February 1st. Up, and to the office pretty betimes, and the Board not meeting as soon as I wished, I was forced to go to White Hall in expectation of a Committee for Tangier, but when I come it was put off, and so home again to the office, and sat till past two o’clock; where at the Board some high words passed between Sir W. Pen and I, begun by me, and yielded to by him, I being in the right in finding fault with him for his neglect of duty. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner out with my wife, thinking to have gone to the Duke of York’s playhouse, but was, to my great content in the saving my vow, hindered by coming a little too late; and so, it being a fine day, we out to Islington, and there to the old house and eat cheese-cakes and drank and talked, and so home in the evening, the ways being mighty bad, so as we had no pleasure in being abroad at all almost, but only the variety of it, and so to the office, where busy late, and then home to supper and to bed, my head mighty full of business now on my hands: viz., of finishing my Tangier Accounts; of auditing my last year’s Accounts; of preparing answers to the Commissioners of Accounts; of drawing up several important letters to the Duke of York and the Commissioners of the Treasury; the marrying of my sister; the building of a coach and stables against summer, and the setting many things in the Office right; and the drawing up a new form of Contract with the Victualler of the Navy, and several other things, which pains, however, will go through with, among others the taking care of Kate Joyce in that now she is in at present for saving her estate.
2nd (Lord’s day). Wife took physick this day, I all day at home, and all the morning setting my books in order in my presses, for the following year, their number being much increased since the last, so as I am fain to lay by several books to make room for better, being resolved to keep no more than just my presses will contain. At noon to dinner, my wife coming down to me, and a very good dinner we had, of a powdered leg of pork and a loin of lamb roasted, and with much content she and I and Deb. After dinner, my head combed an hour, and then to work again, and at it, doing many things towards the setting my accounts and papers in order, and so in the evening Mr. Pelling supping with us, and to supper, and so to bed.
3rd. Up, and to the office, where with my clerks all the morning very busy about several things there wherein I was behindhand. At noon home to dinner, and thence after dinner to the Duke of York’s house, to the play, “The Tempest,” which we have often seen, but yet I was pleased again, and shall be again to see it, it is so full of variety, and particularly this day I took pleasure to learn the tune of the seaman’s dance, which I have much desired to be perfect in, and have made myself so. So home with my wife and Deb., and there at the office met to my trouble with a warrant from the Commissioners of Accounts for my attending them and Cocke two days hence, which I apprehend by Captain Cocke’s being to go also, to be about the prizes. But, however, there is nothing of crime can be laid to my charge, and the worst that can be is to refund my £500 profit, and who can help it. So I resolve not to be troubled at it, though I fear I cannot bear it so, my spirit being very poor and mean as to the bearing with trouble that I do find of myself. So home, and there to my chamber and did some business — and thence to supper and to bed.
4th. Up, and to the office, where a full Board sat all the morning, busy among other things concerning a solemn letter we intend to write to the Duke of York about the state of the things of the Navy, for want of money, though I doubt it will be to little purpose. After dinner I abroad by coach to Kate Joyce’s, where the jury did sit where they did before, about her husband’s death, and their verdict put off for fourteen days longer, at the suit of somebody, under pretence of the King; but it is only to get money out of her to compound the matter. But the truth is, something they will make out of Stillingfleete’s sermon, which may trouble us, he declaring, like a fool, in his pulpit, that he did confess that his losses in the world did make him do what he did. This do vex me to see how foolish our Protestant Divines are, while the Papists do make it the duty of Confessor to be secret, or else nobody would confess their sins to them. All being put off for today, I took my leave of Kate, who is mightily troubled at it for her estate sake, not for her husband; for her sorrow for that, I perceive, is all over. I home, and, there to my office busy till the evening, and then home, and there my wife and Deb. and I and Betty Turner, I employed in the putting new titles to my books, which we proceeded on till midnight, and then being weary and late to bed.
5th. Up, and I to Captain Cocke’s, where he and I did discourse of our business that we are to go about to the Commissioners of Accounts about our prizes, and having resolved to conceal nothing but to confess the truth, the truth being likely to do us most good, we parted, and I to White Hall, where missing of the Commissioners of the Treasury, I to the Commissioners of Accounts, where I was forced to stay two hours before I was called in, and when come in did take an oath to declare the truth to what they should ask me, which is a great power; I doubt more than the Act do, or as some say can, give them, to force a man to swear against himself; and so they fell to enquire about the business of prize-goods, wherein I did answer them as well as I could, answer them in everything the just truth, keeping myself to that. I do perceive at last, that, that they did lay most like a fault to me was, that I did buy goods upon my Lord Sandwich’s declaring that it was with the King’s allowance, and my believing it, without seeing the King’s allowance, which is a thing I will own, and doubt not to justify myself in. That that vexed me most was, their having some watermen by, to witness my saying that they were rogues that they had betrayed my goods, which was upon some discontent with one of the watermen that I employed at Greenwich, who I did think did discover the goods sent from Rochester to the Custom–House officer; but this can do me no great harm. They were inquisitive into the minutest particulars, and the evening great information; but I think that they can do me no hurt, at the worst, more than to make me refund, if it must be known, what profit I did make of my agreement with Captain Cocke; and yet, though this be all, I do find so poor a spirit within me, that it makes me almost out of my wits, and puts me to so much pain, that I cannot think of anything, nor do anything but vex and fret, and imagine myself undone, so that I am ashamed of myself to myself, and do fear what would become of me if any real affliction should come upon me. After they had done with me, they called in Captain Cocke, with whom they were shorter; and I do fear he may answer foolishly, for he did speak to me foolishly before he went in; but I hope to preserve myself, and let him shift for himself as well as he can. So I away, walked to my flageolet maker in the Strand, and there staid for Captain Cocke, who took me up and carried me home, and there coming home and finding dinner done, and Mr. Cooke, who come for my Lady Sandwich’s plate, which I must part with, and so endanger the losing of my money, which I lent upon my thoughts of securing myself by that plate. But it is no great sum — but £60: and if it must be lost, better that, than a greater sum. I away back again, to find a dinner anywhere else, and so I, first, to the Ship Tavern, thereby to get a sight of the pretty mistress of the house, with whom I am not yet acquainted at all, and I do always find her scolding, and do believe she is an ill-natured devil, that I have no great desire to speak to her. Here I drank, and away by coach to the Strand, there to find out Mr. Moore, and did find him at the Bell Inn, and there acquainted him with what passed between me and the Commissioners today about the prize goods, in order to the considering what to do about my Lord Sandwich, and did conclude to own the thing to them as done by the King’s allowance, and since confirmed. Thence to other discourse, among others, he mightily commends my Lord Hinchingbroke’s match and Lady, though he buys her £10,000 dear, by the jointure and settlement his father makes her; and says that the Duke of York and Duchess of York did come to see them in bed together, on their wedding-night, and how my Lord had fifty pieces of gold taken out of his pocket that night, after he was in bed. He tells me that an Act of Comprehension is likely to pass this Parliament, for admitting of all persuasions in religion to the public observation of their particular worship, but in certain places, and the persons therein concerned to be listed of this, or that Church; which, it is thought, will do them more hurt than good, and make them not own, their persuasion. He tells me that there is a pardon passed to the Duke of Buckingham, my Lord of Shrewsbury, and the rest, for the late duell and murder;1 which he thinks a worse fault than any ill use my late Lord Chancellor ever put the Great Seal to, and will be so thought by the Parliament, for them to be pardoned without bringing them to any trial: and that my Lord Privy–Seal therefore would not have it pass his hand, but made it go by immediate warrant; or at least they knew that he would not pass it, and so did direct it to go by immediate warrant, that it might not come to him. He tells me what a character my Lord Sandwich hath sent over of Mr. Godolphin, as the worthiest man, and such a friend to him as he may be trusted in any thing relating to him in the world; as one whom, he says, he hath infallible assurances that he will remaine his friend which is very high, but indeed they say the gentleman is a fine man. Thence, after eating a lobster for my dinner, having eat nothing today, we broke up, here coming to us Mr. Townsend of the Wardrobe, who complains of the Commissioners of the Treasury as very severe against my Lord Sandwich, but not so much as they complain of him for a fool and a knave, and so I let him alone, and home, carrying Mr. Moore as far as Fenchurch Street, and I home, and there being vexed in my mind about my prize businesses I to my chamber, where my wife and I had much talk of W. Hewer, she telling me that he is mightily concerned for my not being pleased with him, and is herself mightily concerned, but I have much reason to blame him for his little assistance he gives me in my business, not being able to copy out a letter with sense or true spelling that makes me mad, and indeed he is in that regard of as little use to me as the boy, which troubles me, and I would have him know it — and she will let him know it. By and by to supper, and so to bed, and slept but ill all night, my mind running like a fool on my prize business, which according to my reason ought not to trouble me at all.
1 The royal pardon was thus announced in the “Gazette” of February 24th, 1668: “This day his Majesty was pleased to declare at the Board, that whereas, in contemplation of the eminent services heretofore done to his Majesty by most of the persons who were engaged in the late duel, or rencounter, wherein William Jenkins was killed, he Both graciously pardon the said offence: nevertheless, He is resolved from henceforth that on no pretence whatsoever any pardon shall be hereafter granted to any person whatsoever for killing of any man, in any duel or rencounter, but that the course of law shall wholly take place in all such cases.” The warrant for a pardon to George, Duke of Buckingham, is dated January 27th, 1668; and on the following day was issued, “Warrant for a grant to Francis, Earl of Shrewsbury, of pardon for killing William Jenkins, and for all duels, assaults, or batteries on George, Duke of Buckingham, Sir John Talbot, Sir Robert Holmes, or any other, whether indicted or not for the same, with restitution of lands, goods, &c.” (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1667–68, pp. 192,193).
6th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning,, and among other things Sir H. Cholmly comes to me about a little business, and there tells me how the Parliament, which is to meet again today, are likely to fall heavy on the business of the Duke of Buckingham’s pardon; and I shall be glad of it: and that the King hath put out of the Court the two Hides, my Lord Chancellor’s two sons, and also the Bishops of Rochester and Winchester, the latter of whom should have preached before him yesterday, being Ash Wednesday, and had his sermon ready, but was put by; which is great news: He gone, we sat at the office all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and my wife being gone before, I to the Duke of York’s playhouse; where a new play of Etherige’s, called “She Would if she Could;” and though I was there by two o’clock, there was 1000 people put back that could not have room in the pit: and I at last, because my wife was there, made shift to get into the 18d. box, and there saw; but, Lord! how full was the house, and how silly the play, there being nothing in the world good in it, and few people pleased in it. The King was there; but I sat mightily behind, and could see but little, and hear not all. The play being done, I into the pit to look (for) my wife, and it being dark and raining, I to look my wife out, but could not find her; and so staid going between the two doors and through the pit an hour and half, I think, after the play was done; the people staying there till the rain was over, and to talk with one another. And, among the rest, here was the Duke of Buckingham today openly sat in the pit; and there I found him with my Lord Buckhurst, and Sidly, and Etherige, the poet; the last of whom I did hear mightily find fault with the actors, that they were out of humour, and had not their parts perfect, and that Harris did do nothing, nor could so much as sing a ketch in it; and so was mightily concerned while all the rest did, through the whole pit, blame the play as a silly, dull thing, though there was something very roguish and witty; but the design of the play, and end, mighty insipid. At last I did find my wife staying for me in the entry; and with her was Betty Turner, Mercer, and Deb. So I got a coach, and a humour took us, and I carried them to Hercules Pillars, and there did give them a kind of a supper of about 7s., and very merry, and home round the town, not through the ruines; and it was pretty how the coachman by mistake drives us into the ruines from London-wall into Coleman Street: and would persuade me that I lived there. And the truth is, I did think that he and the linkman had contrived some roguery; but it proved only a mistake of the coachman; but it was a cunning place to have done us a mischief in, as any I know, to drive us out of the road into the ruines, and there stop, while nobody could be called to help us. But we come safe home, and there, the girls being gone home, I to the office, where a while busy, my head not being wholly free of my trouble about my prize business, I home to bed. This evening coming home I did put my hand under the coats of Mercer and did touch her thigh, but then she did put by my hand and no hurt done, but talked and sang and was merry.
7th. Up, and to the office, to the getting of my books in order, to carry to the Commissioners of Accounts this morning. This being done, I away first to Westminster Hall, and there met my cozen, Roger Pepys, by his desire, the first time I have seen him since his coming to town, the Parliament meeting yesterday and adjourned to Monday next; and here he tells me that Mr. Jackson, my sister’s servant, is come to town, and hath this day suffered a recovery on his estate, in order to the making her a settlement. The young man is gone out of the Hall, so I could not now see him, but here I walked a good while with my cozen, and among other things do hear that there is a great triall between my Lord Gerard and Carr today, who is indicted for his life at the King’s Bench, for running from his colours; but all do say that my Lord Gerard, though he designs the ruining of this man, will not get any thing by it. Thence to the Commissioners of Accounts, and there presented my books, and was made to sit down, and used with much respect, otherwise than the other day, when I come to them as a criminal about the business of the prizes. I sat here with them a great while, while my books were inventoried. And here do hear from them by discourse that they are like to undo the Treasurer’s instruments of the Navy by making it a rule that they shall repay all money paid to wrong parties, which is a thing not to be supported by these poor creatures the Treasurer’s instruments, as it is also hard for seamen to be ruined by their paying money to whom they please. I know not what will be the issue of it. I find these gentlemen to sit all day, and only eat a bit of bread at noon, and a glass of wine; and are resolved to go through their business with great severity and method. Thence I, about two o’clock, to Westminster Hall, by appointment, and there met my cozen Roger again, and Mr. Jackson, who is a plain young man, handsome enough for Pall, one of no education nor discourse, but of few words, and one altogether that, I think, will please me well enough. My cozen had got me to give the odd sixth £100 presently, which I intended to keep to the birth of the first child: and let it go — I shall be eased of the care, and so, after little talk, we parted, resolving to dine together at my house tomorrow. So there parted, my mind pretty well satisfied with this plain fellow for my sister, though I shall, I see, have no pleasure nor content in him, as if he had been a man of reading and parts, like Cumberland, and to the Swan, and there sent for a bit of meat and eat and drank, and so to White Hall to the Duke of York’s chamber, where I find him and my fellows at their usual meeting, discoursing about securing the Medway this year, which is to shut the door after the horse is stole. However, it is good. Having done here, my Lord Brouncker, and W. Pen, and I, and with us Sir Arnold Breames, to the King’s playhouse, and there saw a piece of “Love in a Maze,” a dull, silly play, I think; and after the play, home with W. Pen and his son Lowther, whom we met there, and then home and sat most of the evening with my wife and Mr. Pelting, talking, my head being full of business of one kind or other, and most such as do not please me, and so to supper and to bed.
8th. Up, and to the office, where sat all day, and at noon home, and there find cozen Roger and Jackson by appointment come to dine with me, and Creed, and very merry, only Jackson hath few words, and I like him never the worse for it. The great talk is of Carr’s coming off in all his trials, to the disgrace of my Lord Gerard, to that degree, and the ripping up of so many notorious rogueries and cheats of my Lord’s, that my Lord, it is thought, will be ruined; and, above all things, do skew the madness of the House of Commons, who rejected the petition of this poor man by a combination of a few in the House; and, much more, the base proceedings (just the epitome of all our publick managements in this age), of the House of Lords, that ordered him to stand in the pillory for those very things, without hearing and examining what he hath now, by the seeking of my Lord Gerard himself, cleared himself of, in open Court, to the gaining himself the pity of all the world, and shame for ever to my Lord Gerard. We had a great deal of good discourse at table, and after dinner we four men took coach, and they set me down at the Old Exchange, and they home, having discoursed nothing today with cozen or Jackson about our business. I to Captain Cocke’s, and there discoursed over our business of prizes, and I think I shall go near to state the matter so as to secure myself without wrong to him, doing nor saying anything but the very truth. Thence away to the Strand, to my bookseller’s, and there staid an hour, and bought the idle, rogueish book, “L’escholle des filles;” which I have bought in plain binding, avoiding the buying of it better bound, because I resolve, as soon as I have read it, to burn it, that it may not stand in the list of books, nor among them, to disgrace them if it should be found. Thence home, and busy late at the office, and then home to supper and to bed. My wife well pleased with my sister’s match, and designing how to be merry at their marriage. And I am well at ease in my mind to think that that care will be over. This night calling at the Temple, at the Auditor’s, his man told me that he heard that my account must be brought to the view of the Commissioners of Tangier before it can be passed, which though I know no hurt in it, yet it troubled me lest there should be any or any designed by them who put this into the head of the Auditor, I suppose Auditor Beale, or Creed, because they saw me carrying my account another way than by them.
9th (Lord’s day). Up, and at my chamber all the morning and the office doing business, and also reading a little of “L’escholle des filles,” which is a mighty lewd book, but yet not amiss for a sober man once to read over to inform himself in the villainy of the world. At noon home to dinner, where by appointment Mr. Pelting come and with him three friends, Wallington, that sings the good base, and one Rogers, and a gentleman, a young man, his name Tempest, who sings very well indeed, and understands anything in the world at first sight. After dinner we into our dining-room, and there to singing all the afternoon. (By the way, I must remember that Pegg Pen was brought to bed yesterday of a girl; and, among other things, if I have not already set it down, that hardly ever was remembered such a season for the smallpox as these last two months have been, people being seen all up and down the streets, newly come out after the smallpox.) But though they sang fine things, yet I must confess that I did take no pleasure in it, or very little, because I understood not the words, and with the rests that the words are set, there is no sense nor understanding in them though they be English, which makes me weary of singing in that manner, it being but a worse sort of instrumental musick. We sang until almost night, and drank mighty good store of wine, and then they parted, and I to my chamber, where I did read through “L’escholle des filles,” a lewd book, but what do no wrong once to read for information sake. . . . And after I had done it I burned it, that it might not be among my books to my shame, and so at night to supper and to bed.
10th. Up, and by coach to Westminster, and there made a visit to Mr. Godolphin, at his chamber; and I do find him a very pretty and able person, a man of very fine parts, and of infinite zeal to my Lord Sandwich; and one that says he is, he believes, as wise and able a person as any prince in the world hath. He tells me that he meets with unmannerly usage by Sir Robert Southwell, in Portugall, who would sign with him in his negociations there, being a forward young man: but that my Lord mastered him in that point, it being ruled for my Lord here, at a hearing of a Committee of the Council. He says that if my Lord can compass a peace between Spain and Portugall, and hath the doing of it and the honour himself, it will be a thing of more honour than ever any man had, and of as much advantage. Thence to Westminster Hall, where the Hall mighty full: and, among other things, the House begins to sit today, and the King come. But, before the King’s coming, the House of Commons met; and upon information given them of a Bill intended to be brought in, as common report said, for Comprehension, they did mightily and generally inveigh against it, and did vote that the King should be desired by the House (and the message delivered by the Privy-counsellers of the House) that the laws against breakers of the Act of Uniformity should be put in execution: and it was moved in the House that, if any people had a mind to bring any new laws into the House, about religion, they might come, as a proposer of new laws did in Athens, with ropes about their necks. By and by the King comes to the Lords’ House, and there tells them of his league with Holland, and the necessity of a fleete, and his debts; and, therefore, want of money; and his desire that they would think of some way to bring in all his Protestant subjects to a right understanding and peace one with another; meaning the Bill of Comprehension. The Commons coming to their House, it was moved that the vote passed this morning might be suspended, because of the King’s speech, till the House was full and called over, two days hence: but it was denied, so furious they are against this Bill: and thereby a great blow either given to the King or Presbyters, or, which is the rather of the two, to the House itself, by denying a thing desired by the King, and so much desired by much the greater part of the nation. Whatever the consequence be, if the King be a man of any stomach and heat, all do believe that he will resent this vote. Thence with Creed home to my house to dinner, where I met with Mr. Jackson, and find my wife angry with Deb., which vexes me. After dinner by coach away to Westminster; taking up a friend of Mr. Jackson’s, a young lawyer, and parting with Creed at White Hall. They and I to Westminster Hall, and there met Roger Pepys, and with him to his chamber, and there read over and agreed upon the Deed of Settlement to our minds: my sister to have £600 presently, and she to be joyntured in £60 per annum; wherein I am very well satisfied. Thence I to the Temple to Charles Porter’s lodgings, where Captain Cocke met me, and after long waiting, on Pemberton,1 an able lawyer, about the business of our prizes, and left the matter with him to think of against tomorrow, this being a matter that do much trouble my mind, though there be no fault in it that I need fear the owning that I know of. Thence with Cocke home to his house and there left him, and I home, and there got my wife to read a book I bought today, and come out today licensed by Joseph Williamson for Lord Arlington, shewing the state of England’s affairs relating to France at this time, and the whole body of the book very good and solid, after a very foolish introduction as ever I read, and do give a very good account of the advantage of our league with Holland at this time. So, vexed in my mind with the variety of cares I have upon me, and so to bed.
1 Francis Pemberton, afterwards knighted, and made Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench in 1679. His career was a most singular one, he having been twice removed from the Bench, and twice imprisoned by the House of Commons. He twice returned to the bar, and after his second return he practised with great success as a serjeant for the next fourteen years till his death, June 10th, 1697. Evelyn says, “He was held to be the most learned of the judges and an honest man” (“Diary,” October 4th, 1683).
11th. At the office all the morning, where comes a damned summons to attend the Committee of Miscarriages today, which makes me mad, that I should by my place become the hackney of this Office, in perpetual trouble and vexation, that need it least. At noon home to dinner, where little pleasure, my head being split almost with the variety of troubles upon me at this time, and cares, and after dinner by coach to Westminster Hall, and sent my wife and Deb. to see “Mustapha” acted. Here I brought a book to the Committee, and do find them; and particularly Sir Thomas Clarges, mighty hot in the business of tickets, which makes me mad to see them bite at the stone, and not at the hand that flings it, and here my Lord Brouncker unnecessarily orders it that he is called in to give opportunity to present his report of the state of the business of paying by ticket, which I do not think will do him any right, though he was made believe that it did operate mightily, and that Sir Fresh. Hollis did make a mighty harangue and to much purpose in his defence, but I believe no such effects of it, for going in afterward I did hear them speak with prejudice of it, and that his pleading of the Admiral’s warrant for it now was only an evasion, if not an aspersion upon the Admirall, and therefore they would not admit of this his report, but go on with their report as they had resolved before. The orders they sent for this day was the first order that I have yet met with about this business, and was of my own single hand warranting, but I do think it will do me no harm, and therefore do not much trouble myself with it, more than to see how much trouble I am brought to who have best deported myself in all the King’s business. Thence with Lord Brouncker, and set him down at Bow Streete, and so to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw the last act for nothing, where I never saw such good acting of any creature as Smith’s part of Zanger; and I do also, though it was excellently acted by ————— do yet want Betterton mightily. Thence to the Temple, to Porter’s chamber, where Cocke met me, and after a stay there some time, they two and I to Pemberton’s chamber, and there did read over the Act of calling people to account, and did discourse all our business of the prizes; and, upon the whole, he do make it plainly appear, that there is no avoiding to give these Commissioners satisfaction in everything they will ask; and that there is fear lest they may find reason to make us refund for all the extraordinary profit made by those bargains; and do make me resolve rather to declare plainly, and, once for all, the truth of the whole, and what my profit hath been, than be forced at last to do it, and in the meantime live in gain, as I must always do: and with this resolution on my part I departed, with some more satisfaction of mind, though with less hopes of profit than I expected. It was pretty here to see the heaps of money upon this lawyer’s table; and more to see how he had not since last night spent any time upon our business, but begun with telling us that we were not at all concerned in that Act; which was a total mistake, by his not having read over the Act at all. Thence to Porter’s chamber, where Captain Cocke had fetched my wife out of the coach, and there we staid and talked and drank, he being a very generous, good-humoured man, and so away by coach, setting Cocke at his house, and we with his coach home, and there I to the office, and there till past one in the morning, and so home to supper and to bed, my mind at pretty good ease, though full of care and fear of loss. This morning my wife in bed told me the story of our Tom and Jane:— how the rogue did first demand her consent to love and marry him, and then, with pretence of displeasing me, did slight her; but both he and she have confessed the matter to her, and she hath charged him to go on with his love to her, and be true to her, and so I think the business will go on, which, for my love to her, because she is in love with him, I am pleased with; but otherwise I think she will have no good bargain of it, at least if I should not do well in my place. But if I do stand, I do intend to give her £50 in money, and do them all the good I can in my way.
12th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning drawing up my narrative of my proceedings and concernments in the buying of prize-goods, which I am to present to the Committee for Accounts; and being come to a resolution to conceal nothing from them, I was at great ease how to draw it up without any inventions or practise to put me to future pain or thoughts how to carry on, and now I only discover what my profit was, and at worst I suppose I can be made but to refund my profit and so let it go. At noon home to dinner, where Mr. Jackson dined with me, and after dinner I (calling at the Excise Office, and setting my wife and Deb. at her tailor’s) did with Mr. Jackson go to find my cozen Roger Pepys, which I did in the Parliament House, where I met him and Sir Thomas Crew and Mr. George Montagu, who are mighty busy how to save my Lord’s name from being in the Report for anything which the Committee is commanded to report to the House of the miscarriages of the late war. I find they drive furiously still in the business of tickets, which is nonsense in itself and cannot come to any thing. Thence with cozen Roger to his lodgings, and there sealed the writings with Jackson, about my sister’s marriage: and here my cozen Roger told me the pleasant passage of a fellow’s bringing a bag of letters today, into the lobby of the House, and left them, and withdrew himself without observation. The bag being opened, the letters were found all of one size, and directed with one hand: a letter to most of the Members of the House. The House was acquainted with it, and voted they should be brought in, and one opened by the Speaker; wherein if he found any thing unfit to communicate, to propose a Committee to be chosen for it. The Speaker opening one, found it only a case with a libell in it, printed: a satire most sober and bitter as ever I read; and every letter was the same. So the House fell a-scrambling for them like boys: and my cozen Roger had one directed to him, which he lent me to read. So away, and took up my wife, and setting Jackson down at Fetter Lane end, I to the old Exchange to look Mr. Houblon, but, not finding him, did go home, and there late writing a letter to my Lord Sandwich, and to give passage to a letter of great moment from Mr. Godolphin to him, which I did get speedy passage for by the help of Mr. Houblon, who come late to me, and there directed the letter to Lisbon under cover of his, and here we talked of the times, which look very sad and distracted, and made good mirth at this day’s passage in the House, and so parted; and going to the gate with him, I found his lady and another fine lady sitting an hour together, late at night, in their coach, while he was with me, which is so like my wife, that I was mighty taken with it, though troubled for it. So home to supper and to bed. This day Captain Cocke was with the Commissioners of Accounts to ask more time for his bringing in his answer about the prize goods, and they would not give him 14 days as he asks, but would give only two days, which was very hard, I think, and did trouble me for fear of their severity, though I have prepared my matter so as to defy it.
13th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and thence with my wife and Deb. to White Hall, setting, them at her tailor’s, and I to the Commissioners of the Treasury, where myself alone did argue the business of the East India Company against their whole Company on behalf of the King before the Lords Commissioners, and to very good effect, I think, and with reputation. That business being over, the Lords and I had other things to talk about, and among the rest, about our making more assignments on the Exchequer since they bid us hold, whereat they were extraordinary angry with us, which troubled me a little, though I am not concerned in it at all. Waiting here some time without, I did meet with several people, among others Mr. Brisband, who tells me in discourse that Tom Killigrew hath a fee out of the Wardrobe for cap and bells,1 under the title of the King’s Foole or jester; and may with privilege revile or jeere any body, the greatest person, without offence, by the privilege of his place. Thence took up my wife, and home, and there busy late at the office writing letters, and so home to supper and to bed. The House was called over today. This morning Sir G. Carteret come to the Office to see and talk with me: and he assures me that to this day the King is the most kind man to my Lord Sandwich in the whole world; that he himself do not now mind any publick business, but suffers things to go on at Court as they will, he seeing all likely to come to ruin: that this morning the Duke of York sent to him to come to make up one of a Committee of the Council for Navy Affairs; where, when he come, he told the Duke of York that he was none of them: which shews how things are now-a-days ordered, that there should be a Committee for the Navy; and the Lord Admiral not know the persons of it! And that Sir G. Carteret and my Lord Anglesey should be left out of it, and men wholly improper put into it. I do hear of all hands that there is a great difference at this day between my Lord Arlington and Sir W. Coventry, which I am sorry for.
1 The Lord Chamberlain’s Records contain a copy of a warrant dated July 12th, 1661, “to deliver to Mr. Killegrew thirty yards of velvett, three dozen of fringe, and sixteene yards of Damaske for the year 1661.” The heading of this entry is “Livery for ye jester” (Lowe’s “Betterton,” p. 70).
14th (Valentine’s day). Up, being called up by Mercer, who come to be my Valentine, and so I rose and my wife, and were merry a little, I staying to talk, and did give her a guinny in gold for her Valentine’s gift. There comes also my cozen Roger Pepys betimes, and comes to my wife, for her to be his Valentine, whose Valentine I was also, by agreement to be so to her every year; and this year I find it is likely to cost £4 or £5 in a ring for her, which she desires. Cozen Roger did come also to speak with Sir W. Pen, who was quoted, it seems, yesterday by Sir Fr. Hollis to have said that if my Lord Sandwich had done so and so, we might have taken all the Dutch prizes at the time when he staid and let them go. But Sir W. Pen did tell us he should say nothing in it but what would do my Lord honour, and he is a knave I am able to prove if he do otherwise. He gone, I to my Office, to perfect my Narrative about prize-goods; and did carry it to the Commissioners of Accounts, who did receive it with great kindness, and express great value of, and respect to me: and my heart is at rest that it is lodged there, in so full truth and plainness, though it may hereafter prove some loss to me. But here I do see they are entered into many enquiries about prizes, by the great attendance of commanders and others before them, which is a work I am not sorry for. Thence I away, with my head busy, but my heart at pretty good ease, to the Old Exchange, and there met Mr. Houblon. I prayed him to discourse with some of the merchants that are of the Committee for Accounts, to see how they do resent my paper, and in general my particular in the relation to the business of the Navy, which he hath promised to do carefully for me and tell me. Here it was a mighty pretty sight to see old Mr. Houblon, whom I never saw before, and all his sons about him, all good merchants. Thence home to dinner, and had much discourse with W. Hewer about my going to visit Colonel Thomson, one of the Committee of Accounts, who, among the rest, is mighty kind to me, and is likely to mind our business more than any; and I would be glad to have a good understanding with him. Thence after dinner to White Hall, to attend the Duke of York, where I did let him know, too, the troublesome life we lead, and particularly myself, by being obliged to such attendances every day as I am, on one Committee or another. And I do find the Duke of York himself troubled, and willing not to be troubled with occasions of having his name used among the Parliament, though he himself do declare that he did give directions to Lord Brouncker to discharge the men at Chatham by ticket, and will own it, if the House call for it, but not else. Thence I attended the King and Council, and some of the rest of us, in a business to be heard about the value of a ship of one Dorrington’s:— and it was pretty to observe how Sir W. Pen making use of this argument against the validity of an oath, against the King, being made by the master’s mate of the ship, who was but a fellow of about 23 years of age — the master of the ship, against whom we pleaded, did say that he did think himself at that age capable of being master’s mate of any ship; and do know that he, himself, Sir W: Pen, was so himself, and in no better degree at that age himself: which word did strike Sir W. Pen dumb, and made him open his mouth no more; and I saw the King and Duke of York wink at one another at it. This done, we into the gallery; and there I walked with several people, and among others my Lord Brouncker, who I do find under much trouble still about the business of the tickets, his very case being brought in; as is said, this day in the Report of the Miscarriages. And he seems to lay much of it on me, which I did clear and satisfy him in; and would be glad with all my heart to serve him in, and have done it more than he hath done for himself, he not deserving the least blame, but commendations, for this. I met with my cozen Roger Pepys and Creed; and from them understand that the Report was read today of the Miscarriages, wherein my Lord Sandwich is [named] about the business I mentioned this morning; but I will be at rest, for it can do him no hurt. Our business of tickets is soundly up, and many others: so they went over them again, and spent all the morning on the first, which is the dividing of the fleete; wherein hot work was, and that among great men, Privy–Councillors, and, they say, Sir W. Coventry; but I do not much fear it, but do hope that it will shew a little, of the Duke of Albemarle and the Prince to have been advisers in it: but whereas they ordered that the King’s Speech should be considered today, they took no notice of it at all, but are really come to despise the King in all possible ways of chewing it. And it was the other day a strange saying, as I am told by my cozen Roger Pepys, in the House, when it was moved that the King’s speech should be considered, that though the first part of the Speech, meaning the league that is there talked of, be the only good publick thing that hath been done since the King come into England, yet it might bear with being put off to consider, till Friday next, which was this day. Secretary Morrice did this day in the House, when they talked of intelligence, say that he was allowed but £70 a-year for intelligence — [Secret service money]— whereas, in Cromwell’s time, he [Cromwell] did allow £70,000 a-year for it; and was confirmed therein by Colonel Birch, who said that thereby Cromwell carried the secrets of all the princes of Europe at his girdle. The House is in a most broken condition; nobody adhering to any thing, but reviling and finding fault: and now quite mad at the Undertakers, as they are commonly called, Littleton, Lord Vaughan, Sir R. Howard, and others that are brought over to the Court, and did undertake to get the King money; but they despise, and would not hear them in the House; and the Court do do as much, seeing that they cannot be useful to them, as was expected. In short, it is plain that the King will never be able to do any thing with this Parliament; and that the only likely way to do better, for it cannot do worse, is to break this and call another Parliament; and some do think that it is intended. I was told to-night that my Lady Castlemayne is so great a gamester as to have won £5000 in one night, and lost £25,000 in another night, at play, and hath played £1000 and £1500 at a cast. Thence to the Temple, where at Porter’s chamber I met Captain Cocke, but lost our labour, our Counsellor not being within, Pemberton, and therefore home and late at my office, and so home to supper and to bed.
15th. Up betimes, and with Captain Cocke my coach to the Temple to his Counsel again about the prize goods in order to the drawing up of his answer to them, where little done but a confirmation that our best interest is for him to tell the whole truth, and so parted, and I home to the office, where all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and after dinner all the afternoon and evening till midnight almost, and till I had tired my own backe, and my wife’s, and Deb.‘s, in titleing of my books for the present year, and in setting them in order, which is now done to my very good satisfaction, though not altogether so completely as I think they were the last year, when my mind was more at leisure to mind it. So about midnight to bed, where my wife taking some physic overnight it wrought with her, and those coming upon her with great gripes, she was in mighty pain all night long, yet, God forgive me! I did find that I was most desirous to take my rest than to ease her, but there was nothing I could do to do her any good with.
16th (Lord’s day). Up, and to my chamber, where all the morning making a catalogue of my books, which did find me work, but with great pleasure, my chamber and books being now set in very good order, and my chamber washed and cleaned, which it had not been in some months before, my business and trouble having been so much. At noon Mr. Holliard put in, and dined with my wife and me, who was a little better today. His company very good. His story of his love and fortune, which hath been very good and very bad in the world, well worth hearing. Much discourse also about the bad state of the Church, and how the Clergy are come to be men of no worth in the world; and, as the world do now generally discourse, they must be reformed; and I believe the Hierarchy will in a little time be shaken, whether they will or no; the King being offended with them, and set upon it, as I hear. He gone, after dinner to have my head combed, and then to my chamber and read most of the evening till pretty late, when, my wife not being well, I did lie below stairs in our great chamber, where I slept well.
17th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning till noon getting some things more ready against the afternoon for the Committee of Accounts, which did give me great trouble, to see how I am forced to dance after them in one place, and to answer Committees of Parliament in another. At noon thence toward the Committee, but meeting with Sir W. Warren in Fleet Street he and I to the Ordinary by Temple Bar and there dined together, and to talk, where he do seem to be very high now in defiance of the Board, now he says that the worst is come upon him to have his accounts brought to the Committee of Accounts, and he do reflect upon my late coldness to him, but upon the whole I do find that he is still a cunning fellow, and will find it necessary to be fair to me, and what hath passed between us of coldness to hold his tongue, which do please me very well. Thence to the Committee, where I did deliver the several things they expected from me, with great respect and show of satisfaction, and my mind thereby eased of some care. But thence I to Westminster Hall, and there spent till late at night walking to and again with many people, and there in general I hear of the great high words that were in the House on Saturday last, upon the first part of the Committee’s Report about the dividing of the fleete; wherein some would have the counsels of the King to be declared, and the reasons of them, and who did give them; where Sir W. Coventry laid open to them the consequences of doing that, that the King would never have any honest and wise men ever to be of his Council. They did here in the House talk boldly of the King’s bad counsellors, and how they must be all turned out, and many of them, and better; brought in: and the proceedings of the Long–Parliament in the beginning of the war were called to memory: and the King’s bad intelligence was mentioned, wherein they were bitter against my Lord Arlington, saying, among other things, that whatever Morrice’s was, who declared he had but £750 a-year allowed him for intelligence, the King paid too dear for my Lord Arlington’s, in giving him £10,000 and a barony for it. Sir W. Coventry did here come to his defence, in the business of the letter that was sent to call back Prince Rupert, after he was divided from the fleete, wherein great delay was objected; but he did show that he sent it at one in the morning, when the Duke of York did give him the instructions after supper that night, and did clear himself well of it: only it was laid as a fault, which I know not how he removes, of not sending it by an express, but by the ordinary post; but I think I have heard he did send it to my Lord Arlington’s; and that there it lay for some hours; it coming not to Sir Philip Honiwood’s hand at Portsmouth till four in the afternoon that day, being about fifteen or sixteen hours in going; and about this, I think, I have heard of a falling out between my Lord Arlington, heretofore, and W. Coventry. Some mutterings I did hear of a design of dissolving the Parliament; but I think there is no ground for it yet, though Oliver would have dissolved them for half the trouble and contempt these have put upon the King and his councils. The dividing of the fleete, however, is, I hear, voted a miscarriage, and the not building a fortification at Sheernesse: and I have reason every hour to expect that they will vote the like of our paying men off by ticket; and what the consequence of that will be I know not, but I am put thereby into great trouble of mind. I did spend a little time at the Swan, and there did kiss the maid, Sarah. At noon home, and there up to my wife, who is still ill, and supped with her, my mind being mighty full of trouble for the office and my concernments therein, and so to supper and talking with W. Hewer in her chamber about business of the office, wherein he do well understand himself and our case, and it do me advantage to talk with him and the rest of my people. I to bed below as I did last night.
18th. Up by break of day, and walked down to the old Swan, where I find little Michell building, his booth being taken down, and a foundation laid for a new house, so that that street is like to be a very fine place. I drank, but did not see Betty, and so to Charing Cross stairs, and thence walked to Sir W. Coventry’s,1 and talked with him, who tells me how he hath been persecuted, and how he is yet well come off in the business of the dividing of the fleete, and the sending of the letter. He expects next to be troubled about the business of bad officers in the fleete, wherein he will bid them name whom they call bad, and he will justify himself, having never disposed of any but by the Admiral’s liking. And he is able to give an account of all them, how they come recommended, and more will be found to have been placed by the Prince and Duke of Albemarle than by the Duke of York during the war, and as no bad instance of the badness of officers he and I did look over the list of commanders, and found that we could presently recollect thirty-seven commanders that have been killed in actuall service this war. He tells me that Sir Fr. Hollis is the main man that hath persecuted him hitherto, in the business of dividing the fleete, saying vainly that the want of that letter to the Prince hath given him that, that he shall remember it by to his grave, meaning the loss of his arme; when, God knows! he is as idle and insignificant a fellow as ever come into the fleete. He tells me that in discourse on Saturday he did repeat Sir Rob. Howard’s words about rowling out of counsellors, that for his part he neither cared who they rowled in, nor who they rowled out, by which the word is become a word of use in the House, the rowling out of officers. I will remember what, in mirth, he said to me this morning, when upon this discourse he said, if ever there was another Dutch war, they should not find a Secretary; “Nor,” said I, “a Clerk of the Acts, for I see the reward of it; and, thanked God! I have enough of my own to buy me a good book and a good fiddle, and I have a good wife;"—“Why,” says he, “I have enough to buy me a good book, and shall not need a fiddle, because I have never a one of your good wives.” I understand by him that we are likely to have our business of tickets voted a miscarriage, but [he] cannot tell me what that will signify more than that he thinks they will report them to the King and there leave them, but I doubt they will do more. Thence walked over St. James’s Park to White Hall, and thence to Westminster Hall, and there walked all the morning, and did speak with several Parliament-men-among others, Birch, who is very kind to me, and calls me, with great respect and kindness, a man of business, and he thinks honest, and so long will stand by me, and every such man, to the death. My business was to instruct them to keep the House from falling into any mistaken vote about the business of tickets, before they were better informed. I walked in the Hall all the morning with my Lord Brouncker, who was in great pain there, and, the truth is, his business is, without reason, so ill resented by the generality of the House, that I was almost troubled to be seen to walk with him, and yet am able to justify him in all, that he is under so much scandal for. Here I did get a copy of the report itself, about our paying off men by tickets; and am mightily glad to see it, now knowing the state of our case, and what we have to answer to, and the more for that the House is like to be kept by other business today and tomorrow, so that, against Thursday, I shall be able to draw up some defence to put into some Member’s hands, to inform them, and I think we may [make] a very good one, and therefore my mind is mightily at ease about it. This morning they are upon a Bill, brought in today by Sir Richard Temple, for obliging the King to call Parliaments every three years; or, if he fail, for others to be obliged to do it, and to keep him from a power of dissolving any Parliament in less than forty days after their first day of sitting, which is such a Bill as do speak very high proceedings, to the lessening of the King; and this they will carry, and whatever else they desire, before they will give any money; and the King must have money, whatever it cost him. I stepped to the Dog Tavern, and thither come to me Doll Lane, and there we did drink together, and she tells me she is my valentine. . . . Thence, she being gone, and having spoke with Mr. Spicer here, whom I sent for hither to discourse about the security of the late Act of 11 months’ tax on which I have secured part of my money lent to Tangier. I to the Hall, and there met Sir W. Pen, and he and I to the Beare, in Drury Lane, an excellent ordinary, after the French manner, but of Englishmen; and there had a good fricassee, our dinner coming to 8s., which was mighty pretty, to my great content; and thence, he and I to the King’s house, and there, in one of the upper boxes, saw “Flora’s Vagarys,” which is a very silly play; and the more, I being out of humour, being at a play without my wife, and she ill at home, and having no desire also to be seen, and, therefore, could not look about me. Thence to the Temple, and there we parted, and I to see Kate Joyce, where I find her and her friends in great ease of mind, the jury having this day given in their verdict that her husband died of a feaver. Some opposition there was, the foreman pressing them to declare the cause of the feaver, thinking thereby to obstruct it: but they did adhere to their verdict, and would give no reason; so all trouble is now over, and she safe in her estate, which I am mighty glad of, and so took leave, and home, and up to my wife, not owning my being at a play, and there she shews me her ring of a Turky-stone set with little sparks of dyamonds,1 which I am to give her, as my Valentine, and I am not much troubled at it. It will cost me near £5 — she costing me but little compared with other wives, and I have not many occasions to spend on her. So to my office, where late, and to think upon my observations tomorrow, upon the report of the Committee to the Parliament about the business of tickets, whereof my head is full, and so home to supper and to bed.
1 Sir William Coventry’s love of money is said by Sir John Denham to have influenced him in promoting naval officers, who paid him for their commissions.
“Then Painter! draw cerulian Coventry
Keeper, or rather Chancellor o’ th’ sea
And more exactly to express his hue,
Use nothing but ultra-mariuish blue.
To pay his fees, the silver trumpet spends,
And boatswain’s whistle for his place depends.
Pilots in vain repeat their compass o’er,
Until of him they learn that one point more
The constant magnet to the pole doth hold,
Steel to the magnet, Coventry to gold.
Muscovy sells us pitch, and hemp, and tar;
Iron and copper, Sweden; Munster, war;
Ashley, prize; Warwick, custom;
But Coventry doth sell the fleet away.”— B.
1 The turquoise. This stone was sometimes referred to simply as the turkey, and Broderip (“Zoological Recreations”) conjectured that the bird (turkey) took its name from the blue or turquoise colour of the skin about its head.
19th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning drawing up an answer to the Report of the Committee for miscarriages to the Parliament touching our paying men by tickets, which I did do in a very good manner I think. Dined with my clerks at home, where much good discourse of our business of the Navy, and the trouble now upon us, more than we expected. After dinner my wife out with Deb., to buy some things against my sister’s wedding, and I to the office to write fair my business I did in the morning, and in the evening to White Hall, where I find Sir W. Coventry all alone, a great while with the Duke of York, in the King’s drawing-room, they two talking together all alone, which did mightily please me. Then I did get Sir W. Coventry (the Duke of York being gone) aside, and there read over my paper, which he liked and corrected, and tells me it will be hard to escape, though the thing be never so fair, to have it voted a miscarriage; but did advise me and my Lord Brouncker, who coming by did join with us, to prepare some members in it, which we shall do. Here I do hear how La Roche, a French captain, who was once prisoner here, being with his ship at Plymouth, hath played some freakes there, for which his men being beat out of the town, he hath put up his flag of defiance, and also, somewhere thereabout, did land with his men, and go a mile into the country, and did some pranks, which sounds pretty odd, to our disgrace, but we are in condition now to bear any thing. But, blessed be God! all the Court is full of the good news of my Lord Sandwich’s having made a peace between Spain and Portugall, which is mighty great news, and, above all, to my Lord’s honour, more than any thing he ever did; and yet I do fear it will not prevail to secure him in Parliament against incivilities there. Thence, took up my wife at Unthanke’s, and so home, and there my mind being full of preparing my paper against tomorrow for the House, with an address from the office to the House, I to the office, very late, and then home to supper and to bed.
20th. Up, and to the office a while, and thence to White Hall by coach with Mr. Batelier with me, whom I took up in the street. I thence by water to Westminster Hall, and there with Lord Brouncker, Sir T. Harvy, Sir J. Minnes, did wait all the morning to speak to members about our business, thinking our business of tickets would come before the House today, but we did alter our minds about the petition to the House, sending in the paper to them. But the truth is we were in a great hurry, but it fell out that they were most of the morning upon the business of not prosecuting the first victory; which they have voted one of the greatest miscarriages of the whole war, though they cannot lay the fault anywhere yet, because Harman is not come home. This kept them all the morning, which I was glad of. So down to the Hall, where my wife by agreement stayed for me at Mrs. Michell’s, and there was Mercer and the girl, and I took them to Wilkinson’s the cook’s in King Street (where I find the master of the house hath been dead for some time), and there dined, and thence by one o’clock to the King’s house: a new play, “The Duke of Lerma,” of Sir Robert Howard’s: where the King and Court was; and Knepp and Nell spoke the prologue most excellently, especially Knepp, who spoke beyond any creature I ever, heard. The play designed to reproach our King with his mistresses, that I was troubled for it, and expected it should be interrupted; but it ended all well, which salved all. The play a well-writ and good play, only its design I did not like of reproaching the King, but altogether a very good and most serious play. Thence home, and there a little to the office, and so home to supper, where Mercer with us, and sang, and then to bed.
21st. At the office all the morning to get a little business done, I having, and so the whole office, been put out of doing any business there for this week by our trouble in attending the Parliament. Hither comes to me young Captain Beckford, the slopseller, and there presents me a little purse with gold in it, it being, as he told me, for his present to me, at the end of the last year. I told him I had not done him any service I knew of. He persisted, and I refused, but did at several denials; and telling him that it was not an age to take presents in, he told me he had reason to present me with something, and desired me to accept of it, which, at his so urging me, I did, and so fell to talk of his business, and so parted. I do not know of any manner of kindness I have done him this last year, nor did expect any thing. It was therefore very welcome to me, but yet I was not fully satisfied in my taking it, because of my submitting myself to the having it objected against me hereafter, and the rather because this morning Jacke Fen come and shewed me an order from the Commissioners of Accounts, wherein they demand of him an account upon oath of all the sums of money that have been by him defalked or taken from any man since their time, of enquiry upon any payments, and if this should, as it is to be feared, come to be done to us, I know not what I shall then do, but I shall take counsel upon it. At noon by coach towards Westminster, and met my Lord Brouncker, and W. Pen, and Sir T. Harvey, in King’s Street, coming away from the Parliament House; and so I to them, and to the French ordinary, at the Blue Bells, in Lincolne’s Inn Fields, and there dined and talked. And, among other things, they tell me how the House this day is still as backward for giving any money as ever, and do declare they will first have an account of the disposals of the last Poll-bill, and eleven months’ tax: and it is pretty odde that the very first sum mentioned in the account brought in by Sir Robert Long, of the disposal of the Poll-bill money, is £5000 to my Lord Arlington for intelligence; which was mighty unseasonable, so soon after they had so much cried out against his want of intelligence. The King do also own but £250,000, or thereabouts, yet paid on the Poll-bill, and that he hath charged £350,000 upon it. This makes them mad; for that the former Poll-bill, that was so much less in its extent than the last, which took in all sexes and qualities, did come to £350,000. Upon the whole, I perceive they are like to do nothing in this matter to please the King, or relieve the State, be the case never so pressing; and, therefore, it is thought by a great many that the King cannot be worse if he should dissolve them: but there is nobody dares advise it, nor do he consider any thing himself. Thence, having dined for 20s., we to the Duke of York at White Hall, and there had our usual audience, and did little but talk of the proceedings of the Parliament, wherein he is as much troubled as we; for he is not without fears that they do ayme at doing him hurt; but yet he declares that he will never deny to owne what orders he hath given to any man to justify him, notwithstanding their having sent to him to desire his being tender to take upon him the doing any thing of that kind. Thence with Brouncker and T. Harvey to Westminster Hall, and there met with Colonel Birch and Sir John Lowther, and did there in the lobby read over what I have drawn up for our defence, wherein they own themselves mightily satisfied; and Birch, like a particular friend, do take it upon him to defend us, and do mightily do me right in all his discourse. Here walked in the Hall with him a great while, and discoursed with several members, to prepare them in our business against tomorrow, and meeting my cozen Roger Pepys, he showed me Granger’s written confession,1 of his being forced by imprisonment, &c., by my Lord Gerard, most barbarously to confess his forging of a deed in behalf of Fitton, in the great case between him [Fitton] and my Lord Gerard; which business is under examination, and is the foulest against my Lord Gerard that ever any thing in the world was, and will, all do believe, ruine him; and I shall be glad of it. Thence with Lord Brouncker and T. Harvey as far as the New Exchange, and there at a draper’s shop drawing up a short note of what they are to desire of the House for our having a hearing before they determine any thing against us, which paper is for them to show to what friends they meet against tomorrow, I away home to the office, and there busy pretty late, and here comes my wife to me, who hath been at Pegg Pen’s christening, which, she says, hath made a flutter and noise; but was as mean as could be, and but little company, just like all the rest that that family do. So home to supper and to bed, with my head full of a defence before the Parliament tomorrow, and therein content myself very well, and with what I have done in preparing some of the members thereof in order thereto.
1 Pepys here refers to the extraordinary proceedings which occurred between Charles, Lord Gerard, and Alexander Fitton, of which a narrative was published at the Hague in 1665. Granger was a witness in the cause, and was afterwards said to be conscience-stricken from his perjury. Some notice of this case will be found in North’s “Examen,” p. 558; but the copious and interesting note in Ormerod’s “History of Cheshire,” Vol. iii., p. 291, will best satisfy the reader, who will not fail to be struck by the paragraph with which it is closed-viz., “It is not improbable that Alexander Fitton, who, in the first instance, gained rightful possession of Gawsworth under an acknowledged settlement, was driven headlong into unpremeditated guilt by the production of a revocation by will which Lord Gerard had so long concealed. Having lost his own fortune in the prosecution of his claims, he remained in gaol till taken out by James II. to be made Chancellor of Ireland (under which character Hume first notices him), was knighted, and subsequently created Lord Gawsworth after the abdication of James, sat in his parliament in Dublin in 1689, and then is supposed to have accompanied his fallen master to France. Whether the conduct of Fitton was met, as he alleges, by similar guilt on the part of Lord Gerard, God only can judge; but his hand fell heavily on the representatives of that noble house. In less than half a century the husbands of its two coheiresses, James, Duke of Hamilton, and Charles, Lord Mohun, were slain by each other’s hands in a murderous duel arising out of a dispute relative to the partition of the Fitton estates, and Gawsworth itself passed to an unlineal hand, by a series of alienations complicated beyond example in the annals of this country.”— B.
22nd. Up, and by coach through Ducke Lane, and there did buy Kircher’s Musurgia, cost me 35s., a book I am mighty glad of, expecting to find great satisfaction in it. Thence to Westminster Hall and the lobby, and up and down there all the morning, and to the Lords’ House, and heard the Solicitor–General plead very finely, as he always do; and this was in defence of the East India Company against a man that complains of wrong from them, and thus up and down till noon in expectation of our business coming on in the House of Commons about tickets, but they being busy about my Lord Gerard’s business I did give over the thoughts of ours coming on, and so with my wife, and Mercer, and Deb., who come to the Hall to me, I away to the Beare, in Drury Lane, and there bespoke a dish of meat; and, in the mean time, sat and sung with Mercer; and, by and by, dined with mighty pleasure, and excellent meat, one little dish enough for us all, and good wine, and all for 8s., and thence to the Duke’s playhouse, and there saw “Albumazar,” an old play, this the second time of acting. It is said to have been the ground of B. Jonson’s “Alchymist;” but, saving the ridicuiousnesse of Angell’s part, which is called Trinkilo, I do not see any thing extraordinary in it, but was indeed weary of it before it was done. The King here, and, indeed, all of us, pretty merry at the mimique tricks of Trinkilo. So home, calling in Ducke Lane for the book I bought this morning, and so home, and wrote my letters at the office, and then home to supper and to bed.
23rd (Lord’s day). Up, and, being desired by a messenger from Sir G. Carteret, I by water over to Southwarke, and so walked to the Falkon, on the Bank-side, and there got another boat, and so to Westminster, where I would have gone into the Swan; but the door was locked; and the girl could not let me in, and so to Wilkinson’s in King Street, and there wiped my shoes, and so to Court, where sermon not yet done I met with Brisband; and he tells me, first, that our business of tickets did come to debate yesterday, it seems, after I was gone away, and was voted a miscarriage in general. He tells me in general that there is great looking after places, upon a presumption of a great many vacancies; and he did shew me a fellow at Court, a brother of my Lord Fanshaw’s, a witty but rascally fellow, without a penny in his purse, that was asking him what places there were in the Navy fit for him, and Brisband tells me, in mirth, he told him the Clerke of the Acts, and I wish he had it, so I were well and quietly rid of it; for I am weary of this kind of trouble, having, I think, enough whereon to support myself. By and by, chapel done, I met with Sir W. Coventry, and he and I walked awhile together in the Matted Gallery; and there he told me all the proceedings yesterday: that the matter is found, in general, a miscarriage, but no persons named; and so there is no great matter to our prejudice yet, till, if ever, they come to particular persons. He told me Birch was very industrious to do what he could, and did, like a friend; but they were resolved to find the thing, in general, a miscarriage; and says, that when we shall think fit to desire its being heard, as to our own defence, it will be granted. He tells me how he hath, with advantage, cleared himself in what concerns himself therein, by his servant Robson, which I am glad of. He tells me that there is a letter sent by conspiracy to some of the House, which he hath seen, about the matter of selling of places, which he do believe he shall be called upon tomorrow for: and thinks himself well prepared to defend himself in it; and then neither he, nor his friends for him, are afeard of anything to his prejudice. Thence by coach, with Brisband, to Sir G. Carteret’s, in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and there dined: a good dinner and good company; and after dinner he and I alone, discoursing of my Lord Sandwich’s matters; who hath, in the first business before the House, been very kindly used beyond expectation, the matter being laid by, till his coming home and old Mr. Vaughan did speak for my Lord, which I am mighty glad of. The business of the prizes is the worst that can be said, and therein I do fear something may lie hard upon him; but, against this, we must prepare the best we can for his defence. Thence with G. Carteret to White Hall, where I, finding a meeting of the Committee of the Council for the Navy, his Royal Highness there, and Sir W. Pen, and, some of the Brethren of the Trinity House to attend, I did go in with them; and it was to be informed of the practice heretofore, for all foreign nations, at enmity one with another, to forbear any acts of hostility to one another, in the presence of any of the King of England’s ships, of which several instances were given: and it is referred to their further enquiry, in order to the giving instructions accordingly to our ships now, during the war between Spain and France. Would to God we were in the same condition as heretofore, to challenge and maintain this our dominion! Thence with W. Pen homeward, and quite through to Mile End, for a little ayre; the days being now pretty long, but the ways mighty dirty, and here we drank at the Rose, the old house, and so back again, talking of the Parliament and our trouble with them and what passed yesterday. Going back again, Sir R. Brookes overtook us coming to town; who hath played the jacke with us all, and is a fellow that I must trust no more, he quoting me for all he hath said in this business of tickets; though I have told him nothing that either is not true, or I afeard to own. But here talking, he did discourse in this stile: “We,”— and “We” all along — “will not give any money, be the pretence never so great, nay, though the enemy was in the River of Thames again, till we know what is become of the last money given;” and I do believe he do speak the mind of his fellows, and so let them, if the King will suffer it. He gone, we home, and there I to read, and my belly being full of my dinner today, I anon to bed, and there, as I have for many days, slept not an hour quietly, but full of dreams of our defence to the Parliament and giving an account of our doings. This evening, my wife did with great pleasure shew me her stock of jewells, encreased by the ring she hath made lately as my Valentine’s gift this year, a Turky stone’ set with diamonds: and, with this and what she had, she reckons that she hath above £150 worth of jewells, of one kind or other; and I am glad of it, for it is fit the wretch should have something to content herself with.
24th. Up, and to my office, where most of the morning, entering my journal for the three days past. Thence about noon with my wife to the New Exchange, by the way stopping at my bookseller’s, and there leaving my Kircher’s Musurgia to be bound, and did buy “L’illustre Bassa,” in four volumes, for my wife. Thence to the Exchange and left her; while meeting Dr. Gibbons there, he and I to see an organ at the Dean of Westminster’s lodgings at the Abby, the Bishop of Rochester’s; where he lives like a great prelate, his lodgings being very good; though at present under great disgrace at Court, being put by his Clerk of the Closet’s place. I saw his lady, of whom the ‘Terrae Filius’ of Oxford was once so merry;1 and two children, whereof one a very pretty little boy, like him, so fat and black. Here I saw the organ; but it is too big for my house, and the fashion do not please me enough; and therefore will not have it. Thence to the ‘Change back again, leaving him, and took my wife and Deb. home, and there to dinner alone, and after dinner I took them to the Nursery — [Theatre company of young actors in training.]— where none of us ever were before; where the house is better and the musique better than we looked for, and the acting not much worse, because I expected as bad as could be: and I was not much mistaken, for it was so. However, I was pleased well to see it once, it being worth a man’s seeing to discover the different ability and understanding of people, and the different growth of people’s abilities by practise. Their play was a bad one, called “Jeronimo is Mad Again,” a tragedy. Here was some good company by us, who did make mighty sport at the folly of their acting, which I could not neither refrain from sometimes, though I was sorry for it. So away hence home, where to the office to do business a while, and then home to supper and to read, and then to bed. I was prettily served this day at the playhouse-door, where, giving six shillings into the fellow’s hand for us three, the fellow by legerdemain did convey one away, and with so much grace faced me down that I did give him but five, that, though I knew the contrary, yet I was overpowered by his so grave and serious demanding the other shilling, that I could not deny him, but was forced by myself to give it him. After I come home this evening comes a letter to me from Captain Allen, formerly Clerk of the Ropeyard at Chatham, and whom I was kind to in those days, who in recompense of my favour to him then do give me notice that he hears of an accusation likely to be exhibited against me of my receiving £50 of Mason, the timber merchant, and that his wife hath spoke it. I am mightily beholden to Captain Allen for this, though the thing is to the best of my memory utterly false, and I do believe it to be wholly so, but yet it troubles me to have my name mentioned in this business, and more to consider how I may be liable to be accused where I have indeed taken presents, and therefore puts me on an enquiry, into my actings in this kind and prepare against a day of accusation.
1 A scholar appointed to make a satirical and jesting speech at an Act in the University of Oxford. Mr. Christopher Wordsworth gives, in his “Social Life at the English Universities in the Eighteenth Century,” 1874, a list of terra-filii from 1591 to 1713 (pp. 296–298, 680). The ‘terrae filius’ was sometimes expelled the university on account of the licence of his speech. The practice was discontinued early in the eighteenth century.
25th. Up, having lain the last night the first night that I have lain with my wife since she was last ill, which is about eight days. To the office, where busy all the morning. At noon comes W. Howe to me, to advise what answer to give to the business of the prizes, wherein I did give him the best advice I could; but am sorry to see so many things, wherein I doubt it will not be prevented but Sir Roger Cuttance and Mr. Pierce will be found very much concerned in goods beyond the distribution, and I doubt my Lord Sandwich too, which troubles me mightily. He gone I to dinner, and thence set my wife at the New Exchange, and I to Mr. Clerke, my solicitor, to the Treasury chamber, but the Lords did not sit, so I by water with him to the New Exchange, and there we parted, and I took my wife and Deb. up, and to the Nursery, where I was yesterday, and there saw them act a comedy, a pastorall, “The Faythful Shepherd,” having the curiosity to see whether they did a comedy better than a tragedy; but they do it both alike, in the meanest manner, that I was sick of it, but only for to satisfy myself once in seeing the manner of it, but I shall see them no more, I believe. Thence to the New Exchange, to take some things home that my wife hath bought, a dressing-box, and other things for her chamber and table, that cost me above £4, and so home, and there to the office, and tell W. Hewer of the letter from Captain Allen last night, to give him caution if any thing should be discovered of his dealings with anybody, which I should for his sake as well, or more than for my own, be sorry for; and with great joy I do find, looking over my memorandum books, which are now of great use to me, and do fully reward me for all my care in keeping them, that I am not likely to be troubled for any thing of the kind but what I shall either be able beforehand to prevent, or if discovered, be able to justify myself in, and I do perceive, by Sir W. Warren’s discourse, that they [the House] do all they can possibly to get out of him and others, what presents they have made to the Officers of the Navy; but he tells me that he hath denied all, though he knows that he is forsworn as to what relates to me. So home to supper and to bed.
26th. Up, and by water to Charing Cross stairs, and thence to W. Coventry to discourse concerning the state of matters in the Navy, where he particularly acquainted me with the trouble he is like to meet with about the selling of places, all carried on by Sir Fr. Hollis, but he seems not to value it, being able to justify it to be lawful and constant practice, and never by him used in the least degree since he upon his own motion did obtain a salary of £500 in lieu thereof. Thence to the Treasury Chamber about a little business, and so home by coach, and in my way did meet W. Howe going to the Commissioners of Accounts. I stopped and spoke to him, and he seems well resolved what to answer them, but he will find them very strict, and not easily put off: So home and there to dinner, and after dinner comes W. Howe to tell me how he sped, who says he was used civilly, and not so many questions asked as he expected; but yet I do perceive enough to shew that they do intend to know the bottom of things, and where to lay the great weight of the disposal of these East India goods, and that they intend plainly to do upon my Lord Sandwich. Thence with him by coach and set him down at the Temple, and I to Westminster Hall, where, it being now about six o’clock, I find the House just risen; and met with Sir W. Coventry and the Lieutenant of the Tower, they having sat all day; and with great difficulty have got a vote for giving the King £300,000, not to be raised by any land-tax. The sum is much smaller than I expected, and than the King needs; but is grounded upon Mr. Wren’s reading our estimates the other day of £270,000, to keep the fleete abroad, wherein we demanded nothing for setting and fitting of them out, which will cost almost £200,000, I do verily believe: and do believe that the King hath no cause to thank Wren for this motion. I home to Sir W. Coventry’s lodgings, with him and the Lieutenant of the Tower, where also was Sir John Coventry, and Sir John Duncomb, and Sir Job Charleton. And here a great deal of good discourse: and they seem mighty glad to have this vote pass, which I did wonder at, to see them so well satisfied with so small a sum, Sir John Duncomb swearing, as I perceive he will freely do, that it was as much as the nation could beare. Among other merry discourse about spending of money, and how much more chargeable a man’s living is now more than it was heretofore, Duncomb did swear that in France he did live of £100 a year with more plenty, and wine and wenches, than he believes can be done now for £200, which was pretty odd for him, being a Committee-man’s son, to say. Having done here, and supped, where I eat very little, we home in Sir John Robinson’s coach, and there to bed.
27th. All the morning at the office, and at noon home to dinner, and thence with my wife and Deb. to the King’s House, to see “The Virgin Martyr,” the first time it hath been acted a great while: and it is mighty pleasant; not that the play is worth much, but it is finely acted by Becke Marshall. But that which did please me beyond any thing in, the whole world was the wind-musique when the angel comes down, which is so sweet that it ravished me, and indeed, in a word, did wrap up my soul so that it made me really sick, just as I have formerly been when in love with my wife; that neither then, nor all the evening going home, and at home, I was able to think of any thing, but remained all night transported, so as I could not believe that ever any musick hath that real command over the soul of a man as this did upon me: and makes me resolve to practice wind-musique, and to make my wife do the like.
28th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning doing business, and after dinner with Sir W. Pen to White Hall, where we and the rest of us presented a great letter of the state of our want of money to his Royal Highness. I did also present a demand of mine for consideration for my travelling-charges of coach and boat-hire during the war, which, though his Royal Highness and the company did all like of, yet, contrary to my expectation, I find him so jealous now of doing any thing extraordinary, that he desired the gentlemen that they would consider it, and report their minds in it to him. This did unsettle my mind a great while, not expecting this stop: but, however, I shall do as well, I know, though it causes me a little stop. But that, that troubles me most is, that while we were thus together with the Duke of York, comes in Mr. Wren from the House, where, he tells us, another storm hath been all this day almost against the Officers of the Navy upon this complaint — that though they have made good rules for payment of tickets, yet that they have not observed them themselves, which was driven so high as to have it urged that we should presently be put out of our places: and so they have at last ordered that we shall be heard at the bar of the House upon this business on Thursday next. This did mightily trouble me and us all; but me particularly, who am least able to bear these troubles, though I have the least cause to be concerned in it. Thence, therefore, to visit Sir H. Cholmly, who hath for some time been ill of a cold; and thence walked towards Westminster, and met Colonel Birch, who took me back to walk with him, and did give me an account of this day’s heat against the Navy Officers, and an account of his speech on our behalf, which was very good; and indeed we are much beholden to him, as I, after I parted with him, did find by my cozen Roger, whom I went to: and he and I to his lodgings. And there he did tell me the same over again; and how much Birch did stand up in our defence; and that he do see that there are many desirous to have us out of the Office; and the House is so furious and passionate, that he thinks nobody can be secure, let him deserve never so well. But now, he tells me, we shall have a fair hearing of the House, and he hopes justice of them: but, upon the whole, he do agree with me that I should hold my hand as to making any purchase of land, which I had formerly discoursed with him about, till we see a little further how matters go. He tells me that that made them so mad today first was, several letters in the House about the Fanatickes, in several places, coming in great bodies, and turning people out of the churches, and there preaching themselves, and pulling the surplice over the Parsons’ heads: this was confirmed from several places; which makes them stark mad, especially the hectors and bravadoes of the House, who shew all the zeal on this occasion. Having done with him, I home vexed in my mind, and so fit for no business, but sat talking with my wife and supped with her; and Nan Mercer come and sat all the evening with us, and much pretty discourse, which did a little ease me, and so to bed.
29th. Up, and walked to Captain Cocke’s, where Sir G. Carteret promised to meet me and did come to discourse about the prize-business of my Lord Sandwich’s, which I perceive is likely to be of great ill consequence to my Lord, the House being mighty vehement in it. We could say little but advise that his friends should labour to get it put off, till he comes. We did here talk many things over, in lamentation of the present posture of affairs, and the ill condition of all people that have had anything to do under the King, wishing ourselves a great way off: Here they tell me how Sir Thomas Allen hath taken the Englishmen out of “La Roche,” and taken from him an Ostend prize which La Roche had fetched out of our harbours; and at this day La Roche keeps upon our coasts; and had the boldness to land some men and go a mile up into the country, and there took some goods belonging to this prize out of a house there; which our King resents, and, they say, hath wrote to the King of France about; and everybody do think a war will follow; and then in what a case we shall be for want of money, nobody knows. Thence to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and to the office again in the afternoon, where we met to consider of an answer to the Parliament about the not paying of tickets according to our own orders, to which I hope we shall be able to give a satisfactory answer, but that the design of the House being apparently to remove us, I do question whether the best answer will prevail with them. This done I by coach with my wife to Martin, my bookseller’s, expecting to have had my Kercher’s Musurgia, but to my trouble and loss of trouble it was not done. So home again, my head full of thoughts about our troubles in the office, and so to the office. Wrote to my father this post, and sent him now Colvill’s —[The Goldsmith.]— note for £600 for my sister’s portion, being glad that I shall, I hope, have that business over before I am out of place, and I trust I shall be able to save a little of what I have got, and so shall not be troubled to be at ease; for I am weary of this life. So ends this month, with a great deal of care and trouble in my head about the answerings of the Parliament, and particularly in our payment of seamen by tickets.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59