Friday 13 November 1668
Up, and with Sir W. Pen by coach to White Hall, where to the Duke of York, and there did our usual business; and thence I to the Commissioners of the Treasury, where I staid, and heard an excellent case argued between my Lord Gerard and the Town of Newcastle, about a piece of ground which that Lord hath got a grant of, under the Exchequer Seal, which they were endeavouring to get of the King under the Great Seal. I liked mightily the Counsel for the town, Shaftow, their Recorder, and Mr. Offly. But I was troubled, and so were the Lords, to hear my Lord fly out against their great pretence of merit from the King, for their sufferings and loyalty; telling them that they might thank him for that repute which they have for their loyalty, for that it was he that forced them to be so, against their wills, when he was there: and, moreover, did offer a paper to the Lords to read from the Town, sent in 1648; but the Lords would not read it; but I believe it was something about bringing the King to trial, or some such thing, in that year. Thence I to the Three Tuns Tavern, by Charing Cross, and there dined with W. Pen, Sir J. Minnes, and Commissioner Middleton; and as merry as my mind could be, that hath so much trouble upon it at home. And thence to White Hall, and there staid in Mr. Wren’s chamber with him, reading over my draught of a letter, which Mr. Gibson then attended me with; and there he did like all, but doubted whether it would be necessary for the Duke to write in so sharp a style to the Office, as I had drawn it in; which I yield to him, to consider the present posture of the times and the Duke of York and whether it were not better to err on that hand than the other. He told me that he did not think it was necessary for the Duke of York to do so, and that it would not suit so well with his nature nor greatness; which last, perhaps, is true, but then do too truly shew the effects of having Princes in places, where order and discipline should be. I left it to him to do as the Duke of York pleases; and so fell to other talk, and with great freedom, of public things; and he told me, upon my several inquiries to that purpose, that he did believe it was not yet resolved whether the Parliament should ever meet more or no, the three great rulers of things now standing thus:— The Duke of Buckingham is absolutely against their meeting, as moved thereto by his people that he advises with, the people of the late times, who do never expect to have any thing done by this Parliament for their religion, and who do propose that, by the sale of the Church-lands, they shall be able to put the King out of debt: my Lord Keeper is utterly against putting away this and choosing another Parliament, lest they prove worse than this, and will make all the King’s friends, and the King himself, in a desperate condition: my Lord Arlington know not which is best for him, being to seek whether this or the next will use him worst. He tells me that he believes that it is intended to call this Parliament, and try them with a sum of money; and, if they do not like it, then to send them going, and call another, who will, at the ruin of the Church perhaps, please the King with what he will for a time. And he tells me, therefore, that he do believe that this policy will be endeavoured by the Church and their friends — to seem to promise the King money, when it shall be propounded, but make the King and these great men buy it dear, before they have it. He tells me that he is really persuaded that the design of the Duke of Buckingham is, by bringing the state into such a condition as, if the King do die without issue, it shall, upon his death, break into pieces again; and so put by the Duke of York, who they have disobliged, they know, to that degree, as to despair of his pardon. He tells me that there is no way to rule the King but by brisknesse, which the Duke of Buckingham hath above all men; and that the Duke of York having it not, his best way is what he practices, that is to say, a good temper, which will support him till the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Arlington fall out, which cannot be long first, the former knowing that the latter did, in the time of the Chancellor, endeavour with the Chancellor to hang him at that time, when he was proclaimed against. And here, by the by, he told me that the Duke of Buckingham did, by his friends, treat with my Lord Chancellor, by the mediation of Matt. Wren and Matt. Clifford, to fall in with my Lord Chancellor; which, he tells me, he did advise my Lord Chancellor to accept of, as that, that with his own interest and the Duke of York’s, would undoubtedly have assured all to him and his family; but that my Lord Chancellor was a man not to be advised, thinking himself too high to be counselled: and so all is come to nothing; for by that means the Duke of Buckingham became desperate, and was forced to fall in with Arlington, to his [the Chancellor’s] ruin. Thence I home, and there to talk, with great pleasure all the evening, with my wife, who tells me that Deb. has been abroad to-day, and is come home and says she has got a place to go to, so as she will be gone tomorrow morning. This troubled me, and the truth is, I have a good mind to have the maidenhead of this girl, which I should not doubt to have if je could get time para be con her. But she will be gone and I not know whither. Before we went to bed my wife told me she would not have me to see her or give her her wages, and so I did give my wife 10l. for her year and half a quarter’s wages, which she went into her chamber and paid her, and so to bed, and there, blessed be God! we did sleep well and with peace, which I had not done in now almost twenty nights together. This afternoon I went to my coachmaker and Crow’s, and there saw things go on to my great content.
This morning, at the Treasury-chamber, I did meet Jack Fenn, and there he did shew me my Lord Anglesey’s petition and the King’s answer: the former good and stout, as I before did hear it: but the latter short and weak, saying that he was not, by what the King had done, hindered from taking the benefit of his laws, and that the reason he had to suspect his mismanagement of his money in Ireland, did make him think it unfit to trust him with his Treasury in England, till he was satisfied in the former.