A new diary entry appears here at the end of each day.

Tuesday 23 April 1661

Coronacian day.

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] … about 4 I rose and got to the Abbey, where I followed Sir J. Denham, the Surveyor, with some company that he was leading in. And with much ado, by the favour of Mr. Cooper, his man, did get up into a great scaffold across the North end of the Abbey, where with a great deal of patience I sat from past 4 till 11 before the King came in. And a great pleasure it was to see the Abbey raised in the middle, all covered with red, and a throne (that is a chair) and footstool on the top of it; and all the officers of all kinds, so much as the very fidlers, in red vests.

At last comes in the Dean and Prebends of Westminster, with the Bishops (many of them in cloth of gold copes), and after them the Nobility, all in their Parliament robes, which was a most magnificent sight. Then the Duke, and the King with a scepter (carried by my Lord Sandwich) and sword and mond1 before him, and the crown too.

The King in his robes, bare-headed, which was very fine. And after all had placed themselves, there was a sermon and the service; and then in the Quire at the high altar, the King passed through all the ceremonies of the Coronacon, which to my great grief I and most in the Abbey could not see. The crown being put upon his head, a great shout begun, and he came forth to the throne, and there passed more ceremonies: as taking the oath, and having things read to him by the Bishop; and his lords (who put on their caps as soon as the King put on his crown)2 and bishops come, and kneeled before him.

And three times the King at Arms went to the three open places on the scaffold, and proclaimed, that if any one could show any reason why Charles Stewart should not be King of England, that now he should come and speak.

And a Generall Pardon also was read by the Lord Chancellor, and meddalls flung up and down by my Lord Cornwallis, of silver, but I could not come by any.

But so great a noise that I could make but little of the musique; and indeed, it was lost to every body. But I had so great a lust to … [What is it that needed to be censored from this public description? D.W.] that I went out a little while before the King had done all his ceremonies, and went round the Abbey to Westminster Hall, all the way within rayles, and 10,000 people, with the ground covered with blue cloth; and scaffolds all the way. Into the Hall I got, where it was very fine with hangings and scaffolds one upon another full of brave ladies; and my wife in one little one, on the right hand.

Here I staid walking up and down, and at last upon one of the side stalls I stood and saw the King come in with all the persons (but the soldiers) that were yesterday in the cavalcade; and a most pleasant sight it was to see them in their several robes. And the King came in with his crown on, and his sceptre in his hand, under a canopy borne up by six silver staves, carried by Barons of the Cinque Ports,3 and little bells at every end.

And after a long time, he got up to the farther end, and all set themselves down at their several tables; and that was also a brave sight: and the King’s first course carried up by the Knights of the Bath. And many fine ceremonies there was of the Heralds leading up people before him, and bowing; and my Lord of Albemarle’s going to the kitchin and eat a bit of the first dish that was to go to the King’s table.

But, above all, was these three Lords, Northumberland, and Suffolk, and the Duke of Ormond, coming before the courses on horseback, and staying so all dinner-time, and at last to bring up [Dymock] the King’s Champion, all in armour on horseback, with his spear and targett carried before him. And a Herald proclaims “That if any dare deny Charles Stewart to be lawful King of England, here was a Champion that would fight with him;”4 and with these words, the Champion flings down his gauntlet, and all this he do three times in his going up towards the King’s table. At last when he is come, the King drinks to him, and then sends him the cup which is of gold, and he drinks it off, and then rides back again with the cup in his hand.

I went from table to table to see the Bishops and all others at their dinner, and was infinitely pleased with it. And at the Lords’ table, I met with William Howe, and he spoke to my Lord for me, and he did give me four rabbits and a pullet, and so I got it and Mr. Creed and I got Mr. Michell to give us some bread, and so we at a stall eat it, as every body else did what they could get.

I took a great deal of pleasure to go up and down, and look upon the ladies, and to hear the musique of all sorts, but above all, the 24 violins.

About six at night they had dined, and I went up to my wife, and there met with a pretty lady (Mrs. Frankleyn, a Doctor’s wife, a friend of Mr. Bowyer’s), and kissed them both, and by and by took them down to Mr. Bowyer’s. And strange it is to think, that these two days have held up fair till now that all is done, and the King gone out of the Hall; and then it fell a-raining and thundering and lightening as I have not seen it do for some years: which people did take great notice of; God’s blessing of the work of these two days, which is a foolery to take too much notice of such things.

I observed little disorder in all this, but only the King’s footmen had got hold of the canopy, and would keep it from the Barons of the Cinque Ports,5 which they endeavoured to force from them again, but could not do it till my Lord Duke of Albemarle caused it to be put into Sir R. Pye’s hand till tomorrow to be decided.

At Mr. Bowyer’s, a great deal of company, some I knew, others I did not. Here we staid upon the leads and below till it was late, expecting to see the fire-works, but they were not performed to-night: only the City had a light like a glory round about it with bonfires.

At last I went to Kingstreet, and there sent Crockford to my father’s and my house, to tell them I could not come home tonight, because of the dirt, and a coach could not be had.

And so after drinking a pot of ale alone at Mrs. Harper’s I returned to Mr. Bowyer’s, and after a little stay more I took my wife and Mrs. Frankleyn (who I proffered the civility of lying with my wife at Mrs. Hunt’s to-night) to Axe-yard, in which at the further end there were three great bonfires, and a great many great gallants, men and women; and they laid hold of us, and would have us drink the King’s health upon our knees, kneeling upon a faggot, which we all did, they drinking to us one after another. Which we thought a strange frolique; but these gallants continued thus a great while, and I wondered to see how the ladies did tipple.

At last I sent my wife and her bedfellow to bed, and Mr. Hunt and I went in with Mr. Thornbury (who did give the company all their wine, he being yeoman of the wine-cellar to the King) to his house; and there, with his wife and two of his sisters, and some gallant sparks that were there, we drank the King’s health, and nothing else, till one of the gentlemen fell down stark drunk, and there lay spewing; and I went to my Lord’s pretty well. But no sooner a-bed with Mr. Shepley but my head began to hum, and I to vomit, and if ever I was foxed it was now, which I cannot say yet, because I fell asleep and slept till morning. Only when I waked I found myself wet with my spewing. Thus did the day end with joy every where; and blessed be God, I have not heard of any mischance to any body through it all, but only to Serjt. Glynne, whose horse fell upon him yesterday, and is like to kill him, which people do please themselves to see how just God is to punish the rogue at such a time as this; he being now one of the King’s Serjeants, and rode in the cavalcade with Maynard, to whom people wish the same fortune.

There was also this night in King-street, [a woman] had her eye put out by a boy’s flinging a firebrand into the coach.

Now, after all this, I can say that, besides the pleasure of the sight of these glorious things, I may now shut my eyes against any other objects, nor for the future trouble myself to see things of state and show, as being sure never to see the like again in this world.

  1. Carried by the Duke of Buckingham.
  2. As yet barons had no coronet. A grant of that outward mark of dignity was made to them by Charles soon after his coronation. Queen Elizabeth had assigned coronets to viscounts. — B.
  3. Pepys was himself one of the Barons of the Cinque Ports at the Coronation of James II.
  4. The terms of the Champion’s challenge were as follows: “If any person of what degree soever, high or low, shall deny or gainsay our Soveraigne Lord King Charles the Second, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, Sonne and next heire to our Soveraigne Lord Charles the First, the last King deceased, to be right heire to the Imperiall Crowne of this Realme of England, or that bee ought not to enjoy the same; here is his champion, who sayth that he lyeth and is a false Traytor, being ready in person to combate with him, and in this quarrell will venture his life against him, on what day soever hee shall be appointed.”
  5. Bishop Kennett gives a somewhat fuller account of this unseemly broil: “No sooner had the aforesaid Barons brought up the King to the foot of the stairs in Westminster Hall, ascending to his throne, and turned on the left hand (towards their own table) out of the way, but the King’s footmen most insolently and violently seized upon the canopy, which the Barons endeavouring to keep and defend, were by their number and strength dragged clown to the lower end of the Hall, nevertheless still keeping their hold; and had not Mr. Owen York Herald, being accidentally near the Hall door, and seeing the contest, caused the same to be shut, the footmen had certainly carried it away by force. But in the interim also (speedy notice hereof having been given the King) one of the Querries were sent from him, with command to imprison the footmen, and dismiss them out of his service, which put an end to the present disturbance. These footmen were also commanded to make their submission to the Court of Claims, which was accordingly done by them the 30th April following, and the canopy then delivered back to the said Barons.” Whilst this disturbance happened, the upper end of the first table, which had been appointed for the Barons of the Cinque Ports, was taken up by the Bishops, judges, &c., probably nothing loth to take precedence of them; and the poor Barons, naturally unwilling to lose their dinner, were necessitated to eat it at the bottom of the second table, below the Masters of Chancery and others of the long robe. — B.

Monday 22 April 1661

King’s going from ye Tower to Whitehall1

Up early and made myself as fine as I could, and put on my velvet coat, the first day that I put it on, though made half a year ago. And being ready, Sir W. Batten, my Lady, and his two daughters and his son and wife, and Sir W. Pen and his son and I, went to Mr. Young’s, the flag-maker, in Corne-hill;2 and there we had a good room to ourselves, with wine and good cake, and saw the show very well. In which it is impossible to relate the glory of this day, expressed in the clothes of them that rid, and their horses and horses clothes, among others, my Lord Sandwich’s.

Embroidery and diamonds were ordinary among them. The Knights of the Bath was a brave sight of itself; and their Esquires, among which Mr. Armiger was an Esquire to one of the Knights. Remarquable were the two men that represent the two Dukes of Normandy and Aquitane.

The Bishops come next after Barons, which is the higher place; which makes me think that the next Parliament they will be called to the House of Lords. My Lord Monk rode bare after the King, and led in his hand a spare horse, as being Master of the Horse.

The King, in a most rich embroidered suit and cloak, looked most noble. Wadlow, the vintner, at the Devil; in Fleetstreet, did lead a fine company of soldiers, all young comely men, in white doublets. There followed the Vice-Chamberlain, Sir G. Carteret, a company of men all like Turks; but I know not yet what they are for.

The streets all gravelled, and the houses hung with carpets before them, made brave show, and the ladies out of the windows, one of which over against us I took much notice of, and spoke of her, which made good sport among us.

So glorious was the show with gold and silver, that we were not able to look at it, our eyes at last being so much overcome with it.

Both the King and the Duke of York took notice of us, as he saw us at the window.

The show being ended, Mr. Young did give us a dinner, at which we were very merry, and pleased above imagination at what we have seen. Sir W. Batten going home, he and I called and drunk some mum and laid our wager about my Lady Faulconbridge’s name, which he says not to be Mary, and so I won above 20s.

So home, where Will and the boy staid and saw the show upon Towre Hill, and Jane at T. Pepys’s, the Turner, and my wife at Charles Glassecocke’s, in Fleet Street. In the evening by water to White Hall to my Lord’s, and there I spoke with my Lord. He talked with me about his suit, which was made in France, and cost him 200l., and very rich it is with embroidery. I lay with Mr. Shepley, and … [continued tomorrow. P.G.]

  1. The king in the early morning of the 22nd went from Whitehall to the Tower by water, so that he might proceed from thence through the City to Westminster Abbey, there to be crowned.
  2. The members of the Navy Office appear to have chosen Mr. Young’s house on account of its nearness to the second triumphal arch, situated near the Royal Exchange, which was dedicated to the Navy.

Sunday 21 April 1661

(Lord’s day). In the morning we were troubled to hear it rain as it did, because of the great show tomorrow. After I was ready I walked to my father’s and there found the late maid to be gone and another come by my mother’s choice, which my father do not like, and so great difference there will be between my father and mother about it. Here dined Doctor Thos. Pepys and Dr. Fayrebrother; and all our talk about to-morrow’s show, and our trouble that it is like to be a wet day.

After dinner comes in my coz. Snow and his wife, and I think stay there till the show be over. Then I went home, and all the way is so thronged with people to see the triumphal arches, that I could hardly pass for them.

So home, people being at church, and I got home unseen, and so up to my chamber and saw done these last five or six days’ diarys.

My mind a little troubled about my workmen, which, being foreigners,1 are like to be troubled by a couple of lazy rogues that worked with me the other day, that are citizens, and so my work will be hindered, but I must prevent it if I can.

  1. Foreigners were workmen dwelling outside the city.

Saturday 20 April 1661

Here comes my boy to tell me that the Duke of York had sent for all the principal officers, &c., to come to him to-day. So I went by water to Mr. Coventry’s, and there staid and talked a good while with him till all the rest come. We went up and saw the Duke dress himself, and in his night habitt he is a very plain man. Then he sent us to his closett, where we saw among other things two very fine chests, covered with gold and Indian varnish, given him by the East Indy Company of Holland. The Duke comes; and after he had told us that the fleet was designed for Algier (which was kept from us till now), we did advise about many things as to the fitting of the fleet, and so went away. And from thence to the Privy Seal, where little to do, and after that took Mr. Creed and Moore and gave them their morning draught, and after that to my Lord’s, where Sir W. Pen came to me, and dined with my Lord. After dinner he and others that dined there went away, and then my Lord looked upon his pages’ and footmen’s liverys, which are come home to-day, and will be handsome, though not gaudy. Then with my Lady and my Lady Wright to White Hall; and in the Banqueting-house saw the King create my Lord Chancellor and several others, Earls, and Mr. Crew and several others, Barons: the first being led up by Heralds and five old Earls to the King, and there the patent is read, and the King puts on his vest, and sword, and coronet, and gives him the patent. And then he kisseth the King’s hand, and rises and stands covered before the king. And the same for the Barons, only he is led up but by three of the old Barons, and are girt with swords before they go to the King.

That being done (which was very pleasant to see their habits), I carried my Lady back, and I found my Lord angry, for that his page had let my Lord’s new beaver be changed for an old hat.

Then I went away, and with Mr. Creed to the Exchange and bought some things, as gloves and bandstrings, &c. So back to the Cockpitt, and there, by the favour of one Mr. Bowman, he and I got in, and there saw the King and Duke of York and his Duchess (which is a plain woman, and like her mother, my Lady Chancellor).

And so saw “The Humersome Lieutenant” acted before the King, but not very well done. But my pleasure was great to see the manner of it, and so many great beauties, but above all Mrs. Palmer, with whom the King do discover a great deal of familiarity.

So Mr. Creed and I (the play being done) went to Mrs. Harper’s, and there sat and drank, it being about twelve at night. The ways being now so dirty, and stopped up with the rayles which are this day set up in the streets, I would not go home, but went with him to his lodging at Mr. Ware’s, and there lay all night.

Friday 19 April 1661

Among my workmen and then to the office, and after that dined with Sir W. Batten, and then home, where Sir W. Warren came, and I took him and Mr. Shepley and Moore with me to the Mitre, and there I cleared with Warren for the deals I bought lately for my Lord of him, and he went away, and we staid afterwards a good while and talked, and so parted, it being so foul that I could not go to Whitehall to see the Knights of the Bath made to-day, which do trouble me mightily. So home, and having staid awhile till Will came in (with whom I was vexed for staying abroad), he comes and then I went by water to my father’s, and then after supper to bed with my wife.

Thursday 18 April 1661

Up with my workmen and then about 9 o’clock took horse with both the Sir Williams for Walthamstow, and there we found my Lady and her daughters all.

And a pleasant day it was, and all things else, but that my Lady was in a bad mood, which we were troubled at, and had she been noble she would not have been so with her servants, when we came thither, and this Sir W. Pen took notice of, as well as I. After dinner we all went to the Church stile, and there eat and drank, and I was as merry as I could counterfeit myself to be. Then, it raining hard, we left Sir W. Batten, and we two returned and called at Mr. –- and drank some brave wine there, and then homewards again and in our way met with two country fellows upon one horse, which I did, without much ado, give the way to, but Sir W. Pen would not, but struck them and they him, and so passed away, but they giving him some high words, he went back again and struck them off their horse, in a simple fury, and without much honour, in my mind, and so came away.

Home, and I sat with him a good while talking, and then home and to bed.

Wednesday 17 April 1661

By land and saw the arches, which are now almost done and are very fine, and I saw the picture of the ships and other things this morning, set up before the East Indy House, which are well done. So to the office, and that being done I went to dinner with Sir W. Batten, and then home to my workmen, and saw them go on with great content to me. Then comes Mr. Allen of Chatham, and I took him to the Mitre and there did drink with him, and did get of him the song that pleased me so well there the other day, “Of Shitten come Shites the beginning of love.”

His daughters are to come to town to-morrow, but I know not whether I shall see them or no. That done I went to the Dolphin by appointment and there I met Sir Wms. both and Mr. Castle, and did eat a barrel of oysters and two lobsters, which I did give them, and were very merry.

Here we had great talk of Mr. Warren’s being knighted by the King, and Sir W. B. seemed to be very much incensed against him.

So home.

Continue reading Tuesday 16 April 1661