October 1st (Lord's day). Called up about 4 of the clock and so dressed myself and so on board the Bezan, and there finding all my company asleep I would not wake them, but it beginning to be break of day I did stay upon the decke walking, and then into the Maister's cabbin and there laid and slept a little, and so at last was waked by Captain Cocke's calling of me, and so I turned out, and then to chat and talk and laugh, and mighty merry. We spent most of the morning talking and reading of "The Siege of Rhodes," which is certainly (the more I read it the more I think so) the best poem that ever was wrote.
We breakfasted betimes and come to the fleete about two of the clock in the afternoon, having a fine day and a fine winde. My Lord received us mighty kindly, and after discourse with us in general left us to our business, and he to his officers, having called a council of wary, we in the meantime settling of papers with Mr. Pierce and everybody else, and by and by with Captain Cuttance. Anon called down to my Lord, and there with him till supper talking and discourse; among other things, to my great joy, he did assure me that he had wrote to the King and Duke about these prize-goods, and told me that they did approve of what he had done, and that he would owne what he had done, and would have me to tell all the world so, and did, under his hand, give Cocke and me his certificate of our bargains, and giving us full power of disposal of what we have so bought. This do ease my mind of all my fear, and makes my heart lighter by L100 than it was before. He did discourse to us of the Dutch fleete being abroad, eighty-five of them still, and are now at the Texell, he believes, in expectation of our Eastland ships coming home with masts and hempe, and our loaden Hambrough ships going to Hambrough. He discoursed against them that would have us yield to no conditions but conquest over the Dutch, and seems to believe that the Dutch will call for the protection of the King of France and come under his power, which were to be wished they might be brought to do under ours by fair means, and to that end would have all Dutch men and familys, that would come hither and settled, to be declared denizens; and my Lord did whisper to me alone that things here must break in pieces, nobody minding any thing, but every man his owne business of profit or pleasure, and the King some little designs of his owne, and that certainly the kingdom could not stand in this condition long, which I fear and believe is very true.
So to supper and there my Lord the kindest man to me, before all the table talking of me to my advantage and with tenderness too that it overjoyed me. So after supper Captain Cocke and I and Temple on board the Bezan, and there to cards for a while and then to read again in "Rhodes" and so to sleep. But, Lord! the mirth which it caused me to be waked in the night by their snoaring round about me; I did laugh till I was ready to burst, and waked one of the two companions of Temple, who could not a good while tell where he was that he heard one laugh so, till he recollected himself, and I told him what it was at, and so to sleep again, they still snoaring.
2nd. We having sailed all night (and I do wonder how they in the dark could find the way) we got by morning to Gillingham, and thence all walked to Chatham; and there with Commissioner Pett viewed the Yard; and among other things, a teame of four horses come close by us, he being with me, drawing a piece of timber that I am confident one man could easily have carried upon his back. I made the horses be taken away, and a man or two to take the timber away with their hands. This the Commissioner did see, but said nothing, but I think had cause to be ashamed of. We walked, he and I and Cocke, to the Hill-house, where we find Sir W. Pen in bed and there much talke and much dissembling of kindnesse from him, but he is a false rogue, and I shall not trust him, but my being there did procure his consent to have his silk carried away before the money received, which he would not have done for Cocke I am sure. Thence to Rochester, walked to the Crowne, and while dinner was getting ready, I did there walk to visit the old Castle ruines, which hath been a noble place, and there going up I did upon the stairs overtake three pretty mayds or women and took them up with me, and I did 'baiser sur mouches et toucher leur mains' and necks to my great pleasure: but, Lord! to see what a dreadfull thing it is to look down the precipices, for it did fright me mightily, and hinder me of much pleasure which I would have made to myself in the company of these three, if it had not been for that. The place hath been very noble and great and strong in former ages. So to walk up and down the Cathedral, and thence to the Crowne, whither Mr. Fowler, the Mayor of the towne, was come in his gowne, and is a very reverend magistrate. After I had eat a bit, not staying to eat with them, I went away, and so took horses and to Gravesend, and there staid not, but got a boat, the sicknesse being very much in the towne still, and so called on board my Lord Bruncker and Sir John Minnes, on board one of the East Indiamen at Erith, and there do find them full of envious complaints for the pillageing of the ships, but I did pacify them, and discoursed about making money of some of the goods, and do hope to be the better by it honestly. So took leave (Madam Williams being here also with my Lord), and about 8 o'clock got to Woolwich and there supped and mighty pleasant with my wife, who is, for ought I see, all friends with her mayds, and so in great joy and content to bed.
3rd. Up, and to my great content visited betimes by Mr. Woolly, my uncle Wight's cozen, who comes to see what work I have for him about these East India goods, and I do find that this fellow might have been of great use, and hereafter may be of very great use to me, in this trade of prize goods, and glad I am fully of his coming hither. While I dressed myself, and afterwards in walking to Greenwich we did discourse over all the business of the prize goods, and he puts me in hopes I may get some money in what I have done, but not so much as I expected, but that I may hereafter do more. We have laid a design of getting more, and are to talk again of it a few days hence. To the office, where nobody to meet me, Sir W. Batten being the only man and he gone this day to meet to adjourne the Parliament to Oxford. Anon by appointment comes one to tell me my Lord Rutherford is come; so I to the King's Head to him, where I find his lady, a fine young Scotch lady, pretty handsome and plain. My wife also, and Mercer, by and by comes, Creed bringing them; and so presently to dinner and very merry; and after to even our accounts, and I to give him tallys, where he do allow me L100, of which to my grief the rogue Creed has trepanned me out of L50. But I do foresee a way how it may be I may get a greater sum of my Lord to his content by getting him allowance of interest upon his tallys. That being done, and some musique and other diversions, at last away goes my Lord and Lady, and I sent my wife to visit Mrs. Pierce, and so I to my office, where wrote important letters to the Court, and at night (Creed having clownishly left my wife), I to Mrs. Pierces and brought her and Mrs. Pierce to the King's Head and there spent a piece upon a supper for her and mighty merry and pretty discourse, she being as pretty as ever, most of our mirth being upon "my Cozen" (meaning my Lord Bruncker's ugly mistress, whom he calls cozen), and to my trouble she tells me that the fine Mrs. Middleton is noted for carrying about her body a continued sour base smell, that is very offensive, especially if she be a little hot. Here some bad musique to close the night and so away and all of us saw Mrs. Belle Pierce (as pretty as ever she was almost) home, and so walked to Will's lodging where I used to lie, and there made shift for a bed for Mercer, and mighty pleasantly to bed. This night I hear that of our two watermen that use to carry our letters, and were well on Saturday last, one is dead, and the other dying sick of the plague. The plague, though decreasing elsewhere, yet being greater about the Tower and thereabouts.
4th. Up and to my office,
where Mr. Andrews comes, and reckoning with him I get L64 of him. By and
by comes Mr. Gawden, and reckoning with him he gives me L60 in his account,
which is a great mercy to me. Then both of them met and discoursed the
business of the first man's resigning and the other's taking up the business
of the victualling of Tangier, and I do not think that I shall be able
to do as well under Mr. Gawden as under these men, or within a little
as to profit and less care upon me. Thence to the King's Head to dinner,
where we three and Creed and my wife and her woman dined mighty merry
and sat long talking, and so in the afternoon broke up, and I led my wife
to our lodging again, and I to the office where did much business, and
so to my wife. This night comes Sir George Smith to see me at the office,
and tells me how the plague is decreased this week 740, for which God
be praised! but that it encreases at our end of the town still, and says
how all the towne is full of Captain Cocke's being in some ill condition
about prize-goods, his goods being taken from him, and I know not what.
But though this troubles me to have it said, and that it is likely to
be a business in Parliament, yet I am not much concerned at it, because
yet I believe this newes is all false, for he would have wrote to me sure
about it. Being come to my wife, at our lodging, I did go to bed, and
left my wife with her people to laugh and dance and I to sleep.
6th. Up, and having sent for Mr. Gawden he come to me, and he and I largely discoursed the business of his Victualling, in order to the adding of partners to him or other ways of altering it, wherein I find him ready to do anything the King would have him do. So he and I took his coach and to Lambeth and to the Duke of Albemarle about it, and so back again, where he left me. In our way discoursing of the business and contracting a great friendship with him, and I find he is a man most worthy to be made a friend, being very honest and gratefull, and in the freedom of our discourse he did tell me his opinion and knowledge of Sir W. Pen to be, what I know him to be, as false a man as ever was born, for so, it seems, he hath been to him. He did also tell me, discoursing how things are governed as to the King's treasure, that, having occasion for money in the country, he did offer Alderman Maynell to pay him down money here, to be paid by the Receiver in some county in the country, upon whom Maynell had assignments, in whose hands the money also lay ready. But Maynell refused it, saying that he could have his money when he would, and had rather it should lie where it do than receive it here in towne this sickly time, where he hath no occasion for it. But now the evil is that he hath lent this money upon tallys which are become payable, but he finds that nobody looks after it, how long the money is unpaid, and whether it lies dead in the Receiver's hands or no, so the King he pays Maynell 10 per cent. while the money lies in his Receiver's hands to no purpose but the benefit of the Receiver. I to dinner to the King's Head with Mr. Woolly, who is come to instruct me in the business of my goods, but gives me not so good comfort as I thought I should have had. But, however, it will be well worth my time though not above 2 or L300. He gone I to my office, where very busy drawing up a letter by way of discourse to the Duke of Albemarle about my conception how the business of the Victualling should be ordered, wherein I have taken great pains, and I think have hitt the right if they will but follow it. At this very late and so home to our lodgings to bed.
7th. Up and to the office along with Mr. Childe, whom I sent for to discourse about the victualling business, who will not come into partnership (no more will Captain Beckford ), but I do find him a mighty understanding man, and one I will keep a knowledge of. Did business, though not much, at the office; because of the horrible crowd and lamentable moan of the poor seamen that lie starving in the streets for lack of money. Which do trouble and perplex me to the heart; and more at noon when we were to go through them, for then a whole hundred of them followed us; some cursing, some swearing, and some praying to us. And that that made me more troubled was a letter come this afternoon from the Duke of Albemarle, signifying the Dutch to be in sight, with 80 sayle, yesterday morning, off of Solebay, coming right into the bay. God knows what they will and may do to us, we having no force abroad able to oppose them, but to be sacrificed to them. Here come Sir W. Rider to me, whom I sent for about the victualling business also, but he neither will not come into partnership, but desires to be of the Commission if there be one. Thence back the back way to my office, where very late, very busy. But most of all when at night come two waggons from Rochester with more goods from Captain Cocke; and in houseing them at Mr. Tooker's lodgings come two of the Custome-house to seize them, and did seize them but I showed them my 'Transire'. However, after some hot and angry words, we locked them up, and sealed up the key, and did give it to the constable to keep till Monday, and so parted. But, Lord! to think how the poor constable come to me in the dark going home; "Sir," says he, "I have the key, and if you would have me do any service for you, send for me betimes to-morrow morning, and I will do what you would have me." Whether the fellow do this out of kindness or knavery, I cannot tell; but it is pretty to observe. Talking with him in the high way, come close by the bearers with a dead corpse of the plague; but, Lord! to see what custom is, that I am come almost to think nothing of it. So to my lodging, and there, with Mr. Hater and Will, ending a business of the state of the last six months' charge of the Navy, which we bring to L1,000,000 and above, and I think we do not enlarge much in it if anything. So to bed.
8th (Lord's day). Up and, after being trimmed, to the office, whither I upon a letter from the Duke of Albemarle to me, to order as many ships forth out of the river as I can presently, to joyne to meet the Dutch; having ordered all the Captains of the ships in the river to come to me, I did some business with them, and so to Captain Cocke's to dinner, he being in the country. But here his brother Solomon was, and, for guests, myself, Sir G. Smith, and a very fine lady, one Mrs. Penington, and two more gentlemen. But, both [before] and after dinner, most witty discourse with this lady, who is a very fine witty lady, one of the best I ever heard speake, and indifferent handsome. There after dinner an houre or two, and so to the office, where ended my business with the Captains; and I think of twenty-two ships we shall make shift to get out seven. (God helpe us! men being sick, or provisions lacking.) And so to write letters to Sir Ph. Warwicke, Sir W. Coventry, and Sir G. Carteret to Court about the last six months' accounts, and sent away by an express to-night. This day I hear the Pope is dead;--[a false report]--and one said, that the newes is, that the King of France is stabbed, but that the former is very true, which will do great things sure, as to the troubling of that part of the world, the King of Spayne [Philip IV., King of Spain, who succeeded to the throne in 1621, died in 1665. He was succeeded by his son Charles II.] being so lately dead. And one thing more, Sir Martin Noell's lady is dead with griefe for the death of her husband and nothing else, as they say, in the world; but it seems nobody can make anything of his estate, whether he be dead worth anything or no, he having dealt in so many things, publique and private, as nobody can understand whereabouts his estate is, which is the fate of these great dealers at everything. So after my business being done I home to my lodging and to bed,
9th. Up, my head full of business, and called upon also by Sir John Shaw, to whom I did give a civil answer about our prize goods, that all his dues as one of the Farmers of the Customes are paid, and showed him our Transire; with which he was satisfied, and parted, ordering his servants to see the weight of them. I to the office, and there found an order for my coming presently to the Duke of Albemarle, and what should it be, but to tell me, that, if my Lord Sandwich do not come to towne, he do resolve to go with the fleete to sea himself, the Dutch, as he thinks, being in the Downes, and so desired me to get a pleasure boat for to take him in to-morrow morning, and do many other things, and with a great liking of me, and my management especially, as that coxcombe my Lord Craven do tell me, and I perceive it, and I am sure take pains enough to deserve it. Thence away and to the office at London, where I did some business about my money and private accounts, and there eat a bit of goose of Mr. Griffin's, and so by water, it raining most miserably, to Greenwich, calling on several vessels in my passage. Being come there I hear another seizure hath been made of our goods by one Captain Fisher that hath been at Chatham by warrant of the Duke of Albemarle, and is come in my absence to Tooker's and viewed them, demanding the key of the constable, and so sealed up the door. I to the house, but there being no officers nor constable could do nothing, but back to my office full of trouble about this, and there late about business, vexed to see myself fall into this trouble and concernment in a thing that I want instruction from my Lord Sandwich whether I should appear in it or no, and so home to bed, having spent two hours, I and my boy, at Mr. Glanvill's removing of faggots to make room to remove our goods to, but when done I thought it not fit to use it. The newes of the killing of the [King of] France is wholly untrue, and they say that of the Pope too.
10th. Up, and receive a stop from the Duke of Albemarle of setting out any more ships, or providing a pleasure boat for himself, which I am glad of, and do see, what I thought yesterday, that this resolution of his was a sudden one and silly. By and by comes Captain Cocke's Jacob to tell me that he is come from Chatham this morning, and that there are four waggons of goods at hand coming to towne, which troubles me. I directed him to bring them to his master's house. But before I could send him away to bring them thither, newes is brought me that they are seized on in the towne by this Captain Fisher and they will carry them to another place. So I to them and found our four waggons in the streete stopped by the church by this Fisher and company and 100 or 200 people in the streetes gazing. I did give them good words, and made modest desires of carrying the goods to Captain Cocke's, but they would have them to a house of their hiring, where in a barne the goods were laid. I had transires to show for all, and the tale was right, and there I spent all the morning seeing this done. At which Fisher was vexed that I would not let it be done by any body else for the merchant, and that I must needs be concerned therein, which I did not think fit to owne. So that being done, I left the goods to be watched by men on their part and ours, and so to the office by noon, whither by and by comes Captain Cocke, whom I had with great care sent for by expresse the last night, and so I with him to his house and there eat a bit, and so by coach to Lambeth, and I took occasion first to go to the Duke of Albemarle to acquaint him with some thing of what had been done this morning in behalf of a friend absent, which did give a good entrance and prevented their possessing the Duke with anything of evil of me by their report, and by and by in comes. Captain Cocke and tells his whole story. So an order was made for the putting him in possession upon giving security to, be accountable for the goods, which for the present did satisfy us, and so away, giving Locke that drew the order a piece. (Lord! to see how unhappily a man may fall into a necessity of bribing people to do him right in a thing, wherein he hath done nothing but fair, and bought dear.)
So to the office, there to write my letters, and Cocke comes to tell me that Fisher is come to him, and that he doubts not to cajole Fisher and his companion and make them friends with drink and a bribe. This night comes Sir Christopher Mings to towne, and I went to see him, and by and by he being then out of the town comes to see me. He is newly come from Court, and carries direction for the making a show of getting out the fleete again to go fight the Dutch, but that it will end in a fleete of 20 good sayling frigates to go to the Northward or Southward, and that will be all. I enquired, but he would not be to know that he had heard any thing at Oxford about the business of the prize goods, which I did suspect, but he being gone, anon comes Cocke and tells me that he hath been with him a great while, and that he finds him sullen and speaking very high what disrespect he had received of my Lord, saying that he hath walked 3 or 4 hours together at that Earle's cabbin door for audience and could not be received, which, if true, I am sorry for. He tells me that Sir G. Ascue says, that he did from the beginning declare against these [prize] goods, and would not receive his dividend; and that he and Sir W. Pen are at odds about it, and that he fears Mings hath been doing ill offices to my Lord. I did to-night give my Lord an account of all this, and so home and to bed.
11th. Up, and so in my chamber staid all the morning doing something toward my Tangier accounts, for the stating of them, and also comes up my landlady, Mrs. Clerke, to make an agreement for the time to come; and I, for the having room enough, and to keepe out strangers, and to have a place to retreat to for my wife, if the sicknesse should come to Woolwich, am contented to pay dear; so for three rooms and a dining-room, and for linen and bread and beer and butter, at nights and mornings, I am to give her L5 10s. per month, and I wrote and we signed to an agreement. By and by comes Cocke to tell me that Fisher and his fellow were last night mightily satisfied and promised all friendship, but this morning he finds them to have new tricks and shall be troubled with them. So he being to go down to Erith with them this afternoon about giving security, I advised him to let them go by land, and so he and I (having eat something at his house) by water to Erith, but they got thither before us, and there we met Mr. Seymour, one of the Commissioners for Prizes, and a Parliament-man, and he was mighty high, and had now seized our goods on their behalf; and he mighty imperiously would have all forfeited, and I know not what. I thought I was in the right in a thing I said and spoke somewhat earnestly, so we took up one another very smartly, for which I was sorry afterwards, shewing thereby myself too much concerned, but nothing passed that I valued at all. But I could not but think [it odd] that a Parliament-man, in a serious discourse before such persons as we and my Lord Bruncker, and Sir John Minnes, should quote Hudibras, as being the book I doubt he hath read most. They I doubt will stand hard for high security, and Cocke would have had me bound with him for his appearing, but I did stagger at it, besides Seymour do stop the doing it at all till he has been with the Duke of Albemarle. So there will be another demurre.
It growing late, and I having something to do at home, took my leave alone, leaving Cocke there for all night, and so against tide and in the darke and very cold weather to Woolwich, where we had appointed to keepe the night merrily; and so, by Captain Cocke's coach, had brought a very pretty child, a daughter of one Mrs. Tooker's, next door to my lodging, and so she, and a daughter and kinsman of Mrs. Pett's made up a fine company at my lodgings at Woolwich, where my wife and Mercer, and Mrs. Barbara danced, and mighty merry we were, but especially at Mercer's dancing a jigg, which she does the best I ever did see, having the most natural way of it, and keeps time the most perfectly I ever did see. This night is kept in lieu of yesterday, for my wedding day of ten years; for which God be praised! being now in an extreme good condition of health and estate and honour, and a way of getting more money, though at this houre under some discomposure, rather than damage, about some prize goods that I have bought off the fleete, in partnership with Captain Cocke; and for the discourse about the world concerning my Lord Sandwich, that he hath done a thing so bad; and indeed it must needs have been a very rash act; and the rather because of a Parliament now newly met to give money, and will have some account of what hath already been spent, besides the precedent for a General to take what prizes he pleases, and the giving a pretence to take away much more than he intended, and all will lie upon him; and not giving to all the Commanders, as well as the Flaggs, he displeases. all them, and offends even some of them, thinking others to be better served than themselves; and lastly, puts himself out of a power of begging anything again a great while of the King. Having danced with my people as long as I saw fit to sit up, I to bed and left them to do what they would. I forgot that we had W. Hewer there, and Tom, and Golding, my barber at Greenwich, for our fiddler, to whom I did give 10s.
12th. Called up before day, and so I dressed myself and down, it being horrid cold, by water to my Lord Bruncker's ship, who advised me to do so, and it was civilly to show me what the King had commanded about the prize-goods, to examine most severely all that had been done in the taking out any with or without order, without respect to my Lord Sandwich at all, and that he had been doing of it, and find him examining one man, and I do find that extreme ill use was made of my Lord's order. For they did toss and tumble and spoil, and breake things in hold to a great losse and shame to come at the fine goods, and did take a man that knows where the fine goods were, and did this over and over again for many days, Sir W. Berkeley being the chief hand that did it, but others did the like at other times, and they did say in doing it that my Lord Sandwich's back was broad enough to bear it. Having learned as much as I could, which was, that the King and Duke were very severe in this point, whatever order they before had given my Lord in approbation of what he had done, and that all will come out and the King see, by the entries at the Custome House, what all do amount to that had been taken, and so I took leave, and by water, very cold, and to Woolwich where it was now noon, and so I staid dinner and talking part of the afternoon, and then by coach, Captain Cocke's, to Greenwich, taking the young lady home, and so to Cocke, and he tells me that he hath cajolled with Seymour, who will be our friend; but that, above all, Seymour tells him, that my Lord Duke did shew him to-day an order from Court, for having all respect paid to the Earle of Sandwich, and what goods had been delivered by his order, which do overjoy us, and that to-morrow our goods shall be weighed, and he doubts not possession to-morrow or next day. Being overjoyed at this I to write my letters, and at it very late. Good newes this week that there are about 600 less dead of the plague than the last. So home to bed.
13th. Lay long, and this morning comes Sir Jer. Smith [Captain Jeremiah Smith (or Smyth), knighted June, 1665; Admiral of the Blue in 1666. He succeeded Sir William Penn as Comptroller of the Victualling Accounts in 1669, and held the office until 1675.] to see me in his way to Court, and a good man he is, and one that I must keep fair with, and will, it being I perceive my interest to have kindnesse with the Commanders. So to the office, and there very busy till about noon comes Sir W. Warren, and he goes and gets a bit of meat ready at the King's Head for us, and I by and by thither, and we dined together, and I am not pleased with him about a little business of Tangier that I put to him to do for me, but however, the hurt is not much, and his other matters of profit to me continue very likely to be good. Here we spent till 2 o'clock, and so I set him on shore, and I by water to the Duke of Albemarle, where I find him with Lord Craven and Lieutenant of the Tower about him; among other things, talking of ships to get of the King to fetch coles for the poore of the city, which is a good worke. But, Lord! to hear the silly talke between these three great people! Yet I have no reason to find fault, the Duke and Lord Craven being my very great friends. Here did the business I come about, and so back home by water, and there Cocke comes to me and tells me that he is come to an understanding with Fisher, and that he must give him L100, and that he shall have his goods in possession to-morrow, they being all weighed to-day, which pleases me very well. This day the Duke tells me that there is no news heard of the Dutch, what they do or where they are, but believes that they are all gone home, for none of our spyes can give us any tideings of them. Cocke is fain to keep these people, Fisher and his fellow, company night and day to keep them friends almost and great troubles withal. My head is full of settling the victualling business also, that I may make some profit out of it, which I hope justly to do to the King's advantage. To-night come Sir J. Bankes to me upon my letter to discourse it with him, and he did give me the advice I have taken almost as fully as if I had been directed by him what to write. The business also of my Tangier accounts to be sent to Court is upon my hands in great haste; besides, all my owne proper accounts are in great disorder, having been neglected now above a month, which grieves me, but it could not be settled sooner. These together and the feare of the sicknesse and providing for my family do fill my head very full, besides the infinite business of the office, and nobody here to look after it but myself. So late from my office to my lodgings, and to bed.
14th. Up, and to the office,
where mighty busy, especially with Mr. Gawden, with whom I shall, I think,
have much to do, and by and by comes the Lieutenant of the Tower by my
invitation yesterday, but I had got nothing for him, it is to discourse
about the Cole shipps. So he went away to Sheriffe Hooker's, and I staid
at the office till he sent for me at noon to dinner, I very hungry. When
I come to the Sheriffe's he was not there, nor in many other places, nor
could find him at all, so was forced to come to the office and get a bit
of meat from the taverne, and so to my business. By and by comes the Lieutenant
and reproaches me with my not treating him as I ought, but all in jest,
he it seemed dined with Mr. Adrian May. Very late writing letters at the
office, and much satisfied to hear from Captain Cocke that he had got
possession of some of his goods to his own house, and expected to have
all to-night. The towne, I hear, is full of talke that there are great
differences in the fleete among the great Commanders, and that Mings at
Oxford did impeach my Lord of something, I think about these goods, but
this is but talke. But my heart and head to-night is full of the Victualling
business, being overjoyed and proud at my success in my proposal about
it, it being read before the King, Duke, and the Caball with complete
applause and satisfaction. This Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Coventry both
writ me, besides Sir W. Coventry's letter to the Duke of Albemarle, which
I read yesterday, and I hope to find my profit in it also. So late home
By and by by appointment comes Mr. Povy's coach, and, more than I expected, him himself, to fetch me to Brainford: so he and I immediately set out, having drunk a draft of mulled sacke; and so rode most nobly, in his most pretty and best contrived charriott in the world, with many new conveniences, his never having till now, within a day or two, been yet finished; our discourse upon Tangier business, want of money, and then of publique miscarriages, nobody minding the publique, but every body himself and his lusts. Anon we come to his house, and there I eat a bit, and so with fresh horses, his noble fine horses, the best confessedly in England, the King having none such, he sent me to Sir Robert Viner's, whom I met coming just from church, and so after having spent half-an-hour almost looking upon the horses with some gentlemen that were in company, he and I into his garden to discourse of money, but none is to be had, he confessing himself in great straits, and I believe it. Having this answer, and that I could not get better, we fell to publique talke, and to think how the fleete and seamen will be paid, which he protests he do not think it possible to compass, as the world is now: no money got by trade, nor the persons that have it by them in the City to be come at. The Parliament, it seems, have voted the King L1,250,000 at L50,000 per month, tax for the war; and voted to assist the King against the Dutch, and all that shall adhere to them; and thanks to be given him for his care of the Duke of Yorke, which last is a very popular vote on the Duke's behalf. He tells me how the taxes of the last assessment, which should have been in good part gathered, are not yet laid, and that even in part of the City of London; and the Chimny- money comes almost to nothing, nor any thing else looked after. Having done this I parted, my mind not eased by any money, but only that I had done my part to the King's service. And so in a very pleasant evening back to Mr. Povy's, and there supped, and after supper to talke and to sing, his man Dutton's wife singing very pleasantly (a mighty fat woman), and I wrote out one song from her and pricked the tune, both very pretty. But I did never heare one sing with so much pleasure to herself as this lady do, relishing it to her very heart, which was mighty pleasant.
16th. Up about seven o'clock; and, after drinking, and I observing Mr. Povy's being mightily mortifyed in his eating and drinking, and coaches and horses, he desiring to sell his best, and every thing else, his furniture of his house, he walked with me to Syon, [Sion House, granted by Edward VI. to his uncle, the Duke of Somerset. After his execution, 1552, it was forfeited, and given to John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. The duke being beheaded in 1553, it reverted to the Crown, and was granted in 1604 to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. It still belongs to the Duke of Northumberland.] and there I took water, in our way he discoursing of the wantonnesse of the Court, and how it minds nothing else, and I saying that that would leave the King shortly if he did not leave it, he told me "No," for the King do spend most of his time in feeling and kissing them naked . . . But this lechery will never leave him. Here I took boat (leaving him there) and down to the Tower, where I hear the Duke of Albemarle is, and I to Lumbard Streete, but can get no money. So upon the Exchange, which is very empty, God knows! and but mean people there. The newes for certain that the Dutch are come with their fleete before Margett, and some men were endeavouring to come on shore when the post come away, perhaps to steal some sheep. But, Lord! how Colvill talks of the businesse of publique revenue like a madman, and yet I doubt all true; that nobody minds it, but that the King and Kingdom must speedily be undone, and rails at my Lord about the prizes, but I think knows not my relation to him. Here I endeavoured to satisfy all I could, people about Bills of Exchange from Tangier, but it is only with good words, for money I have not, nor can get. God knows what will become of all the King's matters in a little time, for he runs in debt every day, and nothing to pay them looked after. Thence I walked to the Tower; but, Lord! how empty the streets are and melancholy, so many poor sick people in the streets full of sores; and so many sad stories overheard as I walk, every body talking of this dead, and that man sick, and so many in this place, and so many in that. And they tell me that, in Westminster, there is never a physician and but one apothecary left, all being dead; but that there are great hopes of a great decrease this week: God send it!
At the Tower found my Lord Duke and Duchesse at dinner;
so I sat down. And much good cheer, the Lieutenant and his lady, and several
officers with the Duke. But, Lord! to hear the silly talk that was there,
would make one mad; the Duke having none almost but fools about him. Much
of their talke about the Dutch coming on shore, which they believe they
may some of them have been and steal sheep, and speak all in reproach
of them in whose hands the fleete is; but, Lord helpe him, there is something
will hinder him and all the world in going to sea, which is want of victuals;
for we have not wherewith to answer our service; and how much better it
would have been if the Duke's advice had been taken for the fleete to
have gone presently out; but, God helpe the King! while no better counsels
are given, and what is given no better taken. Thence after dinner receiving
many commands from the Duke, I to our office on the Hill, and there did
a little business and to Colvill's again, and so took water at the Tower,
and there met with Captain Cocke, and he down with me to Greenwich, I
having received letters from my Lord Sandwich to-day, speaking very high
about the prize goods, that he would have us to fear nobody, but be very
confident in what we have done, and not to confess any fault or doubt
of what he hath done; for the King hath allowed it, and do now confirm
it, and sent orders, as he says, for nothing to be disturbed that his
Lordshipp hath ordered therein as to the division of the goods to the
fleete; which do comfort us, but my Lord writes to me that both he and
I may hence learn by what we see in this business. But that which pleases
me best is that Cocke tells me that he now understands that Fisher was
set on in this business by the design of some of the Duke of Albemarle's
people, Warcupp and others, who lent him money to set him out in it, and
he has spent high. Who now curse him for a rogue to take L100 when he
might have had as well L1,500, and they are mightily fallen out about
it. Which in due time shall be discovered, but that now that troubles
me afresh is, after I am got to the office at Greenwich that some new
troubles are come, and Captain Cocke's house is beset before and behind
with guards, and more, I do fear they may come to my office here to search
for Cocke's goods and find some small things of my clerk's. So I assisted
them in helping to remove their small trade, but by and by I am told that
it is only the Custome House men who came to seize the things that did
lie at Mr. Glanville's, for which they did never yet see our Transire,
nor did know of them till to-day. So that my fear is now over, for a transire
is ready for them. Cocke did get a great many of his goods to London to-day.
To the Still Yarde, which place, however, is now shut up of the plague;
but I was there, and we now make no bones of it. Much talke there is of
the Chancellor's speech and the King's at the Parliament's meeting, which
are very well liked; and that we shall certainly, by their speeches, fall
out with France at this time, together with the Dutch, which will find
us work. Late at the office entering my Journall for 8 days past, the
greatness of my business hindering me of late to put it down daily, but
I have done it now very true and particularly, and hereafter will, I hope,
be able to fall into my old way of doing it daily. So to my lodging, and
there had a good pullet to my supper, and so to bed, it being very cold
again, God be thanked for it!
18th. Up, and after some pleasant discourse with my wife (though my head full of business) I out and left her to go home, and myself to the office, and thence by water to the Duke of Albemarle's, and so back again and find my wife gone. So to my chamber at my lodgings, and to the making of my accounts up of Tangier, which I did with great difficulty, finding the difference between short and long reckonings where I have had occasion to mix my moneys, as I have of late done my Tangier treasure upon other occasions, and other moneys upon that. However, I was at it late and did it pretty perfectly, and so, after eating something, to bed, my mind eased of a great deal of figures and castings.
19th. Up, and to my accounts again, and stated them very clear and fair, and at noon dined at my lodgings with Mr. Hater and W. Hewer at table with me, I being come to an agreement yesterday with my landlady for L6 per month, for so many rooms for myself, them, and my wife and mayde, when she shall come, and to pay besides for my dyett. After dinner I did give them my accounts and letters to write against I went to the Duke of Albemarle's this evening, which I did; and among other things, spoke to him for my wife's brother, Balty, to be of his guard, which he kindly answered that he should. My business of the Victualling goes on as I would have it; and now my head is full how to make some profit of it to myself or people. To that end, when I came home, I wrote a letter to Mr. Coventry, offering myself to be the Surveyor Generall, and am apt to think he will assist me in it, but I do not set my heart much on it, though it would be a good helpe. So back to my office, and there till past one before I could get all these letters and papers copied out, which vexed me, but so sent them away without hopes of saving the post, and so to my lodging to bed.
20th. Up, and had my last night's letters brought back to me, which troubles me, because of my accounts, lest they should be asked for before they come, which I abhorr, being more ready to give than they can be to demand them: so I sent away an expresse to Oxford with them, and another to Portsmouth, with a copy of my letter to Mr. Coventry about my victualling business, for fear he should be gone from Oxford, as he intended, thither. So busy all the morning and at noon to Cocke, and dined there. He and I alone, vexed that we are not rid of all our trouble about our goods, but it is almost over, and in the afternoon to my lodging, and there spent the whole afternoon and evening with Mr. Hater, discoursing of the business of the office, where he tells me that among others Thomas Willson do now and then seem to hint that I do take too much business upon me, more than I can do, and that therefore some do lie undone. This I confess to my trouble is true, but it arises from my being forced to take so much on me, more than is my proper task to undertake. But for this at last I did advise to him to take another clerk if he thinks fit, I will take care to have him paid. I discoursed also much with him about persons fit to be put into the victualling business, and such as I could spare something out of their salaries for them, but without trouble I cannot, I see, well do it, because Thomas Willson must have the refusal of the best place which is London of L200 per annum, which I did intend for Tooker, and to get L50 out of it as a help to Mr. Hater. How[ever], I will try to do something of this kind for them. Having done discourse with him late, I to enter my Tangier accounts fair, and so to supper and to bed.
21 st. Up, and to my office, where busy all the morning, and then with my two clerks home to dinner, and so back again to the office, and there very late very busy, and so home to supper and to bed.
22nd (Lord's day). Up, and after ready and going to Captain Cocke's, where I find we are a little further safe in some part of our goods, I to Church, in my way was meeting with some letters, which made me resolve to go after church to my Lord Duke of Albemarle's, so, after sermon, I took Cocke's chariott, and to Lambeth; but, in going and getting over the water, and through White Hall, I spent so much time, the Duke had almost dined. However, fresh meat was brought for me to his table, and there I dined, and full of discourse and very kind. Here they are again talking of the prizes, and my Lord Duke did speake very broad that my Lord Sandwich and Pen should do what they would, and answer for themselves. For his part, he would lay all before the King. Here he tells me the Dutch Embassador at Oxford is clapped up, but since I hear it is not true. Thence back again, it being evening before I could get home, and there Cocke not being within, I and Mr. Salomon to Mr. Glanville's, and there we found Cocke and sat and supped, and was mighty merry with only Madam Penington, who is a fine, witty lady. Here we spent the evening late with great mirth, and so home and to bed.
23rd. Up, and after doing some business I down by water, calling to see my wife, with whom very merry for ten minutes, and so to Erith, where my Lord Bruncker and I kept the office, and dispatched some business by appointment on the Bezan. Among other things about the slopsellers, who have trusted us so long, they are not able, nor can be expected to trust us further, and I fear this winter the fleete will be undone by that particular. Thence on board the East India ship, where my Lord Bruncker had provided a great dinner, and thither comes by and by Sir John Minnes and before him Sir W. Warren and anon a Perspective glasse maker, of whom we, every one, bought a pocket glasse. But I am troubled with the much talke and conceitedness of Mrs. Williams and her impudence, in case she be not married to my Lord. They are getting themselves ready to deliver the goods all out to the East India Company, who are to have the goods in their possession and to advance two thirds of the moderate value thereof and sell them as well as they can and the King to give them 6 per cent. for the use of the money they shall so advance. By this means the company will not suffer by the King's goods bringing down the price of their own. Thence in the evening back again with Sir W. Warren and Captain Taylor in my boat, and the latter went with me to the office, and there he and I reckoned; and I perceive I shall get L100 profit by my services of late to him, which is a very good thing.
Thence to my lodging, where I find my Lord Rutherford, of which I was glad. We supped together and sat up late, he being a mighty wanton man with a daughter in law of my landlady's, a pretty conceited woman big with child, and he would be handling her breasts, which she coyly refused. But they gone, my Lord and I to business, and he would have me forbear paying Alderman Backewell the money ordered him, which I, in hopes to advantage myself, shall forbear, but do not think that my Lord will do any thing gratefully more to me than he hath done, not that I shall get any thing as I pretended by helping him to interest for his last L7700, which I could do, and do him a courtesy too. Discourse being done, he to bed in my chamber and I to another in the house
25th. Up and to my Lord Sandwich's, where several Commanders, of whom I took the state of all their ships, and of all could find not above four capable of going out. The truth is, the want of victuals being the whole overthrow of this yeare both at sea, and now at the Nore here and Portsmouth, where all the fleete lies. By and by comes down my Lord, and then he and I an houre together alone upon private discourse. He tells me that Mr. Coventry and he are not reconciled, but declared enemies: the only occasion of it being, he tells me, his ill usage from him about the first fight, wherein he had no right done him, which, methinks, is a poor occasion, for, in my conscience, that was no design of Coventry's. But, however, when I asked my Lord whether it were not best, though with some condescension, to be friends with him, he told me it was not possible, and so I stopped. He tells me, as very private, that there are great factions at the Court between the King's party and the Duke of Yorke's, and that the King, which is a strange difficulty, do favour my Lord in opposition to the Duke's party; that my Lord Chancellor, being, to be sure, the patron of the Duke's, it is a mystery whence it should be that Mr. Coventry is looked upon by him [Clarendon] as an enemy to him; that if he had a mind himself to be out of this employment, as Mr. Coventry, he believes, wishes, and himself and I do incline to wish it also, in many respects, yet he believes he shall not be able, because of the King, who will keepe him in on purpose, in opposition to the other party; that Prince Rupert and he are all possible friends in the world; that Coventry hath aggravated this business of the prizes, though never so great plundering in the world as while the Duke and he were at sea; and in Sir John Lawson's time he could take and pillage, and then sink a whole ship in the Streights, and Coventry say nothing to it; that my Lord Arlington is his fast friend; that the Chancellor is cold to him, and though I told him that I and the world do take my Lord Chancellor, in his speech the other day, to have said as much as could be wished, yet he thinks he did not. That my Lord Chancellor do from hence begin to be cold to him, because of his seeing him and Arlington so great: that nothing at Court is minded but faction and pleasure, and nothing intended of general good to the kingdom by anybody heartily; so that he believes with me, in a little time confusion will certainly come over all the nation. He told me how a design was carried on a while ago, for the Duke of Yorke to raise an army in the North, and to be the Generall of it, and all this without the knowledge or advice of the Duke of Albemarle, which when he come to know, he was so vexed, they were fain to let it fall to content him: that his matching with the family of Sir G. Carteret do make the difference greater between Coventry and him, they being enemies; that the Chancellor did, as every body else, speak well of me the other day, but yet was, at the Committee for Tangier, angry that I should offer to suffer a bill of exchange to be protested. So my Lord did bid me take heed, for that I might easily suppose I could not want enemies, no more than others. In all he speaks with the greatest trust and love and confidence in what I say or do, that a man can do.
After this discourse ended we sat down to dinner and mighty merry, among other things, at the Bill brought into the House to make it felony to break bulke, which, as my Lord says well, will make that no prizes shall be taken, or, if taken, shall be sunke after plundering; and the Act for the method of gathering this last LI,250,000 now voted, and how paid wherein are several strange imperfections. After dinner my Lord by a ketch down to Erith, where the Bezan was, it blowing these last two days and now both night and day very hard southwardly, so that it has certainly drove the Dutch off the coast. My Lord being gone I to the office, and there find Captain Ferrers, who tells me his wife is come to town to see him, having not seen him since 15 weeks ago at his first going to sea last. She is now at a Taverne and stays all night, so I was obliged to give him my house and chamber to lie in, which he with great modesty and after much force took, and so I got Mr. Evelyn's coach to carry her thither, and the coach coming back, I with Mr. Evelyn to Deptford, where a little while with him doing a little business, and so in his coach back again to my lodgings, and there sat with Mrs. Ferrers two hours, and with my little girle, Mistress Frances Tooker, and very pleasant. Anon the Captain comes, and then to supper very merry, and so I led them to bed. And so to bed myself, having seen my pretty little girle home first at the next door.
26th. Up, and, leaving my guests to make themselves ready, I to the office, and thither comes Sir Jer. Smith and Sir Christopher Mings to see me, being just come from Portsmouth and going down to the Fleete. Here I sat and talked with them a good while and then parted, only Sir Christopher Mings and I together by water to the Tower; and I find him a very witty well-spoken fellow, and mighty free to tell his parentage, being a shoemaker's son, to whom he is now going, and I to the 'Change, where I hear how the French have taken two and sunk one of our merchant- men in the Streights, and carried the ships to Toulon; so that there is no expectation but we must fall out with them. The 'Change pretty full, and the town begins to be lively again, though the streets very empty, and most shops shut. So back again I and took boat and called for Sir Christopher Mings at St. Katharine's, who was followed with some ordinary friends, of which, he says, he is proud, and so down to Greenwich, the wind furious high, and we with our sail up till I made it be taken down. I took him, it being 3 o'clock, to my lodgings and did give him a good dinner and so parted, he being pretty close to me as to any business of the fleete, knowing me to be a servant of my Lord Sandwich's. He gone I to the office till night, and then they come and tell me my wife is come to towne, so I to her vexed at her coming, but it was upon innocent business, so I was pleased and made her stay, Captain Ferrers and his lady being yet there, and so I left them to dance, and I to the office till past nine at night, and so to them and there saw them dance very prettily, the Captain and his wife, my wife and Mrs. Barbary, and Mercer and my landlady's daughter, and then little Mistress Frances Tooker and her mother, a pretty woman come to see my wife. Anon to supper, and then to dance again (Golding being our fiddler, who plays very well and all tunes) till past twelve at night, and then we broke up and every one to bed, we make shift for all our company, Mrs. Tooker being gone.
27th. Up, and after some pleasant discourse with my wife, I out, leaving her and Mrs. Ferrers there, and I to Captain Cocke's, there to do some business, and then away with Cocke in his coach through Kent Streete, a miserable, wretched, poor place, people sitting sicke and muffled up with plasters at every 4 or 5 doors. So to the 'Change, and thence I by water to the Duke of Albemarle's, and there much company, but I staid and dined, and he makes mighty much of me; and here he tells us the Dutch are gone, and have lost above 160 cables and anchors, through the last foule weather. Here he proposed to me from Mr. Coventry, as I had desired of Mr. Coventry, that I should be Surveyor-Generall of the Victualling business, which I accepted. But, indeed, the terms in which Mr. Coventry proposes it for me are the most obliging that ever I could expect from any man, and more; it saying me to be the fittest man in England, and that he is sure, if I will undertake, I will perform it; and that it will be also a very desirable thing that I might have this encouragement, my encouragement in the Navy alone being in no wise proportionable to my pains or deserts. This, added to the letter I had three days since from Mr. Southerne, signifying that the Duke of Yorke had in his master's absence opened my letter, and commanded him to tell me that he did approve of my being the Surveyor-General, do make me joyful beyond myself that I cannot express it, to see that as I do take pains, so God blesses me, and hath sent me masters that do observe that I take pains. After having done here, I back by water and to London, and there met with Captain Cocke's coach again, and I went in it to Greenwich and thence sent my wife in it to Woolwich, and I to the office, and thence home late with Captain Taylor, and he and I settled all accounts between us, and I do find that I do get above L129 of him for my services for him within these six months. At it till almost one in the morning, and after supper he away and I to bed, mightily satisfied in all this, and in a resolution I have taken to-night with Mr. Hater to propose the port of London for the victualling business for Thomas Willson, by which it will be better done and I at more ease, in case he should grumble. So to bed.
29th (Lord's day). Up, and being ready set out with Captain Cocke in his coach toward Erith, Mr. Deane riding along with us, where we dined and were very merry. After dinner we fell to discourse about the Dutch, Cocke undertaking to prove that they were able to wage warr with us three years together, which, though it may be true, yet, not being satisfied with his arguments, my Lord and I did oppose the strength of his arguments, which brought us to a great heate, he being a conceited man, but of no Logique in his head at all, which made my Lord and I mirth. Anon we parted, and back again, we hardly having a word all the way, he being so vexed at our not yielding to his persuasion. I was set down at Woolwich towne end, and walked through the towne in the darke, it being now night. But in the streete did overtake and almost run upon two women crying and carrying a man's coffin between them. I suppose the husband of one of them, which, methinks, is a sad thing. Being come to Shelden's, I find my people in the darke in the dining room, merry and laughing, and, I thought, sporting one with another, which, God helpe me! raised my jealousy presently. Come in the darke, and one of them touching me (which afterward I found was Susan) made them shreeke, and so went out up stairs, leaving them to light a candle and to run out. I went out and was very vexed till I found my wife was gone with Mr. Hill and Mercer this day to see me at Greenwich, and these people were at supper, and the candle on a sudden falling out of the candlesticke (which I saw as I come through the yarde) and Mrs. Barbary being there I was well at ease again, and so bethought myself what to do, whether to go to Greenwich or stay there; at last go I would, and so with a lanthorne, and 3 or 4 people with me, among others Mr. Browne, who was there, would go, I walked with a lanthorne and discoursed with him about paynting and the several sorts of it. I came in good time to Greenwich, where I found Mr. Hill with my wife, and very glad I was to see him. To supper and discourse of musique and so to bed, I lying with him talking till midnight about Berckenshaw's musique rules, which I did to his great satisfaction inform him in, and so to sleep.
30th. Up, and to my office about business. At noon to dinner, and after some discourse of musique, he and I to the office awhile, and he to get Mr. Coleman, if he can, against night. By and by I back again home, and there find him returned with Mr. Coleman (his wife being ill) and Mr. Laneare, with whom with their Lute we had excellent company and good singing till midnight, and a good supper I did give them, but Coleman's voice is quite spoiled, and when he begins to be drunk he is excellent company, but afterward troublesome and impertinent. Laneare sings in a melancholy method very well, and a sober man he seems to be. They being gone, we to bed. Captain Ferrers coming this day from my Lord is forced to lodge here, and I put him to Mr. Hill.
31st. Up, and to the office, Captain Ferrers going back betimes to my Lord. I to the office, where Sir W. Batten met me, and did tell me that Captain Cocke's black was dead of the plague, which I had heard of before, but took no notice. By and by Captain Cocke come to the office, and Sir W. Batten and I did send to him that he would either forbear the office, or forbear going to his owne office. However, meeting yesterday the Searchers with their rods in their hands--[Coroners Office ?? D.W.]-- coming from Captain Cocke's house, I did overhear them say that the fellow did not die of the plague, but he had I know been ill a good while, and I am told that his boy Jack is also ill. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again, leaving Mr. Hill if he can to get Mrs. Coleman at night. About nine at night I come home, and there find Mrs. Pierce come and little Fran. Tooker, and Mr. Hill, and other people, a great many dancing, and anon comes Mrs. Coleman with her husband and Laneare. The dancing ended and to sing, which Mrs. Coleman do very finely, though her voice is decayed as to strength but mighty sweet though soft, and a pleasant jolly woman, and in mighty good humour was to-night. Among other things Laneare did, at the request of Mr. Hill, bring two or three the finest prints for my wife to see that ever I did see in all my life. But for singing, among other things, we got Mrs. Coleman to sing part of the Opera, though she won't owne that ever she did get any of it without book in order to the stage; but, above all, her counterfeiting of Captain Cooke's part, in his reproaching his man with cowardice, "Base slave," &c., she do it most excellently. At it till past midnight, and then broke up and to bed. Hill and I together again, and being very sleepy we had little discourse as we had the other night. Thus we end the month merrily; and the more for that, after some fears that the plague would have increased again this week, I hear for certain that there is above 400 [less], the whole number being 1,388, and of them of the plague, 1,031. Want of money in the Navy puts everything out of order. Men grow mutinous; and nobody here to mind the business of the Navy but myself. At least Sir W. Batten for the few days he has been here do nothing. I in great hopes of my place of Surveyor-Generall of the Victualling, which will bring me L300 per annum.