Monday 1 May 1665

Up and to Mr. Povy’s, and by his bedside talked a good while. Among other things he do much insist I perceive upon the difficulty of getting of money, and would fain have me to concur in the thinking of some other way of disposing of the place of Treasurer to one Mr. Bell, but I did seem slight of it, and resolved to try to do the best or to give it up. Thence to the Duke of Albemarle, where I was sorry to find myself to come a little late, and so home, and at noon going to the ‘Change I met my Lord Brunkard, Sir Robert Murry, Deane Wilkins, and Mr. Hooke, going by coach to Colonell Blunts to dinner. So they stopped and took me with them. Landed at the Tower-wharf, and thence by water to Greenwich; and there coaches met us; and to his house, a very stately sight for situation and brave plantations; and among others, a vineyard, the first that ever I did see. No extraordinary dinner, nor any other entertainment good; but only after dinner to the tryall of some experiments about making of coaches easy. And several we tried; but one did prove mighty easy (not here for me to describe, but the whole body of the coach lies upon one long spring), and we all, one after another, rid in it; and it is very fine and likely to take. These experiments were the intent of their coming, and pretty they are. Thence back by coach to Greenwich, and in his pleasure boat to Deptford, and there stopped and in to Mr. Evelyn’s, —[Sayes Court, the well-known residence of John Evelyn.]— which is a most beautiful place; but it being dark and late, I staid not; but Deane Wilkins and Mr. Hooke and I walked to Redriffe; and noble discourse all day long did please me, and it being late did take them to my house to drink, and did give them some sweetmeats, and thence sent them with a lanthorn home, two worthy persons as are in England, I think, or the world. So to my Lady Batten, where my wife is tonight, and so after some merry talk home and to bed.

Tuesday 2 May 1665

Up and to the office all day, where sat late, and then to the office again, and by and by Sir W. Batten and my Lady and my wife and I by appointment yesterday (my Lady Pen failed us, who ought to have been with us) to the Rhenish winehouse at the Steelyard, and there eat a couple of lobsters and some prawns, and pretty merry, especially to see us four together, while my wife and my Lady did never intend ever to be together again after a year’s distance between one another. Hither by and by come Sir Richard Ford and also Mrs. Esther, that lived formerly with my Lady Batten, now well married to a priest, come to see my Lady. Thence toward evening home, and to my office, where late, and then home to supper and to bed.

Wednesday 3 May 1665

Up betimes and walked to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s, where a long time with him in his chamber alone talking of Sir G. Carteret’s business, and the abuses he puts on the nation by his bad payments to both our vexations, but no hope of remedy for ought I see. Thence to my Lord Ashly to a Committee of Tangier for my Lord Rutherford’s accounts, and that done we to my Lord Treasurer’s, where I did receive my Lord’s warrant to Sir R. Long for drawing a warrant for my striking of tallys. So to the Inne again by Cripplegate, expecting my mother’s coming to towne, but she is not come this weeke neither, the coach being too full. So to the ‘Change and thence home to dinner, and so out to Gresham College, and saw a cat killed with the Duke of Florence’s poyson, and saw it proved that the oyle of tobacco1 drawn by one of the Society do the same effect, and is judged to be the same thing with the poyson both in colour and smell, and effect. I saw also an abortive child preserved fresh in spirits of salt. Thence parted, and to White Hall to the Councilchamber about an order touching the Navy (our being empowered to commit seamen or Masters that do not, being hired or pressed, follow their worke), but they could give us none. So a little vexed at that, because I put in the memorial to the Duke of Albemarle alone under my own hand, home, and after some time at the office home to bed. My Lord Chief Justice Hide did die suddenly this week, a day or two ago, of an apoplexy.

  1. “Mr. Daniel Coxe read an account of the effects of tobacco-oil distilled in a retort, by one drop of which given at the mouth he had killed a lusty cat, which being opened, smelled strongly of the oil, and the blood of the heart more strongly than the rest …. One drop of the Florentine ‘oglio di tobacco’ being again given to a dog, it proved stupefying and vomitive, as before” (Birch’s “History of the Royal Society,” vol, ii., pp. 42, 43).

Thursday 4 May 1665

Up, and to the office, where we sat busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again all day till almost midnight, and then, weary, home to supper and to bed.

Friday 5 May 1665

Up betimes, and by water to Westminster, there to speak the first time with Sir Robert Long, to give him my Privy Seal and my Lord Treasurer’s order for Tangier Tallys; he received me kindly enough. Thence home by water, and presently down to Woolwich and back to Blackewall, and there, viewed the Breach, in order to a Mast Docke, and so to Deptford to the Globe, where my Lord Brunkard, Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and Commissioner Pett were at dinner, having been at the Breach also, but they find it will be too great charge to make use of it. After dinner to Mr. Evelyn’s; he being abroad, we walked in his garden, and a lovely noble ground he hath indeed. And among other rarities, a hive of bees, so as being hived in glass, you may see the bees making their honey and combs mighty pleasantly. Thence home, and I by and by to Mr. Povy’s to see him, who is yet in his chamber not well, and thence by his advice to one Lovett’s, a varnisher, to see his manner of new varnish, but found not him at home, but his wife, a very beautiful woman, who shewed me much variety of admirable work, and is in order to my having of some papers fitted with his lines for my use for tables and the like. I know not whether I was more pleased with the thing, or that I was shewed it by her, but resolved I am to have some made. So home to my office late, and then to supper and to bed. My wife tells me that she hears that my poor aunt James hath had her breast cut off here in town, her breast having long been out of order. This day, after I had suffered my owne hayre to grow long, in order to wearing it, I find the convenience of periwiggs is so great, that I have cut off all short again, and will keep to periwiggs.

Saturday 6 May 1665

Up, and all day at the office, but a little at dinner, and there late till past 12. So home to bed, pleased as I always am after I have rid a great deal of work, it being very satisfactory to me.

Sunday 7 May 1665

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church with my wife. Home and dined. After dinner come Mr. Andrews and spent the afternoon with me, about our Tangier business of the victuals, and then parted, and after sermon comes Mr. Hill and a gentleman, a friend of his, one Mr. Scott, that sings well also, and then comes Mr. Andrews, and we all sung and supped, and then to sing again and passed the Sunday very pleasantly and soberly, and so I to my office a little, and then home to prayers and to bed. Yesterday begun my wife to learn to, limn of one Browne, which Mr. Hill helps her to, and, by her beginning upon some eyes, I think she will [do] very fine things, and I shall take great delight in it.

Monday 8th May 1665

Up very betimes, and did much business before I went out with several persons, among others Captain Taylor, who would leave the management of most of his business now he is going to Harwich, upon me, and if I can get money by it, which I believe it will, I shall take some of it upon me. Thence with Sir W. Batten to the Duke of Albemarle’s and there did much business, and then to the ‘Change, and thence off with Sir W. Warren to an ordinary, where we dined and sat talking of most usefull discourse till 5 in the afternoon, and then home, and very busy till late, and so home and to bed.

Tuesday 9 May 1665

Up betimes, and to my business at the office, where all the morning. At noon comes Mrs. The. Turner, and dines with us, and my wife’s painting-master staid and dined; and I take great pleasure in thinking that my wife will really come to something in that business. Here dined also Luellin. So after dinner to my office, and there very busy till almost midnight, and so home to supper and to bed. This day we have newes of eight ships being taken by some of ours going into the Texel, their two men of warr, that convoyed them, running in. They come from about Ireland, round to the north.

Wednesday 10 May 1665

Up betimes, and abroad to the Cocke-Pitt, where the Duke [of Albemarle] did give Sir W. Batten and me an account of the late taking of eight ships, and of his intent to come back to the Gunfleete —[The Gunfleet Sand off the Essex coast.]— with the fleete presently; which creates us much work and haste therein, against the fleete comes. So to Mr. Povy, and after discourse with him home, and thence to the Guard in Southwarke, there to get some soldiers, by the Duke’s order, to go keep pressmen on board our ships. So to the ‘Change and did much business, and then home to dinner, and there find my poor mother come out of the country today in good health, and I am glad to see her, but my business, which I am sorry for, keeps me from paying the respect I ought to her at her first coming, she being grown very weak in her judgement, and doating again in her discourse, through age and some trouble in her family. I left her and my wife to go abroad to buy something, and then I to my office. In the evening by appointment to Sir W. Warren and Mr. Deering at a taverne hard by with intent to do some good upon their agreement in a great bargain of planks. So home to my office again, and then to supper and to bed, my mother being in bed already.

Thursday 11 May 1665

Up betimes, and at the office all the morning. At home dined, and then to the office all day till late at night, and then home to supper, weary with business, and to bed.

Friday 12 May 1665

Up betimes, and find myself disappointed in my receiving presently of my 50l. I hoped for sure of Mr. Warren upon the benefit of my press warrant, but he promises to make it good. So by water to the Exchequer, and there up and down through all the offices to strike my tallys for 17,500l., which methinks is so great a testimony of the goodness of God to me, that I, from a mean clerke there, should come to strike tallys myself for that sum, and in the authority that I do now, is a very stupendous mercy to me. I shall have them struck to-morrow. But to see how every little fellow looks after his fees, and to get what he can for everything, is a strange consideration; the King’s fees that he must pay himself for this 17,500l. coming to above 100l.. Thence called my wife at Unthanke’s to the New Exchange and elsewhere to buy a lace band for me, but we did not buy, but I find it so necessary to have some handsome clothes that I cannot but lay out some money thereupon. To the ‘Change and thence to my watchmaker, where he has put it [i.e. the watch] in order, and a good and brave piece it is, and he tells me worth 14l. which is a greater present than I valued it. So home to dinner, and after dinner comes several people, among others my cozen, Thomas Pepys, of Hatcham, to receive some money, of my Lord Sandwich’s, and there I paid him what was due to him upon my uncle’s score, but, contrary to my expectation, did get him to sign and seale to my sale of lands for payment of debts. So that now I reckon myself in better condition by 100l. in my content than I was before, when I was liable to be called to an account and others after me by my uncle Thomas or his children for every foot of land we had sold before. This I reckon a great good fortune in the getting of this done. He gone, come Mr. Povy, Dr. Twisden, and Mr. Lawson about settling my security in the paying of the 4000l. ordered to Sir J. Lawson. So a little abroad and then home, and late at my office and closet settling this day’s disordering of my papers, then to supper and to bed.

Saturday 13 May 1665

Up, and all day in some little gruntings of pain, as I used to have from winde, arising I think from my fasting so long, and want of exercise, and I think going so hot in clothes, the weather being hot, and the same clothes I wore all winter. To the ‘Change after office, and received my watch from the watchmaker, and a very fine [one] it is, given me by Briggs, the Scrivener. Home to dinner, and then I abroad to the Atturney Generall, about advice upon the Act for Land Carriage, which he desired not to give me before I had received the King’s and Council’s order therein; going home bespoke the King’s works, will cost me 50s., I believe. So home and late at my office. But, Lord! to see how much of my old folly and childishnesse hangs upon me still that I cannot forbear carrying my watch in my hand in the coach all this afternoon, and seeing what o’clock it is one hundred times; and am apt to think with myself, how could I be so long without one; though I remember since, I had one, and found it a trouble, and resolved to carry one no more about me while I lived. So home to supper and to bed, being troubled at a letter from Mr. Cholmly from Tangier, wherein he do advise me how people are at worke to overthrow our Victualling business, by which I shall lose 300l. per annum, I am much obliged to him for this, secret kindnesse, and concerned to repay it him in his own concernments and look after this.

Sunday 14 May 1665

(Lord’s day). Up, and with my wife to church, it being Whitsunday; my wife very fine in a new yellow bird’s-eye hood, as the fashion is now. We had a most sorry sermon; so home to dinner, my mother having her new suit brought home, which makes her very fine. After dinner my wife and she and Mercer to Thomas Pepys’s wife’s christening of his first child, and I took a coach, and to Wanstead, the house where Sir H. Mildmay died, and now Sir Robert Brookes lives, having bought it of the Duke of Yorke, it being forfeited to him. A fine seat, but an old-fashioned house; and being not full of people looks desolately. Thence to Walthamstow, where (failing at the old place) Sir W. Batten by and by come home, I walking up and down the house and garden with my Lady very pleasantly, then to supper very merry, and then back by coach by dark night. I all the afternoon in the coach reading the treasonous book of the Court of King James, printed a great while ago, and worth reading, though ill intended. As soon as I come home, upon a letter from the Duke of Albemarle, I took boat at about 12 at night, and down the River in a gally, my boy and I, down to the Hope and so up again, sleeping and waking, with great pleasure, my business to call upon every one of… [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

Monday 15 May 1665

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] …our victualling ships to set them agoing, and so home, and after dinner to the King’s playhouse, all alone, and saw “Love’s Maistresse.” Some pretty things and good variety in it, but no or little fancy in it. Thence to the Duke of Albemarle to give him account of my day’s works, where he shewed me letters from Sir G. Downing, of four days’ date, that the Dutch are come out and joyned, well-manned, and resolved to board our best ships, and fight for certain they will. Thence to the Swan at Herbert’s, and there the company of Sarah a little while, and so away and called at the Harp and Ball, where the mayde, Mary, is very ‘formosa’ —[handsome]—; but, Lord! to see in what readiness I am, upon the expiring of my vowes this day, to begin to run into all my pleasures and neglect of business. Thence home, and being sleepy to bed.

Tuesday 16 May 1665

Up betimes, and to the Duke of Albemarle with an account of my yesterday’s actions in writing. So back to the office, where all the morning very busy. After dinner by coach to see and speak with Mr. Povy, and after little discourse back again home, where busy upon letters till past 12 at night, and so home to supper and to bed, weary.

Wednesday 17 May 1665

Up, and by appointment to a meeting of Sir John Lawson and Mr. Cholmly’s atturney and Mr. Povy at the Swan taverne at Westminster to settle their business about my being secured in the payment of money to Sir J. Lawson in the other’s absence. Thence at Langford’s, where I never was since my brother died there. I find my wife and Mercer, having with him agreed upon two rich silk suits for me, which is fit for me to have, but yet the money is too much, I doubt, to lay out altogether; but it is done, and so let it be, it being the expense of the world that I can the best bear with and the worst spare. Thence home, and after dinner to the office, where late, and so home to supper and to bed. Sir J. Minnes and I had an angry bout this afternoon with Commissioner Pett about his neglecting his duty and absenting himself, unknown to us, from his place at Chatham, but a most false man I every day find him more and more, and in this very full of equivocation. The fleete we doubt not come to Harwich by this time. Sir W. Batten is gone down this day thither, and the Duchesse of Yorke went down yesterday to meet the Duke.

Thursday 18 May 1665

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes to the Duke of Albemarle, where we did much business, and I with good content to myself; among other things we did examine Nixon and Stanesby, about their late running from two Dutchmen;1 for which they are committed to a vessel to carry them to the fleete to be tried. A most fowle unhandsome thing as ever was heard, for plain cowardice on Nixon’s part. Thence with the Duke of Albemarle in his coach to my Lord Treasurer, and there was before the King (who ever now calls me by my name) and Lord Chancellor, and many other great Lords, discoursing about insuring of some of the King’s goods, wherein the King accepted of my motion that we should; and so away, well pleased. To the office, and dined, and then to the office again, and abroad to speak with Sir G. Carteret; but, Lord! to see how fraile a man I am, subject to my vanities, that can hardly forbear, though pressed with never so much business, my pursuing of pleasure, but home I got, and there very busy very late. Among other things consulting with Mr. Andrews about our Tangier business, wherein we are like to meet with some trouble, and my Lord Bellasses’s endeavour to supplant us, which vexes my mind; but, however, our undertaking is so honourable that we shall stand a tug for it I think. So home to supper and to bed.

  1. Captain Edward Nixon, of the “Elizabeth,” and Captain John Stanesby, of the “Eagle.” John Lanyon wrote to the Navy Commissioners from Plymouth, May 16th: “Understands from the seamen that the conduct of Captains Nixon and Stanesby in their late engagement with two Dutch capers was very foul; the night they left the Dutch, no lights were put out as formerly, and though in sight of them in the morning, they still kept on their way; the Eagle lay by some time, and both the enemy’s ships plied on her, but finding the Elizabeth nearly out of sight she also made sail; it is true the wind and sea were high, but there were no sufficient reasons for such endeavours to get from them.” (“Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1664-65, p. 367). Both captains were tried; Nixon was condemned to be shot but Stanesby was cleared, and Charnock asserts that he was commander the “Happy Return” in 1672.

Friday 19 May 1665

Up, and to White Hall, where the Committee for Tangier met, and there, though the case as to the merit of it was most plain and most of the company favourable to our business, yet it was with much ado that I got the business not carried fully against us, but put off to another day, my Lord Arlington being the great man in it, and I was sorry to be found arguing so greatly against him. The business I believe will in the end be carried against us, and the whole business fall; I must therefore endeavour the most I can to get money another way. It vexed me to see Creed so hot against it, but I cannot much blame him, having never declared to him my being concerned in it. But that that troubles me most is my Lord Arlington calls to me privately and asks me whether I had ever said to any body that I desired to leave this employment, having not time to look after it. I told him, No, for that the thing being settled it will not require much time to look after it. He told me then he would do me right to the King, for he had been told so, which I desired him to do, and by and by he called me to him again and asked me whether I had no friend about the Duke, asking me (I making a stand) whether Mr. Coventry was not my friend. I told him I had received many friendships from him. He then advised me to procure that the Duke would in his next letter write to him to continue me in my place and remove any obstruction; which I told him I would, and thanked him. So parted, vexed at the first and amazed at this business of my Lord Arlington’s. Thence to the Exchequer, and there got my tallys for 17,500l., the first payment I ever had out of the Exchequer, and at the Legg spent 14s. upon my old acquaintance, some of them the clerks, and away home with my tallys in a coach, fearful every step of having one of them fall out, or snatched from me. Being come home, I much troubled out again by coach (for company taking Sir W. Warren with me), intending to have spoke to my Lord Arlington to have known the bottom of it, but missed him, and afterwards discoursing the thing as a confidant to Sir W. Warren, he did give me several good hints and principles not to do anything suddenly, but consult my pillow upon that and every great thing of my life, before I resolve anything in it. Away back home, and not being fit for business I took my wife and Mercer down by water to Greenwich at 8 at night, it being very fine and cool and moonshine afterward. Mighty pleasant passage it was; there eat a cake or two, and so home by 10 or 11 at night, and then to bed, my mind not settled what to think.

Sunday 21 May 1665

Till past one, Lord’s day, in the morning writing letters to the fleete and elsewhere, and my mind eased of much business, home to bed and slept till 8. So up, and this day is brought home one of my new silk suits, the plain one, but very rich camelott and noble. I tried it and it pleases me, but did not wear it, being I would not go out today to church. So laid it by, and my mind changed, thinking to go see my Lady Sandwich, and I did go a little way, but stopped and returned home to dinner, after dinner up to my chamber to settle my Tangier accounts, and then to my office, there to do the like with other papers. In the evening home to supper and to bed.

Monday 22 May 1665

Up, and down to the ships, which now are hindered from going down to the fleete (to our great sorrow and shame) with their provisions, the wind being against them. So to the Duke of Albemarle, and thence down by water to Deptford, it being Trinity Monday, and so the day of choosing the Master of Trinity House for the next yeare, where, to my great content, I find that, contrary to the practice and design of Sir W. Batten, to breake the rule and custom of the Company in choosing their Masters by succession, he would have brought in Sir W. Rider or Sir W. Pen, over the head of Hurleston (who is a knave too besides, I believe), the younger brothers did all oppose it against the elder, and with great heat did carry it for Hurleston, which I know will vex him to the heart. Thence, the election being over, to church, where an idle sermon from that conceited fellow, Dr. Britton, saving that his advice to unity, and laying aside all envy and enmity among them was very apposite. Thence walked to Redriffe, and so to the Trinity House, and a great dinner, as is usual, and so to my office, where busy all the afternoon till late, and then home to bed, being much troubled in mind for several things, first, for the condition of the fleete for lacke of provisions, the blame this office lies under and the shame that they deserve to have brought upon them for the ships not being gone out of the River, and then for my business of Tangier which is not settled, and lastly for fear that I am not observed to have attended the office business of late as much as I ought to do, though there has been nothing but my attendance on Tangier that has occasioned my absence, and that of late not much.

Tuesday 23 May 1665

Up, and at the office busy all the morning. At noon dined alone, my wife and mother being gone by invitation to dine with my mother’s old servant Mr. Cordery, who made them very welcome. So to Mr. Povy’s, where after a little discourse about his business I home again, and late at the office busy. Late comes Sir Arthur Ingram to my office, to tell me that, by letters from Amsterdam of the 28th of this month (their style),1 the Dutch fleete, being about 100 men-of-war, besides fire-ships, &c., did set out upon the 23rd and 24th inst. Being divided into seven squadrons; viz., 1. Generall Opdam. 2. Cottenar, of Rotterdam. 3. Trump. 4. Schram, of Horne. 5. Stillingworth, of Freezland. 6. Everson. 7. One other, not named, of Zealand.

  1. The new style was adopted by most of the countries of Europe long before it was legalized in England, although Russia still retains the old style.

Wednesday 24 May 1665

Up, and by 4 o’clock in the morning, and with W. Hewer, there till 12 without intermission putting some papers in order. Thence to the Coffee-house with Creed, where I have not been a great while, where all the newes is of the Dutch being gone out, and of the plague growing upon us in this towne; and of remedies against it: some saying one thing, some another. So home to dinner, and after dinner Creed and I to Colvill’s, thinking to shew him all the respect we could by obliging him in carrying him 5 tallys of 5000l. to secure him for so much credit he has formerly given Povy to Tangier, but he, like an impertinent fool, cavills at it, but most ignorantly that ever I heard man in my life. At last Mr. Viner by chance comes, who I find a very moderate man, but could not persuade the fool to reason, but brought away the tallys again, and so vexed to my office, where late, and then home to my supper and to bed.

Thursday 25 May 1665

Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined at home, and then to the office all the afternoon, busy till almost 12 at night, and then home to supper and to bed.

Friday 26 May 1665

Up at 4 o’clock, and all the morning in my office with W. Hewer finishing my papers that were so long out of order, and at noon to my bookseller’s, and there bespoke a book or two, and so home to dinner, where Creed dined with me, and he and I afterwards to Alderman Backewell’s to try him about supplying us with money, which he denied at first and last also, saving that he spoke a little fairer at the end than before. But the truth is I do fear I shall have a great deale of trouble in getting of money. Thence home, and in the evening by water to the Duke of Albemarle, whom I found mightily off the hooks, that the ships are not gone out of the River; which vexed me to see, insomuch that I am afeard that we must expect some change or addition of new officers brought upon us, so that I must from this time forward resolve to make myself appear eminently serviceable in attending at my office duly and no where else, which makes me wish with all my heart that I had never anything to do with this business of Tangier. After a while at my office, home to supper vexed, and to bed.

Saturday 27 May 1665

Up, and to the office, where all the morning; at noon dined at home, and then to my office again, where late, and so to bed, with my mind full of fears for the business of this office and troubled with that of Tangier, concerning which Mr. Povy was with me, but do give me little help, but more reason of being troubled. So that were it not for our Plymouth business I would be glad to be rid of it.

Sunday 28 May 1665

(Lord’s day). By water to the Duke of Albemarle, where I hear that Nixon is condemned to be shot to death, for his cowardice, by a Council of War. Went to chapel and heard a little musique, and there met with Creed, and with him a little while walking, and to Wilkinson’s for me to drink, being troubled with winde, and at noon to Sir Philip Warwicke’s to dinner, where abundance of company come in unexpectedly; and here I saw one pretty piece of household stuff, as the company increaseth, to put a larger leaf upon an oval table. After dinner much good discourse with Sir Philip, who I find, I think, a most pious, good man, and a professor of a philosophical manner of life and principles like Epictetus, whom he cites in many things. Thence to my Lady Sandwich’s, where, to my shame, I had not been a great while before. Here, upon my telling her a story of my Lord Rochester’s running away on Friday night last with Mrs. Mallett, the great beauty and fortune of the North, who had supped at White Hall with Mrs. Stewart, and was going home to her lodgings with her grandfather, my Lord Haly, by coach; and was at Charing Cross seized on by both horse and foot men, and forcibly taken from him, and put into a coach with six horses, and two women provided to receive her, and carried away. Upon immediate pursuit, my Lord of Rochester (for whom the King had spoke to the lady often, but with no successe) was taken at Uxbridge; but the lady is not yet heard of, and the King mighty angry, and the Lord sent to the Tower. Hereupon my Lady did confess to me, as a great secret, her being concerned in this story. For if this match breaks between my Lord Rochester and her, then, by the consent of all her friends, my Lord Hinchingbroke stands fair, and is invited for her. She is worth, and will be at her mother’s death (who keeps but a little from her), 2500l. per annum. Pray God give a good success to it! But my poor Lady, who is afeard of the sickness, and resolved to be gone into the country, is forced to stay in towne a day or two, or three about it, to see the event of it. Thence home and to see my Lady Pen, where my wife and I were shown a fine rarity: of fishes kept in a glass of water, that will live so for ever; and finely marked they are, being foreign. —[Gold-fish introduced from China.]— So to supper at home and to bed, after many people being with me about business, among others the two Bellamys about their old debt due to them from the King for their victualling business, out of which I hope to get some money.

Monday 29 May 1665

Lay long in bed, being in some little pain of the wind collique, then up and to the Duke of Albemarle, and so to the Swan, and there drank at Herbert’s, and so by coach home, it being kept a great holiday through the City, for the birth and restoration of the King. To my office, where I stood by and saw Symson the joyner do several things, little jobbs, to the rendering of my closet handsome and the setting up of some neat plates that Burston has for my money made me, and so home to dinner, and then with my wife, mother, and Mercer in one boat, and I in another, down to Woolwich. I walking from Greenwich, the others going to and fro upon the water till my coming back, having done but little business. So home and to supper, and, weary, to bed. We have every where taken some prizes. Our merchants have good luck to come home safe: Colliers from the North, and some Streights men just now. And our Hambrough ships, of whom we were so much afeard, are safe in Hambrough. Our fleete resolved to sail out again from Harwich in a day or two.

Tuesday 30 May 1665

Lay long, and very busy all the morning, at noon to the ‘Change, and thence to dinner to Sir G. Carteret’s, to talk upon the business of insuring our goods upon the Hambrough [ships]. Here a very fine, neat French dinner, without much cost, we being all alone with my Lady and one of the house with her; thence home and wrote letters, and then in the evening, by coach, with my wife and mother and Mercer, our usual tour by coach, and eat at the old house at Islington; but, Lord! to see how my mother found herself talk upon every object to think of old stories. Here I met with one that tells me that Jack Cole, my old schoolefellow, is dead and buried lately of a consumption, who was a great crony of mine. So back again home, and there to my closet to write letters. Hear to my great trouble that our Hambrough ships,1 valued of the King’s goods and the merchants’ (though but little of the former) to 200,000l. [are lost]. By and by, about 11 at night, called into the garden by my Lady Pen and daughter, and there walked with them and my wife till almost twelve, and so in and closed my letters, and home to bed.

  1. On May 29th Sir William Coventry wrote to Lord Arlington: “Capt. Langhorne has arrived with seven ships, and reports the taking of the Hamburg fleet with the man of war their convoy; mistaking the Dutch fleet for the English, he fell into it” (“Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1664-65, p. 393)

Wednesday 31 May 1665

Up, and to my office, and to Westminster, doing business till noon, and then to the ‘Change, where great the noise and trouble of having our Hambrough ships lost; and that very much placed upon Mr. Coventry’s forgetting to give notice to them of the going away of our fleete from the coast of Holland. But all without reason, for he did; but the merchants not being ready, staid longer than the time ordered for the convoy to stay, which was ten days. Thence home with Creed and Mr. Moore to dinner. Anon we broke up, and Creed and I to discourse about our Tangier matters of money, which vex me. So to Gresham College, staid a very little while, and away and I home busy, and busy late, at the end of the month, about my month’s accounts, but by the addition of Tangier it is rendered more intricate, and so (which I have not done these 12 months, nor would willingly have done now) failed of having it done, but I will do it as soon as I can. So weary and sleepy to bed. I endeavoured but missed of seeing Sir Thomas Ingram at Westminster, so went to Houseman’s the Painter, who I intend shall draw my wife, but he was not within, but I saw several very good pictures.