January 1st. Up, and all the morning in my chamber making up some accounts against this beginning of the new year, and so about noon abroad with my wife, who was to dine with W. Hewer and Willet at Mrs. Pierces, but I had no mind to be with them, for I do clearly find that my wife is troubled at my friendship with her and Knepp, and so dined with my Lord Crew, with whom was Mr. Browne, Clerk of the House of Lords, and Mr. John Crew. Here was mighty good discourse, as there is always: and among other things my Lord Crew did turn to a place in the Life of Sir Philip Sidney, wrote by Sir Fulke Greville, which do foretell the present condition of this nation, in relation to the Dutch, to the very degree of a prophecy; and is so remarkable that I am resolved to buy one of them, it being, quite throughout, a good discourse. Here they did talk much of the present cheapness of corne, even to a miracle; so as their farmers can pay no rent, but do fling up their lands; and would pay in corne: but, which I did observe to my Lord, and he liked well of it, our gentry are grown so ignorant in every thing of good husbandry, that they know not how to bestow this corne: which, did they understand but a little trade, they would be able to joyne together, and know what markets there are abroad, and send it thither, and thereby ease their tenants and be able to pay themselves. They did talk much of the disgrace the Archbishop is fallen under with the King, and the rest of the Bishops also. Thence I after dinner to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw “Sir Martin Mar-all;” which I have seen so often, and yet am mightily pleased with it, and think it mighty witty, and the fullest of proper matter for mirth that ever was writ; and I do clearly see that they do improve in their acting of it. Here a mighty company of citizens, ‘prentices, and others; and it makes me observe, that when I begun first to be able to bestow a play on myself, I do not remember that I saw so many by half of the ordinary ‘prentices and mean people in the pit at 2s. 6d. a-piece as now; I going for several years no higher than the 12d. and then the 18d. places, though, I strained hard to go in then when I did: so much the vanity and prodigality of the age is to be observed in this particular. Thence I to White Hall, and there walked up and down the house a while, and do hear nothing of anything done further in this business of the change of Privy-counsellors: only I hear that Sir G. Savile, one of the Parliament Committee of nine, for examining the Accounts, is by the King made a Lord, the Lord Halifax; which, I believe, will displease the Parliament. By and by I met with Mr. Brisband; and having it in my mind this Christmas to (do what I never can remember that I did) go to see the manner of the gaming at the Groome–Porter’s, I having in my coming from the playhouse stepped into the two Temple-halls, and there saw the dirty ‘prentices and idle people playing; wherein I was mistaken, in thinking to have seen gentlemen of quality playing there, as I think it was when I was a little child, that one of my father’s servants, John Bassum, I think, carried me in his arms thither. I did tell Brisband of it, and he did lead me thither, where, after staying an hour, they begun to play at about eight at night, where to see how differently one man took his losing from another, one cursing and swearing, and another only muttering and grumbling to himself, a third without any apparent discontent at all: to see how the dice will run good luck in one hand, for half an hour together, and another have no good luck at all: to see how easily here, where they play nothing but guinnys, a £100 is won or lost: to see two or three gentlemen come in there drunk, and putting their stock of gold together, one 22 pieces, the second 4, and the third 5 pieces; and these to play one with another, and forget how much each of them brought, but he that brought the 22 thinks that he brought no more than the rest: to see the different humours of gamesters to change their luck, when it is bad, how ceremonious they are as to call for new dice, to shift their places, to alter their manner of throwing, and that with great industry, as if there was anything in it: to see how some old gamesters, that have no money now to spend as formerly, do come and sit and look on, as among others, Sir Lewis Dives, who was here, and hath been a great gamester in his time: to hear their cursing and damning to no purpose, as one man being to throw a seven if he could, and, failing to do it after a great many throws, cried he would be damned if ever he flung seven more while he lived, his despair of throwing it being so great, while others did it as their luck served almost every throw: to see how persons of the best quality do here sit down, and play with people of any, though meaner; and to see how people in ordinary clothes shall come hither, and play away 100, or 2 or 300 guinnys, without any kind of difficulty: and lastly, to see the formality of the groome-porter, who is their judge of all disputes in play and all quarrels that may arise therein, and how his under-officers are there to observe true play at each table, and to give new dice, is a consideration I never could have thought had been in the world, had I not now seen it. And mighty glad I am that I did see it, and it may be will find another evening, before Christmas be over, to see it again, when I may stay later, for their heat of play begins not till about eleven or twelve o’clock; which did give me another pretty observation of a man, that did win mighty fast when I was there. I think he won £100 at single pieces in a little time. While all the rest envied him his good fortune, he cursed it, saying, “A pox on it, that it should come so early upon me, for this fortune two hours hence would be worth something to me, but then, God damn me, I shall have no such luck.” This kind of prophane, mad entertainment they give themselves. And so I, having enough for once, refusing to venture, though Brisband pressed me hard, and tempted me with saying that no man was ever known to lose the first time, the devil being too cunning to discourage a gamester; and he offered me also to lend me ten pieces to venture; but I did refuse, and so went away, and took coach and home about 9 or to at night, where not finding my wife come home, I took the same coach again, and leaving my watch behind me for fear of robbing, I did go back and to Mrs. Pierces, thinking they might not have broken up yet, but there I find my wife newly gone, and not going out of my coach spoke only to Mr. Pierce in his nightgown in the street, and so away back again home, and there to supper with my wife and to talk about their dancing and doings at Mrs. Pierces today, and so to bed.
2nd. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes by coach to White Hall, and there attended the King and the Duke of York in the Duke of York’s lodgings, with the rest of the Officers and many of the Commanders of the fleete, and some of our master shipwrights, to discourse the business of having the topmasts of ships made to lower abaft of the mainmast; a business I understand not, and so can give no good account; but I do see that by how much greater the Council, and the number of Counsellors is, the more confused the issue is of their councils; so that little was said to the purpose regularly, and but little use was made of it, they coming to a very broken conclusion upon it, to make trial in a ship or two. From this they fell to other talk about the fleete’s fighting this late war, and how the King’s ships have been shattered; though the King said that the world would not have it that about ten or twenty ships in any fight did do any service, and that this hath been told so to him himself, by ignorant people. The Prince, who was there, was mightily surprised at it, and seemed troubled: but the King told him that it was only discourse of the world. But Mr. Wren whispered me in the eare, and said that the Duke of Albemarle had put it into his Narrative for the House, that not above twenty-five ships fought in the engagement wherein he was, but that he was advised to leave it out; but this he did write from sea, I am sure, or words to that effect: and did displease many commanders, among others, Captain Batts, who the Duke of York said was a very stout man, all the world knew; and that another was brought into his ship that had been turned out of his place when he was a boatswain, not long before, for being a drunkard. This the Prince took notice of, and would have been angry, I think, but they let their discourse fall: but the Duke of York was earnest in it. And the Prince said to me, standing by me, “God damn me, if they will turn out every man that will be drunk, they must turn out all the commanders in the fleete. What is the matter if he be drunk, so when he comes to fight he do his work? At least, let him be punished for his drunkenness, and not put out of his command presently.” This he spoke, very much concerned for this idle fellow, one Greene. After this the King began to tell stories of the cowardice of the Spaniards in Flanders, when he was there, at the siege of Mardike and Dunkirke; which was very pretty, though he tells them but meanly. This being done I to Westminster Hall, and there staid a little: and then home, and by the way did find with difficulty the Life of Sir Philip Sidney (the book I mentioned yesterday). And the bookseller told me that he had sold four, within this week or two, which is more than ever he sold in all his life of them; and he could not imagine what should be the reason of it: but I suppose it is from the same reason of people’s observing of this part therein, touching his prophesying our present condition here in England in relation to the Dutch, which is very remarkable. So home to dinner, where Balty’s wife is come to town; she come last night and lay at my house, but being weary was gone to bed before I come home, and so I saw her not before. After dinner I took my wife and her girl out to the New Exchange, and there my wife bought herself a lace for a handkercher, which I do give her, of about £3, for a new year’s gift, and I did buy also a lace for a band for myself, and so home, and there to the office busy late, and so home to my chamber, where busy on some accounts, and then to supper and to bed. This day my wife shows me a locket of dyamonds worth about £40, which W. Hewer do press her to accept, and hath done for a good while, out of his gratitude for my kindness and hers to him. But I do not like that she should receive it, it not being honourable for me to do it; and so do desire her to force him to take it back again, he leaving it against her will yesterday with her. And she did this evening force him to take it back, at which she says he is troubled; but, however, it becomes me more to refuse it, than to let her accept of it. And so I am well pleased with her returning it him. It is generally believed that France is endeavouring a firmer league with us than the former, in order to his going on with his business against Spayne the next year; which I am, and so everybody else is, I think, very glad of, for all our fear is, of his invading us. This day, at White Hall, I overheard Sir W. Coventry propose to the King his ordering of some particular thing in the Wardrobe, which was of no great value; but yet, as much as it was, it was of profit to the King and saving to his purse. The King answered to it with great indifferency, as a thing that it was no great matter whether it was done or no. Sir W. Coventry answered: “I see your Majesty do not remember the old English proverb, ‘He that will not stoop for a pin, will never be worth a pound.’” And so they parted, the King bidding him do as he would; which, methought, was an answer not like a King that did intend ever to do well.
3rd. At the office all the morning with Mr. Willson and my clerks, consulting again about a new contract with the Victualler of the Navy, and at noon home to dinner, and then to the office again, where busy all the afternoon preparing something for the Council about Tangier this evening. So about five o’clock away with it to the Council, and there do find that the Council hath altered its times of sitting to the mornings, and so I lost my labour, and back again by coach presently round by the city wall, it being dark, and so home, and there to the office, where till midnight with Mr. Willson and my people to go through with the Victualler’s contract and the considerations about the new one, and so home to supper and to bed, thinking my time very well spent.
4th. Up, and there to the office, where we sat all the morning; at noon home to dinner, where my clerks and Mr. Clerke the sollicitor with me, and dinner being done I to the office again, where all the afternoon till late busy, and then home with my mind pleased at the pleasure of despatching my business, and so to supper and to bed, my thoughts full, how to order our design of having some dancing at our house on Monday next, being Twelfth-day. It seems worth remembering that this day I did hear my Lord Anglesey at the table, speaking touching this new Act for Accounts, say that the House of Lords did pass it because it was a senseless, impracticable, ineffectual, and foolish Act; and that my Lord Ashly having shown this that it was so to the House of Lords, the Duke of Buckingham did stand up and told the Lords that they were beholden to my Lord Ashly, that having first commended them for a most grave and honourable assembly, he thought it fit for the House to pass this Act for Accounts because it was a foolish and simple Act: and it seems it was passed with but a few in the House, when it was intended to have met in a grand Committee upon it. And it seems that in itself it is not to be practiced till after this session of Parliament, by the very words of the Act, which nobody regarded, and therefore cannot come in force yet, unless the next meeting they do make a new Act for the bringing it into force sooner; which is a strange omission. But I perceive my Lord Anglesey do make a mere laughing-stock of this Act, as a thing that can do nothing considerable, for all its great noise.
5th (Lord’s day). Up, and being ready, and disappointed of a coach, it breaking a wheel just as it was coming for me, I walked as far as the Temple, it being dirty, and as I went out of my doors my cozen Anthony Joyce met me, and so walked part of the way with me, and it was to see what I would do upon what his wife a little while since did desire, which was to supply him £350 to enable him to go to build his house again. I (who in my nature am mighty unready to answer no to anything, and thereby wonder that I have suffered no more in my life by my easiness in that kind than I have) answered him that I would do it, and so I will, he offering me good security, and so it being left for me to consider the manner of doing it we parted. Taking coach as I said before at the Temple, I to Charing Cross, and there went into Unthanke’s to have my shoes wiped, dirty with walking, and so to White Hall, where I visited the Vice–Chamberlain, who tells me, and so I find by others, that the business of putting out of some of the Privy-council is over, the King being at last advised to forbear it; for whereas he did design it to make room for some of the House of Commons that are against him, thereby to gratify them, it is believed that it will but so much the more fret the rest that are not provided for, and raise a new stock of enemies by them that are displeased, and so all they think is over: and it goes for a pretty saying of my Lord Anglesey’s up and down the Court, that he should lately say to one of them that are the great promoters of this putting him and others out of the Council, “Well,” says he, “and what are we to look for when we are outed? Will all things be set right in the nation?” The other said that he did believe that many things would be mended: “But,” says my Lord, “will you and the rest of you be contented to be hanged, if you do not redeem all our misfortunes and set all right, if the power be put into your hands?” The other answered, “No, I would not undertake that:"—“Why, then,” says my Lord, “I and the rest of us that you are labouring to put out, will be contented to be hanged, if we do not recover all that is past, if the King will put the power into our hands, and adhere wholly to our advice;” which saying as it was severe, so generally people have so little opinion of those that are likely to be uppermost that they do mightily commend my Lord Anglesey for this saying. From the Vice–Chamberlain up and down the house till Chapel done, and then did speak with several that I had a mind to, and so intending to go home, my Lady Carteret saw and called me out of her window, and so would have me home with her to Lincoln’s Inn Fields to dinner, and there we met with my Lord Brereton, and several other strangers, to dine there; and I find him a very sober and serious, able man, and was in discourse too hard for the Bishop of Chester, who dined there; and who, above all books lately wrote, commending the matter and style of a late book, called “The Causes of the Decay of Piety,” I do resolve at his great commendation to buy it. Here dined also Sir Philip Howard, a Barkeshire Howard, whom I did once hear swear publickly and loud in the matted gallery that he had not been at a wench in so long a time. He did take occasion to tell me at the table that I have got great ground in the Parliament, by my ready answers to all that was asked me there about the business of Chatham, and they would never let me be out of employment, of which I made little; but was glad to hear him, as well as others, say it. And he did say also, relating to Commissioner Pett, that he did not think that he was guilty of anything like a fault, that he was either able or concerned to amend, but only the not carrying up of the ships higher, he meant; but he said, three or four miles lower down, to Rochester Bridge, which is a strange piece of ignorance in a Member of Parliament at such a time as this, and after so many examinations in the house of this business; and did boldly declare that he did think the fault to lie in my Lord Middleton, who had the power of the place, to secure the boats that were made ready by Pett, and to do anything that he thought fit, and was much, though not altogether in the right, for Spragg, that commanded the river, ought rather to be charged with the want of the boats and the placing of them. After dinner, my Lord Brereton very gentilely went to the organ, and played a verse very handsomely. Thence after dinner away with Sir G. Carteret to White Hall, setting down my Lord Brereton at my Lord Brouncker’s, and there up and down the house, and on the Queen’s side, to see the ladies, and there saw the Duchesse of York, whom few pay the respect they used, I think, to her; but she bears all out, with a very great deal of greatness; that is the truth of it. And so, it growing night, I away home by coach, and there set my wife to read, and then comes Pelling, and he and I to sing a little, and then sup and so to bed.
6th. Up, leaving my wife to get her ready, and the maids to get a supper ready against night for our company; and I by coach to White Hall, and there up and down the house, and among others met with Mr. Pierce, by whom I find, as I was afeard from the folly of my wife, that he understood that he and his wife was to dine at my house today, whereas it was to sup; and therefore I, having done my business at court, did go home to dinner, and there find Mr. Harris, by the like mistake, come to dine with me. However, we did get a pretty dinner ready for him; and there he and I to discourse of many things, and I do find him a very excellent person, such as in my whole [acquaintances] I do not know another better qualified for converse, whether in things of his own trade, or of other kinds, a man of great understanding and observation, and very agreeable in the manner of his discourse, and civil as far as is possible. I was mightily pleased with his company; and after dinner did take coach with him, and my wife and girl, to go to a play, and to carry him thither to his own house. But I ‘light by the way to return home, thinking to have spoke with Mrs. Bagwell, who I did see today in our entry, come from Harwich, whom I have not seen these twelve months, I think, and more, and voudrai avoir hazer alcun with her, sed she was gone, and so I took coach and away to my wife at the Duke of York’s house, in the pit, and so left her; and to Mrs. Pierce, and took her and her cozen Corbet, Knepp and little James, and brought them to the Duke’s house; and, the house being full, was forced to carry them to a box, which did cost me 20s., besides oranges, which troubled me, though their company did please me. Thence, after the play, stayed till Harris was undressed, there being acted “The Tempest,” and so he withall, all by coach, home, where we find my house with good fires and candles ready, and our Office the like, and the two Mercers, and Betty Turner, Pendleton, and W. Batelier. And so with much pleasure we into the house, and there fell to dancing, having extraordinary Musick, two viollins, and a base viollin, and theorbo, four hands, the Duke of Buckingham’s musique, the best in towne, sent me by Greeting, and there we set in to dancing. By and by to my house, to a very good supper, and mighty merry, and good musick playing; and after supper to dancing and singing till about twelve at night; and then we had a good sack posset for them, and an excellent cake, cost me near 20s., of our Jane’s making, which was cut into twenty pieces, there being by this time so many of our company, by the coming in of young Goodyer and some others of our neighbours, young men that could dance, hearing of our dancing; and anon comes in Mrs. Turner, the mother, and brings with her Mrs. Hollworthy, which pleased me mightily. And so to dancing again, and singing, with extraordinary great pleasure, till about two in the morning, and then broke up; and Mrs. Pierce and her family, and Harris and Knepp by coach home, as late as it was. And they gone, I took Mrs. Turner and Hollworthy home to my house, and there gave wine and sweetmeats; but I find Mrs. Hollworthy but a mean woman, I think, for understanding, only a little conceited, and proud, and talking, but nothing extraordinary in person, or discourse, or understanding. However, I was mightily pleased with her being there, I having long longed for to know her, and they being gone, I paid the fiddlers £3 among the four, and so away to bed, weary and mightily pleased, and have the happiness to reflect upon it as I do sometimes on other things, as going to a play or the like, to be the greatest real comfort that I am to expect in the world, and that it is that that we do really labour in the hopes of; and so I do really enjoy myself, and understand that if I do not do it now I shall not hereafter, it may be, be able to pay for it, or have health to take pleasure in it, and so fill myself with vain expectation of pleasure and go without it.
7th. Up, weary, about 9 o’clock, and then out by coach to White Hall to attend the Lords of the Treasury about Tangier with Sir Stephen Fox, and having done with them I away back again home by coach time enough to dispatch some business, and after dinner with Sir W. Pen’s coach (he being gone before with Sir D. Gawden) to White Hall to wait on the Duke of York, but I finding him not there, nor the Duke of York within, I away by coach to the Nursery, where I never was yet, and there to meet my wife and Mercer and Willet as they promised; but the house did not act today; and so I was at a loss for them, and therefore to the other two playhouses into the pit, to gaze up and down, to look for them, and there did by this means, for nothing, see an act in “The Schoole of Compliments” at the Duke of York’s house, and “Henry the Fourth” at the King’s house; but, not finding them, nor liking either of the plays, I took my coach again, and home, and there to my office to do business, and by and by they come home, and had been at the King’s House, and saw me, but I could [not] see them, and there I walked with them in the garden awhile, and to sing with Mercer there a little, and so home with her, and taught her a little of my “It is decreed,” which I have a mind to have her learn to sing, and she will do it well, and so after supper she went away, and we to bed, and there made amends by sleep for what I wanted last night.
8th. Up, and it being dirty, I by coach (which I was forced to go to the charge for) to White Hall, and there did deliver the Duke of York a memorial for the Council about the case of Tangiers want of money; and I was called in there and my paper was read. I did not think fit to say much, but left them to make what use they pleased of my paper; and so went out and waited without all the morning, and at noon hear that there is something ordered towards our help, and so I away by coach home, taking up Mr. Prin at the Court-gate, it raining, and setting him down at the Temple: and by the way did ask him about the manner of holding of Parliaments, and whether the number of Knights and Burgesses were always the same? And he says that the latter were not; but that, for aught he can find, they were sent up at the discretion, at first, of the Sheriffes, to whom the writs are sent, to send up generally the Burgesses and citizens of their county: and he do find that heretofore the Parliament-men being paid by the country, several burroughs have complained of the Sheriffes putting them to the charge of sending up Burgesses; which is a very extraordinary thing to me, that knew not this, but thought that the number had been known, and always the same. Thence home to the office, and so with my Lord Brouncker and his mistress, Williams, to Captain Cocke’s to dinner, where was Temple and Mr. Porter, and a very good dinner, and merry. Thence with Lord Brouncker to White Hall to the Commissioners of the Treasury at their sending for us to discourse about the paying of tickets, and so away, and I by coach to the ‘Change, and there took up my wife and Mercer and the girl by agreement, and so home, and there with Mercer to teach her more of “It is decreed,” and to sing other songs and talk all the evening, and so after supper I to even my journall since Saturday last, and so to bed. Yesterday Mr. Gibson, upon his discovering by my discourse to him that I had a willingness, or rather desire, to have him stay with me, than go, as he designed, on Sir W. Warren’s account, to sea, he resolved to let go the design and wait his fortune with me, though I laboured hard to make him understand the uncertainty of my condition or service, but however he will hazard it, which I take mighty kindly of him, though troubled lest he may come to be a loser by it, but it will not be for want of my telling him what he was to think on and expect. However, I am well pleased with it, with regard to myself, who find him mighty understanding and acquainted with all things in the Navy, that I should, if I continue in the Navy, make great use of him.
9th. Up, and to the office, having first been visited by my cozen Anthony Joyce about the £350 which he desires me to lend him, and which I have a mind enough to do, but would have it in my power to call it out again in a little time, and so do take a little further time to consider it. So to the office, where all the morning busy, and so home at noon to dinner with my people, where Mr. Hollier come and dined with me, and it is still mighty pleasant to hear him talk of Rome and the Pope, with what hearty zeal and hatred he talks against him. After dinner to the office again, where busy till night, very busy, and among other things wrote to my father about lending Anthony Joyce the money he desires; and I declare that I would do it as part of Pall’s portion, and that Pall should have the use of the money till she be married, but I do propose to him to think of Mr. Cumberland rather than this Jackson that he is upon; and I confess I have a mighty mind to have a relation so able a man, and honest, and so old an acquaintance as Mr. Cumberland. I shall hear his answer by the next [post]. At night home and to cards with my wife and girle, and to supper late, and so to bed.
10th. Up, and with Sir Denis Gawden, who called me, to White Hall, and there to wait on the Duke of York with the rest of my brethren, which we did a little in the King’s Greenroom, while the King was in Council: and in this room we found my Lord Bristoll walking alone; which, wondering at, while the Council was sitting, I was answered that, as being a Catholique, he could not be of the Council, which I did not consider before. After broke up and walked a turn or two with Lord Brouncker talking about the times, and he tells me that he thinks, and so do every body else, that the great business of putting out some of the Council to make room for some of the Parliament men to gratify and wheedle them is over, thinking that it might do more hurt than good, and not obtain much upon the Parliament either. This morning there was a Persian in that country dress, with a turban, waiting to kiss the King’s hand in the Vane-room, against he come out: it was a comely man as to features, and his dress, methinks, very comely. Thence in Sir W. Pen’s coach alone (he going with Sir D. Gawden) to my new bookseller’s, Martin’s; and there did meet with Fournier,1 the Frenchman, that hath wrote of the Sea and Navigation, and I could not but buy him, and also bespoke an excellent book, which I met with there, of China. The truth is, I have bought a great many books lately to a great value; but I think to buy no more till Christmas next, and those that I have will so fill my two presses that I must be forced to give away some to make room for them, it being my design to have no more at any time for my proper library than to fill them. Thence home and to the Exchange, there to do a little business, where I find everybody concerned whether we shall have out a fleete this next year or no, they talking of a peace concluded between France and Spayne, so that the King of France will have nothing to do with his army unless he comes to us; but I do not see in the world how we shall be able to set out a fleete for want of money to buy stores and pay men, for neither of which we shall be any more trusted. So home to dinner, and then with my wife and Deb. to the King’s house, to see “Aglaura,” which hath been always mightily cried up; and so I went with mighty expectation, but do find nothing extraordinary in it at all, and but hardly good in any degree. So home, and thither comes to us W. Batelier and sat with us all the evening, and to cards and supper, passing the evening pretty pleasantly, and so late at night parted, and so to bed. I find him mightily troubled at the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury opposing him in the business he hath a patent for about the business of Impost on wine, but I do see that the Lords have reason for it, it being a matter wherein money might be saved to his Majesty, and I am satisfied that they do let nothing pass that may save money, and so God bless them! So he being gone we to bed. This day I received a letter from my father, and another from my cozen Roger Pepys, who have had a view of Jackson’s evidences of his estate, and do mightily like of the man, and his condition and estate, and do advise me to accept of the match for my sister, and to finish it as soon as I can; and he do it so as, I confess, I am contented to have it done, and so give her her portion; and so I shall be eased of one care how to provide for her, and do in many respects think that it may be a match proper enough to have her married there, and to one that may look after my concernments if my father should die and I continue where I am, and there[fore] I am well pleased with it, and so to bed.
1 George Fournier, a Jesuit, born at Caen in 1569, was the author of several nautical works. His chief one, “L’Hydrographie,” was published at Paris in folio in 1663. A second edition appeared in 1667.
11th. Lay some time, talking with my wife in bed about Pall’s business, and she do conclude to have her married here, and to be merry at it; and to have W. Hewer, and Batelier, and Mercer, and Willet bridemen and bridemaids, and to be very merry; and so I am glad of it, and do resolve to let it be done as soon as I can. So up, and to the office, where all the morning busy, and thence home to dinner, and from dinner with Mercer, who dined with us, and wife and Deb. to the King’s house, there to see “The Wild-goose Chase,” which I never saw, but have long longed to see it, being a famous play, but as it was yesterday I do find that where I expect most I find least satisfaction, for in this play I met with nothing extraordinary at all, but very dull inventions and designs. Knepp come and sat by us, and her talk pleased me a little, she telling me how Mis Davis is for certain going away from the Duke’s house, the King being in love with her; and a house is taken for her, and furnishing; and she hath a ring given her already worth £600: that the King did send several times for Nelly, and she was with him, but what he did she knows not; this was a good while ago, and she says that the King first spoiled Mrs. Weaver, which is very mean, methinks, in a prince, and I am sorry for it, and can hope for no good to the State from having a Prince so devoted to his pleasure. She told me also of a play shortly coming upon the stage, of Sir Charles Sidly’s, which, she thinks, will be called “The Wandering Ladys,” a comedy that, she thinks, will be most pleasant; and also another play, called “The Duke of Lerma;” besides “Catelin,” which she thinks, for want of the clothes which the King promised them, will not be acted for a good while. Thence home, and there to the office and did some business, and so with my wife for half an hour walking in the moonlight, and it being cold, frosty weather, walking in the garden, and then home to supper, and so by the fireside to have my head combed, as I do now often do, by Deb., whom I love should be fiddling about me, and so to bed.
12th (Lord’s day). Up, and to dress myself, and then called into my wife’s chamber, and there she without any occasion fell to discourse of my father’s coming to live with us when my sister marries. This, she being afeard of declaring an absolute hatred to him since his falling out with her about Coleman’s being with her, she declares against his coming hither, which I not presently agreeing to, she declared, if he come, she would not live with me, but would shame me all over the city and court, which I made slight of, and so we fell very foul; and I do find she do keep very bad remembrances of my former unkindness to her, and do mightily complain of her want of money and liberty, which I will rather hear and bear the complaint of than grant the contrary, and so we had very hot work a great while: but at last I did declare as I intend, that my father shall not come, and that he do not desire and intend it; and so we parted with pretty good quiet, and so away, and being ready went to church, where first I saw Alderman Backewell and his lady come to our church, they living in Mark Lane; and I could find in my heart to invite her to sit with us, she being a fine lady. I come in while they were singing the 19th Psalm, while the sexton was gathering to his box, to which I did give 5s., and so after sermon home, my wife, Deb., and I all alone and very kind, full of good discourses, and after dinner I to my chamber, ordering my Tangier accounts to give to the Auditor in a day or two, which should have been long ago with him. At them to my great content all the afternoon till supper, and after supper with my wife, W. Hewer and Deb. pretty merry till 12 at night, and then to bed.
13th. Up, and Mr. Gibbs comes to me, and I give him instructions about the writing fair my Tangier accounts against tomorrow. So I abroad with Sir W. Pen to White Hall, and there did with the rest attend the Duke of York, where nothing extraordinary; only I perceive there is nothing yet declared for the next, year, what fleete shall be abroad. Thence homeward by coach and stopped at Martin’s, my bookseller, where I saw the French book which I did think to have had for my wife to translate, called “L’escholle des filles,”1 but when I come to look in it, it is the most bawdy, lewd book that ever I saw, rather worse than “Putana errante,” so that I was ashamed of reading in it, and so away home, and there to the ‘Change to discourse with Sir H. Cholmly, and so home to dinner, and in the evening, having done some business, I with my wife and girl out, and left them at Unthanke’s, while I to White Hall to the Treasury Chamber for an order for Tangier, and so back, took up my wife, and home, and there busy about my Tangier accounts against tomorrow, which I do get ready in good condition, and so with great content to bed.
1 “L’Escole des Filles,” by Helot, was burnt at the foot of the gallows in 1672, and the author himself was burnt in effigy.
14th. At the office all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and after dinner with Mr. Clerke and Gibson to the Temple (my wife and girle going further by coach), and there at the Auditor’s did begin the examining my Tangier accounts, and did make a great entry into it and with great satisfaction, and I am glad I am so far eased. So appointing another day for further part of my accounts, I with Gibson to my bookseller, Martin, and there did receive my book I expected of China, a most excellent book with rare cuts; and there fell into discourse with him about the burning of Paul’s when the City was burned; his house being in the church-yard. And he tells me that it took fire first upon the end of a board that, among others, was laid upon the roof instead of lead, the lead being broke off, and thence down lower and lower: but that the burning of the goods under St. Fayth’s arose from the goods taking fire in the church-yard, and so got into St. Fayth’s Church; and that they first took fire from the Draper’s side, by some timber of the houses that were burned falling into the church. He says that one warehouse of books was saved under Paul’s; and he says that there were several dogs found burned among the goods in the church-yard, and but one man, which was an old man, that said he would go and save a blanket which he had in the church, and, being a weak old man, the fire overcome him, and was burned. He says that most of the booksellers do design to fall a-building again the next year; but he says that the Bishop of London do use them most basely, worse than any other landlords, and says he will be paid to this day the rent, or else he will not come to treat with them for the time to come; and will not, on that condition either, promise them any thing how he will use them; and, the Parliament sitting, he claims his privilege, and will not be cited before the Lord Chief justice, as others are there, to be forced to a fair dealing. Thence by coach to Mrs. Pierce’s, where my wife and Deb. is; and there they fell to discourse of the last night’s work at Court, where the ladies and Duke of Monmouth and others acted “The Indian Emperour;” wherein they told me these things most remark able: that not any woman but the Duchesse of Monmouth and Mrs. Cornwallis did any thing but like fools and stocks, but that these two did do most extraordinary well: that not any man did any thing well but Captain O’Bryan, who spoke and did well, but, above all things, did dance most incomparably. That she did sit near the players of the Duke’s house; among the rest, Mis Davis, who is the most impertinent slut, she says, in the world; and the more, now the King do show her countenance; and is reckoned his mistress, even to the scorne of the whole world; the King gazing on her, and my Lady Castlemayne being melancholy and out of humour, all the play, not smiling once. The King, it seems, hath given her a ring of £700, which she shews to every body, and owns that the King did give it her; and he hath furnished a house for her in Suffolke Street most richly, which is a most infinite shame. It seems she is a bastard of Colonell Howard, my Lord Berkshire, and that he do pimp to her for the King, and hath got her for him; but Pierce says that she is a most homely jade as ever she saw, though she dances beyond any thing in the world. She tells me that the Duchesse of Richmond do not yet come to the Court, nor hath seen the King, nor will not, nor do he own his desire of seeing her; but hath used means to get her to Court, but they do not take. Thence home, and there I to my chamber, having a great many books brought me home from my bookbinder’s, and so I to the new setting of my books against the next year, which costs me more trouble than I expected, and at it till two o’clock in the morning, and then to bed, the business not being yet done to my mind. This evening come Mr. Mills and his wife to see and sit and talk with us, which they did till 9 o’clock at night, and then parted, and I to my books.
15th. Up, and to the Office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and then to the Office again, where we met about some business of D. Gawden’s till candle-light; and then, as late as it was, I down to Redriffe, and so walked by moonlight to Deptford, where I have not been a great while, and my business I did there was only to walk up and down above la casa of Bagwell, but could not see her, it being my intent to have spent a little time con her, she being newly come from her husband; but I did lose my labour, and so walked back again, but with pleasure by the walk, and I had the sport to see two boys swear, and stamp, and fret, for not being able to get their horse over a stile and ditch, one of them swearing and cursing most bitterly; and I would fain, in revenge, have persuaded him to have drove his horse through the ditch, by which I believe he would have stuck there. But the horse would not be drove, and so they were forced to go back again, and so I walked away homeward, and there reading all the evening, and so to bed. This afternoon my Lord Anglesey tells us that it is voted in Council to have a fleete of 50 ships out; but it is only a disguise for the Parliament to get some money by; but it will not take, I believe, and if it did, I do not think it will be such as he will get any of, nor such as will enable us to set out such a fleete.
16th. Up, after talking with my wife with pleasure, about her learning on the flageolet a month or two again this winter, and all the rest of the year her painting, which I do love, and so to the office, where sat all the morning, and here Lord Anglesey tells us again that a fleete is to be set out; and that it is generally, he hears, said, that it is but a Spanish rhodomontado; and that he saying so just now to the Duke of Albemarle, who come to town last night, after the thing was ordered, he told him a story of two seamen: one wished all the guns of the ship were his, and that they were silver; and says the other, “You are a fool, for, if you can have it for wishing, why do you not wish them gold?”—“So,” says he, “if a rhodomontado will do any good, why do you not say 100 ships?” And it is true; for the Dutch and French are said to make such preparations as 50 sail will do no good. At noon home to dinner with my gang of clerks, in whose society I am mightily pleased, and mightily with Mr. Gibson’s talking;1 he telling me so many good stories relating to the warr and practices of commanders, which I will find a time to recollect; and he will be an admirable help to my writing a history of the Navy, if ever I do. So to the office, where busy all the afternoon and evening, and then home. My work this night with my clerks till midnight at the office was to examine my list of ships I am making for myself and their dimensions, and to see how it agrees or differs from other lists, and I do find so great a difference between them all that I am at a loss which to take, and therefore think mine to be as much depended upon as any I can make out of them all. So little care there has been to this day to know or keep any history of the Navy.
1 Richard Gibson, so frequently noticed by Pepys, was a clerk in the Navy Office. His collection of papers relating to the navy of England A.D. 1650–1702, compiled, as he states, from the Admiralty books in the Navy Office, are in the British Museum. — B.
17th. Up, and by coach to White Hall to attend the Council there, and here I met first by Mr. Castle the shipwright, whom I met there, and then from the whole house the discourse of the duell yesterday between the Duke of Buckingham, Holmes, and one Jenkins, on one side, and my Lord of Shrewsbury, Sir John Talbot, and one Bernard Howard, on the other side: and all about my Lady Shrewsbury,1 who is a whore, and is at this time, and hath for a great while been, a whore to the Duke of Buckingham. And so her husband challenged him, and they met yesterday in a close near Barne–Elmes, and there fought: and my Lord Shrewsbury is run through the body, from the right breast through the shoulder: and Sir John Talbot all along up one of his armes; and Jenkins killed upon the place, and the rest all, in a little measure, wounded. This will make the world think that the King hath good councillors about him, when the Duke of Buckingham, the greatest man about him, is a fellow of no more sobriety than to fight about a whore. And this may prove a very bad accident to the Duke of Buckingham, but that my Lady Castlemayne do rule all at this time as much as ever she did, and she will, it is believed, keep all matters well with the Duke of Buckingham: though this is a time that the King will be very backward, I suppose, to appear in such a business. And it is pretty to hear how the King had some notice of this challenge a week or two ago, and did give it to my Lord Generall to confine the Duke, or take security that he should not do any such thing as fight: and the Generall trusted to the King that he, sending for him, would do it, and the King trusted to the Generall; and so, between both, as everything else of the greatest moment do, do fall between two stools. The whole House full of nothing but the talk of this business; and it is said that my Lord Shrewsbury’s case is to be feared, that he may die too; and that may make it much the worse for the Duke of Buckingham: and I shall not be much sorry for it, that we may have some sober man come in his room to assist in the Government. Here I waited till the Council rose, and talked the while, with Creed, who tells me of Mr. Harry Howard’s’ giving the Royal Society a piece of ground next to his house, to build a College on, which is a most generous act. And he tells me he is a very fine person, and understands and speaks well; and no rigid Papist neither, but one that would not have a Protestant servant leave his religion, which he was going to do, thinking to recommend himself to his master by it; saying that he had rather have an honest Protestant than a knavish Catholique. I was not called into the Council; and, therefore, home, first informing myself that my Lord Hinchingbroke hath been married this week to my Lord Burlington’s daughter; so that that great business is over; and I mighty glad of it, though I am not satisfied that I have not a Favour sent me, as I see Attorney Montagu and the Vice–Chamberlain have. But I am mighty glad that the thing is done. So home, and there alone with my wife and Deb. to dinner, and after dinner comes Betty Turner, and I carried them to the New Exchange, and thence I to White Hall and did a little business at the Treasury, and so called them there, and so home and to cards and supper, and her mother come and sat at cards with us till past 12 at night, and then broke up and to bed, after entering my journall, which made it one before I went to bed.
1 Anna Maria, daughter of Robert Brudenel, second Earl of Cardigan. Walpole says she held the Duke of Buckingham’s horse, in the habit of a page, while he was fighting the duel with her husband. She married, secondly, George Rodney Bridges, son of Sir Thomas Bridges of Keynsham, Somerset, Groom of the Bedchamber to Charles IL, and died April 20th, 1702. A portrait of the Countess of Shrewsbury, as Minerva, by Lely.
18th. At the office all the morning busy sitting. At noon home to dinner, where Betty Turner dined with us, and after dinner carried my wife, her and Deb. to the ‘Change, where they bought some things, while I bought “The Mayden Queene,” a play newly printed, which I like at the King’s house so well, of Mr. Dryden’s, which he himself, in his preface, seems to brag of, and indeed is a good play. So home again, and I late at the office and did much business, and then home to supper and to bed.
19th (Lord’s day). My wife the last night very ill of those, and waked me early, and hereupon I up and to church, where a dull sermon by our lecturer, and so home to dinner in my wife’s chamber, which she is a little better. Then after dinner with Captain Perryman down to Redriffe, and so walked to Deptford, where I sent for Mr. Shish out of the Church to advise about my vessel, “The Maybolt,” and I do resolve to sell, presently, for any thing rather than keep her longer, having already lost £100 in her value, which I was once offered and refused, and the ship left without any body to look to her, which vexes me. Thence Perryman and I back again, talking of the great miscarriages in the Navy, and among the principal that of having gentlemen commanders. I shall hereafter make use of his and others’ help to reckon up and put down in writing what is fit to be mended in the Navy after all our sad experience therein. So home, and there sat with my wife all the evening, and Mr. Pelting awhile talking with us, who tells me that my Lord Shrewsbury is likely to do well, after his great wound in the late dwell. He gone, comes W. Hewer and supped with me, and so to talk of things, and he tells me that Mr. Jessop is made Secretary to the Commissions of Parliament for Accounts, and I am glad, and it is pretty to see that all the Cavalier party were not able to find the Parliament nine Commissioners, or one Secretary, fit for the business. So he gone, I to read a little in my chamber, and so to bed.
20th. Up, and all the morning at the office very busy, and at noon by coach to Westminster, to the ‘Chequer, about a warrant for Tangier money. In my way both coming and going I did stop at Drumbleby’s, the pipe-maker, there to advise about the making of a flageolet to go low and soft; and he do shew me a way which do do, and also a fashion of having two pipes of the same note fastened together, so as I can play on one, and then echo it upon the other, which is mighty pretty. So to my Lord Crew’s to dinner, where we hear all the good news of our making a league now with Holland against the French power coming over them, or us which is the first good act that hath been done a great while, and done secretly, and with great seeming wisdom; and is certainly good for us at this time, while we are in no condition to resist the French, if they should come over hither; and then a little time of peace will give us time to lay up something, which these Commissioners of the Treasury are doing; and the world do begin to see that they will do the King’s work for him, if he will let them. Here dined Mr. Case, the minister, who, Lord! do talk just as I remember he used to preach, and did tell a pretty story of a religious lady, Queen of Navarre;1 and my Lord also told a good story of Mr. Newman, the Minister in New England, who wrote the Concordance, of his foretelling his death and preaching a funeral sermon, and did at last bid the angels do their office, and died. It seems there is great presumption that there will be a Toleration granted: so that the Presbyterians do hold up their heads; but they will hardly trust the King or the Parliament what to yield them, though most of the sober party be for some kind of allowance to be given them. Thence and home, and then to the ‘Change in the evening, and there Mr. Cade told me how my Lord Gerard is likely to meet with trouble, the next sitting of Parliament, about [Carr] being set in the pillory; and I am glad of it; and it is mighty acceptable to the world to hear, that, among other reductions, the King do reduce his Guards, which do please mightily. So to my bookbinder’s with my boy, and there did stay late to see two or three things done that I had a mind to see done, and among others my Tangier papers of accounts, and so home to supper and to bed.
1 Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre, sister of Francis I. of France. The “pretty story” was doubtless from her “Heptameron,” a work imitating in title and matter the “Decameron” of Boccaccio. She is said to be the heroine of some of the adventures. It is fair to add that she wrote also the “Miroir dune Ame Pecheresse,” translated into English by Queen Elizabeth, the title of whose book was “A Godly Medytacyon of the Christian Soules,” published by John Bale in 1548. — B.
21st. Up, and while at the office comes news from Kate Joyce that if I would see her husband alive, I must come presently. So, after the office was up, I to him, and W. Hewer with me, and find him in his sick bed (I never was at their house, this Inne, before) very sensible in discourse and thankful for my kindness to him, and his breath rattled in his throate, and they did lay pigeons to his feet while I was in the house, and all despair of him, and with good reason. But the story is that it seems on Thursday last he went sober and quiet out of doors in the morning to Islington, and behind one of the inns, the White Lion, did fling himself into a pond, was spied by a poor woman and got out by some people binding up hay in a barn there, and set on his head and got to life, and known by a woman coming that way; and so his wife and friends sent for. He confessed his doing the thing, being led by the Devil; and do declare his reason to be, his trouble that he found in having forgot to serve God as he ought, since he come to this new employment: and I believe that, and the sense of his great loss by the fire, did bring him to it, and so everybody concludes. He stayed there all that night, and come home by coach next morning, and there grew sick, and worse and worse to this day. I stayed awhile among the friends that were there, and they being now in fear that the goods and estate would be seized on, though he lived all this while, because of his endeavouring to drown himself, my cozen did endeavour to remove what she could of plate out of the house, and desired me to take my flagons; which I was glad of, and did take them away with me in great fear all the way of being seized; though there was no reason for it, he not being dead, but yet so fearful I was. So home, and there eat my dinner, and busy all the afternoon, and troubled at this business. In the evening with Sir D. Gawden, to Guild Hall, to advise with the Towne–Clerke about the practice of the City and nation in this case: and he thinks that it cannot be found self-murder; but if it be, it will fall, all the estate, to the King. So we parted, and I to my cozens again; where I no sooner come but news was brought down from his chamber that he was departed. So, at their entreaty, I presently took coach to White Hall, and there find Sir W. Coventry; and he carried me to the King, the Duke of York being with him, and there told my story which I had told him:1 and the King, without more ado, granted that, if it was found, the estate should be to the widow and children. I presently to each Secretary’s office, and there left caveats, and so away back again to my cozens, leaving a chimney on fire at White Hall, in the King’s closet; but no danger. And so, when I come thither, I find her all in sorrow, but she and the rest mightily pleased with my doing this for them; and, indeed, it was a very great courtesy, for people are looking out for the estate, and the coroner will be sent to, and a jury called to examine his death. This being well done to my and their great joy, I home, and there to my office, and so to supper and to bed.
1 This was not the only time that Pepys took trouble to save the estate of a friend who had committed suicide. In the “Caveat Book” in the Record Office, p. 42 of the volume for 1677, is the following entry: “That no grant pass of the Estate of Francis Gurney of Maldon in Essex, who drowned himself in his own well on Tuesday night ye 12th of this instant August, at the desire of Samuel Pepys, Esquire, August 20, 1677.”
22nd. Up, mightily busy all the morning at the office. At noon with Lord Brouncker to Sir D. Gawden’s, at the Victualling–Office, to dinner, where I have not dined since he was Sheriff: He expected us; and a good dinner, and much good company; and a fine house, and especially two rooms, very fine, he hath built there. His lady a good lady; but my Lord led himself and me to a great absurdity in kissing all the ladies, but the finest of all the company, leaving her out, I know not how; and I was loath to do it, since he omitted it. Here little Chaplin dined, who is like to be Sheriff the next year; and a pretty humoured little man he is. I met here with Mr. Talents, the younger, of Magdalene College, Chaplain here to the Sheriff; which I was glad to see, though not much acquainted with him. This day come the first demand from the Commissioners of Accounts to us, and it contains more than we shall ever be able to answer while we live, and I do foresee we shall be put to much trouble and some shame, at least some of us. Thence stole away after dinner to my cozen Kate’s, and there find the Crowner’s jury sitting, but they could not end it, but put off the business to Shrove Tuesday next, and so do give way to the burying of him, and that is all; but they all incline to find it a natural death, though there are mighty busy people to have it go otherwise, thinking to get his estate, but are mistaken. Thence, after sitting with her and company a while, comforting her: though I can find she can, as all other women, cry, and yet talk of other things all in a breath. So home, and thereto cards with my wife, Deb., and Betty Turner, and Batelier, and after supper late to sing. But, Lord! how did I please myself to make Betty Turner sing, to see what a beast she is as to singing, not knowing how to sing one note in tune; but, only for the experiment, I would not for 40s. hear her sing a tune: worse than my wife a thousand times, so that it do a little reconcile me to her. So late to bed.
23rd. At the Office all the morning; and at noon find the Bishop of Lincolne come to dine with us; and after him comes Mr. Brisband; and there mighty good company. But the Bishop a very extraordinary good-natured man, and one that is mightily pleased, as well as I am, that I live so near Bugden, the seat of his bishopricke, where he is like to reside: and, indeed, I am glad of it. In discourse, we think ourselves safe for this year, by this league with Holland, which pleases every body, and, they say, vexes France; insomuch that D’Estrades; the French Embassador in Holland, when he heard it, told the States that he would have them not forget that his master is at the head of 100,000 men, and is but 28 years old; which was a great speech. The Bishop tells me he thinks that the great business of Toleration will not, notwithstanding this talk, be carried this Parliament; nor for the King’s taking away the Deans’ and Chapters’ lands to supply his wants, they signifying little to him, if he had them, for his present service. He gone, I mightily pleased with his kindness, I to the office, where busy till night, and then to Mrs. Turner’s, where my wife, and Deb., and I, and Batelier spent the night, and supped, and played at cards, and very merry, and so I home to bed. She is either a very prodigal woman, or richer than she would be thought, by her buying of the best things, and laying out much money in new-fashioned pewter; and, among other things, a new-fashioned case for a pair of snuffers, which is very pretty; but I could never have guessed what it was for, had I not seen the snuffers in it.
24th. Up before day to my Tangier accounts, and then out and to a Committee of Tangier, where little done but discourse about reduction of the charge of the garrison, and thence to Westminster about orders at the Exchequer, and at the Swan I drank, and there met with a pretty ingenious young Doctor of physic, by chance, and talked with him, and so home to dinner, and after dinner carried my wife to the Temple, and thence she to a play, and I to St. Andrew’s church, in Holburne, at the ‘Quest House, where the company meets to the burial of my cozen Joyce; and here I staid with a very great rabble of four or five hundred people of mean condition, and I staid in the room with the kindred till ready to go to church, where there is to be a sermon of Dr. Stillingfleete, and thence they carried him to St. Sepulchre’s. But it being late, and, indeed, not having a black cloak to lead her [Kate Joyce] with, or follow the corps, I away, and saw, indeed, a very great press of people follow the corps. I to the King’s playhouse, to fetch my wife, and there saw the best part of “The Mayden Queene,” which, the more I see, the more I love, and think one of the best plays I ever saw, and is certainly the best acted of any thing ever the House did, and particularly Becke Marshall, to admiration. Found my wife and Deb., and saw many fine ladies, and sat by Colonell Reames, who understands and loves a play as well as I, and I love him for it. And so thence home; and, after being at the Office, I home to supper, and to bed, my eyes being very bad again with overworking with them.
25th. Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning, and then at noon to the ‘Change with Mr. Hater, and there he and I to a tavern to meet Captain Minors, which we did, and dined; and there happened to be Mr. Prichard, a ropemaker of his acquaintance, and whom I know also, and did once mistake for a fiddler, which sung well, and I asked him for such a song that I had heard him sing, and after dinner did fall to discourse about the business of the old contract between the King and the East India Company for the ships of the King that went thither, and about this did beat my brains all the afternoon, and then home and made an end of the accounts to my great content, and so late home tired and my eyes sore, to supper and to bed.
26th (Lord’s day). Up, and with my wife to Church, and at noon home to dinner. No strangers there; and all the afternoon and evening very late doing serious business of my Tangier accounts, and examining my East India accounts, with Mr. Poynter, whom I employed all this day, to transcribe it fair; and so to supper, W. Hewer with us, and so the girl to comb my head till I slept, and then to bed.
27th. It being weather like the beginning of a frost and the ground dry, I walked as far as the Temple, and there took coach and to White Hall, but the Committee not being met I to Westminster, and there I do hear of the letter that is in the pamphlet this day of the King of France, declaring his design to go on against Flanders, and the grounds of it, which do set us mightily at rest. So to White Hall, and there a committee of Tangier, but little done there, only I did get two or three little jobs done to the perfecting two or three papers about my Tangier accounts. Here Mr. Povy do tell me how he is like to lose his £400 a-year pension of the Duke of York, which he took in consideration of his place which was taken from him. He tells me the Duchesse is a devil against him, and do now come like Queen Elizabeth, and sits with the Duke of York’s Council, and sees what they do; and she crosses out this man’s wages and prices, as she sees fit, for saving money; but yet, he tells me, she reserves £5000 a-year for her own spending; and my Lady Peterborough, by and by, tells me that the Duchesse do lay up, mightily, jewells. Thence to my Lady Peterborough’s, she desiring to speak with me. She loves to be taken dressing herself, as I always find her; and there, after a little talk, to please her, about her husband’s pension, which I do not think he will ever get again, I away thence home, and all the afternoon mighty busy at the office, and late, preparing a letter to the Commissioners of Accounts, our first letter to them, and so home to supper, where Betty Turner was (whose brother Frank did set out toward the East Indies this day, his father and mother gone down with him to Gravesend), and there was her little brother Moses, whom I examined, and he is a pretty good scholar for a child, and so after supper to talk and laugh, and to bed.
28th. Up, and to the office, and there with W. Griffin talking about getting the place to build a coach-house, or to hire one, which I now do resolve to have, and do now declare it; for it is plainly for my benefit for saving money. By and by the office sat, and there we concluded on our letter to the Commissioners of Accounts and to the several officers of ours about the work they are to do to answer their late great demands. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner set my wife and girl down at the Exchange, and I to White Hall; and, by and by, the Duke of York comes, and we had a little meeting, Anglesey, W. Pen, and I there, and none else: and, among other things, did discourse of the want of discipline in the fleete, which the Duke’ of York confessed, and yet said that he, while he was there, did keep it in a good measure, but that it was now lost when he was absent; but he will endeavour to have it again. That he did tell the Prince and Duke of Albemarle they would lose all order by making such and such men commanders, which they would, because they were stout men: he told them that it was a reproach to the nation, as if there were no sober men among us, that were stout, to be had. That they did put out some men for cowards that the Duke of York had put in, but little before, for stout men; and would now, were he to go to sea again, entertain them in his own division, to choose: and did put in an idle fellow, Greene, who was hardly thought fit for a boatswain by him: they did put him from being a lieutenant to a captain’s place of a second-rate ship; as idle a drunken fellow, he said, as any was in the fleete. That he will now desire the King to let him be what he is, that is, Admirall; and he will put in none but those that he hath great reason to think well of; and particularly says, that; though he likes Colonell Legg well, yet his son that was, he knows not how, made a captain after he had been but one voyage at sea, he should go to sea another apprenticeship, before ever he gives him a command. We did tell him of the many defects and disorders among the captains, and I prayed we might do it in writing to him, which he liked; and I am glad of an opportunity of doing it. Thence away, and took up wife and girl, and home, and to the office, busy late, and so to supper and to bed. My wife this day hears from her father and mother: they are in France, at Paris; he, poor good man! I think he is, gives her good counsel still, which I always observed of him, and thankful for my small charities to him. I could be willing to do something for them, were I sure not to bring them over again hither. Coming home, my wife and I went and saw Kate Joyce, who is still in mighty sorrow, and the more from something that Dr. Stillingfleete should simply say in his sermon, of her husband’s manner of dying, as killing himself.
29th. Up betimes, and by coach to Sir W. Coventry, whom I found in his chamber, and there stayed an hour and talked with him about several things of the Navy, and our want of money, which they indeed do supply us with a little, but in no degree likely to enable us to go on with the King’s service. He is at a stand where to have more, and is in mighty pain for it, declaring that he believes there never was a kingdom so governed as this was in the time of the late Chancellor and the Treasurer, nobody minding or understanding any thing how things went or what the King had in his Treasury, or was to have, nothing in the world of it minded. He tells me that there are still people desirous to overthrow him; he resolving to stick at nothing nor no person that stands in his way against bringing the King out of debt, be it to retrench any man’s place or profit, and that he cares not, for rather than be employed under the King, and have the King continue in this condition of indigence, he desires to be put out from among them, thinking it no honour to be a minister in such a government. He tells me he hath no friends in the whole Court but my Lord Keeper and Sir John Duncomb. He tells me they have reduced the charges of Ireland above £70,000 a-year, and thereby cut off good profits from my Lord Lieutenant; which will make a new enemy, but he cares not. He tells me that Townsend, of the Wardrobe, is the eeriest knave and bufflehead that ever he saw in his life, and wonders how my Lord Sandwich come to trust such a fellow, and that now Reames and ———— are put in to be overseers there, and do great things, and have already saved a great deal of money in the King’s liverys, and buy linnen so cheap, that he will have them buy the next cloth he hath, for shirts. But then this is with ready money, which answers all. He do not approve of my letter I drew and the office signed yesterday to the Commissioners of Accounts, saying that it is a little too submissive, and grants a little too much and too soon our bad managements, though we lay on want of money, yet that it will be time enough to plead it when they object it. Which was the opinion of my Lord Anglesey also; so I was ready to alter it, and did so presently, going from him home, and there transcribed it fresh as he would have it, and got it signed, and to White Hall presently and shewed it him, and so home, and there to dinner, and after dinner all the afternoon and till 12 o’clock at night with Mr. Gibson at home upon my Tangier accounts, and did end them fit to be given the last of them to the Auditor tomorrow, to my great content. This evening come Betty Turner and the two Mercers, and W. Batelier, and they had fiddlers, and danced, and kept a quarter — [A term for making a noise or disturbance.]— which pleased me, though it disturbed me; but I could not be with them at all. Mr. Gibson lay at my house all night, it was so late.
30th. Up, it being fast day for the King’s death, and so I and Mr. Gibson by water to the Temple, and there all the morning with Auditor Wood, and I did deliver in the whole of my accounts and run them over in three hours with full satisfaction, and so with great content thence, he and I, and our clerks, and Mr. Clerke, the solicitor, to a little ordinary in Hercules-pillars Ally — the Crowne, a poor, sorry place, where a fellow, in twelve years, hath gained an estate of, as he says, £600 a-year, which is very strange, and there dined, and had a good dinner, and very good discourse between them, old men belonging to the law, and here I first heard that my cozen Pepys, of Salisbury Court, was Marshal to my Lord Cooke when he was Lord Chief justice; which beginning of his I did not know to be so low: but so it was, it seems. After dinner I home, calling at my bookbinder’s, but he not within. When come home, I find Kate Joyce hath been there, with sad news that her house stands not in the King’s liberty, but the Dean of Paul’s; and so, if her estate be forfeited, it will not be in the King’s power to do her any good. So I took coach and to her, and there found her in trouble, as I cannot blame her. But I do believe this arises from somebody that hath a mind to fright her into a composition for her estate, which I advise her against; and, indeed, I do desire heartily to be able to do her service, she being, methinks, a piece of care I ought to take upon me, for our fathers’ and friends’ sake, she being left alone, and no friend so near as me, or so able to help her. After having given her my advice, I home, and there to my office and did business, and hear how the Committee for Accounts are mighty active and likely to examine every thing, but let them do their worst I am to be before them with our contract books tomorrow. So home from the office, to supper, and to bed.
31st. Up; and by coach, with W. Griffin with me, and our Contract-books, to Durham Yard, to the Commissioners for Accounts; the first time I ever was there; and staid awhile before I was admitted to them. I did observe a great many people attending about complaints of seamen concerning tickets, and, among others, Mr. Carcasse, and Mr. Martin, my purser. And I observe a fellow, one Collins, is there, who is employed by these Commissioners particularly to hold an office in Bishopsgate Street, or somewhere thereabouts, to receive complaints of all people about tickets: and I believe he will have work enough. Presently I was called in, where I found the whole number of Commissioners, and was there received with great respect and kindness; and did give them great satisfaction, making it my endeavour to inform them what it was they were to expect from me, and what was the duty of other people; this being my only way to preserve myself, after all my pains and trouble. They did ask many questions, and demanded other books of me, which I did give them very ready and acceptable answers to; and, upon the whole, I observe they do go about their business like men resolved to go through with it, and in a very good method; like men of understanding. They have Mr. Jessop, their secretary: and it is pretty to see that they are fain to find out an old-fashioned man of Cromwell’s to do their business for them, as well as the Parliament to pitch upon such, for the most part, in the list of people that were brought into the House, for Commissioners. I went away, with giving and receiving great satisfaction; and so away to White Hall to the Commissioners of the Treasury; where, waiting some time, I there met with Colonel Birch; and he and I fell into discourse; and I did give him thanks for his kindness to me in the Parliament-house, both before my face and behind my back. He told me that he knew me to be a man of the old way for taking pains, and did always endeavour to do me right, and prevent any thing that was moved that might tend to my injury; which I was obliged to him for, and thanked him. Thence to talk of other things, and the want of money and he told me of the general want of money in the country; that land sold for nothing, and the many pennyworths he knows of lands and houses upon them, with good titles in his country, at 16 years’ purchase: “and,” says he, “though I am in debt, yet I have a mind to one thing, and that is a Bishop’s lease;” but said, “I will yet choose such a lease before any other, yes,” says he, plainly, “because I know they cannot stand, and then it will fall into the King’s hands, and I in possession shall have an advantage by it.” “And,” says he, “I know they must fall, and they are now near it, taking all the ways they can to undo themselves, and showing us the way;” and thereupon told the a story of the present quarrel between the Bishop and Deane of Coventry and Lichfield; the former of which did excommunicate the latter, and caused his excommunication to be read in the Church while he was there; and, after it was read, the Deane made the service be gone through with, though himself, an excommunicate, was present, which is contrary to the Canon, and said he would justify the quire therein against the Bishop; and so they are at law in the Arches about it; which is a very pretty story. He tells me that the King is for Toleration, though the Bishops be against it: and that he do not doubt but it will be carried in Parliament; but that he fears some will stand for the tolerating of Papists with the rest; and that he knows not what to say, but rather thinks that the sober party will be without it, rather than have it upon those terms; and I do believe so. Here we broke off, and I home to dinner, and after dinner set down my wife and Deb. at the ‘Change, and I to make a visit to Mr. Godolphin1 at his lodgings, who is lately come from Spain from my Lord Sandwich, and did, the other day, meeting me in White Hall, compliment me mightily, and so I did offer him this visit, but missed him, and so back and took up my wife and set her at Mrs. Turner’s, and I to my bookbinder’s, and there, till late at night, binding up my second part of my Tangier accounts, and I all the while observing his working, and his manner of gilding of books with great pleasure, and so home, and there busy late, and then to bed. This day Griffin did, in discourse in the coach, put me in the head of the little house by our garden, where old goodman Taylor puts his brooms and dirt, to make me a stable of, which I shall improve, so as, I think, to be able to get me a stable without much charge, which do please me mightily. He did also in discourse tell me that it is observed, and is true, in the late fire of London, that the fire burned just as many Parish–Churches as there were hours from the beginning to the end of the fire; and, next, that there were just as many Churches left standing as there were taverns left standing in the rest of the City that was not burned, being, I think he told me, thirteen in all of each: which is pretty to observe.
1 William Godolphin, descended from a younger branch of that family, which was afterwards ennobled in the person of Sidney, Earl Godolphin, Lord Treasurer. William Godolphin was of Christ Church, Oxford, and graduated M.A., January 14th, 1660–61. He was afterwards secretary to Sir H. Bennet (Lord Arlington), and M.P. for Camelford. He was a great favourite at Court, and was knighted on August 28th, 1668. In the spring of 1669 he returned to Spain as Envoy Extraordinary, and in 1671 he became Ambassador. On July 11th, 1696, he died at Madrid, having been for some years a Roman Catholic.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53