November 1st. Up and to the office, where busy all the morning, at noon (my wife being invited to my Lady Sandwich’s) all alone dined at home upon a good goose with Mr. Wayth, discussing of business. Thence I to the Committee of the Fishery, and there we sat with several good discourses and some bad and simple ones, and with great disorder, and yet by the men of businesse of the towne. But my report in the business of the collections is mightily commended and will get me some reputation, and indeed is the only thing looks like a thing well done since we sat. Then with Mr. Parham to the tavern, but I drank no wine, only he did give me another barrel of oysters, and he brought one Major Greene, an able fishmonger, and good discourse to my information. So home and late at business at my office. Then to supper and to bed.
2nd. Up betimes, and down with Mr. Castle to Redriffe, and there walked to Deptford to view a parcel of brave knees—[Knees of timber]—of his, which indeed are very good, and so back again home, I seeming very friendly to him, though I know him to be a rogue, and one that hates me with his heart. Home and to dinner, and so to my office all the afternoon, where in some pain in my backe, which troubled me, but I think it comes only with stooping, and from no other matter. At night to Nellson’s, and up and down about business, and so home to my office, then home to supper and to bed.
3rd. Up and to the office, where strange to see how Sir W. Pen is flocked to by people of all sorts against his going to sea. At the office did much business, among other an end of that that has troubled me long, the business of the bewpers and flags. At noon to the ‘Change, and thence by appointment was met with Bagwell’s wife, and she followed me into Moorfields, and there into a drinking house, and all alone eat and drank together. I did there caress her, but though I did make some offer did not receive any compliance from her in what was bad, but very modestly she denied me, which I was glad to see and shall value her the better for it, and I hope never tempt her to any evil more. Thence back to the town, and we parted and I home, and then at the office late, where Sir W. Pen came to take his leave of me, being to-morrow, which is very sudden to us, to go on board to lie on board, but I think will come ashore again before the ship, the Charles,
[“The Royal Charles” was the Duke of York’s ship, and Sir William Penn, who hoisted his flag in the “Royal James” on November 8th, shifted to the “Royal Charles” on November 30th. The duke gave Penn the command of the fleet immediately under himself. On Penn’s monument he is styled “Great Captain Commander under His Royal Highness” (Penn’s “Memorials of Sir William Penn,” vol. ii., p. 296).]
can go away. So home to supper and to bed. This night Sir W. Batten did, among other things, tell me strange newes, which troubles me, that my Lord Sandwich will be sent Governor to Tangier, which, in some respects, indeed, I should be glad of, for the good of the place and the safety of his person; but I think his honour will suffer, and, it may be, his interest fail by his distance.
4th. Waked very betimes and lay long awake, my mind being so full of business. Then up and to St. James’s, where I find Mr. Coventry full of business, packing up for his going to sea with the Duke. Walked with him, talking, to White Hall, where to the Duke’s lodgings, who is gone thither to lodge lately. I appeared to the Duke, and thence Mr. Coventry and I an hour in the Long Gallery, talking about the management of our office, he tells me the weight of dispatch will lie chiefly on me, and told me freely his mind touching Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, the latter of whom, he most aptly said, was like a lapwing; that all he did was to keepe a flutter, to keepe others from the nest that they would find. He told me an old story of the former about the light-houses, how just before he had certified to the Duke against the use of them, and what a burden they are to trade, and presently after, at his being at Harwich, comes to desire that he might have the setting one up there, and gets the usefulness of it certified also by the Trinity House. After long discoursing and considering all our stores and other things, as how the King hath resolved upon Captain Taylor
[Coventry, writing to Secretary Bennet (November 14th, 1664), refers to the objections made to Taylor, and adds: “Thinks the King will not easily consent to his rejection, as he is a man of great abilities and dispatch, and was formerly laid aside at Chatham on the Duchess of Albemarle’s earnest interposition for another. He is a fanatic, it is true, but all hands will be needed for the work cut out; there is less danger of them in harbour than at sea, and profit will convert most of them” (“Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1664-65, p. 68).]
and Colonell Middleton, the first to be Commissioner for Harwich and the latter for Portsmouth, I away to the ‘Change, and there did very much business, so home to dinner, and Mr. Duke, our Secretary for the Fishery, dined with me. After dinner to discourse of our business, much to my content, and then he away, and I by water among the smiths on the other side, and to the alehouse with one and was near buying 4 or 5 anchors, and learned something worth my knowing of them, and so home and to my office, where late, with my head very full of business, and so away home to supper and to bed.
5th. Up and to the office, where all the morning, at noon to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner, and so with my wife to the Duke’s house to a play, “Macbeth,” a pretty good play, but admirably acted. Thence home; the coach being forced to go round by London Wall home, because of the bonefires; the day being mightily observed in the City. To my office late at business, and then home to supper, and to bed.
6th (Lord’s day). Up and with my wife to church. Dined at home. And I all the afternoon close at my office drawing up some proposals to present to the Committee for the Fishery to-morrow, having a great good intention to be serviceable in the business if I can. At night, to supper with my uncle Wight, where very merry, and so home. To prayers and to bed.
7th. Up and with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, where mighty thrusting about the Duke now upon his going. We were with him long. He advised us to follow our business close, and to be directed in his absence by the Committee of the Councell for the Navy. By and by a meeting of the Fishery, where the Duke was, but in such haste, and things looked so superficially over, that I had not a fit opportunity to propose my paper that I wrote yesterday, but I had chewed it to Mr. Gray and Wren before, who did like it most highly, as they said, and I think they would not dissemble in that manner in a business of this nature, but I see the greatest businesses are done so superficially that I wonder anything succeeds at all among us, that is publique. Thence somewhat vexed to see myself frustrated in the good I hoped to have done and a little reputation to have gained, and thence to my barber’s, but Jane not being in the way I to my Lady Sandwich’s, and there met my wife and dined, but I find that I dine as well myself, that is, as neatly, and my meat as good and well-dressed, as my good Lady do, in the absence of my Lord. Thence by water I to my barber’s again, and did meet in the street my Jane, but could not talk with her, but only a word or two, and so by coach called my wife, and home, where at my office late, and then, it being washing day, to supper and to bed. 8th. Up and to the office, where by and by Mr. Coventry come, and after doing a little business, took his leave of us, being to go to sea with the Duke to-morrow. At noon, I and Sir J. Minnes and Lord Barkeley (who with Sir J. Duncum, and Mr. Chichly, are made Masters of the Ordnance), to the office of the Ordnance, to discourse about wadding for guns. Thence to dinner, all of us to the Lieutenant’s of the Tower; where a good dinner, but disturbed in the middle of it by the King’s coming into the Tower: and so we broke up, and to him, and went up and down the store-houses and magazines; which are, with the addition of the new great store-house, a noble sight. He gone, I to my office, where Bagwell’s wife staid for me, and together with her a good while, to meet again shortly. So all the afternoon at my office till late, and then to bed, joyed in my love and ability to follow my business. This day, Mr. Lever sent my wife a pair of silver candlesticks, very pretty ones. The first man that ever presented me, to whom I have not only done little service, but apparently did him the greatest disservice in his business of accounts, as Purser-Generall, of any man at the board.
9th. Called up, as I had appointed, by H. Russell, between two and three o’clock, and I and my boy Tom by water with a gally down to the Hope, it being a fine starry night. Got thither by eight o’clock, and there, as expected, found the Charles, her mainmast setting. Commissioner Pett aboard. I up and down to see the ship I was so well acquainted with, and a great worke it is, the setting so great a mast. Thence the Commissioner and I on board Sir G. Ascue, in the Henery, who lacks men mightily, which makes me think that there is more believed to be in a man that hath heretofore been employed than truly there is; for one would never have thought, a month ago, that he would have wanted 1000 men at his heels. Nor do I think he hath much of a seaman in him: for he told me, says he, “Heretofore, we used to find our ships clear and ready, everything to our hands in the Downes. Now I come, and must look to see things done like a slave, things that I never minded, nor cannot look after.” And by his discourse I find that he hath not minded anything in her at all. Thence not staying, the wind blowing hard, I made use of the Jemmy yacht and returned to the Tower in her, my boy being a very droll boy and good company. Home and eat something, and then shifted myself, and to White Hall, and there the King being in his Cabinet Council (I desiring to speak with Sir G. Carteret), I was called in, and demanded by the King himself many questions, to which I did give him full answers. There were at this Council my Lord Chancellor, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Treasurer, the two Secretarys, and Sir G. Carteret. Not a little contented at this chance of being made known to these persons, and called often by my name by the King, I to Mr. Pierces to take leave of him, but he not within, but saw her and made very little stay, but straight home to my office, where I did business, and then to supper and to bed. The Duke of York is this day gone away to Portsmouth.
10th. Up, and not finding my things ready, I was so angry with Besse as to bid my wife for good and all to bid her provide herself a place, for though she be very good-natured, she hath no care nor memory of her business at all. So to the office, where vexed at the malice of Sir W. Batten and folly of Sir J. Minnes against Sir W. Warren, but I prevented, and shall do, though to my own disquiet and trouble. At noon dined with Sir W. Batten and the Auditors of the Exchequer at the Dolphin by Mr. Wayth’s desire, and after dinner fell to business relating to Sir G. Carteret’s account, and so home to the office, where Sir W. Batten begins, too fast, to shew his knavish tricks in giving what price he pleases for commodities. So abroad, intending to have spoke with my Lord Chancellor about the old business of his wood at Clarendon, but could not, and so home again, and late at my office, and then home to supper and bed. My little girle Susan is fallen sicke of the meazles, we fear, or, at least, of a scarlett feavour.
11th. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten to the Council Chamber at White Hall, to the Committee of the Lords for the Navy, where we were made to wait an houre or two before called in. In that time looking upon some books of heraldry of Sir Edward Walker’s making, which are very fine, there I observed the Duke of Monmouth’s armes are neatly done, and his title, “The most noble and high-born Prince, James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, &c.;” nor could Sir J. Minnes, nor any body there, tell whence he should take the name of Scott? And then I found my Lord Sandwich, his title under his armes is, “The most noble and mighty Lord, Edward, Earl of Sandwich, &c.” Sir Edward Walker afterwards coming in, in discourse did say that there was none of the families of princes in Christendom that do derive themselves so high as Julius Caesar, nor so far by 1000 years, that can directly prove their rise; only some in Germany do derive themselves from the patrician familys of Rome, but that uncertainly; and, among other things, did much inveigh against the writing of romances, that 500 years hence being wrote of matters in general, true as the romance of Cleopatra, the world will not know which is the true and which the false. Here was a gentleman attending here that told us he saw the other day (and did bring the draught of it to Sir Francis Prigeon) of a monster born of an hostler’s wife at Salisbury, two women children perfectly made, joyned at the lower part of their bellies, and every part perfect as two bodies, and only one payre of legs coming forth on one side from the middle where they were joined. It was alive 24 hours, and cried and did as all hopefull children do; but, being showed too much to people, was killed. By and by we were called in, where a great many lords: Annesly in the chair. But, Lord! to see what work they will make us, and what trouble we shall have to inform men in a business they are to begin to know, when the greatest of our hurry is, is a thing to be lamented; and I fear the consequence will be bad to us. Thence I by coach to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner, my head akeing mightily with much business. Our little girl better than she was yesterday. After dinner out again by coach to my Lord Chancellor’s, but could not speak with him, then up and down to seek Sir Ph. Warwicke, Sir G. Carteret, and my Lord Berkely, but failed in all, and so home and there late at business. Among other things Mr. Turner making his complaint to me how my clerks do all the worke and get all the profit, and he hath no comfort, nor cannot subsist, I did make him apprehend how he is beholding to me more than to any body for my suffering him to act as Pourveyour of petty provisions, and told him so largely my little value of any body’s favour, that I believe he will make no complaints again a good while. So home to supper and to bed, after prayers, and having my boy and Mercer give me some, each of them some, musique.
12th. Up, being frighted that Mr. Coventry was come to towne and now at the office, so I run down without eating or drinking or washing to the office and it proved my Lord Berkeley. There all the morning, at noon to the ‘Change, and so home to dinner, Mr. Wayth with me, and then to the office, where mighty busy till very late, but I bless God I go through with it very well and hope I shall.
13th (Lord’s day). This morning to church, where mighty sport, to hear our clerke sing out of tune, though his master sits by him that begins and keeps the tune aloud for the parish. Dined at home very well, and spent all the afternoon with my wife within doors, and getting a speech out of Hamlett, “To bee or not to bee,”’ without book. In the evening to sing psalms, and in come Mr. Hill to see me, and then he and I and the boy finely to sing, and so anon broke up after much pleasure, he gone I to supper, and so prayers and to bed.
14th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, to the Lords of the Admiralty, and there did our business betimes. Thence to Sir Philip Warwicke about Navy business: and my Lord Ashly; and afterwards to my Lord Chancellor, who is very well pleased with me, and my carrying of his business. And so to the ‘Change, where mighty busy; and so home to dinner, where Mr. Creed and Moore: and after dinner I to my Lord Treasurer’s, to Sir Philip Warwicke there, and then to White Hall, to the Duke of Albemarle, about Tangier; and then homeward to the Coffee-house to hear newes. And it seems the Dutch, as I afterwards found by Mr. Coventry’s letters, have stopped a ship of masts of Sir W. Warren’s, coming for us in a Swede’s ship, which they will not release upon Sir G. Downing’s claiming her: which appears as the first act of hostility; and is looked upon as so by Mr. Coventry. The Elias,’ coming from New England (Captain Hill, commander), is sunk; only the captain and a few men saved. She foundered in the sea. So home, where infinite busy till 12 at night, and so home to supper and to bed.
15th. That I might not be too fine for the business I intend this day, I did leave off my fine new cloth suit lined with plush and put on my poor black suit, and after office done (where much business, but little done), I to the ‘Change, and thence Bagwell’s wife with much ado followed me through Moorfields to a blind alehouse, and there I did caress her and eat and drink, and many hard looks and sooth the poor wretch did give me, and I think verily was troubled at what I did, but at last after many protestings by degrees I did arrive at what I would, with great pleasure, and then in the evening, it raining, walked into town to where she knew where she was, and then I took coach and to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier, where, and every where else, I thank God, I find myself growing in repute; and so home, and late, very late, at business, nobody minding it but myself, and so home to bed, weary and full of thoughts. Businesses grow high between the Dutch and us on every side.
16th. My wife not being well, waked in the night, and strange to see how dead sleep our people sleep that she was fain to ring an hour before any body would wake. At last one rose and helped my wife, and so to sleep again. Up and to my business, and then to White Hall, there to attend the Lords Commissioners, and so directly home and dined with Sir W. Batten and my Lady, and after dinner had much discourse tending to profit with Sir W. Batten, how to get ourselves into the prize office
[The Calendars of State Papers are full of references to applications for Commissionerships of the Prize Office. In December, 1664, the Navy Committee appointed themselves the Commissioners for Prize Goods, Sir Henry Bennet being appointed comptroller, and Lord Ashley treasurer.]
or some other fair way of obliging the King to consider us in our extraordinary pains. Then to the office, and there all the afternoon very busy, and so till past 12 at night, and so home to bed. This day my wife went to the burial of a little boy of W. Joyce’s.
17th. Up and to my office, and there all the morning mighty busy, and taking upon me to tell the Comptroller how ill his matters were done, and I think indeed if I continue thus all the business of the office will come upon me whether I will or no. At noon to the ‘Change, and then home with Creed to dinner, and thence I to the office, where close at it all the afternoon till 12 at night, and then home to supper and to bed. This day I received from Mr. Foley, but for me to pay for it, if I like it, an iron chest, having now received back some money I had laid out for the King, and I hope to have a good sum of money by me, thereby, in a few days, I think above L800. But when I come home at night, I could not find the way to open it; but, which is a strange thing, my little girle Susan could carry it alone from one table clear from the ground and set upon another, when neither I nor anyone in my house but Jane the cook-mayde could do it.
18th. Up and to the office, and thence to the Committee of the Fishery at White Hall, where so poor simple doings about the business of the Lottery, that I was ashamed to see it, that a thing so low and base should have any thing to do with so noble an undertaking. But I had the advantage this day to hear Mr. Williamson discourse, who come to be a contractor with others for the Lotterys, and indeed I find he is a very logicall man and a good speaker. But it was so pleasant to see my Lord Craven, the chaireman, before many persons of worth and grave, use this comparison in saying that certainly these that would contract for all the lotteries would not suffer us to set up the Virginia lottery for plate before them, “For,” says he, “if I occupy a wench first, you may occupy her again your heart out you can never have her maidenhead after I have once had it,” which he did more loosely, and yet as if he had fetched a most grave and worthy instance. They made mirth, but I and others were ashamed of it. Thence to the ‘Change and thence home to dinner, and thence to the office a good while, and thence to the Council chamber at White Hall to speake with Sir G. Carteret, and here by accident heard a great and famous cause between Sir G. Lane and one Mr. Phill. Whore, an Irish business about Sir G. Lane’s endeavouring to reverse a decree of the late Commissioners of Ireland in a Rebells case for his land, which the King had given as forfeited to Sir G. Lane, for whom the Sollicitor did argue most angell like, and one of the Commissioners, Baron, did argue for the other and for himself and his brethren who had decreed it. But the Sollicitor do so pay the Commissioners, how four all along did act for the Papists, and three only for the Protestants, by which they were overvoted, but at last one word (which was omitted in the Sollicitor’s repeating of an Act of Parliament in the case) being insisted on by the other part, the Sollicitor was put to a great stop, and I could discern he could not tell what to say, but was quite out. Thence home well pleased with this accident, and so home to my office, where late, and then to supper and to bed. This day I had a letter from Mr. Coventry, that tells me that my Lord Brunkard is to be one of our Commissioners, of which I am very glad, if any more must be.
19th. All the morning at the office, and without dinner down by galley up and down the river to visit the yards and ships now ordered forth with great delight, and so home to supper, and then to office late to write letters, then home to bed.
20th (Lord’s day). Up, and with my wife to church, where Pegg Pen very fine in her new coloured silk suit laced with silver lace. Dined at home, and Mr. Sheply, lately come to town, with me. A great deal of ordinary discourse with him. Among other things praying him to speak to Stankes to look after our business. With him and in private with Mr. Bodham talking of our ropeyarde stores at Woolwich, which are mighty low, even to admiration. They gone, in the evening comes Mr. Andrews and sings with us, and he gone, I to Sir W. Batten’s, where Sir J. Minnes and he and I to talk about our letter to my Lord Treasurer, where his folly and simple confidence so great in a report so ridiculous that he hath drawn up to present to my Lord, nothing of it being true, that I was ashamed, and did roundly and in many words for an houre together talk boldly to him, which pleased Sir W. Batten and my Lady, but I was in the right, and was the willinger to do so before them, that they might see that I am somebody, and shall serve him so in his way another time. So home vexed at this night’s passage, for I had been very hot with him, so to supper and to bed, out of order with this night’s vexation.
21st. Up, and with them to the Lords at White Hall, where they do single me out to speake to and to hear, much to my content, and received their commands, particularly in several businesses. Thence by their order to the Attorney General’s about a new warrant for Captain Taylor which I shall carry for him to be Commissioner in spite of Sir W. Batten, and yet indeed it is not I, but the ability of the man, that makes the Duke and Mr. Coventry stand by their choice. I to the ‘Change and there staid long doing business, and this day for certain newes is come that Teddiman hath brought in eighteen or twenty Dutchmen, merchants, their Bourdeaux fleete, and two men of wary to Portsmouth.
[Captain Sir Thomas Teddiman (or Tyddiman) had been appointed Rear-Admiral of Lord Sandwich’s squadron of the English fleet. In a letter from Sir William Coventry to Secretary Bennet, dated November 13th, 1664, we read, “Rear Admiral Teddeman with four or five ships has gone to course in the Channel, and if he meet any refractory Dutchmen will teach them their duty” (“Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1664.-65, p. 66).]
And I had letters this afternoon, that three are brought into the Downes and Dover; so that the warr is begun: God give a good end to it! After dinner at home all the afternoon busy, and at night with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes looking over the business of stating the accounts of the navy charge to my Lord Treasurer, where Sir J. Minnes’s paper served us in no stead almost, but was all false, and after I had done it with great pains, he being by, I am confident he understands not one word in it. At it till 10 at night almost. Thence by coach to Sir Philip Warwicke’s, by his desire to have conferred with him, but he being in bed, I to White Hall to the Secretaries, and there wrote to Mr. Coventry, and so home by coach again, a fine clear moonshine night, but very cold. Home to my office awhile, it being past 12 at night; and so to supper and to bed.
22nd. At the office all the morning. Sir G. Carteret, upon a motion of Sir W. Batten’s, did promise, if we would write a letter to him, to shew it to the King on our behalf touching our desire of being Commissioners of the Prize office. I wrote a letter to my mind and, after eating a bit at home (Mr. Sheply dining and taking his leave of me), abroad and to Sir G. Carteret with the letter and thence to my Lord Treasurer’s; wherewith Sir Philip Warwicke long studying all we could to make the last year swell as high as we could. And it is much to see how he do study for the King, to do it to get all the money from the Parliament all he can: and I shall be serviceable to him therein, to help him to heads upon which to enlarge the report of the expense. He did observe to me how obedient this Parliament was for awhile, and the last sitting how they begun to differ, and to carp at the King’s officers; and what they will do now, he says, is to make agreement for the money, for there is no guess to be made of it. He told me he was prepared to convince the Parliament that the Subsidys are a most ridiculous tax (the four last not rising to L40,000), and unequall. He talks of a tax of Assessment of L70,000 for five years; the people to be secured that it shall continue no longer than there is really a warr; and the charges thereof to be paid. He told me, that one year of the late Dutch warr cost L1,623,000. Thence to my Lord Chancellor’s, and there staid long with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, to speak with my lord about our Prize Office business; but, being sicke and full of visitants, we could not speak with him, and so away home. Where Sir Richard Ford did meet us with letters from Holland this day, that it is likely the Dutch fleete will not come out this year; they have not victuals to keep them out, and it is likely they will be frozen before they can get back. Captain Cocke is made Steward for sick and wounded seamen. So home to supper, where troubled to hear my poor boy Tom has a fit of the stone, or some other pain like it. I must consult Mr. Holliard for him. So at one in the morning home to bed.
23rd. Up and to my office, where close all the morning about my Lord Treasurer’s accounts, and at noon home to dinner, and then to the office all the afternoon very busy till very late at night, and then to supper and to bed. This evening Mr. Hollyard came to me and told me that he hath searched my boy, and he finds he hath a stone in his bladder, which grieves me to the heart, he being a good-natured and well-disposed boy, and more that it should be my misfortune to have him come to my house. Sir G. Carteret was here this afternoon; and strange to see how we plot to make the charge of this warr to appear greater than it is, because of getting money.
24th. Up and to the office, where all the morning busy answering of people. About noon out with Commissioner Pett, and he and I to a Coffee-house, to drink jocolatte, very good; and so by coach to Westminster, being the first day of the Parliament’s meeting. After the House had received the King’s speech, and what more he had to say, delivered in writing, the Chancellor being sicke, it rose, and I with Sir Philip Warwicke home and conferred our matters about the charge of the Navy, and have more to give him in the excessive charge of this year’s expense. I dined with him, and Mr. Povy with us and Sir Edmund Pooly, a fine gentleman, and Mr. Chichly, and fine discourse we had and fine talke, being proud to see myself accepted in such company and thought better than I am. After dinner Sir Philip and I to talk again, and then away home to the office, where sat late; beginning our sittings now in the afternoon, because of the Parliament; and they being rose, I to my office, where late till almost one o’clock, and then home to bed.
25th. Up and at my office all the morning, to prepare an account of the charge we have been put to extraordinary by the Dutch already; and I have brought it to appear L852,700; but God knows this is only a scare to the Parliament, to make them give the more money. Thence to the Parliament House, and there did give it to Sir Philip Warwicke; the House being hot upon giving the King a supply of money, and I by coach to the ‘Change and took up Mr. Jenings along with me (my old acquaintance), he telling me the mean manner that Sir Samuel Morland lives near him, in a house he hath bought and laid out money upon, in all to the value of L1200, but is believed to be a beggar; and so I ever thought he would be. From the ‘Change with Mr. Deering and Luellin to the White Horse tavern in Lombard Street, and there dined with them, he giving me a dish of meat to discourse in order to my serving Deering, which I am already obliged to do, and shall do it, and would be glad he were a man trusty that I might venture something along with him. Thence home, and by and by in the evening took my wife out by coach, leaving her at Unthanke’s while I to White Hall and to Westminster Hall, where I have not been to talk a great while, and there hear that Mrs. Lane and her husband live a sad life together, and he is gone to be a paymaster to a company to Portsmouth to serve at sea. She big with child. Thence I home, calling my wife, and at Sir W. Batten’s hear that the House have given the King L2,500,000 to be paid for this warr, only for the Navy, in three years’ time; which is a joyfull thing to all the King’s party I see, but was much opposed by Mr. Vaughan and others, that it should be so much. So home and to supper and to bed.
26th. Up and to the office, where busy all the morning. Home a while to dinner and then to the office, where very late busy till quite weary, but contented well with my dispatch of business, and so home to supper and to bed.
27th (Lord’s day). To church in the morning, then dined at home, and to my office, and there all the afternoon setting right my business of flaggs, and after all my pains find reason not to be sorry, because I think it will bring me considerable profit. In the evening come Mr. Andrews and Hill, and we sung, with my boy, Ravenscroft’s 4-part psalms, most admirable musique. Then (Andrews not staying) we to supper, and after supper fell into the rarest discourse with Mr. Hill about Rome and Italy; but most pleasant that I ever had in my life. At it very late and then to bed.
28th. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes and W. Batten to White Hall, but no Committee of Lords (which is like to do the King’s business well). So to Westminster, and there to Jervas’s and was a little while with Jane, and so to London by coach and to the Coffee-house, where certain news of our peace made by Captain Allen with Argier, which is good news; and that the Dutch have sent part of their fleete round by Scotland; and resolve to pay off the rest half-pay, promising the rest in the Spring, hereby keeping their men. But how true this, I know not. Home to dinner, then come Dr. Clerke to speak with me about sick and wounded men, wherein he is like to be concerned. After him Mr. Cutler, and much talk with him, and with him to White Hall, to have waited on the Lords by order, but no meeting, neither to-night, which will spoil all. I think I shall get something by my discourse with Cutler. So home, and after being at my office an hour with Mr. Povy talking about his business of Tangier, getting him some money allowed him for freight of ships, wherein I hope to get something too. He gone, home hungry and almost sick for want of eating, and so to supper and to bed.
29th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten to the Committee of Lords at the Council Chamber, where Sir G. Carteret told us what he had said to the King, and how the King inclines to our request of making us Commissioners of the Prize office, but meeting him anon in the gallery, he tells me that my Lord Barkely is angry we should not acquaint him with it, so I found out my Lord and pacified him, but I know not whether he was so in earnest or no, for he looked very frowardly. Thence to the Parliament House, and with Sir W. Batten home and dined with him, my wife being gone to my Lady Sandwich’s, and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon, and I at my office till past 12 at night, and so home to bed. This day I hear that the King should say that the Dutch do begin to comply with him. Sir John Robinson told Sir W. Batten that he heard the King say so. I pray God it may be so.
30th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes to the Committee of the Lords, and there did our business; but, Lord! what a sorry dispatch these great persons give to business. Thence to the ‘Change, and there hear the certainty and circumstances of the Dutch having called in their fleete and paid their men half-pay, the other to be paid them upon their being ready upon beat of drum to come to serve them again, and in the meantime to have half-pay. This is said. Thence home to dinner, and so to my office all the afternoon. In the evening my wife and Sir W. Warren with me to White Hall, sending her with the coach to see her father and mother. He and I up to Sir G. Carteret, and first I alone and then both had discourse with him about things of the Navy, and so I and he calling my wife at Unthanke’s, home again, and long together talking how to order things in a new contract for Norway goods, as well to the King’s as to his advantage. He gone, I to my monthly accounts, and, bless God! I find I have increased my last balance, though but little; but I hope ere long to get more. In the meantime praise God for what I have, which is L1209. So, with my heart glad to see my accounts fall so right in this time of mixing of monies and confusion, I home to bed.