August 1st. Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon my wife and I dined at Sir W. Pen’s, only with Mrs. Turner and her husband, on a damned venison pasty, that stunk like a devil. However, I did not know it till dinner was done. We had nothing but only this, and a leg of mutton, and a pullet or two. Mrs. Markham was here, with her great belly. I was very merry, and after dinner, upon a motion of the women, I was got to go to the play with them-the first I have seen since before the Dutch coming upon our coast, and so to the King’s house, to see “The Custome of the Country.” The house mighty empty — more than ever I saw it — and an ill play. After the play, we into the house, and spoke with Knipp, who went abroad with us by coach to the Neat Houses in the way to Chelsy; and there, in a box in a tree, we sat and sang, and talked and eat; my wife out of humour, as she always is, when this woman is by. So, after it was dark, we home. Set Knepp down at home, who told us the story how Nell is gone from the King’s house, and is kept by my Lord Buckhurst. Then we home, the gates of the City shut, it being so late: and at Newgate we find them in trouble, some thieves having this night broke open prison. So we through, and home; and our coachman was fain to drive hard from two or three fellows, which he said were rogues, that he met at the end of Blow-bladder Street, next Cheapside. So set Mrs. Turner home, and then we home, and I to the Office a little; and so home and to bed, my wife in an ill humour still.
2nd. Up, but before I rose my wife fell into angry discourse of my kindness yesterday to Mrs. Knipp, and leading her, and sitting in the coach hand in hand, and my arm about her middle, and in some bad words reproached me with it. I was troubled, but having much business in my head and desirous of peace rose and did not provoke her. So she up and come to me and added more, and spoke basely of my father, who I perceive did do something in the country, at her last being there, that did not like her, but I would not enquire into anything, but let her talk, and when ready away to the Office I went, where all the morning I was, only Mr. Gawden come to me, and he and I home to my chamber, and there reckoned, and there I received my profits for Tangier of him, and £250 on my victualling score. He is a most noble-minded man as ever I met with, and seems to own himself much obliged to me, which I will labour to make him; for he is a good man also: we talked on many good things relating to the King’s service, and, in fine, I had much matter of joy by this morning’s work, receiving above £400 of him, on one account or other; and a promise that, though I lay down my victualling place, yet, as long as he continues victualler, I shall be the better by him. To the office again, and there evened all our business with Mr. Kinaston about Colonel Norwood’s Bill of Exchange from Tangier, and I am glad of it, for though he be a good man, yet his importunity tries me. So home to dinner, where Mr. Hater with me and W. Hewer, because of their being in the way after dinner, and so to the office after dinner, where and with my Lord Bruneker at his lodgings all the afternoon and evening making up our great account for the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, but not so as pleased me yet. So at 12 at night home to supper and to bed, my wife being gone in an ill humour to bed before me. This noon my wife comes to me alone, and tells me she had those upon her and bid me remember it. I asked her why, and she said she had a reason. I do think by something too she said today, that she took notice that I had not lain with her this half-year, that she thinks that I have some doubt that she might be with child by somebody else. Which God knows never entered into my head, or whether my father observed any thing at Brampton with Coleman I know not. But I do not do well to let these beginnings of discontents take so much root between us.
3rd. Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning. Then at noon to dinner, and to the office again, there to enable myself, by finishing our great account, to give it to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury; which I did, and there was called in to them, to tell them only the total of our debt of the Navy on the 25th of May last, which is above £950,000. Here I find them mighty hot in their answer to the Council-board about our Treasurer’s threepences of the Victualling, and also against the present farm of the Customes, which they do most highly inveigh against. So home again by coach, and there hard to work till very late and my eyes began to fail me, which now upon very little overworking them they do, which grieves me much. Late home, to supper, and to bed.
4th (Lord’s day). Busy at my Office from morning till night, in writing with my own hand fair our large general account of the expence and debt of the Navy, which lasted me till night to do, that I was almost blind, and Mr. Gibson with me all day long, and dined with me, and excellent discourse I had with him, he understanding all the business of the Navy most admirably. To walk a little with my wife at night in the garden, it being very hot weather again, and so to supper and to bed.
5th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten in the morning to St. James’s, where we did our ordinary business with the Duke of York, where I perceive they have taken the highest resolution in the world to become good husbands, and to retrench all charge; and to that end we are commanded to give him an account of the establishment in the seventh year of the late King’s reign, and how offices and salaries have been increased since; and I hope it will end in the taking away some of our Commissioners, though it may be to the lessening of some of our salaries also. After done with the Duke of York, and coming out through his dressing-room, I there spied Signor Francisco tuning his gittar, and Monsieur de Puy with him, who did make him play to me, which he did most admirably — so well as I was mightily troubled that all that pains should have been taken upon so bad an instrument. Walked over the Park with Mr. Gawden, end with him by coach home, and to the Exchange, where I hear the ill news of our loss lately of four rich ships, two from Guinea, one from Gallipoly, all with rich oyles; and the other from Barbadoes, worth, as is guessed, £80,000. But here is strong talk, as if Harman had taken some of the Dutch East India ships, but I dare not yet believe it, and brought them into Lisbon.1 Home, and dined with my wife at Sir W. Pen’s, where a very good pasty of venison, better than we expected, the last stinking basely, and after dinner he and my wife and I to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “Love Trickes, or the School of Compliments;” a silly play, only Miss [Davis’s] dancing in a shepherd’s clothes did please us mightily. Thence without much pleasure home and to my Office, so home, to supper, and to bed. My wife mighty angry with Nell, who is turned a very gossip, and gads abroad as soon as our backs are turned, and will put her away tomorrow, which I am not sorry for.
1 “Sept. 6, 1667. John Clarke to James Hickes. A vessel arrived from Harwich brings news that the English lost 600 to 700 men in the attempt on St. Christopher; that Sir John Harman was not then there, but going with 11 ships, and left a ketch at Barbadoes to bring more soldiers after him; that the ketch met a French sloop with a packet from St. Christopher to their fleet at Martinico, and took her, whereupon Sir John Harman sailed there and fell upon their fleet of 27 sail, 25 of which he sank, and burnt the others, save two which escaped; also that he left three of his fleet there, and went with the rest to Nevis, to make another attempt on St. Christopher. “Calendar of State Payers, 1667, p. 447
6th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning very full of business. A full Board. Here, talking of news, my Lord Anglesey did tell us that the Dutch do make a further bogle with us about two or three things, which they will be satisfied in, he says, by us easily; but only in one, it seems, they do demand that we shall not interrupt their East Indiamen coming home, and of which they are in some fear; and we are full of hopes that we have ‘light upon some of them, and carried them into Lisbon, by Harman; which God send! But they, which do shew the low esteem they have of us, have the confidence to demand that we shall have a cessation on our parts, and yet they at liberty to take what they will; which is such an affront, as another cannot be devised greater. At noon home to dinner, where I find Mrs. Wood, formerly Bab. Shelden, and our Mercer, who is dressed today in a paysan dress, that looks mighty pretty. We dined and sang and laughed mighty merry, and then I to the Office, only met at the door with Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Burroughs, who I took in and drank with, but was afraid my wife should see them, they being, especially the first, a prattling gossip, and so after drinking with them parted, and I to the Office, busy as long as my poor eyes would endure, which troubles me mightily and then into the garden with my wife, and to Sir W. Batten’s with [Sir] W. Pen and [Sir] J. Minnes, and there eat a melon and talked, and so home to supper and to bed. My wife, as she said last night, hath put away Nell today, for her gossiping abroad and telling of stories. Sir W. Batten did tell me to-night that the Council have ordered a hearing before them of Carcasses business, which do vex me mightily, that we should be troubled so much by an idle rogue, a servant of our own, and all my thoughts to-night have been how to manage the matter before the Council.
7th. Up, and at the office very busy, and did much business all the morning. My wife abroad with her maid Jane and Tom all the afternoon, being gone forth to eat some pasties at “The Bottle of Hay,” in St. John’s Street, as you go to Islington, of which she is mighty fond, and I dined at home alone, and at the office close all the afternoon, doing much business to my great content. This afternoon Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, comes to me about business, and tells me that though the King and my Lady Castlemayne are friends again, she is not at White Hall, but at Sir D. Harvy’s, whither the King goes to her; and he says she made him ask her forgiveness upon his knees, and promised to offend her no more so: that, indeed, she did threaten to bring all his bastards to his closet-door, and hath nearly hectored him out of his wits. I at my office till night, and then home to my pipe, my wife not coming home, which vexed me. I then into the garden, and there walked alone in the garden till 10 at night, when she come home, having been upon the water and could not get home sooner. So to supper, and to bed.
8th. Up, and all the morning at the office, where busy, and at noon home to dinner, where Creed dined with us, who tells me that Sir Henry Bellasses is dead of the duell he fought about ten days ago, with Tom Porter; and it is pretty to see how the world talk of them as a couple of fools, that killed one another out of love. After dinner to the office a while, and then with my wife to the Temple, where I light and sent her to her tailor’s. I to my bookseller’s; where, by and by, I met Mr. Evelyn, and talked of several things, but particularly of the times: and he tells me that wise men do prepare to remove abroad what they have, for that we must be ruined, our case being past relief, the kingdom so much in debt, and the King minding nothing but his lust, going two days a-week to see my Lady Castlemayne at Sir D. Harvy’s. He gone, I met with Mr. Moore, who tells me that my Lord Hinchingbroke is now with his mistress, but not that he is married, as W. Howe come and told us the other day. So by coach to White Hall, and there staid a little, thinking to see Sir G. Carteret, but missed him, and so by coach took up my wife, and so home, and as far as Bow, where we staid and drank, and there, passing by Mr. Lowther and his lady, they stopped and we talked a little with them, they being in their gilt coach, and so parted; and presently come to us Mr. Andrews, whom I had not seen a good while, who, as other merchants do, do all give over any hopes of things doing well, and so he spends his time here most, playing at bowles. After dining together at the coach-side, we with great pleasure home, and so to the office, where I despatched my business, and home to supper, and to bed.
9th. Up, and betimes with Sir H. Cholmly upon some accounts of Tangier, and then he and I to Westminster, to Mr. Burges, and then walked in the Hall, and he and I talked, and he do really declare that he expects that of necessity this kingdom will fall back again to a commonwealth, and other wise men are of the same mind: this family doing all that silly men can do, to make themselves unable to support their kingdom, minding their lust and their pleasure, and making their government so chargeable, that people do well remember better things were done, and better managed, and with much less charge under a commonwealth than they have been by this King, and do seem to resolve to wind up his businesses and get money in his hand against the turn do come. After some talk I by coach and there dined, and with us Mr. Batelier by chance coming in to speak with me, and when I come home, and find Mr. Goodgroome, my wife’s singing-master, there I did soundly rattle him for neglecting her so much as he hath done — she not having learned three songs these three months and more. After dinner my wife abroad with Mrs. Turner, and I to the office, where busy all the afternoon, and in the evening by coach to St. James’s, and there met Sir W. Coventry; and he and I walked in the Park an hour. And then to his chamber, where he read to me the heads of the late great dispute between him and the rest of the Commissioners of the Treasury, and our new Treasurer of the Navy where they have overthrown him the last Wednesday, in the great dispute touching his having the payment of the Victualler, which is now settled by Council that he is not to have it and, indeed, they have been most just, as well as most severe and bold, in the doing this against a man of his quality; but I perceive he do really make no difference between any man. He tells me this day it is supposed the peace is ratified at Bredah, and all that matter over. We did talk of many retrenchments of charge of the Navy which he will put in practice, and every where else; though, he tells me, he despairs of being able to do what ought to be done for the saving of the kingdom, which I tell him, as indeed all the world is almost in hopes of, upon the proceeding of these gentlemen for the regulating of the Treasury, it being so late, and our poverty grown so great, that they want where to set their feet, to begin to do any thing. He tells me how weary he hath for this year and a half been of the war; and how in the Duke of York’s bedchamber, at Christ Church, at Oxford, when the Court was there, he did labour to persuade the Duke to fling off the care of the Navy, and get it committed to other hands; which, if he had done, would have been much to his honour, being just come home with so much honour from sea as he did. I took notice of the sharp letter he wrote, which he sent us to read yesterday, to Sir Edward Spragg, where he is very plain about his leaving his charge of the ships at Gravesend, when the enemy come last up, and several other things: a copy whereof I have kept. But it is done like a most worthy man; and he says it is good, now and then, to tell these gentlemen their duties, for they need it. And it seems, as he tells me, all our Knights are fallen out one with another, he, and Jenings, and Hollis, and (his words were) they are disputing which is the coward among them; and yet men that take the greatest liberty of censuring others! Here, with him, very late, till I could hardly get a coach or link willing to go through the ruines; but I do, but will not do it again, being, indeed, very dangerous. So home and to supper, and bed, my head most full of an answer I have drawn this noon to the Committee of the Council to whom Carcasses business is referred to be examined again.
10th. Up, and to the Office, and there finished the letter about Carcasse, and sent it away, I think well writ, though it troubles me we should be put to trouble by this rogue so much. At the office all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, where I sang and piped with my wife with great pleasure, and did hire a coach to carry us to Barnett tomorrow. After dinner I to the office, and there wrote as long as my eyes would give me leave, and then abroad and to the New Exchange, to the bookseller’s there, where I hear of several new books coming out — Mr. Spratt’s History of the Royal Society, and Mrs. Phillips’s’ poems. Sir John Denham’s poems are going to be all printed together; and, among others, some new things; and among them he showed me a copy of verses of his upon Sir John Minnes’s going heretofore to Bullogne to eat a pig.1 Cowley, he tells me, is dead; who, it seems, was a mighty civil, serious man; which I did not know before. Several good plays are likely to be abroad soon, as Mustapha and Henry the 5th. Here having staid and divertised myself a good while, I home again and to finish my letters by the post, and so home, and betimes to bed with my wife because of rising betimes tomorrow.
1 The collected edition of Denham’s poems is dated 1668. The verses referred to are inscribed “To Sir John Mennis being invited from Calice to Bologne to eat a pig,” and two of the lines run
“Little Admiral John
To Bologne is gone.”
11th (Lord’s day). Up by four o’clock, and ready with Mrs. Turner to take coach before five; which we did, and set on our journey, and got to the Wells at Barnett by seven o’clock, and there found many people a-drinking; but the morning is a very cold morning, so as we were very cold all the way in the coach. Here we met Joseph Batelier, and I talked with him, and here was W. Hewer also, and his uncle Steventon: so, after drinking three glasses and the women nothing, we back by coach to Barnett, where to the Red Lyon, where we ‘light, and went up into the great Room, and there drank, and eat some of the best cheese-cakes that ever I eat in my life, and so took coach again, and W. Hewer on horseback with us, and so to Hatfield, to the inn, next my Lord Salisbury’s house, and there rested ourselves, and drank, and bespoke dinner; and so to church, it being just church-time, and there we find my Lord and my Lady Sands and several fine ladies of the family, and a great many handsome faces and genteel persons more in the church, and did hear a most excellent good sermon, which pleased me mightily, and very devout; it being upon, the signs of saving grace, where it is in a man, and one sign, which held him all this day, was, that where that grace was, there is also the grace of prayer, which he did handle very finely. In this church lies the former Lord of Salisbury, Cecil, buried in a noble tomb. So the church being done, we to our inn, and there dined very well, and mighty merry; and as soon as we had dined we walked out into the Park through the fine walk of trees, and to the Vineyard, and there shewed them that, which is in good order, and indeed a place of great delight; which, together with our fine walk through the Park, was of as much pleasure as could be desired in the world for country pleasure and good ayre. Being come back, and weary with the walk, for as I made it, it was pretty long, being come back to our inne, there the women had pleasure in putting on some straw hats, which are much worn in this country, and did become them mightily, but especially my wife. So, after resting awhile, we took coach again, and back to Barnett, where W. Hewer took us into his lodging, which is very handsome, and there did treat us very highly with cheesecakes, cream, tarts, and other good things; and then walked into the garden, which was pretty, and there filled my pockets full of filberts, and so with much pleasure. Among other things, I met in this house with a printed book of the Life of O. Cromwell, to his honour as a soldier and politician, though as a rebell, the first of that kind that ever I saw, and it is well done. Took coach again, and got home with great content, just at day shutting in, and so as soon as home eat a little and then to bed, with exceeding great content at our day’s work.
12th. My wife waked betimes to call up her maids to washing, and so to bed again, whom I then hugged, it being cold now in the mornings. . . . Up by and by, and with Mr. Gawden by coach to St. James’s, where we find the Duke gone a-hunting with the King, but found Sir W. Coventry within, with whom we discoursed, and he did largely discourse with us about our speedy falling upon considering of retrenchments in the expense of the Navy, which I will put forward as much as I can. So having done there I to Westminster Hall to Burges, and then walked to the New Exchange, and there to my bookseller’s, and did buy Scott’s Discourse of Witches; and do hear Mr. Cowley mightily lamented his death, by Dr. Ward, the Bishop of Winchester, and Dr. Bates, who were standing there, as the best poet of our nation, and as good a man. Thence I to the printseller’s, over against the Exchange towards Covent Garden, and there bought a few more prints of cittys, and so home with them, and my wife and maids being gone over the water to the whitster’s1 with their clothes, this being the first time of her trying this way of washing her linen, I dined at Sir W. Batten’s, and after dinner, all alone to the King’s playhouse, and there did happen to sit just before Mrs. Pierce, and Mrs. Knepp, who pulled me by the hair; and so I addressed myself to them, and talked to them all the intervals of the play, and did give them fruit. The play is “Brenoralt,” which I do find but little in, for my part. Here was many fine ladies-among others, the German Baron, with his lady, who is envoye from the Emperour, and their fine daughter, which hath travelled all Europe over with them, it seems; and is accordingly accomplished, and indeed, is a wonderful pretty woman. Here Sir Philip Frowde, who sat next to me, did tell me how Sir H. Belasses is dead, and that the quarrel between him and Tom Porter, who is fled, did arise in the ridiculous fashion that I was first told it, which is a strange thing between two so good friends. The play being done, I took the women, and Mrs. Corbett, who was with them, by coach, it raining, to Mrs. Manuel’s, the Jew’s wife, formerly a player, who we heard sing with one of the Italians that was there; and, indeed, she sings mightily well; and just after the Italian manner, but yet do not please me like one of Mrs. Knepp’s songs, to a good English tune, the manner of their ayre not pleasing me so well as the fashion of our own, nor so natural. Here I sat a little and then left them, and then by coach home, and my wife not come home, so the office a little and then home, and my wife come; and so, saying nothing where I had been, we to supper and pipe, and so to bed.
1 A bleacher of linen. “The whitsters of Datchet Mead” are referred to by Mrs. Ford (“Merry Wives of Windsor,” act iii., sc. 3).
13th. Up, and to the office, where we sat busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner all alone, my wife being again at the whitster’s. After dinner with Sir W. Pen to St. James’s, where the rest come and attended the Duke of York, with our usual business; who, upon occasion, told us that he did expect this night or tomorrow to hear from Breda of the consummation of the peace. Thence Sir W. Pen and I to the King’s house, and there saw “The Committee,” which I went to with some prejudice, not liking it before, but I do now find it a very good play, and a great deal of good invention in it; but Lacy’s part is so well performed that it would set off anything. The play being done, we with great pleasure home, and there I to the office to finish my letters, and then home to my chamber to sing and pipe till my wife comes home from her washing, which was nine at night, and a dark and rainy night, that I was troubled at her staying out so long. But she come well home, and so to supper and to bed.
14th. Up, and to the office, where we held a meeting extraordinary upon some particular business, and there sat all the morning. At noon, my wife being gone to the whitster’s again to her clothes, I to dinner to Sir W. Batten’s, where much of our discourse concerning Carcasse, who it seems do find success before the Council, and do everywhere threaten us with what he will prove against us, which do vex us to see that we must be subjected to such a rogue of our own servants as this is. By and by to talk of our prize at Hull, and Sir W. Batten offering, again and again, seriously how he would sell his part for £1000 and I considering the knavery of Hogg and his company, and the trouble we may have with the Prince Rupert about the consort ship, and how we are linked with Sir R. Ford, whose son-inlaw too is got thither, and there we intrust him with all our concern, who I doubt not is of the same trade with his father-inlaw for a knave, and then the danger of the sea, if it shall be brought about, or bad debts contracted in the sale, but chiefly to be eased of my fears about all or any of this, I did offer my part to him for £700. With a little beating the bargain, we come to a perfect agreement for £666 13s. 4d., which is two-thirds of £1000, which is my proportion of the prize. I went to my office full of doubts and joy concerning what I had done; but, however, did put into writing the heads of our agreement, and returned to Sir W. Batten, and we both signed them; and Sir R. Ford, being come thither since, witnessed them. So having put it past further dispute I away, satisfied, and took coach and to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Country Captain,” which is a very ordinary play. Methinks I had no pleasure therein at all, and so home again and to my business hard till my wife come home from her clothes, and so with her to supper and to bed. No news yet come of the ratification of the peace which we have expected now every hour since yesterday.
15th. Up, and to the office betimes, where busy, and sat all the morning, vexed with more news of Carcasses proceedings at the Council, insomuch as we four, [Sir] J. Minnes, [Sir] W. Batten, (Sir) W. Pen, and myself, did make an appointment to dine with Sir W. Coventry today to discourse it with him, which we did by going thither as soon as the office was up, and there dined, and very merry, and many good stories, and after dinner to our discourse about Carcasse, and how much we are troubled that we should be brought, as they say we shall, to defend our report before the Council-board with him, and to have a clerk imposed on us. He tells us in short that there is no intention in the Lords for the latter, but wholly the contrary. That they do not desire neither to do anything in disrespect to the Board, and he will endeavour to prevent, as he hath done, our coming to plead at the table with our clerk, and do believe the whole will amount to nothing at the Council, only what he shall declare in behalf of the King against the office, if he offers anything, will and ought to be received, to which we all shew a readiness, though I confess even that (though I think I am as clear as the clearest of them), yet I am troubled to think what trouble a rogue may without cause give a man, though it be only by bespattering a man, and therefore could wish that over, though I fear nothing to be proved. Thence with much satisfaction, and Sir W. Pen and I to the Duke’s house, where a new play. The King and Court there: the house full, and an act begun. And so went to the King’s, and there saw “The Merry Wives of Windsor:” which did not please me at all, in no part of it, and so after the play done we to the Duke’s house, where my wife was by appointment in Sir W. Pen’s coach, and she home, and we home, and I to my office, where busy till letters done, and then home to supper and to bed.
16th. Up, and at the office all the morning, and so at noon to dinner, and after dinner my wife and I to the Duke’s playhouse, where we saw the new play acted yesterday, “The Feign Innocence, or Sir Martin Marr-all;” a play made by my Lord Duke of Newcastle, but, as every body says, corrected by Dryden. It is the most entire piece of mirth, a complete farce from one end to the other, that certainly was ever writ. I never laughed so in all my life. I laughed till my head [ached] all the evening and night with the laughing; and at very good wit therein, not fooling. The house full, and in all things of mighty content to me. Thence to the New Exchange with my wife, where, at my bookseller’s, I saw “The History of the Royall Society,” which, I believe, is a fine book, and have bespoke one in quires. So home, and I to the office a little, and so to my chamber, and read the history of 88 —[See 10th of this month.]— in Speede, in order to my seeing the play thereof acted tomorrow at the King’s house. So to supper in some pain by the sudden change of the weather cold and my drinking of cold drink, which I must I fear begin to leave off, though I shall try it as long as I can without much pain. But I find myself to be full of wind, and my anus to be knit together as it is always with cold. Every body wonders that we have no news from Bredah of the ratification of the peace; and do suspect that there is some stop in it. So to bed.
17th. Up, and all the morning at the office, where we sat, and my head was full of the business of Carcasse, who hath a hearing this morning before the Council and hath summonsed at least thirty persons, and which is wondrous, a great many of them, I hear, do declare more against him than for him, and yet he summonses people without distinction. Sure he is distracted. At noon home to dinner, and presently my wife and I and Sir W. Pen to the King’s playhouse, where the house extraordinary full; and there was the King and Duke of York to see the new play, “Queen Elizabeth’s Troubles and the History of Eighty Eight.” I confess I have sucked in so much of the sad story of Queen Elizabeth, from my cradle, that I was ready to weep for her sometimes; but the play is the most ridiculous that sure ever come upon the stage; and, indeed, is merely a shew, only shews the true garbe of the Queen in those days, just as we see Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth painted; but the play is merely a puppet play, acted by living puppets. Neither the design nor language better; and one stands by and tells us the meaning of things: only I was pleased to see Knipp dance among the milkmaids, and to hear her sing a song to Queen Elizabeth; and to see her come out in her night-gowne with no lockes on, but her bare face and hair only tied up in a knot behind; which is the comeliest dress that ever I saw her in to her advantage. Thence home and went as far as Mile End with Sir W. Pen, whose coach took him up there for his country-house; and after having drunk there, at the Rose and Crowne, a good house for Alderman Bides ale — [John Bide, brewer, Sheriff of London in 1647. — B.]— we parted, and we home, and there I finished my letters, and then home to supper and to bed.
18th (Lord’s day). Up, and being ready, walked up and down to Cree Church, to see it how it is; but I find no alteration there, as they say there was, for my Lord Mayor and Aldermen to come to sermon, as they do every Sunday, as they did formerly to Paul’s. Walk back home and to our own church, where a dull sermon and our church empty of the best sort of people, they being at their country houses, and so home, and there dined with me Mr. Turner and his daughter Betty.1 Her mother should, but they were invited to Sir J. Minnes, where she dined and the others here with me. Betty is grown a fine lady as to carriage and discourse. I and my wife are mightily pleased with her. We had a good haunch of venison, powdered and boiled, and a good dinner and merry. After dinner comes Mr. Pelling the Potticary, whom I had sent for to dine with me, but he was engaged. After sitting an hour to talk we broke up, all leaving Pelling to talk with my wife, and I walked towards White Hall, but, being wearied, turned into St. Dunstan’s Church, where I heard an able sermon of the minister of the place; and stood by a pretty, modest maid, whom I did labour to take by the hand and the body; but she would not, but got further and further from me; and, at last, I could perceive her to take pins out of her pocket to prick me if I should touch her again — which seeing I did forbear, and was glad I did spy her design. And then I fell to gaze upon another pretty maid in a pew close to me, and she on me; and I did go about to take her by the hand, which she suffered a little and then withdrew. So the sermon ended, and the church broke up, and my amours ended also, and so took coach and home, and there took up my wife, and to Islington with her, our old road, but before we got to Islington, between that and Kingsland, there happened an odd adventure: one of our coach-horses fell sick of the staggers, so as he was ready to fall down. The coachman was fain to ‘light, and hold him up, and cut his tongue to make him bleed, and his tail. The horse continued shaking every part of him, as if he had been in an ague, a good while, and his blood settled in his tongue, and the coachman thought and believed he would presently drop down dead; then he blew some tobacco in his nose, upon which the horse sneezed, and, by and by, grows well, and draws us the rest of our way, as well as ever he did; which was one of the strangest things of a horse I ever observed, but he says it is usual. It is the staggers. Staid and eat and drank at Islington, at the old house, and so home, and to my chamber to read, and then to supper and to bed.
1 Betty Turner, who is frequently mentioned after this date, appears to have been a daughter of Serjeant John Turner and his wife Jane, and younger sister of Theophila Turner (see January 4th, 6th, 1668–69).
19th. Up, and at the office all the morning very busy. Towards noon I to Westminster about some tallies at the Exchequer, and then straight home again and dined, and then to sing with my wife with great content, and then I to the office again, where busy, and then out and took coach and to the Duke of York’s house, all alone, and there saw “Sir Martin Marr-all” again, though I saw him but two days since, and do find it the most comical play that ever I saw in my life. Soon as the play done I home, and there busy till night, and then comes Mr. Moore to me only to discourse with me about some general things touching the badness of the times, how ill they look, and he do agree with most people that I meet with, that we shall fall into a commonwealth in a few years, whether we will or no; for the charge of a monarchy is such as the kingdom cannot be brought to bear willingly, nor are things managed so well nowadays under it, as heretofore. He says every body do think that there is something extraordinary that keeps us so long from the news of the peace being ratified, which the King and the Duke of York have expected these six days. He gone, my wife and I and Mrs. Turner walked in the garden a good while till 9 at night, and then parted, and I home to supper and to read a little (which I cannot refrain, though I have all the reason in the world to favour my eyes, which every day grow worse and worse by over-using them), and then to bed.
20th. Up, and to my chamber to set down my journall for the last three days, and then to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and then with my wife abroad, set her down at the Exchange, and I to St. James’s, where find Sir W. Coventry alone, and fell to discourse of retrenchments; and thereon he tells how he hath already propounded to the Lords Committee of the Councils how he would have the Treasurer of the Navy a less man, that might not sit at the Board, but be subject to the Board. He would have two Controllers to do his work and two Surveyors, whereof one of each to take it by turns to reside at Portsmouth and Chatham by a kind of rotation; he would have but only one Clerk of the Acts. He do tell me he hath propounded how the charge of the Navy in peace shall come within £200,000, by keeping out twenty-four ships in summer, and ten in the winter. And several other particulars we went over of retrenchment: and I find I must provide some things to offer that I may be found studious to lessen the King’s charge. By and by comes my Lord Bruncker, and then we up to the Duke of York, and there had a hearing of our usual business, but no money to be heard of — no, not £100 upon the most pressing service that can be imagined of bringing in the King’s timber from Whittlewood, while we have the utmost want of it, and no credit to provide it elsewhere, and as soon as we had done with the Duke of York, Sir W. Coventry did single [out] Sir W. Pen and me, and desired us to lend the King some money, out of the prizes we have taken by Hogg. He did not much press it, and we made but a merry answer thereto; but I perceive he did ask it seriously, and did tell us that there never was so much need of it in the world as now, we being brought to the lowest straits that can be in the world. This troubled me much. By and by Sir W. Batten told me that he heard how Carcasse do now give out that he will hang me, among the rest of his threats of him and Pen, which is the first word I ever heard of the kind from him concerning me. It do trouble me a little, though I know nothing he can possibly find to fasten on me. Thence, with my Lord Bruncker to the Duke’s Playhouse (telling my wife so at the ‘Change, where I left her), and there saw “Sir Martin Marr-all” again, which I have now seen three times, and it hath been acted but four times, and still find it a very ingenious play, and full of variety. So home, and to the office, where my eyes would not suffer me to do any thing by candlelight, and so called my wife and walked in the garden. She mighty pressing for a new pair of cuffs, which I am against the laying out of money upon yet, which makes her angry. So home to supper and to bed.
21st. Up, and my wife and I fell out about the pair of cuffs, which she hath a mind to have to go to see the ladies dancing tomorrow at Betty Turner’s school; and do vex me so that I am resolved to deny them her. However, by-and-by a way was found that she had them, and I well satisfied, being unwilling to let our difference grow higher upon so small an occasion and frowardness of mine. Then to the office, my Lord Bruncker and I all the morning answering petitions, which now by a new Council’s order we are commanded to set a day in a week apart for, and we resolve to do it by turn, my Lord and I one week and two others another. At noon home to dinner, and then my wife and I mighty pleasant abroad, she to the New Exchange and I to the Commissioners of the Treasury, who do sit very close, and are bringing the King’s charges as low as they can; but Sir W. Coventry did here again tell me that he is very serious in what he said to Sir W. Pen and me yesterday about our lending of money to the King; and says that people do talk that we had had the King’s ships at his cost to take prizes, and that we ought to lend the King money more than other people. I did tell him I will consider it, and so parted; and do find I cannot avoid it. So to Westminster Hall and there staid a while, and thence to Mrs. Martin’s, and there did take a little pleasure both with her and her sister. Here sat and talked, and it is a strange thing to see the impudence of the woman, that desires by all means to have her mari come home, only that she might beat liberty to have me para toker her, which is a thing I do not so much desire. Thence by coach, took up my wife, and home and out to Mile End, and there drank, and so home, and after some little reading in my chamber, to supper and to bed. This day I sent my cozen Roger a tierce of claret, which I give him. This morning come two of Captain Cooke’s boys, whose voices are broke, and are gone from the Chapel, but have extraordinary skill; and they and my boy, with his broken voice, did sing three parts; their names were Blaewl and Loggings; but, notwithstanding their skill, yet to hear them sing with their broken voices, which they could not command to keep in tune, would make a man mad — so bad it was.
22nd. Up, and to the office; whence Lord Bruncker, J. Minnes, W. Pen, and I, went to examine some men that are put in there, for rescuing of men that were pressed into the service: and we do plainly see that the desperate condition that we put men into for want of their pay, makes them mad, they being as good men as ever were in the world, and would as readily serve the King again, were they but paid. Two men leapt overboard, among others, into the Thames, out of the vessel into which they were pressed, and were shot by the soldiers placed there to keep them, two days since; so much people do avoid the King’s service! And then these men are pressed without money, and so we cannot punish them for any thing, so that we are forced only to make a show of severity by keeping them in prison, but are unable to punish them. Returning to the office, did ask whether we might visit Commissioner Pett, to which, I confess, I have no great mind; and it was answered that he was close prisoner, and we could not; but the Lieutenant of the Tower would send for him to his lodgings, if we would: so we put it off to another time. Returned to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon to Captain Cocke’s to dinner; where Lord Bruncker and his Lady, Matt. Wren, and Bulteale, and Sir Allen Apsly; the last of whom did make good sport, he being already fallen under the retrenchments of the new Committee, as he is Master Falconer;1 which makes him mad, and swears that we are doing that the Parliament would have done — that is, that we are now endeavouring to destroy one another. But it was well observed by some at the table, that they do not think this retrenching of the King’s charge will be so acceptable to the Parliament, they having given the King a revenue of so many £100,000’s a-year more than his predecessors had, that he might live in pomp, like a king. After dinner with my Lord Bruncker and his mistress to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Indian Emperour;” where I find Nell come again, which I am glad of; but was most infinitely displeased with her being put to act the Emperour’s daughter; which is a great and serious part, which she do most basely. The rest of the play, though pretty good, was not well acted by most of them, methought; so that I took no great content in it. But that, that troubled me most was, that Knipp sent by Moll’ to desire to speak to me after the play; and she beckoned to me at the end of the play, and I promised to come; but it was so late, and I forced to step to Mrs. Williams’s lodgings with my Lord Bruncker and her, where I did not stay, however, for fear of her shewing me her closet, and thereby forcing me to give her something; and it was so late, that for fear of my wife’s coming home before me, I was forced to go straight home, which troubled me. Home and to the office a little, and then home and to my chamber to read, and anon, late, comes home my wife, with Mr. Turner and Mrs. Turner, with whom she supped, having been with Mrs. Turner today at her daughter’s school, to see her daughters dancing, and the rest, which she says is fine. They gone, I to supper and to bed. My wife very fine today, in her new suit of laced cuffs and perquisites. This evening Pelling comes to me, and tells me that this night the Dutch letters are come, and that the peace was proclaimed there the 19th inst., and that all is finished; which, for my life, I know not whether to be glad or sorry for, a peace being so necessary, and yet the peace is so bad in its terms.
1 The post of Master Falconer was afterwards granted to Charles’s son by Nell Gwyn, and it is still held by the Duke of St. Albans, as an hereditary office. — B.
23rd. Up, and Greeting comes, who brings me a tune for two flageolets, which we played, and is a tune played at the King’s playhouse, which goes so well, that I will have more of them, and it will be a mighty pleasure for me to have my wife able to play a part with me, which she will easily, I find, do. Then abroad to White Hall in a hackney-coach with Sir W. Pen: and in our way, in the narrow street near Paul’s, going the backway by Tower Street, and the coach being forced to put back, he was turning himself into a cellar — [So much of London was yet in ruins. — B]— which made people cry out to us, and so we were forced to leap out — he out of one, and I out of the other boote;1 Query, whether a glass-coach would have permitted us to have made the escape? —[See note on introduction of glass coaches, September 23rd, 1667.]— neither of us getting any hurt; nor could the coach have got much hurt had we been in it; but, however, there was cause enough for us to do what we could to save ourselves. So being all dusty, we put into the Castle tavern, by the Savoy, and there brushed ourselves, and then to White Hall with our fellows to attend the Council, by order upon some proposition of my Lord Anglesey, we were called in. The King there: and it was about considering how the fleete might be discharged at their coming in shortly (the peace being now ratified, and it takes place on Monday next, which Sir W. Coventry said would make some clashing between some of us twenty to one, for want of more warning, but the wind has kept the boats from coming over), whether by money or tickets, and cries out against tickets, but the matter was referred for us to provide an answer to, which we must do in a few days. So we parted, and I to Westminster to the Exchequer, to see what sums of money other people lend upon the Act; and find of all sizes from £1000 to £100 nay, to £50, nay, to £20, nay, to £5: for I find that one Dr. Reade, Doctor of Law, gives no more, and others of them £20; which is a poor thing, methinks, that we should stoop so low as to borrow such sums. Upon the whole, I do think to lend, since I must lend, £300, though, God knows! it is much against my will to lend any, unless things were in better condition, and likely to continue so. Thence home and there to dinner, and after dinner by coach out again, setting my wife down at Unthanke’s, and I to the Treasury-chamber, where I waited, talking with Sir G. Downing, till the Lords met. He tells me how he will make all the Exchequer officers, of one side and t’other, to lend the King money upon the Act; and that the least clerk shall lend money, and he believes the least will £100: but this I do not believe. He made me almost ashamed that we of the Navy had not in all this time lent any; so that I find it necessary I should, and so will speedily do it, before any of my fellows begin, and lead me to a bigger sum. By and by the Lords come; and I perceive Sir W. Coventry is the man, and nothing done till he comes. Among other things, I hear him observe, looking over a paper, that Sir John Shaw is a miracle of a man, for he thinks he executes more places than any man in England; for there he finds him a Surveyor of some of the King’s woods, and so reckoned up many other places, the most inconsistent in the world. Their business with me was to consider how to assigne such of our commanders as will take assignements upon the Act for their wages; and the consideration thereof was referred to me to give them an answer the next sitting: which is a horrid poor thing: but they scruple at nothing of honour in the case. So away hence, and called my wife, and to the King’s house, and saw “The Mayden Queene,” which pleases us mightily; and then away, and took up Mrs. Turner at her door, and so to Mile End, and there drank, and so back to her house, it being a fine evening, and there supped. The first time I ever was there since they lived there; and she hath all things so neat and well done, that I am mightily pleased with her, and all she do. So here very merry, and then home and to bed, my eyes being very bad. I find most people pleased with their being at ease, and safe of a peace, that they may know no more charge or hazard of an ill-managed war: but nobody speaking of the peace with any content or pleasure, but are silent in it, as of a thing they are ashamed of; no, not at Court, much less in the City.
1 The “boot” was originally a projection on each side of the coach, where the passengers sat with their backs to the carriage. Such a “boot” is seen in the carriage containing the attendants of Queen Elizabeth, in Hoefnagel’s well-known picture of Nonsuch Palace, dated 1582. Taylor, the Water Poet, the inveterate opponent of the introduction of coaches, thus satirizes the one in which he was forced to take his place as a passenger: “It wears two boots and no spurs, sometimes having two pairs of legs in one boot; and oftentimes against nature most preposterously it makes fair ladies wear the boot. Moreover, it makes people imitate sea-crabs, in being drawn sideways, as they are when they sit in the boot of the coach.” In course of time these projections were abolished, and the coach then consisted of three parts, viz., the body, the boot (on the top of which the coachman sat), and the baskets at the back.
24th (St. Bartholomew’s day). This morning was proclaimed the peace between us and the States of the United Provinces, and also of the King of France and Denmarke; and in the afternoon the Proclamations were printed and come out; and at night the bells rung, but no bonfires that I hear of any where, partly from the dearness of firing, but principally from the little content most people have in the peace. All the morning at the office. At noon dined, and Creed with me, at home. After dinner we to a play, and there saw “The Cardinall” at the King’s house, wherewith I am mightily pleased; but, above all, with Becke Marshall. But it is pretty to observe how I look up and down for, and did spy Knipp; but durst not own it to my wife that I see her, for fear of angering her, who do not like my kindness to her, and so I was forced not to take notice of her, and so homeward, leaving Creed at the Temple: and my belly now full with plays, that I do intend to bind myself to see no more till Michaelmas. So with my wife to Mile End, and there drank of Bides ale, and so home. Most of our discourse is about our keeping a coach the next year, which pleases my wife mightily; and if I continue as able as now, it will save us money. This day comes a letter from the Duke of York to the Board to invite us, which is as much as to fright us, into the lending the King money; which is a poor thing, and most dishonourable, and shows in what a case we are at the end of the war to our neighbours. And the King do now declare publickly to give 10 per cent. to all lenders; which makes some think that the Dutch themselves will send over money, and lend it upon our publick faith, the Act of Parliament. So home and to my office, wrote a little, and then home to supper and to bed.
25th (Lord’s day). Up, and to church, and thence home; and Pelling comes by invitation to dine with me, and much pleasant discourse with him. After dinner, away by water to White Hall, where I landed Pelling, who is going to his wife, where she is in the country, at Parson’s Greene: and myself to Westminster, and there at the Swan I did baiser Frank, and to the parish church, thinking to see Betty Michell; and did stay an hour in the crowd, thinking, by the end of a nose that I saw, that it had been her; but at last the head turned towards me, and it was her mother, which vexed me, and so I back to my boat, which had broke one of her oars in rowing, and had now fastened it again; and so I up to Putney, and there stepped into the church, to look upon the fine people there, whereof there is great store, and the young ladies; and so walked to Barne–Elmes, whither I sent Russel, reading of Boyle’s Hydrostatickes, which are of infinite delight. I walked in the Elmes a good while, and then to my boat, and leisurely home, with great pleasure to myself; and there supped, and W. Hewer with us, with whom a great deal of good talk touching the Office, and so to bed.
26th. Up, and Greeting come, and I reckoned with him for his teaching of my wife and me upon the flageolet to this day, and so paid him for having as much as he can teach us. Then to the Office, where we sat upon a particular business all the morning: and my Lord Anglesey with us: who, and my Lord Bruncker, do bring us news how my Lord Chancellor’s seal is to be taken away from him today. The thing is so great and sudden to me, that it put me into a very great admiration what should be the meaning of it; and they do not own that they know what it should be: but this is certain, that the King did resolve it on Saturday, and did yesterday send the Duke of Albemarle, the only man fit for those works, to him for his purse: to which the Chancellor answered, that he received it from the King, and would deliver it to the King’s own hand, and so civilly returned the Duke of Albemarle without it; and this morning my Lord Chancellor is to be with the King, to come to an end in the business. After sitting, we rose, and my wife being gone abroad with Mrs. Turner to her washing at the whitster’s, I dined at Sir W. Batten’s, where Mr. Boreman was, who come from White Hall; who tells us that he saw my Lord Chancellor come in his coach with some of his men, without his Seal, to White Hall to his chamber; and thither the King and Duke of York come and staid together alone, an hour or more: and it is said that the King do say that he will have the Parliament meet, and that it will prevent much trouble by having of him out of their enmity, by his place being taken away; for that all their enmity will be at him. It is said also that my Lord Chancellor answers, that he desires he may be brought to his trial, if he have done any thing to lose his office; and that he will be willing, and is most desirous, to lose that, and his head both together. Upon what terms they parted nobody knows but the Chancellor looked sad, he says. Then in comes Sir Richard Ford, and says he hears that there is nobody more presses to reconcile the King and Chancellor than the Duke of Albemarle and Duke of Buckingham: the latter of which is very strange, not only that he who was so lately his enemy should do it, but that this man, that but the other day was in danger of losing his own head, should so soon come to be a mediator for others: it shows a wise Government. They all say that he [Clarendon] is but a poor man, not worth above £3000 a-year in land; but this I cannot believe: and all do blame him for having built so great a house, till he had got a better estate. Having dined, Sir J. Minnes and I to White Hall, where we could be informed in no more than we were told before, nobody knowing the result of the meeting, but that the matter is suspended. So I walked to the King’s playhouse, there to meet Sir W. Pen, and saw “The Surprizall,” a very mean play, I thought: or else it was because I was out of humour, and but very little company in the house. But there Sir W. Pen and I had a great deal of discourse with Moll; who tells us that Nell is already left by my Lord Buckhurst, and that he makes sport of her, and swears she hath had all she could get of him; and Hart,1 her great admirer, now hates her; and that she is very poor, and hath lost my Lady Castlemayne, who was her great friend also but she is come to the House, but is neglected by them all.2 Thence with Sir W. Pen home, and I to the office, where late about business, and then home to supper, and so to bed.
1 Charles Hart, great-nephew of Shakespeare, a favourite actor. He is credited with being Nell Gwyn’s first lover (or Charles I., as the wits put it), and with having brought her on the stage. He died of stone, and was buried at Stanmore Magna, Middlesex, where he had a country house.
2 Lord Buckhurst’s liaison with Nell Gwyn probably came to an end about this time. We learn from Pepys that in January, 1667–68, the king sent several times for Nelly (see January 11th, 1667–68). Nell’s eldest son by Charles II., Charles Beauclerc, was not born till May 8th, 1670. He was created Earl of Burford in 1676 and Duke of St. Albans in 1684.
27th. Up, and am invited betimes to be godfather tomorrow to Captain Poole’s child with my Lady Pen and Lady Batten, which I accepted out of complaisance to them, and so to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon dined at home, and then my wife and I, with Sir W. Pen, to the New Exchange, set her down, and he and I to St. James’s, where Sir J. Minnes, [Sir] W. Batten, and we waited upon the Duke of York, but did little business, and he, I perceive, his head full of other business, and of late hath not been very ready to be troubled with any of our business. Having done with him, Sir J. Minnes, [Sir] W. Batten and I to White Hall, and there hear how it is like to go well enough with my Lord Chancellor; that he is like to keep his Seal, desiring that he may stand his trial in Parliament, if they will accuse him of any thing. Here Sir J. Minnes and I looking upon the pictures; and Mr. Chevins, being by, did take us, of his own accord, into the King’s closet, to shew us some pictures, which, indeed, is a very noble place, and exceeding great variety of brave pictures, and the best hands. I could have spent three or four hours there well, and we had great liberty to look and Chevins seemed to take pleasure to shew us, and commend the pictures. Having done here, I to the Exchange, and there find my wife gone with Sir W. Pen. So I to visit Colonel Fitzgerald, who hath been long sick at Woolwich, where most of the officers and soldiers quartered there, since the Dutch being in the river, have died or been sick, and he among the rest; and, by the growth of his beard and gray [hairs], I did not know him. His desire to speak with me was about the late command for my paying no more pensions for Tangier. Thence home, and there did business, and so in the evening home to supper and to bed. This day Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, was with me; and tells me how this business of my Lord Chancellor’s was certainly designed in my Lady Castlemayne’s chamber; and that, when he went from the King on Monday morning, she was in bed, though about twelve o’clock, and ran out in her smock into her aviary looking into White Hall garden; and thither her woman brought her her nightgown; and stood joying herself at the old man’s going away: and several of the gallants of White Hall, of which there were many staying to see the Chancellor return, did talk to her in her birdcage; among others, Blancford, telling her she was the bird of paradise.1
1 Clarendon refers to this scene in the continuation of his Life (ed. 1827, vol. iii., p. 291), and Lister writes: “Lady Castlemaine rose hastily from her noontide bed, and came out into her aviary, anxious to read in the saddened air of her distinguished enemy some presage of his fall” (“Life of Clarendon,” vol. ii., p. 412).
28th. Up; and staid undressed till my tailor’s boy did mend my vest, in order to my going to the christening anon. Then out and to White Hall, to attend the Council, by their order, with an answer to their demands touching our advice for the paying off of the seamen, when the ships shall come in, which answer is worth seeing, shewing the badness of our condition. There, when I come, I was forced to stay till past twelve o’clock, in a crowd of people in the lobby, expecting the hearing of the great cause of Alderman Barker against my Lord Deputy of Ireland, for his ill usage in his business of land there; but the King and Council sat so long, as they neither heard them nor me. So when they rose, I into the House, and saw the King and Queen at dinner, and heard a little of their viallins’ musick, and so home, and there to dinner, and in the afternoon with my Lady Batten, Pen, and her daughter, and my wife, to Mrs. Poole’s, where I mighty merry among the women, and christened the child, a girl, Elizabeth, which, though a girl, yet my Lady Batten would have me to give the name. After christening comes Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, and Mr. Lowther, and mighty merry there, and I forfeited for not kissing the two godmothers presently after the christening, before I kissed the mother, which made good mirth; and so anon away, and my wife and I took coach and went twice round Bartholomew fayre; which I was glad to see again, after two years missing it by the plague, and so home and to my chamber a little, and so to supper and to bed.
29th. Up, and Mr. Moore comes to me, and among other things tells me that my Lord Crew and his friends take it very ill of me that my Lord Sandwich’s sea-fee should be retrenched, and so reported from this Office, and I give them no notice of it. The thing, though I know to be false — at least, that nothing went from our office towards it — yet it troubled me, and therefore after the office rose I went and dined with my Lord Crew, and before dinner I did enter into that discourse, and laboured to satisfy him; but found, though he said little, yet that he was not yet satisfied; but after dinner did pray me to go and see how it was, whether true or no. Did tell me if I was not their friend, they could trust to nobody, and that he did not forget my service and love to my Lord, and adventures for him in dangerous times, and therefore would not willingly doubt me now; but yet asked my pardon if, upon this news, he did begin to fear it. This did mightily trouble me: so I away thence to White Hall, but could do nothing. So home, and there wrote all my letters, and then, in the evening, to White Hall again, and there met Sir Richard Browne, Clerk to the Committee for retrenchments, who assures me no one word was ever yet mentioned about my Lord’s salary. This pleased me, and I to Sir G. Carteret, who I find in the same doubt about it, and assured me he saw it in our original report, my Lord’s name with a discharge against it. This, though I know to be false, or that it must be a mistake in my clerk, I went back to Sir R. Browne and got a sight of their paper, and find how the mistake arose, by the ill copying of it out for the Council from our paper sent to the Duke of York, which I took away with me and shewed Sir G. Carteret, and thence to my Lord Crew, and the mistake ended very merrily, and to all our contents, particularly my own, and so home, and to the office, and then to my chamber late, and so to supper and to bed. I find at Sir G. Carteret’s that they do mightily joy themselves in the hopes of my Lord Chancellor’s getting over this trouble; and I make them believe, and so, indeed, I do believe he will, that my Lord Chancellor is become popular by it. I find by all hands that the Court is at this day all to pieces, every man of a faction of one sort or other, so as it is to be feared what it will come to. But that, that pleases me is, I hear to-night that Mr. Bruncker is turned away yesterday by the Duke of York, for some bold words he was heard by Colonel Werden to say in the garden, the day the Chancellor was with the King — that he believed the King would be hectored out of everything. For this the Duke of York, who all say hath been very strong for his father-inlaw at this trial, hath turned him away: and every body, I think, is glad of it; for he was a pestilent rogue, an atheist, that would have sold his King and country for 6d. almost, so covetous and wicked a rogue he is, by all men’s report. But one observed to me, that there never was the occasion of men’s holding their tongues at Court and everywhere else as there is at this day, for nobody knows which side will be uppermost.
30th. Up, and to White Hall, where at the Council Chamber I hear Barker’s business is like to come to a hearing today, having failed the last day. I therefore to Westminster to see what I could do in my ‘Chequer business about Tangier, and finding nothing to be done, returned, and in the Lobby staid till almost noon expecting to hear Barker’s business, but it was not called, so I come away. Here I met with Sir G. Downing, who tells me of Sir W. Pen’s offering to lend £500; and I tell him of my £300, which he would have me to lend upon the credit of the latter part of the Act; saying, that by that means my 10 per cent. will continue to me the longer. But I understand better, and will do it upon the £380,000, which will come to be paid the sooner; there being no delight in lending money now, to be paid by the King two years hence. But here he and Sir William Doyly were attending the Council as Commissioners for sick and wounded, and prisoners: and they told me their business, which was to know how we shall do to release our prisoners; for it seems the Dutch have got us to agree in the treaty, as they fool us in anything, that the dyet of the prisoners on both sides shall be paid for, before they be released; which they have done, knowing ours to run high, they having more prisoners of ours than we have of theirs; so that they are able and most ready to discharge the debt of theirs, but we are neither able nor willing to do that for ours, the debt of those in Zealand only, amounting to above £5000 for men taken in the King’s own ships, besides others taken in merchantmen, which expect, as is usual, that the King should redeem them; but I think he will not, by what Sir G. Downing says. This our prisoners complain of there; and say in their letters, which Sir G. Downing shewed me, that they have made a good feat that they should be taken in the service of the King, and the King not pay for their victuals while prisoners for him. But so far they are from doing thus with their men, as we do to discourage ours, that I find in the letters of some of our prisoners there, which he shewed me, that they have with money got our men, that they took, to work and carry their ships home for them; and they have been well rewarded, and released when they come into Holland: which is done like a noble, brave, and wise people. Having staid out my time that I thought fit for me to return home, I home and there took coach and with my wife to Walthamstow; to Sir W. Pen’s, by invitation, the first time I have been there, and there find him and all their guests (of our office only) at dinner, which was a very bad dinner, and everything suitable, that I never knew people in my life that make their flutter, that do things so meanly. I was sick to see it, but was merry at some ridiculous humours of my Lady Batten, who, as being an ill-bred woman, would take exceptions at anything any body said, and I made good sport at it. After dinner into the garden and wilderness, which is like the rest of the house, nothing in order, nor looked after. By and by comes newes that my Lady Viner was come to see Mrs. Lowther, which I was glad of, and all the pleasure I had here was to see her, which I did, and saluted her, and find she is pretty, though not so eminently so as people talked of her, and of very pretty carriage and discourse. I sat with them and her an hour talking and pleasant, and then slunk away alone without taking leave, leaving my wife there to come home with them, and I to Bartholomew fayre, to walk up and down; and there, among other things, find my Lady Castlemayne at a puppet-play, “Patient Grizill,”1 and the street full of people expecting her coming out. I confess I did wonder at her courage to come abroad, thinking the people would abuse her; but they, silly people! do not know her work she makes, and therefore suffered her with great respect to take coach, and she away, without any trouble at all, which I wondered at, I confess. I only walked up and down, and, among others, saw Tom Pepys, the turner, who hath a shop, and I think lives in the fair when the fair is not. I only asked how he did as he stood in the street, and so up and down sauntering till late and then home, and there discoursed with my wife of our bad entertainment today, and so to bed. I met Captain Cocke today at the Council Chamber and took him with me to Westminster, who tells me that there is yet expectation that the Chancellor will lose the Seal, and that he is sure that the King hath said it to him who told it him, and he fears we shall be soon broke in pieces, and assures me that there have been high words between the Duke of York and Sir W. Coventry, for his being so high against the Chancellor; so as the Duke of York would not sign some papers that he brought, saying that he could not endure the sight of him: and that Sir W. Coventry answered, that what he did was in obedience to the King’s commands; and that he did not think any man fit to serve a Prince, that did not know how to retire and live a country life. This is all I hear.
1 The well-known story, first told by Boccaccio, then by Petrarca, afterwards by Chaucer, and which has since become proverbial. Tom Warton, writing about 1770, says, “I need not mention that it is to this day represented in England, on a stage of the lowest species, and of the highest antiquity: I mean at a puppet show” (“Hist. of English Poetry,” sect. xv.). — B.
31st. At the office all the morning; where, by Sir W. Pen, I do hear that the Seal was fetched away to the King yesterday from the Lord Chancellor by Secretary Morrice; which puts me into a great horror, to have it done after so much debate and confidence that it would not be done at last. When we arose I took a turn with Lord Bruncker in the garden, and he tells me that he hath of late discoursed about this business with Sir W. Coventry, who he finds is the great man in the doing this business of the Chancellor’s, and that he do persevere in it, though against the Duke of York’s opinion, to which he says that the Duke of York was once of the same mind, and if he hath thought fit since, for any reason, to alter his mind, he hath not found any to alter his own, and so desires to be excused, for it is for the King’s and kingdom’s good. And it seems that the Duke of York himself was the first man that did speak to the King of this, though he hath since altered his mind; and that W. Coventry did tell the Duke of York that he was not fit to serve a Prince that did not know how to retire, and live a private life; and that he was ready for that, if it be his and the King’s pleasure. After having wrote my letters at the office in the afternoon, I in the evening to White Hall to see how matters go, and there I met with Mr. Ball, of the Excise-office, and he tells me that the Seal is delivered to Sir Orlando Bridgeman; the man of the whole nation that is the best spoken of, and will please most people; and therefore I am mighty glad of it. He was then at my Lord Arlington’s, whither I went, expecting to see him come out; but staid so long, and Sir W. Coventry coming thither, whom I had not a mind should see me there idle upon a post-night, I went home without seeing him; but he is there with his Seal in his hand. So I home, took up my wife, whom I left at Unthanke’s, and so home, and after signing my letters to bed. This day, being dissatisfied with my wife’s learning so few songs of Goodgroome, I did come to a new bargain with him to teach her songs at so much, viz.; 10s. a song, which he accepts of, and will teach her.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53