Drury Lane is in Covent Garden.
On 12 Jan 1635 Anne Cornwallis Countess Argyll 1590-1635 (45) died at Drury Lane.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 March 1660. 03 Mar 1660. To Westminster Hall, where I found that my Lord was last night voted one of the Generals at Sea, and Monk (51) the other. I met my Lord in the Hall, who bid me come to him at noon. I met with Mr. Pierce the purser, Lieut. Lambert (40), Mr. Creed, and Will. Howe, and went with them to the Swan tavern. Up to my office, but did nothing. At noon home to dinner to a sheep's head. My brother Tom (26) came and dined with me, and told me that my mother was not very well, and that my Aunt Fenner was very ill too. After dinner I to Warwick House, in Holborn, to my Lord, where he dined with my Lord of Manchester (58), Sir Dudley North (77), my Lord Fiennes (52), and my Lord Barkly. I staid in the great hall, talking with some gentlemen there, till they all come out. Then I, by coach with my Lord, to Mr. Crew's (62), in our way talking of publick things, and how I should look after getting of his Commissioner's despatch. He told me he feared there was new design hatching, as if Monk (51) had a mind to get into the saddle. Here I left him, and went by appointment to Hering, the merchant, but missed of my money, at which I was much troubled, but could not help myself. Returning, met Mr. Gifford, who took me and gave me half a pint of wine, and told me, as I hear this day from many, that things are in a very doubtful posture, some of the Parliament being willing to keep the power in their hands. After I had left him, I met with Tom Harper, who took me into a place in Drury Lane, where we drank a great deal of strong water, more than ever I did in my life at onetime before. He talked huge high that my Lord Protector (33) would come in place again, which indeed is much discoursed of again, though I do not see it possible. Hence home and wrote to my father at Brampton by the post. So to bed. This day I was told that my Lord General Fleetwood (42) told my lord that he feared the King of Sweden is dead of a fever at Gottenburg.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 March 1660. 18 Mar 1660. I rose early and went to the barber's [Jervas] in Palace Yard and I was trimmed by him, and afterwards drank with him a cup or two of ale, and did begin to hire his man to go with me to sea. Then to my Lord's lodging where I found Captain Williamson and gave him his commission to be Captain of the Harp, and he gave me a piece of gold and 20s. in silver. So to my own house, where I staid a while and then to dinner with Mr. Shepley at my Lord's lodgings. After that to Mr. Mossum's, where he made a very gallant sermon upon "Pray for the life of the King and the King's son". (Ezra vi. 10.) From thence to Mr. Crew's (62), but my Lord not being within I did not stay, but went away and met with Mr. Woodfine, who took me to an alehouse in Drury Lane, and we sat and drank together, and ate toasted cakes which were very good, and we had a great deal of mirth with the mistress of the house about them. From thence homewards, and called at Mr. Blagrave's, where I took up my note that he had of mine for 40s., which he two years ago did give me as a pawn while he had my lute. So that all things are even between him and I. So to Mrs. Crisp, where she and her daughter and son and I sat talking till ten o'clock at night, I giving them the best advice that I could concerning their son, how he should go to sea, and so to bed.
On 18 Oct 1663 William Compton Master of the Ordnance 1625-1663 (38) died at Drury Lane. He was buried at Compton Wynyates.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 21 March 1665. 21 Mar 1665. Up, and my taylor coming to me, did consult all my wardrobe how to order my clothes against next summer.
Then to the office, where busy all the morning.
At noon to the 'Change, and brought home Mr. Andrews, and there with Mr. Sheply dined and very merry, and a good dinner.
Thence to Mr. Povy's (51) to discourse about settling our business of Treasurer, and I think all things will go very fayre between us and to my content, but the more I see the more silly the man seems to me.
Thence by coach to the Mewes, but Creed was not there. In our way the coach drove through a lane by Drury Lane, where abundance of loose women stood at the doors, which, God forgive me, did put evil thoughts in me, but proceeded no further, blessed be God.
So home, and late at my office, then home and there found a couple of state cups, very large, coming, I suppose, each to about £6 a piece, from Burrows the slopseller.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 June 1665. 07 Jun 1665. This morning my wife and mother rose about two o'clock; and with Mercer, Mary, the boy, and W. Hewer (23), as they had designed, took boat and down to refresh themselves on the water to Gravesend. Lay till 7 o'clock, then up and to the office upon Sir G. Carteret's (55) accounts again, where very busy; thence abroad and to the 'Change, no news of certainty being yet come from the fleete.
Thence to the Dolphin Taverne, where Sir J. Minnes (66), Lord Brunkard (45), Sir Thomas Harvy (40), and myself dined, upon Sir G. Carteret's (55) charge, and very merry we were, Sir Thomas Harvy (40) being a very drolle.
Thence to the office, and meeting Creed away with him to my Lord Treasurer's (58), there thinking to have met the goldsmiths, at White Hall, but did not, and so appointed another time for my Lord to speak to them to advance us some money.
Thence, it being the hottest day that ever I felt in my life, and it is confessed so by all other people the hottest they ever knew in England in the beginning of June, we to the New Exchange, and there drunk whey, with much entreaty getting it for our money, and [they] would not be entreated to let us have one glasse more.
So took water and to Fox-Hall, to the Spring garden, and there walked an houre or two with great pleasure, saving our minds ill at ease concerning the fleete and my Lord Sandwich (39), that we have no newes of them, and ill reports run up and down of his being killed, but without ground. Here staid pleasantly walking and spending but 6d. till nine at night, and then by water to White Hall, and there I stopped to hear news of the fleete, but none come, which is strange, and so by water home, where, weary with walking and with the mighty heat of the weather, and for my wife's not coming home, I staying walking in the garden till twelve at night, when it begun to lighten exceedingly, through the greatness of the heat. Then despairing of her coming home, I to bed.
This day, much against my will, I did in Drury Lane see two or three houses marked with a red cross upon the doors, and "Lord have mercy upon us" writ there; which was a sad sight to me, being the first of the kind that, to my remembrance, I ever saw. It put me into an ill conception of myself and my smell, so that I was forced to buy some roll-tobacco to smell to and chaw, which took away the apprehension.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 14 March 1666. 14 Mar 1666. Up, and met by 6 o'clock in my chamber Mr. Povy (52) (from White Hall) about evening reckonings between him and me, on our Tangier business, and at it hard till toward eight o'clock, and he then carried me in his chariot to White Hall, where by and by my fellow officers met me, and we had a meeting before the Duke (32).
Thence with my Lord Bruncker (46) towards London, and in our way called in Covent Garden, and took in Sir John (formerly Dr.) Baber; who hath this humour that he will not enter into discourse while any stranger is in company, till he be told who he is that seems a stranger to him. This he did declare openly to me, and asked my Lord who I was, giving this reason, that he has been inconvenienced by being too free in discourse till he knew who all the company were.
Thence to Guildhall (in our way taking in Dr. Wilkins), and there my Lord and I had full and large discourse with Sir Thomas Player, the Chamberlain of the City (a man I have much heard of for his credit and punctuality in the City, and on that score I had a desire to be made known to him), about the credit of our tallys, which are lodged there for security to such as should lend money thereon to the use of the Navy. And I had great satisfaction therein: and the truth is, I find all our matters of credit to be in an ill condition.
Thence, I being in a little haste walked before and to the 'Change a little and then home, and presently to Trinity House to dinner, where Captain Cox made his Elder Brother's dinner. But it seemed to me a very poor sorry dinner. I having many things in my head rose, when my belly was full, though the dinner not half done, and home and there to do some business, and by and by out of doors and met Mr. Povy (52) coming to me by appointment, but it being a little too late, I took a little pride in the streete not to go back with him, but prayed him to come another time, and I away to Kate Joyce's, thinking to have spoke to her husband about Pall's business, but a stranger, the Welsh Dr. Powell, being there I forebore and went away and so to Hales's (66), to see my wife's picture, which I like mighty well, and there had the pleasure to see how suddenly he draws the Heavens, laying a darke ground and then lightening it when and where he will.
Thence to walk all alone in the fields behind Grayes Inne, making an end of reading over my dear "Faber fortunae", of my Lord Bacon's, and thence, it growing dark, took two or three wanton turns about the idle places and lanes about Drury Lane, but to no satisfaction, but a great fear of the plague among them, and so anon I walked by invitation to Mrs. Pierce's, where I find much good company, that is to say, Mrs. Pierce, my wife, Mrs. Worshipp and her daughter, and Harris (32) the player, and Knipp, and Mercer, and Mrs. Barbary Sheldon, who is come this day to spend a weeke with my wife; and here with musique we danced, and sung and supped, and then to sing and dance till past one in the morning; and much mirthe with Sir Anthony Apsley (50) and one Colonell Sidney (40), who lodge in the house; and above all, they are mightily taken with Mrs. Knipp. Hence weary and sleepy we broke up, and I and my company homeward by coach and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 May 1667. 01 May 1667. Up, it being a fine day, and after doing a little business in my chamber I left my wife to go abroad with W. Hewer (25) and his mother in a Hackney coach incognito to the Park, while I abroad to the Excise Office first, and there met the Cofferer (63) and Sir Stephen Fox (40) about our money matters there, wherein we agreed, and so to discourse of my Lord Treasurer (60), who is a little better than he was of the stone, having rested a little this night. I there did acquaint them of my knowledge of that disease, which I believe will be told my Lord Treasurer (60).
Thence to Westminster; in the way meeting many milk-maids with their garlands upon their pails, dancing with a fiddler before them1 and saw pretty Nelly (17) standing at her lodgings' door in Drury-lane in her smock sleeves and bodice, looking upon one: she seemed a mighty pretty creature. To the Hall and there walked a while, it being term. I thence home to the Rose, and then had Doll Lane venir para me.... [Missing text: 'but it was in a lugar mighty ouvert, so as we no poda hazer algo; so parted and then met again at the Swan, where for la misma reason we no pode hazer, but put off to recontrar anon, which I only used as a put-off;']. To my Lord Crew's (69), where I found them at dinner, and among others. Mrs. Bocket, which I have not seen a long time, and two little dirty children, and she as idle a prating and impertinent woman as ever she was.
After dinner my Lord took me alone and walked with me, giving me an account of the meeting of the Commissioners for Accounts, whereof he is one. How some of the gentlemen, Garraway (50), Littleton (46), and others, did scruple at their first coming there, being called thither to act, as Members of Parliament, which they could not do by any authority but that of Parliament, and therefore desired the King's direction in it, which was sent for by my Lord Bridgewater (43), who brought answer, very short, that the King (36) expected they should obey his Commission. Then they went on, and observed a power to be given them of administering and framing an oath, which they thought they could not do by any power but Act of Parliament; and the whole Commission did think fit to have the judges' opinion in it; and so, drawing up their scruples in writing, they all attended the King (36), who told them he would send to the judges to be answered, and did so; who have, my Lord tells me, met three times about it, not knowing what answer to give to it; and they have met this week, doing nothing but expecting the solution of the judges in this point. My Lord tells me he do believe this Commission will do more hurt than good; it may undo some accounts, if these men shall think fit; but it can never clear an account, for he must come into the Exchequer for all this. Besides, it is a kind of inquisition that hath seldom ever been granted in England; and he believes it will never, besides, give any satisfaction to the People or Parliament, but be looked upon as a forced, packed business of the King (36), especially if these Parliament-men that are of it shall not concur with them: which he doubts they will not, and, therefore, wishes much that the King (36) would lay hold of this fit occasion, and let the Commission fall.
Then to talk of my Lord Sandwich (41), whom my Lord Crew (69) hath a great desire might get to be Lord Treasurer (60) if the present Lord should die, as it is believed he will, in a little time; and thinks he can have no competitor but my Lord Arlington (49), who, it is given out, desires it: but my Lord thinks it is not so, for that the being Secretary do keep him a greater interest with the King (36) than the other would do at least, do believe, that if my Lord would surrender him his Wardrobe place, it would be a temptation to Arlington (49) to assist my Lord in getting the Treasurer's. I did object to my Lord [Crew] (69) that it would be no place of content, nor safety, nor honour for my Lord, the State being so indigent as it is, and the [King] so irregular, and those about him, that my Lord must be forced to part with anything to answer his warrants; and that, therefore, I do believe the King (36) had rather have a man that may be one of his vicious caball, than a sober man that will mind the publick, that so they may sit at cards and dispose of the revenue of the Kingdom. This my Lord was moved at, and said he did not indeed know how to answer it, and bid me think of it; and so said he himself would also do. He do mightily cry out of the bad management of our monies, the King (36) having had so much given him; and yet, when the Parliament do find that the King (36) should have £900,000 in his purse by the best account of issues they have yet seen, yet we should report in the Navy a debt due from the King (36) of £900,000; which, I did confess, I doubted was true in the first, and knew to be true in the last, and did believe that there was some great miscarriages in it: which he owned to believe also, saying, that at this rate it is not in the power of the Kingdom to make a war, nor answer the King's wants.
Thence away to the King's playhouse, by agreement met Sir W. Pen (46), and saw "Love in a Maze" but a sorry play: only Lacy's (52) clowne's part, which he did most admirably indeed; and I am glad to find the rogue at liberty again. Here was but little, and that ordinary, company. We sat at the upper bench next the boxes; and I find it do pretty well, and have the advantage of seeing and hearing the great people, which may be pleasant when there is good store. Now was only Prince Rupert (47) and my Lord Lauderdale (50), and my Lord, the naming of whom puts me in mind of my seeing, at Sir Robert Viner's (36), two or three great silver flagons, made with inscriptions as gifts of the King (36) to such and such persons of quality as did stay in town the late great plague, for the keeping things in order in the town, which is a handsome thing. But here was neither Hart (41), Nell (17), nor Knipp; therefore, the play was not likely to please me.
Thence Sir W. Pen (46) and I in his coach, Tiburne way, into the Park, where a horrid dust, and number of coaches, without pleasure or order. That which we, and almost all went for, was to see my Lady Newcastle (44); which we could not, she being followed and crowded upon by coaches all the way she went, that nobody could come near her; only I could see she was in a large black coach, adorned with silver instead of gold, and so white curtains, and every thing black and white, and herself in her cap, but other parts I could not make [out]. But that which I did see, and wonder at with reason, was to find Pegg Pen (16) in a new coach, with only her husband's (26) pretty sister (18) with her, both patched and very fine, and in much the finest coach in the park, and I think that ever I did see one or other, for neatness and richness in gold, and everything that is noble. My Baroness Castlemayne (26), the King (36), my Lord St. Albans (62), nor Mr. Jermyn, have so neat a coach, that ever I saw.
And, Lord! to have them have this, and nothing else that is correspondent, is to me one of the most ridiculous sights that ever I did see, though her present dress was well enough; but to live in the condition they do at home, and be abroad in this coach, astonishes me. When we had spent half an hour in the Park, we went out again, weary of the dust, and despairing of seeing my Lady Newcastle (44); and so back the same way, and to St. James's, thinking to have met my Lady Newcastle (44) before she got home, but we staying by the way to drink, she got home a little before us: so we lost our labours, and then home; where we find the two young ladies come home, and their patches off, I suppose Sir W. Pen (46) do not allow of them in his sight, and going out of town to-night, though late, to Walthamstow.
So to talk a little at Sir W. Batten's (66), and then home to supper, where I find Mrs. Hewer and her son, who have been abroad with my wife in the Park, and so after supper to read and then to bed.
Sir W. Pen (46) did give me an account this afternoon of his design of buying Sir Robert Brooke's (30) fine house at Wansted; which I so wondered at, and did give him reasons against it, which he allowed of: and told me that he did intend to pull down the house and build a less, and that he should get £1500 by the old house, and I know not what fooleries. But I will never believe he ever intended to buy it, for my part; though he troubled Mr. Gawden to go and look upon it, and advise him in it.
Note 1. On the 1st of May milkmaids used to borrow silver cups, tankards, &c., to hang them round their milkpails, with the addition of flowers and ribbons, which they carried upon their heads, accompanied by a bagpipe or fiddle, and went from door to door, dancing before the houses of their customers, in order to obtain a small gratuity from each of them. "In London thirty years ago, When pretty milkmaids went about, It was a goodly sight to see Their May-day pageant all drawn out. "Such scenes and sounds once blest my eyes And charm'd my ears; but all have vanish'd, On May-day now no garlands go, For milkmaids and their dance are banish'd". Hone's Every-Day Book, vol. i., pp. 569, 570.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 July 1667. 22 Jul 1667. Up, and with Sir W. Batten (66) and Sir J. Minnes (68) to St. James's, where the first time I have been there since the enemy's being with us, where little business but lack of money, which now is so professed by Sir W. Coventry (39) as nothing is more, and the King's whole business owned to be at a stand for want of it.
So up to my Chancellor's (58), where was a Committee of Tangier in my Lord's roome, where he is to hear causes, where all the judges' pictures hang up, very fine. Here I read my letter to them, which was well received, and they did fall seriously to discourse the want of money and other particulars, and to some pretty good purpose. But to see how Sir W. Coventry (39) did oppose both my Chancellor (58) and the Duke of York (33) himself, about the Order of the Commissioners of the Treasury to me for not paying of pensions, and with so much reason, and eloquence so natural, was admirable. And another thing, about his pressing for the reduction of the charge of Tangier, which they would have put off to another time; "But", says he, "the King (37) suffers so much by the putting off of the consideration of reductions of charge, that he is undone; and therefore I do pray you, sir, to his Royal Highness, that when any thing offers of the kind, you will not let it escape you". Here was a great bundle of letters brought hither, sent up from sea, from a vessel of ours that hath taken them after they had been flung over by a Dutchman; wherein, among others, the Duke of York (33) did read the superscription of one to De Witt, thus "To the most wise, foreseeing and discreet, These, &c."; which, I thought with myself, I could have been glad might have been duly directed to any one of them at the table, though the greatest men in this kingdom. The Duke of York (33), the Chancellor (58), my Lord Duke of Albemarle (58), Arlington, Ashley, Peterborough, and Coventry (the best of them all for parts), I perceive they do all profess their expectation of a peace, and that suddenly, and do advise of things accordingly, and do all speak of it (and expressly, I remember, the Duke of Albemarle (58)), saying that they hoped for it. Letters were read at the table from Tangier that Guiland is wholly lost, and that he do offer Arzill to us to deliver it to us. But Sir W. Coventry (39) did declare his opinion that we should have nothing to do with it, and said that if Tangier were offered us now, as the King's condition is, he would advise against the taking it; saying, that the King's charge is too great, and must be brought down, it being, like the fire of this City, never to be mastered till you have brought it under you; and that these places abroad are but so much charge to the King (37), and we do rather hitherto strive to greaten them than lessen them; and then the King (37) is forced to part with them, "as", says he, "he did with Dunkirke", by my Lord Tiviott's making it so chargeable to the King (37) as he did that, and would have done Tangier, if he had lived: I perceive he is the only man that do seek the King's profit, and is bold to deliver what he thinks on every occasion. Having broke up here, I away with Mr. Gawden in his coach to the 'Change, and there a little, and then home and dined, and then to the office, and by and by with my wife to White Hall (she to Unthanke's), and there met Creed and did a little business at the Treasury chamber, and then to walk in Westminster Hall an hour or two, with much pleasure reflecting upon our discourse to-day at the Tangier meeting, and crying up the worth of Sir W. Coventry (39). Creed tells me of the fray between the Duke of Buckingham (39) at the Duke's playhouse the last Saturday (and it is the first day I have heard that they have acted at either the King's or Duke's houses this month or six weeks) and Henry Killigrew (30), whom the Duke of Buckingham (39) did soundly beat and take away his sword, and make a fool of, till the fellow prayed him to spare his life; and I am glad of it; for it seems in this business the Duke of Buckingham (39) did carry himself very innocently and well, and I wish he had paid this fellow's coat well. I heard something of this at the 'Change to-day: and it is pretty to hear how people do speak kindly of the Duke of Buckingham (39), as one that will enquire into faults; and therefore they do mightily favour him. And it puts me in mind that, this afternoon, Billing (44), the Quaker, meeting me in the Hall, come to me, and after a little discourse did say, "Well", says he, "now you will be all called to an account"; meaning the Parliament is drawing near. This done I took coach and took up my wife, and so home, and after a little at the office I home to my chamber a while, and then to supper and to bed.
John Evelyn's Diary 29 June 1670. 29 Jun 1670. To London, in order to my niece's marriage, Mary, daughter to my late brother Richard (47), of Woodcot, with the eldest son of Mr. Attorney Montague, which was celebrated at Southampton-House chapel, after which a magnificent entertainment, feast, and dancing, dinner and supper, in the great room there; but the bride was bedded at my sister's lodging, in Drury-Lane.
Bear Tavern, Drury Lane, Covent Garden, Westminster
Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 February 1668. 18 Feb 1668. Up by break of day, and walked down to the old Swan, where I find little Michell building, his booth being taken down, and a foundation laid for a new house, so that that street is like to be a very fine place. I drank, but did not see Betty, and so to Charing Cross stairs, and thence walked to Sir W. Coventry's (40)1, and talked with him, who tells me how he hath been persecuted, and how he is yet well come off in the business of the dividing of the fleete, and the sending of the letter. He expects next to be troubled about the business of bad officers in the fleete, wherein he will bid them name whom they call bad, and he will justify himself, having never disposed of any but by the Admiral's liking. And he is able to give an account of all them, how they come recommended, and more will be found to have been placed by the Prince and Duke of Albemarle (59) than by the Duke of York (34) during the war, and as no bad instance of the badness of officers he and I did look over the list of commanders, and found that we could presently recollect thirty-seven commanders that have been killed in actuall service this war. He tells me that Sir Fr. Hollis (25) is the main man that hath persecuted him hitherto, in the business of dividing the fleete, saying vainly that the want of that letter to the Prince hath given him that, that he shall remember it by to his grave, meaning the loss of his arme; when, God knows! he is as idle and insignificant a fellow as ever come into the fleete. He tells me that in discourse on Saturday he did repeat Sir Rob. Howard's (42) words about rowling out of counsellors, that for his part he neither cared who they rowled in, nor who they rowled out, by which the word is become a word of use in the House, the rowling out of officers. I will remember what, in mirth, he said to me this morning, when upon this discourse he said, if ever there was another Dutch war, they should not find a Secretary; "Nor", said I, "a Clerk of the Acts, for I see the reward of it; and, thanked God! I have enough of my own to buy me a good book and a good fiddle, and I have a good wife";—"Why", says he, "I have enough to buy me a good book, and shall not need a fiddle, because I have never a one of your good wives". I understand by him that we are likely to have our business of tickets voted a miscarriage, but (he) cannot tell me what that will signify more than that he thinks they will report them to the King (37) and there leave them, but I doubt they will do more.
Thence walked over St. James's Park to White Hall, and thence to Westminster Hall, and there walked all the morning, and did speak with several Parliament-men-among others, Birch (52), who is very kind to me, and calls me, with great respect and kindness, a man of business, and he thinks honest, and so long will stand by me, and every such man, to the death. My business was to instruct them to keep the House from falling into any mistaken vote about the business of tickets, before they were better informed. I walked in the Hall all the morning with my Lord Brouncker (48), who was in great pain there, and, the truth is, his business is, without reason, so ill resented by the generality of the House, that I was almost troubled to be seen to walk with him, and yet am able to justify him in all, that he is under so much scandal for. Here I did get a copy of the report itself, about our paying off men by tickets; and am mightily glad to see it, now knowing the state of our case, and what we have to answer to, and the more for that the House is like to be kept by other business to-day and to-morrow, so that, against Thursday, I shall be able to draw up some defence to put into some Member's hands, to inform them, and I think we may [make] a very good one, and therefore my mind is mightily at ease about it. This morning they are upon a Bill, brought in to-day by Sir Richard Temple (33), for obliging the King (37) to call Parliaments every three years; or, if he fail, for others to be obliged to do it, and to keep him from a power of dissolving any Parliament in less than forty days after their first day of sitting, which is such a Bill as do speak very high proceedings, to the lessening of the King (37); and this they will carry, and whatever else they desire, before they will give any money; and the King (37) must have money, whatever it cost him. I stepped to the Dog tavern, and thither come to me Doll Lane, and there we did drink together, and she tells me she is my valentine...
Thence, she being gone, and having spoke with Mr. Spicer here, whom I sent for hither to discourse about the security of the late Act of 11 months' tax on which I have secured part of my money lent to Tangier. I to the Hall, and there met Sir W. Pen (46), and he and I to the Beare, in Drury Lane, an excellent ordinary, after the French manner, but of Englishmen; and there had a good fricassee, our dinner coming to 8s., which was mighty pretty, to my great content; and thence, he and I to the King's house, and there, in one of the upper boxes, saw "Flora's Vagarys", which is a very silly play; and the more, I being out of humour, being at a play without my wife, and she ill at home, and having no desire also to be seen, and, therefore, could not look about me.
Thence to the Temple, and there we parted, and I to see Kate Joyce, where I find her and her friends in great ease of mind, the jury having this day given in their verdict that her husband died of a feaver. Some opposition there was, the foreman pressing them to declare the cause of the feaver, thinking thereby to obstruct it: but they did adhere to their verdict, and would give no reason; so all trouble is now over, and she safe in her estate, which I am mighty glad of, and so took leave, and home, and up to my wife, not owning my being at a play, and there she shews me her ring of a Turky-stone set with little sparks of dyamonds2, which I am to give her, as my Valentine, and I am not much troubled at it. It will cost me near £5—she costing me but little compared with other wives, and I have not many occasions to spend on her.
So to my office, where late, and to think upon my observations to-morrow, upon the report of the Committee to the Parliament about the business of tickets, whereof my head is full, and so home to supper and to bed.
Note 1. Sir William Coventry's (40) love of money is said by Sir John Denham (53) to have influenced him in promoting naval officers, who paid him for their commissions. "Then Painter! draw cerulian Coventry Keeper, or rather Chancellor o' th' sea And more exactly to express his hue, Use nothing but ultra-mariuish blue. To pay his fees, the silver Trumpet spends, And boatswain's whistle for his place depends. Pilots in vain repeat their compass o'er, Until of him they learn that one point more The constant magnet to the pole doth hold, Steel to the magnet, Coventry to gold. Muscovy sells us pitch, and hemp, and tar; Iron and copper, Sweden; Munster, war; Ashley, prize; Warwick, custom; Cart'ret, pay; But Coventry doth sell the fleet away". B.
Note 2. The turquoise. This stone was sometimes referred to simply as the turkey, and Broderip ("Zoological Recreations") conjectured that the bird (turkey) took its name from the blue or turquoise colour of the skin about its head.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 February 1668. 22 Feb 1668. Up, and by coach through Ducke Lane, and there did buy Kircher's Musurgia, cost me 35s., a book I am mighty glad of, expecting to find great satisfaction in it.
Thence to Westminster Hall and the lobby, and up and down there all the morning, and to the Lords' House, and heard the Solicitor-General plead very finely, as he always do; and this was in defence of the East India Company against a man that complains of wrong from them, and thus up and down till noon in expectation of our business coming on in the House of Commons about tickets, but they being busy about my Lord Gerard's (50) business I did give over the thoughts of ours coming on, and so with my wife, and Mercer, and Deb., who come to the Hall to me, I away to the Beare, in Drury Lane, and there bespoke a dish of meat; and, in the mean time, sat and sung with Mercer; and, by and by, dined with mighty pleasure, and excellent meat, one little dish enough for us all, and good wine, and all for 8s., and thence to the Duke's playhouse, and there saw "Albumazar", an old play, this the second time of acting. It is said to have been the ground of B. Jonson's "Alchymist"; but, saving the ridicuiousnesse of Angell's part, which is called Trinkilo, I do not see any thing extraordinary in it, but was indeed weary of it before it was done. The King (37) here, and, indeed, all of us, pretty merry at the mimique tricks of Trinkilo.
So home, calling in Ducke Lane for the book I bought this morning, and so home, and wrote my letters at the office, and then home to supper and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 04 May 1668. 04 May 1668. Up betimes, and by water to Charing Cross, and so to W. Coventry (40), and there talked a little with him, and thence over the Park to White Hall, and there did a little business at the Treasury, and so to the Duke (34), and there present Balty (28) to the Duke of York (34) and a letter from the Board to him about him, and the Duke of York (34) is mightily pleased with him, and I doubt not his continuance in employment, which I am glad of.
Thence with Sir H. Cholmly (35) to Westminster Hall talking, and he crying mightily out of the power the House of Lords usurps in this business of the East India Company.
Thence away home and there did business, and so to dinner, my sister Michell and I, and thence to the Duke of York's (34) house, and there saw "The Impertinents" again, and with less pleasure than before, it being but a very contemptible play, though there are many little witty expressions in it; and the pit did generally say that of it.
Thence, going out, Mrs. Pierce called me from the gallery, and there I took her and Mrs. Corbet by coach up and down, and took up Captain Rolt in the street; and at last, it being too late to go to the Park, I carried them to the Beare in Drury Lane, and there did treat them with a dish of mackrell, the first I have seen this year, and another dish, and mighty merry; and so carried her home, and thence home myself, well pleased with this evening's pleasure, and so to bed.
March House, Drury Lane, Covent Garden, Westminster
On 14 Oct 1619 Cardinal Ludovic Stewart 10th Lord Aubigny 1619-1665 was born to Esmé Stewart 3rd Duke Lennox 1579-1624 (40) and Katherine Clifton Duchess Lennox 1592-1637 (27) at March House.