Up, and to the office, after having visited Sir W. Coventry at the Tower, and walked with him upon the Stone Walk, alone, till other company come to him, and had very good discourse with him. At noon home, where my wife and Jane gone abroad, and Tom, in order to their buying of things for their wedding, which, upon my discourse the last night, is now resolved to be done, upon the 26th of this month, the day of my solemnity for my cutting of the stone, when my cozen Turner must be with us. My wife, therefore, not at dinner; and comes to me Mr. Evelyn of Deptford, a worthy good man, and dined with me, but a bad dinner; who is grieved for, and speaks openly to me his thoughts of, the times, and our ruin approaching; and all by the folly of the King. His business to me was about some ground of his, at Deptford, next to the King’s yard: and after dinner we parted. My sister Michell coming also this day to see us, whom I left there, and I away down by water with W. Hewer to Woolwich, where I have not been I think more than a year or two, and here I saw, but did not go on board, my ship “The Jerzy,” she lying at the wharf under repair. But my business was to speak with Ackworth, about some old things and passages in the Navy, for my information therein, in order to my great business now of stating the history of the Navy. This I did; and upon the whole do find that the late times, in all their management, were not more husbandly than we; and other things of good content to me. His wife was sick, and so I could not see her. Thence, after seeing Mr. Sheldon, I to Greenwich by water, and there landed at the King’s house, which goes on slow, but is very pretty.1 I to the Park, there to see the prospect of the hill, to judge of Dancre’s picture, which he hath made thereof for me: and I do like it very well: and it is a very pretty place. Thence to Deptford, but staid not, Uthwayte being out of the way: and so home, and then to the Ship Tavern, Morrice’s, and staid till W. Hewer fetched his uncle Blackburne by appointment to me, to discourse of the business of the Navy in the late times; and he did do it, by giving me a most exact account in writing, of the several turns in the Admiralty and Navy, of the persons employed therein, from the beginning of the King’s leaving the Parliament, to his Son’s coming in, to my great content; and now I am fully informed in all I at present desire. We fell to other talk; and I find by him that the Bishops must certainly fall, and their hierarchy; these people have got so much ground upon the King and kingdom as is not to be got again from them: and the Bishops do well deserve it. But it is all the talk, I find, that Dr. Wilkins, my friend, the Bishop of Chester, shall be removed to Winchester, and be Lord Treasurer. Though this be foolish talk, yet I do gather that he is a mighty rising man, as being a Latitudinarian, and the Duke of Buckingham his great friend. Here we staid talking till to at night, where I did never drink before since this man come to the house, though for his pretty wife’s sake I do fetch my wine from this, whom I could not nevertheless get para see to-night, though her husband did seem to call for her. So parted here and I home, and to supper and to bed.
- The old palace at Greenwich had just been pulled down, and a new building commenced by Charles II., only one wing of which was completed, at the expense of 36,000l., under the auspices of Webb, Inigo Jones’s kinsman and executor. In 1694 the unfinished edifice was granted by William and Mary to trustees for the use and service of a Naval Hospital; and it has been repeatedly enlarged and improved till it has arrived at its present splendour. — B. ↩