Sunday 1 December 1667

(Lord’s day). Up, and after entering my journal for 2 or 3 days, I to church, where Mr. Mills, a dull sermon: and in our pew there sat a great lady, which I afterwards understood to be my Lady Carlisle, that made her husband a cuckold in Scotland, a very fine woman indeed in person. After sermon home, where W. Hewer dined with us, and after dinner he and I all the afternoon to read over our office letters to see what matters can be got for our advantage or disadvantage therein. In the evening comes Mr. Pelling and the two men that were with him formerly, the little man that sings so good a base (Wallington) and another that understands well, one Pigott, and Betty Turner come and sat and supped with us, and we spent the evening mighty well in good musique, to my great content to see myself in condition to have these and entertain them for my own pleasure only. So they gone, we to bed.

Monday 2 December 1667

Up, and then abroad to Alderman Backewell’s (who was sick of a cold in bed), and then to the Excise Office, where I find Mr. Ball out of humour in expectation of being put out of his office by the change of the farm of the excise. There comes Sir H. Cholmly, and he and I to Westminster, and there walked up and down till noon, where all the business is that the Lords’ answer is come down to the Commons, that they are not satisfied in the Commons’ Reasons: and so the Commons are hot, and like to sit all day upon the business what to do herein, most thinking that they will remonstrate against the Lords. Thence to Lord Crew’s, and there dined with him; where, after dinner, he took me aside, and bewailed the condition of the nation, how the King and his brother are at a distance about this business of the Chancellor, and the two Houses differing.: and he do believe that there are so many about the King like to be concerned and troubled by the Parliament, that they will get him to dissolve or prorogue the Parliament; and the rather, for that the King is likely, by this good husbandry of the Treasury, to get out of debt, and the Parliament is likely to give no money. Among other things, my Lord Crew did tell me, with grief, that he hears that the King of late hath not dined nor supped with the Queen, as he used of late to do. After a little discourse, Mr. Caesar, he dining there, did give us some musique on his lute (Mr. John Crew being there) to my great content, and then away I, and Mr. Caesar followed me and told me that my boy Tom hath this day declared to him that he cared not for the French lute and would learn no more, which Caesar out of faithfulness tells me that I might not spend any more money on him in vain. I shall take the boy to task about it, though I am contented to save my money if the boy knows not what is good for himself. So thanked him, and indeed he is a very honest man I believe, and away home, there to get something ready for the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, and so took my wife and girle and set them at Unthanke’s, and I to White Hall, and there with the Commissioners of the Treasury, who I find in mighty good condition to go on in payment of the seamen off, and thence I to Westminster Hall, where I met with my cozen Roger and walked a good while with him; he tells me of the high vote of the Commons this afternoon, which I also heard at White Hall, that the proceedings of the Lords in the case of my Lord Clarendon are an obstruction to justice, and of ill precedent to future times. This makes every body wonder what will be the effect of it, most thinking that the King will try him by his own Commission. It seems they were mighty high to have remonstrated, but some said that was too great an appeale to the people. Roger is mighty full of fears of the consequence of it, and wishes the King would dissolve them. So we parted, and I bought some Scotch cakes at Wilkinson’s in King Street, and called my wife, and home, and there to supper, talk, and to bed. Supped upon these cakes, of which I have eat none since we lived at Westminster. This night our poor little dogg Fancy was in a strange fit, through age, of which she has had five or six.

Tuesday 3 December 1667

Up, by candlelight, the only time I think I have done so this winter, and a coach being got over night, I to Sir W. Coventry’s, the first time I have seen him at his new house since he come to lodge there. He tells me of the vote for none of the House to be of the Commission for the Bill of Accounts; which he thinks is so great a disappointment to Birch and others that expected to be of it, that he thinks, could it have been [fore]seen, there would not have been any Bill at all. We hope it will be the better for all that are to account; it being likely that the men, being few, and not of the House, will hear reason. The main business I went about was about. Gilsthrop, Sir W. Batten’s clerk; who, being upon his death-bed, and now dead, hath offered to make discoveries of the disorders of the Navy and of 65,000l. damage to the King: which made mighty noise in the Commons’ House; and members appointed to go to him, which they did; but nothing to the purpose got from him, but complaints of false musters, and ships being refitted with victuals and stores at Plymouth, after they come fitted from other ports; but all this to no purpose, nor more than we know, and will owne. But the best is, that this loggerhead should say this, that understands nothing of the Navy, nor ever would; and hath particularly blemished his master by name among us. I told Sir W. Coventry of my letter to Sir R. Brookes, and his answer to me. He advises me, in what I write to him, to be as short as I can, and obscure, saving in things fully plain; for all that he do is to make mischief; and that the greatest wisdom in dealing with the Parliament in the world is to say little, and let them get out what they can by force: which I shall observe. He declared to me much of his mind to be ruled by his own measures, and not to go so far as many would have him to the ruin of my Lord Chancellor, and for which they do endeavour to do what they can against [Sir] W. Coventry. “But,” says he, “I have done my do in helping to get him out of the administration of things, for which he is not fit; but for his life or estate I will have nothing to say to it: besides that, my duty to my master the Duke of York is such, that I will perish before I will do any thing to displease or disoblige him, where the very necessity of the kingdom do not in my judgment call me.” Thence I home and to the office, where my Lord Anglesey, and all the discourse was yesterday’s vote in the Commons, wherein he told us that, should the Lords yield to what the Commons would have in this matter, it were to make them worse than any justice of Peace (whereas they are the highest Court in the Kingdom) that they cannot be judges whether an offender be to be committed or bailed, which every justice of Peace do do, and then he showed me precedents plain in their defence. At noon home to dinner, and busy all the afternoon, and at night home, and there met W. Batelier, who tells me the first great news that my Lord Chancellor is fled this day. By and by to Sir W. Pen’s, where Sir R. Ford and he and I met, with Mr. Young and Lewes, about our accounts with my Lady Batten, which prove troublesome, and I doubt will prove to our loss. But here I hear the whole that my Lord Chancellor is gone, and left a paper behind him for the House of Lords, telling them the reason of him retiring, complaining of a design for his ruin. But the paper I must get: only the thing at present is great, and will put the King and Commons to some new counsels certainly. So home to supper and to bed. Sir W. Pen I find in much trouble this evening, having been called to the Committee this afternoon, about the business of prizes. Sir Richard Ford told us this evening an odd story of the basenesse of the late Lord Mayor, Sir W. Bolton, in cheating the poor of the City, out of the collections made for the people that were burned, of 1800l.; of which he can give no account, and in which he hath forsworn himself plainly, so as the Court of Aldermen have sequestered him from their Court till he do bring in an account, which is the greatest piece of roguery that they say was ever found in a Lord Mayor. He says also that this day hath been made appear to them that the Keeper of Newgate, at this day, hath made his house the only nursery of rogues, and whores, and pickpockets, and thieves in the world; where they were bred and entertained, and the whole society met: and that, for the sake of the Sheriffes, they durst not this day committ him, for fear of making him let out the prisoners, but are fain to go by artifice to deal with him. He tells me, also, speaking of the new street that is to be made from Guild Hall down to Cheapside, that the ground is already, most of it, bought. And tells me of one particular, of a man that hath a piece of ground lieing in the very middle of the street that must be; which, when the street is cut out of it, there will remain ground enough, of each side, to build a house to front the street. He demanded 700l. for the ground, and to be excused paying any thing for the melioration of the rest of his ground that he was to keep. The Court consented to give him 700l., only not to abate him the consideration: which the man denied; but told them, and so they agreed, that he would excuse the City the 700l., that he might have the benefit of the melioration without paying any thing for it. So much some will get by having the City burned! But he told me that in other cases ground, by this means, that was not 4d. a-foot before, will now, when houses are built, be worth 15s. a-foot. But he tells me that the common standard now reckoned on between man and man, in places where there is no alteration of circumstances, but only the houses burnt, there the ground, which, with a house on it, did yield 100l. a-year, is now reputed worth 33l. 6s. 8d.; and that this is the common market-price between one man and another, made upon a good and moderate medium.

Wednesday 4 December 1667

At the office all the morning. At noon to dinner, and presently with my wife abroad, whom and her girle I leave at Unthanke’s, and so to White Hall in expectation of waiting on the Duke of York to-day, but was prevented therein, only at Mr. Wren’s chamber there I hear that the House of Lords did send down the paper which my Lord Chancellor left behind him, directed to the Lords, to be seditious and scandalous; and the Commons have voted that it be burned by the hands of the hangman, and that the King be desired to agree to it. I do hear, also, that they have desired the King to use means to stop his escape out of the nation. Here I also heard Mr. Jermin, who was there in the chamber upon occasion of Sir Thomas Harvy’s telling him of his brother’s having a child, and thereby taking away his hopes (that is, Mr. Jermin’s) of 2000l. a year. He swore, God damn him, he did not desire to have any more wealth than he had in the world, which indeed is a great estate, having all his uncle’s, my Lord St. Alban’s, and my Lord hath all the Queen-Mother’s. But when Sir Thos. Harvy told him that “hereafter you will wish it more;” — “By God,” answers he, “I won’t promise what I shall do hereafter.” Thence into the House, and there spied a pretty woman with spots on her face, well clad, who was enquiring for the guard chamber; I followed her, and there she went up, and turned into the turning towards the chapel, and I after her, and upon the stairs there met her coming up again, and there kissed her twice, and her business was to enquire for Sir Edward Bishop, one of the serjeants at armes. I believe she was a woman of pleasure, but was shy enough to me, and so I saw her go out afterwards, and I took a hackney coach, and away. I to Westminster Hall, and there walked, and thence towards White Hall by coach, and spying Mrs. Burroughs in a shop did stop and ‘light and speak to her; and so to White Hall, where I ‘light and went and met her coming towards White Hall, but was upon business, and I could not get her to go any whither and so parted, and I home with my wife and girle (my wife not being very well, of a great looseness day and night for these two days). So home, my wife to read to me in Sir R. Cotton’s book of warr, which is excellent reading, and particularly I was mightily pleased this night in what we read about the little profit or honour this kingdom ever gained by the greatest of its conquests abroad in France. This evening come Mr. Mills and sat with us a while, who is mighty kind and good company, and so, he gone, I to supper and to bed. My wife an unquiet night. This day Gilsthrop is buried, who hath made all the late discourse of the great discovery of 65,000l., of which the King bath been wronged.

Thursday 5 December 1667

At the office all the morning, do hear that Will Pen, Sir W. Pen’s son, is come from Ireland, but I have not seen him yet. At noon to the ‘Change, where did little, but so home again and to dinner with my clerks with me, and very good discourse and company they give me, and so to the office all the afternoon till late, and so home to supper and to bed. This day, not for want, but for good husbandry, I sent my father, by his desire, six pair of my old shoes, which fit him, and are good; yet, methought, it was a thing against my mind to have him wear my old things.

Friday 6 December 1667

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes to the Duke of York, the first time that I have seen him, or we waited on him, since his sickness; and, blessed be God! he is not at all the worse for the smallpox, but is only a little weak yet. We did much business with him, and so parted. My Lord Anglesey told me how my Lord Northampton brought in a Bill into the House of Lords yesterday, under the name of a Bill for the Honour and Privilege of the House, and Mercy to my Lord Clarendon: which, he told me, he opposed, saying that he was a man accused of treason by the House of Commons; and mercy was not proper for him, having not been tried yet, and so no mercy needful for him. However, the Duke of Buckingham and others did desire that the Bill might be read; and it, was for banishing my Lord Clarendon from all his Majesty’s dominions, and that it should be treason to have him found in any of them: the thing is only a thing of vanity, and to insult over him, which is mighty poor I think, and so do every body else, and ended in nothing, I think. By and by home with Sir J. Minnes, who tells me that my Lord Clarendon did go away in a Custom-house boat, and is now at Callis (Calais): and, I confess, nothing seems to hang more heavy than his leaving of this unfortunate paper behind him, that hath angered both Houses, and hath, I think, reconciled them in that which otherwise would have broke them in pieces; so that I do hence, and from Sir W. Coventry’s late example and doctrine to me, learn that on these sorts of occasions there is nothing like silence; it being seldom any wrong to a man to say nothing, but, for the most part, it is to say anything. This day, in coming home, Sir J. Minnes told me a pretty story of Sir Lewes Dives, whom I saw this morning speaking with him, that having escaped once out of prison through a house of office, and another time in woman’s apparel, and leaping over a broad canal, a soldier swore, says he, this is a strange jade … He told me also a story of my Lord Cottington, who, wanting a son, intended to make his nephew his heir, a country boy; but did alter his mind upon the boy’s being persuaded by another young heir, in roguery, to crow like a cock at my Lord’s table, much company being there, and the boy having a great trick at doing that perfectly. My Lord bade them take away that fool from the table, and so gave over the thoughts of making him his heir, from this piece of folly. So home, and there to dinner, and after dinner abroad with my wife and girle, set them down at Unthanke’s, and I to White Hall to the Council chamber, where I was summoned about the business of paying of the seamen, where I heard my Lord Anglesey put to it by Sir W. Coventry before the King for altering the course set by the Council; which he like a wise man did answer in few words, that he had already sent to alter it according to the Council’s method, and so stopped it, whereas many words would have set the Commissioners of the Treasury on fire, who, I perceive, were prepared for it. Here I heard Mr. Gawden speak to the King and Council upon some business of his before them, but did it so well, in so good words and to the purpose, that I could never have expected from a man of no greater learning. So went away, and in the Lobby met Mr. Sawyer, my old chamber fellow, and stayed and had an hour’s discourse of old things with him, and I perceive he do very well in the world, and is married he tells me and hath a child. Then home and to the office, where Captain Cocke come to me; and, among other discourse, tells me that he is told that an impeachment against Sir W. Coventry will be brought in very soon. He tells me, that even those that are against my Lord Chancellor and the Court, in the House, do not trust nor agree one with another. He tells me that my Lord Chancellor went away about ten at night, on Saturday last; and took boat at Westminster, and thence by a vessel to Callis, where he believes he now is: and that the Duke of York and Mr. Wren knew of it, and that himself did know of it on Sunday morning: that on Sunday his coach, and people about it, went to Twittenham, and the world thought that he had been there: that nothing but this unhappy paper hath undone him and that he doubts that this paper hath lost him everywhere that his withdrawing do reconcile things so far as, he thinks the heat of their fury will be over, and that all will be made well between the two [royal] brothers: that Holland do endeavour to persuade the King of France to break peace with us: that the Dutch will, without doubt, have sixty sail of ships out the next year; so knows not what will become of us, but hopes the Parliament will find money for us to have a fleete. He gone, I home, and there my wife made an end to me of Sir R. Cotton’s discourse of warr, which is indeed a very fine book. So to supper and to bed. Captain Cocke did this night tell me also, among other discourses, that he did believe that there are jealousies in some of the House at this day against the Commissioners of the Treasury, that by their good husbandry they will bring the King to be out of debt and to save money, and so will not be in need of the Parliament, and then do what he please, which is a very good piece of news that there is such a thing to be hoped, which they would be afeard of.

Saturday 7 December 1667

All the morning at the office, and at noon home to dinner with my clerks, and while we were at dinner comes Willet’s aunt to see her and my wife; she is a very fine widow and pretty handsome, but extraordinary well carriaged and speaks very handsomely and with extraordinary understanding, so as I spent the whole afternoon in her company with my wife, she understanding all the things of note touching plays and fashions and Court and everything and speaks rarely, which pleases me mightily, and seems to love her niece very well, and was so glad (which was pretty odde) that since she came hither her breasts begin to swell, she being afeard before that she would have none, which was a pretty kind of content she gave herself. She tells us that Catelin is likely to be soon acted, which I am glad to hear, but it is at the King’s House. But the King’s House is at present and hath for some days been silenced upon some difference [between] Hart and Moone. She being gone I to the office, and there late doing business, and so home to supper and to bed. Only this evening I must remember that my Lady Batten sent for me, and it was to speak to me before her overseers about my bargain with Sir W. Batten about the prize, to which I would give no present answer, but am well enough contented that they begin the discourse of it, and so away to the office again, and then home to supper and to bed. Somebody told me this, that they hear that Thomson, with the wooden leg, and Wildman, the Fifth-Monarchy man, a great creature of the Duke of Buckingham’s, are in nomination to be Commissioners, among others, upon the Bill of Accounts.

Sunday 8 December 1667

(Lord’s day). All the morning at my chamber doing something towards the settling of my papers and accounts, which have been out of order a great while. At noon to dinner, where W. How with us, and after dinner, he being gone, I to my chamber again till almost night, and then took boat, the tide serving, and so to White Hall, where I saw the Duchesse of York, in a fine dress of second mourning for her mother, being black, edged with ermine, go to make her first visit to the Queene since the Duke of York was sick; and by and by, she being returned, the Queene come and visited her. But it was pretty to observe that Sir W. Coventry and I, walking an hour and more together in the Matted Gallery, he observed, and so did I, how the Duchesse, as soon as she spied him, turned her head a one side. Here he and I walked thus long, which we have not done a great while before. Our discourse was upon everything: the unhappiness of having our matters examined by people that understand them not; that it was better for us in the Navy to have men that do understand the whole, and that are not passionate; that we that have taken the most pains are called upon to answer for all crimes, while those that, like Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, did sit and do nothing, do lie still without any trouble; that, if it were to serve the King and kingdom again in a war, neither of us could do more, though upon this experience we might do better than we did; that the commanders, the gentlemen that could never be brought to order, but undid all, are now the men that find fault and abuse others; that it had been much better for the King to have given Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten 1000l. a-year to have sat still, than to have had them in his business this war: that the serving a Prince that minds not his business is most unhappy for them that serve him well, and an unhappiness so great that he declares he will never have more to do with a war, under him. That he hath papers which do flatly contradict the Duke of Albemarle’s Narrative; and that he hath been with the Duke of Albemarle and shewed him them, to prevent his falling into another like fault: that the Duke of Albemarle seems to be able to answer them; but he thinks that the Duke of Albemarle and the Prince are contented to let their Narratives sleep, they being not only contradictory in some things (as he observed about the business of the Duke of Albemarle’s being to follow the Prince upon dividing the fleete, in case the enemy come out), but neither of them to be maintained in others. That the business the other night of my Lord Anglesey at the Council was happily got over for my Lord, by his dexterous silencing it, and the rest, not urging it further; forasmuch as, had the Duke of Buckingham come in time enough, and had got it by the end, he, would have toused him in it; Sir W. Coventry telling me that my Lord Anglesey did, with such impudence, maintain the quarrel against the Commons and some of the Lords, in the business of my Lord Clarendon, that he believes there are enough would be glad but of this occasion to be revenged of him. He tells me that he hears some of the Thomsons are like to be of the Commission for the Accounts, and Wildman, which he much wonders at, as having been a false fellow to every body, and in prison most of the time since the King’s coming in. But he do tell me that the House is in such a condition that nobody can tell what to make of them, and, he thinks, they were never in before; that every body leads, and nobody follows; and that he do now think that, since a great many are defeated in their expectation of being of the Commission, now they would put it into such hands as it shall get no credit from: for, if they do look to the bottom and see the King’s case, they think they are then bound to give the King money; whereas, they would be excused from that, and therefore endeavour to make this business of the Accounts to signify little. I spoke with him about my Lord Sandwich’s business, in which he is very friendly, and do say that the unhappy business of the prizes is it that hath brought all this trouble upon him, and the only thing that made any thing else mentioned, and it is true. So having discoursed with him, I spent some time with Sir Stephen Fox about the business of our adjusting the new method of the Excise between the Guards household and Tangier, the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury being now resolved to bring all their management into a course of payment by orders, and not by tallies, and I am glad of it, and so by water home late, and very dark, and when come home there I got my wife to read, and then come Captain Cocke to me; and there he tells me, to my great satisfaction, that Sir Robert Brookes did dine with him today; and that he told him, speaking of me, that he would make me the darling of the House of Commons, so much he is satisfied concerning me. And this Cocke did tell me that I might give him thanks for it; and I do think it may do me good, for he do happen to be held a considerable person, of a young man, both for sobriety and ability. Then to discourse of business of his own about some hemp of his that is come home to receive it into the King’s stores, and then parted, and by and by my wife and I to supper, she not being well, her flux being great upon her, and so to bed.

Monday 9 December 1667

All the morning busy at the office, doing very considerable business, and thither comes Sir G. Carteret to talk with me; who seems to think himself safe as to his particular, but do doubt what will become of the whole kingdom, things being so broke in pieces. He tells me that the King himself did the other day very particularly tell the whole story of my Lord Sandwich’s not following the Dutch ships, with which he is charged; and shews the reasons of it to be the only good course he could have taken, and do discourse it very knowingly. This I am glad of, though, as the King is now, his favour, for aught I see, serves very little in stead at this day, but rather is an argument against a man; and the King do not concern himself to relieve or justify any body, but is wholly negligent of everybody’s concernment. This morning I was troubled with my Lord Hinchingbroke’s sending to borrow 200l. of me; but I did answer that I had none, nor could borrow any; for I am resolved I will not be undone for any body, though I would do much for my Lord Sandwich — for it is to answer a bill of exchange of his, and I perceive he hath made use of all other means in the world to do it, but I am resolved to serve him, but not ruin myself, as it may be to part with so much of the little I have by me to keep if I should by any turn of times lose the rest. At noon I to the ‘Change, and there did a little business, and among other things called at Cade’s, the stationer, where he tells me how my Lord Gerard is troubled for several things in the House of Commons, and in one wherein himself is concerned; and, it seems, this Lord is a very proud and wicked man, and the Parliament is likely to order him. Then home to dinner, and then a little abroad, thinking to have gone to the other end of the town, but it being almost night I would not, but home again, and there to my chamber, and all alone did there draw up my answer to Sir Rob. Brookes’s letter, and when I had done it went down to my clerks at the office for their opinion which at this time serves me to very good purpose, they having many things in their heads which I had not in the businesses of the office now in dispute. Having done with this, then I home and to supper very late, and to bed. My [wife] being yet very ill of her looseness, by which she is forced to lie from me to-night in the girl’s chamber.

Tuesday 10 December 1667

Up, and all the morning at the office, and then home with my people to dinner, and very merry, and then to my office again, where did much business till night, that my eyes begun to be sore, and then forced to leave off, and by coach set my wife at her tailor’s and Willet, and I to Westminster Hall, and there walked a good while till 8 at night, and there hear to my great content that the King did send a message to the House to-day that he would adjourne them on the 17th instant to February; by which time, at least, I shall have more respite to prepare things on my own behalf, and the Office, against their return. Here met Mr. Hinxton, the organist, walking, and I walked with him; and, asking him many questions, I do find that he can no more give an intelligible answer to a man that is not a great master in his art, than another man. And this confirms me that it is only want of an ingenious man that is master in musique, to bring musique to a certainty, and ease in composition. Having done this, I home, taking up my wife and girle, and there to supper and to bed, having finished my letters, among which one to Commissioner Middleton, who is now coming up to town from Portsmouth, to enter upon his Surveyorship.

Wednesday 11 December 1667

By coach to White Hall, and there attended the Duke of York, as we are wont, who is now grown pretty well, and goes up and down White Hall, and this night will be at the Council, which I am glad of. Thence to Westminster Hall, and there walked most of the morning, and among others did there meet my cozen Roger Pepys, who intends to go to Impington on this day s’ennight, the Parliament break up the night before. Here I met Rolt and Sir John Chichly, and Harris, the player, and there we talked of many things, and particularly of “Catiline,” which is to be suddenly acted at the King’s house; and there all agree that it cannot be well done at that house, there not being good actors enow: and Burt acts Cicero, which they all conclude he will not be able to do well. The King gives them 500l. for robes, there being, as they say, to be sixteen scarlett robes. Thence home to dinner, and would have had Harris home with me, but it was too late for him to get to the playhouse after it, and so home to dinner, and spent the afternoon talking with my wife and people at home till the evening, and then comes Sir W. Warren to talk about some business of his and mine: and he, I find, would have me not to think that the Parliament, in the mind they are in, and having so many good offices in their view to dispose of, will leave any of the King’s officers in, but will rout all, though I am likely to escape as well as any, if any can escape; and I think he is in the right, and I do look for it accordingly. Then we fell to discourse of my little vessel, “The Maybolt,” and he thinks that it will be best for me to employ her for a voyage to Newcastle for coles, they being now dear, and the voyage not long, nor dangerous yet; and I think I shall go near to do so. Then, talking of his business, I away to the office, where very busy, and thither comes Sir W. Pen, and he and I walked together in the garden, and there told me what passed to-day with him in the Committee, by my Lord Sandwich’s breaking bulk of the prizes; and he do seem to me that he hath left it pretty well understood by them, he saying that what my Lord did was done at the desire, and with the advice, of the chief officers of the fleete, and that it was no more than admirals heretofore have done in like cases, which, if it be true that he said it, is very well, and did please me well. He being gone, I to my office again and there late, and so weary home.

Thursday 12 December 1667

Rose before day, and took coach, by daylight, and to Westminster to Sir G. Downing’s, and there met Sir Stephen Fox, and thence he and I to Sir Robert Longs to discourse the business of our orders for money, he for the guards, and I for Tangier, and were a little angry in our concerns, one against the other, but yet parted good friends, and I think I got ground by it. Thence straight to the office, and there sat all the morning, and then home to dinner, and after dinner I all alone to the Duke of York’s house, and saw “The Tempest,” which, as often as I have seen it, I do like very well, and the house very full. But I could take little pleasure more than the play, for not being able to look about, for fear of being seen. Here only I saw a French lady in the pit, with a tunique, just like one of ours, only a handkercher about her neck; but this fashion for a woman did not look decent. Thence walked to my bookseller’s, and there he did give me a list of the twenty who were nominated for the Commission in Parliament for the Accounts: and it is strange that of the twenty the Parliament could not think fit to choose their nine, but were fain to add three that were not in the list of the twenty, they being many of them factious people and ringleaders in the late troubles; so that Sir John Talbott did fly out and was very hot in the business of Wildman’s being named, and took notice how he was entertained in the bosom of the Duke of Buckingham, a Privy-counsellor; and that it was fit to be observed by the House, and punished. The men that I know of the nine I like very well; that is, Mr. Pierrepont, Lord Brereton, and Sir William Turner; and I do think the rest are so, too; but such as will not be able to do this business as it ought to be, to do any good with. Here I did also see their votes against my Lord Chiefe Justice Keeling, that his proceedings were illegal, and that he was a contemner of Magna Charta (the great preserver of our lives, freedoms, and properties) and an introduction to arbitrary government; which is very high language, and of the same sound with that in the year 1640. I home, and there wrote my letters, and so to supper and to bed. This day my Lord Chancellor’s letter was burned at the ‘Change.

Friday 13 December 1667

Up, lying long all alone (my wife lying for these two or three days of sickness alone), thinking of my several businesses in hand, and then rose and to the office, being in some doubt of having my cozen Roger and Lord Hinchinbroke and Sir Thos. Crew by my cozens invitation at dinner to-day, and we wholly unprovided. So I away to Westminster, to the Parliament-door, to speak with Roger: and here I saw my Lord Keeling go into the House to the barr, to have his business heard by the whole House to-day; and a great crowd of people to stare upon him. Here I hear that the Lords’ Bill for banishing and disabling my Lord Clarendon from bearing any office, or being in the King’s dominions, and its being made felony for any to correspond with him but his own children, is brought to the Commons: but they will not agree to it, being not satisfied with that as sufficient, but will have a Bill of Attainder brought in against him: but they make use of this against the Lords, that they, that would not think there was cause enough to commit him without hearing, will have him banished without hearing. By and by comes out my cozen Roger to me, he being not willing to be in the House at the business of my Lord Keeling, lest he should be called upon to complain against him for his abusing him at Cambridge, very wrongfully and shamefully, but not to his reproach, but to the Chief justice’s in the end, when all the world cried shame upon him for it. So he with me home, and Creed, whom I took up by the way, going thither, and they to dine with me, and pretty merry, and among other pieces of news, it is now fresh that the King of Portugall is deposed, and his brother made King; and that my Lord Sandwich is gone from Madrid with great honour to Lisbon, to make up, at this juncture, a peace to the advantage, as the Spaniard would have it, of Spain. I wish it may be for my Lord’s honour, if it be so; but it seems my Lord is in mighty estimation in Spain. After dinner comes Mr. Moore, and he and I alone a while, he telling me my Lord Sandwich’s credit is like to be undone, if the bill of 200l. my Lord Hinchingbroke wrote to me about be not paid to-morrow, and that, if I do not help him about it, they have no way but to let it be protested. So, finding that Creed hath supplied them with 150l. in their straits, and that this is no bigger sum, I am very willing to serve my Lord, though not in this kind; but yet I will endeavour to get this done for them, and the rather because of some plate that was lodged the other day with me, by my Lady’s order, which may be in part of security for my money, as I may order it, for, for ought I see, there is no other to be hoped for. This do trouble me; but yet it is good luck that the sum is no bigger. He gone, I with my cozen Roger to Westminster Hall; and there we met the House rising: and they have voted my Lord Chief Justice Keeling’s proceedings illegal; but that, out of particular respect to him, and the mediation of a great many, they have resolved to proceed no further against him. After a turn or two with my cozen, I away with Sir W. Warren, who met me here by my desire, and to Exeter House, and there to counsel, to Sir William Turner, about the business of my bargain with my Lady Batten; and he do give me good advice, and that I am safe, but that there is a great many pretty considerations in it that makes it necessary for me to be silent yet for a while till we see whether the ship be safe or no; for she is drove to the coast of Holland, where she now is in the Texell, so that it is not prudence for me yet to resolve whether I will stand by the bargain or no, and so home, and Sir W. Warren and I walked upon Tower Hill by moonlight a great while, consulting business of the office and our present condition, which is but bad, it being most likely that the Parliament will change all hands, and so let them, so I may keep but what I have. Thence home, and there spent the evening at home with my wife and entering my journal, and so to supper and to bed, troubled with my parting with the 200l., which I must lend my Lord Sandwich to answer his bill of exchange.

Sunday 15 December 1667

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church, where I heard a German preach, in a tone hard to be understood, but yet an extraordinary good sermon, and wholly to my great content. So home, and there all alone with wife and girle to dinner, and then I busy at my chamber all the afternoon, and looking over my plate, which indeed is a very fine quantity, God knows, more than ever I expected to see of my own, and more than is fit for a man of no better quality than I am. In the evening comes Mrs. Turner to visit us, who hath been long sick, and she sat and supped with us, and after supper, her son Francke being there, now upon the point of his going to the East Indys, I did give him “Lex Mercatoria,” and my wife my old pair of tweezers, which are pretty, and my book an excellent one for him. Most of our talk was of the great discourse the world hath against my Lady Batten, for getting her husband to give her all, and disinherit his eldest son; though the truth is, the son, as they say, did play the knave with his father when time was, and the father no great matter better with him, nor with other people also. So she gone, we to bed.

Monday 16 December 1667

Up, and to several places, to pay what I owed. Among others, to my mercer, to pay for my fine camlott cloak, which costs me, the very stuff, almost 6l.; and also a velvet coat — the outside cost me above 8l.. And so to Westminster, where I find the House mighty busy upon a petition against my Lord Gerard, which lays heavy things to his charge, of his abusing the King in his Guards; and very hot the House is upon it. I away home to dinner alone with wife and girle, and so to the office, where mighty busy to my great content late, and then home to supper, talk with my wife, and to bed. It was doubtful to-day whether the House should be adjourned to-morrow or no.

Tuesday 17 December 1667

Up, and to the office, where very busy all the morning, and then in the afternoon I with Sir W. Pen and Sir T. Harvy to White Hall to attend the Duke of York, who is now as well as ever, and there we did our usual business with him, and so away home with Sir W. Pen, and there to the office, where pretty late doing business, my wife having been abroad all day with Mrs. Turner buying of one thing or other. This day I do hear at White Hall that the Duke of Monmouth is sick, and in danger of the smallpox. So home to supper and to bed.

Wednesday 18 December 1667

Up, and to my goldsmith’s in the morning, to look after the providing of 60l. for Mr. Moore, towards the answering of my Lord Sandwich’s bill of exchange, he being come to be contented with my lending him 60l. in part of it, which pleases me, I expecting to have been forced to answer the whole bill; and this, which I do do, I hope to secure out of the plate, which was delivered into my custody of my Lord’s the other day by Mr. Cooke, and which I did get Mr. Stokes, the goldsmith, last night to weigh at my house, and there is enough to secure 100l.. Thence home to the office, and there all the morning by particular appointment with Sir W. Pen, Sir R. Ford, and those that are concerned for my Lady Batten (Mr. Wood, Young, and Lewes), to even the accounts of our prize business, and at noon broke up, and to dinner, every man to his own home, and to it till late at night again, and we did come to some end, and I am mightily put to it how to order the business of my bargaine, but my industry is to keep it off from discourse till the ship be brought home safe, and this I did do, and so we broke up, she appearing in our debts about 1500l., and so we parted, and I to my business, and home to my wife, who is troubled with the tooth ake, and there however I got her to read to me the History of Algiers, which I find a very pretty book, and so to supper with much pleasure talking, and to bed. The Parliament not adjourned yet.

Thursday 19 December 1667

Up, and to the Office, where Commissioner Middleton first took place at the Board as Surveyor of the Navy; and indeed I think will be an excellent officer; I am sure much beyond what his predecessor was. At noon, to avoid being forced to invite him to dinner, it being his first day, and nobody inviting him, I did go to the ‘Change with Sir W. Pen in his coach, who first went to Guildhall, whither I went with him, he to speak with Sheriff Gawden — I only for company; and did here look up and down this place, where I have not been before since the fire; and I see that the city are got a pace on in the rebuilding of Guildhall. Thence to the ‘Change, where I stayed very little, and so home to dinner, and there find my wife mightily out of order with her teeth. At the office all the afternoon, and at night by coach to Westminster, to the Hall, where I met nobody, and do find that this evening the King by message (which he never did before) hath passed several bills, among others that for the Accounts, and for banishing my Lord Chancellor, and hath adjourned the House to February; at which I am glad, hoping in this time to get leisure to state my Tangier Accounts, and to prepare better for the Parliament’s enquiries. Here I hear how the House of Lords, with great severity, if not tyranny, have ordered poor Carr, who only erred in the manner of the presenting his petition against my Lord Gerard, it being first printed before it was presented; which was, it, seems, by Colonel Sands’s going into the country, into whose hands he had put it: the poor man is ordered to stand in the pillory two or three times, and his eares cut, and be imprisoned I know not how long. But it is believed that the Commons, when they meet, will not be well pleased with it; and they have no reason, I think. Having only heard this from Mrs. Michell, I away again home, and there to supper and to bed, my wife exceeding ill in her face with the tooth ake, and now her face has become mightily swelled that I am mightily troubled for it.

Friday 20 December 1667

Up, and all the morning at the office with Sir R. Ford and the same company as on Wednesday about my Lady Batten’s accounts. At noon home to dinner, where my poor wife in bed in mighty pain, her left cheek so swelled as that we feared it would break, and so were fain to send for Mr. Hollier, who come, and seems doubtful of the defluxions of humours that may spoil her face, if not timely cured. He laid a poultice to it and other directions, and so away, and I to the office, where on the same accounts very late, and did come pretty near a settlement. So at night to Sir W. Pen’s with Sir R. Ford, and there was Sir D. Gawden, and there we only talked of sundry things; and I have found of late, by discourse, that the present sort of government is looked upon as a sort of government that we never had yet — that is to say, a King and House of Commons against the House of Lords; for so indeed it is, though neither of the two first care a fig for one another, nor the third for them both, only the Bishops are afeard of losing ground, as I believe they will. So home to my poor wife, who is in mighty pain, and her face miserably swelled: so as I was frighted to see it, and I was forced to lie below in the great chamber, where I have not lain many a day, and having sat up with her, talking and reading and pitying her, I to bed.

Saturday 21 December 1667

At the office all the morning, and at noon home to dinner with my Clerks and Creed, who among other things all alone, after dinner, talking of the times, he tells me that the Nonconformists are mighty high, and their meetings frequented and connived at; and they do expect to have their day now soon; for my Lord of Buckingham is a declared friend to them, and even to the Quakers, who had very good words the other day from the King himself: and, what is more, the Archbishop of Canterbury is called no more to the Cabal, nor, by the way, Sir W. Coventry; which I am sorry for, the Cabal at present being, as he says, the King, and Duke of Buckingham, and Lord Keeper, the Duke of Albemarle, and Privy Seale. The Bishops, differing from the King in the late business in the House of Lords, having caused this and what is like to follow, for every body is encouraged nowadays to speak, and even to preach, as I have heard one of them, as bad things against them as ever in the year 1640; which is a strange change. He gone, I to the office, where busy till late at night, and then home to sit with my wife, who is a little better, and her cheek asswaged. I read to her out of “The History of Algiers,” which is mighty pretty reading, and did discourse alone about my sister Pall’s match, which is now on foot with one Jackson, another nephew of Mr. Phillips’s, to whom he hath left his estate.

Sunday 22 December 1667

(Lord’s day). Up, and my wife, poor wretch, still in pain, and then to dress myself and down to my chamber to settle some papers, and thither come to me Willet with an errand from her mistress, and this time I first did give her a little kiss, she being a very pretty humoured girle, and so one that I do love mightily. Thence to my office, and there did a little business, and so to church, where a dull sermon, and then home, and Cozen Kate Joyce come and dined with me and Mr. Holliard; but by chance I offering occasion to him to discourse of the Church of Rome, Lord! how he run on to discourse with the greatest vehemence and importunity in the world, as the only thing in the world that he is full of, and it was good sport to me to see him so earnest on so little occasion. She come to see us and to tell me that her husband is going to build his house again, and would borrow of me 300l., which I shall upon good security be willing to do, and so told her, being willing to have some money out of my hands upon good security. After dinner up to my wife again, who is in great pain still with her tooth, and there, they gone, I spent the most of the afternoon and night reading and talking to bear her company, and so to supper and to bed.

Monday 23 December 1667

Up before day, and by coach to Sir W. Coventry’s, and with him to White Hall, and there walked a great while with him in the garden till the Commissioners of the Treasury met, and there talked over many businesses, and particularly he tells me that by my desire he hath moved the Duke of York that Sir J. Minnes might be removed from the Navy, at least the Controller’s place, and his business put on my Lord Brouncker and Sir W. Pen; that the Committee for Accounts are good sober men, and such as he thinks we shall have fair play from; that he hopes that the kingdom will escape ruin in general, notwithstanding all our fears, and yet I find he do seem not very confident in it. So to the Commissioners of the Treasury, and there I had a dispute before them with Sir Stephen Fox about our orders for money, who is very angry, but I value it not. But, Lord! to see with what folly my Lord Albemarle do speak in this business would make a man wonder at the good fortune of such a fool. Thence meeting there with Creed, he and I to the Exchange, and there I saw Carr stand in the pillory for the business of my Lord Gerard, which is supposed will make a hot business in the House of Commons, when they shall come to sit again, the Lords having ordered this with great injustice, as all people think, his only fault being the printing his petition before, by accident, his petition be read in the House. Here walked up and down the Exchange with Creed, and then home to dinner, and there hear by Creed that the Bishops of Winchester and of Rochester, and the Dean of the Chapel, and some other great prelates, are suspended: and a cloud upon the Archbishop ever since the late business in the House of Lords; and I believe it will be a heavy blow to the Clergy. This noon I bought a sermon of Dr. Floyd’s, which Creed read a great part of to me and Mr. Hollier, who dined with me, but as well writ and as good, against the Church of Rome, as ever I read; but, Lord! how Hollier, poor man, was taken with it. They gone I to the office, and there very late with Mr. Willson and my people about the making of a new contract for the victualler, which do and will require a great deal of pains of me, and so to supper and to bed, my wife being pretty well all this day by reason of her imposthume being broke in her cheek into her mouth. This day, at the ‘Change, Creed shewed me Mr. Coleman, of whom my wife hath so good an opinion, and says that he is as very a rogue for women as any in the world; which did disquiet me, like a fool, and run in my mind a great while.

Tuesday 24 December 1667

Up, and all the morning at the office, and at noon with my clerks to dinner, and then to the office again, busy at the office till six at night, and then by coach to St. James’s, it being about six at night; my design being to see the ceremonys, this night being the eve of Christmas, at the Queen’s chapel. But it being not begun I to Westminster Hall, and there staid and walked, and then to the Swan, and there drank and talked, and did banter a little Frank, and so to White Hall, and sent my coach round, I through the Park to chapel, where I got in up almost to the rail, and with a great deal of patience staid from nine at night to two in the morning, in a very great crowd; and there expected, but found nothing extraordinary, there being nothing but a high masse. The Queen was there, and some ladies. But, Lord! what an odde thing it was for me to be in a crowd of people, here a footman, there a beggar, here a fine lady, there a zealous poor papist, and here a Protestant, two or three together, come to see the shew. I was afeard of my pocket being picked very much … Their musique very good indeed, but their service I confess too frivolous, that there can be no zeal go along with it, and I do find by them themselves that they do run over their beads with one hand, and point and play and talk and make signs with the other in the midst of their masse. But all things very rich and beautiful; and I see the papists have the wit, most of them, to bring cushions to kneel on, which I wanted, and was mightily troubled to kneel. All being done, and I sorry for my coming, missing of what I expected; which was, to have had a child born and dressed there, and a great deal of do: but we broke up, and nothing like it done: and there I left people receiving the Sacrament: and the Queen gone, and ladies; only my Lady Castlemayne, who looked prettily in her night-clothes, and so took my coach, which waited, and away through Covent Garden, to set down two gentlemen and a lady, who come thither to see also, and did make mighty mirth in their talk of the folly of this religion. And so I stopped, having set them down and drank some burnt wine at the Rose Tavern door, while the constables come, and two or three Bellmen went by, [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

Wednesday 25 December 1667

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] …it being a fine, light, moonshine morning, and so home round the city, and stopped and dropped money at five or six places, which I was the willinger to do, it being Christmas-day, and so home, and there find my wife in bed, and Jane and the maids making pyes, and so I to bed, and slept well, and rose about nine, and to church, and there heard a dull sermon of Mr. Mills, but a great many fine people at church; and so home. Wife and girl and I alone at dinner — a good Christmas dinner, and all the afternoon at home, my wife reading to me “The History of the Drummer of Mr. Mompesson,” which is a strange story of spies, and worth reading indeed. In the evening comes Mr. Pelling, and he sat and supped with us; and very good company, he reciting to us many copies of good verses of Dr. Wilde, who writ “Iter Boreale,” and so to bed, my boy being gone with W. Hewer and Mr. Hater to Mr. Gibson’s in the country to dinner and lie there all night.

Thursday 26 December 1667

Up and to Westminster, and there to the Swan, and by chance met Mr. Spicer and another ‘Chequer clerk, and there made them drink, and there talked of the credit the ‘Chequer is now come to and will in a little time, and so away homeward, and called at my bookseller’s, and there bought Mr. Harrington’s works, “Oceana,” &c., and two other books, which cost me 4l., and so home, and there eat a bit, and then with my wife to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Surprizall;” which did not please me to-day, the actors not pleasing me; and especially Nell’s acting of a serious part, which she spoils. Here met with Sir W. Pen, and sat by him, and home by coach with him, and there to my office a while, and then home to supper and to bed. I hear this day that Mrs. Stewart do at this day keep a great court at Somerset House, with her husband the Duke of Richmond, she being visited for her beauty’s sake by people, as the Queen is, at nights; and they say also that she is likely to go to Court again, and there put my Lady Castlemayne’s nose out of joynt. God knows that would make a great turn. This day I was invited to have gone to my cozen Mary Pepys’ burial, my uncle Thomas’ daughter, but could not.

Friday 27 December 1667

Up, and by water to White Hall, and there walked with Creed in the Matted gallery till by and by a Committee for Tangier met: the Duke of York there; and there I did discourse over to them their condition as to money, which they were all mightily, as I could desire, satisfied with, but the Duke of Albemarle, who takes the part of the Guards against us in our supplies of money, which is an odd consideration for a dull, heavy blockhead as he is, understanding no more of either than a goose: but the ability and integrity of Sir W. Coventry, in all the King’s concernments, I do and must admire. After the Committee up, I and Sir W. Coventry walked an hour in the gallery, talking over many businesses, and he tells me that there are so many things concur to make him and his Fellow Commissioners unable to go through the King’s work that he do despair of it, every body becoming an enemy to them in their retrenchments, and the King unstable, the debts great and the King’s present occasions for money great and many and pressing, the bankers broke and every body keeping in their money, while the times are doubtful what will stand. But he says had they come in two years ago they doubt not to have done what the King would by this time, or were the King in the condition as heretofore, when the Chancellor was great, to be able to have what sums of money they pleased of the Parliament, and then the ill administration was such that instead of making good use of this power and money he suffered all to go to ruin. But one such sum now would put all upon their legs, and now the King would have the Parliament give him money when they are in an ill humour and will not be willing to give any, nor are very able, and besides every body distrusts what they give the King will be lost; whereas six months hence, when they see that the King can live without them, and is become steady, and to manage what he has well, he doubts not but their doubts would be removed, and would be much more free as well as more able to give him money. He told me how some of his enemies at the Duke of York’s had got the Duke of York’s commission for the Commissioners of his estate changed, and he and Brouncker and Povy left out: that this they did do to disgrace and impose upon him at this time; but that he, though he values not the thing, did go and tell the Duke of York what he heard, and that he did not think that he had given him any reason to do this, out of his belief that he would not be as faithful and serviceable to him as the best of those that have got him put out. Whereupon the Duke of York did say that it arose only from his not knowing whether now he would have time to regard his affairs; and that, if he should, he would put him into the commission with his own hand, though the commission be passed. He answered that he had been faithful to him, and done him good service therein, so long as he could attend it; and if he had been able to have attended it more, he would not have enriched himself with such and such estates as my Lord Chancellor hath got, that did properly belong to his Royal Highness, as being forfeited to the King, and so by the King’s gift given to the Duke of York. Hereupon the Duke of York did call for the commission, and hath since put him in. This he tells me he did only to show his enemies that he is not so low as to be trod on by them, or the Duke hath any so bad opinion of him as they would think. Here we parted, and I with Sir H. Cholmly went and took a turn into the Park, and there talked of several things, and about Tangier particularly, and of his management of his business, and among other discourse about the method he will leave his accounts in if he should suddenly die, he says there is nothing but what is easily understood, but only a sum of 500l. which he has entered given to E. E. S., which in great confidence he do discover to me to be my Lord Sandwich, at the beginning of their contract for the Mole, and I suppose the rest did the like, which was 1500l., which would appear a very odd thing for my Lord to be a profiter by the getting of the contract made for them. But here it puts me into thoughts how I shall own my receiving of 200l. a year from him, but it is his gift, I never asked of him, and which he did to Mr. Povy, and so there is no great matter in it. Thence to other talk. He tells me that the business of getting the Duchess of Richmond to Court is broke off, the Duke not suffering it; and thereby great trouble is brought among the people that endeavoured it, and thought they had compassed it. And, Lord! to think that at this time the King should mind no other cares but these! He tells me that my Lord of Canterbury is a mighty stout man, and a man of a brave, high spirit, and cares not for this disfavour that he is under at Court, knowing that the King cannot take away his profits during his life, and therefore do not value it.1 Thence I home, and there to my office and wrote a letter to the Duke of York from myself about my clerks extraordinary, which I have employed this war, to prevent my being obliged to answer for what others do without any reason demand allowance for, and so by this means I will be accountable for none but my own, and they shall not have them but upon the same terms that I have, which is a profession that with these helps they will answer to their having performed their duties of their places. So to dinner, and then away by coach to the Temple, and then for speed by water thence to White Hall, and there to our usual attending the Duke of York, and did attend him, where among other things I did present and lodge my letter, and did speed in it as I could wish. Thence home with Sir W. Pen and Comm. Middleton by coach, and there home and to cards with my wife, W. Hewer, Mercer, and the girle, and mighty pleasant all the evening, and so to bed with my wife, which I have not done since her being ill for three weeks or thereabouts.

  1. This character of Archbishop Sheldon does not tally with the scandal that Pepys previously reported of him. Burnet has some passages of importance on this in his “Own Time,” Book II. He affirms that Charles’s final decision to throw over Clarendon was caused by the Chancellor’s favouring Mrs. Stewart’s marriage with the Duke of Richmond. The king had a conference with Sheldon on the removal of Clarendon, but could not convert the archbishop to his view. Lauderdale told Burnet that he had an account of the interview from the king. “The king and Sheldon had gone into such expostulations upon it that from that day forward Sheldon could never recover the king’s confidence.”

Saturday 28 December 1667

Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning, at noon home, and there to dinner with my clerks and Mr. Pelling, and had a very good dinner, among others a haunch of venison boiled, and merry we were, and I rose soon from dinner, and with my wife and girle to the King’s house, and there saw “The Mad Couple,” which is but an ordinary play; but only Nell’s and Hart’s mad parts are most excellently done, but especially hers: which makes it a miracle to me to think how ill she do any serious part, as, the other day, just like a fool or changeling; and, in a mad part, do beyond all imitation almost. [It pleased us mightily to see the natural affection of a poor woman, the mother of one of the children brought on the stage: the child crying, she by force got upon the stage, and took up her child and carried it away off of the stage from Hart.] Many fine faces here to-day. Thence home, and there to the office late, and then home to supper and to bed. I am told to-day, which troubles me, that great complaint is made upon the ‘Change, among our merchants, that the very Ostend little pickaroon men-of-war do offer violence to our merchant-men, and search them, beat our masters, and plunder them, upon pretence of carrying Frenchmen’s goods. Lord! what a condition are we come to, and that so soon after a war!

Sunday 29 December 1667

(Lord’s day). Up, and at my chamber all the day, both morning and afternoon (only a little at dinner with my wife alone), upon the settling of my Tangier accounts towards the evening of all reckonings now against the new year, and here I do see the great folly of letting things go long unevened, it being very hard for me and dangerous to state after things are gone out of memory, and much more would be so should I have died in this time and my accounts come to other hands, to understand which would never be. At night comes Mrs. Turner to see us; and there, among other talk, she tells me that Mr. William Pen, who is lately come over from Ireland, is a Quaker again, or some very melancholy thing; that he cares for no company, nor comes into any which is a pleasant thing, after his being abroad so long, and his father such a hypocritical rogue, and at this time an Atheist. She gone, I to my very great content do find my accounts to come very even and naturally, and so to supper and to bed.

Monday 30 December 1667

Up before day, and by coach to Westminster, and there first to Sir H. Cholmly, and there I did to my great content deliver him up his little several papers for sums of money paid him, and took his regular receipts upon his orders, wherein I am safe. Thence to White Hall, and there to visit Sir G. Carteret, and there was with him a great while, and my Lady and they seem in very good humour, but by and by Sir G. Carteret and I alone, and there we did talk of the ruinous condition we are in, the King being going to put out of the Council so many able men; such as my Lord Anglesey, Ashly, Hollis, Secretary Morrice (to bring in Mr. Trevor), and the Archbishop of Canterbury, and my Lord Bridgewater. He tells me that this is true, only the Duke of York do endeavour to hinder it, and the Duke of York himself did tell him so: that the King and the Duke of York do not in company disagree, but are friendly; but that there is a core in their hearts, he doubts, which is not to be easily removed; for these men do suffer only for their constancy to the Chancellor, or at least from the King’s ill-will against him: that they do now all they can to vilify the clergy, and do accuse Rochester [Dolben] … and so do raise scandals, all that is possible, against other of the Bishops. He do suggest that something is intended for the Duke of Monmouth, and it may be, against the Queene also: that we are in no manner sure against an invasion the next year: that the Duke of Buckingham do rule all now, and the Duke of York comes indeed to the Caball, but signifies little there. That this new faction do not endure, nor the King, Sir W. Coventry; but yet that he is so usefull that they cannot be without him; but that he is not now called to the Caball. That my Lord of Buckingham, Bristoll, and Arlington, do seem to agree in these things; but that they do not in their hearts trust one another, but do drive several ways, all of them. In short, he do bless himself that he is no more concerned in matters now; and the hopes he hath of being at liberty, when his accounts are over, to retire into the country. That he do give over the kingdom for wholly lost. So after some other little discourse, I away, meeting with Mr. Cooling. I with him by coach to the Wardrobe, where I never was since the fire in Hatton Garden, but did not ‘light: and he tells me he fears that my Lord Sandwich will suffer much by Mr. Townsend’s being untrue to him, he being now unable to give the Commissioners of the Treasury an account of his money received by many thousands of pounds, which I am troubled for. Thence to the Old Exchange together, he telling me that he believes there will be no such turning out of great men as is talked of, but that it is only to fright people, but I do fear there may be such a thing doing. He do mightily inveigh against the folly of the King to bring his matters to wrack thus, and that we must all be undone without help. I met with Cooling at the Temple-gate, after I had been at both my booksellers and there laid out several pounds in books now against the new year. From the ‘Change (where I met with Captain Cocke, who would have borrowed money of me, but I had the grace to deny him, he would have had 3 or 400l.) I with Cocke and Mr. Temple (whose wife was just now brought to bed of a boy, but he seems not to be at all taken with it, which is a strange consideration how others do rejoice to have a child born), to Sir G. Carteret’s, in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and there did dine together, there being there, among other company, Mr. Attorney Montagu, and his fine lady, a fine woman. After dinner, I did understand from my Lady Jemimah that her brother Hinchingbroke’s business was to be ended this day, as she thinks, towards his match, and they do talk here of their intent to buy themselves some new clothes against the wedding, which I am very glad of. After dinner I did even with Sir G. Carteret the accounts of the interest of the money which I did so long put out for him in Sir R. Viner’s hands, and by it I think I shall be a gainer about 28l., which is a very good reward for the little trouble I have had in it. Thence with Sir Philip Carteret to the King’s playhouse, there to see “Love’s Cruelty,” an old play, but which I have not seen before; and in the first act Orange Moll come to me, with one of our porters by my house, to tell me that Mrs. Pierce and Knepp did dine at my house to-day, and that I was desired to come home. So I went out presently, and by coach home, and they were just gone away so, after a very little stay with my wife, I took coach again, and to the King’s playhouse again, and come in the fourth act; and it proves to me a very silly play, and to everybody else, as far as I could judge. But the jest is, that here telling Moll how I had lost my journey, she told me that Mrs. Knepp was in the house, and so shews me to her, and I went to her, and sat out the play, and then with her to Mrs. Manuel’s, where Mrs. Pierce was, and her boy and girl; and here I did hear Mrs. Manuel and one of the Italians, her gallant, sing well. But yet I confess I am not delighted so much with it, as to admire it: for, not understanding the words, I lose the benefit of the vocalitys of the musick, and it proves only instrumental; and therefore was more pleased to hear Knepp sing two or three little English things that I understood, though the composition of the other, and performance, was very fine. Thence, after sitting and talking a pretty while, I took leave and left them there, and so to my bookseller’s, and paid for the books I had bought, and away home, where I told my wife where I had been. But she was as mad as a devil, and nothing but ill words between us all the evening while we sat at cardsW. Hewer and the girl by — even to gross ill words, which I was troubled for, but do see that I must use policy to keep her spirit down, and to give her no offence by my being with Knepp and Pierce, of which, though she will not own it, yet she is heartily jealous. At last it ended in few words and my silence (which for fear of growing higher between us I did forbear), and so to supper and to bed without one word one to another. This day I did carry money out, and paid several debts. Among others, my tailor, and shoemaker, and draper, Sir W. Turner, who begun to talk of the Commission of accounts, wherein he is one; but though they are the greatest people that ever were in the nation as to power, and like to be our judges, yet I did never speak one word to him of desiring favour, or bidding him joy in it, but did answer him to what he said, and do resolve to stand or fall by my silent preparing to answer whatever can be laid to me, and that will be my best proceeding, I think. This day I got a little rent in my new fine camlett cloak with the latch of Sir G. Carteret’s door; but it is darned up at my tailor’s, that it will be no great blemish to it; but it troubled me. I could not but observe that Sir Philip Carteret would fain have given me my going into a play; but yet, when he come to the door, he had no money to pay for himself, I having refused to accept of it for myself, but was fain; and I perceive he is known there, and do run upon the score for plays, which is a shame; but I perceive always he is in want of money.1 In the pit I met with Sir Ch. North, formerly Mr. North, who was with my Lord at sea; and he, of his own accord, was so silly as to tell me he is married; and for her quality (being a Lord’s daughter, my Lord Grey), and person, and beauty, and years, and estate, and disposition, he is the happiest man in the world. I am sure he is an ugly fellow; but a good scholar and sober gentleman; and heir to his father, now Lord North, the old Lord being dead.

  1. The practice of gallants attending the theatre without payment is illustrated by Mr. Lowe in his “Betterton,” from Shadwell’s “True Widow”:

    1st Doorkeeper. Pray, sir, pay me: my masters will make me pay it.

    3d Man. Impudent rascal, do you ask me for money? Take that, sirrah.

    2nd Doorkeeper. Will you pay me, sir?

    4th Man. No; I don’t intend to stay.

    2nd Doorkeeper. So you say every day, and see two or three acts for nothing.

Tuesday 31 December 1667

Up, without words to my wife, or few, and those not angry, and so to White Hall, and there waited a long time, while the Duke of York was with the King in the Caball, and there I and Creed stayed talking without, in the Vane-Room, and I perceive all people’s expectation is, what will be the issue of this great business of putting these great Lords out of the council and power, the quarrel, I perceive, being only their standing against the will of the King in the business of the Chancellor. Anon the Duke of York comes out, and then to a committee of Tangier, where my Lord Middleton did come to-day, and seems to me but a dull, heavy man; but he is a great soldier, and stout, and a needy Lord, which will still keep that poor garrison from ever coming to be worth anything to the King. Here, after a short meeting, we broke up, and I home to the office, where they are sitting, and so I to them, and having done our business rose, and I home to dinner with my people, and there dined with me my uncle Thomas, with a mourning hat-band on, for his daughter Mary, and here I and my people did discourse of the Act for the accounts, which do give the greatest power to these people, as they report that have read it (I having not yet read it, and indeed its nature is such as I have no mind to go about to read it, for fear of meeting matter in it to trouble me), that ever was given to any subjects, and too much also. After dinner with my wife and girl to Unthanke’s, and there left her, and I to Westminster, and there to Mrs. Martin’s, and did hazer con elle what I desired, and there did drink with her, and find fault with her husband’s wearing of too fine clothes, by which I perceive he will be a beggar, and so after a little talking I away and took up my wife again, and so home and to the office, where Captain Perryman did give me an account, walking in the garden, how the seamen of England are discouraged by want of money (or otherwise by being, as he says, but I think without cause, by their being underrated) so far as that he thinks the greatest part are gone abroad or going, and says that it is known that there are Irish in the town, up and down, that do labour to entice the seamen out of the nation by giving them 3l. in hand, and promise of 40s. per month, to go into the King of France’s service, which is a mighty shame, but yet I believe is true. I did advise with him about my little vessel, “The Maybolt,” which he says will be best for me to sell, though my employing her to Newcastle this winter, and the next spring, for coles, will be a gainful trade, but yet make me great trouble, but I will think of it, and so to my office, ended my letters, and so home to supper and to bed, good friends with my wife. Thus ends the year, with great happiness to myself and family as to health and good condition in the world, blessed be God for it! only with great trouble to my mind in reference to the publick, there being little hopes left but that the whole nation must in a very little time be lost, either by troubles at home, the Parliament being dissatisfied, and the King led into unsettled councils by some about him, himself considering little, and divisions growing between the King and Duke of York; or else by foreign invasion, to which we must submit if any, at this bad point of time, should come upon us, which the King of France is well able to do. These thoughts, and some cares upon me, concerning my standing in this Office when the Committee of Parliament shall come to examine our Navy matters, which they will now shortly do. I pray God they may do the kingdom service therein, as they will have sufficient opportunity of doing it!