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

Sunday 18 March 1665/66

(Lord’s day). Up and my cold better, so to church, and then home to dinner, and so walked out to St. James’s Church, thinking to have seen faire Mrs. Butler, but could not, she not being there, nor, I believe, lives thereabouts now.

So walked to Westminster, very fine fair dry weather, but all cry out for lack of rain. To Herbert’s and drank, and thence to Mrs. Martin’s, and did what I would with her; her husband going for some wine for us. The poor man I do think would take pains if I can get him a purser’s place, which I will endeavour. She tells me as a secret that Betty Howlet of the Hall, my little sweetheart, that I used to call my second wife, is married to a younger son of Mr. Michell’s (his elder brother, who should have had her, being dead this plague), at which I am glad, and that they are to live nearer me in Thames Streete, by the Old Swan.

Thence by coach home and to my chamber about some accounts, and so to bed.

Sir Christopher Mings is come home from Hambro without anything done, saving bringing home some pipestaves for us.

Saturday 17 March 1665/66

Up, and to finish my Journall, which I had not sense enough the last night to make an end of, and thence to the office, where very busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner and presently with my wife out to Hales’s, where I am still infinitely pleased with my wife’s picture. I paid him 14l. for it, and 25s. for the frame, and I think it is not a whit too deare for so good a picture. It is not yet quite finished and dry, so as to be fit to bring home yet. This day I begun to sit, and he will make me, I think, a very fine picture. He promises it shall be as good as my wife’s, and I sit to have it full of shadows, and do almost break my neck looking over my shoulder to make the posture for him to work by. Thence home and to the office, and so home having a great cold, and so my wife and Mrs. Barbary have very great ones, we are at a loss how we all come by it together, so to bed, drinking butter-ale. This day my W. Hewer comes from Portsmouth and gives me an instance of another piece of knavery of Sir W. Pen, who wrote to Commissioner Middleton, that it was my negligence the other day he was not acquainted, as the board directed, with our clerks coming down to the pay. But I need no new arguments to teach me that he is a false rogue to me and all the world besides.

Friday 16 March 1665/66

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] …till 7 this morning. Up and all the morning about the Victualler’s business, passing his account. At noon to the ‘Change, and did several businesses, and thence to the Crowne behind the ‘Change and dined with my Lord Bruncker and Captain Cocke and Fenn, and Madam Williams, who without question must be my Lord’s wife, and else she could not follow him wherever he goes and kisse and use him publiquely as she do. Thence to the office, where Sir W. Pen and I made an end of the Victualler’s business, and thence abroad about several businesses, and so in the evening back again, and anon called on by Mr. Povy, and he and I staid together in my chamber till 12 at night ending our reckonings and giving him tallys for all I was to pay him and so parted, and I to make good my Journall for two or three days, and begun it till I come to the other side, where I have scratched so much, for, for want of sleep, I begun to write idle and from the purpose. So forced to breake off, and to bed. —[There are several erasures in the original MS.]

Thursday 15 March 1665/66

Lay till it was full time to rise, it being eight o’clock, and so to the office and there sat till almost three o’clock and then to dinner, and after dinner (my wife and Mercer and Mrs. Barbary being gone to Hales’s before), I and my cozen Anthony Joyce, who come on purpose to dinner with me, and he and I to discourse of our proposition of marriage between Pall and Harman, and upon discourse he and I to Harman’s house and took him to a taverne hard by, and we to discourse of our business, and I offered 500l., and he declares most ingenuously that his trade is not to be trusted on, that he however needs no money, but would have her money bestowed on her, which I like well, he saying that he would adventure 2 or 300l. with her. I like him as a most good-natured, and discreet man, and, I believe, very cunning. We come to this conclusion for us to meete one another the next weeke, and then we hope to come to some end, for I did declare myself well satisfied with the match. Thence to Hales’s, where I met my wife and people; and do find the picture, above all things, a most pretty picture, and mighty like my wife; and I asked him his price: he says 14l., and the truth is, I think he do deserve it. Thence toward London and home, and I to the office, where I did much, and betimes to bed, having had of late so little sleep, and there slept… [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

Wednesday 14 March 1665/66

Up, and met by 6 o’clock in my chamber Mr. Povy (from White Hall) about evening reckonings between him and me, on our Tangier business, and at it hard till toward eight o’clock, and he then carried me in his chariot to White Hall, where by and by my fellow officers met me, and we had a meeting before the Duke. Thence with my Lord Bruncker towards London, and in our way called in Covent Garden, and took in Sir John (formerly Dr.) Baber; who hath this humour that he will not enter into discourse while any stranger is in company, till he be told who he is that seems a stranger to him. This he did declare openly to me, and asked my Lord who I was, giving this reason, that he has been inconvenienced by being too free in discourse till he knew who all the company were. Thence to Guildhall (in our way taking in Dr. Wilkins), and there my Lord and I had full and large discourse with Sir Thomas Player, the Chamberlain of the City (a man I have much heard of for his credit and punctuality in the City, and on that score I had a desire to be made known to him), about the credit of our tallys, which are lodged there for security to such as should lend money thereon to the use of the Navy. And I had great satisfaction therein: and the truth is, I find all our matters of credit to be in an ill condition. Thence, I being in a little haste walked before and to the ‘Change a little and then home, and presently to Trinity house to dinner, where Captain Cox made his Elder Brother’s dinner. But it seemed to me a very poor sorry dinner. I having many things in my head rose, when my belly was full, though the dinner not half done, and home and there to do some business, and by and by out of doors and met Mr. Povy coming to me by appointment, but it being a little too late, I took a little pride in the streete not to go back with him, but prayed him to come another time, and I away to Kate Joyce’s, thinking to have spoke to her husband about Pall’s business, but a stranger, the Welsh Dr. Powell, being there I forebore and went away and so to Hales’s, to see my wife’s picture, which I like mighty well, and there had the pleasure to see how suddenly he draws the Heavens, laying a darke ground and then lightening it when and where he will. Thence to walk all alone in the fields behind Grayes Inne, making an end of reading over my dear “Faber fortunae,” of my Lord Bacon’s, and thence, it growing dark, took two or three wanton turns about the idle places and lanes about Drury Lane, but to no satisfaction, but a great fear of the plague among them, and so anon I walked by invitation to Mrs. Pierces, where I find much good company, that is to say, Mrs. Pierce, my wife, Mrs. Worshipp and her daughter, and Harris the player, and Knipp, and Mercer, and Mrs. Barbary Sheldon, who is come this day to spend a weeke with my wife; and here with musique we danced, and sung and supped, and then to sing and dance till past one in the morning; and much mirthe with Sir Anthony Apsley and one Colonell Sidney, who lodge in the house; and above all, they are mightily taken with Mrs. Knipp. Hence weary and sleepy we broke up, and I and my company homeward by coach and to bed.

Tuesday 13 March 1665/66

Up betimes, and to the office, where busy sitting all the morning, and I begin to find a little convenience by holding up my head to Sir W. Pen, for he is come to be more supple. At noon to dinner, and then to the office again, where mighty business, doing a great deale till midnight and then home to supper and to bed. The plague encreased this week 29 from 28, though the total fallen from 238 to 207, which do never a whit please me.

Monday 12 March 1665/66

Up betimes, and called on by abundance of people about business, and then away by water to Westminster, and there to the Exchequer about some business, and thence by coach calling at several places, to the Old Exchange, and there did much business, and so homeward and bought a silver salt for my ordinary table to use, and so home to dinner, and after dinner comes my uncle and aunt Wight, the latter I have not seen since the plague; a silly, froward, ugly woman she is. We made mighty much of them, and she talks mightily of her fear of the sicknesse, and so a deale of tittle tattle and I left them and to my office where late, and so home to supper and to bed.

This day I hear my Uncle Talbot Pepys died the last week, and was buried. All the news now is, that Sir Jeremy Smith is at Cales —[Cadiz]— with his fleete, and Mings in the Elve. —[Elbe]—

The King is come this noon to towne from Audly End, with the Duke of Yorke and a fine train of gentlemen.

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