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Thursday, 20th September 1660

20th. At home, and at the office, and in the garden walking with both Sir Williams all the morning. After dinner to Whitehall to Mr. Dalton, and with him to my house and took away all my papers that were left in my closet, and so I have now nothing more in the house or to do with it. We called to speak with my Landlord Beale, but he was not within but spoke with the old woman, who takes it very ill that I did not let her have it, but I did give her an answer. From thence to Sir G. Downing and staid late there (he having sent for me to come to him), which was to tell me how my Lord Sandwich had disappointed him of a ship to bring over his child and goods, and made great complaint thereof; but I got him to write a letter to Lawson, which it may be may do the business for him, I writing another also about it. While he was writing, and his Lady and I had a great deal of discourse in praise of Holland. By water to the Bridge, and so to Major Hart's lodgings in Cannon-street, who used me very kindly with wine and good discourse, particularly upon the ill method which Colonel Birch and the Committee use in defending of the army and the navy; promising the Parliament to save them a great deal of money, when we judge that it will cost the King more than if they had nothing to do with it, by reason of their delays and scrupulous enquirys into the account of both. So home and to bed.

Friday, 20th September 1661

20th. Will Stankes and I set out in the morning betimes for Gravely, where to an ale-house and drank, and then, going towards the Court House, met my uncle Thomas and his son Thomas, with Bradly, the rogue that had betrayed us, and one Young, a cunning fellow, who guides them. There passed no unkind words at all between us, but I seemed fair and went to drink with them. I said little till by and by that we come to the Court, which was a simple meeting of a company of country rogues, with the Steward, and two Fellows of Jesus College, that are lords of the town where the jury were sworn; and I producing no surrender, though I told them I was sure there is and must be one somewhere, they found my uncle Thomas heir at law, as he is, and so, though I did tell him and his son that they would find themselves abused by these fellows, and did advise them to forbear being admitted this Court (which they could have done, but that these rogues did persuade them to do it now), my uncle was admitted, and his son also, in reversion after his father, which he did well in to secure his money. The father paid a year and a half for his fine, and the son half a year, in all £48, besides about £3 fees; so that I do believe the charges of his journeys, and what he gives those two rogues, and other expenses herein, cannot be less than £70, which will be a sad thing for them if a surrender be found. After all was done, I openly wished them joy in it, and so rode to Offord with them and there parted fairly without any words. I took occasion to bid them money for their half acre of land, which I had a mind to do that in the surrender I might secure Piggott's, which otherwise I should be forced to lose. So with Stankes home and supped, and after telling my father how things went, I went to bed with my mind in good temper, because I see the matter and manner of the Court and the bottom of my business, wherein I was before and should always have been ignorant.

Saturday, 20th September 1662

20th. Up betimes and to my office, where I found my brother Tom, who tells me that his mistress's mother has wrote a letter to Mr. Lull of her full satisfaction about Tom, of which I was glad, and do think the business will take. All this morning we sat at the office, Sir J. Minnes and I. And so dined at home, and among my workmen all the afternoon, and in the evening Tom brought Mr. Lull to me, a friend of his mistress, a serious man, with whom I spoke, and he gives me a good account of her and of their satisfaction in Tom, all which pleases me well. We walked a good while in the garden together, and did give him a glass of wine at my office, and so parted. So to write letters by the post and news of this to my father concerning Tom, and so home to supper and to my lodgings and to bed. To-night my barber sent me his man to trim me, who did live in King Street in Westminster lately, and tells me that three or four that I knew in that street, tradesmen, are lately fallen mad, and some of them dead, and the others continue mad. They live all within a door or two one of another.

Sunday, 20th September 1663

20th (Lord's day). Up, and finding my father somewhat better, walked to Huntingdon church, where in my Lord's pew, with the young ladies, by my Lord's own showing me the place, I stayed the sermon, and so to Hinchingbroke, walking with Mr. Shepley and Dr. King, whom they account a witty man here, as well as a good physician, and there my Lord took me with the rest of the company, and singly demanded my opinion in the walks in his garden, about the bringing of the crooked wall on the mount to a shape; and so to dinner, there being Collonel Williams and much other company, and a noble dinner. But having before got my Lord's warrant for travelling to-day, there being a proclamation read yesterday against it at Huntingdon, at which I am very glad, I took leave, leaving them at dinner, and walked alone to my father's, and there, after a word or two to my father and mother, my wife and I mounted, and, with my father's boy, upon a horse I borrowed of Captain Ferrers, we rode to Bigglesworth by the help of a couple of countrymen, that led us through the very long and dangerous waters, because of the ditches on each side, though it begun to be very dark, and there we had a good breast of mutton roasted for us, and supped, and to bed.

Tuesday, 20th September 1664

20th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, at noon to the 'Change, and there met by appointment with Captain Poyntz, who hath some place, or title to a place, belonging to gameing, and so I discoursed with him about the business of our improving of the Lotterys, to the King's benefit, and that of the Fishery, and had some light from him in the business, and shall, he says, have more in writing from him. So home to dinner and then abroad to the Fishing Committee at Fishmongers' Hall, and there sat and did some business considerable, and so up and home, and there late at my office doing much business, and I find with great delight that I am come to my good temper of business again. God continue me in it. So home to supper, it being washing day, and to bed.

Wednesday, 20th September 1665

20th. Called up by Captain Cocke (who was last night put into great trouble upon his boy's being rather worse than better, upon which he removed him out of his house to his stable), who told me that to my comfort his boy was now as well as ever he was in his life. So I up, and after being trimmed, the first time I have been touched by a barber these twelvemonths, I think, and more, went to Sir J. Minnes's, where I find all out of order still, they having not seen one another till by and by Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten met, to go into my Lord Bruncker's coach, and so we four to Lambeth, and thence to the Duke of Albemarle, to inform him what we have done as to the fleete, which is very little, and to receive his direction. But, Lord! what a sad time it is to see no boats upon the River; and grass grows all up and down White Hall court, and nobody but poor wretches in the streets! And, which is worst of all, the Duke showed us the number of the plague this week, brought in the last night from the Lord Mayor; that it is encreased about 600 more than the last, which is quite contrary to all our hopes and expectations, from the coldness of the late season. For the whole general number is 8,297, and of them the plague 7,165; which is more in the whole by above 50, than the biggest Bill yet; which is very grievous to us all. I find here a design in my Lord Bruncker and Captain Cocke to have had my Lord Bruncker chosen as one of us to have been sent aboard one of the East Indiamen, and Captain Cocke as a merchant to be joined with him, and Sir J. Minnes for the other, and Sir G. Smith to be joined with him. But I did order it so that my Lord Bruncker and Sir J. Minnes were ordered, but I did stop the merchants to be added, which would have been a most pernicious thing to the King I am sure. In this I did, I think, a very good office, though I cannot acquit myself from some envy of mine in the business to have the profitable business done by another hand while I lay wholly imployed in the trouble of the office. Thence back again by my Lord's coach to my Lord Bruncker's house, where I find my Lady Batten, who is become very great with Mrs. Williams (my Lord Bruncker's whore), and there we dined and were mighty merry. After dinner I to the office there to write letters, to fit myself for a journey to-morrow to Nonsuch to the Exchequer by appointment. That being done I to Sir J. Minnes where I find Sir W. Batten and his Lady gone home to Walthamstow in great snuffe as to Sir J. Minnes, but yet with some necessity, hearing that a mayde-servant of theirs is taken ill. Here I staid and resolved of my going in my Lord Bruncker's coach which he would have me to take, though himself cannot go with me as he intended, and so to my last night's lodging to bed very weary.

Thursday, 20th September 1666

20th. Up, much troubled about my books, but cannot, imagine where they should be. Up, to the setting my closet to rights, and Sir W. Coventry takes me at it, which did not displease me. He and I to discourse about our accounts, and the bringing them to the Parliament, and with much content to see him rely so well on my part. He and I together to Broad Streete to the Vice-Chamberlain, and there discoursed a while and parted. My Lady Carteret come to town, but I did not see her. He tells me how the fleete is come into the Downes. Nothing done, nor French fleete seen: we drove all from our anchors. But he says newes is come that De Ruyter is dead, or very near it, of a hurt in his mouth, upon the discharge of one of his own guns; which put him into a fever, and he likely to die, if not already dead. We parted, and I home to dinner, and after dinner to the setting things in order, and all my people busy about the same work. In the afternoon, out by coach, my wife with me, which we have not done several weeks now, through all the ruines, to shew her them, which frets her much, and is a sad sight indeed. Set her down at her brother's, and thence I to Westminster Hall, and there staid a little while, and called her home. She did give me an account of great differences between her mother and Balty's wife. The old woman charges her with going abroad and staying out late, and painting in the absence of her husband, and I know not what; and they grow proud, both he and she, and do not help their father and mother out of what I help them to, which I do not like, nor my wife. So home, and to the office, to even my journall, and then home, and very late up with Jane setting my books in perfect order in my closet, but am mightily troubled for my great books that I miss, and I am troubled the more for fear there should be more missing than what I find, though by the room they take on the shelves I do not find any reason to think it. So to bed.

Friday, 20th September 1667

20th. At the office doing business all the morning. At noon expected Creed to have come to dine with me and brought Mr. Sheres (the gentleman lately come from my Lord Sandwich) with him; but they come not, so there was a good dinner lost. After dinner my wife and Jane about some business of hers abroad, and then I to the office, where, having done my business, I out to pay some debts: among others to the taverne at the end of Billiter Lane, where my design was to see the pretty mistress of the house, which I did, and indeed is, as I always thought, one of the modestest, prettiest, plain women that ever I saw. Thence was met in the street by Sir W. Pen, and he and I by coach to the King's playhouse, and there saw "The Mad Couple," which I do not remember that I have seen; it is a pretty pleasant play. Thence home, and my wife and I to walk in the garden, she having been at the same play with Jane, in the 18d. seat, to shew Jane the play, and so home to supper and to bed.

Sunday, 20th September 1668

20th (Lord's day). Up, and to set some papers to rights in my chamber, and the like in my office, and so to church, at our own church, and heard but a dull sermon of one Dr. Hicks, who is a suitor to Mrs. Howell, the widow of our turner of the Navy; thence home to dinner, staying till past one o'clock for Harris, whom I invited, and to bring Shadwell the poet with him; but they come not, and so a good dinner lost, through my own folly. And so to dinner alone, having since church heard the boy read over Dryden's Reply to Sir R. Howard's Answer, about his Essay of Poesy, and a letter in answer to that; the last whereof is mighty silly, in behalf of Howard.    The title of the letter is as follows: "A Letter from a Gentleman to the Honourable Ed. Howard, Esq., occasioned by a Civiliz'd Epistle of Mr. Dryden's before his Second Edition of his Indian Emperour. In the Savoy, printed by Thomas Newcomb, 1668." The "Civiliz'd Epistle" was a caustic attack on Sir Robert Howard; and the Letter is signed, "Sir, your faithful and humble servant, R. F."--i.e., Richard Flecknoe.

Thence walked forth and got a coach and to visit Mrs. Pierce, with whom, and him, I staid a little while, and do hear how the Duchesse of Monmouth is at this time in great trouble of the shortness of her lame leg, which is likely to grow shorter and shorter, that she will never recover it. Thence to St. Margaret's Church, thinking to have seen Betty Michell, but she was not there. So back, and walked to Gray's Inn walks a while, but little company; and so over the fields to Clerkenwell, to see whether I could find that the fair Botelers do live there still, I seeing Frances the other day in a coach with Cary Dillon, her old servant, but know not where she lives. So walked home, and there walked in the garden an hour, it being mighty pleasant weather, and so took my Lady Pen and Mrs. Markham home with me and sent for Mrs. Turner, and by and by comes Sir W. Pen and supped with me, a good supper, part of my dinner to-day. They gone, Mrs. Turner staid an hour talking with me . . . . So parted, and I to bed.