Sunday 26 August 1666
(Lord’s day). Up betimes, and to the finishing the setting things in order in my new closett out of my old, which I did thoroughly by the time sermon was done at church, to my exceeding joy, only I was a little disturbed with newes my Lord Bruncker brought me, that we are to attend the King at White Hall this afternoon, and that it is about a complaint from the Generalls against us.
Sir W. Pen dined by invitation with me, his Lady and daughter being gone into the country. We very merry. After dinner we parted, and I to my office, whither I sent for Mr. Lewes and instructed myself fully in the business of the Victualling, to enable me to answer in the matter; and then Sir W. Pen and I by coach to White Hall, and there staid till the King and Cabinet were met in the Green Chamber, and then we were called in; and there the King begun with me, to hear how the victualls of the fleete stood. I did in a long discourse tell him and the rest (the Duke of Yorke, Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, both the Secretarys, Sir G. Carteret, and Sir W. Coventry,) how it stood, wherein they seemed satisfied, but press mightily for more supplies; and the letter of the Generalls, which was read, did lay their not going or too soon returning from the Dutch coast, this next bout, to the want of victuals. They then proceeded to the enquiry after the fireships; and did all very superficially, and without any severity at all. But, however, I was in pain, after we come out, to know how I had done; and hear well enough. But, however, it shall be a caution to me to prepare myself against a day of inquisition.
Being come out, I met with Mr. Moore, and he and I an houre together in the Gallery, telling me how far they are gone in getting my Lord [Sandwich’s] pardon, so as the Chancellor is prepared in it; and Sir H. Bennet do promote it, and the warrant for the King’s signing is drawn. The business between my Lord Hinchingbroke and Mrs. Mallett is quite broke off; he attending her at Tunbridge, and she declaring her affections to be settled; and he not being fully pleased with the vanity and liberty of her carriage. He told me how my Lord has drawn a bill of exchange from Spayne of 1200l., and would have me supply him with 500l. of it, but I avoyded it, being not willing to embarke myself in money there, where I see things going to ruine. Thence to discourse of the times; and he tells me he believes both my Lord Arlington and Sir W. Coventry, as well as my Lord Sandwich and Sir G. Carteret, have reason to fear, and are afeard of this Parliament now coming on. He tells me that Bristoll’s faction is getting ground apace against my Lord Chancellor. He told me that my old Lord Coventry was a cunning, crafty man, and did make as many bad decrees in Chancery as any man; and that in one case, that occasioned many years’ dispute, at last when the King come in, it was hoped by the party grieved, to get my Lord Chancellor to reverse a decree of his. Sir W. Coventry took the opportunity of the business between the Duke of Yorke and the Duchesse, and said to my Lord Chancellor, that he had rather be drawn up Holborne to be hanged, than live to see his father pissed upon (in these very terms) and any decree of his reversed. And so the Chancellor did not think fit to do it, but it still stands, to the undoing of one Norton, a printer, about his right to the printing of the Bible, and Grammar, &c.
Thence Sir W. Pen and I to Islington and there drank at the Katherine Wheele, and so down the nearest way home, where there was no kind of pleasure at all. Being come home, hear that Sir J. Minnes has had a very bad fit all this day, and a hickup do take him, which is a very bad sign, which troubles me truly. So home to supper a little and then to bed.