Monday 1 April 1667

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes in his coach, set him down at the Treasurer’s Office in Broad-streete, and I in his coach to White Hall, and there had the good fortune to walk with Sir W. Coventry into the garden, and there read our melancholy letter to the Duke of York, which he likes. And so to talk: and he flatly owns that we must have a peace, for we cannot set out a fleete; and, to use his own words, he fears that we shall soon have enough of fighting in this new way, which we have thought on for this year. He bemoans the want of money, and discovers himself jealous that Sir G. Carteret do not look after, or concern himself for getting, money as he used to do, and did say it is true if Sir G. Carteret would only do his work, and my Lord Treasurer would do his own, Sir G. Carteret hath nothing to do to look after money, but if he will undertake my Lord Treasurer’s work to raise money of the Bankers, then people must expect that he will do it, and did further say, that he [Carteret] and my Lord Chancellor do at this very day labour all they can to villify this new way of raising money, and making it payable, as it now is, into the Exchequer; and expressly said that in pursuance hereof, my Lord Chancellor hath prevailed with the King, in the close of his last speech to the House, to say, that he did hope to see them come to give money as it used to be given, without so many provisos, meaning, as Sir W. Coventry says, this new method of the Act. While we were talking, there come Sir Thomas Allen with two ladies; one of which was Mrs. Rebecca Allen, that I knew heretofore, the clerk of the rope-yard’s daughter at Chatham, who, poor heart! come to desire favour for her husband, who is clapt up, being a Lieutenant [Jowles], for sending a challenge to his Captain, in the most saucy, base language that could be writ. I perceive [Sir] W. Coventry is wholly resolved to bring him to punishment; for, “bear with this,” says he, “and no discipline shall ever be expected.” She in this sad condition took no notice of me, nor I of her. So away we to the Duke of York, and there in his closett [Sir] W. Coventry and I delivered the letter, which the Duke of York made not much of, I thought, as to laying it to heart, as the matter deserved, but did promise to look after the getting of money for us, and I believe Sir W. Coventry will add what force he can to it. I did speak to [Sir] W. Coventry about Balty’s warrant, which is ready, and about being Deputy Treasurer, which he very readily and friendlily agreed to, at which I was glad, and so away and by coach back to Broad-streete to Sir G. Carteret’s, and there found my brother passing his accounts, which I helped till dinner, and dined there, and many good stories at dinner, among others about discoveries of murder, and Sir J. Minnes did tell of the discovery of his own great-grandfather’s murder, fifteen years after he was murdered. Thence, after dinner, home and by water to Redriffe, and walked (fine weather) to Deptford, and there did business and so back again, walked, and pleased with a jolly femme that I saw going and coming in the way, which je could avoir been contented pour avoir staid with if I could have gained acquaintance con elle, but at such times as these I am at a great loss, having not confidence, no alcune ready wit. So home and to the office, where late, and then home to supper and bed. This evening Mrs. Turner come to my office, and did walk an hour with me in the garden, telling me stories how Sir Edward Spragge hath lately made love to our neighbour, a widow, Mrs. Hollworthy, who is a woman of estate, and wit and spirit, and do contemn him the most, and sent him away with the greatest scorn in the world; she tells me also odd stories how the parish talks of Sir W. Pen’s family, how poorly they clothe their daughter so soon after marriage, and do say that Mr. Lowther was married once before, and some such thing there hath been, whatever the bottom of it is. But to think of the clatter they make with his coach, and his owne fine cloathes, and yet how meanly they live within doors, and nastily, and borrowing everything of neighbours is a most shitten thing.

Tuesday 2 April 1667

Up, and to the office, where all the morning sitting, and much troubled, but little business done for want of money, which makes me mighty melancholy. At noon home to dinner, and Mr. Deane with me, who hath promised me a very fine draught of the Rupert, which he will make purposely for me with great perfection, which I will make one of the beautifullest things that ever was seen of the kind in the world, she being a ship that will deserve it. Then to the office, where all the afternoon very busy, and in the evening weary home and there to sing, but vexed with the unreadiness of the girle’s voice to learn the latter part of my song, though I confess it is very hard, half notes. So to supper and to bed.

Wednesday 3 April 1667

Up, and with Sir W. Batten to White Hall to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, and there did receive the Duke’s order for Balty’s receiving of the contingent money to be paymaster of it, and it pleases me the more for that it is but 1500l., which will be but a little sum for to try his ability and honesty in the disposing of, and so I am the willinger to trust and pass my word for him therein. By and by up to the Duke of York, where our usual business, and among other things I read two most dismal letters of the straits we are in (from Collonell Middleton and Commissioner Taylor) that ever were writ in the world, so as the Duke of York would have them to shew the King, and to every demand of money, whereof we proposed many and very pressing ones, Sir G. Carteret could make no answer but no money, which I confess made me almost ready to cry for sorrow and vexation, but that which was the most considerable was when Sir G. Carteret did say that he had no funds to raise money on; and being asked by Sir W. Coventry whether the eleven months’ tax was not a fund, and he answered, “No, that the bankers would not lend money upon it.” Then Sir W. Coventry burst out and said he did supplicate his Royal Highness, and would do the same to the King, that he would remember who they were that did persuade the King from parting with the Chimney-money to the Parliament, and taking that in lieu which they would certainly have given, and which would have raised infallibly ready money; meaning the bankers and the farmers of the Chimney-money, whereof Sir, G. Carteret, I think, is one; saying plainly, that whoever did advise the King to that, did, as much as in them lay, cut the King’s throat, and did wholly betray him; to which the Duke of York did assent; and remembered that the King did say again and again at the time, that he was assured, and did fully believe, the money would be raised presently upon a land- tax. This put as all into a stound; and Sir W. Coventry went on to declare, that he was glad he was come to have so lately concern in the Navy as he hath, for he cannot now give any good account of the Navy business; and that all his work now was to be able to provide such orders as would justify his Royal Highness in the business, when it shall be called to account; and that he do do, not concerning himself whether they are or can be performed, or no; and that when it comes to be examined, and falls on my Lord Treasurer, he cannot help it, whatever the issue of it shall be. Hereupon Sir W. Batten did pray him to keep also by him all our letters that come from the office that may justify us, which he says he do do, and, God knows, it is an ill sign when we are once to come to study how to excuse ourselves. It is a sad consideration, and therewith we broke up, all in a sad posture, the most that ever I saw in my life. One thing more Sir W. Coventry did say to the Duke of York, when I moved again, that of about 9000l. debt to Lanyon, at Plymouth, he might pay 3700l. worth of prize-goods, that he bought lately at the candle, out of this debt due to him from the King; and the Duke of York, and Sir G. Carteret, and Lord Barkeley, saying, all of them, that my Lord Ashly would not be got to yield to it, who is Treasurer of the Prizes, Sir W. Coventry did plainly desire that it might be declared whether the proceeds of the prizes were to go to the helping on of the war, or no; and, if it were, how then could this be denied? which put them all into another stound; and it is true, God forgive us! Thence to the chappell, and there, by chance, hear that Dr. Crew is to preach; and so into the organ-loft, where I met Mr. Carteret, and my Lady Jemimah, and Sir Thomas Crew’s two daughters, and Dr. Childe played; and Dr. Crew did make a very pretty, neat, sober, honest sermon; and delivered it very readily, decently, and gravely, beyond his years: so as I was exceedingly taken with it, and I believe the whole chappell, he being but young; but his manner of his delivery I do like exceedingly. His text was, “But seeke ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Thence with my Lady to Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings, and so up into the house, and there do hear that the Dutch letters are come, and say that the Dutch have ordered a passe to be sent for our Commissioners, and that it is now upon the way, coming with a trumpeter blinded, as is usual. But I perceive every body begins to doubt the success of the treaty, all their hopes being only that if it can be had on any terms, the Chancellor will have it; for he dare not come before a Parliament, nor a great many more of the courtiers, and the King himself do declare he do not desire it, nor intend it but on a strait; which God defend him from! Here I hear how the King is not so well pleased of this marriage between the Duke of Richmond and Mrs. Stewart, as is talked; and that he [the Duke] by a wile did fetch her to the Beare, at the Bridge-foot, where a coach was ready, and they are stole away into Kent, without the King’s leave; and that the King hath said he will never see her more; but people do think that it is only a trick. This day I saw Prince Rupert abroad in the Vane-room, pretty well as he used to be, and looks as well, only something appears to be under his periwigg on the crown of his head. So home by water, and there find my wife gone abroad to her tailor’s, and I dined alone with W. Hewer, and then to the office to draw up a memorial for the Duke of York this afternoon at the Council about Lanyon’s business. By and by we met by appointment at the office upon a reference to Carcasses business to us again from the Duke of York, but a very confident cunning rogue we have found him at length. He carried himself very uncivilly to Sir W. Batten this afternoon, as heretofore, and his silly Lord [Bruncker] pleaded for him, but all will not nor shall not do for ought he shall give, though I love the man as a man of great parts and ability. Thence to White Hall by water (only asking Betty Michell by the way how she did), and there come too late to do any thing at the Council. So by coach to my periwigg maker’s and tailor’s, and so home, where I find my wife with her flageolet master, which I wish she would practise, and so to the office, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, and then to Sir W. Pen’s, talking and spending time in vain a little while, and then home up to my chamber, and so to supper and to bed, vexed at two or three things, viz. that my wife’s watch proves so bad as it do; the ill state of the office; and Kingdom’s business; at the charge which my mother’s death for mourning will bring me when all paid.

Thursday 4 April 1667

Up, and going down found Jervas the barber with a periwigg which I had the other day cheapened at Westminster, but it being full of nits, as heretofore his work used to be, I did now refuse it, having bought elsewhere. So to the office till noon, busy, and then (which I think I have not done three times in my life) left the board upon occasion of a letter of Sir W. Coventry, and meeting Balty at my house I took him with me by water, and to the Duke of Albemarle to give him an account of the business, which was the escaping of some soldiers for the manning of a few ships now going out with Harman to the West Indies, which is a sad consideration that at the very beginning of the year and few ships abroad we should be in such want of men that they do hide themselves, and swear they will not go to be killed and have no pay. I find the Duke of Albemarle at dinner with sorry company, some of his officers of the Army; dirty dishes, and a nasty wife at table, and bad meat, of which I made but an ill dinner. Pretty to hear how she talked against Captain Du Tell, the Frenchman, that the Prince and her husband put out the last year; and how, says she, the Duke of York hath made him, for his good services, his Cupbearer; yet he fired more shot into the Prince’s ship, and others of the King’s ships, than of the enemy. And the Duke of Albemarle did confirm it, and that somebody in the fight did cry out that a little Dutchman, by his ship, did plague him more than any other; upon which they were going to order him to be sunk, when they looked and found it was Du Tell, who, as the Duke of Albemarle says, had killed several men in several of our ships. He said, but for his interest, which he knew he had at Court, he had hanged him at the yard’s-arm, without staying for a Court-martiall. One Colonel Howard, at the table, magnified the Duke of Albemarle’s fight in June last, as being a greater action than ever was done by Caesar. The Duke of Albemarle, did say it had been no great action, had all his number fought, as they should have done, to have beat the Dutch; but of his 55 ships, not above 25 fought. He did give an account that it was a fight he was forced to: the Dutch being come in his way, and he being ordered to the buoy of the Nore, he could not pass by them without fighting, nor avoid them without great disadvantage and dishonour; and this Sir G. Carteret, I afterwards giving him an account of what he said, says that it is true, that he was ordered up to the Nore. But I remember he said, had all his captains fought, he would no more have doubted to have beat the Dutch, with all their number, than to eat the apple that lay on his trencher. My Lady Duchesse, among other things, discoursed of the wisdom of dividing the fleete; which the General said nothing to, though he knows well that it come from themselves in the fleete, and was brought up hither by Sir Edward Spragge. Colonel Howard, asking how the prince did, the Duke of Albemarle answering, “Pretty well;” the other replied, “But not so well as to go to sea again.” — “How!” says the Duchess, “what should he go for, if he were well, for there are no ships for him to command? And so you have brought your hogs to a fair market,” said she. [It was pretty to hear the Duke of Albemarle himself to wish that they would come on our ground, meaning the French, for that he would pay them, so as to make them glad to go back to France again; which was like a general, but not like an admiral.] One at the table told an odd passage in this late plague: that at Petersfield, I think, he said, one side of the street had every house almost infected through the town, and the other, not one shut up. Dinner being done, I brought Balty to the Duke of Albemarle to kiss his hand and thank him far his kindness the last year to him, and take leave of him, and then Balty and I to walk in the Park, and, out of pity to his father, told him what I had in my thoughts to do for him about the money — that is, to make him Deputy Treasurer of the fleete, which I have done by getting Sir G. Carteret’s consent, and an order from the Duke of York for 1500l. to be paid to him. He promises the whole profit to be paid to my wife, for to be disposed of as she sees fit, for her father and mother’s relief. So mightily pleased with our walk, it being mighty pleasant weather, I back to Sir G. Carteret’s, and there he had newly dined, and talked, and find that he do give every thing over for lost, declaring no money to be raised, and let Sir W. Coventry name the man that persuaded the King to take the Land Tax on promise, of raising present money upon it. He will, he says, be able to clear himself enough of it. I made him merry, with telling him how many land-admirals we are to have this year: Allen at Plymouth, Holmes at Portsmouth, Spragge for Medway, Teddiman at Dover, Smith to the Northward, and Harman to the Southward. He did defend to me Sir W. Coventry as not guilty of the dividing of the fleete the last year, and blesses God, as I do, for my Lord Sandwich’s absence, and tells me how the King did lately observe to him how they have been particularly punished that were enemies to my Lord Sandwich. Mightily pleased I am with his family, and my Lady Carteret was on the bed to-day, having been let blood, and tells me of my Lady Jemimah’s being big-bellied. Thence with him to my Lord Treasurer’s, and there walked during Council sitting with Sir Stephen Fox, talking of the sad condition of the King’s purse, and affairs thereby; and how sad the King’s life must be, to pass by his officers every hour, that are four years behind-hand unpaid. My Lord Barkeley [of Stratton] I met with there, and fell into talk with him on the same thing, wishing to God that it might be remedied, to which he answered, with an oath, that it was as easy to remedy it as anything in the world; saying, that there is himself and three more would venture their carcasses upon it to pay all the King’s debts in three years, had they the managing his revenue, and putting 300,000l. in his purse, as a stock. But, Lord! what a thing is this to me, that do know how likely a man my Lord Barkeley of all the world is, to do such a thing as this. Here I spoke with Sir W. Coventry, who tells me plainly that to all future complaints of lack of money he will answer but with the shrug of his shoulder; which methought did come to my heart, to see him to begin to abandon the King’s affairs, and let them sink or swim, so he do his owne part, which I confess I believe he do beyond any officer the King hath, but unless he do endeavour to make others do theirs, nothing will be done. The consideration here do make me go away very sad, and so home by coach, and there took up my wife and Mercer, who had been to-day at White Hall to the Maundy, it being Maundy Thursday; but the King did not wash the poor people’s feet himself, but the Bishop of London did it for him, but I did not see it, and with them took up Mrs. Anne Jones at her mother’s door, and so to take the ayre to Hackney, where good neat’s tongue, and things to eat and drink, and very merry, the weather being mighty pleasant; and here I was told that at their church they have a fair pair of organs, which play while the people sing, which I am mighty glad of, wishing the like at our church at London, and would give 50l. towards it. So very pleasant, and hugging of Mercer in our going home, we home, and then to the office to do a little business, and so to supper at home and to bed.

Friday 5 April 1667

Up, and troubled with Mr. Carcasse’s coming to speak with me, which made me give him occasion to fall into a heat, and he began to be ill- mannered to me, which made me angry. He gone, I to Sir W. Pen about the business of Mrs. Turner’s son to keep his ship in employment, but so false a fellow as Sir W. Pen is I never did nor hope shall ever know again. So to the office, and there did business, till dinnertime, and then home to dinner, wife and I alone, and then down to the Old Swan, and drank with Betty and her husband, but no opportunity para baiser la. So to White Hall to the Council chamber, where I find no Council held till after the holidays. So to Westminster Hall, and there bought a pair of snuffers, and saw Mrs. Howlett after her sickness come to the Hall again. So by coach to the New Exchange and Mercer’s and other places to take up bills for what I owe them, and to Mrs. Pierce, to invite her to dinner with us on Monday, but staid not with her. In the street met with Mr. Sanchy, my old acquaintance at Cambridge, reckoned a great minister here in the City; and by Sir Richard Ford particularly, which I wonder at; for methinks, in his talk, he is but a mean man. I set him down in Holborne, and I to the Old Exchange, and there to Sir Robert Viner’s, and made up my accounts there, to my great content; but I find they do not keep them so regularly as, to be able to do it easily, and truly, and readily, nor would it have been easily stated by any body on my behalf but myself, several things being to be recalled to memory, which nobody else could have done, and therefore it is fully necessary for me to even accounts with these people as often as I can. So to the ‘Change, and there met with Mr. James Houblon, but no hopes, as he sees, of peace whatever we pretend, but we shall be abused by the King of France. Then home to the office, and busy late, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, where Mr. Young was talking about the building of the City again; and he told me that those few churches that are to be new built are plainly not chosen with regard to the convenience of the City; they stand a great many in a cluster about Cornhill; but that all of them are either in the gift of the Lord Archbishop, or Bishop of London, or Lord Chancellor, or gift of the City. Thus all things, even to the building of churches, are done in this world! And then he says, which I wonder at, that I should not in all this time see, that Moorefields have houses two stories high in them, and paved streets, the City having let leases for seven years, which he do conclude will be very much to the hindering the building of the City; but it was considered that the streets cannot be passable in London till a whole street be built; and several that had got ground of the City for charity, to build sheds on, had got the trick presently to sell that for 60l., which did not cost them 20l. to put up; and so the City, being very poor in stock, thought it as good to do it themselves, and therefore let leases for seven years of the ground in Moorefields; and a good deal of this money, thus advanced, hath been employed for the enabling them to find some money for Commissioner Taylor, and Sir W. Batten, towards the charge of “The Loyall London,” or else, it is feared, it had never been paid. And Taylor having a bill to pay wherein Alderman Hooker was concerned it was his invention to find out this way of raising money, or else this had not been thought on. So home to supper and to bed. This morning come to me the Collectors for my Pollmoney; for which I paid for my title as Esquire and place of Clerk of Acts, and my head and wife’s, and servants’ and their wages, 40l. 17s; and though this be a great deal, yet it is a shame I should pay no more; that is, that I should not be assessed for my pay, as in the Victualling business and Tangier; and for my money, which, of my own accord, I had determined to charge myself with 1000l. money, till coming to the Vestry, and seeing nobody of our ablest merchants, as Sir Andrew Rickard, to do it, I thought it not decent for me to do it, nor would it be thought wisdom to do it unnecessarily, but vain glory.

Saturday 6 April 1667

Up, and betimes in the morning down to the Tower wharfe, there to attend the shipping of soldiers, to go down to man some ships going out, and pretty to see how merrily some, and most go, and how sad others — the leave they take of their friends, and the terms that some wives, and other wenches asked to part with them: a pretty mixture. So to the office, having staid as long as I could, and there sat all the morning, and then home at noon to dinner, and then abroad, Balty with me, and to White Hall, by water, to Sir G. Carteret, about Balty’s 1500l. contingent money for the fleete to the West Indys, and so away with him to the Exchange, and mercers and drapers, up and down, to pay all my scores occasioned by this mourning for my mother; and emptied a 50l. bag, and it was a joy to me to see that I am able to part with such a sum, without much inconvenience; at least, without any trouble of mind. So to Captain Cocke’s to meet Fenn, to talk about this money for Balty, and there Cocke tells me that he is confident there will be a peace, whatever terms be asked us, and he confides that it will take because the French and Dutch will be jealous one of another which shall give the best terms, lest the other should make the peace with us alone, to the ruin of the third, which is our best defence, this jealousy, for ought I at present see. So home and there very late, very busy, and then home to supper and to bed, the people having got their house very clean against Monday’s dinner.

Sunday 7 April 1667

(Easter day). Up, and when dressed with my wife (in mourning for my mother) to church both, where Mr. Mills, a lazy sermon. Home to dinner, wife and I and W. Hewer, and after dinner I by water to White Hall to Sir G. Carteret’s, there to talk about Balty’s money, and did present Balty to him to kiss his hand, and then to walk in the Parke, and heard the Italian musique at the Queen’s chapel, whose composition is fine, but yet the voices of eunuchs I do not like like our women, nor am more pleased with it at all than with English voices, but that they do jump most excellently with themselves and their instrument, which is wonderful pleasant; but I am convinced more and more, that, as every nation has a particular accent and tone in discourse, so as the tone of one not to agree with or please the other, no more can the fashion of singing to words, for that the better the words are set, the more they take in of the ordinary tone of the country whose language the song speaks, so that a song well composed by an Englishman must be better to an Englishman than it can be to a stranger, or than if set by a stranger in foreign words. Thence back to White Hall, and there saw the King come out of chapel after prayers in the afternoon, which he is never at but after having received the Sacrament: and the Court, I perceive, is quite out of mourning; and some very fine; among others, my Lord Gerard, in a very rich vest and coat. Here I met with my Lord Bellasses: and it is pretty to see what a formal story he tells me of his leaving, his place upon the death of my Lord Cleveland, by which he is become Captain of the Pensioners; and that the King did leave it to him to keep the other or take this; whereas, I know the contrary, that they had a mind to have him away from Tangier. He tells me he is commanded by the King to go down to the Northward to satisfy the Deputy Lieutenants of Yorkshire, who have desired to lay down their commissions upon pretence of having no profit by their places but charge, but indeed is upon the Duke of Buckingham’s being under a cloud (of whom there is yet nothing heard), so that the King is apprehensive of their discontent, and sends him to pacify them, and I think he is as good a dissembler as any man else, and a fine person he is for person, and proper to lead the Pensioners, but a man of no honour nor faith I doubt. So to Sir G. Carteret’s again to talk with him about Balty’s money, and wrote a letter to Portsmouth about part of it, and then in his coach, with his little daughter Porpot (as he used to nickname her), and saw her at home, and her maid, and another little gentlewoman, and so I walked into Moore Fields, and, as is said, did find houses built two stories high, and like to stand; and it must become a place of great trade, till the City be built; and the street is already paved as London streets used to be, which is a strange, and to me an unpleasing sight. So home and to my chamber about sending an express to Portsmouth about Balty’s money, and then comes Mrs. Turner to enquire after her son’s business, which goes but bad, which led me to show her how false Sir W. Pen is to her, whereupon she told me his obligations to her, and promises to her, and how a while since he did show himself dissatisfied in her son’s coming to the table and applying himself to me, which is a good nut, and a nut I will make use of. She gone I to other business in my chamber, and then to supper and to bed. The Swede’s Embassadors and our Commissioners are making all the haste they can over to the treaty for peace, and I find at Court, and particularly Lord Bellasses, says there will be a peace, and it is worth remembering what Sir W. Coventry did tell me (as a secret though) that whereas we are afeard Harman’s fleete to the West Indys will not be got out before the Dutch come and block us up, we shall have a happy pretext to get out our ships under pretence of attending the Embassadors and Commissioners, which is a very good, but yet a poor shift.

Monday 8 April 1667

Up, and having dressed myself, to the office a little, and out, expecting to have seen the pretty daughter of the Ship taverne at the hither end of Billiter Lane (whom I never yet have opportunity to speak to). I in there to drink my morning draught of half a pint of Rhenish wine; but a ma doleur elle and their family are going away thence, and a new man come to the house. So I away to the Temple, to my new bookseller’s; and there I did agree for Rycaut’s late History of the Turkish Policy, which costs me 55s.; whereas it was sold plain before the late fire for 8s., and bound and coloured as this is for 20s.; for I have bought it finely bound and truly coloured, all the figures, of which there was but six books done so, whereof the King and Duke of York, and Duke of Monmouth, and Lord Arlington, had four. The fifth was sold, and I have bought the sixth. So to enquire out Mrs. Knipp’s new lodging, but could not, but do hear of her at the Playhouse, where she was practising, and I sent for her out by a porter, and the jade come to me all undressed, so cannot go home to my house to dinner, as I had invited her, which I was not much troubled at, because I think there is a distance between her and Mrs. Pierce, and so our company would not be so pleasant. So home, and there find all things in good readiness for a good dinner, and here unexpectedly I find little Mis. Tooker, whom my wife loves not from the report of her being already naught; however, I do shew her countenance, and by and by come my guests, Dr. Clerke and his wife, and Mrs. Worshipp, and her daughter; and then Mr. Pierce and his wife, and boy, and Betty; and then I sent for Mercer; so that we had, with my wife and I, twelve at table, and very good and pleasant company, and a most neat and excellent, but dear dinner; but, Lord! to see with what envy they looked upon all my fine plate was pleasant; for I made the best shew I could, to let them understand me and my condition, to take down the pride of Mrs. Clerke, who thinks herself very great. We sat long, and very merry, and all things agreeable; and, after dinner, went out by coaches, thinking to have seen a play, but come too late to both houses, and then they had thoughts of going abroad somewhere; but I thought all the charge ought not to be mine, and therefore I endeavoured to part the company, and so ordered it to set them all down at Mrs. Pierces; and there my wife and I and Mercer left them in good humour, and we three to the King’s house, and saw the latter end of the “Surprisall,” a wherein was no great matter, I thought, by what I saw there. Thence away to Polichinello, and there had three times more sport than at the play, and so home, and there the first night we have been this year in the garden late, we three and our Barker singing very well, and then home to supper, and so broke up, and to bed mightily pleased with this day’s pleasure.

Tuesday 9 April 1667

Up. and to the office a while, none of my fellow officers coming to sit, it being holiday, and so towards noon I to the Exchange, and there do hear mighty cries for peace, and that otherwise we shall be undone; and yet I do suspect the badness of the peace we shall make. Several do complain of abundance of land flung up by tenants out of their hands for want of ability to pay their rents; and by name, that the Duke of Buckingham hath 6000l. so flung up. And my father writes, that Jasper Trice, upon this pretence of his tenants’ dealing with him, is broke up housekeeping, and gone to board with his brother, Naylor, at Offord; which is very sad. So home to dinner, and after dinner I took coach and to the King’s house, and by and by comes after me my wife with W. Hewer and his mother and Barker, and there we saw “The Tameing of a Shrew,” which hath some very good pieces in it, but generally is but a mean play; and the best part, “Sawny,” done by Lacy, hath not half its life, by reason of the words, I suppose, not being understood, at least by me. After the play was done, as I come so I went away alone, and had a mind to have taken out Knipp to have taken the ayre with her, and to that end sent a porter in to her that she should take a coach and come to me to the Piatza in Covent Garden, where I waited for her, but was doubtful I might have done ill in doing it if we should be visti ensemble, sed elle was gone out, and so I was eased of my care, and therefore away to Westminster to the Swan, and there did baiser la little missa … and drank, and then by water to the Old Swan, and there found Betty Michell sitting at the door, it being darkish. I staid and talked a little with her, but no once baiser la, though she was to my thinking at this time une de plus pretty mohers that ever I did voir in my vida, and God forgive me my mind did run sobre elle all the vespre and night and la day suivante. So home and to the office a little, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, where he tells me how he hath found his lady’s jewels again, which have been so long lost, and a servant imprisoned and arraigned, and they were in her closet under a china cup, where he hath servants will swear they did look in searching the house; but Mrs. Turner and I, and others, do believe that they were only disposed of by my Lady, in case she had died, to some friends of hers, and now laid there again. So home to supper, and to read the book I bought yesterday of the Turkish policy, which is a good book, well writ, and so owned by Dr. Clerke yesterday to me, commending it mightily to me for my reading as the only book of the subject that ever was writ, yet so designedly. So to bed.

Wednesday 10 April 1667

Up, and to my office a little, and then, in the garden, find Sir W. Pen; and he and I to Sir W. Batten, where he tells us news of the new disorders of Hogg and his men in taking out of 30 tons of wine out of a prize of ours, which makes us mad; and that, added to the unwillingness of the men to go longer abroad without money, do lead us to conclude not to keep her abroad any longer, of which I am very glad, for I do not like our doings with what we have already got, Sir W. Batten ordering the disposal of our wines and goods, and he leaves it to Morrice the cooper, who I take to be a cunning proud knave, so that I am very desirous to adventure no further. So away by water from the Old Swan to White Hall, and there to Sir W. Coventry’s, with whom I staid a great while longer than I have done these many months, and had opportunity of talking with him, and he do declare himself troubled that he hath any thing left him to do in the Navy, and would be glad to part with his whole profits and concernments in it, his pains and care being wholly ineffectual during this lack of money; the expense growing infinite, the service not to be done, and discipline and order not to be kept, only from want of money. I begun to discourse with him the business of Tangier, which by the removal of my Lord Bellasses, is now to have a new Governor; and did move him, that at this season all the business of reforming the garrison might be considered, while nobody was to be offended; and I told him it is plain that we do overspend our revenue: that the place is of no more profit to the King than it was the first day, nor in itself of better credit; no more people of condition willing to live there, nor any thing like a place likely to turn his Majesty to account: that it hath been hitherto, and, for aught I see, likely only to be used as a job to do a kindness to some Lord, or he that can get to be Governor. Sir W. Coventry agreed with me, so as to say, that unless the King hath the wealth of the Mogul, he would be a beggar to have his businesses ordered in the manner they now are: that his garrisons must be made places only of convenience to particular persons that he hath moved the Duke of York in it; and that it was resolved to send no Governor thither till there had been Commissioners sent to put the garrison in order, so as that he that goes may go with limitations and rules to follow, and not to do as he please, as the rest have hitherto done. That he is not afeard to speak his mind, though to the displeasure of any man; and that I know well enough; but that, when it is come, as it is now, that to speak the truth in behalf of the King plainly do no good, but all things bore down by other measures than by what is best for the King, he hath no temptation to be perpetually fighting of battles, it being more easy to him do those terms to suffer things to go on without giving any man offence, than to have the same thing done, and he contract the displeasure of all the world, as he must do, that will be for the King. I did offer him to draw up my thoughts in this matter to present to the Duke of York, which he approved of, and I do think to do it. So away, and by coach going home saw Sir G. Carteret going towards White Hall. So ‘light and by water met him, and with him to the King’s little chapel; and afterwards to see the King heal the King’s Evil, wherein no pleasure, I having seen it before; and then to see him and the Queene and Duke of York and his wife, at dinner in the Queene’s lodgings; and so with Sir G. Carteret to his lodgings to dinner; where very good company; and after dinner he and I to talk alone how things are managed, and to what ruin we must come if we have not a peace. He did tell me one occasion, how Sir Thomas Allen, which I took for a man of known courage and service on the King’s side, was tried for his life in Prince Rupert’s fleete, in the late times, for cowardice, and condemned to be hanged, and fled to Jersey; where Sir G. Carteret received him, not knowing the reason of his coming thither: and that thereupon Prince Rupert wrote to the Queen- Mother his dislike of Sir G. Carteret’s receiving a person that stood condemned; and so Sir G. Carteret was forced to bid him betake himself to some other place. This was strange to me. Our Commissioners are preparing to go to Bredah to the treaty, and do design to be going the next week. So away by coach home, where there should have been a meeting about Carcasse’s business, but only my Lord and I met, and so broke up, Carcasse having only read his answer to his charge, which is well writ, but I think will not prove to his advantage, for I believe him to be a very rogue. So home, and Balty and I to look Mr. Fenn at Sir G. Carteret’s office in Broad Streete, and there missing him and at the banker’s hard by, we home, and I down by water to Deptford Dockyard, and there did a little business, and so home back again all the way reading a little piece I lately bought, called “The Virtuoso, or the Stoicke,” proposing many things paradoxical to our common opinions, wherein in some places he speaks well, but generally is but a sorry man. So home and to my chamber to enter my two last days’ journall, and this, and then to supper and to bed. Blessed be God! I hear that my father is better and better, and will, I hope, live to enjoy some cheerful days more; but it is strange what he writes me, that Mr. Weaver, of Huntingdon, who was a lusty, likely, and but a youngish man, should be dead.

Thursday 11 April 1667

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and (which is now rare, he having not been with us twice I think these six months) Sir G. Carteret come to us upon some particular business of his office, and went away again. At noon I to the ‘Change, and there hear by Mr. Hublon of the loss of a little East Indiaman, valued at about 20,000l., coming home alone, and safe to within ten leagues of Scilly, and there snapt by a French Caper. Our merchants do much pray for peace; and he tells me that letters are come that the Dutch have stopped the fitting of their great ships, and the coming out of a fleete of theirs of 50 sayle, that was ready to come out; but I doubt the truth of it yet. Thence to Sir G. Carteret, by his invitation to his office, where my Lady was, and dined with him, and very merry and good people they are, when pleased, as any I know. After dinner I to the office, where busy till evening, and then with Balty to Sir G. Carteret’s office, and there with Mr. Fenn despatched the business of Balty’s 1500l. he received for the contingencies of the fleete, whereof he received about 253l. in pieces of eight at a goldsmith’s there hard by, which did puzzle me and him to tell; for I could not tell the difference by sight, only by bigness, and that is not always discernible, between a whole and half-piece and quarterpiece. Having received this money I home with Balty and it, and then abroad by coach with my wife and set her down at her father’s, and I to White Hall, thinking there to have seen the Duchess of Newcastle’s coming this night to Court, to make a visit to the Queene, the King having been with her yesterday, to make her a visit since her coming to town. The whole story of this lady is a romance, and all she do is romantick. Her footmen in velvet coats, and herself in an antique dress, as they say; and was the other day at her own play, “The Humourous Lovers;” the most ridiculous thing that ever was wrote, but yet she and her Lord mightily pleased with it; and she, at the end, made her respects to the players from her box, and did give them thanks. There is as much expectation of her coming to Court, that so people may come to see her, as if it were the Queen of Sheba [L&M say “Queen of Sweden”. P.G.]; but I lost my labour, for she did not come this night. So, meeting Mr. Brisband, he took me up to my Lady Jemimah’s chamber, who is let blood to-day, and so there we sat and talked an hour, I think, very merry and one odd thing or other, and so away, and I took up my wife at her tailor’s (whose wife is brought to bed, and my wife must be godmother), and so with much ado got a coach to carry us home, it being late, and so to my chamber, having little left to do at my office, my eyes being a little sore by reason of my reading a small printed book the other day after it was dark, and so to supper and to bed. It comes in my head to set down that there have been two fires in the City, as I am told for certain, and it is so, within this week.

Friday 12 April 1667

Up, and when ready, and to my office, to do a little business, and, coming homeward again, saw my door and hatch open, left so by Luce, our cookmayde, which so vexed me, that I did give her a kick in our entry, and offered a blow at her, and was seen doing so by Sir W. Pen’s footboy, which did vex me to the heart, because I know he will be telling their family of it; though I did put on presently a very pleasant face to the boy, and spoke kindly to him, as one without passion, so as it may be he might not think I was angry, but yet I was troubled at it. So away by water to White Hall, and there did our usual business before the Duke of York; but it fell out that, discoursing of matters of money, it rose to a mighty heat, very high words arising between Sir G. Carteret and [Sir] W. Coventry, the former in his passion saying that the other should have helped things if they were so bad; and the other answered, so he would, and things should have been better had he been Treasurer of the Navy. I was mightily troubled at this heat, and it will breed ill blood, I fear; but things are in that bad condition that I do daily expect when we shall all fly in one another’s faces, when we shall be reduced, every one, to answer for himself. We broke up; and I soon after to Sir G. Carteret’s chamber, where I find the poor man telling his lady privately, and she weeping. I went into them, and did seem, as indeed I was, troubled for this; and did give the best advice I could, which, I think, did please them: and they do apprehend me their friend, as indeed I am, for I do take the Vice-chamberlain for a most honest man. He did assure me that he was not, all expences and things paid, clear in estate 15,000l. better than he was when the King come in; and that the King and Lord Chancellor did know that he was worth, with the debt the King owed him, 50,000l., I think, he said, when the King come into England. I did pacify all I could, and then away by water home, there to write letters and things for the dispatch of Balty away this day to sea; and after dinner he did go, I having given him much good counsell; and I have great hopes that he will make good use of it, and be a good man, for I find him willing to take pains and very sober. He being gone, I close at my office all the afternoon getting off of hand my papers, which, by the late holidays and my laziness, were grown too many upon my hands, to my great trouble, and therefore at it as late as my eyes would give me leave, and then by water down to Redriffe, meaning to meet my wife, who is gone with Mercer, Barker, and the boy (it being most sweet weather) to walk, and I did meet with them, and walked back, and then by the time we got home it was dark, and we staid singing in the garden till supper was ready, and there with great pleasure. But I tried my girles Mercer and Barker singly one after another, a single song, “At dead low ebb,” etc., and I do clearly find that as to manner of singing the latter do much the better, the other thinking herself as I do myself above taking pains for a manner of singing, contenting ourselves with the judgment and goodness of eare. So to supper, and then parted and to bed.

Saturday 13 April 1667

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and strange how the false fellow Commissioner. Pett was eager to have had Carcasses business brought on to-day that he might give my Lord Bruncker (who hates him, I am sure, and hath spoke as much against him to the King in my hearing as any man) a cast of his office in pleading for his man Carcasse, but I did prevent its being brought on to-day, and so broke up, and I home to dinner, and after dinner with a little singing with some pleasure alone with my poor wife, and then to the office, where sat all the afternoon till late at night, and then home to supper and to bed, my eyes troubling me still after candle-light, which troubles me. Wrote to my father, who, I am glad to hear, is at some ease again, and I long to have him in town, that I may see what can be done for him here; for I would fain do all I can that I may have him live, and take pleasure in my doing well in the world. This afternoon come Mrs. Lowther to me to the office, and there je did toker ses mammailles and did baiser them and su bocca, which she took fort willingly …

Sunday 14 April 1667

(Lord’s day). Up, and to read a little in my new History of Turkey, and so with my wife to church, and then home, where is little Michell and my pretty Betty and also Mercer, and very merry. A good dinner of roast beef. After dinner I away to take water at the Tower, and thence to Westminster, where Mrs. Martin was not at home. So to White Hall, and there walked up and down, and among other things visited Sir G. Carteret, and much talk with him, who is discontented, as he hath reason, to see how things are like to come all to naught, and it is very much that this resolution of having of country Admirals should not come to his eares till I told him the other day, so that I doubt who manages things. From him to Margaret’s Church, and there spied Martin, and home with her … but fell out to see her expensefullness, having bought Turkey work, chairs, &c. By and by away home, and there took out my wife, and the two Mercers, and two of our mayds, Barker and Jane, and over the water to the Jamaica House, where I never was before, and there the girls did run for wagers over the bowling-green; and there, with much pleasure, spent little, and so home, and they home, and I to read with satisfaction in my book of Turkey, and so to bed.

Monday 15 April 1667

Lay long in bed, and by and by called up by Sir H. Cholmly, who tells me that my Lord Middleton is for certain chosen Governor of Tangier; a man of moderate understanding, not covetous, but a soldier of fortune, and poor. Here comes Mr. Sanchy with an impertinent business to me of a ticket, which I put off. But by and by comes Dr. Childe by appointment, and sat with me all the morning making me bases and inward parts to several songs that I desired of him, to my great content. Then dined, and then abroad by coach, and I set him down at Hatton Garden, and I to the King’s house by chance, where a new play: so full as I never saw it; I forced to stand all the while close to the very door till I took cold, and many people went away for want of room. The King, and Queene, and Duke of York and Duchesse there, and all the Court, and Sir W. Coventry. The play called “The Change of Crownes;” a play of Ned Howard’s, the best that ever I saw at that house, being a great play and serious; only Lacy did act the country-gentleman come up to Court, who do abuse the Court with all the imaginable wit and plainness about selling of places, and doing every thing for money. The play took very much. Thence I to my new bookseller’s, and there bought “Hooker’s Polity,” the new edition, and “Dugdale’s History of the Inns of Court,” of which there was but a few saved out of the fire, and Playford’s new Catch-book, that hath a great many new fooleries in it. Then home, a little at the office, and then to supper and to bed, mightily pleased with the new play.

Tuesday 16 April 1667

Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning, at noon home to dinner, and thence in haste to carry my wife to see the new play I saw yesterday, she not knowing it. But there, contrary to expectation, find “The Silent Woman.” However, in; and there Knipp come into the pit. I took her by me, and here we met with Mrs. Horsley, the pretty woman — an acquaintance of Mercer’s, whose house is burnt. Knipp tells me the King was so angry at the liberty taken by Lacy’s part to abuse him to his face, that he commanded they should act no more, till Moone went and got leave for them to act again, but not this play. The King mighty angry; and it was bitter indeed, but very true and witty. I never was more taken with a play than I am with this “Silent Woman,” as old as it is, and as often as I have seen it. There is more wit in it than goes to ten new plays. Thence with my wife and Knipp to Mrs. Pierce’s, and saw her closet again, and liked her picture. Thence took them all to the Cake- house, in Southampton Market-place, where Pierce told us the story how, in good earnest, [the King] is offended with the Duke of Richmond’s marrying, and Mrs. Stewart’s sending the King his jewels again. As she tells it, it is the noblest romance and example of a brave lady that ever I read in my life. Pretty to hear them talk of yesterday’s play, and I durst not own to my wife to have seen it. Thence home and to [Sir] W. Batten’s, where we have made a bargain for the ending of some of the trouble about some of our prizes for 1400l.. So home to look on my new books that I have lately bought, and then to supper and to bed.

Wednesday 17 April 1667

Up, and with the two Sir Williams by coach to the Duke of York, who is come to St. James’s, the first time we have attended him there this year. In our way, in Tower Street, we saw Desbrough walking on foot: who is now no more a prisoner, and looks well, and just as he used to do heretofore. When we come to the Duke of York’s I was spoke to by Mr. Bruncker on behalf of Carcasse. Thence by coach to Sir G. Carteret’s, in London, there to pass some accounts of his, and at it till dinner, and then to work again a little, and then go away, and my wife being sent for by me to the New Exchange I took her up, and there to the King’s playhouse (at the door met with W. Joyce in the street, who come to our coach side, but we in haste took no notice of him, for which I was sorry afterwards, though I love not the fellow, yet for his wife’s sake), and saw a piece of “Rollo,” a play I like not much, but much good acting in it: the house very empty. So away home, and I a little to the office, and then to Sir Robert Viner’s, and so back, and find my wife gone down by water to take a little ayre, and I to my chamber and there spent the night in reading my new book, “Origines Juridiciales,” which pleases me. So to supper and to bed.

Thursday 18 April 1667

Up, and to read more in the “Origines,” and then to the office, where the news is strong that not only the Dutch cannot set out a fleete this year, but that the French will not, and that he hath given the answer to the Dutch Embassador, saying that he is for the King of England’s, having an honourable peace, which, if true, is the best news we have had a good while. At the office all the morning, and there pleased with the little pretty Deptford woman I have wished for long, and she hath occasion given her to come again to me. After office I to the ‘Change a little, and then home and to dinner, and then by coach with my wife to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “The Wits,” a play I formerly loved, and is now corrected and enlarged: but, though I like the acting, yet I like not much in the play now. The Duke of York and [Sir] W. Coventry gone to Portsmouth, makes me thus to go to plays. So home, and to the office a little and then home, where I find Goodgroome, and he and I did sing several things over, and tried two or three grace parts in Playford’s new book, my wife pleasing me in singing her part of the things she knew, which is a comfort to my very heart. So he being gone we to supper and to bed.

Friday 19 April 1667

Up, and to the office all the morning, doing a great deal of business. At noon to dinner betimes, and then my wife and I by coach to the Duke’s house, calling at Lovett’s, where I find my Lady Castlemayne’s picture not yet done, which has lain so many months there, which vexes me, but I mean not to trouble them more after this is done. So to the playhouse, not much company come, which I impute to the heat of the weather, it being very hot. Here we saw “Macbeth,”1 which, though I have seen it often, yet is it one of the best plays for a stage, and variety of dancing and musique, that ever I saw. So being very much pleased, thence home by coach with young Goodyer and his own sister, who offered us to go in their coach. A good-natured youth I believe he is, but I fear will mind his pleasures too much. She is pretty, and a modest, brown girle. Set us down, so my wife and I into the garden, a fine moonshine evening, and there talking, and among other things she tells me that she finds by W. Hewer that my people do observe my minding my pleasure more than usual, which I confess, and am ashamed of, and so from this day take upon me to leave it till Whit-Sunday. While we were sitting in the garden comes Mrs. Turner to advise about her son, the Captain, when I did give her the best advice I could, to look out for some land employment for him, a peace being at hand, when few ships will be employed and very many, and these old Captains, to be provided for. Then to other talk, and among the rest about Sir W. Pen’s being to buy Wansted House of Sir Robert Brookes, but has put him off again, and left him the other day to pay for a dinner at a tavern, which she says our parishioner, Mrs. Hollworthy, talks of; and I dare be hanged if ever he could mean to buy that great house, that knows not how to furnish one that is not the tenth part so big. Thence I to my chamber to write a little, and then to bed, having got a mighty cold in my right eare and side of my throat, and in much trouble with it almost all the night.

  1. See November 5th, 1664. Downes wrote: “The Tragedy of Macbeth, alter’d by Sir William Davenant; being drest in all it’s finery, as new cloaths, new scenes, machines as flyings for the Witches; with all the singing and dancing in it. The first compos’d by Mr. Lock, the other by Mr. Channell and Mr. Joseph Preist; it being all excellently perform’d, being in the nature of an opera, it recompenc’d double the expence; it proves still a lasting play.”

Saturday 20 April 1667

Up, with much pain in my eare and palate. To the office out of humour all the morning. At noon dined, and with my wife to the King’s house, but there found the bill torn down and no play acted, and so being in the humour to see one, went to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “The Witts” again, which likes me better than it did the other day, having much wit in it. Here met with Mr. Rolt, who tells me the reason of no play to-day at the King’s house. That Lacy had been committed to the porter’s lodge for his acting his part in the late new play, and that being thence released he come to the King’s house, there met with Ned Howard, the poet of the play, who congratulated his release; upon which Lacy cursed him as that it was the fault of his nonsensical play that was the cause of his ill usage. Mr. Howard did give him some reply; to which Lacy [answered] him, that he was more a fool than a poet; upon which Howard did give him a blow on the face with his glove; on which Lacy, having a cane in his hand, did give him a blow over the pate. Here Rolt and others that discoursed of it in the pit this afternoon did wonder that Howard did not run him through, he being too mean a fellow to fight with. But Howard did not do any thing but complain to the King of it; so the whole house is silenced, and the gentry seem to rejoice much at it, the house being become too insolent. Here were many fine ladies this afternoon at this house as I have at any time seen, and so after the play home and there wrote to my father, and then to walk in the garden with my wife, resolving by the grace of God to see no more plays till Whitsuntide, I having now seen a play every day this week till I have neglected my business, and that I am ashamed of, being found so much absent; the Duke of York and Sir W. Coventry having been out of town at Portsmouth did the more embolden me thereto. So home, and having brought home with me from Fenchurch Street a hundred of sparrowgrass,1 cost 18d. We had them and a little bit of salmon, which my wife had a mind to, cost 3s. So to supper, and my pain being somewhat better in my throat, we to bed.

  1. A form once so commonly used for asparagus that it has found its way into dictionaries.

Sunday 21 April 1667

(Lord’s day). Up, and John, a hackney coachman whom of late I have much used, as being formerly Sir W. Pen’s coachman, coming to me by my direction to see whether I would use him to-day or no, I took him to our backgate to look upon the ground which is to be let there, where I have a mind to buy enough to build a coach-house and stable; for I have had it much in my thoughts lately that it is not too much for me now, in degree or cost, to keep a coach, but contrarily, that I am almost ashamed to be seen in a hackney, and therefore if I can have the conveniency, I will secure the ground at least till peace comes, that I do receive encouragement to keep a coach, or else that I may part with the ground again. The place I like very well, being close to my owne house, and so resolve to go about it, and so home and with my wife to church, and then to dinner, Mercer with us, with design to go to Hackney to church in the afternoon. So after dinner she and I sung “Suo Moro,” which is one of the best pieces of musique to my thinking that ever I did hear in my life; then took coach and to Hackney church, where very full, and found much difficulty to get pews, I offering the sexton money, and he could not help me. So my wife and Mercer ventured into a pew, and I into another. A knight and his lady very civil to me when they come, and the like to my wife in hers, being Sir G. Viner and his lady — rich in jewells, but most in beauty — almost the finest woman that ever I saw. That which we went chiefly to see was the young ladies of the schools,1 whereof there is great store, very pretty; and also the organ, which is handsome, and tunes the psalm, and plays with the people; which is mighty pretty, and makes me mighty earnest to have a pair at our church, I having almost a mind to give them a pair, if they would settle a maintenance on them for it. I am mightily taken with them. So, church done, we to coach and away to Kingsland and Islington, and there eat and drank at the Old House, and so back, it raining a little, which is mighty welcome, it having not rained in many weeks, so that they say it makes the fields just now mighty sweet. So with great pleasure home by night. Set down Mercer, and I to my chamber, and there read a great deal in Rycaut’s Turkey book with great pleasure, and so eat and to bed. My sore throat still troubling me, but not so much. This night I do come to full resolution of diligence for a good while, and I hope God will give me the grace and wisdom to perform it.

  1. Hackney was long famous for its boarding schools.

Monday 22 April 1667

Up pretty betimes, my throat better, and so drest me, and to White Hall to see Sir W. Coventry, returned from Portsmouth, whom I am almost ashamed to see for fear he should have been told how often I have been at plays, but it is better to see him at first than afterward. So walked to the Old Swan and drank at Michell’s, and then to White Hall and over the Park to St. James’s to [Sir] W. Coventry, where well received, and good discourse. He seems to be sure of a peace; that the King of France do not intend to set out a fleete, for that he do design Flanders. Our Embassadors set out this week. Thence I over the Park to Sir G. Carteret, and after him by coach to the Lord Chancellor’s house, the first time I have been therein; and it is very noble, and brave pictures of the ancient and present nobility, never saw better. Thence with him to London, mighty merry in the way. Thence home, and find the boy out of the house and office, and by and by comes in and hath been to Mercer’s. I did pay his coat for him. Then to my chamber, my wife comes home with linen she hath been buying of. I then to dinner, and then down the river to Greenwich, and the watermen would go no further. So I turned them off, giving them nothing, and walked to Woolwich; there did some business, and met with Captain Cocke and back with him. He tells me our peace is agreed on; we are not to assist the Spanyard against the French for this year, and no restitution, and we are likely to lose Poleroone.1 I know not whether this be true or no, but I am for peace on any terms. He tells me how the King was vexed the other day for having no paper laid him at the Council-table, as was usual; and Sir Richard Browne did tell his Majesty he would call the person whose work it was to provide it: who being come, did tell his Majesty that he was but a poor man, and was out 400l. or 500l. for it, which was as much as he is worth; and that he cannot provide it any longer without money, having not received a penny since the King’s coming in. So the King spoke to my Lord Chamberlain; and many such mementos the King do now-a-days meet withall, enough to make an ingenuous man mad. I to Deptford, and there scolded with a master for his ship’s not being gone, and so home to the office and did business till my eyes are sore again, and so home to sing, and then to bed, my eyes failing me mightily.

  1. Among the State Papers is a document dated July 8th, 1667, in which we read: “At Breda, the business is so far advanced that the English have relinquished their pretensions to the ships Henry Bonaventure and Good Hope. The matter sticks only at Poleron; the States have resolved not to part with it, though the English should have a right to it” (“Calendar,” 1667, p. 278).

Tuesday 23 April 1667

(St. George’s-day). The feast being kept at White Hall, out of design, as it is thought, to make the best countenance we can to the Swede’s Embassadors, before their leaving us to go to the treaty abroad, to shew some jollity. We sat at the office all the morning. Word is brought me that young Michell is come to call my wife to his wife’s labour, and she went, and I at the office full of expectation what to hear from poor Betty Michell. This morning much to do with Sir W. Warren, all whose applications now are to Lord Bruncker, and I am against him now, not professedly, but apparently in discourse, and will be. At noon home to dinner, where alone, and after dinner to my musique papers, and by and by comes in my wife, who gives me the good news that the midwife and she alone have delivered poor Betty of a pretty girl, which I am mighty glad of, and she in good condition, my wife as well as I mightily pleased with it. Then to the office to do things towards the post, and then my wife and I set down at her mother’s, and I up and down to do business, but did little; and so to Mrs. Martin’s, and there did hazer what I would con her, and then called my wife and to little Michell’s, where we saw the little child, which I like mightily, being I allow very pretty, and asked her how she did, being mighty glad of her doing well, and so home to the office, and then to my chamber, and so to bed.

Wednesday 24 April 1667

Up, and with [Sir] W. Pen to St. James’s, and there the Duke of York was preparing to go to some further ceremonies about the Garter, that he could give us no audience. Thence to Westminster Hall, the first day of the Term, and there joyed Mrs. Michell, who is mightily pleased with my wife’s work yesterday, and so away to my barber’s about my periwigg, and then to the Exchange, there to meet Fenn about some money to be borrowed of the office of the Ordnance to answer a great pinch. So home to dinner, and in the afternoon met by agreement (being put on it by Harry Bruncker’s frighting us into a despatch of Carcasse’s business) [Lord] Bruncker, T. Harvey, [Sir] J. Minnes, [Sir] W. Batten, and I (Sir W. Pen keeping out of the way still), where a great many high words from Bruncker, and as many from me and others to him, and to better purpose, for I think we have fortified ourselves to overthrow his man Carcasse, and to do no honour to him. We rose with little done but great heat, not to be reconciled I doubt, and I care not, for I will be on the right side, and that shall keep me: Thence by coach to Sir John Duncomb’s lodging in the Pell Mell,1 in order to the money spoken of in the morning; and there awhile sat and discoursed.: and I find him that he is a very proper man for business, being very resolute and proud, and industrious. He told me what reformation they had made in the office of the Ordnance, taking away Legg’s fees: and have got an order that no Treasurer after him shall ever sit at the Board; and it is a good one: that no master of the Ordnance here shall ever sell a place. He tells me they have not paid any increase of price for any thing during this war, but in most have paid less; and at this day have greater stores than they know where to lay, if there should be peace, and than ever was any time this war. That they pay every man in course, and have notice of the disposal of every farthing. Every man that they owe money to has his share of every sum they receive; never borrowed all this war but 30,000l. by the King’s express command, but do usually stay till their assignments become payable in their own course, which is the whole mystery, that they have had assignments for a fifth part of whatever was assigned to the Navy. They have power of putting out and in of all officers; are going upon a building that will cost them 12,000l.; that they out of their stock of tallies have been forced to help the Treasurer of the Navy at this great pinch. Then to talk of newes: that he thinks the want of money hath undone the King, for the Parliament will never give the King more money without calling all people to account, nor, as he believes, will ever make war again, but they will manage it themselves: unless, which I proposed, he would visibly become a severer inspector into his own business and accounts, and that would gain upon the Parliament yet: which he confesses and confirms as the only lift to set him upon his legs, but says that it is not in his nature ever to do. He says that he believes but four men (such as he could name) would do the business of both offices, his and ours, and if ever the war were to be again it should be so, he believes. He told me to my face that I was a very good clerk, and did understand the business and do it very well, and that he would never desire a better. He do believe that the Parliament, if ever they meet, will offer some alterations to the King, and will turn some of us out, and I protest I think he is in the right that either they or the King will be advised to some regulations, and therefore I ought to beware, as it is easy for me to keep myself up if I will. He thinks that much of our misfortune hath been for want of an active Lord Treasurer, and that such a man as Sir W. Coventry would do the business thoroughly. This talk being over, comes his boy and tells us [Sir] W. Coventry is come in, and so he and I to him, and there told the difficulty of getting this money, and they did play hard upon Sir G. Carteret as a man moped and stunned, not knowing which way to turn himself. Sir W. Coventry cried that he was disheartened, and I do think that there is much in it, but Sir J. Duncomb do charge him with mighty neglect in the pursuing of his business, and that he do not look after it himself, but leaves it to Fenn, so that I do perceive that they are resolved to scheme at bringing the business into a better way of execution, and I think it needs, that is the truth of it. So I away to Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings about this money, and contrary to expectation I find he hath prevailed with Legg on his own bond to lend him 2000l., which I am glad of, but, poor man, he little sees what observations people do make upon his management, and he is not a man fit to be told what one hears. Thence by water at 10 at night from Westminster Bridge, having kissed little Frank, and so to the Old Swan, and walked home by moonshine, and there to my chamber a while, and supper and to bed.

Thursday 25 April 1667

Received a writ from the Exchequer this morning of distrain for 70,000l., which troubled me, though it be but, matter of form. To the office, where sat all the morning. At noon my wife being to Unthanke’s christening, I to Sir W. Batten’s to dinner, where merry, and the rather because we are like to come to some good end in another of our prizes. Thence by coach to my Lord Treasurer’s, and there being come too soon to the New Exchange, but did nothing, and back again, and there found my Lord Bruncker and T. Harvy, and walked in a room very merrily discoursing. By and by comes my Lord Ashly and tells us my Lord Treasurer is ill and cannot speak with us now. Thence away, Sir W. Pen and I and Mr. Lewes, who come hither after us, and Mr. Gawden in the last man’s coach. Set me down by the Poultry, and I to Sir Robert Viner’s, and there had my account stated and took it home to review. So home to the office, and there late writing out something, having been a little at Sir W. Batten’s to talk, and there vexed to see them give order for Hogg’s further abroad, and so home and to bed.

Friday 26 April 1667

Up, and by coach with Sir W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen to White Hall, and there saw the Duke of Albemarle, who is not well, and do grow crazy. Thence I to St. James’s, to meet Sir G. Carteret, and did, and Lord Berkely, to get them (as we would have done the Duke of Albemarle) to the meeting of the Lords of Appeale in the business of one of our prizes. With them to the meeting of the Guinny Company, and there staid, and went with Lord Berkely. While I was waiting for him in the Matted Gallery, a young man was most finely working in Indian inke the great picture of the King and Queen sitting, by Van Dyke; and did it very finely. Thence to Westminster Hall to hear our cause, but [it] did not come before them to-day, so went down and walked below in the Hall, and there met with Ned Pickering, who tells me the ill newes of his nephew Gilbert, who is turned a very rogue, and then I took a turn with Mr. Evelyn, with whom I walked two hours, till almost one of the clock: talking of the badness of the Government, where nothing but wickedness, and wicked men and women command the King: that it is not in his nature to gainsay any thing that relates to his pleasures; that much of it arises from the sickliness of our Ministers of State, who cannot be about him as the idle companions are, and therefore he gives way to the young rogues; and then, from the negligence of the Clergy, that a Bishop shall never be seen about him, as the King of France hath always: that the King would fain have some of the same gang to be Lord Treasurer, which would be yet worse, for now some delays are put to the getting gifts of the King, as that whore my Lady Byron, who had been, as he called it, the King’s seventeenth whore abroad, did not leave him till she had got him to give her an order for 4000l. worth of plate to be made for her; but by delays, thanks be to God! she died before she had it. He tells me mighty stories of the King of France, how great a prince he is. He hath made a code to shorten the law; he hath put out all the ancient commanders of castles that were become hereditary; he hath made all the fryers subject to the bishops, which before were only subject to Rome, and so were hardly the King’s subjects, and that none shall become ‘religieux’ but at such an age, which he thinks will in a few, years ruin the Pope, and bring France into a patriarchate. He confirmed to me the business of the want of paper at the Council-table the other day, which I have observed; Wooly being to have found it, and did, being called, tell the King to his face the reason of it; and Mr. Evelyn tells me several of the menial servants of the Court lacking bread, that have not received a farthing wages since the King’s coming in. He tells me the King of France hath his mistresses, but laughs at the foolery of our King, that makes his bastards princes,1 and loses his revenue upon them, and makes his mistresses his masters and the King of France did never grant Lavalliere2 any thing to bestow on others, and gives a little subsistence, but no more, to his bastards. He told me the whole story of Mrs. Stewart’s going away from Court, he knowing her well; and believes her, up to her leaving the Court, to be as virtuous as any woman in the world: and told me, from a Lord that she told it to but yesterday, with her own mouth, and a sober man, that when the Duke of Richmond did make love to her, she did ask the King, and he did the like also; and that the King did not deny it, and [she] told this Lord that she was come to that pass as to resolve to have married any gentleman of 1500l. a-year that would have had her in honour; for it was come to that pass, that she could not longer continue at Court without prostituting herself to the King,3 whom she had so long kept off, though he had liberty more than any other had, or he ought to have, as to dalliance.4 She told this Lord that she had reflected upon the occasion she had given the world to think her a bad woman, and that she had no way but to marry and leave the Court, rather in this way of discontent than otherwise, that the world might see that she sought not any thing but her honour; and that she will never come to live at Court more than when she comes to town to come to kiss the Queene her Mistress’s hand: and hopes, though she hath little reason to hope, she can please her Lord so as to reclaim him, that they may yet live comfortably in the country on his estate. She told this Lord that all the jewells she ever had given her at Court, or any other presents, more than the King’s allowance of 700l. per annum out of the Privypurse for her clothes, were, at her first coming the King did give her a necklace of pearl of about 1100l. and afterwards, about seven months since, when the King had hopes to have obtained some courtesy of her, the King did give her some jewells, I have forgot what, and I think a pair of pendants. The Duke of York, being once her Valentine, did give her a jewell of about 800l.; and my Lord Mandeville, her Valentine this year, a ring of about 300l.; and the King of France would have had her mother, who, he says, is one of the most cunning women in the world, to have let her stay in France, saying that he loved her not as a mistress, but as one that he could marry as well as any lady in France; and that, if she might stay, for the honour of his Court he would take care she should not repent. But her mother, by command of the Queen-mother, thought rather to bring her into England; and the King of France did give her a jewell: so that Mr. Evelyn believes she may be worth in jewells about 6000l., and that that is all that she hath in the world: and a worthy woman; and in this hath done as great an act of honour as ever was done by woman. That now the Countesse Castlemayne do carry all before her: and among other arguments to prove Mrs. Stewart to have been honest to the last, he says that the King’s keeping in still with my Lady Castlemayne do show it; for he never was known to keep two mistresses in his life, and would never have kept to her had he prevailed any thing with Mrs. Stewart. She is gone yesterday with her Lord to Cobham. He did tell me of the ridiculous humour of our King and Knights of the Garter the other day, who, whereas heretofore their robes were only to be worn during their ceremonies and service, these, as proud of their coats, did wear them all day till night, and then rode into the Parke with them on. Nay, and he tells me he did see my Lord Oxford and the Duke of Monmouth in a hackney-coach with two footmen in the Parke, with their robes on; which is a most scandalous thing, so as all gravity may be said to be lost among us. By and by we discoursed of Sir Thomas Clifford, whom I took for a very rich and learned man, and of the great family of that name. He tells me he is only a man of about seven-score pounds a-year, of little learning more than the law of a justice of peace, which he knows well: a parson’s son, got to be burgess in a little borough in the West, and here fell into the acquaintance of my Lord Arlington, whose creature he is, and never from him; a man of virtue, and comely, and good parts enough; and hath come into his place with a great grace, though with a great skip over the heads of a great many, as Chichly and Duncum, and some Lords that did expect it. By the way, he tells me, that of all the great men of England there is none that endeavours more to raise those that he takes into favour than my Lord Arlington; and that, on that score, he is much more to be made one’s patron than my Lord Chancellor, who never did, nor never will do, any thing, but for money! After having this long discourse we parted, about one of the clock, and so away by water home, calling upon Michell, whose wife and girle are pretty well, and I home to dinner, and after dinner with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, there to attend the Duke of York before council, where we all met at his closet and did the little business we had, and here he did tell us how the King of France is intent upon his design against Flanders, and hath drawn up a remonstrance of the cause of the war, and appointed the 20th of the next month for his rendezvous, and himself to prepare for the campaign the 30th, so that this, we are in hopes, will keep him in employment. Turenne is to be his general. Here was Carcasses business unexpectedly moved by him, but what was done therein appears in my account of his case in writing by itself. Certain newes of the Dutch being abroad on our coast with twenty-four great ships. This done Sir W. Batten and I back again to London, and in the way met my Lady Newcastle going with her coaches and footmen all in velvet: herself, whom I never saw before, as I have heard her often described, for all the town-talk is now-a-days of her extravagancies, with her velvetcap, her hair about her ears; many black patches, because of pimples about her mouth; naked-necked, without any thing about it, and a black just-au-corps. She seemed to me a very comely woman: but I hope to see more of her on Mayday. My mind is mightily of late upon a coach. At home, to the office, where late spending all the evening upon entering in long hand our late passages with Carcasse for memory sake, and so home in great pain in my back by the uneasiness of Sir W. Batten’s coach driving hard this afternoon over the stones to prevent coming too late. So at night to supper in great pain, and to bed, where lay in great pain, not able to turn myself all night.

  1. Louis made his own bastards dukes and princes, and legitimatized them as much as he could, connecting them also by marriage with the real blood-royal. — B.
  2. Louise Francoise de la Baume le Blanc de la Valliere had four children by Louis XIV., of whom only two survived - Marie Anne Bourbon, called Mademoiselle de Blois, born in 1666, afterwards married to the Prince de Conti, and the Comte de Vermandois, born in 1667. In that year (the very year in which Evelyn was giving this account to Pepys), the Duchy of Vaujour and two baronies were created in favour of La Valliere, and her daughter, who, in the deed of creation, was legitimatized, and styled princess. — B.
  3. Even at a much later time Mrs. Godolphin well resolved “not to talk foolishly to men, more especially THE KING,”—” be sure never to talk to THE KING” (“Life,” by Evelyn). These expressions speak volumes as to Charles’s character. — B.
  4. Evelyn evidently believed the Duchess of Richmond to be innocent; and his testimony, coupled with her own declaration, ought to weigh down all the scandal which Pepys reports from other sources. — B.

Saturday 27 April 1667

Up with much pain, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, W. Hewer with us. This noon I got in some coals at 23s. per chaldron, a good hearing, I thank God-having not been put to buy a coal all this dear time, that during this war poor people have been forced to give 45s. and 50s., and 3l.. In the afternoon (my wife and people busy these late days, and will be for some time, making of shirts and smocks) to the office, where late, and then home, after letters, and so to supper and to bed, with much pleasure of mind, after having dispatched business. This afternoon I spent some time walking with Mr. Moore, in the garden, among other things discoursing of my Lord Sandwich’s family, which he tells me is in a very bad condition, for want of money and management, my Lord’s charging them with bills, and nobody, nor any thing provided to answer them. He did discourse of his hopes of being supplied with 1900l. against a present bill from me, but I took no notice of it, nor will do it. It seems Mr. Sheply doubts his accounts are ill kept, and every thing else in the family out of order, which I am grieved to hear of.

Sunday 28 April 1667

(Lord’s day). Lay long, my pain in my back being still great, though not so great as it was. However, up and to church, where a lazy sermon, and then home and to dinner, my wife and I alone and Barker. After dinner, by water — the day being mighty pleasant, and the tide serving finely, I up (reading in Boyle’s book of colours), as high as Barne Elmes, and there took one turn alone, and then back to Putney Church, where I saw the girls of the schools, few of which pretty; and there I come into a pew, and met with little James Pierce, which I was much pleased at, the little rogue being very glad to see me: his master, Reader to the Church. Here was a good sermon and much company, but I sleepy, and a little out of order, for my hat falling down through a hole underneath the pulpit, which, however, after sermon, by a stick, and the helpe of the clerke, I got up again, and then walked out of the church with the boy, and then left him, promising him to get him a play another time. And so by water, the tide being with me again, down to Deptford, and there I walked down the Yard, Shish and Cox with me, and discoursed about cleaning of the wet docke, and heard, which I had before, how, when the docke was made, a ship of near 500 tons was there found; a ship supposed of Queene Elizabeth’s time, and well wrought, with a great deal of stoneshot in her, of eighteen inches diameter, which was shot then in use: and afterwards meeting with Captain Perriman and Mr. Castle at Half- way Tree, they tell me of stoneshot of thirty-six inches diameter, which they shot out of mortarpieces. Thence walked to Half-way Tree, and there stopt and talk with Mr. Castle and Captain Perriman, and so to Redriffe and took boat again, and so home, and there to write down my Journall, and so to supper and to read, and so to bed, mightily pleased with my reading of Boyle’s book of colours to-day, only troubled that some part of it, indeed the greatest part, I am not able to understand for want of study. My wife this night troubled at my leaving her alone so much and keeping her within doors, which indeed I do not well nor wisely in.

Monday 29 April 1667

Up, being visited very early by Creed newly come from Hinchingbrooke, who went thither without my knowledge, and I believe only to save his being taxed by the Poll Bill. I did give him no very good countenance nor welcome, but took occasion to go forth and walked (he with me) to St. Dunstan’s, and thence I to Sir W. Coventry’s, where a good while with him, and I think he pretty kind, but that the nature of our present condition affords not matter for either of us to be pleased with any thing. We discoursed of Carcasse, whose Lord, he tells me, do make complaints that his clerk should be singled out, and my Lord Berkeley do take his part. So he advises we would sum up all we have against him and lay it before the Duke of York; he condemned my Lord Bruncker. Thence to Sir G. Carteret, and there talked a little while about office business, and thence by coach home, in several places paying my debts in order to my evening my accounts this month, and thence by and by to White Hall again to Sir G. Carteret to dinner, where very good company and discourse, and I think it my part to keep in there now more than ordinary because of the probability of my Lord’s coming soon home. Our Commissioners for the treaty set out this morning betimes down the river. Here I hear that the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of York’s son, is very sick; and my Lord Treasurer very bad of the stone, and hath been so some days. After dinner Sir G. Carteret and I alone in his closet an hour or more talking of my Lord Sandwich’s coming home, which, the peace being likely to be made here, he expects, both for my Lord’s sake and his own (whose interest he wants) it will be best for him to be at home, where he will be well received by the King; he is sure of his service well accepted, though the business of Spain do fall by this peace. He tells me my Lord Arlington hath done like a gentleman by him in all things. He says, if my Lord [Sandwich] were here, he were the fittest man to be Lord Treasurer of any man in England; and he thinks it might be compassed; for he confesses that the King’s matters do suffer through the inability of this man, who is likely to die, and he will propound him to the King. It will remove him from his place at sea, and the King will have a good place to bestow. He says to me, that he could wish, when my Lord comes, that he would think fit to forbear playing, as a thing below him, and which will lessen him, as it do my Lord St. Albans, in the King’s esteem: and as a great secret tells me that he hath made a match for my Lord Hinchingbroke to a daughter of my Lord Burlington’s, where there is a great alliance, 10,000l. portion; a civil family, and relation to my Lord Chancellor, whose son hath married one of the daughters; and that my Lord Chancellor do take it with very great kindness, so that he do hold himself obliged by it. My Lord Sandwich hath referred it to my Lord Crew, Sir G. Carteret, and Mr. Montagu, to end it. My Lord Hinchingbroke and the lady know nothing yet of it. It will, I think, be very happy. Very glad of this discourse, I away mightily pleased with the confidence I have in this family, and so away, took up my wife, who was at her mother’s, and so home, where I settled to my chamber about my accounts, both Tangier and private, and up at it till twelve at night, with good success, when news is brought me that there is a great fire in Southwarke: so we up to the leads, and then I and the boy down to the end of our, lane, and there saw it, it seeming pretty great, but nothing to the fire of London, that it made me think little of it. We could at that distance see an engine play — that is, the water go out, it being moonlight. By and by, it begun to slacken, and then I home and to bed.

Tuesday 30 April 1667

Up, and Mr. Madden come to speak with me, whom my people not knowing have made to wait long without doors, which vexed me. Then comes Sir John Winter to discourse with me about the forest of Deane, and then about my Lord Treasurer, and asking me whether, as he had heard, I had not been cut for the stone, I took him to my closet, and there shewed it to him, of which he took the dimensions and had some discourse of it, and I believe will shew my Lord Treasurer it. Thence to the office, where we sat all the morning, but little to do, and then to the ‘Change, where for certain I hear, and the News book declares, a peace between France and Portugal. Met here with Mr. Pierce, and he tells me the Duke of Cambridge is very ill and full of spots about his body, that Dr. Frazier knows not what to think of it. Then home and to dinner, and then to the office, where all the afternoon; we met about Sir W. Warren’s business and accounts, wherein I do rather oppose than forward him, but not in declared terms, for I will not be at, enmity with him, but I will not have him find any friendship so good as mine. By and by rose and by water to White Hall, and then called my wife at Unthanke’s. So home and to my chamber, to my accounts, and finished them to my heart’s wishes and admiration, they being grown very intricate, being let alone for two months, but I brought them together all naturally, within a few shillings, but to my sorrow the Poll money I paid this month and mourning have made me 80l. a worse man than at my last balance, so that I am worth now but 6700l., which is yet an infinite mercy to me, for which God make me thankful. So late to supper, with a glad heart for the evening of my accounts so well, and so to bed.