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

Friday 24 May 1667

Up, and to the office, where, by and by, by appointment, we met upon Sir W. Warren’s accounts, wherein I do appear in every thing as much as I can his enemy, though not so far but upon good conditions from him I may return to be his friend, but I do think it necessary to do what I do at present. We broke off at noon without doing much, and then home, where my wife not well, but yet engaged by invitation to go with Sir W. Pen. I got her to go with him by coach to Islington to the old house, where his lady and Madam Lowther, with her exceeding fine coach and mean horses, and her mother-in-law, did meet us, and two of Mr. Lowther’s brothers, and here dined upon nothing but pigeon-pyes, which was such a thing for him to invite all the company to, that I was ashamed of it. But after dinner was all our sport, when there come in a juggler, who, indeed, did shew us so good tricks as I have never seen in my life, I think, of legerdemaine, and such as my wife hath since seriously said that she would not believe but that he did them by the help of the devil. Here, after a bad dinner, and but ordinary company, saving that I discern good parts in one of the sons, who, methought, did take me up very prettily in one or two things that I said, and I was so sensible of it as to be a caution to me hereafter how I do venture to speak more than is necessary in any company, though, as I did now, I do think them incapable to censure me. We broke up, they back to Walthamstow, and only my wife and I and Sir W. Pen to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Mayden Queene,” which, though I have often seen, yet pleases me infinitely, it being impossible, I think, ever to have the Queen’s part, which is very good and passionate, and Florimel’s part, which is the most comicall that ever was made for woman, ever done better than they two are by young Marshall and Nelly. Home, where I spent the evening with my father and wife, and late at night some flagillette with my wife, and then to supper and to bed.

Thursday 23 May 1667

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon home, and with my father dined, and, poor man! he hath put off his travelling-clothes to-day, and is mighty spruce, and I love to see him cheerful. After dinner I to my chamber, and my wife and I to talk, and by and by they tell Mrs. Daniel would speak with me, so I down to the parlour to her, and sat down together and talked about getting her husband a place … I do promise, and mean to do what kindness I can to her husband. After having been there hasti je was ashamed de peur that my people pensait … de it, or lest they might espy us through some trees, we parted and I to the office, and presently back home again, and there was asked by my wife, I know not whether simply or with design, how I come to look as I did, car ego was in much chaleur et de body and of animi, which I put off with the heat of the season, and so to other business, but I had some fear hung upon me lest alcuno had sidi decouvert. So to the office, and then to Sir R. Viner’s about some part of my accounts now going on with him, and then home and ended my letters, and then to supper and my chamber to settle many things there, and then to bed.

This noon I was on the ’Change, where I to my astonishment hear, and it is in the Gazette, that Sir John Duncomb is sworn yesterday a Privy-councillor. This day I hear also that last night the Duke of Kendall, second son of the Duke of York, did die; and that the other, Duke of Cambridge, continues very ill still.

This afternoon I had opportunity para jouer with Mrs. Pen, tokendo her mammailles and baisando elle, being sola in the casa of her pater, and she fort willing.

Wednesday 22 May 1667

Up, and by water to White Hall to Sir G. Carteret, who tells me now for certain how the Commission for the Treasury is disposed of: viz., to Duke of Albemarle, Lord Ashly, Sir W. Coventry, Sir John Duncomb, and Sir Thomas Clifford: at which, he says, all the whole Court is disturbed; it having been once concluded otherwise into the other hands formerly mentioned in yesterday’s notes, but all of a sudden the King’s choice was changed, and these are to be the men; the first of which is only for a puppet to give honour to the rest. He do presage that these men will make it their business to find faults in the management of the late Lord Treasurer, and in discouraging the bankers: but I am, whatever I in compliance do say to him, of another mind, and my heart is very glad of it, for I do expect they will do much good, and that it is the happiest thing that hath appeared to me for the good of the nation since the King come in. Thence to St. James’s, and up to the Duke of York; and there in his chamber Sir W. Coventry did of himself take notice of this business of the Treasury, wherein he is in the Commission, and desired that I would be thinking of any thing fit for him to be acquainted with for the lessening of charge and bettering of our credit, and what our expence hath been since the King’s coming home, which he believes will be one of the first things they shall enquire into: which I promised him, and from time to time, which he desires, will give him an account of what I can think of worthy his knowledge. I am mighty glad of this opportunity of professing my joy to him in what choice the King hath made, and the hopes I have that it will save the kingdom from perishing and how it do encourage me to take pains again, after my having through despair neglected it! which he told me of himself that it was so with him, that he had given himself up to more ease than ever he expected, and that his opinion of matters was so bad, that there was no publick employment in the kingdom should have been accepted by him but this which the King hath now given him; and therein he is glad, in hopes of the service he may do therein; and in my conscience he will. So into the Duke of York’s closet; and there, among other things, Sir W. Coventry did take notice of what he told me the other day, about a report of Commissioner Pett’s dealing for timber in the Navy, and selling it to us in other names; and, besides his own proof, did produce a paper I had given him this morning about it, in the case of Widow Murford and Morecocke, which was so handled, that the Duke of York grew very angry, and commanded us presently to fall into the examination of it, saying that he would not trust a man for his sake that lifts up the whites of his eyes. And it was declared that if he be found to have done so, he should be reckoned unfit to serve the Navy; and I do believe he will be turned out; and it was, methought, a worthy saying of Sir W. Coventry to the Duke of York, “Sir,” says he, “I do not make this complaint out of any disrespect to Commissioner Pett, but because I do love to do these things fairly and openly.”

Thence I to Westminster Hall with Sir G. Carteret to the Chequer Chamber to hear our cause of the Lindeboome prize there before the Lords of Appeal, where was Lord Ashly, Arlington, Barkely, and Sir G. Carteret, but the latter three signified nothing, the former only either minding or understanding what was said. Here was good pleading of Sir Walter Walker’s and worth hearing, but little done in our business. Thence by coach to the Red Lyon, thinking to meet my father, but I come too soon, but my wife is gone out of town to meet him. I am in great pain, poor man, for him, lest he should come up in pain to town. So I staid not, but to the ’Change, and there staid a little, where most of the newes is that the Swedes are likely to fall out with the Dutch, which we wish, but how true I know not. Here I met my uncle Wight, the second day he hath been abroad, having been sick these two months even to death, but having never sent to me even in the greatest of his danger. I do think my Aunt had no mind I should come, and so I never went to see him, but neither he took notice of it to me, nor I made any excuse for it to him, but past two or three How do you’s, and so parted and so home, and by and by comes my poor father, much better than I expected, being at ease by fits, according as his truss sits, and at another time in as much pain. I am mighty glad to see him come well to town. So to dinner, where Creed comes. After dinner my wife and father abroad, and Creed and I also by water, and parted at the Temple stairs, where I landed, and to the King’s house, where I did give 18d., and saw the two last acts of “The Goblins,” a play I could not make any thing of by these two acts, but here Knipp spied me out of the tiring-room, and come to the pit door, and I out to her, and kissed her, she only coming to see me, being in a country-dress, she, and others having, it seemed, had a country-dance in the play, but she no other part: so we parted, and I into the pit again till it was done. The house full, but I had no mind to be seen, but thence to my cutler’s, and two or three other places on small, errands, and so home, where my father and wife come home, and pretty well my father, who to supper and betimes to bed at his country hours. I to Sir W. Batten’s, and there got some more part of my dividend of the prize-money. So home and to set down in writing the state of the account, and then to supper, and my wife to her flageolet, wherein she did make out a tune so prettily of herself, that I was infinitely pleased beyond whatever I expected from her, and so to bed.

This day coming from Westminster with W. Batten, we saw at White Hall stairs a fisher-boat, with a sturgeon that he had newly catched in the River; which I saw, but it was but a little one; but big enough to prevent my mistake of that for a colt, if ever I become Mayor of Huntingdon!1

Tuesday 21 May 1667

Up and to the office, where sat all the morning. At noon dined at home with my wife and find a new girle, a good big girle come to us, got by Payne to be our girle; and his daughter Nell we make our cook. This wench’s name is Mary, and seems a good likely maid. After dinner I with Mr. Commander and Mr. Hide’s brother to Lincolne’s Inne Fields, and there viewed several coach-houses, and satisfied ourselves now fully in it, and then there parted, leaving the rest to future discourse between us. Thence I home; but, Lord! how it went against my heart to go away from the very door of the Duke’s play-house, and my Lady Castlemayne’s coach, and many great coaches there, to see “The Siege of Rhodes.” I was very near making a forfeit, but I did command myself, and so home to my office, and there did much business to my good content, much better than going to a play, and then home to my wife, who is not well with her cold, and sat and read a piece of Grand Cyrus in English by her, and then to my chamber and to supper, and so to bed. This morning the Captain come from Holland did tell us at the board what I have said he reported yesterday.

This evening after I come from the office Mrs. Turner come to see my wife and me, and sit and talk with us, and so, my wife not being well and going to bed, Mrs. Turner and I sat up till 12 at night talking alone in my chamber, and most of our discourse was of our neighbours. As to my Lord Bruncker, she says how Mrs. Griffin, our housekeeper’s wife, hath it from his maid, that comes to her house often, that they are very poor; that the other day Mrs. Williams was fain to send a jewell to pawn; that their maid hath said herself that she hath got 50l. since she come thither, and 17l. by the payment of one bill; that they have a most lewd and nasty family here in the office, but Mrs. Turner do tell me that my Lord hath put the King to infinite charge since his coming thither in alterations, and particularly that Mr. Harper at Deptford did himself tell her that my Lord hath had of Foly, the ironmonger, 50l. worth in locks and keys for his house, and that it is from the fineness of them, having some of 4l. and 5l. a lock, such as is in the Duke’s closet; that he hath several of these; that he do keep many of her things from her of her own goods, and would have her bring a bill into the office for them; that Mrs. Griffin do say that he do not keep Mrs. Williams now for love, but need, he having another whore that he keeps in Covent Garden; that they do owe money everywhere almost for every thing, even Mrs. Shipman for her butter and cheese about 3l., and after many demands cannot get it. Mrs. Turner says she do believe their coming here is only out of a belief of getting purchase by it, and that their servants (which was wittily said of her touching his clerks) do act only as privateers, no purchase, no pay. And in my conscience she is in the right.

Then we fell to talk of Sir W. Pen, and his family and rise. She [Mrs. Turner] says that he was a pityfull [fellow] when she first knew them; that his lady was one of the sourest, dirty women, that ever she saw; that they took two chambers, one over another, for themselves and child, in Tower Hill; that for many years together they eat more meals at her house than at their own; did call brothers and sisters the husbands and wives; that her husband was godfather to one, and she godmother to another (this Margaret) of their children, by the same token that she was fain to write with her own hand a letter to Captain Twiddy, to stand for a godfather for her; that she brought my Lady, who then was a dirty slattern, with her stockings hanging about her heels, so that afterwards the people of the whole Hill did say that Mrs. Turner had made Mrs. Pen a gentlewoman, first to the knowledge of my Lady Vane, Sir Henry’s lady, and him to the knowledge of most of the great people that then he sought to, and that in short his rise hath been his giving of large bribes, wherein, and she agrees with my opinion and knowledge before therein, he is very profuse. This made him General; this got him out of the Tower when he was in; and hath brought him into what he is now, since the King’s coming in: that long ago, indeed, he would drink the King’s health privately with Mr. Turner; but that when he saw it fit to turn Roundhead, and was offered by Mr. Turner to drink the King’s health, he answered “No;” he was changed, and now, he that would make him drink the King’s health, or any health but the Protector’s and the State’s, or to that purpose, he would be the first man should sheath his sword in his guts. That at the King’s coming in, he did send for her husband, and told him what a great man Sir W. Coventry was like to be, and that he having all the records in his hands of the Navy, if he would transcribe what was of most present use of the practice of the Navy, and give them him to give Sir W. Coventry from him, it would undoubtedly do his business of getting him a principal officer’s place; that her husband was at 5l. charge to get these presently writ; that Sir W. Pen did give them Sir W. Coventry as from himself, which did set him up with W. Coventry, and made him what he is, and never owned any thing of Mr. Turner in them; by which he left him in the lurch, though he did promise the Duke of Albemarle to do all that was possible, and made no question of Mr. Turner’s being what he desired; and when afterwards, too, did propose to him the getting of the Purveyor’s place for him, he did tell Mr. Turner it was necessary to present Sir W. Coventry 100 pieces, which he did, and W. Coventry took 80 of them: so that he was W. Coventry’s mere broker, as Sir W. Batten and my Lady did once tell my Lady Duchess of Albemarle, in the case of Mr. Falconer, whom W. Pen made to give W. Coventry 200l. for his place of Clerk of the Rope Yard of Woolwich, and to settle 80l. a year upon his daughter Pegg, after the death of his wife, and a gold watch presently to his wife. Mrs. Turner do tell me that my Lady and Pegg have themselves owned to her that Sir W. Coventry and Sir W. Pen had private marks to write to one another by, that when they in appearance writ a fair letter in behalf of anybody, that they had a little mark to show they meant it only in shew: this, these silly people did confess themselves of him. She says that their son, Mr. William Pen, did tell her that his father did observe the commanders did make their addresses to me and applications, but they should know that his father should be the chief of the office, and that she hath observed that Sir W. Pen never had a kindness to her son, since W. Pen told her son that he had applied himself to me. That his rise hath been by her and her husband’s means, and that it is a most inconceivable thing how this man can have the face to use her and her family with the neglect that he do them. That he was in the late war a most devilish plunderer, and that got him his estate, which he hath in Ireland, and nothing else, and that he hath always been a very liberal man in his bribes, that upon his coming into this part of the Controller’s business wherein he is, he did send for T. Willson and told him how against his knowledge he was put in, and had so little wit as to say to him, “This will make the pot boyle, will it not, Mr. Willson? will it not make the pot boyle?” and do offer him to come in and do his business for him, and he would reward him. This Mr. Willson did come and tell her presently, he having been their servant, and to this day is very faithful to them. That her husband’s not being forward to make him a bill for Rere Admirall’s pay and Generall’s pay both at the same time after he was first made Generall did first give him occasion of keeping a distance from him, since which they have never been great friends, Pen having by degrees been continually growing higher and higher, till now that he do wholly slight them and use them only as servants. Upon the whole, she told me stories enough to confirm me that he is the most false fellow that ever was born of woman, and that so she thinks and knows him to be.

Monday 20 May 1667

Up betimes, and comes my flagelette master to set me a new tune, which I played presently, and shall in a month do as much as I desire at it. He being gone, I to several businesses in my chamber, and then by coach to the Commissioners of Excise, and so to Westminster Hall, and there spoke with several persons I had to do with. Here among other news, I hear that the Commissioners for the Treasury were named by the King yesterday; but who they are nobody could tell: but the persons are the Lord Chancellor, the two Secretaries, Lord Ashly, and others say Sir W. Coventry and Sir John Duncomb, but all conclude the Duke of Albemarle; but reports do differ, but will be known in a day or two. Having done my business, I then homeward, and overtook Mr. Commander; so took him into a coach with me, and he and I into Lincoln’s Inne Fields, there to look upon the coach-houses to see what ground is necessary for coach-house and horses, because of that that I am going about to do, and having satisfied myself in this he and I to Mr. Hide’s to look upon the ground again behind our house, and concluded upon his going along with us to-morrow to see some stables, he thinking that we demand more than is necessary. So away home, and then, I, it being a broken day, and had power by my vows, did walk abroad, first through the Minorys, the first time I have been over the Hill to the postern-gate, and seen the place, since the houses were pulled down about that side of the Tower, since the fire, to find where my young mercer with my pretty little woman to his wife lives, who lived in Lumbard streete, and I did espy them, but took no notice now of them, but may do hereafter. Thence down to the Old Swan, and there saw Betty Michell, whom I have not seen since her christening. But, Lord! how pretty she is, and looks as well as ever I saw her, and her child (which I am fain to seem very fond of) is pretty also, I think, and will be. Thence by water to Westminster Hall, and there walked a while talking at random with Sir W. Doyly, and so away to Mrs. Martin’s lodging, who was gone before, expecting me, and there je hazer what je vellem cum her and drank, and so by coach home (but I have forgot that I did in the morning go to the Swan, and there tumbling of la little fille, son uncle did trouver her cum su neckcloth off, which I was ashamed of, but made no great matter of it, but let it pass with a laugh), and there spent the evening with my wife at our flagelets, and so to supper, and after a little reading to bed. My wife still troubled with her cold. I find it everywhere now to be a thing doubted whether we shall have peace or no, and the captain of one of our ships that went with the Embassadors do say, that the seamen of Holland to his hearing did defy us, and called us English dogs, and cried out against peace, and that the great people there do oppose peace, though he says the common people do wish it.

Sunday 19 May 1667

(Lord’s day). Up, and to my chamber to set some papers in order, and then, to church, where my old acquaintance, that dull fellow, Meriton, made a good sermon, and hath a strange knack of a grave, serious delivery, which is very agreeable. After church to White Hall, and there find Sir G. Carteret just set down to dinner, and I dined with them, as I intended, and good company, the best people and family in the world I think. Here was great talk of the good end that my Lord Treasurer made; closing his owne eyes and setting his mouth, and bidding adieu with the greatest content and freedom in the world; and is said to die with the cleanest hands that ever any Lord Treasurer did. After dinner Sir G. Carteret and I alone, and there, among other discourse, he did declare that he would be content to part with his place of Treasurer of the Navy upon good terms. I did propose my Lord Belasses as a man likely to buy it, which he listened to, and I did fully concur and promote his design of parting with it, for though I would have my father live, I would not have him die Treasurer of the Navy, because of the accounts which must be uncleared at his death, besides many other circumstances making it advisable for him to let it go. He tells me that he fears all will come to naught in the nation soon if the King do not mind his business, which he do not seem likely to do. He says that the Treasury will be managed for a while by a Commission, whereof he thinks my Lord Chancellor for the honour of it, and my Lord Ashly, and the two Secretaries will be, and some others he knows not.

I took leave of him, and directly by water home, and there to read the life of Mr. Hooker, which pleases me as much as any thing I have read a great while, and by and by comes Mr. Howe to see us, and after him a little Mr. Sheply, and so we all to talk, and, Mercer being there, we some of us to sing, and so to supper, a great deal of silly talk. Among other things, W. Howe told us how the Barristers and Students of Gray’s Inne rose in rebellion against the Benchers the other day, who outlawed them, and a great deal of do; but now they are at peace again.

They being gone, I to my book again, and made an end of Mr. Hooker’s Life, and so to bed.

Saturday 18 May 1667

Up, and all the morning at the office, and then to dinner, and after dinner to the office to dictate some letters, and then with my wife to Sir W. Turner’s to visit The., but she being abroad we back again home, and then I to the office, finished my letters, and then to walk an hour in the garden talking with my wife, whose growth in musique do begin to please me mightily, and by and by home and there find our Luce drunk, and when her mistress told her of it would be gone, and so put up some of her things and did go away of her accord, nobody pressing her to it, and the truth is, though she be the dirtiest, homeliest servant that ever I kept, yet I was sorry to have her go, partly through my love to my servants, and partly because she was a very drudging, working wench, only she would be drunk. But that which did a little trouble me was that I did hear her tell her mistress that she would tell her master something before she was aware of her that she would be sorry to have him know; but did it in such a silly, drunken manner, that though it trouble me a little, yet not knowing what to suspect she should know, and not knowing well whether she said it to her mistress or Jane, I did not much think of it. So she gone, we to supper and to bed, my study being made finely clean.

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