July 1st (Sunday). Up betimes, and to the office receiving letters, two or three one after another from Sir W. Coventry, and sent as many to him, being full of variety of business and hurry, but among the chiefest is the getting of these pressed men out of the City down the river to the fleete. While I was hard at it comes Sir W. Pen to towne, which I little expected, having invited my Lady and her daughter Pegg to dine with me today; which at noon they did, and Sir W. Pen with them: and pretty merry we were. And though I do not love him, yet I find it necessary to keep in with him; his good service at Shearnesse in getting out the fleete being much taken notice of, and reported to the King and Duke [of York], even from the Prince and Duke of Albemarle themselves, and made the most of to me and them by Sir W. Coventry: therefore I think it discretion, great and necessary discretion, to keep in with him. After dinner to the office again, where busy, and then down to Deptford to the yard, thinking to have seen Bagwell’s wife, whose husband is gone yesterday back to the fleete, but I did not see her, so missed what I went for, and so back to the Tower several times, about the business of the pressed men, and late at it till twelve at night, shipping of them. But, Lord! how some poor women did cry; and in my life I never did see such natural expression of passion as I did here in some women’s bewailing themselves, and running to every parcel of men that were brought, one after another, to look for their husbands, and wept over every vessel that went off, thinking they might be there, and looking after the ship as far as ever they could by moone-light, that it grieved me to the heart to hear them. Besides, to see poor patient labouring men and housekeepers, leaving poor wives and families, taking up on a sudden by strangers, was very hard, and that without press-money, but forced against all law to be gone. It is a great tyranny. Having done this I to the Lieutenant of the Tower and bade him good night, and so away home and to bed.
2nd. Up betimes, and forced to go to my Lord Mayor’s, about the business of the pressed men; and indeed I find him a mean man of understanding and dispatch of any publique business. Thence out of curiosity to Bridewell to see the pressed men, where there are about 300; but so unruly that I durst not go among them: and they have reason to be so, having been kept these three days prisoners, with little or no victuals, and pressed out, and, contrary to all course of law, without press-money, and men that are not liable to it. Here I met with prating Colonel Cox, one of the City collonells heretofore a great presbyter: but to hear how the fellow did commend himself, and the service he do the King; and, like an asse, at Paul’s did take me out of my way on purpose to show me the gate (the little north gate) where he had two men shot close by him on each hand, and his own hair burnt by a bullet-shot in the insurrection of Venner, and himself escaped. Thence home and to the Tower to see the men from Bridewell shipped. Being rid of him I home to dinner, and thence to the Excise office by appointment to meet my Lord Bellasses and the Commissioners, which we did and soon dispatched, and so I home, and there was called by Pegg Pen to her house, where her father and mother, and Mrs. Norton, the second Roxalana, a fine woman, indifferent handsome, good body and hand, and good mine, and pretends to sing, but do it not excellently. However I took pleasure there, and my wife was sent for, and Creed come in to us, and so there we spent the most of the afternoon. Thence weary of losing so much time I to the office, and thence presently down to Deptford; but to see what a consternation there is upon the water by reason of this great press, that nothing is able to get a waterman to appear almost. Here I meant to have spoke with Bagwell’s mother, but her face was sore, and so I did not, but returned and upon the water found one of the vessels loaden with the Bridewell birds in a great mutiny, and they would not sail, not they; but with good words, and cajoling the ringleader into the Tower (where, when he was come, he was clapped up in the hole), they were got very quietly; but I think it is much if they do not run the vessel on ground. But away they went, and I to the Lieutenant of the Tower, and having talked with him a little, then home to supper very late and to bed weary.
3rd. Being very weary, lay long in bed, then to the office and there sat all the day. At noon dined at home, Balty’s wife with us, and in very good humour I was and merry at dinner, and after dinner a song or two, and so I abroad to my Lord Treasurer’s (sending my sister home by the coach), while I staid there by appointment to have met my Lord Bellasses and Commissioners of Excise, but they did not meet me, he being abroad. However Mr. Finch, one of the Commissioners, I met there, and he and I walked two houres together in the garden, talking of many things; sometimes of Mr. Povy, whose vanity, prodigality, neglect of his business, and committing it to unfit hands hath undone him and outed him of all his publique employments, and the thing set on foot by an accidental revivall of a business, wherein he had three or fours years ago, by surprize, got the Duke of Yorke to sign to the having a sum of money paid out of the Excise, before some that was due to him, and now the money is fallen short, and the Duke never likely to be paid. This being revived hath undone Povy. Then we fell to discourse of the Parliament, and the great men there: and among others, Mr. Vaughan, whom he reports as a man of excellent judgement and learning, but most passionate and ‘opiniastre’. He had done himself the most wrong (though he values it not), that is, the displeasure of the King in his standing so long against the breaking of the Act for a trienniall parliament; but yet do believe him to be a most loyall gentleman. He told me Mr. Prin’s character; that he is a man of mighty labour and reading and memory, but the worst judge of matters, or layer together of what he hath read, in the world; which I do not, however, believe him in; that he believes him very true to the King in his heart, but can never be reconciled to episcopacy; that the House do not lay much weight upon him, or any thing he says. He told me many fine things, and so we parted, and I home and hard to work a while at the office and then home and till midnight about settling my last month’s accounts wherein I have been interrupted by public business, that I did not state them two or three days ago, but I do now to my great joy find myself worth above £5600, for which the Lord’s name be praised! So with my heart full of content to bed. Newes come yesterday from Harwich, that the Dutch had appeared upon our coast with their fleete, and we believe did go to the Gun-fleete, and they are supposed to be there now; but I have heard nothing of them today. Yesterday Dr. Whistler, at Sir W. Pen’s, told me that Alexander Broome, a the great song-maker, is lately dead.
4th. Up, and visited very betimes by Mr. Sheply, who is come to town upon business from Hinchingbrooke, where he left all well. I out and walked along with him as far as Fleet Streete, it being a fast day, the usual fast day for the plague, and few coaches to be had. Thanks be to God, the plague is, as I hear, encreased but two this week; but in the country in several places it rages mightily, and particularly in Colchester, where it hath long been, and is believed will quite depopulate the place. To St. James’s, and there did our usual business with the Duke, all of us, among other things, discoursing about the places where to build ten great ships; the King and Council have resolved on none to be under third-rates; but it is impossible to do it, unless we have more money towards the doing it than yet we have in any view. But, however, the shew must be made to the world. Thence to my Lord Bellasses to take my leave of him, he being going down to the North to look after the Militia there, for fear of an invasion. Thence home and dined, and then to the office, where busy all day, and in the evening Sir W. Pen come to me, and we walked together, and talked of the late fight. I find him very plain, that the whole conduct of the late fight was ill, and that that of truth’s all, and he tells me that it is not he, but two-thirds of the commanders of the whole fleete have told him so: they all saying, that they durst not oppose it at the Council of War, for fear of being called cowards, though it was wholly against their judgement to fight that day with the disproportion of force, and then we not being able to use one gun of our lower tier, which was a greater disproportion than the other. Besides, we might very well have staid in the Downs without fighting, or any where else, till the Prince could have come up to them; or at least till the weather was fair, that we might have the benefit of our whole force in the ships that we had. He says three things must [be] remedied, or else we shall be undone by this fleete. 1. That we must fight in a line, whereas we fight promiscuously, to our utter and demonstrable ruine; the Dutch fighting otherwise; and we, whenever we beat them. 2. We must not desert ships of our own in distress, as we did, for that makes a captain desperate, and he will fling away his ship, when there is no hopes left him of succour. 3. That ships, when they are a little shattered, must not take the liberty to come in of themselves, but refit themselves the best they can, and stay out — many of our ships coming in with very small disablenesses. He told me that our very commanders, nay, our very flag-officers, do stand in need of exercising among themselves, and discoursing the business of commanding a fleete; he telling me that even one of our flag-men in the fleete did not know which tacke lost the wind, or which kept it, in the last engagement. He says it was pure dismaying and fear that made them all run upon the Galloper, not having their wits about them; and that it was a miracle they were not all lost. He much inveighs upon my discoursing of Sir John Lawson’s saying heretofore, that sixty sail would do as much as one hundred; and says that he was a man of no counsel at all, but had got the confidence to say as the gallants did, and did propose to himself to make himself great by them, and saying as they did; but was no man of judgement in his business, but hath been out in the greatest points that have come before them. And then in the business of fore-castles, which he did oppose, all the world sees now the use of them for shelter of men. He did talk very rationally to me, insomuch that I took more pleasure this night in hearing him discourse, than I ever did in my life in any thing that he said. He gone I to the office again, and so after some business home to supper and to bed.
5th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning busy, then at noon dined and Mr. Sheply with me, who come to towne the other day. I lent him 630 in silver upon 30 pieces in gold. But to see how apt every body is to neglect old kindnesses! I must charge myself with the ingratitude of being unwilling to lend him so much money without some pawne, if he should have asked it, but he did not aske it, poor man, and so no harm done. After dinner, he gone, I to my office and Lumbard Streete about money, and then to my office again, very busy, and so till late, and then a song with my wife and Mercer in the garden, and so with great content to bed.
6th. Up, and after doing some business at my office abroad to Lumbard Street, about the getting of a good sum of money, thence home, in preparation for my having some good sum in my hands, for fear of a trouble in the State, that I may not have all I have in the world out of my hands and so be left a beggar. Having put that in a way, I home to the office, and so to the Tower; about shipping of some more pressed men, and that done, away to Broad Streete, to Sir G. Carteret, who is at a pay of tickets all alone, and I believe not less than one thousand people in the streets. But it is a pretty thing to observe that both there and every where else, a man shall see many women now-a-days of mean sort in the streets, but no men; men being so afeard of the press. I dined with Sir G. Carteret, and after dinner had much discourse about our publique business; and he do seem to fear every day more and more what I do; which is, a general confusion in the State; plainly answering me to the question, who is it that the weight of the warr depends [upon]? that it is only Sir W. Coventry. He tells me, too, the Duke of Albemarle is dissatisfied, and that the Duchesse do curse Coventry as the man that betrayed her husband to the sea: though I believe that it is not so. Thence to Lumbard Streete, and received £2000, and carried it home: whereof £1000 in gold. The greatest quantity not only that I ever had of gold, but that ever I saw together, and is not much above half a 100 lb. bag full, but is much weightier. This I do for security sake, and convenience of carriage; though it costs me above £70 the change of it, at 18 1/2d. per piece. Being at home, I there met with a letter from Bab Allen — [Mrs. Knipp]— to invite me to be god-father to her boy, with Mrs. Williams, which I consented to, but know not the time when it is to be. Thence down to the Old Swan, calling at Michell’s, he not being within, and there I did steal a kiss or two of her, and staying a little longer, he come in, and her father, whom I carried to Westminster, my business being thither, and so back again home, and very busy all the evening. At night a song in the garden and to bed.
7th. At the office all the morning, at noon dined at home and Creed with me, and after dinner he and I two or three hours in my chamber discoursing of the fittest way for a man to do that hath money, and find all he offers of turning some into gold and leaving some in a friend’s hand is nothing more than what I thought of myself, but is doubtful, as well as I, what is best to be done of all these or other ways to be thought on. He tells me he finds all things mighty dull at Court; and that they now begin to lie long in bed; it being, as we suppose, not seemly for them to be found playing and gaming as they used to be; nor that their minds are at ease enough to follow those sports, and yet not knowing how to employ themselves (though there be work enough for their thoughts and councils and pains), they keep long in bed. But he thinks with me, that there is nothing in the world can helpe us but the King’s personal looking after his business and his officers, and that with that we may yet do well; but otherwise must be undone: nobody at this day taking care of any thing, nor hath any body to call him to account for it. Thence left him and to my office all the afternoon busy, and in some pain in my back by some bruise or other I have given myself in my right testicle this morning, and the pain lies there and hath done, and in my back thereupon all this day. At night into the garden to my wife and Lady Pen and Pegg, and Creed, who staid with them till to at night. My Lady Pen did give us a tarte and other things, and so broke up late and I to bed. It proved the hottest night that ever I was in in my life, and thundered and lightened all night long and rained hard. But, Lord! to see in what fears I lay a good while, hearing of a little noise of somebody walking in the house: so rung the bell, and it was my mayds going to bed about one o’clock in the morning. But the fear of being robbed, having so much money in the house, was very great, and is still so, and do much disquiet me.
8th (Lord’s day). Up, and pretty well of my pain, so that it did not trouble me at all, and I do clearly find that my pain in my back was nothing but only accompanied my bruise in my stones. To church, wife and Mercer and I, in expectation of hearing some mighty preacher today, Mrs. Mary Batelier sending us word so; but it proved our ordinary silly lecturer, which made me merry, and she laughed upon us to see her mistake. At noon W. Hewer dined with us, and a good dinner, and I expected to have had newes sent me of Knipp’s christening today; but, hearing nothing of it, I did not go, though I fear it is but their forgetfulness and so I may disappoint them. To church, after dinner, again, a thing I have not done a good while before, go twice in one day. After church with my wife and Mercer and Tom by water through bridge to the Spring Garden at Fox Hall, and thence down to Deptford and there did a little business, and so back home and to bed.
9th. Up betimes, and with Sir W. Pen in his coach to Westminster to Sir G. Downing’s, but missed of him, and so we parted, I by water home, where busy all the morning, at noon dined at home, and after dinner to my office, where busy till come to by Lovett and his wife, who have brought me some sheets of paper varnished on one side, which lies very white and smooth and, I think, will do our business most exactly, and will come up to the use that I intended them for, and I am apt to believe will be an invention that will take in the world. I have made up a little book of it to give Sir W. Coventry tomorrow, and am very well pleased with it. Home with them, and there find my aunt Wight with my wife come to take her leave of her, being going for the summer into the country; and there was also Mrs. Mary Batelier and her sister, newly come out of France, a black, very black woman, but mighty good-natured people both, as ever I saw. Here I made the black one sing a French song, which she did mighty innocently; and then Mrs. Lovett play on the lute, which she do very well; and then Mercer and I sang; and so, with great pleasure, I left them, having shewed them my chamber, and £1000 in gold, which they wondered at, and given them sweetmeats, and shewn my aunt Wight my father’s picture, which she admires. So I left them and to the office, where Mr. Moore come to me and talking of my Lord’s family business tells me that Mr. Sheply is ignorantly, we all believe, mistaken in his accounts above £700 more than he can discharge himself of, which is a mighty misfortune, poor man, and may undo him, and yet every body believes that he do it most honestly. I am troubled for him very much. He gone, I hard at the office till night, then home to supper and to bed.
10th. Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning, sitting, and there presented Sir W. Coventry with my little book made up of Lovett’s varnished paper, which he and the whole board liked very well. At noon home to dinner and then to the office; the yarde being very full of women (I believe above three hundred) coming to get money for their husbands and friends that are prisoners in Holland; and they lay clamouring and swearing and cursing us, that my wife and I were afeard to send a venison-pasty that we have for supper to-night to the cook’s to be baked, for fear of their offering violence to it: but it went, and no hurt done. Then I took an opportunity, when they were all gone into the foreyarde, and slipt into the office and there busy all the afternoon, but by and by the women got into the garden, and come all to my closett window, and there tormented me, and I confess their cries were so sad for money, and laying down the condition of their families and their husbands, and what they have done and suffered for the King, and how ill they are used by us, and how well the Dutch are used here by the allowance of their masters, and what their husbands are offered to serve the Dutch abroad, that I do most heartily pity them, and was ready to cry to hear them, but cannot helpe them. However, when the rest were gone, I did call one to me that I heard complaine only and pity her husband and did give her some money, and she blessed me and went away. Anon my business at the office being done I to the Tower to speak with Sir John Robinson about business, principally the bad condition of the pressed men for want of clothes, so it is represented from the fleete, and so to provide them shirts and stockings and drawers. Having done with him about that, I home and there find my wife and the two Mrs. Bateliers walking in the garden. I with them till almost 9 at night, and then they and we and Mrs. Mercer, the mother, and her daughter Anne, and our Mercer, to supper to a good venison-pasty and other good things, and had a good supper, and very merry, Mistresses Bateliers being both very good-humoured. We sang and talked, and then led them home, and there they made us drink; and, among other things, did show us, in cages, some birds brought from about Bourdeaux, that are all fat, and, examining one of them, they are so, almost all fat. Their name is [Ortolans], which are brought over to the King for him to eat, and indeed are excellent things. We parted from them and so home to bed, it being very late, and to bed.
11th. Up, and by water to Sir G. Downing’s, there to discourse with him about the reliefe of the prisoners in Holland; which I did, and we do resolve of the manner of sending them some. So I away by coach to St. James’s, and there hear that the Duchesse is lately brought to bed of a boy. By and by called to wait on the Duke, the King being present; and there agreed, among other things, of the places to build the ten new great ships ordered to be built, and as to the relief of prisoners in Holland. And then about several stories of the basenesse of the King of Spayne’s being served with officers: they in Flanders having as good common men as any Prince in the world, but the veriest cowards for the officers, nay for the generall officers, as the Generall and Lieutenant-generall, in the whole world. But, above all things, the King did speake most in contempt of the ceremoniousnesse of the King of Spayne, that he do nothing but under some ridiculous form or other, and will not piss but another must hold the chamber-pot. Thence to Westminster Hall and there staid a while, and then to the Swan and kissed Sarah, and so home to dinner, and after dinner out again to Sir Robert Viner, and there did agree with him to accommodate some business of tallys so as I shall get in near £2000 into my own hands, which is in the King’s, upon tallys; which will be a pleasure to me, and satisfaction to have a good sum in my own hands, whatever evil disturbances should be in the State; though it troubles me to lose so great a profit as the King’s interest of ten per cent. for that money. Thence to Westminster, doing several things by the way, and there failed of meeting Mrs. Lane, and so by coach took up my wife at her sister’s, and so away to Islington, she and I alone, and so through Hackney, and home late, our discourse being about laying up of some money safe in prevention to the troubles I am afeard we may have in the state, and so sleepy (for want of sleep the last night, going to bed late and rising betimes in the morning) home, but when I come to the office, I there met with a command from my Lord Arlington, to go down to a galliott at Greenwich, by the King’s particular command, that is going to carry the Savoy Envoye over, and we fear there may be many Frenchmen there on board; and so I have a power and command to search for and seize all that have not passes from one of the Secretarys of State, and to bring them and their papers and everything else in custody some whither. So I to the Tower, and got a couple of musquetiers with me, and Griffen and my boy Tom and so down; and, being come, found none on board but two or three servants, looking to horses and doggs, there on board, and, seeing no more, I staid not long there, but away and on shore at Greenwich, the night being late and the tide against us; so, having sent before, to Mrs. Clerke’s and there I had a good bed, and well received, the whole people rising to see me, and among the rest young Mrs. Daniel, whom I kissed again and again alone, and so by and by to bed and slept pretty well,
12th. But was up again by five o’clock, and was forced to rise, having much business, and so up and dressed myself (enquiring, was told that Mrs. Tooker was gone hence to live at London) and away with Poundy to the Tower, and thence, having shifted myself, but being mighty drowsy for want of sleep, I by coach to St. James’s, to Goring House, there to wait on my Lord Arlington to give him an account of my night’s worke, but he was not up, being not long since married: so, after walking up and down the house below — being the house I was once at Hartlib’s sister’s wedding, and is a very fine house and finely furnished — and then thinking it too much for me to lose time to wait my Lord’s rising, I away to St. James’s, and there to Sir W. Coventry, and wrote a letter to my Lord Arlington giving him an account of what I have done, and so with Sir W. Coventry into London, to the office. And all the way I observed him mightily to make mirth of the Duke of Albemarle and his people about him, saying, that he was the happiest man in the world for doing of great things by sorry instruments. And so particularized in Sir W. Clerke, and Riggs, and Halsey, and others. And then again said that the only quality eminent in him was, that he did persevere; and indeed he is a very drudge, and stands by the King’s business. And this he said, that one thing he was good at, that he never would receive an excuse if the thing was not done; listening to no reasoning for it, be it good or bad. But then I told him, what he confessed, that he would however give the man, that he employs, orders for removing of any obstruction that he thinks he shall meet with in the world, and instanced in several warrants that he issued for breaking open of houses and other outrages about the business of prizes, which people bore with either for affection or fear, which he believes would not have been borne with from the King, nor Duke, nor any man else in England, and I thinke he is in the right, but it is not from their love of him, but from something else I cannot presently say. Sir W. Coventry did further say concerning Warcupp, his kinsman, that had the simplicity to tell Sir W. Coventry, that the Duke did intend to go to sea and to leave him his agent on shore for all things that related to the sea. But, says Sir W. Coventry, I did believe but the Duke of Yorke would expect to be his agent on shore for all sea matters. And then he begun to say what a great man Warcupp was, and something else, and what was that but a great lyer; and told me a story, how at table he did, they speaking about antipathys, say, that a rose touching his skin any where, would make it rise and pimple; and, by and by, the dessert coming, with roses upon it, the Duchesse bid him try, and they did; but they rubbed and rubbed, but nothing would do in the world, by which his lie was found at then. He spoke contemptibly of Holmes and his mermidons, that come to take down the ships from hence, and have carried them without any necessaries, or any thing almost, that they will certainly be longer getting ready than if they had staid here. In fine, I do observe, he hath no esteem nor kindnesse for the Duke’s matters, but, contrarily, do slight him and them; and I pray God the Kingdom do not pay too dear by this jarring; though this blockheaded Duke I did never expect better from. At the office all the morning, at noon home and thought to have slept, my head all day being full of business and yet sleepy and out of order, and so I lay down on my bed in my gowne to sleep, but I could not, therefore about three o’clock up and to dinner and thence to the office, where. Mrs. Burroughs, my pretty widow, was and so I did her business and sent her away by agreement, and presently I by coach after and took her up in Fenchurch Streete and away through the City, hiding my face as much as I could, but she being mighty pretty and well enough clad, I was not afeard, but only lest somebody should see me and think me idle. I quite through with her, and so into the fields Uxbridge way, a mile or two beyond Tyburne, and then back and then to Paddington, and then back to Lyssen green, a place the coachman led me to (I never knew in my life) and there we eat and drank and so back to Chasing Crosse, and there I set her down. All the way most excellent pretty company. I had her lips as much as I would, and a mighty pretty woman she is and very modest and yet kinde in all fair ways. All this time I passed with mighty pleasure, it being what I have for a long time wished for, and did pay this day 5s. forfeite for her company. She being gone, I to White Hall and there to Lord Arlington’s, and met Mr. Williamson, and find there is no more need of my trouble about the Galliott, so with content departed, and went straight home, where at the office did the most at the office in that wearied and sleepy state I could, and so home to supper, and after supper falling to singing with Mercer did however sit up with her, she pleasing me with her singing of “Helpe, helpe,” ‘till past midnight and I not a whit drowsy, and so to bed.
13th. Lay sleepy in bed till 8 in the morning, then up and to the office, where till about noon, then out to the ‘Change and several places, and so home to dinner. Then out again to Sir R. Vines, and there to my content settled the business of two tallys, so as I shall have £2000 almost more of my owne money in my hand, which pleases me mightily, and so home and there to the office, where mighty busy, and then home to supper and to even my Journall and to bed. Our fleete being now in all points ready to sayle, but for the carrying of the two or three new ships, which will keepe them a day or two or three more. It is said the Dutch is gone off our coast, but I have no good reason to believe it, Sir W. Coventry not thinking any such thing.
14th. Up betimes to the office, to write fair a laborious letter I wrote as from the Board to the Duke of Yorke, laying out our want of money again; and particularly the business of Captain Cocke’s tenders of hemp, which my Lord Bruncker brought in under an unknown hand without name. Wherein his Lordship will have no great successe, I doubt. That being done, I down to Thames-streete, and there agreed for four or five tons of corke, to send this day to the fleete, being a new device to make barricados with, instead of junke. By this means I come to see and kiss Mr. Hill’s young wife, and a blithe young woman she is. So to the office and at noon home to dinner, and then sent for young Michell and employed him all the afternoon about weighing and shipping off of the corke, having by this means an opportunity of getting him 30 or 40s. Having set him a doing, I home and to the office very late, very busy, and did indeed dispatch much business, and so to supper and to bed. After a song in the garden, which, and after dinner, is now the greatest pleasure I take, and indeed do please me mightily, to bed, after washing my legs and feet with warm water in my kitchen. This evening I had Davila1 brought home to me, and find it a most excellent history as ever I read.
1 Enrico Caterino Davila (1576–1631) was one of the chief historical writers of Italy, and his “Storia delle guerre civili di Francia” covers a period of forty years, from the death of Henri II. to the Peace of Vervins in 1598.
15th (Lord’s day). Up, and to church, where our lecturer made a sorry silly sermon, upon the great point of proving the truth of the Christian religion. Home and had a good dinner, expecting Mr. Hunt, but there comes only young Michell and his wife, whom my wife concurs with me to be a pretty woman, and with her husband is a pretty innocent couple. Mightily pleasant we were, and I mightily pleased in her company and to find my wife so well pleased with them also. After dinner he and I walked to White Hall, not being able to get a coach. He to the Abbey, and I to White Hall, but met with nobody to discourse with, having no great mind to be found idling there, and be asked questions of the fleete, so walked only through to the Parke, and there, it being mighty hot and I weary, lay down by the canaille, upon the grasse, and slept awhile, and was thinking of a lampoone which hath run in my head this weeke, to make upon the late fight at sea, and the miscarriages there; but other businesses put it out of my head. Having lain there a while, I then to the Abbey and there called Michell, and so walked in great pain, having new shoes on, as far as Fleete Streete and there got a coach, and so in some little ease home and there drank a great deale of small beer; and so took up my wife and Betty Michell and her husband, and away into the fields, to take the ayre, as far as beyond Hackny, and so back again, in our way drinking a great deale of milke, which I drank to take away, my heartburne, wherewith I have of late been mightily troubled, but all the way home I did break abundance of wind behind, which did presage no good but a great deal of cold gotten. So home and supped and away went Michell and his wife, of whom I stole two or three salutes, and so to bed in some pain and in fear of more, which accordingly I met with, for I was in mighty pain all night long of the winde griping of my belly and making of me shit often and vomit too, which is a thing not usual with me, but this I impute to the milke that I drank after so much beer, but the cold, to my washing my feet the night before.
16th. Lay in great pain in bed all the morning and most of the afternoon, being in much pain, making little or no water, and indeed having little within to make any with. And had great twinges with the wind all the day in my belly with wind. And a looseness with it, which however made it not so great as I have heretofore had it. A wonderful dark sky, and shower of rain this morning, which at Harwich proved so too with a shower of hail as big as walnuts. I had some broth made me to drink, which I love, only to fill up room. Up in the afternoon, and passed the day with Balty, who is come from sea for a day or two before the fight, and I perceive could be willing fairly to be out of the next fight, and I cannot much blame him, he having no reason by his place to be there; however, would not have him to be absent, manifestly to avoid being there. At night grew a little better and took a glyster of sacke, but taking it by halves it did me not much good, I taking but a little of it. However, to bed, and had a pretty good night of it,
17th. So as to be able to rise to go to the office and there sat, but now and then in pain, and without making much water, or freely. However, it grew better and better, so as after dinner believing the jogging in a coach would do me good, I did take my wife out to the New Exchange to buy things. She there while I with Balty went and bought a common riding-cloake for myself, to save my best. It cost me but 30s., and will do my turne mighty well. Thence home and walked in the garden with Sir W. Pen a while, and saying how the riding in the coach do me good (though I do not yet much find it), he ordered his to be got ready while I did some little business at the office, and so abroad he and I after 8 o’clock at night, as far almost as Bow, and so back again, and so home to supper and to bed. This day I did bid Balty to agree with the Dutch paynter, which he once led me to, to see landskipps, for a winter piece of snow, which indeed is a good piece, and costs me but 40s., which I would not take the money again for, it being, I think, very good. After a little supper to bed, being in less pain still, and had very good rest.
18th. Up in good case, and so by coach to St. James’s after my fellows, and there did our business, which is mostly every day to complain of want of money, and that only will undo us in a little time. Here, among other things, before us all, the Duke of Yorke did say, that now at length he is come to a sure knowledge that the Dutch did lose in the late engagements twenty-nine captains and thirteen ships. Upon which Sir W. Coventry did publickly move, that if his Royal Highness had this of a certainty, it would be of use to send this down to the fleete, and to cause it to be spread about the fleete, for the recovering of the spirits of the officers and seamen; who are under great dejectedness for want of knowing that they did do any thing against the enemy, notwithstanding all that they did to us. Which, though it be true, yet methought was one of the most dishonourable motions to our countrymen that ever was made; and is worth remembering. Thence with Sir W. Pen home, calling at Lilly’s, to have a time appointed when to be drawn among the other Commanders of Flags the last year’s fight. And so full of work Lilly is, that he was faro to take his table-book out to see how his time is appointed, and appointed six days hence for him to come between seven and eight in the morning. Thence with him home; and there by appointment I find Dr. Fuller, now Bishop of Limericke, in Ireland; whom I knew in his low condition at Twittenham. I had also by his desire Sir W. Pen, and with him his lady and daughter, and had a good dinner, and find the Bishop the same good man as ever; and in a word, kind to us, and, methinks, one of the comeliest and most becoming prelates in all respects that ever I saw in my life. During dinner comes an acquaintance of his, Sir Thomas Littleton; whom I knew not while he was in my house, but liked his discourse; and afterwards, by Sir W. Pen, do come to know that he is one of the greatest speakers in the House of Commons, and the usual second to the great Vaughan. So was sorry I did observe him no more, and gain more of his acquaintance. After dinner, they being gone, and I mightily pleased with my guests, I down the river to Greenwich, about business, and thence walked to Woolwich, reading “The Rivall Ladys” all the way, and find it a most pleasant and fine writ play. At Woolwich saw Mr. Shelden, it being late, and there eat and drank, being kindly used by him and Bab, and so by water to Deptford, it being 10 o’clock before I got to Deptford, and dark, and there to Bagwell’s, and, having staid there a while, away home, and after supper to bed. The Duke of Yorke said this day that by the letters from the Generals they would sail with the Fleete this day or tomorrow.
19th. Up in very good health in every respect, only my late fever got by my pain do break out about my mouth. So to the office, where all the morning sitting. Full of wants of money, and much stores to buy, for to replenish the stores, and no money to do it with, nor anybody to trust us without it. So at noon home to dinner, Balty and his wife with us. By and by Balty takes his leave of us, he going away just now towards the fleete, where he will pass through one great engagement more before he be two days older, I believe. I to the office, where busy all the afternoon, late, and then home, and, after some pleasant discourse to my wife, to bed. After I was in bed I had a letter from Sir W. Coventry that tells me that the fleete is sailed this morning; God send us good newes of them!
20th. Up, and finding by a letter late last night that the fleete is gone, and that Sir W. Pen is ordered to go down to Sheernesse, and finding him ready to go to St. James’s this morning, I was willing to go with him to see how things go,1 and so with him thither (but no discourse with the Duke), but to White Hall, and there the Duke of York did bid Sir W. Pen to stay to discourse with him and the King about business of the fleete, which troubled me a little, but it was only out of envy, for which I blame myself, having no reason to expect to be called to advise in a matter I understand not. So I away to Lovett’s, there to see how my picture goes on to be varnished (a fine Crucifix),2 which will be very fine; and here I saw some fine prints, brought from France by Sir Thomas Crew, who is lately returned. So home, calling at the stationer’s for some paper fit to varnish, and in my way home met with Lovett, to whom I gave it, and he did present me with a varnished staffe, very fine and light to walk with. So home and to dinner, there coming young Mrs. Daniel and her sister Sarah, and dined with us; and old Mr. Hawly, whose condition pities me, he being forced to turne under parish-clerke at St. Gyles’s, I think at the other end of the towne. Thence I to the office, where busy all the afternoon, and in the evening with Sir W. Pen, walking with whom in the garden I am of late mighty great, and it is wisdom to continue myself so, for he is of all the men of the office at present most manifestly usefull and best thought of. He and I supped together upon the seat in the garden, and thence, he gone, my wife and Mercer come and walked and sang late, and then home to bed.
1 Sir William Penn’s instructions from the Duke of York directing him to embark on his Majesty’s yacht “Henrietta,” and to see to the manning of such ships has had been left behind by the fleet, dated on this day, 20th July, is printed in Penn’s “Memorials of Sir W. Penn,” vol. ii., p. 406.
2 This picture occasioned Pepys trouble long afterwards, having been brought as evidence that he was a Papist (see “Life,” vol. i., p. xxxiii).
21st. Up and to the office, where all the morning sitting. At noon walked in the garden with Commissioner Pett (newly come to towne), who tells me how infinite the disorders are among the commanders and all officers of the fleete. No discipline: nothing but swearing and cursing, and every body doing what they please; and the Generalls, understanding no better, suffer it, to the reproaching of this Board, or whoever it will be. He himself hath been challenged twice to the field, or something as good, by Sir Edward Spragge and Captain Seymour. He tells me that captains carry, for all the late orders, what men they please; demand and consume what provisions they please. So that he fears, and I do no less, that God Almighty cannot bless us while we keep in this disorder that we are in: he observing to me too, that there is no man of counsel or advice in the fleete; and the truth is, the gentlemen captains will undo us, for they are not to be kept in order, their friends about the King and Duke, and their own house, is so free, that it is not for any person but the Duke himself to have any command over them. He gone I to dinner, and then to the office, where busy all the afternoon. At night walked in the garden with my wife, and so I home to supper and to bed. Sir W. Pen is gone down to Sheernesse today to see things made ready against the fleete shall come in again, which makes Pett mad, and calls him dissembling knave, and that himself takes all the pains and is blamed, while he do nothing but hinder business and takes all the honour of it to himself, and tells me plainly he will fling, up his commission rather than bear it.
22nd (Lord’s day). Up, and to my chamber, and there till noon mighty busy, setting money matters and other things of mighty moment to rights to the great content of my mind, I finding that accounts but a little let go can never be put in order by strangers, for I cannot without much difficulty do it myself. After dinner to them again till about four o’clock and then walked to White Hall, where saw nobody almost but walked up and down with Hugh May, who is a very ingenious man. Among other things, discoursing of the present fashion of gardens to make them plain, that we have the best walks of gravell in the world, France having no nor Italy; and our green of our bowling allies is better than any they have. So our business here being ayre, this is the best way, only with a little mixture of statues, or pots, which may be handsome, and so filled with another pot of such and such a flower or greene as the season of the year will bear. And then for flowers, they are best seen in a little plat by themselves; besides, their borders spoil the walks of another garden: and then for fruit, the best way is to have walls built circularly one within another, to the South, on purpose for fruit, and leave the walking garden only for that use. Thence walked through the House, where most people mighty hush and, methinks, melancholy. I see not a smiling face through the whole Court; and, in my conscience, they are doubtfull of the conduct again of the Generalls, and I pray God they may not make their fears reasonable. Sir Richard Fanshaw is lately dead at Madrid. Guyland is lately overthrowne wholly in Barbary by the King of Tafiletta. The fleete cannot yet get clear of the River, but expect the first wind to be out, and then to be sure they fight. The Queene and Maids of Honour are at Tunbridge.
23rd. Up, and to my chamber doing several things there of moment, and then comes Sympson, the Joyner; and he and I with great pains contriving presses to put my books up in: they now growing numerous, and lying one upon another on my chairs, I lose the use to avoyde the trouble of removing them, when I would open a book. Thence out to the Excise office about business, and then homewards met Colvill, who tells me he hath £1000 ready for me upon a tally; which pleases me, and yet I know not now what to do with it, having already as much money as is fit for me to have in the house, but I will have it. I did also meet Alderman Backewell, who tells me of the hard usage he now finds from Mr. Fen, in not getting him a bill or two paid, now that he can be no more usefull to him; telling me that what by his being abroad and Shaw’s death he hath lost the ball, but that he doubts not to come to give a kicke at it still, and then he shall be wiser and keepe it while he hath it. But he says he hath a good master, the King, who will not suffer him to be undone, as otherwise he must have been, and I believe him. So home and to dinner, where I confess, reflecting upon the ease and plenty that I live in, of money, goods, servants, honour, every thing, I could not but with hearty thanks to Almighty God ejaculate my thanks to Him while I was at dinner, to myself. After dinner to the office and there till five or six o’clock, and then by coach to St. James’s and there with Sir W. Coventry and Sir G. Downing to take the gyre in the Parke. All full of expectation of the fleete’s engagement, but it is not yet. Sir W. Coventry says they are eighty-nine men-of-warr, but one fifth-rate, and that, the Sweepstakes, which carries forty guns. They are most infinitely manned. He tells me the Loyall London, Sir J. Smith (which, by the way, he commends to be the-best ship in the world, large and small), hath above eight hundred men; and moreover takes notice, which is worth notice, that the fleete hath lane now near fourteen days without any demand for a farthingworth of any thing of any kind, but only to get men. He also observes, that with this excesse of men, nevertheless, they have thought fit to leave behind them sixteen ships, which they have robbed of their men, which certainly might have been manned, and they been serviceable in the fight, and yet the fleete well-manned, according to the excesse of supernumeraries, which we hear they have. At least two or three of them might have been left manned, and sent away with the Gottenburgh ships. They conclude this to be much the best fleete, for force of guns, greatnesse and number of ships and men, that ever England did see; being, as Sir W. Coventry reckons, besides those left behind, eighty-nine men of warr and twenty fire-ships, though we cannot hear that they have with them above eighteen. The French are not yet joined with the Dutch, which do dissatisfy the Hollanders, and if they should have a defeat, will undo De Witt; the people generally of Holland do hate this league with France. We cannot think of any business, but lie big with expectation of the issue of this fight, but do conclude that, this fight being over, we shall be able to see the whole issue of the warr, good or bad. So homeward, and walked over the Parke (St. James’s) with Sir G. Downing, and at White Hall took a coach; and there to supper with much pleasure and to bed.
24th. Up, and to the office, where little business done, our heads being full of expectation of the fleete’s being engaged, but no certain notice of it, only Sheppeard in the Duke’s yacht left them yesterday morning within a league of the Dutch fleete, and making after them, they standing into the sea. At noon to dinner, and after dinner with Mercer (as of late my practice is) a song and so to the office, there to set up again my frames about my Platts, which I have got to be all gilded, and look very fine, and then to my business, and busy very late, till midnight, drawing up a representation of the state of my victualling business to the Duke, I having never appeared to him doing anything yet and therefore I now do it in writing, I now having the advantage of having had two fleetes dispatched in better condition than ever any fleetes were yet, I believe; at least, with least complaint, and by this means I shall with the better confidence get my bills out for my salary. So home to bed.
25th. Up betimes to write fair my last night’s paper for the Duke, and so along with Sir W. Batten by hackney coach to St. James’s, where the Duke is gone abroad with the King to the Parke, but anon come back to White Hall, and we, after an houre’s waiting, walked thither (I having desired Sir W. Coventry in his chamber to read over my paper about the victualling, which he approves of, and I am glad I showed it him first, it makes it the less necessary to show it the Duke at all, if I find it best to let it alone). At White Hall we find [the Court] gone to Chappell, it being St. James’s-day. And by and by, while they are at chappell, and we waiting chappell being done, come people out of the Parke, telling us that the guns are heard plain. And so every body to the Parke, and by and by the chappell done, and the King and Duke into the bowling-green, and upon the leads, whither I went, and there the guns were plain to be heard; though it was pretty to hear how confident some would be in the loudnesse of the guns, which it was as much as ever I could do to hear them. By and by the King to dinner, and I waited there his dining; but, Lord! how little I should be pleased, I think, to have so many people crowding about me; and among other things it astonished me to see my Lord Barkeshire waiting at table, and serving the King drink, in that dirty pickle as I never saw man in my life. Here I met Mr. Williams, who in serious discourse told me he did hope well of this fight because of the equality of force or rather our having the advantage in number, and also because we did not go about it with the presumption that we did heretofore, when, he told me, he did before the last fight look upon us by our pride fated to be overcome. He would have me to dine where he was invited to dine, at the Backe-stayres. So after the King’s meat was taken away, we thither; but he could not stay, but left me there among two or three of the King’s servants, where we dined with the meat that come from his table; which was most excellent, with most brave drink cooled in ice (which at this hot time was welcome), and I drinking no wine, had metheglin for the King’s owne drinking, which did please me mightily. Thence, having dined mighty nobly, I away to Mrs. Martin’s new lodgings, where I find her, and was with her close, but, Lord! how big she is already. She is, at least seems, in mighty trouble for her husband at sea, when I am sure she cares not for him, and I would not undeceive her, though I know his ship is one of those that is not gone, but left behind without men. Thence to White Hall again to hear news, but found none; so back toward Westminster, and there met Mrs. Burroughs, whom I had a mind to meet, but being undressed did appear a mighty ordinary woman. Thence by water home, and out again by coach to Lovett’s to see my Crucifix, which is not done. So to White Hall again to have met Sir G. Carteret, but he is gone, abroad, so back homewards, and seeing Mr. Spong took him up, and he and I to Reeves, the glass maker’s, and did set several glasses and had pretty discourse with him, and so away, and set down Mr. Spong in London, and so home and with my wife, late, twatling at my Lady Pen’s, and so home to supper and to bed. I did this afternoon call at my woman that ruled my paper to bespeak a musique card, and there did kiss Nan. No news to-night from the fleete how matters go yet.
26th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined at home: Mr. Hunt and his wife, who is very gallant, and newly come from Cambridge, because of the sicknesse, with us. Very merry at table, and the people I do love mightily, but being in haste to go to White Hall I rose, and Mr. Hunt with me, and by coach thither, where I left him in the boarded gallery, and I by appointment to attend the Duke of Yorke at his closett, but being not come, Sir G. Carteret and I did talke together, and [he] advises me, that, if I could, I would get the papers of examination touching the business of the last year’s prizes, which concern my Lord Sandwich, out of Warcupp’s hands, who being now under disgrace and poor, he believes may be brought easily to part with them. My Lord Crew, it seems, is fearfull yet that maters may be enquired into. This I will endeavour to do, though I do not thinke it signifies much. By and by the Duke of Yorke comes and we had a meeting and, among other things, I did read my declaration of the proceedings of the Victualling hired this yeare, and desired his Royall Highnesse to give me the satisfaction of knowing whether his Royall Highnesse were pleased therewith. He told me he was, and that it was a good account, and that the business of the Victualling was much in a better condition than it was the last yeare; which did much joy me, being said in the company of my fellows, by which I shall be able with confidence to demand my salary and the rest of the subsurveyors. Thence away mightily satisfied to Mrs. Pierces, there to find my wife. Mrs. Pierce hath lain in of a boy about a month. The boy is dead this day. She lies in good state, and very pretty she is, but methinks do every day grow more and more great, and a little too much, unless they get more money than I fear they do. Thence with my wife and Mercer to my Lord Chancellor’s new house, and there carried them up to the leads, where I find my Lord Chamberlain, Lauderdale, Sir Robert Murray, and others, and do find it the most delightfull place for prospect that ever was in the world, and even ravishing me, and that is all, in short, I can say of it. Thence to Islington to our old house and eat and drank, and so round by Kingsland home, and there to the office a little and Sir W. Batten’s, but no newes at all from the fleete, and so home to bed.
27th. Up and to the office, where all the morning busy. At noon dined at home and then to the office again, and there walking in the garden with Captain Cocke till 5 o’clock. No newes yet of the fleete. His great bargaine of Hempe with us by his unknown proposition is disliked by the King, and so is quite off; of which he is glad, by this means being rid of his obligation to my Lord Bruncker, which he was tired with, and especially his mistresse, Mrs. Williams, and so will fall into another way about it, wherein he will advise only with myself, which do not displease me, and will be better for him and the King too. Much common talke of publique business, the want of money, the uneasinesse that Parliament will find in raising any, and the ill condition we shall be in if they do not, and his confidence that the Swede is true to us, but poor, but would be glad to do us all manner of service in the world. He gone, I away by water from the Old Swan to White Hall. The waterman tells me that newes is come that our ship Resolution is burnt, and that we had sunke four or five of the enemy’s ships. When I come to White Hall I met with Creed, and he tells me the same news, and walking with him to the Park I to Sir W. Coventry’s lodging, and there he showed me Captain Talbot’s letter, wherein he says that the fight begun on the 25th; that our White squadron begun with one of the Dutch squadrons, and then the Red with another so hot that we put them both to giving way, and so they continued in pursuit all the day, and as long as he stayed with them: that the Blue fell to the Zealand squadron; and after a long dispute, he against two or three great ships, he received eight or nine dangerous shots, and so come away; and says, he saw the Resolution burned by one of their fire-ships, and four or five of the enemy’s. But says that two or three of our great ships were in danger of being fired by our owne fire-ships, which Sir W. Coventry, nor I, cannot understand. But upon the whole, he and I walked two or three turns in the Parke under the great trees, and do doubt that this gallant is come away a little too soon, having lost never a mast nor sayle. And then we did begin to discourse of the young gentlemen captains, which he was very free with me in speaking his mind of the unruliness of them; and what a losse the King hath of his old men, and now of this Hannam, of the Resolution, if he be dead, and that there is but few old sober men in the fleete, and if these few of the Flags that are so should die, he fears some other gentlemen captains will get in, and then what a council we shall have, God knows. He told me how he is disturbed to hear the commanders at sea called cowards here on shore, and that he was yesterday concerned publiquely at a dinner to defend them, against somebody that said that not above twenty of them fought as they should do, and indeed it is derived from the Duke of Albemarle himself, who wrote so to the King and Duke, and that he told them how they fought four days, two of them with great disadvantage. The Count de Guiche, who was on board De Ruyter, writing his narrative home in French of the fight, do lay all the honour that may be upon the English courage above the Dutch, and that he himself [Sir W. Coventry] was sent down from the King and Duke of Yorke after the fight, to pray them to spare none that they thought had not done their parts, and that they had removed but four, whereof Du Tell is one, of whom he would say nothing; but, it seems, the Duke of Yorke hath been much displeased at his removal, and hath now taken him into his service, which is a plain affront to the Duke of Albemarle; and two of the others, Sir W. Coventry did speake very slenderly of their faults. Only the last, which was old Teddiman, he says, is in fault, and hath little to excuse himself with; and that, therefore, we should not be forward in condemning men of want of courage, when the Generalls, who are both men of metal, and hate cowards, and had the sense of our ill successe upon them (and by the way must either let the world thinke it was the miscarriage of the Captains or their owne conduct), have thought fit to remove no more of them, when desired by the King and Duke of Yorke to do it, without respect to any favour any of them can pretend to in either of them. At last we concluded that we never can hope to beat the Dutch with such advantage as now in number and force and a fleete in want of nothing, and he hath often repeated now and at other times industriously that many of the Captains have: declared that they want nothing, and again, that they did lie ten days together at the Nore without demanding of any thing in the world but men, and of them they afterward, when they went away, the generalls themselves acknowledge that they have permitted several ships to carry supernumeraries, but that if we do not speede well, we must then play small games and spoile their trade in small parties. And so we parted, and I, meeting Creed in the Parke again, did take him by coach and to Islington, thinking to have met my Lady Pen and wife, but they were gone, so we eat and drank and away back, setting him down in Cheapside and I home, and there after a little while making of my tune to “It is decreed,” to bed.
28th. Up, and to the office, where no more newes of the fleete than was yesterday. Here we sat and at noon to dinner to the Pope’s Head, where my Lord Bruncker and his mistresse dined and Commissioner Pett, Dr. Charleton, and myself, entertained with a venison pasty by Sir W. Warren. Here very pretty discourse of Dr. Charleton’s, concerning Nature’s fashioning every creature’s teeth according to the food she intends them; and that men’s, it is plain, was not for flesh, but for fruit, and that he can at any time tell the food of a beast unknown by the teeth. My Lord Bruncker made one or two objections to it that creatures find their food proper for their teeth rather than that the teeth were fitted for the food, but the Doctor, I think, did well observe that creatures do naturally and from the first, before they have had experience to try, do love such a food rather than another, and that all children love fruit, and none brought to flesh, but against their wills at first. Thence with my Lord Bruncker to White Hall, where no news. So to St. James’s to Sir W. Coventry, and there hear only of the Bredah’s being come in and gives the same small account that the other did yesterday, so that we know not what is done by the body of the fleete at all, but conceive great reason to hope well. Thence with my Lord to his coach-house, and there put in his six horses into his coach, and he and I alone to Highgate. All the way going and coming I learning of him the principles of Optickes, and what it is that makes an object seem less or bigger and how much distance do lessen an object, and that it is not the eye at all, or any rule in optiques, that can tell distance, but it is only an act of reason comparing of one mark with another, which did both please and inform me mightily. Being come thither we went to my Lord Lauderdale’s house to speake with him, about getting a man at Leith to joyne with one we employ to buy some prize goods for the King; we find [him] and his lady and some Scotch people at supper. Pretty odd company; though my Lord Bruncker tells me, my Lord Lauderdale is a man of mighty good reason and judgement. But at supper there played one of their servants upon the viallin some Scotch tunes only; several, and the best of their country, as they seemed to esteem them, by their praising and admiring them: but, Lord! the strangest ayre that ever I heard in my life, and all of one cast. But strange to hear my Lord Lauderdale say himself that he had rather hear a cat mew, than the best musique in the world; and the better the musique, the more sicke it makes him; and that of all instruments, he hates the lute most, and next to that, the baggpipe. Thence back with my Lord to his house, all the way good discourse, informing of myself about optiques still, and there left him and by a hackney home, and after writing three or four letters, home to supper and to bed.
29th (Lord’s day). Up and all the morning in my chamber making up my accounts in my book with my father and brother and stating them. Towards noon before sermon was done at church comes newes by a letter to Sir W. Batten, to my hand, of the late fight, which I sent to his house, he at church. But, Lord! with what impatience I staid till sermon was done, to know the issue of the fight, with a thousand hopes and fears and thoughts about the consequences of either. At last sermon is done and he come home, and the bells immediately rung soon as the church was done. But coming; to Sir W. Batten to know the newes, his letter said nothing of it; but all the towne is full of a victory. By and by a letter from Sir W. Coventry tells me that we have the victory. Beat them into the Weelings;1 had taken two of their great ships; but by the orders of the Generalls they are burned. This being, methought, but a poor result after the fighting of two so great fleetes, and four days having no tidings of them, I was still impatient; but could know no more. So away home to dinner, where Mr. Spong and Reeves dined with me by invitation. And after dinner to our business of my microscope to be shown some of the observables of that, and then down to my office to looke in a darke room with my glasses and tube, and most excellently things appeared indeed beyond imagination. This was our worke all the afternoon trying the several glasses and several objects, among others, one of my plates, where the lines appeared so very plain that it is not possible to thinke how plain it was done. Thence satisfied exceedingly with all this we home and to discourse many pretty things, and so staid out the afternoon till it began to be dark, and then they away and I to Sir W. Batten, where the Lieutenant of the Tower was, and Sir John Minnes, and the newes I find is no more or less than what I had heard before; only that our Blue squadron, it seems, was pursued the most of the time, having more ships, a great many, than its number allotted to her share. Young Seamour is killed, the only captain slain. The Resolution burned; but, as they say, most of her [crew] and commander saved. This is all, only we keep the sea, which denotes a victory, or at least that we are not beaten; but no great matters to brag of, God knows. So home to supper and to bed.
1 In a letter from Richard Browne to Williamson, dated Yarmouth, July 30th, we read, “The Zealanders were engaged with the Blue squadron Wednesday and most of Thursday, but at length the Zealanders ran; the Dutch fleet escaped to the Weelings and Goree” (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1665–66, p 591).
30th. Up, and did some business in my chamber, then by and by comes my boy’s Lute–Master, and I did direct him hereafter to begin to teach him to play his part on the Theorbo, which he will do, and that in a little time I believe. So to the office, and there with Sir W. Warren, with whom I have spent no time a good while. We set right our business of the Lighters, wherein I thinke I shall get £100. At noon home to dinner and there did practise with Mercer one of my new tunes that I have got Dr. Childe to set me a base to and it goes prettily. Thence abroad to pay several debts at the end of the month, and so to Sir W. Coventry, at St. James’s, where I find him in his new closett, which is very fine, and well supplied with handsome books. I find him speak very slightly of the late victory: dislikes their staying with the fleete up their coast, believing that the Dutch will come out in fourteen days, and then we with our unready fleete, by reason of some of the ships being maymed, shall be in bad condition to fight them upon their owne coast: is much dissatisfied with the great number of men, and their fresh demands of twenty-four victualling ships, they going out but the other day as full as they could stow. I asked him whether he did never desire an account of the number of supernumeraries, as I have done several ways, without which we shall be in great errour about the victuals; he says he has done it again and again, and if any mistake should happen they must thanke themselves. He spoke slightly of the Duke of Albemarle, saying, when De Ruyter come to give him a broadside —“Now,” says he, chewing of tobacco the while, “will this fellow come and give, me two broadsides, and then he will run;” but it seems he held him to it two hours, till the Duke himself was forced to retreat to refit, and was towed off, and De Ruyter staid for him till he come back again to fight. One in the ship saying to the Duke, “Sir, methinks De Ruyter hath given us more: than two broadsides;"—“Well,” says the Duke, “but you shall find him run by and by,” and so he did, says Sir W. Coventry; but after the Duke himself had been first made to fall off. The Resolution had all brass guns, being the same that Sir J. Lawson had in her in the Straights. It is observed that the two fleetes were even in number to one ship. Thence home; and to sing with my wife and Mercer in the garden; and coming in I find my wife plainly dissatisfied with me, that I can spend so much time with Mercer, teaching her to sing and could never take the pains with her. Which I acknowledge; but it is because that the girl do take musique mighty readily, and she do not, and musique is the thing of the world that I love most, and all the pleasure almost that I can now take. So to bed in some little discontent, but no words from me.
31st. Good friends in the morning and up to the office, where sitting all the morning, and while at table we were mightily joyed with newes brought by Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten of the death of De Ruyter, but when Sir W. Coventry come, he told us there was no such thing, which quite dashed me again, though, God forgive me! I was a little sorry in my heart before lest it might give occasion of too much glory to the Duke of Albemarle. Great bandying this day between Sir W. Coventry and my Lord Bruncker about Captain Cocke, which I am well pleased with, while I keepe from any open relyance on either side, but rather on Sir W. Coventry’s. At noon had a haunch of venison boiled and a very good dinner besides, there dining with me on a sudden invitation the two mayden sisters, Bateliers, and their elder brother, a pretty man, understanding and well discoursed, much pleased with his company. Having dined myself I rose to go to a Committee of Tangier, and did come thither time enough to meet Povy and Creed and none else. The Court being empty, the King being gone to Tunbridge, and the Duke of Yorke a-hunting. I had some discourse with Povy, who is mightily discontented, I find, about his disappointments at Court; and says, of all places, if there be hell, it is here. No faith, no truth, no love, nor any agreement between man and wife, nor friends. He would have spoke broader, but I put it off to another time; and so parted. Then with Creed and read over with him the narrative of the late [fight], which he makes a very poor thing of, as it is indeed, and speaks most slightingly of the whole matter. Povy discoursed with me about my Lord Peterborough’s £50 which his man did give me from him, the last year’s salary I paid him, which he would have Povy pay him again; but I have not taken it to myself yet, and therefore will most heartily return him, and mark him out for a coxcomb. Povy went down to Mr. Williamson’s, and brought me up this extract out of the Flanders’ letters today come: That Admiral Everson, and the Admiral and Vice–Admiral of Freezeland, with many captains and men, are slain; that De Ruyter is safe, but lost 250 men out of his own ship; but that he is in great disgrace, and Trump in better favour; that Bankert’s ship is burned, himself hardly escaping with a few men on board De Haes; that fifteen captains are to be tried the seventh of August; and that the hangman was sent from Flushing to assist the Council of Warr. How much of this is true, time will shew. Thence to Westminster Hall and walked an hour with Creed talking of the late fight, and observing the ridiculous management thereof and success of the Duke of Albemarle. Thence parted and to Mrs. Martin’s lodgings, and sat with her a while, and then by water home, all the way reading the Narrative of the late fight in order, it may be, to the making some marginal notes upon it. At the Old Swan found my Betty Michell at the doore, where I staid talking with her a pretty while, it being dusky, and kissed her and so away home and writ my letters, and then home to supper, where the brother and Mary Batelier are still and Mercer’s two sisters. They have spent the time dancing this afternoon, and we were very merry, and then after supper into the garden and there walked, and then home with them and then back again, my wife and I and the girle, and sang in the garden and then to bed. Colville was with me this morning, and to my great joy I could now have all my money in, that I have in the world. But the times being open again, I thinke it is best to keepe some of it abroad. Mighty well, and end this month in content of mind and body. The publique matters looking more safe for the present than they did, and we having a victory over the Dutch just such as I could have wished, and as the kingdom was fit to bear, enough to give us the name of conquerors, and leave us masters of the sea, but without any such great matters done as should give the Duke of Albemarle any honour at all, or give him cause to rise to his former insolence.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53