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.
24th. Sunday. Drank my morning draft at Harper's, and bought a pair of gloves there. So to Mr. G. Montagu, and told him what I had received from Dover, about his business likely to be chosen there. So home and thence with my wife towards my father's. She went thither, I to Mr. Crew's, where I dined and my Lord at my Lord Montagu of Boughton in Little Queen Street. In the afternoon to Mr. Mossum's with Mr. Moore, and we sat in Mr. Butler's pew. Then to Whitehall looking for my Lord but in vain, and back again to Mr. Crew's where I found him and did give him letters. Among others some simple ones from our Lieutenant, Lieut. Lambert to him and myself, which made Mr. Crew and us all laugh. I went to my father's to tell him that I would not come to supper, and so after my business done at Mr. Crew's I went home and my wife within a little while after me, my mind all this while full of thoughts for my place of Clerk of the Acts.
24th (Midsummer-day). We kept this a holiday, and so went not to the office at all. All the morning at home. At noon my father came to see my house now it is done, which is now very neat. He and I and Dr. Williams (who is come to see my wife, whose soare belly is now grown dangerous as she thinks) to the ordinary over against the Exchange, where we dined and had great wrangling with the master of the house when the reckoning was brought to us, he setting down exceeding high every thing. I home again and to Sir W. Batten's, and there sat a good while. So home.
24th (Midsummer day). Up early and to my office, putting things in order against we sit. There came to me my cozen Harry Alcocke, whom I much respect, to desire (by a letter from my father to me, where he had been some days) my help for him to some place. I proposed the sea to him, and I think he will take it, and I hope do well. Sat all the morning, and I bless God I find that by my diligence of late and still, I do get ground in the office every day. At noon to the Change, where I begin to be known also, and so home to dinner, and then to the office all the afternoon dispatching business. At night news is brought me that Field the rogue hath this day cast me at Guildhall in £30 for his imprisonment, to which I signed his commitment with the rest of the officers; but they having been parliament-men, that he hath begun the law with me; and threatens more, but I hope the Duke of York will bear me out. At night home, and Mr. Spong came to me, and so he and I sat singing upon the leads till almost ten at night and so he went away (a pretty, harmless, and ingenious man), and I to bed, in a very great content of mind, which I hope by my care still in my business will continue to me.
24th. Up before 4 o'clock, and so to my lute an hour or more, and then by water, drinking my morning draft alone at an alehouse in Thames Street, to the Temple, and thence after a little discourse with my cozen Roger about some business, away by water to St. James's, and there an hour's private discourse with Mr. Coventry, where he told me one thing to my great joy, that in the business of Captain Cocke's hemp, disputed before him the other day, Mr. Coventry absent, the Duke did himself tell him since, that Mr. Pepys and he did stand up and carry it against the rest that were there, Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Batten, which do please me much to see that the Duke do take notice of me. We did talk highly of Sir W. Batten's corruption, which Mr. Coventry did very kindly say that it might be only his heaviness and unaptness for business, that he do things without advice and rashly, and to gratify people that do eat and drink and play with him, and that now and then he observes that he signs bills only in anger and fury to be rid of men. Speaking of Sir G. Carteret, of whom I perceive he speaks but slightly, and diminishing of him in his services for the King in Jersey; that he was well rewarded, and had good lands and rents, and other profits from the King, all the time he was there; and that it was always his humour to have things done his way. He brought an example how he would not let the Castle there be victualled for more than a month, that so he might keep it at his beck, though the people of the town did offer to supply it more often themselves, which, when one did propose to the King, Sir George Carteret being by, says Sir George, "Let me know who they are that would do it, I would with all my heart pay them." "Ah, by God," says the Commander that spoke of it, "that is it that they are afeard of, that you would hug them," meaning that he would not endure them. Another thing he told me, how the Duke of York did give Sir G. Carteret and the Island his profits as Admirall, and other things, toward the building of a pier there. But it was never laid out, nor like to be. So it falling out that a lady being brought to bed, the Duke was to be desired to be one of the godfathers; and it being objected that that would not be proper, there being no peer of the land to be joyned with him, the lady replied, "Why, let him choose; and if he will not be a godfather without a peer, then let him even stay till he hath made a pier of his own."In the same spirit, long after this, some question arising as to the best material to be used in building Westminster Bridge, Lord Chesterfield remarked, that there were too many wooden piers (peers) at Westminster already.--B.
He tells me, too, that he hath lately been observed to tack about at Court, and to endeavour to strike in with the persons that are against the Chancellor; but this he says of him, that he do not say nor do anything to the prejudice of the Chancellor. But he told me that the Chancellor was rising again, and that of late Sir G. Carteret's business and employment hath not been so full as it used to be while the Chancellor stood up. From that we discoursed of the evil of putting out men of experience in business as the Chancellor, and from that to speak of the condition of the King's party at present, who, as the Papists, though otherwise fine persons, yet being by law kept for these fourscore years out of employment, they are now wholly uncapable of business; and so the Cavaliers for twenty years, who, says he, for the most part have either given themselves over to look after country and family business, and those the best of them, and the rest to debauchery, &c.; and that was it that hath made him high against the late Bill brought into the House for the making all men incapable of employment that had served against the King. Why, says he, in the sea-service, it is impossible to do any thing without them, there being not more than three men of the whole King's side that are fit to command almost; and these were Captain Allen, Smith, and Beech; and it may be Holmes, and Utber, and Batts might do something. I desired him to tell me if he thought that I did speak anything that I do against Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes out of ill will or design. He told me quite the contrary, and that there was reason enough. After a good deal of good and fine discourse, I took leave, and so to my Lord Sandwich's house, where I met my Lord, and there did discourse of our office businesses, and how the Duke do show me kindness, though I have endeavoured to displease more or less of my fellow officers, all but Mr. Coventry and Pett; but it matters not. Yes, says my Lord, Sir J. Minnes, who is great with the Chancellor; I told him the Chancellor I have thought was declining, and however that the esteem he has among them is nothing but for a jester or a ballad maker; at which my Lord laughs, and asks me whether I believe he ever could do that well. Thence with Mr. Creed up and down to an ordinary, and, the King's Head being full, went to the other over against it, a pretty man that keeps it, and good and much meat, better than the other, but the company and room so small that he must break, and there wants the pleasure that the other house has in its company. Here however dined an old courtier that is now so, who did bring many examples and arguments to prove that seldom any man that brings any thing to Court gets any thing, but rather the contrary; for knowing that they have wherewith to live, will not enslave themselves to the attendance, and flattery, and fawning condition of a courtier, whereas another that brings nothing, and will be contented to cog, and lie, and flatter every man and woman that has any interest with the persons that are great in favour, and can cheat the King, as nothing is to be got without offending God and the King, there he for the most part, and he alone, saves any thing. Thence to St. James Park, and there walked two or three hours talking of the difference between Sir G. Carteret and Mr. Creed about his accounts, and how to obviate him, but I find Creed a deadly cunning fellow and one that never do any thing openly, but has intrigues in all he do or says. Thence by water home to see all well, and thence down to Greenwich, and there walked into a pretty common garden and there played with him at nine pins for some drink, and to make the fellows drink that set up the pins, and so home again being very cold, and taking a very great cold, being to-day the first time in my tabby doublet this year. Home, and after a small supper Creed and I to bed. This day I observed the house, which I took to be the new tennis-court, newly built next my Lord's lodgings, to be fallen down by the badness of the foundation or slight working, which my cozen Roger and his discontented party cry out upon, as an example how the King's work is done, which I am sorry to see him and others so apt to think ill of things. It hath beaten down a good deal of my Lord's lodgings, and had like to have killed Mrs. Sarah, she having but newly gone out of it.
24th. Up and out with Captain Witham in several places again to look for oats for Tangier, and among other places to the City granarys, where it seems every company have their granary and obliged to keep such a quantity of corne always there or at a time of scarcity to issue so much at so much a bushell: and a fine thing it is to see their stores of all sorts, for piles for the bridge, and for pipes, a thing I never saw before.From the commencement of the reign of Henry VIII., or perhaps earlier, it was the custom of the City of London to provide against scarcity, by requiring each of the chartered Companies to keep in store a certain quantity of corn, which was to be renewed from time to time, and when required for that purpose, produced in the market for sale, at such times and prices, and in such quantities, as the Lord Mayor or Common Council should direct. See the report of a case in the Court of Chancery, "Attorney-General v. Haberdashers' Company" (Mylne and Keens "Reports," vol. i., p. 420).--B.
Thence to the office, and there busy all the morning. At noon to my uncle Wight's, and there dined, my wife being there all the morning. After dinner to White Hall; and there met with Mr. Pierce, and he showed me the Queene's bed-chamber, and her closett, where she had nothing but some pretty pious pictures, and books of devotion; and her holy water at her head as she sleeps, with her clock by her bed-side, wherein a lamp burns that tells her the time of the night at any time. Thence with him to the Parke, and there met the Queene coming from Chappell, with her Mayds of Honour, all in silver-lace gowns again: which is new to me, and that which I did not think would have been brought up again. Thence he carried me to the King's closett: where such variety of pictures, and other things of value and rarity, that I was properly confounded and enjoyed no pleasure in the sight of them; which is the only time in my life that ever I was so at a loss for pleasure, in the greatest plenty of objects to give it me. Thence home, calling in many places and doing abundance of errands to my great content, and at night weary home, where Mr. Creed waited for me, and he and I walked in the garden, where he told me he is now in a hurry fitting himself for sea, and that it remains that he deals as an ingenuous man with me in the business I wot of, which he will do before he goes. But I perceive he will have me do many good turns for him first, both as to his bills coming to him in this office, and also in his absence at the Committee of Tangier, which I promise, and as he acquits himself to me I will willingly do. I would I knew the worst of it, what it is he intends, that so I may either quit my hands of him or continue my kindness still to him.
24th (Midsummer-day). Up very betimes, by six, and at Dr. Clerke's at Westminster by 7 of the clock, having over night by a note acquainted him with my intention of coming, and there I, in the best manner I could, broke my errand about a match between Sir G. Carteret's eldest son and my Lord Sandwich's eldest daughter, which he (as I knew he would) took with great content: and we both agreed that my Lord and he, being both men relating to the sea, under a kind aspect of His Majesty, already good friends, and both virtuous and good familys, their allyance might be of good use to us; and he did undertake to find out Sir George this morning, and put the business in execution. So being both well pleased with the proposition, I saw his niece there and made her sing me two or three songs very prettily, and so home to the office, where to my great trouble I found Mr. Coventry and the board met before I come. I excused my late coming by having been on the River about office business. So to business all the morning. At noon Captain Ferrers and Mr. Moore dined with me, the former of them the first time I saw him since his corning from sea, who do give me the best conversation in general, and as good an account of the particular service of the Prince and my Lord of Sandwich in the late sea-fight that I could desire. After dinner they parted. So I to White Hall, where I with Creed and Povy attended my Lord Treasurer, and did prevail with him to let us have an assignment for 15 or £20,000, which, I hope, will do our business for Tangier. So to Dr. Clerke, and there found that he had broke the business to Sir G. Carteret, and that he takes the thing mighty well. Thence I to Sir G. Carteret at his chamber, and in the best manner I could, and most obligingly, moved the business: he received it with great respect and content, and thanks to me, and promised that he would do what he could possibly for his son, to render him fit for my Lord's daughter, and shewed great kindness to me, and sense of my kindness to him herein. Sir William Pen told me this day that Mr. Coventry is to be sworn a Privy Counsellor, at which my soul is glad. So home and to my letters by the post, and so home to supper and bed.
24th. Sunday. Midsummer Day. Up, but, being weary the last night, not so soon as I intended. Then being dressed, down by water to Deptford, and there did a great deale of business, being in a mighty hurry, Sir W. Coventry writing to me that there was some thoughts that the Dutch fleete were out or coming out. Business being done in providing for the carrying down of some provisions to the fleete, I away back home and after dinner by water to White Hall, and there waited till the councill rose, in the boarded gallery, and there among other things I hear that Sir Francis Prujean is dead, after being married to a widow about a yeare or thereabouts. He died very rich, and had, for the last yeare, lived very handsomely, his lady bringing him to it. He was no great painstaker in person, yet died very rich; and, as Dr. Clerke says, was of a very great judgment, but hath writ nothing to leave his name to posterity. In the gallery among others met with Major Halsey, a great creature of the Duke of Albemarle's; who tells me that the Duke, by name, hath said that he expected to have the worke here up in the River done, having left Sir W. Batten and Mr. Phipps there. He says that the Duke of Albemarle do say that this is a victory we have had, having, as he was sure, killed them 8000 men, and sunk about fourteen of their ships; but nothing like this appears true. He lays much of the little success we had, however, upon the fleete's being divided by order from above, and the want of spirit in the commanders; and that he was commanded by order to go out of the Downes to the Gun-fleete, and in the way meeting the Dutch fleete, what should he do? should he not fight them? especially having beat them heretofore at as great disadvantage. He tells me further, that having been downe with the Duke of Albemarle, he finds that Holmes and Spragge do govern most business of the Navy; and by others I understand that Sir Thomas Allen is offended thereat; that he is not so much advised with as he ought to be. He tells me also, as he says, of his own knowledge, that several people before the Duke went out did offer to supply the King with £100,000 provided he would be treasurer of it, to see it laid out for the Navy; which he refused, and so it died. But I believe none of this. This day I saw my Lady Falmouth, with whom I remember now I have dined at my Lord Barkeley's heretofore, a pretty woman: she was now in her second or third mourning, and pretty pleasant in her looks. By and by the Council rises, and Sir W. Coventry comes out; and he and I went aside, and discoursed of much business of the Navy; and afterwards took his coach, and to Hide-Parke, he and I alone: there we had much talke. First, he started a discourse of a talke he hears about the towne, which, says he, is a very bad one, and fit to be suppressed, if we knew how which is, the comparing of the successe of the last year with that of this; saying that that was good, and that bad. I was as sparing in speaking as I could, being jealous of him and myself also, but wished it could be stopped; but said I doubted it could not otherwise than by the fleete's being abroad again, and so finding other worke for men's minds and discourse. Then to discourse of himself, saying, that he heard that he was under the lash of people's discourse about the Prince's not having notice of the Dutch being out, and for him to comeback again, nor the Duke of Albemarle notice that the Prince was sent for back again: to which he told me very particularly how careful he was the very same night that it was resolved to send for the Prince back, to cause orders to be writ, and waked the Duke, who was then in bed, to sign them; and that they went by expresse that very night, being the Wednesday night before the fight, which begun on the Friday; and that for sending them by the post expresse, and not by gentlemen on purpose, he made a sport of it, and said, I knew of none to send it with, but would at least have lost more time in fitting themselves out, than any diligence of theirs beyond that of the ordinary post would have recovered. I told him that this was not so much the towne talke as the reason of dividing the fleete. To this he told me he ought not to say much; but did assure me in general that the proposition did first come from the fleete, and the resolution not being prosecuted with orders so soon as the Generall thought fit, the Generall did send Sir Edward Spragge up on purpose for them; and that there was nothing in the whole business which was not done with the full consent and advice of the Duke of Albemarle.
But he did adde (as the Catholiques call 'le secret de la Masse'), that Sir Edward Spragge--who had even in Sir Christopher Mings's time put in to be the great favourite of the Prince, but much more now had a mind to be the great man with him, and to that end had a mind to have the Prince at a distance from the Duke of Albemarle, that they might be doing something alone--did, as he believed, put on this business of dividing the fleete, and that thence it came.This division of the fleet was the original cause of the disaster, and at a later period the enemies of Clarendon charged him with having advised this action, but Coventry's communication to Pepys in the text completely exonerates Clarendon.
He tells me as to the business of intelligence, the want whereof the world did complain much of, that for that it was not his business, and as he was therefore to have no share in the blame, so he would not meddle to lay it any where else. That de Ruyter was ordered by the States not to make it his business to come into much danger, but to preserve himself as much as was fit out of harm's way, to be able to direct the fleete. He do, I perceive, with some violence, forbear saying any thing to the reproach of the Duke of Albemarle; but, contrarily, speaks much of his courage; but I do as plainly see that he do not like the Duke of Albemarle's proceedings, but, contrarily, is displeased therewith. And he do plainly diminish the commanders put in by the Duke, and do lessen the miscarriages of any that have been removed by him. He concurs with me, that the next bout will be a fatal one to one side or other, because, if we be beaten, we shall not be able to set out our fleete again. He do confess with me that the hearts of our seamen are much saddened; and for that reason, among others, wishes Sir Christopher Mings was alive, who might inspire courage and spirit into them. Speaking of Holmes, how great a man he is, and that he do for the present, and hath done all the voyage, kept himself in good order and within bounds; but, says he, a cat will be a cat still, and some time or other out his humour must break again. He do not disowne but that the dividing of the fleete upon the presumptions that were then had (which, I suppose, was the French fleete being come this way), was a good resolution. Having had all this discourse, he and I back to White Hall; and there I left him, beingin
a little doubt whether I had behaved myself in my discourse with the policy and circumspection which ought to be used to so great a courtier as he is, and so wise and factious a man, and by water home, and so, after supper, to bed.
24th. Up, and to the office, where much business upon me by the coming of people of all sorts about the dispatch of one business or other of the fire-ships, or other ships to be set out now. This morning Greeting come, and I with him at my flageolet. At noon dined at home with my wife alone, and then in the afternoon all the day at my office. Troubled a little at a letter from my father, which tells me of an idle companion, one Coleman, who went down with him and my wife in the coach, and come up again with my wife, a pensioner of the King's Guard, and one that my wife, indeed, made the feast for on Saturday last, though he did not come; but if he knows nothing of our money I will prevent any other inconvenience. In the evening comes Mr. Povy about business; and he and I to walk in the garden an hour or two, and to talk of State matters. He tells me his opinion that it is out of possibility for us to escape being undone, there being nothing in our power to do that is necessary for the saving us: a lazy Prince, no Council, no money, no reputation at home or abroad. He says that to this day the King do follow the women as much as ever he did; that the Duke of York hath not got Mrs. Middleton, as I was told the other day: but says that he wants not her, for he hath others, and hath always had, and that hePovy
hath known them brought through the Matted Gallery at White Hall into histhe Duke's
closet; nay, he hath come out of his wife's bed, and gone to others laid in bed for him: that Mr. Bruncker is not the only pimp, but that the whole family is of the same strain, and will do anything to please him: that, besides the death of the two Princes lately, the family is in horrible disorder by being in debt by spending above £60,000 per. annum, when he hath not £40,000: that the Duchesse is not only the proudest woman in the world, but the most expensefull; and that the Duke of York's marriage with her hath undone the kingdom, by making the Chancellor so great above reach, who otherwise would have been but an ordinary man, to have been dealt with by other people; and he would have been careful of managing things well, for fear of being called to account; whereas, now he is secure, and hath let things run to rack, as they now appear. That at a certain time Mr. Povy did carry him an account of the state of the Duke of York's estate, showing in faithfullness how he spent more than his estate would bear, by above £20,000 per annum, and asked my Lord's opinion of it; to which he answered that no man that loved the King or kingdom durst own the writing of that paper; at which Povy was startled, and reckoned himself undone for this good service, and found it necessary then to show it to the Duke of York's Commissioners; who read, examined, and approved of it, so as to cause it to be put into form, and signed it, and gave it the Duke. Now the end of the Chancellor was, for fear that his daughter's ill housewifery should be condemned. HePovy
tells me that the other day, upon this ill newes of the Dutch being upon us, White Hall was shut up, and the Council called and sat close; and, by the way, he do assure me, from the mouth of some Privy-councillors, that at this day the Privy-council in general do know no more what the state of the kingdom as to peace and war is, than he or I; nor knows who manages it, nor upon whom it depends; and there my Lord Chancellor did make a speech to them, saying that they knew well that he was no friend to the war from the beginning, and therefore had concerned himself little in, nor could say much to it; and a great deal of that kind, to discharge himself of the fault of the war. Upon which my Lord Anglesey rose up and told his Majesty that he thought their coming now together was not to enquire who was, or was not, the cause of the war, but to enquire what was, or could be, done in the business of making a peace, and in whose hands that was, and where it was stopped or forwarded; and went on very highly to have all made open to them: and, by the way, I remember that Captain Cocke did the other day tell me that this Lord Anglesey hath said, within few days, that he would willingly give £10,000 of his estate that he was well secured of the rest, such apprehensions he hath of the sequel of things, as giving all over for lost. He tells me, speaking of the horrid effeminacy of the King, that the King hath taken ten times more care and pains in making friends between my Lady Castlemayne and Mrs. Stewart, when they have fallen out, than ever he did to save his kingdom; nay, that upon any falling out between my Lady Castlemayne's nurse and her woman, my Lady hath often said she would make the King to make them friends, and they would be friends and be quiet; which the King hath been fain to do: that the King is, at this day, every night in Hyde Park with the Duchesse of Monmouth, or with my Lady Castlemaine: that hePovy
is concerned of late by my Lord Arlington in the looking after some buildings that he is about in Norfolke, where my Lord is laying out a great deal of money; and that he, Mr. Povy, considering the unsafeness of laying out money at such a time as this, and, besides, the enviousness of the particular county, as well as all the kingdom, to find him building and employing workmen, while all the ordinary people of the country are carried down to the seasides for securing the land, he thought it becoming him to go to my Lord Arlington (Sir Thomas Clifford by), and give it as his advice to hold his hands a little; but my Lord would not, but would have him go on, and so Sir Thomas Clifford advised also, which one would think, if he were a statesman worth a fart should be a sign of his foreseeing that all shall do well. But I do forbear concluding any such thing from them. He tells me that there is not so great confidence between any two men of power in the nation at this day, that he knows of, as between my Lord Arlington and Sir Thomas Clifford; and that it arises by accident only, there being no relation nor acquaintance between them, but only Sir Thomas Clifford's coming to him, and applying himself to him for favours, when he come first up to town to be a Parliament-man. He tells me that he do not think there is anything in the world for us possibly to be saved by but the King of France's generousnesse to stand by us against the Dutch, and getting us a tolerable peace, it may be, upon our giving him Tangier and the islands he hath taken, and other things he shall please to ask. He confirms me in the several grounds I have conceived of fearing that we shall shortly fall into mutinys and outrages among ourselves, and that therefore he, as a Treasurer, and therefore much more myself, I say, as being not only a Treasurer but an officer of the Navy, on whom, for all the world knows, the faults of all our evils are to be laid, do fear to be seized on by some rude hands as having money to answer for, which will make me the more desirous to get off of this Treasurership as soon as I can, as I had before in my mind resolved. Having done all this discourse, and concluded the kingdom in a desperate condition, we parted; and I to my wife, with whom was Mercer and Betty Michell, poor woman, come with her husband to see us after the death of her little girle. We sat in the garden together a while, it being night, and then Mercer and I a song or two, and then in (the Michell's home), my wife, Mercer, and I to supper, and then parted and to bed.
24th. Up, and Creed and Colonell Atkins come to me about sending coals to Tangier: and upon that most of the morning. Thence Creed and I to Alderman Backewell's about Tangier business of money, and thence I by water (calling and drinking, but not baisado, at Michell's) to Westminster, but it being holyday did no business, only to Martin's . . . and so home again by water, and busy till dinner, and then with wife, Mercer, Deb., and W. Hewer to the Duke of York's playhouse, and there saw "The Impertinents," a pretty good play; and so by water to Spring Garden, and there supped, and so home, not very merry, only when we come home, Mercer and I sat and sung in the garden a good while, and so to bed.