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

Monday 26 March 1666

Up, and a meeting extraordinary there was of Sir W. Coventry, Lord Bruncker, and myself, about the business of settling the ticket office, where infinite room is left for abusing the King in the wages of seamen. Our [meeting] being done, my Lord Bruncker and I to the Tower, to see the famous engraver, to get him to grave a seale for the office. And did see some of the finest pieces of work in embossed work, that ever I did see in my life, for fineness and smallness of the images thereon, and I will carry my wife thither to shew them her. Here I also did see bars of gold melting, which was a fine sight. So with my Lord to the Pope’s Head Taverne in Lumbard Streete to dine by appointment with Captain Taylor, whither Sir W. Coventry come to us, and were mighty merry, and I find reason to honour him every day more and more.

Thence alone to Broade Street to Sir G. Carteret by his desire to confer with him, who is I find in great pain about the business of the office, and not a little, I believe, in fear of falling there, Sir W. Coventry having so great a pique against him, and herein I first learn an eminent instance how great a man this day, that nobody would think could be shaken, is the next overthrown, dashed out of countenance, and every small thing of irregularity in his business taken notice of, where nobody the other day durst cast an eye upon them, and next I see that he that the other day nobody durst come near is now as supple as a spaniel, and sends and speaks to me with great submission, and readily hears to advice. Thence home to the office, where busy late, and so home a little to my accounts publique and private, but could not get myself rightly to know how to dispose of them in order to passing.

Sunday 25 March 1666

(Lady day and Sunday). Up, and to my chamber in my gowne all the morning about settling my papers there. At noon to dinner, where my wife’s brother, whom I sent for to offer making him a Muster-Master and send to sea, which the poore man likes well of and will go, and it will be a good preferment to him, only hazardous. I hope he will prove a good discreet man.

After dinner to my papers and Tangier accounts again till supper, and after supper again to them, but by my mixing them, I know not how, my private and publique accounts, it makes me mad to see how hard it is to bring them to be understood, and my head is confounded, that though I did sweare to sit up till one o’clock upon them, yet, I fear, it will be to no purpose, for I cannot understand what I do or have been doing of them to-day.

Saturday 24 March 1665/66

Up and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where Anthony Joyce, and I did give my final answer, I would give but 500l. with my sister, and did show him the good offer made us in the country, to which I did now more and more incline, and intend to pursue that. After dinner I to White Hall to a Committee for Tangier, where the Duke of Yorke was, and I acquitted myself well in what I had to do. After the Committee up, I had occasion to follow the Duke into his lodgings, into a chamber where the Duchesse was sitting to have her picture drawn by Lilly, who was there at work. But I was well pleased to see that there was nothing near so much resemblance of her face in his work, which is now the second, if not the third time, as there was of my wife’s at the very first time. Nor do I think at last it can be like, the lines not being in proportion to those of her face.

So home, and to the office, where late, and so to bed.

Friday 23 March 1665/66

Up, and going out of my dressing-room, when ready to go down stairs, I spied little Mrs. Tooker, my pretty little girle, which, it seems, did come yesterday to our house to stay a little while with us, but I did not know of it till now. I was glad of her coming, she being a very pretty child, and now grown almost a woman. I out by six o’clock by appointment to Hales’s, where we fell to my picture presently very hard, and it comes on a very fine picture, and very merry, pleasant discourse we had all the morning while he was painting. Anon comes my wife and Mercer and little Tooker, and having done with me we all to a picture drawer’s hard by, Hales carrying me to see some landskipps of a man’s doing. But I do not [like] any of them, save only a piece of fruit, which indeed was very fine. Thence I to Westminster, to the Chequer, about a little business, and then to the Swan, and there sent for a bit of meat and dined; and after dinner had opportunity of being pleased with Sarah; and so away to Westminster Hall, and there Mrs. Michell tells me with great joy how little Betty Howlett is married to her young son Michell, which is a pretty odd thing, that he should so soon succeed in the match to his elder brother that died of the plague, and to the house and trade intended for him, and more they say that the girle has heretofore said that she did love this little one more than the other brother that was intended her all along. I am mighty glad of this match, and more that they are likely to live near me in Thames Streete, where I may see Betty now and then, whom I from a girle did use to call my second wife, and mighty pretty she is.

Thence by coach to Anthony Joyce to receive Harman’s answer, which did trouble me to receive, for he now demands 800l., whereas he never made exception at the portion, but accepted of 500l.. This I do not like; but, however, I cannot much blame the man, if he thinks he can get more of another than of me. So home and hard to my business at the office, where much business, and so home to supper and to bed.

Wednesday 21 March 1665/66

Up betimes, and first by coach to my Lord Generall to visitt him, and then to the Duke of Yorke, where we all met and did our usual business with him; but, Lord! how everything is yielded to presently, even by Sir W. Coventry, that is propounded by the Duke, as now to have Troutbecke, his old surgeon, and intended to go Surgeon-General of the fleete, to go Physician-General of the fleete, of which there never was any precedent in the world, and he for that to have 20l. per month. Thence with Lord Bruncker to Sir Robert Long, whom we found in his closett, and after some discourse of business he fell to discourse at large and pleasant, and among other things told us of the plenty of partridges in France, where he says the King of France and his company killed with their guns, in the plain de Versailles, 300 and odd partridges at one bout.

Thence I to the Excise Office behind the ‘Change, and there find our business of our tallys in great disorder as to payment, and thereupon do take a resolution of thinking how to remedy it, as soon as I can. Thence home, and there met Sir W. Warren, and after I had eat a bit of victuals (he staying in the office) he and I to White Hall. He to look after the business of the prize ships which we are endeavouring to buy, and hope to get money by them. So I to London by coach and to Gresham College, where I staid half an houre, and so away home to my office, and there walking late alone in the darke in the garden with Sir W. Warren, who tells me that at the Committee of the Lords for the prizes to-day, there passed very high words between my Lord Ashly and Sir W. Coventry, about our business of the prize ships. And that my Lord Ashly did snuff and talk as high to him, as he used to do to any ordinary seaman. And that Sir W. Coventry did take it very quietly, but yet for all did speak his mind soberly and with reason, and went away, saying, he had done his duty therein, and so left it to them, whether they would let so many ships go for masts or not: Here he and I talked of 1,000 businesses, all profitable discourse, and late parted, and I home to supper and to bed, troubled a little at a letter from my father, telling me how [he] is like to be sued for a debt of Tom’s, by Smith, the mercer.

Tuesday 20 March 1665/66

Up and to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon dined in haste, and so my wife, Mrs. Barbary, Mercer, and I by coach to Hales’s, where I find my wife’s picture now perfectly finished in all respects, and a beautiful picture it is, as almost I ever saw. I sat again, and had a great deale done, but, whatever the matter is, I do not fancy that it has the ayre of my face, though it will be a very fine picture. Thence home and to my business, being post night, and so home to supper and to, bed.

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