Friday 31 January 1667/68
Up; and by coach, with W. Griffin with me, and our Contract-books, to Durham Yard, to the Commissioners for Accounts; the first time I ever was there; and staid awhile before I was admitted to them. I did observe a great many people attending about complaints of seamen concerning tickets, and, among others, Mr. Carcasse, and Mr. Martin, my purser. And I observe a fellow, one Collins, is there, who is employed by these Commissioners particularly to hold an office in Bishopsgate Street, or somewhere thereabouts, to receive complaints of all people about tickets: and I believe he will have work enough. Presently I was called in, where I found the whole number of Commissioners, and was there received with great respect and kindness; and did give them great satisfaction, making it my endeavour to inform them what it was they were to expect from me, and what was the duty of other people; this being my only way to preserve myself, after all my pains and trouble. They did ask many questions, and demanded other books of me, which I did give them very ready and acceptable answers to; and, upon the whole, I observe they do go about their business like men resolved to go through with it, and in a very good method; like men of understanding. They have Mr. Jessop, their secretary: and it is pretty to see that they are fain to find out an old- fashioned man of Cromwell’s to do their business for them, as well as the Parliament to pitch upon such, for the most part, in the list of people that were brought into the House, for Commissioners. I went away, with giving and receiving great satisfaction; and so away to White Hall to the Commissioners of the Treasury; where, waiting some time, I there met with Colonel Birch; and he and I fell into discourse; and I did give him thanks for his kindness to me in the Parliament-house, both before my face and behind my back. He told me that he knew me to be a man of the old way for taking pains, and did always endeavour to do me right, and prevent any thing that was moved that might tend to my injury; which I was obliged to him for, and thanked him. Thence to talk of other things, and the want of money and he told me of the general want of money in the country; that land sold for nothing, and the many pennyworths he knows of lands and houses upon them, with good titles in his country, at 16 years’ purchase: “and,” says he, “though I am in debt, yet I have a mind to one thing, and that is a Bishop’s lease;” but said, “I will yet choose such a lease before any other, yes,” says he, plainly, “because I know they cannot stand, and then it will fall into the King’s hands, and I in possession shall have an advantage by it.” “And,” says he, “I know they must fall, and they are now near it, taking all the ways they can to undo themselves, and showing us the way;” and thereupon told the a story of the present quarrel between the Bishop and Deane of Coventry and Lichfield; the former of which did excommunicate the latter, and caused his excommunication to be read in the Church while he was there; and, after it was read, the Deane made the service be gone through with, though himself, an excommunicate, was present, which is contrary to the Canon, and said he would justify the quire therein against the Bishop; and so they are at law in the Arches about it; which is a very pretty story. He tells me that the King is for Toleration, though the Bishops be against it: and that he do not doubt but it will be carried in Parliament; but that he fears some will stand for the tolerating of Papists with the rest; and that he knows not what to say, but rather thinks that the sober party will be without it, rather than have it upon those terms; and I do believe so. Here we broke off, and I home to dinner, and after dinner set down my wife and Deb. at the ‘Change, and I to make a visit to Mr. Godolphin at his lodgings, who is lately come from Spain from my Lord Sandwich, and did, the other day, meeting me in White Hall, compliment me mightily, and so I did offer him this visit, but missed him, and so back and took up my wife and set her at Mrs. Turner’s, and I to my bookbinder’s, and there, till late at night, binding up my second part of my Tangier accounts, and I all the while observing his working, and his manner of gilding of books with great pleasure, and so home, and there busy late, and then to bed. This day Griffin did, in discourse in the coach, put me in the head of the little house by our garden, where old goodman Taylor puts his brooms and dirt, to make me a stable of, which I shall improve, so as, I think, to be able to get me a stable without much charge, which do please me mightily. He did also in discourse tell me that it is observed, and is true, in the late fire of London, that the fire burned just as many Parish-Churches as there were hours from the beginning to the end of the fire; and, next, that there were just as many Churches left standing as there were taverns left standing in the rest of the City that was not burned, being, I think he told me, thirteen in all of each: which is pretty to observe.