July 1st. Up betimes, about 9 o’clock, waked by a damned noise between a sow gelder and a cow and a dog, nobody after we were up being able to tell us what it was. After being ready we took coach, and, being very sleepy, droused most part of the way to Gravesend, and there ‘light, and down to the new batterys, which are like to be very fine, and there did hear a plain fellow cry out upon the folly of the King’s officers above, to spend so much money in works at Woolwich and Deptford, and sinking of good ships loaden with goods, when, if half the charge had been laid out here, it would have secured all that, and this place too, before now. And I think it is not only true in this, but that the best of the actions of us all are so silly, that the meanest people begin to see through them, and contemn them. Besides, says he, they spoil the river by it. Then informed ourselves where we might have some creame, and they guided us to one Goody Best’s, a little out of the towne towards London road, and thither we went with the coach, and find it a mighty clean, plain house, and had a dish of very good creame to our liking, and so away presently very merry, and fell to reading of the several Advices to a Painter, which made us good sport, and indeed are very witty, and Creed did also repeat to me some of the substance of letters of old Burleigh in Queen Elizabeth’s time, which he hath of late read in the printed Cabbala, which is a very fine style at this day and fit to be imitated. With this, and talking and laughing at the folly of our masters in the management of things at this day, we got home by noon, where all well, and then to dinner, and after dinner both of us laid down upon the couch and chairs and to sleep, which I did for an hour or two, and then to the office, where I am sorry to hear that Sir J. Minnes is likely to die this night, or tomorrow, I forgot to set down that we met this morning upon the road with Mrs. Williams going down to my Lord Bruncker; we bowed without speaking one to another, but I am ashamed at the folly of the man to have her down at this serious busy time, when the town and country is full of people and full of censure, and against him particularly. At Sir W. Batten’s my Lady tells me that she hears for certain that my Lord’s maid of his lodging here do give out that Mrs. Williams hath been fain of late to sell her best clothes and jewels to get a little money upon, which is a sad condition. Thence to the office, and did write to my Lord Bruncker to give me a little satisfaction about the certainty of the chain’s being broke, which I begin to doubt, and the more from Sir W. Pen’s discourse. It is worth while to read my letter to him entered in my letter book. Home in the evening to supper, and so pretty betimes, about 10 o’clock, to bed, and slept well. This day letters are come that my sister is very ill.
2nd. Up, and put on my new silke camelott suit, made of my cloak, and suit now made into a vest. So to the office, where W. Pen and myself, and Sir T. Harvy met, the first time we have had a meeting since the coming of the Dutch upon this coast. Our only business (for we have little else to do, nobody being willing to trust us for anything) was to speak with the owners of six merchantmen which we have been taking up this fortnight, and are yet in no readiness, they not fitting their ships without money advanced to them, we owing them for what their ships have earned the last year. So every thing stands still for money, while we want money to pay for some of the most necessary things that we promised ready money for in the height of our wants, as grapnells, &c. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner my wife and Jane (mighty fine the girle) to go to see Jane’s old mistress, who was to see her, and did see my wife the other day, and it is pleasant to hear with what kindness her old mistress speaks of this girle, and how she would still have her, and how the wench cried when she told her that she must come to her old mistress my wife. They gone, I to my chamber, and there dallied a little with my maid Nell. . . . and so to the office where busy till night, and then comes Mrs. Turner, and walks with me in the garden to talk with me about her husband’s business, and to tell me how she hears at the other end of the town how bad our office is spoken of by the King and Prince and Duke of Albemarle, and that there is not a good word said of any of us but of me; and me they all do speak mightily of, which, whether true or no, I am mighty glad to hear, but from all put together that I hear from other people, I am likely to pass as well as anybody. So, she gone, comes my wife and to walk in the garden, Sir J. Minnes being still ill and so keeping us from singing, and by and by Sir W. Pen come and walked with us and gave us a bottle of Syder, and so we home to supper and to bed. This day I am told that poor Tooker is dead, a very painfull poor man as ever I knew.
3rd. Up, and within most of the morning, my tailor’s boy coming to alter something in my new suit I put on yesterday. Then to the office and did business, and then (my wife being a little ill of those in bed) I to Sir W. Batten’s and dined, and there comes in Sir Richard Ford, tells us how he hath been at the Sessions-house, and there it is plain that there is a combination of rogues in the town, that do make it their business to set houses on fire, and that one house they did set on fire in Aldersgate Streete last Easter; and that this is proved by two young men, whom one of them debauched by degrees to steal their fathers’ plate and clothes, and at last to be of their company; and they had their places to take up what goods were flung into the streets out of the windows, when the houses were on fire; and this is like to be proved to a great number of rogues, whereof five are already found, and some found guilty this day. One of these boys is the son of a Montagu, of my Lord Manchester’s family; but whose son he could not tell me. This is a strange thing methinks, but I am glad that it is proved so true and discovered. So home, and to enter my Journall of my late journey to this hour, and then to the office, where to do a little business, and then by water to White Hall (calling at Michell’s in my way, but the rogue would not invite me in, I having a mind para voir his wife), and there to the Council-chamber, to deliver a letter to their Lordships about the state of the six merchantmen which we have been so long fitting out. When I come, the King and the whole table full of Lords were hearing of a pitifull cause of a complaint of an old man, with a great grey beard, against his son, for not allowing him something to live on; and at last come to the ordering the son to allow his father £10 a year. This cause lasted them near two hours; which, methinks, at this time to be the work of the Council-board of England, is a scandalous thing, and methought Sir W. Coventry to me did own as much. Here I find all the newes is the enemy’s landing 3,000 men near Harwich,1 and attacking Landguard Fort, and being beat off thence with our great guns, killing some of their men, and they leaving their ladders behind them; but we had no Horse in the way on Suffolk side, otherwise we might have galled their Foot. The Duke of York is gone down thither this day, while the General sat sleeping this afternoon at the Council-table. The news so much talked of this Exchange, of a peace, I find by Sir Richard Browne arises from a letter the Swedes’ agent hath received from Bredah and shewed at Court today, that they are come very near it, but I do not find anybody here relying upon it. This cause being over, the Trinity House men, whom I did not expect to meet, were called in, and there Sir W. Pen made a formal speech in answer to a question of the King’s, whether the lying of the sunk ships in the river would spoil the river. But, Lord! how gingerly he answered it, and with a deal of do that he did not know whether it would be safe as to the enemy to have them taken up, but that doubtless it would be better for the river to have them taken up. Methought the Council found them answer like fools, and it ended in bidding them think more of it, and bring their answer in writing. Thence I to Westminster Hall, and there hear how they talk against the present management of things, and against Sir W. Coventry for his bringing in of new commanders and casting out the old seamen, which I did endeavour to rectify Mrs. Michell and them in, letting them know that he hath opposed it all his life the most of any man in England. After a deal of this tittle tattle, I to Mrs. Martin’s, and there she was gone in before, but when I come, contrary to my expectation, I find her all in trouble, and what was it for but that I have got her with child. . . . and is in exceeding grief, and swears that the child is mine, which I do not believe, but yet do comfort her that either it cannot be so, or if it be that I will take care to send for her husband, though I do hardly see how I can be sure of that, the ship being at sea, and as far as Scotland, but however I must do it, and shall find some way or other of doing it, though it do trouble me not a little. Thence, not pleased, away to White Hall to Mr. Williamson, and by and by my Lord Arlington about Mr. Lanyon’s business, and it is pretty to see how Mr. Williamson did altogether excuse himself that my business was not done when I come to my Lord and told him my business; “Why,” says my Lord, “it hath been done, and the King signed it several days ago,” and so it was and was in Mr. Williamson’s hands, which made us both laugh, and I in innocent mirth, I remember, said, it is pretty to see in what a condition we are that all our matters now-a-days are undone, we know not how, and done we know not when. He laughed at it, but I have since reflected on it, and find it a severe speech as it might be taken by a chief minister of state, as indeed Mr. Williamson is, for he is indeed the Secretary. But we fell to other pleasant talk, and a fine gentleman he is, and so gave him £5 for his fee, and away home, and to Sir W. Batten’s to talk a little, and then to the office to do a little business, and so home to supper and read myself asleep, and then to bed.
1 Richard Browne, writing to Williamson from Aldeburgh, on July 2nd, says: “The Dutch fleet of 80 sail has anchored in the bay; they were expected to land, but they tacked about, and stood first northward and then southward, close by Orford lighthouse, and have now passed the Ness towards Harwich; they have fired no guns, but made false fires” (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1667, p. 258).
4th. Up, and, in vain expecting Sir R. Ford’s calling on me, I took coach and to the Sessions-house, where I have a mind to hear Bazill Fielding’s case —[See May 9th, 1667]— tried; and so got up to the Bench, my Lord Chief–Justice Keeling being Judge. Here I stood bare, not challenging, though I might well enough, to be covered. But here were several fine trials; among others, several brought in for making it their trade to set houses on fire merely to get plunder; and all proved by the two little boys spoken of yesterday by Sir R. Ford, who did give so good account of particulars that I never heard children in my life. And I confess, though I was unsatisfied with the force given to such little boys, to take away men’s lives, yet, when I was told that my Lord Chief–Justice did declare that there was no law against taking the oath of children above twelve years old, and then heard from Sir R. Ford the good account which the boys had given of their understanding the nature and consequence of an oath, and now my own observation of the sobriety and readiness of their answers, further than of any man of any rank that come to give witness this day, though some men of years and learning, I was a little amazed, and fully satisfied that they ought to have as much credit as the rest. They proved against several, their consulting several times at a bawdy-house in Moore–Fields, called the Russia House, among many other rogueries, of setting houses on fire, that they might gather the goods that were flung into the streets; and it is worth considering how unsafe it is to have children play up and down this lewd town. For these two boys, one is my Lady Montagu’s (I know not what Lady Montagu) son, and the other of good condition, were playing in Moore–Fields, and one rogue, Gabriel Holmes, did come to them and teach them to drink, and then to bring him plate and clothes from their fathers’ houses, and carry him into their houses, and leaving open the doors for him, and at last were made of their conspiracy, and were at the very burning of this house in Aldersgate Street, on Easter Sunday at night last, and did gather up goods, as they had resolved before and this Gabriel Holmes did advise to have had two houses set on fire, one after another, that, while they were quenching of one, they might be burning another. And it is pretty that G. Holmes did tell his fellows, and these boys swore it, that he did set fire to a box of linen in the Sheriffe, Sir Joseph Shelden’s’ house, while he was attending the fire in Aldersgate Street, and the Sheriffe himself said that there was a fire in his house, in a box of linen, at the same time, but cannot conceive how this fellow should do it. The boys did swear against one of them, that he had made it his part to pull the plug out of the engine while it was a-playing; and it really was so. And goods they did carry away, and the manner of the setting the house on fire was, that Holmes did get to a cockpit; where, it seems, there was a publick cockpit, and set fire to the straw in it, and hath a fire-ball at the end of the straw, which did take fire, and so it prevailed, and burned the house; and, among other things they carried away, he took six of the cocks that were at the cockpit; and afterwards the boys told us how they had one dressed, by the same token it was so hard they could not eat it. But that which was most remarkable was the impudence of this Holmes, who hath been arraigned often, and still got away; and on this business was taken and broke loose just at Newgate Gate; and was last night luckily taken about Bow, who got loose, and run into the river, and hid himself in the rushes; and they pursued him with a dog, and the dog got him and held him till he was taken. But the impudence of this fellow was such, that he denied he ever saw the boys before, or ever knew the Russia House, or that the people knew him; and by and by the mistress of the Russia House was called in, being indicted, at the same time, about another thing; and she denied that the fellow was of her acquaintance, when it was pretty to see how the little boys did presently fall upon her, and ask her how she durst say so, when she was always with them when they met at her house, and particularly when she come in in her smock before a dozen of them, at which the Court laughed, and put the woman away. Well, this fellow Holmes was found guilty of the act of burning the house, and other things, that he stood indicted for. And then there were other good cases, as of a woman that come to serve a gentlewoman, and in three days run away, betimes in the morning, with a great deal of plate and rings, and other good things. It was time very well spent to be here. Here I saw how favourable the judge was to a young gentleman that struck one of the officers, for not making him room: told him he had endangered the loss of his hand, but that he hoped he had not struck him, and would suppose that he had not struck him. About that the Court rose, and I to dinner with my Lord Mayor and Sheriffs; where a good dinner and good discourse; the judge being there. There was also tried this morning Fielding, which I thought had been Bazilll — but it proved the other, and Bazill was killed; that killed his brother, who was found guilty of murder, and nobody pitied him. The judge seems to be a worthy man, and able: and do intend, for these rogues that burned this house to be hung in some conspicuous place in the town, for an example. After dinner to the Court again, where I heard some more causes, but with so much trouble because of the hot weather that I had no pleasure in it. Anon the Court rose, and I walked to Fleet streete for my belt at the beltmaker’s, and so home and to the office, wrote some letters, and then home to supper and to bed.
5th. Up, and to the office, where Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, [Sir] T. Harvy and I met upon Mr. Gawden’s accounts, and was at it all the morning. This morning Sir G. Carteret did come to us, and walked in the garden. It was to talk with me about some thing of my Lord Sandwich’s, but here he told us that the great seale is passed to my Lord Annesly [Anglesey] for Treasurer of the Navy: so that now he do no more belong to us: and I confess, for his sake, I am glad of it, and do believe the other will have little content in it. At noon I home to dinner with my wife, and after dinner to sing, and then to the office a little and Sir W. Batten’s, where I am vexed to hear that Nan Wright, now Mrs. Markham, Sir W. Pen’s mayde and whore, is come to sit in our pew at church, and did so while my Lady Batten was there. I confess I am very much vexed at it and ashamed. By and by out with [Sir] W. Pen to White Hall, where I staid not, but to the New Exchange to buy gloves and other little errands, and so home and to my office busy till night, and then walked in the garden with my wife, and then to supper and to sing, and so to bed. No news, but that the Dutch are gone clear from Harwich northward, and have given out they are going to Yarmouth.
6th. Up, and to the office, where some of us sat busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner, whither Creed come to dine with us and brings the first word I hear of the news of a peace, the King having letters come to him this noon signifying that it is concluded on, and that Mr. Coventry is upon his way coming over for the King’s satisfaction. The news was so good and sudden that I went with great joy to [Sir] W. Batten and then to [Sir] W. Pen to tell it them, and so home to dinner, mighty merry, and light at my heart only on this ground, that a continuing of the war must undo us, and so though peace may do the like if we do not make good use of it to reform ourselves and get up money, yet there is an opportunity for us to save ourselves. At least, for my own particular, we shall continue well till I can get my money into my hands, and then I will shift for myself. After dinner away, leaving Creed there, by coach to Westminster, where to the Swan and drank, and then to the Hall, and there talked a little with great joy of the peace, and then to Mrs. Martin’s, where I met with the good news que elle ne est con child, the fear of which she did give me the other day, had troubled me much. My joy in this made me send for wine, and thither come her sister and Mrs. Cragg, and I staid a good while there. But here happened the best instance of a woman’s falseness in the world, that her sister Doll, who went for a bottle of wine, did come home all blubbering and swearing against one Captain Vandener, a Dutchman of the Rhenish Wine House, that pulled her into a stable by the Dog tavern, and there did tumble her and toss her, calling him all the rogues and toads in the world, when she knows that elle hath suffered me to do any thing with her a hundred times. Thence with joyful heart to White Hall to ask Mr. Williamson the news, who told me that Mr. Coventry is coming over with a project of a peace; which, if the States agree to, and our King, when their Ministers on both sides have shewed it them, we shall agree, and that is all: but the King, I hear, do give it out plain that the peace is concluded. Thence by coach home, and there wrote a few letters, and then to consult with my wife about going to Epsum tomorrow, sometimes designing to go and then again not; and at last it grew late and I bethought myself of business to employ me at home tomorrow, and so I did not go. This afternoon I met with Mr. Rolt, who tells me that he is going Cornett under Collonel Ingoldsby, being his old acquaintance, and Ingoldsby hath a troop now from under the King, and I think it is a handsome way for him, but it was an ominous thing, methought, just as he was bidding me his last adieu, his nose fell a-bleeding, which ran in my mind a pretty while after. This afternoon Sir Alexander Frazier, who was of council for Sir J. Minnes, and had given him over for a dead man, said to me at White Hall:—“What,” says he, “Sir J. Minnes is dead.” I told him, “No! but that there is hopes of his life.” Methought he looked very sillily after it, and went his way. Late home to supper, a little troubled at my not going to Epsum tomorrow, as I had resolved, especially having the Duke of York and [Sir] W. Coventry out of town, but it was my own fault and at last my judgment to stay, and so to supper and to bed. This day, with great satisfaction, I hear that my Lady Jemimah is brought to bed, at Hinchingbroke, of a boy.
7th (Lord’s day). Up, and to my chamber, there to settle some papers, and thither comes Mr. Moore to me and talked till church time of the news of the times about the peace and the bad consequences of it if it be not improved to good purpose of fitting ourselves for another war. He tells me he heard that the discontented Parliament-men are fearful that the next sitting the King will put for a general excise, by which to raise him money, and then to fling off the Parliament, and raise a land-army and keep them all down like slaves; and it is gotten among them, that Bab. May, the Privy-purse, hath been heard to say that £300 a-year is enough for any country gentleman; which makes them mad, and they do talk of 6 or £800,000 gone into the Privy-purse this war, when in King James’s time it arose but to £5,000, and in King Charles’s but £10,000 in a year. He tells me that a goldsmith in town told him that, being with some plate with my Lady Castlemayne lately, she directed her woman (the great beauty), “Wilson,” says she, “make a note for this, and for that, to the Privy-purse for money.” He tells me a little more of the baseness of the courses taken at Court in the case of Mr. Moyer, who is at liberty, and is to give £500 for his liberty; but now the great ones are divided, who shall have the money, the Duke of Albemarle on one hand, and another Lord on the other; and that it is fain to be decided by having the person’s name put into the King’s warrant for his liberty, at whose intercession the King shall own that he is set at liberty; which is a most lamentable thing, that we do professedly own that we do these things, not for right and justice sake, but only to gratify this or that person about the King. God forgive us all! Busy till noon, and then home to dinner, and Mr. Moore come and dined with us, and much more discourse at and after dinner of the same kind, and then, he gone, I to my office busy till the evening, and then with my wife and Jane over to Half-way house, a very good walk; and there drank, and in the cool of the evening back again, and sang with pleasure upon the water, and were mightily pleased in hearing a boatfull of Spaniards sing, and so home to supper and to bed. Jane of late mighty fine, by reason of a laced whiske her mistress hath given her, which makes her a very gracefull servant. But, above all, my wife and I were the most surprised in the beauty of a plain girle, which we met in the little lane going from Redriffe-stairs into the fields, one of the prettiest faces that we think we ever saw in our lives.
8th. Up, and to my chamber, and by and by comes Greeting, and to my flageolett with him with a pretty deal of pleasure, and then to the office, where [Sir] W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen and I met about putting men to work for the weighing of the ships in the River sunk. Then home again, and there heard Mr. Caesar play some very good things on the lute together with myself on the violl and Greeting on the viallin. Then with my wife abroad by coach, she to her tailor’s, I to Westminster to Burges about my Tangier business, and thence to White Hall, where I spoke with Sir John Nicholas, who tells me that Mr. Coventry is come from Bredah, as was expected; but, contrary to expectation, brings with him two or three articles which do not please the King: as, to retrench the Act of Navigation, and then to ascertain what are contraband goods; and then that those exiled persons, who are or shall take refuge in their country, may be secure from any further prosecution. Whether these will be enough to break the peace upon, or no, he cannot tell; but I perceive the certainty of peace is blown over. So called on my wife and met Creed by the way, and they two and I to Charing Cross, there to see the great boy and girle that are lately come out of Ireland, the latter eight, the former but four years old, of most prodigious bigness for their age. I tried to weigh them in my arms, and find them twice as heavy as people almost twice their age; and yet I am apt to believe they are very young. Their father a little sorry fellow, and their mother an old Irish woman. They have had four children of this bigness, and four of ordinary growth, whereof two of each are dead. If, as my Lord Ormond certifies, it be true that they are no older, it is very monstrous. So home and to dinner with my wife and to pipe, and then I to the office, where busy all the afternoon till the evening, and then with my wife by coach abroad to Bow and Stratford, it being so dusty weather that there was little pleasure in it, and so home and to walk in the garden, and thither comes Pelling to us to talk, and so in and to supper, and then to bed. All the world being as I hear very much damped that their hopes of peace is become uncertain again.
9th. Up pretty betimes and to the office, where busy till office time, and then we sat, but nothing to do but receive clamours about money. This day my Lord Anglesey, our new Treasurer, come the first time to the Board, and there sat with us till noon; and I do perceive he is a very notable man, and understanding, and will do things regular, and understand them himself, not trust Fenn, as Sir G. Carteret did, and will solicit soundly for money, which I do fear was Sir G. Carteret’s fault, that he did not do that enough, considering the age we live in, that nothing will do but by solicitation, though never so good for the King or Kingdom, and a bad business well solicited shall, for peace sake, speed when a good one shall not. But I do confess that I do think it a very bold act of him to take upon himself the place of Treasurer of the Navy at this time, but when I consider that a regular accountant never ought to fear any thing nor have reason I then do cease to wonder. At noon home to dinner and to play on the flageolet with my wife, and then to the office, where very busy close at my office till late at night. At night walked and sang with my wife in the garden, and so home to supper and to bed. This evening news comes for certain that the Dutch are with their fleete before Dover, and that it is expected they will attempt something there. The business of the peace is quite dashed again, so as now it is doubtful whether the King will condescend to what the Dutch demand, it being so near the Parliament, it being a thing that will, it may be, recommend him to them when they shall find that the not having of a peace lies on his side by denying some of their demands. This morning Captain Clerke (Robin Clerke) was at the table, now commands the Monmouth, and did when the enemy passed the chaine at Chatham the other day, who said publickly at the table that he did admire at the order when it was brought him for sinking of the Monmouth (to the endangering of the ship, and spoiling of all her provisions) when her number of men were upon her that he could have carried her up the River whither he pleased, and have-been a guard to the rest, and could have sunk her at any time. He did carry some 100 barrels of powder out of the ship to save it after the orders come for the sinking her. He knew no reason at all, he declares, that could lead them to order the sinking her, nor the rest of the great ships that were sunk, but above all admires they would burn them on shore and sink them there, when it had been better to have sunk them long way in the middle of the River, for then they would not have burned them so low as now they did.
10th. Up, and to the office betimes, and there all the morning very busy causing papers to be entered and sorted to put the office in order against the Parliament. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again close all the afternoon upon the same occasion with great pleasure till late, and then with my wife and Mercer in the garden and sung, and then home and sung, and to supper with great content, and so to bed. The Duke of York is come back last night from Harwich, the news he brings I know not, nor hear anything today from Dover, whether the enemy have made any attempt there as was expected. This day our girle Mary, whom Payne helped us to, to be under his daughter, when she come to be our cook-mayde, did go away declaring that she must be where she might earn something one day, and spend it and play away the next. But a good civil wench, and one neither wife nor I did ever give angry word to, but she has this silly vanity that she must play.
11th. Up betimes and to my office, and there busy till the office (which was only Sir T. Harvy and myself) met, and did little business and then broke up. He tells me that the Council last night did sit close to determine of the King’s answer about the peace, and that though he do not certainly know, yet by all discourse yesterday he do believe it is peace, and that the King had said it should be peace, and had bidden Alderman Baclewell to declare [it] upon the ‘Change. It is high time for us to have peace that the King and Council may get up their credits and have time to do it, for that indeed is the bottom of all our misery, that nobody have any so good opinion of the King and his Council and their advice as to lend money or venture their persons, or estates, or pains upon people that they know cannot thrive with all that we can do, but either by their corruption or negligence must be undone. This indeed is the very bottom of every man’s thought, and the certain ground that we must be ruined unless the King change his course, or the Parliament come and alter it. At noon dined alone with my wife. All the afternoon close at the office, very hard at gathering papers and putting things in order against the Parliament, and at night home with my wife to supper, and then to bed, in hopes to have all things in my office in good condition in a little time for any body to examine, which I am sure none else will.
12th. Up betimes and to my chamber, there doing business, and by and by comes Greeting and begun a new month with him, and now to learn to set anything from the notes upon the flageolet, but, Lord! to see how like a fool he goes about to give me direction would make a man mad. I then out and by coach to White Hall and to the Treasury chamber, where did a little business, and thence to the Exchequer to Burges, about Tangier business, and so back again, stepping into the Hall a little, and then homeward by coach, and met at White Hall with Sir H. Cholmly, and so into his coach, and he with me to the Excise Office, there to do a little business also, in the way he telling me that undoubtedly the peace is concluded; for he did stand yesterday where he did hear part of the discourse at the Council table, and there did hear the King argue for it. Among other things, that the spirits of the seamen were down, and the forces of our enemies are grown too great and many for us, and he would not have his subjects overpressed; for he knew an Englishman would do as much as any man upon hopeful terms; but where he sees he is overpressed, he despairs soon as any other; and, besides that, they have already such a load of dejection upon them, that they will not be in temper a good while again. He heard my Lord Chancellor say to the King, “Sir,” says he, “the whole world do complain publickly of treachery, that things have been managed falsely by some of his great ministers.”—“Sir,” says he, “I am for your Majesty’s falling into a speedy enquiry into the truth of it, and, where you meet with it, punish it. But, at the same time, consider what you have to do, and make use of your time for having a peace; for more money will not be given without much trouble, nor is it, I fear, to be had of the people, nor will a little do it to put us into condition of doing our business.” But Sir H. Cholmly tells me he [the] Chancellors did say the other day at his table, “Treachery!” says he; “I could wish we could prove there was anything of that in it; for that would imply some wit and thoughtfulness; but we are ruined merely by folly and neglect.” And so Sir H. Cholmly tells me they did all argue for peace, and so he do believe that the King hath agreed to the three points Mr. Coventry brought over, which I have mentioned before, and is gone with them back. He tells me further that the Duke of Buckingham was before the Council the other day, and there did carry it very submissively and pleasingly to the King; but to my Lord Arlington, who do prosecute the business, he was most bitter and sharp, and very slighting. As to the letter about his employing a man to cast the King’s nativity, says he to the King, “Sir,” says he, “this is none of my hand, and I refer it to your Majesty whether you do not know this hand.” The King answered, that it was indeed none of his, and that he knew whose it was, but could not recall it presently. “Why,” says he, “it is my sister of Richmond’s, some frolick or other of hers of some certain person; and there is nothing of the King’s name in it, but it is only said to be his by supposition, as is said.” The King, it seems, seemed not very much displeased with what the Duke had said; but, however, he is still in the Tower, and no discourse of his being out in haste, though my Lady Castlemayne hath so far solicited for him that the King and she are quite fallen out: he comes not to her, nor hath for some three or four days; and parted with very foul words, the King calling her a whore, and a jade that meddled with things she had nothing to do with at all: and she calling him fool; and told him if he was not a fool, he would not suffer his businesses to be carried on by fellows that did not understand them, and cause his best subjects, and those best able to serve him, to be imprisoned; meaning the Duke of Buckingham. And it seems she was not only for his liberty, but to be restored to all his places; which, it is thought, he will never be. While we were at the Excise office talking with Mr. Ball, it was computed that the Parliament had given the King for this war only, besides all prizes, and besides the £200,000 which he was to spend of his own revenue, to guard the sea above £5,000,000 and odd £100,000; which is a most prodigious sum. Sir H. Cholmly, as a true English gentleman, do decry the King’s expenses of his Privy-purse, which in King James’s time did not rise to above £5000 a year, and in King Charles’s to £10,000, do now cost us above £100,000, besides the great charge of the monarchy, as the Duke of York £100,000 of it, and other limbs of the Royal family, and the guards, which, for his part, says he, “I would have all disbanded, for the King is not the better by them, and would be as safe without them; for we have had no rebellions to make him fear anything.” But, contrarily, he is now raising of a land-army, which this Parliament and kingdom will never bear; besides, the commanders they put over them are such as will never be able to raise or command them; but the design is, and the Duke of York, he says, is hot for it, to have a land-army, and so to make the government like that of France, but our princes have not brains, or at least care and forecast enough to do that. It is strange how he and every body do now-a-days reflect upon Oliver, and commend him, what brave things he did, and made all the neighbour princes fear him; while here a prince, come in with all the love and prayers and good liking of his people, who have given greater signs of loyalty and willingness to serve him with their estates than ever was done by any people, hath lost all so soon, that it is a miracle what way a man could devise to lose so much in so little time. Thence he set me down at my Lord Crew’s and away, and I up to my Lord, where Sir Thomas Crew was, and by and by comes Mr. Caesar, who teaches my Lady’s page upon the lute, and here Mr. Caesar did play some very fine things indeed, to my great liking. Here was my Lord Hinchingbroke also, newly come from Hinchingbroke, where all well, but methinks I knowing in what case he stands for money by his demands to me and the report Mr. Moore gives of the management of the family, makes me, God forgive me! to contemn him, though I do really honour and pity them, though they deserve it not, that have so good an estate and will live beyond it. To dinner, and very good discourse with my Lord. And after dinner Sir Thomas Crew and I alone, and he tells me how I am mightily in esteem with the Parliament; there being harangues made in the House to the Speaker, of Mr. Pepys’s readiness and civility to show them every thing, which I am at this time very glad of. He tells me the news of the King and my Lady Castlemayne which I have wrote already this day, and the design of the Parliament to look into things very well before they give any more money, and I pray God they may. Thence, after dinner, to St. James’s, but missed Sir W. Coventry, and so home, and there find my wife in a dogged humour for my not dining at home, and I did give her a pull by the nose and some ill words, which she provoked me to by something she spoke, that we fell extraordinarily out, insomuch, that I going to the office to avoid further anger, she followed me in a devilish manner thither, and with much ado I got her into the garden out of hearing, to prevent shame, and so home, and by degrees I found it necessary to calme her, and did, and then to the office, where pretty late, and then to walk with her in the garden, and so to supper, and pretty good friends, and so to bed with my mind very quiet.
13th. Up pretty betimes, it being mighty hot weather, I lying this night, which I have not done, I believe, since a boy, I am sure not since I had the stone before, with only a rugg and a sheet upon me. To my chamber, and my wife up to do something, and by chance we fell out again, but I to the office, and there we did at the board much business, though the most was the dividing of £5000 which the Lords Commissioners have with great difficulty found upon our letter to them this week that would have required £50,000 among a great many occasions. After rising, my Lord Anglesey, this being the second time of his being with us, did take me aside and asked me where I lived, because he would be glad to have some discourse with me. This I liked well enough, and told him I would wait upon him, which I will do, and so all broke up, and I home to dinner, where Mr. Pierce dined with us, who tells us what troubles me, that my Lord Buckhurst hath got Nell away from the King’s house, lies with her, and gives her £100 a year, so as she hath sent her parts to the house, and will act no more.1 And yesterday Sir Thomas Crew told me that Lacy lies a-dying of the pox, and yet hath his whore by him, whom he will have to look on, he says, though he can do no more; nor would receive any ghostly advice from a Bishop, an old acquaintance of his, that went to see him. He says there is a strangeness between the King and my Lady Castlemayne, as I was told yesterday. After dinner my wife and I to the New Exchange, to pretty maid Mrs. Smith’s shop, where I left my wife, and I to Sir W. Coventry, and there had the opportunity of talk with him, who I perceive do not like our business of the change of the Treasurer’s hand, and he tells me that he is entered the lists with this new Treasurer before the King in taking away the business of the Victualling money from his hand, and the Regiment, and declaring that he hath no right to the 3d. per by his patent, for that it was always heretofore given by particular Privy Seal, and that the King and Council just upon his coming in had declared £2000 a year sufficient. This makes him angry, but Sir W. Coventry I perceive cares not, but do every day hold up his head higher and higher, and this day I have received an order from the Commissioners of the Treasury to pay no more pensions for Tangier, which I am glad of, and he tells me they do make bold with all things of that kind. Thence I to White Hall, and in the street I spied Mrs. Borroughs, and took a means to meet and salute her and talk a little, and then parted, and I home by coach, taking up my wife at the Exchange, and there I am mightily pleased with this Mrs. Smith, being a very pleasant woman. So home, and resolved upon going to Epsum tomorrow, only for ayre, and got Mrs. Turner to go with us, and so home and to supper (after having been at the office) and to bed. It is an odd and sad thing to say, that though this be a peace worse than we had before, yet every body’s fear almost is, that the Dutch will not stand by their promise, now the King hath consented to all they would have. And yet no wise man that I meet with, when he comes to think of it, but wishes, with all his heart, a war; but that the King is not a man to be trusted with the management of it. It was pleasantly said by a man in this City, a stranger, to one that told him that the peace was concluded, “Well,” says he, “and have you a peace?”—“Yes,” says the other. —“Why, then,” says he, “hold your peace!” partly reproaching us with the disgracefulness of it, that it is not fit to be mentioned; and next, that we are not able to make the Dutch keep it, when they have a mind to break it. Sir Thomas Crew yesterday, speaking of the King of France, how great a man he is, why, says he, all the world thought that when the last Pope died, there would have been such bandying between the Crowns of France and Spain, whereas, when he was asked what he would have his ministers at Rome do, why, says he, let them choose who they will; if the Pope will do what is fit, the Pope and I will be friends. If he will not, I will take a course with him: therefore, I will not trouble myself; and thereupon the election was despatched in a little time — I think in a day, and all ended.2
1 Lord Buckhurst and Nell Gwyn, with the help of Sir Charles Sedley, kept “merry house” at Epsom next door to the King’s Head Inn (see Cunningham’s “Story of Nell Gwyn,” ed. 1892, p. 57)
2 Of Clement IX., Giulio Rispogliosi, elected June 20th, 1667, N.S. He was succeeded by Clement X. in 1670.
14th (Lord’s day). Up, and my wife, a little before four, and to make us ready; and by and by Mrs. Turner come to us, by agreement, and she and I staid talking below, while my wife dressed herself, which vexed me that she was so long about it keeping us till past five o’clock before she was ready. She ready; and, taking some bottles of wine, and beer, and some cold fowle with us into the coach, we took coach and four horses, which I had provided last night, and so away. A very fine day, and so towards Epsum, talking all the way pleasantly, and particularly of the pride and ignorance of Mrs. Lowther, in having of her train carried up? The country very fine, only the way very dusty. We got to Epsum by eight o’clock, to the well; where much company, and there we ‘light, and I drank the water: they did not, but do go about and walk a little among the women, but I did drink four pints, and had some very good stools by it. Here I met with divers of our town, among others with several of the tradesmen of our office, but did talk but little with them, it growing hot in the sun, and so we took coach again and to the towne, to the King’s Head, where our coachman carried us, and there had an ill room for us to go into, but the best in the house that was not taken up. Here we called for drink, and bespoke dinner; and hear that my Lord Buckhurst and Nelly are lodged at the next house, and Sir Charles Sidly with them and keep a merry house. Poor girl! I pity her; but more the loss of her at the King’s house. Here I saw Gilsthrop, Sir W. Batten’s clerk that hath been long sick, he looks like a dying man, with a consumption got, as is believed, by the pox, but God knows that the man is in a sad condition, though he finds himself much better since his coming thither, he says. W. Hewer rode with us, and I left him and the women, and myself walked to church, where few people, contrary to what I expected, and none I knew, but all the Houblons, brothers, and them after sermon I did salute, and walk with towards my inne, which was in their way to their lodgings. They come last night to see their elder brother, who stays here at the waters, and away tomorrow. James did tell me that I was the only happy man of the Navy, of whom, he says, during all this freedom the people have taken of speaking treason, he hath not heard one bad word of me, which is a great joy to me; for I hear the same of others, but do know that I have deserved as well as most. We parted to meet anon, and I to my women into a better room, which the people of the house borrowed for us, and there to dinner, a good dinner, and were merry, and Pendleton come to us, who happened to be in the house, and there talked and were merry. After dinner, he gone, we all lay down after dinner (the day being wonderful hot) to sleep, and each of us took a good nap, and then rose; and Tom Wilson come to see me, and sat and talked an hour; and I perceive he hath been much acquainted with Dr. Fuller (Tom) and Dr. Pierson, and several of the great cavalier parsons during the late troubles; and I was glad to hear him talk of them, which he did very ingeniously, and very much of Dr. Fuller’s art of memory, which he did tell me several instances of. By and by he parted, and we took coach and to take the ayre, there being a fine breeze abroad; and I went and carried them to the well, and there filled some bottles of water to carry home with me; and there talked with the two women that farm the well, at £12 per annum, of the lord of the manor, Mr. Evelyn (who with his lady, and also my Lord George Barkeley’s lady, and their fine daughter, that the King of France liked so well, and did dance so rich in jewells before the King at the Ball I was at, at our Court, last winter, and also their son, a Knight of the Bath, were at church this morning). Here W. Hewer’s horse broke loose, and we had the sport to see him taken again. Then I carried them to see my cozen Pepys’s house, and ‘light, and walked round about it, and they like it, as indeed it deserves, very well, and is a pretty place; and then I walked them to the wood hard by, and there got them in the thickets till they had lost themselves, and I could not find the way into any of the walks in the wood, which indeed are very pleasant, if I could have found them. At last got out of the wood again; and I, by leaping down the little bank, coming out of the wood, did sprain my right foot, which brought me great present pain, but presently, with walking, it went away for the present, and so the women and W. Hewer and I walked upon the Downes, where a flock of sheep was; and the most pleasant and innocent sight that ever I saw in my life — we find a shepherd and his little boy reading, far from any houses or sight of people, the Bible to him; so I made the boy read to me, which he did, with the forced tone that children do usually read, that was mighty pretty, and then I did give him something, and went to the father, and talked with him; and I find he had been a servant in my cozen Pepys’s house, and told me what was become of their old servants. He did content himself mightily in my liking his boy’s reading, and did bless God for him, the most like one of the old patriarchs that ever I saw in my life, and it brought those thoughts of the old age of the world in my mind for two or three days after. We took notice of his woolen knit stockings of two colours mixed, and of his shoes shod with iron shoes, both at the toe and heels, and with great nails in the soles of his feet, which was mighty pretty: and, taking notice of them, “Why,” says the poor man, “the downes, you see, are full of stones, and we are faine to shoe ourselves thus; and these,” says he, “will make the stones fly till they sing before me.” I did give the poor man something, for which he was mighty thankful, and I tried to cast stones with his horne crooke. He values his dog mightily, that would turn a sheep any way which he would have him, when he goes to fold them: told me there was about eighteen scoare sheep in his flock, and that he hath four shillings a week the year round for keeping of them: so we posted thence with mighty pleasure in the discourse we had with this poor man, and Mrs. Turner, in the common fields here, did gather one of the prettiest nosegays that ever I saw in my life. So to our coach, and through Mr. Minnes’s wood, and looked upon Mr. Evelyn’s house; and so over the common, and through Epsum towne to our inne, in the way stopping a poor woman with her milk-pail, and in one of my gilt tumblers did drink our bellyfulls of milk, better than any creame; and so to our inne, and there had a dish of creame, but it was sour, and so had no pleasure in it; and so paid our reckoning, and took coach, it being about seven at night, and passed and saw the people walking with their wives and children to take the ayre, and we set out for home, the sun by and by going down, and we in the cool of the evening all the way with much pleasure home, talking and pleasing ourselves with the pleasure of this day’s work, Mrs. Turner mightily pleased with my resolution, which, I tell her, is never to keep a country-house, but to keep a coach, and with my wife on the Saturday to go sometimes for a day to this place, and then quit to another place; and there is more variety and as little charge, and no trouble, as there is in a country-house. Anon it grew dark, and as it grew dark we had the pleasure to see several glow-wormes, which was mighty pretty, but my foot begins more and more to pain me, which Mrs. Turner, by keeping her warm hand upon it, did much ease; but so that when we come home, which was just at eleven at night, I was not able to walk from the lane’s end to my house without being helped, which did trouble me, and therefore to bed presently, but, thanks be to God, found that I had not been missed, nor any business happened in my absence. So to bed, and there had a cerecloth laid to my foot and leg alone, but in great pain all night long.
15th. So as I was not able to go today to wait on the Duke of York with my fellows, but was forced in bed to write the particulars for their discourse there, and kept my bed all day, and anon comes Mrs. Turner, and new-dressed my foot, and did it so, that I was at much ease presently, and so continued all day, so as I slept much and well in the daytime, and in the evening rose and eat something, where our poor Jane very sad for the death of her poor brother, who hath left a wife and two small children. I did give her 20s. in money, and what wine she needed, for the burying him. This evening come to see me Pelling, and we did sing together, and he sings well indeed, and after supper I was willing to go to bed to ease my foot again, which I did, and slept well all night.
16th. In the morning I was able to put on a wide shoe on the foot, and to the office without much pain, and there sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where Creed to discourse of our Tangier business, which stands very bad in the business of money, and therefore we expect to have a committee called soon, and to acquaint them among other things with the order come to me for the not paying of any more pensions. We dined together, and after dinner I to the office, and there very late, very busy, doing much business indeed, and so with great comfort home to supper, and so to bed to ease my foot, which toward night began to ake.
17th. Up, and to my chamber to set down my Journall of Sunday last with much pleasure, and my foot being pretty well, but yet I am forced to limp. Then by coach, set my wife down at the New Exchange, and I to White Hall to the Treasury chamber, but to little purpose. So to Mr. Burges to as little. There to the Hall and talked with Mrs. Michell, who begins to tire me about doing something for her elder son, which I am willing to do, but know not what. Thence to White Hall again, and thence away, and took up my wife at Unthanke’s, and left her at the ‘Change, and so I to Bennet’s to take up a bill for the last silk I had for my vest and coat, which I owe them for, and so to the Excise Office, and there did a little business, and so to Temple Bar and staid at my bookseller’s till my wife calls me, and so home, where I am saluted with the news of Hogg’s bringing a rich Canary prize to Hull:1 and Sir W. Batten do offer me £1000 down for my particular share, beside Sir Richard Ford’s part, which do tempt me; but yet I would not take it, but will stand and fall with the company. He and two more, the Panther and Fanfan, did enter into consortship; and so they have all brought in each a prize, though ours worth as much as both theirs, and more. However, it will be well worth having, God be thanked for it! This news makes us all very glad. I at Sir W. Batten’s did hear the particulars of it; and there for joy he did give the company that were there a bottle or two of his own last year’s wine, growing at Walthamstow, than which the whole company said they never drank better foreign wine in their lives. Home, and to dinner, and by and by comes Mr. Pierce, who is interested in the Panther, for some advice, and then comes Creed, and he and I spent the whole afternoon till eight at night walking and talking of sundry things public and private in the garden, but most of all of the unhappy state of this nation at this time by the negligence of the King and his Council. The Duke of Buckingham is, it seems, set at liberty, without any further charge against him or other clearing of him, but let to go out; which is one of the strangest instances of the fool’s play with which all publick things are done in this age, that is to be apprehended. And it is said that when he was charged with making himself popular — as indeed he is, for many of the discontented Parliament, Sir Robert Howard and Sir Thomas Meres, and others, did attend at the Council-chamber when he was examined — he should answer, that whoever was committed to prison by my Lord Chancellor or my Lord Arlington, could not want being popular. But it is worth considering the ill state a Minister of State is in, under such a Prince as ours is; for, undoubtedly, neither of those two great men would have been so fierce against the Duke of Buckingham at the Council-table the other day, had they [not] been assured of the King’s good liking, and supporting them therein: whereas, perhaps at the desire of my Lady Castlemayne, who, I suppose, hath at last overcome the King, the Duke of Buckingham is well received again, and now these men delivered up to the interest he can make for his revenge. He told me over the story of Mrs. Stewart, much after the manner which I was told it long since, and have entered it in this book, told me by Mr. Evelyn; only he says it is verily believed that the King did never intend to marry her to any but himself, and that the Duke of York and Lord Chancellor were jealous of it; and that Mrs. Stewart might be got with child by the King, or somebody else, and the King own a marriage before his contract, for it is but a contract, as he tells me, to this day, with the Queene, and so wipe their noses of the Crown; and that, therefore, the Duke of York and Chancellor did do all they could to forward the match with my Lord Duke of Richmond, that she might be married out of the way; but, above all, it is a worthy part that this good lady hath acted. Thus we talked till night and then parted, and so I to my office and did business, and so home to supper, and there find my sister Michell2 come from Lee to see us; but do tattle so much of the late business of the Dutch coming thither that I was weary of it. Yet it is worth remembering what she says: that she hath heard both seamen and soldiers swear they would rather serve the Dutch than the King, for they should be better used.3 She saw “The Royal Charles” brought into the river by them; and how they shot off their great guns for joy, when they got her out of Chatham River. I would not forget that this very day when we had nothing to do almost but five merchantmen to man in the River, which have now been about it some weeks, I was asked at Westminster, what the matter was that there was such ado kept in pressing of men, as it seems there is thereabouts at this day. So after supper we all to bed, my foot very well again, I thank God.
1 Thomas Pointer to Samuel Pepys (Hull, July 15th): “Capt. Hogg has brought in a great prize laden with Canary wine; also Capt. Reeves of the ‘Panther,’ and the ‘Fanfan,’ whose commander is slain, have come in with their prizes” (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1667, p. 298).
2 The wife of Balthazar St. Michel, Mrs. Pepys’s brother. — B. Leigh, opposite to Sheerness. — R.
3 Reference has already been made to Andrew Marvell’s “Instructions to a Painter”, in which the unpaid English sailors are described as swimming to the Dutch ships, where they received the money which was withheld from them on their own ships.
18th. Up and to the office, where busy all the morning, and most of our time taken up with Carcasse upon some complaints brought in against him, and many other petitions about tickets lost, which spends most of our time. Home to dinner, and then to the office again, where very well employed at the office till evening; and then being weary, took out my wife and Will Batelier by coach to Islington, but no pleasure in our going, the way being so dusty that one durst not breathe. Drank at the old house, and so home, and then to the office a little, and so home to supper and to bed.
19th. Up and comes the flageolet master, and brings me two new great Ivory pipes which cost me 32s., and so to play, and he being done, and Balty’s wife taking her leave of me, she going back to Lee today, I to Westminster and there did receive £15,000 orders out of the Exchequer in part of a bigger sum upon the eleven months tax for Tangier, part of which I presently delivered to Sir H. Cholmly, who was there, and thence with Mr. Gawden to Auditor Woods and Beales to examine some precedents in his business of the Victualling on his behalf, and so home, and in my way by coach down Marke Lane, mightily pleased and smitten to see, as I thought, in passing, the pretty woman, the line-maker’s wife that lived in Fenchurch Streete, and I had great mind to have gone back to have seen, but yet would correct my nature and would not. So to dinner with my wife, and then to sing, and so to the office, where busy all the afternoon late, and to Sir W. Batten’s and to Sir R. Ford’s, we all to consider about our great prize at Hull, being troubled at our being likely to be troubled with Prince Rupert, by reason of Hogg’s consorting himself with two privateers of the Prince’s, and so we study how to ease or secure ourselves. So to walk in the garden with my wife, and then to supper and to bed. One tells me that, by letter from Holland, the people there are made to believe that our condition in England is such as they may have whatever they will ask; and that so they are mighty high, and despise us, or a peace with us; and there is too much reason for them to do so. The Dutch fleete are in great squadrons everywhere still about Harwich, and were lately at Portsmouth; and the last letters say at Plymouth, and now gone to Dartmouth to destroy our Streights’ fleete lately got in thither; but God knows whether they can do it any hurt, or no, but it was pretty news come the other day so fast, of the Dutch fleets being in so many places, that Sir W. Batten at table cried, “By God,” says he, “I think the Devil shits Dutchmen.”
20th. Up and to the office, where all the morning, and then towards the ‘Change, at noon, in my way observing my mistake yesterday in Mark Lane, that the woman I saw was not the pretty woman I meant, the line-maker’s wife, but a new-married woman, very pretty, a strong-water seller: and in going by, to my content, I find that the very pretty daughter at the Ship tavern, at the end of Billiter Lane, is there still, and in the bar: and, I believe, is married to him that is new come, and hath new trimmed the house. Home to dinner, and then to the office, we having dispatched away Mr. Oviatt to Hull, about our prizes there; and I have wrote a letter of thanks by him to Lord Bellasses, who had writ to me to offer all his service for my interest there, but I dare not trust him. In the evening late walking in the garden with my wife, and then to bed.
21st (Lord’s day). Up betimes, and all the morning, and then to dinner with my wife alone, and then all the afternoon in like manner, in my chamber, making up my Tangier accounts and drawing a letter, which I have done at last to my full content, to present to the Lords Commissioners for Tangier tomorrow; and about seven at night, when finished my letter and weary, I and my wife and Mercer up by water to Barne Elmes, where we walked by moonshine, and called at Lambeth, and drank and had cold meat in the boat, and did eat, and sang, and down home, by almost twelve at night, very fine and pleasant, only could not sing ordinary songs with the freedom that otherwise I would. Here Mercer tells me that the pretty maid of the Ship tavern I spoke of yesterday is married there, which I am glad of. So having spent this night, with much serious pleasure to consider that I am in a condition to fling away an angell1 in such a refreshment to myself and family, we home and to bed, leaving Mercer, by the way, at her own door.
1 The angel coin was so called from the figure of the Archangel Michael in conflict with the dragon on the obverse. On the reverse was a representation of a ship with a large cross as a mast. The last angel coined was in Charles I.‘s reign, and the value varied from 6s. 8d. to 10s.
22nd. Up, and with Sir W. Batten and [Sir] J. Minnes to St. James’s, where the first time I have been there since the enemy’s being with us, where little business but lack of money, which now is so professed by Sir W. Coventry as nothing is more, and the King’s whole business owned to be at a stand for want of it. So up to my Lord Chancellor’s, where was a Committee of Tangier in my Lord’s roome, where he is to hear causes, where all the judges’ pictures hang up, very fine. Here I read my letter to them, which was well received, and they did fall seriously to discourse the want of money and other particulars, and to some pretty good purpose. But to see how Sir W. Coventry did oppose both my Lord Chancellor and the Duke of York himself, about the Order of the Commissioners of the Treasury to me for not paying of pensions, and with so much reason, and eloquence so natural, was admirable. And another thing, about his pressing for the reduction of the charge of Tangier, which they would have put off to another time; “But,” says he, “the King suffers so much by the putting off of the consideration of reductions of charge, that he is undone; and therefore I do pray you, sir, to his Royal Highness, that when any thing offers of the kind, you will not let it escape you.” Here was a great bundle of letters brought hither, sent up from sea, from a vessel of ours that hath taken them after they had been flung over by a Dutchman; wherein, among others, the Duke of York did read the superscription of one to De Witt, thus “To the most wise, foreseeing and discreet, These, &c.;” which, I thought with myself, I could have been glad might have been duly directed to any one of them at the table, though the greatest men in this kingdom. The Duke of York, the Lord Chancellor, my Lord Duke of Albemarle, Arlington, Ashley, Peterborough, and Coventry (the best of them all for parts), I perceive they do all profess their expectation of a peace, and that suddenly, and do advise of things accordingly, and do all speak of it (and expressly, I remember, the Duke of Albemarle), saying that they hoped for it. Letters were read at the table from Tangier that Guiland is wholly lost, and that he do offer Arzill to us to deliver it to us. But Sir W. Coventry did declare his opinion that we should have nothing to do with it, and said that if Tangier were offered us now, as the King’s condition is, he would advise against the taking it; saying, that the King’s charge is too great, and must be brought down, it being, like the fire of this City, never to be mastered till you have brought it under you; and that these places abroad are but so much charge to the King, and we do rather hitherto strive to greaten them than lessen them; and then the King is forced to part with them, “as,” says he, “he did with Dunkirke,” by my Lord Tiviott’s making it so chargeable to the King as he did that, and would have done Tangier, if he had lived: I perceive he is the only man that do seek the King’s profit, and is bold to deliver what he thinks on every occasion. Having broke up here, I away with Mr. Gawden in his coach to the ‘Change, and there a little, and then home and dined, and then to the office, and by and by with my wife to White Hall (she to Unthanke’s), and there met Creed and did a little business at the Treasury chamber, and then to walk in Westminster Hall an hour or two, with much pleasure reflecting upon our discourse today at the Tangier meeting, and crying up the worth of Sir W. Coventry. Creed tells me of the fray between the Duke of Buckingham at the Duke’s playhouse the last Saturday (and it is the first day I have heard that they have acted at either the King’s or Duke’s houses this month or six weeks) and Henry Killigrew, whom the Duke of Buckingham did soundly beat and take away his sword, and make a fool of, till the fellow prayed him to spare his life; and I am glad of it; for it seems in this business the Duke of Buckingham did carry himself very innocently and well, and I wish he had paid this fellow’s coat well. I heard something of this at the ‘Change today: and it is pretty to hear how people do speak kindly of the Duke of Buckingham, as one that will enquire into faults; and therefore they do mightily favour him. And it puts me in mind that, this afternoon, Billing, the Quaker, meeting me in the Hall, come to me, and after a little discourse did say, “Well,” says he, “now you will be all called to an account;” meaning the Parliament is drawing near. This done I took coach and took up my wife, and so home, and after a little at the office I home to my chamber a while, and then to supper and to bed.
23rd. Up betimes and to the office, doing something towards our great account to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, and anon the office sat, and all the morning doing business. At noon home to dinner, and then close to my business all the afternoon. In the evening Sir R. Ford is come back from the Prince and tells Sir W. Batten and me how basely Sir W. Pen received our letter we sent him about the prizes at Hull, and slily answered him about the Prince’s leaving all his concerns to him, but the Prince did it afterward by letter brought by Sir R. Ford to us, which Sir W. Pen knows not of, but a very rogue he is. By and by comes sudden news to me by letter from the Clerke of the Cheque at Gravesend, that there were thirty sail of Dutch men-of-war coming up into the Hope this last tide: which I told Sir W. Pen of; but he would not believe it, but laughed, and said it was a fleete of Billanders,1 and that the guns that were heard was the salutation of the Swede’s Ambassador that comes over with them. But within half an hour comes another letter from Captain Proud, that eight of them were come into the Hope, and thirty more following them, at ten this morning. By and by comes an order from White Hall to send down one of our number to Chatham, fearing that, as they did before, they may make a show first up hither, but then go to Chatham: so my Lord Bruncker do go, and we here are ordered to give notice to the merchant men-of-war, gone below the barricado at Woolwich, to come up again. So with much trouble to supper, home and to bed.
1 “Bilander. A small merchant vessel with two masts, particularly distinguished from other vessels with two masts by the form of her mainsail, which is bent to the whole length of her yard, hanging fore and aft, and inclined to the horizon at an angle of about 45 deg. Few vessels are now rigged in this manner, and the name is rather indiscriminately used.”— Smyth’s Sailor’s Word–Book.
24th. Betimes this morning comes a letter from the Clerke of the Cheque at Gravesend to me, to tell me that the Dutch fleete did come all into the Hope yesterday noon, and held a fight with our ships from thence till seven at night; that they had burned twelve fire-ships, and we took one of their’s, and burned five of our fire-ships. But then rising and going to Sir W. Batten, he tells me that we have burned one of their men-of-war, and another of theirs is blown up: but how true this is, I know not. But these fellows are mighty bold, and have had the fortune of the wind easterly this time to bring them up, and prevent our troubling them with our fire-ships; and, indeed, have had the winds at their command from the beginning, and now do take the beginning of the spring, as if they had some great design to do. I to my office, and there hard at work all the morning, to my great content, abstracting the contract book into my abstract book, which I have by reason of the war omitted for above two years, but now am endeavouring to have all my books ready and perfect against the Parliament comes, that upon examination I may be in condition to value myself upon my perfect doing of my own duty. At noon home to dinner, where my wife mighty musty — [Dull, heavy, spiritless]— but I took no notice of it, but after dinner to the office, and there with Mr. Harper did another good piece of work about my late collection of the accounts of the Navy presented to the Parliament at their last session, which was left unfinished, and now I have done it which sets my mind at my ease, and so, having tired myself, I took a pair of oares about five o’clock, which I made a gally at Redriffe, and so with very much pleasure down to Gravesend, all the way with extraordinary content reading of Boyle’s Hydrostatickes, which the more I read and understand, the more I admire, as a most excellent piece of philosophy; as we come nearer Gravesend, we hear the Dutch fleete and ours a-firing their guns most distinctly and loud. But before we got to Gravesend they ceased, and it grew darkish, and so I landed only (and the flood being come) and went up to the Ship and discoursed with the landlord of the house, who undeceives me in what I heard this morning about the Dutch having lost two men-of-war, for it is not so, but several of their fire-ships. He do say, that this afternoon they did force our ships to retreat, but that now they are gone down as far as Shield-haven: but what the event hath been of this evening’s guns they know not, but suppose not much, for they have all this while shot at good distance one from another. They seem confident of the security of this town and the River above it, if the enemy should come up so high; their fortifications being so good, and guns many. But he do say that people do complain of Sir Edward Spragg, that he hath not done extraordinary; and more of Sir W. Jenings, that he come up with his tamkins1 in his guns. Having discoursed this a little with him, and eat a bit of cold venison and drank, I away, took boat, and homeward again, with great pleasure, the moon shining, and it being a fine pleasant cool evening, and got home by half-past twelve at night, and so to bed.
1 Tamkin, or tampion, the wooden stopper of a cannon placed in the muzzle to exclude water or dust.
25th. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and there sang with much pleasure with my wife, and so to the office again, and busy all the afternoon. At night Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, and myself, and Sir R. Ford, did meet in the garden to discourse about our prizes at Hull. It appears that Hogg is the eeriest rogue, the most observable embezzler, that ever was known. This vexes us, and made us very free and plain with Sir W. Pen, who hath been his great patron, and as very a rogue as he. But he do now seem to own that his opinion is changed of him, and that he will joyne with us in our strictest inquiries, and did sign to the letters we had drawn, which he had refused before, and so seemingly parted good friends, and then I demanded of Sir R. Ford and the rest, what passed today at the meeting of the Parliament: who told me that, contrary to all expectation by the King that there would be but a thin meeting, there met above 300 this first day, and all the discontented party; and, indeed, the whole House seems to be no other almost. The Speaker told them, as soon as they were sat, that he was ordered by the King to let them know he was hindered by some important business to come to them and speak to them, as he intended; and, therefore, ordered him to move that they would adjourn themselves till Monday next, it being very plain to all the House that he expects to hear by that time of the sealing of the peace, which by letters, it seems, from my Lord Holis, was to be sealed the last Sunday.1 But before they would come to the question whether they would adjourn, Sir Thomas Tomkins steps up and tells them, that all the country is grieved at this new raised standing army; and that they thought themselves safe enough in their trayn-bands; and that, therefore, he desired the King might be moved to disband them. Then rises Garraway and seconds him, only with this explanation, which he said he believed the other meant; that, as soon as peace should be concluded, they might be disbanded. Then rose Sir W. Coventry, and told them that he did approve of what the last gentleman said; but also, that at the same time he did no more than what, he durst be bold to say, he knew to be the King’s mind, that as soon as peace was concluded he would do it of himself. Then rose Sir Thomas Littleton, and did give several reasons for the uncertainty of their meeting again but to adjourne, in case news comes of the peace being ended before Monday next, and the possibility of the King’s having some about him that may endeavour to alter his own, and the good part of his Council’s advice, for the keeping up of the land-army; and, therefore, it was fit that they did present it to the King as their desire, that, as soon as peace was concluded, the land-army might be laid down, and that this their request might be carried to the King by them of their House that were Privy-councillors; which was put to the vote, and carried ‘nemine contradicente’. So after this vote passed, they adjourned: but it is plain what the effects of this Parliament will be, if they be suffered to sit, that they will fall foul upon the faults of the Government; and I pray God they may be permitted to do it, for nothing else, I fear, will save the King and kingdom than the doing it betimes. They gone, I to walk with my wife in the garden, and then home to supper and to bed.
1 The peace was signed on the 31st. See August 9th. — B.
26th. Up, and betimes to the office, where Mr. Hater and I together all the morning about the perfecting of my abstract book of contracts and other things to my great content. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again all the afternoon doing of other good things there, and being tired, I then abroad with my wife and left her at the New Exchange, while I by water thence to Westminster to the Hall, but shops were shut up, and so to White Hall by water, and thence took up my wife at Unthanke’s, and so home, mightily tired with the dust in riding in a coach, it being mighty troublesome. So home and to my office, and there busy very late, and then to walk a little with my wife, and then to supper and to bed. No news at all this day what we have done to the enemy, but that the enemy is fallen down, and we after them, but to little purpose.
27th. Up and to the office, where I hear that Sir John Coventry is come over from Bredah, a nephew, I think, of Sir W. Coventry’s: but what message he brings I know not. This morning news is come that Sir Jos. Jordan is come from Harwich, with sixteen fire-ships and four other little ships of war: and did attempt to do some execution upon the enemy, but did it without discretion, as most do say, so as that they have been able to do no good, but have lost four of their fire ships. They attempted [this], it seems, when the wind was too strong, that our grapplings could not hold: others say we come to leeward of them, but all condemn it as a foolish management. They are come to Sir Edward Spragg about Lee, and the Dutch are below at the Nore. At the office all the morning; and at noon to the ‘Change, where I met Fenn; and he tells me that Sir John Coventry do bring the confirmation of the peace; but I do not find the ‘Change at all glad of it, but rather the worse, they looking upon it as a peace made only to preserve the King for a time in his lusts and ease, and to sacrifice trade and his kingdoms only to his own pleasures: so that the hearts of merchants are quite down. He tells me that the King and my Lady Castlemayne are quite broke off, and she is gone away, and is with child, and swears the King shall own it; and she will have it christened in the Chapel at White Hall so, and owned for the King’s, as other Kings have done; or she will bring it into White Hall gallery, and dash the brains of it out before the King’s face.1 He tells me that the King and Court were never in the world so bad as they are now for gaming, swearing, whoring, and drinking, and the most abominable vices that ever were in the world; so that all must come to nought. He told me that Sir G. Carteret was at this end of the town; so I went to visit him in Broad Street; and there he and I together: and he is mightily pleased with my Lady Jem’s having a son; and a mighty glad man he is. He [Sir George Carteret] tells me, as to news, that the peace is now confirmed, and all that over. He says it was a very unhappy motion in the House the other day about the land-army; for, whether the King hath a mind of his own to do the thing desired or no, his doing it will be looked upon as a thing done only in fear of the Parliament. He says that the Duke of York is suspected to be the great man that is for raising of this army, and bringing things to be commanded by an army; but he believes that he is wronged, and says that he do know that he is wronged therein. He do say that the Court is in a way to ruin all for their pleasures; and says that he himself hath once taken the liberty to tell the King the necessity of having, at least, a show of religion in the Government, and sobriety; and that it was that, that did set up and keep up Oliver, though he was the greatest rogue in the world, and that it is so fixed in the nature of the common Englishman that it will not out of him. He tells me that while all should be labouring to settle the kingdom, they are at Court all in factions, some for and others against my Lord Chancellor, and another for and against another man, and the King adheres to no man, but this day delivers himself up to this, and the next to that, to the ruin of himself and business; that he is at the command of any woman like a slave, though he be the best man to the Queene in the world, with so much respect, and never lies a night from her: but yet cannot command himself in the presence of a woman he likes. Having had this discourse, I parted, and home to dinner, and thence to the office all the afternoon to my great content very busy. It raining this day all day to our great joy, it having not rained, I think, this month before, so as the ground was everywhere so burned and dry as could be; and no travelling in the road or streets in London, for dust. At night late home to supper and to bed.
1 Charles owned only four children by Lady Castlemaine–Anne, Countess of Sussex, and the Dukes of Southampton, Grafton, and Northumberland. The last of these was born in 1665. The paternity of all her other children was certainly doubtful. See pp. 50,52.
28th (Lord’s day). Up and to my chamber, where all the morning close, to draw up a letter to Sir W. Coventry upon the tidings of peace, taking occasion, before I am forced to it, to resign up to his Royall Highness my place of the Victualling, and to recommend myself to him by promise of doing my utmost to improve this peace in the best manner we may, to save the kingdom from ruin. By noon I had done this to my good content, and then with my wife all alone to dinner, and so to my chamber all the afternoon to write my letter fair, and sent it away, and then to talk with my wife, and read, and so by daylight (the only time I think I have done it this year) to supper, and then to my chamber to read and so to bed, my mind very much eased after what I have done today.
29th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten to St. James’s, to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber; where, among other things, he come to me, and told me that he had received my yesterday’s letters, and that we concurred very well in our notions; and that, as to my place which I had offered to resign of the Victualling, he had drawn up a letter at the same time for the Duke of York’s signing for the like places in general raised during this war; and that he had done me right to the Duke of York, to let him know that I had, of my own accord, offered to resign mine. The letter do bid us to do all things, particularizing several, for the laying up of the ships, and easing the King of charge; so that the war is now professedly over. By and by up to the Duke of York’s chamber; and there all the talk was about Jordan’s coming with so much indiscretion, with his four little frigates and sixteen fire-ships from Harwich, to annoy the enemy. His failures were of several sorts, I know not which the truest: that he come with so strong a gale of wind, that his grapplings would not hold; that he did come by their lee; whereas if he had come athwart their hawse, they would have held; that they did not stop a tide, and come up with a windward tide, and then they would not have come so fast. Now, there happened to be Captain Jenifer by, who commanded the Lily in this business, and thus says that, finding the Dutch not so many as they expected, they did not know but that there were more of them above, and so were not so earnest to the setting upon these; that they did do what they could to make the fire-ships fall in among the enemy; and, for their lives, neither Sir J. Jordan nor others could, by shooting several times at them, make them go in; and it seems they were commanded by some idle fellows, such as they could of a sudden gather up at Harwich; which is a sad consideration that, at such a time as this, where the saving the reputation of the whole nation lay at stake, and after so long a war, the King had not credit to gather a few able men to command these vessels. He says, that if they had come up slower, the enemy would, with their boats and their great sloops, which they have to row with a great many men, they would, and did, come and cut up several of our fireships, and would certainly have taken most of them, for they do come with a great provision of these boats on purpose, and to save their men, which is bravely done of them, though they did, on this very occasion, shew great fear, as they say, by some men leaping overboard out of a great ship, as these were all of them of sixty and seventy guns a-piece, which one of our fireships laid on board, though the fire did not take. But yet it is brave to see what care they do take to encourage their men to provide great stores of boats to save them, while we have not credit to find one boat for a ship. And, further, he told us that this new way used by Deane, and this Sir W. Coventry observed several times, of preparing of fire-ships, do not do the work; for the fire, not being strong and quick enough to flame up, so as to take the rigging and sails, lies smothering a great while, half an hour before it flames, in which time they can get her off safely, though, which is uncertain, and did fail in one or two this bout, it do serve to burn our own ships. But what a shame it is to consider how two of our ships’ companies did desert their ships for fear of being taken by their boats, our little frigates being forced to leave them, being chased by their greater! And one more company did set their ship on fire, and leave her; which afterwards a Feversham fisherman come up to, and put out the fire, and carried safe into Feversham, where she now is, which was observed by the Duke of York, and all the company with him, that it was only want of courage, and a general dismay and abjectness of spirit upon all our men; and others did observe our ill management, and God Almighty’s curse upon all that we have in hand, for never such an opportunity was of destroying so many good ships of theirs as we now had. But to see how negligent we were in this business, that our fleete of Jordan’s should not have any notice where Spragg was, nor Spragg of Jordan’s, so as to be able to meet and join in the business, and help one another; but Jordan, when he saw Spragg’s fleete above, did think them to be another part of the enemy’s fleete! While, on the other side, notwithstanding our people at Court made such a secret of Jordan’s design that nobody must know it, and even this Office itself must not know it; nor for my part I did not, though Sir W. Batten says by others’ discourse to him he had heard something of it; yet De Ruyter, or he that commanded this fleete, had notice of it, and told it to a fisherman of ours that he took and released on Thursday last, which was the day before our fleete came to him. But then, that, that seems most to our disgrace, and which the Duke of York did take special and vehement notice of, is, that when the Dutch saw so many fire-ships provided for them, themselves lying, I think, about the Nore, they did with all their great ships, with a North-east wind, as I take it they said, but whatever it was, it was a wind that we should not have done it with, turn down to the Middle-ground; which the Duke of York observed, never was nor would have been undertaken by ourselves. And whereas some of the company answered, it was their great fear, not their choice that made them do it, the Duke of York answered, that it was, it may be, their fear and wisdom that made them do it; but yet their fear did not make them mistake, as we should have done, when we have had no fear upon us, and have run our ships on ground. And this brought it into my mind, that they managed their retreat down this difficult passage, with all their fear, better than we could do ourselves in the main sea, when the Duke of Albemarle run away from the Dutch, when the Prince was lost, and the Royal Charles and the other great ships come on ground upon the Galloper. Thus, in all things, in wisdom, courage, force, knowledge of our own streams, and success, the Dutch have the best of us, and do end the war with victory on their side. The Duke of York being ready, we into his closet, but, being in haste to go to the Parliament House, he could not stay. So we parted, and to Westminster Hall, where the Hall full of people to see the issue of the day, the King being come to speak to the House today. One thing extraordinary was, this day a man, a Quaker, came naked through the Hall, only very civilly tied about the privities to avoid scandal, and with a chafing-dish of fire and brimstone burning upon his head, did pass through the Hall, crying, “Repent! repent!” I up to the Painted Chamber, thinking to have got in to have heard the King’s speech, but upon second thoughts did not think it would be worth the crowd, and so went down again into the Hall and there walked with several, among others my Lord Rutherford, who is come out of Scotland, and I hope I may get some advantage by it in reference to the business of the interest of the great sum of money I paid him long since without interest. But I did not now move him in it. But presently comes down the House of Commons, the King having made then a very short and no pleasing speech to them at all, not at all giving them thanks for their readiness to come up to town at this busy time; but told them that he did think he should have had occasion for them, but had none, and therefore did dismiss them to look after their own occasions till October; and that he did wonder any should offer to bring in a suspicion that he intended to rule by an army, or otherwise than by the laws of the land, which he promised them he would do; and so bade them go home and settle the minds of the country in that particular; and only added, that he had made a peace which he did believe they would find reasonable, and a good peace, but did give them none of the particulars thereof. Thus they are dismissed again to their general great distaste, I believe the greatest that ever Parliament was, to see themselves so fooled, and the nation in certain condition of ruin, while the King, they see, is only governed by his lust, and women, and rogues about him. The Speaker, they found, was kept from coming in the morning to the House on purpose, till after the King was come to the House of Lords, for fear they should be doing anything in the House of Commons to the further dissatisfaction of the King and his courtiers. They do all give up the kingdom for lost that I speak to; and do hear what the King says, how he and the Duke of York do do what they can to get up an army, that they may need no more Parliaments: and how my Lady Castlemayne hath, before the late breach between her and the King, said to the King that he must rule by an army, or all would be lost, and that Bab. May hath given the like advice to the King, to crush the English gentlemen, saying that £300 a-year was enough for any man but them that lived at Court. I am told that many petitions were provided for the Parliament, complaining of the wrongs they have received from the Court and courtiers, in city and country, if the Parliament had but sat: and I do perceive they all do resolve to have a good account of the money spent before ever they give a farthing more: and the whole kingdom is everywhere sensible of their being abused, insomuch that they forced their Parliament-men to come up to sit; and my cozen Roger told me that (but that was in mirth) he believed, if he had not come up, he should have had his house burned. The kingdom never in so troubled a condition in this world as now; nobody pleased with the peace, and yet nobody daring to wish for the continuance of the war, it being plain that nothing do nor can thrive under us. Here I saw old good Mr. Vaughan, and several of the great men of the Commons, and some of them old men, that are come 200 miles, and more, to attend this session-of Parliament; and have been at great charge and disappointments in their other private business; and now all to no purpose, neither to serve their country, content themselves, nor receive any thanks from the King. It is verily expected by many of them that the King will continue the prorogation in October, so as, if it be possible, never to have [this] Parliament more. My Lord Bristoll took his place in the House of Lords this day, but not in his robes; and when the King come in, he withdrew but my Lord of Buckingham was there as brisk as ever, and sat in his robes; which is a monstrous thing, that a man proclaimed against, and put in the Tower, and all, and released without any trial, and yet not restored to his places: But, above all, I saw my Lord Mordaunt as merry as the best, that it seems hath done such further indignities to Mr. Taylor’ since the last sitting of Parliament as would hang [him], if there were nothing else, would the King do what were fit for him; but nothing of that is now likely to be. After having spent an hour or two in the hall, my cozen Roger and I and Creed to the Old Exchange, where I find all the merchants sad at this peace and breaking up of the Parliament, as men despairing of any good to the nation, which is a grievous consideration; and so home, and there cozen Roger and Creed to dinner with me, and very merry:— but among other things they told me of the strange, bold sermon of Dr. Creeton yesterday, before the King; how he preached against the sins of the Court, and particularly against adultery, over and over instancing how for that single sin in David, the whole nation was undone; and of our negligence in having our castles without ammunition and powder when the Dutch come upon us; and how we have no courage now a-days, but let our ships be taken out of our harbour. Here Creed did tell us the story of the dwell last night, in Coventgarden, between Sir H. Bellasses and Tom Porter. It is worth remembering the silliness of the quarrell, and is a kind of emblem of the general complexion of this whole kingdom at present. They two it seems dined yesterday at Sir Robert Carr’s, where it seems people do drink high, all that come. It happened that these two, the greatest friends in the world, were talking together: and Sir H. Bellasses talked a little louder than ordinary to Tom Porter, giving of him some advice. Some of the company standing by said, “What! are they quarrelling, that they talk so high?” Sir H. Bellasses hearing it, said, “No!” says he: “I would have you know that I never quarrel, but I strike; and take that as a rule of mine!”—“How?” says Tom Porter, “strike! I would I could see the man in England that durst give me a blow!” with that Sir H. Bellasses did give him a box of the eare; and so they were going to fight there, but were hindered. And by and by Tom Porter went out; and meeting Dryden the poet, told him of the business, and that he was resolved to fight Sir H. Bellasses presently; for he knew, if he did not, they should be made friends tomorrow, and then the blow would rest upon him; which he would prevent, and desired Dryden to let him have his boy to bring him notice which way Sir H. Bellasses goes. By and by he is informed that Sir H. Bellasses’s coach was coming: so Tom Porter went down out of the Coffee-house where he stayed for the tidings, and stopped the coach, and bade Sir H. Bellasses come out. “Why,” says H. Bellasses, “you will not hurt me coming out, will you?”—“No,” says Tom Porter. So out he went, and both drew: and H. Bellasses having drawn and flung away his scabbard, Tom Porter asked him whether he was ready? The other answering him he was, they fell to fight, some of their acquaintance by. They wounded one another, and H. Bellasses so much that it is feared he will die: and finding himself severely wounded, he called to Tom Porter, and kissed him, and bade him shift for himself; “for,” says he, “Tom, thou hast hurt me; but I will make shift to stand upon my legs till thou mayest withdraw, and the world not take notice of you, for I would not have thee troubled for what thou hast done.” And so whether he did fly or no I cannot tell: but Tom Porter shewed H. Bellasses that he was wounded too: and they are both ill, but H. Bellasses to fear of life. And this is a fine example; and H. Bellasses a Parliament-man too, and both of them most extraordinary friends! Among other discourse, my cozen Roger told us a thing certain, that the Archbishop of Canterbury; that now is, do keep a wench, and that he is as very a wencher as can be; and tells us it is a thing publickly known that Sir Charles Sidley had got away one of the Archbishop’s wenches from him, and the Archbishop sent to him to let him know that she was his kinswoman, and did wonder that he would offer any dishonour to one related to him. To which Sir Charles Sidley is said to answer, “A pox take his Grace! pray tell his Grace that I believe he finds himself too old, and is afraid that I should outdo him among his girls, and spoil his trade.” But he makes no more of doubt to say that the Archbishop is a wencher, and known to be so, which is one of the most astonishing things that I have heard of, unless it be, what for certain he says is true, that my Lady Castlemayne hath made a Bishop lately, namely — her uncle, Dr. Glenham, who, I think they say, is Bishop of Carlisle; a drunken, swearing rascal, and a scandal to the Church; and do now pretend to be Bishop of Lincoln, in competition with Dr. Raynbow, who is reckoned as worthy a man as most in the Church for piety and learning: which are things so scandalous to consider, that no man can doubt but we must be undone that hears of them. After dinner comes W. How and a son of Mr. Pagett’s to see me, with whom I drank, but could not stay, and so by coach with cozen Roger (who before his going did acquaint me in private with an offer made of his marrying of Mrs. Elizabeth Wiles, whom I know; a kinswoman of Mr. Honiwood’s, an ugly old maid, but a good housewife; and is said to have £2500 to her portion; but if I can find that she hath but £2000, which he prays me to examine, he says he will have her, she being one he hath long known intimately, and a good housewife, and discreet woman; though I am against it in my heart, she being not handsome at all) and it hath been the very bad fortune of the Pepyses that ever I knew, never to marry an handsome woman, excepting Ned Pepys and Creed, set the former down at the Temple resolving to go to Cambridge tomorrow, and Creed and I to White Hall to the Treasury chamber there to attend, but in vain, only here, looking out of the window into the garden, I saw the King (whom I have not had any desire to see since the Dutch come upon the coast first to Sheerness, for shame that I should see him, or he me, methinks, after such a dishonour) come upon the garden; with him two or three idle Lords; and instantly after him, in another walk, my Lady Castlemayne, led by Bab. May: at which I was surprised, having but newly heard the stories of the King and her being parted for ever. So I took Mr. Povy, who was there, aside, and he told me all, how imperious this woman is, and hectors the King to whatever she will. It seems she is with child, and the King says he did not get it: with that she made a slighting “puh” with her mouth, and went out of the house, and never come in again till the King went to Sir Daniel Harvy’s to pray her; and so she is come today, when one would think his mind should be full of some other cares, having but this morning broken up such a Parliament, with so much discontent, and so many wants upon him, and but yesterday heard such a sermon against adultery. But it seems she hath told the King, that whoever did get it, he should own it; and the bottom of the quarrel is this:— She is fallen in love with young Jermin who hath of late lain with her oftener than the King, and is now going to marry my Lady Falmouth; the King he is mad at her entertaining Jermin, and she is mad at Jermin’s going to marry from her: so they are all mad; and thus the kingdom is governed! and they say it is labouring to make breaches between the Duke of Richmond and his lady that the King may get her to him. But he tells me for certain that nothing is more sure than that the King, and Duke of York, and the Chancellor, are desirous and labouring all they can to get an army, whatever the King says to the Parliament; and he believes that they are at last resolved to stand and fall all three together: so that he says match of the Duke of York with the Chancellor’s daughter hath undone the nation. He tells me also that the King hath not greater enemies in the world than those of his own family; for there is not an officer in the house almost but curses him for letting them starve, and there is not a farthing of money to be raised for the buying them bread. Having done talking with him I to Westminster Hall, and there talked and wandered up and down till the evening to no purpose, there and to the Swan, and so till the evening, and so home, and there to walk in the garden with my wife, telling her of my losing £300 a year by my place that I am to part with, which do a little trouble me, but we must live with somewhat more thrift, and so home to supper and to play on the flageolet, which do do very prettily, and so to bed. Many guns were heard this afternoon, it seems, at White Hall and in the Temple garden very plain; but what it should be nobody knows, unless the Dutch be driving our ships up the river. To-morrow we shall know.
30th. Up and to the office, where we sat busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where Daniel and his wife with us, come to see whether I could get him any employment. But I am so far from it, that I have the trouble upon my mind how to dispose of Mr. Gibson and one or two more I am concerned for in the Victualling business, which are to be now discharged. After dinner by coach to White Hall, calling on two or three tradesmen and paying their bills, and so to White Hall, to the Treasury-chamber, where I did speak with the Lords, and did my business about getting them to assent to 10 per cent. interest on the 11 months tax, but find them mightily put to it for money. Here I do hear that there are three Lords more to be added to them; my Lord Bridgewater, my Lord Anglesey, and my Lord Chamberlaine. Having done my business, I to Creed’s chamber, and thence out with Creed to White Hall with him; in our way, meeting with Mr. Cooling, my Lord Chamberlain’s secretary, on horseback, who stopped to speak with us, and he proved very drunk, and did talk, and would have talked all night with us, I not being able to break loose from him, he holding me so by the hand. But, Lord! to see his present humour, how he swears at every word, and talks of the King and my Lady Castlemayne in the plainest words in the world. And from him I gather that the story I learned yesterday is true — that the King hath declared that he did not get the child of which she is conceived at this time, he having not as he says lain with her this half year. But she told him, “God damn me, but you shall own it!” It seems, he is jealous of Jermin, and she loves him so, that the thoughts of his marrying of my Lady Falmouth puts her into fits of the mother; and he, it seems, hath lain with her from time to time, continually, for a good while; and once, as this Cooling says, the King had like to have taken him a-bed with her, but that he was fain to creep under the bed into her closet. . . . But it is a pretty thing he told us how the King, once speaking of the Duke of York’s being mastered by his wife, said to some of the company by, that he would go no more abroad with this Tom Otter (meaning the Duke of York) and his wife. Tom Killigrew, being by, answered, “Sir,” says he, “pray which is the best for a man, to be a Tom Otter to his wife or to his mistress?” meaning the King’s being so to my Lady Castlemayne. Thus he went on; and speaking then of my Lord Sandwich, whom he professed to love exceedingly, says Creed, “I know not what, but he is a man, methinks, that I could love for himself, without other regards.” . . . He talked very lewdly; and then took notice of my kindness to him on shipboard seven years ago, when the King was coming over, and how much he was obliged to me; but says, pray look upon this acknowledgement of a kindness in me to be a miracle; for, says he, “it is against the law at Court for a man that borrows money of me, even to buy his place with, to own it the next Sunday;” and then told us his horse was a bribe, and his boots a bribe; and told us he was made up of bribes, as an Oxford scholar is set out with other men’s goods when he goes out of town, and that he makes every sort of tradesman to bribe him; and invited me home to his house, to taste of his bribe wine. I never heard so much vanity from a man in my life; so, being now weary of him, we parted, and I took coach, and carried Creed to the Temple. There set him down, and to my office, where busy late till my eyes begun to ake, and then home to supper: a pullet, with good sauce, to my liking, and then to play on the flageolet with my wife, which she now does very prettily, and so to bed.
31st. Up, and after some time with Greeting upon my flageolet I to my office, and there all the morning busy. Among other things, Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, and myself did examine a fellow of our private man-of-war, who we have found come up from Hull, with near £500 worth of pieces of eight, though he will confess but 100 pieces. But it appears that there have been fine doings there. At noon dined at home, and then to the office, where busy again till the evening, when Major Halsey and Kinaston to adjust matters about Mrs. Rumbald’s bill of exchange, and here Major Halsey, speaking much of my doing business, and understanding business, told me how my Lord Generall do say that I am worth them all, but I have heard that Halsey hath said the same behind my back to others. Then abroad with my wife by coach to Marrowbone, where my Lord Mayor and Aldermen, it seem, dined today: and were just now going away, methought, in a disconsolate condition, compared with their splendour they formerly had, when the City was standing. Here my wife and I drank at the gate, not ‘lighting, and then home with much pleasure, and so to my chamber, and my wife and I to pipe, and so to supper and to bed.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59