Friday 17 January 1667/68
Up, and by coach to White Hall to attend the Council there, and here I met first by Mr. Castle the shipwright, whom I met there, and then from the whole house the discourse of the duell yesterday between the Duke of Buckingham, Holmes, and one Jenkins, on one side, and my Lord of Shrewsbury, Sir John Talbot, and one Bernard Howard, on the other side: and all about my Lady Shrewsbury,1 who is a whore, and is at this time, and hath for a great while been, a whore to the Duke of Buckingham. And so her husband challenged him, and they met yesterday in a close near Barne-Elmes, and there fought: and my Lord Shrewsbury is run through the body, from the right breast through the shoulder: and Sir John Talbot all along up one of his armes; and Jenkins killed upon the place, and the rest all, in a little measure, wounded. This will make the world think that the King hath good councillors about him, when the Duke of Buckingham, the greatest man about him, is a fellow of no more sobriety than to fight about a whore. And this may prove a very bad accident to the Duke of Buckingham, but that my Lady Castlemayne do rule all at this time as much as ever she did, and she will, it is believed, keep all matters well with the Duke of Buckingham: though this is a time that the King will be very backward, I suppose, to appear in such a business. And it is pretty to hear how the King had some notice of this challenge a week or two ago, and did give it to my Lord Generall to confine the Duke, or take security that he should not do any such thing as fight: and the Generall trusted to the King that he, sending for him, would do it, and the King trusted to the Generall; and so, between both, as everything else of the greatest moment do, do fall between two stools. The whole House full of nothing but the talk of this business; and it is said that my Lord Shrewsbury’s case is to be feared, that he may die too; and that may make it much the worse for the Duke of Buckingham: and I shall not be much sorry for it, that we may have some sober man come in his room to assist in the Government. Here I waited till the Council rose, and talked the while, with Creed, who tells me of Mr. Harry Howard’s giving the Royal Society a piece of ground next to his house, to build a College on, which is a most generous act. And he tells me he is a very fine person, and understands and speaks well; and no rigid Papist neither, but one that would not have a Protestant servant leave his religion, which he was going to do, thinking to recommend himself to his master by it; saying that he had rather have an honest Protestant than a knavish Catholique. I was not called into the Council; and, therefore, home, first informing myself that my Lord Hinchingbroke hath been married this week to my Lord Burlington’s daughter; so that that great business is over; and I mighty glad of it, though I am not satisfied that I have not a Favour sent me, as I see Attorney Montagu and the Vice-Chamberlain have. But I am mighty glad that the thing is done. So home, and there alone with my wife and Deb. to dinner, and after dinner comes Betty Turner, and I carried them to the New Exchange, and thence I to White Hall and did a little business at the Treasury, and so called them there, and so home and to cards and supper, and her mother come and sat at cards with us till past 12 at night, and then broke up and to bed, after entering my journall, which made it one before I went to bed.