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.

Monday, 4th June 1660

4th. Waked in the morning at four o'clock to give some money to Mr. Hetly, who was to go to London with the letters that I wrote yesterday night. After he was gone I went and lay down in my gown upon my bed again an hour or two. At last waked by a messenger come for a Post Warrant for Mr. Hetly and Mr. Creed, who stood to give so little for their horses that the men would not let them have any without a warrant, which I sent them. All the morning getting Captain Holland's commission done, which I did, and he at noon went away. I took my leave of him upon the quarter-deck with a bottle of sack, my Lord being just set down to dinner. Then he being gone I went to dinner and after dinner to my cabin to write. This afternoon I showed my Lord my accounts, which he passed, and so I think myself to be worth near £100 now. In the evening I made an order for Captain Sparling of the Assistance to go to Middleburgh, to fetch over some of the King's goods. I took the opportunity to send all my Dutch money, 70 ducatoons and 29 gold ducats to be changed, if he can, for English money, which is the first venture that ever I made, and so I have been since a little afeard of it. After supper some music and so to bed. This morning the King's Proclamation against drinking, swearing, and debauchery, was read to our ships' companies in the fleet, and indeed it gives great satisfaction to all.    The King's "Proclamation against vicious, debauched, and prophane Persons" is dated May 30th. It is printed in "Somers's Tracts," ed. 1812, vol. vii. p. 423.

Tuesday, 4th June 1661

4th. The Comptroller came this morning to get me to go see a house or two near our office, which he would take for himself or Mr. Turner, and then he would have me have Mr. Turner's lodgings and himself mine and Mr. Davis's. But the houses did not like us, and so that design at present is stopped. Then he and I by water to the bridge, and then walked over the Bank-side till we came to the Temple, and so I went over and to my father's, where I met with my cozen J. Holcroft, and took him and my father and my brother Tom to the Bear tavern and gave them wine, my cozen being to go into the country again to-morrow. From thence to my Lord Crew's to dinner with him, and had very good discourse about having of young noblemen and gentlemen to think of going to sea, as being as honourable service as the land war. And among other things he told us how, in Queen Elizabeth's time, one young nobleman would wait with a trencher at the back of another till he came to age himself. And witnessed in my young Lord of Kent, that then was, who waited upon my Lord Bedford at table, when a letter came to my Lord Bedford that the Earldom of Kent was fallen to his servant, the young Lord; and so he rose from table, and made him sit down in his place, and took a lower for himself, for so he was by place to sit. From thence to the Theatre and saw "Harry the 4th," a good play. That done I went over the water and walked over the fields to Southwark, and so home and to my lute. At night to bed.

Wednesday, 4th June 1662

4th. Up early, and Mr. Moore comes to me and tells me that Mr. Barnwell is dead, which troubles me something, and the more for that I believe we shall lose Mr. Shepley's company. By and by Sir W. Batten and I by water to Woolwich; and there saw an experiment made of Sir R. Ford's Holland's yarn (about which we have lately had so much stir; and I have much concerned myself for our ropemaker, Mr. Hughes, who has represented it as bad), and we found it to be very bad, and broke sooner than, upon a fair triall, five threads of that against four of Riga yarn; and also that some of it had old stuff that had been tarred, covered over with new hemp, which is such a cheat as hath not been heard of. I was glad of this discovery, because I would not have the King's workmen discouraged (as Sir W. Batten do most basely do) from representing the faults of merchants' goods, where there is any. After eating some fish that we had bought upon the water at Falconer's, we went to Woolwich, and there viewed our frames of our houses, and so home, and I to my Lord's, who I find resolved to buy Brampton Manor of Sir Peter Ball,    Sir Peter Ball was the Queen's Attorney-General, and Evelyn mentions, in his Diary (January 11th, 1661-62), having received from him the draft of an act against the nuisance of the smoke of London.
at which I am glad. Thence to White Hall, and showed Sir G. Carteret the cheat, and so to the Wardrobe, and there staid and supped with my Lady. My Lord eating nothing, but writes letters to-night to several places, he being to go out of town to-morrow. So late home and to bed.

Thursday, 4th June 1663

4th. Up betimes, and my wife and Ashwell and I whiled away the morning up and down while they got themselves ready, and I did so watch to see my wife put on drawers, which poor soul she did, and yet I could not get off my suspicions, she having a mind to go into Fenchurch Street before she went out for good and all with me, which I must needs construe to be to meet Pembleton, when she afterwards told me it was to buy a fan that she had not a mind that I should know of, and I believe it is so. Specially I did by a wile get out of my boy that he did not yesterday go to Pembleton's or thereabouts, but only was sent all that time for some starch, and I did see him bringing home some, and yet all this cannot make my mind quiet. At last by coach I carried her to Westminster Hall, and they two to Mrs. Bowyer to go from thence to my wife's father's and Ashwell to hers, and by and by seeing my wife's father in the Hall, and being loth that my wife should put me to another trouble and charge by missing him to-day, I did employ a porter to go from a person unknown to tell him his daughter was come to his lodgings, and I at a distance did observe him, but, Lord! what a company of questions he did ask him, what kind of man I was, and God knows what. So he went home, and after I had staid in the Hall a good while, where I heard that this day the Archbishop of Canterbury, Juxon, a man well spoken of by all for a good man, is dead; and the Bishop of London is to have his seat. Home by water, where by and by comes Dean Honiwood, and I showed him my double horizontal diall, and promise to give him one, and that shall be it. So, without eating or drinking, he went away to Mr. Turner's, where Sir J. Minnes do treat my Lord Chancellor and a great deal of guests to-day with a great dinner, which I thank God I do not pay for; and besides, I doubt it is too late for any man to expect any great service from my Lord Chancellor, for which I am sorry, and pray God a worse do not come in his room. So I to dinner alone, and so to my chamber, and then to the office alone, my head aching and my mind in trouble for my wife, being jealous of her spending the day, though God knows I have no great reason. Yet my mind is troubled. By and by comes Will Howe to see us, and walked with me an hour in the garden, talking of my Lord's falling to business again, which I am glad of, and his coming to lie at his lodgings at White Hall again. The match between Sir J. Cutts and my Lady Jemimah, he says, is likely to go on; for which I am glad. In the Hall to-day Dr. Pierce tells me that the Queen begins to be brisk, and play like other ladies, and is quite another woman from what she was, of which I am glad. It may be, it may make the King like her the better, and forsake his two mistresses, my Lady Castlemaine and Stewart. He gone we sat at the office till night, and then home, where my wife is come, and has been with her father all the afternoon, and so home, and she and I to walk in the garden, giving ear to her discourse of her father's affairs, and I found all well, so after putting things in order at my office, home to supper and to bed.

Saturday, 4th June 1664

4th. Up and to St. James's by coach, after a good deal of talk before I went forth with J. Noble, who tells me that he will secure us against Cave, that though he knows, and can prove it, yet nobody else can prove it, to be Tom's child; that the bond was made by one Hudson, a scrivener, next to the Fountaine taverne, in the Old Bayly; that the children were born, and christened, and entered in the parish-book of St. Sepulchre's, by the name of Anne and Elizabeth Taylor and he will give us security against Cave if we pay him the money. And then up to the Duke, and was with him giving him an account how matters go, and of the necessity there is of a power to presse seamen, without which we cannot really raise men for this fleete of twelve sayle, besides that it will assert the King's power of pressing, which at present is somewhat doubted, and will make the Dutch believe that we are in earnest. Thence by water to the office, where we sat till almost two o'clock. This morning Captain Ferrer came to the office to tell me that my Lord hath given him a promise of Young's place in the Wardrobe, and hearing that I pretend a promise to it he comes to ask my consent, which I denied him, and told him my Lord may do what he pleases with his promise to me, but my father's condition is not so as that I should let it go if my Lord will stand to his word, and so I sent him going, myself being troubled a little at it. After office I with Mr. Coventry by water to St. James's and dined with him, and had excellent discourse from him. So to the Committee for Tangier all afternoon, where still the same confused doings, and my Lord Fitz-Harding now added to the Committee; which will signify much. It grieves me to see how brokenly things are ordered. So by coach home, and at my office late, and so to supper and to bed, my body by plenty of breaking of wind being just now pretty well again, having had a constant akeing in my back these 5 or 6 days. Mr. Coventry discoursing this noon about Sir W. Batten (what a sad fellow he is!) told me how the King told him the other day how Sir W. Batten, being in the ship with him and Prince Rupert when they expected to fight with Warwick, did walk up and down sweating with a napkin under his throat to dry up his sweat; and that Prince Rupert being a most jealous man, and particularly of Batten, do walk up and down swearing bloodily to the King, that Batten had a mind to betray them to-day, and that the napkin was a signal; "but, by God," says he, "if things go ill, the first thing I will do is to shoot him." He discoursed largely and bravely to me concerning the different sort of valours, the active and passive valour. For the latter, he brought as an instance General Blake; who, in the defending of Taunton and Lime for the Parliament, did through his stubborn sort of valour defend it the most 'opiniastrement' that ever any man did any thing; and yet never was the man that ever made any attaque by land or sea, but rather avoyded it on all, even fair occasions. On the other side, Prince Rupert, the boldest attaquer in the world for personal courage; and yet, in the defending of Bristol, no man ever did anything worse, he wanting the patience and seasoned head to consult and advise for defence, and to bear with the evils of a siege. The like he says is said of my Lord Tiviott, who was the boldest adventurer of his person in the world, and from a mean man in few years was come to this greatness of command and repute only by the death of all his officers, he many times having the luck of being the only survivor of them all, by venturing upon services for the King of France that nobody else would; and yet no man upon a defence, he being all fury and no judgment in a fight. He tells me above all of the Duke of Yorke, that he is more himself and more of judgement is at hand in him in the middle of a desperate service, than at other times, as appeared in the business of Dunkirke, wherein no man ever did braver things, or was in hotter service in the close of that day, being surrounded with enemies; and then, contrary to the advice of all about him, his counsel carried himself and the rest through them safe, by advising that he might make his passage with but a dozen with him; "For," says he, "the enemy cannot move after me so fast with a great body, and with a small one we shall be enough to deal with them;" and though he is a man naturally martiall to the highest degree, yet a man that never in his life talks one word of himself or service of his owne, but only that he saw such or such a thing, and lays it down for a maxime that a Hector can have no courage. He told me also, as a great instance of some men, that the Prince of Condo's excellence is, that there not being a more furious man in the world, danger in fight never disturbs him more than just to make him civill, and to command in words of great obligation to his officers and men; but without any the least disturbance in his judgment or spirit.

Sunday, 4th June 1665

4th (Sunday). Up and at my chamber all the forenoon, at evening my accounts, which I could not do sooner, for the last month, and, blessed be God! am worth £1400 odd money, something more than ever I was yet in the world. Dined very well at noon, and then to my office, and there and in the garden discoursed with several people about business, among others Mr. Howell, the turner, who did give me so good a discourse about the practices of the Paymaster J. Fenn that I thought fit to recollect all when he was gone, and have entered it down to be for ever remembered. Thence to my chamber again to settle my Tangier accounts against tomorrow and some other things, and with great joy ended them, and so to supper, where a good fowl and tansy, and so to bed. Newes being come that our fleete is pursuing the Dutch, who, either by cunning, or by being worsted, do give ground, but nothing more for certain. Late to bed upon my papers being quite finished.

Monday, 4th June 1666

4th. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Pen to White Hall in the latter's coach, where, when we come, we find the Duke at St. James's, whither he is lately gone to lodge. So walking through the Parke we saw hundreds of people listening at the Gravel-pits,--    Kensington
--and to and again in the Parke to hear the guns, and I saw a letter, dated last night, from Strowd, Governor of Dover Castle, which says that the Prince come thither the night before with his fleete, but that for the guns which we writ that we heard, it is only a mistake for thunder;    Evelyn was in his garden when he heard the guns, and be at once set off to Rochester and the coast, but he found that nothing had been heard at Deal (see his "Diary," June 1st, 1666).
and so far as to yesterday it is a miraculous thing that we all Friday, and Saturday and yesterday, did hear every where most plainly the guns go off, and yet at Deale and Dover to last night they did not hear one word of a fight, nor think they heard one gun. This, added to what I have set down before the other day about the Katharine, makes room for a great dispute in philosophy, how we should hear it and they not, the same wind that brought it to us being the same that should bring it to them: but so it is. Major Halsey, however (he was sent down on purpose to hear newes), did bring newes this morning that he did see the Prince and his fleete at nine of the clock yesterday morning, four or five leagues to sea behind the Goodwin, so that by the hearing of the guns this morning we conclude he is come to the fleete. After wayting upon the Duke, Sir W. Pen (who was commanded to go to-night by water down to Harwich, to dispatch away all the ships he can) and I home, drinking two bottles of Cocke ale in the streete in his new fine coach, where no sooner come, but newes is brought me of a couple of men come to speak with me from the fleete; so I down, and who should it be but Mr. Daniel, all muffled up, and his face as black as the chimney, and covered with dirt, pitch, and tarr, and powder, and muffled with dirty clouts, and his right eye stopped with okum. He is come last night at five o'clock from the fleete, with a comrade of his that hath endangered another eye. They were set on shore at Harwich this morning, and at two o'clock, in a catch with about twenty more wounded men from the Royall Charles. They being able to ride, took post about three this morning, and were here between eleven and twelve. I went presently into the coach with them, and carried them to Somerset-House-stairs, and there took water (all the world gazing upon us, and concluding it to be newes from the fleete, and every body's face appeared expecting of newes) to the Privy-stairs, and left them at Mr. Coventry's lodging (he, though, not being there); and so I into the Parke to the King, and told him my Lord Generall was well the last night at five o'clock, and the Prince come with his fleete and joyned with his about seven. The King was mightily pleased with this newes, and so took me by the hand and talked a little of it. Giving him the best account I could; and then he bid me to fetch the two seamen to him, he walking into the house. So I went and fetched the seamen into the Vane room to him, and there he heard the whole account.


How we found the Dutch fleete at anchor on Friday half seas over, between Dunkirke and Ostend, and made them let slip their anchors. They about ninety, and we less than sixty. We fought them, and put them to the run, till they met with about sixteen sail of fresh ships, and so bore up again. The fight continued till night, and then again the next morning from five till seven at night. And so, too, yesterday morning they begun again, and continued till about four o'clock, they chasing us for the most part of Saturday and yesterday, we flying from them. The Duke himself, then those people were put into the catch, and by and by spied the Prince's fleete coming, upon which De Ruyter called a little council (being in chase at this time of us), and thereupon their fleete divided into two squadrons; forty in one, and about thirty in the other (the fleete being at first about ninety, but by one accident or other, supposed to be lessened to about seventy); the bigger to follow the Duke, the less to meet the Prince. But the Prince come up with the Generall's fleete, and the Dutch come together again and bore towards their own coast, and we with them; and now what the consequence of this day will be, at that time fighting, we know not. The Duke was forced to come to anchor on Friday, having lost his sails and rigging. No particular person spoken of to be hurt but Sir W. Clerke, who hath lost his leg, and bore it bravely. The Duke himself had a little hurt in his thigh, but signified little. The King did pull out of his pocket about twenty pieces in gold, and did give it Daniel for himself and his companion; and so parted, mightily pleased with the account he did give him of the fight, and the successe it ended with, of the Prince's coming, though it seems the Duke did give way again and again. The King did give order for care to be had of Mr. Daniel and his companion; and so we parted from him, and then met the Duke    of York
, and gave him the same account: and so broke up, and I left them going to the surgeon's and I myself by water to the 'Change, and to several people did give account of the business. So home about four o'clock to dinner, and was followed by several people to be told the newes, and good newes it is. God send we may hear a good issue of this day's business! After I had eat something I walked to Gresham College, where I heard my Lord Bruncker was, and there got a promise of the receipt of the fine varnish, which I shall be glad to have. Thence back with Mr. Hooke to my house and there lent some of my tables of naval matters, the names of rigging and the timbers about a ship, in order to Dr. Wilkins' book coming out about the Universal Language. Thence, he being gone, to the Crown, behind the 'Change, and there supped at the club with my Lord Bruncker, Sir G. Ent, and others of Gresham College; and all our discourse is of this fight at sea, and all are doubtful of the successe, and conclude all had been lost if the Prince had not come in, they having chased us the greatest part of Saturday and Sunday. Thence with my Lord Bruncker and Creed by coach to White Hall, where fresh letters are come from Harwich, where the Gloucester, Captain Clerke, is come in, and says that on Sunday night upon coming in of the Prince, the Duke did fly; but all this day they have been fighting; therefore they did face again, to be sure. Captain Bacon of The Bristoll is killed. They cry up Jenings of The Ruby, and Saunders of The Sweepstakes. They condemn mightily Sir Thomas Teddiman for a coward, but with what reason time must shew. Having heard all this Creed and I walked into the Parke till 9 or 10 at night, it being fine moonshine, discoursing of the unhappinesse of our fleete, what it would have been if the Prince had not come in, how much the Duke hath failed of what he was so presumptuous of, how little we deserve of God Almighty to give us better fortune, how much this excuses all that was imputed to my Lord Sandwich, and how much more he is a man fit to be trusted with all those matters than those that now command, who act by nor with any advice, but rashly and without any order. How bad we are at intelligence that should give the Prince no sooner notice of any thing but let him come to Dover without notice of any fight, or where the fleete were, or any thing else, nor give the Duke any notice that he might depend upon the Prince's reserve; and lastly, of how good use all may be to checke our pride and presumption in adventuring upon hazards upon unequal force against a people that can fight, it seems now, as well as we, and that will not be discouraged by any losses, but that they will rise again. Thence by water home, and to supper (my father, wife, and sister having been at Islington today at Pitt's) and to bed.

Tuesday, 4th June 1667

4th. Up, and to the office, and there busy all the morning putting in order the answering the great letter sent to the office by the new Commissioners of the Treasury, who demand an account from the King's coming in to this day, which we shall do in the best manner we can. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner comes Mr. Commander to me and tells me, after all, that I cannot have a lease of the ground for my coach-house and stable, till a suit in law be ended, about the end of the old stable now standing, which they and I would have pulled down to make a better way for a coach. I am a little sorry that I cannot presently have it, because I am pretty full in my mind of keeping a coach; but yet, when I think on it again, the Dutch and French both at sea, and we poor, and still out of order, I know not yet what turns there may be, and besides, I am in danger of parting with one of my places, which relates to the Victualling, that brings me by accident in £800 a year, that is, £300 from the King and £500 from D. Gawden. I ought to be well contented to forbear awhile, and therefore I am contented. To the office all the afternoon, where I dispatched much business to my great content, and then home in the evening, and there to sing and pipe with my wife, and that being done, she fell all of a sudden to discourse about her clothes and my humours in not suffering her to wear them as she pleases, and grew to high words between us, but I fell to read a book (Boyle's Hydrostatiques)    "Hydrostatical Paradoxes made out by New Experiments" was published by the Hon. Robert Boyle in 1666 (Oxford).
aloud in my chamber and let her talk, till she was tired and vexed that I would not hear her, and so become friends, and to bed together the first night after 4 or 5 that she hath lain from me by reason of a great cold she had got.

Thursday, 4th June 1668

4th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, where Mr. Clerke, the solicitor, dined with me and my clerks. After dinner I carried and set him down at the Temple, he observing to me how St. Sepulchre's church steeple is repaired already a good deal, and the Fleet Bridge is contracted for by the City to begin to be built this summer, which do please me mightily. I to White Hall, and walked through the Park for a little ayre; and so back to the Council-chamber, to the Committee of the Navy, about the business of fitting the present fleete, suitable to the money given, which, as the King orders it, and by what appears, will be very little; and so as I perceive the Duke of York will have nothing to command, nor can intend to go abroad. But it is pretty to see how careful these great men are to do every thing so as they may answer it to the Parliament, thinking themselves safe in nothing but where the judges, with whom they often advise, do say the matter is doubtful; and so they take upon themselves then to be the chief persons to interpret what is doubtful. Thence home, and all the evening to set matters in order against my going to Brampton to-morrow, being resolved upon my journey, and having the Duke of York's leave again to-day; though I do plainly see that I can very ill be spared now, there being much business, especially about this, which I have attended the Council about, and I the man that am alone consulted with; and, besides, my Lord Brouncker is at this time ill, and Sir W. Pen. So things being put in order at the Office, I home to do the like there; and so to bed.