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.
31st Office day. Much troubled all this morning in my mind about the business of my walk on the leads. I spoke of it to the Comptroller and the rest of the principal officers, who are all unwilling to meddle in anything that may anger my Lady Davis. And so I am fain to give over for the time that she do continue therein. Dined at home, and after dinner to Westminster Hall, where I met with Billing the quaker at Mrs. Michell's shop, who is still of the former opinion he was of against the clergymen of all sorts, and a cunning fellow I find him to be. Home, and there I had news that Sir W. Pen is resolved to ride to Sir W. Batten's country house to-morrow, and would have me go with him, so I sat up late, getting together my things to ride in, and was fain to cut an old pair of boots to make leathers for those I was to wear. This month I conclude with my mind very heavy for the loss of the leads, as also for the greatness of my late expenses, insomuch that I do not think that I have above £150 clear money in the world, but I have, I believe, got a great deal of good household stuff: I hear to-day that the Queen is landed at Dover, and will be here on Friday next, November 2nd. My wife has been so ill of late of her old pain that I have not known her this fortnight almost, which is a pain to me.
31st. This morning comes Prior of Brampton to me about the house he has to buy of me, but I was forced to be at the office all the morning, and so could not talk with him. And so, after the office was done, and dined at home, I went to my brother Tom's, and there met him. He demanded some abatement, he having agreed with my father for Barton's house, at a price which I told him I could not meddle with, but that as for anything to secure his title to them I was ready, and so we parted. Thence to Sir Robert Bernard, and as his client did ask his advice about my uncle Thomas's case and ours as to Gravely, and in short he tells me that there is little hopes of recovering it or saving his annuity, which do trouble me much, but God's will be done. Hence, with my mind full of trouble, to my uncle Fenner's, when at the alehouse I found him drinking and very jolly and youthsome, and as one that I believe will in a little time get a wife. So home.
31st. Lay pretty long in bed, and then up and among my workmen, the carpenters being this day laying of my floor of my dining room, with whom I staid a good while, and so to my office, and did a little business, and so home to dinner, and after dinner all the afternoon with my carpenters, making them lay all my boards but one in my dining room this day, which I am confident they would have made two good days work of if I had not been there, and it will be very pleasant. At night to my office, and there late doing of my office business, and so home to supper and bed. Thus ends this month, I and my family in good health, but weary heartily of dirt, but now in hopes within two or three weeks to be out of it. My head troubled with much business, but especially my fear of Sir J. Minnes claiming my bed-chamber of me, but I hope now that it is almost over, for I perceive he is fitting his house to go into it the next week. Then my law businesses for Brampton makes me mad almost, for that I want time to follow them, but I must by no means neglect them. I thank God I do save money, though it be but a little, but I hope to find out some job or other that I may get a sum by to set me up. I am now also busy in a discovery for my Lord Sandwich and Sir H. Bennett by Mr. Wade's means of some of Baxter'sBarkstead
money hid in one of his cellars in the Tower. If we get it it may be I may be 10 or £20 the better for it. I thank God I have no crosses, but only much business to trouble my mind with. In all other things as happy a man as any in the world, for the whole world seems to smile upon me, and if my house were done that I could diligently follow my business, I would not doubt to do God, and the King, and myself good service. And all I do impute almost wholly to my late temperance, since my making of my vowes against wine and plays, which keeps me most happily and contentfully to my business; which God continue! Public matters are full of discontent, what with the sale of Dunkirk, and my Lady Castlemaine, and her faction at Court; though I know not what they would have more than to debauch the king, whom God preserve from it! And then great plots are talked to be discovered, and all the prisons in town full of ordinary people, taken from their meeting-places last Sunday. But for certain some plots there hath been, though not brought to a head.
31st. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, where Creed came and dined with me, and after dinner he and I upstairs, and I showed him my velvet cloake and other things of clothes, that I have lately bought, which he likes very well, and I took his opinion as to some things of clothes, which I purpose to wear, being resolved to go a little handsomer than I have hitherto. Thence to the office; where busy till night, and then to prepare my monthly account, about which I staid till 10 or 11 o'clock at night, and to my great sorrow find myself £43 worse than I was the last month, which was then £760, and now it is but £717. But it hath chiefly arisen from my layings-out in clothes for myself and wife; viz., for her about £12, and for myself £55, or thereabouts; having made myself a velvet cloake, two new cloth suits, black, plain both; a new shaggShag was a stuff similar to plush. In 1703 a youth who was missing is described in an advertisement as wearing "red shag breeches, striped with black stripes." (Planche's "Cyclopxdia of Costume ").
gowne, trimmed with gold buttons and twist, with a new hat, and, silk tops for my legs, and many other things, being resolved henceforward to go like myself. And also two perriwiggs, one whereof costs me £3, and the other 40s.--I have worn neither yet, but will begin next week, God willing. So that I hope I shall not need now to lay out more money a great while, I having laid out in clothes for myself and wife, and for her closett and other things without, these two months, this and the last, besides household expenses of victuals, &c., above £110. But I hope I shall with more comfort labour to get more, and with better successe than when, for want of clothes, I was forced to sneake like a beggar. Having done this I went home, and after supper to bed, my mind being eased in knowing my condition, though troubled to think that I have been forced to spend so much.
Thus I end this month worth £717, or thereabouts, with a good deal of good goods more than I had, and a great deal of new and good clothes. My greatest trouble and my wife's is our family, mighty out of order by this fellow Will's corrupting the mayds by his idle talke and carriage, which we are going to remove by hastening him out of the house, which his uncle Blackburne is upon doing, and I am to give him £20 per annum toward his maintenance. The Queene continues lightheaded, but in hopes to recover. The plague is much in Amsterdam, and we in fears of it here, which God defend.Defend is used in the sense of forbid. It is a Gallicism from the French "defendre."
The Turke goes on mightily in the Emperor's dominions, and the Princes cannot agree among themselves how to go against him. Myself in pretty good health now, after being ill this month for a week together, but cannot yet come to . . . . well, being so costive, but for this month almost I have not had a good natural stool, but to this hour am forced to take physic every night, which brings me neither but one stool, and that in the morning as soon as I am up, all the rest of the day very costive. My father has been very ill in the country, but I hope better again now. I am lately come to a conclusion with Tom Trice to pay him £100, which is a great deale of money, but I hope it will save a great deale more. But thus everything lessens, which I have and am like to have, and therefore I must look about me to get something more than just my salary, or else I may resolve to live well and die a beggar.
31st. Very busy all the morning, at noon Creed to me and dined with me, and then he and I to White Hall, there to a Committee of Tangier, where it is worth remembering when Mr. Coventry proposed the retrenching some of the charge of the horse, the first word asked by the Duke of Albemarle was, "Let us see who commands them," there being three troops. One of them he calls to mind was by Sir Toby Bridges. "Oh!" says he, "there is a very good man. If you must reformReform, i.e. disband. See "Memoirs of Sir John Reresby," September 2nd, 1651. "A great many younger brothers and reformed officers of the King's army depended upon him for their meat and drink." So reformado, a discharged or disbanded officer.--M. B.
two of them, be sure let him command the troop that is left." Thence home, and there came presently to me Mr. Young and Whistler, who find that I have quite overcome them in their business of flags, and now they come to intreat my favour, but I will be even with them. So late to my office and there till past one in the morning making up my month's accounts, and find that my expense this month in clothes has kept me from laying up anything; but I am no worse, but a little better than I was, which is £1205, a great sum, the Lord be praised for it! So home to bed, with my mind full of content therein, and vexed for my being so angry in bad words to my wife to-night, she not giving me a good account of her layings out to my mind to-night. This day I hear young Mr. Stanly, a brave younggentleman
, that went out with young Jermin, with Prince Rupert, is already dead of the small-pox, at Portsmouth. All preparations against the Dutch; and the Duke of Yorke fitting himself with all speed, to go to the fleete which is hastening for him; being now resolved to go in the Charles.
31st. Up, and to the office, Captain Ferrers going back betimes to my Lord. I to the office, where Sir W. Batten met me, and did tell me that Captain Cocke's black was dead of the plague, which I had heard of before, but took no notice. By and by Captain Cocke come to the office, and Sir W. Batten and I did send to him that he would either forbear the office, or forbear going to his owne office. However, meeting yesterday the Searchers with their rods in their hands coming from Captain Cocke's house, I did overhear them say that the fellow did not die of the plague, but he had I know been ill a good while, and I am told that his boy Jack is also ill. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again, leaving Mr. Hill if he can to get Mrs. Coleman at night. About nine at night I come home, and there find Mrs. Pierce come and little Fran. Tooker, and Mr. Hill, and other people, a great many dancing, and anon comes Mrs. Coleman with her husband and Laneare. The dancing ended and to sing, which Mrs. Coleman do very finely, though her voice is decayed as to strength but mighty sweet though soft, and a pleasant jolly woman, and in mighty good humour was to-night. Among other things Laneare did, at the request of Mr. Hill, bring two or three the finest prints for my wife to see that ever I did see in all my life. But for singing, among other things, we got Mrs. Coleman to sing part of the Opera, though she won't owne that ever she did get any of it without book in order to the stage; but, above all, her counterfeiting of Captain Cooke's part, in his reproaching his man with cowardice, "Base slave," &c., she do it most excellently. At it till past midnight, and then broke up and to bed. Hill and I together again, and being very sleepy we had little discourse as we had the other night. Thus we end the month merrily; and the more for that, after some fears that the plague would have increased again this week, I hear for certain that there is above 400less
, the whole number being 1,388, and of them of the plague, 1,031. Want of money in the Navy puts everything out of order. Men grow mutinous; and nobody here to mind the business of the Navy but myself. At least Sir W. Batten for the few days he has been here do nothing. I in great hopes of my place of Surveyor-Generall of the Victualling, which will bring me £300 per annum.
31st. Out with Sir W. Batten toward White Hall, being in pain in my cods by being squeezed the other night in a little coach when I carried Pierce and his wife and my people. But I hope I shall be soon well again. This day is a great day at the House, so little to do with the Duke of York, but soon parted. Coming out of the Court I met Colonell Atkins, who tells me the whole city rings to-day of Sir Jeremy Smith's killing of Holmes in a duell, at which I was not much displeased, for I fear every day more and more mischief from the man, if he lives; but the thing is not true, for in my coach I did by and by meet Sir Jer. Smith going to Court. So I by coach to my goldsmith, there to see what gold I can get, which is but little, and not under 22d. So away home to dinner, and after dinner to my closett, where I spent the whole afternoon till late at evening of all my accounts publique and private, and to my great satisfaction I do find that I do bring my accounts to a very near balance, notwithstanding all the hurries and troubles I have been put to by the late fire, that I have not been able to even my accounts since July last before; and I bless God I do find that I am worth more than ever I yet was, which is £6,200, for which the Holy Name of God be praised! and my other accounts of Tangier in a very plain and clear condition, that I am not liable to any trouble from them; but in fear great I am, and I perceive the whole city is, of some distractions and disorders among us, which God of his goodness prevent! Late to supper with my wife and brother, and then to bed. And thus ends the month with an ill aspect, the business of the Navy standing wholly still. No credit, no goods sold us, nobody will trust. All we have to do at the office is to hear complaints for want of money. The Duke of York himself for now three weeks seems to rest satisfied that we can do nothing without money, and that all must stand still till the King gets money, which the Parliament have been a great while about; but are so dissatisfied with the King's management, and his giving himself up to pleasures, and not minding the calling to account any of his officers, and they observe so much the expense of the war, and yet that after we have made it the most we can, it do not amount to what they have given the King for the warn that they are backward of giving any more. However, £1,800,000 they have voted, but the way of gathering it has taken up more time than is fit to be now lost: The seamen grow very rude, and every thing out of order; commanders having no power over their seamen, but the seamen do what they please. Few stay on board, but all coming running up hither to towne, and nobody can with justice blame them, we owing them so much money; and their familys must starve if we do not give them money, or they procure upon their tickets from some people that will trust them. A great folly is observed by all people in the King's giving leave to so many merchantmen to go abroad this winter, and some upon voyages where it is impossible they should be back again by the spring, and the rest will be doubtfull, but yet we let them go; what the reason of State is nobody can tell, but all condemn it. The Prince and Duke of Albemarle have got no great credit by this year's service. Our losses both of reputation and ships having been greater than is thought have ever been suffered in all ages put together before; being beat home, and fleeing home the first fight, and then losing so many ships then and since upon the sands, and some falling into the enemy's hands, and not one taken this yeare, but the Ruby, French prize, now at the end of the yeare, by the Frenchmen's mistake in running upon us. Great folly in both Houses of Parliament, several persons falling together by the eares, among others in the House of Lords, the Duke of Buckingham and my Lord Ossory. Such is our case, that every body fears an invasion the next yeare; and for my part, I do methinks foresee great unhappiness coming upon us, and do provide for it by laying by something against a rainy day, dividing what I have, and laying it in several places, but with all faithfulness to the King in all respects; my grief only being that the King do not look after his business himself, and thereby will be undone both himself and his nation, it being not yet, I believe, too late if he would apply himself to it, to save all, and conquer the Dutch; but while he and the Duke of York mind their pleasure, as they do and nothing else, we must be beaten. So late with my mind in good condition of quiet after the settling all my accounts, and to bed.
31st. Up, and all the morning at the office, and at noon Mr. Creed and Yeabsly dined with me (my wife gone to dine with Mrs. Pierce and see a play with her), and after dinner in comes Mr. Turner, of Eynsbury, lately come to town, and also after him Captain Hill of the "Coventry," who lost her at Barbadoes, and is come out of France, where he hath been long prisoner. After a great deal of mixed discourse, and then Mr. Turner and I alone a little in my closet, talking about my Lord Sandwich (who I hear is now ordered by the King to come home again), we all parted, and I by water, calling at Michell's, and saw and once kissed su wife, but I do think that he is jealous of her, and so she dares not stand out of his sight; so could not do more, but away by water to the Temple, and there, after spending a little time in my bookseller's shop, I to Westminster; and there at the lobby do hear by Commissioner Pett, to my great amazement, that he is in worse condition than before, by the coming in of the Duke of Albemarle's and Prince Rupert's Narratives' this day; wherein the former do most severely lay matters upon him, so as the House this day have, I think, ordered him to the Tower again, or something like it; so that the poor man is likely to be overthrown, I doubt, right or wrong, so infinite fond they are of any thing the Duke of Albemarle says or writes to them! I did then go down, and there met with Colonel Reames and cozen Roger Pepys; and there they do tell me how the Duke of Albemarle and the Prince have laid blame on a great many, and particularly on our Office in general; and particularly for want of provision, wherein I shall come to be questioned again in that business myself; which do trouble me. But my cozen Pepys and I had much discourse alone: and he do bewail the constitution of this House, and says there is a direct caball and faction, as much as is possible between those for and those against the Chancellor, and so in other factions, that there is nothing almost done honestly and with integrity; only some few, he says, there are, that do keep out of all plots and combinations, and when their time comes will speak and see right done, if possible; and that he himself is looked upon to be a man that will be of no faction, and so they do shun to make him; and I am glad of it. He tells me that he thanks God he never knew what it was to be tempted to be a knave in his life; till he did come into the House of Commons, where there is nothing done but by passion, and faction, and private interest. Reames did tell me of a fellow last night (one Kelsy, a commander of a fire-ship, who complained for want of his money paid him) did say that he did see one of the Commissioners of the Navy bring in three waggon-loads of prize-goods into Greenwich one night; but that the House did take no notice of it, nor enquire; but this is me, and I must expect to be called to account, and answer what I did as well as I can. So thence away home, and in Holborne, going round, it being dark, I espied Sir D. Gawden's coach, and so went out of mine into his; and there had opportunity to talk of the business of victuals, which the Duke of Albemarle and Prince did complain that they were in want of the last year: but we do conclude we shall be able to show quite the contrary of that; only it troubles me that we must come to contend with these great persons, which will overrun us. So with some disquiet in my mind on this account I home, and there comes Mr. Yeabsly, and he and I to even some accounts, wherein I shall be a gainer about £200, which is a seasonable profit, for I have got nothing a great while; and he being gone, I to bed.
31st. Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon home to dinner with my people, and afternoon to the office again, and then to my chamber with Gibson to do more about my great answer for the Duke of York, and so at night after supper to bed well pleased with my advance thereon. This day my Lord Anglesey was at the Office, and do seem to make nothing of this business of his suspension, resolving to bring it into the Council, where he seems not to doubt to have right, he standing upon his defence and patent, and hath put in his caveats to the several Offices: so, as soon as the King comes back again, which will be on Tuesday next, he will bring it into the Council. So ends this month with some quiet to my mind, though not perfect, after the greatest falling out with my poor wife, and through my folly with the girl, that ever I had, and I have reason to be sorry and ashamed of it, and more to be troubled for the poor girl's sake, whom I fear I shall by this means prove the ruin of, though I shall think myself concerned both to love and be a friend to her. This day Roger Pepys and his son Talbot, newly come to town, come and dined with me, and mighty glad I am to see them.