Wednesday 31 October 1666
Out with Sir W. Batten toward White Hall, being in pain in my cods by being squeezed the other night in a little coach when I carried Pierce and his wife and my people. But I hope I shall be soon well again. This day is a great day at the House, so little to do with the Duke of York, but soon parted. Coming out of the Court I met Colonell Atkins, who tells me the whole city rings to-day of Sir Jeremy Smith’s killing of Holmes in a duell, at which I was not much displeased, for I fear every day more and more mischief from the man, if he lives; but the thing is not true, for in my coach I did by and by meet Sir Jer. Smith going to Court.
So I by coach to my goldsmith, there to see what gold I can get, which is but little, and not under 22d. So away home to dinner, and after dinner to my closett, where I spent the whole afternoon till late at evening of all my accounts publique and private, and to my great satisfaction I do find that I do bring my accounts to a very near balance, notwithstanding all the hurries and troubles I have been put to by the late fire, that I have not been able to even my accounts since July last before; and I bless God I do find that I am worth more than ever I yet was, which is 6,200l., for which the Holy Name of God be praised! and my other accounts of Tangier in a very plain and clear condition, that I am not liable to any trouble from them; but in fear great I am, and I perceive the whole city is, of some distractions and disorders among us, which God of his goodness prevent!
And thus ends the month with an ill aspect, the business of the Navy standing wholly still. No credit, no goods sold us, nobody will trust. All we have to do at the office is to hear complaints for want of money. The Duke of York himself for now three weeks seems to rest satisfied that we can do nothing without money, and that all must stand still till the King gets money, which the Parliament have been a great while about; but are so dissatisfied with the King’s management, and his giving himself up to pleasures, and not minding the calling to account any of his officers, and they observe so much the expense of the war, and yet that after we have made it the most we can, it do not amount to what they have given the King for the warn that they are backward of giving any more. However, 1,800,000l. they have voted, but the way of gathering it has taken up more time than is fit to be now lost: The seamen grow very rude, and every thing out of order; commanders having no power over their seamen, but the seamen do what they please. Few stay on board, but all coming running up hither to towne, and nobody can with justice blame them, we owing them so much money; and their familys must starve if we do not give them money, or they procure upon their tickets from some people that will trust them. A great folly is observed by all people in the King’s giving leave to so many merchantmen to go abroad this winter, and some upon voyages where it is impossible they should be back again by the spring, and the rest will be doubtfull, but yet we let them go; what the reason of State is nobody can tell, but all condemn it. The Prince and Duke of Albemarle have got no great credit by this year’s service. Our losses both of reputation and ships having been greater than is thought have ever been suffered in all ages put together before; being beat home, and fleeing home the first fight, and then losing so many ships then and since upon the sands, and some falling into the enemy’s hands, and not one taken this yeare, but the Ruby, French prize, now at the end of the yeare, by the Frenchmen’s mistake in running upon us.
Great folly in both Houses of Parliament, several persons falling together by the eares, among others in the House of Lords, the Duke of Buckingham and my Lord Ossory. Such is our case, that every body fears an invasion the next yeare; and for my part, I do methinks foresee great unhappiness coming upon us, and do provide for it by laying by something against a rainy day, dividing what I have, and laying it in several places, but with all faithfulness to the King in all respects; my grief only being that the King do not look after his business himself, and thereby will be undone both himself and his nation, it being not yet, I believe, too late if he would apply himself to it, to save all, and conquer the Dutch; but while he and the Duke of York mind their pleasure, as they do and nothing else, we must be beaten.
So late with my mind in good condition of quiet after the settling all my accounts, and to bed.