Tuesday 20 August 1667

Up, and to my chamber to set down my journall for the last three days, and then to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and then with my wife abroad, set her down at the Exchange, and I to St. James’s, where find Sir W. Coventry alone, and fell to discourse of retrenchments; and thereon he tells how he hath already propounded to the Lords Committee of the Councils how he would have the Treasurer of the Navy a less man, that might not sit at the Board, but be subject to the Board. He would have two Controllers to do his work and two Surveyors, whereof one of each to take it by turns to reside at Portsmouth and Chatham by a kind of rotation; he would have but only one Clerk of the Acts. He do tell me he hath propounded how the charge of the Navy in peace shall come within 200,000l., by keeping out twenty-four ships in summer, and ten in the winter. And several other particulars we went over of retrenchment: and I find I must provide some things to offer that I may be found studious to lessen the King’s charge. By and by comes my Lord Bruncker, and then we up to the Duke of York, and there had a hearing of our usual business, but no money to be heard of — no, not 100l. upon the most pressing service that can be imagined of bringing in the King’s timber from Whittlewood, while we have the utmost want of it, and no credit to provide it elsewhere, and as soon as we had done with the Duke of York, Sir W. Coventry did single [out] Sir W. Pen and me, and desired us to lend the King some money, out of the prizes we have taken by Hogg. He did not much press it, and we made but a merry answer thereto; but I perceive he did ask it seriously, and did tell us that there never was so much need of it in the world as now, we being brought to the lowest straits that can be in the world. This troubled me much. By and by Sir W. Batten told me that he heard how Carcasse do now give out that he will hang me, among the rest of his threats of him and Pen, which is the first word I ever heard of the kind from him concerning me. It do trouble me a little, though I know nothing he can possibly find to fasten on me. Thence, with my Lord Bruncker to the Duke’s Playhouse (telling my wife so at the ‘Change, where I left her), and there saw “Sir Martin Marr-all” again, which I have now seen three times, and it hath been acted but four times, and still find it a very ingenious play, and full of variety. So home, and to the office, where my eyes would not suffer me to do any thing by candlelight, and so called my wife and walked in the garden. She mighty pressing for a new pair of cuffs, which I am against the laying out of money upon yet, which makes her angry. So home to supper and to bed.

5 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Bess, you'll have to grab a coach home...I've got to take dunderhead Bruncker out to see 'Marr-all'."

"What? Sam'l, I don't like traveling home alone."

"Bess, it's office...You know how it is. Bruncker's been backing Carcasse. I have to keep it polite as much as possible, the man already dislikes me. And I told you Carcasse is out for blood, mine specifically. Anything I can do to keep Bruncker and his Abi-bitch from Hell relatively sweet could keep that blood in me."

"Fine...I wanted to look at some cuffs anyway. Go kiss milord's..."

"Bess, it's just business... Shall I quit? Shall we make for Brampton tonight? Just give me the word, we'll go. I won't mind giving up all this nonsense. And my pa's sure to be glad to see...Me..."


Knew bringing up Pa would get her...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...not 100l. upon the most pressing service that can be imagined of bringing in the King’s timber from Whittlewood,..."

L&M note on 10 August Christopher Pett had written the Navy Board "hoping (for the sake of ships now building) that Mr. Langrack would 'be encouraged with some money' to send in timber from Whittlewood, Northants."

Mary  •  Link

"This troubled me much."

I bet it did. What prospect of this proposed 'loan' ever being repaid?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Up, and to my chamber to set down my journall for the last three days..."

"Sam'l? What ya doing?"

"Just my journal, love. Past few days."

"Oh...So, what great events mark themselves for posterity these last three days? Besides that play you keep raving on about...Which you can put down was 'ok' in the Missus' opinion, but not rave worthy."

"Oh, Bess...Marr-all is a new classic of comedy for the ages."

"We'll see. So what else? Any good tales? Say..." Sits in lap... "Hows about that one you told me about the fellow in church the other day? That fool who pestered the young lady till she pulled the pins...And then he started screaming 'Lord! Oh, dear Lord!' each time she stuck him until the minister fixed him and told the congregation he was so pleased that one of you had been moved by the Word so. And then he had to come out to the aisle and give testimony as to his rapturous vision of God." chuckle. "What was his name?"

"Ah...Looker, I think he said...Yes, Peter Looker."

"Put that one in. Posterity will love it."

Hmmn...That's one way to...But I must remain true, to the Diary at least... "I'll mention it."


No need to mention all of it, of course...

Lord, I can still feel those pricks.

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