Welcome and please enjoy your visit!

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.

Saturday, 5th May 1660

5th. All the morning very busy writing letters to London, and a packet to Mr. Downing, to acquaint him with what had been done lately in the fleet. And this I did by my Lord's command, who, I thank him, did of himself think of doing it, to do me a kindness, for he writ a letter himself to him, thanking him for his kindness to me. All the afternoon at ninepins, at night after supper good musique, my Lord, Mr. North, I and W. Howe. After that to bed. This evening came Dr. Clarges to Deal, going to the King; where the towns-people strewed the streets with herbes against his coming, for joy of his going. Never was there so general a content as there is now. I cannot but remember that our parson did, in his prayer to-night, pray for the long life and happiness of our King and dread Soveraign, that may last as long as the sun and moon endureth.

Sunday, 5th May 1661

5th (Lord's day). Mr. Creed and I went to the red-faced Parson's church, and heard a good sermon of him, better than I looked for. Then home, and had a good dinner, and after dinner fell in some talk in Divinity with Mr. Stevens that kept us till it was past Church time. Anon we walked into the garden, and there played the fool a great while, trying who of Mr. Creed or I could go best over the edge of an old fountain well, and I won a quart of sack of him. Then to supper in the banquet house, and there my wife and I did talk high, she against and I for Mrs. Pierce (that she was a beauty), till we were both angry. Then to walk in the fields, and so to our quarters, and to bed.

Monday, 5th May 1662

5th. My arme not being well, I staid within all the morning, and dined alone at home, my wife being gone out to buy some things for herself, and a gown for me to dress myself in. And so all the afternoon looking over my papers, and at night walked upon the leads, and so to bed.

Tuesday, 5th May 1663

5th. Up betimes and to my office, and there busy all the morning, among other things walked a good while up and down with Sir J. Minnes, he telling many old stories of the Navy, and of the state of the Navy at the beginning of the late troubles, and I am troubled at my heart to think, and shall hereafter cease to wonder, at the bad success of the King's cause, when such a knave as he (if it be true what he says) had the whole management of the fleet, and the design of putting out of my Lord Warwick, and carrying the fleet to the King, wherein he failed most fatally to the King's ruin. Dined at home, and after dinner up to try my dance, and so to the office again, where we sat all the afternoon. In the evening Deane of Woolwich went home with me and showed me the use of a little sliding ruler, less than that I bought the other day, which is the same with that, but more portable; however I did not seem to understand or even to have seen anything of it before, but I find him an ingenious fellow, and a good servant in his place to the King. Thence to my office busy writing letters, and then came Sir W. Warren, staying for a letter in his business by the post, and while that was writing he and I talked about merchandise, trade, and getting of money. I made it my business to enquire what way there is for a man bred like me to come to understand anything of trade. He did most discretely answer me in all things, shewing me the danger for me to meddle either in ships or merchandise of any sort or common stocks, but what I have to keep at interest, which is a good, quiett, and easy profit, and once in a little while something offers that with ready money you may make use of money to good profit. Wherein I concur much with him, and parted late with great pleasure and content in his discourse, and so home to supper and to bed. It has been this afternoon very hot and this evening also, and about 11 at night going to bed it fell a-thundering and lightening, the greatest flashes enlightening the whole body of the yard, that ever I saw in my life.

Thursday, 5th May 1664

5th. Up betimes to my office, busy, and so abroad to change some plate for my father to send to-day by the carrier to Brampton, but I observe and do fear it may be to my wrong that I change spoons of my uncle Robert's into new and set a P upon them that thereby I cannot claim them hereafter, as it was my brother Tom's practice. However, the matter of this is not great, and so I did it. So to the 'Change, and meeting Sir W. Warren, with him to a taverne, and there talked, as we used to do, of the evils the King suffers in our ordering of business in the Navy, as Sir W. Batten now forces us by his knavery. So home to dinner, and to the office, where all the afternoon, and thence betimes home, my eyes beginning every day to grow less and less able to bear with long reading or writing, though it be by daylight; which I never observed till now. So home to my wife, and after supper to bed.

Friday, 5th May 1665

5th. Up betimes, and by water to Westminster, there to speak the first time with Sir Robert Long, to give him my Privy Seal and my Lord Treasurer's order for Tangier Tallys; he received me kindly enough. Thence home by water, and presently down to Woolwich and back to Blackewall, and there, viewed the Breach, in order to a Mast Docke, and so to Deptford to the Globe, where my Lord Brunkard, Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and Commissioner Pett were at dinner, having been at the Breach also, but they find it will be too great charge to make use of it. After dinner to Mr. Evelyn's; he being abroad, we walked in his garden, and a lovely noble ground he hath indeed. And among other rarities, a hive of bees, so as being hived in glass, you may see the bees making their honey and combs mighty pleasantly. Thence home, and I by and by to Mr. Povy's to see him, who is yet in his chamber not well, and thence by his advice to one Lovett's, a varnisher, to see his manner of new varnish, but found not him at home, but his wife, a very beautiful woman, who shewed me much variety of admirable work, and is in order to my having of some papers fitted with his lines for my use for tables and the like. I know not whether I was more pleased with the thing, or that I was shewed it by her, but resolved I am to have some made. So home to my office late, and then to supper and to bed. My wife tells me that she hears that my poor aunt James hath had her breast cut off here in town, her breast having long been out of order. This day, after I had suffered my owne hayre to grow long, in order to wearing it, I find the convenience of periwiggs is so great, that I have cut off all short again, and will keep to periwiggs.

Saturday, 5th May 1666

5th. At the office all the morning. After dinner upon a letter from the fleete from Sir W. Coventry I did do a great deale of worke for the sending away of the victuallers that are in the river, &c., too much to remember. Till 10 at night busy about letters and other necessary matter of the office. About 11 home, it being a fine moonshine and so my wife and Mercer come into the garden, and, my business being done, we sang till about twelve at night, with mighty pleasure to ourselves and neighbours, by their casements opening, and so home to supper and to bed.

Sunday, 5th May 1667

5th (Lord's day). Up, and going down to the water side, I met Sir John Robinson, and so with him by coach to White Hall, still a vain, prating, boasting man as any I know, as if the whole City and Kingdom had all its work done by him. He tells me he hath now got a street ordered to be continued, forty feet broad, from Paul's through Cannon Street to the Tower, which will be very fine. He and others this day, where I was in the afternoon, do tell me of at least six or eight fires within these few days; and continually stirs of fires, and real fires there have been, in one place or other, almost ever since the late great fire, as if there was a fate sent people for fire. I walked over the Park to Sir W. Coventry's. Among other things to tell him what I hear of people being forced to sell their bills before September for 35 and 40 per cent. loss, and what is worst, that there are some courtiers that have made a knot to buy them, in hopes of some ways to get money of the King to pay them, which Sir W. Coventry is amazed at, and says we are a people made up for destruction, and will do what he can to prevent all this by getting the King to provide wherewith to pay them. We talked of Tangier, of which he is ashamed; also that it should put the King to this charge for no good in the world: and now a man going over that is a good soldier, but a debauched man, which the place need not to have. And so used these words: "That this place was to the King as my Lord Carnarvon says of wood, that it is an excrescence of the earth provided by God for the payment of debts." Thence away to Sir G. Carteret, whom I find taking physic. I staid talking with him but a little, and so home to church, and heard a dull sermon, and most of the best women of our parish gone into the country, or at least not at church. So home, and find my boy not there, nor was at church, which vexed me, and when he come home I enquired, he tells me he went to see his mother. I send him back to her to send me some token that he was with her. So there come a man with him back of good fashion. He says he saw him with her, which pacified me, but I did soundly threaten him before him, and so to dinner, and then had a little scolding with my wife for not being fine enough to go to the christening to-day, which she excused by being ill, as she was indeed, and cried, but I was in an ill humour and ashamed, indeed, that she should not go dressed. However, friends by and by, and we went by water to Michell's, and there his little house full of his father and mothers and the kindred, hardly any else, and mighty merry in this innocent company, and Betty mighty pretty in bed, but, her head akeing, not very merry, but the company mighty merry, and I with them, and so the child was christened; my wife, his father, and her mother, the witnesses, and the child's name Elizabeth. So we had gloves and wine and wafers, very pretty, and talked and tattled, and so we away by water and up with the tide, she and I and Barker, as high as Barne Eimes, it being a fine evening, and back again to pass the bridges at standing water between 9 and 10 at might, and then home and to supper, and then to bed with much pleasure. This day Sir W. Coventry tells me the Dutch fleete shot some shot, four or five hundred, into Burnt-Island in the Frith, but without any hurt; and so are gone.

Tuesday, 5th May 1668

5th. Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon home to dinner and Creed with me, and after dinner he and I to the Duke of York's playhouse; and there coming late, he and I up to the balcony-box, where we find my Lady Castlemayne and several great ladies; and there we sat with them, and I saw "The Impertinents" once more, now three times, and the three only days it hath been acted. And to see the folly how the house do this day cry up the play more than yesterday! and I for that reason like it, I find, the better, too; by Sir Positive At-all, I understand, is meant Sir Robert Howard. My Lady    Castlemaine
pretty well pleased with it; but here I sat close to her fine woman, Willson, who indeed is very handsome, but, they say, with child by the King. I asked, and she told me this was the first time her Lady had seen it, I having a mind to say something to her. One thing of familiarity I observed in my Lady Castlemayne: she called to one of her women, another that sat by this, for a little patch off her face, and put it into her mouth and wetted it, and so clapped it upon her own by the side of her mouth, I suppose she feeling a pimple rising there. Thence with Creed to Westminster Hall, and there met with cozen Roger, who tells me of the great conference this day between the Lords and Commons, about the business of the East India Company, as being one of the weightiest conferences that hath been, and managed as weightily. I am heartily sorry I was not there, it being upon a mighty point of the privileges of the subjects of England, in regard to the authority of the House of Lords, and their being condemned by them as the Supreme Court, which, we say, ought not to be, but by appeal from other Courts. And he tells me that the Commons had much the better of them, in reason and history there quoted, and believes the Lords will let it fall. Thence to walk in the Hall, and there hear that Mrs. Martin's child, my god-daughter, is dead, and so by water to the Old Swan, and thence home, and there a little at Sir W. Pen's, and so to bed.

Wednesday, 5th May 1669

5th. Up, and thought to have gone with Lord Brouncker to Mr. Hooke this morning betimes; but my Lord is taken ill of the gout, and says his new lodgings have infected him, he never having had any symptoms of it till now. So walked to Gresham College, to tell Hooke that my Lord could not come; and so left word, he being abroad, and I to St. James's, and thence, with the Duke of York, to White Hall, where the Board waited on him all the morning: and so at noon with Sir Thomas Allen, and Sir Edward Scott, and Lord Carlingford, to the Spanish Embassador's, where I dined the first time. The Olio not so good as Sheres's. There was at the table himself and a Spanish Countess, a good, comely, and witty lady-three Fathers and us. Discourse good and pleasant. And here was an Oxford scholar in a Doctor of Law's gowne, sent from the College where the Embassador lay, when the Court was there, to salute him before his return to Spain: This man, though a gentle sort of scholar, yet sat like a fool for want of French or Spanish, but    knew
only Latin, which he spoke like an Englishman to one of the Fathers. And by and by he and I to talk, and the company very merry at my defending Cambridge against Oxford: and I made much use of my French and Spanish here, to my great content. But the dinner not extraordinary at all, either for quantity or quality. Thence home, where my wife ill of those upon the maid's bed, and troubled at my being abroad. So I to the office, and there till night, and then to her, and she read to me the Epistle of Cassandra, which is very good indeed; and the better to her, because recommended by Sheres. So to supper, and to bed.