Thursday 16 November 1665
Up, and fitted myself for my journey down to the fleete, and sending my money and boy down by water to Eriffe, —[Erith]— I borrowed a horse of Mr. Boreman’s son, and after having sat an houre laughing with my Lady Batten and Mrs. Turner, and eat and drank with them, I took horse and rode to Eriffe, where, after making a little visit to Madam Williams, who did give me information of W. Howe’s having bought eight bags of precious stones taken from about the Dutch Vice-Admirall’s neck, of which there were eight dyamonds which cost him 60,000l. sterling, in India, and hoped to have made 2000l. here for them. And that this is told by one that sold him one of the bags, which hath nothing but rubys in it, which he had for 35s.; and that it will be proved he hath made 125l. of one stone that he bought. This she desired, and I resolved I would give my Lord Sandwich notice of. So I on board my Lord Bruncker; and there he and Sir Edmund Pooly carried me down into the hold of the India shipp, and there did show me the greatest wealth lie in confusion that a man can see in the world. Pepper scattered through every chink, you trod upon it; and in cloves and nutmegs, I walked above the knees; whole rooms full. And silk in bales, and boxes of copper-plate, one of which I saw opened.
Having seen this, which was as noble a sight as ever I saw in my life, I away on board the other ship in despair to get the pleasure-boat of the gentlemen there to carry me to the fleet. They were Mr. Ashburnham and Colonell Wyndham; but pleading the King’s business, they did presently agree I should have it. So I presently on board, and got under sail, and had a good bedd by the shift, of Wyndham’s; and so, … [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]