Tuesday 27 October 1663


Up, and my uncle Thomas and his scrivener bringing me a bond and affidavit to my mind, I paid him his 20l. for his daughter’s legacy, and 5l. more for a Quarter’s annuity, in the manner expressed in each acquittance, to which I must be referred on any future occasion, and to the bond and affidavit.

Thence to the office and there sat till noon, and then home to dinner, and after dinner (it being a foul house to-day among my maids, making up their clothes) abroad with my Will with me by coach to Dr. Williams, and with him to the Six Clerks’s office, and there, by advice of his acquaintance, I find that my case, through my neglect and the neglect of my lawyers, is come to be very bad, so as that it will be very hard to get my bill retayned again. However, I got him to sign and swear an affidavit that there was treaties between T. Trice and me with as much advantage as I could for me, but I will say that for him he was most exact as ever I saw man in my life, word by word what it was that he swore to, and though, God forgive me, I could have been almost naturally willing to have let him ignorantly have sworn to something that was not of itself very certain, either or no, yet out of his own conscience and care he altered the words himself so as to make them very safe for him to swear. This I carrying to my clerk Wilkinson, and telling him how I heard matters to stand, he, like a conceited fellow, made nothing of it but advised me to offer Trice’s clerks the cost of the dismission, viz., 46s. 8d., which I did, but they would not take it without his client. Immediately thereupon we parted, and met T. Trice coming into the room, and he came to me and served me with a subpoena for these very costs, so I paid it him, but Lord! to see his resolution, and indeed discretion, in the wording of his receipt, he would have it most express to my greatest disadvantage that could be, yet so as I could not deny to give it him. That being paid, my clerke, and then his began to ask why we could not think, being friends, of referring it, or stating it, first ourselves, and then put it to some good lawyer to judge in it. From one word to more we were resolved to try, and to that end to step to the Pope’s Head Taverne, and there he and his Clerke and Attorney and I and my Clerke, and sent for Mr. Smallwood, and by and by comes Mr. Clerke, my Solicitor, and after I had privately discoursed with my men and seen how doubtfully they talked, and what future certain charge and trouble it would be, with a doubtful victory, I resolved to condescend very low, and after some talke all together Trice and I retired, and he came to 150l. the lowest, and I bid him 80l.. So broke off and then went to our company, and they putting us to a second private discourse, at last I was contented to give him 100l., he to spend 40s. of it among this good company that was with us. So we went to our company, both seeming well pleased that we were come to an end, and indeed I am in the respects above said, though it be a great sum for us to part with.

I am to pay him by giving him leave to buy about 40l. worth of Piggott’s land and to strike off so much of Piggott’s debt, and the other to give him bond to pay him in 12 months after without interest, only giving him a power to buy more land of Piggott and paying him that way as he did for the other, which I am well enough contented with, or at least to take the land at that price and give him the money. This last I did not tell him, but I shall order it so.

Having agreed upon to-morrow come se’nnight for the spending of the 40s. at Mr. Rawlinson’s, we parted, and I set T. Trice down in Paul’s Churchyard and I by coach home and to my office, and there set down this day’s passages, and so home to supper and to bed.

Mr. Coventry tells me to-day that the Queen had a very good night last night; but yet it is strange that still she raves and talks of little more than of her having of children, and fancys now that she hath three children, and that the girle is very like the King. And this morning about five o’clock waked (the physician feeling her pulse, thinking to be better able to judge, she being still and asleep, waked her) and the first word she said was, “How do the children?”

Read the annotations

Monday 26 October 1663


Waked about one o’clock in the morning … My wife being waked rung her bell, and the mayds rose and went to washing, we to sleep again till 7 o’clock, and then up, and I abroad to look out Dr. Williams, but being gone out I went to Westminster, and there seeing my Lord Sandwich’s footman knew he was come to town, and so I went in and saw him, and received a kind salute from him, but hear that my father is very ill still. Thence to Westminster Hall with Creed, and spent the morning walking there, where, it being Terme time, I met several persons, and talked with them, among others Dr. Pierce, who tells me that the Queen is in a way to be pretty well again, but that her delirium in her head continues still; that she talks idle, not by fits, but always, which in some lasts a week after so high a fever, in some more, and in some for ever; that this morning she talked mightily that she was brought to bed, and that she wondered that she should be delivered without pain and without spueing or being sicke, and that she was troubled that her boy was but an ugly boy. But the King being by, said, “No, it is a very pretty boy.” — “Nay,” says she, “if it be like you it is a fine boy indeed, and I would be very well pleased with it.”

The other day she talked mightily of Sir H. Wood’s lady’s great belly, and said if she should miscarry he would never get another, and that she never saw such a man as this Sir H. Wood in her life, and seeing of Dr. Pridgeon, she said, “Nay, Doctor, you need not scratch your head, there is hair little enough already in the place.”

But methinks it was not handsome for the weaknesses of Princes to be talked of thus.

Thence Creed and I to the King’s Head ordinary, where much and very good company, among others one very talking man, but a scholler, that would needs put in his discourse and philosophy upon every occasion, and though he did well enough, yet his readiness to speak spoilt all. Here they say that the Turkes go on apace, and that my Lord Castlehaven is going to raise 10,000 men here for to go against him; that the King of France do offer to assist the Empire upon condition that he may be their Generalissimo, and the Dolphin chosen King of the Romans: and it is said that the King of France do occasion this difference among the Christian Princes of the Empire, which gives the Turke such advantages. They say also that the King of Spayne is making all imaginable force against Portugal again.

Thence Creed and I to one or two periwigg shops about the Temple, having been very much displeased with one that we saw, a head of greasy and old woman’s haire, at Jervas’s in the morning; and there I think I shall fit myself of one very handsomely made. Thence by coach, my mind being troubled for not meeting with Dr. Williams, to St. Catharine’s to look at a Dutch ship or two for some good handsome maps, but met none, and so back to Cornhill to Moxon’s, but it being dark we staid not to see any, then to coach again, and presently spying Sir W. Batten; I ‘light and took him in and to the Globe in Fleete Streete, by appointment, where by and by he and I with our solicitor to Sir E Turner about Field’s business, and back to the Globe, and thither I sent for Dr. Williams, and he is willing to swear in my behalf against T. Trice, viz., that at T. Trice’s desire we have met to treat about our business.

Thence (I drinking no wine) after an hour’s stay Sir W. Batten and another, and he drinking, we home by coach, and so to my office and set down my Journall, and then home to supper and to bed, my washing being in a good condition over.

I did give Dr. Williams 20s. tonight, but it was after he had answered me well to what I had to ask him about this business, and it was only what I had long ago in my petty bag book allotted for him besides the bill of near 4l. which I paid him a good while since by my brother Tom for physique for my wife, without any consideration to this business that he is to do for me, as God shall save me.

Among the rest, talking of the Emperor at table to-day one young gentleman, a pretty man, and it seems a Parliament man, did say that he was a sot; for he minded nothing of the Government, but was led by the Jesuites. Several at table took him up, some for saying that he was a sot in being led by the Jesuites, [who] are the best counsel he can take. Another commander, a Scott[ish] Collonell, who I believe had several under him, that he was a man that had thus long kept out the Turke till now, and did many other great things, and lastly Mr. Progers, one of our courtiers, who told him that it was not a thing to be said of any Soveraigne Prince, be his weaknesses what they will, to be called a sot, which methinks was very prettily said.

Read the annotations

Sunday 25th October 1663


(Lord’s day). Up, and my wife and I to church, where it is strange to see how the use and seeing Pembleton come with his wife thither to church, I begin now to make too great matter of it, which before was so terrible to me. Dined at home, my wife and I alone, a good dinner, and so in the afternoon to church again, where the Scot preached, and I slept most of the afternoon. So home, and my wife and I together all the evening discoursing, and then after reading my vowes to myself, and my wife with her mayds (who are mighty busy to get it dispatched because of their mistress’s promise, that when it is done they shall have leave all to go see their friends at Westminster, whither my wife will carry them) preparing for their washing to-morrow, we hastened to supper and to bed.

Read the annotations

Saturday 24 October 1663


Up and to my office, where busy all the morning about Mr. Gauden’s account, and at noon to dinner with him at the Dolphin, where mighty merry by pleasant stories of Mr. Coventry’s and Sir J. Minnes’s, which I have put down some of in my book of tales. Just as I was going out my uncle Thomas came to the with a draught of a bond for him and his sons to sign to me about the payment of the 20l. legacy, which I agreed to, but he would fain have had from me the copy of the deed, which he had forged and did bring me yesterday, but I would not give him it. Says [he] I perceive then you will keep it to defame me with, and desired me not to speak of it, for he did it innocently. Now I confess I do not find any great hurt in the thing, but only to keep from me a sight of the true original deed, wherein perhaps there was something else that may touch this business of the legacy which he would keep from me, or it may be, it is really lost as he says it is. But then he need not have used such a slight, but confess it without danger.

Thence by coach with Mr. Coventry to the Temple, and thence I to the Six Clerks’ office, and discoursed with my Attorney and Solicitor, and he and I to Mr. Turner, who puts me in great fear that I shall not get retayned again against Tom Trice; which troubles me.

Thence, it being night, homewards, and called at Wotton’s and tried some shoes, but he had none to fit me. He tells me that by the Duke of York’s persuasion Harris is come again to Sir W. Davenant upon his terms that he demanded, which will make him very high and proud. Thence to another shop, and there bought me a pair of shoes, and so walked home and to my office, and dispatch letters by the post, and so home to supper and to bed, where to my trouble I find my wife begin to talk of her being alone all day, which is nothing but her lack of something to do, for while she was busy she never, or seldom, complained …

The Queen is in a good way of recovery; and Sir Francis Pridgeon hath got great honour by it, it being all imputed to his cordiall, which in her dispaire did give her rest and brought her to some hopes of recovery.

It seems that, after the much talk of troubles and a plot, something is found in the North that a party was to rise, and some persons that were to command it are found, as I find in a letter that Mr. Coventry read to-day about it from those parts.1


  1. This refers to a rising in the West Riding of Yorkshire, which took place on October 12th, and was known as the Farneley Wood Plot. The rising was easily put down, and several prisoners were taken. A special commission of oyer and terminer was sent down to York to try the prisoners in January, 1663-64, when twenty-one were convicted and executed. (See Whitaker’s “Loidis and Elmete,” 1816.)

Read the annotations

Friday 23 October 1663


Up, and this morning comes Mr. Clerke, and tells me that the Injunction against Trice is dismissed again, which troubles me much. So I am to look after it in the afternoon. There comes also by appointment my uncle Thomas, to receive the first payment of his daughter’s money. But showing of me the original of the deed by which his daughter gives her right to her legacy to him, and the copy of it attested by the Scrivener, for me to keep by me, I did find some difference, and thereupon did look more into it, and at last did find the whole thing a forgery; yet he maintained it again and again, upon oath, that it had been signed and sealed by my cozen Mary ever since before her marriage. So I told him to his teeth he did like a knave, and so he did, and went with him to the Scrivener at Bedlam, and there found how it came to pass, viz., that he had lost, or pretends to have lost, the true original, and that so he was forced to take this course; but a knave, at least a man that values not what he swears to, I perceive he is. But however I am now better able to see myself fully secured before I part with the money, for I find that his son Charles has right to this legacy till the first 100l. of his daughter’s portion be paid, he being bond for it. So I put him upon getting both his sons to be bound for my security, and so left him and so home, and then abroad to my brother’s, but found him abroad at the young couple that was married yesterday, and he one of the Br[ide’s] men, a kinswoman (Brumfield) of the Joyces married to an upholster.

Thence walked to the King’s Head at Charing Cross and there dined, and hear that the Queen slept pretty well last night, but her fever continues upon her still. It seems she hath never a Portuguese doctor here.

Thence by appointment to the Six Clerks’ office to meet Mr. Clerke, which I did and there waited all the afternoon for Wilkinson my attorney, but he came not, and so vexed and weary we parted, and I endeavoured but in vain to have found Dr. Williams, of whom I shall have use in Trice’s business, but I could not find him. So weary walked home; in my way bought a large kitchen knife and half dozen oyster knives. Thence to Mr. Holliard, who tells me that Mullins is dead of his leg cut off the other day, but most basely done.

He tells me that there is no doubt but that all my slyme do come away in my water, and therefore no fear of the stone; but that my water being so slymy is a good sign. He would have me now and then to take a clyster, the same I did the other day, though I feel no pain, only to keep me loose, and instead of butter, which he would have to be salt butter, he would have me sometimes use two or three ounces of honey, at other times two or three ounces of Linseed oil.

Thence to Mr. Rawlinson’s and saw some of my new bottles made, with my crest upon them, filled with wine, about five or six dozen.

So home and to my office a little, and thence home to prepare myself against T. Trice, and also to draw a bond fit for my uncle and his sons to enter into before I pay them the money. That done to bed.

Read the annotations

Thursday 22 October 1663


Up to the office, where we sat till noon and then I home to dinner, and after dinner with my wife to her study and there read some more arithmetique, which she takes with great ease and pleasure. This morning, hearing that the Queen grows worse again, I sent to stop the making of my velvet cloake, till I see whether she lives or dies.

So a little abroad about several businesses, and then home and to my office till night, and then home to supper, teach my wife, and so to bed.

Read the annotations

Wednesday 21 October 1663


Up, and by and by comes my brother Tom to me, though late (which do vex me to the blood that I could never get him to come time enough to me, though I have spoke a hundred times; but he is very sluggish, and too negligent ever to do well at his trade I doubt), and having lately considered with my wife very much of the inconvenience of my going in no better plight, we did resolve of putting me into a better garb, and, among other things, to have a good velvet cloake; that is, of cloth lined with velvet and other things modish, and a perruque, and so I sent him and her out to buy me velvet, and I to the Exchange, and so to Trinity House, and there dined with Sir W. Batten, having some business to speak with him, and Sir W. Rider. Thence, having my belly full, away on foot to my brother’s, all along Thames Streete, and my belly being full of small beer, I did all alone, for health’s sake, drink half a pint of Rhenish wine at the Still-yard, mixed with beer.

From my brother’s with my wife to the Exchange, to buy things for her and myself, I being in a humour of laying out money, but not prodigally, but only in clothes, which I every day see that I suffer for want of, I so home, and after a little at my office, home to supper and to bed.

Memorandum: This morning one Mr. Commander, a scrivener, came to me from Mr. Moore with a deed of which. Mr. Moore had told me, that my Lord had made use of my name, and that I was desired by my Lord to sign it. Remembering this very well, though understanding little of the particulars, I read it over, and found it concern Sir Robt. Bernard and Duckinford, their interest in the manor of Brampton. So I did sign it, declaring to Mr. Commander that I am only concerned in having my name at my Lord Sandwich’s desire used therein, and so I sealed it up after I had signed and sealed the deed, and desired him to give it so sealed to Mr. Moore. I did also call at the Wardrobe this afternoon to have told Mr. Moore of it, but he was not within, but knowing Mr. Commander to have the esteem of a good and honest man with my Lord Crew, I did not doubt to intrust him with the deed after I had signed it.

This evening after I came home I begun to enter my wife in arithmetique, in order to her studying of the globes, and she takes it very well, and, I hope, with great pleasure, I shall bring her to understand many fine things.

Read the annotations

Tuesday 20 October 1663


Up and to the office, where we sat; and at noon Sir G. Carteret, Sir J. Minnes, and I to dinner to my Lord Mayor’s, being invited, where was the Farmers of the Customes, my Lord Chancellor’s three sons, and other great and much company, and a very great noble dinner, as this Mayor —[Sir John Robinson.]— is good for nothing else. No extraordinary discourse of any thing, every man being intent upon his dinner, and myself willing to have drunk some wine to have warmed my belly, but I did for my oath’s sake willingly refrain it, but am so well pleased and satisfied afterwards thereby, for it do keep me always in so good a frame of mind that I hope I shall not ever leave this practice. Thence home, and took my wife by coach to White Hall, and she set down at my Lord’s lodgings, I to a Committee of Tangier, and thence with her homeward, calling at several places by the way. Among others at Paul’s Churchyard, and while I was in Kirton’s shop, a fellow came to offer kindness or force to my wife in the coach, but she refusing, he went away, after the coachman had struck him, and he the coachman. So I being called, went thither, and the fellow coming out again of a shop, I did give him a good cuff or two on the chops, and seeing him not oppose me, I did give him another; at last found him drunk, of which I was glad, and so left him, and home, and so to my office awhile, and so home to supper and to bed.

This evening, at my Lord’s lodgings, Mrs. Sarah talking with my wife and I how the Queen do, and how the King tends her being so ill. She tells us that the Queen’s sickness is the spotted fever; that she was as full of the spots as a leopard which is very strange that it should be no more known; but perhaps it is not so. And that the King do seem to take it much to heart, for that he hath wept before her; but, for all that; that he hath not missed one night since she was sick, of supping with my Lady Castlemaine; which I believe is true, for she [Sarah] says that her husband hath dressed the suppers every night; and I confess I saw him myself coming through the street dressing of a great supper to-night, which Sarah says is also for the King and her; which is a very strange thing.

Read the annotations

Monday 19 October 1663


Waked with a very high wind, and said to my wife, “I pray God I hear not of the death of any great person, this wind is so high!” fearing that the Queen might be dead.

So up; and going by coach with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes to St. James’s, they tell me that Sir W. Compton, who it is true had been a little sickly for a week or fortnight, but was very well upon Friday at night last at the Tangier Committee with us, was dead — died yesterday: at which I was most exceedingly surprised, he being, and so all the world saying that he was, one of the worthyest men and best officers of State now in England; and so in my conscience he was: of the best temper, valour, abilities of mind, integrity, birth, fine person, and diligence of any one man he hath left behind him in the three kingdoms; and yet not forty years old, or if so, that is all. I find the sober men of the Court troubled for him; and yet not so as to hinder or lessen their mirth, talking, laughing, and eating, drinking, and doing every thing else, just as if there was no such thing, which is as good an instance for me hereafter to judge of death, both as to the unavoidableness, suddenness, and little effect of it upon the spirits of others, let a man be never so high, or rich, or good; but that all die alike, no more matter being made of the death of one than another, and that even to die well, the praise of it is not considerable in the world, compared to the many in the world that know not nor make anything of it, nor perhaps to them (unless to one that like this poor gentleman, who is one of a thousand, there nobody speaking ill of him) that will speak ill of a man.

Coming to St. James’s, I hear that the Queen did sleep five hours pretty well to-night, and that she waked and gargled her mouth, and to sleep again; but that her pulse beats fast, beating twenty to the King’s or my Lady Suffolk’s eleven; but not so strong as it was. It seems she was so ill as to be shaved and pidgeons put to her feet, and to have the extreme unction given her by the priests, who were so long about it that the doctors were angry. The King, they all say; is most fondly disconsolate for her, and weeps by her, which makes her weep;1 which one this day told me he reckons a good sign, for that it carries away some rheume from the head.

This morning Captain Allen tells me how the famous Ned Mullins, by a slight fall, broke his leg at the ancle, which festered; and he had his leg cut off on Saturday, but so ill done, notwithstanding all the great chyrurgeons about the town at the doing of it, that they fear he will not live with it, which is very strange, besides the torment he was put to with it.

After being a little with the Duke, and being invited to dinner to my Lord Barkeley’s, and so, not knowing how to spend our time till noon, Sir W. Batten and I took coach, and to the Coffee-house in Cornhill;2 where much talk about the Turk’s proceedings, and that the plague is got to Amsterdam, brought by a ship from Argier; and it is also carried to Hambrough. The Duke says the King purposes to forbid any of their ships coming into the river. The Duke also told us of several Christian commanders (French) gone over to the Turks to serve them; and upon inquiry I find that the King of France do by this aspire to the Empire, and so to get the Crown of Spayne also upon the death of the King, which is very probable, it seems. Back to St. James’s, and there dined with my Lord Barkeley and his lady, where Sir G. Carteret, Sir W. Batten, and myself, with two gentlemen more; my Lady, and one of the ladies of honour to the Duchesse (no handsome woman, but a most excellent hand). A fine French dinner, and so we after dinner broke up and to Creed’s new lodgings in Axe-yard, which I like very well and so with him to White Hall and walked up and down in the galleries with good discourse, and anon Mr. Coventry and Povy, sad for the loss of one of our number we sat down as a Committee for Tangier and did some business and so broke up, and I down with Mr. Coventry and in his chamber discoursing of business of the office and Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten’s carriage, when he most ingeniously tells me how they have carried themselves to him in forbearing to speak the other day to the Duke what they know they have so largely at other times said to him, and I told him what I am put to about the bargain for masts. I perceive he thinks of it all and will remember it. Thence took up my wife at Mrs. Harper’s where she and Jane were, and so called at the New Exchange for some things for her, and then at Tom’s went up and saw his house now it is finished, and indeed it is very handsome, but he not within and so home and to my office; and then to supper and to bed.


  1. The queen was given over by her physicians, … , and the good nature of the king was much affected with the situation in which he saw! a princess whom, though he did not love her, yet he greatly esteemed. She loved him tenderly, and thinking that it was the last time she should ever speak to him, she told him ‘That the concern he showed for her death was enough to make her quit life with regret; but that not possessing charms sufficient to merit his tenderness, she had at least the consolation in dying to give place to a consort who might be more worthy, of it and to whom heaven, perhaps, might grant a blessing that had been refused to her.’ At these words she bathed his hands with some tears which he thought would be her last; he mingled his own with hers, and without supposing she would take him at his word, he conjured her to live for his sake.

    — Grammont Memoirs, chap. vii.

  2. This may be the Coffee House in Exchange Alley, which had for a sign, Morat the Great, or The Great Turk, where coffee was sold in berry, in powder, and pounded in a mortar. There is a token of the house, see “Boyne’s Tokens,” ed. Williamson, vol. i., p. 592.

Read the annotations

Sunday 18 October 1663


(Lord’s day). Up, and troubled at a distaste my wife took at a small thing that Jane did, and to see that she should be so vexed that I took part with Jane, wherein I had reason; but by and by well again, and so my wife in her best gown and new poynt that I bought her the other day, to church with me, where she has not been these many weeks, and her mayde Jane with her. I was troubled to see Pembleton there, but I thought it prudence to take notice myself first of it and show my wife him, and so by little and little considering that it mattered not much his being there I grew less concerned and so mattered it not much, and the less when, anon, my wife showed me his wife, a pretty little woman, and well dressed, with a good jewel at her breast. The parson, Mr. Mills, I perceive, did not know whether to pray for the Queen or no, and so said nothing about her; which makes me fear she is dead. But enquiring of Sir J. Minnes, he told me that he heard she was better last night.

So home to dinner, and Tom came and dined with me, and so, anon, to church again, and there a simple coxcomb preached worse than the Scot, and no Pembleton nor his wife there, which pleased me not a little, and then home and spent most of the evening at Sir W. Pen’s in complaisance, seeing him though he deserves no respect from me.

This evening came my uncle Wight to speak with me about my uncle Thomas’s business, and Mr. Moore came, 4 or 5 days out of the country and not come to see me before, though I desired by two or three messengers that he would come to me as soon as he came to town. Which do trouble me to think he should so soon forget my kindness to him, which I am afraid he do. After walking a good while in the garden with these, I went up again to Sir W. Pen, and took my wife home, and after supper to prayers, and read very seriously my vowes, which I am fearful of forgetting by my late great expenses, but I hope in God I do not, and so to bed.

Read the annotations