October 1st. All the morning busy at the office, pleased mightily with my girle that we have got to wait on my wife. At noon dined with Sir G. Carteret and the rest of our officers at his house in Broad Street, they being there upon his accounts. After dinner took coach and to my wife, who was gone before into the Strand, there to buy a nightgown, where I found her in a shop with her pretty girle, and having bought it away home, and I thence to Sir G. Carteret’s again, and so took coach alone, it now being almost night, to White Hall, and there in the Boarded-gallery did hear the musick with which the King is presented this night by Monsieur Grebus, the master of his musick; both instrumentall — I think twenty-four violins — and vocall; an English song upon Peace. But, God forgive me! I never was so little pleased with a concert of musick in my life. The manner of setting of words and repeating them out of order, and that with a number of voices, makes me sick, the whole design of vocall musick being lost by it. Here was a great press of people; but I did not see many pleased with it, only the instrumental musick he had brought by practice to play very just. So thence late in the dark round by the wall home by coach, and there to sing and sup with my wife, and look upon our pretty girle, and so to bed.
2nd. Up, and very busy all the morning, upon my accounts of Tangier, to present to the Commissioners of the Treasury in the afternoon, and the like upon the accounts of the office. This morning come to me Mr. Gawden about business, with his gold chain about his neck, as being Sheriffe of the City this year. At noon to the Treasury Office again, and there dined and did business, and then by coach to the New Exchange, and there met my wife and girl, and took them to the King’s house to see “The Traytour,” which still I like as a very good play; and thence, round by the wall, home, having drunk at the Cock ale-house, as I of late have used to do, and so home and to my chamber to read, and so to supper and to bed.
3rd. Up, and going out of doors, I understand that Sir W. Batten is gone to bed on a sudden again this morning, being struck very ill, and I confess I have observed him for these last two months to look very ill and to look worse and worse. I to St. James’s (though it be a sitting day) to the Duke of York, about the Tangier Committee, which met this morning, and he come to us, and the Charter for the City of Tangier was read and the form of the Court Merchant. That being done Sir W. Coventry took me into the gallery, and walked with me an hour, discoursing of Navy business, and with much kindness to, and confidence in, me still; which I must endeavour to preserve, and will do; and, good man! all his care how to get the Navy paid off, and that all other things therein may go well. He gone, I thence to my Lady Peterborough, who sent for me; and with her an hour talking about her husband’s pension, and how she hath got an order for its being paid again; though, I believe, for all that order, it will hardly be; but of that I said nothing; but her design is to get it paid again: and how to raise money upon it, to clear it from the engagement which lies upon it to some citizens, who lent her husband money, without her knowledge, upon it, to vast loss. She intends to force them to take their money again, and release her husband of those hard terms. The woman is a very wise woman, and is very plain in telling me how her plate and jewels are at pawne for money, and how they are forced to live beyond their estate, and do get nothing by his being a courtier. The lady I pity, and her family. Having done with her, and drunk two glasses of her meade, which she did give me, and so to the Treasurer’s Office, and there find my Lord Bruncker and [Sir] W. Pen at dinner with Sir G. Carteret about his accounts, where I dined and talked and settled some business, and then home, and there took out my wife and Willet, thinking to have gone to a play, but both houses were begun, and so we to the ‘Change, and thence to my tailor’s, and there, the coachman desiring to go home to change his horses, we went with him into a nasty end of all St. Giles’s, and there went into a nasty room, a chamber of his, where he hath a wife and child, and there staid, it growing dark too, and I angry thereat, till he shifted his horses, and then home apace, and there I to business late, and so home, to supper, and walk in the garden with my wife and girle, with whom we are mightily pleased, and after talking and supping, to bed. This noon, going home, I did call on Will Lincolne and agree with him to carry me to Brampton.
4th. Up, and to White Hall to attend the Council about Commissioner Pett’s business, along with my Lord Bruncker and Sir W. Pen, and in the Robe-chamber the Duke of York come to us, the officers of the Navy, and there did meet together about Navy business, where Sir W. Coventry was with us, and among other things did recommend his Royal Highness, now the prizes were disposing, to remember Sir John Harman to the King, for some bounty, and also for my Lady Minnes, which was very nobly done of him. Thence all of us to attend the Council, where we were anon called on, and there was a long hearing of Commissioner Pett, who was there, and there were the two Masters Attendant of Chatham called in, who do deny their having any order from Commissioner Pett about bringing up the great ships, which gives the lie to what he says; but, in general, I find him to be but a weak, silly man, and that is guilty of horrid neglect in this business all along. Here broke off without coming to an issue, but that there should be another hearing on Monday next. So the Council rose, and I staid walking up and down the galleries till the King went to dinner, and then I to my Lord Crew’s to dinner; but he having dined, I took a very short leave, confessing I had not dined; and so to an ordinary hard by the Temple-gate, where I have heretofore been, and there dined — cost me 10d. And so to my Lord Ashly’s, where after dinner Sir H. Cholmly, Creed and I, with his Lordship, about Mr. Yeabsly’s business, where having come to agreement with him abating him £1000 of what he demands for ships lost, I to Westminster, to Mrs. Martin’s lodging, whither I sent for her, and there hear that her husband is come from sea, which is sooner than I expected; and here I staid and drank, and so did toucher elle and away, and so by coach to my tailor’s, and thence to my Lord Crew’s, and there did stay with him an hour till almost night, discoursing about the ill state of my Lord Sandwich, that he can neither be got to be called home, nor money got to maintain him there; which will ruin his family. And the truth is, he do almost deserve it, for by all relation he hath, in a little more than a year and a half, spent £20,000 of the King’s money, and the best part of £10,000 of his own; which is a most prodigious expence, more than ever Embassador spent there, and more than these Commissioners of the Treasury will or do allow. And they demand an account before they will give him any more money; which puts all his friends to a loss what to answer. But more money we must get him, or to be called home. I offer to speak to Sir W. Coventry about it; but my Lord will not advise to it, without consent of Sir G. Carteret. So home, and there to see Sir W. Batten, who fell sick yesterday morning: He is asleep: and so I could not see him; but in an hour after, word is brought me that he is so ill, that it is believed he cannot live till tomorrow, which troubles me and my wife mightily, partly out of kindness, he being a good neighbour and partly because of the money he owes me, upon our bargain of the late prize. So home and to supper and to bed.
5th. Up, and to the Office; and there all the morning; none but my Lord Anglesey and myself; but much surprized with the news of the death of Sir W. Batten, who died this morning, having been but two days sick. Sir W. Pen and I did dispatch a letter this morning to Sir W. Coventry, to recommend Colonel Middleton, who we think a most honest and understanding man, and fit for that place. Sir G. Carteret did also come this morning, and walked with me in the garden; and concluded not to concern [himself] or have any advice made to Sir W. Coventry, in behalf of my Lord Sandwich’s business; so I do rest satisfied, though I do think they are all mad, that they will judge Sir W. Coventry an enemy, when he is indeed no such man to any body, but is severe and just, as he ought to be, where he sees things ill done. At noon home, and by coach to Temple Bar to a India shop, and there bought a gown and sash, which cost me 26s., and so she [Mrs. Pepys] and Willet away to the ‘Change, and I to my Lord Crew, and there met my Lord Hinchingbroke and Lady Jemimah, and there dined with them and my Lord, where pretty merry, and after dinner my Lord Crew and Hinchingbroke and myself went aside to discourse about my Lord Sandwich’s business, which is in a very ill state for want of money, and so parted, and I to my tailor’s, and there took up my wife and Willet, who staid there for me, and to the Duke of York’s playhouse, but the house so full, it being a new play, “The Coffee House,” that we could not get in, and so to the King’s house: and there, going in, met with Knepp, and she took us up into the tireing-rooms: and to the women’s shift, where Nell was dressing herself, and was all unready, and is very pretty, prettier than I thought. And so walked all up and down the house above, and then below into the scene-room, and there sat down, and she gave us fruit and here I read the questions to Knepp, while she answered me, through all her part of “Flora’s Figary’s,” which was acted today. But, Lord! to see how they were both painted would make a man mad, and did make me loath them; and what base company of men comes among them, and how lewdly they talk! and how poor the men are in clothes, and yet what a shew they make on the stage by candle-light, is very observable. But to see how Nell cursed, for having so few people in the pit, was pretty; the other house carrying away all the people at the new play, and is said, now-a-days, to have generally most company, as being better players. By and by into the pit, and there saw the play, which is pretty good, but my belly was full of what I had seen in the house, and so, after the play done, away home, and there to the writing my letters, and so home to supper and to bed.
6th (Lord’s day). Up, and dressed myself, and so walked out with the boy to Smithfield to Cow Lane, to Lincolne’s, and there spoke with him, and agreed upon the hour tomorrow, to set out towards Brampton; but vexed that he is not likely to go himself, but sends another for him. Here I took a hackney coach, and to White Hall, and there met Sir W. Coventry, and discoursed with him, and then with my Lord Bruncker, and many others, to end my matters in order to my going into the country tomorrow for five or six days, which I have not done for above three years. Walked with Creed into the Park a little, and at last went into the Queen’s side, and there saw the King and Queen, and saw the ladies, in order to my hearing any news stirring to carry into the country, but met with none, and so away home by coach, and there dined, and W. How come to see me, and after dinner parted, and I to my writing to my Lord Sandwich, which is the greatest business I have to do before my going into the country, and in the evening to my office to set matters to rights there, and being in the garden Sir W. Pen did come to me, and fell to discourse about the business of “The Flying Greyhound,” wherein I was plain to him and he to me, and at last concluded upon my writing a petition to the Duke of York for a certain ship, The Maybolt Gallyott, and he offers to give me £300 for my success, which, however, I would not oblige him to, but will see the issue of it by fair play, and so I did presently draw a petition, which he undertakes to proffer to the Duke of York, and solicit for me, and will not seem to doubt of his success. So I wrote, and did give it him, and left it with him, and so home to supper, where Pelling comes and sits with me, and there tells us how old Mr. Batelier is dead this last night in the night, going to bed well, which I am mightily troubled for, he being a good man. Supper done, and he gone, I to my chamber to write my journal to this night, and so to bed.
7th. Up betimes, and did do several things towards the settling all matters both of house and office in order for my journey this day, and did leave my chief care, and the key of my closet, with Mr. Hater, with directions what papers to secure, in case of fire or other accident; and so, about nine o’clock, I, and my wife, and Willet, set out in a coach I have hired, with four horses; and W. Hewer and Murford rode by us on horseback; and so my wife and she in their morning gowns, very handsome and pretty, and to my great liking. We set out, and so out at Allgate, and so to the Green Man, and so on to Enfield, in our way seeing Mr. Lowther and his lady in a coach, going to Walthamstow; and he told us that he would overtake us at night, he being to go that way. So we to Enfield, and there bayted, it being but a foul, bad day, and there Lowther and Mr. Burford, an acquaintance of his, did overtake us, and there drank and eat together; and, by and by, we parted, we going before them, and very merry, my wife and girle and I talking, and telling tales, and singing, and before night come to Bishop Stafford, where Lowther and his friend did meet us again, and carried us to the Raynedeere, where Mrs. Aynsworth,1 who lived heretofore at Cambridge, and whom I knew better than they think for, do live. It was the woman that, among other things, was great with my cozen Barnston, of Cottenham, and did use to sing to him, and did teach me “Full forty times over,” a very lewd song: a woman they are very well acquainted with, and is here what she was at Cambridge, and all the good fellows of the country come hither. Lowther and his friend stayed and drank, and then went further this night; but here we stayed, and supped, and lodged. But, as soon as they were gone, and my supper getting ready, I fell to write my letter to my Lord Sandwich, which I could not finish before my coming from London; so did finish it to my good content, and a good letter, telling him the present state of all matters, and did get a man to promise to carry it tomorrow morning, to be there, at my house, by noon, and I paid him well for it; so, that being done, and my mind at ease, we to supper, and so to bed, my wife and I in one bed, and the girl in another, in the same room, and lay very well, but there was so much tearing company in the house, that we could not see my landlady; so I had no opportunity of renewing my old acquaintance with her, but here we slept very well.
1 Elizabeth Aynsworth, here mentioned, was a noted procurerss at Cambridge, banished from that town by the university authorities for her evil courses. She subsequently kept the Rein Deer Inn at Bishops Stortford, at which the Vice–Chancellor, and some of the heads of colleges, had occasion to sleep, in their way to London, and were nobly entertained, their supper being served off plate. The next morning their hostess refused to make any charge, saying, that she was still indebted to the Vice–Chancellor, who, by driving her out of Cambridge, had made her fortune. No tradition of this woman has been preserved at Bishops Stortford; but it appears, from the register of that parish, that she was buried there 26th of March, 1686. It is recorded in the “History of Essex,” vol. iii., (p. 130) 8vo., 1770, and in a pamphlet in the British Museum, entitled, “Boteler’s Case,” that she was implicated in the murder of Captain Wood, a Hertfordshire gentleman, at Manuden, in Essex, and for which offence a person named Boteler was executed at Chelmsford, September 10th, 1667, and that Mrs. Aynsworth, tried at the same time as an accessory before the fact, was acquitted for want of evidence; though in her way to the jail she endeavoured to throw herself into the river, but was prevented. See Postea, May 25th, 1668. — B.
8th. Up pretty betimes, though not so soon as we intended, by reason of Murford’s not rising, and then not knowing how to open our door, which, and some other pleasant simplicities of the fellow, did give occasion to us to call him. Sir Martin Marrall, and W. Hewer being his helper and counsellor, we did call him, all this journey, Mr. Warner, which did give us good occasion of mirth now and then. At last, rose, and up, and broke our fast, and then took coach, and away, and at Newport did call on Mr. Lowther, and he and his friend, and the master of the house, their friend, where they were, a gentleman, did presently get a-horseback and overtook us, and went with us to Audley–End, and did go along with us all over the house and garden: and mighty merry we were. The house indeed do appear very fine, but not so fine as it hath heretofore to me; particularly the ceilings are not so good as I always took them to be, being nothing so well wrought as my Lord Chancellor’s are; and though the figure of the house without be very extraordinary good, yet the stayre-case is exceeding poor; and a great many pictures, and not one good one in the house but one of Harry the Eighth, done by Holben; and not one good suit of hangings in all the house, but all most ancient things, such as I would not give the hanging-up of in my house; and the other furniture, beds and other things, accordingly.1 Only the gallery is good, and, above all things, the cellars, where we went down and drank of much good liquor; and indeed the cellars are fine: and here my wife and I did sing to my great content. And then to the garden, and there eat many grapes, and took some with us and so away thence, exceeding well satisfied, though not to that degree that, by my old esteem of the house, I ought and did expect to have done, the situation of it not pleasing me. Here we parted with Lowther and his friends, and away to Cambridge, it being foul, rainy weather, and there did take up at the Rose, for the sake of Mrs. Dorothy Drawwater, the vintner’s daughter, which is mentioned in the play of Sir Martin Marrall. Here we had a good chamber, and bespoke a good supper; and then I took my wife, and W. Hewer, and Willet, it holding up a little, and shewed them Trinity College and St. John’s Library, and went to King’s College Chapel, to see the outside of it only; and so to our inne, and with much pleasure did this, they walking in their pretty morning gowns, very handsome, and I proud to find myself in condition to do this; and so home to our lodging, and there by and by, to supper, with much good sport, talking with the Drawers concerning matters of the town, and persons whom I remember, and so, after supper, to cards; and then to bed, lying, I in one bed, and my wife and girl in another, in the same room, and very merry talking together, and mightily pleased both of us with the girl. Saunders, the only violin in my time, is, I hear, dead of the plague in the late plague there.
1 Mr. George T. Robinson, F.S.A., in a paper on “Decorative Plaster Work,” read before the Society of Arts in April, 1891, refers to the ceilings at Audley End as presenting an excellent idea of the state of the stuccoer’s art in the middle of James I.‘s reign, and adds, “Few houses in England can show so fine a series of the same date . . . The great hall has medallions in the square portions of the ceiling formed by its dividing timber beams. The large saloon on the principal floor-a room about 66 feet long by 30 feet wide-has a very remarkable ceiling of the pendentive type, which presents many peculiarities, the most notable of which, that these not only depend from the ceiling, but the outside ones spring from the walls in a natural and structural manner. This is a most unusual circumstance in the stucco work of the time, the reason for the omission of this reasonable treatment evidently being the unwillingness of the stuccoer to omit his elaborate frieze in which he took such delight” (“Journal Soc. of Arts,” vol. xxxix., p. 449)
9th. Up, and got ready, and eat our breakfast; and then took coach: and the poor, as they did yesterday, did stand at the coach to have something given them, as they do to all great persons; and I did give them something: and the town musique did also come and play: but, Lord! what sad music they made! However, I was pleased with them, being all of us in very good humour, and so through the town, and observed at our College of Magdalene the posts new painted, and understand that the Vice–Chancellor’ is there this year. And so away for Huntingdon mightily pleased all along the road to remember old stories; and come to Brampton at about noon, and there find my father and sister and brother all well and here laid up our things, and up and down to see the garden with my father, and the house, and do altogether find it very pretty; especially the little parlour and the summerhouses in the garden, only the wall do want greens upon it, and the house is too low-roofed; but that is only because of my coming from a house with higher ceilings. But altogether is very pretty; and I bless God that I am like to have such a pretty place to retire to: and I did walk with my father without doors, and do find a very convenient way of laying out money there in building, which will make a very good seat, and the place deserves it, I think, very well. By and by to dinner, and after dinner I walked up to Hinchingbroke, where my Lady expected me; and there spent all the afternoon with her: the same most excellent, good, discreet lady that ever she was; and, among other things, is mightily pleased with the lady that is like to be her son Hinchingbroke’s wife, which I am mightily glad of. By and by my wife comes with Willet, my wife in her velvett vest, which is mighty fine, and becomes her exceedingly. I am pleased with my Lady Paulina and Anne, who both are grown very proper ladies, and handsome enough. But a thousand questions my Lady asked me, till she could think of no more almost, but walked up and down the house, with me. But I do find, by her, that they are reduced to great straits for money, having been forced to sell her plate, 8 or £900 worth; and she is now going to sell a suit of her best hangings, of which I could almost wish to buy a piece or two, if the pieces will be broke. But the house is most excellently furnished, and brave rooms and good pictures, so that it do please me infinitely beyond Audley End. Here we staid till night walking and talking and drinking, and with mighty satisfaction my Lady with me alone most of the day talking of my Lord’s bad condition to be kept in Spayne without money and at a great expense, which (as we will save the family) we must labour to remove. Night being come, we took leave with all possible kindness, and so home, and there Mr. Shepley staid with us and sapped, and full of good country discourse, and when supper done took his leave, and we all to bed, only I a little troubled that my father tells me that he is troubled that my wife shows my sister no countenance, and, him but very little, but is as a stranger in the house; and I do observe she do carry herself very high; but I perceive there was some great falling out when she was here last, but the reason I have no mind to enquire after, for vexing myself, being desirous to pass my time with as much mirth as I can while I am abroad. So all to bed. My wife and I in the high bed in our chamber, and Willet in the trundle bed, which she desired to lie in, by us.
10th. Waked in the morning with great pain of the collique, by cold taken yesterday, I believe, with going up and down in my shirt, but with rubbing my belly, keeping of it warm, I did at last come to some ease, and rose, and up to walk up and down the garden with my father, to talk of all our concernments: about a husband for my sister, whereof there is at present no appearance; but we must endeavour to find her one now, for she grows old and ugly: then for my brother; and resolve he shall stay here this winter, and then I will either send him to Cambridge for a year, till I get him some church promotion, or send him to sea as a chaplain, where he may study, and earn his living. Then walked round about our Greene, to see whether, in case I cannot buy out my uncle Thomas and his son’s right in this house, that I can buy another place as good thereabouts to build on, and I do not see that I can. But this, with new building, may be made an excellent pretty thing, and I resolve to look after it as soon as I can, and Goody Gorum dies. By this time it was almost noon, and then my father and I and wife and Willet abroad, by coach round the towne of Brampton, to observe any other place as good as ours, and find none; and so back with great pleasure; and thence went all of us, my sister and brother, and W. Hewer, to dinner to Hinchingbroke, where we had a good plain country dinner, but most kindly used; and here dined the Minister of Brampton and his wife, who is reported a very good, but poor man. Here I spent alone with my Lady, after dinner, the most of the afternoon, and anon the two twins were sent for from schoole, at Mr. Taylor’s, to come to see me, and I took them into the garden, and there, in one of the summer-houses, did examine them, and do find them so well advanced in their learning, that I was amazed at it: they repeating a whole ode without book out of Horace, and did give me a very good account of any thing almost, and did make me very readily very good Latin, and did give me good account of their Greek grammar, beyond all possible expectation; and so grave and manly as I never saw, I confess, nor could have believed; so that they will be fit to go to Cambridge in two years at most. They are both little, but very like one another, and well-looked children. Then in to my Lady again, and staid till it was almost night again, and then took leave for a great while again, but with extraordinary kindness from my Lady, who looks upon me like one of her own family and interest. So thence, my wife and people by the highway, and I walked over the park with Mr. Shepley, and through the grove, which is mighty pretty, as is imaginable, and so over their drawbridge to Nun’s Bridge, and so to my father’s, and there sat and drank, and talked a little, and then parted. And he being gone, and what company there was, my father and I, with a dark lantern; it being now night, into the garden with my wife, and there went about our great work to dig up my gold. But, Lord! what a tosse I was for some time in, that they could not justly tell where it was; that I begun heartily to sweat, and be angry, that they should not agree better upon the place, and at last to fear that it was gone but by and by poking with a spit, we found it, and then begun with a spudd to lift up the ground. But, good God! to see how sillily they did it, not half a foot under ground, and in the sight of the world from a hundred places, if any body by accident were near hand, and within sight of a neighbour’s window, and their hearing also, being close by: only my father says that he saw them all gone to church before he begun the work, when he laid the money, but that do not excuse it to me. But I was out of my wits almost, and the more from that, upon my lifting up the earth with the spudd, I did discern that I had scattered the pieces of gold round about the ground among the grass and loose earth; and taking up the iron head-pieces wherein they were put, I perceive the earth was got among the gold, and wet, so that the bags were all rotten, and all the notes, that I could not tell what in the world to say to it, not knowing how to judge what was wanting, or what had been lost by Gibson in his coming down: which, all put together, did make me mad; and at last was forced to take up the head-pieces, dirt and all, and as many of the scattered pieces as I could with the dirt discern by the candlelight, and carry them up into my brother’s chamber, and there locke them up till I had eat a little supper: and then, all people going to bed, W. Hewer and I did all alone, with several pails of water and basins, at last wash the dirt off of the pieces, and parted the pieces and the dirt, and then begun to tell [them]; and by a note which I had of the value of the whole in my pocket, do find that there was short above a hundred pieces, which did make me mad; and considering that the neighbour’s house was so near that we could not suppose we could speak one to another in the garden at the place where the gold lay — especially my father being deaf — but they must know what we had been doing on, I feared that they might in the night come and gather some pieces and prevent us the next morning; so W. Hewer and I out again about midnight, for it was now grown so late, and there by candlelight did make shift to gather forty-five pieces more. And so in, and to cleanse them: and by this time it was past two in the morning; and so to bed, with my mind pretty quiet to think that I have recovered so many. And then to bed, and I lay in the trundle-bed, the girl being gone to bed to my wife, and there lay in some disquiet all night, telling of the clock till it was daylight.
11th. And then rose and called W. Hewer, and he and I, with pails and a sieve, did lock ourselves into the garden, and there gather all the earth about the place into pails, and then sift those pails in one of the summer-houses, just as they do for dyamonds in other parts of the world; and there, to our great content, did with much trouble by nine o’clock (and by the time we emptied several pails and could not find one), we did make the last night’s forty-five up seventy-nine: so that we are come to about twenty or thirty of what I think the true number should be; and perhaps within less; and of them I may reasonably think that Mr. Gibson might lose some: so that I am pretty well satisfied that my loss is not great, and do bless God that it is so well,1 and do leave my father to make a second examination of the dirt, which he promises he will do, and, poor man, is mightily troubled for this accident, but I declared myself very well satisfied, and so indeed I am; and my mind at rest in it, being but an accident, which is unusual; and so gives me some kind of content to remember how painful it is sometimes to keep money, as well as to get it, and how doubtful I was how to keep it all night, and how to secure it to London: and so got all my gold put up in bags. And so having the last night wrote to my Lady Sandwich to lend me John Bowles to go along with me my journey, not telling her the reason, that it was only to secure my gold, we to breakfast, and then about ten o’clock took coach, my wife and I, and Willet, and W. Hewer, and Murford and Bowles (whom my Lady lent me), and my brother John on horseback; and with these four I thought myself pretty safe. But, before we went out, the Huntingdon musick come to me and played, and it was better than that of Cambridge. Here I took leave of my father, and did give my sister 20s. She cried at my going; but whether it was at her unwillingness for my going, or any unkindness of my wife’s, or no, I know not; but, God forgive me! I take her to be so cunning and ill-natured, that I have no great love for her; but only [she] is my sister, and must be provided for. My gold I put into a basket, and set under one of the seats; and so my work every quarter of an hour was to look to see whether all was well; and I did ride in great fear all the day, but it was a pleasant day, and good company, and I mightily contented. Mr. Shepley saw me beyond St. Neots, and there parted, and we straight to Stevenage, through Bald Lanes, which are already very bad; and at Stevenage we come well before night, and all sat, and there with great care I got the gold up to the chamber, my wife carrying one bag, and the girl another, and W. Hewer the rest in the basket, and set it all under a bed in our chamber; and then sat down to talk, and were very pleasant, satisfying myself, among other things, from John Bowles, in some terms of hunting, and about deere, bucks, and does. And so anon to supper, and very merry we were, and a good supper, and after supper to bed. Brecocke alive still, and the best host I know almost.
1 About the year 1842, in removing the foundation of an old wall, adjoining a mansion at Brampton, always considered the quondam residence of the Pepys family, an iron pot, full of silver coins, was discovered, and taken to the Earl of Sandwich, the owner of the house, in whose possession they still remain. The pot was so much corroded, that a small piece of it only could be preserved. The coins were chiefly half-crowns of Elizabeth and the two elder Stuarts, and all of a date anterior to the Restoration. Although Pepys states that the treasure which he caused to be buried was gold exclusively, it is very probable that, in the confusion, a pot full of silver money was packed up with the rest; but, at all events, the coincidence appeared too singular to pass over without notice. — B.
12th. Up, and eat our breakfast, and set out about nine o’clock, and so to Barnett, where we staid and baited, the weather very good all day and yesterday, and by five o’clock got home, where I find all well; and did bring my gold, to my heart’s content, very safe home, having not this day carried it in a basket, but in our hands: the girl took care of one, and my wife another bag, and I the rest, I being afraid of the bottom of the coach, lest it should break, and therefore was at more ease in my mind than I was yesterday. At home we find that Sir W. Batten’s burial was today carried from hence, with a hundred or two of coaches, to Walthamstow, and there buried. Here I hear by Mr. Pierce the surgeon; and then by Mr. Lewes, and also by Mr. Hater, that the Parliament hath met on Thursday last, and adjourned to Monday next. The King did make them a very kind speech, promising them to leave all to them to do, and call to account what and whom they pleased; and declared by my Lord Keeper how many, thirty-six, actes he had done since he saw them; among others, disbanding the army, and putting all Papists out of employment, and displacing persons that had managed their business ill, that the Parliament is mightily pleased with the King’s speech, and voted giving him thanks for what he said and hath done; and, among things, would by name thank him for displacing my Lord Chancellor, for which a great many did speak in the House, but it was opposed by some, and particularly Harry Coventry, who got that it should be put to a Committee to consider what particulars to mention in their thanks to the King, saying that it was too soon to give thanks for the displacing of a man, before they knew or had examined what was the cause of his displacing. And so it rested; but this do shew that they are and will be very high; and Mr. Pierce do tell me that he fears, and do hear, that it hath been said among them, that they will move for the calling my Lord Sandwich home, to bring him to account; which do trouble me mightily; but I trust it will not be so. Anon comes home Sir W. Pen from the burial, and he and I to walk in the garden, where he did confirm the most of this news, and so to talk of our particular concernments, and among the rest he says that Lady Batten and her children-inlaw are all broke in pieces, and that there is but £800 found in the world, of money; and is in great doubt what we shall do towards the doing ourselves right with them, about the prize-money. This troubles me, but we will fall to work upon that next week close. Then he tells me he did deliver my petition into the hands of Sir W. Coventry, who did take it with great kindness and promised to present it to the Duke of York, and that himself has since seen the Duke of York, but it was in haste, and thinks the Duke of York did tell him that the thing was done, but he is confident that it either is or will be done. This do please me mightily. So after a little talk more I away home to supper with John Bowles and brother and wife (who, I perceive, is already a little jealous of my being fond of Willet, but I will avoid giving her any cause to continue in that mind, as much as possible), and before that did go with Sir W. Pen to my Lady Batten, whom I had not seen since she was a widow, which she took unkindly, but I did excuse it; and the house being full of company, and of several factions, she against the children, and they against one another and her, I away, and home to supper, and after supper to bed.
13th (Lord’s day). Up, and by water to White Hall, and thence walked to Sir W. Coventry’s lodgings, but he was gone out, so I to St. James’s, and there to the Duke of York’s chamber: and there he was dressing; and many Lords and Parliament-men come to kiss his hands, they being newly come to town. And there the Duke of York did of himself call me to him, and tell me that he had spoke to the King, and that the King had granted me the ship I asked for; and did, moreover, say that he was mightily satisfied with my service, and that he would be willing to do anything that was in his power for me: which he said with mighty kindness; which I did return him thanks for, and departed with mighty joy, more than I did expect. And so walked over the Park to White Hall, and there met Sir H. Cholmly, who walked with me, and told me most of the news I heard last night of the Parliament; and thinks they will do all things very well, only they will be revenged of my Lord Chancellor; and says, however, that he thinks there will be but two things proved on him; and that one is, that he may have said to the King, and to others, words to breed in the King an ill opinion of the Parliament — that they were factious, and that it was better to dissolve them: and this, he thinks, they will be able to prove; but what this will amount to, he knows not. And next, that he hath taken money for several bargains that have been made with the Crown; and did instance one that is already complained of: but there are so many more involved in it, that, should they unravel things of this sort, every body almost will be more or less concerned. But these are the two great points which he thinks they will insist on, and prove against him. Thence I to the Chapel, and there heard the sermon and a pretty good anthem, and so home by water to dinner, where Bowies and brother, and a good dinner, and in the afternoon to make good my journal to this day, and so by water again to White Hall, and thence only walked to Mrs. Martin’s, and there sat with her and her sister and Borroughs . . . and there drank and talked and away by water home, and there walked with Sir W. Pen, and told him what the Duke of York told me today about the ship I begged; and he was knave enough, of his own accord, but, to be sure, in order to his own advantage, to offer me to send for the master of the vessel, “The Maybolt Galliott,” and bid him to get her furnished as for a long voyage, and I to take no notice of it, that she might be the more worth to me: so that here he is a very knave to the King, and I doubt not his being the same to me on occasion. So in a doors and supped with my wife and brother, W. Hewer, and Willett, and so evened with W. Hewer for my expenses upon the road this last journey, and do think that the whole journey will cost me little less than £18 or £20, one way or other; but I am well pleased with it, and so after supper to bed.
14th. Up, and by water to White Hall, and thence walked to St. James’s, and there to Mr. Wren’s; and he told me that my business was done about my warrant on the Maybolt Galliott; which I did see, and though it was not so full in the reciting of my services as the other was in that of Sir W. Pen’s, yet I was well pleased with it, and do intend to fetch it away anon. Thence with Sir Thomas Allen, in a little sorry coach which he hath set up of late, and Sir Jeremy Smith, to White Hall, and there I took water and went to Westminster Hall, and there hear that the House is this day again upon the business of giving the King the thanks of the House for his speech, and, among other things, for laying aside of my Lord Chancellor. Thence I to Mrs. Martin’s, where by appointment comes to me Mrs. Howlett, which I was afraid was to have told me something of my freedom with her daughter, but it was not so, but only to complain to me of her son-inlaw, how he abuses and makes a slave of her, and his mother is one that encourages him in it, so that they are at this time upon very bad terms one with another, and desires that I would take a time to advise him and tell him what it becomes him to do, which office I am very glad of, for some ends of my own also con sa fille, and there drank and parted, I mightily satisfied with this business, and so home by water with Sir W. Warren, who happened to be at Westminster, and there I pretty strange to him, and little discourse, and there at the office Lord Bruncker, W. Pen, T. Hater and I did some business, and so home to dinner, and thence I out to visit Sir G. Carteret and ladies there; and from him do understand that the King himself (but this he told me as a great secret) is satisfied that this thanks which he expects from the House, for the laying aside of my Lord Chancellor, is a thing irregular; but, since it is come into the House, he do think it necessary to carry it on, and will have it, and hath made his mind known to be so, to some of the House. But Sir G. Carteret do say he knows nothing of what my Lord Bruncker told us today, that the King was angry with the Duke of York yesterday, and advised him not to hinder what he had a mind to have done, touching this business; which is news very bad, if true. Here I visited my Lady Carteret, who hath been sick some time, but now pretty well, but laid on her bed. Thence to my Lord Crew, to see him after my coming out of the country, and he seems satisfied with some steps they have made in my absence towards my Lord Sandwich’s relief for money: and so I have no more to do, nor will trouble myself more about it till they send for me. He tells me also that the King will have the thanks of the House go on: and commends my Lord Keeper’s speech for all but what he was forced to say, about the reason of the King’s sending away the House so soon the last time, when they were met, but this he was forced to do. Thence to Westminster Hall, and there walked with Mr. Scowen, who tells me that it is at last carried in the House that the thanks shall be given to the King — among other things, particularly for the removal of my Lord Chancellor; but he tells me it is a strange act, and that which he thinks would never have been, but that the King did insist upon it, that, since it come into the House, it might not be let fall. After walking there awhile I took coach and to the Duke of York’s House, and there went in for nothing into the pit, at the last act, to see Sir Martin Marrall, and met my wife, who was there, and my brother, and W. Hewer and Willett, and carried them home, still being pleased with the humour of the play, almost above all that ever I saw. Home, and there do find that John Bowles is not yet come thither. I suppose he is playing the good fellow in the town. So to the office a while, and then home to supper and to bed.
15th. Up, and to the office, where, Sir W. Pen being ill of the gout, we all of us met there in his parlour and did the business of the office, our greatest business now being to manage the pay of the ships in order and with speed to satisfy the Commissioners of the Treasury. This morning my brother set out for Brampton again, and is gone. At noon home to dinner, and thence my wife and I and Willet to the Duke of York’s house, where, after long stay, the King and Duke of York come, and there saw “The Coffee-house,” the most ridiculous, insipid play that ever I saw in my life, and glad we were that Betterton had no part in it. But here, before the play begun, my wife begun to complain to me of Willet’s confidence in sitting cheek by jowl by us, which was a poor thing; but I perceive she is already jealous of my kindness to her, so that I begin to fear this girle is not likely to stay long with us. The play done, we home by coach, it being moonlight, and got well home, and I to my chamber to settle some papers, and so to supper and to bed.
16th. Up, and at home most of the morning with Sir H. Cholmly, about some accounts of his; and for news he tells me that the Commons and Lords have concurred, and delivered the King their thanks, among other things, for his removal of the Chancellor; who took their thanks very well, and, among other things, promised them, in these words, never, in any degree, to entertain the Chancellor any employment again. And he tells me that it is very true, he hath it from one that was by, that the King did, give the Duke of York a sound reprimand; told him that he had lived with him with more kindness than ever any brother King lived with a brother, and that he lived as much like a monarch as himself, but advised him not to cross him in his designs about the Chancellor; in which the Duke of York do very wisely acquiesce, and will be quiet as the King bade him, but presently commands all his friends to be silent in the business of the Chancellor, and they were so: but that the Chancellor hath done all that is possible to provoke the King, and to bring himself to lose his head by enraging of people. He gone, I to the office, busy all the morning. At noon to Broad Street to Sir G. Carteret and Lord Bruncker, and there dined with them, and thence after dinner with Bruncker to White Hall, where the Duke of York is now newly come for this winter, and there did our usual business, which is but little, and so I away to the Duke of York’s house, thinking as we appointed, to meet my wife there, but she was not; and more, I was vexed to see Young (who is but a bad actor at best) act Macbeth in the room of Betterton, who, poor man! is sick: but, Lord! what a prejudice it wrought in me against the whole play, and everybody else agreed in disliking this fellow. Thence home, and there find my wife gone home; because of this fellow’s acting of the part, she went out of the house again. There busy at my chamber with Mr. Yeabsly, and then with Mr. Lewes, about public business late, and so to supper and to bed.
17th. Up, and being sent for by my Lady Batten, I to her, and there she found fault with my not seeing her since her being a widow, which I excused as well as I could, though it is a fault, but it is my nature not to be forward in visits. But here she told me her condition, which is good enough, being sole executrix, to the disappointment of all her husband’s children, and prayed my friendship about the accounts of the prizes, which I promised her. And here do see what creatures widows are in weeping for their husbands, and then presently leaving off; but I cannot wonder at it, the cares of the world taking place of all other passions. Thence to the office, where all the morning busy, and at noon home to dinner, where Mr. John Andrews and his wife come and dined with me, and pretty merry we were, only I out of humour the greatest part of the dinner, by reason that my people had forgot to get wine ready, I having none in my house, which I cannot say now these almost three years, I think, without having two or three sorts, by which we were fain to stay a great while, while some could be fetched. When it come I begun to be merry, and merry we were, but it was an odd, strange thing to observe of Mr. Andrews what a fancy he hath to raw meat, that he eats it with no pleasure unless the blood run about his chops, which it did now by a leg of mutton that was not above half boiled; but, it seems, at home all his meat is dressed so, and beef and all, and [he] eats it so at nights also. Here most of our discourse is of the business of the Parliament, who run on mighty furiously, having yesterday been almost all the morning complaining against some high proceedings of my Lord Chief Justice Keeling, that the gentlemen of the country did complain against him in the House, and run very high. It is the man that did fall out with my cozen Roger Pepys, once, at the Assizes there, and would have laid him by the heels; but, it seems, a very able lawyer. After dinner I to the office, where we all met with intent to proceed to the publique sale of several prize ships, but upon discourse my Lord Anglesey did discover (which troubled me that he that is a stranger almost should do more than we ourselves could) that the appraisements made by our officers were not above half of what he had been offered for one of them, and did make it good by bringing a gentleman to give us £700 for the Wildboare, which they valued but at £276, which made us all startle and stop the sale, and I did propose to acquaint the Duke of York with it, and accordingly we did agree on it, and I wrote a severe letter about it, and we are to attend him with it tomorrow about it. This afternoon my Lord Anglesey tells us that the House of Commons have this morning run into the inquiry in many things; as, the sale of Dunkirke, the dividing of the fleete the last year, the business of the prizes with my Lord Sandwich, and many other things; so that now they begin to fall close upon it, and God knows what will be the end of it, but a Committee they have chosen to inquire into the miscarriages of the war. Having done, and being a little tired, Sir W. Pen and I in his coach out to Mile End Green, and there drank a cup of Byde’s ale, and so talking about the proceedings of Parliament, and how little a thing the King is become to be forced to suffer it, though I declare my being satisfied that things should be enquired into, we back again home, and I to my office to my letters, and so home to supper and to bed.
18th. Up, and by coach with Sir W. Pen to White Hall, and there attended the Duke of York; but first we find him to spend above an hour in private in his closet with Sir W. Coventry; which I was glad to see, that there is so much confidence between them. By and by we were called in and did our usual business, and complained of the business yesterday discovered of our officers abusing the King in the appraisement of the prizes. Here it was worth observing that the Duke of York, considering what third rate ships to keep abroad, the Rupert was thought on, but then it was said that Captain Hubbert was Commander of her and that the King had a mind for Spragg to command the ship, which would not be well to be by turning out Hubbert, who is a good man, but one the Duke of York said he did not know whether he did so well conforme, as at this lime to please the people and Parliament. Sir W. Coventry answered, and the Duke of York merrily agreed to it, that it was very hard to know what it was that the Parliament would call conformity at this time, and so it stopped, which I only observe to see how the Parliament’s present temper do amuse them all. Thence to several places to buy a hat, and books, and neckcloths, and several errands I did before I got home, and, among others, bought me two new pair of spectacles of Turlington, who, it seems, is famous for them; and his daughter, he being out of the way, do advise me two very young sights, as that that will help me most, and promises me great ease from them, and I will try them. At the Exchange I met Creed, and took him home with me, and dined, and among other things he tells me that Sir Robert Brookes is the man that did mention the business in Parliament yesterday about my Lord Sandwich, but that it was seconded by nobody, but the matter will fall before the Committee for miscarriages. Thence, after dinner, my wife and he, and I, and Willet to the King’s house, and saw “Brenoralt,” which is a good tragedy, that I like well, and parted after the play, and so home, and there a little at my office, and so to my chamber, and spent this night late in telling over all my gold, and putting it into proper bags and my iron chest, being glad with my heart to see so much of it here again, but cannot yet tell certainly how much I have lost by Gibson in his journey, and my father’s burying of it in the dirt. At this late, but did it to my mind, and so to supper and to bed.
19th. At the office all the morning, where very busy, and at noon home to a short dinner, being full of my desire of seeing my Lord Orrery’s new play this afternoon at the King’s house, “The Black Prince,” the first time it is acted; where, though we come by two o’clock, yet there was no room in the pit, but we were forced to go into one of the upper boxes, at 4s. a piece, which is the first time I ever sat in a box in my life. And in the same box come, by and by, behind me, my Lord Barkeley [of Stratton] and his lady; but I did not turn my face to them to be known, so that I was excused from giving them my seat; and this pleasure I had, that from this place the scenes do appear very fine indeed, and much better than in the pit. The house infinite full, and the King and Duke of York was there. By and by the play begun, and in it nothing particular but a very fine dance for variety of figures, but a little too long. But, as to the contrivance, and all that was witty (which, indeed, was much, and very witty), was almost the same that had been in his two former plays of “Henry the 5th” and “Mustapha,” and the same points and turns of wit in both, and in this very same play often repeated, but in excellent language, and were so excellent that the whole house was mightily pleased with it all along till towards the end he comes to discover the chief of the plot of the play by the reading of along letter, which was so long and some things (the people being set already to think too long) so unnecessary that they frequently begun to laugh, and to hiss twenty times, that, had it not been for the King’s being there, they had certainly hissed it off the stage. But I must confess that, as my Lord Barkeley says behind me, the having of that long letter was a thing so absurd, that he could not imagine how a man of his parts could possibly fall into it; or, if he did, if he had but let any friend read it, the friend would have told him of it; and, I must confess, it is one of the most remarkable instances that ever I did or expect to meet with in my life of a wise man’s not being wise at all times, and in all things, for nothing could be more ridiculous than this, though the letter of itself at another time would be thought an excellent letter, and indeed an excellent Romance, but at the end of the play, when every body was weary of sitting, and were already possessed with the effect of the whole letter; to trouble them with a letter a quarter of an hour long, was a most absurd thing. After the play done, and nothing pleasing them from the time of the letter to the end of the play, people being put into a bad humour of disliking (which is another thing worth the noting), I home by coach, and could not forbear laughing almost all the way home, and all the evening to my going to bed, at the ridiculousness of the letter, and the more because my wife was angry with me, and the world, for laughing, because the King was there, though she cannot defend the length of the letter. So after having done business at the office, I home to supper and to bed.
20th (Lord’s day). Up, and put on my new tunique of velvett; which is very plain, but good. This morning is brought to me an order for the presenting the Committee of Parliament tomorrow with a list of the commanders and ships’ names of all the fleetes set out since the war, and particularly of those ships which were divided from the fleete with Prince Rupert;1 which gives me occasion to see that they are busy after that business, and I am glad of it. So I alone to church, and then home, and there Mr. Deane comes and dines with me by invitation, and both at and after dinner he and I spent all the day till it was dark in discourse of business of the Navy and the ground of the many miscarriages, wherein he do inform me in many more than I knew, and I had desired him to put them in writing, and many indeed they are and good ones; and also we discoursed of the business of shipping, and he hath promised me a draught of the ship he is now building, wherein I am mightily pleased. This afternoon comes to me Captain O’Bryan, about a ship that the King hath given him; and he and I to talk of the Parliament; and he tells me that the business of the Duke of York’s slackening sail in the first fight, at the beginning of the war, is brought into question, and Sir W. Pen and Captain Cox are to appear tomorrow about it; and it is thought will at last be laid upon Mr. Bruncker’s giving orders from the Duke of York (which the Duke of York do not own) to Captain Cox to do it; but it seems they do resent this very highly, and are mad in going through all business, where they can lay any fault. I am glad to hear, that in the world I am as kindly spoke of as any body; for, for aught I see, there is bloody work like to be, Sir W. Coventry having been forced to produce a letter in Parliament wherein the Duke of Albemarle did from Sheernesse write in what good posture all things were at Chatham, and that the chain was so well placed that he feared no attempt of the enemy: so that, among other things, I see every body is upon his own defence, and spares not to blame another to defend himself, and the same course I shall take. But God knows where it will end! He gone, and Deane, I to my chamber for a while, and then comes Pelling the apothecary to see us, and sat and supped with me (my wife being gone to bed sick of the cholique), and then I to bed, after supper. Pelting tells me that my Lady Duchesse Albemarle was at Mrs. Turner’s this afternoon, she being ill, and did there publickly talk of business, and of our Office; and that she believed that I was safe, and had done well; and so, I thank God! I hear every body speaks of me; and indeed, I think, without vanity, I may expect to be profited rather than injured by this inquiry, which the Parliament makes into business.
1 This question of the division of the fleet in May, 1666, was one over which endless controversy as to responsibility was raised. When Prince Rupert, with twenty ships, was detached to prevent the junction of the French squadron with the Dutch, the Duke of Albemarle was left with fifty-four ships against eighty belonging to the Dutch. Albemarle’s tactics are praised by Captain Mahan.
21st. Up, and betimes got a coach at the Exchange, and thence to St. James’s, where I had forgot that the Duke of York and family were gone to White Hall, and thence to Westminster Hall and there walked a little, finding the Parliament likely to be busy all this morning about the business of Mr. Bruncker for advising Cox and Harman to shorten sail when they were in pursuit of the Dutch after the first great victory. I went away to Mr. Creed’s chamber, there to meet Sir H. Cholmly, about business of Mr. Yeabsly, where I was delivered of a great fear that they would question some of the orders for payment of money which I had got them signed at the time of the plague, when I was here alone, but all did pass. Thence to Westminster again, and up to the lobby, where many commanders of the fleete were, and Captain Cox, and Mr. Pierce, the Surgeon; the last of whom hath been in the House, and declared that he heard Bruncker advise; and give arguments to, Cox, for the safety of the Duke of York’s person, to shorten sail, that they might not be in the middle of the enemy in the morning alone; and Cox denying to observe his advice, having received the Duke of York’s commands over night to keep within cannon-shot (as they then were) of the enemy, Bruncker did go to Harman, and used the same arguments, and told him that he was sure it would be well pleasing to the King that care should be taken of not endangering the Duke of York; and, after much persuasion, Harman was heard to say, “Why, if it must be, then lower the topsail.” And so did shorten sail, to the loss, as the Parliament will have it, of the greatest victory that ever was, and which would have saved all the expence of blood, and money, and honour, that followed; and this they do resent, so as to put it to the question, whether Bruncker should not be carried to the Tower: who do confess that, out of kindness to the Duke of York’s safety, he did advise that they should do so, but did not use the Duke of York’s name therein; and so it was only his error in advising it, but the greatest theirs in taking it, contrary to order. At last, it ended that it should be suspended till Harman comes home; and then the Parliament-men do all tell me that it will fall heavy, and, they think, be fatal to Bruncker or him. Sir W. Pen tells me he was gone to bed, having been all day labouring, and then not able to stand, of the goute, and did give order for the keeping the sails standing, as they then were, all night. But, which I wonder at, he tells me that he did not know the next day that they had shortened sail, nor ever did enquire into it till about ten days ago, that this begun to be mentioned; and, indeed, it is charged privately as a fault on the Duke of York, that he did not presently examine the reason of the breach of his orders, and punish it. But Cox tells me that he did finally refuse it; and what prevailed with Harman he knows not, and do think that we might have done considerable service on the enemy the next day, if this had not been done. Thus this business ended today, having kept them till almost two o’clock; and then I by coach with Sir W. Pen as far as St. Clement’s, talking of this matter, and there set down; and I walked to Sir G. Carteret’s, and there dined with him and several Parliament-men, who, I perceive, do all look upon it as a thing certain that the Parliament will enquire into every thing, and will be very severe where they can find any fault. Sir W. Coventry, I hear, did this day make a speech, in apology for his reading the letter of the Duke of Albemarle, concerning the good condition which Chatham was in before the enemy come thither: declaring his simple intention therein, without prejudice to my Lord. And I am told that he was also with the Duke of Albemarle yesterday to excuse it; but this day I do hear, by some of Sir W. Coventry’s friends, that they think he hath done himself much injury by making this man, and his interest, so much his enemy. After dinner, I away to Westminster, and up to the Parliament-house, and there did wait with great patience, till seven at night, to be called in to the Committee, who sat all this afternoon, examining the business of Chatham; and at last was called in, and told, that the least they expected from us Mr. Wren had promised them, and only bade me to bring all my fellow-officers thitherto attend them tomorrow, afternoon. Sir Robert Brookes in the chair: methinks a sorry fellow to be there, because a young man; and yet he seems to speak very well. I gone thence, my cozen Pepys comes out to me, and walks in the Hall with me, and bids me prepare to answer to every thing; for they do seem to lodge the business of Chatham upon the Commissioners of the Navy, and they are resolved to lay the fault heavy somewhere, and to punish it: and prays me to prepare to save myself, and gives me hints what to prepare against; which I am obliged to him for, and do begin to mistrust lest some unhappy slip or other after all my diligence and pains may not be found (which I can [not] foresee) that may prove as fatal to a man as the constant course of negligence and unfaithfulness of other men. Here we parted, and I to White Hall to Mr. Wren’s chamber, thereto advise with him about the list of ships and commanders which he is to present to the Parliament, and took coach (little Michell being with me, whom I took with me from Westminster Hall), and setting him down in Gracious street home myself, where I find my wife and the two Mercers and Willett and W. Batelier have been dancing, but without a fidler. I had a little pleasure in talking with these, but my head and heart full of thoughts between hope and fear and doubts what will become of us and me particularly against a furious Parliament. Then broke up and to bed, and there slept pretty well till about four o’clock, and from that time could not, but my thoughts running on speeches to the Parliament to excuse myself from the blame which by other men’s negligence will ‘light, it may be, upon the office. This day I did get a list of the fourteen particular miscarriages which are already before the Committee to be examined; wherein, besides two or three that will concern this Office much, there are those of the prizes, and that of Bergen, and not following the Dutch ships, against my Lord Sandwich; that, I fear, will ruine him, unless he hath very good luck, or they may be in better temper before he can come to be charged: but my heart is full of fear for him and his family. I hear that they do prosecute the business against my Lord Chief Justice Keeling with great severity.
22nd. Slept but ill all the last part of the night, for fear of this day’s success in Parliament: therefore up, and all of us all the morning close, till almost two o’clock, collecting all we had to say and had done from the beginning, touching the safety of the River Medway and Chatham. And, having done this, and put it into order, we away, I not having time to eat my dinner; and so all in my Lord Bruncker’s coach, that is to say, Bruncker, W. Pen, T. Harvy, and myself, talking of the other great matter with which they charge us, that is, of discharging men by ticket, in order to our defence in case that should be asked. We come to the Parliament-door, and there, after a little waiting till the Committee was sat, we were, the House being very full, called in: Sir W. Pen went in and sat as a Member; and my Lord Bruncker would not at first go in, expecting to have a chair set for him, and his brother had bid him not go in, till he was called for; but, after a few words, I had occasion to mention him, and so he was called in, but without any more chair or respect paid him than myself: and so Bruncker, and T. Harvy, and I, were there to answer: and I had a chair brought me to lean my books upon: and so did give them such an account, in a series of the whole business that had passed the Office touching the matter, and so answered all questions given me about it, that I did not perceive but they were fully satisfied with me and the business as to our Office: and then Commissioner Pett (who was by at all my discourse, and this held till within an hour after candlelight, for I had candles brought in to read my papers by) was to answer for himself, we having lodged all matters with him for execution. But, Lord! what a tumultuous thing this Committee is, for all the reputation they have of a great council, is a strange consideration; there being as impertinent questions, and as disorderly proposed, as any man could make. But Commissioner Pett, of all men living, did make the weakest defence for himself: nothing to the purpose, nor to satisfaction, nor certain; but sometimes one thing and sometimes another, sometimes for himself and sometimes against him; and his greatest failure was, that I observed, from his [not] considering whether the question propounded was his part to answer or no, and the thing to be done was his work to do: the want of which distinction will overthrow him; for he concerns himself in giving an account of the disposal of the boats, which he had no reason at all to do, or take any blame upon him for them. He charged the not carrying up of “The Charles” upon the Tuesday, to the Duke of Albemarle; but I see the House is mighty favourable to the Duke of Albemarle, and would give little weight to it. And something of want of armes he spoke, which Sir J. Duncomb answered with great imperiousness and earnestness; but, for all that, I do see the House is resolved to be better satisfied in the business of the unreadiness of Sherenesse, and want of armes and ammunition there and every where: and all their officers were here today attending, but only one called in, about armes for boats, to answer Commissioner Pett. None of my brethren said anything but me there, but only two or three silly words my Lord Bruncker gave, in answer to one question about the number of men there were in the King’s Yard at the time. At last, the House dismissed us, and shortly after did adjourne the debate till Friday next: and my cozen Pepys did come out and joy me in my acquitting myself so well, and so did several others, and my fellow-officers all very brisk to see themselves so well acquitted; which makes me a little proud, but yet not secure but we may yet meet with a back-blow which we see not. So, with our hearts very light, Sir W. Pen and I in his coach home, it being now near eight o’clock, and so to the office, and did a little business by the post, and so home, hungry, and eat a good supper, and so, with my mind well at ease, to bed. My wife not very well of those.
23rd. Up, and Sir W. Pen and I in his coach to White Hall, there to attend the Duke of York; but come a little too late, and so missed it: only spoke with him, and heard him correct my Lord Barkeley, who fell foul on Sir Edward Spragg, who, it seems, said yesterday to the House, that if the Officers of the Ordnance had done as much work at Shereness in ten weeks as “The Prince” did in ten days, he could have defended the place against the Dutch: but the Duke of York told him that every body must have liberty, at this time, to make their own defence, though it be to the charging of the fault upon any other, so it be true; so I perceive the whole world is at work in blaming one another. Thence Sir W. Pen and I back into London; and there saw the King, with his kettle-drums and trumpets, going to the Exchange, to lay the first stone of the first pillar of the new building of the Exchange; which, the gates being shut, I could not get in to see: but, with Sir W. Pen, to Captain Cocke’s to drink a dram of brandy, and so he to the Treasury office about Sir G. Carteret’s accounts, and I took coach and back again toward Westminster; but in my way stopped at the Exchange, and got in, the King being newly gone; and there find the bottom of the first pillar laid. And here was a shed set up, and hung with tapestry, and a canopy of state, and some good victuals and wine, for the King, who, it seems, did it; and so a great many people, as Tom Killigrew, and others of the Court there, and there I did eat a mouthful and drink a little, and do find Mr. Gawden in his gowne as Sheriffe, and understand that the King hath this morning knighted him upon the place, which I am mightily pleased with; and I think the other Sheriffe, who is Davis, the little fellow, my schoolfellow — the bookseller, who was one of Audley’s’ Executors, and now become Sheriffe; which is a strange turn, methinks. Here mighty merry (there being a good deal of good company) for a quarter of an hour, and so I away and to Westminster Hall, where I come just as the House rose; and there, in the Hall, met with Sir W. Coventry, who is in pain to defend himself in the business of tickets, it being said that the paying of the ships at Chatham by ticket was by his direction, and he hath wrote to me to find his letters, and shew them him, but I find none; but did there argue the case with him, and I think no great blame can be laid on us for that matter, only I see he is fearfull. And he tells me his mistake in the House the other day, which occasions him much trouble, in shewing of the House the Duke of Albemarle’s letter about the good condition of Chatham, which he is sorry for, and, owns as a mistake, the thing not being necessary to have been done; and confesses that nobody can escape from such error, some times or other. He says the House was well satisfied with my Report yesterday; and so several others told me in the Hall that my Report was very good and satisfactory, and that I have got advantage by it in the House: I pray God it may prove so! And here, after the Hall pretty empty, I did walk a few turns with Commissioner Pett, and did give the poor weak man some advice for his advantage how to better his pleading for himself, which I think he will if he can remember and practise, for I would not have the man suffer what he do not deserve, there being enough of what he do deserve to lie upon him. Thence to Mrs. Martin’s, and there staid till two o’clock, and drank and talked, and did give her £3 to buy my goddaughter her first new gowne. . . . and so away homeward, and in my way met Sir W. Pen in Cheapside, and went into his coach, and back again and to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Black Prince” again: which is now mightily bettered by that long letter being printed, and so delivered to every body at their going in, and some short reference made to it in heart in the play, which do mighty well; but, when all is done, I think it the worst play of my Lord Orrery’s. But here, to my great satisfaction, I did see my Lord Hinchingbroke and his mistress, with her father and mother; and I am mightily pleased with the young lady, being handsome enough — and, indeed, to my great liking, as I would have her. I could not but look upon them all the play; being exceeding pleased with my good hap to see them, God bring them together! and they are now already mighty kind to one another, and he is as it were one of their family. The play done I home, and to the office a while, and then home to supper, very hungry, and then to my chamber, to read the true story, in Speed, of the Black Prince, and so to bed. This day, it was moved in the House that a day might be appointed to bring in an impeachment against the Chancellor, but it was decried as being irregular; but that, if there was ground for complaint, it might be brought to the Committee for miscarriages, and, if they thought good, to present it to the House; and so it was carried. They did also vote this day thanks to be given to the Prince and Duke of Albemarle, for their care and conduct in the last year’s war, which is a strange act; but, I know not how, the blockhead Albemarle hath strange luck to be loved, though he be, and every man must know it, the heaviest man in the world, but stout and honest to his country. This evening late, Mr. Moore come to me to prepare matters for my Lord Sandwich’s defence; wherein I can little assist, but will do all I can; and am in great fear of nothing but the damned business of the prizes, but I fear my Lord will receive a cursed deal of trouble by it.
24th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning very busy, and at noon took Mr. Hater home with me to dinner, and instantly back again to write what letters I had to write, that I might go abroad with my wife, who was not well, only to jumble her, and so to the Duke of York’s playhouse; but there Betterton not being yet well, we would not stay, though since I hear that Smith do act his part in “The Villaine,” which was then acted, as well or better than he, which I do not believe; but to Charing Cross, there to see Polichinelli. But, it being begun, we in to see a Frenchman, at the house, where my wife’s father last lodged, one Monsieur Prin, play on the trump-marine,1 which he do beyond belief; and, the truth is, it do so far outdo a trumpet as nothing more, and he do play anything very true, and it is most admirable and at first was a mystery to me that I should hear a whole concert of chords together at the end of a pause, but he showed me that it was only when the last notes were 5ths or 3rds, one to another, and then their sounds like an Echo did last so as they seemed to sound all together. The instrument is open at the end, I discovered; but he would not let me look into it, but I was mightily pleased with it, and he did take great pains to shew me all he could do on it, which was very much, and would make an excellent concert, two or three of them, better than trumpets can ever do, because of their want of compass. Here we also saw again the two fat children come out of Ireland, and a brother and sister of theirs now come, which are of little ordinary growth, like other people. But, Lord! how strange it is to observe the difference between the same children, come out of the same little woman’s belly! Thence to Mile–End Greene, and there drank, and so home bringing home night with us, and so to the office a little, and then to bed.
1 The trumpet marine is a stringed instrument having a triangular-shaped body or chest and a long neck, a single string raised on a bridge and running along the body and neck. It was played with a bow.
25th. Up, and all the morning close till two o’clock, till I had not time to eat my dinner, to make our answer ready for the Parliament this afternoon, to shew how Commissioner Pett was singly concerned in the executing of all orders from Chatham, and that we did properly lodge all orders with him. Thence with Sir W. Pen to the Parliament Committee, and there we all met, and did shew, my Lord Bruncker and I, our commissions under the Great Seal in behalf of all the rest, to shew them our duties, and there I had no more matters asked me, but were bid to withdraw, and did there wait, I all the afternoon till eight at, night, while they were examining several about the business of Chatham again, and particularly my Lord Bruncker did meet with two or three blurs that he did not think of. One from Spragg, who says that “The Unity” was ordered up contrary to his order, by my Lord Bruncker and Commissioner Pett. Another by Crispin, the waterman, who said he was upon “The Charles;” and spoke to Lord Bruncker coming by in his boat, to know whether they should carry up “The Charles,” they being a great many naked men without armes, and he told them she was well as she was. Both these have little in them indeed, but yet both did stick close against him; and he is the weakest man in the world to make his defence, and so is like to have much fault laid on him therefrom. Spragg was in with them all the afternoon, and hath much fault laid on him for a man that minded his pleasure, and little else of his whole charge. I walked in the lobby, and there do hear from Mr. Chichly that they were (the Commissioners of the Ordnance) shrewdly put to it yesterday, being examined with all severity and were hardly used by them, much otherwise than we, and did go away with mighty blame; and I am told by every body that it is likely to stick mighty hard upon them: at which every body is glad, because of Duncomb’s pride, and their expecting to have the thanks of the House whereas they have deserved, as the Parliament apprehends, as bad as bad can be. Here is great talk of an impeachment brought in against my Lord Mordaunt, and that another will be brought in against my Lord Chancellor in a few days. Here I understand for certain that they have ordered that my Lord Arlington’s letters, and Secretary Morrice’s letters of intelligence, be consulted, about the business of the Dutch fleete’s coming abroad, which is a very high point, but this they have done, but in what particular manner I cannot justly say, whether it was not with the King’s leave first asked. Here late, as I have said, and at last they broke up, and we had our commissions again, and I do hear how Birch is the high man that do examine and trouble every body with his questions, and they say that he do labour all he can to clear Pett, but it seems a witness has come in tonight, C. Millett, who do declare that he did deliver a message from the Duke of Albemarle time enough for him to carry up “The Charles,” and he neglected it, which will stick very hard, it seems, on him. So Sir W. Pen and I in his coach home, and there to supper, a good supper, and so weary, and my eyes spent, to bed.
26th. Up, and we met all this morning at Sir W. Pen’s roome, the office being fowle with the altering of our garden door. There very busy, and at noon home, where Mrs. Pierce and her daughter’s husband and Mr. Corbet dined with me. I had a good dinner for them, and mighty merry. Pierce and I very glad at the fate of the officers of Ordnance, that they are like to have so much blame on them. Here Mrs. Pierce tells me that the two Marshalls at the King’s house are Stephen Marshall’s, the great Presbyterian’s daughters: and that Nelly and Beck Marshall, falling out the other day, the latter called the other my Lord Buckhurst’s whore. Nell answered then, “I was but one man’s whore, though I was brought up in a bawdy-house to fill strong waters to the guests; and you are a whore to three or four, though a Presbyter’s praying daughter!” which was very pretty. Mrs. Pierce is still very pretty, but paints red on her face, which makes me hate her, that I thank God I take no pleasure in her at all more. After much mirth and good company at dinner, I to the office and left them, and Pendleton also, who come in to see my wife and talk of dancing, and there I at the office all the afternoon very busy, and did much business, with my great content to see it go off of hand, and so home, my eyes spent, to supper and to bed.
27th (Lord’s day). Up, and to my office, there, with W. Hewer, to dictate a long letter to the Duke of York, about the bad state of the office, it being a work I do think fit for the office to do, though it be to no purpose but for their vindication in these bad times; for I do now learn many things tending to our safety which I did not wholly forget before, but do find the fruits of, and would I had practised them more, as, among other things, to be sure to let our answers to orders bear date presently after their date, that we may be found quick in our execution. This did us great good the other day before the Parliament. All the morning at this, at noon home to dinner, with my own family alone. After dinner, I down to Deptford, the first time that I went to look upon “The Maybolt,” which the King hath given me, and there she is; and I did meet with Mr. Uthwayte, who do tell me that there are new sails ordered to be delivered her, and a cable, which I did not speak of at all to him. So, thereupon, I told him I would not be my own hindrance so much as to take her into my custody before she had them, which was all I said to him, but desired him to take a strict inventory of her, that I might not be cheated by the master nor the company, when they come to understand that the vessel is gone away, which he hath promised me, and so away back again home, reading all the way the book of the collection of oaths in the several offices of this nation, which is worth a man’s reading, and so away home, and there my boy and I to sing, and at it all the evening, and to supper, and so to bed. This evening come Sir J. Minnes to me, to let me know that a Parliament-man hath been with him, to tell him that the Parliament intend to examine him particularly about Sir W. Coventry’s selling of places, and about my Lord Bruncker’s discharging the ships at Chatham by ticket: for the former of which I am more particularly sorry that that business of [Sir] W. Coventry should come up again; though this old man tells me, and, I believe, that he can say nothing to it.
28th. Up, and by water to White Hall (calling at Michell’s and drank a dram of strong water, but it being early I did not see his wife), and thence walked to Sir W. Coventry’s lodging, but he was gone out, and so going towards St. James’s I find him at his house which is fitting for him; and there I to him, and was with him above an hour alone, discoursing of the matters of the nation, and our Office, and himself. He owns that he is, at this day, the chief person aymed at by the Parliament — that is, by the friends of my Lord Chancellor, and also by the Duke of Albemarle, by reason of his unhappy shewing of the Duke of Albemarle’s letter, the other day, in the House; but that he thinks that he is not liable to any hurt they can fasten on him for anything, he is so well armed to justify himself in every thing, unless in the old business of selling places, when he says every body did; and he will now not be forward to tell his own story, as he hath been; but tells me he is grown wiser, and will put them to prove any thing, and he will defend himself: besides that, he will dispute the statute, thinking that it will not be found to reach him. We did talk many things, which, as they come into my mind now, I shall set down without order: that he is weary of public employment; and neither ever designed, nor will ever, if his commission were brought to him wrapt in gold, would he accept of any single place in the State, as particularly Secretary of State; which, he says, the world discourses Morrice is willing to resign, and he thinks the King might have thought of him, but he would not, by any means, now take it, if given him, nor anything, but in commission with others, who may bear part of the blame; for now he observes well, that whoever did do anything singly are now in danger, however honest and painful they were, saying that he himself was the only man, he thinks, at the council-board that spoke his mind clearly, as he thought, to the good of the King; and the rest, who sat silent, have nothing said to them, nor are taken notice of. That the first time the King did take him so closely into his confidence and ministry of affairs was upon the business of Chatham, when all the disturbances were there, and in the kingdom; and then, while everybody was fancying for himself, the King did find him to persuade him to call for the Parliament, declaring that it was against his own proper interest, forasmuch as [it was] likely they would find faults with him, as well as with others, but that he would prefer the service of the King before his own: and, thereupon, the King did take him into his special notice, and, from that time to this, hath received him so; and that then he did see the folly and mistakes of the Chancellor in the management of things, and saw that matters were never likely to be done well in that sort of conduct, and did persuade the King to think fit of the taking away the seals from the Chancellor, which, when it was done, he told me that he himself, in his own particular, was sorry for it; for, while he stood, there was he and my Lord Arlington to stand between him and harm: whereas now there is only my Lord Arlington, and he is now down, so that all their fury is placed upon him but that he did tell the King, when he first moved it, that, if he thought the laying of him, W. Coventry, aside, would at all facilitate the removing of the Chancellor, he would most willingly submit to it, whereupon the King did command him to try the Duke of York about it, and persuade him to it, which he did, by the King’s command, undertake, and compass, and the Duke of York did own his consent to the King, but afterwards was brought to be of another mind for the Chancellor, and now is displeased with him, and [so is] the Duchesse, so that she will not see him; but he tells me the Duke of York seems pretty kind, and hath said that he do believe that W. Coventry did mean well, and do it only out of judgment. He tells me that he never was an intriguer in his life, nor will be, nor of any combination of persons to set up this, or fling down that, nor hath, in his own business, this Parliament, spoke to three members to say any thing for him, but will stand upon his own defence, and will stay by it, and thinks that he is armed against all they can [say], but the old business of selling places, and in that thinks they cannot hurt him. However, I do find him mighty willing to have his name used as little as he can, and he was glad when I did deliver him up a letter of his to me, which did give countenance to the discharging of men by ticket at Chatham, which is now coming in question; and wherein, I confess, I am sorry to find him so tender of appearing, it being a thing not only good and fit, all that was done in it, but promoted and advised by him. But he thinks the House is set upon wresting anything to his prejudice that they can pick up. He tells me he did never, as a great many have, call the Chancellor rogue and knave, and I know not what; but all that he hath said, and will stand by, is, that his counsels were not good, nor the manner of his managing of things. I suppose he means suffering the King to run in debt; for by and by the King walking in the parke, with a great crowd of his idle people about him, I took occasion to say that it was a sorry thing to be a poor King, and to have others to come to correct the faults of his own servants, and that this was it that brought us all into this condition. He answered that he would never be a poor King, and then the other would mend of itself. “No,” says he, “I would eat bread and drink water first, and this day discharge all the idle company about me, and walk only with two footmen; and this I have told the King, and this must do it at last.” I asked him how long the King would suffer this. He told me the King must suffer it yet longer, that he would not advise the King to do otherwise; for it would break out again worse, if he should break them up before the core be come up. After this, we fell to other talk, of my waiting upon him hereafter, it may be, to read a chapter in Seneca, in this new house, which he hath bought, and is making very fine, when we may be out of employment, which he seems to wish more than to fear, and I do believe him heartily. Thence home, and met news from Mr. Townsend of the Wardrobe that old Young, the yeoman taylor, whose place my Lord Sandwich promised my father, is dead. Upon which, resolving presently that my father shall not be troubled with it, but I hope I shall be able to enable him to end his days where he is, in quiet, I went forth thinking to tell Mrs. Ferrers (Captain Ferrers’s wife), who do expect it after my father, that she may look after it, but upon second thoughts forbore it, and so back again home, calling at the New Exchange, and there buying “The Indian Emperour,” newly printed, and so home to dinner, where I had Mr. Clerke, the sollicitor, and one of the Auditor’s clerks to discourse about the form of making up my accounts for the Exchequer, which did give me good satisfaction, and so after dinner, my wife, and Mercer, who grows fat, and Willett, and I, to the King’s house, and there saw “The Committee,” a play I like well, and so at night home and to the office, and so to my chamber about my accounts, and then to Sir W. Pen’s to speak with Sir John Chichly, who desired my advice about a prize which he hath begged of the King, and there had a great deal of his foolish talk of ladies and love and I know not what, and so home to supper and to bed.
29th. Up, and at the office, my Lord Bruncker and I close together till almost 3 after noon, never stirring, making up a report for the Committee this afternoon about the business of discharging men by ticket, which it seems the House is mighty earnest in, but is a foolery in itself, yet gives me a great deal of trouble to draw up a defence for the Board, as if it was a crime; but I think I have done it to very good purpose. Then to my Lady Williams’s, with her and my Lord, and there did eat a snapp of good victuals, and so to Westminster Hall, where we find the House not up, but sitting all this day about the method of bringing in the charge against my Lord Chancellor; and at last resolved for a Committee to draw up the heads, and so rose, and no Committee to sit tonight. Here Sir W. Coventry and Lord Bruncker and I did in the Hall (between the two Courts at the top of the Hall) discourse about a letter of [Sir] W. Coventry’s to Bruncker, whereon Bruncker did justify his discharging men by ticket, and insists on one word which Sir W. Coventry would not seem very earnest to have left out, but I did see him concerned, and did after labour to suppress the whole letter, the thing being in itself really impertinent, but yet so it is that [Sir] W. Coventry do not desire to have his name used in this business, and I have prevailed with Bruncker for it. Thence Bruncker and I to the King’s House, thinking to have gone into a box above, for fear of being seen, the King being there, but the play being 3 acts done we would not give 4s., and so away and parted, and I home, and there after a little supper to bed, my eyes ill, and head full of thoughts of the trouble this Parliament gives us.
30th. All the morning till past noon preparing over again our report this afternoon to the Committee of Parliament about tickets, and then home to eat a bit, and then with Sir W. Pen to White Hall, where we did a very little business with the Duke of York at our usual meeting, only I perceive that he do leave all of us, as the King do those about him, to stand and fall by ourselves, and I think is not without some cares himself what the Parliament may do in matters wherein his honour is concerned. Thence to the Parliament-house; where, after the Committee was sat, I was called in; and the first thing was upon the complaint of a dirty slut that was there, about a ticket which she had lost, and had applied herself to me for another. . . . I did give them a short and satisfactory answer to that; and so they sent her away, and were ashamed of their foolery, in giving occasion to 500 seamen and seamen’s wives to come before them, as there was this afternoon. But then they fell to the business of tickets, and I did give them the best answer I could, but had not scope to do it in the methodical manner which I had prepared myself for, but they did ask a great many broken rude questions about it, and were mightily hot whether my Lord Bruncker had any order to discharge whole ships by ticket, and because my answer was with distinction, and not direct, I did perceive they were not so fully satisfied therewith as I could wish they were. So my Lord Bruncker was called in, and they could fasten nothing on him that I could see, nor indeed was there any proper matter for blame, but I do see, and it was said publicly in the House by Sir T. Clerges that Sir W. Batten had designed the business of discharging men by ticket and an order after the thing was done to justify my Lord Bruncker for having done it. But this I did not owne at all, nor was it just so, though he did indeed do something like it, yet had contributed as much to it as any man of the board by sending down of tickets to do it. But, Lord! to see that we should be brought to justify ourselves in a thing of necessity and profit to the King, and of no profit or convenience to us, but the contrary. We being withdrawn, we heard no more of it, but there staid late and do hear no more, only my cozen Pepys do tell me that he did hear one or two whisper as if they thought that I do bogle at the business of my Lord Bruncker, which is a thing I neither did or have reason to do in his favour, but I do not think it fit to make him suffer for a thing that deserves well. But this do trouble me a little that anything should stick to my prejudice in any of them, and did trouble me so much that all the way home with Sir W. Pen I was not at good ease, nor all night, though when I come home I did find my wife, and Betty Turner, the two Mercers, and Mrs. Parker, an ugly lass, but yet dances well, and speaks the best of them, and W. Batelier, and Pembleton dancing; and here I danced with them, and had a good supper, and as merry as I could be, and so they being gone we to bed.
31st. Up, and all the morning at the office, and at noon Mr. Creed and Yeabsly dined with me (my wife gone to dine with Mrs. Pierce and see a play with her), and after dinner in comes Mr. Turner, of Eynsbury, lately come to town, and also after him Captain Hill of the “Coventry,” who lost her at Barbadoes, and is come out of France, where he hath been long prisoner. After a great deal of mixed discourse, and then Mr. Turner and I alone a little in my closet, talking about my Lord Sandwich (who I hear is now ordered by the King to come home again), we all parted, and I by water, calling at Michell’s, and saw and once kissed su wife, but I do think that he is jealous of her, and so she dares not stand out of his sight; so could not do more, but away by water to the Temple, and there, after spending a little time in my bookseller’s shop, I to Westminster; and there at the lobby do hear by Commissioner Pett, to my great amazement, that he is in worse condition than before, by the coming in of the Duke of Albemarle’s and Prince Rupert’s Narratives’ this day; wherein the former do most severely lay matters upon him, so as the House this day have, I think, ordered him to the Tower again, or something like it; so that the poor man is likely to be overthrown, I doubt, right or wrong, so infinite fond they are of any thing the Duke of Albemarle says or writes to them! I did then go down, and there met with Colonel Reames and cozen Roger Pepys; and there they do tell me how the Duke of Albemarle and the Prince have laid blame on a great many, and particularly on our Office in general; and particularly for want of provision, wherein I shall come to be questioned again in that business myself; which do trouble me. But my cozen Pepys and I had much discourse alone: and he do bewail the constitution of this House, and says there is a direct caball and faction, as much as is possible between those for and those against the Chancellor, and so in other factions, that there is nothing almost done honestly and with integrity; only some few, he says, there are, that do keep out of all plots and combinations, and when their time comes will speak and see right done, if possible; and that he himself is looked upon to be a man that will be of no faction, and so they do shun to make him; and I am glad of it. He tells me that he thanks God he never knew what it was to be tempted to be a knave in his life; till he did come into the House of Commons, where there is nothing done but by passion, and faction, and private interest. Reames did tell me of a fellow last night (one Kelsy, a commander of a fire-ship, who complained for want of his money paid him) did say that he did see one of the Commissioners of the Navy bring in three waggon-loads of prize-goods into Greenwich one night; but that the House did take no notice of it, nor enquire; but this is me, and I must expect to be called to account, and answer what I did as well as I can. So thence away home, and in Holborne, going round, it being dark, I espied Sir D. Gawden’s coach, and so went out of mine into his; and there had opportunity to talk of the business of victuals, which the Duke of Albemarle and Prince did complain that they were in want of the last year: but we do conclude we shall be able to show quite the contrary of that; only it troubles me that we must come to contend with these great persons, which will overrun us. So with some disquiet in my mind on this account I home, and there comes Mr. Yeabsly, and he and I to even some accounts, wherein I shall be a gainer about £200, which is a seasonable profit, for I have got nothing a great while; and he being gone, I to bed.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59