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Monday, 27th February 1660

27th. Up by four o'clock, and after I was ready, took my leave of my father, whom I left in bed, and the same of my brother John, to whom I gave 10s. Mr. Blayton and I took horse and straight to Saffron Walden, where at the White Hart, we set up our horses, and took the master of the house to shew us Audley End House, who took us on foot through the park, and so to the house, where the housekeeper shewed us all the house, in which the stateliness of the ceilings, chimney-pieces, and form of the whole was exceedingly worth seeing. He took us into the cellar, where we drank most admirable drink, a health to the King. Here I played on my flageolette, there being an excellent echo. He shewed us excellent pictures; two especially, those of the four Evangelists and Henry VIII. After that I gave the man 2s. for his trouble, and went back again. In our going, my landlord carried us through a very old hospital or almshouse, where forty poor people was maintained; a very old foundation; and over the chimney in the mantelpiece was an inscription in brass: "Orate pre anima Thomae Bird," &c.; and the poor box also was on the same chimney-piece, with an iron door and locks to it, into which I put 6d. They brought me a draft of their drink in a brown bowl, tipt with silver, which I drank off, and at the bottom was a picture of the Virgin and the child in her arms, done in silver. So we went to our Inn, and after eating of something, and kissed the daughter of the house, she being very pretty, we took leave, and so that night, the road pretty good, but the weather rainy to Ep    p
ing, where we sat and played a game at cards, and after supper, and some merry talk with a plain bold maid of the house, we went to bed.

Wednesday, 27th February 1661

27th. At the office all the morning, that done I walked in the garden with little Captain Murford, where he and I had some discourse concerning the Light-House again, and I think I shall appear in the business, he promising me that if I can bring it about, it will be worth £100 per annum. Then came into the garden to me young Mr. Powell and Mr. Hooke that I once knew at Cambridge, and I took them in and gave them a bottle of wine, and so parted. Then I called for a dish of fish, which we had for dinner, this being the first day of Lent; and I do intend to try whether I can keep it or no. My father dined with me and did show me a letter from my brother John, wherein he tells us that he is chosen Schollar of the house,' which do please me much, because I do perceive now it must chiefly come from his merit and not the power of his Tutor, Dr. Widdrington, who is now quite out of interest there and hath put over his pupils to Mr. Pepper, a young Fellow of the College. With my father to Mr. Rawlinson's, where we met my uncle Wight, and after a pint or two away. I walked with my father (who gave me an account of the great falling out between my uncle Fenner and his son Will) as far as Paul's Churchyard, and so left him, and I home. This day the Commissioners of Parliament begin to pay off the Fleet, beginning with the Hampshire, and do it at Guildhall, for fear of going out of town into the power of the seamen, who are highly incensed against them.

Thursday, 27th February 1662

27th. This morning came Mr. Berkenshaw to me and in our discourse I, finding that he cries up his rules for most perfect (though I do grant them to be very good, and the best I believe that ever yet were made), and that I could not persuade him to grant wherein they were somewhat lame, we fell to angry words, so that in a pet he flung out of my chamber and I never stopped him, having intended to put him off today, whether this had happened or no, because I think I have all the rules that he hath to give. And so there remains not the practice now to do me good, and it is not for me to continue with him at; £5 per month. So I settled to put all his rules in fair order in a book, which was my work all the morning till dinner. After dinner to the office till late at night, and so home to write by the post, and so to bed.

Friday, 27th February 1663

27th. Up and to my office, whither several persons came to me about office business. About 11 o'clock, Commissioner Pett and I walked to Chyrurgeon's Hall (we being all invited thither, and promised to dine there); where we were led into the Theatre; and by and by comes the reader, Dr. Tearne, with the Master and Company, in a very handsome manner: and all being settled, he begun his lecture, this being the second upon the kidneys, ureters, &c., which was very fine; and his discourse being ended, we walked into the Hall, and there being great store of company, we had a fine dinner and good learned company, many Doctors of Phisique, and we used with extraordinary great respect. Among other observables we drank the King's health out of a gilt cup given by King Henry VIII. to this Company, with bells hanging at it, which every man is to ring by shaking after he hath drunk up the whole cup. There is also a very excellent piece of the King, done by Holbein, stands up in the Hall, with the officers of the Company kneeling to him to receive their Charter. After dinner Dr. Scarborough took some of his friends, and I went along with them, to see the body alone, which we did, which was a lusty fellow, a seaman, that was hanged for a robbery. I did touch the dead body with my bare hand: it felt cold, but methought it was a very unpleasant sight. It seems one Dillon, of a great family, was, after much endeavours to have saved him, hanged with a silken halter this Sessions (of his own preparing), not for honour only, but it seems, it being soft and sleek, it do slip close and kills, that is, strangles presently: whereas, a stiff one do not come so close together, and so the party may live the longer before killed. But all the Doctors at table conclude, that there is no pain at all in hanging, for that it do stop the circulation of the blood; and so stops all sense and motion in an instant. Thence we went into a private room, where I perceive they prepare the bodies, and there were the kidneys, ureters    &c.
, upon which he read to-day, and Dr. Scarborough upon my desire and the company's did show very clearly the manner of the disease of the stone and the cutting and all other questions that I could think of . . . how the water    comes
into the bladder through the three skins or coats just as poor Dr. Jolly has heretofore told me. Thence with great satisfaction to me back to the Company, where I heard good discourse, and so to the afternoon Lecture upon the heart and lungs, &c., and that being done we broke up, took leave, and back to the office, we two, Sir W. Batten, who dined here also, being gone before. Here late, and to Sir W. Batten's to speak upon some business, where I found Sir J. Minnes pretty well fuddled I thought: he took me aside to tell me how being at my Lord Chancellor's to-day, my Lord told him that there was a Great Seal passing for Sir W. Pen, through the impossibility of the Comptroller's duty to be performed by one man; to be as it were joynt-comptroller with him, at which he is stark mad; and swears he will give up his place, and do rail at Sir W. Pen the cruellest; he I made shift to encourage as much as I could, but it pleased me heartily to hear him rail against him, so that I do see thoroughly that they are not like to be great friends, for he cries out against him for his house and yard and God knows what. For my part, I do hope, when all is done, that my following my business will keep me secure against all their envys. But to see how the old man do strut, and swear that he understands all his duty as easily as crack a nut, and easier, he told my Lord Chancellor, for his teeth are gone; and that he understands it as well as any man in England; and that he will never leave to record that he should be said to be unable to do his duty alone; though, God knows, he cannot do it more than a child. All this I am glad to see fall out between them and myself safe, and yet I hope the King's service well done for all this, for I would not that should be hindered by any of our private differences. So to my office, and then home to supper and to bed.

Saturday, 27th February 1664

27th. Up, but weary, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. Before I went to the office there came Bagwell's wife to me to speak for her husband. I liked the woman very well and stroked her under the chin, but could not find in my heart to offer anything uncivil to her, she being, I believe, a very modest woman. At noon with Mr. Coventry to the African house, and to my Lord Peterborough's business again, and then to dinner, where, before dinner, we had the best oysters I have seen this year, and I think as good in all respects as ever I eat in my life. I eat a great many. Great, good company at dinner, among others Sir Martin Noell, who told us the dispute between him, as farmer of the Additional Duty, and the East India Company, whether callicos be linnen or no; which he says it is, having been ever esteemed so: they say it is made of cotton woole, and grows upon trees, not like flax or hempe. But it was carried against the Company, though they stand out against the verdict. Thence home and to the office, where late, and so home to supper and to bed, and had a very pleasing and condescending answer from my poor father to-day in answer to my angry discontentful letter to him the other day, which pleases me mightily.

Monday, 27th February 1665

27th. Up and to St. James's, where we attended the Duke as usual. This morning I was much surprized and troubled with a letter from Mrs. Bland, that she is left behind, and much trouble it cost me this day to find out some way to carry her after the ships to Plymouth, but at last I hope I have done it. At noon to the 'Change to inquire what wages the Dutch give in their men-of-warr at this day, and I hear for certain they give but twelve guilders at most, which is not full 24s., a thing I wonder at. At home to dinner, and then in Sir J. Minnes's coach, my wife and I with him, and also Mercer, abroad, he and I to White Hall, and he would have his coach to wait upon my wife on her visits, it being the first time my wife hath been out of doors (but the other day to bathe her) several weeks. We to a Committee of the Council to discourse concerning pressing of men; but, Lord! how they meet; never sit down: one comes, now another goes, then comes another; one complaining that nothing is done, another swearing that he hath been there these two hours and nobody come. At last it come to this, my Lord Annesly, says he, "I think we must be forced to get the King to come to every committee; for I do not see that we do any thing at any time but when he is here." And I believe he said the truth and very constant he is at the council table on council-days; which his predecessors, it seems, very rarely did; but thus I perceive the greatest affair in the world at this day is likely to be managed by us. But to hear how my Lord Barkeley and others of them do cry up the discipline of the late times here, and in the former Dutch warr is strange, wishing with all their hearts that the business of religion were not so severely carried on as to discourage the sober people to come among us, and wishing that the same law and severity were used against drunkennesse as there was then, saying that our evil living will call the hand of God upon us again. Thence to walk alone a good while in St. James's Parke with Mr. Coventry, who I perceive is grown a little melancholy and displeased to see things go as they do so carelessly. Thence I by coach to Ratcliffe highway, to the plate-maker's, and he has begun my Lord Sandwich's plate very neatly, and so back again. Coming back I met Colonell Atkins, who in other discourse did offer to give me a piece to receive of me 20 when he proves the late news of the Dutch, their drowning our men, at Guinny, and the truth is I find the generality of the world to fear that there is something of truth in it, and I do fear it too. Thence back by coach to Sir Philip Warwicke's; and there he did contract with me a kind of friendship and freedom of communication, wherein he assures me to make me understand the whole business of the Treasurer's business of the Navy, that I shall know as well as Sir G. Carteret what money he hath; and will needs have me come to him sometimes, or he meet me, to discourse of things tending to the serving the King: and I am mighty proud and happy in becoming so known to such a man. And I hope shall pursue it. Thence back home to the office a little tired and out of order, and then to supper and to bed.

Tuesday, 27th February 1666

27th. Up, and after a harsh word or two my wife and I good friends, and so up and to the office, where all the morning. At noon late to dinner, my wife gone out to Hales's about her picture, and, after dinner, I after her, and do mightily like her picture, and think it will be as good as my Lady Peters's. So home mightily pleased, and there late at business and set down my three last days' journalls, and so to bed, overjoyed to thinke of the pleasure of the last Sunday and yesterday, and my ability to bear the charge of these pleasures, and with profit too, by obliging my Lord, and reconciling Sir George Carteret's family.

Wednesday, 27th February 1667

27th. Up by candle-light, about six o'clock, it being bitter cold weather again, after all our warm weather, and by water down to Woolwich rope-yard, I being this day at a leisure, the King and Duke of York being gone down to Sheerenesse this morning to lay out the design for a fortification there to the river Medway; and so we do not attend the Duke of York as we should otherwise have done, and there to the Dock Yard to enquire of the state of things, and went into Mr. Pett's; and there, beyond expectation, he did present me with a Japan cane, with a silver head, and his wife sent me by him a ring, with a Woolwich stone;    Woolwich stones, still collected in that locality, are simply waterworn pebbles of flint, which, when broken with a hammer, exhibit on the smooth surface some resemblance to the human face; and their possessors are thus enabled to trace likenesses of friends, or eminent public characters. The late Mr. Tennant, the geologist, of the Strand, had a collection of such stones. In the British Museum is a nodule of globular or Egyptian jasper, which, in its fracture, bears a striking resemblance to the well-known portrait of Chaucer. It is engraved in Rymsdyk's "Museum Britannicum," tab. xxviii. A flint, showing Mr. Pitt's face, used once to be exhibited at the meetings of the Pitt Club.--B.
now much in request; which I accepted, the values not being great, and knowing that I had done them courtesies, which he did own in very high terms; and then, at my asking, did give me an old draught of an ancient-built ship, given him by his father, of the Beare, in Queen Elizabeth's time. This did much please me, it being a thing I much desired to have, to shew the difference in the build of ships now and heretofore. Being much taken with this kindness, I away to Blackwall and Deptford, to satisfy myself there about the King's business, and then walked to Redriffe, and so home about noon; there find Mr. Hunt, newly come out of the country, who tells me the country is much impoverished by the greatness of taxes: the farmers do break every day almost, and £1000 a-year become not worth £500. He dined with us, and we had good discourse of the general ill state of things, and, by the way, he told me some ridiculous pieces of thrift of Sir G. Downing's, who is his countryman, in inviting some poor people, at Christmas last, to charm the country people's mouths; but did give them nothing but beef, porridge, pudding, and pork, and nothing said all dinner, but only his mother would say, "It's good broth, son." He would answer, "Yes, it is good broth." Then, says his lady, Confirm all, and say, "Yes, very good broth." By and by she would begin and say, "Good pork:"--"Yes," says the mother, "good pork." Then he cries, "Yes, very good pork." And so they said of all things; to which nobody made any answer, they going there not out of love or esteem of them, but to eat his victuals, knowing him to be a niggardly fellow; and with this he is jeered now all over the country. This day just before dinner comes Captain Story, of Cambridge, to me to the office, about a bill for prest money,    Money paid to men who enlist into the public service; press money. So called because those who receive it are to be prest or ready when called on ("Encyclopaedic Dictionary ").
for men sent out of the country and the countries about him to the fleete the last year; but, Lord! to see the natures of men; how this man, hearing of my name, did ask me of my country, and told me of my cozen Roger, that he was not so wise a man as his father; for that he do not agree in Parliament with his fellow burgesses and knights of the shire, whereas I know very well the reason; for he is not so high a flyer as Mr. Chichley and others, but loves the King better than any of them, and to better purpose. But yet, he says that he is a very honest gentleman, and thence runs into a hundred stories of his own services to the King, and how he at this day brings in the taxes before anybody here thinks they are collected: discourse very absurd to entertain a stranger with. He being gone, and I glad of it, I home then to dinner. After dinner with my wife by coach abroad, andset Mr. Hunt down at the Temple and her at her brother's, and I to White Hall to meet    Sir
W. Coventry, but found him not, but met Mr. Cooling, who tells me of my Lord Duke of Buckingham's being sent for last night, by a Serjeant at Armes, to the Tower, for treasonable practices, and that the King is infinitely angry with him, and declared him no longer one of his Council. I know not the reason of it, or occasion. To Westminster Hall, and there paid what I owed for books, and so by coach, took up my wife to the Exchange, and there bought things for Mrs. Pierces little daughter, my Valentine, and so to their house, where we find Knipp, who also challengeth me for her Valentine. She looks well, sang well, and very merry we were for half an hour. Tells me Harris is well again, having been very ill, and so we home, and I to the office; then, at night, to Sir W. Pen's, and sat with my Lady, and the young couple (Sir William out of town) talking merrily; but they make a very sorry couple, methinks, though rich. So late home and to bed.

Thursday, 27th February 1668

27th. All the morning at the office, and at noon home to dinner, and thence with my wife and Deb. to the King's House, to see "The Virgin Martyr," the first time it hath been acted a great while: and it is mighty pleasant; not that the play is worth much, but it is finely acted by Becke Marshall. But that which did please me beyond any thing in, the whole world was the wind-musique when the angel comes down, which is so sweet that it ravished me, and indeed, in a word, did wrap up my soul so that it made me really sick, just as I have formerly been when in love with my wife; that neither then, nor all the evening going home, and at home, I was able to think of any thing, but remained all night transported, so as I could not believe that ever any musick hath that real command over the soul of a man as this did upon me: and makes me resolve to practice wind-musique, and to make my wife do the like.

Saturday, 27th February 1669

27th. Up, and at the office all the morning, where I could speak but a little. At noon home to dinner, and all the afternoon till night busy at the office again, where forced to speak low and dictate. But that that troubles me most is my eyes, which are still mighty bad night and day, and so home at night to talk and sup with my cozens, and so all of us in mighty good humour to bed.