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

Friday 29 May 1663

This day is kept strictly as a holy-day, being the King’s Coronation. We lay long in bed, and it rained very hard, rain and hail, almost all the morning. By and by Creed and I abroad, and called at several churches; and it is a wonder to see, and by that to guess the ill temper of the City at this time, either to religion in general, or to the King, that in some churches there was hardly ten people in the whole church, and those poor people.

So to a coffee-house, and there in discourse hear the King of France is likely to be well again.

So home to dinner, and out by water to the Royall Theatre, but they not acting to-day, then to the Duke’s house, and there saw “The Slighted Mayde,” wherein Gosnell acted Pyramena, a great part, and did it very well, and I believe will do it better and better, and prove a good actor.

The play is not very excellent, but is well acted, and in general the actors, in all particulars, are better than at the other house.

Thence to the Cocke alehouse, and there having drunk, sent them with Creed to see the German Princess, at the Gatehouse, at Westminster, and I to my brother’s, and thence to my uncle Fenner’s to have seen my aunt James (who has been long in town and goes away to-morrow and I not seen her), but did find none of them within, which I was glad of, and so back to my brother’s to speak with him, and so home, and in my way did take two turns forwards and backwards through the Fleete Ally to see a couple of pretty [strumpets] that stood off the doors there, and God forgive me I could scarce stay myself from going into their houses with them, so apt is my nature to evil after once, as I have these two days, set upon pleasure again.

So home and to my office to put down these two days’ journalls, then home again and to supper, and then Creed and I to bed with good discourse, only my mind troubled about my spending my time so badly for these seven or eight days; but I must impute it to the disquiet that my mind has been in of late about my wife, and for my going these two days to plays, for which I have paid the due forfeit by money and abating the times of going to plays at Court, which I am now to remember that I have cleared all my times that I am to go to Court plays to the end of this month, and so June is the first time that I am to begin to reckon.

Thursday 28 May 1663

Up this morning, and my wife, I know not for what cause, being against going to Chelsey to-day, it being a holy day (Ascension Day) and I at leisure, it being the first holy day almost that we have observed ever since we came to the office, we did give Ashwell leave to go by herself, and I out to several places about business. Among others to Dr. Williams, to reckon with him for physique that my wife has had for a year or two, coming to almost 4l. Then to the Exchange, where I hear that the King had letters yesterday from France that the King there is in a [way] of living again, which I am glad to hear.

At the coffee-house in Exchange Alley I bought a little book, “Counsell to Builders,” by Sir Balth. Gerbier. It is dedicated almost to all the men of any great condition in England, so that the Epistles are more than the book itself, and both it and them not worth a turd, that I am ashamed that I bought it.

Home and there found Creed, who dined with us, and after dinner by water to the Royall Theatre; but that was so full they told us we could have no room. And so to the Duke’s House; and there saw “Hamlett” done, giving us fresh reason never to think enough of Betterton.

Who should we see come upon the stage but Gosnell, my wife’s maid? but neither spoke, danced, nor sung; which I was sorry for. But she becomes the stage very well.

Thence by water home, after we had walked to and fro, backwards and forwards, six or seven times in the Temple walks, disputing whether to go by land or water. By land home, and thence by water to Halfway House, and there eat some supper we carried with us, and so walked home again, it being late we were forced to land at the dock, my wife and they, but I in a humour not willing to daub my shoes went round by the Custom House. So home, and by and by to bed, Creed lying with me in the red chamber all night.

Wednesday 27 May 1663

So I waked by 3 o’clock, my mind being troubled, and so took occasion by making water to wake my wife, and after having lain till past 4 o’clock seemed going to rise, though I did it only to see what she would do, and so going out of the bed she took hold of me and would know what ailed me, and after many kind and some cross words I began to tax her discretion in yesterday’s business, but she quickly told me my own, knowing well enough that it was my old disease of jealousy, which I denied, but to no purpose. After an hour’s discourse, sometimes high and sometimes kind, I found very good reason to think that her freedom with him is very great and more than was convenient, but with no evil intent, and so after awhile I caressed her and parted seeming friends, but she crying in a great discontent. So I up and by water to the Temple, and thence with Commissioner Pett to St. James’s, where an hour with Mr. Coventry talking of Mr. Pett’s proceedings lately in the forest of Sherwood, and thence with Pett to my Lord Ashley, Chancellor of the Exchequer; where we met the auditors about settling the business of the accounts of persons to whom money is due before the King’s time in the Navy, and the clearing of their imprests for what little of their debts they have received. I find my Lord, as he is reported, a very ready, quick, and diligent person. Thence I to Westminster Hall, where Term and Parliament make the Hall full of people; no further news yet of the King of France, whether he be dead or not.

Here I met with my cozen Roger Pepys, and walked a good while with him, and among other discourse as a secret he hath committed to nobody but myself, and he tells me that his sister Claxton now resolving to give over the keeping of his house at Impington, he thinks it fit to marry again, and would have me, by the help of my uncle Wight or others, to look him out a widow between thirty and forty years old, without children, and with a fortune, which he will answer in any degree with a joynture fit for her fortune. A woman sober, and no high-flyer, as he calls it.

I demanded his estate. He tells me, which he says also he hath not done to any, that his estate is not full 800l. per annum, but it is 780l. per annum, of which 200l. is by the death of his last wife, which he will allot for a joynture for a wife, but the rest, which lies in Cambridgeshire, he is resolved to leave entire for his eldest son. I undertook to do what I can in it, and so I shall. He tells me that the King hath sent to them to hasten to make an end by midsummer, because of his going into the country; so they have set upon four bills to dispatch: the first of which is, he says, too devilish a severe act against conventicles; so beyond all moderation, that he is afeard it will ruin all: telling me that it is matter of the greatest grief to him in the world, that he should be put upon this trust of being a Parliament-man, because he says nothing is done, that he can see, out of any truth and sincerity, but mere envy and design.

Thence by water to Chelsey, all the way reading a little book I bought of “Improvement of Trade,” a pretty book and many things useful in it.

So walked to Little Chelsey, where I found my Lord Sandwich with Mr. Becke, the master of the house, and Mr. Creed at dinner, and I sat down with them, and very merry. After dinner (Mr. Gibbons being come in also before dinner done) to musique, they played a good Fancy, to which my Lord is fallen again, and says he cannot endure a merry tune, which is a strange turn of his humour, after he has for two or three years flung off the practice of Fancies and played only fidlers’ tunes. Then into the Great Garden up to the Banqueting House; and there by his glass we drew in the species very pretty.

Afterwards to ninepins, where I won a shilling, Creed and I playing against my Lord and Cooke. This day there was great thronging to Banstead Downs, upon a great horse-race and foot-race. I am sorry I could not go thither.

So home back as I came, to London Bridge, and so home, where I find my wife in a musty humour, and tells me before Ashwell that Pembleton had been there, and she would not have him come in unless I was there, which I was ashamed of; but however, I had rather it should be so than the other way.

So to my office, to put things in order there, and by and by comes Pembleton, and word is brought me from my wife thereof that I might come home. So I sent word that I would have her go dance, and I would come presently. So being at a great loss whether I should appear to Pembleton or no, and what would most proclaim my jealousy to him, I at last resolved to go home, and took Tom Hater with me, and staid a good while in my chamber, and there took occasion to tell him how I hear that Parliament is putting an act out against all sorts of conventicles, and did give him good counsel, not only in his own behalf, but my own, that if he did hear or know anything that could be said to my prejudice, that he would tell me, for in this wicked age (specially Sir W. Batten being so open to my reproaches, and Sir J. Minnes, for the neglect of their duty, and so will think themselves obliged to scandalize me all they can to right themselves if there shall be any inquiry into the matters of the Navy, as I doubt there will) a man ought to be prepared to answer for himself in all things that can be inquired concerning him.

After much discourse of this nature to him I sent him away, and then went up, and there we danced country dances, and single, my wife and I; and my wife paid him off for this month also, and so he is cleared.

After dancing we took him down to supper, and were very merry, and I made myself so, and kind to him as much as I could, to prevent his discourse, though I perceive to my trouble that he knows all, and may do me the disgrace to publish it as much as he can. Which I take very ill, and if too much provoked shall witness it to her. After supper and he gone we to bed.

Tuesday 26 May 1663

Lay long in bed talking and pleasing myself with my wife. —[We have had several examples such as this, in the past few days diary, of Mr. Wheatley tiring of his self-imposed work of censorship. D.W.]— So up and to my office a while and then home, where I found Pembleton, and by many circumstances I am led to conclude that there is something more than ordinary between my wife and him, which do so trouble me that I know not at this very minute that I now write this almost what either I write or am doing, nor how to carry myself to my wife in it, being unwilling to speak of it to her for making of any breach and other inconveniences, nor let it pass for fear of her continuing to offend me and the matter grow worse thereby. So that I am grieved at the very heart, but I am very unwise in being so.

There dined with me Mr. Creed and Captain Grove, and before dinner I had much discourse in my chamber with Mr. Deane, the builder of Woolwich, about building of ships. But nothing could get the business out of my head, I fearing that this afternoon by my wife’s sending every [one] abroad and knowing that I must be at the office she has appointed him to come. This is my devilish jealousy, which I pray God may be false, but it makes a very hell in my mind, which the God of heaven remove, or I shall be very unhappy. So to the office, where we sat awhile.

By and by my mind being in great trouble I went home to see how things were, and there I found as I doubted Mr. Pembleton with my wife, and nobody else in the house, which made me almost mad, and going up to my chamber after a turn or two I went out again and called somebody on pretence of business and left him in my little room at the door (it was the Dutchman, commander of the King’s pleasure boats, who having been beat by one of his men sadly, was come to the office to-day to complain) telling him I would come again to him to speak with him about his business. So in great trouble and doubt to the office, and Mr. Coventry nor Sir G. Carteret being there I made a quick end of our business and desired leave to be gone, pretending to go to the Temple, but it was home, and so up to my chamber, and as I think if they had any intention of hurt I did prevent doing anything at that time, but I continued in my chamber vexed and angry till he went away, pretending aloud, that I might hear, that he could not stay, and Mrs. Ashwell not being within they could not dance. And, Lord! to see how my jealousy wrought so far that I went softly up to see whether any of the beds were out of order or no, which I found not, but that did not content me, but I staid all the evening walking, and though anon my wife came up to me and would have spoke of business to me, yet I construed it to be but impudence, and though my heart full yet I did say nothing, being in a great doubt what to do. So at night, suffered them to go all to bed, and late put myself to bed in great discontent, and so to sleep.

Monday 25 May 1663

Up, and my pill working a little I staid within most of the morning, and by and by the barber came and Sarah Kite my cozen, poor woman, came to see me and borrow 40s. of me, telling me she will pay it at Michaelmas again to me. I was glad it was no more, being indifferent whether she pays it me or no, but it will be a good excuse to lend her nor give her any more. So I did freely at first word do it, and give her a crown more freely to buy her child something, she being a good-natured and painful wretch, and one that I would do good for as far as I can that I might not be burdened.

My wife was not ready, and she coming early did not see her, and I was glad of it.

She gone, I up and then hear that my wife and her maid Ashwell had between them spilled the pot … upon the floor and stool and God knows what, and were mighty merry making of it clean. I took no great notice, but merrily.

Ashwell did by and by come to me with an errand from her mistress to desire money to buy a country suit for her against she goes as we talked last night, and so I did give her 4l., and believe it will cost me the best part of 4 more to fit her out, but with peace and honour I am willing to spare anything so as to be able to keep all ends together, and my power over her undisturbed.

So to my office and by and by home, where my wife and her master were dancing, and so I staid in my chamber till they had done, and sat down myself to try a little upon the Lyra viall, my hand being almost out, but easily brought to again. So by and by to dinner, and then carried my wife and Ashwell to St. James’s, and there they sat in the coach while I went in, and finding nobody there likely to meet with the Duke, but only Sir J. Minnes with my Lord Barkely (who speaks very kindly, and invites me with great compliments to come now and then and eat with him, which I am glad to hear, though I value not the thing, but it implies that my esteem do increase rather than fall), and so I staid not, but into the coach again, and taking up my wife’s taylor, it raining hard, they set me down, and who should our coachman be but Carleton the Vintner, that should have had Mrs. Sarah, at Westminster, my Lord Chancellor’s, and then to Paternoster Row . I staid there to speak with my Lord Sandwich, and in my staying, meeting Mr. Lewis Phillips of Brampton, he and afterwards others tell me that news came last night to Court, that the King of France is sick of the spotted fever, and that they are struck in again; and this afternoon my Lord Mandeville is gone from the King to make him a visit; which will be great news, and of great import through Europe.

By and by, out comes my Lord Sandwich, and he and I talked a great while about his business, of his accounts for his pay, and among other things he told me that this day a vote hath passed that the King’s grants of land to my Lord Monk and him should be made good; which pleases him very well.

He also tells me that things don’t go right in the House with Mr. Coventry; I suppose he means in the business of selling of places; but I am sorry for it. Thence by coach home, where I found Pembleton, and so I up to dance with them till the evening, when there came Mr. Alsopp, the King’s brewer, and Lanyon of Plymouth to see me. Mr. Alsopp tells me of a horse of his that lately, after four days’ pain, voided at his fundament four stones, bigger than that I was cut of, very heavy, and in the middle of each of them either a piece of iron or wood. The King has two of them in his closett, and a third the College of Physicians to keep for rarity, and by the King’s command he causes the turd of the horse to be every day searched to find more.

At night to see Sir W. Batten come home this day from Portsmouth. I met with some that say that the King of France is poisoned, but how true that is is not known. So home to supper and to bed pleasant.

Sunday 24 May 1663

(Lord’s day). Having taken one of Mr. Holliard’s pills last night it brought a stool or two this morning, and so forebore going to church this morning, but staid at home looking over my papers about Tom Trice’s business, and so at noon dined, and my wife telling me that there was a pretty lady come to church with Peg Pen to-day, I against my intention had a mind to go to church to see her, and did so, and she is pretty handsome. But over against our gallery I espied Pembleton, and saw him leer upon my wife all the sermon, I taking no notice of him, and my wife upon him, and I observed she made a curtsey to him at coming out without taking notice to me at all of it, which with the consideration of her being desirous these two last Lord’s days to go to church both forenoon and afternoon do really make me suspect something more than ordinary, though I am loth to think the worst, but yet it put and do still keep me at a great loss in my mind, and makes me curse the time that I consented to her dancing, and more my continuing it a second month, which was more than she desired, even after I had seen too much of her carriage with him. But I must have patience and get her into the country, or at least to make an end of her learning to dance as soon as I can. After sermon to Sir W. Pen’s, with Sir J. Minnes to do a little business to answer Mr. Coventry to-night. And so home and with my wife and Ashwell into the garden walking a great while, discoursing what this pretty wench should be by her garb and deportment; with respect to Mrs. Pen she may be her woman, but only that she sat in the pew with her, which I believe he would not let her do.

So home, and read to my wife a fable or two in Ogleby’s AEsop, and so to supper, and then to prayers and to bed. My wife this evening discoursing of making clothes for the country, which I seem against, pleading lack of money, but I am glad of it in some respects because of getting her out of the way from this fellow, and my own liberty to look after my business more than of late I have done. So to prayers and to bed.

This morning it seems Susan, who I think is distracted, or however is since she went from me taught to drink, and so gets out of doors 2 or 3 times a day without leave to the alehouse, did go before 5 o’clock to-day, making Griffin rise in his shirt to let her out to the alehouse, she said to warm herself, but her mistress, falling out with her about it, turned her out of doors this morning, and so she is gone like an idle slut. I took a pill also this night.

Saturday 23 May 1663

Waked this morning between four and five by my blackbird, which whistles as well as ever I heard any; only it is the beginning of many tunes very well, but there leaves them, and goes no further. So up and to my office, where we sat, and among other things I had a fray with Sir J. Minnes in defence of my Will in a business where the old coxcomb would have put a foot upon him, which was only in Jack Davis and in him a downright piece of knavery in procuring a double ticket and getting the wrong one paid as well as the second was to the true party. But it appeared clear enough to the board that Will was true in it. Home to dinner, and after dinner by water to the Temple, and there took my Lyra Viall book bound up with blank paper for new lessons. Thence to Greatorex’s, and there seeing Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Pen go by coach I went in to them and to White Hall; where, in the Matted Gallery, Mr. Coventry was, who told us how the Parliament have required of Sir G. Carteret and him an account what money shall be necessary to be settled upon the Navy for the ordinary charge, which they intend to report 200,000l. per annum. And how to allott this we met this afternoon, and took their papers for our perusal, and so we parted. Only there was walking in the gallery some of the Barbary company, and there we saw a draught of the arms of the company, which the King is of, and so is called the Royall Company, which is, in a field argent an elephant proper, with a canton on which England and France is quartered, supported by two Moors. The crest an anchor winged, I think it is, and the motto too tedious: “Regio floret, patrocinio commercium, commercioque Regnum.”

Thence back by water to Greatorex’s, and there he showed me his varnish which he had invented, which appears every whit as good, upon a stick which he hath done, as the Indian, though it did not do very well upon my paper ruled with musique lines, for it sunk and did not shine. Thence home by water, and after a dance with Pembleton to my office and wrote by the post to Sir W. Batten at Portsmouth to send for him up against next Wednesday, being our triall day against Field at Guildhall, in which God give us good end. So home: to supper and to bed.

Continue reading Friday 22 May 1663