Thursday 1 June 1665

Up and to the office, where sat all the morning, at noon to the ‘Change, and there did some business, and home to dinner, whither Creed comes, and after dinner I put on my new silke camelott sute; the best that ever I wore in my life, the sute costing me above 24l.. In this I went with Creed to Goldsmiths’ Hall, to the burial of Sir Thomas Viner; which Hall, and Haberdashers also, was so full of people, that we were fain for ease and coolness to go forth to Pater Noster Row, to choose a silke to make me a plain ordinary suit. That done, we walked to Cornehill, and there at Mr. Cade’s stood in the balcon and saw all the funeral, which was with the blue-coat boys and old men, all the Aldermen, and Lord Mayor, &c., and the number of the company very great; the greatest I ever did see for a taverne. Hither come up to us Dr. Allen, and then Mr. Povy and Mr. Fox. The show being over, and my discourse with Mr. Povy, I took coach and to Westminster Hall, where I took the fairest flower, and by coach to Tothill Fields for the ayre till it was dark. I ‘light, and in with the fairest flower to eat a cake, and there did do as much as was safe with my flower, and that was enough on my part. Broke up, and away without any notice, and, after delivering the rose where it should be, I to the Temple and ‘light, and come to the middle door, and there took another coach, and so home to write letters, but very few, God knows, being by my pleasure made to forget everything that is. The coachman that carried [us] cannot know me again, nor the people at the house where we were. Home to bed, certain news being come that our fleete is in sight of the Dutch ships.

Friday 2 June 1665

Lay troubled in mind abed a good while, thinking of my Tangier and victualling business, which I doubt will fall. Up and to the Duke of Albemarle, but missed him. Thence to the Harp and Ball and to Westminster Hall, where I visited “the flowers” in each place, and so met with Mr. Creed, and he and I to Mrs. Croft’s to drink and did, but saw not her daughter Borroughes. I away home, and there dined and did business. In the afternoon went with my tallys, made a fair end with Colvill and Viner, delivering them 5000l. tallys to each and very quietly had credit given me upon other tallys of Mr. Colvill for 2000l. and good words for more, and of Mr. Viner too. Thence to visit the Duke of Albemarle, and thence my Lady Sandwich and Lord Crew. Thence home, and there met an expresse from Sir W. Batten at Harwich, that the fleete is all sailed from Solebay, having spied the Dutch fleete at sea, and that, if the calmes hinder not, they must needs now be engaged with them. Another letter also come to me from Mr. Hater, committed by the Council this afternoon to the Gate House, upon the misfortune of having his name used by one, without his knowledge or privity, for the receiving of some powder that he had bought. Up to Court about these two, and for the former was led up to my Lady Castlemayne’s lodgings, where the King and she and others were at supper, and there I read the letter and returned; and then to Sir G. Carteret about Hater, and shall have him released to-morrow, upon my giving bail for his appearance, which I have promised to do. Sir G. Carteret did go on purpose to the King to ask this, and it was granted. So home at past 12, almost one o’clock in the morning. To my office till past two, and then home to supper and to bed.

Saturday 3 June 1665

Up and to White Hall, where Sir G. Carteret did go with me to Secretary Morris, and prevailed with him to let Mr. Hater be released upon bail for his appearance. So I at a loss how to get another besides myself, and got Mr. Hunt, who did patiently stay with me all the morning at Secretary Morris’s chamber, Mr. Hater being sent for with his keeper, and at noon comes in the Secretary, and upon entering [into] recognizances, he for 200l., and Mr. Hunt and I for 100l. each for his appearance upon demand, he was released, it costing him, I think, above 3l.. I thence home, vexed to be kept from the office all the morning, which I had not been in many months before, if not some years. At home to dinner, and all the afternoon at the office, where late at night, and much business done, then home to supper and to bed. All this day by all people upon the River, and almost every where else hereabout were heard the guns, our two fleets for certain being engaged; which was confirmed by letters from Harwich, but nothing particular: and all our hearts full of concernment for the Duke, and I particularly for my Lord Sandwich and Mr. Coventry after his Royall Highnesse.

Sunday 4 June 1665

(Sunday). Up and at my chamber all the forenoon, at evening my accounts, which I could not do sooner, for the last month, and, blessed be God! am worth 1400l. odd money, something more than ever I was yet in the world. Dined very well at noon, and then to my office, and there and in the garden discoursed with several people about business, among others Mr. Howell, the turner, who did give me so good a discourse about the practices of the Paymaster J. Fenn that I thought fit to recollect all when he was gone, and have entered it down to be for ever remembered. Thence to my chamber again to settle my Tangier accounts against tomorrow and some other things, and with great joy ended them, and so to supper, where a good fowl and tansy, and so to bed. Newes being come that our fleete is pursuing the Dutch, who, either by cunning, or by being worsted, do give ground, but nothing more for certain. Late to bed upon my papers being quite finished.

Monday 5 June 1665

Up very betimes to look some other papers, and then to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier, where I offered my accounts with great acceptation, and so had some good words and honour by it, and one or two things done to my content in my business of Treasurer, but I do clearly see that we shall lose our business of victualling, Sir Thomas Ingram undertaking that it shall be done by persons there as cheap as we do it, and give the seamen their full allowance and themselves give good security here for performance of contract, upon which terms there is no opposing it. This would trouble me, but that I hope when that fails to spend my time to some good advantage other ways, and so shall permit it all to God Almighty’s pleasure. Thence home to dinner, after ‘Change, where great talke of the Dutch being fled and we in pursuit of them, and that our ship Charity1 is lost upon our Captain’s, Wilkinson, and Lieutenant’s yielding, but of this there is no certainty, save the report of some of the sicke men of the Charity, turned adrift in a boat out of the Charity and taken up and brought on shore yesterday to Sole Bay, and the newes hereof brought by Sir Henry Felton. Home to dinner, and Creed with me. Then he and I down to Deptford, did some business, and back again at night. He home, and I to my office, and so to supper and to bed. This morning I had great discourse with my Lord Barkeley about Mr. Hater, towards whom from a great passion reproaching him with being a fanatique and dangerous for me to keepe, I did bring him to be mighty calme and to ask me pardons for what he had thought of him and to desire me to ask his pardon of Hater himself for the ill words he did give him the other day alone at White Hall (which was, that he had always thought him a man that was no good friend to the King, but did never think it would breake out in a thing of this nature), and did advise him to declare his innocence to the Council and pray for his examination and vindication. Of which I shall consider and say no more, but remember one compliment that in great kindness to me he did give me, extolling my care and diligence, that he did love me heartily for my owne sake, and more that he did will me whatsoever I thought for Mr. Coventry’s sake, for though the world did think them enemies, and to have an ill aspect, one to another, yet he did love him with all his heart, which was a strange manner of noble compliment, confessing his owning me as a confidant and favourite of Mr. Coventry’s.

  1. Sir William Coventry and Sir William Penn to the Navy Commissioners, June 4th: “Engaged yesterday with the Dutch; they began to stand away at 3 p.m. Chased them all the rest of the day and night; 20 considerable ships are destroyed and taken; we have only lost the Great Charity. The Earl of Marlborough, Rear-Admiral Sansum, and Captain Kirby are slain, and Sir John Lawson wounded” (“Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1664-65, p. 406).

Tuesday 6 June 1665

Waked in the morning before 4 o’clock with great pain to piss, and great pain in pissing by having, I think, drank too great a draught of cold drink before going to bed. But by and by to sleep again, and then rose and to the office, where very busy all the morning, and at noon to dinner with Sir G. Carteret to his house with all our Board, where a good pasty and brave discourse. But our great fear was some fresh news of the fleete, but not from the fleete, all being said to be well and beaten the Dutch, but I do not give much belief to it, and indeed the news come from Sir W. Batten at Harwich, and writ so simply that we all made good mirth of it. Thence to the office, where upon Sir G. Carteret’s accounts, to my great vexation there being nothing done by the Controller to right the King therein. I thence to my office and wrote letters all the afternoon, and in the evening by coach to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s about my Tangier business to get money, and so to my Lady Sandwich’s, who, poor lady, expects every hour to hear of my Lord; but in the best temper, neither confident nor troubled with fear, that I ever did see in my life. She tells me my Lord Rochester is now declaredly out of hopes of Mrs. Mallett, and now she is to receive notice in a day or two how the King stands inclined to the giving leave for my Lord Hinchingbroke to look after her, and that being done to bring it to an end shortly. Thence by coach home, and to my office a little, and so before 12 o’clock home and to bed.

Wednesday 7 June 1665

This morning my wife and mother rose about two o’clock; and with Mercer, Mary, the boy, and W. Hewer, as they had designed, took boat and down to refresh themselves on the water to Gravesend. Lay till 7 o’clock, then up and to the office upon Sir G. Carteret’s accounts again, where very busy; thence abroad and to the ‘Change, no news of certainty being yet come from the fleete. Thence to the Dolphin Taverne, where Sir J. Minnes, Lord Brunkard, Sir Thomas Harvy, and myself dined, upon Sir G. Carteret’s charge, and very merry we were, Sir Thomas Harvy being a very drolle. Thence to the office, and meeting Creed away with him to my Lord Treasurer’s, there thinking to have met the goldsmiths, at White Hall, but did not, and so appointed another time for my Lord to speak to them to advance us some money. Thence, it being the hottest day that ever I felt in my life, and it is confessed so by all other people the hottest they ever knew in England in the beginning of June, we to the New Exchange, and there drunk whey, with much entreaty getting it for our money, and [they] would not be entreated to let us have one glasse more. So took water and to Fox-Hall, to the Spring garden, and there walked an houre or two with great pleasure, saving our minds ill at ease concerning the fleete and my Lord Sandwich, that we have no newes of them, and ill reports run up and down of his being killed, but without ground. Here staid pleasantly walking and spending but 6d. till nine at night, and then by water to White Hall, and there I stopped to hear news of the fleete, but none come, which is strange, and so by water home, where, weary with walking and with the mighty heat of the weather, and for my wife’s not coming home, I staying walking in the garden till twelve at night, when it begun to lighten exceedingly, through the greatness of the heat. Then despairing of her coming home, I to bed. This day, much against my will, I did in Drury Lane see two or three houses marked with a red cross upon the doors, and “Lord have mercy upon us” writ there; which was a sad sight to me, being the first of the kind that, to my remembrance, I ever saw. It put me into an ill conception of myself and my smell, so that I was forced to buy some roll-tobacco to smell to and chaw, which took away the apprehension.

Thursday 8 June 1665

About five o’clock my wife come home, it having lightened all night hard, and one great shower of rain. She come and lay upon the bed; I up and to the office, where all the morning. Alone at home to dinner, my wife, mother, and Mercer dining at W. Joyce’s; I giving her a caution to go round by the Half Moone to his house, because of the plague. I to my Lord Treasurer’s by appointment of Sir Thomas Ingram’s, to meet the Goldsmiths; where I met with the great news at last newly come, brought by Bab May from the Duke of Yorke, that we have totally routed the Dutch; that the Duke himself, the Prince, my Lord Sandwich, and Mr. Coventry are all well: which did put me into such joy, that I forgot almost all other thoughts. The particulars I shall set down by and by. By and by comes Alderman Maynell and Mr. Viner, and there my Lord Treasurer did intreat them to furnish me with money upon my tallys, Sir Philip Warwicke before my Lord declaring the King’s changing of the hand from Mr. Povy to me, whom he called a very sober person, and one whom the Lord Treasurer would owne in all things that I should concern myself with them in the business of money. They did at present declare they could not part with money at present. My Lord did press them very hard, and I hope upon their considering we shall get some of them. Thence with great joy to the Cocke-pitt; where the Duke of Albemarle, like a man out of himself with content, new-told me all; and by and by comes a letter from Mr. Coventry’s own hand to him, which he never opened (which was a strange thing), but did give it me to open and read, and consider what was fit for our office to do in it, and leave the letter with Sir W. Clerke; which upon such a time and occasion was a strange piece of indifference, hardly pardonable. I copied out the letter, and did also take minutes out of Sir W. Clerke’s other letters; and the sum of the newes is:

Victory over the Dutch, June 3rd, 1665.

This day they engaged; the Dutch neglecting greatly the opportunity of the wind they had of us, by which they lost the benefit of their fire- ships. The Earl of Falmouth, Muskerry, and Mr. Richard Boyle killed on board the Duke’s ship, the Royall Charles, with one shot: their blood and brains flying in the Duke’s face; and the head of Mr. Boyle striking down the Duke, as some say. Earle of Marlborough, Portland, Rear-Admirall Sansum (to Prince Rupert) killed, and Capt. Kirby and Ableson. Sir John Lawson wounded on the knee; hath had some bones taken out, and is likely to be well again. Upon receiving the hurt, he sent to the Duke for another to command the Royall Oake. The Duke sent Jordan1 out of the St. George, who did brave things in her. Capt. Jer. Smith of the Mary was second to the Duke, and stepped between him and Captain Seaton of the Urania (76 guns and 400 men), who had sworn to board the Duke; killed him, 200 men, and took the ship; himself losing 99 men, and never an officer saved but himself and lieutenant. His master indeed is saved, with his leg cut off: Admirall Opdam blown up, Trump killed, and said by Holmes; all the rest of their admiralls, as they say, but Everson (whom they dare not trust for his affection to the Prince of Orange), are killed: we having taken and sunk, as is believed, about 24 of their best ships; killed and taken near 8 or 10,000 men, and lost, we think, not above 700. A great[er] victory never known in the world. They are all fled, some 43 got into the Texell, and others elsewhere, and we in pursuit of the rest. Thence, with my heart full of joy; home, and to my office a little; then to my Lady Pen’s, where they are all joyed and not a little puffed up at the good successe of their father;1 and good service indeed is said to have been done by him. Had a great bonefire at the gate; and I with my Lady Pen’s people and others to Mrs. Turner’s great room, and then down into the streete. I did give the boys 4s. among them, and mighty merry. So home to bed, with my heart at great rest and quiett, saving that the consideration of the victory is too great for me presently to comprehend.

Mrs. Ady (Julia Cartwright), in her fascinating life of Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, gives an account of the receipt of the news of the great sea-fight in Paris, and quotes a letter of Charles II. to his sister, dated, “Whitehall, June 8th, 1665” The first report that reached Paris was that “the Duke of York’s ship had been blown up, and he himself had been drowned.” “The shock was too much for Madame … she was seized with convulsions, and became so dangerously ill that Lord Hollis wrote to the king, ‘If things had gone ill at sea I really believe Madame would have died.’” Charles wrote: “I thanke God we have now the certayne newes of a very considerable victory over the Duch; you will see most of the particulars by the relation my Lord Hopis will shew you, though I have had as great a losse as ‘tis possible in a good frinde, poore C. Barckely. It troubles me so much, as I hope you will excuse the shortnesse of this letter, haveing receaved the newes of it but two houres agoe” (“Madame,” 1894, pp. 215, 216).

  1. Afterwards Sir Joseph Jordan, commander of the “Royal Sovereign,” and Vice-Admiral of the Red, 1672. He was knighted on July 1st, 1665. — B.
  2. In the royal charter granted by Charles II. in 1680 to William Penn for the government of his American province, to be styled Pennsylvania, special reference is made to “the memory and merits of Sir William Penn in divers services, and particularly his conduct, courage, and discretion under our dearest brother, James, Duke of York, in that signal battle and victory fought and obtained against the Dutch fleet commanded by Heer van Opdam in 1665” (Penn’s “Memorials of Sir W. Penn,” vol. ii., p. 359).

Friday 9 June 1665

Lay long in bed, my head akeing with too much thoughts I think last night. Up and to White Hall, and my Lord Treasurer’s to Sir Ph. Warwicke, about Tangier business, and in my way met with Mr. Moore, who eases me in one point wherein I was troubled; which was, that I heard of nothing said or done by my Lord Sandwich: but he tells me that Mr. Cowling, my Lord Chamberlain’s secretary, did hear the King say that my Lord Sandwich had done nobly and worthily. The King, it seems, is much troubled at the fall of my Lord of Falmouth; but I do not meet with any man else that so much as wishes him alive again, the world conceiving him a man of too much pleasure to do the King any good, or offer any good office to him. But I hear of all hands he is confessed to have been a man of great honour, that did show it in this his going with the Duke, the most that ever any man did. Home, where my people busy to make ready a supper against night for some guests, in lieu of my stonefeast. At noon eat a small dinner at home, and so abroad to buy several things, and among others with my taylor to buy a silke suit, which though I had one lately, yet I do, for joy of the good newes we have lately had of our victory over the Dutch, which makes me willing to spare myself something extraordinary in clothes; and after long resolution of having nothing but black, I did buy a coloured silk ferrandin. So to the Old Exchange, and there at my pretty seamstresses bought a pair of stockings of her husband, and so home, where by and by comes Mr. Honiwood and Mrs. Wilde, and Roger Pepys and, after long time spent, Mrs. Turner, The. and Joyce. We had a very good venison pasty, this being instead of my stone-feast the last March, and very merry we were, and the more I know the more I like Mr. Honiwood’s conversation. So after a good supper they parted, walking to the ‘Change for a coach, and I with them to see them there. So home and to bed, glad it was over.

Saturday 10 June 1665

Lay long in bed, and then up and at the office all the morning. At noon dined at home, and then to the office busy all the afternoon. In the evening home to supper; and there, to my great trouble, hear that the plague is come into the City (though it hath these three or four weeks since its beginning been wholly out of the City); but where should it begin but in my good friend and neighbour’s, Dr. Burnett, in Fanchurch Street: which in both points troubles me mightily. To the office to finish my letters and then home to bed, being troubled at the sicknesse, and my head filled also with other business enough, and particularly how to put my things and estate in order, in case it should please God to call me away, which God dispose of to his glory!

Sunday 11 June 1665

(Lord’s day). Up, and expected long a new suit; but, coming not, dressed myself in my late new black silke camelott suit; and, when fully ready, comes my new one of coloured ferrandin, which my wife puts me out of love with, which vexes me, but I think it is only my not being used to wear colours which makes it look a little unusual upon me. To my chamber and there spent the morning reading. At noon, by invitation, comes my two cozen Joyces and their wives, my aunt James and he-cozen Harman, his wife being ill. I had a good dinner for them, and as merry as I could be in such company. They being gone, I out of doors a little, to shew, forsooth, my new suit, and back again, and in going I saw poor Dr. Burnett’s door shut; but he hath, I hear, gained great goodwill among his neighbours; for he discovered it himself first, and caused himself to be shut up of his own accord: which was very handsome. In the evening comes Mr. Andrews and his wife and Mr. Hill, and staid and played, and sung and supped, most excellent pretty company, so pleasant, ingenious, and harmless, I cannot desire better. They gone we to bed, my mind in great present ease.

Monday 12 June 1665

Up, and in my yesterday’s new suit to the Duke of Albemarle, and after a turne in White Hall, and then in Westminster Hall, returned, and with my taylor bought some gold lace for my sleeve hands in Pater Noster Row. So home to dinner, and then to the office, and down the River to Deptford, and then back again and to my Lord Treasurer’s, and up and down to look after my Tangier business, and so home to my office, then to supper and to bed. The Duke of Yorke is sent for last night and expected to be here to-morrow.

Tuesday 13 June 1665

Up and to the office, where all the morning doing business. At noon with Sir G. Carteret to my Lord Mayor’s to dinner, where much company in a little room, and though a good, yet no extraordinary table. His name, Sir John Lawrence, whose father, a very ordinary old man, sat there at table, but it seems a very rich man. Here were at table three Sir Richard Brownes, viz.: he of the Councill, a clerk, and the Alderman, and his son; and there was a little grandson also Richard, who will hereafter be Sir Richard Browne. The Alderman did here openly tell in boasting how he had, only upon suspicion of disturbances, if there had been any bad newes from sea, clapped up several persons that he was afeard of; and that he had several times done the like and would do, and take no bail where he saw it unsafe for the King. But by and by he said that he was now sued in the Exchequer by a man for false imprisonment, that he had, upon the same score, imprisoned while he was Mayor four years ago, and asked advice upon it. I told him I believed there was none, and told my story of Field, at which he was troubled, and said. that it was then unsafe for any man to serve the King, and, I believed, knows not what to do therein; but that Sir Richard Browne, of the Councill, advised him to speak with my Lord Chancellor about it. My Lord Mayor very respectfull to me; and so I after dinner away and found Sir J. Minnes ready with his coach and four horses at our office gate, for him and me to go out of towne to meet the Duke of Yorke coming from Harwich to-night, and so as far as Ilford, and there ‘light. By and by comes to us Sir John Shaw and Mr. Neale, that married the rich widow Gold, upon the same errand. After eating a dish of creame, we took coach again, hearing nothing of the Duke, and away home, a most pleasant evening and road. And so to my office, where, after my letters wrote, to supper and to bed. All our discourse in our way was Sir J. Minnes’s telling me passages of the late King’s and his father’s, which I was mightily pleased to hear for information, though the pride of some persons and vice of most was but a sad story to tell how that brought the whole kingdom and King to ruine.

Wednesday 14 June 1665

Up, and to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s and other places, about Tangier business, but to little purpose. Among others to my Lord Treasurer’s, there to speak with him, and waited in the lobby three long hours for to speake with him, to the trial of my utmost patience, but missed him at last, and forced to go home without it, which may teach me how I make others wait. Home to dinner and staid Mr. Hater with me, and after dinner drew up a petition for Mr. Hater to present to the Councill about his troublesome business of powder, desiring a trial that his absence may be vindicated, and so to White Hall, but it was not proper to present it to-day. Here I met with Mr. Cowling, who observed to me how he finds every body silent in the praise of my Lord Sandwich, to set up the Duke and the Prince; but that the Duke did both to the King and my Lord Chancellor write abundantly of my Lord’s courage and service.1 And I this day met with a letter of Captain Ferrers, wherein he tells [us] my Lord was with his ship in all the heat of the day, and did most worthily. Met with Creed, and he and I to Westminster; and there saw my Lord Marlborough2 brought to be buried, several Lords of the Council carrying him, and with the herald in some state. Thence, vexed in my mind to think that I do so little in my Tangier business, and so home, and after supper to bed.

  1. Charles II.’s letter of thanks to Lord Sandwich, dated “Whitehall, June 9th, 1665,” written entirely in the king’s hand, is printed in Ellis’s “Original Letters,” 1st series, vol. iii., p. 327.
  2. Of the four distinguished men who died after the late action with the Dutch and were buried in Westminster Abbey, the Earl of Marlborough was interred on June 14th, Viscount Muskerry on the 19th, the Earl of Falmouth on the 22nd, and Sir Edward Broughton on the 26th. After the entries in the Abbey Registers is this note: “These four last Honble Persons dyed in his Majy’s service against the Dutch, excepting only that ST Ed Br received his death’s wound at sea, but dyed here at home” (Chester’s “Westminster Abbey Registers,” p. 162).

Thursday 15 June 1665

Up, and put on my new stuff suit with close knees, which becomes me most nobly, as my wife says. At the office all day. At noon, put on my first laced band, all lace; and to Kate Joyce’s to dinner, where my mother, wife, and abundance of their friends, and good usage. Thence, wife and Mercer and I to the Old Exchange, and there bought two lace bands more, one of my semstresse, whom my wife concurs with me to be a pretty woman. So down to Deptford and Woolwich, my boy and I. At Woolwich, discoursed with Mr. Sheldon about my bringing my wife down for a month or two to his house, which he approves of, and, I think, will be very convenient. So late back, and to the office, wrote letters, and so home to supper and to bed. This day the Newes book upon Mr. Moore’s showing L’Estrange1 (Captain Ferrers’s letter) did do my Lord Sandwich great right as to the late victory. The Duke of Yorke not yet come to towne. The towne grows very sickly, and people to be afeard of it; there dying this last week of the plague 112, from 43 the week before, whereof but [one] in Fanchurch- streete, and one in Broad-streete, by the Treasurer’s office.

  1. “The Public Intelligencer,” published by Roger L’Estrange, the predecessor of the “London Gazette.”

Friday 16 June 1665

Up and to the office, where I set hard to business, but was informed that the Duke of Yorke is come, and hath appointed us to attend him this afternoon. So after dinner, and doing some business at the office, I to White Hall, where the Court is full of the Duke and his courtiers returned from sea. All fat and lusty, and ruddy by being in the sun. I kissed his hands, and we waited all the afternoon. By and by saw Mr. Coventry, which rejoiced my very heart. Anon he and I, from all the rest of the company, walked into the Matted Gallery; where after many expressions of love, we fell to talk of business. Among other things, how my Lord Sandwich, both in his counsells and personal service, hath done most honourably and serviceably. Sir J. Lawson is come to Greenwich; but his wound in his knee yet very bad. Jonas Poole, in the Vantguard, did basely, so as to be, or will be, turned out of his ship. Captain Holmes1 expecting upon Sansum’s death to be made Rear-admirall to the Prince (but Harman is2 put in) hath delivered up to the Duke his commission, which the Duke took and tore. He, it seems, had bid the Prince, who first told him of Holmes’s intention, that he should dissuade him from it; for that he was resolved to take it if he offered it. Yet Holmes would do it, like a rash, proud coxcombe. But he is rich, and hath, it seems, sought an occasion of leaving the service. Several of our captains have done ill. The great ships are the ships do the business, they quite deadening the enemy. They run away upon sight of “The Prince.”3 It is strange to see how people do already slight Sir William Barkeley,4 my Lord FitzHarding’s brother, who, three months since, was the delight of the Court. Captain Smith of “The Mary” the Duke talks mightily of; and some great thing will be done for him. Strange to hear how the Dutch do relate, as the Duke says, that they are the conquerors; and bonefires are made in Dunkirke in their behalf; though a clearer victory can never be expected. Mr. Coventry thinks they cannot have lost less than 6000 men, and we not dead above 200, and wounded about 400; in all about 600. Thence home and to my office till past twelve, and then home to supper and to bed, my wife and mother not being yet come home from W. Hewer’s chamber, who treats my mother tonight. Captain Grovel the Duke told us this day, hath done the basest thing at Lowestoffe, in hearing of the guns, and could not (as others) be got out, but staid there; for which he will be tried; and is reckoned a prating coxcombe, and of no courage.

  1. Captain Robert Holmes (afterwards knighted). Sir William Coventry, in a letter to Lord Arlington (dated from “The Royal Charles,” Southwold Bay, June 13th), writes: “Capt. Holmes asked to be rear admiral of the white squadron in place of Sansum who was killed, but the Duke gave the place to Captain Harman, on which he delivered up his commission, which the Duke received, and put Captain Langhorne in his stead” (“Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1664-65, p. 423).
  2. John Harman, afterwards knighted. He had served with great reputation in several naval fights, and was desperately wounded in 1673, while [sic. P.G.]
  3. “The Prince” was Lord Sandwich’s ship; the captain was Roger Cuttance. It was put up at Chatham for repair at this date.
  4. Sir William Berkeley, see note, vol. iii., p. 334. His behaviour after the death of his brother, Lord Falmouth, is severely commented on in “Poems on State Affairs,” vol. i., p. 29
    Berkeley had heard it soon, and thought not good To venture more of royal Harding’s blood; To be immortal he was not of age, And did e’en now the Indian Prize presage; And judged it safe and decent, cost what cost, To lose the day, since his dear brother’s lost. With his whole squadron straight away he bore, And, like good boy, promised to fight no more.
    — B.

Saturday 17 June 1665

My wife come to bed about one in the morning. I up and abroad about Tangier business, then back to the office, where we sat, and at noon home to dinner, and then abroad to Mr. Povy’s, after I and Mr. Andrews had been with Mr. Ball and one Major Strange, who looks after the getting of money for tallys and is helping Mr. Andrews. I had much discourse with Ball, and it may be he may prove a necessary man for our turns. With Mr. Povy I spoke very freely my indifference as to my place of Treasurer, being so much troubled in it, which he took with much seeming trouble, that I should think of letting go so lightly the place, but if the place can’t be held I will. So hearing that my Lord Treasurer was gone out of town with his family because of the sicknesse, I returned home without staying there, and at the office find Sir W. Pen come home, who looks very well; and I am gladder to see him than otherwise I should be because of my hearing so well of him for his serviceablenesse in this late great action. To the office late, and then home to bed. It struck me very deep this afternoon going with a hackney coach from my Lord Treasurer’s down Holborne, the coachman I found to drive easily and easily, at last stood still, and come down hardly able to stand, and told me that he was suddenly struck very sicke, and almost blind, he could not see; so I ‘light and went into another coach, with a sad heart for the poor man and trouble for myself, lest he should have been struck with the plague, being at the end of the towne that I took him up; but God have mercy upon us all! Sir John Lawson, I hear, is worse than yesterday: the King went to see him to-day most kindly. It seems his wound is not very bad; but he hath a fever, a thrush, and a hickup, all three together, which are, it seems, very bad symptoms.

Sunday 18 June 1665

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church, where Sir W. Pen was the first time [since he] come from sea, after the battle. Mr. Mills made a sorry sermon to prove that there was a world to come after this. Home and dined and then to my chamber, where all the afternoon. Anon comes Mr. Andrews to see and sing with me, but Mr. Hill not coming, and having business, we soon parted, there coming Mr. Povy and Creed to discourse about our Tangier business of money. They gone, I hear Sir W. Batten and my Lady are returned from Harwich. I went to see them, and it is pretty to see how we appear kind one to another, though neither of us care 2d. one for another. Home to supper, and there coming a hasty letter from Commissioner Pett for pressing of some calkers (as I would ever on his Majesty’s service), with all speed, I made a warrant presently and issued it. So to my office a little, and then home to bed.

Monday 19 June 1665

Up, and to White Hall with Sir W. Batten (calling at my Lord Ashly’s, but to no purpose, by the way, he being not up), and there had our usual meeting before the Duke with the officers of the Ordnance with us, which in some respects I think will be the better for us, for despatch sake. Thence home to the ‘Change and dined alone (my wife gone to her mother’s), after dinner to my little new goldsmith’s,1 whose wife indeed is one of the prettiest, modest black women that ever I saw. I paid for a dozen of silver salts 6l. 14s. 6d. Thence with Sir W. Pen from the office down to Greenwich to see Sir J. Lawson, who is better, but continues ill; his hickupp not being yet gone, could have little discourse with him. So thence home and to supper, a while to the office, my head and mind mightily vexed to see the multitude of papers and business before [me] and so little time to do it in. So to bed.

  1. John Colvill of Lombard Street, see ante, May 24th. He lost 85,832l. 17s. 2d. by the closing of the Exchequer in 1672, and he died between 1672 and 1677 (Price’s “Handbook of London Bankers “).

Tuesday 20 June 1665

Thankes-giving-day for victory over ye Dutch. Up, and to the office, where very busy alone all the morning till church time, and there heard a mean sorry sermon of Mr. Mills. Then to the Dolphin Taverne, where all we officers of the Navy met with the Commissioners of the Ordnance by agreement, and dined: where good musique at my direction. Our club —[share]—1 come to 34s. a man, nine of us. Thence after dinner, to White Hall with Sir W. Berkely in his coach, and so walked to Herbert’s and there spent a little time …. Thence by water to Fox-hall, and there walked an hour alone, observing the several humours of the citizens that were there this holyday, pulling of cherries, —[The game of bob-cherry]— and God knows what, and so home to my office, where late, my wife not being come home with my mother, who have been this day all abroad upon the water, my mother being to go out of town speedily. So I home and to supper and to bed, my wife come home when I come from the office. This day I informed myself that there died four or five at Westminster of the plague in one alley in several houses upon Sunday last, Bell Alley, over against the Palace-gate; yet people do think that the number will be fewer in the towne than it was the last weeke! The Dutch are come out again with 20 sail under Bankert; supposed gone to the Northward to meete their East India fleete.

  1. “Next these a sort of Sots there are, Who crave more wine than they can bear, Yet hate, when drunk, to pay or spend Their equal Club or Dividend, But wrangle, when the Bill is brought, And think they’re cheated when they’re not.”

    The Delights of the Bottle, or the Compleat Vintner, 3rd ed., 1721, p. 29.

Wednesday 21 June 1665

Up, and very busy all the morning. At noon with Creed to the Excise Office, where I find our tallys will not be money in less than sixteen months, which is a sad thing for the King to pay all that interest for every penny he spends; and, which is strange, the goldsmiths with whom I spoke, do declare that they will not be moved to part with money upon the increase of their consideration of ten per cent. which they have, and therefore desire I would not move in it, and indeed the consequence would be very ill to the King, and have its ill consequences follow us through all the King’s revenue. Home, and my uncle Wight and aunt James dined with me, my mother being to go away to-morrow. So to White Hall, and there before and after Council discoursed with Sir Thomas Ingram about our ill case as to Tangier for money. He hath got the King to appoint a meeting on Friday, which I hope will put an end one way or other to my pain. So homewards and to the Cross Keys at Cripplegate, where I find all the towne almost going out of towne, the coaches and waggons being all full of people going into the country. Here I had some of the company of the tapster’s wife a while, and so home to my office, and then home to supper and to bed.

Thursday 22 June 1665

Up pretty betimes, and in great pain whether to send my mother into the country to-day or no, I hearing, by my people, that she, poor wretch, hath a mind to stay a little longer, and I cannot blame her, considering what a life she will through her own folly lead when she comes home again, unlike the pleasure and liberty she hath had here. At last I resolved to put it to her, and she agreed to go, so I would not oppose it, because of the sicknesse in the towne, and my intentions of removing my wife. So I did give her money and took a kind leave of her, she, poor wretch, desiring that I would forgive my brother John, but I refused it to her, which troubled her, poor soul, but I did it in kind words and so let the discourse go off, she leaving me though in a great deal of sorrow. So I to my office and left my wife and people to see her out of town, and I at the office all the morning. At noon my wife tells me that she is with much ado gone, and I pray God bless her, but it seems she was to the last unwilling to go, but would not say so, but put it off till she lost her place in the coach, and was fain to ride in the waggon part. After dinner to the office again till night, very busy, and so home not very late to supper and to bed.

Friday 23 June 1665

Up and to White Hall to a Committee for Tangier, where his Royal Highness was. Our great design was to state to them the true condition of this Committee for want of money, the want whereof was so great as to need some sudden help, and it was with some content resolved to see it supplied and means proposed towards the doing of it. At this Committee, unknown to me, comes my Lord of Sandwich, who, it seems, come to towne last night. After the Committee was up, my Lord Sandwich did take me aside, and we walked an hour alone together in the robe-chamber, the door shut, telling me how much the Duke and Mr. Coventry did, both in the fleete and here, make of him, and that in some opposition to the Prince; and as a more private message, he told me that he hath been with them both when they have made sport of the Prince and laughed at him: yet that all the discourse of the towne, and the printed relation, should not give him one word of honour my Lord thinks mighty strange; he assuring me, that though by accident the Prince was in the van the beginning of the fight for the first pass, yet all the rest of the day my Lord was in the van, and continued so. That notwithstanding all this noise of the Prince, he had hardly a shot in his side nor a man killed, whereas he hath above 30 in her hull, and not one mast whole nor yard; but the most battered ship of the fleet, and lost most men, saving Captain Smith of “The Mary.” That the most the Duke did was almost out of gun-shot; but that, indeed, the Duke did come up to my Lord’s rescue after he had a great while fought with four of them. How poorly Sir John Lawson performed, notwithstanding all that was said of him; and how his ship turned out of the way, while Sir J. Lawson himself was upon the deck, to the endangering of the whole fleete. It therefore troubles my Lord that Mr. Coventry should not mention a word of him in his relation. I did, in answer, offer that I was sure the relation was not compiled by Mr. Coventry, but by L’Estrange, out of several letters, as I could witness; and that Mr. Coventry’s letter that he did give the Duke of Albemarle did give him as much right as the Prince, for I myself read it first and then copied it out, which I promised to show my Lord, with which he was somewhat satisfied. From that discourse my Lord did begin to tell me how much he was concerned to dispose of his children, and would have my advice and help; and propounded to match my Lady Jemimah to Sir G. Carteret’s eldest son, which I approved of, and did undertake the speaking with him about it as from myself, which my Lord liked. So parted, with my head full of care about this business. Thence home to the ‘Change, and so to dinner, and thence by coach to Mr. Povy’s. Thence by appointment with him and Creed to one Mr. Finch; one of the Commissioners for the Excise, to be informed about some things of the Excise, in order to our settling matters therein better for us for our Tangier business. I find him a very discreet, grave person. Thence well satisfied I and Creed to Mr. Fox at White Hall to speak with him about the same matter, and having some pretty satisfaction from him also, he and I took boat and to Fox Hall, where we spent two or three hours talking of several matters very soberly and contentfully to me, which, with the ayre and pleasure of the garden, was a great refreshment to me, and, ‘methinks, that which we ought to joy ourselves in. Thence back to White Hall, where we parted, and I to find my Lord to receive his farther direction about his proposal this morning. Wherein I did that I should first by another hand break my intentions to Sir G. Carteret. I pitched upon Dr. Clerke, which my Lord liked, and so I endeavoured but in vain to find him out to-night. So home by hackney-coach, which is become a very dangerous passage now-a-days, the sickness increasing mightily, and to bed.

Saturday 24 June 1665

(Midsummer-day). Up very betimes, by six, and at Dr. Clerke’s at Westminster by 7 of the clock, having over night by a note acquainted him with my intention of coming, and there I, in the best manner I could, broke my errand about a match between Sir G. Carteret’s eldest son and my Lord Sandwich’s eldest daughter, which he (as I knew he would) took with great content: and we both agreed that my Lord and he, being both men relating to the sea, under a kind aspect of His Majesty, already good friends, and both virtuous and good familys, their allyance might be of good use to us; and he did undertake to find out Sir George this morning, and put the business in execution. So being both well pleased with the proposition, I saw his niece there and made her sing me two or three songs very prettily, and so home to the office, where to my great trouble I found Mr. Coventry and the board met before I come. I excused my late coming by having been on the River about office business. So to business all the morning. At noon Captain Ferrers and Mr. Moore dined with me, the former of them the first time I saw him since his corning from sea, who do give me the best conversation in general, and as good an account of the particular service of the Prince and my Lord of Sandwich in the late sea-fight that I could desire. After dinner they parted. So I to White Hall, where I with Creed and Povy attended my Lord Treasurer, and did prevail with him to let us have an assignment for 15 or 20,000l., which, I hope, will do our business for Tangier. So to Dr. Clerke, and there found that he had broke the business to Sir G. Carteret, and that he takes the thing mighty well. Thence I to Sir G. Carteret at his chamber, and in the best manner I could, and most obligingly, moved the business: he received it with great respect and content, and thanks to me, and promised that he would do what he could possibly for his son, to render him fit for my Lord’s daughter, and shewed great kindness to me, and sense of my kindness to him herein. Sir William Pen told me this day that Mr. Coventry is to be sworn a Privy Counsellor, at which my soul is glad. So home and to my letters by the post, and so home to supper and bed.

Sunday 25 June 1665

(Lord’s day). Up, and several people about business come to me by appointment relating to the office. Thence I to my closet about my Tangier papers. At noon dined, and then I abroad by water, it raining hard, thinking to have gone down to Woolwich, but I did not, but back through bridge to White Hall, where, after I had again visited Sir G. Carteret, and received his (and now his Lady’s) full content in my proposal, I went to my Lord Sandwich, and having told him how Sir G. Carteret received it, he did direct me to return to Sir G. Carteret, and give him thanks for his kind reception of this offer, and that he would the next day be willing to enter discourse with him about the business. Which message I did presently do, and so left the business with great joy to both sides. My Lord, I perceive, intends to give 5000l. with her, and expects about 800l. per annum joynture. So by water home and to supper and bed, being weary with long walking at Court, but had a Psalm or two with my boy and Mercer before bed, which pleased me mightily. This night Sir G. Carteret told me with great kindnesse that the order of the Council did run for the making of Hater and Whitfield incapable of any serving the King again, but that he had stopped the entry of it, which he told me with great kindnesse, but the thing troubles me. After dinner, before I went to White Hall, I went down to Greenwich by water, thinking to have visited Sir J. Lawson, where, when I come, I find that he is dead, and died this morning, at which I was much surprized; and indeed the nation hath a great loss; though I cannot, without dissembling, say that I am sorry for it, for he was a man never kind to me at all. Being at White Hall, I visited Mr. Coventry, who, among other talk, entered about the great question now in the House about the Duke’s going to sea again; about which the whole House is divided. He did concur with me that, for the Duke’s honour and safety, it were best, after so great a service and victory and danger, not to go again; and, above all, that the life of the Duke cannot but be a security to the Crowne; if he were away, it being more easy to attempt anything upon the King; but how the fleete will be governed without him, the Prince —[Rupert]— being a man of no government and severe in council, that no ordinary man can offer any advice against his; saying truly that it had been better he had gone to Guinny, and that were he away, it were easy to say how matters might be ordered, my Lord Sandwich being a man of temper and judgment as much as any man he ever knew, and that upon good observation he said this, and that his temper must correct the Prince’s. But I perceive he is much troubled what will be the event of the question. And so I left him.

Monday 26 June 1665

Up and to White Hall with Sir J. Minnes, and to the Committee of Tangier, where my Lord Treasurer was, the first and only time he ever was there, and did promise us 15,000l. for Tangier and no more, which will be short. But if I can pay Mr. Andrews all his money I care for no more, and the bills of Exchange. Thence with Mr. Povy and Creed below to a new chamber of Mr. Povy’s, very pretty, and there discourse about his business, not to his content, but with the most advantage I could to him, and Creed also did the like. Thence with Creed to the King’s Head, and there dined with him at the ordinary, and good sport with one Mr. Nicholls, a prating coxcombe, that would be thought a poet, but would not be got to repeat any of his verses. Thence I home, and there find my wife’s brother and his wife, a pretty little modest woman, where they dined with my wife. He did come to desire my assistance for a living, and, upon his good promises of care, and that it should be no burden to me, I did say and promise I would think of finding something for him, and the rather because his wife seems a pretty discreet young thing, and humble, and he, above all things, desirous to do something to maintain her, telling me sad stories of what she endured with him in Holland, and I hope it will not be burdensome. So down by water to Woolwich, walking to and again from Greenwich thither and back again, my business being to speak again with Sheldon, who desires and expects my wife coming thither to spend the summer, and upon second thoughts I do agree that it will be a good place for her and me too. So, weary, home, and to my office a while, till almost midnight, and so to bed. The plague encreases mightily, I this day seeing a house, at a bitt-maker’s over against St. Clement’s Church, in the open street, shut up; which is a sad sight.

Wednesday 28 June 1665

Sir J. Minnes carried me and my wife to White Hall, and thence his coach along with my wife where she would. There after attending the Duke to discourse of the navy. We did not kiss his hand, nor do I think, for all their pretence, of going away to-morrow. Yet I believe they will not go for good and all, but I did take my leave of Sir William Coventry, who, it seems, was knighted and sworn a Privy-Counsellor two days since; who with his old kindness treated me, and I believe I shall ever find [him] a noble friend. Thence by water to Blackfriars, and so to Paul’s churchyard and bespoke severall books, and so home and there dined, my man William giving me a lobster sent him by my old maid Sarah. This morning I met with Sir G. Carteret, who tells me how all things proceed between my Lord Sandwich and himself to full content, and both sides depend upon having the match finished presently, and professed great kindnesse to me, and said that now we were something akin. I am mightily, both with respect to myself and much more of my Lord’s family, glad of this alliance. After dinner to White Hall, thinking to speak with my Lord Ashly, but failed, and I whiled away some time in Westminster Hall against he did come, in my way observing several plague houses in King’s Street and [near] the Palace. Here I hear Mrs. Martin is gone out of town, and that her husband, an idle fellow, is since come out of France, as he pretends, but I believe not that he hath been. I was fearful of going to any house, but I did to the Swan, and thence to White Hall, giving the waterman a shilling, because a young fellow and belonging to the Plymouth. Thence by coach to several places, and so home, and all the evening with Sir J. Minnes and all the women of the house (excepting my Lady Batten) late in the garden chatting. At 12 o’clock home to supper and to bed. My Lord Sandwich is gone towards the sea to-day, it being a sudden resolution, I having taken no leave of him.

Thursday 29 June 1665

Up and by water to White Hall, where the Court full of waggons and people ready to go out of towne. To the Harp and Ball, and there drank and talked with Mary, she telling me in discourse that she lived lately at my neighbour’s, Mr. Knightly, which made me forbear further discourse. This end of the towne every day grows very bad of the plague. The Mortality Bill is come to 267;1 which is about ninety more than the last: and of these but four in the City, which is a great blessing to us. Thence to Creed, and with him up and down about Tangier business, to no purpose. Took leave again of Mr. Coventry; though I hope the Duke has not gone to stay, and so do others too. So home, calling at Somersett House, where all are packing up too: the Queene-Mother setting out for France this day to drink Bourbon waters this year, she being in a consumption; and intends not to come till winter come twelvemonths.2 So by coach home, where at the office all the morning, and at noon Mrs. Hunt dined with us. Very merry, and she a very good woman. To the office, where busy a while putting some things in my office in order, and then to letters till night. About 10 a’clock home, the days being sensibly shorter before I have once kept a summer’s day by shutting up office by daylight; but my life hath been still as it was in winter almost. But I will for a month try what I can do by daylight. So home to supper and to bed.

  1. According to the Bills of Mortality, the total number of deaths in London for the week ending June 27th was 684, of which number 267 were deaths from the plague. The number of deaths rose week by week until September 19th, when the total was 8,297, and the deaths from the plague 7,165. On September 26th the total had fallen to 6,460, and deaths from the plague to 5,533 The number fell gradually, week by week, till October 31st, when the total was 1,388, and deaths from the plague 1,031. On November 7th there was a rise to 1,787 and 1,414 respectively. On November 14th the numbers had gone down to 1,359 and 1,050 respectively. On December 12th the total had fallen to 442, and deaths from the plague to 243. On December 19th there was a rise to 525 and 281 respectively. The total of burials in 1665 was 97,506, of which number the plague claimed 68,596 victims.
  2. The Queen-Mother never came to England again. She retired to her chateau at Colombes, near Paris, where she died in August, 1669, after a long illness; the immediate cause of her death being an opiate ordered by her physicians. She was buried, September 12th, in the church of St. Denis. Her funeral sermon was preached by Bossuet. Sir John Reresby speaks of Queen Henrietta Maria in high terms. He says that in the winter, 1659-60, although the Court of France was very splendid, there was a greater resort to the Palais Royal, “the good humour and wit of our Queen Mother, and the beauty of the Princess [Henrietta] her daughter, giving greater invitation than the more particular humour of the French Queen, being a Spaniard.” In another place he says: “Her majesty had a great affection for England, notwithstanding the severe usage she and hers had received from it. Her discourse was much with the great men and ladies of France in praise of the people and of the country; of their courage, generosity, good nature; and would excuse all their miscarriages in relation to unfortunate effects of the late war, as if it were a convulsion of some desperate and infatuated persons, rather than from the genius and temper of the kingdom” (“Memoirs of Sir John Reresby,” ed. Cartwright, pp. 43, 45).

Friday 30 June 1665

Up and to White Hall, to the Duke of Albemarle, who I find at Secretary Bennet’s, there being now no other great Statesman, I think, but my Lord Chancellor, in towne. I received several commands from them; among others, to provide some bread and cheese for the garrison at Guernsey, which they promised to see me paid for. So to the ‘Change, and home to dinner. In the afternoon I down to Woolwich and after me my wife and Mercer, whom I led to Mr. Sheldon’s to see his house, and I find it a very pretty place for them to be at. So I back again, walking both forward and backward, and left my wife to come by water. I straight to White Hall, late, to Secretary Bennet’s to give him an account of the business I received from him to-day, and there staid weary and sleepy till past 12 at night. Then writ my mind to him, and so back by water and in the dark and against tide shot the bridge, groping with their pole for the way, which troubled me before I got through. So home, about one or two o’clock in the morning, my family at a great losse what was become of me. To supper, and to bed. Thus this book of two years ends. Myself and family in good health, consisting of myself and wife, Mercer, her woman, Mary, Alice, and Susan our maids, and Tom my boy. In a sickly time of the plague growing on. Having upon my hands the troublesome care of the Treasury of Tangier, with great sums drawn upon me, and nothing to pay them with: also the business of the office great. Consideration of removing my wife to Woolwich; she lately busy in learning to paint, with great pleasure and successe. All other things well; especially a new interest I am making, by a match in hand between the eldest son of Sir G. Carteret, and my Lady Jemimah Montage. The Duke of Yorke gone down to the fleete, but all suppose not with intent to stay there, as it is not fit, all men conceive, he should.