A new diary entry appears here at the end of each day.

Sunday 17 June 1666

(Lord’s day). Being invited to Anthony Joyce’s to dinner, my wife and sister and Mercer and I walked out in the morning, it being fine weather, to Christ Church, and there heard a silly sermon, but sat where we saw one of the prettiest little boys with the prettiest mouth that ever I saw in [my] life.

Thence to Joyce’s, where William Joyce and his wife were, and had a good dinner; but, Lord! how sicke was I of the company, only hope I shall have no more of it a good while; but am invited to Will’s this week; and his wife, poor unhappy woman, cried to hear me say that I could not be there, she thinking that I slight her: so they got me to promise to come.

Thence my father and I walked to Gray’s Inne Fields, and there spent an houre or two walking and talking of several businesses; first, as to his estate, he told me it produced about 80l. per ann., but then there goes 30l. per. ann. taxes and other things, certain charge, which I do promise to make good as far as this 30l., at which the poor man was overjoyed and wept.

As to Pall he tells me he is mightily satisfied with Ensum, and so I promised to give her 500l. presently, and to oblige myself to 100 more on the birth of her first child, he insuring her in 10l. per ann. for every 100l., and in the meantime till she do marry I promise to allow her 10l. per ann.

Then as to John I tell him I will promise him nothing, but will supply him as so much lent him, I declaring that I am not pleased with him yet, and that when his degree is over I will send for him up hither, and if he be good for any thing doubt not to get him preferment.

This discourse ended to the joy of my father and no less to me to see that I am able to do this, we return to Joyce’s and there wanting a coach to carry us home I walked out as far as the New Exchange to find one, but could not. So down to the Milke-house, and drank three glasses of whay, and then up into the Strand again, and there met with a coach, and so to Joyce’s and took up my father, wife, sister, and Mercer, and to Islington, where we drank, and then our tour by Hackney home, where, after a little, business at my office and then talke with my Lady and Pegg Pen in the garden, I home and to bed, being very weary.

Saturday 16 June 1666

Up betimes and to my office, and there we sat all the morning and dispatched much business, the King, Duke of Yorke, and Sir W. Coventry being gone down to the fleete. At noon home to dinner and then down to Woolwich and Deptford to look after things, my head akeing from the multitude of businesses I had in my head yesterday in settling my accounts. All the way down and up, reading of “The Mayor of Quinborough,” a simple play.

At Deptford, while I am there, comes Mr. Williamson, Sir Arthur Ingram and Jacke Fen, to see the new ships, which they had done, and then I with them home in their boat, and a very fine gentleman Mr. Williamson is.

It seems the Dutch do mightily insult of their victory, and they have great reason.1 Sir William Barkeley was killed before his ship taken; and there he lies dead in a sugar-chest, for every body to see, with his flag standing up by him. And Sir George Ascue is carried up and down the Hague for people to see.

Home to my office, where late, and then to bed.

Friday 15 June 1666

Up betimes, and to my Journall entries, but disturbed by many businesses, among others by Mr. Houblon’s coming to me about evening their freight for Tangier, which I did, and then Mr. Bland, who presented me yesterday with a very fine African mat, to lay upon the ground under a bed of state, being the first fruits of our peace with Guyland.

So to the office, and thither come my pretty widow Mrs. Burrows, poor woman, to get her ticket paid for her husband’s service, which I did her myself, and did ‘baisser her moucher’, and I do hope may thereafter have some day ‘sa’ company.

Thence to Westminster to the Exchequer, but could not persuade the blockheaded fellows to do what I desire, of breaking my great tallys into less, notwithstanding my Lord Treasurer’s order, which vexed [me] so much that I would not bestow more time and trouble among a company of dunces, and so back again home, and to dinner, whither Creed come and dined with me.

And after dinner Mr. Moore, and he and I abroad, thinking to go down the river together, but the tide being against me would not, but returned and walked an houre in the garden, but, Lord! to hear how he pleases himself in behalf of my Lord Sandwich, in the miscarriage of the Duke of Albemarle, and do inveigh against Sir W. Coventry as a cunning knave, but I thinke that without any manner of reason at all, but only his passion.

He being gone I to my chamber at home to set my Journall right and so to settle my Tangier accounts, which I did in very good order, and then in the evening comes Mr. Yeabsly to reckon with me, which I did also, and have above 200l. profit therein to myself, which is a great blessing, the God of heaven make me thankfull for it. That being done, and my eyes beginning to be sore with overmuch writing, I to supper and to bed.

Thursday 14 June 1666

Up, and to the office, and there sat all the morning. At noon dined at home, and thence with my wife and father to Hales’s, and there looked only on my father’s picture (which is mighty like); and so away to White Hall to a committee for Tangier, where the Duke of York was, and Sir W. Coventry, and a very full committee; and instead of having a very prejudiced meeting, they did, though indeed inclined against Yeabsly, yield to the greatest part of his account, so as to allow of his demands to the value of 7,000l. and more, and only give time for him to make good his pretence to the rest; which was mighty joy to me: and so we rose up. But I must observe the force of money, which did make my Lord Ashly to argue and behave himself in the business with the greatest friendship, and yet with all the discretion imaginable; and [it] will be a business of admonition and instruction to me concerning him (and other men, too, for aught I know) as long as I live. Thence took Creed with some kind of violence and some hard words between us to St. James’s, to have found out Sir W. Coventry to have signed the order for his payment among others that did stay on purpose to do it (and which is strange among the rest my Lord Ashly, who did cause Creed to write it presently and kept two or three of them with him by cunning to stay and sign it), but Creed’s ill nature (though never so well bribed, as it hath lately in this case by twenty pieces) will not be overcome from his usual delays.

Thence failing of meeting Sir W. Coventry I took leave of Creed (very good friends) and away home, and there took out my father, wife, sister, and Mercer our grand Tour in the evening, and made it ten at night before we got home, only drink at the doore at Islington at the Katherine Wheel, and so home and to the office a little, and then to bed.

Wednesday 13 June 1666

Up, and by coach to St. James’s, and there did our business before the Duke as usual, having, before the Duke come out of his bed, walked in an ante-chamber with Sir H. Cholmly, who tells me there are great jarrs between the Duke of Yorke and the Duke of Albemarle, about the later’s turning out one or two of the commanders put in by the Duke of Yorke. Among others, Captain Du Tell, a Frenchman, put in by the Duke of Yorke, and mightily defended by him; and is therein led by Monsieur Blancford, that it seems hath the same command over the Duke of Yorke as Sir W. Coventry hath; which raises ill blood between them. And I do in several little things observe that Sir W. Coventry hath of late, by the by, reflected on the Duke of Albemarle and his captains, particularly in that of old Teddiman, who did deserve to be turned out this fight, and was so; but I heard Sir W. Coventry say that the Duke of Albemarle put in one as bad as he is in his room, and one that did as little.

After we had done with the Duke of Yorke, I with others to White Hall, there to attend again a Committee of Tangier, but there was none, which vexed me to the heart, and makes me mighty doubtfull that when we have one, it will be prejudiced against poor Yeabsly and to my great disadvantage thereby, my Lord Peterborough making it his business, I perceive (whether in spite to me, whom he cannot but smell to be a friend to it, or to my Lord Ashly, I know not), to obstruct it, and seems to take delight in disappointing of us; but I shall be revenged of him.

Here I staid a very great while, almost till noon, and then meeting Balty I took him with me, and to Westminster to the Exchequer about breaking of two tallys of 2000l. each into smaller tallys, which I have been endeavouring a good while, but to my trouble it will not, I fear, be done, though there be no reason against it, but only a little trouble to the clerks; but it is nothing to me of real profit at all.

Thence with Balty to Hales’s by coach, it being the seventh day from my making my late oathes, and by them I am at liberty to dispense with any of my oathes every seventh day after I had for the six days before going performed all my vowes.

Here I find my father’s picture begun, and so much to my content, that it joys my very heart to thinke that I should have his picture so well done; who, besides that he is my father, and a man that loves me, and hath ever done so, is also, at this day, one of the most carefull and innocent men, in the world.

Thence with mighty content homeward, and in my way at the Stockes did buy a couple of lobsters, and so home to dinner.

Where I find my wife and father had dined, and were going out to Hales’s to sit there, so Balty and I alone to dinner, and in the middle of my grace, praying for a blessing upon (these his good creatures), my mind fell upon my lobsters: upon which I cried, Odd zooks! and Balty looked upon me like a man at a losse what I meant, thinking at first that I meant only that I had said the grace after meat instead of that before meat. But then I cried, what is become of my lobsters? Whereupon he run out of doors to overtake the coach, but could not, so came back again, and mighty merry at dinner to thinke of my surprize. After dinner to the Excise Office by appointment, and there find my Lord Bellasses and the Commissioners, and by and by the whole company come to dispute the business of our running so far behindhand there, and did come to a good issue in it, that is to say, to resolve upon having the debt due to us, and the Household and the Guards from the Excise stated, and so we shall come to know the worst of our condition and endeavour for some helpe from my Lord Treasurer.

Thence home, and put off Balty, and so, being invited, to Sir Christopher Mings’s funeral, but find them gone to church. However I into the church (which is a fair, large church, and a great chappell) and there heard the service, and staid till they buried him, and then out. And there met with Sir W. Coventry (who was there out of great generosity, and no person of quality there but he) and went with him into his coach, and being in it with him there happened this extraordinary case, one of the most romantique that ever I heard of in my life, and could not have believed, but that I did see it; which was this:

About a dozen able, lusty, proper men come to the coach-side with tears in their eyes, and one of them that spoke for the rest begun and says to Sir W. Coventry, “We are here a dozen of us that have long known and loved, and served our dead commander, Sir Christopher Mings, and have now done the last office of laying him in the ground. We would be glad we had any other to offer after him, and in revenge of him. All we have is our lives; if you will please to get His Royal Highness to give us a fireship among us all, here is a dozen of us, out of all which choose you one to be commander, and the rest of us, whoever he is, will serve him; and, if possible, do that that shall show our memory of our dead commander, and our revenge.” Sir W. Coventry was herewith much moved (as well as I, who could hardly abstain from weeping), and took their names, and so parted; telling me that he would move His Royal Highness as in a thing very extraordinary, which was done. Thereon see the next day in this book. So we parted.

The truth is, Sir Christopher Mings was a very stout man, and a man of great parts, and most excellent tongue among ordinary men; and as Sir W. Coventry says, could have been the most useful man at such a pinch of time as this. He was come into great renowne here at home, and more abroad in the West Indys. He had brought his family into a way of being great; but dying at this time, his memory and name (his father being always and at this day a shoemaker, and his mother a Hoyman’s daughter; of which he was used frequently to boast) will be quite forgot in a few months as if he had never been, nor any of his name be the better by it; he having not had time to will any estate, but is dead poor rather than rich.

So we left the church and crowd, and I home (being set down on Tower Hill), and there did a little business and then in the evening went down by water to Deptford, it being very late, and there I staid out as much time as I could, and then took boat again homeward, but the officers being gone in, returned and walked to Mrs. Bagwell’s house, and there (it being by this time pretty dark and past ten o’clock) went into her house and did what I would. But I was not a little fearfull of what she told me but now, which is, that her servant was dead of the plague, that her coming to me yesterday was the first day of her coming forth, and that she had new whitened the house all below stairs, but that above stairs they are not so fit for me to go up to, they being not so. So I parted thence, with a very good will, but very civil, and away to the waterside, and sent for a pint of sacke and so home, drank what I would and gave the waterman the rest; and so adieu. Home about twelve at night, and so to bed, finding most of my people gone to bed.

In my way home I called on a fisherman and bought three eeles, which cost me three shillings.

Tuesday 12 June 1666

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon to dinner, and then to White Hall in hopes of a meeting of Tangier about Yeabsly’s business, but it could not be obtained, Sir G. Carteret nor Sir W. Coventry being able to be there, which still vexes [me] to see the poor man forced still to attend, as also being desirous to see what my profit is, and get it.

Walking here in the galleries I find the Ladies of Honour dressed in their riding garbs, with coats and doublets with deep skirts, just for all the world like mine, and buttoned their doublets up the breast, with perriwigs and with hats; so that, only for a long petticoat dragging under their men’s coats, nobody could take them for women in any point whatever; which was an odde sight, and a sight did not please me. It was Mrs. Wells and another fine lady that I saw thus.

Thence down by water to Deptford, and there late seeing some things dispatched down to the fleete, and so home (thinking indeed to have met with Bagwell, but I did not) to write my letters very late, and so to supper and to bed.

Monday 11 June 1666

Up, and down by water to Sir W. Warren’s (the first time I was in his new house on the other side the water since he enlarged it) to discourse about our lighters that he hath bought for me, and I hope to get 100l. by this jobb. Having done with him I took boat again (being mightily struck with a woman in a hat, a seaman’s mother, —[Mother or mauther, a wench.]— that stood on the key) and home, where at the office all the morning with Sir W. Coventry and some others of our board hiring of fireships, and Sir W. Coventry begins to see my pains again, which I do begin to take, and I am proud of it, and I hope shall continue it. He gone, at noon I home to dinner, and after dinner my father and wife out to the painter’s to sit again, and I, with my Lady Pen and her daughter, to see Harman; whom we find lame in bed. His bones of his anckle are broke, but he hopes to do well soon; and a fine person by his discourse he seems to be and my hearty [friend]; and he did plainly tell me that at the Council of War before the fight, it was against his reason to begin the fight then, and the reasons of most sober men there, the wind being such, and we to windward, that they could not use their lower tier of guns, which was a very sad thing for us to have the honour and weal of the nation ventured so foolishly.

I left them there, and walked to Deptford, reading in Walsingham’s Manual, a very good book, and there met with Sir W. Batten and my Lady at Uthwayt’s. Here I did much business and yet had some little mirthe with my Lady, and anon we all come up together to our office, where I was very late doing much business. Late comes Sir J. Bankes to see me, and tells me that coming up from Rochester he overtook three or four hundred seamen, and he believes every day they come flocking from the fleete in like numbers; which is a sad neglect there, when it will be impossible to get others, and we have little reason to think that these will return presently again.

He gone, I to end my letters to-night, and then home to supper and to bed.

Continue reading Sunday 10 June 1666