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

Sunday 24 February 1666/67

(Lord’s day). Up, and with [Sir] W. Batten, by coach; he set me down at my Lord Bruncker’s (his feud there not suffering him to ‘light himself), and I with my Lord by and by when ready to White Hall, and by and by up to the Duke of York, and there presented our great letter and other papers, and among the rest my report of the victualling, which is good, I think, and will continue my pretence to the place, which I am still afeard Sir W. Coventry’s employment may extinguish. We have discharged ourselves in this letter fully from blame in the bad success of the Navy, if money do not come soon to us, and so my heart is at pretty good rest in this point. Having done here, Sir W. Batten and I home by coach, and though the sermon at our church was begun, yet he would ‘light to go home and eat a slice of roast beef off the spit, and did, and then he and I to church in the middle of the sermon. My Lady Pen there saluted me with great content to tell me that her daughter and husband are still in bed, as if the silly woman thought it a great matter of honour, and did, going out of the church, ask me whether we did not make a great show at Court today, with all our favours in our hats. After sermon home, and alone with my wife dined. Among other things my wife told me how ill a report our Mercer hath got by her keeping of company, so that she will not send for her to dine with us or be with us as heretofore; and, what is more strange, tells me that little Mis. Tooker hath got a clap as young as she is, being brought up loosely by her mother … In the afternoon away to White Hall by water, and took a turn or two in the Park, and then back to White Hall, and there meeting my Lord Arlington, he, by I know not what kindness, offered to carry me along with him to my Lord Treasurer’s, whither, I told him, I was going. I believe he had a mind to discourse of some Navy businesses, but Sir Thomas Clifford coming into the coach to us, we were prevented; which I was sorry for, for I had a mind to begin an acquaintance with him. He speaks well, and hath pretty slight superficial parts, I believe. He, in our going, talked much of the plain habit of the Spaniards; how the King and Lords themselves wear but a cloak of Colchester bayze, and the ladies mantles, in cold weather, of white flannell: and that the endeavours frequently of setting up the manufacture of making these stuffs there have only been prevented by the Inquisition: the English and Dutchmen that have been sent for to work, being taken with a Psalmbook or Testament, and so clapped up, and the house pulled down by the Inquisitors; and the greatest Lord in Spayne dare not say a word against it, if the word Inquisition be but mentioned. At my Lord Treasurer’s ‘light and parted with them, they going into Council, and I walked with Captain Cocke, who takes mighty notice of the differences growing in our office between Lord Bruncker and [Sir] W. Batten, and among others also, and I fear it may do us hurt, but I will keep out of them. By and by comes Sir S. Fox, and he and I walked and talked together on many things, but chiefly want of money, and the straits the King brings himself and affairs into for want of it. Captain Cocke did tell me what I must not forget: that the answer of the Dutch, refusing The Hague for a place of treaty, and proposing the Boysse, Bredah, Bergen-op-Zoome, or Mastricht, was seemingly stopped by the Swede’s Embassador (though he did show it to the King, but the King would take no notice of it, nor does not) from being delivered to the King; and he hath wrote to desire them to consider better of it: so that, though we know their refusal of the place, yet they know not that we know it, nor is the King obliged to show his sense of the affront. That the Dutch are in very great straits, so as to be said to be not able to set out their fleete this year. By and by comes Sir Robert Viner and my Lord Mayor to ask the King’s directions about measuring out the streets according to the new Act for building of the City, wherein the King is to be pleased.1 But he says that the way proposed in Parliament, by Colonel Birch, would have been the best, to have chosen some persons in trust, and sold the whole ground, and let it be sold again by them, with preference to the old owner, which would have certainly caused the City to be built where these Trustees pleased; whereas now, great differences will be, and the streets built by fits, and not entire till all differences be decided. This, as he tells it, I think would have been the best way. I enquired about the Frenchman that was said to fire the City, and was hanged for it, by his own confession, that he was hired for it by a Frenchman of Roane, and that he did with a stick reach in a fire-ball in at a window of the house: whereas the master of the house, who is the King’s baker, and his son, and daughter, do all swear there was no such window, and that the fire did not begin thereabouts. Yet the fellow, who, though a mopish besotted fellow, did not speak like a madman, did swear that he did fire it: and did not this like a madman; for, being tried on purpose, and landed with his keeper at the Tower Wharf, he could carry the keeper to the very house. Asking Sir R. Viner what he thought was the cause of the fire, he tells me, that the baker, son, and his daughter, did all swear again and again, that their oven was drawn by ten o’clock at night; that, having occasion to light a candle about twelve, there was not so much fire in the bakehouse as to light a match for a candle, so that they were fain to go into another place to light it; that about two in the morning they felt themselves almost choked with smoke, and rising, did find the fire coming upstairs; so they rose to save themselves; but that, at that time, the bavins were not on fire in the yard. So that they are, as they swear, in absolute ignorance how this fire should come; which is a strange thing, that so horrid an effect should have so mean and uncertain a beginning. By and by called in to the King and Cabinet, and there had a few insipid words about money for Tangier, but to no purpose. Thence away walked to my boat at White Hall, and so home and to supper, and then to talk with W. Hewer about business of the differences at present among the people of our office, and so to my journall and to bed. This night going through bridge by water, my waterman told me how the mistress of the Beare tavern, at the bridge-foot, did lately fling herself into the Thames, and drowned herself; which did trouble me the more, when they tell me it was she that did live at the White Horse tavern in Lumbard Streete, which was a most beautiful woman, as most I have seen. It seems she hath had long melancholy upon her, and hath endeavoured to make away with herself often.

Saturday 23 February 1666/67

This day I am, by the blessing of God, 34 years old, in very good health and mind’s content, and in condition of estate much beyond whatever my friends could expect of a child of theirs, this day 34 years. The Lord’s name be praised! and may I be ever thankful for it. Up betimes to the office, in order to my letter to the Duke of York to-morrow, and then the office met and spent the greatest part about this letter. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again very close at it all the day till midnight, making an end and writing fair this great letter and other things to my full content, it abundantly providing for the vindication of this office, whatever the success be of our wants of money. This evening Sir W. Batten come to me to the office on purpose, out of spleen (of which he is full to Carcasse !), to tell me that he is now informed of many double tickets now found of Carcasses making which quite overthrows him. It is strange to see how, though I do believe this fellow to be a rogue, and could be contented to have him removed, yet to see him persecuted by Sir W. Batten, who is as bad himself, and that with so much rancour, I am almost the fellow’s friend. But this good I shall have from it, that the differences between Sir W. Batten and my Lord Bruncker will do me no hurt.

Friday 22 February 1666/67

Up, and to the office, where I awhile, and then home with Sir H. Cholmly to give him some tallies upon the business of the Mole at Tangier, and then out with him by coach to the Excise Office, there to enter them, and so back again with him to the Exchange, and there I took another coach, and home to the office, and to my business till dinner, the rest of our officers having been this morning upon the Victuallers’ accounts. At dinner all of us, that is to say, Lord Bruncker, [Sir] J. Minnes, [Sir] W. Batten, [Sir] T. Harvy, and myself, to Sir W. Pen’s house, where some other company. It is instead of a wedding dinner for his daughter, whom I saw in palterly clothes, nothing new but a bracelet that her servant had given her, and ugly she is, as heart can wish. A sorry dinner, not any thing handsome or clean, but some silver plates they borrowed of me. My wife was here too. So a great deal of talk, and I seemingly merry, but took no pleasure at all. We had favours given us all, and we put them in our hats, I against my will, but that my Lord and the rest did, I being displeased that he did carry Sir W. Coventry’s himself several days ago, and the people up and down the town long since, and we must have them but to-day. After dinner to talk a little, and then I away to my office, to draw up a letter of the state of the Office and Navy for the Duke of York against Sunday next, and at it late, and then home to supper and to bed, talking with my wife of the poorness and meanness of all that Sir W. Pen and the people about us do, compared with what we do.

Thursday 21 February 1666/67

Up, and to the Office, where sat all the morning, and there a most furious conflict between Sir W. Pen and I, in few words, and on a sudden occasion, of no great moment, but very bitter, and stared on one another, and so broke off; and to our business, my heart as full of spite as it could hold, for which God forgive me and him! At the end of the day come witnesses on behalf of Mr. Carcasse; but, instead of clearing him, I find they were brought to recriminate Sir W. Batten, and did it by oath very highly, that made the old man mad, and, I confess, me ashamed, so that I caused all but ourselves to withdraw; being sorry to have such things declared in the open office, before 100 people. But it was done home, and I do believe true, though (Sir) W. Batten denies all, but is cruel mad, and swore one of them, he or Carcasse, should not continue in the Office, which is said like a fool. He gone, for he would not stay, and [Sir] W. Pen gone a good while before, Lord Bruncker, Sir T. Harvy, and I, staid and examined the witnesses, though amounting to little more than a reproaching of Sir W. Batten. I home, my head and mind vexed about the conflict between Sir W. Pen and I, though I have got, nor lost any ground by it. At home was Mr. Daniel and wife and sister, and dined with us, and I disturbed at dinner, Colonell Fitzgerald coming to me about tallies, which I did go and give him, and then to the office, where did much business and walked an hour or two with Lord Bruncker, who is mightily concerned in this business for Carcasse and against Sir W. Batten, and I do hope it will come to a good height, for I think it will be good for the King as well as for me, that they two do not agree, though I do, for ought I see yet, think that my Lord is for the most part in the right. He gone, I to the office again to dispatch business, and late at night comes in Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, and [Sir] J. Minnes to the office, and what was it but to examine one Jones, a young merchant, who was said to have spoke the worst against Sir W. Batten, but he do deny it wholly, yet I do believe Carcasse will go near to prove all that was sworn in the morning, and so it be true I wish it may. That done, I to end my letters, and then home to supper, and set right some accounts of Tangier, and then to bed.

Wednesday 20 February 1666/67

Up, with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen by coach to White Hall, by the way observing Sir W. Pen’s carrying a favour to Sir W. Coventry, for his daughter’s wedding, and saying that there was others for us, when we will fetch them, which vexed me, and I am resolved not to wear it when he orders me one. His wedding hath been so poorly kept, that I am ashamed of it; for a fellow that makes such a flutter as he do. When we come to the Duke of York here, I heard discourse how Harris of his play-house is sick, and everybody commends him, and, above all things, for acting the Cardinall. Here they talk also how the King’s viallin, —[violin]— Bannister, is mad that the King hath a Frenchman come to be chief of some part of the King’s musique, at which the Duke of York made great mirth. Then withdrew to his closett, all our business, lack of money and prospect of the effects of it, such as made Sir W. Coventry say publickly before us all, that he do heartily wish that his Royal Highness had nothing to do in the Navy, whatever become of him; so much dishonour, he says, is likely to fall under the management of it. The Duke of York was angry, as much as he could be, or ever I saw him, with Sir G. Carteret, for not paying the masters of some ships on Monday last, according to his promise, and I do think Sir G. Carteret will make himself unhappy by not taking some course either to borrow more money or wholly lay aside his pretence to the charge of raising money, when he hath nothing to do to trouble himself with. Thence to the Exchequer, and there find the people in readiness to dispatch my tallies to-day, though Ash Wednesday. So I back by coach to London to Sir Robt. Viner’s and there got 100l., and come away with it and pay my fees round, and so away with the ‘Chequer men to the Leg in King Street, and there had wine for them; and here was one in company with them, that was the man that got the vessel to carry over the King from Bredhemson, who hath a pension of 200 per annum, but ill paid, and the man is looking after getting of a prizeship to live by; but the trouble is, that this poor man, who hath received no part of his money these four years, and is ready to starve almost, must yet pay to the Poll Bill for this pension. He told me several particulars of the King’s coming thither, which was mighty pleasant, and shews how mean a thing a king is, how subject to fall, and how like other men he is in his afflictions. Thence with my tallies home, and a little dinner, and then with my wife by coach to Lincoln’s Inn Fields, sent her to her brother’s, and I with Lord Bellasses to the Lord Chancellor’s. Lord Bellasses tells me how the King of France hath caused the stop to be made to our proposition of treating in The Hague; that he being greater than they, we may better come and treat at Paris: so that God knows what will become of the peace! He tells me, too, as a grand secret, that he do believe the peace offensive and defensive between Spayne and us is quite finished, but must not be known, to prevent the King of France’s present falling upon Flanders. He do believe the Duke of York will be made General of the Spanish armies there, and Governor of Flanders, if the French should come against it, and we assist the Spaniard: that we have done the Spaniard abundance of mischief in the West Indys, by our privateers at Jamaica, which they lament mightily, and I am sorry for it to have it done at this time. By and by, come to my Lord Chancellor, who heard mighty quietly my complaints for lack of money, and spoke mighty kind to me, but little hopes of help therein, only his good word. He do prettily cry upon Povy’s account with sometimes seeming friendship and pity, and this day quite the contrary. He do confess our streights here and every where else arise from our outspending our revenue. I mean that the King do do so. Thence away, took up my wife; who tells me her brother hath laid out much money upon himself and wife for clothes, which I am sorry to hear, it requiring great expense. So home and to the office a while, and then home to supper, where Mrs. Turner come to us, and sat and talked. Poor woman, I pity her, but she is very cunning. She concurs with me in the falseness of Sir W. Pen’s friendship, and she tells pretty storms of my Lord Bruncker since he come to our end of the town, of people’s applications to Mrs. Williams. So, she gone, I back to my accounts of Tangier, which I am settling, having my new tallies from the Exchequer this day, and having set all right as I could wish, then to bed.

Tuesday 19 February 1666/67

Up, and to the office, where all the morning doing little business, our want of money being so infinite great. At noon home, and there find old Mr. Michell and Howlett come to desire mine and my wife’s company to dinner to their son’s, and so away by coach with them, it being Betty’s wedding-day a year, as also Shrove Tuesday. Here I made myself mighty merry, the two old women being there also, and a mighty pretty dinner we had in this little house, to my exceeding great content, and my wife’s, and my heart pleased to see Betty. But I have not been so merry a very great while as with them, every thing pleasing me there as much as among so mean company I could be pleased. After dinner I fell to read the Acts about the building of the City again;1 and indeed the laws seem to be very good, and I pray God I may live to see it built in that manner! Anon with much content home, walking with my wife and her woman, and there to my office, where late doing much business, and then home to supper and to bed. This morning I hear that our discourse of peace is all in the dirt; for the Dutch will not like of the place, or at least the French will not agree to it; so that I do wonder what we shall do, for carry on the war we cannot. I long to hear the truth of it to-morrow at Court.

Monday 18 February 1666/67

Up, and to my bookbinder’s, and there mightily pleased to see some papers of the account we did give the Parliament of the expense of the Navy sewed together, which I could not have conceived before how prettily it was done. Then by coach to the Exchequer about some tallies, and thence back again home, by the way meeting Mr. Weaver, of Huntingdon, and did discourse our business of law together, which did ease my mind, for I was afeard I have omitted doing what I in prudence ought to have done. So home and to dinner, and after dinner to the office, where je had Mrs. Burrows all sola a my closet, and did there ‘baiser and toucher ses mamelles’ … Thence away, and with my wife by coach to the Duke of York’s play-house, expecting a new play, and so stayed not no more than other people, but to the King’s house, to “The Mayd’s Tragedy;” but vexed all the while with two talking ladies and Sir Charles Sedley; yet pleased to hear their discourse, he being a stranger. And one of the ladies would, and did sit with her mask on, all the play, and, being exceeding witty as ever I heard woman, did talk most pleasantly with him; but was, I believe, a virtuous woman, and of quality. He would fain know who she was, but she would not tell; yet did give him many pleasant hints of her knowledge of him, by that means setting his brains at work to find, out who she was, and did give him leave to use all means to find out who she was, but pulling off her mask. He was mighty witty, and she also making sport with him very inoffensively, that a more pleasant ‘rencontre’ I never heard. But by that means lost the pleasure of the play wholly, to which now and then Sir Charles Sedley’s exceptions against both words and pronouncing were very pretty. So home and to the office, did much business, then home, to supper, and to bed.

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