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Sunday, 16th December 1660

16th. In the morning to church, and then dined at home. In the afternoon I to White Hall, where I was surprised with the news of a plot against the King's person and my Lord Monk's; and that since last night there are about forty taken up on suspicion; and, amongst others, it was my lot to meet with Simon Beale, the Trumpeter, who took me and Tom Doling into the Guard in Scotland Yard, and showed us Major-General Overton, where I heard him deny that he is guilty of any such things; but that whereas it is said that he is found to have brought many arms to town, he says it is only to sell them, as he will prove by oath. From thence with Tom Doling and Boston and D. Vines (whom we met by the way) to Price's, and there we drank, and in discourse I learnt a pretty trick to try whether a woman be a maid or no, by a string going round her head to meet at the end of her nose, which if she be not will come a great way beyond. Thence to my Lady's and staid with her an hour or two talking of the Duke of York and his lady, the Chancellor's daughter, between whom, she tells me, that all is agreed and he will marry her. But I know not how true yet. It rained hard, and my Lady would have had me have the coach, but I would not, but to my father's, where I met my wife, and there supped, and after supper by link home and to bed.

Monday, 16th December 1661

16th. Up by five o'clock this morning by candlelight (which I have not done for many a day), being called upon by one Mr. Bollen by appointment, who has business to be done with my Lord Privy Seal this morning, and so by coach, calling Mr. Moore at the Wardrobe, to Chelsy, and there did get my Lord to seal it. And so back again to Westminster Hall, and thence to my Lord Sandwich's lodging, where I met my wife (who had been to see Mrs. Hunt who was brought to bed the other day of a boy), and got a joint of meat thither from the Cook's, and she and I and Sarah dined together, and after dinner to the Opera, where there was a new play ("Cutter of Coleman Street"),    Cutter, an old word for a rough swaggerer: hence the title of Cowley's play. It was originally called "The Guardian," when acted before Prince Charles at Trinity College, Cambridge, on March 12th, 1641.
made in the year 1658, with reflections much upon the late times; and it being the first time, the pay was doubled, and so to save money, my wife and I went up into the gallery, and there sat and saw very well; and a very good play it is. It seems of Cowly's making. From thence by coach home, and to bed.

Tuesday, 16th December 1662

16th. Up and to the office, and thither came Mr. Coventry and Sir G. Carteret, and among other business was Strutt's the purser, against Captn. Browne, Sir W. Batten's brother-in-law, but, Lord! though I believe the Captain has played the knave, though I seem to have a good opinion of him and to mean him well, what a most troublesome fellow that Strutt is, such as I never did meet with his fellow in my life. His talking and ours to make him hold his peace set my head off akeing all the afternoon with great pain. So to dinner, thinking to have had Mr. Coventry, but he could not go with me; and so I took Captn. Murford. Of whom I do hear what the world says of me; that all do conclude Mr. Coventry, and Pett, and me, to be of a knot; and that we do now carry all things before us; and much more in particular of me, and my studiousnesse, &c., to my great content. After dinner came Mrs. Browne, the Captain's wife, to see me and my wife, and I showed her a good countenance, and indeed her husband has been civil to us, but though I speak them fair, yet I doubt I shall not be able to do her husband much favour in this business of Strutt's, whom without doubt he has abused. So to the office, and hence, having done some business, by coach to White Hall to Secretary Bennet's, and agreed with Mr. Lee to set upon our new adventure at the Tower to-morrow. Hence to Col. Lovelace in Cannon Row about seeing how Sir R. Ford did report all the officers of the navy to be rated for the Loyal Sufferers, but finding him at the Rhenish wine-house I could not have any answer, but must take another time. Thence to my Lord's, and having sat talking with Mr. Moore bewailing the vanity and disorders of the age, I went by coach to my brother's, where I met Sarah, my late mayde, who had a desire to speak with me, and I with her to know what it was, who told me out of good will to me, for she loves me dearly, that I would beware of my wife's brother, for he is begging or borrowing of her and often, and told me of her Scallop whisk, and her borrowing of 50s. for Will, which she believes was for him and her father. I do observe so much goodness and seriousness in the mayde, that I am again and again sorry that I have parted with her, though it was full against my will then, and if she had anything in the world I would commend her for a wife for my brother Tom. After much discourse and her professions of love to me and all my relations, I bade her good night and did kiss her, and indeed she seemed very well-favoured to me to-night, as she is always. So by coach home and to my office, did some business, and so home to supper and to bed.

Wednesday, 16th December 1663

16th. Up, and with my head and heart full of my business, I to my office, and there all the morning, where among other things to my great content Captain Taylor brought me £40, the greater part of which I shall gain to myself after much care and pains out of his bill of freight, as I have at large set down in my book of Memorandums. At noon to the 'Change and there met with Mr. Wood by design, and got out of him to my advantage a condition which I shall make good use of against Sir W. Batten (vide my book of Memorandums touching the contract of masts of Sir W. Warren about which I have had so much trouble). So home to dinner and then to the Star Tavern hard by to our arbitration of Mr. Bland's business, and at it a great while, but I found no order like to be kept in our inquiry, and Mr. Clerke, the other arbitrator, one so far from being fit (though able as to his trade of a merchant) to inquire and to take pains in searching out the truth on both sides, that we parted without doing anything, nor do I believe we shall at all ever attain to anything in it. Then home and till 12 at night making up my accounts with great account of this day's receipt of Captain Taylor's money and some money reimbursed me which I have laid out on Field's business. So home with my mind in pretty good quiet, and to Supper and to bed.

Friday, 16th December 1664

16th. Up, and by water to Deptford, thinking to have met 'la femme de' Bagwell, but failed, and having done some business at the yard, I back again, it being a fine fresh morning to walk. Back again, Mr. Wayth walking with me to Half-Way House talking about Mr. Castle's fine knees lately delivered in. In which I am well informed that they are not as they should be to make them knees, and I hope shall make good use of it to the King's service. Thence home, and having dressed myself, to the 'Change, and thence home to dinner, and so abroad by coach with my wife, and bought a looking glasse by the Old Exchange, which costs me £5 5s. and 6s. for the hooks. A very fair glasse. So toward my cozen Scott's, but meeting my Lady Sandwich's coach, my wife turned back to follow them, thinking they might, as they did, go to visit her, and I 'light and to Mrs. Harman, and there staid and talked in her shop with her, and much pleased I am with her. We talked about Anthony Joyce's giving over trade and that he intends to live in lodgings, which is a very mad, foolish thing. She tells me she hears and believes it is because he, being now begun to be called on offices, resolves not to take the new oathe, he having formerly taken the Covenant or Engagement, but I think he do very simply and will endeavour for his wife's sake to advise him therein. Thence to my cozen Scott's, and there met my cozen Roger Pepys, and Mrs. Turner, and The. and Joyce, and prated all the while, and so with the "corps" to church and heard a very fine sermon of the Parson of the parish, and so homeward with them in their coach, but finding it too late to go home with me, I took another coach and so home, and after a while at my office, home to supper and to bed.

Saturday, 16th December 1665

16th. Up, and met at the office; Sir W. Batten with us, who come from Portsmouth on Monday last, and hath not been with us to see or discourse with us about any business till this day. At noon to dinner, Sir W. Warren with me on boat, and thence I by water, it being a fearfull cold, snowing day to Westminster to White Hall stairs and thence to Sir G. Downing, to whom I brought the happy newes of my having contracted, as we did this day with Sir W. Warren, for a ship's lading of Norway goods here and another at Harwich to the value of above £3,000, which is the first that hath been got upon the New Act, and he is overjoyed with it and tells me he will do me all the right to Court about it in the world, and I am glad I have it to write to Sir W. Coventry to-night. He would fain have me come in £200 to lend upon the Act, but I desire to be excused in doing that, it being to little purpose for us that relate to the King to do it, for the sum gets the King no courtesy nor credit. So I parted from him and walked to Westminster Hall, where Sir W. Warren, who come along with me, staid for me, and there I did see Betty Howlet come after the sicknesse to the Hall. Had not opportunity to salute her, as I desired, but was glad to see her and a very pretty wench she is. Thence back, landing at the Old Swan and taking boat again at Billingsgate, and setting ashore we home and I to the office . . . . and there wrote my letters, and so home to supper and to bed, it being a great frost. Newes is come to-day of our Sounde fleete being come, but I do not know what Sir W. Warren hath insured.

Sunday, 16th December 1666

16th (Lord's day). Lay long talking with my wife in bed, then up with great content and to my chamber to set right a picture or two, Lovett having sent me yesterday Sancta Clara's head varnished, which is very fine, and now my closet is so full stored, and so fine, as I would never desire to have it better. Dined without any strangers with me, which I do not like on Sundays. Then after dinner by water to Westminster to see Mrs. Martin, whom I found up in her chamber and ready to go abroad. I sat there with her and her husband and others a pretty while, and then away to White Hall, and there walked up and down to the Queen's side, and there saw my dear Lady Castlemayne, who continues admirable, methinks, and I do not hear but that the King is the same to her still as ever. Anon to chapel, by the King's closet, and heard a very good anthemne. Then with Lord Bruncker to Sir W. Coventry's chamber; and there we sat with him and talked. He is weary of anything to do, he says, in the Navy. He tells us this Committee of Accounts will enquire sharply into our office. And, speaking of Sir J. Minnes, he says he will not bear any body's faults but his own. He discoursed as bad of Sir W. Batten almost, and cries out upon the discipline of the fleete, which is lost, and that there is not in any of the fourth rates and under scarce left one Sea Commander, but all young gentlemen; and what troubles him, he hears that the gentlemen give out that in two or three years a Tarpaulin shall not dare to look after being better than a Boatswain. Which he is troubled at, and with good reason, and at this day Sir Robert Holmes is mighty troubled that his brother do not command in chief, but is commanded by Captain Hannum, who, Sir W. Coventry says, he believes to be at least of as good blood, is a longer bred seaman, an elder officer, and an elder commander, but such is Sir R. Holmes's pride as never to be stopt, he being greatly troubled at my Lord Bruncker's late discharging all his men and officers but the standing officers at Chatham, and so are all other Commanders, and a very great cry hath been to the King from them all in my Lord's absence. But Sir W. Coventry do undertake to defend it, and my Lord Bruncker got ground I believe by it, who is angry at Sir W. Batten's and Sir W. Pen's bad words concerning it, and I have made it worse by telling him that they refuse to sign to a paper which he and I signed on Saturday to declare the reason of his actions, which Sir W. Coventry likes and would have it sent him and he will sign it, which pleases me well. So we parted, and I with Lord Bruncker to Sir P. Neale's chamber, and there sat and talked awhile, Sir Edward Walker being there, and telling us how he hath lost many fine rowles of antiquity in heraldry by the late fire, but hath saved the most of his papers. Here was also Dr. Wallis, the famous scholar and mathematician; but he promises little. Left them, and in the dark and cold home by water, and so to supper and to read and so to bed, my eyes being better to-day, and I cannot impute it to anything but by my being much in the dark to-night, for I plainly find that it is only excess of light that makes my eyes sore. This after noon I walked with Lord Bruncker into the Park and there talked of the times, and he do think that the King sees that he cannot never have much more money or good from this Parliament, and that therefore he may hereafter dissolve them, that as soon as he has the money settled he believes a peace will be clapped up, and that there are overtures of a peace, which if such as the Lord Chancellor can excuse he will take. For it is the Chancellor's interest, he says, to bring peace again, for in peace he can do all and command all, but in war he cannot, because he understands not the nature of the war as to the management thereof. He tells me he do not believe the Duke of York will go to sea again, though there are a great many about the King that would be glad of any occasion to take him out of the world, he standing in their ways; and seemed to mean the Duke of Monmouth, who spends his time the most viciously and idly of any man, nor will be fit for any thing; yet bespeaks as if it were not impossible but the King would own him for his son, and that there was a marriage between his mother and him; which God forbid should be if it be not true, nor will the Duke of York easily be gulled in it. But this put to our other distractions makes things appear very sad, and likely to be the occasion of much confusion in a little time, and my Lord Bruncker seems to say that nothing can help us but the King's making a peace soon as he hath this money; and thereby putting himself out of debt, and so becoming a good husband, and then he will neither need this nor any other Parliament, till he can have one to his mind: for no Parliament can, as he says, be kept long good, but they will spoil one another, and that therefore it hath been the practice of kings to tell Parliaments what he hath for them to do, and give them so long time to do it in, and no longer. Harry Kembe, one of our messengers, is lately dead.

Monday, 16th December 1667

16th. Up, and to several places, to pay what I owed. Among others, to my mercer, to pay for my fine camlott cloak, which costs me, the very stuff, almost £6; and also a velvet coat-the outside cost me above £8. And so to Westminster, where I find the House mighty busy upon a petition against my Lord Gerard, which lays heavy things to his charge, of his abusing the King in his Guards; and very hot the House is upon it. I away home to dinner alone with wife and girle, and so to the office, where mighty busy to my great content late, and then home to supper, talk with my wife, and to bed. It was doubtful to-day whether the House should be adjourned to-morrow or no.

Wednesday, 16th December 1668

16th. I did the like all day long, only a little at dinner, and so to work again, and were at it till 2 in the morning, and so W. Hewer, who was with me all day, home to his lodging, and I to bed, after we had finished it.