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

Tuesday 27 October 1668

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] …in the morning up, but my mind troubled for the poor girle, with whom I could not get opportunity to speak, but to the office, my mind mighty full of sorrow for her, where all the morning, and to dinner with my people, and to the office all the afternoon, and so at night home, and there busy to get some things ready against to-morrow’s meeting of Tangier, and that being done, and my clerks gone, my wife did towards bedtime begin to be in a mighty rage from some new matter that she had got in her head, and did most part of the night in bed rant at me in most high terms of threats of publishing my shame, and when I offered to rise would have rose too, and caused a candle to be light to burn by her all night in the chimney while she ranted, while the knowing myself to have given some grounds for it, did make it my business to appease her all I could possibly, and by good words and fair promises did make her very quiet, and so rested all night, and… [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

Monday 26 October 1668

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] …rose, and up and by water to White Hall, but with my mind mightily troubled for the poor girle, whom I fear I have undone by this, my [wife] telling me that she would turn her out of doors. However, I was obliged to attend the Duke of York, thinking to have had a meeting of Tangier to-day, but had not; but he did take me and Mr. Wren into his closet, and there did press me to prepare what I had to say upon the answers of my fellow-officers to his great letter, which I promised to do against his coming to town again, the next week; and so to other discourse, finding plainly that he is in trouble, and apprehensions of the Reformers, and would be found to do what he can towards reforming, himself. And so thence to my Lord Sandwich’s, where, after long stay, he being in talk with others privately, I to him; and there he, taking physic and keeping his chamber, I had an hour’s talk with him about the ill posture of things at this time, while the King gives countenance to Sir Charles Sidly and Lord Buckhurst, telling him their late story of running up and down the streets a little while since all night, and their being beaten and clapped up all night by the constable, who is since chid and imprisoned for his pains.

He tells me that he thinks his matters do stand well with the King, and hopes to have dispatch to his mind; but I doubt it, and do see that he do fear it, too. He told me my Lady Carteret’s trouble about my writing of that letter of the Duke of York’s lately to the Office, which I did not own, but declared to be of no injury to G. Carteret, and that I would write a letter to him to satisfy him therein. But this I am in pain how to do, without doing myself wrong, and the end I had, of preparing a justification to myself hereafter, when the faults of the Navy come to be found out however, I will do it in the best manner I can.

Thence by coach home and to dinner, finding my wife mightily discontented, and the girle sad, and no words from my wife to her. So after dinner they out with me about two or three things, and so home again, I all the evening busy, and my wife full of trouble in her looks, and anon to bed, where about midnight she wakes me, and there falls foul of me again, affirming that she saw me hug and kiss the girle; the latter I denied, and truly, the other I confessed and no more, and upon her pressing me did offer to give her under my hand that I would never see Mrs. Pierce more nor Knepp, but did promise her particular demonstrations of my true love to her, owning some indiscretions in what I did, but that there was no harm in it. She at last upon these promises was quiet, and very kind we were, and so to sleep, and… [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

Sunday 25 October 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and discoursing with my wife about our house and many new things we are doing of, and so to church I, and there find Jack Fenn come, and his wife, a pretty black woman: I never saw her before, nor took notice of her now. So home and to dinner, and after dinner all the afternoon got my wife and boy to read to me, and at night W. Batelier comes and sups with us; and, after supper, to have my head combed by Deb., which occasioned the greatest sorrow to me that ever I knew in this world, for my wife, coming up suddenly, did find me embracing the girl … I was at a wonderful loss upon it, and the girle also, and I endeavoured to put it off, but my wife was struck mute and grew angry, and so her voice come to her, grew quite out of order, and I to say little, but to bed, and my wife said little also, but could not sleep all night, but about two in the morning waked me and cried, and fell to tell me as a great secret that she was a Roman Catholique and had received the Holy Sacrament, which troubled me, but I took no notice of it, but she went on from one thing to another till at last it appeared plainly her trouble was at what she saw, but yet I did not know how much she saw, and therefore said nothing to her. But after her much crying and reproaching me with inconstancy and preferring a sorry girl before her, I did give her no provocation, but did promise all fair usage to her and love, and foreswore any hurt that I did with her, till at last she seemed to be at ease again, and so toward morning a little sleep, and so I with some little repose and rest,… [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

Saturday 24 October 1668

This morning comes to me the coachmaker, and agreed with me for 53l., and stand to the courtesy of what more I should give him upon the finishing of the coach: he is likely also to fit me with a coachman. There comes also to me Mr. Shotgrave, the operator of our Royal Society, to show me his method of making the Tubes for the eyes, which are clouterly done, so that mine are better, but I have well informed myself in several things from him, and so am glad of speaking with him. So to the office, where all the morning, and then to dinner, and so all the afternoon late at the office, and so home; and my wife to read to me, and then with much content to bed. This day Lord Brouncker tells me that the making Sir J. Minnes a bare Commissioner is now in doing, which I am glad of; but he speaks of two new Commissioners, which I do not believe.

Friday 23 October 1668

Up, and plasterers at work and painters about my house. Commissioner Middleton and I to St. James’s, where with the rest of our company we attended on our usual business the Duke of York. Thence I to White Hall, to my Lord Sandwich’s, where I find my Lord within, but busy, private; and so I staid a little talking with the young gentlemen: and so away with Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, towards Tyburne, to see the people executed; but come too late, it being done; two men and a woman hanged, and so back again and to my coachmaker’s, and there did come a little nearer agreement for the coach, and so to Duck Lane, and there my bookseller’s, and saw his moher, but elle is so big-bellied that elle is not worth seeing. So home, and there all alone to dinner, my wife and W. Hewer being gone to Deptford to see her mother, and so I to the office all the afternoon. In the afternoon comes my cozen, Sidney Pickering, to bring my wife and me his sister’s favour for her wedding, which is kindly done, and he gone, I to business again, and in the evening home, made my wife read till supper time, and so to bed. This day Pierce do tell me, among other news, the late frolick and debauchery of Sir Charles Sidly and Buckhurst, running up and down all the night with their arses bare, through the streets; and at last fighting, and being beat by the watch and clapped up all night; and how the King takes their parts; and my Lord Chief Justice Keeling hath laid the constable by the heels to answer it next Sessions: which is a horrid shame. How the King and these gentlemen did make the fiddlers of Thetford, this last progress, to sing them all the bawdy songs they could think of. How Sir W. Coventry was brought the other day to the Duchesse of York by the Duke, to kiss her hand; who did acknowledge his unhappiness to occasion her so much sorrow, declaring his intentions in it, and praying her pardon; which she did give him upon his promise to make good his pretences of innocence to her family, by his faithfulness to his master, the Duke of York. That the Duke of Buckingham is now all in all, and will ruin Coventry, if he can: and that W. Coventry do now rest wholly upon the Duke of York for his standing, which is a great turn. He tells me that my Lady Castlemayne, however, is a mortal enemy to the Duke of Buckingham, which I understand not; but, it seems, she is disgusted with his greatness, and his ill usage of her. That the King was drunk at Saxam with Sidly, Buckhurst, &c., the night that my Lord Arlington come thither, and would not give him audience, or could not which is true, for it was the night that I was there, and saw the King go up to his chamber, and was told that the King had been drinking. He tells me, too, that the Duke of York did the next day chide Bab. May for his occasioning the King’s giving himself up to these gentlemen, to the neglecting of my Lord Arlington: to which he answered merrily, that, by God, there was no man in England that had heads to lose, durst do what they do, every day, with the King, and asked the Duke of York’s pardon: which is a sign of a mad world. God bless us out of it!

Thursday 22 October 1668

Up, and W. Batelier’s Frenchman, a perriwigg maker, comes and brings me a new one, which I liked and paid him for: a mighty genteel fellow. So to the office, where sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and thence with wife and Deb. to Crow’s, and there did see some more beds; and we shall, I think, pitch upon a camlott one, when all is done. Thence sent them home, and I to Arundell House, where the first time we have met since the vacation, and not much company: but here much good discourse, and afterwards my Lord and others and I to the Devil tavern, and there eat and drank, and so late, with Mr. Colwell, home by coach; and at home took him with me, and there found my uncle Wight and aunt, and Woolly and his wife, and there supped, and mighty merry. And anon they gone, and Mrs. Turner staid, who was there also to talk of her husband’s business; and the truth is, I was the less pleased to talk with her, for that she hath not yet owned, in any fit manner of thanks, my late and principal service to her husband about his place, which I alone ought to have the thanks for, if they know as much as I do; but let it go: if they do not own it, I shall have it in my hand to teach them to do it. So to bed. This day word come for all the Principal Officers to bring them [the Commissioners of Accounts] their patents, which I did in the afternoon, by leaving it at their office, but am troubled at what should be their design therein.

Wednesday 21 October 1668

Lay pretty long talking with content with my wife about our coach and things, and so to the office, where Sir D. Gawden was to do something in his accounts. At noon to dinner to Mr. Batelier’s, his mother coming this day a-housewarming to him, and several friends of his, to which he invited us. Here mighty merry, and his mother the same; I heretofore took her for a gentlewoman, and understanding. I rose from table before the rest, because under an obligation to go to my Lord Brouncker’s, where to meet several gentlemen of the Royal Society, to go and make a visit to the French Embassador Colbert, at Leicester House, he having endeavoured to make one or two to my Lord Brouncker, as our President, but he was not within, but I come too late, they being gone before: but I followed to Leicester House; but they are gone in and up before me; and so I away to the New Exchange, and there staid for my wife, and she come, we to Cow Lane, and there I shewed her the coach which I pitch on, and she is out of herself for joy almost. But the man not within, so did nothing more towards an agreement, but to Mr. Crow’s about a bed, to have his advice, and so home, and there had my wife to read to me, and so to supper and to bed. Memorandum: that from Crow’s, we went back to Charing Cross, and there left my people at their tailor’s, while I to my Lord Sandwich’s lodgings, who come to town the last night, and is come thither to lye: and met with him within: and among others my new cozen Creed, who looks mighty soberly; and he and I saluted one another with mighty gravity, till we come to a little more freedom of talk about it. But here I hear that Sir Gilbert Pickering is lately dead, about three days since, which makes some sorrow there, though not much, because of his being long expected to die, having been in a lethargy long. So waited on my Lord to Court, and there staid and saw the ladies awhile: and thence to my wife, and took them up; and so home, and to supper and bed.

Continue reading Tuesday 20 October 1668