Lay pleasantly, talking to my wife, till 8 o’clock, then up and to Sir W. Batten’s to see him and Sir G. Carteret and Sir J. Minnes take coach towards the Pay at Chatham, which they did and I home, and took money in my pocket to pay many reckonings to-day in the town, as my bookseller’s, and paid at another shop 4l. 10s. for “Stephens’s Thesaurus Graecae Linguae,” given to Paul’s School: So to my brother’s and shoemaker, and so to my Lord Crew’s, and dined alone with him, and after dinner much discourse about matters. Upon the whole, I understand there are great factions at Court, and something he said that did imply a difference like to be between the King and the Duke, in case the Queen should not be with child. I understand, about this bastard.1 He says, also, that some great man will be aimed at when Parliament comes to sit again; I understand, the Chancellor: and that there is a bill will be brought in, that none that have been in arms for the Parliament shall be capable of office. And that the Court are weary of my Lord Albemarle and Chamberlin. He wishes that my Lord Sandwich had some good occasion to be abroad this summer which is coming on, and that my Lord Hinchingbroke were well married, and Sydney had some place at Court. He pities the poor ministers that are put out, to whom, he says, the King is beholden for his coming in, and that if any such thing had been foreseen he had never come in. After this, and much other discourse of the sea, and breeding young gentlemen to the sea, I went away, and homeward, met Mr. Creed at my bookseller’s in Paul’s Church-yard, who takes it ill my letter last night to Mr. Povy, wherein I accuse him of the neglect of the Tangier boats, in which I must confess I did not do altogether like a friend; but however it was truth, and I must own it to be so, though I fall wholly out with him for it. Thence home and to my office alone to do business, and read over half of Mr. Bland’s discourse concerning Trade, which (he being no scholler and so knows not the rules of writing orderly) is very good. So home to supper and to bed, my wife not being well … . This evening Mr. Gauden sent me, against Christmas, a great chine of beef and three dozen of tongues. I did give 5s. to the man that brought it, and half-a-crown to the porters. This day also the parish-clerk brought the general bill of mortality, which cost me half-a-crown more.2
- James Crofts, son of Charles II. by Lucy Walter, created Duke of Monmouth in 1663, Duke of Buccleuch in 1673, when he took the name of Scott.
- The Bills of Mortality for London were first compiled by order of Thomas Cromwell about 1538, and the keeping of them was commenced by the Company of Parish Clerks in the great plague year of 1593. The bills were issued weekly from 1603. The charter of the Parish Clerks’ Company (1611) directs that “each parish clerk shall bring to the Clerks’ Hall weekly a note of all christenings and burials.” Charles I. in 1636 granted permission to the Parish Clerks to have a printing press and employ a printer in their hall for the purpose of printing their weekly bills.