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.
27th. To my Lord at Mr. Crew's, and there took order about some business of his, and from thence home to my workmen all the afternoon. In the evening to my Lord's, and there did read over with him and Dr. Walker my lord's new commission for sea, and advised thereupon how to have it drawn. So home and to bed.
27th. By coach to Whitehall with my wife (where she went to see Mrs. Pierce, who was this day churched, her month of childbed being out). I went to Mrs. Montagu and other businesses, and at noon met my wife at the Wardrobe; and there dined, where we found Captain Country (my little Captain that I loved, who carried me to the Sound), come with some grapes and millonsThe antiquity of the cultivation of the melon is very remote. Both the melon (cucaimis melo) and the water-melon (cucumis citrullus) were introduced into England at the end of the sixteenth century. See vol. i., p. 228.
from my Lord at Lisbon, the first that ever I saw any, and my wife and I eat some, and took some home; but the grapes are rare things. Here we staid; and in the afternoon comes Mr. Edwd. Montagu (by appointment this morning) to talk with my Lady and me about the provisions fit to be bought, and sent to my Lord along with him. And told us, that we need not trouble ourselves how to buy them, for the King would pay for all, and that he would take care to get them: which put my Lady and me into a great deal of ease of mind. Here we staid and supped too, and, after my wife had put up some of the grapes in a basket for to be sent to the King, we took coach and home, where we found a hampire of millons sent to me also.
27th. Up betimes and among my workmen, and with great pleasure see the posts in the entry taken down beyond expectation, so that now the boy's room being laid into the entry do make my coming in very handsome, which was the only fault remaining almost in my house. We sat all the morning, and in the afternoon I got many jobbs done to my mind, and my wife's chamber put into a good readiness against her coming, which she did at night, for Will did, by my leave to go, meet her upon the road, and at night did bring me word she was come to my brother's, by my order. So I made myself ready and put things at home in order, and so went thither to her. Being come, I found her and her maid and dogg very well, and herself grown a little fatter than she was. I was very well pleased to see her, and after supper to bed, and had her company with great content and much mutual love, only I do perceive that there has been falling out between my mother and she, and a little between my father and she; but I hope all is well again, and I perceive she likes Brampton House and seat better than ever I did myself, and tells me how my Lord hath drawn a plot of some alteracions to be made there, and hath brought it up, which I saw and like well. I perceive my Lord and Lady have been very kind to her, and Captn. Ferrers so kind that I perceive I have some jealousy of him, but I know what is the Captain's manner of carriage, and therefore it is nothing to me. She tells me of a Court like to be in a little time, which troubles me, for I would not willingly go out of town.
27th (Lord's day). Lay chatting with my wife a good while, then up and got me ready and to church, without my man William, whom I have not seen to-day, nor care, but would be glad to have him put himself far enough out of my favour that he may not wonder to have me put him away. So home to dinner, being a little troubled to see Pembleton out again, but I do not discern in my wife the least memory of him. Dined, and so to my office a little, and then to church again, where a drowsy sermon, and so home to spend the evening with my poor wife, consulting about her closett, clothes, and other things. At night to supper, though with little comfort, I finding myself both head and breast in great pain, and what troubles me most my right ear is almost deaf. It is a cold, which God Almighty in justice did give me while I sat lewdly sporting with Mrs. Lane the other day with the broken window in my neck. I went to bed with a posset, being very melancholy in consideration of the loss of my hearing.
27th. Lay long, sleeping, it raining and blowing very hard. Then up and to the office, my mouth still being scabby and a patch on it. At the office all the morning. At noon dined at home, and so after dinner (Lewellin dining with me and in my way talking about Deering) to the Fishing Committee, and had there very many fine things argued, and I hope some good will cone of it. So home, where my wife having (after all her merry discourse of being with child) her months upon her is gone to bed. I to my office very late doing business, then home to supper and to bed. To-night Mr. T. Trice and Piggot came to see me, and desire my going down to Brampton Court, where for Piggot's sake, for whom it is necessary, I should go, I would be glad to go, and will, contrary to my purpose, endeavour it, but having now almost £1000, if not above, in my house, I know not what to do with it, and that will trouble my mind to leave in the house, and I not at home.
27th. Up, and saw and admired my wife's picture of our Saviour,This picture by Mrs. Pepys may have given trouble when Pepys was unjustifiably attacked for having Popish pictures in his house.
now finished, which is very pretty. So by water to Greenwich, where with Creed and Lord Rutherford, and there my Lord told me that he would give me £100 for my pains, which pleased me well, though Creed, like a cunning rogue, hath got a promise of half of it from me. We to the King's Head, the great musique house, the first time I was ever there, and had a good breakfast, and thence parted, I being much troubled to hear from Creed, that he was told at Salsbury that I am come to be a great swearer and drinker, though I know the contrary; but, Lord! to see how my late little drinking of wine is taken notice of by envious men to my disadvantage. I thence to Captain Cocke's,and
(he not yet come from town) to Mr. Evelyn's, where much company; and thence in his coach with him to the Duke of Albemarle by Lambeth, who was in a mighty pleasant humour; there the Duke tells us that the Dutch do stay abroad, and our fleet must go out again, or to be ready to do so. Here we got several things ordered as we desired for the relief of the prisoners, and sick and wounded men. Here I saw this week's Bill of Mortality, wherein, blessed be God! there is above 1800 decrease, being the first considerable decrease we have had. Back again the same way and had most excellent discourse of Mr. Evelyn touching all manner of learning; wherein I find him a very fine gentleman, and particularly of paynting, in which he tells me the beautifull Mrs. Middleton is rare, and his own wife do brave things. He brought me to the office, whither comes unexpectedly Captain Cocke, who hath brought one parcel of our goods by waggons, and at first resolved to have lodged them at our office; but then the thoughts of its being the King's house altered our resolution, and so put them at his friend's, Mr. Glanvill's, and there they are safe. Would the rest of them were so too! In discourse, we come to mention my profit, and he offers me £500 clear, and I demand £600 for my certain profit. We part to-night, and I lie there at Mr. Glanvill's house, there being none there but a maydeservant and a young man; being in some pain, partly from not knowing what to do in this business, having a mind to be at a certainty in my profit, and partly through his having Jacke sicke still, and his blackemore now also fallen sicke. So he being gone, I to bed.
27th. A very furious blowing night all the night; and my mind still mightily perplexed with dreams, and burning the rest of the town, and waking in much pain for the fleete. Up, and with my wife by coach as far as the Temple, and there she to the mercer's again, and I to look out Penny, my tailor, to speak for a cloak and cassock for my brother, who is coming to town; and I will have him in a canonical dress, that he may be the fitter to go abroad with me. I then to the Exchequer, and there, among other things, spoke to Mr. Falconbridge about his girle I heard sing at Nonsuch, and took him and some other 'Chequer men to the Sun Taverne, and there spent 2s. 6d. upon them, and he sent for the girle, and she hath a pretty way of singing, but hath almost forgot for want of practice. She is poor in clothes, and not bred to any carriage, but will be soon taught all, and if Mercer do not come again, I think we may have her upon better terms, and breed her to what we please. Thence to Sir W. Coventry's, and there dined with him and Sir W. Batten, the Lieutenant of the Tower, and Mr. Thin, a pretty gentleman, going to Gottenburgh. Having dined, Sir W. Coventry, Sir W. Batten, and I walked into his closet to consider of some things more to be done in a list to be given to the Parliament of all our ships, and time of entry and discharge. Sir W. Coventry seems to think they will soon be weary of the business, and fall quietly into the giving the King what is fit. This he hopes. Thence I by coach home to the office, and there intending a meeting, but nobody being there but myself and Sir J. Minnes, who is worse than nothing, I did not answer any body, but kept to my business in the office till night, and then Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen to me, and thence to Sir W. Batten's, and eat a barrel of oysters I did give them, and so home, and to bed. I have this evening discoursed with W. Hewer about Mercer, I having a mind to have her again; and I am vexed to hear him say that she hath no mind to come again, though her mother hath. No newes of the fleete yet, but that they went by Dover on the 25th towards the Gunfleete, but whether the Dutch be yet abroad, or no, we hear not. De Ruyter is not dead, but like to do well. Most think that the gross of the French fleete are gone home again.
27th. Up, and to the office, where very busy all the morning. While I was busy at the Office, my wife sends for me to come home, and what was it but to see the pretty girl which she is taking to wait upon her: and though she seems not altogether so great a beauty as she had before told me, yet indeed she is mighty pretty; and so pretty, that I find I shall be too much pleased with it, and therefore could be contented as to my judgement, though not to my passion, that she might not come, lest I may be found too much minding her, to the discontent of my wife. She is to come next week. She seems, by her discourse, to be grave beyond her bigness and age, and exceeding well bred as to her deportment, having been a scholar in a school at Bow these seven or eight years. To the office again, my head running on this pretty girl, and there till noon, when Creed and Sheres come and dined with me; and we had a great deal of pretty discourse of the ceremoniousness of the Spaniards, whose ceremonies are so many and so known, that, Sheres tells me, upon all occasions of joy or sorrow in a Grandee's family, my Lord Embassador is fain to send one with an 'en hora buena', if it be upon a marriage, or birth of a child, or a 'pesa me', if it be upon the death of a child, or so. And these ceremonies are so set, and the words of the compliment, that he hath been sent from my Lord, when he hath done no more than send in word to the Grandee that one was there from the Embassador; and he knowing what was his errand, that hath been enough, and he never spoken with him: nay, several Grandees having been to marry a daughter, have wrote letters to my Lord to give him notice, and out of the greatness of his wisdom to desire his advice, though people he never saw; and then my Lord he answers by commending the greatness of his discretion in making so good an alliance, &c., and so ends. He says that it is so far from dishonour to a man to give private revenge for an affront, that the contrary is a disgrace; they holding that he that receives an affront is not fit to appear in the sight of the world till he hath revenged himself; and therefore, that a gentleman there that receives an affront oftentimes never appears again in the world till he hath, by some private way or other, revenged himself: and that, on this account, several have followed their enemies privately to the Indys, thence to Italy, thence to France and back again, watching for an opportunity to be revenged. He says my Lord was fain to keep a letter from the Duke of York to the Queen of Spain a great while in his hands, before he could think fit to deliver it, till he had learnt whether the Queen would receive it, it being directed to his cozen. He says that many ladies in Spain, after they are found to be with child, do never stir out of their beds or chambers till they are brought to bed: so ceremonious they are in that point also. He tells me of their wooing by serenades at the window, and that their friends do always make the match; but yet that they have opportunities to meet at masse at church, and there they make love: that the Court there hath no dancing, nor visits at night to see the King or Queen, but is always just like a cloyster, nobody stirring in it: that my Lord Sandwich wears a beard now, turned up in the Spanish manner. But that which pleases me most indeed is, that the peace which he hath made with Spain is now printed here, and is acknowledged by all the merchants to be the best peace that ever England had with them: and it appears that the King thinks it so, for this is printed before the ratification is gone over; whereas that with France and Holland was not in a good while after, till copys come over of it in English out of Holland and France, that it was a reproach not to have it printed here. This I am mighty glad of; and is the first and only piece of good news, or thing fit to be owned, that this nation hath done several years. After dinner I to the office, and they gone, anon comes Pelling, and he and I to Gray's Inne Fields, thinking to have heard Mrs. Knight sing at her lodgings, by a friend's means of his;Mrs. Knight, a celebrated singer and mistress of Charles II. There is in Waller's "Poems" a song sung by her to the queen on her birthday. In her portrait, engraved by Faber, after Kneller, she is represented in mourning, and in a devout posture before a crucifix. Evelyn refers to her singing as incomparable, and adds that she had "the greatest reach of any English woman; she had been lately roaming in Italy, and was much improv'd in that quality" ("Diary," December 2nd, 1674).
but we come too late; so must try another time. So lost our labour, and I by coach home, and there to my chamber, and did a great deal of good business about my Tangier accounts, and so with pleasure discoursing with my wife of our journey shortly to Brampton, and of this little girle, which indeed runs in my head, and pleases me mightily, though I dare not own it, and so to supper and to bed.
27th (Lord's day). Up, and to my office to finish my journall for five days past, and so abroad and walked to White Hall, calling in at Somerset House Chapel, and also at the Spanish Embassador's at York House, and there did hear a little masse: and so to White Hall; and there the King being gone to Chapel, I to walk all the morning in the Park, where I met Mr. Wren; and he and I walked together in the Pell-Mell, it being most summer weather that ever was seen: and here talking of several things: of the corruption of the Court, and how unfit it is for ingenious men, and himself particularly, to live in it, where a man cannot live but he must spend, and cannot get suitably, without breach of his honour: and did thereupon tell me of the basest thing of my Lord Barkeley, one of the basest things that ever was heard of of a man, which was this: how the Duke of York's Commissioners do let his wine-licenses at a bad rate, and being offered a better, they did persuade the Duke of York to give some satisfaction to the former to quit it, and let it to the latter, which being done, my Lord Barkeley did make the bargain for the former to have £1500 a-year to quit it; whereof, since, it is come to light that they were to have but £800 and himself £700, which the Duke of York hath ever since for some years paid, though this second bargain hath been broken, and the Duke of York lost by it,half
of what the first was. He told me that there hath been a seeming accommodation between the Duke of York and the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Arlington, the two latter desiring it; but yet that there is not true agreement between them, but they do labour to bring in all new creatures into play, and the Duke of York do oppose it, as particularly in this of Sir D. Gawden. Thence, he gone, I to the Queen's Chapel, and there heard some good singing; and so to White Hall, and saw the King and Queen at dinner and thence with Sir Stephen Fox to dinner: and the Cofferer with us; and there mighty kind usage, and good discourse. Thence spent all the afternoon walking in the Park, and then in the evening at Court, on the Queen's side; and there met Mr. Godolphin, who tells me that the news, is true we heard yesterday, of my Lord Sandwich's being come to Mount's Bay, in Cornwall, and so I heard this afternoon at Mrs. Pierce's, whom I went to make a short visit to. This night, in the Queen's drawing-room, my Lord Brouncker told me the difference that is now between the three Embassadors here, the Venetian, French, and Spaniard; the third not being willing to make a visit to the first, because he would not receive him at the door; who is willing to give him as much respect as he did to the French, who was used no otherwise, and who refuses now to take more of him, upon being desired thereto, in order to the making an accommodation in this matter, which is very pretty. So a boat staying for me all this evening, I home in the dark about eight at night, and so over the ruins from the Old Swan home with great trouble, and so to hear my boy read a little, and supper and to bed. This evening I found at home Pelling and Wallington and one Aldrige, and we supped and sung.