Friday 25 October 1667
Up, and all the morning close till two o’clock, till I had not time to eat my dinner, to make our answer ready for the Parliament this afternoon, to shew how Commissioner Pett was singly concerned in the executing of all orders from Chatham, and that we did properly lodge all orders with him. Thence with Sir W. Pen to the Parliament Committee, and there we all met, and did shew, my Lord Bruncker and I, our commissions under the Great Seal in behalf of all the rest, to shew them our duties, and there I had no more matters asked me, but were bid to withdraw, and did there wait, I all the afternoon till eight at night, while they were examining several about the business of Chatham again, and particularly my Lord Bruncker did meet with two or three blurs that he did not think of. One from Spragg, who says that “The Unity” was ordered up contrary to his order, by my Lord Bruncker and Commissioner Pett. Another by Crispin, the waterman, who said he was upon “The Charles;” and spoke to Lord Bruncker coming by in his boat, to know whether they should carry up “The Charles,” they being a great many naked men without armes, and he told them she was well as she was. Both these have little in them indeed, but yet both did stick close against him; and he is the weakest man in the world to make his defence, and so is like to have much fault laid on him therefrom. Spragg was in with them all the afternoon, and hath much fault laid on him for a man that minded his pleasure, and little else of his whole charge. I walked in the lobby, and there do hear from Mr. Chichly that they were (the Commissioners of the Ordnance) shrewdly put to it yesterday, being examined with all severity and were hardly used by them, much otherwise than we, and did go away with mighty blame; and I am told by every body that it is likely to stick mighty hard upon them: at which every body is glad, because of Duncomb’s pride, and their expecting to have the thanks of the House whereas they have deserved, as the Parliament apprehends, as bad as bad can be.
Here I understand for certain that they have ordered that my Lord Arlington’s letters, and Secretary Morrice’s letters of intelligence, be consulted, about the business of the Dutch fleete’s coming abroad, which is a very high point, but this they have done, but in what particular manner I cannot justly say, whether it was not with the King’s leave first asked.
Here late, as I have said, and at last they broke up, and we had our commissions again, and I do hear how Birch is the high man that do examine and trouble every body with his questions, and they say that he do labour all he can to clear Pett, but it seems a witness has come in tonight, C. Millett, who do declare that he did deliver a message from the Duke of Albemarle time enough for him to carry up “The Charles,” and he neglected it, which will stick very hard, it seems, on him.
So Sir W. Pen and I in his coach home, and there to supper, a good supper, and so weary, and my eyes spent, to bed.