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Saturday, 8th December 1660

8th. To Whitehall to the Privy Seal, and thence to Mr. Pierces the Surgeon to tell them that I would call by and by to go to dinner. But I going into Westminster Hall met with Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Pen (who were in a great fear that we had committed a great error of £100,000 in our late account gone into the Parliament in making it too little), and so I was fain to send order to Mr. Pierces to come to my house; and also to leave the key of the chest with Mr. Spicer; wherein my Lord's money is, and went along with Sir W. Pen by water to the office, and there with Mr. Huchinson we did find that we were in no mistake. And so I went to dinner with my wife and Mr. and Mrs. Pierce the Surgeon to Mr. Pierce, the Purser (the first time that ever I was at his house) who does live very plentifully and finely. We had a lovely chine of beef and other good things very complete and drank a great deal of wine, and her daughter played after dinner upon the virginals,    All instruments of the harpsichord and spinet kind were styled virginals.
and at night by lanthorn home again, and Mr. Pierce and his wife being gone home I went to bed, having drunk so much wine that my head was troubled and was not very well all night, and the wind I observed was rose exceedingly before I went to bed.

Sunday, 8th December 1661

8th (Lord's day). In bed all the morning thinking to take physique, but it being a frost my wife would not have me. So to dinner at the Wardrobe, and after a great deal of good discourse with my Lady after dinner, and among other things of the great christening yesterday at Mr. Rumbell's, and courtiers and pomp that was there, which I wonder at, I went away up and down into all the churches almost between that place and my house, and so home. And then came my brother Tom, and staid and talked with me, and I hope he will do very well and get money. So to supper and to bed. This morning as I was in bed, one brings me T. Trice's answer to my bill in chancery from Mr. Smallwood, which I am glad to see, though I am afraid it will do me hurt.

Monday, 8th December 1662

8th. Up, and carrying Gosnell by coach, set her down at Temple Barr, she going about business of hers today. By the way she was telling me how Balty did tell her that my wife did go every day in the week to Court and plays, and that she should have liberty of going abroad as often as she pleased, and many other lies, which I am vexed at, and I doubt the wench did come in some expectation of, which troubles me. So to the Duke and Mr. Coventry, and alone, the rest being at a Pay and elsewhere, and alone with Mr. Coventry I did read over our letter to my Lord Treasurer, which I think now is done as well as it can be. Then to my Lord Sandwich's, and there spent the rest of the morning in making up my Lord's accounts with Mr. Moore, and then dined with Mr. Moore and Battersby his friend, very well and merry, and good discourse. Then into the Park, to see them slide with their skeates, which is very pretty. And so to the Duke's, where the Committee for Tangier met: and here we sat down all with him at a table, and had much good discourse about the business, and is to my great content. That done, I hearing what play it was that is to be acted before the King to-night, I would not stay, but home by coach, where I find my wife troubled about Gosnell, who brings word that her uncle, justice Jiggins, requires her to come three times a week to him, to follow some business that her mother intrusts her withall, and that, unless she may have that leisure given her, he will not have her take any place; for which we are both troubled, but there is no help for it, and believing it to be a good providence of God to prevent my running behindhand in the world, I am somewhat contented therewith, and shall make my wife so, who, poor wretch, I know will consider of things, though in good earnest the privacy of her life must needs be irksome to her. So I made Gosnell and we sit up looking over the book of Dances till 12 at night, not observing how the time went, and so to prayers and to bed.

Tuesday, 8th December 1663

8th. Lay long in bed, and then up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and among other things my Lord Barkely called in question his clerk Mr. Davy for something which Sir W. Batten and I did tell him yesterday, but I endeavoured to make the least of it, and so all was put up. At noon to the 'Change, and among other businesses did discourse with Captain Taylor, and I think I shall safely get £20 by his ship's freight at present, besides what it may be I may get hereafter. So home to dinner, and thence by coach to White Hall, where a great while walked with my Lord Tiviott, whom I find a most carefull, thoughtfull, and cunning man, as I also ever took him to be. He is this day bringing in an account where he makes the King debtor to him £10,000 already on the garrison of Tangier account; but yet demands not ready money to pay it, but offers such ways of paying it out of the sale of old decayed provisions as will enrich him finely. Anon came my Lord Sandwich, and then we fell to our business at the Committee about my Lord Tiviott's accounts, wherein I took occasion to speak now and then, so as my Lord Sandwich did well seem to like of it, and after we were up did bid me good night in a tone that, methinks, he is not so displeased with me as I did doubt he is; however, I will take a course to know whether he be or no. The Committee done, I took coach and home to my office, and there late, and so to supper at home, and to bed, being doubtful of my pain through the very cold weather which we have, but I will take all the care I can to prevent it.

Thursday, 8th December 1664

8th. Up, and to my office, where all the morning busy. At noon dined at home, and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon. In the evening comes my aunt and uncle Wight, Mrs. Norbury, and her daughter, and after them Mr. Norbury, where no great pleasure, my aunt being out of humour in her fine clothes, and it raining hard. Besides, I was a little too bold with her about her doating on Dr. Venner. Anon they went away, and I till past 12 at night at my office, and then home to bed.

Friday, 8th December 1665

8th. Up, well pleased in my mind about my Lord Sandwich, about whom I shall know more anon from Sir G. Carteret, who will be in towne, and also that the Hambrough    ships
after all difficulties are got out. God send them good speed! So, after being trimmed, I by water to London, to the Navy office, there to give order to my mayde to buy things to send down to Greenwich for supper to-night; and I also to buy other things, as oysters, and lemons, 6d. per piece, and oranges, 3d. That done I to the 'Change, and among many other things, especially for getting of my Tangier money, I by appointment met Mr. Gawden, and he and I to the Pope's Head Taverne, and there he did give me alone a very pretty dinner. Our business to talk of his matters and his supply of money, which was necessary for us to talk on before the Duke of Albemarle this afternoon and Sir G. Carteret. After that I offered now to pay him the £4000 remaining of his £8000 for Tangier, which he took with great kindnesse, and prayed me most frankly to give him a note for £3500 and accept the other £500 for myself, which in good earnest was against my judgement to do, for    I
expected about £100 and no more, but however he would have me do it, and ownes very great obligations to me, and the man indeed I love, and he deserves it. This put me into great joy, though with a little stay to it till we have time to settle it, for for so great a sum I was fearfull any accident might by death or otherwise defeate me, having not now time to change papers. So we rose, and by water to White Hall, where we found Sir G. Carteret with the Duke, and also Sir G. Downing, whom I had not seen in many years before. He greeted me very kindly, and I him; though methinks I am touched, that it should be said that he was my master heretofore, as doubtless he will. So to talk of our Navy business, and particularly money business, of which there is little hopes of any present supply upon this new Act, the goldsmiths being here (and Alderman Backewell newly come from Flanders), and none offering any. So we rose without doing more than my stating the case of the Victualler, that whereas there is due to him on the last year's declaration £80,000, and the charge of this year's amounts to £420,000 and odd, he must be supplied between this and the end of January with £150,000, and the remainder in 40 weeks by weekly payments, or else he cannot go through his business. Thence after some discourse with Sir G. Carteret, who, though he tells me that he is glad of my Lord's being made Embassador, and that it is the greatest courtesy his enemies could do him; yet I find he is not heartily merry upon it, and that it was no design of my Lord's friends, but the prevalence of his enemies, and that the Duke of Albemarle and Prince Rupert are like to go to sea together the next year. I pray God, when my Lord is gone, they do not fall hard upon the Vice-Chamberlain, being alone, and in so envious a place, though by this late Act and the instructions now a brewing for our office as to method of payments will destroy the profit of his place of itself without more trouble. Thence by water down to Greenwich, and there found all my company come; that is, Mrs. Knipp, and an ill, melancholy, jealous-looking fellow, her husband, that spoke not a word to us all the night, Pierce and his wife, and Rolt, Mrs. Worshipp and her daughter, Coleman and his wife, and Laneare, and, to make us perfectly happy, there comes by chance to towne Mr. Hill to see us. Most excellent musique we had in abundance, and a good supper, dancing, and a pleasant scene of Mrs. Knipp's rising sicke from table, but whispered me it was for some hard word or other her husband gave her just now when she laughed and was more merry than ordinary. But we got her in humour again, and mighty merry; spending the night, till two in the morning, with most complete content as ever in my life, it being increased by my day's work with Gawden. Then broke up, and we to bed, Mr. Hill and I, whom I love more and more, and he us.

Saturday, 8th December 1666

8th. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and there find Mr. Pierce and his wife and Betty, a pretty girle, who in discourse at table told me the great Proviso passed the House of Parliament yesterday; which makes the King and Court mad, the King having given order to my Lord Chamberlain to send to the playhouses and bawdy houses, to bid all the Parliament-men that were there to go to the Parliament presently. This is true, it seems; but it was carried against the Court by thirty or forty voices. It is a Proviso to the Poll Bill, that there shall be a Committee of nine persons that shall have the inspection upon oath, and power of giving others, of all the accounts of the money given and spent for this warr. This hath a most sad face, and will breed very ill blood. He tells me, brought in by Sir Robert Howard, who is one of the King's servants, at least hath a great office, and hath got, they say, £20,000 since the King come in. Mr. Pierce did also tell me as a great truth, as being told it by Mr. Cowly, who was by, and heard it, that Tom Killigrew should publiquely tell the King that his matters were coming into a very ill state; but that yet there was a way to help all, which is, says he, "There is a good, honest, able man, that I could name, that if your Majesty would employ, and command to see all things well executed, all things would soon be mended; and this is one Charles Stuart, who now spends his time in employing his lips . . . . about the Court, and hath no other employment; but if you would give him this employment, he were the fittest man in the world to perform it." This, he says, is most true; but the King do not profit by any of this, but lays all aside, and remembers nothing, but to his pleasures again; which is a sorrowful consideration. Very good company we were at dinner, and merry, and after dinner, he being gone about business, my wife and I and Mrs. Pierce and Betty and Balty, who come to see us to-day very sick, and went home not well, together out, and our coach broke the wheel off upon Ludgate Hill. So we were fain to part ourselves and get room in other people's coaches, and Mrs. Pierce and I in one, and I carried her home and set her down, and myself to the King's playhouse, which troubles me since, and hath cost me a forfeit of 10s., which I have paid, and there did see a good part of "The English Monsieur," which is a mighty pretty play, very witty and pleasant. And the women do very well; but, above all, little Nelly; that I am mightily pleased with the play, and much with the House, more than ever I expected, the women doing better than ever I expected, and very fine women. Here I was in pain to be seen, and hid myself; but, as God would have it, Sir John Chichly come, and sat just by me. Thence to Mrs. Pierce's, and there took up my wife and away home, and to the office and Sir W. Batten's, of whom I hear that this Proviso in Parliament is mightily ill taken by all the Court party as a mortal blow, and that, that strikes deep into the King's prerogative, which troubles me mightily. Home, and set some papers right in my chamber, and then to supper and to bed, we being in much fear of ill news of our colliers. A fleete of two hundred sail, and fourteen Dutch men-of-war between them and us and they coming home with small convoy; and the City in great want, coals being at £3 3s. per chaldron, as I am told. I saw smoke in the ruines this very day.

Sunday, 8th December 1667

8th (Lord's day). All the morning at my chamber doing something towards the settling of my papers and accounts, which have been out of order a great while. At noon to dinner, where W. How with us, and after dinner, he being gone, I to my chamber again till almost night, and then took boat, the tide serving, and so to White Hall, where I saw the Duchesse of York, in a fine dress of second mourning for her mother, being black, edged with ermine, go to make her first visit to the Queene since the Duke of York was sick; and by and by, she being returned, the Queene come and visited her. But it was pretty to observe that Sir W. Coventry and I, walking an hour and more together in the Matted Gallery, he observed, and so did I, how the Duchesse, as soon as she spied him, turned her head a one side. Here he and I walked thus long, which we have not done a great while before. Our discourse was upon everything: the unhappiness of having our matters examined by people that understand them not; that it was better for us in the Navy to have men that do understand the whole, and that are not passionate; that we that have taken the most pains are called upon to answer for all crimes, while those that, like Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, did sit and do nothing, do lie still without any trouble; that, if it were to serve the King and kingdom again in a war, neither of us could do more, though upon this experience we might do better than we did; that the commanders, the gentlemen that could never be brought to order, but undid all, are now the men that find fault and abuse others; that it had been much better for the King to have given Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten £1000 a-year to have sat still, than to have had them in his business this war: that the serving a Prince that minds not his business is most unhappy for them that serve him well, and an unhappiness so great that he declares he will never have more to do with a war, under him. That he hath papers which do flatly contradict the Duke of Albemarle's Narrative; and that he hath been with the Duke of Albemarle and shewed him them, to prevent his falling into another like fault: that the Duke of Albemarle seems to be able to answer them; but he thinks that the Duke of Albemarle and the Prince are contented to let their Narratives sleep, they being not only contradictory in some things (as he observed about the business of the Duke of Albemarle's being to follow the Prince upon dividing the fleete, in case the enemy come out), but neither of them to be maintained in others. That the business the other night of my Lord Anglesey at the Council was happily got over for my Lord, by his dexterous silencing it, and the rest, not urging it further; forasmuch as, had the Duke of Buckingham come in time enough, and had got it by the end, he, would have toused him in it; Sir W. Coventry telling me that my Lord Anglesey did, with such impudence, maintain the quarrel against the Commons and some of the Lords, in the business of my Lord Clarendon, that he believes there are enough would be glad but of this occasion to be revenged of him. He tells me that he hears some of the Thomsons are like to be of the Commission for the Accounts, and Wildman, which he much wonders at, as having been a false fellow to every body, and in prison most of the time since the King's coming in. But he do tell me that the House is in such a condition that nobody can tell what to make of them, and, he thinks, they were never in before; that every body leads, and nobody follows; and that he do now think that, since a great many are defeated in their expectation of being of the Commission, now they would put it into such hands as it shall get no credit from: for, if they do look to the bottom and see the King's case, they think they are then bound to give the King money; whereas, they would be excused from that, and therefore endeavour to make this business of the Accounts to signify little. I spoke with him about my Lord Sandwich's business, in which he is very friendly, and do say that the unhappy business of the prizes is it that hath brought all this trouble upon him, and the only thing that made any thing else mentioned, and it is true. So having discoursed with him, I spent some time with Sir Stephen Fox about the business of our adjusting the new method of the Excise between the Guards household and Tangier, the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury being now resolved to bring all their management into a course of payment by orders, and not by tallies, and I am glad of it, and so by water home late, and very dark, and when come home there I got my wife to read, and then come Captain Cocke to me; and there he tells me, to my great satisfaction, that Sir Robert Brookes did dine with him today; and that he told him, speaking of me, that he would make me the darling of the House of Commons, so much he is satisfied concerning me. And this Cocke did tell me that I might give him thanks for it; and I do think it may do me good, for he do happen to be held a considerable person, of a young man, both for sobriety and ability. Then to discourse of business of his own about some hemp of his that is come home to receive it into the King's stores, and then parted, and by and by my wife and I to supper, she not being well, her flux being great upon her, and so to bed.

Tuesday, 8th December 1668

8th. Up, and Sir H. Cholmly betimes with me, about some accounts and moneys due to him: and he gone, I to the Office, where sat all the morning; and here, among other things, breaks out the storm W. Hewer and I have long expected from the Surveyor,--    Colonel Middleton.
--about W. Hewer's conspiring to get a contract, to the burdening of the stores with kerseys and cottons, of which he hath often complained, and lately more than ever; and now he did it by a most scandalous letter to the Board, reflecting on my Office: and, by discourse, it fell to such high words between him and me, as can hardly ever be forgot; I declaring I would believe W. Hewer as soon as him, and laying the fault, if there be any, upon himself; he, on the other hand, vilifying of my word and W. Hewer's, calling him knave, and that if he were his clerk, he should lose his ears. At last, I closed the business for this morning with making the thing ridiculous, as it is, and he swearing that the King should have right in it, or he would lose his place. The Office was cleared of all but ourselves and W. Hewer; but, however, the world did by the beginning see what it meant, and it will, I believe, come to high terms between us, which I am sorry for, to have any blemish laid upon me or mine, at this time, though never so unduly, for fear of giving occasion to my real discredit: and therefore I was not only all the rest of the morning vexed, but so went home to dinner, where my wife tells me of my Lord Orrery's new play "Tryphon," at the Duke of York's house, which, however, I would see, and therefore put a bit of meat in our mouths, and went thither; where, with much ado, at half-past one, we got into a blind hole in the 18d. place, above stairs, where we could not hear well, but the house infinite full, but the prologue most silly, and the play, though admirable, yet no pleasure almost in it, because just the very same design, and words, and sense, and plot, as every one of his plays have, any one of which alone would be held admirable, whereas so many of the same design and fancy do but dull one another; and this, I perceive, is the sense of every body else, as well as myself, who therefore showed but little pleasure in it. So home, mighty hot, and my mind mightily out of order, so as I could not eat any supper, or sleep almost all night, though I spent till twelve at night with W. Hewer to consider of our business: and we find it not only most free from any blame of our side, but so horrid scandalous on the other, to make so groundless a complaint, and one so shameful to him, that it could not but let me see that there is no need of my being troubled; but such is the weakness of my nature, that I could not help it, which vexes me, showing me how unable I am to live with difficulties.