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

Tuesday 23 May 1665

Up, and at the office busy all the morning. At noon dined alone, my wife and mother being gone by invitation to dine with my mother’s old servant Mr. Cordery, who made them very welcome. So to Mr. Povy’s, where after a little discourse about his business I home again, and late at the office busy.

Late comes Sir Arthur Ingram to my office, to tell me that, by letters from Amsterdam of the 28th of this month (their style),1 the Dutch fleete, being about 100 men-of-war, besides fire-ships, &c., did set out upon the 23rd and 24th inst. Being divided into seven squadrons; viz., 1. Generall Opdam. 2. Cottenar, of Rotterdam. 3. Trump. 4. Schram, of Horne. 5. Stillingworth, of Freezland. 6. Everson. 7. One other, not named, of Zealand.

Monday 22 May 1665

Up, and down to the ships, which now are hindered from going down to the fleete (to our great sorrow and shame) with their provisions, the wind being against them. So to the Duke of Albemarle, and thence down by water to Deptford, it being Trinity Monday, and so the day of choosing the Master of Trinity House for the next yeare, where, to my great content, I find that, contrary to the practice and design of Sir W. Batten, to breake the rule and custom of the Company in choosing their Masters by succession, he would have brought in Sir W. Rider or Sir W. Pen, over the head of Hurleston (who is a knave too besides, I believe), the younger brothers did all oppose it against the elder, and with great heat did carry it for Hurleston, which I know will vex him to the heart.

Thence, the election being over, to church, where an idle sermon from that conceited fellow, Dr. Britton, saving that his advice to unity, and laying aside all envy and enmity among them was very apposite.

Thence walked to Redriffe, and so to the Trinity House, and a great dinner, as is usual, and so to my office, where busy all the afternoon till late, and then home to bed, being much troubled in mind for several things, first, for the condition of the fleete for lacke of provisions, the blame this office lies under and the shame that they deserve to have brought upon them for the ships not being gone out of the River, and then for my business of Tangier which is not settled, and lastly for fear that I am not observed to have attended the office business of late as much as I ought to do, though there has been nothing but my attendance on Tangier that has occasioned my absence, and that of late not much.

Sunday 21 May 1665

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] …Lord’s day, in the morning writing letters to the fleete and elsewhere, and my mind eased of much business, home to bed and slept till 8. So up, and this day is brought home one of my new silk suits, the plain one, but very rich camelott and noble. I tried it and it pleases me, but did not wear it, being I would not go out today to church. So laid it by, and my mind changed, thinking to go see my Lady Sandwich, and I did go a little way, but stopped and returned home to dinner, after dinner up to my chamber to settle my Tangier accounts, and then to my office, there to do the like with other papers. In the evening home to supper and to bed.

Friday 19 May 1665

Up, and to White Hall, where the Committee for Tangier met, and there, though the case as to the merit of it was most plain and most of the company favourable to our business, yet it was with much ado that I got the business not carried fully against us, but put off to another day, my Lord Arlington being the great man in it, and I was sorry to be found arguing so greatly against him. The business I believe will in the end be carried against us, and the whole business fall; I must therefore endeavour the most I can to get money another way. It vexed me to see Creed so hot against it, but I cannot much blame him, having never declared to him my being concerned in it.

But that that troubles me most is my Lord Arlington calls to me privately and asks me whether I had ever said to any body that I desired to leave this employment, having not time to look after it. I told him, No, for that the thing being settled it will not require much time to look after it. He told me then he would do me right to the King, for he had been told so, which I desired him to do, and by and by he called me to him again and asked me whether I had no friend about the Duke, asking me (I making a stand) whether Mr. Coventry was not my friend. I told him I had received many friendships from him. He then advised me to procure that the Duke would in his next letter write to him to continue me in my place and remove any obstruction; which I told him I would, and thanked him.

So parted, vexed at the first and amazed at this business of my Lord Arlington’s. Thence to the Exchequer, and there got my tallys for 17,500l., the first payment I ever had out of the Exchequer, and at the Legg spent 14s. upon my old acquaintance, some of them the clerks, and away home with my tallys in a coach, fearful every step of having one of them fall out, or snatched from me.

Being come home, I much troubled out again by coach (for company taking Sir W. Warren with me), intending to have spoke to my Lord Arlington to have known the bottom of it, but missed him, and afterwards discoursing the thing as a confidant to Sir W. Warren, he did give me several good hints and principles not to do anything suddenly, but consult my pillow upon that and every great thing of my life, before I resolve anything in it. Away back home, and not being fit for business I took my wife and Mercer down by water to Greenwich at 8 at night, it being very fine and cool and moonshine afterward. Mighty pleasant passage it was; there eat a cake or two, and so home by 10 or 11 at night, and then to bed, my mind not settled what to think.

Thursday 18 May 1665

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes to the Duke of Albemarle, where we did much business, and I with good content to myself; among other things we did examine Nixon and Stanesby, about their late running from two Dutchmen;1 for which they are committed to a vessel to carry them to the fleete to be tried. A most fowle unhandsome thing as ever was heard, for plain cowardice on Nixon’s part. Thence with the Duke of Albemarle in his coach to my Lord Treasurer, and there was before the King (who ever now calls me by my name) and Lord Chancellor, and many other great Lords, discoursing about insuring of some of the King’s goods, wherein the King accepted of my motion that we should; and so away, well pleased.

To the office, and dined, and then to the office again, and abroad to speak with Sir G. Carteret; but, Lord! to see how fraile a man I am, subject to my vanities, that can hardly forbear, though pressed with never so much business, my pursuing of pleasure, but home I got, and there very busy very late. Among other things consulting with Mr. Andrews about our Tangier business, wherein we are like to meet with some trouble, and my Lord Bellasses’s endeavour to supplant us, which vexes my mind; but, however, our undertaking is so honourable that we shall stand a tug for it I think. So home to supper and to bed.

Wednesday 17 May 1665

Up, and by appointment to a meeting of Sir John Lawson and Mr. Cholmly’s atturney and Mr. Povy at the Swan taverne at Westminster to settle their business about my being secured in the payment of money to Sir J. Lawson in the other’s absence.

Thence at Langford’s, where I never was since my brother died there. I find my wife and Mercer, having with him agreed upon two rich silk suits for me, which is fit for me to have, but yet the money is too much, I doubt, to lay out altogether; but it is done, and so let it be, it being the expense of the world that I can the best bear with and the worst spare.

Thence home, and after dinner to the office, where late, and so home to supper and to bed. Sir J. Minnes and I had an angry bout this afternoon with Commissioner Pett about his neglecting his duty and absenting himself, unknown to us, from his place at Chatham, but a most false man I every day find him more and more, and in this very full of equivocation.

The fleete we doubt not come to Harwich by this time. Sir W. Batten is gone down this day thither, and the Duchesse of Yorke went down yesterday to meet the Duke.

Continue reading Tuesday 16 May 1665