Thursday 1 February 1665/66

Up and to the office, where all the morning till late, and Mr. Coventry with us, the first time since before the plague, then hearing my wife was gone abroad to buy things and see her mother and father, whom she hath not seen since before the plague, and no dinner provided for me ready, I walked to Captain Cocke’s, knowing my Lord Bruncker dined there, and there very merry, and a good dinner. Thence my Lord and his mistresse, Madam Williams, set me down at the Exchange, and I to Alderman Backewell’s to set all my reckonings straight there, which I did, and took up all my notes. So evened to this day, and thence to Sir Robert Viner’s, where I did the like, leaving clear in his hands just 2000l. of my owne money, to be called for when I pleased. Having done all this I home, and there to the office, did my business there by the post and so home, and spent till one in the morning in my chamber to set right all my money matters, and so to bed.

Friday 2 February 1665/66

Up betimes, and knowing that my Lord Sandwich is come to towne with the King and Duke, I to wait upon him, which I did, and find him in very good humour, which I am glad to see with all my heart. Having received his commands, and discoursed with some of his people about my Lord’s going, and with Sir Roger Cuttance, who was there, and finds himself slighted by Sir W. Coventry, I advised him however to look after employment lest it should be said that my Lord’s friends do forsake the service after he hath made them rich with the prizes. I to London, and there among other things did look over some pictures at Cade’s for my house, and did carry home a silver drudger for my cupboard of plate, and did call for my silver chafing dishes, but they are sent home, and the man would not be paid for them, saying that he was paid for them already, and with much ado got him to tell me by Mr. Wayth, but I would not accept of that, but will send him his money, not knowing any courtesy I have yet done him to deserve it. So home, and with my wife looked over our plate, and picked out 40l. worth, I believe, to change for more usefull plate, to our great content, and then we shall have a very handsome cupboard of plate. So to dinner, and then to the office, where we had a meeting extraordinary, about stating to the Duke the present debts of the Navy, for which ready money must be had, and that being done, I to my business, where late, and then home to supper, and to bed.

Saturday 3rd February 1665/66

Up, and to the office very busy till 3 o’clock, and then home, all of us, for half an hour to dinner, and to it again till eight at night, stating our wants of money for the Duke, but could not finish it. So broke up, and I to my office, then about letters and other businesses very late, and so home to supper, weary with business, and to bed.

Sunday 4 February 1665/66

Lord’s day; and my wife and I the first time together at church since the plague, and now only because of Mr. Mills his coming home to preach his first sermon; expecting a great excuse for his leaving the parish before any body went, and now staying till all are come home; but he made but a very poor and short excuse, and a bad sermon. It was a frost, and had snowed last night, which covered the graves in the churchyard, so as I was the less afeard for going through. Here I had the content to see my noble Mrs. Lethulier, and so home to dinner, and all the afternoon at my Journall till supper, it being a long while behindhand. At supper my wife tells me that W. Joyce has been with her this evening, the first time since the plague, and tells her my aunt James is lately dead of the stone, and what she had hath given to his and his brother’s wife and my cozen Sarah. So after supper to work again, and late to bed.

Monday 5 February 1665/66

Up, and with Sir W. Batten (at whose lodgings calling for him, I saw his Lady the first time since her coming to towne since the plague, having absented myself designedly to shew some discontent, and that I am not at all the more suppliant because of my Lord Sandwich’s fall), to my Lord Bruncker’s, to see whether he goes to the Duke’s this morning or no. But it is put off, and so we parted. My Lord invited me to dinner to-day to dine with Sir W. Batten and his Lady there, who were invited before, but lest he should thinke so little an invitation would serve my turne I refused and parted, and to Westminster about business, and so back to the ‘Change, and there met Mr. Hill, newly come to town, and with him the Houblands, preparing for their ship’s and his going to Tangier, and agreed that I must sup with them to-night. So home and eat a bit, and then to White Hall to a Committee for Tangier, but it did not meet but was put off to to-morrow, so I did some little business and visited my Lord Sandwich, and so, it raining, went directly to the Sun, behind the Exchange, about seven o’clock, where I find all the five brothers Houblons, and mighty fine gentlemen they are all, and used me mighty respectfully. We were mighty civilly merry, and their discourses, having been all abroad, very fine. Here late and at last accompanied home with Mr. J. Houblon and Hill, whom I invited to sup with me on Friday, and so parted and I home to bed.

Tuesday 6 February 1665/66

Up, and to the office, where very busy all the morning. We met upon a report to the Duke of Yorke of the debts of the Navy, which we finished by three o’clock, and having eat one little bit of meate, I by water before the rest to White Hall (and they to come after me) because of a Committee for Tangier, where I did my business of stating my accounts perfectly well, and to good liking, and do not discern, but the Duke of Albemarle is my friend in his intentions notwithstanding my general fears. After that to our Navy business, where my fellow officers were called in, and did that also very well, and then broke up, and I home by coach, Tooker with me, and staid in Lumbard Streete at Viner’s, and sent home for the plate which my wife and I had a mind to change, and there changed it, about 50l. worth, into things more usefull, whereby we shall now have a very handsome cupboard of plate. So home to the office, wrote my letters by the post, and to bed.

Wednesday 7 February 1665/66

It being fast day I staid at home all day long to set things to rights in my chamber by taking out all my books, and putting my chamber in the same condition it was before the plague. But in the morning doing of it, and knocking up a nail I did bruise my left thumb so as broke a great deal of my flesh off, that it hung by a little. It was a sight frighted my wife, but I put some balsam of Mrs. Turner’s to it, and though in great pain, yet went on with my business, and did it to my full content, setting every thing in order, in hopes now that the worst of our fears are over as to the plague for the next year. Interrupted I was by two or three occasions this day to my great vexation, having this the only day I have been able to set apart for this work since my coming to town. At night to supper, weary, and to bed, having had the plasterers and joiners also to do some jobbs.

Thursday 8 February 1665/66

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon to the ‘Change, expecting to have received from Mr. Houbland, as he promised me, an assignment upon Viner, for my reward for my getting them the going of their two ships to Tangier, but I find myself much disappointed therein, for I spoke with him and he said nothing of it, but looked coldly, through some disturbance he meets with in our business through Colonell Norwood’s pressing them to carry more goods than will leave room for some of their own. But I shall ease them. Thence to Captain Cocke’s, where Mr. Williamson, Wren, Boldell and Madam Williams, and by and by Lord Bruncker, he having been with the King and Duke upon the water to-day, to see Greenwich house, and the yacht Castle is building of, and much good discourse. So to White Hall to see my Lord Sandwich, and then home to my business till night, and then to bed.

Friday 9 February 1665/66

Up, and betimes to Sir Philip Warwicke, who was glad to see me, and very kind. Thence to Colonell Norwood’s lodgings, and there set about Houblons’ business about their ships. Thence to Westminster, to the Exchequer, about my Tangier business to get orders for tallys, and so to the Hall, where the first day of the Terme, and the Hall very full of people, and much more than was expected, considering the plague that hath been. Thence to the ‘Change, and to the Sun behind it to dinner with the Lieutenant of the Tower, Colonell Norwood and others, where strange pleasure they seem to take in their wine and meate, and discourse of it with the curiosity and joy that methinks was below men of worthe. Thence home, and there very much angry with my people till I had put all things in good forwardnesse about my supper for the Houblons, but that being done I was in good humour again, and all things in good order. Anon the five brothers Houblons come and Mr. Hill, and a very good supper we had, and good company and discourse, with great pleasure. My new plate sets off my cupboard very nobly. Here they were till about eleven at night with great pleasure, and a fine sight it is to see these five brothers thus loving one to another, and all industrious merchants. Our subject was principally Mr. Hill’s going for them to Portugall, which was the occasion of this entertainment. They gone, we to bed.

Saturday 10 February 1665/66

Up, and to the office. At noon, full of business, to dinner. This day comes first Sir Thomas Harvy after the plague, having been out of towne all this while. He was coldly received by us, and he went away before we rose also, to make himself appear yet a man less necessary. After dinner, being full of care and multitude of business, I took coach and my wife with me. I set her down at her mother’s (having first called at my Lord Treasurer’s and there spoke with Sir Ph. Warwicke), and I to the Exchequer about Tangier orders, and so to the Swan and there staid a little, and so by coach took up my wife, and at the old Exchange bought a muffe, and so home and late at my letters, and so to supper and to bed, being now-a-days, for these four or five months, mightily troubled with my snoring in my sleep, and know not how to remedy it.

Sunday 11 February 1665/66

(Lord’s day). Up, and put on a new black cloth suit to an old coate that I make to be in mourning at Court, where they are all, for the King of Spayne. —[Philip IV., who died September 17th, 1665.]— To church I, and at noon dined well, and then by water to White Hall, carrying a captain of the Tower (who desired his freight thither); there I to the Parke, and walked two or three turns of the Pell Mell with the company about the King and Duke; the Duke speaking to me a good deal. There met Lord Bruncker and Mr. Coventry, and discoursed about the Navy business; and all of us much at a loss that we yet can hear nothing of Sir Jeremy Smith’s fleete, that went away to the Streights the middle of December, through all the storms that we have had since, that have driven back three or four of them with their masts by the board. Yesterday come out the King’s Declaration of War against the French, but with such mild invitations of both them and the Dutch to come over hither with promise of their protection, that every body wonders at it. Thence home with my Lord Bruncker for discourse sake, and thence by hackney coach home, and so my wife and I mighty pleasant discourse, supped and to bed. The great wound I had Wednesday last in my thumb having with once dressing by Mrs. Turner’s balsam been perfectly cured, whereas I did not hope to save my nail, whatever else ill it did give me. My wife and I are much thoughtfull now-a-days about Pall’s coming up in order to a husband.

Monday 12 February 1665/66

Up, and very busy to perform an oathe in finishing my Journall this morning for 7 or 8 days past. Then to several people attending upon business, among others Mr. Grant and the executors of Barlow for the 25l. due for the quarter before he died, which I scrupled to pay, being obliged but to pay every half year. Then comes Mr. Caesar, my boy’s lute-master, whom I have not seen since the plague before, but he hath been in Westminster all this while very well; and tells me in the height of it, how bold people there were, to go in sport to one another’s burials; and in spite too, ill people would breathe in the faces (out of their windows) of well people going by. Then to dinner before the ‘Change, and so to the ‘Change, and then to the taverne to talk with Sir William Warren, and so by coach to several places, among others to my Lord Treasurer’s, there to meet my Lord Sandwich, but missed, and met him at [my] Lord Chancellor’s, and there talked with him about his accounts, and then about Sir G. Carteret, and I find by him that Sir G. Carteret has a worse game to play than my Lord Sandwich, for people are jeering at him, and he cries out of the business of Sir W. Coventry, who strikes at all and do all. Then to my bookseller’s, and then received some books I have new bought, and here late choosing some more to new bind, having resolved to give myself 10l. in books, and so home to the office and then home to supper, where Mr. Hill was and supped with us, and good discourse; an excellent person he still appears to me. After supper, and he gone, we to bed.

Tuesday 13 February 1665/66

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon to the ‘Change, and thence after business dined at the Sheriffe’s [Hooker], being carried by Mr. Lethulier, where to my heart’s content I met with his wife, a most beautifull fat woman. But all the house melancholy upon the sickness of a daughter of the house in childbed, Mr. Vaughan’s lady. So all of them undressed, but however this lady a very fine woman. I had a salute of her, and after dinner some discourse the Sheriffe and I about a parcel of tallow I am buying for the office of him. I away home, and there at the office all the afternoon till late at night, and then away home to supper and to bed. Ill newes this night that the plague is encreased this week, and in many places else about the towne, and at Chatham and elsewhere. This day my wife wanting a chambermaid with much ado got our old little Jane to be found out, who come to see her and hath lived all this while in one place, but is so well that we will not desire her removal, but are mighty glad to see the poor wench, who is very well and do well.

Wednesday 14 February 1665/66

(St. Valentine’s day). This morning called up by Mr. Hill, who, my wife thought, had been come to be her Valentine; she, it seems, having drawne him last night, but it proved not. However, calling him up to our bed-side, my wife challenged him. I up, and made myself ready, and so with him by coach to my Lord Sandwich’s by appointment to deliver Mr. Howe’s accounts to my Lord. Which done, my Lord did give me hearty and large studied thanks for all my kindnesse to him and care of him and his business. I after profession of all duty to his Lordship took occasion to bemoane myself that I should fall into such a difficulty about Sir G. Carteret, as not to be for him, but I must be against Sir W. Coventry, and therefore desired to be neutrall, which my Lord approved and confessed reasonable, but desired me to befriend him privately. Having done in private with my Lord I brought Mr. Hill to kisse his hands, to whom my Lord professed great respect upon my score. My Lord being gone, I took Mr. Hill to my Lord Chancellor’s new house that is building, and went with trouble up to the top of it, and there is there the noblest prospect that ever I saw in my life, Greenwich being nothing to it; and in every thing is a beautiful house, and most strongly built in every respect; and as if, as it hath, it had the Chancellor for its master. Thence with him to his paynter, Mr. Hales, who is drawing his picture, which will be mighty like him, and pleased me so, that I am resolved presently to have my wife’s and mine done by him, he having a very masterly hand. So with mighty satisfaction to the ‘Change and thence home, and after dinner abroad, taking Mrs. Mary Batelier with us, who was just come to see my wife, and they set me down at my Lord Treasurer’s, and themselves went with the coach into the fields to take the ayre. I staid a meeting of the Duke of Yorke’s, and the officers of the Navy and Ordnance. My Lord Treasurer lying in bed of the gowte. Our business was discourse of the straits of the Navy for want of money, but after long discourse as much out of order as ordinary people’s, we come to no issue, nor any money promised, or like to be had, and yet the worke must be done. Here I perceive Sir G. Carteret had prepared himself to answer a choque of Sir W. Coventry, by offering of himself to shew all he had paid, and what is unpaid, and what moneys and assignments he hath in his hands, which, if he makes good, was the best thing he ever did say in his life, and the best timed, for else it must have fallen very foule on him. The meeting done I away, my wife and they being come back and staying for me at the gate. But, Lord! to see how afeard I was that Sir W. Coventry should have spyed me once whispering with Sir G. Carteret, though not intended by me, but only Sir G. Carteret come to me and I could not avoyde it. So home, they set me down at the ‘Change, and I to the Crowne, where my Lord Bruncker was come and several of the Virtuosi, and after a small supper and but little good discourse I with Sir W. Batten (who was brought thither with my Lord Bruncker) home, where I find my wife gone to Mrs. Mercer’s to be merry, but presently come in with Mrs. Knipp, who, it seems, is in towne, and was gone thither with my wife and Mercer to dance, and after eating a little supper went thither again to spend the whole night there, being W. Howe there, at whose chamber they are, and Lawd Crisp by chance. I to bed.

Thursday 15 February 1665/66

Up, and my wife not come home all night. To the office, where sat all the morning. At noon to Starky’s, a great cooke in Austin Friars, invited by Colonell Atkins, and a good dinner for Colonell Norwood and his friends, among others Sir Edward Spragg and others, but ill attendance. Before dined, called on by my wife in a coach, and so I took leave, and then with her and Knipp and Mercer (Mr. Hunt newly come out of the country being there also come to see us) to Mr. Hales, the paynter’s, having set down Mr. Hunt by the way. Here Mr. Hales’ begun my wife in the posture we saw one of my Lady Peters, like a St. Katharine.1 While he painted, Knipp, and Mercer, and I, sang; and by and by comes Mrs. Pierce, with my name in her bosom for her Valentine, which will cost me money. But strange how like his very first dead colouring is, that it did me good to see it, and pleases me mightily, and I believe will be a noble picture. Thence with them all as far as Fleete Streete, and there set Mercer and Knipp down, and we home. I to the office, whither the Houblons come telling me of a little new trouble from Norwood about their ship, which troubles me, though without reason. So late home to supper and to bed. We hear this night of Sir Jeremy Smith, that he and his fleete have been seen at Malaga; which is good newes.

  1. It was the fashion at this time to be painted as St. Catherine, in compliment to the queen.

Friday 16 February 1665/66

Up betimes, and by appointment to the Exchange, where I met Messrs. Houblons, and took them up in my coach and carried them to Charing Crosse, where they to Colonell Norwood to see how they can settle matters with him, I having informed them by the way with advice to be easy with him, for he may hereafter do us service, and they and I are like to understand one another to very good purpose. I to my Lord Sandwich, and there alone with him to talke of his affairs, and particularly of his prize goods, wherein I find he is wearied with being troubled, and gives over the care of it to let it come to what it will, having the King’s release for the dividend made, and for the rest he thinks himself safe from being proved to have anything more. Thence to the Exchequer, and so by coach to the ‘Change, Mr. Moore with me, who tells me very odde passages of the indiscretion of my Lord in the management of his family, of his carelessnesse, &c., which troubles me, but makes me rejoice with all my heart of my being rid of the bond of 1000l., for that would have been a cruel blow to me. With Moore to the Coffee-House, the first time I have been there, where very full, and company it seems hath been there all the plague time. So to the ‘Change, and then home to dinner, and after dinner to settle accounts with him for my Lord, and so evened with him to this day. Then to the office, and out with Sir W. Warren for discourse by coach to White Hall, thinking to have spoke with Sir W. Coventry, but did not, and to see the Queene, but she comes but to Hampton Court to-night. Back to my office and there late, and so home to supper and bed. I walked a good while to-night with Mr. Hater in the garden, talking about a husband for my sister, and reckoning up all our clerks about us, none of which he thinks fit for her and her portion. At last I thought of young Gawden, and will thinke of it again.

Sunday 18 February 1665/66

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed discoursing with pleasure with my wife, among other things about Pall’s coming up, for she must be here a little to be fashioned, and my wife hath a mind to go down for her, which I am not much against, and so I rose and to my chamber to settle several things. At noon comes my uncle Wight to dinner, and brings with him Mrs. Wight, sad company to me, nor was I much pleased with it, only I must shew respect to my uncle. After dinner they gone, and it being a brave day, I walked to White Hall, where the Queene and ladies are all come: I saw some few of them, but not the Queene, nor any of the great beauties. I endeavoured to have seen my Lord Hinchingbrooke, who come to town yesterday, but I could not. Met with Creed and walked with him a turne or two in the Parke, but without much content, having now designs of getting money in my head, which allow me not the leisure I used to have with him, besides an odde story lately told of him for a great truth, of his endeavouring to lie with a woman at Oxford, and her crying out saved her; and this being publickly known, do a little make me hate him. Thence took coach, and calling by the way at my bookseller’s for a booke I writ about twenty years ago in prophecy of this year coming on, 1666, explaining it to be the marke of the beast, I home, and there fell to reading, and then to supper, and to bed.

Monday 19 February 1665/66

Up, and by coach to my Lord Sandwich’s, but he was gone out. So I to White Hall, and there waited on the Duke of Yorke with some of the rest of our brethren, and thence back again to my Lord’s, to see my Lord Hinchingbroke, which I did, and I am mightily out of countenance in my great expectation of him by others’ report, though he is indeed a pretty gentleman, yet nothing what I took him for, methinks, either as to person or discourse discovered to me, but I must try him more before I go too far in censuring. Hence to the Exchequer from office to office, to set my business of my tallys in doing, and there all the morning. So at noon by coach to St. Paul’s Church-yarde to my Bookseller’s, and there bespoke a few more books to bring all I have lately bought to 10l.. Here I am told for certain, what I have heard once or twice already, of a Jew in town, that in the name of the rest do offer to give any man 10l. to be paid 100l., if a certain person now at Smyrna be within these two years owned by all the Princes of the East, and particularly the grand Signor as the King of the world, in the same manner we do the King of England here, and that this man is the true Messiah. One named a friend of his that had received ten pieces in gold upon this score, and says that the Jew hath disposed of 1100l. in this manner, which is very strange; and certainly this year of 1666 will be a year of great action; but what the consequences of it will be, God knows! Thence to the ‘Change, and from my stationer’s thereabouts carried home by coach two books of Ogilby’s, his AEsop and Coronation, which fell to my lot at his lottery. Cost me 4l. besides the binding. So home. I find my wife gone out to Hales, her paynter’s, and I after a little dinner do follow her, and there do find him at worke, and with great content I do see it will be a very brave picture. Left her there, and I to my Lord Treasurer’s, where Sir G. Carteret and Sir J. Minnes met me, and before my Lord Treasurer and Duke of Albemarle the state of our Navy debts were laid open, being very great, and their want of money to answer them openly professed, there being but 1,500,000l. to answer a certaine expense and debt of 2,300,000l.. Thence walked with Fenn down to White Hall, and there saw the Queene at cards with many ladies, but none of our beauties were there. But glad I was to see the Queene so well, who looks prettily; and methinks hath more life than before, since it is confessed of all that she miscarryed lately; Dr. Clerke telling me yesterday at White Hall that he had the membranes and other vessels in his hands which she voided, and were perfect as ever woman’s was that bore a child. Thence hoping to find my Lord Sandwich, away by coach to my Lord Chancellor’s, but missed him, and so home and to office, and then to supper and my Journall, and to bed.

Tuesday 20 February 1665/66

Up, and to the office; where, among other businesses, Mr. Evelyn’s proposition about publique Infirmarys was read and agreed on, he being there: and at noon I took him home to dinner, being desirous of keeping my acquaintance with him; and a most excellent humoured man I still find him, and mighty knowing. After dinner I took him by coach to White Hall, and there he and I parted, and I to my Lord Sandwich’s, where coming and bolting into the dining-room, I there found Captain Ferrers going to christen a child of his born yesterday, and I come just pat to be a godfather, along with my Lord Hinchingbrooke, and Madam Pierce, my Valentine, which for that reason I was pretty well contented with, though a little vexed to see myself so beset with people to spend me money, as she of a Valentine and little Mrs. Tooker, who is come to my house this day from Greenwich, and will cost me 20s., my wife going out with her this afternoon, and now this christening. Well, by and by the child is brought and christened Katharine, and I this day on this occasion drank a glasse of wine, which I have not professedly done these two years, I think, but a little in the time of the sicknesse. After that done, and gone and kissed the mother in bed, I away to Westminster Hall, and there hear that Mrs. Lane is come to town. So I staid loitering up and down till anon she comes and agreed to meet at Swayn’s, and there I went anon, and she come, but staid but little, the place not being private. I have not seen her since before the plague. So thence parted and ‘rencontrais a’ her last ‘logis’, and in the place did what I ‘tenais a mind pour ferais con her’. At last she desired to borrow money of me, 5l., and would pawn gold with me for it, which I accepted and promised in a day or two to supply her. So away home to the office, and thence home, where little Mrs. Tooker staid all night with us, and a pretty child she is, and happens to be niece to my beauty that is dead, that lived at the Jackanapes, in Cheapside. So to bed, a little troubled that I have been at two houses this afternoon with Mrs. Lane that were formerly shut up of the plague.

Wednesday 21 February 1665/66

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes to White Hall by his coach, by the way talking of my brother John to get a spiritual promotion for him, which I am now to looke after, for as much as he is shortly to be Master in Arts, and writes me this weeke a Latin letter that he is to go into orders this Lent. There to the Duke’s chamber, and find our fellows discoursing there on our business, so I was sorry to come late, but no hurte was done thereby. Here the Duke, among other things, did bring out a book of great antiquity of some of the customs of the Navy, about 100 years since, which he did lend us to read and deliver him back again. Thence I to the Exchequer, and there did strike my tallys for a quarter for Tangier and carried them home with me, and thence to Trinity-house, being invited to an Elder Brother’s feast; and there met and sat by Mr. Prin, and had good discourse about the privileges of Parliament , which, he says, are few to the Commons’ House, and those not examinable by them, but only by the House of Lords. Thence with my Lord Bruncker to Gresham College, the first time after the sicknesse that I was there, and the second time any met. And here a good lecture of Mr. Hooke’s about the trade of felt-making, very pretty. And anon alone with me about the art of drawing pictures by Prince Rupert’s rule and machine, and another of Dr. Wren’s;1 but he says nothing do like squares, or, which is the best in the world, like a darke roome, —[The camera obscura.]— which pleased me mightily. Thence with Povy home to my house, and there late settling accounts with him, which was very troublesome to me, and he gone, found Mr. Hill below, who sat with me till late talking, and so away, and we to bed.

  1. Afterwards the famous Sir Christopher Wren. He was one of the mainstays of the Royal Society.

Thursday 22 February 1665/66

Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner and thence by coach with my wife for ayre principally for her. I alone stopped at Hales’s and there mightily am pleased with my wife’s picture that is begun there, and with Mr. Hill’s, though I must [owne] I am not more pleased with it now the face is finished than I was when I saw it the second time of sitting. Thence to my Lord Sandwich’s, but he not within, but goes to-morrow. My wife to Mrs. Hunt’s, who is lately come to towne and grown mighty fat. I called her there, and so home and late at the office, and so home to supper and to bed. We are much troubled that the sicknesse in general (the town being so full of people) should be but three, and yet of the particular disease of the plague there should be ten encrease.

Friday 23 February 1665/66

Up betimes, and out of doors by 6 of the clock, and walked (W. Howe with me) to my Lord Sandwich’s, who did lie the last night at his house in Lincoln’s Inne Fields. It being fine walking in the morning, and the streets full of people again. There I staid, and the house full of people come to take leave of my Lord, who this day goes out of towne upon his embassy towards Spayne. And I was glad to find Sir W. Coventry to come, though I know it is only a piece of courtshipp. I had much discourse with my Lord, he telling me how fully he leaves the King his friend and the large discourse he had with him the other day, and how he desired to have the business of the prizes examined before he went, and that he yielded to it, and it is done as far as it concerns himself to the full, and the Lords Commissioners for prizes did reprehend all the informers in what related to his Lordship, which I am glad of in many respects. But we could not make an end of discourse, so I promised to waite upon [him] on Sunday at Cranborne, and took leave and away hence to Mr. Hales’s with Mr. Hill and two of the Houblons, who come thither to speak with me, and saw my wife’s picture, which pleases me well, but Mr. Hill’s picture never a whit so well as it did before it was finished, which troubled me, and I begin to doubt the picture of my Lady Peters my wife takes her posture from, and which is an excellent picture, is not of his making, it is so master-like. I set them down at the ‘Change and I home to the office, and at noon dined at home and to the office again. Anon comes Mrs. Knipp to see my wife, who is gone out, so I fain to entertain her, and took her out by coach to look my wife at Mrs. Pierce’s and Unthanke’s, but find her not. So back again, and then my wife comes home, having been buying of things, and at home I spent all the night talking with this baggage, and teaching her my song of “Beauty retire,” which she sings and makes go most rarely, and a very fine song it seems to be. She also entertained me with repeating many of her own and others’ parts of the play-house, which she do most excellently; and tells me the whole practices of the play-house and players, and is in every respect most excellent company. So I supped, and was merry at home all the evening, and the rather it being my birthday, 33 years, for which God be praised that I am in so good a condition of healthe and estate, and every thing else as I am, beyond expectation, in all. So she to Mrs. Turner’s to lie, and we to bed. Mightily pleased to find myself in condition to have these people come about me and to be able to entertain them, and have the pleasure of their qualities, than which no man can have more in the world.

Saturday 24 February 1665/66

All the morning at the office till past three o’clock. At that houre home and eat a bit alone, my wife being gone out. So abroad by coach with Mr. Hill, who staid for me to speake about business, and he and I to Hales’s, where I find my wife and her woman, and Pierce and Knipp, and there sung and was mighty merry, and I joyed myself in it; but vexed at first to find my wife’s picture not so like as I expected; but it was only his having finished one part, and not another, of the face; but, before I went, I was satisfied it will be an excellent picture. Here we had ale and cakes and mighty merry, and sung my song, which she [Knipp] now sings bravely, and makes me proud of myself. Thence left my wife to go home with Mrs. Pierce, while I home to the office, and there pretty late, and to bed, after fitting myself for to-morrow’s journey.

Sunday 25 February 1665/66

(Lord’s day). My wife up between three and four of the clock in the morning to dress herself, and I about five, and were all ready to take coach, she and I and Mercer, a little. past five, but, to our trouble, the coach did not come till six. Then with our coach of four horses I hire on purpose, and Leshmore to ride by, we through the City to Branford and so to Windsor, Captain Ferrers overtaking us at Kensington, being to go with us, and here drank, and so through, making no stay, to Cranborne, about eleven o’clock, and found my Lord and the ladies at a sermon in the house; which being ended we to them, and all the company glad to see us, and mighty merry to dinner. Here was my Lord, and Lord Hinchingbroke, and Mr. Sidney, Sir Charles Herbert, and Mr. Carteret, my Lady Carteret, my Lady Jemimah, and Lady Slaning. After dinner to talk to and again, and then to walke in the Parke, my Lord and I alone, talking upon these heads; first, he has left his business of the prizes as well as is possible for him, having cleared himself before the Commissioners by the King’s commands, so that nothing or little is to be feared from that point, he goes fully assured, he tells me, of the King’s favour. That upon occasion I may know, I desired to know, his friends I may trust to, he tells me, but that he is not yet in England, but continues this summer in Ireland, my Lord Orrery is his father almost in affection. He tells me my Lord of Suffolke, Lord Arlington, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Treasurer, Mr. Atturny Montagu, Sir Thomas Clifford in the House of Commons, Sir G. Carteret, and some others I cannot presently remember, are friends that I may rely on for him. He tells me my Lord Chancellor seems his very good friend, but doubts that he may not think him so much a servant of the Duke of Yorke’s as he would have him, and indeed my Lord tells me he hath lately made it his business to be seen studious of the King’s favour, and not of the Duke’s, and by the King will stand or fall, for factions there are, as he tells me, and God knows how high they may come. The Duke of Albemarle’s post is so great, having had the name of bringing in the King, that he is like to stand, or, if it were not for him, God knows in what troubles we might be from some private faction, if an army could be got into another hand, which God forbid! It is believed that though Mr. Coventry be in appearance so great against the Chancellor, yet that there is a good understanding between the Duke and him. He dreads the issue of this year, and fears there will be some very great revolutions before his coming back again. He doubts it is needful for him to have a pardon for his last year’s actions, all which he did without commission, and at most but the King’s private single word for that of Bergen; but he dares not ask it at this time, lest it should make them think that there is something more in it than yet they know; and if it should be denied, it would be of very ill consequence. He says also, if it should in Parliament be enquired into the selling of Dunkirke (though the Chancellor was the man that would have it sold to France, saying the King of Spayne had no money to give for it); yet he will be found to have been the greatest adviser of it; which he is a little apprehensive may be called upon this Parliament. He told me it would not be necessary for him to tell me his debts, because he thinks I know them so well. He tells me, that for the match propounded of Mrs. Mallett for my Lord Hinchingbroke, it hath been lately off, and now her friends bring it on again, and an overture hath been made to him by a servant of hers, to compass the thing without consent of friends, she herself having a respect to my Lord’s family, but my Lord will not listen to it but in a way of honour. The Duke hath for this weeke or two been very kind to him, more than lately; and so others, which he thinks is a good sign of faire weather again. He says the Archbishopp of Canterbury hath been very kind to him, and hath plainly said to him that he and all the world knows the difference between his judgment and brains and the Duke of Albemarle’s, and then calls my Lady Duchesse the veryest slut and drudge and the foulest worde that can be spoke of a woman almost. My Lord having walked an houre with me talking thus and going in, and my Lady Carteret not suffering me to go back again to-night, my Lord to walke again with me about some of this and other discourse, and then in a-doors and to talke with all and with my Lady Carteret, and I with the young ladies and gentle men, who played on the guittar, and mighty merry, and anon to supper, and then my Lord going away to write, the young gentlemen to flinging of cushions, and other mad sports; at this late till towards twelve at night, and then being sleepy, I and my wife in a passage-room to bed, and slept not very well because of noise.

Monday 26 February 1665/66

Called up about five in the morning, and my Lord up, and took leave, a little after six, very kindly of me and the whole company. Then I in, and my wife up and to visit my Lady Slaving in her bed, and there sat three hours, with Lady Jemimah with us, talking and laughing, and by and by my Lady Carteret comes, and she and I to talke, I glad to please her in discourse of Sir G. Carteret, that all will do well with him, and she is much pleased, he having had great annoyance and fears about his well doing, and I fear hath doubted that I have not been a friend to him, but cries out against my Lady Castlemaine, that makes the King neglect his business and seems much to fear that all will go to wracke, and I fear with great reason; exclaims against the Duke of Albemarle, and more the Duchesse for a filthy woman, as indeed she is. Here staid till 9 o’clock almost, and then took coach with so much love and kindnesse from my Lady Carteret, Lady Jemimah, and Lady Slaving, that it joys my heart, and when I consider the manner of my going hither, with a coach and four horses and servants and a woman with us, and coming hither being so much made of, and used with that state, and then going to Windsor and being shewn all that we were there, and had wherewith to give every body something for their pains, and then going home, and all in fine weather and no fears nor cares upon me, I do thinke myself obliged to thinke myself happy, and do look upon myself at this time in the happiest occasion a man can be, and whereas we take pains in expectation of future comfort and ease, I have taught myself to reflect upon myself at present as happy, and enjoy myself in that consideration, and not only please myself with thoughts of future wealth and forget the pleasure we at present enjoy. So took coach and to Windsor, to the Garter, and thither sent for Dr. Childe; who come to us, and carried us to St. George’s Chappell; and there placed us among the Knights’ stalls (and pretty the observation, that no man, but a woman may sit in a Knight’s place, where any brass-plates are set); and hither come cushions to us, and a young singing-boy to bring us a copy of the anthem to be sung. And here, for our sakes, had this anthem and the great service sung extraordinary, only to entertain us. It is a noble place indeed, and a good Quire of voices. Great bowing by all the people, the poor Knights particularly, to the Alter. After prayers, we to see the plate of the chappell, and the robes of Knights, and a man to shew us the banners of the several Knights in being, which hang up over the stalls. And so to other discourse very pretty, about the Order. Was shewn where the late [King] is buried, and King Henry the Eighth, and my Lady [Jane] Seymour. This being done, to the King’s house, and to observe the neatness and contrivance of the house and gates: it is the most romantique castle that is in the world. But, Lord! the prospect that is in the balcone in the Queene’s lodgings, and the terrace and walk, are strange things to consider, being the best in the world, sure. Infinitely satisfied I and my wife with all this, she being in all points mightily pleased too, which added to my pleasure; and so giving a great deal of money to this and that man and woman, we to our taverne, and there dined, the Doctor with us; and so took coach and away to Eton, the Doctor with me. Before we went to Chappell this morning, Kate Joyce, in a stage-coach going toward London, called to me. I went to her and saluted her, but could not get her to stay with us, having company. At Eton I left my wife in the coach, and he and I to the College, and there find all mighty fine. The school good, and the custom pretty of boys cutting their names in the struts of the window when they go to Cambridge, by which many a one hath lived to see himself Provost and Fellow, that had his name in the window standing. To the Hall, and there find the boys’ verses, “De Peste;” it being their custom to make verses at Shrove-tide. I read several, and very good ones they were, and better, I think, than ever I made when I was a boy, and in rolls as long and longer than the whole Hall, by much. Here is a picture of Venice hung up given, and a monument made of Sir H. Wotton’s giving it to the College. Thence to the porter’s, in the absence of the butler, and did drink of the College beer, which is very good; and went into the back fields to see the scholars play. And so to the chappell, and there saw, among other things, Sir H. Wotton’s stone with this Epitaph

Hic facet primus hujus sententiae Author:— Disputandi pruritus fit ecclesiae scabies.

But unfortunately the word “Author” was wrong writ, and now so basely altered that it disgraces the stone. Thence took leave of the Doctor, and so took coach, and finely, but sleepy, away home, and got thither about eight at night, and after a little at my office, I to bed; and an houre after, was waked with my wife’s quarrelling with Mercer, at which I was angry, and my wife and I fell out. But with much ado to sleep again, I beginning to practise more temper, and to give her her way.

Tuesday 27 February 1665/66

Up, and after a harsh word or two my wife and I good friends, and so up and to the office, where all the morning. At noon late to dinner, my wife gone out to Hales’s about her picture, and, after dinner, I after her, and do mightily like her picture, and think it will be as good as my Lady Peters’s. So home mightily pleased, and there late at business and set down my three last days’ journalls, and so to bed, overjoyed to thinke of the pleasure of the last Sunday and yesterday, and my ability to bear the charge of these pleasures, and with profit too, by obliging my Lord, and reconciling Sir George Carteret’s family.

Wednesday 28 February 1665/66

(Ash Wednesday). Up, and after doing a little business at my office I walked, it being a most curious dry and cold morning, to White Hall, and there I went into the Parke, and meeting Sir Ph. Warwicke took a turne with him in the Pell Mall, talking of the melancholy posture of affairs, where every body is snarling one at another, and all things put together looke ominously. This new Act too putting us out of a power of raising money. So that he fears as I do, but is fearfull of enlarging in that discourse of an ill condition in every thing, and the State and all. We appointed another time to meet to talke of the business of the Navy alone seriously, and so parted, and I to White Hall, and there we did our business with the Duke of Yorke, and so parted, and walked to Westminster Hall, where I staid talking with Mrs. Michell and Howlett long and her daughter, which is become a mighty pretty woman, and thence going out of the Hall was called to by Mrs. Martin, so I went to her and bought two bands, and so parted, and by and by met at her chamber, and there did what I would, and so away home and there find Mrs. Knipp, and we dined together, she the pleasantest company in the world. After dinner I did give my wife money to lay out on Knipp, 20s., and I abroad to White Hall to visit Colonell Norwood, and then Sir G. Carteret, with whom I have brought myself right again, and he very open to me; is very melancholy, and matters, I fear, go down with him, but he seems most afeard of a general catastrophe to the whole kingdom, and thinks, as I fear, that all things will come to nothing. Thence to the Palace Yard, to the Swan, and there staid till it was dark, and then to Mrs. Lane’s, and there lent her 5l. upon 4l. 01s. in gold. And then did what I would with her, and I perceive she is come to be very bad, and offers any thing, that it is dangerous to have to do with her, nor will I see [her] any more a good while. Thence by coach home and to the office, where a while, and then betimes to bed by ten o’clock, sooner than I have done many a day. And thus ends this month, with my mind full of resolution to apply myself better from this time forward to my business than I have done these six or eight days, visibly to my prejudice both in quiett of mind and setting backward of my business, that I cannot give a good account of it as I ought to do.