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

Sunday 20 January 1666/67

(Lord’s day). Up betimes and down to the Old Swan, there called on Michell and his wife, which in her night linen appeared as pretty almost as ever to my thinking I saw woman. Here I drank some burnt brandy. They shewed me their house, which, poor people, they have built, and is very pretty. I invited them to dine with me, and so away to White Hall to Sir W. Coventry, with whom I have not been alone a good while, and very kind he is, and tells me how the business is now ordered by order of council for my Lord Bruncker to assist Sir J. Minnes in all matters of accounts relating to the Treasurer, and Sir W. Pen in all matters relating to the victuallers’ and pursers’ accounts, which I am very glad of, and the more for that I think it will not do me any hurt at all. Other discourse, much especially about the heat the House was in yesterday about the ill management of the Navy, which I was sorry to hear; though I think they were well answered, both by Sir G. Carteret and [Sir] W. Coventry, as he informs me the substance of their speeches. Having done with him, home mightily satisfied with my being with him, and coming home I to church, and there, beyond expectation, find our seat, and all the church crammed, by twice as many people as used to be: and to my great joy find Mr. Frampton in the pulpit; so to my great joy I hear him preach, and I think the best sermon, for goodness and oratory, without affectation or study, that ever I heard in my life. The truth is, he preaches the most like an apostle that ever I heard man; and it was much the best time that ever I spent in my life at church. His text, Ecclesiastes xi., verse 8th — the words, “But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.”

He done, I home, and there Michell and his wife, and we dined and mighty merry, I mightily taken more and more with her. After dinner I with my brother away by water to White Hall, and there walked in the Parke, and a little to my Lord Chancellor’s, where the King and Cabinet met, and there met Mr. Brisband, with whom good discourse, to White Hall towards night, and there he did lend me “The Third Advice to a Paynter,” a bitter satyre upon the service of the Duke of Albemarle the last year. I took it home with me, and will copy it, having the former, being also mightily pleased with it.

So after reading it, I to Sir W. Pen to discourse a little with him about the business of our prizes, and so home to supper and to bed.

Saturday 19 January 1666/67

Up, and at the office all the morning. Sir W. Batten tells me to my wonder that at his coming to my Lord Ashly, yesterday morning, to tell him what prize-goods he would have saved for the Navy, and not sold, according to the King’s order on the 17th, he fell quite out with him in high terms; and he says, too, that they did go on to the sale yesterday, even of the very hempe, and other things, at which I am astonished, and will never wonder at the ruine of the King’s affairs, if this be suffered. At noon dined, and Mr. Pierce come to see me, he newly come from keeping his Christmas in the country.

So to the office, where very busy, but with great pleasure till late at night, and then home to supper and to bed.

Friday 18 January 1666/67

Up, and most of the morning finishing my entry of my journall during the late fire out of loose papers into this book, which did please me mightily when done, I, writing till my eyes were almost blind therewith to make an end of it. Then all the rest of the morning, and, after a mouthful of dinner, all the afternoon in my closet till night, sorting all my papers, which have lain unsorted for all the time we were at Greenwich during the plague, which did please me also, I drawing on to put my office into a good posture, though much is behind.

This morning come Captain. Cocke to me, and tells me that the King comes to the House this day to pass the poll Bill and the Irish Bill; he tells me too that, though the Faction is very froward in the House, yet all will end well there. But he says that one had got a Bill ready to present in the House against Sir W. Coventry, for selling of places, and says he is certain of it, and how he was withheld from doing it. He says, that the Vice-chamberlaine is now one of the greatest men in England again, and was he that did prevail with the King to let the Irish Bill go with the word “Nuisance.” He told me, that Sir G. Carteret’s declaration of giving double to any man that will prove that any of his people have demanded or taken any thing for forwarding the payment of the wages of any man (of which he sent us a copy yesterday, which we approved of) is set up, among other places, upon the House of Lords’ door. I do not know how wisely this is done.

This morning, also, there come to the office a letter from the Duke of York, commanding our payment of no wages to any of the muster-masters of the fleete the last year, but only two, my brother Balty, taking notice that he had taken pains therein, and one Ward, who, though he had not taken so much as the other, yet had done more than the rest. This I was exceeding glad of for my own sake and his. At night I, by appointment, home, where W. Batelier and his sister Mary, and the two Mercers, to play at cards and sup, and did cut our great cake lately given us by Russell: a very good one. Here very merry late.

Sir W. Pen told me this night how the King did make them a very sharp speech in the House of Lords to-day, saying that he did expect to have had more Bills;1 that he purposes to prorogue them on Monday come se’nnight; that whereas they have unjustly conceived some jealousys of his making a peace, he declares he knows of no such thing or treaty: and so left them. But with so little effect, that as soon as he come into the House, Sir W. Coventry moved, that now the King hath declared his intention of proroguing them, it would be loss of time to go on with the thing they were upon, when they were called to the King, which was the calling over the defaults of Members appearing in the House; for that, before any person could now come or be brought to town, the House would be up. Yet the Faction did desire to delay time, and contend so as to come to a division of the House; where, however, it was carried, by a few voices, that the debate should be laid by. But this shews that they are not pleased, or that they have not any awe over them from the King’s displeasure.

The company being gone, to bed.

Wednesday 16 January 1666/67

Up, and by coach to White Hall, and there to the Duke of York as usual. Here Sir W. Coventry come to me aside in the Duke’s chamber, to tell that he had not answered part of a late letter of mine, because ‘littera scripta manet’. About his leaving the office, he tells me, [it is] because he finds that his business at Court will not permit him to attend it; and then he confesses that he seldom of late could come from it with satisfaction, and therefore would not take the King’s money for nothing. I professed my sorrow for it, and prayed the continuance of his favour; which he promised. I do believe he hath [done] like a very wise man in reference to himself; but I doubt it will prove ill for the King, and for the office. Prince Rupert, I hear to-day, is very ill; yesterday given over, but better to-day. This day, before the Duke of York, the business of the Muster-Masters was reported, and Balty found the best of the whole number, so as the Duke enquired who he was, and whether he was a stranger by his two names, both strange, and offered that he and one more, who hath done next best, should have not only their owne, but part of the others’ salary, but that I having said he was my brother-in-law, he did stop, but they two are ordered their pay, which I am glad of, and some of the rest will lose their pay, and others be laid by the heels. I was very glad of this being ended so well. I did also, this morning, move in a business wherein Mr. Hater hath concerned me, about getting a ship, laden with salt from France, permitted to unload, coming in after the King’s declaration was out, which I have hopes by some dexterity to get done. Then with the Duke of York to the King, to receive his commands for stopping the sale this day of some prize-goods at the Prize-Office, goods fit for the Navy; and received the King’s commands, and carried them to the Lords’ House, to my Lord Ashly, who was angry much thereat, and I am sorry it fell to me to carry the order, but I cannot help it. So, against his will, he signed a note I writ to the Commissioners of Prizes, which I carried and delivered to Kingdone, at their new office in Aldersgate Streete. Thence a little to the Exchange, where it was hot that the Prince was dead, but I did rectify it. So home to dinner, and found Balty, told him the good news, and then after dinner away, I presently to White Hall, and did give the Duke of York a memorial of the salt business, against the Council, and did wait all the Council for answer, walking a good while with Sir Stephen Fox, who, among other things, told me his whole mystery in the business of the interest he pays as Treasurer for the Army. They give him 12d. per pound quite through the Army, with condition to be paid weekly. This he undertakes upon his own private credit, and to be paid by the King at the end of every four months. If the King pay him not at the end of the four months, then, for all the time he stays longer, my Lord Treasurer, by agreement, allows him eight per cent. per annum for the forbearance. So that, in fine, he hath about twelve per cent. from the King and the Army, for fifteen or sixteen months’ interest; out of which he gains soundly, his expense being about 130,000l. per annum; and hath no trouble in it, compared, as I told him, to the trouble I must have to bring in an account of interest. I was, however, glad of being thus enlightened, and so away to the other council door, and there got in and hear a piece of a cause, heard before the King, about a ship deserted by her fellows (who were bound mutually to defend each other), in their way to Virginy, and taken by the enemy, but it was but meanly pleaded.

Then all withdrew, and by and by the Council rose, and I spoke with the Duke of York, and he told me my business was done, which I found accordingly in Sir Edward Walker’s books. And so away, mightily satisfied, to Arundell House, and there heard a little good discourse, and so home, and there to Sir W. Batten, where I heard the examinations in two of our prizes, which do make but little for us, so that I do begin to doubt their proving prize, which troubled me. So home to supper with my wife, and after supper my wife told me how she had moved to W. Hewer the business of my sister for a wife to him, which he received with mighty acknowledgements, as she says, above anything; but says he hath no intention to alter his condition: so that I am in some measure sorry she ever moved it; but I hope he will think it only come from her.

So after supper a little to the office, to enter my journall, and then home to bed. Talk there is of a letter to come from Holland, desiring a place of treaty; but I do doubt it. This day I observe still, in many places, the smoking remains of the late fire: the ways mighty bad and dirty. This night Sir R. Ford told me how this day, at Christ Church Hospital, they have given a living over 200l. per annum to Mr. Sanchy, my old acquaintance, which I wonder at, he commending him mightily; but am glad of it. He tells me, too, how the famous Stillingfleete was a Bluecoat boy. The children at this day are provided for in the country by the House, which I am glad also to hear.

Tuesday 15 January 1666/67

Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning. Here my Lord Bruncker would have made me promise to go with him to a play this afternoon, where Knipp acts Mrs. Weaver’s great part in “The Indian Emperour,” and he says is coming on to be a great actor. But I am so fell to my business, that I, though against my inclination, will not go. At noon, dined with my wife and were pleasant, and then to the office, where I got Mrs. Burroughs ‘sola cum ego, and did toucher ses mamailles’ … She gone, I to my business and did much, and among other things to-night we were all mightily troubled how to prevent the sale of a great deal of hemp, and timber-deals, and other good goods to-morrow at the candle by the Prize Office, where it will be sold for little, and we shall be found to want the same goods and buy at extraordinary prices, and perhaps the very same goods now sold, which is a most horrid evil and a shame. At night home to supper and to bed with my mind mighty light to see the fruits of my diligence in having my business go off my hand so merrily.

Monday 14 January 1666/67

Up, and to the office, where busy getting beforehand with my business as fast as I can. At noon home to dinner, and presently afterward at my office again. I understand my father is pretty well again, blessed be God! and would have my Br[other] John come down to him for a little while. Busy till night, pleasing myself mightily to see what a deal of business goes off of a man’s hands when he stays by it, and then, at night, before it was late (yet much business done) home to supper, discourse with my wife, and to bed. Sir W. Batten tells me the Lords do agree at last with the Commons about the word “Nuisance” in the Irish Bill, and do desire a good correspondence between the two Houses; and that the King do intend to prorogue them the last of this month.

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