Use the calendar on the right to navigate through the diary entries and the menus at the top to access other pages. We have also written a page that explains more about the site.
May 1st. This morning I was told how the people of Deal have set up two or three Maypoles, and have hung up their flags upon the top of them, and do resolve to be very merry to-day. It being a very pleasant day, I wished myself in Hide Park. This day I do count myself to have had full two years of perfect cure for the stone, for which God of heaven be blessed. This day Captain Parker came on board, and without his expectation I had a commission for him for the Nonsuch frigateThe "Nonsuch" was a fourth-rate of thirty-two guns, built at Deptford in 1646 by Peter Pett, jun. The captain was John Parker.
(he being now in the Cheriton), for which he gave me a French pistole. Captain H. Cuttance has commission for the Cheriton. After dinner to nine-pins, and won something. The rest of the afternoon in my cabin writing and piping. While we were at supper we heard a great noise upon the Quarter Deck, so we all rose instantly, and found it was to save the coxon of the Cheriton, who, dropping overboard, could not be saved, but was drowned. To-day I put on my suit that was altered from the great skirts to little ones. To-day I hear they were very merry at Deal, setting up the King's flag upon one of their maypoles, and drinking his health upon their knees in the streets, and firing the guns, which the soldiers of the Castle threatened; but durst not oppose.
May 1st. Up early, and bated at Petersfield, in the room which the King lay in lately at his being there. Here very merry, and played us and our wives at bowls. Then we set forth again, and so to Portsmouth, seeming to me to be a very pleasant and strong place; and we lay at the Red Lyon, where Haselrigge and Scott and Walton did hold their councill, when they were here, against Lambert and the Committee of Safety. Several officers of the Yard came to see us to-night, and merry we were, but troubled to have no better lodgings.
May 1st. Sir G. Carteret, Sir W. Pen, and myself, with our clerks, set out this morning from Portsmouth very early, and got by noon to Petersfield; several officers of the Yard accompanying us so far. Here we dined and were merry. At dinner comes my Lord Carlingford from London, going to Portsmouth: tells us that the Duchess of York is brought to bed of a girl,--Mary, afterwards Queen of England.
--at which I find nobody pleased; and that Prince Rupert and the Duke of Buckingham are sworn of the Privy Councell. He himself made a dish with eggs of the butter of the Sparagus, which is very fine meat, which I will practise hereafter. To horse again after dinner, and got to Gilford, where after supper I to bed, having this day been offended by Sir W. Pen's foolish talk, and I offending him with my answers. Among others he in discourse complaining of want of confidence, did ask me to lend him a grain or two, which I told him I thought he was better stored with than myself, before Sir George. So that I see I must keep a greater distance than I have done, and I hope I may do it because of the interest which I am making with Sir George. To bed all alone, and my Will in the truckle bed.According to the original Statutes of Corpus Christi Coll. Oxon, a Scholar slept in a truckle bed below each Fellow. Called also "a trindle bed." Compare Hall's description of an obsequious tutor:
"He lieth in a truckle bed
While his young master lieth o'er his head."
Satires, ii. 6, 5.
The bed was drawn in the daytime under the high bed of the tutor. See Wordsworth's "University Life in the Eighteenth Century."--M. B.
May 1st. Up betimes and my father with me, and he and I all the morning and Will Stankes private, in my wife's closet above, settling our matters concerning our Brampton estate, &c., and I find that there will be, after all debts paid within £100, £50 per annum clear coming towards my father's maintenance, besides £25 per annum annuities to my Uncle Thomas and Aunt Perkins. Of which, though I was in my mind glad, yet thought it not fit to let my father know it thoroughly, but after he had gone out to visit my uncle Thomas and brought him to dinner with him, and after dinner I got my father, brother Tom, and myself together, I did make the business worse to them, and did promise £20 out of my own purse to make it £50 a year to my father, propounding that Stortlow may be sold to pay £200 for his satisfaction therein and the rest to go towards payment of debts and legacies. The truth is I am fearful lest my father should die before debts are paid, and then the land goes to Tom and the burden of paying all debts will fall upon the rest of the land. Not that I would do my brother any real hurt. I advised my father to good husbandry and to living within the compass of £50 a year, and all in such kind words, as not only made, them but myself to weep, and I hope it will have a good effect. That being done, and all things agreed on, we went down, and after a glass of wine we all took horse, and I, upon a horse hired of Mr. Game, saw him out of London, at the end of Bishopsgate Street, and so I turned and rode, with some trouble, through the fields, and then Holborn, &c., towards Hide Park, whither all the world, I think, are going, and in my going, almost thither, met W. Howe coming galloping upon a little crop black nag; it seems one that was taken in some ground of my Lord's, by some mischance being left by his master, a thief; this horse being found with black cloth ears on, and a false mayne, having none of his own; and I back again with him to the Chequer, at Charing Cross, and there put up my own dull jade, and by his advice saddled a delicate stone-horse of Captain Ferrers's, and with that rid in state to the Park, where none better mounted than I almost, but being in a throng of horses, seeing the King's riders showing tricks with their managed horses, which were very strange, my stone-horse was very troublesome, and begun to, fight with other horses, to the dangering him and myself, and with much ado I got out, and kept myself out of harm's way.. Here I saw nothing good, neither the King, nor my Lady Castlemaine, nor any great ladies or beauties being there, there being more pleasure a great deal at an ordinary day; or else those few good faces that there were choked up with the many bad ones, there being people of all sorts in coaches there, to some thousands, I think. Going thither in the highway, just by the Park gate, I met a boy in a sculler boat, carried by a dozen people at least, rowing as hard as he could drive, it seems upon some wager. By and by, about seven or eight o'clock, homeward; and changing my horse again, I rode home, coaches going in great crowds to the further end of the town almost. In my way, in Leadenhall Street, there was morris-dancing which I have not seen a great while. So set my horse up at Game's, paying 5s. for him. And so home to see Sir J. Minnes, who is well again, and after staying talking with him awhile, I took leave and went to hear Mrs. Turner's daughter, at whose house Sir J. Minnes lies, play on the harpsicon; but, Lord! it was enough to make any man sick to hear her; yet I was forced to commend her highly. So home to supper and to bed, Ashwell playing upon the tryangle very well before I went to bed. This day Captain Grove sent me a side of pork, which was the oddest present, sure, that was ever made any man; and the next, I remember I told my wife, I believe would be a pound of candles, or a shoulder of mutton; but the fellow do it in kindness, and is one I am beholden to. So to bed very weary, and a little galled for lack of riding, praying to God for a good journey to my father, of whom I am afeard, he being so lately ill of his pain.
May 1st (Lord's day). Lay long in bed. Went not to church, but staid at home to examine my last night's accounts, which I find right, and that I am £908 creditor in the world, the same I was last month. Dined, and after dinner down by water with my wife and Besse with great pleasure as low as Greenwich and so back, playing as it were leisurely upon the water to Deptford, where I landed and sent my wife up higher to land below Half-way house. I to the King's yard and there spoke about several businesses with the officers, and so with Mr. Wayth consulting about canvas, to Half-way house where my wife was, and after eating there we broke and walked home before quite dark. So to supper, prayers, and to bed.
May 1st. Up and to Mr. Povy's, and by his bedside talked a good while. Among other things he do much insist I perceive upon the difficulty of getting of money, and would fain have me to concur in the thinking of some other way of disposing of the place of Treasurer to one Mr. Bell, but I did seem slight of it, and resolved to try to do the best or to give it up. Thence to the Duke of Albemarle, where I was sorry to find myself to come a little late, and so home, and at noon going to the 'Change I met my Lord Brunkard, Sir Robert Murry, Deane Wilkins, and Mr. Hooke, going by coach to Colonell Blunts to dinner. So they stopped and took me with them. Landed at the Tower-wharf, and thence by water to Greenwich; and there coaches met us; and to his house, a very stately sight for situation and brave plantations; and among others, a vineyard, the first that ever I did see. No extraordinary dinner, nor any other entertainment good; but only after dinner to the tryall of some experiments about making of coaches easy. And several we tried; but one did prove mighty easy (not here for me to describe, but the whole body of the coach lies upon one long spring), and we all, one after another, rid in it; and it is very fine and likely to take. These experiments were the intent of their coming, and pretty they are. Thence back by coach to Greenwich, and in his pleasure boat to Deptford, and there stopped and in to Mr. Evelyn's,--Sayes Court, the well-known residence of John Evelyn.
--which is a most beautiful place; but it being dark and late, I staid not; but Deane Wilkins and Mr. Hooke and I walked to Redriffe; and noble discourse all day long did please me, and it being late did take them to my house to drink, and did give them some sweetmeats, and thence sent them with a lanthorn home, two worthy persons as are in England, I think, or the world. So to my Lady Batten, where my wife is tonight, and so after some merry talk home and to bed.
May 1st. Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon, my cozen Thomas Pepys did come to me, to consult about the business of his being a justice of the Peace, which he is much against; and among other reasons, tells me, as a confidant, that he is not free to exercise punishment according to the Act against Quakers and other people, for religion. Nor do he understand Latin, and so is not capable of the place as formerly, now all warrants do run in Latin. Nor is he in Kent, though he be of Deptford parish, his house standing in Surry. However, I did bring him to incline towards it, if he be pressed to take it. I do think it may be some repute to me to have my kinsman in Commission there, specially if he behave himself to content in the country. He gone and my wife gone abroad, I out also to and fro, to see and be seen, among others to find out in Thames Streete where Betty Howlett is come to live, being married to Mrs. Michell's son; which I did about the Old Swan, but did not think fit to go thither or see them. Thence by water to Redriffe, reading a new French book my Lord Bruncker did give me to-day, "L'Histoire Amoureuse des Gaules,"This book, which has frequently been reprinted, was written by Roger de Rabutin, Comte de Bussy, for the amusement of his mistress, Madame de Montglas, and consists of sketches of the chief ladies of the court, in which he libelled friends and foes alike. These circulated in manuscript, and were printed at Liege in 1665. Louis XIV. was so much annoyed with the book that he sent the author to the Bastille for over a year.
being a pretty libel against the amours of the Court of France. I walked up and down Deptford yarde, where I had not been since I come from living at Greenwich, which is some months. There I met with Mr. Castle, and was forced against my will to have his company back with me. So we walked and drank at Halfway house and so to his house, where I drank a cupp of syder, and so home, where I find Mr. Norbury newly come to town to see us. After he gone my wife tells me the ill newes that our Susan is sicke and gone to bed, with great pain in her head and back, which troubles us all. However we to bed expecting what to-morrow would produce. She hath we conceive wrought a little too much, having neither maid nor girle to help her.
May 1st. Up, it being a fine day, and after doing a little business in my chamber I left my wife to go abroad with W. Hewer and his mother in a Hackney coach incognito to the Park, while I abroad to the Excise Office first, and there met the Cofferer and Sir Stephen Fox about our money matters there, wherein we agreed, and so to discourse of my Lord Treasurer, who is a little better than he was of the stone, having rested a little this night. I there did acquaint them of my knowledge of that disease, which I believe will be told my Lord Treasurer. Thence to Westminster; in the way meeting many milk-maids with their garlands upon their pails, dancing with a fiddler before them;On the 1st of May milkmaids used to borrow silver cups, tankards, &c., to hang them round their milkpails, with the addition of flowers and ribbons, which they carried upon their heads, accompanied by a bagpipe or fiddle, and went from door to door, dancing before the houses of their customers, in order to obtain a small gratuity from each of them.
"In London thirty years ago,
When pretty milkmaids went about,
It was a goodly sight to see
Their May-day pageant all drawn out.
"Such scenes and sounds once blest my eyes
And charm'd my ears; but all have vanish'd,
On May-day now no garlands go,
For milkmaids and their dance are banish'd."
Hone's Every-Day Book, vol. i., pp. 569, 570.
and saw pretty Nelly standing at her lodgings' door in Drury-lane in her smock sleeves and bodice, looking upon one: she seemed a mighty pretty creature. To the Hall and there walked a while, it being term. I thence home to the Rose, and then had Doll Lane venir para me . . . . To my Lord Crew's, where I found them at dinner, and among others. Mrs. Bocket, which I have not seen a long time, and two little dirty children, and she as idle a prating and impertinent woman as ever she was. After dinner my Lord took me alone and walked with me, giving me an account of the meeting of the Commissioners for Accounts, whereof he is one. How some of the gentlemen, Garraway, Littleton, and others, did scruple at their first coming there, being called thither to act, as Members of Parliament, which they could not do by any authority but that of Parliament, and therefore desired the King's direction in it, which was sent for by my Lord Bridgewater, who brought answer, very short, that the King expected they should obey his Commission. Then they went on, and observed a power to be given them of administering and framing an oath, which they thought they could not do by any power but Act of Parliament; and the whole Commission did think fit to have the judges' opinion in it; and so, drawing up their scruples in writing, they all attended the King, who told them he would send to the judges to be answered, and did so; who have, my Lord tells me, met three times about it, not knowing what answer to give to it; and they have met this week, doing nothing but expecting the solution of the judges in this point. My Lord tells me he do believe this Commission will do more hurt than good; it may undo some accounts, if these men shall think fit; but it can never clear an account, for he must come into the Exchequer for all this. Besides, it is a kind of inquisition that hath seldom ever been granted in England; and he believes it will never, besides, give any satisfaction to the People or Parliament, but be looked upon as a forced, packed business of the King, especially if these Parliament-men that are of it shall not concur with them: which he doubts they will not, and, therefore, wishes much that the King would lay hold of this fit occasion, and let the Commission fall. Then to talk of my Lord Sandwich, whom my Lord Crew hath a great desire might get to be Lord Treasurer if the present Lord should die, as it is believed he will, in a little time; and thinks he can have no competitor but my Lord Arlington, who, it is given out, desires it: but my Lord thinks it is not so, for that the being Secretary do keep him a greater interest with the King than the other would do at least, do believe, that if my Lord would surrender him his Wardrobe place, it would be a temptation to Arlington to assist my Lord in getting the Treasurer's. I did object to my LordCrew
that it would be no place of content, nor safety, nor honour for my Lord, the State being so indigent as it is, and theKing
so irregular, and those about him, that my Lord must be forced to part with anything to answer his warrants; and that, therefore, I do believe the King had rather have a man that may be one of his vicious caball, than a sober man that will mind the publick, that so they may sit at cards and dispose of the revenue of the kingdom. This my Lord was moved at, and said he did not indeed know how to answer it, and bid me think of it; and so said he himself would also do. He do mightily cry out of the bad management of our monies, the King having had so much given him; and yet, when the Parliament do find that the King should have £900,000 in his purse by the best account of issues they have yet seen, yet we should report in the Navy a debt due from the King of £900,000; which, I did confess, I doubted was true in the first, and knew to be true in the last, and did believe that there was some great miscarriages in it: which he owned to believe also, saying, that at this rate it is not in the power of the kingdom to make a war, nor answer the King's wants. Thence away to the King's playhouse, by agreement met Sir W. Pen, and saw "Love in a Maze" but a sorry play: only Lacy's clowne's part, which he did most admirably indeed; and I am glad to find the rogue at liberty again. Here was but little, and that ordinary, company. We sat at the upper bench next the boxes; and I find it do pretty well, and have the advantage of seeing and hearing the great people, which may be pleasant when there is good store. Now was only Prince Rupert and my Lord Lauderdale, and my Lord, the naming of whom puts me in mind of my seeing, at Sir Robert Viner's, two or three great silver flagons, made with inscriptions as gifts of the King to such and such persons of quality as did stay in town the late great plague, for the keeping things in order in the town, which is a handsome thing. But here was neither Hart, Nell, nor Knipp; therefore, the play was not likely to please me. Thence Sir W. Pen and I in his coach, Tiburne way, into the Park, where a horrid dust, and number of coaches, without pleasure or order. That which we, and almost all went for, was to see my Lady Newcastle; which we could not, she being followed and crowded upon by coaches all the way she went, that nobody could come near her; only I could see she was in a large black coach, adorned with silver instead of gold, and so white curtains, and every thing black and white, and herself in her cap, but other parts I could not makeout
. But that which I did see, and wonder at with reason, was to find Pegg Pen in a new coach, with only her husband's pretty sister with her, both patched and very fine, and in much the finest coach in the park, and I think that ever I did see one or other, for neatness and richness in gold, and everything that is noble. My Lady Castlemayne, the King, my Lord St. Albans, nor Mr. Jermyn, have so neat a coach, that ever I saw. And, Lord! to have them have this, and nothing else that is correspondent, is to me one of the most ridiculous sights that ever I did see, though her present dress was well enough; but to live in the condition they do at home, and be abroad in this coach, astonishes me. When we had spent half an hour in the Park, we went out again, weary of the dust, and despairing of seeing my Lady Newcastle; and so back the same way, and to St. James's, thinking to have met my Lady Newcastle before she got home, but we staying by the way to drink, she got home a little before us: so we lost our labours, and then home; where we find the two young ladies come home, and their patches off, I suppose Sir W. Pen do not allow of them in his sight, and going out of town to-night, though late, to Walthamstow. So to talk a little at Sir W. Batten's, and then home to supper, where I find Mrs. Hewer and her son, who have been abroad with my wife in the Park, and so after supper to read and then to bed. Sir W. Pen did give me an account this afternoon of his design of buying Sir Robert Brooke's fine house at Wansted; which I so wondered at, and did give him reasons against it, which he allowed of: and told me that he did intend to pull down the house and build a less, and that he should get £1500 by the old house, and I know not what fooleries. But I will never believe he ever intended to buy it, for my part; though he troubled Mr. Gawden to go and look upon it, and advise him in it.
May 1st, 1668. Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy. Then to Westminster Hall, and there met Sir W. Pen, who labours to have his answer to his impeachment, and sent down from the Lords' House, read by the House of Commons; but they are so busy on other matters, that he cannot, and thereby will, as he believes, by design, be prevented from going to sea this year. Here met my cozen Thomas Pepys of Deptford, and took some turns with him; who is mightily troubled for this Act now passed against Conventicles, and in few words, and sober, do lament the condition we are in, by a negligent Prince and a mad Parliament. Thence I by coach to the Temple, and there set him down, and then to Sir G. Carteret's to dine, but he not being at home, I back again to the New Exchange a little, and thence back again to Hercules Pillars, and there dined all alone, and then to the King's playhouse, and there saw "The Surprizall;" and a disorder in the pit by its raining in, from the cupola at top, it being a very foul day, and cold, so as there are few I believe go to the Park to-day, if any. Thence to Westminster Hall, and there I understand how the Houses of Commons and Lords are like to disagree very much, about the business of the East India Company and one Skinner; to the latter of which the Lords have awarded £5000 from the former, for some wrong done him heretofore; and the former appealing to the Commons, the Lords vote their petition a libell; and so there is like to follow very hot work. Thence by water, not being able to get a coach, nor boat but a sculler, and that with company, is being so foul a day, to the Old Swan, and so home, and there spent the evening, making Balty read to me, and so to supper and to bed.
May 1st. Up betimes. Called up by my tailor, and there first put on a summer suit this year; but it was not my fine one of flowered tabby vest, and coloured camelott tunique, because it was too fine with the gold lace at the hands, that I was afeard to be seen in it; but put on the stuff suit I made the last year, which is now repaired; and so did go to the Office in it, and sat all the morning, the day looking as if it would be fowle. At noon home to dinner, and there find my wife extraordinary fine, with her flowered tabby gown that she made two years ago, now laced exceeding pretty; and, indeed, was fine all over; and mighty earnest to go, though the day was very lowering; and she would have me put on my fine suit, which I did. And so anon we went alone through the town with our new liveries of serge, and the horses' manes and tails tied with red ribbons, and the standards there gilt with varnish, and all clean, and green refines, that people did mightily look upon us; and, the truth is, I did not see any coach more pretty, though more gay, than ours, all the day. But we set out, out of humour--I because Betty, whom I expected, was not come to go with us; and my wife that I would sit on the same seat with her, which she likes not, being so fine: and she then expected to meet Sheres, which we did in the Pell Mell, and, against my will, I was forced to take him into the coach, but was sullen all day almost, and little complaisant: the day also being unpleasing, though the Park full of coaches, but dusty and windy, and cold, and now and then a little dribbling rain; and, what made it worst, there were so many hackney-coaches as spoiled the sight of the gentlemen's; and so we had little pleasure. But here was W. Batelier and his sister in a borrowed coach by themselves, and I took them and we to the lodge; and at the door did give them a syllabub, and other things, cost me 12s., and pretty merry. And so back to the coaches, and there till the evening, and then home, leaving Mr. Sheres at St. James's Gate, where he took leave of us for altogether, he; being this night to set out for Portsmouth post, in his way to Tangier, which troubled my wife mightily, who is mighty, though not, I think, too fond of him. But she was out of humour all the evening, and I vexed at her for it, and she did not rest almost all the night, so as in the night I was forced; to take her and hug her to put her to rest. So home, and after a little supper, to bed.