Monday 27 February 1659/60
Up by four o’clock, and after I was ready, took my leave of my father, whom I left in bed, and the same of my brother John, to whom I gave 10s. Mr. Blayton and I took horse and straight to Saffron Walden, where at the White Hart, we set up our horses, and took the master of the house to shew us Audley End House, who took us on foot through the park, and so to the house, where the housekeeper shewed us all the house, in which the stateliness of the ceilings, chimney-pieces, and form of the whole was exceedingly worth seeing. He took us into the cellar, where we drank most admirable drink, a health to the King. Here I played on my flageolette, there being an excellent echo. He shewed us excellent pictures; two especially, those of the four Evangelists and Henry VIII. After that I gave the man 2s. for his trouble, and went back again. In our going, my landlord carried us through a very old hospital or almshouse, where forty poor people was maintained; a very old foundation; and over the chimney in the mantelpiece was an inscription in brass: “Orate pre anima Thomae Bird,” &c.; and the poor box also was on the same chimney-piece, with an iron door and locks to it, into which I put 6d. They brought me a draft of their drink in a brown bowl, tipt with silver, which I drank off, and at the bottom was a picture of the Virgin and the child in her arms, done in silver. So we went to our Inn, and after eating of something, and kissed the daughter of the house, she being very pretty, we took leave, and so that night, the road pretty good, but the weather rainy to Ep[p]ing, where we sat and played a game at cards, and after supper, and some merry talk with a plain bold maid of the house, we went to bed.