Waked very betimes and lay long awake, my mind being so full of business. Then up and to St. James’s, where I find Mr. Coventry full of business, packing up for his going to sea with the Duke. Walked with him, talking, to White Hall, where to the Duke’s lodgings, who is gone thither to lodge lately. I appeared to the Duke, and thence Mr. Coventry and I an hour in the Long Gallery, talking about the management of our office, he tells me the weight of dispatch will lie chiefly on me, and told me freely his mind touching Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, the latter of whom, he most aptly said, was like a lapwing; that all he did was to keepe a flutter, to keepe others from the nest that they would find. He told me an old story of the former about the light-houses, how just before he had certified to the Duke against the use of them, and what a burden they are to trade, and presently after, at his being at Harwich, comes to desire that he might have the setting one up there, and gets the usefulness of it certified also by the Trinity House. After long discoursing and considering all our stores and other things, as how the King hath resolved upon Captain Taylor1 and Colonell Middleton, the first to be Commissioner for Harwich and the latter for Portsmouth, I away to the ‘Change, and there did very much business, so home to dinner, and Mr. Duke, our Secretary for the Fishery, dined with me. After dinner to discourse of our business, much to my content, and then he away, and I by water among the smiths on the other side, and to the alehouse with one and was near buying 4 or 5 anchors, and learned something worth my knowing of them, and so home and to my office, where late, with my head very full of business, and so away home to supper and to bed.
- Coventry, writing to Secretary Bennet (November 14th, 1664), refers to the objections made to Taylor, and adds: “Thinks the King will not easily consent to his rejection, as he is a man of great abilities and dispatch, and was formerly laid aside at Chatham on the Duchess of Albemarle’s earnest interposition for another. He is a fanatic, it is true, but all hands will be needed for the work cut out; there is less danger of them in harbour than at sea, and profit will convert most of them” (” Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1664-65, p. 68). ↩