This morning Sir W. Pen and I to the Treasury office, and there we paid off the Amity (Captain Stokes’s ship that was at Guinny) and another ship, and so home, and after dinner Sir William came to me, and he and his son and daughter, and I and my wife, by coach to Moorfields to walk; but it was most foul weather, and so we went into an alehouse and there eat some cakes and ale, and a washeallbowle1 woman and girl came to us and sung to us. And after all was done I called my boy (Wayneman) to us to eat some cake that was left, and the woman of the house told us that he had called for two cakes and a pot of ale for himself, at which I was angry, and am resolved to correct him for it. So home and Sir W. Pen and his son and daughter to supper to me to a good turkey, and were merry at cards, and so to bed.
“The wenches with their wassall bowls About the streets are singing.” — Wither’s Christmas Carol.
The old custom of carrying the wassail bowl from door to door, with songs and merriment, in Christmas week, is still observed in some of our rural districts. — B.↩