November 1st. Up, and was presented by Burton, one of our smith’s wives, with a very noble cake, which I presently resolved to have my wife go with today, and some wine, and house-warme my Betty Michell, which she readily resolved to do. So I to the office and sat all the morning, where little to do but answer people about want of money; so that there is little service done the King by us, and great disquiet to ourselves; I am sure there is to me very much, for I do not enjoy myself as I would and should do in my employment if my pains could do the King better service, and with the peace that we used to do it. At noon to dinner, and from dinner my wife and my brother, and W. Hewer and Barker away to Betty Michell’s, to Shadwell, and I to my office, where I took in Mrs. Bagwell and did what I would with her, and so she went away, and I all the afternoon till almost night there, and then, my wife being come back, I took her and set her at her brother’s, who is very sicke, and I to White Hall, and there all alone a pretty while with Sir W. Coventry at his chamber. I find him very melancholy under the same considerations of the King’s service that I am. He confesses with me he expects all will be undone, and all ruined; he complains and sees perfectly what I with grief do, and said it first himself to me that all discipline is lost in the fleete, no order nor no command, and concurs with me that it is necessary we do again and again represent all things more and more plainly to the Duke of York, for a guard to ourselves hereafter when things shall come to be worse. He says the House goes on slowly in finding of money, and that the discontented party do say they have not done with us, for they will have a further bout with us as to our accounts, and they are exceedingly well instructed where to hit us. I left him with a thousand sad reflections upon the times, and the state of the King’s matters, and so away, and took up my wife and home, where a little at the office, and then home to supper, and talk with my wife (with whom I have much comfort) and my brother, and so to bed.
2nd. Up betimes, and with Sir W. Batten to Woolwich, where first we went on board the Ruby, French prize, the only ship of war we have taken from any of our enemies this year. It seems a very good ship, but with galleries quite round the sterne to walk in as a balcone, which will be taken down. She had also about forty good brass guns, but will make little amends to our loss in The Prince. Thence to the Ropeyarde and the other yards to do several businesses, he and I also did buy some apples and pork; by the same token the butcher commended it as the best in England for cloath and colour. And for his beef, says he, “Look how fat it is; the lean appears only here and there a speck, like beauty-spots.” Having done at Woolwich, we to Deptford (it being very cold upon the water), and there did also a little more business, and so home, I reading all the why to make end of the “Bondman” (which the oftener I read the more I like), and begun “The Duchesse of Malfy;” which seems a good play. At home to dinner, and there come Mr. Pierce, surgeon, to see me, and after I had eat something, he and I and my wife by coach to Westminster, she set us down at White Hall, and she to her brother’s. I up into the House, and among other things walked a good while with the Serjeant Trumpet, who tells me, as I wished, that the King’s Italian here is about setting three parts for trumpets, and shall teach some to sound them, and believes they will be admirable musique. I also walked with Sir Stephen Fox an houre, and good discourse of publique business with him, who seems very much satisfied with my discourse, and desired more of my acquaintance. Then comes out the King and Duke of York from the Council, and so I spoke awhile to Sir W. Coventry about some office business, and so called my wife (her brother being now a little better than he was), and so home, and I to my chamber to do some business, and then to supper and to bed.
3rd. This morning comes Mr. Lovett, and brings me my print of the Passion, varnished by him, and the frame black, which indeed is very fine, though not so fine as I expected; however, pleases me exceedingly. This, and the sheets of paper he prepared for me, come to £3, which I did give him, and though it be more than is fit to lay out on pleasure, yet, it being ingenious, I did not think much of it. He gone, I to the office, where all the morning to little purpose, nothing being before us but clamours for money: So at noon home to dinner, and after dinner to hang up my new varnished picture and set my chamber in order to be made clean, and then to; the office again, and there all the afternoon till late at night, and so to supper and to bed.
4th (Lord’s day). Comes my taylor’s man in the morning, and brings my vest home, and coate to wear with it, and belt, and silver-hilted sword. So I rose and dressed myself, and I like myself mightily in it, and so do my wife. Then, being dressed, to church; and after church pulled my Lady Pen and Mrs. Markham into my house to dinner, and Sir J. Minnes he got Mrs. Pegg along with him. I had a good dinner for them, and very merry; and after dinner to the waterside, and so, it being very cold, to White Hall, and was mighty fearfull of an ague, my vest being new and thin, and the coat cut not to meet before upon my breast. Here I waited in the gallery till the Council was up, and among others did speak with Mr. Cooling, my Lord Chamberlain’s secretary, who tells me my Lord Generall is become mighty low in all people’s opinion, and that he hath received several slurs from the King and Duke of York. The people at Court do see the difference between his and the Prince’s management, and my Lord Sandwich’s. That this business which he is put upon of crying out against the Catholiques and turning them out of all employment, will undo him, when he comes to turn-out the officers out of the Army, and this is a thing of his own seeking. That he is grown a drunken sot, and drinks with nobody but Troutbecke, whom nobody else will keep company with. Of whom he told me this story: That once the Duke of Albemarle in his drink taking notice as of a wonder that Nan Hide should ever come to be Duchesse of York, “Nay,” says Troutbecke, “ne’er wonder at that; for if you will give me another bottle of wine, I will tell you as great, if not greater, a miracle.” And what was that, but that our dirty Besse (meaning his Duchesse) should come to be Duchesse of Albemarle? Here we parted, and so by and by the Council rose, and out comes Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Coventry, and they and my Lord Bruncker and I went to Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings, there to discourse about some money demanded by Sir W. Warren, and having done that broke up. And Sir G. Carteret and I alone together a while, where he shows a long letter, all in cipher, from my Lord Sandwich to him. The contents he hath not yet found out, but he tells me that my Lord is not sent for home, as several people have enquired after of me. He spoke something reflecting upon me in the business of pursers, that their present bad behaviour is what he did foresee, and had convinced me of, and yet when it come last year to be argued before the Duke of York I turned and said as the rest did. I answered nothing to it, but let it go, and so to other discourse of the ill state of things, of which all people are full of sorrow and observation, and so parted, and then by water, landing in Southwarke, home to the Tower, and so home, and there began to read “Potter’s Discourse upon 1666,” which pleases me mightily, and then broke off and to supper and to bed.
5th (A holyday). Lay long; then up, and to the office, where vexed to meet with people come from the fleete at the Nore, where so many ships are laid up and few going abroad, and yet Sir Thomas Allen hath sent up some Lieutenants with warrants to presse men for a few ships to go out this winter, while every day thousands appear here, to our great trouble and affright, before our office and the ticket office, and no Captains able to command one-man aboard. Thence by water to Westminster, and there at the Swan find Sarah is married to a shoemaker yesterday, so I could not see her, but I believe I shall hereafter at good leisure. Thence by coach to my Lady Peterborough, and there spoke with my Lady, who had sent to speak with me. She makes mighty moan of the badness of the times, and her family as to money. My Lord’s passionateness for want thereof, and his want of coming in of rents, and no wages from the Duke of York. No money to be had there for wages nor disbursements, and therefore prays my assistance about his pension. I was moved with her story, which she largely and handsomely told me, and promised I would try what I could do in a few days, and so took leave, being willing to keep her Lord fair with me, both for his respect to my Lord Sandwich and for my owne sake hereafter, when I come to pass my accounts. Thence to my Lord Crew’s, and there dined, and mightily made of, having not, to my shame, been there in 8 months before. Here my Lord and Sir Thomas Crew, Mr. John, and Dr. Crew, and two strangers. The best family in the world for goodness and sobriety. Here beyond my expectation I met my Lord Hinchingbroke, who is come to towne two days since from Hinchingbroke, and brought his sister and brother Carteret with him, who are at Sir G. Carteret’s. After dinner I and Sir Thomas Crew went aside to discourse of public matters, and do find by him that all the country gentlemen are publickly jealous of the courtiers in the Parliament, and that they do doubt every thing that they propose; and that the true reason why the country gentlemen are for a land-tax and against a general excise, is, because they are fearful that if the latter be granted they shall never get it down again; whereas the land-tax will be but for so much; and when the war ceases, there will be no ground got by the Court to keep it up. He do much cry out upon our accounts, and that all that they have had from the King hath been but estimates both from my Lord Treasurer and us, and from all people else, so that the Parliament is weary of it. He says the House would be very glad to get something against Sir G. Carteret, and will not let their inquiries die till they have got something. He do, from what he hath heard at the Committee for examining the burning of the City, conclude it as a thing certain that it was done by plots; it being proved by many witnesses that endeavours were made in several places to encrease the fire, and that both in City and country it was bragged by several Papists that upon such a day or in such a time we should find the hottest weather that ever was in England, and words of plainer sense. But my Lord Crew was discoursing at table how the judges have determined in the case whether the landlords or the tenants (who are, in their leases, all of them generally tied to maintain and uphold their houses) shall bear the losse of the fire; and they say that tenants should against all casualties of fire beginning either in their owne or in their neighbour’s; but, where it is done by an enemy, they are not to do it. And this was by an enemy, there having been one convicted and hanged upon this very score. This is an excellent salvo for the tenants, and for which I am glad, because of my father’s house. After dinner and this discourse I took coach, and at the same time find my Lord Hinchingbroke and Mr. John Crew and the Doctor going out to see the ruins of the City; so I took the Doctor into my hackney coach (and he is a very fine sober gentleman), and so through the City. But, Lord! what pretty and sober observations he made of the City and its desolation; till anon we come to my house, and there I took them upon Tower Hill to shew them what houses were pulled down there since the fire; and then to my house, where I treated them with good wine of several sorts, and they took it mighty respectfully, and a fine company of gentlemen they are; but above all I was glad to see my Lord Hinchingbroke drink no wine at all. Here I got them to appoint Wednesday come se’nnight to dine here at my house, and so we broke up and all took coach again, and I carried the Doctor to Chancery Lane, and thence I to White Hall, where I staid walking up and down till night, and then got almost into the play house, having much mind to go and see the play at Court this night; but fearing how I should get home, because of the bonefires and the lateness of the night to get a coach, I did not stay; but having this evening seen my Lady Jemimah, who is come to towne, and looks very well and fat, and heard how Mr. John Pickering is to be married this week, and to a fortune with £5000, and seen a rich necklace of pearle and two pendants of dyamonds, which Sir G. Carteret hath presented her with since her coming to towne, I home by coach, but met not one bonefire through the whole town in going round by the wall, which is strange, and speaks the melancholy disposition of the City at present, while never more was said of, and feared of, and done against the Papists than just at this time. Home, and there find my wife and her people at cards, and I to my chamber, and there late, and so to supper and to bed.
6th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning sitting. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner down alone by water to Deptford, reading “Duchesse of Malfy,” the play, which is pretty good, and there did some business, and so up again, and all the evening at the office. At night home, and there find Mr. Batelier, who supped with us, and good company he is, and so after supper to bed.
7th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, where we attended as usual the Duke of York and there was by the folly of Sir W. Batten prevented in obtaining a bargain for Captain Cocke, which would, I think have [been] at this time (during our great want of hempe), both profitable to the King and of good convenience to me; but I matter it not, it being done only by the folly, not any design, of Sir W. Batten’s. Thence to Westminster Hall, and, it being fast day, there was no shops open, but meeting with Doll Lane, did go with her to the Rose taverne, and there drank and played with her a good while. She went away, and I staid a good while after, and was seen going out by one of our neighbours near the office and two of the Hall people that I had no mind to have been seen by, but there was no hurt in it nor can be alledged from it. Therefore I am not solicitous in it, but took coach and called at Faythorne’s, to buy some prints for my wife to draw by this winter, and here did see my Lady Castlemayne’s picture, done by him from Lilly’s, in red chalke and other colours, by which he hath cut it in copper to be printed. The picture in chalke is the finest thing I ever saw in my life, I think; and did desire to buy it; but he says he must keep it awhile to correct his copper-plate by, and when that is done he will sell it me. Thence home and find my wife gone out with my brother to see her brother. I to dinner and thence to my chamber to read, and so to the office (it being a fast day and so a holiday), and then to Mrs. Turner’s, at her request to speake and advise about Sir Thomas Harvy’s coming to lodge there, which I think must be submitted to, and better now than hereafter, when he gets more ground, for I perceive he intends to stay by it, and begins to crow mightily upon his late being at the payment of tickets; but a coxcombe he is and will never be better in the business of the Navy. Thence home, and there find Mr. Batelier come to bring my wife a very fine puppy of his mother’s spaniel, a very fine one indeed, which my wife is mighty proud of. He staid and supped with us, and they to cards. I to my chamber to do some business, and then out to them to play and were a little merry, and then to bed. By the Duke of York his discourse today in his chamber, they have it at Court, as well as we here, that a fatal day is to be expected shortly, of some great mischiefe to the remainder of this day; whether by the Papists, or what, they are not certain. But the day is disputed; some say next Friday, others a day sooner, others later, and I hope all will prove a foolery. But it is observable how every body’s fears are busy at this time.
8th. Up, and before I went to the office I spoke with Mr. Martin for his advice about my proceeding in the business of the private man-of-war, he having heretofore served in one of them, and now I have it in my thoughts to send him purser in ours. After this discourse I to the office, where I sat all the morning, Sir W. Coventry with us, where he hath not been a great while, Sir W. Pen also, newly come from the Nore, where he hath been some time fitting of the ships out. At noon home to dinner and then to the office awhile, and so home for my sword, and there find Mercer come to see her mistresse. I was glad to see her there, and my wife mighty kind also, and for my part, much vexed that the jade is not with us still. Left them together, designing to go abroad tomorrow night to Mrs. Pierces to dance; and so I to Westminster Hall, and there met Mr. Grey, who tells me the House is sitting still (and now it was six o’clock), and likely to sit till midnight; and have proceeded fair to give the King his supply presently; and herein have done more today than was hoped for. So to White Hall to Sir W. Coventry, and there would fain have carried Captain Cocke’s business for his bargain of hemp, but am defeated and disappointed, and know hardly how to carry myself in it between my interest and desire not to offend Sir W. Coventry. Sir W. Coventry did this night tell me how the business is about Sir J. Minnes; that he is to be a Commissioner, and my Lord Bruncker and Sir W. Pen are to be Controller joyntly, which I am very glad of, and better than if they were either of them alone; and do hope truly that the King’s business will be better done thereby, and infinitely better than now it is. Thence by coach home, full of thoughts of the consequence of this alteration in our office, and I think no evil to me. So at my office late, and then home to supper and to bed. Mr. Grey did assure me this night, that he was told this day, by one of the greater Ministers of State in England, and one of the King’s Cabinet, that we had little left to agree on between the Dutch and us towards a peace, but only the place of treaty; which do astonish me to hear, but I am glad of it, for I fear the consequence of the war. But he says that the King, having all the money he is like to have, we shall be sure of a peace in a little time.
9th. Up and to the office, where did a good deale of business, and then at noon to the Exchange and to my little goldsmith’s, whose wife is very pretty and modest, that ever I saw any. Upon the ‘Change, where I seldom have of late been, I find all people mightily at a losse what to expect, but confusion and fears in every man’s head and heart. Whether war or peace, all fear the event will be bad. Thence home and with my brother to dinner, my wife being dressing herself against night; after dinner I to my closett all the afternoon, till the porter brought my vest back from the taylor’s, and then to dress myself very fine, about 4 or 5 o’clock, and by that time comes Mr. Batelier and Mercer, and away by coach to Mrs. Pierces, by appointment, where we find good company: a fair lady, my Lady Prettyman, Mrs. Corbet, Knipp; and for men, Captain Downing, Mr. Lloyd, Sir W. Coventry’s clerk, and one Mr. Tripp, who dances well. After some trifling discourse, we to dancing, and very good sport, and mightily pleased I was with the company. After our first bout of dancing, Knipp and I to sing, and Mercer and Captain Downing (who loves and understands musique) would by all means have my song of “Beauty, retire.” which Knipp had spread abroad; and he extols it above any thing he ever heard, and, without flattery, I know it is good in its kind. This being done and going to dance again, comes news that White Hall was on fire; and presently more particulars, that the Horse-guard was on fire;1 and so we run up to the garret, and find it so; a horrid great fire; and by and by we saw and heard part of it blown up with powder. The ladies begun presently to be afeard: one fell into fits. The whole town in an alarme. Drums beat and trumpets, and the guards every where spread, running up and down in the street. And I begun to have mighty apprehensions how things might be at home, and so was in mighty pain to get home, and that that encreased all is that we are in expectation, from common fame, this night, or tomorrow, to have a massacre, by the having so many fires one after another, as that in the City, and at same time begun in Westminster, by the Palace, but put out; and since in Southwarke, to the burning down some houses; and now this do make all people conclude there is something extraordinary in it; but nobody knows what. By and by comes news that the fire has slackened; so then we were a little cheered up again, and to supper, and pretty merry. But, above all, there comes in the dumb boy that I knew in Oliver’s time, who is mightily acquainted here, and with Downing; and he made strange signs of the fire, and how the King was abroad, and many things they understood, but I could not, which I wondering at, and discoursing with Downing about it, “Why,” says he, “it is only a little use, and you will understand him, and make him understand you with as much ease as may be.” So I prayed him to tell him that I was afeard that my coach would be gone, and that he should go down and steal one of the seats out of the coach and keep it, and that would make the coachman to stay. He did this, so that the dumb boy did go down, and, like a cunning rogue, went into the coach, pretending to sleep; and, by and by, fell to his work, but finds the seats nailed to the coach. So he did all he could, but could not do it; however, stayed there, and stayed the coach till the coachman’s patience was quite spent, and beat the dumb boy by force, and so went away. So the dumb boy come up and told him all the story, which they below did see all that passed, and knew it to be true. After supper, another dance or two, and then newes that the fire is as great as ever, which put us all to our wit’s-end; and I mightily [anxious] to go home, but the coach being gone, and it being about ten at night, and rainy dirty weather, I knew not what to do; but to walk out with Mr. Batelier, myself resolving to go home on foot, and leave the women there. And so did; but at the Savoy got a coach, and come back and took up the women; and so, having, by people come from the fire, understood that the fire was overcome, and all well, we merrily parted, and home. Stopped by several guards and constables quite through the town, round the wall, as we went, all being in armes. We got well home. . . . Being come home, we to cards, till two in the morning, and drinking lamb’s-wool.2 So to bed.
1 “Nov. 9th. Between seven and eight at night, there happened a fire in the Horse Guard House, in the Tilt Yard, over against Whitehall, which at first arising, it is supposed, from some snuff of a candle falling amongst the straw, broke out with so sudden a flame, that at once it seized the north-west part of that building; but being so close under His Majesty’s own eye, it was, by the timely help His Majesty and His Royal Highness caused to be applied, immediately stopped, and by ten o’clock wholly mastered, with the loss only of that part of the building it had at first seized.”— The London Gazette, No. 103. — B.
2 A beverage consisting of ale mixed with sugar, nutmeg, and the pulp of roasted apples. “A cupp of lamb’s-wool they dranke unto him then.” The King and the Miller of Mansfield (Percy’s “Reliques,” Series III., book ii., No. 20).
10th. Up and to the office, where Sir W. Coventry come to tell us that the Parliament did fall foul of our accounts again yesterday; and we must arme to have them examined, which I am sorry for: it will bring great trouble to me, and shame upon the office. My head full this morning how to carry on Captain Cocke’s bargain of hemp, which I think I shall by my dexterity do, and to the King’s advantage as well as my own. At noon with my Lord Bruncker and Sir Thomas Harvy, to Cocke’s house, and there Mrs. Williams and other company, and an excellent dinner. Mr. Temple’s wife; after dinner, fell to play on the harpsicon, till she tired everybody, that I left the house without taking leave, and no creature left standing by her to hear her. Thence I home and to the office, where late doing of business, and then home. Read an hour, to make an end of Potter’s Discourse of the Number 666, which I like all along, but his close is most excellent; and, whether it be right or wrong, is mighty ingenious. Then to supper and to bed. This is the fatal day that every body hath discoursed for a long time to be the day that the Papists, or I know not who, had designed to commit a massacre upon; but, however, I trust in God we shall rise tomorrow morning as well as ever. This afternoon Creed comes to me, and by him, as, also my Lady Pen, I hear that my Lady Denham is exceeding sick, even to death, and that she says, and every body else discourses, that she is poysoned; and Creed tells me, that it is said that there hath been a design to poison the King. What the meaning of all these sad signs is, the Lord knows; but every day things look worse and worse. God fit us for the worst!
11th (Lord’s day). Up, and to church, myself and wife, where the old dunce Meriton, brother to the known Meriton; of St. Martin’s, Westminster, did make a very good sermon, beyond my expectation. Home to dinner, and we carried in Pegg Pen, and there also come to us little Michell and his wife, and dined very pleasantly. Anon to church, my wife and I and Betty Michell, her husband being gone to Westminster. . . . Alter church home, and I to my chamber, and there did finish the putting time to my song of “It is decreed,” and do please myself at last and think it will be thought a good song. By and by little Michell comes and takes away his wife home, and my wife and brother and I to my uncle Wight’s, where my aunt is grown so ugly and their entertainment so bad that I am in pain to be there; nor will go thither again a good while, if sent for, for we were sent for to-night, we had not gone else. Wooly’s wife, a silly woman, and not very handsome, but no spirit in her at all; and their discourse mean, and the fear of the troubles of the times hath made them not to bring their plate to town, since it was carried out upon the business of the fire, so that they drink in earth and a wooden can, which I do not like. So home, and my people to bed. I late to finish my song, and then to bed also, and the business of the firing of the city, and the fears we have of new troubles and violences, and the fear of fire among ourselves, did keep me awake a good while, considering the sad condition I and my family should be in. So at last to sleep.
12th. Lay long in bed, and then up, and Mr. Carcasse brought me near 500 tickets to sign, which I did, and by discourse find him a cunning, confident, shrewd man, but one that I do doubt hath by his discourse of the ill will he hath got with my Lord Marquess of Dorchester (with whom he lived), he hath had cunning practices in his time, and would not now spare to use the same to his profit. That done I to the office; whither by and by comes Creed to me, and he and I walked in the garden a little, talking of the present ill condition of things, which is the common subject of all men’s discourse and fears now-a-days, and particularly of my Lady Denham, whom everybody says is poisoned, and he tells me she hath said it to the Duke of York; but is upon the mending hand, though the town says she is dead this morning. He and I to the ‘Change. There I had several little errands, and going to Sir R. Viner’s, I did get such a splash and spots of dirt upon my new vest, that I was out of countenance to be seen in the street. This day I received 450 pieces of gold more of Mr. Stokes, but cost me 22 1/2d. change; but I am well contented with it — I having now near £2800 in gold, and will not rest till I get full £3000, and then will venture my fortune for the saving that and the rest. Home to dinner, though Sir R. Viner would have staid us to dine with him, he being sheriffe; but, poor man, was so out of countenance that he had no wine ready to drink to us, his butler being out of the way, though we know him to be a very liberal man. And after dinner I took my wife out, intending to have gone and have seen my Lady Jemimah, at White Hall, but so great a stop there was at the New Exchange, that we could not pass in half an houre, and therefore ‘light and bought a little matter at the Exchange, and then home, and then at the office awhile, and then home to my chamber, and after my wife and all the mayds abed but Jane, whom I put confidence in-she and I, and my brother, and Tom, and W. Hewer, did bring up all the remainder of my money, and my plate-chest, out of the cellar, and placed the money in my study, with the rest, and the plate in my dressing-room; but indeed I am in great pain to think how to dispose of my money, it being wholly unsafe to keep it all in coin in one place. ‘But now I have it all at my hand, I shall remember it better to think of disposing of it. This done, by one in the morning to bed. This afternoon going towards Westminster, Creed and I did stop, the Duke of York being just going away from seeing of it, at Paul’s, and in the Convocation House Yard did there see the body of Robert Braybrooke, Bishop of London, that died 1404: He fell down in his tomb out of the great church into St. Fayth’s this late fire, and is here seen his skeleton with the flesh on; but all tough and dry like a spongy dry leather, or touchwood all upon his bones. His head turned aside. A great man in his time, and Lord Chancellor; and his skeletons now exposed to be handled and derided by some, though admired for its duration by others. Many flocking to see it.
13th. At the office all the morning, at noon home to dinner, and out to Bishopsgate Street, and there bought some drinking-glasses, a case of knives, and other things, against tomorrow, in expectation of my Lord Hinchingbroke’s coming to dine with me. So home, and having set some things in the way of doing, also against tomorrow, I to my office, there to dispatch business, and do here receive notice from my Lord Hinchingbroke that he is not well, and so not in condition to come to dine with me tomorrow, which I am not in much trouble for, because of the disorder my house is in, by the bricklayers coming to mend the chimney in my dining-room for smoking, which they were upon almost till midnight, and have now made it very pretty, and do carry smoke exceeding well. This evening come all the Houblons to me, to invite me to sup with them tomorrow night. I did take them home, and there we sat and talked a good while, and a glass of wine, and then parted till tomorrow night. So at night, well satisfied in the alteration of my chimney, to bed.
14th. Up, and by water to White Hall, and thence to Westminster, where I bought several things, as a hone, ribbon, gloves, books, and then took coach and to Knipp’s lodging, whom I find not ready to go home with me. So I away to do a little business, among others to call upon Mr. Osborne for my Tangier warrant for the last quarter, and so to the Exchange for some things for my wife, and then to Knipp’s again, and there staid reading of Waller’s verses, while she finished dressing, her husband being by. I had no other pastime. Her lodging very mean, and the condition she lives in; yet makes a shew without doors, God bless us! I carried him along with us into the City, and set him down in Bishopsgate Street, and then home with her. She tells me how Smith, of the Duke’s house, hath killed a man upon a quarrel in play; which makes every body sorry, he being a good actor, and, they say, a good man, however this happens. The ladies of the Court do much bemoan him, she says. Here she and we alone at dinner to some good victuals, that we could not put off, that was intended for the great dinner of my Lord Hinchingbroke’s, if he had come. After dinner I to teach her my new recitative of “It is decreed,” of which she learnt a good part, and I do well like it and believe shall be well pleased when she hath it all, and that it will be found an agreeable thing. Then carried her home, and my wife and I intended to have seen my Lady Jemimah at White Hall, but the Exchange Streete was so full of coaches, every body, as they say, going thither to make themselves fine against tomorrow night, that, after half an hour’s stay, we could not do any [thing], only my wife to see her brother, and I to go speak one word with Sir G. Carteret about office business, and talk of the general complexion of matters, which he looks upon, as I do, with horrour, and gives us all for an undone people. That there is no such thing as a peace in hand, nor possibility of any without our begging it, they being as high, or higher, in their terms than ever, and tells me that, just now, my Lord Hollis had been with him, and wept to think in what a condition we are fallen. He shewed me my Lord Sandwich’s letter to him, complaining of the lack of money, which Sir G. Carteret is at a loss how in the world to get the King to supply him with, and wishes him, for that reason, here; for that he fears he will be brought to disgrace there, for want of supplies. He says the House is yet in a bad humour; and desiring to know whence it is that the King stirs not, he says he minds it not, nor will be brought to it, and that his servants of the House do, instead of making the Parliament better, rather play the rogue one with another, and will put all in fire. So that, upon the whole, we are in a wretched condition, and I went from him in full apprehensions of it. So took up my wife, her brother being yet very bad, and doubtful whether he will recover or no, and so to St. Ellen’s [St. Helen’s], and there sent my wife home, and myself to the Pope’s Head, where all the Houblons were, and Dr. Croone,1 and by and by to an exceeding pretty supper, excellent discourse of all sorts, and indeed [they] are a set of the finest gentlemen that ever I met withal in my life. Here Dr. Croone told me, that, at the meeting at Gresham College to-night, which, it seems, they now have every Wednesday again, there was a pretty experiment of the blood of one dogg let out, till he died, into the body of another on one side, while all his own run out on the other side.2 The first died upon the place, and the other very well, and likely to do well. This did give occasion to many pretty wishes, as of the blood of a Quaker to be let into an Archbishop, and such like; but, as Dr. Croone says, may, if it takes, be of mighty use to man’s health, for the amending of bad blood by borrowing from a better body. After supper, James Houblon and another brother took me aside and to talk of some businesses of their owne, where I am to serve them, and will, and then to talk of publique matters, and I do find that they and all merchants else do give over trade and the nation for lost, nothing being done with care or foresight, no convoys granted, nor any thing done to satisfaction; but do think that the Dutch and French will master us the next yeare, do what we can: and so do I, unless necessity makes the King to mind his business, which might yet save all. Here we sat talking till past one in the morning, and then home, where my people sat up for me, my wife and all, and so to bed.
1 William Croune, or Croone, of Emanuel College, Cambridge, chosen Rhetoric Professor at Gresham College, 1659, F.R.S. and M.D. Died October 12th, 1684, and was interred at St. Mildred’s in the Poultry. He was a prominent Fellow of the Royal Society and first Registrar. In accordance with his wishes his widow (who married Sir Edwin Sadleir, Bart.) left by will one-fifth of the clear rent of the King’s Head tavern in or near Old Fish Street, at the corner of Lambeth Hill, to the Royal Society for the support of a lecture and illustrative experiments for the advancement of natural knowledge on local motion. The Croonian lecture is still delivered before the Royal Society.
2 At the meeting on November 14th, “the experiment of transfusing the blood of one dog into another was made before the Society by Mr. King and Mr. Thomas Coxe upon a little mastiff and a spaniel with very good success, the former bleeding to death, and the latter receiving the blood of the other, and emitting so much of his own, as to make him capable of receiving that of the other.” On November 21st the spaniel “was produced and found very well” (Birch’s “History of the Royal Society,” vol. ii., pp. 123, 125). The experiment of transfusion of blood, which occupied much of the attention of the Royal Society in its early days, was revived within the last few years.
15th. This [morning] come Mr. Shepley (newly out of the country) to see me; after a little discourse with him, I to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon home, and there dined, Shepley with me, and after dinner I did pay him £70, which he had paid my father for my use in the country. He being gone, I took coach and to Mrs. Pierce’s, where I find her as fine as possible, and himself going to the ball at night at Court, it being the Queen’s birth-day, and so I carried them in my coach, and having set them into the house, and gotten Mr. Pierce to undertake the carrying in my wife, I to Unthanke’s, where she appointed to be, and there told her, and back again about business to White Hall, while Pierce went and fetched her and carried her in. I, after I had met with Sir W. Coventry and given him some account of matters, I also to the ball, and with much ado got up to the loft, where with much trouble I could see very well. Anon the house grew full, and the candles light, and the King and Queen and all the ladies set: and it was, indeed, a glorious sight to see Mrs. Stewart in black and white lace, and her head and shoulders dressed with dyamonds, and the like a great many great ladies more, only the Queen none; and the King in his rich vest of some rich silke and silver trimming, as the Duke of York and all the dancers were, some of cloth of silver, and others of other sorts, exceeding rich. Presently after the King was come in, he took the Queene, and about fourteen more couple there was, and began the Bransles. As many of the men as I can remember presently, were, the King, Duke of York, Prince Rupert, Duke of Monmouth, Duke of Buckingham, Lord Douglas,’ Mr. [George] Hamilton, Colonell Russell, Mr. Griffith, Lord Ossory, Lord Rochester; and of the ladies, the Queene, Duchess of York, Mrs. Stewart, Duchess of Monmouth, Lady Essex Howard, Mrs. Temples Swedes Embassadress, Lady Arlington; Lord George Barkeley’s daughter, and many others I remember not; but all most excellently dressed in rich petticoats and gowns, and dyamonds, and pearls. After the Bransles, then to a Corant, and now and then a French dance; but that so rare that the Corants grew tiresome, that I wished it done. Only Mrs. Stewart danced mighty finely, and many French dances, specially one the King called the New Dance, which was very pretty; but upon the whole matter, the business of the dancing of itself was not extraordinary pleasing. But the clothes and sight of the persons was indeed very pleasing, and worth my coming, being never likely to see more gallantry while I live, if I should come twenty times. About twelve at night it broke up, and I to hire a coach with much difficulty, but Pierce had hired a chair for my wife, and so she being gone to his house, he and I, taking up Barker at Unthanke’s, to his house, whither his wife was come home a good while ago and gone to bed. So away home with my wife, between displeased with the dull dancing, and satisfied at the clothes and persons. My Lady Castlemayne, without whom all is nothing, being there, very rich, though not dancing. And so after supper, it being very cold, to bed.
16th. Up again betimes to attend the examination of Mr. Gawden’s, accounts, where we all met, but I did little but fit myself for the drawing my great letter to the Duke of York of the state of the Navy for want of money. At noon to the ‘Change, and thence back to the new taverne come by us; the Three Tuns, where D. Gawden did feast us all with a chine of beef and other good things, and an infinite dish of fowl, but all spoiled in the dressing. This noon I met with Mr. Hooke, and he tells me the dog which was filled with another dog’s blood, at the College the other day, is very well, and like to be so as ever, and doubts not its being found of great use to men; and so do Dr. Whistler, who dined with us at the taverne. Thence home in the evening, and I to my preparing my letter, and did go a pretty way in it, staying late upon it, and then home to supper and to bed, the weather being on a sudden set in to be very cold.
17th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and in the afternoon shut myself in my chamber, and there till twelve at night finishing my great letter to the Duke of York, which do lay the ill condition of the Navy so open to him, that it is impossible if the King and he minds any thing of their business, but it will operate upon them to set all matters right, and get money to carry on the war, before it be too late, or else lay out for a peace upon any termes. It was a great convenience to-night that what I had writ foule in short hand, I could read to W. Hewer, and he take it fair in short hand, so as I can read it tomorrow to Sir W. Coventry, and then come home, and Hewer read it to me while I take it in long-hand to present, which saves me much time. So to bed.
18th (Lord’s day). Up by candle-light and on foote to White Hall, where by appointment I met Lord Bruncker at Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, and there I read over my great letter, and they approved it: and as I do do our business in defence of the Board, so I think it is as good a letter in the manner, and believe it is the worst in the matter of it, as ever come from any office to a Prince. Back home in my Lord Bruncker’s coach, and there W. Hewer and I to write it over fair; dined at noon, and Mercer with us, and mighty merry, and then to finish my letter; and it being three o’clock ere we had done, when I come to Sir W. Batten; he was in a huffe, which I made light of, but he signed the letter, though he would not go, and liked the letter well. Sir W. Pen, it seems, he would not stay for it: so, making slight of Sir W. Pen’s putting so much weight upon his hand to Sir W. Batten, I down to the Tower Wharf, and there got a sculler, and to White Hall, and there met Lord Bruncker, and he signed it, and so I delivered it to Mr. Cheving,1 and he to Sir W. Coventry, in the cabinet, the King and councill being sitting, where I leave it to its fortune, and I by water home again, and to my chamber, to even my Journall; and then comes Captain Cocke to me, and he and I a great deal of melancholy discourse of the times, giving all over for gone, though now the Parliament will soon finish the Bill for money. But we fear, if we had it, as matters are now managed, we shall never make the best of it, but consume it all to no purpose or a bad one. He being gone, I again to my Journall and finished it, and so to supper and to bed.
1 William Chiffinch, pimp to Charles II. and receiver of the secret pensions paid by the French Court. He succeeded his brother, Thomas Chiffinch (who died in April, 1666), as Keeper of the King’s Private Closet (see note, vol. v., p. 265). He is introduced by Scott into his “Peveril of the Peak.”
19th. Lay pretty long in bed talking with pleasure with my wife, and then up and all the morning at my own chamber fitting some Tangier matters against the afternoon for a meeting. This morning also came Mr. Caesar, and I heard him on the lute very finely, and my boy begins to play well. After dinner I carried and set my wife down at her brother’s, and then to Barkeshire-house, where my Lord Chancellor hath been ever since the fire, but he is not come home yet, so I to Westminster Hall, where the Lords newly up and the Commons still sitting. Here I met with Mr. Robinson, who did give me a printed paper wherein he states his pretence to the post office, and intends to petition the Parliament in it. Thence I to the Bull-head tavern, where I have not been since Mr. Chetwind and the time of our club, and here had six bottles of claret filled, and I sent them to Mrs. Martin, whom I had promised some of my owne, and, having none of my owne, sent her this. Thence to my Lord Chancellor’s, and there Mr. Creed and Gawden, Cholmley, and Sir G. Carteret walking in the Park over against the house. I walked with Sir G. Carteret, who I find displeased with the letter I have drawn and sent in yesterday, finding fault with the account we give of the ill state of the Navy, but I said little, only will justify the truth of it. Here we walked to and again till one dropped away after another, and so I took coach to White Hall, and there visited my Lady Jemimah, at Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings. Here was Sir Thomas Crew, and he told me how hot words grew again today in the House of Lords between my Lord Ossory and Ashly, the former saying that something said by the other was said like one of Oliver’s Council. Ashly said that he must give him reparation, or he would take it his owne way. The House therefore did bring my Lord Ossory to confess his fault, and ask pardon for it, as he was also to my Lord Buckingham, for saying that something was not truth that my Lord Buckingham had said. This will render my Lord Ossory very little in a little time. By and by away, and calling my wife went home, and then a little at Sir W. Batten’s to hear news, but nothing, and then home to supper, whither Captain Cocke, half foxed, come and sat with us, and so away, and then we to bed.
20th. Called up by Mr. Sheply, who is going into the country today to Hinchingbroke, I sent my service to my Lady, and in general for newes: that the world do think well of my Lord, and do wish he were here again, but that the publique matters of the State as to the war are in the worst condition that is possible. By and by Sir W. Warren, and with him half an hour discoursing of several businesses, and some I hope will bring me a little profit. He gone, and Sheply, I to the office a little, and then to church, it being thanksgiving-day for the cessation of the plague; but, Lord! how the towne do say that it is hastened before the plague is quite over, there dying some people still,1 but only to get ground for plays to be publickly acted, which the Bishops would not suffer till the plague was over; and one would thinke so, by the suddenness of the notice given of the day, which was last Sunday, and the little ceremony. The sermon being dull of Mr. Minnes, and people with great indifferency come to hear him. After church home, where I met Mr. Gregory, who I did then agree with to come to teach my wife to play on the Viall, and he being an able and sober man, I am mightily glad of it. He had dined, therefore went away, and I to dinner, and after dinner by coach to Barkeshire-house, and there did get a very great meeting; the Duke of York being there, and much business done, though not in proportion to the greatness of the business, and my Lord Chancellor sleeping and snoring the greater part of the time. Among other things I declared the state of our credit as to tallys to raise money by, and there was an order for payment of £5000 to Mr. Gawden, out of which I hope to get something against Christmas. Here we sat late, and here I did hear that there are some troubles like to be in Scotland, there being a discontented party already risen, that have seized on the Governor of Dumfreeze and imprisoned him,2 but the story is yet very uncertain, and therefore I set no great weight on it. I home by Mr. Gawden in his coach, and so with great pleasure to spend the evening at home upon my Lyra Viall, and then to supper and to bed. With mighty peace of mind and a hearty desire that I had but what I have quietly in the country, but, I fear, I do at this day see the best that either I or the rest of our nation will ever see.
1 According to the Bills of Mortality seven persons died in London of the plague during the week November 20th to 27th; and for some weeks after deaths continued from this cause.
2 William Fielding, writing to Sir Phil. Musgrave from Carlisle on November 15th, says: “Major Baxter, who has arrived from Dumfries, reports that this morning a great number of horse and foot came into that town, with drawn swords and pistols, gallopped up to Sir Jas. Turner’s lodgings, seized him in his bed, carried him without clothes to the marketplace, threatened to cut him to pieces, and seized and put into the Tollbooth all the foot soldiers that were with him; they also secured the minister of Dumfries. Many of the party were lairds and county people from Galloway — 200 horse well mounted, one minister was with them who had swords and pistols, and 200 or 300 foot, some with clubs, others with scythes.” On November 17th Rob. Meine wrote to Williamson: “On the 15th 120 fanatics from the Glenkins, Deray; and neighbouring parishes in Dumfriesshire, none worth £10 except two mad fellows, the lairds of Barscob and Corsuck, came to Dumfries early in the morning, seized Sir Jas. Turner, commander of a company of men in Dumfriesshire, and carried him, without violence to others, to a strong house in Maxwell town, Galloway, declaring they sought only revenge against the tyrant who had been severe with them for not keeping to church, and had laid their families waste” (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1666–67, pp. 262, 268).
21st. Up, with Sir W. Batten to Charing Cross, and thence I to wait on Sir Philip Howard, whom I find dressing himself in his night-gown and turban like a Turke, but one of the finest persons that ever I saw in my life. He had several gentlemen of his owne waiting on him, and one playing finely on the gittar: he discourses as well as ever I heard man, in few words and handsome. He expressed all kindness to Balty, when I told him how sick he is: he says that, before he comes to be mustered again, he must bring a certificate of his swearing the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and having taken the Sacrament according to the rites of the Church of England. This, I perceive, is imposed on all, and he will be ready to do. I pray God he may have his health again to be able to do it. Being mightily satisfied with his civility, I away to Westminster Hall, and there walked with several people, and all the discourse is about some trouble in Scotland I heard of yesterday, but nobody can tell the truth of it. Here was Betty Michell with her mother. I would have carried her home, but her father intends to go with her, so I lost my hopes. And thence I to the Excise Office about some tallies, and then to the Exchange, where I did much business, and so home to dinner, and then to the office, where busy all the afternoon till night, and then home to supper, and after supper an hour reading to my wife and brother something in Chaucer with great pleasure, and so to bed.
22nd. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and my Lord Bruncker did show me Hollar’s new print of the City, with a pretty representation of that part which is burnt, very fine indeed; and tells me that he was yesterday sworn the King’s servant, and that the King hath commanded him to go on with his great map of the City, which he was upon before the City was burned, like Gombout of Paris, which I am glad of. At noon home to dinner, where my wife and I fell out, I being displeased with her cutting away a lace handkercher sewed about the neck down to her breasts almost, out of a belief, but without reason, that it is the fashion. Here we did give one another the lie too much, but were presently friends, and then I to my office, where very late and did much business, and then home, and there find Mr. Batelier, and did sup and play at cards awhile. But he tells me the newes how the King of France hath, in defiance to the King of England, caused all his footmen to be put into vests, and that the noblemen of France will do the like; which, if true, is the greatest indignity ever done by one Prince to another, and would incite a stone to be revenged; and I hope our King will, if it be so, as he tells me it is:1 being told by one that come over from Paris with my Lady Fanshaw, who is come over with the dead body of her husband, and that saw it before he come away. This makes me mighty merry, it being an ingenious kind of affront; but yet it makes me angry, to see that the King of England is become so little as to have the affront offered him. So I left my people at cards, and so to my chamber to read, and then to bed. Batelier did bring us some oysters to-night, and some bottles of new French wine of this year, mighty good, but I drank but little. This noon Bagwell’s wife was with me at the office, and I did what I would, and at night comes Mrs. Burroughs, and appointed to meet upon the next holyday and go abroad together.
1 Planche throws some doubt on this story in his “Cyclopaedia of Costume” (vol. ii., p. 240), and asks the question, “Was Mr. Batelier hoaxing the inquisitive secretary, or was it the idle gossip of the day, as untrustworthy as such gossip is in general?” But the same statement was made by the author of the “Character of a Trimmer,” who wrote from actual knowledge of the Court: “About this time a general humour, in opposition to France, had made us throw off their fashion, and put on vests, that we might look more like a distinct people, and not be under the servility of imitation, which ever pays a greater deference to the original than is consistent with the equality all independent nations should pretend to. France did not like this small beginning of ill humours, at least of emulation; and wisely considering, that it is a natural introduction, first to make the world their apes, that they may be afterwards their slaves. It was thought, that one of the instructions Madame [Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans] brought along with her, was to laugh us out of these vests; which she performed so effectually, that in a moment, like so many footmen who had quitted their master’s livery, we all took it again, and returned to our old service; so that the very time of doing it gave a very critical advantage to France, since it looked like an evidence of our returning to her interest, as well as to their fashion. “The Character of a Trimmer” (“Miscellanies by the Marquis of Halifax,” 1704, p. 164). Evelyn reports that when the king expressed his intention never to alter this fashion, “divers courtiers and gentlemen gave his Majesty gold by way of wager that he would not persist in this resolution” (“Diary,” October 18th, 1666).
23rd. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes to White Hall, where we and the rest attended the Duke of York, where, among other things, we had a complaint of Sir William Jennings against his lieutenant, Le Neve, one that had been long the Duke’s page, and for whom the Duke of York hath great kindness. It was a drunken quarrel, where one was as blameable as the other. It was referred to further examination, but the Duke of York declared, that as he would not favour disobedience, so neither drunkenness, and therein he said very well. Thence with Sir W. Coventry to Westminster Hall, and there parted, he having told me how Sir J. Minnes do disagree from the proposition of resigning his place, and that so the whole matter is again at a stand, at which I am sorry for the King’s sake, but glad that Sir W. Pen is again defeated, for I would not have him come to be Comptroller if I could help it, he will be so cruel proud. Here I spoke with Sir G. Downing about our prisoners in Holland, and their being released; which he is concerned in, and most of them are. Then, discoursing of matters of the House of Parliament, he tells me that it is not the fault of the House, but the King’s own party, that have hindered the passing of the Bill for money, by their popping in of new projects for raising it: which is a strange thing; and mighty confident he is, that what money is raised, will be raised and put into the same form that the last was, to come into the Exchequer; and, for aught I see, I must confess I think it is the best way. Thence down to the Hall, and there walked awhile, and all the talk is about Scotland, what news thence; but there is nothing come since the first report, and so all is given over for nothing. Thence home, and after dinner to my chamber with Creed, who come and dined with me, and he and I to reckon for his salary, and by and by comes in Colonel Atkins, and I did the like with him, and it was Creed’s design to bring him only for his own ends, to seem to do him a courtesy, and it is no great matter. The fellow I hate, and so I think all the world else do. Then to talk of my report I am to make of the state of our wants of money to the Lord Treasurer, but our discourse come to little. However, in the evening, to be rid of him, I took coach and saw him to the Temple and there ‘light, and he being gone, with all the haste back again and to my chamber late to enter all this day’s matters of account, and to draw up my report to my Lord Treasurer, and so to bed. At the Temple I called at Playford’s, and there find that his new impression of his ketches1 are not yet out, the fire having hindered it, but his man tells me that it will be a very fine piece, many things new being added to it.
1 John Hilton’s “Catch that catch can, or a Choice Collection of Catches, Rounds and Canons for 3 or 4 voyces,” was first published by Playford in 1651 or 1652. The book was republished “with large additions by John Playford” in 1658. The edition referred to in the text was published in 1667 with a second title of “The Musical Companion.” The book was republished in 1672–73.
24th. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon rose and to my closet, and finished my report to my Lord Treasurer of our Tangier wants, and then with Sir J. Minnes by coach to Stepney to the Trinity House, where it is kept again now since the burning of their other house in London. And here a great many met at Sir Thomas Allen’s feast, of his being made an Elder Brother; but he is sick, and so could not be there. Here was much good company, and very merry; but the discourse of Scotland, it seems, is confirmed, and that they are 4000 of them in armes, and do declare for King and Covenant, which is very ill news. I pray God deliver us from the ill consequences we may justly fear from it. Here was a good venison pasty or two and other good victuals; but towards the latter end of the dinner I rose, and without taking leave went away from the table, and got Sir J. Minnes’ coach and away home, and thence with my report to my Lord Treasurer’s, where I did deliver it to Sir Philip Warwicke for my Lord, who was busy, my report for him to consider against tomorrow’s council. Sir Philip Warwicke, I find, is full of trouble in his mind to see how things go, and what our wants are; and so I have no delight to trouble him with discourse, though I honour the man with all my heart, and I think him to be a very able and right honest man. So away home again, and there to my office to write my letters very late, and then home to supper, and then to read the late printed discourse of witches by a member of Gresham College, and then to bed; the discourse being well writ, in good stile, but methinks not very convincing. This day Mr. Martin is come to tell me his wife is brought to bed of a girle, and I promised to christen it next Sunday.
25th (Lord’s day). Up, and with Sir J. Minnes by coach to White Hall, and there coming late, I to rights to the chapel, where in my usual place I heard one of the King’s chaplains, one Mr. Floyd, preach. He was out two or three times in his prayer, and as many in his sermon, but yet he made a most excellent good sermon, of our duty to imitate the lives and practice of Christ and the saints departed, and did it very handsomely and excellent stile; but was a little overlarge in magnifying the graces of the nobility and prelates, that we have seen in our memorys in the world, whom God hath taken from us. At the end of the sermon an excellent anthem; but it was a pleasant thing, an idle companion in our pew, a prating, bold counsellor that hath been heretofore at the Navy Office, and noted for a great eater and drinker, not for quantity, but of the best, his name Tom Bales, said, “I know a fitter anthem for this sermon,” speaking only of our duty of following the saints, and I know not what. “Cooke should have sung, ‘Come, follow, follow me.’” I After sermon up into the gallery, and then to Sir G. Carteret’s to dinner; where much company. Among others, Mr. Carteret and my Lady Jemimah, and here was also Mr. [John] Ashburnham, the great man, who is a pleasant man, and that hath seen much of the world, and more of the Court. After dinner Sir G. Carteret and I to another room, and he tells me more and more of our want of money and in how ill condition we are likely to be soon in, and that he believes we shall not have a fleete at sea the next year. So do I believe; but he seems to speak it as a thing expected by the King and as if their matters were laid accordingly. Thence into the Court and there delivered copies of my report to my Lord Treasurer, to the Duke of York, Sir W. Coventry, and others, and attended there till the Council met, and then was called in, and I read my letter. My Lord Treasurer declared that the King had nothing to give till the Parliament did give him some money. So the King did of himself bid me to declare to all that would take our tallys for payment, that he should, soon as the Parliament’s money do come in, take back their tallys, and give them money: which I giving him occasion to repeat to me, it coming from him against the ‘gre’1 I perceive, of my Lord Treasurer, I was content therewith, and went out, and glad that I have got so much. Here staid till the Council rose, walking in the gallery. All the talke being of Scotland, where the highest report, I perceive, runs but upon three or four hundred in armes; but they believe that it will grow more, and do seem to apprehend it much, as if the King of France had a hand in it. My Lord Lauderdale do make nothing of it, it seems, and people do censure him for it, he from the beginning saying that there was nothing in it, whereas it do appear to be a pure rebellion; but no persons of quality being in it, all do hope that it cannot amount to much. Here I saw Mrs. Stewart this afternoon, methought the beautifullest creature that ever I saw in my life, more than ever I thought her so, often as I have seen her; and I begin to think do exceed my Lady Castlemayne, at least now. This being St. Catherine’s day, the Queene was at masse by seven o’clock this morning; and. Mr. Ashburnham do say that he never saw any one have so much zeale in his life as she hath: and, the question being asked by my Lady Carteret, much beyond the bigotry that ever the old Queen-mother had. I spoke with Mr. Maya who tells me that the design of building the City do go on apace, and by his description it will be mighty handsome, and to the satisfaction of the people; but I pray God it come not out too late. The Council up, after speaking with Sir W. Coventry a little, away home with Captain Cocke in his coach, discourse about the forming of his contract he made with us lately for hempe, and so home, where we parted, and I find my uncle Wight and Mrs. Wight and Woolly, who staid and supped, and mighty merry together, and then I to my chamber to even my journal, and then to bed. I will remember that Mr. Ashburnham today at dinner told how the rich fortune Mrs. Mallett reports of her servants; that my Lord Herbert would have had her; my Lord Hinchingbroke was indifferent to have her;2 my Lord John Butler might not have her; my Lord of Rochester would have forced her;3 and Sir ——— Popham, who nevertheless is likely to have her, would kiss her breach to have her.
1 Apparently a translation of the French ‘contre le gre’, and presumably an expression in common use. “Against the grain” is generally supposed to have its origin in the use of a plane against the grain of the wood.
2 They had quarrelled (see August 26th). She, perhaps, was piqued at Lord Hinchingbroke’s refusal “to compass the thing without consent of friends” (see February 25th), whence her expression, “indifferent” to have her. It is worthy of remark that their children intermarried; Lord Hinchingbroke’s son married Lady Rochester’s daughter. — B.
3 Of the lady thus sought after, whom Pepys calls “a beauty” as well as a fortune, and who shortly afterwards, about the 4th February, 1667, became the wife of the Earl of Rochester, then not twenty years old, no authentic portrait is known to exist. When Mr. Miller, of Albemarle Street, in 1811, proposed to publish an edition of the “Memoires de Grammont,” he sent an artist to Windsor to copy there the portraits which he could find of those who figure in that work. In the list given to him for this purpose was the name of Lady Rochester. Not finding amongst the “Beauties,” or elsewhere, any genuine portrait of her, but seeing that by Hamilton she is absurdly styled “une triste heritiere,” the artist made a drawing from some unknown portrait at Windsor of a lady of a sorrowful countenance, and palmed it off upon the bookseller. In the edition of “Grammont” it is not actually called Lady Rochester, but “La Triste Heritiere.” A similar falsification had been practised in Edwards’s edition of 1793, but a different portrait had been copied. It is needless, almost, to remark how ill applied is Hamilton’s epithet. — B.
26th. Up, and to my chamber to do some business. Then to speak with several people, among others with Mrs. Burroughs, whom I appointed to meet me at the New Exchange in the afternoon. I by water to Westminster, and there to enquire after my tallies, which I shall get this week. Thence to the Swan, having sent for some burnt claret, and there by and by comes Doll Lane, and she and I sat and drank and talked a great while, among other things about her sister’s being brought to bed, and I to be godfather to the girle. I did tumble Doll, and do almost what I would with her, and so parted, and I took coach, and to the New Exchange, buying a neat’s tongue by the way, thinking to eat it out of town, but there I find Burroughs in company of an old woman, an aunt of hers, whom she could not leave for half an hour. So after buying a few baubles to while away time, I down to Westminster, and there into the House of Parliament, where, at a great Committee, I did hear, as long as I would, the great case against my Lord Mordaunt, for some arbitrary proceedings of his against one Taylor, whom he imprisoned, and did all the violence to imaginable, only to get him to give way to his abusing his daughter. Here was Mr. Sawyer, my old chamber-fellow, a counsel against my Lord; and I am glad to see him in so good play. Here I met, before the committee sat, with my cozen Roger Pepys, the first time I have spoke with him this parliament. He hath promised to come, and bring Madam Turner with him, who is come to towne to see the City, but hath lost all her goods of all kinds in Salisbury Court, Sir William Turner having not endeavoured, in her absence, to save one penny, to dine with me on Friday next, of which I am glad. Roger bids me to help him to some good rich widow; for he is resolved to go, and retire wholly, into the country; for, he says, he is confident we shall be all ruined very speedily, by what he sees in the State, and I am much in his mind. Having staid as long as I thought fit for meeting of Burroughs, I away and to the ‘Change again, but there I do not find her now, I having staid too long at the House, and therefore very hungry, having eat nothing today. Home, and there to eat presently, and then to the office a little, and to Sir W. Batten, where Sir J. Minnes and Captain Cocke was; but no newes from the North at all today; and the newes-book makes the business nothing, but that they are all dispersed. I pray God it may prove so. So home, and, after a little, to my chamber to bed.
27th. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and here I had a letter from Mr. Brisband on another occasion, which, by the by, intimates my Lord Hinchingbroke’s intention to come and dine with me tomorrow. This put me into a great surprise, and therefore endeavoured all I could to hasten over our business at the office, and so home at noon and to dinner, and then away by coach, it being a very foul day, to White Hall, and there at Sir G. Carteret’s find my Lord Hinchingbroke, who promises to dine with me tomorrow, and bring Mr. Carteret along with him. Here I staid a little while talking with him and the ladies, and then away to my Lord Crew’s, and then did by the by make a visit to my Lord Crew, and had some good discourse with him, he doubting that all will break in pieces in the kingdom; and that the taxes now coming out, which will tax the same man in three or four several capacities, as for lands, office, profession, and money at interest, will be the hardest that ever come out; and do think that we owe it, and the lateness of its being given, wholly to the unpreparedness of the King’s own party, to make their demand and choice; for they have obstructed the giving it by land-tax, which had been done long since. Having ended my visit, I spoke to Sir Thomas Crew, to invite him and his brother John to dinner tomorrow, at my house, to meet Lord Hinchingbroke; and so homewards, calling at the cook’s, who is to dress it, to bespeak him, and then home, and there set things in order for a very fine dinner, and then to the office, where late very busy and to good purpose as to dispatch of business, and then home. To bed, my people sitting up to get things in order against tomorrow. This evening was brought me what Griffin had, as he says, taken this evening off of the table in the office, a letter sealed and directed to the Principal Officers and Commissioners of the Navy. It is a serious and just libel against our disorder in paying of our money, making ten times more people wait than we have money for, and complaining by name of Sir W. Batten for paying away great sums to particular people, which is true. I was sorry to see this way of reproach taken against us, but more sorry that there is true ground for it.
28th. Up, and with Sir W. Pen to White Hall (setting his lady and daughter down by the way at a mercer’s in the Strand, where they are going to lay out some money), where, though it blows hard and rains hard, yet the Duke of York is gone a-hunting. We therefore lost our labour, and so back again, and by hackney coach to secure places to get things ready against dinner, and then home, and did the like there, and to my great satisfaction: and at noon comes my Lord Hinchingbroke, Sir Thomas Crew, Mr. John Crew, Mr. Carteret, and Brisband. I had six noble dishes for them, dressed by a man-cook, and commended, as indeed they deserved, for exceeding well done. We eat with great pleasure, and I enjoyed myself in it with reflections upon the pleasures which I at best can expect, yet not to exceed this; eating in silver plates, and all things mighty rich and handsome about me. A great deal of fine discourse, sitting almost till dark at dinner, and then broke up with great pleasure, especially to myself; and they away, only Mr. Carteret and I to Gresham College, where they meet now weekly again, and here they had good discourse how this late experiment of the dog, which is in perfect good health, may be improved for good uses to men, and other pretty things, and then broke up. Here was Mr. Henry Howard, that will hereafter be Duke of Norfolke, who is admitted this day into the Society, and being a very proud man, and one that values himself upon his family, writes his name, as he do every where, Henry Howard of Norfolke. Thence home and there comes my Lady Pen, Pegg, and Mrs. Turner, and played at cards and supped with us, and were pretty merry, and Pegg with me in my closet a good while, and did suffer me ‘a la baiser mouche et toucher ses cosas’ upon her breast, wherein I had great pleasure, and so spent the evening and then broke up, and I to bed, my mind mightily pleased with the day’s entertainment.
29th. Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where I find Balty come out to see us, but looks like death, and I do fear he is in a consumption; he has not been abroad many weeks before, and hath now a well day, and a fit day of the headake in extraordinary torture. After dinner left him and his wife, they having their mother hard by and my wife, and I a wet afternoon to White Hall to have seen my Lady Carteret and Jemimah, but as God would have it they were abroad, and I was well contented at it. So my wife and I to Westminster Hall, where I left her a little, and to the Exchequer, and then presently home again, calling at our man-cooke’s for his help tomorrow, but he could not come. So I home to the office, my people all busy to get a good dinner tomorrow again. I late at the office, and all the newes I hear I put into a letter this night to my Lord Bruncker at Chatham, thus:—
“I doubt not of your lordship’s hearing of Sir Thomas Clifford’s succeeding Sir H. Pollard’ in the Comptrollership of the King’s house; but perhaps our ill, but confirmed, tidings from the Barbadoes may not [have reached you] yet, it coming but yesterday; viz., that about eleven ships, whereof two of the King’s, the Hope and Coventry, going thence with men to attack St. Christopher’s, were seized by a violent hurricane, and all sunk — two only of thirteen escaping, and those with loss of masts, &c. My Lord Willoughby himself is involved in the disaster, and I think two ships thrown upon an island of the French, and so all the men, to 500, become their prisoners. ’Tis said, too, that eighteen Dutch men-of-war are passed the Channell, in order to meet with our Smyrna ships; and some, I hear, do fright us with the King of Sweden’s seizing our mast-ships at Gottenburgh. But we have too much ill newes true, to afflict ourselves with what is uncertain. That which I hear from Scotland is, the Duke of York’s saying, yesterday, that he is confident the Lieutenant–Generall there hath driven them into a pound, somewhere towards the mountains.”
Having writ my letter, I home to supper and to bed, the world being mightily troubled at the ill news from Barbadoes, and the consequence of the Scotch business, as little as we do make of it. And to shew how mad we are at home, here, and unfit for any troubles: my Lord St. John did, a day or two since, openly pull a gentleman in Westminster Hall by the nose, one Sir Andrew Henly, while the judges were upon their benches, and the other gentleman did give him a rap over the pate with his cane, of which fray the judges, they say, will make a great matter: men are only sorry the gentle man did proceed to return a blow; for, otherwise, my Lord would have been soundly fined for the affront, and may be yet for his affront to the judges.
30th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, and there we did attend the Duke of York, and had much business with him; and pretty to see, it being St. Andrew’s day, how some few did wear St. Andrew’s crosse; but most did make a mockery at it, and the House of Parliament, contrary to practice, did sit also: people having no mind to observe the Scotch saints’ days till they hear better newes from Scotland. Thence to Westminster Hall and the Abbey, thinking as I had appointed to have met Mrs. Burroughs there, but not meeting her I home, and just overtook my cozen Roger Pepys, Mrs. Turner, Dicke, and Joyce Norton, coming by invitation to dine with me. These ladies I have not seen since before the plague. Mrs. Turner is come to towne to look after her things in her house, but all is lost. She is quite weary of the country, but cannot get her husband to let her live here any more, which troubles her mightily. She was mighty angry with me, that in all this time I never writ to her, which I do think and take to myself as a fault, and which I have promised to mend. Here I had a noble and costly dinner for them, dressed by a man-cooke, as that the other day was, and pretty merry we were, as I could be with this company and so great a charge. We sat long, and after much talk of the plenty of her country in fish, but in nothing also that is pleasing, we broke up with great kindness, and when it begun to be dark we parted, they in one coach home, and I in another to Westminster Hall, where by appointment Mrs. Burroughs and I were to meet, but did not after I had spent the whole evening there. Only I did go drink at the Swan, and there did meet with Sarah, who is now newly married, and there I did lay the beginnings of a future ‘amour con elle’. . . . . Thence it being late away called at Mrs. Burroughs’ mother’s door, and she come out to me, and I did hazer whatever I would. . . . and then parted, and home, and after some playing at cards with my wife, we to supper and to bed.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53