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

Tuesday 22 October 1667

Slept but ill all the last part of the night, for fear of this day’s success in Parliament: therefore up, and all of us all the morning close, till almost two o’clock, collecting all we had to say and had done from the beginning, touching the safety of the River Medway and Chatham. And, having done this, and put it into order, we away, I not having time to eat my dinner; and so all in my Lord Bruncker’s coach, that is to say, Bruncker, W. Pen, T. Harvy, and myself, talking of the other great matter with which they charge us, that is, of discharging men by ticket, in order to our defence in case that should be asked. We come to the Parliament-door, and there, after a little waiting till the Committee was sat, we were, the House being very full, called in: Sir W. Pen went in and sat as a Member; and my Lord Bruncker would not at first go in, expecting to have a chair set for him, and his brother had bid him not go in, till he was called for; but, after a few words, I had occasion to mention him, and so he was called in, but without any more chair or respect paid him than myself: and so Bruncker, and T. Harvy, and I, were there to answer: and I had a chair brought me to lean my books upon: and so did give them such an account, in a series of the whole business that had passed the Office touching the matter, and so answered all questions given me about it, that I did not perceive but they were fully satisfied with me and the business as to our Office: and then Commissioner Pett (who was by at all my discourse, and this held till within an hour after candlelight, for I had candles brought in to read my papers by) was to answer for himself, we having lodged all matters with him for execution. But, Lord! what a tumultuous thing this Committee is, for all the reputation they have of a great council, is a strange consideration; there being as impertinent questions, and as disorderly proposed, as any man could make. But Commissioner Pett, of all men living, did make the weakest defence for himself: nothing to the purpose, nor to satisfaction, nor certain; but sometimes one thing and sometimes another, sometimes for himself and sometimes against him; and his greatest failure was, that I observed, from his [not] considering whether the question propounded was his part to answer or no, and the thing to be done was his work to do: the want of which distinction will overthrow him; for he concerns himself in giving an account of the disposal of the boats, which he had no reason at all to do, or take any blame upon him for them. He charged the not carrying up of “The Charles” upon the Tuesday, to the Duke of Albemarle; but I see the House is mighty favourable to the Duke of Albemarle, and would give little weight to it. And something of want of armes he spoke, which Sir J. Duncomb answered with great imperiousness and earnestness; but, for all that, I do see the House is resolved to be better satisfied in the business of the unreadiness of Sherenesse, and want of armes and ammunition there and every where: and all their officers were here to-day attending, but only one called in, about armes for boats, to answer Commissioner Pett. None of my brethren said anything but me there, but only two or three silly words my Lord Bruncker gave, in answer to one question about the number of men there were in the King’s Yard at the time.

At last, the House dismissed us, and shortly after did adjourne the debate till Friday next: and my cozen Pepys did come out and joy me in my acquitting myself so well, and so did several others, and my fellow-officers all very brisk to see themselves so well acquitted; which makes me a little proud, but yet not secure but we may yet meet with a back-blow which we see not.

So, with our hearts very light, Sir W. Pen and I in his coach home, it being now near eight o’clock, and so to the office, and did a little business by the post, and so home, hungry, and eat a good supper, and so, with my mind well at ease, to bed. My wife not very well of those.

Monday 21 October 1667

Up, and betimes got a coach at the Exchange, and thence to St. James’s, where I had forgot that the Duke of York and family were gone to White Hall, and thence to Westminster Hall and there walked a little, finding the Parliament likely to be busy all this morning about the business of Mr. Bruncker for advising Cox and Harman to shorten sail when they were in pursuit of the Dutch after the first great victory. I went away to Mr. Creed’s chamber, there to meet Sir H. Cholmly, about business of Mr. Yeabsly, where I was delivered of a great fear that they would question some of the orders for payment of money which I had got them signed at the time of the plague, when I was here alone, but all did pass. Thence to Westminster again, and up to the lobby, where many commanders of the fleete were, and Captain Cox, and Mr. Pierce, the Surgeon; the last of whom hath been in the House, and declared that he heard Bruncker advise; and give arguments to, Cox, for the safety of the Duke of York’s person, to shorten sail, that they might not be in the middle of the enemy in the morning alone; and Cox denying to observe his advice, having received the Duke of York’s commands over night to keep within cannon-shot (as they then were) of the enemy, Bruncker did go to Harman, and used the same arguments, and told him that he was sure it would be well pleasing to the King that care should be taken of not endangering the Duke of York; and, after much persuasion, Harman was heard to say, “Why, if it must be, then lower the topsail.” And so did shorten sail, to the loss, as the Parliament will have it, of the greatest victory that ever was, and which would have saved all the expence of blood, and money, and honour, that followed; and this they do resent, so as to put it to the question, whether Bruncker should not be carried to the Tower: who do confess that, out of kindness to the Duke of York’s safety, he did advise that they should do so, but did not use the Duke of York’s name therein; and so it was only his error in advising it, but the greatest theirs in taking it, contrary to order. At last, it ended that it should be suspended till Harman comes home; and then the Parliament-men do all tell me that it will fall heavy, and, they think, be fatal to Bruncker or him. Sir W. Pen tells me he was gone to bed, having been all day labouring, and then not able to stand, of the goute, and did give order for the keeping the sails standing, as they then were, all night. But, which I wonder at, he tells me that he did not know the next day that they had shortened sail, nor ever did enquire into it till about ten days ago, that this begun to be mentioned; and, indeed, it is charged privately as a fault on the Duke of York, that he did not presently examine the reason of the breach of his orders, and punish it. But Cox tells me that he did finally refuse it; and what prevailed with Harman he knows not, and do think that we might have done considerable service on the enemy the next day, if this had not been done. Thus this business ended to-day, having kept them till almost two o’clock; and then I by coach with Sir W. Pen as far as St. Clement’s, talking of this matter, and there set down; and I walked to Sir G. Carteret’s, and there dined with him and several Parliament-men, who, I perceive, do all look upon it as a thing certain that the Parliament will enquire into every thing, and will be very severe where they can find any fault. Sir W. Coventry, I hear, did this day make a speech, in apology for his reading the letter of the Duke of Albemarle, concerning the good condition which Chatham was in before the enemy come thither: declaring his simple intention therein, without prejudice to my Lord. And I am told that he was also with the Duke of Albemarle yesterday to excuse it; but this day I do hear, by some of Sir W. Coventry’s friends, that they think he hath done himself much injury by making this man, and his interest, so much his enemy.

After dinner, I away to Westminster, and up to the Parliament-house, and there did wait with great patience, till seven at night, to be called in to the Committee, who sat all this afternoon, examining the business of Chatham; and at last was called in, and told, that the least they expected from us Mr. Wren had promised them, and only bade me to bring all my fellow-officers thitherto attend them tomorrow, afternoon. Sir Robert Brookes in the chair: methinks a sorry fellow to be there, because a young man; and yet he seems to speak very well.

I gone thence, my cozen Pepys comes out to me, and walks in the Hall with me, and bids me prepare to answer to every thing; for they do seem to lodge the business of Chatham upon the Commissioners of the Navy, and they are resolved to lay the fault heavy somewhere, and to punish it: and prays me to prepare to save myself, and gives me hints what to prepare against; which I am obliged to him for, and do begin to mistrust lest some unhappy slip or other after all my diligence and pains may not be found (which I can [not] foresee) that may prove as fatal to a man as the constant course of negligence and unfaithfulness of other men.

Here we parted, and I to White Hall to Mr. Wren’s chamber, thereto advise with him about the list of ships and commanders which he is to present to the Parliament, and took coach (little Michell being with me, whom I took with me from Westminster Hall), and setting him down in Gracious street home myself, where I find my wife and the two Mercers and Willett and W. Batelier have been dancing, but without a fidler. I had a little pleasure in talking with these, but my head and heart full of thoughts between hope and fear and doubts what will become of us and me particularly against a furious Parliament. Then broke up and to bed, and there slept pretty well till about four o’clock, and from that time could not, but my thoughts running on speeches to the Parliament to excuse myself from the blame which by other men’s negligence will ’light, it may be, upon the office.

This day I did get a list of the fourteen particular miscarriages which are already before the Committee to be examined; wherein, besides two or three that will concern this Office much, there are those of the prizes, and that of Bergen, and not following the Dutch ships, against my Lord Sandwich; that, I fear, will ruine him, unless he hath very good luck, or they may be in better temper before he can come to be charged: but my heart is full of fear for him and his family.

I hear that they do prosecute the business against my Lord Chief Justice Keeling with great severity.

Sunday 20 October 1667

(Lord’s day). Up, and put on my new tunique of velvett; which is very plain, but good. This morning is brought to me an order for the presenting the Committee of Parliament to-morrow with a list of the commanders and ships’ names of all the fleetes set out since the war, and particularly of those ships which were divided from the fleete with Prince Rupert;1 which gives me occasion to see that they are busy after that business, and I am glad of it. So I alone to church, and then home, and there Mr. Deane comes and dines with me by invitation, and both at and after dinner he and I spent all the day till it was dark in discourse of business of the Navy and the ground of the many miscarriages, wherein he do inform me in many more than I knew, and I had desired him to put them in writing, and many indeed they are and good ones; and also we discoursed of the business of shipping, and he hath promised me a draught of the ship he is now building, wherein I am mightily pleased. This afternoon comes to me Captain O’Bryan, about a ship that the King hath given him; and he and I to talk of the Parliament; and he tells me that the business of the Duke of York’s slackening sail in the first fight, at the beginning of the war, is brought into question, and Sir W. Pen and Captain Cox are to appear to-morrow about it; and it is thought will at last be laid upon Mr. Bruncker’s giving orders from the Duke of York (which the Duke of York do not own) to Captain Cox to do it; but it seems they do resent this very highly, and are mad in going through all business, where they can lay any fault. I am glad to hear, that in the world I am as kindly spoke of as any body; for, for aught I see, there is bloody work like to be, Sir W. Coventry having been forced to produce a letter in Parliament wherein the Duke of Albemarle did from Sheernesse write in what good posture all things were at Chatham, and that the chain was so well placed that he feared no attempt of the enemy: so that, among other things, I see every body is upon his own defence, and spares not to blame another to defend himself, and the same course I shall take. But God knows where it will end! He gone, and Deane, I to my chamber for a while, and then comes Pelling the apothecary to see us, and sat and supped with me (my wife being gone to bed sick of the cholique), and then I to bed, after supper. Pelling tells me that my Lady Duchesse Albemarle was at Mrs. Turner’s this afternoon, she being ill, and did there publickly talk of business, and of our Office; and that she believed that I was safe, and had done well; and so, I thank God! I hear every body speaks of me; and indeed, I think, without vanity, I may expect to be profited rather than injured by this inquiry, which the Parliament makes into business.

Saturday 19 October 1667

At the office all the morning, where very busy, and at noon home to a short dinner, being full of my desire of seeing my Lord Orrery’s new play this afternoon at the King’s house, “The Black Prince,” the first time it is acted; where, though we come by two o’clock, yet there was no room in the pit, but we were forced to go into one of the upper boxes, at 4s. a piece, which is the first time I ever sat in a box in my life. And in the same box come, by and by, behind me, my Lord Barkeley [of Stratton] and his lady; but I did not turn my face to them to be known, so that I was excused from giving them my seat; and this pleasure I had, that from this place the scenes do appear very fine indeed, and much better than in the pit. The house infinite full, and the King and Duke of York was there. By and by the play begun, and in it nothing particular but a very fine dance for variety of figures, but a little too long. But, as to the contrivance, and all that was witty (which, indeed, was much, and very witty), was almost the same that had been in his two former plays of “Henry the 5th” and “Mustapha,” and the same points and turns of wit in both, and in this very same play often repeated, but in excellent language, and were so excellent that the whole house was mightily pleased with it all along till towards the end he comes to discover the chief of the plot of the play by the reading of along letter, which was so long and some things (the people being set already to think too long) so unnecessary that they frequently begun to laugh, and to hiss twenty times, that, had it not been for the King’s being there, they had certainly hissed it off the stage. But I must confess that, as my Lord Barkeley says behind me, the having of that long letter was a thing so absurd, that he could not imagine how a man of his parts could possibly fall into it; or, if he did, if he had but let any friend read it, the friend would have told him of it; and, I must confess, it is one of the most remarkable instances that ever I did or expect to meet with in my life of a wise man’s not being wise at all times, and in all things, for nothing could be more ridiculous than this, though the letter of itself at another time would be thought an excellent letter, and indeed an excellent Romance, but at the end of the play, when every body was weary of sitting, and were already possessed with the effect of the whole letter; to trouble them with a letter a quarter of an hour long, was a most absurd thing. After the play done, and nothing pleasing them from the time of the letter to the end of the play, people being put into a bad humour of disliking (which is another thing worth the noting), I home by coach, and could not forbear laughing almost all the way home, and all the evening to my going to bed, at the ridiculousness of the letter, and the more because my wife was angry with me, and the world, for laughing, because the King was there, though she cannot defend the length of the letter. So after having done business at the office, I home to supper and to bed.

Friday 18 October 1667

Up, and by coach with Sir W. Pen to White Hall, and there attended the Duke of York; but first we find him to spend above an hour in private in his closet with Sir W. Coventry; which I was glad to see, that there is so much confidence between them. By and by we were called in and did our usual business, and complained of the business yesterday discovered of our officers abusing the King in the appraisement of the prizes. Here it was worth observing that the Duke of York, considering what third rate ships to keep abroad, the Rupert was thought on, but then it was said that Captain Hubbert was Commander of her and that the King had a mind for Spragg to command the ship, which would not be well to be by turning out Hubbert, who is a good man, but one the Duke of York said he did not know whether he did so well conforme, as at this lime to please the people and Parliament. Sir W. Coventry answered, and the Duke of York merrily agreed to it, that it was very hard to know what it was that the Parliament would call conformity at this time, and so it stopped, which I only observe to see how the Parliament’s present temper do amuse them all.

Thence to several places to buy a hat, and books, and neckcloths, and several errands I did before I got home, and, among others, bought me two new pair of spectacles of Turlington, who, it seems, is famous for them; and his daughter, he being out of the way, do advise me two very young sights, as that that will help me most, and promises me great ease from them, and I will try them. At the Exchange I met Creed, and took him home with me, and dined, and among other things he tells me that Sir Robert Brookes is the man that did mention the business in Parliament yesterday about my Lord Sandwich, but that it was seconded by nobody, but the matter will fall before the Committee for miscarriages. Thence, after dinner, my wife and he, and I, and Willet to the King’s house, and saw “Brenoralt,” which is a good tragedy, that I like well, and parted after the play, and so home, and there a little at my office, and so to my chamber, and spent this night late in telling over all my gold, and putting it into proper bags and my iron chest, being glad with my heart to see so much of it here again, but cannot yet tell certainly how much I have lost by Gibson in his journey, and my father’s burying of it in the dirt. At this late, but did it to my mind, and so to supper and to bed.

Thursday 17 October 1667

Up, and being sent for by my Lady Batten, I to her, and there she found fault with my not seeing her since her being a widow, which I excused as well as I could, though it is a fault, but it is my nature not to be forward in visits. But here she told me her condition, which is good enough, being sole executrix, to the disappointment of all her husband’s children, and prayed my friendship about the accounts of the prizes, which I promised her. And here do see what creatures widows are in weeping for their husbands, and then presently leaving off; but I cannot wonder at it, the cares of the world taking place of all other passions. Thence to the office, where all the morning busy, and at noon home to dinner, where Mr. John Andrews and his wife come and dined with me, and pretty merry we were, only I out of humour the greatest part of the dinner, by reason that my people had forgot to get wine ready, I having none in my house, which I cannot say now these almost three years, I think, without having two or three sorts, by which we were fain to stay a great while, while some could be fetched. When it come I begun to be merry, and merry we were, but it was an odd, strange thing to observe of Mr. Andrews what a fancy he hath to raw meat, that he eats it with no pleasure unless the blood run about his chops, which it did now by a leg of mutton that was not above half boiled; but, it seems, at home all his meat is dressed so, and beef and all, and [he] eats it so at nights also. Here most of our discourse is of the business of the Parliament, who run on mighty furiously, having yesterday been almost all the morning complaining against some high proceedings of my Lord Chief Justice Keeling, that the gentlemen of the country did complain against him in the House, and run very high. It is the man that did fall out with my cozen Roger Pepys, once, at the Assizes there, and would have laid him by the heels; but, it seems, a very able lawyer.

After dinner I to the office, where we all met with intent to proceed to the publique sale of several prize ships, but upon discourse my Lord Anglesey did discover (which troubled me that he that is a stranger almost should do more than we ourselves could) that the appraisements made by our officers were not above half of what he had been offered for one of them, and did make it good by bringing a gentleman to give us 700l. for the Wildboare, which they valued but at 276l., which made us all startle and stop the sale, and I did propose to acquaint the Duke of York with it, and accordingly we did agree on it, and I wrote a severe letter about it, and we are to attend him with it to-morrow about it.

This afternoon my Lord Anglesey tells us that the House of Commons have this morning run into the inquiry in many things; as, the sale of Dunkirke, the dividing of the fleete the last year, the business of the prizes with my Lord Sandwich, and many other things; so that now they begin to fall close upon it, and God knows what will be the end of it, but a Committee they have chosen to inquire into the miscarriages of the war.

Having done, and being a little tired, Sir W. Pen and I in his coach out to Mile End Green, and there drank a cup of Byde’s ale, and so talking about the proceedings of Parliament, and how little a thing the King is become to be forced to suffer it, though I declare my being satisfied that things should be enquired into, we back again home, and I to my office to my letters, and so home to supper and to bed.

Wednesday 16 October 1667

Up, and at home most of the morning with Sir H. Cholmly, about some accounts of his; and for news he tells me that the Commons and Lords have concurred, and delivered the King their thanks, among other things, for his removal of the Chancellor; who took their thanks very well, and, among other things, promised them, in these words, never, in any degree, to entertain the Chancellor any employment again. And he tells me that it is very true, he hath it from one that was by, that the King did, give the Duke of York a sound reprimand; told him that he had lived with him with more kindness than ever any brother King lived with a brother, and that he lived as much like a monarch as himself, but advised him not to cross him in his designs about the Chancellor; in which the Duke of York do very wisely acquiesce, and will be quiet as the King bade him, but presently commands all his friends to be silent in the business of the Chancellor, and they were so: but that the Chancellor hath done all that is possible to provoke the King, and to bring himself to lose his head by enraging of people. He gone, I to the office, busy all the morning. At noon to Broad Street to Sir G. Carteret and Lord Bruncker, and there dined with them, and thence after dinner with Bruncker to White Hall, where the Duke of York is now newly come for this winter, and there did our usual business, which is but little, and so I away to the Duke of York’s house, thinking as we appointed, to meet my wife there, but she was not; and more, I was vexed to see Young (who is but a bad actor at best) act Macbeth in the room of Betterton, who, poor man! is sick: but, Lord! what a prejudice it wrought in me against the whole play, and everybody else agreed in disliking this fellow. Thence home, and there find my wife gone home; because of this fellow’s acting of the part, she went out of the house again. There busy at my chamber with Mr. Yeabsly, and then with Mr. Lewes, about public business late, and so to supper and to bed.

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