Wednesday 6 April 1664
Up and to my office, whither by and by came John Noble, my father’s old servant, to speake with me. I smelling the business, took him home; and there, all alone, he told me how he had been serviceable to my brother Tom, in the business of his getting his servant, an ugly jade, Margaret, with child. She was brought to bed in St. Sepulchre’s parish of two children; one is dead, the other is alive; her name Elizabeth, and goes by the name of Taylor, daughter to John Taylor. It seems Tom did a great while trust one Crawly with the business, who daily got money of him; and at last, finding himself abused, he broke the matter to J. Noble, upon a vowe of secresy. Tom’s first plott was to go on the other side the water and give a beggar woman something to take the child. They did once go, but did nothing, J. Noble saying that seven years hence the mother might come to demand the child and force him to produce it, or to be suspected of murder. Then I think it was that they consulted, and got one Cave, a poor pensioner in St. Bride’s parish to take it, giving him 5l., he thereby promising to keepe it for ever without more charge to them. The parish hereupon indite the man Cave for bringing this child upon the parish, and by Sir Richard Browne he is sent to the Counter. Cave thence writes to Tom to get him out. Tom answers him in a letter of his owne hand, which J. Noble shewed me, but not signed by him, wherein he speaks of freeing him and getting security for him, but nothing as to the business of the child, or anything like it: so that forasmuch as I could guess, there is nothing therein to my brother’s prejudice as to the main point, and therefore I did not labour to tear or take away the paper.
Cave being released, demands 5l. more to secure my brother for ever against the child; and he was forced to give it him and took bond of Cave in 100l., made at a scrivener’s, one Hudson, I think, in the Old Bayly, to secure John Taylor, and his assigns, &c. (in consideration of 10l. paid him), from all trouble, or charge of meat, drink, clothes, and breeding of Elizabeth Taylor; and it seems, in the doing of it, J. Noble was looked upon as the assignee of this John Taylor. Noble says that he furnished Tom with this money, and is also bound by another bond to pay him 20s. more this next Easter Monday; but nothing for either sum appears under Tom’s hand. I told him how I am like to lose a great sum by his death, and would not pay any more myself, but I would speake to my father about it against the afternoon. So away he went, and I all the morning in my office busy, and at noon home to dinner mightily oppressed with wind, and after dinner took coach and to Paternoster Row, and there bought a pretty silke for a petticoate for my wife, and thence set her down at the New Exchange, and I leaving the coat at Unthanke’s, went to White Hall, but the Councell meeting at Worcester House I went thither, and there delivered to the Duke of Albemarle a paper touching some Tangier business, and thence to the ‘Change for my wife, and walked to my father’s, who was packing up some things for the country. I took him up and told him this business of Tom, at which the poor wretch was much troubled, and desired me that I would speak with J. Noble, and do what I could and thought fit in it without concerning him in it. So I went to Noble, and saw the bond that Cave did give and also Tom’s letter that I mentioned above, and upon the whole I think some shame may come, but that it will be hard from any thing I see there to prove the child to be his. Thence to my father and told what I had done, and how I had quieted Noble by telling him that, though we are resolved to part with no more money out of our own purses, yet if he can make it appear a true debt that it may be justifiable for us to pay it, we will do our part to get it paid, and said that I would have it paid before my own debt.
So my father and I both a little satisfied, though vexed to think what a rogue my brother was in all respects. I took my wife by coach home, and to my office, where late with Sir W. Warren, and so home to supper and to bed.
I heard to-day that the Dutch have begun with us by granting letters of marke against us; but I believe it not.