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31st. This day my Lord took physic, and came not out of his chamber.
All the morning making orders. After dinner a great while below in the great cabin trying with W. Howe some of Mr. Laws' songs,' particularly that of "What is a kiss," with which we had a great deal of pleasure. After that to making of orders again. Captain Sparling of the Assistance brought me a pair of silk stockings of a light blue, which I was much pleased with. The Captain and I to supper, and after that a most pleasant walk till to at night with him upon the deck, it being a fine evening. My pain was gone again that I had yesterday, blessed be God. This day the month ends, I in very good health, and all the world in a merry mood because of the King's coming. This day I began to teach Mr. Edward; who I find to have a very good foundation laid for his Latin by Mr. Fuller. I expect every minute to hear how my poor wife do. I find myself in all things well as to body and mind, but troubled for the absence of my wife.
31st. I went to my father's thinking to have met with my cozen John Holcroft, but he came not, but to my great grief I found my father and mother in a great deal of discontent one with another, and indeed my mother is grown now so pettish that I know not how my father is able to bear with it. I did talk to her so as did not indeed become me, but I could not help it, she being so unsufferably foolish and simple, so that my father, poor man, is become a very unhappy man. There I dined, and so home and to the office all the afternoon till 9 at night, and then home and to supper and to bed. Great talk now how the Parliament intend to make a collection of free gifts to the King through the Kingdom; but I think it will not come to much.
31st. Lay long in bed, and so up to make up my Journall for these two or three days past. Then came Anthony Joyce, who duns me for money for the tallow which he served in lately by my desire, which vexes me, but I must get it him the next by my promise. By and by to White Hall, hearing that Sir G. Carteret was come to town, but I could not find him, and so back to Tom's, and thence I took my father to my house, and there he dined with me, discoursing of our businesses with uncle Thomas and T. Trice. After dinner he departed and I to the office where we met, and that being done I walked to my Brother's and the Wardrobe and other places about business, and so home, and had Sarah to comb my head clean, which I found so foul with powdering and other troubles, that I am resolved to try how I can keep my head dry without powder; and I did also in a suddaine fit cut off all my beard, which I had been a great while bringing up, only that I may with my pumice-stone do my whole face, as I now do my chin, and to save time, which I find a very easy way and gentile. So she also washed my feet in a bath of herbs, and so to bed. This month ends with very fair weather for a great while together. My health pretty well, but only wind do now and then torment me . . . extremely. The Queen is brought a few days since to Hampton Court; and all people say of her to be a very fine and handsome lady, and very discreet; and that the King is pleased enough with her which, I fear, will put Madam Castlemaine's nose out of joynt. The Court is wholly now at Hampton. A peace with Argier is lately made; which is also good news. My father is lately come to town to see us, and though it has cost and will cost more money, yet I am pleased with the alteraeons on my house at Brampton. My Lord Sandwich is lately come with the Queen from sea, very well and in good repute. Upon an audit of my estate I find myself worth about £530 'de claro'. The Act for Uniformity is lately printed,"An Act for the Uniformity of public prayers and administration of sacraments and other rites and ceremonies, and for establishing the form of making, ordaining, and consecrating bishops, priests, and deacons in the Church of England."
which, it is thought, will make mad work among the Presbyterian ministers. People of all sides are very much discontented; some thinking themselves used, contrary to promise, too hardly; and the other, that they are not rewarded so much as they expected by the King. God keep us all. I have by a late oath obliged myself from wine and plays, of which I find good effect.
31st (Lord's day). Lay long in bed talking with my wife, and do plainly see that her distaste (which is beginning now in her again) against Ashwell arises from her jealousy of me and her, and my neglect of herself, which indeed is true, and I to blame; but for the time to come I will take care to remedy all. So up and to church, where I think I did see Pembleton, whatever the reason is I did not perceive him to look up towards my wife, nor she much towards him; however, I could hardly keep myself from being troubled that he was there, which is a madness not to be excused now that his coming to my house is past, and I hope all likelyhood of her having occasion to converse with him again. Home to dinner, and after dinner up and read part of the new play of "The Five Houres' Adventures," which though I have seen it twice; yet I never did admire or understand it enough, it being a play of the greatest plot that ever I expect to see, and of great vigour quite through the whole play, from beginning to the end. To church again after dinner (my wife finding herself ill . . . . did not go), and there the Scot preaching I slept most of the sermon. This day Sir W. Batten's son's child is christened in the country, whither Sir J. Minnes, and Sir W, Batten, and Sir W. Pen are all gone. I wonder, and take it highly ill that I am not invited by the father, though I know his father and mother, with whom I am never likely to have much kindness, but rather I study the contrary, are the cause of it, and in that respect I am glad of it. Being come from church, I to make up my month's accounts, and find myself clear worth £726, for which God be praised, but yet I might have been better by £20 almost had I forborne some layings out in dancing and other things upon my wife, and going to plays and other things merely to ease my mind as to the business of the dancing-master, which I bless God is now over and I falling to my quiet of mind and business again, which I have for a fortnight neglected too much. This month the greatest news is, the height and heat that the Parliament is in, in enquiring into the revenue, which displeases the Court, and their backwardness to give the King any money. Their enquiring into the selling of places do trouble a great many among the chief, my Lord Chancellor (against whom particularly it is carried), and Mr. Coventry; for which I am sorry. The King of France was given out to be poisoned and dead; but it proves to be the measles: and he is well, or likely to be soon well again. I find myself growing in the esteem and credit that I have in the office, and I hope falling to my business again will confirm me in it, and the saving of money which God grant! So to supper, prayers, and bed. My whole family lying longer this morning than was fit, and besides Will having neglected to brush my clothes, as he ought to do, till I was ready to go to church, and not then till I bade him, I was very angry, and seeing him make little matter of it, but seeming to make it a matter indifferent whether he did it or no, I did give him a box on the ear, and had it been another day should have done more. This is the second time I ever struck him.
31st. Up, and called upon Mr. Hollyard, with whom I advised and shall fall upon some course of doing something for my disease of the wind, which grows upon me every day more and more. Thence to my Lord Sandwich's, and while he was dressing I below discoursed with Captain Cooke, and I think if I do find it fit to keep a boy at all I had as good be supplied from him with one as any body. By and by up to my Lord, and to discourse about his going to sea, and the message I had from Mr. Coventry to him. He wonders, as he well may, that this course should be taken, and he every day with the Duke, who, nevertheless, seems most friendly to him, who hath not yet spoke one word to my Lord of his desire to have him go to sea. My Lord do tell me clearly that were it not that he, as all other men that were of the Parliament side, are obnoxious to reproach, and so is forced to bear what otherwise he would not, he would never suffer every thing to be done in the Navy, and he never be consulted; and it seems, in the naming of all these commanders for this fleete, he hath never been asked one question. But we concluded it wholly inconsistent with his honour not to go with this fleete, nor with the reputation which the world hath of his interest at Court; and so he did give me commission to tell Mr. Coventry that he is most willing to receive any commands from the Duke in this fleete, were it less than it is, and that particularly in this service. With this message I parted, and by coach to the office, where I found Mr. Coventry, and told him this. Methinks, I confess, he did not seem so pleased with it as I expected, or at least could have wished, and asked me whether I had told my Lord that the Duke do not expect his going, which I told him I had. But now whether he means really that the Duke, as he told me the other day, do think the Fleete too small for him to take or that he would not have him go, I swear I cannot tell. But methinks other ways might have been used to put him by without going in this manner about it, and so I hope it is out of kindness indeed. Dined at home, and so to the office, where a great while alone in my office, nobody near, with Bagwell's wife of Deptford, but the woman seems so modest that I durst not offer any courtship to her, though I had it in my mind when I brought her in to me. But I am resolved to do her husband a courtesy, for I think he is a man that deserves very well. So abroad with my wife by coach to St. James's, to one Lady Poultny's, where I found my Lord, I doubt, at some vain pleasure or other. I did give him a short account of what I had done with Mr. Coventry, and so left him, and to my wife again in the coach, and with her to the Parke, but the Queene being gone by the Parke to Kensington, we staid not but straight home and to supper (the first time I have done so this summer), and so to my office doing business, and then to my monthly accounts, where to my great comfort I find myself better than I was still the last month, and now come to £930. I was told to-day, that upon Sunday night last, being the King's birth-day, the King was at my Lady Castlemayne's lodgings (over the hither-gates at Lambert's lodgings) dancing with fiddlers all night almost; and all the world coming by taking notice of it, which I am sorry to hear. The discourse of the town is only whether a warr with Holland or no, and we are preparing for it all we can, which is but little. Myself subject more than ordinary to pain by winde, which makes me very sad, together with the trouble which at present lies upon me in my father's behalf, rising from the death of my brother, which are many and great. Would to God they were over!
31st. Up, and to my office, and to Westminster, doing business till noon, and then to the 'Change, where great the noise and trouble of having our Hambrough ships lost; and that very much placed upon Mr. Coventry's forgetting to give notice to them of the going away of our fleete from the coast of Holland. But all without reason, for he did; but the merchants not being ready, staid longer than the time ordered for the convoy to stay, which was ten days. Thence home with Creed and Mr. Moore to dinner. Anon we broke up, and Creed and I to discourse about our Tangier matters of money, which vex me. So to Gresham College, staid a very little while, and away and I home busy, and busy late, at the end of the month, about my month's accounts, but by the addition of Tangier it is rendered more intricate, and so (which I have not done these 12 months, nor would willingly have done now) failed of having it done, but I will do it as soon as I can. So weary and sleepy to bed. I endeavoured but missed of seeing Sir Thomas Ingram at Westminster, so went to Houseman's the Painter, who I intend shall draw my wife, but he was not within, but I saw several very good pictures.
31st. Waked very betimes in the morning by extraordinary thunder and rain, which did keep me sleeping and waking till very late, and it being a holiday and my eye very sore, and myself having had very little sleep for a good while till nine o'clock, and so up, and so saw all my family up, and my father and sister, who is a pretty good-bodied woman, and not over thicke, as I thought she would have been, but full of freckles, and not handsome in face. And so I out by water among the ships, and to Deptford and Blackewall about business, and so home and to dinner with my father and sister and family, mighty pleasant all of us; and, among other things, with a sparrow that our Mercer hath brought up now for three weeks, which is so tame that it flies up and down, and upon the table, and eats and pecks, and do everything so pleasantly, that we are mightily pleased with it. After dinner I to my papers and accounts of this month to sett all straight, it being a publique Fast-day appointed to pray for the good successe of the fleete. But it is a pretty thing to consider how little a matter they make of this keeping of a Fast, that it was not so much as declared time enough to be read in the churches the last Sunday; but ordered by proclamation since: I suppose upon some sudden newes of the Dutch being come out. To my accounts and settled them clear; but to my grief find myself poorer than I was the last by near £20, by reason of my being forced to return £50 to Downing, the smith, which he had presented me with. However, I am well contented, finding myself yet to be worth £5,200. Having done, to supper with my wife, and then to finish the writing fair of my accounts, and so to bed. This day come to town Mr. Homewood, and I took him home in the evening to my chamber, and discoursed with him about my business of the Victualling, which I have a mind to employ him in, and he is desirous of also, but do very ingenuously declare he understands it not so well as other things, and desires to be informed in the nature of it before he attempts it, which I like well, and so I carried him to Mr. Gibson to discourse with him about it, and so home again to my accounts. Thus ends this month, with my mind oppressed by my defect in my duty of the Victualling, which lies upon me as a burden, till I get myself into a better posture therein, and hinders me and casts down my courage in every thing else that belongs to me, and the jealousy I have of Sir W. Coventry's being displeased with me about it; but I hope in a little time to remedy all. As to publique business; by late tidings of the French fleete being come to Rochelle (how true, though, I know not) our fleete is divided; Prince Rupert being gone with about thirty ships to the Westward as is conceived to meet the French, to hinder their coming to join with the Dutch. My Lord Duke of Albemarle lies in the Downes with the rest, and intends presently to sail to the Gunfleete.
31st. Up, and there came young Mrs. Daniel in the morning as I expected about business of her husband's. I took her into the office to discourse with her about getting some employment for him . . . . By water to White Hall to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, the first time I ever was there and I think the second that they have met at the Treasury chamber there. Here I saw Duncomb look as big, and take as much state on him, as if he had been born a lord. I was in with him about Tangier, and at present received but little answer from them, they being in a cloud of business yet, but I doubt not but all will go well under them. Here I met with Sir H. Cholmly, who tells me that he is told this day by Secretary Morris that he believes we are, and shall be, only fooled by the French; and that the Dutch are very high and insolent, and do look upon us as come over only to beg a peace; which troubles me very much, and I do fear it is true. Thence to Sir G. Carteret at his lodgings; who, I perceive, is mightily displeased with this new Treasury; and he hath reason, for it will eclipse him; and he tells me that my Lord Ashly says they understand nothing; and he says he believes the King do not intend they shall sit long. But I believe no such thing, but that the King will find such benefit by them as he will desire to have them continue, as we see he hath done, in the late new Act that was so much decried about the King; but yet the King hath since permitted it, and found good by it. He says, and I believe, that a great many persons at Court are angry at the rise of this Duncomb, whose father, he tells me, was a long-Parliamentman, and a great Committee-man; and this fellow used to carry his papers to Committees after him: he was a kind of an atturny: but for all this, I believe this man will be a great man, in spite of all. Thence I away to Holborne to Mr. Gawden, whom I met at Bernard's Inn gate, and straight we together to the Navy Office, where we did all meet about some victualling business, and so home to dinner and to the office, where the weather so hot now-a-days that I cannot but sleep before I do any business, and in the evening home, and there, to my unexpected satisfaction, did get my intricate accounts of interest, which have been of late much perplexed by mixing of some moneys of Sir G. Carteret's with mine, evened and set right: and so late to supper, and with great quiet to bed; finding by the balance of my account that I am creditor £6900, for which the Lord of Heaven be praised!
31st (Lord's day). Up, and to church in the morning. At noon I sent for Mr. Mills and his wife and daughter to dine, and they dined with me, and W. Hewer, and very good company, I being in good humour. They gone to church, comes Mr. Tempest, and he and I sang a psalm or two, and so parted, and I by water to the New Exchange, and there to Mrs. Pierces, where Knepp, and she, and W. Howe, and Mr. Pierce, and little Betty, over to Fox Hall, and there walked and supped with great pleasure. Here was Mrs. Manuel also, and mighty good company, and good mirth in making W. Howe spend his six or seven shillings, and so they called him altogether "Cully." So back, and at Somerset-stairs do understand that a boy is newly drowned, washing himself there, and they cannot find his body. So seeing them home, I home by water, W. Howe going with me, and after some talk he lay at my house, and all to bed. Here I hear that Mrs. Davis is quite gone from the Duke of York's house, and Gosnell comes in her room, which I am glad of. At the play at Court the other night, Mrs. Davis was there; and when she was to come to dance her jigg, the Queene would not stay to see it, which people do think it was out of displeasure at her being the King's whore, that she could not bear it. My Lady Castlemayne is, it seems, now mightily out of request, the King coming little to her, and thus she mighty melancholy and discontented.
31st. Up very betimes, and so continued all the morning with W. Hewer, upon examining and stating my accounts, in order to the fitting myself to go abroad beyond sea, which the ill condition of my eyes, and my neglect for a year or two, hath kept me behindhand in, and so as to render it very difficult now, and troublesome to my mind to do it; but I this day made a satisfactory entrance therein. Dined at home, and in the afternoon by water to White Hall, calling by the way at Michell's, where I have not been many a day till just the other day, and now I met her mother there and knew her husband to be out of town. And here je did baiser elle, but had not opportunity para hazer some with her as I would have offered if je had had it. And thence had another meeting with the Duke of York, at White Hall, on yesterday's work, and made a good advance: and so, being called by my wife, we to the Park, Mary Batelier, and a Dutch gentleman, a friend of hers, being with us. Thence to "The World's End," a drinking-house by the Park; and there merry, and so home late.
And thus ends all that I doubt I shall ever be able to do with my own eyes in the keeping of my journal, I being not able to do it any longer, having done now so long as to undo my eyes almost every time that I take a pen in my hand; and, therefore, whatever comes of it, I must forbear: and, therefore, resolve, from this time forward, to have it kept by my people in long-hand, and must therefore be contented to set down no more than is fit for them and all the world to know; or, if there be any thing, which cannot be much, now my amours to Deb. are past, and my eyes hindering me in almost all other pleasures, I must endeavour to keep a margin in my book open, to add, here and there, a note in short-hand with my own hand.
And so I betake myself to that course, which is almost as much as to see myself go into my grave: for which, and all the discomforts that will accompany my being blind, the good God prepare me!
May 31, 1669.