May 1st. Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon, my cozen Thomas Pepys did come to me, to consult about the business of his being a justice of the Peace, which he is much against; and among other reasons, tells me, as a confidant, that he is not free to exercise punishment according to the Act against Quakers and other people, for religion. Nor do he understand Latin, and so is not capable of the place as formerly, now all warrants do run in Latin. Nor is he in Kent, though he be of Deptford parish, his house standing in Surry. However, I did bring him to incline towards it, if he be pressed to take it. I do think it may be some repute to me to have my kinsman in Commission there, specially if he behave himself to content in the country. He gone and my wife gone abroad, I out also to and fro, to see and be seen, among others to find out in Thames Streete where Betty Howlett is come to live, being married to Mrs. Michell’s son; which I did about the Old Swan, but did not think fit to go thither or see them. Thence by water to Redriffe, reading a new French book my Lord Bruncker did give me today, “L’Histoire Amoureuse des Gaules,”1 being a pretty libel against the amours of the Court of France. I walked up and down Deptford yarde, where I had not been since I come from living at Greenwich, which is some months. There I met with Mr. Castle, and was forced against my will to have his company back with me. So we walked and drank at Halfway house and so to his house, where I drank a cupp of syder, and so home, where I find Mr. Norbury newly come to town to see us. After he gone my wife tells me the ill newes that our Susan is sicke and gone to bed, with great pain in her head and back, which troubles us all. However we to bed expecting what tomorrow would produce. She hath we conceive wrought a little too much, having neither maid nor girle to help her.
1 This book, which has frequently been reprinted, was written by Roger de Rabutin, Comte de Bussy, for the amusement of his mistress, Madame de Montglas, and consists of sketches of the chief ladies of the court, in which he libelled friends and foes alike. These circulated in manuscript, and were printed at Liege in 1665. Louis XIV. was so much annoyed with the book that he sent the author to the Bastille for over a year.
2nd. Up and find the girle better, which we are glad of, and with Sir W. Batten to White Hall by coach. There attended the Duke as usual. Thence with Captain Cocke, whom I met there, to London, to my office, to consult about serving him in getting him some money, he being already tired of his slavery to my Lord Bruncker, and the charge it costs him, and gets no manner of courtesy from him for it. He gone I home to dinner, find the girle yet better, so no fear of being forced to send her out of doors as we intended. After dinner. I by water to White Hall to a Committee for Tangier upon Mr. Yeabsly’s business, which I got referred to a Committee to examine. Thence among other stops went to my ruler’s house, and there staid a great while with Nan idling away the afternoon with pleasure. By and by home, so to my office a little, and then home to supper with my wife, the girle being pretty well again, and then to bed.
3rd. Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon home, and contrary to my expectation find my little girle Su worse than she was, which troubled me, and the more to see my wife minding her paynting and not thinking of her house business, this being the first day of her beginning the second time to paynt. This together made me froward that I was angry with my wife, and would not have Browne to think to dine at my table with me always, being desirous to have my house to myself without a stranger and a mechanique to be privy to all my concernments. Upon this my wife and I had a little disagreement, but it ended by and by, and then to send up and down for a nurse to take the girle home and would have given anything. I offered to the only one that we could get 20s. per weeke, and we to find clothes, and bedding and physique, and would have given 30s., as demanded, but desired an houre or two’s time. So I away by water to Westminster, and there sent for the girle’s mother to Westminster Hall to me; she came and undertakes to get her daughter a lodging and nurse at next doore to her, though she dare not, for the parish’s sake, whose sexton her husband is, to [have] her into her owne house. Thence home, calling at my bookseller’s and other trifling places, and in the evening the mother come and with a nurse she has got, who demanded and I did agree at 10s. per weeke to take her, and so she away, and my house mighty uncouth, having so few in it, and we shall want a servant or two by it, and the truth is my heart was a little sad all the afternoon and jealous of myself. But she went, and we all glad of it, and so a little to the office, and so home to supper and to bed.
4th. Up and by water to Westminster to Charing Cross (Mr. Gregory for company with me) to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s, who was not within. So I took Gregory to White Hall, and there spoke with Joseph Williamson to have leave in the next Gazette to have a general pay for the Chest at Chatham declared upon such a day in June. Here I left Gregory, and I by coach back again to Sir Philip Warwicke’s, and in the Park met him walking, so discoursed about the business of striking a quarter’s tallys for Tangier, due this day, which he hath promised to get my Lord Treasurer’s warrant for, and so away hence, and to Mr. Hales, to see what he had done to Mrs. Pierces picture, and whatever he pretends, I do not think it will ever be so good a picture as my wife’s. Thence home to the office a little and then to dinner, and had a great fray with my wife again about Browne’s coming to teach her to paynt, and sitting with me at table, which I will not yield to. I do thoroughly believe she means no hurte in it; but very angry we were, and I resolved all into my having my will done, without disputing, be the reason what it will; and so I will have it. After dinner abroad again and to the New Exchange about play books, and to White Hall, thinking to have met Sir G. Carteret, but failed. So to the Swan at Westminster, and there spent a quarter of an hour with Jane, and thence away home, and my wife coming home by and by (having been at her mother’s to pray her to look out for a mayde for her) by coach into the fields to Bow, and so home back in the evening, late home, and after supper to bed, being much out of order for lack of somebody in the room of Su. This evening, being weary of my late idle courses, and the little good I shall do the King or myself in the office, I bound myself to very strict rules till Whitsunday next.
5th. At the office all the morning. After dinner upon a letter from the fleete from Sir W. Coventry I did do a great deale of worke for the sending away of the victuallers that are in the river, &c., too much to remember. Till 10 at night busy about letters and other necessary matter of the office. About 11 home, it being a fine moonshine and so my wife and Mercer come into the garden, and, my business being done, we sang till about twelve at night, with mighty pleasure to ourselves and neighbours, by their casements opening, and so home to supper and to bed.
6th (Lord’s day). To church. Home, and after dinner walked to White Hall, thinking to have seen Mr. Coventry, but failed, and therefore walked clear on foot back again. Busy till night in fitting my Victualling papers in order, which I through my multitude of business and pleasure have not examined these several months. Walked back again home, and so to the Victualling Office, where I met Mr. Gawden, and have received some satisfaction, though it be short of what I expected, and what might be expected from me. So after evened I have gone, and so to supper and to bed.
7th. Up betimes to set my Victualling papers in order against Sir W. Coventry comes, which indeed makes me very melancholy, being conscious that I am much to seeke in giving a good answer to his queries about the Victualling business. At the office mighty busy, and brought myself into a pretty plausible condition before Sir W. Coventry come, and did give him a pretty tolerable account of every thing and went with him into the Victualling office, where we sat and examined his businesses and state of the victualling of the fleete, which made me in my heart blushe that I could say no more to it than I did or could. But I trust in God I shall never be in that condition again. We parted, and I with pretty good grace, and so home to dinner, where my wife troubled more and more with her swollen cheek. So to dinner, my sister-inlaw with us, who I find more and more a witty woman; and then I to my Lord Treasurer’s and the Exchequer about my Tangier businesses, and with my content passed by all things and persons without so much as desiring any stay or loss of time with them, being by strong vowe obliged on no occasion to stay abroad but my publique offices. So home again, where I find Mrs. Pierce and Mrs. Ferrers come to see my wife. I staid a little with them, being full of business, and so to the office, where busy till late at night and so weary and a little conscious of my failures today, yet proud that the day is over without more observation on Sir W. Coventry’s part, and so to bed and to sleepe soundly.
8th. Up, and to the office all the morning. At noon dined at home, my wife’s cheek bad still. After dinner to the office again and thither comes Mr. Downing, the anchor-smith, who had given me 50 pieces in gold the last month to speake for him to Sir W. Coventry, for his being smith at Deptford; but after I had got it granted to him, he finds himself not fit to go on with it, so lets it fall. So has no benefit of my motion. I therefore in honour and conscience took him home the money, and, though much to my grief, did yet willingly and forcibly force him to take it again, the poor man having no mind to have it. However, I made him take it, and away he went, and I glad to have given him so much cause to speake well of me. So to my office again late, and then home to supper to a good lobster with my wife, and then a little to my office again, and so to bed.
9th. Up by five o’clock, which I have not a long time done, and down the river by water to Deptford, among other things to examine the state of Ironworke, in order to the doing something with reference to Downing that may induce him to returne me the 50 pieces. Walked back again reading of my Civill Law Book, and so home and by coach to White Hall, where we did our usual business before the Duke, and heard the Duke commend Deane’s ship “The Rupert” before “The Defyance,” built lately by Castle, in hearing of Sir W. Batten, which pleased me mightily. Thence by water to Westminster, and there looked after my Tangier order, and so by coach to Mrs. Pierces, thinking to have gone to Hales’s, but she was not ready, so away home and to dinner, and after dinner out by coach to Lovett’s to have forwarded what I have doing there, but find him and his pretty wife gone to my house to show me something. So away to my Lord Treasurer’s, and thence to Pierces, where I find Knipp, and I took them to Hales’s to see our pictures finished, which are very pretty, but I like not hers half so well as I thought at first, it being not so like, nor so well painted as I expected, or as mine and my wife’s are. Thence with them to Cornhill to call and choose a chimney-piece for Pierces closett, and so home, where my wife in mighty pain and mightily vexed at my being abroad with these women; and when they were gone called them whores and I know not what, which vexed me, having been so innocent with them. So I with them to Mrs. Turner’s and there sat with them a while, anon my wife sends for me, I come, and what was it but to scold at me and she would go abroad to take the ayre presently, that she would. So I left my company and went with her to Bow, but was vexed and spoke not one word to her all the way going nor coming, or being come home, but went up straight to bed. Half an hour after (she in the coach leaning on me as being desirous to be friends) she comes up mighty sicke with a fit of the cholique and in mighty pain and calls for me out of the bed; I rose and held her, she prays me to forgive her, and in mighty pain we put her to bed, where the pain ceased by and by, and so had some asparagus to our bed side for supper and very kindly afterward to sleepe and good friends in the morning.
10th. So up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner and there busy all the afternoon till past six o’clock, and then abroad with my wife by coach, who is now at great ease, her cheeke being broke inward. We took with us Mrs. Turner, who was come to visit my wife just as we were going out. A great deale of tittle tattle discourse to little purpose, I finding her, though in other things a very discreete woman, as very a gossip speaking of her neighbours as any body. Going out towards Hackney by coach for the ayre, the silly coachman carries us to Shoreditch, which was so pleasant a piece of simplicity in him and us, that made us mighty merry. So back again late, it being wondrous hot all the day and night and it lightning exceeding all the way we went and came, but without thunder. Coming home we called at a little ale-house, and had an eele pye, of which my wife eat part and brought home the rest. So being come home we to supper and to bed. This day come our new cook maid Mary, commended by Mrs. Batters.
11th. Up betimes, and then away with Mr. Yeabsly to my Lord Ashly’s, whither by and by comes Sir H. Cholmly and Creed, and then to my Lord, and there entered into examination of Mr. Yeabsly’s accounts, wherein as in all other things I find him one of the most distinct men that ever I did see in my life. He raised many scruples which were to be answered another day and so parted, giving me an alarme how to provide myself against the day of my passing my accounts. Thence I to Westminster to look after the striking of my tallys, but nothing done or to be done therein. So to the ‘Change, to speake with Captain Cocke, among other things about getting of the silver plates of him, which he promises to do; but in discourse he tells me that I should beware of my fellow-officers; and by name told me that my Lord Bruncker should say in his hearing, before Sir W. Batten, of me, that he could undo the man, if he would; wherein I think he is a foole; but, however, it is requisite I be prepared against the man’s friendship. Thence home to dinner alone, my wife being abroad. After dinner to the setting some things in order in my dining-room; and by and by comes my wife home and Mrs. Pierce with her, so I lost most of this afternoon with them, and in the evening abroad with them, our long tour by coach, to Hackney, so to Kingsland, and then to Islington, there entertaining them by candlelight very well, and so home with her, set her down, and so home and to bed.
12th. Up to the office very betimes to draw up a letter for the Duke of Yorke relating to him the badness of our condition in this office for want of money. That being in good time done we met at the office and there sat all the morning. At noon home, where I find my wife troubled still at my checking her last night in the coach in her long stories out of Grand Cyrus, which she would tell, though nothing to the purpose, nor in any good manner.1 This she took unkindly, and I think I was to blame indeed; but she do find with reason, that in the company of Pierce, Knipp, or other women that I love, I do not value her, or mind her as I ought. However very good friends by and by, and to dinner, and after dinner up to the putting our dining room in order, which will be clean again anon, but not as it is to be because of the pictures which are not come home. To the office and did much business, in the evening to Westminster and White Hall about business and among other things met Sir G. Downing on White Hall bridge, and there walked half an hour, talking of the success of the late new Act; and indeed it is very much, that that hath stood really in the room of £800,000 now since Christmas, being itself but £1,250,000. And so I do really take it to be a very considerable thing done by him; for the beginning, end, and every part of it, is to be imputed to him. So home by water, and there hard till 12 at night at work finishing the great letter to the Duke of Yorke against tomorrow morning, and so home to bed. This day come home again my little girle Susan, her sicknesse proving an ague, and she had a fit soon almost as she come home. The fleete is not yet gone from the Nore. The plague encreases in many places, and is 53 this week with us.
1 Sir Walter Scott observes, in his “Life of Dryden,” that the romances of Calprenede and Scuderi, those ponderous and unmerciful folios, now consigned to oblivion, were, in their day, not only universally read and admired, but supposed to furnish the most perfect models of gallantry and heroism. Dr. Johnson read them all. “I have,” says Mrs. Chapone, “and yet I am still alive, dragged through ‘Le Grand Cyrus,’ in twelve huge volumes; ‘Cleopatra,’ in eight or ten; ‘Ibrahim,’ ‘Clelie,’ and some others, whose names, as well as all the rest of them, I have forgotten” (“Letters to Mrs. Carter”). No wonder that Pepys sat on thorns, when his wife began to recite “Le Grand Cyrus” in the coach, “and trembled at the impending tale.”— B.
13th (Lord’s day). Up, and walked to White Hall, where we all met to present a letter to the Duke of Yorke, complaining solemnly of the want of money, and that being done, I to and again up and down Westminster, thinking to have spent a little time with Sarah at the Swan, or Mrs. Martin, but was disappointed in both, so walked the greatest part of the way home, where comes Mr. Symons, my old acquaintance, to dine with me, and I made myself as good company as I could to him, but he was mighty impertinent methought too yet, and thereby I see the difference between myself now and what it was heretofore, when I reckoned him a very brave fellow. After dinner he and I walked together as far as Cheapside, and I quite through to Westminster again, and fell by chance into St. Margett’s’ Church, where I heard a young man play the foole upon the doctrine of purgatory. At this church I spied Betty Howlett, who indeed is mighty pretty, and struck me mightily. After church time, standing in the Church yarde, she spied me, so I went to her, her father and mother and husband being with her. They desired and I agreed to go home with Mr. Michell, and there had the opportunity to have saluted two or three times Betty and make an acquaintance which they are pleased with, though not so much as I am or they think I am. I staid here an houre or more chatting with them in a little sorry garden of theirs by the Bowling Alley, and so left them and I by water home, and there was in great pain in mind lest Sir W. Pen, who is going down to the Fleete, should come to me or send for me to be informed in the state of things, and particularly the Victualling, that by my pains he might seem wise. So after spending an houre with my wife pleasantly in her closett, I to bed even by daylight.
14th. Comes betimes a letter from Sir W. Coventry, that he and Sir G. Carteret are ordered presently down to the Fleete. I up and saw Sir W. Pen gone also after them, and so I finding it a leisure day fell to making cleane my closett in my office, which I did to my content and set up my Platts again, being much taken also with Griffin’s mayde, that did cleane it, being a pretty mayde. I left her at it, and toward Westminster myself with my wife by coach and meeting took up Mr. Lovett the varnisher with us, who is a pleasant speaking and humoured man, so my wife much taken with him, and a good deale of worke I believe I shall procure him. I left my wife at the New Exchange and myself to the Exchequer, to looke after my Tangier tallys, and there met Sir G. Downing, who shewed me his present practise now begun this day to paste up upon the Exchequer door a note of what orders upon the new Act are paid and now in paying, and my Lord of Oxford coming by, also took him, and shewed him his whole method of keeping his books, and everything of it, which indeed is very pretty, and at this day there is assigned upon the Act £804,000. Thence at the New Exchange took up my wife again, and so home to dinner, and after dinner to my office again to set things in order. In the evening out with my wife and my aunt Wight, to take the ayre, and happened to have a pleasant race between our hackney-coach and a gentleman’s. At Bow we eat and drank and so back again, it being very cool in the evening. Having set home my aunt and come home, I fell to examine my wife’s kitchen book, and find 20s. mistake, which made me mighty angry and great difference between us, and so in the difference to bed.
15th. Up and to the office, where we met and sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner by coach to Sir Philip Warwicke’s, he having sent for me, but was not within, so I to my Lord Crew’s, who is very lately come to towne, and with him talking half an houre of the business of the warr, wherein he is very doubtful, from our want of money, that we shall fail. And I do concur with him therein. After some little discourse of ordinary matters, I away to Sir Philip Warwicke’s again, and was come in, and gone out to my Lord Treasurer’s; whither I followed him, and there my business was, to be told that my Lord Treasurer hath got £10,000 for us in the Navy, to answer our great necessities, which I did thank him for; but the sum is not considerable. So home, and there busy all the afternoon till night, and then home to supper and to bed.
16th. Up very betimes, and so down the river to Deptford to look after some business, being by and by to attend the Duke and Mr. Coventry, and so I was wiling to carry something fresh that I may look as a man minding business, which I have done too much for a great while to forfeit, and is now so great a burden upon my mind night and day that I do not enjoy myself in the world almost. I walked thither, and come back again by water, and so to White Hall, and did our usual business before the Duke, and so to the Exchequer, where the lazy rogues have not yet done my tallys, which vexes me. Thence to Mr. Hales, and paid him for my picture, and Mr. Hill’s, for the first £14 for the picture, and 25s. for the frame, and for the other £7 for the picture, it being a copy of his only, and 5s. for the frame; in all, £22 10s. I am very well satisfied in my pictures, and so took them in another coach home along with me, and there with great pleasure my wife and I hung them up, and, that being done, to dinner, where Mrs. Barbara Sheldon come to see us and dined with us, and we kept her all the day with us, I going down to Deptford, and, Lord! to see with what itching desire I did endeavour to see Bagwell’s wife, but failed, for which I am glad, only I observe the folly of my mind that cannot refrain from pleasure at a season above all others in my life requisite for me to shew my utmost care in. I walked both going and coming, spending my time reading of my Civill and Ecclesiastical Law book. Being returned home, I took my wife and Mrs. Barbary and Mercer out by coach and went our Grand Tour, and baited at Islington, and so late home about 11 at night, and so with much pleasure to bed.
17th. Up, lying long, being wearied yesterday with long walking. So to the office, where all the morning with fresh occasion of vexing at myself for my late neglect of business, by which I cannot appear half so usefull as I used to do. Home at noon to dinner, and then to my office again, where I could not hold my eyes open for an houre, but I drowsed (so little sensible I apprehend my soul is of the necessity of minding business), but I anon wakened and minded my business, and did a great deale with very great pleasure, and so home at night to supper and to bed, mightily pleased with myself for the business that I have done, and convinced that if I would but keepe constantly to do the same I might have leisure enough and yet do all my business, and by the grace of God so I will. So to bed.
18th. Up by 5 o’clock, and so down by water to Deptford and Blackewall to dispatch some business. So walked to Dickeshoare, and there took boat again and home, and thence to Westminster, and attended all the morning on the Exchequer for a quarter’s tallys for Tangier. But, Lord! to see what a dull, heavy sort of people they are there would make a man mad. At noon had them and carried them home, and there dined with great content with my people, and within and at the office all the afternoon and night, and so home to settle some papers there, and so to bed, being not very well, having eaten too much lobster at noon at dinner with Mr. Hollyard, he coming in and commending it so much.
19th. Up, and to the office all the morning. At noon took Mr. Deane (lately come to towne) home with me to dinner, and there after giving him some reprimands and good advice about his deportment in the place where by my interest he is at Harwich, and then declaring my resolution of being his friend still, we did then fall to discourse about his ship “Rupert,” built by him there, which succeeds so well as he hath got great honour by it, and I some by recommending him; the King, Duke, and every body saying it is the best ship that was ever built. And then he fell to explain to me his manner of casting the draught of water which a ship will draw before-hand: which is a secret the King and all admire in him; and he is the first that hath come to any certainty before-hand, of foretelling the draught of water of a ship before she be launched. I must confess I am much pleased in his successe in this business, and do admire at the confidence of Castle who did undervalue the draught Deane sent up to me, that I was ashamed to owne it or him, Castle asking of me upon the first sight of it whether he that laid it down had ever built a ship or no, which made me the more doubtfull of him. He being gone, I to the office, where much business and many persons to speake with me. Late home and to bed, glad to be at a little quiett.
20th (Lord’s day). With my wife to church in the morning. At noon dined mighty nobly, ourselves alone. After dinner my wife and Mercer by coach to Greenwich, to be gossip to Mrs. Daniel’s child. I out to Westminster, and straight to Mrs. Martin’s, and there did what I would with her, she staying at home all the day for me; and not being well pleased with her over free and loose company, I away to Westminster Abbey, and there fell in discourse with Mr. Blagrave, whom I find a sober politique man, that gets money and increase of places, and thence by coach home, and thence by water after I had discoursed awhile with Mr. Yeabsly, whom I met and took up in my coach with me, and who hath this day presented my Lord Ashly with £100 to bespeak his friendship to him in his accounts now before us; and my Lord hath received it, and so I believe is as bad, as to bribes, as what the world says of him. Calling on all the Victualling ships to know what they had of their complements, and so to Deptford, to enquire after a little business there, and thence by water back again, all the way coming and going reading my Lord Bacon’s “Faber Fortunae,” which I can never read too often, and so back home, and there find my wife come home, much pleased with the reception she had there, and she was godmother, and did hold the child at the Font, and it is called John. So back again home, and after setting my papers in order and supping, to bed, desirous to rise betimes in the morning.
21st. Up between 4 and 5 o’clock and to set several papers to rights, and so to the office, where we had an extraordinary meeting. But, Lord! how it torments me to find myself so unable to give an account of my Victualling business, which puts me out of heart in every thing else, so that I never had a greater shame upon me in my owne mind, nor more trouble as to publique business than I have now, but I will get out of it as soon as possibly I can. At noon dined at home, and after dinner comes in my wife’s brother Balty and his wife, he being stepped ashore from the fleete for a day or two. I away in some haste to my Lord Ashly, where it is stupendous to see how favourably, and yet closely, my Lord Ashly carries himself to Mr. Yeabsly, in his business, so as I think we shall do his business for him in very good manner. But it is a most extraordinary thing to observe, and that which I would not but have had the observation of for a great deal of money. Being done there, and much forwarded Yeabsly’s business, I with Sir H. Cholmly to my Lord Bellassis, who is lately come from Tangier to visit him, but is not within. So to Westminster Hall a little about business and so home by water, and then out with my wife, her brother, sister, and Mercer to Islington, our grand tour, and there eat and drank. But in discourse I am infinitely pleased with Balty, his deportment in his business of Muster–Master, and hope mighty well from him, and am glad with all my heart I put him into this business. Late home and to bed, they also lying at my house, he intending to go away tomorrow back again to sea.
22nd. Up betimes and to my business of entering some Tangier payments in my book in order, and then to the office, where very busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner, Balty being gone back to sea and his wife dining with us, whom afterward my wife carried home. I after dinner to the office, and anon out on several occasions, among others to Lovett’s, and there staid by him and her and saw them (in their poor conditioned manner) lay on their varnish, which however pleased me mightily to see. Thence home to my business writing letters, and so at night home to supper and to bed.
23rd. Up by 5 o’clock and to my chamber settling several matters in order. So out toward White Hall, calling in my way on my Lord Bellassis, where I come to his bedside, and did give me a full and long account of his matters, how he left them at Tangier. Declares himself fully satisfied with my care: seems cunningly to argue for encreasing the number of men there. Told me the whole story of his gains by the Turky prizes, which he owns he hath got about £5000 by. Promised me the same profits Povy was to have had; and in fine, I find him a pretty subtle man; and so I left him, and to White Hall before the Duke and did our usual business, and eased my mind of two or three things of weight that lay upon me about Lanyon’s salary, which I have got to be £150 per annum. Thence to Westminster to look after getting some little for some great tallys, but shall find trouble in it. Thence homeward and met with Sir Philip Warwicke, and spoke about this, in which he is scrupulous. After that to talk of the wants of the Navy. He lays all the fault now upon the new Act, and owns his owne folly in thinking once so well of it as to give way to others’ endeavours about it, and is grieved at heart to see what passe things are like to come to. Thence to the Excise Office to the Commissioners to get a meeting between them and myself and others about our concernments in the Excise for Tangier, and so to the ‘Change awhile, and thence home with Creed, and find my wife at dinner with Mr. Cooke, who is going down to Hinchinbrooke. After dinner Creed and I and wife and Mercer out by coach, leaving them at the New Exchange, while I to White Hall, and there staid at Sir G. Carteret’s chamber till the Council rose, and then he and I, by agreement this morning, went forth in his coach by Tiburne, to the Parke; discoursing of the state of the Navy as to money, and the state of the Kingdom too, how ill able to raise more: and of our office as to the condition of the officers; he giving me caution as to myself, that there are those that are my enemies as well as his, and by name my Lord Bruncker, who hath said some odd speeches against me. So that he advises me to stand on my guard; which I shall do, and unless my too-much addiction to pleasure undo me, will be acute enough for any of them. We rode to and again in the Parke a good while, and at last home and set me down at Charing Crosse, and thence I to Mrs. Pierces to take up my wife and Mercer, where I find her new picture by Hales do not please her, nor me indeed, it making no show, nor is very like, nor no good painting. Home to supper and to bed, having my right eye sore and full of humour of late, I think, by my late change of my brewer, and having of 8s. beer.
24th. Up very betimes, and did much business in my chamber. Then to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon rose in the pleasantest humour I have seen Sir W. Coventry and the whole board in this twelvemonth from a pleasant crossing humour Sir W. Batten was in, he being hungry, and desirous to be gone. Home, and Mr. Hunt come to dine with me, but I was prevented dining till 4 o’clock by Sir H. Cholmly and Sir J. Bankes’s coming in about some Tangier business. They gone I to dinner, the others having dined. Mr. Sheply is also newly come out of the country and come to see us, whom I am glad to see. He left all well there; but I perceive under some discontent in my Lord’s behalfe, thinking that he is under disgrace with the King; but he is not so at all, as Sir G. Carteret assures me. They gone I to the office and did business, and so in the evening abroad alone with my wife to Kingsland, and so back again and to bed, my right eye continuing very ill of the rheum, which hath troubled it four or five days.
25th. Up betimes and to my chamber to do business, where the greatest part of the morning. Then out to the ‘Change to speake with Captain [Cocke], who tells me my silver plates are ready for me, and shall be sent me speedily; and proposes another proposition of serving us with a thousand tons of hempe, and tells me it shall bring me 6500, if the bargain go forward, which is a good word. Thence to Sir G. Carteret, who is at the pay of the tickets with Sir J. Minnes this day, and here I sat with them a while, the first time I ever was there, and thence to dinner with him, a good dinner. Here come a gentleman over from France arrived here this day, Mr. Browne of St. Mellos, who, among other things, tells me the meaning of the setting out of doggs every night out of the towne walls, which are said to secure the city; but it is not so, but only to secure the anchors, cables, and ships that lie dry, which might otherwise in the night be liable to be robbed. And these doggs are set out every night, and called together in every morning by a man with a home, and they go in very orderly. Thence home, and there find Knipp at dinner with my wife, now very big, and within a fortnight of lying down. But my head was full of business and so could have no sport. So I left them, promising to return and take them out at night, and so to the Excise Office, where a meeting was appointed of Sir Stephen Fox, the Cofferer, and myself, to settle the business of our tallys, and it was so pretty well against another meeting. Thence away home to the office and out again to Captain Cocke (Mr. Moore for company walking with me and discoursing and admiring of the learning of Dr. Spencer), and there he and I discoursed a little more of our matters, and so home, and (Knipp being gone) took out my wife and Mercer to take the ayre a little, and so as far as Hackney and back again, and then to bed.
26th. Up betimes and to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined at home. So to the office again, and a while at the Victualling Office to understand matters there a little, and thence to the office and despatched much business, to my great content, and so home to supper and to bed.
27th (Lord’s day). Rose betimes, and to my office till church time to write two copies of my Will fair, bearing date this day, wherein I have given my sister Pall £500, my father for his owne and my mother’s support £2,000, to my wife the rest of my estate, but to have £2500 secured to her, though by deducting out of what I have given my father and my sister. I dispatched all before church time and then to church, my wife with me. Thence home to dinner, whither come my uncle Wight, and aunt and uncle Norbury, and Mr. Shepley. A good dinner and very merry. After dinner we broke up and I by water to Westminster to Mrs. Martin’s, and there sat with her and her husband and Mrs. Burrows, the pretty, an hour or two, then to the Swan a while, and so home by water, and with my wife by and by by water as low as Greenwich, for ayre only, and so back again home to supper and to bed with great pleasure.
28th. Up and to my chamber to do some business there, and then to the office, where a while, and then by agreement to the Excise Office, where I waited all the morning for the Cofferer and Sir St. Foxe’s coming, but they did not, so I and the Commissioners lost their labour and expectation of doing the business we intended. Thence home, where I find Mr. Lovett and his wife came to see us. They are a pretty couple, and she a fine bred woman. They dined with us, and Browne, the paynter, and she plays finely on the lute. My wife and I were well pleased with her company. After dinner broke up, I to the office and they abroad. All the afternoon I busy at the office, and down by water to Deptford. Walked back to Redriffe, and so home to the office again, being thoughtfull how to answer Sir W. Coventry against tomorrow in the business of the Victualling, but that I do trust to Tom Wilson, that he will be ready with a book for me tomorrow morning. So to bed, my wife telling me where she hath been today with my aunt Wight, and seen Mrs. Margaret Wight, and says that she is one of the beautifullest women that ever she saw in her life, the most excellent nose and mouth. They have been also to see pretty Mrs. Batelier, and conclude her to be a prettier woman than Mrs. Pierce, whom my wife led my aunt to see also this day.
29th (King’s birth-day and Restauration day). Waked with the ringing of the bells all over the towne; so up before five o’clock, and to the office, where we met, and I all the morning with great trouble upon my spirit to think how I should come off in the afternoon when Sir W. Coventry did go to the Victualling office to see the state of matters there, and methinks by his doing of it without speaking to me, and only with Sir W. Pen, it must be of design to find my negligence. However, at noon I did, upon a small invitation of Sir W. Pen’s, go and dine with Sir W. Coventry at his office, where great good cheer and many pleasant stories of Sir W. Coventry; but I had no pleasure in them. However, I had last night and this morning made myself a little able to report how matters were, and did readily go with them after dinner to the Victualling office; and there, beyond belief, did acquit myself very well to full content; so that, beyond expectation, I got over this second rub in this business; and if ever I fall on it again, I deserve to be undone. Being broke up there, I with a merry heart home to my office, and thither my wife comes to me, to tell me, that if I would see the handsomest woman in England, I shall come home presently; and who should it be but the pretty lady of our parish, that did heretofore sit on the other side of our church, over against our gallery, that is since married; she with Mrs. Anne Jones, one of this parish, that dances finely, and Mrs. sister did come to see her this afternoon, and so I home and there find Creed also come to me. So there I spent most of the afternoon with them, and indeed she is a pretty black woman, her name Mrs. Horsely. But, Lord! to see how my nature could not refrain from the temptation; but I must invite them to Foxhall, to Spring Gardens, though I had freshly received minutes of a great deale of extraordinary business. However I could not helpe it, but sent them before with Creed, and I did some of my business; and so after them, and find them there, in an arbour, and had met with Mrs. Pierce, and some company with her. So here I spent 20s. upon them, and were pretty merry. Among other things, had a fellow that imitated all manner of birds, and doggs, and hogs, with his voice, which was mighty pleasant. Staid here till night: then set Mrs. Pierce in at the New Exchange; and ourselves took coach, and so set Mrs. Horsely home, and then home ourselves, but with great trouble in the streets by bonefires, it being the King’s birth-day and day of Restauration; but, Lord! to see the difference how many there were on the other side, and so few ours, the City side of the Temple, would make one wonder the difference between the temper of one sort of people and the other: and the difference among all between what they do now, and what it was the night when Monk come into the City. Such a night as that I never think to see again, nor think it can be. After I come home I was till one in the morning with Captain Cocke drawing up a contract with him intended to be offered to the Duke tomorrow, which, if it proceeds, he promises me £500.
30th. Up and to my office, there to settle some business in order.to our waiting on the Duke today. That done to White Hall to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, where I find the Duke gone out with the King today on hunting. So after some discourse with him, I by water to Westminster, and there drew a draught of an order for my Lord Treasurer to sign for my having some little tallys made me in lieu of two great ones, of £2000 each, to enable me to pay small sums therewith. I shewed it to Sir R. Long and had his approbation, and so to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s, and did give it him to get signed. So home to my office, and there did business. By and by toward noon word is brought me that my father and my sister are come. I expected them today, but not so soon. I to them, and am heartily glad to see them, especially my father, who, poor man, looks very well, and hath rode up this journey on horseback very well, only his eyesight and hearing is very bad. I staid and dined with them, my wife being gone by coach to Barnet, with W. Hewer and Mercer, to meet them, and they did come Ware way. After dinner I left them to dress themselves and I abroad by appointment to my Lord Ashly, who, it is strange to see, how prettily he dissembles his favour to Yeabsly’s business, which none in the world could mistrust only I, that am privy to his being bribed. Thence to White Hall, and there staid till the Council was up, with Creed expecting a meeting of Tangier to end Yeabsly’s business, but we could not procure it. So I to my Lord Treasurer’s and got my warrant, and then to Lovett’s, but find nothing done there. So home and did a little business at the office, and so down by water to Deptford and back again home late, and having signed some papers and given order in business, home, where my wife is come home, and so to supper with my father, and mighty pleasant we were, and my wife mighty kind to him and Pall, and so after supper to bed, myself being sleepy, and my right eye still very sore, as it has been now about five days or six, which puts me out of tune. To-night my wife tells me newes has been brought her that Balty’s wife is brought to bed, by some fall or fit, before her time, of a great child but dead. If the woman do well we have no reason to be sorry, because his staying a little longer without a child will be better for him and her.
31st. Waked very betimes in the morning by extraordinary thunder and rain, which did keep me sleeping and waking till very late, and it being a holiday and my eye very sore, and myself having had very little sleep for a good while till nine o’clock, and so up, and so saw all my family up, and my father and sister, who is a pretty good-bodied woman, and not over thicke, as I thought she would have been, but full of freckles, and not handsome in face. And so I out by water among the ships, and to Deptford and Blackewall about business, and so home and to dinner with my father and sister and family, mighty pleasant all of us; and, among other things, with a sparrow that our Mercer hath brought up now for three weeks, which is so tame that it flies up and down, and upon the table, and eats and pecks, and do everything so pleasantly, that we are mightily pleased with it. After dinner I to my papers and accounts of this month to sett all straight, it being a publique Fast-day appointed to pray for the good successe of the fleete. But it is a pretty thing to consider how little a matter they make of this keeping of a Fast, that it was not so much as declared time enough to be read in the churches the last Sunday; but ordered by proclamation since: I suppose upon some sudden newes of the Dutch being come out. To my accounts and settled them clear; but to my grief find myself poorer than I was the last by near £20, by reason of my being forced to return £50 to Downing, the smith, which he had presented me with. However, I am well contented, finding myself yet to be worth £5,200. Having done, to supper with my wife, and then to finish the writing fair of my accounts, and so to bed. This day come to town Mr. Homewood, and I took him home in the evening to my chamber, and discoursed with him about my business of the Victualling, which I have a mind to employ him in, and he is desirous of also, but do very ingenuously declare he understands it not so well as other things, and desires to be informed in the nature of it before he attempts it, which I like well, and so I carried him to Mr. Gibson to discourse with him about it, and so home again to my accounts. Thus ends this month, with my mind oppressed by my defect in my duty of the Victualling, which lies upon me as a burden, till I get myself into a better posture therein, and hinders me and casts down my courage in every thing else that belongs to me, and the jealousy I have of Sir W. Coventry’s being displeased with me about it; but I hope in a little time to remedy all. As to publique business; by late tidings of the French fleete being come to Rochelle (how true, though, I know not) our fleete is divided; Prince Rupert being gone with about thirty ships to the Westward as is conceived to meet the French, to hinder their coming to join with the Dutch. My Lord Duke of Albemarle lies in the Downes with the rest, and intends presently to sail to the Gunfleete.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53