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

Thursday 23 January 1667/68

At the Office all the morning; and at noon find the Bishop of Lincolne come to dine with us; and after him comes Mr. Brisband; and there mighty good company. But the Bishop a very extraordinary good-natured man, and one that is mightily pleased, as well as I am, that I live so near Bugden, the seat of his bishopricke, where he is like to reside: and, indeed, I am glad of it. In discourse, we think ourselves safe for this year, by this league with Holland, which pleases every body, and, they say, vexes France; insomuch that D’Estrades; the French Embassador in Holland, when he heard it, told the States that he would have them not forget that his master is at the head of 100,000 men, and is but 28 years old; which was a great speech. The Bishop tells me he thinks that the great business of Toleration will not, notwithstanding this talk, be carried this Parliament; nor for the King’s taking away the Deans’ and Chapters’ lands to supply his wants, they signifying little to him, if he had them, for his present service. He gone, I mightily pleased with his kindness, I to the office, where busy till night, and then to Mrs. Turner’s, where my wife, and Deb., and I, and Batelier spent the night, and supped, and played at cards, and very merry, and so I home to bed. She is either a very prodigal woman, or richer than she would be thought, by her buying of the best things, and laying out much money in new-fashioned pewter; and, among other things, a new-fashioned case for a pair of snuffers, which is very pretty; but I could never have guessed what it was for, had I not seen the snuffers in it.

Wednesday 22 January 1667/68

Up, mightily busy all the morning at the office. At noon with Lord Brouncker to Sir D. Gawden’s, at the Victualling-Office, to dinner, where I have not dined since he was Sheriff: He expected us; and a good dinner, and much good company; and a fine house, and especially two rooms, very fine, he hath built there. His lady a good lady; but my Lord led himself and me to a great absurdity in kissing all the ladies, but the finest of all the company, leaving her out, I know not how; and I was loath to do it, since he omitted it. Here little Chaplin dined, who is like to be Sheriff the next year; and a pretty humoured little man he is. I met here with Mr. Talents, the younger, of Magdalene College, Chaplain here to the Sheriff; which I was glad to see, though not much acquainted with him. This day come the first demand from the Commissioners of Accounts to us, and it contains more than we shall ever be able to answer while we live, and I do foresee we shall be put to much trouble and some shame, at least some of us. Thence stole away after dinner to my cozen Kate’s, and there find the Crowner’s jury sitting, but they could not end it, but put off the business to Shrove Tuesday next, and so do give way to the burying of him, and that is all; but they all incline to find it a natural death, though there are mighty busy people to have it go otherwise, thinking to get his estate, but are mistaken. Thence, after sitting with her and company a while, comforting her: though I can find she can, as all other women, cry, and yet talk of other things all in a breath. So home, and there to cards with my wife, Deb., and Betty Turner, and Batelier, and after supper late to sing. But, Lord! how did I please myself to make Betty Turner sing, to see what a beast she is as to singing, not knowing how to sing one note in tune; but, only for the experiment, I would not for 40s. hear her sing a tune: worse than my wife a thousand times, so that it do a little reconcile me to her. So late to bed.

Tuesday 21 January 1667/68

Up, and while at the office comes news from Kate Joyce that if I would see her husband alive, I must come presently. So, after the office was up, I to him, and W. Hewer with me, and find him in his sick bed (I never was at their house, this Inne, before) very sensible in discourse and thankful for my kindness to him, and his breath rattled in his throate, and they did lay pigeons to his feet while I was in the house, and all despair of him, and with good reason. But the story is that it seems on Thursday last he went sober and quiet out of doors in the morning to Islington, and behind one of the inns, the White Lion, did fling himself into a pond, was spied by a poor woman and got out by some people binding up hay in a barn there, and set on his head and got to life, and known by a woman coming that way; and so his wife and friends sent for. He confessed his doing the thing, being led by the Devil; and do declare his reason to be, his trouble that he found in having forgot to serve God as he ought, since he come to this new employment: and I believe that, and the sense of his great loss by the fire, did bring him to it, and so everybody concludes. He stayed there all that night, and come home by coach next morning, and there grew sick, and worse and worse to this day. I stayed awhile among the friends that were there, and they being now in fear that the goods and estate would be seized on, though he lived all this while, because of his endeavouring to drown himself, my cozen did endeavour to remove what she could of plate out of the house, and desired me to take my flagons; which I was glad of, and did take them away with me in great fear all the way of being seized; though there was no reason for it, he not being dead, but yet so fearful I was. So home, and there eat my dinner, and busy all the afternoon, and troubled at this business. In the evening with Sir D. Gawden, to Guild Hall, to advise with the Towne-Clerke about the practice of the City and nation in this case: and he thinks that it cannot be found self-murder; but if it be, it will fall, all the estate, to the King. So we parted, and I to my cozens again; where I no sooner come but news was brought down from his chamber that he was departed. So, at their entreaty, I presently took coach to White Hall, and there find Sir W. Coventry; and he carried me to the King, the Duke of York being with him, and there told my story which I had told him:1 and the King, without more ado, granted that, if it was found, the estate should be to the widow and children. I presently to each Secretary’s office, and there left caveats, and so away back again to my cozens, leaving a chimney on fire at White Hall, in the King’s closet; but no danger. And so, when I come thither, I find her all in sorrow, but she and the rest mightily pleased with my doing this for them; and, indeed, it was a very great courtesy, for people are looking out for the estate, and the coroner will be sent to, and a jury called to examine his death. This being well done to my and their great joy, I home, and there to my office, and so to supper and to bed.

Monday 20 January 1667/68

Up, and all the morning at the office very busy, and at noon by coach to Westminster, to the ’Chequer, about a warrant for Tangier money. In my way both coming and going I did stop at Drumbleby’s, the pipe-maker, there to advise about the making of a flageolet to go low and soft; and he do shew me a way which do do, and also a fashion of having two pipes of the same note fastened together, so as I can play on one, and then echo it upon the other, which is mighty pretty. So to my Lord Crew’s to dinner, where we hear all the good news of our making a league now with Holland against the French power coming over them, or us which is the first good act that hath been done a great while, and done secretly, and with great seeming wisdom; and is certainly good for us at this time, while we are in no condition to resist the French, if they should come over hither; and then a little time of peace will give us time to lay up something, which these Commissioners of the Treasury are doing; and the world do begin to see that they will do the King’s work for him, if he will let them. Here dined Mr. Case, the minister, who, Lord! do talk just as I remember he used to preach, and did tell a pretty story of a religious lady, Queen of Navarre; and my Lord also told a good story of Mr. Newman, the Minister in New England, who wrote the Concordance, of his foretelling his death and preaching a funeral sermon, and did at last bid the angels do their office, and died.

It seems there is great presumption that there will be a Toleration granted: so that the Presbyterians do hold up their heads; but they will hardly trust the King or the Parliament what to yield them, though most of the sober party be for some kind of allowance to be given them. Thence and home, and then to the ’Change in the evening, and there Mr. Cade told me how my Lord Gerard is likely to meet with trouble, the next sitting of Parliament, about [Carr] being set in the pillory; and I am glad of it; and it is mighty acceptable to the world to hear, that, among other reductions, the King do reduce his Guards, which do please mightily. So to my bookbinder’s with my boy, and there did stay late to see two or three things done that I had a mind to see done, and among others my Tangier papers of accounts, and so home to supper and to bed.

Sunday 19 January 1667/68

(Lord’s day). My wife the last night very ill of those, and waked me early, and hereupon I up and to church, where a dull sermon by our lecturer, and so home to dinner in my wife’s chamber, which she is a little better. Then after dinner with Captain Perryman down to Redriffe, and so walked to Deptford, where I sent for Mr. Shish out of the Church to advise about my vessel, “The Maybolt,” and I do resolve to sell, presently, for any thing rather than keep her longer, having already lost 100l. in her value, which I was once offered and refused, and the ship left without any body to look to her, which vexes me. Thence Perryman and I back again, talking of the great miscarriages in the Navy, and among the principal that of having gentlemen commanders. I shall hereafter make use of his and others’ help to reckon up and put down in writing what is fit to be mended in the Navy after all our sad experience therein. So home, and there sat with my wife all the evening, and Mr. Pelling awhile talking with us, who tells me that my Lord Shrewsbury is likely to do well, after his great wound in the late duell. He gone, comes W. Hewer and supped with me, and so to talk of things, and he tells me that Mr. Jessop is made Secretary to the Commissions of Parliament for Accounts, and I am glad, and it is pretty to see that all the Cavalier party were not able to find the Parliament nine Commissioners, or one Secretary, fit for the business. So he gone, I to read a little in my chamber, and so to bed.

Saturday 18 January 1667/68

At the office all the morning busy sitting. At noon home to dinner, where Betty Turner dined with us, and after dinner carried my wife, her and Deb. to the ’Change, where they bought some things, while I bought “The Mayden Queene,” a play newly printed, which I like at the King’s house so well, of Mr. Dryden’s, which he himself, in his preface, seems to brag of, and indeed is a good play. So home again, and I late at the office and did much business, and then home to supper and to bed.

Friday 17 January 1667/68

Up, and by coach to White Hall to attend the Council there, and here I met first by Mr. Castle the shipwright, whom I met there, and then from the whole house the discourse of the duell yesterday between the Duke of Buckingham, Holmes, and one Jenkins, on one side, and my Lord of Shrewsbury, Sir John Talbot, and one Bernard Howard, on the other side: and all about my Lady Shrewsbury,1 who is a whore, and is at this time, and hath for a great while been, a whore to the Duke of Buckingham. And so her husband challenged him, and they met yesterday in a close near Barne-Elmes, and there fought: and my Lord Shrewsbury is run through the body, from the right breast through the shoulder: and Sir John Talbot all along up one of his armes; and Jenkins killed upon the place, and the rest all, in a little measure, wounded. This will make the world think that the King hath good councillors about him, when the Duke of Buckingham, the greatest man about him, is a fellow of no more sobriety than to fight about a whore. And this may prove a very bad accident to the Duke of Buckingham, but that my Lady Castlemayne do rule all at this time as much as ever she did, and she will, it is believed, keep all matters well with the Duke of Buckingham: though this is a time that the King will be very backward, I suppose, to appear in such a business. And it is pretty to hear how the King had some notice of this challenge a week or two ago, and did give it to my Lord Generall to confine the Duke, or take security that he should not do any such thing as fight: and the Generall trusted to the King that he, sending for him, would do it, and the King trusted to the Generall; and so, between both, as everything else of the greatest moment do, do fall between two stools. The whole House full of nothing but the talk of this business; and it is said that my Lord Shrewsbury’s case is to be feared, that he may die too; and that may make it much the worse for the Duke of Buckingham: and I shall not be much sorry for it, that we may have some sober man come in his room to assist in the Government. Here I waited till the Council rose, and talked the while, with Creed, who tells me of Mr. Harry Howard’s giving the Royal Society a piece of ground next to his house, to build a College on, which is a most generous act. And he tells me he is a very fine person, and understands and speaks well; and no rigid Papist neither, but one that would not have a Protestant servant leave his religion, which he was going to do, thinking to recommend himself to his master by it; saying that he had rather have an honest Protestant than a knavish Catholique. I was not called into the Council; and, therefore, home, first informing myself that my Lord Hinchingbroke hath been married this week to my Lord Burlington’s daughter; so that that great business is over; and I mighty glad of it, though I am not satisfied that I have not a Favour sent me, as I see Attorney Montagu and the Vice-Chamberlain have. But I am mighty glad that the thing is done. So home, and there alone with my wife and Deb. to dinner, and after dinner comes Betty Turner, and I carried them to the New Exchange, and thence I to White Hall and did a little business at the Treasury, and so called them there, and so home and to cards and supper, and her mother come and sat at cards with us till past 12 at night, and then broke up and to bed, after entering my journall, which made it one before I went to bed.

Continue reading Thursday 16 January 1667/68