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.
8th. We met at the office, and after that to dinner at home, and from thence with my wife by water to Catan Sterpin, with whom and her mistress Pye we sat discoursing of Kate's marriage to Mons. Petit, her mistress and I giving the best advice we could for her to suspend her marriage till Mons. Petit had got some place that may be able to maintain her, and not for him to live upon the portion that she shall bring him. From thence to Mr. Butler's to see his daughters, the first time that ever we made a visit to them. We found them very pretty, and Coll. Dillon there, a very merry and witty companion, but methinks they live in a gaudy but very poor condition. From thence, my wife and I intending to see Mrs. Blackburne, who had been a day or two again to see my wife, but my wife was not in condition to be seen, but she not being at home my wife went to her mother's and I to the Privy Seal. At night from the Privy Seal, Mr. Woodson and Mr. Jennings and I to the Sun Tavern till it was late, and from thence to my Lord's, where my wife was come from Mrs. Blackburne's to me, and after I had done some business with my Lord, she and I went to Mrs. Hunt's, who would needs have us to lie at her house to-night, she being with my wife so late at my Lord's with us, and would not let us go home to-night. We lay there all night very pleasantly and at ease . . .
8th. Early in the mornink to Whitehall, but my Lord Privy Seal came not all the morning. At noon Mr. Moore and I to the Wardrobe to dinner, where my Lady and all merry and well. Back again to the Privy Seal; but my Lord comes not all the afternoon, which made me mad and gives all the world reason to talk of his delaying of business, as well as of his severity and ill using of the Clerks of the Privy Seal. In the evening I took Mons. Eschar and Mr. Moore and Dr. Pierce's brother (the souldier) to the tavern next the Savoy, and there staid and drank with them. Here I met with Mr. Mage, and discoursing of musique Mons. Eschar spoke so much against the English and in praise of the French that made him mad, and so he went away. After a stay with them a little longer we parted and I home.
8th. Up by four o'clock in the morning, and at five by water to Woolwich, there to see the manner of tarring, and all the morning looking to see the several proceedings in making of cordage, and other things relating to that sort of works, much to my satisfaction. At noon came Mr. Coventry on purpose from Hampton Court to see the same, and dined with Mr. Falconer, and after dinner to several experiments of Hemp, and particularly some Milan hemp that is brought over ready dressed. Thence we walked talking, very good discourse all the way to Greenwich, and I do find most excellent discourse from him. Among other things, his rule of suspecting every man that proposes any thing to him to be a knave; or, at least, to have some ends of his own in it. Being led thereto by the story of Sir John Millicent, that would have had a patent from King James for every man to have had leave to have given him a shilling; and that he might take it of every man that had a mind to give it, and being answered that that was a fair thing, but what needed he a patent for it, and what he would do to them that would not give him. He answered, he would not force them; but that they should come to the Council of State, to give a reason why they would not. Another rule is a proverb that he hath been taught, which is that a man that cannot sit still in his chamber (the reason of which I did not understand him), and he that cannot say no (that is, that is of so good a nature that he cannot deny any thing, or cross another in doing any thing), is not fit for business. The last of which is a very great fault of mine, which I must amend in. Thence by boat; I being hot, he put the skirt of his cloak about me; and it being rough, he told me the passage of a Frenchman through London Bridge, where, when he saw the great fall, he begun to cross himself and say his prayers in the greatest fear in the world, and soon as he was over, he swore "Morbleu! c'est le plus grand plaisir du monde," being the most like a French humour in the world.When the first editions of this Diary were printed no note was required here. Before the erection of the present London Bridge the fall of water at the ebb tide was great, and to pass at that time was called "Shooting the bridge". It was very hazardous for small boats. The ancient mode, even in Henry VIII.'s time, of going to the Tower and Greenwich, was to land at the Three Cranes, in Upper Thames Street, suffer the barges to shoot the bridge, and to enter them again at Billingsgate. See Cavendish's "Wolsey," p. 40, ed. 1852
To Deptford, and there surprised the Yard, and called them to a muster, and discovered many abuses, which we shall be able to understand hereafter and amend. Thence walked to Redriffe, and so to London Bridge, where I parted with him, and walked home and did a little business, and to supper and to bed.
8th. Up and to my office, whither I search for Brown the mathematical instrument maker, who now brought me a ruler for measuring timber and other things so well done and in all things to my mind that I do set up my trust upon it that I cannot have a better, nor any man else have so good for this purpose, this being of my own ordering. By and by we sat all the morning dispatching of business, and then at noon rose, and I with Mr. Coventry down to the water-side, talking, wherein I see so much goodness and endeavours of doing the King service, that I do more and more admire him. It being the greatest trouble to me, he says, in the world to see not only in the Navy, but in the greatest matters of State, where he can lay his finger upon the soare (meaning this man's faults, and this man's office the fault lies in), and yet dare or can not remedy matters. Thence to the Exchange about several businesses, and so home to dinner, and in the afternoon took my brother John and Will down to Woolwich by water, and after being there a good while, and eating of fruit in Sheldon's garden, we began our walk back again, I asking many things in physiques of my brother John, to which he gives me so bad or no answer at all, as in the regions of the ayre he told me that he knew of no such thing, for he never read Aristotle's philosophy and Des Cartes ownes no such thing, which vexed me to hear him say. But I shall call him to task, and see what it is that he has studied since his going to the University. It was late before we could get from Greenwich to London by water, the tide being against us and almost past, so that to save time and to be clear of anchors I landed at Wapping, and so walked home weary enough, walking over the stones. This night Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes returnedfrom
Portsmouth, but I did not go see them.
8th. Up and abroad with Sir W. Batten, by coach to St. James's, where by the way he did tell me how Sir J. Minnes would many times arrogate to himself the doing of that that all the Board have equal share in, and more that to himself which he hath had nothing to do in, and particularly the late paper given in by him to the Duke, the translation of a Dutch print concerning the quarrel between us and them, which he did give as his own when it was Sir Richard Ford's wholly. Also he told me how Sir W. Pen (it falling in our discourse touching Mrs. Falconer) was at first very great for Mr. Coventry to bring him in guests, and that at high rates for places, and very open was he to me therein. After business done with the Duke, I home to the Coffee-house, and so home to dinner, and after dinner to hang up my fine pictures in my dining room, which makes it very pretty, and so my wife and I abroad to the King's play-house, she giving me her time of the last month, she having not seen any then; so my vowe is not broke at all, it costing me no more money than it would have done upon her, had she gone both her times that were due to her. Here we saw "Flora's Figarys." I never saw it before, and by the most ingenuous performance of the young jade Flora, it seemed as pretty a pleasant play as ever I saw in my life. So home to supper, and then to my office late, Mr. Andrews and I to talk about our victualling commission, and then he being gone I to set down my four days past journalls and expenses, and so home to bed.
8th. Up and to the office, where all the morning we sat. At noon I home to dinner alone, and after dinner Bagwell's wife waited at the door, and went with me to my office . . . . So parted, and I to Sir W. Batten's, and there sat the most of the afternoon talking and drinking too much with my Lord Bruncker, Sir G. Smith, G. Cocke and others very merry. I drunk a little mixed, but yet more than I should do. So to my office a little, and then to the Duke of Albemarle's about some business. The streets mighty empty all the way, now even in London, which is a sad sight. And to Westminster Hall, where talking, hearing very sad stories from Mrs. Mumford; among others, of Mrs. Michell's son's family. And poor Will, that used to sell us ale at the Hall-door, his wife and three children died, all, I think, in a day. So home through the City again, wishing I may have taken no ill in going; but I will go, I think, no more thither. Late at the office, and then home to supper, having taken a pullet home with me, and then to bed. The news of De Kuyter's coming home is certain; and told to the great disadvantage of our fleete, and the praise of De Kuyter; but it cannot be helped, nor do I know what to say to it.
8th. Up, and with Reeves walk as far as the Temple, doing some business in my way at my bookseller's and elsewhere, and there parted, and I took coach, having first discoursed with Mr. Hooke a little, whom we met in the streete, about the nature of sounds, and he did make me understand the nature of musicall sounds made by strings, mighty prettily; and told me that having come to a certain number of vibrations proper to make any tone, he is able to tell how many strokes a fly makes with her wings (those flies that hum in their flying) by the note that it answers to in musique during their flying. That, I suppose, is a little too much refined; but his discourse in general of sound was mighty fine. There I left them, and myself by coach to St. James's, where we attended with the rest of my fellows on the Duke, whom I found with two or three patches upon his nose and about his right eye, which come from his being struck with the bough of a tree the other day in his hunting; and it is a wonder it did not strike out his eye. After we had done our business with him, which is now but little, the want of money being such as leaves us little to do but to answer complaints of the want thereof, and nothing to offer to the Duke, the representing of our want of money being now become uselesse, I into the Park, and there I met with Mrs. Burroughs by appointment, and did agree (after discoursing of some business of her's) for her to meet me at New Exchange, while I by coach to my Lord Treasurer's, and then called at the New Exchange, and thence carried her by water to Parliament stayres, and I to the Exchequer about my Tangier quarter tallys, and that done I took coach and to the west door of the Abby, where she come to me, and I with her by coach to Lissen-greene where we were last, and staid an hour or two before dinner could be got for us, I in the meantime having much pleasure with her, but all honest. And by and by dinner come up, and then to my sport again, but still honest; and then took coach and up and down in the country toward Acton, and then toward Chelsy, and so to Westminster, and there set her down where I took her up, with mighty pleasure in her company, and so I by coach home, and thence to Bow, with all the haste I could, to my Lady Pooly's, where my wife was with Mr. Batelier and his sisters, and there I found a noble supper, and every thing exceeding pleasant, and their mother, Mrs: Batelier, a fine woman, but mighty passionate upon sudden news brought her of the loss of a dog borrowed of the Duke of Albemarle's son to line a bitch of hers that is very pretty, but the dog was by and by found, and so all well again, their company mighty innocent and pleasant, we having never been here before. About ten o'clock we rose from table, and sang a song, and so home in two coaches (Mr. Batelier and his sister Mary and my wife and I in one, and Mercer alone in the other); and after being examined at Allgate, whether we were husbands and wives, home, and being there come, and sent away Mr. Batelierand his sister, I find Reeves there, it being a mighty fine bright night, and so upon my leads, though very sleepy, till one in the morning, looking on the moon and Jupiter, with this twelve-foote glasse and another of six foote, that he hath brought with him to-night, and the sights mighty pleasant, and one of the glasses I will buy, it being very usefull. So to bed mighty sleepy, but with much pleasure. Reeves lying at my house again; and mighty proud I am (and ought to be thankfull to God Almighty) that I am able to have a spare bed for my friends.
8th. Up, and all the morning at the office, where busy, and at noon home to dinner, where Creed dined with us, who tells me that Sir Henry Bellasses is dead of the duell he fought about ten days ago, with Tom Porter; and it is pretty to see how the world talk of them as a couple of fools, that killed one another out of love. After dinner to the office a while, and then with my wife to the Temple, where I light and sent her to her tailor's. I to my bookseller's; where, by and by, I met Mr. Evelyn, and talked of several things, but particularly of the times: and he tells me that wise men do prepare to remove abroad what they have, for that we must be ruined, our case being past relief, the kingdom so much in debt, and the King minding nothing but his lust, going two days a-week to see my Lady Castlemayne at Sir D. Harvy's. He gone, I met with Mr. Moore, who tells me that my Lord Hinchingbroke is now with his mistress, but not that he is married, as W. Howe come and told us the other day. So by coach to White Hall, and there staid a little, thinking to see Sir G. Carteret, but missed him, and so by coach took up my wife, and so home, and as far as Bow, where we staid and drank, and there, passing by Mr. Lowther and his lady, they stopped and we talked a little with them, they being in their gilt coach, and so parted; and presently come to us Mr. Andrews, whom I had not seen a good while, who, as other merchants do, do all give over any hopes of things doing well, and so he spends his time here most, playing at bowles. After dining together at the coach-side, we with great pleasure home, and so to the office, where I despatched my business, and home to supper, and to bed.
8th. Up, and I walked out, and met Uncle Wight, whom I sent to last night, and Mr. Wight coming to see us, and I walked with them back to see my aunt at Katherine Hill, and there walked up and down the hill and places, about: but a dull place, but good ayre, and the house dull. But here I saw my aunt, after many days not seeing her--I think, a year or two; and she walked with me to see my wife. And here, at the Red Lyon, we all dined together, and mighty merry, and then parted: and we home to Fox Hall, where Fitzgerald and I 'light, and by water to White Hall, where the Duke of York being abroad, I by coach and met my wife, who went round, and after doing at the office a little, and finding all well at home, I to bed. I hear that Colbert, the French Ambassador, is come, and hath been at Court incognito. When he hath his audience, I know not.