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

Monday 28 September 1668

Up betimes, and Knepp’s maid comes to me, to tell me that the women’s day at the playhouse is to-day, and that therefore I must be there, to encrease their profit. I did give the pretty maid Betty that comes to me half-a-crown for coming, and had a baiser or two-elle being mighty jolie. And so I about my business. By water to St. James’s, and there had good opportunity of speaking with the Duke of York, who desires me again, talking on that matter, to prepare something for him to do for the better managing of our Office, telling me that, my Lord Keeper and he talking about it yesterday, my Lord Keeper did advise him to do so, it being better to come from him than otherwise, which I have promised to do. Thence to my Lord Burlington’s house the first time I ever was there, it being the house built by Sir John Denham, next to Clarendon House; and here I visited my Lord Hinchingbroke and his lady; Mr. Sidney Montagu being come last night to town unexpectedly from Mount’s Bay, where he left my Lord well, eight days since, so as we may now hourly expect to hear of his arrival at Portsmouth. Sidney is mighty grown; and I am glad I am here to see him at his first coming, though it cost me dear, for here I come to be necessitated to supply them with 500l. for my Lord. He sent him up with a declaration to his friends, of the necessity of his being presently supplied with 2000l.; but I do not think he will get one. However, I think it becomes my duty to my Lord to do something extraordinary in this, and the rather because I have been remiss in writing to him during this voyage, more than ever I did in my life, and more indeed than was fit for me. By and by comes Sir W. Godolphin to see Mr. Sidney, who, I perceive, is much dissatisfied that he should come to town last night, and not yet be with my Lord Arlington, who, and all the town, hear of his being come to town, and he did, it seems, take notice of it to Godolphin this morning: so that I perceive this remissness in affairs do continue in my Lord’s managements still, which I am sorry for; but, above all, to see in what a condition my Lord is for money, that I dare swear he do not know where to take up 500l. of any man in England at this time, upon his word, but of myself, as I believe by the sequel hereof it will appear. Here I first saw and saluted my Lady Burlington, a very fine-speaking lady, and a good woman, but old, and not handsome; but a brave woman in her parts. Here my Lady Hinchingbroke tells me that she hath bought most of the wedding-clothes for Mrs. Pickering, so that the thing is gone through, and will soon be ended; which I wonder at, but let them do as they will. Here I also, standing by a candle that was brought for sealing of a letter, do set my periwigg a-fire, which made such an odd noise, nobody could tell what it was till they saw the flame, my back being to the candle. Thence to Westminster Hall and there walked a little, and to the Exchequer, and so home by water, and after eating a bit I to my vintner’s, and there did only look upon su wife, which is mighty handsome; and so to my glove and ribbon shop, in Fenchurch Street, and did the like there. And there, stopping against the door of the shop, saw Mrs. Horsfall, now a late widow, in a coach. I to her, and shook her by the hand, and so she away; and I by coach towards the King’s playhouse, and meeting W. Howe took him with me, and there saw “The City Match;” not acted these thirty years, and but a silly play: the King and Court there; the house, for the women’s sake, mighty full. So I to White Hall, and there all the evening on the Queen’s side; and it being a most summerlike day, and a fine warm evening, the Italians come in a barge under the leads, before the Queen’s drawing-room; and so the Queen and ladies went out, and heard them, for almost an hour: and it was indeed very good together; but yet there was but one voice that alone did appear considerable, and that was Seignor Joanni. This done, by and by they went in; and here I saw Mr. Sidney Montagu kiss the Queen’s hand, who was mighty kind to him, and the ladies looked mightily on him; and the King come by and by, and did talk to him. So I away by coach with Alderman Backewell home, who is mighty kind to me, more than ordinary, in his expressions. But I do hear this day what troubles me, that Sir W. Coventry is quite out of play, the King seldom speaking to him; and that there is a design of making a Lord Treasurer, and that my Lord Arlington shall be the man; but I cannot believe it. But yet the Duke of Buckingham hath it in his mind, and those with him, to make a thorough alteration in things; and, among the rest, Coventry to be out. The Duke of York did this day tell me how hot the whole party was in the business of Gawden; and particularly, my Lord Anglesey tells me, the Duke of Buckingham, for Child against Gawden; but the Duke of York did stand stoutly to it. So home to read and sup, and to bed.

Sunday 27 September 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and to my office to finish my journall for five days past, and so abroad and walked to White Hall, calling in at Somerset House Chapel, and also at the Spanish Embassador’s at York House, and there did hear a little masse: and so to White Hall; and there the King being gone to Chapel, I to walk all the morning in the Park, where I met Mr. Wren; and he and I walked together in the Pell-Mell, it being most summer weather that ever was seen: and here talking of several things: of the corruption of the Court, and how unfit it is for ingenious men, and himself particularly, to live in it, where a man cannot live but he must spend, and cannot get suitably, without breach of his honour: and did thereupon tell me of the basest thing of my Lord Barkeley, one of the basest things that ever was heard of of a man, which was this: how the Duke of York’s Commissioners do let his wine-licenses at a bad rate, and being offered a better, they did persuade the Duke of York to give some satisfaction to the former to quit it, and let it to the latter, which being done, my Lord Barkeley did make the bargain for the former to have 1500l. a-year to quit it; whereof, since, it is come to light that they were to have but 800l. and himself 700l., which the Duke of York hath ever since for some years paid, though this second bargain hath been broken, and the Duke of York lost by it, [half] of what the first was.

He told me that there hath been a seeming accommodation between the Duke of York and the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Arlington, the two latter desiring it; but yet that there is not true agreement between them, but they do labour to bring in all new creatures into play, and the Duke of York do oppose it, as particularly in this of Sir D. Gawden.

Thence, he gone, I to the Queen’s Chapel, and there heard some good singing; and so to White Hall, and saw the King and Queen at dinner and thence with Sir Stephen Fox to dinner: and the Cofferer with us; and there mighty kind usage, and good discourse. Thence spent all the afternoon walking in the Park, and then in the evening at Court, on the Queen’s side; and there met Mr. Godolphin, who tells me that the news, is true we heard yesterday, of my Lord Sandwich’s being come to Mount’s Bay, in Cornwall, and so I heard this afternoon at Mrs. Pierce’s, whom I went to make a short visit to. This night, in the Queen’s drawing-room, my Lord Brouncker told me the difference that is now between the three Embassadors here, the Venetian, French, and Spaniard; the third not being willing to make a visit to the first, because he would not receive him at the door; who is willing to give him as much respect as he did to the French, who was used no otherwise, and who refuses now to take more of him, upon being desired thereto, in order to the making an accommodation in this matter, which is very pretty. So a boat staying for me all this evening, I home in the dark about eight at night, and so over the ruins from the Old Swan home with great trouble, and so to hear my boy read a little, and supper and to bed. This evening I found at home Pelling and Wallington and one Aldrige, and we supped and sung.

Saturday 26 September 1668

Could sleep but little last night, for my concernments in this business of the victualling for Sir D. Gawden, so up in the morning and he comes to me, and there I did tell him all, and give him my advice, and so he away, and I to the office, where we met and did a little business, and I left them and by water to attend the Council, which I did all the morning, but was not called in, but the Council meets again in the afternoon on purpose about it. So I at noon to Westminster Hall and there stayed a little, and at the Swan also, thinking to have got Doll Lane thither, but elle did not understand my signs; and so I away and walked to Charing Cross, and there into the great new Ordinary, by my Lord Mulgrave’s, being led thither by Mr. Beale, one of Oliver’s, and now of the King’s Guards; and he sat with me while I had two grilled pigeons, very handsome and good meat: and there he and I talked of our old acquaintances, W. Clerke and others, he being a very civil man, and so walked to Westminster and there parted, and I to the Swan again, but did nothing, and so to White Hall, and there attended the King and Council, who met and heard our answer. I present, and then withdrew; and they spent two hours at least afterwards about it, and at last rose; and to my great content, the Duke of York, at coming out, told me that it was carried for D. Gawden at 6d. 8d., and 8¾d.; but with great difficulty, I understand, both from him and others, so much that Sir Edward Walker told me that he prays to God he may never live to need to plead his merit, for D. Gawden’s sake; for that it hath stood him in no stead in this business at all, though both he and all the world that speaks of him, speaks of him as the most deserving man of any servant of the King’s in the whole nation, and so I think he is: but it is done, and my heart is glad at it. So I took coach and away, and in Holborne overtook D. Gawden’s coach, and stopped and went home, and Gibson to come after, and to my house, where D. Gawden did talk a little, and he do mightily acknowledge my kindness to him, and I know I have done the King and myself good service in it. So he gone, and myself in mighty great content in what is done, I to the office a little, and then home to supper, and the boy to read to me, and so to bed. This noon I went to my Lady Peterborough’s house, and talked with her about the money due to her Lord, and it gives me great trouble, her importunity and impertinency about it. This afternoon at Court I met with Lord Hinchingbroke, newly come out of the country, who tells me that Creed’s business with Mrs. Pickering will do, which I am neither troubled nor glad at.

Friday 25 September 1668

Up, and Sir D. Gawden with me betimes to confer again about this business, and he gone I all the morning finishing our answer, which I did by noon, and so to dinner, and W. Batelier with me, who is lately come from Impington, beyond which I perceive he went not, whatever his pretence at first was; and so he tells me how well and merry all are there, and how nobly used by my cozen.

He gone, after dinner I to work again, and Gibson having wrote our answer fair and got Brouncker and the rest to sign it, I by coach to White Hall to the Committee of the Council, which met late, and Brouncker and J. Minnes with me, and there the Duke of York present (but not W. Coventry, who I perceive do wholly avoid to have to do publickly in this business, being shy of appearing in any Navy business, which I telling him the other day that I thought the King might suffer by it, he told me that the occasion is now so small that it cannot be fatal to the service, and for the present it is better for him not to appear, saying that it may fare the worse for his appearing in it as things are now governed), where our answer was read and debated, and some hot words between the Duke of York and Sir T. Clifford, the first for and the latter against Gawden, but the whole put off to to-morrow’s Council, for till the King goes out of town the next week the Council sits every day. So with the Duke of York and some others to his closet, and Alderman Backewell about a Committee of Tangier, and there did agree upon a price for pieces of eight at 4s. 6d. Present the Duke of York, Arlington, Berkeley, Sir J. Minnes, and myself. They gone, the Duke of York did tell me how hot Clifford is for Child, and for removing of old Officers, he saying plainly to-night, that though D. Gawden was a man that had done the best service that he believed any man, or any ten men, could have done, yet that it was for the King’s interest not to let it lie too long in one hand, lest nobody should be able to serve him but one. But the Duke of York did openly tell him that he was not for removing of old servants that have done well, neither in this place, nor in any other place, which is very nobly said. It being 7 or 8 at night, I home with Backewell by coach, and so walked to D. Gawden’s, but he not at home, and so back to my chamber, the boy to read to me, and so to supper and to bed.

Thursday 24 September 1668

Up betimes and Sir D. Gawden with me, and I told him all, being very desirous for the King’s sake, as well as my own, that he may be kept in it, and after consulting him I to the Office, where we met again and spent most of the morning about this business, and no other, and so at noon home to dinner, and then close with Mr. Gibson till night, drawing up our answer, which I did the most part by seven at night, and so to Lord Brouncker and the rest at his lodgings to read it, and they approved of it. So back home to supper, and made my boy read to me awhile, and then to bed.

Wednesday 23 September 1668

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.

Tuesday 22 September 1668

Up, and to the Office, where sitting all the morning. At noon, home to dinner, with my people, and so to the Office again, where busy all the afternoon, and in the evening spent my time walking in the dark, in the garden, to favour my eyes, which I find nothing but ease to help. In the garden there comes to me my Lady Pen and Mrs. Turner and Markham, and we sat and talked together, and I carried them home, and there eat a bit of something, and by and by comes Sir W. Pen, and eat with us, and mighty merry, in appearance, at least, he being on all occasions glad to be at friendship with me, though we hate one another, and know it on both sides. They gone, Mrs. Turner and I to walk in the garden … So led her home, and I back to bed. This day Mr. Wren did give me, at the Board, Commissioner Middleton’s answer to the Duke of York’s great letter; so that now I have all of them.

Continue reading Monday 21 September 1668