Ropeyard is in Woolwich.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 11 July 1662. 11 Jul 1662. Up by four o'clock, and hard at my multiplicacion-table, which I am now almost master of, and so made me ready and to my office, where by and by comes Mr. Pett (51), and then a messenger from Mr. Coventry (34), who stays in his boat at the Tower for us. So we to him, and down to Deptford first, and there viewed some deals lately served in at a low price, which our officers, like knaves, would untruly value in their worth, but we found them good.
Then to Woolwich, and viewed well all the houses and stores there, which lie in very great confusion for want of storehouses, and then to Mr. Ackworth's and Sheldon's to view their books, which we found not to answer the King's service and security at all as to the stores.
Then to the Ropeyard, and there viewed the hemp, wherein we found great corruption, and then saw a trial between Sir R. Ford's (48) yarn and our own, and found great odds.
So by water back again. About five in the afternoon to Whitehall, and so to St. James's; and at Mr. Coventry's (34) chamber, which is very neat and fine, we had a pretty neat dinner, and after dinner fell to discourse of business and regulation, and do think of many things that will put matters into better order, and upon the whole my heart rejoices to see Mr. Coventry (34) so ingenious, and able, and studious to do good, and with much frankness and respect to Mr. Pett (51) and myself particularly.
About 9 o'clock we broke up after much discourse and many things agreed on in order to our business of regulation, and so by water (landing Mr. Pett (51) at the Temple) I went home and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 21 July 1662. 21 Jul 1662. Up early, and though I found myself out of order and cold, and the weather cold and likely to rain, yet upon my promise and desire to do what I intended, I did take boat and down to Greenwich, to Captain Cocke's (45), who hath a most pleasant seat, and neat. Here I drank wine, and eat some fruit off the trees; and he showed a great rarity, which was two or three of a great number of silver dishes and plates, which he bought of an embassador that did lack money, in the edge or rim of which was placed silver and gold medalls, very ancient, and I believe wrought, by which, if they be, they are the greatest rarity that ever I saw in my life, and I will show Mr. Crumlum them.
Thence to Woolwich to the Rope-yard; and there looked over several sorts of hemp, and did fall upon my great survey of seeing the working and experiments of the strength and the charge in the dressing of every sort; and I do think have brought it to so great a certainty, as I have done the King (32) great service in it: and do purpose to get it ready against the Duke's coming to town to present to him. I breakfasted at Mr. Falconer's well, and much pleased with my inquiries.
Thence to the dock, where we walked in Mr. Shelden's garden, eating more fruit, and drinking, and eating figs, which were very good, and talking while The Royal James was bringing towards the dock, and then we went out and saw the manner and trouble of docking such a ship, which yet they could not do, but only brought her head into the Dock, and so shored her up till next tide. But, good God! what a deal of company was there from both yards to help to do it, when half the company would have done it as well. But I see it is impossible for the King (32) to have things done as cheap as other men.
Thence by water, and by and by landing at the riverside somewhere among the reeds, we walked to Greenwich, where to Cocke's house again and walked in the garden, and then in to his lady, who I find is still pretty, but was now vexed and did speak very discontented and angry to the Captain for disappointing a gentleman that he had invited to dinner, which he took like a wise man and said little, but she was very angry, which put me clear out of countenance that I was sorry I went in. So after I had eat still some more fruit I took leave of her in the garden plucking apricots for preserving, and went away and so by water home, and there Mr. Moore coming and telling me that my Lady goes into the country to-morrow, I carried my wife by coach to take her leave of her father, I staying in Westminster Hall, she going away also this week, and thence to my Lady's, where we staid and supped with her, but found that my Lady was truly angry and discontented with us for our neglecting to see her as we used to do, but after a little she was pleased as she was used to be, at which we were glad. So after supper home to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 30 July 1662. 30 Jul 1662. Up early, and to my office, where Cooper came to me and begun his lecture upon the body of a ship, which my having of a modell in the office is of great use to me, and very pleasant and useful it is. Then by water to White Hall, and there waited upon my Lord Sandwich (37); and joyed him, at his lodgings, of his safe coming home after all his danger, which he confesses to be very great. And his people do tell me how bravely my Lord did carry himself, while my Lord Crofts (51) did cry; and I perceive it is all the town talk how poorly he carried himself. But the best was of one Mr. Rawlins, a courtier, that was with my Lord; and in the greatest danger cried, "God damn me, my Lord, I won't give you three-pence for your place now". But all ends in the honour of the pleasure-boats; which, had they not been very good boats, they could never have endured the sea as they did.
Thence with Captain Fletcher, of the Gage, in his ship's boat with 8 oars (but every ordinary oars outrowed us) to Woolwich, expecting to find Sir W. Batten (61) there upon his survey, but he is not come, and so we got a dish of steaks at the White Hart, while his clarkes and others were feasting of it in the best room of the house, and after dinner playing at shuffleboard1, and when at last they heard I was there, they went about their survey. But God help the King (32)! what surveys, shall be taken after this manner! I after dinner about my business to the Rope-yard, and there staid till night, repeating several trialls of the strength, wayte, waste, and other things of hemp, by which I have furnished myself enough to finish my intended business of stating the goodness of all sorts of hemp.
At night home by boat with Sir W. Warren, who I landed by the way, and so being come home to bed.
Note 1. The game of shovelboard was played by two players (each provided with five coins) on a smooth heavy table. On the table were marked with chalk a series of lines, and the play was to strike the coin on the edge of the table with the hand so that it rested between these lines. Shakespeare uses the expression "shove-groat shilling", as does Ben Jonson. These shillings were usually smooth and worn for the convenience of playing. Strutt says ("Sports and Pastimes"), "I have seen a shovel-board table at a low public house in Benjamin Street, near Clerkenwell Green, which is about three feet in breadth and thirty-nine feet two inches in length, and said to be the longest at this time in London"..
Diary of Samuel Pepys 04 August 1662. 04 Aug 1662. Up by four o'clock in the morning and walked to the Dock, where Commissioner Pett (51) and I took barge and went to the guardships and mustered them, finding them but badly manned; thence to the Sovereign, which we found kept in good order and very clean, which pleased us well, but few of the officers on board.
Thence to the Charles, and were troubled to see her kept so neglectedly by the boatswain Clements, who I always took for a very good officer; it is a very brave ship.
Thence to Upnor Castle, and there went up to the top, where there is a fine prospect, but of very small force; so to the yard, and there mustered the whole ordinary, where great disorder by multitude of servants and old decrepid men, which must be remedied.
So to all the storehouses and viewed the stores of all sorts and the hemp, where we found Captain Cocke's (45) (which he came down to see along with me) very bad, and some others, and with much content (God forgive me) I did hear by the Clerk of the Ropeyard how it was by Sir W. Batten's (61) private letter that one parcel of Alderman Barker's' was received.
At two o'clock to dinner to the Hill-house, and after dinner dispatched many people's business, and then to the yard again, and looked over Mr. Gregory's and Barrow's houses to see the matter of difference between them concerning an alteration that Barrow would make, which I shall report to the board, but both their houses very pretty, and deserve to be so, being well kept.
Then to a trial of several sorts of hemp, but could not perform it here so well as at Woolwich, but we did do it pretty well.
So took barge at the dock and to Rochester, and there Captain Cocke (45) and I and our two men took coach about 8 at night and to Gravesend, where it was very dark before we got thither to the Swan; and there, meeting with Doncaster, an old waterman of mine above bridge, we eat a short supper, being very merry with the drolling, drunken coachman that brought us, and so took water. It being very dark, and the wind rising, and our waterman unacquainted with this part of the river, so that we presently cast upon the Essex shore, but got off again, and so, as well as we could, went on, but I in such fear that I could not sleep till we came to Erith, and there it begun to be calm, and the stars to shine, and so I began to take heart again, and the rest too, and so made shift to slumber a little. Above Woolwich we lost our way, and went back to Blackwall, and up and down, being guided by nothing but the barking of a dog, which we had observed in passing by Blackwall, and so, [Continued tomorrow]
Diary of Samuel Pepys 06 October 1662. 06 Oct 1662. Sir W. Pen (41) and I early to St. James's by water, where Mr. Coventry (34), finding the Duke in bed, and not very well, we did not stay to speak with him, but to White Hall, and there took boat and down to Woolwich we went. In our way Mr. Coventry (34) telling us how of late upon enquiry into the miscarriages of the Duke's family, Mr. Biggs, his steward, is found very faulty, and is turned out of his employment.
Then we fell to reading of a book which I saw the other day at my Lord Sandwich's (37), intended for the late King, finely bound up, a treatise concerning the benefit the Hollanders make of our fishing, but whereas I expected great matters from it, I find it a very impertinent [book], and though some things good, yet so full of tautologies, that we were weary of it.
At Woolwich we mustered the yard, and then to the Hart to dinner, and then to the Rope-yard, where I did vex Sir W. Pen (41) I know to appear so well acquainted, I thought better than he, in the business of hemp; thence to Deptford, and there looked over several businesses, and wakened the officers there; so walked to Redriffe, and thence, landing Sir W. Pen (41) at the Tower, I to White Hall with Mr. Coventry (34), and so to my Lord Sandwich's (37) lodgings, but my Lord was not within, being at a ball this night with the King (32) at my Baroness Castlemaine's (21) at next door.
But here to my trouble I hear that Mr. Moore is gone very sick to the Wardrobe this afternoon, which troubles me much both for his own sake and for mine, because of my law business that he does for me and also for my Lord's matters.
So hence by water, late as it was, to the Wardrobe, and there found him in a high fever, in bed, and much cast down by his being ill. So thought it not convenient to stay, but left him and walked home, and there weary went to supper, and then the barber came to me, and after he had done, to my office to set down my journall of this day, and so home and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 March 1663. 02 Mar 1663. Up early and by water with Commissioner Pett (52) to Deptford, and there took the Jemmy yacht (that the King (32) and the Lords virtuosos built the other day) down to Woolwich, where we discoursed of several matters both there and at the Ropeyard, and so to the yacht again, and went down four or five miles with extraordinary pleasure, it being a fine day, and a brave gale of wind, and had some oysters brought us aboard newly taken, which were excellent, and ate with great pleasure.
There also coming into the river two Dutchmen, we sent a couple of men on board and bought three Hollands cheeses, cost 4d. a piece, excellent cheeses, whereof I had two and Commissioner Pett (52) one. !So back again to Woolwich, and going aboard the Hulke to see the manner of the iron bridles, which we are making of for to save cordage to put to the chain, I did fall from the shipside into the ship (Kent), and had like to have broke my left hand, but I only sprained some of my fingers, which, when I came ashore I sent to Mrs. Ackworth for some balsam, and put to my hand, and was pretty well within a little while after. We dined at the White Hart with several officers with us, and after dinner went and saw The Royal James brought down to the stern of the Docke (the main business we came for), and then to the Ropeyard, and saw a trial between Riga hemp and a sort of Indian grass, which is pretty strong, but no comparison between it and the other for strength, and it is doubtful whether it will take tarre or no.
So to the yacht again, and carried us almost to London, so by our oars home to the office, and thence Mr. Pett (52) and I to Mr. Grant's coffee-house, whither he and Sir J. Cutler (60) came to us and had much discourse, mixed discourse, and so broke up, and so home where I found my poor wife all alone at work, and the house foul, it being washing day, which troubled me, because that tomorrow I must be forced to have friends at dinner.
So to my office, and then home to supper and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 July 1663. 13 Jul 1663. So, it being high day, I put in to shore and to bed for two hours just, and so up again, and with the Storekeeper and Clerk of the Rope-yard up and down the Dock and Rope-house, and by and by mustered the Yard, and instructed the Clerks of the Cheque in my new way of Callbook, and that and other things done, to the Hill-house, and there we eat something, and so by barge to Rochester, and there took coach hired for our passage to London, and Mrs. Allen, the clerk of the Rope-yard's wife with us, desiring her passage, and it being a most pleasant and warm day, we got by four o'clock home. In our way she telling us in what condition Becky Allen is married against all expectation a fellow that proves to be a coxcomb and worth little if any thing at all, and yet are entered into a way of living above their condition that will ruin them presently, for which, for the lady's sake, I am much troubled.
Home I found all well there, and after dressing myself, I walked to the Temple; and there, from my cozen Roger (46), hear that the judges have this day brought in their answer to the Lords, That the articles against my Chancellor (54) are not Treason; and to-morrow they are to bring in their arguments to the House for the same. This day also the King (33) did send by my Lord Chamberlain (61) to the Lords, to tell them from him, that the most of the articles against my Chancellor (54) he himself knows to be false.
Thence by water to Whitehall, and so walked to St. James's, but missed Mr. Coventry (35). I met the Queen-Mother (53) walking in the Pell Mell, led by my Lord St. Alban's (58). And finding many coaches at the Gate, I found upon enquiry that the Duchess (26) is brought to bed of a boy; and hearing that the King (33) and Queen (24) are rode abroad with the Ladies of Honour to the Park, and seeing a great crowd of gallants staying here to see their return, I also staid walking up and down, and among others spying a man like Mr. Pembleton (though I have little reason to think it should be he, speaking and discoursing long with my Lord D'Aubigne (43)), yet how my blood did rise in my face, and I fell into a sweat from my old jealousy and hate, which I pray God remove from me.
By and by the King (33) and Queen (24), who looked in this dress (a white laced waistcoat and a crimson short pettycoat, and her hair dressed ci la negligence) mighty pretty; and the King (33) rode hand in hand with her. Here was also my Baroness Castlemaine (22) rode among the rest of the ladies; but the King (33) took, methought, no notice of her; nor when they 'light did any body press (as she seemed to expect, and staid for it) to take her down, but was taken down by her own gentleman. She looked mighty out of humour, and had a yellow plume in her hat (which all took notice of), and yet is very handsome, but very melancholy: nor did any body speak to her, or she so much as smile or speak to any body. I followed them up into White Hall, and into the Queen's (24) presence, where all the ladies walked, talking and fiddling with their hats and feathers, and changing and trying one another's by one another's heads, and laughing. But it was the finest sight to me, considering their great beautys and dress, that ever I did see in all my life. But, above all, Mrs. Stewart (16) in this dress, with her hat cocked and a red plume, with her sweet eye, little Roman nose, and excellent taille, is now the greatest beauty I ever saw, I think, in my life; and, if ever woman can, do exceed my Baroness Castlemaine's (22), at least in this dress nor do I wonder if the King (33) changes, which I verily believe is the reason of his coldness to my Baroness Castlemaine's (22). Here late, with much ado I left to look upon them, and went away, and by water, in a boat with other strange company, there being no other to be had, and out of him into a sculler half to the bridge, and so home and to Sir W. Batten (62), where I staid telling him and Sir J. Minnes (64) and Mrs. Turner (40), with great mirth, my being frighted at Chatham by young Edgeborough, and so home to supper and to bed, before I sleep fancying myself to sport with Mrs. Stewart (16) with great pleasure.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 August 1663. 03 Aug 1663. Up both of us very betimes and to the Yard, and see the men called over and choose some to be discharged. Then to the Ropehouses and viewed them all and made an experiment which was the stronger, English or Riga hemp, the latter proved the stronger, but the other is very good, and much better we believe than any but Riga. We did many other things this morning, and I caused the Timber measurer to measure some timber, where I found much fault and with reason, which we took public notice of, and did give them admonition for the time to come.
At noon Mr. Pett (52) did give us a very great dinner, too big in all conscience, so that most of it was left untouched. Here was Collonell Newman and several other gentlemen of the country and officers of the yard.
After dinner they withdrew and Commissioner Pett (52), Mr. Coventry (35) and I sat close to our business all the noon in his parler, and there run through much business and answered several people. And then in the evening walked in the garden, where we conjured him to look after the yard, and for the time to come that he would take the whole faults and ill management of the yard upon himself, he having full power and our concurrence to suspend or do anything else that he thinks fit to keep people and officers to their duty. He having made good promises, though I fear his performance, we parted (though I spoke so freely that he could have been angry) good friends, and in some hopes that matters will be better for the time to come.
So walked to the Hillhouse (which we did view and the yard about it, and do think to put it off as soon as we can conveniently) and there made ourselves ready and mounted and rode to Gravesend (my riding Coate not being to be found I fear it is stole) on our way being overtaken by Captain Browne that serves the office of the Ordnance at Chatham. All the way, though he was a rogue and served the late times all along, yet he kept us in discourse of the many services that he did for many of the King's party, lords and Dukes, and among others he recovered a dog that was stolne from Mr. Cary (head-keeper of the buck-hounds to the King (33)) and preserved several horses of the Duke of Richmond's (24), and his best horse he was forst to put out his eyes and keep him for a stallion to preserve him from being carried away. But he gone at last upon my enquiry to tell us how (he having been here too for survey of the Ropeyard) the day's work of the Rope-makers become settled, which pleased me very well. Being come to our Inn Mr. Coventry (35) and I sat, and talked till 9 or 10 a-clock and then to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 December 1663. 18 Dec 1663. Up, and after being ready and done several businesses with people, I took water (taking a dram of the bottle at the waterside) with a gaily, the first that ever I had yet, and down to Woolwich, calling at Ham Creeke, where I met Deane (30), and had a great deal of talke with him about business, and so to the Ropeyarde and Docke, discoursing several things, and so back again and did the like at Deptford, and I find that it is absolutely necessary for me to do thus once a weeke at least all the yeare round, which will do me great good, and so home with great ease and content, especially out of the content which I met with in a book I bought yesterday, being a discourse of the state of Rome under the present Pope, Alexander the 7th, it being a very excellent piece. !After eating something at home, then to my office, where till night about business to dispatch. Among other people came Mr. Primate, the leather seller, in Fleete Streete, to see me, he says, coming this way; and he tells me that he is upon a proposal to the King (33), whereby, by a law already in being, he will supply the King (33), without wrong to any man, or charge to the people in general, so much as it is now, above £200,000 per annum, and God knows what, and that the King (33) do like the proposal, and hath directed that the Duke of Monmouth (14), with their consent, be made privy, and go along with him and his fellow proposer in the business, God knows what it is; for I neither can guess nor believe there is any such thing in his head.
At night made an end of the discourse I read this morning, and so home to supper and to bed.
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 22 April 1664. 22 Apr 1664. Having directed it last night, I was called up this morning before four o'clock. It was full light enough to dress myself, and so by water against tide, it being a little coole, to Greenwich; and thence, only that it was somewhat foggy till the sun got to some height, walked with great pleasure to Woolwich, in my way staying several times to listen to the nightingales. I did much business both at the Ropeyarde and the other, and on floate I discovered a plain cheat which in time I shall publish of Mr. Ackworth's.
Thence, having visited Mr. Falconer also, who lies still sick, but hopes to be better, I walked to Greenwich, Deane (30) with me. Much good discourse, and I think him a very just man, only a little conceited, but yet very able in his way, and so he by water also with me also to towne.
I home, and immediately dressing myself, by coach with my wife to my Lord Sandwich's (38), but they having dined we would not 'light but went to Mrs. Turner's (41), and there got something to eat, and thence after reading part of a good play, Mrs. The., my wife and I, in their coach to Hide Parke, where great plenty of gallants, and pleasant it was, only for the dust. Here I saw Mrs. Bendy, my Lady Spillman's faire daughter that was, who continues yet very handsome. Many others I saw with great content, and so back again to Mrs. Turner's (41), and then took a coach and home. I did also carry them into St. James's Park and shewed them the garden.
To my office awhile while supper was making ready, and so home to supper and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 23 May 1664. 23 May 1664. Up and to the office, where Sir J. Minnes (65), Sir W. Batten (63), and myself met and did business, we being in a mighty hurry. The King (33) is gone down with the Duke (30) and a great crew this morning by break of day to Chatham.
Towards noon I and my wife by water to Woolwich, leaving my wife at Mr. Falconer's, and Mr. Hater and I with some officers of the yard on board to see several ships how ready they are. Then to Mr. Falconer's to a good dinner, having myself carried them a vessel of sturgeon and a lamprey pie, and then to the Yarde again, and among other things did at Mr. Ackworth's obtain a demonstration of his being a knave; but I did not discover it, till it be a little more seasonable.
So back to the Ropeyard and took my wife and Mr. Hater back, it raining mighty hard of a sudden, but we with the tilt1 kept ourselves dry.
So to Deptford, did some business there; but, Lord! to see how in both places the King's business, if ever it should come to a warr, is likely to be done, there not being a man that looks or speaks like a man that will take pains, or use any forecast to serve the King (33), at which I am heartily troubled.
So home, it raining terribly, but we still dry, and at the office late discoursing with Sir J. Minnes (65) and Sir W. Batten (63), who like a couple of sots receive all I say but to little purpose. So late home to supper and to bed.
Note 1. Tilt (A.S. teld) represents a tent or awning. It was used for a cloth covering for a cart or waggon, or for a canopy or awning over a portion of a boat.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 19 July 1664. 19 Jul 1664. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning.
At noon dined alone at home.
After dinner Sir W. Batten (63) and I down by water to Woolwich, where coming to the Ropeyarde we are told that Mr. Falconer, who hath been ill of a relapse these two days, is just now dead. We went up to his widow, who is sicke in bed also. The poor woman in great sorrow, and entreats our friendship, which we shall, I think, in every thing do for her. I am sure I will.
Thence to the Docke, and there in Sheldon's garden eat some fruit; so to Deptford a little, and thence home, it raining mightily, and being cold I doubted my health after it.
At the office till 9 o'clock about Sir W. Warren's contract for masts, and then at home with Lanyon and Yeabsly till 12 and past about their contract for Tangier, wherein they and I differed, for I would have it drawn to the King's advantage, as much as might be, which they did not like, but parted good friends; however, when they were gone, I wished that I had forborne any disagreement till I had had their promise to me in writing. They being gone, I to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 August 1664. 26 Aug 1664. Up by 5 o'clock, which I have not been many a day, and down by water to Deptford, and there took in Mr. Pumpfield the rope-maker, and down with him to Woolwich to view Clothier's cordage, which I found bad and stopped the receipt of it.
Thence to the Ropeyard, and there among other things discoursed with Mrs. Falconer, who tells me that she has found the writing, and Sir W. Pen's (43) daughter is not put into the lease for her life as he expected, and I am glad of it.
Thence to the Dockyarde, and there saw the new ship in very great forwardness, and so by water to Deptford a little, and so home and shifting myself, to the 'Change, and there did business, and thence down by water to White Hall, by the way, at the Three Cranes, putting into an alehouse and eat a bit of bread and cheese. There I could not get into the Parke, and so was fain to stay in the gallery over the gate to look to the passage into the Parke, into which the King (34) hath forbid of late anybody's coming, to watch his coming that had appointed me to come, which he did by and by with his lady and went to Guardener's Lane, and there instead of meeting with one that was handsome and could play well, as they told me, she is the ugliest beast and plays so basely as I never heard anybody, so that I should loathe her being in my house. However, she took us by and by and showed us indeed some pictures at one Hiseman's (31), a picture drawer, a Dutchman, which is said to exceed Lilly (45), and indeed there is both of the Queenes (54) and Mayds of Honour (particularly Mrs. Stewart's (17) in a buff doublet like a soldier) as good pictures, I think, as ever I saw. The Queene (54) is drawn in one like a shepherdess, in the other like St. Katharin, most like and most admirably. I was mightily pleased with this sight indeed, and so back again to their lodgings, where I left them, but before I went this mare that carried me, whose name I know not but that they call him Sir John, a pitiful fellow, whose face I have long known but upon what score I know not, but he could have the confidence to ask me to lay down money for him to renew the lease of his house, which I did give eare to there because I was there receiving a civility from him, but shall not part with my money.
There I left them, and I by water home, where at my office busy late, then home to supper, and so to bed. This day my wife tells me Mr. Pen (19)1, Sir William's son, is come back from France, and come to visit her. A most modish person, grown, she says, a fine gentleman.
Note 1. William Penn (19), afterwards the famous Quaker. P. Gibson, writing to him in March, 1711-12, says: "I remember your honour very well, when you newly came out of France and wore pantaloon breeches".
Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 September 1664. 07 Sep 1664. Lay long to-day, pleasantly discoursing with my wife about the dinner we are to have for the Joyces, a day or two hence.
Then up and with Mr. Margetts to Limehouse to see his ground and Ropeyarde there, which is very fine, and I believe we shall employ it for the Navy, for the King's grounds are not sufficient to supply our defence if a warr comes.
Thence back to the 'Change, where great talke of the forwardnesse of the Dutch, which puts us all to a stand, and particularly myself for my Lord Sandwich (39), to think him to lie where he is for a sacrifice, if they should begin with us.
So home and Creed with me, and to dinner, and after dinner I out to my office, taking in Bagwell's wife, who I knew waited for me, but company came to me so soon that I could have no discourse with her, as I intended, of pleasure.
So anon abroad with Creed walked to Bartholomew Fayre, this being the last day, and there saw the best dancing on the ropes that I think I ever saw in my life, and so all say, and so by coach home, where I find my wife hath had her head dressed by her woman, Mercer, which is to come to her to-morrow, but my wife being to go to a christening tomorrow, she came to do her head up to-night. So a while to my office, and then to supper and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 November 1664. 20 Nov 1664. Lord's Day. Up, and with my wife to church, where Pegg Pen (13) very fine in her new coloured silk suit laced with silver lace.
Dined at home, and Mr. Sheply, lately come to town, with me. A great deal of ordinary discourse with him. Among other things praying him to speak to Stankes to look after our business. With him and in private with Mr. Bodham talking of our Ropeyarde stores at Woolwich, which are mighty low, even to admiration.
They gone, in the evening comes Mr. Andrews and sings with us, and he gone, I to Sir W. Batten's (63), where Sir J. Minnes (65) and he and I to talk about our letter to my Lord Treasurer (57), where his folly and simple confidence so great in a report so ridiculous that he hath drawn up to present to my Lord, nothing of it being true, that I was ashamed, and did roundly and in many words for an houre together talk boldly to him, which pleased Sir W. Batten (63) and my Lady, but I was in the right, and was the willinger to do so before them, that they might see that I am somebody, and shall serve him so in his way another time.
So home vexed at this night's passage, for I had been very hot with him, so to supper and to bed, out of order with this night's vexation.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 12 August 1665. 12 Aug 1665. The people die so, that now it seems they are fain to carry the dead to be buried by day-light, the nights not sufficing to do it in.
And my Lord Mayor commands people to be within at nine at night all, as they say, that the sick may have liberty to go abroad for ayre. There is one also dead out of one of our ships at Deptford, which troubles us mightily; the Providence fire-ship, which was just fitted to go to sea. But they tell me to-day no more sick on board. And this day W. Bodham tells me that one is dead at Woolwich, not far from the Rope-yard. I am told, too, that a wife of one of the groomes at Court is dead at Salsbury; so that the King (35) and Queene (55) are speedily to be all gone to Milton. God preserve us!
Note 1. I had my way with his daughter.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 September 1665. 01 Sep 1665. Up, and to visit my Lady Pen (41) and her daughter at the Ropeyarde where I did breakfast with them and sat chatting a good while. Then to my lodging at Mr. Shelden's, where I met Captain Cocke (48) and eat a little bit of dinner, and with him to Greenwich by water, having good discourse with him by the way.
After being at Greenwich a little while, I to London, to my house, there put many more things in order for my totall remove, sending away my girle Susan and other goods down to Woolwich, and I by water to the Duke of Albemarle (56), and thence home late by water.
At the Duke of Albemarle's (56) I overheard some examinations of the late plot that is discoursed of and a great deale of do there is about it. Among other discourses, I heard read, in the presence of the Duke (31), an examination and discourse of Sir Philip Howard's (34), with one of the plotting party. In many places these words being, "Then", said Sir P. Howard (34), "if you so come over to the King (35), and be faithfull to him, you shall be maintained, and be set up with a horse and armes", and I know not what. And then said such a one, "Yes, I will be true to the King (35)". "But, damn me", said Sir Philip, "will you so and so?" And thus I believe twelve times Sir P. Howard answered him a "damn me", which was a fine way of rhetorique to persuade a Quaker or Anabaptist from his persuasion. And this was read in the hearing of Sir P. Howard (34), before the Duke (31) and twenty more officers, and they make sport of it, only without any reproach, or he being anything ashamed of it1! But it ended, I remember, at last, "But such a one (the plotter) did at last bid them remember that he had not told them what King he would be faithfull to".
Note 1. This republican plot was described by the Chancellor (56) in a speech delivered on October 9th, when parliament met at Oxford.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 August 1666. 17 Aug 1666. Up and betimes with Captain Erwin down by water to Woolwich, I walking alone from Greenwich thither, making an end of the "The Adventures of Five Hours", which when all is done is the best play that ever I read in my life. Being come thither I did some business there and at the Rope Yarde, and had a piece of bride-cake sent me by Mrs. Barbary into the boate after me, she being here at her uncle's, with her husband, Mr. Wood's son, the mast-maker, and mighty nobly married, they say, she was, very fine, and he very rich, a strange fortune for so odd a looked mayde, though her hands and body be good, and nature very good, I think.
Back with Captain Erwin, discoursing about the East Indys, where he hath often been. And among other things he tells me how the King of Syam seldom goes out without thirty or forty thousand people with him, and not a word spoke, nor a hum or cough in the whole company to be heard. He tells me the punishment frequently there for malefactors is cutting off the crowne of their head, which they do very dexterously, leaving their brains bare, which kills them presently. He told me what I remember he hath once done heretofore: that every body is to lie flat down at the coming by of the King (36), and nobody to look upon him upon pain of death. And that he and his fellows, being strangers, were invited to see the sport of taking of a wild elephant, and they did only kneel, and look toward the King. Their druggerman did desire them to fall down, for otherwise he should suffer for their contempt of the King. The sport being ended, a messenger comes from the King, which the druggerman thought had been to have taken away his life; but it was to enquire how the strangers liked the sport. The druggerman answered that they did cry it up to be the best that ever they saw, and that they never heard of any Prince so great in every thing as this King. The messenger being gone back, Erwin and his company asked their druggerman what he had said, which he told them. "But why", say they, "would you say that without our leave, it being not true?"—"It is no matter for that", says he, "I must have said it, or have been hanged, for our King do not live by meat, nor drink, but by having great lyes told him". In our way back we come by a little vessel that come into the river this morning, and says he left the fleete in Sole Bay, and that he hath not heard (he belonging to Sir W. Jenings, in the fleete) of any such prizes taken as the ten or twelve I inquired about, and said by Sir W. Batten (65) yesterday to be taken, so I fear it is not true.
So to Westminster, and there, to my great content, did receive my £2000 of Mr. Spicer's telling, which I was to receive of Colvill, and brought it home with me [to] my house by water, and there I find one of my new presses for my books brought home, which pleases me mightily. As, also, do my wife's progresse upon her head that she is making.
So to dinner, and thence abroad with my wife, leaving her at Unthanke's; I to White Hall, waiting at the Council door till it rose, and there spoke with Sir W. Coventry (38), who and I do much fear our Victuallers, they having missed the fleete in their going. But Sir W. Coventry (38) says it is not our fault, but theirs, if they have not left ships to secure them. This he spoke in a chagrin sort of way, methought. After a little more discourse of several businesses, I away homeward, having in the gallery the good fortune to see Mrs. Stewart (19), who is grown a little too tall, but is a woman of most excellent features. The narrative of the late expedition in burning the ships is in print, and makes it a great thing, and I hope it is so.
So took up my wife and home, there I to the office, and thence with Sympson the joyner home to put together the press he hath brought me for my books this day, which pleases me exceedingly. Then to Sir W. Batten's (65), where Sir Richard Ford (52) did very understandingly, methought, give us an account of the originall of the Hollands Bank1, and the nature of it, and how they do never give any interest at all to any person that brings in their money, though what is brought in upon the public faith interest is given by the State for. The unsafe condition of a Bank under a Monarch, and the little safety to a Monarch to have any; or Corporation alone (as London in answer to Amsterdam) to have so great a wealth or credit, it is, that makes it hard to have a Bank here. And as to the former, he did tell us how it sticks in the memory of most merchants how the late King (when by the war between Holland and France and Spayne all the bullion of Spayne was brought hither, one-third of it to be coyned; and indeed it was found advantageous to the merchant to coyne most of it), was persuaded in a strait by my Lord Cottington (87) to seize upon the money in the Tower, which, though in a few days the merchants concerned did prevail to get it released, yet the thing will never be forgot.
So home to supper and to bed, understanding this evening, since I come home, that our Victuallers are all come in to the fleete, which is good newes. Sir John Minnes (67) come home tonight not well, from Chatham, where he hath been at a pay, holding it at Upnor Castle, because of the plague so much in the towne of Chatham. He hath, they say, got an ague, being so much on the water.
Note 1. This bank at Amsterdam is referred to in a tract entitled "An Appeal to Caesar", 1660, p. 22. In 1640 Charles I seized the money in the mint in the Tower entrusted to the safe keeping of the Crown. It was the practice of the London goldsmiths at this time to allow interest at the rate of six or eight per cent. on money deposited with them (J. Biddulph Martin, "The Grasshopper in Lombard Street", 1892, p. 152).
Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 November 1666. 02 Nov 1666. Up betimes, and with Sir W. Batten (65) to Woolwich, where first we went on board the Ruby, French prize, the only ship of war we have taken from any of our enemies this year. It seems a very good ship, but with galleries quite round the sterne to walk in as a balcone, which will be taken down. She had also about forty good brass guns, but will make little amends to our loss in The Prince.
Thence to the Ropeyarde and the other yards to do several businesses, he and I also did buy some apples and pork; by the same token the butcher commended it as the best in England for cloath and colour. And for his beef, says he, "Look how fat it is; the lean appears only here and there a speck, like beauty-spots". Having done at Woolwich, we to Deptford (it being very cold upon the water), and there did also a little more business, and so home, I reading all the why to make end of the "Bondman" (which the oftener I read the more I like), and begun "The Duchesse of Malfy"; which seems a good play.
At home to dinner, and there come Mr. Pierce, surgeon, to see me, and after I had eat something, he and I and my wife by coach to Westminster, she set us down at White Hall, and she to her brother's (26). I up into the House, and among other things walked a good while with the Serjeant Trumpet, who tells me, as I wished, that the King's Italian here is about setting three parts for trumpets, and shall teach some to sound them, and believes they will be admirable musique. I also walked with Sir Stephen Fox (39) an houre, and good discourse of publique business with him, who seems very much satisfied with my discourse, and desired more of my acquaintance. Then comes out the King (36) and Duke of York (33) from the Council, and so I spoke awhile to Sir W. Coventry (38) about some office business, and so called my wife (her brother (26) being now a little better than he was), and so home, and I to my chamber to do some business, and then to supper and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 27 February 1667. 27 Feb 1667. Up by candle-light, about six o'clock, it being bitter cold weather again, after all our warm weather, and by water down to Woolwich Rope-yard, I being this day at a leisure, the King (36) and Duke of York (33) being gone down to Sheerenesse this morning to lay out the design for a fortification there to the river Medway; and so we do not attend the Duke of York (33) as we should otherwise have done, and there to the Dock Yard to enquire of the state of things, and went into Mr. Pett's (56); and there, beyond expectation, he did present me with a Japan cane, with a silver head, and his wife sent me by him a ring, with a Woolwich stone1 now much in request; which I accepted, the values not being great, and knowing that I had done them courtesies, which he did own in very high terms; and then, at my asking, did give me an old draught of an ancient-built ship, given him by his father, of the Beare, in Queen Elizabeth's time. This did much please me, it being a thing I much desired to have, to shew the difference in the build of ships now and heretofore.
Being much taken with this kindness, I away to Blackwall and Deptford, to satisfy myself there about the King's business, and then walked to Redriffe, and so home about noon; there find Mr. Hunt, newly come out of the country, who tells me the country is much impoverished by the greatness of taxes: the farmers do break every day almost, and £1000 a-year become not worth £500. He dined with us, and we had good discourse of the general ill state of things, and, by the way, he told me some ridiculous pieces of thrift of Sir G. Downing's (42), who is his countryman, in inviting some poor people, at Christmas last, to charm the country people's mouths; but did give them nothing but beef, porridge, pudding, and pork, and nothing said all dinner, but only his mother would say, "It's good broth, son". He would answer, "Yes, it is good broth". Then, says his lady, Confirm all, and say, "Yes, very good broth". By and by she would begin and say, "Good pork:"—"Yes", says the mother, "good pork". Then he cries, "Yes, very good pork". And so they said of all things; to which nobody made any answer, they going there not out of love or esteem of them, but to eat his victuals, knowing him to be a niggardly fellow; and with this he is jeered now all over the country.
This day just before dinner comes Captain Story, of Cambridge, to me to the office, about a bill for prest money2, for men sent out of the country and the countries about him to the fleete the last year; but, Lord! to see the natures of men; how this man, hearing of my name, did ask me of my country, and told me of my cozen Roger (49), that he was not so wise a man as his father (84); for that he do not agree in Parliament with his fellow burgesses and knights of the shire, whereas I know very well the reason; for he is not so high a flyer as Mr. Chichley (52) and others, but loves the King (36) better than any of them, and to better purpose. But yet, he says that he is a very honest gentleman, and thence runs into a hundred stories of his own services to the King (36), and how he at this day brings in the taxes before anybody here thinks they are collected: discourse very absurd to entertain a stranger with. He being gone, and I glad of it, I home then to dinner.
After dinner with my wife by coach abroad, and set Mr. Hunt down at the Temple and her at her brother's (27), and I to White Hall to meet Sir W. Coventry (39), but found him not, but met Mr. Cooling, who tells me of my Lord Duke of Buckingham's (39) being sent for last night, by a Serjeant at Armes, to the Tower, for treasonable practices, and that the King (36) is infinitely angry with him, and declared him no longer one of his Council. I know not the reason of it, or occasion.
To Westminster Hall, and there paid what I owed for books, and so by coach, took up my wife to the Exchange, and there bought things for Mrs. Pierce's little daughter, my Valentine, and so to their house, where we find Knipp, who also challengeth me for her Valentine. She looks well, sang well, and very merry we were for half an hour. Tells me Harris (33) is well again, having been very ill, and so we home, and I to the office; then, at night, to Sir W. Pen's (45), and sat with my Lady, and the young couple (Sir William out of town) talking merrily; but they make a very sorry couple, methinks, though rich. So late home and to bed.
Note 1. Woolwich stones, still collected in that locality, are simply waterworn pebbles of flint, which, when broken with a hammer, exhibit on the smooth surface some resemblance to the human face; and their possessors are thus enabled to trace likenesses of friends, or eminent public characters. The late Mr. Tennant, the geologist, of the Strand, had a collection of such stones. In the British Museum is a nodule of globular or Egyptian jasper, which, in its fracture, bears a striking resemblance to the well-known portrait of Chaucer. It is engraved in Rymsdyk's "Museum Britannicum", tab. xxviii. A flint, showing Mr. Pitt's face, used once to be exhibited at the meetings of the Pitt Club. B.
Note 2. Money paid to men who enlist into the public service; press money. So called because those who receive it are to be prest or ready when called on ("Encyclopaedic Dictionary ").
Diary of Samuel Pepys 04 March 1667. 04 Mar 1667. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes (68) and Sir W. Batten (66) by barge to Deptford by eight in the morning, where to the King's yard a little to look after business there, and then to a private storehouse to look upon some cordage of Sir W. Batten's (66), and there being a hole formerly made for a drain for tarr to run into, wherein the barrel stood still, full of stinking water, Sir W. Batten (66) did fall with one leg into it, which might have been very bad to him by breaking a leg or other hurt, but, thanks be to God, he only sprained his foot a little. So after his shifting his stockings at a strong water shop close by, we took barge again, and so to Woolwich, where our business was chiefly to look upon the ballast wharfe there, which is offered us for the King's use to hire, but we do not think it worth the laying out much money upon, unless we could buy the fee-simple of it, which cannot be sold us, so we wholly flung it off: So to the Dockyard, and there staid a while talking about business of the yard, and thence to the Rope-yard, and so to the White Hart and there dined, and Captain Cocke (50) with us, whom we found at the Rope-yard, and very merry at dinner, and many pretty tales of Sir J. Minnes (68), which I have entered in my tale book. But by this time Sir W. Batten (66) was come to be in much pain in his foot, so as he was forced to be carried down in a chair to the barge again, and so away to Deptford, and there I a little in the yard, and then to Bagwell's (30), where I find his wife washing, and also I did 'hazer tout que je voudrais con' [Note. have all that I wanted with] her, and then sent for her husband (30), and discoursed of his going to Harwich this week to his charge of the new ship building there, which I have got him, and so away, walked to Redriffe, and there took boat and away home, and upon Tower Hill, near the ticket office, meeting with my old acquaintance Mr. Chaplin (40), the cheesemonger, and there fell to talk of news, and he tells me that for certain the King of France (28) is denied passage with his army through Flanders, and that he hears that the Dutch do stand upon high terms with us, and will have a promise of not being obliged to strike the flag to us before they will treat with us, and other high things, which I am ashamed of and do hope will never be yielded to. That they do make all imaginable preparations, but that he believes they will be in mighty want of men; that the King of France (28) do court us mightily. He tells me too that our Lord-Treasurer is going to lay down, and that Lord Arlington (49) is to be Lord Treasurer, but I believe nothing of it, for he is not yet of estate visible enough to have the charge I suppose upon him.
So being parted from him I home to the office, and after having done business there I home to supper, and there mightily pleased with my wife's beginning the flagellette, believing that she will come to very well thereon. This day in the barge I took Berckenshaw's translation of Alsted his Templum, but the most ridiculous book, as he has translated it, that ever I saw in my life, I declaring that I understood not three lines together from one end of the book to the other.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 February 1668. 24 Feb 1668. Thence to the 'Change back again, leaving him, and took my wife and Deb.
Home, and there to dinner alone, and after dinner I took them to the Nursery1, where none of us ever were before; where the house is better and the musique better than we looked for, and the acting not much worse, because I expected as bad as could be: and I was not much mistaken, for it was so. However, I was pleased well to see it once, it being worth a man's seeing to discover the different ability and understanding of people, and the different growth of people's abilities by practise. Their play was a bad one, called "Jeronimo is Mad Again", a tragedy. Here was some good company by us, who did make mighty sport at the folly of their acting, which I could not neither refrain from sometimes, though I was sorry for it. So away hence home, where to the office to do business a while, and then home to supper and to read, and then to bed. I was prettily served this day at the playhouse-door, where, giving six shillings into the fellow's hand for us three, the fellow by legerdemain did convey one away, and with so much grace faced me down that I did give him but five, that, though I knew the contrary, yet I was overpowered by his so grave and serious demanding the other shilling, that I could not deny him, but was forced by myself to give it him. After I come home this evening comes a letter to me from Captain Allen (56), formerly Clerk of the Ropeyard at Chatham, and whom I was kind to in those days, who in recompense of my favour to him then do give me notice that he hears of an accusation likely to be exhibited against me of my receiving £50 of Mason, the timber merchant, and that his wife hath spoke it. I am mightily beholden to Captain Allen (56) for this, though the thing is to the best of my memory utterly false, and I do believe it to be wholly so, but yet it troubles me to have my name mentioned in this business, and more to consider how I may be liable to be accused where I have indeed taken presents, and therefore puts me on an enquiry, into my actings in this kind and prepare against a day of accusation.
Note 1. Theatre company of young actors in training.