Saturday 1 August 1668

All the morning at the office. After dinner my wife, and Deb., and I, to the King’s house again, coming too late yesterday to hear the prologue, and do like the play better now than before; and, indeed, there is a great deal of true wit in it,1 more than in the common sort of plays, and so home to my business, and at night to bed, my eyes making me sad.

  1. Alexander Pope definition of ‘True Wit’:

    Nature to advantage dress’d, What has oft’ been thought, But ne’r so well express’d.

    D.W.

Sunday 2 August 1668

(Lord’s day). Up and at home all the morning, hanging, and removing of some pictures, in my study and house. At noon Pelling dined with me. After dinner, I and Tom, my boy, by water up to Putney, and there heard a sermon, and many fine people in the church. Thence walked to Barne Elmes, and there, and going and coming, did make the boy read to me several things, being now-a-days unable to read myself anything, for above two lines together, but my eyes grow weary. Home about night, and so to supper and then to bed.

Monday 3 August 1668

Up, and by water to White Hall and St. James’s, where I did much business, and about noon meeting Dr. Gibbons, carried him to the Sun taverne, in King Street, and there made him, and some friends of his, drink; among others, Captain Silas Taylor, and here did get Gibbons to promise me some things for my flageolets. So to the Old Exchange, and then home to dinner, and so, Mercer dining with us, I took my wife and her and Deb. out to Unthanke’s, while I to White Hall to the Commissioners of the Treasury, and so back to them and took them out to Islington, where we met with W. Joyce and his wife and boy, and there eat and drank, and a great deal of his idle talk, and so we round by Hackney home, and so to sing a little in the garden, and then to bed.

Tuesday 4 August 1668

Up, and to my office a little, and then to White Hall about a Committee for Tangier at my Lord Arlington’s, where, by Creed’s being out of town, I have the trouble given me of drawing up answers to the complaints of the Turks of Algiers, and so I have all the papers put into my hand. Here till noon, and then back to the Office, where sat a little, and then to dinner, and presently to the office, where come to me my Lord Bellassis, Lieutenant-Colonell Fitzgerald, newly come from Tangier, and Sir Arthur Basset, and there I received their informations, and so, they being gone, I with my clerks and another of Lord Brouncker’s, Seddon, sat up till two in the morning, drawing up my answers and writing them fair, which did trouble me mightily to sit up so long, because of my eyes.

Wednesday 5 August 1668

So to bed about two o’clock, and then up about seven and to White Hall, where read over my report to Lord Arlington and Berkeley, and then afterward at the Council Board with great good liking, but, Lord! how it troubled my eyes, though I did not think I could have done it, but did do it, and was not very bad afterward. So home to dinner, and thence out to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw “The Guardian;” formerly the same, I find, that was called “Cutter of Coleman Street;” a silly play. And thence to Westminster Hall, where I met Fitzgerald; and with him to a tavern, to consider of the instructions for Sir Thomas Allen, against his going to Algiers; he and I being designed to go down to Portsmouth by the Council’s order, and by and by he and I went to the Duke of York, who orders me to go down to-morrow morning. So I away home, and there bespeak a coach; and so home and to bed, my wife being abroad with the Mercers walking in the fields, and upon the water.

Thursday 6 August 1668

Waked betimes, and my wife, at an hour’s warning, is resolved to go with me, which pleases me, her readiness. But, before ready, comes a letter from Fitzgerald, that he is seized upon last night by an order of the General’s by a file of musqueteers, and kept prisoner in his chamber. The Duke of York did tell me of it to-day: it is about a quarrel between. him and Witham, and they fear a challenge: so I to him, and sent my wife by the coach round to Lambeth. I lost my labour going to his lodgings, and he in bed: and, staying a great while for him, I at last grew impatient, and would stay no longer; but to St. James’s to Mr. Wren, to bid him “God be with you!” and so over the water to Fox Hall; and there my wife and Deb. come and took me up, and we away to Gilford, losing our way for three or four mile, about Cobham. At Gilford we dined; and, I shewed them the hospitall there of Bishop Abbot’s, and his tomb in the church, which, and the rest of the tombs there, are kept mighty clean and neat, with curtains before them. So to coach again, and got to Lippock, late over Hindhead, having an old man, a guide, in the coach with us; but got thither with great fear of being out of our way, it being ten at night. Here good, honest people; and after supper, to bed…

Friday 7 August 1668

Up, and to coach, and with a guide to Petersfield, where I find Sir Thomas Allen and Mr. Tippets come; the first about the business, the latter only in respect to me; as also Fitzgerald, who come post all last night, and newly arrived here. We four sat down presently to our business, and in an hour despatched all our talk; and did inform Sir Thomas Allen well in it, who, I perceive, in serious matters, is a serious man: and tells me he wishes all we are told be true, in our defence; for he finds by all, that the Turks have, to this day, been very civil to our merchant-men everywhere; and, if they would have broke with us, they never had such an opportunity over our rich merchant-men, as lately, coming out of the Streights. Then to dinner, and pretty merry: and here was Mr. Martin, the purser, and dined with us, and wrote some things for us. And so took coach again back; Fitzgerald with us, whom I was pleased with all the day, with his discourse of his observations abroad, as being a great soldier and of long standing abroad: and knows all things and persons abroad very well — I mean, the great soldiers of France, and Spain, and Germany; and talks very well. Come at night to Gilford, where the Red Lyon so full of people, and a wedding, that the master of the house did get us a lodging over the way, at a private house, his landlord’s, mighty neat and fine; and there supped and talked with the landlord and his wife: and so to bed with great content, only Fitzgerald lay at the Inne. So to bed.

Saturday 8 August 1668

Up, and I walked out, and met Uncle Wight, whom I sent to last night, and Mr. Wight coming to see us, and I walked with them back to see my aunt at Katherine Hill, and there walked up and down the hill and places, about: but a dull place, but good ayre, and the house dull. But here I saw my aunt, after many days not seeing her — I think, a year or two; and she walked with me to see my wife. And here, at the Red Lyon, we all dined together, and mighty merry, and then parted: and we home to Fox Hall, where Fitzgerald and I ‘light, and by water to White Hall, where the Duke of York being abroad, I by coach and met my wife, who went round, and after doing at the office a little, and finding all well at home, I to bed. I hear that Colbert, the French Ambassador, is come, and hath been at Court incognito. When he hath his audience, I know not.

Sunday 9 August 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and walked to Holborne, where got John Powell’s coach at the Black Swan, and he attended me at St. James’s, where waited on the Duke of York: and both by him and several of the Privy-Council, beyond expectation, I find that my going to Sir Thomas Allen was looked upon as a thing necessary: and I have got some advantage by it, among them. Thence to White Hall, and thence to visit Lord Brouncker, and back to White Hall, where saw the Queen and ladies; and so, with Mr. Slingsby, to Mrs. Williams’s, thinking to dine with Lord Brouncker there, but did not, having promised my wife to come home, though here I met Knepp, to my great content. So home; and, after dinner, I took my wife and Deb. round by Hackney, and up and down to take the ayre; and then home, and made visits to Mrs. Turner, and Mrs. Mercer, and Sir W. Pen, who is come from Epsom not well, and Sir J. Minnes, who is not well neither. And so home to supper, and to set my books a little right, and then to bed. This day Betty Michell come and dined with us, the first day after her lying in, whom I was glad to see.

Monday 10 August 1668

Up, and by water to White Hall, and thence to Sir W. Coventry, but he is gone out of town this morning, so thence to my Lord Arlington’s house, the first time I there since he come thither, at Goring House, a very fine, noble place; and there he received me in sight of several Lords with great respect. I did give him an account of my journey; and here, while I waited for him a little, my Lord Orrery took notice of me, and begun discourse of hangings, and of the improvement of shipping: I not thinking that he knew me, but did then discover it, with a mighty compliment of my abilities and ingenuity, which I am mighty proud of; and he do speak most excellently. Thence to Westminster Hall, and so by coach to the old Exchange, and there did several businesses, and so home to dinner, and then abroad to Duck Lane, where I saw my belle femme of the book vendor, but had no opportunity para hazer con her. So away to Cooper’s, where I spent all the afternoon with my wife and girl, seeing him-make an end of her picture, which he did to my great content, though not so great as, I confess, I expected, being not satisfied in the greatness of the resemblance, nor in the blue garment: but it is most certainly a most rare piece of work, as to the painting. He hath 30l. for his work — and the chrystal, and case, and gold case comes to 8l. 3s. 4d.; and which I sent him this night, that I might be out of debt. Thence my people home, and I to Westminster Hall about a little business, and so by water home [to] supper, and my wife to read a ridiculous book I bought today of the History of the Taylors’ Company, and all the while Deb. did comb my head, and I did toker her with my main para very great pleasure, and so to bed.

Tuesday 11 August 1668

Up, and by water to Sir W. Coventry to visit him, whom I find yet troubled at the Commissioners of Accounts, about this business of Sir W. Warren, which is a ridiculous thing, and can come to nothing but contempt, and thence to Westminster Hall, where the Parliament met enough to adjourne, which they did, to the 10th of November next, and so by water home to the office, and so to dinner, and thence at the Office all the afternoon till night, being mightily pleased with a little trial I have made of the use of a tube-spectacall of paper, tried with my right eye. This day I hear that, to the great joy of the Nonconformists, the time is out of the Act against them, so that they may meet: and they have declared that they will have a morning lecture1 up again, which is pretty strange; and they are connived at by the King every where, I hear, in City and country. So to visit W. Pen, who is yet ill, and then home, where W. Batelier and Mrs. Turner come and sat and supped with us, and so they gone we to bed. This afternoon my wife, and Mercer, and Deb., went with Pelling to see the gypsies at Lambeth, and have their fortunes told; but what they did, I did not enquire.

  1. During the troubled reign of Charles I., the House of Commons gave parishioners the right of appointing lecturers at the various churches without the consent of rector or vicar, and this naturally gave rise to many quarrels. In the early period of the war between the king and the parliament, a course of sermons or lectures was projected in aid of the parliamentary cause. These lectures, which were preached by eminent Presbyterian divines at seven o’clock on the Sunday mornings, were commenced in the church of St. Mary Magdalen in Milk Street, but were soon afterwards removed to St. Giles’s, Cripplegate. After the Restoration the lectures were collected in four volumes, and published under the title of the “Cripplegate Morning Exercises,” vol. i. in 1661; vol. ii. in 1674; vol. iii. in 1682; and vol. iv. in 1690. In addition there were two volumes which form a supplement to the work, viz., “The Morning Exercises methodized,” preached at St. Giles’s-in-the-Fields, edited by the Rev. Thomas Case in 1660, and the “Exercises against Popery,” preached in Southwark, and published in 1675 (see Demon’s “Records of St. Giles’s, Crinnlegate,” 1883, pp. 55-56).

Wednesday 12 August 1668

Up, and all the morning busy at my office. Thence to the Excise Office, and so to the Temple to take counsel about Major Nicholls’s business for the King. So to several places about business, and among others to Drumbleby’s about the mouths for my paper tubes, and so to the ‘Change and home. Met Captain Cocke, who tells me that he hears for certain the Duke of York will lose the authority of an Admiral, and be governed by a Committee: and all our Office changed; only they are in dispute whether I shall continue or no, which puts new thoughts in me, but I know not whether to be glad or sorry. Home to dinner, where Pelling dines with us, and brings some partridges, which is very good meat; and, after dinner, I, and wife, and Mercer, and Deb., to the Duke of York’s house, and saw “Mackbeth,” to our great content, and then home, where the women went to the making of my tubes, and I to the office, and then come Mrs. Turner and her husband to advise about their son, the Chaplain, who is turned out of his ship, a sorrow to them, which I am troubled for, and do give them the best advice I can, and so they gone we to bed.

Thursday 13 August 1668

Up, and Greeting comes, and there he and I tried some things of Mr. Locke’s for two flageolets, to my great content, and this day my wife begins again to learn of him; for I have a great mind for her to be able to play a part with me. Thence I to the Office, where all the afternoon [morning??], and then to dinner, where W. Howe dined with me, who tells me for certain that Creed is like to speed in his match with Mrs. Betty Pickering. Here dined with me also Mr. Hollier, who is mighty vain in his pretence to talk Latin. So to the Office again all the afternoon till night, very busy, and so with much content home, and made my wife sing and play on the flageolet to me till I slept with great pleasure in bed.

Friday 14 August 1668

Up, and by water to White Hall and St. James’s, and to see Sir W. Coventry, and discourse about business of our Office, telling him my trouble there, to see how things are ordered. I told him also what Cocke told me the other day, but he says there is not much in it, though he do know that this hath been in the eye of some persons to compass for the turning all things in the navy, and that it looks so like a popular thing as that he thinks something may be done in it, but whether so general or no, as I tell it him, he knows not. Thence to White Hall, and there wait at the Council-chamber door a good while, talking with one or other, and so home by water, though but for a little while, because I am to return to White Hall. At home I find Symson, putting up my new chimney-piece, in our great chamber, which is very fine, but will cost a great deal of money, but it is not flung away. So back to White Hall, and after the council up, I with Mr. Wren, by invitation, to Sir Stephen Fox’s to dinner, where the Cofferer and Sir Edward Savage; where many good stories of the antiquity and estates of many families at this day in Cheshire, and that part of the kingdom, more than what is on this side, near London. My Lady [Fox] dining with us; a very good lady, and a family governed so nobly and neatly as do me good to see it. Thence the Cofferer, Sir Stephen, and I to the Commissioners of the Treasury about business: and so I up to the Duke of York, who enquired for what I had promised him, about my observations of the miscarriages of our Office;1 and I told him he should have it next week, being glad he called for it; for I find he is concerned to do something, and to secure himself thereby, I believe: for the world is labouring to eclipse him, I doubt; I mean, the factious part of the Parliament. The Office met this afternoon as usual, and waited on him; where, among other things, he talked a great while of his intentions of going to Dover soon, to be sworn as Lord Warden, which is a matter of great ceremony and state, and so to the Temple with Mr. Wren, to the Attorney’s chamber, about business, but he abroad, and so I home, and there spent the evening talking with my wife and piping, and pleased with our chimney-piece, and so to bed.

  1. This refers to the letter on the affairs of the office which Pepys prepared, and respecting which, and the proceedings which grew out of it, so many references are made in future pages of the Diary.

Sunday 16 August 1668

(Lord’s day). All the morning at my Office with W. Hewer, there drawing up my Report to the Duke of York, as I have promised, about the faults of this Office, hoping thereby to have opportunity of doing myself [something]. At noon to dinner, and again with him to work all the afternoon till night, till I was weary and had despatched a good deal of business, and so to bed after hearing my wife read a little.

Monday 17 August 1668

Up, and by water to White Hall, and so to St. James’s, and thence with Mr. Wren by appointment in his coach to Hampstead, to speak with the Atturney-general, whom we met in the fields, by his old route and house; and after a little talk about our business of Ackeworth, went and saw the Lord Wotton’s house and garden, which is wonderfull fine: too good for the house the gardens are, being, indeed, the most noble that ever I saw, and brave orange and lemon trees. Thence to Mr. Chichley’s by invitation, and there dined with Sir John, his father not coming home. And while at dinner comes by the French Embassador Colbert’s mules, the first I eversaw, with their sumpter-clothes mighty rich, and his coaches, he being to have his entry to-day: but his things, though rich, are not new; supposed to be the same his brother1 had the other day, at the treaty at Aix-la-Chapelle, in Flanders. Thence to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “Cupid’s Revenge,” under the new name of “Love Despised,” that hath something very good in it, though I like not the whole body of it. This day the first time acted here. Thence home, and there with Mr. Hater and W. Hewer late, reading over all the principal officers’ instructions in order to my great work upon my hand, and so to bed, my eyes very ill.

  1. A mistake of Pepys’s. Colbert de Croissy, then in England, had himself been the French Plenipotentiary at Aix-la-Chapelle. — B.

Tuesday 18 August 1668

Up, and to my office about my great business betimes, and so to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined, and then to the office all the afternoon also, and in the evening to Sir W. Coventry’s, but he not within, I took coach alone to the Park, to try to meet him there, but did not; but there were few coaches, but among the few there were in two coaches our two great beauties, my Lady Castlemayne and Richmond; the first time I saw the latter since she had the smallpox. I had much pleasure to see them, but I thought they were strange one to another. Thence going out I met a coach going, which I thought had Knepp in it, so I went back, but it was not she. So back to White Hall and there took water, and so home, and busy late about my great letter to the Duke of York, and so to supper and to bed…

Wednesday 19 August 1668

Up betimes, and all day and afternoon without going out, busy upon my great letter to the Duke of York, which goes on to my content. W. Hewer and Gibson I employ with me in it. This week my people wash, over the water, and so I little company at home. In the evening, being busy above, a great cry I hear, and go down; and what should it be but Jane, in a fit of direct raving, which lasted half-an-hour. Beyond four or five of our strength to keep her down; and, when all come to all, a fit of jealousy about Tom, with whom she is in love. So at night, I, and my wife, and W. Hewer called them to us, and there I did examine all the thing, and them, in league. She in love, and he hath got her to promise him to marry, and he is now cold in it, so that I must rid my hands of them, which troubles me, and the more because my head is now busy upon other greater things. I am vexed also to be told by W. Hewer that he is summoned to the Commissioners of Accounts about receiving a present of 30l. from Mr. Mason, the timber merchant, though there be no harm in it, that will appear on his part, he having done them several lawful kindnesses and never demanded anything, as they themselves have this day declared to the Commissioners, they being forced up by the discovery of somebody that they in confidence had once told it to. So to supper vexed and my head full of care, and so to bed.

Thursday 20 August 1668

Betimes at my business again, and so to the office, and dined with Brouncker and J. Minnes, at Sir W. Pen’s at a bad pasty of venison, and so to work again, and at it till past twelve at night, that I might get my great letter1 to the Duke of York ready against to-morrow, which I shall do, to my great content. So to bed.

  1. In the Pepysian Library is a MS. (No. 2242), entitled, “Papers conteyning my addresse to his Royall Highnesse James Duke of Yorke, Lord High Admirall of England, &c., by letter dated the 20th of August, 1668, humbly tendering him my advice touching the present State of the Office of the Navy, with his Royall Highness’s proceedings upon the same, and their result.”

Friday 21 August 1668

Up betimes, and with my people again to work, and finished all before noon: and then I by water to White Hall, and there did tell the Duke of York that I had done; and he hath to my great content desired me to come to him at Sunday next in the afternoon, to read it over, by which I have more time to consider and correct it. So back home and to the ‘Change, in my way calling at Morris’, my vintner’s, where I love to see su moher, though no acquaintance accostais this day con her. Did several things at the ‘Change, and so home to dinner. After dinner I by coach to my bookseller’s in Duck Lane, and there did spend a little time and regarder su moher, and so to St. James’s, where did a little ordinary business; and by and by comes Monsieur Colbert, the French Embassador, to make his first visit to the Duke of York, and then to the Duchess: and I saw it: a silly piece of ceremony, he saying only a few formal words. A comely man, and in a black suit and cloak of silk, which is a strange fashion, now it hath been so long left off: This day I did first see the Duke of York’s room of pictures of some Maids of Honour, done by Lilly: good, but not like.1 Thence to Reeves’s, and bought a reading-glass, and so to my bookseller’s again, there to buy a Book of Martyrs,2 which I did agree for; and so, after seeing and beginning acquaintance con his femme, but very little, away home, and there busy very late at the correcting my great letter to the Duke of York, and so to bed.

  1. The set of portraits known as “King Charles’s Beauties,” formerly in Windsor Castle, but now at Hampton Court. — B.
  2. The popular name of John Fox’s “Acts and Monuments,” first published in 1562-63.

Saturday 22 August 1668

Up betimes, at it again with great content, and so to the Office, where all the morning, and did fall out with W. Pen about his slight performance of his office, and so home to dinner, fully satisfied that this Office must sink or the whole Service be undone. To the office all the afternoon again, and then home to supper and to bed, my mind being pretty well at ease, my great letter being now finished to my full content; and I thank God I have opportunity of doing it, though I know it will set the Office and me by the ears for ever. This morning Captain Cocke comes, and tells me that he is now assured that it is true, what he told me the other day, that our whole Office will be turned out, only me, which, whether he says true or no, I know not, nor am much concerned, though I should be better contented to have it thus than otherwise. This afternoon, after I was weary in my business of the office, I went forth to the ‘Change, thinking to have spoke with Captain Cocke, but he was not within. So I home, and took London-bridge in my way; walking down Fish Street and Gracious Street, to see how very fine a descent they have now made down the hill, that it is become very easy and pleasant, and going through Leaden-Hall, it being market-day, I did see a woman catched, that had stolen a shoulder of mutton off of a butcher’s stall, and carrying it wrapt up in a cloth, in a basket. The jade was surprised, and did not deny it, and the woman so silly, as to let her go that took it, only taking the meat.

Sunday 23 August 1668

(Lord’s day). Up betimes, my head busy in my great letter, and I did first hang up my new map of Paris in my green room, and changed others in other places. Then to Captain Cocke’s, thinking to have talked more of what he told me yesterday, but he was not within. So back to church, and heard a good sermon of Mr. Gifford’s at our church, upon “Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” A very excellent and persuasive, good and moral sermon. Shewed, like a wise man, that righteousness is a surer moral way of being rich, than sin and villainy. Then home to dinner, where Mr. Pelling, who brought us a hare, which we had at dinner, and W. Howe. After dinner to the Office, Mr. Gibson and I, to examine my letter to the Duke of York, which, to my great joy, I did very well by my paper tube, without pain to my eyes. And I do mightily like what I have therein done; and did, according to the Duke of York’s order, make haste to St. James’s, and about four o’clock got thither: and there the Duke of York was ready, to expect me, and did hear it all over with extraordinary content; and did give me many and hearty thanks, and in words the most expressive tell me his sense of my good endeavours, and that he would have a care of me on all occasions; and did, with much inwardness, —[i.e., intimacy.]— tell me what was doing, suitable almost to what Captain Cocke tells me, of designs to make alterations in the Navy; and is most open to me in them, and with utmost confidence desires my further advice on all occasions: and he resolves to have my letter transcribed, and sent forthwith to the Office. So, with as much satisfaction as I could possibly, or did hope for, and obligation on the Duke of York’s side professed to me, I away into the Park, and there met Mr. Pierce and his wife, and sister and brother, and a little boy, and with them to Mulberry Garden, and spent 18s. on them, and there left them, she being again with child, and by it, the least pretty that ever I saw her. And so I away, and got a coach, and home, and there with my wife and W. Hewer, talking all the evening, my mind running on the business of the Office, to see what more I can do to the rendering myself acceptable and useful to all and to the King. We to supper, and to bed.

Monday 24 August 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning upon considerations on the Victualler’s contract, and then home to dinner, where my wife is upon hanging the long chamber where the girl lies, with the sad stuff that was in the best chamber, in order to the hanging that with tapestry. So to dinner, and then to the office again, where all the afternoon till night, we met to discourse upon the alterations which are propounded to be made in the draft of the victualler’s contract which we did lately make, and then we being up comes Mr. Child, Papillion and Littleton, his partners, to discourse upon the matter with me, which I did, and spent all the evening with them at the office, and so, they being gone, I to supper and talk with my wife, and so to bed.

Tuesday 25 August 1668

Up, and by water to St. James’s, and there, with Mr. Wren, did discourse about my great letter, which the Duke of York hath given him: and he hath set it to be transcribed by Billings, his man, whom, as he tells me, he can most confide in for secresy, and is much pleased with it, and earnest to have it be; and he and I are like to be much together in the considering how to reform the Office, and that by the Duke of York’s command. Thence I, mightily pleased with this success, away to the Office, where all the morning, my head full of this business. And it is pretty how Lord Brouncker this day did tell me how he hears that a design is on foot to remove us out of the Office: and proposes that we two do agree to draw up a form of a new constitution of the Office, there to provide remedies for the evils we are now under, so that we may be beforehand with the world, which I agreed to, saying nothing of my design; and, the truth is, he is the best man of them all, and I would be glad, next myself, to save him; for, as he deserves best, so I doubt he needs his place most. So home to dinner at noon, and all the afternoon busy at the office till night, and then with my mind full of business now in my head, I to supper and to bed.

Wednesday 26 August 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning almost, busy about business against the afternoon, and we met a little to sign two or three things at the Board of moment, and thence at noon home to dinner, and so away to White Hall by water. In my way to the Old Swan, finding a great many people gathered together in Cannon Street about a man that was working in the ruins, and the ground did sink under him, and he sunk in, and was forced to be dug out again, but without hurt. Thence to White Hall, and it is strange to say with what speed the people employed do pull down Paul’s steeple, and with what ease: it is said that it, and the choir are to be taken down this year, and another church begun in the room thereof, the next. At White Hall we met at the Treasury chamber, and there before the Lords did debate our draft of the victualling contract with the several bidders for it, which were Sir D. Gawden, Mr. Child and his fellows, and Mr. Dorrington and his, a poor variety in a business of this value. There till after candle-lighting, and so home by coach with Sir D. Gawden, who, by the way, tells me how the City do go on in several things towards the building of the public places, which I am glad to hear; and gives hope that in a few years it will be a glorious place; but we met with several stops and new troubles in the way in the streets, so as makes it bad to travel in the dark now through the City. So I to Mr. Batelier’s by appointment, where I find my wife, and Deb., and Mercer; Mrs. Pierce and her husband, son, and daughter; and Knepp and Harris, and W. Batelier, and his sister Mary, and cozen Gumbleton, a good-humoured, fat young gentleman, son to the jeweller, that dances well; and here danced all night long, with a noble supper; and about two in the morning the table spread again for a noble breakfast beyond all moderation, that put me out of countenance, so much and so good. Mrs. Pierce and her people went home betimes, she being big with child; but Knepp and the rest staid till almost three in the morning, and then broke up. [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

Thursday 27 August 1668

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] Knepp home with us, and I to bed, and rose about six, mightily pleased with last night’s mirth, and away by water to St. James’s, and there, with Mr. Wren, did correct his copy of my letter, which the Duke of York hath signed in my very words, without alteration of a syllable.1 And so pleased therewith, I to my Lord Brouncker, who I find within, but hath business, and so comes not to the Office to-day. And so I by water to the Office, where we sat all the morning; and, just as the Board rises, comes the Duke of York’s letter, which I knowing, and the Board not being full, and desiring rather to have the Duke of York deliver it himself to us, I suppressed it for this day, my heart beginning to falsify in this business, as being doubtful of the trouble it may give me by provoking them; but, however, I am resolved to go through it, and it is too late to help it now. At noon to dinner to Captain Cocke’s, where I met with Mr. Wren; my going being to tell him what I have done, which he likes, and to confer with Cocke about our Office; who tells me that he is confident the design of removing our Officers do hold, but that he is sure that I am safe enough. Which pleases me, though I do not much shew it to him, but as a thing indifferent. So away home, and there met at Sir Richard Ford’s with the Duke of York’s Commissioners about our Prizes, with whom we shall have some trouble before we make an end with them, and hence, staying a little with them, I with my wife, and W. Batelier, and Deb.; carried them to Bartholomew Fayre, where we saw the dancing of the ropes and nothing else, it being late, and so back home to supper and to bed, after having done at my office.

  1. A copy of this letter is in the British Museum, Harl. MS. 6003. See July 24th, ante, and August 29th, Post. In the Pepysian Collection are the following: An Inquisition, by his Royal Highness the Duke of York, when Lord High Admiral of England, into the Management of the Navy, 1668, with his Regulations thereon, fol. Also Mr. Pepys’s Defence of the same upon an Inquisition thereunto by Parliament, 1669, fol. — B.

Friday 28 August 1668

Busy at the office till toward 10 o’clock, and then by water to White Hall, where attending the Council’s call all the morning with Lord Brouncker, W. Pen, and the rest, about the business of supernumeraries in the fleete, but were not called in. But here the Duke of York did call me aside, and told me that he must speak with me in the afternoon, with Mr. Wren, for that now he hath got the paper from my Lord Keeper about the exceptions taken against the management of the Navy; and so we are to debate upon answering them. At noon I home with W. Coventry to his house; and there dined with him, and talked freely with him; and did acquaint him with what I have done, which he is well pleased with, and glad of: and do tell me that there are endeavours on foot to bring the Navy into new, but, he fears, worse hands. After much talk with great content with him, I walked to the Temple, and staid at Starky’s, my bookseller’s (looking over Dr. Heylin’s new book of the Life of Bishop Laud, a strange book of the Church History of his time), till Mr. Wren comes, and by appointment we to the Atturney General’s chamber, and there read and heard the witnesses in the business of Ackeworth, most troublesome and perplexed by the counter swearing of the witnesses one against the other, and so with Mr. Wren away thence to St. [James’s] for his papers, and so to White Hall, and after the Committee was done at the Council chamber about the business of Supernumeraries, wherein W. Pen was to do all and did, but like an ignorant illiterate coxcomb, the Duke of York fell to work with us, the Committee being gone, in the Council- chamber; and there, with his own hand, did give us his long letter, telling us that he had received several from us, and now did give us one from him, taking notice of our several duties and failures, and desired answer to it, as he therein desired; this pleased me well; and so fell to other business, and then parted. And the Duke of York, and Wren, and I, it being now candle-light, into the Duke of York’s closet in White Hall; and there read over this paper of my Lord Keeper’s, wherein are laid down the faults of the Navy, so silly, and the remedies so ridiculous, or else the same that are now already provided, that we thought it not to need any answer, the Duke of York being able himself to do it: that so it makes us admire the confidence of these men to offer things so silly, in a business of such moment. But it is a most perfect instance of the complexion of the times! and so the Duke of York said himself, who, I perceive, is mightily concerned in it, and do, again and again, recommend it to Mr. Wren and me together, to consider upon remedies fit to provide for him to propound to the King, before the rest of the world, and particularly the Commissioners of Accounts, who are men of understanding and order, to find our faults, and offer remedies of their own, which I am glad of, and will endeavour to do something in it. So parted, and with much difficulty, by candle-light, walked over the Matted Gallery, as it is now with the mats and boards all taken up, so that we walked over the rafters. But strange to see what hard matter the plaister of Paris is, that is there taken up, as hard as stone! And pity to see Holben’s work in the ceiling blotted on, and only whited over! Thence; with much ado, by several coaches home, to supper and to bed. My wife having been this day with Hales, to sit for her hand to be mended, in her picture.

Saturday 29 August 1668

Up, and all the morning at the Office, where the Duke of York’s long letter was read, to their great trouble, and their suspecting me to have been the writer of it. And at noon comes, by appointment, Harris to dine with me and after dinner he and I to Chyrurgeon’s-hall, where they are building it new, very fine; and there to see their theatre; which stood all the fire, and, which was our business, their great picture of Holben’s, thinking to have bought it, by the help of Mr. Pierce, for a little money: I did think to give 200l. for it, it being said to be worth 1000l.; but it is so spoiled that I have no mind to it, and is not a pleasant, though a good picture. Thence carried Harris to his playhouse, where, though four o’clock, so few people there at “The Impertinents,” as I went out; and do believe they did not act, though there was my Lord Arlington and his company there. So I out, and met my wife in a coach, and stopped her going thither to meet me; and took her, and Mercer, and Deb., to Bartholomew Fair, and there did see a ridiculous, obscene little stage-play, called “Marry Andrey;” a foolish thing, but seen by every body; and so to Jacob Hall’s dancing of the ropes; a thing worth seeing, and mightily followed, and so home and to the office, and then to bed. Writing to my father to-night not to unfurnish our house in the country for my sister, who is going to her own house, because I think I may have occasion myself to come thither; and so I do, by our being put out of the Office, which do not at all trouble me to think of.

Sunday 30 August 1668

(Lord’s day). Walked to St. James’s and Pell Mell, and read over, with Sir W. Coventry, my long letter to the Duke of York, and which the Duke of York hath, from mine, wrote to the Board, wherein he is mightily pleased, and I perceive do put great value upon me, and did talk very openly on all matters of State, and how some people have got the bit into their mouths, meaning the Duke of Buckingham and his party, and would likely run away with all. But what pleased me mightily was to hear the good character he did give of my Lord Falmouth for his generosity, good- nature, desire of public good, and low thoughts of his own wisdom; his employing his interest in the King to do good offices to all people, without any other fault than the freedom he, do learn in France of thinking himself obliged to serve his King in his pleasures: and was W. Coventry’s particular friend: and W. Coventry do tell me very odde circumstances about the fatality of his death, which are very strange. Thence to White Hall to chapel, and heard the anthem, and did dine with the Duke of Albemarle in a dirty manner as ever. All the afternoon, I sauntered up and down the house and Park. And there was a Committee for Tangier met, wherein Lord Middleton would, I think, have found fault with me for want of coles; but I slighted it, and he made nothing of it, but was thought to be drunk; and I see that he hath a mind to find fault with me and Creed, neither of us having yet applied ourselves to him about anything: but do talk of his profits and perquisites taken from him, and garrison reduced, and that it must be increased, and such things, as; I fear, he will be just such another as my Lord Tiviott and the rest, to ruin that place. So I to the Park, and there walk an hour or two; and in the King’s garden, and saw the Queen and ladies walk; and I did steal some apples off the trees; and here did see my Lady Richmond, who is of a noble person as ever I saw, but her face worse than it was considerably by the smallpox: her sister is also very handsome. Coming into the Park, and the door kept strictly, I had opportunity of handing in the little, pretty, squinting girl of the Duke of York’s house, but did not make acquaintance with her; but let her go, and a little girl that was with her, to walk by themselves. So to White Hall in the evening, to the Queen’s side, and there met the Duke of York; and he did tell me and W. Coventry, who was with me, how that Lord Anglesey did take notice of our reading his long and sharp letter to the Board; but that it was the better, at least he said so. The Duke of York, I perceive, is earnest in it, and will have good effects of it; telling W. Coventry that it was a letter that might have come from the Commissioners of Accounts, but it was better it should come first from him. I met Lord Brouncker, who, I perceive, and the rest, do smell that it comes from me, but dare not find fault with it; and I am glad of it, it being my glory and defence that I did occasion and write it. So by water home, and did spend the evening with W. Hewer, telling him how we are all like to be turned out, Lord Brouncker telling me this evening that the Duke of Buckingham did, within few hours, say that he had enough to turn us all out which I am not sorry for at all, for I know the world will judge me to go for company; and my eyes are such as I am not able to do the business of my Office as I used, and would desire to do, while I am in it. So with full content, declaring all our content in being released of my employment, my wife and I to bed, and W. Hewer home, and so all to bed.

Monday 31 August 1668

Up, and to my office, there to set my journal for all the last week, and so by water to Westminster to the Exchequer, and thence to the Swan, and there drank and did baiser la fille there, and so to the New Exchange and paid for some things, and so to Hercules Pillars, and there dined all alone, while I sent my shoe to have the heel fastened at Wotton’s, and thence to White Hall to the Treasury chamber, where did a little business, and thence to the Duke of York’s playhouse and there met my wife and Deb. and Mary Mercer and Batelier, where also W. Hewer was, and saw “Hamlet,” which we have not seen this year before, or more; and mightily pleased with it; but, above all, with Betterton, the best part I believe, that ever man acted. Thence to the Fayre, and saw “Polichinelle,” and so home, and after a little supper to bed. This night lay the first night in Deb.’s chamber, which is now hung with that that hung our great chamber, and is now a very handsome room. This day Mrs. Batelier did give my wife a mighty pretty Spaniel bitch [Flora], which she values mightily, and is pretty; but as a new comer, I cannot be fond of her.