Friday 12 October 1666
Up, and after taking leave of my poor father, who is setting out this day for Brampton by the Cambridge coach, he having taken a journey to see the city burned, and to bring my brother to towne, I out by water; and so coach to St. James’s, the weather being foul; and there, from Sir W. Coventry, do hear how the House have cut us off 150,000l. of our wear and tear, for that which was saved by the King while the fleete lay in harbour in winter. However, he seems pleased, and so am I, that they have abated no more, and do intend to allow of 28,000 men for the next year; and this day have appointed to declare the sum they will give the King,1 and to propose the way of raising it; so that this is likely to be the great day. This done in his chamber, I with him to Westminster Hall, and there took a few turns, the Hall mighty full of people, and the House likely to be very full to-day about the money business. Here I met with several people, and do find that people have a mighty mind to have a fling at the Vice-Chamberlain, if they could lay hold of anything, his place being, indeed, too much for such, they think, or any single subject of no greater parts and quality than he, to enjoy. But I hope he may weather all, though it will not be by any dexterity of his, I dare say, if he do stand, but by his fate only, and people’s being taken off by other things. Thence home by coach, mighty dirty weather, and then to the Treasurer’s office and got a ticket paid for my little Michell, and so again by coach to Westminster, and come presently after the House rose. So to the Swan, and there sent for a piece of meat and dined alone and played with Sarah, and so to the Hall a while, and thence to Mrs. Martin’s lodging and did what I would with her. She is very big, and resolves I must be godfather. Thence away by water with Cropp to Deptford. It was almost night before I got thither. So I did only give directions concerning a press that I have making there to hold my turning and joyner’s tooles that were lately given me, which will be very handsome, and so away back again, it being now dark, and so home, and there find my wife come home, and hath brought her new girle I have helped her to, of Mr. Falconbridge’s. She is wretched poor; and but ordinary favoured; and we fain to lay out seven or eight pounds worth of clothes upon her back, which, methinks, do go against my heart; and I do not think I can ever esteem her as I could have done another that had come fine and handsome; and which is more, her voice, for want of use, is so furred, that it do not at present please me; but her manner of singing is such, that I shall, I think, take great pleasure in it. Well, she is come, and I wish us good fortune in her.
Here I met with notice of a meeting of the Commissioners for Tangier tomorrow, and so I must have my accounts ready for them, which caused me to confine myself to my chamber presently and set to the making up my accounts, which I find very clear, but with much difficulty by reason of my not doing them sooner, things being out of my mind. [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]