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4th. Up very early in the morning and landing my wife at White Friars stairs, I went to the Bridge and so to the Treasurer's of the Navy, with whom I spake about the business of my office, who put me into very good hopes of my business. At his house comes Commissioner Pett, and he and I went to view the houses in Seething Lane, belonging to the Navy,The Navy Office was erected on the site of Lumley House, formerly belonging to the Fratres Sancta Crucis (or Crutched Friars), and all business connected with naval concerns was transacted there till its removal to Somerset House.--The ground was afterwards occupied by the East India Company's warehouses. The civil business of the Admiralty was removed from Somerset House to Spring Gardens in 1869.
where I find the worst very good, and had great fears in my mind that they will shuffle me out of them, which troubles me. From thence to the Excise Office in Broad Street, where I received £500 for my Lord, by appointment of the Treasurer, and went afterwards down with Mr. Luddyard and drank my morning draft with him and other officers. Thence to Mr. Backewell's, the goldsmith, where I took my Lord's £100 in plate for Mr. Secretary Nicholas, and my own piece of plate, being a state dish and cup in chased work for Mr. Coventry, cost me above £19. Carried these and the money by coach to my Lord's at White Hall, and from thence carried Nicholas's plate to his house and left it there, intending to speak with him anon. So to Westminster Hall, where meeting with M. L'Impertinent and W. Bowyer, I took them to the Sun Tavern, and gave them a lobster and some wine, and sat talking like a fool till 4 o'clock. So to my Lord's, and walking all the afternoon in White Hall Court, in expectation of what shall be done in the Council as to our business. It was strange to see how all the people flocked together bare, to see the King looking out of the Council window. At night my Lord told me how my orders that I drew last night about giving us power to act, are granted by the Council. At which he and I were very glad. Home and to bed, my boy lying in my house this night the first time.
4th. At home all the morning; in the afternoon I went to the Theatre, and there I saw "Claracilla" (the first time I ever saw it), well acted. But strange to see this house, that used to be so thronged, now empty since the Opera begun; and so will continue for a while, I believe. Called at my father's, and there I heard that my uncle Robert--Robert Pepys, of Brampton, who died on the following day.
--continues to have his fits of stupefaction every day for 10 or 12 hours together. From thence to the Exchange at night, and then went with my uncle Wight to the Mitre and were merry, but he takes it very ill that my father would go out of town to Brampton on this occasion and would not tell him of it, which I endeavoured to remove but could not. Here Mr. Batersby the apothecary was, who told me that if my uncle had the emerods--Haemorrhoids or piles.
--(which I think he had) and that now they are stopped, he will lay his life that bleeding behind by leeches will cure him, but I am resolved not to meddle in it. Home and to bed.
4th. Up by five o'clock, and after my journall put in order, to my office about my business, which I am resolved to follow, for every day I see what ground I get by it. By and by comes Mr. Cooper, mate of the Royall Charles, of whom I intend to learn mathematiques, and do begin with him to-day, he being a very able man, and no great matter, I suppose, will content him. After an hour's being with him at arithmetique (my first attempt being to learn the multiplication-table); then we parted till to-morrow. And so to my business at my office again till noon, about which time Sir W. Warren did come to me about business, and did begin to instruct me in the nature of fine timber and deals, telling me the nature of every sort; and from that we fell to discourse of Sir W. Batten's corruption and the people that he employs, and from one discourse to another of the kind. I was much pleased with his company, and so staid talking with him all alone at my office till 4 in the afternoon, without eating or drinking all day, and then parted, and I home to eat a bit, and so back again to my office; and toward the evening came Mr. Sheply, who is to go out of town to-morrow, and so he and I with much ado settled his accounts with my Lord, which, though they be true and honest, yet so obscure, that it vexes me to see in what manner they are kept. He being gone, and leave taken of him as of a man likely not to come to London again a great while, I eat a bit of bread and butter, and so to bed. This day I sent my brother Tom, at his request, my father's old Bass Viall which he and I have kept so long, but I fear Tom will do little good at it.
4th. Up by 4 o'clock and sent him to get matters ready, and I to my office looking over papers and mending my manuscript by scraping out the blots and other things, which is now a very fine book. So to St. James's by water with Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, I giving occasion to a wager about the tide, that it did flow through bridge, by which Sir W. Batten won 5s. of Sir J. Minnes. At St. James's we staid while the Duke made himself ready. Among other things Sir Allen Apsley showed the Duke the Lisbon Gazette in Spanish, where the late victory is set down particularly, and to the great honour of the English beyond measure. They have since taken back Evora, which was lost to the Spaniards, the English making the assault, and lost not more than three men. Here I learnt that the English foot are highly esteemed all over the world, but the horse not so much, which yet we count among ourselves the best; but they abroad have had no great knowledge of our horse, it seems. The Duke being ready, we retired with him, and there fell upon Mr. Creed's business, where the Treasurer did, like a mad coxcomb, without reason or method run over a great many things against the account, and so did Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, which the Duke himself and Mr. Coventry and my Lord Barkely and myself did remove, and Creed being called in did answer all with great method and excellently to the purpose (myself I am a little conscious did not speak so well as I purposed and do think I used to do, that is, not so intelligibly and persuasively, as I well hoped I should), not that what I said was not well taken, and did carry the business with what was urged and answered by Creed and Mr. Coventry, till the Duke himself did declare that he was satisfied, and my Lord Barkely offered to lay £100 that the King would receive no wrong in the account, and the two last knights held their tongues, or at least by not understanding it did say what made for Mr. Creed, and so Sir G. Carteret was left alone, but yet persisted to say that the account was not good, but full of corruption and foul dealing. And so we broke up to his shame, but I do fear to the loss of his friendship to me a good while, which I am heartily troubled for. Thence with Creed to the King's Head ordinary; but, coming late, dined at the second table very well for 12d.; and a pretty gentleman in our company, who confirms my Lady Castlemaine's being gone from Court, but knows not the reason; he told us of one wipe the Queen a little while ago did give her, when she came in and found the Queen under the dresser's hands, and had been so long:
"I wonder your Majesty," says she, "can have the patience to sit so long a-dressing?"--"I have so much reason to use patience," says the Queen, "that I can very well bear with it." He thinks that it may be the Queen hath commanded her to retire, though that is not likely. Thence with Creed to hire a coach to carry us to Hide Park, to-day there being a general muster of the King's Guards, horse and foot: but they demand so high, that I, spying Mr. Cutler the merchant, did take notice of him, and he going into his coach, and telling me that he was going to shew a couple of Swedish strangers the muster, I asked and went along with him; where a goodly sight to see so many fine horses and officers, and the King, Duke, and others come by a-horseback, and the two Queens in the Queen-Mother's coach, my Lady Castlemaine not being there. And after long being there, I 'light, and walked to the place where the King, Duke, &c., did stand to see the horse and foot march by and discharge their guns, to show a French Marquisse (for whom this muster was caused) the goodness of our firemen; which indeed was very good, though not without a slip now and then; and one broadside close to our coach we had going out of the Park, even to the nearness as to be ready to burn our hairs. Yet methought all these gay men are not the soldiers that must do the King's business, it being such as these that lost the old King all he had, and were beat by the most ordinary fellows that could be. Thence with much ado out of the Park, and I 'lighted and through St. James's down the waterside over, to Lambeth, to see the Archbishop's corps (who is to be carried away to Oxford on Monday), but came too late, and so walked over the fields and bridge home (calling by the way at old George's), but find that he is dead, and there wrote several letters, and so home to supper and to bed. This day in the Duke's chamber there being a Roman story in the hangings, and upon the standards written these four letters--S. P. Q. R., Sir G. Carteret came to me to know what the meaning of those four letters were; which ignorance is not to be borne in a Privy Counsellor, methinks, that a schoolboy should be whipt for not knowing.
4th. Up, and many people with me about business, and then out to several places, and so at noon to my Lord Crew's, and there dined and very much made of there by him. He offered me the selling of some land of his in Cambridgeshire, a purchase of about £1000, and if I can compass it I will. After dinner I walked homeward, still doing business by the way, and at home find my wife this day of her owne accord to have lain out 25s. upon a pair of pendantes for her eares, which did vex me and brought both me and her to very high and very foule words from her to me, such as trouble me to think she should have in her mouth, and reflecting upon our old differences, which I hate to have remembered. I vowed to breake them, or that she should go and get what she could for them again. I went with that resolution out of doors; the poor wretch afterwards in a little while did send out to change them for her money again. I followed Besse her messenger at the 'Change, and there did consult and sent her back; I would not have them changed, being satisfied that she yielded. So went home, and friends again as to that business; but the words I could not get out of my mind, and so went to bed at night discontented, and she came to bed to me, but all would not make me friends, but sleep and rise in the morning angry. This day the King and the Queene went to visit my Lord Sandwich and the fleete, going forth in the Hope."Their Majesties were treated at Tilbury Hope by the Earl of Sandwich, returning the same day, abundantly satisfied both with the dutiful respects of that honourable person and with the excellent condition of all matters committed to his charge" ("The Newes," July 7th, 1664).--B.
4th. Up, and sat at the office all the morning. At noon to the 'Change and thence to the Dolphin, where a good dinner at the cost of one Mr. Osbaston, who lost a wager to Sir W. Batten, Sir W. Rider, and Sir R. Ford, a good while since and now it is spent. The wager was that ten of our ships should not have a fight with ten of the enemy's before Michaelmas. Here was other very good company, and merry, and at last in come Mr. Buckeworth, a very fine gentleman, and proves to be a Huntingdonshire man. Thence to my office and there all the afternoon till night, and so home to settle some accounts of Tangier and other papers. I hear this day the Duke and Prince Rupert are both come back from sea, and neither of them go back again. The latter I much wonder at, but it seems the towne reports so, and I am very glad of it. This morning I did a good piece of work with Sir W. Warren, ending the business of the lotterys, wherein honestly I think I shall get above £100. Bankert, it seems, is come home with the little fleete he hath been abroad with, without doing any thing, so that there is nobody of an enemy at sea. We are in great hopes of meeting with the Dutch East India fleete, which is mighty rich, or with De Ruyter, who is so also. Sir Richard Ford told me this day, at table, a fine account, how the Dutch were like to have been mastered by the present Prince of OrangeThe period alluded to is 1650, when the States-General disbanded part of the forces which the Prince of Orange (William) wished to retain. The prince attempted, but unsuccessfully, to possess himself of Amsterdam. In the same year he died, at the early age of twenty-four; some say of the small-pox; others, with Sir Richard Ford, say of poison.--B.
his father to be besieged in Amsterdam, having drawn an army of foot into the towne, and horse near to the towne by night, within three miles of the towne, and they never knew of it; but by chance the Hamburgh post in the night fell among the horse, and heard their design, and knowing the way, it being very dark and rainy, better than they, went from them, and did give notice to the towne before the others could reach the towne, and so were saved. It seems this De Witt and another family, the Beckarts, were among the chief of the familys that were enemys to the Prince, and were afterwards suppressed by the Prince, and continued so till he was, as they say, poysoned; and then they turned all again, as it was, against the young Prince, and have so carried it to this day, it being about 12 and 14 years, and De Witt in the head of them.
4th. Up, and visited very betimes by Mr. Sheply, who is come to town upon business from Hinchingbrooke, where he left all well. I out and walked along with him as far as Fleet Streete, it being a fast day, the usual fast day for the plague, and few coaches to be had. Thanks be to God, the plague is, as I hear, encreased but two this week; but in the country in several places it rages mightily, and particularly in Colchester, where it hath long been, and is believed will quite depopulate the place. To St. James's, and there did our usual business with the Duke, all of us, among other things, discoursing about the places where to build ten great ships; the King and Council have resolved on none to be under third-rates; but it is impossible to do it, unless we have more money towards the doing it than yet we have in any view. But, however, the shew must be made to the world. Thence to my Lord Bellasses to take my leave of him, he being going down to the North to look after the Militia there, for fear of an invasion. Thence home and dined, and then to the office, where busy all day, and in the evening Sir W. Pen come to me, and we walked together, and talked of the late fight. I find him very plain, that the whole conduct of the late fight was ill, and that that of truth's all, and he tells me that it is not he, but two-thirds of the commanders of the whole fleete have told him so: they all saying, that they durst not oppose it at the Council of War, for fear of being called cowards, though it was wholly against their judgement to fight that day with the disproportion of force, and then we not being able to use one gun of our lower tier, which was a greater disproportion than the other. Besides, we might very well have staid in the Downs without fighting, or any where else, till the Prince could have come up to them; or at least till the weather was fair, that we might have the benefit of our whole force in the ships that we had. He says three things mustbe
remedied, or else we shall be undone by this fleete. 1. That we must fight in a line, whereas we fight promiscuously, to our utter and demonstrable ruine; the Dutch fighting otherwise; and we, whenever we beat them. 2. We must not desert ships of our own in distress, as we did, for that makes a captain desperate, and he will fling away his ship, when there is no hopes left him of succour. 3. That ships, when they are a little shattered, must not take the liberty to come in of themselves, but refit themselves the best they can, and stay out--many of our ships coming in with very small disablenesses. He told me that our very commanders, nay, our very flag-officers, do stand in need of exercising among themselves, and discoursing the business of commanding a fleete; he telling me that even one of our flag-men in the fleete did not know which tacke lost the wind, or which kept it, in the last engagement. He says it was pure dismaying and fear that made them all run upon the Galloper, not having their wits about them; and that it was a miracle they were not all lost. He much inveighs upon my discoursing of Sir John Lawson's saying heretofore, that sixty sail would do as much as one hundred; and says that he was a man of no counsel at all, but had got the confidence to say as the gallants did, and did propose to himself to make himself great by them, and saying as they did; but was no man of judgement in his business, but hath been out in the greatest points that have come before them. And then in the business of fore-castles, which he did oppose, all the world sees now the use of them for shelter of men. He did talk very rationally to me, insomuch that I took more pleasure this night in hearing him discourse, than I ever did in my life in any thing that he said. He gone I to the office again, and so after some business home to supper and to bed.
4th. Up, and, in vain expecting Sir R. Ford's calling on me, I took coach and to the Sessions-house, where I have a mind to hear Bazill Fielding's case--See May 9th, 1667
--tried; and so got up to the Bench, my Lord Chief-Justice Keeling being Judge. Here I stood bare, not challenging, though I might well enough, to be covered. But here were several fine trials; among others, several brought in for making it their trade to set houses on fire merely to get plunder; and all proved by the two little boys spoken of yesterday by Sir R. Ford, who did give so good account of particulars that I never heard children in my life. And I confess, though I was unsatisfied with the force given to such little boys, to take away men's lives, yet, when I was told that my Lord Chief-Justice did declare that there was no law against taking the oath of children above twelve years old, and then heard from Sir R. Ford the good account which the boys had given of their understanding the nature and consequence of an oath, and now my own observation of the sobriety and readiness of their answers, further than of any man of any rank that come to give witness this day, though some men of years and learning, I was a little amazed, and fully satisfied that they ought to have as much credit as the rest. They proved against several, their consulting several times at a bawdy-house in Moore-Fields, called the Russia House, among many other rogueries, of setting houses on fire, that they might gather the goods that were flung into the streets; and it is worth considering how unsafe it is to have children play up and down this lewd town. For these two boys, one is my Lady Montagu's (I know not what Lady Montagu) son, and the other of good condition, were playing in Moore-Fields, and one rogue, Gabriel Holmes, did come to them and teach them to drink, and then to bring him plate and clothes from their fathers' houses, and carry him into their houses, and leaving open the doors for him, and at last were made of their conspiracy, and were at the very burning of this house in Aldersgate Street, on Easter Sunday at night last, and did gather up goods, as they had resolved before and this Gabriel Holmes did advise to have had two houses set on fire, one after another, that, while they were quenching of one, they might be burning another. And it is pretty that G. Holmes did tell his fellows, and these boys swore it, that he did set fire to a box of linen in the Sheriffe, Sir Joseph Shelden's' house, while he was attending the fire in Aldersgate Street, and the Sheriffe himself said that there was a fire in his house, in a box of linen, at the same time, but cannot conceive how this fellow should do it. The boys did swear against one of them, that he had made it his part to pull the plug out of the engine while it was a-playing; and it really was so. And goods they did carry away, and the manner of the setting the house on fire was, that Holmes did get to a cockpit; where, it seems, there was a publick cockpit, and set fire to the straw in it, and hath a fire-ball at the end of the straw, which did take fire, and so it prevailed, and burned the house; and, among other things they carried away, he took six of the cocks that were at the cockpit; and afterwards the boys told us how they had one dressed, by the same token it was so hard they could not eat it. But that which was most remarkable was the impudence of this Holmes, who hath been arraigned often, and still got away; and on this business was taken and broke loose just at Newgate Gate; and was last night luckily taken about Bow, who got loose, and run into the river, and hid himself in the rushes; and they pursued him with a dog, and the dog got him and held him till he was taken. But the impudence of this fellow was such, that he denied he ever saw the boys before, or ever knew the Russia House, or that the people knew him; and by and by the mistress of the Russia House was called in, being indicted, at the same time, about another thing; and she denied that the fellow was of her acquaintance, when it was pretty to see how the little boys did presently fall upon her, and ask her how she durst say so, when she was always with them when they met at her house, and particularly when she come in in her smock before a dozen of them, at which the Court laughed, and put the woman away. Well, this fellow Holmes was found guilty of the act of burning the house, and other things, that he stood indicted for. And then there were other good cases, as of a woman that come to serve a gentlewoman, and in three days run away, betimes in the morning, with a great deal of plate and rings, and other good things. It was time very well spent to be here. Here I saw how favourable the judge was to a young gentleman that struck one of the officers, for not making him room: told him he had endangered the loss of his hand, but that he hoped he had not struck him, and would suppose that he had not struck him. About that the Court rose, and I to dinner with my Lord Mayor and Sheriffs; where a good dinner and good discourse; the judge being there. There was also tried this morning Fielding, which I thought had been Bazilll--but it proved the other, and Bazill was killed; that killed his brother, who was found guilty of murder, and nobody pitied him. The judge seems to be a worthy man, and able: and do intend, for these rogues that burned this house to be hung in some conspicuous place in the town, for an example. After dinner to the Court again, where I heard some more causes, but with so much trouble because of the hot weather that I had no pleasure in it. Anon the Court rose, and I walked to Fleet streete for my belt at the beltmaker's, and so home and to the office, wrote some letters, and then home to supper and to bed.
4th. Up, and to see Sir W. Coventry, and give him account of my doings yesterday, which he well liked of, and was told thereof by my Lord Halifax before; but I do perceive he is much concerned for this business. Gives me advice to write a smart letter to the Duke of York about the want of money in the Navy, and desire him to communicate it to the Commissioners of the Treasury; for he tells me he hath hot work sometimes to contend with the rest for the Navy, they being all concerned for some other part of the King's expenses, which they would prefer to this, of the Navy. He shewed me his closet, with his round table, for him to sit in the middle, very convenient; and I borrowed several books of him, to collect things out of the Navy, which I have not, and so home, and there busy sitting all the morning, and at noon dined, and then all the afternoon busy, till night, and then to Mile-End with my wife and girl, and there drank and eat a joie of salmon, at the Rose and Crown, our old house; and so home to bed.