History of Victualling Office

1665 Great Plague of London

1666 Four Days' Battle

Victualling Office is in Smithfield.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 06 November 1661. 06 Nov 1661. Going forth this morning I met Mr. Davenport and a friend of his, one Mr. Furbisher, to drink their morning draft with me, and I did give it them in good wine, and anchovies, and pickled oysters, and took them to the Sun in Fish Street, there did give them a barrel of good ones, and a great deal of wine, and sent for Mr. W. Bernard (Sir Robert's son), a grocer thereabouts, and were very merry, and cost me a good deal of money, and at noon left them, and with my head full of wine, and being invited by a note from Luellin, that came to my hands this morning in bed, I went to Nick Osborne's at the Victualling Office, and there saw his wife, who he has lately married, a good sober woman, and new come to their home. We had a good dish or two of marrowbones and another of neats' tongues to dinner, and that being done I bade them adieu and hastened to Whitehall (calling Mr. Moore by the way) to my Lord Privy Seal, who will at last force the clerks to bring in a table of their fees, which they have so long denied, but I do not join with them, and so he is very respectful to me. So he desires me to bring in one which I observe in making of fees, which I will speedily do. So back again, and endeavoured to speak with Tom Trice (who I fear is hatching some mischief), but could not, which vexed me, and so I went home and sat late with pleasure at my lute, and so to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 January 1663. 18 Jan 1663. Lord's Day. Up, and after the barber had done, and I had spoke with Mr. Smith (whom I sent for on purpose to speak of Field's business, who stands upon £250 before he will release us, which do trouble me highly), and also Major Allen of the Victualling Office about his ship to be hired for Tangier, I went to church, and thence home to dinner alone with my wife, very pleasant, and after dinner to church again, and heard a dull, drowsy sermon, and so home and to my office, perfecting my vows again for the next year, which I have now done, and sworn to in the presence of Almighty God to observe upon the respective penalties thereto annexed, and then to Sir W. Pen's (41) (though much against my will, for I cannot bear him, but only to keep him from complaint to others that I do not see him) to see how he do, and find him pretty well, and ready to go abroad again.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 23 March 1663. 23 Mar 1663. Up betimes and to my office, before noon my wife and I eat something, thinking to have gone abroad together, but in comes Mr. Hunt, who we were forced to stay to dinner, and so while that was got ready he and I abroad about 2 or 3 small businesses of mine, and so back to dinner, and after dinner he went away, and my wife and I and Ashwell by coach, set my wife down at her mother's and Ashwell at my Lord's, she going to see her father and mother, and I to Whitehall, being fearful almost, so poor a spirit I have, of meeting Major Holmes (41).

By and by the Duke (29) comes, and we with him about our usual business, and then the Committee for Tangier, where, after reading my Lord Rutherford's commission and consented to, Sir R. Ford (49), Sir W. Rider, and I were chosen to bring in some laws for the Civill government of it, which I am little able to do, but am glad to be joyned with them, for I shall learn something of them.

Thence to see my Lord Sandwich (37), and who should I meet at the door but Major Holmes (41). He would have gone away, but I told him I would not spoil his visitt, and would have gone, but however we fell to discourse and he did as good as desire excuse for the high words that did pass in his heat the other day, which I was willing enough to close with, and after telling him my mind we parted, and I left him to speak with my Lord, and I by coach home, where I found Will Howe come home to-day with my wife, and staid with us all night, staying late up singing songs, and then he and I to bed together in Ashwell's bed and she with my wife. This the first time that I ever lay in the room. This day Greatorex (38) brought me a very pretty weather-glass for heat and cold1. 24th. Lay pretty long, that is, till past six o'clock, and them up and W. Howe and I very merry together, till having eat our breakfast, he went away, and I to my office.

By and by Sir J. Minnes (64) and I to the Victualling Office by appointment to meet several persons upon stating the demands of some people of money from the King (32). Here we went into their Bakehouse, and saw all the ovens at work, and good bread too, as ever I would desire to eat.

Thence Sir J. Minnes (64) and I homewards calling at Browne's, the mathematician in the Minnerys, with a design of buying White's ruler to measure timber with, but could not agree on the price.

So home, and to dinner, and so to my office, where we sat anon, and among other things had Cooper's business tried against Captain Holmes (41), but I find Cooper a fuddling, troublesome fellow, though a good artist, and so am contented to have him turned out of his place, nor did I see reason to say one word against it, though I know what they did against him was with great envy and pride. So anon broke up, and after writing letters, &c., home to supper and to bed.

Note 1. The thermometer was invented in the sixteenth century, but it is disputed who the inventor was. The claims of Santorio are supported by Borelli and Malpighi, while the title of Cornelius Drebbel is considered undoubted by Boerhaave. Galileo's air thermometer, made before 1597, was the foundation of accurate thermometry. Galileo also invented the alcohol thermometer about 1611 or 1612. Spirit thermometers were made for the Accademia del Cimento, and described in the Memoirs of that academy. When the academy was dissolved by order of the Pope, some of these thermometers were packed away in a box, and were not discovered until early in the nineteenth century. Robert Hooke describes the manufacture and graduation of thermometers in his "Micrographia" (1665).

Around 1670 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Freschville Holles 1642-1672 and Admiral Robert Holmes 1622-1692. Before 1694 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of King James II when Duke of York. Around 1666 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II and Anne Hyde Queen Consort England 1637-1671. See Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 March 1666. Before 04 Jan 1674 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of King James II wearing his Garter Robes. Around 1672 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of King James II. Around 1650 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Edward Montagu 1st Earl Sandwich 1625-1672. Before 09 Dec 1641 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of John Mennes Comptroller 1599-1671. Around 1642. William Dobson Painter 1611-1646. Portrait of the future Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Before 1691. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. Around 1665 John Greenhill Painter 1644-1676. Portrait of Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his Garter Robes. Around 1661 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 in his coronation robes. Before 11 Jul 1671 Adriaen Hanneman Painter 1603-1671. Portrait of Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685. 1675. Hendrick Danckerts Painter 1625-1680. Portrait of Royal Gardener John Rose presenting a pineappel to King Charles II

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 04 November 1663. 04 Nov 1663. Up and to my office, shewing myself to Sir W. Batten (62), and Sir J. Minnes (64), and no great matter made of my periwigg, as I was afeard there would be. Among other things there came to me Shales of Portsmouth, by my order, and I began to discourse with him about the arrears of stores belonging to the Victualling Office there, and by his discourse I am in some hopes that if I can get a grant from the King (33) of such a part of all I discover I may chance to find a way to get something by the by, which do greatly please me the very thoughts of.

Home to dinner, and very pleasant with my wife, who is this day also herself making of marmalett of quince, which she now do very well herself. I left her at it and by coach I to the New Exchange and several places to buy and bring home things, among others a case I bought of the trunk maker's for my periwigg, and so home and to my office late, and among other things wrote a letter to Will's uncle to hasten his removal from me, and so home to supper and to bed.

This morning Captain Cocke (46) did give me a good account of the Guinny trade. The Queene (53) is in a great way to recovery.

This noon came John Angier to me in a pickle, I was sad to see him, desiring my good word for him to go a trooper to Tangier, but I did schoole him and sent him away with good advice, but no present encouragement. Presently after I had a letter from his poor father at Cambridge, who is broke, it seems, and desires me to get him a protection, or a place of employment; but, poor man, I doubt I can helpe him, but will endeavour it.

Around 1625 John Hoskins Painter 1590-1664. Portrait of Henrietta Maria Bourbon Queen Consort England 1609-1669. Before 09 Dec 1641 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of Henrietta Maria Bourbon Queen Consort England 1609-1669 and the dwarf Jeffrey Hudson. Before 09 Dec 1641 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of Henrietta Maria Bourbon Queen Consort England 1609-1669 and her son Charles James Stewart 1629-1629. Before 09 Dec 1641 Anthony Van Dyck Painter 1599-1641. Portrait of Henrietta Maria Bourbon Queen Consort England 1609-1669.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 15 June 1664. 15 Jun 1664. Up and by appointment with Captain Witham (the Captain that brought the newes of the disaster at Tangier, where my Lord Tiviott was slain) and Mr. Tooker to Beares Quay, and there saw and more afterward at the several grannarys several parcels of oates, and strange it is to hear how it will heat itself if laid up green and not often turned. We came not to any agreement, but did cheapen several parcels, and thence away, promising to send again to them.

So to the Victualling Office, and then home. And in our garden I got Captain Witham to tell me the whole story of my Lord Tiviott's misfortune; for he was upon the guard with his horse neare the towne, when at a distance he saw the enemy appear upon a hill, a mile and a half off, and made up to them, and with much ado escaped himself; but what became of my Lord he neither knows nor thinks that any body but the enemy can tell. Our losse was about four hundred. But he tells me that the greater wonder is that my Lord Tiviott met no sooner with such a disaster; for every day he did commit himself to more probable danger than this, for now he had the assurance of all his scouts that there was no enemy thereabouts; whereas he used every day to go out with two or three with him, to make his discoveries, in greater danger, and yet the man that could not endure to have anybody else to go a step out of order to endanger himself. He concludes him to be the man of the hardest fate to lose so much honour at one blow that ever was. His relation being done he parted; and so I home to look after things for dinner.

And anon at noon comes Mr. Creed by chance, and by and by the three young ladies: [Lord Sandwich's (38) daughters.] and very merry we were with our pasty, very well baked; and a good dish of roasted chickens; pease, lobsters, strawberries.

And after dinner to cards: and about five o'clock, by water down to Greenwich; and up to the top of the hill, and there played upon the ground at cards. And so to the Cherry Garden, and then by water singing finely to the Bridge, and there landed; and so took boat again, and to Somersett House. And by this time, the tide being against us, it was past ten of the clock; and such a troublesome passage, in regard of my Lady Paulina's (15) fearfullness, that in all my life I never did see any poor wretch in that condition.

Being come hither, there waited for them their coach; but it being so late, I doubted what to do how to get them home. After half an hour's stay in the street, I sent my wife home by coach with Mr. Creed's boy; and myself and Creed in the coach home with them. But, Lord! the fear that my Lady Paulina (15) was in every step of the way; and indeed at this time of the night it was no safe thing to go that road; so that I was even afeard myself, though I appeared otherwise. We came safe, however, to their house, where all were abed; we knocked them up, my Lady and all the family being in bed. So put them into doors; and leaving them with the mayds, bade them good night, and then into the towne, Creed and I, it being about twelve o'clock and past; and to several houses, inns, but could get no lodging, all being in bed. At the last house, at last, we found some people drinking and roaring; and there got in, and after drinking, got an ill bed, where...[continued tomorrow]

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Great Plague of London

Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 October 1664. 02 Oct 1664. Lord's Day. My wife not being well to go to church I walked with my boy through the City, putting in at several churches, among others at Bishopsgate, and there saw the picture usually put before the King's book, put up in the church, but very ill painted, though it were a pretty piece to set up in a church. I intended to have seen the Quakers, who, they say, do meet every Lord's day at the Mouth at Bishopsgate; but I could see none stirring, nor was it fit to aske for the place, so I walked over Moorefields, and thence to Clerkenwell church, and there, as I wished, sat next pew to the fair Butler, who indeed is a most perfect beauty still; and one I do very much admire myself for my choice of her for a beauty, she having the best lower part of her face that ever I saw all days of my life.

After church I walked to my Lady Sandwich's (39), through my Lord Southampton's (57) new buildings in the fields behind Gray's Inn; and, indeed, they are a very great and a noble work. So I dined with my Lady, and the same innocent discourse that we used to have, only after dinner, being alone, she asked me my opinion about Creed, whether he would have a wife or no, and what he was worth, and proposed Mrs. Wright for him, which, she says, she heard he was once inquiring after. She desired I would take a good time and manner of proposing it, and I said I would, though I believed he would love nothing but money, and much was not to be expected there, she said.

So away back to Clerkenwell Church, thinking to have got sight of la belle Boteler again, but failed, and so after church walked all over the fields home, and there my wife was angry with me for not coming home, and for gadding abroad to look after beauties, she told me plainly, so I made all peace, and to supper.

This evening came Mrs. Lane (now Martin) with her husband to desire my helpe about a place for him. It seems poor Mr. Daniel is dead of the Victualling Office, a place too good for this puppy to follow him in. But I did give him the best words I could, and so after drinking a glasse of wine sent them going, but with great kindnesse. Go to supper, prayers, and to bed.

In or before 1674. John Hayls Painter 1600-1679. Portrait of Jemima Crew Countess Sandwich 1625-1674. Around 1660 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Thomas Wriothesley 4th Earl of Southampton 1607-1667 holding his Lord Treasurer Staff of Office.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 06 May 1666. 06 May 1666. Lord's Day. To church. Home, and after dinner walked to White Hall, thinking to have seen Mr. Coventry (38), but failed, and therefore walked clear on foot back again. Busy till night in fitting my Victualling papers in order, which I through my multitude of business and pleasure have not examined these several months. Walked back again home, and so to the Victualling Office, where I met Mr. Gawden, and have received some satisfaction, though it be short of what I expected, and what might be expected from me. So after evened I have gone, and so to supper and to bed.

Before 23 Jun 1686 Mary Beale aka Cradock Painter 1633-1699. Portrait of William Coventry 1628-1686.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 May 1666. 07 May 1666. Up betimes to set my Victualling papers in order against Sir W. Coventry (38) comes, which indeed makes me very melancholy, being conscious that I am much to seeke in giving a good answer to his queries about the Victualling business. At the office mighty busy, and brought myself into a pretty plausible condition before Sir W. Coventry (38) come, and did give him a pretty tolerable account of every thing and went with him into the Victualling Office, where we sat and examined his businesses and state of the victualling of the fleete, which made me in my heart blushe that I could say no more to it than I did or could. But I trust in God I shall never be in that condition again. We parted, and I with pretty good grace, and so home to dinner, where my wife troubled more and more with her swollen cheek.

So to dinner, my sister-in-law with us, who I find more and more a witty woman; and then I to my Lord Treasurer's (59) and the Exchequer about my Tangier businesses, and with my content passed by all things and persons without so much as desiring any stay or loss of time with them, being by strong vowe obliged on no occasion to stay abroad but my publique offices.

So home again, where I find Mrs. Pierce and Mrs. Ferrers come to see my wife. I staid a little with them, being full of business, and so to the office, where busy till late at night and so weary and a little conscious of my failures to-day, yet proud that the day is over without more observation on Sir W. Coventry's (38) part, and so to bed and to sleepe soundly.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 May 1666. 26 May 1666. Up betimes and to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined at home. So to the office again, and a while at the Victualling Office to understand matters there a little, and thence to the office and despatched much business, to my great content, and so home to supper and to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 29 May 1666. 29 May 1666. King's Birth-day and Restauration Day. Waked with the ringing of the bells all over the towne; so up before five o'clock, and to the office, where we met, and I all the morning with great trouble upon my spirit to think how I should come off in the afternoon when Sir W. Coventry (38) did go to the Victualling Office to see the state of matters there, and methinks by his doing of it without speaking to me, and only with Sir W. Pen (45), it must be of design to find my negligence. However, at noon I did, upon a small invitation of Sir W. Pen's (45), go and dine with Sir W. Coventry (38) at his office, where great good cheer and many pleasant stories of Sir W. Coventry (38); but I had no pleasure in them. However, I had last night and this morning made myself a little able to report how matters were, and did readily go with them after dinner to the Victualling Office; and there, beyond belief, did acquit myself very well to full content; so that, beyond expectation, I got over this second rub in this business; and if ever I fall on it again, I deserve to be undone.

Being broke up there, I with a merry heart home to my office, and thither my wife comes to me, to tell me, that if I would see the handsomest woman in England, I shall come home presently; and who should it be but the pretty lady of our parish, that did heretofore sit on the other side of our church, over against our gallery, that is since married; she with Mrs. Anne Jones, one of this parish, that dances finely, and Mrs. sister did come to see her this afternoon, and so I home and there find Creed also come to me.

So there I spent most of the afternoon with them, and indeed she is a pretty black woman, her name Mrs. Horsely. But, Lord! to see how my nature could not refrain from the temptation; but I must invite them to Foxhall, to Spring Gardens, though I had freshly received minutes of a great deale of extraordinary business. However I could not helpe it, but sent them before with Creed, and I did some of my business; and so after them, and find them there, in an arbour, and had met with Mrs. Pierce, and some company with her. So here I spent 20s. upon them, and were pretty merry. Among other things, had a fellow that imitated all manner of birds, and doggs, and hogs, with his voice, which was mighty pleasant. Staid here till night: then set Mrs. Pierce in at the New Exchange; and ourselves took coach, and so set Mrs. Horsely home, and then home ourselves, but with great trouble in the streets by bonefires, it being the King's birth-day and day of Restauration; but, Lord! to see the difference how many there were on the other side, and so few ours, the City side of the Temple, would make one wonder the difference between the temper of one sort of people and the other: and the difference among all between what they do now, and what it was the night when Monk (57) come into the City. Such a night as that I never think to see again, nor think it can be. After I come home I was till one in the morning with Captain Cocke (49) drawing up a contract with him intended to be offered to the Duke (32) to-morrow, which, if it proceeds, he promises me £500.

Before 03 Jan 1670  Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of George Monck 1st Duke Albemarle 1608-1670. Before 03 Jan 1670 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of George Monck 1st Duke Albemarle 1608-1670 in his Garter Robes.

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Four Days' Battle

Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 June 1666. 02 Jun 1666. Up, and to the office, where certain newes is brought us of a letter come to the King (36) this morning from the Duke of Albemarle (57), dated yesterday at eleven o'clock, as they were sailing to the Gunfleete, that they were in sight of the Dutch fleete, and were fitting themselves to fight them; so that they are, ere this, certainly engaged; besides, several do averr they heard the guns all yesterday in the afternoon. This put us at the Board into a tosse. Presently come orders for our sending away to the fleete a recruite of 200 soldiers. So I rose from the table, and to the Victualling Office, and thence upon the River among several vessels, to consider of the sending them away; and lastly, down to Greenwich, and there appointed two yachts to be ready for them; and did order the soldiers to march to Blackewall. Having set all things in order against the next flood, I went on shore with Captain Erwin at Greenwich, and into the Parke, and there we could hear the guns from the fleete most plainly.

Thence he and I to the King's Head and there bespoke a dish of steaks for our dinner about four o'clock. While that was doing, we walked to the water-side, and there seeing the King (36) and Duke (32) come down in their barge to Greenwich-house, I to them, and did give them an account [of] what I was doing. They went up to the Parke to hear the guns of the fleete go off. All our hopes now are that Prince Rupert (46) with his fleete is coming back and will be with the fleete this even: a message being sent to him to that purpose on Wednesday last; and a return is come from him this morning, that he did intend to sail from St. Ellen's point about four in the afternoon on Wednesday [Friday], which was yesterday; which gives us great hopes, the wind being very fair, that he is with them this even, and the fresh going off of the guns makes us believe the same.

After dinner, having nothing else to do till flood, I went and saw Mrs. Daniel, to whom I did not tell that the fleets were engaged, because of her husband, who is in the R. Charles. Very pleasant with her half an hour, and so away and down to Blackewall, and there saw the soldiers (who were by this time gotten most of them drunk) shipped off. But, Lord! to see how the poor fellows kissed their wives and sweethearts in that simple manner at their going off, and shouted, and let off their guns, was strange sport.

In the evening come up the River the Katharine yacht, Captain Fazeby, who hath brought over my Lord of Alesbury (40) and Sir Thomas Liddall (with a very pretty daughter (7), and in a pretty travelling-dress) from Flanders, who saw the Dutch fleete on Thursday, and ran from them; but from that houre to this hath not heard one gun, nor any newes of any fight. Having put the soldiers on board, I home and wrote what I had to write by the post, and so home to supper and to bed, it being late.

Around 1642. William Dobson Painter 1611-1646. Portrait of the Prince Rupert, Colonel John Russell 1620-1687 and Colonel William Murray. Before 1656 Gerrit van Honthorst Painter 1592-1656. Portrait of Prince Rupert. Around 1672 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of Prince Rupert. Around 1680 Simon Pietersz Verelst Painter 1644-1710. Portrait of Prince Rupert. Before 01 Jan 1701 Henri Gascar Painter 1635-1701. Portrait of Robert Bruce 2nd Earl Elgin 1st Earl Ailesbury 1626-1685.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 06 June 1666. 06 Jun 1666. Up betimes, and vexed with my people for having a key taken out of the chamber doors and nobody knew where it was, as also with my boy for not being ready as soon as I, though I called him, whereupon I boxed him soundly, and then to my business at the office and on the Victualling Office, and thence by water to St. James's, whither he [the Duke of York (32)] is now gone, it being a monthly fast-day for the plague. There we all met, and did our business as usual with the Duke (32), and among other things had Captain Cocke's (49) proposal of East country goods read, brought by my Lord Bruncker (46), which I make use of as a Monkey do the cat's foot. Sir W. Coventry (38) did much oppose it, and it's likely it will not do; so away goes my hopes of £500.

Thence after the Duke (32) into the Parke, walking through to White Hall, and there every body listening for guns, but none heard, and every creature is now overjoyed and concludes upon very good grounds that the Dutch are beaten because we have heard no guns nor no newes of our fleete.

By and by walking a little further, Sir Philip Frowde did meet the Duke (32) with an expresse to Sir W. Coventry (38) (who was by) from Captain Taylor, the Storekeeper at Harwich, being the narration of Captain Hayward of The Dunkirke; who gives a very serious account, how upon Monday the two fleetes fought all day till seven at night, and then the whole fleete of Dutch did betake themselves to a very plain flight, and never looked back again. That Sir Christopher Mings (40) is wounded in the leg; that the Generall is well. That it is conceived reasonably, that of all the Dutch fleete, which, with what recruits they had, come to one hundred sayle, there is not above fifty got home; and of them, few if any of their flags. And that little Captain Bell, in one of the fire-ships, did at the end of the day fire a ship of 70 guns. We were all so overtaken with this good newes, that the Duke (32) ran with it to the King (36), who was gone to chappell, and there all the Court was in a hubbub, being rejoiced over head and ears in this good newes.

Away go I by coach to the New Exchange, and there did spread this good newes a little, though I find it had broke out before. And so home to our own church, it being the common Fast-day, and it was just before sermon; but, Lord! how all the people in the church stared upon me to see me whisper to Sir John Minnes (67) and my Lady Pen (42). Anon I saw people stirring and whispering below, and by and by comes up the sexton from my Lady Ford to tell me the newes (which I had brought), being now sent into the church by Sir W. Batten (65) in writing, and handed from pew to pew. But that which pleased me as much as the newes, was, to have the fair Mrs. Middleton (21) at our church, who indeed is a very beautiful lady. Here after sermon comes to our office 40 people almost of all sorts and qualities to hear the newes, which I took great delight to tell them.

Then home and found my wife at dinner, not knowing of my being at church, and after dinner my father and she out to Hales's (66), where my father is to begin to sit to-day for his picture, which I have a desire to have. I all the afternoon at home doing some business, drawing up my vowes for the rest of the yeare to Christmas; but, Lord! to see in what a condition of happiness I am, if I would but keepe myself so; but my love of pleasure is such, that my very soul is angry with itself for my vanity in so doing.

Anon took coach and to Hales's (66), but he was gone out, and my father and wife gone. So I to Lovett's, and there to my trouble saw plainly that my project of varnished books will not take, it not keeping colour, not being able to take polishing upon a single paper.

Thence home, and my father and wife not coming in, I proceeded with my coach to take a little ayre as far as Bow all alone, and there turned back and home; but before I got home, the bonefires were lighted all the towne over, and I going through Crouched Friars, seeing Mercer at her mother's gate, stopped, and 'light, and into her mother's, the first time I ever was there, and find all my people, father and all, at a very fine supper at W. Hewer's (24) lodging, very neatly, and to my great pleasure. After supper, into his chamber, which is mighty fine with pictures and every thing else, very curious, which pleased me exceedingly.

Thence to the gate, with the women all about me, and Mrs. Mercer's son had provided a great many serpents, and so I made the women all fire some serpents.

By and by comes in our faire neighbour, Mrs. Turner (43), and two neighbour's daughters, Mrs. Tite, the elder of whom, a long red-nosed silly jade; the younger, a pretty black girle, and the merriest sprightly jade that ever I saw. With them idled away the whole night till twelve at night at the bonefire in the streets. Some of the people thereabouts going about with musquets, and did give me two or three vollies of their musquets, I giving them a crowne to drink; and so home. Mightily pleased with this happy day's newes, and the more, because confirmed by Sir Daniel Harvy (34), who was in the whole fight with the Generall, and tells me that there appear but thirty-six in all of the Dutch fleete left at the end of the voyage when they run home. The joy of the City was this night exceeding great.

Around 1665 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Vice-Admiral Christopher Myngs 1625-1666. One of the Flagmen of Lowestoft. Around 1664 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Jane Needham 1645-1692. One of the Windsor Beauties. In 1689 Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of William Hewer 1642-1715.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 August 1666. 02 Aug 1666. [Up] and to the office, where we sat, and in discourse at the table with Sir W. Batten (65), I was obliged to tell him it was an untruth, which did displease him mightily, and parted at noon very angry with me. At home find Lovett, who brought me some papers varnished, and showed me my crucifix, which will be very fine when done. He dined with me and Balty's (26) wife, who is in great pain for her husband (26), not hearing of him since the fight; but I understand he was not in it, going hence too late, and I am glad of it.

Thence to the office, and thither comes to me Creed, and he and I walked a good while, and then to the Victualling Office together, and there with Mr. Gawden I did much business, and so away with Creed again, and by coach to see my Lord Bruncker (46), who it seems was not well yesterday, but being come thither, I find his coach ready to carry him abroad, but Tom, his footman, whatever the matter was, was lothe to desire me to come in, but I walked a great while in the Piatza till I was going away, but by and by my Lord himself comes down and coldly received me.

So I soon parted, having enough for my over officious folly in troubling myself to visit him, and I am apt to think that he was fearfull that my coming was out of design to see how he spent his time [rather] than to enquire after his health. So parted, and I with Creed down to the New Exchange Stairs, and there I took water, and he parted, so home, and then down to Woolwich, reading and making an end of the "Rival Ladys", and find it a very pretty play.

At Woolwich, it being now night, I find my wife and Mercer, and Mr. Batelier and Mary there, and a supper getting ready. So I staid, in some pain, it being late, and post night. So supped and merrily home, but it was twelve at night first. However, sent away some letters, and home to bed.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 27 August 1666. 27 Aug 1666. Up, and to my new closett, which pleases me mightily, and there did a little business. Then to break open a window, to the leads' side in my old closett, which will enlighten the room mightily, and make it mighty pleasant.

So to the office, and then home about one thing or other, about my new closet, for my mind is full of nothing but that. So at noon to dinner, mightily pleased with my wife's picture that she is upon.

Then to the office, and thither come and walked an hour with me Sir G. Carteret (56), who tells me what is done about my Lord's pardon, and is not for letting the Duke of Yorke (32) know any thing of it beforehand, but to carry it as speedily and quietly as we can. He seems to be very apprehensive that the Parliament will be troublesome and inquisitive into faults, but seems not to value them as to himself. He gone, I to the Victualling Office, there with Lewes' and Willson setting the business of the state of the fleete's victualling even and plain, and that being done, and other good discourse about it over, Mr. Willson and I by water down the River for discourse only, about business of the office, and then back, and I home, and after a little at my office home to my new closet, and there did much business on my Tangier account and my Journall for three days.

So to supper and to bed. We are not sure that the Dutch fleete is out. I have another memento from Sir W. Coventry (38) of the want of provisions in the fleete, which troubles me, though there is no reason for it; but will have the good effect of making me more wary. So, full of thoughts, to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 28 August 1666. 28 Aug 1666. Up, and in my new closet a good while doing business. Then called on Mrs. Martin and Burroughs of Westminster about business of the former's husband. Which done, I to the office, where we sat all the morning.

At noon I, with my wife and Mercer, to Philpott Lane, a great cook's shop, to the wedding of Mr. Longracke, our purveyor, a good, sober, civil man, and hath married a sober, serious mayde. Here I met much ordinary company, I going thither at his great request; but there was Mr. Madden and his lady, a fine, noble, pretty lady, and he, and a fine gentleman seems to be. We four were most together; but the whole company was very simple and innocent. A good-dinner, and, what was best, good musique.

After dinner the young women went to dance; among others Mr. Christopher Pett (46) his daughter, who is a very pretty, modest girle, I am mightily taken with her; and that being done about five o'clock, home, very well pleased with the afternoon's work. And so we broke up mightily civilly, the bride and bridegroom going to Greenwich (they keeping their dinner here only for my sake) to lie, and we home, where I to the office, and anon am on a sudden called to meet Sir W. Pen (45) and Sir W. Coventry (38) at the Victualling Office, which did put me out of order to be so surprised. But I went, and there Sir William Coventry did read me a letter from the Generalls to the King (36)1, a most scurvy letter, reflecting most upon Sir W. Coventry (38), and then upon me for my accounts (not that they are not true, but that we do not consider the expence of the fleete), and then of the whole office, in neglecting them and the King's service, and this in very plain and sharp and menacing terms. I did give a good account of matters according to our computation of the expence of the fleete. I find Sir W. Coventry (38) willing enough to accept of any thing to confront the Generalls. But a great supply must be made, and shall be in grace of God! But, however, our accounts here will be found the true ones. Having done here, and much work set me, I with greater content home than I thought I should have done, and so to the office a while, and then home, and a while in my new closet, which delights me every day more and more, and so late to bed.

Note 1. The letter from Prince Rupert (46) and the Duke of Albemarle (57) to the King (36) (dated August 27th, from the "Royal Charles", Sole Bay) is among the State Papers. The generals complain of the want of supplies, in spite of repeated importunities. The demands are answered by accounts from Mr. Pepys of what has been sent to the fleet, which will not satisfy the ships, unless the provisions could be found "... Have not a month's provision of beer, yet Sir Wm. Coventry assures the ministers that they are supplied till Oct. 3; unless this is quickened they will have to return home too soon.... Want provisions according to their own computation, not Sir Wm. Coventry's, to last to the end of October" ("Calendar", 1666-67, p. 71).

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 29 August 1666. 29 Aug 1666. Up betimes, and there to fit some Tangier accounts, and then, by appointment, to my Lord Bellasses (52), but about Paul's thought of the chant paper I should carry with me, and so fain to come back again, and did, and then met with Sir W. Pen (45), and with him to my Lord Bellasses (52), he sitting in the coach the while, while I up to my Lord and there offered him my account of the bills of exchange I had received and paid for him, wherein we agree all but one £200 bill of Vernaty's drawing, wherein I doubt he hath endeavoured to cheate my Lord; but that will soon appear.

Thence took leave, and found Sir W. Pen (45) talking to Orange Moll, of the King's house, who, to our great comfort, told us that they begun to act on the 18th of this month. So on to St. James's, in the way Sir W. Pen (45) telling me that Mr. Norton, that married Sir J. Lawson's (51) daughter, is dead. She left £800 a year jointure, a son to inherit the whole estate. She freed from her father-in-law's (50) tyranny, and is in condition to helpe her mother, who needs it; of which I am glad, the young lady being very pretty.

To St. James's, and there Sir W. Coventry (38) took Sir W. Pen (45) and me apart, and read to us his answer to the Generalls' letter to the King (36) that he read last night; wherein he is very plain, and states the matter in full defence of himself and of me with him, which he could not avoid; which is a good comfort to me, that I happen to be involved with him in the same cause. And then, speaking of the supplies which have been made to this fleete, more than ever in all kinds to any, even that wherein the Duke of Yorke (32) himself was, "Well", says he, "if this will not do, I will say, as Sir J. Falstaffe did to the Prince, 'Tell your father, that if he do not like this let him kill the next Piercy himself,'"1 and so we broke up, and to the Duke (32), and there did our usual business. So I to the Parke and there met Creed, and he and I walked to Westminster to the Exchequer, and thence to White Hall talking of Tangier matters and Vernaty's knavery, and so parted, and then I homeward and met Mr. Povy (52) in Cheapside, and stopped and talked a good while upon the profits of the place which my Lord Bellasses (52) hath made this last year, and what share we are to have of it, but of this all imperfect, and so parted, and I home, and there find Mrs. Mary Batelier, and she dined with us; and thence I took them to Islington, and there eat a custard; and so back to Moorfields, and shewed Batelier, with my wife, "Polichinello", which I like the more I see it; and so home with great content, she being a mighty good-natured, pretty woman, and thence I to the Victualling Office, and there with Mr. Lewes and Willson upon our Victualling matters till ten at night, and so I home and there late writing a letter to Sir W. Coventry (38), and so home to supper and to bed. No newes where the Dutch are. We begin to think they will steale through the Channel to meet Beaufort. We think our fleete sayled yesterday, but we have no newes of it.

Note 1. "King Henry IV"., Part I, act v., sc. 4.

Around 1634 Gilbert Jackson Painter 1595-1648. Portrait of John Belasyse 1st Baron Belasyse 1614-1689. Around 1669 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of John Belasyse 1st Baron Belasyse 1614-1689. Around 1665 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Admiral John Lawson 1615-1665. One of the Flagmen of Lowestoft. Around 1680. Circle of Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Isabella Lawson. Around 1664. Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of Isabella Lawson. Around 1657 John Michael Wright 1617-1694. Portrait of Thomas Povey Master of Requests 1614-1705.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 December 1666. 26 Dec 1666. Up, and walked all the way (it being a most fine frost), to White Hall, to Sir W. Coventry's (38) chamber, and thence with him up to the Duke of York (33), where among other things at our meeting I did offer my assistance to Sir J. Minnes (67) to do the business of his office, relating to the Pursers' accounts, which was well accepted by the Duke of York (33), and I think I have and shall do myself good in it, if it be taken, for it will confirm me in the business of the Victualling Office, which I do now very little for.

Thence home, carrying a barrel of oysters with me. Anon comes Mr. John Andrews and his wife by invitation from Bow to dine with me, and young Batelier and his wife with her great belly, which has spoiled her looks mightily already. Here was also Mercer and Creed, whom I met coming home, who tells me of a most bitter lampoone now out against the Court and the management of State from head to foot, mighty witty and mighty severe.

By and by to dinner, a very good one, and merry.

After dinner I put the women into a coach, and they to the Duke's house, to a play which was acted, "The————". It was indifferently done, but was not pleased with the song, Gosnell not singing, but a new wench, that sings naughtily.

Thence home, all by coach, and there Mr. Andrews (34) to the vyall, who plays most excellently on it, which I did not know before. Then to dance, here being Pembleton come, by my wife's direction, and a fiddler; and we got, also, the elder Batelier to-night, and Nan Wright, and mighty merry we were, and I danced; and so till twelve at night, and to supper, and then to cross purposes, mighty merry, and then to bed, my eyes being sore. Creed lay here in Barker's bed.

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Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 November 1668. 07 Nov 1668. Up, and at the office all the morning, and so to it again after dinner, and there busy late, choosing to employ myself rather than go home to trouble with my wife, whom, however, I am forced to comply with, and indeed I do pity her as having cause enough for her grief.

So to bed, and there slept ill because of my wife. This afternoon I did go out towards Sir D. Gawden's, thinking to have bespoke a place for my coach and horses, when I have them, at the Victualling Office; but find the way so bad and long that I returned, and looked up and down for places elsewhere, in an inne, which I hope to get with more convenience than there.