Sunday 30 August 1668

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(Lord’s day). Walked to St. James’s and Pell Mell, and read over, with Sir W. Coventry, my long letter to the Duke of York, and which the Duke of York hath, from mine, wrote to the Board, wherein he is mightily pleased, and I perceive do put great value upon me, and did talk very openly on all matters of State, and how some people have got the bit into their mouths, meaning the Duke of Buckingham and his party, and would likely run away with all. But what pleased me mightily was to hear the good character he did give of my Lord Falmouth for his generosity, good-nature, desire of public good, and low thoughts of his own wisdom; his employing his interest in the King to do good offices to all people, without any other fault than the freedom he, do learn in France of thinking himself obliged to serve his King in his pleasures: and was W. Coventry’s particular friend: and W. Coventry do tell me very odde circumstances about the fatality of his death, which are very strange.

Thence to White Hall to chapel, and heard the anthem, and did dine with the Duke of Albemarle in a dirty manner as ever. All the afternoon, I sauntered up and down the house and Park. And there was a Committee for Tangier met, wherein Lord Middleton would, I think, have found fault with me for want of coles; but I slighted it, and he made nothing of it, but was thought to be drunk; and I see that he hath a mind to find fault with me and Creed, neither of us having yet applied ourselves to him about anything: but do talk of his profits and perquisites taken from him, and garrison reduced, and that it must be increased, and such things, as; I fear, he will be just such another as my Lord Tiviott and the rest, to ruin that place. So I to the Park, and there walk an hour or two; and in the King’s garden, and saw the Queen and ladies walk; and I did steal some apples off the trees; and here did see my Lady Richmond, who is of a noble person as ever I saw, but her face worse than it was considerably by the smallpox: her sister is also very handsome.

Coming into the Park, and the door kept strictly, I had opportunity of handing in the little, pretty, squinting girl of the Duke of York’s house, but did not make acquaintance with her; but let her go, and a little girl that was with her, to walk by themselves.

So to White Hall in the evening, to the Queen’s side, and there met the Duke of York; and he did tell me and W. Coventry, who was with me, how that Lord Anglesey did take notice of our reading his long and sharp letter to the Board; but that it was the better, at least he said so. The Duke of York, I perceive, is earnest in it, and will have good effects of it; telling W. Coventry that it was a letter that might have come from the Commissioners of Accounts, but it was better it should come first from him. I met Lord Brouncker, who, I perceive, and the rest, do smell that it comes from me, but dare not find fault with it; and I am glad of it, it being my glory and defence that I did occasion and write it.

So by water home, and did spend the evening with W. Hewer, telling him how we are all like to be turned out, Lord Brouncker telling me this evening that the Duke of Buckingham did, within few hours, say that he had enough to turn us all out which I am not sorry for at all, for I know the world will judge me to go for company; and my eyes are such as I am not able to do the business of my Office as I used, and would desire to do, while I am in it. So with full content, declaring all our content in being released of my employment, my wife and I to bed, and W. Hewer home, and so all to bed.

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Saturday 29 August 1668

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Up, and all the morning at the Office, where the Duke of York’s long letter was read, to their great trouble, and their suspecting me to have been the writer of it. And at noon comes, by appointment, Harris to dine with me and after dinner he and I to Chyrurgeon’s-hall, where they are building it new, very fine; and there to see their theatre; which stood all the fire, and, which was our business, their great picture of Holben’s, thinking to have bought it, by the help of Mr. Pierce, for a little money: I did think to give 200l. for it, it being said to be worth 1000l.; but it is so spoiled that I have no mind to it, and is not a pleasant, though a good picture. Thence carried Harris to his playhouse, where, though four o’clock, so few people there at “The Impertinents,” as I went out; and do believe they did not act, though there was my Lord Arlington and his company there. So I out, and met my wife in a coach, and stopped her going thither to meet me; and took her, and Mercer, and Deb., to Bartholomew Fair, and there did see a ridiculous, obscene little stage-play, called “Marry Andrey;” a foolish thing, but seen by every body; and so to Jacob Hall’s dancing of the ropes; a thing worth seeing, and mightily followed, and so home and to the office, and then to bed. Writing to my father to-night not to unfurnish our house in the country for my sister, who is going to her own house, because I think I may have occasion myself to come thither; and so I do, by our being put out of the Office, which do not at all trouble me to think of.

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Friday 28 August 1668

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Busy at the office till toward 10 o’clock, and then by water to White Hall, where attending the Council’s call all the morning with Lord Brouncker, W. Pen, and the rest, about the business of supernumeraries in the fleete, but were not called in. But here the Duke of York did call me aside, and told me that he must speak with me in the afternoon, with Mr. Wren, for that now he hath got the paper from my Lord Keeper about the exceptions taken against the management of the Navy; and so we are to debate upon answering them. At noon I home with W. Coventry to his house; and there dined with him, and talked freely with him; and did acquaint him with what I have done, which he is well pleased with, and glad of: and do tell me that there are endeavours on foot to bring the Navy into new, but, he fears, worse hands. After much talk with great content with him, I walked to the Temple, and staid at Starky’s, my bookseller’s (looking over Dr. Heylin’s new book of the Life of Bishop Laud, a strange book of the Church History of his time), till Mr. Wren comes, and by appointment we to the Atturney General’s chamber, and there read and heard the witnesses in the business of Ackeworth, most troublesome and perplexed by the counter swearing of the witnesses one against the other, and so with Mr. Wren away thence to St. [James’s] for his papers, and so to White Hall, and after the Committee was done at the Council chamber about the business of Supernumeraries, wherein W. Pen was to do all and did, but like an ignorant illiterate coxcomb, the Duke of York fell to work with us, the Committee being gone, in the Council-chamber; and there, with his own hand, did give us his long letter, telling us that he had received several from us, and now did give us one from him, taking notice of our several duties and failures, and desired answer to it, as he therein desired; this pleased me well; and so fell to other business, and then parted. And the Duke of York, and Wren, and I, it being now candle-light, into the Duke of York’s closet in White Hall; and there read over this paper of my Lord Keeper’s, wherein are laid down the faults of the Navy, so silly, and the remedies so ridiculous, or else the same that are now already provided, that we thought it not to need any answer, the Duke of York being able himself to do it: that so it makes us admire the confidence of these men to offer things so silly, in a business of such moment. But it is a most perfect instance of the complexion of the times! and so the Duke of York said himself, who, I perceive, is mightily concerned in it, and do, again and again, recommend it to Mr. Wren and me together, to consider upon remedies fit to provide for him to propound to the King, before the rest of the world, and particularly the Commissioners of Accounts, who are men of understanding and order, to find our faults, and offer remedies of their own, which I am glad of, and will endeavour to do something in it. So parted, and with much difficulty, by candle-light, walked over the Matted Gallery, as it is now with the mats and boards all taken up, so that we walked over the rafters. But strange to see what hard matter the plaister of Paris is, that is there taken up, as hard as stone! And pity to see Holben’s work in the ceiling blotted on, and only whited over! Thence; with much ado, by several coaches home, to supper and to bed. My wife having been this day with Hales, to sit for her hand to be mended, in her picture.

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Thursday 27 August 1668

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[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] Knepp home with us, and I to bed, and rose about six, mightily pleased with last night’s mirth, and away by water to St. James’s, and there, with Mr. Wren, did correct his copy of my letter, which the Duke of York hath signed in my very words, without alteration of a syllable.1 And so pleased therewith, I to my Lord Brouncker, who I find within, but hath business, and so comes not to the Office to-day. And so I by water to the Office, where we sat all the morning; and, just as the Board rises, comes the Duke of York’s letter, which I knowing, and the Board not being full, and desiring rather to have the Duke of York deliver it himself to us, I suppressed it for this day, my heart beginning to falsify in this business, as being doubtful of the trouble it may give me by provoking them; but, however, I am resolved to go through it, and it is too late to help it now. At noon to dinner to Captain Cocke’s, where I met with Mr. Wren; my going being to tell him what I have done, which he likes, and to confer with Cocke about our Office; who tells me that he is confident the design of removing our Officers do hold, but that he is sure that I am safe enough. Which pleases me, though I do not much shew it to him, but as a thing indifferent. So away home, and there met at Sir Richard Ford’s with the Duke of York’s Commissioners about our Prizes, with whom we shall have some trouble before we make an end with them, and hence, staying a little with them, I with my wife, and W. Batelier, and Deb.; carried them to Bartholomew Fayre, where we saw the dancing of the ropes and nothing else, it being late, and so back home to supper and to bed, after having done at my office.

Footnotes

  1. A copy of this letter is in the British Museum, Harl. MS. 6003. See July 24th, ante, and August 29th, Post. In the Pepysian Collection are the following: An Inquisition, by his Royal Highness the Duke of York, when Lord High Admiral of England, into the Management of the Navy, 1668, with his Regulations thereon, fol. Also Mr. Pepys’s Defence of the same upon an Inquisition thereunto by Parliament, 1669, fol. — B. </p>

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Wednesday 26 August 1668

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Up, and to the office, where all the morning almost, busy about business against the afternoon, and we met a little to sign two or three things at the Board of moment, and thence at noon home to dinner, and so away to White Hall by water. In my way to the Old Swan, finding a great many people gathered together in Cannon Street about a man that was working in the ruins, and the ground did sink under him, and he sunk in, and was forced to be dug out again, but without hurt. Thence to White Hall, and it is strange to say with what speed the people employed do pull down Paul’s steeple, and with what ease: it is said that it, and the choir are to be taken down this year, and another church begun in the room thereof, the next. At White Hall we met at the Treasury chamber, and there before the Lords did debate our draft of the victualling contract with the several bidders for it, which were Sir D. Gawden, Mr. Child and his fellows, and Mr. Dorrington and his, a poor variety in a business of this value. There till after candle-lighting, and so home by coach with Sir D. Gawden, who, by the way, tells me how the City do go on in several things towards the building of the public places, which I am glad to hear; and gives hope that in a few years it will be a glorious place; but we met with several stops and new troubles in the way in the streets, so as makes it bad to travel in the dark now through the City. So I to Mr. Batelier’s by appointment, where I find my wife, and Deb., and Mercer; Mrs. Pierce and her husband, son, and daughter; and Knepp and Harris, and W. Batelier, and his sister Mary, and cozen Gumbleton, a good-humoured, fat young gentleman, son to the jeweller, that dances well; and here danced all night long, with a noble supper; and about two in the morning the table spread again for a noble breakfast beyond all moderation, that put me out of countenance, so much and so good. Mrs. Pierce and her people went home betimes, she being big with child; but Knepp and the rest staid till almost three in the morning, and then broke up. [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

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Tuesday 25 August 1668

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Up, and by water to St. James’s, and there, with Mr. Wren, did discourse about my great letter, which the Duke of York hath given him: and he hath set it to be transcribed by Billings, his man, whom, as he tells me, he can most confide in for secresy, and is much pleased with it, and earnest to have it be; and he and I are like to be much together in the considering how to reform the Office, and that by the Duke of York’s command. Thence I, mightily pleased with this success, away to the Office, where all the morning, my head full of this business. And it is pretty how Lord Brouncker this day did tell me how he hears that a design is on foot to remove us out of the Office: and proposes that we two do agree to draw up a form of a new constitution of the Office, there to provide remedies for the evils we are now under, so that we may be beforehand with the world, which I agreed to, saying nothing of my design; and, the truth is, he is the best man of them all, and I would be glad, next myself, to save him; for, as he deserves best, so I doubt he needs his place most. So home to dinner at noon, and all the afternoon busy at the office till night, and then with my mind full of business now in my head, I to supper and to bed.

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Monday 24 August 1668

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Up, and to the office, where all the morning upon considerations on the Victualler’s contract, and then home to dinner, where my wife is upon hanging the long chamber where the girl lies, with the sad stuff that was in the best chamber, in order to the hanging that with tapestry. So to dinner, and then to the office again, where all the afternoon till night, we met to discourse upon the alterations which are propounded to be made in the draft of the victualler’s contract which we did lately make, and then we being up comes Mr. Child, Papillion and Littleton, his partners, to discourse upon the matter with me, which I did, and spent all the evening with them at the office, and so, they being gone, I to supper and talk with my wife, and so to bed.

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Sunday 23 August 1668

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(Lord’s day). Up betimes, my head busy in my great letter, and I did first hang up my new map of Paris in my green room, and changed others in other places. Then to Captain Cocke’s, thinking to have talked more of what he told me yesterday, but he was not within. So back to church, and heard a good sermon of Mr. Gifford’s at our church, upon “Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” A very excellent and persuasive, good and moral sermon. Shewed, like a wise man, that righteousness is a surer moral way of being rich, than sin and villainy. Then home to dinner, where Mr. Pelling, who brought us a hare, which we had at dinner, and W. Howe. After dinner to the Office, Mr. Gibson and I, to examine my letter to the Duke of York, which, to my great joy, I did very well by my paper tube, without pain to my eyes. And I do mightily like what I have therein done; and did, according to the Duke of York’s order, make haste to St. James’s, and about four o’clock got thither: and there the Duke of York was ready, to expect me, and did hear it all over with extraordinary content; and did give me many and hearty thanks, and in words the most expressive tell me his sense of my good endeavours, and that he would have a care of me on all occasions; and did, with much inwardness, —[i.e., intimacy.]— tell me what was doing, suitable almost to what Captain Cocke tells me, of designs to make alterations in the Navy; and is most open to me in them, and with utmost confidence desires my further advice on all occasions: and he resolves to have my letter transcribed, and sent forthwith to the Office. So, with as much satisfaction as I could possibly, or did hope for, and obligation on the Duke of York’s side professed to me, I away into the Park, and there met Mr. Pierce and his wife, and sister and brother, and a little boy, and with them to Mulberry Garden, and spent 18s. on them, and there left them, she being again with child, and by it, the least pretty that ever I saw her. And so I away, and got a coach, and home, and there with my wife and W. Hewer, talking all the evening, my mind running on the business of the Office, to see what more I can do to the rendering myself acceptable and useful to all and to the King. We to supper, and to bed.

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Saturday 22 August 1668

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Up betimes, at it again with great content, and so to the Office, where all the morning, and did fall out with W. Pen about his slight performance of his office, and so home to dinner, fully satisfied that this Office must sink or the whole Service be undone. To the office all the afternoon again, and then home to supper and to bed, my mind being pretty well at ease, my great letter being now finished to my full content; and I thank God I have opportunity of doing it, though I know it will set the Office and me by the ears for ever.

This morning Captain Cocke comes, and tells me that he is now assured that it is true, what he told me the other day, that our whole Office will be turned out, only me, which, whether he says true or no, I know not, nor am much concerned, though I should be better contented to have it thus than otherwise.

This afternoon, after I was weary in my business of the office, I went forth to the ‘Change, thinking to have spoke with Captain Cocke, but he was not within. So I home, and took London-bridge in my way; walking down Fish Street and Gracious Street, to see how very fine a descent they have now made down the hill, that it is become very easy and pleasant, and going through Leaden-Hall, it being market-day, I did see a woman catched, that had stolen a shoulder of mutton off of a butcher’s stall, and carrying it wrapt up in a cloth, in a basket. The jade was surprised, and did not deny it, and the woman so silly, as to let her go that took it, only taking the meat.

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Friday 21 August 1668

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Up betimes, and with my people again to work, and finished all before noon: and then I by water to White Hall, and there did tell the Duke of York that I had done; and he hath to my great content desired me to come to him at Sunday next in the afternoon, to read it over, by which I have more time to consider and correct it. So back home and to the ‘Change, in my way calling at Morris’, my vintner’s, where I love to see su moher, though no acquaintance accostais this day con her. Did several things at the ‘Change, and so home to dinner.

After dinner I by coach to my bookseller’s in Duck Lane, and there did spend a little time and regarder su moher, and so to St. James’s, where did a little ordinary business; and by and by comes Monsieur Colbert, the French Embassador, to make his first visit to the Duke of York, and then to the Duchess: and I saw it: a silly piece of ceremony, he saying only a few formal words. A comely man, and in a black suit and cloak of silk, which is a strange fashion, now it hath been so long left off: This day I did first see the Duke of York’s room of pictures of some Maids of Honour, done by Lilly: good, but not like.1 Thence to Reeves’s, and bought a reading-glass, and so to my bookseller’s again, there to buy a Book of Martyrs,2 which I did agree for; and so, after seeing and beginning acquaintance con his femme, but very little, away home, and there busy very late at the correcting my great letter to the Duke of York, and so to bed.

Footnotes

  1. The set of portraits known as “King Charles’s Beauties,” formerly in Windsor Castle, but now at Hampton Court. — B.
  2. The popular name of John Fox’s “Acts and Monuments,” first published in 1562-63.

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