The Diary of Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys

Part 10 out of 18

then we did begin to discourse of the young genteel captains,
which he was very free with me in speaking his mind of the
unruliness of them; and what a loss the King hath of his old men,
and now of this Hannam, of the Resolution, if he be dead. He
told me how he is disturbed to hear the commanders at sea called
cowards here on shore.

28th. To my Lord Lauderdale's, where we find some Scotch people
at supper. Pretty odd company; though my Lord Brouncker tells
me, my Lord Lauderdale is a man of mighty good reason and
judgement. But at supper there played one of their servants upon
the viallin some Scotch tunes only; several, and the best of
their country, as they seemed to esteem them, by their praising
and admiring them: but, Lord! the strangest ayre that ever I
heard in my life, and all of one cast. But strange to hear my
Lord Lauderdale say himself that he had rather hear a cat mew
than the best musique in the world; and the better the musique,
the more sick it makes him; and that of all instruments, he hates
the lute most, and next to that, the baggpipe.

29th. All the town is full of a victory. By and by a letter
from Sir W. Coventry tells me that we have the victory. Beat
them into the Weelings: had taken two of their great ships; but
by the orders of the Generalls they are burned. This being,
methought, but a poor result after the fighting of two so great
fleets, and four days having no tidings of them: I was still
impatient; but could know no more. I to Sir W. Batten, where the
Lieutenant of the Tower was, and Sir John Minnes, and the news I
find is what I had heard before; only that our Blue squadron, it
seems, was pursued the most of the time, having more ships, a
great many, than its number allotted to its share. Young Seamour
is killed, the only captain slain. The Resolution burned; but,
as they say, most of her crew and commander saved. This is all,
only we keep the sea, which denotes a victory, or at least that
we are not beaten; but no great matters to brag of, God knows.

30th. To Sir W. Coventry, at St. James's, where I find him in
his new closet, which is very fine, and well supplied with
handsome books. I find him speak very slightly of the late
victory: dislikes their staying with the fleet up their coast;
believing that the Dutch will come out in fourteen days, and then
we with our unready fleet, by reason of some of the ships being
maymed, shall be in bad condition to fight them upon their own
coast: is much dissatisfied with the great number of men, and
their fresh demands of twenty-four victualling ships, they going
out the other day as full as they could stow. He spoke slightly
of the Duke of Albemarle, saying, when De Ruyter come to give him
a broadside--"Now," says he, (chewing of tobacco the while) "will
this fellow come and give me two broadsides, and then he shall
run;" but it seems he held him to it two hours, till the Duke
himself was forced to retreat to refit, and was towed off, and De
Ruyter staid for him till he come back again to fight. One in
the ship saying to the Duke, "Sir, methinks De Ruyter hath given
us more than two broadsides;"-- "Well," says the Duke, "but you
shall find him run by and by," and so he did, says Sir W.
Coventry; but after the Duke himself had been first made to fall
off. The Resolution had all brass guns, being the same that Sir
J. Lawson had in her in the Straights. It is observed, that the
two fleets were even in number to one ship. Thence home; and to
sing with my wife and Mercer [Mrs. Pepys's maid.] in the garden;
and coming in I find my wife plainly dissatisfied with me, that I
can spend so much time with Mercer, teaching her to sing, and
could never take the pains with her. Which I acknowledge; but it
is because that the girl do take musick mighty readily, and she
do not, and musick is the thing of the world that I love most,
and all the pleasure almost that I can now take. So to bed in
some little discontent, but no words from me.

31st. The court empty, the King being gone to Tunbridge, and the
Duke of York a-hunting. I had some discourse with Povy, who is
mightily discontented, I find, about his disappointments at
Court; and says, of all places, if there be hell, it is here. No
faith, no truth, no love, nor any agreement between man and wife,
nor friends. He would have spoke broader, but I put it off to
another time; and so parted, Povy discoursed with me about my
Lord Peterborough's 50l. which his man did give me from him, the
last year's salary I paid him, which he would have Povy pay him
again; but I have not taken it to myself yet, and therefore will
most heartily return him, and mark him put for a coxcomb. Povy
went down to Mr. Williamson's, and brought me up this extract out
of the Flanders' letters to day come:--That Admiral Everson, and
the Admiral and Vice-Admiral of Freezeland with many captains and
men, are slain; that De Ruyter is safe, but lost 250 men out of
his own ship; but that he is in great disgrace, and Trump in
better favour; that Bankert's ship is burned, himself hardly
escaping with a few men on board De Haes; that fifteen captains
are to be tried the seventh of August; and that the hangman was
sent from Flushing to assist the Council of Warr. How much of
this is true, time will show.

August 1, 1666. Walked over the Park with Sir W. Coventry, who I
clearly see is not thoroughly pleased with the late management of
the fight, nor with any thing that the Generalls do; only is glad
to hear that De Ruyter is out of favour, and that this fight hath
cost them 5000 men, as they themselves do report. And it is a
strange thing, as he observes, how now and then the slaughter
runs on one hand; there being 5000 killed on theirs, and not
above 400 or 500 killed and wounded on ours, and as many flag-
officers on theirs as ordinary captains in ours.

3rd. The death of Everson, and the report of our success, beyond
expectation, in the killing of so great a number of men, hath
raised the estimation of the late victory considerably; but it is
only among fools: for all that was but accidental. But this
morning, getting Sir W. Pen to read over the Narrative with me,
he did sparingly, yet plainly, say that we might have intercepted
their Zealand squadron coming home, if we had done our parts; and
more, that we might have run before the wind as well as they, and
have overtaken their ships in the pursuite, in all the while.

4th. This evening, Sir W. Pen come into the garden, and walked
with me, and told me that he had certain notice that at Flushing
they are in great distraction. De Ruyter dares not come on shore
for fear of the people: nor any body open their houses or shops
for fear of the tumult: which is a very good hearing.

6th. In Fenchurch-street met with Mr. Battersby; says he, "Do
you see Dan Rawlinson's door shut up?" (which I did, and
wondered.) "Why," says he, "after all this sickness, and himself
spending all the last year in the country, one of his men is now
dead of the plague, and his wife and one of his maids sick, and
himself shut up;" which troubles me mightily. So home; and there
do hear also from Mrs. Sarah Daniel, that Greenwich is at this
time much worse than ever it was, and Deptford too: and she told
us that they believed all the town would leave the town, and come
to London; which is now the receptacle of all the people from all
infected places. God preserve us!

7th. I receive fresh intelligence that Deptford and Greenwich
are now afresh exceedingly afflicted with the sickness more than

8th. Discoursed with Mr. Hooke about the nature of sounds, and
he did make me understand the nature of musicall sounds made by
strings, mighty prettily; and told me that having come to a
certain number of vibrations proper to make any tone, he is able
to tell how many strokes a fly makes with her wings, (those flies
that hum in their flying by the note that it answers to in
musique, during their flying. That, I suppose, is a little too
much refined; but his discourse in general of sound was mighty
fine. To St. James's, where we attended with the rest of my
fellows on the Duke, whom I found with two or three Patches upon
his nose and about his right eye, which came from his being
struck with the bough of a tree the other day in his hunting; and
it is a wonder it did not strike out his eye. To Bow, to my Lady
Pooly's, [Wife of Sir Edmund Pooly, mentioned before.] where my
wife was with Mr. Batelier and his sisters; and there I found a
noble supper. About ten o'clock we rose from table, and sang a
song; and so home in two coaches, (Mr. Batelier and his sister
Mary and my wife and I in one, and Mercer alone in the other);
and after being examined at Allgate whether we were husbands and
wives, home. So to bed mighty sleepy, but with much pleasure.
Reeves lying at my house; and mighty proud I am (and ought to be
thankful to God Almighty) that I am able to have a spare bed for
my friends.

9th. In the evening to Lumbard-street, about money, to enable me
to pay Sir G. Carteret's 3000l. which he hath lodged in my hands,
in behalf of his son and my Lady Jemimah, towards their portion.
Mrs. Rawlinson is dead of the sickness, and her maid continues
mighty ill. He himself is got out of the house. I met with Mr.
Evelyn in the street, who tells me the sad condition at this very
day at Deptford, for the plague, and more at Deale, (within his
precinct as one of the Commissioners for sick and wounded
seamen,) that the towne is almost quite depopulated.

10th. Homeward, and hear in Fenchurch-street, that now the maid
also is dead at Mr. Rawlinson's; so that there are three dead in
all, the wife, a man-servant, and maid-servant.

14th. Povy tells me how mad my letter makes my Lord
Peterborough, and what a furious letter he writ to me in answer,
though it is not come yet. This did trouble me; for though there
be no reason, yet to have a nobleman's mouth open against a man,
may do a man hurt; so I endeavoured to have found him out and
spoke with him, but could not. After dinner with my wife and
Mercer to the Beare-garden; where I have not been, I think, of
many years, and saw some good sport of the bull's tossing of the
dogs: one into the very boxes. But it is a very rude and nasty
pleasure. We had a great many hectors in the same box with us,
(and one very fine went into the pit, and played his dog for a
wager, which was a strange sport for a gentleman,) where they
drank wine, and drank Mercer's health first; which I pledged with
my hat off. We supped at home, and very merry. And then about
nine o'clock to Mrs. Mercer's gate, where the fire and boys
expected us, and her son had provided abundance of serpents and
rockets; and there mighty merry (my Lady Pen and Pegg going
thither with us, and Nan Wright,) till about twelve at night,
flinging our fireworks, and burning one another and the people
over the way. And at last our businesses being most spent, we
into Mrs. Mercer's, and there mighty merry, smutting one another
with candle grease and soot, till most of us were like devils.
And that being done, then we broke up, and to my house; and there
I made them drink, and upstairs we went, and then fell into
dancing, (W. Batelier dancing well,) and dressing him and I and
one Mr. Banister (who with my wife come over also with us) like
women; and Mercer put on a suit of Tom's, like a boy, and mighty
mirth we had, and Mercer danced a jigg; and Nan Wright and my
wife and Pegg Pen put on perriwigs. Thus we spent till three or
four in the morning, mighty merry; and then parted, and to bed.

15th. Mighty sleepy; slept till past eight of the clock, and was
called up by a letter from Sir W. Coventry; which among other
things, tells me how we have burned one hundred and sixty ships
of the enemy within the Fly. I up, and with all possible haste,
and in pain for fear of coming late, it being our day of
attending the Duke of York, to St. James's, where they are full
of the particulars; how they are generally good merchant-ships,
some of them laden and supposed rich ships. We spent five fire-
ships upon them. We landed on the Schelling, (Sir Philip Howard
with some men, and Holmes, I think, with others, about 1000 in
all,) and burned a town; and so come away. By and by the Duke of
York with his books showed us the very place and manner; and that
it was not our design and expectation to have done this, but only
to have landed on the Fly and burned some of their stores; but
being come in, we spied those ships, and with our long boats, one
by one, fired them, our ships running all a-ground, it being so
shoal water. We were led to this by it seems, a renegado captain
of the Hollanders, who found himself ill used by De Ruyter for
his good service, and so come over to us, and hath done us good
service; so that now we trust him, and he himself did go on this
expedition. The service is very great, and our joys as great for
it. All this will make the Duke of Albemarle in repute again, I
doubt. The guns of the Tower going off; and bonfires also in the
street for this late good successe.

16th. This day Sir W. Batten did show us at the table a letter
from Sir T. Allen, which says, that we have taken ten or twelve
ships, (since the late great expedition of burning their ships
and town) laden with hemp, flax, tar, deals, &c. This was good
news; but by and by comes in Sir G. Carteret, and he asked us
with full mouth what we would give for good news. Says Sir W.
Batten "I have better than you for a wager." They laid sixpence,
and we that were by were to give sixpence to him that told the
best news. So Sir W. Batten told his of the ten or twelve ships.
Sir G. Carteret did then tell us that upon the news of the
burning of the ships and town, the common people of Amsterdam did
besiege De Witt's house, and he was forced to flee to the Prince
of Orange, who is gone to Cleve, to the marriage of his sister.
This we concluded all the best news, and my Lord Brouncker and
myself did give Sir G. Carteret our sixpence a-piece, which he
did give Mr. Smith to give the poor. Thus we made ourselves
mighty merry.

17th. With Captain Erwin, discoursing about the East Indys,
where he hath often been. And among other things, he tells me
how the King of Syam seldom goes out without thirty or forty
thousand people with him, and not a word spoke, nor a hum or
cough in the whole company to be heard. He tells me the
punishment frequently there for malefactors, is cutting off the
crowns of their head; which they do very dexterously, leaving
their brains bare, which kills them presently. He told me what I
remember he hath once done heretofore; that every body is to lie
flat down at the coming by of the King and nobody to look upon
him upon pain of death. And that he and his fellows being
strangers, were invited to see the sport of taking of a wild
elephant; and they did only kneel, and look towards the King.
Their druggerman [Dragoman.] did desire them to fall down, for
otherwise he should suffer for their contempt of the King. The
sport being ended, a messenger comes from the King, which the
druggerman thought had been to have taken away his life. But it
was to enquire how the strangers liked the sport. The druggerman
answered, that they did cry it up to be the best that ever they
saw, and that they never heard of any Prince so great in every
thing as this King. The messenger being gone back, Erwin and his
company asked their druggerman what he had said, which he told
them. "But why," say they, "would you say that without our
leave, it being not true?"--"It makes no matter for that," says
he, "I must have said it, or have been hanged, for our King do
not live by meat, nor drink, but by having great lyes told him."
In our way back we come by a little vessel that come into the
river this morning, and says she left the fleet in Sole Bay, and
that she hath not heard (she belonging to Sir W. Jenings in the
fleet) of any such prizes taken as the ten or twelve I enquired
about, and said by Sir W. Batten yesterday to be taken, so I fear
it is not true. I had the good fortune to see Mrs. Stewart, who
is grown a little too tall, but is a woman of most excellent
features. Sir Richard Ford did, very understandingly methought,
give us an account of the originall of the Hollands Bank, and the
nature of it, and how they do never give any interest at all to
the person that brings in their money, though what is brought in
upon the public faith interest is given by the State for. The
unsafe condition of a Bank under a Monarch, and the little safety
to a Monarch to have any; or Corporation alone (as London in
answer to Amsterdam,) to have so great a wealth or credit, it is
that makes it hard to have a Bank here. And as to the former, he
did tell us how it sticks in the memory of most merchants how the
late King (when by the war between Holland and France and Spain
all the bullion of Spain was brought hither, one third of it to
be coyned; and indeed it was found advantageous to the merchant
to coyne most of it,) was persuaded in a strait by my Lord
Cottington [Francis, created Lord Cottington, Baron of Hanworth,
by Charles I. Died at Valladolid 1653, S.P.] to seize upon the
money in the Tower: which, though in a few days the merchants
concerned did prevail to get it released, yet the thing will
never be forgot.

20th. To Deptford by water, reading Othello, Moore of Venice,
which I ever heretofore esteemed a mighty good play, but having
so lately read The Adventures of Five Houres, it seems a mean
thing. All the afternoon upon my Tangier accounts, getting Tom
Wilson to help me in writing as I read; and I find myself right
to a farthing in an account of 127,000l.

21st. Mr. Batelier told me how, being with some others at
Bourdeaux, making a bargain with another man at a taverne for
some clarets, they did hire a fellow to thunder (which he had the
art of doing upon a deale board) and to rain and hail, that is,
make the noise of, so as did give them a pretence of undervaluing
their merchants' wines, by saying this thunder would spoil and
turn them which was so reasonable to the merchant, that he did
abate two pistolls per ton for the wine in belief of that.

22nd. I to St. James's, and there with the Duke of York. I had
opportunity of much talk with Sir W. Pen to-day (he being newly
come from the fleet); and he do much undervalue the honour that
is given to the conduct of the late business of Holmes in burning
the ships and town, saying it was a great thing indeed, and of
great profit to us in being of great loss to the enemy, but that
it was wholly a business of chance. Mrs. Knipp tells me my song
of "Beauty Retire" is mightily cried up, which I am not a little
proud of; and do think I have done "It is Decreed" better, but I
have not finished it.

23rd. Sir W. Coventry sent me word that the Dutch fleet is
certainly abroad; and so we are to hasten all we have to send to
our fleet with all speed. But, Lord! to see how my Lord
Brouncker undertakes the despatch of the fire-ships, when he is
no more fit for it than a porter; and all the while Sir W. Pen,
who is the most fit, is unwilling to displease him, and do not
look after it; and so the King's work is like to be well done.

26th. I was a little disturbed with news my Lord Brouncker
brought me, that we are to attend the King at White Hall this
afternoon, and that it is about a complaint from the Generalls
against us. Sir W. Pen and I by coach to White Hall, and there
staid till the King and Cabinet met in the Green Chamber, and
then we were called in; and there the King begun with me, to hear
how the victualls of the fleet stood. I did in a long discourse
tell him and the rest (the Duke of York, Lord Chancellor, Lord
Treasurer, both the Secretarys, Sir G. Carteret, and Sir W.
Coventry,) how it stood, wherein they seemed satisfied, but press
mightily for more supplies: and the letter of the Generalls,
which was read, did lay their not going or too soon returning
from the Dutch coast, this next bout, to the want of victuals.
They then proceeded to the enquiry after the fire-ships; and did
all very superficially, and without any severity at all. But,
however, I was in pain, after we come out, to know how I had
done; and here, well enough. But, however, it shall be a caution
to me to prepare myself against a day of inquisition. Being come
out, I met with Mr. Moore, and he and I an hour together in the
Gallery, telling me how far they are gone in getting my Lord
Sandwich's pardon, so as the Chancellor is prepared in it; and
Sir H. Bennet; do promote it, and the warrant for the King's
signing is drawn. The business between my Lord Hinchingbroke and
Mrs. Mallet is quite broke off; he attended her at Tunbridge, and
she declaring her affections to be settled; and he not being
fully pleased with the vanity and liberty of her carriage.
Thence to discourse of the times; and he tells me he believes
both my Lord Arlington and Sir W. Coventry, as well as my Lord
Sandwich and Sir G. Carteret, have reason to fear, and are
afraid, of this Parliament now coming on. He tells me that
Bristoll's faction is getting ground space against my Lord
Chancellor. He told me that my old Lord Coventry [The Lord
Keeper, Ob. 1639-40.] was a cunning, crafty man, and did make as
many bad decrees in Chancery as any man; and that in one case,
that occasioned many years' dispute, at last when the King come
in, it was hoped by the party grieved, to get my Lord Chancellor
to reverse a decree of his. Sir W. Coventry took the opportunity
of the business between the Duke of York and the Duchess, and
said to my Lord Chancellor, that he had rather be drawn up
Holborne to be hanged, than live to see any decree of his
father's reversed. And so the Chancellor did not think fit to do
it, but it still stands, to the undoing of one Norton, a printer,
about his right to the printing of the Bible, and Grammar, &c.
Sir J. Minnes bad a very bad fit this day.

27th. Sir G. Carteret tells me what is done about my Lord's
pardon, and is not for letting the Duke of York know any thing of
it beforehand, but to carry it as speedily and quietly as we can.
He seems to be very apprehensive that the Parliament will be
troublesome and inquisitive into faults; but seems not to value
them as to himself.

28th. To the wedding of Mr. Longracke, our purveyor, a civil
man, and hath married a sober, serious mayde; but the whole
company was very simple and innocent. Sir W. Coventry did read
me a letter from the Generalls to the King, a most scurvy letter,
reflecting most upon him, and then upon me for my accounts, (not
that they are not true, but that we do not consider the expence
of the fleet,) and then upon the whole office, in neglecting them
and the King's service, and this in very plain and sharp and
menacing terms. But a great supply must be made, and shall be,
in grace of God!

29th. To St. James's, and there Sir W. Coventry took Sir W. Pen
and me apart, and read to us his answer to the Generalls' letter
to the King, that he read last night; wherein he is very plain,
and states the matter in full defence of himself, and of me with
him, which he could not avoid; which is a good comfort to me,
that I happened to be involved with him in the same cause. And
then speaking of the supplies which have been made to this fleet,
more than ever in all kinds to any, even that wherein the Duke of
York himself was, "Well," says he, "if this will not do, I will
say, as Sir J. Falstaffe did to the Prince, 'Tell your father,
that if he do not like this, let him kill the next Piercy

September 1, 1666. My wife and I to Polichinelly, [Polichinello
in Moorfields.] but were there horribly frighted to see Young
Killigrew come in with a great many more young sparks; but we hid
ourselves, so as we think they did not see us.

2nd (Lord's day). Some of our maids sitting up late last night
to get things ready against our feast to-day, Jane called us up
about three in the morning, to tell us of a great fire they saw
in the City. So I rose, and slipped on my night-gown, and went
to her window; and thought it to be on the back-side of Marke-
lane at the farthest, but being unused to such fires as followed,
I thought it far enough off; and so went to bed again, and to
sleep. About seven rose again to dress myself, and there looked
out at the window, and saw the fire not so much as it was, and
further off. So to my closet to set things to rights, after
yesterday's cleaning. By and by Jane comes and tells me that she
hears that above 300 houses have been burned down to-night by the
fire we saw, and that it is now burning down all Fish-street, by
London Bridge. So I made myself ready presently, and walked to
the Tower, and there got up upon one of the high places, Sir J.
Robinson's little son going up with me; and there I did see the
houses at that end of the bridge all on fire, and an infinite
great fire on this and the other side the end of the bridge;
which, among other people, did trouble me for poor little Michell
and our Sarah on the bridge. So down with my heart full of
trouble to the Lieutenant of the Tower, who tells me that it
begun this morning in the King's baker's [His name was Faryner.]
house in Pudding-lane, and that it hath burned down St. Magnes
Church and most part of Fish-street already. So I down to the
water-side, and there got a boat, and through bridge, and there
saw a lamentable fire. Poor Michell's house, as far as the Old
Swan, already burned that way, and the fire running further, that
in a very little time it got as far as the Steele-yard, while I
was there. Every body endeavouring to remove their goods, and
flinging into the river, or bringing them into lighters that lay
off; poor people staying in their houses as long as till the very
fire touched them, and then running into boats, or clambering
from one pair of stairs by the water-side to another. And among
other things, the poor pigeons, I perceive, were loth to leave
their houses, but hovered about the windows and balconys, till
they burned their wings, and fell down. Having staid, and in an
hour's time seen the fire rage every way, and nobody, to my
sight, endeavouring to quench it, but to remove their goods, and
leave all to the fire, and having seen it get as far as the
Steele-yard, and the wind mighty high, and driving it into the
City: and every thing after so long a drought proving
combustible, even the very stones of churches, and among other
things, the poor steeple [St, Lawrence Poultney, of which Thomas
Elborough was Curate.] by which pretty Mrs. -- lives, and
whereof my old schoolfellow Elborough is parson, taken fire in
the very top, and there burned till it fell down; I to White Hall
(with a gentleman with me, who desired to go off from the Tower,
to see the fire, in my boat): and there up to the King's closet
in the Chapel, where people come about me, and I did give them an
account dismayed them all, and word was carried in to the King.
So I was called for, and did tell the King and Duke of York what
I saw, and that unless his Majesty did command houses to be
pulled down, nothing could stop the fire, They seemed much
troubled, and the King commanded me to go to my Lord Mayor [Sir
Thomas Bludworth.] from him, and command him to spare no houses,
but to pull down before the fire every way. The Duke of York bid
me tell him, that if he would have any more soldiers, he shall:
and so did my Lord Arlington afterwards, as a great secret. Here
meeting with Captain Cocke, I in his coach, which he lent me, and
Creed with me to Paul's, and there walked along Watling-street,
as well as I could, every creature coming away loaded with goods
to save, and here and there sick people carried away in beds.
Extraordinary good goods carried in carts-and on backs. At last
met my Lord Mayor in Canning-street, like a man spent, with a
handkercher about his neck. To the King's message, he cried,
like a fainting woman, "Lord! what can I do? I am spent:
people will not obey me. I have been pulling down houses; but
the fire overtakes us faster than we can do it." That he needed
no more soldiers; and that, for himself, he must go and refresh
himself, having been up all night. So he left me, and I him, and
walked home; seeing people all almost distracted, and no manner
of means used to quench the fire. The houses too so very thick
thereabouts, and full of matter for burning, as pitch and tar, in
Thames-street; and warehouses of oyle, and wines, and brandy, and
other things. Here I saw Mr. Isaac Houblon, the handsome man,
prettily dressed and dirty at his door at Dowgate, receiving some
of his brother's things, whose houses were on fire; and, as he
says, have been removed twice already; and he doubts (as it soon
proved) that they must be in a little time removed from his house
also, which was a sad consideration. And to see the churches all
filling with goods by people, who themselves should have been
quietly there at this time. By this time it was about twelve
o'clock; and so home, and there find my guests, who were Mr. Wood
and his wife Barbary Shelden, and also Mr. Moone; she mighty
fine, and her husband, for aught I see, a likely man. But Mr.
Moone's design and mine, which was to look over my closet, and
please him with the sight thereof, which he hath long desired,
was wholly disappointed; for we were in great trouble and
disturbance at this fire, not knowing what to think of it.
However, we had an extraordinary good dinner, and as merry as at
this time we could be. While at dinner Mrs. Batelier come to
enquire after Mr. Woolfe and Stanes, (who it seems are related to
them,) whose houses in Fish-street are all burned, and they in a
sad condition. She would not stay in the fright. Soon as dined,
I and Moone away, and walked through the City, the streets full
of nothing but people, and horses and carts loaden with goods,
ready to run over one another, and removing goods from one burned
house to another. They now removing out of Canning-street (which
received goods in the morning) into Lumbard-street, and further:
and among others I now saw my little goldsmith Stokes receiving
some friend's goods, whose house itself was burned the day after.
We parted at Paul's; he home, and I to Paul's Wharf, where I had
appointed a boat to attend me, and took in Mr. Carcasse and his
brother, whom I met in the street, and carried them below and
above bridge too. And again to see the fire, which was now got
further, both below and above, and no likelihood of stopping it.
Met with the King and Duke of York in their barge, and with them
to Queenhith, and there called Sir Richard Browne to them. Their
order was only to pull down houses apace, and so below bridge at
the water-side; but little was or could be done, the fire coming
upon them so fast. Good hopes there was of stopping it at the
Three Cranes above, and at Buttolph's Wharf below bridge, if care
be used; but the wind carries it into the City, so as we know not
by the water-side what it do there. River full of lighters and
boats taking in goods, and good goods swimming in the water, and
only I observed that hardly one lighter or boat in three that had
the goods of a house in, but there was a pair of Virginalls [A
sort of spinett, so called (according to Johnson) from young
women playing upon it.] in it. Having seen as much as I could
now, I away to White Hall by appointment, and there walked to St.
James's Park, and there met my wife and Creed and Wood and his
wife, and walked to my boat; and there upon the water again, and
to the fire up and down, it still encreasing, and the wind great.
So near the fire as we could for smoke; and all over the Thames,
with one's faces in the wind, you were almost burned with a
shower of fire-drops. This is very true: so as houses were
burned by these drops and flakes of fire, three or four, nay,
five or six houses, one from another. When we could endure no
more upon the water, we to a little ale-house on the Bankside,
over against the Three Cranes, and there staid till it was dark
almost, and saw the fire grow, and as it grew darker, appeared
more and more, and in corners and upon steeples, and between
churches and houses, as far as we could see up the hill of the
City, in a most horrid malicious bloody flame, not like the fine
flame of an ordinary fire. Barbary and her husband away before
us. We staid till, it being darkish, we saw the fire as only one
entire arch of fire from this to the other side the bridge, and
in a bow up the hill for an arch of above a mile long: it made
me weep to see it. The churches, houses, and all on fire, and
flaming at once; and a horrid noise the flames made, and the
cracking houses at their ruine. So home with a sad heart, and
there find every body discoursing and lamenting the fire; and
poor Tom Hater come with some few of his goods saved out of his
house, which was burned upon Fish-street Hill. I invited him to
lie at my house, and did receive his goods, but was deceived in
his lying there, the news coming every moment of the growth of
the fire; so as we were forced to begin to pack up our own goods,
and prepare for their removal; and did by moonshine (it being
brave dry and moonshine and warm weather) carry much of my goods
into the garden, and Mr. Hater and I did remove my money and iron
chests into my cellar, as thinking that the safest place. And
got my bags of gold into my office, ready to carry away, and my
chief papers of accounts also there, and my tallies into a box by
themselves. So great was our fear, as Sir W. Batten hath carts
come out of the country to fetch away his goods this night. We
did put Mr. Hater, poor man, to bed a little; but he got but very
little rest, so much noise being in my house, taking down of

3rd. About four o'clock in the morning, my Lady Batten sent me a
cart to carry away all my money, and plate, and best things, to
Sir W. Rider's at Bednall-greene. Which I did, riding myself in
my night gown, in the cart; and, Lord! to see how the streets
and the highways are crowded with people running and riding, and
getting of carts at any rate to fetch away things. I find Sir W.
Rider tired with being called up all night, and receiving things
from several friends. His house full of goods, and much of Sir
W. Batten's and Sir W. Pen's, I am eased at my heart to have my
treasure so well secured. Then home, and with much ado to find a
way, nor any sleep all this night to me nor my poor wife. Then
all this day she and I, and all my people labouring to get away
the rest of our things, and did get Mr. Tooker to get me a
lighter to take them in, and we did carry them (myself some) over
Tower Hill, which was by this time full of people's goods,
bringing their goods thither; and down to the lighter, which lay
at the next quay, above the Tower Dock. And here was my
neighbour's wife, Mrs. --, with her pretty child, and some few of
her things, which I did willingly give way to be saved with mine;
but there was no passing with any thing through the postern the
crowd was so great. The Duke of York come this day by the
office, and spoke to us, and did ride with his guard up and down
the City to keep all quiet, (he being now General, and having the
care of all). This day, Mercer being not at home, but against
her mistress's order gone to her mother's, and my wife going
thither to speak with W. Hewer, beat her there, and was angry;
and her mother saying that she was not a 'prentice girl, to ask
leave every time she goes abroad, my wife with good reason was
angry, and when she come home bid her be gone again. And so she
went away, which troubled me, but yet less than it would, because
of the condition we are in, in fear of coming in a little time to
being less able to keep one in her quality. At night lay down a
little upon a quilt of W. Hewer's, in the office, all my own
things being packed up or gone; and after me my poor wife did the
like, we having fed upon the remains of yesterday's dinner,
having no fire nor dishes, nor any opportunity of dressing any
4th. Up by break of day, to get away the remainder of my things;
which I did by a lighter at the Iron gate: and my hands so full,
that it was the afternoon before we could get them all away. Sir
W. Pen and I to the Tower-street, and there met the fire burning
three or four doors beyond Mr. Howell's, whose goods, poor man,
his trayes, and dishes, shovells, &c., were flung all along
Tower-street in the kennels, and people working therewith from
one end to the other; the fire coming on in that narrow street,
on both sides, with infinite fury. Sir W. Batten not knowing how
to remove his wine, did dig a pit in the garden, and laid it in
there; and I took the opportunity of laying all the papers of my
office that I could not otherwise dispose of and in the evening
Sir W. Pen and I did dig another, and put our wine in it; and I
my parmazan cheese, as well as my wine and some other things.
The Duke of York was at the office this day, at Sir W. Pen's; but
I happened not to be within. This afternoon, sitting melancholy
with Sir W. Pen in our garden, and thinking of the certain
burning of this office, without extraordinary means, I did
propose for the sending up of all our workmen from the Woolwich
and Deptford yards, (none whereof yet appeared,) and to write to
Sir W. Coventry to have the Duke of York's permission to pull
down houses, rather than lose this office, which would much
hinder the King's business. So Sir W. Pen went down this night,
in order to the sending them up to-morrow morning; and I wrote to
Sir W. Coventry about the business, but received no answer. [A
copy of this letter, preserved among the Pepys MSS. in the
author's own hand-writing, is subjoined:--
Sir,--The fire is now very neere us as well on Tower Streete as
Fanchurch Street side, and we little hope of our escape but by
that remedy, to ye want whereof we doe certainly owe ye loss of
ye City, namely, ye pulling down of houses, in ye way of ye
fire. This way Sir W. Pen and myself have so far concluded upon
ye practising, that he is gone to Woolwich and Deptford to
supply himself with men and necessarys in order to the doeing
thereof, in case at his returne our condition be not bettered
and that he meets with his R.Hs. approbation, which I have thus
undertaken to learn of you, Pray please to let me have this
night (at whatever hour it is) what his R. Hs. directions are in
this particular, Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten having left,
us, we cannot add, though we are well assured of their, as well
as all ye neighbourhood's concurrence.
Sir W.Coventry, Yr obedient Servnt,
Septr. 4, 1666. S.P.]
This night Mrs. Turner (who, poor woman, was removing her goods
all this day, good goods into the garden, and knows not how to
dispose of them) and her husband supped with my wife and me at
night, in the office, upon a shoulder of mutton from the cook's,
without any napkin, or any thing, in a sad manner, but were
merry. Only now and then, walking into the garden, saw how
horribly the sky looks, all on a fire in the night, was enough to
put us out of our wits; and, indeed, it was extremely dreadfull,
for it looks just as if it was at us, and the whole heaven on
fire. I after supper walked in the dark down to Tower-street,
and there saw it all on fire, at the Trinity House on that side,
and the Dolphin Tavern on this side, which was very near us; and
the fire with extraordinary vehemence. Now begins the practice
of blowing up of houses in Tower-street, those next the Tower,
which at first did frighten people more than any thing; but it
stopped the fire where it was done, it bringing down the houses
to the ground in the same places they stood, and then it was easy
to quench what little fire was in it, though it kindled nothing
almost. W.Hewer this day went to see how his mother did, and
comes late home, telling us how he hath been forced to remove her
to Islington, her house in Pye-corner being burned; so that the
fire is got so far that way, and to the Old Bayly, and was
running down to Fleet-street; and Paul's is burned, and all
Cheepside. I wrote to my father this night, but the post-house
being burned, the letter could not go.

5th. I lay down in the office again upon W. Hewer's quilt, being
mighty weary, and sore in my feet with going till I was hardly
able to stand. About two in the morning my wife calls me up, and
tells me of new cryes of fire, it being come to Barking Church,
which is the bottom of our lane. [Sethinge Lane.] I up; and
finding it so, resolved presently to take her away, and did, and
took my gold, which was about 2350l. W. Hewer, and Jane, down by
Proundy's boat to Woolwich; but Lord! what a sad sight it was by
moone-light to see the whole City almost on fire, that you might
see it plain at Woolwich, as if you were by it. There, when I
come, I find the gates shut, but no guard kept at all; which
troubled me, because of discourses now begun, that there is a
plot in it, and that the French had done it. I got the gates
open, and to Mr. Shelden's, where I locked up my gold, and
charged my wife and W. Hewer never to leave the room without one
of them in it, night or day. So back again, by the way seeing my
goods well in the lighters at Deptford, and watched well by
people. Home, and whereas I expected to have seen our house on
fire, it being now about seven o'clock, it was not. But to the
fire, and there find greater hopes than I expected; for my
confidence of finding our office on fire was such, that I durst
not ask any body how it was with us, till I come and saw it was
not burned. But going to the fire, I find by the blowing up of
houses, and the great help given by the workmen out of the King's
yards, sent up by Sir W. Pen, there is a good stop given to it,
as well at Marke-lane end, as ours; it having only burned the
dyall of Barking Church, and part of the porch, and was there
quenched. I up to the top of Barking steeple, and there saw the
saddest sight of desolation that I ever saw; every where great
fires, oyle-cellars, and brimstone, and other things burning. I
became afraid to stay there long, and therefore down again as
fast as I could, the fire being spread as far as I could see it;
and to Sir W. Pen's, and there eat a piece of cold meat, having
eaten nothing since Sunday, [He forgot the shoulder of mutton
from,the cook's the day before.] but the remains of Sunday's
dinner. Here I met with Mr. Young and Whistler; and having
removed all my things, and received good hopes that the fire at
our end is stopped, they and I walked into the town, and find
Fanchurch-street, Gracious-street, and Lumbard-street all in
dust. The Exchange a sad sight, nothing standing there, of all
the statues or pillars, but Sir Thomas Gresham's picture in the
corner. Into Moore-fields, (our feet ready to burn, walking
through the town among the hot coles,) and find that full of
people, and poor wretches carrying their goods there, and every
body keeping his goods together by themselves; (and a great
blessing it is to them that it is fair weather for them to keep
abroad night and day;) drunk there, and paid twopence for a plain
penny loaf. Thence homeward, having passed through Cheapside,
and Newgate market, all burned; and seen Anthony Joyce's house in
fire. And took up (which I keep by me) a piece of glass of
Mercer's chapel in the street, where much more was, so melted and
buckled with the heat of the fire like parchment. I also did see
a poor cat taken out of a hole in a chimney, joyning to the wall
of the Exchange, with the hair all burned off the body, and yet
alive. So home at night, and find there good hopes of saving our
office; but great endeavours of watching all night, and having
men ready; and so we lodged them in the office, and had drink and
bread and cheese for them. And I lay down and slept a good night
about midnight: though when I rose, I heard that there bad been
a great alarme of French and Dutch being risen, which proved
nothing. But it is a strange thing to see how long this time did
look since Sunday, having been always full of variety of actions,
and little sleep, that it looked like a week or more, and I had
forgot almost the day of the week.

6th. Up about five o'clock; and met Mr. Gauden at the gate of
the office, (I intending to go out, as I used, every now and then
to-day, to see how the fire is,) to call our men to Bishop's-
gate, where no fire had yet been near, and there is now one broke
out: which did give great grounds to people, and to me too, to
think that there is some kind of plot in this, (on which many by
this time have been taken, and it hath been dangerous for any
stranger to walk in the streets,) but I went with the men, and we
did put it out in a little time; so that that was well again. It
was pretty to see how hard the women did work in the cannells,
sweeping of water; but then they would scold for drink, and be as
drunk as devils. I saw good butts of sugar broke open in the
street, and people give and take handsfull out, and put into
beer, and drink it. and now all being pretty well, I took boat,
and over to Southwarke, and took boat on the other side the
bridge, and so to Westminster, thinking to shift myself, being
all in dirt from top to bottom; but could not there find any
place to buy a shirt or a pair of gloves, Westminster Hall being
full of people's goods, those in Westminster having removed all
their goods, and the Exchequer money put into vessels to carry to
Nonsuch [Nonsuch House near Epsom, where the Exchequer had
formerly been kept.] but to the Swan, and there was trimmed:
and then to White Hall, but saw nobody; and so home. A sad sight
to see how the River looks: no houses nor church near it, to the
Temple, where it stopped. At home, did go with Sir W. Batten,
and our neighbour, Knightly, (who, with one more, was the only
man of any fashion left in all the neighbourhood thereabouts,
they all removing their goods, and leaving their houses to the
mercy of the fire,) to Sir R. Ford's, and there dined in an
earthen platter--a fried breast of mutton; a great many of us,
but very merry, and indeed as good a meal, though as ugly a one,
as ever I had in my life. Thence down to Deptford, and there
with great satisfaction landed all my goods at Sir G. Carteret's
safe, and nothing missed I could see or hear. This being done to
my great content, I home, and to Sir W. Batten's, and there with
Sir R. Ford, Mr. Knightly, and one Withers, a professed lying
rogue, supped well, and mighty merry, and our fears over. From
them to the office and there slept with the office full of
labourers, who talked, and slept, and walked all night long
there. But strange it is to see Clothworkers' Hall on fire these
three days and nights in one body of flame, it being the cellar
full of oyle.

7th. Up by five o'clock; and, blessed be God! find all well;
and by water to Pane's Wharfe. Walked thence, and saw all the
towne burned, and a miserable sight of Paul's church, with all
the roofs fallen, and the body of the quire fallen into St.
Fayth's; Paul's school also, Ludgate, and Fleet-street. My
father's house, and the church, and a good part of the Temple the
like. So to Creed's lodging, near the New Exchange, and there
find him laid down upon a bed; the house all unfurnished, there
being fears of the fire's coming to them. There I borrowed a
shirt of him, and washed. To Sir W. Coventry, at St. James's,
who lay without curtains, having removed all his goods; as the
King at White Hall, and every body had done, and was doing. He
hopes we shall have no public distractions upon this fire, which
is what every body fears, because of the talk of the French
having a hand in it. And it is a proper time for discontents;
but all men's minds are full of care to protect themselves, and
save their goods: the militia is in arms every where. Our
fleetes, he tells me, have been is sight one of another, and most
unhappily by fowle weather were parted, to our great loss, as in
reason they do conclude; the Dutch being come out only to make a
shew, and please their people; but in very bad condition as to
stores, victuals, and men. They are at Boulogne, and our fleet
come to St. Ellen's. We have got nothing, but have lost one
ship, but he knows not what. Thence to the Swan, and there
drank; and so home, and find all well. My Lord Brouncker, at Sir
W. Batten's, tells us the Generall is sent for up, to come to
advise with the King about business at this juncture, and to keep
all quiet; which is great honour to him, but I am sure is but a
piece of dissimulation. So home, and did give orders for my
house to be made clean; and then down to Woolwich, and there find
all well. Dined, and Mrs. Markham come to see my wife. This day
our Merchants first met at Gresham College, which, by
proclamation, is to be their Exchange. Strange to hear what is
bid for houses; all up and down here; a friend of Sir W. Rider's
having 150l. for what he used to let for 40l. per annum. Much
dispute where the Custome-house shall be; thereby the growth of
the City again to be foreseen. My Lord Treasurer, they say, and
others, would have it at the other end of the town. I home late
to Sir W. Pen's, who did give me a bed; but without curtains or
hangings, all being down. So here I went the first time into a
naked bed, only my drawers on; and did sleep pretty well: but
still both sleeping and waking had a fear of fire in my heart,
that I took little rest. People do all the world over cry out of
the simplicity of my Lord Mayor in generall; and more
particularly in this business of the fire, laying it all upon
him. A proclamation is come out for markets to be kept at
Leadenhall and Mile-end-greene, and several other places about
the town; and Tower-hill, and all churches to be set open to
receive poor people.

8th. I stopped with Sir G. Carteret to desire him to go with us,
and to enquire after money. But the first he cannot do, and the
other as little, or say "When we can get any, or what shall we do
for it?" He, it seems, is employed in the correspondence between
the City and the King every day, in settling of things. I find
him full of trouble, to think how things will go. I left him,
and to St. James's, where we met first at Sir W. Coventry's
chamber, and there did what business we could, without any books.
Our discourse, as every thing else, was confused. The fleet is
at Portsmouth, there staying a wind to carry them to the Downes,
or towards Boulogne, where they say the Dutch fleet is gone, and
stays. We concluded upon private meetings for a while, not
having any money to satisfy any people that may come to us. I
bought two eeles upon the Thames, cost me six shillings. Thence
with Sir W. Batten to the Cock-pit, whither the Duke of Albemarle
is come. It seems the King holds him so necessary at this time,
that he hath sent for him, and will keep him here. Indeed, his
interest in the City, being acquainted, and his care in keeping
things quiet, is reckoned that wherein he will be very
serviceable. We to him: he is courted in appearance by every
body. He very kind to us; and I perceive he lays by all business
of the fleet at present, and minds the City, and is now hastening
to Gresham College, to discourse with the Aldermen. Sir W.
Batten and I home, (where met by my brother John, come to town to
see how things are done with us,) and then presently he with me
to Gresham College; where infinity of people, partly through
novelty to see the new place, and partly to find out and hear
what has become one man of another. I met with many people
undone, and more that have extraordinary great losses. People
speaking their thoughts variously about the beginning of the
fire, and the rebuilding of the City. Then to Sir W. Batten's
and took my brother with me, and there dined with a great company
of neighbours, and much good discourse; among others, of the low
spirits of some rich men in the City, in sparing any
encouragement to the poor people that wrought for the saving
their houses. Among others, Alderman Starling, a very rich man,
without children, the fire at next door to him in our lane, after
our men had saved his house, did give 2s. 6d. among thirty of
them, and did quarrel with some that would remove the rubbish out
of the way of the fire, saying that they come to steal. Sir W.
Coventry told me of another this morning in Holborne, which he
showed the King: that when it was offered to stop the fire near
his house for such a reward that come but to 2s. 6d. a man among
the neighbours he would give but 18d. Thence to Bednall Green by
coach, my brother with me, and saw all well there, and fetched
away my journall-book to enter for five days past. I was much
frighted and kept awake in my bed, by some noise I heard a great
while below stairs; and the boys not coming up to me when I
knocked. It was by their discovery of some people stealing of
some neighbours' wine that lay in vessels in the streets. So to
sleep; and all well all night.

9th. Sunday. Up; and was trimmed, and sent my brother to
Woolwich to my wife, to dine with her. I to church, where our
parson made a melancholy but good sermon; and many and most in
the church cried, specially the women. The church mighty full;
but few of fashion, and most strangers. To church again, and
there preached Dean Harding; [Probably Nathaniel Hardy, Dean of
Rochester.] but, methinks a bad, poor sermon, though proper for
the time; nor eloquent, in saying at this time that the City is
reduced from a large folio to a decimo-tertio. So to my office,
there to write down my journall, and take leave of my brother,
whom I send back this afternoon, though rainy: which it hath not
done a good while before. To Sir W. Pen's to bed, and made my
boy Tom to read me asleep.

10th. All the morning clearing our cellars, and breaking in
pieces all my old lumber, to make room, and to prevent fire. And
then to Sir W. Batten's, and dined; and there hear that Sir W.
Rider says that the town is full of the report of the wealth that
is in his house, and would be glad that his friends would provide
for the safety of their goods there. This made me get a cart;
and thither, and there brought my money all away. Took a
hackney-coach myself, (the hackney-coaches now standing at
Allgate.) Much wealth indeed there is at his house. Blessed be
God, I got all mine well thence, and lodged it in my office; but
vexed to have all the world see it. And with Sir W Batten, who
would have taken away my hands before they were stowed. But by
and by comes brother Balty from sea, which I was glad of; and so
got him, and Mr. Tooker, and the boy, to watch with them all in
the office all night, while I went down to my wife.

11th. In the evening at Sir W. Pen's at supper: he in a mad,
ridiculous, drunken humour; and it; seems there have been some
late distances between his lady and him, as my wife tells me.
After supper, I home, and with Mr. Hater, Gibson, [Probably Clerk
of the Cheque at Deptford in 1688.] and Tom alone, got all my
chests and money into the further cellar with much pains, but
great content to me when done. So very late and weary to bed.

12th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten and Sis W. Pen to St. James's
by water, and there did our usual business with the Duke of York.

13th. Up, and down to Tower Wharfe; and there, with Balty and
labourers from Deptford, did get my goods housed well at home.
So down to Deptford again to fetch the rest, and there eat a bit
of dinner at the Globe, with the master of the Bezan with me,
while the labourers went to dinner. Here I hear that this poor
town do bury still of the plague seven or eight in a day. So to
Sir G. Carteret's to work, and there did to my content ship off
in the Bezan all the rest of my goods, saving my pictures and
fine things, that I will bring home in wherrys when the house is
fit to receive them: and so home, and unload them by carts and
hands before night, to my exceeding satisfaction: and so after
supper to bed in my house, the first time I have lain there.

14th. Up, and to work, having carpenters come to help in setting
up bedsteads and hangings; and at that trade my people and I all
the morning, till pressed by publick business to leave them
against my will in the afternoon: and yet I was troubled in
being at home, to see all my goods lie up and down the house in a
bad condition, and strange workmen going to and fro might take
what they would almost. All the afternoon busy; and Sir W.
Coventry come to me, and found me, as God would have it, in my
office, and people about me setting my papers to rights; and
there discoursed about getting an account ready against the
Parliament, and thereby did create me infinity of business and to
be done on a sudden; which troubled me; but, however, he being
gone, I about it late, and to good purpose. and so home, having
this day also got my wine out of the ground again, and set it in
my cellar; but with great pain to keep the porters that carried
it in from observing the money-chests there.

13th. Captain Cocke says be hath computed that the rents of the
houses lost this fire in the City comes to 600,000l. per annum;
that this will make the Parliament more quiet than otherwise they
would have been, and give the King a more ready supply; that the
supply must be by excise, as it is in Holland; that the
Parliament will see it necessary to carry on the war; that the
late storm hindered our beating the Dutch fleet, who were gone
out only to satisfy the people, having no business to do but to
avoid us; that the French, as late in the year as it is, are
coming; that the Dutch are really in bad condition, but that this
unhappiness of ours do give them heart: that there was a late
difference between my Lord Arlington and Sir W. Coventry about
neglect in the latter to send away an express of the other's in
time; that it come before the King, and the Duke of York
concerned himself in it; but this fire hath stopped it. The
Dutch fleet is not gone home, but rather to the North, and so
dangerous to our Gottenburgh fleet. That the Parliament is
likely to fall foul upon some persons; and, among others, on the
Vice-chamberlaine, [Sir G. Carteret.] though we both believe
with little ground. That certainly never so great a loss as this
was borne so well by citizens in the world; he believing that not
one merchant upon the 'Change will break upon it. That he do not
apprehend there will be any disturbances in State upon it; for
that all men are busy in looking after their own business to save
themselves. He gone, I to finish my letters, and home to bed;
and find to my infinite joy many rooms clean; and myself and wife
lie in our own chamber again. But much terrified in the nights
now-a-days with dreams of fire, and falling down of houses.

17th. Up betimes, and shaved myself after a week's growth: but,
Lord! how ugly I was yesterday and how fine to-day! By water,
seeing the City all the way, a sad sight indeed, much fire being
still in. Sir W. Coventry was in great pain lest the French
fleet should be passed by our fleet, who had notice of them on
Saturday, and were preparing to go meet them; but their minds
altered, and judged them merchant-men, when the same day the
Success, Captain Ball, made their whole fleet, and come to
Brighthelmstone, and thence at five o'clock afternoon, Saturday,
wrote Sir W. Coventry news thereof; so that we do much fear our
missing them. Hence come in and talked with him Sir Thomas
Clifford, [Eldest son of Hugh Clifford, Esq., of Ugbrooke, M.P.
for Totness, 1661, and knighted for his conduct in the sea-fight
1665. After filling several high offices, he was in 1672 created
Baron Clifford of Chudleigh, and constituted High Treasurer;
which place he resigned the following year, a few months before
his death.] who appears a very fine gentleman, and much set by
at Court for his activity in going to sea, and stoutness every
where, and stirring up and down.

18th. This day the Parliament met, and adjourned till Friday,
when the King will be with them.

19th. To St. James's, and did our usual business before the Duke
of York; which signified little, our business being only
complaints of lack of money. Here I saw a bastard of the late
King of Sweden's come to kiss his hands; a mighty modish French-
like gentleman. Thence to White Hall with Sir W. Batten and W.
Pen, to Wilkes's; and there did hear many stories of Sir Henry
Wood. [Clerk of the Spicery to Charles I.; and, after the
Restoration, Clerk to the Board of Green Cloth.] About Lord
Norwich drawing a tooth at a health. Another time, he and
Pinchbacke and Dr. Goffe, [Dr. Gough, Clerk of the Queen's
Closet, and her Assistant Confessor.] now a religious man:--
Pinchbacke did begin a frolick to drink out of a glass with a
toad in it: he did it without harm. Goffe, who knew sacke would
kill the toad, called for sack; and when he saw it dead, says he,
"I will have a quick toad, and will not drink from a dead toad."
By that means, no other being to be found, he escaped the health.

20th. The fleet is come into the Downes. Nothing done, nor
French fleet seen: we drove all from our anchors. But Sir G.
Carteret says news is come that De Ruyter is dead, or very near
it, of a hurt in his mouth, upon the discharge of one of his own
guns: which put him into a fever, and he likely to die, if not
already dead.

21st. The Parliament meet to-day, and the King to be with them.
At the office, about our accounts, which now draw near the time
they should be ready, the House having ordered Sir G. Carteret,
upon his offering them, to bring them in on Saturday next.

23rd. Mr. Wayth and I by water to White Hall, and there at Sir
G. Carteret's lodgings Sir W. Coventry met, and we did debate the
whole business of our accounts to the Parliament; where it
appears to us that the charge of the war from September 1, 1664,
to this Michaelmas, will have been but 3,200,000l., and we have
paid in that time somewhat about 2,200,000l.; so that we owe
above 900,000l.: but our method of accounting, though it cannot,
I believe, be far wide from the mark, yet will not abide a strict
examination if the Parliament should be troublesome. There
happened a pretty question of Sir W. Coventry, whether this
account of ours will not put my Lord Treasurer to a difficulty to
tell what is become of all the money the Parliament have given in
this time for the war, which hath amounted to about 4,000,000l.
which nobody there could answer; but I perceive they did doubt
what his answer could be.

24th. Up, and down to look for Sir W. Coventry; and at last
found him and Sir G. Carteret with the Lord Treasurer at White
Hall, consulting how to make up my Lord Treasurer's general
account, as well as that; of the Navy particularly.

25th. With all my people to get the letter writ over about the
Navy Accounts; and by coach to Lord Brouncker's, and got his hand
to it; and then to the Parliament House and got it signed by the
rest, and then delivered it at the House-door to Sir Philip
Warwicke; Sir G. Carteret being gone into the House with his book
of accounts under his arme, to present to the House. All night
still mightily troubled in my sleep with fire and houses pulling

26th. By coach home, calling at Bennet's, our late mercer, who
is come into Covent Garden to a fine house looking down upon the
Exchange. And I perceive many Londoners every day come. And Mr.
Pierce hath let his wife's closet, and the little blind
bedchamber, and a garret to a silk-man for 50l. fine, and 30l.
per annum, and 40l. per annum more for dieting the master and two
prentices. By Mr. Dugdale I hear the great loss of books in St.
Paul's Church-yard, and at their Hall also, which they value at
about 150,000l.; some book-sellers being wholly undone, and among
others they say my poor Kirton. And Mr. Crumlum, [Samuel
Cromleholme, or Crumlum, Master of St. Paul's School.] all his
books and household stuff burned; they trusting to St. Fayth's,
and the roof of the church falling, broke the arch down into the
lower church, and so all the goods burned. A very great loss.
His father hath lost above 1000l. in books; one book newly
printed, a Discourse, it seems, of Courts. Here I had the hap to
see my Lady Denham: and at night went into the dining-room and
saw several fine ladies; among others, Castlemaine, but chiefly
Denham again; and the Duke of York taking her aside and talking
to her in the sight of all the world, all alone; which was
strange, and what also I did not like. Here I met with good Mr.
Evelyn, who cries out against it, and calls it bickering; for the
Duke of York talks a little to her, and then she goes away, and
then he follows her again like a dog. He observes that none of
the nobility come out of the country at all, to help the King, or
comfort him, or prevent commotions at this fire; but do as if the
King were nobody; nor ne'er a priest comes to give the King and
Court good council, or to comfort the poor people that suffer;
but all is dead, nothing of good in any of their minds: he
bemoans it, and says he fears more ruin hangs over our heads. My
wife tells me she hath bought a gown of 15s. per yard; the same,
before her face, my Lady Castlemaine this day bought also. Sir
W. Pen proposes his and my looking out into Scotland about
timber, and to use Pett there; for timber will be a good
commodity this time of building the City. Our fleet abroad, and
the Dutch too, for all we know. The weather very bad: and under
the command of an unlucky man, I fear. God bless him and the
fleet under him!

27th. A very furious blowing night all the night; and my mind
still mightily perplexed with dreams, and burning the rest of the
town; and waking in much pain for the fleet. I to look out
Penny, my tailor, to speak for a cloak and cassock for my
brother, who is coming to town; and I will have him in a
canonical dress, that he may be the fitter to go abroad with me.
No news of the fleet yet, but that they went by Dover on the 25th
towards the Gun-fleet; but whether the Dutch be yet abroad, or
no, we hear not. De Ruyter is not dead, but like to do well.
Most think that the gross of the French fleet are gone home

28th. Comes the bookbinder to gild the backs of my books. Sir
W. Pen broke to me a proposition of his and my joining in a
design of fetching timber and deals from Scotland, by the help of
Mr. Pett upon the place; which, while London is building, will
yield good money. I approve it.

29th. Sir W. Coventry and I find to our great joy, that the
wages, victuals, wear and tear, cast by the medium of the men,
will come to above 3,000,000l.; and that the extraordinaries,
which all the world will allow us, will arise to more than will
justify the expence we have declared to have been at since the
war; viz. 320,000l.

30th (Lord's day). Up, and to church, where I have not been a
good while; and there the church infinitely thronged with
strangers since the fire come into our parish; but not one
handsome face in all of them, as if, indeed, there was a curse,
as Bishop Fuller heretofore said, upon our parish. This month
ends with my mind full of business and concernment how this
office will speed with the Parliament, which begins to be mighty
severe in the examining our accounts, and the expence of the Navy
this war.

OCTOBER 1, 1666. All the morning at the office, getting the list
of all the ships and vessels employed since the war, for the
Committee of Parliament.

2nd. Sir G. Carteret tells me how our lists are referred to a
Sub-committee to consider and examine, and that I am ordered to
be there. By and by the Committee met, and appointed me to
attend them to-morrow at the office to examine our lists.

3rd. The Committee met, and I did make shift to answer them
better than I expected. Sir W. Batten, Lord Brouncker, W. Pen,
come in, but presently went out; and J. Minnes come in, and said
two or three words from the purpose but to do hurt; so away he
went also, and left me all the morning with them alone to stand
or fall. And it ended with good peace, and much seeming
satisfaction; but I find them wise and reserved, and instructed
to hit all our blots.

4th. To Sir G. Carteret, and there discoursed much of the want
of money, and our being designed for destruction. How the King
hath lost his power, by submitting himself to this way of
examining his accounts, and is become but as a private man. He
says the King is troubled at it. But they talk an entry [In the
Journals of the House of Commons.] shall be made; that it is not
to be brought; into example; that the King must, if they do not
agree presently, make them a courageous speech, which he says he
may do (the City of London being now burned, and himself master
of an army) better than any prince before him.

5th. The Sub-committee have made their report to the Grand
Committee, and in pretty kind terms. Captain Cocke told me of a
wild motion made in the House of Lords by the Duke of Buckingham,
for all men that have cheated the King to be declared traitors
and felons; and that my Lord Sandwich was named. Mr. Kirton's
kinsman, my bookseller, come in my may; and so I am told by him
that Mr. Kirton is utterly undone, and made 2 or 3000l. worse
than nothing, from being worth 7 or 8000l. That the goods laid
in the Churchyard fired through the windows those in St. Fayth's
church; and those coming to the warehouses' doors fired them, and
burned all the books and the pillars of the church, so as the
roof falling down, broke quite down; which it did not do in the
other places of the church, which is alike pillared, (which I
knew not before;) but being not burned, they stood still. He do
believe there is above 150,000l. of books burned; all the great
book-sellers almost undone: not only these, but their warehouses
at their Hall and under Christ-church, and elsewhere, being all
burned. A great want thereof there will be of books, specially
Latin books and foreign books; and, among others, the Polyglottes
and new Bible, which he believes will be presently worth 40l. a-

6th. Sir W. Coventry and I discoursed of, among others, our sad
condition by want of a Controller; and it was his words, that he
believes, besides all the shame and trouble he [Sir John Minnes,
who performed the duties inefficiently.] hath brought on the
office, the King had better have given 100,000l. than ever have
had him there. He did discourse about some of these discontented
Parliament-men, and says that Birch is a false rogue, but that
Garraway is a man that hath not been well used by the Court,
though very stout to death, and hath suffered all that is
possible for the King from the beginning. But discontented as he
is, yet he never knew a Session of Parliament but that he hath
done some good deed for the King before it rose. I told him the
passage Cocke told me of--his having begged a brace of bucks of
the Lord Arlington for him, and when it come to him, he sent it
back again. Sir W. Coventry told me, it is much to be pitied
that the King should lose the service of a man so able and
faithful; and that he ought to be brought over, but that it is
always observed, that by bringing over one discontented man, you
raise up three in his room; which is a state lesson I never knew
before. But when others discover your fear, and that discontent
procures fear, they will be discontented too, and impose on you.

7th. To White Hall, where met by Sir W. Batten and Lord
Brouncker, to attend the King and Duke of York at the Cabinet;
but nobody had determined what to speak of, but only in general
to ask for money. So I was forced immediately to prepare in my
mind a method of discoursing. And anon we were called in to the
Green Room, where the King, Duke of York, Prince Rupert, Lord
Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, Duke of Albemarle, Sirs G. Carteret,
W. Coventry, Morrice. Nobody beginning, I did, and made a
current, and I thought a good speech, laying open the ill state
of the Navy: by the greatness of the debt; greatness of the work
to do against next year; the time and materials it would take;
and our incapacity, through a total want of money. I had no
sooner done, but Prince Rupert rose up and told the King in a
heat, that whatever the gentleman had said, he had brought home
his fleet in as good a condition as ever any fleet was brought
home; that twenty boats would be as many as the fleet would want:
and all the anchors and cables left in the storm, might be taken
up again. This arose from my saying, among other things we had
to do, that the fleet was come in,--the greatest fleet that ever
his Majesty had yet together, and that in as bad condition as the
enemy or weather could put it. And to use Sir W. Pen's words,
who is upon the place taking a survey, he dreads the reports he
is to receive from the Surveyors of its defects. I therefore did
only answer, that I was sorry for his Highness's offence, but
that what I said was but the report we received from those
entrusted in the fleet to inform us. He muttered and repeated
what he had said; and so, after a long silence on all hands,
nobody, not so much as the Duke of Albemarle, seconding the
Prince, nor taking notice of what he said, we withdrew. I was
not a little troubled at this passage, and the more when speaking
with Jacke Fenn about it, he told me that the Prince will be
asking who this Pepys is, and find him to be a creature of my
Lord Sandwich's, and therefore this was done only to disparage
him. After all this pains, the King hath found out how to supply
us with 5 or 6000l., when 100,000l. were at this time but
absolutely necessary, and we mentioned 50,000l. I made my
brother in his cassocke to say grace this day, but I like his
voice so ill, that I begin to be sorry he hath taken orders.

8th. Towards noon by water to Westminster Hall, and there by
several hear that the Parliament do resolve to do something to
retrench Sir G. Carteret's great salary; but cannot hear of any
thing bad they can lay to his charge. The House did this day
order to be engrossed the Bill against importing Irish cattle: a
thing, it seems carried on by the Western Parliament-men, wholly
against the sense of most of the rest of the House; who think if
you do this, you give the Irish again cause to rebel. Mr. Pierce
says, the Duke of York and Duke of Albemarle do not agree. The
Duke of York is wholly given up to this Lady Denham. The Duke of
Albemarle and Prince Rupert do less agree. The King hath
yesterday in Council declared his resolution of setting a fashion
for clothes, which he will never alter. It will be a vest, I
know not well how; but it is to teach the nobility thrift, and
will do good. By and by comes down from the Committee Sir W.
Coventry, and I find him troubled at several things happened this
afternoon. Which vexes me also; our business looking worse and
worse, and our work growing on our hands. Time spending, and no
money to set any thing in hand with; the end thereof must be
speedy ruin. The Dutch insult and have taken off Bruant's head,
which they had not dared to do (though found guilty of the fault
he did die for, of something of the Prince of Orange's faction)
till just now, which speaks more confidence in our being worse
than before. Alderman Maynell, I hear, is dead. Thence returned
in the dark by coach all alone, full of thoughts of the
consequences of this ill complexion of affairs, and how to save
the little I have, which if I can do, I have cause to bless God
that I am so well, and shall be well contented to retreat to
Brampton, and spend the rest of my days there. So to my office,
and finished my Journal with resolutions, if God bless me, to
apply myself soberly to settle all matters for myself and expect
the event of all with comfort.

9th. To the office, where we sat the first day since the fire.

10th. Fast-day for the fire. With Sir W. Batten by water to
White Hall, and anon had a meeting before the Duke of York, where
pretty to see how Sir W. Batten, that carried the surveys of all
the fleet with him to show their ill condition to the Duke of
York, when he found the Prince there, did not speak one word,
though the meeting was of his asking; for nothing else. And when
I asked him, he told me he knew the Prince too well to anger him,
so that he was afraid to do it. Thence with him to Westminster,
to the parish church, where the Parliament-men; and
Stillingfleete in the pulpit. So full, no standing there; so he
and I to eat herrings at the Dog Tavern. And then to church
again, and there was Mr. Frampton in the pulpit, whom they cry up
so much, a young man, and of a mighty ready tongue. I heard a
little of his sermon. Captain Cooke, who is mighty conversant
with Garraway and those people, tells me what they object as to
the mal-administration of things as to money. But that they mean
well, and will do well; but their reckonings are very good, and
show great faults, as I will insert here. They say the King hath
had towards this war expressly thus much:--

Royal Ayde . . . . . . L2,450,000
More . . . . . . 1,250,000

Three months tax given the King by a power of )
raising a month's tax of 70,000l. every year for) 0,210,000
three years. )

Customes, out of which the King did promise to ) 0,480,000
pay 240,000l. which for two years come to )

Prizes, which they moderately reckon at 0,300,000
A debt declared by the Navy, by us 0,900,000

The whole charge of the Navy, as we state it ) 3,200,000
for two years and a month, hath been but )

So what is become of all this sum? L2,390,000
[The remainder of the receipts.]

He and I did bemoan our public condition. He tells me the Duke
of Albemarle is under a cloud, and they have a mind at Court to
lay him aside. This I know not; but all things are not right
with him: and I am glad of it, but sorry for the time.

11th. MEMORANDUM. I had taken my Journal during the fire and
the disorders following in loose papers until this very day, and
could not get time to enter them in my book till January 18, in
the morning, having made my eyes sore by frequent attempts this
winter to do it. But now it is done; for which I thank God, and
pray never the like occasion may happen.

12th. The House have cut us off 150,000l. of our wear and tear,
for that which was saved by the King while the fleet lay in
harbour in winter. However, he seems pleased, and so am I, that
they have abated no more: and do intend to allow of 28,000 men
for the next year; and this day have appointed to declare the sum
they will give the King, and to propose the way of raising it; so
that this is likely to be the great day.

13th. To White Hall, and there the Duke of York (who is gone
over to all his pleasures again, and leaves off care of business,
what with his woman, my Lady Denham, and his hunting three times
a week was just come in from hunting. So I stood and saw him
dress himself, and try on his vest, which is the King's new
fashion, and he will be in it for good and all on Monday next,
and the whole Court: it is a fashion, the King says, he will
never change. He being ready, he and my lord Chancellor, and
Duke of Albemarle, and Prince Rupert, Lord Bellasses, Sir H.
Cholmly, Povy, and myself, met at a Committee for Tangier. My
Lord Bellasses's propositions were read and discoursed of, about
reducing the garrison to less charge; and indeed I am mad in love
with my Lord Chancellor, for he do comprehend and speak out well,
and with the greatest easiness and authority that ever I saw man
in my life. I did never observe how much easier a man do speak
when he knows all the company to be below him, than in him; for
though he spoke indeed excellent well, yet his manner and freedom
of doing it, as if he played with it, and was informing only all
the rest of the company, was mighty pretty. He did call again
and again upon Mr. Povy for his accounts. I did think fit to
make the solemn tender of my accounts that I intended. I said
something that was liked, touching the want of money, and the bad
credit of our tallies. My Lord Chancellor moved that without any
trouble to any of the rest of the Lords, I might alone attend the
King, when he was with his private Council, and open the state of
the garrisons; want of credit: and all that could be done,
should. Most things moved were referred to Committees, and so we
broke up. And at the end Sir W. Coventry come; so I away with
him, and he discoursed with me something of the Parliament's
business. They have voted giving the King for the next year
1,800,000l.; which, were it not for his debts, were a great sum.

14th. I met with Sir Stephen Fox, who told me much right I have
done myself, and how well it is represented by the Committee to
the House my readiness to give them satisfaction in every thing
when they were at the office. I was glad of this. He did
further discourse of Sir W. Coventry's great abilities, and how
necessary it were that I were of the House to assist him. I did
not own it, but do myself think it were not unnecessary, if
either he should die, or be removed to the Lords, or anything
happen to hinder his doing the like service the next trial; which
makes me think that it were not a thing very unfit; but I will
not move in it.

15th. Colvill tells me of the viciousness of the Court; the
contempt the King brings himself into thereby; his minding
nothing, but doing all things just as his people about him will
have it! The Duke of York becoming a slave to this Lady Denham,
and wholly minds her. That there really were amours between the
Duchesse and Sidny; that there is reason to fear that, as soon as
the Parliament have raised this money, the King will see that he
hath got all that he can get, and then make up a peace; that Sir
W. Coventry is of the caball with the Duke of York, and Brouncker
with this Lady Denham: which is a shame, and I am sorry for it,
and that Sir W. Coventry do make her visits: but yet I hope it
is not so. Pierce tells me, that Lady Castlemaine is concluded
to be with child again; and that all the people about the King do
make no scruple of saying that the King do intrigue with Mrs.
Stewart, who, he says, is a most excellent-natured lady. This
day the King begins to put on his vest, and I did see several
persons of the House of Lords and Commons too, great courtiers,
who are in it; being a long cassocke close to the body, of black
cloth, and pinked with white silk under it, and a coat over it,
and the legs ruffled with black riband like a pigeon's leg: and
upon the whole I wish the King may keep it, for it is a very fine
and handsome garment. Lady Carteret tells me ladies are to go
into a new fashion shortly and that is, to wear short coats,
above their ancles; which she and I not like; but conclude this
long trayne to be mighty graceful. But she cries out of the
vices of the Court, and how they are going to set up plays
already; and how, the next day after the late great fast, the
Duchesse of York did give the King and Queene a play. Nay, she
told me that they have heretofore had plays at Court, the very
nights before the fast for the death of the late King. She do
much cry out upon these things, and that which she believes will
undo the whole nation: and I fear so too. This day the great
debate was in Parliament, the manner of raising the 1,800,000l.
they voted the King on Friday: and at last, after many
proposals, one moved that the Chimney-money might be taken from
the King, and an equal revenue of something else might be found
for the King; and people be enjoyned to buy off this tax of
Chimney-money for ever at eight years' purchase, which will raise
present money, as they think, 1,600,000l., and the State be eased
of an ill burthen, and the King be supplied of something as good
or better for his use. The House seems to like this, and put off
the debate to to-morrow.

17th. The Court is all full of vests, only my Lord St. Albans
not pinked, but plain black; and they say the King says the
pinking upon whites makes them look too much like magpyes, and
therefore hath bespoke one of plain velvet.

18th. To Lovett's house, where I stood godfather. But it was
pretty that, being a Protestant, a man stood by and was my proxy
to answer for me. A priest christened it, and the boy's name is
Samuel. The ceremonies many, and some foolish. The priest in a
gentleman's dress, more than my own: but is a Capuchin, one of
the Queen-mother's priests. He did give my proxy and the woman
proxy, (my Lady Bills, [Probably the widow of Sir Thomas Pelham,
who re-married John Bills, Esq, of Caen Wood, and retained the
title derived from her first husband with the name of her
second.] absent, had a proxy also,) good advice to bring up the
child, and at the end that he ought never to marry the child nor
the godmother, nor the godmother the child or the godfather:
but, which is strange, they say the mother of the child and the
godfather may marry. By and by the Lady Bills come in, a well-
bred but crooked woman. The poor people of the house had good
wine, and a good cake; and she a pretty woman in her lying-in
dress. It cost me near 40s. the whole christening: to midwife
20s., nurse 10s., maid 2s. 6d., and the coach 5s. The business of
buying off the Chimney-money is passed in the House; and so the
King to be satisfied some other way, and the King supplied with
the money raised by this purchasing off of the chimnies.

19th. Nothing but distraction and confusion in the affairs of
the Navy; which makes me wish with all my heart, that I were well
and quietly settled with what little I have got at Brampton,
where I might live peaceably, and study, and pray for the good of
the King and my country.

20th. Commissioner Middleton [Thomas Middleton, made a
Commissioner of the Navy, 1664.] says, that the fleet was in
such a condition, as to discipline, as if the Devil had commanded
it; so much wickedness of all sorts. Enquiring how it came to
pass that so many ships had miscarried this year, he tells me
that he enquired; and the pilots do say, that they dare not do
nor go but as the Captains will have them; and if they offer to
do otherwise, the Captains swear they will run them through.
He says that he heard Captain Digby (my Lord of Bristoll's son, a
young fellow that never was but one year, if that, in the fleet,)
say that he did hope he should not see a tarpawlin [Tarpawlin, a
sailor.] have the command of a ship within this twelve months.
He observed while he was on board the Admirall, when the fleet
was at Portsmouth, that there was a faction there. Holmes
commanded all on the Prince's side, and Sir Jeremy Smith on the
Duke's, and every body that come did apply themselves to one side
or other; and when the Duke of Albemarle was gone away to come
hither, then Sir Jeremy Smith did hang his head, and walked in
the General's ship but like a private commander. He says he was
on board the Prince, when the news come of the burning of London;
and all the Prince said was, that now Shipton's prophecy was out;
and he heard a young commander presently swear, that a citizen's
wife that would not take under half a piece before, would be
contented with half-a-crowne: and made mighty sport of it. My
Lord Chancellor the other day did ask Sir G. Carteret how it come
to pass that his friend Pepys do so much magnify the bad
condition of the fleet. Sir G. Carteret tells me that he
answered him, that I was but the mouth of the rest, and spoke
what they have dictated to me; which did, as he says, presently
take off his displeasure. They talk that the Queene hath a great
mind to alter her fashion, and to have the feet seen; which she
loves mightily.

21st. Sir H. Cholmly tells me how Mr. Williamson stood in a
little place to have come into the House of Commons, and they
would not choose him; they said, "No courtier." And which is
worse, Bab May went down in great state to Winchelsea with the
Duke of York's letters, not doubting to be chosen; and there the
people chose a private gentleman in spite of him, and cried out
they would have no Court pimp to be their burgesse; which are
things that bode very ill.

24th. Holmes did last Sunday deliver in his articles to the King
and Cabinet against Smith, and Smith hath given in his answer,
and lays his not accompanying the fleet to his pilot, who would
not undertake to carry the ship further; which the pilot
acknowledges. The thing is not accommodated, but only taken up,
and both sides commanded to be quiet, but no peace like to be.
The Duke of Albemarle is Smith's friend, and hath publickly sworn
that he would never go to sea again, unless Holmes's commission
were taken from him. I find by Hayes [Prince Rupert's
secretary.] that they did expect great glory in coming home in
so good condition as they did with the fleet; and therefore I the
less wonder that the Prince was distasted with my discourse the
other day about the sad state of the fleet. But it pleases me to
hear that he did expect great thanks, and lays the fault of the
want; of it upon the fire, which deadened every thing, and the
glory of his services.

25th. To Mrs. Pierce's, where she was making herself mighty fine
to go to a great ball to-night at Court, being the Queene's
birth-day; so the ladies for this one day wear laces, but are to
put them off again to-morrow, To Mrs. Williams's, where we met
Knipp. I was glad to see the jade. Made her sing; and she told
us they begin at both houses to act on Monday next. But I fear
after all this sorrow, their gains will be but little. Mrs.
Williams says, the Duke's house will now be much the better of
the two, because of their women; which I was glad to hear.

27th. The two Houses begin to be troublesome: the Lords to have
quarrels one with another. My Lord Duke of Buckingham having
said to the Lord Chancellor (who is against the passing of the
Bill for prohibiting the bringing over of Irish cattle,) that
whoever was against the Bill, was there led to it by an Irish
interest, or an Irish understanding, which is as much as to say
be is a fool; this bred heat from my Lord Chancellor, and
something he said did offend my Lord of Ossory (my Lord Duke of
Ormond's son,) and they two had hard words, upon which the latter
sends a challenge to the former; of which the former complains to
the House, and so the business is to be heard on Monday next.
Then as to the Commons; some ugly knives, like poignards, to stab
people with, about two or three hundred of them were brought in
yesterday to the House, found in one of the houses rubbish that
was burned, and said to be the house of a Catholique. This and
several letters out of the country, saying how high the
Catholiques are every where and bold in the owning their
religion, hath made the Commons mad, and they presently voted
that the King be desired to put all Catholiques out of
employment, and other high things; while the business of money
hangs in the hedge.

28th. Captain Guy to dine with me, and he and I much talk
together. He cries out of the discipline of the fleet, and
confesses really that; the true English valour we talk of, is
almost spent and worn out; few of the commanders doing what they
should do, and he much fears we shall therefore be beaten the
next year. He assures me we were beaten home the last June
fight, and that the whole fleet was ashamed to hear of our
bonfires. He commends Smith and cries out of Holmes for an idle,
proud, conceited, though stout fellow. He tells me we are to owe
the loss of so many ships on the sands, not to any fault of the
pilots, but to the weather; but in this I have good authority to
fear there was something more. He says the Dutch do fight in
very good order, and we in none at all. He says that in the July
fight, both the Prince and Holmes had their belly-fulls, and were
fain to go aside; though, if the wind had continued, we had
utterly beaten them. He do confess the whole to be governed by a
company of fools, and fears our ruine. The Revenge having her
forecastle blown up with powder to the killing of some men in the
River, and the Dyamond's being overset in the careening at
Sheernese, are further marks of the method all the King's work is
now done in. The Foresight also and another come to disasters in
the same place this week in the cleaning; which is strange.

29th. Up, and to the office to do business, and thither comes to
me Sir Thomas Teddiman, and he and I walked a good while in the
garden together, discoursing of the disorder and discipline of
the fleet, wherein he told me how bad every thing is; but was
very wary in speaking any to the dishonour of the Prince or Duke
of Albemarle, but do magnify my Lord Sandwich much before them
both, from ability to serve the King, and do heartily wish for
him here. For he fears that we shall be undone the next year,
but that he will, however, see an end of it. To Westminster; and
I find the new Lord Mayor Bolton a-swearing at the Exchequer,
with some of the Aldermen and Livery; but Lord! to see how
meanely they now look, who upon this day used to be all little
lords, is a sad sight and worthy consideration. And every body
did reflect with pity upon the poor City, to which they are now
coming to choose and swear their Lord Mayor, compared with what
it heretofore was. To my goldsmith to bid him look out for some
gold for me; and he tells me that ginnys, which I bought 2000 of
not long ago, and cost me 18 1/2d. change, will now cost me 22d.;
and but very few to be had at any price. However, some more I
will have, for they are very convenient, and of easy disposal.
To White Hall, and into the new playhouse there, the first time I
ever was there, and the first play I have seen since before the
great plague. By and by Mr. Pierce comes, bringing my wife and
his, and Knipp. By and by the King and Queen, Duke and Duchesse,
and all the great ladies of the Court; which, indeed, was a fine
sight. But the play, being "Love in a Tub," [A comedy, by Sir
George Etheridge.] a silly play, and though done by the Duke's
people, yet having neither Beterton nor his wife, [Vide Note to
Feb. 1, 1663-4.] and the whole thing done ill, and being ill
also, I had no manner of pleasure in the play. Besides, the
House, though very fine, yet bad for the voice, for hearing. The
sight of the ladies, indeed, was exceeding noble; and above all,
my Lady Castlemaine. The play done by ten o'clock.

NOVEMBER 2, 1666. On board the Ruby French prize, the only ship
of war we have taken from any of our enemies this year. It seems
a very good ship, but with galleries quite round the sterne to
walk in as a balcone, which will be taken down.

4th. My taylor's man brings my vest home, and coat to wear with
it and belt, and silver-hilted sword. I waited in the gallery
till the Council was up, and did speak with Mr. Cooling, my Lord
Chamberlain's secretary, who tells me my Lord Generall is become
mighty low in all people's opinion, and that he hath received
several slurs from the King and Duke of York. The people at
Court do see the difference between his and the Prince's
management, and my Lord Sandwich's. That this business which he
is put upon of crying out against the Catholiques and turning
them out of all employment, will undo him, when he comes to turn
the officers out of the Army, and this is a thing of his own
seeking. That he is grown a drunken sot, and drinks with nobody
but Troutbecke, whom nobody else will keep company with. Of whom
he told me this story; that once the Duke of Albemarle in his
drink taking notice as of a wonder that Nan Hide should ever come
to be Duchesse of York: "Nay," says Troutbecke, "ne'er wonder at
that; for if you will give me another bottle of wine, I will tell
you as great, if not greater, a miracle." And what was that, but
that our dirty Besse (meaning his Duchesse) should come to be
Duchesse of Albemarle?

5th. To my Lady Peterborough, who had sent to speak with me.
She makes mighty mourn of the badness of the times, and her
family as to money. My Lord's passionateness for want thereof,
and his want of coming in of rents, and no wages from the Duke
of York. No money to be had there for wages or disbursements,
and therefore prays my assistance about his pension. To my Lord
Crewe's, and there dined, and mightily made of. Here my Lord,
and Sir Thomas Crewe, Mr. John, and Dr, Crewe, [Nathaniel,
afterwards Bishop of Durham and Baron Crewe.] and two strangers.
The best family in the world for goodness and sobriety. Here
beyond my expectation I met my Lord Hinchingbroke, who is come to
town two days since from Hinchingbroke, and brought his sister
and brother Carteret with him, who are at Sir G. Carteret's.
After dinner I and Sir Thomas Crewe went aside to discourse of
public matters, and do find by him that all the country gentlemen
are publickly jealous of the courtiers in the Parliament, and
that they do doubt every thing that they propose; and that the
true reason why the country-gentlemen are for a land-tax and
against a general excise, is, because they are fearful that if
the latter be granted, they shall never get it down again;
whereas the land-tax will be but for so much, and when the war
ceases, there will be no ground got by the court to keep it up.
He says the House would be very glad to get something against Sir
G. Carteret, and will not let their inquiries die till they have
got something. He do, from what he hath heard at the Committee
for examining the burning of the City, conclude it as a thing
certain, that it was done by plots; it being proved by many
witnesses that endeavours were made in several places to encrease
the fire, and that both in City and country it was bragged by
several Papists, that upon such a day or in such a time we should
find the hottest weather that ever was in England; and words of
plainer sense. But my Lord Crewe was discoursing at table how
the Judges have determined in the case whether the landlords or
the tenants (who are, in their leases, all of them generally tied
to maintain and uphold their houses,) shall bear the loss of the
fire; and they say, that tenants should against all casualties of
fire beginning either in their own, or in their neighbour's; but,
where it is done by an enemy, they are not to do it. And this
was by an enemy, there having been one convicted and hanged upon
this very score. This is an excellent salve for the tenants, and
for which I am glad, because of my father's house. After dinner
and this discourse, I took coach, and at the same time find my
Lord Hinchingbroke and Mr. John Crewe and the Doctor going out to
see the ruins of the City; so I took the Doctor into my hackney-
coach, (and he is a very fine sober gentleman,) and so through
the City. But Lord! what pretty and sober observations he made
of the City and its desolation; anon we come to my house, and
there I took them upon Tower-Hill to show them what houses were
pulled down there since the fire; and then to my house, where I
treated them with good wine of several sorts, and they took it
mighty respectfully, and a fine company of gentlemen they are;
but above all I was glad to see my Lord Hinchingbroke drink no
wine at all. I home by coach, but met not one bonfire through
the whole town in going round by the wall, which is strange, and
speaks the melancholy disposition of the City at present, while
never more was said of, and feared of, and done against the
Papists, than just at this time.

7th. Called at Faythorne's to buy some prints for my wife to
draw by this winter, and here did see my Lady Castlemaine's
picture, done by him from Lilly's, in red chalke, and other
colours, by which he hath cut it in copper to be printed. The
picture in chalke is the finest thing I ever saw in my life, I
think; and I did desire to buy it; but he says he must keep it
awhile to correct his copper-plate by, and when that is done he
will sell it me. By the Duke of York his discourse to-day in his
chamber, they have it at Court, as well as we here, that a fatal
day is to be expected shortly, of some great mischief; whether by
the Papists, or what, they are not certain. But the day is
disputed; some say next Friday, others a day sooner, others
later, and I hope all will prove a foolery. But it is observable
how every bodys fears are busy at this time.

8th. I to Westminster Hall, and there met Mr. Grey, who tells me
the House is sitting still, (and now it was six o'clock,) and
likely to sit till midnight; and have proceeded fair to give the
King his supply presently. And herein have done more to-day than
was hoped for. Sir W. Coventry did this night tell me how the
business is about Sir J. Minnes; that he is to be a commissioner,
and my Lord Brouncker and Sir W. Pen are to be Controller
jointly, which I am very glad of, and better than if they were
either of them alone; and do hope truly that the King's business
will be better done thereby, and infinitely better than now it
is. Mr. Grey did assure me this night, that he was told this
day, by one of the greater Ministers of State in England, and one
of the King's Cabinet, that we had little left to agree on
between the Dutch and us towards a peace, but only the place of
treaty; which do astonish me to hear, but I am glad of it, for I
fear the consequence of the war. But he says that the King,
having all the money he is like to have, we shall be sure of a
peace in a little time.

9th. To Mrs. Pierce's by appointment, where we find good
company: a fair lady, my Lady Prettyman, Mrs. Corbet, Knipp; and
for men, Captain Downing, Mr. Lloyd, Sir W. Coventry's clerk, and
one Mr. Tripp, who dances well. After our first bout of dancing,
Knipp, and I to sing, and Mercer and Captain Downing (who loves
and understands musick) would by all means have my song of
"Beauty retire:" which Knipp had spread abroad, and he extols it
above any thing he ever heard. Going to dance again, and then
comes news that White Hall was on fire. And presently more
particulars, that the Horse-guard was on fire. And so we run up
to the garret, and find it so; a horrid great fire. And by and
by we saw and heard part of it blown up with powder. The ladies
begun presently to be afraid: one fell into fits. The whole
town in an alarm. Drums beat and trumpets, and the Horse-guards
every where spread, running up and down in the street. And I
begun to have mighty apprehensions how things might be, for we
are in expectation (from common fame) this night or to-morrow to
have a massacre, by the having so many fires one after another,
as that in the City, and at same time begun in Westminster, by
the Palace, but put out; and since in Southwarke, to the burning
down some houses. And now this do make all people conclude there
is something extraordinary in it; but nobody knows what. By and
by comes news that the fire is slackened; so then we were a
little cheered up again, and to supper, and pretty merry. But
above all there comes in the dumb boy that I knew in Oliver's
time, who is mightily acquainted here, and with Downing. And he
made strange signs of the fire, and how the King was abroad, and
many things they understood, but I could not. Which I wondered
at, and discoursing with Downing about it, "Why," says he, "it is
only a little use, and you will understand him, and make him
understand you with as much ease as may be." So I prayed him to
tell him that I was afraid that my coach would be gone, and that
he should go down and steal one of the seats out of the coach and
keep it, and that would make the coachman to stay. He did this,
so that the dumb boy did go down, and like a cunning rogue went
into the coach, pretending to sleep, and by and by fell to his
work, but finds the seats nailed to the coach. So he could not
do it; however, stayed there, and stayed the coach, till the
coachman's patience was quite spent, and beat the dumb boy by
force, and so went away. So the dumb boy came up and told him
all the story, which they below did see all that passed, and knew
it to be true. After supper another dance or two, and then news
that the fire is as great as ever, which put us all to our wits'
end; and I mightily anxious to go home, but the coach being gone,
and it being about ten at night, and rainy dirty weather, I knew
not what to do; but to walk out with Mr. Batelier, myself
resolving to go home on foot, and leave the women there. And so
did; but at the Savoy got a coach, and come back and took up the
women, and so (having, by people come from the fire, understood
that the fire was overcome, and all well,) we merrily parted, and
home. Stopped by several guards and constables quite through the
town, (round the wall as we went,) all being in arms.

10th. The Parliament did fall foul of our accounts again
yesterday; and we must arme to have them examined, which I am
sorry for: it will bring great trouble to me, and shame upon the
office. This is the fatal day that every body hath discoursed
for a long time to be the day that the Papists, or I know not
who, have designed to commit a massacre upon; but, however, I
trust in God we shall rise to-morrow morning as well as ever. I
hear that my Lady Denham is exceeding sick, even to death, and
that she says, and every body else discourses, that she is
poisoned; and Creed tells me, that it is said that there hath
been a design to poison the King. What the meaning of all these
sad signs is the Lord only knows, but every day things look worse
and worse. God fit us for the worst!

12th. Creed tells me of my Lady Denham, whom every body says is
poisoned, and she hath said it to the Duke of York; but is upon
the mending hand, though the town says she is dead this morning.
This day I received 450 pieces of gold more of Mr. Stokes, but
cost me 22 1/2d. change. But I am well contented with it, I
having now nearly 2800l. in gold, and will not rest till I get
full 3000l. Creed and I did stop (the Duke of York being just
going away from seeing of it) at Pauls, and in the Convocation-
House Yard did there see the body of Robert Braybrooke, Bishop of
London, that died 1404. He fell down in the tomb out of the
great church into St. Fayth's this late fire, and is here seen
his skeleton with the flesh on; but all tough and dry like a
spongy dry leather, or touchwood all upon his bones. His head
turned aside. A great man in his time, and Lord Chancellor. And
now exposed to be handled and derided by some, though admired for
its duration by others. Many flocking to see it.

14th, Knipp tells me how Smith, of the Duke's house, hath killed
a man upon a quarrel in play; which makes every body sorry, he
being a good actor, and they say a good man, however this
happens. The ladies of the Court do much bemoan him. Sir G.
Carteret tells me that just now my Lord Hollis had been with him,
and wept to think in what a condition we are fallen. Dr. Croone
[William Croune of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, chosen Rhetoric
Professor at Gresham College 1659, F.R.S. and M.D. Ob. 1684.]
told me, that at the meeting at Gresham College to-night (which
it seems, they now have every Wednesday again,) there was a
pretty experiment of the blood of one dog let out (till he died)
into the body of another on one side, while all his own run out
on the other side. The first died upon the place, and the other
very well, and likely to do well. This did give occasion to many
pretty wishes, as of the blood of a Quaker to be let into an
Archbishop, and such like; but, as Dr. Croone says, may, if it
takes, be of mighty use to man's health, for the amending of bad
blood by borrowing from a better body.

15th. To Mrs. Pierce's, where I find her as fine as possible,
and Mr. Pierce going to the ball at night at Court, it being the
Queene's birthday. I also to the ball, and with much ado got up
to the loft, where with much trouble I could see very well. Anon
the house grew full, and the candles light, and the King and
Queene and all the ladies sat: and it was, indeed, a glorious
sight to see Mrs. Stewart in black and white lace, and her head
and shoulders dressed with diamonds, and the like many great
ladies more (only the Queene none;) and the King in his rich vest
of some rich silk and silver trimming, as the Duke of York and
all the dancers were, some of cloth of silver, and others of
other sorts, exceeding rich. Presently after the King was come
in, he took the Queene, and about fourteen more couple there was,
and begun the Bransles. As many of the men as I can remember
presently, were, the King, Duke of York, Prince Rupert, Duke of
Monmouth, Duke of Buckingham, Lord Douglas, Mr. Hamilton,
Colonell Russell, Mr. Griffith, Lord Ossory, Lord Rochester; and
of the ladies, the Queene, Duchesse of York, Mrs. Stewart,
Duchesse of Monmouth, Lady Essex Howard, [Only daughter of James
third Earl of Suffolk, by his first wife Susan, daughter of Henry
Rich Earl of Holland; afterwards married to Edward Lord Griffin
of Braybrooke. There is a portrait of her at Audley End, by
Lely.] Mrs. Temple, Swedes Embassadresse, Lady Arlington,
[Isabella, of Nassau, daughter of Lord Beverweert, natural son of
Prince Maurice. She was sister to the Countess of Ossory, and
mother of the first Duchess of Grafton.] Lord George Barkeley's
daughter, and many others I remember not; but all most
excellently dressed in rich petticoats and gowns, and dyamonds
and pearls. After the Bransles, then to a Corant, and now and
then a French dance; but that so rare that the Corants grew
tiresome, that I wished it done. Only Mrs. Stewart danced mighty
finely, and many French dances, specially one the King called the
New Dance, which was very pretty. But upon the whole matter, the
business of the dancing of itself was not extraordinary pleasing.
But the clothes and sight of the persons were indeed very
pleasing, and worth my coming, being never likely to see more
gallantry while I live, if I should come twenty times. Above
twelve at night it broke up. My Lady Castlemaine (without whom
all is nothing) being there very rich, though not dancing.

16th. This noon I met with Mr. Hooke, and he tells me the dog
which was filled with another dog's blood, at the College the
other day, is very well, and like to be so as ever, and doubts
not its being found of great use to men; and so do Dr. Whistler,
who dined with us at the tavern.

19th. To Barkeshire-house; [Belonging to the Earl of Berkshire:
afterwards purchased by Charles II., and presented to the Duchess
of Cleveland, it was then of great extent, and stood on or near
the site of Lord Stafford's present residence.] where my Lord
Chancellor hath been ever since the fire. Sir Thomas Crewe told
me how hot words grew again to-day in the House of Lords between
my Lord Ossory and Ashly, the former saying that something said
by the other was said like one of Oliver's Council. Ashly said
he must give him reparation, or he would take it his own way.
The House therefore did bring my Lord Ossory to confess his
fault, and ask pardon for it, as he did also to my Lord
Buckingham, for saying that something was not truth that my Lord
Buckingham had said.

20th. To church, it being thanksgiving-day for the cessation of
the plague; but, Lord! how the town do say that it is hastened
before the plague is quite over, there being some people still
ill of it, but only to get ground of plays to be publickly acted,
which the Bishops would not suffer till the plague was over; and
one would think so, by the suddenness of the notice given of the
day, which was last Sunday, and the little ceremony. By coach to
Barkeshire-house, and there did get a very great meeting; the
Duke of York being there, and much business done, though not in
proportion to the greatness of the business, and my Lord
Chancellor sleeping and snoring the greater part of the time.

21st. I to wait on Sir Philip Howard, whom I find dressing
himself in his night-gown and turban like a Turke, but one of the
finest persons that ever I saw in my life. He had several
gentlemen of his own waiting on him, and one playing finely on
the gittar. He discourses as well as ever I heard a man, in few
words and handsome. He expressed all kindness to Balty, when I
told him how sicke he is. He says that before he comes to be
mustered again, he must bring a certificate of his swearing the
oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and having taken the Sacrament
according to the rites of the Church of England. This, I
perceive, is imposed on all.

22nd. My Lord Brouncker did show me Hollar's new print of the
City, with a pretty representation of that part which is burnt,
very fine indeed; and tells me, that he was yesterday sworn the
King's servant, and that the King hath commanded him to go on
with his great map of the City, which he was upon before the City
was burned, like Gombout of Paris, which I am glad of. Mr.
Batelier tells me the news how the King of France hath in
defiance to the King of England caused all his footmen to be put
into vests, and that the noblemen of France will do the like;
which, if true, is the greatest indignity ever done by one Prince
to another, and would excite a stone to be revenged; and I hope
our King will, if it be so, as he tells me it is: being told by
one that come over from Paris with my Lady Fanshaw, (who is come
over with the dead body of her husband,) and that saw it before
he come away. This makes me mighty merry, it being an ingenious
kind of affront; but yet makes me angry, to see that the King of
England is become so little as to have the affront offered him.

23rd. I spoke with Sir G. Downing about our prisoners in Holland
and their being released; which he is concerned in, and most of
them are. Then discoursing of matters of the House of
Parliament, he tells me that it is not the fault of the House,
but the King's own party that have hindered the passing of the
Bill for money, by their popping in of new projects for raising
it: which is a strange thing; and mighty confident he is, that
what money is raised, will be raised and put into the same form
that the last was, to come into the Exchequer. And for aught I
see, I must confess I think it is the best way.

24th. With Sir J. Minnes by coach to Stepney to the Trinity
House, where it is kept again now since the burning of their
other house in London. And here a great many met at Sir Thomas
Allen's feast, of his being made an Elder Brother; but he is
sick, and so could not be there. Here was much good company, and
very merry ; but the discourse of Scotland it seems is confirmed,
and that they are 4000 of them in armes, and do declare for King
and Covenant, which is very ill news. I pray God deliver us from
the ill consequences we may justly fear from it. Sir Philip
Warwick I find is full of trouble in his mind to see how things
go, and what our wants are; and so I have no delight to trouble
him with discourse, though I honour the man with all my heart,
and I think him to be a very able right-honest man.

25th. To Sir G. Carteret's to dinner; where much company. Among
others, Mr. Carteret and my Lady Jemimah, and Mr. Ashburnham, the
great man; who is a pleasant man, and that hath seen much of the
world, and more of the Court. Into the Court, and attended there
till the Council met, and then was called in, and I read my
letter. My Lord Treasurer declared that the King had nothing to
give, till the Parliament did give him some money. So the King
did of himself bid me to declare to all that would take our
tallies for payment, that he should, soon as the Parliament's
money do come in, take back their tallies, and give them money:
which I giving him occasion to repeat to me (it coming from him
against the gre, I perceive, of my Lord Treasurer,) I was content
therewith and went out. All the talk of Scotland, where the
highest report I perceive, runs but upon three or four hundred in
armes. Here I saw Mrs. Stewart this afternoon, methought the
beautifullest creature that ever I saw in my life, more than ever
I thought her, so often as I have seen her and I do begin to
think do exceed my Lady Castlemaine, at least now. This being
St. Katherine'a day, the Queene was at masse by seven o'clock
this morning; and Mr. Ashburnham do say that he never saw any one
have so much zeale in his life as she hath: and (the question
being asked by my Lady Carteret,) much beyond the bigotry that
ever the old Queene-mother had. I spoke with Mr. May, [Hugh
May.] who tells me that the design of building the City do go on
apace, and by his description it will be mighty handsome, and to
the satisfaction of the people; but I pray God it come not out
too late. Mr. Ashburnham today, at dinner told how the rich
fortune Mrs. Mallett reports of her servants; that my Lord
Herbert [William Lord Herbert succeeded his father as (sixth)
Earl of Pembroke, 1669. Ob, unmarried 1674.] would have her; my
Lord Hinchingbroke was indifferent to have her; my Lord John


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