Biography of John Playford Bookseller 1623-1686

In 1623 John Playford Bookseller 1623-1686 was born.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 February 1660. 13 Feb 1660. Monday. To my office till noon, thence home to dinner, my mouth being very bad of the cancer and my left leg beginning to be sore again. After dinner to see Mrs. Jem, and in the way met with Catan on foot in the street and talked with her a little, so home and took my wife to my father's (59). In my way I went to Playford's (37), and for two books that I had and 6s. 6d. to boot I had my great book of songs which he sells always for 4s. At my father's (59) I staid a while, while my mother sent her maid Bess to Cheapside for some herbs to make a water for my mouth. Then I went to see Mr. Cumberland (28), and after a little stay with him I returned, and took my wife home, where after supper to bed. This day Monk (51) was invited to White Hall to dinner by my Lords; not seeming willing, he would not come. I went to Mr. Fage from my father's (59), who had been this afternoon with Monk (51), who do promise to live and die with the City, and for the honour of the City; and indeed the City is very open-handed to the soldiers, that they are most of them drunk all day, and have money given them. He did give me something for my mouth which I did use this night.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 November 1660. 17 Nov 1660. In the morning to Whitehall, where I inquired at the Privy Seal Office for a form for a nobleman to make one his Chaplain. But I understanding that there is not any, I did draw up one, and so to my Lord's, and there I did give him it to sign for Mr. Turner to be his first Chaplain. I did likewise get my Lord to sign my last sea accounts, so that I am even to this day when I have received the balance of Mr. Creed. I dined with my Lady and my Lady Pickering (34), where her son John dined with us, who do continue a fool as he ever was since I knew him. His mother would fain marry him to get a portion for his sister Betty but he will not hear of it. Hither came Major Hart this noon, who tells me that the Regiment is now disbanded, and that there is some money coming to me for it. I took him to my Lord to Mr. Crew's (62), and from thence with Mr. Shepley and Mr. Moore to the Devil Tavern, and there we drank. So home and wrote letters by the post. Then to my lyra viall1, and to bed.
Note 1. The lyre viol is a viol with extra open bass strings, holding the same relation to the viol as the theorbo does to the lute. A volume entitled "Musick's Recreation on the Lyra Viol", was printed by John Playford (37) in 1650.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 May 1661. 25 May 1661. All the morning at home about business. At noon to the Temple, where I staid and looked over a book or two at Playford's (38), and then to the Theatre, where I saw a piece of "The Silent Woman", which pleased me.
So homewards, and in my way bought "The Bondman" in Paul's Churchyard, and so home, where I found all clean, and the hearth and range, as it is now enlarged, set up, which pleases me very much.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 November 1662. 22 Nov 1662. This morning, from some difference between my wife and Sarah, her maid, my wife and I fell out cruelly, to my great discontent. But I do see her set so against the wench, whom I take to be a most extraordinary good servant, that I was forced for the wench's sake to bid her get her another place, which shall cost some trouble to my wife, however, before I suffer to be.
Thence to the office, where I sat all the morning, then dined; Mr. Moore with me, at home, my wife busy putting her furniture in order. Then he and I out, and he home and I to my cozen Roger Pepys (45) to advise about treating with my uncle Thomas, and thence called at the Wardrobe on Mr. Moore again, and so home, and after doing much business at my office I went home and caused a new fashion knocker to be put on my door, and did other things to the putting my house in order, and getting my outward door painted, and the arch. This day I bought the book of country dances against my wife's woman Gosnell comes, who dances finely; and there meeting Mr. Playford (39) he did give me his Latin songs of Mr. Deering's, which he lately printed. This day Mr. Moore told me that for certain the Queen-Mother (52) is married to my Lord St. Albans (57), and he is like to be made Lord Treasurer (55). Newes that Sir J. Lawson (47) hath made up a peace now with Tunis and Tripoli, as well as Argiers, by which he will come home very highly honoured.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 08 May 1663. 08 May 1663. So to visit my Lady Jemimah, who is grown much since I saw her; but lacks mightily to be brought into the fashion of the court to set her off.
Thence to the Temple, and there sat till one o'clock reading at Playford's (40) in Dr. Usher's 'Body of Divinity' his discourse of the Scripture, which is as much, I believe, as is anywhere said by any man, but yet there is room to cavill, if a man would use no faith to the tradition of the Church in which he is born, which I think to be as good an argument as most is brought for many things, and it may be for that among others.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 23 November 1666. 23 Nov 1666. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes (67) to White Hall, where we and the rest attended the Duke of York (33), where, among other things, we had a complaint of Sir William Jennings against his lieutenant, Le Neve, one that had been long the Duke's page, and for whom the Duke of York (33) hath great kindness. It was a drunken quarrel, where one was as blameable as the other. It was referred to further examination, but the Duke of York (33) declared, that as he would not favour disobedience, so neither drunkenness, and therein he said very well.
Thence with Sir W. Coventry (38) to Westminster Hall, and there parted, he having told me how Sir J. Minnes (67) do disagree from the proposition of resigning his place, and that so the whole matter is again at a stand, at which I am sorry for the King's sake, but glad that Sir W. Pen (45) is again defeated, for I would not have him come to be Comptroller if I could help it, he will be so cruel proud.
Here I spoke with Sir G. Downing (41) 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.
Thence down to the Hall, and there walked awhile, and all the talk is about Scotland, what news thence; but there is nothing come since the first report, and so all is given over for nothing.
Thence home, and after dinner to my chamber with Creed, who come and dined with me, and he and I to reckon for his salary, and by and by comes in Colonel Atkins, and I did the like with him, and it was Creed's design to bring him only for his own ends, to seem to do him a courtesy, and it is no great matter. The fellow I hate, and so I think all the world else do. Then to talk of my report I am to make of the state of our wants of money to the Lord Treasurer (59), but our discourse come to little. However, in the evening, to be rid of him, I took coach and saw him to the Temple and there 'light, and he being gone, with all the haste back again and to my chamber late to enter all this day's matters of account, and to draw up my report to my Lord Treasurer (59), and so to bed.
At the Temple I called at Playford's (43), and there find that his new impression of his ketches1 are not yet out, the fire having hindered it, but his man tells me that it will be a very fine piece, many things new being added to it.
Note 1. John Hilton's "Catch that catch can, or a Choice Collection of Catches, Rounds and Canons for 3 or 4 voyces", was first published by Playford in 1651 or 1652. The book was republished "with large additions by John Playford (43)" in 1658. The edition referred to in the text was published in 1667 with a second title of "The Musical Companion". The book was republished in 1672-73.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 March 1667. 22 Mar 1667. Up and by coach to Sir Ph. Warwicke (57) about business for Tangier about money, and then to Sir Stephen Fox (39) to give him account of a little service I have done him about money coming to him from our office, and then to Lovett's and saw a few baubling things of their doing which are very pretty, but the quality of the people, living only by shifts, do not please me, that it makes me I do no more care for them, nor shall have more acquaintance with them after I have got my Baroness Castlemayne's (26) picture home.
So to White Hall, where the King (36) at Chapel, and I would not stay, but to Westminster to Howlett's, and there, he being not well, I sent for a quart of claret and burnt it and drank, and had a 'basado' or three or four of Sarah, whom 'je trouve ici', and so by coach to Sir Robt. Viner's (36) about my accounts with him, and so to the 'Change, where I hear for certain that we are going on with our treaty of peace, and that we are to treat at Bredah. But this our condescension people do think will undo us, and I do much fear it.
So home to dinner, where my wife having dressed herself in a silly dress of a blue petticoat uppermost, and a white satin waistcoat and whitehood, though I think she did it because her gown is gone to the tailor's, did, together with my being hungry, which always makes me peevish, make me angry, but when my belly was full were friends again, and dined and then by water down to Greenwich and thence walked to Woolwich, all the way reading Playford's (44) "Introduction to Musique", wherein are some things very pretty.
At Woolwich I did much business, taking an account of the state of the ships there under hand, thence to Blackwall, and did the like for two ships we have repairing there, and then to Deptford and did the like there, and so home. Captain Perriman with me from Deptford, telling me many particulars how the King's business is ill ordered, and indeed so they are, God knows!
So home and to the office, where did business, and so home to my chamber, and then to supper and to bed. Landing at the Tower to-night I met on Tower Hill with Captain Cocke (50) and spent half an hour walking in the dusk of the evening with him, talking of the sorrowful condition we are in, that we must be ruined if the Parliament do not come and chastize us, that we are resolved to make a peace whatever it cost, that the King (36) is disobliging the Parliament in this interval all that may be, yet his money is gone and he must have more, and they likely not to give it, without a great deal of do. God knows what the issue of it will be. But the considering that the Duke of York (33), instead of being at sea as Admirall, is now going from port to port, as he is at this day at Harwich, and was the other day with the King (36) at Sheernesse, and hath ordered at Portsmouth how fortifications shall be made to oppose the enemy, in case of invasion, [which] is to us a sad consideration, and as shameful to the nation, especially after so many proud vaunts as we have made against the Dutch, and all from the folly of the Duke of Albemarle (58), who made nothing of beating them, and Sir John Lawson (52) he always declared that we never did fail to beat them with lesser numbers than theirs, which did so prevail with the King (36) as to throw us into this war.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 15 April 1667. 15 Apr 1667. Lay long in bed, and by and by called up by Sir H. Cholmly (34), who tells me that my Lord_Middleton (59) is for certain chosen Governor of Tangier; a man of moderate understanding, not covetous, but a soldier of fortune, and poor. Here comes Mr. Sanchy with an impertinent business to me of a ticket, which I put off. But by and by comes Dr. Childe (61) by appointment, and sat with me all the morning making me bases and inward parts to several songs that I desired of him, to my great content. Then dined, and then abroad by coach, and I set him down at Hatton Garden, and I to the King's house by chance, where a new play: so full as I never saw it; I forced to stand all the while close to the very door till I took cold, and many people went away for want of room. The King (36), and Queene (57), and Duke of York (33) and Duchess (30) there, and all the Court, and Sir W. Coventry (39). The play called "The Change of Crownes"; a play of Ned Howard's (42), the best that ever I saw at that house, being a great play and serious; only Lacy (52) did act the country-gentleman come up to Court, who do abuse the Court with all the imaginable wit and plainness about selling of places, and doing every thing for money. The play took very much.
Thence I to my new bookseller's, and there bought "Hooker's Polity", the new edition, and "Dugdale's History of the Inns of Court", of which there was but a few saved out of the fire, and Playford's (44) new Catch-book, that hath a great many new fooleries in it. Then home, a little at the office, and then to supper and to bed, mightily pleased with the new play.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 April 1667. 18 Apr 1667. Up, and to read more in the "Origines", and then to the office, where the news is strong that not only the Dutch cannot set out a fleete this year, but that the French will not, and that he hath given the answer to the Dutch Embassador, saying that he is for the King (36) of England's, having an honourable peace, which, if true, is the best news we have had a good while. At the office all the morning, and there pleased with the little pretty Deptford woman I have wished for long, and she hath occasion given her to come again to me. After office I to the 'Change a little, and then home and to dinner, and then by coach with my wife to the Duke of York's (33) house, and there saw "The Wits", a play I formerly loved, and is now corrected and enlarged: but, though I like the acting, yet I like not much in the play now. The Duke of York (33) and Sir W. Coventry (39) gone to Portsmouth, makes me thus to go to plays.
So home, and to the office a little and then home, where I find Goodgroome, and he and I did sing several things over, and tried two or three grace parts in Playford's (44) new book, my wife pleasing me in singing her part of the things she knew, which is a comfort to my very heart. So he being gone we to supper and to bed.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 September 1667. 17 Sep 1667. Up, and at the office all the morning, where Mr. Wren (38) come to us and sat with us, only to learn, and do intend to come once or twice a week and sit with us. In the afternoon walked to the Old Swan, the way mighty dirty, and there called at Michell's, and there had opportunity para kiss su moher, but elle did receive it with a great deal of seeming regret, which did vex me. But however I do not doubt overcoming her as I did the moher of the monsieur at Deptford. So thence by water to Westminster, to Burgess, and there did receive my orders for £1500 more for Tangier.
Thence to the Hall, and there talked a little with Mrs. Michell, and so to Mrs. Martin's to pay for my cuffs and drink with her.... [Missing text: ", and did hazer la cosa with her."]
And by and by away by coach and met with Sir H. Cholmly (35), and with him to the Temple, and there in Playford's (44) shop did give him some of my Exchequer orders and took his receipts, and so parted and home, and there to my business hard at the office, and then home, my wife being at Mrs. Turner's (44), who and her husband come home with her, and here staid and talked and staid late, and then went away and we to bed. But that which vexed me much this evening is that Captain Cocke (50) and Sir W. Batten (66) did come to me, and sat, and drank a bottle of wine, and told me how Sir W. Pen (46) hath got an order for the "Flying Greyhound" for himself, which is so false a thing, and the part of a knave, as nothing almost can be more. This vexed me; but I resolve to bring it before the Duke, and try a pull for it.

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In 1686 John Playford Bookseller 1623-1686 (63) died.