Wednesday 23 May 1660
The Doctor and I waked very merry, only my eye was very red and ill in the morning from yesterday’s hurt.
In the morning came infinity of people on board from the King to go along with him.
My Lord, Mr. Crew, and others, go on shore to meet the King as he comes off from shore, where Sir R. Stayner bringing His Majesty into the boat, I hear that His Majesty did with a great deal of affection kiss my Lord upon his first meeting.
The King, with the two Dukes and Queen of Bohemia, Princess Royal, and Prince of Orange, came on board, where I in their coming in kissed the King’s, Queen’s, and Princess’s hands, having done the other before. Infinite shooting off of the guns, and that in a disorder on purpose, which was better than if it had been otherwise.
All day nothing but Lords and persons of honour on board, that we were exceeding full.
Dined in a great deal of state, the Royall company by themselves in the coach, which was a blessed sight to see.
After dinner the King and Duke altered the name of some of the ships, viz. the Nazeby into Charles; the Richard, James; the Speaker, Mary; the Dunbar (which was not in company with us), the Henry; Winsly, Happy Return; Wakefield, Richmond; Lambert; the Henrietta; Cheriton, the Speedwell; Bradford, the Success.
That done, the Queen, Princess Royal, and Prince of Orange, took leave of the King, and the Duke of York went on board the London, and the Duke of Gloucester, the Swiftsure. Which done, we weighed anchor, and with a fresh gale and most happy weather we set sail for England. All the afternoon the King walked here and there, up and down (quite contrary to what I thought him to have been), very active and stirring.
Upon the quarterdeck he fell into discourse of his escape from Worcester,1 where it made me ready to weep to hear the stories that he told of his difficulties that he had passed through, as his travelling four days and three nights on foot, every step up to his knees in dirt, with nothing but a green coat and a pair of country breeches on, and a pair of country shoes that made him so sore all over his feet, that he could scarce stir.
Yet he was forced to run away from a miller and other company, that took them for rogues.
His sitting at table at one place, where the master of the house, that had not seen him in eight years, did know him, but kept it private; when at the same table there was one that had been of his own regiment at Worcester, could not know him, but made him drink the King’s health, and said that the King was at least four fingers higher than he.
At another place he was by some servants of the house made to drink, that they might know him not to be a Roundhead, which they swore he was.
In another place at his inn, the master of the house,2 as the King was standing with his hands upon the back of a chair by the fire-side, kneeled down and kissed his hand, privately, saying, that he would not ask him who he was, but bid God bless him whither he was going. Then the difficulty of getting a boat to get into France, where he was fain to plot with the master thereof to keep his design from the four men and a boy (which was all his ship’s company), and so got to Fecamp in France.3
At Rouen he looked so poorly, that the people went into the rooms before he went away to see whether he had not stole something or other. In the evening I went up to my Lord to write letters for England, which we sent away with word of our coming, by Mr. Edw. Pickering. The King supped alone in the coach; after that I got a dish, and we four supped in my cabin, as at noon.
About bed-time my Lord Bartlett4 (who I had offered my service to before) sent for me to get him a bed, who with much ado I did get to bed to my Lord Middlesex in the great cabin below, but I was cruelly troubled before I could dispose of him, and quit myself of him.
So to my cabin again, where the company still was, and were talking more of the King’s difficulties; as how he was fain to eat a piece of bread and cheese out of a poor boy’s pocket; how, at a Catholique house, he was fain to lie in the priest’s hole a good while in the house for his privacy.
After that our company broke up, and the Doctor and I to bed. We have all the Lords Commissioners on board us, and many others. Under sail all night, and most glorious weather.