At my office busy all the morning. At noon comes Mr. Evelyn to me, about some business with the Office, and there in discourse tells me of his loss, to the value of 500l., which he hath met with, in a late attempt of making of bricks1 upon an adventure with others, by which he presumed to have got a great deal of money: so that I see the most ingenious men may sometimes be mistaken. So to the ‘Change a little, and then home to dinner, and then by water to White Hall, to attend the Commissioners of the Treasury with Alderman Backewell, about 10,000l. he is to lend us for Tangier, and then up to a Committee of the Council, where was the Duke of York, and they did give us, the Officers of the Navy, the proposals of the several bidders for the victualling of the Navy, for us to give our answer to, which is the best, and whether it be better to victual by commission or contract, and to bring them our answer by Friday afternoon, which is a great deal of work. So thence back with Sir J. Minnes home, and come after us Sir W. Pen and Lord Brouncker, and we fell to the business, and I late when they were gone to digest something of it, and so to supper and to bed.
- At the end of the year 1666 a Dutchman of the Prince of Orange’s party, named Kiviet, came over to England with proposals for embanking the river from the Temple to the Tower with brick, and was knighted by the king. He was introduced to Evelyn, whom he persuaded to join with him in a great undertaking for the making of bricks. On March 26th, 1667, the two went in search of brick-earth, and in September articles were drawn up between them for the purpose of proceeding in the manufacture. In April, 1668, Evelyn subscribed 50,000 bricks for the building of a college for the Royal Society, in addition to 50l. given previously for the same purpose. No more information on the subject is given in Evelyn’s “Diary.” ↩