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Thursday, 27th December 1660

27th. In the morning to Alderman Backwell's again, where I found the candlesticks done, and went along with him in his coach to my Lord's and left the candlesticks with Mr. Shepley. I staid in the garden talking much with my Lord, who do show me much of his love and do communicate his mind in most things to me, which is my great content. Home and with my wife to Sir W. Batten's to dinner, where much and good company. My wife not very well went home, I staid late there seeing them play at cards, and so home to bed. This afternoon there came in a strange lord to Sir William Batten's by a mistake and enters discourse with him, so that we could not be rid of him till Sir Arn. Breames and Mr. Bens and Sir W. Pen fell a-drinking to him till he was drunk, and so sent him away. About the middle of the night I was very ill--I think with eating and drinking too much--and so I was forced to call the maid, who pleased my wife and I in her running up and down so innocently in her smock, and vomited in the bason, and so to sleep, and in the morning was pretty well, only got cold, and so had pain . . . . as I used to have.

Friday, 27th December 1661

27th. In the morning to my Bookseller's to bespeak a Stephens's Thesaurus, for which I offer £4, to give to Paul's School; and from thence to Paul's Church; and there I heard Dr. Gunning preach a good sermon upon the day (being St. John's day), and did hear him tell a story, which he did persuade us to believe to be true, that St. John and the Virgin Mary did appear to Gregory, a Bishopp, at his prayer to be confirmed in the faith, which I did wonder to hear from him. Here I met with Mr. Crumlum (and told him of my endeavour to get Stephens's Thesaurus for the school), and so home, and after dinner comes Mr. Faulconberge to see me, and at his desire I sent over for his kinsman Mr. Knightly, the merchant, and so he came over and sat and drank with us, and at his request I went over with him, and there I sat till the evening, and till both Mr. Knightly and Mr. Faulconberge (for whom I sent my boy to get a coach to carry him to Westminster) were both drunk, and so home, but better wine I never drank in all my life. So home, and finding my wife gone to Sir W. Pen's, I went thither, and there I sat and played at cards and supped, and so home and to bed.

Saturday, 27th December 1662

27th. Up, and while I am dressing I sent for my boy's brother, William, that lives in town here as a groom, to whom and their sister Jane I told my resolution to keep the boy no longer. So upon the whole they desire to have him stay a week longer, and then he shall go. So to the office, and there Mr. Coventry and I sat till noon, and then I stept to the Exchange, and so home to dinner, and after dinner with my wife to the Duke's Theatre, and saw the second part of "Rhodes," done with the new Roxalana; which do it rather better in all respects for person, voice, and judgment, then the first Roxalana. Home with great content with my wife, not so well pleased with the company at the house to-day, which was full of citizens, there hardly being a gentleman or woman in the house; a couple of pretty ladies by us that made sport in it, being jostled and crowded by prentices. So home, and I to my study making up my monthly accounts, which is now fallen again to £630 or thereabouts, which not long since was £680, at which I am sorry, but I trust in God I shall get it up again, and in the meantime will live sparingly. So home to supper and to bed.

Sunday, 27th December 1663

27th. Up and to church alone and so home to dinner with my wife very pleasant and pleased with one another's company, and in our general enjoyment one of another, better we think than most other couples do. So after dinner to the French church, but came too late, and so back to our owne church, where I slept all the sermon the Scott preaching, and so home, and in the evening Sir J. Minnes and I met at Sir W. Pen's about ordering some business of the Navy, and so I home to supper, discourse, prayers, and bed.

Tuesday, 27th December 1664

27th. My people came to bed, after their sporting, at four o'clock in the morning; I up at seven, and to Deptford and Woolwich in a gally; the Duke calling to me out of the barge in which the King was with him going down the river, to know whither I was going. I told him to Woolwich, but was troubled afterward I should say no farther, being in a gally, lest he think me too profuse in my journeys. Did several businesses, and then back again by two o'clock to Sir J. Minnes's to dinner by appointment, where all yesterday's company but Mr. Coventry, who could not come. Here merry, and after an hour's chat I down to the office, where busy late, and then home to supper and to bed. The Comet appeared again to-night, but duskishly. I went to bed, leaving my wife and all her folks, and Will also, too, come to make Christmas gambolls to-night.

Wednesday, 27th December 1665

27th. Up, and with Cocke, by coach to London, there home to my wife, and angry about her desiring a mayde yet, before the plague is quite over. It seems Mercer is troubled that she hath not one under her, but I will not venture my family by increasing it before it be safe. Thence about many businesses, particularly with Sir W. Warren on the 'Change, and he and I dined together and settled our Tangier matters, wherein I get above £200 presently. We dined together at the Pope's Head to do this, and thence to the goldsmiths, I to examine the state of my matters there too, and so with him to my house, but my wife was gone abroad to Mrs. Mercer's, so we took boat, and it being darke and the thaw having broke the ice, but not carried it quite away, the boat did pass through so much of it all along, and that with the crackling and noise that it made me fearfull indeed. So I forced the watermen to land us on Redriffe side, and so walked together till Sir W. Warren and I parted near his house and thence I walked quite over the fields home by light of linke, one of my watermen carrying it, and I reading by the light of it, it being a very fine, clear, dry night. So to Captain Cocke's, and there sat and talked, especially with his Counsellor, about his prize goods, that hath done him good turne, being of the company with Captain Fisher, his name Godderson; here I supped and so home to bed, with great content that the plague is decreased to 152, the whole being but 330.

Thursday, 27th December 1666

27th. Up; and called up by the King's trumpets, which cost me 10s. So to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon, by invitation, my wife, who had not been there these to months, I think, and I, to meet all our families at Sir W. Batten's at dinner, whither neither a great dinner for so much company nor anything good or handsome. In the middle of dinner I rose, and my wife, and by coach to the King's playhouse, and meeting Creed took him up, and there saw "The Scornfull Lady" well acted; Doll Common doing Abigail most excellently, and Knipp the widow very well, and will be an excellent actor, I think. In other parts the play not so well done as used to be, by the old actors. Anon to White Hall by coach, thinking to have seen a play there to-night, but found it a mistake, so back again, and missed our coach    man
, who was gone, thinking to come time enough three hours hence, and we could not blame him. So forced to get another coach, and all three home to my house, and there to Sir W. Batten's, and eat a bit of cold chine of beef, and then staid and talked, and then home and sat and talked a little by the fireside with my wife and Creed, and so to bed, my left eye being very sore. No business publick or private minded all these two days. This day a house or two was blown up with powder in the Minorys, and several people spoiled, and many dug out from under the rubbish.

Friday, 27th December 1667

27th. Up, and by water to White Hall, and there walked with Creed in the Matted gallery till by and by a Committee for Tangier met: the Duke of York there; and there I did discourse over to them their condition as to money, which they were all mightily, as I could desire, satisfied with, but the Duke of Albemarle, who takes the part of the Guards against us in our supplies of money, which is an odd consideration for a dull, heavy blockhead as he is, understanding no more of either than a goose: but the ability and integrity of Sir W. Coventry, in all the King's concernments, I do and must admire. After the Committee up, I and Sir W. Coventry walked an hour in the gallery, talking over many businesses, and he tells me that there are so many things concur to make him and his Fellow Commissioners unable to go through the King's work that he do despair of it, every body becoming an enemy to them in their retrenchments, and the King unstable, the debts great and the King's present occasions for money great and many and pressing, the bankers broke and every body keeping in their money, while the times are doubtful what will stand. But he says had they come in two years ago they doubt not to have done what the King would by this time, or were the King in the condition as heretofore, when the Chancellor was great, to be able to have what sums of money they pleased of the Parliament, and then the ill administration was such that instead of making good use of this power and money he suffered all to go to ruin. But one such sum now would put all upon their legs, and now the King would have the Parliament give him money when they are in an ill humour and will not be willing to give any, nor are very able, and besides every body distrusts what they give the King will be lost; whereas six months hence, when they see that the King can live without them, and is become steady, and to manage what he has well, he doubts not but their doubts would be removed, and would be much more free as well as more able to give him money. He told me how some of his enemies at the Duke of York's had got the Duke of York's commission for the Commissioners of his estate changed, and he and Brouncker and Povy left out: that this they did do to disgrace and impose upon him at this time; but that he, though he values not the thing, did go and tell the Duke of York what he heard, and that he did not think that he had given him any reason to do this, out of his belief that he would not be as faithful and serviceable to him as the best of those that have got him put out. Whereupon the Duke of York did say that it arose only from his not knowing whether now he would have time to regard his affairs; and that, if he should, he would put him into the commission with his own hand, though the commission be passed. He answered that he had been faithful to him, and done him good service therein, so long as he could attend it; and if he had been able to have attended it more, he would not have enriched himself with such and such estates as my Lord Chancellor hath got, that did properly belong to his Royal Highness, as being forfeited to the King, and so by the King's gift given to the Duke of York. Hereupon the Duke of York did call for the commission, and hath since put him in. This he tells me he did only to show his enemies that he is not so low as to be trod on by them, or the Duke hath any so bad opinion of him as they would think. Here we parted, and I with Sir H. Cholmly went and took a turn into the Park, and there talked of several things, and about Tangier particularly, and of his management of his business, and among other discourse about the method he will leave his accounts in if he should suddenly die, he says there is nothing but what is easily understood, but only a sum of £500 which he has entered given to E. E. S., which in great confidence he do discover to me to be my Lord Sandwich, at the beginning of their contract for the Mole, and I suppose the rest did the like, which was £1500, which would appear a very odd thing for my Lord to be a profiter by the getting of the contract made for them. But here it puts me into thoughts how I shall own my receiving of £200 a year from him, but it is his gift, I never asked of him, and which he did to Mr. Povy, and so there is no great matter in it. Thence to other talk. He tells me that the business of getting the Duchess of Richmond to Court is broke off, the Duke not suffering it; and thereby great trouble is brought among the people that endeavoured it, and thought they had compassed it. And, Lord! to think that at this time the King should mind no other cares but these! He tells me that my Lord of Canterbury is a mighty stout man, and a man of a brave, high spirit, and cares not for this disfavour that he is under at Court, knowing that the King cannot take away his profits during his life, and therefore do not value it.    This character of Archbishop Sheldon does not tally with the scandal that Pepys previously reported of him. Burnet has some passages of importance on this in his "Own Time," Book II. He affirms that Charles's final decision to throw over Clarendon was caused by the Chancellor's favouring Mrs. Stewart's marriage with the Duke of Richmond. The king had a conference with Sheldon on the removal of Clarendon, but could not convert the archbishop to his view. Lauderdale told Burnet that he had an account of the interview from the king. "The king and Sheldon had gone into such expostulations upon it that from that day forward Sheldon could never recover the king's confidence."

Thence I home, and there to my office and wrote a letter to the Duke of York from myself about my clerks extraordinary, which I have employed this war, to prevent my being obliged to answer for what others do without any reason demand allowance for, and so by this means I will be accountable for none but my own, and they shall not have them but upon the same terms that I have, which is a profession that with these helps they will answer to their having performed their duties of their places. So to dinner, and then away by coach to the Temple, and then for speed by water thence to White Hall, and there to our usual attending the Duke of York, and did attend him, where among other things I did present and lodge my letter, and did speed in it as I could wish. Thence home with Sir W. Pen and Comm. Middleton by coach, and there home and to cards with my wife, W. Hewer, Mercer, and the girle, and mighty pleasant all the evening, and so to bed with my wife, which I have not done since her being ill for three weeks or thereabouts.

Sunday, 27th December 1668

27th (Lord's day). Walked to White Hall and there saw the King at chapel; but staid not to hear anything, but went to walk in the Park, with W. Hewer, who was with me; and there, among others, met with Sir G. Downing, and walked with him an hour, talking of business, and how the late war was managed, there being nobody to take care of it, and telling how, when he was in Holland, what he offered the King to do, if he might have power, and they would give him power, and then, upon the least word, perhaps of a woman, to the King, he was contradicted again, and particularly to the loss of all that we lost in Guinny. He told me that he had so good spies, that he hath had the keys taken out of De Witt's    The celebrated John de Witt, Grand Pensionary of Holland, who, a few years afterwards, was massacred, with his brother Cornelius, by the Dutch mob, enraged at their opposition to the elevation of William of Orange to the Stadtholdership, when the States were overrun by the French army, and the Dutch fleets beaten at sea by the English. The murder of the De Witts forms one of the main incidents of Alexandre Dumas's "Black Tulip."
pocket when he was a-bed, and his closet opened, and papers brought to him, and left in his hands for an hour, and carried back and laid in the place again, and keys put into his pocket again. He says that he hath always had their most private debates, that have been but between two or three of the chief of them, brought to him in an hour after, and an hour after that, hath sent word thereof to the King, but nobody here regarded them. But he tells me the sad news, that he is out of all expectations that ever the debts of the Navy will be paid, if the Parliament do not enable the King to do it by money; all they can hope for to do out of the King's revenue being but to keep our wheels a-going on present services, and, if they can, to cut off the growing interest: which is a sad story, and grieves me to the heart. So home, my coach coming for me, and there find Balty and Mr. How, who dined with me; and there my wife and I fell out a little about the foulness of the linen of the table, but were friends presently, but she cried, poor heart! which I was troubled for, though I did not give her one hard word. Dinner done, she to church, and W. How and I all the afternoon talking together about my Lord Sandwich's suffering his business of the prizes to be managed by Sir R. Cuttance, who is so deep in the business, more than my Lord knows of, and such a loggerhead, and under such prejudice, that he will, we doubt, do my Lord much wrong. In the evening, he gone, my wife to read to me and talk, and spent the evening with much pleasure, and so to supper and to bed.