at myself for this losse of time, yet not able to leave it, I to the office, where my Lord Bruncker come; and he and I had a little fray, he being, I find, a very peevish man, if he be denied what he expects, and very simple in his argument in this business (about signing a warrant for paying Sir Thos. Allen £1000 out of the groats); but we were pretty good friends before we parted, and so we broke up and I to the writing my letters by the post, and so home to supper and to bed.
13th. Up, being called up by my wife’s brother, for whom I have got a commission from the Duke of Yorke for Muster–Master of one of the divisions, of which Harman is Rere–Admirall, of which I am glad as well as he. After I had acquainted him with it, and discoursed a little of it, I went forth and took him with me by coach to the Duke of Albemarle, who being not up, I took a walk with Balty into the Parke, and to the Queene’s Chappell, it being Good Friday, where people were all upon their knees very silent; but, it seems, no masse this day. So back and waited on the Duke and received some commands of his, and so by coach to Mr. Hales’s, where it is pretty strange to see that his second doing, I mean the second time of her sitting, is less like Mrs. Pierce than the first, and yet I am confident will be most like her, for he is so curious that I do not see how it is possible for him to mistake. Here he and I presently resolved of going to White Hall, to spend an houre in the galleries there among the pictures, and we did so to my great satisfaction, he shewing me the difference in the payntings, and when I come more and more to distinguish and observe the workmanship, I do not find so many good things as I thought there was, but yet great difference between the works of some and others; and, while my head and judgment was full of these, I would go back again to his house to see his pictures, and indeed, though, I think, at first sight some difference do open, yet very inconsiderably but that I may judge his to be very good pictures. Here we fell into discourse of my picture, and I am for his putting out the Landskipp, though he says it is very well done, yet I do judge it will be best without it, and so it shall be put out, and be made a plain sky like my wife’s picture, which will be very noble. Thence called upon an old woman in Pannier Ally to agree for ruling of some paper for me and she will do it pretty cheap. Here I found her have a very comely black mayde to her servant, which I liked very well. So home to dinner and to see my joiner do the bench upon my leads to my great content. After dinner I abroad to carry paper to my old woman, and so to Westminster Hall, and there beyond my intention or design did see and speak with Betty Howlett, at her father’s still, and it seems they carry her to her own house to begin the world with her young husband on Monday next, Easter Monday. I please myself with the thoughts of her neighbourhood, for I love the girl mightily. Thence home, and thither comes Mr. Houblon and a brother, with whom I evened for the charter parties of their ships for Tangier, and paid them the third advance on their freight to full satisfaction, and so, they being gone, comes Creed and with him till past one in the morning, evening his accounts till my head aked and I was fit for nothing, however, coming at last luckily to see through and settle all to my mind, it did please me mightily, and so with my mind at rest to bed, and he with me and hard to sleep.
14th. Up about seven and finished our papers, he and I, and I delivered him tallys and some money and so away I to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon dined at home and Creed with me, then parted, and I to the office, and anon called thence by Sir H. Cholmley and he and I to my chamber, and there settled our matters of accounts, and did give him tallys and money to clear him, and so he being gone and all these accounts cleared I shall be even with the King, so as to make a very clear and short account in a very few days, which pleases me very well. Here he and I discoursed a great while about Tangier, and he do convince me, as things are now ordered by my Lord Bellasses and will be by Norwood (men that do only mind themselves), the garrison will never come to any thing, and he proposes his owne being governor, which in truth I do think will do very well, and that he will bring it to something. He gone I to my office, where to write letters late, and then home and looked over a little more my papers of accounts lately passed, and so to bed.
15th (Easter Day). Up and by water to Westminster to the Swan to lay down my cloak, and there found Sarah alone, with whom after I had staid awhile I to White Hall Chapel, and there coming late could hear nothing of the Bishop of London’s sermon. So walked into the Park to the Queene’s chappell, and there heard a good deal of their mass, and some of their musique, which is not so contemptible, I think, as our people would make it, it pleasing me very well; and, indeed, better than the anthem I heard afterwards at White Hall, at my coming back. I staid till the King went down to receive the Sacrament, and stood in his closett with a great many others, and there saw him receive it, which I did never see the manner of before. But I do see very little difference between the degree of the ceremonies used by our people in the administration thereof, and that in the Roman church, saving that methought our Chappell was not so fine, nor the manner of doing it so glorious, as it was in the Queene’s chappell. Thence walked to Mr. Pierces, and there dined, I alone with him and her and their children: very good company and good discourse, they being able to tell me all the businesses of the Court; the amours and the mad doings that are there; how for certain Mrs. Stewart do do everything with the King that a mistress should do; and that the King hath many bastard children that are known and owned, besides the Duke of Monmouth. After a great deale of this discourse I walked thence into the Parke with her little boy James with me, who is the wittiest boy and the best company in the world, and so back again through White Hall both coming and going, and people did generally take him to be my boy and some would aske me. Thence home to Mr. Pierce again; and he being gone forth, she and I and the children out by coach to Kensington, to where we were the other day, and with great pleasure stayed till night; and were mighty late getting home, the horses tiring and stopping at every twenty steps. By the way we discoursed of Mrs. Clerke, who, she says, is grown mighty high, fine, and proud, but tells me an odd story how Captain Rolt did see her the other day accost a gentleman in Westminster Hall and went with him, and he dogged them to Moorefields to a little blind bawdy house, and there staid watching three hours and they come not out, so could stay no longer but left them there, and he is sure it was she, he knowing her well and describing her very clothes to Mrs. Pierce, which she knows are what she wears. Seeing them well at home I homeward, but the horses at Ludgate Hill made a final stop; so there I ‘lighted, and with a linke, it being about 10 o’clock, walked home, and after singing a Psalm or two and supped to bed.
16th. Up, and set my people, Mercer, W. Hewer, Tom and the girle at work at ruling and stitching my ruled book for the Muster–Masters, and I hard toward the settling of my Tangier accounts. At noon dined alone, the girl Mercer taking physique can eat nothing, and W. Hewer went forth to dinner. So up to my accounts again, and then comes Mrs. Mercer and fair Mrs. Turner, a neighbour of hers that my wife knows by their means, to visit me. I staid a great while with them, being taken with this pretty woman, though a mighty silly, affected citizen woman she is. Then I left them to come to me at supper anon, and myself out by coach to the old woman in Pannyer Alley for my ruled papers, and they are done, and I am much more taken with her black maid Nan. Thence further to Westminster, thinking to have met Mrs. Martin, but could not find her, so back and called at Kirton’s to borrow 10s. to pay for my ruled papers, I having not money in my pocket enough to pay for them. But it was a pretty consideration that on this occasion I was considering where I could with most confidence in a time of need borrow 10s., and I protest I could not tell where to do it and with some trouble and fear did aske it here. So that God keepe me from want, for I shall be in a very bad condition to helpe myself if ever I should come to want or borrow. Thence called for my papers and so home, and there comes Mrs. Turner and Mercer and supped with me, and well pleased I was with their company, but especially Mrs. Turner’s, she being a very pretty woman of person and her face pretty good, the colour of her haire very fine and light. They staid with me talking till about eleven o’clock and so home, W. Hewer, who supped with me, leading them home. So I to bed.
17th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined at home, my brother Balty with me, who is fitting himself to go to sea. So after dinner to my accounts and did proceed a good way in settling them, and thence to the office, where all the afternoon late, writing my letters and doing business, but, Lord! what a conflict I had with myself, my heart tempting me 1000 times to go abroad about some pleasure or other, notwithstanding the weather foule. However I reproached myself with my weaknesse in yielding so much my judgment to my sense, and prevailed with difficulty and did not budge, but stayed within, and, to my great content, did a great deale of business, and so home to supper and to bed. This day I am told that Moll Davis, the pretty girle, that sang and danced so well at the Duke’s house, is dead.
18th. [Up] and by coach with Sir W. Batten and Sir Thos. Allen to White Hall, and there after attending the Duke as usual and there concluding of many things preparatory to the Prince and Generall’s going to sea on Monday next, Sir W. Batten and Sir T. Allen and I to Mr. Lilly’s, the painter’s; and there saw the heads, some finished, and all begun, of the Flaggmen in the late great fight with the Duke of Yorke against the Dutch. The Duke of Yorke hath them done to hang in his chamber, and very finely they are done indeed. Here is the Prince’s, Sir G. Askue’s, Sir Thomas Teddiman’s, Sir Christopher Mings, Sir Joseph Jordan, Sir William Barkeley, Sir Thomas Allen, and Captain Harman’s, as also the Duke of Albemarle’s; and will be my Lord Sandwich’s, Sir W. Pen’s, and Sir Jeremy Smith’s. Being very well satisfied with this sight, and other good pictures hanging in the house, we parted, and I left them, and [to] pass away a little time went to the printed picture seller’s in the way thence to the Exchange, and there did see great plenty of fine prints; but did not buy any, only a print of an old pillar in Rome made for a Navall Triumph,1 which for the antiquity of the shape of ships, I buy and keepe. Thence to the Exchange, that is, the New Exchange, and looked over some play books and intend to get all the late new plays. So to Westminster, and there at the Swan got a bit of meat and dined alone; and so away toward King’s Street, and spying out of my coach Jane that lived heretofore at Jevons, my barber’s, I went a little further and stopped, and went on foot back, and overtook her, taking water at Westminster Bridge, and spoke to her, and she telling me whither she was going I over the water and met her at Lambeth, and there drank with her; she telling me how he that was so long her servant, did prove to be a married man, though her master told me (which she denies) that he had lain with her several times in his house. There left her ‘sans essayer alcune cose con elle’, and so away by boat to the ‘Change, and took coach and to Mr. Hales, where he would have persuaded me to have had the landskipp stand in my picture, but I like it not and will have it otherwise, which I perceive he do not like so well, however is so civil as to say it shall be altered. Thence away to Mrs. Pierces, who was not at home, but gone to my house to visit me with Mrs. Knipp. I therefore took up the little girle Betty and my mayde Mary that now lives there and to my house, where they had been but were gone, so in our way back again met them coming back again to my house in Cornehill, and there stopped laughing at our pretty misfortunes, and so I carried them to Fish Streete, and there treated them with prawns and lobsters, and it beginning to grow darke we away, but the jest is our horses would not draw us up the Hill, but we were fain to ‘light and stay till the coachman had made them draw down to the bottom of the Hill, thereby warming their legs, and then they came up cheerfully enough, and we got up and I carried them home, and coming home called at my paper ruler’s and there found black Nan, which pleases me mightily, and having saluted her again and again away home and to bed. . . . . In all my ridings in the coach and intervals my mind hath been full these three weeks of setting in musique “It is decreed, &c.”
1 The columna rostrata erected in the Forum to C. Duilius, who obtained a triumph for the first naval victory over the Carthaginians, B.C. 261. Part of the column was discovered in the ruins of the Forum near the Arch of Septimius, and transferred to the Capitol. — B.
19th. Lay long in bed, so to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined with Sir W. Warren at the Pope’s Head. So back to the office, and there met with the Commissioners of the Ordnance, where Sir W. Pen being almost drunk vexed me, and the more because Mr. Chichly observed it with me, and it was a disparagement to the office. They gone I to my office. Anon comes home my wife from Brampton, not looked for till Saturday, which will hinder me of a little pleasure, but I am glad of her coming. She tells me Pall’s business with Ensum is like to go on, but I must give, and she consents to it, another 100. She says she doubts my father is in want of money, for rents come in mighty slowly. My mother grows very unpleasant and troublesome and my father mighty infirm through his old distemper, which altogether makes me mighty thoughtfull. Having heard all this and bid her welcome I to the office, where late, and so home, and after a little more talk with my wife, she to bed and I after her.
20th. Up, and after an houre or two’s talke with my poor wife, who gives me more and more content every day than other, I abroad by coach to Westminster, and there met with Mrs. Martin, and she and I over the water to Stangold, and after a walke in the fields to the King’s Head, and there spent an houre or two with pleasure with her, and eat a tansy and so parted, and I to the New Exchange, there to get a list of all the modern plays which I intend to collect and to have them bound up together. Thence to Mr. Hales’s, and there, though against his particular mind, I had my landskipp done out, and only a heaven made in the roome of it, which though it do not please me thoroughly now it is done, yet it will do better than as it was before. Thence to Paul’s Churchyarde, and there bespoke some new books, and so to my ruling woman’s and there did see my work a doing, and so home and to my office a little, but was hindered of business I intended by being sent for to Mrs. Turner, who desired some discourse with me and lay her condition before me, which is bad and poor. Sir Thomas Harvey intends again to have lodgings in her house, which she prays me to prevent if I can, which I promised. Thence to talke generally of our neighbours. I find she tells me the faults of all of them, and their bad words of me and my wife, and indeed do discover more than I thought. So I told her, and so will practise that I will have nothing to do with any of them. She ended all with a promise of shells to my wife, very fine ones indeed, and seems to have great respect and honour for my wife. So home and to bed.
21st. Up betimes and to the office, there to prepare some things against the afternoon for discourse about the business of the pursers and settling the pursers’ matters of the fleete according to my proposition. By and by the office sat, and they being up I continued at the office to finish my matters against the meeting before the Duke this afternoon, so home about three to clap a bit of meate in my mouth, and so away with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, and there to the Duke, but he being to go abroad to take the ayre, he dismissed us presently without doing any thing till tomorrow morning. So my Lord Bruncker and I down to walk in the garden [at White Hall], it being a mighty hot and pleasant day; and there was the King, who, among others, talked to us a little; and among other pretty things, he swore merrily that he believed the ketch that Sir W. Batten bought the last year at Colchester was of his own getting, it was so thick to its length. Another pleasant thing he said of Christopher Pett, commending him that he will not alter his moulds of his ships upon any man’s advice; “as,” says he, “Commissioner Taylor I fear do of his New London, that he makes it differ, in hopes of mending the Old London, built by him.” “For,” says he, “he finds that God hath put him into the right, and so will keep in it while he is in.” “And,” says the King, “I am sure it must be God put him in, for no art of his owne ever could have done it;” for it seems he cannot give a good account of what he do as an artist. Thence with my Lord Bruncker in his coach to Hide Parke, the first time I have been there this year. There the King was; but I was sorry to see my Lady Castlemaine, for the mourning forceing all the ladies to go in black, with their hair plain and without any spots, I find her to be a much more ordinary woman than ever I durst have thought she was; and, indeed, is not so pretty as Mrs. Stewart, whom I saw there also. Having done at the Park he set me down at the Exchange, and I by coach home and there to my letters, and they being done, to writing a large letter about the business of the pursers to Sir W. Batten against tomorrow’s discourse, and so home and to bed.
22nd (Lord’s day). Up, and put on my new black coate, long down to my knees, and with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, where all in deep mourning for the Queene’s mother. There had great discourse, before the Duke and Sir W. Coventry begun the discourse of the day about the purser’s business, which I seconded, and with great liking to the Duke, whom however afterward my Lord Bruncker and Sir W. Pen did stop by some thing they said, though not much to the purpose, yet because our proposition had some appearance of certain charge to the King it was ruled that for this year we should try another the same in every respect with ours, leaving out one circumstance of allowing the pursers the victuals of all men short of the complement. I was very well satisfied with it and am contented to try it, wishing it may prove effectual. Thence away with Sir W. Batten in his coach home, in our way he telling me the certaine newes, which was afterward confirmed to me this day by several, that the Bishopp of Munster has made a league [with] the Hollanders, and that our King and Court are displeased much at it: moreover we are not sure of Sweden. I home to my house, and there dined mighty well, my poor wife and Mercer and I. So back again walked to White Hall, and there to and again in the Parke, till being in the shoemaker’s stockes. —[A cant expression for tight shoes.]— I was heartily weary, yet walked however to the Queene’s Chappell at St. James’s, and there saw a little mayde baptized; many parts and words whereof are the same with that of our Liturgy, and little that is more ceremonious than ours. Thence walked to Westminster and eat a bit of bread and drank, and so to Worster House, and there staid, and saw the Council up, and then back, walked to the Cockepitt, and there took my leave of the Duke of Albemarle, who is going tomorrow to sea. He seems mightily pleased with me, which I am glad of; but I do find infinitely my concernment in being careful to appear to the King and Duke to continue my care of his business, and to be found diligent as I used to be. Thence walked wearily as far as Fleet Streete and so there met a coach and home to supper and to bed, having sat a great while with Will Joyce, who come to see me, and it is the first time I have seen him at my house since the plague, and find him the same impertinent, prating coxcombe that ever he was.
23rd. Being mighty weary last night, lay long this morning, then up and to the office, where Sir W. Batten, Lord Bruncker and I met, and toward noon took coach and to White Hall, where I had the opportunity to take leave of the Prince, and again of the Duke of Albemarle; and saw them kiss the King’s hands and the Duke’s; and much content, indeed, there seems to be in all people at their going to sea, and [they] promise themselves much good from them. This morning the House of Parliament do meet, only to adjourne again till winter. The plague, I hear, encreases in the towne much, and exceedingly in the country everywhere. Thence walked to Westminster Hall, and after a little stay, there being nothing now left to keep me there, Betty Howlett being gone, I took coach and away home, in my way asking in two or three places the worth of pearles, I being now come to the time that I have long ago promised my wife a necklace. Dined at home and took Balty with me to Hales’s to show him his sister’s picture, and thence to Westminster, and there I to the Swan and drank, and so back again alone to Hales’s and there met my wife and Mercer, Mrs. Pierce being sitting, and two or three idle people of her acquaintance more standing by. Her picture do come on well. So staid until she had done and then set her down at home, and my wife and I and the girle by coach to Islington, and there eat and drank in the coach and so home, and there find a girle sent at my desire by Mrs. Michell of Westminster Hall, to be my girle under the cooke-mayde, Susan. But I am a little dissatisfied that the girle, though young, is taller and bigger than Su, and will not, I fear, be under her command, which will trouble me, and the more because she is recommended by a friend that I would not have any unkindness with, but my wife do like very well of her. So to my accounts and journall at my chamber, there being bonfires in the streete, for being St. George’s day, and the King’s Coronation, and the day of the Prince and Duke’s going to sea. So having done my business, to bed.
24th. Up, and presently am told that the girle that came yesterday hath packed up her things to be gone home again to Enfield, whence she come, which I was glad of, that we might be at first rid of her altogether rather than be liable to her going away hereafter. The reason was that London do not agree with her. So I did give her something, and away she went. By and by comes Mr. Bland to me, the first time since his coming from Tangier, and tells me, in short, how all things are out of order there, and like to be; and the place never likely to come to anything while the soldiers govern all, and do not encourage trade. He gone I to the office, where all the morning, and so to dinner, and there in the afternoon very busy all day till late, and so home to supper and to bed.
25th. Up, and to White Hall to the Duke as usual, and did our business there. So I away to Westminster (Batty with me, whom I had presented to Sir W. Coventry) and there told Mrs. Michell of her kinswoman’s running away, which troubled her. So home, and there find another little girle come from my wife’s mother, likely to do well. After dinner I to the office, where Mr. Prin come to meet about the Chest business; and till company come, did discourse with me a good while alone in the garden about the laws of England, telling me the many faults in them; and among others, their obscurity through multitude of long statutes, which he is about to abstract out of all of a sort; and as he lives, and Parliaments come, get them put into laws, and the other statutes repealed, and then it will be a short work to know the law, which appears a very noble good thing. By and by Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Rider met with us, and we did something to purpose about the Chest, and hope we shall go on to do so. They up, I to present Batty to Sir W. Pen, who at my entreaty did write a most obliging letter to Harman to use him civilly, but the dissembling of the rogue is such, that it do not oblige me at all. So abroad to my ruler’s of my books, having, God forgive me! a mind to see Nan there, which I did, and so back again, and then out again to see Mrs. Bettons, who were looking out of the window as I come through Fenchurch Streete. So that indeed I am not, as I ought to be, able to command myself in the pleasures of my eye. So home, and with my wife and Mercer spent our evening upon our new leads by our bedchamber singing, while Mrs. Mary Batelier looked out of the window to us, and we talked together, and at last bid good night. However, my wife and I staid there talking of several things with great pleasure till eleven o’clock at night, and it is a convenience I would not want for any thing in the world, it being, methinks, better than almost any roome in my house. So having, supped upon the leads, to bed. The plague, blessed be God! is decreased sixteen this week.
26th. To the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and in the afternoon to my office again, where very busy all the afternoon and particularly about fitting of Mr. Yeabsly’s accounts for the view of the Lords Commissioners for Tangier. At night home to supper and to bed.
27th. Up (taking Balty with me, who lay at my house last [night] in order to his going away today to sea with the pursers of the Henery, whom I appointed to call him), abroad to many several places about several businesses, to my Lord Treasurer’s, Westminster, and I know not where. At noon to the ‘Change a little, and there bespoke some maps to hang in my new roome (my boy’s roome) which will be very-pretty. Home to dinner, and after dinner to the hanging up of maps, and other things for the fitting of the roome, and now it will certainly be one of the handsomest and most usefull roomes in my house. So that what with this room and the room on my leads my house is half as good again as it was. All this afternoon about this till I was so weary and it was late I could do no more but finished the room. So I did not get out to the office all the day long. At night spent a good deale of time with my wife and Mercer teaching them a song, and so after supper to bed.
28th. Up and to the office. At noon dined at home. After dinner abroad with my wife to Hales’s to see only our pictures and Mrs. Pierce’s, which I do not think so fine as I might have expected it. My wife to her father’s, to carry him some ruling work, which I have advised her to let him do. It will get him some money. She also is to look out again for another little girle, the last we had being also gone home the very same day she came. She was also to look after a necklace of pearle, which she is mighty busy about, I being contented to lay out £80 in one for her. I home to my business. By and by comes my wife and presently after, the tide serving, Balty took leave of us, going to sea, and upon very good terms, to be Muster–Master of a squadron, which will be worth £100 this yeare to him, besides keeping him the benefit of his pay in the Guards. He gone, I very busy all the afternoon till night, among other things, writing a letter to my brother John, the first I have done since my being angry with him, and that so sharpe a one too that I was sorry almost to send it when I had wrote it, but it is preparatory to my being kind to him, and sending for him up hither when he hath passed his degree of Master of Arts. So home to supper and to bed.
29th (Lord’s day). Up, and to church, where Mr. Mills, a lazy, simple sermon upon the Devil’s having no right to any thing in this world. So home to dinner, and after dinner I and my boy down by water to Redriffe and thence walked to Mr. Evelyn’s, where I walked in his garden till he come from Church, with great pleasure reading Ridly’s discourse, all my way going and coming, upon the Civill and Ecclesiastical Law. He being come home, he and I walked together in the garden with mighty pleasure, he being a very ingenious man; and the more I know him, the more I love him. His chief business with me was to propose having my cozen Thomas Pepys in Commission of the Peace, which I do not know what to say to till I speake with him, but should be glad of it and will put him upon it. Thence walked back again reading and so took water and home, where I find my uncle and aunt Wight, and supped with them upon my leads with mighty pleasure and mirthe, and they being gone I mighty weary to bed, after having my haire of my head cut shorter, even close to my skull, for coolnesse, it being mighty hot weather.
30th. Up and, being ready, to finish my journall for four days past. To the office, where busy all the morning. At noon dined alone, my wife gone abroad to conclude about her necklace of pearle. I after dinner to even all my accounts of this month; and, bless God! I find myself, notwithstanding great expences of late; viz. £80 now to pay for a necklace; near £40 for a set of chairs and couch; near £40 for my three pictures: yet I do gather, and am now worth £5200. My wife comes home by and by, and hath pitched upon a necklace with three rows, which is a very good one, and £80 is the price. In the evening, having finished my accounts to my full content and joyed that I have evened them so plainly, remembering the trouble my last accounts did give me by being let alone a little longer than ordinary, by which I am to this day at a loss for £50, I hope I shall never commit such an error again, for I cannot devise where the £50 should be, but it is plain I ought to be worth £50 more than I am, and blessed be God the error was no greater. In the evening with my [wife] and Mercer by coach to take the ayre as far as Bow, and eat and drank in the coach by the way and with much pleasure and pleased with my company. At night home and up to the leads, but were contrary to expectation driven down again with a stinke by Sir W. Pen’s shying of a shitten pot in their house of office close by, which do trouble me for fear it do hereafter annoy me. So down to sing a little and then to bed. So ends this month with great layings-out. Good health and gettings, and advanced well in the whole of my estate, for which God make me thankful.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53