Up, and after some pleasant discourse with my wife (though my head full of business) I out and left her to go home, and myself to the office, and thence by water to the Duke of Albemarle’s, and so back again and find my wife gone. So to my chamber at my lodgings, and to the making of my accounts up of Tangier, which I did with great difficulty, finding the difference between short and long reckonings where I have had occasion to mix my moneys, as I have of late done my Tangier treasure upon other occasions, and other moneys upon that. However, I was at it late and did it pretty perfectly, and so, after eating something, to bed, my mind eased of a great deal of figures and castings.
A new diary entry appears here at the end of each day.
Up, and all day long busy at the office, mighty busy, only stepped to my lodging and had a fowl for my dinner, and at night my wife and Mercer comes to me, which troubled me a little because I am to be mighty busy to-morrow all day seriously about my accounts. So late from my office to her, and supped, and so to bed.
Up about seven o’clock; and, after drinking, and I observing Mr. Povy’s being mightily mortifyed in his eating and drinking, and coaches and horses, he desiring to sell his best, and every thing else, his furniture of his house, he walked with me to Syon, and there I took water, in our way he discoursing of the wantonnesse of the Court, and how it minds nothing else, and I saying that that would leave the King shortly if he did not leave it, he told me “No,” for the King do spend most of his time in feeling and kissing them naked … But this lechery will never leave him.
Here I took boat (leaving him there) and down to the Tower, where I hear the Duke of Albemarle is, and I to Lumbard Streete, but can get no money. So upon the Exchange, which is very empty, God knows! and but mean people there. The newes for certain that the Dutch are come with their fleete before Margett, and some men were endeavouring to come on shore when the post come away, perhaps to steal some sheep. But, Lord! how Colvill talks of the businesse of publique revenue like a madman, and yet I doubt all true; that nobody minds it, but that the King and Kingdom must speedily be undone, and rails at my Lord about the prizes, but I think knows not my relation to him. Here I endeavoured to satisfy all I could, people about Bills of Exchange from Tangier, but it is only with good words, for money I have not, nor can get. God knows what will become of all the King’s matters in a little time, for he runs in debt every day, and nothing to pay them looked after. Thence I walked to the Tower; but, Lord! how empty the streets are and melancholy, so many poor sick people in the streets full of sores; and so many sad stories overheard as I walk, every body talking of this dead, and that man sick, and so many in this place, and so many in that. And they tell me that, in Westminster, there is never a physician and but one apothecary left, all being dead; but that there are great hopes of a great decrease this week: God send it!
At the Tower found my Lord Duke and Duchesse at dinner; so I sat down. And much good cheer, the Lieutenant and his lady, and several officers with the Duke. But, Lord! to hear the silly talk that was there, would make one mad; the Duke having none almost but fools about him. Much of their talke about the Dutch coming on shore, which they believe they may some of them have been and steal sheep, and speak all in reproach of them in whose hands the fleete is; but, Lord helpe him, there is something will hinder him and all the world in going to sea, which is want of victuals; for we have not wherewith to answer our service; and how much better it would have been if the Duke’s advice had been taken for the fleete to have gone presently out; but, God helpe the King! while no better counsels are given, and what is given no better taken. Thence after dinner receiving many commands from the Duke, I to our office on the Hill, and there did a little business and to Colvill’s again, and so took water at the Tower, and there met with Captain Cocke, and he down with me to Greenwich, I having received letters from my Lord Sandwich to-day, speaking very high about the prize goods, that he would have us to fear nobody, but be very confident in what we have done, and not to confess any fault or doubt of what he hath done; for the King hath allowed it, and do now confirm it, and sent orders, as he says, for nothing to be disturbed that his Lordshipp hath ordered therein as to the division of the goods to the fleete; which do comfort us, but my Lord writes to me that both he and I may hence learn by what we see in this business. But that which pleases me best is that Cocke tells me that he now understands that Fisher was set on in this business by the design of some of the Duke of Albemarle’s people, Warcupp and others, who lent him money to set him out in it, and he has spent high. Who now curse him for a rogue to take 100l. when he might have had as well 1,500l., and they are mightily fallen out about it. Which in due time shall be discovered, but that now that troubles me afresh is, after I am got to the office at Greenwich that some new troubles are come, and Captain Cocke’s house is beset before and behind with guards, and more, I do fear they may come to my office here to search for Cocke’s goods and find some small things of my clerk’s. So I assisted them in helping to remove their small trade, but by and by I am told that it is only the Custome House men who came to seize the things that did lie at Mr. Glanville’s, for which they did never yet see our Transire, nor did know of them till to-day. So that my fear is now over, for a transire is ready for them. Cocke did get a great many of his goods to London to-day. To the Still Yarde, which place, however, is now shut up of the plague; but I was there, and we now make no bones of it.
Much talke there is of the Chancellor’s speech and the King’s at the Parliament’s meeting, which are very well liked; and that we shall certainly, by their speeches, fall out with France at this time, together with the Dutch, which will find us work. Late at the office entering my Journall for 8 days past, the greatness of my business hindering me of late to put it down daily, but I have done it now very true and particularly, and hereafter will, I hope, be able to fall into my old way of doing it daily.
So to my lodging, and there had a good pullet to my supper, and so to bed, it being very cold again, God be thanked for it!
(Lord’s day). Up, and while I staid for the barber, tried to compose a duo of counterpoint, and I think it will do very well, it being by Mr. Berckenshaw’s rule. By and by by appointment comes Mr. Povy’s coach, and, more than I expected, him himself, to fetch me to Brainford: so he and I immediately set out, having drunk a draft of mulled sacke; and so rode most nobly, in his most pretty and best contrived charriott in the world, with many new conveniences, his never having till now, within a day or two, been yet finished; our discourse upon Tangier business, want of money, and then of publique miscarriages, nobody minding the publique, but every body himself and his lusts. Anon we come to his house, and there I eat a bit, and so with fresh horses, his noble fine horses, the best confessedly in England, the King having none such, he sent me to Sir Robert Viner’s, whom I met coming just from church, and so after having spent half-an-hour almost looking upon the horses with some gentlemen that were in company, he and I into his garden to discourse of money, but none is to be had, he confessing himself in great straits, and I believe it. Having this answer, and that I could not get better, we fell to publique talke, and to think how the fleete and seamen will be paid, which he protests he do not think it possible to compass, as the world is now: no money got by trade, nor the persons that have it by them in the City to be come at. The Parliament, it seems, have voted the King 1,250,000l. at 50,000l. per month, tax for the war; and voted to assist the King against the Dutch, and all that shall adhere to them; and thanks to be given him for his care of the Duke of Yorke, which last is a very popular vote on the Duke’s behalf. He tells me how the taxes of the last assessment, which should have been in good part gathered, are not yet laid, and that even in part of the City of London; and the Chimny-money comes almost to nothing, nor any thing else looked after. Having done this I parted, my mind not eased by any money, but only that I had done my part to the King’s service. And so in a very pleasant evening back to Mr. Povy’s, and there supped, and after supper to talke and to sing, his man Dutton’s wife singing very pleasantly (a mighty fat woman), and I wrote out one song from her and pricked the tune, both very pretty. But I did never heare one sing with so much pleasure to herself as this lady do, relishing it to her very heart, which was mighty pleasant.
Up, and to the office, where mighty busy, especially with Mr. Gawden, with whom I shall, I think, have much to do, and by and by comes the Lieutenant of the Tower by my invitation yesterday, but I had got nothing for him, it is to discourse about the Cole shipps. So he went away to Sheriffe Hooker’s, and I staid at the office till he sent for me at noon to dinner, I very hungry. When I come to the Sheriffe’s he was not there, nor in many other places, nor could find him at all, so was forced to come to the office and get a bit of meat from the taverne, and so to my business. By and by comes the Lieutenant and reproaches me with my not treating him as I ought, but all in jest, he it seemed dined with Mr. Adrian May. Very late writing letters at the office, and much satisfied to hear from Captain Cocke that he had got possession of some of his goods to his own house, and expected to have all to-night. The towne, I hear, is full of talke that there are great differences in the fleete among the great Commanders, and that Mings at Oxford did impeach my Lord of something, I think about these goods, but this is but talke.
But my heart and head to-night is full of the Victualling business, being overjoyed and proud at my success in my proposal about it, it being read before the King, Duke, and the Caball with complete applause and satisfaction. This Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Coventry both writ me, besides Sir W. Coventry’s letter to the Duke of Albemarle, which I read yesterday, and I hope to find my profit in it also. So late home to bed.
Lay long, and this morning comes Sir Jer. Smith to see me in his way to Court, and a good man he is, and one that I must keep fair with, and will, it being I perceive my interest to have kindnesse with the Commanders. So to the office, and there very busy till about noon comes Sir W. Warren, and he goes and gets a bit of meat ready at the King’s Head for us, and I by and by thither, and we dined together, and I am not pleased with him about a little business of Tangier that I put to him to do for me, but however, the hurt is not much, and his other matters of profit to me continue very likely to be good. Here we spent till 2 o’clock, and so I set him on shore, and I by water to the Duke of Albemarle, where I find him with Lord Craven and Lieutenant of the Tower about him; among other things, talking of ships to get of the King to fetch coles for the poore of the city, which is a good worke. But, Lord! to hear the silly talke between these three great people! Yet I have no reason to find fault, the Duke and Lord Craven being my very great friends. Here did the business I come about, and so back home by water, and there Cocke comes to me and tells me that he is come to an understanding with Fisher, and that he must give him 100l., and that he shall have his goods in possession to-morrow, they being all weighed to-day, which pleases me very well. This day the Duke tells me that there is no news heard of the Dutch, what they do or where they are, but believes that they are all gone home, for none of our spyes can give us any tideings of them. Cocke is fain to keep these people, Fisher and his fellow, company night and day to keep them friends almost and great troubles withal. My head is full of settling the victualling business also, that I may make some profit out of it, which I hope justly to do to the King’s advantage. To-night come Sir J. Bankes to me upon my letter to discourse it with him, and he did give me the advice I have taken almost as fully as if I had been directed by him what to write. The business also of my Tangier accounts to be sent to Court is upon my hands in great haste; besides, all my owne proper accounts are in great disorder, having been neglected now above a month, which grieves me, but it could not be settled sooner. These together and the feare of the sicknesse and providing for my family do fill my head very full, besides the infinite business of the office, and nobody here to look after it but myself. So late from my office to my lodgings, and to bed.
Called up before day, and so I dressed myself and down, it being horrid cold, by water to my Lord Bruncker’s ship, who advised me to do so, and it was civilly to show me what the King had commanded about the prize-goods, to examine most severely all that had been done in the taking out any with or without order, without respect to my Lord Sandwich at all, and that he had been doing of it, and find him examining one man, and I do find that extreme ill use was made of my Lord’s order. For they did toss and tumble and spoil, and breake things in hold to a great losse and shame to come at the fine goods, and did take a man that knows where the fine goods were, and did this over and over again for many days, Sir W. Berkeley being the chief hand that did it, but others did the like at other times, and they did say in doing it that my Lord Sandwich’s back was broad enough to bear it. Having learned as much as I could, which was, that the King and Duke were very severe in this point, whatever order they before had given my Lord in approbation of what he had done, and that all will come out and the King see, by the entries at the Custome House, what all do amount to that had been taken, and so I took leave, and by water, very cold, and to Woolwich where it was now noon, and so I staid dinner and talking part of the afternoon, and then by coach, Captain Cocke’s, to Greenwich, taking the young lady home, and so to Cocke, and he tells me that he hath cajolled with Seymour, who will be our friend; but that, above all, Seymour tells him, that my Lord Duke did shew him to-day an order from Court, for having all respect paid to the Earle of Sandwich, and what goods had been delivered by his order, which do overjoy us, and that to-morrow our goods shall be weighed, and he doubts not possession to-morrow or next day. Being overjoyed at this I to write my letters, and at it very late. Good newes this week that there are about 600 less dead of the plague than the last. So home to bed.