Biography of William Petty Polymath 1623-1687

On 26 May 1623 William Petty Polymath 1623-1687 was born.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 January 1660. 10 Jan 1660. Tuesday. Went out early, and in my way met with Greatorex (35), and at an alehouse he showed me the first sphere of wire that ever he made, and indeed it was very pleasant; thence to Mr. Crew's (62), and borrowed £10, and so to my office, and was able to pay my money. Thence into the Hall, and meeting the Quarter Master, Jenings, and Captain Rider, we four went to a cook's to dinner. Thence Jenings and I into London (it being through heat of the sun a great thaw and dirty) to show our bills of return, and coming back drank a pint of wine at the Star Tavern in Cheapside. So to Westminster, overtaking Captain Okeshott in his silk cloak, whose sword got hold of many people in walking. Thence to the Coffee-house, where were a great confluence of gentlemen; viz. Mr. Harrington (49), Poultny (35), chairman, Gold, Dr. Petty (36); &c., where admirable discourse till at night. Thence with Doling to Mother Lams, who told me how this day Scott was made Intelligencer, and that the rest of the members that were objected against last night, their business was to be heard this day se'nnight. Thence I went home and wrote a letter, and went to Harper's, and staid there till Tom carried it to the postboy at Whitehall. So home to bed.

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John Evelyn's Diary 20 November 1661. 20 Nov 1661. At the Royal Society, Sir William Petty (38) proposed divers things for the improvement of shipping; a versatile keel that should be on hinges and concerning sheathing ships with thin lead.

18 Jun 1662 Royal Society Meeting Minutes. 18 Jun 1662. 83. Royal Society Meeting Minutes.
Mr Palmer showed the company three pieces of painted silk material
Mr Croone (28) read Mr Evelyn's (41) account of the Rowling press.
The Amanuensis to provide a box of blacking.
Dr Goddard (45) set several pieces fo gold to anneal and showed their allays.
Mr Palmer to speak to Mr Grigory to come to the Society for the discourse fo the tinged stuffs.
Dr Goddard (45) rea his account of the refining of gold by Antimony and Aqua Regis: It was ordered to be registered. [Note in margin; fol. 167]
Sir Robert Moray (54) read his account of the sounding of the depths of water without a line. Ordered ti be registered. [Note in margin; for. 178]
The Operator to enquire of the length of time fishermen keep their fishes without feeding them.
Sir William Petty (39) proposed a Standard for knowing the velocity of seimming bodies.

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Around 1644. Robert Walker Painter 1599-1658. Portrait of John Evelyn Diarist 1620-1706.In 1689 Godfrey Kneller Painter 1646-1723. Portrait of John Evelyn Diarist 1620-1706.Around 1650 Adriaen Hanneman Painter 1603-1671. Portrait of John Evelyn Diarist 1620-1706.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 31 July 1663. 31 Jul 1663. Up early to my accounts this month, and I find myself worth clear £730, the most I ever had yet, which contents me though I encrease but very little.
Thence to my office doing business, and at noon to my viall maker's, who has begun it and has a good appearance, and so to the Exchange, where I met James Pearce Surgeon, who tells me of his good luck to get to be Groom of the Privy Chamber to the Queen (24), and without my Lord Sandwich's (38) help; but only by his good fortune, meeting a man that hath let him have his right for a small matter, about £60, for which he can every day have £400.
But he tells me my Lord hath lost much honour in standing so long and so much for that coxcomb Pickering, and at last not carrying it for him; but hath his name struck out by the King (33) and Queen (24) themselves after he had been in ever since the Queen's (24) coming. But he tells me he believes that either Sir H. Bennet (45), my Baroness Castlemaine (22), or Sir Charles Barkeley (33) had received some money for the place, and so the King (33) could not disappoint them, but was forced to put out this fool rather than a better man.
And I am sorry to hear what he tells me that Sir Charles Barkeley (33) hath still such power over the King (33), as to be able to fetch him from the Council-table to my Baroness Castlemaine's (22) when he pleases. He tells me also, as a friend, the great injury that he thinks I do myself by being so severe in the Yards, and contracting the ill-will of the whole Navy for those offices, singly upon myself. Now I discharge a good conscience therein, and I tell him that no man can (nor do he say any say it) charge me with doing wrong; but rather do as many good offices as any man. They think, he says, that I have a mind to get a good name with the King (33) and Duke, who he tells me do not consider any such thing; but I shall have as good thanks to let all alone, and do as the rest. But I believe the contrary; and yet I told him I never go to the Duke (29) alone, as others do, to talk of my own services. However, I will make use of his council, and take some course to prevent having the single ill-will of the office.
Before I went to the office I went to the Coffee House, where Sir J. Cutler (60) and Mr. Grant (43) were, and there Mr. Grant (43) showed me letters of Sir William Petty's (40), wherein he says, that his vessel which he hath built upon two keeles (a modell whereof, built for the King (33), he showed me) hath this month won a wager of £50 in sailing between Dublin and Holyhead with the pacquett-boat, the best ship or vessel the King (33) hath there; and he offers to lay with any vessel in the world. It is about thirty ton in burden, and carries thirty men, with good accommodation, (as much more as any ship of her burden,) and so any vessel of this figure shall carry more men, with better accommodation by half, than any other ship. This carries also ten guns, of about five tons weight. In their coming back from Holyhead they started together, and this vessel came to Dublin by five at night, and the pacquett-boat not before eight the next morning; and when they came they did believe that, this vessel had been drowned, or at least behind, not thinking she could have lived in that sea. Strange things are told of this vessel, and he concludes his letter with this position, "I only affirm that the perfection of sayling lies in my principle, finde it out who can".
Thence home, in my way meeting Mr. Rawlinson, who tells me that my uncle Wight is off of his Hampshire purchase and likes less of the Wights, and would have me to be kind and study to please him, which I am resolved to do. Being at home he sent for me to dinner to meet Mr. Moore, so I went thither and dined well, but it was strange for me to refuse, and yet I did without any reluctancy to drink wine in a tavern, where nothing else almost was drunk, and that excellent good.
Thence with Mr. Moore to the Wardrobe, and there sat while my Lord was private with Mr. Townsend about his accounts an hour or two, we reading of a merry book against the Presbyters called Cabbala, extraordinary witty.
Thence walked home and to my office, setting papers of all sorts and writing letters and putting myself into a condition to go to Chatham with Mr. Coventry (35) to-morrow.
So, at almost 12 o'clock, and my eyes tired with seeing to write, I went home and to bed. Ending the month with pretty good content of mind, my wife in the country and myself in good esteem, and likely by pains to become considerable, I think, with God's blessing upon my diligence.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 05 August 1663. 05 Aug 1663. All the morning at the office, whither Deane (29) of Woolwich came to me and discoursed of the body of ships, which I am now going about to understand, and then I took him to the coffee-house, where he was very earnest against Mr. Grant's (43) report in favour of Sir W. Petty's (40) vessel, even to some passion on both sides almost.
So to the Exchange, and thence home to dinner with my brother, and in the afternoon to Westminster Hall, and there found Mrs. Lane, and by and by by agreement we met at the Parliament stairs (in my way down to the boat who should meet us but my lady Jemimah, who saw me lead her but said nothing to me of her, though I ought to speak to her to see whether she would take notice of it or no) and off to Stangate and so to the King's Head at Lambeth marsh, and had variety of meats and drinks, but I did so towse her and handled her, but could get nothing more from her though I was very near it; but as wanton and bucksome as she is she dares not adventure upon the business, in which I very much commend and like her. Staid pretty late, and so over with her by water, and being in a great sweat with my towsing of her durst not go home by water, but took coach, and at home my brother and I fell upon Des Cartes, and I perceive he has studied him well, and I cannot find but he has minded his book, and do love it.
This evening came a letter about business from Mr. Coventry (35), and with it a silver pen he promised me to carry inke in, which is very necessary.
So to prayers and to bed.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 14 October 1663. 14 Oct 1663. Up and to my office, where all the morning, and part of it Sir J. Minnes (64) spent, as he do every thing else, like a fool, reading the Anatomy of the body to me, but so sillily as to the making of me understand any thing that I was weary of him, and so I toward the 'Change and met with Mr. Grant (43), and he and I to the Coffee-house, where I understand by him that Sir W. Petty (40) and his vessel are coming, and the King (33) intends to go to Portsmouth to meet it.
Thence home and after dinner my wife and I, by Mr. Rawlinson's conduct, to the Jewish Synagogue: where the men and boys in their vayles, and the women behind a lattice out of sight; and some things stand up, which I believe is their Law, in a press to which all coming in do bow; and at the putting on their vayles do say something, to which others that hear him do cry Amen, and the party do kiss his vayle. Their service all in a singing way, and in Hebrew. And anon their Laws that they take out of the press are carried by several men, four or five several burthens in all, and they do relieve one another; and whether it is that every one desires to have the carrying of it, I cannot tell, thus they carried it round about the room while such a service is singing. And in the end they had a prayer for the King (33), which they pronounced his name in Portugall; but the prayer, like the rest, in Hebrew. But, Lord! to see the disorder, laughing, sporting, and no attention, but confusion in all their service, more like brutes than people knowing the true God, would make a man forswear ever seeing them more and indeed I never did see so much, or could have imagined there had been any religion in the whole world so absurdly performed as this. Away thence with my mind strongly disturbed with them, by coach and set down my wife in Westminster Hall, and I to White Hall, and there the Tangier Committee met, but the Duke and the Africa Committee meeting in our room, Sir G. Carteret (53); Sir Wm. Compton (38), Mr. Coventry (35), Sir W. Rider, Cuttance and myself met in another room, with chairs set in form but no table, and there we had very fine discourses of the business of the fitness to keep Sally, and also of the terms of our King's paying the Portugees that deserted their house at Tangier, which did much please me, and so to fetch my wife, and so to the New Exchange about her things, and called at Thomas Pepys the turner's and bought something there, an so home to supper and to bed, after I had been a good while with Sir W. Pen (42), railing and speaking freely our minds against Sir W. Batten (62) and Sir J. Minnes (64), but no more than the folly of one and the knavery of the other do deserve.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 30 December 1663. 30 Dec 1663. Up betimes and by coach to my Lord Sandwich (38), who I met going out, and he did aske me how his cozen, my wife; did, the first time he hath done so since his being offended, and, in my conscience, he would be glad to be free with me again, but he knows not how to begin. So he went out, and I through the garden to Mr. Coventry (35), where I saw Mr. Ch. Pett (43) bringing him a modell, and indeed it is a pretty one, for a New Year's gift; but I think the work not better done than mine. With him by coach to London, with good and friendly discourse of business and against Sir W. Batten (62) and his foul dealings.
So leaving him at the Guiny House I to the Coffee House, whither came Mr. Grant (43) and Sir W. Petty (40), with whom I talked, and so did many, almost all the house there, about his new vessel, wherein he did give me such satisfaction in every point that I am almost confident she will prove an admirable invention.
So home to dinner, and after being upon the 'Change awhile I dined with my wife, who took physique to-day, and so to my office, and there all the afternoon till late at night about office business, and so to supper and to bed.

1663 Farneley Wood Plot

Diary of Samuel Pepys 11 January 1664. 11 Jan 1664. Waked this morning by 4 o'clock by my wife to call the mayds to their wash, and what through my sleeping so long last night and vexation for the lazy sluts lying so long again and their great wash, neither my wife nor I could sleep one winke after that time till day, and then I rose and by coach (taking Captain Grove with me and three bottles of Tent, which I sent to Mrs. Lane by my promise on Saturday night last) to White Hall, and there with the rest of our company to the Duke (30) and did our business, and thence to the Tennis Court till noon, and there saw several great matches played, and so by invitation to St. James's; where, at Mr. Coventry's (36) chamber, I dined with my Lord Barkeley (62), Sir G. Carteret (54), Sir Edward Turner (47), Sir Ellis Layton, and one Mr. Seymour (31), a fine gentleman; were admirable good discourse of all sorts, pleasant and serious.
Thence after dinner to White Hall, where the Duke (30) being busy at the Guinny business, the Duke of Albemarle (55), Sir W. Rider, Povy (50), Sir J. Lawson (49) and I to the Duke of Albemarle's (55) lodgings, and there did some business, and so to the Court again, and I to the Duke of York's (30) lodgings, where the Guinny company are choosing their assistants for the next year by ballotting.
Thence by coach with Sir J. Robinson (49), Lieutenant of the Tower, he set me down at Cornhill, but, Lord! the simple discourse that all the way we had, he magnifying his great undertakings and cares that have been upon him for these last two years, and how he commanded the city to the content of all parties, when the loggerhead knows nothing almost that is sense.
Thence to the Coffee-house, whither comes Sir W. Petty (40) and Captain Grant (43), and we fell in talke (besides a young gentleman, I suppose a merchant, his name Mr. Hill (34), that has travelled and I perceive is a master in most sorts of musique and other things) of musique; the universal character; art of memory; Granger's counterfeiting of hands and other most excellent discourses to my great content, having not been in so good company a great while, and had I time I should covet the acquaintance of that Mr. Hill (34). This morning I stood by the King (33) arguing with a pretty Quaker woman, that delivered to him a desire of hers in writing. The King (33) showed her Sir J. Minnes (64), as a man the fittest for her quaking religion, saying that his beard was the stiffest thing about him, and again merrily said, looking upon the length of her paper, that if all she desired was of that length she might lose her desires; she modestly saying nothing till he begun seriously to discourse with her, arguing the truth of his spirit against hers; she replying still with these words, "O King!" and thou'd him all along.
The general talke of the towne still is of Collonell Turner (55), about the robbery; who, it is thought, will be hanged. I heard the Duke of York (30) tell to-night, how letters are come that fifteen are condemned for the late plot by the judges at York; and, among others, Captain Oates, against whom it was proved that he drew his sword at his going out, and flinging away the scabbard, said that he would either return victor or be hanged.
So home, where I found the house full of the washing and my wife mighty angry about Will's being here to-day talking with her mayds, which she overheard, idling of their time, and he telling what a good mayd my old Jane was, and that she would never have her like again. At which I was angry, and after directing her to beat at least the little girl, I went to the office and there reproved Will, who told me that he went thither by my wife's order, she having commanded him to come thither on Monday morning. Now God forgive me! how apt I am to be jealous of her as to this fellow, and that she must needs take this time, when she knows I must be gone out to the Duke, though methinks had she that mind she would never think it discretion to tell me this story of him, to let me know that he was there, much less to make me offended with him, to forbid him coming again. But this cursed humour I cannot cool in myself by all the reason I have, which God forgive me for, and convince me of the folly of it, and the disquiet it brings me.
So home, where, God be thanked, when I came to speak to my wife my trouble of mind soon vanished, and to bed. The house foul with the washing and quite out of order against to-morrow's dinner.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 January 1664. 22 Jan 1664. Up, and it being a brave morning, with a gaily to Woolwich, and there both at the Ropeyarde and the other yarde did much business, and thence to Greenwich to see Mr. Pett (53) and others value the carved work of the "Henrietta" (God knows in an ill manner for the King (33)), and so to Deptford, and there viewed Sir W. Petty's (40) vessel; which hath an odd appearance, but not such as people do make of it, for I am of the opinion that he would never have discoursed so much of it, if it were not better than other vessels, and so I believe that he was abused the other day, as he is now, by tongues that I am sure speak before they know anything good or bad of her. I am sorry to find his ingenuity discouraged so.
So home, reading all the way a good book, and so home to dinner, and after dinner a lesson on the globes to my wife, and so to my office till 10 or 11 o'clock at night, and so home to supper and to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 27 January 1664. 27 Jan 1664. Up and to the office, and at noon to the Coffeehouse, where I sat with Sir G. Ascue (48)1 and Sir William Petty (40), who in discourse is, methinks, one of the most rational men that ever I heard speak with a tongue, having all his notions the most distinct and clear, and, among other things (saying, that in all his life these three books were the most esteemed and generally cried up for wit in the world "Religio Medici", "Osborne's Advice to a Son2", and "Hudibras"), did say that in these—in the two first principally—the wit lies, and confirming some pretty sayings, which are generally like paradoxes, by some argument smartly and pleasantly urged, which takes with people who do not trouble themselves to examine the force of an argument, which pleases them in the delivery, upon a subject which they like; whereas, as by many particular instances of mine, and others, out of Osborne, he did really find fault and weaken the strength of many of Osborne's arguments, so as that in downright disputation they would not bear weight; at least, so far, but that they might be weakened, and better found in their rooms to confirm what is there said. He shewed finely whence it happens that good writers are not admired by the present age; because there are but few in any age that do mind anything that is abstruse and curious; and so longer before any body do put the true praise, and set it on foot in the world, the generality of mankind pleasing themselves in the easy delights of the world, as eating, drinking, dancing, hunting, fencing, which we see the meanest men do the best, those that profess it. A gentleman never dances so well as the dancing master, and an ordinary fiddler makes better musique for a shilling than a gentleman will do after spending forty, and so in all the delights of the world almost.
Thence to the 'Change, and after doing much business, home, taking Commissioner Pett (53) with me, and all alone dined together. He told me many stories of the yard, but I do know him so well, and had his character given me this morning by Hempson, as well as my own too of him before, that I shall know how to value any thing he says either of friendship or other business. He was mighty serious with me in discourse about the consequence of Sir W. Petty's (40) boat, as the most dangerous thing in the world, if it should be practised by endangering our losse of the command of the seas and our trade, while the Turkes and others shall get the use of them, which, without doubt, by bearing more sayle will go faster than any other ships, and, not being of burden, our merchants cannot have the use of them and so will be at the mercy of their enemies. So that I perceive he is afeard that the honour of his trade will down, though (which is a truth) he pretends this consideration to hinder the growth of this invention.
He being gone my wife and I took coach and to Covent Garden, to buy a maske at the French House, Madame Charett's, for my wife; in the way observing the streete full of coaches at the new play, "The Indian Queene" which for show, they say, exceeds "Henry the Eighth".
Thence back to Mrs. Turner's (41) and sat a while with them talking of plays and I know not what, and so called to see Tom, but not at home, though they say he is in a deep consumption, and Mrs. Turner (41) and Dike and they say he will not live two months to an end.
So home and to the office, and then to supper and to bed.
Note 1. Sir George Ayscue or Askew (48). After his return from his imprisonment he declined to go to sea again, although he was twice afterwards formally appointed. He sat on the court-martial on the loss of the "Defiance" in 1668.
Note 2. Francis Osborne, an English writer of considerable abilities and popularity, was the author of "Advice to a Son", in two parts, Oxford, 1656-8, 8vo. He died in 1659. He is the same person mentioned as "My Father Osborne", October 19th, 1661. B.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 29 January 1664. 29 Jan 1664. Up, and after shaving myself (wherein twice now, one after another, I have cut myself much, but I think it is from the bluntness of the razor) there came Deane (30) to me and staid with me a while talking about masts, wherein he prepared me in several things against Mr. Wood, and also about Sir W. Petty's (40) boat, which he says must needs prove a folly, though I do not think so unless it be that the King (33) will not have it encouraged.
At noon, by appointment, comes Mr. Hartlibb (64) and his wife, and a little before them Messrs. Langley and Bostocke (old acquaintances of mine at Westminster, clerks), and after shewing them my house and drinking they set out by water, my wife and I with them down to Wapping on board the "Crowne", a merchantman, Captain Floyd, a civil person. Here was Vice-Admiral Goodson, whom the more I know the more I value for a serious man and staunch. Here was Whistler the flagmaker, which vexed me, but it mattered not. Here was other sorry company and the discourse poor, so that we had no pleasure there at all, but only to see and bless God to find the difference that is now between our condition and that heretofore, when we were not only much below Hartlibb (64) in all respects, but even these two fellows above named, of whom I am now quite ashamed that ever my education should lead me to such low company, but it is God's goodness only, for which let him be praised.
After dinner I broke up and with my wife home, and thence to the Fleece in Cornhill, by appointment, to meet my Lord Marlborough (46), a serious and worthy gentleman, who, after doing our business, about the company, he and they began to talk of the state of the Dutch in India, which is like to be in a little time without any controll; for we are lost there, and the Portuguese as bad.
Thence to the Coffee-house, where good discourse, specially of Lt.-Coll. Baron touching the manners of the Turkes' Government, among whom he lived long.
So to my uncle Wight's (62), where late playing at cards, and so home.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 February 1664. 01 Feb 1664. Up (my maids rising early this morning to washing), and being ready I found Mr. Strutt the purser below with 12 bottles of sacke, and tells me (which from Sir W. Batten (63) I had heard before) how young Jack Davis has railed against Sir W. Batten (63) for his endeavouring to turn him out of his place, at which for the fellow's sake, because it will likely prove his ruin, I am sorry, though I do believe he is a very arch rogue.
I took Strutt by coach with me to White Hall, where I set him down, and I to my Lord's, but found him gone out betimes to the Wardrobe, which I am glad to see that he so attends his business, though it troubles me that my counsel to my prejudice must be the cause of it. They tell me that he goes into the country next week, and that the young ladies come up this week before the old lady.
Here I hear how two men last night, justling for the wall about the New Exchange, did kill one another, each thrusting the other through; one of them of the King's Chappell, one Cave, and the other a retayner of my Lord Generall Middleton's (56).
Thence to White Hall; where, in the Duke's chamber, the King (33) came and stayed an hour or two laughing at Sir W. Petty (40), who was there about his boat; and at Gresham College in general; at which poor Petty was, I perceive, at some loss; but did argue discreetly, and bear the unreasonable follies of the King's objections and other bystanders with great discretion; and offered to take oddes against the King's best boates; but the King (33) would not lay, but cried him down with words only. Gresham College he mightily laughed at, for spending time only in weighing of ayre, and doing nothing else since they sat.
Thence to Westminster Hall, and there met with diverse people, it being terme time. Among others I spoke with Mrs. Lane, of whom I doubted to hear something of the effects of our last meeting about a fortnight or three weeks ago, but to my content did not. Here I met with Mr. Pierce, who tells me of several passages at Court, among others how the King (33), coming the other day to his Theatre to see "The Indian Queen" (which he commends for a very fine thing), my Baroness Castlemaine (23) was in the next box before he came; and leaning over other ladies awhile to whisper to the King (33), she rose out of the box and went into the King's, and set herself on the King's right hand, between the King (33) and the Duke of York (30); which, he swears, put the King (33) himself, as well as every body else, out of countenance; and believes that she did it only to show the world that she is not out of favour yet, as was believed.
Thence with Alderman Maynell by his coach to the 'Change, and there with several people busy, and so home to dinner, and took my wife out immediately to the King's Theatre, it being a new month, and once a month I may go, and there saw "The Indian Queen" acted; which indeed is a most pleasant show, and beyond my expectation; the play good, but spoiled with the ryme, which breaks the sense. But above my expectation most, the eldest Marshall did do her part most excellently well as I ever heard woman in my life; but her voice not so sweet as Ianthe's (27); but, however, we came home mightily contented. Here we met Mr. Pickering (46) and his mistress, Mrs. Doll Wilde (31); he tells me that the business runs high between the Chancellor (54) and my Lord Bristoll (51) against the Parliament; and that my Lord Lauderdale (47) and Cooper (42) open high against the Chancellor (54); which I am sorry for.
In my way home I 'light and to the Coffee-house, where I heard Lt. Coll. Baron tell very good stories of his travels over the high hills in Asia above the clouds, how clear the heaven is above them, how thicke like a mist the way is through the cloud that wets like a sponge one's clothes, the ground above the clouds all dry and parched, nothing in the world growing, it being only a dry earth, yet not so hot above as below the clouds. The stars at night most delicate bright and a fine clear blue sky, but cannot see the earth at any time through the clouds, but the clouds look like a world below you.
Thence home and to supper, being hungry, and so to the office, did business, specially about Creed, for whom I am now pretty well fitted, and so home to bed. This day in Westminster Hall W. Bowyer told me that his father is dead lately, and died by being drowned in the river, coming over in the night; but he says he had not been drinking. He was taken with his stick in his hand and cloake over his shoulder, as ruddy as before he died. His horse was taken overnight in the water, hampered in the bridle, but they were so silly as not to look for his master till the next morning, that he was found drowned.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 12 February 1664. 12 Feb 1664. Up, and ready, did find below Mr. Creed's boy with a letter from his master for me. So I fell to reading it, and it is by way of stating the case between S. Pepys and J. Creed most excellently writ, both showing his stoutness and yet willingness to peace, reproaching me yet flattering me again, and in a word in as good a manner as I think the world could have wrote, and indeed put me to a greater stand than ever I thought I could have been in this matter.
All the morning thinking how to behave myself in the business, and at noon to the Coffee-house; thence by his appointment met him upon the 'Change, and with him back to the Coffee-house, where with great seriousness and strangeness on both sides he said his part and I mine, he sometimes owning my favour and assistance, yet endeavouring to lessen it, as that the success of his business was not wholly or very much to be imputed to that assistance: I to allege the contrary, and plainly to tell him that from the beginning I never had it in my mind to do him all that kindnesse for nothing, but he gaining 5 or £600, I did expect a share of it, at least a real and not a complimentary acknowledgment of it. In fine I said nothing all the while that I need fear he can do me more hurt with them than before I spoke them. The most I told him was after we were come to a peace, which he asked me whether he should answer the Board's letter or no. I told him he might forbear it a while and no more. Then he asked how the letter could be signed by them without their much enquiry. I told him it was as I worded it and nothing at all else of any moment, whether my words be ever hereafter spoken of again or no. So that I have the same neither better nor worse force over him that I had before, if he should not do his part. And the peace between us was this: Says he after all, well, says he, I know you will expect, since there must be some condescension, that it do become me to begin it, and therefore, says he, I do propose (just like the interstice between the death of the old and the coming in of the present king, all the time is swallowed up as if it had never been) so our breach of friendship may be as if it had never been, that I should lay aside all misapprehensions of him or his first letter, and that he would reckon himself obliged to show the same ingenuous acknowledgment of my love and service to him as at the beginning he ought to have done, before by my first letter I did (as he well observed) put him out of a capacity of doing it, without seeming to do it servilely, and so it rests, and I shall expect how he will deal with me.
After that I began to be free, and both of us to discourse of other things, and he went home with me and dined with me and my wife and very pleasant, having a good dinner and the opening of my lampry (cutting a notch on one side), which proved very good.
After dinner he and I to Deptford, walking all the way, where we met Sir W. Petty (40) and I took him back, and I got him to go with me to his vessel and discourse it over to me, which he did very well, and then walked back together to the waterside at Redriffe, with good discourse all the way.
So Creed and I by boat to my house, and thence to coach with my wife and called at Alderman Backewell's (46) and there changed Mr. Falconer's state-cup, that he did give us the other day, for a fair tankard. The cup weighed with the fashion £5 16s., and another little cup that Joyce Norton did give us 17s., both £6 13s.; for which we had the tankard, which came to £6 10s., at 5s. 7d. per oz., and 3s. in money, and with great content away thence to my brother's, Creed going away there, and my brother bringing me the old silk standard that I lodged there long ago, and then back again home, and thence, hearing that my uncle Wight (62) had been at my house, I went to him to the Miter, and there with him and Maes, Norbury, and Mr. Rawlinson till late eating some pot venison (where the Crowne earthen pot pleased me mightily), and then homewards and met Mr. Barrow, so back with him to the Miter and sat talking about his business of his discontent in the yard, wherein sometimes he was very foolish and pettish, till 12 at night, and so went away, and I home and up to my wife a-bed, with my mind ill at ease whether I should think that I had by this made myself a bad end by missing the certainty of £100 which I proposed to myself so much, or a good one by easing myself of the uncertain good effect but the certain trouble and reflection which must have fallen on me if we had proceeded to a public dispute, ended besides embarking myself against my Lord, who (which I had forgot) had given him his hand for the value of the pieces of eight at his rates which were all false, which by the way I shall take heed to the giving of my Lord notice of it hereafter whenever he goes out again.

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John Evelyn's Diary 24 February 1664. 24 Feb 1664. My Lord George Berkeley (36), of Durdans, and Sir Samuel Tuke (49) came to visit me. We went on board Sir William Petty's (40) double-bottomed vessel, and so to London.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 April 1664. 02 Apr 1664. Up and to my office, and afterwards sat, where great contest with Sir W. Batten (63) and Mr. Wood, and that doating fool Sir J. Minnes (65), that says whatever Sir W. Batten (63) says, though never minding whether to the King's profit or not.
At noon to the Coffee-house, where excellent discourse with Sir W. Petty (40), who proposed it as a thing that is truly questionable, whether there really be any difference between waking and dreaming, that it is hard not only to tell how we know when we do a thing really or in a dream, but also to know what the difference [is] between one and the other.
Thence to the 'Change, but having at this discourse long afterwards with Sir Thomas Chamberlin (29), who tells me what I heard from others, that the complaints of most Companies were yesterday presented to the Committee of Parliament against the Dutch, excepting that of the East India, which he tells me was because they would not be said to be the first and only cause of a warr with Holland, and that it is very probable, as well as most necessary, that we fall out with that people.
I went to the 'Change, and there found most people gone, and so home to dinner, and thence to Sir W. Warren's, and with him past the whole afternoon, first looking over two ships' of Captain Taylor's and Phin. Pett's now in building, and am resolved to learn something of the art, for I find it is not hard and very usefull, and thence to Woolwich, and after seeing Mr. Falconer, who is very ill, I to the yard, and there heard Mr. Pett (53) tell me several things of Sir W. Batten's (63) ill managements, and so with Sir W. Warren walked to Greenwich, having good discourse, and thence by water, it being now moonshine and 9 or 10 o'clock at night, and landed at Wapping, and by him and his man safely brought to my door, and so he home, having spent the day with him very well.
So home and eat something, and then to my office a while, and so home to prayers and to bed.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 June 1664. 25 Jun 1664. We staid late, and he lay with me all night and rose very merry talking, and excellent company he is, that is the truth of it, and a most cunning man. He being gone I to the office, where we sat all the morning.
At noon to dinner, and then to my office busy, and by and by home with Deane (30) to a lesson upon raising a Bend of Timbers1, and he being gone I to the office, and there came Captain Taylor, and he and I home, and I have done all very well with him as to the business of the last trouble, so that come what will come my name will be clear of any false dealing with him.
So to my office again late, and then to bed.
Note 1. This seems to refer to knee timber, of which there was not a sufficient supply. A proposal was made to produce this bent wood artificially: "June 22, 1664. Sir William Petty (41) intimated that it seemed by the scarcity and greater rate of knee timber that nature did not furnish crooked wood enough for building: wherefore he thought it would be fit to raise by art, so much of it in proportion, as to reduce it to an equal rate with strait timber" (Birch's "History of the Royal Society",).

1664 Comet

John Evelyn's Diary 22 December 1664. 22 Dec 1664. I went to the launching of a new ship of two bottoms, invented by Sir William Petty (41), on which were various opinions; his Majesty (34) being present, gave her the name of the "Experiment": so I returned home, where I found Sir Humphry Winch (42), who spent the day with me.
This year I planted the lower grove next the pond at Sayes Court. It was now exceedingly cold, and a hard, long, frosty season, and the comet was very visible.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 December 1664. 22 Dec 1664. Up and betimes to my office, and then out to several places, among others to Holborne to have spoke with one Mr. Underwood about some English hemp, he lies against Gray's Inn. Thereabouts I to a barber's shop to have my hair cut, and there met with a copy of verses, mightily commended by some gentlemen there, of my Lord Mordaunt's (38), in excuse of his going to sea this late expedition, with the Duke of Yorke (31). But, Lord! they are but sorry things; only a Lord made them.
Thence to the 'Change; and there, among the merchants, I hear fully the news of our being beaten to dirt at Guinny, by De Ruyter (57) with his fleete. The particulars, as much as by Sir G. Carteret (54) afterwards I heard, I have said in a letter to my Lord Sandwich (39) this day at Portsmouth; it being most wholly to the utter ruine of our Royall Company, and reproach and shame to the whole nation, as well as justification to them in their doing wrong to no man as to his private [property], only takeing whatever is found to belong to the Company, and nothing else.
Dined at the Dolphin, Sir G. Carteret (54), Sir J. Minnes (65), Sir W. Batten (63), and I, with Sir W. Boreman and Sir Theophilus Biddulph and others, Commissioners of the Sewers, about our place below to lay masts in.
But coming a little too soon, I out again, and tooke boat down to Redriffe; and just in time within two minutes, and saw the new vessel of Sir William Petty's (41) launched, the King (34) and Duke (31) being there1. It swims and looks finely, and I believe will do well. The name I think is Twilight, but I do not know certainly.
Coming away back immediately to dinner, where a great deal of good discourse, and Sir G. Carteret's (54) discourse of this Guinny business, with great displeasure at the losse of our honour there, and do now confess that the trade brought all these troubles upon us between the Dutch and us.
Thence to the office and there sat late, then I to my office and there till 12 at night, and so home to bed weary.
Note 1. Pepys was wrong as to the name of Sir William Petty's (41) new doublekeeled boat. On February 13th, 1664-65, he gives the correct title, which was "The Experiment".

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 09 February 1665. 09 Feb 1665. Up and to my office, where all the morning very busy. At noon home to dinner, and then to my office again, where Sir William Petty (41) come, among other things to tell me that Mr. Barlow1 is dead; for which, God knows my heart, I could be as sorry as is possible for one to be for a stranger, by whose death he gets £100 per annum, he being a worthy, honest man; but after having considered that when I come to consider the providence of God by this means unexpectedly to give me £100 a year more in my estate, I have cause to bless God, and do it from the bottom of my heart.
So home late at night, after twelve o'clock, and so to bed.
Note 1. Thomas Barlow, Pepys's predecessor as Clerk of the Acts, to whom he paid part of the salary. Barlow held the office jointly with Dennis Fleeting.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 February 1665. 13 Feb 1665. Up and to St. James's, did our usual business before the Duke (31).
Thence I to Westminster and by water (taking Mr. Stapely the rope-maker by the way), to his rope-ground and to Limehouse, there to see the manner of stoves and did excellently inform myself therein, and coming home did go on board Sir W. Petty's (41) "The Experiment", which is a brave roomy vessel, and I hope may do well. So went on shore to a Dutch House to drink some mum, and there light upon some Dutchmen, with whom we had good discourse touching stoveing1 and making of cables. But to see how despicably they speak of us for our using so many hands more to do anything than they do, they closing a cable with 20, that we use 60 men upon.
Thence home and eat something, and then to my office, where very late, and then to supper and to bed. Captain Stokes, it seems, is at last dead at Portsmouth.
Note 1. Stoveing, in sail-making, is the heating of the bolt-ropes, so as to make them pliable. B.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 February 1665. 18 Feb 1665. Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning; at noon to the 'Change, and thence to the Royall Oake taverne in Lombard Street, where Sir William Petty (41) and the owners of the double-bottomed boat (The Experiment) did entertain my Lord Brunkard (45), Sir R. Murrey, myself, and others, with marrow bones and a chine_of_beefe of the victuals they have made for this ship; and excellent company and good discourse: but, above all, I do value Sir William Petty (41).
Thence home; and took my Lord Sandwich's (39) draught of the harbour of Portsmouth down to Ratcliffe, to one Burston, to make a plate for the King (34), and another for the Duke (31), and another for himself; which will be very neat.
So home, and till almost one o'clock in the morning at my office, and then home to supper and to bed. My Lord Sandwich (39), and his fleete of twenty-five ships in the Downes, returned from cruising, but could not meet with any Dutchmen.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 March 1665. 22 Mar 1665. Up, and to Mr. Povy's (51) about our business, and thence I to see Sir Ph. Warwicke (55), but could not meet with him.
So to Mr. Coventry (37), whose profession of love and esteem for me to myself was so large and free that I never could expect or wish for more, nor could have it from any man in England, that I should value it more.
Thence to Mr. Povy's (51), and with Creed to the 'Change and to my house, but, it being washing day, dined not at home, but took him (I being invited) to Mr. Hubland's, the merchant, where Sir William Petty (41), and abundance of most ingenious men, owners and freighters of "The Experiment", now going with her two bodies to sea. Most excellent discourse. Among others, Sir William Petty (41) did tell me that in good earnest he hath in his will left such parts of his estate to him that could invent such and such things. As among others, that could discover truly the way of milk coming into the breasts of a woman; and he that could invent proper characters to express to another the mixture of relishes and tastes. And says, that to him that invents gold, he gives nothing for the philosopher's stone; for (says he) they that find out that, will be able to pay themselves. But, says he, by this means it is better than to give to a lecture; for here my executors, that must part with this, will be sure to be well convinced of the invention before they do part with their money.
After dinner Mr. Hill (35) took me with Mrs. Hubland, who is a fine gentlewoman, into another room, and there made her sing, which she do very well, to my great content.
Then to Gresham College, and there did see a kitling killed almost quite, but that we could not quite kill her, with such a way; the ayre out of a receiver, wherein she was put, and then the ayre being let in upon her revives her immediately1 nay, and this ayre is to be made by putting together a liquor and some body that ferments, the steam of that do do the work.
Thence home, and thence to White Hall, where the house full of the Duke's (31) going to-morrow, and thence to St. James's, wherein these things fell out:
(1) I saw the Duke (31), kissed his hand, and had his most kind expressions of his value and opinion of me, which comforted me above all things in the world,
(2) the like from Mr. Coventry (37) most heartily and affectionately.
(3) Saw, among other fine ladies, Mrs. Middleton (20)2, a very great beauty I never knew or heard of before;
(4) I saw Waller (59) the poet, whom I never saw before.
So, very late, by coach home with W. Pen (43), who was there. To supper and to bed, with my heart at rest, and my head very busy thinking of my several matters now on foot, the new comfort of my old navy business, and the new one of my employment on Tangier.
Note 1. "Two experiments were made for the finding out a way to breathe under water, useful for divers". The first was on a bird and the second on "a kitling" (Birch's "History", vol. ii., p. 25).
Note 2. Jane (20), daughter to Sir Robert Needham, is frequently mentioned in the "Grammont Memoirs", and Evelyn calls her "that famous and indeed incomparable beauty" ("Diary", August 2nd, 1683). Her portrait is in the Royal Collection amongst the beauties of Charles II's Court. Sir Robert Needham was related to John Evelyn.

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John Evelyn's Diary 04 August 1665. 04 Aug 1665. I went to Wotton with my Son and his tutor, Mr. Bohun, Fellow of New College (recommended to me by Dr. Wilkins (51), and the President of New College, Oxford), for fear of the pestilence, still increasing in London and its environs. On my return, I called at Durdans, where I found Dr. Wilkins (51), Sir William Petty (42), and Mr. Hooke (30), contriving chariots, new rigging for ships, a wheel for one to run races in, and other mechanical inventions; perhaps three such persons together were not to be found elsewhere in Europe, for parts and ingenuity.

In 1667 William Petty Polymath 1623-1687 (43) and [his wife] Elizabeth Waller 1st Baroness Shelburne 1636-1708 (31) were married.

Around 1673 [his son] Charles Petty 1st Baron Shelburne 1673-1696 was born to William Petty Polymath 1623-1687 (49) and [his wife] Elizabeth Waller 1st Baroness Shelburne 1636-1708 (37).

John Evelyn's Diary 22 March 1675. 22 Mar 1675. Supped at Sir William Petty's (51), with the Bishop of Salisbury (58), and divers honorable persons. We had a noble entertainment in a house gloriously furnished; the master (51) and mistress (39) of it were extraordinary persons. Sir William (51) was the son of a mean man somewhere in Sussex, and sent from school to Oxford, where he studied Philosophy, but was most eminent in Mathematics and Mechanics; proceeded Doctor of Physic, and was grown famous, as for his learning so for his recovering a poor wench that had been hanged for felony; and her body having been begged (as the custom is) for the anatomy lecture, he bled her, put her to bed to a warm woman, and, with spirits and other means, restored her to life. The young scholars joined and made a little portion, and married her to a man who had several children by her, she living fifteen years after, as I have been assured. Sir William (51) came from Oxford to be tutor to a neighbor of mine; thence, when the rebels were dividing their conquests in Ireland, he was employed by them to measure and set out the land, which he did on an easy contract, so much per acre. This he effected so exactly, that it not only furnished him with a great sum of money; but enabled him to purchase an estate worth £4,000 a year. He afterward married the daughter of Sir Hardress Waller (71); she was an extraordinary wit as well as beauty, and a prudent woman.
Sir William (51), among other inventions, was author of the double-bottomed ship, which perished, and he was censured for rashness, being lost in the Bay of Biscay in a storm, when, I think, fifteen other vessels miscarried. This vessel was flat-bottomed, of exceeding use to put into shallow ports, and ride over small depths of water. It consisted of two distinct keels cramped together with huge timbers, etc., so as that a violent stream ran between; it bore a monstrous broad sail, and he still persists that it is practicable, and of exceeding use; and he has often told me he would adventure himself in such another, could he procure sailors, and his Majesty's (44) permission to make a second Experiment; which name the King (44) gave the vessel at the launching.
The Map of Ireland made by Sir William Petty (51) is believed to be the most exact that ever yet was made of any country. He did promise to publish it; and I am told it has cost him near £1,000 to have it engraved at Amsterdam. There is not a better Latin poet living, when he gives himself that diversion; nor is his excellence less in Council and prudent matters of state; but he is so exceedingly nice in sifting and examining all possible contingencies, that he adventures at nothing which is not demonstration. There was not in the whole world his equal for a superintendent of manufacture and improvement of trade, or to govern a plantation. If I were a Prince, I should make him my second Counsellor, at least. There is nothing difficult to him. He is, besides, courageous; on which account, I cannot but note a true story of him, that when Sir Aleyn Brodrick sent him a challenge upon a difference between them in Ireland, Sir William (51), though exceedingly purblind, accepted the challenge, and it being his part to propound the weapon, desired his antagonist to meet him with a hatchet, or axe, in a dark cellar; which the other, of course, refused.
Sir William (51) was, with all this, facetious and of easy conversation, friendly and courteous, and had such a faculty of imitating others, that he would take a text and preach, now like a grave orthodox divine, then falling into the Presbyterian way, then to the fanatical, the Quaker, the monk and friar, the Popish priest, with such admirable action, and alteration of voice and tone, as it was not possible to abstain from wonder, and one would swear to hear several persons, or forbear to think he was not in good earnest an enthusiast and almost beside himself; then, he would fall out of it into a serious discourse; but it was very rarely he would be prevailed on to oblige the company with this faculty, and that only among most intimate friends. My Lord Duke of Ormond (64) once obtained it of him, and was almost ravished with admiration; but by and by, he fell upon a serious reprimand of the faults and miscarriages of some Princes and Governors, which, though he named none, did so sensibly touch the Duke, who was then Lieutenant of Ireland, that he began to be very uneasy, and wished the spirit laid which he had raised, for he was neither able to endure such truths, nor could he but be delighted. At last, he melted his discourse to a ridiculous subject, and came down from the joint stool on which he had stood; but my lord would not have him preach any more. He never could get favor at Court, because he outwitted all the projectors that came near him. Having never known such another genius, I cannot but mention these particulars, among a multitude of others which I could produce. When I, who knew him in mean circumstances, have been in his splendid palace, he would himself be in admiration how he arrived at it; nor was it his value or inclination for splendid furniture and the curiosities of the age, but his elegant lady could endure nothing mean, or that was not magnificent. He was very negligent himself, and rather so of his person, and of a philosophic temper. "What a to-do is here!" would he say, "I can lie in straw with as much satisfaction"..
He is author of the ingenious deductions from the bills of mortality, which go under the name of Mr. Graunt; also of that useful discourse of the manufacture of wool, and several others in the register of the Royal Society. He was also author of that paraphrase on the 104th Psalm in Latin verse, which goes about in MS., and is inimitable. In a word, there is nothing impenetrable to him.

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On 22 Oct 1675 [his son] Henry Petty 1st Earl Shelburne 1675-1751 was born to William Petty Polymath 1623-1687 (52) and [his wife] Elizabeth Waller 1st Baroness Shelburne 1636-1708 (39).

John Evelyn's Diary 28 February 1676. 28 Feb 1676. [Note. Date adjusted to 28 Feb since original entry stated 29 Feb when it isn't a leap year.] I dined with Mr. Povey (62), one of the Masters of Requests, a nice contriver of all elegancies, and exceedingly formal. Supped with Sir J. Williamson, where were of our Society Mr. Robert Boyle (49), Sir Christopher Wren (52), Sir William Petty (52), Dr. Holden, subdean of his Majesty's (45) Chapel, Sir James Shaen, Dr. Whistler, and our Secretary, Mr. Oldenburg (57).

John Evelyn's Diary 29 January 1683. 29 Jan 1683. Supped at Sir Joseph Williamson's (49), where was a select company of our Society, Sir William Petty (59), Dr. Gale (48) (that learned schoolmaster of St. Paul's), Dr. Whistler, Mr. Hill, etc. The conversation was philosophical and cheerful, on divers considerable questions proposed; as of the hereditary succession of the Roman Emperors; the Pica mentioned in the preface to our Common Prayer, which signifies only the Greek Kalendarium. These were mixed with lighter subjects.

On 16 May 1687 William Petty Polymath 1623-1687 (63) died.

In Feb 1708 [his wife] Elizabeth Waller 1st Baroness Shelburne 1636-1708 (72) died.