Up, and after some pleasant discourse with my wife, I out, leaving her and Mrs. Ferrers there, and I to Captain Cocke’s, there to do some business, and then away with Cocke in his coach through Kent Streete, a miserable, wretched, poor place, people sitting sicke and muffled up with plasters at every 4 or 5 doors. So to the ‘Change, and thence I by water to the Duke of Albemarle’s, and there much company, but I staid and dined, and he makes mighty much of me; and here he tells us the Dutch are gone, and have lost above 160 cables and anchors, through the last foule weather. Here he proposed to me from Mr. Coventry, as I had desired of Mr. Coventry, that I should be Surveyor-Generall of the Victualling business, which I accepted. But, indeed, the terms in which Mr. Coventry proposes it for me are the most obliging that ever I could expect from any man, and more; it saying me to be the fittest man in England, and that he is sure, if I will undertake, I will perform it; and that it will be also a very desirable thing that I might have this encouragement, my encouragement in the Navy alone being in no wise proportionable to my pains or deserts. This, added to the letter I had three days since from Mr. Southerne, signifying that the Duke of Yorke had in his master’s absence opened my letter, and commanded him to tell me that he did approve of my being the Surveyor-General, do make me joyful beyond myself that I cannot express it, to see that as I do take pains, so God blesses me, and hath sent me masters that do observe that I take pains. After having done here, I back by water and to London, and there met with Captain Cocke’s coach again, and I went in it to Greenwich and thence sent my wife in it to Woolwich, and I to the office, and thence home late with Captain Taylor, and he and I settled all accounts between us, and I do find that I do get above 129l. of him for my services for him within these six months. At it till almost one in the morning, and after supper he away and I to bed, mightily satisfied in all this, and in a resolution I have taken to-night with Mr. Hater to propose the port of London for the victualling business for Thomas Willson, by which it will be better done and I at more ease, in case he should grumble.1 So to bed.
- The Duke of York’s letter appointing Thomas Wilson Surveyor of the Victualling of His Majesty’s Navy in the Port of London, and referring to Pepys as Surveyor-General of the Victualling Affairs, is printed in “Memoirs of the English Affairs, chiefly Naval, 1660- 73,” by James, Duke of York, 1729, p. 131. ↩