Sunday 25 February 1665/66
(Lord’s day). My wife up between three and four of the clock in the morning to dress herself, and I about five, and were all ready to take coach, she and I and Mercer, a little past five, but, to our trouble, the coach did not come till six. Then with our coach of four horses I hire on purpose, and Leshmore to ride by, we through the City to Branford and so to Windsor, Captain Ferrers overtaking us at Kensington, being to go with us, and here drank, and so through, making no stay, to Cranborne, about eleven o’clock, and found my Lord and the ladies at a sermon in the house; which being ended we to them, and all the company glad to see us, and mighty merry to dinner. Here was my Lord, and Lord Hinchingbroke, and Mr. Sidney, Sir Charles Herbert, and Mr. Carteret, my Lady Carteret, my Lady Jemimah, and Lady Slaning. After dinner to talk to and again, and then to walke in the Parke, my Lord and I alone, talking upon these heads; first, he has left his business of the prizes as well as is possible for him, having cleared himself before the Commissioners by the King’s commands, so that nothing or little is to be feared from that point, he goes fully assured, he tells me, of the King’s favour. That upon occasion I may know, I desired to know, his friends I may trust to, he tells me, but that he is not yet in England, but continues this summer in Ireland, my Lord Orrery is his father almost in affection.
He tells me my Lord of Suffolke, Lord Arlington, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Treasurer, Mr. Atturny Montagu, Sir Thomas Clifford in the House of Commons, Sir G. Carteret, and some others I cannot presently remember, are friends that I may rely on for him.
He tells me my Lord Chancellor seems his very good friend, but doubts that he may not think him so much a servant of the Duke of Yorke’s as he would have him, and indeed my Lord tells me he hath lately made it his business to be seen studious of the King’s favour, and not of the Duke’s, and by the King will stand or fall, for factions there are, as he tells me, and God knows how high they may come.
The Duke of Albemarle’s post is so great, having had the name of bringing in the King, that he is like to stand, or, if it were not for him, God knows in what troubles we might be from some private faction, if an army could be got into another hand, which God forbid!
It is believed that though Mr. Coventry be in appearance so great against the Chancellor, yet that there is a good understanding between the Duke and him.
He dreads the issue of this year, and fears there will be some very great revolutions before his coming back again.
He doubts it is needful for him to have a pardon for his last year’s actions, all which he did without commission, and at most but the King’s private single word for that of Bergen; but he dares not ask it at this time, lest it should make them think that there is something more in it than yet they know; and if it should be denied, it would be of very ill consequence.
He says also, if it should in Parliament be enquired into the selling of Dunkirke (though the Chancellor was the man that would have it sold to France, saying the King of Spayne had no money to give for it); yet he will be found to have been the greatest adviser of it; which he is a little apprehensive may be called upon this Parliament.
He told me it would not be necessary for him to tell me his debts, because he thinks I know them so well.
He tells me, that for the match propounded of Mrs. Mallett for my Lord Hinchingbroke, it hath been lately off, and now her friends bring it on again, and an overture hath been made to him by a servant of hers, to compass the thing without consent of friends, she herself having a respect to my Lord’s family, but my Lord will not listen to it but in a way of honour.
The Duke hath for this weeke or two been very kind to him, more than lately; and so others, which he thinks is a good sign of faire weather again.
He says the Archbishopp of Canterbury hath been very kind to him, and hath plainly said to him that he and all the world knows the difference between his judgment and brains and the Duke of Albemarle’s, and then calls my Lady Duchesse the veryest slut and drudge and the foulest worde that can be spoke of a woman almost.
My Lord having walked an houre with me talking thus and going in, and my Lady Carteret not suffering me to go back again to-night, my Lord to walke again with me about some of this and other discourse, and then in a-doors and to talke with all and with my Lady Carteret, and I with the young ladies and gentle men, who played on the guittar, and mighty merry, and anon to supper, and then my Lord going away to write, the young gentlemen to flinging of cushions, and other mad sports; at this late till towards twelve at night, and then being sleepy, I and my wife in a passage-room to bed, and slept not very well because of noise.