Samuel Pepys Diary 1667 - extracts

The Complete Diary


| remaining fear of the Fire | meets Deb Willet | journey to Brampton |

Burying his gold |1667 complete

1 January
ay long, being a bitter cold frosty day, the ice being now grown old and the Thames covered with ice.

2 January
Up I, and walked to White-hall to attend the Duke of York as usual. My wife up, and with Mrs Pen to walk in the fields to frost-bite themselfs. I find the Court full of great apprehensions of the French, who have certainly shipped landsmen, great numbers, at Brest; and most of our people here guess his design for Ireland. We have orders to send all the ships we can possible to the Downes. God have mercy on us, for we can send forth no ships without men; nor will men go without money, every day bringing us news of new mutinies among the seamen - so that our condition is like to be very miserable...

16 January
This day I observe still in many places the smoking remains of the late fire. The ways mighty bad and dirty.

28 February
Up, and there comes to me Drumbleby with a flagelete made to suit with my former, and brings me one Greeting, a master to teach my wife. I agree by the whole with him; to teach her to take out any lesson of herself for 4l. I did within these six days see smoke still remaining of the late fire in the City; and it is strange to think how this very day I cannot sleep a-night without great terrors of fire; and this very night could not sleep till almost 2 in the morning through thoughts of fire.

6 March
Up, and with W. Penn to Whitehall by coach. Here the Duke of York did acquaint us (and the King did the like also, afterward coming in) with his resolution of altering the manner of the war this year; that is, that we shall keep what fleet we have abroad in several squadrons; so that now all is come out, but we are to keep it as close as we can, without hindering the work that is to be done in preparation to this. Great preparations there are to fortify Sheernesse and the yard at Portsmouth, and forces are drawing down to both those places, and elsewhere by the seaside; so that we have some fear of an invasion, and the Duke of York himself did declare his expectation of the enemy's blocking us up here in the river, and therefore directed that we should send away all the ships that we have to fit out hence.

9 March
I have got a great cold, so home late and drank some buttered ale, and so to bed and to sleep. This cold did most certainly come by my staying a little too long bare-legged yesterday morning when I rose while I looked out fresh socks and thread stockings, yesterday's having in the night, lying near the window, been covered with snow within the window, which made me I durst not put them on.

12 March
This day a poor seaman, almost starved for want of food, lay in our yard a-dying; I sent him half-a-crown - and we ordered his ticket to be paid.

13 March
Late at my office, preparing a speech against tomorrow morning before the King at my Lord Treasurer's; and the truth is, it run through my head all night.

27 March
I did go to the Swan; and there sent for Jervas my old periwig-maker and he did bring me a periwig; but it was full of nits, so as I was troubled to see it (it being his old fault) and did send him to make it clean. So I home, and there up to my wife in our chamber; and there received from my brother the news of my mother's dying on Monday, about 5 or 6 o'clock in the afternoon, and that the last time she spoke of her children was on Friday last and her last words was, "God bless my poor Sam!" The reading heerof did set me a-weeping heartily ....

12 April
Up; and when ready, I to my office to do a little business; and coming homeward again, saw my door and hatch open, left so by Luce our cookmaid; which so vexed me, that I did give her a kick in our entry and offered a blow at her, and was seen doing so by Sir W Penn's footboy, which did vex me to the heart because I know he will be telling their family of it, though I did put on presently a very pleasant face to the boy and spoke kindly to him as one without passion, so as it may be he might not think I was angry; but yet I was troubled at it.

9 May
... in our street at the Three Tuns tavern door find a great hubbub, and what was it but two brothers have fallen out and one killed the other; and who should they be but the two Fieldings, one whereof, Bazill, was page to my Lady Sandwich; and he hath killed the other, himself being very drunk, and so is sent to Newgate. [it was in fact Christopher who had killed Basil]

10 May
... And after dinner went into the church and there seed his Corps with the wound in his left breast; a sad spectacle, and a wide wound, which makes my hand now shake to write of it.

27 May
... stopped at the Bear-garden stairs [Southwark], there to see a Prize fought; but the house so full, there was no getting in there; so forced to go through an alehouse into the pit where the bears are baited, and upon a stool did see them fight, which they did very furiously, a butcher and a waterman. The former had the better all along, till by and by the latter dropped his sword out of his hand, and the butcher, whether not seeing his sword dropped or I know not, but did give him a cut over the wrist, so as he was disabled to fight any longer. But Lord, to see how in a minute the whole stage was full of watermen to revenge the foul play, and the butchers to defend their fellow, those most blamed him; and there they all fell to it, to knocking down and cutting many of each side. It was pleasant to see, but that I stood in the pit and feared that in the tumult I might get some hurt.

12 June
... so home, where all our hearts do now ake; for the news is true, that the Dutch have broke the Chain and burned our ships, and perticularly the Royall Charles; other perticulars I know not, but most sad to be sure. And the truth is, I do fear so much that the whole kingdom is undone, that I do this night resolve to study with my father and wife what to do with the little that I have in money by me, ... So God help us, and God knows what disorders we may fall into and whether any violence on this office, or perhaps some severity on our persons, as being reckoned by the silly people....

13 June
... I presently resolved of my father's and wife's going into the country; and at two hours' warning they did go by the coach this day - with about 1300l in gold in their night bag; pray God give them good passage and good care to hide it when they come home, but my heart is full of fear.

I made my will also this day, and did give all I had equally between my father and wife - and left copies of it in each of Mr Hater and W Hewer's hands, who both witnessed the will.

Diary entries for 10-30th June 1667 (at war with the Dutch)

16 June
Lord Arlington ... told me that when I come to his house he will show me a decree in Chancery, wherein there was 26 men, all housekeepers, in the town of Cottenham in Queen Elizabeth's time, of our name.

17 June.
This night late comes a porter with a letter from Monsieur Pratt to borrow 100l for my Lord Hinchingbrooke, to enable him to go out with his Troop in the country as he is commanded, but I did find an excuse to decline it. Among other reasons to myself this one: to teach him the necessity of being a good husband and keeping money or credit by him.

30 June
... and so back to the fields and into the Cherry-garden, where we had them fresh gathered; and here met with a young, plain, silly shopkeeper and his wife, a pretty young woman, the man's name Hawkins; and I did kiss her and we talked ... and eat cherries together; and then to walk in the fields till it was late; and did kiss her, and I believe, had I a fit time and place, I might have done what I would with her.

6 July
... Creed came to dine with us and brings the first word I hear of the news of a peace [with the Dutch] the King having letters come to him this noon, signifying that it is concluded on ...
This day, with great satisfaction I hear that my Lady Jemimah is brought to bed at Hinchingbrooke of a boy. [George Carteret, later 1st Baron Carteret]

12 July
[Clarendon] did say .[of the King].. "Treachery?" says he, "I could wish we could prove there was anything of that in it, for that would imply some wit and thoughtfulness; but we are ruined merely by folly and neglect."
... Here was my Lord Hinchingbrooke also, newly come from Hinchingbrooke, where all well; but methinks, I knowing in what case he stands for money, by his demands to me and the report Mr Moore gives of the management of the family, makes me, God forbid me, to contemn him, though I do really honour and pity them; though they deserve it not, that have so good an estate and will live beyond it.

27 July
[Fenn] tells me that the King and the Court were never in the world so bad as they are now for gaming, swearing, whoring, and drinking, and the most abominable vices that ever were in the world - so that all must come to naught.

29 July
Thus, in all things; in wisdom - courage - force - knowledge of our own streams - and success, the Dutch have the best of us, and do end the war with victory on their side.
The kingdom never in so troubled a condition in this world as now; nobody pleased with the peace, and yet nobody daring to wish for the continuance of the war, it being plain that nothing doth nor can thrive under us.

18 August
... turned into St Dunstan's Church, where I hear an able sermon ... And stood by a pretty, modest maid, whom I did labour to take by the hand and the body; but she would not, but got further and further from me, and at last I could perceive her to take pins out of her pocket to prick me if I should touch her again; which seeing, I did forbear, and was glad I did espy her design. And then I fell to gaze upon another pretty maid in a pew close to me, and she on me; and I did go about to take her by the hand, which she suffered a little and then withdrew.
... so took coach and home, and there took up my wife and to Islington with her, our old road; but before we got to Islington, between that and Kingsland, there happened an odd adventure; one of our coach horses fell sick of the staggers, so as he was ready to fall down. The coachman was fain to light and hold him up and cut his tongue to make him bleed, and his tail - the horse continued shakeing every part of him, as if he had been in an ague a good while, and his blood settled in his tongue, and the coachman thought and believed he would presently drop down dead. Then he blew some tobacco in his nose; upon which the horse sneezed and by and by grows well and draws us the rest of our way as well as ever he did; which was one of the strangest things of a horse I ever observed - but he says it was usual. It is the staggers.

19 August
... and I home to supper and to read a little (which I cannot refrain, though I have all the reaon in the world to favour my eyes, which every day grow worse an worse by over-useing them) and then to bed.

2 September
went to see a great match at tennis between Prince Rupert and one Captain Cooke against Bab May and the elder Chichly, where the King was and Court, and it seems are the best players at tennis in the nation. But this puts me in mind of what I observed in the morning; that the King, playing at tennis, had a Steele yard carried to him, and I was told it was to weigh him after he had done playing; and at noon Mr Ashburnham told me that it is only the King's curiosity, which he usually hath, of weighing himself before and after his play, to see how much he loses in weight by playing; and this day he lost 41/2 lb.

5 September
This morning, was told by Sir W Batten that he doth hear from Mr Grey, who hath good intelligence, that our Queene is to go into a nunnery, there to spend her days.

6 September
... and so to Bartholomew-Fair and there, it being very dirty and now night, we saw a poor fellow, whose legs were tied behind his back, dance upon his hands with his arse above his head, and also dance upon his crutches, without any legs upon the ground to help him: which he did with that pain, that I was sorry to see it, and did pity him and give him money after he had done.

8 September
So to White-hall and saw the King and Queen at dinner; and observed (which I never did before) the formality, but it is but a formality, of putting a bit of bread wiped upon each dish into the mouth of every man that brings a dish - but it should be in the sauce. [the tasting was meant to ensure that no food was poisoned]

27 September
... my wife sends for me to come to home, and what was it but to see the pretty girl which she is taking to wait upon her; and though she seems not altogether so great a beauty as she had before told me, yet indeed she is mighty pretty; and so pretty, that I find I shall be too much pleased with it, and therefore could be contented as to my judgement, though not to my passion, that she might not come, lest I may be found too much minding her, to the discontent of my wife. [the girl was Deborah Willet, aged 17, of whom more over the next year or so ...]

30 September
So by coach home, and there find our Pretty girl, Willet, come brought by Mr Batelier; and she is very pretty, and so grave as I never saw little thing in my life. Endeed, I think her a little too good for my family, and so well-carriaged as I hardly ever saw - I wish my wife may use her well.
Now I begin to be full of thought for my journey the next week, if I can get leave, to Brampton.

4 October
... thence to my Lord Crews and there did stay with him an hour till almost night, discoursing about the ill state of my Lord Sandwich, that he can neither be got to be called home nor money got to maintain him there, which will ruin his family: and the truth is, he doth almost deserve it, for by all relation he hath in a little more than a year and a half spent 20000l of the King's money and the best part of 10000l of his own ; which is a most prodigious expense ... but more money we must get him, or to be called home.

A Journey to Brampton (7-12 October)

6 October - Lords Day.
Up and dressed myself and so walked out with the boy to Smithfield to Cow-Lane to Lincolnes, and there spoke with him and agree upon the hour tomorrow to set out toward Brampton.

7 October
Up betimes, and did do several things towards the settling all matters, both of house and office, in order for my journey this day; and did leave my chief care, and the key of my closet, with Mr Hater, with direction what papers to secure in case of fire or other accident;
and so about 9 a-clock, I and my wife and Willet set out in a coach I have hired, with four horses, and W Hewer and Murford rode by us on horseback; and so, my wife and she in their morning gowns, very handsome and pretty and to my great liking, we set out; and so out at Allgate and so to the Greenman and so on to Enfield ... and there bayted, it being but a foul, bad day; and there Louther and Mr Burford, an acquaintance of his, did overtake us, and there drank and eat together; and by and by we parted, we going before them; and very merry, my wife and girl and I, talking and telling tales and singing; and before night did come to Bishop=stafford [Bishop Stortford] where Louther and his friend did meet us again and carried us to the Raynedeere, where Mrs Aynsworth (who lived heretofore at Cambrige ...) doth live. ... Louther and his friend stayed and drank and then went further this night, but here we stayed and supped and lodged. ... we to supper and so to bed, my wife and I in one bed and the girl in another in the same room.

8 October
At last rose, and up and broke our fast, and then to coach and away; and at Newport did call on Mr Louther and ... to Audley end .... The house endeed doth appear very fine, but not so fine as it hath heretofore to me. ... Only, the gallery is good; and above all things, the cellars, where we went down and drank of much good liquor, and endeed the cellars are fine; and here my wife and I did sing to my great content and then to the garden and there eat many grapes, and took some with us; and so away thence, exceeding well satisfied, though not to that degree that by my old esteem of the house I ought and did expect to have done - the situation of it not pleasing me. Here we parted with Louther and his friends and away to Cambrige, it being foul, rainy weather; and there did take up at the Rose ... Here we had a good chamber and bespoke a good supper; and then I took my wife and W Hewer and Willet ... and showed them Trinity College and St John's Library, and went to King's College chapel to see the outside of it only, and so to our Inne .... and then to bed, lying, I in one bed and my wife and girl in another in the same room; and very merry talking together and mightily pleased both of us with the girl.

9 October
Up, and got ready and eat our breakfast, and then took coach ... And so away to Huntington, mightily please all along the road to remember old stories; and came to Brampton at about noon and there find my father and sister and brother all well; and there laid up our things and up and down to see the garden with my father, and the house, and do altogether find it very pretty - especially the little parlour and the summer-houses in the garden. Only, the wall doth want greens upon it and the house is too low-roofed; but that is only because of my coming from a house with higher ceilings; but altogether is very pretty and I bless God that I am like to have such a pretty place to retire to. And I did walk with my father without doors and do find a very convenient way of laying out money there in building, which will make a very good seat; and the place deserves it, I think, very well.
By and by to dinner, and after dinner I walked up to Hinchingbrooke, where my Lady expected me, and there spent all the afternoon with her; the same most excellent, good, discreet lady that ever she was; and among other things, is mightily pleased with the lady that is like to be her son Hinchingbrooke's wife; which I am mightily glad of.
I am pleased with my Lady Paulina and Anne, who are both grown very proper ladies, and handsome enough.
...but I do find ... that they are reduced to great straits for money, having been forced to sell her plate, 8 or 900l worth, and is now going to sell a suit of her best hangings, of which I could almost wish to buy a piece or two, if the pieces will be broke. But the house is most excellently furnished, and brave rooms and good pictures, so that it doth please me infinitely, beyond Audley-End.

10 October
Waked in the morning with great pain I, of the Collique, by cold taken yesterday, I believe with going up and down in my shirt; but with rubbing my belly, keeping of it warm, I did at last come to some ease, and rose; and up to walk up and down the garden with my father, to talk of all our concernments - about a husband for my sister, whereof there is at present no appearance. But we must endeavour to find her one now, for she grows old and ugly.
Then walked around about our Greene to see whether, in case I cannot buy out my uncle Tho. and his son's right in this house, that I can buy another place as good thereabouts to build on, and I do not see that I can; but this, with new building, may be made an excellent pretty thing, and I resolve to look after it as soon as I can and Goody Gorrum dies [by Robert Pepys's will, ownership of the alehouse kept in Brampton by Mrs Gorham was to pass to Pepys's father at her death and to Pepys after his father's death.] By this time it was almost noon and then my father and I and wife and Willet abroad by coach around the Towne of Brampton to observe any other place as good as ours, andfind none; and so back with great pleasure and thence went all of us, my sister and brother and W Hewer, to dinner at Hinchingbrooke, where we had a good plain country dinner, but most kindly used; and here dined the Minister of Brampton [John Roley] and his wife, who is reported a very good, but poor man. Here I spent alone with my Lady, after dinner, the most of the afternoon; ....
So thence, my wife and people by the highway, and I walked over the park with Mr Sheply and through the grove, which is mighty pretty as is imaginable; and so over their drawbridge to Nun's Bridge as so to my father's, and there sat and drank and talked a little and then parted; and he being gone, and what company there was, my father and I with a dark lantern, it now being night, into the garden with my wife and there went about our great work to dig up my gold. [there follows a lengthy description of digging up, counting and cleaning the gold buried for him by his wife and father during the Fire of London. Some remains missing, possibly lost in transit. The rest is bagged up and put on his coach for the journey back to London.]

11 October
Mr Sheply saw me beyond St Neotts and there parted, and we straight to Stevenage, throuh Baldock lanes, which are already very bad. And at Stevenage we came well before night, and all safe; and there with great care I got the gold up to the chamber, my wife carrying one bag and the girl another and W Hewer the rest in the basket, and set it all under a bed in our chamber.

12 October
Up and eat our breakfast and set out about 9 a-clock; and so to Barnett, where we stayed and baited ... and by 5 a-clock got home, where I find all well; and did bring my gold, to my heart's content, very safe home ....

13 October
So in a-doors and supped with my wife and brother, W. Hewer and Willet, and so evened with W. Hewer for my expenses upon the road this last journey; and do think that the whole journey will cost me little less than 18 or 20l one way or other, but I am pleased with it; and so after supper to bed.

15 October
... before the play begin, my wife begin to complain to me of Willets confidence in sitting cheek by jowl by us; which was a poor thing, but I perceive she is already jealous of my kindness to her, so that I begin to fear this girl is not likely to stay long with us.

1 November
I also visited my Lord Hinchingbrooke at his chamber at White-hall, where I found Mr Turner, Moore and Creed talking of my Lord Sandwich; whose case I doubt is but bad, and I fear will not escape being worse ... But I am pleased with my Lord Hinchingbrooke's sobriety and few words.

5 December
This day, not for want but for good husbandry, I sent my father by his desire, six pair of my old shoes, which fit him and are good; yet methought it was a thing against my mind to have him wear my old things.

9 December
This morning I was troubled with my Lord Hinchingbrooke sending to borrow 200l of me; but I did answer that I had none, nor could borrow any, for I am resolved I will not be undone for anybody, though I would do much for my Lord Sandwich; for it is to answer a bill of exchange of his. [the request was made by Hinchingbrooke on behalf of his father, who had sent a letter of exchange payable to the Spanish ambassador. Moore had been unable to cash it.]

13 December
... it is now fresh that the King of Portugall is deposed and his brother made King; and that my Lord Sandwich is gone from Madrid with great honour to Lisbon to make up at this juncture a peace up, to the advantage, as the Spaniard would have it, of Spain. I wish it may be for my Lord's honour, if it be so; but it seems my Lord is in high estimation in Spain.

22 December
... and thither came to me Willet with an errand from her mistress, and this time I did give her a little kiss, she being a good-humoured girl, and so one that I do love mightily.

31 December
Thus ends the year, with great happiness to myself and family as to health and good condition in the world, blessed be God for it; only, with great trouble to my mind in reference to the public, there being little hopes left but that the whole nation must in a very little time be lost, either by troubles at home, the Parliament being dissatisfied and the King led into unsettled counsels by some about him, himself considering little - and divisions growing between the King and Duke of York; or else by foreign invasion, to which we must submit, if any at this bad point of time should come upon us; which the King of France is well able to do. These thoughts, andsome cares upon me concerning my standing in this office when the committee of Parliament shall come to examine our Navy matters, which they will now shortly do. I pray God they may do the Kingdom service therein, as they will have sufficient opportunity of doing it.