January 1st. Lay long, being a bitter, cold, frosty day, the frost being now grown old, and the Thames covered with ice. Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy. At noon to the ‘Change a little, where Mr. James Houblon and I walked a good while speaking of our ill condition in not being able to set out a fleet (we doubt) this year, and the certain ill effect that must bring, which is lamentable. Home to dinner, where the best powdered goose that ever I eat. Then to the office again, and to Sir W. Batten’s to examine the Commission going down to Portsmouth to examine witnesses about our prizes, of which God give a good issue! and then to the office again, where late, and so home, my eyes sore. To supper and to bed.
2nd. Up, I, and walked to White Hall to attend the Duke of York, as usual. My wife up, and with Mrs. Pen to walk in the fields to frost-bite themselves. I find the Court full of great apprehensions of the French, who have certainly shipped landsmen, great numbers, at Brest; and most of our people here guess his design for Ireland. We have orders to send all the ships we can possible to the Downes. God have mercy on us! for we can send forth no ships without men, nor will men go without money, every day bringing us news of new mutinies among the seamen; so that our condition is like to be very miserable. Thence to Westminster Hall, and there met all the Houblons, who do laugh at this discourse of the French, and say they are verily of opinion it is nothing but to send to their plantation in the West Indys, and that we at Court do blow up a design of invading us, only to make the Parliament make more haste in the money matters, and perhaps it may be so, but I do not believe we have any such plot in our heads. After them, I, with several people, among others Mr. George Montagu, whom I have not seen long, he mighty kind. He tells me all is like to go ill, the King displeasing the House of Commons by evading their Bill for examining Accounts, and putting it into a Commission, though therein he hath left out Coventry and I and named all the rest the Parliament named, and all country Lords, not one Courtier: this do not please them. He tells me he finds the enmity almost over for my Lord Sandwich, and that now all is upon the Vice–Chamberlain, who bears up well and stands upon his vindication, which he seems to like well, and the others do construe well also. Thence up to the Painted Chamber, and there heard a conference between the House of Lords and Commons about the Wine Patent; which I was exceeding glad to be at, because of my hearing exceeding good discourses, but especially from the Commons; among others, Mr. Swinfen, and a young man, one Sir Thomas Meres: and do outdo the Lords infinitely. So down to the Hall and to the Rose Taverne, while Doll Lane come to me, and we did ‘biber a good deal de vino, et je did give elle twelve soldis para comprare elle some gans’ for a new anno’s gift. . . . Thence to the Hall again, and with Sir W. Pen by coach to the Temple, and there ‘light and eat a bit at an ordinary by, and then alone to the King’s House, and there saw “The Custome of the Country,” the second time of its being acted, wherein Knipp does the Widow well; but, of all the plays that ever I did see, the worst-having neither plot, language, nor anything in the earth that is acceptable; only Knipp sings a little song admirably. But fully the worst play that ever I saw or I believe shall see. So away home, much displeased for the loss of so much time, and disobliging my wife by being there without her. So, by link, walked home, it being mighty cold but dry, yet bad walking because very slippery with the frost and treading. Home and to my chamber to set down my journal, and then to thinking upon establishing my vows against the next year, and so to supper and to bed.
3rd. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon by invitation to dinner to Sir W. Pen’s, where my Lord Bruncker, Sir W. Batten, and his lady, myself, and wife, Sir J. Minnes, and Mr. Turner and his wife. Indifferent merry, to which I contributed the most, but a mean dinner, and in a mean manner. In the evening a little to the office, and then to them, where I found them at cards, myself very ill with a cold (the frost continuing hard), so eat but little at supper, but very merry, and late home to bed, not much pleased with the manner of our entertainment, though to myself more civil than to any. This day, I hear, hath been a conference between the two Houses about the Bill for examining Accounts, wherein the House of Lords their proceedings in petitioning the King for doing it by Commission is, in great heat, voted by the Commons, after the conference, unparliamentary. The issue whereof, God knows.
4th. Up, and seeing things put in order for a dinner at my house today, I to the office awhile, and about noon home, and there saw all things in good order. Anon comes our company; my Lord Bruncker, Sir W. Pen, his lady, and Pegg, and her servant, Mr. Lowther, my Lady Batten (Sir W. Batten being forced to dine at Sir K. Ford’s, being invited), Mr. Turner and his wife. Here I had good room for ten, and no more would my table have held well, had Sir J. Minnes, who was fallen lame, and his sister, and niece, and Sir W. Batten come, which was a great content to me to be without them. I did make them all gaze to see themselves served so nobly in plate, and a neat dinner, indeed, though but of seven dishes. Mighty merry I was and made them all, and they mightily pleased. My Lord Bruncker went away after dinner to the ticket-office, the rest staid, only my Lady Batten home, her ague-fit coming on her at table. The rest merry, and to cards, and then to sing and talk, and at night to sup, and then to cards; and, last of all, to have a flaggon of ale and apples, drunk out of a wood cupp,1 as a Christmas draught, made all merry; and they full of admiration at my plate, particularly my flaggons (which, indeed, are noble), and so late home, all with great mirth and satisfaction to them, as I thought, and to myself to see all I have and do so much outdo for neatness and plenty anything done by any of them. They gone, I to bed, much pleased, and do observe Mr. Lowther to be a pretty gentleman, and, I think, too good for Peg; and, by the way, Peg Pen seems mightily to be kind to me, and I believe by her father’s advice, who is also himself so; but I believe not a little troubled to see my plenty, and was much troubled to hear the song I sung, “The New Droll”— it touching him home. So to bed.
1 A mazer or drinking-bowl turned out of some kind of wood, by preference of maple, and especially the spotted or speckled variety called “bird’s-eye maple” (see W. H. St. John Hope’s paper, “On the English Mediaeval Drinking-bowls called Mazers,” “Archaeologia,” vol. 50, pp. 129,93).
5th. At the office all the morning, thinking at noon to have been taken home, and my wife (according to appointment yesterday), by my Lord Bruncker, to dinner and then to a play, but he had forgot it, at which I was glad, being glad of avoyding the occasion of inviting him again, and being forced to invite his doxy, Mrs. Williams. So home, and took a small snap of victuals, and away, with my wife, to the Duke’s house, and there saw “Mustapha,” a most excellent play for words and design as ever I did see. I had seen it before but forgot it, so it was wholly new to me, which is the pleasure of my not committing these things to my memory. Home, and a little to the office, and then to bed, where I lay with much pain in my head most of the night, and very unquiet, partly by my drinking before I went out too great a draught of sack, and partly my eyes being still very sore.
6th (Lord’s day). Up pretty well in the morning, and then to church, where a dull doctor, a stranger, made a dull sermon. Then home, and Betty Michell and her husband come by invitation to dine with us, and, she I find the same as ever (which I was afraid of the contrary) . . . Here come also Mr. Howe to dine with me, and we had a good dinner and good merry discourse with much pleasure, I enjoying myself mightily to have friends at my table. After dinner young Michell and I, it being an excellent frosty day to walk, did walk out, he showing me the baker’s house in Pudding Lane, where the late great fire begun; and thence all along Thames Street, where I did view several places, and so up by London Wall, by Blackfriars, to Ludgate; and thence to Bridewell, which I find to have been heretofore an extraordinary good house, and a fine coming to it, before the house by the bridge was built; and so to look about St. Bride’s church and my father’s house, and so walked home, and there supped together, and then Michell and Betty home, and I to my closet, there to read and agree upon my vows for next year, and so to bed and slept mighty well.
7th. Lay long in bed. Then up and to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon (my wife being gone to Westminster) I with my Lord Bruncker by coach as far as the Temple, in the way he telling me that my Lady Denham is at last dead. Some suspect her poisoned, but it will be best known when her body is opened, which will be today, she dying yesterday morning. The Duke of York is troubled for her; but hath declared he will never have another public mistress again; which I shall be glad of, and would the King would do the like. He tells me how the Parliament is grown so jealous of the King’s being unfayre to them in the business of the Bill for examining Accounts, Irish Bill, and the business of the Papists, that they will not pass the business for money till they see themselves secure that those Bills will pass; which they do observe the Court to keep off till all the Bills come together, that the King may accept what he pleases, and what he pleases to reject, which will undo all our business and the kingdom too. He tells me how Mr. Henry Howard, of Norfolke, hath given our Royal Society all his grandfather’s library: which noble gift they value at £1000; and gives them accommodation to meet in at his house, Arundell House, they being now disturbed at Gresham College. Thence ‘lighting at the Temple to the ordinary hard by and eat a bit of meat, and then by coach to fetch my wife from her brother’s, and thence to the Duke’s house, and saw “Macbeth,” which, though I saw it lately, yet appears a most excellent play in all respects, but especially in divertisement, though it be a deep tragedy; which is a strange perfection in a tragedy, it being most proper here, and suitable. So home, it being the last play now I am to see till a fortnight hence, I being from the last night entered into my vowes for the year coming on. Here I met with the good newes of Hogg’s bringing in two prizes more to Plymouth, which if they prove but any part of them, I hope, at least, we shall be no losers by them. So home from the office, to write over fair my vowes for this year, and then to supper, and to bed. In great peace of mind having now done it, and brought myself into order again and a resolution of keeping it, and having entered my journall to this night, so to bed, my eyes failing me with writing.
8th. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where my uncle Thomas with me to receive his quarterage. He tells me his son Thomas is set up in Smithfield, where he hath a shop — I suppose, a booth. Presently after dinner to the office, and there set close to my business and did a great deal before night, and am resolved to stand to it, having been a truant too long. At night to Sir W. Batten’s to consider some things about our prizes, and then to other talk, and among other things he tells me that he hears for certain that Sir W. Coventry hath resigned to the King his place of Commissioner of the Navy, the thing he bath often told me that he had a mind to do, but I am surprised to think that he hath done it, and am full of thoughts all this evening after I heard it what may be the consequences of it to me. So home and to supper, and then saw the catalogue of my books, which my brother had wrote out, now perfectly alphabeticall, and so to bed. Sir Richard Ford did this evening at Sir W. Batten’s tell us that upon opening the body of my Lady Denham it is said that they found a vessel about her matrix which had never been broke by her husband, that caused all pains in her body. Which if true is excellent invention to clear both the Duchesse from poison or the Duke from lying with her.
9th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen in a hackney-coach to White Hall, the way being most horribly bad upon the breaking up of the frost, so as not to be passed almost. There did our usual [business] with the Duke of York, and here I do hear, by my Lord Bruncker, that for certain Sir W. Coventry hath resigned his place of Commissioner; which I believe he hath done upon good grounds of security to himself, from all the blame which must attend our office this next year; but I fear the King will suffer by it. Thence to Westminster Hall, and there to the conference of the Houses about the word “Nuisance,”1 which the Commons would have, and the Lords will not, in the Irish Bill. The Commons do it professedly to prevent the King’s dispensing with it; which Sir Robert Howard and others did expressly repeat often: viz., “the King nor any King ever could do any thing which was hurtful to their people.” Now the Lords did argue, that it was an ill precedent, and that which will ever hereafter be used as a way of preventing the King’s dispensation with acts; and therefore rather advise to pass the Bill without that word, and let it go, accompanied with a petition, to the King, that he will not dispense with it; this being a more civil way to the King. They answered well, that this do imply that the King should pass their Bill, and yet with design to dispense with it; which is to suppose the King guilty of abusing them. And more, they produce precedents for it; namely, that against new buildings and about leather, wherein the word “Nuisance” is used to the purpose: and further, that they do not rob the King of any right he ever had, for he never had a power to do hurt to his people, nor would exercise it; and therefore there is no danger, in the passing this Bill, of imposing on his prerogative; and concluded, that they think they ought to do this, so as the people may really have the benefit of it when it is passed, for never any people could expect so reasonably to be indulged something from a King, they having already given him so much money, and are likely to give more. Thus they broke up, both adhering to their opinions; but the Commons seemed much more full of judgment and reason than the Lords. Then the Commons made their Report to the Lords of their vote, that their Lordships’ proceedings in the Bill for examining Accounts were unparliamentary; they having, while a Bill was sent up to them from the Commons about the business, petitioned his Majesty that he would do the same thing by his Commission. They did give their reasons: viz., that it had no precedent; that the King ought not to be informed of anything passing in the Houses till it comes to a Bill; that it will wholly break off all correspondence between the two Houses, and in the issue wholly infringe the very use and being of Parliaments. Having left their arguments with the Lords they all broke up, and I by coach to the ordinary by the Temple, and there dined alone on a rabbit, and read a book I brought home from Mrs. Michell’s, of the proceedings of the Parliament in the 3rd and 4th year of the late King, a very good book for speeches and for arguments of law. Thence to Faythorne, and bought a head or two; one of them my Lord of Ormond’s, the best I ever saw, and then to Arundell House, where first the Royall Society meet, by the favour of Mr. Harry Howard, who was there, and has given us his grandfather’s library, a noble gift, and a noble favour and undertaking it is for him to make his house the seat for this college. Here was an experiment shown about improving the use of powder for creating of force in winding up of springs and other uses of great worth. And here was a great meeting of worthy noble persons; but my Lord Bruncker, who pretended to make a congratulatory speech upon their coming hither, and in thanks to Mr. Howard, do it in the worst manner in the world, being the worst speaker, so as I do wonder at his parts and the unhappiness of his speaking. Thence home by coach and to the office, and then home to supper, Mercer and her sister there, and to cards, and then to bed. Mr. Cowling did this day in the House-lobby tell me of the many complaints among people against Mr. Townsend in the Wardrobe, and advises me to think of my Lord Sandwich’s concernment there under his care. He did also tell me upon my demanding it, that he do believe there are some things on foot for a peace between France and us, but that we shall be foiled in it.
1 In the “Bill against importing Cattle from Ireland and other parts beyond the Seas,” the Lords proposed to insert “Detriment and Mischief” in place of “Nuisance,” but the Commons stood to their word, and gained their way. The Lords finally consented that “Nuisance” should stand in the Bill.
10th. Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon home and, there being business to do in the afternoon, took my Lord Bruncker home with me, who dined with me. His discourse and mine about the bad performances of the Controller’s and Surveyor’s places by the hands they are now in, and the shame to the service and loss the King suffers by it. Then after dinner to the office, where we and some of the chief of the Trinity House met to examine the occasion of the loss of The Prince Royall, the master and mates being examined, which I took and keep, and so broke up, and I to my letters by the post, and so home and to supper with my mind at pretty good ease, being entered upon minding my business, and so to bed. This noon Mrs. Burroughs come to me about business, whom I did baiser. . . .
11th. Up, being troubled at my being found abed a-days by all sorts of people, I having got a trick of sitting up later than I need, never supping, or very seldom, before 12 at night. Then to the office, there busy all the morning, and among other things comes Sir W. Warren and walked with me awhile, whose discourse I love, he being a very wise man and full of good counsel, and his own practices for wisdom much to be observed, and among other things he tells me how he is fallen in with my Lord Bruncker, who has promised him most particular inward friendship and yet not to appear at the board to do so, and he tells me how my Lord Bruncker should take notice of the two flaggons he saw at my house at dinner, at my late feast, and merrily, yet I know enviously, said, I could not come honestly by them. This I am glad to hear, though vexed to see his ignoble soul, but I shall beware of him, and yet it is fit he should see I am no mean fellow, but can live in the world, and have something. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office with my people and very busy, and did dispatch to my great satisfaction abundance of business, and do resolve, by the grace of God, to stick to it till I have cleared my heart of most things wherein I am in arrear in public and private matters. At night, home to supper and to bed. This day ill news of my father’s being very ill of his old grief the rupture, which troubles me.
12th. Up, still lying long in bed; then to the office, where sat very long. Then home to dinner, and so to the office again, mighty busy, and did to the joy of my soul dispatch much business, which do make my heart light, and will enable me to recover all the ground I have lost (if I have by my late minding my pleasures lost any) and assert myself. So home to supper, and then to read a little in Moore’s “Antidote against Atheisme,” a pretty book, and so to bed.
13th (Lord’s day). Up, and to church, where young Lowther come to church with Sir W. Pen and his Lady and daughter, and my wife tells me that either they are married or the match is quite perfected, which I am apt to believe, because all the peoples’ eyes in the church were much fixed upon them. At noon sent for Mercer, who dined with us, and very merry, and so I, after dinner, walked to the Old Swan, thinking to have got a boat to White Hall, but could not, nor was there anybody at home at Michell’s, where I thought to have sat with her. . . . So home, to church, a dull sermon, and then home at my chamber all the evening. So to supper and to bed.
14th. Up, and to the office, where busy getting beforehand with my business as fast as I can. At noon home to dinner, and presently afterward at my office again. I understand my father is pretty well again, blessed be God! and would have my Br[other] John comedown to him for a little while. Busy till night, pleasing myself mightily to see what a deal of business goes off of a man’s hands when he stays by it, and then, at night, before it was late (yet much business done) home to supper, discourse with my wife, and to bed. Sir W. Batten tells me the Lords do agree at last with the Commons about the word “Nuisance” in the Irish Bill, and do desire a good correspondence between the two Houses; and that the King do intend to prorogue them the last of this month.
15th. Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning. Here my Lord Bruncker would have made me promise to go with him to a play this afternoon, where Knipp acts Mrs. Weaver’s great part in “The Indian Emperour,” and he says is coming on to be a great actor. But I am so fell to my business, that I, though against my inclination, will not go. At noon, dined with my wife and were pleasant, and then to the office, where I got Mrs. Burroughs ‘sola cum ego, and did toucher ses mamailles’ . . . She gone, I to my business and did much, and among other things to-night we were all mightily troubled how to prevent the sale of a great deal of hemp, and timber-deals, and other good goods tomorrow at the candle by the Prize Office, where it will be sold for little, and we shall be found to want the same goods and buy at extraordinary prices, and perhaps the very same goods now sold, which is a most horrid evil and a shame. At night home to supper and to bed with my mind mighty light to see the fruits of my diligence in having my business go off my hand so merrily.
16th. Up, and by coach to White Hall, and there to the Duke of York as usual. Here Sir W. Coventry come to me aside in the Duke’s chamber, to tell that he had not answered part of a late letter of mine, because ‘littera scripta manet’. About his leaving the office, he tells me, [it is] because he finds that his business at Court will not permit him to attend it; and then he confesses that he seldom of late could come from it with satisfaction, and therefore would not take the King’s money for nothing. I professed my sorrow for it, and prayed the continuance of his favour; which he promised. I do believe he hath [done] like a very wise man in reference to himself; but I doubt it will prove ill for the King, and for the office. Prince Rupert, I hear today, is very ill; yesterday given over, but better today. This day, before the Duke of York, the business of the Muster–Masters was reported, and Balty found the best of the whole number, so as the Duke enquired who he was, and whether he was a stranger by his two names, both strange, and offered that he and one more, who hath done next best, should have not only their owne, but part of the others’ salary, but that I having said he was my brother-inlaw, he did stop, but they two are ordered their pay, which I am glad of, and some of the rest will lose their pay, and others be laid by the heels. I was very glad of this being ended so well. I did also, this morning, move in a business wherein Mr. Hater hath concerned me, about getting a ship, laden with salt from France, permitted to unload, coming in after the King’s declaration was out, which I have hopes by some dexterity to get done. Then with the Duke of York to the King, to receive his commands for stopping the sale this day of some prize-goods at the Prize–Office, goods fit for the Navy; and received the King’s commands, and carried them to the Lords’ House, to my Lord Ashly, who was angry much thereat, and I am sorry it fell to me to carry the order, but I cannot help it. So, against his will, he signed a note I writ to the Commissioners of Prizes, which I carried and delivered to Kingdone, at their new office in Aldersgate Streete. Thence a little to the Exchange, where it was hot that the Prince was dead, but I did rectify it. So home to dinner, and found Balty, told him the good news, and then after dinner away, I presently to White Hall, and did give the Duke of York a memorial of the salt business, against the Council, and did wait all the Council for answer, walking a good while with Sir Stephen Fox, who, among other things, told me his whole mystery in the business of the interest he pays as Treasurer for the Army. They give him 12d. per pound quite through the Army, with condition to be paid weekly. This he undertakes upon his own private credit, and to be paid by the King at the end of every four months. If the King pay him not at the end of the four months, then, for all the time he stays longer, my Lord Treasurer, by agreement, allows him eight per cent. per annum for the forbearance. So that, in fine, he hath about twelve per cent. from the King and the Army, for fifteen or sixteen months’ interest; out of which he gains soundly, his expense being about £130,000 per annum; and hath no trouble in it, compared, as I told him, to the trouble I must have to bring in an account of interest. I was, however, glad of being thus enlightened, and so away to the other council door, and there got in and hear a piece of a cause, heard before the King, about a ship deserted by her fellows (who were bound mutually to defend each other), in their way to Virginy, and taken by the enemy, but it was but meanly pleaded. Then all withdrew, and by and by the Council rose, and I spoke with the Duke of York, and he told me my business was done, which I found accordingly in Sir Edward Walker’s books. And so away, mightily satisfied, to Arundell House, and there heard a little good discourse, and so home, and there to Sir W. Batten, where I heard the examinations in two of our prizes, which do make but little for us, so that I do begin to doubt their proving prize, which troubled me. So home to supper with my wife, and after supper my wife told me how she had moved to W. Hewer the business of my sister for a wife to him, which he received with mighty acknowledgements, as she says, above anything; but says he hath no intention to alter his condition: so that I am in some measure sorry she ever moved it; but I hope he will think it only come from her. So after supper a little to the office, to enter my journall, and then home to bed. Talk there is of a letter to come from Holland, desiring a place of treaty; but I do doubt it. This day I observe still, in many places, the smoking remains of the late fire: the ways mighty bad and dirty. This night Sir R. Ford told me how this day, at Christ Church Hospital, they have given a living over £200 per annum to Mr. Sanchy, my old acquaintance, which I wonder at, he commending him mightily; but am glad of it. He tells me, too, how the famous Stillingfleete was a Bluecoat boy. The children at this day are provided for in the country by the House, which I am glad also to hear.
17th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning sitting. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office busy also till very late, my heart joyed with the effects of my following my business, by easing my head of cares, and so home to supper and to bed.
18th. Up, and most of the morning finishing my entry of my journall during the late fire out of loose papers into this book, which did please me mightily when done, I, writing till my eyes were almost blind therewith to make an end of it. Then all the rest of the morning, and, after a mouthful of dinner, all the afternoon in my closet till night, sorting all my papers, which have lain unsorted for all the time we were at Greenwich during the plague, which did please me also, I drawing on to put my office into a good posture, though much is behind. This morning come Captain. Cocke to me, and tells me that the King comes to the House this day to pass the poll Bill and the Irish Bill; he tells me too that, though the Faction is very froward in the House, yet all will end well there. But he says that one had got a Bill ready to present in the House against Sir W. Coventry, for selling of places, and says he is certain of it, and how he was withheld from doing it. He says, that the Vice-chamberlaine is now one of the greatest men in England again, and was he that did prevail with the King to let the Irish Bill go with the word “Nuisance.” He told me, that Sir G. Carteret’s declaration of giving double to any man that will prove that any of his people have demanded or taken any thing for forwarding the payment of the wages of any man (of which he sent us a copy yesterday, which we approved of) is set up, among other places, upon the House of Lords’ door. I do not know how wisely this is done. This morning, also, there come to the office a letter from the Duke of York, commanding our payment of no wages to any of the muster-masters of the fleete the last year, but only two, my brother Balty, taking notice that he had taken pains therein, and one Ward, who, though he had not taken so much as the other, yet had done more than the rest. This I was exceeding glad of for my own sake and his. At night I, by appointment, home, where W. Batelier and his sister Mary, and the two Mercers, to play at cards and sup, and did cut our great cake lately given us by Russell: a very good one. Here very merry late. Sir W. Pen told me this night how the King did make them a very sharp speech in the House of Lords today, saying that he did expect to have had more Bills;1 that he purposes to prorogue them on Monday come se’nnight; that whereas they have unjustly conceived some jealousys of his making a peace, he declares he knows of no such thing or treaty: and so left them. But with so little effect, that as soon as he come into the House, Sir W. Coventry moved, that now the King hath declared his intention of proroguing them, it would be loss of time to go on with the thing they were upon, when they were called to the King, which was the calling over the defaults of Members appearing in the House; for that, before any person could now come or be brought to town, the House would be up. Yet the Faction did desire to delay time, and contend so as to come to a division of the House; where, however, it was carried, by a few voices, that the debate should be laid by. But this shews that they are not pleased, or that they have not any awe over them from the King’s displeasure. The company being gone, to bed.
1 On this day “An Act for raising Money by a Poll and otherwise towards the maintenance of the present War,” and “An Act prohibiting the Importation of Cattle from Ireland and other parts beyond the Sea, and Fish taken by Foreigners,” were passed. The king. complained of the insufficient supply, and said, “’Tis high time for you to make good your promises, and ’tis high time for you to be in the country” (“Journals of the House of Lords,” vol xii., p. 81).
19th. Up, and at the office all the morning. Sir W. Batten tells me to my wonder that at his coming to my Lord Ashly, yesterday morning, to tell him what prize-goods he would have saved for the Navy, and not sold, according to the King’s order on the 17th, he fell quite out with him in high terms; and he says, too, that they did go on to the sale yesterday, even of the very hempe, and other things, at which I am astonished, and will never wonder at the ruine of the King’s affairs, if this be suffered. At noon dined, and Mr. Pierce come to see me, he newly come from keeping his Christmas in the country. So to the office, where very busy, but with great pleasure till late at night, and then home to supper and to bed.
20th (Lord’s day). Up betimes and down to the Old Swan, there called on Michell and his wife, which in her night linen appeared as pretty almost as ever to my thinking I saw woman. Here I drank some burnt brandy. They shewed me their house, which, poor people, they have built, and is very pretty. I invited them to dine with me, and so away to White Hall to Sir W. Coventry, with whom I have not been alone a good while, and very kind he is, and tells me how the business is now ordered by order of council for my Lord Bruncker to assist Sir J. Minnes in all matters of accounts relating to the Treasurer, and Sir W. Pen in all matters relating to the victuallers’ and pursers’ accounts, which I am very glad of, and the more for that I think it will not do me any hurt at all. Other discourse, much especially about the heat the House was in yesterday about the ill management of the Navy, which I was sorry to hear; though I think they were well answered, both by Sir G. Carteret and [Sir] W. Coventry, as he informs me the substance of their speeches. Having done with him, home mightily satisfied with my being with him, and coming home I to church, and there, beyond expectation, find our seat, and all the church crammed, by twice as many people as used to be: and to my great joy find Mr. Frampton in the pulpit; so to my great joy I hear him preach, and I think the best sermon, for goodness and oratory, without affectation or study, that ever I heard in my life. The truth is, he preaches the most like an apostle that ever I heard man; and it was much the best time that ever I spent in my life at church. His text, Ecclesiastes xi., verse 8th — the words, “But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.” He done, I home, and there Michell and his wife, and we dined and mighty merry, I mightily taken more and more with her. After dinner I with my brother away by water to White Hall, and there walked in the Parke, and a little to my Lord Chancellor’s, where the King and Cabinet met, and there met Mr. Brisband, with whom good discourse, to White Hall towards night, and there he did lend me “The Third Advice to a Paynter,” a bitter satyre upon the service of the Duke of Albemarle the last year. I took it home with me, and will copy it, having the former, being also mightily pleased with it. So after reading it, I to Sir W. Pen to discourse a little with him about the business of our prizes, and so home to supper and to bed.
21st. Up betimes, and with, Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, [Sir] R. Ford, by coach to the Swede’s Resident’s in the Piatza, to discourse with him about two of our prizes, wherein he puts in his concernment as for his countrymen. We had no satisfaction, nor did give him any, but I find him a cunning fellow. He lives in one of the great houses there, but ill-furnished; and come to us out of bed in his furred mittens and furred cap. Thence to Exeter House to the Doctors Commons, and there with our Proctors to Dr. Walker, who was not very well, but, however, did hear our matters, and after a dull seeming hearing of them read, did discourse most understandingly of them, as well as ever I heard man, telling us all our grounds of pretence to the prize would do no good, and made it appear but thus, and thus, it may be, but yet did give us but little reason to expect it would prove, which troubled us, but I was mightily taken to hear his manner of discourse. Thence with them to Westminster Hall, they setting me down at White Hall, where I missed of finding Sir G. Carteret, up to the Lords’ House, and there come mighty seasonably to hear the Solicitor about my Lord Buckingham’s pretence to the title of Lord Rosse. Mr. Atturny Montagu is also a good man, and so is old Sir P. Ball; but the Solicitor and Scroggs after him are excellent men. Here spoke with my Lord Bellasses about getting some money for Tangier, which he doubts we shall not be able to do out of the Poll Bill, it being so strictly tied for the Navy. He tells me the Lords have passed the Bill for the accounts with some little amendments. So down to the Hall, and thence with our company to Exeter House, and then did the business I have said before, we doing nothing the first time of going, it being too early. At home find Lovett, to whom I did give my Lady Castlemayne’s head to do. He is talking of going into Spayne to get money by his art, but I doubt he will do no good, he being a man of an unsettled head. Thence by water down to Deptford, the first time I have been by water a great while, and there did some little business and walked home, and there come into my company three drunken seamen, but one especially, who told me such stories, calling me Captain, as made me mighty merry, and they would leap and skip, and kiss what mayds they met all the way. I did at first give them money to drink, lest they should know who I was, and so become troublesome to me. Parted at Redriffe, and there home and to the office, where did much business, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, where [Sir] W. Pen, [Sir] R. Ford, and I to hear a proposition [Sir] R. Ford was to acquaint us with from the Swedes Embassador, in manner of saying, that for money he might be got to our side and relinquish the trouble he may give us. Sir W. Pen did make a long simple declaration of his resolution to give nothing to deceive any poor man of what was his right by law, but ended in doing whatever any body else would, and we did commission Sir R. Ford to give promise of not beyond £350 to him and his Secretary, in case they did not oppose us in the Phoenix (the net profits of which, as [Sir] R. Ford cast up before us, the Admiral’s tenths, and ship’s thirds, and other charges all cleared, will amount to £3,000) and that we did gain her. [Sir] R. Ford did pray for a curse upon his family, if he was privy to anything more than he told us (which I believe he is a knave in), yet we all concluded him the most fit man for it and very honest, and so left it wholly to him to manage as he pleased. Thence to the office a little while longer, and so home, where W. Hewer’s mother was, and Mrs. Turner, our neighbour, and supped with us. His mother a well-favoured old little woman, and a good woman, I believe. After we had supped, and merry, we parted late, Mrs. Turner having staid behind to talk a little about her lodgings, which now my Lord Bruncker upon Sir W. Coventry’s surrendering do claim, but I cannot think he will come to live in them so as to need to put them out. She gone, we to bed all. This night, at supper, comes from Sir W. Coventry the Order of Councill for my Lord Bruncker to do all the Comptroller’s part relating to the Treasurer’s accounts, and Sir W. Pen, all relating to the Victualler’s, and Sir J. Minnes to do the rest. This, I hope, will do much better for the King than now, and, I think, will give neither of them ground to over-top me, as I feared they would; which pleases me mightily. This evening, Mr. Wren and Captain Cocke called upon me at the office, and there told me how the House was in better temper today, and hath passed the Bill for the remainder of the money, but not to be passed finally till they have done some other things which they will have passed with it; wherein they are very open, what their meaning is, which was but doubted before, for they do in all respects doubt the King’s pleasing them.
22nd. Up, and there come to me Darnell the fiddler, one of the Duke’s house, and brought me a set of lessons, all three parts, I heard them play to the Duke of York after Christmas at his lodgings, and bid him get me them. I did give him a crowne for them, and did enquire after the musique of the “Siege of Rhodes,” which, he tells me, he can get me, which I am mighty glad of. So to the office, where among other things I read the Councill’s order about my Lord Bruncker and Sir W. Pen to be assistants to the Comptroller, which quietly went down with Sir J. Minnes, poor man, seeming a little as if he would be thought to have desired it, but yet apparently to his discontent; and, I fear, as the order runs, it will hardly do much good. At noon to dinner, and there comes a letter from Mrs. Pierce, telling me she will come and dine with us on Thursday next, with some of the players, Knipp, &c., which I was glad of, but my wife vexed, which vexed me; but I seemed merry, but know not how to order the matter, whether they shall come or no. After dinner to the office, and there late doing much business, and so home to supper, and to bed.
23rd. Up, and with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen to White Hall, and there to the Duke of York, and did our usual business. Having done there, I to St. James’s, to see the organ Mrs. Turner told me of the other night, of my late Lord Aubigney’s; and I took my Lord Bruncker with me, he being acquainted with my present Lord Almoner, Mr. Howard, brother to the Duke of Norfolke; so he and I thither and did see the organ, but I do not like it, it being but a bauble, with a virginal! joining to it: so I shall not meddle with it. Here we sat and talked with him a good while, and he seems a good-natured gentleman: here I observed the deske which he hath, [made] to remove, and is fastened to one of the armes of his chayre. I do also observe the counterfeit windows there was, in the form of doors with looking-glasses instead of windows, which makes the room seem both bigger and lighter, I think; and I have some thoughts to have the like in one of my rooms. He discoursed much of the goodness of the musique in Rome, but could not tell me how long musique had been in any perfection in that church, which I would be glad to know. He speaks much of the great buildings that this Pope,1 whom, in mirth to us, he calls Antichrist, hath done in his time. Having done with the discourse, we away, and my Lord and I walking into the Park back again, I did observe the new buildings: and my Lord, seeing I had a desire to see them, they being the place for the priests and fryers, he took me back to my Lord Almoner; and he took us quite through the whole house and chapel, and the new monastery, showing me most excellent pieces in wax-worke: a crucifix given by a Pope to Mary Queen of Scotts, where a piece of the Cross is;2 two bits set in the manner of a cross in the foot of the crucifix: several fine pictures, but especially very good prints of holy pictures. I saw the dortoire —[dormitory]— and the cells of the priests, and we went into one; a very pretty little room, very clean, hung with pictures, set with books. The Priest was in his cell, with his hair clothes to his skin, bare-legged, with a sandal! only on, and his little bed without sheets, and no feather bed; but yet, I thought, soft enough. His cord about his middle; but in so good company, living with ease, I thought it a very good life. A pretty library they have. And I was in the refectoire, where every man his napkin, knife, cup of earth, and basin of the same; and a place for one to sit and read while the rest are at meals. And into the kitchen I went, where a good neck of mutton at the fire, and other victuals boiling. I do not think they fared very hard. Their windows all looking into a fine garden and the Park; and mighty pretty rooms all. I wished myself one of the Capuchins. Having seen what we could here, and all with mighty pleasure, so away with the Almoner in his coach, talking merrily about the difference in our religions, to White Hall, and there we left him. I in my Lord Bruncker’s coach, he carried me to the Savoy, and there we parted. I to the Castle Tavern, where was and did come all our company, Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, [Sir] R. Ford, and our Counsel Sir Ellis Layton, Walt Walker, Dr. Budd, Mr. Holder, and several others, and here we had a bad dinner of our preparing, and did discourse something of our business of our prizes, which was the work of the day. I staid till dinner was over, and there being no use of me I away after dinner without taking leave, and to the New Exchange, there to take up my wife and Mercer, and to Temple Bar to the Ordinary, and had a dish of meat for them, they having not dined, and thence to the King’s house, and there saw “The Numerous Lieutenant,” a silly play, I think; only the Spirit in it that grows very tall, and then sinks again to nothing, having two heads breeding upon one, and then Knipp’s singing, did please us. Here, in a box above, we spied Mrs. Pierce; and, going out, they called us, and so we staid for them; and Knipp took us all in, and brought to us Nelly; a most pretty woman, who acted the great part of Coelia today very fine, and did it pretty well: I kissed her, and so did my wife; and a mighty pretty soul she is. We also saw Mrs. Halls which is my little Roman-nose black girl, that is mighty pretty: she is usually called Betty. Knipp made us stay in a box and see the dancing preparatory to tomorrow for “The Goblins,” a play of Suckling’s, not acted these twenty-five years; which was pretty; and so away thence, pleased with this sight also, and specially kissing of Nell. We away, Mr. Pierce and I, on foot to his house, the women by coach. In our way we find the Guards of horse in the street, and hear the occasion to be news that the seamen are in a mutiny, which put me into a great fright; so away with my wife and Mercer home preparing against tomorrow night to have Mrs. Pierce and Knipp and a great deal more company to dance; and, when I come home, hear of no disturbance there of the seamen, but that one of them, being arrested today, others do go and rescue him. So to the office a little, and then home to supper, and to my chamber awhile, and then to bed.
1 Fabio Chigi, of Siena, succeeded Innocent X. in 1655 as Alexander VII. He died May, 1667, and was succeeded by Clement IX.
2 Pieces of “the Cross” were formerly held in such veneration, and were so common, that it has been often said enough existed to build a ship. Most readers will remember the distinction which Sir W. Scott represents Louis XI. (with great appreciation of that monarch’s character), as drawing between an oath taken on a false piece and one taken on a piece of the true cross. Sir Thomas More, a very devout believer in relics, says (“Works,” p. 119), that Luther wished, in a sermon of his, that he had in his hand all the pieces of the Holy Cross; and said that if he so had, he would throw them there as never sun should shine on them:— and for what worshipful reason would the wretch do such villainy to the cross of Christ? Because, as he saith, that there is so much gold now bestowed about the garnishing of the pieces of the Cross, that there is none left for poore folke. Is not this a high reason? As though all the gold that is now bestowed about the pieces of the Holy Cross would not have failed to have been given to poor men, if they had not been bestowed about the garnishing of the Cross! and as though there were nothing lost, but what is bestowed about Christ’s Cross!” “Wolsey, says Cavendish, on his fall, gave to Norris, who brought him a ring of gold as a token of good will from Henry, “a little chaine of gold, made like a bottle chain, with a cross of gold, wherein was a piece of the Holy Cross, which he continually wore about his neck, next his body; and said, furthermore, ‘Master Norris, I assure you, when I was in prosperity, although it seem but small in value, yet I would not gladly have departed with the same for a thousand pounds.’” Life, ed. 1852, p. 167. Evelyn mentions, “Diary,” November 17th, 1664, that he saw in one of the chapels in St. Peter’s a crucifix with a piece of the true cross in it. Amongst the jewels of Mary Queen of Scots was a cross of gold, which had been pledged to Hume of Blackadder for £1000 (Chalmers’s “Life,” vol. i., p. 31 ). — B.
24th. Up, and to the office, full of thoughts how to order the business of our merry meeting to-night. So to the office, where busy all the morning. [While we were sitting in the morning at the office, we were frighted with news of fire at Sir W. Batten’s by a chimney taking fire, and it put me into much fear and trouble, but with a great many hands and pains it was soon stopped.] At noon home to dinner, and presently to the office to despatch my business, and also we sat all the afternoon to examine the loss of The Bredagh, which was done by as plain negligence as ever ship was. We being rose, I entering my letters and getting the office swept and a good fire made and abundance of candles lighted, I home, where most of my company come of this end of the town-Mercer and her sister, Mr. Batelier and Pembleton (my Lady Pen, and Pegg, and Mr. Lowther, but did not stay long, and I believe it was by Sir W. Pen’s order; for they had a great mind to have staid), and also Captain Rolt. And, anon, at about seven or eight o’clock, comes Mr. Harris, of the Duke’s playhouse, and brings Mrs. Pierce with him, and also one dressed like a country-mayde with a straw hat on; which, at first, I could not tell who it was, though I expected Knipp: but it was she coming off the stage just as she acted this day in “The Goblins;” a merry jade. Now my house is full, and four fiddlers that play well. Harris I first took to my closet; and I find him a very curious and understanding person in all pictures and other things, and a man of fine conversation; and so is Rolt. So away with all my company down to the office, and there fell to dancing, and continued at it an hour or two, there coming Mrs. Anne Jones, a merchant’s daughter hard by, who dances well, and all in mighty good humour, and danced with great pleasure; and then sung and then danced, and then sung many things of three voices — both Harris and Rolt singing their parts excellently. Among other things, Harris sung his Irish song — the strangest in itself, and the prettiest sung by him, that ever I heard. Then to supper in the office, a cold, good supper, and wondrous merry. Here was Mrs. Turner also, but the poor woman sad about her lodgings, and Mrs. Markham: after supper to dancing again and singing, and so continued till almost three in the morning, and then, with extraordinary pleasure, broke up only towards morning, Knipp fell a little ill, and so my wife home with her to put her to bed, and we continued dancing and singing; and, among other things, our Mercer unexpectedly did happen to sing an Italian song I know not, of which they two sung the other two parts to, that did almost ravish me, and made me in love with her more than ever with her singing. As late as it was, yet Rolt and Harris would go home to-night, and walked it, though I had a bed for them; and it proved dark, and a misly night, and very windy. The company being all gone to their homes, I up with Mrs. Pierce to Knipp, who was in bed; and we waked her, and there I handled her breasts and did ‘baiser la’, and sing a song, lying by her on the bed, and then left my wife to see Mrs. Pierce in bed to her, in our best chamber, and so to bed myself, my mind mightily satisfied with all this evening’s work, and thinking it to be one of the merriest enjoyment I must look for in the world, and did content myself therefore with the thoughts of it, and so to bed; only the musique did not please me, they not being contented with less than 30s.
25th. Lay pretty long, then to the office, where Lord Bruncker and Sir J. Minnes and I did meet, and sat private all the morning about dividing the Controller’s work according to the late order of Council, between them two and Sir W. Pen, and it troubled me to see the poor honest man, Sir J. Minnes, troubled at it, and yet the King’s work cannot be done without it. It was at last friendlily ended, and so up and home to dinner with my wife. This afternoon I saw the Poll Bill, now printed; wherein I do fear I shall be very deeply concerned, being to be taxed for all my offices, and then for my money that I have, and my title, as well as my head. It is a very great tax; but yet I do think it is so perplexed, it will hardly ever be collected duly. The late invention of Sir G. Downing’s is continued of bringing all the money into the Exchequer; and Sir G. Carteret’s three pence is turned for all the money of this act into but a penny per pound, which I am sorry for. After dinner to the office again, where Lord Bruncker, [Sir] W. Batten, and [Sir] W. Pen and I met to talk again about the Controller’s office, and there [Sir] W. Pen would have a piece of the great office cut out to make an office for him, which I opposed to the making him very angry, but I think I shall carry it against him, and then I care not. So a little troubled at this fray, I away by coach with my wife, and left her at the New Exchange, and I to my Lord Chancellor’s, and then back, taking up my wife to my Lord Bellasses, and there spoke with Mr. Moone, who tells me that the peace between us and Spayne is, as he hears, concluded on, which I should be glad of, and so home, and after a little at my office, home to finish my journall for yesterday and today, and then a little supper and to bed. This day the House hath passed the Bill for the Assessment, which I am glad of; and also our little Bill, for giving any one of us in the office the power of justice of peace, is done as I would have it.
26th. Up, and at the office. Sat all the morning, where among other things I did the first unkind [thing] that ever I did design to Sir W. Warren, but I did it now to some purpose, to make him sensible how little any man’s friendship shall avail him if he wants money. I perceive he do nowadays court much my Lord Bruncker’s favour, who never did any man much courtesy at the board, nor ever will be able, at least so much as myself. Besides, my Lord would do him a kindness in concurrence with me, but he would have the danger of the thing to be done lie upon me, if there be any danger in it (in drawing up a letter to Sir W. Warren’s advantage), which I do not like, nor will endure. I was, I confess, very angry, and will venture the loss of Sir W. Warren’s kindnesses rather than he shall have any man’s friendship in greater esteem than mine. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner to the office again, and there all the afternoon, and at night poor Mrs. Turner come and walked in the garden for my advice about her husband and her relating to my Lord Bruncker’s late proceedings with them. I do give her the best I can, but yet can lay aside some ends of my own in what advice I do give her. So she being gone I to make an end of my letters, and so home to supper and to bed, Balty lodging here with my brother, he being newly returned from mustering in the river.
27th (Lord’s day). Up betimes, and leaving my wife to go by coach to hear Mr. Frampton preach, which I had a mighty desire she should, I down to the Old Swan, and there to Michell and staid while he and she dressed themselves, and here had a ‘baiser’ or two of her, whom I love mightily; and then took them in a sculler (being by some means or other disappointed of my own boat) to White Hall, and so with them to Westminster, Sir W. Coventry, Bruncker and I all the morning together discoursing of the office business, and glad of the Controller’s business being likely to be put into better order than formerly, and did discourse of many good things, but especially of having something done to bringing the Surveyor’s matters into order also. Thence I up to the King’s closet, and there heard a good Anthem, and discoursed with several people here about business, among others with Lord Bellasses, and so from one to another after sermon till the King had almost dined, and then home with Sir G. Carteret and dined with him, being mightily ashamed of my not having seen my Lady Jemimah so long, and my wife not at all yet since she come, but she shall soon do it. I thence to Sir Philip Warwicke, by appointment, to meet Lord Bellasses, and up to his chamber, but find him unwilling to discourse of business on Sundays; so did not enlarge, but took leave, and went down and sat in a low room, reading Erasmus “de scribendis epistolis,” a very good book, especially one letter of advice to a courtier most true and good, which made me once resolve to tear out the two leaves that it was writ in, but I forebore it. By and by comes Lord Bellasses, and then he and I up again to Sir P. Warwicke and had much discourse of our Tangier business, but no hopes of getting any money. Thence I through the garden into the Park, and there met with Roger Pepys, and he and I to walk in the Pell Mell. I find by him that the House of Parliament continues full of ill humours, and he seems to dislike those that are troublesome more than needs, and do say how, in their late Poll Bill, which cost so much time, the yeomanry, and indeed two-thirds of the nation, are left out to be taxed, that there is not effectual provision enough made for collecting of the money; and then, that after a man his goods are distrained and sold, and the overplus returned, I am to have ten days to make my complaints of being over-rated if there be cause, when my goods are sold, and that is too late. These things they are resolved to look into again, and mend them before they rise, which they expect at furthest on Thursday next. Here we met with Mr. May, and he and we to talk of several things, of building, and such like matters; and so walked to White Hall, and there I skewed my cozen Roger the Duchesse of York sitting in state, while her own mother stands by her; he had a desire, and I shewed him my Lady Castlemayne, whom he approves to be very handsome, and wonders that she cannot be as good within as she is fair without. Her little black boy came by him; and, a dog being in his way, the little boy called to the dog: “Pox of this dog!”—“Now,” says he, blessing himself, “would I whip this child till the blood come, if it were my child!” and I believe he would. But he do by no means like the liberty of the Court, and did come with expectation of finding them playing at cards to-night, though Sunday; for such stories he is told, but how true I know not.1 After walking up and down the Court with him, it being now dark and past six at night, I walked to the Swan in the Palace yard and there with much ado did get a waterman, and so I sent for the Michells, and they come, and their father Howlett and his wife with them, and there we drank, and so into the boat, poor Betty’s head aching. We home by water, a fine moonshine and warm night, it having been also a very summer’s day for warmth. I did get her hand to me under my cloak. . . . So there we parted at their house, and he walked almost home with me, and then I home and to supper, and to read a little and to bed. My wife tells me Mr. Frampton is gone to sea, and so she lost her labour today in thinking to hear him preach, which I am sorry for.
1 There is little reason to doubt that it was such as Evelyn describes it at a later time. “I can never forget the inexpressible luxury and prophaneness, gaming, and all dissoluteness, and, as it were, total forgetfulness of God (it being Sunday evening) which this day se’nnight I was witness of; the King sitting and toying with his concubines, Portsmouth, Cleveland, Mazarin, &c. A French boy singing love songs in that glorious gallery, whilst about twenty of the great courtiers and other dissolute persons were at basset round a large table, a bank of at least £2,000 in gold before them; upon which two gentlemen who were with me made reflexions with astonishment. Six days after was all in the dust.”— Diary, February, 1685. — B.
28th. Up, and down to the Old Swan, and there drank at Michell’s and saw Betty, and so took boat and to the Temple, and thence to my tailor’s and other places about business in my way to Westminster, where I spent the morning at the Lords’ House door, to hear the conference between the two Houses about my Lord Mordaunt, of which there was great expectation, many hundreds of people coming to hear it. But, when they come, the Lords did insist upon my Lord Mordaunt’s having leave to sit upon a stool uncovered within their burr, and that he should have counsel, which the Commons would not suffer, but desired leave to report their Lordships’ resolution to the House of Commons; and so parted for this day, which troubled me, I having by this means lost the whole day. Here I hear from Mr. Hayes that Prince Rupert is very bad still, and so bad, that he do now yield to be trepanned. It seems, as Dr. Clerke also tells me, it is a clap of the pox which he got about twelve years ago, and hath eaten to his head and come through his scull, so his scull must be opened, and there is great fear of him. Much work I find there is to do in the two Houses in a little time, and much difference there is between the two Houses in many things to be reconciled; as in the Bill for examining our accounts; Lord Mordaunt’s Bill for building the City, and several others. A little before noon I went to the Swan and eat a bit of meat, thinking I should have had occasion to have stayed long at the house, but I did not, but so home by coach, calling at Broad Street and taking the goldsmith home with me, and paid him £15 15s. for my silver standish. He tells me gold holds up its price still, and did desire me to let him have what old 20s. pieces I have, and he would give me 3s. 2d. change for each. He gone, I to the office, where business all the afternoon, and at night comes Mr. Gawden at my desire to me, and tomorrow I shall pay him some money, and shall see what present he will make me, the hopes of which do make me to part with my money out of my chest, which I should not otherwise do, but lest this alteration in the Controller’s office should occasion my losing my concernment in the Victualling, and so he have no more need of me. He gone, I to the office again, having come thence home with him to talk, and so after a little more business I to supper. I then sent for Mercer, and began to teach her “It is decreed,” which will please me well, and so after supper and reading a little, and my wife’s cutting off my hair short, which is grown too long upon my crown of my head, I to bed. I met this day in Westminster Hall Sir W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen, and the latter since our falling out the other day do look mighty reservedly upon me, and still he shall do so for me, for I will be hanged before I seek to him, unless I see I need it.
29th. Up to the office all the morning, where Sir W. Pen and I look much askewe one upon another, though afterward business made us speak friendly enough, but yet we hate one another. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office, where all the afternoon expecting Mr. Gawden to come for some money I am to pay him, but he comes not, which makes me think he is considering whether it be necessary to make the present he hath promised, it being possible this alteration in the Controller’s duty may make my place in the Victualling unnecessary, so that I am a little troubled at it. Busy till late at night at the office, and Sir W. Batten come to me, and tells me that there is newes upon the Exchange today, that my Lord Sandwich’s coach and the French Embassador’s at Madrid, meeting and contending for the way, they shot my Lord’s postilion and another man dead; and that we have killed 25 of theirs, and that my Lord is well. How true this is I cannot tell, there being no newes of it at all at Court, as I am told late by one come thence, so that I hope it is not so. By and by comes Mrs. Turner to me, to make her complaint of her sad usage she receives from my Lord Bruncker, that he thinks much she hath not already got another house, though he himself hath employed her night and day ever since his first mention of the matter, to make part of her house ready for him, as he ordered, and promised she should stay till she had fitted herself; by which and what discourse I do remember he had of the business before Sir W. Coventry on Sunday last I perceive he is a rotten-hearted, false man as any else I know, even as Sir W. Pen himself, and, therefore, I must beware of him accordingly, and I hope I shall. I did pity the woman with all my heart, and gave her the best council I could; and so, falling to other discourse, I made her laugh and merry, as sad as she came to me; so that I perceive no passion in a woman can be lasting long; and so parted and I home, and there teaching my girle Barker part of my song “It is decreed,” which she will sing prettily, and so after supper to bed.
30th. Fast-day for the King’s death. I all the morning at my chamber making up my month’s accounts, which I did before dinner to my thorough content, and find myself but a small gainer this month, having no manner of profits, but just my salary, but, blessed be God! that I am able to save out of that, living as I do. So to dinner, then to my chamber all the afternoon, and in the evening my wife and I and Mercer and Barker to little Michell’s, walked, with some neats’ tongues and cake and wine, and there sat with the little couple with great pleasure, and talked and eat and drank, and saw their little house, which is very pretty; and I much pleased therewith, and so walked home, about eight at night, it being a little moonshine and fair weather, and so into the garden, and, with Mercer, sang till my wife put me in mind of its being a fast day; and so I was sorry for it, and stopped, and home to cards awhile, and had opportunity ‘para baiser’ Mercer several times, and so to bed.
31st. Up, and to the office, where we met and sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and by and by Mr. Osborne comes from Mr. Gawden, and takes money and notes for £4000, and leaves me acknowledgment for £4000 and odd; implying as if D. Gawden would give the £800 between Povy and myself, but how he will divide it I know-not, till I speak with him, so that my content is not yet full in the business. In the evening stept out to Sir Robert Viner’s to get the money ready upon my notes to D. Gawden, and there hear that Mr. Temple is very ill. I met on the ‘Change with Captain Cocke, who tells me that he hears new certainty of the business of Madrid, how our Embassador and the French met, and says that two or three of my Lord’s men, and twenty one of the French men are killed, but nothing at Court of it. He fears the next year’s service through the badness of our counsels at White Hall, but that if they were wise, and the King would mind his business, he might do what he would yet. The Parliament is not yet up, being finishing some bills. So home and to the office, and late home to supper, and to talk with my wife, with pleasure, and to bed. I met this evening at Sir R. Viner’s our Mr. Turner, who I find in a melancholy condition about his being removed out of his house, but I find him so silly and so false that I dare not tell how to trust any advice to him, and therefore did speak only generally to him, but I doubt his condition is very miserable, and do pity his family. Thus the month ends: myself in very good health and content of mind in my family. All our heads full in the office at this dividing of the Comptroller’s duty, so that I am in some doubt how it may prove to intrench upon my benefits, but it cannot be much. The Parliament, upon breaking up, having given the King money with much ado, and great heats, and neither side pleased, neither King nor them. The imperfection of the Poll Bill, which must be mended before they rise, there being several horrible oversights to the prejudice of the King, is a certain sign of the care anybody hath of the King’s business. Prince Rupert very ill, and to be trepanned on Saturday next. Nobody knows who commands the fleete next year, or, indeed, whether we shall have a fleete or no. Great preparations in Holland and France, and the French have lately taken Antego1 from us, which vexes us. I am in a little care through my at last putting a great deal of money out of my hands again into the King’s upon tallies for Tangier, but the interest which I wholly lost while in my trunk is a temptation while things look safe, as they do in some measure for six months, I think, and I would venture but little longer.
1 Antigua, one of the West India Islands (Leeward Islands), discovered by Columbus in 1493, who is said to have named it after a church at Seville called Santa Maria la Antigua. It was first settled by a few English families in 1632, and in 1663 another settlement was made under Lord Willoughby, to whom the entire island was granted by Charles II. In 1666 it was invaded by a French force, which laid waste all the settlement. It was reconquered by the English, and formally restored to them by the treaty of Breda.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59