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

Monday 2 December 1667

Up, and then abroad to Alderman Backewell’s (who was sick of a cold in bed), and then to the Excise Office, where I find Mr. Ball out of humour in expectation of being put out of his office by the change of the farm of the excise. There comes Sir H. Cholmly, and he and I to Westminster, and there walked up and down till noon, where all the business is that the Lords’ answer is come down to the Commons, that they are not satisfied in the Commons’ Reasons: and so the Commons are hot, and like to sit all day upon the business what to do herein, most thinking that they will remonstrate against the Lords. Thence to Lord Crew’s, and there dined with him; where, after dinner, he took me aside, and bewailed the condition of the nation, how the King and his brother are at a distance about this business of the Chancellor, and the two Houses differing.: and he do believe that there are so many about the King like to be concerned and troubled by the Parliament, that they will get him to dissolve or prorogue the Parliament; and the rather, for that the King is likely, by this good husbandry of the Treasury, to get out of debt, and the Parliament is likely to give no money. Among other things, my Lord Crew did tell me, with grief, that he hears that the King of late hath not dined nor supped with the Queen, as he used of late to do. After a little discourse, Mr. Caesar, he dining there, did give us some musique on his lute (Mr. John Crew being there) to my great content, and then away I, and Mr. Caesar followed me and told me that my boy Tom hath this day declared to him that he cared not for the French lute and would learn no more, which Caesar out of faithfulness tells me that I might not spend any more money on him in vain. I shall take the boy to task about it, though I am contented to save my money if the boy knows not what is good for himself. So thanked him, and indeed he is a very honest man I believe, and away home, there to get something ready for the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, and so took my wife and girle and set them at Unthanke’s, and I to White Hall, and there with the Commissioners of the Treasury, who I find in mighty good condition to go on in payment of the seamen off, and thence I to Westminster Hall, where I met with my cozen Roger and walked a good while with him; he tells me of the high vote of the Commons this afternoon, which I also heard at White Hall, that the proceedings of the Lords in the case of my Lord Clarendon are an obstruction to justice, and of ill precedent to future times. This makes every body wonder what will be the effect of it, most thinking that the King will try him by his own Commission. It seems they were mighty high to have remonstrated, but some said that was too great an appeale to the people. Roger is mighty full of fears of the consequence of it, and wishes the King would dissolve them. So we parted, and I bought some Scotch cakes at Wilkinson’s in King Street, and called my wife, and home, and there to supper, talk, and to bed. Supped upon these cakes, of which I have eat none since we lived at Westminster. This night our poor little dogg Fancy was in a strange fit, through age, of which she has had five or six.

Sunday 1 December 1667

(Lord’s day). Up, and after entering my journal for 2 or 3 days, I to church, where Mr. Mills, a dull sermon: and in our pew there sat a great lady, which I afterwards understood to be my Lady Carlisle, that made her husband a cuckold in Scotland, a very fine woman indeed in person. After sermon home, where W. Hewer dined with us, and after dinner he and I all the afternoon to read over our office letters to see what matters can be got for our advantage or disadvantage therein. In the evening comes Mr. Pelling and the two men that were with him formerly, the little man that sings so good a base (Wallington) and another that understands well, one Pigott, and Betty Turner come and sat and supped with us, and we spent the evening mighty well in good musique, to my great content to see myself in condition to have these and entertain them for my own pleasure only. So they gone, we to bed.

Saturday 30 November 1667

Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and then by coach to Arundel House, to the election of Officers for the next year; where I was near being chosen of the Council, but am glad I was not, for I could not have attended, though, above all things, I could wish it; and do take it as a mighty respect to have been named there. The company great, and the elections long, and then to Cary House, a house now of entertainment, next my Lord Ashly’s; and there, where I have heretofore heard Common Prayer in the time of Dr. Mossum, we after two hours’ stay, sitting at the table with our napkins open, had our dinners brought, but badly done. But here was good company. I choosing to sit next Dr. Wilkins, Sir George Ent, and others whom I value, there talked of several things. Among others Dr. Wilkins, talking of the universal speech, of which he hath a book coming out, did first inform me how man was certainly made for society, he being of all creatures the least armed for defence, and of all creatures in the world the young ones are not able to do anything to help themselves, nor can find the dug without being put to it, but would die if the mother did not help it; and, he says, were it not for speech man would be a very mean creature. Much of this good discourse we had. But here, above all, I was pleased to see the person who had his blood taken out. He speaks well, and did this day give the Society a relation thereof in Latin, saying that he finds himself much better since, and as a new man, but he is cracked a little in his head, though he speaks very reasonably, and very well. He had but 20s. for his suffering it, and is to have the same again tried upon him: the first sound man that ever had it tried on him in England, and but one that we hear of in France, which was a porter hired by the virtuosos. Here all the afternoon till within night. Then I took coach and to the Exchange, where I was to meet my wife, but she was gone home, and so I to Westminster Hall, and there took a turn or two, but meeting with nobody to discourse with, returned to Cary House, and there stayed and saw a pretty deception of the sight by a glass with water poured into it, with a stick standing up with three balls of wax upon it, one distant from the other. How these balls did seem double and disappear one after another, mighty pretty! Here Mr. Carcasse did come to me, and brought first Mr. Colwall, our Treasurer, and then Dr. Wilkins to engage me to be his friend, and himself asking forgiveness and desiring my friendship, saying that the Council have now ordered him to be free to return to the Office to be employed. I promised him my friendship, and am glad of this occasion, having desired it; for there is nobody’s ill tongue that I fear like his, being a malicious and cunning bold fellow. Thence, paying our shot, 6s. apiece, I home, and there to the office and wrote my letters, and then home, my eyes very sore with yesterday’s work, and so home and tried to make a piece by my eare and viall to “I wonder what the grave,” &c., and so to supper and to bed, where frighted a good while and my wife again with noises, and my wife did rise twice, but I think it was Sir John Minnes’s people again late cleaning their house, for it was past 1 o’clock in the morning before we could fall to sleep, and so slept. But I perceive well what the care of money and treasure in a man’s house is to a man that fears to lose it.

My Lord Anglesey told me this day that he did believe the House of Commons would, the next week, yield to the Lords; but, speaking with others this day, they conclude they will not, but that rather the King will accommodate it by committing my Lord Clarendon himself. I remember what Mr. Evelyn said, that he did believe we should soon see ourselves fall into a Commonwealth again. Joseph Williamson I find mighty kind still, but close, not daring to say anything almost that touches upon news or state of affairs.

Friday 29 November 1667

Waked about seven o’clock this morning with a noise I supposed I heard, near our chamber, of knocking, which, by and by, increased: and I, more awake, could, distinguish it better. I then waked my wife, and both of us wondered at it, and lay so a great while, while that increased, and at last heard it plainer, knocking, as if it were breaking down a window for people to get out; and then removing of stools and chairs; and plainly, by and by, going up and down our stairs. We lay, both of us, afeard; yet I would have rose, but my wife would not let me. Besides, I could not do it without making noise; and we did both conclude that thieves were in the house, but wondered what our people did, whom we thought either killed, or afeard, as we were. Thus we lay till the clock struck eight, and high day. At last, I removed my gown and slippers safely to the other side of the bed over my wife: and there safely rose, and put on my gown and breeches, and then, with a firebrand in my hand, safely opened the door, and saw nor heard any thing. Then (with fear, I confess) went to the maid’s chamber-door, and all quiet and safe. Called Jane up, and went down safely, and opened my chamber door, where all well. Then more freely about, and to the kitchen, where the cook-maid up, and all safe. So up again, and when Jane come, and we demanded whether she heard no noise, she said, “yes, and was afeard,” but rose with the other maid, and found nothing; but heard a noise in the great stack of chimnies that goes from Sir J. Minnes through our house; and so we sent, and their chimnies have been swept this morning, and the noise was that, and nothing else. It is one of the most extraordinary accidents in my life, and gives ground to think of Don Quixote’s adventures how people may be surprised, and the more from an accident last night, that our young gibb-cat1 did leap down our stairs from top to bottom, at two leaps, and frighted us, that we could not tell well whether it was the cat or a spirit, and do sometimes think this morning that the house might be haunted. Glad to have this so well over, and indeed really glad in my mind, for I was much afeard, I dressed myself and to the office both forenoon and afternoon, mighty hard putting papers and things in order to my extraordinary satisfaction, and consulting my clerks in many things, who are infinite helps to my memory and reasons of things, and so being weary, and my eyes akeing, having overwrought them to-day reading so much shorthand, I home and there to supper, it being late, and to bed. This morning Sir W. Pen and I did walk together a good while, and he tells me that the Houses are not likely to agree after their free conference yesterday, and he fears what may follow.

Thursday 28 November 1667

Up, and at the office all this morning, and then home to dinner, and then by coach sent my wife to the King’s playhouse, and I to White Hall, there intending, with Lord Bruncker, Sir J. Minnes, and Sir T. Harvy to have seen the Duke of York, whom it seems the King and Queen have visited, and so we may now well go to see him. But there was nobody could speak with him, and so we parted, leaving a note in Mr. Wren’s chamber that we had been there, he being at the free conference of the two Houses about this great business of my Lord Chancellor’s, at which they were at this hour, three in the afternoon, and there they say my Lord Anglesey do his part admirablyably, and each of us taking a copy of the Guinny Company’s defence to a petition against them to the Parliament the other day. So I away to the King’s playhouse, and there sat by my wife, and saw “The Mistaken Beauty,” which I never, I think, saw before, though an old play; and there is much in it that I like, though the name is but improper to it — at least, that name, it being also called “The Lyer,” which is proper enough. Here I met with Sir. Richard Browne, who wondered to find me there, telling me that I am a man of so much business, which character, I thank God, I have ever got, and have for a long time had and deserved, and yet am now come to be censured in common with the office for a man of negligence.

Thence home and to the office to my letters, and then home to supper and to bed.

Wednesday 27 November 1667

Up, and all the morning at my Lord Bruncker’s lodgings with Sir J. Minnes and [Sir] W. Pen about Sir W. Warren’s accounts, wherein I do not see that they are ever very likely to come to an understanding of them, as Sir J. Minnes hath not yet handled them. Here till noon, and then home to dinner, where Mr. Pierce comes to me, and there, in general, tells me how the King is now fallen in and become a slave to the Duke of Buckingham, led by none but him, whom he, Mr. Pierce, swears he knows do hate the very person of the King, and would, as well as will, certainly ruin him. He do say, and I think with right, that the King do in this do the most ungrateful part of a master to a servant that ever was done, in this carriage of his to my Lord Chancellor: that, it may be, the Chancellor may have faults, but none such as these they speak of; that he do now really fear that all is going to ruin, for he says he hears that Sir W. Coventry hath been, just before his sickness, with the Duke of York, to ask his forgiveness and peace for what he had done; for that he never could foresee that what he meant so well, in the councilling to lay by the Chancellor, should come to this. As soon as dined, I with my boy Tom to my bookbinder’s, where all the afternoon long till 8 or 9 at night seeing him binding up two or three collections of letters and papers that I had of him, but above all things my little abstract pocket book of contracts, which he will do very neatly. Then home to read, sup, and to bed.

Tuesday 26 November 1667

Up, all the morning at the office, and then home to dinner, where dined Mr. Clerke, solicitor, with me, to discourse about my Tangier accounts, which I would fain make up, but I have not time. After dinner, by coach as far as the Temple, and there saw a new book, in folio, of all that suffered for the King in the late times, which I will buy, it seems well writ, and then back to the Old Exchange, and there at my goldsmith’s bought a basin for my wife to give the Parson’s child, to which the other day she was godmother. It cost me; 10l. 14s. besides graving, which I do with the cypher of the name, Daniel Mills, and so home to the office, and then home to supper and hear my wife read, and then to bed.

This afternoon, after dinner, come to me Mr. Warren, and there did tell me that he come to pay his debt to me for the kindness I did him in getting his last ship out, which I must also remember was a service to the King, though I did not tell him so, as appeared by my advising with the board, and there writing to Sir W. Coventry to get the pass for the ship to go for it to Genoa. Now that which he had promised me for the courtesy was I take it 100 pieces or more, I think more, and also for the former courtesy I had done for the getting of his first ship out for this hemp he did promise me a consideration upon the return of the goods, but I never did to this day demand any thing of him, only about a month ago he told me that now his ship was come, and he would come out of my debt, but told me that whereas he did expect to have had some profit by the voyage, it had proved of loss to him, by the loss of some ships, or some accidents, I know not what, and so that he was not able to do what he intended, but told me that he would present me with sixty pieces in gold. I told him I would demand nothing of his promises, though they were much greater, nor would have thus much, but if he could afford to give me but fifty pieces, it should suffice me. So now he brought something in a paper, which since proves to be fifty pieces. But before I would take them I told him that I did not insist on anything, and therefore prayed him to consult his ability before he did part with them: and so I refused them once or twice till he did the third time offer them, and then I took them, he saying that he would present me with as many more if I would undertake to get him 500l. paid on his bills. I told him I would by no means have any promise of the kind, nor would have any kindness from him for any such service, but that I should do my utmost for nothing to do him that justice, and would endeavour to do what I could for him, and so we parted, he owning himself mightily engaged to me for my kind usage of him in accepting of so small a matter in satisfaction of all that he owed me; which I enter at large for my justification if anything of this should be hereafter enquired after.

This evening also comes to me to my closet at the Office Sir John Chichly, of his own accord, to tell me what he shall answer to the Committee, when, as he expects, he shall be examined about my Lord Sandwich; which is so little as will not hurt my Lord at all, I know. He do profess great generousness towards my Lord, and that this jealousy of my Lord’s of him is without ground, but do mightily inveigh against Sir Roger Cuttance, and would never have my Lord to carry him to sea again, as being a man that hath done my Lord more hurt than ever he can repair by his ill advice, and disobliging every body. He will by no means seem to crouch to my Lord, but says that he hath as good blood in his veins as any man, though not so good a title, but that he will do nothing to wrong or prejudice my Lord, and I hope he will not, nor I believe can; but he tells me that Sir E. Spragg and Utber are the men that have done my Lord the most wrong, and did bespatter him the most at Oxford, and that my Lord was misled to believe that all that was there said was his, which indeed it was not, and says that he did at that time complain to his father of this his misfortune. This I confess is strange to me touching these two men, but yet it may well enough as the world goes, though I wonder I confess at the latter of the two, who always professes great love to my Lord.

Sir Roger Cuttance was with me in the morning, and there gives me an account so clear about Bergen and the other business against my Lord, as I do not see what can be laid to my Lord in either, and tells me that Pen, however he now dissembles it, did on the quarter deck of my Lord’s ship, after he come on board, when my Lord did fire a gun for the ships to leave pursuing the enemy, Pen did say, before a great many, several times, that his heart did leap in his belly for joy when he heard the gun, and that it was the best thing that could be done for securing the fleet. He tells me also that Pen was the first that did move and persuade my Lord to the breaking bulke, as a thing that was now the time to do right to the commanders of the great ships, who had no opportunity of getting anything by prizes, now his Lordship might distribute to everyone something, and he himself did write down before my Lord the proportions for each man. This I am glad of, though it may be this dissembling fellow may, twenty to one, deny it.

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