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.
- 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. ↩
- 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). ↩